Warnings: Not for the toddler phobic?
Fandom: Blood Ties, Television
Characters: Vicki Nelson, Marjorie Nelson, Coreen Fennel, Mrs. Fennel, Henry Fitzroy, and the dog down the block whose ears have not yet recovered from Vicki’s yell
Pairing: Vicki and Henry sort of
Summary: Vicki’s mother comes in for a weekend as Coreen’s mother decides that it’s a great day to take everyone to lunch.
Vicki leaned back in her chair, considering how much effort it would take to choke out Coreen. Three steps, two motions, just about, and that would be the end of the rendition of the "Star Spangled Banner" whistled through teeth. She sighed to herself. That wasn't fair. First off, she was pretty sure Coreen had no idea she was whistling at all, let alone the patriotic anthem for another country. Not exactly fitting the Goth image.
Sooo…another cup of coffee instead. Maybe if she sprang for mochas—a full mouth gathered no tooth whistling. She pulled her feet off her desk and stood. “Hey, Coreen.” The whistling stopped. Hallelujah. Coreen crept warily in the door. “Mochas? If you’ll go, I’m buyin’.”
“Sure!” The red head swung by and nipped the money out of her boss’ hand with a quick motion. She was back out the door before Vicki could possibly change her mind. Or, say, breathe. Vicki stared at the exit and shook her head.
“Wow. Apparently I am really good company today.” Admittedly, she hadn’t been in the best of moods since her mother decided that for Mother’s Day the perfect thing was to take the train to see Vicki. Who of course would pick her up. Never mind if Vicki had plans, or cases, or things to do. It was like being attacked by a warm, fluffy steamroller. That asked questions about her eyes.
That didn’t mean that her office assistant had to actively flee the building. She wasn’t *that* grumpy. Mostly. She shouldn’t be able to scare off someone who met vampires on a regular basis. Okay, one vampire, but still. She snorted and sat back down with her finance files. She managed to lose her thoughts in the stupid little details till Coreen poked her head back in, coffee proffered in one hand and body mostly shielded by the door. Vicki snorted. “Come in.” She waved her free hand.
Coreen crept in looking ridiculously hopeful. “Morning.”
“Morning.” Vicki did her best to make the smile real.
“Got a favor to ask.”
“Uh *huh*.” Vicki eyed her.
“Well, my mom wants to see where I work, and I told her she could stop by today and we’d have lunch.” She set down the mocha at arm's length.
“Uh, okay.” Vicki waited for the other shoe to hit her in the head on its way down.
“We, as in, all three of us.”
Vicki pinched the bridge of her nose. “Um, Coreen, I don’t know if this is the best time.”
Coreen waved a desperately enthusiastic hand. “It’ll be great. I got us reservations at a nice restaurant, not too nice, you don’t need to dress up or anything, and she’s buying, so it won’t cost you anything, it’ll be great, you’ll see!” She left the mocha as she retreated.
Vicki narrowed her eyes, aware she’d been had.
She had just closed a case, for a lovely Mr. Wu with gentle manners and a local saboteur. Former saboteur. She smiled.
The office door opened. "Coreen, what about that invoice I asked you to fax?" She hollered out the door. Silence. That probably meant the fax had been forgotten. Shoes clicked across the floor toward her.
"Vicki, dear, do you honestly talk to the poor girl that way?" Coreen, peering over Marjorie Nelson’s shoulder, bit her lip and shrugged apologetically at Vicki.
Vicki swallowed hard. "Mom. I thought you were coming in tomorrow."
"I was, but this is so much nicer. I thought I'd come in early and surprise you. This way, you don't have to try to pick me up." She left unspoken that Vicki couldn't actually drive to pick her up. "We can have lunch. And then we have tonight to do fun things." She frowned worriedly. "Why, were you having dinner with Mike tonight?"
"No, Henry, actually." Her tone was dry. Henry was going to be--Henry was going to be completely bloody goddamned amused, was what Henry was going to be. She closed her eyes briefly and opened them with a smile. Unless he got dragged into the experience with her. Maybe he’d like to meet her mother. He was good at being social. She could throw him to the conversation and flee. Except that then who knew what he’d say by way of revenge.
"Vicky." Her mother gave her the patented "I'm only concerned because I care" look. "Are you sure that's a good idea? What does Mike think about all this?"
Vicki could see Coreen's eyes widen over her mother's shoulder, but Vicki's tone was matter of fact. "I don't care what Mike thinks about it, because it's not his business." Her mother tisked under her breath but let it go temporarily.
“We’re supposed to have lunch with Coreen’s mother. I’m not sure what restaurant.” She raised her eyebrows at Coreen.
“Oh, Raphael's. It’s fine, the more the merrier.” She smiled. “In fact, it’s about time for my mom to be here.”
“Oh good.” Hopefully that didn’t sound sarcastic. An afternoon with both mothers comparing notes. Wouldn’t this be--fun. Marjorie raised her eyebrows. Okay, so it might have sounded a little bit sarcastic.
Coreen’s mother loved the office. She loved the furniture. She loved the neighborhood. She even loved the little yip dog they passed on the sidewalk, which Vicki thought called her taste into serious question. She had apparently sized up the situation and decided that Marjorie was more cuddly than Vicki, so she walked with one arm in the older woman’s. This had the benefit of slowing Marjorie down to share her delight in the flowers, the trees, the local critters….It did keep her off the topic of Vicki’s romantic life.
In fact, Mrs. Fennel's audible delight in everything kept them all busy well through the dessert course once they arrived. By this time, both mothers were trading stories to the amusement and discomfort of both daughters.
All would have been well had Marjorie not chosen that time to bring out the baby pictures.
Of course she had an accompanying story for each and every picture. That included the rubber ducky song.
Vicki had just managed to convince her mother that the local café would be more pleasant than Vicki filling out paperwork two hours after they got back. She eyed Coreen as the young woman leaned into her office, grinning. “Rubber ducky, you’re the oooooooooone…” Vicki glared. Coreen ignored the glare and kept going in falsetto. “Making bathtime LOTS of fun….” Vicki growled and got up from her desk, stalking toward Coreen. Coreen backed up into the more public outer office. “Oh no.” She held up the copies she’d managed to convince Marjorie to let her have, and she dangled the photographs out of reach. "You be nice to me, or I scan them and send them to Mike."
"I don't think so." Vicki leaned over and plucked them out of Coreen's grip. She turned and stalked back into her office, closing the door firmly.
Coreen raised her eyebrows and grinned. Good thing she'd already scanned them then. Now, what were the emails for Mike and Henry again....
She heard an amused, quiet voice call her name. She looked up from where she’d fallen asleep on the desk and over at Henry. “Remind me why I gave you a key again.”
“Because I love how sweet you are when you just wake up.” He smiled and brushed the hair from her eyes. She smiled back unwillingly and sat up, uncovering the desk surface. His gaze went to the photos still scattered on it. “Somebody is awfully cute.” He touched the toddler picture with one fingertip. She snatched it out from under his hand and shoved it in a drawer. “And touchy.” She frowned at him. He smiled sweetly. “It’s not like I haven’t seen it before.”
He was fairly certain that the “WHAT” was audible for several blocks.