first fic for the genre, so any feedback is appreciated :)
The first time it happens was when he was four. Or, well, he assumes that's the first time because that's as far back as he can remember. He remembers being tucked into bed and Fur Elise bring hummed distantly. When he wakes up, they are gone and the Belgian nanny they hired makes the best pancakes he's ever eaten, but can't speak English. He spends the rest of the week in silence because there is no one to hear him speak.
He is seven when he first realises that his parents are different from John and Judith and Timothy's. Not all parents up and disappear for weeks on end without a word of warning beforehand, and never to locations like Kangaroo Island, Denpasar, Puget Sound and Alaska. More importantly, they brought things back for their kids; wondrous things like Hot Rods and Japanese candy. He asked her about this, and this time she brought him gum from in-flight. He steals a rare fossilised Asteroceros obtusum from her kit that night and tells himself it was for the kick of seeing her tear the house apart looking for it.
Fuck the parental unit. Who needed them anyway? Sure, the thousands of dollars that found its way into his bank account every month was welcome, but he survived very well on his own without them. Thrived, even. Kids whose parents had taken from them the pleasures of life porn smokes drugs turned to him and he was more than happy to help them, for a price. With his GTO, couldn't-care-less hairstyle and reputation, he's the resident rock star of Herrington High.
She comes home one night after he's gone to sleep. When he drags himself from his usual spot in the lab to get some breakfast, she's there sipping a cup of coffee. A bowl of organic oats waits for him on the table. She asks some fucking polite questions about school and friends, and he gives the lies all folks want to hear. It's not like she cares whether he's lying or not, and the conversation soon turns to the exciting new fossil she found in the Canary Islands.
For once, he's interested, because the islands are known for their interesting life-forms, and wouldn't it be goddamn ironic to have a new species named after him. Azekeus leviticus or some shit like that. She must have caught on to the smidgen of interest he showed, because she says "You're welcome to come if you want."
And isn't that just like her? Who gives a damn about school and assignments and college when there are islands to traipse off to? "What about school?"
"I'll write them a letter, tell them you're doing an internship with me or something. Might even earn you some extra credit."
He wasn't excited about going. Not at all. Sleeping in tents, the complete lack of non-geeky company, having his mom around day after day…he didn't know how he was going to survive. So, when he wakes up the next morning and finds her gone, he is not at all disappointed, because at no point did he pack his bags and sell the remainder of his secret-recipe scat for cheap.
She's left a message on the phone. "Hi honey, sorry for taking off like that, but they unearthed a new shell and needed me to look at it pronto. But you could join me after you finish school...that's only a few months away, right?"
Zeke flunks his senior year.
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