The next morning, Alice was making breakfast,
and Dude was making coffee.
"So, I have something to tell you," Dude said, after they had sat down.
"Well, THAT sounds ominous," Alice said, suddenly a bit worried.
"Don't worry," he assured her. "It's just that ... umm ... my parents are coming to visit."
"Oh!" Alice laughed, relieved. "Is THAT all???--I thought you were going to tell me something really bad!"
"They want to come see the baby," Dude explained.
"Oh, I didn't know you had even told them about Daedelus," Alice said.
"Well, they're really old, and I didn't think it was fair to deny them the knowledge that they had a grandchild," Dude said.
"That's GREAT, Dude!" Alice said. "This will be WONDERFUL!"
"Well ...." Dude couldn't really think of a good way to explain this, so he just plowed ahead. "I kind of told my parents that you and I were married."
Alice snorted a bit of coffee through her nose. "Ummm ... why the HECK did you do that???" she asked, laughing.
"My parents are from the 'old country'," Dude explained, "and they have a very 'old country' way of looking at things," he said sheepishly.
"So, what do you need me to do?" Alice said, still amused at Dude's discomfort.
"It seems to me we have two choices," he declared. "Either we just borrow a couple of wedding rings and lie to my parents, or we actually get married."
Alice laughed. "Whatever, Dude--we've got a kid, and we bought a house together. It's not like I'm going to start dating someone else."
Dude was stunned. He'd spent hours lying awake trying to think of ways to get Alice to marry him.
"When are they coming?" Alice asked, getting up to do the breakfast dishes.
"I have NO idea," Dude admitted. "For all I know, they could be on the plane from Greece right now."
"You told your parents WHAT???" Bill asked, trying to keep from laughing.
"I was just betting they'd never show up," Dude said mournfully. "They're really old. They don't own a phone. Or a computer--I had to email pictures of Daedelus to my cousin, so she could print them out and frame them and give them to my parents."
'I thought you grew up in this country?" Bill asked, confused.
"My parents immigrated here when I was 14, but once I was 17 and moved out, they moved back to Greece," Dude explained.
"So, what're you gonna do?" Bill asked.
"Oh, Alice said we could get married," Dude reportedly matter-of-factly.
"YOU'RE KIDDING!!!" Bill was amazed.
"Nope," Dude replied. "We're just going to go down to Town Hall this afternoon and do it quickly."
"The girls aren't going to like that," Bill advised sternly.
"Because Regina and Kelly, at least, will be imagining wedding dresses and cake and flowers and music and stuff."
"Well, maybe we can do that later, but we sure can't do it now," Dude said. "My parents could be on the plane from Greece at this moment--my cousin was really unclear on the details."
Alice was studying her Baking book when Peter showed up to paint. "How're things going, sweetie?" he asked.
"Fine," she laughed. She was still amused by the dilemma Dude had gotten himself into.
"You know, ALL of us guys--even Derek--just told Dude to propose to you months ago," he said, helping himself to coffee. "He seemed to think you'd say no, so he didn't want to chance it."
"Too funny," Alice responded. "I've started to see that Dude is overly cautious about some things," she observed. "I'll be really interested to meet his parents to see if that's where it comes from."