C H A P T E R F O U R
Muzzles and Midol
"JESUS CHRIST LOTTIE, what the hell have you got in these? Boulders from the Rocky Mountains?"
The blonde in question rolled her eyes as Louis dropped another box at her feet, tying her hair up into a knot before following him back out to their mum's car. Lottie's had already been emptied and moved out of the way.
"Almost done," Jay announced, half inside her trunk. She emerged in seconds with an armful of stuffed animals. "You could have packed these into a box, no?"
Louis pulled a large suitcase from the backseat while Jay transferred her armful of plush toys into her daughter's arms, surprised and praying that she didn't have many more clothes than however many she'd managed to stuff inside this thing.
"Mum, 'course not. Would you shove your babies into a box?" Lottie was saying.
Louis got a second look at just how many stuffed animals his sister actually had. "Where on earth do you plan on keeping those?"
"Wherever my room is."
"Lot, your room is the den. It's a one-bedroom flat."
Lottie pretended she wasn't surprised by this, but Louis saw a flash of panic on her face before she was able to hide it. "I know. Obviously I meant the den."
"Did you, though?" Fizzy asked, appearing from the other side of the car with a box in her arms labeled Musiq.
As far as Louis could tell, Lottie either didn't hear her younger sister or chose to ignore her as she disappeared inside the building with her armful of stuffed animals. Louis frowned as he watched her go, admittedly wondering to himself why he ever agreed to this. He suddenly understood Zayn's repulsion at the idea of Lottie moving in last night.
"Don't wind her up," Jay warned Fiz, slamming the trunk of the car shut with what must be the last of Lottie's possessions. "I wouldn't worry, bub," she said then, standing beside Louis. "I doubt she'll make this hard on you. You were her last hope."
Louis didn't really believe his mum in the slightest, but he loved her for trying and he figured reassuring her wouldn't hurt. And he loved seeing her – he didn't get to nearly as often as he'd like these days – but he couldn't wait for her and Fizzy to leave so that he can get Lottie situated and then maybe head on over to Gibson's before the evening rush. He was usually gone on weekdays by then, but with weekends he had to be careful. The evening rush is random, never occurring on a scheduled time. That was the only thing he didn't like about the place.
"I'm sure everything will be fine," Louis said, smiling his tight-lipped, squinty-eyed smile because he knew it was his mum's favorite. "I lived with her for twelve years, and we only came out with some bumps and bruises. What's another few months to a year?" God, that pained him to say aloud. A year?
Jay rubbed his back, returning that same tight-lipped, squinty-eyed smile, and said encouragingly, "You two did always get on the best."
"I get on with all of the girls. Right, Fiz?"
The fifteen-year-old blinked at her brother before rolling her eyes, and considering she bore a striking resemblance to their mother – more than Louis himself or even Lottie did – Louis couldn't help giggling a bit, imagining Jay responding similarly had he not directed his question at Fizzy.
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