Title: Each Empty Bottle
Pairing(if any, or gen): None, really, squint and a miss kind of thing.
Summary: He stopped counting years ago.
Warnings: Still not mine.
His first drink was at the age of five, his back molars paining him terribly. A few sips of whiskey numb the pain, amusing his mother and her friends when he giggles and passes out.
His second was at the age of ten. His mother lay on her bed, naked to the waist and cold to the touch. He drinks what's left in the bottle and wonders why he can't cry for her as he sits by her body.
His third was at the age of twelve and fast became his numbing agent of choice. A quick shot helped to chase the pain away, block out the sound of footsteps outside his bedroom door, and make the nightly event more tolerable. He drinks more often, cuts school and falls in with the worst crowds.
He no longer counts how many drinks he's had, gave that hobby up the night he almost overdosed on J.D, so desperate was he to forget the fact that at fourteen, he'd killed someone. His hands shook, his older friends laughing as they hold him over the toilet, their raucous jeers echoing in his ears.
It's a series of hazy, blurry and disorienting years. He dries out several times when Evelyn's words pierce his heart. The guilt he feels fuels him to want to be better. He goes back eventually, though it's easier to keep control. She helps him with his moderation and for that he's bitterly grateful.
And when she brings Jack home, he can see it in his eyes, smell the fear on him and see his blatant distrust. He sees himself in Jack's pained eyes. The child knows of alcohol, this much he confides when he catches Jack stealing his bottle of whiskey from his bag. Jack knows the glorious numbing power, though he's disturbed by the sheer amount it takes to lose himself.
He keeps a close eye on Jack, afraid to stay away for too long. He won't let Jack travel down the same path. After years of struggling, Bobby has his drinking under control. He indulges, but never to the excess, never again, it's far too dangerous to be so unaware at all times. Jack struggles, Bobby behind him as he fights his battle. He'll help him, do whatever it takes, and for once, he'll feel as though he's done something good and right, something worthwhile. This he'll do, for him, he'd do anything.