Title: A Change of Drawers
Author: Vesper (Regina)
Rated: T, adult themes
Category: Humor (slightly cracky), Alternate Universe
Keywords: Betty/Henry, Elena Grubstick (OC)
Spoilers: Only for my story "Another Blink of an Eye."
Summary: Henry has a preference. Some preferences change over time.
Disclaimer: Ugly Betty is the property of Silent H Productions, Reveille and Ventanarosa, and Touchstone Television. The story is mine.
Archival: If you wish to archive, please link to my website, or my Livejournal post. Please keep all my headers intact.
Notes: Falls into my "Five Things" alternate universe, so some events in season one never happened. Told from an omniscient narrator's perspective.
Want to know a secret?
Henry's underwear drawer, up until a year ago, only held that ancient and honorable breed of undergarment fondly known as the 'tighty-whitey.' Although, to be fair, not all of them were white, but those that were, were as pristinely white and clean as judicious application of bleach and detergent could make them. They were all folded into neat squares and in just as neat rows.
Henry's somewhat anal about the laundry, as Betty found out shortly after marrying him. At first, it drove her a little bonkers, especially considering that the Suarez household's laundry, more often than not, never even made it into drawers, instead residing in myriad baskets scattered throughout the house.
However, that's beside the point of this story, so let's move along. Henry's underwear drawer was where we were and it is to Henry's underwear drawer we must return.
A year ago, that drawer saw a change in its contents. You see, its owner made a decision prompted by a rather innocent remark by Betty.
"I'm ready," she said.
Henry, somewhat engrossed in reading the funnies of the Sunday paper, asked from behind the paper, "Ready for what?"
Betty bent down the page, so she could see Henry's face. She said, "I want to have a baby."
Henry's response was to, first, drop the paper, second, smile in that incredible way he has that almost literally lights up a room (you know the one), and third, lean over to kiss Betty. That he tipped over his coffee cup on the way, blotching Garfield's smug grin, well, he was excited and can you blame him?
What's the point of the above tidbit, you ask? Just wait, it's relevant. You'll see.
A few nights later, Betty looked up from reading Daniel's "Letter from the Editor," and asked Henry, who had been surfing the internet for the past half hour, "What are you looking for?"
He answered, "Found it."
Betty, curious, put down the magazine, and went to read over Henry's shoulder. She got down a few paragraphs and then, pointing at a particular section, asked, "Are you going to do that?"
Henry smiled and shrugged. "Can't hurt."
Betty grinned and asked, "Are you sure you'll be able to make that kind of change?"
Henry swiveled around on the desk chair to face Betty. She raised an eyebrow and Henry laughed. Pulling her down onto his lap, he gave her a resounding smack on the lips and said, "For you, I'll do anything."
I'm being too mysterious, am I? You want to know what they were reading? You're quite nosy, you are. Oh, don't look so offended, it's no big secret that one tip for getting pregnant is to let the boys breathe, you know? However, if you must know, here are the search terms Henry Googled: 'tips, men, conceiving.' Henry's right, it doesn't hurt.
Henry, of course, is as good as his word. Betty didn't say a word the next time they went shopping and Henry dropped two plastic sealed packages into their basket. Well, not a word, except, "Two?"
Henry shrugged. "I needed new underwear, anyway."
A corner of Betty's mouth quirked up and she rolled her eyes.
So the two packages, which were boxer briefs, by the way, and I could let you know why Henry chose boxer briefs, instead of, say, boxers, but I doubt he'd be that comfortable with me telling you. And you know, neither am I, so moving on--I'm sure you'll have a theory, anyway--those boxer briefs get washed and folded and placed right along with all those old underwear, where they reside quite happily for a long time, getting added to every now and then.
Two and a half years later from that shopping trip, Elena toddled right along behind her mother, as Betty pulled out drawers in Henry's bureau.
Elena said, trying to get Betty's attention, "Mommy, Mommy, hold you."
Betty said, poking through one drawer, "Just a minute, sweetheart, Mommy's looking for her pants."
And why was she looking for her pants? Because, although Henry's spectacularly good about folding clothes and putting them away, Betty's less so, and the pants she's looking for? They'd been missing for days, and Betty suspected they'd been put away with Henry's pants. She's wrong, of course. She found them later, in the closet, under the bag of her maternity clothes. How they got there, she never does figure out. Oh, my apologies, did I get off track? Don't answer that.
Betty pulled out Henry's underwear drawer, stopped, and narrowed her eyes. Elena said, again, "Mommy, hold you!" Betty, recognizing the signs of an incipient breakdown, said, "Okay," and picked up Elena, perched her on her hip, took one of the briefs that were being choked out by their kissing cousins, and went to find Henry.
He was loading the dishwasher.
Betty said, "Henry."
"Yes?" Henry shoved the shelves back inside and shut the door before turning to face his wife and daughter.
Betty held out the briefs. "Are you ever going to wear these again?"
Henry looked them over and answered, "No."
"What should I do with them?"
"I don't know. Throw them away."
Betty raised an eyebrow. She said, "You throw them away?"
Elena said, "I want Daddy, I want Daddy."
Henry reached out to take Elena.
"Yeah," he said, "Why?"
Betty shook her head and gave Elena over, giving her a kiss on the head as she settled into Henry's arms.
"Nothing," she said.
Betty didn't throw them away.
She cut them up for dust rags, because, well, Henry's anal about dust on the furniture, too, and throwing away that much material? Way too much of a waste.
Afterword: This is MaddieStJ's fault. But, really, thanks, because you proved to me I have more than angsty muses. You see, she said Betty would never change Henry's preference, and I thought there was one thing that might and, yeah, it spawned this somewhat silly fic.