The press was out in a quantity that made Fiona's hands shake. Last time she put up with something like this was after the attack. She shoved that feeling away. This event was as far away from that as heaven was from hell. She held Carey's hand tight.
"It's okay," he said, "Few smiles, few pictures. Then we go get some shots."
"Okay," Fi said with a smile.
"I love you," Carey said.
Carey parked the car and sighed. Fi motioned to get out, but Carey grabbed her arm. His face was as serious as it could get.
"What's wrong?" Fi said.
"Nothing's wrong,"he said, "Just sit here with me for a minute. I read your letter. I think its funny that you wrote it when you did. Seems like we were in the same mind set."
He paused for a minute and tried to calm his own rattled nerves. He opened the center console and reached inside.
"So, when you wondered if your feelings were returned, just know you had nothing to worry about. So, I'm ready if you are. I guess what I'm trying to say is will you marry me?"
Fi's mouth was a gape. She didn't know what to say. She didn't even see this coming at all. Tears welled up and she started to see clearly.
"yeah," she said in a whisper, "Of course. I love you."
She threw herself against him. Her mind was racing. But it felt so right. She kissed him gently and tried to gather herself.
"Come on, "she said," I feel those shots calling my name."
Not far behind them, Daria and Clu arrived. The press was eating that up. Daria had a brief stint on the radio with her cover of Origami she performed at the tribute show. She had turned down the opportunity to take off as a recording artist. The company wanted a manufactured pop star.
She was doing good fielding questions. Her days in customer service taught her how to fake that smile.
"Will you be debuting anything tonight?"
"Um, no," Daria answered, "I'm here to support my aunt. I will be doing supporting vocals on a song with her and Annie. But, any new projects for me are still very much on the ground floor."
"What about you and Clu? Reconciliation in the works?"
She looked at Clu and sideways smiled before answering.
"We've been through a lot together. We grew up together and have a tight bond, But, beyond that, we have had struggles that we are continue to go through. For the time being, we have decided to stay friends."
Clu pulled her along from the line. He was horribly uncomfortable. Daria excused herself from the reporters and scowled.
"Did you have to say all of that?" Clu asked.
"Get over yourself,"Daria scoffed, "What did you want me to say?"
Jack stood at the door, clicking pictures. Daria put up that fake smile.
"You look great tonight," Jack whispered in her ear as they embraced.
"So do you," Daria said, "Watch them. Don't let them get to Fi. They'll push their limits."
Inside the club, the air was electric. Music videos of the artist in attendance played on monitors on either side of the stage. Daria spotted Annie at the bar and went to join her, leaving Clu in the wake.
"Hello my lovely," Daria said.
"You just going to ditch him?" Annie asked with a laugh.
"I said I would come with him. I didn't say I would stay with him. I'm single and there are a shit load of hot guys."
Annie giggled as Daria ordered a drink.
"You're horrible,"Annie said.
"I'm not horrible. I'm just not letting myself get sucked in again."
Carey and Fi walked in, hand in hand, looking very flustered. Fi made a bee line to the bar, where she ordered five shots of top self liquor.
"Fi," Annie said, "You okay?"
"Yeah," Fi replied, "Just not diggin' the reporters and photographers. Especially that one at the door. Who told him to baby me?"
"No one ahs to tell him anything. He's your big brother and that's what he does," Carey said.
They all took a shot glass. Holding them up at arms lenght, they toasted.
"Okay, what are we toasting to?" Daria asked.
"To old friends and new beginnings," Carey answered.
The clanked their glasses and placed them on the bar after drinking the liquid within.
"Yeah!" Daria said.
"How 'bout another?" Annie said.
"Five more," Fi said, indicating the number with her left hand.
"Right on," Daria said and paused, "What the hell is that?"
Her eyes got wide and she took Fi's hand and showed Annie. She looked at Fi and then at Carey. She popped Carey in the shoulder.
"Why didn't you tell me?"
"I didn't know I was going to do it," he said.
"You son of a bitch," Daria said as she took them both into an embrace.
Daria's eyes cut to the right and met with one of the guitarist she met the day before. She told them she loved them and excused herself for a minute.
"That's going to turn into an issue," Carey said.
"Its always something," Fi replied.
Fi shrugged and smiled at Carey and Annie. She kissed Carey and excused herself. She locked herself in the private bathroom.
She looked at herself in the mirror. Her make up and hair was checked. Then she looked at her left hand. A smile crept across her face.
The air in the room began to get colder. She saw that her breath began to frost. The decorative vase on the counter shook before slamming against the wall. Fi jumped out of its way and gasped.
The room warmed and Fi looked around, suspicious.
"Yep," she said, "Its always something."