A quick warning before I launch into my Oscar-esque thank-you speech, there is sex in this chapter. Like "descriptive sex." It's nothing horribly graphic, so I didn't change the rating to M, but if that sort of thing irks you, you've been warned.
As I'm sure you've heard, I've edited quite a few chapters (Chapters 1-8, 11, 12, and 13 to be specific). Some have more changes than another, but some of the plot has been slightly reworked (slightly, mind you. The final outcome is the same, they just get there in a different way.). So if you're interested, read on and review!
So, here we are. The final chapter. And it's long. And by long, I mean longer than any chapter I've ever posted, all stories included.
Speaking of long, it's been a long year (well, okay, obviously more time has passed for them in the story, but it's taken a year to write the story) for not only these characters, but for definitely this writer.
And I just wanted to thank you all for sticking through to the end. At this point, there have been 252 reviews, 16,791 hits, 3 Community Adds, 44 Favorites, and 53 Alerts. And Lord knows I couldn't have gotten these amazing numbers without you wonderful and faithful readers.
There is likely to be a sequel to this, but I have another multi-chapter fic, "Free as a Bird", that I haven't updated since June because I wanted to finish this one first. So I need to finish that one. But hopefully everyone will be watching for a sequel, because I'm about 90% sure there will be one.
So, again, thanks for reading, thanks for reviewing, and here's the awaited end of "Eleanor Rigby."
"Ellie…Ellie? Can we come in? We've got the veil and the bouquet!"
Ellie turned her attention away from Max and looked towards the door, which her sister had knocked on and was shouting through. She groaned and slipped in a quick kiss before she answered the door.
Anna, Mrs. Rigby, Mrs. Carrigan, Grandmother Carrigan, Julia, and Lucy came tumbling through the door, with Anna and Lucy holding the bouquet and veil. The moment they saw Max, he was instantly taken by the shoulders and almost thrown out of the room, much to his surprised dismay.
Despite the veil being the only thing that had to be attached to her, it took about fifteen minutes and a lot of excited murmuring for the women to put the veil to Ellie's head. Finally, everything was in place and the women took a step back to look at the now-ready bride.
Even though they had been bothering with her for a while, all of them still gasped when they got a good look at her.
"Doesn't she look fabulous!" exclaimed Grandmother Carrigan.
"She certainly does," agreed Mrs. Carrigan.
Mrs. Rigby returned to her daughter's side, pulling at the fabric a little and beginning to fuss with her. "Sweetheart, aren't you going to be cold without a shawl?"
Hell yes, I'm going to be cold. Ellie thought to herself. But she only replied "I'll be fine, Mom. It's decently warm outside."
"I hope you're right. Really…having your wedding in the apartment would've been alright, but on the rooftop? Why didn't you just call me and tell me you needed a hall or something?"
"Because I didn't think that far ahead. And honestly, a hall's too formal for us. We wanted a laid-back wedding."
"That's for sure," her mother muttered. "Probably didn't even get a real priest…"
Mrs. Rigby's last comment reminded Ellie that she only briefly talked to Rocky about presiding over the wedding, which made her heart stop for a moment. As her mother left her side to go converse with the other women, she pulled Lucy aside.
"Did you talk to Rocky, by any chance?"
Lucy winced. "Only a little bit…but he did say he'd try to lay off the weed until after he was done. But when he asked what he was supposed to do, I wasn't exactly sure what to tell him. I told him to keep it short and sweet."
Ellie felt a flood a relief. "Thank you, Luce. That's exactly what I needed you to say. The less he talks, the better. We don't want to scare our parents away."
Both of them smirked. Mrs. Carrigan then came over to them, holding Max Jr. in her arms. The small, but growing amount of hair on his head was slicked to one side, and he was clad in what looked like a miniature tuxedo.
Needless to say, Max Jr. looked absolutely ridiculous. And he was not happy about it. He didn't cry, but a thoroughly disgusted scowl turned down the corners of his tiny mouth.
"Mom…" Lucy sniggered, trying to hold back a snort and failing.
"What? He didn't have any dress clothes, so I did the honor of getting them for him. He looks adorable, don't you, Max?"
It seemed as if he pouted even more at this comment. Ellie laughed heartily at this and took him from his grandmother for a moment, pressing her forehead to his and smiling.
"He always looks adorable…even in silly dress-up clothes," she murmured inaudibly to anyone but her son. She kissed him on the cheek and he burbled gleefully. Two years ago, she never would've envisioned herself as a wife and a mother. But she had to admit, there's nothing that made her happier than having the same man in her bed every night and seeing his smaller self smiling at her from his crib.
There was a soft knock on the door. It opened and all that could initially be seen of Max was his hands, which were shielding his face.
"Don't attack me!" he exclaimed, stepping into the room cautiously. "Luce, Jude needs to see you."
"Tell him I'll be out in a minute."
"He says it's important."
"What could be so important that he can't wait five minutes?" she said indignantly, more to herself than anyone else. Max, who had brought his hands down, again put them up in defense.
"Hey, hey, hey, don't shoot the messenger! That's just what I was told."
Lucy sighed and nodded, exiting the room swiftly. Her brother, seeing all the women were cooing over his son, saw opportunity and pulled Ellie aside for a moment.
"What's going on?" she inquired. He grinned widely, as if he were a proud papa.
"Well, he's…he's going to do it."
"Going to do what...Oh!" She realized what he meant and an unmistakable smile grew on her face. "You mean that. He's going to do it?"
"Yes, ma'am, he is."
"God, she'll be so happy…the last couple days, there were times, not for very long, but she'd get mopey and down. She always said it was nothing, but I knew she was wishing this was her wedding. And she'll get it, oh, Max, this is great!"
She threw his arms around his neck and held him a tight embrace, coming close to knocking him over. He laughed and returned the hug, but he released her and looked at her seriously.
"El, you can't tell anyone…I know you, you'll tell your mom, who'll tell my mom, who'll tell everyone, and next thing we know the whole thing is ruined and Jude'll be singing off a rooftop again…which is possibly the cheesiest way to tell someone you love them, by the way-"
"Like you can talk."
"What's that supposed to mean? I am anything but cheesy! Name one time I was cheesy."
"I'll name several. You proposed to me in a diner full of people, we got married in Atlantic City, and…we had sex on the beach."
"Well, okay, the first two, I'll admit, but the last one…doesn't everybody do that?"
Ellie giggled at his audacity on this subject. "It's not always a bad thing to be cheesy, you know. And you aren't most of the time, just those few times."
"Fine, whatever, I don't even care." She couldn't help but roll her eyes at this. "Anyway, don't. tell. anyone. Even Max. You never know, he could vomit and the chunks of baby food could spell out-"
She waved her hands to stop him, scrunching up her nose. "Okay, okay, okay, I get the point. I won't tell anyone."
He smiled. "Good. Now I should probably split before I get my ass kicked." He did manage to steal a kiss before he was noticed by the other women and chased out of the room.
"So…what do you need, Jude?"
Jude instantly found the paint that had been ground into his studio's wood floor fascinating, feeling himself turn a bright shade of red.
"Man, if you don't go through with it, I will kick your sorry ass."
"Mate, you couldn't kick my ass if you tried."
"…I'll have Ellie kick your sorry ass."
The conversation he had had with Max before he had gotten Lucy swirled in his head. There was no real reason why he shouldn't do it. Yet, as he found himself standing here, he felt his heart pounding in his chest and his hands starting to shake.
"Jude?" He glanced up, his eyes immediately landing on Lucy's questioning ones. "I've got to get back to Ellie soon, so you've got to tell me what's wrong."
A small grin played at his lips. "Nothing's wrong at all, that's the problem…Luce, you know I love you more than anything else in the world. You know that. And I know I've kept you waiting, and I'm sorry about that."
Her gaze dropped to the floor and she gave a small, sad nod. She would wait the rest of her life if she had to, but she wished Jude would understand how much she wanted to be married. She knew that their relationship was solid; that he didn't have to give her a ring or sign a paper to show commitment. They both knew that. But there was something about saying Jude was her husband rather than her boyfriend that made their relationship 100% solid in her mind.
"I'll wait as long as you need me to, Jude," she said quietly, about to turn out of the room.
But, to her surprise, his smile grew. "Well, you won't have to wait much longer."
He dug through his pockets and pulled out a ring, a small, but pretty diamond sparkling in the middle of it.
"'S not much…only what I could afford. But I hope you'll like it."
Closing the gap between them, he took both of her hands in his and dropped to one knee.
"Lucy Carrigan…would you give this poor bastard the pleasure of being his wife?"
"I think I can manage that," she replied, happy tears filling her eyes and spilling down her face. A bright grin spread across his face as he slipped the ring onto her left hand, kissed it, and stood up.
She immediately threw her arms around his neck and kissed him deeply, making this a moment they would always remember. It felt like ages until they finally released, breathless and pink-cheeked, but still beaming from ear to ear.
"There's nothing I want more than to make love to you right here on the floor, but unfortunately, there's a few people outside who might not appreciate that."
She laughed heartily as she tucked a strand of hair behind her ear. "Maybe later we'll try and fix that, but right now, we've got a wedding to get to."
It seemed like everyone was bustling around so much, no one had noticed Lucy and Jude had disappeared into Jude's studio. When they came out, clasping hands, none of the chaos had subdued in the slightest. Exchanging amused glances, neither of them minded. It would be difficult to keep their engagement a secret, but they didn't want to appear like event-toppers. This was Max and Ellie's day.
Finally, Ellie and the women emerged from the bedroom, the rest of the family rushing over to her and already beginning to congratulate her.
"Hey, I haven't gotten married yet. You never know what Max'll do." Everyone laughed, but didn't stop the fussing. At one point, Ellie looked over at her two friends and smiled knowingly, winking at them.
"Hey, El!" Ellie's brother Keelan poked his head through the front door. "They said everything's ready up there whenever you're good to go."
She nodded and motioned over to Lucy and Jude to join her. Once they were by her side, she looped an arm through each of theirs, gestured to the rest of the family, and began the procession up the stairway to the rooftop.
"Well, I didn't think anything could trump our first wedding, but I've got to admit…that was pretty eventful."
Ellie and Lucy collapsed into a hysterical heap on the couch in the empty apartment, clutching their sides, laughing. Jude and Max remained on their feet, but were grinning just as big.
"Blimey," Jude started, scratching the back of his neck and shaking his head in wonder. "Did you see the look on your mum's face when Rocky went into that spiritual shit?"
"I wish I had. I was too busy trying not to laugh. I figured if me and El looked completely serious, they would've thought this was the real deal."
"When Rocky pulled out the 'ceremonial incense' that we had to smoke," Ellie started, panting heavily. "The look on everyone's face was priceless."
"I'm sorry!" Lucy said, holding her head in her hands. "I should've informed him that our parents were expecting a traditional wedding. I figured short and sweet was good enough."
"Hate to break it to you, sis, but it was anything but short and sweet…shit, I was wondering if it was ever going to end."
The girls giggles subdued, and the four friends sat in comfortable silence for a moment. After Ellie and Max were finally married, the four of them had stolen a quick drink at the party on the roof and immediately rushed down to their apartment.
"My mother's never going to let this go," Ellie said, staring up at the ceiling and shaking her head. "I guarantee, every Thanksgiving, she's going to bring this up."
"You could tell her that technically we were already married in the first place."
"Yeah, but if I told her where we got hitched, that'd be even worse."
"We should probably head back upstairs," Jude interrupted, looking at the clock. "Sadie and Jo are up there and we shouldn't just abandon them."
"Well, you two can head up there," Max started as he turned to his wife. "But me and El have got plans."
"We do?" she questioned, raising a suspicious eyebrow.
"We do. Come on." He went over to the coat rack and pulled off his leather jacket, throwing it to her. Ellie looked curiously between Lucy and Jude, who both shrugged. The three of them had found over the years that it was better to just adjust and go with whatever Max's unpredictable plans were.
Once she had the coat slipped over her shoulders, he pulled her to her feet.
"Where are you going?" Lucy inquired.
"That's not for you to know, sister dear," he responded with an impish grin. Wrapping an arm around her waist, they both walked to the door, Max giving his sister and best friend a little wave before leaving. Ellie followed suit, not sure of what else to do and wondering what Max had in store for her.
Sunlight dazzled across the glassy water of the river as Max and Ellie pulled up to the docks. As soon as the car stopped, he scooped her up into his arms and carried her out. She grinned until she realized he was walking very close to the edge of the docks, looking like he was about to throw her in.
"Max!" she exclaimed. "It is the middle of November. Do not throw me into that water."
He stopped for a moment, looked up at the clear skies, then back at her. "Babe, if you haven't noticed, it's decently warm today."
She hesitated. He had a point. "Yeah, but…I don't know. I don't want to go in my nice dress and I definitely don't want to be freezing my ass off in wet clothes on the way home."
A brilliant idea crossed his mind, and a smirk grew deviously on his lips. "You're right. We can go naked." He carefully dropped her to her feet and before she could protest, pulled Jude's sweater over his head. He did the same with his socks, pants, and lastly his boxers. After giving her another grin, he ran to the edge and dived neatly into the water.
She looked towards the heavens, wondering what she was getting herself into, but she followed suit. She glanced around, hoping there was no one else there, and covering the sensitive areas of her body with her hands.
"Aw, come on, El. It's not like I haven't seen it before."
She gave a nod in agreement, but still shuffled cautiously over to the edge of the dock, not completely revealing herself until she slipped into the water. She yelped as the icy water enveloped over her bare body, swimming over to where he was treading.
"Fuck," she yelped again. "It's cold."
He smiled as he wrapped his arms around her waist and pulled her close to him.
"We'll just have to warm you up, darlin'," he said, adopting an airy, "southern belle" accent. She snorted in amusement.
"Like you'll be able to do that, you twig. I'm bigger than you are!"
"Well, I know I'm just a slip of a thing, but have a little faith." She wrinkled her nose, but giggled.
"Well, excuse me, then, Miss O'Hara, but I believe I'm still cold." He lightly pressed his forehead to hers.
"Well, we'll just have to fix that, won't we?" he said before cupping her cheek and kissing her. They were having a bit of trouble staying afloat, so, lips still pressed firmly against each other, they drifted closer to the edge of the dock. He pressed her up against it, gliding his hand down her frame and giving her firm ass a squeeze.
She broke the kiss for a moment, looking at him skeptically.
"Max…should we really do this? Here and now?"
"Sure, why not? We're in the water, so people aren't forced to see us."
"But we don't have protection."
He shrugged. "And?"
She sighed, putting her hands on his shoulders. "I could really use a break from the pregnancy shit. I have the feeling my vagina's going to explode if I have another kid."
Max chuckled and tucked a wet strand of dark, wavy hair behind her ear. "If it bugs you that much, we can pick up birth control pills on the way home."
Ellie thought about it for a moment, then shrugged, reeling him back in for a fiery kiss. She took her feet off the three-inch ledge that the wood underwater provided and let her legs float up to his hips, where she circled them around his body. As he leaned forward, mouth moving from her lips up towards her ear and trailing down her neck, she draped her arms around his neck and gasped as he slowly pushed into her.
He ended his trail at the base of her neck, closing his eyes and resting his chin there. As she rocked into him, her back scraped rhythmically against the wet wood behind her. Her swimming mind vaguely thought eventually this would become a problem, but she pushed that nag out of her head, wanting to be more focused on warm, tingling sensation between her legs.
Her eyes fluttered shut and she dropped her head to his shoulder, sighing blissfully as he pushed deeper, his hip bone lightly knocking against hers. Unfortunately, the sound of thick boots against creaky wood brought her out of her reverie. Max didn't seem to notice, but nonetheless she forced her eyes open and peeked over the top of the dock. A portly policeman was surveying the area, looking curiously at the clothes that had been left in a heap down by the docks.
She gasped as she whipped back to him.
"Damn…" he laughed huskily. "Didn't know I could still make you do that so often."
"Well, you can but…" She paused and swallowed the moan that was itching the back of her throat. "we're about to get arrested."
Not stopping his pace (that motherfucker, she thought to herself), he looked up, then shrugged with indifference.
"I don't know about you, but I ain't stoppin'."
This time she forced him to stop by quickly closing her legs. He widened those striking blue eyes and glared at her.
"El-lie, come on-"
"There's no way we can do it!" she hissed. She could practically hear the wheels spinning his head as he desperately thought for a way. Something must have come to him because his eyes lit up and his lips curved upward in that familiar lopsided smirk. He kissed her forehead and then put a finger to her lips.
"We're going to continue, but nothing is going to come out of your mouth. And I mean, nothing. It's much better that way anyway, and I've doubt you've tried it," he whispered, and he started to move towards her again.
"Max Carrigan, you egotistical bastard, you know for a fact I won't last five minutes. You just want to prove I can't do it."
"Oh, ye of little faith," he murmured in her ear, his gravelly baritone sending chills down her spine. "If you can't control yourself, we'll go under the water. Deal?"
Ellie didn't really have a choice, because he immediately resumed and all hopes of her resisting went out the window. It was definitely going to be an uphill battle, and she had the feeling he was purposely making it hard for her. The small, quiet grunts and groans of pleasure he gave as he buried his face into her neck drove her past the point of insanity. She bit her lip so hard to suppress a moan that she tasted her own sweet, irony blood.
She hastily put two hands on the side of his head, brought it around to her face, and pulled him into a heated lip-lock, hoping that if she kept her mouth busy it would be easier. But the bubbling in the pit of her gut increased and she grasped the ends of his growing mop of blonde hair, her frame starting to shake. She was trying so hard and she thought could hear the policeman starting to wander their direction, but it just felt so good…
She broke for a moment, a choked sigh escaping her lips. Max kissed the tip of her nose before whispering with a smirk "Are you gonna make it?"
Ellie caught herself, but literally on the verge of hitting her peak. She looked at him with sparkling, lustful brown eyes and, her voice catching on the edge of a whimper, said "No." before she grasped his shoulders and pulled him down underneath the surface just as the hot wave of an orgasm washed over her body.
The policeman, who had been looking elsewhere, heard the noise and turned. He waited for a moment, then waddled over to the edge of the dock and looked down. It was impossible to see anything in the dark, murky water and there was only a little disturbance in the water. After waiting for ten seconds to see if anything popped up, he sighed and started to wander back towards the building, figuring the imposters were elsewhere.
"Damn kids…" he muttered as he started to walk up the steps.
After five seconds later, both Max and Ellie burst from surface, relieving their burning lungs and gasping for air. They both had figured the policeman had heard her slip, so they stayed down there as long as humanely possible.
"Is he gone?" she panted, holding on to the side of the dock. He pushed wet bangs out of his face and looked over the top of the wood.
"Yeah, I think so."
She nodded, then glowered at him. "I told you I wouldn't last long. And can you imagine him having to arrest us butt-ass naked?"
He laughed wickedly and swam over to her. "Wouldn't that make this an even more memorable wedding? Some story we can tell the family…" He looped his arms around her waist and stared nostalgically upwards. "Honey, remember our wedding night? We had some amazing sex down at the docks but got caught by that darn policeman!
"Gosh golly gee, Dad! I'd love to hear more about your sex life! Tell us more!" exclaimed Ellie sardonically.
"Well, son, then we spent a couple hours down at the station with nothing but a towel and the handcuffs…"
"And I'd say, that's right! I do remember! I also remember giving your father a deserved ass-whooping."
"Butt-ass naked," they finished simultaneously, breaking into hysterics. Once their chuckling died down, they fell into a comfortable silence. However, it wasn't long before both of them started to tremble violently due to the icy water.
"I'm thinking it's about time we get out," Ellie said, looking over her shoulder at him.
"Well, we could…or…" he trailed off, raising his eyebrow suggestively. She gave him a jab with her elbow.
"Jesus, Max, have you ever considered that your penis might fall off from all the banging? Luce told me that your mom said you hung out with 'promiscuous dope fiends.' It's a wonder she didn't say that about you."
"Oh," he started, scowling a little at the thought. "I'm sure she did."
She grinned, swiveling in his arms and wrapping her arms around his neck. He returned the smile and gave a little shrug, sighing.
"Hate to break it to you, angel cake, but it looks like you're stuck with this promiscuous, dope fiend, cross-dressing…well, not completely homosexual, obviously, twisted pacifist for the rest of your days."
She giggled, leaning in to give him a kiss, but not before saying:
"That's the only way I want it."
Fifteen years later…
"Man, Harrison Ford's the shit."
"Did you see the way that dude took that heart out?"
"Why couldn't we have seen Sixteen Candles? That movie was gross."
Max Carrigan Jr. shook his head chuckling, mildly listening to his friends' conversation. Even though what they were fighting over was dumb, he should be glad he even had friends in the first place. His entire family, aunts, uncles, and cousins included, had just moved from the East Village to Brooklyn about three weeks ago, and Max had figured he and his cousin Michelle would be the loners for a while at their new school. But, to their relief, they had both made friends quickly and now had gone out to a movie for the first time together this evening. Really, Max had wanted to go to the movie alone with Clara Hanson, a pretty Latina he had met in his English class. They weren't dating yet, but it was pretty obvious that they liked each other. Unfortunately, his mother had told him that for the first time, he had to go on a group date. Why he had even asked his mother was beyond him; if he had asked his dad, he would've said go for it and probably a few other things, too. Max brought this point up in their argument.
"Ma, I'm not ten years old anymore."
"That's my point, sweetheart. It's not that I don't trust you, I'd just feel more comfortable if you went in a group the first time."
"Dad wouldn't have given a shit…" Max muttered under his breath.
"You would be correct about that, and that's why I'm glad you asked me instead. Otherwise, I'd be yelling at both of you."
"But I won't be out any later than midnight…what if I call you right when we get to the movies and then right after the movie's over?"
She shook her head. "Both of us will be out and that still doesn't tell me what you did in the movie theatre. Just humor your mother and go in a group. Bring Michelle along, she'd have fun and probably doesn't want to hang out with us for the night."
She gave him one of her infamous looks, one of the two things his dad had told him to steer clear of at all costs. "Maxwell Carrigan, do you want to go to the movies at all?"
Of course, the other thing his dad had told him to steer clear of was the use of his full name. So, he heaved a sigh of defeat and rolled his eyes.
"Fine…but if Clara doesn't go out with me after this, I'm blaming you."
The group date wasn't all that bad. Actually, it was pretty fun, except for the occasional jabs Max and Clara received, like "Why aren't you making out yet, huh?" or "What's your deal, Carrigan? Make your move!"
When the movie was over and the group was wandering slowly towards the front doors of the theatre, Clara came up behind him, tapping him lightly on the shoulder.
"So…how'd you like the movie?" she asked casually, though it was clear something else was on her mind.
He shrugged, shaking growing blonde bangs out of his face. "Eh, it was alright. The heart thing was a little nasty, but whatever, I liked the action."
"Yeah…me too…listen, Max…can I talk to you for a second?" She stopped for a moment, catching his arm so that he followed suit. Michelle, who had been walking in stride with Max while contentedly munching on some popcorn, looked back when she noticed he wasn't at her side. She gave him a curious glance, but instantly smiled in recognition when she saw Clara next to him. He returned the smile, but shooed her away with his hand. Michelle smirked and raised a suspicious eyebrow, popping a kernel of popcorn delicately into her mouth before turning on her heel and walking away.
Max, turning his attention back to Clara, noticed that her gaze dropped to her feet as she nervously tucked a strand of hair behind her ear. "I…I really like you…and…I was wondering if we could do this again sometime…you know…alone?"
In his mind, he was ecstatic. He had finally gotten the date he wanted, even with this stupid, unexpected "group date" delay.
Outwardly, however, he toned down his jubilation to an odd lopsided smirk and replied:
"Yeah, that'd be cool."
"I understand if you don't want to," she continued breathlessly, picking at her fingernails. "I mean, I'm guessing that's the reason why our date turned into a group date, because you didn't want to do it alone.
"Babe, that was my parents, not me. No…I definitely want to do this again. I like you, too, Clara."
She beamed from ear to ear. "Good." Then she put a hand to his cheek and gave him a short, but sweet kiss on the lips.
The rest of the teenagers, who had been silently watching this all unfold, wolf-whistled and cheered as the two kissed. Not yet breaking the kiss, Max gave all of them the one-finger salute, but smiled when they finished. His friends returned to his side, the boys giving him claps on the back and Michelle ruffling his hair good-naturedly.
Their celebration was interrupted by a deafening roar of a car coming down the street and undistinguishable music thumping loudly along with it. The friends exchanged curious glances and wandered outside to see what all the commotion was about.
The moment they stepped out the front doors, all of them were blinded by bright headlights. A baby blue Chevy, which had been the car thundering down the street, careened over the curb at the far end of the parking lot and landed smartly on the cement.
As the car continued to speed through the desolate lot, doing donut holes in clear spaces and narrowly avoiding the few parked cars multiple times, it became clear the crazed driver, undoubtedly drunk out of his mind, had his radio up on full-blast and was singing along at the top of his lungs.
"Just as…ev-er-y cop is a criminal…and all the sinners saints…as heads is tails, just call me…LUcifer, cause I'm in need of some restraint…so if you meet me, have some courtesy, have some sympathy, have some taste…Use all your well-learned pol-i-tesse, or I'll lay your…soul to waste, um yeah…PLEASED TO MEET YOU, HOPE YOU GUESS MY NAME, UM YEAH…BUT WHAT'S PUZZ-EL-ING YOU IS THE…NATURE OF MY GAME. GET ON DOWN!!"
The driver continued singing drunken falsetto "Woo! Woo!"s as he weaved in and out of the lanes. Max and all of his friends were laughing their asses off at this spectacle and wondered if anyone in the movie theatre actually knew this guy.
"Max…" Michelle said suddenly, tugging on his sleeve. "Isn't…Isn't that Uncle Max...isn't that your dad?"
Max's laughing immediately ceased as all eyes were now on him. His dad was supposed to pick him, Michelle, and Clara up from the movie. He knew his father was a little wacko…okay, maybe really wacko, but even this was a bit much for him.
The car zipped up the vertical aisle one last time, turning sharply right and coming to a screeching halt directly in front of the group of friends. Sure enough, as the driver rolled down the window, out popped Max Sr.'s head. He had an old pair of Aviators slid down to the end of his nose and a cigarette hanging loosely between two fingers.
"Hey, 'Chelle! Squirt!" he exclaimed dazedly, the latter name referring to his son. Max hated it when his dad called him that. "Hop in!"
Max exchanged glances with Michelle, wondering whether this was really the wisest decision on their part. The movie theatre was only ten minutes away from their apartment building in Brooklyn. This neighborhood was a decently quiet one, so the streets were almost empty at this hour, but even so…
Before they could make a decision, however, another car, this one a red sedan, came speeding down the street, but the car pulled correctly into the parking lot. The sedan came to a brief stop and the driver, a middle-aged woman, poked her head out of the window.
"MAXWELL CARRIGAN, YOUR ASS IS MINE!"
"Oh, shit," Max, Michelle, and Max Sr. said simultaneously. Max Sr. started the car up again as fast as he possibly could, giggling stupidly as he did so.
"Who's that?" Clara asked, referring to the woman in the red car.
"That would be my mother," Max replied with a sigh of exasperation, as if he was the parent and they were the children.
"This should end well," Michelle said quietly, shaking her head and chuckling. Her uncle overheard her.
"No, see, here's what you gotta do," he said in a drawling baritone, pointing at them with cigarette-laden hand. "You gotta act cool…calm…collected. Then all that shit goes away. Just watch."
Just at that moment, Ellie Carrigan drove up behind Max Sr.'s car and parked, sitting her elbow on the window and leaning out of it.
"You better not move an inch, or your ass will be on the sidewalk." she spat at him. Her mood completely changed as she turned to her son and her niece, smiling brightly at them. "Hi! How was the movie?"
"It was pretty good," Max replied casually, his arm finding its way around Clara's waistline. His mother noticed this and grinned.
"Max…is there someone you'd like to introduce to me?"
"Oh! Uh, right. Mom, Dad, this is Clara."
Clara tried to smile politely and waved at them awkwardly. This was not how she was planning on meeting Max's parents.
"Nice catch, squirt," his father said with a smirk. Ellie glowered at him through the windshield, then turned back to Clara.
"It's good to meet you, Clara. Please excuse this son of bitch who calls me his wife."
"Aw, angel cake, you know I love you…I'm just having my fun, you know that."
"Yeah, well, joy ride's over, Casanova. There is no way I'm letting you drive them and we've got to get them home, especially Michelle. I'd really rather not be lectured by your sister tomorrow about getting her child home on time."
"I can explain the whole thing to her," Michelle cut in, not wanting to cause them any more trouble. "And besides, my dad knew Uncle Max was picking us up and expected we'd be home later than we said."
"See?" Max Sr. encouraged, now looking out his own window at his wife. "Judey's about as hammered as I am, anyway-"
"All the more reason to get her home."
"In my car. Now."
Max Sr. thought about it for a moment, then grinned apologetically at her as he started up the engine, knowing he was going to pay dearly for his fun when he got home. He sincerely hoped Ellie would find his apologetic grin hopelessly adorable.
She shut her eyes in dismay as he did this. "Max…please, don't."
"Sorry, babe! Stupid is as stupid does!" Max Sr. floored the gas and sped away, his radio coming back on and this time, singing at the top of his lungs:
"Tell ME…over and over and over again, my friend…ah, don't you believe we're on the eve of de-struc-tion..."
"You're damn right we're on the eve of destruction…" Ellie muttered through clenched teeth. She groaned and her head drooped onto the steering wheel.
"Sorry about that…sweetheart, why don't you say goodbye to your friends? I'll just wait here."
Max nodded and his mother rolled up the window, having a small temper tantrum once the window was up and her frustrated screaming was soundproofed.
All the teenagers chose to ignore this and gaped at Max and Michelle, their jaws dropped in disbelief.
"Dude…" Billy said, not able to say anymore than that.
"Is it always like that at your house?" Tom asked dubiously.
"Not always," Michelle answered with a shrug. "I mean, I don't live there, my mom, dad, and I live down the hallway from them, but I'm over there all the time. Uncle Max's kind of crazy and all, but I've never seen him go this far. Normally, he just does little things that piss Aunt Ellie off. But he just got a big promotion at his job and he, Ellie, my parents, and a bunch of their friends got together tonight to celebrate…I guess things got a little out of hand."
"Dude…" Billy said again, shaking his head, directed his attention back to Max. "Your dad's awesome."
Max grinned. "Yeah, he's pretty cool. As you can see, though, Mom's only up for so much, and when he loses his marbles like this, she can get pretty angry. You'd never think this, but they love each other to death. They just fight all the time. They have two volumes in almost any situation. Loud and Louder."
There was a brief silence, his friends still in awe of what just happened.
"Well," Clara started, slipping her hand into his. "I guess there's never a dull moment at the Carrigan household, is there?"
Max chuckled and squeezed her hand. "Nope. Not at all. But…I like it that way."
If you read of all that in one sitting, well hoo-freakin'-ray for you, you win the best fanfiction reader award :D.
Here's a bit o' trivia. There were two songs used in the last section of this chapter, the ones Max Sr. sings in his car. Try and guess what they are (if you can do this without Google, like you just know the answer, I love you forever.). I'll give you a hint. Neither of them are Beatles songs, but both are from the same era.
I know there's a lot here to break down, but I'll do it anyway. Come on, it's the last chapter!
"The small, but growing amount of hair on his head was slicked to one side, and he was clad in what looked like a miniature tuxedo." – Whether they actually made such things in the sixties and whether they actually make them now is beyond me. But the idea came to me and it had to be done.
"Yes, ma'am, he is." – If you caught that reference from the ATU movie, cookies for you.
"He dug through his pockets and pulled out a ring, a small, but pretty diamond sparkling in the middle of it." – A very, very subtle reference to "Can't Buy Me Love."
"Lucy Carrigan…would you give this poor bastard the pleasure of being his wife?" – See? I keep my promises :D.
"When they came out, clasping hands, none of the chaos had subdued in the slightest. Exchanging amused glances, neither of them minded. It would be difficult to keep their engagement a secret, but they didn't want to appear like event-toppers. This was Max and Ellie's day." – The possibility arose in my head that Jude and Lucy could get hitched right then and there with Max and Ellie, but eventually, I thought that was too much. This chapter's already eighteen pages long and it is a Max/OC story. Sorry if I disappointed anyone.
"When Rocky pulled out the 'ceremonial incense' that we had to smoke," Ellie started, panting heavily. "The look on everyone's face was priceless." – Whether this would actually happen in any sort of religious ceremony is probably not likely, but it seemed 70s/hippie-ish, so I put it in.
"Hate to break it to you, angel cake, but it looks like you're stuck with this promiscuous, dope fiend, cross-dressing…well, not completely homosexual, obviously, twisted pacifist for the rest of your days." – If you caught this reference to the ATU movie and the previous one, double cookies for you!
"As the car continued to speed through the desolate lot, doing donut holes in clear spaces and narrowly avoiding the few parked cars multiple times, it became clear the crazed driver, undoubtedly drunk out of his mind, had his radio up on full-blast and was singing along at the top of his lungs." – As much as I wished this was an idea that just came to me, it's actually based on a true story. PM me if you want to know.
"Stupid is as stupid does!" – A quote taken from the movie Forrest Gump. It seemed appropriate.
"They have two volumes in almost any situation. Loud and Louder." – A quote taken from the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding. It also seemed appropriate.
Expect a lot of oneshots and some updates on "Free as a Bird" from me. I have decided that I will do a sequel to this story, but when I'll start it is yet to be determined. Again, thank you for all the reviews, the suggestions, the PMs, everything you've given me for the past year. I appreciate it so much!
Peace, love, and music
~KT aka TMOLM2010