Rosalie knitted in the living room, tense. She wasn't sure what was going on upstairs at this point, and the waiting was driving her a bit crazy.
Greg had answered the phone and then rushed upstairs, despite her protests that he should give his brother his privacy. It was pretty clear Blaine had a spanking coming, and while she was pretty certain it was earned, she didn't think he needed his brother making it all the more embarrassing. At that moment she was just hoping Gabriel would deal with this unpleasantness quickly so that they could strategize about how to deal with the school if they called.
"Mom, it's the school!" Greg had called back to her and then disappeared up the stairs. Her heart had stopped a second. If she had had more presence of mind at that moment, she would have called back to Greg to give her the phone. Certainly anything they could say to Gabe, they could say to her. They were probably only calling for him specifically because he had been the one to come to the school that afternoon. Is it the principal? Is he calling to say he's kicked out of school before he's even begun? Usually Rosalie was better in these situations. Gabe was the one who always assumed other people would judge their kids if they messed up badly. But after this whole summer of getting used to the idea of public school again, knowing how badly Blaine wanted it now- how proud he had been to have taken this step in his life... it would just be awful if it was all blew up in his face now. He would be embarrassed. Gabe would be embarrassed. And then... what? Back to Dalton? Oops, sorry. Never mind- please forget that we didn't send our tuition check in and take him back anyway?
She had strained to hear from the couch downstairs and had gathered that Gabe had taken the call into their bedroom. Blaine probably thinks he dodged a bullet. Course if it's bad news and Gabe's upset he's just going to take it out on him all the more. Rosalie sighed, silently willing Gabe to hold it together. It was hard enough to believe Blaine would pull a stunt like this, but the school had every right to dole out consequences as it saw fit, and they would just have to deal with whatever the fallout was. Whatever happens, we'll figure it out. She looked towards the stairs. It seemed
Rosalie had friends who were into knitting. She didn't really do it very often, but she liked the mindlessness of it sometimes. She didn't even have to look much at the yarn- it was just a repeating pattern that gave her a place to put her nervous energy. Why is he taking so long? She looked up towards the stairs, wondering if she should go up there. She sighed. If Gabe needs me, he'll get me.
Finally, she heard the creak of their bedroom door opening and Gabe's footsteps making it back across the hall. The boys were talking, and she heard Gabe's voice too- but she couldn't make out what they were saying. She strained to hear anything, and then hoped that was a good thing. If it was really bad, Gabe would be yelling. Right? He'd be scolding and talking about getting his belt. Rosalie and Gabriel were generally a united front about consequences, but that didn't mean she found them pleasant. Much as she believed her son needed chastising, the idea that the school might be going easy on him over this was something of a relief. They might not care about as appearances as much as Dalton would have. Maybe they just called to say he has a detention and that's it. She figured Gabe would send Greg back downstairs. Blaine would still get a good spanking. But if that was all the school was calling to say, it would be over after that. Blaine would sulk a little while and then they could go back to having their Labor Day weekend. Things could go back to being all about getting Greg packed up for school and enjoying these last few moments of summer as a family.
Rosalie's brow furrowed when she heard several footsteps coming down the stairs. Her hands stilled and she held the yarn between her fingers, taut. She studied her sons' body language as they came into sight. Blaine seemed tired, but not upset. Greg was smiling. Gabe's expression was unreadable.
Finally she couldn't take it any longer.
"Well?" she asked, tossing the knitting onto the coffee table.
Blaine didn't know where to begin. He looked to his father.
Gabriel looked his younger son up and down and then turned to his wife.
"I think... we owe our kid a Dairy Queen night, Rosie."