“Can’t you go a little faster? I promise you won’t get a ticket, I know the chief of police.”
The taxi driver laughed and looked at the girl sitting in the passenger’s seat.
“I bet you do sweet cheeks. Everyone knows Margo Hughes, Oakdale isn’t that big.”
“I know her a little better than you, I’m engaged to her son, ok? She’ll be my mother in law in 6 months.” Maddie said annoyed and wondered why she hadn’t just taken the bus instead.
“Oh really?” the driver said, glancing at the ring on her finger.
“Why isn’t he with you then?”
Maddie rolled her eyes. One thing she definitely hadn’t missed about Oakdale was the fact that everyone always wanted to know everything about you.
“He is taking our bags home.” She explained. “Now can you please step on it a little? I can walk faster than this.”
“Why are you in such a hurry?” The driver asked and then narrowed his eyes at her. “You’re not about to have a baby are you? Because I don’t want that mess in my taxi.”
“Do I look like I’m about to have a baby?”
He took a good look at her while waiting for a red light.
“No.. I guess you don’t.”
“Thank you. And don’t you think I would’ve asked you to drive me to memorial if I was in labour?”
The driver muttered something under his breath about the kids of today and crazy things in this world as he stopped the car in front of the house Maddie hadn’t been inside of for way too long for her liking.
“That’s $24,50 then.” the taxi driver said as he turned off the meter.
Maddie gave him $25 and told him to keep the change and got out of the car, smiling to herself as she heard the driver curse her for being such a crappy tipper.
She walked up the driveway, happy to see the familiar car was in its usual place. She rang the doorbell and yelled “Surprise!” when the door opened.
“Maddie! How are you sweetheart? It’s so good to see you again.” Winston said as he hugged the girl standing on his doorstep. “I didn’t know you were coming to town. The boys didn’t tell me.”
“They didn’t know. I called Noah this morning when we were on the way home, but I didn’t tell him which home. I wanted to surprise you all.” Maddie explained happily as she walked into the house.
“Ok back up there a minute young lady. You know Noah and Luke don’t tell me half of what’s going on in their lives, let alone in yours. So what’s this we and what home?” Winston asked, following Maddie into the living room.
“We is Casey and me and the home is the apartment we rented in Oldtown. Connecticut didn’t really agree with us, we’re moving back to Oakdale.”
“Really? So where is that boyfriend of yours then?”
“He’s not my boyfriend anymore.” Maddie said, the smile on her face getting even bigger.
“What? But you just said..”
Maddie held up her hand and showed Winston her ring.
“He’s my fiancé now”
“Wow. You are full of surprises today aren’t you?” Winston said, slightly shocked. “You’re not pregnant are you?”
“What? No! You’re the second person today that asked me if I’m pregnant. Did I put on that much weight?”
“No, no, you look fine to me sweetie.. I guess I’m just old fashioned. When I hear wedding I think baby.” Winston said apologetic.
“Will you think that too when Noah tells you he’s marrying Luke?” Maddie asked jokingly, trying to lighten up the situation.
“Well.. Noah has put on some weight I guess.” Winston trailed off and burst out laughing when he saw the amused look in Maddie’s eyes.
“You know I feel like taking my favourite father in law out to get some coffee.”
“Your favourite father in law. What will Tom say about that?” Winston asked laughingly.
“What he doesn’t know won’t hurt him. And besides, he’s not my father in law yet”
“What do you mean what he doesn’t know? Haven’t you told Casey’s parents yet?”
“Nope, no-one knows yet. Apart from you. We’ll tell our families tonight during dinner.” Maddie explained. “Now come on, let’s go to Java, I want some coffee and see my two best friends.”
“You know.. I was thinking.. that tonight we could just forget about painting and all that.. and just have some.. fun” Luke said, looking hopeful as he slid his arms around Noah’s waist and put his hands in the back pockets of his boyfriend’s jeans.
“What kind of fun did you have in mind?” Noah asked innocently.
“This would be a nice start.” Luke murmured against Noah’s lips and kissed him.
“NOAH MAYER WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?!”
The boys quickly jumped apart and looked over to where the voice had come from a second ago.
“Casey you asshole.” Noah said when his heart rate had returned to normal again. “I thought you were my boss or something.”
“Sorry guys, I just couldn’t resist. You two are way too easy to trick.” He said and sat down on one of Java’s barstools. “Where is everyone?”
“Java is closed today, for a private gathering” Luke said and gave his friend a grin.
“A private gathering? You mean a quickie in the backroom?” Casey smirked. “I’ll stand guard outside ok? 5 minutes should be enough right?”
“Oh Case, so young, so naive.” Noah said as he walked over to the door and turned the sign to Open.
“Ok.. remind me not to get coffee with cream. I don’t like THAT kind of cream.”
Luke laughed as he sat down on the barstool next to the one his friend was occupying.
“Don’t worry Case, all of THAT cream is gone.”
“And it tasted pretty good too, maybe we’ll have some more tonight.” Noah said, joining the game.
“Ugh. You two disgust me.”
“Oh you know you love us, Casey. I bet Connecticut gets lonely without us.” Luke said and hugged his friend. “I’ve missed you too.”
“First you try and make me lose my lunch and now you’ve missed me? Charming Snyder, charming.”
“How’s Maddie doing?” Noah asked changing the subject. “Is she coming over again soon?”
“Maddie is.. great. She actually came with me. She went to see a friend and told me she’d meet me here.”
“Maddie is here? But I talked to her this morning. She said she was on her way home.. I thought she’d dropped you off at the station because she couldn’t get time off work.” Noah asked confused.
“Guys, I’m sorry.. she made me promise I wouldn’t tell you she was coming home. She wanted it to be a surprise.”
“Wait, wait.. she’s coming home?” Luke cut him off.
Casey’s grin got bigger.
“Do you guys remember the last time we were here and you showed us your apartment? And that place around the corner that was your second choice? Guess who the new tenants of that place are.”
“You what? You two are moving back to Oakdale?”
“Yep. Well actually.. we already are back. We got the keys last week and well.. it doesn’t look like much yet but we’re getting there.”
“Why didn’t you tell us? We could’ve helped you move. We could’ve loaded some things into Noah’s truck..”
“Guys. You have met Maddie, right? She would’ve made me sleep on the floor if I would’ve told you.”
“Sleeping on the floor is good for your back, just ask Luke.” Noah said and both he and Luke burst out laughing.
“Ok.. care to let me in on the joke?” Casey asked confused.
“It’s what we used to say to my dad when we started dating. I think it was one of the first times Luke stayed over and my dad asked us if we slept well and he asked Luke if he hadn’t mind sleeping on the floor.” Noah explained.
“And I told him not to worry because sleeping on the floor is good for your back.” Luke said, finishing the story.
“I’m sure he knew you didn’t sleep on the floor..that we didn’t sleep a lot at all that night.”
“Yeah he didn’t buy the friend line for very long did he?”
“You told Win you were just friends at first?” Casey asked.
“Yeah we did. And I think he bought it for about 3 minutes.” Noah said laughingly. “I just didn’t want to shock him too much. We’d just moved here about 3 months ago back then and we were still trying to get settled and everything. And he was still not 100% comfortable with me being gay.. so I told him Luke was a friend. The next morning after Luke had left he told me my boyfriend seemed like a nice guy.”
“What’s so funny here?” Winston asked as he walked into the cafe. “Hello boys.”
“Hey Win. Noah was just telling me how there’s nothing getting past you.” Casey said, clapping his friend’s father on the back.
Winston gave Casey a confused look.
“That you bought the Luke is just my friend line for about 3 minutes.” Noah explained.
“Ah ok. Well that one wasn’t very hard to figure out. The way you two looked at each other said it all. And still does.” Winston said and gave Luke’s shoulder a friendly squeeze.
“Yeah that and the headboard slamming into the wall, right Win.” Casey joked and Winston shook his head and smiled.
“Noah, I met this lovely lady this morning and we would like to have coffee on the terrace. A black coffee for me and a caramel latte for the lady, please.” Winston said, taking his wallet out of his pocket.
“Sorry dad, I can’t serve the terrace. Jeff went home sick before lunch so I’m on my own until 5. I can’t leave the costumers alone with the register.” Noah told his father. “So you and your uhm female company will just have to come inside for your coffee. I promise you we won’t embarrass you. I think I have some tape in the back I’ll put that over Casey’s mouth.”
“Oh I’m sure my female company can handle Casey.”
The three boys looked confused but when Maddie stepped into the cafe they pulled her into a group hug right away.
“You sneaky bitch.” Luke said laughingly “Why didn’t you tell us you two were moving back? We all missed you like crazy here.”
“Now where is the fun in that.” Maddie joked. “I just wanted to surprise you.”
“Oh you definitely surprised us. I thought you were going back to your apartment over there this morning when you said you were going home.” Noah said, still a little shocked but happy that his best friends were going to be living around the corner from him and Luke.
Maddie smiled and let Casey wrap his arms around her.
“Has Case told you our other news yet?”
“Other news? What other news?” Noah asked as he started making the coffee his dad had just ordered.
“You’re not pregnant are you? Please don’t tell me there’s a baby Casey on the way.” Luke said looking at his friend’s stomach.
“What is it with everyone thinking I’m pregnant today?” Maddie said slightly angry.“I’m going to get a gym membership first thing tomorrow morning..”
Casey laughed and kissed her cheek.
“You don’t have to go to the gym, you’re perfect the way you are.”
“Aww aren’t you the sweet talker.” Maddie replied, the angry look on her face turning into a smile.
“So you’re not pregnant?” Luke asked.
“No, I’m not. What makes you think I am?”
Luke pointed at Casey’s hands resting on her stomach.
“Oh right, ok, understandable. But I’m not pregnant.”
“And it’s her hands you should be looking at Snyder.” Casey told his friend.
Maddie held up her hand and showed her friends her engagement ring.
“Case proposed to me last week. The day we got the keys to our new apartment. It was really romantic.”
“You’re getting married? Oh my god congratulations!” Luke said and hugged his friends.
Noah waited his turn and hugged first Casey and then Maddie.
“Congrats guys! Have you set a date yet?”
Casey shook his head.
“No not really. Maddie wants a Christmas time wedding but we haven’t decided yet.”
Maddie turned around in Casey’s arms.
“Oh just think about it, we’ll get married in the evening when its getting dark already and there will be all these little Christmas lights everywhere..”
“We’ll see ok baby? Let’s just get through tonight’s dinner first without Henry or Vienna killing me..” Casey said sweetly and then added: “Or my own mother..”
“You haven’t told your families yet?”
“I’m still alive aren’t I?” Casey replied, only half joking.
“Oh relax Casey, I’m sure your mother will be thrilled. She may be the chief of police but she’s also a parent.” Winston told him. “And I speak from experience when I say that as a parent you might not always understand your kids’ choice on how they want to live their life but you always want them to be happy.”
“Aww Win you mean you don’t get what Noah sees in me?” Luke joked and pouted at his boyfriend’s father.
“Yeah, sorry Luke, your without a doubt fantastic looks are wasted on me.”
“Oh well I guess I’ll just stick to Mayer jr. then.” Luke said and got up from his barstool and walked over to his boyfriend behind the counter who happily wrapped his arms around him and gave him a quick peck on the lips.
“Aww look at you two. You’re just so darn cute together.” Winston said, putting on a southern accent.
“So when are you two finally getting married?” Maddie asked when everyone had come down from their laughing fit a little while later.
“When Luke finally asks me.” Noah said jokingly and looked at Luke.
“Oh I have to ask you? Ok then, I will.” Luke said and knelt down in front of Noah grabbing both his hands, looking him in the eye.
“Luke.. I was only joking..” Noah said, feeling his heart skip more than one beat when he looked at his boyfriend’s smiling face.
“Yeah but Luke I- ”
“Noah, I love you, but please shut up now.” Luke interrupted his boyfriend’s protest. “Noah Mayer, I love you more than life itself. I love your weird habits, I love watching you get all excited over some ancient black and white film, I love how you turn into a little boy when you talk about your mother, I love watching you sleep, I love waking up in the morning and finding you right next to me, I love your silly notes on the fridge when you have the early shift and I’m not up yet. I love everything about you Noah, and I swear I’m not joking around anymore. Will you marry me?”
Noah looked down at the man kneeling in front of him, too shocked to say a word.
“You can talk now, Noah. Don’t make that poor boy sit on his knee that long, answer him.” Winston said, snapping his son out of his trance.
Noah quickly glanced at his father and then back at Luke. He smiled, pulled Luke to his feet and kissed him.
“So is that a yes?” Luke asked.
“It definitely is.” Noah said softly and kissed his fiancé.
“Aww now this is the best welcome home present a girl could dream of.” Maddie said as she watched her two best friends seal their engagement with a kiss.
this is a fic i wrote ages ago when i decided the fandom needed more fluffy happy stories. Think of Winston as the kind of Debbie Novotny (QAF) of Oakdale.. the cool dad everyone likes.
“Can’t you go a little faster? I promise you won’t get a ticket, I know the chief of police.”