A/N: Prompt from maddieandchimney. Maddie gets a tattoo of a chimney at her bachelorette party.
Maddie took the third shot, feeling the alcohol finally hit. Josh and Linda cheered, and she knew Athena, Hen and Karen were also knocking back another shot.
It was a good day. Her bachelorette party, to be exact.
She grinned, slamming the shot glass onto the bar a little harder than she intended to.
"Never knew you were a lightweight," Josh teased, seeing her hands shake.
"Only when it's tequila," Maddie said. "But don't worry, I am down for a lot more than this."
"Good," he said. "We've got more entertainment to come at the next bar. I'm going to tab us out and we can continue our epic bar crawl."
Maddie grinned, spinning around. She had dared to dress up for this, in what Linda had dubbed her "slutty black dress" when she'd seen it. "Don't get me wrong, it is perfect for tonight," her friend had hastened to add. Maddie agreed with that sentiment: it was way lower cut than anything she'd worn in the past two decades, and the slim fitting skirt, though it reached her knees, clung to and showed off every curve.
She was almost sad that Chimney couldn't see her in it, but she had secret plans to sneak into his hotel room tonight, hoping that he could see it after all.
She was ready to marry him. Ready to put that ring on her finger. Ready for Jee to have married parents. Ooh, speaking of Jee. She checked her phone, seeing that Mrs. Lee texted that she was putting Jee to bed. "I'll let you know if anything happens, but for now, enjoy your night," she'd texted.
Maddie felt herself going back into mom mode for a minute, texting rapidly back to ask for a picture. She was gifted with a shot of sleeping Jee in moments, and she could feel her heart expanding. God, she loved her daughter so much. She quickly forwarded the image to Chimney: "Look at our daughter."
He hearted the image and she grinned, finally sliding the phone back into her purse as Josh came back over.
"No more texting the fiance," he scolded. "This night is about letting loose."
"Oh, I'm going to let loose," Maddie assured him. Josh grabbed her arm; she'd almost fallen. He gestured at the rest of their group, signaling that they were going onto the next bar. Sue and some other friends had joined them for a drink at the start of the evening, but they'd gone home; their partying days were over.
"Listen, we don't want to leave but we only got the sitter for so long," Karen told them once they'd emerged from the noisy bar.
"No problem at all," Maddie said, trying not to slur her words. "Thank you two so much for joining us, means the world."
"Of course," Hen said, laughing amusedly as Maddie tried to hug them both at once. "Listen, make sure you have aspirin on hand for her, because that is going to hurt in the morning," Hen warned Josh.
"I am all prepped," Josh said. "There's a reason people want to get drunk with me: I take care of you. Bye, you two."
Athena was watching with amusement. "I should be getting home too," she said. "I don't want to spoil the party, but I'm not quite as young as I look."
"You're younger," Linda slid in. "Listen, hot mama, we all know black don't crack but you take that to another level."
Maddie almost died laughing at the look on Athena's face, and she wondered how often Athena got told that.
"I'm going to take that as a compliment," Athena finally replied. "You guys have a good night, okay?"
With that, it was down to the three dispatchers. Linda wobbled in her own heels; she was dressed in a gorgeous pink wrap dress, and looked amazing with her hair done up, and nails on point.
"You don't have a sitter to get home to?" Maddie asked her friend, and Linda shook her head.
"My husband owes me this one," she replied. "He knows I am staying out til dawn. Dawn, I tell you."
"Not quite dawn," Josh laughed. "As the resident mostly sober person, I promised I'd have everyone in by three. Big day tomorrow."
"Fine," Linda pouted. The three had started down the street, and Maddie suddenly saw something, stopping in her tracks. The other two careened to a halt, and Maddie pointed at the sign.
"Look at that," she said, her voice so intense it confused her friends. "Just look." Her hand was wavering, but it left no doubt as to what she was pointing at.
"Tattoos?" Linda asked.
"24/7 tattoos," Maddie slurred. "Listen, I've been meaning to do this for a very long time, and tonight is the perfect night. I want to get a tattoo to commemorate my relationship with Chimney. Something to surprise him with on the honeymoon."
"Oh, honey, not tonight," Josh said. "You are not sober enough for that."
"No, no, that's the point," Maddie insisted, breaking away from them to rush towards the parlor.
"Maddie-" Josh protested, trying to catch up with her, but, drunk as she was, Maddie had taken off like she had wings.
"I'm going to get a tattoo for Chimney," she called after herself.
"You know, I should get something for my boo too," Linda mused, and Josh was suddenly left in the dust, his two companions having left him far behind.
"Oh boy," he muttered, knowing he'd have to do serious damage control if he allowed either of them to do this tonight.
Everything hurt when Maddie woke up. She rolled over in bed, and almost shrieked in pain. She was in her own hotel room, which meant her grand plan of sneaking in to join Chimney had been a bust. There was indeed aspirin on her bedside table, and she immediately grabbed for it, her head feeling like she was still drunk. She quickly swallowed the pills, and finished the whole glass of water, before attempting to stand up.
She was still in her black dress; she figured Josh had not wanted to try and divest her of that, but her shoes were neatly placed next to her bed. She walked to the bathroom, trying to tug the dress over her head, and it took a lot longer than it should have, but finally the fabric fell to the floor, and Maddie looked at herself in the mirror. She almost jumped in surprise at seeing the black outline on her ribs, and her eyes slowly widened in horror. No. God, no.
She turned to show her left side, lifting her arm, and examining the taut skin there. Unmistakably, there was a tattoo. A huge one. It was oddly not tender to the touch, but when she touched it, she knew it was real.
She'd actually done it. She'd gotten a goddamn tattoo of a chimney. Fuck. She remembered last night, almost. She remembered going to the tattoo salon, and telling the artist she wanted to get chimney on her ribs, but she'd meant the name. Surely she'd specified she meant the damn name.
Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. She wanted to be mad at Josh, but from what she remembered, she'd not taken no for an answer, and had ignored all of his protests.
She sank down onto the toilet seat, miserably turning on the shower water to get warm as she thought this through. Maybe it was a prank. Maybe it would come off in the shower after all. She was about to go on her honeymoon. Her suitcase was entirely filled with skimpy two piece bathing suits and even skimpier lingerie. She had finally planned on showing off her body in a place where no one cared, she had planned on getting sun soaked and sated in sunny Mexico.
Nope. She was not going to even take her top off with this damn tattoo on her ribs.
She climbed into the shower, letting the scalding hot water hit her, and praying the tattoo came off.
It was a beautiful wedding, it was honestly perfect. Maddie and Chimney vowed to love each other forever, and Jee-Yun was the most perfect little flower girl that could be imagined, toddling down the aisle tossing flowers with her tiny little hands. Chimney hadn't been able to help himself during the vows, and he'd picked up his daughter; they'd said their vows to each other and to their daughter.
Maddie's white dress was perfectly her, with a simple outline, and heels that boosted her height without making her feet hurt.
And now, it was the end of the night. They'd had their first dance, and their second. They'd done the champagne toast, and cut the cake, laughing as they fed each other and Jee their first piece.
Maddie was sitting down on the gazebo steps at the end of it all, as the waitstaff started to clean. It had been a perfect day, but now the reminder of the damn tattoo on her ribs was weighing on her again.
She had purposefully delayed going back to the honeymoon suite, because she didn't want to hear Chimney's laughter when he saw the tattoo. She'd made excuses about not wanting the day to end, and wanting to spend more time with their friends, and right now Chimney was dancing with Jee in his arms, to another sweet Taylor Swift song-Taylor's Version, naturally. Maddie had made sure to triple check with the DJ that only the songs Taylor owned would be played.
"You're looking oddly blue," Athena said, coming up behind her.
"Oh, you know," Maddie said, moving over on the step so that Athena could sit next to her. "The day is ending, and I just wish it could last longer."
"I know the feeling," Athena agreed. "It was a perfect day, and I know you'll have a perfect wedding video to look back on."
"That's not all of it," Maddie slowly admitted. "I may have done something stupid last night."
Athena's eyes flashed. "Like what kind of stupid?" She asked.
"Nothing huge," Maddie rushed to say. "I didn't cheat on Chimney or kill someone. I just...you know…" She sighed. "It's embarrassing."
"Does this have to do with that tattoo parlor?" Athena asked drily. "Josh texted me, you know. He was trying to get reinforcement to tell you not to do it, but you weren't listening to anyone."
Maddie's eyes widened as her brain woke up, being forcibly reminded of last night again; there had been a phone call with Athena, hadn't there? Fuck.
"It's a chimney," she burst out. "I could have sworn I told the guy to tattoo the name, but instead I have this giant chimney on my ribs and I hate it. I don't want Chim to see it," she almost wailed. "I can't go up to our honeymoon suite only to show him that."
Athena's laugh rang out, and she put an arm around Maddie, who had almost begun to cry she was so distraught. "Oh, honey, it's not that bad," she soothed.
"No, it is that bad," Maddie said. "I took a picture, it's huge."
"It's not that bad," Athena repeated. "Josh!" She called, and Josh swung around from where he'd been talking with the other dispatchers. Funny how Maddie's friend groups had clumped together, mainly remaining in tact. "Come here," She asked.
"No, no, it wasn't Josh's fault," Maddie assured Athena, knowing that a talking to was coming.
"Of course it wasn't," Athena said. "But at the same time, it is his fault."
"What's my fault?" Josh asked as he walked up.
"Nothing," Maddie said. "Only, you know last night?"
"Yeah, what about it?" Josh asked innocently.
"You promised that you wouldn't let our girls do anything stupid," Athena said, voice like steel.
"I didn't," Josh protested.
"A tattoo on my ribs would say otherwise," Maddie replied.
"Oh, well," Josh said. "It was a tribute to Chimney. And to my own credit, I was able to stop Linda from getting something. You just wouldn't be talked out of it."
Maddie groaned, burying her face in her hands.
"Don't do that," Josh cautioned. "You'll mess up your makeup."
"What am I supposed to do?" Maddie almost wailed. "Do you really expect me to go upstairs and let Chimney see what's on my ribs?"
"What's on your ribs?"
Maddie felt her heart skip a beat, and looked up to see Chimney, Jee asleep on his shoulder, walking up to them. Oh, it was so late for Jee. She needed to get to bed.
"Nothing," Maddie said, but Athena had already stood up.
"This sounds like a conversation y'all need to have alone," she said. "Can I take Jee-Yun to Mrs. Lee?"
"No, I want to say goodnight," Maddie said, and Athena nodded. She and Josh slipped away.
Chimney quirked an eyebrow as Maddie stood up, brushing off her skirt, and holding out her arms for Jee-Yun. She felt the baby settle into her arms, her head heavy on Maddie's shoulder, and her eyes filled again. What did it really matter? Chimney would love her no matter what. And at least it was well intentioned. She took a deep breath.
"I got a tattoo last night," she said all in a rush. "I could have sworn I told the guy to do your name, but instead there is a chimney covering my left ribs."
Chimney's eyes widened. "Are you serious?" He asked, disbelieving. "A real tattoo?"
"Yeah," she said miserably. "Drunk me thought that it was a great tribute."
Maddie stepped back into the gazebo, Chimney following. "Let me just show you," she said, handing Jee back to him, before wiggling her dress down. Chimney's jaw dropped at the size of the tattoo, and she could see him holding back a laugh as she yanked the dress back up. "I can try laser treatments," she offered. "Try to get rid of it. I was googling it earlier and you do need to wait some time before you can start but I can also get it covered."
She could feel the tears building again, and she quickly took Jee back from Chimney, using the baby girl as a shield to her emotions. "I know it's stupid," she began, but Chimney pulled her and Jee both into his arms, holding her tight.
"It's not stupid," he said. "It's a beautiful sentiment, even if poor execution. Please don't cry."
"I'll try," Maddie said, as Josh wandered back over.
"You guys need to come and say your goodbyes," Josh said. "Everyone is about done."
"You're right," Maddie said, swiping at her eye with her free hand. "I need to get Jee to Mrs. Lee."
"I can take her," Chimney offered, and Maddie handed her back off. Jee was somehow still sleeping, and Maddie felt a pinch of guilt for keeping her out so late, but it was her parents' wedding; there was no occasion more justified.
"I need to tell you something," Josh said. "I was keeping it a secret, and I was going to wait until after your honeymoon, but Athena just told me that that would be unnecessarily cruel so I'm just going to say it."
Maddie was beyond confused. "What?" She asked warily.
"You really should have realized anyway," Josh rambled. "Considering that it doesn't hurt."
"What doesn't hurt?" Maddie asked.
"It's a henna tattoo," Josh said. "The tattoo artist wasn't going to do anything for you or Linda seeing how drunk you two were, but he did this as a prank when I said I'd pay him double."
Maddie's jaw dropped. "I don't know whether to hug you or slap you," she finally admitted. "But probably both!"
He playfully ducked when she feigned a slap at his head. "No harm, no foul?" He asked.
"I have to take this on my damn honeymoon still," she almost shrieked.
"I got you some micellar water, and if you apply daily it's going to fade faster," he said.
She rolled her eyes, but there was a smile on her face again. Thank god. Really, she should have been more suspicious.
She grinned at him. "You know," she said slowly. "I don't have to tell Chim it's henna. I can still have a little fun with it."
Josh smiled wide too. "See, I knew you'd get in the spirit of it," he said. "Now come on, it's time for some fun."