Title: Dad (1/1)
Fandom: Laverne and Shirley
Disclaimer: I don't own it. I don't make money off of it. I just use it to make other people happy. Suing me will only get you action figures.
Notes: There's a good chance I've messed up the canon on this one because it takes place later in life. Go me!
Warnings: Do not take internally.
Laverne pulled the car up to the curb and parked it in front of the apartment building.
"This is it?" Shirley asked, taking a good long look at the building that had obviously seen better days.
"It's the right address," Laverne said shutting of the car.
The two women got out of the car and walked up the steps to the door.
"Squiggy must be really sick if he has to live in a place like this," Shirley observed as they walked into the yellow tiled hallway. "What apartment is he in?"
"Uhhh, the return address says 2b," Laverne told her, glancing at the envelope in her hand.
"Well, that must be on the ground floor," Shirley said, looking at numbers on the doors.
Finding 2b, they stood in front of the door.
"This must be it," Laverne finally said.
There was a pause.
"Does Lenny still live with him?" Shirley asked.
"Yeah," Laverne replied. "Squiggy's daughter lives with them, too."
"Wait a minute," Shirley said, quickly grabbing Laverne's hand, which was poised to knock on the door. "You didn't tell me Squiggy had a daughter."
"I didn't? I thought I did," Laverne said, looking confused.
"No, you didn't," Shirley said, letting go of Laverne's hand. "I think I'd remember something like that."
"Oh, well, he's got a kid," Laverne said, raising her hand to knock again.
Again, Shirley stopped her.
"Do you mean to tell me that Andrew Squiggman has offspring?" Shirley asked.
"A real daughter."
"Yeah, Shirl! He's got a kid. Why's that so hard to believe?"
"Because this is a man who used to keep moths as pets. He probably named his daughter Gypsy after them."
Laverne knocked on the door.
"Where's her mother?" Shirley asked.
"Poor child. Forced to be raised by Lenny and Squiggy," Shirley lamented.
The door opened.
"Hello, ladies," Lenny greeted them. "C'mon in."
"Hiya, Lenny," Laverne replied, cheerfully.
He stood aside and allowed the two women to enter the apartment.
The apartment was quite small. The front door led down a very short hallway to a living room that only had enough room for a couch, a chair, and a tv. Squiggy was sitting in the chair.
He struggled to his feet when he saw them.
"Oh, no, Squiggy, don't get up," Shirley said, rushing over to him and gently sitting him back down.
"I'm alright. I'm not invalid, ya know," he said defensively.
"How ya doin', Squiggy?" Laverne asked, sitting on the couch.
"Some days I feel good, some days I don't," he replied.
Shirley and Lenny joined Laverne on the couch.
There was an uneasy silence before Laverne cleared her throat.
"We got your letter, Squig," she began. "And, if you're serious about moving back to Milwaukee, I talked to my boss. He said he'd hire Lenny, no problem. Pay ain't the greatest, but it's pretty decent. The hours aren't so bad either."
"It's gotta be better than being a gofer for a bunch of stuck up celebrities," Lenny said.
"And, I think there's even an apartment open in our building. One on the ground floor so you wouldn't have to walk up too many steps," Laverne continued.
"Are you girls serious about helping us out?" Squiggy asked. He was being uncharacteristically quiet and he looked tired.
"Well, yeah! You're our friends!" Laverne exclaimed.
"Yeah," Squiggy replied, softly. "Thanks, girls. We appreciate it."
Shirley finally spoke up.
"Squiggy, what about your daughter?"
"Punky? Oh, you don't have to worry about Punky. I'll take care of her," Squiggy assured her.
Shirley looked at Laverne wide eyed.
"Punky?!" she whispered to her, horrified. "He named his daughter Punky?!"
"Easy, Shirl," Laverne said quietly.
"Punky can move into the dorms on campus. She got a full scholarship thingie. And, she's got a job so she won't have to worry much about money," Squiggy told them.
"Where does Punky work?" Laverne asked.
"A local strip club," Lenny said.
Shirley's jaw hit the floor.
"A STRIP club?!" she asked, clearly in shock.
"Yeah, as a bartender. She keeps her shirt on, Shirley," Squiggy assured her. "It's pretty good money. She works there to help with the bills. It's the only job she could get that didn't go against her school schedule."
"Actually, she should be home from school any minute," Lenny told them, checking his watch.
As if on cue, the front door banged open and a loud "Hello!" echoed into the small room.
A young girl, about twenty, walked into the living room carrying a backpack. She had dark hair and eyes, like Squiggy, and was probably a little taller than he was. Her bouncy step faltered a bit when she saw Laverne and Shirley.
"Oh, hello," she said brightly. "I didn't know we were having company."
Setting her backpack on the floor next to Squiggy's chair, she kissed his cheek.
"Hi, Dad," she said, before turning and kissing Lenny on the cheek as well. "Hi, Uncle Lenny."
"Punky, this is Laverne and Shirley," Squiggy said, indicating to each of them as he said their names.
"Hi," Punky said, shaking each of their hands in turn. "Nice to meet ya."
"Hello...um, Punky," Shirley said hesitantly.
"Oh." Punky let out a bubbly giggle as she sat on the arm of her father's chair. "Punky's just what Dad and Lenny call me. My given name's Pearl, if you'd rather call me that."
"No, Punky's fine," Shirley said, relieved.
"Why do they call you Punky?" Laverne asked.
"Because she hates her given name," Lenny answered. "Even as a baby, if you called her Pearl she cried. We had to think of something else. We called her Punky because her hair used to stick up in a Mohawk when she was little."
"I think Pearl's a lovely name," Shirley said. "A bit old fashioned, maybe, but not bad."
"Well, it's better than the name Lenny had picked out for me," Punky said. "Lavinia."
She wrinkled her nose in disgust.
"Lavinia's a nice name!" Lenny defended.
"Pearl's better," Laverne said, grinning.
"So, anyway," Punky said, ignoring Lenny's pout, "what brings you ladies to California?"
Laverne and Shirley looked quizzically at Squiggy while Lenny suddenly shrunk down in the couch.
"Didn't your father tell you?" Shirley asked. "We're here to move him back to Milwaukee."
"Milwaukee!" Punky exclaimed, quickly standing up and looking at her father. "You didn't tell me we're moving to Milwaukee! When?!"
"End of the month. Punky- " he began.
"End of the month! Dad, what about school? Work? When were you gonna tell me this?!" she blurted out. She looked at Lenny, who looked back at her helplessly. "Lenny, did you know about this?"
"You leave him out of this," Squiggy said sternly. "He ain't the one that made this decision."
"No, you did! Without saying a word to me! How could you? Don't I count?"
"Of course you do! This is in your best interest!"
"My best interest?!" Punky screeched indignantly. "How can it be in my best interest when I wasn't even told about it? I'm twenty years old, Dad! I think I can make my mind up for myself."
"WOMAN!" Squiggy yelled, rising to his feet much faster than his first thwarted attempt to stand. "Don't tell me about your best interest. I've been making up your mind longer than you have. I'm your father-"
"I'm no kid! You can't run my life!"
The argument quickly disintegrated into an unintelligible shouting match between father and daughter before Lenny intervened.
Standing up quickly and coming between them he shouted, "ENOUGH!"
Instantly, they fell silent, Squiggy ducking his head and Punky crossing her arms and nearly pouting.
"Um, I think maybe we should give them a minute alone," Laverne suggested, standing up. Shirley quickly followed.
"Yeah. C'mon, ladies, I'll escort you around the neighborhood. Show you the sights," Lenny said, ushering them to the door. "I think there are three."
The door closing with a soft click left Punky standing next to her Dad, both breathing hard, Punky's face showing a mix of anger and hurt.
"Sit down, Punky," he said gently, gesturing towards the couch. When she didn't move, he added, "Please."
Punky relented, sitting down heavily on the couch, arms still folded across her chest. Squiggy sat next to her.
"Ya know, I didn't mean to spring this on ya," he told her. "I didn't know Laverne and Shirley were coming until this morning when they called. It wasn't until then I was sure it was gonna happen."
"But, why didn't you tell me before? You could have at least said you were thinking about it," Punky said. "I've got a life here, ya know, Dad."
"Yeah." He paused. "That's why you're staying here."
Punky looked at him in disbelief.
"What?" she asked softly.
"You're not coming with us. You're staying here. Staying in school. I'll send ya money to help with rent and stuff until next semester when you can move on campus or find a roommate or another place that's cheaper or something. It might be a little tight for awhile, but we've done that before."
"But, Dad," Punky protested, "who's gonna take care of ya?"
"Lenny," he told her. "And, Laverne and Shirley. They're good friends. They're gonna take care of me."
"What about me?" she asked, her eyes welling up with tears.
"I told you, you're gonna stay here."
"No, I mean," she wiped her nose with the back of her hand, "I thought I was gonna take care of ya. Me and Lenny."
Squiggy sighed and took his daughter's hand.
"Punky..." He paused. "Pearl, I know you wanna take care of me. But, ya can't. You're young. Ya don't need to be spending all your free time lookin' after me on my bad days. It's bad enough ya gotta work in a strip club to help support me when all you should be thinkin' about is school and boys. You almost never get to go out. And, coming from a former lady's man, that's hard to watch."
Punky sniffled and giggled at the same time.
"Pearl, I've worked really hard to raise ya right. Your mom left as soon as she was released from the hospital after she had ya and I always felt bad about that. I know it was my fault. But, I tried to do good. And, Lenny was good help when it came to that. I always tried to do what was best for ya. And, I think this is best. Ya gotta get out on your own and live awhile. You're too young to be takin' on all this responsibility. Ya gotta be young, Punky."
"But, Dad, I am-"
She sighed in resignation.
Squiggy took his daughter's tear streaked face in his hands and kissed her forehead.
"I'm gonna miss you, Daddy," she whispered.
"I'm gonna miss you, too," he said. "But, you can come out to Milwaukee and visit during summer break. And, you can always call. But, don't go racking up a huge phone bill. Money don't grow on trees, ya know."
Punky laughed, wiping away her tears.
"Actually, it does. See, money is printed on paper and paper comes from-"
"Okay, okay, smart girl." Squiggy slowly got to his feet, Punky spotting him as he did so. "Let's go find Lenny and the girls and tell 'em it's safe to come back."
"You want your cane?" Punky asked.
"Nah," Squiggy said, smiling and putting his arm around Punky's shoulders. "I'll just lean on you."