(Disclaimer: I own nothing.) This one's a fic for the movie "French Kiss," starring Kevin Kline ( ! ) and Meg Ryan. It's funny and sweet and if you haven't seen it you absolutely need to! Anyway, it's just a oneshot, but kind of long for a oneshot, and takes place...I don't know, maybe nine years after the movie? Yeah, about that. Anyway. Enjoy.
Kate Teyssier enjoyed spending her mornings in peace, tidying things up and preparing for the day like the housewife she'd always wanted to be. And she was good at it, too. Her spastic-neat-freak tendencies were put to good use, so that every thing had a place and every place had a thing, until bit by bit the tiny house in the French countryside was transformed into a home. A nice, peaceful, relaxing home.
But the 'peace' part never usually lasted past breakfast.
Kate was in the kitchen this morning, opening all the windows, tucking all the curtains, letting in the lavender-scented breeze, when a crashing sound came from the living room. She stopped. Not this again. "Luc?"
There was no answer, just the faint sound of whispering and a child's muffled laugh.
Kate tried again. "Luc?" She started to head into the room.
"Ah, oui." The voice came to her distracted, delayed.
"Is everything all right?" Kate wasn't so much concerned about being robbed or attacked as she was personal injury and the breaking of family heirlooms. Her kids were trouble magnets. After all, they had Luc's genes.
Stopping in the doorway, Kate folded her arms and leaned against the wall to her right, arching an eyebrow in suspicion.
"Ah, oui, oui, everything is...everything is perfect. Très bien mon coeur. Pourquoi?"
Luc was sitting on the couch, and so was their eight-year-old son, Nicolas. Luc's mustache practically eclipsed his nose as he grinned a big, innocent grin, and of course Nic copied his father glance for glance. Kate knew that look.
"All right, what's going on."
Luc tried on an expression of false accusation and surprise. "Nothing, nothing! Honestly, Kate, don't you trust me? We are responsible men, Nic and I. We don't need supervision, we're just fine. Nous sommes juste parfait. Isn't that right Nicolas?"
"Oui, nous sommes très parfait, papa," Nicolas eagerly agreed.
Leaning over to the boy's level, Luc added with a smirk, "Votre mère a des inquiétudes trop, non?"
"Mais oui, mama est toujours très nerveux...."
Kate's French was far from perfect, but since she'd been a resident she'd picked up on a bit, and here she managed to catch the words 'mother' and 'worries too much' and 'nervous.' She rolled her eyes.
"I am not always nervous, and if I am it's because you rascals give me a reason to be, I'm never stressed without a clear and definite reason. Now, since you two boys are so perfect why don't you come help me hang the perfect laundry on the perfect clothesline?"
Kate waited. The boys kept smiling, but they didn't budge.
Swiftly Luc tried changing the subject. "Out of curiosity, did you have dairy this morning? You seem a bit edgy and my only guess is the lactose problem--"
"Luc--" It took a second after she cut him off, but Kate caught on to the problem. "You don't want to leave the chair, do you?"
"That's not it at all--"
"We'll move when we want to move."
"Up up up. Come on. Get up."
"What are you hiding--"
"I don't have a clue what you're talking about."
Reluctantly, amid the badgering, Luc stood, and even more reluctantly Nic stood with him. With a 'we'll-just-see' sort of look, Kate wasted no time in pulling up the cushion.
The problem all at once became obvious. Stuffed into the chair as a last-second hiding place, there was a crushed pile of thick pottery shards, presumably from the pot she now realized was missing from the window. Kate paused for a second, then turned to Nic with the 'mother' face on.
"Did you do that?"
She was talking to Nic, but it was Luc who answered for him. "Ah, oui."
"Was that the vase my grandmother sent from San Francisco?"
Nic still stared at his shoes, not speaking, so again Luc did it for him. "Ah, oui."
Shaking her head, Kate shoved both hands frustratedly through her cropped blonde hair. "I can't beleive this; I mean I know I guess I should be used to this kind of thing by now but pardonnez-moi for expecting all my furniture to remain in one piece when I leave the room! Nic--"
"Wait, wait wait," Luc interrupted, stroking his own curled hair back. "It was my fault, uh, you know, I was showing him how to...well, anyway, what I was showing him doesn't matter--the point is, I take full responsibility."
Kate looked at Luc, then to Nicolas, then back at Luc again, and back one more time for good measure. "Is this true Nicolas?" she asked patiently.
Once again the boy eagerly agreed, nodding a vigorous 'yes.'
Kate sighed. "Go on." And with that Nicolas scampered from the room.
Kate went about cleaning up the mess, grabbing a dustpan from the corner and going to work on the chair. She expected Luc to take his freedom, too, leaving her to deal with the mess, but then again; when had Luc ever done what she'd expected him to?
She was aware of him standing above her, leaning one shoulder against the wall, arms folded. Without looking up, Kate spoke. "What were you teaching him--breaking and entering?"
Luc's eyebrows flicked up for a second. "If that's what I was teaching him then we were on the wrong side of the wall..."
"I don't want you teaching our kids that stuff, Luc."
"Stuff? What stuff?"
"...Your stuff." Exasperated, Kate stood up. "Let's just leave the definition at 'anything a policeman wouldn't wanna see,' okay? I mean God, we're lucky Bridget's such a timid kid, or we'd have to hire a zookeeper."
"There is nothing to worry about; Brigitte is a chicken."
Kate glared at him. "Luc!"
"What?" Luc shrugged. "Does it mean I love her any less? No, she is my daughter still, I'm just saying she takes after her mother. Very American like that."
"You need to quit covering for them all the time, Luc. And another thing, Mr-Aren't-I-The-Best-Thing-Since-Monet, just what exactly were you two saying about me? When I agreed to raise them to be bilingual I didn't realize I was agreeing to the 'let's-gossip-about-mom-in-French-so-she-can't-understand-us clause.'"
"Katie, Katie Katie Katie." Luc put his hands on her shoulders and she looked him in the eye.
"You're hyphenating too many words."
She rolled her eyes and almost went back to the chair, but Luc kept his hold. He wasn't done yet. "Just relax, okay? I make you a deal. I will...stay here and clean the mess, and why don't you...pour yourself a glass of wine and go sit out in the vineyard for a while. Make sure the vines are coming along. Enjoy the sunshine. All right?"
Kate sighed. It was impossible to be mad at Luc for long. And she hated that.
"Fine," she finally said. She said it with venom, too, but she backed it up with a smile.
"Good." Luc returned the smile, and bent his head to seal the deal the French way, when there was another 'crash' in the background.
Luc backed up. Kate raised an eyebrow. Luc looked sheepish. Kate kept staring.
"I will take care of it," Luc insisted, as if the idea were a brand new concept, and releasing her, he ran off through the house.
This one's for Megs, aka A Girl Called Bucky, who reccomended the film to me in the first place. Thanks for the inspiration hun! *hugs you* And my usual guys, you know who you are, thanks for all the great reviews! *hugs you too* And speaking of reviews....REVIEW!! ;D