A Pushing Daisies Fic
AN: Yeah, I had to make a second chapter. This one is not very good but it contains merciless fluff. It's almost suffocating fluff. Like cotton batting all around you.
There were many ways in which Charlotte Charles was like a blueberry. Well, aside from her color, that is. She was bold and fresh. She was wild and messy. She was just the sort of thing that, when you longed for something that was neither too sweet nor too bitter, you craved.
And if she was a blueberry, Ned dearly wished he could be the crust. It seemed that the Fickle Finger of Fate had cut them a break, for now he could hold her just like the first layer of pie holds fruit – they could touch, as they had not touched in twenty years.
Shrieking and laughing, Lonely Tourist Charlotte Charles pulled the Pie Maker down the street. The reason for all this carrying on was that she was no longer lonely, and she had a feeling that she would never be so again.
It had begun back in the Pie Hole, only moments prior, when they had discovered a new rule.
Ned had decided that perhaps he liked change, after all. And thanked God for new rules.
"Ned, take me home," pleaded Chuck. "If you don't, I'm going to make a scene."
It was tempting. The facts were these: Ned and Chuck were deeply, irrevocably in love. They had been for a long time. Over a year. Maybe even longer, though it had been more innocent then. And for a year they had yearned for each other. And now, the moment had come when they could actually have each other.
It was enough just to hold each other. It was enough just knowing that they could now hold each other at all. They were in no hurry for heavier things. For now, it seemed as though they had all eternity together.
At the slightest hesitation on Ned's part, of course Chuck started making a scene. He hadn't even been hesitating intentionally. Just thinking. And then the scene was made. Chuck started half-screaming, half-singing a random, just-made-up song about blueberries and heaven and whipped cream and goodness knows what else. Ned put his finger to her lips (oh, how delightful that felt!) as they had already attracted quite a few stares.
"Can I have a third birthday? I want it to be today."
She kept babbling on in a similar style to this the entire way back to Ned's apartment. He just smiled and let himself be dragged along in her wake. She buoyed him with her exuberance.
"We should do something to celebrate this day. Since I already technically have two birthdays, maybe it can be our birthday." Surely, anniversary seemed too formal for this reckless happiness.
Ned grinned. "I like that you said our."
He fumbled with his keys as he unlocked the door to his apartment. Everything was rushed. They had waited so long for this moment it seemed as though it could not come fast enough. Yes, maybe they were in a hurry, after all. For what, he didn't dare hope or think about. He blushed furiously just thinking of it. He kept hearing Chuck's anxious humming and foot-tapping behind him until at last the door was open. She practically barreled him over trying to get inside. Almost like a dog.
As if he, too, had sensed the change, Digby, the real dog, also craved Ned's attention. He nearly leaped out the door into Ned's arms. Even though his own curse had been broken long ago, his master had not known it, so the occasion was special anyway. It was the first time he had been touched by his master in over twenty years. Digby panted like he had never panted before, his tongue lolled out in bliss.
"We're home we're home we're home," Chuck sang out as she crossed the threshold, no commas necessary. She was acting so childish that Ned had to laugh. She was still holding his hand as though she would never let go, and perhaps she wouldn't.
"This is a momentous occasion," Ned announced. "We should make a pie. What kind would you like?"
"Well, we just had blueberry," Chuck reminded him.
"I know, but sometimes it's nice when things stay the same." He paused and hastily added, "Well, sometimes it's nice when they don't, too."
"Oh, Ned. You're always so indecisive." She gave him a sweet, chaste kiss to keep him from talking any longer.
"I'm indecisive? You… with your cake, and your pies…" He was easily distracted by the continual contact of her skin with his.
"I'm not a cake person anymore," Chuck told him, her voice somewhat muffled against his cheek as she kissed him there also.
He tensed unconsciously as thoughts of her father reappeared in his mind. He did not like cake. Cake reminded him of traumatic childhood experiences… where he had been the only child at his own birthday party, where he was forced to go from being baked pies for birthdays to eating cake after his mother died. Cake was too happy and in-your-face. And it was just so cliché. It always got in the way of pie. Hmph. Stupid cake. He hated cake. He was glad he didn't have to deal with cake anymore—
"Ned," Chuck whispered, to recapture his attention.
"Hmm?" He looked at her from under half-lidded eyes.
"Are you tired?"
He shook his head swiftly to rid himself of the appearance of sleepiness, knowing what that might lead to. He was feeling suddenly bashful.
"Are you hungry?"
He pressed his lips together. "Maybe." His eyes brightened. "Why? Do you have something for me to try?"
Chuck nodded solemnly.
"Close your eyes and open your mouth," she suggested. When Ned obliged, he felt something alive thrust in. He opened his eyes with a start to find that it was Chuck's tongue.
His shock wore off and he relaxed instantly. He didn't know what he was doing, but it was something of a comfort that Chuck didn't, either. He had heard, as a teenager, of "French kissing". It always sounded disgusting and slobbery and not romantic at all. Well, that was probably because it was only part of his wild roommates' escapades away from the all boys' school into the all girls' school. But this was not a wild escapade. (All right, maybe it was.) It certainly did not feel disgusting. Standing there with Chuck, what it felt like was right.
Chuck pulled away, content, her eyes flashing mischievously.
"That's better than pie," Ned said quickly, swallowing hard. "Much better."
The lack of a strong female figure in Ned's life for almost twenty years had made him socially inept, particularly around girls. But this woman was the strongest he had ever seen. She was also the wisest, wittiest, and most beautiful…
"Will you stop talking already?" Chuck snapped impatiently, wrapping her arms around him to draw him closer and giving him a peck on the chest.
Oh, dear. Had he said that out loud? His mortification was short-lived, though. Maybe she had taken it as a compliment. (Hopefully.)
"Sorry," he mumbled into her hair. She was quite a bit shorter than him, he realized. It was nice - like he had to protect her, or something.
She looked up at him, grinning. "Isn't this fun?"
Ned nodded dumbly.
"Sorry – I know I said not to talk, but oh well."
He would have rolled his eyes if they had not been so fixed on the way her lips moved when she spoke.
"You're looking at me like you've seen a ghost," Chuck told him laughingly.
"You're not a ghost. You're an angel."
It took a lot to make Chuck blush, but that did it.
She snuggled up to him.
It was enough just to stand there, holding in each other, in love. All thoughts of everything else floated away from Ned's mind like clouds drift through the endless sky.
It was a dream. Everything was a dream, as Chuck led him gently to their room, where the two beds suddenly seemed so small, and they settled under the covers of his, and she gave his cheek butterfly kisses and kissed his nose. It was a dream when she touched her foot to his and giggled for no reason. It was a dream when he closed his eyes and knew when he opened them that she would still be there and that this really wasn't a dream. She whispered things against him and he gave her a little smile in return, and her arms enveloped him until he thought he would be smothered by her love.
Life was bittersweet – he had Chuck, like he had wanted for so long. But he knew so many others were not so lucky. For an instant, he was guilty – maybe life was a balance, and his happiness was subtracted from someone else's. But then he looked at Chuck again, and thought that maybe it was worth it.
Life was bittersweet. Like a blueberry.