Hello all! It has been a while since I have been around due to work, and I owe a TON of feedback to all the talented writers that have been updating and adding stories, but I had an idea for an April Fools story and thought I would start with that. It is short, but I hope you all enjoy! - B
A Grain of Truth
With a grumble and a slam of her door Charlotte tossed the pile of papers onto her desk and paced back and forth. "This has got to be the stupidest, most nonsensical idea for a way to spend a day that anyone ever created and just my stupid luck – it's Miles' favorite day. We fought an entire war, defeated some invisible robot my mother created and now that I am stuck behind a desk and bored out of my mind in Austin, Miles decides he wants to share his "favorite holiday", IDIOT!" Moving toward the window, Charlotte swayed a bit before sucking in a deep breath to steady herself. Closing her eyes she attempted to let the fresh morning air calm her – settle her, before taking her seat a few moments later and attempting to process the last 12 hours. Miles had spent more than an hour last night recounting the joys of April Fools, which would have been ok, if he hadn't started by playing a prank on her, or if she hadn't been alcohol free for the 10th painful week in a row. She might have found his all-too-serious declaration that he and her mother were having another child marginally acceptable, if a) she still wasn't traumatized by all the noise those two made and how gross it was to think of that mental picture, or b) if the idea that her child was going to be the same age as her sibling didn't creep her out. As it was, she still hadn't found the precise way she wanted to tell her parents about the man she was in love with, much less that they were actually having a baby – unlike the "Hilarious" joke Miles thinks he told. "God, he is more fun as a grumbling, grouchy drunk!"
"Who's more fun as a grouchy… forget it." Stopped the gruff voice, "I know the grumbling, grouchy drunk of which you are talking; have for a lot of years now."
Charlotte looked up and shook her head, "What do you want?" she groused.
Having learned decades ago that arguing with a woman was a bad idea he simply said, "Saw you charging through the capital and figured only three or four possible options could have caused this mood; ain't seen your mother or father today, so I figured I had a 50/50 shot at it being me and wanted to see if I was safe, or under fire."
Charlotte stared at the intruder that had disturbed her rant, and wondered if he was safe, or if she should consider throwing something hard, heavy and sharp at him. They stared at each other for a few minutes and she watched him take a seat before she groused, "Miles".
"What did everyone's favorite drunk do now?"
Rolling her eyes she reluctantly responded, "Evidently, the man that can't help himself, but feels the need to tell everyone else to 'keep the stupid to a minimum', has a favorite holiday. And before you ask – no, it's not Christmas, or Valentine's Day, or what would logically make sense for a functioning alcoholic – St. Patrick's Day… oh, no, no! Miles 'keep the stupid to a minimum' Matheson LOVES April Fool's Day! Can you believe that?"
Nodding he knew one thing to be fact above all else – that was not a question he wanted to answer, because it wouldn't end well. They sat in silence for a long time before he finally asked, "Have you thought about a little revenge? I mean it would fit with his favorite holiday… you wouldn't even have to create some elaborate hoax. You could just share a few of the secrets you have been keeping…"
Tilting her head she stared in awe at the simplicity of the suggestion. Bouncing the thoughts around her head, she wondered if she could… how she could use this day to get her revenge and solve a few of her own problems. "You would be willing to help me?"
Chuckling, "You have to know by now I would do whatever you need, plus this comes with the added bonus of sticking it to Miles… so yes, I'm in!"
"You might want to hear the plan before you agree…" she choked out.
- later that evening –
Rachel hummed as she put the finishing touches on, what Miles was sure was a completely inedible meal. He had offered to buy something from her dad's new girlfriend, but Rachel was intent on creating the whole happy family moment when Charlie stopped by earlier today and asked if she could bring her boyfriend by tonight for a family dinner.
Seconds later the banging of the front door, as it swung open, and Bass called out, interrupted the same list of questions that had been playing all day in his head. "So buddy, what's with the family dinner tonight?"
Barking Rachel questioned, "Why are you here? It is a family dinner and you are not family, you are the bane of my existence that won't disappear!"
"Give it a rest Rachel; Bass is my family and clearly Charlie asked him to be here." Miles replied.
"Yeah, I'm Charlotte's guest…"
"Shut up Bass!" Miles barked in an attempt to avoid another fight.
Then from the front hall, "So what's the big family dinner for tonight?" called Aaron as he walked through the house. "Oh, Rachel's cooking… Oh… yeah?"
Bass laughed as he walked past Aaron and patted him on the back, "I'm planning an all liquid dinner; you want in? Looks like Miles has already started without us…"
Rolling her eyes, Rachel mumbled, "Just sit down. Charlie and her boyfriend should be here any minute."
Bass and Aaron looked at Miles for more information but only got an almost inaudible, "I don't know. She said that they've been together for a while, something like 8 months or a year, but she finally decided that it was time we met him. I'm trying to figure out if I should sit on the front porch with a shotgun to welcome the loser that thinks he is good enough for my little girl, or congratulate him for lasting 6 months with my little hellion… just a thought".
Waving a spoon in anger, Rachel lectured, "You will sit right there and greet whomever it is nicely; and you too will just be quiet."
Before anyone could say a word, the sound of Charlotte's voice carried through the hallway, "Mom, we are here…". The four occupants of the kitchen turned toward the voice and smiled as Charlotte walked into the doorway. "Oh, good! Everyone is here!" Then reaching a hand back into the hallway she said, "Mom, Miles… this is the man I have been dating and the father of my child…".
Miles sputtered the booze he had just drank as he watched in horror as Frank 'fucking-walnut' Blanchard stepped into the kitchen and slipped an arm around his little girl. Rachel screamed, and somehow Bass found the whole psychotic moment hilarious, but Miles just sat there. In fact it wasn't until a moment later when Frank said, "Now I know you're a little shocked that this spit fire would want an old curmudgeon like me, but I told her that since she's been keepin' away from the booze for the last 10 weeks so the baby would be health, we would have to tell you all soon."
At the sight of Frank patting his daughter's abdomen Miles stood and reached for his shotgun mounted over the fireplace, as he heard Rachel slump to the floor and begin crying about the whole mess. Miles cocked the weapon and said, "I knew I should have killed you years ago."
At Miles' reaction Charlie and Frank nearly doubled over with laughter to the shock of everyone and Aaron sputtered to say, "Miles, maybe we should all sit down… and why are you two laughing, HE HAS A GUN?!"
Bass stood and took the gun from Miles, "Relax, you aren't shooting anyone."
Miles turned on Bass and screamed, "Why aren't you outraged? You idiot! Everyone knows you are in love with her, and she comes in here pregnant by the crypt keeper – who probably needs a handful of herbal Viagra to even get the job done, and all you can do is laugh? What is wrong with you?!"
Offended, Frank responded, "Hey, I object to the crypt keeper reference and I am plenty man to get the job done!"
"Oh God, that thought is revolting!" yelled Aaron, Bass and Miles in unison.
Banging a spoon against the bottom of an empty pot Rachel screamed, "ENOUGH! Clearly this is not what we expected or want, in fact I would actually have preferred your idiot best friend Bass of over… this… but…".
Seeing her opening, Charlie stopped her laughing and softly asked, "You would be ok with me and Bass?"
Hearing the hopeful tone in her voice Rachel said, "A hell of a lot more ok than you with Frank!"
Smiling Charlie walked over and hugged her mother before shrieking, "APRIL FOOLS!"
Everyone stopped dead trying to process her words. And after a moment Rachel looked down at her and asked, "So you're not dating Frank? You're not pregnant?"
Looking around the room Charlie made sure she had the eyes of everyone before saying, "No, I'm not dating Frank. That was an awesome – if not a little gross – joke. But I am dating someone… actually we are engaged, he asked me on Valentine's Day. And, I am pregnant, so Bass and I will be parents soon – that part wasn't a joke."
"Bass?" asked Rachel, "Oh, thank God!"
"Bet none of you ever thought you would hear those words out of her mouth?" Aaron deadpanned.
Charlotte let go of her mother and stepped into Bass' arms before addressing her family, "I really love him and I know he loves me; but even better I am so excited about this baby and I just didn't know how to tell you two without you going all crazy and Miles threatening to kill him…"
Miles looked around the room and smiled. His best friend was in love with his daughter, and thankfully she loved him back. He wasn't sure he was ready for the whole grandpa 'thing', but better Bass' kid than Frank's. "You know that was one evil April fool's prank…"
Reaching out a hand, Charlie smiled and said, "It's your favorite holiday and you said they best pranks have a grain of truth…"