Summary: When a woman shows up on the Mercer's doorstep claiming her thirteen-year old son is Bobby's, pieces of the oldest Mercer's secret past is revealed. However Bobby's hatred for the older woman, as well as his denial of the trouble-making, mysterious kid does not go over well with his youngest brother Jack. Determined to discover Jack's relationship with the drug-addicted woman and her smart-mouth son, he invites the two to stay with them. This proves to be a mistake though, when the woman 'disappears' after meeting his brothers, and the boy makes more enemies than friends. And still, neither the boy or his brother are giving answers.

Note: This is slightly AU. Bobby is in his early thirties, and Jack is in his late teens (around 17). Evelyn has already been murdered, but Jack does not die. Angel and Jerry will also be in the story, it is called Four Brothers for a reason. No, this is NOT romance. The woman will make few and far between appearances. Rated T for language.

The Bridges We Burn

Chapter One: The Wake Up Call

Bobby wasn't father material. Though it was an irrational thought, sometimes Bobby Mercer even thought it was impossible for him to be a father. Sure, he slept around. As a matter of fact, Bobby didn't think there were many women in Detroit that he hadn't slept with. But none had ever gotten pregnant. Not with his kid anyways. And all this came back to the fact that Bobby Mercer couldn't be a father. No, God wasn't that cruel.

At least he thought God wasn't that cruel until Saturday morning at eight o' clock, an ungodly hour, when the doorbell rang once. Twice. Three times in a row. Bobby had considered ignoring the fucker. Staying in bed where it was warm and not getting up until noon or so. But then he had a better idea.

"I'm gonna bash the motherfucker's head in, I swear to God," he swore. Which was perhaps his first mistake. After all, Ma had told him time and again, that it was bad luck to 'swear to God'. Bobby grudgingly grabbed the t-shirt he had worn the day before and threw it over his head. Inside out.

"Ring the goddamned doorbell one more time and see what happens," Bobby muttered under his breath as he took the stairs two at a time to the bottom floor. The winter air caused the hardwood to protest and sting his already cold feet even worse.

"What the hell do you want, waking up-" Bobby started, only stopping when he recognized the face he was staring at. Bobby could only gape stupidly as he took in the forty-plus year old woman standing outside his door, smirking smugly and wrapping her arms more tightly around herself.

"Bobby Mercer. Ya' haven't changed a bit," she noted blankly, giving a tight smile as she tilted her head to one side. Bobby raised his eyebrows, tried desperately to think of a smart comeback, and finally settled with,

"Sabrina Wood. Well, I'll be damned." And really, he could think of nothing else to say. It had been what? Twelve? Thirteen years? Longer? Fuck his memory was bad.

"Well, are ya going to invite me in or what?" She asked coyly. Bobby noticed that she too hadn't changed a bit. Still a slut, he thought bitterly.

"Or what," Bobby stated coldly, finally remembering it was snowing and cold as hell outside.

"Bobby, is that any way to treat an old friend? I drove all the way from Minnesota to see you," She pouted, feigning hurt. Bobby huffed. Oh how much he hated the female species.

"Fine. Get in. But be quiet, I don't want my brother waking up. He'll be grouchy as all get out," Bobby sneered. His statement was partly true- Jack would be grouchy if he was woken up so early. But the main reason for the statement was to remind miss 'old friend' that normal people would still be sleeping at this hour.

"Didn't know you had any brothers," Sabrina commented, as an afterthought, as she waltzed into the living room after Bobby. Bobby knew that Sabrina couldn't give a rat's ass about his life or family.

"Yeah. Three. Now what do what?" Bobby deadpanned, not in the mood to play games. Hell, he was grouchy.

"Coffee would be nice," The woman replied smartly. Bobby grit his teeth. What a bitch.


The who-can-glare-at-who-the-longest game was really starting to get on Bobby's nerves. He had served the woman coffee, even offered her to sit at the kitchen table, and still she had yet to give him a reason why she was here. He was seriously considering kicking her out and going back to bed when Sabrina pulled out a picture from her left pocket and laid it down on the middle of the table.

A boy. About fifteen, but Bobby really couldn't tell. He had dark green eyes and even darker black hair, with light skin. Bobby knew he would be considered 'attractive' to most girls his age. His red sweater was almost too big form him, and the picture was most certainly taken against the boy's will. Bobby glanced over the picture uninterested before glancing back up at the woman across from him.

"His name is Micah. Well, Micah James, but he goes by Jaime," Sabrina said. Bobby couldn't decipher if she was proud of the boy or just simply stating a fact. Either way something was off and Bobby did not like where this was headed.

"Congratulations. Isn't it a little late to be having a baby shower?" Bobby answered, trying to look anywhere but at the blank staring eyes of the boy in the photograph.

"He's thirteen," She said, ignoring his biting comment. Bobby shrugged. He wished that heavy, gnawing feeling in the pit of his stomach would go away. No, Bobby Mercer did not like this conversation at all.

"Well," Sabrina encouraged, "Don't you think he looks like you?" The legs of the kitchen chair scraped across the floor sharply as Bobby hopped out of his seat and backed away from the table.

"Oh no you don't Sabrina! Don't you dare pull this on me," Bobby order, desperately trying to hide the fear in his voice. Sabrina stood up too, but much more calmly as if she hadn't heard Bobby's statement.

""You know he loves to rollerblade. He does all that crazy stuff with the ramps and things. Hey do you still play hockey? I bet-" Sabrina said, only to be cut off by Bobby.

"Don't! Don't even finish that statement! I know where you're going with this!" Bobby practically yelled, his sleeping brother long forgotten. Sabrina shrugged nonchalantly.

"I'm just saying, he likes to skate. You don't have to-" Sabrina defended.

"I'm just saying he likes to skate!" Bobby mocked. "Like hell that's all you're saying! You're trying to pin this kid on me aren't you? You're trying to make it sound like he's mine! Like me sleeping with you a few times a long time ago means that I fathered your kid. Plus- you said you had a kid when I was sleeping with you!" Bobby took in a deep breath, ready to keep going, but Sabrina cut him off.

"I did have a kid. He was in foster care at the time, I couldn't take care of him," The woman defended, finally showing some sign of anger.

"Oh so that's what this is about! You can't take care of him-" Bobby started, but Sabrina picked up the coffee mug and threw it against the wall, causing it to shatter into several pieces.

"I can. Take care. Of my. Son!" Sabrina screamed, punctuating each word. She grabbed her forgotten coat and stomped off towards the front door.

"You know Bobby," She said, pausing at the half-opened door, "I thought that maybe you had finally grown up. That maybe you would finally take responsibility for your actions and step up to the plate! But no, you're still a bastard like always. And now, you're forcing your son to be one too!"

The front door slammed, followed by the sound of a car engine starting. Bobby ran his hand through his hair and sighed dramatically. This was not how he was planning on spending his weekend.

"What the hell man?" Jack slurred, making his way downstairs. He was holding on to the railing for support, hair tousled all over the place.

"Yeah," Bobby agreed, "What the hell?"


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