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05 January 2011 @ 04:09 pm
Title/Prompt -- Dress
Author - writingvixen
Word count - 1,509
Rating - PG
Summary - 28 year old Mary Anne receives a gift from the past.
Link to table - Clicky!
Author's note - This didn’t come out exactly like I had planned, but I didn’t want to sit and stew over it and never post. So I’m putting it up and hope that some people like it. It’s from Mary Anne’s POV.

“This was your mother’s.”

He couldn’t even say it without clearing his throat twice and hesitating, but I loved him for that because I couldn’t listen without feeling a lump form in my own throat or staring at the trunk instead of looking at him.

“I should have had it pressed and sealed in a bag, but …”

“I’m sure it’s fine,” I said quickly, interrupting him before he could make any more apologies. There had been more than enough apologies in our family; more than enough explanations for past behavior. It was done. It was in the past. Now we all needed to move on to the future. I finally looked at him and he was staring right at me. It was jarring, but I understood. “I’m just glad Grandma saved it.”

My father nodded. His hands were clasped tightly and his arms hung down, almost like he didn’t know what else to do with them. He stopped looking at me and instead, started looking around the attic. His eyes seemed to be focusing on everything but the trunk in front of us. “You know,” he finally said. His voice was quiet. I had to strain my ears just to hear him. “If I hadn’t sent those things of your mother’s to Verna’s when you were little and if she hadn’t had them when the fire –“

For the second time I interrupted him. “I know.” I didn’t want to think about the fire. Sometimes, even though it had been fifteen years, I still had nightmares about it. I especially didn’t want to dwell on losing everything of my mother’s. I know that memories are something you cannot ever lose, but when all my memories of my mother are completely reliant on things she used to have, used to touch, photographs, and all things tangible, it made the idea of losing them even more terrifying.

He cleared his throat and looked at me again and this time I felt less jarred. Dad had always been so strong and it always seemed like he was in control of every emotion, but right then it didn’t feel that way.

It just meant that I had to be the strong one.

“I’m ready.”

He smiled then, but I don’t think he realized it. Dad reached out and ran his hand over my back. His fingers combed through my hair before he dropped his arm awkwardly. “Go ahead.” His voice was urgent, but guarded.

I squeezed his hand before walking to the trunk. I was in college when Grandma Verna sent all these things back. I think she and Dad had finally repaired their relationship completely by then, or at least as much as they ever would. Maybe she just knew that it was almost her time and she was returning all of Mom’s things to make amends or maybe she just felt that it was time. Either way, I think they both needed that forgiveness to move on.

It was a leather trunk and reminded me of the one that sent me on my first journey that brought Verna back into my life and as I knelt before it, I took it all in before even thinking about lifting the metal hinge that held all of my mother’s memories safely away. I ran my hand over its smooth exterior and I could almost feel two generations of Baker women before me doing the exact same thing.

I wished that they could have been there. I know that Grandma would have been tsking and urging me to open it faster and I could almost imagine my mom softly telling her to let me take my time.

I miss you.

I felt my dad’s hand touch my shoulder and realized that maybe he wasn’t weak at that moment after all, but like all things, he had to do them in his time. I touched his fingers before nodding and pulling the lid back on the trunk. The smell hit me right away – a mixture of lavender and moth balls. I breathed it in, closing my eyes and just imagining what my mother smelled like. I always thought she had to smell like soap and jasmine, but I never asked my dad.

I probably never would.

Opening my eyes, I saw that on top of folds of white was a leather journal. I looked up at Dad before cautiously picking it out of the trunk.

“Her journal.” His voice sounded far away and it probably was – about thirty years. “She wrote that from our engagement to our wedding,” he said softly. “If this is the right … may I see it, Mary Anne?”

I handed it over without question. I watched his face as he flipped through it. He smiled, even his eyes, and cleared his throat. Finally, he turned to the last page and nodded. “You should have this,” he said, closed it lovingly, and handed it back to me. Our hands touched as he passed it over, but I didn’t open it right away. I just looked down at the journal and smiled. I knew that she was a journal writer, always. And I liked to think that I got that from her. It made her seem even more real to me.

“You’ll want to look at the end.” He paused and I could hear the smile in his voice when he added, “Later.”

“Okay,” I said and set it aside. My curiosity was piqued, but I also wanted to dive right into the trunk, especially now that it was right there and I could make out the lines of the dress. I took in a deep breath before I dove into the trunk and carefully lifted the heavy dress from its confines. My ring caught the one stream of light coming from a lone window in the attic as I stood and held the dress up to look at it.

Sure, I had seen it in pictures – pictures I had memorized from staring at them for so long, but to finally see it in my person nearly rendered me speechless. It was white, but age had yellowed the material slightly, making it almost ivory. It had a high neck, made from lace and tiny cap sleeves. I could tell right away it wasn’t modern or new, but I liked that.

This dress had a story and I was about to add another chapter.

“Oh Dad, it’s beautiful.”

He nodded and cleared his throat a few times before once again, patting me on the shoulder. “Is it the right size?”

“Oh I think so,” I said and struggled to press it against my body. It seemed right, but with that amount of material and lace, it made it hard to judge. It might have been just a little big, but I could always take it in. “I’m going to try it on.”

The attic had a corner with sheets hanging like curtains hid it away. Betsy and Skye, Dawn’s two children, would use it for dress up. They hadn’t ever touched this trunk though. Dad had made sure of that. I didn’t wait for Dad and although part of me wished that Dawn or even Sharon were up here to help me, I hurried to that corner and quickly pulled the dress on. It was a little loose around the waist and hips, but it still fit. I took a breath and pressed my hand over my heart, feeling my mother over me. I can’t remember her voice, not her real one, but the voice I always imagined told me she loved me. She whispered that Pete was a lucky boy and that she would be there for our story. She wasn’t going to miss out on the wedding day or one day, our babies. She would be there for our life.

I heard her.

I was crying as I stepped out of the curtain. I suppose it was just practice for the actual wedding day. Kristy and Dawn had already given me twenty handkerchiefs, promising to hand them to me in shifts during the ceremony.

Although they were joking, I was pretty sure I’d need them.

“So?” I looked at my dad expectantly. Most girls take their mother’s shopping at a bridal boutique and wait and hope to find the perfect dress. My dad and I went to our attic, because the perfect dress had already come to us.

Mom made sure of it.

“Where’d my Mary Anne go?” I had only seen Dad cry a handful of times in my life: when Dawn moved back with Betsy while we were in high school, my graduation, Grandma’s funeral, and now today. He put his hand over his mouth and just stared at me. Finally he smiled and I closed the gap between us. He hugged me and spun me around to look in the mirror propped up against the wall. Staring at our reflections, he quietly said, “Your mother would be so happy, honey.”

That was all I needed to hear.
lucida: disappearing in plaidlucida on January 5th, 2011 11:18 pm (UTC)
Aww, this is wonderful, very detailed, and so bittersweet! You really managed to capture Mary Anne and I love your Richard. Now I get why you said you were crying while you wrote it. :)
Melciawritingvixen on January 6th, 2011 04:19 am (UTC)
Thank you. I normally am not a teary person, but it just struck a chord with me.
Nikkiimamaryanne on January 6th, 2011 12:27 am (UTC)
Very nice!
Melciawritingvixen on January 6th, 2011 04:20 am (UTC)
Thank you!
Could that someone be Mack the Knife?: mary anne/tigger - entwashianmizzmarvel on January 6th, 2011 12:57 am (UTC)
I like all the layers of this -- how you're introducing character development, but not explaining too much. It feels very natural and real.
Melciawritingvixen on January 6th, 2011 04:21 am (UTC)
Thank you. That's one of the challenges about doing one shots in this fandom. It's bringing in enough detail without letting it be 300K for a one shot, lol.

Edited at 2011-01-06 05:50 am (UTC)
annethundr05annethundr05 on January 6th, 2011 03:08 am (UTC)
Beautiful I don't see why you were worried. You captured Marry Anne wonderfully and I love your Richard. I also love how it all came back home and that even though her mom couldn't be there she still was. Lovely.
Melciawritingvixen on January 6th, 2011 04:23 am (UTC)

Thank you. I just tend to over-analyze my writing. I'm glad you liked my Mary Anne and Richard. Thanks for commenting!
annethundr05annethundr05 on January 6th, 2011 04:35 am (UTC)
Don't worry I do. I always wind up asking myself is this as funny, as I think it is. The random what-if's , like what-if I'm the only one who gets it? But you don't have to worry about that it came across great. I am loving you Mary Ann :-)
Lisa: Misc: Paris Hugozqueen on January 6th, 2011 05:56 am (UTC)
Oh, man! I'm all teary after reading this! This was beautiful &hearts

(Are we going to find out what's in the journal or are you leaving it to our imaginations?)
Melciawritingvixen on January 6th, 2011 05:58 am (UTC)
Thank you! I have it all plotted out and will probably reveal it in another one shot. I'd just like to revisit this little universe with Dawn and her two kids, living with Richard and Sharon and Mary Anne.

The journal ends with the announcement of her being pregnant with Mary Anne, so it goes through some of the first bits of marriage and the last entry is Alma gushing of the fact she's going to be a mom.
Lisaozqueen on January 6th, 2011 06:00 am (UTC)
Aww, I definitely want to read more! :) Great job!
LuxKen27: BSC - Dawn & MAluxken27 on January 6th, 2011 03:17 pm (UTC)
Oh, this is simply breathtaking! What a beautiful story, and what a beautiful rendering of the Richard/Mary Anne relationship. I suppose its only fitting that she wear her mother's wedding dress (that is something so in-character for sensitive, nostalgic Mary Anne) for her own wedding (to Pete? Our Pete? Hmmm...). I like all the other little wisps of details you've pulled into this as well - Dawn's drama, the repaired relationship between Richard and his mother-in-law, the matured relationship between Mary Anne and her father - and it makes the story feel much richer than simply a scene.

Well done! =)
Melcia: Emma Stone 3writingvixen on January 6th, 2011 09:03 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much. It is our Pete. I ship Pete/Mary Anne and really wanted to include them in this fic. My goal, with one shots, is to bring in as many detail as well, without over-explaining things. I'm glad it worked!

Thanks again. :)

btw, perfect icon choice!
LuxKen27: BSC - Dawn & MAluxken27 on January 6th, 2011 11:09 pm (UTC)
It is our Pete. I ship Pete/Mary Anne and really wanted to include them in this fic.

*squee!* I adore Pete Black. Pete/Mary Anne is one of my favorite alt!ships for this fandom (Charlie/Janine being the other :P). I see in other comments here that you're writing a series for them - I'm looking forward to it! This piece was really lovely.

btw, perfect icon choice!

I like the Dawn and Mary Anne sister/friendship a lot. This was one of my experiments with scanning the covers and then brightening them, so I'm glad you like! =)
The Good Witch: stock ; lovericochets on January 6th, 2011 08:34 pm (UTC)
I like this very much. You wrote both Richard and Mary Anne beautifully. I could see this happening. The fact she's marrying a guy named Pete made me smile.
Melcia: GG: Hugwritingvixen on January 6th, 2011 08:42 pm (UTC)
I'm going to write a series based in this universe. Just a few one shots leading up to her wedding and beyond. I already have the prompts picked out that'll go along with this.

It is Pete Black. :) That's my favorite ship for Mary Anne, from the books.
gloriafan on August 17th, 2011 02:42 am (UTC)
Yay! Just love fic featuring the Spier family...nice work!