A/N: I do not own Four Brothers. This FanFiction is for entertainment only.
I rated this fan fiction 'T', but be warned, it does have some naughty language…
Read carefully and you will find out the ages.
Bobby Mercer rolled over, slowly opening his tired eyes.
"Bobby… I-I had a bad dream…"
He propped himself up on one elbow and saw eight-year-old Jack standing beside his bed, nervously fiddling with the hem of his pajama shirt.
"Jackie, go back to sleep," Bobby muttered harshly.
Jack stared at the floor. "I can't…"
Bobby rested his head on his pillow. "Yes you can. It was just a fucking dream. Go back to sleep."
"Bobby," Jack said nervously, "can I sleep by you tonight?"
"No. Go away." The nineteen-year-old closed his eyes and yawned, feeling slightly angry.
Jack poked his shoulder. "Bobby."
"What?" he barked, ignoring Jack's flinch.
"I… I'm afraid…" he whispered, eyes filling with tears.
Bobby sighed, frustrated, and threw his legs over the side of the bed. He grabbed Jack's forearm and tugged him out of the room. He walked quietly down the hall until he reached Jack's bedroom. Bobby motioned for Jack to go in, then closed the door and flipped on the light. Jack wiped his eyes, then crawled back into bed. Bobby covered him with the blankets, then pulled up a chair that was sitting off to the side. He flipped it around so he could lean forward and rest his arms on the back of the chair.
"What was it this time, Cracker Jack?" he asked.
Jack blushed slightly. "I-I dunno… I woke up and I was really scared."
Bobby sighed and tiredly rubbed his eyes.
"I-I'm sorry…" Jack murmured, eyes clouding with tears.
Bobby leaned forward and ruffled his hair. "Just go back to sleep, okay?"
"No!" Jack cried when Bobby stood to leave.
"Jack, I'm not shitting you. Go back to bed, or I'm gonna be pissed."
Tears began to fall down Jack's cheeks. "Please… I don't want you to leave…"
"I gotta work in the morning, kiddo," was the only thing Bobby could think of to say. Jack whimpered and pulled the blankets up to his chin.
"You want me to check the closet for monsters or somethin'?" Bobby asked seriously.
Jack shook his head.
"Then what, Jackie?"
Jack rubbed his nose. "I want y-you to stay in h-here…"
Bobby snorted. "Yeah-fucking-right. I need sleep, and so do you. Now go to bed." And with that, he crossed the room and pulled the door open.
"Bobby…" Jack whined, tears continuing to fall down his cheeks.
"'Night, Jackie," said Bobby, and closed the door behind him.
Angel's eyes slowly fluttered open. He jumped in surprise when he saw Jack standing beside his bed, looking frightened.
"Jack?" the thirteen-year-old mumbled sleepily.
"Angel… I'm afraid…" Jack murmured nervously.
Angel stretched and sat up, leaning his head against the headboard. "Is something wrong?"
Jack's eyes filled with tears. "I had a bad dream…"
"Jack," Angel groaned, rolling his eyes. "Bobby said you had a nightmare yesterday night, too. Man, you gotta stop thinkin' about all the crap that happened to you before you came here."
Jack's gaze fell to the floor. "I-I can't…"
"Go back to sleep."
Jack shook his head. "Angel, can I sleep by you?" he asked quietly.
"No," Angel said. "Go to your own room."
"But I'm afraid to be by myself…"
"My bed is small anyway. There won't be any room."
"Then can I sleep on your floor?" Jack asked, sniffling.
Angel sighed and lifted his legs over the side of the bed. "C'mon, man. I'll tuck you in."
Jack shook his head again, more slowly this time. "Angel… please…"
His brother ignored him. Angel gave Jack a slight push on the back, urging him forward. He guided Jack out of the room and quietly down the hall, ignoring his whining. They reached Jack's room, and Angel helped Jack back into bed.
"You okay now?" he asked, irritation present in his voice.
Jack shook his head 'no'. "I'm scared, Angel…" he whispered, eyes welling with tears.
Angel scratched the back of his head. "Uh… Just… think happy thoughts. Think of yesterday when Bobby fell out of the tree when he went to get your Frisbee."
A small smile tugged on Jack's lips.
Angel smirked, his hand on the doorknob. "Okay? So uh… goodnight."
Jack's smile faded instantly. "Angel, don't leave. Please…"
"'Night, Jackie," said Angel, and closed the door behind him.
The sixteen-year-old rolled over and saw his youngest brother standing beside his bed, tears falling down his cheeks. Big-brother mode kicked in, and Jeremiah was sitting up in a flash. "Jack? What's wrong?" he asked, kicking off his blankets.
"I… had a bad dream," Jack said sheepishly.
Jeremiah breathed a sigh of relief.
"C-Can I sleep by you tonight?" asked Jack, wiping his eyes.
"No, man," Jeremiah said gently. "Go back to your own room, okay? It was just a dream. It wasn't real."
"Can I please sleep by you?" he asked. "Please?"
Jeremiah rubbed his eyes tiredly. "Jack, man, Angel said last night you wanted to sleep by him. And the night before that, Bobby said you wanted to sleep by him. Why do you keep having all these nightmares?"
"Well come here, alright?" Jeremiah said, getting to his feet. "I'll tuck you in. Then you'll feel better, right?"
Jack shook his head 'no'.
Jeremiah frowned, but led Jack back to his bedroom. Jack sniffed and wiped his eyes as Jeremiah helped him into bed. "You okay now?" he asked, ruffling Jack's hair.
"Jeremiah… I don't want to be alone…"
"Hmm…" he hummed, thinking. "What if tomorrow we go buy you a nightlight?"
Jack frowned. "I'm not afraid of the dark," he mumbled.
Jeremiah leaned down and gave him a quick hug. "Just get some sleep tonight, okay? I had a real busy day today and I'm tired. You are too, I'm sure."
"Please don't leave," said Jack, ignoring his brother.
"C'mon man, I gotta go back to sleep. I'll see you in the morning, okay?" He walked across the room and grabbed the doorknob.
"Jeremiah," Jack whined. "Please."
"'Night Jackie," said Jeremiah, and closed the door behind him.
Bobby jolted up in bed when he heard someone scream his name. He glanced at the clock. Two-thirty.
Jack came running into his room, tears streaming down his face.
Bobby sighed and threw his legs over the side of the bed. Jack didn't really wake him; he arrived home and midnight and just started to attempt sleep.
Jack jumped up on the bed and threw his arms around his oldest brother, crying. "B-Bobby…" he stuttered.
Bobby's body stiffened. "What the hell…?" He rubbed his eyes. "Jack, what're you doing?" He put one arm around his brother. "Don't tell me you had another nightmare..." he muttered.
A sob escaped Jack's throat, and Bobby sighed angrily.
"Jack. This is it, man. This has to stop," he said sternly.
Jack didn't look up. His breathing started to come in short gasps, and Bobby could feel him shivering.
"Jesus, calm down. Just tell me what your nightmare was about, okay?"
Jack pulled away from him and sat on the edge of the bed. He blinked and a tear fell down his cheek; he quickly wiped it away. "M-Mister was going t-to get me…"
Bobby nodded. "I see. So, was Mister… chasing you?"
"Y-Yes," said Jack, sniffling. "And he caught me. A-And then… and then he…" He once again began to cry.
"…Okay, I get it."
'Mister' was what Jack called the man who was his last foster father. Bobby didn't know the whole story about Mister, but he did know Mister physically and sexually abused his baby brother. Bobby also knew if he ever met 'Mister', he wouldn't hesitate to put a bullet in his skull.
"Look, kiddo," he began. "I think you should talk to Ma about these nightmares, okay? She usually gives good 'talks'. Trust me, I've gotten plenty…"
Jack shook his head, keeping his eyes locked on the floor.
"You don't wanna keep having nightmares, do you? 'Cause Angel and Jerry both told me you came in their rooms, too. So that means, Jack, that every night this week you've had a fucking nightmare."
"But this one was real scary!" he exclaimed.
"Shh!" Bobby warned, glancing at the door. "Shut up! Fuck…"
Jack sniffled and rubbed his eyes.
"Now," said Bobby, getting to his feet, "I'm going to take you to your room, and you are going to stay there, you hear me? And tomorrow night, you're going to stay in your own room too."
Jack whimpered and grabbed Bobby's hand as he led him down the dark hall. When they entered Jack's room, Bobby pulled back to covers so he could crawl in. Jack just stared.
"Go on," said Bobby.
"N-No," Jack protested. "Please… I don't want you to leave me alone."
"Because then Mister can get me!" he exclaimed, throwing his hands up in frustration.
"Bullshit," said Bobby. "No one's gonna get you. Now go to bed."
Jack started to cry again. "Bobby, p-please…"
"No, Jack," he growled, abandoning the blankets and reaching for the doorknob.
"Don't leave me alone, Bobby! Please, don't leave me alone!" Jack pleaded, latching onto Bobby's right leg. He began to sob loudly.
Bobby sighed and looked down at him. His sour mood immediately vanished, and was replaced by a sinking feeling of guilt. "God, you're terrified, aren't you?" he whispered, prying Jack's arms off his leg. He bent down slightly, and lifted Jack into his arms. Jack put his arms around the nineteen-year-old's neck and buried his face in his shoulder. Sobs violently racked though his body.
Damn it, he thought, this is all my fault, too. Why couldn't I see how terrified he was?
"You're going to wake up the whole house, Jackie," Bobby said quietly as he pulled the bedroom door open. He could feel Jack's body shaking with fear.
Bobby walked blindly down the dark hall with Jack in his arms. He slowly descended down the staircase trying to be as quiet as possible. He knew this house. He knew exactly where every stair creaked.
"B-Bob…b-y," Jack sobbed as they reached the bottom of the stairs, "he's g-going t-t-to get me…" His voice came out loud and high-pitched, almost like a squeak.
Bobby stopped and stood in the center of the living room, slowly shifting his weight back and fourth, rocking Jack gently. "Shhh… No one's going to get you," he whispered softly.
This kid is terrified out of his mind! he scolded himself. Telling him to stop crying isn't going to do anything.
"He - He's g-going to g-get me," Jack repeated, his face still buried in Bobby's shoulder, "if y-you leave me al…alone."
Bobby continued to rock him back and fourth. "Shhh…" he soothed. "Shhhhh…"
"D-Don't le-leave," he pleaded again as Bobby lowered himself into the chair.
"Shhh… I won't. I promise."
Jack curled up on Bobby's lap and leaned his head against his chest. His sobs didn't let up, even when Bobby wrapped both arms around him. He rocked him in the chair, shushing him softly. He didn't know what else to do. Jack clung to him like he was going to disappear if he didn't.
"Shhhhh…" Bobby rubbed his back. "Calm down, Cracker Jack. I've got you, okay? I've got you. I'm right here and I ain't leavin'. I've got you…"
Jack kept his head against his brother's chest, his small body still shaking. Bobby hugged him closer and continued rubbing his back. "Shhhh…"
As time slowly passed, Bobby found himself debating whether or not he should wake Evelyn. Jack was still sobbing hard into his chest, and had developed a case of the hiccups.
I don't want to wake Ma up, though, he thought, looking down at his frightened brother. She works too damn hard and doesn't get enough sleep the way it is. I don't think she knows Jackie's been having nightmares… I don't want to give her more shit to worry about…
"A-Are you mad a-at m-me?" Jack suddenly spoke up.
Bobby snapped away from his thoughts and tightened his arms around Jack. "No, no, man," he assured softly. "I ain't mad."
"I-I'm sor…ry…" he squeaked, sniffling.
"No, Jackie. It's okay. I just need you to calm down, alright?"
Jack shivered and snuggled closer to his brother, tears still streaming down his face. Bobby waited patiently for his sobs to vanish. He could feel Jack's body relax a bit and knew he was still crying softly. He was still hiccupping, but his shivers had subsided, causing Bobby to relax.
Bobby continued to rock him in the chair, his legs falling asleep from Jack being on his lap.
He waited a long, ten minutes. Jack was still sniffling.
Bobby looked down and placed a large hand on the top of his head. "You ready to go back to sleep?" he asked, voice just above a whisper.
Jack shook his head 'no'.
Bobby sighed, although he figured Jack would be stubborn. "What if you crash in my room tonight?" he offered willingly. "Then will you go to sleep?"
Jack shook his head again, sniffling. "I d-don't want to g-go back to sleep. N-Not ever again."
Bobby rubbed his back. "Are you afraid of your room?" he asked. "What if I take your bed and you take mine?"
"N-No!" He began to cry again. "I'm never g-going to sleep again!"
"Shhhh…" Bobby consoled, proceeding to rock in the chair.
Damn, he thought. Now I went and got him all worked up again. Fuck! Jackie must be really scared… He didn't want to crawl in with me, and he hasn't wanted to sleep alone all week…
He patiently waited for Jack to stop crying again, and he slowly did. Tears fell silently down his face, and Bobby could sense he was already fighting sleep. Bobby continued to shush him softly, and helped to calm him by rubbing his back. Jack's body still jerked because of the occasional hiccup.
So much for not sleeping ever again, eh, Cracker Jack?
Bobby waited a few minutes before he decided Jack was sleeping. He carefully scooped up his baby brother and got to his feet. Jack was sleeping soundly.
Bobby skillfully used his shoulder to flip off the light, then slowly and quietly made his way up the stairs. He could feel a wet spot on the front of his shirt where Jack had been crying, and knew he would have to change it.
He entered Jack's bedroom and gently set him on the bed. Jack stirred slightly, but didn't wake. Bobby covered him with the blankets, then bent down to gingerly wipe some of the tears off his face.
He sighed to himself, wondering how many nights he would have to repeat this.
Bobby shook his head before taking a final look at his baby brother. "'Night, Jackie," he whispered, and closed the door behind him.