I just wanted to give you all a little warning: this is my first fanfiction story. As far as reviews go, If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all. That said, I am more than willing to accept constructive criticism, but it has to be just that: constructive. Thanks in advance.
Applause filled the hall as the pianist hit the last note in the symphony. Sky Penderwick sighed. How had she gotten herself dragged into this? Honestly, a girl who was in her 1st year of her Astrophysics Ph.D at MIT ought to have a little sense. But no, she had let herself be talked into the most boring three hours of her life... again. "Isn't he wonderful?" Skye's best friend, Jeffrey Tifton, asked?" Skye rolled her eyes.
"Sure. He's even better than that walrus we saw here last week."
"That 'walrus' just happens to be the most famous opera singer in the world right now, Skye." Jeffrey remarked with a chuckle. Skye could very well be the smartest student the Astrophysics department had ever seen, but she would never even make it through the front door of his school, Berklee College of Music. Sure she was smart enough, but her cynicism towards music did not appeal to them. Granted, the feeling was mutual.
"I don't care what sort of a reputation she has, she looked and sounded like a walrus. Come on, let's get out of here before you get into a ridiculous discussion with Aldolfo Tonneti, or what ever his name is, down there.
"Where's Alex?" Skye asked as they stepped into the apartment that Jeffrey and his father shared.
"I thought he was going to cook us a midnight snack."
"I don't know. Maybe he got stuck in traffic or something. It looks like you're stuck with my stuffed green peppers." He said with a smile, laughing as he watched Skye's face turn slightly green. He had made them for her and her sisters once before, and it was an experience that none of them wanted to repeat.
"Maybe I'm not as hungry as I though." she remarked, grimacing slightly. With that she took her night-vision binoculars out of her purse and went out on the balcony, staring down at the snow-covered city of Boston below her. Jeffrey, knowing that she was lost to the world for a while, sat down at his baby grand piano and began to play. He had just started working on a new piece, and he was playing it any chance he got. This annoyed Skye, who had no talent or appreciation for music, immensely. She had heard this song so many times she could predict exactly what note would come next, which, for Skye, was saying something.
Tiring of looking at early-December Boston, she came back into the living room. The piece that Jeffrey was currently playing started at the very bottom of the piano keyboard, and ended with a long run all the way to the top. Sick and tired of hearing that song, Skye came up with an idea. Walking over to the piano bench, she sat down next to him with her back to the piano. Her positioning was strategic: When he went to finish the song, he would run into her and, hopefully, be forced to stop before the end of the song. She knew that this would drive Jeffrey crazy to no end, and she couldn't wait. But unfortunately, she didn't get that satisfaction.
When he came to the run, he didn't stop, only quickly moved his arm over her and continued, finally hitting the last note, much to Skye's chagrin. The smirk on his face quickly disappeared, though when he realized the position they were in. His arms were around her and she was pinned to the piano. Their faces were mere inches apart. Slowly, very slowly, he closed the gap between their lips, expecting all the while to feel the sting of her slap on his face. But it never came. Gently, he pulled away, and opened his eyes to reveal Skye, sitting there emotionless with her eyebrows raised. "Well," she said dryly, "I hope you realize that that was my first real kiss." He chuckled.
"You know that is really pretty pathetic, considering that you are 21, right? What was the other un-real kiss?"
"Pearson. And then I punched him in the nose. You've heard that story."
"Oh yeah, I do remember that, vaguely." He smiled. "Skye, I know this is rather abrupt, and that you are probably going to say 'no', but..."
"Well? Spit it out." He looked down and blushed.
"Will you marry me?" Skye's eyebrows went up again.
"Are you serious?"
"Of course." he said, looking a bit injured. "I wouldn't joke around about something like that." With a thoughtful look on her face, but without saying anything, Skye ducked under his arm and walking into the kitchen, where she proceeded to inspect the refrigerator for something edible. She finally decided on a frozen pizza, unwrapped it, and put it in the oven. Leaning up against the counter with her arms crossed, Skye looked back at Jeffrey who was still sitting at the piano, watching her.
She bit her lip and sighed. "Jeffrey, I'm not trying to be mean or anything, and I hope you don't take this the wrong way, but I just can't go be a Mrs. Tifton. It brings back too many memories. I'm sorry." Jeffrey laughed and walked across the room to her.
"Oh, Skye. Is that all? Do you honestly think that I care two cents about my last name? We can take your name, Alex's name, or George Washington's name for all I care. Just so long as we have the same one."
"Well..." she said, wrapping her arms around his neck, "in that case I can't think of anything I'd rather do." And she kissed him squarely on the lips.
Jeffrey's father arrived home 45 minutes later to find Skye and Jeffrey sitting at the kitchen table eating a slightly burnt pizza. "Hello, Skye." he said with a smile. "How are you."
"Hi, Alex. I'm great, despite having to sit through the most boring three hours of my life."
"What, again?" They both grinned. "Sorry I'm so late, but the traffic getting into town was just horrible. I see you had to suffer through frozen pizza."Jeffery laughed.
"Well, it was that or my stuffed green peppers and Skype opted for the pizza." Alex winked at Skye and asked in his most innocent voice
"Now I wonder why she would do that?" Glancing at her watch, Skye sighed.
"I should be heading home. Jeffrey, snow soccer tomorrow morning at 8?"
"I can't think of a better way to celebrate the first day of winter break. Besides you leave day after tomorrow for Cameron, right?"
"Yeah. I'll see you tomorrow. Night, Alex. Bye, love." And with a wink at Jeffrey, she left him to explain her remark to his father.
Skye shut the door to little Victorian house that she rented with one of Iantha's, friends, Penelope Breskow, a mathematics professor at MIT. Wrapping her coat more tightly around her, Skye started out on the freezing, 9 minute walk to the park to meet Jeffrey, her fiancé. Shaking her head, she chuckled. She couldn't believe that she was actually saying those words, and yet it somehow felt so right to do so. Smiling to herself, she sped up a bit.
"Be sure and tell her that I wholeheartedly approve!" were the last words Jeffrey heard as he ran down the hall. He had to smile to himself. Alex had been overjoyed at the news of the upcoming wedding. He had always been fond of Skye, and was thrilled to discover that she was going to be his daughter-in-law. Yikes!Jeffrey thought. In a year and a half he would be married. He couldn't wait, and yet at the same time it really hadn't really sunken in yet. But he knew for a fact that it was the right choice.
Panting, Skye lay in the snow as a well-aimed soccer ball hit her on the forehead. "Ouch!" She exclaimed, rubbing her head.
"Sorry!" Jeffrey yelped standing with his hands on his knees he tried to catch his breath. "How about we go ring shopping now?" Reluctantly, Skye agreed. After 5 stores they finally found what they were looking for. It was in a little antique show right in the middle of town, and it was absolutely stunning. It was made out of white gold, and had one average-sized square diamond in the middle, and then some really pretty etching on the sides. The man behind the counter told them that they estimated it was about 150 years old. Skye, much to her chagrin at having such a girlish reaction, gasped.
"Jeffrey, that's the one."
The next morning, Skye hopped into her car and embarked on the three hour drive to Cameron, Massachusetts. She couldn't wait to see everyone and hear about how their fall had gone. Rosie, in her final year of getting her Master's in Education, Jane, at college to get her degree in writing and in the throws of trying desperately to get her 1st book published, Batty, a sophomore in high school, Ben in his last year in elementary school (6th grade), as well as Hope and Grace, the 6 year old twins just entering 2nd grade. Skye was wondering how her family would take the news about her and Jeffrey. They had decided that, if she wanted to, Skye could tell her siblings, but not her father or Iantha yet. Skye had balked at this, but Jeffrey was firm. He wanted to ask her father's permission first, so she would have to wait until he got there next week for Christmas. Right now, he was on his way to Aundrel to break the news to his mother and Dexter before they left for Europe for 3 months. Skye could easily predict that Mrs. DD (dexter-drupee) would have a far less favorable response to the news than Alex had. Oh, well. She didn't really care about what that witch thought, anyways, and heaven knows that Jeffrey didn't. These were the thoughts that occupied her until she pulled up on Gardam Street.
Skye had called MOPS in the bedroom she, Jane, and Rosalind now shared when they came home. She had some big news to tell everyone. They were, as usual, waiting for Jane. Suddenly, the door burst open and flew in Jane, notebook in hand. "Sorry!" she exclaimed. "I just had to finish writing this one chapter!" Before she could go off on a tangent, Skye spoke up.
"Alright. MOPS come to order."
"Second the motion."
"And seventh it for Hound." Yes, old Hound was still just barely hanging on, but he was there. Skye rolled her eyes.
"Now everyone promise to keep this a secret from everyone, including Daddy and Iantha, unless you think that someone might get seriously hurt." She took a deep breath. "I called this meeting because something very important has happened to me over the past few days."
"Oh, dear!" cried Jane. "You aren't dying, are you." Skye rolled her eyes...again.
"No, I'm not dying. I said important, not tragic. Anyways, on Friday night, Jeffrey convinced me, against my better judgement, to attend a concert his school was hosting for some world famous piano player."
"Oh, and you finally discovered your love of music, right?" Batty asked hopefully. She was the only Penderwick who displayed the slightest, and Skye meant slightest, bit of musical ability.
"Wrong. It was torture. And will you please stop interrupting me and let me tell my story?"
"Well, will you please get on with your story. Get to the point!" Rosie, her patience tried enough already for one night, exclaimed.
"Fine. You want the point? Here it is. Jeffrey and I are getting married."
"Skye! You can't just say something like that and not give any explanation!" For what felt like the thousandth time that evening, Skye rolled her eyes. This was going to be a long night.
"Oh, Skye! That's just marvelous!" Hope and Grace sighed in unison, before scampering off to bed, with Ben and Batty chasing them down the hall.
"Yes," Jane said slowly, "but don't you think you two could have been a bit more romantic about it?"
"No! I liked how we did it just fine, thank you very much." Skye said indignantly.
"Jane does have a point, Skye." Rosalind said softly. "I mean, are you sure you made the right choice? Don't get me wrong; I am thrilled and we all love Jeffrey, but you've never mentioned any feelings for him before. Are you sure you love him?"
"Honestly, Rosie. I've got a head on my shoulders. Do you really think that I would agree to marry someone if I didn't know that I would be happy. And to answer your question, I do love him. It sounds so silly, but I love him more than I thought was possible. And what's more, I realize that I have loved him for quite a while now, I just didn't realize it. Oh yes. I definitely love him." She sighed and smiled at her two sisters, satisfied with her answer, smiled back.
On Tuesday night, Aunt Claire called and announced that she was coming the next morning and would be there for two weeks. The 12 hours that followed were hectic to say the least. Sheets were changed, bathrooms cleaned, and the house de-cluttered in hopes of making a good impression on Aunt Claire. As it was, the only thing she noticed when she walked into the room was the engagement ring on Skye's finger, something the rest of the family had failed to notice until the MOPS meeting. "Skye! she exclaimed. "That is a gorgeous ring, who's the lucky man, and why didn't you tell me?" Skye could only thank you lucky stars that her father and Iantha were still at the University.
"Well... we haven't told anybody yet, and you have to promise not to tell Daddy and Iantha, because he wants to 'ask permission' first, but Jeffrey and I are engaged."
"Skye, thats wonderful! I'm so happy for you, and of course you couldn't have picked a better guy. Is Jeffrey coming for Christmas?"
"Yeah. He'll be here on Friday. He's up at Aundrel right now, breaking the news to his mom." Skye shuddered visibly at the thought. Aunt Claire just chuckled, picturing what was happening to Jeffrey in her head.
BZZZZZzzzzzzzzz. Skye's cell phone vibrated on the kitchen table. Jeffrey. Skye answered, and then headed down the street to Quigley Woods. "Hi."
"Hi." Jeffrey said, sighing.
"So, dare I ask how it went?"
"Well... She didn't ground me or lock me up in my room, but I can't honestly say that she was thrilled."
"Look Jeffrey, if you would rather not go through with this I totally understand. Nothing's more important than family."
"Oh, stop it, Skye. Maybe nothing's more important than your family, but you are 100 times more worth it than my mother and Dexter. Ugh. Look, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to be so depressing. I just called to ask how everyone took the news. Have you told them yet?"
"Yeah, I called MOPS on the first night, and they were all thrilled. It took me a while to convince Jane and Rosie that I was actually in love, seeing as they don't think I have any of the symptoms, but I finally got through to them, and they couldn't be happier."
"Hahaha. I can see their worry. You're not a very romantic person."
"Does that bother you?"
"Not in the least. If I have wanted romantic I would have proposed to Jane." Skye chuckled.
"Oh, and Aunt Clair walked into the house, and the first thing she noticed was my engagement ring, so she knows too, and is overjoyed. Daddy and Iantha haven't noticed the ring yet, but if they do I think of something. Hey look, Jane just called me in for dinner. I love you."
"I love you too, Skye."
Skye and the twins were drying the breakfast dishes on Friday morning when the doorbell rang. Drying off her hands, Skye went to answer it, with the twins following behind her. It was Jeffrey. Checking her watch, Skye saw that it was only 9 o'clock. "Well, you're certainly here bright and early." She said, grinning.
"I know, but let's just say I had certain motivations." Smiling, he wrapped her in his arms and kissed her soundly.
To Skye, the rest of the world seemed to melt away. At least it did until Hope and Grace started marching around the singing,"Two, four, six, eight. Don't make love at the garden gate, 'cause love is blind but the neighbors ain't. Two, four, six, eight." Skye and Jeffrey laughed, seeing that they were kissing on her front step, and walked inside, where Jeffrey was immediately tackled by Jane, Batty, Ben, Hope, and Grace, and hugged and congratulated by Rosalind and Aunt Claire. Skye just smiled. This was going to work out just fine.
Dinner that night was fun. Jeffrey was in rare form, and had everyone rolling on the floor laughing as he told them story after story about his college, Alex's hopeless romances, and Skye's reaction to the various concerts he was fond of dragging her to. After dinner, the whole family moved into the living room for a game of Clue. As usual, nobody played by the rules, using secret passageways that weren't there and invisible weapons, but everyone finally agreed that the game was a success. Jane was declared the official winner, but there was so much dissension that Mr Penderwick finally sent everyone but Jeffrey and the three oldest sisters to bed and went out into the backyard to get some fresh air. At this point Jeffrey saw his chance, and he followed him outside. Everyone else decided to put on a movie, but Skye found it hard to concentrate. She kept glancing out into the backyard, wondering what on earth was taking so long. Finally Jeffrey opened up the door, and gestured for Skye to join them. As she walked up to him, he whispered in her ear "He wants to talk to you, but he seems kinda happy." She smiled at him and walked outside. Her father was standing on the grass, looking up at the moon.
"Daddy?" she said tentatively as she moved up behind him. He turned to look at her.
"Is this what you want?" She nodded fiercely.
"Do you love him?"
"Oh, you have no idea how much."
"Oh, I think I have a general idea." He smiled. "It seems I have just gained my first son-in-law, and Skye, I've never been so excited by the idea in my life. He's a wonderful boy, and will make a perfect Penderwick. He is going to take our name, isn't he?" Skye grinned.
"You bet he is."
Well, it's my first. I hope you guys like it.