Impulse and Inertia – Giant Leap for Mankind.
Finally, another chapter! Sorry everyone, I've just been getting distracted by Youtube, TF2 and the fact that I got into my chosen university (YAY!)!
Chapter 13: Rest.
It took Flash and Max to hold down a flailing, screaming Thaddeus. Bartholomew watched from behind the doorframe, gold eyes huge with shock and holding Helen's hand tightly.
"Inertia, it's okay! It's just us!" Flash cried, moving a hand to pull back his cowl.
Max managed to draw Thad into a hug and Thad ceased his scared struggles after a moment or two in his strong embrace. Max held his shoulders and leaned back to stare into Inertia's fearful eyes.
"That thrashing wasn't good for you."
Max smiled. The other twin had only been awake for five minutes and he was already asking for his brother.
Impulse perked up and immediately bounded in, his mother and Helen hanging back at the entrance to Thad's room.
"I'm here, I'm here! You're awake – finally! Jeez, you're so slow; I would have woken up ages ago!"
Inertia only rolled his eyes as Bart draped an arm casually around his shoulders and poked him, sticking his tongue out playfully. As he glanced round with a few confused blinks, still tense, Inertia finally spotted Meloni.
"Mother? What are you doing here?" he asked in genuine confusion as Bart laid his fluffy head on his shoulder.
Meloni approached and wrapped him in her embrace.
"You really thought I wouldn't find out about this?"
The blonde squirmed under her, still unused to a mother's touch. He awkwardly brought his arms up to pat her back and Bart yanked his family into a three way cuddle.
"So, you have a ton of homework."
"What on earth did you tell them, brother dearest? Surely you didn't blab about how an evil asshole kidnapped me for personal gain?"
Bart Allen rolled his eyes to the ceiling in exasperation.
"I told you…I'm past that stage now! I just said you'd hurt yourself in the skate park. They all love you there anyway so they'll be all over ya when you return."
"Really? But I've only just started at that stupid school!"
Bart shrugged as Carol dumped the last pile of text books and homework sheets on the desk with a satisfied grin.
"There, all done!"
"Yeah well, you're a swot compared ta me, so they're happy ONE of us pays attention in class."
"Oh, are we talking about the Psychology teacher? "Thad is such a good boy!" Seriously, he loves you." Carol continued with a cheeky face.
Brat started cackling.
"Marry me, you brilliant A plus student!"
Thad crossed his arms and scowled.
"I'm bedridden for the next three days so stop it."
Bart and Carol cracked again.
"Aww…is lickle Thaddeus sad because we're ganging up on him?"
It was his twin's turn to smirk as he thought of a suitable comeback.
"No, I'm disgusted because you two may as well be kissing each other right now."
The laughter stopped abruptly, much to Inertia's wicked pleasure, and they both sputtered incoherently.
"What are you - ?!"
"B-But…we, that is to say, I – wha-?"
Thad snickered at their beet-red faces.
The lemon haired boy sitting upright doing his math homework slapped his black pen down on the neat scribbles.
Bart lounged on the end of his brother's bed, Carol lying on the floor with a pen lid sticking out of her mouth as she stared at her sums thoughtfully.
"You're supposed to be doing your homework."
Another loud sigh."
"Already? You've rushed it then."
Thad went back to his work.
"I'm not discussing it with you."
Outside the room, Meloni and Helen were giggling as quietly as they could while eavesdropping on the little work session and carrying laundry.
"A few months ago, they'd have been fighting for real." Helen commented as she led Meloni to the washing machine and Meloni tilted her head with a guilty look in her brown eyes.
"Really? I wish I'd been around for them more."
Helen was quiet as she watched Meloni load the white machine up with dirty clothes.
"Could I have the soap flakes please?"
Helen handed the half empty box over and smiled softly.
"Things happened that were outside your control. As a mother, you've done what's best for both of them."
"You really think so? I can't help thinking they might be bitter…"
Helen laughed shortly.
"Bart? Bitter? You'd have to a murderer to see Bart being bitter towards you. And as for Thad, you've only just discovered each other! How could he hate you when he doesn't know you?"
Meloni considered this as she pressed the right buttons with Helen's guidance and set the washing machine to spin. The two women's eyes gazed at the clothes going round and round until Meloni let herself wander to take in the kitchen properly while she digested Helen's words. It was so quaint and old-fashioned to her, a woman who was used to holograms and robots doing pretty much everything for her (apart from cooking and washing herself, of course). The kitchen cupboards that were carved in wood, the black and silver stove that rested next to the washing machine and tiled floors that completed the room's rustic look, not to mention the frilly doilies and patterned tablecloth resting on the wooden table underneath the bowl of bananas. Somehow, it felt nicer than cold steel and underfloor fibre optics.
The more she thought about it, the more she realised that the decision for her boys to be raised here was RIGHT.
A new question floated to the surface.
Why was she not living here with them?
A door creaked open in the middle of the night and a shadow crept across the carpet to Meloni's guest bed. Her brown eyes were fully open, aware of the intruder from the moment he/she entered.
She waited for the right moment.
"…Mother? Are you awake?"
Actually, scrap that last thought. She didn't need to be on her guard around her little one.
"Thad, sweetie? Is everything okay?" Meloni answered in a whisper, concern radiating from her as she brushed stray russet hair from her face and reached over to turn on her side light.
"No! I-I want to stay like this."
Meloni paused. Her son liked the dark?
"What's the matter?" she asked Thad once more and the blonde shifted in discomfort. "You should be in bed really, young man."
The boy wheeled around to face the door again, a slight limp in his step.
"Yes, you're right."
Meloni got up and blocked his path.
"But as your mother, I know when something is troubling you. Did you have a bad dream?"
From Thad's flinching reaction, the woman knew she'd hit her mark. She went back to her bed and pulled the covers away, patting the mattress.
"Come on, we don't have to talk about it if you don't want to. Let Mom give you a hug instead."
Thad stood stock-still, unable to decide between his warring instincts (which was to run away from comfort) and his heart (which yearned to run to the woman who shared his DNA technically). Meloni gave him space to decide while she privately celebrated. To be honest, she had assumed that the quieter twin would take longer to adjust to her presence and acknowledge her as his own kin. Bart took to her straight away, but Max gently pointed out that Thad was often wary around people he perceived as strangers or threats.
To see him hesitantly come to her for comfort…it was such a normal, child-like gesture and Meloni almost cried right there in the bed. But that wouldn't do the poor teen any good.
Meloni jumped, having not seen Inertia cross the room. His gold eyes glowed in the dark with uncertainty but his stature suggested that a decision had been reached.
Thad paused and then held out his arms, vulnerability written all over his face.
Meloni scooted over, pulling him in the warmth of her loving embrace as she did so.
"It's alright, it was just a nightmare."
Thad shyly cuddled against her body and let her tuck him close to her.
"It might have been based off real fears and worries, but it won't happen in real life – you're stronger than that." Meloni said softly, her voice close to a lullaby and the boy's eyes widened for a minute at such knowledge that struck near his actual thoughts before closing them to try and relax with his mother.
Her eyes flashed open in shock but his change of address wasn't cast into the spotlight.
And that was probably for the best.
Wow, my brain is full of fluff. I may have to shove a vacuum cleaner in there later. XD
Have a less depressing chapter for a change. Did I ever mention how much I adore writing about Bart, Meloni and Thad in family situations? Well I do, as you can probably tell.
You can check that out in my poem, "Sunshine and Storm" as well.
Love Lily. X