Chapter Twenty Two

"So you two are back together?" Joel looked plenty happy to see that Finlay and I were holding hands.

"Oh, yeah," Finlay shot me a look that bordered on saying "you bet you ass we are, bitch." I grinned, looking at Joel and Leah. We (meaning Finlay, Mark, and I) were just sitting over at their place, watching "The Breakfast Club" (my favourite movie), and drinking beer and martini's. Well, everyone but Leah and Finlay were.

You heard right (well, not that I made it exactly clear), Leah was pregnant again! She took a home test just a few days ago to find out that she had another bun in the oven. Joel was so happy that they went out for a little romantic dinner, and then invited us over.

"That's great," Leah smiled, twisting the cap on her vitamin water (she was trying to keep herself a bit healthier, not that she wasn't before, for the new baby). She had also been to the doctor a couple of times. They found out that she had low levels of progesterone, and that she had to get a few shots to keep those levels up.

Joel and Leah were just glad that they knew what was wrong so they could fix it. Leah had already said that she wanted at least two or three children. And I knew that they could handle it. They were practically the perfect couple. Well, besides Finlay and I.

No, I kid.

"Yeah, and congrats on the baby," I said, grinning to the happy couple.

Leah placed the hand that wasn't holding onto Joel's on her stomach, "Thanks."

"Do you know what gender it is?" Mark asked, sitting on the edge of the chair. His hair had grown out a bit, and now hit the tops of his cheek bones at its longest. The sides were growing out quickly, and his hair wasn't much of a cockatiel fluff anymore.

Finlay's hair was also growing out again. I could see the faintest amount of red in his maroon locks.

"We want to be surprised," Joel answered Mark with a smile.

Mark, in return, nodded his agreement, "That's one of the best surprises in the world."

"I agree," Leah grinned to Joel, leaning over to kiss him on the cheek. I playfully gagged, and she glared at me, but couldn't help but grin as she did so.

"Well, I'd better get going," Mark grabbed his jacket (because he was a little off-kilter and wore jackets in the springtime), flashing a metal smile as he headed toward the door.

"Thanks for coming," we echoed as he waved and exited.

"Where're Kitty and Shelley?" I asked Joel. I hadn't seen the girls since the funeral, and I wondered how they were. Joel and Leah had been almost too kind to take the girls in for a while. I would've loved to, but I just didn't have enough room to do so. And I hated relying on them to take care of both Kitty and Shelley, even though I know that they didn't mind.

It just made me feel like I couldn't do it on my own. And I was a fiercely independent person.

Okay, that was a bit of a fib. But, whatever.

"They're laying down," Joel answered. "They had a little make-over party with Leah earlier."

"Make-over party?" Finlay's eyebrows shot up.

Leah giggled cutely, "I just put some lipstick and eyeshadow on them. Nothing major or permanent. Trust me."

"Oh, I do," Finlay laughed, leaning back into me. My hands were clasped around his little tummy. "But, still. That doesn't make me less frightened. If you get too close to my little sisters, you might just take them away and they won't even know who I am anymore."

We all laughed at that.

"You should see some of the things that Kitty has drawn," Leah commented. "She really is talented for her age. I mean, I go to an art college and some of the things she draws is better than most of the stuff my class comes up with."

"You've got to be joking," I butted in. I went to an art college as well, and I was amazed at the things the actual art students produced. Not that I was saying that Kitty sucked or anything. I had never seen something the girl drew, but… I was kind of hard-pressed to believe that.

Leah shook her head, "You should come to my classes sometime." Her eyes widened as if to convince us.

Joel chuckled, "Seriously. I'm no artist, paint-wise, but… man."

"That's horrible." Even as Finlay said that, he was laughing. I lightly pinched him to tell him that he was horrible for laughing.

"It's not horrible," Leah smiled. I had never seen this side of her before. I always thought that she was the kind of person to tell off anyone and everyone who made fun of others. This actually surprised me quite a bit. "It's being honest."

I shrugged nonchalantly. I didn't want to make her mad or anything, but this was disappointing. I really held her opinion in high regard, but now… my image of her was shattered. To be honest and everything.

"Well, I think that it's about time we got back to our apartment, don't you think, Finny?" I nuzzled his earlobe.

He nodded and stood. I followed his action, thanking and hugging Joel and Leah.

"Thanks for coming over, you guys," Joel grinned to us. "You know the drill."

And, oh, we did. Joel and Leah kept a fresh stock of sweet peas in a dish by the door. They meant "departure" and "thanks for the lovely time." I thought that it was nice that he kept a departing gift.

"'Bye." Both Joel and Leah waved us off. Of course, Finlay and I returned the gesture, piling into my car and driving off.

"You didn't seem to enjoy Leah's comments," Finlay himself commented as we got a measurable distance away from our friends' house. He gazed at me from out of the corner of his eye. I returned the gaze.

"You're intuitive this evening, darling," I replied, not disproving what he was implying, nor was I proving him right. Although my sentence was leaning more toward him being right. Which, well, he was.

Finlay turned his back toward the car door and faced me, "You've been really… distant lately."

"Oh?" I glanced at him, but didn't take my eyes from the road but for about half of a second. We only lived about two minutes away from Joel's and Leah's, but I enjoyed taking the long route. Maybe driving out to the "country" (you forget that we live right beside a national park, pretty much) to lie under the stars.

"Oh," he answered, tilting his head and smiling. It baffled me, the way he would tilt his head for no reason. "Like… You don't seem like yourself. You don't seem very… opened up."

I continued staring out of the windshield.

"You don't get what I'm saying, do you?"

"I hate to disappoint you," I said. "But, no."

Finlay shrugged and turned back around to look out of the passenger window.

I watched him for a few seconds (the road I was on as deserted, because no one in their right mind, besides me, would want to go to a national park at night), and then, just to fuck with him, I pressed the "down" button on his window.

Finlay bolted upright, turning to me with a questioning look on his face. I grinned at him, pressing the "down" buttons for all of the windows. He laughed and stuck his head out of the window, hollering out into the night. I sped up to about 80 miles per hour, sticking my own head out of the window and yelling my lungs out into the night.

How's that for opening up?


"I'm glad we came out here, Harrison," Finlay said, his face upturned to the full moon. We were lying on our backs in the middle of a random field. It was dangerous (all the signs said "no trespassing" and the park was pretty much closed at night) and fun and amazing and wonderful. Pretty much the definition of my relationship with Finlay. Which was why I liked coming out here with him so much.

"I'm glad, too," I laughed, threading my fingers with his. "It's so pretty out here at night."

"And I've never done anything really… rebellious before," Finlay chuckled. "Even though this is hardly what I'd consider rebellious."

"Well," I turned on my side to smirk at him. "There're different kinds of rebellion. You've got the outright rebellion where you just go really ape-shit and do whatever. Then there's the passive-aggressive rebellion where you do things that are just barely under the radar (haha, Britney Spears) and don't get you that noticed. And then there's… well, there aren't any other categories of rebellion that I can think of."

Finlay thought a moment, his eyes scanning over the constellations, "I kind of just want to go fucking crazy and do something I've never done before."

I pushed myself up on my elbows, looking down at him, "Have you ever streaked before?"


Author's Note: Does anyone remember this story? XD;;