Disclaimer: I do not own the RugRats (sigh). I only came up with the story.

"We should tell him, Stu. He needs to know!" DeeDee shouted.

"What if he decides that all of a sudden he doesn't want this anymore. If we push this thing on him he'll push us away and he'll leave. He'll leave!" Stu argued.

"He deserves to know. He needs to know. We just have to let him know that we will always be there for him and we'll always, always love him."

Tommy watched his parents in the kitchen. They had been arguing about him for the past hour. But he couldn't figure out what it was about him that they were arguing about. They hadn't mentioned it. He wanted to know what it was that was bothering them so much. What could it be? Why did his dad think that if they told him about it that he would run off? Just then Grandpa came in from the living room. Tommy stayed by the doorway closest to the staircase.

"Are you two fighting about the adoption again?"


"Dad!" Stu scolded.

"What? It's no big deal. People adopt all the time. Chaz and Kia did with Chucky and Kimmy."

"What about Chucky and Kimmy?" Dill asked as he came in.

"Nothing," DeeDee answered.

Tommy stood still for quit some time. Dil came from the kitchen. He was headed toward the door.

"Hey, T! What's wrong?" he asked. Tommy shook his head. "You sure?" Tommy nodded. He dashed upstairs as his parents came rushing out of the kitchen with Grandpa struggling behind them. DeeDee looked a bit concerned and Stu looked as if he'd collapse.

Tommy quickly got into his room and shut the door. He leaned against it. Adoption? Was he adopted? He couldn't be. People always said he and Dil looked alike to some extent. How could they look alike if he was adopted? Then again there were people who weren't related to one another who looked almost exactly alike. Tommy inhaled sharply as he covered his face with his hands. Tears threatened to release themselves from their prison. He leaned forward. He didn't want to cry. No! He wouldn't. That showed weakness. That showed everything he didn't want to be. That showed everything he wasn't. Through the years Tommy changed. No one had suspected this change. Not this kind of change. He grew tougher. Both on the inside and on the outside. It seemed that the more he grew up, the more his passion for film making grew. And the more his passion for film making grew, the more his future came into conversations between his parents. This had affected Tommy more than anything had before.

It seemed that everyone had a say on Tommy's future. He'd be a lawyer. No, he'd be a doctor. Better yet he'd be both and he'd be a writer on the side. Like his life was some kind of pizza you could order. It was always what they wanted. Never what he wanted. Why was that? His mother didn't want him to grow up to make films. She said that she didn't want him to be disappointed. That only said that she truly believed he wouldn't make it as a film maker in life. She was the one who wanted him to dedicate his life to being something successful like a lawyer or a doctor. Maybe even a psychologist. His dad, though, disagreed. He believed in Tommy. No doubt. But like everyone else he wanted him to be something else. An inventor like his dear old dad. He was an inventor already. Inventor of fresh new ideas to film. Inventing new gadgets and gizmos was not something he could do. Dil was more the person for that job.

Tommy stood up straight as he placed his arms at his sides again. His face became hard and tough. That was among the things that had caused Tommy to change throughout the years. His Grandpa was growing older and older by the day. He grew weak with this age too. Tommy feared that soon Grandpa would be leaving him forever. It seemed to him that he was the only one who truly cared for his grandfather's illness. The cancer he had was spreading and everyone treated it as if it were nothing. "He's a tough old man, Tommy," his dad would say. "He can handle it," Dill would say. This man was the only adult who understood what Tommy was all about. He was the only adult worth giving respect to. The others were just all the same to him. None of them truly cared.

And school was beginning to look worse by the day. He didn't want to go any more. His teachers tried to invoke the skill and creativity within him. But that "creativity" was no longer there. He didn't film anymore and the films he made were gone. He threw them all away. Along with his cameras and his posters. Everything that had reminded him of filming was gone. His room was left dull and lifeless. For a while anyway. His taste in music changed and his taste in clothing too. As well as his appearance. His hair was a bit longer than it had been when he was 11. It was always spiked up. He looked more pale and he had pierced his ear. This he had done behind his parents' backs as well as the tattoo he had gotten on his arm. Grandpa had written a note for permission to get both his piercing and the tattoo. And black became the most favorable color in his wardrobe. Groups that sang about real life. Groups that sang about the anger they felt toward themselves or the anger they felt toward others. Anything he could relate too. Eminem became the only rapper he would listen to. Music was a form of expression for him. He took up writing , but it was only a hobby. He put words and phrases together every now and then to get things off his chest. They were poems, so people said. But he never showed them to anyone, only told them of them. He kept them in a special place. In a small box with a lock on it. That's where he placed most of the things he wanted to keep away from the light. The computer which Grandpa had given to him on his fifteenth birthday along with the printer was black. His walls were a dark gray and his curtains black. He didn't like much color. But he made an exception for blue and green.

An electric guitar sat in the corner of the room. It was black (of course) with green flames raising from the base. Grandpa had given it to him for Christmas. Beside it sat a small wooden stool. He would sit on it as he played the guitar when he wanted to drown out the sound of his parents fighting. Over him. His future. His life. It wasn't fair. It just wasn't. He always tried to speak his mind, but somewhere along the line that didn't matter much to them anymore. It just wasn't anything for them. It meant nothing to them. He was grateful to his new hobbies. They took him to a place within himself that he could never reach before. A place he had discovered. A place where it was clam and soothing. An escape from the real world while a prison of the real world at the same time. It was his sanctuary and his penitentiary. But it had inspired him. Inspired him in a way he was never inspired before.

Below, his parents fought. Their words sounded muffled. He walked over to the stool and the guitar. Slowly he sat down and reached for the guitar. He placed it's belt over his shoulder and he reached for a guitar pick from his pocket. Then he played a song he had written on his own. A song that calmed and soothed him. A song that took him to his sanctuary, his penitentiary. All sounds were drowned out and it was just him. Alone and cold.