|All I Need
Author: LilMisfit5290 PM
6 years old and in Pigeon Hollow, Dixie Cooney needs a friend. 9 years old and abandoned, Tad Gardner needs a new home. What happens when they first meet, long before the dress shop, and realize they need to be needed by each other. AU. TnD. Please R&R!Rated: Fiction T - English - Friendship/Romance - Tad M. & Dixie C.C.M. - Chapters: 9 - Words: 10,188 - Reviews: 7 - Follows: 2 - Updated: 12-09-12 - Published: 06-03-12 - id: 8180942
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Just trying to forge ahead to the next plot point with this update so excuse the sorry ending, had trouble finding a cutoff point. More to come soon!
The next morning Tad awoke to something, or someone, rubbing his shoulder and saying something to him. But it was still too early for his liking and he groaned, fighting off whoever was there and curling up into a smaller ball, keeping his eyes tightly closed.
"Tad..Taad! Wake up!"
Impatiently Dixie nudged him, then waited. But getting no response, frustrated, she stomped outside and collided with her mother.
"Well, good morning to you too!", Bess smirked, seeing her daughter in anything but a good mood.
"Hey c'mon now, where'd that smile of yours run off to?", she asked. Getting a shrug and then silence.
"Well, what else should I expect from a girl that spent the night asleep in a barn? Last I checked you had a bed to call your own?"
"Yeah I know I do, but Tad came out here last night and I followed him and, well we just, went to sleep out here you know?"
"Ah I see.", Bess nodded, looking through the barn doors to see Tad curled up asleep.
"But he's bein lazy and won't wake up yet."
"Lemme guess, you sang him that lullaby of mine right?"
"Well what did you expect? I sing that to you or Will and its like magic, you sleep through the night and then some."
"But Tad can't sleep in that late! We still gotta go to the doctors and to school and.."
"Baby I know..I know.", chuckled Bess.
"Look why don't you go on inside for breakfast, I'll go get Tad up."
"I gotta get your brother out of bed every morning, compared to him this'll be a piece of cake. Now, go on inside. Scoot."
Watching Dixie run across the yard, after making sure she got inside the house, Bess turned her attention to the boy dozing in her barn. Walking inside she approached and knelt beside him, gently shaking him awake.
"Tad? Honey c'mon, time to get up."
"C'mon Ma, five more minutes..",
Tad mumbled rolling over, opening his eyes slowly only to see the petite blond was not his mother.
"Oh!", he jumped, sitting up.
"I..I'm sorry ma'am I just.."
"Shh, don't worry about it. How'd you sleep?"
"Well, pretty good I guess, I must've been real tired."
"Yeah I bet you were. But you know you didn't need to come out here to sleep. I had Will set up a rollaway bed in his room for you last night."
"Oh, he never told me about that."
"Well, now you know. So tonight how about you stay inside with us? Unless of course ya like it out here in the barn but, I don't think a straw bed's as comfy as a real one."
"Are you sure it's okay I stay in the house?", asked Tad nervously.
"Of course it is, baby. I talked it over with Dixie's daddy last night."
"But he was upset. I heard him yell and.."
"And that's why you came out here instead.", sighed Bess. Angry at Seabone and herself for scaring Tad off.
"Honey listen, grown ups fight sometimes and Dixie's daddy and I are no exception. But, we never meant to scare or upset you or any of our kids. I promise it'll be fine if you stay with us, as long as you like."
"You mean it?"
"Of course!", Bess smiled, getting a real smile out of Tad for the first time since he'd turned up at her door.
It made her not want to ask him the inevitable question but she shook her head, knowing she'd have to.
"But, I would like to know a bit more about you if that's okay."
"Okay. So, Dixie said she found you wandering the woods by yourself but, you weren't sure exactly where you were. Did you get lost or, run away? Something like that?"
"I, well, I-"
"Honey I'm not gonna be upset once you tell me, I just, I need to know. Need to make sure there's not someone out there looking for you, I-"
Jumping to his feet Tad turned away, clearly upset.
"None of them are looking for me. That's what Ray said before, before he-"
"Shhh, Tad. It's okay, it's alright.", Bess soothed, watching closely as Tad cradled his injured arm.
"I just need to know. This Ray you're talking about, was he the one who...to your arm?"
Getting a quick nod, Bess tried to keep her anger in check. She knew there was a chance after seeing it Tad had been in an accident, but there was also a chance his arm had been hurt on purpose.
"And, you ran away from him after he-"
"No, he ran! He said, Momma and Jenny didn't need me anymore, he broke my arm and, ran. And I don't want to see him again! Ever again!", sniffled Tad. Prompting Bess to turn him around and give him a hug.
"I'm still afr..afraid of him though."
"Listen sweetheart, you have no reason to be afraid, you understand? You have no reason to fear a man like that. Because anyone who hurts like that and runs away after, is a coward, Tad. And you have no reason to fear a coward. You understand?"
Pulling back slightly, Tad nodded.
"You're a good boy, Tad. I know Pigeon Hollow's not home for you but, as long as you need us to, we'll take care of you here."
"You, you really want me around?"
"As long as you'll have us.", Bess smiled.
"And I know, Dixie wouldn't have it any other way."
"Yeah she probably wouldn't would she.", chuckled Tad.
Smiling if only for the reason that he'd be able to spend more time with his friend and her mother. They were good to him even though Seabone had been less than friendly. And Tad knew he could avoid him, and Will, for their sakes.
"Alright you. Let's go inside, get some food in you and we can get that arm checked out before I drop you guys at school. Sound good?"
Getting an approving nod, Bess smiled and walked Tad back to the house, where Will was finishing his orange juice and Dixie was feeding Della some cheerios.
"Hey you're awake!"
"About time.", Will grumbled, but caught glares from his mother and sister and sighed, getting up from the table.
"Momma I don't need a ride, I'm gonna walk."
"You sure baby?"
"Yeah it's not far.", shrugged Will before he turned to Dixie.
"Hey Dix you can come with if you want. We can take that shortcut I taught ya, you know?"
"Nah that's okay. I'll go with Momma and Tad. Besides I gotta show him his classroom, right?"
"Oh it's okay Dix you don't have t-"
"That's okay, I want to.", the blond assured, feeding Della a few more cheerios. And after polished off a bowl of her own.
"Hey what's the rush?", asked Tad, munching on a handful of cereal.
"I gotta go out and feed the animals before school. You wanna come with me?"
After chasing the cereal with some juice Tad stood and followed Dixie outside to the barn.
Leaving Will angrily shoving his feet into his sneakers.
"Hey there mister, you mess up those shoes you're not getting a pair of new ones.", Bess warned.
After she finished packing Will's bag lunch, she handed it to him before getting down to his level.
"There anything you wanna talk about with me?"
"I'm fine, Momma."
"Oh now why don't I believe that?", smirked Bess, raising a brow. But her son's frown stayed in place.
"Fine. Have a good day at school, and don't dawdle in those woods."
"Okay. Bye Momma.", Will muttered, and stomped out of the house to Bess' dismay.
"Just like your daddy. Lord, help me."