Fandom: American Idol RPF (Crystal Bowersox/Lee DeWyze)
For: dewyzefamilee's 28 Days of Lee Create-a-Thon
Word Count: 1013
Crystal is not a settling-down type of girl. Of course there was a time when she thought she wanted to, even recently ("the white dress, the guests, the cake, the car, the whole darn thing"), but everyone saw how that ended. That was before her small-town world became so inconceivably big. Now Crystal goes and she goes and she goes and if someone can't keep up, they're gone, gone, gone.
Lee is a settling-down type of guy, "a true romantic," and he believes in all that crap. It makes Crystal feel both dismayed and amused, but it's fine—it's why they both know it's not going to last, but the attraction's there and it's summer and they're both single, so, why not.
They keep it casual. Very casual. And no one suspects a thing, which is pretty funny to them, and kind of shocking, too. It's cliche, but they like the whole sneaking-around aspect of it. And if any unfounded rumors surface in the press, they deny it—not true, not dating. Not technically, anyway.
Summer ends and the tour ends and they kind of just assume that it will end too, but it doesn't. Crystal keeps waiting for the point when it'll feel too comfortable and weird, when it'll freak her out because it feels like they're getting too serious and she really doesn't need that shit right now, not again. She keeps expecting Lee to want to have "the talk" because she knows that what he really wants is a girlfriend, and she isn't that, she can't be.
But he doesn't. Lee seems just as happy as she is, and everything is perfect, it's the perfect arrangement. Crystal doesn't want to jinx it, doesn't want to marvel to herself that everything is exactly right—fearful that if she moves an inch, she might knock it all out of place.
She comes home one night after putting the finishing touches on her album and he's there, as he should be—always so eager to watch Tony when she's out—and her jaw drops when she sees him wearing an apron and oven mitts, placing a tray of cookies on her kitchen counter. She cocks an eyebrow and he smiles sheepishly.
"Tony wanted cookies."
"Tony's barely two. He's not having cookies."
And there it was, his usual lopsided grin. "Okay, you got me. I made them for you."
Crystal blinked. "Did you forget I'm diabetic?"
"They're sugar-free. So they might taste like shit, but um... I just wanted something nice for you when you got home."
And that's when it hits her, all at once, this is the moment—it took this completely bizarre scene, Lee standing before her, dressed up like a 1950s housewife minus the dress and high heels and pearls, removing hot food from the oven ready-to-eat just as she gets home from work, looking so proud and so in love, and, oh god, they're a couple; they're practically married. She managed to settle unknowingly.
Crystal moves slowly across the room, swears she's shrinking, or the room's expanding. Everything is floating so far away and she grabs hold of a chair to steady herself.
Lee says, "I thought we could celebrate." His voice is faraway and desperate.
"Beer would have been fine," she replies dryly.
And even though he still looks like a tiny version of himself (and a ridiculous one at that, still wearing oven mitts), when he says, "Forget it, I'm going home," it jolts her back to reality, back to the moment, and she laughs. Because it's actually pretty funny. Then Lee laughs too, and they're both laughing, and everything is okay again.
They each grab a cookie, take a bite, and promptly spit it out, groaning with exaggerated disgust.
"You're officially banned from the kitchen," Crystal says.
Lee nods. "For life."
Then they go to her bedroom and celebrate the proper way, and it's quiet afterward, listening to his breathing. Her arm is draped over his chest and he's warm and everything is calm and just right, she thinks, which is fitting since this would have to be the last time. She's not a settling-down type of girl.
She's determined, in the morning, and she wakes up before him and plays with Tony, trying to brainstorm ways to break the news. She could try the lifestyle excuse again, that was the usual standby. It's sort of true.
Lee startles her then by entering the room, and Tony giggles, delighted. "Let's play blocks!" he exclaims.
"Hey, little man." Lee plops down next to them. "We can do that. What do you wanna build?"
"You got it, kid." And in a few swift motions, Lee arranges the blocks between them and the two boys seem to be in their own little world.
"Lee," Crystal says, softly. She bites her bottom lip. Part of her hopes he's too entranced to hear her; maybe she can skip this part. She still isn't sure what she's going to say but she'll ad-lib. She's done it countless times before.
He looks up tentatively, gives her a sideways smile. "You don't have to say it. I know. It's okay, I get it. This isn't what you want." She stares at him, shakes her head. "You're my best friend, Crys. That doesn't change."
"Lee," she says again, louder this time.
"Everything will be okay," he adds, and she expects to feel relief, or a sense of independence, or some sort of confirmation that her life has returned to its normal, hectic, unsettled state, just how should be. She expects to feel excited about her future, about touring the country, and the world, about living in the moment with nothing to hold her back. But she doesn't. All she feels is a new surge of energy rushing to her core, full-speed, like something unknown is trying to break free. She doesn't find out what it is until it finally does, when it bubbles up inside of her and escapes her lips in the form of words that neither of them ever expected to hear her say.
"Lee," she says for the third time, and takes a deep breath. "Will you marry me?"