Summary: After yet another argument with his father, Mutt runs off and you'll never guess where he ends up?
Author's Note: More or less canon. Mutt's seventeen.
Declaimer: I don't own these characters, I just wrote this story for fun.
The neighbors were probably rolling their eyes and sighing to themselves as yet another argument had broken out at the Jones' household. Two stubborn, mulish male voices could be heard shouting at each other. One mulish voice belonged to a seventeen year old greaser and the other to a fifty year old professor of archeology.
"School starts tomorrow, Junior," Henry "Indiana" Jones shouted at his son, "and you're butt will be in a desk."
"No, it won't," Henry "Mutt" Jones shouted back at his father. "I already told you, Pops, I'm going to keep working at the mechanic shop!"
This argument had been going on now for more than two months, ever since the family had returned from the Amazon and the wedding that had been delayed thirty years or so had taken place. Indy insisted his son was going back to high school and Mutt insisted he wasn't. Marion, who at first had tried to play mediator, had given up and decided to just let them duke it out with each other. Hopefully, they would eventually stop shouting and actually listen to each other.
"I told ya, Junior," Indiana shouted back, "that ain't happenin'!"
"Yes, it is," Mutt growled out, finally having enough. "I'm outta here!" Grabbing his leather biker jacket from the chair, he stormed out of the house and a few seconds later they heard his motorcycle rev up and was gone.
Indiana sighed, shaking his head. "Why does it always have to end in him storming out?" he asked, looking at Marion helplessly.
She came to him and put her arms around him. He always looked so lost, so uncertain about what to do, after these arguments. "He'll be back in an hour," she reminded him, "just like always. Why don't you try talking to him instead of shouting?"
Indy nodded. "You're right," he said, running his fingers through his graying hair. "I'll talk to him as soon as he gets back. I promise."
Unfortunately, Mutt wasn't back in an hour…or two…or even three.
After spending a few hours driving around the town, trying to decide what he should do, the teenage Jones stopped his bike, oddly enough, in front of the old cemetery. Kicking the bike stop down, he removed his helmet and got off. He then proceeded into the cemetery and stopped at one of the grave stones.
He smirked, remembering how this had been the first place his old man had brought him and his mom after the wedding. He'd wanted to show off his new bride…and introduce their son. Mutt reached out and put a gloved hand onto the tomb stone that read:
Henry Jones, Sr.
Husband. Father. Teacher.
He'll be greatly missed.
"Hi there, Gramps," Mutt said, "sorry it's been a while since I visited, but I've been kinda busy."
He snorted to himself.
Yeah, real busy. Arguing with the old man certainly keeps you occupied. Doesn't it?
"Well," he said, sighing, "me and Pops had another shouting match. Guess who won?"
No body, that's who, he thought angrily to himself.
"I just don't get what the big deal is, Gramps," he told his deceased grandfather. "What's wrong with fixing motorcycles? So what if I don't get a high school diploma, does it really even matter?"
"Yes," a voice behind him spoke, making him jump, "it really does."
Spinning around, Mutt was surprised to see Indiana staring at him, angrily. "P-Pops," he exclaimed, surprised to see the man, "h-how'd ya find me?"
Indy rolled his eyes. "After you didn't come home like you usually do," he said, crossing his arms, "and your mom had started to worry, I figured I needed to come look for you. After driving around town for two hours and no sign of you, I decided to come here and talk to the old man. Maybe get some insight on how I'm supposed to handle you."
"Handle me?" Mutt bristled at that, crossing his own arms.
"You better believe it, Junior," Indy growled at his errant son, crossing the distance between them, grabbing a hold of the seventeen year old, and spinning him around.
SMACK! SMACK! SMACK!
Mutt yelped, grabbed his behind, and glared at his old man.
"Don't even say it, Junior," Indy warned him, sternly, "and you'd better be damn glad I'm not your granddad or I'd have had you bent over this tombstone, those jeans around your ankles, and my belt would be tannin' your bare ass by now!"
Mutt's mouth snapped closed, there wasn't much he could say to that.
Still rubbing his behind, he said, "I didn't mean to worry Mom. I just needed to think."
Indy shook his head. "If I'm being a jerk or you think I'm not listening to you, son," he told him, sincerely, "then just belt me in the mouth to get my attention. Running off, worrying both me and your mother, possibly getting into an accident or worse just isn't acceptable in my book. Okay?"
Mutt, still rubbing, nodded. "Yeah, Pops," he said, "I got it. I just don't understand why this school thing is so important to you. Why do I have to finish high school?"
Indy looked at him, squared his shoulders, and told him exactly why. "Because I didn't," he admitted, hesitantly.
Mutt's mouth dropped open in surprise. "Say what?" he asked, shocked. "But you're a teacher!"
Indy nodded. "Yeah, now I am," he said, "but when I was seventeen I was off in Europe somewhere fighting in World War I. Remember, I told you Pancho Villa kidnapped me into his army for a little while…well, immediately after that I hightailed it to Europe, lied about my age, and enlisted."
Mutt was still in shock. "I c-can't believe it," he said, shaking his head.
Indy grinned. "Believe it, son," he said, sadly. "It was only later, after the war, that I decided to go back to school. It was just after the war, so it was pretty easy to enroll in college—you didn't need a high school diploma back then, so…" He shrugged, since the rest as they say is history.
"So, that's why you got such a bee up your butt about this?" Mutt asked, amazed. "'Cuz you don't want me to follow in your footsteps."
Indy nodded. "You got it, Junior," he told him, smiling. "I certainly never wanted to be like my father and I sure as hell don't want you to be like me. I've made too many mistakes over the years, son. I don't want you repeatin' any of them."
Mutt sighed. "Don't worry, Pops," he told him, "I think I'm gonna be makin' plenty of my own."
Indy laughed at that. "That's the way it's supposed to be, kiddo," he told him, cuffing him gently on the chin. "You ready to head home, yet?"
Mutt bit his lip. "I really don't want to go to school," he told him, almost pleadingly.
Indy sighed. "Sorry, kiddo," he told him, "but that is one decision that stands. Your butt will be in a classroom tomorrow morning, or I'll be kicking it until it is. Now, as far as you working at the mechanic shop, I don't mind you working a few hours after school—as long as you get your homework done and keep your grades up—as well as all day on Saturday if you want."
Mutt looked at him gratefully. "You mean it?" he asked, hopefully.
Indy nodded. "Yeah, son, I do," he said. "I don't expect you to go to college and become a professor Mutt if you don't want to. As long as you finish high school—when you're supposed to, that is—I'll be one happy camper."
Mutt sighed. "I guess I'll go then," he said, though he didn't sound happy about it.
Indy laughed, reaching out to ruffle the boy's hair. "It's only for one more year," he reminded him. "It'll go by before you know it."
Mutt glared at him for mussing up his pompadour, pulled out his comb, and proceeded to fix it back into place.
Indy just shook his head at him. "C'mon," he said, gesturing toward the exit of the cemetery. By now, your mother's probably begun to throw things and I've got some pretty valuable pieces I do not want shattered into a thousand pieces."
Mutt winced. "Sorry," he said, sincerely.
Indy wrapped an arm around his shoulder. "Hey," he said, gently, "I'd rather have them broken then you, kiddo." He then pulled the boy next to him, enjoying his closeness for a moment.
Mutt felt a lump rise in his throat. For the first time, he felt really close to the old man and it felt so nice.
Of course, the old guy had to go and ruin it.
"By the way," Indy told him, "you're grounded for the next week. You can tell the garage you'll start work the week after next."
"Say what?" Mutt asked him, outraged.
Indy raised an eyebrow at him. "Would you prefer the belt, Junior?" he asked, pointedly.
Mutt opened his mouth and then shut it again.
"A week," he said, grinning, "I can live with that."
Indy grinned. "I thought you might," he said, chuckling.
That settled, Mutt thanked his granddad for the talk and Indy silently thanked his father for keeping his boy safe.
They then began to make their way out of the grave yard.
"Hey, Pop?" Mutt asked, eyeing his father out of the corn of his eye.
"Yeah, son?" Indy asked, also eyeing the boy out of the corner of his eye.
Mutt smirked. "What'd you do to get the belt?"
Indy returned the smirk.
What hadn't he done?