English Breakfast

AUTHOR: Catharine
EMAIL: TierneyArquette@yahoo.com
CATEGORY: Friendship with sexual tension.
RATING: G/PG. It's not about the sex, it's the suspense!
SPOILERS: Not that I know of
ARCHIVE: Do you want me to let you know when I add it to the site? Sure.
DISCLAIMER: Read it, download it. Just remember that I wrote it.
AUTHOR'S NOTES: I just kinda wanted something that didn't envolve lacy black bras...
SUMMARY: Dinner, a play, some midnight tea, and something unexpected.

[Carter and Abby are on the phone with each other]

Carter: When are you on tomorrow?

Abby: I'm not, actually.

Carter: Great. Northlight Theatre is doing Uncle Vanya and I have an extra ticket with no one to use it. Sorry about the late notice.

Abby: You're asking me to go see Chekhov with you? That could have many meanings.

Carter: Eh, we've got chaos at County; why can't we have subdued tragedy?

Abby: What time?

Carter: I'll pick you up at 5:45pm sharp.

Abby: You're going to feed me as well, this being a bit early for a play?

Carter: It's customary to feed the date, isn't it?

Abby: Date?

Carter: Well, get-together.

Abby: Okay, what's the dress?

Carter: It's a special premiere, so wear a skirt and no denim.

Abby: It won't a formal where you're going to show up in a tuxedo again, are you?

Carter: Naw, I won't scare you again. See ya!

Abby: I—

[Carter's hung up already, leaving Abby hanging.]


[It's 5:43pm and although she looks ready, Abby is far from ready as usual. Her hair is unusually up in a bun; she had an urge to put it up that way. She's wearing a navy top with mild boning and a low scoop neck and a black pencil skirt that ends just past the knees when sitting and has a small slit in the back. She has open-toed heels that cover the entire back of the heel. She's sitting on a stool, leaning over her kitchen counting refraining from biting her nails to feign off nervousness.]

[5:45pm on the nose when there's a knock on the door. Always the classic guy, Carter doesn't bother with the doorbell.]

Abby: [to herself] Punctual as usual.

[Abby opens the door and sighs as she sees that Carter is wearing a navy three piece with a solid black tie and not a tuxedo. The vest makes it a bit more fancy than she expected, but oh well; she's not going to change.]

Carter: Hey, we match!

Abby: You and your spies. Is this so that when one of us gets lost, everyone will know we belong together?

Carter: I'd hope they'd know we go together no matter what we're wearing.

[For a few moments Abby and Carter are silent, thinking about any serious meaning behind their carelessly phrased sentences.]

Abby: Um, let me just get my purse and coat....

Carter: Uh, yeah, you, you do that.

Abby: Got it. Let's go.

Carter: Mmmhmm.

[As Carter steps out the door to follow Abby, he gets a whiff of her hair and can tell she showered as recently as as long it took her hair to dry. Her hair smelled like lavender and had no trace of any perfume; he knows Abby hates perfume.]


[There's no limo in front of her building this time, just a brand new Infiniti with a dent in the side of the front bumper.]

Abby: No plates yet and already a dent?

Carter: I hit my mother.

Abby: With your car? [He gives her a "duh" look. She giggles a little, but quickly stops herself.] You rear-ended your mother.

Carter: Pretty much, yeah.

Abby: On purpose?

Carter: Of course not! [He opens the passenger door.] All aboard.


[In the car.]

Abby: So, how did you end up hitting your mother's car?

Carter: I was going to my Nana's and I was following my mother's car. It was rainy and foggy and I bumped into her in the driveway when I thought she was still moving and hadn't stopped yet.

Abby: See, now that's normal. It makes it not funny anymore! [She pokes his shoulder, smiling.]

Carter: You asked.

[They pause, but only long enough for Carter to think of another subject.]

Carter: You ever seen the show?

Abby: Um, no. I haven't been to this theatre either.

Carter: After living here this long?

Abby: I just don't get to theatre that often.

Carter: You just have dates with rentals on your couch, right?

Abby: You've got me figured out, Carter.

Carter: I knew I would sooner or later: the girl who sits home alone with popcorn. [Pause.] You should go out on the town more. Chicago has a lot to offer.

Abby: Other than nursing and the L?

Carter: Look what we're doing right now.

Abby: Oh, I read a blurb. We're seeing a play about oppressed love and family angst.

Carter: We all have that, don't we?

Abby: So this is about us?

Carter: It could be. [Car stops in front of a "family friendly" Italian restaurant.]

Abby: Pouglia? [She pronounces it, poo-g-lee-ah.]

Carter: Pouglia. [He pronounces it correctly, pool-ya.] It's Italian.

Abby: I thought you might drag somewhere "classy."

Carter: This is a change; it'll be fun.

[They get out of the car and walk up to the front door.]


[It's about 7:00pm and the two are leaving the restaurant laughing]

Abby: I can't believe you took me to a place with a resident singer; everyone was singing along while they were eating!

Carter: Except you.

Abby: That's because I couldn't stop laughing at you!

[They get into the car.]

Carter: Oh that's just my amateur work; you should see me do opera.

Abby: I'll be sure to clear the date for your next international tour!

Carter: You should!


[They are now walking up the steps to the lobby entrance. Their tickets are taken and they are ushered to their seat. They each begin to read the program, keeping to themselves.]


[Carter has just stopped the car in front of Abby's apartment.]

Abby: Oh, you don't have to get out.

Carter: It's 10:30pm. With what you've gotten in the past year, I am obligated to walk you to your door.

Abby: All right; it is on the fifth floor and there's no elevator.

Carter: I walked it earlier, didn't I? [Pause.] You just moved in here so you could be Jane Fonda in Barefoot in the Park, didn't you?

Abby: Oh, yeah; my dream come true.


[Abby puts the key in her lock and opens the door enough for one person.]

Abby: It may be five flights up, but I just love this.

[She picks up a remote from a bookshelf next to her front door and clicks a single button. A line a track lighting illuminates the living room.]

Carter: Track lighting?

Abby: With a remote!

Carter: Mmmhmm. [Pause while Abby drops the remote at the edge of the couch.] You don't have any English Breakfast, do you?

Abby: Excuse me?

Carter: Tea. I ran out of my English Breakfast tea. It's kind of a ritual for me to have some before I go to bed.

Abby: English Breakfast?

Carter: I'm odd, I know.

Abby: We all know.

[She walks straight into the kitchen, assuming Carter will immediately follow her. He instead pauses in the living room to take off his coat and blazer and lay them over the back of her couch. He thinks for a moment about how many times she must have watched a movie on this couch, and fallen asleep in the process. He runs his fingers through his hair to loosen it up a bit as he slowly strolls to the same stool Abby was sitting on earlier. Abby has put some water in a kettle and gotten out his English Breakfast. As Carter sits down, she puts a plain slate-colored mug on the table. He sits in silence while she nervously walks back and forth, stopping and starting again, waiting for the kettle to whistle. After she is still for a record maybe ten seconds, the kettle finally begins to scream and Abby jerks to get over to the other side of the little kitchenette, maybe three feet away. Carter unwraps his tea bag and and drops it in the mug just as Abby starts pouring recently boiling water over it.]

Carter: Stirrer?

Abby: [Thinks for a moment.] Spoon?

Carter: No stirrers?

Abby: I don't drink tea. [Carter silently asks her why she has tea when she doesn't even drink it.] I just buy it. For me, the thing that everyone collects and doesn't use is tea. Will a spoon work?

Carter: As long as you have honey.

Abby: Yes! [She grabs a spoon from a drawer and opens her fridge to get honey. She places the spoon and a fast-food honey container on the counter in front of Carter.] Honey. [Carter raises an eyebrow at the honey and then decides to open and pour it in. He begins to stir the tea and Abby leans on the opposite side of the counter from Carter. Although watching someone blow on their tea to cool it down, Abby doesn't feel bored for some reason.]

Abby: So why tea?

Carter: It won't keep me up like coffee, and my mother used to make it for me when I was little.

Abby: Mother?

Carter: One small thing and it's what stuck. You have any things like that?

Abby: Other than listening to my mother rant in the middle of the night, none that I know of.

Carter: Really.

Abby: Not everyone has a little childhood sentimental aspect about themselves.

Carter: Sure they do.

Abby: [a little annoyed but pleased she's in a huff about something other than work.] Well I don't.

Carter: Oh, come on. Did you have any favorite book to read? A TV show? A stuffed animal?

Abby: Nope.

Carter: Pets? How about a secret crush?

Abby: Secret crush?

Carter: Yeah, why not. I had one. It wasn't really a crush, but I used to chase her all around the playground.

Abby: That's hard to picture!

Carter: Well I was a lot younger then.


Abby: I poked a boy named Jack in second grade. I would always poke him and ask to play checkers.

Carter: Really? You had a crush? I thought you were a goner.

Abby: Yeah, I don't think he liked me. I never got to play. I didn't even learn until another grade but I'm not sure which one. I just remember that I didn't know how to play in second grade.

Carter: That's so sweet. Little Abby Lockha— Wyscenski wanted to play a game she didn't know with a boy named Jack.

[There is silence while Carter drinks a big gulp of his tea.]

Abby: I have to go sit down.

[Carter turns to see that Abby goes to sit on the couch and put her feet up on the coffee table. He quickly finishes off his tea and follows to sit next to her. Without realizing it was there, Abby notices that she had leaned against a bulge inside Carter's blazer. She turns in her seat to reach in the blazer pocket and pull out a wallet.]

Abby: Ah ha! Pictures?

Carter: I'll let you see them, but then I'll have to kill you.

Abby: Yes, but if I don't see them, I'll die from it!

[Abby ignores all the plastic cards and business cards and the fact that there is a large wad of cash, but goes straight to the picture sleeves.]

Abby: So you have a picture of your parents' wedding as well as a professional photo of your grandparents. Oh, and your brother. Standard; very typical.

Carter: I suppose I'm a typical person in that sense.

[Abby turns to a picture of Carter from eighth grade.]

Abby: Oh my gosh, when was this?

Carter: Ohhh... eight grade I think.

[She turns to age five and smiles as she holds it up to Carter.]

Carter: Five.

Abby: Okay, you were the cutest five year-old ever!

[Without thoroughly realizing what she is doing, Abby leans over and gives Carter a quick peck on the lips with giggles surrounding it. She leans back, realizing she'd just kissed Carter.]

Abby: Umm, I'm sorry. [Short pause.] I was just— The picture was so cute—

[Carter quickly leans forward and gives Abby a long kiss before backing off. Abby opens her closed eyes and darts them between Carter's eyes and his lips, then begins an opened mouthed kiss. Together they stand up off the couch, still kissing.]

Carter: Bedroom?

Abby: There. End of the hall.

[Stumbling, they finally reach the door. Carter opens it and they go in. The door slams shut.]

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