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Thanks to my lovely sis TwiDi for cleaning up my mess :) !Without her this outtake would have stunk :0)
This outtake might seem just pure fluff, but when Homecoming: The College Years starts posting parts of it will play into that story.
As a Dad, I love spending time with my kids. Most parents will tell you the same thing; that they love spending time with their children. However, there are times when a parent just needs a moment to themselves to decompress—to just relax from the stresses of life, and have a moment just to themselves. The majority of the parents I know all have something that they love to do in these moments. Something that makes them happy. Esme Cullen loves to garden, Brenda Whitlock loves to cook, Jackson Whitlock loves to read comics from our youth, Nick Hale loves yoga and Carlisle Cullen is addicted to those online YouTube videos of dancing cats and dogs.
Me? Well, most people will tell you mine is fishing. And while it is true that I love to fish, that isn't my super secret enjoyment. Don't get me wrong—again, I love to fish. Fishing though generally ends up with me, Billy and a whole gaggle of our friends riding around on boats trying to one up each other with our catches, all the while pretending we are happy for the one who caught more than we had hauled in. So, no. Fishing isn't my decompression that no one knows about.
Sports, you ask? Another thing I enjoy, but really it's not it either. Who can relax when you are busy yelling at the idiot making millions of bucks a year on the TV who isn't doing his dang job? I mean, come on! How hard is it to block for the quarterback? Or to catch a dang ball? Especially when you are making a few millions a year? So, nope not sports either.
What is it you ask?
Welp, now you see it's a long story that goes back to my youth. And, well, there is a reason that no one knows about it, 'cause it isn't the manliest of things to do. And being the Chief of Police, I do have a reputation of being manly to uphold.
See, I have to blame my Mom for this little hobby of mine. I'd watch her for hours on end as a child as she sat there, working with that thin, hooked-stick, tilting and twisting the thread, then somehow working it through a hole then pull. Over and over she'd go. As a young boy it was so relaxing to watch her, and she was always so peaceful while she did it. So, one day when I was about ten, I asked if I could try it. Mom told me I could, and before you know it, I was making little things. Little crochet things.
It started with a simple slip knot, then to a long chain. And while not quite straight, still it was something I was proud of. Then, we moved on to adding to it, before long I'd mastered Granny squares. From there Mom taught me how to put them together and I had made my first afghan. As I grew and my skills got better, I became a master crocheter just like my Mom.
Like I said, not the manliest of hobbies.
I used to have to sneak up to Port Angeles and stock up on supplies, but since the internet started, I've been able to order what I need, and use that extra money I'd spend on gas to order more threads. My Mom used to swear I made the cutest baby clothing, and Emmett doesn't know it, but many of his booties and sweaters were made by his dear old Dad. I even have a small stash of girly items that I'd made for Bella but was never able to give to her. One day I plan on sharing them with her.
Since there are no kids to dress anymore, and honestly, it would be hard to explain the dog getting a great handmade wardrobe without exposing my little secret, I focusd on making things to donate. Afghans and thick sweaters are made and donated to the homeless shelter up in Port Angeles. Other afghans, clothing and things like toilet paper holders are donated to the church anonymously for things needy families might need, or for their annual sale to raise money.
Between my own speed and the fact I have trunks of my Mom's old granny squares she never put together as afghans I'm able to get a good supply out every year. This year, though, I'm a little behind. One of the deputies' wives is due to have their first kid, so I've been working extra hours while he handles food cravings and trips to the ER for what turn out to be Braxton Hicks contractions.
Today, though, was my day off.
Bella was up in Port Angeles with Alice and Esme having a girls-day-out. Something about mani-pedis , hair cuts and facials. I zoned out when Alice started talking about pore minimization. I think Bella did too, because she jumped when Esme said it was time to go, and not in the panic-attack way, but in the oh-crap-I-hope-no-one-noticed-I-wasn't-paying-attention way.
So, it was just me, the TV and my box of yarn.
I knew my deputy was having a boy, so I was busy making a sleep suit for him, as a gift that is going to be dropped off, with no card. Money is tight there, so the other things including booties and a baby blanket will probably help them out a great deal. Only they don't need to know the big bad Chief was the one who did all that detail work on the blanket.
So, after a long two weeks at work here I go, repetitive movements, at a comfortable speed. Slowly, things begin to form. Mixing up the blue with a little white detail trim work will be a good idea. I can't help but think to myself.
The feeling of being watched is overwhelming and I look up. Nope, the blinds are all closed. I look around and see no one. Before hearing a small noise and my eyes are drawn to the floor where the white fur ball was sitting watching me intently.
"Hey, pup," I greet the little bugger, and keep going, though she keeps watching me.
Out of the corner of my eye, I watch her go over to the basket that holds my finished product.
"Noel, no," I tell her gently. Not wanting her to get dog hair on baby clothes. She tilts her head at me then nudges the basket. Giving up, I put down my project and pick the basket up setting it on the coffee table.
Now, Noel is a good dog, never really gets into trouble, except that time she pooped in Jasper's shoes. Both shoes. But he kinda brought it on himself eating her last cookie, though in the boy's defence, he didn't realize it was one of Noel's special peanut butter puppy cookies. However, now she is sitting there whining at the basket on the table.
"Noel, are you hungry?" I try, knowing the dog can put away food the same way Emmett can. Though the offended grunt and laying down of the dog tell me I'm not close on this one.
Getting an idea I go over and grab her puppy bed, and bring it over near me, and grab a small half finished afghan out of the basket and lay it in the bed. Noel stands and walks over to her bed and sniffs it before crawling in and burrowing under the blanket. Satisfied that I've given her what she wanted, I go back to work.
Though it doesn't take long for the little miss to pop her head out and start staring at me again. Her eyes watching every move, her little body tensed up. Suddenly, she shakes her back end under the blanket as hard as she can and rushes at me, leaping into my lap. I'm able to toss the sleep suit away on top of my yard basket, before she can get to it. Before I know it, the dog is licking my face, and then staring at the sleep suit, then repeating her actions.
"Noel, are you trying to tell me you want a baby?"
The snort, and—I swear—the roll of her eyes make me relax, hoping she is saying 'no'. I mean, the little thing has been fixed so I won't be a puppy great grandpa and I'm really not ready for my kids to be bringing home little babies either. Though one day soon I can't wait to hold my grandbaby in my arms.
"Do you want a sleeper of your own?" I ask her, just joking since she rarely wears anything other than her pink collar. Though the wagging of her tail and little puppy happy dance tell me that she might, in fact, be wanting her own little outfit.
"Well..." I pause looking around, when inspiration hits. "I have an idea, girl."
Before long the dog and I are up in my room, in the closet where Bella's never worn baby clothes are packed away. While her clothes wouldn't be right for Noel, in so many ways, there are some pieces that I made up in pink and white that had never been put into any finished form. Smelling the lavender scent of the satchel, which I placed in there to keep the items smelling fresh, brings a bit of a tear to my eye. These little outfits never got to go on the baby that they were meant for. But maybe one day my Granddaughter might get to wear something from them.
Dragging myself out of the melancholy, and back to reality, I grab the bits and pieces that I came for, and close the trunk back up. At least, for now these will stay here, until the time is right.
Noel watches as I rework the pieces and then do a few measurements on her, before I put them together in a puppy sweater. Slipping it on the dog, I have to laugh at how she is happily prancing around. Feeling like a goof, I pick her up and take her to the hall mirror.
"Who's the pretty girl?" I ask in a silly voice that people can only get away with when talking to babies and animals.
"Yap!" is her excited answer.
Putting her down, I watch as she continues her little walk, like she is some kind of show dog model showing off her new wardrobe to the masses. Pulling my cell phone out, I record the show, laughing, but excited to have at least one family member happy with my little hobby.
Maybe one day, I'll tell the others, but for now, it will be a secret between me and Noel.
If you are bored and in need of something new to read, my new story Between Then And Now is posting weekly right here on ffnet. Happy New Years!