A/N: After Breaking Dawn. With Bella out of the house and doing who knows what, and with the cancelation of his fishing plans Charlie is stuck at home doing nothing. This is the real Charlie on his day off.
I kick my boots off at the door and sling my gun belt across the coat hook with my dripping wet rain coat. I don't even bother to turn on any lights as I trudge groggily up to my bed. Thinking of the warm down comforter waiting for me just ahead almost knocks my all too willing feet out from under me as my knees collapse. "I'm too old for this," I mutter. My voice sounds scratchy and strained from trying to shout over the pelting rain all night.
I shuffle my feet across the creaking wooden floor towards the bed. My eyes droop shut before I even reach the awaiting mattress in anticipation of much needed sleep. The bed seems to mock me in my lack of coherency; it jumps right out in front of me and I tumble across the wrinkled sheets. Oh well I guess I'd end up here eventually.
I use what little strength I have left to lean forward and pull off my soggy work pants. As I do so I get a glimpse of the clock on my dresser. Great it's nearly two in the morning. Looks like I'll only get about four hours of sleep tonight before I have to get ready for my fishing trip with Billy.
Sighing, I fall back against the pillows and begin unbuttoning my classic blue police shirt compliments of the Forks PD. With much difficulty, I pull my arms through the sleeves and toss my uniform onto the floor. I can hear my badge rattle against the wood as it falls. "Crap. I guess have to buff it again tomorrow."
With a huff I fall back against the pillows – the loud poof is very satisfying – my arms and legs splayed out towards the four corners. The heater by the side wall has been running all day so, with the windows and doors shut, the room is fairly comfortable. I don't even bother pulling up the covers. I just lie there in my undershirt, Calvin Klein boxer-briefs, and stocking feet.
A bright light pierces through my eyelids creating an annoyingly bright red glow. I originally question as to whom turned on the light, but I live alone now, again. Pinching my eyes tighter I wonder where the light is coming from. The only reasonable answer is the sun, but I set my alarm for 5:30 in the morning. Or did I?
My eyes fly open and I bolt up out of bed to scan feverishly for the clock on the dresser. In my hysteria I can't make out the numbers on the dial. I'm not thinking straight and my eyes haven't adjusted to the light yet, but I'm pretty sure none of the numbers is a five. I'm late.
I have to call Billy, I think frantically. Since I'm here I might as well be efficient and get dressed, then I'll call Billy. I run to my dresser to get my flannel shirt and khaki fishing pants. I throw the red flannel from side to side putting my arms through their respective holes. What is wrong with this shirt? I wiggle my arms around and the shirt is pulling in all the wrong places. Spinning around like a dog chasing his tail in an attempt to see what's wrong I soon find out that my shirt's on upside down. Mumbling incoherent profanities under my breath I turn my shirt collar side up.
"Now where are my dang pants?" I rummage through the pants drawer, but to no avail. I slam it shut with a thick wooden crack and sit back on my bed. Letting my head fall into my hands I rub my temples trying to think where they could possibly be. "The washer," I shout jumping up. Like a bell going off as the realization hits me the phone rings from in the kitchen. My face falls and I race off down the stairs.
"That's got to be Billy. He's going to be so . . ." I skid into the kitchen grabbing the corner of the wall to keep from overshooting the phone. "Hey Billy, what's up? I know I'm late, but I um. . ." I ramble trying to find some excuse that doesn't sound so cliché it might as well be carved into stone and sent back to the Neolithic age.
"Don't worry about it Charlie," Billy says through the receiver, "I actually called to cancel. So I should really be the one apologizing."
"No, Billy, it's alright. Is everything okay with you?"
"Yes, everything is fine. It's Jacob actually. He um . . . well he broke a couple ribs earlier and we all agreed it would be best if he came home for a bit while he healed." Billy voice sounds strained, like he's hiding something.
"Oh is it about him being a um . . ." I scratch my head trying to put into words what I'm trying to say. Who am I fooling? I don't know what I'm trying to say.
"No, it wasn't that. It was Nessie." My paternal instincts kick in. What's happened to my grandbaby?
"Is she okay?" I ask frantic now.
"Yes of course, couldn't be better."
"Then what's she got to do with Jacob?"
"They were rough housing a bit," I can just imagine Jacob, the giant bulky mass that is Jacob, wrestling around with my sweet little granddaughter. I see Nessie's slim, frail ten-year-old, at least in appearance, figure being crushed under the weight of him. As Billy continues I expect him to say that Emmett or even Edward pulled Jake off and broke his ribs, but he doesn't.
"Nessie is quite a bundle of energy as I'm sure you've seen. Well, apparently they got a little bit carried away and she wasn't paying attention to what she was doing, and ended up breaking his ribs. She's beside herself now she feels so bad. That's why we figured it would be best if he came home to mend."
"Renesmee, my granddaughter, broke Jake's ribs? How in the . . . do I even want to know?"
"Probably not," Billy answers solemnly. I rub at my temples again and sigh.
"Alright then, I guess I'll let you go tend to Jake. Talk to you soon." Billy gives his parting and the line goes dead.
I hang up the receiver and fall back into one of the wooden kitchen chairs. The legs give an uneasy creak from the sudden weight thrust into it. What am I going to do now; I have the whole day to myself. Since Bella's been gone I've been pretty good at keeping busy. I've either been working or with Billy or Sue, but now I'm stuck alone with nothing to do.
The silence of the house is profound; it's unnerving and makes me fidgety. I run into the living room and quickly flip on the stereo to the local classic rock station. Ah, AC/DC's Thunderstruck, that's what I'm talking about. The familiar drum beats and guitar rifts play in the background as I walk to the kitchen to get some cereal.
I get out the bowl, pour my cereal, and add the milk; all my movements being purposefully lethargic seeing as I have nothing better to do with my day. I chew each spoonful meticulously and even eat the last few bites piece by soggy piece until I can delay no longer.
Washing my dishes in the sink I inevitably splash water on to myself. I look down and remember that I'm still not wearing any pants. As the cool water droplet runs down my leg an icy shiver runs up my spine. I hastily dry my dishes before running into the laundry room to retrieve some pants.
Opening up the dryer I find nothing but towels. I throw those into a nearby basket and turn towards the washer where I find my pants. Lifting a pair out of the basin I inspect the dampness to see if they might possibly be wearable soon. The soggy fabric is heavy in my hands; they are no where close to being dry. I throw them in the dryer so that I can examine the rest of the load. Unfortunately I find the remaining pants to be in a similar condition. I throw the dryer lid shut and jam my finger into the ON button.
With a heavy sigh I kick the basket of towels into the living room and up against a sofa. I really don't like being sans pants even in my own home. Lifting my head I peer up at the stairs longing for my dresser at the top end of the hall and the pants it holds within. Just the thought of climbing all the way back up there makes my knees unsteady. I collapse onto the sofa. Rolling over to my side I find myself face-to-face with the basket of towels. That's when I decide to go primal.
I roll over even farther towards the edge of the couch to reach for the basket of towels. Reach, almost there, just a little more, come on reach . . . Flipping over the side of the couch my outstretched arm clips the side of the towel basket and the contents go spilling out across the floor and all over me. I hurriedly jump up and brush off my front. Looking around skeptically I drop my hands and laugh to myself. I'm at home, alone; of course nobody saw me in my moment of ineptness.
I lean down to pick the towels up off the floor, but I figure I should probably fold them while I have nothing better to do. Piling them up onto of the sofa I pick up a big, olive green towel with ragged threads hanging off where the stitching has come undone. I cock my head to one side and eye the length of the towel. This one looks manly enough, I finally decide before wrapping it securely around my waist. I spin around a couple times looking at my blurred reflection through a window. Hmm, very Tarzan-esque if I do say so myself.
I turn back to the sofa and start to fold the remaining towels while the music still booms in the background. I'm not sure I recognize the song; it must be some new-aged stuff. It's good – although it's no Bob Seger. When I think about it, it kind of sounds a little like Metallica. As I fold the towels and place them on the coffee table I bob my head and bounce my knees to the beat of the song. Occasionally I'll trip over the hanging threads of the towel, or just from the restrictiveness that comes with wearing a skirt, or I mean a, um, loin cloth. It's obvious that Bella didn't get her balance problems from Renee. Half way through the basket I give up, rip the towel from my waist and throw it into the pile with the rest. I tug on the bottom hem of my flannel shirt to cover my backside and I'm glad it's long enough to comply.
With the towels neatly folded I carry them, like a waiter with his tray, upstairs to the linens closet. I shove each of them in with care to join the other twenty or so towels clogging up the shelves. How did I acquire so many towels by myself?
With that task done I trudge back downstairs wondering what I should do next with my day. Once I reach the landing I turn back towards the living room and kitchen area. In doing so, I stub my toe on the ajar door of the "junk" closet. "Ouch, damn closet," I mutter under my breath along with a few other profanities. I look down at my stocking foot and notice that I forgot to get pants while I was upstairs, again. Smacking myself on the forehead I let out and angry sigh before looking back up to the second floor. I don't want to climb all the way back up there.
I plop down on the bottom step and lean my head against the wall. From here I get a pretty good view of the inside of the "junk" closet. What a mess. I heave myself up and open the door wider so I can peer inside. I guess I can clean out the closet today.
Just the surface layer of junk contains old board games with the cardboard coverings flatten and ripped and a couple of old hats so wrinkled I can't tell which one's my fedora and which one's the jester hat I wore three years ago to the police department's Halloween party. The colors are the only defining feature, well that and the smashed bells on the jester hat. There are also a bunch of random dice and other game pieces, outdated records, an old table lamp, and is that an old sandwich?
The mystery food is the first to go. I, then, stack up the board games and old records. Grabbing a clean plastic Ziploc bag from the kitchen I pick up all the little dice and primary colored, plastic games piece. After dropping a blue figure of a little man on a horse into the bag I freeze and my ears hone in on the radio. "It can't be," I mumble. I listen harder trying to get my brain to wrap around the familiar sounds. "Yes it is!"
I scramble to my feet dropping the plastic bag and all its contents on to the floor while grabbing the dirty brass table lamp and throw off the shade. As I skid across the living room floor in my socks I am, for once, grateful that I'm not wearing any pants. I turn up the volume. "This one's for you Tom," I mutter as I begin dancing to Bob Seger's Old Time Rock n' Roll.
I spin around the room dancing from table to couch and back again and using the lamp as my guitar and microphone. The music is blaring so hard in my ears I can't hear myself think, but who needs to when they let loose and dance? I'm sure I don't look half as good as Tom Cruise did in Risky Business, but I'm having just as much fun, so much fun that I don't hear the raps in the front door. I don't hear as the door opens, or when my three guests make their way towards the living room. What I do hear is the quiet gasps and the click of my radio being muted.
I freeze and drop the lamp. My eyes follow it as it rolls across the floor; I don't want to turn around and face whoever is behind me.
"Dad?" An incredulous whisper behind me makes me cringe in embarrassment. I slowly pivot on my toes and turn to face Bell, Edward and Nessie. All three are unnaturally statuesque, not just in appearance, but also in body language. They look as if they were carved from stone with their hard, chalky white skin and ability to stay inexplicably motionless. I meet each of their eyes and slowly analyze the expressions frozen on their faces.
Edward regards me with expected humor. However, he is politely, and very convincingly, holding back the hysteric laughter that I'm sure is brewing in his chest. There is also a slight air of smugness about his expression. Like one of those I-told-you-so looks. Bella looks as if her body might just fall limp at any moment. Her eyes are topaz saucers gleaming with shock as her mouth hangs open slightly. Nessie is standing by her mother's side with her hand raised as if she were about to place it on Bella's shoulder. Her eyebrows are furrowed in confusion and her jaw, too, hangs open with surprise.
I nervously rub the back of my neck and look anywhere else. "Well, um, make your selves at home," I mumble quietly as I avoid looking at any of them directly. No one moves and my face burns hot with chagrin. "Well, I guess I better go put some pants on," I mutter even quieter as I bolt for the stairs. I'm sure none of them heard that last part my words were so incoherent , but they all seemed to inadvertently shift their gazes to my bare legs for half a second as if they hadn't noticed my sans pants condition.
A/N: Ok so finally, here it is. I've been so busy traveling over spring break that I didn't have any time to work on this until now. I hope you like it; I know I had a lot of fun writing it. Charlie's Tom Cruise dance to Old Time Rock 'n Roll can be seen by clicking the appropriate link on my profile page. Now please review and tell me what you think! I think I'm going to start on my next actual story about Renee being pregnant again soon for all of you who voted and were waiting for a new story. Oh, but first REVIEW!