Memories (Warm Rain wip)
Pre-Virgil/Kayo, Pre-IR, Pre-series. Same fic as here, but different section of the timeline.
It was a beautiful day. Early summer when everything was still green. And to top it off it was the weekend, no homework and a morning to himself.
He had his sketchbook with him, but if he was being honest, he hadn’t touched it since he had sat down under the tree. It was just pleasant to sit and enjoy the moment, and if he accidentally fell asleep, he wasn’t going to admit it to anyone.
He startled, his sketchbook falling onto the grass. Huh?
“Virgil? You out here?”
Scott? He struggled to sit up. The sun was much higher in the sky than it was before and he realised he must have really fallen asleep. Rubbing his eyes with one hand, he finally made it vertical enough to see his older brother heading in his direction. “Scott?” So yeah, he had a dopey voice, so what?
“Virg! There you are. What on Earth are you doing all the way out here?”
He grabbed the sketchbook as an excuse and waved it vaguely in his brother’s direction and yawned.
“Really?” A snort. “I might believe you if you had less grass in your hair.”
What? God, he was never one for waking up fast, and his fourteen year old brother was never one to miss an opportunity to take advantage of it. He ran a hand through his hair and shook it, and true enough, pieces of dried grass and even a stick fell out of it.
“Yeah, whatever. What do you want?”
“Dad’s called a Family Meeting.”
He could hear the capital letters in Scott’s voice. Oh, one of those. Great. What momentous change in their lives was about to happen now?
Scott was still smirking at him, and Virgil realised he hadn’t answered or moved fast enough. But his brother stuck out a hand and offered to help him up. Virgil sighed, and took it, grunting as Scott yanked him to his feet.
“Wow, I swear you are getting heavier every day.”
Virgil glared at him as they started back to the farmhouse. “No, really? I would have thought that would be obvious with the whole growing thing we have going on.”
“Well, you know, with the big one three happening in a few months…”
“Shut up, Scott.”
Of course, his brother only laughed. “Man, you’re grumpy when you’ve been woken up.”
“And you’re irritating most times.”
That earned him a snort and an arm fell across his shoulders. “Admit it, you love me.”
His brain hadn’t booted up enough to tackle that one without admitting or insulting, so he just grunted. Scott’s laugh was a little infectious.
By the time they made it to the living room, every other household member was already there. Grandma beckoned him over to a seat beside her, and he darted between his two youngest brothers on the floor, who appeared to be arguing over who got to hit who with a stuffed animal. He ended up with John next to him, ever present tablet currently deployed in front of his nose. Scott sat on the arm of the sofa on John’s other side.
“Hey.” Apparently, John could read and acknowledge his presence simultaneously.
“Hey.” He smiled at Grandma, before nudging his little brother. “Any ideas what this is about?”
“Mr Kyrano’s here. Him and Dad have been holed up in his study for at least an hour.”
“Oh.” Mr Kyrano was a cool kind of guy. He worked for his father in some capacity that saw him travelling with Dad a lot. When he encountered the boys, he was kind to them and was full of stories from distant places. He was often quiet, but also mysterious. Virgil liked him.
As if summoned by his thought, both his Dad and Mr Kyrano walked into the room. Both were obviously attempting to put on positive faces, but even Virgil with his still booting brain could see that something was very wrong.
They were followed in by a young girl. The sheer terror in her eyes had Virgil sitting up straighter. That and the bruise that decorated the right side of her face. Mr Kyrano stopped for a moment and gathered her to him, gently encouraging her into the room. He said some words in another language and she responded. After a moment, some of the fear left her eyes, but she clung to the man as if he was a lifeline.
“Thank you all for gathering so quickly.” His father spoke up, just as Gordon whacked his six year old brother with an old teddy bear hard enough to make him squawk. Scott reached over and confiscated it, which in turn set both the younger boys protesting.
Their father, ever one for manners and protocol, cleared his throat pointedly. Alan responded immediately and sat up straighter. Gordon slouched into a sulk.
Dad eyed them for a moment. “I wanted you all together to introduce you to young Tanusha. You all know Mr Kyrano. Tanusha is his daughter.”
Five pairs of eyes landed on the little girl and she shrunk behind her father.
“She will be staying with us for a short time. I know you will make her feel welcome and help her settle in.” And yes, his father stared at Gordon just that moment longer. Gordon, being Gordon, glared back.
“Well, Jefferson, don’t parade the poor girl.” She stood up and walked over to Mr Kyrano and smiled before crouching down to Tanusha’s level and addressing her directly. “Don’t you mind this rabble, honey, they’re not too bad once you get to know them.” She held out a hand. “Come and meet the boys.”
Tanusha, who couldn’t be older than Gordon, slid even further behind her father, but Mr Kyrano said something in that same other language and she startled, straightening her posture, before hesitantly reaching out and taking Grandma’s hand. Her eyes stared up at her father as she took those final steps towards the Tracy matriarch.
Mr Kyrano’s smile was sad.
Grandma didn’t hesitate, gently leading her forward. “The two on the floor are the youngest. This is Alan and Gordon. Gordon is the same age as you. Perhaps he can show you his aquarium later.” Grandma was making that suggestion an order with her eyes. Gordon looked rebellious, but resigned.
“This is Scott. He is our eldest. John is in the middle.” His red haired brother had put the tablet down at least and was smiling politely. “And the scruffy haired one is Virgil.”
Up close, the bruise on her face looked even more nasty, but beyond it, he discovered that her eyes were a most beautiful shade of green. He smiled at her, sitting up just that little bit straighter.
She glanced his way apprehensively.
Attempting to make her feel welcome, he smiled just a little bit more. “Hello, Tanusha.”
She didn’t smile back.