could u do a short Rosalind and Tommy fic?
This is by no means short and also it’s not that great but enjoy anyway! Also? the football coach? Definitely took some inspiration from my soccer coach.
Tommy was having, to put it plainly, a terrible day.
It had started that morning, when he awoke to the most obnoxious bang he had ever heard. Not fully awake yet, Tommy jumped, falling out of his bed.
"Where's the canon?" Tommy mumbled, running his fingers through his rumpled dark hair. It took him a moment to realize that he wasn't talking to anyone. Tommy made the effort to scramble off the floor and venture out of his room, calling for his parents as he looked into the rooms of his house. Empty. He glanced out of the kitchen window and saw his older brother Nick in the driveway. "Nick?"
"Out here Kid!" Nick called back from the driveway.
"Obviously," Tommy mumbled. Nick was back from the military for a two month long vacation, something that had been as much of a surprise to Nick as it had been to his loved ones, and in the past three days Nick had managed to cause general chaos on their beloved Gardam Street.
Tommy pushed through the side door, bypassing the coat rack on his way out. This was his first mistake.
He stepped into the frigid early December air to see Nick staring into the hood of his car.
"What was that noise?" Tommy asked, stepping up next to his brother.
"The car, I -"
"Hello," a voice called from across the street, interrupting Nick. The brothers turned to see Rosalind, Skye, and Jane Penderwick trekking across the frost covered street to their house, Jane in the lead, waving at them. "Whoops," she said as she nearly slipped. Tommy saw Skye roll her eyes at Jane, but he looked past her at Rosalind. Tommy smiled at her, despite the intense shivering that overtook him. She looked adorable in her beige peacoat and black cap that looked a little like a beret, sitting jauntily atop her curls. Rosalind raised a hand to wave at him, and Tommy waved back.
"You're going to get a cold," Rosalind said as a way of greeting when the sisters reached Tommy and Nick.
"No I'm not," Tommy responded, pulling her into him for warmth anyway. She giggled and rested her head on his chest, her arms around his waist.
"So what happened to the car Geiger?" Skye asked, punching Nick in the shoulder gently.
"Not sure," Nick says truthfully.
"Maybe the battery was stolen. We know how to put it back," Jane said, peering into the car, mimicking Nick's stance.
"No we don't banana head," Skye said, kicking at Jane's slippers with her own. Unlike their older sister, Jane and Skye were still wearing pajamas underneath their heavy sweaters. "We know how to remove one though," Skye added as an afterthought.
"Maybe not mention that out loud," Tommy joked as the rest of the Penderwick family approached them, Batty and Ben in the lead, Ben holding his sister's hand.
Nick instantly turned to swing Ben high above his head. "How are you doing on this fine morning Bravo-Echo-November?"
"Golf-Oscar-Oscar-Delta," the boy giggled as Nick placed him on his shoulders.
"Ugh Nick, don't encourage him," Rosalind said from her place in her boyfriend's arms. "He's been using that alphabet for the past two days."
"Buck up Rosy, Ben's learning how to spell," Mr. Penderwick said, clapping Tommy on the shoulder.
"Car trouble?" Iantha asked pleasantly, the last one to arrive. Like her step-daughter, she was dressed in her day clothes.
"It would seem so Iantha," Nick said solemnly. He brightened instantly though. "How's the baby?"
Iantha smiled like she did every time Nick asked that question. "Very good at sapping my energy," she said with a smile as she put a hand on her stomach.
"My brother's gonna be as cool as you!" Ben informed Nick with a little clap.
"Ben dear, the baby might be a girl," Rosalind said, shaking Ben's little foot from his high perch.
"No," Ben said in his stubborn voice. Rosalind rolled her eyes, but Tommy knew she was not actually upset. She loved Ben too much for that.
"Well, how will you get to school Tommy?" Batty asked, speaking for the first time. Both Geiger brothers looked at each other, not considering Tommy's options for getting to school.
"Are your parents at work?" Mr. Penderwick asked. He was dressed for work too, and Tommy noticed the car keys dangling from his hand. Both boys nodded. Tommy turned to Rosalind.
"Can I go with you Rosy?"
Rosalind's face fell. "Oh Tommy I'm sorry, but I'm not going to school remember?"
Oh. Rosy had taken the day before winter vacation off to drive to Rhode Island to take a self-guided tour of Brown, a college on her list for years.
"I remember. It's okay."
"Tommy if you're ready Iantha and I can take you on our way to the university," Mr. Penderwick said.
"It'll have to be right now though," Iantha added. "We have to go to the kindergarten and the elementary school first to drop off Ben and Batty."
Tommy looked down to his pajamas and his bare feet, which were becoming numb. "I might not be ready in time," he said.
"Why you can walk with us!" Jane said brightly. “And tell us about Russian class and your football team!”
Skye rolled her eyes again. As a freshman, Jane was still too excited about being in high school, and her excitement oozed into everything she said and did.
“But we need to leave soon too. I have a question for my physics teacher,” Skye added.
Tommy agreed, and the two families dispersed, leaving Tommy to quickly pull on his warmest clothes and brush his teeth. He decided to forego breakfast, since Skye was ringing their doorbell incessantly.
“Hey Nick, where’s my hat?” Tommy called to his brother, who was getting ready to go back to bed after calling the towing company.
“Mom sent it to the cleaners!” Nick called back over the doorbell.
Right, Mrs. Geiger - fed up with the mud Tommy got on his winter clothes - decided to send all of his outerwear to the cleaner, forcing Tommy to wear one of Mr. Geiger’s old jackets. Tommy - after realizing that he could search for the hat and annoy Skye and himself or just leave - called goodbye to his brother and stepped out. It somehow had become even colder than it had been earlier.
Tommy walked to school behind the sisters, letting their conversations drift towards him as he shivered violently. As they neared the school, Jane looked back at him.
“Are you alright?”
“Shall I bathe your forehead?”
“Jane stop with the forehead bathing. Not all ailments need you and your cold washcloths,” Skye said giving Tommy an apologetic look.
“Why do you always ask?” Tommy asked, genuinely curious.
“Because no one ever said yes,” Jane said irritably.
Tommy shook his head at Jane as his stomach rumbled. He ignored it.
He spent the next three and a half hours ignoring his stomach until his lunch block.
“I have never seen you walk so fast,” Brendan - one of his football teammates - said as they headed to the cafeteria.
“I haven’t eaten all day,” Tommy responded.
“Long story,” Tommy responded as he fished around in his school bag for his wallet. Tommy searched for a few moments, growing more and more panicked until he realized that his wallet was always in his gym bag which was always swung over his left sh-
“Brendan have you seen my gym bag?” Tommy asked frantically as they stepped forward in the lunch line.
“No, you didn’t have it with you in class.”
“Oh no,” Tommy said, realizing that he had put his gym bag in Nick’s car.
“It’s in Nick’s car.”
“Can’t you go to the main office and call him? I mean he remembers how scary Coach is. He’ll drive it over.”
“Yes he would, except his car was towed since a pipe burst or something.”
Brendan nodded wisely. “Always the pipe.”
Tommy shook his head in exasperation. “What do I do?”
Brendan put a placating hand on Tommy’s shoulder. “The team will pool our money, don’t worry, and we’ll deal with Coach when we cross that bridge.”
Between Brendan and their teammates, they managed enough money for an apple, a bag of pretzels, and a carton of milk, which Tommy only managed to eat before the bell rang for their next class.
“Alright students, pull out your group projects, we’re presenting today,” their history teacher was saying as Tommy and another of his teammates - Jackson - entered the room.
“Group projects?” Tommy asked Jackson as they sat in their seats in the middle of the room. Tommy usually sat in the back, but Rosalind was in the class and she liked to sit in the front, so they compromised.
“Yeah. About the Silk Road? Remember? You worked with Rosalind.”
“And she’s not here,” Tommy whispered harshly, briefly wondering how his day could have gotten this bad.
Jackson made a face of comprehension. “Sorry Geiger, you’re on your own.”
They turned to their teacher as he started speaking. “Going alphabetically, Tommy Geiger and Rosalind Penderwick are first to present.”
With a sigh, Tommy raised his hand. “Yes?”
“Sir, Rosy - that is, Rosalind isn’t here today.”
Their teacher sighed. “Then present on your own please.”
“But, Rosalind has the project.”
“Why didn’t she give it to you?”
“She must have... I mean, I must have forgotten.”
“You forgot?” The look Tommy was receiving was worse than any of Rosy’s withering looks. Tommy sank down in in his seat a little as Jackson flinched sympathetically next to him.
“Well, I hope you understand this will be reflected in both of your grades.”
“Yes sir, I know sir,” Tommy said, mentally kicking himself. He didn’t care much for his grade but Rosy had worked so hard, and he hated for her to not get the marks she deserved.
Tommy passed the next two classes in a blur tired hungry, cold, and more importantly, incredibly angry at himself for letting Rosy’s grade slip.
He let himself wallow in self pity until he stepped out into the football field and realized - to his dismay - that it was snowing. And not the delicate flurries that had been falling on the walk to school. No, this was the heavy, wet snow, the kind that could block roads and make passing drills rather difficult.
“Alright boys, into your workout clothes. Snow never stopped football players!”
“Have fun telling Coach,” Jackson said, referencing Tommy’s missing gym bag.
“We’ll wait for you in the locker room,” Brendan added more kindly.
“Thanks,” Tommy mumbled as he headed towards his coach. “Coach?”
“Geiger! Into the locker room!”
“Yes sir, I will sir, but um...” Tommy trailed off, shaking his hands to get the cold numb feeling out of them.
“I don’t have my gym bag.”
“It’s um, in Nick’s car? And it broke down?”
“Is that a question?”
“No? I mean... no.” Tommy kicked at the snow with his sneakers, not meeting his coach’s eye.
“Well then, you can run laps.”
Tommy looked up. “What?”
“You’re not getting a free pass Geiger.” Coach looked down at Tommy menacingly, as if he thought very little of people who tried to get out of football games. Not many things scared Tommy, but Coach was most definitely on the short list.
“No sir. But what should I wear?”
“Jeans are fine.”
Tommy opened his mouth to ask another question, but his coach was already walking away. With a sigh, he went to the locker room to put his bag away. Thankfully, Brandon offered him one of his sweaters so Tommy would have only a slightly less chance of getting pneumonia.
“Coach was brutal today,” Brandon announced three hours later as the boys headed to the parking lot. Tommy, trailing after them, shivering so violently his teeth were chattering.
“At least you’re not Geiger,” a team member said, doubling back to clap Tommy on the shoulder. His knees nearly locked. “Sorry!”
“It’s f-f-fine,” Tommy responded as they neared the line of parked cars.
“Want a ride home?” Brandon asked.
“He doesn’t need one,” Jackson said.
Jackson pointed to an old blue car at the edge of the parking lot, where a figure in a beige peacoat and a black cap was sitting on the hood of the car. Upon seeing the group of boys, the figure slid off the car.
“But Rosy is in R-r-rhode Island,” Tommy said in disbelief.
“Apparently not,” Jackson said with a grin.
“S-s-see you later,” Tommy said suddenly, breaking into a run despite his protesting legs. He barreled towards the car at full force, stopping only to grab Rosalind in a hug and swing her around, despite his screaming muscles. He could hear his teammates cheering somewhere behind them, but he was too busy hugging Rosalind as tight as he could.
“What are you doing here?” he asked into her hair.
“The roads were closed so I cam back home. No point in being stranded in the middle of nowhere.”
“I missed you.”
“Gosh Tommy you’re so cold,” Rosalind said in response, pulling away.
“It’s been a long day Rosy,” Tommy said, brushing snow out of his girlfriend’s hair.
“Wait, tell me in a moment, let me grab something.” Rosalind reached into the car and pulled out a garment bag from the Cameron Dry Cleaners. She unzipped it to reveal Tommy’s jacket, hat, and gloves.
“How did you -”
“I remembered your mother brought them in last week and I needed to pick up some stuff for Batty and Jane. I thought you might be cold without them so I got yours too.”
With a laugh, Tommy reached forward and kissed Rosalind, long and hard. “Thank you. But did you pay?”
“Yes but don’t worry about it.”
Tommy nodded, secretly resolving to pay her back. He knew her family’s finances worried her. Unfortunately, Rosy knew him enough to know what he was thinking.”
“Stop worrying Tommy, really. Here, put these on you’re going to get sick.”
Rosalind helped him into his jacket. He pulled his gloves on, and with a giggle, Rosy pushed his hat onto his head. It didn’t fully sit on his head properly, but she looked so adorable standing on her toes to reach his head that he had to pull her in for another kiss, forgetting about the cold and the snow.
“Thanks beautiful,” he whispered to her.
“Any time. Come on, I’ll drive you home.”
Tommy took his usual spot in the passenger’s side, and Rosalind slid behind the wheel. “Oh, one more thing.” Rosalind pulled a thermos out from the back seat cupholder. “I made hot chocolate. I didn’t get to taste it but-”
Tommy cut her off by pulling her into him in a tight hug. “Thank you, thank you, thank you Rosy.”
Rosalind pulled away, laughing. “Of course. I knew you’d be cold. Especially since I heard about your disastrous day.”
“You did? How?” Tommy asked, surprised, as Rosalind started the car and backed out of the lot.
“Skye and Jane told me. Apparently you got yelled at during history?”
“It was project presentation day,” Tommy supplied. Rosalind glanced over at him.
“Don’t worry about the grade. I’ll talk with him.”
“I feel so bad,” Tommy admitted.
“No, it was my job to remember to give it to you. Anyway, it’s winter vacation. Just enjoy the time off with your brother, okay?”
“And you,” Tommy said emphatically.
“And me,” Rosalind agreed. She cut a glance over to him as they turned into the chaos of Gardam street. “I love you Tommy.”
“I love you so much more. You have no idea.”
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