Don't own the Hardys. Don't think I ever will.

"I think that people who ahve a brother or a sister don't realize how lucky they are. Sure, they fight a lot, but it's nice to know there's always someone there. Someone that's family." Trey Parker & Matt Stone

Frank was sitting cross-legged in the big chair that used to be his father's, flipping idly through a well-worn copy of some of Sherlock Holmes' greatest mysteries. Soon his brother would be home, and the quiet peace of the house would be disturbed by his rowdy younger brother, but Frank savored these few moments of silence.

Since their parents' death three months earlier, the brothers had done everything they could to help each other and keep together. Frank, assuming the challenging role of legal guardian, had gotten a job on the Bayport Police Force. He only worked mornings and week-ends for now, but he hoped that his position would change with time, and even the little money he brought in helped.

The house had been paid off by their parents years before, and they had left them a good amount of money when they died in the car crash, so Frank wasn't really worried about money. He was worried about Joe.

After the initial shock, Joe had thrown himself with surprising force at...everything. Seeming to think that he could erase the pain by being able to tackle harder or make good grades, he had attacked school with a ferocity that made Frank both proud and worried. Joe had made the varsity football team as a Junior and was the first-string running back. His grades, which was been okay before, were now almost perfect, with just one or two B's. He seemed like the model kid.

And there were very few changes. They were closer than ever, Frank and Joe, especially since they had started sleeping in the same room again. Joe had gotten terrible nightmares after their parents death that didn't entirely fade away even with Frank sleeping with him. He would still wake up screaming at night, though less frequently.

The other change, and it was a big one for the Hardy's, was the lack of cases. They hadn't been approached by anyone in Bayport, most people seeming to know their situation, and outside cases used to come from their father's own private detective agency. At first Frank didn't know what to do with himself without the constant string of cases, but he had almost settled into a normal life. Almost.

Glancing at the clock, Frank frowned. Joe was late. He should have been home a half-hour ago, since there was no football practice today. Sighing, he made a mental note to talk to Joe about it when eh got back.

Callie was happy, at least. She and most of Frank's friends were at college, of course, but both Callie and Chet had opted for the community college. Chet had switched right after his own sister's death in April, but Callie hadn't until July, when the Hardy's parents died so suddenly. Despite Frank's many protest, she maintained that she was happy with the school, and was glad that she could be so close to Frank and Joe.

Sometimes Frank found himself regretting giving up college. He knew of kids who would have made the other, easier choice. But Frank could leave his brother. Joe meant more to him than anything in the world.

All of his friends kept in touch. Tony and Phil, both at out-of-state schools, would write and e-mail often, promising to see them at the holidays. Biff went to the State University, on a full football scholarship. He came home on weekends when they didn't have games. Callie and Chet were over constantly, and it wasn't uncommon for one of them to just walk into the house..

The book slipped from Frank's hands as the front door banged open. Chet burst in, his face red with exertion. A limp body was held in his arms. Frank gasped, standing up, his heart beating double as he rushed over to the limp form of his little brother.

You know me, I have to have a cliff-hanger. So do you like it? I thought the idea was too good to not have a sequel. Don't worry, a lot of action will come in future chapters.

As always, please review.