Chapter Two-Eager Disposition
Given the chance that something had gone wrong in the household, Michelle Tanner refused to falter upon the game. The quite dinner, despite the loud munching of Nicky, Alex and Joey all together, that echoed through. Once excused, worry flooding her mind in a way she had never known before, she took to spending time in her room. Of course, it meant Stephanie would be in within a few moments. A part of her wasn't sure if it was the best thing to see her older sister, another part unaware of the fact that she needed that comfort only a sister or a family member could provide.
"Hey munchkin." Jesse Katsopolis had peeked into the room, a final goodnight at the tip of her tongue. Seeing the disgruntled look upon his niece's face, he entered the room quietly. "You okay?" Perching himself at the foot of her bed, he took to watching the restless young girl curl herself up into a ball, her arm under her head acting as though a pillow despite her need for actually having one.
"Yeah, fine." She whispered softly, adjusting slightly in her bed as though it were causing her discomfort rather then the thoughts in her head. Her eyes managed to swing over from the wall she was watching towards her Uncle Jesse who had basically been her best companion since she was born. Her advice line in the form of a relative, always there when either of them needed someone.
"You sure?" The careful word formed at the edge of his lips, rolling off of his tongue naturally. Upon receiving a silent nod and a smile with the words 'I'm lying' written all over it, Jesse nodded himself and stood up. Leaning forward, he pressed his lips at her temples, last action of affection for that night. "See you tomorrow, Michelle." He breathed out, and with a final glance at her, walked out of the room.
Rather then dealing with more questions from the Tanner's middle child, Michelle rolled over onto her other side of the bed that was turned away from the accompanying bed on the other side of the room. Gathering the corner of the soft blanket for comfort, she cuddled it over her body and rested her head gently on the soft curve of the pillow. Within minutes, sleep came to her, dreams of a past she had longed to feel once again swarming all around her.
Teddy's head lulled to the side, sleep overcoming his otherwise excited state of mind. The gentle rocking of the bus as it made its way to its final destination created the peaceful existence for the young boy to find him some sleep. For once, he didn't have to wake to the sound of his name being screamed, or a slap upon his arm hard enough to bruise is otherwise soft skin. It wasn't until the bus screeched to a loud halt, the sound whining against the seemingly silent morning glow of the sunrise jolting the young kid awake.
His eyes tiredly wavered around straining to acknowledge the location in which he was currently in. The familiarity of his surroundings only brought his thin lips to curve upwards, a ghost of a smile appearing on his face. Over the years, the only thought that brought even a simple action as that to the young boy's chocolate skin was the reminder of the people he had grown with. Michelle, specifically. Even at the tender age they were in, Teddy had known her to be his best friend no matter what. Years later, he longed to reunite with happiness and contentment once again.
Carefully, he untangled himself from the jacket he had pressed against his body and removed all options of warmth as he stood, groggy from being woken up. As he marched up toward the driver, he earned himself an earnest look of pity. "Thanks for the ride." Teddy whispered softly as the doors creaked open, revealing him to the sidewalk nearest the main street in town. The second he hopped form the last step onto the ground, he glanced over his shoulder to see the bus driver give him a small wave. Within seconds, the doors shut behind him, the tune of despair, and drove off.
Licking his lips, he glanced around, the bag in his hand clutched tightly. While the main effects of the town had barely come to an ounce of difference, Teddy couldn't help but feel the pressures of being an alien. No matter how hard it seemed now, Teddy forced himself to proceed on. The only other choice was returning back to a home of misery and degradation. With a heavy breath, he placed himself on the raggedy bench near the bus stop sign and pulled out the small map he had hide from his father for years on end.
The glossed page slipped open, sodded with age of use. Dark eyes rested against the map and slowly found which street he stood on compared with the sign and the paper. Index finger rested against the middle of the page, lines of fading color connecting so quietly. The smile on his face lasted longer than a second for the first time in years as he outlined his path to take. He just hoped that he wouldn't be considered trespassing or barge in on the wrong house; he just hoped they hadn't moved and that Michelle, as well as the other Tanners, still remembered him.
It would be a ten minute walk, of course, but in the state Teddy remained in, he would walk an hour if it meant reaching a better lifestyle if only for a minute. Rising from the bench, he memorized the path he had to take before folding the paper and slipping it into the back pocket of his jeans. Slipping the bag on his shoulder, he hung the jacket on his arm despite the sharp cold, and began walking, a hope flashing in his young eyes. No longer did his arm and back seer of pain as it had been for the last few days; instead, he could barely feel the sensation of hatred that lingered inside. This was a dawn of a new day.
"Michelle, honey. Wake up." The gentle shake forced the young girl to roll over onto her back and open a single eye for a brief moment before grunting softly and closing it back up. Danny stood before the bed on the side, looking rather proud of himself even if it meant having to wake up his daughters for it. "Oh, come on. Joey's even up by now." Danny attempted, making a snide remark about his best friend, although the fact remained true. No member of the family, including Nicky and Alex, slept passed Joey. A cardinal rule of the family that Michelle would be mocked for till someone else took the trophy.
Softly, she let out a grunt before opening her eyes. "Even Joey?" Teasing softly, Michelle slowly sat up, swinging her legs over the edge. She watched as Danny sauntered out of the room, barely making it out of the doorway before Michelle found herself jumping up and yelling for her father to come in. The second Danny returned, brows furrowed with worry, she let out a small breath. "Did you ever get the phone number?" A small unknown blush crept up her cheeks before she shook her head to ask.
"I thought you'd have forgotten by now." Slowly, he pulled out a slip of paper, walking back into the room and handing it over to her. "It took a while to figure out where he moved too, but here it is. I'm sure Teddy will appreciate the call." For some odd reason, the words rang out ominous.
Michelle grinned softly as she took the piece of paper in her delicate hands, eyes lingering on the numbers etched in the paper. "Is it okay if I call now? I just can't get him out of my head." Once Danny offered an understanding smile, nodded his head and returned back to the hallway. Michelle waited till she heard footsteps treading down the stairs and then advanced towards the red phone sitting on the desk. The paper feel elegantly against the desk and she placed herself the edge of the bed after dialing the numbers and held it to her ear.
After about the fifth ring, she heard the gruff howl of a man on the other end of the land and feared she had gotten the wrong number. But, she proceeded carefully and cleared her throat nervously. "Uhm, hello sir. I don't know if you remember me, but I'm Michelle Tanner." She started, eyes drawing towards the picture frame which had moved from her shelf to her bedside table.
"He's not here. The little termite ran away." The voice thundered out, the tone unbearable to a young girl like Michelle. Panic rose through her as she held the phone to her ear, fingers growing numb at the pressure. "It's not like I need him anyway. Whatever happens to him, happens. Quit worrying about it." And before she knew it, the phone held a buzz tone ringing in her ear. The phone slide from her hand and into the cradle before she stood up.
Teddy's father's words, harsh and cold, flew through her mind, repeating itself over and over again leaving her no option but to walk down the hallway and wearily the stairs. Crossing the living room, she made her way into the kitchen, all motor functions based on normal every day actions rather than anything else. Shoving the door, she slipped through to be greeted by her uncle in the kitchen with Joey, while the rest of the family she could hear from the backyard.
"Hey, kid. What's wrong?" Jesse's spoke out loudly, the thudding of pots and pans echoing loudly. "Joseph…gentle, gentle." He spoke out, the Greek smile upon his face pushing its way out quickly as ever. Slipping away from the counter, he approached Michelle and leaned over, hand resting on her shoulder. "Michelle? Everything okay?" Of course, Jesse had always been Michelle's go-to-guy for advice and frankly, the beating of her heart against her chest seemed so loud she thought he could hear it.
"Uncle Jesse," She started, flickering her eyes towards Joey who then dropped his plate gently on the counter and walked towards Michelle as well, approaching them both and kneeling on the ground, leaning against the fridge. "I think Teddy's in real big trouble. His father's a jerk. He told me Teddy ran away and I don't think he cares and I'm really worried about him now. I should've been-" What started off as a slow and steady explanation ended in a never ending guilt trip that plagued the young woman something terrible.
"Michelle, woah. Calm down." Joey stood on his feet, hand gently resting on Michelle's back and lead her towards the kitchen table where Jesse had pulled up a chair for her in the front while the two adults took the sides. "Now, what happened?"
Michelle was then forced to relieve her whole entire nightmare, the threat of tears tumbling down her cheeks. It was the moment she finished her words and forced her eyes to settle on the table rather than her entwined fingers in her lap, she heard the soft moan of disapproval from Jesse and the heavy sigh of Joey, both who felt her pain and attempted to comfort her. "I don't know what to do."
A delicate ring echoed through the entire house forcing Michelle to note her tears and brush them off while Jesse gave her shoulder a pat while he rose from the table to answer the door. "I hate to tell you this, sweetheart, but-"
"Michelle!" Jesse's voice boomed loudly forcing the young woman to look away from Joey and climb from her chair. Legs shaking, she slipped through the kitchen doors only to be greeted by the sight of a familiar friend. The years hadn't troubled her mind to recognize her best friend. Although he looked worse for wear, that didn't stop Michelle from racing through the kitchen as though she were on fire. Ignoring the fact that they hadn't seen each others for years, she embraced the poor man, holding him tightly.
Teddy who had traveled the ten minutes and finally wound up knocking on the door was shocked to find himself staring at Jesse who looked just as shocked to see the person on the other side of the door. Before Teddy could even get out a word, Jesse had yelled for Michelle and without even trying, Teddy had felt his own heart thud beyond imagination. Walking across the threshold, he entered the home which stood as he once remembered it. And then came Michelle who dashed through, embracing him tightly to which he responded in the same manner.
"Teddy! I missed you!" Pulling apart, she stood a foot away from the man and beamed softly. "What happened? I called and your dad-"
Teddy winced at carefully, a sudden shyness overwhelming the poor soul as one hand began rubbing nervously at his upper arm where he felt the bruise growing. He carefully looked up towards Jesse who gave him a gentle smile and thankfully mentioned nothing about the phone call. "Why don't you two go into the kitchen and grab some food." He offered softly to the famished looking kid before rubbing the back of his neck just as nervously.
Evening hit rather quickly in the Tanner household. A family meeting excluding Michelle, who was upstairs in her room talking it up with Teddy, was being held in the living room. Each person who spoke whispered in hushed tones so words wouldn't be carried up to the second floor to vulnerable ears and each discussed the situation as they were being informed by Jesse and Joey.
"What do you think could have made Teddy run away?" Stephanie whispered softly, pain and worry scarring her face as she leaned over, elbows pressing against her thighs as the indentation made her bare legs red in the process.
"I don't even want to know." Came D.J's reply who leaned back in the head chair, arms folded across her chest, Nicky in her lap who pretended to not feel the need to know what was going on in the household. After a few minutes of dead silence, he slipped off of her lap and encouraged his brother to evacuate his mother's side and followed him into the kitchen where they were likely to cause some damage. But nothing would prevent the Tanners to pull from their deep conversation, fear of what was to happen.
The door bell rang once again leaving the others to sigh as Dean walked up from the chair he remained in and carefully proceeded towards the door. "I can't imagine the kind of life he must have had." Climbing the two steps, he approached the door. When he opened it, he took a step back and almost gasp escaping his lips.
"Mr. Danny Tanner!" In walked a cop, a notepad in his hands as he slid into the house and glanced around. When his eyes settled upon a woman on the couch, the grin beamed up his face. "And you're Rebecca Donaldson." He added which left Becky almost blushing in the process before he shook his head and turned towards Danny. "Sorry to barge in on you, but I had a report of a missing child and he would perhaps be here."
"A missing child?" A charade of responses echoed throughout the room as Danny shut the door and proceeded further into the living room, allowing the cop to follow through as well.
"A-" The cop looked down at the notepad before revealing Teddy's full name.
"Uhm, Michelle. Could you come down please?" Danny called out. Within seconds, she appeared, Teddy behind her at the top of the stairs. Carefully, she marched down, Teddy reluctant and nervous all the while as he followed as well.
"What's the problem?" She asked softly, looking towards the cop and then Danny, then the rest of the family who were then quickly led out of the room by Becky-who had to drag Joey out as well-leaving the living room empty save for the four souls.
The cop then looked towards Teddy and breathed out a small sigh. "I'm sorry, son. But you need to come with me. Your dad's looking for you."
"No, you can't! You can't take him back there! Please don't." It was clear that Teddy had revealed all his troubles towards Michelle who had done well to accept it. At the thought of her best friend having to return to a home of terror simply forced her to break.
"Michelle!" Danny approached her. "That's his home, he has to go back."
"No, dad. You can't let him, please. His dad beats him. It's not fair." Gentle warm tears ran down her cheeks, long overdue, as she tugged on her father's sleeve and then looked towards Teddy who looked ready to take off running.
"Is this true, son?" The cop spoke up, his fingers tightening on the pad as he lowered his hand.
Three figures turned towards the tortured soul who found his own fresh tears pouring out. Slowly, he nodded his head and attempted to speak but failed miserably. Without being asked too, he carefully rolled up his sleeve to reveal the bruise.
The cop took in a sharp breath and shook his head, fingers piercing the edge of his nose for a brief moment. "I need you to come with me, son."
"You're not taking me back there, are you?" Teddy gasped out nervously, head pounding as he dropped the sleeve.
"No, but we have to figure this all out." Came the sad reply which forced Michelle to sob even more. Teddy simply approached her and hugged her tightly, holding her for the longest second before he let go to follow the cop sadly.
"Where are you taking him?" Michelle's harsh reply stung the air but the cop was merely left with not reply, taking Teddy away from the Tanner household which had welcomed him in; and from the very best friend he had ever had, the only happiness that came with it.
The phone rang repeatedly till Michelle pounced out of her bed a week later. Reaching forward, the picked it up and held it to her ear, the sour look that had remained on her face since Teddy had been taken b the cop remained upon her face. Clearing her throat, ran her fingers through her hair and sat up on the bed. "Tanner Residence."
"Michelle?" The voice replied into the phone, a tone of happiness and excitement rang out. "It's me, Teddy! I got great news." It was hard to not let his tone pass as mile on her face, leaving Michelle to smile to herself, rather content at the sound of his voice.
"What? What is it?" She exclaimed excitedly into the phone, holding her the phone to her ear, curling her legs beneath her.
"My dad's getting help and I'm living with my aunt here in town!"
"That's great." Michelle grinned into the phone, tossing the pillow from behind her and into her lap, picking at the corner, cuddling it to her chest. "Wait, that means…"
"That means I can see you. Like old times." Teddy responded, happily. "In fact, if you're not doing anything now-" He started. The static on the other end provided Michelle with the knowledge that he was probably putting on a jacket. She could even hear the soft voice of his aunt in the background, with no harshness or anger in her voice.
"I'll meet you by the park we went too." And of course, Michelle's entire mood lifted completely, giving her the hope she needed. Reunited with her best friend had given her the ability to reveal in the past and now that Teddy would be around more often, she had the option to spend her time with her best friend rather than pining for him. Yes, things had definitely worked out for her. For them.
This was long overdue, and I know it. Be honest about what you think.
Nevertheless, I finally finished it.
The ending was rushed, I know but I was starting to loose focus and I didn't want to wait what feels like another two years to finish this.
Be honest about what you think.
Reviews always welcome.