Author's Warning: Like everything else, this takes place in my series, set up by the events in my first story "More Than My Friend" where Frankie adopts Mac and becomes his guardian . If you haven't read that story yet, I strongly suggest you do so now, or else you might get terribly confused.
"Oh, come on…are you kidding me? " Frances "Frankie" Foster groaned in exasperation as she reached only voicemail yet again, to her increasing annoyance. Rolling her eyes, she nevertheless begrudgingly left yet another message for the fellow she was trying to contact.
"Hi Rudy, it's me again…" she said with a heavy sigh. "Just calling to see what the deal is for tonight…call me back when you get this message, okay? Bye."
Frankie then promptly hung up her cell phone and tucked it into her pocket before concentrating back onto the vegetables she had previously been chopping up for dinner. With every carrot, potato, or parsnip that she diced up, the redhead allowed herself to get further immersed in her task out of the hope that she'd be able to take her mind off a certain nameless someone who wasn't picking up his phone. For a little bit, her plan actually seemed to work, and for the next several minutes her attention was completely occupied by the mound of vegetables still waiting to be sliced into pieces, while not a single sound could be heard save the din of the knife upon the cutting board.
However, once she became aware of this last seemingly insignificant fact, Frankie abruptly stopped chopping and froze. For the next several moments, she listened intently, hoping that perhaps she had been cutting far too noisily for her to hear anything, or anyone else. Alas, her ears detected absolutely no other sounds, and she turned around only to confirm her suspicion that she was the only one in the kitchen, save a stuffed elephant lying not too far away.
As soon as it became clear a certain someone had wandered off, yet again, Frankie buried her face in her hands, groaned loudly in her aggravation, the promptly made a hasty exit as she embarked on an unplanned search.
"I wear, she can't sit still for more than a minute…but she couldn't have gotten that far She murmured under her breath, as if trying to reassure herself. After all, she hadn't been distracted that long….had she?
Frankie immediately tried to purge the ugly doubt from her mind. That was just the demon of maternal worry at work once again; there probably was no need for her to get worked up at all. Hadn't this happened numerous times before? And all those incidents had ended well, hadn't they? Why on earth would this one be any different?
Well, this was a big house, and there were quite a few places where-
The redhead immediately started shaking her head, as if by doing that she could shake the apprehension off of her, leaving her free to continue this search unimpeded. As she focused intently on trying to keep her cool, Frankie nearly walked straight into a gangly beanpole of an imaginary friend coming down the hall from the opposite direction. Luckily for her, the towering figment was not only paying attention to where he was going, but he could easily read the frustration written all over her expression.
And so, as he stepped aside, the scarlet creature inquired worriedly, "Um, Frankie? Is everything okay?"
"Huh?" Frankie stopped in her tracks and jerked a little in surprise. "Oh! Uh…hey, Wilt. Yeah, I…um…it's all right, I'm fine, I just-"
"Are you sure?" he just asked like a fretful mother hen. "I'm sorry if I'm getting nosey or anything like that, but…well, you're looking kinda stressed right now, and-"
Once it was clear that he was seeing right through her, Frankie grimaced and sighed loudly. "I'll give you three guesses who wandered off again, and the first two don't count."
"Yikes! Again?" Wilt inquired. She affirmed his guess with a nod and yet another heavy sigh.
"Now it's time for me to play 'Search Patrol' again." She grumbled sourly. "Great….just great-"
"Oh please don't get upset! Don't worry, it'll be okay!" Wilt instinctively began to comfort her, as he was so apt to do to anyone in distress. "Don't worry, we'll probably find her in no time. It'll be okay, really! Most of the time it barely takes more than like, five minutes to track her down, and-"
"Yeah, but until then, the little imp is close to giving me a heart attack because I'm afraid she'll crawl into the laundry chute, or something." Frankie confessed unhappily as she went on her way, with her imaginary friend now loyally at her side.
"Well…yeah, I guess…" Wilt conceded with a grimace. "But…I'm sorry, but you know it's only because she's curious…I mean, when you were little, it felt like I was always having to track you down, and-"
"I know, I know, I know." The woman muttered as they entered the foyer, each one keeping their eyes peeled the whole time. "Look, I'm probably just blowing this all out of proportion; I always do when this happens. I dunno, I guess it's just a parenting thing, or-"
"She went that way." Somebody abruptly interrupted the conversation. Immediately both Wilt and Frankie turned to face the little azure blob standing in the middle of the expansive foyer, where he toyed idly with a paddleball.
"Wait, what?" Frankie replied bewilderedly.
"She went that way." Bloo repeated nonchalantly as he paused to jab a stubby appendage towards the large staircase, earning him only more blank stares of confusion.
"Wait…." Wilt murmured. "I'm sorry, but…who went-"
"Well, Frankie's looking a little freaked out, so who else would you be looking for?" Bloo answered, looking almost bored as he explained. "She went that way."
The redheaded woman continued to just gawk at the little creature, unable to comprehend this revelation. "Hold on…you saw her go that way?"
"Course I did! Must've walked right by me." Bloo huffed, looking indignant that his integrity had been questioned, whiles the others continued o gape wordlessly at the little blob in disbelief.
"Hold on, let me get this straight… she passed right by here, went up the stairs all by herself…and you didn't do anything?" Frankie demanded incredulously.
"Well…yeah!" Bloo answered. "I mean, making sure she doesn't get into trouble or anything…isn't that your job?"
"ARGH!" the woman barely managed to suppress the sudden urge to punt the incredibly frustrating imaginary friend, and instead just walked by and lashed out with a snappy reply.
"Thanks for all the help!" Frankie hissed sarcastically with a bitter scowl before she clambered upstairs, with Wilt closely following in tow.
""Oh please, don't get upset! It's okay, it's okay!" he continued to reassure. "Look, it'll be fine! She's still really young, so she couldn't have gone much further that the next floor without getting tired, right?"
"Let's hope." The redhead murmured as they quickly reached the second floor, where upon arrival Frankie immediately began to call coaxingly, "Sweetie? You up here? Bri-"
"Birdy!" an excited squeak suddenly rang out from not very far away. Immediately, Frankie let out a gasp of relief before making a beeline towards a nearby room.
"There you are!" she exclaimed as she marched in. "You know you're not supposed to wander off like-"
Just like that, within a fraction of an instant, her heart skipped several beats and the woman was temporarily paralyzed with foul horror the likes of which was beyond depiction. Of course, the fact that the currently vacant room was bare save some basic furniture and a little redhead two-year-old girl was really nothing to be frightened about.
However, it all became a much different story as soon as one also included the crucial detail about how the child had managed to drag the only chair in the room under the opened window, allowing her to clamber up onto the windowsill where a large blue jay was perched. Utterly oblivious to the terrible danger she was in, the little girl reached out towards the animal, shouting excitedly all the while "Birdy! Birdy! Bir-"
"BRIDGETT!" Frankie shrieked at the top of her lungs the moment she wrenched back control of her own body from the crippling terror. Immediately she bolted towards the child with arms thrust out and ready to grab.
Alas, she had barely taken so much as three steps when the blue jay flew off with a loud squawk, to which the persistent little one responded by trying to make one last grab. Without a sound, she suddenly vanished from sight as she tumbled from her precarious perch.
As soon as the absolute unthinkable happened, Frankie nearly spooked half the house's residents clean out of their skins with a hoarse, almost animalistic cry of despair. Moving as fast as he legs could carry her, she continued dashing for the window, jammed her head outside, and peered down below to….
What she saw was so far from the nightmarish carnage she was expecting, the twenty-eight-year-old woman actually thought that she was hallucinating, and for a couple moments she could do no more than stare dumbly in utter amazement.
"Is she okay?" Wilt yelped as he poked his head out beside her. "Did….what the…"
Whether it was Lady Luck, Divine intervention, or some other supernatural force at work, it was hard to say. What was clear as they gawked silently down below was that the child, who besides looking a tad shaken, looked perfectly fine as she stared back up at them from her current location; the arms of the teenage boy who apparently had arrived home at jut the right time. He too looked at least just as stupefied over what just happened, if not more so, as he had been the one to make the lucky catch and the not-so graceful landing atop some small shrubs lining the sides of the Victorian mansion.
Mac gasped heavily for breath, as his brown eyes bulged as wide as saucers. Meanwhile, several feet away on the front walkway, an astonished thirteen-year-old girl stared at her friend, glanced up to Frankie and Wilt, back to Mac and the little girl, and repeated this several times over before hurling her arms up in the air and yelling shrilly, "What the heck is going on here?"
The instant Goo's cry snapped her back to her senses, Frankie wasted not an instant. After involuntarily bowling Wilt aside, she fled the room, through the hallway, and down the stairs like a bat out of hell.
"Hey, what was with all the screaming up there?" Bloo demanded curiously as she tore through the foyer. "What, did someone get stabbed in the face, or-AUGH!"
The little blob actually had to leap out of the way to avoid getting trampled by the frantic redhead, who sprinted out onto the porch at a pace that would've put an Olympic sprinter to shame.
"Frankie! Hey, Frankie! Frankie!" Goo erupted into chatter the moment the woman raced outside. "What in the whole wide world is going on here, huh? Huh? What just happened? What? Seriously, what was that all about? You gotta tell me something, because I don't have a single clue, nope, not at all! Not one! See, me and Mac just got back from school, and we were just walking up towards the door, totally minding our own business and stuff, when suddenly we hear all this yelling, like someone tried to stuff an alley cat in a blender, and that was when we saw Bridgett up on the window, and jeez, just what was she doing there anyway? She's still just like, only a baby! It was a good thing Mac freaked out like, the moment he saw her, because he ran straight for under the window, and I guess he was gonna try to tell her to get back, but before we knew it, she was all like 'Birdybirdybirdy' and stuff, and suddenly Mac was all screamy and 'I got you, I got you', and he was all jumping up in the air like a-"
The extremely excitable teen might as well have been talking to a brick wall, for Frankie had dashed right by her and ran headlong to where the others lay. As soon as she spotted the redheaded woman, the little girl in Mac's grasp promptly forgot about what had just happened, and immediately lit up with a happy cry. "Mommy!"
After dropping to her knees, Frankie hefted her daughter into her arms and hugged her tightly, nearly on the verge of tears as she stroked the child's hair which was just as flaming scarlet as her own as she gasped, "Oh thank God…oh thank God you're okay….thank God…you almost gave me a heart-attack….oh, honey…"
As she gratefully grasped the little one tightly, Goo meanwhile jabbered on and on, at his point becoming little more than background noise as Mac finally managed to peel himself up off the ground, get up onto his knees, and shoot the redhead woman a most befuddled look.
"F-Frankie?" the dumbfounded teen asked. "Why…w-why was Bridgett up on the-URK!"
All of a sudden, it felt like someone had stolen the very air from his lungs as Frankie suddenly shifted Bridgett to one arm and used the other to squeeze him in a loving vice-grip.
"Thank you…thank you pal…" she whispered as she held him close. "Th-thank you…oh God, I-I…I didn't mean for this to happen, I…I only took my eyes off h-her for a few minutes, and…oh thank God you were there, thank G-"
"Ackpth! Frankie, it's okay! It's okay, really!" Mac gasped as he tried to wiggle away, but to no avail. Unfortunately, the lanky redhead was far stronger than she looked. "Don't worry, it was just an accident! An accident! Look, she's fine! Bridgett's just fine! I'm fine! We're both fine! Frankie, it's gonna be okay! Ack! Too tight! Too tight! C'mon, settle down! Frankie! Frankie!"
Soon it became quite obvious he wasn't grabbing her attention very well. Quickly, he stopped using the name that he still preferred to call her after using it for so long, and switched to the title he still used infrequently, at best. "Mom, calm down!"
Fortunately, the message finally got through, and, almost immediately Frankie released him from her veritable loving choke-hold and started taking in heavy breaths of air. After he regained a tad more composure, Mac gently rested a hand atop her shoulder and murmured worriedly, "You okay?"
"Y-yeah…yeah I'll be fine…" she gasped as her stomach heaved. "I'll be fine…just…j-just gimme a minute, I…I just…"
Without warning, she wrapped her free arm around him again and pulled Mac close with a loud sigh of deep, heartfelt relief. "Honest, pal, where would I be without you?"
As if deliberately trying to prove her point, Mac responded with a yelp of alarm. "Frankie! Frankie, look! Bridgett!"
"Huh?" The redhead glanced down, and saw to her surprise that a certain someone had squirmed free from her hold. "What the…?"
"There she goes." Bloo announced after finally coming outside to investigate what was going on, just in time for Bridgett to toddle right by him and down the front walk towards a robin that had landed in the yard. The blob of course made no attempt to try and stop her, but fortunately Goo shot off in pursuit and scooped up the all-too-adventurous little one. Bridgett however wasn't bother by this that much, and actually appeared to be more than happy to snuggle back in Frankie's hold.
"Okay, are you absolutely totally completely positive that you're gonna by okay?" Goo jabbered. "Because it's not often at all your kid falls from a height like that….unless you're a family of skydivers or something…which would be really super-weird, come to think about it."
Frankie nodded as she allowed Mac to help her to her feet. "Yeah…yeah, I'll be okay…really, I'll be fine, I'm just…just still pretty rattled that's all…"
"You sure?" Mac inquired for good measure.
"Yeah, I think so…let's just be glad this isn't the first close call she's given us, or I would be a total mess right now."
Immediately Frankie then paused to actually think about what she had just said. "Wait…that didn't come out right…"
Mac just brushed it off with a shrug, and as Bridgett grinned and contently rested her head in the crook of her mother's neck with an adoring squeak, the boy couldn't help but exclaim incredulously to the cherubic little creature, "How can someone so sweet be so much trouble sometimes?"
As she began stroking the child's bright scarlet hair, Frankie grimaced guiltily. "If half the stories Wilt tells about me when I was little are true….and if who she looks like is any clue at all, then I think it's because someone takes way too much after me."
While the teenagers just nodded wordlessly in agreement and left it at that, their azure blob of a companion meanwhile seemed to get quite the kick out of the woman's confession, and erupted into a fit of the giggles
"Ha!" Boo snorted with glee at the thought. "No way! Heeheehee! I don't believe it! So the new Madame F was actually out of control when she was just a -OW!"
Without warning, Frankie delivered a sharp kick to the little figment's backside, to his epected dismay. "Ow! Hey, what the heck was that for?"
She just glowered fiercely, unmoved by his cries. "Bad timing, Blooragard Q. Kazoo. Really, really bed timing!"
But-" the imaginary friend tried to whine before she cut him off with a snarl.
" I told you a hundred times already; it doesn't matter if I head Foster's now or not, because I am not using that nickname anytime soon-"
"Oh gimme a break!" he complained. "But the old Madame Foster-"
"-Is only retired. Besides, you're not fooling anyone; I know for a fact that you don't call me that out of respect, and-"
"Whoa, take a chill pill, Miss Stickler! Yeesh! If you ask me, it looks like we' be better off calling you Mr. Herri-YOW!" Bloo yelped as she gave him another swift kick.
As the little blob jumped nearly a foot in the air with an extremely shrill yelp, Bridgett burst out squeaking with laughter at the sight, which fortunately helped brighten Frankie's mood considerably. Breaking out into a weak but satisfied smirk, the redhead cuddled her daughter close and plodded off back inside, leaving Bloo behind to whine about the injustice of it all.
"Okay, seriously, not cool! Unfair! Unfair!" he wailed shamelessly. "When I fall from a second-story window, I get in trouble, but when someone else finally does it, I still get yelled out for something! Seriously, what's the deal with that?"
"Pfft! Oh, you gotta be joking! That's easy!" Goo scoffed, not empathizing with the little figment one smidgen.
"How?" Bloo implored.
Mac sighed wearily in exasperation as he patted his irrepressible creation on the head. "Simple; you always do it on purpose…"
"Dinnertime!" Frankie's voice rang out clearly over the house loudspeaker system, broadcasting to all house residents that supper was finally ready. Once the announcement was made, Frankie promptly hung up, just as her towering imaginary friend sauntered into the foyer from the spacious dining room.
"I took care of the rolls, Frankie." He announced as he ducked through the doorway, earning him a bewildered glance from the redhead.
"Wait, you did what?" she inquired curiously just before realization sunk in, causing her jade eyes to widen and forcing her to involuntarily yelp softly in dismay. "Augh! I did throw them in the oven to warm them up! Oh jeez-"
Before she could say so much as another word, Wilt immediately began gesturing for her to settle down.
It's okay, it's okay! Don't worry, they didn't burn at all or anything like that, honest! They weren't even scorched! It's okay, Frankie! It's okay!" the crimson figment sputtered in reassurance before breaking out into a guilty frown. "Oh, I'm sorry! Seriously, I'm so sorry! I didn't mean to make you think-"
Once it quickly became obviously they were now both raising a fuss over basically nothing, Frankie quickly held up her hand, motioning for him to stop bombarding her with apologies as she took a few deep breaths.
"No, no, it's all right. I'm sorry." She gasped with a grimace. "I just…..I'm sorry, I guess I'm just a little frazzled from earlier, and-"
Almost immediately Wilt instinctively began to assure, "But everyone's okay, aren't they? Besides, it wasn't your fault, you were busy, and someone else should've stopped her before she…well, you know. Oh, but don't keep letting it bother you….please?"
As soon as he implored her ever so politely and gently tousled her bright scarlet hair, Frankie couldn't help but break out into a weak smile at her faithful imaginary friend's persistence.
"Okay, okay." She conceded before teasing softly, "But only because you asked."
With this, she wrapped her arms around his skinny red legs and gave him a quick thankful hug, while Wilt just sighed in relief. Once the moment ended though, the redheaded woman took a few seconds more to gather her composure, and was promptly back to business as she asked, "Do you know where the kids are right now? I completely forgot to check with Goo if she's staying over for dinner, and-"
"Right now? Hmm….I think the last place I saw them was in the TV room." The imaginary friend answered. Forever incredibly helpful, without missing a beat he promptly volunteered, "Do you want me to check? I can go and-"
"Nah." Frankie replied nonchalantly as she plodded off. "It's no problem, I got it. See you back in the dining room in a sec, okay?"
"Oh, okay." Wilt complied, and flashed her his toothy trademark smile before they went their separate ways. In nearly no time at all, Frankie had arrived at her destination and was peering into the TV room, where she quickly spotted a familiar little group.
To her slight surprise though, the massive big-screen television lying in the middle of the room was turned off; Mac, Bloo, and Goo instead sat upon the floor, with all their attention apparently fixed upon Bridgett and a small pile of brightly colored plastic blocks. It didn't take long at all for Frankie's curiosity to be roused, and rather than announce that it was dinnertime, instead she remained where she stood in the doorway and began to silently observe.
"Okay," Mac said as he picked up one of the blocks and held it in front of the little girl. "Now, what color is this one?"
"Gween!" Bridgett squeaked the instant recognition dawned, which promptly got a chuckle out of the teenager.
"Right!" Mac chuckled as he then grabbed another block. "And this one?"
"Yellow!" She answered correctly yet again.
"Yeah, that's it!" the boy replied with a fat grin.
"Looks like the blocks aren't a problem for you, Miss Superbrainypants." Goo teased the tot, before grabbing a small handful of her own jet-black hair and wiggling it. "But let's see if you still know your colors when you see 'em somewhere else! Whatcha call this?"
Bridgett stared at the girl for a moment, as if she was deeply contemplating the answer, then finally raised a little finger, pointed to the teenager and trilled happily, "Goo!"
Instead of correcting her, Goo just let out a loud snort before erupting into a short fit of the giggles at the adorable little creature. "Good enough for me! And who's that guy there?"
"Mac!" she answered, earning her a pat on the head from the boy in question.
"Ooooh! Ooooh! My turn! My turn! My turn!" Bloo announced, and waved his stubby arms like mad until he had grabbed hold of the child's attention. "Okay, how about this; what color am I, and what's my name?"
He had barely finished asking the question before she smiled toothily, jabbed the air in his direction and blurted out gleefully, "Doggy!"
Without making any attempts at all to fight it, both Mac and Goo dissolved helplessly into laughter as the deeply disappointed blob's face fell.
"No! No, no, no! Oh, come on!" the azure figment whined in despair as he gazed pleadingly into Bridgett's emerald green eyes. "Seriously how many times do we have to go over this? It's Bloo! B-L-O-O! Bloo! Not 'Doggy.' Get it?"
Unfortunately, the others' uncontrollable chortling only further convinced the little one that she had answered correctly, and with a giggle, Bridgett squealed yet again, "Doggy!"
"Do I look like I have floppy ears and a wagging tail?" the imaginary friend snapped. "I don't think so! I'm not a dog, I'm a-"
"Doggy! Doggy!" she only continued squealing happily. "You doggy! Do-"
"NOT A DOGGY!" Bloo snarled as his patience swiftly dwindled to nothing. Unsurprisingly, the ferocity in his tone was far too much for a mere two-year-old to handle. With a yelp of fright, Bridgett clumsily clambered to her feet and instinctively toddled off as fast as she could to one of the safest places she could think of. Once she climbed into her big brother's lap, she hugged his neck tightly with a whimper, as Mac protectively draped an arm around his little sister.
"BLOO!" both the boy and Goo chorused in appall.
"What? What'd I do?" the imaginary friend groaned as he tried to pass the blame. "Hey, she was the one who wouldn't knock it off with-"
"Are you serious?" His exasperated creator grumbled. "She just-"
"Come on, Mac! You know everyday I get absolutely nothing from her but "Doggy' this, and 'Doggy' that, and she probably knows exactly that I'm a-" Bloo tried arguing very unsuccessfully in his defense.
"But she's not purposely trying to be mean to you or anything." Mac countered. "You know that. I mean, just look at how much she likes playing with you-"
"Jeez Louise and for crying out loud, just cut the guy a teensy tiny bit of slack, will ya, Mac?" Goo suddenly interrupted as she suddenly threw an arm around Bloo and drew him close, to the teenage boy's considerable surprise.
"Yeah! Yeah, you show him!" Bloo encouraged eagerly with a smirk before sticking out his tongue and blowing a sloppy raspberry. Goo nodded furiously as opened her mouth again and let a torrent of scolding flow forth.
"Seriously, why do you halfa be so rough with him? I mean, for Pete's sake, what are you, a big piece of sandpaper? You can't just start yelling your whole head off at the poor little guy like it's gonna go out of style in four and a half minutes. You just can't! You can't! Who gave you that right, the Supreme Court? Show me where in the Constitution that you have the full right to be a complete and total big fat jerk about all of this! You tell me which amendment gives you the freedom to be so nasty!"
"…What?" just Mac murmured bewilderedly as he floundered in an ocean of confusion. Bloo meanwhile kept all his current attention focused entirely on making faces at his best friend, and thus completely missed the sly wink the girl passed to the boy.
"You heard me! You can't he so hard on Bloo….because after all, he's only a doggy, so he doesn't really know any better!"
"Whoo! Yeah, tell it to him, Goo!" Bloo whooped. "Tell…hold on a sec, what the-"
Before realization could sink in for the azure figment, with a fiendish giggle, Goo promptly began petting the imaginary friend's head none-too-gently as she began cooing in an over-the-top cutesy manner.
"Who's a good doggy? Who's a good doggy? Who's doggy?" the girl babbled as nauseatingly sweetly as she could. "You are! You are! Yes you are! Yes you are with your cute little doggy eyes, and your adorable little doggy"
"Ackpth!" Bloo sputtered as he unsuccessfully tried to get away, but to no avail as she wrapped her other arm around him and effortlessly yanked him close. "Hey, quit it! Quit it! OW! I said quit it! OW! OW! Too hard! Too hard!"
"Good boy! You are such a good boy, yes you are! Who's a good boy? It's you, yes it is!" Goo giggled as she milked the joke for all it was worth by suddenly forcing Bloo onto his back and starting to rub his belly roughly. "Does the nice doggy like this? Does he?"
"Quit it! Quit it!" Bloo wailed as he tried in vain to force her hands away. "Quit it! Help! Help! Someone, please! Get her off! Get her off! Get her off! Get her off of me!"
It wasn't long at all until Bridgett completely forgot about the spooking she had received only a minute earlier, and within seconds she was shaking with mirth at the ridiculous sight, which unfortunately for Bloo, only encouraged Goo.
"You like that, huh?" Mac asked his baby sister with a chuckle.
The small child nodded excitedly as she chirped, "Funny! Goo funny!"
"Oh, really?" he replied with a playful grin. "Well that makes me wonder…is it any funnier when we do that to you?"
In a flash, Bridgett was squirming like mad and giggling uncontrollably as he started tickling her belly. As she wiggled about, the little girl raised her little arms towards him, as if bravely trying to tickle him back. Mac however just snickered and redoubled his efforts, and in no time she was practically shrieking with laughter.
"Hey, that's no way to do it! Nope! Nuh-uh!" Goo mock-clucked at the squealing little one while she easily kept Bloo pinned to the ground with just one hand. "Your big bro's smart, you gotta be super-super sneaky and catch him by surprise! Watch!"
Almost moving faster than the eye could follow, the teenage girl suddenly leaned over, puckered up, and planted a wet kiss right on his cheek. Like magic, Mac's eyeballs almost bugged out of his skull, and he froze completely in total shock for moment.
"G-Goo!" he managed to sputter as he went bright scarlet, while she just grinned devilishly. "I thought you said you'd stop doing that in front-"
"Haha!" Bloo whooped with glee at his creator's raging embarrassment. "I saw that! I saw that, Loverboy! Heeheehee! Happens every time, just look at those cheeks! Red as a big-ACK! No! Nonononono!"
"Play time for doggy!" Goo laughed as she went back to rubbing her captive's tummy furiously, leaving Mac to stew in his surprise for approximately three seconds when Bridgett saw her opportunity and tried to tickle his clumsily under the chin. Immediately, playful battle was rejoined between the two, and their laughter echoed throughout the room.
By this time, Frankie had long since forgotten all about suppertime. Now leaning comfortably against the doorframe, the woman lost all track of time as she continued to wordlessly watch the others, with a smile adorning her face and spreading from ear to ear. Suddenly, she was abruptly snapped out of it by a shrill ring from her pocket, and after a bit of fumbling, the startled redhead managed to fish out her cell phone.
"Hello?" she answered, and promptly grinned in relief at the sound of her husband's voice. "Oh, there you are! Rudy, where've you been? I've called you like…hmmm? Uh-huh…uh-huh…you'll leave twenty minutes? All right, we're all just sitting down to dinner, so…no honey, you don't need to apologize….you're a social worker for crying out loud, I know you always have a lot on your plate to deal with, it's okay…yes, it's fine, I'm sure we'll all still be eating when you get home…yes, don't worry…all right…wait, sorry, what was that? How were things here today?"
Frankie paused for a moment and bit down on her lower lip as she mulled over how she would answer the question at hand; should she tell him about the day's near-disaster? She honestly had yet to finally get over it; the very thought of what could've happened earlier made her stomach twist into a knot.
As she pondered, her eyes wandered back to the children, where Goo was still continuing her mini-performance for the others, and still playfully pretended that Bloo was little more than a house pet. Mac meanwhile had finally ended the epic tickle-fight and now just held Bridgett close, as she was quite wound up by this point. The little redhead didn't seem to mind at all, though; in fact, she seemed quite happy, judging by the adoring look she passed to her big brother before snuggling into his arms.
There they were; the boy that wasn't even related to her, who long ago she unexpectedly found herself raising alone when just barely out of college, and the same child who she nearly lost far too many times than she cared to count. And right there in his lap sat the newest addition to her extremely unorthodox little family, the little one who always seemed to keep her mother on her toes throughout her waking hours.
Frankie couldn't help but smile; in other words, they were the very two whom she wouldn't want to trade for all the riches on earth. Abruptly, she ceased fussing over the day's earlier fiasco. Just like that, the close didn't really seem to matter much anymore as a she felt a sudden wave of pure contentment wash over her while she gazed over at what she felt life had blessed her with.
Without a word she sauntered into the room and gave the pair a surprise when she kneeled over behind them and wrapped an arm around them both in a quick, loving hug. Once she pulled back from the embrace, she let out a small sigh of joy before raising the cell phone back to her mouth to finally answer the question.
"Everything's just fine here….it always is…."
As the saying goes, all good things must unfortunately come to an end. Although I have uploaded a hefty amount of stories recently, all of these were written as rough drafts some time ago, and have only now posted them as I've finally gotten the time to edit them all. In reality, I've been finding myself with less and less time to devote to writing due to a growing list of new commitments. So, after writing for my little series for almost three years now, and with Foster's entering its sixth and last season, I'm reluctantly bringing it all to an end.
Thus, to bring a bit of closure to my slightly AU fanfiction series rather than to just abruptly cease uploading stories, I have written this small story to give a glimpse of what I envision that the future will look like for everyone. The fact that I believe Frankie and Mac's relationship would develop to that of a parent and child may probably come as a surprise to some. But as I feel though, in most of my stories, Frankie already acts more like a mother than anything. I actually feel she's only gotten only more maternal as the series progressed, so much to the point where I couldn't even refer to her as Mac's big sister anymore. So, personally, I'm assuming that over time, their bond will continue to evolve into that of a relationship of mother and child (which of course will still be anything but ordinary).
If any of you aren't in favor of my vision of the future for everyone in the series, or that it's come to an end, then that's fine. If anyone ever wishes to write a fic that takes place in the slightly alternative Foster's universe that I've created, then please feel more than welcome to do it if you like, as I grant full and total permission.
I sincerely apologize to all that I wasn't able to find the time to write one more full-length, multi-chaptered fic. But more importantly, I want to give a massive, heartfelt thanks to all readers for all the encouragement and constructive criticism I received, for all of it was very, very much appreciated. Also, I would like to give a very special thanks to the writer who helped turn a suggestion for a co-authored story slipped into a review one day into the work that eventually became "Wishing Only Wounds the Heart." Thank you so much for everything, Marty!
Thanks so much, everyone! The series would have never lasted as long as it did without all your support and encouragement! Thank you!