Fandom: Pushing Daisies
Word Count: 1,036 words.
Notes: For chelseagirl.
Pie and Olive were only five strides away from winning the cup, and yet, the proposition of them winning looked in jeopardy. Coming up fast on their left side was Ricky Rider Rockingham --- the most competitive jockey Olive had ever had the displeasure of racing with. Rockingham was prone to painting stripes on his sides and adding decorative licks that looked suspiciously like aerodynamic spoilers to his costumes.
Olive knew that it wouldn't take much for Ricky to make his conquest and she grasped onto the reins tighter and more furiously, urging Pie into faster movement. She would win, she knew she would, she had to. She was one stride away when she saw, out of the corner of her eye, Ricky overtaking. She gasped. She cursed. She almost cried.
It wouldn't do! He didn't deserve to win, she did! Instead of slicking her hair back for maximum wind efficiency, Olive trained for hours. She treated Pie lovingly, whereas Ricky behaved towards his horses as most people behave towards cockroaches.
So it was with no small amount of joy that Olive celebrated when Ricky Rider Rockingham was disqualified for using a jetpack. And Olive held her cup high above her head in pride.
It had been five days, three hours and two minutes since Olive Snook had acquired her new job working as a waitress in the quaint little pie shop known as The Pie Hole. She had expected to win the job, even though she had no retail or food-delivery experience, because Olive expected to win everything.
She had needed this. She was down to her last dollar. All that was left now was providing commentary for the local racing show "Mounting Horses"; a program that oddly had the highest ratings this side of Coeur d'Coeurs --- and was absolutely the last occupation she wanted in the world, this waitressing job, or being a chimney sweep. And she would not, she definitely could not, get soot in her long tresses, it just wouldn't do.
In order to secure the position, Olive had worn her best dress. She had carefully applied her make-up. She had smiled a smile that had reduced men she had known throughout the years into wibbling-wobbling mounds of jelly. She had also tripped over the threshold when she saw the clear, startling eyes of the man who was to interview her. Brushed her hand through her hair nervously. And stammered. A lot. But that was no bother. Even anxious, Olive possessed charms few other women possessed. Not that Ned, the owner of the Pie Hole, actually noticed.
Olive mopped the floor as she glanced over the counter and watched the man with the shy smile and flour on his hands. It had been five days, four hours and seven minutes since Olive Snook had begun being in love.
Today would be the day she would sell all of the pineapple and pecan pies, Olive decided. She held one fantastic example between her cupped hands and inhaled the sweet, intoxicating scent.
"I don't want you giving me that pie after it's had your nasty nose sniffing all over it," a voice said to Olive's right. She turned and looked at the man --- broad shouldered, hideously patterned, but really very handsome when she considered it thoroughly enough - not that Olive was in the habit of considering how attractive many men were; lately she only had eyes for one man.
"I'm concentrating all of my love and attention on this pie," Olive explained.
"Why don't you just eat it, save us all a little time?"
"Because my love isn't for the pie, it's for the person who will receive the pie. I'm sorry, did you want to order or are you perfectly happy snapping at me all day?"
"I'm here for the pie-maker."
Olive beamed. "I make pies! I make lots of pies. I made this pie."
The man raised an eyebrow. "The proper pie-maker. The one with the twitch."
"Oh," Olive said in dawning comprehension. "You mean Ned."
"Ned, if that's his name, sure."
"I could get him for you."
"You do that."
"But it'll cost you."
The man, whom Olive would later come to call Emerson Cod, squared his broad shoulders and glared down at Olive. At a height of five feet, two inches, Olive was diminutive in comparison to the soon-to-be-revealed Private Detective. This did not deter her from glaring back threateningly, hackles raised. Emerson Cod had the good sense to take a step back.
"What'll it cost me?" he asked, resigned.
"You're gonna buy this pie."
Olive longs to feel his lips against hers. That's all she wants. A little kiss. No tongues. No hands in places. Just two lips pressed against her own as a sign of affection.
So when Ned kisses her, by accident, in the forest, she can't help but feel an elation the likes of which are outlawed in several countries.
And even though it is only a second later that she realises the consequences, she wouldn't trade that singular instance in time for the world.
There are moments when Olive thinks her life is without meaning. They are far and few between, because Olive likes to give her life meaning with small gestures of compassion and kindness. But sometimes, when her heart is consumed in unshed tears, and there's nothing worth watching on television; Olive sings for sorrow.
There is nothing she wants more in those moments than for someone else to join her in song, to harmonise and counter-rhythm, to make her feel that maybe, just perhaps, she's not entirely alone. Her soul bursts with the fury of her desire, wishing and hoping for another voice to fill the silence that echoes around her beautifully phrased lines and painstakingly achieved melodies.
She doesn't expect the person to fulfil her dreams to be a man named Alfredo who sells homeopathic antidepressants. But during one particularly rousing version of "Solitaire", she cannot help but spin on her heel as she hears what she thinks is Digby whining, and turns out instead to be Alfredo standing, mouth open and eyes glistening.
With her mind reeling and her heart thumping, Olive holds out her hand.