Watson awoke early the next morning, stretched his arms far over his head, and wondered momentarily on the hopelessness of human existence before rolling his eyes at himself. Love leaves the brooders behind, and Watson, ever self competitive, strove desperately to avoid the dust.
An odd compulsion to play the piano came over him, and Watson, animated as a manic Van Gogh, dashed from his room. He slid down the banister like an orphan at the White House. His feet hit the wood floor as if he landing upon a pillow. Grinning, Watson stepped into the family room. His jaw dropped to the basement.
“John?” asked Watson.
John hit his mental snooze button. Watson couldn’t help but stare at the rise and fall of the sleeping man’s chest. He shuffled awkwardly from side to side and considered ordering a megaphone on express delivery. Surely the notorious weapon of the high school cheer captain was advisable in a situation so dire. “Erm, John?” he cleared his throat.
And then he sneezed.
In John’s dream, forty blonde debutantes leapt off a cliff into a pool of blustery confetti. Horrified by its societal implications, he promptly awoke. As he stretched his arms over his head, Watson’s eyes traveled his toned forearms, his defined abs, and his ample body hair. John, decided Watson, looked quite different from Julia. It was not so much the obvious penis that set this thought off, but rather the chocolate trail of wisps adventuring from John’s bellybutton to below his boxers. Gender mattered little to the youngest of the Belue triplets.
John blinked drowsily, scratched his armpit, and yawned like a lion before glancing towards Watson. He blinked once more. “Oh,” he said. “Good morning.”
“You’re on my couch.”
“Why?” Watson backtracked a bit. “I mean, it’s not like I mind or anything. You can sleep on my couch whenever you want.” You could sleep on other places, too, thought Watson.
“Thanks,” sighed John. “That means a lot.”
“I’m glad, but”-Watson paused, massaged his temples, then continued gently-“are you going to answer my question?”
John whirled into his wintercoat. He seemed to carry an invisible phone booth with him at all times, which put him a mile above Superman and his conspicuous quick changes. He glanced at Watson, bit his lip, and ducked his head low before heading towards the front door. “I’ll tell you later.”
“I’ll see you then,” said Watson firmly. He settled his buttocks on the couch and began to wait.
Meanwhile, Scarlett attempted to engage Pandora in friendly conversation. Her belly had ballooned to nearly twice the size of the globe, and the prospect of childbirth loomed dangerously over her head. Unfortunately, the only other person she knew who had delivered a baby and she lay narrowly on speaking terms with happened to be her jaded mother. “Hey, Mom,” Scarlett began, trailing Pandora through the kitchen and into the foyer. “How did it feel to have kids?”
“Did it hurt?”
“Like a woodpecker in the ear.”
“Will I be a good mom?”
Pandora refrained from answering.
Elizabeth poked her head around the kitchen doorway. She’d been born privy to her family’s secrets, and thought she ought to keep up with them as she grew older. “So Aunt Scarlett’s worried and Grandma’s angry at her for some weird reason,” thought Elizabeth aloud. Thankfully her relatives were bickering so loudly they drowned out her eavesdropping. She shrugged her shoulders. Her family lacked the mystery she’d always imagined, and, bored with trite conversation, she decided to finger paint.
Four hours later, as Scarlett was playing the piano and Watson, finally dressed, observed with less interest than a bear at a car show, John returned from work.
Watson and he watched Scarlett play for a grand total of thirty seconds before John exploded. “I just didn’t have anywhere else to go, okay? Delivering papers doesn’t pay the bills, and when you can’t pay the bills then you can’t pay the mortgage, and all of the sudden your life falls to shit. …They took my house, Watson. I didn’t know what to do. I’m sorry”-his lip quivered as if it balancing a toad upon it-“I’ll leave right now.”
Watson turned around. Scarlett, feeling a bit awkward, began to play an appropriately dramatic tune. Watson scowled at her; John recoiled.
“And I know that yellow isn’t my color, but it puts food on the table. A guy’s got to have his raspberry tea, right? Sorry, Watson. I’m so sorry. I should have asked first, but the agency was banging on the door, and it was all very awkward and embarrassing-oh shit, I’m so sorry.”
“You can stay here.”
“I can’t pay rent,” John sighed. “I can’t even cook.”
“I don’t care.”
“John, stop worrying,” Watson smiled. “You can live with me for as long as you want.”
And then John fainted.
“Cute,” said Scarlett, though her expression screamed agony instead of approval.
“Damn,” said Watson. “Not even John can handle my character development.”
Scarlett’s abdomen seemed to be on fire. “How lovely. I think,” she said slowly, “John should go to bed, and I should go to the kitchen.”
Before Scarlett could open the fridge, her stomach heaved and cramped as if being assaulted by a tankful of faulty birth control. “FUCK YOU, DANTE!” she screamed.
“Whizzer, my mouth is frozen!” cried her mother.
“I’m having a goddamn baby!” shrieked Scarlett. “I could care less about your botox glitch right now!”
“I can’t stop looking adorable!”
Elizabeth debated joining the fun, but decided it would be wiser to call for her father instead. Besides, all of Scarlett’s screaming was giving her a nasty headache.
“Dad!” she shouted. “Aunt Scarlett’s having a baby!”
“Is she?” shouted Watson. “I’ll be down in a moment!”
As Elizabeth adventured outdoors-she thought building a snowman sounded much better than dealing with labor pains, Pandora continued to wail. “I can’t move my mouth!”
“Mom, didn’t you hear Elizabeth?” huffed Scarlett. “I’m in labor over here!”
Watson flew into the room, grabbed his sister by the arm, and whisked her away from Pandora, who Watson was beginning to sincerely believe had achieved premature senility. Whether or not Vodka’s premature death had caused it was a mystery to the young man, and not one he’d be finding out any time soon.
He shoved the front door open and helped Scarlett to the steps, where Elizabeth met them.
“Do you want to help me build a snowman?” she asked softly. Her dad had spent so much time worrying about John that he’d forgotten to talk to her today, and Elizabeth, while usually an active avoider of social situations, missed her father dearly.
“I’m sorry, Lizzie,” he apologized, stepping past her swiftly. “But your Aunt Scarlett’s having a baby, and your grandmother’s too crazy to get her to the hospital. Can we make one another time?”
Elizabeth sighed and trudged off. Watson gazed after her for a few moments before Scarlett poked him in the side. “We’ve got to go,” she gritted her teeth. “I am not having this kid on the front porch.”
They sped to the hospital in an obscenely fast taxi; neither spoke for fear of distracting the driver from his one hundred miles per hour trek through Moonlight Falls’s backroads. Scarlett tapped her nails on the seat, and Watson thought back to the blue haired Julia, wondering in vain if she’d ever find refuge again. Probably not, he thought. Crazy bitches tended to have trouble in the housing department.
As Scarlett made her way to the hospital door, she stuck out her tongue and caught a tentative flake. “One last snowflake of fun,” she sighed, staring into the great inky sky.
Watson watched in silence. Scarlett’s fears chilled his blood even more than the snow. While he loved Elizabeth, he certainly didn’t look forward to having to take care of Scarlett’s child. “Hey, Scarlett,” he said, thinking back to Malix’s speech many years ago. “You’ve got to love that baby with everything you’ve got.”
She stuck her tongue out at him. “Aye aye, captain.”
Still wary, Watson cheered his sister on. “Now get on in there!”
Scarlett nodded and bit her lip. She shook the snowflakes from her head, wrapped her arms around her body, and disappeared behind the glass doors.
Scarlett wobbled out of the hospital three hours later, eyes woozy and arms full with an odd, slightly glowing baby. Watson had called the taxi three hours in advance, and opened the door for his sister as she stumbled towards him. “What’d you name him?” he asked.
“Vicadin,” she slurred.
“They didn’t give Julia any drugs,” mused Watson. He assumed Scarlett’s expression to be a symptom of a new expansion pack. “But really.”
“Tony,” she said. “After the software company.”
It took all of Watson’s willpower to avoid burying his face in his palms and cry for his nephew’s unfortunate fate.
From that evening on, a strange routine fell over the Belue household. Every morning, Watson would concoct a new flavor of waffles, then oversee their consumption, all the while trying to work up the nerve to declare his love for John. His attempts usually began like this:
“Hey, John, I think we should-”
And ended like this:
“Get a gym membership. All of these waffles are making me feel chunky…or something like that.”
Not one to be easily deterred, Watson gave his attempts a twelve hour cool off period before leaping back into the love swept current.
The winter festival proved to be particularly disastrous.
“I’ve had a great time tonight,” began Watson, “and I’ve been meaning to tell you this for a long time-”
“NOT THE ASS!”
“Of all the things to say,” muttered Watson morosely.
John simply groaned into the ice. “Maybe I should quit journalism and start driving a Zamboni around the rink eight times a day,” he chortled, punctuated with a thick grunt. “I bet the pay would be better.”
Watson choked on his laugh.
Birthdays! Reunions! House remodeling! GENERATION FINALE!
Cat Stevens – “Here Comes My Baby”
A/N: I’m so excited for Elizabeth’s generation (if you haven’t voted on where she’s off to, click here), because I’ma head back to the old, super fun style of the Belues. Think Bridget/Bender era. I’ll try and update for every play session. Other news, this is the second to last chapter of generation four! It’s weird to think I’m nearly halfway through this legacy. It’s been a blast. 🙂
…but John Barrowman and Scott Gill are number one.
You can thank me later.