Author: Tukki PM
Dorian is only 17 but he has to be a parent to his troubled adoptive brothers. Not an easy task. Blake is every bit as troubled and it makes Dorian want to take care of him too. Blake has something else in mind. Slash. Rated for future chapters.Rated: Fiction M - English - Romance - Chapters: 7 - Words: 30,118 - Reviews: 90 - Favs: 107 - Follows: 144 - Updated: 03-15-12 - Published: 05-26-10 - id: 2810895
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
AN Oookay. Here. I wasn't going to post this before I found a piece of paper where I'd written the end of this chapter, I've been looking for it for ages, but because of all your whining- uhm, I meant reviews, of course (why doesn't anyone ever write: 'thanks, you can take all the time you want with the next update, I'm patient'?), I wrote it again. I'm not completely happy about it but I can edit it when I edit all the other chapters (been planning that for a year or so. Don't know when I'll be arsed). So, here you are. I'm soon through the characterization part of the story and will proceed to the eventual slash. It might take just a little more though, since I keep going on about the kids all the time.
Really, thanks for all the comments. They're like wake up calls.
A Kid on Loan
"Michel, this is Dorian, my son. Dorian, meet Michel Blose", my beaming mother introduced the man standing next to her. We were standing in our foyer, where I had come to greet him and mother out of politeness and curiosity. I had spent the previous hours preparing the dinner mother had asked for and gotten everything ready for her. Now I only had to meet her guy before I could take refuge upstairs with the kids. Em and Jamie wouldn't be showing their faces down here before mother and this Michel Blose were gone. In Em's words: Why we should? They don want us there and we don wanna be there.
Michel was roughly my mother's age. He had subtly graying light brown hair, combed back but not gelled. His clothes seemed to be of good quality but not brand new and they looked comfortable: white cotton shirt and navy blue jacket. He had that generically handsome face that looked friendly but didn't stand out. All in all mother had done pretty well for herself.
"Nice to meet you, Dorian", He greeted, smiling and offering his hand. I shook it, it was steady and warm.
"You too, Mr. Blose".
"Please call me Michel", he said and I nodded.
"Dorian, it smells so good in here!" My mother exclaimed and started towards the dining room. I followed with Michel. "You made chicken and red pepper? Oh, my favorite! I see you've set the table already, and are those candles? Oh, you shouldn't have. Thank you so much, darling. And welcome, Michel. How do you like my home? It's not in top shape, but I hope you'll make yourself at home".
"Thank you, Sandra", Michel said and looked at my babbling mother with a fond smile.
"You're welcome. I'm sorry I haven't brought you around before, but better late than never, right? Please sit down. I'll need a couple minutes to refresh myself, I feel like I'm still covered in hairspray. Really, you probably won't believe it but I'm certain that the old lady next to me in class kept spraying me on purpose. I never knew that making hairdos could be so awfully messy", She drew a deep breath and continued: "I'll be right back. Michel, Dorian will keep you company while I'm gone, won't you Dory? Use this time to get to know each other"
"Sure", I answered but mother was already hurrying towards her room. I turned to Michel instead. How should I treat him? He was a stranger, but not really. He was going out with my mother. "I hope you like chicken. Mother didn't give me any other instructions than to avoid seafood", I went for small talk.
"Yeah, I'm allergic to fish. Chicken sounds wonderful, thank you. I wouldn't have asked Sandra to cook for me if I'd known you'd be troubled, sorry about that".
"No problem, I like cooking. Mother can be hard to keep up with sometimes. Well, most times", I tried for a joke but Michel's whole face lit up like Christmas came early.
"She is, isn't she? I love how full of life Sandra is. It's like she finds everything exiting and she's not afraid of anything. She's so... positive. Doesn't let anything to get her down", Michel said and I couldn't call his tone anything other than adoring.
"That's true", I agreed, but couldn't help adding: "Though sometimes she should".
Michel looked pensive. "You are referring to your adoptive brothers, yes? Sandra told me about them, poor kids. She also praised you to heavens, went on and on about how good a son and brother you are. She's very proud of you".
"Thanks. Though I have hardly done any more than what anybody should have".
"No, I agree with her. You've done good. The children must really appreciate it". I didn't much care of this stranger's opinion. In fact, I don't think he had the right to have one, even if it was positive. It wasn't any of his business. It wasn't any of my mother's business either.
"Yeah. They haven't had it easy. And mother didn't make it any better".
"Mm. But you can't blame Sandra for not getting trough to them. They should have reached out to her themselves but instead they drove her away. And doesn't she still provide them with food and shelter? And has she ever received thanks from them?" Michel said and to my apprehension I saw that he was serious and believed all he was saying. Good god.
"You haven't dealt with kids much, have you?" I asked. Expecting small children be grateful for having a home? It should be -no, it is their right. And it is my mother's duty to provide it.
"No, I haven't. I don't much care for kids. No offense, you're more of a grown up already in any case".
"Look, I know that you and your mother don't see eye to eye about everything, but lets not let it come between us. I really care for Sandra and I hope I'll be seeing her -and you- for a long time to come. I'd appreciate it if I had your support".
I could see that Michel wouldn't be an ally to me if I fought with mother about Em and Jamie. Not like dad would have been. But maybe it was better this way, for mother to have someone that didn't try to change her -even if I thought someone should. Mother was far from perfect but I couldn't deny her the chance to be happy.
"You have it. I wish you and mother the best".
Michel grinned happily. It made him look years younger.
Mother came back soon after so I made my excuses and left the smitten couple to their dinner.
"You done with them?" Em asked when I entered the game room.
"Yeah", I answered and dropped down on the bed with him, Jamie and Benny.
That's right. Benny. I had no clue as to what I was going to do with him, expect for the obvious: Drive him home tonight and pick him up again tomorrow for the weekend.
I shouldn't have let him come today, but how could I have not broken against three pleading children?
'You're gonna be making food for those bastards the whole day and me and Jamie have nothing to do'.
'My mom said its okay and I really, really wanna come. I promise I wont be any trouble, honest',
'Please, Dorian. Me and Em don't wanna be alone'.
Even the most determined of men would have given in.
Em and Benny held controllers in their hands and were playing a pretty epic Tekken team battle. Epic in the sense that they both sucked. Jamie was further away, leaning on the headboard of the bed deep in thought. He looked a little forlorn, so I laid down beside him.
"You okay?" I asked. Jamie nodded. "Bored?" Jamie nodded again and shifted closer to me. We listened to the sounds of Em and Benny as they bragged, cursed and taunted while playing until Jamie broke the silence with a low whisper:
"Em said he likes playing against Benny more. He said that he hates loosing to me all the time and he hates when I make him play with that panda. I thought it was fun".
Jamie was supernaturally good in Tekken, as he was in almost every game he tried. He almost always won, and so he could decide what character the looser used. He usually made Em play the panda. Em took it well enough from Jamie, given what a sore loser he was, but I wasn't surprised that he jumped at the opportunity to play with someone he actually had a chance to win.
"Don't think about it too hard. You know how much Em likes to win".
Jamie nodded and didn't say anything more.
The evening went by fast, I caught on with my homework while the kids played. After mother and her boyfriend left, I took all three downstairs to eat the same food I'd cooked for mother. I'd made plenty just for that purpose. Because it was still warm and light outside by the time we'd finished I suggested a game of tag in the yard. It should be more fun with four people instead of the usual three. It was, and so as the clock hit eight the kids were suitably exhausted and I again I had to drag Benjamin away to drive him home.
"Tell me about your family", I asked Benny as we were nearing his house. The boy started to squirm in his seat.
"Umh... I have a Mom. She's usually... busy. Or tired".
"What about your father?"
"I never had any".
"It's okay. Mom says its better this way. And I have a brother... though I don't think he lives here anymore".
A detached mother, no father and a brother that moved away? No wonder Benny wanted company so badly. I ruffled his hair while keeping my eyes on the road.
"Well, just say hello to your mother from me, and we'll see you tomorrow. You're always welcome with us".
"Thanks", Benny said and slipped out of the car when I stopped in front of his building. I watched him go again before driving back to the nightmare of forcing Em and Jamie to bath.
The next day I was impatiently waiting for my second school week to end as I counted the minutes to lunch, where I could see Blake and then go to English with him and then it was time for sweet freedom.
"Blake! Wait!" I shouted when I spotted him heading towards the line in the cafeteria, finally on lunch break.
"Can it wait? If I don't go now there won't be anything good left", he answered as I tried to weave my way towards him.
"No! Come here!"
Blake looked angry but did as I told him.
"What?" He snapped as he got to me, "What can be so damned important that it can't wait till I get my food?"
"Nothing", I said and continued my explanation fast when he made a fist with his hand, "Its just that I made you- I mean, there was extra this morning when I made my lunch, and I wondered if you wanted it?"
Blake stared at me with disbelieving eyes.
"You made me a fucking lunch?"
"Uh... Yeah". There was so much chicken left even after feeding Em, Jamie and Benny that it was enough to make sandwiches for all of us and even then there was some left... and I remembered how Blake had liked my pizza and thought, why not?
None of this explained why I felt nervous. Maybe because Blake might punch me if he didn't like them?
"What did you make?"
"They better be good", he said -threatened- and dragged me to our table.
"What are you going to do this weekend?" I asked Blake while he was devouring his part of the food. Either he liked it or he was on the brink of starvation.
"I have work", he said between mouthfuls before lifting his eyes and looking at me challengingly, "And then I'm going to get smashed and high".
He continued eying me, daring me to say something.
"You know what I think about it", I stated carefully.
"I know and I don't care".
I couldn't figure out an answer that wouldn't lead to a fight, so we just sat in tense silence that didn't break until we got to our English class and I asked about his work.
"I work at a warehouse. Carrying stuff around, emptying and loading trucks and doing inventory. Nothing exiting, but it pays good enough".
"And you do it on every weekend?"
"Every Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday".
"You work after school?"
"No, before. The trucks arrive and leave early so my shift is from four am to eight, expect on Saturdays. Then I work a full shift, and sometimes on Sundays if they're short on people".
"But what about school? And don't you get tired?"
"I'm used to it. I only have one class that starts at eight, it was this morning, and I usually skip the first hour since the teacher's a wuss or sometimes I leave work early. Or both. Today I left a little early and was only half an hour late".
Wow. I'd never thought Blake was that kind of guy. I'd had him pegged as someone who wasted his time away without a care in the world, but it seemed there was more to him. I knew I'd never be able to work in a heavy lifting job for half a night and then drag myself to school after. That was... kind of admirable.
Still thinking of Blake when school ended I left to pick up the kids, both the two that were mine and the one I seemed to have on loan.
"So... where's your mum and dad?" Benny asked out of the blue. Both Em and Jamie stopped eating the feta salad we'd prepared together. I was thinking of a good way to explain our situation when Em answered: "We don have any. But we have Dorian".
Benny looked at his plate. "Sorry. I don have a dad either". Then he raised his head and looked at me. "Then who were that woman and man that came here yesterday?"
"That's my mother and her boyfriend", I told him.
Benny's brow furrowed in incomprehension but he didn't ask any more.
"Speaking of my mother, she called a little while ago. Said she won't be home for some while, apparently she quit the hairdressing class and went camping with Michel -that's her boyfriend", I informed the twins. They seemed to be more relaxed when they knew mother wouldn't just pop up and 'steal me away'.
"I don't care where the fuck she is or who she's with", mumbled Em with his mouth full. I considered reprimanding him, but gave up the idea. She didn't care where Em and Jamie were, why should they care about her?
I was trying to figure out my physics homework when my concentration was broken by someone moving behind me. I turned to look and saw Em sitting on my bed, acting unusually subdued.
"Hello", I said, "Where did you leave Benny and Jamie?"
"They're drawing. Benny's real good". Em muttered.
Em must be feeling left out. Jamie was really good at drawing too, but Em just didn't have the patience it needed. He was the more active type.
"Don't worry. They probably wont take long and then maybe we could all go to the playground?" I tried to cheer him up, but the normally so loud twin just nodded despondently.
"Jamie showed Benny his scar".
That made my eyebrows rise in surprise. Jamie was extremely self-conscious about the scarred bite marks circling his thigh. He'd gotten them -according to the twins- when they'd been walking back home from a store with their father, and Jamie had been walking too slowly. Then, as a punishment their father had lifted the boy up and dropped him inside a fenced yard where a guard dog had been barking at them. The dog did its job and almost took a chunk out of the boy's leg. Later their father had told everyone that Jamie had climbed there himself.
Jamie didn't like looking at the marks it had left. He wore long pajama pants to bed and avoided looking at his leg in the bath. He'd even gone to another room when Em had told me the story about it. That he would voluntarily show the mark to Benny, it meant a lot. No wonder Em was bummed out.
"You wished he hadn't?" I asked, hoping Em would open up.
"No... well, yes... or I don't know. He should've fucking talked to me first and not just show it".
"Why did he?"
"Well, first Benny started to draw with the wrong hand. But he did good, and I just thought he's wrong handed, and I said he draws as good with wrong hand as Jamie with his right hand. And then he said he's even better with his right hand. And I said, show me. And he said, he can't. And I asked why. And he didn't want to tell. But I said he had to. And he said shut up. Then Jamie said he wanted to know too. And then Benny started crying and said that his hand was broken and didn't work well anymore. And then he cried more and said his hand had been in a doorway when the door was slammed shut. And then I told him to stop crying and then Jamie showed him the scars. Just like that".
"Did he stop?" I asked.
"Benny. Did he stop crying?"
I smiled, pulled Em into a hug and ruffled his hair. "Then you did good. You and Jamie both. And you know, Em, that Jamie would never have done that if you weren't there with him, right?"
"Um... I guess. But he still shouldn't just show them to other people".
"It made Benny feel better, didn't it?"
"See. Don't worry about it too much. You made sure they were both okay before you came here, right?"
"'Course I did. I'm not fucking stupid".
I hugged him again. "I know you're not. I'm so proud of you, you know? I don't know what I'd do without you".
Em blushed and looked down. "It's nothing..."
"Would you like to help me put together some sandwiches we could take out with us when we go the playground? Your tuna filling's the best". I suggested and Em cheered up considerably. Cooking -well, helping me cook- was one of the things he did better than Jamie.
Me and Em went down to prepare the food. I stopped to check on Benny and Jamie on the way. They were lying on the floor of the twins' room, drawing and talking a little. They seemed to be enjoying themselves.
Em was right. They were both okay.
"So, do you want to sleep on the floor in Em and Jamie's room or on the big bed in the game room -after I've brushed all the crumbs off, of course?" I asked Benny when it was getting late. "There's also a guest bedroom downstairs, but I doubt you want to go all the way there".
"I... I could sleep with you?" Benny directed his question to the twins. Em glanced at Jamie and the two seemed to silently communicate with each other. I was pretty sure I knew what they were thinking.
"You can take my bed. I'll sleep with Jamie", Em declared and I couldn't find anything to protest about. Honestly, the twins slept in the same bed more often than not.
The weekend was a great success, if one didn't count the random bouts of jealousy Em and Jamie exhibited and a little fist fight between Em and Benny about who was faster runner. I thought the problems were just normal, taking into account that Benny was the first friend the twins ever had. I was almost reluctant to drive Benny home on Sunday night, but it was for the best. The kids had already made all kinds of plans for the next week.
"By the way, Benny", I said as we were once again nearing his home, "Em told me that there's something wrong with your right hand. What happened?"
Benny frowned but didn't seem too troubled by the question.
"A door slammed to it. They said it was my fault, but I only went to hear why they were shouting. They didn't even see me when the man slammed the door. He was really angry".
"And who are 'they'?"
"The downstairs neighbors. They're always shouting to each other, but I didn't know it was normal then. Mom said I should keep out of others business and took me to a doctor".
I parked in front of Benny's building and thought how unfortunate he was if his hand had suffered permanent damage.
"I'm sorry about your hand, but it wasn't your fault, Benny. It's good to go and investigate when something's wrong, but you should remember to take someone with you next time".
"Now, here we are", I said and pulled up in front of the dingy apartment complex. Benny gave me his goodbyes with a sweet smile and got out. As always, I stayed and watched him go.
I was glad I did when a large shape of man stepped out from the shadows of the doorway and moved fast towards Benny. I wasn't sure what help I could be, but instinct had me up and running to Benny before I had time to consider my actions. The other man got to him first, though. Benny had stopped walking and now just stood there and stared as the man grabbed him by the shoulders and shook.
"You little bastard! Where the fuck have you been? I've been looking for you for fucking days, called to hospitals, even to the fucking police!" The man shouted.
His voice was alarmingly familiar. And if I looked closer he seemed otherwise familiar too.
Oh, he couldn't be...
"I-I'm so s-sorry, Blake, I didn't- didn't know you'd be home..." Benny said with a trembling voice.
Blake. I froze on the spot, a couple steps behind Benny and just stared. Oh yes. It was Blake all right.
"Blake! What are you doing, he's just a kid!" I shouted, appalled that Blake let his anger take over even with a child.
"Dorian?" Blake asked, looking at me in confusion. "What the fuck are you doing here?"
"I was dropping off Benjamin. Why are you shaking him?"
"Dropping him off..." Blake repeated slowly. Then suddenly he turned fully towards me and his face contorted in anger. "You! Was he with you the whole fucking time? I've fucking looked at him everywhere! The little fucker had vanished in to the air, no one knowing where the fuck he was, and now you of all people waltz in here like you have the right! You fucking kidnapper!"
At the end of his speech he was practically shouting at my face. I didn't understand anything. Kidnapping?
"I had Benny over. His mother gave him permission and I left her with my contact information. Just what right do you have to yell at me?"
"He's my fucking brother, you son of a bitch! You have no right to take him anywhere. Did you even bother to check if mother was even sober when you gave her your 'contact information'? Did you? You just took Benji away without fucking telling anyone, you fucking pedophile". Blake punctuated his words with a strong shove. I took a couple steadying steps before I was ready to defend myself, but Benny got there before me.
"It wasn't his fault, Blake! I- I didn't tell mom I was going. I thought she had work and that you wasn't gonna be here and I really, really wanted to go. I'm sorry", Benny said, looking to the ground.
"Sorry? Sorry? I had to call the police, you little shit! I thought someone had beaten you to death or something, I fucking missed work 'cause I had to look for you! You're sorry?" Blake shouted to his brother. Benny started at his loud voice and took a couple steps away, moving so that I was between him and his brother. Blake stopped shouting. The silence rang in my ears, but not for long.
Blake stared at Benny, who was watching warily from behind me.
"You go to him? For fucking real? This creep kidnaps you for days, while I search for you, and you have the fucking gall to look at me like that?" Blake says to Benny. He's still angry, but maybe a little hurt too. I know I would be if Em or Jamie ever hid from me.
"Calm down, Blake. All is alright now, Benny is safely at home and now you know where he was. All's well that ends well. Next time Benny comes to visit, you'll know where to loo-"
Smack. I reeled from the hit, lifting my hands to my jaw and trying to stay upright. My vision was cloudy and chin hurt like someone had just ripped my jaw off my face and then mashed it back on. I couldn't even remember how many times Blake had hit me thus far, but this was easily the most painful one.
"You fucker wont come within ten miles of Benny ever again. If I even see you watching him from across the streets I'll smash your face in. Ever try kidnapping him again and I'll call cops. Benji is my brother and I want you to keep your dirty hands away from him". I was still disoriented from the first hit, so I didn't really have the composure to react before Blake kicked me to my stomach. I fell like a bowling pin. "Understood?"
I didn't manage a reply before Blake disappeared, dragging Benny with him.
I laid there on the ground for a long while before getting back to my car. I tried to drive slowly, dreading the moment I got back home.
What would I tell the twins?