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mocha #7 : 'you can't just add them up'

author: hi_falootin
prompt: mocha #7, "to the rescue"
wordcount: 1155
rating: pg13
summary: Typical "sister saves brother from a bully" story...with a bit of a sadistic twist.



"Whattsa matter, Jason?" Dee crouches down in the grass, sitting on her heels, "Why aren't you playing with the other kids?"

Jason sets his mouth in a line and stares at his scabby knees. "They don't want to play with me. They're mean."

"What does Dad say? You have to be tough, remember? And they can't all be mean." Dee surveys the playground thoughtfully, worrying the end of her braid between her fingers. "What about those boys playing basketball over there? You should show 'em how you can balance a ball on your finger."

Jason shakes his head and tucks his chin against his shirt.

Dee rolls her eyes. "Well c'mon then. Tell me what happened."

"Nothing." Jason scoots away, running grass stains down his jeans. "They just made fun of my clothes. And my hair! They said I look like trash!"

"Trash?"

Jason looks earnest. "White trash!"

Dee's eyes go wide for a second. "Who said that?"

"Umm...this older kid. And Dee, he stole my hawk feather!"

"He what?"

It bothers Jason a little how suddenly his sister's face changed when he said that. He nods slowly. "Yeah. He called me a fag and then took it."

"He what?" Dee repeats.

"I just took the feather to school 'cause Dad said it was lucky and I just wanted..."

Dee cuts him off. "Where is he?"

"Umm..." Jason knows exactly where he is. He's been standing by the picnic tables, talking to some other guys for a while now. "What are you going to do?"

"I'm going to get your feather back!" Dee looks around wildly and stands up. Her eyes go straight to Jason's bully, who has the hawk feather tucked behind his ear like a pencil or cigarette. Dee gestures to the guy, a silent him? and when Jason doesn't respond, she says, "Just a second."

Jason watches his sister march up to the picnic tables and come up behind the bully. Her clothes are like Jason's--Salvation Army, frayed and too small--and Jason's terrified this other kid will say the same thing to her, call her trash. He'd hate for him to do that.

Dee taps the guy on the shoulder, and when he turns around she's got her hands on her hips and her chest puffed out. From his spot under the trees, Jason can't hear what they're saying, and it makes him nervous that at any second, Dee might take a swing at the guy. They look around the same age, but she's so much smaller--he'd destroy her Jason thinks, mouth going dry.

But no one throws a punch. Dee gestures wildly and once, even points to where Jason is sitting, and the other kid just stands there, not saying a word. Then, Dee holds out her hand and to Jason's amazement, the bully removes the feather from behind his ear and runs it across Dee's palm. She slaps him away and grabs it, then there are a few more words exchanged that Jason can't hear. Then she's heading back to the trees with his hawk feather between her fingers.

"Here," she says, "You should take better care of this. It's special."

"What did he say to you?"

"Nothing." Dee looks distracted. She glances over her shoulder, and Jason notices the bully is still watching her. "He's just an asshole, is all."

* * *

"So how was school?" Dad asks that night, over lentil salad and salami sandwiches in the camper.

"Some guy was picking on Jason," says Dee. "But I made him stop."

Jason looks up from his sandwich.

"That's my girl," Dad says merrily. "Dee to the rescue!"

"It was no big deal," says Dee. She looks like she's distracted again, and Jason swallows, wondering why she even mentioned it in the first place.

* * *

"I'm going out," Dee announces. She's put on a cotton dress, wrinkled from being in a duffel, and has her hair twisted up with a barrette.

"Won't Dad be mad?" Jason asks, looking up from his homework.

"No. He won't be back tonight. He's staying over in Las Casas."

"Oh," says Jason. "When will you be back?"

"Like, nine?" Dee shrugs. "Just go to bed like usual and you'll see me in the morning. Promise. Remember to lock the door!"

Dee seems so grown-up sometimes, Jason forgets she's just thirteen. Dad's been treating her like an adult since she's turned twelve, you're the woman of the house, now! And Dee loves it. Jason was afraid she wouldn't want to play anymore, that they'd have to stop being friends. But it didn't change how she treated him, really. Until maybe now.

Jason finishes his math and social studies homework and sits down to read an old Archie comic Dee bought at the drug store. He kind of likes being alone, but it's weird not having Dee there, not having her try to explain the romantic intricacies of Archie, Betty and Veronica to him when he'd rather read about Jughead's dog.

He lets himself stay up. Not late, late, but a little past nine, then he lies in bed with his window open and thinks about friends at his old school and whether he'll ever get to go back.

He's maybe nodded off when he starts to hear the voices outside, quiet, but not whispering.

"Yeah, um..." It sounds like Dee, using her deep-and-serious voice. "We can't go in. Let's just stand here."

There's a boy's voice too, but Jason can't make out what he says. Climbing down from his bed, he peeks out the window through a gap in the curtains. There's Dee and a boy, standing very close together. Jason watches frozen as she tips her head and the boy lunges at her, then there's no gap between them and they're kissing. Before he thinks, Jason scrambles for the light switch and turns on the outside lights. The flood light atop the camper lights up, bright, and Dee and the boy look up startled. Jason throws open the door, and when he sees the boy's face for the first time, his jaw drops.

"Jason, go back inside!" Dee hisses, looking mean.

"Yeah, fag," says the boy, "Go back in."

Jason pauses for a second, then he's slamming the door, turning off the lights and diving back in bed, under his sheets. Dee comes in seconds later, slamming her purse down on the counter and kicking the door closed so the whole camper shudders.

"Jesus Christ, Jason! What's wrong with you?!"

"But he..." Jason feels angry too, wants to kick something himself. "That's the kid who stole my feather!"

"So?!" Dee pulls off her barrette and flings it to the floor.

"Dee, he was kissing you! He was kissing you and he had his hand on your...you know!"

Dee looks tired now, like the fight left her all of a sudden. She sinks down to the couch.

"Geez, Jason, you wouldn't understand!

"You don't understand anything."

* * *


notes: I'm not sure how I feel about this piece...I'm not quite convinced it's as clear as it could be. I don't think it all takes place in one day (that feels like, idk, overkill?) but didn't really know how to signal that the third chunk happened later. Feedback always appreciated!

"Title" (if you can call it that) comes from this song.



Comments

( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
purpleinkpen
Sep. 16th, 2008 03:24 pm (UTC)
*Lip wobble* JASON! *Hugs Jason* Poor sad baby.
hi_falootin
Sep. 16th, 2008 09:08 pm (UTC)
I know! I couldn't resist some character torture lol
purpleinkpen
Sep. 16th, 2008 09:32 pm (UTC)
I guess it explains some of Jason's twitchiness, though. Epic betrayal of trust.
illogicalsqueek
Sep. 16th, 2008 07:53 pm (UTC)
Ah, sibling dynamics always seem to become strained when one grows up faster than the other... happened between me and my sisters, ha ha. Very believeable, and like Purple up there said, I really want to just hug Jason. XD I think the line "...but it's weird not having Dee there, not having her try to explain the romantic intricacies of Archie, Betty and Veronica to him when he'd rather read about Jughead's dog" is a good one. Seems to tie in with the whole theme of the story, too.

Well done! :D
hi_falootin
Sep. 16th, 2008 09:10 pm (UTC)
afghdfkkl;kgd TY so much for your comment :D I am super pleased to know you found it believable, and liked the line about the Archie comments. Thank you!
slysionnachnano
Sep. 17th, 2008 02:23 am (UTC)
I like the dynamic between the siblings. It's interesting to see her dating the bully, though, but I'm sure it happens. Hell, bad guys are sexy, amirite?

As for the time thing, maybe putting some reference of it being "___ days" later or having Jason say that she looked so different from when she was wearing the Salvation Army clothes X amount of time ago when she faced the bully.

Great job!
hi_falootin
Sep. 24th, 2008 12:13 am (UTC)
YES, I was totally thinking about the "bad guys" thing when I wrote this. I'm glad you liked :)
pirate_mousie
Sep. 17th, 2008 03:54 am (UTC)
Much love. I can see my older sister doing something like this to/for me.
hi_falootin
Sep. 24th, 2008 12:13 am (UTC)
hee! glad to hear you could relate :)
shayna611
Sep. 17th, 2008 04:21 am (UTC)
I really like the sibling dynamics too. I don't know them terribly well yet, but I found it believable. Poor Jason.

As for the timespan, it really read like all one day to me, but I don't really see it being a problem if it was all one day.
hi_falootin
Sep. 24th, 2008 12:12 am (UTC)
thank you!! I'm glad you said that about the one day thing, because I don't think it bothered me as much rereading it :)

sorry I'm replying to this so late, my computer is in the shop!
nathskywalker
Jan. 5th, 2009 05:26 pm (UTC)
Awe. Archie! I love comic books. And it fits nicely with that goes on in the story. Poor Jason though.
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )

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