This is my first attempt at something like this. Loved the movie and the dynamics of the brothers, started reading some fanfic, and decided to start my own. The story begins with Jack meeting the Mercers for the first time, and who knows where it will progress from there? Comments, criticisms, and suggestions are welcome. I'm hoping to have fun with it. I have a bit written already so updates will come quickly, at least in the beginning!
Jack was eleven years old when he came to the Mercers.
Eleven years old and yet his eyes held knowledge and suspicion beyond his years. He had a youthful face but those eyes gave him away. He wasn't your average eleven year old. If he was, he wouldn't feel such a sickening, anxious feeling in the pit of his stomach.
This was a very long car ride.
Today was an important day. Well, important was maybe a silly word to use. He was being placed again. Again. He wished he could tell himself he was hopeful, but it was too hard to lie to yourself. He didn't understand how the system worked, because none of these homes ever actually wanted him there, and he had no idea how it seemed like such a good plan to send him around.
He was ten when this moving around started. Ten when someone finally believed what had been done to him and got him out of the shithole called home.
He had to admit that some of the homes since then had been improvements. Some of these people pretended to have patience, pretended to want him there. Some of them had other kids. That was still better than the group homes. Although the group home was starting to feel familiar.
He rolled up his sleeve and eyed the huge bruise on his arm. It was pretty new and he wondered how long it would take, and how many colors it would turn, until it faded and went away. The one on his back was worse anyway.
He began to think about the day again and once more his stomach filled with dread. That was a terrible feeling and there was nothing to make it go away.
He tried to think about what they'd told him. Evelyn was her name. Evelyn Mercer. An older lady who apparently had a real habit for taking in foster children. He didn't know much other than that, and he really hoped she wasn't like all of the others. He'd already made up his mind. He could just run away. He knew his way around more now. The last home had given him a lot more freedom. He'd started to see what Detroit had to offer.
The voice belonged to his social worker, Anthony. That meant they were almost there. He started to focus more on the houses in this neighborhood. It could be any one of these.
"Jack. Are you listening to me?" Anthony turned off the radio and looked over at Jack. He sighed and shook his head. "Listen to me, this is important. You want this to be your permanent home, don't you?"
Permanent? Jack looked at him, brow furrowed. He'd started to believe that word had no purpose in his vocabulary.
"Well, there's a chance if you actually behave yourself," the man replied. "So for once, how about you try your manners, respect your new home, and think before you answer people."
Jack zoned out as the man continued. Be polite, be courteous, all that shit. Yeah, yeah. Of course. As though these simple suggestions would have been saving graces in his other situations. Still, it was hard to go into things with open arms. He had no idea what to expect, and therefore couldn't very well prepare himself.
"And for God's sake, will you roll down your sleeves, Jack? No one wants to see that. Don't immediately show them what a roughhousing klutz you are."
Roughhousing klutz? Yeah, so the last place hadn't worked out because he was a klutz, right? Jack mumbled under his breath but it was barely words, even to him.
"I never know if you're listening to me," Anthony persisted.
"Do you have a cigarette?" Jack asked.
Anthony glared at him. "No. And for God's sake, you are not making a habit of smoking. Not now, you aren't. You're eleven."
No smoking now? Jack would admit it wasn't something he'd tried very long ago, but it was something he felt he definitely felt relaxed doing. And the common response, that he was eleven years old, was not a good enough objection. Because, hell, there were a lot of things that as a eleven year old people shouldn't have done with him.
"I do not want any phone calls," Anthony was saying. He was slowing down now; they had to be close. "I want you on your best behavior. And when your brothers—"
"I don't have any brothers."
"Your new brothers."
"What new brothers?"
Anthony grunted. "You haven't been listening to me at all, have you, Jack? Jesus. You're off to a great start already, aren't you? Look, Evelyn is one of the best. You need to believe me. This is perfect for you. Do not mess it up."
Jack swallowed. They car had stopped. He suddenly felt frozen in his seat. He looked at the house they were in front of and it looked pretty normal, though he knew not to judge a book by its cover. He didn't know what was inside.
Anthony looked at Jack. The boy had gotten a little pale. "What, Jack?"
"Does she have a husband or anything?"
"No, Jack. Just two boys with her right now."
Jack didn't answer.
"Let's go." Anthony opened his door, yet the boy made no move. With a sigh, Anthony simply reached over to undo the boy's seatbelt. Suddenly Jack took a deep breath and stiffened as the man's hand roughly undid the belt. He ground his teeth together. "Say hello to your new home," Anthony persisted.
Suddenly Jack yearned to be eighteen. He believed that was the magic number. Freedom. No more being shipped around. No more Anthony shipping him around and giving him that long look of disappointment when he came back.
Anthony looked at his watch. Five o'clock. It was getting dark. He told Evelyn he would be there by four. They were already late, and he looked intently at Jack. He knew the kid was nervous but enough was enough. He knew the routine. "Jack, I'll get your suitcase. Come on. I don't have patience for this."
Slowly, Jack got out of the car, watching Anthony grab his small suitcase from the backseat. He looked at the house again and scowled. This didn't feel like a good idea suddenly.
"Get that look off your face. It's time to make a good impression," Anthony persisted. "We should have gotten you a haircut too, huh?"
Anthony was already walking towards the house. Jack looked around and wondered what would happen if he just started to run away. He wasn't sure where he would go though. Or what kind of neighborhood this was. He'd have no where to sleep, and it would be a late start.
Startled, Jack looked up. Anthony was almost at the front porch. He looked like he was losing patience too. Jack swallowed and slowly obeyed, more afraid of running from Anthony than following him to the house.
Anthony was already ringing the doorbell.
Hope you enjoyed-- More is coming soon, I promise. (It's already written!)