Well I went and did it again. I got involved in yet another interactive fan fiction story. This time, my character was paired with Richie (much more to my liking). That story wrapped in early November 2008, and I had been asked to assemble the "story posts", that is, the posts that tell Richie and Jen's story, in one place for people to read.

So I'm doing it.

I'm having to add some filler as I go, as there were lengthy pauses between the verbose posts I made, but I'm trying to keep the flow of the story going.

The Richie/Jen story is only half of the fan fic project. The other half was a Jon/T story. That is not explored here at all. In fact, very little mention is made. Just enough so it isn't a surprise when T shows up at various points.

If anything is confusing, please let me know. I've been living this character for the better part of the last eight months, and her memories are mine. I forget, sometimes, that you all can't see into my head.

I hope you enjoy the story. It starts here.

~ Hath

Richie and Ava

Monday, May 3, 2010
Richie wasn’t stupid. OK, sure, he’d done some stupid things, but he knew a good thing when he saw it. Watching Jennifer with Ava on Saturday, and their surprise “family outing” to San Francisco yesterday, just solidified it in his head. He wanted Jennifer to be a permanent part of their lives. Sunday, when he was taking Ava back to her mother’s he found that she wanted it, too.

“I think it’s cool that Jennifer can stay another week,” Ava had said.

“Yeah,” Richie agreed. “It’s great. She didn’t want you to be sad that you didn’t get to do that Universal thing.”

Ava just gave him a look that was pure grown-up and had his stomach in knots. “Daddy, that’s not really why she’s staying.”

Richie just raised an eyebrow at his precocious daughter. “Oh really?” he asked. “And in your infinite wisdom why, pray tell, exactly is she staying another week?”

Ava laughed. “Because she loves us, silly. She loves us and she WANTS to stay longer.”

Richie thought on that for a moment and chuckled. Out of the mouths of babes... “You may just be right, baby girl. How do you feel about that?”

Ava was quiet for several long moments. “I think it’s great that she wants to stay for a while longer,” she finally said. “She’s nice and I like her a lot, and you’re much smilier when she’s here, and I REALLY like that.”

Richie grinned. “I feel a whole lot smilier when she’s here,” he said. “Ava, baby, I need to ask you something,” he started. “Something serious.” He pulled the car over to the side of the road and turned to face his daughter.

“Daddy, I’m always serious,” Ava answered.

Richie smiled. “I know, sweetheart. I know you’re happy that Jennifer is staying a little longer; how would you feel if I asked Jennifer to live out here all the time?”

“You mean move in with us? In our house?”

“Yeah,” Richie said.

“Are you going to marry her?”

Richie shook his head. “I don’t know if we’re going to get married or not,” he said. “She’s been married before and her husband was, well, not too nice. I don’t know if she wants to do that all again.”

Ava frowned. “But Daddy, YOU’RE nice,” she said.

“Well thank you very much,” Richie answered, smiling. “But first things first, okay? Let’ s see if she wants to move out here.”

Ava nodded and looked out the window. “What if she says ‘no’?” she said softly.

Richie put his hand on Ava’s shoulder. “Then I guess she and I will keep flying back and forth across the country to see each other.”

Ava turned back to her father. “Would you move to Boston?”

Richie thought about that. He purchased the condo in Philly to have a home base when he was on the east coast. He never intended to live out there full time. He couldn’t leave Ava like that on a permanent basis. It was difficult enough when he was on the road, he didn’t want to make a conscious decision to put distance between himself and his daughter.

“No,” he said finally, “I wouldn’t. Not unless your Mom was relocating back east.”

“But what if Jennifer makes you?”

“She’s not going to do that,” Richie said firmly.

“But what if she does?” Ava was more adamant.

Richie sighed. “Then I guess she isn’t the woman I thought she was,” he said, “and that would make me really sad.”

“But what would you do?”

Richie looked at his daughter. “What’s going on here?” he asked. “I can tell there’s more to this question, but let me answer yours first. Nothing in this world is more important to me than you. Not Jennifer, not your mother, not Uncle Jon or the other guys, nothing. You are the most important thing there is to me, and I would move Heaven and Earth to make you happy. If Jennifer made me choose between living with her in Boston or staying here with you, then it’s a no-brainer. I choose you. Always you.”

Ava launched herself across the seat into her father’s arms. “I knew it,” she said triumphantly. “I heard Jack telling Mommy that now that you had Jennifer, you were probably going to move away and they wouldn’t have to talk to you about stuff, and I would hardly see you anymore.”

Richie was livid, but tried to keep it to himself. “Really,” he said as evenly as possible. “What did Mommy say about that?”

Ava laughed. “She told him: if you think that he would move across the country for THAT woman, you need your head examined.” Her mimicry of her mother’s tone was impeccable, and Richie’s blood ran cold.

“Well,” he said, “she’s right that I wouldn’t move away from you forever like that. When you’re older and have your own life, well, that’s different. Right now, you’re stuck with me, I’m afraid.”

“I’m so glad,” she said, hugging her father tight. “Then if you want to ask her to move here, that’s okay with me.”

“I’m so happy you think that. Listen, if we’re going to ask her to be part of our lives out here, she needs more reason that it makes me happy. I, we, have to think about what makes her happy, too.”

Ava nodded. “Yeah, I know. We have to think about each others’ feelings – that’s what families do.”

They spent some minutes in silence as Richie digested Ava’s words. Family. She thought of them as a family. Sure, they were dysfunctional and a little unconventional, but hell, by LA standards, they were practically the Cleavers. Family. He sure did like the sound of that...

When they got to Heather’s house, Ava ran upstairs to her room, and Richie stayed for a couple minutes to talk to his ex-wife. He told her what Ava had overheard, and told her that he was asking Jennifer to move to California to be with him. Richie also told her that he didn’t think Ava should overhear conversations like that again, and turned to leave without another word. Heather stopped him, and wished him luck. He searched her face, but didn’t see any malice or sarcasm there. He muttered thanks, and left.

Monday morning, Jennifer was up early, still not used to the time change. She and Richie had stayed up until the wee hours making love, so she should be exhausted and sleeping soundly, like the man next to her. He was sleeping too soundly. She poked at his ribs, and all he did was snort and turn his head, and the snoring continued. She sighed and got up, padded to the desk in the corner, and got onto the boards.

Things had been quiet for some time – guess that’s what happened when the board you’re on is connected to a group that isn’t presently touring. She saw that Stephanie was on, and chatted with her a little. Soon, though, Richie noticed she was up and came to find her.

“Why are you up so early?” he asked. “Are you working already?”

“No,” Jennifer said, tilting her head back for a mind-numbing kiss. “Just checking in with the girls. The few who are still around.”

“Come back to bed,” he said. “I’ll make it worth your while.”

“I’m sure you will,” Jennifer said, closing her laptop. She let Richie lead her back to the edge of the bed. He scooped her up into his arms and placed her gently near the center of the bed. He crawled up after her and slid up between her legs and into her. He smiled when her legs went up of their own accord, spreading wider to take him deeper. She wrapped one around his hips, and the other wouldn’t quite cooperate, so she left it raised. Richie kissed her then, a deep lingering kiss that spoke of unspoken promises of love and devotion.

When they crested it was together, each crying out the name of the other. When Richie slipped from Jennifer’s body, spent and sated, she whined. He chuckled and gathered her to him, cradling her against his chest. Soon, they were drifting off together.
Later that morning, Jennifer woke again, and again Richie was snoring. She chuckled to herself. She took a quick shower and brought her laptop with her when she went down to the kitchen, where she snagged a diet coke before heading into the office. She called in to work and made sure that there wasn’t anything that she needed to deal with personally. Even though she was on unpaid leave, she knew it wasn’t smart to leave them hanging too long, at least until she had made her final decision about what she wanted to do.

Around lunchtime, Richie came downstairs, clean shaven, and dry-haired.

“Whatcha been doing?” Jennifer asked.

Richie crossed the room to give her a kiss that left her breathless. “I took a shower and fucked around with my guitar for a while,” he answered. How ‘bout you?”

“Played around on the computer for a bit, read for a while; I was just going to come and wake your ass up!”

“Ha ha, beat ya to it. How’s work?”

“It’s work,” she said, closing her laptop. “What’s on the agenda for today?”

“What do you want to do? Ava’s in school; we’ll see her tonight if you want.” He waggled his eyebrows at her. “We have all day to play if you want.”

Jennifer laughed. “Of course I want,” she said, “but we’ve gotta do more than spend all our time together in bed.”

Richie grinned. “Spoil-sport. Fine, then you have to plan the agenda.”

“Fine. I wanna go swim in the ocean.”

“That can be arranged. Let’s get a move on, then.”

They spent the day frolicking in the waves and sunning themselves on the beach. Quite a few people recognized Richie and approached for autographs or to take a picture with him. More than one gave Jennifer the hairy eyeball as she sat on their blanket and waited patiently. They had a seaside dinner and picked up Ava from Heather’s. When the girl saw Jennifer with her father, she grinned widely.

“Did you ask her to stay?” Ava said excitedly as they walked to the car. “Is she gonna?”

Jennifer looked over Ava’s head at Richie, and raised an eyebrow. Richie groaned. “No, baby girl, I hadn’t asked her yet. I think you just did.” He looked at Jen. “We can talk about it later,” he said.

‘Later’ couldn’t come fast enough. Jennifer was distracted all evening, though she tried really hard not to let Ava notice. When they finally dropped her back at her mother’s and were on the way back, Richie pulled in to a mostly-deserted parking lot and shut the car off.

“Listen, about what Ava said,” Richie started.

Jennifer interrupted. “She was asking if I was going to move here, wasn’t she?”

“Yeah,” Richie sighed. “Sorry about putting you on the spot like that.”

“She did take me by surprise,” Jennifer admitted. “Especially since you haven’t even hinted at the possibility. Is this something that SHE wants, or that YOU want?” Jennifer held her breath, waiting for the answer.

“I didn’t say anything because I didn’t think you’d want to,” Richie said softly. “I mean you have your job and your family and friends and I didn’t want you to feel like you HAD to.” He took Jennifer’s hands. “But I would love it if you would consider it. If you’d consider coming to live with me. And Ava when she’s at my house. I would really, really love it.”

Jennifer sucked in deep breath and let it out slowly. “I would love it too.”


alicefayenjbj said...

all I am going to say is...Bout time!

Great chapter.

Alice Faye

Bayaderra said...

I can't believe this story is comming to an end...:(
I'm still hoping (and praying) you will end it differently this time...

Judith said...

YAY!!! :)
Ava´s such a sweetheart :)

And I´m with Elena...please!!!!

I really love this story

rutpop said...

YAY!!! she said yes but Elena's comment has me worried - seems as if it won't be happily ever after

JBJBounce said...

I agree, I love this story, it's about time that he asked and unfortunately for me, all the way through this wonderful tale the original ending has been in the back of my mind. I'm not looking forward to reading it myself.

The Goddess Hathor said...

Now girls, you're going to spoil it for the others who don't know the ending already! I will tell you, though, I already have ~7500 words of an alternate ending written, with another ~4k to go. If you want to see BOTH endings, please, say no more about the original one!

~ Hath :)

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