AN: Just for fun. Dress shopping = Charlie/Nathan bonding. Oh Susan, clever!girl.


…Hard Headed Woman…



"Charlie," Charlie corrected, eyes glinting.

"So, Chuck," Nathan repeated. "What're you planning to do with the rest of your life?"

"Well," Charlie says, lips twitching, "I was thinking about being a principal, but then I heard about this one guy—"

"Chuck, Chuck, Chuck," Nathan sighed, shaking his head. "Everyone knows that working in education isn't for those that crave attention like you do."

"I don't know, Mr. Gardner, I feel like my fellow students are going to remember you for a very long—"

"Oh, Chuck, you only say that because you're so young you've—"

"Yeah, I'm young now, but when you wanted to press charges—"

"You hit me in the face! I have a very pretty face, how do you think I got the job in the—"

"Oh my god!" Susan snapped, sticking her head out from behind the dressing room curtain. "Are you too really that uncomfortable?"

"What?" Charlie asked, confused.

"No, honey, of course we aren't," Nathan assured her, looking up with a bright smile.

"Your dad and I were just joking around," Charlie added quickly. She looked between the two of them with a frown.

"Good. Because you two are my two favorite men in the world and I need you here for me, not snapping at each other."

"Of course we're here for you!" Nathan smiled.

"You know us, I love your dad, Susan! We're just hanging out…" Charlie smirked.

"Yes, I…" Nathan smiled tightly, "Love talking to your boyfriend." He slung an arm around Charlie's suddenly stiff shoulders.

She considered them for a long moment and then retreated behind the curtain. Nathan immediately mock-gagged.

"You find what you're looking for?" Charlie asked Susan. She sighed.

"Not yet. It has to be the perfect dress for the dance."

"You…ah…you never really used to be that big of a dress girl, sweetie," Nathan frowned. Charlie nudged him with a panicked look. Susan let out a mangled sob from behind the curtain.

"I just want to have this one dress, Dad! Is that too much to ask?"

"Of course not, honey!" Nathan reassured, looking worried. "I didn't mean—"

"I have a good feeling about today. I'll have to leave at seven, but hopefully that'll give me enough time," she cut in brightly.

"Susan, it's…ah…it's three right now," Charlie said weakly.

"It's already three? We've got to get a move on, then!" she said, sounding worried. Finally she came back from behind the curtain in her regular clothes.

"You're going to spend the next four hours—" Nathan stared, sounding horrified, but just grinned.

"We're going to spend the next four hours shopping," she smirked.

"She's trying to kill us," Charlie whispered to Nathan. He just nodded, overwhelmed.

She led the way into another store, mentally patting herself on the back.

Four hours should be long enough for them to start to get along…

"Do something," Charlie whispered behind her, sounding panicked.

"She's your girlfriend!" Nathan whispered back, not sounding much better off.

"She's your daughter!" Charlie spat. Susan just smiled, running her fingers over gaudy prom dresses.

Yes, she thought, Four hours should be perfect.