Shelby entered the diner they had chosen to have breakfast with. She felt that yesterday had gone positively and she was looking forward to seeing Rachel again today. She noticed that Leroy, Hiram and Rachel were already there. Shelby smiled over at them before heading in their direction. She noticed that the girl didn't look too happy.
"Sorry, someone is a bit grumpy today" Leroy stated after saying their hellos to Shelby.
"Oh no, what's wrong?" Shelby asked her daughter softly but instant only received a glare in response.
"Just ignore her. She'll come out of it. She isn't happy because we told her she couldn't go out with her knee-high socks and that she also needed to put a vest on under her top and a sweater on the top" Hiram explained. Rachel blushed before jumping from her seat and storming to the restroom.
Shelby looked at Hiram and Leroy. She was unsure how to react and didn't want to step on anyone's toes. She wasn't sure if this was normal behaviour for the girl or if it was because of her presence.
"This is her newest thing, going into the ladies so that neither of us can go in and get to her" Leroy explained. Shelby thought for a moment. She wasn't sure if she would be overstepping the mark but she was the only person able to go into the woman's restroom.
"Do you want me to try and speak to her?" Shelby asked softly. She knew the men would say if they wished she didn't.
"You can try?" Hiram said and Shelby nodded. She finished taking off her jacket and politely asked the men to keep an eye on her purse before she walked to the restroom.
On arrival, Shelby was relieved to see that only one stall was occupied.
"Rachel can you let me in please?" Shelby asked softly. She didn't get a reply so tried again using a slightly firmer tone.
"Let me in so we can have a little chat and then we will go back to the table" Shelby instructed. It came so naturally that she gave herself a bit of a shock. She actually sounded like a mother. She heard a slight movement before the door opened just enough for Shelby to get in.
Rachel tried to wipe her eyes quickly. She was embarrassed that she had been crying and hoped that the woman would not notice. Shelby did notice but was unsure if Rachel was quite sensitive and emotional or if it was unusual for her to cry.
"Hey, what's all this about?" Shelby asked softly as she ran her fingers through the girl's hair.
"My dads' ruined my outfit and then they told you" Rachel complained.
"It's okay they told me" Shelby said softly "I'm your mom"
"But it's embarrassing" Rachel grumbled
"How is it embarrassing?" Shelby asked confused. Shelby wasn't sure if it was because she had stormed off or if she was just missing the point.
"I wanted my outfit to be perfect for you and then they told you about my underwear" Rachel said blushing again.
"Your outfit doesn't have to be perfect for me! I'm your mum, I don't care what you are wearing. I still love you the same. And so, it's underwear. Again I'm your mom. We all have to wear it" Shelby said wanting to show her daughter that it wasn't an embarrassing topic.
"You love me?" Rachel asked timidly and Shelby nodded.
"I have loved you since the day I found out I was pregnant with you" Shelby said and Rachel smiled.
"Can I get a hug now?" Shelby asked and Rachel nodded. She threw herself at her mother and snuzzled into her chest.
"Shall we go for breakfast now? I don't know about you but I am starving" Shelby said and Rachel nodded. They walked out to the table hand in hand. Leroy and Hiram glanced at each other; they were impression. How had Shelby managed to be so successful in less than 10 minutes.
"How did you manage that?" Hiram whispered to Shelby as she walked past them to take her seat. Shelby just smiled. Maybe she could manage this.
"Are you still on for tomorrow?" Hiram asked and Shelby nodded.
"You bet" Shelby said as they looked through the menu. The waitress came and took their orders before they returned to their conversation.
"What show are you going to see?" Shelby asked.
"Rent" Hiram said smiling and Shelby laughed.
"What's so funny?" Rachel asked confused.
"Your mother was in the original Rent cast" Leroy explained.
"That's so cool. Can I see it?" Rachel asked excitedly.
"No way" Shelby hit back. Leroy and Hiram didn't even have time to get a word in edge.
"Its not for someone your age. When you are older you can watch the movie. Your mother is in it" Leroy explained and Shelby's face dropped.
"You will not be watching that movie" Shelby stepped in.
"Why not?" Rachel asked pouting.
"I don't want you to see the way I was dancing" Shelby said embarrassed and both Hiram and Leroy laughed.
"So brunch at 11:30 tomrrow?" Hiram suggested after they eat.
"That sounds good, would you mind staying backstage while I perform?" Shelby asked.
"That would be so cool" Rachel said and Shelby smiled.
The next day
Brunch had gone as planned and now Shelby and Rachel were on their way to the theatre. Shelby had Rachel's overnight bag hung over her shoulder. She was looking forward to spending time with her daughter as they hadn't spent a lot of time together yesterday.
They arrived at the theatre and headed straight to Shelby's dressing room.
"Do you want to come and warm up with me?" Shelby asked and Rachel nodded enthusiastically. She joined her mother on the stage and made quick work copying her. The dance stretches were easy to copy and she quickly followed her mother's vocal warm ups as well. She sang quietly meaning that Shelby couldn't fully hear all her vocal ability, but she could tell the girl was good.
Once warmed up, they returned to Shelby's dressing room to allow Shelby enough time to get ready. Rachel watched her mother turn into Elphaba and smiled. Shelby seemed right at home and this helped Rachel to relax as well.
"You can watch the show from backstage if you want but you must stay out of the way" Shelby explained and Rachel nodded. She thought for a moment.
"Will you show me where I can sit?" Rachel asked nervously. She didn't want to be a hassle and get in the way. Shelby smiled.
"Of course" Shelby said as she guided the girl over to an area which she knew would be clear for the whole show.
Once started, the first act went relatively fast and Rachel really enjoyed it. She grabbed her mother's hand after the "Defying Gravity" lift and went with her to the dressing room for the intermission.
"So are you enjoying it?" Shelby asked and Rachel nodded.
"I love the lift thing at the end. Is it scary? You go so high" Rachel exclaimed.
"It was too start with but now I'm used to it" Shelby said and Rachel nodded. They spoke for a bit longer before Shelby had to go back on stage. Rachel went back to her position where she stayed for the rest of the show. Shelby was proud of the girl for behaving so well.
Once the show finished, Shelby decided she wasn't going to do stage door. She felt bad but she needed to get her daughter home. She just wanted to spend some time with her before she returned to Lima tomorrow.
Shelby explained to staff what she was going to do and they all agreed allowing her to use a separate exit. Shelby thanked them all for their help and left with Rachel in tow in a taxi.
"What food do you want when we get home?" Shelby asked as she was hungry and sure the girl would be too. Rachel shrugged.
"Anything but pancakes" The girl said and Shelby laughed.
"Well that wasn't what I was thinking anyway" Shelby said.
"No pizza or pasta either" Rachel said and Shelby nodded. Slowly they were narrowing down the choices.
"Mexican?" Shelby suggested.
"Yes, please. Please Shelby" Rachel begged and Shelby smiled. She loved it when the girl got excited.
"Okay that's sorted. What do you like?" Shelby asked and Rachel shrugged. She knew that the girl wasn't being awkward and genuinely didn't know what she would have.
They soon arrived home and Shelby instructed Rachel to get changed into her pyjamas while Shelby ordered the food and then changed herself.
When Shelby returned, Rachel was sat on the sofa watching an episode of something which Shelby wasn't familiar with but it looked suitable for children. Shelby sat down and watched it with the girl while they waited for the food.
"I don't know what you liked so I thought we could just share it all. I got nachos, enchiladas and quesadillas" Shelby explained.
"I like the first thing. I've had it before" Rachel said confidently and Shelby nodded.
"Good and will you try the others?" Shelby asked and Rachel nodded. She liked trying new food. Shelby quickly got them plates and they sat at the breakfast bar and spoke. Shelby loved just listening to the girl and getting to know her better.
"Right, you need to have a shower before bed" Shelby said once they finished eating.
"No I don't want to" Rachel complained.
"You need too. Your dads asked me to make sure you had one" Shelby said standing her ground.
"They just want to ruin our time together" Rachel complained as she went to storm out of the room but Shelby caught her by the arm.
"I don't like people walking out on me. Tell me what the matter is? What do you mean by ruining our time together" Shelby asked.
"If I have a shower then I will spend less time with you" Rachel said before curling up into a ball and dropping to the ground.
"Hey" Shelby said as she sat on the ground next to the girl.
"Your dad isn't trying to ruin out time together" Shelby said "How about I run you a bath and I'll wash your hair?"
Rachel nodded. She was slightly embarrassed now though.
"I'll go and run it for you" Shelby said as she stood up from the ground.
Shelby disappeared and called Rachel through once the bath was ready.
"I'll leave you for five minutes to wash your body and then I'll come through and wash your hair" Shelby explained. She was aware that the girl was 12 now and although she was her mother, the girl had only met her two days ago and didn't think she would want to be naked in front of her.
Shelby waited and then knocked on the door before entering 5 minutes later.
"Are you ready to have your hair washed?" Shelby asked and Rachel nodded. She put her head back and allowed Shelby to wet her hair. She couldn't remember the last time her fathers did this for her. It wasn't that they didn't car, they did. They cared a lot. They just didn't think about moments like this.
"Can I have your shampoo?" Rachel asked softly and Shelby nodded.
"Sure, any reason?" Shelby asked curiously.
"I want to smell like you" Rachel said and Shelby smiled. They spoke while she shampooed and conditioned her hair.
"I'll leave you to get out and then I'll dry your hair" Shelby said and Rachel smiled. She did as her mother asked and then wandered into Shelby's room where the woman was setting up her hairdryer.
"Come and sit down" Shelby said pointing to the space between her legs. Rachel did as she was asked and Shelby dried her hair. She smiled and continued to speak to the girl while drying her lovely long locks.
"We can watch a movie before bed" Shelby suggested and Rachel nodded.
"Do you have Mary Poppins?" Rachel asked and Shelby nodded.
"I do, that's a good one" Shelby said and they headed back to the living room. Shelby made sure that Rachel went to the toilet and brushed her teeth before bed in case the girl fell asleep during the movie.
They sat on the sofa and as the movie continued Rachel moved closer and closer to Shelby until her head was on her lap. Shelby ran a hand through Rachel's hair before moving her hand up and down the girl's back easing her to sleep.
Once the film was over, Shelby encouraged the girl into her guest room. She put her into bed and then tucked her in kissing the girl on the top of her head.
"If you need me come and get me" Shelby said softly. She returned to the living room and made work tidying up. She was used to staying up late as often her show wasn't even finished by this time. Once tidied she found some television to watch before heading to her room to read a book. Before turning the light off at 12:30, Shelby decided to check on Rachel just to make sure the girl was still there.
She opened the door slightly and was surprised to notice two eyes looking at her.
"What's wrong?" Shelby asked opening the door further. Rachel had tears in her eyes.
"Come here" Shelby said as she walked over to the girl and pulled her into her arms. Instantly Rachel attached to her mother.
"I was sleeping and then I woke up and forgot where I was. I'm scared. I don't want to be alone" Rachel admitted.
"Do you want to come in with me?" Shelby suggested and Rachel nodded.
"Come on then" Shelby said as she pulled the girl into her arms and carried her to her own room. They both clambered into bed and Shelby turned the lights off. She snuggled up with her daughter and they both drifted off to sleep.