I actually had a story similar to this one, but for a different fandom, just saved in my laptop and totally forgotten. When I was brainstorming this morning, it suddenly popped into my head, I read it for inspiration and instantly knew I was going to make it a Royal Pains story, just because my RP muse is like humongous right now. Just another average morning in Boris' guesthouse. I don't know about you, but I can totally imagine Evan getting into this situation. Hope you enjoy. :)
Disclaimer: I do not own Royal Pains. If I did, Boris would have bought a real mermaid.
"Is that a tattoo?"
Evan's shirt bunches up under his scratching fingers -rising and falling and revealing some skin so quickly Hank isn't sure he's even caught the image right. Apparently his brother is either still half-asleep, or purpously ignoring the question, because he drops his arm to his side and props himself onto an island stool. It takes a few seconds and a bite of cereal for him to realise Hank is waiting for some kind of reply.
"Mmh, what?" He asks, with a mouth so full of cereal it's almost impossible for Hank to make anything out.
The older of the Lawsons shoots his brother a quizzical look and recaps the milk gallon. "Lift your shirt up, again."
Evan says nothing. He simply just continues to munch on his breakfast as if he thinks his brother has officially lost it. Hank's hands come to rest on the tiled counter as he continues to watch his younger brother with curiosity. After a few more moments of being stared at, Evan becomes uncomfortable. He verts his eyes to his older brother with a what-are-you-looking-at? expression and reaches for one of the many pieces of toast piled onto a small, white plate.
After a few swallows, he sets the remaining amount of toast back on the plate and asks his brother with amusement, "Do you wanna see my abs?" Hank rolls his eyes at his brother, forgetting his cereal is still waiting to be touched. Evan takes the gesture as a no and continues, "Well, unless you want to perform another one of your random physicals on me, there's no reason for me to lift up my shirt."
He reaches an arm out to grab the tempting gallon of orange juice, but Hank is too quick for him. He moves the gallon just out of his brother's reach before he can take it. Evan's arm flops back to his side with resentment. His eyes narrow into something similar to a glare, but Hank only flashes him an innocent look and begins to pour a glass for himself.
"Do you mind?"
"What?" Hank teases, "Oh, I'm sorry. Did you want some?"
"Ha, ha." Evan sneers, "You're hilarious. Yes, Henry. I would like some orange juice."
"Okay, then." Hank begins to push the gallon towards his brother, albeit slowly. When it's finally within Evan's reach, Hank swiftly pulls it back to himself and continues to hold it hostage. Evan doesn't take the taunting well and shoots his brother the frowniest of the frowns.
"Henry..." he begins, eyes slowly closing. "I would advise you not to test me right now."
"Is that so?"
"Yeah, it is so." Evan replies, forcing his eyes open to give his brother an irritated look. "I'm running on very little sleep and my temper, at the moment, is like this, " he quickly holds up his index finger and thumb and presses them together as example, "so, please. Be so kind and pass me the freakin' OJ before I explode all over everything. And we both know, Henry, you hate cleaning. You're probably not gonna want to scrape whatever's left of me off the floor. And ceiling. And the cabinets..."
"Okay, okay. I get it," Hank interrupts before Evan can get another word out. He slides the gallon across the island and his brother wastes no time taking it. Hank watches as Evan pours himself a glass, hardly paying any attention to him. His curiosity only keeps building. He waits it out for a few more moments as Evan takes a slow sip from the glass, then orders, "Now let me see it."
Evan sets the glass down with a clink and makes a disgusted face at his brother.
It takes a second or two for Hank to realise what the face is for, and for the second time that morning, he rolls his eyes. "That's not what I meant, Evan."
"Okay...Henry? I love you and all. But like a brother. Nothing more than that."
"Evan." Hank addresses. His patience is obviously waring thin but his brother doesn't seem to care. Evan blinks and gives his brother a playful smirk. The gesture is not returned.
"And just so you know, the whole bribing me with the orange juice thing didn't work. I wasn't even that thirsty. And just because you gave me the juice doesn't mean that I'm going to willingly take my clothes off for you. That, my brother, is what most people would call prostitution, " Evan is too distracted by his rambling to notice his brother's eyebrows furrow slightly. "I will not sell my body for some juice. And especially not this kind of juice. I keep telling you not to get the one with the pulp...You know I hate pulp."
"And just for the record, I won't only not sell my body for just orange juice. I cannot be bought with anything. Except maybe a girl. But she's got to be pretty. Preferably a supermodel with tanned legs and matching bra and panties."
Hank's tone of voice signals that he's done playing and Evan has no choice but to stop talking. He doesn't do it on purpouse, it justs happens automatically. It's not something he's too fond of. He shrugs at his older brother apologetically and points to the untouched bowl of cereal in hopes of making a diversion.
"Hank, your cereal's getting...soggy."
Evan watches as his brother glances down at his dead cereal, having completely forgotten about it. By the silent rumbling in his stomach, he's starving for something, anything. But right now, eating breakfast is the last thing on his mind. He turns on his brother with an accusing glare and asks, "Are you going to show me, or am I going to have to show myself?"
By the look on Evan's face, he is outraged. His eyebrows furrow for a moment as he ponders this over with break-neck speed. "Henry!"
"I'm serious, Ev." It's obvious he really is.
"You're insane," Evan corrects. "I've got nothing to show you therefore I will not show you. Now can we just get back to breakfast?" He motions to the plate of toast resting beside his bowl of cereal, " I hear it's the most important meal of the day."
"So, you're not trying to hide anything?"
"I already told you, Hank. There's nothing to show." He spoons a few pieces of cereal into his mouth and swallows before he throws in, "Therefore nothing to hide."
Hank doesn't buy it. "Then show me."
"What?" Evan asks in exasperation, suddenly finding his cereal extremely interesting. "Hank, I don't think you're listening to me..."
"Oh, I'm listening, Ev." Hank answers, "But if you're so sure you don't have anything to hide, then why not prove it to me?"
"Because you're my brother and should just trust me?"
Hank admits that it was a good try, but he's still feeling too stubborn to give in. He shakes his head at his younger brother and gives a look that Evan knows all too well. It's one of those listen-to-your-big-brother-or-else looks and Evan has to quickly avert his eyes elsewhere so he doesn't cave.
"Let me see it."
"Let me see it."
"Damn it!" When Evan suddenly smacks his hands down on the counter top in frustration, he could not look more defeated. He turns his body around on the stool and sternly glares at Hank for a few seconds. Once he's satisfied, he unenthusiastically pushes himself off the stool and stands before his brother, with an angry-ish air to him. It's more than obvious that he is not finding the situation as amusing as his brother is. He releases a sigh and reaches for the hem of his shirt. Right when it looks like he's about to unceremoniously flash his brother, he takes off in a speed that Hank hasn't seen in years and makes a mad dash up the stairs.
It takes only a second for Hank to react. "Evan!"
There's a loud thumping from two sets of feet that echoes around the otherwise silent guesthouse, as the brothers race upstairs. Hank is barely closing the gap between him and his brother, when Evan reaches for the bathroom doorknob. Knowing that this might be his only chance to catch Evan for the rest of the day, Hank lunges forward in a feebish attempt to grab any piece of his brother he can. His hand is met with blue cloth and suddenly, both brothers are practically tripping over eachother. Evan stumbles into the door, with Hank following behind. There is a quick exchange of pained groans, but it ends as quickly as it starts.
Evan, who looks like he's afraid for his life, places a hand on the bunch of his shirt that Hank has in his hand, and tugs on it. "Henry. Let go."
The boys are pretty much backed into a corner - Evan desperatly trying to keep his shirt down and covering his abdomen, Hank trying his best to pull it up to see what exactly it is his brother is trying to hide.
"You're gonna be...so embarassed, Hank..." Evan tells him, struggling to win the battle over his poor, soon to be stretched out shirt. "When...you see that there's nothing there..."
"Then go ahead and show me!"
"I can't!" There's a sudden rush of energy that hits Evan, and he manages to stumble out of the room - his brother still keeping a strong hold on him.
"Come on, Ev!" Hank mutters, desperatly trying to pull his brother back into the bathroom, "Game over. Just show me!"
"I said I can't!" Is the only response he gets. Hank frowns and wraps his other arm around Evan's waist, successfully halting his getaway. Evan's hands are right on Hank's, trying his ultimate best to pry them off of him. It's evident to them both that he's losing, and it frightens him. "Hank, c'mon!"
"Damn it, Evan! Stop being so immature."
"Sto- what?" His voice cracks with incredibility at his brother's words, "Who's the one who's got a death grip on me? Which by the way, kind of hurts..."
"You want me to let you go?"
"Then I'll let you go..."
There's a quick moment of silence before Evan asks, "When?"
"As soon as you show me." Evan rolls his eyes because he knows he should have expected that one. "So?"
"So...what?" Evan asks, giving one last try at prying his brother off. He's about ready to just give up.
"Are you gonna let me see it, or not?"
"Do I even have a choice?"
"You could just let me 'death-grip' you for the rest of the day."
Hank adjusts his grip on his brother with a growing sense of accomplishment and smiles. Evan cranes his neck to shoot one last glare at his brother and lets his body go limp with a groan. Hank is so surprised by the sudden forfeit he doesn't catch Evan until he's about to hit the floor. "Now let go of me, before I punch you."
Hank chuckles and releases his brother, who until then was a dead weight in his arms. Evan takes a moment to regain his balance and tosses a genuine frown at Hank. He takes a step back instinctively and Hank tenses, thinking that his brother is about to make yet another getaway. Evan, sensing Hank's anxiety, holds a hand out in front of him. Hank nods and watches impatiently as Evan flattens out his crinkled shirt before taking the hem between his thumb and index. As soon as he pulls it up, he's painted all shades of red. Hank doesn't notice his brother's embarassment. He squints his eyes at the odd blotch of ink on his brother's skin and pulls his shirt up more, to get a better look.
"What the hell, Evan?"
"Yeah. I don't -I don't even know..."
Hank glances at his brother, then back at the tattoo. "Who the hell is Amber?"
Evan winces as Hank runs his hand over the crooked image of something that resembles an owl. Its face is contorted and it looks like it was created by a child. That, or someone who had a few drinks too many. Along the owl's outstretched wing in cursive printing is the name Amber. Hank pulls away and lets his brother's shirt fall, eyeing him with confusion. Evan frowns and gives him a shrug.
Hank's eyes widen in surprise and disappointment, "You don't know?"
"Apparently, there was a girl at that party I went to the other night." Evan explains, "She was fresh out of school...or maybe she was going into school, I can't remember. Anyway, she told me that she wanted to be a tattoo artist and she asked me if she could practice on me."
"We were drunk, Hank! Of course I said yes! She was hot. Plus, she was giving out free tattoos and she kept batting her eyelashes like this, " Evan pauses to do just that, "and I couldn't say no."
"So you let some girl you didn't even know give you a tattoo?"
"Yeah, but it's better than the girl who was giving free body piercings, right? And it looks kind of cool..." He sounds hopeful. But Evan knows Hank doesn't agree, and he has to admit he doesn't either. He sighs again and looks away for a moment. "I mean...it could be worse..." Hank merely watches his brother in awe. "Alright! It sucks, I know! What do you want me to do? It's permanent!"
"You, seriously..." Hank is struggling to make words, "This is the dumbest thing you've done yet, Evan."
"You don't have to tell me, Henry. I know. But-" he holds a finger up in the air, "-in my defense...I was totally, completely intoxicated. And I'm talking wasted. Like...I'm about to pass out wasted. In fact, now that I think of it...I probably was passed out when she gave it to me. I mean, if I was awake I certainly wouldn't have asked for an owl." He stops to lift his shirt up again to view the ink, "That's an owl, right?"
Hank reaches over and tugs Evan's shirt back down, drawing his brother's attention to him. "If you were so totally wasted, then how can you even remember the story?"
"I do remember some stuff about that night, Hank. Very vaguely, but it's there." Evan briefly taps his head.
Hank lets out a cross between a sigh and a laugh, and shakes his head. "You are..." He waves his hands in the air because he can't think of a word that properly describes his brother. Evan frowns and leans his back against the wall, completely agreeing. "Just...go take a shower and get dressed." Hank orders, watching his brother lift his shirt again to take another peek. "And cover that thing up..." He motions over to it, and his brother returns his attention to him. "Don't need anyone seeing that...that thing."
"Ah, bro. I could not agree more."
Hank bites his lip with a grimace as both brothers awkwardly stand just outside the bathroom. "Are you seriously going to keep that?"
"It's a tattoo."
"It's an owl." Hank corrects.
"It's a memory of a good night."
"It's...distracting." Hank smacks at Evan's hand when he reaches for his shirt again. "Stop looking at it."
"There's a way to remove it, right?"
"There is." Hank nods.
"Is it expensive?"
"Is it painful?" Evan asks. He doesn't realise it but he's holding his breath in anticipation.
"Oh, it's very painful." Hank nods again, this time with a smirk playing at his lips. Evan doesn't find it as funny as his brother does, and resumes glaring. Hank stifles a laugh and smacks his brother playfully on the arm. "Go get ready. We've got a lot to do today."
Evan continues to glare for a few more satisfying seconds, then lazily trudges to his room to get a change of clothes. As Hank turns to make his way down the stairs and hopefully grab a bite to eat, he hears his brother's voice and stops to see his brother hesitantly leaning out of the bedroom.
"You better not tell anyone."
"My lips are sealed."
"Henry, I mean it."
Hank only smiles wider, "Evan. Nobody wants to see that. Go get ready."
Evan nods, though he takes his sweet time disappearing into his room. Hank shakes his head at his brother's insanity and makes his way down stairs. He spots his neglected cereal and before he can even reach for the bowl, his cell phone is ringing. He bounces around the island and grabs at his phone, quickly noting the caller I.D. reads Divya before he picks up, "Divya."
He leans against the island and glances upstairs, just as he hears the bathroom door shut. Satisfied that his brother is unaware of his conversation, he mumbles into the phone, "Hey, have I got news for you."