Missing moments from Party of Five season 1 – focusing on Claudia and Bailey, but with moments between all of the main characters
Claudia unzipped her tent as quietly as she could, and clambered out. It was freezing cold in the kitchen, so she skipped from foot to foot as her bare feet touched the tiles. She found Charlie's jumper on the back of the chair and pulled it on, and gulped to fill her lungs as her eyes filled with tears. Claudia was a musical genius, and had certainly learnt to stand up for herself around her siblings, but she was after all, only eleven. She missed her mother's hugs, her father's laugh, but she also missed many other things. When people try to imagine what it's like losing your parents they don't consider that you also lose your normality. Claudia was no longer just a kid, or even just that kid who played the violin, now she was 'poor Claudia'. And Charlie was no longer just her wayward big brother who would come and pick her up from school without telling her, covered in paint and bearing gobstoppers. Now, Charlie was her guardian, and their relationship wasn't the same. Even Ross was different now, careful not to mention her parents, and careful not mind when she didn't practise... Claudia longed for the days when he used to moan at her when her arpeggios weren't perfect. Claudia's crying echoed around the kitchen and it was heard by Bailey, who was heading back from the bathroom. He knew at once it was Claudia, and he came down the stairs with a small shake of the head. He had school in the morning, he was tired and it was freezing downstairs, but with that shake of the head he thought only of Claudia and of her tears. Bailey didn't say anything, he just held her tight and shed a little tear too. When Claudia cried enough, he picked her up and carried her upstairs to his room, to sleep with him. She would wake in the morning, warm and cosy, and would open her eyes to Bailey sleeping beside her, squashed against the wall. Even though she would never wake up never to her mother or father again, the idea that Bay was still there would stop the tears that morning, and she'd slip out of bed to make him tea, because if he could help her through the nights, she would help him through the mornings.
They were late that day, because something was different. Bailey had not received his cup of tea in the morning, so he hadn't got in the shower, so Julia thought her watch was wrong and rolled over. In fact it wasn't until she'd woken up twice more that she realised that it was right, and they were late. "Bailey!" she called from her room as she rifled through her wardrobe in the hope of finding something decent to wear. She pulled on her jeans with a sigh, and banged loud on the door of Bailey's room. "Bay, get up! It's nearly nine o clock." Bailey turned over and grunted, and Julia returned to her room to find a shirt, knowing her words would soon sink in.
"Shoot! Jules, Mrs Granger is going to kill me!" There it was, she thought with a smile, which was fast wiped off her face when she realised Mrs Granger was probably going to kill her too. She went into the bathroom and when she came out Bailey was hurrying down the stairs just in front of her.
"Not washing this morning, smelly?" she inquired jokingly. "Anyway, where's Claud? Claudia," she shouted up the stairs in the direction of Bailey's room.
"She didn't come up last night Jules," said Bailey with a smile. "I'm gunna go wake her now." Julia got herself a bowl of cereal and listened to Bailey and Claudia from the kitchen. Claudia was upset at first, blaming herself for the lateness but soon she too realised what this meant. Claudia Salinger had slept through the night, in her own bed (all be it if that bed was on the kitchen floor) for the first time since their parents had died. They were hideously late, but they sang all the way to school, and when they explained to Charlie that evening, he went out and bought gobstoppers to celebrate.