Disclaimer: Everwood's characters don't belong me. Absolutely, I just love each one of 'em that I want write down a story, they inspired me!
Author's Note: Ok guys, this is my first fanfic. I'm italian, I just learned a beat of english watching Everwood and a couple of others Tvshow. Maybe my english will sounds lame and not even totally correct, but please R&R.
Summary: Set right when Andy and Linda broke up, Delia blame herself for causing it. Ephram reflecting on everything happened since his mom died, unable to comfort her he tris to make his father feel better.
1 - SOULFUL BREAKDOWN
Delia seated on the couch so happy for the permission to watch tv just established by Linda, she couldn't believe she was actually watching her favorite program. But not everything was clear, as matter of fact, she was confused and curious about what Linda was going to do to make up for her mistake. She wondered how her father was going to react. After everything Linda said to her, she also wonted to know what they were going to talk about, so she turned off the TV and carefully stepped over the porch, trying to hear what Andy and Linda were talking about without being caught.
Andy looked tired and dejected knowing what he had to do. "What's that face?" Linda asked concerned. "I can't do this anymore. I'm sorry, really sorry. I thought all of this would have have been OK but, I was wrong. I can't bring myself to do this. Ephram is terrified and I can't do anything to make him change his mind". For Andy was hugely awful say those words, his heart was been destroying peice by piece. Linda didn't complain, she knew what Andy said was true and she didn't have the right to disagree.
"It's ok." Linda said trying to comfort him. "No. It's not." Andy said downhearted, tears flowed around his cheek, the only time he would happen to feel so mortified was when Julia died.
"It was supposed to end up like this. Goodbye Andy." Linda said crying too, she always known that what they were pursuing was hard, she knew quite well Andy couldn't put himself so dangerously and closely to a deathly desease like the AIDS. She got up kisseing Andy's forhead and left him alone, seated on the couch, motionless and depressed. Andy seemed to be a statue, he thought he would have been done going through moments like that, he thought that moving to Everwood he would never feel what he felt when he lost Julia, obviously leaving Linda wasn't the same identic experience, what was the same was that he couldn't help to hold his love tear out from him, even if Andy expected this was going to happen, it never take easy leaving someone you love, you know it's hard, but you don't know what you emotionally sense once you do. No one has no idea what it is like, before experience it.
Delia heard everything. 'This can't be happening! I created all of this mess and know my dad broke up with Linda because of it. I'm a monster, I took away my father's love, what kind of daughter does this thing? Oh my God! How could I have done that?' After all those sentences stormed in her mind, Delia ran in her room like a cat followed by a german shepherd. She felt so guilt about what appened, no matter what Linda said to her before, she hurled herself in the bed crying terribly.
Ephram was reading one of his manga, displeased how he treated Andy last night, he knew he made a point trying to convice his father to broke up with Linda, but he also knew how does it feel leave someone you love and take care about. 'Maybe I should talk to dad, I was too rough last night, whether or not he already broke up with Linda, we need to talk.' Ephram exited from his bedroom and stepped toward the stairs but he heard some strange noises coming from Delia's room, puzzled and a bit concerned he reached over there. What he found once he opened the door was Delia laying her head on the pillow crying dreadfully.
"Delia what's wrong?" Ephram asked shocked. He saw rarely his sister crying in that way.
"What kind of daughter am I? Dad broke up with Linda. It's all my fault, all my fault!" Delia almost screamed whipping all those tears.
"No! How could you even think that? Delia, this has nothing to do with you." Ephram stroked Delia's hair, trying to comforts her. "This things between Dad and Linda are complicated, you are the last person has to be concerned about them. Do you understand me?"
"Yes, what will never make sense is what I think about all of it, becouse i'm still a baby so I'm low-smart, right?" Delia said pissed off, throwing away her brother's hand.
Ephram remained for a while in silence. 'Good point, what am I going to say now?' Was his thoughts.
"Delia, listen to me, even if you did something wrong, you are too young to handle a big deal like this. You told to Brittany about Linda's desease, she told her parents, they told the whole town and now Linda has no job. This doesn't mean it's your fault, Linda didn't tell you how serious was that desease. Believe me Delia, none of it is your fault". Ephram tryied to say anything to make Delia stop feel guilty, truth is he knew how it will end up, he wasn't the best person when it came to help and relieve sad people.
"Ephram how can you say that? Everyone have known because of me and now everything changed." Delia said still in tears.
"We'll talk with dad, I'm sure he's going to understand and much more sure that he won't be mad at you, I swear."
"Well, the fact he's not gonna be mad at me, doesn't change he's alone."
"He's not alone! He has me and you! Don't cry please, you know have no idea how much brakes my heart seeing you in a bad mood".
"You don't get it. Please Ephram leave me alone." Delia dropped.
"No Delia. I won't leave untill you'll stop blaming yourself and crying for no reason at all."
"No reason? Dad is out there downstairs heartbroken, if that's not enough for being sad what it is?"
"Delia, I'll make it up to him, I swear."
"Ephram, you are born yesterday when you have to comfort someone else. Just leave me alone! Please!" Delia recrouched on her pillow taking the face off his brother.
As matter of fact Ephram, didn't know what else to do to sollace his little sister. Doleful and broke down he left Delia stepping over the room unable to cheer his little sister up, 'Poor Delia, I would do anything to comfort her, if I would just know how.' he thought. He get back in his room and lied down on the bed. 'What could possibly get any worse? My dad broke up with Linda and my sister blame herself for that. Why do we have always go through times like that? Why can't we leave in peace? Why do we have to live without being pierce?' those words were floating in his mind, he was experiencing the same feeling he felt when he broke up with Madison, he tried really hard to get over it. And he did, only difference is that this time his dad had to go through it, so he pratically feel that all over again.
Andy was lying on the couch in the living room reading the Pinecone, he was worried how Delia was doing 'Maybe yesterday I have been too rough with Delia. I should talk to her'. He stepped upstairs towards Delia's bedroom. He opened the door, Delia wasn't crying anymore but she was still feel guilty and grieving for everything.
"Honey what's wrong? Are you crying?" Andy asked concerned, seating on the bed's edge .
"Dad, I'm so sorry. I saw you broke up with Linda. I know all of this started when I told Brittany, please forgive me! I beg you, forgive me!" Delia blew up again in another sob.
"Ohhh, sweatheart! Come here." Andy grabbed his daughter's frame gently, stroking the back. "Honey you don't have to be forgiven for anything, you didn't do anything wrong, you don't have to feel guilt for anything appened between me and Linda, do you understand?" Andy soothed sandwiching Delia's head so lovely.
"What do you mean? I was wrong to broke this secret and now you and Linda are paying the consequences because of it."
"Honey, even if what you did was wrong you didn't know all of this would have happened. And besides what you did helped Linda, it didn't make her life more difficult, make sense?"
"Yes, but I had to keep it, not to make all the town know about it." Delia stopped crying, but she was still feeling guilty, by the way the worst was gone.
"Delia, let me tell you something. Secrets are not made to be always kept. Sometimes secrets need to be told, especially one like this. For Linda was terribly awful keep this secret as it was for me. When everyone have known about this, everything turn all over the place. But now that this secret doesn't exist anymore, me and Linda are feeling a lot better, because what was so big now is empty, so what you did made coming peace to us, not trouble."
"But you two broke up, that's not fair."
"Unfortunately, we had to, maybe it's not completely fair, but it was the right thing to do, believe me. Don't worry about me, it hurts a lot, but you and Ephram means to me more than anything in the world, I had to make this decision for our family."
"I'm sorry you had to lose her, I got it's not my fault now but, I'm sorry for you dad, I want you to be happy".
"Oh baby, you don't have to worry about my happiness, you and Ephram are more than enough for me. If you just hint a grin of joy, you make me the happiest man alive."
"You are overeacting now" Delia said smiling.
"Maybe, but when you are happy, I'm happy sweety. It's a chemical thing, child's happy, parent's happy. Don't feel sorry for me sweety, I don't want you to go through as well on what I just felt, please, if you just do that, there won't be anything to make me suffer anymore, I swear."
Delia nodded, smiling. Andy stroked Delia's chick with one finger.
"So I take I'm ungrounded for the punch I throw to Brittany then." Delia was finally relieved and happy, it's not like what Ephram said to her was wrong. She just need to be relieved from her father.
"Of course, ungrounding confirmed. Just don't do that again, ok? I'm sorry if I was rough the other day, just remember that violence cause just more violence and the idea of you to became a girl full of bruise it's not exciting. Don't you think?"
"Yeah, I guess." Delia nodded
"That's my girl." Andy petted Delia's hair gladly.
"Dad, you know what? You are a full thew man, if you'd want to you could throw me to another planet." Andy caught surprised. "Sweety, how could you say such a thing? I'll never dare to hit you. You think I'm one of those parents hits their children for punishment?"
"I was kidding dad. Besides, I think if you'll hurt me someday, I won't have the chance to breath anymore".
"Honey what make you thinks a horrible things like that? I just told you, violence doesn't solve anything. If someday I'll hurt you, though this will never happen, the second then you'll found me kneel to you begging for forgiveness."
"Ok, that day is getting close then." Delia suddenly grabbed her pillow and beat Andy's face very hard.
"Aho!" Andy touched his cheek and then begun to show a ogre and furious face. "Ahah! Is that so?" Andy took both little Delia's hands with ones of him and started to tickle Delia's neck with the other one.
"Hauauhhauahuahuauhahu! Dad, please stop!" Delia yelled laughing out loud. "Ihihih. You were wrong hitting me young lady, the fact I can't slap you desn't mean I can't use your body as I want." Andy said smirking, he took her by her armpits and shook her playfully. "Dad stop please, I feel all over the place." "Ok, Ok. But you liked it, didn't you?" Andy replaced Delia lying on the bed.
"Maybe it would've been better if you whipped my butt. I deserved it." Andy turned his face in shock another time.
"Honey what made you so rough to yourself today? I told you I'll never dare to hit you, the violence doesn't work out anything. The fact I'm like 3 times your size doesn't mean I'm going to take advantage of it. You are my little girl and violence goes against my principles."
"Well, you can take advantage of your big body, lifting me up right?" Andy immediately took Delia in his hold, one arm under the legs, one stroking her head. He got up and worshipped her by the corridor swinging her."Uh daddy, you have no idea how I feel right now." Delia said wrapping Andy's neck. "Sweety, the only thing I know right now is that I'm grateful to hold you in my arms and I wouldn't trade this feeling for anything in the world." Delia was caught surprised by those words. "Really?" Delia eyed him "Really." Andy nodded grinning. Andy kept carrying his little pride back
"Well, it's almost 11, time for bed, my joy."
"Will you stay with me for a while?"
"Sure honey, you don't even have to ask."
Placed ready to sleep in her bed. "You and Ephram are the most precious thing of the universe to me, remember that baby." Andy straightened the blanket and lied down next to his precious doughter.
"Thanks daddy, thanks for being here."
"You don't have to thank me sweety, I would do everything for you."
"Ok, now try to fall asleep baby, rest in peace. Remember, I love you."
"I love you too dad."
"I'll tell you what. Seeing that I have always read you a story to make you fall asleep, what do you say about a lovely and calmy song this time?"
"Sure! I can't wait!" Delia knew how much thing his father was capable to sing with his guitar.
"Great! Wait a second then, I have to take the guitar. You're gonna love it honey, I swear." Andy said giving a excited look to her.
Once he came back he sated up on the chair near the bed he began to harping on without intone a word from his mouth.
"It's beautifull" Delia said, delighted by that melody.
"Close your eyes kiddo, try to feel this music just from the ear. It's much more pleasing and enjoyable, trust me." Andy demanded. Delia obeyed.
As of then Andy began singing. The guitar was one of his most valuable skills outward his gifted surgeon's hands.
Andy was so pleased to have relieved his little girl, singing one of his favorite songs accompanied by his guitar, he almost forgot he broke up with Linda. He remained in the bedroom sitting on the bed, keep staring at his little daughter falling asleep, he then stopped playing the guitar.
After Delia deeply asleep, Andy left her and stepped downstairs, took a book and began to read it seating on the couch in the living room.
"Hey. You still up?"
"Hey, from what I heard you must've left Linda."
"Yeah, I did." Andy sighed.
"Dad, I'm sorry, really sorry." Ephram said sitting next his father on the couch manifesting a honest look.
"Don't be Ephram. I had to do that, you and Delia are above everything for me. I couldn't get sick even if there was slight chance. If I would, who would take care of you two? I'm sorry I tried to stave off what you said yesterday, you were absolutely right and I was selfish don't giving a damn how much you were scared. You have to know that if look back, I don't recognize myself thinking what I told you."
"Oh no dad! - Ephram stroked his father's shoulder - Don't blame yourself, I know what it is like to be forced to renounce living with someone, I know it's hard and painful. Anyway you chose to broke up with her, your first dating woman since mom died, I know you loved her and I know how much hard it must've been hard for you. I didn't change my mind, you did the right thing, but at the same time I'm sorry you had to sacrifice one thing you cared a lot for. Dad if I can do anything to help your sorrow you just have to ask me, that's why I'm here." Ephram squeezed Andy's arm gently.
"You are serius aren't you?" Andy questioned surprised by what his son said.
"Dad, all I know is that we have been through a lot of awful moments, we lost mom, I left Madison, you just left Linda not mention when you didn't make it with Colin. I know better now, not mention all this time I pushed you away, you always tried to approached me, you tried to be a part of my life and I always rebelled against you, I was just blinded by the grief mom's death impose to me. Dad if you remember the day I wonted go back in New York with the grandpas, when you said to me I was special for you because I was that person could say that everythings was gonna be ok, well dad, I remember that moment like it was yesterday, you have to know I would never be more greatfull to be here for you, now that you need someone to stay by you, making you heal the pain you are feeling for losing Linda, dad what can I do to you make you feel better? Please tell me, anything you want. I just want to give you back all the efforts you tried to make us get along. And I forbid you to say I don't have to."
Andy remained stunned by those words, Ephram never tolked that way to him, saying he could ask everything to be solaced, he could feel Ephram was sincere, he could prove it by his tone, his concerned and a bit gloomed look, his caresses. Suddenly tears flowed through his cheek, though they weren't sad tears, those were tears Andy waited all life to weep. He didn't know whether he was just dreaming or he was actually seating staring at his son, who prompted widening his heart right in front of him.
"Oh Ephram, grip hug me, hold me tightly." The two embraced in a way never happened before, they were there attached by love the one felt the other one. "You have no idea how much I'm glad to hear what you just said." Ephram stroked Andy's back. "I'm here dad, thanks for welcome the help I want to give you, nothing means more than that to me right now."
They kept hold each other for several minutes, Ephram turned his face kissing his father chick nevertheless it was full of bearb, he didn't care his rougness, Andy returned the gesture.
"Well, we should go to bed, don't you think?" Andy assumed withdrawing a little bit.
"Yeah, it's 11 passed. Uh, dad can I sleep with you?"
Andy stayed a little confused gazing Ephram with a bewildered face. "Suddenly you and Delia had began puppy puppy to me, this broke up with Linda changed almost everything in this house, I'm not sure I know what happened you two yet." Andy was puzzled, he had still to process what was going on.
"Does that mean I may not sleep with you? Dad, I'm your son, you can't forbid me to sleep with you, since you neglected me for 15 years, so we never did."
"Here we go! You changed not even a little beat, I knew it." Andy exclaimed making the "I knew so" face.
"I was just kidding dad. I didn't change, I just showed up the love I always buried for this past years. But I have to make up now, better later than ever right?"
"I don't know what to say anymore."
"You are not supposed to say nothing dad, it's all mine and trying to balance with everything you tried this past years to make us get along, this is nothing."
Andy grinned "Anyway, if you wanna sleep with me, you have to allow me to do one thing."
"Anything dad, you can skin me alive if you want."
"Oh, it's nothing dolorous, it's rather cushy actually. Get up. And whoila!" Andy got up, gestured to Ephram to do the same and raised him by the legs' calf.
"Wow! Dad, I never thought you were capable to lift me, but uh... What exactly is this about?" Ephram was caught surprised uplifted by his dad.
"You said you wonna sleep together, so this is like a preliminary exams, let me know when you are sure if you like stay around my arms."
"If I like it? Dad I'm enjoying it! I'm just astonished, I knew you were robust and muscled, but I never thought you would be able to hoist me, am I that slight?"
"Well, if you wouldn't always eat just that pizza's fragment. What would you say little man?" Andy said, displaying an annoyed face.
"I'll tell you what, tomorrow first thing we do is search some recipes around, then I'll eat whatever you want. What do you say?"
"Deal." Andy smiled. "Wow! Awesome!" Ephram got excited.
"You are not feeling any fatigue are you?"
"Don't worry, when you hold up someone you love the strengt comes right from your heart. And in that case nothing cannot be raised". Ephram smiled sighing.
Andy brought Ephram upstairs leaning his face on Ephram's chest, entered in the bedroom he placed the boy lying on his bad.
"Just count 100 seconds, I'll be right back."
Once Andy arrived with the pyjamas on, he laid next to Ephram.
"Here we are, maybe you would give me some practical lesson about sex." Ephram said smirking, Andy laughed back.
"You are up for jokes too today."
"I don't know, it just come naturally to me, now that I told you all those phrase I mustn't have hold back all this time. What else matters?" Ephram whispered touching his father bearb.
"Nothing, my darling baby, for this night nothing else matters." Andy stroked Ephram's chick with the index finger.
"Uh. By the way, I heard Delia screaming laughin out loud before, then you sang a goodnight-song. I take you made her feel better."
"Yeah, that helped, it made me almost forget Linda. Being able to fix child troubles it's one of the most gratifying things a dad can feel."
"The song you played was beautiful. Whose is it?"
"Don't you know it? It's Hallelujah by Jeff Buckley." Ephram shook his head.
"You know what dad? Your beard it's not so bad after all. I like it."
"Say again." Andy said out loud, he couldn't believe what Ephram said.
"I mean it, I like your beard dad."
"When we first came here you kept saying it was horrible, you changed your mind finally."
"Horrible? I just said it was horrible? - Andy nodded with a innocent face - Maybe I get used to seeing you with it so..." The both two chuckled.
Ephram came closer to Andy and practically crouched lying his head on Andy's chest. "Dad, hold me. If it will make you feel better, hold me."
"Son, you already made me feel better, anyway if you want..." Andy surrounded Ephram with his arms and kissed his forehead. They fallen asleep the two both stuck, connected not just bodily but also by the love they felt for each other. They were never been more joyful.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: I know. Pretty sugary and without even one Abbot's character. But the next chapter any Ephramy fan will have flesh to bite, I swear...