How to Babysit the Freeman Boys
Summary: Granddad has (yet another) date that was set up via Internet, and of course that means he has to find someone to babysit Huey and Riley without disaster striking. Fortunately, Granddad may have finally found the perfect babysitter.
Disclaimer: I do not own The Boondocks. If I did…well, I wouldn't change a damn thing about the series, because it's bloody awesome the way it is.
Author's Notes: This was written for a friend of mine, name of Emma. While the two of us were watching The Boondocks one day, she remarked that she wanted to adopt Riley and Huey, and then reconsidered and said she wanted to babysit them (at least, for the time being). This is what I believe would happen if she had the chance. No, she's NOT an OC, she's an actual friend of mine who refers to Huey as "Huey-bear."
"GRANDDAD!" Riley's piercing shout echoed throughout the entire house. "We out of orange juice again!"
There was no response. "Huey! Where's Granddad?"
Huey walked into the kitchen. "Riley, close the fridge. You're wasting energy."
Riley swung the refrigerator door shut with more force than was necessary. He scowled in a way that he most certainly thought resembled the facial expression of a thug rapper on his album cover. If Huey hadn't refrained from smiling since the age of five, he might have smirked. If almost anybody else had been in the room, he or she would have laughed. "I didn't ax you to tell me whether or not I'm wasting energy. I axed you where Granddad was."
Huey shrugged. "I dunno."
"Whataya mean, you dunno? You live here, don't you? How come you don't know where Granddad is?"
"You live here too and you don't know where Granddad is."
"Shut up!" Riley stalked out of the kitchen. "Granddad!"
Robert Freeman hollered at his younger grandson from the upper story. "RILEY! No yelling in the house!"
Riley shouted back, "We out of orange juice!"
"Dammit, boy, have some class!" Robert trotted downstairs in a dark gray suit, adjusting his bow tie. "Don't be bellowing all over the house like some goddamn barbarian!"
"What's with the suit?" Riley folded his arms.
Robert grinned. "As a matter of fact, boy, I have a hot date tonight."
"Another girl from eHarmony?" Huey deadpanned.
Riley smirked. "Aw, yeah, 'cause eHarmony rejected you."
"That ain't none of your business!" Robert snapped. "But what is your business is I'm taking my fine lady to the Red Lobster. So I've hired a babysitter for the two of you."
"A babysitter? I told you before, Granddad, I ain't no baby!" Riley shouted.
"Granddad, you should really just accept that there is no babysitter who can keep Riley under control. Then I try to stop him, and accidents happen."
"And I ain't havin' no more of my beautiful geisha dolls broken!" Robert finished fiddling with his bow tie. "How does the tie look?"
"Looks gay," Riley shrugged.
Huey ignored the question entirely and walked up to his grandfather. "What babysitter could you have possibly found who Riley won't send screaming out of the house?"
Robert chose to talk over Riley's protest that it was Huey's nunchucks that had chased off the last babysitter. "Our new neighbor. She and her family just moved in. Nice college girl, home for summer vacation."
"White high school girls couldn't babysit us, so you think a college girl can babysit us?" Huey quirked one eyebrow.
The doorbell rang. "Ah, she's early!" Humming jauntily, Robert strode to the door and opened it. "Boys, this is Emma."
The young woman standing in the doorway was, as Huey had predicted, white. She was tall, standing eye-to-eye with Robert, with thick dark blond hair, blue-gray eyes, and a wide smile that appeared the second she saw the boys. "Awww, are these two Huey and Riley? They're so adorable!"
Riley scowled, apparently taking offense at the word "adorable." "Granddad, you got some white bitch to watch us? She ain't Cristal's sister, is she? She got the same color hair as that ho!"
"We talked about this, boy! Don't cuss!" Robert snapped, beginning to unbuckle his belt threateningly. "And she ain't Cristal's sister."
"I didn't cuss! I mean 'bitch' as a general term for a woman!"
Huey looked at Emma steadily. "Miss Emma, I got a question for you."
"Sure, Huey-bear," Emma smiled. "What's the question?"
"Do you believe that with health care heading in the direction it currently is, this country will eventually resort to what Republicans have been calling 'Obama's death panels?'"
"Well, of course not, I'm I huge supporter of Obama…"
Emma was cut off by Robert going after Riley with his belt, as Riley scrambled for sanctuary and knocked over Huey in the process.
"Whoa!" Emma cried out in surprise. "Mr. Freeman, don't hit Riley!"
"Now, I know you may not condone violence, little lady," said Robert patiently, "but I'm afraid you don't know Riley."
"I think I can handle the boys. Really," protested Emma.
"I think I should caution you that violence is sometimes necessary in this household," demurred Huey, getting to his feet and brushing himself off.
Robert replaced his belt and shrugged. "Riley, I hope you understand the only reason you ain't getting a whoopin' is because I'm about to be late."
Emma gestured to the still-open door. "You go on ahead, Mr. Freeman. I'll take care of Huey and Riley."
"Well, God bless you, little lady, and God help you with these two little hooligans. Let me just give you a few phone numbers you might need." Robert withdrew a folded piece of paper from his pocket and gave it to Emma, who opened it and began to read.
"Okay…police department, fire department…Johnnie Cochran? Why would I need Johnnie Cochran's number?"
"You never know. You just never know." Robert trudged out the door and headed for Dorothy, beginning to hum to himself again.
"Wait!" Emma called after him just as he was getting into the car. "You put the number for Animal Control on here!"
"Oh, just tell 'em Riley's an overgrown squirrel!" Robert shouted and ducked into the car. He sped out of the driveway is if an army of killer bees were after him.
"Okay then…" Emma muttered to herself as she shut the door. The boys had already retreated to the TV room, where Riley was watching BTV, and Huey was reading a newspaper and half-ignoring what Riley was saying to him.
"All I'm sayin' is, she got the same color hair as that ho. Looks a little like her, too. Hey, maybe she's a Mini-Cristal. Yeah, like Mini-Me and Dr. Evil!"
Huey spoke, but didn't look up from his newspaper. "Riley, they don't look that much alike. And Emma doesn't dress like a ho."
"Hey, boys," Emma cut in.
Huey didn't say anything. Riley stood up on the couch, facing Emma. "I should warn you. I may be little, but I'm real gangsta!" He jabbed an arm out, forefinger and thumb pointed like a gun held sideways. "Check it!"
It took Emma a few moments to realize what she was supposed to "check." Then she noticed that Riley had some kind of black writing on his arm. "Riley, did you write on your arm?"
"Naw, bitch, it's like a prison tat!"
"And by that, he means that he got one of those toy tattoo kits from the mini-mart," clarified Huey.
"Stop hatin', nigga!" Riley snarled.
Emma had moved closer to Riley to inspect the "tattoo." It looked as if it had faded since Riley had applied it, so it was hard to read. It seemed to say…
"No, it's supposed to say 'thug blood!'" Riley snatched his arm away from Emma and held it up to his face. Sure enough, the black lettering read "hug boo." "Shit! What happened?"
"Riley, that's not a word an 8-year-old should be saying," said Emma as Huey remarked, "Some of it must have come off during your bath last night."
"Granddad says 'shit' all the time!" Riley insisted.
"Swearing is like driving. You can do it when you're old enough," countered Emma.
Huey put his newspaper down. "Maybe your parents told you that. But modern society has desensitized the population at large, children included, to the obscenity of so-called swear words. Personally, I blame the language used in video games, but also in movies. Oh, and the kind of music Riley listens to. I agree that profanity is vulgar and, when used at inopportune times, can imply ignorance, but it also can be used to great effect."
"Awww, you're so articulate for a 10-year-old!" Emma grinned; Riley muttered "Nigga, please," under his breath. "I think you're right though, Huey. I mean, in Pulp Fiction, they drop more F-bombs than I can count."
Huey nodded sagely.
"Ooh! It's Gangstalicious's latest music video!" Riley leapt off the couch.
"'Homies Over Hoes?' I thought he released that one a while ago." Huey shrugged and reopened his newspaper.
"I said 'latest,' not a brand-new one!"
Since Huey didn't reply, Riley turned his attention back to the TV and began singing along. "Me and my niggas bumpin' chests in the VIP! Now bump it to the left! Bump it to the right!"
Emma's eyes lit up. "Hey! I know this song." She scrambled over the couch to where Riley was dancing and joined in with Gangstalicious as the chorus began. Riley couldn't carry a tune in a bucket, but Emma could sing, and they continued to dance and "sing" (neither of them could rap very well) through the rest of the music video. Huey had laid down his newspaper for the second time and watched in morbid curiosity, one eyebrow raised, as his babysitter joined his psychotic younger brother in the Homie Dance.
After two minutes and seventeen seconds of what Huey perceived to be halfway between torture and amusement, the song ended and Riley and Emma stopped dancing. Emma was laughing.
Riley grinned, and for once there was no trace of mischief in his smile. "I didn't think no skinny white bitch would be into Gangstalicious!" He raised a closed fist, apparently intending for Emma to give him a fist-bump, which she did.
"You know, Riley, I'm glad you like Gangstalicious's music even though he's gay. Orientation really doesn't matter, does it?"
Riley scowled. "Oooh, and I thought you was cool for a second there! Gangstalicious ain't gay! He told me so himself!"
Emma looked a bit shocked. "I thought you knew he was gay. I mean, it's kind of obvious."
"I said, he ain't gay! And I'm his biggest fan, so I should know!"
Huey had gone back to his paper, but he spoke up. "Riley, he's gay. You saw another man kiss him and say things that implicated that they were lovers. The whole Homies Over Hoes thing—the song, the dance, the video—is really gay. The clothing line he came out with was pretty gay; hell, a guy who's into fashion is probably gay. He sent you advance items of that clothing line because he wanted you to keep his dirty little secret quiet. Oh, and there was that book written by that woman who was in love with Gangstalicious, too bad he was gay…"
"That bitch was spreading lies!" Riley barked.
"Riley, can't you just accept that he's gay and he's trying to protect his reputation by acting like he's straight?" Huey turned a page of the newspaper. "Huh. Looks like Obama pissed off C-SPAN. Damn."
"Gangstalicious ain't gay! If he's gay, that makes me gay! But I'm not, so he can't be!"
Emma was sorely tempted to correct many points in Riley's logic, but she knew it was unrealistic to think she could change his mind. So instead, she fished in her purse and withdrew two chocolate bars.
"Hey Huey, Riley, I brought you some chocolate!"
"Really?" Riley snatched one of the bars from Emma's hand, ripped off the paper, and stuffed at least a quarter of the bar into his mouth. In the middle of chewing, he pointed at Emma and said what sounded roughly like "You all right."
"Huey, don't you want yours?" Emma walked to wear Huey was sitting and proffered the chocolate bar. Huey took it cautiously and unwrapped one edge. He sniffed it. "Everything okay?" Emma questioned.
Huey broke off a square of chocolate. "You eat the first piece." He held it out to Emma.
"You're too young to be so suspicious," Emma admonished before taking the piece of chocolate and popping it into her mouth.
After Huey's doubts about whether or not the chocolate was poisoned were assuaged, he broke off half of the chocolate bar and ate it square by square. He stowed the other half of the bar in his room, and when he came back downstairs, he informed Riley that he was not to steal Huey's chocolate, and that he shouldn't bother looking because he wasn't going to find it.
"I just hope you didn't put it anywhere it could melt," said Emma to Huey, whose eyes narrowed before he scampered off to the upper floor again.
It wasn't long before the effects of an entire chocolate bar's worth of sugar and caffeine began to manifest in Riley. He seemed to be becoming increasingly frustrated with his video game…
"Dammit! I hate this stupid fuckin' game! I'm trying to do an invert, goddammit, not a kick-flip!"
At this point, Emma had been alternately checking on Huey (who, now that he was done with his newspaper, was drafting a pamphlet for one of his many leftist black political parties) and watching Riley struggle with Tony Hawk Ride.
Riley stomped on one end the faux skateboard that the game used, causing it to fly up and strike him in the forehead. "Aah! Dammit! Now it's trying to kill me! I hate your ass, game! I fuckin' hate you!"
"Riley, calm down!" Emma got to her feet. "Let me see your forehead."
"Don't touch me, bitch! I'm too gangsta to need you to kiss my boo-boos!" Riley flung his arms up over his face.
Emma almost said "But not too gangsta to use the word 'boo-boos'" but thought better of it. "What if it's bleeding?"
"Then I'll look tough. Maybe I'll even get a scar."
Emma wondered if there was any way to use Riley's infatuation with "gangta" culture to her advantage. "But if it's bleeding too much, it might look like you weren't able to clean it up after you got hurt. It might look like you got in a fight…and lost."
Riley glowered. "Hold up. Ain't nobody can beat me in a fight."
"From what your granddad told me, Huey can," Emma hazarded.
"Huey's a little bitch! He don't count!"
"But your Granddad thinks he does," Emma pointed out. "If you let me clean you up, maybe he won't notice."
Riley looked contemplative. "What if I want him to think I whooped Huey's ass?"
The words "He wouldn't think that, since Huey doesn't have a scratch on him," were on the tip of Emma's tongue before she realized that might actually provoke Riley into attacking Huey. "Then he'd probably whoop you with his belt."
Riley thought for a moment, nodded, and took his hands away from his face. Emma inspected the damage.
"It's just a bruise. Sorry, Riley, but it probably won't leave a scar."
"Aww!" Riley stamped the ground like the 8-year-old he was.
"You know, Riley, maybe you'd feel better if you played outside."
"I don't wanna play outside!" Riley shouted, coming close to whining.
Huey slammed down the paper on which he was writing. "Riley, I'm trying to write a very serious editorial here. Go outside so I can concentrate."
"Yo, nigga, just go upstairs if you ain't got no appreciation for Tony Hawk Ride!" Riley bawled.
"Hey, calm down," Emma interjected. "You should take a break from the game for a while. Maybe you'd feel less frustrated if you went back to it later."
"Bitch, please! If the game hates me now, why wouldn't it hate me in ten minutes?"
"Maybe you'd be less frustrated and pissy if you waited a little while and let me work," Huey grumbled.
"Go work somewhere else, dumbass!"
"Boys!" Emma shouted; Huey and Riley jumped. "I still thing you should go outside and work off some of this…energy. Riley, I heard you're quite the basketball player."
Riley grinned. "Yeah, I am pretty tight!"
"Except you never practice," Huey remarked.
"I did start practicing, dammit! You seen me practicing!"
"Huey, could you please stop antagonizing Riley?"
Huey frowned even more deeply than usual and turned away.
"You should come outside too. It's a nice day. You could write outside, maybe under a tree."
Huey regarded Emma for a moment, then picked up his pencil and paper. "You're an idealist, aren't you?"
"Lemme get my basketball! I'll show you all my moves!" Riley dashed off.
"You ever sat under a tree? Rough bark, dirt, bugs?" Huey's brow furrowed.
"You could sit on your soapbox; you are working on something for one of your organizations, right? Come on, Huey-bear, you're a ten-year-old boy. You can't spend every minute of your time being a revolutionary. Maybe relax more now, and fight the power once you can drive, huh?"
Huey shook his head. "So naïve." He walked past Emma, opened the door, and went out. Well, at least he was taking her suggestion.
Riley suddenly hurtled through the hallway and out the door; Emma chased after him, making sure the door didn't lock behind her. Huey was hollering at Riley. "Where are you running off to like your ass is on fire? You trying to sneak off to Ed and Rummy?"
"I'm just looking for my basketball! I thought it was in my room, but it's in the garage."
Huey went back to his pamphlet.
Riley lifted up the garage door and began searching for his basketball. He found it resting between the tire of his bike and a wall. "Watch this!" He charged onto the driveway, dribbling the ball under one leg, under the other, twisting in a complete 360 while transferring the ball from one hand to the other…
"That's pretty impressive!" Emma nodded in approval.
"Yeah, yeah!" Riley grinned. He ran back and forth across the driveway, demonstrating various and sundry elaborate dribbling techniques.
"Basketball," said Huey, who had seated himself on the front step with his project. "Grown men playing the same game they've been playing since they were little kids. Proving only that they can throw a ball through a hoop. That's really going to make positive changes for the black community."
"We proving white men can't jump!" Riley countered.
"So prove it," said Huey. "Do a jump-shot."
"You wanna see a jump-shot? Aiight, I'll show you a jump-shot. Watch this, nigga!" Riley bounced into the air from the balls of his feet, lifting the basketball to his right ear, letting it fly into the air. It arced through the air in a high, smooth parabola, overshooting the basket by at least two feet. "Fuck!" Riley yelled.
"Riley, language!" Emma cautioned. Then, "Why don't you try a free-throw?"
Grumbling, Riley went to fetch his ball and returned to the hoop with it, dribbling sullenly. "Fine."
Emma advised, "Maybe try to focus on getting the ball in the hoop instead of looking cool."
Riley gave Emma a sour look, but he had managed to sink a few shots when playing with the Ball-a-Holics by taking straight shots rather than trying to showboat. So he tried a simple, straight shot.
"Swish! All right!" Riley punched the air and rushed off to retrieve the ball again.
"See? I knew you could do it."
It had already been twilight when Robert had departed from the house, so though it was summer, it grew dark before long. Riley had sunk several shots in a row when Emma called the boys inside. "Awww! But I was on a roll! I must be butter, I was on such a roll!"
"Then you can end on a good note before we watch a movie."
"Really?" Riley spun the basketball on his fingertip. "What movie?"
"I had something in mind for you two from what your Granddad said about you." She turned to Huey. "Huey, you like martial arts, right? I bet you're into martial arts films."
Huey folded his piece of paper. He had stopped writing steadily and had been tapping his pen against his lower lip while contemplating what he had written, so Emma had concluded that he was editing and probably almost finished. "Mostly I like movies featuring samurai, but I'll watch the occasional wuxia film."
Riley made a sound of disgust in the back of his throat, which was accompanied by the look he tended to get on his face when he saw peach cobbler that resembled vomit. "We gonna watch one of Huey's kung fu movies?"
Emma shook her head, grinning. "No, this is a Tarantino movie."
"Tarantino? No shit! I saw Pulp Fiction with Ed and Rummy. That shit was badass!"
Emma mentally gave up on trying to keep Riley from cursing; he'd already seen a Quentin Tarantino movie. At least that kept her conscience a bit clearer as far as showing the Freeman boys the film she had in mind.
"If I know either of you boys, you'll like this movie."
"It's one of Quentin Tarantino's movies? Is it Kill Bill?" Huey stood up. If Emma hadn't known better, she could have sworn she heard actual excitement in Huey's words, but everyone knows the voices of 10-year-old stoic black revolutionaries have only two settings: deadpan and retrained anger.
"Yes it is!"
"If it's as badass as Pulp Fiction, I'm up for it." Riley tucked his basketball under his arm and dashed into the garage to put it away.
"I asked Granddad for Kill Bill last Christmas," said Huey. "He was too cheap to buy both volumes. He said he would have if Uma Thurman had had a nude scene in either volume, but she didn't, so Granddad didn't buy either of them."
Emma raised her eyebrows, but chose not to respond to the comment about Granddad wanting to see Uma Thurman naked. "So had you seen Kill Bill before?"
"No. But it looked good, despite the glaring lack of black actors. I'll forgive Tarantino for that because I heard that the martial arts instructor in the movie hated Caucasians, so there was at least a plot purpose to it."
"So I bet you're glad to see it now."
The film Kill Bill is four hours and eight minutes long, counting both volumes. By the time it was over, Riley had worn himself out cheering for The Bride and Huey had worn himself out telling him to shut the hell up and watch the movie. Huey, however, had also been muttering to himself about katanas, and Emma was fairly sure she heard him say something about a trip to Okinawa. Riley laughed out loud when the line "The lioness has been reunited with her cub, and all is right in the jungle" came on to the screen, and Emma could have sworn she saw a tiny smile stretch the corners of Huey's mouth perhaps half a centimeter.
Both boys passed out dead asleep on the sofa during the ending credits. It was very late, and they'd been staying awake in order to see the rest of the movie, whether on purpose or from the adrenaline rush that watching Kill Bill for the first time can give a person. Either way, they crashed after the film was over.
Emma thought about picking the boys up and carrying them to bed, but she didn't want to risk waking them, so she sat on the couch with them until Granddad came home. When he did come home, the door swung open and he stumbled through with a clatter, a thump, and a disgruntled-sounding "Damn!"
Emma startled a little and got up, tiptoeing into the foyer. "Mr. Freeman? Are you okay?"
"Ugh…" Robert staggered to his feet. His jacket was done up oddly, with buttons in the wrong holes, as if he'd put it on hastily. "Oh, that crazy bitch…"
Robert wiped his forehead with his sleeve. "Ugly as sin. Bitch had a nose the size of them giant clocks that Flavor Flip nigga wears around his neck. And smelled like a pigsty! Whoo! I…I made up some excuse about having to get home, something about Huey having a rare blood disease and I needed to get home to feed him his kumquats…and she said fine as long as I'd walk her to her car. But then that crazy bitch pushed me into her car! She drove me to some skanky-ass motel and tried to drag me inside, but I ran, oh I ran like hell!"
Emma's eyes widened. "How did you get home?"
"I called the police. But you know them, they don't help black people nowadays, just beat you with them damn batons when you pull out your wallet and they think you're reaching for a gun. So they laughed at me and told me to walk back to Red Lobster, ain't that far. So I walked, and I walked, and I walked, and it took me forever to get back to the goddamn restaurant. Then I drove right back home."
Judging from the state of his jacket, Emma figured there was more to the story than Robert was letting on, but she nodded diplomatically.
"Okay. So give it to me straight. What did the boys destroy this time?"
"They didn't break anything. Riley stomped on his Tony Hawk Ride skateboard, but I don't think he broke it."
Granddad's eyebrows shot up so far they were in danger of disappearing into his hairline. "They…they didn't break anything? My precious geisha dolls are still intact?"
Emma shook her head no, saying, "Your geisha dolls are fine."
Granddad rushed into the TV room. "You got them to sleep? How'd you do it? Sleeping pills in the orange juice?"
Emma laughed. "No, they wore themselves out watching an intense movie. They liked it, though. I knew they would."
"Boys!" Granddad stood over the couch. "Am I expected to believe you didn't break anything?"
Huey made a groaning sound and turned over in his sleep. Riley stirred. "What'choo say, Granddad?"
"Did this girl really keep you from trashing the house?"
Riley rubbed his eyes. "Yeah. She stopped…she stopped Huey from hatin' on me, so…" –he yawned—"so I didn't have to beat his ass or nothing. She kind of a fag hag, but she all right." He yawned again and curled up into a ball.
"Aww, they're so cute!" Emma crooned.
"Well, I'll be damned." Granddad shook his head and reached into his wallet. "Little lady, you must be some kinda saint, because you just worked a miracle." He held out a handful of bills to Emma. She counted them.
"This is way too much!"
"Not for a miracle. Besides, I ain't never actually paid a babysitter before. They all ran off."
"Are you sure?"
Robert nodded. "You get on home. It's late."
"Okay. Good night, Mr. Freeman."
"Good night, little miss miracle worker."
A/N: Come on, you know Huey and Riley would like Kill Bill. Anyway, this is my first Boondocks fic, so I hope I pegged all the characters.