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Way Back When

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They had both agreed to take the next week off to be together. A much needed getaway was planned. The goal was to drive down to Kentucky and stay in a cabin. It wasn’t their first time doing this but it had been quite some time since they had a road trip.

Diane had fallen asleep within the first hour of the drive. She had stayed late at the office trying to finish up what she could of a few cases just to make her life easier when she returned home. Eventually she woke up when Kurt stopped at a gas station for coffee. He brought her a cup and they both grimaced at the dark liquid that had to have been sitting out for two days. They ended up laughing it off but deciding to throw it out after getting at least a little of the caffeine from it.

The second hour of the trip was spent in a comfortable silence as they watched the world come to life in the early morning. It was still just before 7am. Diane was now fully awake and as was Kurt. The silence was broken when Diane turned on some music. They had agreed on letting Diane play most of the music since Kurt wasn’t picky about what he listened to. He was one to settle for one radio station and stick with it. Diane was more specific about her taste and right now she wanted to relive some of her younger years. So, seventies hits were it.

Kurt grinned as he focused on the road. He could hear Diane singing along to the music. Her voice fit perfectly with every chord. The melody sounded like it was written just for her. He glanced over to see her focused on the scenery as she mindlessly sang along. It wasn’t the first time he had heard her sing but it certainly didn’t happen enough. “You should sing more.”

Diane was pulled out of her trance by the sound of his voice. “What?” She asked, clearly taken off guard by the statement. She hardly ever sang anymore but when she did it felt good and knowing he wanted her to do it more would encourage that.

“You should sing more. You sound good.” He nodded her way, though he was more focused on driving than looking at her expression but he could tell from the sound of her voice he had made her day.

She reserved a small grin as she looked back to the window. “Thank you. I used to be in a band.”

Kurt laughed a little louder than he meant to. He stopped when he realized Diane wasn’t laughing along. “Seriously? You used to be in a band?” 

“Yes. When I was in college I was in a band. A girl band.”

“Di, you’re messing with me right?” He laughed again, giving her another quick glance. She was still facing the window. “You’re kidding.”

“No, I’m not actually. I love music, dance, and anything to do with it. However, the law is my first love so I pursued that instead.” She confirmed with a nod he couldn’t see.

“You- Diane. You were in a girl band in college?” He was still taken aback by this. He couldn’t wrap his mind around it. He knew she danced and played piano throughout her childhood but he figured those were  just extracurriculars enforced by her parents. “Pictures or it didn’t happen.”

She giggled and shook her head. “I don’t know if you wanna see me in bell bottoms and platforms.”

“I might just show you my college basketball pictures if you let me see them.” He offered.

“You mean the type of basketball where you played in those tiny shorts and tight shirts?” She bit her lip. That might be an offer she couldn’t turn down. “Bet you were pretty sexy back then.” 

“Oh I was.” He said without a doubt. “So what do you say? We trade when we get home?”

“Definitely.” She grinned. “It’s a deal, McVeigh.”

He offered one of his hands to her and she took it. She laced their fingers together and brought his hand to her lips. She kissed his knuckles and that’s how they sealed the deal.

 

….

 

“You first.” Kurt nodded to her.

“No. Same time.” She countered.

He nodded. “Okay then.”

They sat across from each other at their kitchen table. Each of them held a folder with their pictures enclosed.

“I look different.” She said as she kept her hand pressed to her folder. 

“I’m sure I do too.”

“No. I mean I was brunette.”

With that he quirked a brow. “So what changed? If you don’t mind me asking.” Throughout their marriage she still found ways to surprise him. He had seen pictures of her when she was younger but never any around the time she was in college. He always wondered what she would’ve been like back then.

“Well, I was interning for Stern. He offered me a job but only if I slept with him-“

“Bastard.” He interrupted.

She gave him a look. She hated being interrupted. She cleared her throat. “I turned him down and it really made me think. I had been the same old Diane from birth to that point and I wanted to be taken seriously. I was going through a weird stage in my life and I needed to change that. So, I dyed my hair, left the band, and in the following years I ended up a name partner.” She sat back in her chair sporting a proud grin.

Kurt nodded with an adoring smile. “God, you’re great.” He laughed. “So you were brunette until your 20s and then you just up and dyed your hair blonde?”

“And I’ve been blonde ever since. It’s a power move.”

“It works for you. I would’ve never known.”

“There’s a lot for you to learn about me.” She grinned. She loved that they were still getting to know each other whilst knowing each other inside and out.

“So, you ready?” He asked with an excited smile.

She gave him a nod with a nervous grin. She slid her folder across the table and put her hand down on his as it slid over to her. She had found a stack of photos from her band years and put them in there. Some of them were stuck together but she figured he wouldn’t mind it.

Kurt’s eyes raked over the gorgeous images of young Diane. She did look different. Her hair was much darker and cut into a bob with bangs that went across her forehead. She looked so free dressed in outfits mostly in purples and golds and vibrant greens. Her platforms must’ve been killer in person considering her height.

“We were very inspired by ABBA.” She said as she saw him come across a picture of her and her band. She smiled fondly at the memory.

“Check out those boots.” He chuckled. She looked so beautiful dressed in a short white dress and over-the-knee white boots. The purple cat on the front of the dress was very fitting for her. “You looked hot.”

“I still look hot.” She laughed. She turned her attention back to his pictures and found herself fond of his look. It wasn’t too hard to pick him out. She had seen old pictures of him plenty of times. She even kept one on her desk. “You might have better legs than I do, McVeigh.”

“Maybe back then but I think you’re winning that now.” He winked at her.

She continued to flip through the pictures. He had such a baby face in some of the photos. The ones taken before he grew out his beard were the most jarring. “Kurt!” She could barely speak through her laugh. “The sideburns!”

“And the mustache.” He smirked.

“I want this framed.” She teased. She kissed the picture of him. It was honestly an image she would’ve loved when she was younger. The sideburns, the mustache, they were a combination made for true love back then. Not to mention those tiny shorts again. Diane was beginning to like basketball.

“Only if I can frame this one.” He held up a picture of her sitting at a bar in a flowy green skirt and satiny white halter top. It was definitely a candid picture. It made his heart flutter.

“You know, I wouldn’t be mad if you did.” She smiled back down at his photos before saying something that had been on her mind since seeing them. “Why do I feel like you were one of those kids who looked old their entire life?”

Kurt’s eyes shifted up to hers. He was not amused at all. He sat back in his chair and gently laid the pictures back down on the table. “The fuck is that supposed to mean?”

Diane was getting a kick out of this. “I don’t know. What do you want it to mean? I still married you.”

“Di-“

“You’re old now. What does it matter? You can’t go back and fix your face.”

He simply groaned and leaned forward against to resume his task. He found two photos stuck together and slowly pulled them apart to reveal the bottom one. When he saw it his mind was filled with questions.

“Diane.”

“Yes?” She asked, not looking up to answer him.

“You look.. different here.” She looked very different there. She looked heavier, fuller. She didn’t look stick thin as usual. It wasn’t just that but she was only heavier in one place.

Diane looked over and snatched the picture back from him in a heartbeat. “Nothing. It must’ve gotten warped.”

“Diane. You’re a terrible liar.”

“Would you believe it was the freshman 15?” She tried.

He shook his head. “Seriously, I can tell when you’re lying.”

“I was pregnant.”

“Excuse me?”

“I was pregnant.”

“I’m only going to ask this once and I’m praying the answer is no but it’s not Stern’s is it?” He asked all too seriously. If it were Stern’s baby he would be disappointed considering what she told him just a moment before.

“Oh no. Not a chance! Not Stern’s. Just a lover of mine from the past. Someone I had a fling with who worked for Daddy.” She could see his eyeroll and it made her giggle. Most of her lovers had worked for her dad. She had a thing for older guys in suits. She also liked the challenge. “He didn’t know it at the time but I was pregnant when Stern tried to sleep with me.”

He gently pulled the picture from her fingertips to take a look at it again. “So where’s your kid?” He wondered. He started to realize he really didn’t know Diane’s past in great detail. However, he couldn’t be mad about it because he had withheld some information of his own from Diane.

Diane was surprised he was being so calm. But how could he be upset with her? Just a month ago she had found out he had been married before and hadn’t told her. They resolved it like adults but it was still shocking that he hadn’t told her.

“I gave her up for adoption after she was born. Her name is Jessica. She’s gorgeous.” She took the picture back from him and smiled at the image her pregnant self.

“You kept in contact?”

“Brief contact. We check up every now and then. She’s married now. She works, she’s planning a family.”

“Can I meet her?”

“You want to meet her?” She quirked a brow.

“Of course I want to meet her. She’s your daughter. Does she know about us?” He pulled the picture from her again and wondered if she looked just like Diane. He wondered if she acted like Diane at all. Knowing there’s a Diane Jr. out there was a hard concept for him to grasp.

“She does. She’s seen pictures.” She nodded slowly. “So you want to meet her? You’re not upset?”

He locked eyes with her and gauged her worried expression. He calmed her fears by placing his hand in hers. “I’m shocked that you didn’t tell me but I can see why you didn’t. I’m not upset. She didn't ask to be born and you didn’t plan on having her. You were young.”

“I’ll contact her and see if she wants to do dinner one night.”

“That sounds good to me.” He got up from the table and pressed a kiss to her forehead as he left the room. “I’m gonna get some picture frames if you wanna ride with me.”

Diane laughed and left her worries behind in favor of hanging out with her man.