As Spencer parked the car out front of her mom and uncle's home, Anna could hear them arguing inside. It was probably about another bird that her uncle brought home, but she never knew with those two.
“You ready?” Spencer asked, breaking Anna out of her thoughts.
“Huh? Yea, of course. Let's go in.” She reached to the backseat and grabbed the macaroni and cheese she'd baked earlier while Spencer got out and jogged around the car to open her door.
“Here. I'll take that.” He quickly handled the casserole dish in one hand while offering his other to help her from the car.
They walked side by side up to the house. The voices of her mom and uncle getting louder the closer they got to the house. Anna could barely make out their words, but it certainly wasn't about a new bird her uncle purchased.
Even though the house was her childhood home and she still in a way considered it home, Anna raised her hand to knock on the door. But just as her knuckles were about to come down on the hard wood painted a deep crimson red, the door opened from the inside.
“And I swear by all that is holy, that thing is not staying in this house.” Nina spun around and had to stop quickly before she ran into her daughter. “Anna?”
“Hey mom. Uh, something wrong?” Anna's eyebrows lifted high on her forehead as she asked her mother the question.
“Oh no, nothing at all. Unless of course you consider,” Nina turned her head back toward the house and shouted the rest of her sentence, “the fact that your uncle brought a pig home to keep as a pet!”
On queue, Scott appeared from inside the house. Laughing as though they were having a friendly conversation. “Harvey! Bruce! You're just in time.”
“For what? Mom losing her lid?” Anna asked, stepping right back into their bantering dynamic.
“I am not losing my lid. It's a PIG! He brought a pig home!” Nina moved to the side so Anna and Spencer could enter the house. Spencer made for the kitchen to get out of the line of fire, while Anna let her mom and uncle lead the way to the dining room.
“So, Uncle Scott, why did you buy a pig?”
“I didn't.” Scott opened the hutch to pull out plates to set the dining room table for dinner. “Won him in a poker game.”
Anna giggled as her mother snarled a curse under her breath. “And you still haven't told me what you plan on doing with that filthy thing.”
As if called to the room, the pot belly pig trotted into the living room and sniffled at Anna's feet in greeting. “Aww, look at him. He's adorable.” Anna dropped to her knees to scratch behind the pig's ears and her mother stormed into the kitchen muttering something about nieces and uncles conspiring against her.
Scott had to walk behind Anna in order to continue setting the plates out. “Well that's new.” He whispered looking down at Anna's back, which was bare due to the summer dress she was wearing. “Does your mother know?”
Quickly Anna tossed her hair over her shoulder to cover her back. “No, and I'd like to keep it that way.”
“Well, maybe you should have worn something a bit more conservative then.” Scott brushed her hair to the side in order to look at the somewhat fresh ink on her back. “Though he's a bit cuter than most devil's I've seen. But why is there a mermaid next to him?”
Anna stood from scratching the pig and looked her uncle in the eye. “Well, I couldn't exactly leave you back there by yourself, now could I.”
“Aww, Harvey, so sentimental.” Scott pulled his niece into a hug and kissed her temple.
“What's going on in here? You two still conspiring against-- Anna, what is that on your back?” Nina had a platter of roasted ham she'd just pulled from the oven in her hands.
Anna stiffened in her uncle's arms as she pulled back from his embrace. “It's uhm...well, you see--”
“Oh Nina, leave the poor girl alone. It's not like you don't have one.”
“Why I nev--”
“Butterfly on your left hip that you try to conceal with those hideous tankinis you think are attractive when we all go swimming.” Scott lifted an eyebrow at his sister, daring her to challenge his statement.
“I've always wondered why you wear those, Mom. They're really not flattering on you.”
“Yea, well, you know, maybe it's just...that doesn't mean you should be marking up your back like that.” Nina stumbled over her words as she gawked at her brother.
Spencer chose that moment to walk into the dining room, carrying the recently reheated casserole dish of macaroni and cheese. He shuffled it into one hand while he grabbed the plate of ham from Nina in his other and safely placed the two on the table. “Maybe we should eat before the food gets cold?” He offered, trying to calm the room down.
“Bruce has a point, let's sit down and eat. It's not like we can turn back the hands of time and stop her from getting it, now can we?” Scott pulled out Nina's chair while Spencer pulled out Anna's. Once the women were seated the men took their seats and everyone started eating.
Only after their plates were full did Anna ask, “So, inquiring minds wanna know.”
“What's that, sweetheart?” Nina asked before taking a bite of the macaroni and cheese.
“What are you gonna name the pig?” Anna snickered as her mom shot her a look that could kill.
“I was thinking Batman.” Scott tossed a roll at his niece.
“Batman?” Spencer asked around a mouthful of ham. “Don't you think that's a bit odd for pig.”
“No.” Scott and Anna said at the same time then giggled together.
Nina sighed. “Spencer, you should have learned by now that nothing should be considered odd in this house.” She looked at her brother, “And if we're going to have a pig named Batman, don't you think we should have a ferret named Two-Face?”
“Sounds perfectly logical. We'll go to the pet store tomorrow.”