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For the People Who Are Still Alive

Suzanne glanced back and forth between the two men in her life and continued to be boggled that they were all sitting at the same table, in her house, eating a meal together.

Ira, who hadn't stopped smiling since Simon came in the door, swallowed his bite of pasta salad and said, "It sounds like you need this vacation, son."

Simon grinned a little awkwardly and glanced at Suzanne. "Telling tales out of school?" he said to her with raised eyebrows.

Before she could answer, Ira said, "No, no, Flo's been singing your praises, actually."

Simon blushed and ducked his head. "Oh. Well. She really doesn't have to."

"She's grateful, Simon," Suzanne said, rubbing his back affectionately. "You just have to deal with the fact that people will sometimes be grateful for your thoughtfulness."

"She says great things about you being good to Pacifica," Ira pursued, apparently enjoying Simon's discomfiture. "That and dealing with that unfortunate young idiot's funeral... really, you deserve a vacation."

"Fortunately, we're taking one," Suzanne said.

"We just have to be back in time for the Ultimate's birthday party," Simon said. "You're going, right, Ira?"

"Wouldn't miss it for the world," Ira said, finishing his lunch. "Well, I better toddle off to the Y. I'm not on today, but they need some help stuffing envelopes." He stood up and leaned across the table, offering his hand to Simon. "I hope you'll be around a lot, son."

Simon stood and shook the old man's hand. "I hope so too, Ira."

After Ira deposited his plate in the kitchen, exchanged a word with the companion in there, and went out the front door, Simon looked up hesitantly at Suzanne. "Did I pass?" he said.

Suzanne burst out laughing. "What test?"

"The 'girlfriend's dad' test, of course," Simon said indignantly.

This reduced Suzanne to hysterics for no good reason she could explain. She hid her face in her hands on the tabletop and giggled madly for a good five minutes.

"Feeling stressed?" Simon asked finally, handing her a tissue from the box near the dining room table.

"Just a bit, I guess," Suzanne said, mopping her streaming eyes.

"Is your bag packed then?" Simon said.

"Yes," Suzanne said, rising.

Simon took her plate from her and trotted into the kitchen with all the dirty plates balanced neatly. She heard him chatting with the companion, who was not, for a change, the Outsider, and then he reemerged. "All right," he said. "Let's get on the road."

Driving up into the Poconos had always been a dull and annoying trip before. Josh didn't like to drive, so Suzanne had always driven them up to the little vacation house that Ira and Andrea had bought back in the 1960s, and Josh hated to talk on drives, so it was always a long, silent slog. Vacations there had usually been pretty cheerless as well.

This time, Simon insisted on half the driving, he chattered about inconsequentials nearly endlessly (and thus Suzanne learned much more about his coworkers' sex lives than she'd ever wanted to know), and he had also brought his StarSeed, packed full of boppy, energetic music.

And Ira, blessed old Ira, had sold that damned house five years ago, split the profits with Andrea (in a move that had surprised both Suzanne and Andrea), and hadn't once mentioned it when Suzanne told him about her plans with Simon. In fact, he'd just said, "Tell me if you two want to go to the beach later in the summer. A friend of mine from the war still has a house on the Jersey Shore. I bet his son would cut you a deal."

If they shocked the owners of the bed and breakfast, the owners did a good job of hiding it. The woman handed them their keys and showed them up to their room. She did a quick turn around the room, pointing out amenities, and then said, with a big smile, "You two have a good time, and let us know if there's anything we can help you with," before departing and shutting the door behind her.

Simon turned to her, grinning, and opened his mouth to say something.

Suzanne didn't really regret that he didn't get to say it.

As they lay tangled together on the floor (they hadn't made it to the bed), Simon, as he stroked her hair, said thoughtfully, "Did we make sure the door was locked?"

This was enough to get them both up and moving around. He shucked his jeans (which were around his ankles) and checked the door (not locked). She peeled out of her disarray of clothing (nothing entirely removed, just rearranged) and got into bed. He paused to pluck his water bottle out of his backpack (they were both thirsty), grab his small bag of toys (for the nightstand), and climbed in with her.

A while later, as the late afternoon June sunlight slanted across the room from the tall windows, Simon said, from somewhere between her breasts, "Do you think the city will still be there when we go back?"

"Oh, probably," Suzanne said, aimlessly running a hand over his shoulder and back, enjoying the drowsy serenity of it all. "It only ever went missing on me once before, and it was back by midnight."

"Wonder City has a midnight curfew?" Simon mumbled.

"Yep," Suzanne said, moving to drifting her fingertips over the back of his neck. "The world will not stop turning if you don't happen to be there for the latest emergency, dear heart."

"I just worry," Simon said.

"About who in specific?" Suzanne said.

"Well, there's Pacifica," Simon said, rolling to count on his fingers.

"She's got a lot of people worried about her, and keeping an eye on her," Suzanne said. "She'll be fine."

"Okay, then there's Megan." Simon counted a second finger.

"She's a big girl, in more than one way," Suzanne said. "And she can handle a broken leg."

"Oh, the leg's not the worry," Simon said. "G is moving out this weekend."

"Ah," Suzanne said. "Off on her European adventure, eh?"

"Moving most of her shit into storage," Simon said, letting his hands fall onto Suzanne's belly. "Actually, she already did most of it herself, moving it into the attic over the carriage house. Tomorrow morning's her plane."

"How's Megan taking it?" Suzanne said.

"Stoically," Simon said, drawing designs on her belly. "I think she's pretty much mad for Watson anyway -- and the feeling's mutual -- but they're both hung up on G in a lot of ways. So it's kind of sad to watch."

"But that means there's nothing for you to do," Suzanne said. "Besides, Megan and Watson can commiserate in their own way." She started to scratch Simon's upper back.

Usually, this put him into conniptions of ecstasy, but he was not so easily distracted. "Third," he said, though he paused to wriggle and hum with pleasure at the scratching, "Lizzie. She's still living at the damned Y, and now her parents know where she is."

Suzanne looked up at the stucco-textured ceiling, wondering Didn't that go out in the 80s? while saying, "Didn't one of the producers fess up that he'd called her dad and paid for his trip to try to bump up the drama or something?"

"Oh, yeah," Simon said, closing his eyes and sighing. "Now she's not on-screen, her parents may try something again."

"I don't know about that," Suzanne said. "Geographic cure and all, her dad probably can't afford the trip himself. And if he's a farmer, then he's got better things to be doing right now than trekking across the country to harass a girl who knows how to dial 911."

"I hope so," Simon said.

After a short silence, Suzanne said, "Anyone else?"

Simon pursed his lips in concentration, then shook his head.

"Not Jeshri or Tom?" Suzanne pursued. Simon shook his head. "Not Zoltan or Jack Hammer?" He shook his head again. "Not Ivy or Malik or Jasmine or the puppies or your mom?" He tilted his head to give her a strange look, but shook his head. "Or any of your buddies at Great Scot?" Still eyeing her, he shook his head. "Not the Equestrian?"

"Who in their right mind would be worried about the Equestrian?" he said finally.

"Ira is," Suzanne said. "Whenever she comes up, he sighs and shakes his head and says, 'Poor old Molly.'"

"That," Simon said with great precision, "is Ira's privilege, since he's known her forever. No one else worries about her."

"So, that means I have your complete and undivided attention again?" Suzanne said.

"Ma'am," he said, rolling over to lift himself on all fours over her, looking down into her face. "You can always have my undivided attention. You have but to ask."

She stroked him under the chin. "Exxxxcellent," she said in her best supervillain voice, grinning madly. "You may begin again, then, with your usual ministrations."

"Oh, ma'am," he said, showing his teeth, "I hope that my ministrations are anything but usual."


Note from the Author:

Because we all need something fluffy after that last episode, don't we?

The Rose & Bay Crowdfunding Award nominations are open (they close on 1/31), and I would love it if someone were to nominate Wonder City Stories. Take a look at the other categories, just in case there's something else you want to nominate for voting! Nominations are low compared to last year, so please go nominate!

And remember to vote for WCS!

Date: 2012-01-26 10:28 pm (UTC)
kyleri: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kyleri
The phrase 'conniptions of ecstasy' makes me _ridiculously_ happy.

Date: 2012-01-26 10:34 pm (UTC)
kore: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kore
Moi <--- HAPPY FAN

Ira calling Simon 'son' and Simon being desperate to pass the girlfriend's-father test is really too damn cute. And yes, Simon, pay attention to your girlfriend!

Date: 2012-01-29 02:29 am (UTC)
the_leaky_pen: (Default)
From: [personal profile] the_leaky_pen

What a fantastic ending to a horrible horrible time. Simon and Suzanne deserve that gorram vacation.

Date: 2012-01-26 10:48 pm (UTC)
the_rck: (Default)
From: [personal profile] the_rck
Fluff is definitely a nice change of pace. These two are so sweet together.

Thanks for writing!

Date: 2012-01-29 02:30 am (UTC)
the_leaky_pen: (Default)
From: [personal profile] the_leaky_pen
It took me two days to read all of this and not nearly enough sleep and it was WORTH IT. So, so, so worth it!

This is definitely on my list of absolute favourite things ever on the Internet.

*sings all of the accolades*


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