A/N:AN: Ahhh, I've got a break in my exams so I was able to work on this. Thanks to charahkids for looking at this for me.
This plot is the result of one of my early morning group discussions at school. In one of our more serious moments (because usually we talk about completely irrelevant and often times stupid stuff..but hey! School stressful so we need to decompress) we discussed the topic of excessive cell phone usage, and stuff like that.
I don't own CHUCK.
Charah vs The Teens- Chapter 1- Sariyah's in Trouble
Italics represent character thoughts.
For the tenth time (and yes, she was counting), Sarah heard her daughter's phone buzzing. The fourteen year old sprinted quickly from the living room and into the kitchen, taking the phone from off the counter. She smiled when she unlocked it and saw the message. Sarah glanced at her, stilling her hands from cutting the vegetables for a moment, she looked at Sariyah knowingly.
"You know, I can't help but notice that your phone is always in your hand," Sarah began, testing the waters. Sariyah shrugged nonchalantly as her fingers easily swept over the touch screen. "The least you can do is look at me when I am speaking to you. I'm sure whoever it is can wait," Sarah added a bit harshly. She could not believe she needed to be having this conversation with her daughter. She was sure that she and Chuck had instilled better manners in their children. Sariyah did not reply, but continued to type away as though her mother had not spoken. "Sariyah? Are you even listening to me?"
Sariyah looked up at her mother, blue orbs meeting blue. "I'm listening Mom," she eyed Sarah exasperatedly.
Before Sarah could add another word, Sariyah's phone buzzed again and she tried to surreptitiously look at it. Sarah frowned. She was happy that her daughter had a social life, but lately it seemed like she lived on her phone. Sariyah felt her mother's gaze burn through her and she brushed her blond bangs out of her face as a distraction.
"Who are you talking to anyway?" Sarah queried, getting back to chopping the vegetables. Sariyah looked down at her feet and swayed lightly. There was a pregnant pause and Sarah looked up at her. "I asked who you were talking to." She said forcefully. She didn't want to be that mom who pried into everything and never let her child have some privacy, but she would ask questions if need be.
"It's just Laura. She was asking for some help with our Bio homework."
Sarah masked her frown. Her daughter had just lied. "And what's so difficult about this homework that she has to message you five times within two minutes?" Sarah prodded.
Sariyah rolled her eyes and smacked her lips. "Geez Mom, I can't control how and when my friends send me the damn messages." Her eyes widened as soon as the words left her mouth.
Sarah raised her brow at her and held her gaze firm on the teen. She was a bit taken aback. Her eyebrows knitted as she replayed the last few seconds in her mind. Sariyah had just raised her voice at her and had been rude! This was certainly not how she had been raised.
Sariyah quickly mumbled an apology. "I'm sorry... I didn't mean to sound so rude." Her mother was still staring her down and she couldn't bear to look her in the eyes. Yeah, the tiled floor seemed much more interesting at this point. She'd only just come off of punishment yesterday for wearing makeup even though her parents had forbidden her to do so. At first, she had tried using some of her mother's, but Sarah had found out that she was messing with her stuff. Following that, she went out and bought some of her own from the mall when she had gone with her cousin Clara but Chuck, in a moment of clumsiness, had knocked over some of the items on her dresser and the makeup which she had hidden in her jewellery chest spilled out. In her opinion, hiding them in plain sight had been a great option, but because of her father's clumsiness, she had been caught. She had been scolded and as a punishment for defying their authority she had been banned from going out with her friends for two weeks.
Chuck walked in then, phone in hand and oblivious to the tension between his wife and daughter. "Hey babe, your Mom's on the phone." He passed the phone to her. Sarah smiled her thanks to him and then looked at Sariyah, the look in her eyes letting her know that their conversation was far from over.
"Hey Mom, what's up?" She spoke into the receiver and with that, Sariyah scampered out of the kitchen, glad to be away from her mother.
"Chuck, have you noticed lately how much differently Sariyah is acting?" Sarah asked her husband as they were preparing for bed.
He nodded. "I have felt like she is hiding something from us. Of course when I found the makeup, I thought that had been the root of the problem. Why? What's wrong?"
"I just don't like the vibes I've been getting from her lately," Sarah huffed.
"And I've taken note of the fact that she been spending a lot of time on her phone lately." If it continued and Sariyah began to neglect her studies or display any kind of increasingly worrying behaviour then they would be intervening.
Sarah sighed. She wasn't being paranoid. "Today she snapped at me. Just as you came in I was ready to give her a serious dressing down"
"I could talk to her," he offered.
Sarah shook her head. "No, I think I'll watch her a bit more and then if need be then we can intervene."
"I'm always up for a Good Cop/ Bad Cop exercise if you need me," Chuck said, wrapping his arms around her. He was joking of course, they never used interrogation tactics with their children…well not usually, but when they did talk to their children together they usually tried to be as understanding as possible.
She smiled against his chest. "Love you Chuck."
"Love you too baby."
The makeup thing, being on her phone all the time, being rude to them...it was just getting to be too much. They would be talking to her soon though; that much was certain. Sarah sighed again. She wanted what was best for her children and she just hoped that they could put an end to Sariyah's recent unsettling behaviour.
Their parents did not look happy. In fact, they looked pissed. CJ Bartowski was glad that he was not on the receiving end of their hard looks. His younger sister sat beside him, squirming in her seat. She was gonna get it. Big time.
"Sariyah, would you like to tell me why I got a call from your Biology teacher saying that you've been missing a couple of classes and that she hasn't received your Bio homework which was given two weeks ago?" Chuck barely managed to keep his anger at bay.
Sariyah looked at everything in the room except her parents. She glanced at her brother, pleading for help. He tapped two fingers on her arm, letting her know she was on her own with this one. Sorry sis, can't help you with this one. She sighed. "Becauseeee..." She trailed.
"Because? Because what?!"
She shrugged, "Just because..."
Sarah growled. "Just because!? That's your answer? Have you suddenly forgotten how to answer a simple question? You better give us an answer and it better be a damned good one!" Sarah raged.
Chuck placed a hand on the small of Sarah's back, trying to calm her. She turned to him and was met by his warm hazel eyes. She relaxed, but only slightly.
"Sariyah, you're better than that. Why haven't you done your homework?"
"It was too hard."
"Blossom," Chuck began, using the nickname he'd given her when she was three and enthralled with The Powerpuff Girls, "you know you can come to us when you need help. And since it's Biology, you could've even asked your Aunt Ellie or Uncle Awesome."
"Or me," CJ spoke up. He didn't mean to toot his own horn, but he was pretty smart and he had always aced his Biology classes throughout secondary school.
Sarah looked at her daughter, analysing her. She is lying. Again. "Why are you lying to us Sariyah?" Sariyah looked at her, confused. Sarah always picked up on when her children weren't being honest with her. And it wasn't just because of her CIA training. It was like a part of her mother's intuition. "Is this the same homework you were helping Laura with the other day when your phone was incessant while we were in the kitchen?" Her voice was oddly calm and that unnerved Sariyah.
Sariyah's eyes widened. She had been caught. Oh crap! "Umm."
Sarah laughed bitterly. "You are making me mad Sariyah. So here's what's going happen: I'm gonna go into the kitchen and get a glass of water. When I come back, you better talk, or you won't like the consequences." With that, she stormed out of the living room.
"Sariyah," Chuck spoke to her, his voice soothing. She shook her head sorrowfully, sending alarm bells off in his head. "Sariyah, sweetheart, whatever it is you can tell me. We'll figure it out."
She opened her mouth to speak but closed it on second thought. Chuck waited, wanting to see if she'd change her mind about being mute and confide in him. She didn't. "Sariyah, the only we can help you is if you tell us what's going on," he pleaded.
Sariyah looked up at him shyly. He was so concerned about her, but there was no way she could tell him why she didn't hand in that homework. She was his baby girl, and she feared telling him would taint his view of her. No, it was better for him to angry about her refusing to answer than for them to be angry at what she had done.
"I can't tell you Daddy," she whispered softly. "I'm sorry."
"Yes you can. You can tell me anything," Chuck pressed. "Anything at all."
"Not this time," she mumbled.
Chuck sighed and nodded. They sat there for a moment, an uncomfortable silence blanketing the room. He looked at her one more time before going into the kitchen to check on Sarah.
Sariyah bit her lip. She had never seen her mother so pissed and her father was so crushed that she refused to tell him anything. They had always been close and she often told him things before telling her mother so she knew that what she had just done was agonising for Chuck. Still, she stood firm in her decision. They wouldn't find out the real reason, at least not from her.
"Why are you lying?" CJ asked his younger sister, truly concerned. "Just tell them what it is. It'll be better if you just tell them the truth." The seventeen year old had learnt that lesson the hard way. He had lied to his parents one time about going to a party and drinking while at said party.
She shook her head. "You saw how mad Mom was. If I tell them, they will freak out."
"That's your logic?" He rolled his eyes. "I think they will be madder if you don't talk."
"Well they can't force me to." She remained defiant.
"You know they will get to the bottom of this." He was confident they would, someway, somehow. "What did you do?" he pressed, his mind already going off on a tangent. What could she had gotten herself into? Drugs? She doesn't keep company with the known delinquents at school, so I don't think she skipped class either.
She looked at him, searching his brown eyes and finding nothing but trust and warmth in them. He was like their father in that way. Maybe I should tell him and he'd help me talk to Mom and Dad. "Ok, I'll tell you," she whispered. "I didn't-" she clamped her mouth shut as just then Sarah and Chuck came back into the room.
Sarah sat down facing them and Chuck sat on her left side. "I'm listening. So you better start talking,"
"I didn't hand in the homework because I wasn't present when she collected it." She was just gonna go with the truth...Or part of it. A half truth technically had some truth to it. Didn't it?
Chuck frowned. She hadn't missed any days of school lately, so as far as he was concerned, she shouldn't have missed any classes either. "And why weren't you present?"
She winced. Maybe going with the truth wasn't the right idea. She should have expected that follow up question. "I was with Laura. She wasn't feeling well so I stayed with her in the school nurse's office until her parents came to pick her up." See that's the thing about lies- it creates a chain reaction where you tell a lie to cover the previous one.
CJ looked at Sariyah with wide eyes and horror. What the hell had she been up to that she is telling so many lies? He was pretty sure that Laura, or any of his sister's friends for that matter had not gone home sick recently. Both Chuck and Sarah noticed the look the older boy had sent his sister.
"Assuming we go with your story," Sarah began, trying to keep the disbelief out of her voice. "Are you trying to tell me that Laura was sooooooooo sick that you couldn't slip out for a couple of minutes to hand in your assignment? And how long was she in the sick bay? Could you not have gone after?"
"Well, what had happened was…"
"Why are you lying to us Sariyah?" Chuck asked. She looked at him, he looked tired and disappointment filled his eyes. She couldn't bear to have him disappointed in her.
"I'm not lying Daddy," she said, her voice having a tremble to it.
Sarah scoffed. "So if I called Laura's house and talked to her parents they'd tell me that she did come home sick."
She didn't answer. Well, foot, meet mouth! If she had called Laura, she suspected Laura would've covered for her, but her parents would tell her mother the truth.
"This is the last time we're gonna ask you this. Why are you lying and why have you been skipping classes?" Chuck said through clenched teeth. She kept mum, biting the inside of jaws. The atmosphere was tense and Chuck and Sarah were growing angrier by the second, CJ ran his hands through his brown curls in frustration.
"Sariyah just tell them."
She shook her head stubbornly. "No, you won't understand and you'll get upset." She refused to utter a word.
Again, Sarah frowned. She just wanted to get to the bottom of this. There was a staring match between Chuck and Sarah on one side and Sariyah on the other as they waited for her to talk. Just then, her phone vibrated against her thigh and she her the distinct ding of her message notification. She didn't move to fetch it from her pocket and it buzzed again fifteen seconds later.
Sarah looked at the younger version of herself. "Give me your phone." Her commanding tone left no room for argument and she held out her hand.
Warmth crept up Sariyah's neck and she glanced at her parents. Sarah narrowed her eyes and shook her hand albeit impatiently.
"Mom! This is totally unnecessary!" Sariyah whined but when she saw her mother's grim expression, she conceded with a huff. Sarah took the phone, and pressed the power button, intending to turn it off. However, the home screen lit up. Sarah looked at it intently, her lips parting slightly and then looked at Sariyah. Sariyah looked up at her timidly and realised that Sarah must have seen the text notification. Oh dear Lord, please let it be Laura or Carmen... please don't let it be- Her mother's eyes were burning through her and she knew then and there that the message was not from any of her girlfriends. Her body got hot and she broke eye contact. This was going to be bad. Sarah looked at the phone, rage in her eyes. She pressed the home button again and turned the phone so Chuck could see. Chuck looked at it without hesitation, eager to find out what could be making Sarah so angry. When he looked at it, his eyes had fire in them and he looked at Sariyah with questioning eyes.
CJ was left out of the loop and wondered what it was all about. He looked at Sariyah, asking her what she had done. She shook her head at him and bowed under his gaze.
"CJ, maybe it's time for you to go to your room. You've got a football game tomorrow so you'll need to be well rested for that," Sarah reminded him.
If that was supposed to sound like a suggestion, it sounded more like an order to him. He shook his head. This was their way of getting him out of the room. He sighed though. He certainly wasn't about to argue with his parents when they were so mad. Also, tomorrow was the semi-finals for the inter-school football competition so he wanted to be at his best. He loved the game and that was mostly due to his Uncle Awesome and Aunt Molly's influence. He had certainly gotten the athletic side from his mother, but still enjoyed playing video games, or watching Star Wars with his father and Uncle Morgan on occasion. He sighed again and squared his shoulders. Sending an apologetic look to his sister, and a small smile as good luck, he left the room. He felt a bit guilty, he was sure that his parents had picked up on the way his eyes had widened when Sariyah said Laura had gone home sick. He just hoped she wasn't in too much trouble, though from what he'd heard, he was pretty sure that she was. CJ was tempted to stay just outside the living room and listen from the foyer, but considering that his parents were already angry, he didn't want to make it any worse. Him getting caught eavesdropping because of his parents' "spy senses" was not in the cards for tonight.
"Who is Jake?!" CJ heard his mother demand.
He could visualize Sariyah cringing at her tone. Hell, he was halfway up the stairs and he was cringing. Sariyah didn't answer, because he heard his mother repeat the question, her voice having a sharp edge to it.
"Sariyah Ashley Bartowski!" He heard his father roar. This was bad. His father never raised his voice like that. And he was calling out her full name. It was one of those unspoken rules of the universe that whenever a parent called you by your full name that there was big trouble. "You will answer us!" Shit was about to hit the fan.
Sarah ran her fingers through her hair. She counted from one to ten, trying to calm herself. Chuck was pinching the bridge of his nose, not wanting to do or say anything he'd regret. When Sarah spoke, she was in control of her emotions, just like she would've been in an interrogation.
"Who is this Jake that has been messaging you?"
Sariyah pursed her lips. "He's just a guy from school."
"Is he in your class?" Chuck asked. She shook her head no.
"Is he the reason you didn't go to Biology?" She was silent, and held her face in her hands. That was their answer. Was she out of her damn mind?! Skipping class to be with a boy!?
"Sariyah," Chuck said sternly, "did you skip class with him?" He needed her actual affirmation.
Sariyah nodded miserably. "Where did you two go?" Chuck pressed. She shrugged.
"One time we went under the bleachers."
Sarah and Chuck glanced at each other uncomfortably. The bleachers, just great. They knew what usually happened under the bleachers and they didn't think much had changed since their days in high school. The thought of Sariyah and a boy under the bleachers made Chuck frown. His train of thought chugged on, as he wondered what Sariyah had been doing with this Jake guy whom he had a gnawing feeling was older than her. He balked at the thought- older and probably more experienced who taught younger girls how stuff was done. Chuck squashed that line of thought. He wouldn't jump to conclusions.
"What did you do under the bleachers?" Sarah asked, knowing that she might not like the response.
Sarah's face scrunched. What the hell was that supposed to mean? "You need to be clearer than that."
"We just talked."
"And you said 'one time' that implies that you've skipped class to be with him on more than one occasion. Where else did you go?"
"He took me to the skating ring."
"Wait," Sarah held up her finger. "Sooooooooo, what you're telling me is that you left school property with him and went to God knows where?"
Sariayh shrugged. "It wasn't to God's knows where," she fought the urge to roll her eyes, "it was only to the skating ring."
"If I were you, I'd stop that statement before you dig yourself further in a hole. I don't care if you went to the skating ring or the damn zoo!"
Sarah huffed. She'd only skipped class twice to be with him. Perhaps it hadn't been the best idea to skip the same class twice. But with the way her and Jake's timetable were, skipping her Thursday Biology class was the best option.
Chuck sighed. He looked at Sarah and she nodded. "Your mother and I have decided to take away your phone. Indefinitely."
Sariyah's blood ran cold. She sniffed and wiped her eyes with the corner of her hands. Her face was in her hands, tears pouring from her eyes. "I'm sorry," she mumbled miserably. Her phone buzzed again, she was really becoming annoyed at the damn thing. Sarah looked at it and saw that she had a new message from the same Jake, but this time it was a picture.
Sarah was very intrigued as to what he was sending. "Give me your password." Sariyah reached for the phone, but Sarah pulled it back. "Not happening. Tell me what it is."
"I haven't done anything! There's no need for you to go through my phone!"
Sarah exhaled slowly. "On the contrary my darling, I think skipping class to be with a boy, a boy whom we know nothing about and lying by the skin of your teeth amounts to much, much more than nothing."
"But, but," she stuttered, aware that this was a losing battle. "It's an invasion of my privacy! I have rights too! It's not fair!"
Chuck interrupted her this time. "Let's not even go there about privacy. From the time those lies came out of your mouth you pretty much gave up a right to privacy." The anger was clearly present in his voice. "Give your mother the password."
Sariyah shook her head no again.
"Damn it Sariyah!" Sarah yelled. She was quickly losing her cool. Her breath was becoming ragged. The CIA agent persona she had been channelling moments prior was quickly dissipating.
Sariyah recoiled at the sound of her mother's voice. Chuck rubbed his hand along the length of Sarah's arm. He knew she was rather upset, but seeing Sariyah flinch at the sound of her voice made him pause. They didn't want her to feel alienated, but she could not continue how she had been acting. He'd take it from there while she got herself under control.
"You have two options here. Give us the password or the Piranha will come out to play. And you know I've already made some modifications to your phone. Getting into it notwithstanding the password would be a piece of cake."
She sighed. They had her backed up against the wall. There was no way she was getting out of this. When they saw Jake's messages though, she was certain they would pop a gasket.
"091405." She couldn't not give it to them. Her shoulders slumped in defeat. She knew her mother would be going into her messages. She couldn't bear to watch as her fingers glided across the touch screen so she kept her head down, feeling fresh tears prickling in her eyes.
"Sooooooooooo" Sarah drawled, a twangy Southern ascent coming into play, "you have a boyfriend?" The picture Jake had sent was of a heart and the words "I'm glad that you're my girl" inside. Sarah felt like hurling the phone at the wall.
"I'm in trouble because I have a boyfriend?" She rolled her eyes. This was so 1850 of them. Hello Middle Ages! CJ has a girlfriend and they didn't give him half as much gripe when they first found out. His girlfriend, Vanessa even had dinner with them sometimes. "You don't fuss this much over CJ having a girlfriend," she said petulantly.
"CJ is seventeen years old! So don't you dare bring him into this!" Sarah told her. CJ had done the right thing and introduced them to his girlfriend, so that they weren't completely blindsided. "And unlike you, little Miss-I-Don't-Know-How-to-tell-the-truth, he told us about his girlfriend!"
Chuck continued to scroll through the messages and his eyes snapped in horror when he found a series of sexually suggestive pictures and romantic memes. Sarah looked down at the screen and if she wasn't pissed before, she was mad as hell now. There were pictures of him shirtless, with the caption "want to help me finish undress *wink*, another with him in just his boxers and another with a towel wrapped loosely around his waist, the V shape in the lower abdominal region clearly visible. Sarah was disgusted and understandably furious.
"Sexting Sariyah!" Sarah felt her blood boiling. She was way too young for this. "Sexting?! Have we not talked about this?"
"What is he getting in return?" Chuck asked, hating that he was having this conversation with his fourteen year old.
She bit her lip, hesitant. "Nothing."
"So, he just sends you pictures of himself?"
Sariyah nodded yes. Sarah wasn't even sure if she could believe her at this point. She had lied so much already for the evening,
"Do you send him anything?" Chuck asked again. Clearly he didn't believe her either.
"Daddy! I swear. I've never sent him anything like that. I've never sent those kind of pictures to anyone! Mommy, I'm sorry you have to believe me!" She was in tears again. Chuck went through all of her messages with Jake and didn't find anything incriminating. He was relieved about that. Still, the nerd in him told him that just because they weren't there didn't mean they didn't exist or hadn't at one point. Besides, there were some breaks in the conversation times and the tone of conversation didn't flow so he was sure that some of the messages shared had been deleted. He would be checking her online storage just to be sure. After tonight, he was unsure about a lot of things.
"You know you will be punished for this," Sarah said.
Chuck nodded. "No phone, no TV, nothing."
"And you're grounded."
She sucked her bottom teeth. It's not like she asked him to send the pictures. "Mommy," she cried, reminding Sarah of when she was much younger, so young that they didn't have to worry about her and boys because she thought they had cooties. "I'm not lying this time. I didn't sext with him."
Her cries were futile she realised. They didn't believe her. Her vision becoming blurred by tears, she leapt from the couch and ran up the stairs to the sanctuary of her room.
In his room, CJ was sitting on his bed, contemplative. He had heard almost everything. He felt sorry for Sariyah though. She never could take too much yelling and their parents had really gone in on her. He sighed and shuffled over to her room. He knocked twice but got no reply. He pressed his ear to the door and heard her sniffling. He felt awful for her and entered the room. It took a moment for his eyes to adjust to the complete darkness of the room, having just been in a brightly lit hallway, but when his eyes did focus, he saw her curled up into a ball in bed.
"Sariyah," he called out, walking over to her. She didn't acknowledge him and kept her back away from him. He leaned over to her bedside table and turned on her lamp. "It's ok, stop crying," he tried to soothe her. Her cries came harder.
"Leave me alone!" she snuffed.
"You're my baby sister; I can't leave you alone to be sad," he told her, his heart breaking for her. He wasn't one of those stereotypical big brothers who tried to portray a conventional macho image, so he wasn't afraid to show his feelings for her.
He waited for five minutes as she cried some more. When she finally sat up against the headboard, the comforter hunched about her body, he had a tissue in his hands for her.
"Anything for you baby sis." He smiled widely at her.
"Mom and Dad hate me," she said after a moment.
He shook his head at the ludicrous nature of it all. "They could never hate you." Sure, they might be angry now, but they couldn't hate her or stay mad at her forever.
She shook her head forlornly. "You didn't see the look in their eyes."
"It'll be ok."
"You heard didn't you?" she asked. He nodded. It was kind of hard not to. I wouldn't be surprised if Uncle Morgan heard...and he lives five houses down. "I guess you don't believe me either?"
He looked in her eyes, and saw the sadness clouding them. "No, I do. Do you wanna talk about it?"
Sariyah nodded. She was tired of the yelling and at least CJ wouldn't yell at her. "I've had a thing going on with Jake."
"Jake Smith," Sariyah responded.
He looked at her in disbelief. "Jake Smith? Are you serious Sariyah. Please tell me you're joking!"
"Oh please CJ," Sariyah seethed, "I don't need a lecture from you too."
"Sariyah, you've heard the rumors going around about him and his friends."
She rolled her eyes. "So just because you heard one stupid rumour you're gonna jump on the bandwagon too?" She did not need his attitude right now. "You're behaving no better than Mom and Dad," she spat angrily. "He's nice to me!"
"One stupid rumour Sariayh? That's what you're gonna call it?' he snarled. "He's a player and a womaniser Sariyah. Of course he's nice to you! He probably wants to get you into bed."
"Oh why don't you leave me the hell alone CJ!" She had had enough chastisement for the day.
"You know what he did to Vanessa's friend Macy. He slept with her Sariyah and he bragged about it to all of his friends. And when word got out that she was pregnant and that it was his, he refused to acknowledge her and tried to make her out to be some sort of slut. Or do you not remember any of this?"
Sariyah rolled her eyes. "Just because your girlfriend said that's what happened doesn't mean it's the gospel truth, CJ."
Her brother looked at her with wide eyes, in complete disbelief. "Are you serious? Macy had to move away!"
"She didn't have to do anything CJ. What happened is that her parents were too prissy and couldn't deal with the so called shame of having their daughter pregnant before she graduated."
"Are you hearing yourself?" He wanted to shake her back to reality. He could not believe that his sister was saying these things. He shook his head. With the way Sariyah was acting he could see why his parents were so angry. "You know, for your sake I hope this works out." Jake? Jake freaking Smith? And there I was thinking he knew that she didn't hang out with delinquents and now I find out she's had a thing with a womanising jackass. "But gosh Sariyah! I don't even know what to say to you right now."
"Then get out of my room!"
They heard small footsteps approaching and turned to the door when it opened. The light from the hallway allowed them to see the small form of their little sister in the doorway.
"Hey Skylar." CJ greeted her.
The five year old walked up to the bed with her stuffed dog that she'd named Bunny in her hand. She climbed up onto the bed.
"What are you doing up?" Sariyah asked. Her parents had put her to bed a little after dinner around eight fifteen.
"Momma and Daddy were yelling." Skylar said in a small voice, her lips quivering. "It woke me up."
CJ and Sariyah looked at each other alarmed, she had been up this whole time hearing all that noise. She noted that their little sister had unshed tears in her hazel eyes.
CJ drew her close in a hug and patted her back soothingly. "It's okay Sky. Everything will be fine."
"Momma angry?" She asked them. The older siblings exchanged glances, unsure of what to say.
"Um, she's a bit upset." Sariyah said after a moment.
"Momma yelled at 'Riyah?"
Sariyah looked down and CJ decided to take control of the situation. "Don't worry about that Sky," he said, ruffling her dirty blonde curls.
"You yelled at 'Riyah too," Skylar looked at her brother accusingly. "I heard you talking before I came in. You were using your angry voice."
"We were um, you know, we just disagree on something."
"Oh. I don't want my family to be mad," Skylar admitted with a glum expression.
"Sky I don't want you to worry about this. Okay?"
She nodded and turned to her big sister, noticing the frown on her face. "'Riyah sad?"
"Um, no, I'm fi-" Sariyah started, but found herself unable to continue with the lie. "I'll be OK."
Skylar scrambled over to her and kissed her sister on the cheek, also throwing her arms around her neck. "Don't be sad 'Riyah, I love you."
Sariyah smiled then, a genuine smile. "I love you too Sky."
CJ made an exaggerated noise of coughing and the girls turned to him, Sariyah glared at him while Skylar smiled toothily. "I love you too CJ. And I love Momma and Daddy and Auntie Ellie and Uncle Devon and Clara and Mimi and-"
"Okay, we get it," Sariyah cut her off, knowing how her little sister liked to ramble.
"Sky, it's time to go back to bed. You want to be well rested for school don't you?" CJ said, looking at his watch and noticing that it was after ten.
The four year old shook her head defiantly. "I'm not sleepy."
"Sky," CJ said, "I'm not joking."
"We all have school tomorrow." It was hard enough getting her up in the morning when she did go to bed on time; he could only imagine the terror it would be to wake her up after she went to bed late. "Sky, you should go on to bed," Sariyah encouraged.
Skylar pouted but eventually relented. "Night Sariyah." She said, kissing her sister's cheek. "Love you."
"Good night Skylar. Love you too."
CJ got up from the bed and held out his hand for Skylar to take. She looked at the proffered hand and frowned. "Up CJ."
He sighed, but relented and picked her up. He exchanged good nights with his younger sister and left the room, carrying Skylar back to her room.
In Skylar's room, CJ tucked her in and turned on the night light. He turned to leave but she tugged his hand. "I'm not sleepy CJ." She whined.
"Just close your eyes and you'll fall to sleep eventually." CJ tried. She was restless and tossed quite a bit, but CJ stayed with her until she fell asleep. When she did, he slowly eased out of the bed and secured the covers over her. Then he turned on the nightlight and slipped out of the room. He saw that Sariyah's light was still on so he knocked and entered.
"What do you want CJ?"
He watched her as she stood in front of her closet looking for tomorrow's outfit. "Sariyah, you know I wouldn't intentionally hurt you," he began, hoping that his sister would face him. She didn't. "I said what I did about Jake because I don't want anyone else to hurt you either." Seeing that she was not going to say anything, CJ sighed and turned on his heel to leave the room. "I love you okay?"
Sarah flopped down on the couch, drained form their talk with Sariyah. Chuck walked into the kitchen and returned to her with a bottle of Johnny Walker Black and two glasses. He poured them a glass each and they downed it quickly and wordlessly. Sarah filled her glass again and chugged it back, welcoming the burn that came as the alcohol made its way down her throat.
"Chuck? Sexting? " Sarah sobbed. "I don't know how...I should've God! I should've known that she was beginning to get interested in boys!"
He rubbed her back soothingly. He was mad at himself as well. "We'll work this out. We always do." He said comfortingly.
Half an hour later, Sarah had calmed down enough. She and Chuck had discussed things; it was still a shock to her system. She realised that she had been a bit too harsh and the approach she had taken might not have been the best to get Sariyah to talk to them. After showering, she made her way to Sariyah's bedroom. She knocked lightly and entered, but was disappointed to find Sariyah asleep. Their talk would have to wait. She kissed Sariyah on her forehead and joined Chuck in their bedroom.
"So, what are we gonna do about this Jake guy? Talk to his parents about the whole thing? Orrrrrr I can rally up Casey and Devon and scare the living daylight out of him." A serious threat to rip him limb from limb..from limb in addition to 'accidentally' letting him see Casey's Sig P229 would set him straight. Sarah chuckled at that, but it faded when she realised Chuck was being serious.
A/N: Feel free to review, even if it's as a guest. And to those of you who wished me well in my exams, thank you. I think they have gone well so far.
If Chuck and/or Sarah seem(s) harsh, it was intentional. I hope it's still believable though. As a teen myself I do think my parents are unjustly harsh at times and don't always allow me (or my siblings for that matter) to give my account of something before they launch into a tirade.
The next part should be up within a week or so. You can expect a bit more family drama as CJ will also get into some trouble, and Sariyah will find herself in some more hot water with her parents.
Until next time,
Chapter edited 25/05/2017