"Babe did you pack the stroller?" Karen asks from inside the closet where she is trying to find her other shoe. She and Derek had made the decision to drive to D.C. for tech and previews because of the large amount of stuff they need for Dustin and Rose. Plus, they also wanted to have a vehicle to take in the sites on off days.
"Yes, but have you seen Dustin's blanket he wants to use it during the drive."
"I figured as much, it's in the duffle bag with the dvds and video games," she says with a touch of excitement as she squeals "Ooh...Ooh, I found it, I found my other shoe. Babe, I'm ready now."
She enters the living room and tries desperately to stifle a laugh at the site in front of her. "Look Mommy, Daddy helped me comb my hair," Rose exclaims shaking her pig-tails from side to side.
"That's great sweetie, but umm, they're a little uneven; you want me to fix them?" she asks.
"No thank you, Daddy says it adds character," the little girl smiles brightly.
"You know what, I think Daddy is right," Karen assures her little girl. "Are we ready?" she asks as Dustin and Derek enter the living room having returned from packing the last items.
"I think we are Love, we took the bag of snacks and drinks, and loaded a dvd so it's ready to play when we take off."
"Dustin, you took your backpack right?"
"Yes ma'am; but why do I have to study?"
"Because, you and Abbey will have a tutor, you still have to keep up with your studies Son," Derek answers.
"Alright gang, we need to leave now if are going to make it for the start of tech," Derek says as he ushers his family out the door.
Karen stops at the door and turns to Derek, "thanks for getting Rose dressed and the car packed," she says placing a soft kiss on his cheek.
He smiles, "sorry about the hair, Love, she wouldn't sit still."
"What are you talking about, it adds character," Karen grins as she takes his hand. Leaning into his shoulder she sighs in content at the sight of their two children walking in front.
Five hours and a few restroom breaks later, the Wills family arrives with 10 minutes to spare at the theater. "Okay you two, remember what your Dad and I explained you need to try to keep quiet. If you need something look for me first and then you Dad. And you are not to leave your area do you understand?" Karen stresses.
"Don't worry, I'll keep any eye on Rose," Dustin says.
"We appreciate that Son, but not leaving your seat also means you too," Derek warns as he hands Dustin his backpack.
"Yes sir," the young boy nods, taking Derek's hand.
The four enter the theater and Dustin's face lights up and his mouth falls open in awe. "Wow," he smiles, his green eyes dancing with excitement. "This is awesome, it's so big." Derek glances at Karen and they exchange a look of pride. Sure, Dustin has seen his mother on stage before, but this production is different; this time he has been with them every step of the way.
"Look, there's Uncle Tom on the stage. No one is here can I call him, Dad?"
"Yes, but just this once since no one is here," Derek answers as they make their way down the aisle towards their table.
"Uncle Tom!" the young boy calls out catching Tom's eye.
"Hey guys," Tom waves. "D and Rose you want to come up on stage before everyone gets here?" he asks.
Dustin looks up at his parents displaying his best pout. Karen laughs "Go ahead just be careful, please."
"Come on Rose, we can practice our dance moves. I'll even hold out my hand if you want to twirl." Rose squeals in delight as she grabs her brother's hand and run towards the stage.
"I'm glad we brought them," Karen tells her husband. "I can't imagine not being together as a family." Her head on Derek's chest and his arm around her shoulder, they watch together as Tom plays the piano while Dustin helps Rose twirls and her sweet voice fills the stage.
"She's going to be a star like her mother," Derek says taking in the sight of his beautiful wife.
"And he is going to be a legendary director and choreographer, like his father," she replies kissing his cheek.
"Starting them early I see," a male voice coming from the back of the theater startles them. Looking back they see Oliver Baxter making his way accompanied by his wife, Susan.
"What can we say, it's in their blood," Derek answers. "Oliver, Susan, to what do we owe the honor of your presence," extending his hand to Oliver and then embracing Susan in a hug. Karen does the same.
"I told you at the workshop preview I would reevaluate my decision; so we're in town to catch tomorrow night's show.
Tom having seen the possible investor has made his way down the stage along with the children. "Oliver, Susan, it's great to see you."
"Who might this handsome young man and beautiful little girl be?"
"I'm Dustin and this is sister, Rose, it's very nice to meet you." he says extending a hand while nudging his sister to do the same.
"Aren't you just the cutest," Susan comments. "Dustin and Rose, it's very nice to meet you too. I'm Susan and this is my husband, Oliver."
"You must get your manners from your mother," Oliver laughs with a pat on Derek's back.
"Are you here to see the preview tomorrow?" Dustin asks the older man. "Uncle Kevin and Miss Ivy are really good," he praises. "Plus, the dancing is really cool too; it's not the slow kind my Dad likes to practice with my Mom," he grins.
Oliver and Susan can't help but laugh as Derek's face turns extremely red. "I see, your characteristics in him now Derek, blunt honesty."
"What about you sweetheart," Susan asks Rose "what do you like about the play?"
"I like the singing," Rose replies, "one day I want to sing like Mommy,"
"Their accents are adorable" Susan adds looking to Derek and Karen.
"Luckily they've picked up some of their father's accent and culture from our stays in London," Karen replies.
"Grandma Rose and Aunt Grace can sing and dance," Dustin states. "They have a school they teach boys and girls. It doesn't even feel like school the students get to practice during the day. Grandma says when we are older if Mom and Dad say its okay we can stay with her for the summer." His eyes widen with each word he speaks, "right Mom?"
"Yes Son, she did say that."
"Will you be at the show to tomorrow Dustin?" Oliver asks.
"Yes Sir, but Rose and I have to be quiet."
"Daddy says we can't sing along," Rose adds in a soft disappointed voice.
"Well, our friends will be sitting with us and I bet if we can sit with you, they won't mind if you sing along," he winks at her. "Timothy and Monique will be joining us tomorrow," he addresses Derek, Tom and Karen. "Would it be possible to sit with you and your family?"
"Of course, I'll make arrangements," Karen answers.
"Tom, will Sam be joining you with your son?" Susan inquires.
"Sam will be joining us, but our son I'm afraid wouldn't make it all the way through without letting out a cry," he laughs.
"I have to say, I admire the sense of family you have cultivated in this production," Oliver says. "I really hope Ivy pulls through for you."
"She will," Derek answers, "you will be surprised."
"Alright then, we'll get out of your way for now; and see you tomorrow night."
"Bye young man," he smiles at Dustin. "And you little lady, I expect to hear you tomorrow, okay," the young girl beams and nods her head in the affirmative.
The three adults watch Oliver and his wife leave, "I can't believe he came back," Tom speaks up. "That's a good sign, hopefully Ivy can pull it off."
"She will," Karen firmly states. "She believes in herself now."
"I think she will too," Derek agrees. "But, if we don't get this stage set up, her confidence will be for nothing. Shall we get started." his voice a firm solid tone.
Dustin, who has been silently observing, taps on Derek's arm. "Is it time to be Director now Dad?"
Tom and Karen smirk at Derek's surprise. "It is buddy, so I need you to sit here with your sister, alright."
"I understand, Dad I want to watch and learn; one day I want to work in the theater."
Hearing Dustin say that, Karen doesn't have to see Derek's face to know he is grinning from ear to ear. Derek didn't have his father's support when he made the decision to enter into the theater; so the fact his Son at least for now, wants to follow in his footsteps, is something he will support 100%.