Chapter 2: Introductions: Jones and Braginski

Meet the Jones family: Aldrea Jones and her four children: sixteen-year-old Arthur, twelve-year-old twins Alfred and Matthew, and five-year-old Peter. Like the Beilschmidt family, the Jones' seem like a perfectly happy family, except for the divorce thing.

Before the dreaded thing known as "divorce" came along, the Jones family's lives were very happy, when the Jones siblings' father, Rick, was around. For the past nineteen years, Rick and Aldrea were happily married, until three months earlier. This was when they decided to get a divorce. Rick and Aldrea splitting up was very hard on all the children. Like the Beilschmidt's, the Jones' marriage ended in a pretty nasty fight. Rick ended up moving out and staying with his cousin, Johnathon Causey.

It was the middle of the afternoon. The sun was shining, there wasn't a cloud in the sky, and the four Jones brothers were playing outside. Since Arthur was the eldest, he was put in charge of Peter and the twins.

"Hey, Mattie, catch!" Alfred called to Matthew, who was standing across from him, a catcher's mitt on one hand. Alfred threw the ball to Matthew.

"I got it, I got it—OUCH!" Matthew said as the ball made a direct impact with his face. Matthew rubbed his injured face. "Al, watch it, stupid!" He threw the ball back to his brother, who was laughing his ass off.

"Mattie, you're too slow," said Alfred. He threw the ball back to Matthew, who got hit in the face again.

"No, YOU'RE too FAST," said Matthew.

"Al, can't you throw a bit more slowly?" Arthur asked.

"No way, Iggy! If you can't catch a ball this fast, then you suck at baseball," Alfred said. "Mattie, CATCH it this time, okay?" he threw the ball to Matthew, who, this time, got hit where the sun doesn't shine.

"OWWWWWW! Al!" Matthew shouted. He gasped for air as he held where it hurt. "I can't breathe, Iggy! I can't breathe!"

Arthur ran over to Matthew, helped him up, and carried him to the porch, where he sat Matthew down. "Let it out, Mattie! Let it out, it's okay!"

Peter came out of nowhere. He was wearing a beach towel around his shoulders like a cape. "NOTICE ME, EVERYONE, FOR I AM SEALANDMAN!"

"Pete, shut the hell up," Arthur said irritably to his baby brother. "Mattie's hurt! Just…I dunno, go watch anime or something, will you?"

"Screw you, British people lover jerk!" said Peter. He ran back inside the house.

"Oh, and Sealand's not a country, numbnuts!" Arthur called.

Peter came back outside, still wearing the beach towel. "Yeah, it is, dummy head." He stuck his tongue out at Arthur, then went back inside to watch Sgt. Frog on TV.

Alfred came over to Arthur and Matthew. "So, does this mean we can't play catch?"

Arthur's eyebrow twitched. "Alfred Fucking Jones…go inside before I decide to murder you." He glared daggers at Alfred.

"Okay, okay," Alfred said quickly. He didn't want to cross Arthur when he was like this, so he obeyed and went inside to watch Sgt. Frog with Peter.

"Iggy, I wanna go inside," Matthew groaned. "It hurts."

"Okay," said Arthur. He picked Matthew up and brought him inside, where he gently lay him on the couch.

A couple hours later, the kids heard yelling upstairs. It got closer as Rick and Aldrea stormed downstairs.

"What do you mean you got laid off, Rick?" Aldrea yelled.

"Mom doesn't look too happy," Alfred said quietly.

"You're damn right she doesn't look too happy," Arthur said.

"I mean I got laid off," Rick said, trying to calm his wife down. "Will you calm down, Aldrea? Hey, what the hell are you doing?" He saw Aldrea taking a duffel bag and shoving his stuff in it. "Aldrea, stop that right now, goddammit!"

"No!" Aldrea shouted. "Now we can't buy that Mercedes anytime soon!"

"Will you just—?" Rick said heatedly. He wrestled the bag out of Aldrea's grip and threw it on the floor. "Aldrea, I'll get another job soon. We'll just have to hold off on the Mercedes for a bit longer. Please!"

"I don't wanna wait!" said Aldrea. "I want that car, and I want it now!"

"Mommy, Daddy, I dun like fighting," Peter said, his big, green eyes filling with tears.

"Stop this!" said Arthur. "You're making Pete upset!"

"Arthur, shut it," said Aldrea. "We don't care right now; Pete will just have to suck it up."

Rick pushed Aldrea away. "You mean YOU don't care that you're scaring our kids! I care!"

"Don't you EVER say that!" said a further incensed Aldrea. "Of course I care!"

Rick went over to the kids. "I'm so sorry, boys, I'm really sorry."

"Get away from them, and get the hell out," said Aldrea. "I want a divorce!"

"Fine," said Rick. "You want a divorce, you've got one." He took the bag with his stuff in it and went to the door. "Goodbye."

"Dad, don't go," Alfred and Matthew said. They latched onto Rick.

"I'm sorry, you two, but since I'm not welcome here, I have to leave," Rick replied sympathetically. Before he left, he turned to Aldrea. "Oh, by the way, once I get another job and get settled, I'm suing for full custody of the kids." Then he walked out of the house, leaving his children stunned and upset at what had just happened.

"Oh no, you're not!" Aldrea shouted at the retreating car. Then she came back into the house. Her expression softened when she saw the looks on her children's faces. "I'm so sorry, boys. But…it's for the best, trust me."

"I don't think so," Arthur said. He stormed up to his room, where he logged onto his laptop and started an AIM chat with his friends, Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Ginny, who lived in Liverpool.

Aldrea turned to Peter and the twins. Peter was bawling, while the twins were trying their best to make him feel better. "I'm sorry, I really am."

Alfred, Matthew, and Peter didn't say anything; there wasn't really anything they COULD say that would make their mother and father get back together, so they just stayed quiet.

After getting divorced from Rick, Aldrea Jones met a nice Russian-American man by the name of Yulian Braginski. Yulian had three children: a fifteen-year-old son named Ivan, and two daughters, sixteen-year-old Katyusha and twelve-year-old Natalia. Yulian, like Aldrea, was divorced from his wife, Kseniya, who got the kids during the school year, while Yulian got them during the summer months and most holidays. Unlike Aldrea, however, Yulian's divorce from Kseniya wasn't as nasty.

Once Aldrea and Yulian met, they hit it off pretty well, especially since Aldrea found out Yulian was a father of three. Aldrea, after a few days of dating Yulian, decided to introduce her kids to her new boyfriend and his kids, since he was bringing them over.

Aldrea, Yulian, Katyusha, Ivan, and Natalia walked through the door. Arthur was watching Sgt. Frog with Peter and the twins.

"What are you doing here?" Alfred asked his mother.

"Al, watch that tone," Aldrea scolded. "Boys, this is my new boyfriend, Yulian Braginski. And these are his kids: Katyusha, Ivan, and Natalia."

"Hi," Matthew said politely.

Arthur, being the gentleman he was, said "Hello", while Peter shyly hid behind Arthur and introduced himself as the king of Sealand.

"Sealand's not a country, numbnuts," Arthur said quietly. "Nice to meet you, guys. This is Peter, and he's NOT the king of an old sea fort from World War Two." Peter stuck his tongue out at Arthur.

Alfred didn't say anything; instead, he just glared at Ivan, who was smiling creepily at him and his brothers.

"Yulian and I are gonna go out now," said Aldrea. "These three are gonna hang out here, so be nice. Bye." She and Yulian left for a date.

Ivan and his sisters went up to the Jones brothers and were watching Sgt. Frog with them.

"Kolkolkolkolkol," Ivan said. He was looking right at Alfred.

Alfred saw Ivan looking at him and got a chill up his spine. But he decided to ignore the chill because, after all, he was "the hero!" Alfred glared at Ivan. "Why the hell are ya looking at me, Commie bastard?"

"Alfred!" Arthur said.

"Al, that wasn't very nice," Matthew said quietly.

"Who are you?" Peter asked.

"I'm Matthew, your big brother!" said Matthew.

Ivan just looked at Alfred, seemingly unaffected by what Alfred called him. "Oh, I was just thinking about the looks on your faces when you're down on your knees and begging me for mercy."

"He's scary, Iggy," Peter said and buried his face in Arthur's shirt.

"Vanya, stop scaring people!" said Katyusha.

"Sorry, Big Sister," Ivan said.

"Big Brotherrrrr," Natalia whispered in a singsong voice. "Marry meeeeee."

"NOOOOOOOO!" Ivan yelled. He got up and bolted out of the living room, hiding in the cabinet under the kitchen sink.

"What was that all about?" Arthur asked.

"No idea," said Matthew.

"Serves that Commie right," Alfred said under his breath.

"ALFRED!" Arthur barked, hearing what Alfred said.

"Natalia's always doing that," Katyusha replied to Arthur's question. "Asking Vanya to marry her. I dunno why."

Even though Arthur, Matthew, and Peter were friendly towards the Braginski siblings, they, along with Alfred, didn't like it that Aldrea was going out with Yulian, leaving them alone with scary Ivan (they didn't mind the girls, though). All they wanted was their mom and dad to be back together, and for life to be normal again. Katyusha, Ivan, and Natalia were alright with their father dating Aldrea, because it got him out of his shell.