Disclaimer: I don't own any of the characters used, they all belong to Disney.
A.N.: Well, I decided to just go along with my little plot bunny and write this fic, of course I didn't expect it to disappear after the first few paragraphs, but I decided to try to finish it anyway.
"I got a… I got a B- on my test." He shuffled uneasily, pushing the paper onto the table for the audience. Squirming uncomfortably, he stole a look at his sister beside him.
She smiled; oblivious to his need of assurance. "I got an A+, Daddy!" she chirped happily, plopping her own test on top of his. Ever the star, ever the perfect child. Ever his twin. "The teacher said I was one of the best in class. And she gave me stickers too!" She was beaming proudly, pulling out a sheet of bright Barbie-doll stickers and flashing them.
The light caught the shiny bits of glitter on it, glinting.
"That's very good Princess, Daddy always knew that you were going to be something good," the Father said indulgingly, giving his sister a bone-crushing hug. He tried to hold back his sigh of relief; hopefully he would be satisfied with her marks. "Now what's this I heard about your B minus." He turned, emphasizing his grade.
The seven year old looked up, the flap of his cap preventing him from meeting his father's eyes. Not that he wanted to anyway. That was the main reason why he wore caps weren't it? So he didn't need to meet anyone in the eye, at least not unless he wanted to. He left the talking and 'people-relations' to his sister. She was more talented in that department.
"I messed up a few problems," he mumbled. Time for dinner, time for dinner, he chanted mentally in his head. He risked a furtive glance in the direction of the kitchen, wondering when his mother would magically appear with the maids in tow, letting dinner be served.
Hoping that it would make his dad forget about him.
"And?" A slight teasing in his tone, taunting and daring him to do something. "Just a few problems, Ryan?" He snorted, picking up and scanning the paper.
Dinner, dinner, dinner. He focused on the leg of the chair, anything but at the man before him. His sister held his hand, giving him a reassuring squeeze, half-heatedly he noted. And when the father looked up again, she dropped it, pretending nothing had happened.
No point in both of them getting yelled at.
"Are you stupid boy? Dinner, dinner, dinner. He had a feeling his mother was waiting for his father to finish everything first, before emerging from the kitchen. Damn. "We've gone through all of these before. How can you make such mistakes? So many stupid mistakes." He seemed to deflate, placing the paper gently down on the table.
Maybe things would be different tonight.
Out of the corner of his eye, he saw his mother peek out of the kitchen. Good news for sure wasn't it?
Then came the crushing blow that knocked the wind out of him. Sudden and unexpected it seemed, he had surprised himself for not being ready for it. What in the world could have possessed him that tonight would be different? Of course, he was a natural optimist. But those silver linings seemed to be disappearing rapidly, so it seemed to seven year old.
It wasn't the physical pain that hurt. But the thought that his dad was that angry with him. Over a stupid piece of paper. And his mother was hiding away, afraid to incur with her husband's wrath. His sister was covering her eyes, letting out a small cry just after he did. "Daddy, stop it," she whimpered, deciding to attempt to shield him from the father's blows.
"Don't be a bitch," he snarled, pushing his daughter away.
Coward. The seven year old boy picked himself up and ran out of the room, hardly daring to pause to pick up his sister. He could hear the angry yells and shouts erupting from his father's throat, painful molten lava. "…Take better care of your stupid brother… No good… Disgrace," the words jumped out, leaped out.
He clambered up the ladder, glad that no one had came with him. In his safe haven, his sanctuary. Running, screaming, yelling, crying. He huddled in the corner of the treehouse, hugging his knees to his chest.
Rustling from beneath. "Ryan, I know you're up there."
"No one's home, nobody's ever home," he yelled.
People moving downstairs, his sister joining his mother. "Duckie, my dashing boy, don't be so naughty. Come down for Mummy, alright?" she cooed, her voice sickly sweet. He was getting a headache from all the conflicting emotions. "Come back home and eat dinner with us okay?"
What home? He didn't reply, biting on his bottom lip, and tugging his cap lower onto his head; not that they could see of course. His father had always hated his caps and hats, and his, well, everything.
She grew angry. "Get down from there right now, Daddy isn't very happy. And you know what he does when he's not happy," she threatened.
He made no response.
Mumbling downstairs, and he heard someone start up the ladder. Eyes widening, and nerves pounding, he scanned the room and picked the closest weapon he set his eyes on: a baseball bat- ironically bought for him by his father. Oh well, it'll have to do.
Wielding it in his hands, he waited for the intruder to climb up the stairs, bringing the bat back to swing it hard.
"Don't hit me!" squealed a voice, clambering into the treehouse. He let out a breath he didn't know he had been holding, dropping the baseball bat on the floor. "I come in peace."
One side of her cheek was redder than the other, and he could see that her eyes were slightly red. Crying? Did Daddy hit her too? He felt tears prick at his eyes, and he blinked them away; pulling his sister into a hug, their silence saying it all. "Mummy wants you downstairs," she whispered, breaking the quiet.
He moved away, kicking at the baseball bat, and facing her with his back. "I'm not going down, I'm going to live here forever."
He shook his head, sitting down on the floor, and crossed his legs, his arms across his chest. "Never," the seven year old said solemnly. He peeked up at his sister, an idea suddenly striking him. "I could never go back home, I could go to some where else," he suggested, grinning. His blue eyes were the brightest they had ever been in days, excited by the thought. "I could run away Shar. I'm big enough to look after myself. Mummy and Daddy don't stay around much, so they won't have to know so soon, and they won't notice that I'm gone."
He ran to a corner of the treehouse, pulling out an old backpack from an old chest at the corner. "I don't think Daddy will mind much, and Mummy doesn't want to help, and I'll come and see you sometimes, but only after I find a place to stay, alright?" He turned around, suddenly realizing that his sister was crying.
"Shar, don't cry. I promise I'll come back," he said softly, dropping the bag gently on the ground.
She wrapped her arms around him, burying her face in his shoulder. "Ryan, let's go home okay?"
"That isn't a home. It's a house, it's different. Mummy and Daddy don't care about me, nobody's there. No one is ever there, it-"
"I'm here." She interrupted him. There was another moment of silence.
She took him by the hand. "Let's go home, Ryan."
And he followed her.
Ohhhh, that so did not come out well again. Grah, but I just adore Ryan&Sharpay fics, I'll probably go prance off and write some more. That is a thought. Yay! Comments would be greatly greatly appreciated!