Title: Tied Together With A Purple Ribbon
Summary: What happened to the Venturis before George and Abby's divorce?
A/N: I don't own LWD.
"I hate you!"
"Then leave! Leave and never come back!"
Thirteen year old Derek Venturi sighed and blinked back the tears that threatened to fall. He couldn't cry, he just couldn't. This happened every night. Surely he had to be used to it by now, right? Wrong. No matter how often he had to lay awake and listen to the screams, the sounds of broken dishes, the sobs, and the slamming of doors, he knew he would never be used to it. Sighing, he rested his hands on his stomach and stared up at the ceiling of his bedroom. Silently, Derek prayed to a God he didn't even know existed that Edwin and Marti were asleep. If they heard what was going on, it'd kill him.
"Maybe I will leave. Maybe I will leave and won't ever come back! How'd you like that?"
Derek closed his eyes and placed his pillow over his head, trying his best to block out the sounds of the shouting match going on downstairs. He had called his dad and told him to not be late for dinner tonight. He had told him it was important and that he had to be on time tonight, for once but of course, George Venturi got caught up at work like usual and ended up being fifteen minutes late to dinner. It was no use trying to talk to him or try to get him home earlier, Derek knew his father would always be late and that his mother would always have something to say about it when he came home.
The front door had slammed shut and Derek prayed that his father hadn't left for good this time. Every night he was late, every night Abby Venturi yelled at him, told him to leave and never come back, every night he left, every night he came back. Derek hoped this would be another one of those nights. He didn't know what he'd do without his father. It honestly scared him to death to think of his family being so torn up that his father would just walk out on them but then again, in the Venturi home, anything was possible.
It hadn't always been this bad, Derek remembered. There was a time before the fighting, the screaming, the broken dishes, the doors slamming. There was a time when the Venturis were a happy little family but then something changed that. Or rather, someone, had changed that.
Five years ago, his mother and father had sat him and Edwin down and announced that they were going to have another baby. Despite how thrilled Derek and Edwin were, Derek could recall the worried and unhappy looks etched upon his parents' faces. Despite their feeble attempts, Derek knew that they didn't want this baby. But nine months of fighting later, out came Martha Abigail Venturi. After Marti was born, the fighting worsened.
Derek remembered telling Edwin never, ever to tell Marti it was her that tore their family apart. It broke Derek's heart to know that his parents' vicious fighting was on account of a little girl who had no say in the matter. After threatening Edwin with death, he finally agreed never to speak to Marti about any of it. Five years later and Edwin had stayed true to his promise.
Derek knew the fighting must be hard on Ed too. Edwin was only four when Marti was born and Derek knew he could hardly remember a time when the house was actually quiet and peaceful but Derek remembered and he vowed he'd never forget. He also vowed to protect Edwin and Marti from their parents' fighting as much as possible.
Amidst their fights, Abby and George seemed to forget their three children existed and after forgetting to pick up the kids from school one day, Derek promised that someone would always be there to take care of his siblings, even if that person was him. He was ten years old when he began to make lunches and fix dinners and help with homework and tie shoes. Hell, he had even helped potty-train Marti considering neither parent seemed to show any interest in the task.
Derek could hear the sound of the garage door going up and he knew the Prince was backing out of the driveway to go to some bar and wouldn't be back until about three that morning.
Derek tossed the pillow off his head and hurried towards his bedroom door. Marti was awake.
"Smarti, what is it?" Derek asked as he opened the door and crouched down to the little girl's level, "Did you have a bad dream?"
"Mmhmm," she nodded.
"Come 'ere," Derek hoisted the little girl on to his hip, "Do you want to tell me about this dream?"
"Daddy ran away and no one could find him."
"Smarti, daddy isn't going anywhere."
"Smarti, you just had a bad dream…"
"She told him to leave and he left. Mommy made him leave."
"He'll be back, Smarti."
"How do you know?" She asked, her brown eyes growing wide.
"Because," Derek answered, "I just do."
"Smerek, can I stay with you tonight?"
"Sure thing, Smarti," Derek smiled down at her, "Come 'ere and we'll get you all set up, alright?"
"Alright," she nodded, "Smerek, how did you do it?"
"Do what?" Derek asked, getting an extra pillow from his closet.
"How did you get to be so brave?"
"I dunno, Smarti," Derek shrugged, putting on a masked smirk, "I guess I just did."
"Well someday I want to be as brave as you. You aren't scared of anything!"
"Bed's all ready," Derek changed the subject.
"Nighty night, Smerek!" Marti gave him a kiss on the cheek before snuggling in next to him.
"Love you, kid."
"Love you too, Smerek!"
Derek wrapped his arm around the little girl whose head was nestled against his chest. How did you get to be so brave? I dunno, Smarti, I guess I'm just good at pretending.
A/N: So how was chapter one? Should I continue?