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man and cup

First class Fic:Makes Me Wonder 1/4

Posted on 2011.09.17 at 20:04
Author: Iatethebunny
Pairing: Armando/Alex
Disclaimer: not in any way mine.. wish they where I would do good things with them.
Note: This was beta by Orildomlijah all remaining faults are mine own. This is basically 38 plus thousand words of self indulgence. Hope you enjoy.Peace
Summary:AU. Alex parents died leaving him at 18 in charge of his two younger brothers.




I hate weekends... I always end up nodding off in a chair in the middle of doing something random, like folding clothes; I jerk awake 10 minutes later, frantic, with drool on my face, heart racing thinking I’m missing something important. No matter what the time of the day there is always something I need to be doing. So I will drag myself out of the chair and get back to folding clothes or whatever.
I'm always working on something. When I was still a kid, 11 months 3 days ago and some odd hours ago. I loved weekends. I had parents who loved me, took care of me. Weekends were about sleeping late, fighting off bratty little brothers for the last of the good cereal, Saturday morning cartoons and late morning Sunday family brunchs. They are gone now, my amazing, kind, parents who loved me. They died six hours between them, my father crushed to near nothing on a strip of road just out side town, my mother a brain dead mess in a hospital 22 miles away, she lasted 5 and a half hours. They were buried in matching graves. 48 hours after I put them in the ground I turned 18. There was no party, just a card from Scott who made me pancakes for breakfast and a long clingy snot filled hug from Gabriel. It was a week before social services came round asking questions about finding good homes for Scott and Gabe who were at ages almost 11 and 7 legally wards of the state. It took me 2 months in court spending money I didn't have proving I had the legal right to the snotty uppity little brats. I had a record, I wasn't the best kid but they where my brothers and I proved I could take care of them. I gave up on going back to high school, which would have pissed the hell out of dad. But keep the family together which would have made mom proud. I got a crappy deli job and when that wasn't enough, a shitty gas station job I made sure Scott got the new microscope dad promised him for his 11th birthday and that Gabe got to baseball practice. I cleaned, cooked, did laundry three times a week and hardly sleep but the family was together. I figure I would break down or lose it sooner rather than later but I had a plan for that, sort of mostly, almost a plan. I was never the responsible one that was always dad and Scott. It was driving me crazy the constant routine of shit. But the family was together.

Standing in the grocery store watching Gabe stand on tiptoes to grab a box of coma induces sugar filled cereal and I know it's worth it. Because this is my family, these are my brothers and I refuse to give them less than I had. They will not be sent off to strangers who would not understand them, would never love them half as much as I did.
Scott comes around the corner carrying an armload of frozen vegetables; he's on a healthy food kick. He dumps the groceries in the cart, pushes his glass up on his nose.
"Are we done here Alex?"
I turn to where Gabe is trying to get another boxes of sugar induce mania in a box.
"Ya we're done. You get the cart I'll get the brat."
He nods and takes control of the cart. I grab Gabe toss him over my shoulder, he sequels and smacks me on the back. I smack his ass. He laughs and clings to the back of my tee shirt.
Scott leads the way to the checkout, he slides into the shortest line almost running down an old lady to get there first. I let him dumps all the food on the counter. I try not to think to hard as the numbers add up. I can feel Scott watching me adding the numbers in his head. I tug on his hair turning his head away from the register.
"None of your concern old man"
He frowns
"But"
I cut him off with a hand over his mouth.
"No, you don't worry about it, that's my job."
He glares at me but when I take my hand away he says nothing. I hand over my card. The women swipes and I loses 75% of one pay check. I start grabbing bags Scott follows my lead. Gabe is away super helpful at the grocery store he carry three light bags me and Scott get the rest.
We toss the bags in the trunk of my car. It’s a classic 1976 mustang. Me and dad worked on it, building it up for 3 years before it was fit to drive. It guzzles gas like crazy but purrs like a well feed jungle cat. I sold mom's car and kept dad's car under wrap saving it for Scott's 16th.
When we get home Gabe forgets all about being helpful he races into the house in search of Bert and Ernie his matching huskies mom got him for his 6th birthday. Scott rolls his eyes and helps me unload the groceries. He waits till all the groceries are put away before turning his too serious gaze on me.
"We are not going to the movies tonight."
"Yes we are Scott I already promised Gabe and I know you want to see the movie."
He crosses his arms over his thin chest, chin jutting out, eyes narrowed, face serious as stone.
"I won't go."
"Yes you will because I will carry you there myself. It's a treat Scott. You both deserve more for the top grades you pulled this year even after all the shit that went down."
He looks away deflated, he walks across the room and warps his skinny arms around my waist, pressing his face against my stomach. He's still small for his age but it wasn't until the summer after I turned 13 that I got my first growth spurt, he still has time.
"I'm sorry Alex I promise I'll make it up to you."
I hug him back kiss the top of his head.
"There is nothing for you to make up to me. Go get Gabe if we leave now we can get the 4 o clock showing."
He lets me go reluctantly and drags his feet towards the back of the house. I close my eyes, rub a hand over my face. I'm tired, got off a shift at the gas station, came home, made breakfast, than grocery shopping and now movies by the time I get back I will have enough time to get Gabe showered and in bed, take my shower and head back to work. I'm fucking dog ass tired.
I open my eyes and know that I lost a few minutes. I shake myself, grab an energy drink from the fridge, down half of it before heading to the back of the house where Scott sits on the steps watching Gabe tease Bert with a stick.
"Come on guys get a move on or we'll lose the good seats."
Scott stands dusty off his pants. Gabe drops the stick and runs to me, I catch him easy swinging him up on my back. I lock the back door trapping the two dogs outside.
It won't rain they'll be fine.

The theater is packed but Scott still finds decent seats. I end up between them, which never use to happen. They always wanted to sit next to each other. Now they sit on either sides of me with the armrest up so they can slump against my side. We share a big popcorn and soda. I enjoy the feel of them warm and just there.

Scott is silent the whole movie. He watches movies like he does everything else with startling focus. Gabe watches the movie, loses interest and plays with my hand, than he is shifting in his seat asking questions. He stops for a moment than starts swing his feet back and forth; they crash into the seat in front of him, the guy in the seat turns around even in the dark of the theater I can feel his angry glare.
"Control your kid"
He turns back around before I can answer.
Gabe laughs and swings his legs, I grab his feet and hold them down he turns a pout on me
"Please Gabe stop"
He crosses his arms over his chest and glare at me but his feet stop moving. He actually settle down and watches the rest of the movie feet resting against the back of the man's seat but he not kicking so I let it be.
Movie over, Scott wants to sit and wait till the credits are done. Gabe get impatient I let him crawl into my lap. He settles against me and sticks his thumb in his mouth. He stopped sucking his thumb when he was 4 and started again 11 months and 3 days ago. He is watching the man who sat in front him. I close my eyes for a moment breathe and open them again the credit are done Scott stand up and dust popcorn crumb off his shorts.

We step out into a warm early summer night. Gabe is on a sugar rush. Scott is all smiles riding high on the joy of a good movie. I wish I could go home and just spend time with them. I never would have though before all this that I would ever want to hang around with my younger brothers.

When we get home I make a fast dinner get Gabe fed drag him off to a shower and toss him in bed. I know he will be up half the night reading comics under his sheets but at least he will be in bed and Scott won't have to chase him around. I shower dress for a night at the gas station.

It's after 3am when the car pulls up at one of the self serve station. A man get out he looks vaguely familiar than I realize he was the man sitting in front Gabe at the movies. I watch him fill up his tank pay and get back in his car. I wish he had come in not that I had anything to say to him, I just wonder what he looked like up close in the light.

I fall asleep in between 3:15 and 4:30 when I wake up I have half an hour left on my shift. Drew the next on shift stumbles in nods and goes to the back to change his eyes are red rimmed and he's got a shit eating grin on his face, which means he partied hard last night and he will want to share. I'm in no mood to hear about anyone elses social life. I gather my stuff when he comes yp front, I clock out fast and wave. I'm out the door before he can finish saying my name.
When I get home the house is the perfect quiet of sleeping children. I strip, shower, get in bed and fall away fast.
When I get up the clock say 10:19 I can hear Gabe screaming about something. I rub a hand over my face and get out of my very comfortable bed. I open the door to my room and scream Gabe's name. He screams back “what” and I know today is going to be one of those days where I will want to kill him. I go downstairs he's in the hallway wearing a sheet like a toga; he is waving around the broomstick.
"Gabe what the fuck are you doing?"
"I'm leading a fucking army."
"Do not use language like that."
He rolls his eyes at me.
"You use it all the time."
"Gabe I was sleeping I never have a day off. For the first time in 4 fucking months I get a day off I want to sleep so shut the fuck up and go have a war in the back fucking yard"
He glares at me eyes filling with tears. He stomps forward and kicks me hard in the shin. I fall to the ground clutching my shin. He stomps pass me.
"Fuck you" he screams over his shoulder, the backyard door slams shut. I lean against the wall rubbing my leg. Scott comes into the hall a frown on his face.
"You handled that horribly."
"I'm fucking tired."
He gives me a small strained smile
"I know, still, he's only 8."
"Yeah well fuck me"
Scott shakes his head to hide a smile than slump down next to me on the floor.
"You can go back to bed I'll make sure the brat stay outside."
"No use I wouldn't get back to sleep now."
"You could try."
I shake my head unclench my fist sleep was a lost cause. I drag myself upward. I could get the laundry done.

I spend the day cleaning it’s almost 7 when I decide I deserve ice cream. I offer Gabe ice cream he takes it like a peace offering and all the door slamming and wall kicking stops. We get dress and drive into town. Gabe wants to go to Carvel’s; Scott wants Starbuck. I take us to the ice cream cafe that I always mean to try but never get the chance to check out.

I push open the door Gabe runs past me into the shop than comes to a sudden halt. His eyes go wide and he raises a hand pointing a finger in the direction of the register.
"It's you!"
The man from the theater looks up take in the three of us and rolls his eyes.
"I'm closing in 5 minutes, shop closes at 8"
Gabe drags my hand downward so he can look at my watch.
"It 7:45 that give us 15 minutes"
The man smirks.
"I do things on my time"
He is rather good-looking, all smooth brown skin and sharp brown eyes. He feels me watching and turns to look at me.
"Are in charge of that child."
He nods toward Gabe who looks insulted.
"Yes."
"You should beat him, regularly"
Gabe actually trip over his feet and stutters out a
"What?"
Scott laughs. I step around them moving toward the counter. He sells ice cream, ice cream base drink, coffee and pastery. There is a peanut butter chocolate drink that seems to speak to me.
"I'm sorry to bother you so late but can you please make us drinks I promised the brats ice cream. And your drinks look like the best I could ever get, I'll pay double."
He snorts and put aside the paper he'd been read.ing
"No need to beg I'll hook you guys up with something but I get to pick."
"Deal can I request lots of chocolate and if possible peanut butter"
He gives me a once over, a smirk settle at the side of his mouth and I realize he is bloody fucking gorgeous.
"I'll see what I can do?"
He walks off to the back room. I turn to glare at Scott and Gabe who are in the middle of a fight.
"Quit it now. Behave I want to taste one of these drinks."
Gabe pouts "Me too."
"Then sit down and shut it for 10 fucking minutes."
Scott gives me the high and might look.
"You say fuck to much Alex."
"Shut it."
Scott rolls his eyes and moves Gabe toward the only table with the seats down all the others were already put up. I lean against the counter and wait for my drink.

He comes back carrying a bunch of stuff turn on a blender and gets to work. He moves with smooth, easy, confidence. He clearly enjoys his job. He chops fruit and dumps it in the blender. He hits blend, the harsh grinding sound is the only sound filling the space when it’s done he get ice cream scooped in cups and topping put a swirl straw in each cup. He rests them on the counter and motions to Gabe and Scott. Gabe throws himself off the seat and races toward the counter eyes wide with lustful joy Scott follows at a slight slower pace. He cleans the blender and starts another drink with peanut butter and chocolate lots of chocolate and caramel I bit my lip in want. He blend pours and tops with caramel swirls and a straw, he slides the cup in front of me. I look at the drink than at his big long fingered hand rest on the counter. I suck on the straw a blast of frozen chocolate rolls over my tongue, I taste the peanut butter and caramel and something else, perfection. I sit back holding it in my mouth for a moment before swallowing, it’s been 9 weeks since I last ate ice cream. I look up to find him watching me with a self-satisfied smirk on his face.
"From the sounds your making I take it you like it."
"God, like is not a big enough word."
I drink more. Gabe and Scott finish there off he gives them seconds. I am taking my time. When I am halfway done he's already done cleaning up most of the shop. Gabe and Scott are sitting together on the floor play their PSP. Every now and then Gabe makes a happy sound. The nameless drink maker hums under his breath as he cleans. I sit drink and thinking of nothing. When I get to the bottom of the cup I sit back and start calculating what I have to give up in order to afford this drink every day for the rest of my life. He takes the empty cup and goes off to the back room. I take out my wallet and wait. When he comes back he has his bag tossed over his shoulder.
"I owe you for bothering you and the drinks"
"No you don't"
He offers me a hand
"My name is Armando most people call me Darwin long story."
I shake the offered had, it's warm and dry.
"Alex Summers. The older one is Scott the younger one is Gabriel called Gabe."
He nods looks over at them.
"You stuck on babysitting duty?"
"Something like that. How much for the drinks?"
"It was on the house you guys amuse me."
I roll my eyes.
"Not for now, tomorrow. I want one tomorrow and possible everyday for the rest of my life."
He laughs a loud rough sound that runs over me, I look away from him.
"Come by tomorrow and I'll let you know."
We step outside the shop Scott leading Gabe who is still playing his game.
"What time do you close?"
"During the week 8 if I feel like it, sometime I close early."
"You own this place."
He pulls down the gate in front the glass windows.
"Yes it's all mine."
"That must be nice."
He locks the gate. "It works for me."
I nod look at the ground shove my hands in the back pocket of my jeans.
"I guess I'll see you tomorrow."
"Try to be here before 6, tomorrow feels like it will be a close early kind of day."
I laugh, "I'll try."
I motion Scott and Gabe to follow me. Scott stops in front Armando offers him a hand, they shake, he thanks him for the smoothie, and smacks Gabe till he does the same. With a smile and a wave they trail after me to the car.


I work one job at the deli, which is walking distance from the house, a long walk but still walk able. When I get off work I am not surprised to see Scott and Gabe sitting on the hood of the car.
"You couldn't wait till I came back home to get you?"
Scott pokes Gabe's shoulder.
"he was having withdrawal seizures."
I roll my eyes and open the car door. I had planned to go home and change it would have been cutting it close but I didn't want to show up in work jeans and a stupid white tee shirt. Of course they didn't know that, I felt no need to tell them. Gabe straps himself into the back seat. Scott slides into the passenger seat and buckles up, he gives me a look, all wide-eyed and innocent.
"I'm sorry I should have brought you another shirt."
I glare at him "Shut up Scott."
He laughs and looks out the window. Gabe sits forward chewing gum hanging out his mouth.
"What's so funny I want to laugh too."
I shove him into the back seat.
"Your face is funny."
He cracks up "No its not."
"Yes it is."
"No its not."
And that's the whole conversation into town. I find decent parking two blocks over. I lock up the car and get us moving. Gabe clings to my arm. By the time we get there it's a quarter to 6 there a sign saying the shop closes at 6, inside is pretty busy. Scott opens the door and steps aside to let Gabe runs in first making a beeline for the counter. Armando looks up from a drink and smiles. I wave and feel my face go red. Scott pokes me in the side, I smack his shoulder.
"Stop."
"He likes you too Alex if you date him we all get free drinks."
I drag Scott off to a corner.
"How do you know he likes me?"
He gives me the ‘you're so stupid’ look.
"He spent all last night checking you out and smirking at you."
"I saw all the smirks, was he really checking me out?"
"Shut up Alex."
I pinch his arm, he smacks my side, I put up a hand in surrender.
"So he might likes me what do I do about that?"
"You just be you and get us free drinks."
"Just be me that's enough."
Scott gives me the ‘you’re more than stupid’ look. I glance up over his shoulder and yes Armando is watching us. I square my shoulders and try to build up some courage. It's been over a year since I though seriously about dating anyone but like mom always said work with what you get and Armando was a lot to work with.


Scott trails after me to the counter. There is a girl behind the register ringing people up, she is pretty with a long mess of black hair and a wide full smile. There is another girl tall, blond, curve, with a crooked smile making drinks. I get in line and look for Gabe he is leaning against the far end of the counter talking to Armando he has to stand on tiptoe to reach the top of the counter. The line moves fast and reforms at the end of the counter where people wait for their drinks. When we get to the counter I realize I have no idea what to order. I squint up at the signs the girl who name tag reads Angel gives me a half patient, half amused smile.
"Um I don't know what it’s called it had chocolate peanut butter caramel it's ummm It's heaven in a cup."
She laughs out loud from the startle look the blond girl gives her. I guess it's not something she does often she does look more like a smile than a laugher type.
"Sorry cutie we do not have a drink called heaven in a cup."
Armando comes to stand next to her; he's smirking again.
"We do now. I've got their drinks Angel go lock the door and start closing."
She gives him a look eyebrow arched, he waves her off she goes with a wave in my direction.
Armando looks at Scott who stands at my side.
"You want the same drink from last night."
Scott shrugs "I'll take whatever you want to make."
Armando nods to where Gabe is frowning down at a display of cups.
"The wild child had a very long set of directions for his drink."
Scott rolls his eyes. "You don't have to make it he's eight and a bit dent in the head"
Armando laughs, "I'll make it, sounds good."
Scott perks up "I'll take what Gabe is having."
Armando looks at me eyebrow lifted
"I want what you made last night."
He nods and walks off. The blond girl waits till he is on the other side counter before coming over a wide smile on her face.
"So you lot got names"
Scott opens his mouth to talk I cover it with my hand
"No we are nameless"
Scott glares at me and licks the palm of my hand. I yank my hand away cradle it against my stomach.
"You are disgusting."
He smirks than looks at the blond girl the smirks slips into a smile and I get it.
"Umm I'm Scott this asshole is Alex and the little one over there is Gabe"
Blond girl nods, offers Scott a hand
"I'm Raven and I have never seen you around before"
Scott leans on the counter and looks up at her eyes wide and dreamy.
"We only found this place last night we love it"
She looks from Scott to me.
"You guys brothers"
Scott nods "yes"
She smiles "I have a big brother he use to take me around with him all the time till he went to college than he got a bit of a big head. You’re lucky your brother still hangs out with you."
Scott blushes and shots me a questioning look I know what he's asking. I shake my head and walk off to stand next to Gabe who is playing with a green tumbler.
"You break it you buy it."
He looks up at me and smiles.
"I wouldn't mind it's cool, look."
He shakes it and the colors on the side change.
"You are so easily impressed."
He snorts. Scott calls out my name I turn around and Raven is gone but Armando is back with 3 drinks and smaller sample cups. We all try Gabe's drink except Armando. Angel, Raven, and Scott love it I think it's too much. My drink is perfection.
We hang around a little while Scott tries to chat up Raven. Angel puts up chairs with a smile on her face, Gabe organize the cup display I am left alone with Armando.
He steps back from the counter
"I'm going to go for a smoke."
"I'll come watch you smoke."
He shakes his head smiles and leads the way out front. I watch him light the cigarette he has very nice hands. He's looking at me, watching me watching his hands.
"You are an odd one Mr. Summers"
I lean back against the shop door.
"Why do you say that?"
He lets out a puff of smoke.
"I'm good at reading people and I don't get you at all."
"You could try asking me questions."
He smirks. "True. Would you answer them?"
"Ask."
"What's up with you and your tag along brothers?"
"Try something easier for a first question."
He smokes his cigarette watching the street.
"How old are you."
"18 that's too easy."
"What you're favorite book."
"What makes you think I like to read?"
He drops the cigarette on the floor, steps on it.
"I was hoping you did."
"I do I don't really have a favorite but I am reading lord of the rings to Gabe."
"He actually sits still long enough."
"He's stuck in bed, it's reading or sleeping."
He nods looks at me like he knows something I don't. Then he's there in my space I can feel the heat coming off his body.
"Can I kiss you Alex Summers?"
I nod, lick my lips, he leans in I lean up, his mouth is warm, he bites my lower lip, I open under him. My hands fine there way to his shoulders. He presses me into the door and fuck I'm so hard right now, thank God for baggy work jeans. He pulls out the kiss, I pull him back press a kiss against his mouth.
"You taste delicious."
I laugh. "What do I taste like?"
He licks his lips "Heaven."
I laugh, he leans in I pull him closer. We stand there and make out for a while.
Armando is sucking on my tongue when I hear a bang behind me. We pull apart. I turn around and Angel, Raven, Scott and Gabe are standing there looking very interested. I turn back around.
"Fuck"
Armando laughs and pulls me away from the door.
"Fuck"
I press my face against his chest he warp his arms around my waist and this feel nice.
"You coming by tomorrow."
I shake my head not moving it from where it rested against his chest.
"Why not"
"I have both jobs tomorrow."
"You have two jobs?"
"It complicated."
He steps back so he can see my face I say nothing I'm not ready to talk about it. I've never had to explain, everyone that needs to know already knew.
"Okay what about Wednesday."
"Um I could maybe do Wednesday but Saturday in the evening works best."
"You work two jobs all week."
"Well um yes mostly, Wednesday I get off early but I normal run earns and do launder and clean shit, I only work one job on the weekends but Friday after work Gabe got baseball practice. I'm sorry."
"Don't be sorry there is no reason for you to be. You got a cell."
"Of course."
"Give me your number."
"Was that you asking?"
"No that was me telling, problem?"
I lean up and press a kiss to his mouth "Nope give me your phone."
He hands me his phone I add my number to his phone book.
"You going to call me."
"Definitely."
"Good. I have to go but I look forward to your call. I start walking to where Gabe and Scott stand deep in some random conversation I'm almost there when Armando catches up to me he turns me toward him. I laugh and he kisses me, I cling to his forearms, just a bit. He lets me go reluctant I straighten out his tee shirt.
"Call me."
"Yes."
He walks off in the opposite direction. Gabe runs up to me and punches my arm.
"Scott said you could do it. I had some doubts but I'm glad to be proven wrong."
"Shut up Gabe."
I start us off toward the car. Scott waits till we are almost home before turning to look at me with a big old shit-eating grin on his face.
"Told you he liked you."
"Yeah, well everyone needs to be right at least once in their life."
Scott rolls his eyes so hard I'm surprised they don't roll out his head.
"I'm always right."
"Of course you are."
We get home, I make a fast dinner get Gabe in the shower and put down for bed. He is in no way tired and it takes me an hour of reading to get him to sleep.


Armando calls the next day when I am in the middle of trying to help a customer make a sandwich. He calls the second time when I am in the boss’s office get bitched out for being rude to the customer who took 28 minutes to make a sandwich. The third time he calls I just got off lunch and my boss is watching me. The fourth times he calls I'm driving home but what the hell, I answer.
"Hi"
He laughs, "I've been calling you."
"I know and I really wanted to answer but shit kept happening and on my break I had to go return these pants that don't fit Gabe but we are talking now or I'm talking, I'll shut up now."
"Are you off work now?"
"Yes driving actually. I'm going to stop off at home than head back out to the gas station."
"You work there?"
"Monday Tuesday Thursdays, sometime weekends."
"I might come see you."
"You could do that."
I pull up in front my house. Gabe and Scott are in the front yard, they are covered in mud; they are smacking each other with foam bats. The dogs are also cover in mud fighting each other.
"I have to go."
"Why so soon."
"They're all covered in mud I have to be at work in an hour. I have to hose them down and chain them to the bed."
"I'll come see you at work."
"Okay"
He hangs up I pocket my phone get out the car brace myself and start screaming.

It take 45 minutes to get them half way clean enough to shove them indoors toward the bathroom, the dogs are ban from the house till I can clean them. I'm late Cam gives me an evil glare I ignore as I run to the back to put my stuff down. When I get back out front he leaves. I am glad to be left alone. I put on my headphone and read my book. A few people come in to buy candy or soda I can tell they are not from town just passing through from one point to another. I always wanted to go on a road trip that's not going to happen anytime soon. There is no way I could leave Scott and Gabe behind and I couldn't afford to take the three of us on the road.
"What you are you thinking so hard about."
I sit up the book that was on my lap tumbles to the floor. Armando is leaning against the counter smirks at me.
"Road trips. How long have you been there?"
He shrug "Not long, why road trips."
"No reason."
He stands up straight looks around the store.
"This must be a horrible boring job"
"I like it... I mean I don't like it but I like the whole quiet thing."
"Quiet can be nice."
He is watching me like he wants to ask something but won't and I want to know what he's thinking.
"My parents are dead"
The words just tumble out of my mouth and I don't know why I wanted him to know that but he should know.
"How long?"
"Almost a year."
He nods. "So it’s you and the munchkins."
"Yes, I guess I mean Scott is 11 now and I can leave them alone when I go to work but not long term you know."
"So no road trips for you."
I look out the window at a group of 20 something, standing in between two cars all bright and happy smiling in the sun.
"No road trips for me."
"You should go on a date with me Saturday night."
"What?" and I know my face is bright stupid red.
He laughs "a date, dinner, a movie, talking."
"Why would we do that?"
He leans across the counter his fingers close around the front of my shirt he pulls me towards him, his lips meet mine and I melt. We pull apart, he straights out my shirt, I run a finger over his very perfect mouth.
"You convinced me dinner and a movie Saturday night."
"You can bring the munchkins if you want."
"I don't want to but thanks for inviting them, I will make sure to tell them you did before I tell them they can't come."
I lean forward and kiss him again.
He hangs around for most of my shift. We redo the candy display according to our taste and redo the drinks in alphabet order. We talk about everything and nothing. 15 minutes before my shift is done I send him away with a kiss.
“I’ll come see you at work tomorrow.”
“What time.”
“I get off work at 4 so sometime after that.”
He leans in and we kiss again slow and easy. The door opens a customer walk in, he pulls out the kiss.
“Tomorrow.”
“Ya.”
He leans in kisses me again, than he is gone. I suck in a breath let it out slowly I have no idea what I’m doing. Now is not the time to start some relationship with some super hot complete awesome dude. He is an awesome kisser. I lean against the counter and let my mind drift to thoughts of sex on counter tops.
When Cane shows up for his shift I head home.


The next day I get to work late. I over sleep and woke up so fucking hard I had to jack off in the shower before actual cleaning myself off and getting dressed. Time moves incredibly slow and I get five annoyingly dumb customers who don’t know how to fill their own fucking gas tanks. By the time four rolls around I’m ready to stab someone in the face with a pen. Cane is 3o minutes late. I leave the shop pissed off. When I get home Scott and Gabe are in the living room which is a mess and evidences of their chocolate and ice cream lunch sitting on the coffee table.
“You guys suck so hard.”
Gabe look innocent, thumb stuck in his mouth. Scott at least looks guilty.
“We ran out of lunch meat.”
“You should have called me or eatten peanut butter and jelly. Seriously little dudes chocolate and ice cream and I'm suppose to take you out and get you more ice cream.”
I walk away before they can say anything.
I dig through my clothes which are all pretty crappy trying to find something decent to wear. I spend a while try to find something to wear not too casual but not to dressed up. I find a decent balance. I am trying to fix my hair when Scott comes into my bedroom.
He sits on my bed.
“I’m sorry Alex it seemed like a good idea at the time.”
“I’m sure it did Scott, forget about it. We use to do it all the time.”
He smiles a little pulls his knees up and rest his chin on top of them. It had been easier when I was just the big brother when I was just a sometimes babysitting. Feeding them ice cream for lunch had been a part of the older brother duty now it was making sure they actually got vegetable and fruit into their system.
“It’s not okay Alex, I’m sorry I made it harder. Tomorrow I’ll make peanut butter and jelly.”
I step away from the mirror, press a kiss to the top of Scott head.
“Stop trying to help me so much, take apage from Gabe book feel free to be a brat.”
He rolls his eyes.
I look back at the mirror
“How do I look.”
"It’s been an hour there is nothing else you can do to fix your face"
"Be helpful or get out."
He tosses himself backwards on my bed rolling on his side.
"There is nothing to help."
"My hair"
"Is fine please Alex let's go before Gabe trys to feed the dog chocolate ice cream."
"Fine we are leaving now"
I give my hair one final tug and drag Scott out my bed.

When we get there it packed, there are no free tables and Armando is nowhere to be seen. Gabe pulls away from me to get closer to the counter, I stand in line. I can't even see the counter from where I'm standing. Gabe comes back a moment later with a sample cup full of what looks like chocolate ice cream.
"Where did you get that?"
"Wouldn't you like to know. Angel say we need to come back in like 2 or 3 hours when it not so full and the boss is on break."
I look around the shop there is no reason to pretend like I wasn't looking for him.
"Kay we'll be back later"
Scott shoulders slump down.
"I’m thirst"
"You can ask for a cup of water"
"Asshole"
I laugh and lead them out the shop.

I take them to get burgers it’s pushing my budget but I know all they have eaten since breakfast was junk. Scott orders a small burger I change his order to a bigger one he glare but I know he’s hungry. We sit and eat. Scott eats his whole burger all his fries and some of Gabe. I give him a smug look.
“I only ate it cuz you got it.”
“You where hunger little monster.”
He glares and I laugh. He kicks me under the table I reach across the table and pinch his arm. He rubs his arm.
“You’re the monster you big bully.”
“Whatever tiny boy lets get out of here, where do you want to go.”
Gabe pouts. ”Why does he get to pick.”
“Because he finished all his food and we had to help you with yours and you still didn’t finish it.”
He looks down at his food.
“Ice cream taste better.”
“That is why he gets to pick.”
I slide out the booth and clean up our mess I dump it in the trash the brats trial after me . Scott leans into my side.
“Can we go to the bookstore?”
“Of course.”
I sling an arm over his shoulder and grab Gabe hand, we head off toward the bookstore.
We end up in the back of the bookstore a stack of books between me and Scott. Gabe seats himself in my lap and refuses to move. I read around him.

When we get back to the shop it’s almost empty. Gabe runs up to the counter Angel laughs and takes his order, me and Scott walk at a normal pace. Raven smirks at me.
“The boss is in the office if you want to go say hi.”
“What if I’m here for a drink?”
She snorts, rolls her eyes.
“The boss is in the office if you want to go say hi.”
“You’re a smartass I can tell.”
She tosses her hair over her shoulder and gives me a slow wink.
“I’m also a tease.”
I laugh, she drag me behind the counter and pushes me toward the office.
“I’ll keep an eye on your brothers.”
“Two eyes, keep two eyes on them, they’re monsters.”
She waves me off. “I’ll deal with them.”
I knock on the door.
“It’s open.”
I push the door open, Armando looks up from his computer.
“Alex.”
“Raven forced me back here are you busy.”
“No just finishing something.”
He start to stand, I slip into the room closing the door behind me.
“Finish up, I’ll just sit here and wait.”
I drop into the chair across from his desk. He drops back into his seat and starts types something a frown on his face. I look over the office, there are pictures all over the walls of a lot of different people, I spot Angel and Raven in some. There is a row of small lockers, a file cabinet , a sofa in the corner, a closet and an overcrowded bookshelf. It looks comfortable, lived in.
He clicks something and sits back.
“Done”
“What were you doing.”
“Schedules for the next three weeks.”
“I don’t want Raven mad at me if her hours get messed up.”
“She’ll never know.”
I laugh. And slide lower in the chair I watch him, he look at his hands, when he looks up meets my gaze I smile
“Hi.”
He laughs. “I thought you would be here earlier.”
“I was it was packed so I went to feed the brats and now I’m back.”
“Come here.”
I slide out my chair and go to him, he pulls me down into his lap, I warp my arms around his neck and lean in to kiss him. This is easy like making out in my room before my parent got home. I press against him, he rubs his hand down my back. There is a knock on the door.
“Boss man I need pennies like now.”
We pull a part, he looks annoyed I kiss his chin.
“Get the women her pennies.”
I climb out his lap, he opens the safe gets the pennies and goes back outside, he comes back toss money it the safe locks it and pulls me against him. I laugh into the kiss, we stay like that warped around each other. There is a knock on the door.
“Boss man can I take break.
We pull apart.
“Go smoke a fucking cigarette Raven.”
She laughs, we pull apart, I look at the clock.
“I have to go soon, I work early tomorrow and have to stop by the grocery to get real food for the brats.”
“You just got here.”
“I know, I want to say.” I tug on his shirt.”I really want to stay but you know.”
He nods, gives my hips a squeeze, I lean in kiss his mouth.
“You can come see me tomorrow at the gas station, maybe, if you want.”
“I’ll come see you.”
“And Saturday we have a date.”
“I’ll call you tonight.”
“Oaky, ya I’ll answer.”
He laughs and kisses me again and I never really liked the whole kissing thing, I only did it because who ever I was with seem to really be into it but Armando makes it feel good, natural, hot as hell. I pull away.
“We have to stop now because I am going to make a mess if we keep going.”
He laughs. I give his arm a shove.
“So not funny.”
“A little funny.”
“Not at all.”
He kisses me behind my ear.
“You are so fucking pretty.”
“Sexy, hot as fuck, yes, pretty no.”
He licks the spot behind my ear then bites down. I groan and push against him.
“Pretty Alex so fucking pretty.”
“Do that again.”
And he does, bits down hard then licks over the bruise.
“Fuck Armando we have to not do this I’m going mess up my pants.”
He pulls back, I don’t let him go far, drag him in for another kiss. He licks the inside of my mouth, I groan and try to pull away he doesn’t let me, just pushes me against the wall rocks against me and I know this is going to be bad.
He pulls back. “I thought we were stopping.”
“Stupid that was stupid thinking, kiss me.”
And he does, presses me back against the wall, rubs against me, I lift my leg wrap it around his leg to get better leverage, we press against each other, he pushes my chin back and licks my neck, than bits down and fucking rubs down hard against my dick and I’m coming, seriously fucking coming in my pants. I cling to his shoulders and ride it out. He pulls back watching me eyes blow wide.
“Did you just…”
“Yes, fuck, let’s not talk about it.”
He smiles a slow easy thing that makes him so fucking perfect. I close my eyes and breath slow, I loosen my hold on his shoulders, he pulls away giving me room to breathe.
“Are we stopping now.”
I open my eyes. “What about you?”
He shakes his head. “I’m fine.”
I glance at his obvious hard on.
“Liar.”
“I’ll be fine.”
I roll my eyes and unzip his pants.
“Alex.”
“Shut up Armando, I’m 18 year old, I’ve given a hand job before stop looking at me like I’m a fucking unicorn.”
“A unicorn really Alex.”
“Shut it old man you know what I mean.”
I give his dick a tug, he sucks in a sharp breath and pushes forward into my hand, I smirks and lean in for a kiss. I jerk him slow and easy, run my finger nail over the vain on the underside of his dick, he groan into my mouth and fucks my hand, he pressa kiss to my mouth and put his hand on the wall to brace himself, I like the easy way he leans into me, curls over me. It doesn’t take him long to come warm and wet in my hand. I pull my hand out his pants, zip him up and press a kiss to his chin.
“Now you don’t have to spend the rest of the night with a raging hard on.
“I would have dealt with it.”
“But you like my idea better.”
He kisses me. ”Yes yours was the better way.”
“Wonderful. Get me something to clean my hand with.”
“Bathroom.”
I look down at the wet spot on my jeans
“I have to hide this.”
He goes to the closet and pulls out his jacket.
“Wrap it around your waist.”
“Old school.”
“Shut up and take it.”
I wave my come covered hand in his face.
“How about no.”
He rolls his eyes and warps the jacket around my waist ties it off and checking to make sure it covers the wet spot. He leads me out to the bathroom. I wash my hand and try to fix my hair, my lips look swollen and red, there are 3 mouth shaped bruises on my neck.
“So we don’t at all look like we were doing dirty things in your office.”
He presses a kiss to my neck, licking at one of the bruises.
“I think you look perfect.”
I roll my eyes. “Pervert.”
“Says the boy who just jerked me off in my office.”
“I wear my pervert badge proudly.”
“You’re leaving now.”
I nod.
“You’re calling me.”
He nods. I turn and kiss him, he pulls me closers. I could do this all night but the brats are wating. I step back and open the door. We leave the bathroom, his hand in mine, we walk down the short hall to the front. Raven laughs out loud when she sees us, I flip her off. Armando orders her to take out the trash. Angel gives me a dirty smirk. I wave bye and drag Scott and Gabe out the shop heading home.


Saturday takes too long to come. Armando calls Wednesday night after I get home from the shop, we don’t get to talk long. He comes to the gas station on Thursday night but doesn't get to stay long. Friday evening is spent watching Gabe’s baseball team destroy some out of town team. After the game I go home and pass out. When I wake up I am late for work. I have two missed calls from Armando. I dress fast and race to work were my boss is nowhere to be seen. The day takes it's sweet time. I swear the second hand on the clock moved backward twice. Than I am finally finally finally free and only 4 hours away from my date. I stop myself from running across the parking lot to my car, just barely.
When I get home the house has been cleaned, the dogs are clean and Gabe and Scott are sitting calmly in the living room playing a video game.
"What the fuck?"
They smile up at me, wide-eyed and innocent...
"Are you clones or robots?"
Gabe laughs, Scott rolls his eyes.
"We want you to have a good date and no worries."
"You have me worried right now."
"Don't be stupid Alex, go get ready."
I go because there is nothing obviously wrong.
I shower, dress and leave them in the living room playing video games. I am deadly afraid I will come home to a destroyed house; they are never this good. I get to the shop Armando is waiting out front looking sharp as fuck. I forget all about the brats.

Armando pushes away from the wall and meets me half way.
"Um hi"
He laughs and tosses an arm over my shoulder.
We walk together I slip my arm around his waist.
"Where do you want to eat?"
I glance over at him, he is watching me again, he does that a lot.
"Where ever you want is cool nothing to fancy, I'm on a budget."
"I asked you out Alex I'm paying."
"Those rules are written where."
"Take it as a gift."
I stop and pull away from him I know I am being stupid but I am not a kid.
"I can take care of myself."
He pulls me in for a kiss I think about fighting it but he sucks on my lower lip and I give in.
"You can take care of yourself Alex and your brothers but you shouldn't have to."
I laugh and let him slide his hands down over my hips.
"So you want to take care of me."
"Fuck yes."
I pull him in for another kiss. I pull away to give him a smile.
"We should go find food."
"Why the sudden rush."
"I'm hungry you're paying come on."
I step out of his hold he doesn't let me go far his arm is back around my shoulder and I don't mind at all.
He takes me to a small restaurant tuck away in a corner on a busy street. I've seen it for a long time and never thought to go in. Armando seems to know everyone who works there. We sit in a small booth tucked away in a corner. I look around the place.
"What kind of food do they serve here?"
"World fusion, anything Cook feels like making. There is no real menu they make prints out every week or so."
"That is kind of cool how do I know what I want."
A waiter shows up with a paper printout and a smirk.
"I'm sure you don't need this Armando, Cook is always willing to make whatever you want."
Armando takes the printout.
"Be a good boy tonight Ben."
The waiter, Ben rolls his eyes and walks off.
"How often do you come here?"
He shrugs "enough, pick something."
I take the offered paper. Everything sounds damn good. I end up letting Armando pick. We talk while we wait. When the food shows up I realize I've been doing most of the talking; our main course is cleared by the smirking Ben. Coffee and cake is brought out. I sip my coffee.
"So when do you start telling me about yourself."
"I talk about myself."
"Liar, you say vague, general things. Are you a crazed murderous villain?"
He covers his mouth and laughs. I arch a brow.
"Spilt some coffee."
He chocks a little, laughs a little more.
"I can assure you I am not a villain."
"Okay how about an age?"
"24."
"How long have you had the shop?"
"3 years."
"Since you where 21 how did you manage that?"
"I have my ways."
"Ah more secrets."
"I could tell you everything but then I would have to kill you."
"No you won't."
He’s watching me again. I take a bit of cake and melt.
"This is amazing"
"Cook does make good cake."
I nod and finish off my cake in 6 big bites than I drag his over and start in on it.
"I was going to eat that."
"You took too long."
I finish off his slice at a slower pace.
"Where are you from?"
"New York originally, but I've been here 4 years."
"Why did you come here, New York sounds awesome."
"It has its perks but so does this town."
"Are you going to go back to New York?"
"Maybe, are you done with all the questions?"
"Not really, why?"
"I was thinking of better things to do with your mouth."
"You did not just feed me that cheap line?"
He laughs and closes the space between us. Someone makes an annoyed sound, we separate, Ben stands there smirking check in hand. Armando snatches the check and waves Ben away. He pays the check I take his hand and lead him out the restaurant.

On the walk over to the theater we keep stopping to looking in store windows. By the time we make it to the theater the movie we agreed on is sold out. We pick a movie at random, Armando pays. I am still full from dinner but I don't turn down the offer of a slushy and candy. By the time we get into the theater the last commercial is ending and previews are starting. I let Armando pick the seats, the theater is mostly empty I guess everyone wanted to see the other movie. We end up way up in the back. I slouch down in my seat put my feet up on the chair in front of me and drink my slushy and steal popcorn from Armando big tub. It’s been ages since I've been to the movies without the brats. It feels nice not being poked in the side, stillness is nice. I'm done with my slushy before the previews are over.
"What are you going to drink for the rest of the movie?"
"Nothing previews are the best part anyway."
He laughs and pulls his popcorn away from my hand.
"Share"
"You're going to eat the whole thing before the movie starts."
I pout, he tangles our fingers together and rests our hands on his knee, I shift closer. The movie starts, I can't pay attention I keep watching him. It's too dark to really see him but the light from the screen is almost enough. He turns to look at me.
"You are not going to watch this movie are you?"
"No, I don't think, so sorry."
He leans across the space and kisses me, I press into the kiss. He shoves the armrest up so we can get closer. He kisses like he wants to memorize my mouth. I want to get closer. I pull away.
"Let me get in your lap."
He nods ,lets me climb over him settling my legs on either side of his. He drags me back in for a kiss. It’s been 18 months since I last made out in a movie theater. I don't remember it feeling quite this good. His hands run up my legs griping my hips, I can feel him hard against my butt I push down he gasp into my mouth, his hand tighten their hold on my hips. I drag my lips away from him brace myself with my hand on his shoulders, it been to long since anyone but me touched me.
"Alex. Fuck!"
"Definitely yes but not here."
He laughs, shifting me to rest full against his dick, I rock against it he closes his eyes and I could get off from this I think, watching him. His hand moves under my shirt, warm, large, against my back. I push into the touch, lean down and kiss him. I feel hot, too fucking hot and suddenly this doesn't seem like the best idea, I pull out the kiss try to catch my breath, it been ages since I felt this reckless. Armando presses a kiss to my neck, sucks hard on the skin. I bit my lips.
I am so fucking close and this is stupid, so fucking stupid. He licks my collarbone his hands move down to grab my ass. I feel hot, too hot on the inside and I am fucking close, he squeezes my ass rocking me forward than back, his mouth feels like fire where it touches my skin and I want more, nothing but skin between us, to feel burnt up everywhere. I know I am being noisy but I can't shut myself up. My skin feels like it will burn up leaving nothing behind.
It's been exactly 2 years and 3 weeks since I last accidentally set anything on fire. He rocks up I tighten my hold on his shoulder, shut my eyes try to ride out the wave of heat. This was the worst best idea I ever had. I stop moving try to catch my breath.
"We need to stop"
"Alex."
"I need to go now"
I pull away from him, almost fall getting out his lap. He reaches for me, I shove his hands away and I am running. I can feel it; all that heat under my skin. I make it 3 blocks before I know I can't go any further I walk down a narrow alley and go as far back as I can. I let it build, roll over and out of me. It doesn't hurt, hasn't hurt since I was 12 and fell in the back yard and it tore itself out of me, before I even understood what was happening I accidentally burn up the backyard.
It passes; I sit on the ground glad to be rid of the pressure and heat. The alley is a mess, the dumpster is on fire, there are groves in the concrete floor and on the building walls. I close my eyes and catch my breath it felt bigger longer this time than it has in awhile. I feel so tired I would love to just stretch out here and fall asleep but that would leave the brats alone for too long.
"That was not what I was expecting."
My head jerks up and Armando is standing there, right there like I did not just set an alley on fire.
"Get out of here, Armando. Please "
“You don’t have to worry about me, Alex.”
“I do, and I don’t want to hurt you.”
"You can't hurt me Alex."
"You are so wrong about that I still feel it under my skin."
He kneels there beside me runs a hand through my hair, turns my face up to meet his gaze.
"Trust me Alex you can't hurt me."
I shake my head because of course he doesn't understand.
"Do you want me to take you home."
"Yes sorry I can control it sometimes, most times, I'm sorry."
"It's fine Alex come on."
He drags me up and mostly carries me back to my car. After I give him the directions I pass out and wake up in my bed and I know it's a whole new day.

"Fuck."
I look at the clock consider getting up and actually going to work, spending 8 hours taking orders, cut meat and restocking chips. I lie back down and roll on to my side. There's no way I am getting up. I fall back to sleep.
I wake to Gabe’s high-pitched scream of no and Scott thunderous yes. I pick up the shoe next to my bed and hurl it at the door, it impacts with a loud thump the hallway goes silent. I roll back over press my face against the pillow and sleep.

I wake again to the sound of something heavy being drag across the floor. I sit up, the clock says it's just after four.
I roll my eyes and scream. "Put it the fucking back Gabe."
It's quiet in the hall, than the sound of something heavy being pushed in the opposite direction. I lie back down and almost get back to sleep there is a soft knock on the door followed by Scott almost whispers.
"Alex"
"What."
"It's late do you want something to eat."
"No"
I press my face back into the pillow. I sleep again.

I wake to crying, Gabe's loud desperate “for real” sobs. I am out of bed yanking open the door before I'm even sure I'm awake. The last time he cried like that we were putting our parent in the ground. He is sitting on the top step, knees pressed to his chest, arms wrapped around his legs; his whole body is shaking. I go to him. He looks up eyes wide and red, he's breathing hard. I reach for him he lifts his arms and I pull him up, let him press his wet face against my neck, arms tight around my shoulders, feet laced around my waist, I rub his back.
"I'm sorry Gabriel. Fuck, I'm so sorry"
He shakes his head; pulls back enough for me to see his face, he sniffles.
"Scott’s eyes explode."
"What"
He is crying again I run down the stairs.
"Scott, where are you? Scott"
I am moving toward the living room.
"Calm down Alex"
I turn around and yes Armando is standing in the doorway to my kitchen.
"What are you doing here?"
He looks ridiculous tired like he hasn't sleep in a week."
"Scott called me he didn't want to wake you."
"What happened why would he call you?"
Armando waves me toward the kitchen. Scott is sits in a chair next to the sink a big plastic cup in his hands. His knees and arms are cut up. His eyes are closed tight.
"What happened Scott?"
He says nothing. I try to put Gabe down but he whimpers like a hurt puppy and clings to me. I go to Scott run my fingers throw his hair.
"Scott"
He doesn't say anything just shakes his head. Armando comes to stand next to him.
"It’s okay Scott I don't think you can hurt Alex and it should have died down by now."
Scott shakes his head and I realized he is trying not to cry and I am scared.
"Scott open you fucking eyes right now."
He let out a long breath and slowly lifts his lids; his eyes are bright red nothing but bright burning red.
"What the fuck"
He closes them quickly, shoulder slumping forward. I hug him as best I can with Gabe still clinging to me. Armando tugs on Gabe who fights for a moment than let Armando lift him away from me. I warp myself around Scott who falls against me. The cup falls from his hand tumbles to the floor spilling water everywhere.
Scott talks against my chest.
"We were in the backyard, my eyes where itching I fell and then I saw red and then it just came out and hit the tree, everything was so bright it hurt a lot and then Gabe was crying and I could see but everything was still red, the tree was broken in half. I tried to get up and it came out again I brunt a hole in the grass so I closed my eyes and made Gabe go steal your cell phone."
"Why did you call Armando I was right upstairs"
He is quite. Armando answers
"Because he figured I would know what to do."
"Why would you know what to do?"
I turn to look at him remembering how soft his lips felt against mine, how perfect his hands fit on my hip and that I know nothing about him.
"I use to live with Professor X"
"In New York you went to the mutant school?”
He nods, shrugs, Gabe let out an annoyed whimper and tug on Armando shirt, he rubs Gabe's back and Gabe settles mostly to sleep on his shoulder.
"That is something you might have told me."
"I was working up to it and it’s not like you told me you had powers."
I want to tell him it’s not the same but mostly it is the same.
"What are your powers?"
He smirks. "I adapt"
"What the fuck does that even mean?"
"It means I change to fit the situation."
Scott tugs on my shirt I turn back to him.
"I hit him with my blast when he first showed up and I open my eyes and he just kind of shifted around absorbed everything it was cool."
I glance at Armando over my shoulder.
"That could be useful unlike plasma beam coming out of an 11 year old boys eyes."
"Your right and this is kind of extreme but not the worst I have seen. Plus we know where to go for help."
"I'm not letting someone look into my brothers"
"Professor X can help him Alex. Right now he can't keep his eyes open for longer than a few minutes."
He is right of course this is not like my powers that come and go, it seem Scott eyes are really just like this.
"Fine but we go now and there is no talk of staying"
"I'll call ahead we can take my car."
"Fuck"
He gives me a soft smile and walks out the room, Gabe still asleep on his shoulder.

I hug Scott hard and leave him in the kitchen. I pack 3 bags because I don't know how long this will take and Gabe goes through clothes like it's paper. I go back to Scott help him change in to clean clothes and settle him in the living room with my iPod. He would prefer a book but he can't keep his eyes open long enough. I try not to think of a world where my little brother will never be able to open his eyes. I call out at the gas station for a few weeks for a family emergency. I try to call out at the deli but I end up cursing out my boss and quitting. Which leave me with another fucking problem to solve.
I go back to the living room to find Armando sitting next to Scott, whose head, rest against his shoulder. Gabe is curled up in his lap, he's reading to them. I try not to think too hard on the warm melty feeling that start somewhere in my chest and spread outward.
"We can go now."
He looks up, Scott yawns. I carry the bags to the car he carries Gabe and helps Scott walk. I hope this Professor X guy is as good as ever one says he is.

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