Through Another's Eyes
Summary: What if Walter wasn't alone at Garth and Hub's, what if his quiet sister Penelope was along for the ride as Walter dealt with the stories and his crazy family. This is her story and how it could've been if Walter wasn't alone.
Rating: T because of the action and violence in the movie, mostly for the last chapter.
A/N: Hello everyone, again with a different type of story. For those of you who know about Secondhand Lions, you are aware that Walter is an only child, but as I watched it the other day, I thought, what if there was a second child there to help carry the burden of the family with Walter? So I created Penelope, Walter's younger sister. I tried to fallow the movie as best I could with an additional character so please bear with me and enjoy. Secondhand lions and all relating characters belong to New Line Cinema, and Tim McCanlies. Happy New Year!
Walter and his sister younger sister Penelope were sitting in the car as their mother May drove along the road on their way to yet another unknown location. He and his sister had been abandoned together by their mother too many times to count, all hope was dashed when she returned because as soon as she would come back she would leave them again at some other 'relative's house.' He and Penelope had been left with people who weren't relatives at all, left with people who took them to orphanages after a given amount of time and once they were left in a hotel!
Walter remembered that time, May said she was going to go find a job one night and didn't return for three months. Walter washed cars while his sister helped the cleaning crew so that they could pay for the room seeing as their mom hadn't left them any money. The manager was nice enough; he and his wife had the kids over for dinner at least four times a week, which was the only time Walter could remember being part of a family meal.
"Walter, Walter," May's voice brought him out of his reverie, Swing music was playing on the radio, his sister was reading in the back seat her golden blond hair shining in the sun, "Good news, you two are going to be spending the whole summer with your two uncles." Walter cringed, the last 'uncle,' they stayed with wasn't the best person to have been left with, Penny still had nightmares about that stay, not that she admit it, but she talked in her sleep and since their mom was gone late at night, she never heard the murmurs. "It's just going to be for a couple of weeks, a month or two tops."
"That's what you said last time when we were left for half a year." Walter said.
"Where are you going this time Momma?" Penny asked, she had been silent for the whole trip until now.
"I'm going to go back to school, Fort Worth in Oregon." May said with a smile through the rearview mirror, when she looked over at her son, her smile instantly faded, "Walter will you just trust me?" He shrugged, "if you don't trust others Walter, you are going to grow up bitter and alone. You two will have fun at your uncles."
"I thought you were an only child, how can we have uncles?" Penny asked, Walter looked back and smirked, his sister was far from stupid, and easily got on their Mother's nerves.
"Alright Smarty Pants, it just so happens that they are your uncles, Your great uncles," She emphasized, "They have been missing for 40 years and have just shown back up here in the states."
"Why can't we come with you?" Walter burst out; he hadn't kept it a secret that he hated being left behind.
"No Walter, between my studies and other things I am not going to have time for you and your sister! I am trying to do everything I can to keep this family together." Walter looked down at his feet on the floorboard. May knew she had to do something, say something, "You two know those pirate shows you guys watch?" they nodded, "Well, rumor has it that these two men have got a load of cash and no one knows where it came from, and from what I hear, they got no other relatives to leave all that dough to…"
"Wait wait wait, you want Penny and I to get close to these two so that they will leave something for us, is that why we are here?" Walter asked, of course she had alternative motives, she always did.
"We could get a house and settle down," she let out a dreamy sigh as she always did when she talked about a quiet home where they lived, there were a few moments of silence before she exclaimed, "Oh look here it is!"
Walter and Penny read the signs lining the dirt road, warnings of rabid dogs, radioactive and biohazard us materials and final warnings to turn back now. The two shared a look of terror before Walter said, "Maybe we should have called first."
"Nonsense, old people love surprises."
"Yeah but do you want them to die before they mark us in whatever will they have?" Penny asked.
"Penelope, I know you were raised better than that, now behave yourself." Penny murmured some response that Walter didn't catch and apparently neither did May because she kept going on down the road until they reached an old rickety looking house. Walter got out first and prepared to open the door to the backseat when a heard of barking dogs came running at him, a few jumped on the car trying to get to him, he told them to go away but May kept telling him to let them smell his hand to show them that he is friendly. Penny and Walter heard some gunshots in the distance and May led them down the old path where they found two elder gentlemen with rifles shooting at the water yelling at each other about 'him being on the run." The gun fire eventually stopped and Walter could have sworn that he heard one say that he was out of ammo.
"Yoo-hoo! Uncle Hub Uncle Garth it's me May," May said as the two turned around, when they shared a looks she continued, "Pearl's daughter." They all walked up towards the house, and the two old men told the trio to go home.
"We don't need no sissy boy and his even whimpier sister hanging around here all summer."
"Walter and Penny dear why don't you two stay out here." The two didn't argue they just sat out on the porch listening to the conversation going on inside.
"Walter and Penny are wonderful helpers, Walter can help with the yard and Penny can help around the house." May said.
"Your sons and Damn Weenie"
"I know that, Walter needs real men to look up to, like yourselves, and Penny could use that too, she hasn't had any stable men in her life either, she may have questions. They won't be here long I promise."
A pig came up and got in Walter's face trying to smell him, "Nice doggie, nice doggie,"
"That's a pig," Penny laughed.
"I knew that, how do I get him away?" Walter said frustratingly.
"Tap his nose silly." Walter did and the pig got out of his face.
"Fine." One of the brothers finally said.
May came out looking accomplished and hugged her two children before getting in the car, Walter and Penny grabbed their things from the trunk before setting them on the dirt road to finish their goodbyes.
"This is for your own good, while you're here; think of it as a treasure hunt." She smiled, but as soon as she looked at her two kids, it faded, "You two need to learn how to smile, people will like you more if you do, now the two of you give me one smile to remember you by." Penny gave a true smile while Walter had a harder time, "Walter honey you might want to work on that while I'm gone." She turned the car on before saying goodbye and driving off, the herd of dogs chased after the dust cloud and the two children fallowed Hub and Garth inside. They set their bags on the landing of the stairwell before heading back outside. Walt and Penny sat on the stairs the porch while Hub and Garth sat in the shade with a table between them holding two glasses of tea.
Walter turned to Penny and asked, "Do you think we will be able to hear the telephone out here?"
"We don't have a telephone," Uncle Garth said.
The two turned back as Walter asked, "No telephone?"
"Nope." Uncle Hub said. Walter turned back around to face the road and studied the dirt for a while before asking, "can we go inside and watch Television?'
"Don't have one," Uncle Garth said again.
"No television?" Walter exclaimed.
"What do you do for fun if you don't have a television or a phone?' Penny asked just as a car pulled up the drive. A red Chevy with only a driver inside you could hear the music from his radio as he got right "Rumor has it that you two have millions stashed away, why not invest in silver and gold?" The two children were so interested in what he had to say that they paid no attention to their uncles as they pulled out their rifles to shoot at the man, the two shots startled them and Walter reached to cover his ears and the two looked at them in shock, when the man held up some pamphlets, they showed that too. Another came up not too long after and he was treated new different. Walter and Penny spent the rest of the time sitting behind support on the opposite side of the door. As the sun set, they went in for a small dinner before heading to bed.
"Where do you want us to sleep Uncle Garth?" Penny asked.
"There's an extra room down here for you, and your brother will be upstairs." She nodded as she took the plates from the table and put them in the sink. She washed them as Walter sat quietly staring at the table. After Penny went to bed, Walter grabbed a lantern and headed toward the stairs.
"Hey kid," Garth said, "you are going to be up in the tower. Understand that we don't know nothing about no kids and that having you and your sister here is odd for us. If either of you need anything, find it yourself."
"Or better yet, learn to do without," Hub said. "We are both getting old and should we kick off in the night, you two are on your own." Walter's eyes grew wide with fear but he quickly walked up the stairs to his room.