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08 January 2012 @ 08:47 pm
Thanksgiving I/Explain  

TITLE/PROMPT: Thanksgiving I/Explain

AUTHOR: mkrobinson
RATING: PG-13
WORDS: 3582
TABLEhttp://babysitters100.livejournal.com/53582.html#cutid1
SUMMARY: Dawn and Jeff come home for Thanksgiving.
WARNINGS: Any warnings and/or triggers that may be included in your fic.
NOTES: giftfic for imamaryanne


Jeff

My english teacher is making us write in our journals over thanksgiving break. I don't know why. They're all gonna be boring. So. Boring.

Dawn and I are going to Stonybrook. To visit Mom. And Richard. And Mary Anne. 

Who wants to hear about that? Boring old Stonybrook with it's boring nothing. It'll be cold. Maybe it'll even snow.

I hate snow.

That's not all. Mom's pregnant, again, and that's just weird. It was bad enough to have a pregnant stepmother an' now I gotta have a pregnant mom? I bet JAB already know cuz of that stupid club Dawn an' Mary Anne are in.

I kinda wanted to be the one to tell them. I got to tell 'em about Gracie, didn't I? Stupid Mary Anne being in a stupid club with their big sister. At least they won't think it's weird. They have eight kids in their family. I hope Mom and Richard don't have eight kids.

Dawn

I wish Jeff wasn't being so awful to Mom and Richard about the baby. It isn't their fault that they wanted to have a baby of their very own. In fact I think it's a relief because maybe now I can tell Mom I'm not a vegetarian any longer.

Maybe she won't notice. She sometimes doesn't notice things, like that time she put her heel in the crisper.

Or the fact that Sunny has her navel pierced.

Though she was probably choosing to ignore that, like Dad and Mrs. Bruen.

Carol thinks it's cool.

I kinda do too, not that I'd be able to admit that to Sunny, after the scene I caused when she got it. 

Sunny is going to be babysitting for Gracie while we're gone. I think it will be good for her. Carol and Dad are letting her stay in my room. Her dad doesn't care.

I miss Mrs. Winslow. She'd know what to do.

She'd talk to Jeff about Mom having another baby. She'd be there for Sunny. She'd be a mom to her, unlike Mr. Winslow, who doesn't want to be a dad. That was an awful thought. But I think it's true.

Hell, Richard knows more about poor Sunny, through the letters she sends to Mom and Mary Anne, than her own father. 

I think I'll talk to Mom about Sunny visiting again over the summer. She could help with my new brother. Or sister.

***

"I know you're nervous, Shar, but everything will be fine. Jeff will come to terms with the news, you know he will."

"I know, Richie, it's just...I haven't seen them for months. I wasn't pregnant then. Now, I am."

"I know. Jack did offer to send them sooner-"

"And pull them out of school? I couldn't do that. Besides, I was hoping Mom and Dad would be speaking to me again, in the spirit of the holiday."

"Shar. Don't worry about it. It'll be fine."

"I know, Richie, I know. I know. I know."

"You want me to go in with you?"

"No, that's okay. You park the car. I know where to meet them."

"You're sure?"

"Yeah."

"Okay, Shar. I love you."

Richie kissed her gently on the cheek, and she smiled, blushing lightly.

"I love you too, Richie."

"I know. I'll drive around until you get out. I don't want you having to walk very far."

"Richie! I can walk!"

"I know. I just worry, that's all. Humor me?"

He touched her abdomen, barely noticeable with her heavy jacket on, and she smiled again, nodding.

"Of course, Richie. Thank you for worrying about us."

"You're welcome."

She got out of the car and headed into the airport, bundled up for the cold (it was a particularly brisk day, after all), and she caught a glimpse of herself in a mirror near the entrance, relieved that she looked relatively put together. Sure, her barrettes didn't really match, but she was wearing the same earrings and boots and she hadn't lost her gloves (poor Richie had wanted to buy her the kind with the string attached, and she was rather tempted to let him) so needless to say it was a more successful outfit than she was used to. She smiled, waking in the direction of the baggage claim. The baby kicked, and she rubbed her abdomen through her jacket. She could hardly wait to see Jeffy and Dawnie. She'd missed them so much.

She sat on a bench across from it, flipping through a magazine she'd brought. They were right on time, but she didn't want to look too desperate. The fact that it was one of Mary Anne's teen magazines made her distraction completely obvious, but she didn't really care. She was pretending to read about Cam Geary and his "romantic scandals". The boy had an unfortunate resemblance to Logan Bruno, Mary Anne's ex.

Also, he was sixteen, and sixteen year olds didn't have "romantic scandals". At least she hoped they didn't. 

She sighed. 

"Mom, why are you reading that?! That's a girls' magazine!"

"Jeff?!"

"Yeah! Dawn reads that, Mom!"

She smiled at her son, realizing that he wasn't exactly complimenting her choice of reading material.

"I'm sorry, honey. Where is your sister, anyways?"

"Over getting our luggage. Where's Richard and Mary Anne?"

"Richard is out in the garage, he wanted to give us some time alone, and Mary Anne is sitting for Kristy Thomas's stepsister."

She shuddered at the thought of Karen Brewer. Mary Anne was a near saint for putting up with her.

"Mom, are you okay?"

"What? Oh, honey, I'm fine. I missed you. Will you give me a hug?"

"I don't want to, you know..."

"Hurt me?"

"Yeah."

"It won't, honey. Don't worry about it. But I might cry if you don't."

She was only partly joking, but Jeff gave her a bear hug, so it ended up not mattering. She held him close, realizing that he'd grown since his last visit. 

"Mom? I can't breathe!"

"Sorry, honey. Go help your sister with the suitcases, please."

He stuck his tongue out at her and she playfully stuck hers out in response, releasing him.

"Okay, Mom. I will. This time."

"Okay, honey. You're my good boy!"

"Moommm!"

He met up with Dawn, who looked annoyed at the fact that he'd abandoned her to give her a hug, and she walked over to them, giving her oldest child a hug and a kiss. 

"Hi Dawnie. I missed you."

"I missed you too, Mom. Is everything okay?"

"Yeah."

"Do you know what you're having yet?"

"Not yet. We have an appointment tomorrow."

"Can I come?"

"Maybe. I'll have to see."

"Thanks, Mom. Mary Anne's still at the Engles?"

"How did you know?"

"She called me earlier. Apparently Karen asked if you did spells like Aunt Tabitha."

She sighed.

"Of course she did."

***

Sharon said nothing when Dawnie ate a slice of the barbeque chicken pizza she ordered, bypassing the cheese and veggie pies, half figuring that her oldest had told her about her eating meat again (and it would be just like her to forget) and if she hadn’t she supposed it didn’t matter. She wasn’t a vegetarian anymore either, and life was simpler that way. She and Richie didn’t have to cook two separate meals anymore (one for the meat eaters and one for the non) and she didn’t feel like such an outsider anymore. Jeff had never really been a vegetarian, especially since his return to Jack’s, and it just hadn’t been worth it any longer.

Mary Anne returned home as they started to eat, looking a bit weary, and she’d poured her a cup of coffee and let her sit between Dawnie and Jeff, allowing them to catch up while they ate dinner. She and Richie shared a smile, listening to the bits of gossip that the girls shared. 

“No, Abby hasn’t been sitting for awhile, Dawn. She goes to the Day School now, and has become their star soccer star. She and Kristy got into a fight about something, I don’t know what, and we haven’t really seen her since. Anna still goes to SHS, though. They have a really good orchestra...Stacey is going out with Sam Thomas again, you know, Kristy’s older brother? They’re on the math and debate teams together, and he’s helped her with her problems with her diabetes-she ended up in the hospital, again, but supposedly they’re back under control...Claudia? Well, she’s in the Resource Room for a lot of her classes-they finally diagnosed her with dyslexia last year-but she’s still designing her jewelry for Mrs. Spencer and we still meet once a week in her room for BSC meetings...Kristy? She’s basically the same, still bossy, still sporty, and oh, don’t mention Bart Taylor to her, anyone of you, that has to do with the Abby thing. She’s gotten back in touch with Cody, remember him from the trip we took to visit Stacey in New York before her parents got divorced? Mallory, well, she’s having some trouble back at Riverbend, so she wants to come home, but Mr. and Mrs. Pike want her to stick it out...Jessi moved to New York to dance for some company, she doesn’t really keep in touch...How about your friends, Dawn?”

She saw her hesitate, and she shuddered inwardly, dreading to hear about what awful things had happened to the “Palo City Crew” (as Richie had nicknamed them). 

“Well, Sunny’s doing a lot better. She kinda lives with us, now. Dad and Carol let her since she’s willing to watch Gracie after school while Carol works. She doesn’t really talk to her dad, though, and she’s in this alternative program at Vista, but she is better, a lot better than she was when she came up. Maggie’s still involved with Vanish, and she’s doing well, she isn’t falling back into her old habits anymore. Amalia’s off on her usual crusades about her “cause of the week”-I can’t believe I was ever like that-but she’s fine. Jill said hi, Mom, she’s in one of my classes. And Ducky’s okay, I guess, his parents were supposed to be back from Africa by now but they extended their stay, but he seems to be doing fine.”

They all grabbed a second slice of pizza.

“Jeffy? What’s new with you?”

He shrugged, concentrating on his slice.

“I dunno. Do you think that I could have Byron, Adam, and Jordan spend the night? I really missed them!”
“The Pike triplets? Honey, not tonight, they have school tomorrow.”

She could remember the Pike triplets but not that the phone bill needed to be paid. Dear Lord.


“Oh. Never mind.”
“Some other time, okay? Maybe tomorrow.”

His face brightened.

“Okay! Thanks, Mom! Is it okay with you, Richard?”

Wait a minute, Jeff had called him Richard? And not Sir? She supposed that it had happened before, but she wasn’t certain of it, and she was still pleasantly surprised. 

“It’s fine with me, Jeff. Of course your friends can sleep over.”
“Thanks, Richard! Can I call them now?”
“Go ahead. You can use my office.”

They all watched Jeff put his dishes in the sink, actually run some water over them, and he actually smiled at Richard when he walked past him on the way to his home office. She felt sort of flustered.

“Do any of you want dessert?”

Everyone nodded-even Dawn. Dawn, wanting dessert? She was really confused now. 

Fortunately, Mary Anne helped her prepare the dessert (brownies a la mode) and she took the time to whisper a few pointed questions at her. 

“Dawn-”
“Isn’t a vegetarian any longer. I guess that Jack and Carol decided not to raise Gracie as one and Dawn didn’t want to put up a fuss over it.”
“And the dessert?”
“She’s really loosened up. I think part of it has to do with Maggie’s eating disorder-she didn’t want to make her feel uncomfortable if, say, Maggie wanted some candy or ice cream.”
“Oh, okay. When did Jeff-”
“Stop calling Dad sir? I think it happened gradually, Sharon. Don’t worry about it.”
“Okay. Honey, you know you can-”
“Call you mom? I know. I just want to ask Dawn and Jeff if it’s something they’re okay with.”
“That’s sweet of you.”
“Thanks. Why don’t you go relax with Dad and Dawn and I’ll bring these out. Okay?”
“You don’t have to-”
“Please?”
“Okay, honey. I will.”

***

“Oh, Mom, thank you for taking me with you! It was so cool! I didn’t know we’d get to see the baby!”
“Honey, I told you we’d find out the sex today, what did you think was going to happen?”
“I didn’t know what to expect!”
“Are you happy?”
“Of course I am. Why wouldn’t I be?”
“Do you think Jeffy will be happy?”
“Yeah. He doesn’t think girls are gross anymore. And he’s great with Gracie.”
“That’s good.”
“Mom, do you think we could go out for lunch? Just the two of us?”
“Sure, honey. Mary Anne said you’re not a vegetarian anymore.”

Dawn Schafer was incredibly glad to have Mary Anne Spier as a sister. She was so considerate to their mother, despite her occasional scatterbrainedness. 

“I’m not, Mom, so we could go anywhere you wanted to. Except to a fast food joint. I’m still not a big fan of those.”
“That’s okay, Dawnie. I’m not either. Do you want to go to Pizza Express? I know we had pizza last night but I’m really craving it and please?”
“Of course, Mom. Of course. I don’t really mind having pizza two days in a row. It’s too bad Richard had to go into work.”
“Oh, it’s okay. I’m just glad Richie was able to take the morning off for my appointment. He’s been so good to me, Dawnie.”
“I know, Mom.”
“I’m glad you and Mary Anne got us together again, honey.”
“Me too, Mom.”

Her mother was driving to the restaurant, while she was sat in the front passenger’s seat, and the radio was playing softly in the background. She couldn’t believe that she was getting another sister, in only a few months. Even California-jaded Dawn Read Schafer was ecstatic about it. She was, quite honestly, very grateful to be back in Stoneybrook. Palo City was exhausting. At least her friends in the BSC had nice, normal, drama. A little trouble between Abby and Kristy was nothing compared to what Sunny and Maggie had gone through. Nothing at all, and she was glad. She couldn’t imagine what she’d have done if both of her homes were rife with drama. 

“Honey? How is Sunny doing? What do you mean by saying she’s living with your father and Carol?”
“She moved in a few months ago. After the trip to Stoneybrook. I didn’t know what to say to you, so I didn’t tell you about it. I thought it would be just temporary.”
“But then your father-”
“Sunny nearly failed out, Mom! She nearly failed all her classes last year and Mr. Winslow didn’t care! He wasn’t even going to make her go to summer school! So Carol and Dad talked about it and she moved in-on the condition that she go to summer school, enroll in the alternative school at Vista, and help out with Gracie.”
“And how is she? Now, I mean?”
“She’s doing better. She’s passing all her classes, and she goes to a councilor, and Dad’s gonna call you about maybe flying her out with me and Jeff when you have the baby-”
“Okay.”
“What?”
“She can come out. I’ll make sure with Richie, but I say she can come out. I think some time away from Palo will do her a world of good.”
“Thanks, Mom.”
“I suppose I’ll call your father myself and tell him...”
“You don’t have to, Mom.”
“Well, all right. I’d probably forget anyways.”

They both giggled. It was nice that her mother could joke about being so forgetful. 

They ordered their pizza, an extra-large hawaiian, and they sat down, Dawn drinking her diet soda and her mother drinking her root beer, at a quiet booth in the back. She noticed that Kristy’s oldest brother was having lunch with Claudia’s older sister across the room and she pointed it out, somewhat surprised to see that “Janine the genius” was dating the club’s former chauffeur-though she supposed it explained his willingness to drive Kristy to meetings. She’d missed her mom, so so much.

“Mom, you had to come back, didn’t you.”
“What do you mean?”
“I know that Grandma and Grandpa helped you out, you know, financially after the divorce.”
“How do you know that?”
“They called and told me.”
“What?”
“Well, they actually called and talked to Carol, in which they presumed she was me so they let out a tirade about how ungrateful you were and told her about the money they’d given you, the job they’d found you, all sorts of things.”
“They did what? To you-to your father’s wife? Your stepmother?!”
“Uh-huh! Dad got upset when we told him and called them and chewed them out. That’s how he found out you were pregnant, by the way. I know you thought you’d forgotten you’d told him, but he only went along with that because he didn’t want to upset you.”
“Oh...that was oddly nice of him. And, yes, Dawnie, your grandparents did insist that I move back here when we got divorced, but you were not supposed to find out about it!”
“Mom, don’t cry! I think it was incredibly brave of you to do that-especially when you fell in love with Richard again-wasn’t that surprising after all those years of not seeing each other?”
“That wasn’t entirely true. I saw Richie soon after his wife died, at a bar, on New Year’s Eve, where he was with Kristy’s father. And I also saw him when you were seven. It was winter. We kept in touch, sort of, after that. Christmas cards, things like that. You know?”
“I guess.”

“You and Mary Anne were so happy to have your little project of reuniting us that we went along with it. It was actually Richie’s idea. He thought it was cute.”
“Richard?”
“Yeah. He’s really not that bad a guy, Dawnie.”
“I know. You two are so happy together.”
“Yeah. We are.”

She can see the pink coloring her mother’s cheeks, and she can’t believe she’s still blushing over Richard, though it’s been years since they got back together. It’s actually kind of cute. It would be really cute if it wasn’t her mother and stepfather. 

They continued to eat their pizza. 

“I’ve missed this place, Mom.”
“You have?”
“Well, not exactly the Pizza Express, but yeah. I have. I missed you, too.”
“I know, honey. I know. Oh!”
“What is it?”

Carol’s pregnancy flitted through her mind, and she pulled out her cell phone, prepared to dial 911. To her relief, her mother started to giggle, and she motioned for her to come closer. She did, still concerned.

“Honey, it’s alright. The baby’s kicking, that’s all. I want you to feel.”
“You do?”
“Yeah. Please?”

She placed her hand on her mother’s abdomen, relieved that nothing was wrong. In fact, she beamed as she felt a little nudge or two. That was her sister.

Her sister. Her, Mary Anne, and Jeff’s sister.

It was awesome.

***

Jeff

Well, Stonybrook isn’t that bad, I guess. Mom’s been crying all the time but I think it’s cuz of her “hormones”-whatever those are. She says she’s happy. She got even happier once I felt the baby.

It’s a girl, by the way. I wanted it to be a boy, but a girl’s not bad, I guess. Gracie’s pretty cool-and she likes Michael Jordan. The poster’s still on her wall. 

I got to tell Byron, Jordan, and Adam by myself. Mary Anne said that Mallory didn’t know yet. She said something about a “sparkly vampire obsession” but I didn’t really care. That’s girl stuff, isn’t it?

I hope this is good enough for my teacher. I wish she didn’t read these. 

Dawn

I can’t wait for my little sister to be born! Mary Anne showed me all the things she’s made for her, which is so sweet of her, and so Mary Anne. I can’t crochet. Or knit. Or sew. But she can, and she promised to help me make something for our little sister.

I’m glad that she’s doing okay. I can’t help but worry. I mean, she is my mom.

And that is my baby sister inside of her.

Mom just saw this and pointed out that Richard is doing enough worrying for the both of us. I guess she’s right. 

Richard just insisted that she let him take in the mail-I think I see her point. Now he’s rubbing her belly. The baby must be up.

They’re kinda cute together. 

Talking to Mom about grandma and grandpa and what they did made me so mad. She’s their daughter. They should be glad that she’s happy. They should care about their new granddaughter. They sent Dad and Carol gifts for Gracie.

She’s not even related to them.

It’s just...I want to swear, but Mom might read this. I hate them. I hate hate hate hate them. Mom says that isn’t nice, but I don’t really care. 


 
 
 
automatic doorautomaticdoor on January 9th, 2012 06:35 am (UTC)
Yay, Dawn's nice and not bratty! I'm really glad that this is written with how the CD canon would have changed her in mind. Dawn grows up a lot.
mkrobinson on January 9th, 2012 02:29 pm (UTC)
I know! I'm glad you liked it! I'm always trying to include CD canon because it did change Dawn so much!
Noordarklight90 on January 10th, 2012 07:20 pm (UTC)
This is an interesting theme you've dealt with: Richard and Sharon having another baby, Dawn visiting for the event, and so forth. Speaking of Dawn, she was never my favorite character from the series, I'll admit but I like how mature she comes off here. I also like the CD references, especially Sunny's.
mkrobinson on January 10th, 2012 07:34 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I'm glad you liked it, even if Dawn isn't your favorite character! Thanks for reviewing!