Categories > Celebrities > Fall Out Boy > A Stranger in the Mirror

The One With the Perfect Day

by ClandestineUnited 1 review

"I'm a fedora man now, don'tcha know?"

Category: Fall Out Boy - Rating: G - Genres:  - Warnings: [!!!] - Published: 2014-03-08 - 3126 words

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Pete took off running and he found himself running to her and before he knew it, he was standing in front of her, drinking in every detail of her as though she was about to disappear.
"Is it really you?"
"It's me." She replied. The sound of her voice suddenly made Pete want to burst into tears. He embraced her in a hug that enveloped her and although she resisted at first, let herself fall into his arms.
"I missed you so much." He whispered into her ear. He held her at arms length as his eyes darted all over her face. Tears filled both of their eyes as they watched one another before embracing again. Patrick tried to supress a grin as he turned away, standing on the other side of the park. Maybe, just maybe, things will turn out alright after all... he thought to himself.

"Did you bring him?" Pete asked a few minutes later as he and Rachel wandered around. Patrick had decided he would wait around until they figured out what they wanted to do for the rest of the day and had sat down on a bench, playing with his phone.
"I did. He's with Joe at your house. You can have him for the night if you like."
"Are you serious?" Pete asked, in shock. Rachel nodded.
"I'm staying at Patrick's. I think they've had their fair share of screaming toddlers between them." She laughed.
"I dunno, they're both pretty baby mad. They have been for a while, but they can't have one."
"Oh, why?"
"I dunno," Pete shrugged. "I think they both have problems. I can't remember, I wasn't really with it when he told me. Maybe he's firing blanks."
"Politically correct as always, Pete." Rachel smiled. He looked at her and smiled too. It had been a long time since they had spoken like this.
They walked in silence for a long time, their feet mirroring each other's and their arms touching as they moved, the only sounds around them were the birds in the trees and the occasional flow of traffic punctuated with laughter and excited screaming from kids. In a strange way, it was the closest they had been in years.
"You know, you could stay with me if you want. You don't have to sleep in our - I mean my bed. The spare room is all ready if you..."
"Thanks, but I'll be fine at Patrick's. It'll give me a chance to catch up with him."
"What about catching up with me?" Pete said, suddenly hurt. He stopped walking and waited for Rachel to turn around.
"This isn't about you and me right now, Pete. It's about Petey. You need to spend time with him."
"No shit." He replied, waspishly.
"We have a lot of things to sort out before we even talk about us..." Rachel started. Pete held up his hand.
"I don't wanna fight right now. Let's not spoil today."
"Okay." Rachel replied.

There was silence as they continued to walk until they found themselves at the large pond which was full of ducks and frogs and where the public could rent peddle boats in the summer.
"I should have brought some bread. I always used to feed the ducks with Danni and Josh when they were little." Pete said, gently slapping a hand to his head.
"I don't think these ducks need any more bread," Rachel giggled. Pete turned to face her and raised his eyebrows mischieviously.
"Well we could always feed YOU to them!" He said, and before she knew it he had scooped her up in his arms and was attemping to turn her upside down. She shrieked with laughter and wriggled in protest.
"Pete! Don't you dare!"
"Oh you think I wouldn't dare?"
"I know you would! Please don't!"
Pete was roaring with laughter and turned her back the right way up. He clutched his side with laughter and Rachel was laughing so hard she could barely speak.
"I could push you in the water right now for that," she informed him.
"You wouldn't dare. I'm much stronger than you, remember?" he replied. "In fact..."

He made to grab her and she shrieked again, running away from him. Pete sprinted after her and the park echoed with the sounds of their laughter and screaming. Patrick looked up from the other side of the park and watched them with a smile on his face. It had been a long time since he'd seen either of them laugh like that, maybe even years. He watched them fondly until his phone vibrating brought him back to his senses with a jolt of his stomach.
"Hey," Patrick said, putting the phone to his ear.
"Hey honey. How's it going?"
"It's good so far. They seem to be getting on."
"Well, fingers crossed it stays that way."
"I wouldn't bet on it. They've always had a pretty tumultuous relationship even before all of this."
"Things can change."
"Speaking of change, how's Matthew?" Patrick said, unable to hide the bitter tone of his voice.
"He's fine. I only spoke to him for a few minutes while he dropped Riley off."
"Great," Patrick replied, his eyes following an elderley couple walking down the path towards the pond where Pete and Rachel had been standing moments before.

"Uh oh, that looks serious," Pete said, worriedly, as they walked back through the park towards Patrick. Seeing him stand up and pace about slowly while on the phone, Pete grimaced.
"Who do you think he's talking to?"
"Addison, I'd assume. Patrick was in a bad mood earlier 'cause Riley's dad 'came to the door and he happened to answer it."
"Oh," Rachel nodded as though she understood but in all honesty, it had been so long that she didn't understand the situation.
"He hasn't been in the picture for a while," he explained, seeing she was having trouble following him. "I think Patrick's taking a bit of a pride beating right now. I think he's seen himself as Riley's dad for too long."
"I can't believe he's married. I'm glad he's happy."
"Yeah, a lot's changed since you... I mean, since we were all together." Pete corrected himself. Rachel nodded in agreement.
"Did you consider going to the wedding?" Pete asked her, cautiously.
"Yeah," she replied. "I haven't been in a good place, Pete."
"I know," he said, empathetically. "It's okay, Rach."

As the sun set and they carried on walking, Pete and Rachel had sat down on the swings on their way back to Patrick. Seeing he was still on the phone, they decided to linger for a while and give him some privacy. Rachel sat motionless on the swing while Pete (of course) had jumped onto it and began swinging so high he almost lost his balance.
"You're going to fall and break your neck," Rachel warned him. "I'm not good at first aid."
"No fear, I'm invincible, remember?" Pete replied.
"Hey... Why don't you take Petey for the next few nights?" Rachel asked, watching him. She was half expecting him to crash to the ground at any moment and at the mention of his son, he almost did. He stopped swinging and clung to the chain as the swing slowly stopped. He slid down to a seated position and caught her eye.
"Yeah," Rachel nodded. "I mean, today is almost over and you should have as much time with him as you want."
Pete inhaled deeply as he steadied his voice. He was so overwhelmed with excitement and for some reason, sadness, that he didn't trust his voice at that moment. He waited a few seconds and nodded.
"Thank you."
There was silence for a few moments while they both looked in opposite directions.
"What made you change your mind?" Pete asked. He couldn't help himself. He was dying to know.
"I went through some stuff. Like I said, I was in a pretty bad place."
"So was I."
"Well, this was different. Not everything always has to be about you, Pete." Rachel said.
"Didn't you stop to think about how I felt? You left me with nothing, with no-one!"
"I had to do what was best for me!"
"And what about Petey?"
"Sometimes you have to make sacrifices for your children."
"That makes no sense! Petey was the one who made the sacrifice, you took him away from me! When you have a kid, you sacrifice things for them. Not the other way around."
"You have no idea what I went through," Rachel replied.
"Then what the fuck did you come back for, huh?" Pete asked, angrily.
"I came back because Patrick begged me to! He came all the way to Australia to tell me what a mess you are!"
Pete froze and scanned her face for any sign that she might be lying.
"He came to see me about a week ago." Rachel admitted.
"He can't have. He was in New York." Pete stammered. "He told me he was in New York seeing some family."
"Oh, wake up Pete." Rachel said, throwing her arms in the air. "I guess you don't know him as well as you thought."
"I can't believe he would do that."
"You should be thanking him, Pete." Rachel said, her voice suddenly soft. "He made me see sense for the first time in a long time. He cares about you and I so much he flew halfway across the world to convince me to come back."
"Are you back for good?" Pete asked. The question had been burning away at his insides but he simply had to ask, although he now found himself afraid of the answer.
"I don't know," Rachel said, truthfully. "I guess we have a lot to work out."
Pete took a deep breath and was surprised to find he was shaking.
"We do. But I promise I can help you through this, Rach."
"Can we talk about this another day?"

Pete couldn't take his eyes off her. There was something so haunting about the expression on her face, but he didn't know why. His gut told him there was something very wrong, and it broke his heart to see her in such turmoil. But she wouldn't let him in just now. He would have to bide his time. But the sun had set, it was getting dark and he knew the day was almost over.
"Sure. I'm not going anywhere, I'll always be here," he told her. He looked over at Patrick who had just sat down again and shook his head to himself, stuffing his phone in his pocket. Pete stood up from the swing and held his hand out to Rachel.
"Shall we?" He asked, nodding in Patrick's direction. Rachel hesitated for a second and put her hand in his. He pulled her up and they began to walk the long distance to the other side of the park towards Patrick, who was sitting hunched over on the bench with his elbows resting on his legs and his chin resting in his hands.
"This has been a perfect day," Rachel said, quietly. Pete slowly nodded and gripped her hand reassuringly. He stopped walking and Rachel stopped too. He pulled her towards her and began to dance with her slowly and softly, his hips moving in time with hers and his breath in her ear as he sang in a whisper;

"When you come to the end of a perfect day
And you sit alone with your thought
While the chimes ring out with a carol gay
For the joy that the day has brought
Do you think what the end of a perfect day
Can mean to a tired heart
When the sun goes down with a flaming ray
And the dear friends have to part?
Well, this is the end of a perfect day
Near the end of a journey too
But it leaves a thought that is big and strong
With a wish that is kind and true
For memory has painted this perfect day
With colors that never fade
And we find at the end of a perfect day
The soul of a friend we've made"

He stopped and looked at her. "Was that totally cheesy?"
"YES!" Patrick shouted from a distance, and made a greatly over exagerrated vomiting motion. Pete made a rude gesture at him in reply while Rachel giggled.
"No, it was beautiful. You remembered I love that song," she replied.
"Rach, I've never forgotten anything about you."
They both watched each other without speaking, only to be interrupted by Patrick who had appeared at their side.
"This is touching and all, but it's kinda scary being in the park when it's dark,"
"You're such a baby," Pete said, giving Patrick a shove.
"Am not!"
"Are too!"
"Hang on, didn't we do this already?" Patrick asked with a laugh.
"You guys are just as bizarre as ever!" Rachel informed them before they began the walk back to Patrick's.

When the three of them arrived back at Patrick's, Patrick gave Rachel and Pete some space to say goodnight and disappeared into the living room.
"Thank you for this, I can't wait to get home," Pete said, excitedly.
"Don't say thank you. I should have been here a long time ago," Rachel said, sorrowfully. Pete wrapped his arms around her and whispered into her ear.
"That's in the past. Let's just focus on now, okay?"
Rachel nodded as they parted and kissed him on the cheek.
"I'll see you later, okay?" she said, and Pete acknowledged her with a dip of his head.
"Goodnight, Pete," she said, before following Patrick into the living room. Patrick came out a few seconds later just as Pete was about to close the door. He was about to open his mouth and bid farewell to Pete but the look on Pete's face stopped him in his tracks. Neither of the men spoke, they just observed each other, until Pete broke the silence.
"You went to Australia."
Patrick straightened up and braced himself.
"Yes, I did."
They both almost squared up to each other, both readying themself for an argument, but Pete's shoulders sank and instead he pulled Patrick into a hug.
"Thank you." He said, so quietly Patrick had trouble hearing him. As Pete stopped hugging him, Patrick felt a sense of relief spreading throughout him.
"What are best friends for?" Patrick asked, reassured.
"I don't know, but I sure as hell don't deserve one like you."

"You look so different. I still can't get used to it!" Rachel said in wonder as she watched Patrick tying his suit jacket up in the mirror of the store the next day.
Patrick had needed to go clothes shopping, and rather than take three kids who would end up screaming within an hour with him, he had been more than happy to take Addison up on her offer of relieving him for the day while he spent it with his old friend. He hated to admit it, but he was extremely satisfied to be away for the day. He and Addison hadn't spoken about Matthew's sudden return since their phone call yesterday in the park, although he was damned if he was going to forget about it, he already had enough drama to focus on with Rachel's short return. He wasn't sure how long she was planning to stay, but he decided his conversation with Addison could wait.
He was trying to avoid a fight but the more he thought about Matthew, the more his blood boiled. Something wasn't sitting right in his stomach and he didn't like it. But at that moment in time, there were more important things on his mind.
"Yeah, well. It was either lose a shit ton of weight or drop dead before I turn 30. And I'd rather be around for a while yet to kick my daughter's boyfriend's asses." He said, looking up at her reflection in the mirror.
"You look so chiselled now!"
Patrick preened dramatically in the mirror and grinned at her.
"Yeah, but it meant I had to throw all of my old clothes away."
"And what about your hats? I don't think in all of the time I've known you I've ever seen you without a hat until you turned up at my door. I swear to God, I didn't realize it was you."
"The hats... are pretty much gone. Well, the baseball hats anyway. I'm a fedora man now, don'tcha know?"
Rachel didn't reply, instead looking at the ground sadly.
"What's up?" Patrick asked, concerned. "You don't like the fedoras, do you? I knew it, it makes me look fat," he half joked, trying to raise a smile from her.
"No, it's not that. You look great," she said, while shaking her head. "I haven't been a good friend to you, Patrick."
Patrick frowned and turned around, walking over to her and sitting on his haunches.
"Hey, look at me," he said, taking her hands in his. "Look at me," he didn't continue until she looked up at him, tears glistening in her eyes. "It should be me saying that to you. I should have traveled out there way before I actually did, especially after you told me that you..."
"It's not your fault," she interrupted him. "I shouldn't have run away."
"You didn't run. You just went home. Home is where the heart is, remember? It's something familiar amongst chaos, I get it. I really do. Sometimes you just need to be around something familiar to clear your head and see things properly. Sometimes you just need to go home."
"I think I am home, now."
"Well, wherever you feel home is, that's where we'll all be."
"It shouldn't be this hard. I don't ever want to go back to that point where I..." she stopped and let the tears fall down her face, not caring that people in the store were eyeing her curiously.
"Hey, shh," Patrick said, standing up and pulling her with him. He enveloped her in a hug and she cried softly on his shoulder. "We'll get through this, I promise you. Rach, if it's the last thing I do, I promise. Everything will turn out just fine. You just wait and see."

I've gotta confess, I think the dancing scene was a bit cheesy, even though I wrote it myself. But any excuse to use this song A Perfect Day - I love it! And yes, secretly, I'm a 23 year old in an 80 year old's body. But that's just between us.
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