Summary: Jack has a new, older friend he looks up to. This does not go over well with Jack's jealous older brother, Bobby. Oneshot
Bobby was not the jealous type. So the feeling Bobby got- the sudden urge to punch this Nick Adams kid in the face every time Jack talked about him in such high esteem- took Bobby by surprise. It wasn't just the respect Jack had for the kid. It wasn't even the fact that the kid was good at almost everything, though Bobby would grudgingly admit that he was, indeed, good at almost everything. No, it was the small things that got on Bobby's nerves.
The way Nick called Jack 'Jackie', which was reserved for Bobby alone. They way that every time Bobby would tell Jack something, teach him something if you will, it seemed as if Nick had already beaten him to that certain area of expertise. Or other times, when Bobby's facts didn't align with Nick's, Jack would sometimes reply with a 'that's not what Nicks says' or something of that nature.
Bobby wished he could say all those things just made him angry. Or even better- that they just got on his nerves. Because Bobby was not the jealous type. But deep down, Bobby knew he was the jealous type. Especially when it came to his brothers. Bobby never liked sharing, or competing, for his brothers.
The other thing that worried Bobby was this Nick kid's age. Jack, his brother Jack, was eleven. Barely into sixth grade. A little kid. And Nick on the other hand, was sixteen. A junior in high school. He even owned a car, which Bobby noted with aggravation, was also better than his. Why would a sixteen-going-on-seventeen year old want to hang out with an eleven-year old kid? Ma had told Bobby that maybe Nick Adams was just a nice kid. But was Ma worried? No, of course not. Only Bobby was worried. Ma, on the other hand, was thoroughly amused. Typical.
And now, God help them all, Jack wanted to invite Nick over to hang out. Bobby cringed at the memory of how Jack had said 'hang out'. As if he and Nick were best friends. As if they were the same age. Jack used to always 'play' with his friends, but now he was 'hanging out' with Nick. That was yet another thing that Bobby had against Nick.
But of course, Ma thought having Nick over would be a…"wonderful idea Jack", as she had so ominously put it. Bobby had only snorted and acted as if the idea was more irritating than anything. But it was more than irritating. It was infuriating.
"You'll like Nick, Bobby," Jack had stated proudly. Bobby had opened his mouth to answer with something undoubtedly vulgar, but Ma's sharp glare kept him quiet.
"He even listens to Van Halen. You like them," Jack had continued on, despite Bobby's obvious grudge against Adams.
"Riveting," Bobby griped sarcastically. "And AC/DC is better."
Bobby hated braggers. He also hated people who didn't know when to shut up. Both of these characteristics described Nick Adams. But of course no one saw Nick that way but him. No, Jack was enthralled in Nick's story-telling, and even Angel and Jerry seemed more or less interested. Bobby scowled the whole way through dinner, deciding not to par take in the oh-so interesting conversation.
"Peyton Manning? You shook hands with him?" Angel asked with obvious impress. Bobby gave a short, sarcastic laugh, gaining a disapproving look from Evelyn.
"You like Peyton Manning don't you Bobby?" Jack asked innocently. If he were aware of Bobby's hatred towards the kid, he didn't show it.
"Manning is a fucking pansy," Bobby answered snidely, knowing before he said it that it wasn't true. Still, he couldn't very well admit it.
"Robert Mercer! You know better than to speak that way," Evelyn admonished, but it was Jack's hurt look that really stemmed Bobby's guilt. He meant to bring Nick's ego down a notch or two, not hurt his brother's feelings. Still, he wasn't about to take it back.
"Sorry," Bobby amended half-heartedly. He hoped that Jack could see behind his façade and know that he really was remorseful.
"Well anyways, as I was saying," Nick Adams continued, rambling on about his football record and how great he was. Bobby bit the inside of his cheek to keep from saying something else that he might regret. However he couldn't keep his mouth shut any longer when Adams claimed that the Chicago Blackhawks were the best hockey team.
"Oh hell no. The Detroit Red Wings are so much better than the fucking…Blackhawks," Bobby countered, practically spitting out the last part. Bobby wasn't sure who this guy thought he was, but he certainly didn't know a damn thing about hockey.
"Dude, Chicago so dominates Detroit!" Nick answered confidently. Arrogant prick, Bobby thought angrily. Ma looked ready to break up a fight, and Jerry and Angel looked ready to join in. Jack however, Bobby noted, was wearing a pained expression somewhere between shame and embarrassment. Whatever for, Bobby wasn't sure.
"Oh yeah, who was ranked number one this year?" Bobby shot back knowingly. Two could sure as hell play this game. Nick got a disgusted look on his face and stood up.
"By pure luck. If the San Jose Sharks hadn't played so shitty-!" Adams yelled but was unable to finish his statement.
"Boys! Enough!" Evelyn yelled, her authority unwavering. Nick sat back down, even having the decency to look ashamed.
"Bobby, you know better than to provoke a guest. Nick is Jack's friend and he is to be treated as such," Evelyn chastised. She had carelessly let Bobby's jealousy get out of control. After the comment he had said to Jack that started this whole ordeal in the first place, she was happy to let her eldest son learn his lesson the hard way. This had proved to be a mistake.
"Now we will all sit down together and have a quiet, civilized meal. Is that understood?" Evelyn ordered. The five boys all nodded, suddenly finding their food all-too fascinating.
Jack retrieved the twenty dollars from under his mattress where he kept his allowance. Fighting back tears, he handed it over to the very unhappy looking teenager.
"I outta charge a lot more than twenty dollars. Your family is a nightmare," Nick hissed, slamming Jack's bedroom door on his way out. Jack buried his head in his arms and cried softy. After all the stories and after all his planning, he had failed Bobby again.
Jack had remained in his room every since Nick had left indignantly. Bobby was glad he got to have the last words, sending him out with a few colorful adjectives. With any luck, the bastard would stay gone for good.
But now there was the problem with his brother. He expected Jack to be upset with him. After all, he hadn't been very inviting to his friend. But he was pretty sure Jack would forgive him by the next day. Jack always forgave him. Still, he couldn't keep himself from climbing the stairs to Jack's room and knocking on his door. When he received no answer, he cracked the door open a bit, revealing his sobbing little brother.
"Ah shit Jack…I-" Bobby started to apologize, never liking to make his brothers cry. But Jack quickly cut him off.
"I'm sorry Bobby. I'm sorry I screwed up again! I guess you were right. I'll…I'll never be as good of a brother as Angel or Jerry. I'll never have cool friends," Jack cried. Bobby stood in shock as he finally realized what this was about.
Jack had been following Bobby and his friends around all day, wanting to hang out with them and go wherever they went. Quite frankly, it was really starting to get on Bobby's nerves.
"I told you Jack, you aren't fucking going!" Bobby yelled, refusing to take Jack to the ice rink. This was his time to hang out with his friends.
"But I want to go. And I'm bored," Jack had whined. Bobby clinched his fists.
"Well, Jack, who's fault is that?" Bobby had taunted out of annoyance. Jack looked confused and Bobby took the opportunity to continue.
"Maybe if you find some fucking friends of your own to hang out with you wouldn't be bored all the time. And maybe then you wouldn't have to follow me around like a fucking dog!" Bobby had yelled. He ignored Jack's stricken face, and continued anyways.
"Oh, that's right, I forgot. No one wants to hang out with you. And you wanna know why? Cause you're fucking boring as shit! All you do is read and listen to your gay music and write your gay poetry. You could try hanging out with somebody cool. Somebody tough. But no, you hang out with other nerds just like you. Christ…why can't you be like Angel and Jerry? I never had this problem with them."
Bobby had apologized later on, but he knew his little brother always took the things he said to heart. Sure, Jack would always forgive him. But he would never forget.
"He liked your kind of music. He liked the same sports. I-I just thought you'd…be proud of me. For having a friend like you. Somebody cool. I'm sorry," Jack explained, tears blurring his vision. Bobby stared at Jack with a horrified expression. What had he done? Making Jack feel like this? To do this…for him? Bobby felt bile in his throat and wondered briefly if he was going to be sick.
"I…Jack…I am proud of you. I…what I said a while back- I didn't mean that. I was angry but I didn't mean it," Bobby admitted. Jack gave him a hopeful look, his tears finally slacking. Bobby bit his lip against the guilt that Jack's questioning gaze brought on.
"Jack did you…I mean, this whole time…is Nick really your friend?" Bobby asked. Jack lost the look of hopefulness and looked ashamed again.
"No. I made it up. The stuff about what he taught me. I paid him twenty dollars to act the part tonight. I…I'm sorry," Jack answered. Bobby made his way to where Jack was sitting and pulled the kid into his arms.
"I'm sorry Jack. You have nothing to be sorry for. I'm sorry for what I said, I'm sorry for how I acted. I was just…jealous I guess," Bobby confessed the last part quietly. Jack pulled away from Bobby and looked at him strangely.
"You…you were jealous?" Jack asked with amazement. Bobby laughed and smacked the kid playfully.
"Yeah, don't tell anyone okay?" Bobby asked conspiringly. Jack made an X with his pointer finger over his heart.
"Cross my heart," He whispered. As an after thought, Bobby pulled his wallet out of his back pocket and retrieved a twenty dollar bill.
"Here ya go Little Brother. Don't ever say I never gave you anything," Bobby told him with a wink, handing the bill over to Jack. Jack took it graciously, then wrapped his arms back around his brother's neck. Jack smiled contentedly, whispering into Bobby's hair;
"I would never say that."
A cheesy oneshot based on a personal experience I had with my own brother. Gotta love 'em.