Angst and Fluff
Alex and Foster dad Lin
He knew this placement was too perfect. The universe was never kind, and the idea that maybe, just maybe, something would work out in his favor, was preposterous.
Alexander had been sitting at the kitchen table working on an essay when Vanessa had rushed in, calling out for Lin. Alex jumped from where he was sitting, seeing small tears form in his foster mother's eyes. Looking around desperately for a way to help, Alexander grabbed a cup of water. Maybe she had a really bad sore throat and was desperate for relief. Alex didn't know why she couldn't get some water herself, but if she expected it to come from him and Alex didn't provide, he was certain he would be thrown out.
"Nessa? What's wrong?" Lon called, racing from his "office" to find an anxious foster child and a tearful wife. "Hey, Alex, it's okay," Lin reassured first, knowing the boy needed some form of acknowledgement that he was in the right. "Vanessa, what is it?"
"I-I, wow, okay. I'm just really happy!" Alexander frowned. Why was she crying then? "Do you know how I went to the doctors because of my nausea? Well, oh, my gosh, Lin! I'm pregnant!"
While Lin and Vanessa screamed in excitement, each launching at the other and crying happy tears, Alexander's stomach dropped. Of course. Vanessa was pregnant. Lin was more excited than Alexander had ever seen him. Alexander was more terrified than he had ever been. Years of abuse and terror had nothing on the fear that froze Alex's insides at the idea of being replaced
Glancing to make sure nobody was watching, Alex grabbed his notebooks and backpack and raced down the hall to his bedroom. He could still hear Vanessa's elated giggles and Lin's breathless laugh. Alex figured it was safer to pack his things now before the newly expecting couple could hurt him in order to get him away from their new promises. To be honest, Alexander wasn't sure if the Miranda's would even kick him out. Something deep down held onto the hope that they would still love him, still cherish him as they had. But maybe they hadn't. Maybe they really just took in a troubled foster kid because they were waiting. And the best way to wait was to waste time.
Alex quickly grabbed his threadbare backpack from the corner of his closet, knowing that the Mirandas wouldn't want him to take any of the stuff they had payed for, including the nice new bag they had bought him upon the start of the school year. Unfortunately, he had trashed the clothes he had come to the Miranda's house in, so he pulled out the cheapest pair of sweatpants and sweater from the drawer and put them in the bag, along with his run-down copy of Pride and Prejudice, and the journals that had been stacked on his desk. While Vanessa had bought them for him a few days into his visit, they were already blooming with Alex's scrawled thoughts. Those were not something he wanted to just leave lying around.
Soon enough, Alex was packed up. He sat at the foot of the bed, fiddling with the cell phone he had been gifted, before dialing the number of Mr. Seabury, his social worker. While the man had promised this placement would be perfect, Alex didn't trust that. Mr. Seabury had made mistakes in the past. None of them on purpose, of course, but they had left Alex's trust in the goodness of human nature in shambles.
"Hello?" The deep voice came, making Alex's heart crack a little more. A small tear dribbled down Alex's cheek.
"M-Mr. Seabury? This is Alexander." He couldn't form much more of a sentence than that. His voice tremored harshly, and Alex sucked in a harsh breath. "C-Can you come get me? The, the, they're gonna replace me, and I don't want to bother them because they've been so good to me and I really don't want them to be uncomfortable with a screw up like me in the house around the baby. And can you please get me before they have to kick me out. I don't want to ruin them," Alex rambled, voice slicing through Mr. Seabury's calming hushes.
"Alex, Alexander, calm down. Slow down. Take a deep breath," he said quietly, listening to the foster child take a deep breath. "That's it." The social worker's heart clenched at the sound of the sniffles that were undoubtedly accompanied by tears streaming down normally rosy cheeks.
"Vanessa's pregnant. And they're gonna have a baby. And they won't want me around anymore," Alex wailed quietly. Seabury had dealt with multiple cases of abandonment in his field of work. Children feeling as though nobody wanted them around after being tossed back and forth for years. Alexander was always a particularly hard case. His anxiety often made him lash out like a caged animal, and so far, Seabury old only assume the fear of being abandoned was making him reckless in asking to be removed from a perfectly good placement.
"Okay, Alexander. I'm going to head over; I'll be there in a few hours. But I need you to not do anything rash, okay? You need to stay where you are, don't start anything, because I think everything will turn out just fine."
Alex sniffled. "Thank you. I don't think I should see Lin or Vanessa right now."
"That's okay. Just take some deep breaths. Work on some homework or read. You don't have to sleep if you're worried," Samuel promised. He knew that often, the kids he worked with were afraid to sleep if the situation they were in was rocky.
Alright. I'll see you soon Alexander."
"Bye," Alex said, hanging up the phone and curling up at the top of his bed, hugging a pillow close to his chest as a few more tears leaked from his eyes. This was supposed to be perfect!
Only a few minutes after Alex's phone call with his social worker, there was a knock on his door. Alex jolted, scrubbing furiously at his face to try and distract from his wet cheeks. He untied his hair and let the red coils fall around his face. He raced to his desk and bent down over an empty notebook, pretending to be working on something. Trying to do anything he could to prove that he was totally fine with leaving. When the door to his room opened, Alex glanced quickly to see Lin and Vanessa waiting there, concern coloring their features.
"Alexander?" Vanessa said quietly, going to crouch beside the desk. She rested her hands on the wood top to keep her balance. "What's wrong? We were going to suggest going to dinner to celebrate, but you weren't there anymore." Oh, gosh. They were actually going to celebrate his leaving of their house? They couldn't wait to get him out!
"No, um, I'm okay. Just need to work."
"Alex, your notebook is empty," Lin pointed out, walking forward and placing a hand on Vanessa's shoulder. "What's up?"
Alex shook his head furiously. "N-Nothing. I just was working on something before I leave." The teen boy looked away, missing the confused look on his foster parents' faces.
"Where are you going, Alexander? Why are you leaving?" Vanessa asked. She brought up a careful hand to brush away Alex's curly hair, revealing his tear-stained cheeks.
"Y-Your having a baby. It's what you've always wanted, isn't it? And now that you're going to have a kid of your own, you won't want a screw up like me coming and messing him up," Alex mumbled, pulling his hair back in front of his eyes that now welled with more tears.
"Oh, mijo," Lin whispered. "Never. We aren't giving you up now that we're going to have a baby. Actually, having someone else like you would be amazing to help us raise our kid. You're getting your driver's license soon, you're responsible, you stand up for what you believe in. Alex, you'll be the perfect older brother."
Alex looked up, baring his raw face to his foster parents, shock written all over his face. "Really?" Both Vanessa and Lin nodded, the wife pulling the boy into a hug, and the husband carting his fingers through red hair.
"We are never, ever, letting you go, Alexander Hamilton. We're going to be there for your high school and college graduations, and when you get married, and we're going to be your kids' grandparents. We aren't leaving you. We have too many plans for you in our lives," Lin said softly. Alex felt his heart swell, before it dropped right back down. He quickly wriggled out of the clutches of his foster parents. The two were ready to reassure the boy all over again when he grabbed his phone and quickly dialed the same number he had dialed only an hour before.
"Hi, Mr. Seabury?" Lin and Vanessa paled. Alex had called his social worker? "Yeah. I'm okay. You don't have to come get me anymore. They say they're going to keep me." Alex's face was alight with joy and relief at the news. A smile spread across his face, a new spark in his violet eyes.
"Well, that's good news, Alexander. I hope you trust them a little more now, yeah?" Alex felt heat rise in his cheeks at the accusation. He muttered a quiet "yes." "Good. Well, I'm glad we're on the same page. But still, you know you can always talk to me about any troubles."
"Yeah, thank you." Alex hung up and turned to his foster parents looking ashamed. "I'm sorry. I thought you were gonna get rid of me, so I called Mr. Seabury to take that off your shoulders."
Both Lin and Vanessa shook their heads and gave their foster boy one more hug, before leading him back into the kitchen so commence a family game night.
Sure enough, nine months later, Alex was trying to calm down Lin as Vanessa's screams rang out through the halls of the hospital. And only hours after that, Alexander was holding his new little brother, Sebastian, like he was holding the world in his hands.