"Series": The Girlfriend, 3/3
Prompt: #058, Dinner
Word Count: ~1800
Summary: In which it's like Meet the Parents, only not at all.
It was nearly seven o'clock and Melissa was having the first of many heart attacks. Her father had been held up at work and had gotten home less than an hour ago, so they'd given up the idea of making a real dinner, and had just ordered pizza instead. Now, she'd foreseen something like this happening, and had made it a point to ask Kit about his family's pizza preferences (cheese for one of his foster parents and his foster brother; everything including the kitchen sink for the other foster parent and himself), but that didn't mean she couldn't freak out about it. This was the first time she was meeting her boyfriend's family, and she they couldn't even have a real meal? What were they going to think about her family?
Speaking of... She quickly checked out the locations and actions of her family. Jenny was in the living room, doing the homework she'd ignored up until then, and muttering about how she was a child, but the current political situation dictated that her life be taken up with school work, leaving her no time at all to actually be a child! Melissa snapped at her to write an essay about it and shut up, and then moved on. Their dad was reading the sports section of the paper, looking very professional and dad-like, which just left... Oh no.
Petey, Melissa's twenty-one year old brother, was sitting on the stairs near the front door. Knitting. And singing under his breath, which was weird because there was no music playing anywhere in the house, and he wasn't wearing headphones. “This is the movie of the screenplay of the book about a girl who meets a junkie...” he said, making some effort at providing a tune.
Melissa moved to stand directly in front of him and waited for him to notice her. When he did, she said flatly, “You are going to act normal while Kit and his family are here, do you understand?”
Petey gave her a dazed look, and nodded. If it wasn't for their father's occupation, there was every likelihood that Petey would have become a stoner. As it was, all of his friends did drugs and Petey did the next best thing – he became a philosophy major at the local university.
Right then, the doorbell rang. Melissa grabbed Petey's knitting and hid it in a convenient box nearby, lest her boyfriend's family realize how deranged her own was the second they walked in. As she did that, though, Pete took the opportunity to duck behind her and open the door.
“You must be Kit and family!” Petey said, with the odd, somewhat cross-eyed smile that was his trademark.
Melissa jumped in front of him, a panicked look on her face. “Hi! I'm Melissa! This is my older brother, Pete! Ignore him!” she burst out in one quick breath, somewhat comforted by the fact that her panic was mirrored in Kit's face.
He'd mentioned, of course, that his foster parents were two guys, but Melissa hadn't come up with a way to tell her father that yet. She just hoped he wouldn't freak too much – he was pretty tolerant, but it was still a bit of a shock to pull on anyone without at least a little bit of warning.
She could quite literally hear her heart beating as she heard her father moving from the kitchen (which, why was he in there? Was he going to be all, it's not delivery, it's Digiorno, and pretend he cooked the pizza?) and headed towards the door. She tried to decide whether he was going to look welcoming, or if he was going to go for the suspicious cop-stare.
It seemed he went with the first choice, as he rounded the corner with a grin plastered on his face, saying, “Hi, I'm-” And then he stopped dead, jaw hanging open. Well, jeez, she didn't think he'd react to gay guys like that!
“Adessi?” choked out the skinny guy with the blond hair and the mini-me – that must be Ryan, Melissa mused, connecting him to Kit's tales. But why was he saying her last name with such levels of shock?
“Galloway?” Her dad said, equally shocked. Or maybe not equally, since he followed up with, “Since when did you have a teenager?” Melissa, meanwhile, was having a mental epiphany, putting together that this Galloway must be the same Galloway from her dad's work.
“Uh, I'm a foster kid,” Kit said, head switching between the two men in an extremely confused manner. “And how do you know each other?”
“Remember how I said I used to be a cop?” Ryan said, eyes not actually on Kit as he spoke to him. He must have had the same magical sense that Melissa's dad had, because he continued only after Kit nodded. “Adessi was my partner then.”
“And shot him,” butted in the up-to-then quiet adult in the room, an extremely hot Hispanic guy – if you were into, like, guys that worked out more than once in a blue moon. Her dad shot the man (Max, her mental library informed her) a dirty look, but didn't refute it.
“You shot him, Daddy?” Jenny seemed a little too excited by that. Weird little homicidal midget.
Weird though she was, her speaking up had reminded the adults (she wondered, momentarily, if she should start using quotation marks around that word, given how they were acting) that children, you know, existed. “Uh, this is my youngest, Jenny,” her dad introduced, pretending not to see the snotty little smile Jenny was showing off. Melissa was saved from the probably bad urge to kick her by all attention being shifted to her. “This is Melissa, who I'm sure you've heard about.” The smirk on Ryan's face informed them all that yes, this was indeed the case. Even if it wasn't the case. “And my oldest, Pete Jr.”
Petey had used the distraction to find his knitting, and at the sound of his name, looked up with a dazed look on his face. “Hnuh?” he said.
Entirely strait-faced, Ryan nodded. “Indeed.”
Dinner went by without a – well, no one got killed, at least. Although, if looks could kill, it would have looked like the second coming of Wounded Knee.
And if looks did just what they looked like, her little sister would be making out with her boyfriend. Melissa glowered at Jenny as she gave another giggle to something not exactly funny Kit had said. Kit, normally a bit slow when it came to things like this, had already caught on and kept sending anyone who'd look at him panicked looks. His own foster parents were too busy trying not to crack up at the situation to give him any sympathy, though, and Melissa was too busy concentrating on breathing and not battering her sister to death with pizza crusts.
“Let's play a game!” Petey suggested brightly when everyone was done, or mostly done, eating. He finally seemed to have woken up from his wide-eyed daze. This got him stares from the entire table, which he seemed happily oblivious to.
“Why don't you kids go out in the living room, while we talk about boring grown-up stuff?” Peter Adessi suggested, forgetting that they weren't all in elementary school. Melissa and Jenny united for once to give him a joint, “Bitch, please,” look, before realizing that all three of the boys were already headed to the living room. Jenny ran after Kit, and Melissa ran after Jenny to possibly rip her hair out or Bedazzle her face – it all depended on whether Petey would tell her where he put the Bedazzler.
Neither turned out to be necessary, actually, as Kit and Pete reached a joint decision that hey, right now would be the perfect time to teach a three year old to play blackjack! Melissa sighed, but didn't argue. At least they were all getting along fine. She was a little worried about leaving the “adults” (she'd given into the urge to use quotation marks) alone together, given how her father had been all through dinner.
Melissa hovered near the dining room for a moment, but as she heard only the muffled mutterings of normal speaking voices, no yelling or breaking glass, she thought it would be safe to go and haul her sister away from drooling on her boyfriend.
She settled onto the floor in front of the couch next to him (Kit had some weird hatred of furniture, he was always sitting on the floor and giving couches and chairs suspicious looks). “So, you think we're going to be on double-secret-probation?” she asked casually as the little boy smacked his hand on his cards that totaled eighteen, grinning.
“You sure you want to do that? The odds aren't good...” Kit said to the boy first, before answering her with a grimace at the movie reference (he sort of detested Animal House with every part of his soul, and had howled endlessly when it took number one on a list of the funniest movies of all time). “I don't think so, I mean, we didn't actually do anything wrong, so they can't punish us.” A pause, during which Zack nodded enthusiastically that yes, he did want another card. “Can they?” He gave the card he was asking for, and stared in disbelief when it turned out to be a three.
Zack gestured for the cards, and a still stunned Kit handed them over. Zack looked around, made sure they were all watching, and then started shuffling the cards like he had a side job at a Vegas casino.
They were all – well, all minus Pete, who got bored and went back to knitting – enthralled by Zack's card tricks for the next probably half hour, when finally the adults exited the dining room to find out why their charges were being so quiet (some cops, Melissa noted).
“Oookay, Zacky my boy, what say we leave some of your tricks for next week?” Ryan suggested, swooping the boy up off the floor, only a flash of a grimace across his face suggesting that the nearly four year old's weight might be a bit much for him.
Wait. “Next week?” Melissa asked, unable to keep the horror out of her voice.
Ryan grinned a large and very scary grin. “Oh, yes. That's when you all are coming over to our place for dinner,” he said sweetly.
Melissa and Kit shared an 'oh shit' look, and Jenny gave a similarly large and scary grin. “It's a date,” she chirped, and Melissa felt a cloud of imminent doom.