A Collaboration between Bron and Suzie
plane landed as the pilot announced, "Welcome to Buffalo."
Nick and Angel were all snuggled fast asleep as Sheridan waited
impatiently for the plane to come to a full stop. As she thought
about it, Sheridan couldn't figure out why she was so impatient
to get off of the plane. She was only going to get the third
degree from her parents as soon as she got home. 'Maybe I'll
stop over Angel and MaryAnn's house for awhile before going
home,' she thought.
Sheridan tried to
wake up Angel, but had no luck. As Sheridan sat back down frustrated
in her seat, she noticed a set of piercing blue eyes looking
at her with confusion. Nick was awake. "Good afternoon
Nick. Did you sleep well?"
As he tried to get
his bearings, he replied, "I guess so. Did we land?"
leave you the privilege of waking up sleeping beauty though."
Nick looked down
to see Angel quite content in her sleep. "Oh man, you are
so lucky this is a public plane," Nick said to her sleeping
Leaning down close
to her ear, Nick whispered, "Because I would love to give
you a proper wakeup call."
Angel's eyes opened
wide, "Carter, don't even think of doing that while at
my parents' house. They'd both have a stroke." Angel wondered
how her Mom and Dad would handle their baby bringing home this
new guy for the holidays. "I can only imagine the 'where
should they sleep' talks they've had since I said you were coming
home with me."
do they know about me?"
they know you work in LA. You've lived in Florida but were originally
from Jamestown, New York. They know you are in the entertainment
industry and have been somewhat successful." Angel got
up and stretched her legs.
"I didn't want
to blow your cover completely. I'm sure they would have told
my sister MaryAnn about you and then she would research you
on the internet and figure it out. She's a detective, ya know."
Angel retrieved her carryon luggage from under the seat.
long as you were trying to maintain my cover," Nick laughed,
"You are crazy Ms. Angel. Did you know that?"
"Yes, I am.
I must be for dating a pop star," Angel quipped causing
Sheridan to laugh.
"God, are you
two going to be like this for the next ninety minutes in the
car? And here I thought being in a plane for seven hours was
Angel ignored Sheridan.
She had been uptight since taking the job working for Kevin.
The last twenty-four hours had seen PMS set in along with a
hormonal induced rage at being set up, as she had come to find
out. A.J. had spilled the beans that nobody had ever worked
for Kevin and he had no idea who the hell Jacob was. Sheridan
left a message on Kevin's machine that she quit. Kevin had called
her back and talked her out of it. He would explain himself
fully when they were back in California.
who is coming to pick us up?" Angel asked. It hadn't occurred
to her to find out beforehand. Now her stomach was tightening
as her nerves began to take over.
"I think MaryAnn
is," Sheridan said as they filed out onto the concourse
and headed toward baggage claim.
older sister right?" Nick questioned, as his trained eyes
searched for fans that would rush him. He was trying very hard
to make a good impression and remembering Angel's family members'
names. Nick glanced over to Angel who was starting to look pale.
Leaning down close, he whispered, "You okay?"
Angel plastered on
a fake smile as she reassured her boyfriend she was fine, "Yeah.
I'm just tired."
Nick said jokingly, but was somewhat serious. "Don't worry
baby, I promise you, everything will be just fine. I'll use
my best manners."
Angel said as she heard her name being yelled from behind her.
Then she blinked, the Carter family values clicked in her head,
"Use the ones Kevin taught you." Turning around quickly,
she saw her brown eyed, brown haired sister jogging her way
through the airport.
After a death-grip
hug and kiss, each woman wiped off their lipstick on the other's
cheek. Nick could tell they had done this many times. MaryAnn
noticed her friend Sheridan and repeated the same hug, kiss,
and wipe process.
MaryAnn turned towards
Angel, "Well, aren't you going to introduce me to your
boyfriend?" Nick could tell the girl came from the same
'no hold bars' personality and was just as direct as Angel.
her sister to Nick. Nick stuck out his hand to shake hers but
that didn't sit well with MaryAnn. "Um…I don't think so.
Come here you." MaryAnn reached up and gave Nick a big
hug. Pulling back, she turned toward Angel with a questioned
look, "He looks familiar. Was he in something I would have
seen on TV or in the movies?" Sheridan was highly amused
at this point. MaryAnn would never make the connection of Nick
being a celebrity pop star and not an actor.
Angel shrugged as she looked at Nick with a smirk.
"I've seen him
somewhere before," MaryAnn mumbled as Nick retrieved their
luggage from the conveyer belt. Turning toward her baby sister,
MaryAnn mouthed, "He's gorgeous." Angel totally agreed.
Sheridan was egging
MaryAnn on, "Oh, you've seen his picture many times in
MaryAnn linked the
two girl's arms into hers and began walking. "Let's play
twenty questions," MaryAnn announced as they headed towards
her car. "This game will give me clues to find out more
about you Nick."
Nick smiled at her
and said, "Shoot." He was now loaded down with more
luggage than he could barely manage. This was something new
"Why don't we wait until we get on the highway before we
start, okay MayMay?"
MaryAnn agreed while Sheridan grabbed a couple of bags from
Nick, "You're going to fall over."
Nick looked puzzled
at Angelina, "MayMay?"
"That's my nickname
for my sister."
formed on his lips.
After loading up
the car with the luggage and turning onto the highway, the radio
played softly in the background. Nick and Angel sat in the backseat
as MaryAnn and Sheridan sat upfront. The snow lay in huge mounds
along the side of the road.
"Nick, I hope
you don't mind if I steal my sister away for an afternoon while
she's home?" MaryAnn questioned knowing that if she asked
Angel, she would use Nick as an excuse.
at all. You guys haven't seen it each other in awhile huh?"
Looking in the rearview
mirror, MaryAnn answered, "Not in almost a year."
Sheridan knew where
MaryAnn was going with this and decided to help Angel out, "Yeah,
well we just saw each other last month…"
"…For a couple
of hours. Someone wasn't in the mood for company." MaryAnn
interrupted. "California seemed to suck the life out of
you two. We'll talk later."
Nick smirked and
responded before he could stop himself, "I think it may
have had the opposite affect on Angelina." Angel elbowed
Nick causing him to go "Omph! Ow, what did I say? You were
a party girl before you began working on this project."
Sheridan busted out
laughing, having to agree with Nick, "He's right Angel.
You would soak up the life in LA, especially the nightlife."
you two," Angel announced with bright cheeks. Watching
her sister in the rear view mirror, she replied, "They're
exaggerating sis. Don't mind them."
"You're a lousy
liar Angelina," MaryAnn laughed.
Nick and Sheridan
joined in on the giggling, causing Angel to pout. Nick picked
up Angel's hand and gave it a squeeze and held onto it. He liked
being close to her.
MaryAnn knew there
was more to this story and she would find out all she needed
to know over the next few days. But right now, she wanted to
get started on her game and learn more about her younger sister's
"So Nick, first
question, what's your last name?"
MaryAnn thought for
a minute absorbing the name. "What TV shows were you in
recently?" Sheridan and Angel snickered; MaryAnn wasn't
even thinking music celebrity, she was only focused on Nick
being an actor.
"I was in American
Dreams and 8 Simple Rules for Dating my Teenage Daughter. I've
also appeared on various talent shows and MTV specials."
Nick looked over to Angel and smiled.
talent shows and what did you do on them?"
"I was a judge
on Star Search, American Idol Jr., and the Wade Robson Project."
"I don't watch
any of those shows you've mentioned. Hell, I've never heard
of some of them." MaryAnn was tapping her finger on the
steering wheel as she tried to think of more questions to ask
him. The car was silent except for the radio playing in the
background and the smack of windshield wiper blades keeping
time to the music.
have you been in?"
"I'm in a movie
due out later this year called 'The Hollow' and an upcoming
project I'm currently filming."
resist, "Don't forget Edward Scissorhands."
Nick hung his head
low and growled.
MaryAnn's eyes lit
up, "Really? I love that movie. Well, I love Johnny Depp
movies. Which part did you play?"
cracking up causing Nick to sulk. He realized he needed to answer
her question, "It wasn't really a part. I was an extra
on the set and you can't even see the front of me."
MaryAnn was now curious
as to why Angel and Sheridan were wiping tears from their faces,
"What did you do as an extra?"
Mumbling, Nick replied,
"I played on a slip and slide."
"You mean, the
water yard toy where you run and then slide on the yellow plastic?"
be the one," Nick answered, while chuckling silently, thanking
Sheridan for not bringing up the local TV show he did in Tampa
about Griswald the Turkey.
Angel leaned over
and whispered to Nick, "You know, she's going to watch
the movie just to look for the kid on the slip and slide now."
MaryAnn heard her
sister, "Shut up, I'm curious. I bet you've seen it."
MaryAnn giving her another big clue, "Yeah, she knew it
was him way before they were dating too."
MaryAnn looked over
at Sheridan for some more clues. In the background, they heard
the opening notes for "More Than That."
Nick, Angelina, and
Sheridan all began laughing hysterically. MaryAnn was quite
puzzled, "What is so funny? What did I miss?"
Angelina tried to
see if her sister could connect the dots, "Shhh….just listen
and think about what Nick has said to you so far."
As Nick's solo began,
he picked up Angel's hand and kissed it gently, causing her
to blush. He took his other hand and brushed her hair out of
her eyes and placed it behind her ears. As the song ended, Nick
softly sang along to it.
"OH. MY. GOD,"
MaryAnn finally made the connection. Looking into the rearview
mirror, she looked at his face. "You're in that singing
group. You're the baby, aren't you?"
Nick laughed at MaryAnn's
used to be hung all over Angelina's walls when she was younger.
You're the cute little blonde boy."
Her head flying up
in horror, Angelina yelled back, "I did NOT. I had a few
pictures but not all over my walls"
"I hope your room was left the same way as before you left
for LA. I want to see this."
MaryAnn plotted against
her sister, "Nick, we'll make a beeline up the stairs.
First door on the left was hers. We'll need to move fast so
she won't destroy the evidence."
"You've been a cop too long, you know that?"
MaryAnn looked over
to her friend, "Ah yeah, well have you met your green eyed
God, as you used to refer to the oldest member? The one with
that deep voice that made you hornier then hell. I always thought
he looked like Satan myself."
Sheridan heard Angel
snort in the backseat. She didn't dare turnaround and face the
two sets of eyes that she knew were staring at her.
Nick answered for
her as he chuckled, "Oh, she's met him alright."
she didn't want any of her family and friends from home to know
that she was now working for the green eyed God; the jokes would
never end. "Okay, that's quite enough information for MaryAnn
for one day. I'm sure we'll have plenty of opportunities over
the next few days to catch her up to speed."
slowed, as the passengers all felt a bit tired from their flight.
MaryAnn filled her sister in on what it had been like at home
since she had left almost a year ago. "Oh, did Mom tell
you who stopped by at Thanksgiving?"
Angel groaned, "Yes."
"I don't think Joey knows you have a new boyfriend. I think
he may stop by this week to catch you."
Angel's whole body
stiffened, "What makes you say that?"
Sheridan turned toward
Nick who had a look on his face she couldn't quite read. She
thought, 'Oh boy, this could be quite the interesting trip.'
"He seemed devastated
that he didn't get a chance to see you. Mom told him you were
definitely coming home for Christmas and his face lit up."
Angel mumbled, "Can we not talk about him anymore?"
MaryAnn turned to
look at Sheridan who shook her head back and forth. She then
looked in her rearview mirror to see Nick comforting Angel and
whispering in her ear. 'Okay, there is definitely something
going on here I should know about. And I will find out.' MaryAnn
The rest of the trip
was quiet minus the radio.
Nick was grateful
when MaryAnn finally pulled into Sheridan's driveway. He needed
to stretch his legs. A huge inflatable snowman took up the yard.
A sleigh and reindeer were lined up next to the driveway.
Waiting at the front
door stood Mr. and Mrs. Anderson. The parents ran to the car,
Sheridan was barely out of it before her father wrapped her
in a bear hug.
Nick marveled at
the size of the man, "He looks like two Billy's."
"He used to
be a prize fighter when he was younger," Angel whispered
as she watched Sheridan, who was now being scooped off the ground.
"I think he
could take on Billy and Carlos at the same time," Nick's
eyes bulged at the man that was at least four or five inches
taller than him and was packing an extra hundred pounds or so.
"My baby girl
is home and in one piece. I missed you so much." Harry
Anderson squeezed tighter.
"Daddy you are
going to hurt me, put me down," Sheridan fussed and tried
to push away from him. "Daddy stop it."
MaryAnn swatted his arm.
Mrs. Anderson walked
up to Nick, MaryAnn, and Angel. "Hello kids," she
hugged each girl and stopped at Nick. "My, aren't you handsome,
you must be Angelina's new beau. I'm so glad she got rid of
that Joey; he was a bad egg. Now I would be happy if Sheridan
could find something like you."
Nick was flustered,
while the girls snickered at him.
pick on Nick, he's very sweet." Sheridan was finally earth
bound again. She made her way to them along with her father.
Reaching for Angel,
Mr. Anderson picked her up in a bear hug and swung her around,
"It's good to see you again Angelina." Struggling
to breathe, Angelina replied, "You too Mr. Anderson."
"Nick meet my
Dad, Harry Anderson, and my Mom, Joyce." Sheridan finally
had a chance to introduce Nick to her parents properly.
"Are you one
of those Hollywood types, like the one that hurt my baby?"
Nick was quick to respond and even quicker to take a step back
from the hulking man.
Sheridan closed her
eyes and gritted her teeth, "I'm a big girl dad. I can
that last one real well, baby." Her father's eyebrows arched,
high on his forehead.
Nick turned away
quickly; he could see Kevin doing the same thing.
"It's the brows,"
"Nice to meet
you boy," A hand slapped Nick on the back and almost pushed
him into the ground.
"Okay, I hate
to break up the party but Mom and Dad are expecting us and you
know how much Angel wants to go home." MaryAnn headed for
the driver's side of the car, while Nick yelled, "Shotgun"
and took the front seat.
"Ohhh, not good,"
Angel muttered as she climbed in the backseat.
herself from her mother's welcome home embrace and walked to
the car. Her mother followed along behind her. Leaning into
the car, Sheridan smiled. "Tonight family; tomorrow night,
"You got it
babe. I'm off tomorrow. We need men." MaryAnn flashed her
through this," Sheridan laughed as she looked in the backseat,
mindless that her mother now stood next to her.
I forget, a man called looking for you. He said he was your
Sheridan closed her
eyes and groaned loud enough for all of them to hear. "Already?"
Angel wore a shit-eating
grin, "You'll get through it."
Sheridan mouthed back. Grabbing her mother's hand, she smiled.
"What else did he say?"
"He wanted to
know why you weren't here yet. You didn't tell me you had a
new boss. I know Tom was not a pleasant thing to deal with.
Did you have him fired dear?"
"Go, go, go!"
Angel chanted in the backseat to get out of the driveway before
everything blew up.
They could all see
Sheridan shaking her head no. Then her father pointed his finger
at her as they drove away.
is not going to be pretty." MaryAnn drove down the road,
heading for home. "Okay sis, you have the ten minute ride
to fill me in on what is going on with my friend. The last time
she was home, she was a wreck."
you herself when she's ready. I'm not getting in the middle
of it. If you want to play cop, then play it with her."
MaryAnn pulled the
car off to the side of the road. Turning to look in the backseat,
she glared at Angel. "Knock it off Angel. In LA you may
be a hot shot, but here you are my sister. All I want to know
is if Sheridan got rid of that slug of a boyfriend."
"That I will
tell you - yes, she did. Now can we go home?" Angel blew
her bangs out of her face.
"Yes, now we
can go home. Mom and Dad are waiting." MaryAnn winked.
Angel's nose crunched
up. She smiled when Nick's arm dangled over his seat and she
could squeeze his hand.
Nick cleared his
throat; he would test the waters with MaryAnn. He needed a confidant.
"Sheridan might have a new boyfriend soon. He's a great
guy who won't play games with her. But it's sort of just starting
so I wouldn't bring it up."
"Nick! You don't
know that for sure, shut up." The only thing that whirled
in her mind was how much Nick was like Kevin at times. She frowned
as MaryAnn began to talk.
"Thank you Nick.
I'm glad to see you are more mature and level headed. Just what
my sister needs. You'll have to tell me how you met, the real
version, not the diluted one I would get from her." MaryAnn's
hitchhiker thumb gestured towards the backseat.
The following five
minutes were spent with MaryAnn talking about her work as a
police officer and Nick talking about BSB security and all the
crazy things that had happened to them.
Pulling into the
driveway of a non-descript split-level ranch, they all took
a deep breath and piled out of the car.
Mrs. Lydon yelled as she ran through opening the front door.
"Come on; it's cold. We're supposed to get dumped on again,
Nick's puzzled look
dissolved as he looked at MaryAnn, "Snow?"
MaryAnn dropped Angel's
suitcase in the snow, intentionally, and then she smiled at
Nick, "You got it blondie. Welcome to snow country."
We'll get the luggage in a minute. You have GOT to see this."
The two took off in a full run into the house.
"Wait a minute!"
Angel took off after them. It was too late, they were in her
room. Her parents had followed the three people up the stairs.
Nick stood next to
her closet door and struck the same pose as the poster taped
neatly to the door.
Mr. and Mrs. Lydon
stood in the doorway and watched the young adults, "Oh
how cute honey, you're dating the little blonde boy in your
with laughter at her Mother's comment.
hate you," Angel growled at her sister.
Even Nick was having
a hard time keeping it together since Angel was on the hot seat.
Wiping the grin off of his face with a hand, he stepped forward.
"Sorry, I didn't mean to barge in but I had to see this."
Nick raised his arms in the air and pointed to the walls that
lined the room, "MaryAnn said Angel would trash it."
Mr. Lydon laughed. "It's very nice to meet you…"
"Oh, Nick, Nick
Carter," Nick extended his hand.
is my father Seamus and my mother Caitlyn. Mom, Daddy, this
looked at the young man in front of him and the teenager that
graced his daughter's walls for many years, "Well, it's
finally nice to meet you. I feel like I've known you a lot longer,"
Seamus said with a laugh as they shook hands. Nick began to
relax as the first impressions were over.
Angel settled a little
too, but there was one thing she needed to get over before this
went any further. "Mom, is the guest room ready for Nick?'
"Yes it is dear."
Mrs. Lydon stepped back for everyone to exit.
Angel grabbed his hand. "I'll show you where you are going
to sleep." Angel pulled Nick out of the room and down the
hall to the guest room. Pulling him in, he had no choice but
to follow. Nick began to shut the door, Angel's head swung wildly
to the left and then to the right. "No!"
MaryAnn stood in
the door, she nodded at Nick, "Shut that door and my dad
will be on you like a fly on shit. After Joey, he's pretty protective.
He suspects he did something to Angel but she won't tell us
anything. My mother of course thinks he's a saint." MaryAnn
rolled her eyes as she finished her sentence.
"Why is everyone
bringing up Joey?" Angel whined.
MaryAnn watched Nick
carefully as he comforted Angel with a hug. 'Ah ha, he knows.
Chillers will be very interesting. I just hope Nick talks when
Nick and Angel went
back outside to get their luggage. After unpacking, Angel then
gave Nick a tour of the rest of her home. Nick was amazed how
every room had some sort of Christmas decoration. Even the kitchen
had real wreaths decorating the windows causing the house to
smell like evergreen. Angel's mom put Martha Stewart to shame.
In the living room, he noticed that the presents Angel sent
ahead had been placed under the tree. He noticed a couple of
packages addressed to him and smiled. This reminded him he needed
to unpack his gifts and place them under the tree.
Turning toward the
fireplace, he noticed stockings were hung by stocking hooks
that spelled NOEL. At the end of it was another stocking held
up by a Santa figurine with his name on it. He smiled as he
felt a sudden warmness in his heart.
Nick took a fast
shower and smiled as he did so. He liked Angel's family. They
were normal, well as close to normal as he had ever seen.
"Dinner is ready.
Let's eat!" Mr. Lydon screamed up the stairs.
At the dinner table,
Mrs. Lydon prepared Angelina's favorite meal: corned beef and
cabbage with mashed potatoes.
Angelina's eyes lit
up as she surveyed the dinner table. "Mom, this smells
so good. Thank you!"
Nick watched as Angel
piled the mashed potatoes on her plate and grabbed a quarter
of cabbage, with three slices on corned beef. He then observed
her as she poured apple cider vinegar all over the cabbage and
MaryAnn had been
eyeing Nick's facial reactions as he watched Angel. MaryAnn
couldn't help it, "Bet you've never witnessed a girl eat
so much huh?"
Nick was startled
out of his trance, "Not this much, no; although she's always
had a good appetite around me. Usually when I would go out to
eat with girls, they would order a salad and water. I always
felt self-conscious ordering a burger. Ever since Angel and
I have been dating, she orders just as much as me."
Mrs. Lydon was carefully
picking through her meal, "Angel's always had a great appetite,
ever since she was a teenager. I don't know how she burns it
at her mother's comment, causing Angelina to give her the eye.
Deciding she wanted the conversation off of her eating habits,
Angelina changed the subject. "So MayMay, how's your new
MaryAnn had bought
her house six months back and loved it. "It's coming along.
The cosmetic work is almost done and then I can put the finishing
touches up on decorating."
Mr. Lydon chuckled,
"Yeah, it's coming along as fast I can fix it up."
MaryAnn gave her
father a pout, "Daddy!"
Nick smiled over
to Angel. He enjoyed his dinner and the conversation. Reaching
under the table, he squeezed her hand. Angel reciprocated the
gesture as she shoved a spoonful of mashed potatoes in her mouth.
This gesture didn't go unnoticed by the other three dinner companions.
Mrs. Lydon gave her husband a wink; he nodded his head in agreement.
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This is a work
The characters and events portrayed are fictitious.
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