Disclaimer: I own nothing, except my own creations.
Author's Note: Obviously AU, as the great Charlie Harper is no longer with us.
Katey Norris pulled into the driveway, killed the engine and glared at those in the back seat. "If you don't stop kicking the seat, yelling and screaming, I'm taking the Nintendo off you."
The threat worked as Caden immediately shut his mouth and stilled his legs, though his face was still focused as he pressed buttons to make Mario jump.
In the time it had taken her to tell off her ten year old and check her four year old was ready, another car had pulled up beside her.
Holding her door slightly open, the passenger door in the new car flew open as a jittery man got out. She could hear him yelling.
"What on earth were you thinking?" the freaked out man railed. "Taking the corner in third?"
"Chill out Dad," said the teenager from his window. "You're acting like I actually killed someone."
"You had your cousin in the car," said the man, banging on the car bonnet. "What if something had happened to her?" He shook his hand in pain, but carried on nevertheless. "Your uncle would have killed me. No, that would be too kind. He would gut, disembowel me, have me hung, dried and quartered..."
Zoning out the man's complaints, she waited impatiently to be able to get out of her own car as yet another door opened.
This time it was the back door and it was a little girl with brown hair that stepped out. This must be the "cousin" that the wuss was freaked out about. She looked fine though as she reached into the Volvo – Katey mentally snorting at the car brand – and brought forth a present before rounding the car.
"Go Jake! Go Jake!"
Finally stepping out of her car, she realised that her own two kids still hadn't moved. "For godssake," she exclaimed. "C'mon kids, time to move."
The uptight man was still distracted and muttering under his breath when she followed him up the path, her daughter and his niece talking excitedly.
He did spare her a greeting as they both waited on the doorstep. "Hi."
Katey wrote him off instantly. This was a guy that needed stress in his life – strived on the stress of his life – and she most certainly didn't need that. She had enough of her own.
The door opened, the kids were dumped and they walked back to their cars together, Caden following with his head stuck in his game.
She cringed when the man yelled at the teenager sitting obstinately in the driver's seat. "Get out Jake," ordered the man-with-his-shirt-tucked-into-his-pants.
"Dad," protested the kid.
"I don't think so," laughed the man. "You're not driving again until I get us to a carpark. A huge and em..."
Caden strapped in and doors blissfully shut, Katey checked her features in the mirror before starting the car.
Heairng a crunch behind her, she caught sight of the teenager named Jake laugh at his father as the frazzled man flushed bright red and drive off, a newly crumpled rear end in sight.
Shaking her mane of blonde tresses, Katey backed out her BMW and drove off smoothly in the other direction.
Three hours later and she was back, thankfully sans son and no ugly brown Volvo parked beside her.
Entering the house, Katey spotted her daughter instantly in a gaggle of girls – including the niece of that flustered man from earlier. The birthday girl was telling a horror story of some sort, about sticks turning into snakes in the backyard, and it was clear that the niece was freaking out.
Katey looked in amusement when the four year old ran from the group screaming. "Daddy! A snake! Daddy!" She ran toward a man who had just arrived, and her amusement turned to shock when she saw just who this man was.
It is Charlie Harper – Playboy Extraordinaire – who picks up the sobbing child and holds him to her chest. And was that a wedding ring she saw?
The child – Susan was her name right? – now calmed enough to tell her father the story, Katey could only watch as Charlie then perched her on his hip as he walked deeper into the backyard to show her the stick wasn't a snake.
The girl then ran off, chasing Madison to get her lolly bag.
Seizing the moment, Katey Norris approached her father. "Charlie Harper as I live and breathe. You're joining the ranks of us in parenthood eh?"
Charlie turned at the voice, giving her a once over (up and down) and you could see him flipping through his mental files to try and place her. Deciding to help, she pulled a seductive pose.
"Martyn Place. Single night. Car bonnet with a cherry on top," he declared triumphantly.
Katey blushed in remembrance. "So which is your daughter?" she questioned flirtatiously.
"Sosie," said Charlie, and she could see the pride. "She's the one in the red and white polka dot dress over there." He turned back to her. "She's my eldest."
"You've got more than one?"
"Mm-hmm. And another on the way."
"So there are some little Charlies running around, ready to take on the world and singles scene one day eh?"
She wondered why he laughed. "Actually no. There's three little Roses at home, and what would you know, the next one is a girl too." He smirked. "I think God's put a stop to my Y chromosomes. Funny sense of humour he's got."
Katey laughed too as their daughters approached, each checking out the other's lolly bags. "Well I guess it's time for us to go." She dropped her voice lower. "Maybe meet later?"
Charlie leaned in closer. "I wouldn't count on it."
She flushed as she stepped back. "Time to go."
"See ya Katia."
She couldn't stop herself from watching Charlie and Sosie leave, the little girl still delving into her lolly bag, chattering as she lead her tired father to the car.
Would wonders never cease.