Disclaimer:  Grub, Troub, Mummy and everyone else belongs to Eoin Colfer.  I know it's sad to have written so many disclaimers lately, proving that I'm addicted to fanfic, but I'll keep on doing it.  I'm not making any money, only a small possible grade because I'm handing this in for English (we had to write something which we would enjoy writing), etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

Glomps to:

Bonnie (Stardust Firebolt) who got my creative juices back in the bottle just now, when I was fairly sure they had evaporated.

Kitty Rainbow, for ranting about Grub and Troub and their cuteness at every opportunity.

And Grub, for being such a cute character to write with.

My brother's a great guy, you know.  He's always sensible and he always knows exactly what to do.  He even knows what I should be doing, but when he tells me things I don't really listen to him.  But I know I should.  He's like our Ma, really.  All wise and knowledgeable, into books and things.  Most people don't think that Troub is much of a book-reader, thinking he's some senseless policeman, but they'd all be blown over like matchsticks if they knew how much my big bro reads.  He won't let anyone know that he likes books so much, of course - that would ruin his reputation - but he does like them.  He even did a literature course at one of the Haven Universities and got honours.  I was never good at school or reading at all and well... I know I'm not as bright as some other people are.  As most other people are.  I'm definitely not as bright as Trouble is.  Or as bright as Captain Short is!  She's brilliant when it comes to thinking!  And she's really pretty as well.  And, you know what, she might even like me!  At least a tiny bit.  I took her and Troub in some coffee when they were discussing some big-shot strategy stuff and when I was leaving she peeked around Trouble and gave me a little wink!  She looks really pretty when she winks, like one of those Mud Men angels which Mummy once told me about.

            Or maybe she was letting me in on a secret!  But... I don't know what the secret was.  Maybe it wasn't much of a secret and only about how Trouble seems to babble on and on sometimes, because he does do that a lot.  Mummy's always telling him to stop it whenever he comes back home for Sunday dinner.  He moved out of home last year and into an apartment in the middle of the city.  It's a really nice apartment and sometimes he lets me stay overnight with him, which is really fun.  We stay up late watching movies that Mummy doesn't let me watch on my own and then sometimes we get some marshmallows and roast them over the stove in Trouble's kitchen.  And one of mine once melted onto the stove and we haven't been able to get it off since!

One time when I went over to Troub's place, some other fairies were there.  It was some of the other LEP people, but they were all officers who I don't think liked me very much.  Or maybe they just didn't know who I am – most people don't really know who I am.  They definitely didn't know that I'm Trouble's brother!  When I knocked on the door they answered and started making mean jokes about me being a boy-scout selling cookies and having spots all over my face.  (I used to be a boy-scout, actually - Mummy made me and Trouble join but it was fun, really.  Trouble just wouldn't let anyone else but me know that he liked it, but he did.)  The officers smelt like Daddy used to when he would come back late at night and then be mean to me and Mummy.  Trouble was always Daddy's favourite and was never picked on, except when he would stand up for us or get in the way of Daddy's punches.  Only then was Daddy rough with Troub, and not so rough that Trouble couldn't get away.  Daddy, he... I really like how Trouble stood up for me and Mummy when Daddy was like that.  Troub is so good to us, even though he doesn't have to be.

The men at Trouble's place let me come in, but they were being very scary, almost like some of the meaner Goblins that sometimes get into the cells for Disturbing the Peace.  I just stood in the corner, hoping they wouldn't really pay any attention to me, waiting for Trouble to get out of his shower.  But they didn't want to ignore me and they backed me further into the corner and then... I wet my pants I was so scared.  And they laughed at me some more, and then one of them threw a punch and it landed on the side of my nose and it hurt as much as my broken arm did when I was little and feel off some play equipment at pre-school.  I cried out and when Trouble heard me he came running out of the shower without even putting a towel over his ... you know ... privates.

And he beat them up so badly that they weren't even able to crawl out of there.  He was never friends with them again.  And they never picked on me again, even when I had to deliver stuff to them at the Plaza and Troub wasn't around.  Trouble was so angry that he even kicked one of the guys in the knackers - and I never would have thought that Trouble would do that.  That shows how much Trouble cares for me, even if he does brush me off sometimes to go and do things with other people.  I mean, not everyone's got a brother who would give up his mates and even kick his best mate where it hurts just to look after their little bro.  That's something special, that is. 

Mummy's always saying that both of us are special, but I know she thinks Trouble's specialier.  Trouble's ... one of a kind.  And well ... I'm not really all that smart and I can't really do much of anything - although I make a really nice chocolate pudding, the best there is, our Mummy says.  But that's not like Trouble who's so brave, and so smart, and such a good officer, and I don't think he ever failed a Maths test in school.  And I ... I had to have special Maths tests made up for me because I was doing a stupid course.

The other boys used to tease me about that and I didn't really have any mates at school - other than my brother of course.  But they couldn't bash me up because then Troub would find out and then they would be in deep, deep trouble.  I would always say that and so they would only call me names or drop my books in the toilet or take my lunch money away, and that's better.  I was friends with a girl in the year below me for a little bit, but then she kept wanting to go and read in the library and I had pretended that I liked reading and then ... and then she found out that I can't really read all that good and she made some new friends with some people who had read as many books as she had.  When Daddy went away for good, people at school finally found out about what he'd been doing to us, and they...  Even though some people were nice to me and Trouble and one boy even let me sit with him, the bullies were even worse.  I think it was then that Trouble stopped having proper friends at school.  He was still popular and he still had friends in classes but he never sat with them at lunchtime.  He stayed and sat with me in a corner of the playground.  I didn't want to tell him that people just picked on me in class instead.

Trouble really put me before himself, even though I'm always embarrassing him or doing stupid things.  Even I can tell that he doesn't always want me around, and I don't notice things as easily as other people do.  But that's just my brother for you - always sacrificing himself and helping other people, being courageous and self—self—whatever the opposite to selfish is!  I ... I appreciate all the things he's done for me over the years, I really do, and I wish he hadn't needed to do them.  I wish I were good enough to do some things for myself; good enough to not need Trouble's help so much.  It makes me feel so bad.  He doesn't have friends and he can't do all this stuff and ... he could if it wasn't for me.  I ... I feel terrible when he brushes me off to go and do other things, but I feel worse when he pretends he's enjoying an animated movie with me when he could be watching an action movie with a girlfriend.  He even got me my job for me because I couldn't get a job anywhere else.  But now he has to take responsibility for me because no one else at the LEP wants anything to do with 'that idiotic Corporal Kelp'.

I'm not as stupid as some people think.  Well, most of the time I am, but it's not as if I can't understand what they're saying.  That's how I found out about Trouble being MIA – Missing In Action.  They weren't going to tell me because they thought that I wouldn't be able to cope with it.  I was bringing in Root's pack of cigars and he was trying to get Captain Short to tell me about Troub.  He was giving her an order, but she kept on refusing – I could never do that.  She didn't want to be responsible for hurting me.  They were yelling at each other about it - things like: "He won't understand it when someone tells him, he doesn't know what that gang are like.  He'll be thinking that Captain Kelp will come back in a day, not in a matchbox!"  Things like:  "Someone has to tell him!  He idolises and loves his brother too much."  Things like: "Trouble would want you to tell him, Captain.  Kelp gets on with you, he's much too scared to listen to a word I say."  Things like:  "How about we just tell their mother and she can tell Grub when he gets home?"

Then they opened the door and I was still standing there, the packet of Root's noxious cigars crushed to a sweaty pulp in my hand.  And I ... I wanted to do what Trouble would do in the same situation, I wanted to be brave and powerful and I wanted the tears to be not on my face and ... I almost got what I wanted.  I didn't even know why, my brain wasn't involved at all, but I wanted to do something to prove that they were wrong about me and I did.  "I'll tell my mother about it, Commander, Captain.  Excuse me."  And that's all I said.  And I'm proud of myself, and Mummy's proud of me, and Troub'll be proud of me when he hears it.  If he gets a chance to hear it.  

Maybe I was in shock or something, I know that I could never say something like that in front of either of them normally, but somehow I did.  But... I want my brother back more than I want to be brave.  More than I want something to be proud of, something to call my own.

I came back to the Plaza after I told Mummy.  And I've just been sitting in a hall chair for hours now, waiting for any news about my brother.  Everyone in the LEP is working harder than ever, and I know that the officers are pointing me out, sitting in my chair, telling them that they have to find Trouble for my sake.  I like that, I do.  Anything that means that I might get my brother back, even if they're saying that I'm weak and stupid.  Captain Short even came out and gave me a hug once, and Captain Newt brought me a cup of tea. 

But I just need Trouble back.