(A/N: 10/23/16) This has been edited and added to slightly. I have honestly not watched more than an episode of this show in the past 4 years so things may be more off than you might want them to be. It is a work of fiction based on a work of fiction, so it might be a little bit unrealistic at times. (I did just watch The Descendants so I'm totally on board with the angsty Disney childhood program though)
Disclaimer: Disney owns JESSIE. I own a new computer (finally).
Part One: The Beginning (1/3)
Luke wasn't stupid (no matter how much he sometimes acted like he was). Luke knew that he had made up stories and had lied for most of his life. Despite knowing this, there were some things he could never change. Things that were best left as they were-well enough alone.
Luke had always liked to tell people that he had been adopted as a baby. He preferred if people believed that he had been found by Christina and Morgan just before he turned one. "Stumbling into trouble of course, but not yet walking," he always liked to joke. If they asked he would say that he had just proved "too unreliable and rambunctious" for school and had been homeschooled until he turned 10. It was far better than the truth. Much less inconvenient and distressing for everyone involved really to just not address anything from before he was adopted. Lying from the beginning saved him the trouble of lying later on when people would begin to pry. His family humored him, and even lied for him on occasion.
Ravi had no clue at all about his past and Zuri thought he was just plain weird. They both just accepted that at 11 he still believed that he was from Krypton instead of Detroit. Zuri remembered a time when he wasn't always around, but he would just tell her stories and play make believe games until she would stop asking. He would tell tales about a father and a mother that loved him and took him to the park every day. Zuri would laugh and ask about his pets and toys. He would lie about a dog and video games. She would skip away happy and that was that.
These stories didn't include the mother that committed suicide because of him. They certainly didn't include a father tried to kill him. His carefully constructed fantasies were all about parents who had held him close and put bandages on his knees when he skinned them. They ignored the people who had yelled at him and cursed him for simply being alive. They included people who had let him have his childhood, untainted by the cruel world. Instead of parents who forced him to grow up quickly in order to cover up bruises inflicted daily by his drunken father before school, and slave away at home to try to please dissatisfied mother every day after school, his dreams included parents who helped him with his homework and made him ice cream sundaes when he got As.
Luke knew that his past was gone forever, but between the nightmares, flashbacks, and scars it never seemed very far away. There were always memories of paralyzing pain and abandonment whenever he closed his eyes. His mind would endlessly tell him that he was worthless and insignificant. Whatever he intellectually knew about his physical safety, his subconscious seemed to know that his trials were far from over.
Luke Colbert had been lucky. His first-grade teacher had noticed his self-isolation. She had initially disregarded his strange reluctance to make friends as a normal bought of first day of school nerves or shyness, but it soon became clear that it was a deeper issue than that. He would make plenty of small talk with the other children, just enough to never be left out if there was an activity that required partners, but too little to become anyone's special friend. There was also the issue of his grades. The child didn't seem to try his homework at all, but in school, he seemed to understand enough. When she asked him about why he wasn't completing it, he seemed downright apathetic, simply stating that he hadn't felt like doing it and had played video games instead. This didn't seem consistent with the kid she had seen in class.
After she had noticed the child himself, it was only a matter of time before she became aware of other suspicious things. His refusal to talk in detail about home beyond a fine, or a good was pretty strange. His nervous disposition. The bruises she had glimpsed on his arms, neck, and shoulders whenever his clothing moved too much. His emaciated frame and lack of lunch bag or money.
She had made up her mind. The next week she would meet with Luke's parents to discuss whether siblings or other students were bullying Luke. It hadn't seemed like he was in too much distress in school, but she also only saw him for a few hours a day and not at all when he would be interacting with the students several grades above him. Maybe they were stealing his lunch money and harassing him?
The boy's father apparently knew nothing. He even voiced his own concerns about Luke's accident-prone nature and asked if she had noticed anything that might suggest learning disabilities or ADHD as he was "always getting into scuffles and getting bad grades in school." He was concerned about his son following his mother's suicide two years earlier. He hadn't always been as distracted in school and sullen at home. She encouraged Luke's father to just let his child know that he was loved and that he was proud of him. In the back of her mind, however, there was the dark murmur that this might be the small towns' first case of child abuse. Later that night, when the 11 o'clock news ran a story about neighbors hearing shrill screams and calling the police the teacher knew she wouldn't see Luke again.
They had found the child almost dead. They had immediately arrested his maniacal father and rushed Luke to the hospital. After two weeks of constant supervision, healing, and counseling, Luke was moved to a foster home.
Luke was bounced from home to home over the course of the next two years. He never fit in with the other children. They all seemed to have been abandoned or placed into foster care after the death of family members. He never knew what to expect when he was sent to a new home. The rules were always consistent, as was the merciless teasing on the part of the other children, but the adults were unpredictable. He was treated as though he was fragile by some parents. Others ignored his presence.
His first placement out of his overcrowded group home was one where the adults seemed happier to not acknowledge his existence. After a half a year trying to gain attention, both through trouble making and doing well in school (neither of which worked particularly well), he was transferred to another family.
This second family had treated Luke as though it was his fault that their oldest biological son was constantly angry. The other children in the household learned from their caretakers' example and ostracized Luke. He only lasted three months at that placement, before he was removed from their care.
His third home was by far the best. Luke bonded with the other children (and the adults!), but like all good things it didn't last. After only four glorious months, he got beat up by school bullies because of his love of dance. His anxiety and panic attacks grew unmanageable, and he could no longer hide behind his guise of "perfect child ready to take on the world". His family told him that they were worried about his safety and needed to send him away from the people who were hurting him, but Luke knew that this was a lie. If they had really cared they would have known that he was much safer with them than anywhere else. They had stopped caring for him once they knew the truth. Luke swore he would never let anyone close enough to him to hurt him like that again.
His fifth home was almost as bad as his original home. The small amount of trust he had regained throughout his time with his past family (which had already been weakened but their abandonment of him) was quickly shattered. He lasted for two months before he had a panic attack when he got a question wrong in math. Between his gasps for air and his tears, the school administrators pieced together a tale of crippling pain and a basement filled with his memories of pain. They quickly alerted his social worker and the police that Luke was in dire need of a new placement.
His social worker put him back into the overcrowded group home. He was labeled a "problem child" because of his inability to stay with a family for more than a few months and his frequent panic attacks which made him a difficult child to handle. It was at this location that the Ross family first came into the picture.
They had been hoping to adopt a child, a third girl for their steadily growing family. Ten-year-old Emma and two-year-old Zuri desperately wanted a third playmate and Morgan and Christina were in love with the little girl they had met almost a year previously. Once they arrived at the home, however, they were told that due to a difficulty in the processing of their paperwork, a lovely family from Illinois had already adopted the child that had been promised to them. They were crushed that their perfect child had been snatched away on a mere technicality and mistake.
As they were leaving they heard yelling and saw a young boy tearing across the hallway with tears streaming down his face. He was being chased by a woman who was trying to comfort him (quite unsuccessfully) by telling him where he was, and that he was just having a flashback. They took an interest in that child who was screaming and crying. The woman said that the child, Luke Colbert, was being placed into a children's hospital later that week because he was too much of a handful for the group home and needed more discipline and supervision than the overworked staff could offer. Cristina and Morgan Ross knew that very moment that Luke was the child that they wanted to adopt, no questions asked. They wanted him to have another chance. Luke's luck had continued.
(A/N) …and edited! Please review! Let me know what you think about the edits.