The ride to Eddie and Rory’s house was awkward. Eddie would pose a question and Faye would give a simple shrug and a rehearsed answer. Even off of the cameras she was a guarded person. When they pulled in front of the house, Rory was the one to hold the car door open for her. She said a very practiced thank you and carefully climbed out of the car.
Eddie leaned against the counter, his stomach twisting into knots. Maybe it would have been better if they had let Faye and Tom stay in a hotel. He could only imagine what Faye thought about his home. He looked about his comfortable home as if seeing it for the first time. It was small. It wasn’t the extravagant home anyone famous would ever dream of living in. Even Rory was shocked when Eddie had insisted he wanted this house after spending weeks searching for the perfect house. “It’s not much…” his voice faded catching sight of Rory.
“Babe there’s nothing wrong with our home.” Rory put a comforting arm around his husband. “It’s the one you wanted. That should be good enough.” He watched the girl closely. He could see she wasn’t impressed by her surroundings. No doubt Eddie had to or he wouldn’t have tried to apologize. “Honey let’s show them around and let them get settled into their room.”
Nodding, Eddie turned to Tom finding him easier to address than Faye after her lackluster responses to his questions on the drive from the airport. “I’m sure you’re both tired and would like a chance to rest after traveling all day.” He turned knowing that Tom would follow.
Opening the door he once again found himself finding fault with the accommodations. “I hope you like it,” he mumbled as they filed past him into the room. “You can put your things in here” indicating the first two drawers of the dresser “and the closet is empty.” He moved towards the door eager to escape. “If you need anything else just let me or Rory know.” He backed from the room closing the door after him.
Rory came up behind him and massaged his tense shoulders. “Relax,” he whispered. “You did everything you could to make sure they were comfortable.”
“I hope it was enough,” Eddie said sounding discouraged. “I could tell she wasn’t impressed…”
“That’s more her problem than yours,” Rory pointed out an edge to his voice. He had watched his husband scrub every inch of the house making sure everything was just right and for what? For Faye to turn her nose up at it. “Come on,” he said taking Eddie’s hand. “Let’s go for a drive.”
“What? We can’t just leave,” Eddie protested. “We have guests. What if they need something?”
“They’ll be fine,” Rory said walking towards the door. “Besides we still need to pick up Hannah.”
Twisting around Eddie asked, “don’t you think we should tell them we’re leaving?”
“They’re adults,” Rory said opening the door. “They’ll figure it out.”
“Ok,” Eddie agreed following Rory to the car. “But we’re coming right back after we pick up Hannah right?”
“I thought we’d go to the park or something,” Rory said. “Give Tom and Faye some alone time before we overwhelm her with a baby.”
“Then I really should tell them we’re leaving.” Eddie took a couple of steps towards the house.
Leaning against the car Rory crossed his arms. “Alright go. Tell them.”
Hurrying inside Eddie knocked on their door. He could hear them scurrying around inside the room before Tom opened it a crack. “Um,” Eddie stammered, “Rory and I are going out for a bit. We need to pick up Hannah from Rory’s sister. We’ll probably go to the park to let her play for a bit before coming home.”
“Ok,” Tom replied. He hung onto the door so that Eddie could only see his brother and not the girl he had been trying to accommodate all morning.
Eddie awkwardly shifted his weight, knowing that Tom was trying to protect him from Faye. What an awkward situation. Did Tom really love her? He was having a hard time deciphering that someone could be so bossy and still have the adoration of someone as loving as Tom.
Tom on the other hand hung by the door with a tight grip on the hinges. “So we have a few hours then?”
“For what?” Eddie blurted. “Nevermind. I uh, didn’t mean it…”
“Relax,” Tom said. “We aren’t having sex on your new sheets.” He lowered his voice. “She just needs time to adjust. You know how that can feel.”
Eddie nodded. “I do.”
“Faye will be fine,” Tom said again. “She really loves the Bennett family, and she may not show it but I can tell that she really appreciates all this. She hasn’t had a family like ours before,” Tom whispered. When Eddie left, he shut the door and turned to the girl who was splayed across the bed, shoes off and magazine in hand.
“Do they hate me yet?” Faye asked, a hint of boredom in her voice.
“Are you trying to make them hate you?” Tom asked, angrily this time.
“No, but it happens eventually,” She replied. “Always.”
“I’m not Carson,” Tom said suddenly, and Faye’s grip on the magazine loosened until it fell onto her torso. “I won’t just let you leave. He was an idiot for letting you push him away.”
“Or maybe he was really smart,” She countered. “Maybe he realized what I couldn’t back then and that was that family comes first.”
“Family name you mean,” Tom replied angrily. “I thought this was over with already. Faye, you are not your dad.”
“This name is my curse,” She said. “I can’t abandon it. It will always follow me. The way I’m behaving is because that’s who I am. I know that Rory doesn’t like me but I can’t change just because everyone hates my dad. Accept that Tom. You can’t just expect me to give up everything that I was.”
“I’m not asking you to,” Tom said. “But please just try to be nice. Eddie is not like other people. He’s sensitive to things. Every little movement he notices and if he sees you do something like scoff or frown it will ruin the rest of his day. I know this isn’t the house you were expecting, but this is how my brother and his husband live. If you don’t like it, we should leave before they come back with their daughter Hannah.”
Faye froze for a moment. A child? She had forgotten that Tom mentioned that. She wanted no part of a snotty sniveling child. She slid off of the bed and began repacking all of her stuff. “What are you doing?” Tom asked.
“You said if I didn’t like it that I should leave,” She replied, throwing some shoes into the suitcase.
“You can’t be serious right now,” He replied.
“I am,” She answered, tossing more stuff haphazardly into her suitcase. “I’m leaving. I’m staying in a hotel like I wanted to in the first place. This whole family life, maybe it isn’t for me.”
“Damn it Faye!” Tom cried. “You’re like a freaking child! It’s like everything I tell you, you fight me on. This is my family and I’m staying with them. My brother and Rory went out of their way to accommodate us and I’m not letting all of that work go to waste.”
“You don’t have to,” She replied coldly, that spark of cruelty he had seen often on the show returning to her. “You’re a Bennett, you don’t abandon family. I’m a Ferrari. You can do the math on that one.” She lifted her now full suitcase and headed out of the room. But this time, Tom didn’t stop her. He said that he wasn’t Carson and that the man was stupid for letting her leave, but here he was doing the exact same thing. Funny, she thought bitterly to herself, how they were all the same.