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18 October 2008 @ 10:55 pm
What Are Friends For?  
Rating: PG-13
Pairing: Henry/Angie, Edward/Angie
Setting/Spoilers: Episode 1
Warnings: Some sexual references
Summary: The more Angie thinks about that night, the more things don't add up.





Should still be fine. Because she was just overthinking things, as usual. It was a normal thing for normal people, right? Have a good night-- a really good night-- and the next morning tease each other about it over breakfast before the kids got up.

Except that wasn't so much of a normal thing for her and Henry. 'Normal' was usually a kiss goodnight because he was too tired for much else.

Overthinking, she told herself again. Hadn't you wished that would change? Now it does and you go into Worrier Mode.

Angie opened the door to the bookstore, nodding once to Beth even as the other woman gave her a cheerful smile. Last chance, Angie thought. You want to keep being normal, keep this to yourself and forget about it, then just invite Beth over for dinner next week and leave.

"Hey!" Beth said, setting down the stack of books she was carrying. "Thank god you're here. You know I had a lady come through here who grumbled at me about alphabetizing these under Doyle? She moved them over to 'S' for Sherlock. Remind me again why I did this?"

"Because you're crazy," Angie said, but the familiar retort almost made her wince today.

"That might be it." Beth tilted her head, her eyes narrowing as she inspected her face. "What's wrong?"

"Nothing," Angie answered automatically.

Beth crossed her arms. "Name one time that crap has worked with me."

"I know, I know." Angie looked around, wasn't surprised to see they were the only two in the small bookstore. Beth had started the place about a month ago, and business hadn't really picked up yet. And 99% of the time she hoped that would change, but right now she was grateful. "It's just-- this is really stupid. I'm sorry."

"Is it as stupid as the time we set fire to my brother's car?"

Despite herself, Angie smiled. They'd decided to play a prank on James on his birthday, and had filled his car with pieces of rolled-up paper. Unfortunately for James, his birthday was in July. And the sun had decided to get in on the joke, using the windshield to play magnifying-glass-roasting-an-ant. "No." An instant later she reconsidered the automatic answer and shrugged. "Maybe."

"So you set fire to Henry's car."

The mention of her husband's name choked off the laugh before it could start. "Um . . . remember that Invasion of the Body Snatchers movie?"

Beth sighed loudly. "Oh my god, Angie, if you came in here acting all weird because you can't think of an actor's name again, I'm going to hurt you. Which version?" she asked, picking up the stack of books again and starting to put them away. "There was the 1956 original, and then the remake in '78, and then there was that one with Nicole Kidman in it--"

"I'm not asking because I forgot somebody's name."

"Then why?"

Her throat seemed to close around the words. Even if she knew what she was trying to explain, she still wouldn't have any idea where to start. "Because," she finally managed, looking around again before she tugged the neckline of her shirt to the side.

Beth stared at the bite mark until Angie pulled her shirt back into place, and then she hurried to the front of the store, flipped the Closed sign, and locked the door. "What the hell happened?"

"Henry came home the other night, and we. . ."

"Okay, I get the idea." She paused, looked again to her shoulder. "Henry did that?" Then she shook her head. "No, never mind. This is getting way too close to TMI territory."

"Beth--"

"I know, sorry. It's just that Janie's the one who talks about her sex life all the time, not you. Kinda threw me for a loop. Okay." She sat down on the couch, patted the seat next to her. "So what's wrong, then?"

"It's just. . ." Oh hell, she was not blushing. She thought she'd gotten over that in high school. "It isn't normal. I mean, maybe it is, but it's not normal for us. For him."

"So you told him to back off?"

Yeah. She was blushing. "Well . . . no. At the time I-- let's just say I didn't mind."

Beth laughed. "Then what's the problem? Sounds like you got lucky-- some guys do the whole midlife crisis thing and want a different car or a different woman." She wiggled her eyebrows. "Yours just decided to get a little kinky." Angie reached out to swat her on the back of the head, and Beth unsuccessfully tried to duck away.

"That's probably it," Angie said. "No, I'm sure that's it. It was just . . . well, the next morning I made him breakfast and he didn't seem to know why. I thought he was just teasing me back until I hinted about it, and for a second he looked confused. Like he didn't know what I was talking about."

Beth leaned back, her expression solemn. "Only one explanation for that."

"What?"

"Your husband has been possessed by an alien. You want to call the cops or should I?" The corners of her mouth twitched up into a smile, but when Angie didn't return the expression, she put a hand on her shoulder. "I'm sorry. Has he been acting different anywhere else?"

"He called me. Not the usual 'hey, the flight was awful, hotel room's worse, can't wait to get home' thing. He sounded really sad. Wanted to talk about when we first met. I just . . . I don't know what's going on. It doesn't feel right."

"He out of town again?"

Angie nodded. "He'll be back tomorrow afternoon."

"Okay. Want me to come by tonight?"

"Yeah. Yeah, thanks."

Beth got up and unlocked the door, putting up the Open sign again. "And tell me if anything else happens, all right? I mean, I'm sure it was nothing. Henry was just having an off week or something, you know? But just in case. . ."

"Thanks, Beth."

"No problem."
 
 
Current Mood: artistic
 
 
 
cmk418: Vicennescmk418 on October 21st, 2008 10:24 pm (UTC)
I really like the way you've built Angie's character. After so many years of marriage, she would have a feeling that something's not right. It's good that you gave her a support system as well - with Henry gone so often, she'd need someone outside the marriage to rely on. Nicely done!
Stephanie: My Own Worst Enemyallthelivesofme on October 22nd, 2008 05:04 pm (UTC)
Thank you! :-)