Title: "Crashes and Second Chances" (7/?)
Rating: M (entire series)
Summary: A scary accident makes Chuck realize that life (even second ones) can be short so she decides to go after what she wants most: Olive. Only things aren't always as good as they seem.
“Are you sure you’re okay?” Olive asked for the hundredth time. Chuck just rolled her eyes and buckled her seatbelt. “I’m fine, Olive,” she said, a smile playing on her lips. Ned looked at her in the backseat from his rearview mirror, “We could always get a bus or something.”
“I’m not traumatized or anything you guys,” Chuck said settling into her seat, “I’m fine in a car.” The two in the front looked at each other and sat back. “If you’re sure,” Olive said sighing. “I’m sure,” Chuck said straightening out her skirt.
Ned had brought her some of her clothes from her apartment, but they hung loose on her after being in that bed for six months and loosing all the weight. She looked at her pale, bony arm and cringed. There’s no way Olive would find that attractive even if she wasn’t engaged.
Ned drove slowly and cautiously back to the Pie Hole, which made Chuck laugh, “I’m not going to break you guys.”
“Simple precautions,” Olive said smiling back at her.
They finally parked in front of the restaurant and Chuck got out of the car as quickly as she could. She looked at the familiar place, unable to contain her smile. She walked into the Pie Hole, Olive close behind and took a deep breath of the familiar aroma of pie and fruit.
“It’s so nice to be back,” she said looking around at the customers. “Wait,” she said frowning, “If both of you were here, who’s running this place.”
“Hi, I’m Gracie! You must be Chuck!”
A woman about Chuck’s age stood before them, Pie Hole uniform adoring her body. She had dark red hair that rested on her shoulders and shining blue eyes. “Hi,” Chuck said slightly perplexed.
“We were slightly short handed with you in the hospital and all and Olive gone all the time so we hired an extra waitress,” Ned explained from behind her.
“He’s sweet on her too,” Olive said nudging Chuck and wriggling her eyebrows. “Okay,” Ned said blushing and stepping in front of them, “time to go…somewhere else.”
Chuck raised and eyebrow and smiled at Ned, glad he had found a girl. “Are they dating yet?” she asked Olive. “No, you know Ned,” Olive said taking her over to the counter and sitting down, “Shy as a raccoon in an art gallery.”
The brunette nodded, unable to suppress her yawn. She had been extremely tired lately, her body not used to being active after so long. “Oh, you’re tired,” Olive said getting up and promptly taking her arm, “let’s take you to the apartment.”
“No, I’m fine,” Chuck said reluctant to leave the Pie Hole, “I want to stay here.”
“Nope, you need to let your body rest,” Olive insisted dragging her to the door. They made their way up to the apartment and Olive opened the door. When Chuck walked in, she was shocked to see taxidermy animals in various humiliating poses scattered throughout the room.
“Hey, Chuck! Welcome back!” Randy said from his spot on the couch. “You…redecorated,” Chuck said to Olive, ignoring Randy. “Yes,” Olive began quietly, “well-“
“It was more me than Olive,” Randy interrupted, “I figured since I’m living here and all, I wanted to make it more homey.”
“You’re…living here?” Chuck managed to choke out. “I forgot to mention that, didn’t I?” Olive said biting her lip. Chuck nodded and looked back around the apartment, “Um, well. I’m just going to go over to Ned’s then.”
“What?” Olive said, her eyes wide. “Well, I figure it’s be kinda tight with three people here. And Ned doesn’t have anyone else over there, does he?” Chuck said heading towards the door.
“No, but…this is your home,” Olive said taking a step towards the brunette. “It’s fine,” Chuck said shaking her head, “Alfredo’s your fiancé, he should be here. I’m just gonna get in the way of your marital bliss. Chuck wondered if the last sentence sounded as bitter as she was before walking out of the apartment and into Ned’s. She sat on couch and sighed.
So much had changed since the accident and she wasn’t sure how to deal with it all. Chuck felt the sting of tears behind her eyes and tried to blink them away as she lay down on the couch. She let them roll down her cheeks and willed herself not to dream of Olive as she drifted off to sleep.