What Jenny Dennison didn't understand was how she could have such horrible blisters. November first dawned (at about noon, mind you) with terrible aches and pains she knew could only have come from dancing for as long as she did. Dave was in no better shape, showing her his loafers, which had literally been danced to pieces.

For as many excuses as they made, neither of them could quite explain what had possessed them to dance their shoes to pieces. They'd been out until first light, and only now understood just how exhausted it had made their bodies.

"We're getting too old for this," Dave had murmured, sitting next to her on the edge of the bathtub – their feet were soaking in the warm, bubbly water, and he offered her some aspirin. She gratefully accepted the pills, tipping her head back and swallowing them dry, not taking the glass of water he offered her. "Hard core," he grinned, wincing as he reached behind him to put the glass on the bathroom counter. He rolled his shoulders back to ease the stiffness of his muscles.

"Where are the kids?" Jenny asked curiously. "Are they still sleeping? How late were they out?"

"Hell if I know. I don't even remember if they were home when we got in, I was so tired," Dave admitted.

"What on earth were we thinking, staying out so late?" Jenny chastised herself, and Dave leaned against her lightly.

"We were thinking we can trust our kids, Jenny. Max can look out for Dani. He's fifteen."

"Weren't we a little eager, though? To go to that party…we just moved here. We should have stayed…taken Dani around trick-or-treating…" Jenny trailed off, leaning forward to turn the hot water back on. The stagnant water at their feet was cooling quickly, and she wasn't quite ready to allow their indulgence to end. Her feet hurt too much.

"We didn't plan on staying so late. So early." At Dave's own amendment, he rested his face tiredly in his palms, his elbows on his knees. "And here we didn't think the atmosphere in L.A. was right for our family. What do we do, first chance? We pull an all-nighter. We never did that in Brentwood."

"Don't be silly, Dave. We couldn't do that in Brentwood. Westside, maybe. But not Brentwood," Jenny joked.

"Are we bad people? I didn't even call in to work today. We didn't call the school for the kids. We just…played hooky. All of us. What kind of example are we setting, here?"

Jenny groaned. "We can set it to rights. But it means we'll have to get up."

Dave slid an arm around her waist. "Anything but that. Let's just be comfortable with our horrible selves."

Jenny smiled. Then she grimaced and stood. The inviting water would have to wait.

Not particularly caring if she trailed wetness in her wake, she staggered from their bathroom, emerging into the hallway. She groaned again in embarrassment – they hadn't even bothered with common decency, it seemed – there in the doorway laid an almost inconspicuous gold-spiraled cone – one that had – until 5:30 this morning, at least—been attached to her skintight top, right over her left breast. The one she'd worn as yesterday's Halloween costume.

She had no idea where Madonna's other garish breast might be, and hoped that her kids hadn't spotted it. She'd never live it down.

She went to Max's door first, eyebrows knitting in confusion at the definite change in temperature she felt against the skin of her bare, wet feet. Had he slept with the window open? Was he sick?

She saw a note tacked up in Max's sloppy hand as she drew closer and read its contents with surprise. 'Gone to school. Took Dani. Be back at 3:00. I promise we'll talk about the mess in my room. Max.'

Jenny shook her head. Well, at least she'd close his window…

She eased the door open and her jaw dropped. Max's room was a disaster. Plaster had fallen in chunks from the ceiling, which looked like a giant had come and taken a chomp out of the roof.

His drum set (which had taken three years for him to save for) had been in the middle of the chaos, and it looked like it had been recently moved out of the wreckage; there was a hole in the bass where either someone had sat on it, or stuck their foot through it. There was a large dent in the cymbal, and the sticks were both snapped at the same place, telling of something breaking them both at once.

"Dave? Dave?"

"I know, I'm getting up," Dave whined from the bathtub.

"No…I think you need to see this."

"Is it the kids?"

"No…they're…gone. At school."

Jenny looked at the note she'd absently crumpled in her hand.

'I promise we'll talk about the mess in my room.'

What the hell had happened?

"And here I thought…I thought L.A. was a party town," Dave murmured when he finally came to stand behind her, echoing the sentiment he'd expressed this morning, as they'd finally left City Hall to come home.

"I think we need to talk about what kinds of parties are permissible for Max and his friends to have," Jenny finally decided, not even entering the room as she pulled the door gently closed.

She guided her protesting husband back to their bathroom, smiling as she settled back on the edge of the tub, turning on the hot water and adding some soothing bath salts.

There are just some days where it really would be better to play hooky. And if they were already missing work, they might as well enjoy themselves.

"Let's just be comfortable with our horrible selves," she said aloud, patting the space beside her.

Dave happily obliged.



Let's just say…I watched Hocus Pocus a few too many times, and my brain created plunnies of its own accord.

I have at least two more of these…if not more…D:

I…should at least attempt to finish my 30 Kisses…but I couldn't resist…