Summary: Stu is engaged to Melissa, but a pregnant Jade soon returns to turn his life upside down. Alternate The Hangover Part I (at least the ending)
Author's Note: I didn't like The Hangover Part II that much, I thought the writers could have kept Jade and Stu together. I agree with another author. Jade is the ying to Stu's yang. This will be a one-shot if I don't get any reviews.
Discliamer: I don't own squat.
Of Hangovers and Babies
With the last patient sent home with his right cheek stuffed with cotton, mildly sedated and knee deep in medical debt because they'd conveniently placed a root canal at the bottom of their 'Never To Do List'; Dr. Stu Price ended his day at his private practice in the usual manner. First, he meticulously tidied his work area and office and then assisted one of his dental assistants in a quick routine inventory that lasted for nearly forty-five minutes. And ignoring the scoffs, and look of annoyance Pete flashed him every now and then.
Returning to his office, he took off his scrubs folding them carefully into a neat pile, and placed them into a laundry hamper. He dressed in his Sunday best, a brown suit and tie, packed up his little office in a briefcase, bid good-night to the receptionist Maggie, and headed across the parking lot to his car.
Clearly in a hurry, Stu walked a brisk pace, zigzagging quickly through the lot before reaching his car. A beige Volvo, still shiny as the day he drove off the dealer lot with less than thirty thousand on the mileage. So, he didn't have an active night life where he went parading through the streets of L.A. every weekend. Hell, most vehicles began to fall apart once the dial rolled past thirty-six. He prided himself in the care took in his vehicle.
He stuck his key into the slot, opened the door, and slid into the interior. He checked his wristwatch; a sliver-plated Timex Melissa had purchased three Christmases ago. Cheap. Sensible. Yep. That was Melissa and his life. 'Sensible Stu'. His moniker. What everyone called him when they believed he wasn't listening. And Melissa was certainly cheap, keeping an eye on their finances like a fucking auditor from the Internal Revenue service. He shuddered in memory of the three weeks of sheer agony she'd put him through when he returned from Las Vegas.
His stomach curdled and balled into a huge knot. It'd been six months and he still hadn't been able to glue his psyche back together after that fiasco. Doug's bachelor party had spiraled into a twisted, nightmarish episode he was more than happy to shove deep into the secret confines of his subconscious. But an eight thousand dollar hotel bill and a gap in his mouth (making him look like a nerdy hillbilly), one could hardly keep said event a secret. Melissa went crashing through the roof. Raved like a lunatic. His nerves taut and the will to fight back shrinking like a cat facing a rabid dog, he produced a ring, and the promise seal of an engagement.
However, did she fly over the moon like most women when he'd given her his grandmother's ring. No. She simply stood there cradling a mug of coffee with a placid, cold stare on her face. Stu could still generate the next thing she said. "Is that it?" Words barely formed in his mouth when they were packed into his car and driving to a chic jewelry store to pick out a rock the size of Mt. Everest.
Surprisingly, he wasn't deeply offended Melissa snubbed his grandmother's ring. He didn't lose sleep over it either. In fact, he kept picturing another hand and another finger, and a wild night in Vegas. Stu flinched. What happened Vegas, stayed in Vegas, and Melissa could never know about Jenn. Or was it Jane? He grimaced; putting names to faces wasn't his strong point, but it didn't matter. His close encounter with the stripper was a closed chapter that would never be read again.
"Oh, Dr. Price, you're still here. What's wrong? Car trouble?"
Startled, Stu turned suddenly to see Maggie, the peppy red-headed receptionist peeking into his car window. Her smile waned slightly. She must have seen the pathetic expression of a man terrified of going home. "N-no. No," he cleared his throat. "No. A couple things came to my mind and I—d" He chuckled, shaking his head. "I guess my mind must run off some place."
"Oh, okay," Maggie straightened and took two steps to her car. "Well, I'll see you Monday."
Stu clicked his teeth and pointed his finger at her as if he were firing a gun. "Right, Monday, cause…it's the weekend…" His voice trailed as he watched Maggie climb into her Prius and drive to some grand, fortunate life filled with laughter and pleasant talk while he was on his way home to gloomy distrust and raving rants.
Stu checked his watch. "Shoot!" He was going to be late and Melissa was never happy camper when he was late. Especially on 'date night'. He started his Volvo and backed carefully out the parking lot. He tried to maintain a clear focus on the road while merging into the piling traffic that began to build as the evening commute littered the streets with anxious drivers.
It was a slow death march toward the highway as traffic crept at a snail's pace. Stu gritted his teeth, knowing full well he wasn't going to make home on time. 'Date night' which was pre-schedule dinner and sex would have to be put off for a later hour. That's if Melissa surfaced from the black mood he knew she was going to be in. And those moods normally stretched from the time he arrived home tardy to sometime next year.
Just as he got hold of his IPhone 4 and was about to make the most painful phone call in his life, it chimed a merrily tune he'd downloaded from ITunes. "Dr. Stu Price speaking."
Phil's voice came over loud and clear. "Hey, Stu? How's it hanging? Oh, I forgot. Melissa still has your dick locked in a mason jar under the sink."
"Ha. Ha. Very funny," Stu replied without the least bit of amusement in his voice.
"Not as funny as the next fifty years of your life is going to be. And there's no fucking humor in that."
A scowl drifted over Stu's face. The emergence of another lecture from Phil on his choice of a life pattern was going to make him ill. "I'm not getting into this with you."
"What the fuck were you thinking dude, after everything that bitch has done to you, after…"
"Phil, if this not a social call that has nothing to do with Melissa then I'm hanging up."
"Hold on, hold on, if the warden is willing to give you parole," Phil said snidely. "I was calling to give you an invite. Doug's thinking bowling, I'm thinking Hooters."
"Sorry, I can't. Melissa and I kind of have….plans."
"Let me guess it includes boiling in hot oil or being broken on the rack?"
Stu exhaled sharply. "I'm hanging up now."
"Whoa! Hold on. On a minor note, Doug wants us to meet him at Denny's tomorrow. He's got news, probably knocked up Tracy, but who knows. I putting my finger on the fact that she was knocked up before she waddled down the aisle. It would explain the rush on their wedding."
"You know I hope you're not as free in speech when you're around your students," Stu commented.
"Only around you babe, luv yah. See you tomorrow we hope."
Stu slid his thumb across face of his phone to end the call. Only to have it blare once more with a picture of Melissa's face coming on the screen. He swallowed thickly, answering, "Hey, sugar plum…I know I'm late…"
"Where the fuck are you, Stu? Dinner is getting cold!"
"Sorry, there's heavy traffic on the road...it's backed up all the way from the highway, but I'll get there as soon as…" The sudden dial tone in his phone only meant one thing. Hell when he arrived home. What Stu encountered was a slew of the foulest words that would make a sailor blush, leading to the bedroom door being ceremoniously slammed in his face, and locked.
He stared blindly at the white door before retiring to the guest bedroom where he settled into a long evening of a lonely dinner, quick shower, and channel surfing the television. He eventually dozed to a somewhat restless sleep before being awakened by the sound of someone banging on his bedroom door. Startled, Stu searched for his glasses, slipped them on with shaky hands, and rose from his bed.
Melissa stood on the other side of the door. She was quite becoming in the sexy, black negligée she was wearing. But the look of vexation on her face slowed the blood flow to his penis. "I want to fuck," she said blatantly.
Eyes wide, Stu fused his eyes to blaring red number of the alarm clock on the night stand. "It's three o' clock in the morning.
Melissa shrugged, "Problem."
The next morning Stu awoke alone, half naked and trapped in the numerous folds of Egyptian cotton sheets. His face sank, a scowl deepening the wrinkles etched by years of disappointment from women who wouldn't give him the time of day, to the high school jocks who'd routinely drowned him in toilet water. He searched for his boxers, tugged them on, and left the room to take a shower.
The rich smell of French Roast coffee cloyed his nostrils. Melissa was apparently up and about and most certainly ready to dive into a heated discussion on his tardiness last night. He would simply buckle through and escape to the predetermined meeting with Doug and Phil.
He entered the kitchen in a fresh cotton, white shirt with blue stripes running parallel and tan khakis. Melissa was dressed in black satin blouse and grey pencil skirt. She scoffed, "Why were you late?"
"I told you Melissa," explained Stu, "Traffic."
"You're never late on date night."
"I can't control on what day half the highway gets shut down due to construction."
"You're not seeing those degenerates today are you?"
Stu looked dazed, wondering to whom she was referring to when it dawned on him. "Those degenerates are my friends, Melissa, and yes I'm meeting them at Denny's.
"Some friends who allows a total retard to slip them 'roofies'," she seethed.
"Alan…is…mental, but he meant well." Stu nearly chomped on the inside of his cheek. He couldn't believe he was defending Doug's deranged brother-in-law, especially after the stunt he'd pulled in Las Vegas. He took a second. "He wanted all of us to have a good time."
"Yeah, eight thousand dollars' worth of a good time," she sipped her coffee.
"I told you," Stu sighed. "I got it." He wasn't about to elaborate on the twenty grand he'd stashed in a second account he'd open at another bank. It was not his intention to hide money from her, but it felt good to get money anytime he wanted without running it by her.
"Eight thousand, Stu," barked Melissa. "Eight thousand dollars that could go to fund our wedding."
"I told you," he repeated, "I got it. Business is well the credit card will be paid in full. I've got to go." He moved to kiss her on the cheek. As normal, she evaded him, crossing the kitchen to sit at the table and finish her coffee and breakfast.
Stu took a deep breath, his lips pursing. "Later, honey."
He collected his keys. The morning was crisp so he opt to wearing his sports coat and Denny's was notorious for keeping its restaurants at subzero temperatures. Just as he stepped outside, he came face to face with a pair of remarkable blue eyes and lovely smile. He refocused his gaze on a slim nose, soft mouth, and sunset blond hair pulled back in a presentable ponytail.
The face. He knew it. Although, the name eluded him, he knew the face. What he also knew for certain was that this woman who was at his home for whatever reason was very pregnant. "J-Jane?"
She chuckled softly, a cute little giggle. "Close, it's Jade…but I guess I wasn't expecting you to remember."
Stu slammed the front door shut, holding onto the brass knob for dear life. "W-what are you doing here?"
"First, I want you to know that I'm not stalking you," Jade said.
"I-I wasn't thinking that."
She rolled her eyes. "Yeah, right. Second, we are not exactly…our marriage…it's not officially annulled."
Blood drained from Stu's face making him white as snow, "W-what…do you mean….I signed the papers…"
"Apparently there's the subject of a settlement which I'm entitled to," she began, before grinning at the look of sheer horror on his face. "I'm kidding. In your haste to speed off to your friend's wedding you forgot to sign one of the pages."
Relief swept him. "Oh," he looked behind him and worrying that Melissa might barge in on their conversation he escorted Jade to his car which was parked next to a row of bushes and a massive oak tree. Melissa had commandeered their garage for her car and personal storage. "Well, I'm sure we can get that settled…quickly…"
"Of course, my life doesn't revolve around you and that short fairytale marriage of me winding up with a doctor," said Jade.
His brow furrowed at her offhanded remark. "Just tell me where to sign."
She retrieved the papers from her purse and a pen and Stu signed on the roof of his car. "You're looking well," he said, looking her over, handing the papers back to her. She did look good. Fresh, glowing, a completely different woman from the one he'd met six months ago. She wore a sky blue maternity blouse and a pair of those jeans that were fitted with spandex that supported her belly comfortably. "And I see that congratulations are in order. I see little Tim is going to have a brother or sister soon."
Blushing, she ran her hands over her stomach, "Taylor," she corrected, and shifted uneasily. "That's also another reason why I'm here. There's the possibility that the baby might be yours."