Title: Floating to Catalina

Fandom: Life as a House

Disclaimer: Not my characters. Just for fun.

Warnings: spoilers for movie

Pairings: none

Rating: PG

Wordcount: 325

Point of view: second

It was the best summer of your life. That you can remember, anyway. After Mom remarried. The best and shortest and longest and worst—because you cared. He made you care.

And after—you couldn't stop caring again. You couldn't return to who you were before. And honestly—you didn't really want to. You hated who you were, that angry and hurt young man. That boy had been on the fast-track to nowhere, waiting for an overdose. That boy was nothing.

You are not nothing. Because of him, because of that summer, you remembered how to live, how to truly have fun, how to rise above all you were and resume who you were meant to be. And you'll never forgive him for that lesson. Because he taught and you learned, you loved someone—and he died. He fucking died on you.

And you couldn't resume who you'd been, the dark and apathetic boy, because it would insult his memory.

He gave you the best summer of your life. Because of him, you are no longer nothing. You laugh and you smile and you talk and you kiss Mom's forehead and cheeks, you hug your little brothers, you talk with Peter, but you will never call him Dad or any variation thereof.

That summer, you had a father. A man you are proud to call Dad. A man you remember calling Daddy, playing in the waves, laughing along to the roar of the ocean.

He taught you so many things that summer, so many things you can't believe you ever forgot. Pride, compassion, the value of hard work—to laugh.

Most of all, though, he showed you how to live. And now, you have a family again. Now you can look at the sunset or the sea and see his smile, his eyes, warm and proud.

You became proud to call him Father and finally, that summer, he rejoiced to call you Son.