So here it is, my first BSC fic! When going through my parents' basement I recently stumbled upon my collection of books and thought about what where the members would be now, ten years after the series ended. I'm hoping to continue this story eventually, but I just wanted to get this first part out right away! Read and enjoy!
Five years. It had been five years since Kristy Thomas had walked across the football field of Stoneybrook high school and received her high school diploma. Her friends had all been there as well, most of them graduating with her, but some in the crowds on the bleachers, visiting from other parts of the country and waiting to walk across the same football field within the next few years. Five years since she had said goodbye to everyone and everything she had known and pursued a college education in sports management at the University of Connecticut.
College had been amazing, she had enjoyed attending a school that valued sports as much as she did, and she had never missed a basketball game or a football game that had been held on campus. She had made lots of new friends and had learned a lot, but had quickly realized how easy it had been to believe that the world would take care of her after college as easily as it had before and during. Now she knew better, and after a year of searching for a job in Storrs and trying to make it on her own, she was now returning to Stoneybrook, where her mother and stepfather Watson had graciously allowed her to live until she saved some money and found a more stable job. Her former softball coach had offered her an assistant coaching job, and she would also be working as a manager at a local gym to make ends meet while she decided what she wanted to do next with her life.
She saw her friends from home were still around town from time to time, and although she kept in touch with Mary Anne the most, she enjoyed catching up with all of them. She knew that Claudia would be back living with her parents after graduating with a degree from Rhode Island School of Design the month before, Stacey wouldn't be too far away designing clothes in New York, and Mallory and Jessie would both be around during their Christmas and summer vacations from college. Dawn and Abby were less easy to keep in touch with, as they both lived on the west coast, but Kristy did keep up with Dawn especially through Mary Anne. She knew that things would never be the same as they had been ten years before when they had been the best baby sitters in the town of Stoneybrook, but she had faith that her younger sister was maintaining the Baby Sitter's Club well.
Sometimes it was hard to believe that Emily Michelle was as old as she herself had been when the young girl had come into their lives, adopted for means of her mother and Watson to raise a child together. After Karen had become too busy with her high school sports and part time job to keep up with the Baby Sitter's Club she had inherited from Kristy, she had passed it down to their youngest sister, who had enjoyed running the now legendary club with her own group of friends.
Kristy smiled to herself as she pulled into the driveway that led to the house she had known as home for the past ten years. She could still remember how angry she had been when her mother had married Watson, but she knew now that it was the best possible choice she could have made for the family. She knew the large house was somewhat more empty now, with her older brothers married and living on their own, and Karen often not home due to her school obligations. David Michael and Emily Michelle were the only children left who depended on their parents on a daily basis, and judging from her recent conversations with her mother she would be most welcome back in the house.
She parked the car and reached into the backseat for one of her bags, smiling as she saw Emily Michelle sitting on a blanket under a tree in the front yard, a book spread out in front of her.
"Hey Em!" she called, walking over to her. "Don't you have a club or something to be running?"
Emily Michelle's head snapped up to meet her older sister's gaze, and she immediately threw her book down, running to greet her. "Kristy!" she cried. "We've been waiting for you!"
Kristy laughed as she hugged her back. "Well I'm here now," she said. "How are you enjoying your first week of summer vacation?"
"It's awesome!" Emily Michelle cried. "Mom's letting us stay home during the day, and I've been reading so much!" Karen had definitely passed down her love of reading to her younger sister.
"That's great!" Kristy smiled. "I'm going to go put my stuff down, and then we'll talk, okay? Is anyone else home?"
"Everyone's at work," Emily Michelle sighed. "And David Michael's at a birthday party."
"Well, I guess it's just us then," Kristy smiled. "We have some chatting to do."
"Okay!" Emily Michelle exclaimed, turning back to her blanket and picking up her book again.
Kristy shook her head as she moved into the house, heading up the stairs to her bedroom on auto pilot. She had spent her entire adolescence in this room, and it still held special meaning to her. She would spend many more nights here, and she felt a wave of comfort wash over her as she realized that she was home, for the foreseeable future. She knew she would eventually have to move out on her own and provide for herself, but for now she was content to simply stay at home, spend some time with her family and really think about what she wanted to do next. She had a lot of growing to do, but that was all part of graduating college and she was fortunate that she wouldn't be alone. She had the support of her family, and her friends as well. Mary Anne was in town for a few weeks visiting her parents, and she had already made plans to meet her for dinner that evening. She hadn't seen her best friend since her birthday party a month before, and it would be fun to catch up with the changes that were happening in both of their lives.
As she was placing a pile of clothes in her dresser, her cell phone vibrated from where she had thrown it onto the bed, and she immediately turned to look at who was calling. With a smile, she picked up and said, "I was just thinking about you! Are we still on for dinner tonight?"
"Of course," Mary Anne's sunny voice came from the other side. "But I have some news. Do you think we could meet earlier? At the coffee shop in town? I'm bursting to tell you, but I want to do it in person."
Kristy's interest was piqued. "What is it?" she asked. "Just give me a hint."
"Just meet me at the coffee shop," Mary Anne giggled. "I'll be there in twenty minutes."
"Fine," Kristy sighed, realizing that she wouldn't be getting any more information out of her friend over the phone. "This better be good."
"I think you'll like it," Mary Anne giggled again, and Kristy thought she heard something in the background before she shook her head and reached for her keys. "I'll be there in twenty."
"Good," Mary Anne approved before she hung up her end of the phone.
Abandoning the rest of her unpacking, Kristy quickly made her way back down the stairs and said a quick goodbye to Emily Michelle before getting into her car and driving on instinct to the only coffee shop in Stoneybrook. They had all spent a lot of time there in high school, and even in their return visits from college they had always ended up there at least once for some heart to heart talks.
She ordered her usual black coffee and moved to a table in the corner, complete with cushioned chairs and a bookshelf of classic novels and board games beside it. As she sipped her coffee, Kristy watched the door waiting for Mary Anne's arrival and contemplated what her news could be.
Her best friend was living in the Boston area, loving the neighborhood she had lived in while attending Harvard and refusing to leave. She had found a job as a high school English teacher, and she had fortunately been hired for a second year starting in that fall. Logan had recently moved into as nearby apartment, having found a job as a manager for the Boston Red Sox after he had graduated from Springfield University, and as far as Kristy knew the two of them were doing as well as ever, and they ever had been. Mary Anne had been happy about the news, so it couldn't have meant a break up. She assumed that maybe she would tell her that she was moving in with Logan, but she also knew that her father would never approve. Although he had become much more lenient in what he allowed Mary Anne to do during her high school years, Kristy knew that Mary Anne would never be able to tell her father that she was living with a man, no matter how old she was or she was living with a man, no matter how old she was or how allowing her father had become.
Before she could dwell any further on her what Mary Anne's news might be, the door opened and Kristy stood as she saw Mary Anne step into the store. She immediately called her name and the two women hugged tightly, happy to be together once again. They had been best friends since they could remember, and now things hadn't changed at all. Although they may have been living far apart from each other, they managed to get together at least once a month and talked on the phone far more frequently than that.
"I'm so glad you're here!" Mary Anne cried, pulling back to look at Kristy. "I know it's only been a month, but it feels like so much longer."
"It does," Kristy nodded, a wide smile gracing her lips. "It's so good to…" her voice trailed off as she looked beyond Mary Anne's shoulder and saw a familiar head of blonde hair standing in the doorway, smiling widely at the interaction taking place.
"Dawn!" she gasped, stepping around Mary Anne to hug her friend tightly. "I had no idea that you were coming!"
"I know, I wanted to surprised everyone," Dawn laughed, returning Kristy's hug. "I left the store with Sunny, I wanted to be out here for a few weeks before the summer really started to pick up."
"I'm so glad to see you," Kristy said sincerely, embracing her again. The two girls had had some difficulty in the past, especially when Dawn had lived full time in Stoneybrook and had become so close to Mary Anne. Since then, they had both grown into women and realized how silly their feuds had been. Although they didn't keep in touch on a regular basis as either one of them did with Mary Anne, they were always glad to see each other and catch up on the events of their lives when Dawn was back in Stoneybrook visiting her family.
"You too," Dawn said, finally pulling back and turning to Mary Anne. "We should get something to drink."
"I'll get it," Mary Anne said, moving towards the counter. "You two can go get a table."
"I have a spot over here," Kristy said, directing Dawn to the table in the corner. "So business is doing well?" Dawn had opened a surfing shop with her friend Sunny in California during college, and the business had really taken off to be a staple on Venice Beach, where they had moved after graduating high school.
"It's doing really well," Dawn nodded, sitting down across from her. "We just had a write up in a local travel magazine, which will be great for the summer tourist season coming up. We're hoping that within the next couple years we can expand to include other water sports. Sunny's in training to get certified as a scuba diving instructor for now, and we'll go from there, see how business goes for the next couple months."
"That's fantastic," Kristy said genuinely. "I'm really happy for you."
"Thanks," Dawn said. "It's good to be back though. I can't wait to see everyone and start catching up to see what they're all up to."
Before Kristy could respond, Mary Anne arrived with a cup of tea in one hand and an iced coffee in the other. Placing the iced coffee in front of Dawn, she sat down and placed her own cup of tea in front of her. "What are we talking about?"
"Just how much fun it will be to catch up on things, see everyone again," Dawn said.
"Well, I was pretty curious about what your surprise could possibly be," Kristy said to Mary Anne. "But I have to say that you were right. It was definitely better to be surprised by seeing Dawn rather than knowing she was here already."
Mary Anne glanced at Dawn and the two of them exchanged a small smile before Mary Anne turned back to Kristy and cleared her throat. "Actually," she started. "That's not really the surprise. I'm glad you enjoyed seeing her, but I have some bigger news."
"Bigger news?" Kristy repeated, her brain immediately trying to figure out what Mary Anne was about to say. "What is it?"
"Logan and I went to dinner last week," Mary Anne started. "We'd been talking about the future now that we both have good jobs, and I knew that he was coming, but well…he asked me to marry him. And I said yes."
Kristy stared at her for a long moment, trying to wrap her brain around the words that she had just said. Mary Anne was smiling uncertainly at her, waiting for a reaction and Dawn was watching the two of them with an amused smile playing on her lips. Kristy had not expected to hear the surprise be that particular news, and she was immediately torn between being thrilled for her best friend and jealous and uncertain about where her own life was.
Finally recognizing that she had to react to Mary Anne's news, she leaned forward and offered her a wide hug. "I am so happy for you," she said honestly. "I can't…I honestly did not see that coming."
"I know," Mary Anne giggled. "It was simple, but perfect. I came home because we wanted to tell our family in person. I called Dawn out here on an emergency flight, and told her at the airport. We came right here to meet you."
Kristy shook her head as she leaned back in her chair, staring at Mary Anne. "Married," she said. "I guess this shouldn't be a surprise. The two of you have been together since before the beginning of time."
Mary Anne laughed as she shook her head. "We knew we had to wait until we were done with school," she said. "But there's a reason that I wanted you two to be the ones who knew before anyone else."
Dawn smiled, anticipating what was to come, but Kristy was again torn between happiness and insecurity. To this day, she'd never been in a serious relationship.
"Dawn, you're my stepsister, although I think of you more as a real sister," Mary Anne was saying. "I know that we have grown so much, both apart and together, but as much as I love you, Kristy has been there when you weren't. She was there when we went to our first day of kindergarten, and she was only an hour away when I felt overwhelmed living in Boston for the first month I was there. I have been trying and trying to decide who I wanted to be my maid of honor. I kept going back and forth between the two of you, but then I decided that I don't want a maid of honor. I want both of you to stand with me, as my sisters."
Dawn leaned forward to take Mary Anne's hand, offering her a wide smile through her tears. "Of course," she whispered. "You're the only sister I've ever had, and I want to be there with you on your day. Anything you want or need, I'll be there for you."
"Thank you," Mary Anne whispered, and the two of them embraced tightly for a long moment. Kristy watched with a smile on her face, unable to deny the fact that she was touched and overjoyed to be part of this moment. She knew that Mary Anne was happy with Logan and they would be very happy together. When Mary Anne and Dawn were finally done embracing, Kristy offered her own smile to her best friend of twenty years.
"I would be happy to be your bridesmaid," she said softly. "I love you and Logan, and I would want nothing more than to help you both start your life together exactly how you want to."
"Thank you," Mary Anne said softly, and leaned forward to hug her tightly as well. Kristy hugged her tightly, allowing herself to feel completely excited about the fact that she had been asked to be part of her wedding party.
Mary Anne wiped a tear away from her eye as she leaned back in her chair, smiling softly at the two of them. "We don't have a date yet," she said softly. "But we want something small. Fifty or sixty people, right here in town where we grew up. I don't know anything about planning a wedding, but Sharon and Logan's mom Liz are more both really excited to help me figure things out. I'll have to make sure you both get Liz's contact information, I'd like her to be included in everything."
"Absolutely," Dawn smiled.
"Are you going to call the rest of the girls?" Kristy asked. Both of her friends realized that she was referring to the other former members of the Baby Sitter's Club.
"I am," Mary Anne nodded. "I'm having lunch with Claudia tomorrow, and I think I'll call everyone else after that. I know a lot of us have lost touch, but I really would like us all to be reunited. You were all there when Logan and I met, and we both want to make sure you're included. A lot of people will be back in town for the summer, so I think that's when I'm going to tell everyone."
"This is so exciting!" Dawn cried. "I know you don't have a date yet, but we can definitely include all of our friends. Claudia can be in charge of the invitations, and Stacey can design your dress. I don't know Abby as well, but from what I do know she'll be good at organizing things, making seating charts and stuff like that. Jessie is great with music, and Mallory will be more than willing to give you advice on the food. As for Kristy and I, well we'll just oversee everything and make sure that no one messes up."
Mary Anne laughed as she took a sip of her tea. "You're getting a little ahead of yourself," she said. "But I think next weekend we should find something fun to do. Stacey's going to be here for the weekend, so I think all of us will actually be around. There has to be some sort of reunion event or something that we can do together so we can all have a reunion that will give us a chance to catch up."
"And figure out the wedding," Kristy supplied.
"That shouldn't be a priority," Mary Anne said. "Logan and I have to figure out a date and then we can go from there."
"I can't believe you're getting married," Dawn sighed. "I'm not even dating anyone, and my sister is getting married."
"You own a surf shop on Venice beach," Mary Anne laughed. "I'm sure you'll meet plenty of young single guys that you can charm into falling for you."
Kristy leaned back in her chair, lost in thought about what was about to happen. She was excited for Mary Anne, and she was greatly looking forward to having the rest of their friends around to reunite with. She had made good friends in college, but none of them had compared to the lifelong friendships she knew would always be able to depend on. It would be fun to see all of the girls again, and she knew that living in Stoneybrook would be great for helping Mary Anne plan the wedding.
"…and see if she's okay with running the store by herself for the summer."
Kristy heard the last comment Dawn made and realized that she hadn't been paying attention to the conversation for the past few moments. She quickly looked between her two companions, trying to determine whether she could understand what had happened in their conversation without giving away the fact that she hadn't been paying attention.
"Really?" Mary Anne asked. "Because I sublet my apartment for the summer, and I'm planning on staying at the house to help Sharon and Liz with the wedding plans. If you're here too, that would be perfect since Kristy's already here."
"It's settled then," Dawn said. "Sunny took a lot of time off last summer to tour colleges with her sister, so I think she'll be okay with me staying here. I can send Jeff in if she needs extra help. I think it will be fun to spend the summer here."
"This is great," Kristy agreed. "I was afraid I was going to be bored this summer. With you two here and the wedding to plan, I don't think there will be time to be bored."
Mary Anne laughed and offered them both a warm smile. "Thank you guys," she said softly. "This means more to me than you'll know."
The rest of the afternoon was spent in easy conversation in the coffee shop, reminiscing on old times and anticipating the future. Kristy enjoyed herself immensely, basking in the fact that for the first time in ten years, they would all be in the same town again.
And suddenly she couldn't wait.