Disclaimer: Not mine, wish that big sun that's always shining there was mine though, then it would be much better weather here.
AN: Many thank you's to Chiquinta for proof reading this thing, still not sure if I should've posted this but oh well, what's the worst that could happen? I get flamed! Well, it's raining outside making for pretty lousy weather, I can always use an extra little flame to keep me warm and comfy :) But don't let that keep you from sending positive reviews ;) Enough of my babbling, on with Za Ztory.
After a thousand years
It was way early in the morning and Chris was having serious problems opening her eyes, but the doorbell rung yet again, so she stood up, if only to tell the offender all the painful things she could do with that same finger that was now ringing her out of her sleep.
She opened the door in only an XXL shirt, having thrown her robe in an unknown direction the morning before, she had been late. Her hair was sticking out in every direction and the blue of her eyes wasn't visible through the two stripes adorned with black-blue puffiness under it.
"What?" she croaked to the young and disgustingly awake young man standing before her.
"Chris Kelly?" he asked, by the look of him he was hoping he had woken up the wrong person, this one looked mean.
"Yeah, what?" she asked again, trying to find her normal speaking voice in her still sleeping throat.
"Uhm. Maybe I should come back another time." The young man said, only now she noticed he had a bag, a travelling bag with him.
"And you think of this now? What's your name kid?" she asked, by now figuring it would be just as easy to get whatever this was out of the way now so she could go back to her glorious warm and fuzzy bed.
"Victor." He answered, she figured he was a little scared of her.
"Well Victor, what are you doing at my doorstep at four in the morning?" she asked, feeling a desperate need for coffee, this wouldn't take long would it?
"I'm sorry about that, I was just so excited that I came here directly from the plane."
The plane, right, the boy had come here with a plane to see her, why would he want to see her? She racked her brain; did she have any family that might send her their son? Fat chance, so what did he want?
"Don't make me play twenty questions here, kid." She dropped her tone making it more threatening.
"Well, you see, my father and mother knew you some time ago, and my dad is turning sixty-five in a month, so I am trying to get everyone of his friends together, and also the persons they worked with. Well, mom and dad often said that their favourite team they worked with was the one where uhm. Mister Palero was the lieutenant, and well you were a part of that team and besides you, mom and dad the only ones alive today. So I thought I'd come down here and personally invite you to come." The boy said, obviously now questioning his brilliant idea now.
"It's Palermo." She just said, it was the only reaction she gave.
"What?" he asked, clearly confused.
"The lieutenant's name, you said Palero, it's Palermo." She said, now more craving a nice shot of whiskey then coffee, or an Irish coffee, which would be good too.
"Well, I don't think it would be a good idea for me to come, kid, sorry to have wasted your time and money." She said and was about to close the door when he stopped her.
"Why not?" he asked innocently.
"Because." She answered, and then shut the door.
He rung again, and with a sigh she opened the door.
"What now?" she asked, feeling a headache coming on.
"Well," the boy stuttered "I don't have an hotel." He looked appropriately ashamed.
"And you want to crash on my couch." Chris concluded. "Me an old woman alone in this big house, should let a young man she doesn't even know in at this time of night." She sarcastically added.
"Or you could point me in the direction of a motel or hotel that gives out rooms at 4 in the morning." He helpfully suggested.
"Tell me you have rented a car." She asked, fearing he hadn't.
"No ma'am, I took a cab, and I can take one again." He said, like cabs often rode in this neighbourhood in the middle of the night.
"Show me your passport." She sighed, and held out her hand. He quickly fished it out of his pocket and handed it over. She carefully looked it over, then handed it back.
"My couch it is." She said and let him in. She ushered him over to the couch but went to the kitchen herself, she really needed that drink. That a Callaway would be spending the night on her couch, it was almost too much for her.
"Uhm. Could I use your bathroom?" Victor asked, interrupting her vital pondering.
"It's the door left of the stairs." She informed him, then went back to her precious drink.
A scream pierced the relatively quiet house, Chris sighed yet again and went to the place she knew it orientated.
"Victor, meet my granddaughter Daisy, Daisy, meet Victor explanation will follow in the morning, now you go to sleep." Chris said as she ushered her granddaughter back upstairs, following her, leaving Victor alone on the ground floor.
"Nana, who was that?" she asked once they were safely in the girl's room.
"Victor." Chris just said, carefully adjusting the blankets around her girl.
"Yeah, I got that, but who is he and what is he doing here in the middle of the night?" Daisy asked, annoyed that her grandma was being so secretive.
"He's spending the night, so you can ask him all about it in the morning. I meant what I said though, you need to sleep." She tucked her in and gave her a kiss on the forehead, before the girl could protest she turned off the light and left the room, she was in no mood to answer any questions tonight.
Answers however, were a whole other thing.
"So, how are Cory and TC these days?" she asked, when she came downstairs, finding Victor sitting on the couch.
"They are very well, I don't think I have ever seen such healthy 60+'ers." Victor informed her, the boy couldn't be over twenty five years old but that would mean Cory would have been at least 40 when she had him, not a very appealing thought, a new kid at 40.
"So, you have any siblings?" Chris asked, wondering exactly how many MacNamara/Callaway crossbreeds walked this earth.
"Yes, one older sister, I am the baby of the family." He informed her "Alex has two children of her own these days, so I guess that makes me the ex baby." He said, really reminding her of his father just with the way he moved and talked.
"Right, I guess I really haven't seen them in a very long time." Chris said truthfully, it wasn't like that wasn't a very obvious fact.
"But you could, at this party, I'm sure they would both love it if you'd come." Victor tried to persuade her.
She just smiled a little sadly at him "I'm going back to bed, I'm too old to be awake at this time of night. You'll find a blanket in the closet next to the bathroom. Turn off the light when you go to sleep alright?" she said and calmly left.
In her own room however, the much desired sleep wouldn't come. She had known Cory and TC had slept together one night, and possibly made a baby together, but two? And now they were obviously still together. She turned to her nightstand and opened the upper drawer, without looking she stuck her hand in and picked up something, she knew it's location by heart.
Slowly she turned her wedding ring around in her hands. She never had divorced him, never could get up the courage to fill out the forms. She knew it was stupid, they were over, he was happy with someone else, had two children and two grandchildren, but on the other hand, she never went into hiding or anything, he could have sent her the papers as well. Maybe it just didn't matter to him anymore. She briefly wondered how much their children knew about his marital status, but then dismissed it, Victor obviously didn't know his father was married to the scary old hag he had met this morning.
If it wasn't for the nasty things that happened at the end Chris would have been happy to go see her old friends, but like this, no, she really couldn't. ======
Around ten o'clock next morning she woke up. For a moment she panicked, knowing she should have been at work an hour ago, then realized it was Saturday. She may be 67 years old but really didn't feel like retiring, she had no clue what she would do with herself if she didn't have anything useful to do. She pulled herself out of bed, picked her robe up off the plant it had apparently landed on the previous morning and went downstairs.
She found Daisy and Victor in the kitchen munching away at breakfast; apparently the young man thought she was a free hotel. She cleared her throat, and then decided to let it go, she didn't feel like getting mad. The two looked up at her.
"Good morning." She just said and moved to the sink where she found the drink she had poured herself the night before but never had a chance to finish, she threw the contents of the glass in the sink.
"Morning nana." Daisy said, cheerfully as if she hadn't been rudely awoken in the middle of the night because a strange man had been roaming the house.
"Good morning Mrs Kelly." Victor politely said.
"I hope you don't mind, I gave Victor some breakfast, he looked half starved." Daisy informed her, quickly saying it wasn't rudeness on his end that he was making himself totally at home in the house.
"That's good of you sweetie." Chris said, pouring herself some cereal and joining them "So has he informed you?" she asked, between bites. Daisy nodded
"Yes, so why don't you go?" Daisy asked.
"Well besides the fact that it is far away and I would have to leave you all alone here, we didn't really part on the best terms." Chris said, diplomatically, she glanced at Victor, a thought, quicker then flash with by her, this could have been her son.
"Yeah, but that's all in the past right? I mean, like thirty years have passed since then." Daisy argued "I know you will regret it if you don't go, and you're always telling me to live without regrets."
"Yes ma'am when they speak of your time together they always speak fondly of you."
"We did have some pretty good times." Chris smiled at the memory "but the end wasn't pretty, some things are just supposed to be left buried. Besides that still doesn't answer what I would be doing with you." Chris looked at Daisy.
"I could come with you." Daisy said, now set on watching this one unfold.
"No you're not." Chris said, she wasn't even going, why would her granddaughter go?
"Are you ashamed of me?" Daisy asked, her eyes getting a little teary. Chris knew she was being manipulated.
"No I'm not, but." Chris couldn't finish her sentence as Daisy cut in "You're ashamed to be seen with a junkie's daughter by your old friends!" Daisy accused, knowing full well it wasn't true.
Victor meanwhile, was trying to make himself invisible.
"Daisy, listen to me. I am not going to this thing, it is not because of you it is because of the skeletons in my closet, you my have noticed those big white bony things that I don't like to talk about? Well this happens to be one of them. I am not going." Chris stated, feeling the headache that had started that night come back with a couple of friends.
"Sorry nana." Daisy said, quick to make up.
"It's alright sweetie. Victor, what time are you leaving?" she asked, she knew it was horribly impolite but she just wanted him gone, there were just too many memories connected to his name.
"Nana, can I speak to you in private for a moment?" Daisy asked before Victor could answer, he had his mouth full you see. Chris nodded and they went into the hallway, closing the door behind them.
"Look, I don't know what this guy did to you, but you haven't dealt with it, you aren't over it, you just suppressed it. You need to deal with it or you'll never be really happy, live without regret remember?"
"No.. No I am not going, I don't care what I said, by the way, it is very mean to bring my own words into this, it is not appropriate to just appear on his party like that!"
==== One month later ===
"Ladies and gentlemen, please fasten your seatbelt we will be landing shortly." Chris grumbled some rude words, something about turning the plane around, or just pointing it nose down to the ground.
"Nana don't be such a baby." Daisy chided her.
Daisy obviously wasn't her real granddaughter as Chris never actually had any children, one day Chris had arrested junkie who, in exchange for a lesser sentence was willing to testify against a mayor player in the drug circuit. Her daughter needed to be taken into protective custody though, and needed someone to look after her as the junkie did her time in jail. Daisy, 14 years old now but wise beyond her age had been in Chris' care for 1.5 years when her mother returned she had just turned nine, but the mother was still hooked on drugs so Chris had offered to keep her, and Daisy's mother had agreed. The girl had been living with her 'grandmother' for six years now. Her mother still came to visit sometimes.
"I'm not being a baby, what am I going to say to them?" Chris whined, for a granny she could be very childish.
"Well, something like, hey congratulations wish you well on the next 65. Then you move on and they'll mingle with the rest of the crowd, maybe they'll have to ask your name, it has been a long time." Daisy assured her. Chris just snorted, some people you just didn't forget.
They had checked into a hotel, freshened up, made themselves look pretty and now stood before the door Victor had told them was the right one. It was open, there were a lot of people there already and if Chris was right there would probably be lots more outside.
A little girl pulled on Chris' skirt, she couldn't be more then five years old, it was a little creepy, she had TC's smile but Cory's eyes, plus of course, some features she didn't recognise.
"Are you in?" The little girl asked, blessed with naïve innocence.
"I don't know, now would probably be a good time to turn back." Chris answered her.
"But we got cake! Gwamps is birthday!" she answered, like that would solve all problems in the universe.
A woman who looked a lot like Cory at that age, but carrying TC's smile also came to her rescue, or so she thought.
"Hey, sorry if she bothered you, are you friends of dad?" she asked, picking up her daughter.
"No, we must have got the wrong house, sorry." Chris quickly answered, Daisy elbowed her in the side.
"Nana." She threatened. Chris felt like a dear caught in the headlights.
"OK, I used to work with him and Cory, your brother invited me, but I'm sure TC doesn't even remember me, I shouldn't have come." Alex, at least Chris figured this must be Alex, looked at her, then her face cleared up.
"Oh! You're Chris, they remember you! Of course they remember. Come in, I'm Alex, this is Sam, follow me I'll bring you to my folks." She said cheerfully introducing herself, naïve innocence must be running in the family.
"Great." Chris said, barely managing to keep the sarcasm out of her voice. "This is Daisy by the way, my granddaughter." She said as she followed Alex with a growing sense of dread.
"It is great to meet you." Alex said. Chris heard the room fall silent, people that knew whispered the stories to people who didn't know, yet. Alex wasn't oblivious to this but it didn't stop her. The nearer they came the more people fell silent, at the end only TC's voice was audible as he told someone about a fish he once caught.
Cory spotted her first, and nudged her lover. He looked at her, then followed her stare to where Chris stood. His mouth stopped mid-sentence.
"You're son invited me, I just came to wish you a happy birthday." Chris said, eternally grateful her suddenly parched throat allowed her any speech at all.
"Thank you." He said after a couple of excruciating moments of silence "How have you been?" he asked, feeling a bit weird.
"Good, good, I would have come sooner but." she didn't finis her sentence "This is my granddaughter, Daisy." She introduced the girl.
"Hey." Daisy said, now understanding why her nana really hadn't wanted to go, these people were good at the silent treatment.
"Your granddaughter, so you've." Cory semi-asked, but Chris shook her head
"No, I sort of adopted Daisy." She explained. "Look, I just came to congratulate you and give you this." She approached TC and got her ring from her pocket and, without letting it be seen by anyone, she closed it in his hand. "Or maybe I should be giving it to you." Chris said to Cory. "Anyway, I did what I came to do, so I'll be going now, have a nice party, and I wish you all the best."
When both TC and Cory remained silent Chris turned around and walked out. Daisy quickly walked after her, not really feeling like being left alone in this crowd.
When she came outside Chris couldn't stop her tears anymore, she wanted to run away and hide but the shoes she was wearing added with her age wouldn't allow it.
"You OK nana?" Daisy asked, she had never seen her grandmother in such a way.
"I'll be fine sweetie." She answered, but didn't know if she was lying or telling the truth.
"I love you Nana." She said, trying to make her feel less alone.
"I love you too sweetie." Chris answered and lay her arm around Daisy's shoulder, Daisy locked her arm around her nana's waist.
"Chris wait." Chris closed her eyes and imagined she was young again, and it was a younger TC then she had just seen that called out to her, then she opened them again and kept on walking, she didn't want him to see her tears. She didn't want him to think she was weak.
"Chris wait!" he was closer now, obviously he had had the sense to wear shoes you can actually run in. It didn't take long for him to catch up with her, he stopped right in front of her. Daisy did a couple of steps back, knowing that this was between them. Next to her another old woman stopped to look at the couple staring at each other on the middle of the road. She remembered this was Cory.
"Chris, just come back inside, don't walk away again." TC pleaded, he brought up his hand and gently wiped away the tears from her cheeks.
"I can't TC, it's not where I belong. But you do, you belong with your real wife and your children and grandchildren and your cake and your friends and party. I have my own, somewhere else. I was wrong to come here like this, I'm sorry." She tried to push past him but he grabbed her by the arms.
"Chris, if anyone is my real life it's you." He said, not caring he was a grandpa standing in the middle of the road confessing his love to a woman he hadn't seen in a thousand years.
"Yeah, you just happened to have two children with Cory." Chris said, defending herself with sarcasm.
"Alex is mine and Cory's Victor is my nephew, I took him in when my sister died, Victor was only two. You know kids, they do everything their older sibling does, including calling me dad. Just, don't leave again Chris, we have some things to talk about."
"We always sucked at talking." She said, not knowing whether to laugh or cry.
"Just accept this back, and I'll know we'll work it out." TC said and offered her the ring she had given him just minutes before.
"You know you're nuts right? I mean, we haven't seen each other for like thirty or forty years and.." She didn't know what else to say.
"So you'll take it?" he asked, still holding out the ring.
"Yeah, I'll take it." She said, and tried not to shake when he slid it on her finger, miraculously enough, it still fitted. He pulled her into a hug and whispered "I'd twirl you around but I'm afraid I'll break something." Chris laughed and pulled back a little so she could kiss him.
"Well it took them long enough." Cory commented dryly.
"You alright with this?" Daisy asked incredulously.
"Well, yeah, TC and I tried it for a while but I must say, it is very annoying to be in a relationship with someone who is still pining for someone else, so we just became co-parents." She explained, then took Daisy back to the house "We should probably give them some privacy."
"Mom, why is dad kissing that lady on the street?" Alex asked.
"They're married honey, it's OK." Cory said walking into the house, that once again was filled with a shocked silence.
"What? When did this happen?" she asked, surprised into stupidity.
"A long time ago, somewhere before you were even born, don't worry honey, they just have a bit of a dramatic flare." Cory assured her daughter, a smile playing on her lips.
So whatya think?