Our House

~700 words :: Jason Isaacs/Carrie-Anne Moss/Liam Neeson :: 7/13/05 – 1/9/07
A handful of domestic stories set in the Establishment universe, where Jason, Liam, and Carrie-Anne are in a relationship and have two kids together. (Note: Olivia and Will are original characters created by Ruth and Nancy.)


Families

There’s one pie in the oven and another cooling on the counter, and Livvie sits on Liam’s lap, kicking her heels against his shins and munching on a piece of leftover pie crust, her chin covered with cinnamon and sugar and her mouth set in a frown.

“Something the matter, Livvie?” Jason asks, crimping the edges of the last crust.

“Daddy… Is our family weird?”

“Who told you that?”

“Are we?” Livvie presses.

“Well,” Jason starts, wishing Carrie-Anne were here, “most families just have one mommy and daddy, and you have-”

“I know that.” Livvie rolls her eyes. “But yesterday Jamie said…”

“What did Jamie say?” Liam growls.

“He said…” and she puts her hands on her hips and screws up her face in what Jason assumes is meant to be an imitation of this Jamie, “‘I never heard of a daddy who makes pies as much as Livvie’s!’”

For a moment neither of them says anything, and then Liam bursts out laughing and Jason has to bites his lip to keep a straight face. “Well, sweetie,” he says as Livvie squirms around in Liam’s arms, glaring indignantly at him, “you tell him, some daddies just like baking pies.”

Christmas Morning

“Mummy,” Olivia whines. “Make him hurry up.”

Carrie-Anne sighs. “Will, sweetie, everyone’s waiting.”

“I know,” he says, his face screwed up in concentration. He pulls the tape away slowly, with more patience than should be possible for a five-year-old. Olivia is staring daggers at her brother, and even Liam and Jason are getting fidgety, but Will is oblivious. Balling up the last piece of tape, he sets it in a pile with the others, next to a stack of neatly-folded wrapping paper. He grins and bounces a little. “I’m so excited.”

Jason picks up the camera again, having given up after the fourth present on filming the entire unwrapping process. “All right, what’ve you got there?”

Taking a deep breath, Will smoothes his hands over the wrapping paper one more time and then pulls it open. “Big-boy Legos! The space train one!” he squeaks, and the look on his face when he beams at Carrie-Anne is more than worth the wait.

She’s still putting his presents in gift bags from now on, though.

Sibling Rivalry

“Oh my God,” Olivia’s voice wafts down from upstairs, “I can’t believe you went in my room when I wasn’t home!”

Carrie-Anne glances over at Liam and Jason and sighs. Marking her place in her book, she says, “I’ll go see what it is this time.”

She finds them in Will’s room, just as Olivia is trying to pull off Will’s headphones. “Don’t pretend you can’t hear me!”

“I’m in the middle of an instance!” he squawks. “They’re counting on me for healing!”

“Well, you shouldn’t have-”

“Okay, okay, break it up,” Carrie-Anne says.

“But, Mum, he-”

“Let go of the headphones and stop trying to strangle your brother.” As soon as she does, Will turns his attention back to his game, and Carrie-Anne says, “How do you know he was in your room?”

“Just go and take a look,” Olivia says ominously.

Carrie-Anne has only to poke her head in to see what she means. The room is spotless, clothes put away, makeup organised on the dresser, the magazines that so recently covered the floor stacked neatly on the shelves. Carrie-Anne knows without a doubt that if she looked closer, she’d find them in order by date. The makeup is probably organised by color. Maybe even the clothes. The bed is made for the first time in months, at the very least, and the room smells like cleaning products instead of the usual cloying mix of perfumes.

“Will,” she says, “did you clean your sister’s room?”

Without glancing away from his game, he waves his hands and says, “I have to live here, too!” His voice cracks twice.

“How am I supposed to find anything now?” Olivia wails.

Resisting the urge to facepalm, Carrie-Anne says, “Will, no cleaning other people’s rooms without their permission.” She’s pretty sure this is her punishment for being smug about how well the kids got along when they were little. She’s also pretty sure this is not what most kids fight about.

Oh well. It’s not anyone in this family ever stood a chance at being normal anyway.