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22 December 2011 @ 11:09 pm
What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?/Night  

TITLE/PROMPT: What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?/Night

AUTHOR: mkrobinson

RATING: PG-13

WORDS: 1467

TABLE: http://babysitters100.livejournal.com/53582.html#cutid1

SUMMARY: Sharon and Richard find solace at the same bar.

WARNINGS: Richard is drunk after Alma's death

NOTES: This is in the same universe as all of my previous stories, and is a prequel to "For a Second Time"


"Richie, what are you doing? Are you drinking? Are you drunk?"

"I shoulda married you, Shar! You wouldn't have died an' left me!"

"Richie, what are you talking about? What's going on? Why are you here?"

"You gotta ciggie, Shar?"

"Oh, for heaven's sake, Richie, what on earth is the matter? What do you mean, you should have married me? What do you mean, I wouldn't have died? What do you mean, I wouldn't have left you? Where's Alma, Richie?"

"I told you! She's dead, Shar! She's dead and Mary Anne's in Iowa with Verna an' Bill an' I'm all alone!"

"Have you been drinking?"

"A lil. I'm here wif Patrick!"

Oh dear, Sharon Schafer thought, peeling her ex-boyfriend off of her, tempted to smack some sense into him. Richie, the Richie she knew, wasn't a drinker. He wouldn't be here, at this sports bar, at this time of night. He'd be at home, with his wife and daughter, across the street from Miyoshi's older sister's house. Not out drinking with some guy named Patrick. 

"Richie, what's the matter?"

"Everything, Shar! Everything! Do you have a ciggie?"

"Of course, Richie. Come on. Let's go outside. I think the fresh air might do you some good."

"You wanna go outside?"

"Yes, Richie."

"What about your husband?"

"Jack is at my parents house. I'm here alone."

"But you're bea-bea-pretty!"

"Yes, and isn't it nice of you to notice?"

"Uh-huh!"

She sighed, linking her arm with his, and she lead him out of the bar, making him sit on a bench with her. 

"Okay, I'll give you a cigarette, and you tell me why on earth you're acting like this."

"Okay, Shar! I missed you!"

"I missed you too, Richie. I missed you too. You weren't at the party, today. At SHS."

"I couldn't! Shar, she's dead, Shar! She's gone!"

"Oh, Richie, who? Your mother?"

"Not my ma, Shar, my Alma!"

She nearly dropped her lit cigarette in her lap in shock.

"Your wife?"

"Yeah, Shar, my wife."

"What happened, Richie?"

She shoved his cigarette in his mouth, hoping the fresh air and nicotine would help sober him up. She wanted to kill that Patrick person for letting him get this way! Honestly, what if she'd hadn't had that little tiff with her mother and hadn't needed a drink to relax? Would poor Richie have fainted? Been forgotten at the bar? 

"She's dead, Shar. She's dead!"

"What happened?"

She's never seen him like this, ever, and it scares her. 

"Richie? What happened?"

"She was sick, an' they didn't catch it in time, an' she died!"

"Oh, Richie, I'm sorry. So sorry."

"I miss her, Shar!"

"I know you do. I know. Smoke your cigarette, and then we'll go inside and have a couple drinks, okay?"

"Uh-huh!"

"I thought you'd like that."

"I missed you!"

"I missed you too, Richie."

She had missed him, but somehow she hadn't envisioned their reconnection being...like this. At all. 

"You did?"

"Of course I did, silly! You're my friend, aren't you?"

"You didn't come."

"Oh, Richie, I would have had I known. I promise I would have."

"That's not what Rita an' Charles said! They came an' said you were happy in Jack with California!"

She was going to murder her parents.

Poor Richie's wife had died, for heaven's sake, and they had actually told him that she didn't want to see him? That was rude, and uncalled for, even for them!

She finished her cigarette and helped him up, flicking them both into a nearby ashtray. 

***

"Well hello there, hot mama!"

"Excuse me?!"

"Hey, I'm Patrick Thomas. What's a hot woman like you doing with Richard?"

"I'm his friend. And you're married."

"How do you know?"

"You have your wedding ring on, you jackass."

Sharon shot Richie's ever so charming friend a rather pointed glare.

"I'm just havin' a little fun! It's New Year's Eve!"

"You should be with your wife. Jerk."

"Why am I a jerk?"

"Because you a) abandoned poor Richie to chase tail, b) abandoned your wife on New Year's Eve, c) hit on a married woman-"

"Hey, you're not with your husband!"

"Jack understands. Why don't you go hit on those girls from the university?"

Patrick scoots off in their direction before she can even point out that she was being sarcastic. She sips her beer, smiling at Richie when he comes back from the bathroom.

"I've ordered us something to eat."

"I'm not hungry."

"Richie, come on! You have to eat."

"No I don't."

"Don't you want to get your Mary Anne back?"

He nods, tears dripping down his face, smudging his glasses.

"Well, I think a good meal would be a start."

"Okay, Shar."

"You know, someday Mary Anne and Dawnie will be friends. I just know it."

"Rita an' Charles won't like that."

"Rita and Charles can go screw!"

"Shar! They're your parents!"

"I don't care, Richie. I promise that they'll be friends. Jack says we might move back to Stoneybrook."

She knows he wasn't being serious, but she wishes he was, and it makes her companion smile anyways.

"I hope you do, Shar."

"Me too, Richie. Me too."

"I really missed you, Shar. And here you are. It's like you're an angel."

"Oh, Richie..."

"What?"

They eat in mostly silence, though when Richie feels up to it he tells her tidbits about Alma, and she smiles and nods, not knowing how to respond. What does one say when one's former boyfriend's wife has died? It's really not something she knows how to deal with, but she's doing her best, given the circumstances. 

The meal does nothing to sober him up, and she sighs to herself, knowing she'll be the one to take him home, to his house full of memories. She can't bring herself to let him go home with that disgusting jerk.

She can't.

"Come on, Richie. Let me take you home."

***

"Are you feeling any better, Richie?"

The moment they arrived at his house, Richie had thrown up all over the kitchen counter. She'd wordlessly cleaned it up, settling him on the couch with a trash can within reach.

"A lil, Shar. I gotta headache!"

"You're drunk, Richie. We both are."

"I missed you, Shar! I wish Alma was here!"

"Me too, Richie."

She meant it, too, not the least because then he wouldn't be such a mess.

"Thanks for taking me out, Shar!"

"...I suppose you're welcome."

She's writing an angry letter to Patrick Thomas's wife, none to thrilled about her husband's behavior, but she doesn't let Richie know that. It's better for him to think they had a night out together on purpose, rather than by chance. 

She's glad she stopped by the grocery store on the way to his house, as there is little food in the kitchen. She's already assembled a casserole, knowing he'll need some real food after he gets a good night's sleep.

She'll call Rioko in the morning and let her know that Richie needs a friend, and that Patrick should not be it.

She'd be it herself were there not an entire continent between them.

She lets out a sigh.

How did things get so hard? They'd fallen in love, fallen out of love, fallen in love with Jack and Alma respectively, gotten married, had babies, and now she was still married and he was a widower? She'd been upset over her mother's pointed comments about her clothes that evening, while he'd been mourning his wife. 

"Shar, it's almost midnight."

"I know, Richie."

"Will you kiss me? Just like old times?"

She shrugs.

"Sure, Richie. Of course I will."

The grandfather clock strikes midnight, and their lips meet in a somewhat more than friendly kiss. They both smile.

"Do you think I'll be okay, Shar?"

She nods.

"I know you will be."

***

The next morning, she is back at her parents' house, eating breakfast with Jack and Dawnie, and Richie is woken to a freshly made pot of coffee, the two packs of cigarettes she'd had in her purse, a fresh bottle of asprin, and a note with her address and phone number. 

She calls Rioko, who lets out some curses she'd never thought she'd hear from Miyoshi's older sister, and who agrees to send her mother over with some special tea and a standing invitation to dinner.

Elizabeth Thomas doesn't receive the note that she slipped into the mail slot because Charlie Thomas has hidden it from her, already protecting her at an early age from his father's behavior. Patrick never invites Richie out to go drinking again.

Three months later she gets a note from Mrs. Yamamoto, telling her that Mary Anne will be back in June.

She smiles. 

She'd promised Richie he'd be okay.


 
 
 
automatic doorautomaticdoor on December 24th, 2011 08:49 am (UTC)
This fic is lovely. ♥
mkrobinson on December 24th, 2011 04:22 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much!