A/N: Want to take a guess as to what time it is right now? Yeah, that's right. It's 3 AM EST. Guess what I did for the past three hours? I sat down and wrote this for all of you because I haven't updated in a while. Sorry, I got distracted by other projects. Updates will hopefully be regularly coming on Sundays for this story, since I'm making some type of schedule for each of my stories. I figured I might as well have one for this one as well.
Thanks to all those who read and reviewed and added to alerts! I feel as though I've lost a couple of readers between before and now, and I really do hope that isn't the case. But hey, you can't be liked by everyone all the time.
But you guys should totally appreciate the fact that I stayed up until 3 AM, to write this for you and forewent sleep (I have to be up by five something), by reviewing. That would be lovely.
Disclaimer: Matt Corman and Chris Ord own. Idea? All me, though.
:Deeds of the Saints:
I think we dream so we don't have to be apart so long.
If we're in each other's dreams,
we can play together all night.
Calvin & Hobbes, Bill Watterson
A soft knock on the door woke Annie up. Somewhat frightened, she sat up in the bed. She didn't recall falling asleep, yet it had happened. Looking outside, she noticed that it was well past evening. What the hell just happened?
"Annie, you all right in there?" a familiar voice inquired from the door. The person opened the door just a bit, letting in the light from the hallway.
"Abbie?" Annie inquired, rubbing the small semblance of sleep from her eyes. "What time is it?"
"Close to seven." Abril walked into the room, reaching over and turning the light on in the process. "Sorry," she apologized, taking note of the stinging in Annie's eyes. "You've been out for a couple of hours. I thought you were used to the jet-lag."
"I thought so too," Annie admitted. For a moment, Annie let all of the thoughts rush back into her mind. That dream was just so vivid…and it wasn't real? What in God's name was going on? "Where's Auggie?"
"Downstairs. He's ticked off about something and won't talk about it. The fact that Fevrier's here isn't making things any better."
"I figured after that punch to the jaw he wouldn't be back."
Abril laughed. "Punch to the jaw? You sure you're still not sleeping?"
Annie shook her head. What was she talking about? After a couple of blinks, a stretch or two, Annie realized that she had probably dreamt of everything. Well, everything except that argument between her and Auggie. The dream would explain why Fevrier was one big blur in her mind and just a semblance of his younger brother.
"I'm fine," she replied after a while. "Downstairs, you said?"
Abbie nodded. "I actually came to get you. Gen's almost done with dinner and he's big on family meals. He didn't want you sleeping through your first family dinner at the Anderson abode."
After composing herself a bit, Annie followed the dark haired girl downstairs. Halfway down the staircase though, a thought occurred to Annie. Without thinking, she inquired what was on her mind.
"Abbie, are you adopted?"
That stopped the girl in her tracks. A look of pure astonishment graced her face. After a small moment, the look vanished, being replaced by a small smile. "Auggie must have told you. Yeah, Norah and Donald adopted me so that I wouldn't have to go into the system. My mom never listened when her sister, Norah, would tell her to write a will. But hey, things worked out in the end."
It was Annie's turn to stand shocked on the middle of the staircase. Their names were Norah and Donald? How the hell did she manage to dream up their names as well? A small headache was forming in the forefront of Annie's mind by just thinking about all of this. Perhaps Auggie had mentioned their names once before. She couldn't have just dreamt details of his family, could she?
Shaking the thoughts aside, Annie followed Abbie to the dining room, where everyone was seated. As she took a quick glance around the table, a new person had joined them. Annie was somewhat surprised when that person bore a strong resemblance to the other Anderson boys, and when her mind put two and two together, she realized who it was.
"And who's this?" the man inquired, getting up from his seat. Auggie followed suit, standing up in between Annie and this man.
"Fevrier, this is Annie. Annie, this is Fevrier, the second oldest Anderson."
"Nice to meet you," Annie said, extending her hand out.
"Pleasure's all mine," Fevrier returned, shaking her hand. Something about him just oozed Casanova. Annie mentally scoffed. And she thought Auggie was a player. (Well, he still was…probably not as much as Fevrier, though.)
"Are you done now?" Auggie asked Fevrier.
Fevrier simply laughed at his little brother. He held out the chair for Annie, allowing her to sit down while Auggie sat down to her left. Fevrier then took his seat, allowing Gen to begin with the dinner process.
They said grace (something Annie hadn't done since she was child) and afterwards began to eat. There was almost three times the amount of food than Annie was accustomed to seeing at Danielle's house and within an hour's time all of it would practically vanish. The Anderson boys were not ashamed of eating and neither were the Anderson women. Gen especially took pride in all of it, and Annie wondered just how long she was out that he managed to cook all of the food.
"Picture time!" Marcius shouted, pulling out an album from one of the shelves in the living room.
After dinner and clean up, everyone headed off to the living room for some "bonding time." According to Gennaro, this bonding time would include some pictures and home videos, in remembrance of Norah Anderson. To Annie, this seemed like any normal family tradition. Then again, something about it had Auggie agitated next to her.
Thinking about the day, Annie mentally sighed. Since she awoke from that bizarre dream, she hadn't had a chance to talk to him. Although her dream showed her what could possibly happen between the two of them, there was still a part of her (a very stubborn part of her) that wouldn't give up the past so easily. Of course, there was a slim to none chance that Auggie would turn out to be like him, but that didn't quell the fear.
"Are you all right?" she asked him, once they were all seated comfortably in the living room. She attempted to place a comforting hand on his, but the moment she did so he moved his hand.
"Fine," he replied, emotionless and stoic.
Annie sat there feeling like a major screw-up. Out of all the people in her life, Auggie was perhaps the last person who deserved to be treated like she treated him; used like she used him. She was a tease, she realized. After all, she was the one who initiated the kiss between the two of them. If she really thought about it, she was the one who took advantage of him while he was inebriated.
The two of them sat in silence as the rest of the Andersons flipped among picture after picture, recounting tales or inside jokes. After a while of hearing all of this, Auggie unfolded his cane and stepped out of the living room, unnoticed by all but Noah and Evan. The two little boys (who admired their uncle so much, Annie had learned), forewent "family bonding" and followed their uncle out of the living room.
Unnoticed, Annie managed to slip out of the living room as well. She decided to go in search of Auggie, yet she stopped her search once she heard voices coming from the kitchen she stopped just before the doorway, listening in on a private conversation between Auggie and his nephews. The three of them sat on the stools around the island, each with a glass of milk and a package of chocolate chip cookies opened before them.
"Tell us more about her, Uncle Auggie!" Noah, the eldest, pleaded.
"Well," Auggie began, dipping his cookie into the glass of milk, "she's smart. Funny. A kind person. She'd do anything to save you if you were in trouble. And she's…beautiful."
"But Uncle Auggie," Evan said, "you can't see her."
"Evan!" his older brother scolded him. "Dad said you're not supposed to say that!"
"But it's true!"
"Fine then, mister." Auggie laughed, grabbing the cookie out of his nephew's hand (and by some reason knowing and succeeding in that), "If I can't see her, then why don't you tell what she looks like."
At that point, Evan caught sight of Annie standing by the doorway. He waved at her, grabbing Noah's attention in the process. Noah, too, then glanced over to her, causing a cheeky smile to appear on his face as well.
"Well, her hair looks like…"
"The sun!" Noah completed for him.
"Yeah! The sun!"
"What about her eyes?" Auggie asked, playing along with the kids. "What color are her eyes?"
"Brown," Evan quickly replied. "Like the chocolate Nana used to make for the strawberries."
Annie smiled from the doorway, blushing a bit at the description his nephews were providing him.
"And she's got a very pretty smile!" Noah added on.
"I see," Auggie said, acting as though he was pondering. "So she is beautiful."
"Well duh!" Evan exclaimed.
"All right, no more cookies for either of you," he told them, standing up and grabbing the package of cookies. As he was putting them back in the cupboard he said, "You two sound like girls. Next thing you know, you'll be asking me whether or not I love her."
"We already know you do, Uncle Auggie," Noah told him, finishing the last of his milk.
Auggie stopped what he was doing and sighed. "It's that obvious, huh?"
The moment Annie heard his response, she mentally gasped and moved out of the doorway, not wanting to be seen or heard. He loved her? August Anderson loved her, Anne Walker? Here she was, slightly obsessing over a jerk that left her while someone like Auggie was standing right in front of her, putting himself out on the line for her.
God, if her life wasn't screwed up beforehand, it definitely was now.
It was close to midnight when everyone bid each other goodnight. Annie and Auggie had yet to decide sleeping arrangements, yet part of her had a feeling that he would be adamant on sleeping on the floor. After all, if they remained in the same room it would cause less suspicion from his family.
Annie had finished getting into her pajamas—a pair of shorts and an overgrown tee-shirt—when Auggie returned to the room. His hair was still damp from the shower (as was hers from the shower prior to his), causing his hair to curl even more than normal. He was only wearing a pair of cotton pajama pants, and as he walked about the room without a shirt she noticed that his once deep purple bruises were already turning yellow and green, a sign of healing.
"Forgot my shirt," he told her, rummaging through his drawers for something to wear.
"Your bruises are healing," she pointed out.
So much for small talk. It was as though neither of them were making a conscious effort to fix the strain that's grown between them. This was exactly what she wanted to avoid when she was sent over here with him.
"I'll take whichever pillow you don't want."
"They're the same to me," she admitted. Regardless, she handed him the pillow that was a bit fluffier than the other.
He nodded his thanks, and then grabbed the comforter that was on the edge of the bed. Then, just like that, he lied down on the floor and made himself comfortable. Annie didn't feel like contradicting his actions, so she simply shut off the lights and crawled into bed.
Perhaps tomorrow would be better for the both of them.
Annie awoke with a fright in the middle of the night. She was having a bad dream, but the moment she opened her eyes all thoughts of the dream fled from her mind. She couldn't shake the feeling, though. She needed a glass of water, something to calm her nerves, so she decided to head down to the kitchen.
Quietly, she reached over to the nightstand and turned on the lamp. She was surprised when light filled the room—Auggie was nowhere in sight. The comforter and pillow were still on the floor, yet the man who was supposed to be sleeping there was not to be found. She looked over towards the door and saw that it was open just a crack. Perhaps he had gotten the same idea as her?
Either way, Annie headed out of the room. She did not bother turning on the light in the hallway for she did not want to awake anyone else in the house. The nightlight that had been installed in the hallway provided just enough light for her to notice that the door to Mr. and Mrs. Anderson's room was open. From that general vicinity, Annie heard what appeared be crying. It wasn't entirely audible, but then again it wasn't soundless.
"Hello?" Annie called out inside the dark room.
"Annie?" a slightly raspy voice replied.
"Auggie? What are you doing in here?" She reached over to the light switch, flooding the room with light. That was when she noticed him sitting on the bed, head hung low. She walked over to him and sat down next to him, and it was then that her thoughts were confirmed. He was crying, and appeared to be ashamed of doing so. "Hey," she whispered, grabbing his hand and interlacing their fingers. She said nothing else, knowing that at the moment, he needed nothing more than a person to be there for him.
Annie realized something was wrong the moment he walked out of the living room. It simply took her until now to realize what it was. He couldn't remember her like the rest of them did, enjoying videos and going through pictures; and yet, everyone else remained the same, the seriousness of the situation not having phased them whatsoever.
"I'm sorry," he apologized, looking somewhat ashamed of having her see him cry.
Annie squeezed his hand. "You have nothing to apologize for."
She sat there with him for a while longer, keeping him company while he surrounded himself with his mother's presence—or whatever of it remained in her room. The tears had subsided a short moment after Annie's arrival, and afterwards they simply sat there in silence. Surprisingly enough, it was what he needed at the moment.
Once he felt a bit better, Auggie allowed Annie to lead the both of them out of the room. They returned to his room without a bump or sound made.
"Thank you," Auggie said, leaning down to place a kiss on Annie's cheek. He misjudged his knowledge and ended up placing a kiss on the corner of her mouth. "Sorry," he apologized.
"No need," she told him.
He began to crouch down and assume his floor once more when Annie grabbed his hand and stopped him. She tugged him towards the bed until he sat down next to her.
"We're grown adults. I don't think we'd have a problem sharing a bed."
"Are you propositioning me, Miss Walker?" Auggie teased, bringing a small smile to Annie's face.
"I'm actually offering to sleep beside the wall."
"I'll accept that as well," he said.
Reaching down to the ground, Auggie grabbed his pillow and placed it next to hers. Once Annie was situated between the wall and him, he reached over and shut off the lamp. For a couple of minutes, each one of them tossed and turned, trying to not touch each other. But it was a hard feat to accomplish while sharing a twin bed.
Finally, once Annie had had enough, she adjusted her body so that she was facing the wall. With Auggie's chest against her back, Annie reached over for his arm and wrapped it around her waist, giving them a bit more space than before.
A small smile graced her lips when his grip around her tightened and he pulled her closer. It wasn't the equivalent of talking, but at least it was something.