Summary: Link visits the Turnblads, late one evening and Edna and Wilbur insist that he stays for dessert and coffee. A chat with Wilbur leads to them digging up his old records. They set up the gramophone in the back yard and Link tells Tracy to put on her dancing shoes…the night is still young!
Author notes: No spoilers here coz I haven't seen the movie yet.
Thank you's: Thank you to all the lovely readers who've been reading my previous Link/Tracy fics. Your reviews and encouragement have been wonderfully inspiring and I look forward to your thoughts on this one. There are more thank you's below (Jill, luv ya for the choreography and for just being Jill).
Enjoy! I hope it's as fun to read as it was for me to write…this one is probably closest to my heart...
Hold me, Thrill me, Kiss me
"Tracy! Honey you have a visitor!" Edna Turnblad's deep alto voice practically boomed up the stairs.
"Coming mama," Tracy called back, half wondering why her friend Penny didn't just come bounding up the stairs like she always did. Penny wasn't one to stand at the door and neither Wilbur nor Edna Turnblad would allow her to do that. They'd have dragged her in by now and placed a bowl of mama Turnblad's home-made dessert into her hands.
Tracy looked at herself in the mirror. She was fresh from the shower and she'd pinned her hair up in a messy up do. Just hearing Link tell her she looked pretty the other night had convinced her to try to glam up a bit more. She quickly changed into one of the new dresses she'd bought while shopping with her mom. It was a pretty, pale pink dress, with clean lines and cute sleeves. The hemline reached her knees so it wasn't too short but gave off a subtle sexiness. And the fact that Link liked how she looked in this shade made it all the more special.
Wait till Penny sees the new stuff I bought. I wish I could take Penny shopping as well, but her mom will probably have a fit and lock her up in her room forever.
Actually, how did Penny get out of the house this late? It's past 9pm and it's a school night!
Throwing on a pair of flats she rushed downstairs shouting "Why didn't you just come upstairs? I was wondering what you were doing down here-Oh!" She stopped short when she saw her dad in their living room making small talk with her "visitor".
Wilbur Turnblad smiled upon seeing his daughter. "There you are honey. This nice young man dropped by to see you."
Tracy knew she was smiling all the way up to the corners of her eyes and she was rewarded when her "visitor" returned it, complete with twinkling blue eyes and a very subtle nod of the head. In one of his signature dark grey suits and a black long-sleeved shirt he looked unbelievably gorgeous.
"Hi, Link." She said, walking towards him and her dad. "I wasn't expecting company...well I thought at first that the visitor was Penny, but then-"
"-when I didn't come upstairs…" he cut in.
"Yeah." Tracy didn't bother to finish the sentence as Link seemed to understand her and simply smiled, his eyes captivating her with their dreamy shade of blue.
Wilbur Turnblad watched this exchange with an amused look on his face. "Link, have you had dinner, son?"
"Oh, yes sir. Please don't trouble yourselves. I've eaten. I'm sorry for dropping by so late-"
Wilbur shook his head and patted Link on the shoulder. "Not to worry, son. We're up late on most nights. Me and the missus love listening to records and having a nice little talk about the day. So, you've had dinner…but have you had dessert?" Wilbur asked.
Link chuckled. "That, I haven't"
"Well then you must try this new concoction my wife came up with." He called out to Edna. "Edna? Sweetheart? Could you get that dessert out? We have company."
Edna Turnblad came into the hallway, her larger than life presence radiating warmth and hospitality. "Oh, Link...helloooo." She smiled good-naturedly and Link smiled in such an adorable fashion that Tracy's heart just melted.
"Ma'm," he said. "I actually came by to give Tracy this record." He held up an LP. It's awfully kind of you to invite me to stay for dessert."
"It's our pleasure, dear." Edna insisted. "Tracy honey, help you father will you? Wilbur, move some of those newspapers out of the living room. Honestly, how can one man make such a mess?" She tut-tuted and Wilbur winked at Tracy.
Edna turned to their guest. "Link I could use your help getting the dessert bowls, dear. They're our special ones and they're up on a shelf in the kitchen. Now Wilbur will say he can climb our rickety old ladder but I get worried…so if you'd be a dear-"
"Of course." Link obliged without a moment's hesitation. "Just show me where they are, ma'm." He gave Tracy a sweet look and followed her mom into the kitchen.
Tracy watched him go, her heart all a flutter at the thought of Link integrating himself so beautifully into her family's day-to-day activities. She wanted to pinch herself and find out if she was in fact dreaming but her father was motioning to her to help him move their gramophone so she hurried over to him.
"He's a nice fella, eh hon?" Wilbur Turnblad nodded towards the kitchen.
Tracy coloured slightly. "Yes he is, dad. He's amazing"
Wilbur understood and simply put an arm around her shoulder and kissed her forehead.
Edna and Link emerged from the kitchen just then, Link carry the dessert bowls and cutlery and Edna carrying her homemade dessert. It was some new chocolate concoction of hers and Tracy knew for sure that it would stop Link in his tracks.
"Let me help you with those," Tracy offered and Link carefully placed the spoons in her hand, the tips of his fingers grazing her palm ever so gently. Tingles shot through her arm in an instant and Link's eyes met hers for a moment almost as though he had felt it too.
Clearing her throat slightly, Tracy walked to the dinner table. Link came up to the table right beside her and placed the bowls right next to where she'd left the spoons. She was acutely aware of how close to her he was and even more aware when his left hand brushed against hers beneath the table.
Edna Turnblad busied herself, serving generous portions of the chocolate dessert into individual bowls. Everyone took a bowl each and sat in the living area. Wilbur put some music on and almost immediately started asking Link about the Corny Collins show and his aspirations. Link surprised Tracy by easing comfortably into the conversation with her father.
Oh Link…you're really something else. Here I thought you would shy away because we're...well different. But not you.
Tracy's reverie could have gone on for days but she was suddenly aware that Link was asking her parents a question about music and dancing.
Wilbur sat up in his seat. "Why yes, I have a good selection of dance music, my boy. There are some classic slow dancing tunes and some good numbers for the cha cha and rumba…oh and even salsa."
"Aww honey, we should play some of those. I haven't heard those dance tunes in a while. I used to dance quite a bit when I was younger, y'know." Edna turned pink upon saying it.
"I'm sure you were a fantastic dancer, Mrs. Turnblad." Link said with all sincerity. "And you too, sir. Tracy obviously gets her talent from the two of you. And let me tell you, she's somethin' else."
Tracy's heart soared just hearing those words. Her mom and dad looked at one another in a way parents do when they've been happily married for as long as the Turblads had been married.
Wilbur stood up and indicated to Link to join him. "Come on, son. Help me pick out some good ones. I'm sure you have good taste. After all, you are the lead dancer on the Corny Collins show."
Link blushed lightly and followed Wilbur Turnblad to the next room. They returned a short while later with arm load of records.
Tracy laughed. "That's a lot of records." Tracy laughed.
"Well darlin' if you wanna dance, you gotta have some good tunes." Her father commented, putting down his stack of LPs.
"Dance?" Tracy repeated. "We're gonna dance?" Her initially surprise soon faded away when she realized what that meant.
I'm going to dance with Link, in my house…
Wilbur nodded. "Yes, and we can put the chairs out there and you kids can dance on the built up part of the backyard"
…in my back yard…
"Under the stars…" Edna Turnblad sounded very girlish and Wilbur put an arm around her. "Aww, Wilbur you old romantic."
With my parents watching…
A quick glance at Link, who was standing beside her, showed that he was unperturbed by the latest developments.
He just gave her a cute eyebrow waggle and then whispered quietly in her ear. "Go put on those pink dancing shoes of yours and get back here. We're gonna cha cha."
She felt giddy with anticipation. "Can we rumba too?" She looked up at him. "…and fox trot?"
"Anything you want." He looked down at her tenderly.
She hurried upstairs, reached under her bed and pulled out the shoebox that held those beautiful, new, pink dancing shoes and slipped them on, fastening the straps securely. Then she quickly checked her hair in the mirror, rearranged her up do, dabbed on a smidge of flesh toned lipstick in a hurry and rushed downstairs.
She was slightly out of breath when she got to the hall and her flushed face seemed to attract Link's attention.
"My, my…" He murmured quietly in a teasing voice. "…all this for me?"
She looked at him, wide-eyed, and he gently touched the side of her lips with his thumb and wiped away a tiny smudge of lip colour.
"Oooh," she turned red.
Oh, I could die! She winced and made a muffled sound, much to Link's amusement.
He took her hand and led her out to the back garden where Wilbur and Edna were setting up their chairs and a small table. Edna watched them walk, side by side, hand in hand and smiled, misty eyed.
Oh mama, isn't he a dream? No matter how silly I think I am, he thinks I'm worthy of attention.
Edna's smile felt like approval and Tracy clasped his fingers tighter without realizing it. To her surprise and delight, he squeezed back and looked down at her.
"Come on kiddos," Wilbur motioned to them. "I have a good one right here." He put the record on and the familiar strains of Bobby Darin's Dream lover started filling the air.
Tracy's heart soared when Link asked out, aloud. "Tracy Turnblad…dance with me?"
"Link Larkin, I would love to." She did a cute curtsey and then slipped into his arms. Edna and Wilbur held hands and swayed to the music as they watched their daughter and her "gentleman caller" as Edna liked to say.
Hold me, hold me,
Never let me go until you've told me, told me,
What I want to know and then just hold me, hold me
Make me tell you I'm in love with you.
Thrill me, thrill me,
Walk me down the lane where shadows will be, will be
Hiding lovers just the same as we'll be, we'll be,
When you make me tell you I love you.
"You really don't mind this? Dancing in my back yard, with the washing on the line and my parents sitting over there, watching us?" Tracy wondered how he'd respond.
"I don't mind." Link looked at her with a look she couldn't quite interpret. "It's actually kinda romantic. Granted, I got off to a shaky start with your mom…and I wasn't sure if your dad would like me…but you have great parents, Tracy. I really like them…and them being around isn't awkward."
"At all?" She wasn't sure if Link was just too good to be true.
A man who likes and respects my parents…Link, you're Prince Charming in every way.
"All right," He shrugged. "It might be awkward if I wanted to do this…" He leaned very close to her face and puckered his lips in a kissing motion making her let out a tiny squeal and place her hand over his mouth.
"LINK!" She whispered but it came out as a squeak when she felt his lips against her palm. "Are you crazy?"
He laughed and spun her away from him in a quick motion.
My head is spinning...my head is spinning
I need to catch my breath around this boy.
She came back to him an felt and amazing comfort as his arms encircled her. It wasn't the typical Fox trot arm position but she didn't care. Link was holding her and it felt so right.
He held her in his arms for a few more refrains, swaying softly to the beat of the song resonating in the background. His feet were moving all over the place; hers as well. He was having fun and Tracy's sparkling eyes indicated that she was too. He spun her out yet again and she giggled lightly. Bringing her form back to his own, he had a strong desire to dip her. It was a move he had seen everyone do and with her, it felt like the right moment to do one. In his eyes, there wasn't anyone else he could imagine holding in his arms like this. Swinging her around once more, grooving to the song, he placed his hand on the middle of her back and let her upper half break - a perfect dip.
Tracy's breath caught in her throat and she uttered a weak "L-L-Link..." as she held on to his arms. But he didn't move from that position. Instead he held her in the pose effortlessly.
They gazed into one another's eyes in dreamy, movie star style.
Time just stood very, very still.
All she could hear was the sound of their breathing. Even Bobby Darin's voice on the scratchy record was so distant. It was like everything around her had gone dark and there was an imaginary spotlight on her and Link.
Tracy was floating. Floating on a fluffy white cloud and playing a harp as she gazed into the eyes of the boy she had fallen in love with.
Head over heels and then some.
"Oh Link," she murmured, gulped, and then found that she couldn't form words. All she could do was breathe…breathe, look at him and take in that look on his face.
"Tracy…" He looked at her adoringly and Tracy felt her insides turn into mush.
He's the one, Tracy. He's the one.
Tracy spotted a huge white nightdress billowing in the wind behind Link.
White, with massive pink flowers and suspended on…
…the washing line!
Eeek, my parents!
"My parents," she told him and craned her neck a bit to see if they were there.
"They aren't here, baby." Link's hand moved up her back smoothly as he pulled her back up and out of the dip, all the while drawing her close to his body until they were both standing there, her forehead at the level of his lips, her hands pressed against his chest, feeling the perfect rhythm of the rise and fall of his chest.
She heard a sharp intake of breath from him and looked up. Link's eyes were closed, like he was savouring the moment and breathing her in. Just seeing him like that, so vulnerable, made her want to touch his face.
But he opened his eyes at that moment; those so-blue-you-could-drown-in-them eyes of his. And he bent down and as she closed her eyes she felt the softest, gentlest butterfly kiss on her cheek, just a hairs breath away from her mouth.
It was so soft and tender she wasn't sure if it had actually happened…
Until it happened again.
This time she felt his mouth against the edge of her own. As she tried to take a breath she felt his lips again, kissing her first on the cupids bow, then on her lower lip, then gently working their way to the edge again, almost teasing her to respond.
And this time she did, pressing her lips against his, feeling her heart race to the speed of sound. She let one hand slide up his arm, onto his shoulder and then reach for the nape of his neck. Her touch made him respond with more fervor. She let her other hand slide down his chest gently and slowly and heard him murmur her name as though she was the only thing in the world that mattered to him.
As her other hand slipped around his waist and slid up his back to his shoulders, she felt the muscles in his back react to her touch. He drew her closer, his arms enveloping her in a sweet embrace that made her feel safe and wanted. His kiss seemed to convey all the emotions she was feeling and Tracy returned it with all the love in her heart.
"Tracy," He murmured, breathlessly as he broke away for a moment and looked down, still nose to nose with her.
"Link?" She managed to say, in a weak voice.
Wordlessly, he moved his arms from around her and moved away from her in what looked like a glide.
"Link, what are you doing?" She asked, in a hushed voice, her fingers still in his grasp. She saw him look at her and then watched his eyes shift to a spot just past her. She turned around quickly.
There in the doorway stood her parents.
Edna stood there with a tray of coffee and Wilbur appeared to be holding what looked like a tin of Edna's homemade cookies. Much to Tracy's surprise, neither of them seemed in the least perturbed.
"Er...hey mama," Tracy's voice didn't sound like her own. "Hey dad." She said a bit softer this time.
They didn't see that did they?
She smiled, somewhat foolishly at her parents and they smiled back, unknowingly.
"That's a nice move, ain't it Wilbur?" Edna commented and looked over at her husband.
"Very nice…" Wilbur nodded. "It's a glide motion, darlin'." He then placed the cookie tin on a nearby table and proceeded to show Edna how the move was done and within minutes they were also dancing in the back yard.
Tracy couldn't believe how coolly Link had pulled that off. She looked at him partly in disbelief and partly in awe. He just bit his lip and gave her the sauciest look as he drew her back into his arms.
She tapped a finger against his chest. "Link Larkin, you are a devious so-and-so!" She couldn't hold back a grin.
He cocked an eyebrow up. "Tracy Turnblad, you're a saucy little minx."
"Wha-?" Her mouth dropped open.
"'Hey mama… hey dad.'" He mimicked her, his face just inches away from hers.
Feeling flustered, she slapped his arm but he just laughed and led her straight into another dance.
After a short break during which time they enjoyed coffee and cookies, Link looked at his watch and Tracy's heart sank a little.
He said his goodbyes to Edna and Wilbur and thanked them for their hospitality.
"You drop by anytime, you hear?" Edna said in her typical maternal fashion.
Wilbur nodded too. "We'd love to have you over. And you, my friend, can teach me a few of those fancy moves so I can take Edna out dancing."
Link shook Wilbur's hand. "That's a promise, Mr Turnblad." He nodded at Edna. "Ma'm."
Tracy forced a smile. "I'll walk you out." She told him.
Together they made their way back into the house and to the front door. As he opened the door, he turned to her.
"This was really nice, Tracy." He said with a soft smile.
"Yes it was." Tracy replied. She knew she probably still had stars in her eyes after that dance and that magical kiss amidst flying, plus sized laundry. As corny as it sounded, her back yard, complete with the washing line, clothes, chairs, odds and ends thrown about and even her parents there, was now the most romantic place in the world for her.
Who'd have thought?
"Do you think you'd be free to catch a movie this weekend?" Link asked, somewhat casually.
Tracy's heart was thumping wildly but she responded as confidently as she possibly could. "The last time we spoke, at the department store, you wanted to check with my parents for their permission."
"I did." He grinned, a glimmer in his eyes.
T racy realized that she must have looked utterly stunned because he chuckled and explained. "I asked your dad while getting the records and I asked your mama while in the kitchen."
What? You asked them for permission? You actually asked them before you asked me?
"I think it was the proper thing to do."
Oh, Link I want to marry you…
I want to marry you and have your babies…
And with your eyes and that heartbreaker smile, they'd be beautiful babies…
Maybe a bit chubby coz of me…
But beautiful nonetheless…
"What are you thinking?" He asked her.
Tracy felt the heat rising up her cheeks.
"Um, nothing. But about the movie…yes, I'd love to go with you."
"It's a date then." He said. "I'd better be going now, Trace."
He bent down to kiss her but cleared his throat and pulled away upon hearing Edna and Wilbur's voices in the living room.
"I guess I'll catch you tomorrow, then." He said.
He gave her hand a quick squeeze and stepped outside. As she watched him go she had the craziest feeling. She wasn't sure if she could be held accountable for her thoughts or actions any more.
"Link." She called out to him and stepped outside quickly. "Wait."
And then she just ran; down the empty road with its dim street lighting; all the way into Link's waiting arms.
He twirled her around and laughed. "Tracy…you crazy little thing, you."
"I wanted to say goodnight." She said honestly and mustering up her courage, she stood on tip toe and kissed him squarely on the mouth.
Link didn't waste any time and pulled her into an embrace as he kissed back in a way that wasn't as cozy and cute as in her backyard. Feverishly she responded, only to stop when they heard a loud "Toot" sound from a lone car that was now stalling a few feet away, its headlights blinding them.
Laughing, they moved out of its way. Still in each other's arms, they watched as it sped away.
It felt so natural to stand beside him. She couldn't believe all those times she'd daydreamed about this moment, confessed to Penny about her crush on Link, danced around the house imagining she was in his arms…
And now she was…and he wasn't letting go anytime soon.
"What am I to do, Tracy Turnblad?" Link said turning to face her and cupping her face in his hands.
She looked up at him, her eyes shining and full of hope for the future. "About?" She asked, gently.
Link looked at her like a man who was totally smitten.
"About you, Tracy."
"…I'm in love with you."
They told me be sensible with your new love,
Don't be fooled thinking this is the last you'll find.
But they never stood in the dark with you love,
When you take me in your arms and drive me slowly out of my mind
Kiss me, kiss me,
And when you do I'll know you that you will miss me, miss me,
If we ever say adieu so kiss me, kiss me,
Make me tell you I'm in love with you
Thank you's: A huge thank you and shout out to my friend Jill (Jill-Renay writes awesome fanfic here) for helping me choreograph "the dip". I had stars in my eyes when she told me how to go about it. Jill dear: Link, Tracy and I thank you immensely for that magical moment!
The song Hold me, thrill me, kiss me by Mel Carter is actually a song released in 1965 so I haven't used it in the fic as a background song. After all, this story is set in 1962. But I love the song so much and used it for inspiration for quite a few scenes…hence the use of the lyrics after each part . I guess that makes this a song fic! ;)