fallon_ash: (army wives safe)
posted by [personal profile] fallon_ash at 02:12pm on 03/07/2009 under ,
Title: New
Author: Fallon Ash
Fandom: Army Wives
Pairing: Denise/Claudia Joy, friendship/pre-slash
Disclaimer: They belong to Lifetime, and Katherine Fugate, and other people that I am not one of.
Rating: G
Word Count: 810
Summary: New base, new state, new neighbors.
Author's Note: Written because [livejournal.com profile] mylittleredgirl asked me to way back here. Now, the internets have been less than helpful in providing character backgrounds, and I don't remember exactly what they've said. So if this is completely against canon details, let's call it AU and get on with it. And I know there's no Army base in South Dakota, but I figured that if they can make up one for the show, I can make up one for my fic.


New base, new state, new neighbors. The same as always. Denise watches the movers carrying boxes and furniture. Serious young men with identical facial expressions and postures. The house looks the same as the previous one. She hasn't seen the inside of it yet, but she wouldn't be surprised if the floor plan was the same as well. She watches a woman with a baby stroller stop to chat with another woman on a front step a few doors down who indulgently watches two toddlers playing on the lawn, coffee cup in her hand. With the exception of winter coats she could still be in South Dakota where a late spring cold snap had covered the ground in snow a few days ago. Here in South Carolina it is lush and green, and the sun is already warm, despite the early hour.

A sound against the car window behind her draws her out of her thoughts, and she turns to see Jeremy awake in the back seat where he had fallen asleep the moment they had left the hotel earlier this morning. He had been too excited to sleep on the plane yesterday, and they hadn't gotten in until it was long past his bedtime.

She opens the door, and Jeremy clambers out, rubbing his eyes sleepily as she pulls him against her legs to keep him out of the way of the movers.

"Mommy, are we home?"

She feels tears prickling as she strokes his hair. "No, sweetheart. This is our new home. Remember how we talked about that?" She points to a large bush next to the front door, covered with extravagant colorful flowers. "See those pretty flowers there, we didn't have those at our old home. We're in South Carolina now, and it's warm here even when it's winter back home. Remember how you and Mikey were playing in the snow the other day?"

Little Mikey, with the unruly dark hair that he was forever pushing out of his eyes, but he would be angry for days whenever his mother cut it too short. Who had a snack in her kitchen every afternoon, and who cried yesterday when he realized that his beloved playmate was leaving, while Jeremy, a year younger, looked confused, the reality of the situation too big too grasp. Denise rubs her forehead, wills the tears not to fall today. Just another person left behind, of the many she has left behind in her life.

Jeremy is exploring the bark of the tree next to them, and Denise sits down on a rough wooden bench haphazardly placed on the lawn, left behind by the house's previous inhabitants, and she wonders if someone else is using Jeremy's swing today. Keeping Jeremy in her peripheral vision she watches the movers go back and forth, back and forth.

The bench shifts beneath her, and she turns jerkily, unaware that anyone has approached her.

"I'm sorry, did I startle you?" A woman sits next to her in an impeccable dress suit, perfect make-up, thick straight dark hair just brushing her shoulders.

"No, sorry, I was just thinking about something..." Denise feels rumpled next to her, in the same clothes she wore yesterday, hair curling at the ends from the humidity and sticking to the back of her neck.

The woman doesn't seem to notice, smiling and holding out her hand. "I'm Claudia Joy Holden, welcome to the base."

Holden. The name sounds familiar. "Denise Sherwood. Thank you. This is Jeremy." Jeremy has come up behind Denise, and holds tightly onto her arm as he blinks up at Claudia Joy Holden beneath his too-long bangs. Not only can't she take care of herself, her child is unkempt as well.

But Claudia Joy Holden smiles down at Jeremy, "Hi there," and soon he's smiling right back at her.

"How would you two like to come over to my patio? These guys'll be be at this for a few more hours, and I'll bet you'll be more comfortable out of the sun. I have ice tea in the fridge."

A polite declination is at the tip of Denise's tongue. She doesn't need this woman's pity, but when she turns to Claudia Joy Holden there's no pity in her eyes, just laughter.

"Believe me," she says, reaching out to put a hand over Denise's. "I'm not trying to patronize you. You're not the first woman to make the move alone. I've been there myself."

And as simple as that, Denise believes her. She laughs, a little sheepishly, embarrassed that this stranger can read her so easily. She takes a breath, and the anger is gone. "I'd love a glass of ice tea in the shade. You're a Godsend. Thank you."

They smile at each other, and while Claudia Joy Holden gets Jeremy to hold up four fingers, and tells him she has a daughter who is just as old as he is, Denise thinks that, maybe, this won't be so bad.


shrink me:: 'annoyed' annoyed


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