For: Megan Meade's Guide to the McGowan Boys
Pairing: Megan and Finn
Summary: In which the boys aid Megan in her time of need. Whether she wants them to or not.
Disclaimer: I own nothing. Otherwise, Finn would be hidden under my bed.
In all of Megan's lifetime of experience of playing the game of soccer, she knew one thing about it to be absolutely true. Injuries sucked. Big time.
Now, Megan was considered to be a very skilled player among her peers. Not to mention she was also considered to be pretty tough. She could take a hit, and she wouldn't cry when it hurt. She once stumbled off of the field of her own volition after receiving a concussion, and she didn't whimper or whine one time.
Yes, the pain was no problem. What was, was that her injuries usually meant that she wouldn't be playing again for a while—
"Now," the nurse said, "It doesn't seem like you've broken anything, but it's very swollen. You'll need to stay off of it for a few days at least. And ice it over night. If the swelling hasn't gone down by morning, then I suggest you see a doctor."
—...Or doing much of anything at all.
Megan shifted as the elderly woman placed an ice pack on her bruised knee, causing the paper on the table to make a loud crumpling sound. She grudgingly took the phone that was offered to her and dialed the McGowan household.
Please don't be one of the boys, please don't be...
Oh thank God, it was Regina.
Megan could hear the surprise in her voice as she said, "Megan? What's wrong?"
She had to resist flinching. What was it with moms always knowing when something is amiss? "Can you come pick me up, please?"
"Already? You're not supposed to be back for another hour." Regina said, sounding confused.
She sighed. "Well, I kind of got hurt, and the nurse says..."
"Hurt? Is it serious? Are you alright?" She was on the verge of hysteria. Megan thought that she was probably used to the boys getting hurt, but she was an entirely different story.
"I'll tell you all about it when you get here, I promise." Megan said.
"Alright, I'm leaving now. Just let me tell John to keep things under control until we get you home."
She gave a quick goodbye and Megan handed the phone back to the nurse. She stared at her knee, vaguely wondering how everyone would react to her injured state.
She only really hoped that things didn't get too chaotic before she was able to properly walk again. You never knew when you would need to be able to make a quick getaway when it came to the McGowans.
Regina pulled the car into the driveway, perhaps a little too quickly. Megan told her everything that the nurse said (as did the nurse—Regina seemed to need a lot of reassuring that Megan was not dying) and showed Regina the injury. Where she proceeded to freak out again.
Megan was barely able to limp out to the car, even with Regina keeping an iron grip on her arms to help steady her.
Regina put the car in park and turned off the ignition. Megan spotted Sean in the driveway, glancing up at them from his position next to his motorcycle.
"Okay, stay put." Regina said before she hopped out of the car and ran over to the passenger side to help Megan out.
As she hobbled out of her seat, Sean was suddenly next to them with his eyebrows scrunched in confusion.
"Hey," he said. "What happened?"
"Megan got hurt at practice today." Regina explained. Megan saw Sean inspecting her, his eyes stopping on her black and blue knee.
Megan quickly said, "I'm fine. Seriously."
Regina asked, "Can you help me get her inside? She can barely walk."
She blushed, feeling inadequate and almost like a child that wasn't able to do anything for herself.
Her blush only increased tenfold when Sean scooped her up, one arm under her back and the other placed gingerly under her knees.
"Sean! Put me down! It's not that bad!" Megan thought she was going to stroke out. Regina looked like she wanted to object, but she must've realized that Sean's method was a much quicker means of getting the girl inside, so she ran ahead of them and opened the front door.
As Sean strode towards the entrance Megan had no choice but to wrap an arm around the back of his neck to keep her upper body straight. She heard Regina say, "Set her on the kitchen counter," as they came through the entryway, being careful not to hit any of Megan's limbs on the door frame.
Megan watched Regina close the door before turning towards the living room where John and all of the boys were watching a Red Sox game. At least, they were. Now, they all had their eyes glued to Megan. She didn't think her face could turn any redder.
John jumped out of his chair, rushing over to her as he spoke, "What happened?"
The rest of the boys were following his lead, all asking similar questions of, "What happened?", "Are you okay?", "Are you hurt?"
Sean followed Regina into the kitchen as she said, "She hurt her knee at practice."
Megan was placed on the kitchen counter where John carefully took a hold of her knee, removing the ice pack to get a closer look. The rest of the McGowan clan were all huddled around.
Evan hissed when he saw the discoloration and said, "Ouch, that doesn't look pretty."
Doug made a low whistling sound.
Finn flinched and asked her, "Are you alright?"
Megan couldn't help but feel a little giddy that he was genuinely concerned about her, despite her embarrassment. She said, "Yeah, I'm fine. I've had way worse injuries than this."
He smiled a little at that, but the concern stayed on his face.
Ian and Caleb were marveling at the colors as John carefully probed her knee, bending it a little every now and then.
Miller kept glancing at Megan and then down at the floor, seeming distraught.
"Well," John said, replacing the ice pack on her knee, "It doesn't seem to be broken, but it's really swollen."
"That's what the nurse said," Regina responded. "She also said to ice it over night, and that if the swelling hasn't gone down by morning then we should take her to a doctor."
"I think we should take her regardless, just in case."
Megan gripped the edge of the counter, staring at her knee. She didn't like them making such a fuss over her, especially when it really wasn't all that bad. She knew the swelling would go down and she would be limping a little all weekend, but other than that she was fine.
"Okay," Regina said. "Let's get you up to your room, Megan."
Sean looked at her and she looked back before sighing, resigning herself to her fate. He chuckled before he hoisted her back up.
"There we go." Regina said as she fluffed the pillows placed under Megan's injury. She had so many pillows under her back that she was sitting upright, and her knee had enough cushion that most of her leg was raised off of the bed. A blanket was draped over her lap.
"You don't have to go to so much trouble," Megan said. She felt like an elderly patient in a nursing home. "Really, I've suffered from way worse. This is nothing. I'll be back on my feet by Monday at the latest."
The older woman smiled. "That's somewhat reassuring. I'm sorry that we're making such a big deal, but you're a little special, Megan. It all feels so different with you being the one who's hurt rather than one of the boys."
Megan nodded. She could kind of understand.
Sean leaned in her doorway. He said, "Just yell if you need anything."
She nodded. Out of all of the McGowans, Sean really felt like an older brother.
He gave her one of his rare smiles before disappearing down the hallway. Regina said, "Dinner will be in about an hour, so someone will bring it up to you." Then Regina was gone too.
Megan smiled. Being an only child of military parents, she wasn't quite used to someone taking care of her. Now she had nine someones taking care of her.
She sighed, thinking about how attached she had grown to this new family...and then cursed when she realized that she had been left immobile with nothing to do except stare at the wall.
Megan was lightly thumping her head against her headboard when she heard dishes rattling. She turned and saw Caleb round the corner into her room, carrying a tray of food.
"I brought you dinner! Mom said we had to bring you food 'cause you can't walk."
She smiled. He was awfully cute when he wasn't sabotaging her things.
"Thank you, Caleb."
He placed the tray on her lap with a proud grin. Megan could only stare at the contents of the tray. There was an entire orange crammed into a glass, a bowl of water with a fried chicken leg floating in it, and a plate with two slices of bread and a still packaged slice of cheese between them.
"Uhm...Caleb...what is all of this?"
His grin grew as he pointed to the different things. "My mom always makes me orange juice, chicken soup, and grilled cheese when I'm sick. So I made you orange juice," He pointed a chubby hand at the glass, "Chicken soup," Now at the drowning chicken leg, "And uhm...I tried to make the grilled cheese, but I'm not allowed to use any of the hot stuff."
She gingerly lifted the soggy leg out of the bowl. She didn't know how to react.
"Well...thank you. This was really sweet of you. You do know I'm not sick, right?" Megan asked, placing the tray on her bedside table.
Caleb shrugged and said, "Well yeah, but I thought maybe those foods would help you too."
He ran out of the room, shouting, "I'll be back to take it! Make sure you eat all of it, missy!"
She sighed. So now she was going to have to stare at the wall and starve.
Megan was still inspecting her "meal" when Miller came into her room, carrying another tray. This one seemed to have her real dinner on it.
She grinned at him. "Aw, thanks Miller! How did you know I needed food?"
He smiled a little. "I saw your plate on the counter still."
She laughed, lifting her arms as he placed the food on her lap. He rubbed his arm and stepped back before speaking. "So...is your leg okay?"
Megan swallowed a bite of chicken (that wasn't soggy, unlike her chicken soup) and said, "Yeah, it's fine. Just a little sore." She smiled at him. "Thank you for asking though."
Miller nodded, glancing around her pink room. "The Yankees are playing tomorrow. Would you like to watch the game with me?"
She beamed at him. "I'd love to! But, I don't think I'll be able to go down to the basement with you."
He fidgeted and responded, "I asked my mom if I could use the old portable TV in the garage, so that you could watch too. She thought it was a good idea."
Megan nodded in agreement. "I think it's a good idea too. Thanks for doing that for me."
Miller smiled one of those smiles that made his entire face light up before walking out of her room.
She listened to his footsteps go down the stairs. Okay, so Miller had become her brother too.
Megan wiped her mouth with her napkin, leaning over to set her tray next to the one Caleb had brought up when she saw Ian standing in her doorway.
"You look bored," He said.
She smirked. "I am. I realized a little too late that your mom set me up without anything to do."
Ian came into the room, searching around. She raised her eyebrow at him, about to question his intentions when he picked up her laptop and brought it over to the side of the bed that she wasn't occupying.
"There's your computer," He said. Then he seemed to get an idea and bolted out of the room.
Megan blinked when he came back carrying a stack of thin books and a few cases. He carried them over to her laptop and set the stack down next to it.
"What is all that?" She asked.
Ian said, "I brought you all of the old comic books that used to be Evan's, and some computer games that I don't play anymore."
She smiled, resisting the urge to laugh. Evan read comic books?
"Won't Evan be mad that you're giving me his things?"
"Nah," Ian said, "He gave them to me a long time ago. Anyways, do you want anymore stuff?"
Megan glanced at her new reading material and shook her head. "No, this is good. Thanks, Ian. You're being really nice to me."
Ian glanced at the doorway before he leaned in close to her and whispered, "Don't tell anybody, but I kind of like you."
She just about melted. She whispered back, "Why can't I tell anybody?"
"'Cause my brothers'll tease me, and it's too much fun playing and fighting with you for me to just be nice to you all the time!" He almost yelled the last part.
Megan couldn't help giggling. "Why would they tease you?"
He made an exasperated noise and said, "Because we're not supposed to like you," He paused now, looking thoughtful. "Actually...I think we all really do like you, but no one's gonna say anything."
"What do you mean?"
Ian seemed to be getting annoyed at her questions, but he answered her anyway, "Sean thinks you're cool and hangs out with you, Evan is weird—he likes all girls," He shuddered and made a gagging sound. He probably still thought that girls had cooties. "And Miller likes you and watches all of his baseball games with you now, and Caleb is like me, he likes playing with you. Doug really didn't like you, but he's been really nice lately and hasn't said any mean things about you. And Finn," He scrunched his eyebrows. "He's kinda like Evan—he really likes you, but not really like Evan because he doesn't like all girls. You're special I think."
Megan tried not to blush. She thought Finn was really special too, not that she would say anything to Ian.
Ian shrugged and went to her door. "You're cool, Megan. So I guess we all like you," He turned towards her and narrowed his eyes. "But you'd better not say anything."
She laughed and said, "I won't. I promise."
He nodded, giving her another glare for measure. Then he closed her door behind him.
Megan sat and thought about what Ian had said. She was pretty happy that the boys liked her (especially a certain one of them) and she had to admit that she really liked them too.
She glanced at the pile of comic books, shifting through them before she settled on picking up an edition of Superman.
A couple of hours had passed and Megan was almost through with Ian's stack of comic books. The art impressed her and the story lines weren't half bad.
She heard a knock on her door. "Hey, it's Evan. Can I come in?"
She glanced up at the door and said an uneasy, "Sure."
Evan opened the door, smiling his usual flirty smile. He glanced at the comic in her hand.
"Comic books, huh?"
Megan grinned and said, "Ian brought them in here a few hours ago. He said they used to be yours."
He came around the bed and sat on the edge, lifting one of the graphic novels. "Actually, yeah, they were."
She smiled. She couldn't help but still feel a little awkward around him after everything that had happened. And especially with the intense looks that he kept shooting her lately.
"So," She started. "What brings you to my room?"
Evan shrugged, flipping through the volume in his hands, "Nothing really. Just thought I would come see how you were doing. See if you needed anything."
They sat in silence. She suddenly didn't mind that she had just been sitting alone.
"Well...if you want you can take those trays down to the kitchen." She gestured towards her night stand.
Evan got up and came back around to her side of the bed, staring at the uneaten food next to the empty dinner tray. "...Why is there an orange in this glass?"
Megan giggled. "Caleb brought me up his own version of supper."
He grinned. "Ah, I see. He's a cute kid."
She nodded her agreement as he lifted the two trays in one hand. As he headed towards her door, he turned back to face her, saying, "Listen, things have been a little awkward between us lately, and I just wanted to say that I'm sorry...again."
Megan bit her lip, thinking. So, it wasn't just her that noticed the awkwardness.
"It's okay, Evan. With all things considered, I'm glad that we're at least talking."
He nodded, once again pausing in his exit. "So, listen, do you want to go see a movie or something sometime?"
She blinked. Was he asking her out, or was this another one of those moments where she perceived that he liked her when he was really just being his usual flirtatious self and being plain old nice? She was almost proud to say that she wasn't the least bit interested in going on any form of date with him anymore.
She said, "I'll have to think about it."
Evan looked like he wanted to say something else, but he didn't. He just fixed her with one of his stares, like he was staring through her instead of at her.
When it became painful to keep eye contact, she looked down, picking up her forgotten volume of colorful illustrations.
She didn't look up until she heard him close the door.
Not even half an hour later, Doug stood in her doorway, knocking on the frame before letting himself in.
"Hey, how's in goin'?"
Megan shrugged, glancing at the comics that she finished and had neatly stacked next to her. "Alright I guess. It's pretty boring not being able to get up and actually do anything for yourself. I read all of Ian's comic books and surfed the internet for a little bit."
Doug pulled out her desk chair and sat backwards in it, saying, "Ain't you a little old for that stuff?"
She shrugged and responded, "Yeah, but they were in reaching distance. Not much choice."
He drummed his fingers across the bars on the back of the chair. "Why don't you just watch a movie or something on your laptop?"
She placed the piece of technology in her lap. "All of the movies are downstairs."
Doug swung his leg, standing up. "Well, I guess since everybody else has at least done something for you, then I can go get you some movies."
Megan smiled. "How uncharacteristically sweet of you."
Doug rolled his eyes and said, "Yeah, yeah, don't get used to it. And I ain't bringin' you no chick flicks."
She laughed and so did he before he said, "Be right back," and headed for the stairs. He returned in record time with a small stack of DVDs.
She thanked him, flipping through the lot to pick something to watch when he said, "So, you're knee's not seriously screwed up or nothing, right?"
Megan shook her head, "No, it's just really sore."
"Good. Everybody'd be worried about you if you needed surgery or something crazy like that."
They both laughed again before she said, "Thanks, I think. And thanks for the movies too. Any recommendations?"
"Not really—I did include all of the Star Wars movies though."
"Oh, of course. Want to watch any with me?"
Doug grinned, backing up towards the door and laying a hand on the knob. "Nah, I got a paper to write. Looks like you're going to be lonely tonight."
Megan stuck her tongue out at him and he just laughed at her as he shut her door.
Several hours later, Regina popped her head in to say goodnight and turned off the lights for her. Megan tried to sleep, but she couldn't do much about her sitting up position and she couldn't get comfortable. Instead, she opted to watch some more of Doug's requisitioned movies.
She was a few minutes into her second one when she had to pause it. There was a light tapping at the door.
Who could still be awake? She thought.
The door opened and Finn's head popped into the doorway. She was sure her shoulders visibly relaxed.
"Oh, hi," She said. "What are you still doing up...?"
He shrugged. "I couldn't really sleep. And I thought I heard something so I thought that maybe I should just come and check on you."
Megan smiled. "Sorry, I was just watching a movie. You can come in if you want."
Finn hesitated for a second, but then stepped into her room, quietly closing the door behind him. Her blood hummed in her veins. She was suddenly very aware that she was in her dimly lit room with a boy and her door was closed. And everyone was asleep. And he happened to be very attractive and a boy that she liked. A lot. No pressure.
He rubbed his palms on his pajama pants. "So...how's your day been?"
She couldn't help laughing at the question. "Interesting. Everybody's been really nice, so it kind of makes me paranoid."
He chuckled, nodding his head in perfect understanding. He said, "I don't think you have much to worry about. We were all kind of freaked out when we saw Sean carry you into the house. We knew something had to be up."
Megan blushed. "I told him I could walk..."
Finn grinned at her. "Yeah, but you might not have hobbled into the house until morning."
"Hey!" She tossed a small pillow at him with a laugh. He gave a laugh of his own, catching it.
"So, what are you watching? Or better yet, why are you still awake?"
"50 First Dates—I couldn't sleep either. Regina packed me in pretty tight and it's hard to sleep when you're ram rod straight."
He kind of nodded again. It seemed like they always kind of understood each other. "Want me to help...uhm...unpack you?"
There was another instance of understanding. "Actually, I'd really appreciate that." She said.
He came over to her, helping remove some of the pillows that were behind her and carefully started untucking some of the blanket draped over her. Their arms brushed several times as she helped him move things. She hoped it was making him feel just as electrified as her.
"There you go. No more burrito-Megan." She laughed.
"Thanks..." She chewed her lip, glancing from her paused computer screen to Finn. "Since neither of us can sleep, would you maybe like to watch movies with me?"
He had another moment of hesitation, like he knew he should leave but didn't quite want to. Finally, he nodded and came over to the available side of the bed. There was an awkward moment (both of them seemed very conscious of the fact that they would both be on her bed) before she comically patted the newly arranged pillows. He grinned and sat next to her, their arms and legs touching.
They sat and watched at least an hour of the movie. Megan barely paid it any mind. Finn was very warm and pressed against her side to see the screen. She cast a glance in his direction once only to find him staring at her before he slowly glanced away. She noticed the goosebumps rising on his arms.
"Here," She passed him some of her blanket, which he wordlessly accepted from her.
Once the credits started to roll, she popped the movie out of the disc drive. They sat in silence.
"Megan? Can I be honest with you?" Finn asked. She could hear an underlining...something in his voice.
He let out a sigh, smiling bemusedly as he ran a hand through his curls. "I don't think I remember one thing from that movie."
She licked her lips and said, "Me neither."
The laptop went into hibernation, leaving them both in the semi-dark.
"So," Finn said. "How does your knee feel?"
"It's still sore," She admitted. "I can't tell if the swelling went down or not though."
She felt him push the blanket away from them. "Do you mind if I check?"
"No, go ahead." She had absolutely no problem with him touching her.
Megan felt him lift the ice pack before his other hand gingerly ran across her bruised skin.
"It's really cold from the ice, but it doesn't feel too swollen." He said. His hand stayed on her knee for a little bit before he started to replace the ice pack.
"Actually," Megan said, making him pause. "Could you leave the ice pack off? It's seriously freezing."
She could see him nod and smile at her. He leaned past her to toss the mostly melted ice on her nightside table. Then he looked at her.
They were close enough that she could feel his breath fan across her face, could see the color in his eyes even though it was dark.
"Megan..." Finn breathed.
She sucked in a breath when his mouth came near hers, but again he was hesitating. Their first and only kiss ended on a sour note, though it still remained one of Megan's happiest memories. She wondered if Finn felt the same way.
Drawing up her courage, she decided to be the one to close the distance between them, leaning in to barely press her lips to his.
She applied pressure, imitating what he had done to her that first time. She closed her eyes when she saw his still open. Then, she felt his hand slip into her hair, cradling the back of her neck, and he was kissing her back.
Megan brought both of her hands up to his face, touching his cheeks. Finn's free hand lightly gripped her hip. She was elated to realize that this felt exactly like the last time she had kissed him. It felt perfect and safe. Finn still felt like her safe haven. He was still her favorite person.
They slowly parted from each other and Megan could actually hear both of them breathing harshly. She could feel the blood rush to her cheeks when she noticed that she was leaning back against the pillows and Finn was hovering over her.
They stared at each other, neither one moving away.
Finn said, "Wow..."
Megan only nodded her agreement.
He said, "Last time I did that, you disappeared..."
Her eyebrows scrunched in confusion before understanding dawned on her. Everything snowballed downhill after their last kiss.
Megan carefully stroked her thumb across his cheek, saying, "That wasn't because of you though...and I don't want to be anywhere else right now."
His face lit up in a smile, and he carefully kissed the corner of her mouth. She smiled back at him, then said, "Plus, I can't exactly move right now anyway." She wiggled her leg for good measure.
Finn smirked at her before situating himself to sit next to her again.
They spent the next few hours talking. She told him that she had seen his painting of her and how much she liked it. His neck turned red.
They spoke of movies, art, books, the rest of the McGowan clan, the places Megan had lived in. Megan would touch his arm when he made her laugh, and he would touch her shoulder when she said something that made him smile.
But they did not speak of their new found fondness of one another. They both knew the rules that Finn's parents had set. Yet, Megan somehow knew that they were still going to be more than what they were before. And with the way Finn was smiling at her, and the small, careless touches he was giving her, she had a feeling that he felt the same way.
Megan woke when she couldn't fight off the sun glaring in at her anymore. She groaned and heard a laugh next to her. She looked up and saw Finn's own sleepy face close to hers.
"Good morning," He said, taking his hand from it's position over hers and rubbing the sleep from his eyes.
She picked her head up off of his shoulder, the events of the previous night coming back to her. She said, "I guess we fell asleep..." Her eyes widened and she glanced towards the door. "You don't think anyone is up yet, do you?"
Finn shook his head. "It's barely seven on a Saturday. It would take the jaws of life to get them up."
Megan laughed, unconsciously swinging her legs out of the bed. She hissed when her feet came down and a jolt of pain shot through her knee. Finn grabbed her upper arms from behind her.
"Almost forgot about that," He said.
"You and me both." She replied.
He removed his hands, but she stayed sitting up. He was right, the swelling on her knee was gone, but it was very obviously still sore and bruised.
Her stomach growled. She smiled sheepishly over her shoulder at him. He laughed. "Hungry?"
She nodded and he stood, coming around to stand in front of her.
Finn asked, "Do you want me to take you down to the kitchen for breakfast?"
Megan shrugged, "If you don't mind..."
He picked her up like Sean had done, moving much slower with her in his arms. She had no problem looping her arms around his neck.
As he strode to her door, she timidly asked, "So...what now?"
He didn't need to ask what she meant. "I like you, Megan. Right now, that's enough for me."
Megan blushed and nodded. It felt good to hear that from him. She said, "I like you too, Finn."
Finn smiled at her, his eyes crinkling and his whole face lit up. He brushed a kiss across her cheek and walked out into the hallway.
They both knew how difficult their newfound relationship would be to maintain. But right now, this was enough.
I really liked this book, so I felt like I needed to pay tribute to it. I hope you guys enjoyed this as much as I enjoyed writing it!