Staying Silent


Why is Hector Zeroni so quiet, and why does Pendanski seem to hate him so much? Zero/Stanley I hope you like the story, please R/R

I obviously don't own these guys, but I think they're so cute together

Chapter 1

His name was Hector. Hector Zeroni. He had to remind himself every night, because no-one ever called him that. Stupid... yeah, he got that alot. Worthless... sometimes. Zero. The one he hated most of all, because it was the truest.

Even that slimeball Pendanski called him Zero. It was the name he'd given the cop on the bus, and it had gotten spread around fast enough that no-one had called him by his real name.

Pendanski, the man who didn't believe in nicknames, yet allowed a group of teenage boys to call him 'Mom'. Now that was fucked up.

Hector had been here at Camp Green Lake for almost a month. He'd watched Lewis (aka Barf Bag) get himself bitten by a rattlesnake, rather than put up with another day here. The other boys seemed to think it was the digging that got to him. Hector knew better.

When Hector had arrived at Camp Green Lake, he'd met Mr. Sir, who'd made him want to laugh. But then they'd gone to the supply cabin, and Pendanski had been there. He'd had to strip, to get into that awful orange jumpsuit, and he'd felt the man's eyes burning holes into his skin the whole time.

Then he'd been introduced to the others, and seen the way Pendanski's eyes had glittered when he'd introduced Barf Bag. The other boy had immediately run to throw up, proving how he'd gotten his nickname, and Pendanski had smiled. Yeah, Hector knew better.

Living on the streets for the last four years had taught him you were either a thug, a victim, or invisible. He opted for invisible. No one paid much attention to a quiet kid who they forgot almost instantly. But he'd seen his share of violence... and sex. He knew he was gay, that wasn't the problem... the problem was the person.

He was going to try becoming invisible. He'd serve his time, and go back... probably to an orphanage. But he'd get out again.

He didn't really mind the others. Yeah, they talked big, but most of them were just punks. Rex (aka X-Ray) was the unofficial leader. Ricky (aka Zig-Zag), the paranoid one, who always seemed to know what day it was. Jose (aka Magnet), the light-fingered thief. Alan (aka Squid), the hick, whose history seemed almost as bad as Hector's own. And Theodore (aka Armpit), the enforcer, whose body odor was almost a deadly weapon.

But now, there was a new guy. Stanley something. Hector saw him out of the corner of his eye when Pendanski brought him in. Heard him being introduced to everyone. Then Pendanski got to him. Hector hadn't said a word since coming to camp, and he didn't intend to. He ignored them, until Ziggy started in about the lizards, then chanced a peek at Stanley.

He was a big guy, but seemed extremely nervous. Hector figured he was one of those kids who got picked on alot because of his size. He understood that. He was the smallest boy in camp. Sometimes he felt like he was 11 instead of 14.

He saw Stanley glance at him, and quickly rolled over to face the wall, frowning. There was something about this new guy... Hector could feel it. 'And,' he thought, 'so can he.' The thought gave him a funny feeling in the pit of his stomach. But, then again, maybe it was hunger pains, it was almost dinnertime.

However, at dinner, Hector realized that there might be something wrong with that theory.

Things weren't usually too bad at dinner, 'cause everyone was usually tired after a day of digging in the hot sun. But then they started on Stanley, just like they'd started on him. X-Ray had taken his bread, using the excuse of Stanley not digging. And Stanley had just rolled over and accepted it. Hector sighed silently. No possible help there then.

He knew it was coming soon. He'd seen the look in Pendanski's eyes, especially after the man had decided that Hector couldn't talk. You didn't spend as long as he had on the streets without witnessing some of the darker side of America.

Then Hector stopped thinking. He couldn't believe what he'd just heard. Stanley had been sent here because he'd been accused of stealing Clyde Livingston's shoes? Homeless shelter? Hector just had to know... "Did they have red X's on them?"

You could have heard a pin drop. Everyone was staring at him. Oops. Shit! Armpit was teasing him, but Hector tuned him out. He was frozen, staring at Stanley. The boy nodded. "Yeah. Yeah, they did." Well, the damage was done now. Maybe if word got around that he could talk, Pendanski would figure he wasn't worth it after all... then again, Barf Bag hadn't exactly been the silent type.

He'd known there was something about Stanley. He just had to figure out the connection. He knew it was there somewhere, but it wasn't just the shoes.

The next morning, he watched as Stanley got chewed out for taking X-Ray's shovel. It was the shortest one, and no-one else was allowed to touch it. Hector smirked slightly as he led the way out to the lakebed. He kept an eye on Stanley. He knew there was bound to be a lot of crap from the other guys. They ragged on everyone, even each other.

He watched as they threw dirt on Stanley, smirking slightly, because he knew that it could be worse. Some days, he wondered if the old story his mom had told him once was true. She'd mentioned once that her grandmother had supposedly been a fortuneteller. He wondered if maybe he had a small bit of that psychic ability too. Then he sighed silently. If he'd been psychic, he wouldn't have done what he'd done.

The water truck came out, finally, and Hector went to get his refill, wincing as he caught sight of Stanley's hands. But he went back to his hole, and started digging. When he was done, he grinned, before spitting in his hole. It was slightly out of pride, at being done first (he had been since his first day), but mostly anger. At the digging, at Pendanski, and at this whole situation.

He heard Stanley ask if he was done, but ignored him, slinging his shovel up across his shoulders, enjoying the feel of it rolling across his tired muscles. The other guys joked about him being a mole, but he ignored them too. Strangely though, he could still feel Stanley's eyes watching him... long after he was out of sight.