A/N: Whee! Last chapter...wow. Thinking back, it's amazing that what started out as a just-for-fun little story ended up as a 30-chapter monster - with a huge 92MB folder of research-y material behind it (not including the odd bits trailing homeless on USB sticks). Woot! Woot!
And feel free to still tell me what you think - I'll be replying to reviews whenever I get the chance (yes, I know I was a bit slow finding out the function of that "reply" button...)!
It was, as usual, a very normal Saturday morning, and I was strolling happily through the town and minding my own business. The weather was, once again, of the typically English, overcast type: grey, cloudy, and with no sun to speak of...
The morning had been a long one; despite the fact I had long been freed from my boring job, there had been many things to do. It was nice to be back in England, and living in a comfortable, roomy house. My mother was certainly glad; she had come to visit three times already, and Connor's parents had recently been down from the North to visit the new addition to the MacGowan family. As for Connor himself, several months ago we had had some long discussions and decided that he should continue his hard-earned career in acting, but on the condition that he didn't leave the country for too too long. Not that this was a particular problem...when, after a lengthy, physically demanding pregnancy during which my dear husband was so maddeningly paranoid about me, Connor's tiny son was finally handed to him, he could barely bring himself to leave him.
Yes, it was a little boy we had - a little boy who, I might add, spent several weeks soundly kicking in my kidneys before his birth. It was quite an experience, having a baby...one I took quite a while to recover from. But I really was grateful for Connor's support; movie star though he was, he always got up willingly when James MacGowan started wailing at four in the morning...
Well, most of the time, anyway.
Things had settled into a manageable sort of routine, now. During the first month or two after our son's birth, Connor had flatly refused all film roles offerred to him, so attached he was to his new child. Fatherhood actually suited Connor; seeing him chattering away to a, er...bubbling...baby was so heartwarming. His previous doubts seemed to have vanished, and he had now fully accepted the responsibility of being a parent. Also, it had been brilliant to see the reactions of Connor's mother and father when they came to visit, too - Kathleen's expression, in particular, had been priceless. And when Connor was busy being congratulated by his father, she told me in private just how sincerely thankful she was that Connor and I had met. She confessed to me how worried she had always been about Connor's personal life, and how proud she was to see him now, successful, and a husband and new father on top of all that.
Those thoughts brought a smile to me now, as I walked down that pavement just as I had so very, very long ago. At the moment, Connor had been called away to Los Angeles, where he was so very kindly attending countless interviews and appearing on talk shows for the benefit of the thousands of fans who had been stricken by his disappearance, and been kept on tenterhooks by the various rumours of our having a child. As I walked, I smiled. They would all be amazed to hear the news, that was for sure...
The little corner shop was quiet, as it was on most Saturdays. I was now familiar with the benign, aging woman who ran it, even though she never suspected who I was. To her, I was just a very content young mother with a gurgling baby boy to buy weekly supplies for - and that was entirely fine with me.
Today I had brought little James with me, seeing as his father was reluctantly away. Now that he was reaching that age when he became curious about everything, he had refused to remain in his pushchair from the moment we entered the shop. I was obliged to carry him instead, but fortunately I was still entirely capable of picking up his week's supply of nappies without too much bother.
'You're just like your Daddy, you know that?' I grumbled fondly at James, whose stubborn, persistent protestations had kept him out of the pushchair. 'You just won't give up until you have your own way...'
'Bah,' agreed James, staring up at the long light fixtures on the ceiling. It was true that he took after Connor in many odd little ways; according to Connor, he even took after me, too. I smiled. The fine hair that covered James' rounded head was dark, and in very familiar curls. As for his eyes, they could not seem to decide whether to be dull green like mine, or a murkier version of Connor's. And even though he had not yet started to speak properly, I always fancied that I could already detect a faint hint of gruff Glaswegian in his voice...
As I made my way to the counter with a pushchair and a bag of nappies in one hand, and James' light, warm weight supported by the other, I spotted something that caught my attention on a couple of the gossip magazines arranged alongside the aisle. Grinning, I somehow managed to grab them both and carry them over to the counter, where the bespectacled lady sat beaming at James.
I put my purchases up on the counter, and she busily prodded at the till, picking up a plastic bag for me at the same time. When she saw the two glossy magazines on the countertop - both of them bearing a big photo of my dear Connor, looking very charming and with a new, different sort of radiance to him - she chuckled.
'Everyone seems to be mad about this man nowadays,' she remarked conversationally, putting them in the bag. 'He's Scottish, I hear...I take it you like him and his films, too, then?'
I smiled a secretive smile as I hitched Connor's babbling son higher on my hip, and replied modestly:
'I'm just a fan...'
A/N: And it's a wrap!!
Thank you so so so SO much to everyone who cheered me up on tough days with their encouraging reviews and useful pointers: emotionless-stares, sappyromancelvr, Spurlunk, FutureWriter, Bleeding Writer, Sienna-Marie, EternalAngelX, cherry617, CorvaCarolina, Dreams of the Stars, Dreamless-Wonder, ..You, a loVe sTricKen aFfaIr, mistress tee, Misery Business, coffeegirl123, Golfbabe87, walkonair, bemyescape15, It'sYouForMe, theslykit, cLoJoe, casey-kent, writerbrighter, BellaVita, Werwolf234, wolfprint, luna-eclipse-58, I'm In love, kat6528, frizzle-tastic, Chloeee, nkhh923 and mellybelly91392.
And another huge thanks to everyone who faved/story alerted/author alerted, etc: A. Nicole, AllElevenToes, BellaVita, Bleeding Writer, Chloeee, EternalAngelX, Eunoia, FreeMeFromThem, FutureWriter, Golfbabe87, It'sYouForMe, ..You, Lark Hamilton, LetGo89, Michelle Richard, Misery Business, Miss Sadistic, MoonlightWishing, Nature's Tempest, Phatbaby1011, Sarcasm is the best thing, Spurlunk, The Wind Charmer, Varsiva, Verisimility, Verspertine Noir, Werwolf234, a loVe sTricKen aFfaIr, casey-kent, cheeyuet, cherry617, gwest09, hitman32, huntz, jadaze, kat6528, likewhoa, luna-eclipse-58, mackico, margaret ryder, may041992, meibootie, mellybelly91395, mistress tee, monkeysigns, prancu, sasha-hawkins, sezzi1989, shootingstar89, someone took my name., stasiastclair, sugarpunk19, swankyandcocky and theslykit!
Finally, I'd like to thank Tic-Tacs, Ogeu Limonade Artisanale (in the little bottles); the songs "Mbube" (heh heh), "Wait For You" and "Leap of Faith" (Hadouken), "C'est Beau la Bourgeoisie" (Discobitch), "This is Not a Test" (Oppenheimer), "Danger! High Voltage" (Electric Six), "Right Round" (Flo-Rida!), "Filthy Gorgeous" (Scissor Sisters), "Rock Show" (Lady Gaga); the Columbus Café in Colomiers with its de-li-cious cappuccinos and croissants; my dear matey the Third Earl of Derby (XD haw haw haw) and, of course, the entire Scottish population for inspiring and motivating me.
As for future stories from za me...well, I think I might have one or two sort of...coming along...but that'll be for some later date, since I'm now leaving France (sniffles) and need time to sort meself out, et cetera.
I'm going to have a lie down.
:D :D :D - Gaby