Disclaimer: I started this story not owning Pushing Daisies and I end that way.
Let Me Fall-
-Chapter Seventeen: Suddenly Fredo
The sun slowly rose, filling the sky with colors of orange and red. The day was early but Alfredo Aldarisio was awake. He stared out of his bedroom window as the rising sun began the day.
If I loved you.
Then I would love you in anyway I could. And if we could not touch then I would draw strength from your beauty. And if I went blind then I would fill my soul with the sound of your voice and the contents of your thoughts--until, the last spark of my love for you lit the shabby darkness of my dying mind.
Alfredo's own words repeated in his mind, like a broken record, as the sun ascended. At the time he had spoken those words he had said If. If I loved you. And yet, Alfredo Aldarisio knew that those words were so far from true, then and now. It was not "if". No, when it came to Olive Snook, Alfredo had never thought "if".
And that was Alfredo Aldarisio's problem.
For when it came to Olive Snook, Alfredo did, in fact, love her with all his being—and he had since the day she had mumbled about espresso machine's being broken and untouched.
Yes, that was Alfredo Aldarisio's problem.
He loved Olive Snook.
And that's what made this all the more hard.
Two weeks. It had been two weeks since Alfredo had walked into Olive Snook's apartment to see her kissing another man. Two weeks since he had seen her. Two weeks since he had spoken to her; which meant it had been one month and two weeks since he had talked to her in person.
And it made it all the harder.
Alfredo had thought things were going well between the two. So why had she been kissing another man? In her own apartment, nonetheless. It all made no sense. And yet, he had seen what he had seen. There was no denying that.
And that made it all the worse.
Yes, that was Alfredo's Aldarisio's problem.
Alfredo loved Olive Snook. And no matter what had happened, he would go on loving her.
Alfredo took a long drink of water, staring at the empty room that surrounded him.
To Olive Snook, the colors red, pink, and white usually signified love, romance, and passion. But on this particular day, the colors were nothing more than holiday vomit; strewn across the walls of The Pie Hole.
"Did you really have to decorate today?" Olive asked in disgust as she took in the Valentine's decorations Chuck had just finished hanging.
"It's just a little celebration," Chuck said jumping down from the ladder she had been standing on.
Olive wrinkled her nose while staring down the decorations, almost willing them to look back at her. "Whatever," she muttered darkly, turning to face the kitchen and avoid the decor. She scowled when she was met with the sight of a giant paper heart hanging in the indoor window way. "You didn't decorate last year."
Chuck shrugged. "Better late than never--," she replied, her voice trailing when realization dawned on her. "Sorry," she whispered.
"I'll take them down if you want," Chuck said kindly.
Olive turned and smiled, shaking her head. "Other people should still celebrate, even if I can't," Olive replied sadly.
It was the first Valentine's Day Olive had been looking forward too in a long time. For she had finally found someone she wished to spend it with, and who wished to spend it with her in return. But as fate, in the form of Jonah Burke, would have it she would be alone on this Valentine's Day. Fate in the form of Jonah Burke was a fate Olive wished would vanish from the face of the earth.
"Happy Valentine's Day my lovely cupids!"
Olive and Chuck turned to see Pim walk into The Pie Hole.
"What is that?" Olive asked, her face twisted in disgust, as she pointed at Pim's hat.
Pim shifted and touched her hat, her own face contorting in disgust, "Dilly's idea. As if candy boxes placed on top of a hat isn't awkward enough, she decided to add this ginormous heart," she explained. "I mean I love Valentine's Day, but I'm not a walking billboard."
"Ginormous isn't a word," Emerson said from his place at the counter, before taking a drink of coffee. "And don't call me a lovely cupid."
"Aw," Pim puckered her face. "Don't be a spoil sport. It's the day for loooooove," Pim replied, dancing around Emerson, holding a small box above her head.
"I am not a spoil sport," Emerson replied, wiggling his fingers at the words. "Besides, you should be saying that to that one," he finished pointing at Olive.
"Why?" Pim asked, tilting her head towards her cousin.
"She wanted the decorations down," Emerson said, sounding like a five year old, tattling on a classmate.
Olive huffed and threw a nearby rag at the private eye. "Don't you ever mind your own business?"
"He's a detective," The Pie Maker said, walking from the kitchen and joining the group. "He never minds his own business."
Emerson pointed to Ned in agreement.
Olive rolled her eyes. "Whatever."
"See," Emerson said. "So don't go pointing any fingers at me."
"Oh come on," Pim replied, rolling her eyes in a similar fashion as Olive. "Valentine's Day isn't just about romance." At her cousin's words, Olive winced. Pim noticed and smiled sadly, mouthing a 'Sorry' before continuing on, "It's about friendship too! Which is why I brought y'all this."
Pim dropped the box she had been holding on the counter, opening it to reveal a large assortments of candies; most obviously from Balsam's Bittersweets Taffy and Sweets Emporium.
"Dilly let you have all of this?" Ned asked, peering into the box.
Pim shrugged a look of innocence on her face. "Sure, we'll go with that."
"You took them?" Chuck asked, popping a chocolate in her mouth.
"More like borrowed without consent."
"Borrowed? What, you're going to take them back after we eat them?" Olive asked, taking a Mint Sweet and eating it. Her mouth twisted as the taste hit her taste buds. On this particular Valentine's Day the taste of chocolate was anything but sweet.
"Okay, so I stole them," Pim said, rolling her eyes once more. "But really. Valentine's Day and a chance to undermine Dilly, it was too great of an opportunity to pass up."
"You don't like working for Dilly?" Ned asked, grabbing a taffy from the box.
Pim pulled a face. "Working for Dilly is like playing catch with a pineapple." Pim's analogy made Olive, Chuck, and The Pie Maker shudder. Emerson grunted.
"Well, go on, take some," Pim said, pushing the box of candy to Emerson, the only person of their group who had yet to take some candy.
"A-No," Emerson replied, opening up his ever present news paper.
"Oh yes, I figured you wouldn't want any of that," Pim said, digging into her uniform pocket. "So I got you these," she said, pulling out a pile of what appeared to be gold coins.
"Money?" Olive asked, spitting out her second candy into a napkin. She picked up another chocolate, put it in her mouth and gagged, spitting it out as well.
"Chocolate disguised as money," Pim said, knowingly.
"Useless money," Emerson said, pocketing the treats even as he did.
"But money nonetheless," Chuck said, making Emerson scowl.
Olive picked up another chocolate and put it in her mouth, immediately gagging and spitting it out once more. "Pim, these are disgusting. Are they old or something?"
Pim's brow quirked.
"They taste fine to me," The Pie Maker said.
"They were made fresh this morning," Pim said, grabbing a chocolate and eating it. She eyed her cousin. "Perfectly fine."
"They're scrumptious," Emerson said mockingly.
"You haven't even had one, yet," Chuck accused.
Olive sighed. She looked to her companions, all enjoying their sweets on this Valentine's Day. She looked around the room, drinking in the Valentine's decorations. She gagged. Out of the corner of her eye, Olive watched a couple walk by the window, huddled together and cuddly. She felt nauseous. Olive was vaguely aware that her companions were talking. Ned smiled as Chuck said something and Pim laughed. Olive felt the need to smile or laugh in return. But she couldn't bring herself to do it. Her head began to hurt, as the colors of red, pink, and white that surrounded her began to swirl.
"I feel sick," She suddenly said, "I have to go."
"Olive, are you alright?" Pim asked, eyeing her cousin carefully
Olive waved the question away with her hand. "I just need to go," she replied. "Sorry," she said to Ned, before she all but sprinted from The Pie Hole.
"Is she going to be okay?" Ned asked.
"She will be," Pim said.
"Eventually," Chuck added.
"She just needs some alone time," Pim finished.
Pim and Chuck watched Olive Snook disappear from sight before they turned to one another and shared a knowing look. They smiled sadly before grabbing another candy treat and popping them into their mouths.
Alfredo Aldarisio paced.
His hands where stuffed in his pockets and he muttered incoherently to himself.
Alfredo had been busy planning this Valentine's Day since before he had gone away. He had been looking forward to spending the day of love with Olive. And yet he wasn't. Instead he was alone, pacing in an empty room, wondering where it had all gone wrong.
Two weeks ago.
He sighed and kicked the piece of cardboard that lay by his foot. He turned and continued to pace.
And that made it all the harder.
He was alone on Valentine's Day, when the woman he loved was doing who knew what with a man he never met.
Alfredo huffed and clenched his fist, hearing the paper he held crinkle. He ripped his hand from his pocket and straightened the crumbled paper.
Please. I have to talk to you. Just please. Answer me. I need to talk to you. I have to explain. Please. Please.
Alfredo sighed and balled up the note Olive had left at his apartment once more, sticking his hands in his pockets. Sure she needed to talk to him. To explain how she had to break it off with him so she could be with that other man. Other man.
And that made it all the harder.
The woman he loved, Olive Snook, did not want to be with him. Sure, she hadn't said it…yet. But he could see it coming, why else would she have been kissing him? It was simple, he knew. She didn't want to be with Alfredo anymore. She wanted someone who would be around more. Who would stay in one place.
Alfredo sighed and looked around the empty room. He had come so close.
And yet it made no sense. If she hadn't wanted to be with him anymore, why had she wasted almost a year with him in the first place? That had to mean that she still had feelings for him, any form of feelings—in any way shape or form. She had to…After all, he loved her. With all his being. And he would go on loving her, whether she liked it or not.
Alfredo Aldarisio stopped pacing, feeling something click within him.
An equation quickly played in his mind:
He loved Olive. Olive wanted to be with someone else. But Olive had spent almost a year involved with him. So Olive still had to feel something for him. Which meant…
Hope flared in Alfredo Aldarisio's heart.
Quickly, Alfredo turned on his heel and ran from the room, turning quickly and locking the door. With a nod, he set off.
Alfredo Aldarisio was a man on a mission.
Alfredo Aldarisio would go on loving Olive Snook, like he had since she had first grumbled about broken espresso machines…and he would be damned if anyone was going to try and stop him.
Olive Snook was trying to read.
She sighed, turning the page of her magazine. After Olive had quickly left The Pie Hole that morning she retreated to the warmth of her apartment, where she had been able to avoid all things Valentines. That was, until she decided to pass her time by reading. Olive cursed herself for being a romantic, in love with love and anything that had to do with it. All of the books she owned were of the romantic nature in some way shape or form.
Which was why Olive Snook was currently sitting on her couch, reading through a pile of fine food magazines. While Olive loved food, reading about it in ten magazines, with twenty more to go, did get old.
Yes, this was exactly how she had anticipated her Valentine's Day would be. Sitting on her couch, reading old fine dining magazines. Olive scowled at the magazine in her lap before throwing it across the room. She picked up a new one.
It had been two weeks since that fateful day. And Olive had yet to hear anything from Alfredo. No phone call, no answering of the door, no surprise visits to her apartment. Nothing. She had gone into work everyday at The Pie Hole hoping that Alfredo would perhaps show up. But he hadn't.
Two weeks and Olive Snook was beginning to lose hope. She would never see Alfredo Aldarisio again. A dry sob escaped her throat.
A knock sounded on the door.
Olive looked to the door. "It's open!" she called, wiping at the tears that had yet to fall, not feeling like she wanted to get up. It was probably Chuck or Pim, anyways.
Without preamble, the door burst open and Olive Snook gasped.
Marching towards her was not Chuck and it was most definitely not Pim.
"Fredo?" Olive whispered, jumping from her sitting position. The magazines spilled to the floor.
Alfredo paused on the other side of the coffee table and held out his hand when Olive made to go to him.
"Olive, I want to talk to you," he said, sounding unsure though the look on his face was nothing less than confident.
"I want to talk to you too, Fredo," Olive said, trying to keep her voice from shaking.
Alfredo shook his head. "I think you should sit down."
Olive quirked her head but sat.
"Olive," he said, walking back and forth along the length of the coffee table. "You may not want to hear this." Olive felt her stomach tighten. "But I love you."
Olive felt the air leave her lungs in a quiet gasp. She opened her mouth to reply, but Alfredo held up his hand. He continued to pacing.
"And you may not love me back. And you may not want to be involved with me anymore. And you may want to be with that other man I saw you with." Olive felt the blood drain from her face. "But if you think for one minute that I'm going to give you up without a fight then I'm a damn fool," Alfredo finished, stopping his pacing and ending in front of Olive.
Olive slowly stood.
"Er—then you're a damn fool," Alfredo amended.
Olive stepped forward.
"No—then we're damn fools."
Olive stepped onto her coffee table. "Are you quite finished?" She asked, looking down, the table giving her a slight height advantage.
Alfredo straightened his shoulders. "Yes."
Olive huffed before grabbing Alfredo and pulling him close, kissing him as if her life depended on it. Alfredo automatically wrapped his arms around Olive's waist, pulling her closer.
"Good," she whispered when they parted. "I'm so sorry," she whimpered.
"Olive?" Alfredo asked, confused, more than sure that he had figured out what had happened.
"I didn't mean for it to happen. I promise. I swear. Fredo, you have to believe me. Jonah just showed up and the next think I knew we were arguing and then all of the sudden he kissed me and—and--." Olive's words came out fast, her breathing bordering hyperventilation. Her eyes were wide as tried to explain to Alfredo what he had seen.
"Who? Jonah?" Alfredo asked, the name sounding familiar.
Olive nodded vigorously. "Yes! Yes Jonah. Alfredo, that man was Jonah. Jonah Burke. The guy who—who--."
"Scammed you." Alfredo said, looking at Olive, shocked.
Olive continued to nod, her head close to coming unhinged. "I swear, Alfredo. I didn't mean for it to happen. I never wanted to see him again and he just showed up, rambling on about him wanting me to forgive him. And then the next thing I knew--."
"So you and him—he's not hiding in your closet or anything, is he?"
Olive felt her breath leave her as she felt a weight lift from her body. Her head fell forward as she shook it. "No, you fool," she said, pulling back to look Alfredo in the eye. "I love you."
The words fell from Olive's lips before she even realized she had spoken them. She gasped silently; surprised she had even said them. And yet, as she watched Alfredo's eyes widen in surprise and delight, and as a slow smile formed on his lips, Olive knew she had never before spoken truer words.
"I love you too," Alfredo whispered, smiling.
Olive whimpered and lunged forward, wrapping her arms around his neck as his own encircled her arms. "Oh Fredo, I'm so sorry," she whispered, burying her face in his neck.
"I'm sorry I didn't talk to you sooner," Alfredo quietly said into her ear.
Olive shook her head. "It's my fault," she replied. "But, Fredo," Olive pulled back, keeping her arms around the man before her, but looking him in the eye. "Where were you? I searched everywhere."
Alfredo smiled sheepishly.
"I was so worried."
"I'm sorry I worried you."
"Where were you?" Olive asked again.
Alfredo's smile turned into a slight smirk. "Someplace you don't know about," He explained. Olive quirked her brow. "It's not finished yet. It was going to be a surprise but--do you want to see it?"
Olive nodded. "Yes! But where is it?"
"Surprise," Alfredo reiterated. "Now, go get your jacket," Alfredo said, holding out his hand to help Olive down.
Olive all but skipped to her bedroom. In the doorway she turned, tapping the doorframe. "Do you want to check my closet first?"
"For what?" Alfredo asked, his eyes growing wide.
"Other men?" Olive asked.
Alfredo blushed and coughed awkwardly.
Olive smiled brightly. She had her Fredo back.
Olive Snook sighed as Alfredo Aldarisio held her hand, warming it against the February weather.
She allowed him to pull her along Boutique Boutique Way, wondering where he was leading her. To the place he had been hiding for two weeks; that much she knew. But what confused Olive was the fact that she had scoped Boutique Boutique Way too many times to count and she hadn't been able to find him. So where was he leading her?
Olive shrugged. She would find out soon enough. And she did.
Alfredo stopped at the end of the alley, just short of Dempsa's Dining Diner. From where they stood, Olive could see Dempsa through the window. The older woman paused when she saw Olive and Alfredo standing together; a look of pleased shock written across her features.
Olive looked around. "You were at Dempsa's? But--."
"Not Dempsa's," Alfredo replied, turning towards the last shop on their right. The shop was empty, no sign sitting above the door, and a SOLD sign in the window. Alfredo dug into his pocket and pulled out a key.
"Fredo?" Olive asked.
Alfredo said nothing, he merely unlocked the door and stepped aside, holding the door open for Olive.
"I don't understand," Olive said, walking through door. The room they entered into was large and empty. A counter stood directly at the back and plastic wrapped shelving units and chairs lined the walls. "This is where you've been?"
Alfredo nodded with a sheepish smile on his face. "Like it?" He asked, walking in a closing the door.
"Like it—I—Fredo, what is it?"
"You're standing in what will become Alfredo's Herbothocary."
"I'm still working on the name," Alfredo replied, looking nervous.
Olive felt her jaw drop. "Alfredo, are you—are you opening your own business?"
Olive took a step forward, placing her hand on his arm. She looked into his eyes. "A traveling salesman isn't such a thing if he does not travel," she whispered.
Alfredo smiled, hearing his own words echoed at him. He wrapped his arms around her waist. "It appears," He said quietly, looking into Olive's eyes with a shy look on his face. "That I've finally found my reason to stay."
The fantasy started as it had before…and yet, for the first time, it was nothing short of reality…
A smile formed on Olive's lips as she stepped towards him. "Fredo," she whispered, allowing him to pick her up. Their lips met before she could utter her next words. I knew it was you, whispered in her mind. As they kissed Olive's eyes slipped shut and Alfredo lifted her from the ground, spinning slightly.
Olive felt like she was flying, swirling in an emotion beyond anything she had ever experienced before. Olive wanted to go on flying, soaring until the ends of time.
Slowly, Olive came back to earth as Alfredo lowered her to the ground and broke their kiss.
"Happy Valentine's Day, Olive," he whispered into her ear. "I love you."
Olive hummed in response, digging her face into Alfredo's neck.
And it was there, in that exact moment, on that very day standing in the middle of what would become Alfredo's Herbothocary, wrapped in the arms of Alfredo Aldarisio that Olive Snook decided she had, perhaps, finally found a cure to Unrequited Love Syndrome.
Author's Note: Well there you have it! All finished. I hope y'all enjoyed the conclusion! I REALLY enjoyed writing this story.
Keep an eye out for a Pushing Daisies one shot or two. I've got a couple ideas, one of which will be a small snap shot of life after the end of this particular story.
Thank you all for reading and reviewing!
I had so much fun writing this and I hope you all had the same amount of fun reading
Until next time!