Still owning nothing...

Five weeks. It had been five weeks since a maniac had kidnapped Joe. Four weeks since Frank was sure he'd never see his brother again. Three weeks since most people had stopped looking for a kid who'd had most of his blood dumped out of him. Two weeks since Joe was found, since Frank was able to his brother again. One week of pacing the hospital floors every day for a few minutes with him. And now they were in the car, just the two of them, on the way back home.

Joe sat shotgun, watching his brother driving. Watching as he looked at him every five seconds. He knew that his skin was still too pale, that he was still too thing, that the casts all over his body made his brother angry. Not at him ― never at him. At the person who had done it to him.

"Frank?" he waited until his brother was looking at him. Until he could see his brown eyes. "This isn't your fault Frank." Frank had an over-protective disorder. He'd had it since the day Joe had been born. "It would have happened even if you weren't there." A quick glance out the windshield. "Car!"

Frank swerved in time to miss the car and get back onto the right lane. He still hadn't said anything, but now he kept his eyes on the road, one hand pushing his hair out of his eyes. Finally, he said something, still not looking at Joe. "Joey, you don't know how hard this is for me. I thought you were dead! I almost gave up. That... that day on the Bay. I wouldn't have gone into that cave if the guys hadn't been there. I was too tired of getting my hopes up and having them crushed."

Joe wished he could move his arms, just so that he could wrap them around Frank. "You wouldn't have given up Frank. I know you. You're a perfectionist."

Frank looked at Joe and smiled. Joe was probably the only one who really did know him. They spent so much time together. That was what Frank was afraid he'd lose if he couldn't find Joe. Not only his brother, his partner. But his best friend.

He reached out a hand and tussled Joe's hair. "You're right kiddo."

A week later football practices would start. Two weeks after that came the start of the school year. With the coming weeks there were also dangers. Unseen cases waiting to be solved. Unknown villains waiting for the perfect opportunity. Uncalled for dangers to the Hardy Brothers.