Author's Note: Aaaaand, here it is! Chapter 6! Wow, this that was fast...though for those of you waiting for an update, I suppose it was actually a bit slow, huh? Ha ha...I'd like to thank all of those who reviewed, favorited, and followed, each and every one of you. ^_^ You have no idea how much that ment to me, seeing the positive feedback...I really can't thank you enough! Anyway, here you go, for your entertainment...hope you enjoy!
Chapter 6: Family
Shane couldn't help but think that as powerful as Amelie was, she should be able to afford more comfortable chairs in her office.
"So you started a fight that destroyed half of the store, which was on neutral ground, no less, over a turkey?" Amelie demanded incredulously.
"When you say it like that, my dear, it just sounds petty." said Myrnin, sounding bored. He was lounging in his own uncomfortable chair beside Shane, though he looked he couldn't care less about the outcome. His limbs were spread out and relaxed, like a cat. "You should really just be thankful there wasn't more damage, or that I didn't use my Thermal Ray on Pennywell."
Shane glared at him. "You had that thing on you, and you didn't use it?" he demanded.
Myrnin shrugged."I forgot it was in my pocket." he replied.
Amelie put her hand to her forehead, looking as though she needed an aspirin. "You two fought with one of the oldest vampires in town and caused an insufferable amount of property damage, and this is all you have to say in your defence?" she said, still sounding like she couldn't quite believe what she was hearing.
"Hey, he started it!" Shane protested.
"He says you were taking all the turkeys." Amelie said in answer, shaking her head.
"First come, first serve." Myrnin said cheerfully. Amelie gave him a look.
"And he's the one who threw Myrnin into me! He threw the first punch!" Shane said, before Amelie could start. "Uh, right?" he added, giving Myrnin a sideways glance. Myrnin nodded.
"Yes, he hit me with the turkey we were fighting over, and threw me into Shame, here. We were simply defending ourselves." he said gravely.
"I'm well aware of Pennywell's... tendencies to push things. However, you two acted just as despicable as he did. I'm-" she shook her head, staring at them. "Well, sadly, I can't say I'm surprised with either of you. I would have expected better behavior from you, but this isn't the first time either of you has disappointed me." She sighed. "What do you suppose I am to tell Oliver, now?"
They both made rude, derogatory sounds deep in their throats, and then looked at each other. That was something they both had in common, at least. Well, that and poor impulse control.
Amelie just stared at them. "That's another thing. What were you doing there together?" she asked warily.
"Why does everyone keep asking that?" demanded Shane. It was the first thing Michael had asked once Myrnin and Shane had gotten up back at the store, before the cops had shown up.
"It is no secret you two dislike each other." Amelie replied. "I think the entire town knows it." She shook her head again. "My God, how does poor Claire put up with you two? I think I shall have to give her a raise."
Both men scowled. Amelie raised her eyebrows and sighed. "You didn't answer my question. What were you two doing there together? I already know what you were doing there, Mr. Collins, Michael told me about your dinner plans. But why were you there with him, Myrnin?"
"I was helping!" Myrnin said indignantly.
Amelie gave him a steady look. "Somehow I doubt that." she replied.
"No, he's actually telling the truth." sighed Shane.
"We blew up the first turkey, you see." Myrnin added, nodding.
Amelie gazed at the two of them, her face a blank mask. "Pardon?"
Shane grimaced. "Might as well start from the beginning..."
Even after he and Myrnin had explained the whole story to Amelie, Shane could tell she didn't quite believe them. Myrnin pointed out that she could go visit the lab to verify, but she declined. In the end, she handed down their punishments, still shaking her head in disbelief, and dismissed them. Michael was waiting outside the door for them.
They started to walk off, Myrnin complaining about the unfairness of the whole ordeal while Michael simply shook his head and muttered to himself, when Shane turned around and said awkwardly, "You know, uh, you're welcome to come, if you want."
Amelie looked up at him, an eyebrow raised. "Pardon?" she asked.
"Uh, well, you can come to dinner, if you want." Shane said, still sounding awkward. He didn't know why he said it; it just came out of him. Maybe if he showed he could be polite and civil, she wouldn't be quite as harsh. "Though I'm not so sure there's going to be much of a dinner now..." he trailed off.
Amelie stared at him in surprise. So did Michael and Myrnin. Shane hoped his face wasn't getting red.
"That's...polite of you." Amelie answered carefully. "Although, I actually already have plans. So I'm afraid I'll have to decline. But thank you." she said, nodding her head slightly at him in acknowledgment. Shane nodded back, feeling a little relieved.
They all turned to go again when Amelie called "Do give Claire my well-wishes for her recovery. And Happy Thanksgiving, gentlemen." They all nodded their acknowledgment, and then carried on.
"What the hell was that?" Michael demanded when they got into the elevator.
Shane shrugged. "I was trying to be nice. You know, like Claire's always saying I should? And besides, you and Eve invited your own vampires, I figure I still had an invite to give." he snapped, leaning up against the wall.
"What?" Shane asked, though he felt like groaning too.
"Eve." Michael groaned again. "She's going to kill us." He ran his hand over her face, and then looked up at Shane. "You get to tell her you blew up the turkey." he added darkly.
Shane gulped and winced. Myrnin looked between the two of them, then casually asked "Is she still a good shot with a crossbow?"
"I. Cannot. Believe you guys!" cried Eve. "You blew up a turkey. You started a fight with a vampire in a grocery store. You still don't have a turkey. And Theo is supposed to be here any minute!"
Michael stepped forward, which the others found very brave of him. The tongs she was holding looked deadly.
"But look, I, uh, got the rolls and cranberry sauce you wanted." he said helpfully. Well, brave or stupid.
"All the good that does me now! We don't even have a turkey! What am I supposed to tell Claire?" Eve snapped.
"You could tell her the truth." suggested Myrnin, making sure both Shane and Michael were between him and Eve.
"What? That Michael had to go bail her boss and her boyfriend out of hot water because they started a fight with Pennywell in the freezer section of Save-A-Lot, all because they had blown up the turkey with a device that she had specifically told Myrnin not to use?" Eve demanded.
Even Myrnin had to bow his head at that one.
"No, that we tried." Michael said carefully. "I mean, that's all we can say, isn't it? We still have all the other stuff, Eve, and it smells really good."
It did. All the smells had hit them as soon as they had walked in the door, and they heard Shane's stomach growl.
"It will have to do. It will still be okay, Eve, she'll still be surprised." Michael continued.
Eve sighed. "Yeah, I guess. I was just looking forward to seeing her surprised. I wanted it to be perfect." she said, leaning against Michael for a hug. "How much trouble did you guys get in with Amelie, anyway?" she asked.
Shane shrugged. "Not too bad, considering." He scowled and pointed at Myrnin with his thumb. "I have to do two days of community service with him. Michael got off scott-free, though, since he just happened to walk in and stop the fight."
Eve opened her mouth to say something when the doorbell rang. She sighed. "That would be Theo. I'll get it." she said, letting go of Michael and heading for the door. She returned a few minutes later with Theo and some of his family. Theo was holding a covered dish, and smiled warmly at them.
"Hello, everybody. It's nice to see you. Thank you for inviting me." he said pleasantly, looking around at them. He was wearing something nice, and Shane was suddenly a little self-conscious that he was wearing half-singed clothes that smelled like smoke and burned poultry.
"Uh, yeah, nice to see you, too, Doctor." Shane said, shaking his hand. Michael did the same, followed by Myrnin, who looked at his covered dish and made and "Oh!" before jumping up and running through a portal in the living room. He came back with his toolbox, looking proud.
Eve didn't ask, just grabbed Theo's dish and the toolbox and walked them into the kitchen. Shane decided to go change his clothes. When he came back downstairs, Eve was evidently telling Theo about the lack of turkey.
"-anyway, there was a bit of an accident, so we're going to be eating without the main dish, I'm really sorr-"
The doorbell rang again. "I'll get it." said Michael, heading for the door. Theo turned back to Eve.
"It all smells wonderful, I'm sure everything will be all right." He turned to Shane as he walked in. "Ah, Shane, would you like some apple cider?"
Theo's daughter-in-law offered Shane a cup. He thanked her and took a sip. It was actually pretty good.
Michael came back into the living room, an odd look on his face. "Uh, the other guests are here." he said, giving Shane a funny look.
Eve looked up, puzzled. "What other-?" She stopped and stared as Hannah Moses walked in, a large dish covered in foil in her hands.
"Got a place I can put this down? He's a bit heavy." Hannah asked, giving Eve a wink. Behind Hannah Gramma Day walked in, leaning on her cane.
"My, everything smells good. When do we eat? And where's Claire, she feeling any better?" Gramma asked, looking around the group at large. "Ah, I didn't know my neighbor was going to be here. Behavin' yourself, I hope?" she said, giving Myrnin a stern look.
"As always, madam." Myrnin said with a bow.
"Of course he shall behave himself, I wouldn't expect any less of him." said a calm, stern voice behind Gramma. Amelie. Everyone gaped at her for a few seconds before Theo broke the silence.
"Good see you, Amelie! I didn't realize you were going to be here." he said, still smiling.
Amelie gave a calm smile in return. "I was invited, but had to decline due to a previous engagement. However, I found my hostess thought perhaps we should spend our meal with more company, so here we are." she said, giving Gramma Day a warm smile. Gramma returned it.
"Well I remembered I intended to ask these children over to my table, but I forget things in my old age. Plus I ruined my batch of stuffing, and heard Eve was supposed to be making some of the best, so I couldn't resist." Gramma said with a wink at Eve. "Hannah! Did that turkey make it okay? I hope you don't mind, but I brought some of my cranberry sauce and some dinner rolls as well."
Eve stared at her, stunned. "No, of course we don't mind! That's wonderful, Gramma. Uh, I guess we can eat soon, then." she said, looking like she might be fighting back tears of joy. Shane and Michael both had to resist the urge to fist-bump the old woman.
"I also brought something, it that's acceptable." said Amelie, holding up a dish herself.
Michael took it from her while Eve said "Of course it's acceptable, ah, I mean, thank you, ma'am. And thank you, too, Gramma."
Gramma shrugged. "It was a little unpleasant trying to eat at my house, anyway. It's the darndest thing; there is this awful burning smell around the neighbourhood. Just plain ruins your appetite."
Amelie gave Myrnin and Shane a cold stare while they looked at each other quickly, then away.
"Well I, for one, think we should get ready to eat. It all looks delicious," said Myrnin quickly, avoiding looking at Gramma. He even joined Shane and Michael, who were trying to set the table.
Everyone started helping, with the exception of Amelie and Gramma Day, who were making polite conversation after the others insisted that they go ahead and sit down.
There was another knock at the door, and Eve rushed off to get it this time.
Amelie suddenly stopped talking and stared in the direction of the foyer, her eyebrows raised. She excused herself from Gramma Day, and then walked in that direction. Sensing trouble, Shane and Michael followed her while the others talked and continued.
All three walked into the foyer to find Oliver standing in the doorway, a flat box in his hand, looking at a surprised Eve. "Uh, what are you doing here?" she asked, holding the door. Oliver looked annoyed, and held out the box to her.
"You left this behind yesterday. I thought I would drop it off, since I had nothing better to do." he said stiffly. Eve took the box, still staring at him in surprise.
"The pie I forgot?" she asked, looking at it.
"My my, Oliver, that was kind of you. And very out of character." Amelie said, smiling. Both Oliver and Eve jumped and looked back at her in surprise.
Oliver recovered, and replied "I do like to keep people on their toes. Pray tell, Amelie, what are you doing here?"
Amelie gave a graceful move of her shoulders. "I was invited as a guest, Oliver. I take my invitations very seriously. Now if you don't mind, I think I shall return to the party."
Oliver didn't seem to know what to say to that, and actually jerked in surprise when Eve said "Uh, Thank you, I guess, Oliver. Um, yeah, that was...nice of you." She looked like the words were some foreign language she was struggling to get out. Oliver was staring at her like he was trying to translate them. Amelie actually chuckled a little, and Shane and Michael both had to resist the urge to laugh themselves. The whole thing was just ridiculous.
Eve looked pained for a minute more, then sighed. "I can't believe I'm going to say this, but..." she said, taking a deep breath. "Oliver, would you like to join us?"
He stared at her for a beat, then up at Amelie, who hadn't left yet. Shane and Michael wondered if the world was turning backwards on its axis.
"I...yes. I think I will." he said carefully, stepping inside as Eve moved out of the way for him. "Thank you." he added, though he made an almost-face as he said it.
Amelie really did chuckle this time, shaking her head as she turned around. "You were never one for graciousness, Oliver." she said as she walked.
Everyone stared when they walked back in. Myrnin even made a face at Oliver, who ignored it.
"Uh, Oliver's going to be joining us!" Eve announced, still looking a little flustered. "He even brought a pumpkin pie, which means there will be plenty to go around with the one I made." Theo looked over at her, looking a little sheepish.
"Ah, yes, well, there should be plenty, I'm afraid that's what I brought as well." he said.
"Oh, but that's what I brought!" protested Myrnin, looking at Oliver in annoyance. He turned to Amelie. "What did you bring, my dear?" She smiled slightly.
"A pumpkin pie." she said calmly. Everyone looked around the room, before Michael and Shane burst out laughing. Hannah joined them.
"Uh, yeah, well, plenty of pie to go around. Claire said something about pie," Eve said hastily. "Everybody gets some pie! Now, lets get this all set up and-"
"What's going on down here?" gasped a voice from the top of the stairs.
Everyone turned to see Claire standing on her crutches, looking at them with wide-eyed confusion. "What's going on?" she repeated, looking around. "And why do I smell sweet potatoes?"
"Happy Thanksgiving!" Michael and Shane cried, throwing their arms out and laughing again.
Claire grinned to herself. They were all eating at the table, mismatched chairs everywhere to accommodate everyone. Eve had done her best with the food, and though some things weren't as good as others, it was all still delicious. Especially the stuffing.
Everyone was talking and joking with each other. Even Shane and Myrnin, sitting beside her, were being civil to each other; they were snickering about something involving a turkey and Pennywell. Claire wasn't sure, she didn't get the joke.
Looking across the table, Oliver and Amelie were talking, and even they both had small smiles on their faces, looking relaxed.
It was just like being at the dinner table with her family at home...only this was her Morganville family.
"I can't believe you pulled this off," Claire said softly to Shane.
"We can't, either." Michael muttered two chairs down from her. She gave him a questioning look, but Shane caught her attention.
"Come on, Claire, you know us." he said with a wink. "We can take on draug and vampires and God-knows-what, we weren't going to be sidelined by a little thing like Thanksgiving." He held up his cider glass and clinked glasses with Myrnin, who said "To Turkey!" and downed his cup. Both he and Shane chuckled at that, and Claire wondered if they had been putting something extra in their cups.
She shook her head. "It's just...you went to all this trouble, and got this all together on such short notice, and without me finding out...it has me wondering what you guys are doing for Christmas."
Myrnin and Shane both choked on their drinks, and Michael suddenly seemed to be having a coughing fit over a bite of bread. All three stared at her, wide-eyed.
"You'll just have to wait and see," Shane said hoarsely, while Michael just looked distressed. Claire couldn't figure out that one, and kept eating, listening to Eve and Gramma Day talk about stuffing and cranberry sauce, while Michael argued with Theo's son about something football related. Yep. Just like family. She wondered how dessert was going to go.
She didn't have the heart to tell anyone she didn't like pumpkin pie.
AN: And there it is! The last chapter of my very first published fanfiction! I hope you all enjoyed it! Again, I want to thank all of those who reviewed, favorited, and followed...You guys rock! And I want to give a special thanks to Annie Bespoke and ZombiesloveMangoes, for beta reading for me, helping me with my spelling and grammar issues, and assuring me this was all okay...You Really rock! ^_^ I apologize for any mistakes in here, they're all mine. If you loved this chapter, or this story in general, please review! After all, you never know, Christmas is around the corner... ;)
Thanks for reading! ^_^
Edit (November 2014): Some punctuation, sentence structure, and general edits.