Disclaimer: I do not own any part of Sailor Moon.
Lita McKenzie smiled sheepishly at the group of women seated around the room before holding her tray of goodies in front of her as a peace offering.
"I'm sorry I'm late! I brought some good things though. The door was unlocked so I just came in."
Two of the three women smiled warmly at her. The last of them called out her name in greeting and rolled her eyes good-naturedly.
"Did I miss anything?" Lita inquired, tilting her head to catch their answer as she placed the tray on the coffee table and took off her jacket.
Penny Carter stood and came to give Lita a hug. "We left it unlocked for you, dear." Lita accepted the hug and made sure to squeeze the woman a bit longer than last week hadn't been an easy one and she would take the comfort of loving arms when she could get it. Penny took her coat to hang it in the hallway closet. "And you haven't missed anything. We haven't started the movie yet. We're waiting on a guest who'll be joining us tonight." Penny called over her shoulder.
Lita tilted her head in curiousity. Thursday nights were her movie nights with the girls. The "girls" consisted of a group of ladies, all of whom were over the age of sixty-eight. They gathered every Thursday to watch the classics – movies from the thirties through to the sixties. She headed into the kitchen with the tray of goodies to get some tea going.
"Is it anyone that I know?" she called out. "And secure apartment complex or not, you should be keeping your doors locked, ladies!" Lita returned to the kitchen, smiling at the mumbled comments that followed her statement. She wasn't surprised to find that Penny had already set out mugs and the necessary bits for tea and a movie on the counter.
Cora Hudson piped up from her corner across the room. "Nope. You may want to get to know him though!" Lita poked her head in the living room to raise an eyebrow at Cora who dismissed her with a wave. Matilda "Tilly" Brown shushed Cora and shook her head apologetically at Lita.
"It's just that you're such a sweet and lovely young woman and she'd like to live vicariously through you," Tilly teased, winking slyly at Lita as Lita giggled at the expression on Cora's face.
"Hmph! Speak for yourself, Tilly Brown. I just happen to be good at this sort of thing."
"You and that shameless matchmaking boyfriend of yours," Penny piped up, her tone teasing as she returned to the room.
Lita's eyes widened and she sent a playful smile towards the now blushing Cora. "You're dating Mr. Warner, Cora?" She laughed at Cora's embarrassed sputtering and headed back to the kitchen to prepare tea for her girls.
The doorbell rang and Penny called out, "Come in!"
Lita heard the door open when a male voice spoke up, "Lock your door, Grams!"
"Oooh, there's my baby!"
Lita lifted an eyebrow. Up to this point, she'd only heard stories of their families. She'd never actually met any of them. Lita stepped back into the living room in time to see Penny embracing a man holding a baby. They parted and the man quipped, "Which baby?"
To which Penny laughingly replied, "Both!" She held out her arms and the man, who had the same chocolate brown eyes as Penny, passed the baby over. He moved to greet Cora and Tilly by pressing a kiss to their cheeks. Penny came to stand beside Lita, her eyes glowing with happiness as the man came to a stop in front of Lita.
"Lita, honey, this is my grandson, Nathan Carter. Nathan, this is that amazing florist I was telling you about. The one who watches those old movies with us." His eyes were warm and his smile was sincere when he held out his hand for her to shake. Lita smiled shyly and gave him her hand.
"Hello," they said in unison. He chuckled and Lita granted him a wider grin.
"Call me Nate. Grams is the only one that calls me Nathan." He raised an eyebrow at his grandmother, who merely rolled her eyes.
"And this little darling is my great-granddaughter, Joy," Penny introduced while lifting the baby towards Lita. Lita's hands fluttered in the air for a moment before she gave in and took the baby from Penny.
The first thing Lita took in was that soft, sweet scent that always came with babies. Joy was a beautiful little girl, complete with beautiful hazel eyes and brown curls. It was her chubby little belly that won Lita over.
"Oh," Lita cooed. "You are a darling, aren't you?"
"She's perfect. Every inch of her," Nate agreed, giving Joy a finger to grasp. "But an uncle is always allowed to think that about his first niece." Lita looked up at Nate in surprise. He shrugged and nodded. "I'm the date-night babysitter for my sister and her husband. Everyone just assumes she's mine."
"Enough chit-chat! Fred Astaire is waiting!" Cora remarked. Beside her Tilly nodded.
"I am really looking forward to tonight's movie," Tilly not-so-subtly hinted.
Penny sighed and turned towards Tilly. "No one is getting in the way of you and your Fred Astaire, Tilly." She looked around, found the remote that she was looking for and used it to turn on the tv and start the movie. "Everyone settle in. Nate, would you mind taking Joy from Lita? I'll need her help in the kitchen."
Lita appreciated Joy for one more moment before passing her back to her uncle. Nate took Joy into his big arms and together they settled down onto the couch. It was the sweetest sight, Joy sitting upright on the couch under Nate's supportive arm. His large frame was hunched around her little self as he spoke to Tilly and Cora about the movie they were about to watch. She was preoccupied with toy keys that she was currently trying to cram into her mouth all at once. The scene made Lita pause at the sheer amount of want she was feeling for something she'd thought that she put behind her. A family of her own. Before she could start to analyze the feeling welling up within her, Penny was pulling her to the kitchen.
Once in the privacy of the kitchen, Penny spun Lita around to face her. Her gaze was unreadable and Lita wondered just what this was about.
"My grandson is a good boy. I'm very proud of him."
"I'm sure he is..."
"What I want to know, my dear, is what you think of him."
Lita narrowed her gaze at Penny. "You don't beat around the bush, do you?"
Penny shrugged, lifting her hands in the air. "It's why we get along so well."
Lita gazed at her for a moment before sighing. "I'm not looking for a relationship. I'm happy to be where I am in life right now."
Penny's gaze fell in disappointment and Lita sighed once more.
"But I will tell you this." Lita paused for dramatic effect. Penny looked back up at Lita with a determined glint in her eyes. Lita gestured towards the living room with her thumb. "That scene in there? It is very attractive."
"Attractive?" Penny fished.
Penny smiled and nodded happily. "Good."
AN: ...Yeaaaaah. I tend toward the sappy and fluffy. Apparently, I'm also fixated on the idea of Lita and Nate and children...hmm? * smile * I'll keep the names the same in most of the AU's that are set in contemporary times. That doesn't mean they all take place in the same universe though.
Review and tell me what you think!