We Belong
By Missy

SERIES: We Belong
PARTS: One of one
RATING: G (Nothing much to speak of)
DISTRIBUTION: To LW, Kai and FG so far; any other archives are welcome to ask, but disclaimers must be included, my email left intact. send a URL, and provide full disclaimers as well as credit me fully. Please inform me if you are going to submit my work to any sort of search engine. Please do not submit my work to a search engine that picks out random sets of words and uses them as key words, such as "Google"
Please contact me in order for this story to be placed on an archive, or if you want know of a friend who would enjoy my works, please email me their address and I will mail them the stories, expressly for the purpose of link trading. MiSTiers are welcomed! Please do inform me that you'd like to do the MiSTing, however, and send me a copy of the finished product. I'd also love to archive any MiSTings that are made of my work!
SPOILLER/SUMMARY: Carrie Kosnoski learns a bit more about her family.
SEQUEL TO: The Jacket
NOTES: Read "The Jacket" first; otherwise, this won't make sense.




"I can't believe I didn't see that football in front of me!" Carrie Kosnoski wailed. A week had gone by, but she still wasn't quite over the silly fumble that had ended her Ladies Varsity career, at least for that semester. Her words formed a sudden, reflective outburst, brought on by a sheaf of homework, delivered with sympathy by her father.

"Don't think 'bout it," Her father soothed, "You want some more soup?"

She eyed the tray he carried cautiously, her father bore a steaming bowl of chicken soup, as well as a thick slice of Itallian bread, "Did Mamma make that?"

Lenny rolled his eyes, "Care, I know howta make chicken soup!"

Carrie groaned, levering herself into a sitting position against mounds of pillows, "Why didn't you make me Jell-O?" She complained.

Lenny sighed, "Yer mamma won't let me touch it."

Her expression was curious, "Why?"

"It's a long story," He rested the tray on her end table, then switched on a tiny, portable TV that had been bummed from her Aunt Shirley. He fiddled with the tin-tipped rabbit's ears, and a grainy image of Luke and Laura appeared on the screen, "Ya want me ta leave ya alone sos you can watch yer soaps?" He said, trying to get a more perfect picture.

She shook her head; "I was lonely all day," She admitted. Her father had taken the afternoon off to watch over Carrie and her broken leg; her mother had watched her all morning, though Carrie herself had barely been aware of her presence, the morning blotted out in a haze of pain pills. She awoke as her mother left to help arrange her security detail at the Raiders game that upcoming Sunday; none of her friends had called, and the world seemed to have forgotten her. Well, everyone except her family, who kept insisting on drugging her so her compound fracture wouldn't hurt so much. The latest dose had been delivered by her father; having completed a morning shift as a dispatcher with the California arm of the Shotz empire, he'd returned to watch her for the afternoon.

"Awww," He said, comfortingly. "Want me to stay?" She nodded, and he carefully settled down at the edge of the bed, watching her face with a mixture of concern and love.

"How was your day?" She found herself asking, and he immediately launched into a complicated tale that had something to do with making sure all of the trucks were running correctly. Thanks to a morning of sleep, she couldn't even contemplate falling into a nap, so she sat and tried to feign interest in what her father did.

Everyone she knew had perfectly dull fathers. And, while her daddy was the greatest man in the world, definitely not dull, his job was just the pits. At least it kept her in Izod shirts and bandannas.

He seemed to notice her boredom and, struggling for a topic, looked to his daughter's bedroom walls, "Who's the hairy guy?" He asked, pointing to a pinup tacked over her bed.

She couldn't see what he had been gesturing toward, but guessed, "His name's Jon Bon Jovi. Isn't he gorge?"

Her father's blue eyes, which she had inherited, widened, "I dunno," He said, then they brightened, "Oh! The guy who does 'You Give Love A Bad Name'?!" She nodded, and he grinned, "I know the cords to that one."

Knowing everything about popular music was the one thing that made her father very cool to her friends, and Carrie grinned appreciatively.

"The Squiggtones are gonna play it at our gig next week." Carrie held onto her smile, even though the Squiggtones were one of the many things that made her parents massively uncool. For a girl who could grow up to be either Sally Ride or Flo Jo, the world was open and limitless, and therefore her father's settling for a bar band seemed unfathomable. He noticed the frown that crumpled her features and said, "Ya know, if it weren't fer The Squiggtones, yer ma an' I wouldn't have our first place. We'd all be sleepin' in the gutter."

She could scarcely believe him, "Daddy, that can't be true!"

"It is!"

He sighed, "One night, yer ma and I decided ta stop takin' charity from yer Aunt Shirley. So we decided to get all of our money up in a bundle and spend it on the smallest house we could get. Well, by then Cowboy Bills was fallin' apart, an' I didn't want yet ma to work, so whatever she had were just part of old savings accounts. When it was all together, we were about a hundred dollars short." He was lost in a reverie as the tale continued, "Yer Uncle Squig found out; I don't know how. We went on that night in a lil' bar, an', when I took a break ta call yer ma, he passed th' hat. Came up with a hundred dollars." He swung his leg over the edge of the bed. "That's how we got this place."

Carrie, about as overemotional as her father, sniffled, "That's so sweet." She thought for a moment, then asked him, "What was it like, the night I was born?"

He thought for a moment, then told her, "It was snowin' like crazy, an' yer ma was eatin' pizza." Carrie giggled. "What! It's true."

"Tell me more." Carrie felt truly interested for the first time in her life, but, also, oddly comforted by her father's words. Comfort, unfortunately, was translating itself into sleepiness at this point.

"We were in Milwaukee, for our high school reunion; I missed the first one, on a counta a big talent show yer uncle Squig an' I were at. Well...yer ma's water broke, just as she was gonna sing that 'Angora Deb' song wit her old friends, an' I had ta drive through this huge storm ta the hospital?"

"Then what happened?" Carrie asked, yawning. She wanted so badly to tell her father that he wasn't boring her, but she just felt so very tired...

"Ya didn't get here for two hours!" He laughed, "Yer ma didn't want me there, but I stayed, an' ya came out all red n' wiggly. An' then they let me hold ya..." He paused, choking back a lump in his throat, and Carrie realized, suddenly, as she drifted away, that, even if her parents embarrassed her, she belonged to them, to this family, "You were so small, an' I thought I'd drop ya." Her father continued, "Yer eyes opened up, an' ya looked at me...An' I knew I loved ya. An' I'm always gonna love ya, Pumpkin." He finished. When he looked to Carrie to confirm this, she'd fallen into a deep slumber.

He smiled, bittersweetly, placing a gentle kiss to her forehead and covering her with a blanket before turning off the set and picking up her tray.

He almost dropped it upon seeing Laverne standing in the doorway.

"How long've ya been there?" He whispered, carefully creeping to the door and closing it behind them.

"Long enough ta know ya love our little girl."

He smiled, "Who kin help it? She's just like you."

She shook her head, knowing just the opposite was true; Carrie was her father's daughter in every way. The tray between them, Laverne pressed a kiss to her husband's mouth, one he readily accepted. When they parted, his eyes were bright with desire.

"Why don't we wanna have another one again?" He asked.

Laverne's own eyes were just as dazed. "I have no clue." She plucked the tray from his hand, placing it in the hallway, "I kinda think I changed my mind."

He grinned, sweeping her across the hall and into their bedroom, "That," He said, clicking the door shut, "I kin fix."


Back To "The Jacket"