Chapter 12: Another Mercer

Bobby didn't know what to say to Jaime and for a minute or so the two of them sat in an awkward silence, not really sure where to begin.

"I'm glad you're okay," Bobby said, playing it safe. He figured he couldn't go wrong with a simple, honest statement such as that. Jaime shrugged.

"I didn't mean that I thought you were my father or anything," Jaime answered back, surprising Bobby. Bobby had expected many responses such as 'thanks' or 'that makes one of us' but that….that just took the cake.

"Uh…"Bobby answered before being cut off by Jaime's hand waving through the air lackadaisically, as if swatting at something only he could see.

"I mean what the doctor said. I had to tell him you were my father in order for him to let me see you. You know…family only. That kind of thing," Jaime explained, suddenly becoming interested in the hospital gown they had him in. Bobby nodded, finally understanding what Jaime was getting at. He leaned back in his chair and stared at the ceiling.

"Your mom's outside," Bobby told him, looking at the teen for some kind of reaction. He got none. "Jack's outside too. Angel and Jerry said they'd come when they could." Jaime wasn't really sure what kind of response Bobby was expecting to this display of information, but he couldn't help the sting that formed behind his eyes. Of course, he wasn't about to let the older man see how much his concern, as well as his mother's and Jack's, comforted him. He shook it off quickly. It was never good to get emotional.

"Have you heard anything from Sweet and his men recently?" Jaime asked, but Bobby was having none of it. He recognized well Jaime's tactic, since it was one of his own personal favorites. Avoiding uncomfortable topics.

"Jaime, look…this whole thing with your mom and me…if I had known…"Bobby suddenly found himself at a loss for words. If he had known what? That Jack was Sabrina's son? That Sabrina was pregnant when she left? He would have done what? Jaime shifted uncomfortably on the hospital bed, not liking the direction the conversation was going. He understood that his trip across the highway was stupid. That it was melodramatic and that he could have caused a lot more damage than what had been done. But that didn't mean he wasn't ashamed. Ashamed of what he and his mother had done to Sweet and his guy back at the hotel. Ashamed of his mother's fleeing behavior. Ashamed of how the paternity test could come back in less than two days. Jaime almost wished that he hadn't of woke up. Almost.

"Bobby, you did nothing wrong. You got into a relationship with a pathological liar who can't stay in one place with the same man for longer than a few months. A woman who is addicted to drugs, alcohol, and abusive men. Sabrina….my mom is a good woman. But she's selfish. In the end it's all about what is going to benefit her. No one else matters. Not to her. Not in the end," Jaime said with a steady voice and those godforsaken blank eyes. Bobby stared into them wondering what it must be like to not know who your father is. To have a mother who was always running.

"Mom thought it would be a good idea to drug Al and take the money. There was a shit ton of it too…money I mean. Mom said it would help us get out of the hell we'd been living in. Promised that we could stay in one place and I could go to school. She said Sweet didn't need it anyway because he had a lot of money and all and I….I guess I just thought it was a good idea. It seemed like one at the time. But then everything happened…all of this and I guess it caught up with us. And Mom did what she does best. She ran off," Jaime explained, though it seemed as if he wasn't really even talking to Bobby, but to himself. Bobby rubbed a hand across his face, knowing Sweet wouldn't leave the kid alone until the money was paid back. Or he was gotten rid of.

"Look kid, you just let me handle Sweet. You have enough problems to deal with," Bobby answered. He knew he, Angel and Jerry were gonna have to take him out sooner or later. But right now he had more pressing matters to deal with. Jaime nodded appreciatively and visibly relaxed. He already knew from the short time that he had known the man that when Bobby Mercer said he'd take care of something, he meant it.

"Jaime…I was wondering," Bobby began, but quickly lost his courage and trailed off. Jaime waited patiently for him to continue. Bobby cleared his throat. "Well, see, your mother and I were talkin' about how we thought it'd be good and all for you and Jack to stay in touch, you know, since you're brothers and all. And um…ah fuck it. I was wonderin' if you wanted to stay with us. I mean…live with us? Regardless of how the next two days turned out," Bobby finished.

Jaime smiled for the first time in forever and Bobby wouldn't admit how nice it was to see the boy happy. Jaime on the other hand, was both shocked and ecstatic by the invitation. In his mind so much was depending on the results of the test and to hear Bobby say that he could stay regardless of the outcome was more than relieving.

"Really? I mean, that would be sweet! I mean… "Jaime hesitated. "You're not just fucking with me are you?" Bobby laughed out loud and shook his head.

"Am I typically one to fuck with people?" Bobby replied. Jaime didn't answer but gave Bobby a knowing look.

"Right…don't answer that question."

-

The twenty-four watch went by with a massive amount of bickering, yelling, and threats by the hospital staff. By the end Bobby was sure the doctor would let Jaime go if it meant getting rid of the rest of them. Which was fine by all of them since none of them particularly liked hospitals.

Of course, with Jaime's accident not being entirely…accidental, they required that the boy see a psychiatrist, which didn't exactly sit well with Jaime.

"I'm not a fuckin' psychopath!" Jaime exclaimed, throwing himself down on the Mercers' couch with huff. He instantly regretted it though when his broken ribs protest the action.

"First of all, stop acting like little girl!" Bobby yelled from the kitchen, ignoring the glare he received from Jack, Sabrina, and Jaime. "It's not that bad. Second of all, apparently you are a 'fuckin' psychopath' since you're the one who ran your ass out in front of moving car. Which, by the way, will not happen again or I will personally beat the shit out of you." Jaime and Jack both rolled their eyes at the threat. It was Bobby's turn to huff now. Since when did his threats lose their validity? He was not going soft!

"So about Sweet…?" Jerry interrupted, kicking his shoes off and making his way into the living room with Jaime. Bobby sighed. He was not really in the mood to discuss the whole Sweet ordeal. Sabrina looked at her hands guiltily.

"Any chance you haven't spent the money?" Bobby asked her hopefully. She shook her head as expected.

"We'll get it worked out later I guess," Bobby answered. He knew later would actually have to be pretty damn soon, as Sweet was not one to make idle threats.

"So," Jerry said to Jaime, who stared back at him with questioning eyes. Just because Bobby accepted him didn't mean Jerry and Angel were going to be as willing. "I heard we're gonna have another Mercer?" Jerry smiled and Jaime couldn't help but smile back. He hadn't really imagined himself as a "Mercer" or even part of the family really.

"You think so?" He asked Jerry nervously. "You think I could actually…you know…be one of you guys?" Jerry shrugged and pretended to scrutinize him.

"Well, you can skate pretty damn well," Jerry answered with false seriousness. Jack laughed and Jaime stole a glance towards the kitchen where Bobby and Sabrina still stood awkwardly.

Jaime wasn't positive, but he could have sworn he saw Sabrina wink at Bobby, his hand lingering a little longer than necessary on her waist.

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