Author Topic: A Quiet Night at Home  (Read 92 times)

Jonathan Granger

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A Quiet Night at Home
« on: September 20, 2020, 01:16:00 PM »
It had just been another day at Maple Grove Manor. Not a birthday or a holiday or a special day of any kind, just a normal day filled with the usual, mundane, everyday tasks - the usual hustle and bustle that surrounded the lives of Jon and Vicki Granger, their small brood of children and pets, and one Old Man who took immense joy in just being part of it. Theirs was a busy life, but a gratifying one; and though they might be exhausted by the end of the day, they always had time left for each other.

This evening found them not at the kitchen table sipping tea and reading the paper, or falling asleep in front of the television set, but sequestered away in their bedroom in hopes of enjoying just a little time alone.

Vicki cuddled happily into Jon's arms, smiling as she relaxed into him. She loved their family, but good grief, the children could be exhausting at times. "Think Cosmo's managed to herd the twins back into their beds permanently yet?"

"If anyone can do it, Cosmo can," Jon remarked of their dog, who seemed to have instinctively taken to herding their children like a herd of sheep. He touched his nose to hers, relaxed and content now that the day was done and they were alone. "Remind me again why we wanted such a big family?" he asked, a teasing smirk on his face, knowing that was entirely his fault.

"I think it was you who wanted a dozen kids," she pointed out in amusement. "I think I got lucky with just the three pregnancies, personally." She grinned up at him, eyes sparkling with the same teasing light. "Wouldn't change anything, though."

"Half dozen," Jon corrected, though he wasn't sure exactly how many he had actually said. Had he said a dozen? Maybe he had, but that was before he'd realized how much work they were. "No regrets?" he asked, as if to ensure she meant what she'd said.

"Not unless you catch me on a bad day, nope," she assured him. One thing he could always rely on his wife for was honesty, even when it didn't make her look good.

"We all have bad days, baby. I'm here to catch you when you fall," he assured her in return, his nose circling hers affectionately. "Do you want me to get snipped?" he asked, perfectly willing to take one for the team, so to speak, if they were sure they were done having children.

She shook her head, smiling. "I'm never going to ask you to do that, and you know it," was her response. "The magic block is working perfectly well, and that means you don't need to go through any kind of surgical procedure for my sake."

"Well, if you ever change your mind," he told her, more than willing to make that small sacrifice for the good of her health and their sanity. Then again, who knew if they'd change their minds about having another child someday?

Vicki laughed, nuzzling closer to kiss him tenderly. "I hear there aren't many new faces in the theater this year," she murmured. "Any changes for you?"

"Not really, but we haven't really lost anyone either," he said. "And Eregor jumped ship from the theater. We'll be okay. I'd go back to acting, but I'm enjoying directing, and honestly, they don't really need me."

"So you've got a full time Eregor stretching his pure acting chops this time around?" she asked, raising her brows curiously. "I did hear that there's a new ballerina in the works, but according to Irina, she's as green as an uncooked pistachio."

"Yep," Jon confirmed with a grin. He was thrilled to add Eregor as a full-time member of the repertory company, but he couldn't take the credit for it. He chuckled at her remark about the ballet. "Irina thinks everyone is green until they've proven themselves otherwise."

"That is true, but she might be right in this case," Vicki mused cheerfully. "A little girl straight from someone else's corps might be taking on more than she can handle as a principal dancer."

Jon shrugged. "Not my place to say, but they could always make her a soloist. I don't think they had as many auditions this year though. Zahan is an apprentice, but she's still too young to join the corps."

"She's getting so much one-on-one training with Merethyl, she's going to be ballerina material as soon as she's old enough to join a company," Vicki predicted.

"From what I've seen, she's got a lot of potential, not to mention talent," he agreed, though he was no expert on the ballet. His area of expertise was dramatic theater, and to a lesser extent, film. "You know who I think might be a natural?" he asked, with the slightest hint of a smile on his lips.

"Surprise me," she dared him, expecting him to name at least one of their children. All five of them had their own talents and merits, but it was fun to imagine careers for them that they might never choose for themselves.

"Bea," he said, without hesitation. "Not as a dancer, but an actress. She has a rare presence on stage, but I don't think she's aware of it." And though she was their daughter, she didn't share their gene pool, as she'd been adopted. A child of choice.

"Have you talked to her about it?" Vicki asked, curious about this. She trusted Jon's instincts when it came to things like this. "If it's something she'd like to pursue, we should probably reserve her a place in 'Taya's school."

"Not yet. I mean, I don't want to single her out or make her feel awkward, but I really do think she has talent," he replied. "Right now, it's fun. It might not be so much fun, if she gets serious about it."

"She has always been very interested in performing," she agreed thoughtfully. "Kaylee says her voice is getting stronger every week, too."

"Thing is," Jon said, frowning a little before he went on, "I don't want her to do it for us. She has plenty of time to decide, but she should do it because she wants to, not because she thinks we want her to."

Vicki nodded in agreement. "I know what you mean," she said. "We just have to hope that she's been paying attention to the way we deal with Emily and Ben changing their minds about their hobbies every other month."

"She's young yet. She has plenty of time. I do think she has talent, but I don't want her to miss out on being a kid," Jon reasoned, in complete agreement with his wife.

"All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players."

- Shakespeare

Jonathan Granger

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Re: A Quiet Night at Home
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2020, 01:16:18 PM »
"She's got more staying power for the things she enjoys than Em does, that's for sure," Vicki laughed. Emily had been through four hobbies so far this year, and it was looking as though dance wasn't going to stick either.

"She's a little bit older," he pointed out. Five years older, to be exact. "Thing is, I think you should talk to her, not me. I'm afraid if I talk to her, she might just want to please me."

"I can do that," she promised. "I'll swap you - I'll talk to Bea, you get to talk to Ben about wearing the same underpants more than once between washes."

Jon rolled his eyes. "Oh, yay. Somehow I think you got the better part of the bargain," he teased, though it was probably was only fair, seeing how Ben was a boy.

"Someone's got to do it," she pointed out with a smile. A thump from outside the bedroom door caught her attention for a moment, followed by another thump, and another, which slowly began to fade away. "Cosmo's on his rounds."

"Should have named him Nana," Jon remarked in jest, recounting the dog from Peter Pan who served as both a family pet and pseudo-nanny. Even though they had already made their rounds themselves, Cosmo never settled down for the night until he was sure his charges were safely asleep.

Now the children were no longer babies, Cosmo had returned to sleeping on Jon's feet whenever he could, his duty to guard the puppies discharged now they were big enough to come running themselves when they had a nightmare. "He'll be in here soon, demanding to know why he wasn't invited to cuddle."

"I'm sure he'll have no problem inviting himself," Jon remarked of his dog, who was no longer a puppy. He never complained, but there were times when his legs fell asleep from Cosmo's weight. "Maybe we should get a bigger bed," he murmured, though he had a feeling the dog would insist on sleeping on his master's feet no matter how big the bed.

"How much bigger a bed can we get?" Vicki laughed, tilting her head back to look up at him in amusement. "This one is already big enough for the whole family to hide from thunderstorms in."

Jon exhaled an exasperated sigh. "I know, I know. It's my fault. I spoiled him. I should have trained him to sleep in his own bed, and I didn't, but he was just a puppy then!"

"He was two," she corrected him laughingly. "It's not like I have ever minded sharing you with Cosmo, stud muffin. I did kind of bring him into our lives all on my own."

"Like I said, he was a puppy then," Jon said, with a smirk. When wasn't Cosmo a puppy in Jon's eyes? His love affair with the Border Collie was practically legendary. "You did," he said, touching a kiss to her nose. "And I will always love you for it."

She giggled. "Just for that? Wow, my dad's going to be hyped that he got grandchildren out of picking out a dog for me to give you at Christmas."

"Should I kiss his nose, too?" Jon teased. He was almost as fond of his father-in-law as he was of his Uncle Humphrey. There had been a time when he'd felt a little awkward around Christopher Marshall, but he didn't any longer.

She snorted with laughter. "Knowing him, he'd probably enjoy it," she predicted cheerfully. "You might end up with him trying to French kiss you in return - Dad's humor is a little ... hands on."

Jon chuckled at her remark. "I like your Dad just fine, but sorry to say, he's not my type," he told her, assuming she was kidding. As far as Jon knew, her father was entirely heterosexual, and though there might have been a time when Jon could have gone either way, that time was long passed.

"I can't quite believe he's actually going to be moving here, come the end of October," she mused, smiling at the thought. "He and Humphrey are going to turn into Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau."

Jon chuckled again. "Dare I ask which is which?" he asked, thinking he could probably make a pretty good guess, knowing both men as he did.

Vicki grinned. "Dad would be offended if anyone compared him to Water Mattau," she said cheerfully. "So that is exactly what I'm going to do, just because it's funny."

Jon snorted in amusement. "You think Jack Lemmon is any better? One's a neat freak and the other is a slob!" he said. In his experience, he thought everyone was a little of both Felix and Oscar, but not entirely one or the other.

"Dad loves Jack Lemmon," Vicki pointed out in amusement. "His favourite movie is Some Like It Hot. I think he even did a Halloween dressed as Daphne from that when I was a teenager."

Jon laughed. "I would have loved to have seen that," he said, unable to imagine it in his head. "Do you think we can convince him to do it again?"

She grinned. "If you went as Josephine, sure." Vicki knew Jon could be talked into drag in the right situations, and maybe the cause of getting her father into heels would be enough.

Jon snickered. "I was going to suggest Humphrey, not me," he said, though maybe the "Old Man" was admittedly a little too old for such things.

"Nope, I think if anyone's going to do it, it should be you and Dom," she said cheerfully. "I'll mention it to Elle tomorrow. See how you wriggle out of that one, stud muffin."

"Dom!" Jon echoed, laughing again. "Tell you what ... If you can somehow manage to convince Dom to wear a dress, I'll do it," he said, obviously doubting his cousin would ever agree to such a thing.

Vicki's grin was just a little bit smug. After all, she had a feeling that if she could talk Elle into Marilyn Monroe-ing herself for Halloween, Dom was as good as skirted. "We'll just have to see, won't we?"

"You are hoping he says yes, aren't you?" Jon asked, brows furrowed suspiciously. He knew his wife better than anyone, after all. "Wasn't it enough that we swapped bodies once? High heels are murder!"

"It's only for one night," she laughed. "I wear them nearly every day, you know!" And it wasn't as though she'd make him wear high heels. Kitten heels would do.
"All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players."

- Shakespeare

Jonathan Granger

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Re: A Quiet Night at Home
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2020, 01:16:35 PM »
Jon sighed in resignation. "How do I get myself into these things?" he muttered mostly to himself. "So, if I agree, what do I get out of the deal?" he challenged, a gleam of mischief in his blue eyes.

"Oh, so now you want a quid pro quo?" she asked, brows rising teasingly. "And here I thought you said you'd do it if Dom does."

"Do you really think Dom's going to agree to dress in drag without some caveat?" Jon countered, though he wasn't entirely sure. Elle did seem capable of talking his cousin into just about anything.

"I think what happens between Dom and Elle stays between Dom and Elle," Vicki teased him. Jon knew perfectly well that he would be rewarded for going along with this ridiculous little plan; trying to pin her down on how was going to be an uphill struggle.

"Fine," Jon said. "A deal's a deal. If Dom agrees, so will I." He paused to snicker at a thought. "Besides, it might almost be worth it to see Dom in drag."

"I'm sure you will both make fabulous ladies for one evening," Vicki assured him with a grin. "The kids will love it, and we get to make them watch the movie with us so they get it, too."

Jon rolled his eyes. "They better not call me Mom," he warned, though he supposed it hardly mattered. It was just for one night, and Halloween was the one night when you could get away with it without too getting too much grief. "Hmm," he murmured, an idea forming in his mind.

Her eyes narrowed as he "hmmm"ed. "And what are you brewing up there in that mind of yours, I wonder?" she mused, drawing her fingertips along the line of his jaw tenderly. "I know that look. Last time it ended with me bracing the crossbeam for Bea's bunk bed while you screwed it into the wall."

"I was just thinking ..." Jon started, that look in his eyes that said some kind of plan was brewing in his mind. "What if we did it for charity?" he suggested. "Maybe we could even convince others to join in. I know I'd be willing to pay money to see Des in a dress," he added with a smirk.

"Some kind of party where the men and women show up dressed in opposite gender-conforming clothing?" Vicki tilted her head, her own mouth curving wide in a rather wicked grin. "Oh god, could you imagine Rufus in a dress?"

Jon chuckled. "No, which is what makes it such a tempting thought. I can't even believe I'm suggesting this!" he added, chuckling again.

"See how you feel about it in the morning," Vicki suggested, rolling to lie over him. Red hair tumbled down over the pillow as she bent her head to steal a kiss. "You're always susceptible to suggestions when I'm naked."

"I can't deny that," he said, his body quick to react to hers. He slid his arms around her waist, fingers dancing in caress of her spine and lower back, a playful smile on his face. "Are you planning on playing cowgirl?" he teased.

She giggled against his lips. "Moo," was her response, possibly the least sexy thing she could possibly have said in that moment. But that was Vicki; give her a chance to make something silly, and she jumped at it.

"Moo yourself," he said, his hands coming to rest against her hips as his body shifted beneath her, his desire for her obvious. He said nothing more, his lips capturing hers and letting his kiss say it all.

Vicki's lips softened under his as she melted into him, sharing that kiss with as much enthusiasm as he showed her. Who would have thought that taking a chance on visiting him in his trailer would have ended with them here? Even without the magical intervention, she was still astonished she'd ever had the courage to even contemplate the idea that the famous Jonathan Granger might ever be interested in a lowly set designer.

But to Jon, Vicki had never been a lowly set designer. Even before he'd lost his memory, he'd noticed her, found her intriguing, but too good for someone like him. His life had been different then, and in a way, she had saved him from himself, though neither could have known it at the time. Now, all these years later, Jon knew that she had been meant for him; she had been his destiny. She'd known it long before he had, but had she not had the courage to knock on his trailer, who knows what might have become of either of them?

They'd battled literal monsters to be together, to build their family, and they had definitely earned this peaceful contentment they now shared. With five children, they rarely had the opportunity to indulge in one another like this. Who needed sleep, anyway? They could run on coffee and fumes for one day.

Jon gave as good as he got, pouring his love and passion out on in her the form of kisses and caresses as their bodies tangled together in the universe's oldest dance. They had made love countless times, and each time was just as loving, just as passionate, as the first.

Even Cosmo knew not to try and claim his place on the bed until his master and mistress were quiet once again. The collie was smart enough not to pin Jon down in place until the cuddling started again, but he was quick to claim his place on the bed as they settled once more. Vicki laughed softly, nuzzling close all over again. "Good timing, that dog."

"Just like his master," Jon teased, trading kisses with her still, even as his heart hammered in his chest and he tried to catch his breath. "Do you love me?" he asked, circling her nose with his, though he already knew the answer.

"With everything I am," she promised, smiling as she kissed him, sharing her own staggered breath with his for a long moment. "Still love me?"

"You know I do," he assured her, fingers tracing lazy circles against her hip. "Always and forever, until the end of time," he said, quoting some silly love song or other.

"Mmm, I like the sound of that," she murmured, grinning against his lips. "Have I told you how much I love the curly look on you, by the way? So sexy and cuddly. Perfection."

"The curly look?" Jon echoed. "Oh, you mean my hair?" he asked, an amused smirk on his face. It didn't hurt his ego to know his wife still found him sexy.

"Mmhmm." She reached up, teasing her fingers through his tousled curls. "I love it when you look ever so slightly disheveled. Like you've just finished doing something you shouldn't have in private and didn't have a chance to completely straighten up before arriving."
"All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players."

- Shakespeare

Jonathan Granger

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Re: A Quiet Night at Home
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2020, 01:18:47 PM »
"Does having sex with my wife count, or do I need to prove how naughty I can be?" he asked, a hint of mischief in those blue eyes of his that only his wife could bring out.

She laughed, nuzzling closer as Cosmo yawned and dropped his head heavily onto Jon's thigh. "At least now you know why I'm standing there smirking while you give rousing speeches to the kids, or your actors," she pointed out, her own mischief wild in her eyes.

"Because you're imagining me nude?" he said, shifting slightly to make himself comfortable while Cosmo used him for a pillow.

"Because I'm imagining what you might have let me do to you to make you that disheveled in public," she teased, smoothing his hair back from his face on last time before letting her hand find a place to rest against his side.

"I've always been something of a pushover, haven't I?" he asked, remembering their first date at the opera that had ended when they couldn't keep their hands off each other longer enough to enjoy the show.

"Oh, I think you're just as horny and involved as I am, stud muffin," she pointed out with an impish grin. finally relaxing in his arms with a sleepy sigh. "Wouldn't have you any other way."

"We're like peas and carrots, baby," he told her, touching a kiss to her lips as she settled in to sleep. It was a silly saying that only really meant that as different as they were, they were meant to be together.

Vicki giggled, rolling her eyes. "I am never going to understand that phrase," she murmured. "But you make a face when I say chalk and cheese, so I suppose we're even."

He chuckled. "What do chalk and cheese have in common, other than that they both start with the same sound?" he asked, though it was hardly important.

"I have absolutely no idea, but it's very pleasing to say," was her very English answer. "I could probably find out, but I feel as though it would disappoint me to know the origins."

"It doesn't matter," he said, a brush of fingers against her cheek. "Love you, Mrs. Granger," he whispered, close to her ear. It wasn't only a few words, but words that meant so much.

Her arms tightened around him in response, lips brushing his throat tenderly. "Love you back," she promised in a whisper of her own, and finally he felt her fully relax into his arms, letting go of consciousness in search of sleep, happy and content.

He watched her for a few minutes, as she relaxed into sleep, before closing his eyes and doing the same. It was easy these days to surrender to sleep, happy and content with his life and his family and especially his wife. He truly believed it was Vicki who'd saved him from himself, and with Vicki, they had both finally achieved their happily ever after. Take that, Rhydin.
"All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players."

- Shakespeare