Title: Applesauce, Lorraine
Prompt: #17 Missing Time
Characters/Pairing: Doug Penhall, Tom Hanson -- Doug/Tom
Disclaimer: I own nothing.
Summary: "Of course we do, Tommy," Doug replied, leaning down to grab his lone suitcase. "You've missed so many episodes: we have to get you caught up. But first, we have to catch up on our two weeks missed time."
A/N: Written for stevrick on lj... idea stolen from my drabble Alone. Does not need to be read to understand this, it just helped in creating this story.
Applesauce, Lorraine: a place that seemed too odd of a place to exist. Tom knew, though, that it at least existed in that damn cartoon. The one that Doug insisted on watching everyday, episode after episode even though he had already seen them all. But they did play in order, and missing even just one episode would mess up his entire routine.
But Applesauce, Lorraine? Tom sure didn't find it that amusing, and what exactly did that teach a five-year old? First, they would think that a snack they ate was also a place in the world, and, excited, would run off to tell their parents of the great news(after the show was over, of course). What happened, then, when the mother or father looked at their child and proceeded to tell them that Applesauce, Lorraine did not truly exist? That the cartoon was fake and that most things shown on it would be as well. That would be teaching the kids that lying was okay, wouldn't it? That making up something for fun was completely fine because their favourite cartoon character had done the exact same thing.
Neither Doug nor Tom believed in Applesauce, Lorraine, though.
"Hey Tommy, do you think that that place actually exists?"
"What?" Tom asked, pulling his gaze away from the flashing colours of the television. "Do I think that there's a place called Applesauce in real life?" His lips had curved upwards in a small smile and Doug just gave him a serious look. "Yeah. Do you?"
"No. I'm not a kid, Doug; I don't believe in that kinda stuff anymore."
"I don't either," Doug offered in response. He began to laugh at this and Tom gave him a curious look. "You seriously thought I woulda, didn't you?
"Well, kinda," Doug responded. "Okay, not really. It was just getting pretty quiet."
"Well we were watching your show, weren't we?"
"Yes, but it cut to a commercial. And you hadn't talked since the show started."
"Well neither did you," Tom replied quickly. "I thought you would just yell at me to shut up so you could watch your stupid show."
"Hey, hey, hey," Doug started quickly, sounding a lot like that Fat Allan character Tom had seen in a commercial only minutes before. "I only did that once. And I apologized, didn't I?"
"I know. I just figured you were protective of the show. You kinda jumped over the couch yesterday just to get to the tv buttons because you were late and the batteries in the remote had died."
"No need to repeat it all," Doug muttered, slightly embarrassed at Tom's recap of his attempts at getting to his show on time.
"I know," Tom replied with a grin. "I just think it's funny."
"Yeah, yeah," Doug muttered, shooting a glance back towards the tv. There was a commercial for some kind of cleaning product playing. Commercials were too long, and besides, this show was made for kids and was playing on a channel made to play kid's shows: why did it have an advertisement for a toilet bowl cleaner?
"Oh come on," Tom replied slowly, moving closer to Doug. "Are you telling me that-"
"Shut it!" Doug shouted loudly, eyes once more glued to the television's screen as Rocky and Bullwinkle began to play again. "I'm trying to watch my show!"
Tom had accidentally left the tv on that same kid's channel a week ago so he could go to the washroom, and upon reentering the room Applesauce, Lorraine had floated across the room, making its way into his mind and sending him thoughts of his boyfriend – one who was currently out of town. And Tom had sat back down on the couch and had watched the entire damn episode. That episode, and every episode every day afterwards. Rocky and Bullwinkle was Doug's favourite cartoon, after all, and Tom found it easier to deal with his absence when watching a show that he loved so much.
Doug had been told that he would be going home two weeks after arriving. Because the trip, the conference, he had been sent to, was only supposed to last that long. But then there had been the hail. Doug had, of course, seen the weather reports on the news but had laughed it off, believing it all to be a lie: it was the middle of June, how could it possibly hail?
Except it had hailed and his flight had been delayed. Stuck in his hotel room watching tv. At least he had been able to find Rocky and Bullwinkle. He had watched it everyday since he had arrived, the actual conference parts of his trip being set during the day. Of course, he had already seen every episode, but it was so amusing and he couldn't help but to continue in watching the reruns. A week ago he had even watched an episode that had brought back a memory he was hoping he wouldn't have. And that was only because Tom had existed in it. He hadn't been able to call Tom at all during the trip because it would cost too much. The trip, as well as the room he was currently residing in – phone calls and all -- were being paid for by the police department: Doug didn't think that they would take too kindly to a hundred dollar phone bill because he and Tom had gotten a bit carried away during one of the calls. But when Doug had realized that and promised the department no long distance calls would be made, he hadn't realized that he would miss Tom so much. And he hadn't, not really, until he reached that episode of his favourite cartoon about that place that didn't even exist.
He and Tom had watched the episode a week after moving in together and it was the most intimate they had ever gotten since doing so. They had been intimate before, yes, but the living together had scared them a little and they had become more like roommates in that first week. And it was a cartoon about a talking moose and a talking squirrel – one that could even fly – that had helped in changing that back into boyfriend status.
Now, after a week of finally realizing how much he missed Tom, of wanting to just hear his voice, Doug had been excited because he was finally going to get to see Tom again. Then it had hailed and he had gone back into his room to watch the show that reminded him so much of his boyfriend. And it was the closest he found he could get to the other man without having any contact with him – which was weird, because Tom hated Rocky and Bullwinkle. It was Doug's favourite, after all.
Tom had gotten to the airport an hour before Doug's flight had even been scheduled to land. He had been dismayed a day earlier when he had been told about the hail and the flight cancellation – that had meant one more day without Doug. But now he was here and he was certain that Doug's plane would be coming in for a landing in at least an hour. He knew it could take longer but he didn't care – he wanted to make sure he was there the moment that Doug walked out of the terminal.
Luckily for both officers -- Doug had started feeling claustrophobic on the cramped plane -- the plane came in twenty minutes early due to another cancellation and it being able to leave slightly earlier.
"Damn it Tommy," Doug mumbled under his breath as he dropped his one suitcase onto the floor – Tom still wasn't sure how Doug had been able to cram two weeks of stuff into one suitcase – and wrapped his arms around Tom tightly, taking in every bit of him as he possibly could. He had been away from the other man for far too long and right now he didn't care who saw them or what those people thought.
"I missed you too," Tom muttered in response, easily understanding what Doug meant to say. He returned the hug, breathing in Doug's scent for the first time in two weeks. "I missed you so much. And you want to know what really made me realize it?"
Doug stepped back, looking at Tom curiously. "What? Did Booker start ragging on you about me being gone?"
"No, actually he said nothing. He did say he understood on the third day when I walked in and snapped at Blowfish for trying to sweep the floor where I was walking."
"Booker? Really?" Doug was surprised that someone like Dennis Booker could possibly understand about missing somebody that much.
"Yeah. He never said what about, though. But seriously, it was that damn Rocky and Bullwinkle show you watch."
Doug looked at Tom worriedly, afraid he had misheard – or worse off, he was still asleep and hadn't yet made it home. "You what?" he asked lightly. "Did you say Rocky and Bullwinkle reminded you of me?"
"Yeah. I accidentally left it on the channel when I went to the washroom. Why?"
"Because that's what made me remember how much I missed you, Tommy. Are you shitting with me?"
"No. What?" Tom was confused now, although amazed that the exact same thing had done the exact same thing to each of them. "Which episode?" he suddenly asked out of intense curiosity. "And if you say Applesauce, Lorraine, I'm gonna pinch you."
"Yeah, that's the episode!" Doug cried excitedly, pinching himself quickly without thinking. It hurt: he wasn't dreaming.
"I was gonna do that," Tom whined.
"I'm not dreaming," Doug stated. "This is weird, huh? Same episode, same- wait. Two days after, right?" Tom nodded enthusiastically, a wide smile spreading across his face. "Okay, yeah, that's weird."
"Or maybe it's fate," Doug replied simply.
"Fate? More like you've given me your sickness. I hated that show, Doug – now I've watched it everyday since accidentally leaving it on and I love it."
"That's great! Now I can watch it without your complaining."
"Yup. But do we really need to watch it everyday?"
"Of course we do, Tommy," Doug replied, leaning down to grab his lone suitcase. "You've missed so many episodes: we have to get you caught up. But first, we have to catch up on our two weeks missed time."
A/N: Yes, i know it's Fat Albert, not Fat Allen... I was trying to show that Tom didn't care all that much about cartoons. And Dennis understanding is his dad walked out on him and his family when he was younger. At least I think that's what he said. If not, ah well, it's there, it's done...