A/N: Requested by Secrets4theunderground!
A small girl ran up Woodcrest's most famous hill. She rushed eagerly to the top as her mother called after her. In her left arm she held a stuffed brown rabbit and in the right she kept a book close to her chest. Her puffy dark brown hair bounced as she ran. Her large hazel eyes stayed fixated on the big tree ahead. She almost fell upwards but caught herself quickly then kept running.
When she reached the top she stopped in front of the tree breathing heavy. The girl's mother walked up from behind her carrying a picnic basket full of food.
"Dorothy what did I tell you about running off?"Jazmine Dubois asked in a rather serious tone.
Dorothy swayed, "Not to mama."
Jazmine's eyes fell soft at the innocence of her daughter. She smiled weakly patting her head, "Read your book. I need to set up the picnic."
Dorothy nodded, "Yes mama. I'll be right here."
Jazmine nodded heading back down but not too far away. She put the basket down pulling out a large blanket. She was now twenty four years of age and in her prime. Her career consisted of teaching ballet, which in return granted her a near perfect body. Jazmine used to straighten her hair during her teenage years but she stopped once she hit twenty-one. She was now a proud African woman and wore her hair naturally.
Four year old Dorothy Dubois sat under the large tree. She placed her bunny on her lap. She opened the book up then placed it in front of them.
"On the day of summer, ten hours before fall…" The girl began to read to her stuffed friend, "My grandfather took me out to the wall."
Jazmine glanced over at her brainy daughter. She smiled a bit as she took all the food out. A man walked over. He was a bit built wearing a typical O.G ghetto outfit. The man sat down on the blanket with a smirk on his face, "What it do Jazzy?"
Jazmine smiled at the now Twenty-two year old Riley Freeman.
"Hey Riley. Just havin' a picnic with Dorothy."
Riley glanced over Jazmine's shoulder.
A warm smile came to the amateur artist's face, "I see."
Dorothy was already half way through with the book by now, "I'm unhappy to say he came back the next day in a spiffy new suit with a big new machine, and he snarled as he said, looking frightfully mean,"
The small African girl threw her hand up reading proudly, "You may fling those hard rocks with your Triple-Sling Jigger. But I, also, now have my hand on a trigger!" She shouted getting a bit too into character.
"Reading at such a young age…" A faint voice fell out of the tree behind the young girl.
Dorothy's eyes widened.
She then glanced to the side, "Who's there?" she spoke low and cautiously.
The man behind the tree closed his eyes, "Talking to strangers is wrong, ya know."
The girl closed the book, "You spoke ta me first."
Her face puffed up a bit as Jazmine's did when she was angry.
The man smirked, "Smart little girl aren't you?"
Dorothy didn't move but kept her eyes to the side, "I know Karate." She stated threateningly.
"Is that so?" The deep voice sounded amused.
Dorothy nodded, "So don't kidnap me or I'll have ta hurt you!"
The voice chuckled a bit, "I'm not going to kidnap you." There was a slight pause before the voice sounded somewhat softer when stating, "I want to be your friend."
Dorothy thought for a moment. She really didn't have any friends.
She shrugged a bit, "I guess that's okay. What's your name?"
Dorothy's eyes widened. She heard that name before. A name that was uttered from familiar faces and voices. Memories told almost like a fairy tale and some almost nightmarish. Old articles showed of a brave boy and a powerful visionary with that name typed in the corner. Her mother cried at night when she was praying of a man who broke her heart. Uncle Riley and late Granddaddy's shameful relative. One of whom they talked about half jokily but the pain in their voices hinted how much they really missed him. A name that was Uncle Caesar's old buddy and Uncle Hiro's lost friend.
She didn't exactly know how to feel when she heard him speak his name. Everyone spoke so angrily about Huey Freeman but they were also sad. And Dorothy knew they were. She always wanted to meet him. Maybe it was someone playing a mean prank on her. Maybe it was some crazy pedo whose name happened to also be Huey.
Dorothy raised her eyebrow, "Huey what?" She needed to know for sure.
There was a long pause.
A light breeze passed as the voice spoke again, "Huey Freeman."
Her eyes opened wide again.
"What's your name?"
Dorothy's eyelids lowered, "Dorothy…"
She opened her book back up.
"I was reading to Basquiat…so if you dun mind he'd like me to continue."
Impressed by the young girl's speech, Huey also picked something up, "Basquiat?" He questioned the name of the small brown bunny.
Dorothy nodded, "Yes."
"That's an interesting name. Where did you hear it?"
"He's named after the artist."
Huey slid down the tree and sat against it. The two didn't face each other. They were on opposite ends only able to hear one another's voices.
Huey's voice became low as he spoke softly, "Whatcha readin'?"
Dorothy released a smile, "The Butter Battle."
She nodded, "Mhmm! It's a parody of the arms race."
Huey held his head as he laughed weakly.
"Yeah. You're completely right." He closed his eyes as she spoke again.
"Want me to read to you too? Basquiat doesn't mind." She lifted the bunny's arms, "I dun mind." And made a funny voice for him.
Huey pulled his arm away. He rested his head up against the tree and stared up at the sky.
"That'd be nice…"
Dorothy smiled happily as she continued to read. Huey shut his eyes listening to her soft, sweet, tiny but strong voice. She read each word perfectly giving off only a slight baby voice every now and then. She was so confident in her reading, so sure of herself. He missed four years of this girl's life. He wasn't there when she took her first steps or said her first word. He wasn't there to take her to her very first day of pre-school or pick her up from it.
He wasn't there to answer her random questions or tell her wrong from right. She grew up all on her own and came out just fine without him. Her mother did an amazing job. Huey Freeman was not a man that cried but in that moment he felt the tears. But he didn't dare let them fall. He only kept them there. As if, a reminder of his failure. Perhaps the greatest failure he had ever made.
Dorothy finished the book, "Well?"
Huey blinked the tears away, "Hm?...very good."
"Dorothy, honey! The food's ready!"
Huey's eyes shot to the side hearing Jazmine's voice.
Riley stood up, "Eyy! Little Dora give yo uncle a hug!"
Dorothy got to her feet quickly. She grabbed her bunny's arm but left the book on the ground as she ran over. Riley smiled as she lunged into his arms. He picked her up hugging her tightly. Huey stood up slowly keeping his body against the tree but peering out and over at them. Riley took his hat off and put it on her head as he set her back down to her feet. Jazmine smiled at the two causing Huey's blood to boil.
Dorothy giggled and pushed her bunny against Riley's leg making it hug him. Riley chuckled picking the bunny up and placing it on top of his head where his hat should be.
"Uncle Riley!" Dorothy shouted through her giggles, "That's not a hat!"
"Aww, but it look good on me don't it?"
Dorothy laughed more as he smiled at her, "Ya hungry? Mommy made you lots ta eat lil one."
Dorothy pouted, "No meat right?"
Jazmine nodded, "Of course."
Dorothy smiled big now and sat down.
"Okay let's eat." She paused, "Oh wait, can my friend eat with us?"
Jazmine handed her a sandwich, "What friend?"
Dorothy pointed over to the tree.
Jazmine blinked, "Dorothy honey, trees can't talk."
Dorothy blinked back, "I know that mommy." She stated almost offended.
Her eyelids lowered as she soon realized her mother wouldn't believe her. She'd only get mad and then sad. She'd cry tonight and Dorothy didn't want that. She glanced around as all eyes were on her now.
Riley titled his head to the side as she looked back over at them.
She smiled a bit, "Basquiat of course!"
Huey smirked from behind the tree for the young girl. She was quick on her feet and worked well under pressure.
Jazmine laughed a bit as Riley took the rabbit off his head. He sat the stuffed animal down by Dorothy with a smile on his face, "There ya go."
Dorothy smiled back but weakly, "Thanks Uncle Riley."
"Hey, anythin' for da lil Dora."
Huey rolled his eyes at the "nickname" his brother gave the young girl. She was nothing like that annoying Mexican girl on T.V. She probably spoke better Spanish then her as well and instead of telling that fox to go away she'd kick his ass. Huey nodded agreeing with himself. She was no push over.
From behind the tree he could hear them eat and laugh. Jazmine told stories of kids she worked with as Riley spoke about his upcoming gallery show. Dorothy didn't speak much just listened. She chewed silently as she rested her chin on the top of Basquiat's head. Jazmine noticed her daughter not quite being herself. She touched her back causing Dorothy to jump a bit. Jazmine pulled away slightly concerned.
"Is everything alright?"
Dorothy turned to her mother and nodded.
"Ya sure?" Riley asked as he poked her stomach causing her to fling forward with a loud laugh.
Dorothy glared at him dangerously as she rubbed her tummy, "Yesyes. I'm fine." She assured them.
Riley took his hat from her and put it back on, "Betta be. Ya know I love mah little gurl right?"
Huey's eyes became tight.
"Gimme a hug before I go."
"You're leaving?" Jazmine's voice saddened.
Riley nodded, "I got a thing. Ya be okay here by yourselves?"
Jazmine nodded back, "We're leaving soon as well."
Dorothy hopped to her feet, "You ready for your glomp?"
She smirked challengingly.
Riley put his hat on right then smirked. He got up backing away from the picnic. Jazmine shook her head as the two stared each other down. Dorothy's smirk increased as she darted forward. Riley braced himself as he inched forward. Dorothy leapt into the air with arms wide opened. She clung to him as soon as their bodies collided causing the big bad Riley to stumble back.
Riley chuckled, "Daaamn gurl. You gettin' betta."
Dorothy giggled still clinging to him. He patted her on the head as she slid down to her feet and backed away. She put her arms behind her back and swayed a bit.
"See you for dinner Uncle Riley?"
Riley nodded, "Your mama's cooking may not be good but if you help her she may get betta."
He winked as Jazmine glared then smiled weakly.
"I love helping mommy!" She chirped.
Riley chuckled fixing his hat, "Ight den. See ya later." He glanced over at Jazmine and smiled at her. Jazmine watched him leave smiling back at him.
"Mama. You look at Uncle Riley a lot." She noticed eyeing her mother.
Huey's eyes widened then narrowed.
Jazmine blushed not fully prepared for her daughter's sudden choice of words. She started putting everything back in the basket as she spoke, "You know Uncle Riley and I are really close…"
Huey clenched his fists into two tight balls.
Dorothy nodded, "Yeah but…you act funny around him sometimes."
She tilted her head to the side.
He closed his eyes.
Jazmine rubbed her cheeks not used to blushing like a school girl for quite some time. She shook her head as she folded the blanket, "Sometimes…Uncle Riley does make mommy feel funny. You like Uncle Riley right?"
Huey growled lowly as he ease dropped.
Dorothy nodded again as her mother smiled looking over at her.
"How would you like seeing him more?"
"More?" Dorothy questioned.
Huey's fists were now shaking.
Jazmine looked down at the blanket she hugged it gently as she looked back over at her daughter, "Yeah."
Both Jazmine and Dorothy jumped up. They turned around to face the tree that just stopped shaking. Leaves fell off and down from it. Jazmine raised an eyebrow curious as to what caused the tree's unnatural reaction. She stood up only to have Dorothy tug on her arm. She paused to look down at her daughter whose big hazel eyes lit up.
"Can we get ice cream? I would like some ice cream mommy."
Jazmine's attention fell away from the old tree and at her daughter.
She smiled a bit, "Did you do all your homework?"
Dorothy pouted clearly offended, "Of course I did!"
Jazmine laughed a bit, "Alright then."
Dorothy smiled helping her mother finish packing up. When they were both done Jazmine picked up the basket. She put her hand out for Dorothy who gladly took it. As they started walking back to the car Dorothy glanced back over and at the tree with sad eyes. Jazmine placed the basket on the top of the car as she searched for the keys. Dorothy watched her mother then suddenly remembered.
She slammed her hand on her forehead cursing under her breath.
"Dorothy Dubois!" Jazmine's stern voice caused the small girl to flinch.
"S-sorry mama. I just membered…I forgot my book."
Jazmine pulled the keys out, "Hurry up." She sighed as the girl ran back up the hill, "And be careful!" She shook her head, "That girl…just like her father sometimes…" She mumbled lowly to herself.
Dorothy stopped in front of the tree. She looked down but there was no book. She peeked over wanting to look behind the tree. Her heart raced thinking about the man that could very well be on the other side of the tree. She breathed in deeply as she stepped closer. Putting her hand to her chest she stepped even closer until her body pressed against the front of the tree. Dorothy closed her eyes and gulped poking her head out.
She opened her eyes quickly but there was nothing. No one was there. She blinked, walking completely over to the other side now. She looked around but there really was nobody there. She let out a low sigh of both relief and disappointment. Maybe she wasn't ready to see the man just yet. Dorothy turned around to leave then stopped remembering the original reason why she came back up there.
Huey walked down the street. With time and age the young, retired, domestic terrorist grew into his afro. He had a bit of facial hair along with a very mature body frame. Tucked in his arm and hidden under his armpit was a tiny book. A book that belonged to a very smart little girl.
A book that belonged to Huey Freeman's daughter…