Hello folks, Agent Striker here with a random one-shot that I came up with since it is in fact raining and I have a really adorable sun dress.
"So, is that a yes or a no?" I asked, rolling my eyes at Joe. He was laughing this really weird forced laugh that sounded like a wounded animal.
"We have a ten hour layover in Chicago and you want to drive an hour to see Nancy Drew? Why am I not surprised?"
I glared at him, "Yes or no?"
He grinned at me, "Heck yeah! I love Nancy, too!"
"I do not love Nancy," I said as I walked toward the car rental place in the airport.
"I love Nancy like a sister, you love her like-" I shot him a look and he shifted his story a little, "and you don't love her like a sister."
I chose not to reply, instead I turned to the man at the rental desk, "Hi, I'd like to rent a car…"
An hour and a half later found Joe and me running across the Drew's lawn, trying to avoid the rain that fell from the sky in sheets. I knocked on the oak door and peeled off my soaking rain jacket. Late August might be an odd time to wear a jacket but I'd rather be hot then soaking wet.
"Nancy?" The door was flung back by the Drew's housekeeper, Hannah. She was a short, motherly woman Nancy adored and I'd never seen her without a smile. Until now.
She looked between Joe and I, "Is Nancy with you?" she asked hopefully.
We shook our heads. "We had a layover at the airport, we just decided to drop by to say hello. Is something wrong?" Joe asked.
Hannah sighed, "Yes. Nancy left the house just after the rain began…she just abandoned poor Ned, they were going somewhere this morning, and snuck out the back in bare feet and her new dress. It's just not like her."
"Are you sure she left of her own free will?" I asked nervously.
Hannah nodded, "I saw her running out of the yard. I called to her but she just gave me this little half wave and disappeared. Ned is still out looking for her."
I tried not to grimace at Nan's boyfriend's name, "We can go look for her too, by foot if necessary."
Joe elbowed me, apparently he didn't like the idea of hiking through the rain, but I ignored him. "Oh boys, that would be wonderful. If you'll wait a moment, I'll get my jacket-"
"Maybe you should stay here in case she comes back," Joe piped up, "Hold down the fort."
"Are you sure?" Hannah asked, looking worried.
I nodded, "Which way did she go?"
Hannah pointed, "She went around that corner. There's really nothing down there, just undeveloped land and a few businesses. I can't imagine why she'd head that way."
Joe smiled one of his woman-calming-smiles, "Don't worry, Hannah, we'll find her and bring her back."
"I know you will!" Hannah called out as Joe and I again crossed the Drew's yard and headed in the direction Hannah had indicated. As soon as we were out of sight of the house, Joe slugged my shoulder, "Why couldn't we have taken the car?"
"Ned's already looking by car, we're looking by foot."
"Stupid answer," he muttered. I shrugged, it was the best answer I had. He was just going to have to get a little wet.
We had been walking a good pace for nearly half an hour through a half-developed house development when something off the new sidewalk caught my attention, "Hey, Joe, look at this."
He looked to where I pointed in the red mud, "It's a footprint."
"A fresh, bare footed, foot print."
He waited for me to continue, "Nancy was bare foot…"
Our eyes followed the trail into the trees, and I sighed. I pulled off one shoe, then the other, and shoved my socks inside. As I tied the laces together, Joe asked, "What are you doing?"
"Do you want to get your shoes all muddy?" I asked as I started off across the mud. There might have been grass seed here at one point, but the rain had pushed it all away. I heard Joe mutter and curse as he slid after me, his shoes secured across his shoulder like mine.
From the distance between the footprints, I knew Nancy was running. From the directness of the path she had taken, I guessed she knew exactly where she was going, and she'd taken this path many times before.
At least that part of her hadn't changed. I think both Joe and I were caught off guard by this careless, runaway Nancy. She was stable, she didn't crack under pressure, she was level headed. She didn't just run off in the middle of her date.
I was drawn out of my reverie by Joe's low voice, "Frank, look."
We were standing behind a long row of pine trees, as far as I could see in each direction there was the unbroken green, except for the spot directly in front of us. One of the trees must have died or something and the other two trees had almost filled in the gap, but there was just enough for someone to slip through, and the footprints were testament enough to prove that someone had.
We edged closer and I could see emerald green grass taking the place of the muddy forest floor, leading up to rows and rows of tall rocks, "It's a cemetery." Joe whispered, as if the people under the earth might be bothered by his voice.
I nodded, "It looks like it."
"Why would she come here?"
Shrugging I carefully pushed my way through the boughs, looking both ways before stepping into the open, "To go to her mom's grave?"
"Why so suddenly?" Joe asked as he followed me.
I shrugged again, my eyes scanning the cemetery for a flash of red. Joe grabbed my arm and pointed, "There she is."
Nan was kneeling in front of a stone that was seven or eight rows up from where we stood; her back to us. "Should we…?" Joe let the question dangle.
"I don't know…let's wait a few more minutes and see what happens." He nodded, his eyes riveted to her distant figure.
Twenty minutes later the clouds got even darker and the lightning zigzagged across the sky and I decided that it was time for us to get Nancy. I touched Joe's arm and motioned to Nancy with a nod of my head. We silently worked our way across the up-kept, but deserted grave yard.
When we got to her, I quietly cleared my throat, "Nancy?"
She whipped around to face us, her wet hair sticking to her bare shoulders and her wet dress clinging tto the rest of her, "Frank, Joe, why are you here?"
"Hannah sent us," Joe replied.
"I haven't been gone that long, why did she call you?" she asked, pushing her hair back from her face, watching our faces…almost completely obvious to the rain.
"We were in Chicago and we came down to see you," I explained. "Hannah was really worried when we got here, so we said we'd help. Ned's out looking too."
She sighed, "I didn't mean to worry Hannah…I guess we should go back now, right?"
"You can…finish…what you were doing," Joe said, "We can wait."
She smiled in an almost serene way and turned back to the stone. Joe and I moved back, giving her room. Her feet and ankles were brown and muddy like ours and the blue and brown patterned sun dress she wore was dripping down her long pale legs and her hair had gone from strawberry blond to dark auburn and it hung in wet ringlets. When she turned back to us, I had the strangest urge to push the piece of hair off her forehead, "I'm ready."
Joe and I both held out our arms in a gentlemanly manner, "Lead the way my lady," Joe purred.
She cocked one of her pretty eye brows in his direction and took both our arms. She started walking in the complete opposite direction from which she had come. Joe began to ask her something but I shot him a look and she shut his mouth with a nod, hopefully getting my drift.
We strolled through the tomb stones, lost in our own thoughts, in the pouring rain. The only sound was the rumble of thunder and every couple of minutes lightning flashed across the sky.
"I'm sorry that I made you two get all wet," Nancy finally said.
"It's okay," Joe and I answered at the same time.
She smiled, "I just had to get out…I just had to get to the rain," she looked between us, "I don't know…it's the strangest thing in the world, but sometimes I just want to run out in the rain and never come back in. It's like the rain just makes me a little crazy…and the storms are just so…beautiful just doesn't describe it…"
"Transcending?" I supplied.
"Breath-taking?" Joe added.
"Both," she said. Looking at the bending trees then at the sky she murmured, "The rain's going to pick up soon."
I was lost in my own thoughts, wondering what we looked like. Two soaking boys in shorts and rain jackets with their shoes slung over their shoulders escorting a drenched but still beautiful girl through a grave yard in a thunder storm.
Nancy dropped my arm, Joe's as well, and stood stalk still, her face turned up toward the clouds. In that frozen moment, I saw the other side of Nancy Drew. The girl who liked to dance barefoot in the rain in a dress, the girl who's mind was unreadable. The girl who's beauty was completely different yet the same as the girl who practiced Judo and hung out with guys like me. The girl who stood silently by, watching the world rather than running with it, a girl who was just a girl, not a girl detective.
Her face split into a wide smile and she looked at me in a way that made me wonder if she could see through my very soul, "Let's run!" she called out over the crack of thunder that brought down the heaviest rain I've seen in a long while.
She spun around and dashed toward the cemetery gate, leaving Joe and I staring at the red headed girl flying over the wet ground, barely touching it. Joe lit out after her and I came in last, just beginning to see what Nancy did.
As I passed through the gate I swear I caught a glimpse of Nancy waiting at the entrance, but she was wearing a knee-length, off the shoulder dress the color of rose petals. I stopped and looked back in time to see a red disappearing into the cemetery, but before I could follow it, Joe's voice floated back to me, yelling for me to hurry up.
Without a second glance, I sped off after my brother and my best girl friend, relishing the rain. Relishing the rain that made Nancy Drew just a little crazy.
A woman in a pink silk dress spins around, her face turned up towards the clouds, letting the rain wash away everything, even if it is just for a few moments. The thunder rumbles and rolls; the lightning slices across the sky. Her red hair looks nearly brown and it hangs in long ringlets over her shoulders and down her back.
A dark haired man watches her from under an umbrella, completely mesmerized. He'd never seen this side of the woman he'd loved for so long before, the free-er side of her. The side that could forget about a doctor's prognosis that put an expiration date on her life. The side of the woman who could dance in the tears of the heaven above.
Well, can you guess who the woman is? This isn't exactly how I planned for the story to come out, but I don't think it's awful…but what do you think? Please review!