Here's the last post! Thank you to all the wonderful reviewers and those who have stuck with this story! This is, by far, the best review turn-out I've ever had, so thank you for helping me achieve that!


Evan found it hard to breathe when he woke up, his nose completely stopped up from crying. But…why had he been crying? Fuckin' dreams. Would they ever stop? He opened his eyes and looked around, remembering everything from the night before. When had he fallen asleep? He looked at the clock. 2:00 P.M. Wow, he must have been tired. That's when he realized he was alone. Feeling an unusual fear washing over him, he pulled the covers up to his chin, tight around his body, and tried to keep the whimpers from escaping. He closed his eyes tightly and swallowed thickly.

"Hank," he called softly, though it sounded like he screamed to himself. When his big brother didn't come, a tear leaked out and he buried his face in his pillow, soft sobs that made his throat hurt being muffled. He was so distraught that he didn't hear the footsteps, or Hank sitting down on the bed next to him.

"Ev," Hank said sympathetically, using his strong arms to gather him up against his chest. "It's okay, Buddy. I'm here. Bad dream?"

"Yeah…and…you were gone," Evan replied shamefully.

"I'm sorry, Ev. I was making lunch. You slept all day and I knew you'd be hungry, but I didn't wanna wake you up." Evan nodded and just rested his head on his brother's shoulder. "So, do you wanna talk now?"

"There's really nothing to say," Evan told him, pulling back to rest against the pillows. Hank faced him and pulled a leg up on the bed, ready and willing to listen to "nothing." "You already know what happened. He hit me. When I tried to stop him, he hit me harder. I even told him to keep his damn money, just let me go home…but he wouldn't. I finally managed to get up off the ground, but he'd kicked me in the side. That's how I got that bruise. I ran to the door and opened it when he threw a table lamp at my feet. I tripped and dropped my keys, but I knew that was probably my only chance to get away from him. So, I turned over on my back and waited for him to get close enough so I could nail him in the balls with my foot. Then I grabbed my keys and ran. Hank…he'd pulled a gun out. He was…He was gonna kill me."

"Evan, I don't think--"

"No, Hank! You weren't there! You didn't see the-the look in his eyes!" Evan shouted, cutting Hank off. The oldest of the two looked at the young man in shock, at the tears once again streaming down his face. Evan angrily swiped at them and took a deep breath.

"Okay, I believe you, Evan. I do. I'm glad you're okay," Hank said. He pulled Evan into a hug and kissed his cheek. Evan clutched him tightly. "It's okay. You're safe now. I won't let him near you ever again."

"We need that money back, though, Hank," Evan said quietly into his shoulder. Hank pulled back and cupped Evan's cheeks, looking him straight in the eye.

"I don't care about the money, Evan. You're safe with me, and that's all that matters." Hank stroked Evan's cheek with his thumb before dropping his hands to his lap. "Besides, he betrayed you."

"I just wanted to help him. I thought that…maybe…you know, he'd…"

"That he'd changed? Maybe with time, he wouldn't be the same person he was when Mom died?" Evan nodded shamefully. "There's nothing wrong with wanting to help someone, or hoping the person you love can go back to being that person."

Evan's head shot up hopefully, the emotions swimming in his eyes. Hank felt his heart wrench at that. He hadn't meant to get his hopes up. Evan thought he was agreeing with him.

"This is as hard for me to say as it is for you to hear, but he hasn't changed, Ev. He never will. I know you haven't had a lot of opportunities to determine that for yourself, or if you have, they haven't been very good ones, but you've just got to let him go. I'm not trying to hurt your feelings or turn you against all male authority figures or whatever, but I need you to see this. Dad isn't going to change. He's not our dad anymore. He hasn't been for a long time."

Evan stared at Hank, the hope that had been there now crushed and blown to smithereens. He knew Hank wasn't trying to hurt him. He knew everything Hank had just told him. However, he hadn't accepted it. He just hoped…

"Maybe if we--."

"No, Evan." Hank cut him off gently, shaking his head.

"Well, what if--?"

"Evan…I'm sorry. No." Evan's heart broke. Even though he'd known all of this, it hurt more to hear it out loud.

"Hank, I know he still loves us," he tried, tears welling up. Hank thought he would be all cried out by now.

"You also know that he isn't. going. to change. You know that, Ev." Hank held Evan's hands and felt the younger man crushing his in his grip. His face contorted into the one that meant he was holding back. Hank couldn't have that right now. He reached up to rub the back of Evan's neck and let him lean his head against his arm, almost nuzzling him. A few tears fell onto his wrist, Evan quietly crying pained sobs. Hank knew this position had to hurt his side, as well, so he rubbed away the tears and stood, holding out a hand. "Come on. You haven't eaten for a day. I made us some soup and sandwiches."

Evan took his hand and stood up slowly. He allowed Hank to wrap an arm around his shoulders and pull him to the kitchen bar. About half way there, he stopped with a gasp of pain, his hand going to his side.

"Whoa, easy. Let's get you sitting down," Hank told him. He partially dragged him the rest of the way and sat him down in one of the bar stools. He leaned him back against the bar and pulled his shirt up, wincing at the bruise that hadn't changed a bit. He poked and prodded for a minute, producing whimpers and gasps from Evan. "I'm sorry. I know that hurt. There's nothing wrong, though. It just needs to heal. I can give you something for the pain, though."

Evan nodded and Hank went into his bag that he'd left on the counter. He pulled out a syringe and a bottle of morphine, using only a small amount. He administered it to his brother and watched as he slowly relaxed, his eyes falling shut in relief.

"That should hold you over for a while, but after this we're just going to use ice and ibuprofen." Hank disposed of the needle and put the morphine away before washing his hands and bringing a bowl and plate over to Evan, handing him his spoon. He made sure Evan took a few bites before bringing his own over and eating. Surprisingly, Evan finished first, cleaning his plate. Hank stared at him for a second before going back to his own food with a smile.

When Hank finished, they both put their plates and bowls in the sink and sat on the couch in silence. Evan slumped down and scooted closer, laying his head on Hank's shoulder. Hank wrapped an arm around him and kissed his forehead, resting his head on top of Evan's.

"We're gonna be okay, Kid. I promise," Hank said. Evan nodded and let out a deep sigh, the morphine making him tired. He closed his eyes, not falling asleep, just resting. With his big brother.


That's it! Show's over! Review and let me know what you thought! Thanks for reading!!!!