Function: transitive verb
1: to desire with expectation of obtainment
2: to expect with confidence : trust
In an uncommon instance of daytime repose, Mart Belden was stretched out on his back, lying on top of the comforter on his dorm bed. He hadn't eaten yet that day, even as four o'clock approached, and now he was plagued by dizziness.
The door to the room swung open and Daniel burst in, his manner uncharacteristically animated.
"Hey," he greeted Mart. "Feeling all right?"
"Kinda tired," Mart admitted.
"Then it's a good idea to rest," Daniel advised, glancing around the room. "Is the laundry back?"
"There." Mart pointed to the red clothing sack.
"Thanks." Daniel promptly dumped the contents of the bag onto his bed, sorting out his articles (the black ones).
"You're in quite the chipper mood," Mart observed.
"I'm going home," Daniel explained with a smile. "They say I've recovered from my issues and all that."
"What?" Mart sat up dizziness accompanying him. "You're leaving?"
"I've been released," Daniel confirmed, pulling out a large suitcase from under his bed. He removed a twelve by twelve inch cardboard carton from the inside before cramming his clothes into the suitcase. After he had finished packing the first pile, he moved onto the closet, opening the door and withdrawing his civilian clothes.
"Your uniforms are still there," Mart pointed out, nodding at the tailored red blazers and gray dress pants.
"You keep them," Daniel said, collecting the items in his desk and pausing momentarily to flip through a photo album. "Or if you don't want them, give them back to the school. But I don't want any reminders of this place." He tossed a fifty-count set of colored pencils into his duffel bag; the suitcase had apparently reached its limit.
"Are your parents taking you home?" Mart asked, out of obligatory politeness rather than genuine curiosity.
Daniel shook his head, still smiling. It was a good expression for him, Mart realized. He looked so friendly and happy, so open to others. Normally he looked brooding, as if he were preparing to do something he was going to regret later.
"My uncle is taking me to live with him," Daniel said. "My father gave him custody." He surveyed the room. "Can you see anything I missed?"
"Nothing beyond the uniforms," Mart informed him. "And that." He indicated the cardboard carton on the bed.
"Oh." Dan crossed over to the bed and opened the carton before walking back over to Mart and revealing what the box contained: Ritz crackers, protein bars, Gatorade, various chocolate bars, Tastykake products, and homemade snickerdoodles.
"You take it," Daniel said suddenly, with a grin. "It was a care package to me from my father- my stepfather. He's a great guy. I never got around to eating any of it." He took a Sharpie from his pocket and scribbled several words onto the side of the carton. "Here's my e-mail address. Keep in touch."
Slinging the duffel bag over one shoulder and deftly lifting his suitcase, Daniel made his way to the door. "Best of luck to you, Mart. Send me an e-mail sometime." He closed the door behind him.
Mart stared at the closed door for a full ten seconds after Daniel had departed, a mixture of disbelief and detachment settling over him. His stomach growled, jolting him back to reality, and a sharp pang of hunger stabbed through him.
There was a box of food on his bed.
Cautiously, Mart eyed the care package, two trains of thought battling in his head.
You need to eat something. You won't be able to last much longer like this. And without a roommate, who knows what's going to happen?
Don't eat anything. You're strong. You can pull through. Besides, that isn't food. It's empty calories.
Slowly, Mart reached into the carton and withdrew the bag of snickerdoodles. His hand shook as he raised the cookie to his mouth.
Daniel had managed to get out of here.
Mart took a bit of the sugary substance, his tastes buds exploding, unaccustomed to sweet flavors after rigidly disciplining himself for months.
Inwardly, his instincts screamed at him to throw down the sweet, to suppress his hunger.
But he did not. Instead, he continued to finish the sizeable cookie, and when it became stuck in his throat, washed it down with several sips of Gatorade.
His stomach rolled in protest, he felt nauseous, he was going to be sick-
No. No, Mart was done with being sick, he was done with starving himself, he was done with feeling too dizzy and weak to ever enjoy himself.
He picked up a protein bar this time, unwrapped the foil, and took a bite.
Dan had left the Worthington Institute with the full approval of the administration. He must've improved somehow, if the school board had allowed him to go.
They said that he had recovered.
Was Brian ever going to realize that life couldn't be a twenty-four hour party, free of any sort of consequence? Maybe.
Was Trixie going to decide one day to take her education seriously, start studying all night, and ace every test? Doubtful.
But could he, Mart Belden, begin to see beyond the here and now? Could he stop making himself ill by not eating? Could he allow himself to get better, to return to some semblance of normalcy?
Yes, Mart decided, swigging his Gatorade.
Yes, he could.
A/N: And that concludes "Capital Vices". Healing through snickerdoodles! Who would've thought?
Thank you for joining me on this journey, and a special thank you to all who reviewed. I really appreciate the feedback. :)
For now, I think that I'll return to the various Marvel fandoms and finally complete my unfinished stories there. But I expect to be back to the Trixie Belden section fairly soon.
I'm willing to take requests for Trixie Belden fics. Missing scenes from books, rewriting chapters from another character's perspective, family bonding scenes, friendship stories, even romance: slash or het. Just two guidelines:
For romance stories, no traditional pairings such as Jim/Trixie, Brian/Honey, or Mart/Diana. Those are just "too mainstream" for me.
No future fics. I abhor these future fics. Seriously, fifty percent of Trixie Belden fanfic is future fics about domestic life when I want to read a traditional mystery with the Bob-Whites. What is that?
Okay. Rant over. Thanks, it's been fun, and please leave some feedback.