Lol, yes, another one. What can I say, I just got the urge to write tonight for some reason. :)
Again, not mine. Belong to CBS.
Tony didn't even bother to look up as the younger man took the stool next to his, instead choosing to concentrate on the brown liquid he was currently swirling around in it's glass before he took another sip.
"What can I get 'ya?" Tony heard the bartender, Dean, ask the new stranger.
Tony had frequented this particular tavern at least every other week for the past two years and he was quite familiar with the various bartenders who worked there.
"Doesn't matter," the man responded, "Just make it a double." he added and Tony noted the weariness that laced every ounce of the man's slightly ruff voice.
"Ruff day?" he asked the man as he took another sip of his drink.
The stranger gave a dry, sarcastic chuckle.
"You could say that." he replied sarcastically, accepting the small shot-glass that Dean was handing him.
"Work?" Tony guessed.
"Family." the stranger answered.
"Ah." Tony commented sympathetically. He knew a thing or two about that.
The man downed the glass' contents and waved for a second one before continuing.
"Reunion party," he added, "If one of them isn't putting me down for my choice of career, the other one's griping about the fact that I haven't 'found a nice woman and settled down' yet." he all but sneered.
Tony smiled bitterly into his drink.
'Been there, done that.' he thought.
"I swear, if I hadn't gotten out of there when I had, they'd be locking me up for murder one." the stranger commented before lifting his drink, taking a only a sip this time.
"Sometimes life just doesn't fit those hallmark moment families, does it?" Tony asked.
"No, it doesn't." the younger man agreed. He cast a sideways look at Tony. "You sound like you know what you're talking about." he commented, pausing briefly only before adding. "Your family not the best either, huh?"
Tony tried to hide a grin behind his glass. He both loved and hated that question.
He hated it when it was someone he knew, or was getting to know, asked it because that meant he had to tell them about his first family. Even if he tried to tell them about his second family, his real family, they'd find out the truth eventually.
So he was forced to tell them about his drunk of a father, who was more concerned with his stocks and investments than he was with his own son. Who payed him no mind unless he was belittling his choices or putting him down for only getting a 'B' on his report card.
His equally drunk mother who forced him to dress in itchy, uncomfortable suits and play piano at all the various banquets and parties she held.
He had no siblings. He'd never met his grandparents. And most of his Aunts and Uncles liked to pretend they didn't even have a nephew.
He hated seeing the looks of pity and hearing the meaningless, I'm sorry' from the listeners. It only served to grate on his nerves and make him feel worse about the situation.
But yet when a stranger, like the one was sitting next to him now waiting for an answer, asked him that question, he loved answering. Because then he got to relay stories and descriptions of his second family.
He got to tell them about his oldest sister who could tumble with the best of the boys and still come out on top.
His little brother who could be quite geeky sometimes, but who he wouldn't trade for anyone else because, despite all the teasing, he always knew the younger man was there for him no matter what.
His tuff old ex-marine of a dad, who, despite his gruff exterior, was able to convey his concern and love with just a single look or gesture.
His baby sister, who was sweet and nonjudgmental, and who had everyone wrapped around her little goth finger.
His kind, knowledgeable Grandfather, who always had an interesting story to tell.
And his younger cousin, who was more than a little strange, but was always there to give him advice.
He loved the looks on the faces of the strangers as he described his odd, yet somehow nearly perfect little family. Loved their comments on how they wished they had a family similar to his. Loved their simple fascination.
"Well," he said, leaning back slightly, "What you have to understand about my family is that it's more than a little dysfunctional..."
I would just love a review right about now, please! :)