Summary: To try to get Jack more adjusted to the Mercer home, Evelyn takes him and her other sons out to dinner. It's Jack's first time hiving a fortune cookie, and Bobby plays a "welcome-to-the-family" prank on him. But, it's just a cookie. Or is it?
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the four brothers or Evelyn. I also do not own the "Twilight Zone" episode, the T.V. shows, or any of the restaurants that I mention.
A/N: I was bored. I was eating a fortune cookie. Therefore, this story was created. Lol! Not really. I actually want to work on my slightly humorous one shots. So, enjoy!
Notes: Rated for language.Ages
Bobby sighed as he looked around the living room. He was lying on the couch while Angel and Jerry sat in chairs near him, fighting over what to watch on television. Jack was sitting on the floor in the corner away from them, ignoring them completely as he sat in silence. "So… has anyone decided what we want to have for dinner yet?" the oldest Mercer finally asked. "Ma told us to decide before she got home from her meeting."
"I gave you some ideas, man, but you didn't like them." Angel answered, trying to grab the remote from Jerry. "Come on. I don't want to watch your soap opera, Jer."
"Scrubs is not a soap opera." Jerry replied sourly. "It's a comedy. Besides, ice skating isn't my idea of something fun to watch on T.V."
"Man, hockey isn't ice skating!" Angel said loudly in disbelief. "It is one of the greatest sports of all time!"
Bobby laughed from the couch near them. "Man. You two fight worse than two little girls fighting over a Barbie doll."he muttered. "Set a better example for Jackie, would ya'?"
Jack glanced up when he heard his nickname, but then he lowered his gaze again.
"I'm sorry, sweetheart. I forgot that you were in the room for a minute." Bobby said to the ten-year-old. "You're too damn quiet!" He hoped that his teasing would get the boy to talk. Instead, Jack merely shrugged and kept to himself.
Frustrated that he wasn't getting any response, Bobby turned his attention to his other two brothers. "Seriously, guys, we need to decide what to have. Ma will be home to ask us soon."he told them. "Personally, I think we should have tacos. I'm in that kind of mood…"
Angel opened his mouth to say something, but Bobby raised his hand to stop him. "I've told you already, man. No one wants pickled pigs' feet but you, so don't even bother."he said, making Jerry laugh.
"You know I wasn't gonna' say that, man!" Angel exclaimed. "I was gonna' say we should have pizza. Everyone likes pizza."
"Well, everyone likes tacos, too." Bobby mocked. Shaking his head, he turned to his other brother. "What about you, Jer?" he asked. "What do you want?"
"I was gonna' say subs." Jerry answered. "Mom makes the best sub sandwiches."
Bobby laughed. "This is wonderful!" he said sarcastically. "We all want something different. Oh, I know! Let's ask the kid. Hey, Jackie! What do you want for dinner? Tacos, pizza, or subs?"
Jack looked at Bobby, Angel, and Jerry and just shrugged. Bobby sighed. He understood that Jack wasn't quite used to them yet since he joined the family only a couple of months ago, but he wished that he would at least talk to them. He had tried everything to make a connection to the ten-year-old. Trying to start a conversation with him didn't work because he just didn't seem to care. Teasing him didn't work either because he just shrugged him off. He couldn't blame him thought. When Jerry and Angel had first joined the family, they were the same way, but not to this extent. Jack just plain didn't trust them.
Suddenly, they heard the sound of a key inserting into the lock on the front door. "Great. Ma's home, and we still haven't decided what we want." Bobby muttered as the door to the house opened.
Evelyn entered the living room, looking at her four sons. She seemed to be a little disheartened when she saw that Jack was sitting so far away from everyone else, but she shook it off. "So, have you boys decided what you want for dinner yet?" she asked cheerfully.
"Tacos!" Bobby answered immediately.
"No, man! Pizza!" Angel shouted.
"Subs!" Jerry threw in.
Jack remained silent.
Evelyn laughed when she heard all of the outbursts. "Oh, dear. It seems that I have the three young boys I used to have."she said with a smile. "How are we going to decide what to make? Jack, what do you want for dinner, dear? Anything sound good?"
Jack looked up at her. "Whatever they want is fine."he replied. "It doesn't really matter to me."
Bobby sighed to himself. He was a tad frustrated that Jack wasn't calling Evelyn "mom", but at least he wasn't calling her by her first name anymore like he used to.
Evelyn gave him a sympathetic look and turned to her other three sons. "Well, why don't we got out for dinner?" she suggested. "That way, we can decide as a family where to go."
"Good idea, Mom." Jerry replied, getting to his feet. "I'll go get my coat."
"Yeah. This is awesome!" Angel agreed. "We haven't gone out to eat in a long time!"
Evelyn gave him a smile. "I'm glad to see you're excited, Angel, but turn off the television first."she told him.
Angel grumbled a little as he went to go find the remote while Bobby and Jerry went to get their coats from the hallway. Jack slowly got to his feet as Evelyn walked over to him. "Grab your coat, dear."she said. "It's chilly out there tonight."
Jack nodded and walked across the living room, taking the stairs from the hallway two at a time. Bobby watched as he disappeared into his room, then walked over to his mother who was still standing in the living room. "Do you think he'll ever trust us, Ma?" he asked quietly.
Evelyn sighed as she turned to face her oldest son. "It takes time for someone to open up, honey, especially after what Jack has been through."she answered. "I'm hoping that this family outing will help him a little."
"What has he been through that has made him so closed?" Bobby wondered, thinking of what could possibly have happened.
Before Evelyn could say anything, they heard light footsteps coming down the stairs, which was the signal that Jack was coming back. When he came into view, they saw that he was now wearing a black hoodie over the t-shirt that he had been wearing, his hands in the pockets.
"Are you sure that will be warm enough, dear?" Evelyn asked, concerned.
"Yeah." Jack answered simply, walking past her to follow Angel and Jerry as they went outside.
Bobby shook his head. "I hope this works, Ma."he muttered as he went after them.
"Me too, Bobby." Evelyn whispered as she pulled her keys out of her purse. "Me too."
"Any ideas on where we should go to eat?" Evelyn asked as she drove her mini van down the street.
"Taco Bell." Bobby answered from the very back. "I already told you that I'm in the mood for tacos…"
"No, man! Taco Bell sucks!" Angel argued from the seat in front of him. "I say Pizza Hut."
"Fine, Pizza Boy. We'll go to a real Mexican restaurant where their tacos are better." Bobby snapped. "Would that make you feel better, Princess?"
"No." Angel replied defiantly, earning a smack on the back of the head from Bobby.
"Ya' both are wrong." Jerry said from the seat across the aisle from Angel. "We should go to Subway." He sighed when he got a dark look from both Bobby and Angel. "Hey, it's better than Cousins' Subs."he muttered in defense.
Jack continued to stare out the window as they drove down the road, barely listening to the argument that had arose among his brothers. He had learned how to tune out things like that since he had had to do it so many times before that their raised voices didn't really bother him.
Evelyn, on the other hand, was getting very annoyed from the driver's seat as she listened to them argue. "Enough!" she suddenly shouted, making the entire mini van go quiet. "If you three don't stop arguing, we'll turn this vehicle around and go straight home without eating any dinner!"
No one spoke a word.
"Good." Evelyn said. "Now, we'll decided this in a civilized manner. Jackie, is there any place special you would like to go, dear?"
"No. I'll eat anywhere." Jack replied without much feeling. "Whatever they want is fine."
Bobby looked at the young boy sitting next to him, making a mental note. Using his nickname wasn't working too well to get him to talk either. He would have to think of another one.
"C'mon, sweetheart. There must be some place that you want to go more than others." Bobby said, placing his hand on the ten-year-old's shoulder. "Just say a Mexican restaurant, and we'll be good to go."
"That's not fair, man!" Jerry exclaimed from the seat in front of Jack, turning around to face them as Angel did the same. "Let Jackie decide for himself where he wants to go."
Jack squirmed uncomfortably under their stares. "I… uh… well…" he stuttered, looking from Bobby to Jerry to Angel and back. He really didn't like everyone staring at him…
Bobby immediately saw that he was uncomfortable and was about to tell his brothers to knock it off, but Evelyn cut in first. "You know what? We're just going to go here."she said, suddenly pulling into the parking lot of a Chinese buffet. She parked as close to the building as she could and shut the car off, climbing out and turning around to wait for her sons.
Bobby, Angel, and Jerry quickly formed a huddle, the oldest Mercer pulling Jack into it. "All right, girls. Can we agree that Chinese is at least acceptable?" Bobby said.
"Or we can agree to disagree." Angel muttered.
"That works too." Bobby replied with a grin, climbing out and turning to look at Jack. "Come on, sweetheart. Let's go."
The four brothers followed their mother into the buffet and quickly found a table. Jack stuck close to Evelyn as while they went up and got their food while Bobby, Jerry, and Angel went together. Bobby kept watching Jack as they grabbed their food, and an idea suddenly came to him. "Damn. I can't believe I didn't think of this before!" he whispered to his brothers.
"What are you talking about, man?" Jerry asked quietly as he took another helping of sweet and sour chicken.
"I have an idea about how we can get little Jackie to feel more comfortable around us." Bobby answered. "I did this to both you and Angel, so I don't see why we can't do it to him too."
Angel looked at Bobby for a moment, horrified. "You don't mean what I think you're talking about, do you?" he said.
Bobby grinned at him, almost wickedly. "Yes, Angel. I mean it."he replied. "It's time for the traditional "welcome-to-the-family" prank."
"I don't think that's such a great idea, man." Angel muttered. "He's ten!"
"So were you when I did it to you." Bobby argued, shrugging.
"But this kid is different, Bobby." Jerry remarked with concern. "He's really sensitive. I don't know if he can handle no shit from you."
"We'll go light on him then." Bobby said. "No biggie. But I think that a little push would help him get adjusted to the Mercer household."
"Or make him leave it." Angel muttered to himself as they made their way back toward the table. Jack immediately sat by Evelyn while Bobby sat on his other side. Jerry and Angel sat together across the table from their oldest brother on the other side of Evelyn.
Once she was sure that everyone was seated, Evelyn smiled. "Time to say grace."she said. "Bobby, don't even think about eating yet."
Bobby sourly set his chopsticks down as he reached across the table to take Angel's hand. Jack clung tightly to Evelyn's hand as he reluctantly took Bobby's. Angel and Jerry joined hands, and they all looked at Evelyn expectantly. Evelyn nodded and said the same prayer she had said for the past couple of months, thanking God for having them together as a family and the great chance of now having Jack as a part of it. Once they were finished, they began to eat… and Bobby began to plan what he would do to his newest little brother.
Jack nervously looked down on his chopsticks, wondering how he was supposed to use them to eat. Jerry noticed this, and he smiled. "Never used chopsticks before, little man?" he asked, standing up. "Here. I'll show you."
He stood behind the youngest Mercer and picked up the chopsticks, breaking them apart. "Give me the hand you normally eat with." Jerry said.
Jack raised his right arm, extending his hand.
"Now what you gotta' do is hold one of them between your thumb and the bottom of your first finger. It's for support." Jerry explained. "Good. Now hold the other one like you would a pencil. There."
He watched as Jack experimented moving the second chopstick against the first in a grabbing motion. "Good job." Jerry said. "Now try eating with them. Just grab something off of your plate, but I would start small."
After a few tries and with Jerry helping him, Jack finally got the hang of using the chopsticks. "There you go, little man!" Jerry exclaimed, going back to his seat. "Now you're almost as good as me!"
"Oh, so that's how you use them?" Bobby asked, watching his younger brother's demonstration. He looked at his own, which he had been trying to use, but in a different way. It was working, but barely. "Ah, skip it."he muttered, setting one of them down. Then, he used the other to stab into a biscuit.
"Damn it, Bobby!" Jerry said as he watched him. "At least use a fork like Angel if ya'll gonna' do that!"
"Hey, leave me out of this." Angel warned as he stood up to get another plate of food.
Bobby sighed. "Fine."he muttered, grabbing the fork that was next to his plate. He was surprised to see a hint of a small smile on Jack's face.
Soon, all of the Mercers had had two plates, and Bobby was getting to his feet to get a third. "It would be a shame if you didn't have room for the key lime pie we're going to have when we get home." Evelyn said as she watched him.
Bobby immediately sat down, signaling that he was finished eating. Evelyn laughed. "Just what I thought."
Then, a waitress came over to their table. "All done?" she asked, her voice heavy with a Chinese accent. "Here's your bill. I hope you enjoyed your meal!"
"Thank you, dear." Evelyn answered, taking out her glasses so she could look at the scribbled handwriting. Bobby smirked after her.
"Speak… English…" he said slowly and clearly, but only loud enough for his brothers to hear him. "We… cannot… understand… you…" Still, he earned a smack on the back of the head from Angel.
"You're a dick, man. Can't you be nice to anyone?" he asked in disbelief.
Bobby grinned. "Nah."he answered. "Where's the fun in that?"
"Well, I suppose I should go up and pay for this." Evelyn muttered, grabbing her purse from the floor. "Behave while I'm gone."
"Yeah, we don't want to insult Ma's magical ears." Bobby whispered to Jerry with a laugh.
"I heard that, Bobby." Evelyn said, her back still turned to them.
"Damn! How does she always do that?!" Jerry exclaimed quietly.
"Watch your mouth, Jeremiah." Evelyn warned. Then, she disappeared into the crowd of people.
Jack turned back to the table to face his brothers. "Does she always hear everything?" he asked, amazed.
"Every word." Bobby answered, surprised that he was talking to them. "And she knows what you're thinking, too. So anything that you don't want her to know, you'd better hide well."
The newest Mercer nodded, seeming a little nervous. Then, the waitress came back to their table, dropping four fortune cookies in front of them. "Good fortunes for good boys!" she said with a smile before heading off to help a couple with a young girl at the table next to them.
"Awesome!" Angel exclaimed, eagerly reaching forward and grabbing one while Bobby and Jerry did the same. Jack looked at the light brown cookie in confusion before looking at his oldest brother.
"What are they?" he said.
Bobby looked at him. "They're fortune cookies, Jackie."he replied. "Don't tell me that you've never had one!"
Jack shook his head. He had no idea what fortune cookies were.
As Bobby continued to look at the boy, he suddenly had an idea for the perfect prank he could pull on Jack. "Well, then I guess I have to show you."he stated, secretly winking at Angel and Jerry. "We'll go one by one, since that's the way these things work. You break the cookie in half, like so, and read your fortune. Then, you eat the cookie. Whatever the fortune reads is will happen to you. Here's what my fortune says: 'You will receive an inheritance because of your kindness to others'." He scowled at the small slip of paper.
"What kindness, man?" Angel asked with a laugh.
Bobby gave him a dark look as he bit into the cookie. Then, the young girl at the table next to them dropped a fortune cookie that was wrapped in plastic onto the floor from her high chair, and it landed near Bobby. The oldest Mercer looked at it then bent down, extending his arm to put it on the table.
The man sitting next to the girl saw this and laughed. "You can have it."he told him, pushing his hand away. "She's too young for it anyway."
Angel and Jerry stared at Bobby in shock as he turned back to face them. "Woah. That's kinda weird." Jerry said. "It's kinda what the fortune cookie said."
"I can't believe that Bobby offered to be kind." Angel agreed, getting a dark look from his older brother.
Bobby shrugged. "Well, I'll save it for later and give it to Ma."he muttered. "Open yours next, Jer."
Jerry nervously opened his fortune cookie, slowly unfolding the paper. "If you look in the right places, you can find some good offerings."he read. "I wonder what that means…"
The door to the buffet suddenly opened and a teenage girl walked in with her mother. She was beautiful with long flowing black hair and brown eyes. She looked around the restaurant while her mother talked with one of the waitresses, and she smiled when her eyes landed on Jerry.
"No way, man!" Angel exclaimed while the girl and her mother disappeared into the crowd. "That is no fair! I wonder what mine says?" He broke open his cookie anxiously and unfolded the paper. "Your sense of humor will help you through difficult times."
"Sense of humor?" Bobby mocked. "That's almost as crazy as me being kind!"
Angel gave him a dark look. Suddenly, one of the waitresses who was walking by tripped over Jerry's foot, crashing into Angel when she fell. The force caused Angel's chair to tip over, and they both fell to the floor.
Bobby started cracking up as the waitress muttered a sort of apology in Chinese and hurried off, leaving Angel to embarrassingly get back into his chair. "Man, you are a chick magnet!" he exclaimed, wiping a tear from his eye since he was laughing so hard.
Angel gave him another dark look, but then a smile appeared on his face as he laughed a little. "Yeah. That was pretty funny, wasn't it?" he asked.
"Oh, dear! He thinks somehthing's funny!" Bobby said in mock surprise.
"Shut up, man." Angel muttered, eating his cookie.
Jack was about to break open his fortune cookie, but Jerry stopped him. "Don't open it yet, little man."he said, looking slightly nervous.
"What's the matter, Jer?" Bobby asked.
"Man, I saw this on an episode of "The Twilight Zone" once." Jerry answered, looking at his three brothers one at a time. "A man was getting fortunes at a diner, and they were warning him not to leave. Something terrible almost happened to him when he did leave. That's what this is reminding me of now."
"We're not in the Twilight Zone, Jer. We're in Detroit." Bobby replied. "And unless the next fortune's something like, "You're gonna' die if you leave this restaurant", I don't think we have to worry about it. Go ahead, Jackie. Open your cookie and ignore your big sister."
Jack nodded and broke the cookie in half, pulling out the small slip of paper. "An unforeseeable event will happen in the near future."he read, looking up at his brothers. He was startled to see that Bobby's face was horrified. "What?" he asked, nervously, eating the cookie. "What does it mean?"
Bobby exchanged a terrified look with Angel, who didn't return it. "It means that something bad's gonna' happen to you."he answered, hoping that he was being convincing.
"But… it only says unforeseeable." Jack replied, still feeling anxious. "It doesn't say anything about being bad."
"Well… when the Chinese say "unforeseeable", it normally turns out to be bad." Bobby countered. He didn't know if it was believable or not, but he hoped that his brother would fall for it.
Jack nervously looked around the restaurant, almost seeming like he was searching for a man with a knife or something. Jerry glanced at Bobby, giving him a look that said, "This is your prank?" Bobby grinned.
Then, Evelyn returned, a smile on her face. "All right, boys. Let's go."she said. "I'm sorry if it took so long. The manager here turned out to be one of my old friends from high school, and we were catching up a little. Did you all behave?"
"Yes, Ma." Bobby answered in an almost angelic way as he followed her towards the door.
"I don't like that tone, Bobby Mercer." Evelyn muttered as they made their way to the car. "It doesn't fit you…"
Jack opened the door to the mini van, preparing to climb in. But before he could, a can of air freshener rolled out and hit the pavement, rolling into the next parking space. The ten-year-old looked to his left, seeing that Bobby, Angel, and Jerry were too busy hanging back and talking to notice. Sighing, he walked over to the can and bent down to pick it up.
Suddenly, the headlights of a car flared on, falling directly on Jack. The young boy quickly straightened up and stared at the car, horrified as it came at him, swerving under the control of a drunk driver.
Bobby looked up when he heard the sound of squealing tires, and he gasped when he saw a car bearing down on his youngest brother. "Jack!" he shouted, running toward him. It was the first time he had used his real name in a while.
Jack gasped when he felt Bobby's sturdy arms wrap around his thin frame, pulling him backwards. The oldest Mercer fell against the mini van, Jack in his lap, as the car sped past, barely missing them. Bobby continued to hold his younger brother close to him, feeling Jack shaking beneath his arms as he clung tightly to him.
"Damn you, bitch!" Jerry shouted after the car, hoping that the driver could hear him. "You almost killed my brother!"
"Did anyone get the license number of that car?" Evelyn asked as she ran toward where Jack and Bobby were.
"Yeah, I got it." Angel answered angrily, repeating it over and over in his mind.
"And whoever it was is gonna' get a major ass-whuppin!" Bobby added.
"Are you two all right?" Evelyn said anxiously, kneeling down next to her two sons. "Bobby? Jackie?"
"We're fine, Ma." Bobby told her reassuringly, taking a few deep breaths. "Just a bit shaken up."
Evelyn sighed. "All right then."she said. "Get in."
Bobby nodded, relieved as he climbed into the mini van with the rest of his brothers. Jack continued to cling tightly to him the entire way home.
"But you just said that fortune cookies really can't tell the future." Jack said, confused.
Evelyn looked up from the book she was reading, smiling. "I know that, dear."she replied, ruffling his hair a little. "But this one will."
She had been rather amused when Jack told her what Bobby had done to him the previous night. Now, her and her youngest son were sitting on the couch in the living room, waiting for Bobby return home from practice. Then, her plan would go into action.
Jack jumped a little when the front door opened and Bobby walked in, shutting the door behind him. "Hey, Ma. Jackie. Were you waiting long?" he asked.
"Not long at all." Evelyn answered pleasantly as she heard him go into the kitchen.
"Hey, a fortune cookie!" Bobby suddenly said. "Can I have it, Ma?"
"I saved it for you, dear." Evelyn told him.
Jack and Evelyn listened as Bobby broke open the fortune cookie, and laughed as they heard his cry of surprise. The paper dropped from the oldest Mercer's hands and landed on the table, showing the hand-written fortune…
You are grounded for three weeks, Bobby Mercer.The End
A/N: Did you like it? Thanks very much for reading this story! There's going to be a companion story to it called "A Night Alone". Thanks again! Reviews are much appreciated!