“Have I mentioned how hot you are in the past five minutes?” asked Tucker as he lay in his bed with a smile on his face, his arm wrapped around the woman he'd just spent the last few hours having sex with. The two had a chemistry so strong it was practically electric, though both sadly and thankfully it wasn't true romance, more of a mutual charisma that meshed together like yin and yang.
“Actually yes, but don't let that stop you,” giggled Tasia Spiro, leaning over a quarter of an inch to give Tucker a kiss on the cheek. The woman had a few years on Tucker, being a former Interpol agent and a currently suspended from duty member of the International Temporal Enforcement Agency, but she had a body that could put most women appearing in male magazines to shame. This Greek bombshell was also bisexual and, prior to her current fling with Tucker, had actually been in a romantic relationship with her boss: Lucienne Christophe. Tasia's relationship with Lucienne was currently more or less shattered due to the latter's frustration with the former's ever-decreasing maturity, something Tucker had also noticed recently. Tucker himself wasn't one to talk though, as he was technically in a relationship with Decker State College cheerleader Julie Vaughn, a sexy and intelligent woman. Still, Tasia was getting better; her friend Erika Stone having helped her deal with the seemingly slow-rising madness that accompanied her ability to stop time itself with a mere thought. Tucker himself had been going a bit crazy lately, having nightmares about being unable to unfreeze time or ending up frozen forever while the rest of time moved on, a fate he'd subjected other people to in the past. So in between his own mental health issues and the fact that he was cheating on his (currently away on holidays) girlfriend with a woman who had more issues than he did, Tucker was certain the bliss of laying in bed after making love with the gorgeous redhead wouldn't last, though he was certain his situation couldn't get much worse at this point.
“All right, its nearly noon, we should probably get out, maybe grab some lunch?” suggested Tasia, moving away from Tucker and lifting herself out of bed. The Greek woman's tan body shone in the sunlight that was peaking through the shades, perspiration from their sexual activities making her skin shimmer. Tucker had naturally spent most of the morning with an erection, due to Tasia's appearance alone.
“Sure; I know a few good restaurants around here,” agreed Tucker, getting up himself and searching his cluttered room for the pair of pants he'd laid out the previous night to wear today. Tasia meanwhile neatly collected her bra and thong. Tasia's choice of underwear was clearly what Tucker would define as ‘naughty’, since her bra opened from the front and her thong barely left anything to the imagination, both pieces were made from filmy black silk.
As Tucker pulled on his jeans he heard a clicking sound from outside his room, the telltale sound of the front door being unlocked. Tucker's eyes went wide and his smile exploded even wider as he realized his roommate Maggie was back from her visit to her family in San Francisco. Wanting to talk to his friend but also wanting to spend some more time with Tasia, Tucker elected to quickly draw his wand from under his pillow and tap it five times before his bedroom partner could notice. At the fifth tap time froze and Tasia stood motionless, bent over almost ninety degrees at the waist, her right arm almost fully extended to pick up a blouse that was on the ground, her rear end protruding nicely due to her current position, her hair hanging around her chin as it had been tucked back. “Yow,” muttered Tucker as he quickly finished dressing and stumbled out of his room.
Tucker had amassed a large collection of women that he kept permanently frozen via his magic for various reasons. Tatiana had originally been just a woman he'd been angry at but she had later learned of his secret so he'd been forced to keep her for good after she'd helped to use his wand for evil. Candice likewise had witnessed Tucker using his wand in action but wasn't that innocent, having helped plot a devious fashion sabotage. Leslie and Jennifer were both gifts from his Uncle, women he'd been forced to eliminate himself using the freezing drug Type-7. In addition to those four there was also Rebecca, his former boss who was in the same siutation as Tatiana, and Hitomi, Tucker's ex who'd ruined his life in the past. Hitomi was now with Tucker's most recent ex-girlfriend Haley Leone, while Rebecca had been given to a girl named Chloe Noi for complicated reasons. The four remaining permanently frozen women were currently all in Tucker's office, dressed in Japanese schoolgirl outfits since he had a fetish for that.
Standing frozen in the doorway with a pull-able teal suitcase that had a Thundercats logo on it was Maggie Yen, who looked quite disturbed. It had been cold the past week so Maggie was wearing a big yellow trench-coat that reminded Tucker of the reporter from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, as well as white leather stiletto boots and a matching leather purse with a Gundam X image on the cover. Curious, Tucker walked over and tapped the girl with his wand, causing her to unfreeze. “Hey Tucker, I'm home,” Maggie said in an almost monotone voice, surprising Tucker since he'd never seen her so detached from her emotions. The pair shared a hug and a friendly kiss hello after she'd let go of her suitcase; but even as she peeled off her coat, Tucker could tell something was weighing heavily on her mind.
“Okay, you look like you just came from a funeral, wardrobe non-withstanding,” noted Tucker, the yellow coat giving way to reveal a white T-shirt featuring yellow stars with black eye slits, a familiar symbol from the Mario Bros games.
“Yeah, I know, its just, right before I left to catch my plane home we got some interesting news from Alana,” Maggie told her best friend as she headed for one of their two couches with Tucker following. Maggie's extended family liked to get together for the holidays, which included her mother, father, older sister, and a seemingly endless collection of aunts and uncles as well as cousins. Maggie's mother was the oldest of nine children so the giant family was expected, though the winter holidays were the only time they ever all got together. Most of the family actually lived out east, spread over Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and New England, hence that was why they rarely saw each other and why Maggie tended to go home for at least two weeks during late December and early January. Alana was Madison's, Maggie's sister's, girlfriend, who was a doctor in LA, Maddie being a corporate lawyer. The two had recently moved in together and gotten a place in Santa Monica to get away from being downtown.
“Interesting news; it isn't about mom is it?” asked Tucker worriedly, referring to Maggie's mother by his special nickname for her, his own mother having died years ago.
“Actually, it's Madison,” revealed Maggie, sitting down with Tucker next to her. “She's pregnant.”
“What?!” exclaimed Tucker, confused to no end. Madison had always been a bit of a slut, but she'd been with Alana for a while, so he had trouble seeing how it was possible without infidelity being the case.
“Yeah, she's a few weeks along,” confirmed Maggie, having revealed the source of her funky mood. “I should be happy, and I am, I'm just shocked that I'm going to be an aunt. Well, that and we can't figure out who the father is. That kind of thing always scares me.”
“Yeah,” agreed Tucker, nodding slowly and feeling his throat go dry.
“Is it you?!” Maggie suddenly blurted out, looking at her best friend with tears in the corners of her eyes. “Did you two-”
“Hey, no, it can't be!” insisted Tucker, interrupting Maggie. “We never even had sex! We got naked but I left as soon as I realized there was no protection available. I didn't even enter the village, if you get my metaphor.”
“Alright, thank you; I just needed to hear you say that,” breathed Maggie, leaning back and finally smiling. “Madison didn't know, mom didn't know, Alana didn't know... it was all very confusing. So... who's in your room? Is Julie back? And where are our girls?”
Smiling, Tucker put his arm around Maggie's shoulder so they could cuddle. “Boy do I have some stories to tell...”
* * *
Over two hours passed for them, but to the time-stopped world around them Tucker and Maggie remained in the same frozen second, having told stories about their holidays with Tucker in town and Maggie away. Following that Tucker had helped Maggie unpack and introduced her to their newest prize ‘doll’, Jennifer. Upon exiting the office Maggie turned to her friend. “Okay, its been great catching up, though I miss Rebecca, but I want to go see Cindy now,” declared Maggie, giving Tucker a big hug. “Could you unfreeze time? Then you can get back to that lunch with our Greek goddess, or is she safely yours?”
“Funny,” sniffed Tucker, not really sure if anything she'd said was meant as humorous before heading back into his room. Inspecting Tasia, Tucker decided he had to take advantage of her in that position so before unfreezing time he waved his wand at her, thus when time resumed she remained rigid and motionless. “Time to knock on the back door,” chuckled Tucker, about to follow up on the line when his cell phone rang.
“Figures,” grumbled Tucker, casually picking up the device and opening it to answer. “Hello?”
“Tucker?” came a familiar voice, which Tucker recognized as being Madison's. “Hey, how are you? How was the holiday season here in LA?”
“Oh, hi Maddie,” greeted Tucker, surprised but now realizing why she was calling. “It was good, but a little quiet. What's up with you?”
“Funny you should ask,” Madison replied, clearly sounding tense. “I figure Maggie just got home; did she tell you the news?”
“Yeah, she was a bit out of it, but she seems good now, and happy,” confirmed Tucker, leaving out the part where they'd spent two secret hours together.
“Good, I hate telling people myself,” breathed Madison through the line. “Look, I know this is odd, but I really need to talk about this with some people and, well, you're the closest thing I have to family here, aside from Maggie of course. Can you come down to The Ruby in a few minutes? I'll buy, if that helps.”
“Yeah, I guess I can do that,” agreed Tucker, silently kicking himself since this meant Tasia would stay frozen for a little longer. “I'll see you in a few. Ciao.” Upon hanging up, Tucker groaned and glanced longingly at Tasia. “Sorry sweetheart, but I guess you're on ice for now,” moaned Tucker in frustration as he quickly gathered his keys and wallet as well as a jacket.
* * *
The Ruby was a classic diner-type restaurant in theme, though it actually did have a few impressive items on the menu, including a lobster soup and a caviar appetizer, hence why rich lawyer Madison Yen had invited Tucker to such an establishment. “Hey there, grab a seat and I'll be right with you!” called out Lacey, the dark-haired owner and head waitress who had her female staff wear classic peach-colored uniforms to keep with the theme. Tucker glanced down the row of booths and spotted the Asian woman who had invited him as well as the sultry brunette form of Alana Herrera, who was an unexpected bonus. If it weren't for the fact that Madison was pregnant Tucker might of whipped out his wand so he could have a little fun with them both.
“Tucker, thanks for coming,” greeted Madison, indicating for him to sit across from her and Alana. Both women had water glasses but that was it, and as soon as Tucker stopped shuffling in his seat Lacey came by with a glass for him as well, sliding him a menu before moving away.
“Yeah, no problem,” nodded Tucker, giving another to Alana as well. “Do you want to order or just dive into this?”
“Dive, unfortunately,” replied Alana, her tone serious and carrying a bit of an edge. “Tucker, there's a reason you were called here.”
“You're the father,” Madison blurted out, and with those three words Tucker felt as if time had stopped, though he hadn't used his wand. Tucker's blood ran cold; he felt himself turn pale and sweat immediately beaded all over his body. The air seemed to have been sucked out of the restaurant.
“Wait, wait, wait!” exclaimed Tucker a bit too loudly before quieting down, “How is that possible?! We never even...”
“I know it seems weird, but you're the only person I could have been with based on how far along I am,” Madison quickly explained, while Alana gave Tucker the evil eye. “I hadn't been with a man in over a month before our... well, maybe not so near hook-up, and Alana was the only person I've been with since.”
“So there's no doubt?” asked Tucker, stunned. “But I don't see how that's possible. I mean, that just physically can't...”
“I'm afraid it can,” sighed Alana, breaking eye contact to look down and blink a few times. “It is unusual, but, if I could use a metaphor here, you fired a round in spite of Madison not wearing a silencer, you could still theoretically hit the target.”
“That was the worst metaphor I ever heard, and also gives us the awkward hilarity of a child being conceived without any sex being involved,” breathed Tucker, feeling too many emotions at once, resulting in his left eye tearing up while his right cheek attempted a smile. “I guess I have a new theory on the Virgin Mary, but that's beside the point.”
“Yes, what matters now is, what do we do?” asked Madison, looking at Tucker seriously. “Look, I know you make decent money now at that store of yours, but Alana and I are doing pretty well ourselves. Since this was an accident-”
“Well...” began Tucker, considering correcting her, “No, yeah, go on.”
“... since this was an accident, we're fine with playing this up differently,” continued Madison, Alana looked ready to pounce on Tucker like a tiger, and not in a playful sexual way. “We could lie and say that since you're a family friend you donated sperm, or even just did it mechanically so we could have a kid that didn't involve adoption. We've already talked about getting the paperwork done so that Alana and I can have custody, and you're welcome to be as involved as you want.”
“I...” stuttered Tucker, still completely taken aback. “Okay, okay... Yes, I think I'm fine with this. The cover story works; lord knows mom will be happier that way. You two would make great moms, so your having custody is fine. I do want to be involved, just... I don't know how much yet. I guess... maybe I could be the godfather?”
“That's more or less what you would be, by default,” pointed out Madison. “I still have no idea whether to tell the kid that you're her dad or if you're just an uncle, we'll have to think that one out at some point. We don't know the gender yet, by the way, we only just confirmed my pregnancy status this morning.”
“Yeah, a lot can happen in a few hours,” agreed Tucker. “Okay, this is a lot to take in, but I think I'm doing okay so far, given the situation. Lets get some food, because I'm starving, then we'll talk more...”
* * *
Shortly after leaving Madison and Alana, Tucker had stopped time, unsure if he'd be able to walk home safely due to the puzzled state he was in. In fact, the sudden idea of fatherhood, albeit in a limited role, had really put him into a stupor, so heading home wasn't something Tucker was keen on. Facing Maggie was another reason Tucker was avoiding home, unsure of how he'd be able to tell her that her initial suspicions were indeed correct and that he was responsible for Madison's current condition. At a loss, Tucker ended up wandering the neighborhood, eventually deciding to visit one place that always cheered him up.
Bean There was a great coffee shop because there were always attractive women Tucker could play with, though after the pregnancy scare he wasn't sure if even time-stop sex was a good idea, though Madison's pregnancy hadn't occurred when time had been frozen. In any event Tucker still planned to relieve some stress and ended up seeing a friendly face among the motionless patrons instead: Haley Leone, his ex. The blond – now somewhat famous – model was sitting in a lounge chair arranged in a triangle around a coffee table with her friends Kayla LeFer, a wanna-be actress who's most recent role had been as a recurring but line-less extra in Steel Man 2, and Ginger Cladwell, a somewhat celebrity dancer who always seemed to have her flaming red hair in a big braid. All three were frozen seemingly in mid-conversation, Haley leaning forward with her hands gesturing outwards, Kayla with giant open grin while pointing her left hand at her blond friend and holding her coffee with the other, and Ginger had her right index finger raised as if about to object while she also held her coffee to her lips with her free hand. All three women looked good, even when they were as motionless as the Jessica Alfa mannequins the shop kept in the window to remind people that it was there that she'd gotten discovered.
“This takes me back,” noted Tucker, moving to sit on the armrest of Haley's chair and drink in the view. Haley had always been beautiful, if a little unusually shaped as her features were more round than most models, but that's what Tucker liked about her, at least physically. Haley's physique made her seem more real than most models, their sharp chins and shoulders making them look like animated mannequins while Tucker could just tell by looking at Haley that she was full of life. The blond was currently wearing red, something not common for her as she usually wore a mix of blue, black and white. The red came from a tank top that really hugged Haley's well-proportioned chest, and below that were a nice pair of tan pants that hugged her legs a bit as well, finally stopping at a pair of white heels that matched her current leather purse. Kayla was her usual wild self, wearing a black cowboy hat, a metallic leopard print T-shirt with a denim vest and matching blue jeans, her shoes were ornately-tooled cowboy boots. Ginger, enjoying figure-hugging outfits that she still had flexibility in, wore tight yellow shorts and a tight tan-colored top, both resembling a cyclist’s outfit; her shoes simple runners.
Tucker was tempted to go to town on Haley's friends, finding both women fairly attractive, but looking at the blond he realized he needed someone to talk to and, since Lance and Bianca were busy and Maggie wasn't a good idea, Haley was really his next-best choice, especially since she knew about his wand. Standing in front of her, Tucker tapped Haley on the head twice with his wand.
“AAh!” Haley instantly screamed, surprised by Tucker's sudden appearance and jumping up with a start. “Oh, hi Tucker! Sorry, been a while since you did this.”
“I know, sorry about that,” offered Tucker, getting a hug and then, much to his surprise, a quick kiss on the lips, one that Tucker was sure was going to be more but he had been pulled back on.
“Uh, my bad, old habit...” muttered Haley, lowering her arms and turning her head, her cheeks red.
“Hey, could have been worse,” offered Tucker, stepping back to sit down on top of frozen Kayla's lap, removing her coffee mug from her rigid hand. “I was walking by and, well, I need to talk. You fine with this?”
“Yeah, just maybe unfreeze my drink?” asked Haley, indicating her own mug on the table. After Tucker did as was requested Haley leaned back in her chair, taking a sip while Tucker removed Kayla's hat and put it on his head. “I never saw you as a cowboy, but then, I thought the same about her,” remarked Haley with a half-grin.
“I still can't believe club Sting demands the staff wear these,” laughed Tucker, referring to the hats, which were now standard attire at the business Kayla worked at. “Sorry to drop the serious hammer, but I uh, just found out some rather shocking news.”
“Oh, I guess that explains the unexpected time-stop visit,” noted Haley, frowning and putting down her mug. “Why me? Wouldn't Maggie or Julie be a better choice?”
“Not in this case,” sighed Tucker, leaning forward and removing the hat, hanging it on Kayla's coffee hand. “Madison's pregnant, and I'm apparently the father.”
“Wait, what?!” exclaimed Haley in total shock, practically falling out of the giant chair she was sitting in. “How? I thought you two... oh god, was it when she was frozen? Is that possible?!”
“No, it was actually when we, ah, nearly had sex,” clarified Tucker, glad that time-stop sex wasn't what had done it, as that would of changed everything for him. “I don't like going into details, her metaphor alone was, well, really awkward to process, let alone hear. In any event we talked earlier and already have plans in place for how to deal with it, but...”
“The whole concept of being a father has you spinning?” asked Haley, continuing from where Tucker had trailed off.
“Yeah, I still can't believe it,” confirmed Tucker, shaking his head. “It's been only a few hours but, hell, I'm going to be a god-damned dad! Alana and Madison will be raising the kid and we're going to say I just, well, helped them conceive, but... cripes.”
“I know; I have way too many friends who've had to deal with this themselves, but not this situation,” noted Haley, shaking her head. “Pregnancy's a happy and hellish time for people who aren't prepared for it. Ideally you should be glad you won't have to make a commitment to a woman you don't love, and you can treat him more like a nephew if anything else, but still...”
“Yeah, it's fatherhood,” breathed Tucker, leaning back and nearly head-butting Kayla in the process. “I mean, it's like a trumpet blaring 'responsibility' inside my ear. I am trying to grow into myself, I am. I'm a co-owner of a successful store, I've paid most of my own way through college, I own my own car, but... this just isn't a step I'm ready for.”
“People usually aren't, even when they try to conceive,” pointed out Haley, moving to sit next to Tucker and wrap an arm around him. “You'll be okay; you're being responsible about this already. Of course, it helps that Alana and Madison are involved. You just need some time to wrap your head around it, but I bet by the time the kid shows up you'll be fully prepared for what happens next.”
“Yeah, I guess,” shrugged Tucker, agreeing with his ex and then tapping her on the arm. “Cripes, it feels like my life has become an after-school special.”
“Tucker, you can stop time with the flick of a stick,” Haley reminded her friend. “You're a freaking movie franchise.”
“Or at least a series of graphic novels,” joked Tucker, finally smiling. “Thanks Haley, I think this helped. So, uh, should I just unfreeze time?”
“Hang on, we need to have some fun first,” insisted Haley, standing and smiling. “You need something to lift your spirits, and the fun doctor is in!”
“Fun doctor?” Tucker asked with a raised eyebrow. “Boy, you really go wild when there's no one around to see you.”
“Hey, we can do whatever we want!” exclaimed Haley, gesturing around them. “Now lets give these two something to think about; they've been joking about my latest magazine spread.”
“I'd rather joke about Kayla's freaking play,” groaned Tucker, recalling his visit to the park with Tasia a while back. “Okay, you take Ginger, I'll take her.”
“I bet you'd like that,” giggled Haley as she removed the mug from Ginger's hand and quickly stood the stiffened dancer up. Tucker likewise lifted up Kayla, putting her feet down so she was standing upright and then placing her hands on her hips, her hat going back on top of her head.
“My my cowgirl, moo,” laughed Tucker, getting a raised eyebrow from Haley due to his apparent nonsense. Ginger meanwhile was posed to stand in ballet's third position, her right foot in front of her left with her left arm stretched out at her side, her right hooped over top of her head, her face still looking straight ahead with her lips pursed around the now absent cup.
“Ginger would make a great doll, it's a shame that she'd also a decent enough friend... at times,” mused Haley, circling her friend with a smile.
“Hey, that's the problem with this power, it wouldn't take much to drive you insane,” noted Tucker, deciding not to mention his Christmas nightmare. Kayla's pose was changed so she now appeared to be shooting invisible guns from her hips at Ginger, the same goofy smile still on her face.
“Yeah, that's what you need to be talking about right now,” chided Haley, laughing at the little scene she and Tucker had created. “Okay, why don't we play with the mannequins in the window next...?”
* * *
Tucker walked home, feeling refreshed from spending some time with Haley, even if they weren't together. They'd ended up leaving the coffee shop in total chaos, Tucker then purposely waved the wand over his ex’s head last, leaving Haley in a strange pose like her friends to throw them off. While he'd been alone again with a frozen Haley he'd been tempted to unleash some old passion that still definitely wasn't dead, but he'd restrained himself and instead serviced Ginger; the dancer's toned physique like a playground. After he'd finished, finally time was unfrozen, though only after Tucker was a few blocks away to avoid being noticed.
Returning to his apartment, Tucker was immediately surprised to see Cindy there. Cindy, a local model, was Maggie's current girlfriend and a cute Vietnamese woman; no shock at the cute part given her career. After her break-up with Jamie in November, Maggie had spent a couple of weeks deciding before ending up with Cindy over her other prospects, the pair having formally hooked up a short while before she'd left for her holiday. Cindy was standing with her arms crossed and just glared stonily at Tucker when he entered, leaving him to wonder for a moment if Maggie had frozen her in that pose. “Um, hi?” offered Tucker, uncomfortable.
“Just give her a minute, you bastard,” spat Cindy, her words dripping with venom. Tucker was now seriously worried, Cindy having perhaps said two words to him in the past and was now furious with him for some reason. The answer to the unasked question appeared as Maggie stepped out into the hallway from her room, a stuffed duffel bag in her hand and tears in her eyes.
“Uh, hi Mags,” greeted Tucker, his blood going cold.
“I hope you're proud of yourself, lying to me like that,” Maggie hissed in a low voice. “Madison called. I'm going to stay with Cindy for a while. I can't live in the same apartment as the asshole who had the balls to knock up my sister and then lie about it!”
“Hey, Mags, wait!” insisted Tucker, but Cindy was upon him in a flash, pushing him towards the living room area while Maggie stormed out the door.
“If you show up uninvited, I'll have my mob friends end you,” warned Cindy, Tucker wanted to laugh at the threat but was silenced by her sincerity. With that both women were gone, leaving Tucker in his apartment all alone.
“Well... fuck,” breathed Tucker, ready to cry now. His best friend in the whole world had made a sudden and dramatic exit, and who knew how long it would be until he could see her again. As he realized just how bad this day had become, he shook his head, letting the two tears fly into the wall. “Thank God this can't get worse,” gasped Tucker, rubbing his eyes.
An unexpected knock at the door caused Tucker to look up, suddenly hopeful that Maggie had changed her mind. Racing to the door, Tucker glanced through the peephole and saw it wasn't his friend, but Julie Vaughn, his steady girlfriend, fresh from her vacation. Maggie was gone, Madison was pregnant, Julie was back, and Tucker had just remembered Tasia was still a naked statue in his room, having been frozen there for several hours without her knowledge. “Oh come on!” yowled Tucker in frustration.
The End (Wait, what? What kind of cliffhanger BS is this?) ...time for a Moving Experience...