It was a running joke between them that, one day, Alex’s
habit of walking with her eyes glued to her phone would result in disaster.
Today was very nearly that day as, whilst approaching Maggie’s desk in the
bullpen, she almost dropped her iPhone at the sight presented to her. ‘Where
did you get…that?’
arched a brow as she bounced the three-month old on her knee. ‘That is Charlie and he is a child. Don’t
look so alarmed, Danvers. He doesn’t have teeth yet, he can’t bite.’
She still looked alarmed, incredibly so. ‘Why do you have
‘I stole him,’ Maggie smirked.
Alex’s eyes went wide.
‘Relax, Alex,’ Maggie laughed. ‘My Captain is speaking to
Charlie’s parents and I offered to look after him.’
Alex took small steps over to the two of them, her eyes
firmly locked on Charlie. ‘Oh, okay.’
‘Kids freak you out, huh?’
‘Ages eight and up, I’m fine with. Any younger and they
drool and vomit everywhere and that’s just a nope. Big nope.’
‘So disgusting aliens you’re cool with but not babies…not
understanding your logic there.’
‘Because I don’t have to be nice to disgusting aliens.’
Maggie chuckled as she shook her head. ‘You’re ridiculous.
But you,’ she said, her voice turning babylike as she turned to the child. ‘Are the cutest little thing
ever, aren’t you?’
Alex cleared her throat. ‘I’m right here, babe.’
Maggie proceeded to ignore her. ‘That silly government agent
can take on big scary monsters but she’s scared of you? What a wuss.’
The child giggled.
‘See, he agrees,’ Maggie grinned at Alex.
Alex came over, crouched beside the two of them. She went to
shake Charlie’s hand but noticed the drool and changed her mind. ‘Hey kid. Back
off from my girl, okay? You might think you’re cute, but I’m cuter. Much cuter.
Her cheeks burned at the Captain’s voice and she slowly turned to meet him and the little boy’s parents who had heard every word. She
forced a smile. ‘Hi.’
Maggie stood, gave the kid one last cuddle before handing
him over to his mom and dad. ‘Your boy is adorable. He understandably made my
girlfriend very jealous.’
Only when the family were definitely gone from the precinct,
did Alex speak again. ‘Well, that was awkward.’
Maggie laughed as she grabbed her jacket. ‘Seriously, you are absolutely ridiculous.’
dude Marlie and the second au scenario (the animal shelter one) would be the cutest thing ever just saying
(I work at the animal shelter and you always come in to pet the cats when you’re sad.)
The first time Charlie notices him, it was raining. The windows were broken and he could feel the raindrops on the back of his neck. April said the window had been broken since she’d been working there and neither of them were brave enough to ask Quill to get them repaired. (Even in a building full of cats and coffee, her two favourite things, Charlie was yet to see her in a good mood.)
It was also a Monday and Charlie had forgotten his jacket. It was a terrible day and then it got brighter.
Charlie hadn’t know his name initially but had smiled anyway. (A distractingly attractive boy had just walked into his life; of course he smiled.)
“Isn’t April working?”
“She has a date,” Charlie had replied, leaning forward. “So I agreed to cover her shift. Can I help you?”
“Yeah. Think so. We have this agreement that if I ever need anywhere to go and calm down, I could come here. To play with the kittens,” Charlie liked how he pronounced it, “is okay?”
“Sure.” He wished he was better with words.
Charlie watched him walk away, smiling for reasons he didn’t fully understand.
April was a good co-worker and an even better friend.
“You mean Matteusz?”
Charlie nodded, “I think so. He was tall, very attractive and looked a little sad.”
April almost spat out her tea. “Sorry? Can you repeat that?”
“A little sad. Is that why he wanted to play with the animals?”
“I meant the other part.” April coughed again. “The ‘attractive’ part.”
“Oh,” Charlie pulled on his cardigan sleeve, “objectively speaking, of course. You couldn’t have missed it.”
“No, no, I agree - don’t tell Ram. I just wasn’t expecting it from you.”
“Not that it’s a bad thing! It’s great. Really great.” April patted his arm, which was a little awkward for them both.
“Thank you?” Charlie paused, “anyway, do you think he’ll return?”
“Probably. Matteusz comes when he’s upset usually. We’re friends, same music class.”
“Matteusz goes to Coal Hill?” Charlie was still new but he was sure he would have noticed him.
“Yeah.” April smirked. “Why do you ask?”
“No reason,” he replied, although it was clear April didn’t believe him.
The next time the rain had cleared.
“Hello,” Charlie said, trying to see if Matteusz was crying. “You’re back.”
“You remember me?”
“I… there is no good way to answer that.”
“It’s okay,” Matteusz reassured him, “I am here a lot.”
“I guess I have something to look forward to then,” Charlie said. “Oh, that wasn’t good to say out loud either.”
Matteusz laughed. “Is okay. Promise.”
They fall into a pattern, Charlie doing all he could to make Matteusz smile (usually it worked) (on the days it didn’t…) (they were the worst days).
Charlie would look forward to their visits, if it didn’t mean that Matteusz was fighting with his parents so much. (“They don’t like that I’m gay. They say I’m not meant for heaven. But I know differently. They won’t listen though.”) He didn’t see his own parents very much; they were busy saving the world or whatever being a politician included. But they hadn’t cared he was gay when he’d told them (over Skype, trying to make out their expressions though the pixels).
“How bad are things at home?” He asked, half-afraid of the answer.
“Not good. Very not good. We argue a lot. I made the mistake of asking a boy to the Autumn prom and telling them.”
Charlie felt his stomach sink. “I didn’t know you asked anyone.”
“He said no anyway. It doesn’t matter.” Matteusz ran his hand though his hair, Charlie watched, slightly fascinated. “Are you okay?”
“Fine, mostly,” he answered.
“Good,” Matteusz smiled, which was so pretty, Charlie almost fell off his chair.
April found him, still stunned, five minutes later. “You have such a big crush on him,” she commented, placing a mug of tea in front of him.
“You have no idea.”
The day Charlie realises exactly how bad he’s got it, is the day he meets Marcelina Andrzejewski. She looked young, emphasised even more with the height contrast between her and her brother. She was still in school uniform, with black hair tied in a long, frizzy ponytail with wisps of hair escaping.
Matteusz was already grinning and that was enough to make Charlie’s heart skip a beat. (Metaphorically of course.)
“Hi,” she leaned up on the tip of her toes. “I’m Cela.”
“Nice to meet you.”
“Are you Charlie?” She asked, still stretching to her full height. “You sound posh, so I think you are.”
“Yeah,” he answered.
“This is my little sister, Marcelina. She wanted to see the kittens too,” Matteusz introduced.
“Matti says you’re nice,” Marcelina said, crossing her arms and almost losing balance.
“Cela, co ci powiedziałem?”
Marcelina pulled a face at Charlie, rolling her eyes. “Przepraszam.”
“Children,” Matteusz said, looking fondly at his sister anyway.
“Mums allergic to cats. I wanted to get one but we are not allowed. So Matti promised I could come play with them. And since it’s my birthday, we’re here.”
“Dziękuję,” Marcelina replied. She pulled Matteusz along, practically bouncing. Charlie watched the siblings walk off, with an even lighter feeling than usual.
The first time they kiss, the sun is shining through the tiny little reception area. Charlie was sipping his tea even though it’d been cold since April had left an hour ago.
The animal shelter was yet to have visitors. Mostly due to most of the kittens being adopted already.
Charlie wasn’t expecting Matteusz to walk in but he hadn’t the first time.
“Are you crying? Your eyes look red.”
“A fight. Another fight. We always fight and I hate it.” Charlie moved from behind the desk to comfort him. “Sometimes I worry that my farther is right; that there is something wrong with me.”
“There is nothing wrong with you. How could there be?” Charlie gently pulled his hands away from his face. “Matteusz, look at me. You have been visiting here for half a year because of him. It breaks my heart to see you cry. And it’s not just because I’m in love with you, it’s because you deserve so much better than horrible parents-”
“Charlie?” Matteusz interrupted.
“Did I go too far?”
“You said, you said, that you were in love with me.” Charlie felt his face warm up.
“It was an accident.”
“Did you mean it?” Matteusz asked. “Do you mean it?”
“Of course I meant it. How could I not? You’re so amazing. I see you cry and I’d do anything to stop you from feeling so sad. And if that isn’t love, I don’t know what is-”
“It’s okay. You don’t have to feel the same-”
“I wasn’t expecting you to-”
“Charlie!” Matteusz said, finally stopping his ramble. “Be quiet, please, for a moment.”
“Because I messed up everything?” He asked miserably.
“No, because it’s hard to kiss someone who’s talking.”
Charlie barely had time to process it before Matteusz leaned down and kissed him.
“For the record,” Matteusz said breathlessly, resting their heads together, “I’m in love with you too.”
Charlie smiled, noticing that it was raining again, before leaning up for a second kiss.
I must say I absolutely adored it. Not just because I’m a giant Charlie Chaplin fan, but because it was very well written and entertaining to read.
Of course if you are a big Chaplin fan it is a must-read. But even if you are not then it might be worth a read for the interesting view of poor Victorian England and early Hollywood. Or you might just read for the sweet twilight years romance with Oona (which melted my heart).
Also Charlie name-drops a lot. A LOT!* So chances are he’ll at least mention your fave and might even give some juicy gossip or tidbit about them. Or just mention what his impression was of them. This is not limited to just actors and actresses. Basically everyone who was someone that lived at the same time as Charlie, he probably met and mentions in the book. Charlie is brutally honest about everyone. I was giddy whenever he mentioned one of my faves, even if briefly.
He also talks quite a bit about scandals, though elegantly glides past the whole Hearst/Ince thing. Though his description of Hearst in general sounds absolutely Gatsby-like!
However, he is not generally shy about his own scandals and freely talks about them. Though interestingly he doesn’t say much about his second wife, out of respect for his two sons. But that statement alone probably has more venom than anything he could have said about it. Was it really that bad? Interestingly, despite his slew of bad marriages and affairs he still states that Rudolph Valentino was much more mistreated by women than himself. Wow. Says a lot about poor Rudy**.
Anyway, to summon up or TLDR: I highly recommend the book for all Chaplin fans or just fans of old Hollywood.
I’ve come to the conclusion that I think Charlie would have been my best friend.
*as I’m followed by quite a few Buster Keaton blogs I might as well mention that although Charlie mentions just about everyone else, he never once mentions Buster. Not even when he talks about Limelight. This was honestly so puzzling to me as I was just waiting to hear what he’d say about ol’ Bus. But nope! Does anyone know why this might be?
**On a more positive note on Rudy; Charlie mentions that people often gathered at either his house or Rudy’s to play charades. If that isn’t the cutest thing ever.
In one of the newer episodes of Adventure time Jake and his daughter Charlie enter the card wars tournament. And Charlie is totally a witch, like she collects bones, does tarot readings, and kinda does a spell. But like they’re just super casual about it and don’t actually call her a witch or anything. And I missed it before but in another episode they showed her for a minute and she was doing a tarot spread for like one of her siblings. I think it’s the cutest thing ever that they made her like super casually into witchcraft.
let’s talk about queer poly disabled fish families. (AKA: I watched Finding Dory today)
Hank and Marlin both starting out vaguely distrustful of one another, begrudgingly accepting the other bit by bit, at first only because their love of Dory compels them to.
Hank, whose only definition of family up until now has been one of torment and pain and sadness (and ink and blood–and don’t think about that) realizing that these dorky fish have a pretty good thing going here.
Hank still unable to shake his terrible fear of touch, lashing out angry and gruff each time Dory forgets and grabs him. Marlin noticing and pulling Hank aside, offering to do anything he can to help. Them spending hours together mapping safe places to touch (left most tentacle is okay, head is okay, face is off limits, anywhere near his lost limb is terrifyingly off limits) until gradually the touch of an orange fin is acceptable to Hank.
Their family being inter-generational, with Charlie and Jenny moving into a little knocked-over shell nearby. Both of them obsessively laying out shells even though Dory doesn’t wander off much anymore. Nemo seeing, understanding, and helping. Charlie and Jenny taking a shine to him, treating him like the grandchild they never had. Getting to experience a new kind of growing up with him.
Hank sleeping above Dory’s bed with one tentacle snaked inside and holding her tailfin, so that when she wakes up in the night and tries to swim away she remembers immediately that she is safe, cared for, home.
Marlin sharing truly awful dad jokes with Hank. Hank being a giant (literally, to them) curmudgeon about it until finally one day he cracks and can’t stop laughing, great belly laughs as he shifts along the color spectrum. Marlin unable to stop the warm glow he feels in response.
Marlin and Dory gazing out at the ocean, remembering together. Making new memories. Marlin holding them safe for Dory, occasionally pulling them out in a gentle do you remember when…? and if Dory says no, that’s okay, that’s what Marlin is there for.
Nemo being Destiny’s eyes as she hunts around for a gift to give Bailey, as a thank-you for all he’s done.
Marlin recognizing himself, his own need for control, in Jenny and Charlie. Marlin helping them to let go a little more each day, grow a little, sharing his own growth with them. Marlin being nervous about sharing so much, only to be so joyful and Jenny and Charlie understand.
Bailey echo-locating them all like clockwork each day, just to make sure the whole family is safe.
All of them, the great tangle, caring for little Nemo as he grows up. Gifting him wisdom and kindness and love and companionship. Family.
Marlin, not as anguished as he once would have been when his son brings him a boy-turtle and says, “Dad, do you remember Squirt? He and I are sort of…together.”
Hopef this is for the cute ask! I’m sorry if I get it wrong :p
2: do you like the feeling of cold air on your cheeks on a wintery day?
Yes!!! Best feeling! I tend to run hot I love the cold
75: tell us about your pets!
I have one (1) cat. His name is Charlie and he’s really fat and I love him. He’s a bit of a menace but he’s also really friendly and cuddly and playful. We think he’s probably a bit of a six dinner sid bc we don’t feed him more than a normal cat but he’s really huge? But he’s not really unhealthy or anything he’s just chunky. His favourite hobbies are ruining furniture with his claws and taking up all the space on other people’s beds.
79: what’s one of the cutest things anyone has ever done for you?
Idk bc I’ve got a really poor memory T^T, but my (twin) sister always takes care of me when I’m sick & she cleaned up after dinner so I wouldn’t have to last week & it’s not a huge thing but it makes me happy to be around people who just like support me & are kind to me without complaining or making me feel bad about it.
I hope my answers were good! Thank u for the ask!!! (I love ur blog 💛💛)
It has come to my attention that I have been nominated for three Phanfic Awards????
The last time I checked, I was only nominated for Best Drabble, and that was already enough for me. I was so happy someone out there thought that my writing was so good that they decided to nominate me for it.
Now, not only am I nominated for Best Drabble, I have also been nominated for the Undiscovered Gem Award, and the Comedy Award.
I am so truly flattered that few of you really love my writing. I feel a sense of pride as well as gratefulness for those of you who thought to nominate me. I am so so so happy that you love reading my fics as much as I do writing them.
It’s such an incredible feeling to see my url on that list: I’m only a small fic blog compared to people like constipatedhowell and phangirlingforphan and insanityplaysfics and transdimensional-void. And to be put on the same pedestal as they are in these Awards makes me not only proud of myself, but proud of my followers as well.
There are less than 500 of you following this blog, but you all are so kind to me, leaving me nice messages that make my motivation skyrocket to new heights. It makes me feel validated: someone is reading my stuff, someone is anticipating the new chapter. Someone wants more. I am so so so thankful for your support and your love – anonymous or not – that renders me speechless and unable to express my gratefulness.
Words are not enough to tell you guys how happy I am when I get a message saying that they loved my fic. Words are my craft, but in those moments of answering messages, they seem light as feathers and do not carry the weight of the true emotion I feel reading them. Once again, to all those who followed and sent me wonderful messages like weh-tun‘s amusing spazz over my fake relationship fic and the anonymous who I helped to the path of self-discovery after they read my trans!Phil fic “The Man”, thank you, thank you, thank you so so so damn much.
These fics I have written that have been nominated were truly the most ridiculous fics I have ever written – I don’t believe I’ve actually written them because my plots are the strangest things, or in the case of my Undiscovered Gem Award, way too damn ambitious for me to have written.
But I have. I have written them, and people loved them so much, and here I am other than thanking my followers to also promote these fics. I don’t mind if I don’t win, but better to try campaigning than just sitting there and wondering what could have been if I actually did campaign.
Best Drabble:Square Holes. (I remember writing this fic in bed, and I was hurrying to finish it because my dad was already threatening to turn off the lights. This was the cutest thing I have ever written, I’m very proud of it.)
Undiscovered Gem Award:Faking It/What A Fucking Mess. (I’m really proud of this fic. ‘An 18k one-shot? That’s too ambitious,’ old Charlie would say. But I wrote it, even if I used close reference to the Peterick fic that inspired this, and I feel like now I can conquer anything.) (I am sorry to say that I would like to withdraw from this category. The rules of Phanfic Awards state that a fic over 50 notes cannot be nominated for this category. From memory, when I was informed that Square Holes was nominated, Faking It/What A Fucking Mess was already at around 100+ notes, and therefore ineligible for this category. Thank you for the consideration, though! But I do have another fic I’d suggest to nominate in lieu of this, and it’s The Man. This fic is a biography of my best friend glossybutt and his road to realising his true self, and it has too little notes. I’d like to take this time to get people to read this fic, because I was so happy when I finished it, way happier than when I finished my other fics, because this came from something real.)
Comedy Award:Chill, Phil/Phil From Tesco. (I swear to God, I’m really proud of the humour in this fic. I was even laughing while I wrote this, and I got my brother and my best friend to read it and they were literally facepalming at this. This also has a second part that you don’t have to read called “See Me In Hindsight/Tangled Up With You All Night” which is just an angst fest because people were asking me to write a sequel. But I did love writing this fic, so I hope you found it funny too.)
Once again, thank you so so so so damn much for thinking I am good enough to go against some huge blogs and get my writing recognised. I have never ever seen so much support for me, and I so proud to be part of the phandom and writing for you guys. You all are sweet, loyal, and very kind, and I am so happy right now I can’t even express myself properly. Thank you so much.
Okay, so this is me trying to get over my writer’s block. This might not be the best/cutest thing I’ve ever written, but here you go. It’s mostly dialogue because it’s just people chilling in a room together, and there’s not too many ways you can break that up, I guess. Anyways, I hope you enjoy. It hasn’t been edited, so they’ll probably be a ton of mistakes I cringe over and change later.
This is part two of ‘Charlie and Stiles have a kid’. You can find part one here.
Her mouth was dry. It was so dry it felt like she might as well have been chewing on sand—like a terrible hangover. Which, quite frankly, was ridiculously unfair since she hadn’t touched a drop of alcohol in what felt like an eternity. Not that it would have made much difference to her either way.
Charlie shifted in the bed. The first thing she noticed was the sheets. Those sweat-soaked ones were gone, replaced by fabric that was fresh and crisp. The light coating of dust caked over her face cracked as she moved, flaking off her face in small chunks. People always said motherhood was supposed to give you a glow. She was pretty sure that was yet another exercise in mass delusion perpetuated to preserve the joy of new parents. Kind of like when people say that all babies are cute. That wasn’t true—she had definitely seen a few decidedly not-cute babies.
Not hers, though. Hers was all kinds of adorable.
Charlie’s eyes fluttered open, breaking that crusty barrier that sealed her eyelids shut. At first her surroundings blurred together into a series of differently colored smudges—like a too-close viewing of a Monet painting—but as she continued to blink the world finally came into focus. A warm light spilled in through the windows, soaking the room in muted yellow tones. Everything seemed to have shifted somehow. All of the wires and machines were gone and the sounds of beeping monitors barely reached her ears now. They had moved—she was out of the maternity ward and into the so-called ‘recovery suites’. She had a vague memory of that. It’s funny how things get hazy after nine full hours of labor.
Slowly, Charlie rolled over in the bed, the sheets twisting around her and tightening their hold. She was about to struggle with them—try to extract herself from their clutches—but the scene that came into view made her pause. Right next to her bed was that plastic hospital crib, lined with soft pink blankets. Charlie pushed herself up on her elbows to peer inside. Nestled amongst those pink blankets was an even pinker face. The smile that pulled at the corners of her lips was completely involuntary, and soon morphed into a grin so wide it hurt her cheeks. And it didn’t go away. Maybe it was those little mittens they had put on her hands.
Leaning forwards, Charlie hovered over the crib, reaching down and letting a finger gently brush against her baby’s cheek. The little one smacked her lips and shifted in the crib, waving those gloved hands around a bit in a way that lacked all forms of coordination. Barely out of the womb and she had already picked up some of her dad’s mannerisms. “Hey,” Charlie whispered, pushing some of the fabric aside to get a better look at her. “We’re going to get you some blankets that don’t conform to gender stereotypes too. You’re going to get all the color blankets. Every last one.”
The baby made this little hiccoughing noise, which Charlie decided was a noise of approval. Then she heard a second hiccoughing noise, only this one was a lot deeper in register and significantly less adorable. Actually it was more along the lines of a hacking, spluttering cough. Wrenching her eyes away from the child—a process which took a full minute—Charlie looked in the direction of the sound.
A snort forced its way out of her nose. The scene that lay before her was not a dignified one. Stiles had managed to collect a couple of guest chairs and lined them all up in a row before somehow draping himself over the lot of them. She still had no idea how he managed to sleep like that—armrest digging into his back and in imminent danger of collapsing on the floor in a giant heap. Charlie smiled to herself as he smacked his lips and began mumbling incoherently. Or at least almost incoherently. She was pretty sure she heard the words ‘Star Wars’ thrown in there somewhere.
Charlie pushed herself into the sitting position, causing an ache in her lower abdomen that somehow seemed to be dull and sharp all at once. She let out a low hiss of pain, which seemed to set off a chain reaction. Stiles jolted into consciousness—actually flailed into consciousness would be a more accurate description—waving his arms wildly and somehow managing to maintain his balance. As soon as he was safe from self-injury he jumped from his seat and darted to the bed. “Hey, hey, hey,” he whispered urgently, glancing up and down her form, his hands moving frantically with the direction of his gaze. “How are you feeling?”
Charlie shrugged and continued to push herself up. “I’m fine. Thirsty and a bit sore I guess. Pretty sure that’s to be expected.”
She made a move to lean back against the frame of the bed, but before she got the chance Stiles held up a hand, indicating for her to stop. “Whoa there—wait just one second.” He grabbed the pillows from behind her and began adjusting them with such careful precision she could swear he was trying to feng shui the hospital room. “Hold on while I fluff the pillows,” he murmured, his tone thick with an unnecessary amount of concentration. “As your husband I am your designated pillow fluffer. It is my responsibility to keep the pillows thoroughly fluffed.”
Charlie frowned to herself. “Is it just me, or does that sound kind of dirty.”
“Today it can sound however you want it to sound,” Stiles muttered back.
Finally he finished rearranging the damn pillows and let out a contented sigh. Grabbing her shoulders, he gently eased her back onto what was admittedly a very comfortable surface. Charlie opened her mouth to say thank you, but he darted away, only to reappear by her side mere seconds later holding a water bottle complete with a brightly colored straw. Charlie let out a small laugh and took the bottle. “You know by raising the bar in terms of solicitousness, you’re kind of shooting yourself in the foot for later. I might get used to being pampered.”
“Please,” he quipped back. “There’s no way you’d let me pamper you for more than a week. I’ve got to get all the pampering in while I have the chance. High octane pampering will be happening for as long as I can get away with it. Pretty soon you’ll be all self-sufficient and saying things like, ‘I can do it myself, Stiles,’ before you karate chop something to prove a point.”
“Oh, you know me so well.”
“You bet I do. Senseless violence is kind of your jam. Against people and inanimate objects.”
Letting out a groan, Charlie rolled her eyes heavily. “Would you get over the damn printer already? The thing was practically defunct.”
“Defunct—it was a paper jam!” he spluttered. “Bashing it with a hammer is not a reasonable reaction to a paper jam!”
“Well it is when it decides to jam when I have a deadline,” she deadpanned. “It was a spiteful machine, and I’m glad it’s gone.”
“You email your articles in!”
“You know I edit better with hard copies!”
Stiles opened his mouth to argue, but seemed to reconsider. Instead he just let out a huff and looked down at her with a bemused expression. “Just drink your water.”
Charlie pulled the straw from the bottle and tossed it aside, inciting a little scandalized scoff from Stiles—“that was festive”—and tipped the contents down her throat. When she had practically drained the bottle she let out a satisfied sigh and looked up at him. “How long have I been out?”
“You make it sound like you were knocked unconscious,” Stiles muttered absently. Charlie just raised her eyebrows expectantly, waiting for an answer. “A few hours,” he replied. “Probably not long enough.”
“And her?” she inquired, tilting her head in the direction of the baby girl. Their baby girl.
“Asleep the whole time too,” he replied, a supremely satisfied smirk pulling at the corners of his lips. “Only sound she’s made are those adorable little smacking noises. You know we might actually have it easy with this one.”
A loud groan emanated from Charlie’s throat, one that had nothing to do with pain and everything to do with exasperation, and she rolled her eyes heavily. “You realize what you just did,” she grumbled, glowering up at him through her still salt-encrusted eyelashes. “You just jinxed us. We are now jinxed. Be prepared not to sleep for the next four months.”
“Oh, shut up,” Stiles sighed back. “Jinxes are pretty much the only thing left that I don’t have to believe are real. Well, that and vampires.”
Charlie gave a strangled cry and stared at him in disbelief. “Now you’ve gone and jinxed that too! Pretty soon Count Chocula’s going to just show up on our doorstep! We have a newborn! We can’t deal with vampires! Use your words responsibly!”
“Okay, first of all,” Stiles said, staring down at her with raised eyebrows, “that’s totally impossible. We live in a third story walk-up and vampires can’t enter buildings, so the guy would be stuck on the sidewalk. Second of all, if he did show up on our doorstep, I’ll take the delicious cereal and slam the door in his face. Which if you think about it is actually a win for us. Free cereal. Third of all, I don’t think he’d be that much of a threat. Fourth of all…..” He trailed off and stared up at the ceiling, searching for more words to throw in but seemingly coming up short. “Yeah, that’s about it. Let’s say three is enough.”
“And he’s fictional,” Charlie prompted in a deadpan tone.
“Right,” Stiles agreed with a curt nod. “And he’s fictional.”
Charlie bit her lip, trying her best to conceal the smile that was threatening to form. Whenever she and Stiles bickered, she made a valiant effort to keep a straight face—to preserve the illusion of frustration. You would think that it would get easier over the years. More practice, right? But it wasn’t. It was harder. The stoic scowl was virtually impossible to maintain. Pretty soon she would be nothing but smiles and where the hell would that leave them?
The look Stiles gave her in response made her shiver. She wasn’t sure how he could still do that. Twelve years since he had first given her that look and she still couldn’t get used to it. It was like he could see through all of the layers she had built up over the years, straight through to the center. She wasn’t even sure what was there, but for some reason whatever it was, it made his eyes almost glow. Maybe it was happiness, but it had a different color to it. Maybe she would never figure out exactly what it meant or what he was feeling. But—as much as she liked to solve all mysteries in her path—she was strangely okay leaving this one alone. Just as long as he kept looking at her that way. The warmth in Charlie’s chest began to grow until she couldn’t return the look anymore.
She broke eye contact, instead fixing their eyes on their girl. As she did, a different sort of feeling settled in her chest—one that made her feel full and hollow all at once. Maybe it was the light streaming in through those soft curtains—layers of an orange and pink sunset forming some sort of celestial mosaic—but the baby had ethereal look about her. Innocent, pure, and completely perfect. It was like tunnel vision. There was just this one thing, and nothing else in the world existed. It all just melted away—there wasn’t much of a point to anything else. There was just this one thing and she was the one in charge of it. It was her job to take care of it. That one little thing became everything, and that scared the crap out of her. For something that looked so other-worldly and beautiful, it was all so frighteningly real.
“You can hold her, you know.”
Her head and her heart were so full, Stiles’s voice made her jump. It was almost as if she had forgotten he was there for a few moments. She must have appeared absolutely terrified at the prospect, because the corners of his lips quirked upwards in a tight, amused smile. Until he realized that was something a little more real behind that expression she was wearing. Actual fear. Actual worry. Actual insecurity. The smile faltered and faded, replaced by a small crease between his eyebrows.
Wordlessly, he leaned down over the crib, gently scooping up the tiny figure inside. Carefully supporting the baby’s head, he sat down on the bed next to Charlie, shifting so he could place the girl in her arms. Charlie shrank back into her pillows slightly, but he shook his head encouragingly. “You’re not going to break her,” he said quietly. “She’s not made of glass. If babies were that fragile, humanity would have died out a long time ago.”
Steeling her nerves, Charlie extended her arms outward. Stiles gently lowered the girl into them, and Charlie found herself holding her breath. As soon as the child was wrapped in her embrace, she shifted, nuzzling into Charlie’s shoulder. The short, quick breaths caused her hair to flutter against her neck. The closeness made her heart race. Whether that was caused mostly by love, fear, excitement, or anticipation she had no way to tell. Stiles shifted on the bed, scooting back until he was leaning against the keyboard, shoulder to shoulder with her. “See,” he murmured quietly. “That’s not too hard right?”
“What if I screw her up, Stiles.”
The question came out so quietly, it barely reached her own ears let alone Stiles’s. But he still heard her. He somehow always managed to. And arm wrapped around her shoulder, pulling her closer in towards him. It was a move he’d had to make a few times, whenever the cold pit of doubt settled in the pit of her stomach. Those times he found her sitting up in bed in the middle of the night, wondering if she had been fixed yet—if she wasn’t broken anymore. And wondering if she’d ever stop wondering that. Thinking that maybe it was only when she stopped wondering that she would actually be fixed. And then thinking that if that was the case, she would never realize she was actually fixed to begin with.
But as messy as she got inside her head, Stiles would always be there. It was like he had a sixth sense or something. He would flop over and let out a loud snorting noise, shake himself into consciousness, and then sit with her. “Hey,” he whispered, pressing a firm kiss against her temple. “Hey, we both know that’s not going to happen. Nobody in this family is going anywhere.”
Charlie’s heart jumped at the word. Family. It still felt like a strangely foreign word. Growing up she thought the word sounded like what Christmas morning was supposed to be—those cheesy Walmart ads and such. The mom, dad, and children would all be laughing and opening presents and eating cookies. Then the doorbell would ring and the door would swing open to reveal a set of grandparents, with even more smiles and cookies. She never used the word ‘family’ all that often. It didn’t match the picture. To her it was always ‘me and my dad’. And that didn’t make it any less real or less important—it just didn’t look the same. “Family, huh?”
“Yeah,” he replied in an even tone, nodding at her. His thumb brushed against her shoulder comfortingly. “You and me? We’ve got this covered. Completely covered. Totally covered. We’ll be two of the most functional adults the world has ever seen. We’ll be the opposite of every TLC show on the air.”
“Family,” she murmured again, tasting the word on her tongue. She exhaled sharply, glancing up at him over her shoulder. “I think I like the sound of that.”
“Well that’s good to hear. Because you are stuck with me.”
She jutted out her chin and nodded in what looked like indifferent acceptance. “That’s cool,” she replied, mild sarcasm coloring her tone. “I can think of worse ways to spend a lifetime. I mean, not a lot of them, but—“
Stiles let out a loud snort and elbowed her in the side. “Thanks for the ringing endorsement. I feel so loved right now.”
Chuckling to herself, Carlie sank back, leaning against him and resting her head on his shoulder. The hand gripping her shoulder slid upwards, winding itself in her hair. Letting out a sigh, she tilted her head back, pressing a quick kiss against his jaw. “We’re gonna have to name her soon, you know. We were supposed to have another month before making up our minds.”
“Yeah—it’s kind of a lot of pressure, isn’t it,” Stiles mused. “Like we need to pick a name that we’ll want to hear every day for the rest of out lives.” He let out a loud huff, his breath causing her hair to flutter against her neck. “Okay, so what do we do? Throw darts at a board covered in names? Play an intense game of proper noun Scrabble?”
“Scrabble?” Charlie scoffed. “Are you for real right now? Leave our child’s name up to fate and a board game.”
Stiles shrugged and made a face at her. “We could always go with my initial suggestion.”
“We are not naming our daughter L—”
“Seriously, could you have worse timing?”
Charlie blinked in surprise at the sudden presence of another voice in the room, cutting her off with no ceremony whatsoever. Its appearance was so abrupt, she didn’t even have time to register the words before its owner barged into the room. But she would recognize that exasperated tone anywhere. It was Lydia’s voice.
Charlie’s eyes weren’t even able to focus on the girl she moved so quickly. All she saw was a blur of red hair, followed by the wafting scent of Chanel No. 5. The redhead marched in through the doors, threw her slouchy, oversized Hermes purse into the vacant chair and spun on her heal to face her and Charlie and Stiles, her hands planted firmly on her hips. “Are you kidding me with this?” she demanded, waving her hand around the room.
Stiles and Charlie glanced at each other, bemused expressions on both of their faces as they tried to decipher what precisely Lydia was talking about. “Okay,” Charlie said, making a face and bobbing her head a bit along with her words. “So the first time my baby hears your voice, you’re criticizing me. I like it. It feels appropriate. I’d be super-interested in knowing what you’re criticizing me for……”
Lydia rolled her eyes and let out a prim scoff, folding her arms across her chest. “I just can’t believe you picked now of all times! It completely conflicts with my schedule. With all the opportunities you had to go into labor, you picked now.”
Letting out a snort, Charlie bit her lip to force back the wide grin threatening to form. That would only have pissed off Lydia more. It was interesting how her regret and frustration seemed to channel itself into this sort of display. “What can I say, Lydia,” Charlie sighed out. “Technology is not yet able to sync my uterus with your Google calendar. It’s a tragedy, I know.”
For a second there Charlie half expected Lydia to pick up her purse so she could throw it at the chair a second time, even more violently. “Don’t sass me, Oswin,” Lydia replied. “I just missed the birth of my goddaughter. This whole—” she gestured in the direction of Charlie’s now significantly flatter belly “—this whole situation was supposed to resolve itself in nine months, which was why I cleared my schedule for the entirety of next month. But no! You have to go and have the baby early! I just hauled myself all the way from D.C. two days before I was supposed to leave. I had to leave the seminar I was teaching twenty minutes early to catch the train. You couldn’t have waited two more days?”
Charlie narrowed her eyes curiously and cocked her head to the side, but it was Stiles who responded. He tightened his hold around her middle and perched his head on her shoulder. “You know that this isn’t something she can actively control, right? When your water breaks you can’t just cross your legs and keep the baby in. It’s not like trying not to pee. ” Charlie’s face scrunched up into a slightly perturbed expression and she twisted around to look up at Stiles. He just made a face and shrugged in response. “What? Those parenting books get graphic.”
“O—okay,” Lydia said, holding up her hands like she was trying to physically shove back both the words and the mental image accompanying it. “I just had to sit in a train seat squashed between a fat guy and an old woman with an infinite number of stories about her eighteen grandchildren and seventy-three cats. The least you idiots could let me do is officially meet my goddaughter.”
The pair of them glanced at each other before looking at the ball of tense energy that was Lydia Martin. “Nobody’s stopping you,” Charlie quipped.
The change was pretty much immediate. The patented Martin disapproving scowl was replaced by a soft smile and she took a few tentative steps towards them, leaning over the pudgy pink little figure still wrapped in Charlie’s arms. Slowly she reached out a finger, gently brushing against those little mittens the nurse had insisted they put on her so she wouldn’t scratch her face. The tiny hand shifted slightly, trying to grasp Lydia’s finger, causing the quietest ‘oh my God’ to slip from the redhead’s lips.
“You look terrible, by the way,” she whispered to Charlie, her eyes still fixed on the baby.
Charlie couldn’t help but smile at the tiny barb. Even after all these years, she could still see little bits of the Lydia Martin who had knocked on her door, insulted her clothes, and told her they were going to be friends. Give a criticism instead of an insult, throw out an insult instead of an apology. Classic Lydia deflection. They both knew what she meant. “Thank you, Lydia,” Charlie murmured back, her tone genuine.
“It looks like your hair’s crusted onto your head.”
“My hair is crusted onto my head,” Charlie replied with an easy not. “It’s called sweat. It’s what tends to happen when you leak fourteen cups of ice chips out of your pores while pushing a human out of your vagina.”
Finally, Lydia looked up at Charlie and Stiles, her lips pressed together in a thin smile. It was a happy one, but tinged with a hint of regret. “I’m sorry I wasn’t here.”
Charlie didn’t respond. She just reached out and took Lydia’s hand, giving it a reassuring squeeze, silently telling her it was okay. Lydia’s smile widened ever-so-slightly and her gaze shifted back to the baby. Charlie couldn’t blame her. I was pretty much impossible to look anywhere else.
“I wouldn’t be too broken up about not being here for the theatrics,” Stiles drawled out, waving his hand dismissively from his position curled around Charlie. “You really didn’t miss much. Just the miracle of life. And Charlie threatening to kill me about a thousand times.”
“So basically you average Thursday,” Lydia whispered snarkily.
“Pretty much,” he said, nodding in agreement. “Though weirdly there was less cursing than usual.”
Lydia let out a gasp of mock shock and placed her hand over her heart. “Does this mean she’s growing up?”
“God, I hope so,” Stiles chuckled. “Mel is not going to be happy if her first word is ‘dumbass’.”
Charlie’s eyes widened and she smacked Stiles’s shoulder, looking at him seriously. “Dude, how awesome would it be if her first word actually was ‘dumbass’?”
“Um, better question,” Lydia declared, raising a single finger to interject. “How the hell are you a journalist for the New York Times?”
“My elegant prose, obviously.”
“Says the writer who once submitted a byline whose title literally read ‘John Boehner Is a Douche’.”
“It was a working title,” Charlie replied, widening her eyes innocently.
Lydia rolled her eyes and stepped forwards, holding her arms out almost expectantly. She kept a slight distance, though, silently asking if it was alright. Charlie smiled and shifted forwards, allowing Lydia’s arms to collect the precious little bundle. The corners of her lips twitched slightly, finding it difficult to maintain that typical expression of mild disapproval. Letting out a sigh, she began to pace back and forth in front of the bed. “This kid is so lucky it has me around,” she said, raising her eyebrows pointedly. “There should be at least one adult in her life who’s sane. I mean, there is Mel, but she’s in France and there’s only so much she can do over Skype. She and Chris should be on a plane right now, by the way. They touch down in a few hours. You’re welcome.”
“Wha—how the hell did you manage that?” Stiles spluttered. “Scott’ll barely beat them here!”
“Is it really still worth asking how I do what I do?” Lydia sighed. “You just need to accept the fact that I’m a miracle worker and move on.”
“Wizardry,” Stiles mumbled absently, staring off into the distance.
That self-satisfied glint filled Lydia’s eyes and she smiled that inscrutable smile of hers that made the Mona Lisa look candid as hell. “So,” she chirped. “What am I supposed to be calling her?”
Charlie and Stiles exchanged a single glance before Stiles spoke up. “We were just talking about that, actually. I mean, I still think we should consider ‘Leia’.”
All of the sudden, Lydia stopped pacing. Her eyes snapped towards the pair of them, the look in her eyes even fiercer than that time sophomore year of high school when she had tried to wear flip-flops to a party. They narrowed into slits as she slowly walked towards the bed. “Leia?” she growled. “No. No way. I’m not letting you name my goddaughter after a Star Wars character. I’m using my veto power.”
“Wha—who says you get veto power?” Stiles spluttered. “I don’t recall there being anything about veto powers bestowed upon the godparents.”
“It’s in the bylaws,” Lydia replied tersely.
Stiles’s mouth dropped open as he directed one of his more perplexed looks Lydia’s way. “Byla—there are no freaking bylaws. It’s a nice name!”
“Yeah…….I think I’m going to have to go with Lydia on this one, pookie bear,” Charlie drawled out, nudging him in the side with her elbow. “I’m not hugely in favor of Leia.”
Based on the look that she received, Stiles probably considered this one of the larger betrayals of his lifetime. His mouth opened and closed for a few moments, searching for words and ending up babbling incoherently. “But you said that you’d consider it!”
“I said I would consider naming our kids Luke and Leia if we were to have fraternal twins,” Charlie shot back. “I was relying pretty heavily on the small statistical likelihood that that would happen.”
Stiles shoved his fist in his mouth, using it to stifle a small scream of frustration. He pressed his lips together in a thin line and began shaking his head. “Man, this is the worst,” he grumbled. “I had the whole thing planned out. I’ve been trying to get Scott to agree to name his kid Han, that way when our kids inevitably fall in love, it’d be Han and Leia. There’s no way you can tell me that’s not totally adorable. We’d never hate family reunions.”
Lydia, who had begun to meander around the room, let out yet another snort, casting a sardonic look in his direction. “There’s no way anybody in their right mind would name their kid Han Solo.”
The scoff Stiles let out in response was so pronounced, Charlie felt his body physically shake behind her. “And that kind of attitude is why your hypothetical son will never date my daughter.”
“Um, don’t you think it’s a little early to start getting all threatening about hypothetical boyfriends,” Charlie said, looking at him pointedly.
He just stared back at her, shaking his head in disapproval. “I will never apologize for my paternal instincts.”
Charlie was in the midst of forming a pithy, sarcastic remark, but before she could a sound filled the room. All of them suddenly froze as a small whining noise emanated from the bundle wrapped in Lydia’s arms. Her eyes suddenly went wide and she held the baby just a little bit further away from her body. The whining noise quieted down a bit, but she still moved back towards the bed, holding the baby out. “Okay,” she said, placing the baby back in Charlie’s arms. “This is where I play the ‘cool aunt’ card. I am not familiar enough with small children to hold them while they’re crying. I haven’t sufficiently prepared myself for spitup—practically or emotionally.”
Charlie let out a laugh and reached her arms out to receive the precious little package. It was probably Charlie’s imagination, but she seemed to quiet down pretty quickly after that. Not that she had been causing much of a fuss before that, but she just became more still. All that was left was the quiet breathing. It was almost musical. In that moment Charlie realized that she was actually looking her future. A damn bright one too. One that they all deserved, but not all of them got.
“I think I got an idea for a name,” she murmured, glancing back and forth between the two of them. “I think we should go all Harry Potter on this one.”
The two of them stared at her blankly for a few moments, but then she saw the light of comprehension dawn behind their eyes. Liquid pooled in Lydia’s eyes, but they never became tears. Instead she pressed her lips together in a thin line and gave an almost imperceptible nod. Stiles didn’t say anything either. He just pressed a kiss into her hair and tightened his hold around her waist. She took that as a yes.
All of the sudden, a crash echoed down the hallway. Given her usual experience with hospitals and loud noises, a sense of fear jolted through her. That fear was replaced almost immediately, though, when it was followed by a string of apologies that somehow managed to be louder than the crash in the first place. The three of them found themselves staring at the door as the sound of sneakers squeaking against laminate approached.
Suddenly Scott skidded into view, colliding pretty heavily with the doorframe. He stood there, staring at the lot of them with those wide, puppy dog eyes of his, a stuffed animal in one hand and a semi-deflated balloon in the other. “Is it over?” he gasped out, because apparently even werewolf powers didn’t accommodate the speed with which he was flying down the halls. He gulped down a few more breaths, sinking against one of the walls. “Did I miss it?” His eyes darted back and forth between each other their faces almost manically before settling in on the baby in her arms. His shoulders sagged again, only this time with disappointment. “I missed it.”
“That’s okay,” Stiles replied, smiling in the face of his almost childlike dismay. “I’ll edit you together a compilation of the more creative threats she made. They got pretty graphic. Like….not fit for basic cable graphic.”
Scott exhaled sharply in something resembling a laugh and nodded. He stepped towards them, placing the stuffed wolf on the bedside table. As he looked down at the baby, his eyes almost bugged out of his head. Honestly the way they all ended up staring at her, you would think that she was some sort of mythical creature that none of them believed existed in the first place. Which, given the fact that the room was filled with banshees and werewolves, kind of took a lot of doing.
Charlie found herself scanning all of their faces. It had been a while since the lot of them had been in the same room together, but it didn’t feel that way. Life had taken them different places, but somehow it never felt like they weren’t together. Screw those Christmas commercials. This was what family was supposed to look like.
“Everybody, I’d like you to meet Allison Claudia Oswinski.”
That moment felt a little like they were in a TV show or movie or something. The type that layers on a warm-toned instagram filters on top of the image, and then the camera slowly pans in on the group of people as they bask in the glow of their friendship and love while a soft, hopeful-sounding piano piece plays over it. It felt like that. Closure and the promise of many beautiful tomorrows.
“Wait, hold on a second,” Lydia’s voice suddenly demanded, breaking through the calm. “What do you mean her last name is ‘Oswinski’?”
Charlie and Stiles exchanged a look and both shrugged. “Hyphenating took up too much space on the page,” Stiles replied, jerking his head to the side noncommittally. “We decided to just—just mash the names together. Equal representation.”
Lydia stared at them, her mouth hanging open slightly in disbelief.
“That’s the stupidest damn thing I’ve ever heard.”
Because my inner fan girl needs to believe this is exactly how it happened….
Meryl sighed in contentment and snuggled further into Maks’s side as he hailed them a cab on the busy Brooklyn street. What a roller coaster 36 hours they’d had- from the emotional win on Dancing With the Stars, to the red eye to New York, to the scores of interviews they’d given and finally capped off by a beautiful family dinner hosted by Mama C.
Meryl was drained, emotionally and physically. All she wanted to do was sleep for a solid 12 hours and then sit down with Maks and decipher this “thing” that so obviously existed between the two of them. She felt Maks kiss her hair yet again, one of her most favorite things in the whole world, before he took her hand and gently pulled her toward the cab that had pulled to the curb.
“Come on, baby. We gotta go”
Nestled once again in his strong arms, all felt right in the world. No cameras, no one asking if they were dating, getting married and having babies, just… them. Meryl and Maks. The way it was meant to be. “So, everyone wants to know. Are you two dating? Having hot, sweaty, raunchy sex?” Maks whispered quietly in her ear. Jaw dropped, Meryl craned her neck to look him in the eye. “Maks! That’s not funny,” she whispered back to him, conscious of the cab driver just a few feet away. But his cheeky grin and smile lines around his eyes quickly melted her heart. “We like to keep our private lives private. How many times do you think we’ll have to use that line today?” Maks chucked quietly and buried his face in her neck. “It doesn’t matter. I’ll say it 1,000 times today if that’s what you want. We’ll stick to your script.”
It turned serious all of a sudden. “Maks, I’m sorry. I know you’re ready to shout from the rooftops. But I’m… I’m just not ready for the shitstorm that would cause. They wouldn’t just be happy that we were dating. They’d take it so much further than that and I’m just, I don’t want to share you, what we have just yet.”
“Meryl, I told you before, whatever you’re comfortable with is what we’ll go with. I’d do anything, be anything, give you anything you want, baby. That’s how I feel about you.”
Meryl leaned up and kissed his cheek, grateful for whoever had sent her this wonderful man. “We’re becoming masters of dodging questions,” she giggled. “You know no one believes us, right?”
“That’s because I can’t keep my hands off of you. All I can think about is touching you constantly.”
“Maybe you can manage to keep your shirt on today, babe.”
“Hey, I asked!” Maks laughed, defending himself.
“I know. That was the cutest thing ever”
“I wouldn’t have done it if you weren’t comfortable. Everything I have belongs to you.”
Meryl felt her heart race, she was so in love with this man it was crazy. 17 years dancing with Charlie and she’d never felt a fraction of what she’d developed with Maks in just 3 short months. Soulmates, they were soulmates.
The cab reached their destination- the Wendy Williams sound stage. One more day of interviews and they’d be done. She couldn’t fucking wait.
Maks held her hand as she got of the cab and saw Jessica from Glamour magazine running up to them. “Meryl! Meryl! Can I ask you a few questions?” Meryl was proud of what her and Maks had accomplished and happy to talk about it. But these days it was inevitable that she would be asked more questions about their relationship than the entire reason they were being carted to these interviews- dancing.
She answered the few obligatory questions and then, bam, predictably so, Jessica asked, “Switching gears, you and Maks have been bombarded by the “are-they-or-aren’t-they-dating?” questions—from myself included. You have managed to really work around the question, but I know it’s not easy for you.” And suddenly, something inside Meryl snapped. She couldn’t handle it anymore. Just a week, all she wanted was one fucking week to figure out exactly where her and Maks were heading. Inwardly she sighed. “We’re not dating. We have an amazing relationship, an amazing friendship, but beyond that your personal life is your personal life.”
She felt Mask’s hand tighten imperceptibly around her waist, she knew he was surprised she’d just laid it out there like that, but what the hell. Maybe everyone would finally back the hell off a little bit. The rest of the short interview was a blur, she couldn’t recall any of the answers she’d given.
Once finished, Maks guided her into the building where they were quickly whisked off to separate dressing rooms for hair and makeup.
Half an hour later, all made up and ready for the interview. Meryl sat in her dressing room, head in her hands. She couldn’t believe she’d said that, it wasn’t planned, it just had fallen out of her mouth. No, they hadn’t defined their relationship yet, but they’d both determined they wouldn’t lie to the media. But technically, she hadn’t lied. They weren’t dating!
A soft knock at the door brought on a sudden heating of her body. Only one person instantly heated her body like that.
“Come in,” she called softly.
Maks appeared and as always, he simply took her breath away. Closing the door tightly behind him, he stalked over to her and grabbed her gently, pulling her in close to him and kissing her with every ounce of passion stored up in him. Once they broke the kiss, Meryl laid her forehead against her strong chest.
“Babe, Are you ok?”
Meryl sighed and nodded, something she’d done a lot already today. “Yea. I’m ok. Sorry about that. I- I don’t even know where it came from. It just, slipped out.”
Four hard raps on the door brought them both back. “5 minutes to showtime”, a stage hand yelled from the other side of the door.
“Later. We’ll finish this later,” Maks comforted her with a kiss to her forehead and a tight hug before grabbing her hand and walking toward the stage.
Little did she know, shit was about to get worse….
15 minutes later Meryl found herself sighing yet again and from the looks Maks kept giving her, he felt much the same way. She’d been against this appearance from the start, Wendy Williams had quite the reputation among talk show hosts and it wasn’t necessarily a good one. She wished they were back talking with Kelly again.
In her mind, Meryl counted down to the question she knew was coming. Three….. Two…. One…..
“Are you alls smooshing?”
Maks shifted uncomfortably in his seat. “I really have no idea what that means, what does that mean?”
Meryl was just as confused. “I know, I have no idea what that means either.”
Wendy pushed on, “Are you having sex? I mean, are you all, are you all boyfriend and girlfriend? Or, lovers or anything?”
What. In. The. Fuck. Was she fucking serious with that question? Geez. The level of uncomfortableness shot up tenfold. Her crossed leg began bouncing as she mentally counted the minutes until this interview would be over. Why couldn’t everyone stay the fuck out of hers and Maks’s business. This was getting fucking ridiculous. The only reason it was mildly amusing was because of the similar conversation they’d just had in the cab. Maks remembered that too if his raised eyes and small smirk had anything to do with it. But that was for their ears only. She was suddenly thankful for the answer she’d give to Glamour just a little while ago. Maybe 2 denials in 1 day would back the press the hell off for a little bit. Time to put a fucking end to this shit.
“Ooh, wow. We are, we’re not dating.” Meryl stuttered, holding her hands together tightly on her lap.
“You’re not dating?” Wendy seemed astonished
“Do you have a boyfriend?”
Why yes, she did have a boyfriend sitting a foot away from her, but Meryl couldn’t bring herself to tell an outright lie, no matter how ridiculous this situation was. Looking at Maks she came up with, “I think we, we like to keep the personal lives personal.” Take that, fucking Wendy Williams. Pride shone in Mask’s chocolate brown eyes as he looked at her.
Thankfully, they moved on, to the other popular topic surrounding them, well more specifically him- the People article. Meryl could tell by his tone that he was pissed and counting down the minutes himself, but like the professional he was, he continued to answer Wendy’s questions, although with much less conversation that he was typically giving. Meryl was grateful when she felt Maks’s large hand cover hers in a soothing manner. She broke hers apart and linked their hands together. He squeezed her hand, I love you, his eyes and body language said.
And at last, it was over. They frigidly hugged Wendy and together walked off the stage.
Half an hour later, they were back in the cab. They hadn’t spoken, but they understood each other that way. Maks radiated with tension and unbridled anger, not towards her, but towards the relentless media and the way their relationship was being splayed all over every media channel worldwide. The cab pulled up to his quaint Brooklyn home and Meryl looked up at him confused, “Maks, don’t we have to be at-“ Maks kissed her cheek and held a soft finger up to her lips, quieting her, “We have a little bit. We need to talk.”
Not the words a girl ever wanted to hear, but with Maks, everything was different for Meryl. She trusted him, she respected him, she loved him.
Settled in on the couch with steaming cups of hot chocolate, Maks turned to face her, his hand stroking her leg. “Baby, are you ok? That was fucking messed up back there.”
Meryl sat her coffee cup down and crawled into his lap, his corded arms automatically pulling her in close “I’m ok now. I’m sorry I lied, I know you hate outright lying to the media But I had to do something, it was getting so ridiculous.”
Maks sat his chin on top of her head, “You didn’t lie, baby. Technically, we’re not dating, and we are keeping our personal lives personal.”
Meryl pulled back to look him in the face. “We’re not dating? But I thought you wanted…”she trailed off thinking maybe she’d misinterpreted this whole thing.
“You thought I wanted what- to date you?” Meryl nodded. “Oh honey, we’re so past dating. Dating to me is something casual, uncommitted. We’re not dating, Meryl because I’m so in love with you I can’t see straight. I’ve never been in love before, never knew what it was like to truly love a woman. All of me loves all of you, Meryl.”
Meryl’s heart melted as this big teddy bear of a man bared his soul to her. “I love you too, Maks, so so much. You make me feel things I never thought I could feel or do or be. I never want to live without you, ever. Whatever label we put on our relationship, always remember that.”
Maks kissed her softly on the lips. “I can’t wait to marry you and make big, Russian, ice dancing babies with you.”
Meryl tossed her head back in laughter.
“You laugh, but I’m serious. I’m going to marry you one day, Meryl Davis.”
Meryl kissed him again. “Just so you know in advance, my answer is yes whenever you ask”
She’d never seen Maks smile any brighter and look more handsome than in that moment.
“Hey, Adam? Have you seen my glasses?” I
questioned from the living room. I had been looking for them so I could read a
book and I was not going to put my contacts on just to do that.
“I think I saw them in the kitchen!” He
responded. I walked over to the kitchen, rather slowly because I’m practically
blind without glasses on, trying not to bump into anything. Spotting them on
the counter, I sighed in relief. “Did you find them?” He smiled, walking into
the kitchen. He opened the fridge to get a bottle of water.
“Yep. I can finally see the world
again.” I said. “My hero!” I spoke dramatically, giving him a hug, laughing
before walking back out into the living room. I heard his laugh boom throughout
the house as he followed me. “Have you packed your stuff yet?” I asked, bending
down to pick up the pillow that was on the floor, setting it on my lap once I
“No, I started it this morning but was
too lazy to keep going.” He laughed, taking a sip of his water, putting his
feet on the coffee table in front of us.
Tomorrow, we were flying to Scotland to
meet Adam’s parents. Instead of going to Nashville and flying with them, we
decided we would just fly from New York and meet them there since they were
getting there sooner. I was mentally preparing myself for what was about to happen.
I’d spend three weeks, lying to the most amazing people I had ever met. It made
me feel guilty. I could tell Adam to tell the truth but it would make things
suck for him because he had been lying for so long.
“I’ve already packed everything, I just need
to check again.” I told him, opening my book. “Shit, Adam. Who the hell is
going to take care of Meredith?” Meredith was our cat, more mine, to be honest.
I got it on our first year of college and she was the cutest thing in the
world. She’s grumpy and sassy now but she used to be the most adorable kitten
ever. She’s still adorable but she also hates people.
“Just ask Karlie or something. Maybe
even Charlie can take care of her while we’re gone.” He suggested and I put
down the book.
“I’ll call Klossy.” I laughed, grabbing
my phone and dialing Karlie’s number. “Hey, I need to ask you a favor.” I
stated once she picked up.
“What, Tay?” She questioned.
“Can you take care of Meredith while
Adam and I are gone, please?” I inquired, hopeful she would say yes.
“Aw it’s like she’s your kid. While mom
and dad are away, the cool aunt takes care of it.” She laughed making me roll
“Shut up. Can you or not? Please?” I
“Yeah, sure thing, Swifty.” I told her
thank you and that I would drop her off on the way to the airport, before
“Taylor? Where is Meredith by the way?”
He spoke looking around. “I haven’t seen her in hours and she’s usually here.”
That was enough to make start looking for the damn cat. “Did you by chance
leave the balcony door open?” He questioned pointing at the open door after
fifteen minutes of looking. I groaned, walking outside to find the cat, on the
edge of the building. “Holy shit! That cat is like Spider-Man.” Adam laughed
making me slap his shoulder.
“How are we going to get her out of
there without her falling?” I sighed, as Meredith stared at me, probably
judging me. “This cat is suicidal, I swear.”
“Wait, I know. I’m going to get treats.”
Adam smiled, brightly, going inside. When he came back, he shook the bag of
treats in his hand, capturing the cat’s attention. “Come here, Mere. You want
this, don’t you? Yep, that’s it. Come on!” He spoke carefully when she started
moving towards her.
“Crap, she was going to fall.” I gasped
as she lost her balance but to my relief regained it and kept walking. “Come
here, kitty.” I tried to cheer her on. Anyone who was down there, looking up
was probably laughing at this situation. “Yeah, you’re doing it. Good girl.”
“Almost there.” Adam said. “Yes,
finally!” He yelled when she stepped foot into the balcony. “I don’t even know
why I let you bring this cat into the house.” He said, going into the house as
I followed him with Meredith in my arms. Not that she liked that very much
because I was pretty sure she scratched me.
“You love her too.” I smirked, closing
the balcony door and putting Meredith down. I walked to the living room,
smiling as I sat down. “Anyway, do you want me to help you pack?”
“You don’t have to, Tay bear.” I rolled
my eyes, standing up.
“That’s your answer for yes. Let’s go.”
I told him, laughing walking to his bedroom.
“I hate that you know me so well.” He
cackled, putting his arm around my shoulders as I pat his stomach.
“It’d be weird if I didn’t. We’ve been
living together for almost six years and I’ve known you since you were sixteen,
you idiot.” I told him, knowingly. “And I’ve seen your dick.” I laughed. “Best
friends forever, bitch!” I yelled out making his laugh ring my ears.
“Wait so you’re telling me that Gigi is
dating Joe, as in Joe Jonas who you dated and who broke up with over the phone
and you’re totally fine with it.” He tried to make sense of what I was telling
him as I helped him pack, minutes later. That man was a total mess when it came
to cleaning or packing, believe me.
“Why wouldn’t I be? It’s been ages and
the guy changed I guess and not to mention Gigi is a great friend of mine and
it would be stupid to be upset over something like that.” I explained as I took
a few t-shirts out of his closet.
“I guess you do have a point.” He nodded
his head, folding some sweatshirts and putting them in a suitcase. “Oh right, Burns
told me to tell you that he thinks Martha is super hot and that he would look
good with her.” He laughed.
“He needs to chill. How does he even
know her?” I questioned confused because I don’t remember introducing the two
“He saw her in your Instagram and at a
party, I think.” He replied, shrugging. Burns had been the first guy we met
when we got to New York. We were walking through campus and we didn’t know
where we were going, he was there and gave directions, turns out he lived in
the building next to ours so we became fast friends.
“Is that his way of telling me he wants
me to give him her number because that’s a hell no.” I spoke. Burns was the
type of guy that would date lots of girls and there was no way in hell I would
give him Martha’s number. “Are we done?” I looked around, checking if he had
“I think so.” He smiled, sitting down on
the bed, smiling at me.
i keep thinking about singer!derek and drummer!stiles and it's your fault, elisa. i keep thinking about while they're in the middle of a concert, and derek turns around to smile at stiles, stiles who's super sweaty and maybe shirtless and showing off his tattoos and a hickey or two or more from the night before. and stiles just smiles back, winks at him. and maybe they kiss sometimes on stage as well, cause they're out and proud and super public about their love
IN ADDITION TO
THAT i keep thinking about stiles twirling his drum stick with his long,
obscene fingers during practice, and all the other band members are annoyed
because they know that means derek isn’t listening. because derek is too busy
watching (and lbr drooling) those fingers work. the same fingers that touched
him the night before
you have ruined me with singer!derek and drummer!stiles and i need more
WAIT I THOUGHT OF
SOMETHING ELSE. imagine derek singing while making breakfast or dinner or
whatever and stiles comes into the kitchen and maybe joins him. but then derek
stops because “you’re a terrible singer, stiles” and stiles is just
so offended but it’s okay because he knows he can make derek laugh when he
sings disney songs terribly and loudly
Okay, Charlie you
sent me THIS THIS AMAZINGNESS like two days ago, and I had time to think about
it, obsess about, and SCREAM INTERNALLY ABOUT IT WHILE I IRONED and now YOU PUT IN ME THE NEEEEEEEED TO READ A
FIC LIKE THIS OR WRITE IT GODDAMN.
ASKING ME FOR THE CONTINUEATION CUZ NOW THEY’RE IN AN ESTABLISHED RELATIONSHIP
AND EVERYTHING GETS EVEN BETTER RIGHT?!?!? [god I love established relationship
OKAY let’s go in
TOTALLY STRIPS OFF FROM HIS TEE AT SOME POINT CUZ he’s too hot from constantly
having to move his whole body, cuz he totally DOES, I MEAN HE DRUMS WHIT HIS
WHOLE BODY AND SOUL AND THAT’S What makes him so good ya know??? ALSO he knows he has a hot bod and also TATTOOES,
WHO DOESN’T LIKE SEEING THOSE WHOOOOO??? [no seriosuly I’m so weak when it
comes to Stiles and tattoes oh my god]
ALSO it totally
amuses him to no end how when he STRIPS OFF FROM THE TEE AND THROWS IT IN THE
GENERAL DIRECTION OF WHERE DEREK IS STANDING (SO THAT DEREK LOOKS AT IT AND
KNOWS THAT STILES IS CHEST NAKED) HIS boyfried does everything in his power
to not look at the big screen in front of him where he knows their his drummer
is shown but ofc failing miserably, cuz he looks at it like every two seconds.
And he’d totally turn around and stare and maybe drool a little messing up the song, but it’s not like he can perform with his back to his
audince, now can he?
AND YES WHEN FINALLY THE SONG ENDS HE TOTALLY GOES TO STILES
AND KISSES THE HECK OUTTA HIM. leaving that asshole with his lips a little
parted and looking dazed and meanwhile the fans are screaming and cheering.
CUZ THEY ARE OUT AND PROUD AND THE FANS POSSIBLY LOVE THEM
EVEN MORE cuz helloooooo shipped them, called it since DAY 1.
And it’s beautiful because Stiles and Derek are one of the
very first gay couples to come out while still on tour and with a contract with
no that much difficulties cuz their Manager Steve? A TOTAL BADASS who’s happily
married to his husband James.. [I leave it to you to catch that reference
*boops your nose* this is it tho, the hint?? As in they are happy aND MARRIED
SO MARRIED HERE MARRIED MAAAARRIED]
JAMES WHO IS A BADASS LAWYER AND IS SUPER
FRIEND WITH LAWYER LAURA HALE. AND JUST KSJGHDKGDJFHBDFKN [someone write this
And Stiles and Derek being out and proud? Totally makes it
for an entire movement, and slowly more people start taking their example and
just come out, cuz fans Are not assholes, they love them for their music and
for who they are and not for who they do the do with.
Moving to the second point.
THE FINGERS OF DOOOM. Well not really doom because.. eheheh Derek might have called god’s gift a couple
of times while they were involved in really interesting tasks, AND Stiles
totally twirls the sticks around when he’s thinking about something (most of
the time he’s thinking of new beats, songs HE TOTALLY WRITES MUSIC TOO) and
it’s almost a tic, something that he does automatically with his hands when his
head is completely elsewhere. ANDD maybe the band during rehearsals is giving
each other tips and correcting something that seems off or something and then
DEREK SEEES STILES AND HE SORTS OF STOPS MIDPHRASE.
AND THE OTHERS TURN AND GROAN SIMULTANEOUSLY.
And it snaps Stiles from his thoughts and looks at his
friend and then at Derek, with that adorable innocent, confused puppy look that
he gets sometimes omg, AND THEN THE COCKY ASSHOLISH SMIRK MAKES ITS APPAREANCE
AND DEREK WANTS TO MAUL HIS FACE LIKE RIGHT THERE RIGHT NOW AND THE OTHERS ARE
“DUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUDE COME THE FUCK ON NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
STOP THAT PLEEEEEASSSEEEE”
AND LISTEN. YOU KNOW HOW MUCH I MISS ERICA. SO SHE’S THERE
IN THE BAND. SHE’S THE BADASS BASSIST.
AND SHE LITERALLY MAKES HEART FILTHY EYES AT THEM AND SAYS
“oH YES PLEASE” because she’s a really clever girl and she knows whATS UP and
she’s totally all of us.
And I’m almost sure you’re gonna ask me if I don’t tell you
now, so Imma tell you now.
The guys, knowing exactly what’s up from just taking a look
at them both? Wanna know how they come to know? How it happens? Of course you
wanna know how it happens. tsk [It’s currently midnight and I just saw that you
went to sleep so Imma obv post tomorrow, just now that if I make poor sense is
because my brain cells are dying.]
Stiles and Derek are the gross sweet couple that make heart
eyes at every given occasion. LIKE EVERY TIME THEY LOOK AT EACH OTHER YOU CAN
JUST SEE THE LOVE OOZING FROM THEIR FUCKING PORES. goD THEY’RE SO GROSS UGH.
BUT. Obviously, they’re also THAT COUPLE. THE ONE THAT
CANNOT GET THEIR HANDS OFF EACH OTHER, like if they’re near each other they
neED TO TOUCH. CONSTANTLY.
And I told you, after they get together, since they’ve been
lusting over each other for years, they do it like bunnies and the band
member’s might have luckily
unfortunately walked in on them.
(Erica often tried to sneak in, one memorable time after having
heard aMaZZZZING sounds she even brought popcorns. Derek had blushed and ducked
under the sheets, Stiles had laughed his head off and looked at her with an arm
thrown across his face, and with a fond smile said, “You’re unique Erica Reyes”
“Oh,” She’d said thoughtfully munching down her popcorns, “I’m
unique in a lot of things,” she agreed, “but trust me, not in wanting to see
all that.” Erica had replied with a wink.) [ @shealwaysreads ISOBEL YOU KNOW WHY I TAGGED YOU
HERE *HIGH FIVES*]
So okay, that’s how the band came to know.
BUT I’m not done with the fingers. I mean Der when he stops
midsentence that day is because he has a really clear flashback to the night
before where those amazing filthy dreamy fingers where in his ass wet with spit
and precum and driving him insane and ooooooooooookay you get me, [I told you
I’m super sleepy if I start writing you porn rn who knows where we’ll end up
to] so yes there’s some serious moaning and breath hitching memories playing in
his brain and he jUST. So ofc the bands just knOWS and decides to be good and clever mates and walk away, to give
them a moment.
Erica totally makes a dreamy sigh and is the last one to
walk away. (She still has to meet Boyd)
You said DISNEY SONGSSS??????????????? Charlie. YES.
AND you know what song Stiles sings to him??? ‘A whole new
world’ [cuz that’s my favourite even tho I know the Italian version and I
listened to the English one and I’m just ??? I have to relearn all of them in
English but I prefer the Italian ones sorry this is so weird lol]
STILES SINGS ALADDIN’S PART completely off tune as we said
but Derek is just so fond and enamoured at this point that just looks at Stiles
literally serenading him and he just goes along with it and sings Jasmine’s
part and fhsgsjdygjrgeywirwhuifgw CAN YOU IMAGINE THIS???. THIS IS THE CUTEST
AND FLUFFIEST THING EVER. THOSE BOYS SINGING DISNEY SONGS AT EACH OTHER???
JUST KILL ME.
And they’re just so grossly beautiful you know???
Anyway YES. Stiles and Derek couldn’t be happier, they’re
literally on top of the world and everything is fantastic.
AND THEY REALLY DO LIVE HAPPY FOREVER AND EVER.
[Charlie I was totally trolling you, see? sadness free, all
fluff for you, today. *plans the nest angsty thing that will totally make you
bawl your eyes out and cackles* shh I love you]