|Celandine's Chronicle (celandineb) wrote in cels_fic_haven,|
@ 2018-06-25 15:26:00
|Entry tags:||breakfast club fic claire|
Breakfast Club fic: Claire Standish Marches [Claire, general]
Title: Claire Standish Marches
Fandom: The Breakfast Club
Characters: Claire, OCs
Length: 1044 words
Summary: Thirty-four years after a day that changed her life, Claire marches to change the future.
Note: Originally written in March 2018, but I didn't get around to posting it here until now.
Fifty. God. Somehow Claire had never really expected to ever be fifty. It hadn't hit her on her actual birthday; no, it was today, when she realized that Saturday, March 24, 2018 just happened to be thirty-four years exactly after another Saturday had changed her life.
Today would change it too. Maybe. She was fifty years old, and for the first time in her life she was taking part in a demonstration, a march, a protest—whatever you wanted to call it, she didn't know. Didn't care. She was marching because her younger son was in high school and her first-and-so-far-only granddaughter was in kindergarten, and the idea of some asshole with a gun going in and shooting one of them in school, where the biggest thing to be afraid of should be forgetting to bring your homework (if you were Josh) or coloring outside the lines (if you were Olivia)—well, the idea of it made Claire so mad that before she knew it, she had joined the March for Our Lives Facebook group and was making signs for everyone to carry.
There were so many people at the march, lots of high school kids of course but all ages from babies carried on their dads' chests to old ladies with hair like dandelion fluff; so many different sizes and colors of people, some looking as preppy as Claire had once been, some as goth as Allison, as nerdy as Brian, as athletic as Andrew... as criminal as John Bender. She laughed a little to herself, thinking about that, realizing that what had seemed criminal thirty-four years ago was nothing now. John had carried a switchblade. Today that seemed about as dangerous as a Q-tip. Well, not exactly, but compared to a gun?
Claire squeezed her daughter's hand. She'd had Jessica way too young, really, and Jess likewise with Olivia, but it had mostly worked out all right.
"You okay, mom?" Jess asked. She pulled a piece of strawberry fruit leather from her pocket and handed it to Olivia. They'd brought the umbrella stroller for later, on the way back to the car, but right now Olivia was marching, her small face determined, proudly holding up a sign in her mittened hands that said, "Am I Next?"
"Fine." Claire checked to make sure she had her water bottle tucked securely into the pouch of the small backpack. The Facebook group organizers had recommended backpacks instead of purses. "Where's Josh?"
"I think he spotted some kids from Shermer up there," Jess said, pointing ahead. "He's fine."
Josh's purple hat was unmistakable. Claire nodded and kept walking, reading the signs of the people around her. Lots of "March for Our Lives," of course, but lots of other, more creative, signs too: "Buy Books Not Guns," "Women Are More Regulated Than Firearms," "I Should Be Worrying About My Grades, Not My Life," "
Thoughts Prayers Actions," and one that simply said "#ENOUGH."
The speeches that the kids made impressed Claire. The words were so earnest, the faces so young and so filled with a terrible hope. "The adults have failed," one young man said. "It's up to us to fix things."
Had Claire ever thought that, when she was young? She couldn't remember. Maybe. But if she had thought so, she hadn't done much about it. She remembered what John had said, that Saturday in detention: "You just stick to the things you know: shopping, nail polish, your father's BMW, and your poor, rich drunk mother in the Caribbean."
It had upset her at the time, more because she hadn't realized that everyone knew about her mother—if John Bender knew, the whole school, the whole world must have known—but it was true, those were the things Claire had cared about most then. She'd learned a little better going out with John, but only a little; more in college, but still only a little more, and getting married right after graduation and then having Jessica right away, well, her own life had always seemed more important than worrying about what was going on in the world outside.
Not anymore. Claire rewrapped her scarf, trying to arrange it so that it would keep her ears warm without preventing her from hearing the rest of the speeches. Clapping with the odd thud of gloves, she felt so proud she thought she would burst with it. An old David Bowie song was playing somewhere as they began walking towards the train station that would take them back to where they'd left the Lexus RX. She could hear snatches from it:
And these children that you spit on
As they try to change their worlds
Are immune to your consultations
They're quite aware of what they're going through