Clone Wars Domestic AU - Yall_its_me_nicole - Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008) (2024)

Table of Contents
Chapter 1: School Problems Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 2: Chapter 2- Echo Sick Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 3: Chapter 3- MCL tear/ Dislocated Knee Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 4: Chapter 4- Car Crash Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 5: Chapter 5-Blood Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 6: Chapter 6-Run Away Chapter Text Chapter 7: Chapter 7- Being Sick Sucks Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 8: Chapter 8-High Fever Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 9: Chapter 9-Drugged Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 10: Chapter 10-Nightmares Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 11: Chapter 11-Kix's Grief Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 12: Chapter 12-More Problems Arise Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 13: Chapter 13-Tup and Comet Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 14: Chapter 14-A Not-So-Serious-But-Also-Serious-Secret Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 15: Chapter 15-Surgery Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 16: Chapter 16-Out of the Frying Pan, Into the Fire Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 17: Chapter 17-A Lie Hurts Longer Than the Truth Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 18: Chapter 18-A Little Calm Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 19: Chapter 19-Stepping Stone Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 20: Chapter 20-Havoc Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 21: Chapter 21-Reunion Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 22: Chapter 22-Aunt Arla Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 23: Chapter 23-The Social Workers Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 24: Chapter 24-Boba Fett Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 25: Chapter 25-The Light at the End of the Tunnel Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 26: Chapter 26-Recovery Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 27: Chapter 27-Speak of the Devil and He Shall Appear Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 28: Chapter 28-Visitors Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 29: Chapter 29-Hellish Reveals Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 30: Chapter 30-Meeting Point Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 31: Chapter 31-Family Court Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 32: Chapter 32-Karma’s a Bitch Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 33: Chapter 33-Talking is Hard Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 34: Chapter 34-Conversations Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 35: Chapter 35-Surprises Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 36: Chapter 36-Court Round Two Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 37: Chapter 37-A Deal is Made Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 38: Chapter 38-Cameras Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 39: Chapter 39-Closure Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 40: Chapter 40-Begin Act Two Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 41: Chapter 41-Accidents Happen Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 42: Chapter 42-Mommy Dearest Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 43: Chapter 43-Words Hurt Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 44: Chapter 44-Challenges Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 45: Chapter 45-The Attempt Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 46: Chapter 46-Party Crasher Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 47: Chapter 47-Consequences Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 48: Chapter 48-Rebecca Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 49: Chapter 49-Hospitals Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 50: Chapter 50-Secrets Secrets Are No Fun Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 51: Chapter 51-Running Out of Time Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 52: Chapter 52-The Party Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 53: Chapter 53-Flashing Lights Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 54: Chapter 54-Waiting Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 55: Chapter 55-The Surgeon Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 56: Chapter 56-Waking Moments Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 57: Chapter 57-The Diagnosis Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 58: CHpater 58-The Footage Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 59: Chapter 59-Moving On Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 60: Chapter 60-Pain, Sorrow, and Panic Summary: Chapter Text Chapter 61: Chapter 61-Changing Tides Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 62: Chapter 62-Tears Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 63: Chapter 63-The Interview Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 64: Chapter 64-It All Comes Out Notes: Chapter Text Notes: FAQs

Chapter 1: School Problems

Summary:

Fives doesn't come home from school with the others. So what happened?

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

The Fett boys knew something was wrong when the high school kids, Tup, Comet, Waxer, Boil, and Echo, came home, without Fives in toe. They were all very confused but they didn't think anything of it because sometimes they come home at different times. Jango hadn't noticed yet.

It had been more than a couple of minutes and Echo was becoming concerned for his twin.

"Echo, where is Fives," Jango asked finally noticing his missing son. Echo shrugged thinking the same thing, "He was in sixth period with me, and then I didn't see him when we were leaving school."

Jango frowned, worried about his son, but he knew Fives could handle himself. Jango's phone chimed with an incoming call, the caller ID said it was the kid's high school.

"Damn it, Fives," Jango sighed, knowing that the school was calling about Fives, it was the only reasonable explanation. Waxer looked up from his English essay, happy to abandon it. Jango turned the phone towards him, with an unhappy expression on his face. Waxer gave a look that was sympathizing for Fives, he knew it wasn't going to be good.

Jango reluctantly answered the phone, "Hello?" The boys tried to eavesdrop on the call, then gave up when they couldn't hear anything. Their dad looked furious. "I'll be there in a few minutes," he said through gritted teeth. He stood up, grabbing the keys that were previously put on the table.

"I'm going to kill that kid." He slammed the door shut behind him, shaking the house. Tup jumped, startled by the noise. He returned to his work a couple of moments later.

"What do you think happened?" Cody asked Rex, leaning towards him.

"He probably just pulled another prank," Rex told him, hoping he was right. Tup wanted to keep his mouth shut, but he had heard other kids talking about something that happened after sixth period.

"I don't think so, dad wouldn't have been that angry" he eventually said, crossing his arms on the table.

"Why do you say that?"

"Some kids were talking, they said two kids got into a fight, and one of them is in the hospital."

Everyone was silent, not finding any way that the situation was okay. Jesse went into the kitchen to help Kix with dinner, while the others lounged around, or did homework, hoping Jango didn't keep his promise to kill their brother.

Comet was struggling where he sat, his ADHD was kicking in very had and he couldn't do his school work. He resorted to tapping his pencil on his books. He looked up in shock when Tup started doing the same thing, only Tup didn't realize he was doing it. Kix and Jesse could hear it from the kitchen.

Kix went out and leaned on the doorway that connected the dining room to the kitchen. "You two okay?"

Comet nodded, "Yeah, just trying to focus." Tup didn't answer, gaze glued to his assignment.

"Tup?" Kix prompted. Tup was about to speak but nodded his head. Kix didn't believe him. He went over to him, crouching next to him. "Don't lie. Are you worried about Fives? Is that what it is?" Tup nodded, letting Kix move him away from the table.

Kix led him to the large couch in the living room, allowing Tup to cling to him.

"Fives will be alright, I promise. I know you're concerned about Fives but what else are you worried about?" Rex asked him, sitting down beside Kix. Tup made a noise of protest, "Nothing, that's it."

Wolffe called out from the other room, "Tup, that's bullsh*t and you know it, just tell us." Rex and Kix laughed at Wolffe's bluntness. Tup looked hesitant to answer, not looking at either of them, playing with a rubber elastic bracelet on his left wrist. Rex slowly reached out to grab Tup's right hand. Tup's eye's moved up to his brothers, finally.

"What are you afraid of?" Kix asked again.

"Dad," he whispered to his older brothers. Rex nodded slowly, looking at Cody who was perched at the other end of the couch, he shrugged, kind of understanding where Tup was coming from.

"You're afraid of them fighting, aren't you," Kix said, not making it a question. Tup nodded, laying his head on Kix's shoulder. Kix didn't say anything back, he didn't really know what to tell him.

Cody went into the kitchen to help Jesse, as Kix was preoccupied. Waxer and Boil finished their homework, most likely it was poorly done, but the others didn't care as long as they did it.

"Did you two actually try? Or did you give up?" Echo asked with a smirk, not looking up from his history homework. Waxer looked from where he was putting his binder in his backpack, appalled, "How dare you to assume that Echo. What do you take me for?"

"A slacker," Wolffe called from the kitchen that he just entered.

"Lazy." Comet chimed in.

"A person who does homework at the same speed as a sloth," Cody said from Jesse's side.

Waxer became irritated, looking at his twin.

"Oh don't look at me. I'm not choosing sides." Everyone collective laughed, every Tup managed to give a chuckle. But that all ended when they heard loud voices outside the front door. Everyone quieted down.

The door was ripped open by Fives, who was closely followed by Jango. Both of them looked very angry.

"What the hell Fives!" Jango yelled. Tup recoiled at the yell, burrowing his face in Kix's chest, wrapping his arms around himself. Rex kept looking back at Tup while watching the fight that was escalating. Kix hugged Tup to his chest.

"Shhhhh, it's okay, I'm right here." he murmured. Tup nodded, but he was still scared, his anxiety was being a bitch to him.

"He had it coming!"

"He hadwhat FIves?! Please explain to me!"

Fives rolled his eyes. "He was being an asshole!"

Jango stalked closer to him. "That doesn't mean you beat the sh*t out of him!"

"f*ck you!" Fives went upstairs to his and Echo's room. Jango watched him walk, not moving to stop him. He forcefully threw his keys on the table. Tup jumped up, startled, and ran up the stairs.

"Tup!" Ponds called to him, but he knew it wouldn't do much.

Jango let out a long sigh, flopping down on the couch.

"Dad..." Jesse started but Jango held up a hand.

"I know, I know. Yelling doesn't do anything." Jango said tiredly.

Fives heard a door slam shut. He frowned, confused, and got up to see who ran up the stairs. He went to each door, pressing an ear to the doors. He reached the second to last door in his row, which was Tup and Comet's room. He heard movement and the snap of an elastic bracelet hitting someone's arm.

He knew it was Tup. Whenever his anxiety was rising, he would pull the band back, and let hit his wrist, as a means to get him to focus on something, which is a little sting.

He knocked on the door. He heard footsteps patter towards the door. The door slowly creaked open, revealing half of Tup's face. Fives gave him a soft smile. "I'm sorry you had to hear that."

"It's okay." the fifteen-year-old said.

"I'll leave now. Love you kiddo."

"Love you too." Tup quietly closed the door.

Fives went back to his own room, cursing himself for even getting near the kid he punched. He had gotten suspended because of it, and he scared his little brother.

'Great job, idiot.' he told himself. He fell face down on his bed with a groan.

He laid down for an hour before another set of footsteps came up the stairs. He listened intently to the steps, following their sounds. They stopped at his room, and the door opened. Fives rolled over, seeing his father in the doorway.

"I'm sorry for punching the kid." he started off with.

"I'm still mad at you but you have to come to me with things like." Jango said, "I want to help you."

Fives stood up and went to his father. They gave each other a quick hug, pulling away.

"Alright, let's go get the kiddo out of his room." Fives smiled and followed Jango out of the room. He knew they would be okay.

Notes:

Yay chapter one is done! This one is a quicky but the others should be longer.
What do you think?

Chapter 2: Chapter 2- Echo Sick

Summary:

Echo get's sick but still goes to school.

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

During dinner at the Fett house, the twins, Boil and Waxer, were arguing about what universe was better, Marvel or DC.

"Dude, how could you say Marvel's better?! We have Batman!" Waxer yelled across the table.

"We have Captain America," Boil rebutted.

"We have the Flash!"

"We have Spider-man!"

The others just watched the conversation with amusem*nt, like it was a tennis match. It just kept going back and forth.

"We have a bad-ass amazon!"

"Well, then we have a bad-ass Red Room assassin!"

"Okay, we've got Henry Cavil, beat that," Waxer explained, laying down his final reason. Boil began to laugh darkly and stood up out of his chair. All eyes turned to him. He put his hands on the table, staring down his twin.

"We've got Robert, Downey, f*cking Jr."

Everyone broke down in laughter except for Waxer.

"That, is so unfair."

"Yeah, it is," Cody said with tears of laughter in his eyes.

"Who's side are you on, Cody?" Waxer asked, fake hurt visible in his face.

A phone ringing brought everyone back to the present. Still chuckling, they started to eat dinner again.

"Sorry boys gotta take this," Jango apologized, standing up from the table.

"It's okay," Wolffe said, sticking his fork in his mouth. Everyone quieted down, having small talk pass between them. They were able to hear some of the conversation their father was having.

"Is it a must? I mean I just did this two months ago. Can't you send someone else?"

They knew he was talking to someone from work. Jango is a bounty hunter for a bail bonds company, he usually worked in the area but sometimes he had to go assist another company.

'That's probably why he's not happy.' Bly thought to himself.

Jango continued to negotiate with the person on the other line.

"Alright alright, I'll go. I'll head there tomorrow."

Jango put his phone back in his pocket and sat back down. He waited a couple of minutes, silently eating.

"So boys," he stated, "I have to leave for a week. I'm trusting you six to keep your brothers alive." he looked to the six oldest. They nodded in understanding.

After dinner, they all settled on the couch as Boil picked a movie.

"I think, in honor of me winning the debate we should watch the 'Avengers'."

Halfway through the movie, Echo started to feel sick. His stomach was flipping, making him feel nauseous. He leaned closer to Fives, laying his head on his shoulder. Fives gave him a look, then noticed that Echo looked like he was in pain.

"You okay?" Fives whispered. Echo nodded, not feeling like talking. Fives moved so they were both comfortable.

The movie ended, and Jango sent the high school boys up to bed, saying they should've been in bed an hour ago.

Echo's P.O.V

I woke up to mine and Fives' alarm blaring in my ear. I quickly shut it off, groaning in pain. I still had the same dull pain in my stomach from last night.

'Today is going to suck,' I thought to myself. I got dressed, and my clothes consisted of black joggers and a normal t-shirt. I went into the bathroom to freshen up, and when I came back out Fives was still in bed. I walked over to him and took the covers right off of him.

Fives gave me an incoherent mumble slowly standing. I gave him a small pat as encouragement, seeing as I had no encouragement myself.I softly padded downstairs, after grabbing my backpack.

All of my older brothers were awake and in either the kitchen or living room. I shivered as I walked across the cold floor, heading towards the fridge. I grabbed the milk and Lucky Charms from the kitchen counter, heading for the dining room to sit down. Kix placed a bowl in front of me, then bestowed me with a concerned glance.

I waved him off, "I'm fine, just tired."

I almost thought he didn't believe me but he walked away, walking up the stairs.

Tup came down next, brushing his black hair with his fingers. He did the same as me but he filled his bowl all the way up, while mine has not even half full. Comet quickly followed.

Not even five minutes before we had to leave for the bus, my twin had only just got out of bed.

"Come on Fives, even the twins were ready before," Rex stated as Fives ran down the stair to catch up with us.

Fives, Tup, Waxer, Boil, Comet, and I started walking to the bus when Fives took a sideways glance at me.

"Echo are you okay?" he asked softly. I nodded, "I'm okay, just a headache."

But as we were walking into school I knew I should have told him the truth. My head was pounding in my skull and my stomach was flipping, but it was too late to turn back now.

First, second, and third periods went by with minimal pain but we still had four more periods to go. When I got to class I placed mt head in the desk. History was the class that Tup and I shared. My desk was in the back so the teacher couldn't see me and I had an A in this class so I was good.

I felt a comforting hand on my back, and I knew it was Tup. I turned my head to look at Tup who was eye-level with me.

"You don't feel good, do youEyayah?" he asked gently.

"No," I answered quietly. He opened his mouth to say something but was cut off by the teacher.

Alright ladies and gentlemen, no talking. We are going to watch a video and you are going to take notes." as she finished a collective groan went across the room, but my classmates took out a pencil and a piece of paper. Tup pulled his desk closer to mine ad put a piece of paper in front of me but ordered me not to use it.

"Fall asleep if you need to."

Tup's P.O.V

Echo was sleeping for five minutes before there was an explosion in the video and I barely heard him whimper. I leaned as close as I could. I waited for another bomb to go off before saying, "Shhhhhh, shhhhhh, you're okay Echo."

The rest of the period went by very slow and then God had mercy on us and the bell rang. I shot up in my chair, being ready to leave ten minutes ago. Echo slowly stood, wincing in pain. It was funny but I felt really bad for him. Echo and I had lunch together also only because on Wednesdays we had this weird-ass schedule, so Echo and Fives didn't have lunch together, Echo and I did.

"Echo," I got his attention, "do you want me to call home?" He nodded pitifully, not lifting his up from the table.

I took out my phone and hit Rex's contact.

"Hey Tup, what's up."Rex greeted me when he answered.

"Hey, Echo doesn't feel good. You need to come to pick him up."

"Okay, is the Blair Witch still alive?"

I laughed at his question. Blair was our evil receptionist, that has been in our school for years. She hated my five oldest brothers for some reason. "Yeah, so bring your I.D. Bye Rex." I hung up the call and turned to Echo.

"Alright, let's go to the nurse.

No one's P.O.V

Tup and Echo arrived at the nurse's office and opened the door. A young woman, maybe late twenties, smiled at the pair, "How can I help boys."

Tup smiled back, "My brother doesn't feel good and our older brothers are picking him up soon" She nodded while she was writing something on a sticky-note and looked up once she was done. "I'm Tup, and this is Echo."

"Here is your pass Tup, and you can take Echo back to one of the beds, then you can head back to class," she said sweetly.

"Thank you," Tup started to steer Echo to one of the beds. Once they reach the back, Echo turned around and hugged him. "Aww, you're so cute when you're sick," Tup cooed, stroking Echo's dark hair. Echo muttered into his chest

"Shut up."

Rex's P.O.V

I ended the call with Tup and called for my other brothers.

"Echo's sick!"

Wolffe and Jesse came down the stairs, and Cody, Bly, and Ponds stayed seated on the couch.

"Is he okay?" Wolffe asked, worried.

"Yeah, Tup said he's not doing too great and we need to pick him up."

I grabbed my keys out of the bowl where we put all of our keys.

"Alright, let's go, Cody," I said slipping my shoes on.

"Wait, why do I have to go," Cody asked me.

"Because you love Echo, and we all drank, even though Jesse isn't old enough, and you didn't" I laughed at Cody's expression, "You're the designated driver."

"Fine fine, don't do anything stupid you four," he warned the others in the living room.

"Aye aye commander."

Cody pulled up to the school and got out of the truck. It was a long drive and I don't know how our brothers do it every day.

"Well they do walk halfway then get on a bus that they shouldn't be on, but at least they get to school," Cody said after I complained.

We walked into the office and came face-to-face with the Blair Witch herself.

"Oh it's a demon from hell, whaddaya want?" she spat with venom. She had a New York accent that reminded me of the receptionist from Ghostbusters. I snorted back, "Nice to see you too, we're here to pick up our brother.

"Which one?" she questioned, knowing there were multiple of us.

"Echo. He should be in the nurse's office." I answered.

"I.D.s," she held her hand out. Cody and I both took out our licenses.

"I'll call him down," she told us after scanning the card.

Echo came into the office with the nurse, I guess, a few minutes later, and the kid looked tired.

"HeyEyayah," Cody said softly, taking his backpack from the nurse.

"Hey Codes," he replied equally as quiet.

"Let's go kiddo," I told both of them motioning towards the door. We walked out the front doors when Echo let out a loud whimper, as the sun did not help his obvious migraine. "Here, put your head on my shoulder," I offered and he took it. He placed his head face down and I wrapped my arm around his waist to help guide him.

I got in the back seat of the truck, laid Echo down on my lap, and ran my fingers through his dark hair. Echo fell asleep in the first 15 minutes.

Fifteen minutes later, we arrived home but I didn't want to wake Echo up, so I cradled him to my chest and carried him inside. Cody gently closed the door behind us and walked into the kitchen to most likely grab a thermometer. Everyone made space on the big-ass couch we have in the living room. I laid Echo down on the couch and put a pillow under his head.

Cody came back in with the white stick in his hand. He rubbed Echo's arm in a means to wake him up. Echo slowly opened his eyes. And I'm not going to lie, it was kind of adorable. "Open up," Cody commanded softly. Echo closed his eyes and opened his mouth, allowing Cody to slip it under his tongue. We all waited for the thermometer to beep.

The beep went off and Cody pulled it out, "102.7, ouch that's bad Echo." Cody stated out loud, rubbing Echo's back soothingly

No one's P.O.V

Everyone who was standing sat down. Wolffe moved Echo so his head rested in his lap, with his hand underneath his younger brother's head. Wolffe smiled as Echo nuzzled his hand.

"Aww, Wolffe has a heart everyone," the boys teased Wolffe. "I will bite you, Jess'" he threatened.

Ponds turned on the T.V. but turned the volume down. The teenagers came home at 3:02 and saw Echo on top of Wolffe.

"Every time Kix is at work something goes wrong," Comet stated throwing his arms in the air.

"Eyayah, I hate to say it, but I told you so," Fives said in a sing-song voice.

"What do you meanRayshe'a?"

"Well, when I asked him earlier, he said he was fine." Fives shrugged

"What?!" the five oldest said in surprise. Echo just groaned at his twin. "Way to rat me out youosik'ika."

"We'll deal with this later, right now, y'all need to do your homework.

Jango came back four days later, happy to be back.

"So Echo, are you feeling better?" Jango asked at dinner.

Echo dropped his fork, "Who told him?" Echo yelled.

Fives wouldn't make eye contact.

"Youosik'ika! That's twice!" Everyone chuckled into their food.

Notes:

Sorry, that took so long. If you want to, go check out my other collection one-shots.

What do you think?

Eyayah-Echo

Rayshe'a-Five

Ika-suffix meaning little (ex: Tup'ika=little Tup)

Osik-sh*t

Chapter 3: Chapter 3- MCL tear/ Dislocated Knee

Summary:

Comet hurts his knee in a dirk bike accident.

Note: I'm sorry if you don't understand anything about the dirt bike talk in this chapter.

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

'Clutch in, shift to third, clutch out,' Comet thought to himself as he neared the bull turn (complete 180 turn). Most of his brothers and himself rode dirt bikes. They went to races, the older boys didn't race anymore but they still rode. Tup, Comet, Fives, Echo, Waxer, and Boil all raced, but some of them were in different groups. They were currently in a local race, Comet was racing with Boil and Waxer but both of them got bad starts. He stuck to the inside and heard the rev of someone else's engine.

Comet's P.O.V

Whoever revved their engine did not seem happy. I quickly took a look over my shoulder to look at the person and I saw him giving me a not-so-nice gesture. In return I tossed my arm up in the air, confused about why he was mad. Sure, we are racing but you don't have to be rude. I shook my head and continued to ride to the finish line. The dude behind me flew past me into the pits. I rolled my eyes under my helmet and waited for the twins to cross the line.

They crossed the line and made their way towards me. We all high-fived each other and rode to the pits. All of us got pats on the back as we took off our helmets.

"Hey what was that kid's on the Yamaha problem?" Cody asked the others nodded also, wanting to know also.

I shrugged, "Probably pissed I cut him off in the turn." I didn't really know myself. I just hoped it was the last time I saw him.

No one's P.O.V

A couple of weeks later, all of the teenagers managed to make it to nationals. Little did they know they would be racing in front of the professional Supercross riders.

"Hey boys, guess who's in the stands," Jango said with a grin, pointing towards the V.I.P section. Since it was a national race they got to ride in a Supercross/football area.

"No, you're joking, the team managers are here also!" Tup said in disbelief.

"Well. Let's not screw up today boys, eh?" Fives responded, going back to tuning up his bike.

Tup was the first to race. He got an amazing jump out of the gate and pulled away from everyone else. He whipped over the finish line in first. Fives and Echo were next to ride Fives buried in the pack but managed to get second while Echo got first. Next up were Comet, Waxer, and Boil who headed up to the gate.

Comet's P.O.V

While I was sitting on my bike at the starting gate, and I suddenly realized how many people were watching. My nerves were not sky high but it was enough to get me pumped. The thirty-second board came up and out of the corner of my eye, I saw the same kid from the local race who was pissed at me.

'Oh boy, hereeeee we go.' I thought to myself, getting into position.

Three... two... one. I let my clutch out and at the turn, I got the holeshot into first. I was in the front and just cruising before I heard someone come up behind me.

'So Mr. Flick-me-off finally caught up. I chuckled to myself, seeing who was behind me. He started getting more and more aggressive as time went on and sooner than later, we were bar-to-bar. I could hear the crowd going crazy in the stands. I thought I had lost him but I saw him getting closer to me before we went over a jump.

In the next jump sequence, he did something no rider should do. He whipped the bike sideways, crashing his bike into mine. I got out of shape in the air and bailed off the bike. Everything slowed down as I flailed in the air, failing fast towards the ground. I struck the ground. White-hot pain shot through my leg like a bullet. I laid there, breathing heavily, gripping my right leg.

'It's fine. The pain will go away.' I repeated to myself as people started making their way towards me.

The pain did not go away, if anything, the pain was increasing. The medical team was soon all around me with the medical flag out.

"Alright, where are you in pain kid?!" one of them yelled at me over the noise, keeping my head straight.

"Left knee!" I yelled back so he could hear me. I overheard the others taking but only snippets, seeing as I felt like I was blacking out.

"Completely uncalled for..."

"-Illegal..."

"-disqualified."

The medic tusked, "You dislocated your knee, and I'm pretty sure you tore a ligament. Alright, pull out the red flag, we can't get him out while they're riding." He directed the others. Next thing I knew I was being laid down on the ATV where I'm guessing, they would take me to the medical unit.

Unfortunately, the ATV went over a divot and jostled my knee, causing me to yelp in pain. The nice man (I think) next to me said, "Sorry kid, do you want me to hold it still?"

"Please," I said much quieter know that we were off the track away from everyone else. He gently gripped my knee, holding it still. My eyes snapped open, I hadn't realized I was so tired.

"Try to stay awake, I know you're probably tired and just want to sleep but I have to keep you awake." he softly ordered. We arrived at the medical unit were two medical technicians were standing outside near the door. Once we stopped moving, the two standing near the door sat me up. I groaned in pain at being moved.

"What's up with him?"

"Dislocated knee, and I'm guessing a ligament tear. I don't think it's his ACL."

One of them nodded and looked at the back of my jersey.

"Wait, you're a Fett?" he asked. I nodded slowly, not understanding where this conversation was going.

"I helped your brother once. Is your dad here?"

I nodded again, not really up for speaking. The man walked away into the pits, looking for my dad. The two other men continued to talk and I tried to not burst into tears. I was in so much pain, I would be fine if I passed out. They brought me into the trailer and laid me on an exam table. They helped me take off my riding pants and gave me a pair of sweatpants.

"So can you explain what happened to me?" The doctor asked, getting a piece of paper and a pen out. I explained that the idiot crashed into me and I hit the ground hard. "And when I landed I heard a pop."

He nodded along the whole time. He wrote down a few more notes before tossing the papers on a desk in the same room.

"So the pop you heardwas your knee, but I'm guessing you already knew that though. So were going to wait for your dad to get here, then I going to have to see if there is any other damage."

Jango's P.O.V

I saw Comet hit the ground. Really hard. The boys beside me were furious.

"What the hell kind of move was that?!" Wolffe exclaimed. The rest of them jumped into the conversation except for my youngest. He looked like he was in deep thought.

"Wait, guys listen." I laughed to myself as everyone shut up, "I think that was the kid that gave him the finger."

"Yeah, it is."

We saw as the medical flag was pulled out. "Oh no," Waxer said in despair.

"Dad, are you okay? You're quiet." Jesse asked me, concern laced in his voice. I guess he was worried I would do something again that I would later regret and have to either go to jail or back into the marine corps (But that's a story for another day).

"Yeah, just pissed." I shrugged, giving his shoulder a reassuring squeeze.

"I hope he's okay," Tup said fearfully. And right as he finished that thought, we saw the red flag come out, signaling the racers must stop riding. "Oh god."

Rex and Cody went over to him and pulled him into a hug. The medical cart came along and went to the medical trailer, but not before the arrived there, we heard Comet yell n pain. We all looked at each other, sympathy in all of our gaze. We waited around for a few minutes then we saw someone from the medical team come over.

"Hey Fett, you want to go to your son?" he asked but I guess he already knew the answer, I nodded yes.

"Boy's, take care of Tup." We walked to the place where Comet was. When we got there the team member pulled open the door and we stepping in. While we were waiting Comet was able to get out of his riding pants and into grey sweatpants. His face was screwed in pain, trying hard to not look at his knee. I couldn't see it because of the pants but I'm guessing it didn't look good.

"So I checked Comet for a concussion, there's also no back or neck injuries, it's just all the knee. So dad," he got my attention to make sure I was listening.

"He has a dislocated knee and there is something else going on in the knee but I am not sure what yet, but I going to figure it out in a minute. I'm hypothesizing that it's a torn ligament but it's hard to tell. Now, I hate to tell you this Comet but I have to pop your knee back in," the doctor finished with a sad smile.

Comet's eyes widened in fear, "No no no no please no," he begged.

"I'm really sorry Comet." the doctor said moving to the other side of the table.

"Dad please no," my sixteen-year-old pleaded with me. He looked me with heartbroken gold eyes.

"Why do you got to look at me like theCom'ika," I sighed ran my fingers through his jet black hair.

"Comet do you want a minute?" the man asked kindly. Comet nodded slightly. The man walked out of the trailer giving us some privacy. I help Comet swing his leg over the edge of the table and he wrapping his arms around my neck.

"AwCom'ika, it's okay. it will be over in a few seconds, what's with the tears," I cooed in his ear, rubbing his back in a spiral motion.

"It's going to hurt, and I'm already in pain." he whimpered.

"Shhhh, shhhh, I'm right here. I'm not leaving." I comforted him for another two minutes. When the doctor came back in Comet whimpered slightly and hide his face in my neck.

"Alright kiddo, let's get this over with so we can go home," I said out loud, shifting the teen so he was laying back down.

"If it makes you feel better, the Supercross riders came and asked if you were okay." the older man said with a smile. I knelt down to be eye level with him.

"Alright Comet, breath in... and out." the doctor meet eyes with me and I nodded back. I softly cupped Comet's head and tilted his head so he wouldn't look. "In... out. In... out."

He snapped Comet's knee back in place. Comet squeezed his eyes shut, trying not to scream. His eye's filled with tears, but he was okay. The doctor let him settle down for a while, he still had to see the other damage.

"Okay, when you landed, do you remember what direction you fell on it?" Comet thought for a moment before nodding.

"Yes, I landed on it fine but then it went to the side and that's when it started to hurt."

The doctor gently gripped his knee, pressing in places, having Comet say when it hurt.

"It's not your ACL, it looks like it's the MCL, but I would have him get an MRI just to make sure."

"Will do."

Comet's P.O.V

Dad called the boys saying he was going to take Comet to the hospital and the others should wait at home. At the hospital, they took an x-ray and saw that my knee was relocated correctly. The MRI gave different results.

We were currently in an examination room waiting for the results. I was leaning against dad, all of my energy and adrenaline was gone from my body. There was a knock on the door and my doctor entered with a brae.

"Comet, your x-ray was fine as you already know. But your MRI showed that you have a torn MCL." the feeling of dread filled my entire being.

"Now the good news about that is that you won't have to get surgery, MCL can completely heal on their own. You'll have to keep weight off of it and wear a brace for six to eight weeks and do physical therapy." he handed me the brace and brought in a pair of crutches and told us we could leave whenever we wanted. I threw on the brace and dad opened the door.

We pulled into the driveway of the house, I sighed and got out of the car. My brothers didn't exactly know what the verdict was, we had kept our phones off the whole time. We walked through the doorway of the front door and I was meet by the sight of all my brothers on the couch. They gave me sympathetic and equally shocked gazes.

"Heyvod'ika. Guessing it didn't go well." Wolffe spoke. I gave him a half-smile and responded, "Kinda, I don't need surgery at least."

Tup jumped out of his seat and pulled me into a soft hug. I was surprised until he whispered in my ear, "Don'tever do that to me again."

I mentally 'awed' at my younger brother and instead wrapped one of my arms around him. I pulled away and turned to my father, "Dad, I'm tired, can you carry me, please?" I asked with a smirk that got everyone to laugh, they all knew I was milking it.

"Yeah yeah," he rolled his eyes and picked me up while Kix took my crutches.

Eight weeks later Comet could walk completely fine and started to go to physical therapy and was able to ride a month later. And in his first race back he beat the kid that screwed him over in the first place.

Notes:

I am very late with this chapter, hopefully, this is the last time I do this. If you have questions feel free to ask them, I know this was a little confusing, or you could use your best friend, google.

What do you think? Requests?

ika-suffix added to mean little (ex: Tup'ika=little Tup)

Chapter 4: Chapter 4- Car Crash

Summary:

Eight of the boys get into a car crash.

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

It was a normal Friday night, spring break had started the same day. Everyone was happy so most of them went out while the others were with friends. Jango allowed them as long as the driver didn't drink. They all listened to him and didn't drink, but the night still took a turn for the worst.

Ponds, Bly, Rex, Cody, Wolffe, Boil, Tup, and Comet were all in the car. Wolffe was driving with Cody in shotgun, Bly, Tup, and Boil in the next row, and finally Rex, Ponds, and Comet in the next. They were alone on the highway, going about eighty, except for a few other cars on the road. They notice a truck start to drift.

Boil's P.O.V

The truck next to us started to drift slightly into our lane.

"Well someone's been hitting the happy juice," Bly joked and all of us laughed but Tup started fidgeting with his bracelet. I frowned at his nervousness so I patted his shoulder and gave him a smile. We watched as the driver drifted, even more, causing Wolffe to turn to the right slightly.

"Jesus Wolffe, go around him or something," Comet suggested, and I detected a small amount of fear in his voice. Wolffe looked at him through the rearview mirror, "Don't be a back seat driver Comet."

Tup pulled the band back and let it hit his wrist, resulting in a snap. I looked to my left at the sound and I took his hand, stopping his movement.

But our moment was broken. By the truck, hitting us. The car flipped. And flipped. And flipped. While we were flipping and being thrown around, I threw an arm in front of Tup. Then I felt something crash against my side, and I blacked out.

Rex's P.O.V

The truck hit us. The truck actually hit us. The car stopped flipping. I and a few others managed to climb out. I helped Tup out of the totaled car, and his wrist was at a weird angle and he started to shake when he saw it. "Don't look at it okay? Don't," I commanded.

He nodded then looked around, "Where's Boil?"

Good question.

I looked around and my eyes fell to a body underneath the car, which was Boil. I also saw a pool of blood under him. "Someone give me a hand here," I called for my brothers. Wolffe, Bly, Ponds, and Comet came next to me.

"Alright Comet, you're going to grab him, everyone else is going to lift," I ordered taking control. They all nodded and moved into position.

"One, two, three!"

The car squeaked and groaned. "Comet!" He reached for Boil and dragged him away. As soon as we saw that Boil was away we dropped the car and heard a pop.

"Damn it," Wolffe yelled in pain, clutching his shoulder.

"Wolffe, what happened? Was that pop you," Bly asked making his way to Wolffe. Wolffe placed his head on Bly's shoulder.

"Yeah it was me, my shoulder popped out of place," he explained painfully. My older brother looked like he wasn't going to move for a while so I went to check on everyone else. I heard the sound of someone throwing up and it was Comet.

"Aw Comet," I said pitifully as I rubbed circles on his back. He eventually stopped heaving and caught his breath. I patted his back and walked towards the others. I made my way to Cody who didn't look very good. He had a gash right next to his left eye and he may have had I concussion but other than that he looked okay, or as well as he could.

"You okay, Codes," I asked softly. He gave me a small thumbs-up, "Just don't fall asleep on me ori'vod."

Tup was a very different story. He had his head on his knee, arms wrapped around his shins, and was rocking back and forth. I rushed over as fast as I could.

Tup's P.O.V

'We're going to die, we're going to die, Boil's gonna die, Cody's gonna die, we're gonna,' someone interrupted my mental rambling by grabbing my face gently but firmly.

"Tup, we're going to be fine, it's okay," Rex's soft voice broke through to me. I don't know how it happened but I ended up mostly in Rex's lap. I felt so tired but I knew I couldn't fall asleep so my solution was to slump against my brother. At that moment I realized how much pain I was in and it was coming from my arm. I had to forcefully hold back a scream but I started crying (more like sobbing). Rex asked what was wrong and I pointed to my arm.

"Don't look at it," he repeated. I nodded tearfully and still cried as he rocked both of us side-to-side.

Pond's P.O.V

Four of us were down-and-out and we needed help. I'm pretty sure the other driver was dead or passed out because he hadn't come out of his truck.

'Oh well,' I thought in anger, 'It was his fault in the first place.'

Reality began to set in; we were in the middle of the highway with no other cars passing. I patted my pockets, searching for my phone. When I pulled it out the whole screen was shattered, and I couldn't turn it on. "

"Anyone got a phone," I asked and got a lot of no's as my answer, but Wolffe said something to Bly. Bly reached in the side pocket of Wolffe's jacket, revealing his phone. Bly handed it to me.

"How the heck did itnot shatter," Wolffe shrugged at my question, placing his head back on Bly's shoulder. I dialed 911, praying to God that the phone wouldn't die.

"911 what's your emergency," the operator asked.

"My brothers and I got into a crash in the middle of the highway," I told him.

"Okay, sir do you know your location," that question broke me, I had no idea.

"Do we know where we are?"

"No fricking clue."

"No," I told the man.

"That's fine, we can trace the phone, can I have the name the phone is under?"

"Wolffe Fett," I said and also spelled it for him.

"Great. Now next question, are any of you hurt."

"Yes, four. Uh well, kind of four," I messy answered while running a hand through my hair. "Can you explain?"

I cursed lightly at his question, "Well one has a dislocated shoulder. Another had a head injury, he has a gash near his eye. The third has a broken wrist and a concussion and the last," my voice broke, "the last is barely breathing and I don't know what else."

The events of the night caught up with me and I began to openly cry. The operator heard, "Now this is going to sound stupid but you've gotta calm down so you can still talk to me," he gently told me. I took a few deep breaths and collected myself.

"I have discharged four ambulance's, is there any more information that you could tell us?"

I nodded but then remembered he can't see me, "The one with the broken arm has anxiety and PTS, and another who isn't harmed had ADHD. Our father, his name is Jango Fett. That's about it." I heard a conversation on the other end of the line, most likely he was relaying the information to him.

"We will notify your dad. Now I want you to stay on the line until the police and ETMs arrive okay," he told me, "You don't have to talk, just keep your phone in your pocket."

I slipped Wolffe's phone in my pocket and sat where I stood. I started to cry again, sobs seeping out of my mouth. I was startled when I felt arms bring me to their chest and they placed their lips on my head and kept them there. I continued to cry into one of my brother's chest even when we heard the sirens in the distance. The owner of the arms pulled back, kissed my forehead, and pulled me to my feet.

The ones that weren't hurt, including myself moved out of the way. Comet passed out suddenly but the paramedics were there so we weren't too concerned. They popped Wolffe's shoulder back in after seeing him leaning on Bly in pain. The police took us to the hospital.

We were in the waiting room when the rest of our family came through the doors. They all hugged us tightly, and we waiting for the doctor.

Waxer's P.O.V

The doctor came to meet us, and tell us what's wrong. He told us that Cody, Comet, and Tup were stable and Tup panicked a little, but he didn't say anything about Boil.

"Now Boil," he sighed. I reached out and grabbed the closest hand to mine, which turned out to be Dad's, "There is not much we can possibly do unless he wakes up. He had a punctured lung, broken ribs, and internal bleeding. He is alive because of the machine."

At least he was apologetic but I still didn't want to believe.

'My twin is practically dead. Why why why, why God, why,' I mentally screamed. I took a shaking breath.

"Can I see him? Please," I requested, shocking my father and brothers because I never say please. He saw the agony on my face and nodded, motioning for me to follow him. He led me down a long hall to my brother's room, more like his death bed.

"Now, I want you to understand, we are not pulling the plug. There is still a chance that he will wake up," the doc spelled out for me, all I could do was nod. He left to go somewhere else and I slowly reached for the handle. I walked into the room, grabbed a chair, and brought it over to the bed.

I stared at my twin for minutes or hours before I spoke.

"Alright, listen here, youdi'kut,and you listen real good. You can't die, not like this. If you die, I'll kick your ass in the afterlife, you got that?" I paused.

"You can't leave us. You can't leaveme," tears fell out of my eyes, "You can't leave me. Please, please don't leave me." I sobbed into his chest, repeating what I had last said. My sobs stopped when I felt a hand run through my hair. My head snapped up to see my twin's eyes open.

"I sobbed even harder because he wasn't dead. "Shhh, shhh I'm okay, I'm okay," he soothed, "I'm right here, I'm not going anywhere." I didn't care if I looked like a mess. All that mattered was that my brother was okay

Notes:

So sorry that took me so long. I highly doubt anything in this chapter is medically correct.

What do you think? Requests?

Ori'vod-older brother

Di'kut-idiot

Chapter 5: Chapter 5-Blood

Summary:

Self harm warning

Please please don’t not read if this topic triggers you.

Ages are bumped up about one year

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

Tup, the youngest of the Fett', struggles with anxiety and PTSD. Having those two disorders makes a toxic equation which will lead to having depression. The depression only comes in rare periods and the other people in the house caught on. Most of the time. He has a therapist but he hasn't seen him in a while.

But Tup is very good at hiding things so sometimes he tells his family he's fine when he really isn't. So when Tup woke up one morning with a pit forming in his stomach, he told himself his brothers were never going to find out, or so he thought.

It was Monday, so Tup's day had already taken a turn for the worst. He slowly got dressed, throwing on a hoodie, not ready to face the world. He looked to his left, seeing Comet's bed empty. He heard a conversation from downstairs.

'They don't care about you,' a small, very random, thought crossed his mind. Tup stopped in his tracks, right before the door. 'What the hell?' he did a double-take, but brushed it off. As he walked down the wood stairs, their voices got louder and he could actually hear what they were saying.

Comet was the first who noticed him, "Rise and shine, sleeping beauty." Tup rolled his eyes and lightly smacked Comet upside the head, lovingly of course. He caught the apple that came flying at him, that Bly tossed to him, and took a bite into it. Small conversations went around the table, they were very random topics and oddly Tup didn't engage in any of them.

Jango came down the stairs, watching them interact with a small grin on his face. But it faltered when he looked to his youngest, who was staring at the table, not talking. He looked to Wolffe who had a similar look on his face. He asked the silent questionwhat's up with him.Wolffe shrugged, equally as concerned.

Comet looked at Tup, giving him an up-and-down look. He rested a hesitate hand on his shoulder, giving a gentle squeeze.

"Are you okay Tup," he asked in a low tone. Tup nodded looking Comet quickly in the eye then quickly looking away.

'No way in effing hell he's fine,' the second youngest yelled in his head.

"Alright time to go to hell," Fives announced, seeing the time. Tup grabbed his backpack by feet. He pulled half of his hair into a messy bun and walked out the door with the rest of his brothers, Fives slinging an am around him.

As soon as the youngest of them left everyone's demeanor changed. Their expressions were grim, they saw the obvious change in Tup.

"I think something's wrong with Tup," Bly stated. Wolffe responded to him, "No sh*t."

They began to brainstorm all the possibilities of why he would be acting that way but they were all dead ends. None of their ideas made sense.

”Is it a possibility,” Cody started, being practical, “that we are just being overprotective.” Everyone went silent, staring at Cody, who’s palms were facing upwards.

“What the fu-“

”Really-"

“Are you being-“

All their words overlapped each other. It was safe to say Cody surrendered.

Tup’s P.O.V

The walk to school was pretty horrendous. I could not stop the thoughts that were coming to me

You’re worthless.”

”You are a burden to your brothers.”

”Your father willnever love you like the others.”

Those were just to name a few.

”Tup,” Comet called from my left. I blinked realizing he was trying to talk to me.

“Huh, what?” I asked raising my eyebrows. The others were all looking at me, seemingly worried. I was so wrapped in my thoughts I didn’t notice them try to talk and get my attention.

”Are you okay,” Fives asked, forehead creased.

”Yeah, I’m fine,” I answered most likely too quickly. I turned to look at my shoes but I could feel their eyes on me

Echo and I walked into fourth-period history. Surprisingly we weren’t doing anything of importance. I laid my head down on my desk, purposely being ignorant to Echo’s concerned gaze.

We were watching a video but we didn’t have to take notes, so I spaced out.

Ms. Sendak, our teacher, stood up from her desk. I pressed my face harder in my arms, praying she wasn’t coming to my desk. Luck was not on my side that day.

She placed a hand on my crossed arm, kneeling down to my eye level. I slowly turned my head towards her.

Ms. Sendak is a strict teacher but she knew how to be a good teacher. She had blond hair to the middle of her chest that was pulled up into a ponytail. She had sky blue eyes and was in her late-twenties. She gave me a concerned look.

”Tup, is something wrong?” She whispered in a rare motherly voice. I shook my head even though there were tears in my eyes.

”Do you want to talk to me, Mrs. Kelly, or anyone?”

”No thank you.”

I could see that she reluctantly nodded, “Do you want to get some water?”

I stood up and walked outside, but not before Echo grasped my hand and squeezed it as I walked by.

I went to a water fountain and saw my friend Axel walking through the halls. He stopped in the middle of the halls.

I saw out of my peripheral view him making his way towards me. I swallowed a mouth full of water.

”You want to talk?” Axel knew about my anxiety, being one of my only friends who knew. He was one of the kindest people I know even if he was a bit of a flirt at times. We’re both gay but a relationship never seemed in the picture for us.

”Not really.”

“Okay, I’ll let you get make to class. Text me if you need anything, even though I know you can take care of yourself.”

The bell rang signaling the end of the class. We now had lunch, great. I did the same thing I did in class. And I know my brothers were watching my every move but I didn’t care at that point.

There was an unexplainable pit in my stomach and I couldn’t get rid of it. I felt my chest start to tighten and tears spring into my eyes. I tucked my face into my arms, the tears falling fast.

”Shhhh, you have to breathevod’ika,” Fives told me and I whimpered in response.

”Are you having an attack,” he asked, concern bleeding into his voice. My throat and chest were so tight and I couldn’t speak so I nodded, telling the truth.

Fives swiftly picked me up and carried me out of the cafeteria, with the other five, following behind. Fives pace was so fast and I couldn’t really tell where we were until he stopped and placed me down.

Comet’s P.O.V

Tup leaned his head against the wall sobbing. My brothers and I stood around, looking lost, not knowing what to do. Only our oldest brothers and Jango knew how to deal with his panic attacks. I had a slight idea of how to help him but I don’t know if it’s right.

’You know what, screw it.’

I knelt in front of my trembling brother and cupped his face with my hands, being as gentle as I possibly could. I felt my heart being crushed as he looked into my eyes. I tried to not show my emotions on my face as I comforted our youngest brother.

I fully sat down on the floor and tugged his body to mine. He landed on my front, his own chest heaving.

”Shhh, I’m here Tup’ika, I’m here,” I cooed in his ear.

”Hey! What are you all doing in the halls?! Get to class!” a distant voice called, a teacher. Tup jumped in my arms, startled by the harsh voice.

None of us obeyed.

”What did I just tell you?! Get off the floor,” she repeated but took a step back seeing as Waxer, Boil, Echo, Fives, and I glared at her.

”Waxer, could you call dad, please,” I calmly asked the twin but still glared down the woman.

”With pleasure.”

No one’s P.O.V

Jango came to pick up Tup. The teenager was sitting in the office with a backpack resting at his feet, eyes glued to the floor.

Jango kept shooting glances at Tup while signing his signature to allow Tup to leave.

”Come on, kiddo,” he spoke softly. Tup didn’t respond but picked up his backpack.

Tup slipped into the front seat of the car, turning his gaze to his wrist where his bracelet lies.

Jango didn’t say a word, he just drove. Tup pulled the band back and let it go, hitting his wrist.

They pulled up to the house, Jango stopped the car. Tup was to the front door by the time Jango was only just out of the car. Tup turned the knob very quickly, stepping into the house.

The other seven brothers were shocked to see their youngest home. They all somewhat stopped what they were doing to look at each other. “Tup, is everything okay?” A concerned Kix spoke.

The young teen didn’t answer, he just walked upstairs and locked the door. Jango walked in after hours, collapsing on the couch onto the couch. The others looked back upstairs and saw nothing but the empty hallway.

”What’s up with him,” Wolffe asked gruffly. Jango sighed and dragged a hand through his hair.

”He had a panic attack at school. So Waxer called me to ask to pick him and he said nothing the while way home. He just stared at his hands and snapped his bracelet,” the others were slightly stunned by the end, the Tup they knew was very rarely quiet-even after a panic attack.

”Dinner’s ready!” Kix yelled upstairs. Comet was already downstairs, giving Tup some space. The others came down, including Tup. The only reason Tup came down was because of the fact that one of his brothers or father would come to get him anyway.

Everyone was already down, starting conversation already. Tup nudged his food with his fork, not interested in eating.

Six minutes in Tup hadn’t eaten a single bite of food. He looked up at a tap in his foot. Kix gave him a pointed, ETM/med school student, look. Tup put the fork in mouth, knowing better than to argue with his brother. He took a few more bites.

”May I be excused?” He muttered. Jango sighed looking at his youngest son deeply.

Tup made eye contact with him, for the first time that day. Honey eyes met very similar ones. Jango’s heart almost stopped at the look in his eyes.

”Yes.”

Tup’s P.O.V

I can hear them talking downstairs, not worrying about me. They didn’t come to check on me, which stung a little, they just carried on with their day.

Comet didn’t come into our room after school, obviously giving me space but it still hurt. All the thoughts and scenarios came crashing back.

I couldn’t take it.

I found my “pocket” knife that I threw on the floor a few days ago. I looked at the shinning blade and stopped to think.

’Do I really want to do this? Right now?’

A moment went by. What would Rex think? What would Kix say? What would Jango do?

I bring the blade down on the tan skin of my forearms and push down.

And I push down again.

And again.

Before I knew it my arm was covered in blood. I panicked, ‘God damnit.’

Tears came to my eyes again and my hair covered my face. I just wanted everything to stop.

I felt the blood seep out of my arms, landing on the floor. I needed help.

”Kix!” I screamed. I slowly sank to the floor, holding my bleeding left arm, and dropped my head back.

”What the hell?!” Kix and a few others yelled at the same time. Kix steppes towards me and I stupidly flinched.

Kix softly told me, “Tup, we aren’t mad, and we aren’t going to hurt you.” I looked into his amber eyes and nodded.

My brother swiftly began to work on my arm, wiping the crimson red blood away.

I know my secret of cutting was blown as a gasp came from Kix, seeing the scars littered across my arm.

He grabbed my other arm to be a comparison only to find more scars. He said nothing as they cleaned me up. So I closed my eyes, wanting to just fall asleep.

Kix’s P.O.V


While I was cleaning up Tup, he fell asleep against the wall. I continued to work and finished a couple of minutes later. My hands were covered in blood. I stared at my hands as Wolffe cradled Tup.

I looked to my brothers, seeing tears stream down their faces or anger in their eyes, aimed at the cruel world.

Swallowing the lump in my throat, I turned to the second youngest, who was leaning on Waxer and Boil.

”Comet, will you watch Tup tonight, please,” I asked him softly. He nodded and went back to curling around the other two.

I straightened my body and walked downstairs to the medicine cabinet. I rummaged through it until I found what I was looking for, a small orange pill bottle. The white sticker indicated that these were the pills I was looking for, anti-depressants. I left them out for Tup in the morning and dragged myself to my shared room with Jesse.

Collapsing on the bed, I turned my head to look at him. He gave me a small smile, barely and moved to my bed. I groaned into the sheets.

”There was nothing you could’ve done, Kix,” he said.

I shot back, “But we knew something was wrong. And we did nothing.”

I placed my head closer to his head, and he threaded his fingers through my short hair.

”We can’t do that Kix. Sure, maybe we could’ve have done something but we didn’t know. And he’s never done this before, we had no idea.”

”I thought therapy was working and now...” I whispered, trailing off, Jesse hummed in understanding.

I saw Jesse frown. I tilted my head to the side, “What?”

“When was the last time he saw Justin?”

I thought back to the last time he saw his therapist, “It’s been a while. And definitely needs to go back.

No one’s P.O.V

Jango put a hand on Rex's shoulder as they sat on the couch.

”What’s wrong ad’ika?

”Did we do this? Did we not pay attention enough,” he asked his father brokenly.

Jango quickly held his twenty-three-year-old.

”This isn’t your fault.”

”It feels like it,” he cried.

Jango stroked his abnormal blonde hair, “It’s okayRex’ika.

Jango held him for a few more minutes before Rex pulled away.

He looked at the time and saw how late it was, “Comet, try to go to bed, love.”

Comet nodded obediently and started to walk to the stairs but stopped. He stood there, then let out a shaky sigh.

Jango tapped Wolffe on the shoulder, silently telling him to check on him. Wolffe quietly went up behind him.

Comet lower lip trembled, stepping back, Wolffe wrapping his arms around Comet’s waist.

”I can’t go up there,” he whimpered like a kicked puppy.

Wolffe placed his chin on Comet soft hair, “You don’t want to. But you need to because Tup needs you. So you’re going to go into your room, and you are going to protect your little brother from the horrors of his own mind.”

He gave a pat to his back, sending him upstairs. Rex, Cody, Bly, and Ponds looked at him like he was crazy.

”Don’t give me that, I can be lovingly when a really want to.”


Comet layer in his bed, wide awake, thinking of the events he just witnessed. His only younger brother, hurt himself.

’I should’ve been checking on him,’ he scolded himself, ‘I should’ve known something might happen.’

Comet climbed out of his bed, giving up on sleeping, and tiptoed to Tup’s side of the room. He snuck into Tup’s bed.

Tup was awake as well, Comet could tell by his breathing. Comet softly wrapped his arms around his brothers with Tup back to his chest.

The younger boy flicked and tensed up when he felt his brother's arms go around him.

Comet buried his nose in Tup’s soft hair and whispered, “I’m not mad Tup.”

Tup shook his head, not believing him for a second.

”Why’d you shake your head? Do you think I’m mad?” he prompted his upset brother. Tup responded with a nod.

”Well, you’re wrong,” Comet stated, “I love you sooo much and I could never hate you even if I tried.” Comet spun Tup in his arms so they were face-to-face. Comet presses his lips lightly to Tup’s forehead.

Tup wrapped his arms around Comet's torso and scooted closer. Tup slowly doses off but not before he heard Comet whisper in his ear, “I will always protect you, little brother. Never doubt that.”

Notes:

Sorry, that took so long. I’ve been busy with my other story, The Youngest of the 501st. And I also got Tumblr, come say hi @yall-its-me-nicole

What do you think? Requests?

Vod'ika-little brother

ika-ika-suffix meaning little (ex: Tup'ika=little Tup)

Ad'ika-little one, child (mostly used by a parent)

Chapter 6: Chapter 6-Run Away

Chapter Text

"What I say goes, Waxer! You will do as I say!"

"Why?!"

"Because I am your father, and I know what's best for you!"

Everyone else in the house was silent, still able to hear the argument from any room. Boil was sitting on the couch, in front of the shouting match, praying his twin didn't do anything stupid. Tup was unable to seek refuge in his room, his father and brother were blocking the staircase. Others were scattered around the house.

"Really?," Waxer gave him a confounded look, "Because you weren't our father when you broke thelaw and got shipped off to the Marines! You left us alone! We had to go into the system and it washell. You don't know what's best for us, stop acting like you do." Waxer was choked up at the end of his rant.

Jango looked partially shocked and lowered his voice when he addressed his son again, “Waxer, I understand what I did was wrong-“ He had reached for Waxer shoulder but the teenager jumped back, eyes wide in fear.

Jango stopped. He looked like he was about to speak but hinged his jaw closed for a moment.

"Did you really thin-," Jango stopped mid-sentence, "Just, just go to your room."

Waxer hesitated before Jango bellowed, "Now!" He gradually made his way up the stairs, closing the door quietly. All of the boys and their father were frozen. Jango calmly grabbed his keys and walked out the door, and (surprisingly) didn't slam the door behind him.

"Waxer knows Dad wouldn't hit us... right?" Comet timidly spoke up.

"I'm hoping it was just a freak instinct," Kix directed to everyone.

Tup curled up even more than he had previously done before, resting his head on the arm of the couch, "Where's Dad going?"

The seven oldest looked apprehensive at each other before they slipped the looks off their faces.

"He'll be back, probably a little later. You guys head up to bed, I'm not carrying you up," Wolffe grumbled lightly, shooing them up the stairs.

Once Kix heard all the doors close he turned to Ponds and Bly, "What the hell was that?"

Cody heavily sat down on a dining room chair, "What 'that' are you referring to?"

Kix scoffed like the answer was obvious, "The fact that Waxer is still mad at him for getting in trouble."

"We don't know what happened in foster with him, he didn't have any of us with him," Rex rationalized, "It could have been bad, maybe even worse than what happened with Tup, Comet, and you, Wolffe."

Wolffe clenched his jaw in anger, trying to keep the memories at bay, "Highly doubt it. Denver and Brooklyn were horrible, but they never got physical with us there. It was always the mental abuse. But if something remotely happened to the twins, that happened to Tup, I'm going to hurt someone."

Bly rested a hand on his shoulder, silently transmitting the silent plea to stay calm.

"Are you okay?"

"Yep."

"You're lying Waxer."

"Drop it. Please."

Boil gave up trying to get his brother to talk to him. He laid in his bed and fell asleep quickly.

Waxer jumped out of his bed, soundlessly, of course, grabbed his bag that was under his bed and his charger in the wall. He tossed his phone on the bed, he wouldn't be needing it just yet. He cracked open the door and walked into the hallway. He stopped in each doorway of his brothers; he would watch for a few minutes then would move on to the next.

He went to his own room, shouldering his backpack. He delayed his descent down the side of the house. He looked to his other half, sadness creeping into his heart. His twin would be crushed when he found out that he ran away. He got on his knees in front of his brother. Waxer brushed a piece of dark hair out of Boil's face.

"I'm sorry," he whispered in his ear and barely brushed his lips against Boil's head.

Waxer steadied himself before dropping from the window. He rolled on the ground so he wouldn't break his ankles. He looked back at his house, childhood memories flashing back.

'It's better this way.'

Boil blinked his eyes open, blinded by the sun peeking through the curtains, and said curtains were gently blowing. Boil frowned, he didn't remember the window being open.

"Hey Waxer did y-" Boil trailed off when he didn't see his brother in his bed. He shrugged to himself and pulled himself out of bed. He trekked downstairs, where he heard signs of life. He was met with the other twins sitting on the couch, engaging in a conversation. Jango was talking with Rex about something for school, and Cody listening in. Kix was not present and Boil guessed he got called into the firehouse. Tup was hunched over his, what Boil guessed, algebra homework, not looking very amused.

Jango quickly left his conversation when he heard his son come down, "There are eggs if you want them."

Boil nodded and went into the kitchen, grabbing a plate of eggs and went to the table.

”What’s the assignment,” Waxer asked as he plopped down next to Tup.

Tup glared at the paper as he tried to finish his equation and didn’t look up to answer, “Quadratic formula.”

Boil hissed in sympathy, “Yikes, I remember you hated those last year.”

Tup nodded in agreement, “You would think if I was able to do them in eighth grade with a teacher, I could do it as a freshman. But no, you thought wrong.”

Boil was distracted from his history assignment on the Berlin Blockade. Waxer had not been seen for an hour, and Boil didn’t know if it was because Waxer was his twin or he felt something was wrong that was making him distracted.

He stared hard the paper, willing his focus to come back to homework.

What was the outcome of the Berlin Blockade?

Boil pushed his paper away lightly and turned his eyes to the stairs, wishing his twin would be there.

”Something wrong Dad?” Rex's voice broke through the silence to his right. Boil looked to his father, wanting to know if something was up.

”Boil, where’s Waxer?”

Boil froze like ice.

”I thought he was with you when I came down. He wasn’t in bed.”

Jango looked uneasy, “Call him.”

The teenager fumbled slightly with his phone, hands almost shaking as he selected Waxer’s number. He put the phone up to his ear.

"Your call has been forwarded to-" Boil hung up.

"Straight to voicemail."

"Maybe his phone died and he's out somewhere," Tup tried to reassure the other twin.

Jango's expression couldn't be read, "Give him thirty minutes then call him back."

Boil mutely nodded and went back to his work. He wrote almost all random answers, hoping they were at the very least somewhat correct. His foot bounced under the table as he did his work in silence.

Thirty minutes were up when he called again.

He whispered as he dialed the number, praying for an answer, "Please, please, pick up, pick up."

"Your call has-."

Boil angrily tossed his phone on the table, contemplating where Waxer would be. He looked around and saw some of his brothers were missing.

"Dad, where are the others?"

"Jesse and Wolffe went to the store. Comet reading in his room I think. Bly's at Ayala's and I'm guessing Ponds is at Mace's."

Boil took his phone again and opened his contact list. He scrolled through a few times, considering who to call. He eventually tapped Wolffe's name. Boil impatiently waited for his older brother to answer. It rang twice.

"Hello?"

"Is Waxer with you?" Boil bit his thumb in anticipation.

"Uh, nooo? He wasn't awake when we left,"he could hear the confusion in Wolffe's voice.

"Damn it."

"Wait, is he not home with you?"

Boil sighed, "No, I keep trying to call him but it keeps going straight to voicemail."

Boil heard Wolffe tell Jesse Waxer wasn't responding."He usually always responds and henever lets his phone die," Jesse was very confused as well.

"We'll be home soon."Wolffe hung up.

Boil leaned back and his eyes fluttered closed. Without even thinking, he went into his messages and sent a message to his missing brother.

Boil: Where the hell are you

Soon, in the span of forty minutes, the screen was covered in only blue messages.

Boil: Where the hell are you

Boil: ...

Boil: Answer me damn it

Boil: Waxer I'm not kidding

Boil: This isn't funny

Boil: Waxer, please

Boil: Waxer

Boil: Answer me dumbass.

Wolffe and Jesse came through the doors half way through Boil's rampage in his texts.

The twin gave up trying to reach his brother, he obviously didn't want to be found. Tup kept giving sideways glances to the phone screen, reading the texts. He was becoming more worried than before. He was thinking of the possibilities of what could have happened to Waxer. The worst was him getting taken.

Tup jumped when his father spoke to him, "Tup'ika, everything's fine. We don't know anything right now. Don't jump to conclusions, you will only freak yourself out."

Tup obeyed his father and calmed down a small bit. He glanced down at his homework and decided he wasn't getting anywhere with it. He clipped his binder closed and went upstairs. He grabbedHarry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkabanoff his dresser and went back down stairs. He sat on the couch and opened to book to chapter two, where he had left off last night.

After he got absorb into the book, he felt a gentle tug on his arm. He went with the pull and was laid across one of the twin's lap. He offhandedly guessed it was Echo because he was the closest to Tup when he sat down and no one moved.

Tup reached the point in the book were Cornelius Fudge, the Minister of Magic, was telling Harry it was irresponsible of him to run away from his Aunt's and Uncle's. He stopped reading and placed the open book in his lap.

"What if he ran away?"

Everyone stopped what they were doing. Wolffe's two different colored eyes flickered to Jango. Jango turned his attention to Tup. Tup hastily added, "I know you told me not to jump-"

"Tup. Stop. It's okay," Jango interrupted then sighed, "But answer this question. Do you really think Waxer would run away?"

Tup hesitated. He honestly did think that Waxer had it in him to run away. But he didn't want to admit it.

"No. You're right."

At two o'clock everyone was still relatively in the same space as before except Tup had a new book in his hand.

"What book you on now Tup?" Rex asked from the opening in the kitchen wall.

"Goblet of Fire," he responded without pealing his eyes from the words on the page.

Ponds smiled, "What part?"

"Where Mad-eye arrives at Hogwarts."

Boil tore his eyes up from his phone, which he was flipping slowly in his hands.

He opened his messages for the last time for the day, he promised himself and typed in three words.

Boil: I love you

He placed his head down on the table. He heard a chair slide away from the table. Someone sat down in Tup's abandoned seat and laid a hand on his spine. He slowly moved his head to peer at Cody who gave him a sad look. Boil isn't one for affection but he allowed Cody to hold him in his arms. The hug didn't last long but they were both okay with that.

"Try to relax."

At four o'clock Boil lost his nerve.

He swallowed back tears harshly, fear coursing through him.

"Dad," he whispered, voice full of pain.

Jango paused his actions, immediately turned at the broken voice of his son. He sighed, understanding what Boil was thinking.

"Go check your room. See if he left his phone."

Boil swiftly ran up the stairs and walked through the open door of his room. He closed the window and started to look for Waxer's phone but came up empty handed. He dropped to the floor, hoping it would be there but he didn't find anything. This was not okay, because Waxer always kept his bag under his bed; he wouldn't touch it unless he was doing homework or it was a weekday.

'Damn you Waxer.' Boil crossed his arms on the floor and pressed his face into them. He inhaled and jumped to his feet, not bothering to hide the tears as he ran down the stairs.

"His charger is missing and his bag is gone." he stunned everyone into silence. Silence seemed to be a returning action for the family. Boil broke down into sobs, feeling betrayed and heart-broken. He was coming to understand what Waxer had done. Jango solemnly walked to him, holding his arms open. Boil fell into his father's chest, wrapping his arms around his neck. Jango's hand spiraled in a circle on his back.

Tup shifted in Echo's lap, crying quietly into Echo's stomach. Fives wiped a tear away and placed a hand on the back of Tup's head. Cody buried his head into his hands, Jesse and Rex turned their gaze to the floor. Wolffe took his phone off and called the non-emergency number.

"My brother has run away, he's seventeen." Wolffe continued the conversation with the operator.

"He has brown eyes, dark hair. He's about 5'7". We noticed when none of us had seen him this morning. I'm guessing he left last night."

"Alright thank you." Wolffe leaned back on the couch, sighing heavily.

Jango was still holding Boil, who was still breaking down into sobs.

"Shhhhhh, shhhhhh. It's not your fault. If it's anyone's fault it's mine," Jango took the blame but Boil hit his chest lightly.

"I-it's not your f-fault either," he said through sobs.

A week had gone by, there was nothing from the police. Everyone was in a deep hole, in there own ways. Boil would barely talk and would hole himself up in his room. The oldest buried themselves in school work or just normal work. Tup was struggling to not have a burst of major anxiety whenever he thought about it. Comet was struggling to focus in school.

Tup was laying in Rex's lap in the living room, staring aimlessly at the tv screen, Comet and Boil were doing the same. For once Fives was doing school work and was working hard on it, welcoming the distraction.

Rex was absently braiding Tup's hair, hoping to relieve some stress in the young boy. Tup snapped the elastic on his wrist. Kix and Jango's eyes wondered to him, mentally noting that Tup had snapped it and they would have to watch how many times Tup would do it.

Snap.

'Two,' Kix told himself.

After eight minutes they had counted nine snaps. Tup snapped one more time then Kix stood up, giving Jango a look, making his father followed. He sat in front of Tup, and grabbed his wrist, rubbing the inside of it gently. Tup's sad eyes turned to Kix. Kix had a sympathetic appearance as he slipped the band off his wrist. Tup's therapist, Justin, had specifically told them to take the bracelet off of him when Tup reached ten snaps in a short amount of time.

Rex unwound the braids gently, taking his hands off of Tup, letting Kix and Jango take control.

"Talk to us, we might be able to help you."

Tup shook his head, "You can't fixthis."

Kix remained stubborn, "Maybe we can."

Tup finally said, "Fine."

"Is this about Waxer?"

Tup didn't answer

'Bingo,' Kix hit his mark.

"Do you want to talk about it?"

Tup was getting irritated, "I don't need a shrink at home. That's why I have Justin."

Jango frowned thoughtfully, "What do you need?"

"My brother..." he whispered. Jango winced at the blunt response but recovered quickly.

Boil had overheard the conversation and flicked his phone and typed a message to Waxer.

Boil: we miss you

Waxer thumb was hovering over the airplane mode icon on his phone. Airplane mode had been activated for two weeks but he turned it on.

His phone was blowing up. Dozens of missed calls popped up on his phone, most of them were from his twin. Messages came up one after another.

Boil: Where the hell are you

Boil: ...

Boil: Answer me damn it

Boil: Waxer I'm not kidding

Boil: This isn't funny

Boil: Waxer, please

Boil: Waxer

Boil: Answer me dumbass.

Boil: I love you

Boil: Please come home

Boil: I miss you

The others had also texted him but Boil had not texted him in a week, based on the dates of the messages. Waxer had an onslaught of emotions hit him.

It was time for him to go home.

Waxer walked to the streets of his neighborhood, afraid of the reaction he would get.

Waxer stood at the door, key in his hand. Taking a breath he slid the key into the lock. The door creaked open revealing Ponds, Bly, Wolffe, Cody, and Rex.

They were confused when the door opened, Kix was on his way home but it was too early.

"Kix, that you?" Rex and the others didn't look at the door.

"I'm not Kix," a hesitant, familiar voice spoke.

Rex looked at Cody, confused eminent on his face and they both turned to see the person who opened the door.

”Waxer?!” Cody shouted setting the plate he was washing on the counter. Waxer dropped his bag to the floor, waiting for Cody to come to him, crying.

Cody softly and slowly wrapped his arms around his little brother, who leaned his weight on Cody.

”I’m sorry. I’m sorry,” Waxer sobbed but was hushed by Wolffe who had crossed over to them.

”You scared the sh*t out of us kid,” he gently reprimanded but hugged him from behind.

“I’m so sorry,” he repeated. Rex soothingly ran his fingers through Waxer's short hair, saying, “You came back, you don’t have to apologize.”

Waxer fidgeted on the couch, waiting for his twin and other brothers to come home.

”He’ll forgive you, he’s your twin.”

”But I left him. That’s not going to get me ‘brother of the year’ award.”

Waxer was cut off by Tup walking through the door first, alone. Tup didn’t look up as he walked in the door, heading straight for the table to start homework. Everyone tried not to laugh at his ignorance of his brother being home. Waxer sneakily crept up behind him, then held his head straight so he couldn’t look anywhere but forward.

”What the?” Tup was startled by the touch, dropping his pencil.

”Guess who,” said Waxer, with a warm smile.

Tup frowned, he had many brothers so it was hard when they pulled the ‘guess who’ card. He looked to the couch that held five of his brothers, the only ones he was informed that was home. Then it hit him. He dropped his head to the table, crying. Waxer dropped quickly to the side of the chair and pushed it back. Tup launched himself at his brother, holding on tight. Waxer encircled his arms around him, rocking lightly.

"I'm back, shhhhh, I'm here. I'm sorry."

Tup didn't say anything back.

Boil was the last one to walk through the door. Everyone else, except Jango, was home. Boil walked in, pausing lightly at the sight of all his brothers sitting in close proximity.

"Uh, did I miss something-" Boil's eyes fell on Waxer who gave a nervous smile. Boil looked to the ceiling and said, "Damn you."

He ran to his brother, giving him a bone-crushing hug. Waxer returned the hug equally.

"You're a f*ckingdi'kut, you know that?" he whispered.

Waxer chuckled, "I know."

Waxer was a nervous mess, waiting for his father to walk through the door. Boil was leaning on his shoulder on the couch. He saw how nervous Waxer so he squeezed his hand reassuringly. Waxer squeezed back, giving him a weak smile. His heart dropped when he heard keys being put in the lock. Boil gave one last squeeze then left the room.

Waxer stared at the floorboards, finding them very interesting. He heard his father stop his steps, and then multiple other pairs of feet move out of the room. He could feel the tension. A bag dropped to the floor, and his father placed something on the dining room table, most likely his gun and taser. His father didn't move from his place near the table for a minute but then he finally made his way towards Waxer.

Jango stopped in front of his child and dropped into a low crouch. Waxer wouldn't look up. His father looked at his son for a moment, eyes unreadable. He put two fingers under his chin, lifting Waxer's head up, who was borderline of crying.

"Are you afraid of me?" Jango asked quietly. Waxer's silence and tears falling were his answer. Waxer looked like he wanted to say something but he couldn't open his mouth to say it. Jango hand slid to the back of his neck, pulling him forward. Waxer went easily. Jango let his own tears fall, it hurts to hear that your child is scared of you.

"I wouldneverhurt any of you, Waxer. I'm so sorry."

Waxer shook his head, "It's not your fault."

Jango smiled even though Waxer couldn't see him. He kissed the side of his head, "I love you."

He could feel Waxer smile lightly, "I love you too."

Chapter 7: Chapter 7- Being Sick Sucks

Summary:

Another Fett boy is sick.

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

The Fett household was very loud in the morning. Everyone was up and about, some getting ready for school and others going to work. Fives, Waxer, and Boil were scrambling to scribble answers on their papers. Kix, Jesse, Rex, and Cody were eating, while Wolffe just sat at the table, whispering answers to Waxer out of the corner of his mouth. Ponds was fiddling with his phone. But there was one missing, Tup.

"Where's your brother?" Jango suddenly asked everyone, then added as an afterthought, "I've gotta stop asking that."

"Which one Dad?" snipped Fives, not even bothering to look up from his unfinished homework from the night before.

"Tup."

Comet looked up from his phone, "Last I saw him he was still in bed." Jango frowned, Tup almost always got up with Comet. He looked at the clock, and saw he only had ten minutes to get up.

"I'll get him Dad," Jesse offered to his father, jogging up the stairs. Comet and Tup's door was opened when he reached the top so he walked in without knocking. Comet's bed, which was up against the right wall, was empty and the sheets lazily pulled up to the pillow. Tup's bed however wasn't empty. Tup was still asleep, curled under the comforter.

Jesse sat on the edge of the bed and gently shook his shoulder. Tup's eyes opened, revealing tired honey eyes.

"Jess'?" he muttered sleepily.

Jesse smiled lightly, "Yeah, it's me kiddo. You've got to get up for school." Tup nodded, blinking to wake himself up. He was about to say something but was cut off by a painful sounding cough. He was struggling to breathe and get oxygen into his lungs. Jesse hauled him into a sitting position. He patted him on the back until he stopped coughing.

"You okay now," Jesse asked, worried. He didn't expect Tup to shake his head in a small motion. Jesse just realized that Tup was unnaturally warm. He placed the back of his hand on his younger brother's head. He almost ripped his hand back, 'I wasn't expecting him to be that hot.'

He pushed Tup shoulder so he would lay down and raked his fingers through his shoulder length hair soothingly. Tup leaned into his brothers cool hand. A small knock on the door pulled their eyes to the door, seeing Jango leaning against the door jam.

"What's going on up here," he asked but had a feeling he knew the answer. Tup went into another coughing fit, more violent than before. Jango eyes widened a fraction when it didn't stop, taking a step to his son.

"Jess' he have a fever?" Jesse nodded not taking his eyes off his brother.

"Go get water and ibuprofen or something," he directed. Jesse got up without hesitation, running down the stairs.

Jango slowly tried to lift Tup as gently as possible so Tup could breathe. He took him a good minute to stop coughing. He looked at his father with sad eyes, pain embedded in their depths. Jango always found the hardest part of parenting was seeing your child in pain.

Jango gave him a pitiful look, "What hurtsTup'ika?"

The teenager groaned, not wanting to play the question game.

"Use your words, ad'ika," his father teased. He thought about it for a moment, then whispered, "Head, throat and chest." As he finished chills shot through his spine, "And I'm cold."

"I bet kiddo, you've got a bad fever," Jango sympathized.

"And lucky for you, I've come baring meds," Jesse re-entered the room. He handed the meds to his brother and suggested he take the glass with two hands.

"You said you were cold, do you want a hoodie," Jesse asked his brother who nodded. Jesse started to walk out the door but stopped and turned back around.

"I'm guessing you don't want one of yours, so who's closet do you want me to steal from." Jango chuckled at the question.

"Wolffe's," Tup requested without missing a beat. It made sense though, Wolffe had the biggest frame out of all of them. And Tup was deemed the hoodie 'bandit', he would constantly steal his brothers hoodies instead of wearing his own. They others didn't mind, although they would never admit they thought it was kind of cute.

The sick teenager laid back down, hair sprawling out on the pillow, in comfortable silence. Tup closed his eyes but didn't look like he was at peace. Jango reached over and stroked his son's shoulder, running a thumb over his collarbone. Jesse came back once again with a dark blue jacket in his arms. Jesse nudged Tup's leg and handed it to him. He slipped it on and shifted onto his side.

Jango glanced at the alarm clock that is now only used for the time. He would have to leave soon, as much has he hated to admit. He stayed until he had to leave.

"Tup, I have to go to work. I'll back soon. I'll have some of your brothers stay behind," he braced his hands on the bed and to place his lips on Tup's fevered forehead and brushed a few stray hairs away. Both Jesse and Jango walked to the rest of their family. No one had left the house yet, they were all still getting ready or waiting around.

"Is everything okay?" Echo said, worried, "We saw Jesse get Ibuprofen from the cabinet." Echo never fails to shock people with his perceptiveness.

Jango laughed, "Everything's fine Echo. But Tup's sick. Can some of you stay home with him. I can't call in sick, I wish I could," He pleaded with them, worried about leaving his youngest alone. The high school student's knew it was out of the question for them to skip school so they stayed out of it.

"I've got the long shift today," Kix said tiredly, like he already knew he was going to be exhausted by the end of his shift. Rex and Cody had a few quizzes they couldn't miss. Soon the three oldest agreed to stay back with their baby brother. Rex lightly hit Waxer on the back to wake him up, yelling at him to get ready to leave.

Tup stirred awake, momentarily discombobulated at the fact that he felt like sh*t and was confused of why he wasn't at school when it was ten in the morning. He knew his brothers would have woken him up if he had slept in, but he soon felt pain in his body and remembered Jesse has given him medication because he was sick. And still wassick. Damn.

Tup laid staring at the ceiling for about thirty minutes before he got bored. He wanted to go downstairs so he could possibly have the company of his older brothers but didn't trust himself enough to even walk straight. But eventually his boredom got the better of him and he stood from the bed. He shook as a chill went down his spine even though he was wearing a hoodie and was obviously burning up. When he opened the door he heard voices downstairs. He was able to pick up Ponds and Wolffe's voices. He continued his walk downstairs, his steps were sluggish but he didn't really care.

Wolffe was sitting on the couch. Tup approached him and draped himself over his lap.

"Well hello to you too," he sarcastically greeted his little brother and he cheekily replied, "Yep."

Tup heard footsteps patter into the living room and Ponds appeared in his line of vision, "Hey little one." As his two oldest brothers passed him, Bly patted him on the shoulder gently; like he was made of glass. He usually would have rolled his eyes and the tenderness if the touch but he was in too much pain to do so.

While engaging with Ponds and Bly, Wolffe started to rake his nails down his spine, and bringing enough comfort to allow Tup to relax.

Tup fell back asleep within five minutes of laying down on Wolffe. Ponds was not going to lie, it was kind of sweet how Wolffe was so attentive to Tup. Bly and him had not been around much when Tup was younger, there was just so many boys and the two oldest lived with their Aunt for at least half of Tup's childhood. After Jen, their social worker, had convinced their to come back to their brothers a few years back, they had forgotten how much they had missed their brothers, and mostly the youngest boys.

Looking back on it, things may have been different if they didn't leave. They may had been able to help their father to not break the law and get sent into the military but it most likely wouldn't have made a difference. It was a possibility that they could have been charged with aiding and abetting because of their age. But if they had fully known that the others were put into the system, they could have stepped in.

Ponds' trip down memory and self deprecating lane was interrupted by his sick brother shifting in his sleep. He thought nothing of it and turned his attention back to his phone, but Tup didn't stop shifting.

Wolffe tore his own attention away from his phone to gaze down at the moving teen. Tup's face was contorted in pain, hands gripping tightly on his own arms. Ponds' younger brother stroked his even younger brother's arm to sooth him. Tup continued to whimper like a kicked puppy (which was an accurate representation of his age).

"Shhhhh, Tup'ika, shhhhh. I'm right here," Wolffe uncharacteristically cooed. Tup didn't stay still, and tears soon left his eyes. Ponds and Bly met eyes. What the hell was happening? They didn't know much about Tup's mental state or situation, but all of them knew his foster parents were horrible people

"Damn it to hell. His fever is messing with his PTS," Wolffe hissed. "Wake up," he gave one more shove, causing Tup to shoot up in his lap. He swung his legs over to the left so his feet could hit the floor. He then gripped to side of his head groaning lightly.

Bly and Ponds sat up straighter, ready if needed. They were grateful the nightmare wasn't worse, if they were really bad, then only Jango or Rex can calm him down.

They saw Wolffe keep his distance, not wanting to scare him.

He spoke to him softly, "Are you good now?" Tup trailed a hand down his face, getting his barrings.

"Y-yeah, j-just need a minute."

He moved back closer to Wolffe and laid his head on Wolffe's shoulder. The oldest stood up from his end of the couch to kneel in front of him.

"Are you sure you're okay?" He gave Ponds a minuscule smile and a nod, sighing against his older bother. Wolffe thumbed the back of his neck, "Can you get his meds, please?"

Ponds walked to the kitchen but not before patting Tup's knee. He pulled the cabinet door open to search for the orange bottles. He eventually found Tup's SSRIs pills (antidepressants of different kinds) and grabbed a glass of water. Tup sat up when Ponds returned . He took them with shaky hands, downing the pills as fast as possible.

"Do you want to stay here or go back to your room?" Wolffe asked him. Tup debated before responding with, "Stay here."

Tup repositioned his body on the couch with his head on a pillow. He curling into a ball, quickly falling asleep. Wolffe continued to hover around a little.

Ponds snorted, "I havenever seen you so gentle with someone other than Comet."

Wolffe shot him an unamused look before looking sadly at Tup, "Well, I have always been quietly protective of this one. But once he started going through sh*t with foster, I felt like it was my fault. I was the oldest with him, and I let him get hurt. I couldn't protect him."

The two others didn't know Wolffe felt that guilty. And apparently he had felt guilty ever since Tup was diagnosed with anxiety and PTSD. Bly hugged him from behind, putting his chin on top of Wolffe's head.

One hour later, the silence was interrupted by Tup sitting up on the couch, hand covering his mouth. He slowly walked to the bathroom but his walk sped up at the end. Wolffe followed after him. Tup fumbled with the door leading to the bathroom before pushing it open. He leaned over the sink, his hands wrapping tight around the counter. His breathing was labored with pain, fighting the urge to lose his stomach. Wolffe nudged the door open with his foot.

"Love..." Wolffe said sympathetically. He put a hand on his arm. Tup turned and looked at Wolffe, eyes pink making the honey in his eyes pop out. Wolffe stroked his back, "Don't look at me like that."

Tup remained stubborn. He wouldn't give in without a fight. Wolffe got fed up with his stubbornness, he was only hurting himself. He took a step behind his teenage brother, and pushed a hand on his stomach. That's all it took for Tup to stop fighting. He lost his dinner from the night before in the sink, crying quietly as well. Wolffe felt bad for him but he knew it was better to get it out of his system.

Tup stopped heaving after three minutes but he was still crying. Wolffe got concerned by this and brought Tup in his arms. He cradled Tup, weaving his fingers through the waves of his hair.

"Are the tears because you are sick or you are in pain?"

"Just being sick," he reassured his brothers through tears.

Wolffe took the boy back to the living room. Ponds had the glass from earlier in his hands. As Tup took the glass he took small sips, knowing from experience to not chug the water. He sat back down, pouting.

Bly chuckled then laughed harder when Tup shot him a glare, "Sorry vod'ika."

Voices were heard from outside the house. The voices belonged to Fives, Echo, Comet and the other twins. The door burst open, allowing a cold breeze to enter the house and blow into the living room. Tup shivered as the cold air swept over him. The five boy shedded their shoes, then noticed their baby brother laying on the couch.

Fives dropped his bag quietly, walked to the sofa and sat in front of said couch cross-legged.

"Hey Fives," Tup greeted in a soft whisper. Fives smiled and pushed a stray strand of hair away from Tup's burning head. The older teenager winced at the heat coming from his brother.

"You're burning up."

"He's been that hot since this morning," Wolffe explained, walking with a backpack inn his hand, "Homework."

Fives rolled his eyes but took it all the same. Wolffe chuckled, "I wouldn't have to remind you if you had a good work ethic, just sayin'."

Fives didn't move from his spot, not wanting to leave Tup. So he would sit on the floor with his younger brother if it was the last thing he did. Not much time had passed before Rex, Cody, Jesse, and Kix walked through the door two hours later. Kix collapsed on the other couch, falling asleep quickly. Jesse, Rex and Cody, started attacking their own assignments. Soon the counter was a mess of textbooks, teenagers, and papers galore.

Jango stepped in the door at six-thirty, placing his gun on the table, and slapping Waxer's hand away when he tried to sneakily touch it, "Hey boys."

His sharp eyes swept the room for Tup and landed on the couch. Fives was still by his side doing homework. Rex and Cody were in the kitchen already making dinner while everyone else lounged around. Kix was still asleep, tired after going on so many calls that day and medschool. Tup looked close to following him.

"Hey Tup'ika. Are you feeling any better," he asked his son. Tup shook his head no, he honestly felt worse than that morning. Jango sat with him, and noticed Tup looked to be in pain.

"What is it, Tup," he asked, not about to believe him if he said he was fine.

"Head."

His father gently passed the pads of his fingers through Tup's shoulder length hair, making sure to not pull his hair too hard. Soon enough Tup fell asleep thanks to Jango comforting actions. Wolffe hesitated for a moment then went to his father.

"Dad," Wolffe prompted, Jango turned to him, "He threw up around eleven. I gave him his meds before so I don't know if you want him to take them again or not."

Jango nodded, thinking for a moment, "I'll ask Kix when he wakes up."

Wolffe made a move to leave but stopped when his father grabbed his shoulder, "Why'd he take meds."

"Nightmare. He didn't want to talk about it."

Tup was still sleeping as everyone else ate. After they were finished Ponds carried Tup to his room. Comet went to their room an hour later, having attempted to finish his homework.

Tup was crying when he entered the room. Comet became perplexed and worried, and climbed into Tup's bed.

"What happened?"

Tup tried to speak but he couldn't form words through tears. Comet remembered the conversation he had overheard between Wolffe and Jango, and that Tup had a nightmare earlier. He figured it happened again.

"Did you have a nightmare," he soothingly asked. Tup pressed against the sixteen year old and nodded in his chest.

"Aw, I'm sorry," Comet mused. Tup cried and cried into Comet's hoodie. He knew not to say anything, just hold him. He managed to maneuver Tup so he could text Kix. Kix came up with pills in hand. He and Comet calmed Tup down enough to hive him the psyc pills. Comet stayed with Tup until he fell asleep.

Notes:

Finished! Sorry that took so long. On a side note, if you like Tup-centric stuff go check out my other work if you want, there's a lot of Tup in that one.

What do you think? Any requests?

Chapter 8: Chapter 8-High Fever

Summary:

Rex doesn't tell Jango the truth that he doesn't feel good. It is a big mistake.

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

“Rex, you okay?”

Rex’s head snapped up, looking for his brother that spoke. Cody was the one who spoke to him, eyes holding concern for his brother.

Rex had previously been staring into space while sitting with his brothers, eating breakfast before going to his college to be on time for his lecture.

Rex frowned, “Yeah, I’m fine Codes.”

Cody tilted his head to the side, amber eyes staring into Rex’s confused eyes. “You aren’t eating.” Cody’s statement was too plain for Rex to understand.

“I don’t know what that is supposed to mean,” Rex looked to his other brothers for assistance.

“Rex,” Fives started, “You are usually the first one done eating.”

Rex glanced down at the plate, seeing it full of food. Rex hadn’t eaten anything at all.

“I-I guess I’m not hungry?” Rex was starting to confuse himself.

They were interrupted by two teenagers coming down the stairs. Comet was awake and bounding into the kitchen to get food. Tup, however, was buried in a hoodie, rubbing his tried golden-honey eyes. His hair was loose, cascaded over his shoulders, the waves messier than normal.

“Hey kiddo, not awake yet,” Ponds teased him from the table.

Tup glared at him, still rubbing his eyes.

“You know you don’t look intimidating when you do that. You just look cute,” Bly snorted, looking at Ponds, an amused look passing between them.

Tup shook his head at his brother’s teasing, grabbing food as well.

“Tup?” Rex started, giving him a patronizing look, “Is that my hoodie?” Rex knew damn well that it was his hoodie; it seemed like Tup had stolen it last night.

“Mhm,” Tup nodded, sitting down to eat his food.

Rex laughed, not minding that Tup stole his hoodie; they all get their hoodies stolen by him from time to time.

“And don’t call me ‘cute’,” Tup grumbled, putting his fork in his mouth.

“But you are,” Wolffe teased further.

“I will stab you with this fork–”

“What have I told all of you about threatening each other,” their father’s voice rang out from the top of the stairs.

“He called me cute,” Tup complained to his father, as he walked towards them.

Jango looked at him for a few beats then smiled sadly and ruffled Tup’s hair, which was his answer. Tup gaped at his father as he walked by. Wolffe and the others broke down into laughter at their father’s failed attempt to reassure his youngest.

“You’re cute, Tup’ika. Get over it,” Fives chuckled. Tup smacked him on the shoulder, then pouted. Tup continued sulking, throwing glares at his older brothers when then snickered randomly.

“Are you pouting right now?” Comet asked, nudging his shoulder with Tups.

“No,” Tup mumbled.

“Yes, you are,” Comet insisted with a smirk.

Tup was about to speak, but their father interrupted, “Comet, stop teasing him, please. I would like a quiet morning today without a screaming match.”

Comet smirk fell.

“You can do it at school.”

Tup whipped his head around to glare at his father, knowing he was being set up for a long day at school.

Jango glanced at the clock, “Speaking of school, you better start going now.”

The sound of plates clattering, and chairs moving flooded the living room and kitchen. Rex walked to the trash, dipping his uneaten food into the bin.

Jango shot him a concerned look, seeing his son’s odd behavior. Rex saw his father's glance and waved him off, “I’m fine.”

Jango looked skeptical; if he didn’t stop Rex from going to school he wouldn’t get another chance. Cody, Wolffe, and Rex went to the same college while Ponds and Bly went to different schools. The problem was they all drove together, so they couldn’t have just one of them leave, it wouldn’t work.

“Are you sure, Rex? Because if you go to school, you won’t be able to leave until all of you are done,” Jango concernedly warned.

Rex smiled, “I’m sure, dad.”

Jango left him alone, not fully believing him, shaking Boil awake who fell asleep on the table. Boil tried to smack his father’s hand away but he was soon pulled up by strong arms.

“School. Now. And don’t let me get another call from your teachers saying you fell asleep,” Jango ordered his sleepy son.

“Mhm, sure,” Boil obviously wasn’t paying attention.

Jango shook his head in pure wonder, “That boy is the bane of my existence.”

Rex chuckled, in earshot of Jango’s words. As he bent down to pick up his bag, his stomach flipped weirdly. He grimaced in pain, his gut feeling his stomach cramp painfully. To Rex, it felt like his gut was being tugged and pulled on.

He straightened up but the pain didn’t go away. Rex swiftly walked out of the door, muttering a goodbye to his younger brothers. He got into the front seat of Wolffe’s car, pushing the seat so it was farther back. He grabbed his headphones from his bag, plugging them into his phone. He didn’t pay attention to the playlist he selected. Music flooded his eardrums, he turned it down as it was too loud for him to deal with. For some reason, he could only tolerate half the volume when he can usually deal with three clicks from full volume.

Rex turned his head to stare out the window as Wolffe pulled out of the driveway. He watched as the Colorado scenery flew past him; the mountains and trees blurring together. His eyelids became heavy. Rex couldn’t even focus on the music playing anymore.

Rex’s eyes snapped open, not even realizing they were closed. It was almost painful to keep his eyes open. That happened two more times before he felt someone’s hand comfortingly stroked his hair. He couldn’t tell if it was Wolffe or Cody, he was too tired to tell. He understood the message he was receiving, “ Go to sleep .”

Rex let his eyes fall closed, falling to the relaxing pit of darkness. He didn’t feel the hand leave his hair, all he could feel was his body falling asleep.

Rex was jostled awake by someone tapping his shoulder. Rex pulled his eyes open and turned his head to the left.

Wolffe was the one who woke him up, and he had an apologetic expression. “Sorry bud, but we have to get to class. Grab your bag.”

Wolffe hopped out of the car with Cody and Rex slowly followed them, feeling his stomach flip and flip again. Rex let out a pain-filled huff of air. He took a second to breathe before reaching down to his bag.

Rex pulled the handle on the door, feeling a breeze of cold air hit him. The air was too cold for Rex’s liking and he shivered as he slammed the door closed. Cody and Wolffe were waiting for him on the other side of the car.

They began to walk to reach the building. Rex suddenly felt something being placed in his arms. He looked down and saw it was a grey hoodie. He knew it was Wolffe’s because his older brother was the one who placed it in his arms and it was about one size too big for him.

Rex handed his backpack to Cody and tugged the hoodie over his head. He sighed lightly at the warmth it gave him. He smiled tightly to Wolffe in thanks, hoping his brother would understand how grateful he was.

Cody gently handed Rex his backpack, giving him a once over and not liking what he found. Rex was shaking lightly with chills, and the grey hoodie was only a few shades darker than his skin. His tan skin that was visible was pale, skin clammy.

“Rex…” Cody was about to start.

Rex turned his head to the side, staring at Cody.

“Never mind,” Cody sighed, knowing his brother was too stubborn for him to ask now. The only way Rex would admit that he’s sick was that he was at his breaking point. Unless an authoritative figure stepped in...

They parted ways in the hallway and Cody headed to his law lecture. He took his seat and flipped his phone face down on the desk, in case Rex texted him.

Cody was always worried about his little brother. It’s Cody’s older brother instincts that make him protective of all his younger brothers. And at that moment Cody’s instincts were bugging him.

Rex had looked very shaken. It was like he was dying on the inside slowly and was suffering. And he fell asleep in the car which he had never done before.

Cody tried to pay attention but he found himself anxiously tapping his foot. Wolffe and Cody had no classes with Rex which makes the chances of Rex reaching his breaking point without them that much higher.

“Alright class, you are dismissed.”

Cody was the first one out of his seat, swiftly leaving the room. He had Wolffe’s and Rex’s schedules memorized so he knew where they were every class.

The hallways were semi-crowded, students of all ages heading in many different directions. Cody was sure it would be hard to find Rex in this big of a crowd.

To Cody’s surprise, he was walking straight towards Rex.

He was still wearing Wolffe’s hoodie, almost hiding in it. His eyes were lidded with exhaustion, grey circles hanging underneath his golden eyes.

“Rex, you don’t look too good, little brother,” Cody cooed once he reached his sick brother.

Rex leaned into his chest, backpack weighing him down. His head rested comfortably on the older boy’s collarbone. Cody stroked his brother's blonde hair, hands gentle as they passed through Rex’s some-what damp hair. Cody pulled Rex into an empty hallway, still holding him close.

“Rex, you’re sick. You should go home, vod’ika . I don’t want you to suffer here,” Cody suggested, frowning in concern.

Rex shook his blonde head, not wanting to go home. His body may hurt, but school was important. He also didn’t want to see Jango after he said he was feeling fine.

“Rex’ika. You’re sick, you should at least go to the car to sleep until we come out,” Wolffe spoke from the beginning of the hallway.

“How’d you find us?” Cody asked quietly. Rex shifted uncomfortably in his arms. Cody stroked Rex’s arm with a feather-light touch.

“Lucky guess,” Wolffe shrugged, looking at Rex, “So, what’s it going to be Rex?”

Rex moved his head to the side to look at Wolffe. He didn’t answer, still slowly thinking.

“I just wanna go to class,” Rex muttered but stayed connected with Cody.

Wolffe and Cody simultaneously looked at each other, varying degrees of concern and disappointment. Wolffe was slightly disappointed because Rex knew better than to not go home when he was sick. When Rex got sick, it was always bad.

Cody was just plain worried. Rex was in pain and Cody couldn’t do anything about it. Cody would have to give Rex the space he wanted until he comes back to Cody.

“Okay, okay. You can go to class,” Cody told Rex what he wanted to hear.

Rex stepped back, rubbing the sleep out of his eyes with the sleeves of Wolffe’s hoodie. His backpack felt like it had twenty bricks in the biggest compartment. His head was fuzzy; he had to do the maxim to just form a sentence.

Wolffe and Cody flanked Rex as they walked in the main hallway. They reached the door to Rex’s next class first. Cody hugged Rex from behind but then let Rex enter the classroom. “Call me if you need to get out,” Cody ordered his younger brother.

Rex nodded tiredly, walking into class.

“That kid is going to be the death of us,” Cody whispered in Wolffe’s ear, gaining a chuckle from his brother. They both start walking away, Cody gaze lingering longer on the closed-door than Wolffe’s.

“That’s one way to put it. He’s going to burn out, Codes,” Wolffe points out.

Cody groans, “What do you want me to do?”

“Call Dad,” his older brother suggested like it was the simplest thing.

Cody stopped in his tracks and looked at him like he was crazy.

“Let me get this straight. You want me to call our ex-military Marine father to sic him on our younger brother who is sick ?”

Wolffe nodded, “That’s exactly what I want you to do. Pulling the “Ex-military Marine Father” card is the only way to get Rex to admit he needs to go home.”

Cody didn’t like pulling the “Dad” card. Jango could go from nice to mean in six seconds flat, and a sick Rex was always stubborn and it pissed their father off to no end. Rex was more stubborn than Wolffe and Comet combined when sick.

“Fine, I’ll call dad because I know you won’t,” Cody jabbed Wolffe in the ribs playfully.

“Of course you are. I’m not interrupting him during work,” Wolffe scoffs.

Cody stops walking to stare at his older brother again, “Really? So I’m going to be the one to get yelled at when he answers the phone?”

“He won’t yell at ya, it’s Rex. Dad loves him much more than us,” Wolffe sarcastically said. Cody knew he was joking.

Cody reached his classroom and gave a quick goodbye to Wolffe before entering the class with a few other students. He had to choose whether to disrupt his father who might be in the middle of an arrest for the bail bonds company or he can take a chance that his father would pick up.

He approached his teacher, who was sitting at his desk.

“Mr. Sander?” Cody called quietly.

The man looked up, “Yes, Cody. Is there something I can help you with?”

Cody shuffled his feet lightly but kept eye contact with his teacher.

“May I call my father? It’s important.”

The man smiled, “Of course. I’ll give you five minutes.” Mr. Sander gestured to the door.

“Thank you, really.”

Cody thanked God he was a good student.

He pulled his phone out of his pocket and pressed his father's contact. He drifted the phone up to his ear, waiting for the ringing to end and for his father to pick up.

“What is it, Cody? Did something happen?” his father’s concerned voice came through. Cody never has called Jango unless there was an emergency.

“Kinda, Rex looks really sick. But he won’t tell me anything. Please help me, dad,” Cody pleaded.

“He said he was fine this morning. Did he lie?” Jango’s voice was curt.

Cody winced even though his father couldn’t see him, “I think so.”

“Damn it. Okay, I’ll call him and tell him to either go home or just stay in the car,” Jango filled Cody in on his plan.

“Okay, but please go easy on him?”

Jango hesitated, “I won’t flip out. Now go to class. I'll see you this evening.”

Cody let out a sigh of relief, “Okay. I love you.”

“Love you too, kiddo.”

Cody hung up, slipping his phone back in his pocket, feeling much better than before. He thought for a moment then pulled his phone back out. He tapped his messages app, typing Wolffe’s name into the search bar. He quickly typed his text message.

Cody: I just called dad. He said he’s going to call Rex and talk to him.

Almost immediately after he sent the text, three moving grey dots popped up at the bottom of his screen.

Wolffe: Good, maybe he can talk some sense to the kid. See you after class.

Rex dropped his head to his desk, barely holding back a whimper of pain. His stomach was contracting painfully, making him want to curl up to make the pain go away. He was so tempted to text Cody to get his older brother to comfort him but he remembered he was twenty-two and shouldn’t need his older brothers.

He didn’t hear his teacher dismiss him and his classmates. All he heard were sounds of footsteps so he guessed it was time to leave. As he entered the hallway, he jumped when his phone started ringing.

His heart dropped as he read the caller ID. It was his father.

Damn you, Cody. You just had to rat me out to dad, didn’t you?

“Hello?” he answered in a quiet voice.

“Rex Jensen Fett, you know I feel about you lying to me,” his father’s voice snapped at him through the phone.

Rex flinched, not about to enjoy the conversation with his father. “Dad I-”

“No, Rex. You lied, plain and simple. Now, I’m going to ask again and this time I will know if you’re lying. Are you sick?”

Rex closed his eyes in pain, “Yes.”

“Good,” Jango’s voice became much softer. “Why didn’t you tell me this morning, kid?”

“I didn’t feel this bad,” Rex almost whined to his father.

Jango sighed over the phone, “Rex, you know when you’re sick. So I know you were aware that you were sick this morning.”

Rex didn’t want to be lectured or disappoint his father. “I’m sorry,” he mumbled.

“It’s okay, Rex,” his father told him soothingly, remembering his promise to Cody not to flip out.

“Rex, I want you to either go home with the others or at least stay in the car. Am I understood,” his father ordered softly.

“Yes,” Rex whispered.

“Go find Cody and Wolffe, Rex’ika. Love you ad’ika,” Jango spoke with adoration to Rex.

“Love you too,” Rex muttered, feeling his body starting to shut down.

Rex didn’t remember putting his phone in his pocket or starting to slowly walk down the hallway. Faces passed him in a blur. Sounds came from so many different directions.

All he remembered is wanting to cry when he found Cody and Wolffe.

“Oh, Rex’ika,” Cody cooed lightly, bringing Rex closer to hug him.

“C-Cody,” Rex whimpered in pain, knees almost buckling under his weight.

“Shhh, shhh, I know little brother. I know,” Cody whispered in his ear.

Wolffe leaned in closer to talk to Cody in a quieter tone, “You get him to the car, I’ll talk to Davis since we both have his class some time today.”

With that said, Wolffe walked to the other side of the building at a swift pace, hoping to beat the other students there so he could have some privacy. Davis was Cody’s and Wolffe’s history teacher but he never had both the Fett boys at the same time. Wolffe hoped his teacher liked them enough to let this one slide. Now if he was asking his first-period teacher to leave early, she would crucify him before she would let him leave.

Wolffe knocked on the door seeing no one in the room as far as he could see.

“Come in,” a voice beckoned the twenty-two-year-old in.

“Mr. Davis?”

The man looked up from his writing on the whiteboard. “Ah, Mr. Fett. What can I do for you? I don’t believe I have you in this class for another fifteen minutes.”

“That’s correct but I thought it would be better to tell you in person that I will have to miss class. My younger brother is very sick and he has no other way of getting home besides me and Cody.”

Davis burrows his brow, “I’m sorry to hear that. Give your brother good wishes from me. I will fill you and Cody in on what you missed.”

Wolffe sighed, “Thank you, sir.”

Wolffe almost ran to the car, wanting to get back to his little brother. He may look like a hardass but he loved all of his brothers and his father. He reached the car, seeing Cody in the driver's seat. Rex had been placed in the back seat, laying flat on his back.

Cody pointed to the backseat and turned the car on. Wolffe got the memo and opened the door Rex’s feet were the closest to. Wolffe carefully sat down on the seat, staring sadly at his sick brother.

“C’mere Rex’ika,” Wolffe called lightly.

Rex groaned as he sat up in the seat. He gripped his head, grabbing his blonde hair tightly but not painfully. His stomach flipped again. Rex felt like he wanted to throw up but he was too tired. He shifted around so he could lay in Wolffe’s lap. He curled into a ball so small he could almost fit in Wolffe’s lap like a puppy. Wolffe hummed sympathetically, stroking Rex’s back.

“I’m sorry you don’t feel good kiddo,” Wolffe told his brother apologetically.

Rex whined in pain, hugging his stomach. Wolffe carefully pulled Rex’s knees away from his chest. Rex tried to fight him but was too weak against his larger brother.

“No Rex. You’re going to hurt your stomach that way. Try to stay flat as possible,” Cody says looking through the rearview mirror.

“Hurts,” Rex said through the pain.

“I know, I know,” Wolffe continued to rub Rex’s back. He frowned, concerned when he was able to feel the heat through Rex’s hoodie. He placed the back of his hand on Rex’s head, feeling the sick twenty-two-year-old lean into his hand.

“You’re burning up,” Wolffe muttered to himself.

Wolffe pulled his phone out of his pocket after a little bit of a struggle. He quickly dialed his father’s number again, knowing he had a break at this time.

“Wolffe, is Rex okay?” Jango immediately jumped straight to the point when his father answered.

“He has a pretty high fever. And his stomach hurts a lot,” Wolffe lists.

“Okay, just get him home. Try to get him to sleep. That may help.”

“Okay, bye dad,” Wolffe ended the call.

Rex glanced up at his older brother, eyes tired. Wolffe ran his nails against Rex’s scalp. “Try to sleep, Rex. I’ll carry you inside when we get home.”

Rex sleepily nods, falling asleep in Wolffe’s lap, both of them rocking lightly to the movement of the car.

“How’s he doing?” Cody asks quietly a few minutes later.

“He’s got one hell of a fever.”

“Damn it, Rex,” Cody cursed their brother lightly, “Why the hell didn’t he say anything?”

“He’s like Tup; he won’t tell us unless we make him,” Wolffe explained.

“Well Tup got his bad habits from this one,” Cody teased their sleeping brother.

Once they pulled up to the house, Wolffe slipped his arms around Rex’s shoulders and underneath his knees. Rex didn’t stir so Wolffe moved so he could stand up out of the car. Cody closed the door for Wolffe and grabbed his keys from the ignition. He walked to the front door and inserted his key into the top lock then the bottom lock. Cody twisted the knob and quietly opened the door. Wolffe stepped into the house first immediately walking up the stairs to his, Rex’s, and Cody’s room.

The door was already open so Wolffe easily entered the bedroom, crossing to Rex’s bed. He slowly placed Rex on the bed, tucking his legs under the sheets.

Rex’s eyes fluttered open from being jostled lightly. His eyes blinked tiredly at his brother, confusion is his golden eyes. The confusion was replaced by pain. Rex curled up again, head tucked close to his knees.

Wolffe didn’t say anything and stroked his thumb over the back of Rex’s hot neck. “Easy, Rex. Just breathe.”

“Mmmmm,” Rex groaned in pain, stomach contracting violently.

A small knock pulled Wolffe’s attention away from Rex and to the door. Cody met eyes with Wolffe and tossed him a thermometer. Wolffe set it to Fahrenheit, then turned to Rex.

“Rex, can you open up, vod’ika? ” Wolffe asked softly.

Rex uncurled painfully, opening his mouth a small bit. Wolffe stuck the white stick under his tongue. Rex waited in painful agony, relishing in the comfort of his brother stroking his shoulder blades.

The thermometer beeped and Rex felt the stick being pulled out of his mouth. Rex nuzzled closer to Wolffe, wanting to the physical comfort of his brother. Wolffe obliged and hugged him close with one arm, facing Cody.

Cody grimaced, “102 degrees.”

Wolffe winced himself, somehow feeling even more heat radiating off of Rex. Wolffe tore his gaze from Cody and put it back on Rex. “Try to get some sleep, Rex. Cody and I will be downstairs.

Cody moved forward and squeezed Rex’s shoulder gently. Cody tried to walk away but was stopped by a hand trapping his wrist. Cody turned around and saw Rex was the one who grabbed his hand. Rex shot puppy eyes at Cody, wanting his older brother to stay with him.

“You want me to stay?”

Rex nodded his head a small degree. Cody climbed behind Rex, holding Rex’s back close to his chest. Wolffe left the room after smiling at his brothers.

Cody nuzzled closer to Rex, longing to give his brother some comfort. He and Jango were the ones that Rex always felt the most comforted by when he was sick. And Cody wasn’t about to deny his younger brother the comfort he needed.

“Dad will be home soon.”

Jango turned the knob to the front door, pushing the front door open. As soon as he opened the door, he was met with the sight of thirteen bodies around the living room and kitchen. Tup, Comet, Boil, and Echo were sitting at the table, binders and textbooks opened in front of them. Cody and Bly were sitting in the living room.

Ponds and Wolffe were in the kitchen, and Jango guessed they were starting dinner. Sinker and Boost were sitting on the living room floor, card game in between them, with Waxer observing them.

Fives, for some reason, was pacing from the entrance to the kitchen to the living room and repeated; a heavy textbook in his hand with his eyes flying over the pages.

“Hi, Dad,” Tup softly greeted, eyes shooting up from his work at the sound of the door then flying back down to the worksheet.

The others greeted him as he walked into the living room. He quickly walked to a different to put his gun away and then returned.

Cody was already looking at Jango expectantly when he turned around.

“Where’s Kix?” Jango asked the others, seeing another one of his sons missing.

“He got called in. There was a bad crash on one of the highways.” Ponds answered for his brothers, poking his head out of the kitchen.

“Now, where’s the little lair,” he said with a smile, gaining a chuckle from the others.

Cody tilted his head to the stairs. “He’s in his room. He’s not doing too good,” Cody finished grimly.

Jango dragged a hand down his face, “Does he have a fever?”

Cody nodded. “When we got home it was 102. I’m pretty sure it has gone up.”

Jango jogged up the stairs, reaching the closed door of Wolffe, Cody, and Rex’s room. He knocked even though he expected no answer. He turned the handle as slow as possible.

Rex was under a pile of blankets, only the outline of his body visible. Jango could see the blanket pile rise and fall which soothed his fear that Rex had suffocated.

“You awake, kiddo?” Jango spoke gently.

Rex slowly pulled the covers down to his nose, his eyes only visible. His golden orbs were sunken with exhaustion, and slightly bloodshot. If Jango looked close enough he could see shiny tear tracks on his son’s face.

“Oh, Rex,” Jango sighed, moving close to the bed. Rex let a few more tears fall, feeling so bad that he didn’t even care about his pride anymore.

“Don’t cry, Rex. I’m right here,” Jango gently hauled Rex up into a sitting position. Jango wanted to rip his hands off his son’s body at the heat he was feeling. He propped Rex on his shoulder, hand crossing to reach Rex’s head. The back of his hand was met with a hot surface and Jango then understood how bad Rex’s fever was.

“You are absolutely burning, Rex’ika,” Jango commented, hand slipping into Rex’s blonde hair. Rex moaned in pain and discomfort, curling closer to Jango.

Jango pulled and lifted Rex into his lap, cradling him close. Rex tried to pull away. Jango gave him a questioning glance, not knowing why he pulled away.

“You’ll g-get s-sick,” Rex muttered, failing at moving away from his father.

“I don’t care, Rex. I don’t give a damn if I get sick. Right now all I care about is you,” Jango gave him a firm look before it melted when Rex himself also melted into his father’s warm chest. Jango’s hand traveled over Rex’s grey hoodie, smiling mischievously a small amount when he realized he had seen that same hoodie on another person in the house.

“Did you steal Wolffe’s hoodie? I would expect that from Tup but not you.”

Rex’s tired eyes shot down to the hoodie before closing his eyes. “Wolffe gave it to me when we got to school. I was cold.”

Jango huffed a laugh but then his mood became slightly more serious, “Rex. Why did you lie to me this morning?”

Rex’s body locked up, hiding from his father. He was preparing to get yelled at by his dad.

“No, no, Rex. You’re not in trouble, and I’m not going to yell. You need to tell me when you are sick so I can help you. That is why I’m here, Rex,” Jango tilted his son’s chin up. “I am your father for a reason. It is my job to look after all of you, whether I’m pissed at you for lying or I feel normal, I’m always going to be here for you.”

Rex pulled out of his body-locked position to look at his father with big eyes.

“Oh, kid. Did you really doubt my love for you and your brothers?” Jango genuinely wanted to know.

“Not really, but…” Rex whispered.

Jango hugged him close again, stopping the conversation right there. Rex was sick and mentally discombobulated so Jango guessed that was the reason why Rex had his doubts about his father. But he had more pressing matters. “Did Cody give you any medicine?”

Rex shook his head into his father’s neck, wrapping his arms around his stomach. Jango held him with one hand and fished his phone out of his pocket. Rex whimpered in pain, pressing harder against Jango.

“Shhhhhh, shhhhhh. It’s okay, Rex’ika, it’s okay,” Jango soothed his sick son as he typed his message to his youngest son with one hand.

Jango: Can you grab ibuprofen and a bottle of water, please?

Jango didn’t have to wait long for Tup to respond.

Tup: Sure. Give me one second

Rex was in a lot of pain from both his head and stomach. His intestines are twisting and pulling. Rex thought his body was trying to kill him from the inside. His breathing was in harsh breaths, but Rex was still able to get oxygen in his lungs.

His father was offering much more comfort than before but Jango didn't have the superpower to take his children's pain away. No matter how much he wanted to, it wasn’t humanly possible.

They both heard light footsteps come up the stairs, coming towards Rex’s room.

“Hi ori’vod ,” Rex’s youngest brother greeted softly, walking into the room.

Rex gave a little wave, hand falling to the bed after.

Tup walked to his father, transitioning the pills in his hand to his father’s bigger hand. Jango also takes the water bottle, moving Rex up in his lap. Tup pressed his lips to Rex’s head quickly before retreating out of the room back downstairs.

Jango gave Rex the pills with little struggle but he got it done. He moved Rex back down into his previous lying position, Rex wincing at the movement.

“I’m sorry you’re sick, kiddo,” Jango spoke all the while stroking Rex’s hair, not knowing what else to say. Rex didn’t respond, curling into Jango.

“Do you want me to stay?” Jango didn’t want to intrude on Rex.

Rex vigorously shook his head to the best of his ability, clutching Jango’s arm and giving him puppy eyes.

“Okay, okay, I won’t leave,” Jango comforted his sick son. He did not like how warm Rex was, but he pushed it into the back of his mind, focusing on the young man on his chest.

Rex awoke about two hours later, feeling his brain being split in half. He groaned loudly, holding his hand in his hands. He felt a hand on his forehead, the cool skin feeling nice on his burning body. He could hear someone talking, most likely to themselves.

“Rex,” his father’s voice was clear, “calm down, calm down.”

He was only just aware of the tears on his face.

“You are on fire.”

Rex felt the world spin. “Feel dizzy,’’ Rex slurred.

“Does your head hurt?” Jango asked another question.

“Mhm.”

“Rex,” his father started, “I think we should take you to the hospital.”

Hospitals mean needles, doctors, prodding, long wait times, and anxiety, Rex thought to himself. He truly wanted to say no, that he didn’t want to go but his brains fired the wrong neurons.

“I’ll go, please,” Rex barely got out.

Wolffe felt his phone buzz on the dining room chair. He flipped his phone over after placing his fork down on the table.

Dad: I’m taking Rex to the hospital. His fever is too high. Give Tup his meds or he will freak out and won’t go to sleep.

Wolffe didn’t respond to the text. He looked to his youngest brother, seeing him happy and talking to their other brothers.

Damn it. He’s going to freak the f*ck out, Wolffe certainly didn’t want to scare Tup.

Wolffe sent a message to Ponds, Bly, and Cody, saying that Rex was going to be taken to the hospital. The three of them looked at their phones and gave the smallest nods to Wolffe.

Wolffe pushed himself from the table, standing up to walk to the medicine cabinet. His brothers didn’t notice he was grabbing Tup’s orange pill bottle; Wolffe guessed they thought he was getting something else.

He walked back into the dining room, softly placing the bottle in front of Tup and sitting back down.

The conversations dropped. Everyone, besides the four oldest, was confoundingly looking to the third oldest, questions burning in their eyes. Wolffe could see the confusion and maybe even slight fear growing in Tup’s honey-tinted eyes.

“Take ‘em,” Wolffe tried to smile reassuringly but it fell flat.

Tup picked the bottle up, holding it loosely at an angle, giving Wolffe a confused smile, “But I’m only supposed to take them when my anxiety is high.”

“I know,” Wolffe said softly, feeling like sh*t at his younger brother’s expression.

Tup expression dropped at Wolffe’s last sentence. His hands shook a few times as he stared at the bottle.

“Tup,” Cody got his attention. Tup lifted his scared eyes to Cody’s. “You have to trust us. Just take them and we’ll explain later, Tup’ika.”

Tup shakily opened the bottle, tapping two pills out. He popped the pills into his mouth and washed it down with a swig of water. Tup capped the bottle moving it farther away, staring at it.

It was going to be a long night for them.

Jango managed to get Rex into the car with the help of his older sons. Once they sat him in the car, Rex managed, in his fevered mind, to grab Cody’s hand, pulling lightly.

Cody looked to Jango, asking if he could go with his eyes. Jango quickly nodded, knowing it would be easier with Cody.

Cody climbed into the back seat of the car, pulling Rex into his lap. Jango started the car, backing out of the driveway. Once they got on the highway, Cody knew it wasn’t worth it to tell his father to stop speeding.

Everything went by in a blur. Rex was crying silently the whole way, making Cody want to help his brother but he couldn’t, only the doctors could. Cody carefully held Rex as he wrangled the hoodie off of him.

Cody’s heart stopped when he felt his brother’s skin, “Dad, he’s burning .”

Jango looks at his terrified son through the mirror, “I know, Cody. But we can’t do anything about it.”

When they arrive at the hospital, Jango swiftly scoops Rex out of Cody’s arms gently. Cody slammed the door shut after grabbing the keys and his phone. Jango walked through the large doors, being immediately spotted by a few nurses.

“What’s the problem?” a nurse immediately rushed over to them.

“He had a fever and it’s at least 105 now. He was having chest pain and he said he was dizzy. I didn’t know what to do.”

Cody swore he had only heard his father so desperate a few times.

The nurse put a hand on Rex’s head, “You made the right call. I need a gurney over here!” She shouted to her colleagues. The order was met immediately. The nurse directed Jango to put Rex on the bed slowly and safely. Another nurse pressed two fingers to Rex’s pulse line in his wrist, eyes widening in concern.

“Code blue! Code blue! He’s going to respiratory arrest!”

Jango felt his heart drop to the floor, leaving his body. He and Cody watched as the nurses ran down the hall with Rex.

“Sir? We need to get your and his information,” the first nurse tapped his arm. Jango jerkily nodded, fumbling for Cody’s hand who was frozen in the hallway.

The nurse led Cody and his father to the reception desk. The nurse slipped behind, coming back to Jango with a form in her hand.

“Can I have your relation to the patient?” She asked kindly.

“Father,” Jango answers shortly, not in the mood to give long answers.

“And your name is and see your driver’s license?” She looked up from her writing on the paper.

“Jango Fett.” He slipped her his I.D.

She transitioned to the computer. She typed a few keys then stopped. The nurse didn’t look up again when she asked her next question, “And can I have his first, middle, and last name and age, please?”

“Rex Jensen Fett. He is twenty-one.”

“Date of birth?”

“January 1, 1999,” Jango said on autopilot.

“May I have your insurance card?”

Cody spaced out after that. He couldn’t focus on anything. He was wondering if he was the one that was sick.

“Cody?”

Cody knew his father was trying to get him to talk but he could unhinge his jaw.

“Kid, look at me, please?”

Cody lifted his eyes, meeting eyes he would see in the mirror.

Buir,” Cody whimpered.

Jango’s arms surrounded him like he was drowning and Jango was a life raft. He felt Jango rock him lightly, a small amount but Cody could feel it.

“I don’t want him to die,” Cody barely got out, tears making an appearance in his eyes. “We already lost mom, I don’t want to lose him too.”

Jango felt horrified at his son’s word, “Oh Cody.” Jango wanted to have more comforting words to give Cody but he couldn’t find them.

Rex peeled his eyes open, blinking at the harsh light that flooded his vision. He moved and shifted uncomfortably.

He heard voices from outside and an annoying beeping sound but he didn’t know how he knew the distinctive sounds because he couldn’t figure out anything at the moment. A smaller hand gripped his tight, significantly shaking with tremors. He squeezed back. He knew it was Tup based on the size of the hand and the shakes.

Rex's eyes adjusted to the white light, cracking his eyes open lightly.

Tup was silently crying, whole body heaving with suppressed sobs.

“Don’t cry, ad’ika, ” Rex whispered to his upset brother.

Tup head snapped up, tear-rimmed eyes staring at his brother. He was looking very similar to a kicked puppy.

“I’m right here.” Rex winced as he moved, “I may be a little dinged but I’m here little one.”

Tup clutched Rex’s arms, head falling on Rex’s shoulder softly. Rex held him to the best of his ability. “You can cry kiddo. It’s just me here.”

Tup let his sobs free into Rex’s shoulder, tears soaking the hospital gown Rex was wearing. Rex stroked his shoulder blades, telling Tup comforting things under his breath.

Tup calmed down after a few minutes, nuzzling Rex’s shoulder. “Did you take your meds before you came?”

“Wolffe gave them to me, but he didn’t tell me why until an hour later.”

Rex winced, “I’m sorry if I scared you.”

Tup looked up at him through wet eyelashes, “All I care about is you being okay.”

Tup hugged him again, “Love you.”

Rex smiled, running his fingers across Tup’s hair, “Love you too.”

Notes:

I'm back! I'm going to try and upload more, but there is not a set schedule. I will put the translations in soon.

I am in a desperate need of requests. Drop anything you have in the comment if you want this work to keep going.

What do you think? Requests?

Chapter 9: Chapter 9-Drugged

Summary:

Kix comes home from a late shift to find one of his brothers is sick. Again.

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

“Kix you can go home, you look like you’re about to fall over,” a voice broke through Kix’s haze of mind.

Kix tried to protest to his Lieutenant, “I’m fine-”

His Lieutenant held up a hand to stop him. “Kix, you’re exhausted. Your shift is almost over anyway, go home and get some rest. Do I make myself clear?”

“Yes sir,” Kix nodded.

Kix was too tired to remember how long it took for him to get into his car and drive home. It was close to one o’clock in the morning and it was a fact that nobody would be awake.

Kix never liked to come home late at night or early in the morning because sometimes he would accidentally wake his brothers up. It was already bad enough that as a paramedic he had odd hours it was another thing to disturb his brother’s sleep.

Kix sighed and let his eyes fall closed as he pulled into the driveway. He dragged himself out of the car and fumbled with his keys. He slipped the key into the lock and quietly twisted it.

Kix pushed the door open and immediately knew something was wrong.

Cody was spread out on the couch, his arms tightly wrapped around his stomach. His skin was flushed, but he still had a blanket covering his lower half. He looked very sick but not the normal type of sick.

Kix placed his keys down and toed off his shoes. He slowly made his way to Cody, not knowing if Cody was asleep or not.

Kix placed the back of his hand on Cody’s head and felt the heat radiating off of him. He felt his brother lean into his hand. “Cody?”

Cody’s tired, pain-filled eyes opened, looking at his younger brother. He whimpered in pain and curled up. His legs brushed up against Kix.

“Shhhh, shhh,” Kix knew something was very wrong. When Cody was in pain he never gave any indication that it was hurting him unless it was bad. “Are you not feeling good, Codes?”

“Mhm,” Cody pitifully nodded.

Kix put a comforting hand on the middle of Cody’s back, “When did you start feeling sick?”

“When I got home from my friends. One of them spiked my drink for a prank. I don’t think they knew how bad it would be,” Cody explained slowly, moving closer to Kix.

Kix let him, feeling his head again, “Are all your friends idiots?”

Cody snorted, “Only a few of them.”

Kix winced at the heat and told Cody, “Don’t move, I’ll be back.”

Kix traveled to the kitchen, reaching into the medicine cabinet. He scanned the different bottles of pills, looking for some type of fever reducer. It took him a while to find it in the dark, but he was not going to wake his family up.

“Sit up for me, Cody,” Kix prompted when he returned to his brother. He helped Cody swallow the two small pills then laid him back down. The thing that concerned Kix was that Cody had technically been drugged by his own friend.

After a few moments of silence, Kix asked quietly, “Do you want dad?”

Cody shook his head, shivering from the fever, “D-don’t want to wake him up.”

Without saying anything, Kix lifted Cody’s upper body off the couch. He sat down then laid Cody’s head in his lap. He gently played with his hair, if he needed to talk to Cody he could just whisper in his ear.

Kix honestly wanted to lecture Cody about being so irresponsible or why he would hang out with people that do that, but he didn’t. He was just worried, and he didn’t want to blow things out of proportion.

“Why didn’t you come home earlier if you knew they spiked it?” Kix settled for, wanting to have some answers.

Cody shrugged against him. “I thought he was joking. I didn’t know he actually did it.”

Kix sighed, “I understand that Cody but this could’ve been so much worse. What if you got sick while you were driving and crashed the car?”

Cody nestled closer to Kix. He didn’t like to scare his brothers or make them worry, “M’ sorry.”

Kix sighed and hugged him tighter, “That was a low blow. I’m sorry too.”

Kix didn’t like the heat that was coming off his older brother, but he knew that the medicine still had to kick in. He was very tempted to go get Jango just to make sure he was aware of what happened. But then he remembered that Jango would lecture Cody, and Cody didn’t need that.

Jango could be tough on them, Kix wouldn’t deny that. He could yell, shout, or scream at them but they know he loves them. In their father’s defense, he is trying to raise fifteen kids on his own with a dead wife to remember every day; things will get frustrating.

And the same went for the boys. They can get mad, especially Jango’s older teenagers. They say things that they might not mean, just to argue. But even after they are done fighting, Jango still talks to them about it and tells them he loves them.

That was the only reason Kix wasn’t going to get Jango. He wasn’t going to make Cody suffer through yelling and have the others be awoken.

Cody shifted, uncomfortable. Kix glanced down and somehow knew something was wrong, well, more wrong than a few seconds ago.

“Are you going to get sick, Codes?” Kix spiraled a hand on his brother’s spine.

Cody nodded tightly, sitting up. He panted heavily, trying to hold his stomach where it was.

“Give me one second ori’vod,” Kix said, standing up and crossing to the kitchen, again. Kix reached the compartment where the trash can was. He pulled the handle and was pleased that someone had taken out the trash earlier.

Kix hurried back to Cody’s side, the bin in hand. He placed it in between Cody’s knees and sat next to him.

Cody felt his intestines twist and pull. His stomach bubbled, causing him so much pain. He whimpered in pain. He could feel his mouth watering as his stomach twisted again.

“It’s okay, Cody. Just breathe, just breathe,” Kix soothed.

Cody let his saliva drip from his slightly parted lips. Cody felt his stomach appear before he saw it. His dinner that he had eaten hours before made a reappearance in the bin. Cody didn’t catch a break from his throwing up session, not even close to finishing. Kix whispered in his ear every once a while, staying glued to his older brother’s side.

Kix heard footsteps from upstairs and he cursed under his breath. He could tell it was not his father, after years of accidentally analyzing his brothers’ and father’s footsteps around the house, but it was one of his older brothers.

He didn’t pay his other brother any attention, focusing on Cody was still throwing up. “It’ll be over soon, Cody.”

Kix saw Ponds out of the corner of his eye sit on the other side of Cody, stroking his sweaty hair. Kix smiled tightly to Ponds hoping that Cody’s predicament would end soon.

Cody was reduced to dry heaving, stomach contracting violently. He whined wanting to either pass out or go to sleep. He childishly wanted his father or brothers to take his pain away. Cody pushed the bin away when he was done, collapsing into Ponds’ side. His older brother’s strong arms wrapped around him, shushing him lightly.

“What happened?” Ponds didn’t ask Cody, aiming his question to Kix.

Kix sighed, trying to calm down and not hunt down Cody’s friends, “His drink got spiked. His friends did it and were stupid enough to not know the effects of it.”

Ponds growled low in his throat, “Idiots.”

Kix smirked, “That’s what I said.”

Cody moaned in pain again, curling in on himself. He felt like his insides were on f*cking fire. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph please, just end my suffering.

“Codes, do you want to try and sleep?” Ponds asked, pulling Cody back slightly. Cody nodded tiredly after thinking for a moment. Ponds helped Cody lay back down, staying seated next to him.

Kix swayed on the spot, completely drained. Ponds steadied him with a hand on his shoulder, directing him towards the stairs.

“Go to sleep vod’ika.” Kix nodded, gripping the wall tightly.

“And tell Wolffe to get his ass up at five so I can get some sleep too.” Ponds added, stroking Cody’s hair when his brother rested his head against Ponds’ thigh.

Kix slowly made his way upstairs, stopping in front of Wolffe’s, Cody’s, and Rex’s door. He knocked lightly on the door. He heard footsteps and the door opened. Wolffe stepped partly out of the room, giving Kix an annoyed but concerned glance.

“Cody is sick from his drink getting spiked by his friends for a prank,” Kix whispered. “Ponds is with him right now but you need to switch out with him at five. Can you do that, please?”

Wolffe nodded, “Yep.”

Kix started to walk away but was stopped by Wolffe’s hand resting on his wrist. Kix stopped his steps but didn’t look at his older brother. Wolffe stayed still for a few seconds, surveying his younger brother.

“You okay?” Wolffe finally asked, voice still rough from sleep.

Kix shook his head. Wolffe slowly brought him into a hug, stroking his head. “Try to sleep, kiddo. We can talk tomorrow if you want to.”

Kix slipped out of his brother’s embrace and went to his own room, hoping Jesse was still asleep.

Wolffe pulled his eyes open, hearing his alarm blaring in his ear. Well, it wasn’t that loud but loud enough to make him want to chuck his phone against the wall. He fumbled for his phone, groaning as he did. He really didn’t want to wake up at that moment but it was his turn to watch Cody.

God damn kids and their God damn pranks, Wolffe grumbled in his head as he practically rolled out of the bed. He clumsily tossed the covers back up towards the headboard and walked out of the room. He flinched when he closed the door slightly too rough, knowing it would wake someone up.

And lo and behold, Comet peeked out of the door five seconds later, eyes lidded with sleep and his hair slightly tostled. “Is something wrong?”

Wolffe smiled gently, “No, nothing's wrong. Go back to sleep Com’, you have school soon.” Comet fully stepped out of the room.

Comet groaned, “Do we have to go to school?”

Wolffe rolled his eyes, giving Comet a shooing motion, “Yes, now sleep, before Tup wakes up and freaks out because you aren’t in bed.”

Wolffe walked down the stairs after the door clicked closed. He crossed the floor to reach the living room where Cody and Ponds were still located at. He let a grin appear on his face as he saw a very cute sight.

Ponds was spread out on his back on the couch, eyes closed. Cody was sprawled out on Ponds' chest, still pale and sick looking. Ponds looked tired but was calmly stroking Cody’s back. Ponds cracked an eye open when he heard footsteps.

Wolffe leaned on one of the sides of the wide doorways, “How’s he doing?”

Ponds groaned softly, feeling very tired, “Not amazing, but a litter better. He’s thrown up multiple times though.”

Wolffe nodded, trying to wake himself up, “Do you want to deal with the others and I’ll take Cody?”

Ponds nodded, sitting with Cody still on his lap. Cody stirred awake with the movement, nuzzling closer to him. Ponds shook him once to fully wake him up. “Come on, Codes. I have to get up. You can lay with Wolffe.”

Cody blinked at Wolffe before making grabby hands at him. Wolffe chuckled before sitting on the couch next to the two. Cody shifted from Ponds to Wolffe, latching on to him. Wolffe encircled his arms around Cody, rocking the smallest bit. Ponds stood up, stretching his body. He patted Cody’s shoulder softly, retreating to the kitchen for something.

Wolffe looked down at his younger brother, tilting his chin up, “What you did was pretty stupid; driving while you knew the drink was spiked. You know that right?”

Cody ducked his head away. “Yeah.”

Wolffe stroked large circles on his spine, “Good. Cause I will beat your ass next time.”

Cody cuddled close relaxing again, his fevered brow resting on Wolffe’s chest. Wolffe stretched for the remote, turning the volume down once the TV was on. Cody moved his head slightly so he could see, not really paying attention to whatever was playing.

Wolffe started to twirl Cody’s hair in his fingertips, giving his brother some level of comfort. He didn’t miss the way Cody leaned heavily into his chest, obviously exhausted.

“Why don’t you try and sleep, Cody? That way you can get some sleep until the brats wake up,” Wolffe honestly thought all his younger brothers were brats in the morning.

Cody nodded, not in the mood to fight with his brother about it, golden orbs fluttering closed. He slowly relaxed against his brother, breathing slowly out. Wolffe distractedly combed his hair, eyes glued to anything but his brother.

About thirty minutes later, Wolffe heard the faint sound of an alarm going off. Wolffe sighed, closing his eyes. And this is the part where I lose my patience with the kids.

Wolffe relished in the blissful silence, and then he heard footsteps coming down the stairs. Wolffe moved his hand over Cody’s exposed ear, almost like he was cradling his head to block out the unwanted sound. In his sleep, he nuzzled closer to Wolffe, not liking the noise that he could still partially hear.

“All of you quiet down,” Wolffe growled to the oldest twins who were being the loudest. The twins froze and turned slowly towards their older brothers. Wolffe had a tired and unamused face and Cody’s brow was furrowed in his sleep.

“Is he okay?” Boil asked, faintly hearing Fives and Echo come down the stairs.

“He’s sick and do not wake him up or I will beat your asses,” Wolffe threatened.

Boil and Waxer swiftly walked away from their older brother and entered the kitchen to get some food. Cody stayed asleep for the rest of the time and soon all their brothers trickled down the stairs for school and Jango with him.

Tup was the last one done and paused in his steps to gaze at Cody. Wolffe could see the anxiety start to fill and swim in his honey tinted eyes.

Wolffe quickly attempted to soothe his brother in his own firm way. “Tup, look at me.”

Tup’s eyes flicked from Cody’s form to his brother.

“Cody is completely fine. He’s just a little sick and that’s all vod’ika.” Wolffe explained calmly seeing Tup relax at the reassurance. Tup nodded and Comet walked out into the living room and laced their hands together. Comet tugged on his hand and when Tup started following him he pressed a kiss to his hairline.

“Eat, before you panic to death,” Comet teased, making his little brother sit down in a chair.

Jango entered the living room and gazed at his fourth oldest boy. Cody was pale and his skin looked clammy. His hands shook a little bit where they were on Wolffe’s chest. Jango crouched in front of the couch and ran his hand over Cody’s spine.

Cody’s eyes blinked up, a tired gaze falling on his father. Jango smiled sadly, “Hey, Codes. Are you not feeling well?”

Cody shrunk under his gaze, not wanting him to know the real reason he was sick. And Wolffe just had to rat him out.

“Well, the little sh*t got his drink spiked, knew his friend did it and didn’t do anything about it.” Wolffe’s voice was sharp and almost disappointed, but the hand running through Cody’s damp hair proved different.

“What?” Jango growled low in his throat. Cody shifted away from his father, letting out a soft noise of discomfort. Jango sighed, sharing a look with Wolffe before pulling Cody’s upper body closer to him.

“Cody, look at me,” Jango’s tone was much softer than it was a few seconds ago. Cody turned his head to stare at his father. “We’ll talk about it later. Just calm down before you make yourself sicker. Don’t overthink what I’m going to say later, do you understand me?” Jango knew his fourth oldest son had a problem with overthinking and not wanting to disappoint people; he was very similar to Tup in that regard.

Cody nodded, leaning his head on Jango’s shoulder, wanting to just be near his father. Jango wrapped a loose arm around him, pressing his lips to his head. “I have to go. I trust that you will watch over him?” Jango asked Wolffe.

Wolffe nodded, “Rex will come home around one to switch with me.”

Jango sighed before standing up, heading for the door. “Alright, I’ll be back tonight. Bye boys.”

“Bye buir,” Tup called lightly before shoving his spoon of cereal in his mouth. Fives snorted then winced when a falling projectile hit him in the head. Apparently, Tup had thrown a piece of toast at him.

“You little sh-.” Fives had started to rise from his chair but quickly jumped into Rex’s lap. Rex groaned at the weight of an almost fully grown teenager jumping onto his body but grabbed Tup so he wouldn’t fall. Rex glared at Fives, daring him to come closer to their precious baby brother.

Fives gaped at him. “That’s not fair! He’s Rex’s favorite!”

Echo didn’t look up from his book when he responded. “You snooze you lose, Fives. Tup became Rex’s favorite before you did. So sad, too bad.”

Fives grumbled, cursing his twin under breath before grabbing his backpack and started to walk towards the door. “Well if the family's favorite doesn’t want to be late he should get his ass up and start walking.”

Tup grabbed his backpack and silently walked to the door with Comet. Fives wrapped an arm around his shoulder, giving him a side hug so there were no hard feelings between them.

Once their brother left, safe from Ponds, Bly, Wolffe, and Rex, Cody let out a long whimper, feeling the nauseous feeling return in his gut.

Rex went to Cody’s side, helping him sit up. “Do you feel like you’re going to throw up?”

Cody nodded, holding his stomach with one arm. Rex quickly retrieved the now clean trash can and placed it in front of his brother. Cody gagged as soon as the trash can touched the floor. Bile was ejected from his body, making him shuttered harshly. Rex drew large circles on his back, shushing him slightly. Once Cody was done, he groaned at the disgusting taste in his mouth. A glass of water appeared in his line of sight and he gratefully accepted it.

“You feel better now?” Rex said softly.

Cody shrugged and laid back down. The twenty-three-year-old went into limbo, not aware of anything but peaceful sleep. A few times he felt his body being moved slightly and a brush of a hand in his hair. It was a nice escape from his sickness.

Cody woke up a little while later, still feeling sick but it was better sick than before. He didn’t open his eyes until a warm hand stroked his cheek, obviously coaxing him to open his eyes. Cody fluttered his eyes open, hard after his long nap. He stretched on the couch as much as possible and then looked up at which one of his brothers was sitting next to him.

“Hey, kiddo.” A deeper voice greeted him than he had expected.

“Dad?” Cody looked up at his father tiredly, seeing the older man smile barely.

“You are in big trouble, little one,” Jango chastised gently but still had a firm look in his eye. Cody shrunk at that but Jango shushed him lightly. “Hey hey, I’m not going to yell. Please look at me, Cod’ika.”

Cody whined slightly, making his father’s heart fall. “Shhhh, shhhh. Calm down, Cody. You’ll feel worse if you get worked up.”

Cody hesitantly flicked his eyes up to his father. Jango stroked his shoulder comfortingly. “I'm really pissed at you. You could’ve been killed if you passed out in the car. I don’t want to get another phone call like that. We’ve already been through that before.” Jango whispered at the end, stroking Cody’s curls.

“I’m sorry, you’re right,” Cody admitted softly, feeling guilty about the whole situation. Jango suddenly laid down on the large couch next to Cody, pulling him closer. Cody immediately cuddled closer to him, wanting to feel Jango’s comforting aura. Jango lifted his arm so Cody could get comfortable then dropped his arm.

“Did you take any meds?” Jango asked gently.

Cody sleepily shook his head, “No. I took some last night but that was it.”

Jango nodded along, then shouted for one of his sons in an angry voice. “Kix, Jesse, Comet, or anyone, get your asses down here!”

Tup and Comet came sprinting down the stairs, scared of the tone in their father’s tone. Tup hid slightly behind his brother and asked with unintentional puppy eyes, “Are we in trouble?”

Comet jumped in, “Whatever it is, Boil did it.”

Jango chuckled and Cody giggled as well, knowing that Jango wasn’t mad at anyone. Tup and Comet frowned at him. “I just wanted to see how fast someone would get down here,” Jango snickered.

Tup groaned and shot his father an annoyed look, “Not funny, dad. What do you need?”

Jango tilted his chin towards the kitchen, “Grab some meds for Codes, please.”

Tup and Comet both walked into the kitchen, engaging in a light conversation. Cody shifted lightly, curling around his father’s hip. Jango pressed a kiss to his head as Tup and Comet re-entered the room.

Jango took the glass from Comet while Cody took the pills from Tup. Cody put the pills in his mouth and reached for the glass. Jango shook his head and held the glass to his son’s lips. Cody parted them and let Jango drip the water down his throat. Jango went slow and stopped when Cody tapped his ribs where his hand was placed. Jango placed the water on the table in front of them and Jango turned to his two youngest sons.

“I think that’s all. You two are free to leave or stay.” Jango finished his statement when Cody groaned lightly.

Comet and Tup shrugged at each other and settled down on the large couch. Comet turned the T.V. on at a low volume and got sucked into a movie. Cody tried to focus but he was in too much discomfort. Jango carded his hand through Cody’s hair, half-watching the movie and half-watching his son.

Cody finally relaxed fully against Jango’s chest, leaning against his hand. Jango smiled gently and felt adoration for all his kids, especially Cody at the moment. Tup was resting against Comet’s arm, eyes still glued to the T.V. along with Tup

Sooner or later all his sons were gathered in the large living room, scattered around the room. Jango realized that yes, Cody was sick but he was glad that his family was still in one piece.

Notes:

This was a short one, but I had taken long enough I figured I'd just post it. This was a little different than the request I received but it's still close enough! 💙

What do you think? Gimme any requests you got!

Chapter 10: Chapter 10-Nightmares

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

Tup groaned, and dropped his pencil with an audible thud on the book that was open in front of him. Comet who was across from him smirked a little bit while still working on his own assignment. The teenager rubbed his eyes like it would miraculously make him less tired. He and Comet had been sitting there for hours doing work and studying.

“Struggling there?” A sarcastic voice came from behind him. Tup tilted his head back further until he was able to see the person who was now upside down.

“Hush up, Boil.”

Boil chuckled and made his way over Tup’s side. He leaned his hands on the table and ran his eyes over all the papers scattered slightly on the table. Boil pursed his lips. “That’s a lot of notes there.”

Boil shifted the paper that Tup was just writing on, and he started to read it. “This is English. You’re good at English.” Tup could hear the worry in Boil’s voice. It was odd because Tup was good at English and Boil knew that typical teenagers with depression will have grades drop because they just can’t focus on it or can’t bring themselves to do it when their depression spikes hard.

“Well, I’m not good at English when I have been staring at a Geometry textbook for almost two hours,” Tup explained tiredly. “Remind me why I used to like Geometry when I did it in middle school?”

Boil let himself relax a little bit. Waxer heard that statement from his place in the living room where most of their other brothers were. “Because that was baby Geometry. Welcome to the real world of math. It sucks.”

Tup rolled his eyes. “Love you too.” Tup took the paper back from Boil and started working again. Boil to that as his queue and walked away from the busy teenager.

Once Tup was halfway through his essay he heard the sound of a car pulling up in the driveway. Tup numbed noted that it was his father and continued to stare at his homework. He and Comet heard the front door open but they didn’t look up.

That was until the door slammed shut. Tup jumped nearly five feet in the air at the loud bang and stared at the entrance to the dining room where Tup and Comet were seated. His heart rate sky-rocketed like it always did when he was scared or anxious, and right now he was both. Comet’s head had snapped up but he didn’t flinch. They both heard their father walk into the house but avoided their location.

Things started swimming through his mind and for some reason the very vivid memory of glass being thrown at him and shattering glass showering down on him. Then a voice yelling at him, making him drop down into a ball with a yelp as another bottle was thrown at him. He started crying and sobbing and-

A nudge on Tup’s foot brought him back. Tup looked up fast and saw Comet giving him a concerned look. Comet mouthed to him, ‘you okay?’.

Tup took a deep breath; not seeing the dark room, or the glass on the floor, or heard any crying. He knew Jango would never do anything to hurt him on purpose.

Tup shrugged and looked back down at his assignment slowly and his mind started to leave him again. He stared into space, almost dissociating. Screw his essay, he couldn’t think about it right then and there. His hands started shaking, the sound of the door slamming had brought back buried memories.

Everyone in the house was now silent, attempting to tell if their father was going to flip his lid or not. He was probably putting his gun away like he did everything night in fear that one of his teenagers would pull the trigger if they were touching it. Rex and Wolffe met each other’s gaze and simultaneously agreed to nonchalantly keep an eye on the kids that were not in their rooms; Comet and Tup. Rex and Wolffe shifted on the couches in the living room, so they could both peer into the dining room.

Tup’s hands were shaking lightly, still not breaking his gaze on his paper. He snapped out of his stupor and reached for his phone, wondering what time it was. The time was ten-thirty o’clock and their father was supposed to be home at seven, so something was obviously wrong. It shouldn't be this slow at work even on a Friday.

Jango’s footsteps came closer to the dining and living room, most likely about to go upstairs. Ponds and Bly met his eyes once he came into view and gave him a hard stare, gesturing to the two teenagers in the room adjacent to them. No way they were going to let their father scare their younger brothers. Jango nodded but his eyes were still stormy; something was obviously bothering him.

Jango leaned against the big doorway to the dining room, standing on the two steps that lead to said room since the living room was lowered slightly. He stared sadly at the teenagers before Comet looked at his phone which was ringing. Comet looked at the caller ID and frowned but answered the call.

“Hey, what’s up?” Comet then went silent. After a few seconds, he said. “Give me one second. Hey dad?”

Jango nodded, “Yeah?”

“Can I stay the night at a friend's house to help him study for a test on Monday?”

Jango thought for a moment before letting a small smile slide onto his face. “Sure. No drinking though.”

Comet’s face twisted into an offended look. “I feel betrayed that you think I would illegally drink.”

Jango rolled his eyes in good nature. “Comet, I know you would drink the first chance you get. Don’t even. The only two of you that wouldn’t illegally drink are Kix and Tup. You, most definitely would.”

Comet laughed before gathering his mess of assignments before heading upstairs to grab a few things. The mood was relaxed once again, Jango’s mood was slightly better. But Tup was still tense and the others saw that. Tup finally started writing again but everyone could tell he was writing notes that he already had on a different note sheet.

Jango observed his son knowing that he must’ve scared him. Jango sighed again and crossed to Tup. The older man saw Tup tense his muscles as he approached closer to him. Oh, Tup.

Jango walked behind Tup, peering slightly over his shoulder. The older boys carefully watched, curious as to what their father was going to do. Tup could feel his father’s body heat behind him and shut his eyes tightly in reflex.

Tup’s honey eyes opened when strong arms gently wrapped around his upper torso. Jango had slightly leaned over the back of the chair and pulled Tup back towards him. Tup went easily, pencil slipping out of his limp fingers.

Jango dropped his lips to the top of Tup’s head, keeping them firmly planted there. He ran his thumb over the teen’s collarbone, willing him to relax. Tup eventually leaned back into his father, huffing lightly against him. He leaned his head on his father’s arm, taking in his warmth.

“Tup, I think you should go to bed.” Everyone turned to the brother that had spoken. Kix was looking at Tup with an analytical gaze. “You look tired, kiddo.”

Rex gave a nod of agreement. “You’ve been sitting there for a couple of hours. You’ve got to be tired.”

“‘M not tired.” Tup glared at his brothers as a last resort. He didn’t really want to go to bed seeing as he still needed to finish his work. Sad to say his father didn’t share the same sentiment as him.

“Come on, Tup’ika. Kix is right.”

Tup pouted and stared up at his father with his best puppy eyes. Jango shook his head, “No puppy eyes, love. Let’s go.” Tup didn’t move from his spot, crossing his arms.

“Tup, I will pick you up. You know I can.” Jango stated in a warning tone. Tup took that as a challenge and stared blankly at him. Jango suddenly lifted him into his arms, cradling close to his chest. Tup yelped and tried to pull away. The others laughed, smiling at the happy moment.

Tup stopped struggling, panting at the effort he showed and plopped in his head on his father's shoulder. “Cheater.”

Jango tossed him up slightly to reposition him. “I know.” He left it at that and left to walk up the stairs with his pouting teenager.

As they were walking up the stairs, Tup crossed his arms again. “Dang you and your Marine training,” Tup mumbled but contradicted his sentence by nuzzling his father’s shoulder.

“Don’t blame me, blame your grandfather and aunt for convincing me to re-enlist in the Marines instead of going to prison.” Jango snorted.

Jango had been in the Marines for years when even before older boys were teenagers, but when Kix was born Jango honorably left the Marines and was put on a Reserve unit for a year before his time in the military was over. Then he had a choice to make about five years ago; prison or Marines again. The judge had given him a week to choose and his father and sister helped him choose to be in the Marines for two to three years or be in prison and have it on his record. The judge had felt sympathy for the man but he did not however sympathize with his actions….

They arrived at Tup’s door and Jango carefully put him down. Tup moved to open the door but was pulled into another hug. Tup sagged into his father’s chest, accepting his physical comfort.

“I’m sorry I scared you earlier,” Jango whispered, unwilling to break the peaceful quietness.

Tup shook his head. “It’s not your fault I have anxiety.” They both knew why he had anxiety.

Jango growled. “I hope you realize I want to punch him every day. Then kick his wife’s ass for not doing anything.”

Tup shifted uncomfortably but hugged him tighter. “I know you do.”

Jango squeezed him tight for one more second then let go, pushing him into his room. Tup smiled and closed the door. He changed into loser clothing and promptly fell onto his bed in a tired heap.

Tup jumped awake, a scream dying on his throat. He braced his arms on either side of him, staring at his dark blue sheets. Drops of water started to appear on the sheets and Tup co*cked his head to the side. Tup reached up with a shaky hand to discover that he was crying. Tup gave up trying to hold his tears back and openly cried.

The teenager then slapped a hand to his mouth, stopping the flow of sobs. The last thing he wanted was all of his brothers and his father to enter his room to find him like this. He didn’t enjoy all of them being around him when he was upset. He loved his brothers and father, so much, but there was only so much they could do. It was better when one or two of them was comforting him, and not all fourteen of them.

Tup then remembered why he was awake and gasping for breath and he suddenly became hyper-aware, his eyes traveling over the room. His eyes fell on Comet’s empty bed and his heart leaped into his throat.

Tup took a breath and shut his eyes tightly. Stop it, stop it. You’re fine. Comet’s at a friends’ house helping him study. Well, that’s what he said he was going to do at least. Tup opened his eyes and stared at the clock in his room that gave off an orange glow.

12:42

Tup sighed and gave a small whine, falling back slowly, lying back down. There was no way he was going back to sleep, especially since he was still scared from his nightmare. He was scared that his dream was about to happen again. The upset teenager debated quickly before ripping his covers off and walking out of his room. He closed the door as quietly as he could considering he was still crying.

The large hallway was dark but natural light still soaked through. Tup’s room was located on the left side of the hallway. Half of the rooms and a few guest bedrooms since some of the boys shared, which all eight teenagers (including the newly nineteen Sinker and Boost) had their rooms, were on the left side of the staircase and banister while the other half of the rooms which went from Jesse, who was nineteen, to Jango. Tup crept to the other side of the hallway, flinching at any shadow that moved. The youngest Fett boy finally reached his father’s room, who was the person he was going to in the first place. But he hesitated. His hand hovered over the handle of the door, not moving.

Tup remembered Jango’s mood earlier when he came into the house. Work was probably being a bitch to him and he was apparently now working odd hours because he was back home three hours later than he was supposed to.

He didn’t want to wake his father up in fear he would send him back to be. He highly doubted Jango would do that, but at the moment he did.

He didn’t want to disturb his father, who obviously needed rest after his long day.

Because he hands his hands full with me and the other teenagers. Tup bitterly thought.

That was why Tup hesitated; not wanting to wake his father when he knew he needed as much sleep as possible and Tup knew his father didn’t really want to deal with a crying teenager in the middle of the night. Tup pulled his hand away and wrapped his arms around himself. He swore he felt someone’s hand grab him. Tup whirled around trying to get the hand off of him but there was no one there.

The long-haired teen glanced at each of the doors, and his eyes shot back and forth like he was playing eeny-meeny-miny-moo in his head. Without giving himself to re-think, Tup pushed on the handle of one of the doors and entered Kix and Jesse’s room.

Tup stepped into the dark and quiet room, squinting to see to sleeping forms of Jesse and Kix. Jesse was sprawled out on his stomach while Kix was laying on his side, both peacefully asleep. Tup bit his lower lip, feeling guilty that he would wake them up but his fear took over when he felt a hand touch him again.

He crawled into Kix’s bed, curling close to his chest. The paramedic’s eyes slowly opened at the added weight in his bed and the person’s chest moving rapidly. Kix may not have known who it was at the moment in his sleep-filled mind but his paramedic and older brother instincts made him hold whoever was in his bed close.

Tup was shaking as his brother took hold of him. He buried his face in Kix’s neck, tears falling fast.

“Shhhhhh, shhhhh, it’s okay, love. It’s okay.” Kix finally was awake enough to realize it was one of his younger, younger brothers, giving by the size of him.

“K-Kix,” Tup sobbed, wanting his older brother to take his fear away even though he sadly knew that couldn't happen.

“I know, I know. Try to breathe for me, okay Tup’ika?” Kix asked, voice still rough with sleep.

Tup barely registered his brother's words, too caught up in his own head. He saw shadows move in his mind, he could feel his body back at that place. Tup moved impossibly closer to his brother, shaking violently.

“Tup, listen to me, it’s okay. You’re okay sweetie,” Kix tried again to no avail, and apparently, Tup let the term of endearment go.

Tup struggled in his arms, trying to get away. Kix sighed, knowing it would be a long night judging by how bad Tup was reacting. Kix tightened his arms around Tup, squeezing lightly. “Shhhhh, shhhhh.” Kix dropped a kiss to Tup’s head, starting to stroke his hair.

Kix looked to the other side of the room and saw that Jesse’s eyes were open. The younger adult was propped up on his side, staring sadly at his little brother. Then he frowned, co*cking his head to the side, and then whispered, “Why didn’t he go to Rex?”

The anxious teenager was notorious for sneaking into Rex, Cody, and Wolffe’s room and crawling into Rex’s bed for comfort. The first time it happened, when Tup was roughly five, just a small little boy, the three older boys, teenagers at the time, had thought someone was in the house.

Kix shrugged, wondering the same thing, and turned his golden-brown eyes back down the anxious teenager. Tup was staring around the room, looking very panicked. “Tup, look at me.” Kix moved Tup’s chin to make eye-contact. “Don’t look at anything else, just look at me.”

Tup whined slightly, scared now that he couldn’t see anything but his brother. “K-Kix-” Tup was cut off by a sob shooting out of his throat.

“Tup, you need to breathe, you’re going to have an anxiety attack if you aren’t already having one,” Kix advised him, helping the teenager sit up.

Tup jerkily nodded and hand latching onto Kix’s. The paramedic rubbed circles on Tup’s knuckles with his thumb, cooing into Tup’s ear.

The scared teenager jumped when someone else joined them on the bed. Tup immediately curled into Kix’s chest, whimpering like a small puppy. Kix held him nevertheless, stroking his dark locks. “Easy, it’s just Jess’. See?” Kix pointed to their other brother, seeing Jesse smile softly.

“I’m not going to hurt you, Tup’ika. I just want to help you.” Jesse explained, wrapping an added arm around Tup’s shaking shoulder.

Tup gripped him tightly, tears still falling from his closed eyes. The dream had felt so real and tangible that Tup thought he was actually back at his old foster home. He never wanted to go back there, even in his dreams.

“Talk to us, Tup. What happened?” Jesse prompted gently as possible, not wanting to set Tup off even more. The long-haired teenager slowly shook his head against Kix’s chest, preferring to not talk about it.

“Well, you’re going to have to tell us eventually. Will you at least answer my questions?” Kix compromised.

They waited in heavy silence safe for Tup’s sobs but eventually, he nodded.

“Alright. Did you wake up and just panic?”

A shake of the head.

“Was it a nightmare?”

Tup accidentally gave a loud sob and slapped his hand to his mouth. Kix stroked Tup’s sternum with a feather-light touch, waiting for him to answer.

“Y-yes.”

“Shhhhh, you’re alright. Was it about the system?”

Tup nodded, and practically shivered at the word ‘system’ knowing his brother had been referring to the Foster System or CPS. Kix noticed this and pulled Tup closer, taking almost all his body weight. Kix wasn’t surprised that he could hold Tup; while Tup wasn’t exactly light, but Kix was pretty strong.

Kix moved his kid brother so Tup could hold onto him light a Koala; his legs wrapped around his waist and arms around his upper torso. Kix rocked side-to-side, shushing him lightly and Jesse brushed Tup’s hair with his thin fingers.

Kix rocked gently, stroking his hair in the same comforting motions. He wasn’t too concerned about Tup having an anxiety attack seeing as it was mostly just him being scared from his dream. “You don’t have to talk about it. I know you don’t want to.”

It killed Kix from the bottom of his heart to say that because he desperately wanted to know, but he would not push his baby brother to talk. No one knew what happened in the house with Tup except maybe Comet. Wolffe always said he had the suspicion that something else happened to Tup other than just verbal abuse. Wolffe had been taken out of the system once he aged-out and went to live with their cousins, Fox, Thorn, and Stone, who are brothers and live together. He fought with their social worker to stay with Comet and Tup but sadly there was nothing Jen could do for him. She had felt terrible when the young man begged her.

“I-I’m s-sorry I a-always cause p-problems.” Tup stuttered through his tears, voice muffled by Kix’s shoulder.

Jesse put a hand on the small of his back. “Shhhhh, shhhhhh. You don’t cause problems, love. We love you so much and you are not a burden to us.”

Tup shook his head in disbelief. “Y-yes I do.”

“What makes you think that?” Kix pressed the matter.

“Y-you all have to t-take care of me s-somehow. And I c-can tell you get annoyed w-with m-me.” Tup explained in a broken voice.

Kix firmly shook his head even though the teenager wasn’t looking at him. “No, absolutely not. We are never ‘annoyed’ with you as you put it, and we don’t hate helping you. You have three exhausting mental disorders that you can’t control. We’re your older brothers, it is our job to protect you even from your own mind.”

Jesse had to hand it to Kix, he was very persuasive when he wanted to be. Tup peeked out of Kix’s chest just a little bit, but neither of them could see his eyes.

“Tup, would I be holding you if I didn’t love you or was annoyed with you?” Kix asked calmly. Tup fidgeted lightly, still crying but huffed. “No.”

Kix pulled him back to look him in the eye. Kix stared sadly at his brother and Jesse moved to cover Tup’s back. Tup buried himself back in his chest, softly sobbing.

Kix held him again, feeling Jesse scooting closer. Jesse hugged Tup from behind, lying his head on his shaking shoulders. Jesse slipped his hand into Tup’s, lacing fingers with him. He felt the poor kid’s hand shaking in his.

“Tup, don’t be scared. We’ll keep you safe. You’re never going back there. Ever.” Jesse vowed to his brother, who sobbed harder.

Kix frowned sadly at the painful cries coming from his brother. “Love, what are you afraid of?”

Tup hiccuped lightly. “T-that he’s g-going to t-take me away.”

Kix and Jesse shared a look, understanding that Tup hated his old foster home and never wanted to be back in Brooklyn again.

“He’s not going to. Jen and dad will never let you go back there and we won’t either.” Jesse promised once again. And he had no difficulty saying that if Tup were to be taken away from them he would punch anyone to get his brother back.

“H-how do k-know?” Tup asked pitifully.

Kix bit his lip before asking a question he had never asked before. “Tup….did he ever do more abuse than verbally?”

Tup shook his head jerkily.

“Kiddo, if he did, you know it’s illegal right?” Jesse knew what route Kix was trying to take.

“I know that!” Tup shouted, which was a weird outburst for the kind teenager.

Kix and Jesse jerked back almost and Jesse glanced at Kix and saw fire in his eyes. Kix and Jesse knew that something else happened in that house but Tup would never say. Kix let it go but as he stroked Tup’s spine Jesse could see the tenseness in his hands.

Tup continued to cry and the paramedic in the room was surprised his other brothers weren’t barging through the door. Kix cooed in his ear trying to calm him down, played with his hair; basically, he tried everything but nothing was working.

Kix handed Tup to Jesse and motioned for him to follow him out of the room. Jesse tightened his grip and gave a quiet warning to Tup before standing up with him. Kix slowly opened the door and saw no one peeking out of their rooms so he proceeded in walking down the stairs. Jesse carefully walked down the stairs, much slower than Kix. They reached the bottom and Kix turned on a few lights so they wouldn’t walk into anything.

Kix walked through the house, not making too much noise but Tup wasn’t exactly helping. Kix would never blame him though. He led the other two into the living room before sitting down. Jesse sat with Tup sitting in his lap, rocking lightly.

“Shhhhh, shhhhh. You’re safe Tup’ika. You’re safe with us.” Jesse murmured in his brother’s ear. Tup clung to his torso, sobbing loudly. The two other Fett boys swore that the whole house could hear him.

Kix sighed and felt his phone vibrate against his leg within his pocket. Kix fumbled for his phone as he played gently with Tup’s hair. Kix realized he missed multiple texts from his brothers. Jango must’ve been exhausted because there were no messages from him and Kix knew he would’ve been the first one to text him.

Kix opened the first message he got and it was from Waxer, asking if he heard someone crying. Kix quickly responded saying Tup was in the middle of a breakdown/anxiety attack, knowing that Waxer would tell Boil as well if he asked. The next message was from his older brothers, literally, all five of them texted him. Kix sighed, stealing a glance at Tup before furiously typing his response to Rex and Ponds so he could get them to shut up. Kix tossed his phone on the other couch closest to him and turned to Tup and Jesse.

Tup was gripping his chest like it would help him breathe and an odd choked cry came from the boy. Kix grabbed his hands to keep him from choking himself. “Love, shhhh, shhhh. Ad’ika , you need to breathe. Now.”

Kix was afraid that Tup wasn’t getting enough air in his lungs because of the anxiety attack that was fueling up.

“I-I c-can’t, Kix.” Tup sounded as scared as he looked.

Kix nodded, “I know you’re scared and I want to help you but you have to breathe before I do. Can you try?”

Tup attempted to the best of his ability to breathe deeply but it fell short when Tup saw a twisted shadow behind Jesse and he whimpered, shifting away from Jesse. The older boy let him wriggle out of his arms, not wanting Tup to panic at not being able to move.

Kix moved so he was kneeled in front of Tup, gripping his chin lightly. “Tup look at me, kiddo. Breathe in for four.”

Tup cradled his head in his hand but stared at Kix with big eyes and nodded. He took a shuddering breath, knowing that kix was using the grounding technique his therapist had taught him.

“Hold it for seven.” Tup could barely get to five before he let it out for eight seconds.

Kix repeated the process with him until he was able to breathe and his eyes weren’t shooting back and forth, looking for someone hiding in the room. Kix didn’t say anything as he brought the teenager close for a hug, Tup going limp against his chest.

Kix made eye contact with Jesse and pointed to his phone. Jesse gave him the phone and Kix opened it then looked down at Tup. “I’m guessing you want Rex?”

Going to Rex meant he would also be with Cody and Wolffe so Tup nodded. Kix sent Rex a brief text, telling him to come downstairs and take Tup to Rex’s room. Rex didn’t respond but Kix heard footsteps and a door opening upstairs. Seven seconds later Rex was at the bottom of the stairs.

Rex swiftly entered the living room and crouched down next to Kix. Words weren’t exchanged as Rex took Tup from Kix and Tup nuzzled closer to his older brother. Rex, Kix, and Jesse all walked back up the stairs, Tup quiet as a mouse. Kix and Jesse said goodnight to Tup and Rex once they reached their door and Rex walked back into his room.

Cody and Wolffe were already sitting on Rex’s bed, patiently waiting. Rex knocked on the door jam before fully stepping into the room. Cody and Wolffe’s heads snapped up and gave Tup a soft sad smile. Tup didn’t return it and just clung to Rex.

Rex sat on the bed, moving to rest against the wall. Cody and Wolffe sat on either side of him; Cody taking one of Tup’s hands and Wolffe getting the knots out of his hair. They could tell and hear that Tup was trying to hold his tears back but none of them asked why because they knew why he was upset; for a reason, they could never understand because they had never gone through the same thing Tup did.

They just sat there, let Tup fall apart for most of the night. Because they would be there to put him back together.

Notes:

This chapter was mostly for plot purposes. This gave you guys a little insight into what foster care was like for Tup. And you also saw a sneak peek of Jango and his....military experience. Let me know if you have any questions I would be happy to answer! 💙

What do you think? I need some requests, so send them in!

Chapter 11: Chapter 11-Kix's Grief

Summary:

Kix comes home after a call crying and blood covering his uniform.

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

Kix closed the door by leaning his spine against it. He leaned heavily against it, struggling to hold back tears. He knew his job as a paramedic was hard but he didn’t expect to feel this upset. He just wanted his dad and brothers; nothing else mattered.

Blood was roaring in his ears, drowning out the sounds of the house and his brothers talking. Blood was still on his wrists where the gloves ended that he was wearing on a call, and his hands jittered and shook. Kix’s knees were threatening to buckle right there.

“Kix, that you?” He heard Wolffe ask him from the living room, obviously realizing that the person who walked through the door was taking a long time to move.

Kix's lower lip trembled but he refused to let his tears fall. “Y-yeah,” Kix called out to the best of his ability so they didn’t think he was crying. Kix took a breath and stood up straight. He dropped his keys on a table close to the door and slowly walked into the living room and luckily only his older brothers were in the room.

“Woah, Kix what happened?” Rex jumped up from the couch and hesitantly came close to his brother. Kix leaned against the wall, closing his eyes. His body and mind hurt and he didn’t know why but he didn’t know how to make the pain stop.

“Kix, what’s wrong?” Cody asked this time, sitting on the edge of the couch.

Kix shook his head, tipping his head back to stare at the ceiling with tear-filled eyes. He felt Rex gently grip his upper arm, stroking it lightly. Kix didn’t tear his gaze from the ceiling, but he let his tears fall.

Rex was very tempted to pull him into a hug but he didn’t want to push Kix into physical affection; Kix didn’t always like being touched. He was very particular about physical touch.

“Kix, you have to tell us so we can help you,” Wolffe announced.

“I’m fine.” Kix’s voice shook as he tried to get his brothers off of his back.

Rex ignored his other brothers who were talking to each other about Kix and gripped Kix’s arm a little tighter. “Hey, look at me,” Rex whispered.

Kix lowered his eyes slightly before the dam broke and couldn’t contain his sobs. Rex shushed him lightly as he brought him into a hug.

The others stopped their small conversation and saw Kix leaning heavily on Rex. They looked at each other before giving Kix a little bit more space.

“Kix, we just want to help you. Will you tell us now?” Bly tried again, pleading with Kix once his crying quieted down a bit.

“I-I can’t,” Kix whispered, eyes shut, letting his brothers move him closer and farther into the living room.

“Kix, cut it out. Tell us now.” Woolfe growled, feeling Cody slap him on the back of his head. “What?! He isn’t going to tell us unless we make him.”

Kix’s tears didn’t stop but he tried his hardest, not wanting to seem like a little kid that needed his older brothers to make the world seem a little better.

Rex’s hand was warm where it was stuck to Kix’s arm. The second oldest boy in the room frowned when an old color on Kix’s uniform under a mostly-zipped jacket caught his eye. Rex didn’t ask before pulling the rest of the zipper down. Kix was too tired to try and stop his brother.

Rex audibly gasped and that dragged the other boys’ eyes to Kix again. Blood painted just about all of Kix’s front and it was still fresh because some of the blood and transferred to the jacket.

“Kix…” Ponds swallowed hard. “I don’t know if I want to ask this but I’m going to. Who’s blood is that?”

Kix started shaking again when he shook his head. “It’s not mine….you can take that how you want.”

They hated how broken and defeated their little brother sounded. Rex gripped his hands before pushing him gently towards that stairs. “Go change and take a shower.”

Kix nodded absent-mindedly but Rex grabbed his wrist. Kix couldn’t bear to meet his eyes but stayed still.

“If you don’t want to talk about it, then we won’t talk about it. End of story.” Kix leaned his head on Rex’s shoulder, thanking God for his level-headed brother. As Kix fled upstairs, the others moved back to their original spots, definitely slowly.

Bly groaned into the quiet living room. “Why is he so stubborn?”

Rex quirked an eyebrow at him, “Have you met our family? Everyone is stubborn to a degree.” Rex then smacked Wolffe on the back of his head. Wolffe growled at him.

“Don’t you growl at me. And don’t snap at Kix like that when he’s upset.”

Ponds relaxed against the back of the couch, going limp against the furniture. “So, anyone got any guesses about what is bothering him?”

Cody shrugged. “I’ve got a few but I don’t know if they have any merit. It might have just been a bad call.”

Wolffe tilted his head, “There was a lot of blood it seemed like. He was covered in it.”

Kix’s phone started ringing and they didn’t even notice that their brother had dropped it. They all stared at it, not a single one of them moving to get it. It kept ringing and with a huff, Wolffe stood up and grabbed the phone.

“Oh, it’s Tyler.” Tyler was another paramedic that was in the same firehouse as Kix. Kix and Tyler were close friends but the others still found it odd that he was calling.

Wolffe answered and put it on speaker, “Hello?”

Tyler’s voice cracked through the phone's speaker. “ Hey...I was just calling to check that Kix got home okay and he obviously did.”

Wolffe frowned turning to the others. “Did something happen to make you have the urge to check-in?”

Tyler sighed lightly. “ There was a tough call today. Kix didn’t seem….here for a moment before he left. Just wanted to make sure he didn’t crash into a ditch.”

Cody spoke up this time, “No he didn’t crash but that would explain why he was distraught earlier. Tyler, what exactly happened?”

The young went silent for a beat. “ There was a three-way crash on the highway. One of the cars had gotten T-boned with a mother and her two kids in the back. The car his her side. She died on impact. Kix was the one who got to her first. The boys were petrified but they couldn’t see what had happened to their mom and Kix didn’t let them. He was the one who had to tell them we couldn’t save her.”

The boys went silent, the pieces clicking into place. That would definitely be triggering for Kix...for more reasons than one.

“We’ll keep an eye on him. Thanks for letting us know...kinda. I know you meant to talk to Kix and not us.” Wolffe ended up saying.

“No worries, I’m glad he’s home okay and he’s with you guys. Talk to y’all later.” Tyler ended the call.

Wolffe gently tossed the phone onto the coffee table, “Well f*ck. That explains a lot.”

Bly scoffed lightly. “You don’t say. That’s why he didn’t want to talk about it.”

Cody closed his eyes as he leaned back and crossed his arms. “There’s nothing we can do now. He either has to come to us or crack under dad.”

The family was eating dinner, everyone could feel the tension. Kix had surprisingly come out of his room to eat dinner, but he didn’t say a word to anyone. The teenagers noticed the glances their older brothers would throw at Kix but knew better than to speak up about it.

Jango was also looking at Kix, trying to read what was wrong; his older boys hadn’t said anything. It was odd for Kix to be closed off but the older man figured something happened with a call earlier today.

Kix finished most of his food and turned his eyes to Jango and asked quietly. “Can I leave?”

Everyone froze and Tup sort of shrank in his seat. The last time one of them asked to leave the table early, Tup had cut himself too far and screamed for help.

“I’m not going to do anything,” Kix added quietly just for good measure.

Jango thought it over for a minute then decided that it was safe for Kix to leave. “Yes. But I’m checking in on you later.”

Without another word, Kix pushed himself away from the table and stalked back up to his room. Everyone felt into an awkward silence, just the sound of forks or spoons being used. Tup’s eyes shot up everyone once and a while before he asked. “Soooo, what’s wrong with him?”

The eldest five boys quickly shoved food in their mouths before they could answer, but Cody was just a little too slow.

“Cody?” Tup asked, co*cking his head to the side.

Cody glared at his other brothers before meeting Tup’s eyes. “It was just a bad call. That’s it, kiddo.” The others honestly thought Tup would leave it at that but they were not so lucky.

Tup was now very suspicious. “A car crash isn’t the worst thing Kix has seen.”

Jango froze at his son’s words. sh*t. The man spaced out. The rest of the boys, excluding Comet and Tup, went into an even more awkward silence.

Wolffe broke it while playing with his food. “How’d you know it was a car crash?”

Tup put his fork down and crossed his arms on the table; everyone knew that Tup suspicious of them. “Axel’s brother is a cop. He was on the same call with Kix. So….why would a car crash affect Kix like this? He sees car crashes almost every day. So what aren’t you telling me?”

They all struggled for words. Jango looked him dead in the eye. “Tup, it’s your brother’s business. Don’t accuse us of something that doesn’t involve us. Do you understand me?”

Tup glared lightly at his father. “Why is that every time I ask a question I’m the one that gets punished when you are the one that’s keeping things from me?-”

Jango snapped. “Tup, I will send you to your room. Do not talk to me like that. It’s your brother’s business so stay out of it!”

Normally Tup would’ve jumped at his father’s shouting but he just looked at him with disbelieve in his eyes. Tup huffed and tightened his arms. “You sound an awful lot like Adrian right now.”

Everyone gasped at Tup’s words. Ardian was Tup’s foster father who had given him a lot of problems. And Jango felt truly hurt that Tup had just said that. Jango leaned forward and glare at his youngest son hard. “Do not compare me to that piece of sh*t. Go to your room.”

Tup violently pushed himself away. “Gladly.” He stomped up to his room, beyond irritated with his father and his brothers being secretive.

“And I don’t want to see you until tomorrow morning!” Jango called into the large house, only hearing Tup slam the door shut.

Jango dropped his head into his hands, trying to not explode on the spot. Car accidents and the Fett family didn’t mix. But Comet and Tup wouldn’t understand. Without words, everyone slowly finished their food and got up from the table.

Jango’s phone started ringing and he stepped out of the room. The phone call ended up taking an hour and by the time he was done all the boys were upstairs. Jango collapsed onto the couch, breathing deeply to keep himself calm.

Twenty minutes later, he heard quiet footsteps padded across the floor. Jango opened his eyes and saw Kix. His son’s eyes were bloodshot, a tell-tale sign that he had been crying.

Jango gestured for Kix to come closer. His kid did just that, falling into his father’s arms. Jango encircled Kix close to his chest, hushing him gently.

“It’s okay, it’s okay.” Jango cooed, rubbing circles on Kix’s back. Kix eventually calmed down and placed his ear over Jango’s chest, needing to hear one of his parent’s heartbeat. Jango rocked lightly, bring comfort to his son.

“You okay now?”

He didn’t expect Kix to shake his head. Jango pulled him back, “Why not?”

Kix stared at him with a blank look. Jango had a feeling what was coming.

“Because we’ve all been lying to Tup and Comet for almost seven years.”

Notes:

This is a shorter one but I've waited way too long to post again. We're starting to get into the actual plot now! Fair warning this has only been edited briefly, with that said sorry if there are mistakes.💙

Chapter 12: Chapter 12-More Problems Arise

Summary:

Tup has a therapy session the day before the anniversary of his mother's death.

Warnings (just to be safe); mentioned child abuse, mentioned actions of questioning suicide (not as bad as it sounds, I swear)

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

Tup stared at the carpeted floor, zoned out completely. Everything was silent around him because he had just tuned out everything. He was rethinking about what he said to Jango the other night; comparing his father to the sorry-excuse-for-a-human-being Adrian Bates who was Tup’s foster parent. Adrian Bates did have a wife (somehow) but it was mostly the man that did the mental abuse to Tup. Well, and physically abuse too, but the others don’t know that. Tup added in his brain. He wasn’t sure if he felt bad for the comparison or not.

“Tup?” A gentle voice broke through his foggy mind.

The teenager blinked a few times then lifted his eyes. He was in a one-room office and was seated on one of the semi-large couches. The dark blue walls gave off a calming vibe rather than the paint being stark right.

Sitting across from a small table in front of him in a chair was a man in his late twenties, maybe early thirties. His pale blue eyes were narrowed in slight concern, looking into the teenager’s eyes. Tup suddenly snapped back to reality; he was in Justin’s office. His Cognitive-Behavioral therapist.

Close to two years ago….

Tup glanced up from his phone and out the window. He had no idea where his dad was taking him. “Are you going to tell me where you are going?”

Jango glanced at him from the driver’s seat. “No.”

Tup gave his father puppy eyes. “Please?”

Jango observed him as he stopped at a red light. Damn it. Why does he have such good puppy eyes? He sighed and stared at the road before answering. “I’m taking you to a therapist.”

Tup slammed his phone down on the seat. “What?! A shrink, are you kidding me?!”

Jango kept his voice calm. “Yes, a therapist or a shrink, whatever you want to call him.”

Tup stared at his father with an incredulous look. “Why?! This is so-”

His father interrupted him. “Because you have something going on with you that your brothers and I can’t help you with! Tup, you were screaming because Fives dropped a glass the other night and you spiraled into something that was most likely an anxiety attack. That’s not something that happens to a thirteen-year-old, Tup.”

Tup fell silent, glaring out of the window. He was frustrated with his father, not understanding why he needed to see a shrink.

Jango sighed, calming himself down. “Love, I understand that foster was hard and that you don’t want to talk about it but it obviously had a traumatic effect. There is nothing wrong talking to a professional.”

Tup rolled his eyes. “You say that but then I’m going to get treated like I’m fragile and could break at any second if I do have a disorder or whatever is wrong with me.”

Jango sighed, not liking that Tup felt so distraught over going to therapy. “Just try, please.”

Tup was silent the rest of the way, as he was in the waiting room and as he entered the room.

Justin was a nice man, Tup will admit that. Jango did most of the talking since it was the first session but Tup would be on his own for the rest of them. Justin had not given him a set amount of sessions, seeing already that he would have to break down some walls to help the teenager. Justin asked Tup a few questions and told him and his father that he would need to do more evaluations to see if Tup did have a disorder. Tup hated that idea but he was raised to be polite and he just listened to Justin silently.

Justin could see that the boy was obviously uncomfortable with the situation. He knew he would have to be patient with Tup, not wanting to rush the healing process. Tup was already very anxious from the moment he met him, especially when he mentioned that he had been in foster care. Tup will be an interesting case.

Tup wanted to disappear as Justin started to get into the personal questions. H heated talking about what Adrian did to him-

“Tup?” Justin repeated, snapping him out of his daydream.

“Sorry.” Tup quickly said in reflex to not make the adult mad. Which would never happen, but that was one of the reasons why he was in therapy.

Justin shook his head. “It’s alright. But you’re a little stressed and it seems like your mind is in a different place. Do you want to talk about it?”

Tup stared at his hands which were fiddling without his permission. His elastic-band was still in its usual place, located on his left wrist. “I think so? I don’t know.”

Justin nodded along. “Alright, just tell me if you want to stop. Is everything okay at school?”

Tup nodded, gradually looking up more and more. “Yeah. My grades are good, classes are good. My friends are pretty good.”

The older man had a sympathetic look in his small smile. “I’m guessing something happened at home then?”

The long-haired teen nodded, running a hand through his loose locks. “Y-yeah.”

Justin added something to his notes. “Did it involve you specifically? Or were you in the background?”

Tup sighed, shoulders slumping more. “It was between my dad and me.”

“Do you want to elaborate?” Justin’s voice was gentle with the teenager, which Tup appreciated more times than not.

“Kix, he’s a paramedic, came home from a bad call, and apparently he had avoided everyone after my older brothers calmed him down. He only came down for dinner but he asked to leave early.” Tup began, looking at Justin. “I had known that the call was a bad car accident because my best friend’s brother is a cop that works with Kix’s firehouse a lot. I found it weird that a car accident would affect him in such a way because he sees accidents every day. No one else but Comet and I found it odd while they were just concerned.”

Justin nodded in understanding, motioning for him to continue. Tup followed his instructions. “I asked anyone to explain but none of them did. They all looked really uncomfortable until my dad spoke up. He snapped at me and told me it wasn’t my business. I pointed out that every time I ask a question like that, I just get told to mind my own business when I know they are keeping things from me and Comet.”

Justin looked up from his notes. “Did you feel like they were purposely keeping something from you?”

Tup rolled his eyes at his brothers and father who weren’t even in the room. “Yes. They do it more often than you would think. They always think that just because I’m the youngest that I can’t handle things or some crap like that.”

The corner of Justin’s mouth quirked a little, but he didn’t want to make the teenager mad by finding his dilemma slightly amusing. “You are the youngest, Tup. Some of your brothers are almost ten years older than you, and your father is automatically going to be protective because you’re the youngest.”

Tup gave the man a bored look, eye narrowing slightly, “I’m not made of glass, Justin.”

Justin tossed his notebook onto the table and leaned forward slightly so Tup knew he had his full attention. “Tup, I know you’re not made of glass. I’m the first person besides your family that knows you aren’t going to break at the first sign of trouble.” He kept his voice light and gentle like always, wanting Tup to understand for himself and not drill it into his head.

The teenager didn’t seem convinced. He crossed his arms over his chest and leaned into the back of the chair. Justin continued. “You’ve been through a lot for a kid your age. You’ve been through a lot and your family knows that. Don’t you think that they just want to protect you for as long as they can?” Tup huffed lightly, the fight slipping out of his body, being replaced by a small amount of guilt.

Justin noticed that. He had known Tup long enough to be able to read him from the outside. “Did something else happen?”

Tup nodded slowly, feeling more horrible by each passing second. “Yeah….I-I said something I shouldn’t have.”

The older man saw the anxiety swimming in Tup’s eyes, breathing starting to become shallow. Justin swiftly stood up and went to sit next to Tup, putting a few inches between them. “Tup, you’re safe. You’re with me in my office. You’re perfectly safe. Try to breathe deeply.”

Tup stared at the floor, gasping lightly for breath, feeling chest constricting him. His chest had felt heavy ever since two nights ago when he and Jango had the mini-argument and the anxiety just took over the minute he talked about it.

“Tup give me five things you see,” Justin instructed, knowing grounding typically helped the teenager.

“Floor. W-wall. Table. Notebook. Chair.” Tup’s words were short and choppy but he said all five things.

“Four things you feel.”

Tup scrambled to think of something, fearing his anxiety would take over. “C-couch…” Tup fell silent, trying to say something .

The older man noticed. “It’s okay. Try again.”

Tup shook his head, close to tears, “I-I can’t.”

Justin scooted a little closer, making sure to not touch Tup or make him uncomfortable. “Yes, you can. You’ve had anxiety attacks before and you were able to pull yourself out of it. I know you can do it.”

A few tears slipped over Tup’s waterline, falling to the sleeves of his hoodie. The sounds of glass shattering pounded and echoed in his ears. Doors slamming. Shouting. Screaming. Cursing. All of it swirled in his head.

Tup shook his head again, trying to rid himself of the memories. He gave a soft sob. “I don’t want to go back.”

Justin felt his heart contract in his chest for the young boy. He was well aware that Tup’s biggest fear was going back to his foster home. “You will never go back to Denver or Brooklyn, I promise you that. If I have to go to court and prove that your foster father was abusive to keep you here I will.”

Tup glanced to his right, looking at Justin with bloodshot eyes. “R-really?”

Justin nodded, putting a hand on his shoulder. “I promise. You will never be back with that man ever again. Neither I nor your family will let that happen.”

Justin didn’t move until Tup nodded and took a deeper breath. The therapist retreated back to his chair in front of Tup, grabbing his notes again. As he was writing down a few notes he glanced up, “You can take as long as you need to calm down, kiddo. Just breathe and then we can talk about it in a few minutes if you want to.”

Tup nodded understandingly, wiping his tears on his sleeves. He focused on breathing while staring at the ground once again before he pulled himself together enough to look at Justin.

Justin asked, “You ready to talk about what just happened?”

Tup fiddled with the band around his wrist but continued eye-contact. “I-I had compared my dad to A-Adrian the other night. I was frustrated that he wouldn't tell me what was honestly wrong and I just...blurted that out and he was so mad. And I was just...thinking about it.”

Justin started writing. “Did he say anything after you said that?”

Tup brushed his hair back again, a nervous tic of his. “He told me to never compare him to ‘that piece of sh*t’ and then sent me to my room.”

“Do you think he was right that you shouldn’t compare him to Adrian?” Justin asked.

Tup shrugged. “I-I don’t know. Maybe? From his point of view, yes. My point of view, I don’t know. But...I know it hurt him. At the moment, it had seemed right to me to say it, because all Adrian would do is keep things from me just for the purpose of doing it, but I don’t think my dad was trying to do that.”

Justin smiled gently. “That is very mature of you to see that it might not have been right for you to say. Have you talked to him about this incident or any of your other brothers?”

Tup shook his head, part of his hair falling in front of his face. “No….Dad has barely spoken to me.”

Justin prodded a little more. “When he did talk to you, did he seem angry at you or like he was so frustrated that he didn’t want to speak to you at the moment?”

Tup frowned, sighing. “I don’t know, I think it was just him being hurt.” The teenager continued to play with sleeves and hands as he asked. “What do I do?”

Justin tapped his pencil a few times before responding. “In my opinion, if you think that this could cause a huge rift between you two, then you should talk to him about it.”

Tup sniffed and nodded. Justin looked at the clock and dropped his notebook to the table again. “Alright, Tup. That’s it for today and I’ll see you in two weeks, okay?”

Tup smiled to the best of his ability but it was still a smile. “Yeah, bye Justin.”

Justin returned the smile. “See you in two weeks.”

Tup opened the door and walked out of the room. He walked through the hallways of multiple different therapists that worked in the facility, only seeing them in passing and never personally seeing them for his anxiety, depression, or PTSD.

He passed the reception and waiting area, subtly waving to the young receptionist. “Bye, Kalani.”

“See ya, sweetheart.” She gave him a big smile then returned to her typing. Tup felt his phone buzz and took a peek at it.

Rex: I’m outside

Tup tucked his phone in his pocket and stepped out of the building. Tup quickly scanned his eyes over the parking lot and spotted Rex’s car that he shared with Cody and Wolffe. Their house wasn’t that big enough to have seven or some cars.

He slid into the passenger seat of the car, not looking at Rex. Rex could immediately tell it had been a difficult session for the teenager. Rex pulled out of the parking lot and started up the conversation that they would have to have eventually.

“Was it a rough session?” Rex tried to sound nonchalant as possible.

Tup muttered, “Had an attack.”

Rex looked at Tup in surprise then his eyes went back to the road. “Kiddo…” Rex pouted lightly, knowing that his little brother hated the anxiety attacks. “How long did it last?”

Tup shrugged, “Don’t know. Maybe five minutes.”

“Was it because of what happened the other night, with dad acting like Adrian to you?”

Tup nodded pitifully, “Mhm.”

“What did Justin say you should do about it?” Rex questioned curiously.

“He said that I should talk to dad about it. But I don’t know if I am.”

Rex cringed a little bit. “Yeah about that. Dad has to go away for a few days, he got called down to Texas to help another company with a difficult arrestee. Dad agreed to go down.”

Tup stared at Rex with big, sad puppy eyes. “Did he leave because of me?”

Rex stopped at a red light and whipped his head to stare in shock at his baby brother. “What? No! Not at all, kiddo. Just because you and dad had an argument doesn't mean he left the damn state to get away from you.” Tup dropped his head into his hands, feeling emotions conflicting inside him.

Rex continued in a calmer tone as the light turned green and stroked Tup’s shoulder. “I think the real reason that dad agreed to take the job is to try and avoid mom’s anniversary, which is tomorrow.” Jango wasn’t ever like that. He would get so caught up in his grief that he would forget that most of his boys still needed him home at a time like this. They all understood that their father handled his grief very differently but they all agreed that they would rather have him home.

But Tup felt like a total asshole. He had totally forgotten that seven years ago his mother was killed while on an assignment for the FBI. That’s what his brothers and father told him when he was eight. Tup didn’t remember the night that they had received the news. It was like he blocked it out of his mind. Tup always found it odd that he couldn’t remember one of the worst moments in his life but he brushed it off ever since he was eight.

Tup was quiet the rest of the way home. He was even quiet as he walked into the house, immediately retreating to his and Comet’s room. His brother was in their room just scrolling through his phone.

Comet looked up as Tup laid on top of Comet’s bed, both of them on each side. Comet dropped his phone on the bed and pillowed his head on his hands. “What’s up?”

Tup shuffled closer to his brother, pressing up against his chest. “I forgot about...mom.”

Comet stroked his younger brother’s back, resting his chin on Tup’s head. He was silent for a moment trying to get his words right. “I don’t think that’s a bad thing. Just because you don’t remember the worst part, doesn’t mean you don’t remember the good things about her.”

Tup didn't say anything because how could he tell his brother that he barely remembered his dead mother. Tup sniffed, not feeling like crying again. He nuzzled close to Comet. “Can I stay?”

Comet chuckled. “Well it is your room too but yes. You can stay.”

Rex walked down the stairs, late at night but he had a feeling that he wouldn't be alone because Cody and Wolffe were absent from their beds. Rex treaded to the living room, seeing the light appearing on the floor. Lo and behold Ponds, Bly, Wolffe, and Cody were all in the living room. Glasses were on the table filled up a third of the way of a clear liquid that Rex guessed wasn’t water.

Rex smirked lightly. “I didn’t peg you four as late-night drinkers.”

Cody reached for his glass and took a swig. “Shut it.”

Rex settled on the couch, glancing at the tv which was on a low volume. He stared at it before he broke the ice. “So, who are we betting on for waking up first and coming down here?” It was like clockwork. Every year someone else would wake up first and come seek some comfort from their older brothers.

Ponds smirked but it didn’t last. “I’m going with the terror twins.”

Bly frowned. “Which ones?”

Rex shook his head jumping in. “The terror twins are obviously Waxer and Boil. Fives is the terror twin out of him and Echo. But Echo is an angel.”

Wolffe snorted into his glass. “Damn straight.”

Silence lapsed over them but it wasn’t uncomfortable. This was an annual thing for the Fett boys. None of them were really able to sleep on the night that their mother died. Even six years ago, they still felt the grief. Jango definitely was feeling the grief but he really needed to be home right now. Especially with Comet and Tup.

Cody looked around, recalling the argument between Tup and Jango the other night. “What are we going to do about the two little ones?”

Wolffe shot his brother a look. “They aren’t little kids anymore, Codes.”

The second youngest of the group crossed his arms. “That’s exactly my point. They aren’t kids anymore.”

Ponds and Bly’s eyes snapped to Cody, glaring at him. “Cody. Stop.” Pond’s voice was low in warning, already seeing what Cody was trying to do.

Cody glared right back. “Why? Are we going to ignore this problem for the sixth year in a row?”

Ponds sat up straighter. “Cody, seriously. Cut it out. We aren’t discussing this right now.”

“They deserve to know!” Cody snapped, feeling frustrated.

Ponds slammed a hand on the table without really thinking about it. “What Comet and Tup need right now, is a somewhat stable family. At least we can act like that for a few days before everything dies down and we’re all fine again.”

Rex jumped in, hesitant. “Ponds, Cody has a point. We can’t keep lying to them because when they find out the truth, and they will, they will never trust us again, no matter what our reasoning was. Tup is already pulling away because in his mind, dad is becoming like Adrian, and that is his biggest fear right now.”

Ponds glared at his little brother. “Don’t even try to pin this on me. It wasn’t my idea. Us six, that’s including dad, made a decision that we thought was right. End of story.”

Cody was getting sick of this. He hated talking to Ponds when he was like this; defensive and full of pain and had alcohol in his system. “Ponds, why the f*ck do you think Tup is in therapy? It isn’t because we’ve been a great support system for him.”

Bly scoffed. “It’s not like he’s the most willing to open up about things.”

It was Rex’s turn to snap, finding his brother’s word unacceptable. “Don’t you f*cking dare put the blame on him. It is not his fault. None of it is.”

Bly tossed his hands up, exasperatedly. “I never said it was, Rex!”

Rex stood up, feeling getting worked up by this argument. “He’s a kid! He was eight and he didn’t know how to cope; of course, he wouldn't want to talk about it! And then he and Comet got thrown into the system and got landed with two assholes. You both remember how broken those two were when we finally got them back. Because it was f*cking scary to see two children so closed off. Don’t act ignorant just to handle your grief.”

“Don’t talk to me about handling grief because you aren’t too good at that yourself, Rex, in case you forgot when you had a knife in your hand that night.” Ponds delivered the final blow to Rex. Rex was in a dark place when their mother died. He was so bad that his brothers and father had to restrain him so he wouldn’t hurt himself when they found him in the kitchen staring at a knife in his hand.

Rex stared at Ponds in total disbelief, feeling his brother’s words stab him like a knife. Cody glared at Ponds, wanting this stupid argument to be over. Rex opened his mouth to speak but it closed after a second or two. Rex waved his hands slightly in front of himself. “f*ck you. Don’t ever f*cking chastise me for that incident.”

Rex fled the room and Cody followed. Wolffe groaned to himself; watching that sh*t show unfold had not been fun. He finished off the rest of his drink before looking at Ponds. “I told you not to drink tonight.”

Ponds dragged a hand down his face, knowing that Wolffe was right. Ponds didn’t think sometimes when he had a drink right before. “Did I go too far?”

Wolffe shrugged. “A little.” He was pissed that Ponds had upset his brother but he also saw why Ponds and Bly snapped at him. Ponds and Bly were the two oldest out of multiple brothers. They loved all of them to death but sometimes they snapped at each other.

Bly looked guilty as he tipped his head back to stare at the ceiling. “It would be so much easier if dad was here.”

Wolffe put a hand on his shoulder, squeezing lightly. “Dad is….dealing. In his own way, yes, but it’s the way he will be okay in the next couple of days. And I’m pretty sure everyone in this goddamn household would want to leave the entire state for a few days.”

Wanting to choose a different topic Ponds asked from his space about five feet away. “How did Tup’s session go?”

Wolffe quirked an eyebrow. “Oh so now you care?” Ponds blankly stared at him, already feeling guilty for the argument with Cody and Rex. “Sorry, sorry, too soon. According to Rex, the kid had an anxiety attack in the middle of the session.”

Bly and Ponds shared shocked looks. “That hasn’t happened in a while.”

The third oldest nodded, setting his glass on the table. “Yeah. Justin was able to calm him down faster than us though.” Wolffe’s voice was bitter but it wasn’t aimed at Justin. That man was a saint to the family.

Bly chuckled. “The man has a Ph. D, Wolffe. It is his literal job to be better at calming Tup down than us.”

Wolffe muttered into his cup. “Doesn’t mean I have to like it. It was because he was feeling guilty about telling dad he was acting like Adrian.” Ponds and Bly winced, remembering that comparison; Tup had never said anything like that.

“Does he really think that dad is like Adrian?” Bly asked, curious of what the others thought.

Wolffe shook his head. “I think at the moment, yes. But Tup was angry so he acted out of anger and said it before he really thought about it.”

“Dad seemed pissed when he said it.” Ponds noted.

Bly looked at him. “Well, he loves Tup and he never wants purposely hurt him, but it would definitely sting to be compared to your kid's mental abuser since he was eight after you snapped at them.”

Wolffe tilted his head to the side, “Fair point.”

They heard a door creak open from upstairs, it was faint but they could hear it. They all looked at each other and put in their bets.

“I’m going Tup,” Bly whispered.

Ponds huffed a laugh, “Yeah right. I’m going Waxer.”

Wolffe shook his head. “You’re both wrong. It’s definitely Echo.”

The footsteps descended down the stairs, quiet and not heavy so the three adults knew it was one of the teenagers. The footsteps stopped right before he could be in view from the doorway, hesitant to take another step forward.

Wolffe looked to the other two before addressing the nervous teen. “It’s alright kiddo.”

The teenager took another small step and was now visible and not hanging out in the shadows. Echo was buried in a hoodie, eyes slightly red. The sleeves were pulled down to cover his hands, a tell-tale sign that the sixteen-year-old, almost seventeen was either uncomfortable or upset. They guessed it was the latter.

“Come here Eyayah .” Wolffe’s voice was gentle but he had a smug look on his face. Echo sniffled and crossed the living room to sit next to Wolffe. He leaned into Wolffe’s larger frame, feeling his brother’s arms wrap around his shoulders. Echo’s tired eyes went to screen grateful for the distraction.

Wolffe carded through Echo’s gentle curls, pulling him flush against him. He caught Ponds’ and Bly’s less than amused glares and he smirked and mouthed to them. “You owe me twenty bucks.” Ponds rolled his eyes but looked fondly at Wolffe and Echo.

Five minutes later they heard another door open and it turned out to be a crying Waxer. The boy had streams of tears on his cheeks that just didn’t seem to stop. Ponds pulled him down onto the couch, letting him rest against his chest. By the way, this night was going Ponds doubted any of them would get sleep.

Kix and Jesse had heard the commotion and trekked downstairs, settling on a free couch just for the purpose of being there.

Wolffe craned his neck to look at Kix. “Kix don’t you have a shift soon?”

Kix nodded tiredly. “Yeah but I don’t know if I want to go today.”

Echo nuzzled Wolffe’s neck, shivering lightly even with a hoodie on. “I-I don’t want to go to school.”

Wolffe rubbed the space between Echo’s shoulder blades. “What? Did you think we would make you go? What do you take us for?”

That got the teenagers to chuckle a little bit. They understood that even if Echo never stayed home from school that he needed a break from school for a day or two. And all of the boys’ teachers would understand.

Boil came down the stairs with Fives after Wolffe was done speaking, just not wanting to be alone. Fives laid his head on Echo’s shoulder, grabbing his twin’s hand. Echo squeezed. Boil grabbed the remote from the coffee table and flicked through the movies that they had. He ended up picking a random action movie, knowing that the others were probably awake in their rooms anyway.

As everyone paid attention to the movie, Cody and Rex snuck back downstairs. Ponds looked in the doorway and saw Rex leaning against it. The eldest, with Waxer still in his arms, mouthed to him. “I’m sorry.”

Rex didn’t give any indication that he cared until he nodded. He took a seat beside Ponds, running a hand over Waxer’s spine. Waxer leaned into him, soaking up his comfort.

Kix suddenly stood up with his phone in hand. “I’m calling out of work.”

They all said ‘okay’ and let Kix walk out of the room to call his captain. Wolffe felt his phone buzz, making Echo jump against him. Wolffe hushed him gently and pulled his phone out, and it was a text from Comet.

Comet: Are you guys awake?

Wolffe: Yeah most of us are downstairs. What’s up?

Comet quickly responded. Tup has a pretty bad migraine most likely from his anxiety attack. Should I bring him down?

Wolffe: It’s probably the best idea. Kix can help him out.

Wolffe set his phone down as Kix returned to the living room. “Hey, Tup has a migraine, and Comet is bringing him down.”

Kix nodded, hopping back on the couch after dimming the lights, knowing they would bother his brother when he came down. He patiently waited for his youngest brother to come down with Comet so he could figure out if Tup needed meds for his migraine. It wasn’t unheard of that Tup had headaches or migraines after an anxiety attack.

Tup and Comet made their way downstairs. It looked like both of them were asleep but had woken up and never fell back asleep. Tup stumbled slightly as he made his way to Kix, one hand resting on his temples. Kix outstretched his hand, helping Tup to him. The paramedic dropped a throw pillow on the ground, in between his feet. He helped Tup sit down on the ground, hand gripping his brother’s bicep.

Tup dropped down, back against the couch. He closed his eyes as Kix gently took his hair out of its half-up bun, already feeling the pressure in his head start to release. Kix’s slightly cool fingers traveled over his scalp, never pulling or yanking too hard. Tup’s body, subconsciously, completely melted under Kix’s hands, never fighting against him.

“How long has your head been hurting kiddo?” Kix whispered to him.

“Since I left Justin’s office,” Tup answered quietly.

Kix hummed. “I’m guessing that you tried to sleep it off and it didn’t work?”

Tup nodded against his hands, still relaxed. He did blink his eyes open however and asked in a small voice. “When will dad be back?”

Everyone glanced at him which made the youngest boy avoid eye contact, feeling stupid that he had the urge to ask. I’m too old to need my father here every second of the day.

Rex got up and sat next to Tup, stroking his hair gently as Kix took his hands off. “He called me earlier and said he should be home tomorrow or the next day, kiddo. And he said he wanted to talk to you when he gets home.”

Rex saw how Tup deflated and tensed up. “Nothing bad, sweetie. He just wants to clear some things up with you. You said Justin recommended you to talk to him and you will in a few days.”

Tup relaxed again, eyes falling shut tiredly. He leaned his head against Kix’s leg. He heard Kix and Rex chuckle and felt someone lift him up without a struggle. He kept his eyes closed as he was laid down vertically, his head pillowed on someone’s chest.

“You want to stay down here?” Rex’s voice whispered in his ear. Tup nodded sleepily, knowing he wasn’t going to last on staying awake but still wanted to stay with his brothers.

As Tup fell into sleep and a few other teenagers followed him, Cody and Rex looked guiltily at Tup and Comet. Ponds saw this and stated. “We can’t do anything right now. They’ll get the truth...eventually.”

Without taking his eyes off of Comet Cody answered. “I know that. I just don’t know how they’ll react when they find out.”

Wolffe thought for a moment before saying, “They’ll figure out soon. They’re smart kids.”

Rex sighed. “I just hope they won’t hate us.”

Notes:

Side note; I have never personally been to therapy and I do not have a Ph. D, so give me a little bit of slack with this chapter XD. I tried my best to make this as accurate as possible. Just to put this out there, I know there are wonderful foster parents in the world and this story is not trying to take anything away from those amazing people, but Adrian is a f*cking asshole so beware XD.

We're getting deeper into the plot nowwwww. Let me know what your theories are, I'm curious 👀. 💙

What do you think? Requests?

Chapter 13: Chapter 13-Tup and Comet

Summary:

A little peek at the relationship between Tup and Comet.

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

Jango knocked on the door jam for Comet’s and Tup’s room. His teenager was reading in his bed, hair pulled back into a loose bun. Tup’s eyes shot up at the knock and gave him a small smile. “Hi.”

Jango smiled, “Hey kiddo. Can we talk?”

Jango had come back home last night, but he and his youngest boy never spoke in private. Tup had retreated to bed with Comet and Jango didn’t want to intrude on them. Tup seemed hesitant to answer but he nodded. Jango stepped into the room fully, now that he had permission. He sat in the middle of Tup’s bed, bracing a hand behind him. “So, I know there was some yelling a few days ago. Do you want to tell me why you were yelling?”

Tup sighed and marked his page before closing it. “I just...feel like sometimes that all of you just brush my feelings aside because I’m the youngest. That I wouldn’t understand things.” Tup gathered his thoughts and added quietly. “I deserve to know things sometimes.”

Jango nodded, understanding. “Well, I am sorry that I made you feel like that. That was definitely not my intention but I guess it did come across that way. I just want what's best for you, and I thought that having you not ask questions would help with that. Because Kix’s job isn’t a pretty one.”

Tup tossed his book on his bedside table. “But I’m not a little kid. I know Kix sees a lot of sh*t but I don’t want that to be the reason you don’t tell me things.”

Jango glared lightly at his word choice. “Language. But I can respect that reasoning. Again, I am sorry for upsetting you and sending you to your room for just asking a question.”

Tup sat up with a small huff and hugged his father. He welcomed the familiar warmth of his arms. “I get what you’re saying, dad. But...keep the babying to a minimum please?”

Jango chuckled and rubbed Tup’s shoulder. “Okay kiddo, I can do that. But I have another question for you?”

Tup gulped slightly and nodded.

“Do you really think that I am like Adrian?”

Tup wanted the floor to suck him in and never let him out. “N-no! I’m so sorry for saying that!”

Jango saw his son getting worked up. “Easy easy. I’m not mad, love. I just had to ask.”

The teenager shook his head. “I shouldn’t have said that though. You’re nothing like Adrian. You love me.”

Jango hugged him tighter, squeezing him hard. “Yes, I do love you. Very much.” The older man pressed a kiss to Tup’s head, rocking side to side.

Tup was glad the conversation over and down, and they never had to talk about it again. Hopefully. Jango soon let go of him, rubbing his back for a few seconds. Tup leaned against his arm, having missed his father for the few days he was gone.

“ Did you…” Tup started but then stopped. He didn’t want to possibly cause another argument.

Jango looked down at him, nudging his shoulder. “What is it?”

Tup messed with the strings of his hoodie while leaning against his father’s chest. “Did you leave the other day because of me?”

Jango’s face had an incredulous expression, and he roughly pulled Tup back from his chest. “What?! Absolutely not, Tup! Just because we got mad at each other doesn’t mean I left the entire damn state to avoid you.”

Tup didn’t look convinced so Jango gripped his jaw gently. “Tup you are my child. It is my job as your father to keep you safe and love you no matter what. If I were to have left for New Mexico just because I was mad at you, that would make me a bad father. Because you don’t do that to your child. Understand?”

Tup nodded slowly and hugged his father again. “Sorry for….doubting you.” His father stroked his back and shook his head.

“It’s not your fault. I know you were upset.” Jango thought for a moment before adding what one of his older boys told him. “And you were really upset it seemed like because you had an anxiety attack with Justin. You want to tell me about that?”

Tup mentally groaned. f*cking traitors. “It was nothing. I just...freaked out a bit. No big deal.”

Jango raised an eyebrow. “Really? Because I don’t even remember the last time you had an attack at Justin’s office.”

“It was nothing. I was just anxious and the attack was going to come no matter what. It just happened at Justin’s.”

Jango stared him in the eye. “You promise it was going to come eventually, and nothing bad happened at the session?”

Tup nodded. “Nothing bad happened, dad.”

Jango sized his son up, knowing with full confidence that Justin was a good man and therapist, before nodding and pulling Tup up from the bed. “Come on, you haven’t eaten today and it’s two pm.”

Tup groaned and tried to crawl back under his covers. “But I like my room, daddy-o.”

Jango laughed and shook his head. “Nope, come on. Or Kix will kill me for not feeding you. Let’s go.”

Tup playfully groaned but stood up and let his father pull him up and out of his room. He went downstairs and sat next to Comet, after grabbing some food, who was slaving away at homework, looking frustrated. Tup minded his own businesses as he ate, but he definitely noticed how frustrated his brother looked and he didn’t like it.

Comet was definitely struggling, and he was growing angry with his teacher and this damn assignment. Tup took mercy on him and dropped his chin to Comet’s shoulder. “What’s the subject?”

“English.” Comet mumbled, leaning against Tup. His younger brother nodded and turned the sheet towards him. It looked like he had to read a section of a book the class was reading and then answer comprehension questions. The youngest teenager guessed his brother’s ADHD was causing his frustration. Most days Comet’s ADHD was in check and he was completely fine but some days it screwed him.

Tup placed a hand on Comet’s arm, “Do you want me to read it out loud?”

Comet nodded. “Please?”

Tup pulled the book towards him and opened up to the page number. He read the section in a quiet tone to respect his other brothers in the room but was still loud enough for Comet to hear. Tup ran his finger under the words for Comet to follow along with. Comet hung on to his every word, leaning against his shoulder. Tup finished and then grabbed the sheet with the questions on it. He read out the first question as well and asked if he understood it. Comet may be a grade above Tup but he still understood the work he was doing.

Comet didn't look amused. “Can’t you just tell me the answers?”

Tup heard a few of his brothers chuckle who were eavesdropping, and he rolled his eyes. “You’re not going to learn if I help you cheat, Com’. I will help you but I’m not giving the answers. Now, do you understand the question?”

Comet shook his head, hiding his face in Tup’s neck. “It’s too confusing. I don’t get what it's asking.”

Tup put his nose in Comet’s hair, trying to comfort him. “Then let me explain it to you.” He ran through the question and pointed out what it was asking. “Now all you have to do is answer it. Try by yourself and if you get stuck I’ll help you.”

Comet sighed and stared at the book and the worksheet. He took an educated guess and started writing. Once he was finished he twisted it to Tup and let him read it over. After Tup was done reading, a grin broke out on his face and he gave Comet a one-armed hug. “Good job.”

Tup repeated the process with Comet again for thirty minutes until his homework was done. Comet leaned tiredly on Tup. “Why is english exhausting?”

Tup ruffled his brother’s hair playfully. “Because a lot of things rattle through your brain while doing it. It isn’t always easy.”

Comet glared heatlessly at him. “But you’re good at it.”

Tup laughed. “Well, English is my subject. Not everyone is good at it.”

Fives’ head popped up from his phone. “Don’t worry little brother, I’m God awful at English.”

Echo snorted and co*cked an eyebrow at his twin. “Fives, you’re God awful at any subject, don’t even.”

Fives gapped at his brother in betrayal. “Not true I’m good at….at….”

Echo continued to look at him sardonically as his brother struggled to find an answer. “Uh-huh, that’s what I thought.”

Boil jumped to Fives’ defense. “Well we can’t all have 4.9 gpas Mr. All APs.”

Echo rolled his eyes, “Just because I have a 4.9 gpa doesn’t mean I’m a genius. I’m not very good at history.”

Tup added to the conversation. “But it’s still an AP class. And I’m in that class with you and it’s pretty hard so it’s understandable that you struggle with it.”

Fives groaned at Tup’s declaration. “You’ve changed, Tup. You always said you would never do GT’s or AP’s in highschool.”

Tup just smiled innocently. “Blame my teachers for convincing me to take them. They’ve all been begging me to do GTs since sixth grade. And it’s only one GT and one AP. English, Geometry, and Spanish are honors.”

Fives scoffed. “Biology is still a GT class and AP History is still an AP class. My point still stands.”

Tup huffed a laugh, “Well you will be happy to hear that I’m dropping the AP class next year. I’m going to do all honors and one GT, I don’t need any more stress.”

Ponds snorted, “That’s obvious.”

The youngest teenager rolled his eyes. “Very funny.”

Wolffe called from the kitchen, “Don’t worry kiddo we still love you. Anxiety and all.”

Tup gave a harsh laugh. “Wow, Wolffe actually loves us.”

Everyone could hear Wolffe growl but it was in a fond way even though he wanted it to be fearful. “I’ll chase your ass around the house, don’t give me lip.”

Tup stuck his tongue out at him but turned back to Comet. “You hungry?”

Comet shook his head, already pulling out another assignment. “No.”

Tup sighed, knowing how Comet wouldn't eat sometimes. “You need to eat, Com.”

The ADHD-ridden kid shook his head. “I’ll eat later. I’m fine.”

Tup grumbled, not liking that his brother wasn’t eating. Comet and Kix always had struggles with food. Comet was the worst of the two. He just wouldn’t eat.

Jango poked his head out of the kitchen and stared at Tup, not hearing the conversation that just took place or he would’ve gotten on Comet’s case. “Don’t you have homework to do, little one?”

Tup stared incredulously at his father. “Since when do you nag me about homework?”

Jango pointed upstairs, gesturing for him to go upstairs and grab his bag. “Even since I don’t have anyone else to nag. Go.”

Tup pushed himself away and trekked back upstairs to retrieve his bag. While he did, Comet put his head in his hands, rubbing his tired eyes. The other teenagers were shooting him looks, seeing how tired their brother was.

“Com’ you okay?” Waxer asked.

“I’m fine. Just tired.” Comet explained weakly, not actually trying to convince them. As he began to drown in homework once again, someone came behind him. Hands slid his papers and books away from them and pulled him away from the table. Comet went with it, sighing.

Wolffe dragged him over to the couch and laid him down. “You, Comet, are going to take a break before you burn yourself out.” Comet didn’t bother arguing and let himself drift off into sleep, letting the talking of his brothers lead him into sleep.

Tup came back downstairs and didn’t blink an eye that Comet was already asleep. He settled back down in his chair, pulling out a few assignments. Without looking at his brothers he asked. “Is he actually sleeping?”

Wolffe hummed. “Yeah, why?”

Tup paused for a moment then shrugged. “I don’t know. I don’t think he’s been sleeping well. He said he’s been having weird dreams.” The oldest boys froze and so did their father.

Kix saved their asses. “Did they say what they were or just….random dreams?”

Tup shook his head. “He didn’t say and I didn’t ask.”

Kix checked his phone ten minutes later and sighed, standing up. “Alright, I have to head out. See you guys tomorrow.”

Kix left the house for his 24-hour shift and Tup and Echo finally finished their homework. Tup changed seats and sat next to Comet who was curled up on the couch, after reaching in his bag for a book and his phone.

Comet slept for another thirty minutes before he woke up again, blinking his eyes open. He groaned and whined slightly when light hurt his eyes and the sound of his brothers talking sounded like screaming. God, why now? See, Comet knew what that meant. Lights hurting more and being brighter than normal and the sounds almost breaking his ear drums; it was probably a sensory overload. Comet didn’t get them often but when he did he was not fond of them at all. It gave him a splitting headache and he would throw up most times.

Tup lowered his book, giving a concerned and suspicious glance. “Comet?”

Comet shook his head and shoved his head under one of the cushions. Tup’s hand fell onto Comet’s leg but the other teenager jerked away from him, feeling his skin crawl. Tup pulled his hand back and swiftly went towards his father in a different room.

Jango looked at him. “What’s up kiddo?”

“I think Comet is having a sensory overload,” Tup explained quickly. Jango stepped back into the living room and saw Comet on the couch and head covered. His father knelt down on the floor and shook his shoulder then pulled his hand away to not make him uncomfortable.

Comet peaked out from the pillow and stared at his father, squinting in pain. Jango leaned closer and talked in a very soft whisper. “Do you want to go upstairs to your room?”

Comet nodded and lifted his arms up, insinuating he wanted to be picked up. His father chuckled and gently lifted Comet up. Comet covered his eyes and ears, feeling just enough senses thank you very much.

His father carried him up the stairs and into his room. Comet curled under his covers, eyes still tightly shut. He heard Jango slip out of the room with the lights off, leaving him in peace. Comet sighed, finally able to have fewer things attack his scenes all at once. He knew Tup would come up later to tell him there's food if he wants it or he could bring it up.

Tup was honestly Comet’s favorite brother. He knew he shouldn’t have favorites but Comet would do anything for his little brother. And Tup would do anything for him.

Notes:

I honestly don't know what this chapter is, but I just rolled with it even though it's a little shorter than normal. Drop some requests if you have them! 💙

What do you think?

Chapter 14: Chapter 14-A Not-So-Serious-But-Also-Serious-Secret

Summary:

Tup gets hurt and hides it from the others. And more lies are told.

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

Tup and Comet were very good at hiding when they were hurt. They were high school athletes that had been on travel teams for multiple years. Tup in baseball, and Comet in football. Normally, they very rarely got hurt during the season, and they were healthy teenagers, so injuries were uncommon, but in the world of sports, athletes are bound to get hurt.

The youngest Fett teenager stood on the pitching mound, ball in hand. His coach for his travel team wasn’t really paying attention, seeing as he was working with other players. It was a rare warmish day of January, so he decided that his team would be practicing on the field. He just told Tup to pitch to boys who hadn’t batted that night, and there were only two or three infielders there just to chase the balls.

A few more boys had to hit so Tup agreed to pitch to them even though he had pitched earlier, but he wasn’t about to complain about pitching. Sean was the catcher behind the plate and gave him the signal to throw a fastball. So he threw a fastball, knowing that Sean had good judgment for what ball to throw.

The ball cracked against the bat as Tup’s teammate swung at the strike. The ball was a complete line drive, and it headed straight for Tup. The pitcher dropped into a crouch, covering his head with his glove.

He felt the ball slam against his left hand, feeling the bone shift and crack underneath the force of the hit. Once the ball bounced off of him, Tup stayed in his crouch. He ripped his glove off and cradled his hand close to his chest.

He heard a few of his teammates gasping in shock or ‘oooo’ing in sympathy. Getting hit by a line drive never feels good. The whole infield stopped moving, looking to their friend, not seeing him getting back up.

Sean ripped the mask off and stared at Tup. “Tup, you okay?”

The teenager wheezed in pain, not able to feel his hand but also feeling every f*cking ligament, tendon, and bone on fire at the same time. It didn’t help that it was still chilly outside and his hands were cold. He couldn't speak so he shook his head, placing his good hand on the ground, so he wouldn’t fall over.

Sean jogged out to him and dropped to his knees next to him. “Did it actually hit you?” He asked incredulously.

Tup nodded, looking at his shaking hand. “I thought it got most of my glove but apparently not.” He tried moving his fingers but let out a small whine when white-hot pain flashed through his entire hand.

“Hey, hey, easy. Don’t try to move it just yet.” Sean told him and looked to their other teammates who were on standby. “Get one of the coaches. Or all of them. I don’t think it matters.”

“Coach!” Riley started walking towards the outfield to get their coach.

Sean put a comforting hand on Tup’s shoulder. He looked down at his friend’s hand. It didn’t look quite right. Tup whimpered again.

“Don’t look at it. It will probably make it worse.” Sean wasn’t a doctor so he didn’t know exactly what to do for his friend.

Riley came back with all three of their coaches. Their head coach took a knee next to his player, looking at his hand sympathetically. “What happened, Tup?”

“I got...hit. Travis hit the ball and it-it came at me so I ducked. But it hit my hand.” Tup explained, swallowing back tears.

He nodded and held his hand open. Tup gingerly put his hand in his coaches awaiting one, wincing. His coach didn’t seem to want to touch it and possibly injure it further. “Alright, kid. Let’s get some ice and see how it feels after, okay?”

Tup nodded, cradling his hand once again. He slowly walked back to the dugout, feeling his coach put a hand on his shoulder, leading him to the benches. He sat him down before heading to grab one of the disposable ice packs from the shed.

Tup’s heel started bouncing, a tell-tale sign he was getting anxious or scared. Sean was behind the plate again, and Tyler, another pitcher, was now pitching. The teenager distantly heard his coach slamming the ice pack on the bench, breaking the inside seal.

Tup hissed as the pack was pressed on his hand, quickly moving it so it was still on his hand but not hurting him. His coach patted him on the back before walking away. Tup put his feet on the bench, putting his head down.

....

Once practice had finished, Tup slipped on a hoodie, trying so hard not to hit his hand. He pushed the sleeves down over his hand, deciding to not tell his dad or brothers.

Tup said goodbye to his friends and walked to the car that just pulled up. Cody unlocked the door and started driving once Tup was in.

“How was it?” Cody asked like he did every time if he was the one to pick up.

“It was...pretty good.” Tup lied.

Cody nodded, smiling. “Good.”

As they drove home, Tup continued to feel fire in his hand.

….

Tup hissed in pain when someone accidentally bumped into his hand at school four days later.

Comet, who was walking next to him, nudged him or nudged him as best as he could seeing as they were walking in the crowded hallways. “What’s wrong?”

Tup shook his head, not wanting Comet to catch on. “Nothing just hurt my hand at practice a few days ago. It doesn’t hurt that much.” Which was partly true. It still hurt like a bitch, but it was better than last practice. And Tup didn’t specify which hand he had hurt.

Comet raised an eyebrow. “Tup...you have a high pain tolerance, and if it hurts you that much to make you give a physical reaction, you’re in too much pain. I’ll rat you out to dad if I have to.”

Tup glared at him. “I’m fine, Comet. And besides, if you rat me out, I’ll just have to mention you rolled your ankle and most likely sprained it at your practice.”

Comet stared at him for a few seconds, face blank. “How’d you know that?”

Tup smirked at him, raking his hand through his hair to get it out of his face. “Axel is your teammate and he is my best friend. Of course, I know. Plus I can see you have a small limp.” But he winced again, nearly bumping into someone.

Comet pulled him closer to him, glaring at him, becoming frustrated. “Tup. Cut it out. It’s obviously bad, so stop hiding it.”

Tup glared right back at him. “I’m fine!”

Comet held out an impatient hand. “Show me.”

Tup thought for a moment before sneakily putting his non-hurt hand, his right one, in Comet’s hand, wondering if he would be able to pull this scheme off. Comet looked at his hand and randomly pressed on different places and to sell the act Tup winced just a small bit, knowing Comet would figure out if he suddenly had no pain.

Comet sighed, and glared at Tup, sizing him up. “Fine. I won’t rat you out, you don’t rat me out, deal?”

Tup grinned. “Pleasure doing business.”

In hindsight, not telling Comet wasn’t a good idea. It hurt really bad the rest of the day and without even looking at it, he could tell it was swelling and most likely bruising. He kept his hand covered with his sleeve, never letting anyone see it. He knew someone would figure it out soon.

Tup returned home with his other brothers, the six of them being the only ones home at the moment. He sat down to do homework really quickly so he could retreat to his room. His hand had other plans.

As he was writing, his left hand pulsed painfully, even though he wasn’t writing with that hand in the first place, making him drop his pencil. Tup leaned his head on the table, hissing as waves of pain crashed over him.

Comet’s head shot up, eyes holding triumph. “I knew it. You are hurt badly.”

Tup glared at him through the pain.

Fives, Echo, Waxer, and Boil looked confused, not knowing that Tup had been hurt. Echo crouched next to him, taking the ‘mom’ role of his brothers. Tup looked at him, studying him, already knowing the twin wouldn't let this go. Tup moved on his chair to position himself in front of Echo. He silently put his left hand in front of Echo, wincing at just the sight of his hand.

Echo's eyes widened before he immediately went to the kitchen. Boil and Waxer peered over the table and instantly gasped. Tup’s hand was totally swollen and bruises were starting to appear across the back of his hand.

“I thought it was your right hand?!” Comet yelled.

“Tup, what the hell?” Fives asked, filling in Echo’s place.

Tup dipped his head forward to Fives’ shoulder, tears filling his eyes. “Hurts.”

Fives put a hand on the back of his neck. “I know. Just breathe.”

Echo returned with a gel ice pack wrapped in a thin towel. He reached for Tup’s injured hand, but Tup hesitated.

“I’m not going to hurt you, I promise.” Echo swore, leaving his hand open.

Tup carefully placed his hand down. Echo covered the hand with the ice pack, feeling bad when Tup jumped at the pressure on his hand. “Does it hurt that bad?” He asked a bit incredulously.

Tup bit his lip and nodded.

“Tup, that’s not good,” Comet added, abandoning his homework along with the boys, worried for their brother.

Echo pressed a short kiss to Tup’s head. “Come on, let's move to the couch.”

Echo and Fives led their baby brother to the living room and directed him to the couch. Tup sat down heavily, holding his hand to his chest.

Echo placed the ice pack on his hand again, moving to let Tup rest his hand against the older teenager’s leg. Echo pulled him against him, brushing his hair gently.

Fives sat on the other side. “So...what the hell happened?”

Tup swallowed heavily, already hearing what his brothers were going to say. “I was pitching at practice when I got hit in the hand by the hit. I lifted my hand to protect my head and it did its job, I guess.”

All the boys groaned.

“f*ck Tup! Why didn’t you say anything?” Waxer asked.

Tup shrugged.

“That’s not an answer.” Boil said firmly. “If it had hit you the head would you have said anything?”

Tup bit his lower lip and didn’t answer. Would I have really told them if I got smacked in the head….probably not. He hid his face in Echo’s shoulder, letting tears drip onto his shoulder.

Comet, Waxer, and Boil went back to their homework. Comet looked up every so often, however, and noticed something that might make his brother feel better. Maybe. “At least it’s your glove hand and not your throwing hand.”

Comet got a small, watery chuckle but he took it. The youngest set of twins took the job of staying with Tup, trying to distract him from the pain. But soon they heard their older brothers pull up in the driveway.

Tup groaned, hoping that his brothers would’ve taken longer to get home. And then they heard a second car pull up. Tup was double screwed because he knew that was Kix.

Tup kept his face hidden in Echo’s shoulder as their brothers stepped into the house, talking loudly. He brought his knees up to his chest as he heard their footsteps enter the house and headed in their direction. The talking immediately stopped.

“What’s….going on here?” Wolffe asked after a moment of hesitation.

Echo stroked Tup’s shoulder. “Tup hurt his hand.”

Tup peeked out and saw Kix coming towards him after dropping his bag. The teenager hid his face again. Kix took Tup’s now cold hand and started gently moving it.

Tup hissed in pain again and whimpered. “Stop.”

Kix immediately did so, observing his hand without moving it. “When did this happen?”

Tup didn’t answer, even when Fives nudged his shoulder. Fives answered for him. “He did it at baseball which was four days ago.”

Kix’s head shot up. “What?” He asked in a low tone that meant danger.

“We’ll deal with that later. Kix, is it broken?” Rex asked, not wanting Tup to get yelled at while he was in obvious pain.

Kix didn’t answer and instead took his hands off. “Can you curl your fingers into a fist for me, Tup’ika?”

Tup’s ring and middle finger shook as he tried to but he could barely make half a fist before stopping. Kix sighed. “Can you feel your ring and middle fingers?”

Tup shrugged. “Not...really?”

“It’s broken.” Kix settled for. He maneuvered the ice back on his hand and stood up. “I’ll call dad.”

Rex took out his phone. “I’ll call the orthopedic.”

Kix stepped out of the room while Rex just called from where he was standing. The calls took about the same time and were both done within at least five minutes. Kix came back into the room and gave the teenager a pointed look. “You’re off the hook with me and dad for now. But we are talking about this tonight.”

Tup didn’t like that.

...

Tup sat in the uncomfortable seat of the office as his dad was on the right side and Kix on his left, leaning his head against the wall. He wasn’t allowed to take anything for the pain so nothing would mess with the examination.

“Tup Fett?” the nurse with the name tag of ‘Jack’ called. Tup, Kix, and their father all stood up and followed the nurse back. He led him back into the room.

“Alright, can you take your sweatshirt off for me?” He asked.

With Kix’s help, he got off successfully and tossed it to his dad. Jack pulled out a clipboard and clicked a pen.

“Can I have your age?”

“15.”

“Date of birth?”

“January second, 2006,” Tup answered.

The nurse smiled gently, trying to ease the teenager since he was in pain. “Alright, the doctor will be in shortly.”

Tup waited in silence, avoiding eye contact at all cost. He knew this injury was bad and would most likely take him out for a while while he recovered. And that was not what he needed right now. It was late January which meant he had about a month to recover at least. But Tup knew broken hands don’t heal that fast.

“Tup, you’re overthinking. It’ll be okay, kiddo.” Jango spoke up for the first time.

Tup gnawed on the corner of his lip, feeling dread fill his body as he realized that he might not be ready in time for high school tryouts. Or that he might not play ever again if it’s extremely bad.

“If you listen to the doctor, you will recover. But only if you listen and follow the rules about your injury. Got it?” Jango asked for confirmation.

Tup nodded, knowing there was no arguing with his father. There was a knock on the door and the doctor stepped in with Tup’s file in hand. “Hi, Tup. My name is Corey Rodgers.” He greeted him.

Tup gave a small wave and smiled lightly.

“So you got hit in the left hand with a baseball right?” The doctor asked as he sat down.

Tup nodded. “Yeah. My teammate hit the ball and it hit me in the hand while I was trying to cover my head.”

Rodgers nodded. “And you’re sure it didn’t hit your head? Because it says here you have a history of a major concussion.”

Tup frowned, confused. “No….I’ve never had a concussion before.” The doctor looked equally as confused as him, looking back at the chart to double-check.

While those two were distracted, Kix and Jango shared urgent looks. “What do we say?” Kix whispered.

Jango didn’t know, but he improvised. “Yes, you did Tup. You don’t remember?” As soon as Jango said that he knew he f*cked up. He could feel Kix’s glare on the back of his head. He just f*cking gaslighted his son.

Tup’s puppy eyes made him feel worse. “No, since when did I have a concussion.”

“You were seven maybe eight. You and the twins were roughhousing and you hit your head hard.” Jango continued.

Tup stared at the two of them before saying in a reserved voice. “Okay.”

“So, I’m just going to look at your hand and see what your range of motion is okay?” The doctor asked permission. Tup nodded.

The doctor went through a series of examinations, very similar to Kix’s, and eventually pulled away. “From what I can tell your hand is broken most likely in the third and fourth metacarpal but we’ll get you an x-ray to make sure.”

The doctor poked his head out of the room. “Jack I need an x-ray for Tup.” Then he left the room.

Jack re-entered the room after a minute or two and waved Tup on. “Follow me.”

Tup was led back to the x-ray room, with a warning sign saying to keep the door closed at all times and there is radiation beyond the door. Jack opened the door and grabbed a heavy-looking cover.

“This will protect you from the radiation,” Jack explained even though Tup already knew that and then grabbed a much smaller one and velcroed it around his neck. “And this will protect your thyroid.”

Jack joked lightly, seeing Tup was a little tense. “At least I don't have to ask the question of whether there is a possibility that you are pregnant. I don’t enjoy asking that question.”

Tup cracked a small smile.

Back in the room, Kix stood up. “What the hell, dad?!”

Jango crossed his arms but it didn’t look very intimidating this time. “What do you want me to say?”

Kix was beyond angry. “Lying to him is one thing. Keep the secret from him and Comet for seven years is another thing. But making him question his own f*cking sanity is f*cking ridiculous.”

Jango growled at him. “Later.”

Tup came back in with Jack and sat back on the table. The nurse clicked the mouse a few times and entered a few words and Tup’s x-rays pulled up.

The doctor knocked on the door and ushered Tup back in. Tup sat on the table once again. The doctor took a moment to look at the scans before he turned the screen.

“So here we can see that Tup does indeed have a transverse displaced fracture on the shaft of both the third and fourth metacarpals.” The man traced the fracture even though they could all see it. “Displaced means the bone was fractured by the force of the hit then the broken ends shifted so they are no longer in line.”

“What type of treatment are we looking at?” Jango asked.

Rodgers leaned against the table the computer was sitting on. “Unless you want to have permeate damage, he will need surgery.”

Tup closed his eyes and banged his head against the wall, making the doctor chuckled in sympathy.

“This typical surgery will not take you out for long as long as you rest it and put in the work at physical therapy.”

Jango straightened up a bit. “Would you be putting pins or plates in?”

“For this particular fracture, we would put in-”

“Plates.” Kix interrupted. “It will be easier than doing pins vertically instead of horizontally like you would with oblique breaks.”

The oldest man blinked. Kix's brain caught up with his mouth. “I’m sorry! Force of habit of saying the answer out loud. Med school.”

The doctor laughed wholeheartedly. “It’s quite alright. And exactly what he said. We would put a plate on each fracture. Then about three months later we will remove the plates.”

Tup looked nervous. “Is three months the recovery time?”

The man sat down on the other end of the table. “It really depends how each person heals. Some people might take eight weeks. Others might take twelve. Like I said before, as long as you take it easy, you will recover as fast as your body lets you.”

Rodgers quickly started writing as Jango gave him the date of the surgery. He added. “I would also suggest Tup gets an MRI tomorrow. I don’t believe there is any nerve damage or tendon damage but I’d rather be safe than sorry.”

Once everything was finalized, Jack knocked on the door and had a box in hand. Rodgers left the room after a few goodbyes and Jack revealed a brace. Jack held out a hand to help steady Tup’s hand as he rested his palm on the palm side of the brace once the wrist strap was open. Jack loosened the straps that would go around his fingers. It wrapped around his middle, ring, and pinky finger, with a strip of brace on the palm side of his fingers. Jack tightened them so the straps were snug but not too tight.

“How does that feel?” Jack asked with a kind voice.

Tup nodded. “Good.”

“Alrighty. There is a removable metal rod that you can take out if you choose to, making the brace more flexible. The metal does prove more support since it bends at the fingers but that’s just my personal opinion. And you’re all set!”

Tup smiled. “Thank you.”

Tup, Kix, and Jango walked out of the room, going to the front desk to pay for the brace. Jango kept Tup tucked underneath his arm the whole time. Tup didn’t object; not one bit. They made the short trip to the car and off they were for home.

They entered the door and everyone was still awake even though it was getting late.

“Aw kiddo,” Rex cooed as he saw Tup’s hand in the brace first as he was walking towards the left of the front door where

Wolffe called from the living room. “What’s the verdict?”

Tup with his brother and father walked to the living room. Tup leaned against the door jam. “I broke my third and fourth metacarpal. I’m getting an MRI tomorrow and I have to get surgery in two weeks.” He explained in a defeated voice.

The others winced. “Yikes, kid.” Cody got up and hugged him. Tup leaned into the hug.

Jango nudged his shoulder. “You should get some rest. All of you should,” He gave a pointed look to all of the teenagers but only Tup, Comet, and Waxer got up.

Tup nodded and retreated upstairs with the other two. Kix’s face fell and became stormy. Jango sighed heavily. “Are you still pissed at me?”

Kix whirled around on him. “Are you kidding me?! Of course, I’m still mad at you. You keep gaslighting Tup and Comet and I’m getting sick of it.”

Jango f*cking snapped. “You think I don’t know that Kix?!” He yelled, hoping the empty space in the big house would swallow up the sound and Tup and Comet wouldn’t hear.

Kix took a step back in fear.

“You think I don’t feel bad that I am lying to those two every single f*cking day?! Because I do! I see the lies every time I look them in the eye!”

Kix took a few more steps back, eyes brimming with tears as Jango’s own eyes filled with tears. Jango sighed and sat himself down on a chair with his head in his hands. “Do you think I like lying to them? Do you think I like seeing the mistrust in their eyes, and the disgust in Tup’s when he knows when I’m lying? Because I don’t Kix. I never have.”

All of the other boys stared at the ground.

“Dad…” Rex’s voice broke. “We have to tell them.”

Jango shook his head. “We can’t Rex. Or they’ll leave. And you know that.”

Rex went down on his knees in front of his dad, so they were eye to eye, crying softly because of the guilt. “They don’t deserve this. They never have. If we keep this up they’ll lose themselves in the lies. They will never trust us again. Not unless we tell them.”

Jango studied him before running his hand through Rex’s short blond hair. “We don’t know what will happen if we do. And I’m not about to let face the possibility that Tup or Comet would try to kill themselves because of the guilt. You know Tup will spiral when he finds out.”

“That might be the choice we have to make,” Wolffe said softly.

Jango looked to the remaining teenagers after a moment of silence. “Go to sleep.” He whispered.

The remaining three teenagers wordlessly went up to bed. Leaving their older brothers and father to their own devices.

Before Tup lost his brothers in the endless sea of the hallways of high school, he grabbed both Echo and Fives and pulled them aside. “What’s up?” FIves asked.

Tup fidgeted before spitting it out. “Did I ever get a concussion from roughhousing with you two?”

Fives and Echo shared similar shakes of the head and facial expressions. “Nope, never. Why?”

Tup felt the all-too-familiar sting in the back of his throat. “No reason. Just wondering.” Tup gave a tight smile.

The twins didn’t think anything of it and left after saying goodbye. Tup swiped one tear away and pulled himself together. But the betrayal feeling didn’t go away. Jango had lied to him once again.

Notes:

The title is a mouth full, but whatever. And timeline-wise, since I just established Tup's birthday, Tup technically would've just turned 15 and in previous chapters, he was 15 before January, the same with Rex's age since his birthday is one day before Tup's. But oh well, these ages are barely accurate XD. I also did my math wrong, and it's been seven years since the others have been lying to Tup and Comet about something, so it is now seven years, not six.

What did you think? Requests? If you have requested something a while ago, it might appear later due to my plot planning.

Chapter 15: Chapter 15-Surgery

Summary:

Two weeks later, Tup gets surgery on his hand.

Sidenote: I'm not a doctor nor do I have a Ph. D. I wish I did though XD.

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

Tup sat on the couch, backpack in between his feet. His hair made a curtain around his face, blocking his eyes from view. He played with the loose long sleeves of his hoodie. He was dressed in loose clothes, not wanting to make his life more difficult while he was hurt.

“Kid, you okay?” Ponds nudged his shoulder.

Tup blew his hair out of his face and nodded. “Yeah just….scared.” It was two weeks after Tup broke his hand and he had to get surgery. He wasn't looking forward to it.

Ponds sat next to him and gave him a playful smile. “At least they're just putting plates in and don’t have to fix any tendons or ligaments.”

Two weeks ago Tup got his MRI and he had nothing wrong other than the two breaks in his metacarpals. Tup nodded, truly finding a positive to that.

“It’s still surgery. And I know for a damn fact I’m going to be in so much pain after.” Tup explained.

“Nah they’ll put you on the good stuff so you won’t feel much. You’ll just feel fuzzy for a while.”

Jango popped his head out of the kitchen. “Tup, get going with the others I’ll pick you up at the end of the first period.” Jango gave a firm point to the door.

Tup nodded and put his backpack strap on his right shoulder. “Bye.”

“See you kid,” Rex called.

Tup left the house with his brothers, walking to the bus stop. Once the bus arrived, Tup climbed up and walked the short distance to sit in a seat across from Axel. His friend looked up from his phone to smirk at Tup like he always does but it fell. Tup took his backpack off and dropped it to the floor and pushed his back against the side of the bus. Axel looked at the driver to make sure he wasn’t looking before jumping over to Tup’s seat.

“You look terrified, Tup.” Axel’s voice was surprisingly gentle, normally he was extroverted and loud.

“I don’t want to go.” Tup knew Axel would understand what he was talking about.

Axel pulled him close so Tup could drop his head to his shoulder. “I know you’re scared. But Tup you’re in too much pain. You have to get the surgery or you’ll be in pain for the rest of your life.”

Tup subconsciously buried his face in Axel’s warm neck. Axel ran a hand across his friend’s back. “I know you’re scared, but it’s a simple surgery remember? That’s what the doctor said after the MRI.”

Axel hugged Tup the rest of the way to school. Axel grabbed his hand once they stopped and pulled him up. “Let’s go to class.”

Tup let go of his hand and nodded but stayed close to his side. Axel and he both had their first period together with a few other classes. And the school counselor wanted to have someone walk Tup to his classes since he was hurt even though it’s only his hand.

Axel took his seat next to Tup and gave him a look that said ‘you’re okay.’ Tup nodded in agreement and stared at the teacher, trying to not panic. His brain soon went into autopilot and started his assignment. He distantly heard Axel joking and talking with a few of their other friends, but he didn’t have to heart to engage with them. At least the assignment melted his brain enough to get him to stop worrying. He f*cking hated it when he was like this. This was just his personality; freaking out over little things.

Tup lost track of the time and soon the phone rang near the door of the classroom. He didn’t register it fully and just shrugged it off and went back to work. But then his teacher called out.

“Tup, you’re going home.” She told him, putting the phone back.

Then reality set in and Tup didn't like it very much. He slowly bent down to grab his bag and started walking to the door.

“Axel, can you go with him please?” She asked his friend, knowing he was helping Tup out.

Axel automatically jumped up and went to Tup’s side. Tup gave the football player a tight smile. They both walked to the office staying silent. Once they reached the door and Tup was about to walk through the door, Axel pulled him back.

Tup was wrapped into a hug and he gratefully accepted it. Axel squeezed him tight, being careful of his hand then let him go. “Text me when you’re not high on pain meds.”

Tup smiled. “I will.” As he walked through the door he saw Jango glaring at Axel as he walked away. Tup had to hold in a snort.

“What with the look?” Tup asked and they started walking away.

Jango now gave Tup a glare. “You know how I feel about you getting handsy with him.” Jango was the only one in the family that knew Tup was gay. His brothers may have a few ideas and theories that Tup is bi or gay but never commented on it.

“Dad. He’s my best friend. Just cause he hugged me doesn’t mean he’s hitting on me.” Tup defended his friend, knowing his father was going into protective dad mode.

“Doesn’t mean I like it,” Jango grumbled.

“Would you say that same thing if Axel was a girl and I was straight?” Tup challenged, being sassy.

“You damn well know I would. Just get in the car.” Jango ordered as they approached the car. Tup slid into the back seat and then immediately went silent. Tup plugged in his earphones and stared out the window.

Soon they arrived, and Jango had to shoot Tup a look to get him out of the car. Jango grabbed Tup’s hand gently to make sure he wouldn't bolt away. Tup gratefully took his hand, hiding his face in his shoulder until they walked into the building.

Jango did all of the talking, while Tup stared at the floor. He saw his dad slid his insurance card over and was handed a few papers to sign. Once he was done, he pulled Tup into a seat and made him sit down.

“Give me your phone once we get in there okay?” Jango asked.

Tup nodded and unlocked his phone to go on it.

An hour later, a young-ish-looking nurse came through the door. “Tup Fett?”

Jango pushed Tup up and ushered him to the door. The nurse led them back to a ward and pointed to one of the beds. “I’m going to have you sit right there while I take your temperature, blood pressure, heart rate, and all that jazz.” Her peppy attitude helped Tup calm down.

He quickly sat down, waiting for the nurse to gather her things. She took his temperature and then reached to take his pulse. She frowned slightly. “Your pulse is a little high. Is that a normal thing for you?”

Tup shook his head. “Just a little scared.”

She smiled. “Well, it’s okay to be scared. I’m now going to ask you to take a few deep breaths and just try to relax for me.”

Once Tup was done getting a grip on himself, she went to take his pulse again. Once she was done she did his blood pressure.

“Alright, everything looks good there!” She stated and put things back where they were meant to be. She grabbed a tablet and opened it, using a stylus to type in all the appropriate numbers.

“Now I just have a few questions for you. You are experiencing pain in your left hand, correct?”

Tup nodded. “Yes.”

“Alright and how long has your pain been there?”

“About two weeks.”

She nodded along with him, typing on the tablet. “Have you had any x-rays or anything like that for this specific injury?”

“One x-ray and one MRI,” Tup answered.

“Do you take any daily or reoccurring medications?”

Tup nodded, fidgeting slightly. “Yeah. I take fluoxetine for my anxiety and depression.”

Shockingly to Tup, she didn’t give him a look of utter pity like he received a lot when he told other people. She just accepted it like Tup was telling her what he ate for dinner last night.

She added a few more notes before she smiled at him. “I’m now done with the question part. I’m going to ask that you change into this gown.” She tossed him one from the cabinet. “And you can take your brace off and make sure you have no mental, jewelry, or anything of the sorts. I’ll be back in a few minutes.”

She closed the curtains around him and her footsteps walked out of the room. Tup changed quickly and didn’t have to take off his elastic band that normally sat on his left wrist because he hadn’t worn it in two weeks. He unstrapped the brace, not liking the way his hand was looking. It wasn’t pretty at all. He stared up at the ceiling.

Jango took his brace and observed his youngest son. Even in pain he still was almost a spitting image of his mother. His hair was an easy giveaway. His dark brown locks were not jet black like Jango or most of other of his brothers. Diana had brown hair that only a few of her children inherited; the youngest was one of them. And his personality was almost like Tup was a complete copy of his mother. Kind, gentle, polite, but also observant, and outgoing.

“Dad?” a small voice broke through Jango’s thoughts. Tup was looking at him in concern. “Are...are you okay?”

Jango smiled sadly and nodded. “Yeah, I’m okay, Tup’ika.”

Tup nodded and let his head fall back. “I hate this.” He complained to his father.

The older man chuckled. “I know, kid. But you’ve gotta do it.”

The curtains opened again and the nurse was back with two other people, dressed in scrubs.

“Hi, I’m doctor Lia Coleman.” The new woman greeted, shaking both Jango and Tup’s hands, and turned to Tup. “I will be the lead surgeon for your operation today. I’m sure you’ve been given the rundown of the producer, but I will explain it again. We will make two incisions, each on top of the two broken metacarpals. We will then place one metal plate on each bone and secure it was two screws on each side. And that’s about it. Any questions?”

Both the Fetts shook their heads.

She smiled brightly. “Good. You will be under general anesthesia for this operation, which means you will be fully unconscious. Once the operation is done you will be brought back here so you can slowly wake up. Your nurse will pop in once and a while to make sure things are going smooth and help you get out of here as soon as possible.”

Tup nodded, feeling more scared as time seemed to be speeding up way too fast. The doctors and nurses were nice and everything, but he didn’t know where their knife skills were like.

The other women in scrubs stepped forward. “I’m your anesthesiologist. I will administer the anesthesia via IV here and once it starts to kick in we will wheel you to OR and get started on the operation. Sounds good?”

Tup nodded again, not trusting his voice. The woman stepped closer to the bed and gathered all her things. Once Tup caught sight of the needle, he turned his head.

“Would you prefer the IV to be in your right hand or in the crook of your arm?”

“Hand, please.” Tup requested.

He felt the anesthesiologist clean the needle site. He clenched his eyes closed to block out the pain.

“Try not to tense up, honey. I’ll be quick.” She reassured him.

Without too much hassle, she got the IV in, but Tup did shiver when the needle pierced his skin. She started fiddling with it, so it was in the position she wanted.

“Alright, I’m now going to administer the anesthesia.” She narrated.

Jango got up and squatted next to the bed, on the other side that the girl wasn’t on. “Love you.”

“Love you too,” Tup whispered.

Jango saw the fear swimming in his son’s eyes. “You’re okay, sweetheart. I’m right here with you. Just think of it like you’re going to sleep. I’ll be right here when you wake up.”

Tup frowned when he saw slight tears in his father’s eyes, but he was starting to feel drowsy and couldn’t comment on it.

The anesthesiologist spoke next, “Tup, you’re going to close your eyes, and then a few seconds later, to you it'll feel like a few seconds, you’ll wake up and be back in the room. Count backward from ten in your head for me.”

Tup let his eyes fall closed.

Ten.

Nine.

Eight.

Seven.

Six.

Five.

Four.

Three.

Two.

Why was dad crying?

One.

Tup pulled his eyes open, staring at the bright lights of the ceiling. His throat felt like it had cotton in it. He blinked a few times before falling back asleep. He repeated that a few times before staying awake long enough to turn his head to the side.

Jango looked up and smiled. “Hey. How are you feeling?”

Tup gave a long groan, perfectly translating how he felt.

Jango laughed. “Got it. Thanks, kiddo.”

Tup looked down at his hand and saw that it was wrapped in some type of dressing that had either gauze or cotton underneath the top ace bandage. He tried to move his fingers to no avail.

“I can’t feel my arm.” Tup duly noted, feeling like he wasn’t totally there.

“You’re lucky you can’t feel it yet. You’re going to be in pain later.” Jango stated, snorting lightly.

Tup dropped his head back. “I think I feel loopy.”

“You’re going to feel like that for a little while. Just relax and let the anesthesia wear off.” Jango’s voice was soothing.

Tup slowly came out of his dream field and looked down at his hand with a grimace. “I can already feel it.”

Jango grimaced in sympathy. “Let's get you changed. Do you need help?”

Tup blushed slightly. “Yeah.”

Jango didn’t say anything as he closed the curtain again. He helped Tup get back in his loose clothing, letting him rest against his shoulder. Tup curled into his arm, closing his eyes. Jango hummed lightly, just mindless humming.

The nurse came back in a few minutes later and Tup totally tuned her out but heard enough that he would get a week off of school with a note signed by the surgeon. His father moved from underneath him and he whined that his dozing was disturbed. Jango chuckled, a comforting deep tone, pulling him up from the bed.

Tup, on his own accord, slipped his hand into his father’s, leaning his head on his shoulder. Jango wrapped an arm around him. “You’re cuddly when you’ve got drugs in your system. Good to know.”

Tup rolled his eyes. “I’m the good child. I wouldn’t do drugs.”

“Mhm sure.” Jango nodded to give him the benefit of the doubt.

Tup was led to the car and dropped to the front seat and got his seat belt buckled for him. He leaned his head on the window to take his mind off of the pain he was starting to feel. He must’ve fallen asleep because the next thing he knew he was being shaken on the shoulder.

Jango pulled him out of the car. “Let’s get you inside and settle you on the couch. I want to keep an eye on you.”

The teenager didn’t complain, all he wanted to do was sleep. Tup stood, resting against the doorway of the living room, eyes falling shut as his father grabbed a few things. He felt a tug on his good arm and he laid down on the couch with a sigh.

“Just go to sleep, kid,” Jango ordered lightly, walking out of the room momentarily. Tup let his eyes fall closed and he fell into a slightly drug-induced sleep.

….

Two hours later Jango heard some shuffling and slight whining coming from the living room. Jango left the kitchen where he was doing dishes and walked into the living room. Tup had his head buried in one of the throw pillows.

Jango sat down on the couch, near Tup’s hip. “What’s wrong?”

Tup whined again. “It hurts.”

Jango frowned. “Already?”

Tup nodded. “Mhm.”

Jango got up and went up the two steps to reach the dining room where there were papers scattered around that Jango had so Tup could get surgery and other things for his wrist. The referral, the MRI results, insurance; all that sh*t. And among that was a prescription that Jango picked up on the way back. He tapped two pills out and grabbed a glass of water.

Jango put the glass on the table and grabbed Tup’s bicep, helping him sit up. “Up you get. Swallow these and you should feel better soon.”

Tup held out a shaky hand to pop the pills in his mouth and took a gulp of water, clutching his hand through the thick bandage on his hand.

Jango knelt in front of him, taking his right hand off of his arm. “Shhhh. It’s okay. It’ll hurt more if you do that.”

Tup dropped his head on his father’s shoulder, trying to ignore the pain. Jango muttered nonsense under his breath, rocking lightly to calm his son down.

Tup’s hand was on fire. It didn’t feel good at all and he felt so vulnerable to the pain that he didn’t know what to do.

“Just let the meds kick in and you’ll feel better, I promise Tup’ika.” Jango brushed his hair back from his face, hugging him close again.

Tup clutched him tight, his grip slowly becoming loose as the meds kicked in after fifteen minutes and he just leaned fully on his father. He felt his father’s familiar warmth and scent, finding comfort in it ever since he was a child.

“Is it better?” His father asked.

Tup nodded and laid back down, staring at the tv. Jango sighed and lifted Tup’s upper body up. He slipped the pillow in his lap and let Tup’s head down slowly. He carded his finger’s through the teenager’s soft hair.

“I rescheduled you to see Justin next week. You need to stay home for a week so your hand won’t have too much stress,” Jango explained.

“Thank you,” Tup muttered, glad he was going to see Justin. At first, he hated going to see Justin. He was so used to dealing with his issues on his own that he wasn’t able to accept help in the beginning. Justin barely got him to talk the first couple of sessions because Tup didn’t want him to judge him or think he was crazy for thinking that what happened to him was actually abuse.

Adrian always made Tup and Comet question their sanity. Tup still hadn’t fully opened up to Justin about what happened in foster care, he has only told him about the mental abuse he received. He hadn’t told him about the physical abuse. He didn’t think he ever would. Justin still helped tremendously though, especially with his anxiety and depression. His PTS was a little harder to handle, and Justin hadn’t broken down that mental wall just yet.

“So, you got scared earlier before you went under. Was that just you being nervous or was it something else?” Jango asked calmly.

“Just scared,” Tup answered simply.

Jango seemed like he wanted to say something but refrained from it. He knew it would upset Tup and he would work himself up like it did every time he asked. Jango knew something happened that Tup wouldn’t tell them. Every time he or one of Tup’s brothers asked if more things happened in foster care that he would say, Tup would shut down and deny it but they could see it in his eyes. But when they asked Comet he would say that it was only mental abuse he received, and they could tell he wasn't lying.

Jango settled for something else. “I love you. You know that right? You can tell me anything.”

Tup nodded and turned his head to look at him. “I know. Love you too.”

Jango smiled warmly and ruffled his hair. “You should probably try and sleep again, it’ll take the drowsiness off.” Tup fell into slumber again, relaxing against his dad.

Jango sat with him the rest of the day, at least until his older boys came home. Rex, Cody, Wolffe walked in with Bly, Ponds most likely was with Mace and wouldn’t be home for another hour at least.

All four of them entered the living room knowing Tup would be there and poked their heads in.

Rex, Cody, Wolffe, and Bly slowly walked into the room, minding the sleeping teenager. Rex sat down on the floor in front of Tup. “How’d it go?”

“It went well. Everything is fixed and he gets the plates out in between three to six months if he wished. He’ll start physical therapy soon.”

The four of them nodded. Rex stroked Tup’s shoulder a few times before he stood up and went to the dining room and pulled his laptop out of his bag and started it up, with Cody and Wolffe doing the same.

Everyone was just chilling until the teenagers came home, knowing there would be slight chaos like always but especially now since their baby brother just had surgery. And lo and behold when the door burst open, five teenagers spilled into the house, looking for their brother. As they came dashing into the living room, Jango held up a finger to his lips, pointing down at the sleeping teenagers.

“Is he okay?” Waxer asked for all of them.

Jango nodded. “He’s completely fine. But if you wake him up I will ground all of your asses.”

They chuckled and dispersed around the house but Comet crouched in front of Tup. He stared at his sleeping brother and propped his chin on his fist.

Jango smiled at his son's protective nature. “You want to switch?”

Comet nodded vigorously, making his father laugh. Comet was soon in Jango’s previous position, but Tup’s head was laying directly on his lap and not on a pillow. The older teenager started braiding Tup’s hair, needing something to do with his hands.

Tup was slowly awoken by someone playing with his hair. And he didn’t mind a damn bit. He pulled his eyes open and lifted them to the person he was laying on.

“Hey sleepy. How’re you feeling?” Comet asked with a smile.

Tup smiled back. “Better.” He turned so his face was pressed against Comet’s chest.

Comet giggled. “Awww. Maybe we should give you the good stuff all the time.” He joked.

“Haha, you’re so funny.” Tup deadpanned.

Comet ruffled his hair. “I know you love me.”

Notes:

I swear we're almost at the first climax of the story. And fair warning for the future, I will be bending the way laws work slightly. I will try to make them as accurate as possible, but it's my story and what I say goes XD.

What did you think? Requests?

Chapter 16: Chapter 16-Out of the Frying Pan, Into the Fire

Summary:

Things start to get tense in the Fett household and someone explodes.

Warnings: Referenced child abuse, self-harm, and questionable things coming from Jango's mouth.

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

Tup walked into Justin’s office, poking his head in as he knocked on the door. Justin looked up from his desk and gave him a kind smile. “Hey Tup, come on in.” Tup sat in his normal seat and crossed his ankles. He looked around the deep blue room as Justin got situated even though Tup had memorized everything in that room.

Justin moved to sit across from him and gestured to his hand. “How’s it feeling? Your dad said you got surgery.”

Tup chuckled a bit sheepishly. “Yeah, I broke two metacarpals in my hand by getting hit by a baseball. I needed to get plates in each.”

Justin leaned back, getting comfortable. “How has that been affecting you mentally?”

Tup shrugged. “I’ve been okay. I just get bored, because I can’t really do anything.”

Justin nodded along, tapping his foot a few times. “How have things been at home besides that?”

Tup clenched his jaw shut and reached to snap the elastic on his wrist but soon realized it wasn’t there. Justin’s eyes followed that movement and he froze for just a second Oh, boy. This can’t be good, he thought.

“...Tup?” Justin called after a moment.

The teenager’s jaw was shut tightly and he swallowed hard. “My dad lied to me again.” He said in a quiet voice like he was a bomb about to go off.

Justin pressed more. “About what?”

Tup fidgeted, and his heel started going up and down at a rapid rate. He shook his head like he couldn’t physically say it.

“Tup, what did he lie about?” Justin asked again, still being gentle but he wasn’t getting worried. When something was really wrong he would close himself off, and he would spiral. And that’s what Tup was doing.

“He...We were at the doctor's for my hand and the doctor asked if the ball had hit my head at all. I said no and asked why it mattered, and he said it was because I had a history of a major concussion. I have no memory of ever having a concussion. Dad said that....the twins, Fives and Echo, slammed my head somehow when I was eight. And he f*cking said “You really don’t remember” as if I would. There's a reason I don't remember it.” Tup covered his face with his hands.

Justin took it all in before speaking. “And you have zero memory of the concussion Absolutely zero?”

Tup shook his head. "I don't."

Justin sighed. “I know you don’t want to hear this but sometimes if you get hit hard enough you can lose the memory of the incident.” He explained to the upset teenager.

“I know he was lying to me, Justin. And Kix did too because he was pissed at him. But they never say anything or call my dad out about lying to me.” Tup continued to hide his tears behind his eyes. “And what ten-year-old can hit someone that hard to give their brother a major concussion?”

Justin admitted defeat, knowing Tup had a very good point. “Alright. And this isn’t the first time he has lied to you right?”

Tup glared at him lightly and got a little snippy. “No. And you know that.”

Justin held his hands out in surrender. “Okay, okay. And what did I tell you to do last time?”

Tup crossed his arms and mumbled. “Talk to him. But he gave me some bullsh*t excuse about ‘protecting’ me the last time!”

Justin hating being in this situation. He didn’t want to question Jango’s parenting, but he didn’t want Tup to feel unsafe with him or his father. Justin leaned forward. “Tup, look at me please?” Tup didn’t for a moment but he lifted his eyes eventually.

“I understand that you don’t like when Jango lies to you. It’s not my job to judge parents or their parenting techniques, but I’m going to anyway. I don’t think it’s the right thing for him to lie to you. I don’t. But I’m not your father. If you are uncomfortable with it you need to communicate that to him-” Justin tried to explain rationally but Tup didn’t let it slide.

He stood up in anger. “So he can do what?! Curse me out and call me a sorry excuse for a son? To not question him ever again?” Tup had tears in his eyes, spilling over his waterline. “So he can throw glass at me, slam me up against the wall, threaten to stab me like Adrian did every time I confronted him because I was a ‘whining bitch that didn’t deserve to live’?! And then act like nothing happened the next day and then do it over and over again?! No, I’m not going through that again, Justin!”

Justin was truly thankful that the walls were mostly soundproof.

While Tup paced in frustration, Justin truly for the first was looking at Tup who was stripped of every defense he had. The teenager never reacted like that before. He also never said anything about physical abuse. The older man completely froze in shock, just watching Tup pace across his office. Justin stood up and walked slightly closer to Tup, leaning against the seat Tup was previously leaning on.

“Tup…” Justin’s words fell, not knowing what to tell the teenager. He struggled for a moment but got through it. “Tup, I’ve asked you this before and you denied it. I’ve always had my doubts but now….I know that Adrian physically abused you. Because you just admitted it to me.”

Tup looked at him in shock, his words only just coming to him. Oh f*ck. sh*t, god damn it! He wasn’t supposed to find out! He was a fish out of water; he had no response.

“Can you not deny it?” Justin poked.

Tup completely broke. He walked a few steps to the wall and slid down the face of it, pulling his knees up. Justin followed but gave him a foot of space. Tup sobbed quietly into his crossed arms, not knowing how to stop crying. He felt broken down by a man he hadn’t seen in about three or four years. It was f*cking exhausting.

Justin didn’t stare at the teenager while he was crying, letting him cry for a minute or two and then speaking in a soft tone. “Physical abuse is highly illegal, especially on a minor. You know that right?”

Tup didn’t answer, just continued sobbing.

“I am telling you this, not as your therapist but as a decent human being, what he did to you was wrong. End of story. There is nothing okay with what he did; verbally, mentally, or even physical now.” Justin left that open in the air, letting it be known

Tup stopped sobbing after a few minutes but the salty tears didn’t stop. He just stared at the wall.

Justin sighed lightly and looked at the teenager. “The others don’t know do they?”

Tup shook his head.

“When were you planning on telling them? On telling me?” Justin asked curiously.

“Never,” Tup whispered. “If I’ve lived through it and dealt with it then, I can deal with it now.”

Justin shook his head. “No, you can’t because your subconscious is putting you in survival mode and you don’t trust your father or brothers anymore. I highly suggest you tell them. Tup, you're scared of your father because of childhood trauma and it's affecting your relationship when it shouldn't. Because you and I both know that if Jango did that to you, you have fourteen other brothers that would beat his ass because they love you. And your dad loves you and wouldn't hurt you.”

Tup’s lower lip trembled, and he trapped it between his teeth. “I can’t tell them. They’ll look at me differently.”

Justin moved to be perpendicular with Tup. “Am I looking at you differently right now?”

Tup looked at the man and studied him. He saw Justin’s usual, relaxed posture and blue eyes looking at him. His eyes were sympathetic but not full of pity. And that was Justin for you. Tup put the side of his head on his knees and closed his eyes. He felt Justin shuffle next to him and press his shoulder against the teenager for a brief second.

“If I tell them, Comet will find out. And he’ll be pissed.” Tup's voice was raspy.

“Why would he be mad?” Justin asked.

“Because there are no secrets between us. Except that I’m gay. He’ll feel like I broke his trust by not telling him the moment it started happening.”

Justin put a hand on his shoulder. “Did Ardain abuse him, too?”

Tup nodded. “Verbally and mentally. But he never got physical with Comet or Wolffe who was with us for a short time. Only me. But I can't tell him because we only have each other while our family lies and falls apart around us.”

Justin frowned. "What do you mean?"

Tup chuckled with dry humor. "There's sixteen of us in a household. Arguments happen a lot."

The man helped pull Tup off the floor and slowly walked him to the couch again, so he wouldn’t be sitting on the hard floor. Tup wiped his eyes but he knew he could do nothing with his bloodshot eyes.

“Take a breath, kid.” Justin coached gently. “We have about five minutes left but we’re done for today. Just breathe and let yourself calm down.”

Tup thankfully didn’t start crying again and was hopefully done crying for the rest of the day; it was tiring as hell. They sat in silence, which allowed both of them to process.

“Alright, we’re done for today, kiddo. Just think about what I told you, okay?” Justin requested.

Tup nodded silently and was about to leave the door.

“Tup, if you get the urge to hurt yourself because of what happened in here, at all, go to Kix, Rex, your dad; just go to someone. Understood?”

Tup gave one nod. “Understood.”

The teenager left the room and walked through reception. Kalani walked past him but put a gentle hand on his shoulder with a smile as a non-verbal goodbye. He walked out the door and scanned the parking lot either for his brothers or father.

Cody was in the car with Rex in shotgun and Wolffe in the back. Tup slid in on the left side of the car, buckling himself in. Wolffe gave him a look and was about to ask but he saw Tup’s red eyes and wisely shut his mouth. He looked at Cody through the rearview mirror and shook his head, advising him to not say anything.

Once they got home Tup fled from the car and retreated into the house. The teenager ran up the stairs, ignoring the other people in the house and ripped the door open to his room, and slammed it shut. He laid on his bed, feeling his phone buzz. He ignored it. He fell asleep.

It was tense in the house hours later. Tup wasn’t talking to anyone besides Comet and Comet couldn’t seem to tell why. They were sitting on the couch and Tup was leaning on his shoulder.

“Why aren’t you talking to the others?” Comet whispered.

Tup nuzzled his shoulder to help keep himself calm. “I’m sick of them lying to us all the time. Every time we talk to them all they do is lie.”

Kix yelled through the house. “Food!” And the stampede of teenagers came down the stairs or into the living room. Tup and Comet moved at a much slower pace, and Comet felt sick just looking at his food. He wasn’t hungry at all. The second youngest teenager didn’t even lift his fork.

Kix saw this and looked at Comet. “Com’ you okay?”

Comet nodded. “Just not hungry.”

Kix sighed, knowing that would be his answer. He was like that sometimes food where he just couldn’t physically stomach food. He let it go but he would talk to Comet about that later.

They drifted into conversation, and what came up was when Wolffe played football in high school and got a concussion.

Wolffe snorted. “Yeah and I got hit so hard, I threw up right on the field. Not a good time.”

Tup’s hands started shaking, and he was looking at his father. Soon, without really thinking about it, he sarcastically asked. “So dad didn’t lie to you about your concussion? Good to know.”

Tup leaned back in his chair as the others froze turning to stare at their brother.

Jango’s stare was burning into his soul. “What the f*ck does that mean?”

Tup didn’t show any fear but he was definitely feeling it. “I’m not stupid, even if all of you think I am to not notice that all you lie to me.”

Bly was glaring at him now. “When have any of us lied to you?”

Tup’s gaze didn’t leave his father. “Not counting you lying to me for years, you lied straight to my goddamn face three weeks ago. And you, Kix, didn’t say a damn thing either when you knew he was lying. The twins never gave me a concussion, did they?”

Jango didn’t move a muscle. “Watch your f*cking mouth when you talk to me, Tup! I don’t lie to you!”

Tup looked coldly at Fives and Echo. “Funny you say that. Because I asked the twins themselves and they said they never gave me a concussion. So where the hell does an eight-year-old get a concussion, dad?”

The younger boys were looking between all of themselves and Comet was looking at his brother, feeling that something was extremely wrong with this situation.

“Tup! What have I told you about questioning me?! f*cking stop while you’re ahead or I’ll make you regret it.” Jango warned, not thinking straight because he just essentially threatened to hurt his fifteen-year-old.

“What are you going to do, dad? Hit me then go to jail for real this time for child abuse?” Tup called his bluff.

Wolffe lost his cool. “Tup! Cut it out, now!”

Tup slammed his hands on the table and screamed. “No, Wolffe! Because I am sick of all of you lying to me! But none of you give a sh*t!”

Jango now slammed his hands down. “If I didn’t legally have to deal with a f*cking brat like you I would’ve left you in Brooklyn with Adrain!”

Tup stood up from the table. “Then do it! Go for it! You can call Jen right now!”

Comet grabbed his hand. “Tup, don’t. Just sit down.”

Tup ripped his hand away. “You still haven’t answered my question dad. Where’d I get the concussion? For all I know you probably did it didn’t you? So what did you do? Slam my head against a wall?”

Jango stood up as well. “If I could slam you against a wall right now, I would!”

“Dad what the hell?!” Comet finally got involved.

Jango pointed an angry finger at him. “Don’t you f*cking dare start with me, Comet.”

Comet got up next to Tup. “Too bad! Tup is right, all you do is lie to us! So why?! Aren’t we your kids?!”

Jango glared at him. “My kids aren’t disrespectful brats that’s for damn sure.”

Cody and Rex couldn’t bear to look at the two youngest, Rex gripped Cody’s hand hard.

Comet remembered Tup saying something that Kix obviously knew Jango was lying. “And what’s with you Kix? Are you just going to let him lie straight to his face?”

Kix looked heartbroken and he couldn’t answer.

Ponds looked at his father and knew the decision he was about to make will be a lose-lose most likely. He stared at the man, his father, and saw the man that lost his wife and was trying to protect his youngest sons from something that would destroy them.

Then he looked at his little siblings. Tup and Comet. Comet and Tup. Always two peas in a pod and right now they were still standing strong together, not backing down. Ponds loved his little brothers, so much….but he needed to protect them. From themselves.

“Tup you want to know the truth? The real truth?” Ponds asked.

Tup threw hands up in the air.

Kix and Rex shot him disparate looks begging him to shut up.

“It was the twins.”

Rex looked surprised and ducked his head again, knowing that’s not what happened.

Tup stared at him, shaking his head in disbelief and letting out a hysterical chuckle.

“You were playing near the stairs and Fives accidentally pushed you down the stairs.” Ponds explained.

Fives looked between them and finally settled on Ponds. “Ponds….I never-”

Ponds shook his head, cutting him off. “Yes, you did.”

Tup was a smart kid. Much smarter than his brothers obviously thought. He was just done. “I f*cking hate you. I hate all of you.” Tup started walking to the front door but Jango followed him. The others stood up as well, migrating towards the door. As he was walking out the front door, a hand grabbed his wrist, but he pulled his hand away. Tup walked out to the front yard, his trying to put as much space between them.

Jango reached for him again.

“Get away from me.”

Jango grabbed him and turned him around and got eye level with him. The anger was gone from his eyes.

“Tup I am not trying to hurt you-”

Tup gestured to the house. “Then what the hell was that in there?! You threatened to slam me against the wall! And you keep lying to me!” Tup was crying again.

“And I am so sorry. I shouldn't have said that. But I am not trying to purposely hurt you. I am trying to protect you because I love you.”

Tup shook his head again and ripped out of his grasp. “If you loved me you wouldn’t lie.”

“Tup, please. I love you so much. And even if you’re mad I know you love me. I am doing what’s best for you.”

Tup cried harder. “I hate you and wish anyone else was my father.” Jango held out a hand to stop him but the attempt fell flat. Tup ran upstairs to his room, passing his brothers, sobbing.

Comet started to go up the stairs to follow him, but Ponds put a hand on his shoulder. “Comet-”

Comet pushed his hands off. “Don’t….please.” The teenager was getting upset now because he was questioning everything. Comet opened the door to his and Tup’s room and saw his brother sobbing his heart out.

Comet slid behind him and hugged him from behind. He put his forehead against Tup’s shoulder and silently cried. Tup seemed to be close to screaming almost, but it was muffled through the pillow he was buried in.

The older teenager hugged him tighter, pressing a kiss to the back of Tup’s head. “Shhh, sh sh sh. I know.”

Tup turned in his arms so they were chest to chest. Comet hugged him close but minded the hurt hand.

“Why? Why do they have to lie?” Tup asked rhetorically.

Comet stroked his spine. “I don’t know, Tup’ika. I wish I did but I don’t.”

"I don't want them to be like Adrain." Tup sobbed, making Come hush him.

"I don't want them to act like that either."

Tup sobbed and soon Comet was struggling to not sob with him. They heard a knock on the door but Comet screamed. “Go away!” He was too frustrated to deal with the others.

Comet fell asleep, still having Tup wrapped in his arms, and Tup wriggled out of his arms. He stared at the floor and felt numb. He didn’t feel anything. Tup’s hand mindlessly scavenged through his drawer and found something with cold metal that bit into his skin. He went to the bathroom, locking the door behind him.

He stared at the knife in his hand, tears miraculously stopping. He pulled out the blade and watched as the light bounced off of it. With somewhat of a struggle, he gripped the knife with his left hand and cut a line into the inside of his right wrist. He moved over a few centimeters and made another line, pressing deeper. I deserve it. I’m the reason everyone is so unhappy. Tup knew that was wrong and Justin’s words flashed in his mind, but it didn’t click just yet.

After the fourth line, his brain screamed ‘stop’ at him. The knife clattered to the counter and Tup hissed in pain.

“f*ck, ow.” Tup winced, crying.

Justin's words finally broke through the haze and Tup remembered he promised he would go to someone if he had the urge to cut. Not only did he have the urge, but he actually did cut himself. And, damn it, he didn’t go to anyone and Comet was right there. Sorry, Justin.

Tup observed the cuts and realized his hands were shaking too much to clean his arm up himself and he had one bad hand.

Blood dripped into the sink, and Tup grabbed a small hand towel and draped it over the cuts in a vain attempt to soak up the blood as he walked downstairs. He heard hushed chatter coming from the dining room, most likely. He guessed it was the seven eldest brothers--from Jesse to Ponds--and his father. He wasn’t even going to try and snoop.

Tup poked around the corner, keeping only his right arm out of view, and he dropped the rag on the floor out of sight from them.

“Dad….” Tup called slightly, voice breaking slightly.

Jango looked up and his brothers’ eyes also snapped up. Jango frowned. “Hey, what’s wrong? Why’re you crying?”

Tup brought his arm out hesitantly, dark red coloring his arm, dripping to the floor.

All of them jumped up seeing the alarming amount of blood.

“What the f*ck?” Jesse cried.

Kix walked towards him. “Sit your ass down, now!”

Jango led him to a chair, pulling Tup’s deep brown hair back away from his face. He hadn’t even noticed his hair slipped out of the tie.

Kix walked out of the room and returned a few seconds later with a bowl of water and a few clean cloths and a roll of gauze. The paramedic gently took Tup’s right wrist and started gently cleaning the blood with a damp cloth, making the youngest Fett boy wince at the fiery sting.

“Easy,” Jango whispered, stroking his hair.

Rex came in front of Tup and took hold of his chin. “Don’t look at Kix, look at me.”

Tup stared into Rex’s almost identical eyes of his own, seeing love and reassurance in them. It was a much better sight than earlier. Jango’s were the same but Tup couldn’t bring himself to care, he was still mad at them for earlier.

Once all the blood was clean Kix could take a quick glance at the knife cuts before he would put pressure on it. He saw that the cut closest to Tup’s elbow was the deepest, but he didn’t think any of them needed stitches.

Kix pressed down on the wounds with a clean towel and held it in place. He sighed lightly, feeling like sh*t that Tup had to resort to hurting himself. Again. It made him feel like he failed Tup every time he cut. He knew the others felt the same way.

Tup closed his eyes, not wanting to see the burning concern in the others. He didn't want to forgive them just yet and it would make him crack and forgive them.

Jango played with hair, knowing it calmed him down. “What did you cut yourself with?” He kept his voice low and quiet.

Tup fidgeted. “The same knife.”

“Where is it now?” Jango asked.

“Bathroom,” Tup whispered.

Ponds went up with saying a word, knowing that Rex, Jango, and Kix were otherwise preoccupied. Tup tore his gaze away from Rex, chewing on his inner cheek.

Kix pulled the towel away, soaked in blood, and decided it was as good as it would get. He started working on closing the cuts with pseudo stitches and then putting a strip of gauze over it. He put a hand on the back of Tup’s neck and squeezed gently. “Done.”

Tup didn’t look up and remained seated, not wanting to move a muscle. Wolffe appeared out of the corner of his eyes and shook a small bottle in his hand. Tup opened his right hand to take his pills and swallowed them down.

Rex redirected Tup’s attention to him. “Do you want to talk about it?”

Tup shook his head, not wanting to go into it.

Jango sighed. “Was it because of what happened earlier tonight?”

“What do you think?” Tup asked venomously.

Jango and Rex flinched. The oldest man looked at Tup before pulling him up. Tup jumped away from him, eyes blown wide, hiding in Rex’s chest. Rex held on to him, taking a step back to get his balance. Jango held out his hands. “Tup….please. Please don’t be afraid of me.” Jango begged him.

Tup slowly unwinded his arms from Rex’s middle and took a baby step towards his father. His father held out his hand, letting him choose to take it or not. Tup’s hand shook as he held it out but he took his father’s hand.

Jango pulled him into the hallway and let go of him. “You’re right. I have been lying to you.”

Tup looked pissed and shook his head. “I’m not stupid.”

Jango tilted his head to the side to look at Tup. “I never said you were. I am trying to protect you because I know what will happen if I do tell you the truth. I swear; no more lies.”

Tup glared at him. “You honestly expect me to believe that when you won’t tell what you lied about in the first place?”

Jango didn’t have a reaction to that. “I’m asking you to try.”

Tup looked at Jango and he honestly didn't see his father anymore. He just saw a pathological liar. But he was his flesh and blood….and he did love him.

“Fine. No promises though.”

"I can live with that," Jango answered. "And I do truly love you. Even if you think I don't, I do."

Tup would calm down by morning and try to make amends with his father, but he was still livid with his whole family. Well...his whole family minus Comet. He climbed up the stairs, dragging himself to his room. He laid back down with Comet, feeling his brother's warmth surround him.

….

Two hours later Rex was sitting with Jango on the couch, his father running his fingers through his blond hair. Rex was staring at the tv, feeling numb. Tup and Comet’s words killed him to his core. He wanted to do nothing more than hug them and tell them the truth.

But he had a question for his father that he had never asked. One that he had always wondered about ever since his mother died.

“Why don’t you hate me?” Rex muttered emotionlessly.

Jango shifted and looked at him, confused. “Because you’re my son and I love you.”

“You shouldn’t,” Rex continued to stare at the wall.

“Of course I will love you. It wasn’t your fault, Rex.” Jango’s voice was kind, understanding what he was asking.

Rex clenched his eyes shut, letting out a soft sob. Jango looked a little shocked and clicked his tongue. “Oh, Rex.” He crooned, tugging Rex closer.

Rex didn’t know why he was crying but he was. He missed his mom so much.

Jango pressed a kiss to his head. “I know, I miss her too.”

It was safe to say...the Fett family was now a broken one.

Notes:

This was honestly was kinda dark and sh*t got real. I don't want Jango to be the bad guy or anything, but his methods are questionable, so just keep that in mind. Also, I wrote this sh*t in like two days? The hell? I just got excited to write this and knocked it out. The next chapter might take a little longer depending on how the writing process goes, but I hope you liked this one!

What did you think? Requests?

Chapter 17: Chapter 17-A Lie Hurts Longer Than the Truth

Summary:

The truth comes to light.

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

Two weeks passed and the house was relatively peaceful. Tup and Jango had made a truce of sorts, and they hadn't been arguing since the last time. Tup has put his rubber elastic band back on but he put it on his right wrist, knowing that he would get the urge to cut again until he talked to Justin. He was also able to wear his normal brace on his hand without the large bandage on his arm so he was happy about that.

The teenagers entered the dining room, intending to do homework but a large array of papers stopped them. Comet stared at the papers scattered on the table, except for one part of the table. Tup and Comet shared a look and Comet asked. “What’s….going on here?”

Ponds and Jango looked up. “Just throwing junk away. Sorry to take most of your table.” Jango said.

Comet waved a hand and sat down, Tup sitting across from him. “It’s cool.” The other teenagers sat on the couches to do their homework. Comet’s ADHD made his mind wander as Tup stayed focused on his homework. Comet’s eyes drifted across the table and landed on a few papers. On the papers, it said “Wolffe Johnson”.

Comet frowned. Well, that’s not right, Wolffe has the same last name as dad and us. The teenager nudged his brother’s foot. Tup shot him an annoyed look, not wanting to be interrupted while doing his homework. Comet slid him the paper, watching Tup read it.

Confusion crossed over his face and he read it. “Wolffe,” Tup called without taking his eyes off of the paper, voice rising in pitch, almost making his brother’s name a question.

“Yeah, kid?” Wolffe called from the other side of the table.

Tup looked at him, waving the paper. “Since when the hell is your last name ‘Johnson’? Cause last time I checked, it was ‘Fett’.”

Everyone in the house stopped. Ponds, Bly, Wolffe, Cody, and Rex looked tense. Everyone else, besides Jango and Kix, looked confused. Wolffe shot Ponds an angry look. “You left it out?” He hissed only for his oldest brother to hear.

Tup looked back at the paper. “It says here that you requested to legally change your name to ‘Fett’ back before Waxer and Boil were born. What does that mean?”

Wolffe clenched his mouth shut. He didn’t answer.

Tup turned to Jango and gave him pleading eyes. “You said no more lies, dad. That’s what you said.”

Jango sized Tup up on the offer and didn’t even look at Wolffe for permission. “...Keep reading.”

Comet came over and read over Tup’s shoulder. Blah blah blah, words, blah blah blah. Until they reached the bottom.

Tup stood up from his chair and shouted. “Who the hell is Liam Jonhson?!”

Fives jumped up and grabbed the paper from his brother. His eyes flashed over the paper and then stared in shock at his brother. “He’s your biological father?!” All The boys except Tup and Comet knew who Liam Jonhson was.

All of the kids under the age of eighteen stared at their brother in shock. Sinker and Boost were away for college so they weren’t here for the bombshell.

Wolffe glared at the paper. “Don’t f*cking say his name.”

Echo straighten up. “Since when...why didn’t you tell us?”

Ponds answered for him. “Because we never want anything to do with our father again.”

Tup gestured to him. “So he’s your father too?!”

Bly took a step. “And mine.”

Tup stared at his father, seeing a lost look in his eyes. “Are they telling the truth?”

Jango came closer to them and leaned against the wall. “It’s the truth. Ponds, Bly, and Wolffe have a different father. Cody is my firstborn.”

The teenagers looked back and forth, all of them upset. The three oldest came closer, knowing that the conversation was finally happening. They had tried to avoid this as much as possible, but they knew it would come to pass eventually.

Ponds sighed. “Diana Bailey Jonhson. That was almost mom’s name if he hadn’t left Liam before she married him. I don’t think she would’ve survived with him if she stayed.”

Tup looked at them like they were strangers. And it was killing them.

“I met your mother in freshman year of high school. We became close friends. We even applied to the same colleges so we wouldn’t be split up.” Jango explained sadly. “Then, she got accepted into the FBI a few years after college, and I went into the marines after I got my degree. We stayed in contact though and I found out that she started dating Liam who went to school with us and he was a grade-a asshole. But she swore he was a better person, and I believed her.”

Ponds took over, seeing it was hard for Jango to continue. “Liam and mom had me, Bly, and Wolffe young. She had me and Bly before she even got accepted to the FBI. Liam didn’t like us though, according to dad and mom.”

“What do you mean?” Comet asked quietly.

“Liam abused mom. He was a psycho. He wanted to have kids but when he did he wanted nothing to do with us. He just wanted someone to control. Mom would leave us with dad when he was on leave from the Marines because she didn’t trust Liam with us.”

Bly moved to brush his hand against Wolffe’s. “Liam would threaten to hurt us if mom tried to leave him, and she tried a lot. Jango was more of a dad to us than Liam could ever be. So Jango was our dad even before he was with mom.”

Jango shuffled his feet. “Your mom eventually got a restraining order on him. Then...we started dating. And we had Cody.”

Tup looked like he wanted to cry, for more than one reason. “But...but how come you look like dad?”

Wolffe shrugged. “It was a crazy coincidence.”

Comet clenched a fist. “Why didn’t you tell us?”

Wolffe growled. “Because Liam deserves to burn in hell for what he did to mom. We want nothing to do with him.”

Tup was staring at Jango, seeing something deep in his eyes that he wanted to say but he couldn't. The youngest Fett pulled his biggest puppy eyes. “There’s something you’re not saying. What is it?”

Jango looked at him from the corner of his eye.

Tup didn’t break his gaze. “Daddy, please.”

Jango full-on flitched. Tup hadn’t called him ‘daddy’ since he was like eight years old and wanted something. And right now all Jango could see was an eight-year-old Tup.

Jango made eye contact with all of the older boys, soundlessly getting their opinion. Rex was giving him a pleading look that said ‘please for the love of God and all that is holy tell them’. Ponds and he shared a long look. Ponds hated the idea, but….he nodded.

Jango sighed and crossed his arms, gaze snapping back and forth between Comet and Tup. “Liam is the reason I almost went to prison and got sent back into the Marines.”

Tup and Comet shared a confused look. “How is that even possible?”

Jango held back tears, knowing they would blow up. “Because...I kicked his ass after he bribed a judge to be convicted as guilty but only had to pay a fine. I actually almost killed him, according to him of course.”

Tup looked scared at that. “What did he do?”

Jango clenched his jaw, a shadow falling across his eyes. “He was in a DUI homicide accident….with your mother.”

The house was silent. The bomb was dropped. The question was whether it would explode or not.

Tup was confused. Hold on, back up. No. No. Mom died doing work for the FBI, not this. He started backing away slowly. “You’re lying…”

Jango shook his head, staring sadly at Tup. “I’m not, kiddo.”

Comet backed up as well. Tup shook his head in denial. “No, you’re lying! You said she shot and killed on an assignment with the FBI!”

Comet looked to their other brothers and saw the teenagers had tears in their eyes….but they weren’t surprised by this. “Did you all f*cking know?!”

Fives swallowed hard and nodded. “We did.”

Tup swiveled to look at him. “Are you kidding?!” Fives flinched.

“Why didn’t you tell us?!” Comet and Tup both asked their father at the same time. Comet ran a hand through his hair, stressed. “I don’t believe this.”

Rex took a few steps towards them, keeping his voice light. “Dad’s not lying.”

Tup let one tear fall, shaking his head again. “You have to be lying!”

Jango solemnly shook his head. “I wish I was.”

“Prove it!” Tup screamed.

Jango calmly took a step forward, arms still crossed. “Comet, Tup, tell me what you remember about your mother.”

Comet and Tup both balked. They...couldn't answer. Comet looked very upset. “That doesn’t prove anything.”

Jango looked to Tup. “Do you know the real reason you have depression, Tup?”

Tup nodded hesitantly. “Adrian….”

Jango looked crushed to tell Tup. “No….you couldn’t handle your mother’s death. You were diagnosed with clinical depression when you were seven, almost eight after your mother died. You were so far deep in your grief that you just decided to….forgot. Forgot what happened. Forgot her. Your time with Adrian just built your depression. But you remember her more than Comet.”

Tup was crying now, unable to say anything. It was now Comet’s turn.

“Comet, you don’t remember anything because your brain physically can’t. You have a traumatic brain injury that somehow only affected your memories and not your ability to function. You barely remember what she looked like, don’t you?”

Comet looked at him in horror, his answer was obvious. “I just have one question. How the hell did I get a traumatic brain injury?”

Now Jango looked destroyed. He couldn't bring himself to say. Rex saved him. “You were in the car...during the accident.”

Tup sat down, feeling like he was going to throw up. He saw something flash bright, like headlights, something from his memories but he just couldn’t seem to get a grab on it.

Comet sat next to him staring at the floor. “How?”

It was Rex’s turn to cry, not looking at him, and Wolffe pulled him close.

Kix spoke for the first time. “You were in the car with her. Dad and Rex got into a bad argument. You and Tup got scared and ran out of the house. We didn’t even know you were gone until everything calmed down and you two were missing. Mom went out to get you...and she did, she called dad saying she found you, but….we never saw her alive again. Dad was the last person to see her in the hospital before she flatlined.”

Tup stood up to walk away, but Comet had a vice grip on his wrist. He pulled his brother back down on the couch. “Sit down, Tup,” Comet ordered lightly.

A moment of silence passed. “You have to be lying,” Comet stated in a wispy voice.

“We’re not,” Cody said simply.

“I’m never going to remember her?” Comet desperately asked in a broken voice.

Kix shook his head. “It’s highly unlikely. We are so sorry Comet.”

Tup stared at the floor, a concentrated look in his eye. He was starting to get flooded by memories, desperate to find the truth. If I had repressed the memories, I can get them back...right?

Something almost pinged in Tup’s brain, giving him the notice that he had a memory that he didn’t remember somehow like it was an intruder in his brain. He continued to stare at the floor blocking out the sound of discussion.

Tup was sitting in the middle back seat, next to Comet who was behind their mother’s seat in the car. Their smallest fingers were wrapped around each other.

“What were you two thinking?! You could’ve got hurt.” Their mother scolded, honey eyes flashing dangerously. Her eyes were just like his but he couldn’t remember ever having that realization.

Comet and Tup looked at each other guilty. They were mature for their age and they knew leaving the house and going almost to the edge of their town was dangerous. A nice lady gave them her phone to call their mother and she wasn’t happy with them when she came to get them.

“We just got scared…” Tup muttered.

Diana looked at him through the mirror. “I know baby, but you cannot run off like that. Do you understand me?”

“Yes.” They both said in unison.

Tup looked over Comet’s shoulder. They were just turning on into the highway, about to mirage in the lane. There was a truck going way over the speed limit, in the same lane, his mother was in. Tup, in his very intelligent mind, knew that basic physics said–that a seven-year-old could understand–the car was going to t-bone them based on the way a person had to get onto the highway.

But….Tup didn’t know what to say, and he was only seven, close to eight, and what was he supposed to know about car accidents and f*cking physics. So….he sat back….and watched the truck come closer. Comet didn’t notice. Diana didn’t notice. Tup didn’t say anything.

The truck got closer. And closer.

This was all happening in the span of five seconds but to Tup it was five minutes. Just watching the vehicle speed towards them.

Diana only turned as the truck's high beams glared in her face. “sh*t!” She reached back in vain to try and protect her children but the position was too awkward. But Comet covered Tup with his own body.

The truck hit them. And all Tup and Comet felt was pain.

Tup was ripped back to the present when a sob left his lips. Comet squeezed his hand but Tup ripped his hand away, not deserving comfort from him.

“I killed her,” Tup whispered, holding his head in his hands.

Rex shook his head, wiping his eyes. “If anyone killed her it was me. I’m the one that started the argument and she’s the one that went out to get you.”

Jango tugged him close, looking at his two youngests. He looked at the youngest and saw that he was close to sobbing. “No, you don’t understand. I saw the truck. I knew it was going to hit us and I didn’t say anything.”

They all looked at Tup but they weren’t angry; they were just sympathetic. They then realized why Tup’s psyche made him forget. Comet laced his fingers with his again, looking at him pleading. “Please, just sit down.”

Tup got out of his grip but stayed in the room.

Comet looked to Jango with a look of betrayal. “Why? Why didn’t you tell us?!”

“Because I knew you would blame yourselves and you shouldn’t. None of it was your fault. I’m so sorry, for not telling you sooner but I wanted what was best for you.” Jango explained to his sons.

“And lying to us was the answer?!” Tup shouted. “Did you not think that you would build our reality on a lie?!”

Jango couldn’t answer because Tup was right.

The two of them were too overwhelmed, and Tup just had enough. He jumped and just bolted out of the house, still in hand was Comet. Comet wasn’t about to leave him. Jango went after them. “Tup!” The two of them didn’t listen, starting to run.

All of the others went out of the house, trying to follow them but they were too far; sprinting at full speed.

“What do we do?” Rex asked.

Ponds clenched his jaw. “Just...let them adjust. They’ll come back.”

Kix crossed his arms, hugging himself. “Do we know that?”

Comet and Tup on a random bench on the side of the road. Tup was practically in Comet’s lap, face buried in his neck as he cried silently. The older boy had a hand on his brother’s spine, warm palm stroking circles. It had been about five hours since they left home and they had turned off their location on their phones. Their brothers and father had called them a bunch of times but they didn’t answer.

They didn’t want to go home. But they also couldn’t just sleep outside, so they would've had to find a place to stay eventually. But the place found them.

The first car in twenty minutes saw them and slowed down to a stop, pulling over. Comet and Tup would’ve been worried that this random person was trying to kidnap them or something sketchy but they knew who was in the car through the window.

Four fairly large figures stepped out of the car and slowly approached them. Tup took a peek and knew who it was. Hello cousins. Tup hid his face again.

To two of them crouched in front of the pair, keeping their hands in sight.

“Now, do you two want to explain why you’re on the edge of Colorado Springs when you two live an hour plus away in Highlands Ranch?” The seemingly oldest addressed them. One batch of their cousins lived in Colorado with them while the others lived in other states.

“Why does it matter, Stone?” Comet spat dejectedly.

The man lifted the teenager’s chin to make eye contact. “Because you two are our baby cousins. And you both are upset for some reason. You’re practically in the middle of nowhere.”

Comet stroked Tup’s hair as he responded snarkily. “Well you’re here and other people have passed us, so it’s not really the middle of nowhere.”

Thire, the other man kneeling, sighed. “That’s not the point Comet. Why aren’t you at home?”

Tup looked at Stone and said simply. “Mom...”

Stone and Thire looked at them in shock and then in sympathy. “So...they finally told you?”

Tup looked at them with tears in his eyes. “You knew too?”

Stone nodded with a sad smile. “Yeah, kiddo.”

Stone observed his other brothers and turned back to the teenagers. “Do you want to get in the car with us?”

Comet shot back, “Are you going to take us home?”

Another one of their cousins, who was standing, answered. “No. Unless you want to.”

Tup shook his head for Comet, not wanting to see his father or brothers right now. He stood up and his brace came into view.

“How’d that happen?” Thorn asked gently as they walked to the car.

“Got hit by a baseball. Broke my hand.” Tup said softly.

Thorn tucked the teenager under his arm, smiling at him. They hadn’t seen their cousins in a decent amount of time and even if they were upset, they would spend as much time with them as possible.

Fox climbed into the trunk of the car, wanting the two teenagers to have a seat. Stone gave him an unimpressed look. “You really think that's a good idea?”

Fox rolled his eyes. “Just drive.”

Tup leaned against Comet’s shoulder as they drove to their cousins’ house. They almost had forgotten that Stone, Thire, Thorn, and Fox live with their grandfather and his husband. The drive was quiet, and the youngest two could tell the other men didn’t want to set them off.

They pulled up and all shuffled out of the car. Tup and Comet were herded into the big house, just making the connection that everyone in their family lived in big houses.

“Why does everyone own big houses? Are we secretly royalty or something?” Comet asked, genuinely.

All four men chuckled. Fox shook his head. “Nope. Just years and years of money and property being passed down.” Stone opened the door for them and pushed the two teenagers in.

Tup and Comet observed the nice house in front of them, the calming grey wall paint washing over them.

“What the f*ck took you four so long?” A loud voice called from a different, traveling through the house but it wasn’t filled with anger.

Thorn ruffled Tup’s hair softly, pulling him closer as they walked into the kitchen where the voice was coming from. “We made a detour.”

Jaster turned around with a frown on his face. The man looked good since he was at least in his sixties; he looked forty-five. He took one look at his two grandchildren that didn’t live with him and the frown became a concerned glare to the Stone. “What happened? Are you two okay?”

They both nodded and moved to hug him. Jaster easily hugged both of them but shot a look at his oldest grandchild. Stone mouth to him. “Diana.”

Jaster then understood what happened. He felt Tup shaking, the poor thing, and he hugged him closer. “Does your dad know you’re here? Or did you run off?”

They both avoided eye contact, feeling a lecture coming on. Jaster gave them a disapproving glance. “Boys.” He stated in a warning tone.

Tup hugged him tighter so he wouldn’t have to make eye contact. “Dad doesn’t know we’re here.”

Jaster pulled back after realizing something. “Wait a minute, then how did you two get here?”

Comet and Tup shared a look before Comet shuffled his feet. “We kinda...just ran.”

Jaster glared at them. “What?!” And at that moment Jaster’s husband walked in, stared at the scene before staying in the background.

Tup flinched. Jaster took notice of that and decided to ask later but he waited for an explanation. “We just started running. Then we walked. Then we got a bus. I guess we didn’t realize we were an hour away from home.”

Jaster sighed and dragged a hand down his face. “Okay. You’re staying here tonight, no arguments.”

Comet and Tup immediately agreed then went silent. Their cousins took that as their queue to distract them as best as possible while Jaster had a few words with his husband as they started dinner.

“I told him that it would end badly. Did he listen to me? No, of course not.” Jaster complained, quietly of course so his grandsons wouldn’t hear.

Nicky nodded. “I get that Jas’ but you’re not their parent. I get what you’re saying, but you probably would’ve done the same thing if you were in his position.”

Jaster, playfully, didn’t like the fact that his husband was disagreeing with him. “How so?”

Nicky turned towards him. “Comet can’t physically remember what happened and Tup couldn’t deal with the grief so he forced himself to forget. Jango didn’t want to go through the pain of explaining, again, to his seven and eight-year-old that their mother was dead.”

Jaster sized him up for a second before groaning. “Why do you have to make sense, Nicholas?”

Nicky flicked him on the ear. “Because Jango is your son and you love him.”

They fell into silence before he poked his head into the living room, just to check that everything was okay. Without making eye contact, cutting up vegetables, he asked. “Was it just me or did Tup flinch away from you?”

Jaster gave him a side-eyed glance, then moved it away. “Yeah, he did. I know Jango would never physically harm his boys so it’s something else.”

Nicky shrugged. “Foster care is my only guess.”

Jaster stopped his movements. “You think so? Tup nor his brothers and father ever mentioned abuse in foster care.”

Nicky sighed sadly. “I know love, but Tup might not want people to know if he was abused. I know I didn’t.”

Jaster nudged his shoulder with Nicky’s before yelling into the living room. “Food’s ready!”


....

Tup and Comet sat on the large couch, facing each other, the tv on a low volume. Jaster was sitting with them but on a separate couch, having a conversation with Thorn. Tup was staring blankly at the wall, feeling Comet scoot closer to him.

“Grandpa?” Comet gained his attention.

Nicky snickered as Jaster groaned and hit his head against the wall. “How many times have I told you, kids. Just call me Jaster. You make me feel old calling me ‘Grandpa’.”

Comet smirked. “Okay, Jaster….why did dad nearly beat Liam Jonhson to death? I want to hear it from you,”

The calm aura in the room changed drastically. Jaster observed his son’s kids and sighed, knowing that Jango should be the one to answer these questions but Jango wasn’t there. “Because Liam single-handedly killed my son’s wife‒my daughter-in-law while being drunk off his ass and driving and got away with no jail time the first time. I loved Diana as my own and if your father hadn’t taken the bribed court case personally and didn’t kick Liam’s ass, I would’ve myself. I’m just upset Jango got caught. But Liam got justice served and was arrested after.; on the grounds of injuring and nearly killing you and Comet in the accident.”

Nicky didn’t add anything, because he didn’t really know Diana on a personal level seeing as he hadn’t been married to Jaster for a long time.

Tup suddenly stood up and walked out of the room. Comet reached up to grab his hand but decided to let him go, letting him go. Comet closed his eyes and dropped his head back to the armrest.

“How are you two adjusting?” Thorn asked softly.

Comet shook his head and whispered. “Bad. I just hope Tup doesn’t try anything stupid again.”

Stone did a double-take. “What do you mean by ‘stupid’...and ‘again’?”

Comet froze and then clapped a hand to his forehead. “I wasn’t supposed to say that.”

Jaster shifted. “What’s that supposed to mean?”

Comet stared in the direction Tup left the room and sighed. “Tup has generalized anxiety, clinical depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. You can probably guess what I’m alluding to.”

This was news to all of them. “Since when?” Fox asked hotly.

Comet swallowed the lump in his throat. “Since he was eight….and went into foster care.”

The statement was all they needed. Jaster glared in anger but not directed towards any of his boys or Comet. “Who hurt him and how?”

Comet looked him in the eye. “Someone that is one of Tup’s demons, which means he should be the one to tell you. Not me.”

Jaster sighed in dissatisfaction but nodded. “Fair point.”

Comet felt his phone buzz and gave a ding. It was weird because he turned off all of his message notifications except for a few people. One of them was Tup. He lifted his phone and saw one small text message from his younger brother.

Tup: Kitchen. Attack.

Comet stuffed his phone in his pocket and dashed to the kitchen, confusing the other six in the house. They followed a slower pace.

Comet entered the kitchen and saw Tup pacing the length of it. This seemed to be one of his calmer anxiety attacks but it was still scary for him. Comet soundlessly got in his path and took his hands. “Tup, breathe deeply. Try it.”

Tup tried but it died on his throat and caused him to choke on air. It made Comet wince for him.

“Try again,” Comet ordered lightly again. Tup shook his head, grabbing at his sternum. Tears pricked in his eyes.

Jaster and others’ eyes widened, not understanding what was happening. Jaster stepped forward. “What the hell is wrong?”

Comet kept his back to him, his focus only on Tup. “He’s having an anxiety attack-hey, hey shhhh. It’s okay.” He cooed as Tup started to try and move out of his grasp in pain.

“Is there anything we can do?” Thorn asked, worried for his baby cousin.

Comet shook his head. “No, you can stay just don’t make any loud noises or come close without him knowing. He’ll freak out more.”

Tup grabbed Comet’s forearm and squeezed hard, trying to stop panicking. Comet didn’t wince, knowing from previous years that if he did Tup would feel guilty.

“Breathe, Tup. Breathe and focus.” Comet’s voice was firm but light.

Tup shook his head. “Can’t.”

Comet lifted his chin to make eye contact. “Yes, you can. You’re hyperventilating and while that’s bad it means that you’re still breathing. You just need to get it slower. You can do it. He saw the others out of the corner of his eyes move slowly, wanting to stay in the room with those two in case anything happened, but they wouldn’t stare.

Tup started having sobs mixed in no matter how hard he tried. Comet wiped his tears away and grabbed his unhurt hand. “I know, I know.”

Tup tipped his head forward to lean it against Comet’s shoulder, his own shoulder shaking. Comet stepped closer to him and hugged him properly. Tup moved so his face was in the junction of his brother’s neck, feeling his brother’s warmth surround him. But he still couldn’t breathe after ten minutes.

Comet sighed and lifted Tup by the hips to sit on the waist-high island in the kitchen, grabbing his brother’s phone out of his hoodie pocket. “You need help and aren’t calming down by yourself or with me. Can I call Justin?”

Tup hesitated, wringing his hands nervously.

“Justin always tells you to call him if you need help with an attack. This definitely applies to this situation, but I won’t call him if you don’t want to.” Comet explained, really wanting Tup to give him permission to call Justin.

“Who’s Justin?” Thire asked curiously.

“Tup’s therapist,” Comet mumbled as he hit Justin’s contact and put it on speaker, placing it on the counter. It rang twice before the person on the other line picked.

“Tup, is everything okay?” Justin automatically asked.

Comet snorted lightly. Straight to business. “Hey Justin you’re on speaker, it’s Comet. Tup’s been having an anxiety attack for about fifteen minutes and I can’t calm him down.”

Justin didn’t ask questions about their situation, only needing to know that Comet was the only person available to help him. “Alright, Tup can you hear me?”

Tup nodded, unable to speak, and Comet relayed it.

“Tup, I know you’re scared but your thoughts are what is scaring you, and you aren’t in any danger.” Justin's voice was calm and collected, as usual.

“Tell that to Ardian.” Tup gasped out, thinking of his foster father.

Justin was still chill. “Adrain isn’t there right now which means you aren’t in any physical danger. If Adrain was there and going to hurt you somehow then Comet would’ve called 911, not me.”

Tup could barely listen to him and Justin could tell, so able to read Tup like an open book that he could do it over the phone.

“It will pass soon, Tup. They always pass whether you’re at home or with me in the office. Right?” Justin asked.

Tup nodded against Comet’s collarbone. “M-mhm.

“And what do I tell you to do in your sessions?” Justin asked, trying to get Tup to talk.

“T-try and b-breathe,” Tup answered shakily, still gasping for breath.

“That’s what I need you to do.” Justin requested.

Two minutes went by and Tup shook his head, telling Comet he couldn’t do it. Comet brushed his hair back. “He’s still hyperventilating Justin.”

“Tup, I want you to look around. Look at who is around you and notice that you aren’t in any danger.” Justin tried a different approach.

Tup looked around the room, seeing his cousins, grandfather, and brother. It actually did help him calm down a bit that his immediate family wasn’t there.

“See? You’re okay, Tup. You’re perfectly safe.” Justin reassured him. He didn’t really need all the details to know that Tup wasn’t in immediate danger; if he was, Comet would be talking to a 911 operator.

Tup hugged Comet again, really tired. Justin made sure to give him a minute to calm down before asking. “Everything okay now?”

Comet answered. “Yeah, thank you, Justin.”

“No problem. But if you have your meds on you I suggest you take them.” Justin added.

Tup didn’t have them so he would be a little wound up unless he went home tomorrow. Comet and Justin talked for a few more minutes before his brother hung up and hugged him tightly. “I’ve got you. It’s okay.” Comet whispered in his ear.

Everyone was in comfortable silence, just waiting for the clock to tick by so they could go to bed. That time did come and Jaster told the two teenagers to head upstairs to the guest room. They quickly agreed and walked up the stairs. They entered the room and went to either side of the bed. Tup took the left side and Comet took the right.

They rolled over to face each other, not saying a word. They both now knew the truth that they wanted for so long….and they just wished they hadn’t known. Soon the two of them fell into a restless slumber, hoping neither of them would have memories of the past attack them.

Downstairs Jaster had a beer in hand along with the other five men. Jaster was on his second one along with Stone.

Nicky took a sip before announcing. “Well...that was...interesting.”

Jaster snorted and looked to his grandkids. “None of you knew Tup had three disorders? I’m not just blind yet, right?”

Fox shook his head. “Never. But that doesn’t really surprise me. Tup probably didn’t want a bunch of people to know.”

Thorn growled. “I just want to know who Ardian is so I can kick his ass. I don’t like the sound of him.”

Jaster nodded and looked at the time. “I might as well call Jango. So he doesn't have a heart attack tomorrow.”

The boys snorted. “Good idea,” Thire commented.

Jaster pulled his phone out and dialed his son’s number. It rang for a decent amount of time before Jango picked up.

Buirnow is not a good time.” Jango signed, exasperated.

Jaster didn’t let him continue. “I have Comet and Tup. Your nephews found them on the south part of Colorado Springs.”

Jango was silent before groaning loudly. “Are you kidding me? Are they okay?”

Jaster looked up like he could see into the guest room. “Yeah, they’re somewhat okay. They’re mostly upset. And Tup had...I think Comet said an anxiety attack? Am I right?” Jaster poked his son.

“Yeah….I would be surprised if the kid didn’t have an attack.” Jango added, mostly to himself.

“So, why was I not informed before that my grandson has three mental disorders?” Jaster asked, feeling slight frustration towards his son.

“He didn’t want you to know, dad. He doesn’t want any of us to tell anyone unless he's okay. That’s why I didn’t tell you.” Jango explained calmly.

Jaster crossed his arms as best he could with his phone in hand. “Jango, what happened?”

Jango went silent for a few seconds. “I told them...about Diana. They didn’t take it well. Then always found out Ponds, Bly, and Wolffe are their half-brothers.”

Jaster sighed for him. “Well sh*t.”

He heard Jango move a chair to sit down. “I f*cked up, dad. I’m a sh*t parent.”

Jaster walked out of the room so the others wouldn’t overhear. “No, you’re not. Parents make mistakes. I know I did when I raised you and Arla. Your mom and I had problems, a lot of problems, and we didn’t make it easy on you two.”

“But you didn’t lie to me for half my life and made up a different reality to ‘protect’ me.” Jango was definitely a pessimist like his father.

“You did what you thought was right, you f*cked it up, and now you have to find a way to fix it,” Jaster said bluntly. “A word of advice; let them come to you. You’ve done all you can now it’s their turn to decide.”

Jango was shocked that his father said something like that. “Since when in hell were you suddenly wise?”

Jaster growled. “Oh, zip it. Now, how long do you want me to hand onto the kids?”

Jango sighed. “For however long they want. If it’s more than a week, they have to do school. Their school always has a virtual option for kids if they know they will be away for a while and they can jump into those classes. They’ll just have different teachers.”

Jaster nodded even though Jango couldn’t see him. “I’ll let them know. Bye Jango.”

“Bye, dad. Tell them I love them.”

“Will do.”

Jaster hung up and went back into the house. The five men in the living room looked at him, wanting to know who called him.

“Until things calm down, it looks like Comet and Tup will be staying with us.”

Notes:

....Sorry Diana. I kinda got attached to her as I was writing then I remembered she was...ya know, dead. I hope this reveal was at least somewhat satisfying and I also hope this wasn't too easy for you guys to figure it out before this chapter was posted. Let me know what you thought in the comments!

I am in need of a few more requests, so if you have them, drop 'em. 💙

Chapter 18: Chapter 18-A Little Calm

Summary:

Things start to settle down....sort of.

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

Comet and Tup were at the dining room table of Jaster’s house, doing homework. Jaster and Nicky watched from the doorway, totally not snooping. Well….to be honest they were totally snooping, hoping they would catch some conversation about what happened the other night.

Comet stopped typing and looked at his brother over the top of his screen. Tup saw that but didn’t stop looking up from his work. “What’s up, Comet?”

“You bolted from the house. And right before you did, you tried to let go of my hand. Why?”

Tup’s hands stopped their fast typing to look at his brother. “I didn’t want to make you come with me. So I tried to let go of your hand. Now I have a question for you; why didn’t you let go?”

Comet looked perplexed. “Why wouldn’t I? You’re my little brother, it’s my job to protect you.”

Tup didn’t look happy about that. “Yeah, and because of me you’re the one that got traumatic brain injury because you covered me in the crash.”

Jaster swallowed heavily and leaned his head on the door jam. Oh, boys….

Comet looked sad. “Is...is that what happened?”

Tup nodded. “Yeah...I remember the crash. Once you saw the truck about to hit us you covered me with your body. You protected me.”

Comet read his brother's expression. “You don’t seem happy with that.” Tup didn’t say anything.

Comet moved to the other side of the table. “You know I would do it again right? If it meant saving you.”

“You shouldn’t,” Tup whispered.

Comet looked confused but understood it was Tup’s depression talking. He just pulled him into a hug, tucking Tup’s head under his chin. “You’re my little brother. I will always protect you even if you don’t want me to for some reason. Why don’t you want me to save you if it’s my choice.”

Tup felt tremors rack his spine. “Better you than me.”

Comet ripped him back to look him in the eye. “Absolutely not. No. Don’t you ever say that. Please don’t ever doubt my love for you. Please.”

Tup shook his head looking away.

Comet sighed. “Adrian is getting in your head. Ignore him. He is wrong.”

Tup began to argue. “But he’s right. All I do is f*ck things up-”

“No, you don’t. You don’t f*ck things up.” Comet said gently. “Adrian was wrong from day one. We never deserved to be stuck with him. Do you understand?”

Tup stared at his brother, observing him with sharp eyes. Then they softened and he gave a small nod. Comet hugged him again, brushing his brother’s hair away from his eyes.

Nicky stepped forward, eyes worried. “You two okay?”

They nodded, not even trying to be mad at them for eavesdropping.

Jaster came forward as well. “Tup, I know you probably don’t want to talk about it but what did Adrian do?”

Tup tensed up but Comet shushed him gently and quietly. “Just get it over with. You need to tell him eventually.”

Tup bit his lower lip but didn’t make eye contact with his grandfather. “He was my foster father. We lived in Dever for a while and then he moved us to Brooklyn and didn’t tell our social worker, Jen, and she didn’t know where we were.”

Jaster sighed. “Kid, that’s not what I asked.”

Tup opened his mouth but then closed it. Nicky leaned on the table, keeping his body language casual. “If you don’t want to tell us, you don’t have to. We just want to understand so we can help you.”

Tup shook in Comet’s arms lightly, scared to tell them. “He….he was abusive.”

Nicky nodded, “What did he do?”

Tup shrugged. “Yell at us. Threaten us.”

Nicky put a gentle hand on his shoulder. “I know that isn’t all.”

“He would throw things; mostly beer bottles ‘cause he was a drunk,” Tup whispered.

Comet rubbed his spine, taking over. “He would say ‘You know you deserved this’ and wake up like nothing happened. Then do it all again. He was a f*cking psycho.”

Tup looked like he wanted to say more but looked at Comet then decided against it. Jaster sighed and brought the two boys into a hug, squeezing them tight. Tup wrapped his arms around his waist, closing his eyes. Nicky closed the laptops. “No more homework for a while. You two need to unwind for a bit.”

Jaster and Nicky dragged the two teenagers into the living room, making them sit on the couch. Nicky pointed a firm finger. “You two will not leave this room and you’re relaxed enough to do work. Got it?” They nodded, already getting comfortable.

“We’ll be in the other room if you need us,” Jaster added, before leaving the room.

Tup picked up the book he borrowed from Thorn and started whisper-reading to Comet. Comet started mindlessly braiding his brother's hair, since he was reading out loud he didn’t have to read it himself.

A few hours later the older boys stepped into the house, quietly walking into the kitchen.

Jaster looked up. “Hey boys.”

“Hi.” They all replied.

“Where are the boys?” Fox asked.

Nicky tilted his head to the other room. “In there.”

Fox leaned on the door jam watching his younger cousins. They were still in the same position but Comet’s head was resting on Tup’s chest.

Fox knocked on the wall, forcing the teenagers’ eyes to shoot up. He sat down on the couch. “I talked to Ponds today.” Tup and Comet shared a look.

“He wanted to know how you two were doing.” Fox said, “But I know that’ll you’ll say ‘we’re fine’ which is total bullsh*t.”

Tup looked down at the floor.

“So...I’ll ask a different question for him. How are you two really doing? And no lying.” Fox said firmly.

Comet gathered the courage to say. “I’m still upset at all of them.”

Their cousin nodded, obviously pleased that Comet didn’t make his job any harder. “Tup?”

Tup had an angry look in his eyes which wasn’t normal for the kind-hearted teenager. “I’m still mad at them. And I’m not forgiving them.”

The older man sighed. “Kid-”

“No!” Tup snapped. “They lied to us for seven years. They built my f*cking reality on a lie just because they were afraid of me running away and look what happened!”

That seemed to be the last straw for Comet because he had to walk out of the room. Tup didn’t try to stop him, knowing his brother needed some space. In the other room, the others sighed, understanding why Tup was upset. But they also felt guilty because they knew they also helped build their false reality. Fox was about to speak but decided against it, he knew there was nothing he could say.

Tup tried to fight against the tears but he wasn’t strong enough. He angrily wiped them away but Fox still saw it.

“C’mere kid.” Fox held his arms open so his cousin could fall into them. Tup openly cried into his shoulder, not wanting to hold it back anymore. He has too many years of that built up in his system.

“It’s okay, it’s okay. We understand why you are upset. Shhhhhh.” Fox cooed, surprising his brothers with his gentleness.

“I-I want to h-hate them but….I can’t.” Tup whispered to him, feeling so lost.

Fox rocked lightly. “Just wondering, why can’t you hate them?”

“Because it’s my fault!” Tup shouted, muffled by the man’s shoulder.

Fox shook his head. “No, it’s not. It was never your fault.”

“I knew what was going to happen!”

The other migrated towards the room.

“Kiddo what do you mean?” Nicky asked.

“I saw the truck and I got scared and didn’t say anything. Then we got hit.” Tup didn’t look at him, still holding on tight onto Fox.

Jaster sat next to the teenager, giving into his parental instinct by stroking his back. “Shhhhh, shhhhh. You were a child. You still are a child. It is not your fault.”

Tup shook his head weakly.

“It’s okay to grieve, Tup,” Thire spoke gently, afraid of making him more upset.

Nicky knelt in front of him and whispered. “Just breathe. Focus on breathing and don’t worry about what happened in the past for tonight at least. I’m not Justin so I can’t help you the way he can. But...focus on here and now.”

Stone stood up from his seat. Thorn put a hand on his arm. “Where are you going?”

“I need to give someone a verbal kick in the ass.” Stone replied cryptically, walking out of the room. He went to an empty room where no one could hear him. He dialed his slightly younger cousin, waiting for the phone to ring.

Finally, he did. “What, Stone?” Ponds answered with a bored tone.

If Stone was standing in front of him right then and there he would’ve punched him. “What the hell did you do to your little brother?” He asked rhetorically

“I’m sorry what?” Ponds asked.

“You ignorant little sh*t. Tup is f*cking sobbing in the living room because you and your idiot brothers decided to lie to him for years.” Stone lectured him. He and his brothers hadn’t known the full story. They didn’t know what Tup and Comet did and didn’t know. And they never lived with him. So that’s why Stone took the privilege of yelling at his cousin.

He honestly expected Ponds to yell at him but he didn’t. “Yes, I know we screw up, Stone. Is that what you want to hear?”

Stone nodded to himself. “Just making sure you know how much damage you did to those two. I have half a mind to get Jaster to keep them away from you.”

Ponds’ blood went cold. “Stone, don’t. Please.” He pleaded.

Stone crossed his arms. “Tell why I shouldn’t.”

“Because even if they don’t need us we need them. We have to make things right with them.” Ponds answered honestly.

“Little selfish don’t you think?” Stone jabbed once more.

“But it’s the truth.”

Stone thought for a moment before sighing in frustration. “Fine but if and when we let them go back, you and the others better fix this. Pronto.” Then he hung up.

Back in the living room Nicky somehow managed to get Tup to stop crying. The older man said a few hushed words before offering Tup a hand. Tup took and was tugged up, being led to his and Comet’s room.

When he came back down the group dispersed, but Jaster slipped an arm around his waist. “Have I told you how hot you look while comforting kids?”

Nicky smirked playfully. “First off, Tup is a teenager, not a toddler. And secondly, no you have not.”

Jaster pulled him closer. “Have I told you how much I love you?”

Nicky smiled. “No, you have not.”

“Lair.” Jaster kissed him.

The four boys groaned, Stone had rejoined them. “Get a room!”

The two of them chuckled.

Rex felt horrible. Just straight horrible. He was the reason his brothers ran away...again.

“Rex?” Cody's voice was laced with concern.

“What?” Rex snapped, not looking up at him.

“You’re starting to freak us out,” Cody said gently but firmly, being dead serious.

“Your point?” Rex asked dully, staring at the ceiling of his bedroom.

He heard Cody huffed in annoyance and frustration. “You’re going to make yourself sick. You have barely eaten anything the past three days and you’ve barely moved from bed.”

Rex swallowed the lump in his throat. “Good….I don’t care anymore.”

The younger Fett saw his brother physically freeze. He knew what that meant coming from his brother.

“Rex, no.” Cody pleaded in a weak voice, sitting next to his brother. Rex turned on his side, closing his eyes to stop the tears. “Don’t say that.”

Rex shook his head, feeling Cody curl around him.

Cody pressed his lips to the back of his brother’s head. “I love you so much. Please...come back to me.”

Rex just stayed still in his arms, body cold to the touch. He knew Cody was worried about him but he couldn’t seem to care.

“Come back to me.” Cody started crying. “I miss my brother.”

Rex shifted out of his arms. Cody clamped his arms down on his little brother. “No, we’re not doing this again. Not like last time.”

Rex bristled at that comment. “So this is about the knife-holding thing that happened seven years ago? Are you kidding me, Cody?”

Cody smacked him on the head. “You don’t understand how f*cking scared we were when you were shaking and holding a ten-inch knife, and then screamed bloody murder!”

Rex jumped at his tone of voice. Cody continued. “We probably already lost Tup and Comet. I am not going to lose you either.”

Rex melted his brother’s chest, not wanting to argue anymore. Cody slipped off of his rant and hugged him. He was too tired to yell at his brother when he was this upset.

“Do you….do you want to go back on your meds?” Cody asked.

Rex shook his head. “I went off of those years ago.”

And that was that. They stayed in each other's arms, hoping their little brothers would return soon.

Notes:

I'm sorry this took so long, and that this is short. I didn't want to drag this story arc out so long, but it helps me deal with balancing other fics along with schoolwork. And I'm just realizing how many times I spelled "Adrian" wrong, oops. Hope you liked the chapter. 💙

Requests?

Chapter 19: Chapter 19-Stepping Stone

Summary:

Things begin to settle with Tup and Comet but the same cannot be said for the older boys of the Fett boys. But Tup decides to call someone late at night.

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

Rex climbed down the stairs, backpack in his hand. He hadn’t come out of his room all weekend but tomorrow was Monday and there was homework to be done even if it was nine at night. He silently sat down in a chair, not looking at his other brothers.

They all stared at him for a moment before slowly going back to their own business. But Wolffe just wanted to poke the bear a little bit. “Shocker, he actually left his room.”

Rex glared at him, still writing on his paper. “Not funny.”

Wolffe held hands up in surrender not wanting to piss his little brother off even more. “Got it, sorry.”

They fell into an awkward silence, knowing that Rex was a ticking time bomb right now. In order to deflect, Rex looked to Ponds briefly. “Who called you earlier?”

Ponds had a heated phone call earlier in the evening, mostly one-sided from the short time they heard before Ponds left the room. “I got chewed out by Stone.”

They froze.

“About what?’

Ponds saw his father lean closer to hear. “Tup spilled to them that he’s still really upset that we lied to him and was sobbing.”

Rex shook his head, jaw clenching. “I told you all it was a bad idea. But you didn’t listen to me.”

Bly kicked him in the leg under the table. “Don’t even start with your bullsh*t.”

Rex glared at him. “Really? Because I’m pretty sure it was your idea from the start to lie to them and gaslight them.”

Bly pushed himself away from the table and walked out of the room, but not before giving Rex a strong shove. Rex rebalanced himself and watched his brother walk out of the room. The room was tense, thinking Bly was going to come back and start a fight.

Rex shakily sighed and dropped his head in his trembling hands. Cody put a hand on his shoulder, leaning forward to try and look at him. He didn’t succeed.

Cody dropped his chin on his shoulder. “Shhhh, you’re alright.”

Rex shook his head, but Cody pulled him up. Jango caught his eye and gave him a questioning glance. Cody nodded, telling him he’s got the situation for the time being. The older boy grabbed his brother’s arm, pulling him to his room. Rex’s hands were still shaking.

Cody pulled him up the stairs, to their room, glad to see that Bly was nowhere to be seen, most likely locked in his room. He opened the door, and ushered Rex in, closing the door. Rex sat down on his bed and groaned, letting his head fall into his hands again.

Cody nudged him. “What’s wrong?”

Rex shrugged. “Dunno.”

Cody crossed his arms and co*cked an eyebrow. “Are you sure about that? ‘Cause, this doesn’t look like nothing.”

Rex fell onto his back staring at the ceiling. “I don’t know, Codes. I really don’t.”

Cody sat next to him rubbing his shoulder. “You think that was a panic attack?”

Rex shook his head. “No, I don’t know what that was. Just stress probably.”

There was a knock on the door and Jango stepped in. “Everything okay?” He took in Rex’s body position and saw he was calmer.

Rex nodded. “Yeah, I’m fine.”

Jango moved forward and hugged Rex softly. “Okay kid.”

Tup lounged around on the couch, trying to focus on the book in front of him. His head was laying on Thire leg, a gentle hand passing through his loose hair. He had already done his school work and Comet was working on his so he joined the others in the living room.

Comet came into the living room and sat near Tup’s hip. “Can you help?”

Tup nodded and looked at his page number then closed the book. He spun up and looked at Comet’s laptop. “English again?”

Comet nodded with puppy eyes.

Tup’s eyes flew over words and figured out a way to help Comet. He needed to write the similarity and differences between the two poems. “Think about the tone of the two poems; if they are similar or different. Think about what point the author wants to come across. Stuff like that.”

Comet nodded but stayed where he was. “Thank you.”

Tup smiled and laid back down, Thire ruffling his hair. He opened his book again then his phone began to ring. He groaned and fished his phone out of his pocket. As he read the caller ID he had a confused look that was also amused.

“Who is it?” Fox asked.

“Axel, he’s my best friend.” Tup answered the phone, “Hey, what’s up?”

Comet mouthed teasingly ‘put it on speaker’. Tup rolled his eyes but to prove he had nothing to hide he did put it on speaker.

“Dude, where the hell have you been? You haven’t been at school for a week and you were starting to worry me ‘cause you weren’t answering my text or calls.” Axel said, making Tup wince.

“Yeah, that one’s on me. I’m actually not in Highlands Ranch right now. I’m in Colorado Springs.” Tup replied.

Axel gave an audible noise of confusion. “But Echo, Fives, and the others are at home are they not? They’ve been at school.”

Tup and Comet met eyes, neither of them answered. Axel caught onto his best friend’s hesitation, “Tup, spill. Right now.”

Tup avoided everyone’s gaze. “Something happened. I don’t want to go into it right now.”

Axel sighed. “Okay, I won’t make you. Just promise me that you’re okay? Cause if I think you're going to do something stupid I will hunt you down and make you talk.”

Tup chuckled. “Promise, Axel. Shouldn’t you be doing homework or something?”

“Technically I should be at practice-”

Tup frown and snapped. “Alexander Barnes, get to practice right now before your coach wrings your neck.”

Axel groaned. “Ughhhhh fine. Talk to you later, Tup.”

“Bye.” Tup ended the call.

The six adults shared knowing looks. Jaster leaned forward, “Sooooo was that just a friend, or a boyfriend. I know you said you were best friends, but he cares about you a lot obviously.”

Tup blushed and turned to bury his face in Thire’s stomach. “Stoppppppp.” He had come out to them and Comet a few days before, knowing Comet at least needed to know. He had taken it very well, proving that Tup had nothing to worry about.

Comet snorted and patted his leg. “Honestly I ship it.”

Tup glared at him and hissed. “Do you now?”

“Yep!” Comet exclaimed, enjoying the look on his face.

A few days later Tup was playing with his phone while laying in bed, flipping it in his hands over and over again. It wasn’t too late but Tup wasn’t in the mood for socializing with the others so he was laying in bed. Comet had joined him.

Comet looked at him for a few minutes before taking the phone out of his hands. “What is it?”

Tup looked downright terrified. “I... never mind.”

“No, we’re not doing this, so you can have another attack. Talk.”

Tup cringed and got it over with. “I want to call dad.”

Comet didn’t think that would’ve been the answer. “Didn’t see that one coming.” He mumbled. He shuffled so he could face him better. “Why do you want to call dad?”

Tup looked at the ceiling. “To be honest? I kinda want to yell at him. Tell him how I feel.”

Comet shrugged. “Not a bad reason to call. But you know what he’s going to try and do. He’ll try to get us to come home.”

Tup felt his heart squeezed. “I'm sick of crying.” He announced as he swallowed them down.

Comet hugged him. “Tell me.”

“I miss them. Even if they lied to us, I still love them.” Tup explained.

“Aw, little one it’s okay.” Comet squeezed him tight.

Tup glared at him although it failed since he had puppy eyes that made Comet’s heart melt. The older boy understood what he was going through but as his older brother, he didn’t want Tup to get hurt. Especially by their very stubborn family.

“What are you saying, Tup?” He asked.

Tup looked away. “I’m asking for permission to call him.”

Comet sighed. Are we really doing this again? Damn you, Adrian.

Comet started gently. “Tup, you don’t have to ask permission to do something. I’m not going to say no or manipulate you. And I’m definitely not going to hurt you, ever.”

Tup curled up, scared at the options he had and the choice he had to make. He made the decision to open the phone and call his dad’s number. He put it on speaker and placed it on the bed, hiding his face in Comet’s chest before their dad picked up.

“Tup?” Jango’s voice was soft when he answered.

“Hi dad,” They both greeted, feeling their heart rates speed up.

“Hey boys. How are you two?” He asked to be civil.

“We’re fine,” Tup responded. “But that’s not why I called.”

Jango sighed, knowing what was coming. “You talk first.”

“I just want a good reason why daddy. You owe me that.” Tup let the ‘daddy’ slip because, for one, it gave him pity points with their father, and two it mostly just slipped out.

Jango took a second. “I honestly thought that I was doing the right thing; trying to protect you the best I can.”

Comet held his brother tighter. “That’s a sh*t excuse and you-”

“Comet! Just….listen to me.” Jango sounded the most serious they have ever heard him. “Some stuff happened with you two and we thought we were going to lose both of you. And when you two asked me, and it was the first words you spoke in weeks, when you asked me where your mother was...I told you the best answer I could.”

Comet tapped his head against Tup’s, keeping him here and now. “If we come home, no more lies and you give us the full story. That’s the only way.”

“Deal.”

Tup shook his head. “I don’t want to go back. Not now at least.”

Comet looked down at him. “Tup’ika, I thought you wanted to go home.”

Tup firmly shook his head again. “No. Too soon. I’ll freak out if I go back.”

Comet stroked his hair. “Okay, we can call Justin when you’re supposed to have a session, and you can talk to him.”

“I’ll leave you two alone now. Bye kids.” Jango ended the call and Comet was glad but there was a ping in his heart when he didn’t hear his father’s voice anymore.

Tup wrapped his arms around Comet's chest, shaking. “f*ck, why am I like this?”

Comet sat both of them up, holding one of his hands. “You can’t help it, kid. It’s not your fault. It’s part of you now and I know it sucks but it’s the way it is now.”

Tup nuzzled his sternum and nodded, accepting it. “What now?”

Comet gently pushed him to a lying position and dropped a book into his hand. “You are going to read because that makes you fall asleep quicker than staring at your phone.” He finished by swiping Tup’s phone away.

The other pouted, hoping it would get his phone back but it didn’t. So he opened the book and started reading. He did eventually start to fall asleep and he actually dozed off. He felt the book being pulled out of his hands and being put under the covers.

“Thank you,” Tup muttered as Comet climbed on the other side, putting space in between the two of them.

The older boy patted Tup’s head before falling asleep as well.

Notes:

Again, short, sorry. The next three or four weeks are jam-packed for me so updates might be slower like this one. But I hope you guys like this one!

What did you think?

Chapter 20: Chapter 20-Havoc

Summary:

Just when things are going well, and everyone begins to settle, God throws a stone.

Warnings: Mentioned past abuse of a few characters and past/recent self-harm.

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

“Tup, you might want to let Justin know that you want your session over the phone.” Comet reminded him before their classes started online in thirty minutes. The other boys snorted at Tup’s glare.

“I’m not a baby, ya know?” Tup rhetorically asked.

“Just my baby brother.” Comet ruffled his hair.

Tup swatted his hand away and pulled up the office number. He quickly asked Kalani, the receptionist at the office that Justin works at, to tell Justin that he needs his session over the phone. Quick and easy. Justin was pretty flexible, and he was able to talk over the phone for sessions if needed.

Jaster and Nicky came into the room and immediately looked at the two teenagers. They noticed the looks on the adults' faces and became tense.

“What is it?” Comet asked.

Nicky waved a hand in dismission. “Nothings wrong, boys. We just wanted to know what you were thinking about….going home.”

Tup deflated and looked away. Comet glanced at him from the corner of his eye and gave him a chance to answer but he didn’t. “We...talked to dad last night. We made a deal with him, and I thought we were going to go home in a few days. But...something happened with Tup, and he said no.”

Said teenager dropped his chin to his chest to avoid making eye contact. Comet nudged him in the side and whispered, “There’s nothing wrong with you changing your mind. You’ll talk to Justin this afternoon, and you can talk it out with him.”

Jaster crossed his arms in a lax way, leaning against the counter. “We have no problem with you staying with us. But you’ll have to decide whether you live with us for a while or you go home.”

Tup frowned. “You’d let us live with you?”

Jaster smirked. “What do you think you have been doing for the past two weeks? Of course, you can live with us. We know it was a bombshell for you two, learning what happened to your mother, and you’re both in vulnerable states even if you both act like you aren’t.” His voice had an underlying warning tone that made both of them hide from his gaze.

Nicky hit Jaster on the back of his head. “Be nice.” He looked at the boys with a sweet gaze. “Bottom line is; if you want to live with us, we have no problem with that. But we do want you to keep your relationship with your father.”

Tup scoffed. “Sure, like I can do that.”

Jaster and Nicky shared a look and the other four boys looked sad for Tup and his obviously ever-changing feelings about his father.

The older man leaned forward. “Tup, look at me please.”

Tup realized that he has heard that phrase from a lot of people within the past three or four weeks. He looked up at his grandfather, silently telling him he had his attention.

“Your father made a mistake lying to you. But that was partly my fault. I let him do it. But he does love you, and he’s trying. Let him try.” Jaster explained plainly and simply.

Tup opened his mouth to argue, but Jaster gave him a cold look, making him shut his trap. “Don’t argue with me, kid. I’m not asking you to just forget everything that happened, but I’m asking you to see things from his perspective. That’s it.”

Tup went into a staring standoff with Jaster, not wanting to let the man know he was right. Tup was a Fett after all; stubbornness was in his blood. “Fine.”

Nicky stroked his back, “I know it’s tough. Now you two have to login into class. Like now.”


....

Hours later Tup was laid across Comet’s lap on the couch, phone ringing. Comet was stroking Tup’s side slowly, distracted by his phone, but Tup wanted him to stay in the room while he had his session.

“Hey, Tup.” Justin picked up.

“Hey.” Tup greeted, not excited about this session, but he needed Justin to help him figure a few things out.

“So, you had rescheduled your session last week. I know that happens sometimes, but I have a feeling there's a different reason for that. And that we have to do this over the phone.”

Comet had to hold back a laugh. Damn, he's good. He felt Tup hesitate, and he gave a small shake to his shoulder. He whispered. “Tell him. I can’t help you like he can.”

Tup dragged a hand down his face. “My dad finally told me and Comet the truth. Well, we figured most of it out, and he told us.” There was venom in his voice.

“Alright.” Justin sounded shocked. “I’m guessing that has something to do with why you aren’t with me in person?”

“Comet and I got...upset. We didn’t know what to do so we just ran.” Tup tensed up, preparing for Justin's answer.

The older man went silent. “Tup, where are you right now?”

Tup could feel the eyes of his other family members on him. He had put the phone on speaker, not caring that others could hear. He didn’t really have anything to hide. Except for the physical abuse, he received from Adrian. He would walk out of the room once he and Justin went deep into the session.

Tup didn’t look at the phone and mumbled. “Colorado Springs?”

The teen could almost see Justin’s expression. “Colorado Springs? Tup, that’s over an hour drive, and you’re telling me that you ran there? You might want to consider track if you did that.” Thorn and Jaster had to hold back snorts of laughter.

“We also took a bus if that makes you feel better,” Tup added.

Justin chuckled. “Yes, it does. But I have to ask. What did your dad say to get you so upset?”

Tup deflated and everybody could see that. “My mom died in a car accident.”

They heard pages being flipped, that sentence striking confusion so hard in Justin he had to go back in his notes. “I thought she was killed in action while she was in the FBI?”

“So did I. She was killed by her ex-boyfriend in a DUI homicide.” Tup tried not to elaborate, but Justin knew him too well.

“Keep talking to me.”

“I was in the car.” Tup got it over with and he surprisingly felt better.

“....Tup, once your dad told you, did you start to remember anything?” Justin asked specifically.”

“Yeah, why?”

“That is probably where your anxiety and part of your PTSD came from. When you first started seeing me some things weren't lining up for me with the origin of your disorders in your file, but I can go into more detail about that in a different session. How has the truth of your mother’s death affected you?”

Tup shuddered lightly. “Fine?”

Justin sighed in exasperation. “I can tell when you’re lying even over the phone, Tup.”

That's when he stood up and got out of the room, knowing the others would freak out if he told Justin in front of them.

Justin had heard him walk out of the room over the phone and waited until he was alone. “Alright, talk to me about it.”

Tup walked up to his room and said still in a quiet voice. “I feel guilty every time I think about it. And...and I….” He couldn’t bring himself to say what he wanted.

“What is it?”

Tup leaned his head back on the door when he closed it. “I started cutting again.”

There was an audible drop of a book on a table like Justin did when his full attention was on Tup when he was in person. “For how long?”

“Three or four weeks now. Not every day, but…..that doesn’t really matter to you, does it.”

Justin sighed in sympathy. “No, sadly it only matters if you’re cutting consistently or not.” Tup banged his head against the door, almost feeling the lines in his arm.

If Justin heard the bang he didn’t comment on it. “You want to tell me why you’ve been cutting?”

“I was upset with my dad but then I felt sh*tty for being mad at him because he loves me and everyone was lying to me everything was spiraling-”

Justin interrupted him with a kind tone. “Tup, breathe. I think I get the gist kid. Do you have your meds with you?”

“No,” Tup whispered.

Justin wrote a few things. “Either I can write a new prescription for you or you call your dad and ask him to bring them to you. Your call.”

Tup was not going to call his father for this. “New prescription please.”

“Alright, I can get that done for you. Now, do you have your bracelet with you?” Justin asked about the elastic that normally settled across his left wrist.

“No, I didn’t have it on when I left,” Tup answered.

“When we’re done I want you to find something like a rubber band or a hair tie that can act in its place. But please be careful because you can break your skin with rubber bands.” Justin asked him, worried about him.

“Okay.” Tup felt his heart rate lower in his chest, a relaxed feeling washing over him. “I talked to my dad the other day.”

Justin hummed lightly. “How did it go?”

Tup rubbed his fingertips across his forehead. “I don’t know. I thought I was ready to go home and hope things go back to normal, but I can’t. I panicked and said I wasn’t ready.”

Justin’s pencil scratched a few times. “Did he say anything else?”

Tup sniffed once, staring at the wall, and shrugged. “That he was sorry. And that he promised to give us the full story when or if we came home.”

“You still feel conflicted about going home?” Justin asked, knowing the answer, but he had to ask.

“Yes. He lied to me for so many years, and I just can’t anymore.” Tup was proud of himself that he didn’t burst into tears.

“I understand, Tup. But he is trying to bridge the gap between you two-”

Tup had to jump in. “He lied to me about my anxiety and all the sh*t, and then let me get shipped off to be CPS’ responsibility.”

Justin jumped in. “Let me put this into perspective. Say you’re married, and you have a child with this person. They die just like your mother and leave you with a child. Alone. This child is injured and afraid and doesn’t know what’s happening. What would you do to ease their thoughts and not let them have PTSD at such a young age?”

The teenager hated how Justin was so logical and so right about things. He couldn’t answer.

“Would you do what your dad did and try to preserve their innocence?” Justin asked gently.

“Yes,” Tup whispered. “But that doesn’t make it any easier to forgive him.”

“I know, Tup. It’ll be hard, but you will regret it later in life if you don’t let him try.” The man said.

Tup didn’t answer, and Justin didn’t need him to. “Just think about what I said, okay? Oh, and you need to tell Comet about you cutting again. No arguments.” Justin said with a smile in his voice.

Tup gave a chuckle. “Okay. By Justin.”

“Bye Tup.”

Tup sighed and tossed his phone up and on the bed. He hated to do it, but he left the room. He soundlessly climbed down the stairs, re-entering the living room. Everyone was still in the same spots.

Thire looked at. “I see no tears so I’m guessing it went somewhat okay?”

Tup nodded and then tugged on Comet’s arm. A rock fell into his stomach. Comet looked up at him confused. Tup just tugged again. “Need to tell you something.”

Comet stood up and was led out of the room. Tup fidgeted as he led him into the kitchen.

“What is it, Tup?” Comet asked quietly, reading Tup’s body language that he wanted this to be a private conversation, so he kept his voice low.

Tup silently lifted both his sleeves up, showing just his skin and the brace on his left hand and wrist. On his arms were a few old faded scars, but there were also new ones.

Comet’s eyes widened as he gently took Tup’s arms in his hands. Tup bit his lip anxiously as Comet observed his arms.

Comet lifted his eyes and stared sadly at his brother. “Tup…” he couldn’t say anything else. He brought him into a hug letting Tup rest against his front.

“I should’ve told you,” Tup muttered.

Comet dropped his head to Tups. “It’s okay. You told me now and that’s all that matters. Cause now I can keep an eye on you.”

Nicky accidentally stepped into the room, coming to a halt. Tup hid his arms quickly.

“Did I just step into something?”

Tup and Comet shared a look and nodded slightly. Comet’s eye was caught by a not-so-good-looking cut on Tup’s arm.

Comet whispered, “you should let Nicky look at some of those. They don’t look too good.” Nicky was a Marine medic back in the day and that’s where he met Jaster. Jaster was married at the time so even if there were feelings between them, neither of them acted on them.

“Nicky, can you help me with something?” Tup asked quietly.

Nicky looked a little shocked. “Sure, what is it?”

Tup bit the inside of his lip again and slowly showed him his forearms. Nicky didn’t even blink as he pointed to one of the chairs then left the room for a split second. He returned with a bottle of some liquid and a few strips of gauze.

Tup held out his arms after taking off his brace so Nicky could have better access. Nicky held out his left hand for Tup after he got a cloth wet with the liquid, most likely alcohol of some sort.

“This’ll sting a bit,” Nicky warned.

Tup hissed as it was pressed against the lines, gripping Nicky's free hand. “Son of a gun.”

Nicky chuckled at his pseudo curse and continued his work. Every time Nicky pressed down on a new cut Tup’s grip tightened.

Nicky could see how uncomfortable Tup was with him knowing about his self-harm. “You know, my dad was a mean ass drunk.”

Tup’s eyes shot up.

Nicky smiled sadly. “Yeah, he would hit my mom all the time, and then I would try to protect her but no matter what I did it didn’t do any good.”

The teenager looked lost for words. “Why are you telling me this?”

Nicky's hands stopped their moments, and he looked at Tup for a few seconds. He pulled his own sleeves up to reveal slightly tan skin with scar littered across his arms. Even more than Tup.

Tup looked totally shocked because he knew what those scars meant.

Nicky smirked dryly and pulled his sleeves back down. “My depression carried into the Marines. It just got worse from there.”

The younger boy swallowed hard. Nicky sighed to himself. “All I’m saying is that it wasn’t your fault. And cutting doesn’t make you weak. It just means you’ve been strong for too long and you need an outlet.”

They fell silent. Once Nicky was done he put some type of patch on the cuts.

Tup pulled his arms back, fidgeting. “Please don’t tell the others. I don’t want them to know.”

Nicky nodded, “I get that. But I won’t lie to them about it.”

Tup knew Nicky was an honest person and never lied. “Yeah.”

Nicky stood up after smiling at him. Tup leaned his head back, still feeling the stinging sensation in his arms.

Kix closed the door to the house, dropping his keys on the table. He gave a long sigh and rolled his neck to the side to ease the tense muscles.

He stepped into the living room and sighed at the sight. Echo was asleep on the couch, backpack open at his feet.

The paramedic softly pulled his bag away from Echo’s feet. He shook his brother's shoulder to ease him awake.

“Wake up kiddo.” Kix gently said to him.

Echo’s golden eyes fluttered open, and stared at Kix, processing everything then he groaned. “I fell asleep, didn’t I?”

Kix smiled, “Yeah go up to bed kiddo, you need some sleep.”

Echo dragged himself up off the couch and to the stairs. Kix snorted slightly and looked into the dining room to see Rex and Cody slaving over homework.

Kix winced at the workload his brothers had. “Yikes, that doesn’t look fun.”

Cody chuckled humorlessly. “Law isn’t fun for homework.”

Rex laughed, “At least you’ve chosen your major. I’m still bouncing around.”

Kix sat down, muscles aching. “What options were you thinking of?”

Rex shrugged. “I was thinking about law but I’ve seen Wolffe and Cody’s workload. So maybe sociology or something like that.”

Rex was the only one to not pick a major yet. Even Sinker and Boost had picked a major and they were out of state for school. Cody and Wolffe were doing pre-law, planning to be lawyers. Kix was doing pre-med and so on. Rex was the odd one out.

Kix nodded. “Not bad. Sociology’s good.”

They heard the door open and looked to see their dad stepping into the house and into the living room; something was wrong, however.

Jango was pale and shaky, his chest heaving to breathe properly. His lips almost looked blueish.

Kix frowned. “Dad, you okay?”

Jango frowned like it was hard to focus. “Y-yeah I’m fine.”

Rex didn’t believe him. He said in a disappointed tone. “Are you drunk?”

Jango glared lightly at his secondborn. “No.”

Cody sided with his brother. “You sure about that?”

Jango didn’t answer.

Kix narrowed his eyes, knowing that his father wasn’t one to get drunk even if he wanted to. Something caught his eye as he was observing his father. His right side looked like his dark clothing was soaked, but it hadn’t rained at all, and it was an odd spot to get wet.

Then it dropped to the floor. One red drop. And then another.

Kix’s heart stopped. “Why are you bleeding?” He asked frantically.

Jango looked confused and put a hand to his side. He felt wetness through the haze of confusion and pulled his hand back. It was slick with blood.

“Dad what the f*ck?!” Kix yelled, stepping towards him.

Jango kind of snapped back into reality and flinched at the pain in his side. “sh*t!”

All three boys stood up.

“Dad, what's wrong?” Kix asked, putting his hands on his father's shoulders.

Jango winced again, the taste of blood and iron coming to his mouth. He couldn’t speak. His knee buckled and gave out.

Cody lunged to catch him before he hit the ground.

All that could be heard from the house was Kix yelling. “Rex, call 911!”

Notes:

I don't exactly have a plan of how this is going, but I'm going with it. Hopefully, I'll be able to get updates out faster. We're heading towards the end of this story arc, so hopefully, it will be fulfilling. And I totally didn't, kinda, steal a quote from Age of Ultron for the chapter. 💙

Chapter 21: Chapter 21-Reunion

Summary:

Jango is in critical condition after he collapses.

Warnings; graphic injuries

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

“Call 911!” Kix yelled at his brother, moving towards his father. “Put him on the floor. Gently.” He was using his calm, paramedic voice but this was his father and didn’t know if he could keep it up.

Wolffe gently laid their father down on the ground. Kix pulled off the dark uniform of his father, seeing blood, dry and wet, sticking to at least half of his body. Five round punctures were apparent on his fathers body; two in his side, another in his arm, and the last two towards the left side of his rib cage.

Kix knew what those wounds were. Gunshots.

There wasn’t much blood because it seemed that Jango’s clothes had applied enough pressure to help him not bleed out. But once Kix removed the clothing blood came out in heavier amounts.

Kix’s head shot up to look at his brothers. “Go get towels or shirts. Anything that can absorb blood.”

Rex was currently on the phone with 911 giving them the address. Wolffe and Cody returned with towels and put them in Kix awaiting hands. Kix pressed hard on the wounds, gesturing for Cody to do the same for the ones he couldn’t reach. Without looking up Kix told Rex, “Tell them it’s a GSW. Five bullet wounds.”

Wolffe's eyes widened. “How the hell was he shot?”

Kix sighed, stressed out. “My guess is that he got shot at work maybe thirty, forty five minutes ago, went into shock and didn’t feel it. Then he came home and felt the effects.”

“Can shock really be that powerful?” Cody asked, mostly to himself.

Kix nodded. “People get into horrific car accidents and drive home like nothing happened in the same car.”

Rex pulled the phone away from his ear. “They’re coming.”

He heard footsteps coming from upstairs and heard a couple of voices. “Everything okay down there?” Ponds asked from the banister.

Rex yelled up, walking towards the entrance of the room to block it, “Don’t let the kids down.”

Ponds paused and Rex heard whispers from his younger brothers. “Why?”

“Just f*cking don’t!” Rex shouted, feeling the familiar overwhelming emotions crushing him. He had felt it the night his mother died.

His chest heaved up and down, breath coming out in short rasps. He couldn’t bear to look at his fathers limp form.

“Rex?” He heard Wolffe and Ponds ask at the same time.

The blond shook his head. “Can’t breathe,” He blurted out.

Ponds came down the stairs and cursed as he saw his father. But Rex was shaking, eyes clenched shut. He shushed his brother gently and brought him into a hug. Just like he thought, Rex started to fight him, but he just tightened his strong arms.

“Stop. Stop. Just don’t look at him. There’s nothing you can do right now. He’s still breathing. He’s not dead yet.”

Ponds looked towards the star case, feeling eyes on them and saw the teenagers trying to see what was happening. While still holding Rex he calmly said to them, “Go back upstairs.”

Echo looked worried. “What’s happening?”

“Go.” Ponds’ voice held no room for argument. Echo had to be pulled by his twin to get him back up the stairs.

The eldest son pushed Rex out of the room. “Call Tup and Comet. Tell them to meet us at the hospital. And bring Jaster. He needs to know.” Rex took out his phone and dragged a hand down his face.

Ponds looked back at the bloody scene in their living room. Cody seemed to be staring at Rex through the wall. This was going to be tough on Rex. There was no way his anxiety could handle this (Even if Rex denied he had anxiety his minor panic attack wasn’t helping his case).

Rex dialed Tup’s number and was sent to voicemail after seven seconds. He closed his eyes. Of all the times to purposely ignore my calls, it’s now.

….

Tup denied the phone call from his brother for the third time. “God does he not know when to quit?” He asked, frustrated. He may have called his father, but he wasn’t in the mood to talk to Rex.

Comet side eyed him and tsked as Rex called for the fourth time. “Maybe you should answer it.”

Tup stubbornly shook his head. Then his phone buzzed with irregular timing in between each buzz; text messages. He dropped his head to the table.

Fox nearly choked on his food as Tup looked like he could kill someone. The teenager reluctantly picked up his phone when it rang for the fourth time.

“What?”

Rexs voice came through the phone. “Do not f*cking hang up on me Tup Bailey Fett.”

Tup froze. Rex never called him by his full name unless someone was in deep sh*t. “….what is it?” Even if he didn’t mean to, some snippiness carried into his tone.

“Do not give me attitude right now. You need to get home now and get to the hospital.”

Tup froze even more, hands already fidgeting. “You’re not going to tell me why, aren’t you?”

Rex banged his head against the wall. “This isn’t some elaborate scheme to get you and Comet back home. Dad is f*cking bleeding out, and I don’t need your attitude right now!”

Tup jumped and then Comet looked up, who was able to hear since he was right next to him.

Rex sighed, feeling bad that he yelled at him, but he needed him to get home. “Just….get home.”

He hung up but not fast enough because Tup heard Kix yell, “Pretty sure one of them punctured his left lung, f*ck!”

Tup and Comet stared at each other. Then Comet stood up and walked towards the stairs. Jaster and Nicky were upstairs, doing god knows what. “Jaster!” Comet yelled up, knowing he would come down in a few seconds.

Lo and behold Jaster and Nicky came rushing down, hearing the panic in his voice. Jaster and Nicky's eyes roamed his body, seeing nothing hurting him physically.

“What’s wrong kid?” Jaster finished climbing down the steps.

“Somethings wrong with dad.” Comet began to mess with his fingers.

Jaster went pale. “What happened?”

“I-I don’t know. All Rex said he was bleeding out-“

“And Kix said something punctured his lung.” Tup added.

Jaster didn’t look at Nicky before grabbing his keys. “Come on boys, we’re going.”

Nicky knew his husband was going to let him come along. He was worried about the kids. “Best idea you’ve had all night.”

Jaster flicked him on the head and looked at his other grandchildren in the house. “House is yours for now.”

Thorn nodded.

Nicky went and gently directed Tup out of the house who was trying to not hyperventilate. He kept a hand on the small of his back in a fatherly way as they walked out to the car.

Nicky slid into the back with Tup, letting him lean against him. Jaster started the car, and pulled out of the driveway.

Five minutes passed before Tup whispered in horror, “He’s going to die.”

Jaster looked at him through the mirror. “No he isn’t. If he can survive the Marines, he can survive this.” The man knew that was a sh*t statement but he said it. Yes, the Marines were tough as hell but if his son was critically injured it didn’t matter.

Tup tucked his face in Nicky’s neck. “I’m scared.”

Nicky and Jaster met eyes then pulled their gazes away. Comet stared out the window. The two teenagers didn’t speak. They physically couldn’t. Was this how their siblings felt with their mother?

An hour went by painfully slow for the two teenagers. Jaster had asked Comet which hospital Jango would be in and Comet mindlessly relayed it. Jaster pulled into the parking lot and took the keys out of the ignition. He nudged Comet’s shoulder to get him out of the car.

Nicky pulled Tup out of the car, gently of course, and let him stay close. The couple walked the teenagers up to the door and entered the hospital. They walked to where their other brothers were.

They eventually found them. It was only the eldest seven; Ponds, Bly, Wolffe, Cody, Rex, Kix, and Jesse. Kix stood up first and hugged both of his little brothers. Tup wanted to move away but he couldn’t deny that he hugged Kix back just as hard.

“What happened?” Tup whispered as Kix hugged him.

Rex took the two steps to reach them. “Dad came home and was acting weird. He eventually passed out and Kix found five bullet wounds on him. He was in shock so he didn’t feel it when it happened.”

Comet hugged Rex once he was close enough. “Is he going to die?”

Rex and Kix slowly looked at each other. Kix gave him a look that said, You’re calling the shots this time.

“We don’t know. That doesn’t mean he’ll survive but that doesn’t mean he’ll die either, ” Rex spoke softly, like he was talking to a spooked animal, stroking his baby brother’s back.

Tup softly cried into Kix’s chest. The paramedic cooed gently, “Shhh, it’s alright. It’s possible that he will survive. He has a 50/50 chance, kiddo. Don’t lose faith in him now.”

Kix brought him over to the others and let Tup get enveloped into a multitude of hugs. Even if Tup was still mad, he had missed his brothers.

Hours later, there was still no answer from the surgical team. Nothing. Tup had fallen asleep against Rex, being tucked under his arm. Comet’s leg was bouncing up and down as he sat in his chair.

Wolffe went to put a hand on his shoulder, but Comet ripped his body away, glaring at his brother. The older boy’s eyes looked at him sadly, feeling the anger coming from his brother.

“We’re sorry. I’m so sorry,” Wolffe said softly, trying to make amends.

“Doens’t make a difference that you have a murder for a father,” Comet hissed.

Kix slammed a hand down on his chair, jarring Tup awake. “We are not discussing this right now. We were raised to not argue or cause a scene in public. So zip it until we get home.”

Tup looked between Comet and Wolffe, figuring out that they had argued. He reached for Comet’s arm, tugging him down to sit in the chair next to him, far enough away from Wolffe.

Tup nuzzled his brother’s shoulder. “Don’t blame them for what Liam did. It wasn’t their fault.”

Comet seemed like he wanted to argue with Tup as well but his brother was already upset enough. So he stayed silent. Waiting.


Finally, a surgeon walked towards them. Jaster gripped Nicky’s hand tightly, not feeling bad for the pain he was inflicting on his husband. He didn’t want Jango to go out this way.

“Hello,” The doctor greeted gently, still in her scrubs. “For now, Jango is stable, but he did go into cardiac arrest during the operation. We have removed all of the bullets that had entered his body. He will have a lot of torn muscle that will take some time to recover but our biggest concern for now is his collapsed lung. Right now there is a chest tube inserted in the left side of his chest, but he is relying on life support.”

All the boy’s hearts sank. The last time one of their parents was on life support, even if for a short time, she didn’t make it.

“We have some confidence that he will pull through, but you all will have to come to an agreement on decisions if his condition sadly does not improve. We also recommend talking to a social worker so you know what your options are if you do decide to take him off life support.” The doctor was sympathetic but the boys couldn’t stand to look at her.

She frowned sadly. “Please come to me if you have any questions or concerns at all.” She walked away, giving them a bit of peace and silence.

Jaster’s head was in his hands, with Nicky talking softly in his ear, stroking large circles on his upper back. Cody leaned his head on his grandfather’s shoulder, asking for comfort but also giving it. The older man looked up, sighing heavily. He let Cody continue to lean against him, putting an arm around his ribs to keep him closer.

Kix dragged a hand down his face. “I’ll call Jen.” He hadn’t spoken or even since Jen in a long time, but she was still the teenagers’ social worker.

Tup didn’t look happy at that. “He’s not dead.”

Kix dropped into a crouch in front of him. He held his hands. “I know you don’t want this to happen, but you can’t ignore it. We have to talk to Jen, love.” He could barely look at Tup when he broke down into quiet sobs.

Kix tsked and let Tup fall forward into his upper body. He circled his baby brother with his arms, rocking to the side. “I know, sweetheart. I’m so sorry you have to go through this.”

Tup sobbed into his neck, nails digging slightly into Kix’s back. “I don’t want to go back.”

Kix frowned. “Go back where, love?”

Tup hiccuped. “A-Adrian.”

Comet looked at him blankly before hugging Tup’s waist. Kix pulled him back and cupped Tup’s face. “I swear to you that Jen will never send you back with him.”

The fifteen year old grabbed Kix’s wrists desperately. “You don’t know that!”

Kix hushed him, “Shhhh, shhhh, easy, yes I do. We will never let you two go back to him.”

Tup let his eyes fall shut, tears falling from honey colored eyes. Kix hugged him again, not able to say anything to comfort him; he was most likely going to lose another parent.

Jaster stared through the window of his son’s room, stopped in his tracks. The boys allowed him and Nicky to see Jango first, but Nicky wasn’t sure if he would intrude or not. Nicky was a warm presence at his back. His husband hugged him from behind. “Do you want me to go with you?”

Jaseter jerkily nodded, afraid to speak. Nicky laced their fingers together and tugged on his hand lightly. The younger man led his husband into the room. Jaster sat down heavily next to Jango’s bed, Nicky pulling up a chair as well.

Jaster saw a multitude of wires and needles attached to his son, including a large tube shoved down his throat. He tapped his chin to his chest. “God damn it, Jango.” His voice trembled tremendously.

Nicky leaned his head on his shoulder. Even if he hadn’t known Jango for long, only about 15 years, it still hurt to see his son-in-law so motionless; especially when he knew how much his husband loved his son.

Jaster reached for Jango’s hand that was under the blanket. He closed his eyes and leaned into Nicky. “Those boys already lost their mother, then can’t lose their father.”

Nicky frowned sadly, pressing his lips to Jaster’s temple. “I know. I know.”

They sat there for an hour, just in silence. If Jaster cried a little bit, Nicky didn’t say anything about it.

The oldest Fett eventually stood up, taking a deep breath. Tup was at the door when it opened. Jaster sighed at the broken look on his face and guided him to the door.

“Take your time kid,” he said gently.

Tup stepped into the room after closing the door behind him, looking around the stark white walls. He tried to avoid looking at his father, but he couldn’t afford to ignore his father's prone body any more.

Tup sat quietly on the chair that Jaster had claimed before he left and brought one of his knees up to his chest. He just peered at his father over his kneecap, hearing the steady beep of the heart monitor.

Eventually Tup let his leg slide off of the chair, and he leaned forward, folding his hands where they rested in his knees.

“I hate you for a lot of things right now.” Tup almost startled himself with how much conviction was in his voice. “For one, I hate you for lying to me about mom. I hate that you and the others kept it a secret that the oldest three aren’t even your biological kids. Because that sh*t didn’t matter, and it doesn’t matter that they’re our half siblings. But what does matter is the fact that you kept it a secret for almost twenty years.”

The teen placed his arms on the bed near Jango’s hip. “However, the thing that I’m mad at the most is the fact that you are dying,” Tup whispered.

The long haired boy looked at the sheets, seeing that there was a faint line running from the right side of his fathers chest to a machine. “Even if I’m so mad at you, I don’t want you to die. I know I said I wish I had a different father, but I was wrong.”

He blinked back the tears as he stared up at the ceiling to compose himself. His eyes clouded over with tears as he kept his eyes on his fathers face.

“I don’t want you to die, dad.” Tup closed his eyes and warm tears cascaded down his face.

“So just wake up so you can yell at me for running away again. Just…please. Wake up.”

Tup laid his head down on his folded arms and started crying, shoulder shaking with each sob. “Please. Please wake up. I love you.”

He sat there for ten minutes or hours; it blurred together for the poor kid. Tup sobbed his heart out, thankful that he had closed the door when he walked in.

He distantly heard the door click open and footsteps approach him slowly. A warm body went down on their knees, hand stroking large circles on his back.

Tup looked up and saw Rex was the one with him, giving him a sad smile with tears in his amber eyes.

Rex didn’t say anything because he knew he couldn’t help him. He just lifted one arm up, offering to hold him. Tup nodded and let Rex slowly move him, so his older brother could hold him tight.

“I just want to take it all back,” Tup cried, feeling so lost.

Rex nodded. “We know you do.” He just held his little brother, ignoring his other brothers gathering at the door. Tup and Comet didn’t deserve to know how it felt to see their mother in pain, but the others hoped they wouldn’t know how it felt to lose their mother. They all needed their father.

Notes:

I struggled a lot with chaparse, I didn’t quite know what I wanted to do with this. I’m also trying to think of a way to bring Boba in, but that’s failing as well so stand by on that.

Also, the editing of this chapter might be wonky.

Chapter 22: Chapter 22-Aunt Arla

Summary:

While Jango's condition doesn't change, the Fetts start to feel the stress.

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

The next multiple days were total hell.

There was a lot of yelling in the house the first night, between every single one of them. A lot of tears. A lot of silence. The kids throw themselves into homework or work.

Even their other relationships were strained. Bly and his girlfriend Aayla were not on speaking terms at the moment after Bly blew up one day. Aayla wanted to give him some space even if she badly wanted to help him. Ponds wasn’t spending as much time with Mace, trying to be at home with the teenagers and try to help them out. Jaster and Nicky offered to stay and help out, but the older boys refused, not wanting to brother the two older men.

Tup hadn't been talking to Axel and his friends a lot, not wanting to discuss things with them. Comet was also more reserved which was odd for the ADHD teenager and he was struggling in school. Luckily the teens' teachers were cutting them some slack.

Tup and Comet had finally come home but they barely talked to anyone. If they did, they were so sweet to everyone it was obviously fake. That was always their tactic; be so nice they have nothing to yell at you about. If it worked with Adrian, it would work on their brothers.

Tup blinked his eyes open, hearing rain pound against his window. He duly noted this, eyes falling shut again. He didn’t have the energy to get up. It’s not like he needed to, it was Saturday, and his therapy session was at four. Comet was still knocked out on his bed, peacefully sleeping. Tup was jealous that his brother could still sleep throughout the night.

The young teenager’s ears picked up something coming from downstairs. He strained them to hear the conversation, but they were talking too softly.

Tup jumped when his alarm went off softly, making the bed vibrate. He quickly grabbed his phone and read the alarm.

Meds.

Tup closed his honey eyes and sighed but shut the alarm off. He pulled himself out of bed and shivered when the air hit him. It wasn’t even cold in the house, but Tup most certainly was. He quickly stole Comet’s hoodie from the foot of his bed and pulled it on, shoving his phone in the pocket.

He treaded downstairs and the voices grew louder with each step. Tup didn’t care what they were talking about this time. If I listen in, it might ruin my life again. I’m not chancing that sh*t. The voices stopped on a dime when the floorboards creaked under his weight. He walked by the dining room where the conversation was coming from and entered the kitchen.

He felt eyes on him, and he pushed back the anger rising in him. He reached into a cabinet for a glass, unceremoniously putting it on the counter before picking it up again to get water. Eyes were still on him. He walked two feet to the cabinet that held the meds and other miscellaneous things. The teen went on his toes to reach his meds, pulling them down and reading them to make sure they were his, the back of his neck tingling. Then he slammed the bottle on the counter with a high-pitched, dull ping of plastic hitting granite tile.

“Is it a crime to swallow down antidepressants at ten o’clock in the morning on a Saturday?” Tup snapped for the first time while being back home, staring into the dining room through the cut-out section of the kitchen wall. He saw everyone look away.

Tup grumbled as he twisted the cap open and tapped out two pills. He tossed them into his mouth and brought the glass of water up to his mouth. He felt the capsules slide down his throat, making him cringe a small bit.

After a few more sips of water, he placed the empty cup in the kitchen sink. He walked away from the kitchen not looking at his brothers.

“Tup-” Rex tried to call gently.

Tup interrupted him. “I have therapy at four.” He looked at his older brother, his question obvious.

Rex looked hurt, but it disappeared after a moment. “Arla is coming over at four-thirty. I’ll drive you to therapy.”

Normally, he would be happy at the sound of his aunt’s name, but he just...didn’t feel anything. “Okay,” Tup said plainly, walking away.

He went upstairs hearing thunder crash overhead. He nearly ran into Fives in the hallway. His older brother put a hand on his shoulder to keep him still and moved around him, patting his back a few times.

Tup re-entered his and Comet’s room seeing his brother finally awake. He was curled under the blankets, eyes staring at the window. Thunder roared and both of them jumped, but Comet nearly jumped out of the bed.

Tup frowned and co*cked his head, confused as to why Comet had such a bad reaction to thunder. It didn’t normally bother him.

The younger teen approached his brother and gave a shooing motion with his hands, urging his brother to move closer to the wall. Comet obliged, and Tup slid in.

Comet immediately cuddled close to him, relaxing against him. Tup threaded his finger through his hair, hoping it would ease Comet’s tension.

“What is this, freaky Friday?” Tup asked in good humor as he pulled Comet up to rest his head under his chin.

Comet chuckled, “No, it’s Saturday.”

Tup flicked him on the head. “You know what I mean. Usually, I’m the one scared of thunder.”

“Maybe I’m trying to make things interesting by mixing it up?” Comet suggested.

Tup laughed, ruffling Comet’s soft hair. “Aunt Arla is coming over, and the others are coming as well.”

Comet looked up. “When?”

“During my therapy session,” Tup answered, trying not to read between the lines of why.

“You think they did that on purpose?” Comet asked, seeing the lines written.

The younger teenager shrugged. “Probably. I don’t know.” He pulled the back of the elastic on his left wrist and let it hit the inside of said wrist. He winced when his left hand gave a twinge, still feeling the pain from surgery.

Comet looked at him for a few seconds before speaking. “And….you seem to be scared.”

Tup looked down at the sheets. “I kinda….blew up at Justin last week. I didn’t mean to, but the words just came out before I could stop them. Thankfully Justin didn’t take it personally.”

Comet nudged his neck with his nose, closing his eyes. “Justin’s good for you.”

Tup smiled, resting his head on Comet’s. He could waste time laying with his brother. He had nothing else to do.

“Tup let’s go!” Someone called the teenager from downstairs hours later.

Tup groaned but pulled himself from his brother’s arms. He pulled on socks, knowing his shoes were downstairs. He leaned back over Comet and pressed his lips to his head briefly.

“See you later,” Comet said tiredly.

Tup smiled sadly. Comet was starting to worry him. He was sleeping a lot more, not doing homework, not eating. Comet not eating was a recurring action, but it was that fact that other problems were going on along with the not eating.

“Try to remember to eat, Com’.” Tup reminded him gently as he walked out the door. He walked down the stairs, reaching the bottom. He went to the front door and slipped his shoes on and grabbed Rex’s keys.

When Rex came into view he tossed them to him without any words. Rex closed the front door behind them and both of them climbed into the car.

Tup clipped his seatbelt in and stared at the window.

Rex kept looking at him and he eventually sighed. “Tup, I…..”

The teenager slowly looked at his brother, waiting for him to continue.

“I’m sorry….about everything,” Rex finished.

Tup thought for a moment before softening his eyes. “It’s not your fault.” He knew he needed to let his anger go.

Rex didn’t say anything as he pulled into a parking spot. Tup’s hand drifted to the door handle, but he paused. He stopped all movement for a minute before leaning the other way and giving Rex a short hug. Rex smiled lightly, squeezing him tightly.

“Go, or you’ll be later,” Rex pushed him off of him.

Tup grinned and stepped out of the car, closing the door behind him. Once his little brother was out of the car Rex’s smile fell and he let out a shaky exhale. His hands gripped the steering wheel. The twenty-two-year-old leaned his head on the top part of the wheel and closed his eyes. The stress of everything was getting to him. He was debating going back on the meds Cody mentioned a few weeks ago, but he couldn't bring himself to do it.

He put the car in drive and drove out of the parking lot. He didn’t really know where he was driving to, but as long as he didn’t crash he didn’t really care. He drove on the highway, and eventually pulled off on the exit.

Rex ended up at home with a car in the driveway that he didn’t recognize. He blinked a few times, not remembering the drive back home, which was 15 minutes of driving without traffic. The young man shook his head and pulled the keys out of the ignition.

Guess Aunt Arla came 15 minutes early.

He put the house key in the lock and turned, getting the sound of the deadbolt slipping out of the lock. He pushed the door open and closed it with a click behind him. Rex dropped his keys carelessly and stepped further into the house.

Arla was sitting with her three adopted sons, in the middle of talking to her nephews. She looked up and smiled sadly at Rex.

Rex returned the smile weakly and was pulled into her arms. She hugged him tightly, pressing a motherly kiss to his head. They both let go of each other and sat down with the others. Cody pulled his little brother into his side.

Rex looked to his three younger cousins, Wooley, Jake, and Zeke. He smiled at the young teenagers. “Hey boys.”

Zeke and Wooley both smiled and said “Hi.” Jake just waved, being his normal shy self.

Arla turned her attention to the oldest three. “What’s the plan for the kids if things go...south.” If the boys focused hard enough they could hear the way her voice broke.

Ponds sighed. “Tup and Comet are going to fight tooth and nail to not take dad off life support. The hospital called a random social worker and she stupidly suggested they go back to foster.”

Arla narrowed her eyes. “They are not going back into the damn system if I have anything to say about it.”

The Fett boys looked at each other and shared smiles, glad Arla had as much stubbornness as her younger brother.

Cody looked at their aunt for a few moments. “Would you take them if we couldn’t? Jaster and Nicky both offered, but we don’t want them to have to take care of teenagers again. So….if it came down to it, would you take them?”

Alra’s golden-brown eyes were soft and sincere. “Of course I would. I love all of you like my own. Well, you are my blood, but you get what I mean.” That brought a few chuckles out of the tense Fett boys.

“Now. How are those two doing?” She asked.

None of the boys answered, gathering their thoughts. Rex blew air through his lips. “Well, Tup is still angry at us for lying about mom, but he’s getting there. Comet is….pulling away though. From everyone.”

Arla nodded sadly. “Where is Comet?”

Bly jerked his head to the stairs. “In his room.”

They talked for thirty more minutes before Rex looked down at his phone. “I’ve got to go pick Tup up. I’ll be back.” Rex left without any objections and the others stayed seated.

Arla narrowed her eyes. “He’s acting weird.”

Cody swallowed, nodding. “So I’m not the only one who thinks that, good.”

Tup and Rex arrived home. Tup wanted to go upstairs, but Rex pulled him into the living room.

Arla stood up and hugged her youngest nephew. “Hey, honey.”

Tup leaned into the hug, eyes falling closed. “Hi.”

She pulled him back and pushed a piece of hair behind his ear. “How are you doing?”

Tup seemed to be swallowing back tears. “Fine.”

Rex looked concerned and put a hand on his shoulder, turning his brother towards him. “What’s going on?”

Tup sniffed, “Nothing. I’m fine.” The Fetts didn't look convinced.

Rex pulled him out of the room and put him against the wall lightly. “I’m calling bullsh*t. You look like you’re about to cry, kiddo.”

Tup bit his lip hard, nearly drawing blood. Rex cupped Tup’s neck and tilted his chin up. “Why are you crying, love?”

Tup looked up at him with teary eyes. “I...I don’t know.”

Rex sighed and hugged him close. He figured it was just the stress of everything that happened the past few weeks was finally catching up to him, and it’s a possibility that Justin and Tup discussed something that had upset the teen.

“It’s okay,” Rex whispered, rubbing circles on his shoulder blades. “I’ve got you.”

Tup cried silently, making Rex’s shoulder damp. “I want dad.”

Rex inhaled in realization. “Oh sweetheart,” Rex trailed off, not knowing what to say.

“I want dad,” Tup repeated, mostly to himself.

Rex tsked lightly, holding his brother closer. “I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.”

Tup continued to cry, and Rex took him upstairs to help him keep his pride in front of their other family members in the other room. The older of the two stepped into his shared room with Cody and Wolffe.

He sat his little brother down on the bed and crouched between his knees. Tup folded on himself to lay his head on Rex’s shoulder, still crying.

“Shhhhh, shhhhh. It’s okay. I’ve got you,” Rex whispered.

“I want things to go back to normal,” Tup sobbed.

Rex nodded, understanding what he was saying. “I do too, Tup’ika. I wish I could take your pain away but I can’t.”

Tup gripped his brother tight, sobbing his heart out. Rex’s knees started to hurt, and he winced as he stood up. The teenager panicked, thinking that Rex was going to leave him to suffer, and he whined quietly. “Please don’t leave me.”

Rex choked on air and sat down next to his brother. He pulled him into his lap, holding Tup’s face in his hands. “Tup, I am not going to leave you. Why would I leave you?”

Tup closed his eyes. “Everyone always leaves. Mom. I got pulled away from everyone in foster. And now dad…”

Rex sighed and held him close to his chest once again. He rocked to the side a few times, hoping it would help calm his traumatized brother down. Tup didn’t deserve all the pain he had been through. He was just a kid.

“We’re not letting you go if we have anything to say about it. I’m not letting you go again,” Rex said and immediately regretted making a promise that he might not be able to keep, but it calmed Tup down a little bit.

The fifteen-year-old laid against his brother’s chest, tears slowing down tremendously to the point where it was only sniffles. Neither of them moved. They couldn’t bring themselves to come back to reality at that point. All that mattered was that Tup wasn’t totally angry at his brothers anymore.

Notes:

I don't know what this chapter is. I'm not totally satisfied with this chapter mainly because it doesn't advance the plot except for Arla. I struggled to think of a way to advance the plot, and this is what the product of that is XD. I hadn't updated in a while, so I figured I would just post what I had.

Jake and Zeke are OC's from my other story, Youngest of the 501st. Jake has epilepsy, and Zeke has schizoaffective. I promise there will be more Arla in the next chapter.

I'm still trying to think of ways to bring Boba into this but am failing miserably. I was also playing around with the idea of adding some Bad Batch characters. Thoughts on that?

Chapter 23: Chapter 23-The Social Workers

Summary:

Two social workers come to the Fett household to discuss the options of the boys.

Note: Please take the law talk and foster care talk in this chapter with a grain of salt. I did my best but it's probably not accurate.

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

Things were still rocky, to say the least. The two youngest boys have mostly forgiven their brothers and were back on speaking terms with them. But not everyone was a happy camper in the house.

Arla and her boys were staying with them, helping the boys in any way possible. Jake, Wooley, and Zeke went to a high school nearby so it wasn’t too much of a hassle. She could tell her older nephews were feeling the stress of taking care of the teenagers while trying to balance their own lives and she had no problem helping them out. She just hoped that the social worker would let her have temporary custody and not send them away.

Arla woke her own boys up, having to coax Jake to get up a little longer than the others, her youngest not wanting to leave her side. She was very certain Jake had an attachment disorder, but she wouldn’t be the one to bring it up. Her boys had to wake up earlier so they would be able to get to school on time, and she would rather have them have time to actually wake up before school.

She walked downstairs and saw Tup was up doing homework with Rex and Wolffe up as well. The surprising part wasn’t Rex and Wolffe being up, it was Tup. He usually did his homework as soon as possible, which was after school. Not in the morning.

She crossed to his side and stroked his shoulder blades in a spiral. “Why are you up, honey? You’ve got at least forty minutes until you have to get ready.”

Tup shook his head. “I forgot I had homework, so I got up early.”

She was highly aware that it was only a half-truth and put her hands on her hips. “Tup Bailey Fett, are you lying to me?” Her tone had a slight tone of humor.

Tup’s head snapped up at the sound of his full name. ”N-No!”

Arla chuckled and ruffled his hair, “I’m just playing around, Tup.”

Footsteps approached them and Arla looked to see who it was. It was her three boys, Cody, Bly, and Ponds were the people in question. Cody hugged Tup and Rex from behind, patting Rex’s back a few times.

The others sat in silence as the rest of the house got up on their own terms. The terror twins, Waxer and Boil, obviously came down last, still half asleep as they ate the food that was placed in front of them. They all ate or did homework in somewhat silence, chatter passing every once and a while.

Arla looked at her phone checking the time and turned to her own children. “Boys, we've gotta go. Get your stuff.”

Zeke, Wooley, and Jake followed their mother’s instructions and gathered their bags and the oldest two started walking to the door. Arla grabbed her purse and started finishing around for her keys and wallet when the car keys were suddenly plucked from her fingers.

She stared at her oldest nephew as Ponds smiled at her and told her, “I’ll drive them. Consider it a payment for taking care of us.”

Arla sized him up for a few seconds before sighing, giving in. “Aright, thank you.” Ponds nodded. Jake hugged her before following after his older brothers, Wooley ruffling his hair softly.

After ten minutes of Ponds and the boys leaving, the remaining high school boys wrapped up whatever they were doing and started to the door.

Rex felt his phone buzz in his pocket, and he fished it out. His heart dropped as he read the message and held his head with his free hand.

“What is it?” Ponds asked, seeing the expression.

“Jen says Arla was denied temporary guardianship of the kids,” He spoke softly.

Arla froze, brain not catching up. She was the only one eligible to take care of all the kids, minus Waxer and Boil were turning eighteen soon, and Jen let them slide. “What?! Why?!”

Rex shrugged. “I don’t know. Jen said she could come over and discuss our options.”

Arla clenched her hands into fists. “She better have a good f*cking reason.” When it came to her family, she made it clear she was protective of them.

“The kids aren’t going to like this,” Ponds said, voice rising slightly in anxiety.

Cody swallowed nervously. “Hopefully they won’t think we’re trying to get rid of them.”

Rex nodded. “I don’t think they will. I think they won’t jump to conclusions on this one.”

….

Tup sat in the cafeteria, having already finished eating his lunch. He was sitting with his friends but wasn’t paying attention to the conversation. Axel kept shooting him looks but didn’t mention anything.

His phone vibrated with a notification and he lifted the screen up. A message had come from Ponds telling him to come home immediately after school. That made Tup’s heart clench. He hated messages like that where it was undescriptive which forced Tup to think of what it could possibly mean.

“I hate it when they do that,” he mumbled, putting his phone away.

Axel nudged him in the side. “What’s the look for,” he asked while eating an apple.

Tup showed him the message. Axel read it then nodded while shrugging. “Okay, I guess that is a little weird. Any idea what it’s about?”

Tup shook his head. “I don’t think it’s about my dad because they would’ve pulled us out of school if he….” He couldn’t finish the sentence.

Axel bumped hands with him. “You’re right, they would’ve pulled you out. So he’s okay.”

Tup sighed and nodded, smiling at Axel. “Thanks.”

The older boy smiled as well, wrapping an arm around his shoulder. “Oh, it’s no big deal. Just me, Axel, being a genius.”

Tup rolled his eyes and shoved his shoulder playfully.

“Oi, you two! Stop being anti-social!” Another one of their friends yelled at them.

Tup was about to respond, but he caught Fives’ eye from a few tables down. He picked up his phone and tapped it, wanting the twin to pick up his phone. Fives gave him a weird look but did pick it up and seemed to be reading something on the home screen. Then the older boy’s confused look became even more confused.

He mouthed to him “Do you know what they want?”

Tup shook his head and then returned back to his tablemates hoping the news wouldn’t be too bad.

Arla sat down at the table staring at the two women on the opposite end of the table. The eldest Fett children sat along with him, Wooley, Jake, and Zeke in the guest room.

The two women in semi-formal attire, folders in front of them. One had her black hair pulled back into a bun while the other let half of her blonde hair fall across her shoulders with the other half in a bun.

The door opened and the teenagers stepped in, laughing and talking. Arla smiled at the sound but it dropped when they walked into the room. Their faces fell and they stood frozen in place.

“What’s she doing here?” Tup said deathly quiet after a few seconds. He didn’t mean to be rude, but he did not want to see Jen sitting in the dining room ever again. “You said I wasn’t going back to foster.”

Jen cleared her throat pushing her blonde hair away from her shoulders and gave the teenager a sympathetic look. “Things have changed, Tup. Do you want to sit down and listen to your options, or let your brothers make the decision?”

Tup turned his glance to the other women and anger flashed through his eyes. “Not with her here.”

The other woman rolled her eyes to herself but avoided looking at the teenager. Jen held her hands up submissively. “If you just sit down and let me explain, I’ll be out of your hair.”

The six teens made eye contact with each other before nodding. They shifted their backpacks off their shoulders and slowly sat down in their chairs.

Jen breathed out to gather her thoughts then addressed Arla. “I’m assuming you would like to know why your request for guardianship was denied?”

Arla nodded curtly, glare set firmly in her eyes. That woman better have a damn good reason.

Jen nodded. “Alright. It was denied because based on the conditions of the boys, you are not legally allowed to take on Tup and Comet. And no foster parents or temporary guardian in the state of Colorado can have more than 6 children in total in a household.

Arla blinked at her. “What?! What ‘conditions’ are you talking about with the boys?”

The younger woman to Jen’s left sighed deeply, not looking amused by the question; like Arls was stupid or dimwitted.

Jen kicked her colleague under the table. “Elise, stop. Arla, you have two children, Wooley and Zeke, with psychological disorders. And Jake has a neurological disorder. If Tup and Comet were living in your home, that would be five children in total with some type of special condition which is not allowed.”

Arla held up a hand. “Okay, two things. First, Zeke has a neurobiological disorder. And second...how the hell did you find out that Jake has epilepsy?!”

Jen’s lips quirked a bit. “Simple. I asked him.”

Arla started to rise in her seat. “Jen I swear to fu-”

“Arla, I simply heard them talking about it and asked a question. I didn’t force him to answer. And as of right now Zeke’s disorder is considered psychological because he is bipolar along with his schizophrenia.” Jen defused the situation, not wanting to get into an argument. “So….now we have only a few options left. Any suggestions from anyone?”

Wolffe raised a hand. “Why not Jaster and Nicky? They have no kids in their house.”

Elise spoke up. “Those two have had previous domestic situations that eliminate them from your options.” Her force was curt and annoyed.

The older boys looked upset, not knowing any other options to keep their brothers close to them.

Elise shifted through her folder and again and tossed a hand up. “I don’t understand why Adrian Bates can’t take them again. He worked fine the first time when I sent the two of them with him. I called him, and he’s back in Denver. He said he would be more than happy to take them again.”

Tup and Comet pushed their chairs away at the same time. Tup shook his head, eyes filling with tears. “Why would you do that?”

“Please no,” Comet said loudly. “Anyone but him.”

Elise shook her head rolling her eyes, looking at the other woman. “Every time I checked on them they were fine and happy with him, Jen. I honestly think they’re lying about the abuse and trying to make me look bad.”

Comet slammed a hand down. “Hey! We’re sitting right here! And we have names you know?!”

Elise sighed again. “Fine, Tup and Comet both were happy when I asked them how they were.”

Tup jumped up. “What the actual f*ck did you want us to say?! ‘Oh hey, by the way, the man you sent us with is actually abusive, putting us in danger, and plans to technically kidnap us and take us to Brooklyn without telling you’ and expect you to believe it?! I’m not stupid! I know you wouldn’t have believed us!”

Rex pushed him back down, holding his hand. “Okay, okay, we understand. Just take it easy.”

“Stop talking. You’re making it worse,” Jen whipped her head at Elise and hissed quietly. She turned to the two young teenagers. “Boys, I understand your frustrations. It was my responsibility to make sure you were well cared for. I failed to follow up on Elise’s report. I take responsibility for it.”

Comet shook his head. “It’s not your fault Jen. We have never blamed you.”

Jen smiled sweetly at him before looking down at the table. “There is one option. There is one relative of yours that is close by that qualifies.”

Everyone frowned. No one lived close by that was related to them that they knew of other than Jaster and the others.

“Does the name Boba Fett ring a bell?” Jen asked.

Rex frowned and stared at Jen. “Are...are you serious?”

Fives held a hand up. “Wait. Boba as in Boba we haven’t seen in years Boba?”

Ponds nodded, eyes unreadable. “Yes, that Boba.”

Tup frowned, co*cking his head to the side. “Have I met him?”

Wolffe thought for a moment before nodding. “When you were very little. So technically yes.”

“And….we’re going to live with him? For how long?” Comet spoke next.

Jen leaned forward in her seat. “He is temporary but unless your dad’s condition would change, we would talk about who you would stay with permanently. What do you boys want to do? It’s either Boba or other foster parents.”

Tup, Comet, Fives, and Echo had a quick and hushed conversation, the two younger boys looking scared. They finished and Fives looked to the two social workers.

“We’ll go with him. We’re trusting you to look after us this time, however,” his voice was full of conviction.

Jen smiled. “Will do.”

Notes:

I have made the executive decision just to do shorter chapters instead of attempting to have 20 page-long chapters because then I never get anything done XD.

I forgot to mention last time that Wooley does have OCD. So Jake, Wooley, and Zeke all have mental or neurological illnesses.

I made Elise up on the spot, and I didn't plan to make her a bitch, but it was the way her character worked out. And a certain bad guy is back in town 👀

Chapter 24: Chapter 24-Boba Fett

Summary:

The boys have no other choice but to stay with their distant relative.

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

Tup snapped his bracelet against his wrist as he, Comet, Fives, and Echo pulled into the driveway of someone’s fairly large house.

“Is this a good idea?” he timidly asked.

Rex looked at him through the rearview mirror, golden eyes shining with understanding. “I know you’re scared, kid. But we can trust Boba, he’s family.”

Fives piped up. “How is he related to us again?”

Rex looked at Cody who was in the passenger seat and sighed. “Well, it’s complicated. He’s technically Dad’s brother but dad pretty much raised him since Jaster and grandma went through some issues and had Boba later in life, so there’s a pretty big age gap between him and Dad and Arla.”

Echo frowned. “Soooo does he prefer ‘uncle’ or something else?”

Cody awkwardly cleared his throat and suddenly became very interested in the landscape around the house.

Echo looked between his two older brothers. “What?”

Rex ran a hand over his head. “We haven’t seen Boba in a long time. We were lucky enough that he agreed to take care of all of you. And you four most likely don’t even remember him. I know Tup and Comet were too young but I don't know about you andFives. So try not to push his buttons too much.”

The front door suddenly opened and a very similar version, but younger version, of their father stepped out onto the porch, muscular arms wrapped around his chest, and leaned against the door jam.

Rex sighed and unbuckled his seatbelt, taking the keys out of the ignition. Fives did the same and unbuckled Tup’s because the teenager seemed too terrified to do it himself. The older boy gently grabbed his brother’s hand and pulled him out of the car.

“I’m scared,” Tup admitted to his brother, and Fives felt his heart break.

Fives understood who scared Tup was to be put in this situation again.

Cody and the man gave each other one nod of acknowledgment but nothing else was said. The same went for Rex. Tup wanted to hide behind his brother, but Boba was family and he needed to be polite.

Boba must’ve seen how nervous the young teenager was and shot him a weak smile. Tup returned it.

Cody cleared his throat and shifted his weight to his heels and then to the balls of his feet. “Thank you for this Boba. Really.”

Boba waved a hand. “It’s no trouble. Do you all go to the same school?” He addressed the boys. They all nodded.

“That’ll make things easier. We’ll figure everything out.”

Tup felt himself relaxing under the words of Boba, hoping he would always be this easygoing.

Rex stroked Tup’s shoulder blades looking down at him. “I guess we better get going.”

Tup looked at him with pleading eyes, not wanting his brother to leave him. Rex gave him a point look saying ‘this is happening, Tup’ and then hugged him tightly. The boy hugged him back just as tight before embracing Cody.

Once all the hugging was out of the way, the boys got their stuff out of the car. It wasn’t much because they weren’t too far away and they could go to get things from the house since it wasn’t like they were banned from entering their own house.

Boba led them inside. Before he led them to their rooms and turned to them with a serious face. “Look, I’m not good at parenting or caretaking, so don’t take it personally if I’m not totally hands-on. You seem like smart kids, so I’m trusting you to be responsible and do what you need to do.” The four boys nodded, knowing what Boba was asking.

The man then began to walk up a set of stairs to their rooms. Comet and Tup were in a room and Fives and Echo were in another. Boba let them go about their business.

Tup stuck to staying in the room for hours, taking out a book and reading it. Comet laid across his lap, staring at his phone. Both teenagers were silent, and they were able to hear a conversation coming from Fives and Echo’s room next to theirs.

Tup would’ve tried and listened in, but he ignored the urge to do so.

“What do you think of Boba?” Comet asked.

Tup bit his lip. “He’s a little rough around the edges.”

Comet tapped his knuckle against Tup’s shoulder gently. “Are you scared?”

Suddenly Tup started crying out of nowhere. Comet’s eyes widened and he spun himself up. He tugged Tup into his arms gently, looking down at his brother.

“What’s wrong, Tup?” Comet asked, getting worried. “Are you in pain or something? Is it your hand?”

Tup shook his head but continued to press his face into Comet’s neck. “No. I just hate this.”

The older boy rocked him side to side, shushing him. “What do you hate?”

“I hate being so f*cking wound up. I hate being so sensitive. I just want dad to wake up,” Tup whined to his brother, giving in to his need for reassurance.

Comet gave him just that. He whispered sweet nothings in his ear, eyes shooting to the door every once and a while on instinct and fear. When they were with Adrian, the man wouldn’t allow them to cry, ever. If he caught them crying, he would scream at them, threaten them, everything under the sun other than blatant physical abuse. At least in Comet’s case, Adrian never abused him. Tup was but the younger had not given those important details to anyone besides Justin. And he would rather take it to his grave.

Comet forced himself to remember that Boba was not Adrian and that he was family. He reclined further back, Tup’s tears reducing to sniffles. As he held his little brother, both of them fell into slumber.

….

Fives and Echo placed themselves downstairs a few hours later, slaving away over homework. Junior year was hard.

Fives dropped his pencil onto his book and rubbed his eyes tiredly. “What time is it?” His voice was raspy from not using it for a few hours.

His twin sighed and pulled his phone out. “Nearly 11:30.”

The twins didn’t say anything else as they worked on their assignments, only the sound of pencils scratching on paper and textbook pages being turned.

Boba appeared from the back of the kitchen and paused as he took in the sight of the two teenagers. “Shouldn't you two be asleep?”

Without looking up Echo snarkily replied. “Homework waits for no man.”

Boba winced. “Damn.” The man leaned against the counter and stared at the stairs that were just in view. “You two going to tell me what’s going on with Tup, and why he’s so skittish around me?”

Fives and Echo paused completely, sharing a look. Boba waited for them to speak, giving them a look that said he wasn’t leaving until he had an answer.

“When mom died we were sent into foster care,” Echo started. He then turned his amber eyes to Boba. “Wolffe was sent away with Tup and Comet, but he aged out. Tup and Comet were left alone when they were eight and nine years old.”

Fives took over for his twin, seeing his anger start to rise. “Their foster father was an asshole. He was abusive, but Tup and Comet will never admit how much effect he had on them. He would scream at them, throw things, and threaten them every single day.” Boba’s hand curled into a fist.

Fives huffed, an ironic smile on his face. “And then Adrian practically kidnapped them and moved them away to Brooklyn. Their social worker couldn’t find them for months, years even. And when they finally came home, they weren’t the same.”

He swallowed hard to get his emotions under control. “They wouldn’t talk to us. They would flinch at any touch or voice. They were just so different. So don’t take it personally that they’re scared of you.”

Boba held in a breath and physically left the conversation, going up the stairs. He cracked open the door to the boy’s room and saw that the two teenagers were curled up together.

“You poor boys.” He whispered.

A week later, the boys were getting homesick. They hadn’t gotten a chance to visit home or their brothers, and they missed them. Comet and Tup hated to feel dependent on their older brothers, but the last time they were separated from their family it didn’t go well.

Tup walked through the halls of his school at the end of the day, set on getting home so he could sleep, snuggling deeper into his hoodie, feeling a chill spread through him. This school is always freezing, he mentally complained to himself.

Someone came up behind him and put an arm over his shoulder, spreading warmth through his body.

“Hey,” Axel said from his position next to him.

Tup smiled at him, leaning into him. “Hey yourself. How are you?”

The older boy returned the grin. “I’m doing good. I haven’t seen you in a while, everything okay?” He asked, concerned.

Tup tried to maintain his smile but even he knew it wavered. “Uh-huh.”

Axel’s eyes stared into his eyes for multiple seconds before he spoke again quietly. “No, it’s not. What’s going on?”

Tup shrugged, crossing his arms over his chest to keep himself warm. “Just….back into foster, technically speaking.”

Axel completely balked, grabbing Tup’s forearm. “What?!”

Tup waved him off. “Not foster parents that I don’t know. It’s a distant relative that I didn’t know existed. He’s nice but just the fact it’s considered foster….just freaks me out.”

The brunet shot him a sad look. “I’m sorry.”

The other boy shrugged non-committedly. “It’s fine. I just want this to be over with.” He leaned into his friend. Axel let him, ignoring his other friends calling his name from further down the hall.

Tup’s ears caught and he nudged him. “They’re calling you.”

“I’m aware, and I’m ignoring them. They’ve spent enough time with me already. I want to spend time with you.”

Tup nodded enthusiastically. “Yeah sure. Boba doesn’t give a sh*t if other people come over.” He led him outside to the car that Boba let Fives and Echo borrow with the promise that they were responsible drivers.

Tup and Axel leaned against the car, waiting for his other brothers to get there. They came within a few minutes, smiling at Axel before climbing into the car. Comet got into the back with Tup and Axel with a sly smile on his face and he winked at his brother. Tup glared at him and made a subtle cutting motion before pointedly ignoring his older brother.

The five boys chatted with one another, filling the silence of the car. Echo pulled into the driveway and grabbed his backpack from the back seat near Tup’s feet before stepping out of the car. The other four boys followed him into the house, immediately heading for the dining room. It was fairly large considering that Boba lived alone. Tup settled down and he kept trying to avoid eye contact with Comet, who kept giving him suspicious glances. The boys pulled out their homework and continued their conversation.

Boba stepped through the door an hour or two later, automatically doing a headcount when he saw the boys in the dining room but blinked at the boy that was definitely not his nephew. He deducted that he was a friend and stepped further into the house. He started bustling around in the kitchen as quietly as possible, not wanting to disturb the boys.

Alex looked down at Tup, curious to see what he was doing, and noticed that Tup’s left sleeve was exposed to let him see his forearm which was bare of the brace he normally had. He tapped the skin.

“You took the brace off?” He noted.

Tup smiled and lifted his hand to observe it. “Yep. The physical therapist I went to a few weeks ago said I could take it off when it started to feel better. So I took it off.”

The older boy grinned. “That’s good.”

Comet and Axel started talking about football, and Tup’s phone began to ring. The ID labeled the caller as Rex and the teen frowned, not knowing why Rex would be calling at this time.

He accepted the call. “Hey, Rex what’s up?”

The sound of muffled conversation crackled over the speaker until Rex said the news that made Tup freeze. “Kiddo, Dad’s awake.”

Notes:

Boba will have a larger role soon I promise, as well as Arla. And yes I left off on a cliffhanger, don't kill me, please XD. I didn't edit this one too much, so excuse the errors until I get a chance to re-read it.

What did ya think?

Chapter 25: Chapter 25-The Light at the End of the Tunnel

Summary:

Jango wakes up.

Warnings: mentioned suicide attempt of a background character. Background character being an asshole.

Sidenote: I'm not a doctor or a therapist so take those parts with a grain of salt.

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

Tup briskly walked through the sliding doors of the hospital. He made his way to the ward that his father was staying in, hands shaking with adrenaline. He pasted doctors and nurses and specialists in the halls, not paying them any mind.

Tup found his older brothers, his aunt, and cousins, hearing his other teenaged brothers following him. He approached him, feeling so many emotions bubbling up inside of him.

The older boys were talking with one another before the sound of footsteps interrupted them.

“Rex, I swear to god if you’re not being serious I will punch you,” the youngest Fett announced to his brothers, looking frazzled, but they could see the hope shining in his eyes.

Rex put a hand on his shoulder. “I’m not lying, kid. Look for yourself.” He steered him to allow him to peer into the doorway where there was a quartet of doctors surrounding his father. He waited until the doctors parted enough for him to see his father who was indeed tired but awake.

The teenager nearly collapsed into his older brother’s side, relief spreading through him. The stress was finally over. He could finally breathe again.

Cody’s voice poked through his happy thoughts. “Where’s Boba?”

“He stayed in the car,” Fives answered. “I didn’t ask why.”

Arla hugged Tup from the side. “Boba and Jango don’t have the best relationship right now. He probably doesn't want to talk to me either.”

Tup looked at her. “Why?”

She smiled at him, stroking the side of his face. “Nothing you need to worry about.”

The boys waited outside of the room until the doctors came out of the room. A doctor Tup had never met before came over to them.

“Mr. Fett seems to be on the mend. He is fully conscious and responding well, no longer requiring life support. We would like to keep him for multiple days, so we can ensure that it is safe to take the chest tube out and that his wounds are healing correctly. We would like him to rest a few more hours before you go and see him,” she explained in a soft but informative manner.

“Is there any permanent damage?” Arla asked, being the concerned older sister.

“At the moment no. He should make a full recovery but it will take weeks for him to be back at his original strength,” the doctor answered quickly with a smile.

Arla gave a nod and took a breath to calm herself, going into thought. Jake didn’t seem to like the look she had on her face and tugged gently on her hand.

“Mom?” He whispered.

Arla blinked and looked down at her adopted son, hugging him close to her side. “I’m fine, baby. Just thinking. Do you boys want to stay? It might be a long wait until they let you see him if he’s even awake by that time.”

Tup opened his mouth to answer, but Rex cut him off. “You’re only staying two hours. Once it reaches that mark either you see him or you go home. Deal?” He knew that the kids had responsibilities that they needed to see through and they would drop those to stay with their father. Tup glared at him and Rex tapped him on the head. “Don’t gare at me. And don’t you see Justin today anyway?”

Tup cursed under his breath, forgetting about that small detail. “Fine.”

Rex sighed and hugged him close. Tup embraced him back.

As one hour ticked by, Tup was busy texting Axel, apologizing for the abrupt ending to their time together. Axel, being himself, just brushed it off, understanding full-heartedly that family comes first.

Tup jumped when something solid and kind of heavy landed on his shoulder. His head snapped around to look and relaxed when he saw it was just Comet, who was now asleep. The younger boy shifted the chairs around enough to allow Comet to rest his head in his lap.

Tup leaned his head on his fist, softly playing with Comet’s hair. Someone’s arm brushed against his back, and this time he didn’t flinch.

Kix looped an arm around his little brother, gazing down at Comet. “How are you doing?”

Tup shrugged, making his hair slip in front of his eyes. “Stressed. School isn’t helping.”

Kix sighed sadly, moving the stray pieces away from his face, so he could make eye contact. “Anything I can do?”

Tup leaned into him. “No.”

Kix sat with Tup for another hour, just trying to take his mind off of everything. Soon the two hours were up, and Tup nudged Comet awake. The older teen blinked tiredly at his brother, not happy with being woken up.

“We have to go,” Tup whispered to him.

Comet slumped as Tup wrestled him to his feet, slowly waking up. Their goodbyes to the others were short, hugging their brothers and cousins. Waxer and Boil hugged Tup and the other three boys the longest, missing not seeing their brothers much, even at school.

Arla hugged the boys and turned to her own sons. “Can you three walk out with them?”

Wooley nodded, pulling his two other brothers up from their seats. The six Fetts walked through the hallways, but as they were passing by they saw a couple having a heated conversation. Them being teenagers and wanting to hear drama, they listened in to the conversation, slowing their pace.

“She’s a psycho, John!” The woman yelled at her husband.

The man, John, waved a hand, looking appalled. “She just tried to kill herself, Mary! She is mentally ill and needs help! That doesn’t make her crazy!”

Mary scoffed and crossed her arms. “Well that ‘therapist’ of hers didn’t help now, did it? The only people that go to a shrink are psychos and even then therapy doesn’t work!”

Tup flinched violently. The others shot hesitant looks at him, and he felt Comet rest a hand on the base of his spine. Tup swallowed and started to walk away from the others, wanting out. He reached outside and took a few heaving breaths.

Hands gripped his shoulders and turned him around. Comet stared into his eyes, practically examining him. “You okay?”

Tup nodded, looking to the road to avoid eye contact. “Yeah. I’m fine.”

Zeke glared back inside. “Don’t listen to the bitch. We love you the way you are.” The sixteen-year-old wasn’t one to gush about feelings.

“Thanks, Z,” Tup smiled at him.

Fives and Echo led everyone to where Boba said he would be. Before they got into the car, they said goodbye to their cousins, Jake was the one that hugged Tup last and held onto him for a few seconds longer than his brothers, feeling that the other teenager needed it. Tup smiled gratefully at the blue-eyed boy.

As the boys climbed back into the car, Boba looked out at the window with confusion written on his face. “Is that Zeke, Wooley, and Jake?”

Fives nodded, settling into the shotgun seat. “Yep.”

Boba stared at the boys for a few more seconds before starting that car. “Damn they got old.” Without preamble, he pulled out of the hospital and onto the highway. Tup rested against Echo, feeling him slip an arm around his waist.

“You okay?” Echo whispered to him.

Tup fiddled with the bracelet on his wrist, flipping it around. “I’m supposed to see Justin today, but I don’t want to tell Boba,” he whispered to him just as quietly.

“Love, you should go see Justin. You seem upset about what you heard in the hospital, and he can help you talk it out.” The eighteen-year-old suggested to his younger brother.

Tup fiddled the rest of the way home, never speaking to Boba about the situation. Boba pulled into the long driveway and before the car was stopped Echo spoke up.

“Tup needs to go somewhere.”

Tup hissed and hit his shoulder, glaring daggers at his brother. Echo leveled him a look then addressed his attention to Boba. The older man looked at Tup through the rearview mirror. “Really?”

Tup shook his head, but Echo nodded. Boba shook his head a few millimeters in confusion and waited until he stopped the car. He turned slightly to look at Tup.

“Something you want to tell me?” Boba attempted to keep his tone as light as possible and not come off as passive-aggressive. Tup looked scared and tore his eyes away. He stayed quiet.

Boba knew it would take some pressure to get him to open up. He unlocked the car doors and looked and Fives and jerked his head, a message to get out of the car. Fives obliged as did the others. Tup’s hand shot out to grab Comet’s and looked at him pleadingly.

Comet shook his head sadly. He shifted closer to him. “I can’t help you with this one. Either you tell him or you don’t. It’s your choice.” He knew it would crush Tup to leave him alone like this, but it was for his own good. He was very suspicious of the attachment that Tup had to him and that he had to Tup, but that wasn’t something he could address at the moment.

As he climbed out of the car, Tup luckily stayed where he was. Boba observed his nephew, and then he patted the passenger seat. Tup stared at him wearily before climbing over the seat with Boba’s slight help. He huffed as he sat in the seat.

Boba was about to touch Tup’s shoulder but hesitated, not knowing if his touch would be wanted. “Look kid, I’m not going to judge you if that’s what you’re worried about.”

Tup pulled his knees up to his chest. “You don’t know that.”

The older man went through his action and squeezed Tup’s shoulder. “Tup, just talk to me.”

Tup pulled the puppy eyes card, staring into Boba’s soul. “Can’t I just put an address nearby, you drop me off, and I walk the rest of the way?” He was getting desperate for reasons he didn’t understand.

The older Fett gave the boy a parental look that Tup didn’t know he was capable of. “Can’t do that kiddo. Ponds, Bly, and others asked me to watch after you and your brothers. I can’t do that if I don’t know where you are and if I don’t know if you’re safe.”

Tup banged his head on the headrest and turned his head away. “Therapy.”

Boba was startled a bit, not expecting that answer. “...What?” He said dumbly.

“Cognitive behavior therapy,” Tup said, firmness to his tone. “I have a therapist.”

Boba let out a sigh of relief, leaning on the wheel of the car. “Jesus, kid, I thought you were trying to make you drop off to get drugs or some sh*t.”

Tup gawked at him. “I’m offended!”

Boba put the car in reverse, quickly getting out of the driveway. “I know, kid, but damn! The way you were talking looked like you wanted to crawl in a hole and die.” He handed Tup his phone without taking his eyes off the road, unlocking it as well. “Put the address in for me.”

Tup took it with shaking hands because of the adrenaline, quietly putting the name of Justin’s office in. He set it back in the holder on the dash. He leaned back calmly in the seat.

“Tup,” Boba started. “You don’t have to be scared to tell me something. I haven’t been in your life. I have no business judging you or what you do.”

The teen nodded dejectedly, “I just….don't know what people are going to say.”

“f*ck what people think. They don’t know your situation. They don’t get to say sh*t,” the older Fett stated.

Tup hesitated before blurting out. “Do you regret not being in my life?” Boba startled, nearly jerking the wheel. Trying to fix it, he added, “You don’t have to answer that.”

“You have a right to know why I haven't been around. But not now. I’ll tell you soon if you still want to know.”

Tup stayed silent the rest of the ride until they pulled into the parking lot. “Thank you,” he said quietly.

Boba nodded, patting his shoulder. “When are you done?”

“In about an hour.”

“Alright. See you soon, kid.” Boba ended the conversation, unlocking the door for him.

Tup stepped out of the car, closing the door and pulling open the door to Justin’s workplace. Jessica, a new receptionist, was sitting at the front desk, filling out paperwork. She looked up and smiled at him. “Tup, right?” He nodded.

Jessica typed a few things on the computer and looked back at the teen. “And you’re with Justin?”

Tup nodded. “Mhm.” He fidgeted until she was done.

“Alright, you can take a seat and walk back in a few minutes.” She directed with a smile. He smiled back.

Five minutes later, Tup got up, hoping he gave Justin enough buffer to not impose on a possible session he was having with someone else. The door was open when he stepped up to it.

Justin was sitting on one of the couches, taking a few more notes by the looks of it. A puzzle was spread out on the table that separated the two couches in the office that was half completed. The man looked up at him and smiled, pointing his head to the couch in front of him.

Tup took his seat, still staring at the puzzle, not sure why it was so confusing.

Justin noticed the look on the teenager's face and unclicked his pen. “One of my ADHD patients was having a hard time focusing today, and she asked to pull it out.” Tup nodded non committedly.

Justin’s head co*cked a bit at that reaction, finding Tup’s silence odd. “How are you doing, Tup?” Tup shrugged, never breaking eye contact with the table or the floor.

That sent Justin into confusion and into problem-solving mode. He’s fidgeting, no eye contact, not speaking; just like in the beginning.

“Tup, is something wrong?” He asked gently. No answer. He could physically see Tup doing mental acrobatics, and it was starting to concern him.

He thought back to their conversation two weeks ago when he last saw Tup. Nothing out of the ordinary had happened between the two, they just discussed Tup’s current issues and concerns about the possibility of him getting put back into the system.

“Is there something that I have said that has offended you in any way?” He was unsure of what it would be, but he figured he would clarify for both of their sakes.

Tup shook his head, eyes flicking upward for a moment.

Justin nodded understandingly. “Are you having a bad day? You seem to be taking a few steps back from how you were two weeks ago. Bad days are okay, but I just want to make sure you're okay. Or if something is going on with your brothers.” He knew Tup preferred to not be bombarded with why it’s important to talk to him so he refrained from doing so.

“Am I crazy for being here?” Tup asked quietly.

Oh, Tup, Justin thought to himself sadly, unable to think of anything else at the moment.

“So many other people have the same or similar problems as me, but they crack jokes about it. They’re able to move on from their sh*tty lives without a second thought but here I am, still in your office, freaking the f*ck out over things that happened years ago!” Tup yelled, the seams of his mind unable to hold back his words any longer.

Justin let him do so, knowing he needed to let it out.

Tup roughly snapped his bracelet against his wrist a few times, but it wasn’t working. “It’s so f*cking frustrating when sh*t goes wrong, and I’m always the one to freak out. No one else does! Why am I so different that I can’t function in society without taking drugs?! Everyone else can!” He went back to snapping the bracelet.

Justin took a second before standing up. He took a seat next to Tup, minding his personal space. “Where’s this coming from, kid? I haven’t heard anything like this from you since the first few sessions.”

Tup raked his fingers through his hair, wanting it out of his face. He didn’t speak.

Justin put a warm hand on his shoulder, turning Tup towards him. “Tup?”

Tup huffed and leaned back. “There was a couple in the hospital, and the woman said that only crazy people go to therapy. And she’s right. No one else I know goes to therapy even though they went through the same sh*t I did or worse.”

Bitch, Justin thought. This woman managed to nearly undo everything he has worked on with Tup in the span of a few seconds.

“Do you think therapy works?” Justin settled for.

Tup, not expecting that to come from Justin, dodged the question. “Why does it matter what I think-”

Justin gripped his shoulder again. “Because I don’t give a sh*t what other people think. I care what you think. Does therapy work for you?”

Tup side-eyed him but sighed. “...Yes? Most of the time?”

“That’s because therapy doesn’t work for everyone. Your friends may have tried therapy or medication and it just doesn’t work for them. Everyone has different personalities that fit different needs and treatments. Therapy is yours, Tup. Someday therapy might not work for you anymore, or you don’t want to be on medication anymore.”

Tup whined and dropped his head into his hands. “I’m sorry for yelling,” he whispered, feeling stupid for blowing up once again.

Justin shook his head. “Emotions run high sometimes. I'd rather you yell in here than find a different outlet at home that could be damaging.”

Tup took a few calming breaths and Justin figured he was relaxed enough for him to move away back to his original seat.

“Now that we have discussed that, is there anything else you want to talk about?” Justin asked.

Tup nodded. “My dad’s awake.”

Justin smiled brightly. “That’s great, Tup!”

Tup smiled as well, but it fell slightly. “I wasn’t allowed to see him. The doctors didn’t want too many people talking to him today.”

Justin bobbed his head, opening his notebook back up. “That’s understandable, your dad was in a coma for multiple weeks. I’m sure you’ll be able to see him soon.”

As Justin continued to talk with Tup, the teenager couldn’t help but be utterly grateful for the man.

Jango shifted in his bed, wincing when the movement pulled at his injuries. He looked up when the door opened, and Cody walked in. The man blinked at his son, not expecting him to still be there so late at night.

“Hey Codes,” he greeted.

Cody cracked a smile. “Hi, dad.” He sat down heavily, laying his head down on his father’s leg. Jango started to lift his right arm but pain shot through his arm from the gunshot. He gritted his teeth and used his left hand to stroke Cody’s curls.

“What’s wrong?” Jango asked in a delicate voice.

Cody sighed. “A lot of things. School is kicking my ass at the moment. Rex was worrying me for a while. Tup and Comet aren’t home still. Fives and Echo are with them.”

Jango frowned. “They’re still with Jaster and Nicky? Why are Echo and Fives with them?”

Cody froze, fear seeping into his eyes. He hadn’t meant to say that. “Not exactly…” he started but couldn't bring himself to finish.

“Cody,” Jango said, needing to understand what he was talking about.

Cody messed with his fingers, staring at the sheets. “Fives, Echo, Tup, and Comet aren’t with Jaster and Nicky. They’re back in the system technically.”

Jango immediately started panicking and was planning to wring someone’s neck for letting his children be back in that situation.

Cody bit his lip and grabbed his father’s hands in his own, eyes pleading. “Dad, please listen to me. I promise it’s not as bad as it sounds. They’re close by, and we didn’t have any other option. Aunt Arla wasn’t allowed to take them because of Zeke, Wooley, and Jake’s situation and Nicky and Jaster have previous domestic situations that disqualified him. The only option was Boba.”

Jango’s brain stopped in its tracks. That was not the person he was expecting to hear. “And Boba agreed?” he asked quietly.

Cody nodded, smiling at his father. “He did. I think it will be good for him to get to know them. I know things are rocky with you, but he loves us.”

Jango sighed, not really wanting to think about his complicated relationship with Boba. Cody laid his head gently on his dad’s shoulder. “You’ll find a way to fix it. You always do.”

Notes:

I hit a wall with this chapter, trying to find out how I want the next chapters to happen, and I eventually found what I wanted to do. After this story arc is done, I'll probably do a large time skip, a couple of months, and then we'll get into the next arc.

What did y'all think? 💙

Chapter 26: Chapter 26-Recovery

Summary:

Comet asks to stay home from school.

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

Comet was shaken awake by a firm hand on his shoulder. He blinked his eyes open and the first thought was why his father was standing over him but after the haziness left him, he realized it was just Boba.

“You should probably get up, kid,” Boba suggested to him, being more firm with him since it was a school day. Comet felt dread slam into his ribs with every beat of his heart.

Boba was about to walk out of the room but saw the expression on his face. He stayed in the doorway. “You okay?” he asked suspiciously.

Comet shook his head. Unlike Tup, he had the tendency to emotionally latch onto the closest adult that he was familiar with which made him more trusting of them and less weary than his brother. That was the only reason he was being honest with his uncle.

Boba’s eyes softened for just a moment to show his uncertainty with the situation before his figurative mask was back up, being stoic again. “What’s going on, kid?”

“Don’t want to go,” the teenager whispered.

Boba narrowed his eyes, analyzing the teenager laying in the bed. “Why do you look so pale? Are you sick?” He had only just noted the almost different skin tone and his tired eyes.

Comet shrugged. Boba placed a hand on his head and then bit his lip. “You don’t feel warm, Comet.”

The sixteen-year-old closed his eyes, resting his head against the pillow. “Please don’t make me go,” he pleaded.

The older man sighed, sitting on the edge of the bed. “Alright, alright. I’ll let you take today off. Do I need to call someone to let them know you won’t be there?”

Comet nodded, immediately relaxing. “Front office.”

Boba patted his shoulder and walked out of the room. He walked down the stairs and into the kitchen where the other boys were.

“You three better get going,” Boba said.

Fives leaned to the side to try and look behind him, nibbling on a piece of toast. “Comet’s not down yet.”

Boba’s golden brown eyes flicked to Tup’s before saying, “Com’s not going today. He needs a day off.”

Fives made a pouty face but nodded, grabbing the keys from the table, with his twin following him. Tup took a few seconds to follow, eyes darting to the stairs, and then Boba steered him to the door.

“I’ll keep an eye on him,” Boba promised.

Tup nodded. “Thank you.

A few hours later, Comet was working through his workload, thinking it would be a good time to take some of the stress of his assignments off. Just as he was finishing his math homework, the sound of knocking on the door startled him. His brothers weren’t meant to be home yet.

Boba stepped out of his office with a frown of confusion, staring suspiciously at Comet. “Friends of yours?”

Comet frowned in confusion, shaking his head. “Thought someone was here for you.”

Boba as well, trying to remember if he had forgotten someone was coming over. He walked to the front door and pulled it open. Comet peeked around the wall to see who it was.

An Asian woman with long dark hair made up into a braid, smirked at Boba, who sighed in exasperation.

“Nope, I’m off today. Go bug someone else,” Boba spoke but not unkindly which made Comet reel back in surprise.

The woman pouted. “Awww but Boba, I’m your favorite.”

The man snorted and looked past her. “Din’s my favorite now.”

The woman scoffed. “Rude. He also showed up on your doorstep unannounced.”

Boba stepped aside to let them in. “Only because I know you dragged him along with you.” The other man, Din, smirked in greeting, giving him a small nod.

The woman stepped further into the house, about to speak but then jerked to a stop when her eyes fell on Comet. The teenager gave a weak smile and a hesitant wave.

“Boba, you have a child in your household!” The woman yelled over her shoulder in warning, like Boba wasn’t aware of the fact.

Boba sighed as Din walked in as well. “Thank you for the heads up, Fennec.”

Din blinked at the teenager, his soft brown eyes searching over him in confusion. Comet ducked away from the attention.

“He’s my nephew,” Boba explained, standing close to Din.

Fennec blinked. “You never mentioned nephews. Only brothers and sisters.”

Boba shrugged. “I had two siblings and a couple of step siblings. They had kids when I was still young, and my brother raised me pretty much. I just don’t talk about them. Now, what do you two want on my day off?”

Fennec gave him a smirk. “We’re extending our lunch break to stop by. You get to suffer on your day off just like us.”

Boba rolled his eyes but sat down on the couch. “You going to be able to focus, kid? Or do you want us to leave?”

Comet had to shake his head to knock himself out of his stupor of seeing Boba interacting with normal people that seem to be his friends. It was weird to him. “Yeah, I’ll be fine.”

….

A couple of hours later the other teenagers came home to the sound of people talking.

Tup wrinkled his nose. That’s weird, Boba never has people over.

He walked into the living room to see Comet scrolling on his phone on the couch while Boba was with two other people at the dining room table. His jaw dropped.

They seemed to be in the middle of a serious discussion. He picked up a few words like “bond”, “plea deal”, and other law terms he had picked up. He sat next to Comet.

“Hey,” he greeted softly.

Comet gave him a smile, turning off his phone. “How are you?”

“I’m fine, I had a couple of free periods today.” He answered, setting his bag on the ground. “We’re going to see dad. Did you want to go?”

Comet nodded, standing up. When Boba, Din, And Fennec stopped speaking for a moment he butted. “Boba we’re going out.”

The man gave him a nod with the dry warning of, “don’t do anything stupid.”

Tup and Comet snorted to themselves at how much Boba reminded them of their father. They walked out of the house with the twins. Fives got into the driver's seat as Echo took shotgun.

Fives was silent as he drove, continuously looking through the rearview mirror at his younger brothers who were talking very animatedly. Echo shared the smile.

The familiar sight of the hospital appeared as the car rolled to a stop. The boys jumped out of the car and briskly walked inside the building.

They approached their father's room, and they stopped, none of them knowing if all of them should enter. Comet gave a shove to Tup’s back. The teenager looked at his brother in confusion.

“I think you should go in first, Tup,” Comet suggested softly. “You two need to talk.”

“You do as well.” he frowned.

Comet shook his head with a small smile. “I really don’t. You do.”

Tup swallowed and pushed open the door, shoving his hands in his pockets. The first thing he noticed was there were fewer machines around his father’s bed which Tup assumed was a good thing.

Jango was propped up in his bed, reading something which shocked Tup, because his father must be really bored to read anything that wasn’t related to work.

“Dad?” he hesitantly called.

His father’s head snapped up, his eyes falling on his youngest son. Tup took a small step forward, swallowing.

“Hey, Tup,” Jango greeted quietly, not making Tup be the one to start the conversation.

Tup stared at him, taking him all in. He couldn’t believe that his father was awake and talking to him. He had spent weeks thinking that his father was going to die, that one of the last things he said to him in person was that he wanted a different father.

He didn’t notice the tears until Jango’s voice called out, “Tup, are you okay?”

Tup laughed a bit hysterically. “Okay? Am I okay? No! You almost died, Dad! And I-”

Jango reached a hand out as far as he could. “Tup, don’t think like that.”

Tup wiped his eyes, and his father eased him closer with a grip on his forearm. Jango enveloped him in a hug, holding the back of his head. The teenager sat down on the bed, laying his head on his father’s shoulder.

Eventually, he shifted so he was laying next to Jango, eyes falling closed.

“I love you,” Tup whispered. He felt a pair of lips on his head and his father stroking his hair

“I love you too, Tup.”

Tup was about to let sleep take him over but he had remembered something that had been bothering him for a long time. He swallowed heavily and lifted his head a bit.

“Dad…Adrian’s back in Denver.”

Jango went deadly still, his hand stopping his ministrations to Tup’s hair. “What?”

Notes:

In case you couldn't tell, I gave up hard on this. I tried to wrap this story arc up with a nice bow and everything, but it's just not working. I am in desperate need of a few requests as I work into the next arc. So drop them in the comments if you have them. 💙

Chapter 27: Chapter 27-Speak of the Devil and He Shall Appear

Summary:

The Devil has come back up to Colorado.

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

Tup laid against Jango’s side, mindlessly looking at the screen in the living room. Jango was finally back home after three weeks of being kept (unnecessarily in Jango’s opinion) in the hospital.

Instead of things returning to normal like everyone had expected, Tup, Comet, Fives, and Echo were still staying with Boba. Jen had told them that until Jango was fully on the mend and back to work they had to stay with their not-uncle. The boys still went home when they could.

Tup couldn’t figure what Boba was to them. He was only a bit older than Ponds, and probably the same age as Stone, who was their oldest cousin. It was odd to him that his uncle could be his brother.

“Sweetheart, are you okay?” a feminine voice asked him.

He looked to his aunt. She was sitting not too far away with Jake near her, resting against her shoulder as he scrolled on his phone.

Tup nodded. “Fine. Why?”

Arla just smiled. “You looked a little lost for a moment.”

Jango looked down at his son, seeing for himself. Tup just leaned into him, trying to get his father’s attention away from him. Jango let it go, not pressing the matter.

A knock at the door disturbed them. Jake’s eyes shot up to the door, and Arla ruffled his hair gently. She got her son to take his own weight and started to the door. She turned the knob and was met with a face she hadn’t seen in a long time.

Boba looked like a deer in headlights as he stood on the other side of the door. He stepped back as far as he could.

Arla looked at her brother. He was such a spitting image of Jango. She gave him a sad smile. “Hey, Boba.”

The man broke eye contact, crossing his arms. “I have to pick the kids up. There’s a social worker coming to check on them in an hour so…”

Arla hated that her brother was trying to avoid her. But they were both adults, and if he didn’t want to talk then he wouldn’t.

“Do you want me to get them for you?” she asked. She got a nod.

However, before she left, she gave Boba the quickest hug ever before he could push her away and walked back in the house.

She schooled her features as she addressed Tup. “Hey kiddo, Boba’s here.”

Tup closed his eyes. He didn’t want to leave. He wanted to be with his dad. Adrian was somewhere near, and he didn’t even want to leave the house anymore.

“Jake, can you get the others please?” Arla asked.

The blue-eyed boy nodded, getting up from his seat. He walked upstairs.

Arla waited until Jango pushed Tup up gently before taking his hand. She squeezed it comfortingly, leading him to the door. Jango slowly got up, wincing in pain and crossed to the large window. Boba was still waiting outside.

Tup’s eyes roamed his surroundings, on edge now that he was in an open, vulnerable area.

Boba caught this, eyes narrowing and tucked the teenager close to him. “We’ve got you kid. Nothing bad is going to happen to you.” Tup leaned his head on Boba’s shoulder.

Jango was watching from the window, eyes soft as he saw his little brother and his youngest son interacting.

Boba suddenly looked to the window, and their eyes locked. Jango wasn’t going to be the one to look away. Boba did it first and Jango saw him swallow hard, holding Tup just a bit tighter. Arla reappeared at his side, watching the kids pile into the car. She just hugged him gently to not aggravate his injuries.

“They’ll be okay, J.”

“If he comes near them, I’m shooting him,” Jango muttered darkly.

Arla reeled back. “Jango, don’t you dare. You’ll go to jail. There’s other ways to make Adrian lay off without shooting him. And you don’t know that he’ll come around.”

Jango shook his head. “Tup told me how angry he was when Jen found them in Brooklyn. I would not bet on his urge to find the boys.”

Back at Boba’s house, Fennec and Din were once again crashing at the house. Boba didn’t tell the boys this, but they were there to help with the social worker. He had learned through his own time as a lawyer that social workers are sneaky when they want to be. Din and Fennec could keep an eye on him as well, seeing as they were lawyers as well and knew what to look out for.

Tup fidgeted as they waited around for the person from the state to arrive. He liked Boba’s friends. They were nice to be around, witty, which Tup found amusing for some reason. Din was more reserved while Fennec was outspoken, so that’s why he picked the man to help him with his issue.

“Din,” he said quietly to the man, sitting down next to him, “can I ask you something that might sound…weird?”

Din looked startled at being addressed by the boy but nodded, looking around for a moment. “Yeah, sure, kid. You want to go somewhere else?”

Tup shook his head. “No, it’s fine here. But I was wondering…what is the process for getting a restraining order?”

Din’s deep brown eyes narrowed in concern. He put a hand on Tup’s shoulder, forcing eye contact. “Tup, is someone harassing you or stalking you?”

Tup shook his head. “No no no, just for possible future use.” He hoped Din bought the poor attempt of a lie.

Din was obviously not convinced, but he let the teenager off easy. “Well, first you would probably want to contact a lawyer and discuss the process. You typically get a temporary restraining order from the court date before you go back to court to get a permanent restraining order. It’s a lot of paperwork, so the lawyer would be beneficial with that.”

Tup stared into space as he took in the information. Calling a lawyer and going to court meant his father would have to be in the loop. Even if Tup knew that from the beginning, he had naively hoped Jango would’ve been in the dark.

“And proof would also need to be provided to have a solid case.”

And that’s when Tup deflated. He had no physical proof to show to the court, and he wasn’t sure Justin could testify in favor of him. He was screwed until Adrian came after him and Comet. He would eventually. After years of being with the man, Tup knew one thing; Adrian Bates was not a person to roll over and not get revenge for something. The hand on his shoulder moved to his back.

“Tup, are you in some kind of danger? Is someone making you feel unsafe?” Din asked again. “I know you said you weren’t, but you have people here that want to keep you safe.”

Tup eyes flicked from side to side. “I’m not in danger.”

The older man let it go for now. “Alright. If that changes, you can tell anyone here.”

Tup nodded and walked away, needing to clear his head. As the teen stepped out of the room, Boba took his place. The older man put an arm on the back of the couch, fingers barely brushing Din’s shoulders.

“What was that about?”

Din bit at his inner lip. He could tell or keep quiet. He went with the latter. “Just him asking about lawyer stuff. Probably deciding what he wants to do in college.”

Boba shrugged and nodded. “He will be applying to college next year. Makes sense.”

Din chuckled at him, eyes sparking.

Tup opened the door of Boba’s car. Normally he would’ve gone to school with the twins and Comet, but earlier that morning he had to go back to the orthopedist one final time to make sure his hand was healing correctly after his surgery.

Boba grabbed his hand before he exited. “You okay?”

Tup nodded. “Yeah I’m fine. Thanks for driving me.”

The older man hesitated but let him go. “Alright, see you later.”

Tup walked in silence to the front office to sign into the school. One of the ladies helped him with getting him a pass and signing in with only a few words passing between them. As he entered his class, taking his seat after handing the note off, he turned his brain off.

The period ended and Tup walked through the hallways. He past the terror twins, Waxer and Boil, who gave him a quick hug, the jekel and hide twins, Echo and Fives.

Before he entered his class, a boy of a larger frame than him came up to him. In a panic Tup nearly drove his elbow into the person. A hand grabbed his elbow.

Tup looked up and met the green eyes of Axel. The teasing look they normally held was gone and replaced with downright concern.

“Dude, what the hell? Did you just try to swing at me?” Axel asked. Tup expected anger but didn’t hear anything of the sorts.

"I'm sorry. I'm on edge," Tup apologized.

"No sh*t," Axel deadpanned. "What's going on?"

"Nothing." Tup deflected. "Nothing at all."

He took his seat in class next to his friend. He ignored the worried looks coming from him. He was lost in his classwork until the phone rang. The teacher sighed and picked it up, saying a few words. Then she suddenly turned to Tup's part of the room.

“Tup, you have an early dismissal,” the teacher told him.

Tup paused. He turned his head to the side. “Are you sure it was me? I already came in late today, and no one said they were picking me up early.”

She frowned, also finding that suspicious. “Just go down to see if it was a mistake.”

Tup left his backpack, knowing this was a mistake. His father or brothers always texted him before if he was getting picked up. Nothing ever changed that. He walked to the front office, his heart pounding in his chest.

He walked through the door, eyes looking for someone that he would recognize. He looked to the same lady that checked him in this morning in question.

She pointed to the man that was standing closest to the main door in the group of a few other parents. “Someone is here to pick you up. Since it’s a family emergency you will not be marked as absent. Have a good day.”

Tup was thoroughly confused. He started walking forward to find his father. However, it wasn't his father that he found.

Adrian’s eyes landed on him, and Tup nearly collapsed into a heap of sobs. All the pain came flashing back. He shakily backed away and went back to the desk. Adrian followed him. Tup felt tears coming to his eyes when the man grabbed his forearm. It was a way to tell Tup that no matter what happened, Adrian was going to take him. And Adrian was in control.

“Is there anything else I need to do to sign him out?” the man asked.

The woman started to shake her head, but then she caught eyes with the teenager. Tup was screaming at her in his head to help him. She read his expression and looked back to Adrian.

“Actually, I do need you to sign your signature on the clipboard over there.” She pointed to another desk with a man behind the computer. “My colleague can help you with that.”

Adrian didn’t look happy about that but knew it would be suspicious if he didn’t. He stepped away. Tup gripped the table in front of him.

“That’s not your dad, is it?” she asked him in a hushed voice.

He shook his head desperately. “No, he’s not. Please, don’t let him take me.”

She nodded. “Go find Officer Anderson, he’s in his room right now. Tell him what is going on.”

Tup needed nothing else before running out of the office, dashing to his resource officer’s room in the building. He reached the room in record time and knocked on the door. His hand jittered back and forth as he waited impatiently for Officer Anderson to open the door. He did and Tup was met with the sight of Anderson.

“Can I help you with something?” he asked.

Tup shook. “I was told to find you because there’s someone in the front office saying he’s my father and trying to take me home, but he’s not my dad.” He rushed out in one breath.

Anderson held a hand out. “Okay, take a breath for me. Come with me, and let's go back to the front office.”

Tup backed away. “He might try to do something.”

Anderson sighed. “He won’t be within ten feet of you. Do you know who he is?”

The long haired boy nodded, wiping at his eyes. “Yes. He was my foster father.”

The officer waved him to follow. “Okay, let’s go see what’s going on.”

Tup hid behind him the entire time they walked, answering the few questions the officer had for him. Anderson came into view from the glass door, and Tup saw Adrian’s hackles raise. Adrian ducked out of the building in the blink of an eye.

"Sir, please stay here." the front desk lady tried in vain. She sighed as the resource officer came up to her. Anderson ushered Tup in as well.

"Was that the man that said he was his father?" he asked.

"He never specifically said he was his father, just his guardian. He showed an ID, and it looked real. Had the name Jango Fett which matched in the files as his father and the signature."

Tup shook his head. "That was not my father."

"I'll check the cameras to see if we got a ping on him." The officer turned to the boy. "I know you said he was your foster father, but there has to be proof of that. I believe you, but a court of law will most likely not."

Tup sniffed quietly, feeling that he was going to burst into tears. "Can I go home? I want to go home."

The woman looked at him with a sad smile. "I can't stop you from calling your dad or someone else if you want them to pick you up."

He nodded shakily and pulled out his phone, walking into a private corner of the room. He did his best to ignore the other parents shooting worried looks at him and the officer that just ducked into the principal's office. Tup dialed his fathers phone number, praying he would pick up quickly. He built back a sob when he did.

"Tup, why are you calling me during school?" His fathers nervous voice came through.

"Adrian just tried to take me," Tup blurted out to get it over with.

His father launched into a string of curses that made him jump, and he heard his Aunt's voice jump in as well. He let out an involuntary but very quiet whine that shut his father up completely.

"I want to go home," Tup pleaded with him.

"Baby, you know I can't drive right now. Call Boba to get him to pick you up since he has temporary guardianship over you. He's off today. Tell him to bring the form that Jen gave him to prove his guardianship. Do not leave the building without him, do you understand me?"

"Y-Yes."

"Bring Comet home as well. And tell the twins what's going on with you when you get the chance."

Tup called his uncle after hanging up, explaining the situation the best he could through the oncoming tears. Boba promised to be there within fifteen minutes. As promised, the man stepped through the door thirteen minutes later. Tup hugged him tightly, feeling safe as Boba wrapped his arms around his shoulders and back.

"I'm here, kid. He won't touch you," Boba murmured to him.

"Comet," Tup whispered.

"Hold on kiddo, I have to prove I can take you." Boba said as he saw an armed police officer come over to him.

"I'm assuming the way he hugged you that you know each other?"

Boba nodded.

"Are you his father?"

"No, he's my nephew that I have temporary guardianship of while his dad is recovering from being shot. I have proof if you want to see it."

Anderson smiled. "That would be greatly appreciated."

Boba handed the paper over to him and resumed hugging the boy close to him. "I'd also like to take my other nephew home as well, Comet Fett. He's also in my care."

Anderson looked the paper over and nodded to himself. “Do you have an ID on you?”

Boba had to let go of Tup for one second to reach his wallet. Tup didn’t like that idea because he clutched tighter onto him. Boba shushed him quietly, feeling awkward as other parents stared at him, like they were wondering if he would screw something up. The officer handed the card back quickly.

“I can call Comet down for you. And you can go get your stuff,” the woman said to Tup.

Tup held Boba’s hand and tugged on him. Boba looked confused at the gesture.

"I don't want to go alone," Tup whispered.

Boba's eyes held sympathy as he agreed to walk with Tup. The teenager led him through the empty halls of his school until they reached a closed door. Tup slowly opened it and peeked his head in. Boba waited outside of the classroom as Tup said a few words and entered the room.

Tup came back with his bag, nearly in tears as he tried to hide them. Boba knew he would feel weak if he cried inside of the building, so he tucked him under his arm and said, "Keep it together. Comet's going to be worried about you even more if you start crying." Tup exhaled deeply, nodding.

Boba and Tup approached the front doors again and Comet tackled him into a hug. He pulled his little brother away, cupping his neck.

"Are you okay? Did he hurt you? He fired off quickly, ignoring the officer talking to their uncle.

"No to both of those," Tup said. Comet just hugged him close again.

The boys were silent as they were led outside to the car by Boba and the resource officer whose eyes were searching the perimeter of the building.

Boba pushed the boys to the car and took off as fast as he could in a school zone. His heart broke at the sound of the boys beginning to cry softly, Tup more than Comet. He blocked it out, only focusing on the road.

The drive went by fast and he pulled up to the boys home. Their real home. Comet and Tup removed themselves from the car, eyes darting around, looking petrified. Tup latched onto Boba's arm, his eyes only peeking out from where he laid his head on his shoulder.

They stepped through the door and the boys were immediately engulfed into fearsome hugs by their father and aunt. Tup refused to let go of Comet nor Boba so the hug was a mash of three people covering two teenagers in the middle. Boba felt heat rise in his neck at the periodic stares from his siblings.

Tup clutched into his father with one hand, sobbing into his chest.

"Why, why?" he kept asking desperately.

Jango rocked him back and forth with fire in his eyes. Boba had seen that look before and it scared him. Boba was never scared much anymore.

"That son of the bitch has the nerve to-" Jango started but was stopped by Arla's well put glare.

"Don't," she said. She brushed her hand through Comet's hair.

Tup stared at the back wall over his father's shoulder. His brain was numb. His fingers were tingling. He felt empty with fear.

Jango frowned as he felt Tup slump into him. He bent his knees a bit to help him get leverage to steady Tup. He shook him a bit.

"Tup?"

No response.

Jango shoved him harder. "Come on, Tup. I need you to answer me."

"I hate him so much," he said but he didn't seem all there. His voice seemed far away and Jango knew that was a bad sign. He had seen this behavior from his son only once before, after Diana died.

"Tup, keep talking to me please." Jango needed to distract his boy somehow, but he also had to worry about Comet who Arla was possessively hugging and cooing to. He focused his attention on his wayward brother.

"Text Fives and Echo. Tell them what's happening."

Boba startled but moved to retrieve his phone from his pocket, but Tup panicked and whined. Boba felt his heart break.

"It's okay, kid. I'll still be in the room. Promise." Boba hated how domestic he sounded, but it made his nephew relax so he would do it again if necessary damn it. Ignoring Jango's shocked expression from the exchange between him and Tup, he sent a quick message to the twins in his care a summary of what the hell had transpired. They went back and forth before Boba looked back up.

“They’re headed here now.”

Five minutes later the twins came storming in.

"I swear I'll kill him," Fives promised, filled with venom.

Tup whimpered at the reminder.

“I know, baby. I’m so sorry.” Jango rocked him as well as he could. “Do you two want to go up to your room?”

Comet sniffed and pulled away from his aunt. He just wanted to curl into a ball somewhere with Tup and never leave. He tugged on his brother. The twins took their baby brothers upstairs to their room.

Fives held Tup underneath his chin as he held him in Tup's bed. Comet was lying with his head pillowed on Echo's lap, eyes tightly shut. Fives stroked large circles on his brother's back, feeling his ribs shutter with every breath.

"Take a breath for me," he cooed.

Tup sucked in a breath and held it for a dramatic period of time to get his breathing regulated. His eyes were filled with tears as he looked at his older brother. Fives pressed a firm kiss to his head.

"There you go. You're okay."

The twins tried their best to distract their brothers. Echo eventually started reading a book out loud to get the results they needed. Both boys would shoot each other looks and spare glances every once and awhile. Almost like twin telepathy. And they were telling each other Adrian wasn't going to stop.

Notes:

I just decided to get this story arc rolling. From this point on there’s going to be a lot of law talk and a court case that is most likely not factual so go easy on me 😂

Chapter 28: Chapter 28-Visitors

Summary:

A few more visitors come into town.

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

Tup hadn’t moved in a while. Not an inch. It had been days since Adrian had shown up at his school trying to take him. He had been bouncing from his own house and Boba’s, not wanting to be away from his dad but Boba had a responsibility to complete. Tup had been at his house for at least a few hours every two days or something like that, he had ignored Jen when she had told Boba about it.

“You alright, baby?” Jango suddenly asked him. Tup straightened up a bit when he remembered he was currently attached to his dad like a koala.

Jango felt him move, and thinking he was about to bolt, he held Tup tighter to him, even if it caused a dull pain to shoot through him. He waited patiently for his son to respond.

“No,” Tup whispered. "I don't want to go to school."

Jango sighed. Of course, Adrian would take away Tup's love for learning. "Baby-"

Tup tightened his grip. "Please don't make me go."

The older man sighed. “Alright, alright. If you’re sure.” Tup went back to his placid stage, honey eyes staring at the wall blankly. Jango brushed his fingers threw Tup’s long hair, detangling it the best he could.

The oldest Fett looked around. He needed to check on his other son in his room but he didn’t want to leave Tup alone with his own head.

“Codes,” he called softly into the other room. The sound of footsteps sounded and Cody appeared in front of Jango. The older Fett wordlessly started to lift Tup off of him and into his brother’s arms. Cody gladly took his brother.

Jango jogged upstairs the best he could and approached Comet and Tup’s room, and the door was closed. That always made Jango anxious.

He knocked a few times before opening the door. “Com’?”

Comet was laying on his bed, silently crying. As soon as he heard the door opening he tried to brush them off his face but it was too late.

Jango sat next to him. “Do you want to talk?”

Comet shook his head and pressed his head into his father’s shoulder.

“You should eat something, kid,” Jango suggested, hoping that his son wouldn’t explode at him.

“I’ll throw up,” Comet whined.

Jango pulled him off the bed, huffing. “You won’t. At least drink some water. And I’m sure you want to be with Tup.”

Comet shook his head, stopping in his tracks.

Jango softened his expression. “Why not?” he whispered.

Comet sniffed. “I don’t want him to see me cry. Cause then he’ll get upset.”

His father raised an eyebrow. “Well, right now I’d rather him be crying than feeling numb. Come on.” He brought Comet down and into the kitchen, pressing a glass of water into his hands. He watched as Comet took slow sips. His phone buzzed in his pocket. He pulled his eyes away to look at the screen. Someone was calling him. He answered.

“Since when in the hell do you call me, Kal? Usually, you just show up unannounced.”

The man on the other line gave a sarcastic laugh. “Funny, J. But I figured it wasn’t a good idea to ‘show up unannounced’ as you put it because you got shot and didn’t tell me.”

Jango dropped his head in his free hand. “Who snitched?”

“Guess.”

Jango sighed. “It’s gotta be Arla or my dad.”

“It was your dear old dad.”

“He can’t keep his damn mouth shut.”

“Oh, so you weren’t even going to tell me?” Kal quipped back quickly.

Jango started walking to the cabinet to find something for Comet. As he shuffled through he responded, “Of course, I wasn’t. At least not for a while. You would’ve done your mother hen thing.”

“Rude. I don’t mother hen people.”

Jango raised an eyebrow. “Tell that to your six kids. I’m sure my godsons would agree with me.”

“If you use my children against me, I’ll do the exact same thing.”

Jango rolled his eyes with a small grin. He put a few crackers in Comet’s hands and led him back to the living room. Cody patted the space next to him, still holding the other teenager against him.

“Is there a reason you called, Kal? Or was it just to heckle me?”

“The boys were talking about coming up. It’s been a while since we’ve seen anybody. And I heard Arla moved closer to your area recently.”

Jango bit his lip. “Yeah, now isn’t the best time.” He screwed his face up in anticipation, hoping his friend wouldn’t push the subject.

Kal hesitated. “What happened?”

Jango walked out of the room, not wanting the boys to overhear. “Are you going to freak out?”

“Depends on what it is. You know I have my favorites.” Kal tried to joke but Jango could tell it was forced.

“Remember how I went back to the Marines because of Diana?”

“Of course I do.”

“The boys went into foster care. Tup and Comet got landed with a terrible person, and he tried to take Tup out of school a few days ago.”

“…Define terrible.”

Jango peeked back at his sons. “He abused them mentally and emotionally. But I don’t even know if that’s all he did.”

“Do you happen to know where he is?”

“Even if I did I wouldn’t tell you.” Jango still smiled darkly.

“I’m sure I could pull a few strings to land his ass in jail.”

Jango sighed. He didn’t respond.

“f*ck it, we’re headed over,” Kal spontaneously said.

Jango straightened up. “Kal-“

“Nope. We’ll crash somewhere.”

“Don’t you think you’re being dramatic?”

“Nope. See you soon.” Kal ended the call.

Jango defeatedly went back into the living room. He collapsed on the couch and Tup immediately latched back onto him.

“Hey love,” he greeted quietly. He looked to his second youngest son. “Comet, did you eat?”

Comet nodded against Cody.

Cody nudged Jango. “Was that Kal on the phone?”

Jango sighed, leaning his head against Tup’s. “Yep. He’s adamant about seeing the boys.”

Cody looked down at the teen in his arms. “Is that a good idea?”

Jango rubbed his eyes. “Probably not but worse comes to worst the boys can go with Boba. You know Kal can be intense sometimes."

The younger man sighed heavily. "More like a drama queen. Maybe that's where Wolffe gets it from. He was around a lot more when we were younger."

Jango playfully smacked him on the head.

Tup sat with a book in his lap on the couch, shoved in the corner of it to make himself as small as possible. He hoped the ink on the pages would serve as a distraction from the thought of Kal and his adoptive sons paying a visit to them.

It wasn’t that Tup didn’t like them. Kal was an honorary uncle and his sons were his cousins in that same regard. He just didn’t want to socialize with anyone.

Ponds walked past the room, just peeking in a bit. He stopped when he saw Tup start to cry again. Tup wiped them away with the sleeves of his hoodie.

Ponds knocked on the wood of his door. “Everything okay?” He walked further into the room.

Tup shrugged and rubbed his nose. “Dunno.”

His older brother leaned on the door. “Do you want to talk about it?”

Tup shook his head. “No, not really.”

The older boy didn’t look totally satisfied with that but nodded. “Okay. Boba is picking you up around six so you have a few hours before you, Com’, and the twins leave.” He left him alone after that. “And Dad’s out for a few hours.”

Tup waited for Comet to re-enter their room before climbing into bed with him. Comet didn’t complain and hugged his brother tightly. He tucked Tup’s head underneath his chin, rocking him lightly.

“I won’t let him take you,” he vowed to his little brother.

“You can’t promise that,” Tup duly said.

Comet pressed a kiss to his head. He didn’t say anything. Tup unlocked his phone and set an alarm. He quickly fell asleep after Comet’s heartbeat lulled him to sleep.

Tup’s alarm blared inside his eardrum, making him jump. Comet jerked as well, holding Tup tighter in instinct. He let him go when the alarm stopped. Tup laid there for another minute or two before pushing himself off of his warm sibling. He wordlessly grabbed a few things from his room and started walking downstairs.

He snatched his backpack from the hallway and gently put his things in there. He stuck his head into the living room to say goodbye, but no one was in his line of sight. “Bye,” he called through the house instead.

Rex jogged from the dining room to look at his brother. “Tup, I think you should take your meds with you.”

Tup bit his lip while he thought about it. He didn’t want to necessarily take them but he knew Justin would want him to since he was struggling. So he walked through the living room and went through the further back entrance of the kitchen. He reached the cabinet and stretched on his toes to grab the bottle of said medication.

He turned and instead of seeing only his brothers gathered at the dining room table, they were joined by a few more faces that Tup knew.

“Hey, Tup’ika,” one of them greeted with a gentle smile, using Tup’s nickname.

“Hi, Ordo,” he said quietly. He accepted a hug from his cousin and the other five when they stood up. He slipped the bottle into his pocket, not wanting to explain his anxiety and depression to his not-cousins.

“How you feeling, kiddo?” Prudii asked, sympathy seeping into his tone.

Tup shrugged and looked to the ground. “Fine.” He made polite small talk with them with Comet for a few minutes.

Rex came back in after five minutes. “Bobas at the door. You two should get going. Fives and Echo are in the car.”

A’den raised an eyebrow. “Boba?”

Mereel straightened up. “You’re joking.”

Rex shook his head, still looking at Tup. “Tup, Comet, let’s go.”

Tup gave his cousins one more hug each, not feeling guilty for being indulgent. Ordo gave him an extra squeeze, always being the most tactile out of his brothers.

Tup and Comet made their way to the door, seeing their uncle in the threshold. Boba smiled gently at them.

“Ready to go?” he asked but not before he saw a few others peeking out from the living room. He caught sight of the six newcomers in the household and quickly tore his eyes to his charges. Tup ducked under his arm, hiding his eyes from view. Boba hesitated but put a hand on his shoulder, letting Comet get close as well. He led them out.

Kal’s sons watched, completely shocked at the sight that they saw before them. Jaing and Kom’rk physically got up out of their seats and walked to the window to discreetly watch as Tup, Comet, and Boba drove off.

“What in the actual hell?” Kom’rk said dramatically. The Fetts chuckled.

Jaing had an exasperated expression. “That’s our Boba? Really?”

Ponds shrugged. “We were shocked too.”

“Again. What the hell?” Kom’rk repeated.

“Boba is technically their legal guardian now. Until Dad is back on his feet.”

The Skiratas’ eyes widened.

“Damn. And he agreed to do it?” Prudii asked.

Rex hummed. “Mhm. We were just as shocked as you are.”

“Are he and Jango talking yet?”

Cody sighed and stared at the ceiling. “Nope. It’s been awkward anytime he’s been around Dad. We’re hoping the kids would get him around more and they seem to be making progress but Boba looks terrified every time he sees him. Or mad.”

Mereel pouted slightly. “Damn.”

Tup settled on the couch at Boba’s house, curled up on his side. Din and Boba were talking in hushed tones to each other. Tup was confused as to why Din hadn’t gone home yet, but it wasn’t his business to ask.

“Boba?” he started softly.

Boba looked up, brow furrowed in concern already. “What’s up, kiddo?”

“Why were you never around until now?”

Boba nearly choked on air for a moment. He knew he said that he would explain to Tup why but he had to admit that the teen had horrible timing.

He sighed, and he met eyes with Din. Done soft brown eyes darted from him to Tup’s form, telling him to go over there. Boba didn’t move. Din took both his hands and squeezed.

Go. I’ll go check on Comet,” he whispered to him, pushing Boba in Tup’s direction.

Tup stayed in his position as Boba sat in front of him.

Boba co*cked his head to the side. “Jaster and Maria had me much later than my siblings and step-siblings. I was born when Jango was seventeen. Jango always told me they had me to try and fix their marriage even if they denied that was the reason.”

Tup scooted closer wordlessly.

Boba smiled at him. “My parents started fighting when I was a year old. It wasn’t pretty. Jango convinced them to let him have guardianship of me. I don’t know how he managed to take care of me while finishing school and going to college but he made it work.” His smile fell.

Tup nudged him, wanting him to continue.

Boba leaned his head on the armrest of the couch. “For years he was my dad, not Jaster. Then he met Diana and her three kids. I loved them immediately and they did as well. And we were fine. Until he went back for deployment.” Boba fidgeted. ”Rex was about three or four at the time and Jango had been deployed twice since he had been born and was supposed to be done. But he couldn’t stay away.”

Boba didn’t know if he wanted to continue but he knew the stubborn kid wouldn’t let him stop. “He was different when he came back. The trauma of what he saw finally caught up with him.”

“What happened?” Tup asked softly.

Boba looked away for a few seconds, gathering his words. “He was closed off. Angry almost. Not at us but the world. At what he saw. The military isn’t pretty. And I’m not going to go into what your father went through and how he handled it.” Boba continued. “He saw a shrink and got medicated which didn’t help at all. I think it made it worse. He eventually got better and mostly back to normal but we could all see he wasn’t exactly the same and I don’t blame him for that.”

“Why’d you stop coming around?” Tup repeated his question in a different way.

Boba sighed, still having a sad smile. “Diana and Jango got married. And Jango sent me back to our dad.”

Tup blinked at him. “What?”

“Jango thought it would be best if I went to live with dad again. And him being my guardian I had to since I was still a kid. So I went back but to me it still felt like he was my father because I didn’t know anything else. It wasn’t a terrible arrangement, and I still saw him a lot, but I still felt like it was my fault for him sending me back.” Tup grabbed his hand slowly. “Jaster started seeing Nicky and a few years later they got married.”

“That doesn’t answer my question though,” Tup interrupted.

“I enlisted in the Marines when I was eighteen years old. Jango found out real quick.”

Tup paused. He hadn’t known he was in the military. “Oh,” he gasped softly.

Boba chuckled. “Yeah ‘oh’. Da…Jango wasn’t happy. He exploded at me and I exploded at him. He said I would die out there and I told him I wasn’t stupid enough to do that. Typical teenager things. That…was the wrong thing to say because that was the only time I have ever been afraid of him. So I left and never looked back. He never contacted me, and I never contacted him.”

“Is he still your guardian?” Tup asked.

Boba started to shake his head then he stopped. He didn’t know. He was notified by the hospital when Jango had been shot but Boba didn’t know how they knew how to contact him. He would’ve guessed after he went against Jango’s wishes he would’ve redacted the guardian claim on him.

“I don’t know. Maybe.” Boba shrugged.

Tup suddenly sat up and wrapped his arms around Boba‘s large frame. He placed his head on his shoulder, letting Boba’s warmth surround him.

“If you’re technically my brother, I’m glad,” Tup whispered to him.

Boba had to blink a few times to clear his tears. “Damn you kids for making me soft,” he grumbled, holding the back of Tup’s head. Tup chuckled into him, not letting go.

Boba easily lifted his…he didn’t know if Tup was his nephew or brother anymore. He carried him upstairs and into Tup and Comet’s room. He tossed him onto the bed with a playful smile.

Din was slowly stroking Comet’s hair back. The teenager was peacefully spelling, unknowing to the older man sitting diligently at his bedside. Tup watched wearily from his bed but didn’t move. Din left with Boba after saying a quiet goodnight to the other boy.

Boba wordlessly checked in the twins, cracking open the door. The two older jus were curled on the same bed together with Echo laying nearly on top of his twin. Din looked over his friend's shoulder and made a small noise in the back of his throat. Boba smirked, knowing Din found them cute. He closed the door

“You’ve gone soft, Djarin,” Boba teased as they reached downstairs once again.

“You know I like kids.” The man pouted.

Boba laughed and pushed a curl of dark hair out of his eyes to see Din more clearly. Din and Boba looked at one another for a long while. Boba observed Din’s eyes, trying to see all the flecks of color in his irises. Soon he was close enough that he could grab the man’s hand if he wanted.

“I better get going,” Din whispered but didn’t move.

“See you tomorrow?”

Din's lips raised into a blinding smile. “See you tomorrow.”

Rex felt like he couldn’t breathe. His chest was too tight, his breathing was too fast, everything was just wrong. He kept himself quiet as his brothers slept in their room.

Wanting to keep it like that, he stood up on shaky knees and grasped for the door. He ripped it open and went down the steps. He walked around the main level of the house.

“Rex?” A voice called out.

“I’m fine,” he snapped, not caring who it was. He was too busy hyperventilating.

“Rex, Rex, calm down. Calm down.” Strong arms wrapped around him. Rex fought the person holding him. “Dude, you’re having a panic attack. Calm down.”

Rex felt the person’s chest rising and falling from behind his back. He tried to match, death gripping the arms holding him.

“There you go. You freaked me out when you came down.”

Rex was turned around and was faced with one of his cousins. It was Ordo.

“What are you doing up?” Rex knew they were crashing in the large living room while Kal was with Jaster and Nicky.

The older man raised an eyebrow. “You weren’t exactly quiet when you came down the stairs.”

Rex swallowed, feeling embarrassed. “And the others?”

“I told them to stay in the other room. You want to tell me anything?” Ordo asked kindly.

Rex shook his head. “No.”

His cousin held his hand. “And you don’t want to tell me where you went this morning for hours and why you came back crying?”

Rex’s eyes widened. “Y-You saw that?”

Ordo sighed. “Yes.”

Rex put his gaze to the ground. He couldn’t bring himself to say anything.

Notes:

Did I add the Nulls on a whim? Yes, yes I did. They really came out of nowhere, but I went with it. I feel like I've been ignoring Justin just a bit. Do y'all want to see more of him?

Chapter 29: Chapter 29-Hellish Reveals

Summary:

Things escalate

Warnings: mentioned self-harm.

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

Comet waited outside of the school building for his brothers. He was never early to be outside so it was new for him. He got bored and went on his phone. He sensed someone else lean up against the brick wall a few feet down. He thought nothing of it. Until the person started to inch toward him after a few minutes.

Comet still continued to look at his phone but was focusing on his peripheral. He turned and jumped away. Adrian was casually leaning against the wall like he owned the damn building. Comet just stared at him.

“Hi Com’,” he greeted with a sinister smile.

“Don’t call me that,” Comet snapped.

Adrian raised an eyebrow. “Don’t talk to me like that.”

Comet stepped back. “You’re not my dad.” He couldn’t believe this was happening. It had to be some sort of sick dream.

Adrian’s face screwed up into one of fury. “Yes, I am! You ungrateful brat!”

He shook his head. “You’re a goddamn psycho!”

Adrian suddenly got into his personal space and shoved him against the wall. Comet’s brain struggled to catch up. Adrian had never manhandled him before. “You’re mine, Comet. You and Tup. You won’t leave me again. You screw-ups can’t live on your own without discipline so that’s my job.”

Comet felt the tears coming to his eyes but he hid them. “What? Gonna lock us up every time we piss you off?”

The man grinned at him. “Yes, that is exactly what I’m going to do. The basem*nt is looking quite homey I would say. I will chain you two to a damn pole if that’s what it takes to keep you two in line.”

Comet felt ice spreading from his throat to his heart. It was at that moment that he realized Adrian was a sociopath and truly needed help. Or a jail cell.

“If you kidnap me, it won’t be long before they find me.”

Adrian pushed him again. Comet’s head cracked against the wall. His hand ghosted up to head, but Adrian grasped it painfully.

“No one would come for you, Comet. You’re a f*ck up and you know it. You can barely concentrate in life how to f*ck do you think you can live on your own.”

Comet wasn’t going to lie, that stung quite a lot. His ADHD was something he was always never wholly comfortable with and Adrian always exploited that since he was nine years old.

“And of course, I can’t take you. At least not now. But I will.”

Comet’s head hit the wall again, and he crumbled. He put his arms over his head to protect himself as his shoulder shook with suppressed sobs. Adrian stalked away and Comet stayed there. He didn’t move.

“Comet?” Someone called a few minutes later. He lifted his head and his twin brothers were staring at him with concern.

“Bud, what’s wrong? Why are you on the ground?” Echo asked as he pulled Comet gently to his chest.

Comet sniffed and came up with a lie. “Got overstimulated. I’m fine.”

Fives clicked his tongue. “Alright. Do you want to go to the car? Tup’s going to be a few more minutes.” Comet hated to lie to them because they were so caring but he couldn’t stop now. Comet nodded and was pulled off the ground by gentle hands. The twins hugged him from either side and sat him in the car.

Fives looked around to make sure none was watching as his brother cried in his arms once they were in the seat.

“Can I hug you, Com’?”

Comet flinched at the nickname. But a hug sounded very good right then. Fives moved slowly which he appreciated. Fives’ arms were strong around him, a steady hand on his shoulder blades.

“It’s okay, Comet. You’re okay,” Echo said.

Comet would’ve liked to argue that point but he couldn’t tell them about Adrian. He couldn’t freak Tup out again.

Tup opened the door and went to slide into the back but was stopped by the sound of crying and his brother latched onto Fives.

His anxiety started to rise. “Comet-“

“Is fine,” Fives jumped in, cutting him off. “Just overstimulated. He’s okay. Why don’t you sit in the front?”

Tup stared before nodding and moving to the passenger door ahead of him. Echo slipped into the driver's seat as well. Echo gave him a tight smile.

“Hey, Com, we have to go back home to get something. You okay with that?” Comet nodded against Fives.

Back at their home, they walked through the door and their cousins were still there. Comet ducked his head, not wanting to explain his tears. He sat on the couch with Tup and waited for the twins to be done. They eavesdropped on a conversation happening close to them.

“Yeah, I have a friend from college that said we could crash with him. But we’re probably going to see Nicky and Jaster first,” Mereel said to their older brothers.

Bly snorted. “Hope we didn’t run you out of the house.”

Ordo waved a hand. “Nope. We’ll still be around. You know Kal is paranoid about us being far away.”

Kix laughed. “I’m surprised he even let all of you go to college.”

A’den leaned forward. “The bastard almost didn’t let me because I’m the youngest. I had to fight him for a year about it.”

Jaing gave a kiss to his head. “Because you’re the baby,” he sang.

A’den grumbled and sneered. “Yeah, yeah. Whatever.”

Fives and Echo came rushing down the stairs, laughing and smiling at each other. Echo shoved Fives and looked at his little brothers.

“Ready to go?”

Tup and Comet quickly got up off the couch, wanting to get back to Bobas as quickly as possible. Echo drove as Tup hugged Comet in the backseat.

While the two boys were distracted, Echo asked Fives, “Do you think it was just an overload?”

Fives sighed. “What else would it be? He didn’t seem like he was lying.”

Boba was once again in company with Din and Fennec in the dining room. They were scrambling to fill out hundreds of forms, breaking out into lawyer talk. Din looked in the teenagers’ direction and frowned.

“Comet, are you alright?”

Boba immediately spun around, close to standing up, but Comet waved him off.

“ADHD stuff. I’m fine.”

Boba looked him over before nodding. “Okay, I believe you.” He looked back to the table. “Are you boys going to be okay with being on your own for tonight? We’re slammed.”

Fives nodded. “We’ll be okay. We’ll try not to bother you.”

“You don’t bother us,” Fennec said with her head still bent down over her work.

A few hours later, the boys took over the table while they ate. Din, Boba, and Fennec moved over to the living room. While they talked, they barely noticed Comet shuffling over and laying down on Din’s thigh. The lawyers were too focused on their work and discussion that the teenager’s presence and shifting went unnoticed.

Din gave a frustrated sigh and leaned back on the couch. They had been at this case for hours and it wasn’t looking good for their client. Comet made a small noise and shifted before quickly settling down and going back to sleep. Din froze.

“Boba,” Din called quietly.

Boba hummed uncommittedly, not looking over.

“Boba,” he pressed even further.

Boba looked over, and his tired gaze fell into one of softness. Din wanted to see that look on his face all the time. He blinked a few times. Easy, Djarin. You don’t even know if he’s gay.

Boba moved a brown lock from Comet’s eyes. “The twins said they don’t trust strangers easily. You’re a lucky man, Din.”

Fennec watched from the other side, eyes bouncing from the teenager and her two friends. The two of them were lost in each other’s eyes. She scoffed under her breath. Both blind as f*cking bats. Jesus help them.

Tup sat in Justin’s office the next day, head tilted back on the couch. Justin was sitting in front of him, most likely with his notebook open. Tup knew he was waiting for the teen to talk. But he couldn’t get the words out.

Justin sat patiently, not wanting to rush him but time was going to eventually run out. “Tup, do you want to talk about anything today?” The boy shrugged. Justin sighed to himself. I don’t know why I thought it would be that easy. “Do you not want to talk today?”

Tup shook his head.

“You do want to talk?”

A nod.

“Did you get triggered by something?”

Tup hesitated before nodding. He didn’t move to look at Justin. Justin leaned forward. Now he was getting somewhere. “Does it have anything to do with being with your uncle?”

“Brother,” Tup corrected gently. “He’s technically my brother. And no.”

Justin didn’t pry, just wrote it down to remember. “What was it about?”

Tup started to answer but his words died off in his throat. He couldn’t say it without his PTSD making him go back to that damned house.

“Tup, I can’t help you if you don’t talk to me.” Justin hated to pull that card on him but it seemed to be the only way to push him to open up. But he wasn’t expecting Tup to be crying when he lifted his head. Justin fought the urge to walk over there. “Tup?”

Tup bit his lip, not wiping the tears as they fell. “Adrian’s back.”

Justin’s brain short-circuited. “How do you know?”

“‘Cause he tried to take me. But the resource officer at school said there wouldn’t be much of a case. The camera couldn’t get his face,” the teenager said quietly. Tup’s broken eyes looked at him for safety. Something that Justin wasn’t sure he could guarantee.

“I’m so sorry, Tup. Is there a way you can get a restraining order on him?” Justin asked. He would do everything in his power to protect his patient.

Tup shook his head. “No. Boba is a lawyer and so is his friend. His friend said I would need evidence.”

Justin leaned forward. “I don’t want to push you into doing anything you don’t want to. Are you sure you don’t want to talk to an officer about your situation and ask what can be done?”

The boy shook his head. “I don’t want to do anything. I just want him to leave me alone.”

Justin thought for a moment. “Tup, I want you to start seeing me every week.”

Tup wasn’t following. “Why?”

Justin gave a gentle smile. “Just to see if your treatment improves. You seem to be regressing.”

Tup stayed silent for a few moments. He was supposed to be getting better. He wasn’t supposed to be broken anymore. But he trusted Justin. “Okay.”


...

Kal Stirata took a swig of beer from a bottle, looking at Jaster across from him. Nicky was across from him as well. He saw the grey streaks only just starting to show in Jaster's hair.

“Starting to look old there, Jaster,” Kal teased with a smirk.

Jaster set his drink down with an extreme side-eye to him. “Don’t you start with me, brat.”

Nicky didn’t hide his smirk at all. Stone and the three others snickered under their breath. Jaster reached over the table and hit Fox over the head.

“Where are your adoptive spawns, Skitara?” Jaster asked, changing the subject.

Kal glanced at his phone. “They’ll be popping over soon. Wanted to see the boys.”

The Skirata boys came within a few minutes, stepping through the door. Thorn, Fox, Stone, and Thire all greeted them. Kal watched with a fond smile.

“You’re one soft bastard, you know that?” Jaster jabbed at him.

Kal didn’t deny it, just giving him a sardonic smile. “Speak for yourself.”

“I’ve been meaning to ask, why are you all up here anyway?” Nicky asked softly.

Kal exhaled heavily. “The boys are home from college for a few weeks. They’ve been saying that they want to see everyone again and I wasn’t going to deny them that. And Arla moved near you all so I’d figured I could kill two birds with one stone. And everything with Jango…it was time for a visit.”

Nicky nodded, subtly leaning on Jaster. “Makes sense. I’m surprised he didn’t call you before. Or his kids didn’t snitch on him.”

“The asshole knew I’d give him hell for it, that's why,” Kal said with conviction. “Who’d the kids stay with anyway?”

Nicky looked to Jaster out of the corner of his eye, taking a sip.

Jaster tapped the table a few times. “Tup and Comet were with us for a few weeks.”

Kal frowned. That didn’t sound quite right. “Just those two?”

Nicky cleared his throat. “The two of them ran away. Our boys found them and brought them here. They found out.”

Kal nearly dropped his bottle. “Oh sh*t. Damn. How long ago?”

“About a month,” Nicky answered softly. “It wasn’t pretty. A lot of tears.”

Kal dragged a hand down his face. “And then he went and got himself shot. f*ck.”

Nicky continued. “They stayed with us for a long time until their social worker said we couldn’t be their guardians while he was in a coma. According to the grapevine, Boba has their guardianship.”

Kal choked this time. Boba was the last person he expected to hear. He hadn’t seen that boy in years, not since he went to the military. “Did Jango flip out?”

Jaster shrugged. “Didn’t ask when we talked. If he did, I really hope the boys weren't around to hear it.”

Kal laid his head on the table. “Well hot damn. Your family is a hot f*cking mess.”

Jaster smirked at him. “Oh no, you’re a part of this family whether you like it or not.”

Kal leaned back. “Another reason I’m here is to make sure Jango doesn’t do anything stupid.”

Nicky raised an eyebrow. “And why would you need to do that?”

The other man blinked at the couple. “You didn’t hear? Tup’s foster father tried to take him.”

Jaster cursed heavily, nearly getting out of his seat. Nicky pushed down on his shoulder, muttering under his breath.

“Son of a f*cking bitch!”

Nicky leaned close to him. “Jas’, yelling isn’t going to help.”

“He f*cking abused them. The f*ck do you want me to do?” Jaster hissed at him.

Nicky held his ground, not going to let his husband’s misplaced anger throw him off. “But you can’t do anything about that now can you? It’s done. Being angry won’t help Tup and Comet.” Jaster let himself back into his seat.

Kal lowered his voice. “How much abuse did they suffer?”

Nicky snickered darkly. “To the point where Tup has resorted to cutting himself, pretty bad I would say.” Nicky knew he shouldn’t have said that. He had promised to keep Tup’s secret. He just hoped the teenager wouldn’t be too mad when he would inevitably find out.

“Tup’s hurting himself?” a voice asked from the hallway. Thorn was staring right at him.

Nicky’s head snapped up. All of his boys and Kal’s sons were looking at him. Jaster also nudged him, knowing his husband had kept him in the dark.

“Yes,” he answered his stepson softly. “I don’t know if he is anymore. I wouldn’t be surprised if he started cutting again.”

Jaster stood up but before he walked away he whispered to Nicky, “You might want to tell Jango. Give him a heads up.”

Stone grabbed Thorn’s hand and dragged him away. He, his brothers, and his cousins took a seat in the living room, shell-shocked.

“Of all the people to get abused, it’s them,” A’den said quietly. “Why? Why them? They’ve been through enough.”

Ordo pulled him to his side, shushing him. “No one deserves it.” They fell silent, going through the memories of the boys being happy and having them smashed by the severity of their new situation.

“Tup’s not the only one that’s worrying me,” Ordo said cryptically.

Mereel laid his head on his shoulder and nudged him with his nose. “What do you mean?”

“It’s about Rex.”

The boys stayed with their father that weekend, happy to hear that their father was getting better. Boba had sent them to their father, knowing they needed some time with him.

Tup was reading at the table with Comet playing with his hair distractedly. They didn’t notice his father re-enter the house with the mail. Jango let all of it fall to the table, not giving a care about it now.

Rex was staring at the mail when he caught the letters on the front. “Dad…”

Jango went back with his brows pinched together. He took the offered piece of mail from his son and began reading once he ripped it open. And he had to re-read it to fully comprehend what he was reading. Jango stared at the letter in his hand. His heart started pounding in his chest as he read the words in front of him.

Tup picked his head off of his hand to look at his father. "Dad?"

Jango didn't answer.

Rex frowned. "Dad, what's wrong?"

Jango swallowed, eyes wondering over Comet and Tup. "I have a court order. For custody of Comet and Tup. It's issued from Adrain's lawyers."

Tup scooted his chair away, suddenly petrified. "No, he can't do that! He can't!" He had been promised he would never go back. He couldn’t go back. He would snap and try to do something severe.

Cody snatched the paper out of his father's hands, hoping he would be able to find some sign of forgery. He searched and searched but he couldn't find anything. He passed it to Wolffe with desperate eyes. Wolffe took it with a suspicious look. He looked up after a minute.

"It's legit. Dad, we're going to need a damn good lawyer. These people are the best in the state.”

Jango immediately pulled his phone out and started to walk out of the room when all hell broke loose. Tup started screaming. Multiple things that his brothers couldn't quite catch. But they got the gist.

"No! He can't take us! He can't!" the teen yelled.

Jango wasn't shocked at his reaction but it still hurt him to hear that his son was so heartbroken. He took a step towards his son, but Tup jerked back. "You said I wouldn't go back to him! You promised!"

Wolffe slipped his phone out of his pocket and tapped a few things on the screen. Rex looked over and saw him bringing up his audio recording app. Before he could press record, Rex grabbed his wrist in a vice grip. "The hell are you doing?"

Wolffe smiled sadly. "Evidence. Might as well start now." He pressed the button.

Comet tried to calm his brother down but his own tears were starting. "Tup, please," he whispered.

Jango knelt in front of Tup. "Love, you need to calm down-"

"Don't let him take me!" Tup brought his knees up to his chest, wrapping his arms around his shins.

Jango put a hand on his back. "Tup, listen to me. We're going to figure this out but you need to calm down."

Tup was past the stage of calming down. He couldn't stop yelling, screaming, or crying. His chest felt tight as his lungs fought for air. Soon his breaths were too short for him to get proper breaths in. He felt like he was dying. And he wasn’t sure what was worse. Dying or reality.

"He's having a panic attack, Dad," Wolffe said, redundantly, but Rex knew it was because of the recording.

"Tup, you need to breathe with me," Jango said as he fought to get his son to look at him. Tup struggled to get away from his father. He fought against his grip, thrashing around. His worst nightmare was coming true. And Tup didn’t stop screaming.

Notes:

This came out quickly. Trying not to drag this arc out as much as I did with the last one

Chapter 30: Chapter 30-Meeting Point

Summary:

Boba and Jango meet each other halfway.

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

"Rex, are you okay over there?” Cody asked quietly to not wake Wolffe up.

Rex was curled up in his bunk on his side, gripping his stomach. Cody must’ve been able to see him in the dim light of their bedroom.

“Fine, Codes” he said through gritted teeth.

Cody started to sit up in bed. “Love…” he started in his older brother voice that made Rex want to admit he was lying.

Rex groaned to himself, holding his midsection even tighter.

“Rex, are you in pain?”

He couldn’t answer because he was shooting up to his feet. He dashed out of the room and into the bathroom, hand fumbling with the light. He gagged and began to throw up in the sink.

Cody entered after him and had to do a double take. “The hell?” He rhetorically asked as he put a hand on Rex’s back.

Once Rex was done emptying his stomach, he pushed Cody’s hand off of him. Cody blinked. Rex could be particular about his space but he’d never push Cody away.

“What is going on with you?” Cody brought up as carefully as possible.

“Don’t, Codes,” Rex snapped and left the room as fast as possible after getting rid of the evidence.

“Rex, come on. Are you sick again?”

“Not sick.” His tone was clipped tight. He didn’t want to talk anymore. He stalked back to their room, hiding the wince as his stomach clenched painfully. He collapsed back on the bed, pulling the covers up to his shoulders.

Cody huffed, angered by his brother’s attitude. It had been on a steady decline ever since the boys found out what happened to their mother. “Rex-”

“Don’t, Cody. Just don’t,” his younger brother snapped again but the fight was leaving him. He just sounded…tired.

Cody stood still in the middle of their room. He couldn’t talk to Rex, not when he got like this. But he couldn’t leave his brother alone to face his demons. He climbed into the bed behind his brother, pulling him to rest against his chest. He wasn't able to see Rex’s face but he could tell with his trembling he was trying not to cry.

“I’ll be here when you’re ready. I’m never going to leave you, bud.” Cody whispered sweetly to him, pressing his chin in the crown of his head.

Rex gripped the arm encircling his chest. Maybe everything would be okay. Maybe.

Boba stood awkwardly in the Fett household. Jango had called him in a panicked voice saying he needed to come over as fast as possible. He avoided eye contact with Jango as he directed inside. Rex and Cody smiled at him and started coming over to the couch.

Boba sat down next to Tup. The teenager was staring off into space but he still leaned his weight onto the man next to him.

"Hey, bud," he greeted softly.

Jango sat down close by with the older boys in their presence as well. Jango wasn’t surprised that Tup had gotten attached to Boba. He just hated that he hadn’t been in their lives. The other boys were shocked however. They hadn’t seen Boba in years and they had no idea how life had changed him.

"What do you need from me?" Boba asked, hesitant to even speak with Jango on civil terms.

Jango slid a piece of paper over to him from across the small table in the living room. "We were served a court order. Custody battle."

Boba felt his heart drop. Custody battles rarely ended well from what his other colleges told him from the family court attorneys. And the boys were going to have to go through that. He skimmed the paper.

"I'm a criminal defense lawyer. I deal with crimes committed against my clients or what my client has been accused of, so I won't be able to help you. But there's others at my firm that have family court dealings." Boba explained, keeping his voice as even as possible.

"What about Din?" Tup and Comrt both asked. They had grown to like the other kind man and knew he worked with younger kids.

Boba gave them a sad look. “Even if he could, it would be a conflict of interest…same with Fennec,” he added as an afterthought.

Ponds raised an eyebrow. “Whos Din?”

Boba kept his face neutral. “Another attorney in my firm. Comet and Tup met him when he and my other associate burst into my home when they’re bored.”

Wolffe pipped up, “Do you trust your other people?”

Boba nodded. “Yes. They won’t screw the boys over. Din can keep discrete tabs as well. Just because he can’t appear in court doesn’t mean he can't look over the case. Do you have a social worker?”

Jango nodded. “Yes. Technically two but one's a bitch.” He wasn’t afraid to be blunt with his feelings about Elise.

Boba smirked, the first emotion he showed while sitting there. “As long as you have one that can give us some information, that will work. I can send you the information from my firm and when you call ask for Bail Organa. He’s the best with custody cases.” Tup hid his face in his shoulder, pressing tighter against him.

"Are there any grounds we can get him arrested on?" Wolffe asked on a whim. They were out of options.

Boba sighed. "No. Unless the boys were to report child abuse, there's nothing we can do as lawyers. It has to be from them because they're the ones that would be in the hot seat of court and cross examination."

"I'm not going to do that," Tup objected quietly. Boba put a hand on his back.

"How is the case going to work?" Jango asked tiredly, the stress already gathering in his boy.

"You'll both be in front of a judge. They will be made aware of the situation and the case beforehand from what the records and files say. Adrian will be asked why he thinks he's a better fitted parent, and you'll say why you think you are the best parental option. Then it will be up for the judge to decide."

Cody raised his chin. "Since they're older than 14, they get a say, don't they?"

Boba nodded. "Yes, the judge may ask them who they would prefer to be with but some don't. Just like most won't ask any professional opinions on the well-being of the child in question which I think is astronomically stupid but that's how it is."

"Which means no Justin," Tup deadpanned, staring blankly at the wall. Boba didn't respond.

"What happens if it looks like he's going to win custody?" Jango asked. He didn't even want to put those words out into the universe but he had to. He had to know what to do if his children were on the line.

"Honestly? Pull the abuse card up with the authorities. See where it goes. Then if you would file for abuse, it would become a criminal case."

Tup became tense against him. Boba was able to read it from a mile away. "Tup, I know that's a sucky option. But it'll be the only way if it comes to that. It's testifying or being sent with Adrian." Tup's nose wrinkled as he pushed back his tears.

The group dispersed slowly. They knew that Boba and their father needed some time to talk. Tup, however, stayed exactly where he was, with Comet on his other side, and closed his eyes. Comet eventually followed him into the pits of sleep.

Jango watched as Boba froze slightly when Tup slipped down into his lap. His lips twitched but then guilt flooded into him. He had isolated Boba. And the only way he had come back to their family was through the boys sitting next to him.

“I’m sorry,” Jango said, breaking the silence. “I’m sorry for a lot of things.”

Boba looked away, not able to look at Jango without bursting into tears at the apology. For years he had thought that Jango would never forget him. Boba absentmindedly put a hand on Tup's back.

"I hated you for the longest time," Boba started softly. "First, it was because I felt that you were sending me away when I went back with Dad. I felt like you were throwing me away since you had your own kids."

Jango looked heartbroken. "Boba-"

The younger man held up a finger giving a watery chuckle. "If I stop now, it'll never come out." Jango didn't interrupt again. "You were the only father I knew. The only constant in my life and when that changed I hated you for it." Boba couldn't continue to talk because Tup was blinking his eyes open. Boba did his best to get rid of the sad emotions on his face. " Hey, kiddo. How do you feel?"

Tip shrugged. "Not great. I have homework. Are you going to leave?"

Boba side-eyed Jango. "No, not just yet, Tup."

Tup nodded and stood up. He shook his brother to get him up as well, planning to help Comet with his assignments.

"Do you want to go somewhere else and continue this?" Jango asked once his boys were out of ear shot.

Boba slowly nodded, waiting for Jango to get up first. Jango led him into another room and closed the door behind them. The younger man leaned himself against a desk, folding his arms over his chest. "I hated you so much that I went into the Marines to spite you."

Jango's eyes held so much confusion and disappointment. "That was so-"

"Stupid of me, I know," Boba finished for him. He knew how bad it sounded. Din and Fennec had told him multiple times. "I knew how much it had affected you and I wanted to prove that I was stronger than you and could handle everything they threw at me." He swallowed. "Well, you were right. I regret my decision every day. So there you go, Dad, you win. You were right. I wasn't ready for the sh*t that I saw in those godforsaken places." Boba's sentences trailed off, unable to keep going.

Jango didn't know what to do. It had been years since Boba slipped up and called him "Dad" so that was shocking in itself. What was also perplexing was how easily his brother was admitting this.

He held a hand out to him like Boba was a spoked animal. "I never wanted to be right. I never wanted that for you."

Boba let one tear fall. It had been so long since the last time he grieved for his fallen brothers and sisters.

"You were right," Boba whispered brokenly. "You were right about everything.”

Jango inched forward, hand outstretched still. “It’s okay. It’s going to be okay.”

Boba suddenly jumped forward pressing against Jango tightly. Jango didn’t push him away, instead he hugged him back.

Boba kept whispering ‘you were right’ over and over again but never let himself cry. Jango understood. He hated that he did, but Boba had no one else that could empathize with his situation. He still saw those images every time he closed his eyes.

Boba eventually stopped trembling. He pulled away, clearing his throat. “Sorry…about that.”

“I’m sorry about a lot of things, Boba. You don’t need to apologize for that.”

Jango frowned when his phone buzzed in his pocket. He looked at the caller ID.

“Nicky, is everything okay?”

Nicky answered on the other line. “Everything is fine with us. Kal and his kids keep popping in. But that’s not why I called you.”

Boba, able to hear the conversation, frowned.

“I should’ve told you this a while ago but Tup asked me not to. He might be cutting again.”

Jango nearly dropped the phone. “What in the hell are you talking about?”

Nicky sighed. “When the boys were with us, Tup started cutting again. He told me not to tell you. But I don’t know if he told anyone or not. And I don’t know if he would’ve started again with Adrian coming back.”

Jango sighed. “I’ve got to go. Thank you.” He ended the call.

Boba straightened up. “Tup hurts himself?”

Jango hesitated. “Yes. He used to. Now, I need to see if he still is.” He rushed out of the room and into the dining room.

Tup was laughing with Comet over something he just read in his homework. He was finally distracted enough to laugh. Jango hated to break up the moments.

"Tup," he called, "could you come here for a second?"

Tup nodded and picked himself off the chair. He walked to his father in the hallway. Jango gently held his shoulders and walked him a few more spaces away.

"You know I love you. I love you so much, and I know you don't like to talk to anyone but Justin about this stuff, but I need to know."

Tup stiffened up. Oh god, is he going to ask me about the abuse? Did he find out Adrian would hit me? "What are you talking about, Dad?"

Boba went into the living room, not wanting to impose on what was happening.

Jango sighed and looked into Tup's eyes. He was never surprised to see his wife's eyes staring right back at him everyday. And right now those beautiful eyes were full of anxiety. "Are you cutting again?"

Tup moved back like he had been burned, eyes blown wide. It wasn't the question he had been expecting but it certainly didn't make it any better. He darted his eyes to the ground.

"I..." He couldn't continue.

Jango re-gripped his arms, holding his biceps. “Wrists. Now,” he ordered gently.

Tup slowly pulls his sleeves up. Jango had braced himself to see jagged lines on his sons body but found tan skin with a few old scars from the deeper cuts he had made in the past but there were no recent signs of any harm. Jango looked up, swallowing.

Tup was biting his lip and looking down.

"I thought about it," Tup said quietly. "I really did. But I knew that it wasn't going to change Adrian being back. I know that."

Jango sighed shakily and rubbed his thumbs over Tup's wrists. Tup met his eyes steadily and unafraid.

"So you're okay?"Tup nodded. His father pulled him into a tight hug which he returned. "I'm proud of you, love," Jango said in his ear, making Tup smile the brightest he had in weeks.

That's all he needed to hear.

It was calm in the other Fett household. Jaster had Nicky tucked under his arm with one of his grandsons on his other side. Kal was surrounded by his boys as well as they all exchanged topics of interest.

"You're a dumbass, K'mork," Thorn commented.

K'mork smirked at him. "Well, we can't all be pretty and smart at the same time now can we?"

A'den shuffled him. "Don't you get co*cky. You've got a big enough ego as it is."

Stone chuckled. "Bold statement coming from you."

Kom’rk stuck his tongue out.

The banter continued back and forth and Kal's gaze fell onto his eldest son. Ordo was normally an interactive person. He loved to talk to others. But right now he was quiet, pulling back from the conversation rather than fueling it.

Kal put a hand on his back. He waited for Ordo to look in his direction before whispering. "You want to talk?"

Ordo played with his hands for a moment before leaning onto his father. Even for being the oldest he didn't have a problem with being affectionate. "Rex. I think something's wrong."

Kal hummed. That boy always had underlining anxiety in his opinion.

"He had a panic attack at night when we were staying there. He seemed...used to it. Like he had experienced them more than that one time. And he sent me a week text a few weeks ago."

Kal frowned. "What was it about?"

Ordo sighed, tossing one hand in the air lightly. His brow was furrowed in concentration. "Something along the lines of 'I'm sorry. You're always right. Please forgive me'. I texted back asking what in the world he was talking about but he just said never mind and dodged the subject."

The older man looked at his son, seeing the stress being put onto him heavily. He squeezed his shoulders. "If Rex wants to talk then he'll talk. You can't force him into it. It has to be his idea."

His son huffed at him. "Why?"

"Cause he's a Fett. They don't believe in getting help until the very last minute."

The boys eventually retired to their rooms. A'den, however, had stretched across his fathers legs, keeping the man from moving. Kal found it amusing that his youngest always despised being the baby of the family but had no problem acting like the youngest when it came to personal gain. Like sleep.

"Spoiled little thing, you," Kal grumbled under his breath as he lifted his grown son into his arms.

Jaster's grandsons, Kal, and his kids had all vacated the area, leaving the two ex-marines alone in the living room. Jaster flicked the TV on quietly after his husband had leaned to rest against him. Jaster could tell just by the sound of his soft exhales that he was sleep so he got comfortable, not planning on moving for a while. He'd hate to wake him up. Sleep wasn't something that Nicky always got at night.

He maneuvered Nicky to rest against his side, head resting on the juncture of Jaster's shoulder. Nicky went easily with the motion, still sound asleep. Jaster just prayed it stayed like that. He would sleep in this position all night if he needed to. His husband needed sleep.

The peace didn't last long because Nicky started shifting an hour later. It started with a few twitches and jerks but Jaster knew better as the movements continued. He threaded his fingers through Nicky's hair lovingly.

Please let him have one night.

Nicky’s hand twitched violently, dropping into Jaster’s lap. Jaster grabbed said hand and squeezed tight.

“Come on, love,” Jaster said in his ear. He didn’t want to wake Nicky up but it was better to do so then have him scream himself awake. That would just cause his boys to feel bad and have Kal and his boys be worried.

Nicky’s brow furrowed and his breath caught in his throat.

“Nicky. Nicholas, wake up,” Jaster ordered more firmly.

Nicky let out a soft sound between a sigh and a whimper that made Jaster heart f*cking hurt. Jaster lifted Nicky up better in his arms to give him a shake.

“Nicholas, wake up.”

Nicky finally did, head shooting up while his body was trapped in his husband’s arms. He went into fight or flight mode, trying to get aware of his surroundings.

Jaster held him tightly. "Shhhh, shhh. You're safe. You're not at war. You're home with me."

"Jas?" he rasped out to his husband, still panicking.

"It's me babe." Jaster moved him to look him in the eye. "Just me."

Nicky methodically tapped on his wedding ring with his thumb to remind himself to come back to the present. He pressed his head against his collarbone for a few second to gather himself.

"Damn it. Motherf*ck," Nicky cursed.

Jaster stroked his back. "I know. I know it sucks."

Nicky dropped his head into his hands, anxiously tugging at the curls in his hair. "f*cking bullsh*t. I hate this."

Jaster wished there was something he could do. He swore to always protect his husband from any harm, and now he can't even fulfill that vow to the fullest. He can't keep him safe from his own nightmares.

"Do you want to go upstairs and into bed?" Jaster suggested, knowing Nicky might calm down and talk then.

Nicky nodded immediately. He grasped Jaster's hand in his, tugging him along. Jaster shut the TV off and grabbed his phone before he was whisked away to bed.nicky wasted no time getting to the bathroom to get ready for bed and in that time Jaster went to check on his boys. Their boys. He peeked inside each room, watching for their rising chests with each breath they took. Call him paranoid but he wasn't going to risk his grandsons. He had seen bad things happen to those he loved in a blink of an eye. He had done the same thing for years with Jango and Arla and his previous wife's kids. He even did it with Boba when his wayward son was with him.

The sudden thought of Boba made his heart jump up to his throat. Boba was coming back into their lives, and Jaster wasn't sure if he was ready for that or not.

He walked back into his own room and saw Nicky lying down, patiently waiting for his husband to come back. He wasn't falling asleep without him in the room, not after his nightmare.

Jaster kissed his head before reaching over him to turn off the lamp. Afterward, he changed clothes and climbed under the covers. Nicky laid his head over Jaster's heart, hearing the melodic thump of the muscle.

"Do you want to talk about it at all?” Jaster asked.

Nicky sighed, thinking about it for a moment. The situation with Tup was bringing back bad memories. “No. I just want to sleep.” Jaster just carded his fingers through his hair.

Nicky tried to sleep but he couldn’t relax. It was probably because his partner couldn’t relax either. His muscles were tensed up and his heart rate was too fast for his liking. He stroked Jasted’s side.

“Babe…what’s wrong?” Nicky muttered.

Jaster’s hand never wavered. “Boba.” That was all he said.

Nicky nuzzled his chest. “You made a mistake and I understand that. If you want to fix it, you have to make the first move. He’s probably still scared of talking to Jango and he raised him.”

Jaster kissed his head again. He’d never been so glad that he married the man in his arms before.

Tup couldn’t stop shaking. His hands shook with tremors every minute and he was fighting every urge to start crying.Comet was in the same boat but he was fidgeting violently.

Wolffe suddenly came downstairs. He crouched down in front of Comet and pressed a fidget toy into his hand. Comet stared at it but took it. He didn’t normally use them. The room was soon flooded by tiny clicks.

A sudden knock on the door made Tup jump. He dove into Comet’s arms, nose pressing against his brother’s neck. Comet was surprised by the added weight but he steadied his brother, murmuring to him to keep him calm. He felt like they were nine and ten years old again, hiding out in their room from Adrian’s wrath.

Ponds slowly walked to the front door. He checked the key rack and Jango’s keys were gone. Jango wouldn’t knock if he had his keys.

He peeked out the door but instead of Adrian, it was a young woman in her twenties. She was looking impatient.

Ponds cracked open the door. “Can I help you?”

She smiled brightly. “Hi, I’m Rebecca!”

Ponds co*cked an eyebrow. “Sorry, do I know you?”

She looked puzzled. “Oh, Rex didn’t tell you? I’m his girlfriend.”

Notes:

This was really fun until the last part of the chapter got deleted and I had to rewrite it. We got a lot of people in this one so it was fun to check in on other character that we haven’t seen.
This hasn’t been edited very much so I apologize for errors until I get the chance to fix them. 💙

Chapter 31: Chapter 31-Family Court

Summary:

The court day has arrived. Who will get custody?

Disclaimer: I do not have any law education.

Warnings: child abuse and Adrian

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

Ponds blinked in shock. He could fathom that the young woman standing in front of him at his door was his brother's girlfriend. Rex had never spoken about an interest in dating or even having a crush on a single person. Ponds led her into the house, opening the door fully. She stepped in with a smile.

As Ponds closed the door, Rebecca slowly walked to the living room, looking around for Rex. Ponds caught up to her.

"Everyone, this is Rebecca. Rex's girlfriend."

Tup lifted his head from Comet's shoulder to gaze at her. His eyes narrowed but he looked too tired to question the woman. Ponds, however, saw the glare comet sent at her back when she wasn't looking.

Wolffe cleared his throat. "Is there something we can do for you Rebecca?"

She looked guilty. "I'm so sorry to barge in. Rex and I were supposed to go somewhere and he is late. I tried calling him but he wouldn't answer."

Wolffe nodded. "I think he was sleeping not too long ago. He's been anxious the past couple of days." He walked to the banister of the stairs. "Rex, get your ass down here! You've got a visitor!"

Footsteps sounded from upstairs. Rex walked down the stairs and froze when he caught sight of Rebecca.

"Hi babe," she greeted.

Rex frowned, feeling lost and then checked his phone. His eyes widened with anxiety once again. "I'm so sorry-"

Rebecca cut him off. "It's okay sweetheart. But we should really go."

Rex nodded a few times, finally reaching the floor. Rebecca took his hand and turned back to the others. "Again, so sorry to barge. It was nice meeting you all!"

The door closed behind them.

Cody immediately jumped to his feet. “What the hell?”

Bly and Ponds both looked at him blankly.

“What?” Ponds asked.

"Since when in fresh hell does he have a girlfriend?!" Cody exclaimed.

Wolffe narrowed his eyes. "Does it matter?"

Cody threw his hands in the air. "Yes! He tells me everything! Why would he not tell me this?"

Bly sighed, sitting back down. "Cody, you're not his keeper. Don't you think you're overreacting?"

The younger Fett narrowed his eyes, staring down at his brother. "It'll be one icy day in hell before I stop worrying about him. You know what he's been through!"

Wolffe snapped his fingers at him, expression pinched. "Cody, stop yelling, right now."

Cody was about to go off on him as well when he saw the scared form of Tup hiding in his hoodie, eyes peeking wearily at him. Cody deflated.

"I'm sorry, love," Cody apologized. "I'm not mad at you." The apology didn’t do much.

Jango felt like he was going to throw up. He f*cking hated court rooms. He’s hated them for years.

Kal raised an eyebrow. “You're not going to pass out on me, are you?”

Jango slowly turned his head to glare at him. “Zip it.”

Kal raised his hands. People were starting to head into the courtroom. He saw the Fett boys still waiting outside while some of the older boys went in and sat down. Then he saw a man walking with two people that looked like attorneys. He had dark hair and even darker eyes. In Kal's professional opinion, the man looked creepy.

Jango straightened up and saw the man as well. His body was not his own when he started walking over to him. All he knew was that he was going to punch Adrian Bates.

Adrian smirked at him when he got close enough. But suddenly someone grabbed by the arm, dragging him backward. Jango tried to fight them off but the person was holding onto him too tight.

“Don’t you f*cking dare,” Jaster growled in his ear once they were both far away.

“Get out of my-“

Jaster pressed him against the wall to look at his son who was still fighting and glaring at him. “Don’t glare at me like you're a child again. If you keep fighting me, I’ll smack the sh*t out of you.” Jaster knew it would sound harsh but that’s what his son needed to hear.

Jango deflated, but he didn’t stop glaring at his father. Jaster lightly hit him on the head.

“Don’t blow this now. You hit him, your boys are gone. And you’ll never see them again. Understand me?” Jaster ordered.

Jango nodded after a minute. Jaster squeezed his shoulders. “Don’t you dare f*ck up. I love your kids and I don’t want to see them taken away from you.”

Jango blankly looked at him but Jaster knew better than to believe that his son wasn't unphased. He could see the tears in his golden eyes that weren't just for his boys. He pressed their heads together. Jango shut his eyes.

"I miss her too," Jaster said. There wasn't a day that went by that he didn't think of daughter-in-law.

"She would know what to do," his son whispered to him desperately.

Jaster hushed him softly. "Keep it together."

Once Jango calmed down he approached his attorney. The man put a steady hand in his shoulder.

Tup watched as his father and Bail Organa walked into the courtroom. Tup couldn't bring himself to walk into the room. He bit at his nail, wondering what in the world he was going to do. He knew if Adrain got custody he would be running. And he knew Comet would go with him.

"Usually Comets the fidgety one, not you," a woman said from behind him.

Tup frozen then spun around and immediately hugged the woman. His aunt wrapped her arms around his shoulders.

"Hey, baby," she greeted, pushing a few strands of hair from his eyes. Her blonde hair was pulled back into a neat bun, keeping her face clear.

"I'm scared," he blurted out.

She clicked her tongue. "I know, sweetheart. The boys wished they could come but being here would bring back too many bad memories." She smiled gently at someone over his head. He followed her gaze.

Boba stood feet away with Din and Fennec, hands pushed into his pockets. Din smiled at Tup while Fennec gave a little finger wave. Boba avoided eye contact with Arla

Tup mouthed to Boba, 'thank you,' before he was swept into the courtroom. He knew how uncomfortable he would be back with their family. Tup’s hands felt shaky as he sat close to his father. Bail had instructed Tup and Comet to sit close by in case of something going wrong where the judge would hear their statement. Comet gave Tup's hand a squeeze when he sat down. Comet nudged him a few minutes later, looking at Tup's free side.

Nicky was crouched to his level, hand grabbing him. “Tup, listen to me very carefully.” Tup turned to him. “If at any point you feel unsafe, or that Adrian gets custody of you, I need you to run.”

The teenager blinked at him. “Won’t I get in trouble?”

Nicky shook his head, pulling Tup closer. “I don’t give a damn. They can’t punish a teenager for being a runaway.”

Tup leaned onto Nicky’s shoulder. “I don’t want to do this.”

Nicky gave him a squeeze. He hated that these boys were in this situation. It was always messy. “I know. But you have to. We’ll be towards the back if you need us okay?”

Tup nodded miserably. Nicky patted his shoulders a few times before he moved away. The sound of a door swinging open made Tup shut up immediately. Comet couldn't help but hold onto Tup's wrist.

The judge had just entered the room. She crossed to the desk as everyone rose from their seats.

"Please be seated," she said to the court. She fiddled with a few things in front of her and then she turned her eyes to the two sides. "The case before us is a custody hearing between the biological father of Tup and Comet Fett, Jango Fett, and the foster father of the two Boyd, Adrian Bates. Mr. Bates you and your wife were the sole foster parents of Tup and Comet correct?"

Adrian nodded. "Yes, your honor. We were chosen by their social worker."

The judge flipped through a few papers. “And that social worker is Jen Arrow correct?”

“Correct your honor,” Adrian said. Tup could see the smirk forming on his face.

The judge looked over to the other side of the room. “Mrs. Arrow, how long have you been Tup and Comet’s social worker?”

Jen kept her emotions schooled. “I became their social worker when they were seven and eight respectively, so about eight years.”

Judge Montgomery nodded along. “Tup and Comet were put into foster care because there was no fit parent or family member to take them, correct?

Jen nodded. “That is correct. The Bates were the first eligible family and the boys needed a place so I chose them.”

Judge Montgomery folded her hands in front of her. “And in your professional opinion do you think Mr. Fett is the better fit parent?”

Jen didn’t nod. “The boys are the most happy with him. That goes a long way.”

Judge Montgomery gave a tight lipped smile that didn’t look mean. “Mrs. Arrow, do you think Mr. Fett is the better parent?” she repeated.

Tup felt his Amherst pounding. Why didn’t she answer her the first time?

Jen thought for a moment to gather her words so Adrian couldn’t twist them. “Over the years I have known both families, Mr. Fett is the best fit parent for his children.”

The judge smiled. “Thank you.” She turned back to her notes. “Mr. Bates, why would you be the best fit parent for Tup and Comet?”

Adrian cleared his throat. “There was a reason my boys weren’t sent to me in the first place. Jango nearly killed a man and got shipped back into the military.”

Jango had to grind his teeth so hard to not stand up and defend himself. It wouldn’t work. He was convicted guilty eight years ago and there was no changing that.

Judge Montgomery hummed. “Mr. Fett was convicted for assault against one Liam Johnson,” she said mainly to herself but also to the man typing everything being said. She frowned to herself then looked Jango dead in the eye.

“I’m sorry for your loss, Mr. Fett. Diana Fett was the boys’ biological mother?”

Jango nodded. “Yes. My kids had no one else eligible to take care of them when I had the choice of jail or the Marines again.”

Judge Montgomery looked between both Jango and Adrian. “Is there any evidence either of you want to present?”

Adrian raised a hand. “I have a copy of the reports on my boys from the social workers that worked with Jen.”

The officer near the judge walked over to take it and handed it back to Montgomery. She read over it carefully.

“This is signed by Elise Gilbert. Mrs. Arrow, you never went to check on the boys?”

Jen shook her head. “No, every time I was scheduled to do it myself something would come up and my associate would go. One critique I had of her was that she was never thorough in her documentation.”

“In other words, a social worker that was not familiar with the boys was sent to check on them. One could argue that she might have missed something in the treatment of the two children or their mental state?"

Jen felt a smirk sliding onto her face. "Yes you honor, that would be a fair assessment."

In the back of the courtroom, Boba was fidgeting violently. He couldn't sit still for the life of him. f*ck this.

Fennec looked at Boba, a weird expression on her face. She couldn’t figure out why he was acting so weird.

“Fett, the hell is wrong?” she whispered to him.

Boba shook his head to himself trying to clear his head. Din leaned over Fennec to look at his friend. Boba could feel his sad puppy dog eyes staring at him.

"Boba?" Ding questioned softly.

Fennec rolled her eyes when he didn't respond and stood up as much as possible without causing attention to herself. She shoved Boba over into her seat, making him topple into Din. The man held strong, holding Boba up.

"Adrian can't take them," he muttered to Din. "They won't survive with him again."

Din hushed him quietly, barely making any noise. "Shhhh, shhhh. Don't think like that. Bail knows what he's doing." He kept Boba close to him, ignoring the smirk on the woman's face near them.

“I can’t be here. Not when these two are in the hot seat.”

Din grabbed his arm. “You’re going to stay. You haven’t been in their life until now. You owe it to them to stay.” He had never known Boba to be nervous in court. He was always calm and collected when he was doing his job.

Boba desperately grabbed his hand. Din didn’t look down, trying to not blush.

Fennec happily put her attention back to the front of the room.

"Mr. Fett you have no previous arrests other than the one in question correct."

"Yes, your honor."

"And you were deployed in the Marine Corps for many years prior to your arrest?”

"Correct, your honor."

Judge Montgomery looked him dead in the eye. "Did you receive any psychological trauma from your deployment?"

Jango wanted to die. That was one of the worst questions she could've asked.

Jaster cursed under his breath. "Dammit. This is going to screw him."

Jango stared at the ground for a few seconds. He remembered it like it was yesterday. He used to barely smile, didn't eat, couldn't sleep. If he did fall asleep he would wake himself, his wife, and his children up with his screams.

"War isn't fun, your honor. I saw things I didn't know I would and yes it affected me. I had been medicated for a few years but it never worked for me. I went off of my medication with permission from my shrink about ten years ago.”

Tup and Comet stared at each other. They had never known that their father had issues with what happened with his time in the military.

Montgomery tilted her head as she looked at the shocked look on the teenagers faces. “Tup and Comet didn’t know, did they?”

Jango looked back over his shoulder. “No, no they didn’t.”

The judge dropped the subject, clearing her throat. SHe brought one paper up slightly to read it. She directed her next question to Adrian. “Mr. Bates, can you tell me what mental illnesses Tup and Comet have?”

Comet smirked. No way he knows all of them.

Adrian gritted his teeth. “Comet has ADHD and Tup has anxiety.”

Montgomary gave a tight lipped smile as she looked down at the paper. She looked down at her hands. “Jango, would you like to answer that question as well?”

Their father smirked. “Yes, I would. Comet has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, post traumatic stress disorder, and a TBI. Tup has generalized anxiety disorder, post traumatic stress disorder, and clinical depression.”

Montgomary tapped a pen on her desk. “Mr. Bates, could you tell me what TBI stands for?”

He shook his head. The judge looked back to the other side.

“Traumatic brain injury,” Jango replied.

“What medication do the two boys take for those disorders?”

“Comet takes dexedrine which is amphetamine. Tup takes fluoxetine for his anxiety and depression. Neither of them take anything for their PTSD.”

Tup wasn’t sure if he liked his skeletons being let out of the closet in front of his family but it was the only way.

“When did they get medicated? Do they have any other forms of treatment they use?”

Jango looked up a bit. “Comet went on his medication when he was younger. My wife and I tried other ways but he didn’t respond well to other treatments so he started dexedrine before they went into foster care. Tup…” He trailed off.

Tup swallowed hard. He ducked his head from view since he could feel eyes on him. Comet gave him a squeeze, whispering comforting things in his ear.

“Tup became…different after his mother died. He wouldn’t talk much, was attached to my hip, and other concerning things. But I never got the chance to take him to a specialist because I became otherwise indisposed. Then he went into foster care for a few years.”

“Was he still the same way when he came out of foster care?” she questioned.

Jango nodded. “It was worse. Eventually there was an incident where he had a panic attack when he was newly twelve and we had just gotten him and Comet back. He started seeing a cognitive behavioral therapist for the past three years.”

The judge frowned. She looked down at her mass of records and shifted things around. On the document from the social worker it said that Elise had checked on the boys for two years and then there was no other documentation. “You only got custody again when they were twelve? Here the documentation of the boys ended when Tup was nine and Comet was ten. Where were they during those two years?”

Jango glared at Adrian. “In Brooklyn, New York. Neither Jen nor I has any idea where they were because Mr. Bates never asked if he could relocate them.”

Tup grinned as he saw the rage boiling inside of his foster father. He deserved it. He and Comet had technically been kidnapped and now it was coming back to bite Adrian in the ass.

Judge Montgomary gave a sigh then she composed herself. “We’re going to take a quick 15 minute break before I ask Comet and Tup some questions and then I will make my decision. I’m going to ask that both parties do not have contact. Everyone is free to leave.”

Adrian stalked out of the room first, rapidly talking to his attorneys. If Tup knew anything, it was that Adrian was about to explode. But right before the man left he turned around and glared at Tup and Comet. Tup pressed his nose against Comet’s shoulder to avoid his foster father’s anger.

Jango stepped up next to his kids, holding them close. Tup latched onto him immediately, not caring if Adrians posse in the courtroom thought it was childish. Maybe it would get him bonus points with the judge.

“You two okay?” Jango whispered to them. Tup nodded against him while Comet hummed a yes.

Their father led them out of the room and to where the rest of their family was. Tup kept nervously glancing through the hallway. Jango rubbed his back to get his attention.

“He won’t get close to you,” he whispered to Tup.

Boba and Din were standing close by. Boba tilted his head to the side when Tup made eye contact with him. Tup discreetly pulled himself away from his father’s warm embrace and walked to his brother. Boba and Din both ruffled his hair which made Tup pout.

Din put a hand on his shoulder. “Tup, the judge is going to ask you questions. They’re probably going to suck but you need to answer them honestly.”

Tup’s heart clenched. "what if I don't want to answer them?"

Din looked at him sadly and Boba couldn't help but feel like he had punched in the gut. Boba held his chin to keep his eyes on him. "We can't force you to do anything. We can only tell you what to expect. When the time comes it'll be up to you to say what you will. All of us will support what you say."

Tup frowned. "Why are you telling me this and not Comet?"

Boba and Din looked perplexed.

"Tup, you were crying when we left the room."

Tup hadn't noticed the tears had fallen from his eyes, making sticky tears on his cheeks. He whined. "I hate crying."

Din stroked his shoulder. "We know. We also know that judges love to focus on the youngest ones to see if they'll slip up without an older sibling's influence."

"That's so dumb," Tup complained.

Din patted his head. "I know. Now go wash your face. It's not fun to look like you've been crying in front of an entire courtroom."

Tup sniffled, fighting the urge to wipe his tears with his sleeve. He stepped toward the bathroom and entered it.

It was quiet. Too quiet for his liking. Call it a hunch but Tup felt that something was going to go wrong. He opened his phone and selected an audio recording app and set it to record. He slipped it back into his pocket.

Just as he finished splashing a few handfuls of water on his face a hard tug on his hair made him cry out in pain. He felt himself being backed into a wall and tears welled up into his eyes.

"Pay close attention to me, son," Adrian growled into his ear. "You're going to tell that judge that you'd rather live with me, that your father doesn't take care of your needs, and you don't feel safe with him."

Tup gritted his teeth, trying to pry Adrian off of him. "And why the hell would I do that?"

Adrian hit him on the head. The room spun for a few seconds.

"Because if you don't I will hurt Comet. Am I understood?"

Tup closed his eyes. "Please stop hurting me.

"Am I understood?"

Tup nodded, desperate to get him off of him. "I-I understand."

Adrian hit him one more time before dropping him. Tup sunk to the floor in a ball. As soon as his foster father left the room Tup locked the main door with fumbling fingers. He sat back down on the ground and sobbed for the next five minutes. How the hell could he save himself now?

...

Tup felt like he was going to throw up. He wanted to throw up so then maybe the judge wouldn’t make him talk about who he would prefer.

He held onto Comet as they were ushered back into the room. The officer led them to the bench that Bail and Jange were sitting at, closest to the judge. Comet didn’t question his brother's clinginess but it did make him worry.

“Can you go first?“ Tup asked while snapping his bracelet, eyes focused forward.

Comet didn’t really want to go first but he would do it for his brother. He nodded and they patiently waited for the judge to re-enter the room.

She did two minutes later and everyone stood up. She took her seat and asked for a moment to get everything organized.

Comet felt like someone was staring at him. He glanced around and eventually his eyes landed on Adrian. The older man was sitting up straight but instead of looking at the judge he was glaring. But not at Comet like he was expecting. It was Tup.

Comet growled in his throat and swiftly moved Tup to trade seats with him. Tup wordlessly agreed and pressed his side against Comet’s once they were situated.

Montgomery looked back up and between Comet and Tup. Comet raised his head, trying to make sure he went first.

“Comet, I would like to ask you a few questions. What was school like for you with your foster parents?”

Comet sighed and thought for a moment. He didn’t need long because it was a living hell. “Bad. I couldn’t focus in class. I was grieving the loss of my mother while trying to keep my little brother happy as best as I could. I fell behind because I hadn’t been taking my meds. My teachers tried their best to keep me from failing all my classes.”

“Did you not have access to medication?”

“No, I did not have acces.”

Montgomery nodded along with him, writing a few things down. “And what was your schooling like with your dad and when you had your medication?” She shot a glare at Adrian.

“My dad always tried to help me,” Comet said. “...And my mother did before…anyway, it’s better. My dad can’t always keep up with school anymore but he always makes sure I get help from my teachers or siblings when I need it.”

He got a few chuckles from the room.

The judge looked up again. “Comet, if you could choose to live with the family you wanted, who would it be?”

“My dad and my brothers.” He did not hesitate.

“Tup, how do you think people would describe you when you were with the Bates’?” the judge asked.

Tup shook with fear as Adrian kept shooting daggers with his eyes. “S-Sad. Irate. On edge-”

Montgomery hadn’t looked at him once because she was busy staring at Adrian. She let her hands fall to her desk with a thump. “Mr. Bates, I’m going to ask you to stop glaring at Tup, if you would be so kind. I apologize, Tup, please continue.”

Tup cleared his throat. “I used to like learning. I never wanted to go to school when I was with Adrian.”

The woman folded her hands on the desk. “What was your relationship with your foster father and mother?”

Tup didn’t look in Adrian’s direction. “Nonexistent.”

The judge didn’t look surprised. That’s all she needed to hear. She had made her decision the moment she asked Adrian about the boys. She took a moment to sign a few things then looked Adrian dead in the eye. “

By the jurisdiction of the Family Court of Highlands Ranch, I order Comet and Tup Fett to remain in custody of Jango Fett. Court adjourned.”

Tup felt his heart take a leap. He was safe. Adrian couldn’t take him. He could breathe. Jango held his boys against him, looking to Bail Organa.

“Thank you. Seriously.”

Bail smiled brightly. “It’s my job. I am happy your boys get to stay with you.”

Tup smiled as he was beginning to walk out with his father and brother.

Boba, Din, and Fennec were standing towards the back end of the room, watching with fond eyes.

Tup was the last in line when a hand grabbed him. He flinched and turned around.

Adrian was fuming. Tup didn’t know if he had ever seen him so mad before.

“You f*cking bitch,” he hissed, quiet so no one could overhear.

Tup tried to fight off his grip. “Adrian, let go of me.”

Adrian tightened his grip and Tup could feel his bones shifting. “I don’t f*cking think so.”

Tup looked back for his dad but Adrian pulled his attention back to him. “I will f*cking kill them if you yell.”

Tup didn’t need to because the judge was coming down from her podium.

“Mr. Bates, let go of him right now,” she ordered. The bailiff took a step forward, ready to intervene.

“He needs to be taught a lesson,” he growled at him.

Tup continued to fight him. He was done with his games “Why, because I wouldn’t lie for you?! f*cking psycho-“

The sound of a slap caught him off guard. His head snapped to the side and he felt a fiery sting in his cheek.

Adrian still had his hand raised when he turned around. Tup broke his grip and stepped back.

Adrian had just slapped him in front of the entire courtroom.

Notes:

This was fun even if most of it is probably not accurate. 😂

What did you think? Whaat do you want to see?

Chapter 32: Chapter 32-Karma’s a Bitch

Summary:

Adrian has just hit Tup in front of the courtroom. What will happen now?

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

Tup stared at Adrian in shock. He felt the tingling sensation of a panic attack taking over his body.

No, no, no. He did not just do that. No! I’m going to have to explain everything!

Jango whipped back around when he heard the sound of a slap, wondering what the hell was going on. Tup was standing towards the front of the seats, staring at Adrian with scared eyes.

Jaster stepped forward as well, looking absolutely flabbergasted. He and Adrain Bates met eyes. He knew what he just saw. Ardian saw him see what he did.

“Oh hell no!” the man shouted.

The bailiff stepped up and tried to get Adrian away from Tup. “Sir please put your hands behind your back.”

Jango connected the dots. Tup leaving his side, Adrian looking like the devil himself, and his son holding his face with tears. He rushed over and cupped Tup’s face. He wiped his tears away. Comet approached as well.

“Did he just hit you?” he asked, shielded Tup away from the man.

Tup nodded against his back, fighting his tears.

“We’re pressing charges,” Jango said to the officer.

The man was still trying to work the cuffs onto Adrian who was putting up a hard fight. He suddenly swung at the officer but instead of hitting him he clipped Comet right in the back of the head with a hard hit.

Jango immediately pulled Comet away from Adrian, holding a hand to the back of his head. Comet clenched his eyes closed.

All Tup was aware of was the static is his ears. He couldn't feel his limbs as he trembled. All he knew was that he was running. Running out of Jango's grasp, running past his family and out the front door. He would've run into the street if not for a pair of arms stopping his advances.

Tup was pulled against someone's chest and he hugged them back, gripping at their back.

"Just breathe. There you go. Nice and easy," a calm voice told him that Tup wasn't expecting to hear.

He listened to their advice and sucked in a breath, only just noticing the tears on his face. f*ck crying, he thought.

"Back with me now?" The same person asked.

Tup looked up and wasn't surprised to see someone other than his family members but it still wasn't who he was expecting to see. It was Axel, his best friend, who he honestly thought would be the last person he saw today.

"You're here?" Tup asked softly.

Axel smiled down at him. "What? You think I wouldn't support you in this?"

Tup didn't know whether to be mortified or moved that his friend had been there to see his skeletons jump out of their closet. He just hugged him tighter.

The doors burst open and Nicky and Jaster were the first ones to leave.

"I cannot believe you punched him!" Nicky yelled disapprovingly.

Jaster glared at his husband. "I don't give a f*cking damn, Nicholas! He's not going to harm my grandchildren let alone touch them without going through me!"

Tup's jaw would've dropped to the floor if it could. "You punched Adrian?"

Jaster nodded without hesitation. "The cop turned a blind eye but I would do it again."

Tup suddenly hugged him tight, wrapping his arms around his neck. His wide eyes stared at the wall of the building. His grandfather easily hugged him back. Jaster made circles on his back, cradling the trembling teen.

Jango approached Tup, making sure his son saw him before saying anything. "Baby, you okay?"

Tup then launched himself at his father, hiding in his chest. "Why? Why?" He missed all the sad stares from the adults.

Jango sighed heavily and didn't say anything. He couldn't. Until Comet started swaying into him. He leaned on his father’s shoulder. Jango let go off Tup to walk his other son a few paces away,

His second youngest son had a hand to the back on his head with his eyes tightly shut. "Comet, does your head hurt that bad?" Comet stared at him for a moment before nodding. "Then we're going to the ER."

The teen pulled away from him, shaking his head then winced after. "No. No doctors."

Jango softened his eyes. "Love, you need to get checked for a concussion. You took a hit to the head from a very pissed off grown man with a metal cuff on his wrist. You need to go."

The teenager's eyes became one of begging. "Please don't."

Jango put a hand on his hip. "You have a traumatic brain injury, love. I'm not risking that with you."

That seemed to give his son some sense, thinking it over for a moment. "I don't want to waste money just because I got hit in the head," he whispered.

Jango reeled back like he was the one that had been slapped. "Uh huh. No. We're not doing that. You're not wasting money, Com. You're my child and if you need to go to the ER I'll be damned if I don't take you. Do you want Tup to go with you?"

Comet looked over to his baby brother, seeing that their older brothers were holding him close. "No, I don't want to freak him out more. He'll just worry the whole time."

Jango nodded. "That's fair. Let's go."

As Jango and Comet headed to the car, Tup stayed within his bubble of his brothers. Boba, Din, and Fennec were in their own area, most likely keeping Boba away on purpose.

"Do you want to go home?" Rex asked him while raking his nails through his hair.

Tup sniffed against his shoulder. "I don't know."

Cody stroked his back. "I think we should kiddo. The further away from Adrian the better.” Tup had to agree with that and nodded.

Arla approached her nephews, being motherly as ever. "Do you boys need anything?"

Ponds thought for a moment. "Possibly. We don't know how Tup is going to react once everything sinks in."

Arla nodded. "I will stick around at your place. Just in case."

Jaster raised his chin. "We will too. Maybe I can convince Boba to come as well."

Jango tried not to look shocked at his fathers words. He never thought Jangow would willingly see Boba or try to connect with him again.

Suddenly a cop car pulled up. Two young officers stepped out in uniform. One placed his hands on the front of his belt while the other grabbed his walkie on his shoulder.

"Dispatch, we have arrived."

"Suspect is still in the building, detained. Two minors were assaulted during a custody hearing. "

"10-4."

The other officer with dark hair and tan skin stepped forward to the group, taking his hands off his belt. "Are any of you the ones that got hit?"

Tup shakily nodded and Comet raised his hand halfway.

"Do you two mind if I talk to you for a second?" he asked softly, like he was talking to a spooked animal.

Tup forced himself to step out of the warm embraces of his family and took Comet's hand. The officer directed them a few feet away, taking out a notepad.

"I'm Officer O’Connor. Can I get your names, boys?"

"I'm Tup. Adrian hit me in the face."

"Comet. I took the slug to the head."

The man nodded, looking at Tup. "This was the first incident of violence today? Him hitting you?"

Tup shuffled his feet. "N-Not exactly."

Comet stiffened next to him. The officer’s calculating eyes fell on him. "Can you elaborate?" Comet was staring at Tup in confusion.

Tup ducked in on himself. "I-I don't even know if it counts-"

"Tup," the man said, "would you follow me over here?"

Tup wished he could say no but the officer was being nice and only wanted to help him. He shuffled his feet as he followed.

"I don't think your brother would try to sway you but I'd prefer if you told me in private. Just you, me, and a notepad," O’Connor explained. "Did something happen before him slapping you?"

Tup but his lip, nervously messing with his bracelet. "He um...he cornered me when there was a break in court. The judge ordered us to not speak to each other so he caught me off guard away from my dad. He grabbed my hair and slammed me into a wall. Threatened to...hurt Comet if I didn't lie to the judge about who I wanted to be with. Hit me twice. I have an audio recording of it. And right before he slapped me he threatened to kill my father if I yelled to him when he grabbed my wrist."

O’Connor folded his hands in front of his belt. "Can I hear the recording from before?"

Tup reluctantly took out his phone and fished around for the recording. He found it and handed his phone to the officer. He heard his voice and Adrian's going back and forth but he blocked most of it out.

O’Connor gently handed it back. He looked around before dropping his gaze to Tup. "Has he ever hit you before?"

Tup didn't answer. O’Connor dropped the conversation. He couldn’t report past child abuse if Tup didn’t tell him. They walked back over to Comet.

O’Connor raised his chin. "How did he hit you in the head?"

"Well, Tup got hit so I went to pull him away as the bailiff started to cuff him. Adrian swung for my head and clipped me with the cuff. I have a TBI so I have to go to the ER to get checked out." Comet used his hands as he was talking.

O’Connor frowned. "Did he know you have a traumatic brain injury?"

He nodded. "Yes. He found out in court today when asked what the letters stood for."

The front door to the court house swung open. Adrian was between two officers, the bailiff and O’Connor's partner, looking royally pissed. Adrian glared in Tup and Comet's direction. O’Connor placed himself in front of the boys, hiding them. Only once Adrian was in the car did O’Connor move away.

The officer turned to Jango. "We have all we need to press charges assuming you want to continue?"

"Hell yes I do," Jango said, letting Comet get close once again.

O’Connor gave a slight smile. "Perfect. We will be in contact with you about the court date."

Soon only the large family of Fetts were left.

Jango rubbed Comet's shoulder to get his attention. "Ready to go bud?"

Comet nodded, giving Tup's hand a blind squeeze. Tup tried to hold on longer but let Comet slip his fingers away. Tup felt himself being directed into Boba's car with Din settling him in the back.

Boba sat in the driver's seat with Din being in the passenger side, giving him a tense smile.

"Could've gone worse," he said. "Adrian could've gotten custody."

Boba snorted. "Someone would've been shot if that happened." He started driving.

"Adrian or the judge?" Din quipped with a more easy smile.

"Both to be honest."

Tup wished they would have kept talking because it was the only thing keeping him from bursting into tears. Which is exactly what he did. He tried to put a hand over his mouth to keep himself quiet. He was sure that the two of them were sick of him crying.

Din turned around while Boba looked in the mirror.

"Oh, sweetheart," Din cooed softly. He didn’t care if he was pushing boundaries or not with the name. Boba cursed under his breath, fighting the urge to pull the car over so he would be able to help Tup.

"I'm sorry! I'm fine." Tup tried to brush him off through tears.

"No you're not," Din said matter-of-factly. He unclipped his seat belt and climbed into the back seat with Tup. He let the boy death-grip his hand in a way to get him to calm himself down.

"You've got nothing to worry about anymore. Adrian's going to get locked up for good. He won't be able to hurt you again."

Din had no idea how his words had affected Tup. He and Comet would finally be free from the abuse of Adrian. Soon his tears were mixed with happiness. Still sad from being traumatized but he knew he would soon be free from the torment of Adrian Bates.

...

Comet was regretting his decision on letting his father drag him to the hospital. He hated bothering people with his problems and this included medical professionals. Jango walked him up to a desk person, keeping a tight grip on his shoulder.

"Hello, welcome to the ER. How may I help you today?" she said, sounding slightly bored.

"My son has a previous traumatic brain injury and he just received more head trauma. I figured it would be best to check him out." Jango normally wouldn't speak for his kids but Comet seemed a bit out of it,

The woman nodded. "Of course, that was probably the smartest thing you could've done. If I could get his insurance and other information I will get someone with you shortly."

Jango rattled off his birthday, age, insurance, and relation to Comet. The lady printed off a bracelet and helped the teen put it on.

"You'll have a doctor will you shortly after one of the nurses takes you to an empty bed."

Just as she finished, a cheerful young nurse came over to him. "Already let's get you settled and you can tell me what's going on so I can give all the information to the doctor that sees you."

She walked him over to a bed and directed Comet to sit on it. He obeyed, crossing his legs to be as comfortable as possible. She pulled out a chart book and started writing a few things. Then she turned to him with a reassuring smile. "Now, what seems to be the problem?"

"I have a traumatic brain injury from a car accident when I was younger," he started. "I've never had problems with it before but today I got hit hard in the head."

She nodded along with his words, jotting things down. "And are you in any pain right now?"

Comet was going to shrug but a hard stare from his father made him say otherwise. "Yeah. Probably a constant six or seven on a ten scale."

She put that down as well before lifting her head. "That's all I need. Hopefully a doctor will be able to pop over soon. They'll do a few standard concussion tests and then most likely order a CT scan to see if there is any bleeding or bruising inside of the brain."

Comet gave a weak smile. "Thank you."

Once she left, Comet's mood deflated. He slouched against the bed, blinking up at the ceiling a few times. Jango was able to read the change in emotion.

"It's been a long day for you, huh?" Jango rhetorically asked.

Comet took his father's hand in his, messing with his fingers and palm. "I thought he would back out." Jango wasn't sure what exactly he was talking about, so he let Comet continue. "Tup, I mean. Adrian always petrified him with his anger and the way he treated us. I was always so worried about protecting Tup I was never really scared of him until we left him.

"So I thought Tup would back out. I thought Tup would either not show up for the hearing, not answer the judges questions, or make it seem like he wanted to be with Adrian out of fear."

Jango leaned forward. “You really think that he would do that?”

Comet gave a weak grin. “Even if he doesn’t show it Adrian still has a hold over him. Until he's gone for good I doubt Tup will let Adrian leave his mind.”

The man fell silent as Comet let him digest the words being said to him. The teenager kept looking around the hospital, trying to not imagine how his mother died in one of these rooms. Possibly in an OR. He tried really hard to not see in his mind as his mother was shocked to try and keep her alive, having a tube shoved down her throat. He emptied his mind, leaning back on his pillow.

Jango suddenly grabbed his hand, rubbing his thumb over the back of his hand. Comet looked back and saw the guilt clinging heavily in his eyes. Comet knew his father always carried guilt with him. Whether it was from Diana, to the military, or the boys being put into foster care.

“I’m sorry you were sent with him,” Jango said softly.

Comet squeezed back. “I know.” He couldn’t say Jango wasn’t at fault because he was the one that did assault Liam Johnson but Comet had forgiven his father years ago.

Boba pulled into the driveway of Tup’s home, turning in his seat. Tup had calmed down quite a bit, the tears gone but the emotions were still there. Din was hugging him close still, eyes big with care and sympathy. Boba didn’t know if his friend would let go of the teenager.

“Do you want to go inside yet?” he asked the boy.

Tup sniffed a bit and nodded, messing with his sleeves. “Y-Yeah.”

Boba nodded. “Okay. Let’s go.”

As all of them got out of the car, Tup tugged on Boba. The man looked down at him.

“Promise you won’t bail on me?” he requested. He knew the rest of his family would be heading over, either the protective Fett genes or traits they had taken on from Fetts had kicked in, and Tup figured it would be best for Boba to stay and talk with them.

Boba chuckled, pointing to Din. “I’ll stay and if I get cold feet, he’ll be my knight in shining armor and keep me here.” Tup cracked a smile.

They walked down the long driveway to the house. Tup tested the door and it didn’t budge. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a key. His father had made him take it before the hearing.

The door swung open silently and Tup dropped the key on the small table near the door. He immediately went upstairs to change into something more comfortable, letting Din and Boba close the door and let them walk about.

Tup slowly took his clothes off, thinking about what he was going to wear. He put on a pair of sweats and a t-shirt. A chill racked through him and he didn’t know if it was his anxiety or the fact that it was still chilly in colorado. He walked into Rex, Cody, and Wolffe’s room and rummaged through their closets. He grabbed a hoodie that he knew to be Wolffe’s that was a size or two big on Tup’s lean frame compared to Wolffe’s large one.

He pulled it over his head and laid on his bed for a few minutes. When he gathered enough energy to pull himself up he heard a lot of voices downstairs.

Guess everyone’s here.

He walked down the stairs, holding his arms over his chest in a protective manner. He was met with a bunch of people in the living room and dining room. Tup saw his adoptive cousins lounging around on one of the couches. Zeke was talking with Wooley while Jake was just sitting calmly next to them. His blue eyes found Tup’s brown ones.

Tup quietly walked over to him and sat next to him. Jake smiled softly at him. “How are you feeling?”

Tup closed his eyes and leaned on Jake’s shoulder. “Not…great?”

Jake giggled. “Yeah, I can tell.”

Wolffe suddenly went in front of Tup, slowly moving his hand to hold Tup’s chin. He let his brother move his head to the side. He knew Wolffe was looking for where he got slapped.

Wolffe hummed to himself. “Are you hurting?” Tup shook his head, fighting the urge to lean into his brother’s hand. Wolffe figured his little brother would live and left him alone with their cousins.

Tup sat silently and felt weak when he flinched when someone knocked on the door. Jake looked at him from the corner of his eye and put an arm around his shoulders.

“I understand,” he whispered to the younger boy. Tup leaned his head on his shoulder.

Kal Skirata and his six boys walked through the door. Kal smiled at Tup. The teenager stood up and hugged his honorary uncle and godfather then his cousins, not ignoring how tight they hugged him.

“Rex and Cody told us you get to stay,” Ordo said to him, ruffling his hair.

Tup nodded once A’den had his hug. “Yeah, we do.”

Kal glanced around. Two people were missing. He saw all of Jango’s boys except for Comet and Jango himself. He saw Jaster and Nicky, Arla and her sons, and even Boba and a man he didn’t recognize. “Where’s Com and Jango?”

Tup swallowed. If he told him the truth then Kal would lose his mind. If his father had a twin in personality and protectiveness it was Kal Skirata. Kal and Jango both worked as bounty hunters and had a shared hatred for criminals they hunted down with charges for abuse. Especially child abuse.

“N-No where.” Tup prided himself on being a good liar but when it came to Kal he was never able to lie.

Kal narrowed his eyes. “Tup?” The six boys looked at their youngest cousin.

Jaster cleared his throat which pulled Tup’s eyes over to him. Then Jaster flickered his eyes to Kal before going back to Tup. Tup’s eyes widened in warning for Jaster to keep his mouth shut.

“Fett?” Kal questioned, irritation rising.

Tup shook his head. Kal quickly looked at him. “Tup.”

Nicky sighed and looked at his husband. “Jas.”

Tup looked at his other grandfather. “Nicky.”

“Fett,” Kal said one more time, nearly raising his voice.

Jaster glanced at his grandson, seeing the puppy eyes. But Kal was relentless. He sadly looked at the teenager, knowing Tup wouldn’t like him for this. “I’m sorry, kid.” Tup closed his eyes and sat down on the couch.

Kal put his hands on his hips. “Talk.”

Nicky nudged him. He wasn’t going to be the one to tell him. Tup already felt betrayed by Jaster, and Nicky wasn’t going to make Tup feel worse.

“Adrian hit Tup and Comet. Comet is in the ER with Jango to get his head checked out.”

That's when the yelling started. Kal started cursing up a storm while Ordo, A’den and the others started asking a bunch of questions.

Wolffe threw his hands up in the air. Ponds muttered under his breath. Cody dropped his head to the table, banging it a few times.

Rex zoned out, staring at the wall. He was so sick of all of this. He was sick of the yelling, the arguing, the screaming, the tears. Just all of it.

Boba and Din just watched on in shock. Boba knew his family could be loud but this was something else.

“Your family is…interesting,” Din said in his ear.

Boba nodded slowly. “I’ve been away for so long I forgot what it's like.” His eyes fell on Tup who looked worse for wear. He was holding his head in his hands, gripping at his hair. Din saw it too and sighed sadly.

“Poor kid.”

Boba reached around Din and tapped Rex. The younger man jerked a bit, knocking himself out of his trance. Boba gestured to the boy. Rex immediately got up and walked over to his little brother.

He made sure Tup was able to see him before grabbing him gently. Tup let himself be walked out of the room.

Rex walked him into a quiet room, rocking him side-to-side. “You’re okay. You’re okay.” He knew it wouldn’t take long to calm Tup down. Rex always had some of the best results with calming Tup down from a panic attack.

Within fifteen seconds, Tup was pulling away from him. There were no tears and he seemed normal. Rex gave him a knowing smile.

“You didn’t have an attack, did you?”

Tup bit his lip, looking guilty. “No. I figured if they saw you taking me out of the room then they wouldn’t look for me for a while. Is-is that wrong?”

Rex chuckled, giving him a hug. “No, no, love. Nothing wrong with wanting some space. Just don’t worry me next time.” He stroked Tup’s head a few times. “Now go upstairs. I’ll cover for you.”

Tup smiled at him. “Thank you.”

Rex watched as he raced out of the room and upstairs to his room. His smile fell when his phone rang. He was praying it wasn’t Jango with bad news. Instead it was Rebecca. He pushed the dread down deep in his chest. He hoped Comet and Jango would come soon so he would have an excuse to hang up.

Notes:

Sorry for the short chapter. The next chapter will pick up directly after the events of this one. 💙

Chapter 33: Chapter 33-Talking is Hard

Summary:

Comet gets checked out in the ER and certain paths of life are in discussion for Rex.

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

Jaster prided himself on being able to read people. It was always something he was good at even from a young age. It came in handy when Stone and his three brothers came to live with him. With four of them white lies were always told. And as he was staring at his Rex, he knew that the young man was losing his goddamn mind.

"Everything okay with Tup?" he asked quietly, only for Rex to hear.

The boy was startled not expecting to be spoken to. He shakily nodded. "Yeah...he just needed some space."

Jaster gave a nod of acknowledgement. "Understandable. Kid's had a rough day."

Rex gave him a smile that didn't quite reach his eyes. Jaster had noticed changes in his grandson, subtle things but he had no idea where they had originated from. "Rex, are you doing okay?"

The blond seemed to hesitate, not expecting the question. "Yeah, I'm fine. School is just kicking my ass."

"You pick a major yet?" he asked curiously.

Rex sighed, leaning back in his seat. "No. I've considered multiple but none of them really piqued my interest."

Jaster thought for a moment. Jango might hate him for this if he caught wind of it but if it would help Rex then he would do it. "There's always the military." He felt the hard stare from his husband.

Jaster and Nicky went through hell on Earth during those days. But Jaster couldn’t deny that the Marines were good for him. Nicky, however, wouldn’t be ecstatic if someone from their family went into the military. They already had so many in the military.

Rex paused, then turned to meet Jaster's gaze unflinchingly. "I'd figured you would do your best to keep me out of the military."

Jaster shrugged. "You have a point. It's a tough occupation and sometimes a thankless job. You'll have people give you sh*t for things they wouldn't have the balls to do. You'll get shot at, you'll be broken down, and you'll want to quit. But if you've got nothing else, activity duty for two to three years and the rest in reserves isn't the worst option."

Rex played with his fingers. "I had considered it after graduating. But I don't have the heart to leave. Kix is, as we speak, debating going into the army as a trauma medic."

Nicky leaned forward, resting his arms on the table they were sitting at. "What peeked that interest from him?"

"A new recruit at the station. He was a medic in Iraq." Rex gave a weak chuckle. "I don't have it in me to tell him not to do it. Dad will probably explode if he decides to enlist."

The two older men shared a look. Jango would definitely have opinions about his children going into the military. It broke a lot of people.

"Kix would be good for the military," Nicky stated. "He's got God given talent from what I've heard. But if he goes, it might not be the same Kix that comes back. PTSD and trauma f*cks with your brain."

Rex looked up at the ceiling, thinking for a moment. "Any word from the psycho cousins?" The ‘psycho cousins’ was a term that had been adopted for a bunch of Jaster's step-nephews that hate their families and all joined the military. They had always been close with the Fetts and were close with everyone by proxy. Since they were in the military it gave Rex an excuse to direct the subject away so his urge to enlist would die away.

Nicky snorted. "Still calling them that, huh? From what I heard no ones dead, injured, or dishonorably discharged. Alpha, Colt, and Blitz are climbing up the ranks. Hunter and his brothers are still in a foreign country they aren't allowed to speak about. The others I haven't spoken to in a while. The normal stuff."

That actually got Rex to laugh. "Those guys are far from normal."

Jaster smirked. "I blame their parents. Those kids drove me f*cking nuts and not in a good way."

Rex smiled, falling silent. He turned to the living room and was shocked to see Boba actually engaging in a conversation with his older brothers. Boba had always been the closest to the three eldest of Jango's sons since they were the closest in age. Rex still remembered brief moments from his childhood where he had forgotten that Boba was his uncle and he felt like he had five other brothers instead of four. He hoped that those days would come back.

Din sat on Boba's right side, staying quiet as his friend conversed with the other Fetts including Arla, his sister. Suddenly his phone rang and sighed when he read the caller ID as an associate from their firm.

"I'll be back," he whispered in Boba's ear. Boba gave a small nod.

Once Din was out of ear shot in another room, Arla leaned forward with a devilish smile. "So, who's the cute lawyer friend?"

Boba nearly spit out his water. "Arla, no. Absolutely not."

Fennec started to cackle. Boba shot her an unamused look.

His sister rolled his eyes as the other boys around chuckled. "Oh, don't give me that. You're single, he's obviously into you. Shoot your shot!"

Boba rubbed his head. "You're the worst sister ever. You always try to match me with people. And he is not into me."

Arla scoffed playfully. "Well, excuse me for wanting my little brother to not die alone like a hermit. Girl, guy, doesn't matter to me. Just find someone."

Boba shook his head with a laugh. "Din is a friend. Stop playing matchmaker. You have your own kids to do that with."

Zeke's head popped up from behind another couch. "No, thank you! I would die of embarrassment."

Everyone laughed at the teen's comment.

...

Comet saw a doctor walk over to him with a kind smile.

"I'm Doctor Foster. I'm a neurologist that will be looking after you today," he greeted softly.

Comet looked at him with suspicion. "You're not a neurosurgeon, are you? You're not going to cut into my head, right?"

The doctor laughed. "No, I am not a surgeon. And the plan is to keep a neurosurgeon out of your head today." He took a minute to thoroughly read through Comet's file. "Comet, I'm going to perform a standardized concussion test to see if you sustained a concussion. Are you experiencing any pain?"

Comet squinted. "Yeah, I have a wicked headache. I felt a little lightheaded earlier as well."

Foster nodded. "And you did not lose consciousness, correct?"

Comet looked to his dad. He wasn't sure.

Jango shook his head. "No. He was fully there the whole time."

"That's a good sign," Foster mused. "I want you to follow the tip of my finger with your eyes only, okay?"

Comet nodded. The doctor made a slow X in front of his eyes. It hurt his eyes to follow it but he did so.

The man nodded and dropped his hand. "What's your full name?"

"Comet Mason Fett."

"What is the year?

"2021."

"What is the day of the week today?"

Comet scrunched his nose. He never knew what day it was. "Saturday?"

"Friday," the man corrected gently. He reached in his pocket and pulled out a very thin flashlight. "I'm going to test your pupil reaction. I'm going to ask that you focus on a point of the wall behind me and keep your focus there."

Comet held still as the bright light flashed passed past his eyes. He was making his head hurt even worse.

The doctor gave an uncommitted hum. "Your right pupil had a significantly slower reaction than the left which is a sign of slight pressure in the brain. I'm going to order a CT just to be safe. This seems to be just a stereotypical concussion from what I can see."

"I won't have to stay here, right?" Comet asked.

"If your scans aren't concerning, no, you won't have to be held for observation," the doctor said, pitching his voice into a more gentle one. Comet felt weak for finding it comforting. "I'll come back to get you in a bit."

Once the doctor left, Comet felt his walls slipping down. His carefully constructed mental wall that he had maintained for seven years. All because of Adrian.

"It's alright, it's alright," his father's voice whispered in his ear to calm him.

"No, it's not," he whispered. "Dad..." He paused. There were so many things he needed to tell him but he didn't know if he had the courage to do it.

"Whatever it is you can tell me," Jango soothed.

"Adrian hit Tup more than once today. When we were talking to the officer Tup said something about not being if what Adrian did earlier was considered abuse. The officer pulled him aside to talk to him and he had some type of recording on his phone."

Jango was bubbling with rage. He had murder on his mind but Comet was looking at him with nervous, scared eyes of what he was going to say. He took a breath.

“Thank you for telling me, Com’ika. I’ll talk to Tup when we get home, okay?” He kept his voice soft.

Comet closed his eyes and leaned his head on his father’s arm. “I’m scared…” he admitted softly.

“Things will be okay. I’ll be right here, waiting for you. And then we’re going to go home without a worry because Adrian is in jail.”

Comet suddenly said something that threw Jango for a loop. “I want to go off my meds.”

Jango blanked for a second. “Huh?”

Back at the house Tup was back downstairs with the others, sitting with Jake. The blue-eyed boy was leaning on his shoulder, practically hugging the other teenager. Tup welcomed the soft hug.

“Tup, there’s something you should know…” Jake suddenly whispered, eyes glued to the floor.

Tup shifted, looking down at his cousin. “What?”

Jake bit his lip, looking back to where Jaster, Nicky, and Rex were sitting. “They were talking to Rex about the military. And how it wouldn’t be bad if he enlisted.”

Tup felt his heart drop. He would die inside if Rex went into the military. He remembered, when he was younger, the day that one set of his cousins told him that they were going into the Navy to be aviator pilots. And then more cousins told him they were enlisting in the Marines. And then the Army. And then more into the Navy. One thing that congruent in all those instances was Tup’s fear and hatred for his cousins throwing themselves into danger.

A knock on the door made Tup get up for a distraction. Others began to protest him getting up but Tup waved them away. Tup opened the door and was met with Rebecca. Rex's girlfriend. Her bright blue eyes landed on him and became sympathetic. "Hi, sweetheart."

Call Tup a sucker but he felt calm when the woman called him that. No other woman besides Aunt Arla had called him that.

Rebecca tilted her head to the side. "Can I come in?"

Tup nodded, quickly stepping to the side to invite her in. She stepped into the house and turned to Tup when he closed and locked the door. "Just tell me to leave and I will. I know that I'm new to you and I don't want to make you uncomfortable."

Tup stared at her then tightly hugged Rebecca around the waist. Finally someone who wasn't his family that understood he wasn't great with strangers. Rebecca gently embraced him, putting a hand on the back of his head for a few seconds. Tup pretended that his mother was the one hugging him.

She pulled away and smiled down at him. "Now why don't you lead me to where the party is?"

Tup smiled at her and led her to the leaving room where his massive amount of family members were.

They all turned to the woman, taking her in. Rebecca gave a small wave. "Hi, I'm Rebecca. Rex's girlfriend."

Rex stood up when his girlfriend walked over to him, giving her a smile. She kissed his cheek and settled down next to her boyfriend.

Soon the room became more relaxed, the other getting used to the presence of the newcomer. They soon began to ask her questions

Kal was giving her a hard stare but not an unkind one. "Are you in college, Rebecca?"

She smiled at him. "Yes sir. I go to the University of Phoenix Colorado Campus. It's only a few miles from Highlands Ranch."

Jaster took a turn, eyes narrowing. "What do you plan on doing with your life, Rebecca?"

Rex groaned, sheepishly rubbing the back of his neck. "Can we stop with the interrogation?" Neither of the men responded.

"I'm studying childhood education," she answered with a chuckle. "I've always wanted to teach kids since I never had good teachers growing up."

"Sorry to hear that," Cody said softly, still wary of the girl but felt bad.

She smiled brightly. "I'm over it."

...

Rex noticed the way Tup was acting around him the past few hours. He seemed pissed off about something but he couldn't figure out what it was for the life of him. So he tapped him on the shoulder, gesturing for him to follow. Tup did but with a roll of his eyes and let Jake move off of him. Rex's heart didn't like the sight.

Tup stopped once they were far enough away, crossing his arms and looking down.

"You want to tell me why you're giving me attitude?" he asked sternly.

Tup glared at him. "You're not Dad."

Rex blinked in shock. "Well too damn bad because I'm still your older brother. Tell me why you're acting like this. I know you're shaken up but you don't need to be rude."

Tup's glare didn't let up. "Oh so now you care about how I'm feeling?"

Rex grabbed his arm in a firm grip. "What's that supposed to mean? I care about your feelings, kid."

Tup ripped his arm away, honey eyes flashing dangerously. "Because you care about your baby brother so much that you're willing to join the military and die."

Rex's brain short circuited. Then his heart dropped. Tup had gotten insight on that conversation. He was cursing his grandfather for a quick moment. "Where'd you hear that from?"

"Jake," Tup spat.

Rex closed his eyes to gather strength to not shake his shy cousin for listening in. "Tup, love, I'm not going into the military."

Tup stopped fuming for a moment, hope shining through. He didn't know what he would’ve done if Rex left him.

Rex continued, holding Tup's chin in place. "Yes. I considered it. I really did. Sometimes I still do. That does not mean I'm leaving you, do you understand me? I love you too much to see you unhappy about me leaving."

Tup held his gaze, looking for a lie in his eyes. He had never known Rex to be a liar. "...okay."

Rex smiled at him sadly, bringing him in for a tight hug. They discreetly walked back into the room.

Jaster kept watching Boba from afar, seeing how much his son had grown within the years. He had missed out on Boba becoming an adult, having been cut out from his life by the stubborn boy.

Nicky nudged him with his arm, a fond look in his eyes. "I think it's about time you talked to him, babe."

Jaster had fought in wars, faced death numerous times, and the fact that talking to his son made him just as nervous as those moments in his past was comical to him. Boba looked over at him, feeling like he was being stared at. Jaster kept his eyes on him and made clear what he wanted.

They were going to talk today whether he liked it or not.

Notes:

Sorry if this is bad and short. I totally lost motivation while writing this if you couldn’t tell 😂. The next chapter will hopefully be more fulfilling.

What do you think? Any thoughts?

Chapter 34: Chapter 34-Conversations

Summary:

Comet and Jango talk about his medication while Jaster and Boba have a conversation of their own

Disclaimer: I do not have a degree in law or medicine nor I have been in the US military. Take those scenes with a grain of salt.

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

Jango stared in shock as Comet dropped a metaphorical bomb on him. Comet had never expressed a wish to go off of his medication. He had been on it since childhood and never expressed problems with it.

"Uh...Comet, not don't I don't want to support you, but are you sure that's a good idea?" Comet began to doubt himself and it showed on his face. Jango quickly tried to change it. "How about you tell me why you want to go off your meds?"

The boy turned away slightly, feeling slightly embarrassed. "I just feel like things would be easier. I never got the chance to try therapy so I don't know. I figured if I went a few times I could go off of them and just deal with the ADHD." He waited nervously for his father's answer.

"Alright then. If you want to go off them, I'll help you do that. But we're still keeping them in the house in case things go south."

Comet co*cked his head to the side. "Is that why you still keep Rex's meds in the house?"

Jango paused. He recalled that he had shoved those meds far in the back of the cabinet, kept hidden by rows and rows of other meds and over-the-counter medicines. "How do you know about those?" he asked instead.

Comet didn't look ashamed when he answered, "I went looking for ibuprofen when we were out of it. I tore through the whole cabinet and stumbled across them. Antipsychotic meds. I looked it up. It's the only antipsychotic used for high functioning anxiety and panic attacks."

Jango sighed, feeling the stress of all his son's ailments coming down on him. It had been a while since he had thought about what goes on inside Rex’s head. "Yes, Rex has anxiety. It's not too hard to notice."

Comet narrowed his eyes. "Antipsychotics are one hell of a treatment though."

His father gave him a firm parent look. “It’s not my business to tell. You can ask Rex when we get home. But he might and will shoot you down immediately.”

Comet laid back on the bed. He huffed and traced his eyes across the ceiling. “Adrian came by the school a few days after he tried to take Tup.”

His father tensed beside him. He grabbed Comet’s china dn directed his head to him. “What in the world are you talking about? Why wouldn’t you tell me something like that?” Jango's voice was quiet to not disrupt others but his fury was still there.

“You couldn’t have done anything. It already happened.”

The conversation would’ve continued if not for the nurse coming back to them, rolling a wheelchair. She gave Comet a small smile. “Alright, are you ready to go, Comet?”

Comet nodded, not liking the wheelchair part, but he climbed out of the bed and into the chair. The nurse looked at his dad.

“He’ll be gone for about an hour.”

She started directing him to a different part of the hospital, making small talk with him; what grade he was in, if he did sports, any siblings?

She led him to a quiet wing of the hospital before stopping. He got out of the wheelchair and a pair of medical scrubs of somesort. “Do me a favor and change into this, sweetheart,” she said as she pointed to a curtain a few feet away. “You can leave your clothes in there and come out when you’re ready.”

Comet did as he was told, changing quickly so this would be over faster and he could be back with his dad. He came back out once he was dressed and walked to the nurse. She smiled and directed him through a large door that had warning signs on it. He walked into the room and looked around, seeing the large machine. His nurse and another in the room directed him to the bed.

He was laid back so his head was kept still by a small contraption. He stared blankly up as the two nurses fiddled with a few things. The woman came into his view once again. She pressed something into his hand.

“Squeeze this and we’ll stop the scans and come get you out, okay?” Comet nodded. “Great. Try to keep as still as possible as we do this.”

Comet laid still as the machines started up. The person manning the scans spoke to him a few times, but there wasn’t much said as he laid there for thirty minutes. He was bored out of his mind but he was proud of himself that he wasn’t fidgeting. Maybe he was ready to stop his meds.

The nurse came back in after the scans were complete, her bright smile putting Comet at ease.

“Alright, Comet. Let’s get you changed and back with your dad, okay?”

Comet was soon being wheeled down the hallways, making small talk with his nurse again. He finally learned her name, Emily. His dad was patiently waiting in the ER for him still.

He climbed back into the bed, looking at EMily.

“From what I hear it doesn’t look like we’re going to have to commit you but the doctor will take a look to confirm that. We’ll get you out of here as soon as possible.” Emily walked away with a smile, going to help someone else.

Comet and Jango waited in mostly silence, Comet holding onto his hand, drawing shapes with his finger on his palms. Jango smiled softly at action, letting Comet do it to his heart's content.

An hour later Doctor Foster came over. “How are you feeling, Comet? Any worse pain, anything new?”

COmet shook his head slightly. “Just a headache.”

Doctor Foster nodded, looking at Comet’s chart one more time. “Alright. After reviewing your CT scans it seems that there is no swelling of the brain or any blood. THis is just a mild concussion. I have no problem releasing you. You can take over the counter medication for the headache if you wish to. I would keep an eye on him, dad, since his traumatic brain injury makes him more susceptible to other brain injuries. So let’s get you discharged, Comet, and come back if the pain doesn’t stop within a week or two and we’ll do another scan,” Foster explained, walking away to the nurses station to get a few papers.

Jango read over them and signed at the bottom handing them back to Foster. Comet got off the bed carefully and let his dad put an arm around his shoulders.

“Let’s go home, kiddo.”

Boba was frozen in place as his father stood up and walked out of the room. Fennec hit him in the ribs with an elbow, trying to get him to move. He shot her a glare which she leveled right back at him. Din was confused about what was going on but he discreetly grabbed his friend’s hand, squeezing gently.

Boba’s heart lurched at the touch and moved to stand up, following Jaster out of the room. He hated to do this right now. He felt Tup’s eyes follow him as walked away, swallowing heavily as Jaster was leaning against the wall.

“You ready to talk like adults?” Jaster teased him sarcastically.

Boba rolled his eyes in good nature, knowing his father could be dramatic. “I guess so…”

Jaster turned to face him head on, his expression open. “I guess I should apologize.”

Boba startled. His father was always a proud man and wasn’t one to apologize. “Huh?”

Jaster sighed heavily at his son. “Boba, your childhood wasn’t easy. Jango was closer to being your father than I was because your mother and I didn’t want to take responsibility for you.”

Boba opened his mouth like a fish a few times before giving a small nod. “Okay…”

“You don’t have to say anything. But just know that I regret not being in your life. I’m willing to work with you if you would let me.”

Boba recalled that he said something so similar to Tup a few weeks ago. He swallowed. “Okay.”

They went back into the living room, seeing that Arla and her boys were saying goodbye. Jake was hugging Tup tight, saying a few words into his ear. Zeke and Wooley hugged him next. Arla said goodbye to her other nephews before hugging her dad. Boba, not expecting her to say anything, started walking back to Din when his sister grabbed his wrist. He turned, shocked at the touch.

Her eyes softened at his surprise and pulled him into a warm embrace. Boba didn’t do anything for a few seconds and looked over her shoulder to his two friends. Fennec gave a circular motion of her hand, telling him to hug Arla back.

He eventually did, not remembering the last time he willingly hugged his sister. It was probably the night that Diana died. He had gone to the hospital, not planning to talk or be seen by anyone as he went to say goodbye to the only mother figure in his life. He had been so distraught that he hadn’t noticed that Arla had seen him until he was being hugged.

Arla pulled away, holding the side of his neck in a sisterly way before pulling Tup up from the couch, smiling at him.

As Arla and her sons left, Boba sat back down with Din and Fennec. He was slightly in shock still.

Din grabbed his hand, giving it a squeeze. “Good job.”

Boba chuckled. “Thanks for the encouragement, Din,” Boba quipped. He ignored how his heart started racing as he felt the warmth of Din’s hand spreading through his whole body. He could hold his hand forever.

Snap out of it, Fett, he told himself but he didn’t let go just yet.

Twenty minutes later, the sound of keys jingling made Tup sit straight up.

“Tup’ika, you okay?” Kal asked his nephew.

“Dad’s here,” Tup announced as he rushed to the door.

Kal and his boys just watched in shock.

“How in the world does he know it’s Jango?” Prudii questioned the other boys.

Jesse and Kix laughed. Cody smirked and explained, “He told us a while ago he knows who’s coming in the house based on the way they hold their keys and how we insert the key into the locks. Apartly Bly is the most clumsy and drops his keys a lot.”

A’den snorted. “That matches.” Bly stuck his tongue out.

Tup reached the door when it opened and Comet came into view. He tackled his brother into a hug, forcing them to crash into their father. Jango easily kept all of them straight up by holding onto his two boys, letting them hug everything out.

“Are you okay?” Tup asked in a rushed voice, holding Comet’s head delicately.

Comet smiled and laughed at his little brother. “Yes, yes, I’m okay, Tup. Just a concussion. Nothing too bad considering my TBI.”

Tup just hugged him again.

A week passed in a blur. Comet was still recovering from his concussion. Jango had contacted different prosecution attorneys and gone to multiple meetings with them with Tup and Comet in toe. The consensus from all of them was that Adrian could be charged with two charges with assault which would get him five to sixteen years in prison for each charge along with possible fines that the judge sees fit. Officer O’Connor had confirmed that Adrain was still in custody and would be throughout the trial.

Soon the date was set a few weeks out. Tup had never felt more scared in his life. He hadn't been sleeping, not eating much, losing focus. Comet seemed to be doing better with which made Tup feel guilty for some reason. Comet was concussed by a man and Tup was freaking out over court.

The fact that the fate rested in the hands of a jury made him uneasy. Adrian had always been able to work his way out of things ever since Tup had known him. He also knew lawyers could be sneaky as well.

He had recently seen Justin the other day and the session had gone smoothly until the man had suggested that he tell someone about the past abuse. Tup had nearly lost it but Justin explained it could help him in the long run. Justin had explicitly said it didn’t have to any of his siblings or dad. So that's why Tup’s eyes kept following Fennec Shand as she was talking with his other siblings. Din and Fennec had been over a lot more with Boba, getting closer with the family.

Once there was a break in the conversation, Fennec got up to enter the kitchen. Tup followed her a bit after, not wanting to make it look obvious he was going to talk with her.

She was getting some water when he walked in.

“Fennec…can I talk to you?” he asked timidly.

The woman was calm on the outside but on the inside she didn’t know how to handle kids even if they’re teenagers. “Yeah, sure kid. What’s up?”

Tup sighed. “You can’t tell anyone. At least not yet. But I need to tell someone.”

Fennec felt her discomfort rise. “What’s going on?” She took a swig of her water to calm her nerves.

Tup was about to speak but then he deflated. “Nevermind.”

Fennec hummed disapprovingly. She held onto his arm gently. “Hey, no, tell me what’s wrong.”

Tup dipped his eyes to the floor. “Adrain used to hit me. A lot,” he admitted quietly.

Fennec’s eyes blew up before she settled down. Taking a large breath, she put the glass down and did the last thing Tup thought the intimidating, badass lawyer, Fennec Shand would do. She hugged him. She hugged Tup like her life depended on it.

“You need to tell your dad,” she whispered in his ear.

He shook his head miserably. “I c-can’t.”

“Then promise me you’ll do it soon,” she requested.

Tup thought on it for a moment. “Fine.”

Fennec didn’t let go of him for a long time.

The aircraft carrier was quiet at night. Or at least more quiet. No orders were being shouted. No fighters were being launched off the ship for patrol. Not many people were up, most of the crew, fighter pilots, and commanding officers retiring to their quarters. But Colt Jones was not one of them.

He entered the rec room, hoping that a distraction would help him fall asleep faster. Insomnia was a bitch. He wasn’t surprised to see his two brothers and fellow fighter pilots occupying the same room. He sat next to Alpha on a large couch, half laying on his brother. Alpha huffed but didn’t move him, just letting Colt’s head rest on his shoulder.

“Damn, you’re a pushover Alpha,” one of their friend’s, Chris, said.

“Only when it’s his little brother,” Jack said. The only reason he knew that was because he flew with Alpha nearly every day as his backseater. He could read him like a book most of the time.

Alpha glared at Jack’s betrayal. “Next time we’re in the air, I will crash us into the ocean.”

Jack smirked. “Yeah right. Even if you do, I’ll eject.”

“f*ck you.”

Colt whined. “Ugh, both of you shut up.”

Blitz leaned closer to him, stroking his head dramatically. “The baby is trying to sleep, everyone.” Colt smacked him on the head.

Everyone calmed down and turned their attention to the small TV. A baseball game was playing which grabbed Colt’s attention for a bit.

Tony, the resident “nerd” of the pilots, was reading a book, occasionally looking up at the screen. A commercial break sounded and he closed his book. “Any plans for leave?”

“I’ve got my baby niece to meet,” Jack said first, adoration in his voice.

Alpha smirked at him. “And you say I’m soft.”

Colt huffed, thinking. “We have a lot of family we haven’t seen in a while.”

“Parents? Siblings?” Chris poked.

“Not seeing our parents. We haven’t talked to them in years and we really don’t want to,” Colt explained. “But we have lots of cousins and step cousins. And grandparents. So we’ll probably make our rounds if we’re welcome.”

“I'm sure we are,” Blitz said. “The kiddos will probably threaten bodily harm if we don’t visit.”

“True. Tup wasn’t too happy when any of us went to the academy. Or when the others went into the Marines or Army. He’d take a crack at us the first chance he gets.”

“He’s the youngest right,” Jack asked.

“Yep, and he definitely wasn’t the only one that was wary about us being in the military but he was the most vocal about it. The youngest twins weren’t happy either.”

“We should probably write to them soon. It’s been a few months. Tup and Comet weren’t doing too well the last time we heard from them.”

Tony was trying to hide a grin but failed. Colt narrowed his eyes. “What’s with the smile?”

“Nothing,” Tony shook his head. “Just nice that you care about your cousins. I wish mine did.”

Alpha sighed to himself. “Hopefully we’ll see them soon when we get stateside.”

“And let’s pray nothing bad as happened with those two.”

Notes:

The next chapter will be another trial. I’m really milking it 😂. But we have met some other cousins that are in the Navy, hope you liked who I’ve picked.

What did you think? Anything you want to see?

Chapter 35: Chapter 35-Surprises

Summary:

The boys get a surprise when they need it most, but something throws Tup off the deep end.

Warnings: self-harm (technically speaking)

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

"How are you feeling about the trial, Tup?"

Tup looked up at the soft voice, meeting Justin's blue eyes. His session had just started and of course, Justin was going to go straight for the jugular. "Nervous. There's a jury. A harsher judge. I have to talk more. So…I’m settling with ‘nervous’.”

“Do you think that Adrian won’t be put in jail?” he asked quietly. He knew that TUp would think that. Within the past two to three years he had a good read on his young patient.

Tup nodded, never breaking eye contact. “Yes.”

Justin gave him a small smile. “Do you remember that the courtroom has cameras that run during cases? In all courtrooms?”

The boy paused. He hadn’t thought of that. “T-They do?” he asked hopefully.

Justin gave him a sad smile, leaning forward to keep Tup’s wandering eyes on him. “Yeah, they do, kid. I’m sure your attorneys will pull the footage.”

“Can—” Tup started but quickly abandoned his train of thought, blushing and looking down at the carpet. He couldn't bring himself to say what he wanted to the other man. Justin had been his rock for years, one of his only confidants in life, and what truly happened in foster care that he could tell his family, but what he wanted to ask was more personal.

“Go ahead, Tup,” the man softly encouraged him.

“Can you come…to the trial?” he timidly requested. He waited for a beat before looking up through his lashes.

Justin still had his easy-going smile. He reached out and squeezed Tup’s hand before letting go. “If you want me there, then I’ll be there.”

“Please,” Tup begged. “I don’t care if it’s unprofessional. I might snap if you’re not.”

Justin tilted his head to the side. “It’ll be off the record. And you won’t ‘snap’, Tup.” He used one of his hands for the metaphorical quotation marks. “You might be scared and anxious but you won’t ‘snap’ as you’ve liked to call it these past few months.”

Tup huffed, messing with his bracelet. “You don’t know that.”

Justin’s head was still co*cked to the side. “Yes, I do. You have responded well to the exercises I have taught you to calm yourself down.”

The teenager didn’t seem to agree. He was shifting in his seat like he was extremely uncomfortable or overstimulated. “I-I…”

“You know how to calm yourself down. You’ve done it before.”

“What happens if I start to panic on the stand? What then?” His speech was sped up.

Justin moved closer and lowered his voice. “You take a breath—a big one. Then you find a friendly face from the bench or where you’re sitting with your attorney. If you are next to your brother or father, hold their hand. And remember to ground yourself. Not too many steps, right?”

Tup slowly nodded, looking calmer.

Justin leaned back into his chair. “Talk to me about your antidepressants.”

Comet was awakened by his alarm clock blaring in his ear. It took him a few seconds to pull himself half off the bed to hit the clock a few times. He groaned to himself a bit, laying just for a few more minutes. Usually, he knew that was a dangerous game to play on a school morning but he hadn’t slept as heavy as he normally did so his brain was more awake.

He sluggishly climbed out of bed, stumbling a few times as he went to get changed. Comet noted that Tup hadn’t stirred yet and he knew that he would have to be the one to wake him up. Tup wasn’t always an easy riser in the morning, sometimes snapping if the wrong person woke him up. However, Comet would let him sleep for a few more minutes as he went downstairs, they still had thirty minutes before they had to leave for school.

Comet talked to his brothers for a few minutes as he shoved some cereal down his throat. It settled uncomfortably in his stomach but he was pushing himself to eat more. It would make the day easier. The small talk was short because the terror twins, Waxer and Boil, weren’t morning people, Fives was doing last night's homework, and Echo had already retreated upstairs for something.

Soon Comet went up the stairs as well, going to wake his brother up. As he did Rex shifted over to whisper in Cody’s. “Did you see him take his meds?”

Cody minutely shook his head. “Nope, should we tell dad?”

Rex thought about it for a moment. Unlike Tup, Comet had to take his medication every day. While the older boys were protective of their younger brothers they also knew they wanted to be more independent. It wasn’t a secret that Tup and Comet had extra affection that some might consider them being coddled and Rex found himself trying to find a good balance for those two. “No. I wouldn’t. We need to give them some space.”

Back upstairs Comet walked into his shared room. He stepped towards Tup’s bed and sat down. He gently shook his shoulder to pull Tup awake. Tup gave a few soft noises before rolling over to see his brother. Once he saw it was Comet he pressed his head against his leg, giving a groan.

“I know, Tup. I’m tired too,” Comet sympathized, stroking his hair a few times. “Let’s go, up you get.”

Tup hoped it wouldn’t be a long day.

Rex hated the Denver airport. It was irritating how many people there were and how many idiots there were as well. But it was worth it to see Colt, Blitz, and Alpha when they first got off the plane.

Rex recalled the last time he had been there with his three cousins except they were saying goodbye, not hello.

Rex held back tears as he watched Colt, Alpha, and Blitz checked their bags at the front entrance, about to enter security. The three of them stopped and turned to look back at their cousins.

Rex had insisted that he go with Ponds to drop their cousins off at the airport. Rex, Fives, and Echo’s foster parents resided in Colorado still but the rest of their brothers were scattered. The older boys had known that the three of their cousins were going into the military. The Fett’s weren’t good at goodbyes but Rex couldn’t let them leave without being there to say goodbye. He had ordered Ponds to pick him up.

“Thanks for driving us, Ponds,” Colt said softly to the older Fett, pulling him in for a hug.

Ponds smiled weakly at him and hugged him back. “It’s no problem. I knew your folks wouldn’t.”

Alpha looked at Rex, seeing how the sixteen-year-old was struggling not to cry. Being soft wasn’t his strong suit but he couldn’t watch as his little cousin struggled. “Alright, Rex, c’mere.”

Rex gladly leaned into his chest, feeling the strong heartbeat under his ear. Thoughts of what could happen on their deployment came to his mind. Alpha pressed a hand to the back of his head, holding him tight for a few moments before stepping away.

Colt quickly swooped in to hug Rex as well, talking softly in his ear—

A nudge to his arm jarred him from his thoughts. He winced at the pain. “Damn.”

Cody was staring at him, looking much more relaxed than Rex felt. His brother had his weight mostly on one leg, arms crossed loosely over his chest. “Take it easy, Rexy. You’re getting spacey again.”

‘Spacey’ was the term that Rex’s brothers had adopted to describe his moments of disassociation or getting lost in thought. Rex didn’t hate it but sometimes it made him feel a bit awkward.

“Not my fault,” he muttered.

Cody pressed his arm against his. “I know. But they’re still the same old psycho cousins.”

“Unless they aren’t,” Rex said, mostly to himself.

Soon his worries were gone because as soon as the three aviators came off of the tunnel they immediately came over to them. Still in uniform and dropping their bags a few paces away, they rushed towards Cody and Rex. Rex was swept into a hug from Blitz, a bone-crushing one. Rex hugged him just as hard, smiling softly at Alpha over his shoulder.

“God, did you get taller?!” Blitz asked incredulously, ripping his little cousins away to look at him better. “You did.” He hugged Rex again.

Cody gave Alpha a quick hug. “Good to see you three again.”

Alpha smirked at him. “You as well.”

Rex was eventually released from Blitz’s clutches, smiling as Colt brought him into a much shorter hug. He felt Alpha ruffle his hair.

“Do you three have a place to crash?” Cody asked them when the hugs were out of the way and they started walking out of the airport.

Alpha nodded. “Yeah, there’s another aviator that we know that’s nearby. We’re crashing at her place.”

Blitz smirked at his brother as he put his luggage in the trunk. “And by ‘another aviator’ he means his girlfriend.”

Alpha rolled his eyes, shoving Blitz before jumping into the car. "So I have a girlfriend. Big deal."

Cody gave a sly grin to Rex as he climbed into the driver's seat. "Rex has a girl of his own."

All three of them gaped at him.

"I've got to meet her," Alpha settled for, a wolfish grin imprinted on his face.

Colt scoffed. "You just wanna grill her six ways from Sunday."

Cody chuckled, pulling out of the parking lot. "I forgot how southern all of you were."

"Y'all have your moments of being southern bells, especially the kiddos."

"Only by your influence," Cody quipped back.

"Speaking of which," Blitz raised a hand, "when is the earliest I can get my hands on them?"

Cody and Rex laughed. Rex checked the time on the dash. "They're in school for another four hours at least."

Blitz whined dramatically, flopping in his seat. "That's forever."

Cody looked at him through the readies mirror. "Who said we're going straight to our place?"

...

Tup sat at his desk, furiously doing his work. He always tried to finish his work as fast as possible, wanting to get it over with so he could forget about it. The bell rang to signal the end of class but Tup didn’t move just yet. He continued to write furiously, hearing his classmates stand up from their desks, chairs scraping against the floor.

He worked for another few seconds on the last question before his paper was gently taken off his desk. He made a noise of protest as he looked up at his teacher.

“That wasn’t very nice,” Tup teased but did want his paper back.

His young teacher gave a dramatic flick of his paper before looking it over. Her eyes scanned the paper with lightning speed before giving Tup a deadpanned look. “Tup, you know you’re going to get full credit on this the way it is now, you don’t need to sacrifice lunch to add more.”

Tup tried to reach back for his paper but it was moved out of his grasp. “I’m a perfectionist. We all know this.”

“Tup. I will give this back to you after lunch under the condition that you will actually eat lunch and not work on anything else. Deal?”

Tup narrowed his eyes. “How do you know I won’t work on other assignments?”

She put a hand on her hip. “For one, you’re you. You’ll listen to me. And second I’ll be asking Axel what you did all lunchtime.”

Tup thought it over before groaning and gathering his bag. “Fineeeee, I’m going, I’m going.”

He walked to the cafeteria, vowing to keep his promise to his teacher. As he was walking in, he caught sight of Comet sitting not too far behind where Tup normally sat, Fives and Echo a bit farther than him, and Waxer and Boil in the opposite direction. He sat down in his normal seat across from Axel.

Tup sat down across from Axel who was looking at his phone while shoving half a sandwich in his mouth. Words didn’t need to be said as they ate, Tup putting his nose in a book while Axel continuously looked at his phone. Sometimes the older boy would turn his phone to show Tup something to make him laugh, having a satisfied smirk when it did.

Halfway through lunch, Tup began ranting about his book to Axel. “I mean, it’s just stupid, why would he do that knowing it would screw everyone?”

“Such an ass!” Axel agreed wholeheartedly, only half knowing what his friend was talking about.

Tup had said his peace and went back to reading.

“What, did the Navy touch down in Colorado?” one of his other friends said suddenly.

“Huh?” Tup uncommittedly, still reading. Axel reached across the table to nudge his arm. “What?”

“You should look at this.”

“Why?’

“You should really look behind you."

Tup finally lifted his head. Axel was smiling like a maniac and the rest of his friends were staring at something behind him. “What, Axel?” Axel just pointed behind him.

Tup turned and understood the Navy comment his friend had made. There were three taller and very built men in Navy camo, looking around at the entrance of the cafeteria. A lady from the front office was with them, smiling, and looked around as well.

Tup focused on the Naval men again. And then it hit him. He remembered the faces he had seen since he was younger. The ones that would make him laugh, that would comfort him when his parents or brothers couldn’t. With reckless abandon, he launched himself up from his seat and sprinted towards the three of them.

“Holy sh*t,” he cursed as he approached them, not giving a damn about the hundreds of other students most likely watching him.

Colt held his arms open slightly as Tup got closer, slamming into his cousin’s body. His momentum only rocked them a bit. A few tears fell as he wrapped his arms around Colt’s neck. The aviator lifted him a bit, taking all his weight. Colt buried his own face in Tup’s shoulder, doing his best to not break down in tears. Tup felt another body hit Blitz to the right of him and another one to the left.

Tup refused to let go of Colt so the older man practically carried him out of the room, able to give them more privacy. Colt squeezed him tighter, rubbing his back as Tup quietly cried.

“It’s okay, darlin’. It’s okay,” Colt whispered to him, pressing a kiss to his head.

Tup pressed his face harder into Colt’s neck, feeling the muscles in his back contract to keep a hold of the teenager. “You’re alive, you’re alive,” Tup whispered.

“Yeah bud, we’re alive,” Colt said back just as quietly. “We’re all okay.”

Tup nodded against him. “Good.”

Tup wanted to crawl in a hole and die. He was supposed to be happy. His cousins were back home, safe, for a few weeks. His dad had pulled him and his brothers out of school the next day before the weekend to speed for time with the three of them. And of course, Adrian’s abuse had to ruin it.

The District attorney's office called and they had their court date. It was within a few days. Tup had been sitting on the couch when Jango had gotten the call, nervously listening in. One thing that the man on the phone had said was to warn the boys that the press was going to be involved in the case whether it was a small or large presence. But that the press was going to be there.

And for some reason, that’s what set Tup off. He couldn’t find a way to breathe anymore and he started clawing at his wrists underneath his sleeves.

“Tup?” Alpha asked his cousin.

Tup ignored him and stood up, pacing the floor. He brought a hand up to his hair and gripped it tight.

“Tup,” his father said in a tighter voice.

Tup went back to clawing at his wrists, hunching over slightly.

Kix watched as his brother’s hands went to his arms, not expecting it to happen. Tup hadn’t been one to harm himself while having an attack but there he was, doing exactly that. He got up from his chair first, not bothering to make sure Tup knew he was walking up behind him.

As soon as Kix’s arms grabbed his wrists Tup started freaking out. He was beginning to fight to get Kix off of him. Kix tightened his grip, moving to restrain Tup the best he could.

“Easy, Tup, easy. I’m not trying to hurt you,” he soothed, holding the struggling teen. Tup whimpered and whined a bit.

“f*cking sh*t,” he heard Jango mutter.

“Everybody stop moving,” Kix ordered, using his legs to make Tup’s knees bend to get him to the ground. Keeping Tup’s arms at his side, Kix moved to cross his legs and keep pressure on Tup’s legs as well.

Tup started fighting again. He wanted out. He wanted some peace but he couldn’t have that anymore. He started crying a bit.

“Kix…” Bly said in a warning voice.

Kix huffed and winced as Tup yanked on his wrist hard to break free, whimpering. “Yes, I know it looks like I’m hurting him,” he snapped, “but I’m f*cking not so everybody shut the f*ck up while I help him.”

That kept everyone quiet, even the new cousins. It didn’t take rocket science to see how bad Tup’s anxiety had gotten since they had last seen them years ago.

“I understand, Tup,” Kix whispered, “I understand how hard this is. But you need to calm down and use your words. I’m not trying to hurt you, love.”

Tup gasped, trying to grab onto Kix’s arm. The paramedic let him, giving Tup the tight grip he wanted.

“The sooner you breathe, the sooner we can get off this floor, okay?” he explained, pressing a kiss to his head. “Just breathe with me. It’s easy. You can do it.”

The panic left Tup but the tears didn’t stop. He cried into his brother’s chest, muffling his sobs in his shoulders. Kix stood up from the floor slowly, making sure to not fall on the floor. Tup continued to cry as Kix carried him upstairs.

Everyone was silent as Jango cursed under his breath. “He’s ruining these kids without even being here.”

“Well, hot damn,” Alpha muttered, not expecting that to happen.

Ponds placed his hands on his legs. “So. How was the Navy?” He wasn’t one for confrontation of any kind. Changing the subject was a strong suit of his.

Alpha snorted at the attempt to change the subject. “Nothing like the domestic fun y’all have but we enjoy it.”

“Until you nearly get shot out of the sky in an F-35 ,” Colt said curtly to his brother.

Alpha rolled his eyes and scoffed. “Oh, whatever. You had to eject during training at the academy. Why is my punch out any different?”

Colt sat up straighter. “For one, it broke your ribs. And the second reason is that you were engaging an enemy fighter.”

Jango lifted his head and gave a disapproving look to Alpha. “When did you have to punch out?”

Alpha thought for a moment, trying to remember. Things blurred together these days. “About four months ago?”

“And you didn’t call?” Jango asked him impatiently. All of his step-siblings weren’t meant to be parents which meant that he and Arla had to pick up their slack with their step-nephews, being the closest things they will have to parents. This is why it irked him that he hadn’t known about this before. “Please tell me you let the medics check you out?”

Alpha rolled his eyes again. “Yes.”

“Only because he had to get cleared.” Blitz snitched.

“Shut up. I was fine, my backseater was fine. We’re good.”

Jango pointed a finger at him. “If you do that sh*t again and don’t call me or Jaster about it, I’ll beat your ass like you are my kid, got it?”

Alpha smirked. “Yes, dad.”

“Smartass,” Jango mumbled with a smile.

“So you going to tell us why Tup looked like he was trying to slit his own wrists with his fingernails? sh*t, we knew foster was bad for them but he’s never been this…upset.”

Jango leaned forward a bit, looking at the stairs for a moment. “Their foster father was fighting for custody of Tup and Comet.”

Blitz held a hand up, asking for silence. “Why not Wolffe? Weren’t you with them?”

Wolffe huffed. “Jen, our social worker let me stay with Tup and Comet a few months to try and get them settled but I aged out. Adrian never gave a damn about me leaving but he blew a gasket since Tup and Comet left.”

“Psycho much?”

“He is,” Rex agreed. “My foster parents weren’t great but they never abused me.”

Everyone paused what they were doing to look at the blond. Rex felt the eyes and looked around. “What?”

“You…never talk about foster.”

Rex swallowed, realizing his mistake. “Um…Rebecca wants me to talk about it more.”

“You don’t have to do what she wants, you know that right?” Cody asked sharply. He didn’t like Rebecca. He knew it might just be him being an ass but something was off about her.

Rex dropped his gaze. “Yeah, I know.”

Alpha took a swig of water. “Doesn’t explain my question.”

Bly looked around seeing that no one else was going to say anything. “Adrian hit both of them in court. He slapped Tup because he wouldn’t lie about who he wanted to live with.”

The three newcomers froze.

“I’m sorry, what?” Colt asked.

Alpha growled. “Please tell me someone landed a punch on him. Or got his ass landed in jail.”

Jango nodded. “Jaster punched him in the jaw. And that's what that call was about. We’re pressing charges to keep him in jail for as long as possible. Apparently his wife will be at the trial as well.”

The conversation died off after that. No one wanted to stay in the sad mood so other topics were brought up to fill the silence.

A few hours later Kix came back down, looking exhausted like he just pulled a 24-hour shift.

“You alright, Kixy?” Jesse asked.

“Fine. Fine. Got Tup settled with Comet. Those two won’t be down for a while.”

Wolffe looked his brother up and down, seeing that something was wrong. “Something happen?”

Kix sighed, sitting on the couch. “Tup called Justin and just kept repeating ‘I snapped, I snapped'. I let him calm Tup down, I just sat there with Comet to make sure he didn’t hurt himself again.”

Everyone was silent for a while. Soon a few of the boys had other responsibilities to do and had to leave the room or even the house entirely. Eventually, it was just Kix, Colt, Blitz, and Alpha.

Alpha and Blitz had a wordless conversation, making motions to Kix. Kix didn’t even pretend to not notice. He knew what it was about.

“Kix…” Blitz started gently.

The younger Fett took a long time to look at his cousin. “Yeah?”

“Have you told them?” he asked.

Kix paused but then shook his head. “I-I can’t. Not now. Not when the kids are neck deep in a court case.”

Colt set a hand on his forearm. “You have to tell them. You can’t keep it a secret until a few days before you leave. You need to give them time to process.”

Kix held his head in his hands. “How do I tell them that I’m leaving them for the Army?”

“It’s what you want isn’t it?” Alpha asked.

Kix nodded. “Yes. But they may not forgive me.”

Colt tightened his hand. “That’s ridiculous. You’re their brother. You’re Jango’s kid. They will love you no matter what.”

Kix fought tears for a moment. “They can’t lose anyone else. I might die while doing this. You can’t guarantee that I’ll survive.”

Alpha nodded. “I know I can’t do that. But with your program, you can back out. You still have a few months to think.”

Kix pressed his hands to his eyes. “This sucks.”

Colt pulled Kix to his side. “We understand. It’s hard to leave. It’s not easy to leave your family behind to go off into a possible warzone, but you need to do this for yourself . You want to save people. It’s your decision.”

Kix just laid on his cousin, trying to not feel guilty.

Notes:

Okay, listen, I know I said the next chapter was the trial but I lied. The next chapter will indeed be a trial, I promise. I haven't decided if Kix will end up in the Army as a medic. I'm now using it as a filler plot point until later when I'll decide what to do with him. Let time know your thoughts about this.

Chapter 36: Chapter 36-Court Round Two

Summary:

Tup and Comet are back in the hot seat of court. But will it be worth it in the end? Will they truly get the justice they deserve?

Warnings: child abuse and assault

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

Tup felt like he was being choked by an invisible hand. It was pressing against his windpipe tightly that he felt like he couldn’t breathe. A pat on his back knocked him out of his staring contest with the floor.

“You doing okay?” Justin asked him softly.

Tup shakily nodded. “J-Just trying not to throw up.”

Justin laughed to ease his nerves. “That’s fair. Just remember what I told you alright?” He waited for Tup to acknowledge him before he walked into the courtroom.

Tup wasn’t sure how many of his family members were coming. He could count on his Navy cousins making an appearance along with Jaster and Nicky. Their protective military ways were taking over.

A car pulled up in the parking lot and outstepped Tup and Comet’s two attorneys. One was a tall woman with short dark hair, and another was a man with auburn hair and a beard.

“Hey, kid,” the man greeted Tup when he walked to the door.

“Hi Mr. Kenobi,” Tup mumbled a bit, not wanting to go into the courthouse yet. The man would have to be the one to drag him in there.

“You can call me Obi-Wan, Tup.” He smiled gently. “I don’t mind.”

Tup just nodded. Silence fell upon them until Obi-Wan broke it once again.

“Come on, let’s go. The sooner you go in the courtroom the sooner Adrian can get charged.” He was trying to be gentle with the boy, not wanting to sound controlling but they were running out of time.

Tup kept his chin tucked as he was led through the doors, his heart racing. Obi-Wan kept a warm hand on his shoulder, never letting go. He kept his eyes down until Obi-Wan led him to the courtroom doors. The bailiff allowed them to pass through, remaining emotionless.

As Tup walked down the aisle, a few of his family members gave his hand a quick squeeze with the teen returning it. Just before Tup was about to sit down next to his dad, Comet, and the other attorney, someone caught his eye.

Tup immediately walked to him, letting himself be pulled into a gentle hug by his friend. Axel held him against his strong chest, rocking him slightly. Tup didn’t care if this was allowed or not. He just wanted Axel to hold him.

Alpha had been talking with his siblings when he saw the cute scene. Alpha leaned forward to talk to Boba who was seated in front of him and his brother with two others he didn’t recognize. “Boba, who’s that hugging Tup?”

Boba smiled and turned his head to whisper, “His crush I’m pretty sure.” He had gotten even closer with the boy the past week or so and Tup had admitted that he did indeed have a crush on the good-looking boy in front of them.

Alpha smirked devilishly at his siblings. “A crush you say?”

Colt snorted. “No, you cannot grill him as well as Rebecca. We were raised to be polite, good southern boys.”

Blitz flicked him on the ear. “Well, this ain’t the south, sweetheart. I’m with him.”

Axel laid his head on Tup’s. “I believe in you, Tup. You and Comet deserve closure. End it now.” He was so tempted to kiss his head, but he thought Jango or the other intimidating family members looking at them would kill Axel for doing so. And this isn’t how he wanted Tup to find out Axel was in love with him.

Tup was let go of Axel, and Comet pulled him to sit down. Comet had a devious smirk that made Tup shove his face away.

“Stopppp,” Tup said quietly but he wouldn’t deny it made him smile.

As they sat in silence for a few moments, Jango reached over both of his hands to offer to his kids. Both of them grasped his hands.

“I love both of you, okay? I won’t let anything happen to you no matter what the outcome is,” he vowed.

Tup just leaned his head on his father’s arm, feeling so tired. He just wanted this to be over with. He wanted to go home. He wanted his somewhat normal life back. The press was all over this case for some reason and half the school probably knew already.

The bailiff shut the door with a slam, starting Tup. He gave an audible yelp. Everyone in the courtroom turned to stare at the boy, some surprised while others were concerned. Tup ducked his head in shame, feeling his cheeks heat up. Jango wrapped around his shoulders, whispering sweet nothings to him.

The bailiff stood in front of the judge’s desk, folding her arms in front of her belt. “All rise. Court is now in session. Judge James Glen presiding.”

A man in a long robe stepped into the room. He didn’t look anywhere except for his seat before sitting down. Once he had gotten settled, he looked out into the room. “Please be seated.”

Tup sat down heavily.

“Good morning ladies and gentlemen,” the judge greeted everyone, his stern gaze falling over everyone. “Calling for the case of the state of Colorado versus the defendant, Adrian Bates, who has been charged with one count of aggravated assault of the first degree, two counts of assault in the second degree, two counts of child abuse, and one count of battery. Adrian Bates has pleaded not guilty. If not proven guilty, Mr. Bates will be set free and cleared of all charges. If proven guilty, he will receive prison time and a fine of at least fifteen thousand dollars. Are both sides ready to begin?”

“Yes, Your Honor,” Obi-Wan said softly.

“Yes, Your Honor,” Adrian’s lawyer responded as well.

While the jury was sworn in, Tup took the time to look around discreetly. He could see a multitude of cameras in the back, pointed in both directions of each side. His heart stopped for a few seconds when he caught sight of Mrs. Bates. The woman always made the boys call her that. Never ‘mom’, ‘Donna’, or even ‘ma’am’. But instead of looking pissed off and victim-like, she looked…sad. Tup looked away before they could make eye contact.

Then it was time for the opening statements. Obi-Wan explained to the jury the situation. He was very passionate that Adrian had blatantly abused two children in broad daylight and that he would most likely do it again. He also mentioned that Comet had to seek medical attention because of Adrian’s actions.

The public defender claimed that what Adrian had done was a mistake. He rhetorically asked if the jury would sentence a man to jail for one mistake when he could receive anger management or therapy to work out his issues. He was pleading not guilty. Tup really hoped that Adrian’s lawyer was a bad one.

The judge had remained silent through all of it, sitting calmly with his hands folded in front of him. It was his time to speak again. He met steady eyes with Obi-Wan. “Prosecution may call its first witness.”

Obi-Wan stood up for a moment. “The people call one of the arresting officers of Mr. Bates.”

The bailiff stepped off to the side, walking to a door and opening it. She poked her head in and out came a familiar officer. Tup knew it wasn’t officer O’Connor, but it was indeed his partner.

The bailiff led him further into the room. He was sworn in easily and took a seat in the witness box, looking relaxed. Tup guessed he had been called into court multiple times or he just had a good poker face.

“Please state your first and last name,” the clerk requested.

The officer raised his chin. “Flynn Blake.”

The other attorney got up out of her seat with a folder in hand, calmly walking to a podium across from the judge. She gathered her thoughts and then shot a quick smile at the officer.

“Mr. Blake, where do you carry out your occupation?”

“I have been with the state police department for about four years.” His voice was quiet but firm, confident in his answers.

Tup’s heart started pounding. God, please let this be over soon.

“And you were on duty the day that Tup and Comet Fett were in family court in the middle of a custody battle?”

He nodded. “Yes, ma’am. I was on patrol with my partner when we got the call from dispatch about the situation.”

The attorney tapped her finger a few times. “And what did the dispatch officer say was happening?”

Flynn was about to speak but someone from the other side of the room did first.

“Objection, hearsay, Your Honor.”

Judge Glen narrowed his eyes at the public defender. Both Obi-Wan and the other woman looked confused and annoyed.

“Dumbass,” Din muttered to himself, making Boba snort beside him. He pressed shoulders with him, indulging in the moment.

“Overruled,” Glen snapped.

Tup wasn’t well educated in law, but he had a feeling that the other attorney just did a dumb thing.

“Dispatch told us that it was a 10-46 which is code for an assault. Dispatch also relayed that it was a possible domestic disturbance but wasn’t quite sure since it was happening in family court.”

She nodded along as it matched with the notes in front of her. She lifted her head. “And what happened when you and your partner arrived at the scene?”

Flynn shifted in his seat. “I was the one to go assist the bailiff inside the courthouse with detaining Mr. Bates. My partner stayed back to talk to the two victims after we confirmed it was the two minors that dispatch told us about.”

The district attorney flipped a few papers over. “And what was Mr. Bate’s behavior like when you went to assist the bailiff?”

“He was…erratic,” he described. He seemed disturbed by the memory. “He was fighting every attempt to put him into cuffs. I nearly tasered him. He calmed down after I warned him that I would pull my taser if he didn’t stop resisting. But he kept muttering under his breath about getting the kids.”

“And did you confirm with the two victims that the claims of assault were true?”

Flynn shook his head sadly. “No. My partner did. I was trying to keep Mr. Bates away from the two victims. We had to walk past them to get him to my cruiser, and I didn’t want him to try and make a grab for them again.”

She nodded, closing her folder and folding her hands over it. “Thank you, Officer. I have no further questions.”

Judge Glen nodded, stretching a few notes done. “The witness is dismissed.”

Officer Blake got off of the stand and was led out of the room. As he did so, Tup’s attorney was calling on the second witness, Officer O’Connor.

The tall man walked through the room. Before he sat down he caught the eyes of the two boys and gave them a small reassuring smile. Tup was really starting to like the officer.

The female attorney went through the same spiel with Officer O’Connor about his name, place of work, and that he was on duty the day that Tup and Comet were assaulted.

“And you were the one to question the two minors, Tup and Comet Fett?”

Tyler O’Connor nodded. “Yes, ma’am. I asked them a few questions while my partner went to arrest the man that had assaulted them.”

“Were there physical signs of assault that the two boys showed?” she asked.

Tyler nodded. “Comet seemed dizzy and off-balanced from when he got hit in the head. And Tup had a mark on his face.”

She smiled a bit. “And did either of the boys receive medical attention for their injuries?”

Tyler didn’t nod but didn’t shake his head. “Comet had told me that his father was taking him to the ER to get a concussion test. I never followed up if he actually did so.”

Tup could see Comet subconsciously holding the back of his head. He slowly moved to lace their fingers together, letting their joined hands rest on his thigh. Tup rubbed his thumb over Comet’s knuckles.

“And why was he going to get a concussion test?”

Tyler took a moment to decipher what the attorney was really talking about. She had this look in her eye that wanted him to dig deeper for his answer. Then it hit him. “Comet has a traumatic brain injury. He wanted to get checked out if it made it worse, which was a great possibility for him.”

“And Tup?” she questioned.

“He did not mention anything about medical attention. He just seemed very upset.”

She smiled and looked at the judge. “No further questions.”

Tup felt sick when Tyler stepped off the stand. That meant the boys were the next two witnesses. He felt the tears welling up in his eyes. He heard the suspicious sound of a camera zooming in so he ducked his head, chin tucked to his chest.

“Just breathe. Don’t cry, love,” his father’s voice rumbled when he spoke, trying to keep quiet.

Obi-Wan and his co-attorney switched places, he took two folders with him and shared a few words with her before she sat back down. She gave Comet’s arm a reassuring squeeze. Obi-Wan cleared his throat and glanced at Comet for a moment.

“The people call Comet Fett to the stand, one of the victims.”

Comet felt his knees shake when he stood up. Don’t you dare faint. He said to himself. He walked up to the bailiff and raised his right hand when he was being sworn in. The next thing he knew he was sitting in a cushy seat, looking out into the room. Somehow it made him queasy so he kept his eyes on the ground or at Obi-Wan.

The older man gave him a soft smile. “Comet, could you tell us what you and your brother were doing at the courthouse the day you were assaulted by Mr. Bates?”

Comet swallowed the dryness in his throat. He could do this. He had to. “My family and I were there because Mr. Bates was fighting our father for custody.”

The attorney co*cked his head to the side. “What is your relationship with Mr. Bates?”

“He was my foster father for a few years.”

“What was your life like with him?”

The other attorney for Adrian stood up. “Objection, relevance.”

The judge nodded. “Sustained. Next question.”

Even though his question got knocked down, Obi-Wan seemed relaxed which made the teenager relax. He knew the calmer he was the more likely the jury was to believe him. Obi-Wan placed his hands on the podium, putting his weight on them heavily.

“What were some of the questions that the judge asked you and your brother?”

Comet heard the judge make a small noise of disapproval and then Adrian’s lawyers stood up. “Objection, relevance?”

“Sustained,” Glen decided. “Next question please.”

Obi-Wan nodded to him politely. “Comet, what was the outcome of the custody battle? Who got custody of you and your brother?”

Comet fidgeted but then stopped himself. “My father continued to have custody of us.”

Obi-Wan looked down at his notes. He had a question in mind but wasn’t sure it was passed by the public defenders. He might as well try. “Comet, why did the judge come to the decision?”

Comet nodded slowly, taking a breath to think about it. “Adrian couldn’t answer simple questions about us while our father could.”

“Could you give me an example?”

The teenager nodded once again. During one of the meetings, Obi-Wan had told him and his brother the questions that he would ask them, not wanting them to be blindsided. At least not Comet. Obi-Wan had something else silently planned for Tup’s statement.

“Adrian couldn’t name the psychological and physical disorders that we both have. Our father could.”

Obi-Wan had to hide his smile. “What physical disorder do you have, Comet?”

“A traumatic brain injury,” Comet answered quietly.

“And how did Adrian assault you after learning the fact that you had a traumatic brain injury?” Obi-Wan fired off.

Comet shifted, wincing at the memory. “He swung his hand around to hit me in the head. He had one handcuff on that wrist and that made contact with my head.”

His attorney flipped a paper. “And did you receive medical treatment?”

Comet nodded. “Yes.”

Obi-Wan looked to the judge. “I would like to pull a document from evidence.” He gave a number to the judge, and the judge started to tap things on a device in front of him. After a moment Comet’s screen lit up as well.

“Comet, could you tell me what this is?”

Comet read over the document. “This is a diagnosis from the neurologist I saw.”

“And this diagnosis matches with what your doctor verbally told you?” The diagnosis determined that Comet had a pretty bad concussion but could be released as long as he was carefully watched.

“Yes,” Comet answered.

“Thank you,” Obi-Wan, obviously done with the document.

Comet’s screen flickered off. He lifted his eyes slowly and regretted his decision. In the back of the room, he saw the large TV cameras pointed in his direction. It made him nervous. What were people going to think after this? Fighting the tears he sought out eye contact with his little brother. Tup tilted his head to the side sadly, seeing how sad his brother was.

‘It's okay,’ he mouthed to him.

“Comet,” Obi-Wan got his attention again. “What happened once the judge ruled you would stay with your father?”

“Adrian was immediately pissed off, which wasn’t new. We tried to leave as soon as possible but Tup suddenly wasn’t behind me anymore. My dad and I turned around and Adrian was holding onto Tup’s wrist and then he slapped him.”

Tup flinched to himself.

Obi-Wan acknowledged him with a nod. “And then what happened?” he asked softly.

“I went to pull him away,” Comet sighed. “My dad was holding onto my brother and I got too close to Adrian. He started to swing but I couldn’t move in time.”

Obi-Wan closed one of the folders, giving Comet a reassuring smile. “No further questions, Your Honor.”

“Does the defense have any questions?”

“We do, Your Honor.” One of the women stood up with a smirk on her face.

Comet swallowed nervously, looking to Obi-Wan for guidance. The older man gave him a discrete motion to breathe. The public defender swaggered up to the podium. She was definitely confident.

“Mr. Fett, is it safe to say that a traumatic brain injury can cause a person to have memory issues?” Obi-Wan and his partner were stewing in their seats but didn’t object.

In the stands, Boba wanted to strangle the woman. He knew what she was doing. “That bitch,” he growled.

Din grabbed his hand, looking him in the eye with warm brown orbs. Boba squeezed like it was a lifeline…or so he didn’t lose his marbles in the courtroom.

Comet couldn’t answer at first. “I mean…yes? It’s possible.”

“So you could be lying to the jury right now if you have memory issues?” she snapped.

Comet let one tear fall. This was too stressful for him. She was just trying to shake him up and she succeeded. Oi-Wan saw this and stood up. “Objection, Your Honor! She has a serious lack of foundation and is badgering the witness!”

The judge looked at Comet for a moment, seeing his tear fall. Comet gritted his teeth.

“Sustained.”

The woman huffed. “Your Honor—”

Glen snapped his gavel down. “No. Do you have any further questions that have foundation?”

She sighed in defeat. “No, Your Honor.” She walked back to the seat.

Comet numbly got off the stand, being gently led back to his side by the bailiff. As soon as he sat down, Tup gave him a one-armed hug.

“You did great,” Tup whispered to him.

Comet took a few deep breaths then looked Tup dead in the eye. “Don’t snap.”

Tup’s nerves were shot. He couldn’t think. He didn’t know if he could do this and convince the jury.

“Honey, you’re okay,” his female attorney said. “You’re doing great so far. Just ten, fifteen minutes max and then we’re done okay?” Something in her voice told Tup she was lying.

He got up and was sworn in. He didn’t look up until he could breathe properly. When he looked up he was met with the eyes of multiple people in the room, including the press. They were whispering excitedly. Tup swallowed his tears down.

Obi-Wan was talking to his co-attorney in a hurried, hushed discussion, obviously not wanting to have Jango or Comet to overhear. They were quickly done with it, and Tup fought the urge to burst into tears.

“Tup, you were assaulted twice by Mr. Bates?”

Tup nodded jerkily. “Yes. Once in the bathroom and the other in the courtroom.” He caught eyes with Comet, needing an anchor. Comet steadily did, his tears finally gone from his eyes.

Obi-Wan nodded. “And what happened when Mr. Bates cornered you in the bathroom during a break in court?”

Tup looked down to his lap before he looked up again, not wanting to look suspicious to the jury. “He-” his voice broke off.

This time he met eyes with Justin. He had spilled to the man about what Adrian had said to him during a session. He had cried when he told him, feeling so scared when Adrian had grabbed him. Justin tilted his head to the side, sympathetic as always but there was nothing he could do.

“Tup?” Obi-Wan prompted, keeping his voice gentle. He knew how spooked Tup felt being so scrutinized.

Tup winced. “Sorry,” he apologized quietly. He looked at Obi-Wan, not even trying to hide his teary eyes. “He grabbed me by the hair and slammed me against the wall. He told me if I didn’t lie to the judge about wanting to live with him he would kill Comet. He also hit my head against the wall.”

On the other side of the courtroom, Adrian was fuming, chest heaving with how deep his breathing was.

“You lying little bitch!” he snapped. “I’ve told you it before and you still keep lying!” Everyone in the room was stunned for a few seconds.

Thinking back to the other times Adrian had called him that, Tup couldn’t help but stifle his tears. It was quiet enough for everyone in the courtroom to hear the soft, quick breaths. The teen had dropped his head to his chest, gaze sharply locked on the floor. The jury was looking at him sadly, obviously siding with the teenager. Comet was hiding in Jango’s chest, obviously affected by the words. The man had murder in his eyes as he protectively held Comet and looked between Adrian and his other son.

Alpha saw the two lone tears on his cousin’s face that Tup allowed to fall and saw red. He took an inhale and started to stand up, muttering, “Excuse me as I go deck him–”

Colt gripped his arm in a combat hold, forcing him to sit back down heavily to not break his hand. “Do it and you’ll get court-martialed.”

“Don’t know that.” He tried to get up again.

“Sit your ass down, your brother’s right,” Jaster snapped at him. Alpha sat back down.

“Well I can’t anymore,” Boba said calmly, starting to move as well.

“Boba Fett, I swear to f*cking God don’t you move another foot.”

Boba had to hand it to the old man. He was still very intimidating, but it was Din’s gentle touch that got him to sit down. The younger man touched his forearm, keeping his grip gentle and soft. Boba sat back down and side-eyed Din. Din couldn't help but admire how beautiful his eyes were. The eye contact was getting to be a little much and Din ducked his head, blushing a bit.

Back at the front of the courtroom, Judge Glen nearly got out of his seat. “Yell profanities in my court or demean the witness, and I will throw you out of the courtroom with an additional charge of contempt of court. Am I understood?”

Adrian didn’t say anything. Glen took a breath and turned to look at Tup and Obi-Wan. “You may continue with your questions.”

Obi-Wan tilted his head to the side. He wasn’t allowed to walk up to Tup and he hated it. “Tup, are you ready to continue?”

Tup his head but kept his head down as he gathered himself. Obi-Wan allowed him a moment before he turned to the judge. “I’d like to pull a recording from evidence, should be 13B. I need the first fort-seven seconds.”

Tup dreaded to hear the recording but it had to be done. He looked at his father desperately but it was his attorney who looked at him. She motioned for him to cover his ears.

As the video started playing, Tup nonchalantly plugged his ears. He counted to forty before letting go of his ears. For the last seven seconds, all the courtroom and the camera could hear was him crying. The audio ended.

Obi-Wan co*cked his head to the side, thinking hard. This put Tup on edge. Why would he need to think hard when he loosely told the boys what he was going to ask?

“Tup,” he started slowly. “Could you tell me if Adrian ever threatened you or your family before this incident?”

Now Tup knew what he was doing. He was trying to get Tup to accuse Adrian of some type of child abuse. He wasn’t going to do that. He wasn’t going to be believed.

“I-I don’t want to answer,” he said meekly. That’s when the whispering started. It traveled across the seats, to the lawyers, to his family who was getting increasingly pissed off, to even the jury. Tup ever heard a few whispers of ‘poor thing’ and ‘he's so scared’.

Glen tapped his gavel down. “Silence in the court. Procustion, please continue.”

Obi-Wan had sympathy and an apology in his eyes. Tup thought about it for a moment but then his heart went cold at what he guessed his attorney was going to ask next.

The man sighed heavily before looking at the teen. “Tup has Adrian ever physically abused you during your childhood.”

Tup didn’t even get a chance to answer because Adrian’s lawyers and Adrian himself went into an uproar. But there were only two people that he had told that Adrian had hit him before. And they were both sitting together.

Tup made eye contact with Justin but instead of seeing the normal calm look, Justin was guilty. Fennec didn’t look very apologetic but it was there. Just a hint of it.

‘I’m sorry,’ Justin mouthed to him.

Justin had broken his trust just like a snap of a finger. Tup didn’t know if he could forgive him for this. He had trusted the man to keep his secret. And he broke it.

“Objection, your honor, there's a serious lack of foundation, and there is no relevance of past abuse in this case!”

Glen glared the man down. “Considering how irritated and angry your client looks and how much you and your co-attorneys have pissed me off today I’m going to allow the question since child abuse is a charge in this case. Sit down or I will throw you out of this courtroom.”

Obi-Wan nodded and looked back at Tup. For the second time that day, he saw the boy’s eyes fill with tears. “Tup, could you answer the question for me please?”

Tup didn’t answer for a moment, but when he did he had a question of his own, looking down at his hands. “What’s the definition of physical abuse?”

Comet frowned, sitting up straighter in his chair. Adrian had never hit Tup. Why wasn’t he saying that?

Obi-Wan flicked a page and looked down at his notes. “By Colorado law, physical abuse of any non-accidental injury as a result of punching, beating, choking, hitting, among other examples.” He saw Tup swallow, fighting the tears.

He felt terrible about this. He had worked on a few cases with kids being abused but he never had one quite like this. Because Tup hadn’t been the one to bring the abuse forward, it was his own therapist and another woman that knew him. They had come forward to him the other day, explaining that Tup and Comet were abused in some way throughout the years with him.

“Tup, did Adrain ever physically abuse you?” he repeated his question.

Tup really started to cry softly. Tears came down his face and his sniffles rang across the courtroom. “Yes.”

Jango felt like he was going to be sick but all he could do was stare at his son. His precious son who had been physically abused and didn’t tell him. It took everything to not cry. He ignored the whispering of his family members.

God, Diana. I'm so so sorry, love.

Obi-Wan looked at him sadly. “Did Adrian ever emotionally and mentally abuse you?”

Tup nodded his head, feeling his tears hit his hands. “Yes.”

“Did he ever sexually abuse you?”

Tup shivered at that mental image. “No, never.”

Obi-Wan nodded. “And was Comet ever abused?”

Tup looked at Comet barely, wanting his permission. Comet gave the slightest nod. “Yes. But he never physically hurt Comet. He abused my brother mentally and emotionally.”

Judge Glen sighed heavily and folded his hands on his table. He took a minute to gather his thoughts. “Based on the recent accusation brought against Adrian Bates, I have decided to end this session here and continue tomorrow. The prosecution and defense both have the chance to gather the evidence and present it tomorrow. I will remind the jury that they have sworn to not obverse outside sources like the internet and social media that will sway their decision. Dismissed.”

Tup felt his sobs winding up in his chest as he slowly started walking to his father. Once he was close enough, Jango yanked him into a tight hug, not wanting to let go.

“I’m sorry, Daddy,” Tup cried into his shoulder. “I’m sorry.”

Jango brought Comet close as well. “Baby, you have nothing to be sorry for.”

“Please, don’t be mad at me,” Tup begged. He would lose his sanity if Jango was upset with him.

Jango felt his heart breaking. “Honey, no, I would never be mad at either of you for this.”

Obi-Wan approached the trio, looking apologetically at Tup. “Tup, I'm sorry but I had to do it. It was the only way to ensure that Adrian would go to jail for a long time.” Tup just nodded.

Obi-Wan looked at both boys. “Boys, I know you’re both worn out and probably just want to go home but is there any evidence you can think of that you have?”

Tup shook his head. “No. Nothing.”

Obi-Wan fell silent but then someone else spoke up.

“I think I might be able to help with that.”

Tup frowned, lifting his head from his father’s shoulder and his eyes widened in shock. He knew the woman that was talking. “Mrs. Bates?”

Notes:

I was going to write more with the second day of court, but this was much longer than I expected. So I chose to split it up. I might write some comfort between Jango, Tup, and Comet so there's a break from the angst XD. And plot twist at the end, you know me. Mrs. Bates will have a bigger role in the next chapter.

Writing the pinning between Din and Boba is honestly so satisfying to me for some reason. Hopefully, there will be more Din/Boba content eventually.

What did you think? Anything you want to see? 💙

Chapter 37: Chapter 37-A Deal is Made

Summary:

Mrs. Bates offers to help Tup and Comet's lawyers throw Adrian into jail for good. But what does she want in return?

Warnings: the typical child abuse from Adrian.

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

Tup and Comet stared at their foster mother, not believing that she would help them.

Comet narrowed his eyes, holding onto his brother tighter. “Now, you want to help us? After all those years of abuse, now you want to help us?”

The woman didn’t seem ashamed, but she evenly met the boy’s gaze. “Yes.”

“Why?” Comet snapped back, seeing his family moving closer to them slowly.

“Because I was wrong to let it happen,” she explained. “I had cameras put in a few months into our years of fostering you. I had a hunch my husband would abuse you.”

Jango snarled at her. “Why the f*ck would you not go to the police? Why wouldn’t you tell someone?”

She sighed. “I don’t know. I guess I didn’t want to admit it.” Everyone glared at her. “What, do you want me to make excuses about how my sweet innocent husband has a good heart deep down? Because I know he doesn’t. Now, do you want my help or not?”

Tup didn’t look at his foster mother, keeping his face buried in his father’s chest. He didn’t care what the adults did, he just wanted this to be over with. Rex came over and gently pulled him away from his father, much to the dismay of the teenager, but he would accept Rex’s comfort. Rex walked him a few paces away and then started stroking his hair.

“What’s in it for you?” Jango asked the woman.

She raised an eyebrow.

“What? You want money? A pardon? What is it?” He pushed.

She shook her head, laughing a bit. “I don’t want your money or anything. You could even charge me for child neglect for all I care. I just want my husband gone.”

Finally, something they had in common.

Fennec watched as the blond Fett comforted his younger brother. She leaned close to Din and Boba. “I’m going to head out before Tup sees me.”

Boba turned and raised an eyebrow. “Why?”

Fennec fidgeted. She wasn’t one to fidget. “I’m one of two people that told Kenobi that Tup was physically abused.”

Anger flashed in her friend’s eyes while Din covered his mouth with a hand. “What? You knew?”

Fennec held her hands up submissively. “Only for a few days. We had a deal that he would tell his father. I just pushed the subject because I knew Tup wasn’t going to do it. Apparently, his shrink knew as well.”

Boba deflated, looking longingly at Tup. “Damn it, kid.”

Soon everyone but the Fetts and the attorneys were out of the courtroom. Mrs. Bates had given her information to Kenboi, agreeing to help the boys with evidence. Rex started leading Tup out of the room while Jango did the same with Comet.

Tup ducked his eyes when he caught sight of Justin leaning against a wall, obviously waiting for the boy. Rex saw the interaction and stopped. He nudged Tup towards him. “Go talk to him.”

“No,” Tup snapped.

Rex blinked in shock at the rage in the single word. “...Why?”

“Don’t want to,” he explained, still angry.

“Well, do it anyway,” Rex ordered, still confused.

Tup huffed and crossed his arms, taking a few steps toward the man. He stayed silent.

Justin tilted his head down to look his patient in the eye. “Tup…what are you feeling?” He knew it might not be the best idea to shrink Tup in public, but it might help. Maybe.

Tup’s head snapped up, and he glared at the man. “What do you think?” he sarcastically asked. “I trusted you,” he hissed.

Justin nodded understandingly. “I know you did. And I know you feel like I betrayed that.”

“I feel like you betrayed me? You blatantly did!” he said, raising his voice. “I asked you not to tell anyone! I begged you to, and you promised me!”

Justin nodded again. He knew this would happen if he had stepped forward. “I wanted you to be safe. This was the only way to do it.” He looked over Tup’s shoulder and saw Jango watching the interaction with a blond man that looked exactly like him. Must be Rex.

Tup backed away, his face falling. “I trusted you. I trusted you!”

Justin walked forward slowly before giving Tup a tight hug. The boy stiffened in his arms before melting into the hug, crying softly into his shoulder.

“I know you trusted me,” he whispered to the boy.

Tup’s arms came up to grip Justin’s shoulders. He didn’t say anything, but his grip told the man that Tup was beginning to forgive him. Jango stepped closer, eyes filled with sorrow.

“You knew?”

Justin sighed then nodded. “I did. For a few months now.”

Jango put a hand on the back of Tup’s neck. “Baby, let’s go. Let’s get you home.”

“I’m sorry,” he sobbed, feeling every emotion inside of him crumbling.

Justin sighed softly, holding Tup better. He gestured for the man to get closer. “I can help take him to the car.”

Jango nodded, looking grateful. “Thank you. I want to talk to you after.”

Justin accepted his fate and nodded. He was going to get the chewing out of a lifetime, but he didn’t regret his decisions. He would do it again if he had to.

Justin slowly directed Tup out of the building, letting Jango lead them to the car. Justin opened the back door to the car, letting the boy slip in before closing the door. He leaned against it for a moment before he faced his patient’s father.

“Look, I understand that you love Tup very much. But my job as his therapist is to have a relationship where he can trust me. If I immediately went to you when I found out he had been hit—”

Jango blinked and frowned, waving his hands through the air. “Justin, that’s not what this is about. I trust you with my kid. It’s not my place to question that. Would I have liked to know? Yes, but you did the best you could with what you were given.”

Justin was shocked, but it ended soon. “Oh. Then what did you want to talk about?”

Jago tapped the hood of the car a few times. “It’s my other son, Comet. He had ADHD and he was to be off his medication. I was wondering if you would be able to help with that?”

Justin thought about it for a moment before nodding. “Yes, I can help with that. I can start with him, but if he gets uncomfortable by having the same therapist as his brother I know a few people in my office that are good with ADHD patients.” He thought for a moment before asking. “Has he gone off the meds yet?”

Jango nodded. “For a day or two. Then it got too hard, and he went back on. I also didn’t think it was a good idea without a professional.”

Justin nodded. “There’s a psychiatrist in my office building. She can talk to him about the actual medication and the dosage, and I can help find ways for him to decompress.”

Jango sighed in relief. “Thank you. Seriously.”

Justin nodded. “It’s my job.” He looked in the car and saw Tup still sobbing into his hands. “Call me if this doesn’t stop soon. I’d normally let him cry it out, but there have been enough tears these past few weeks.”

Jango dipped his head. “I know what you mean.”

Soon Jango had Comet, Tup, and Rex in the car. Rex had let Cody drive home with their older brothers, wanting to help Jango with Comet and Tup if they started to freak out.

Tup’s sobs had died down, but Comet was still staring at him like he was a ghost. Tup’s admission had completely blindsided him. He had been in that house with him the whole time. How could he not notice Adrian hitting him?”

Jango pulled into the driveway. Taking the keys out, he handed them to Comet. Comet wordlessly got Tup out of the car, directing him to the house. Jango slowly got out of the car, not even able to see the ground with his tears blurring his vision.

“Dad?” Rex asked him from the other side of the car. He had seen how his father had stopped suddenly.

Jango just minutely shook his head, taking a few soft gasping breaths. Rex just walked over to him and hugged him tightly. Jango placed his head on his son’s shoulders, trying to not cry.

“Cry now. Don’t do it in front of the kids,” Rex advised him gently.

Jango didn’t hold back his sobs against his son, relying on Rex to get him upright. Rex just held him tight, letting his father fall apart and let a few tears fall as well. Even if they were both crying, Rex had to admit that it was nice to hug his dad. He didn’t blame his father for having his attention on the youngest of them, but sometimes he missed just being in his father’s arms.

Tup bit at his thumb as he waited for some of his family to come back. Rex had come into the house without their father in toe. He had gone for a drive, Rex said to them. Tup knew he was driving, or he was just crying in the car.

Rex had asked the two kids if they wanted to talk or wanted to be alone. Tup had chosen the latter.

Comet had been staring at him for the past five minutes, and Tup couldn't help it anymore. He leaned onto his brother, practically laying down on the couch that they were sitting on. Comet bent over to hug his brother. Both of them were crying softly.

"Why wouldn't you tell me? Why." Comet begged to know. He needed a reason for why Tup would suffer alone.

"I didn't want you to hate yourself," Tup whispered shakily, holding tightly onto Comet's shirt.

Comet held Tup’s face, forcing them to meet eye to eye. "What the hell are you talking about?"

Tup closed his honey eyes, leaning into his brother's hands. "He always said he did it because he knew it would hurt you. You were my older brother. You're meant to protect me. And Adrian still hurt me."

Comet squeezed Tup so tight he wasn't sure Tup could breathe, and he wasn't being dramatic about it. Tup's breathing went shallow, but he didn't object to the holding.

"He hated you the most," Tup whispered, tears falling into Comet's shoulder.

Taking one look at the things that happened, it seems to reason that Tup was the most hated by Adrian. Tup was the one that was hit the most, verbally assaulted most, and had the most things thrown at him, among many other things. Adrian did the same things to Comet, except for hitting, but in a smaller quantity than Tup. Now, Comet knew why.

Comet began to sob into Tup’s hair, gasps and whimpering spreading into the room. Tup wriggled out of his brother’s arms and held him tight against his chest.

“I’m sorry, Comet. I’m so sorry I didn’t tell you,” Tup muttered to him, holding his brother as he reclined on the couch. The tears didn’t stop for a while.

Kal walked up to the front door of Jaster and Nicky’s home, with his honorary nephews in tow. Alpha, Colt, and Blitz had been quiet on the way over. They hadn’t seen Jaster or Kal’s boys since they had been deployed, and they took the offer to see them.

Kal inserted his key into the door, opening the large door and gesturing for the three men to enter first.

Alpha walked through and observed the house. The large ceilings, big staircase, and the dining room always get bigger every time he steps through the door.

“Damn, Jaster, I always forget how loaded you are!” he shouted through the house.

“Alpha?!” he heard the shouts of his cousins and then pounding feet.

The three aviators smiled as their cousins swarmed them. Some of them even jumped into their arms.

“Hiya boys,” Blitz greeted, ruffling the heads of the ones they could reach.

“When the hell did you get back?” A’den asked into Alpha’s neck.

Colt shrugged. “A few days ago. He had to make a few rounds before we came over. Jaster saw us earlier today at the court hearing.”

Fox’s jaw dropped as he turned to his grandfather. “You son of a–”

Jaster pointed a finger. “Finish that sentence and I’ll slap you. And I didn’t tell you because I knew they would be over later.”

Nicky smiled at the three newcomers. “Did you visit your parents?”

Alpha barked out a laugh. “Yeah, f*ck that.”

“You’re funny if you think we’d willingly visit them,” Colt told him with a smirk, hugging Thorn tight.

Jaster raised his chin. “They're still pissed that you joined the Navy?”

Blitz nodded. “And that you divorced Maria, that you married a man, that Jango went to jail, that other cousins went into the military. Pretty much they’re pissed at the whole word.”

Jaster shook his head. “Assholes.”

“We know.” The three of them said.

Boba entered the house with a tired groan, throwing his key precariously on the dining room table nearby. Din followed slowly after him, closing the front door and locking it. He hung his own keys on a hook next to the door.

Boba walked into the kitchen, yanking open the fridge before reaching a hand in. He grabbed two beers by the neck. He slid one across the table into Din’s awaiting hand.

Din raised an eyebrow. “I thought you were trying to quit drinking?”

Boba snorted. “My father has been saying that for years, and he still drinks. Let’s say I’m taking a page from his book after today.”

Boba led them to the couch and cracked open his beer and took a swig, closing his eyes. Din followed.

After an hour of silence and about four beers each later, Din glanced at his friend from the corner of his eye. “Did you know they were abused?”

Boba sighed and opened his brown eyes. He rolled his head on the cushions to face Din. “Not exactly. The twins told me that Adrian would scream and yell at them, and they were different after foster care. I didn’t know it was this bad.”

Din laid a hand on his arm. “It’s not your fault.”

Boba shook his head. “I could’ve taken custody of them.”

His friend clicked his tongue, his thumb rubbed circles on his sleeves. “You were in the Marines. You couldn’t take care of two young boys while being deployed.”

Boba gave a defeated groan. “I could’ve done something when mom died.”

Din blinked. The last time he checked, Boba’s mom wasn’t dead, she just never contacted her family which made Din not fond of the woman. He put more gentle pressure on Boba’s arm. “‘Mom’?

Boba froze and dropped his head into his hands. Din pressed against his side, wrapping an arm around his shoulders. “Boba, why’d you say mom?”

Boba leaned into his friend’s side. “She wasn’t my mom, not really. But Jango had guardianship of me when I was very little. And he met his wife when I was young. It’s a long story.”

Din knew that Boba was closing off from him. Even though the two were close since Boba finished his obligation to the military and came to his firm, Boba always kept a few things close to his chest. Din laid his head on Boba’s shoulder.

“We’ve got all night. Neither of us can drive me home,” Din whispered to him.

Boba shook his head. “No. I can’t…” He trailed off and turned his head. “There are some things I can’t talk about yet.”

Din gave him a squeeze. “Okay. I’ll be here when you’re ready to tell me.”

The mood shifted in the room. Both of them could feel it. Din slowly moved his hands down to Boba’s waist. Boba turned to not crane his neck to look at Din.

The other man hadn’t moved away, eyes meeting Boba’s. Boba never thought someone’s eyes could be so beautiful. Din’s breath hitched, eyes desperate.

Boba didn’t know what the hell was happening, but he didn’t want it to stop. He saw Din’s eyes dart down to his lips and then back up to his eyes. Sliding a hand across Din’s thigh, Boba fought the urge to smirk at the low noise Din made in the back of his throat. His hand found Din’s hip, thumbing circle on the bone, making the other man shift forward.

Din cradled Boba’s neck with a hand, breath picking up. Boba leaned forward, able to feel Din’s breath.

“What are we doing, Din?” Boba asked in a low whisper.

Din’s eyes darted down once again. “Whatever you want.”

Boba put his hand back on his friend’s thigh, but he wasn’t sure that Din was just a friend anymore. Din pressed against his hand.

Boba tipped his head to gently brush his lips against Din’s. His breath hitched again, but then he pressed a bit more against him. Boba obliged him, properly kissing him slowly.

Before this could get too far Boba pulled away, pressing his head against Din’s. The younger man closed his eyes.

“We’re both close to being tipsy,” Boba muttered.

“Don’t care,” Din breathed, moving to kiss Boba’s neck.

Boba sighed and gingerly pulled Din away, wishing that he could let this continue. “Din. Stop. Just for a minute.”

Din whined a bit. Boba was going to pause to talk to him, but Din’s eyes were clear, not muddled by alcohol and want. Boba co*cked his head to the side. He forgot how well Din could hold his alcohol.

He didn’t want this to be a mistake. He really didn’t want it to be a mistake, because then he could lose Din forever.

“I’m not sleeping with you,” he compromised quietly. “Not with alcohol involved.”

Din shrugged. “Fair enough. That means making out is still on the table. Now kiss me. Please.”

Boba surged forward, kissing Din hard. Din groaned into his mouth, holding the back of Boba’s head. Hooking his hands under his legs, he lifted Din to let him straddle his lap as he leaned back against the couch.

He slipped his hands under Din’s shirt, making the man shiver against him.

Din broke the kiss to breathe. “I thought you said no sex?”

Boba smirked at him. “Does it look like I’m f*cking you?”

Din whimpered, dropping his head to Boba’s shoulder. “You're being a tease.”

Boba took his hands back and pressed his lips against his head. “I’m sorry.” He pulled Din back to kiss him gently. Din kissed back, getting comfortable on his lap. He felt Boba’s hands travel on his back, making him relax against his chest, still lip locked.

Din eventually pulled away, staring into Boba’s eyes. The older man met them evenly, hands settling on his hips once again.

“Stay?” Boba requested of him quietly.

Din nodded with a soft smile, resting against his chest. “We can talk in the morning,” he said into Boba’s neck, letting the man shift them around better.

“Okay, in the morning,” Boba replied.

Jango awoke to a knock on the door. He blearily looked at his clock and saw it was the middle of the night.

“Come in,” he called softly.

The door opened and one of his younger boys stepped into the room. Jango couldn’t tell which one it was, but he was on the shorter side.

“Something wrong?” he asked, ready for something bad to be happening.

“Can I stay with you?” the voice of Comet asked him.

Jango sighed in relief, lifting the covers in the air. “Sure, love.” Normally he’d be concerned with multiple of his sons having certain attachments to him, but he figured they were past the point of talking about it.

Comet slid under the covers, tucking himself close to his father. Jango wrapped an arm around him, letting his son lay on him.

“You have a nightmare?” he risked asking.

Comet shook his head. “No. Just…feeling things.” It sounded confusing and not helpful, but it was the best he could come up with at the moment.

Jango rubbed his back. “You should get some sleep. We have to get up early again tomorrow.”

“Why is she helping?”

It took Jango a moment to figure out that he was talking about Mrs. Bates. “I don’t know, baby. Maybe she just wants him gone like us.”

“Then why did she never stop him?” he pitifully asked, puppy eyes looking at Jango’s.

Jango stroked his head, staring sadly at him. “I don’t know. I wish I did.”

Comet quickly fell asleep against his father, the ministrations from his dad making him sleepy. Jango wasn’t feeling too tired anymore and just stayed up for a little while, just watching his son.

The door creaked, and Jango knew someone else was entering the room. He tilted his head to see a figure standing by the now-closed down.

Jango patted the bed. “Come on up.”

Tup clambered into the bed, laying on Jango’s other side, burrowing close to his father’s warm body. Jango combed his long hair with his fingers and pressed Tup tighter against him. The young teen began to tremble a bit.

“Shhhhh, shhhhh. Just sleep. I’ll keep you safe,” he murmured to him, rubbing his back.

Tup mumbled something under his breath suspiciously like ‘love you’ and then fell asleep against his dad. Jango stayed up for a few more minutes before he looked up to the ceiling.

“I’m so sorry Diana. I failed you.”

As he fell asleep he hoped to whatever God there was that tomorrow Adrian would be locked away for good. And then they could finally live their lives.

Notes:

I have finally pulled the trigger on BobaDin. I was going to make them pin for each other longer, but I got impatient, so I had them kiss. There are still going to be discussions of their relationship later since they aren't technically dating yet. The last court case will be the next chapter.

Chapter 38: Chapter 38-Cameras

Summary:

The second day of court has arrived but the boys now have evidence.

Warnings: child abuse, neglect

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

Din wished he could just sleep for the whole day. It was so peaceful where he was. He wasn’t exactly sure where he was, but he was warm and fuzzy, and he didn’t want to move. He cracked his eyes open and was somewhat surprised to find that he was in a different bed than his own. But then he remembered the previous night. He and Boba had been drinking after the horrendous day they had. They started talking about the boys and Boba blamed himself and then they kissed. They really kissed. He recalled the heat spreading across him as Boba pressed him close. He closed his eyes, forcing those thoughts from his mind. He was not in the mood to deal with his arousal in the morning.

The warm body underneath him shifted, causing him to move as well. Boba lifted his head and stared down at Din for a moment before he became concerned. He sat up, breath quickening a fraction.

“Hey, what is it?” Din asked gently.

“Did we…” he paused. “Ya know…”

Din shook his head, deciding not to reach for him. “No. No, we didn’t do anything, Boba.”

The man took a minute to remember before deflating, leaning back into the pillows. “I’m sorry,” he apologized quietly. “Didn’t mean to freak out on you.”

Din carefully laid on one side of his chest. “It’s okay.”

Boba looked down at the sheets, eyes sad. "Din..."

The younger man squeezed his waist. "What is it?"

Guilty, Boba said, "I can't do this."

Din could feel his world falling from beneath his feet. "W-What?" Hurt, he began to sit up in the bed

He thought this was going well. That they finally came to a happy ending but Boba's words were saying the opposite.

Boba cursed himself in his head. "Poor choice of words." Din's puppy eyes bored into his very soul. "I mean I can't do this right now."

Din stayed silent. That could mean a whole lot of things. His heart was breaking still.

Boba sighed, holding one of Din's hands. "In case you haven't noticed, I'm a f*cking wreck in life right now. I'm going through sh*t that isn't pretty. If I were to be selfish and let this continue right now, it will not end well for either of us." Sliding a hand up the man's arms, he held the side of his neck to look him dead in the eye. "So I'm asking you to wait."

Din had been waiting for a long time. He didn't know how much longer he could last before he moved on. He leaned into the hand.

"I can't wait forever, Boba," he whispered tearfully.

Boba pressed their heads together, taking a minute to breathe Din's air. "I know you can't. All I'm asking is that you put faith in me to find my way back to you."

Din sighed and laid his head on Boba’s shoulder, feeling the warmth of his skin. Arms circled him, rocking him side to side.

“I love you,” Din whispered. It may sound childish to say it after truly loving him for less than twelve hours.

“I know you do,” Boba pressed a kiss to his head. “And I’m sorry for this.”

Din pulled back, holding his head in his hands. He looked him over once. “I understand.” He climbed out of the bed, taking one last look at the man he loved.

“Bye Boba.”

Comet wasn’t sure he had seen so many flashing lights and cameras. The press was having a field day, and the court session was still an hour away from beginning. Comet watched from the car window as Adrian was led through the mob of reporters, many of them trying to ask questions.

“Alright, boys, the sooner we get this over with the better,” Jango told them gently.

Without a thought, Comet climbed out of the car. Shutting his brain off, he grabbed Tup’s hand and kept him close to his side.

Tup kept eyeing the reporters.

"I know they're nosy," Comet whispered to him, trying to reassure him that his feelings were normal. But Tup shook his head.

"It's not that. It's just...everyone at school knows now," he said weakly, eyes glued to the flashing and rolling cameras.

"How do you know that? Comet asked, having not looked at his phone since yesterday morning.

Tup leaned against his side. "Axel told me. Most of the school has known since fourth period yesterday. I had to turn my phone off because it wouldn't stop buzzing."

Their moment was over by Jango ushering them to walk. "Boys, let's go."

Ponds protectively stood behind them as they walked. They got closer to the reporters and they immediately started asking questions.

"Could you tell us if there were any other abused members in the household?"

"Why didn't you go to the police?"

"Why didn't you know your little brother was being hurt?"

Comet wasn't even sure if they were allowed to be asked these questions, considering the two of them were minors, and their father definitely didn't permit them.

In an act of brotherly concern Comet's hand shot out to cover Tup's eyes and face from the cameras. Tup pressed against him to help him out, one hand grasping onto Comet's shirt.

Ponds did the same with Comet, directing them through the doors, ignoring the ones that followed.

Obi-Wan and his partner looked tied. Really tired. Comet guessed they stayed up most of the night working to get Adrian convicted of a lot more crimes. But they still smiled gently at them.

“It’s a beautiful day, boys,” Obi-Wan said whimsically.

Comet nodded. “Let’s hope the judge feels that way as well.”

Jango squeezed his shoulder but didn’t say a word. After his breakdown yesterday he drove. He just…drove. He drove for hours, just trying to get lost in the road. Was it the best idea? No. Did he still do it? Yes.

He promised himself that he wouldn’t get on the highway. He kept that promise, only staying on the back roads. The last thing his children needed was another dead parent who had a fatal crash. That wouldn’t do his sons any good. Especially Boba.

That boy has lost too much in his life. Jango mused as he made eye contact with his ‘son’. Boba smiled gently at him, and Jango returned it. Things were going back to the way they used to be. It was nice.

Comet could see how this was eating Tup up. His little brother was good at hiding his feelings on the outside, but Comet has learned how to read Tup like a book. However, he couldn't comfort his brother at the moment. Not while cameras were watching their every move.

Things moved much quicker than they did yesterday. Obi-Wan briefed them on a few questions that would come up and how this was going to work.

The judge came in and got to business immediately, explaining to the jury that the previous charges still stood, but new charges of child abuse and neglect were being added. His spiel went on for a while before Obi-Wan called someone to the stand. Someone that Tup was somewhat expecting to hear.

“The people call Justin Collins to the stand.”

Justin walked into the room, raised his right hand, and swore to tell the truth before settling in his chair.

Obi-Wan was a picture of calmness in front of the courtroom. “Mr. Collins, could you tell the court what your occupation is?”

“I work as a psychologist, typically for trauma-induced anxiety and PTSD and ADHD patients,” Justin explained gently.

“And which Fett boy is your patient?”

“Tup is my patient.”

Obi-Wan flipped a page, the questions rolling off his tongue. “How long have you been seeing Tup for treatment, and for what disorders?”

Justin glanced up at the ceiling for a second, trying to think back to the date and year. “I saw Tup when he was twelve years old. His diagnosis was undetermined, but his father had explained that he guessed that Tup’s symptoms were because of a trauma-based event. Within a few weeks of observing him, I diagnosed him with generalized anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and clinical depression.”

Tup shifted in his seat. He wasn’t ashamed of his mental condition per se, but it still made him squirm. He was just happy the lawyers didn’t object yet.

"What was Tup's behavior like when he first started seeing him?" Obi-Wan asked next.

Justin leaned forward to rest his elbows on the table. "The first thing I automatically picked up on from the moment he walked through the door was eye contact. He would look at me when greeting me but any other time his eyes wandered around nervously. Half the time he would look in my direction. The other half was at the floor, wall, or an object. It was a habit for a while."

"Could you continue with how he was that led you to diagnose him?" The attorney asked calmly.

Justin nodded a bit. "Tup was...difficult in a way. In the beginning few weeks, he would barely say a word. I would ask a question, but he wouldn't answer. Tup was in a very fragile state when he came to me, and I knew I had to be careful with what I said and did. I tried distracting him by having him do a math problem or a puzzle and then asking him various questions. It ranged from 'how was your day' to 'do you know why you're having panic attacks' in complexity.

"I found that this did work better than my previous approach of asking questions. He eventually opened up to me that he knew something different about him, but he always stayed away from the topic of foster care. I found that to be concerning."

Tup forgot how much he would ignore Justin to the point where the man was doing all the talking in a session. He refused to talk to Justin at the beginning of his sessions, too scared of being judged or worse being sent back into foster care. It was just the way his brain worked back then.

Obi-Wan spun his hand in a circle. “Could you explain why it was concerning?”

Justin sighed a bit. “Isolation is a common action from abused children. They feel that if they stay silent, they can’t be punished by their abuser or an authority figure. While Tup never expressed any abuse, in the beginning, I picked up on the cues. Not making eye contact, not speaking, and being uncomfortable with being touched.

“Eventually, probably seven months into his therapy, he started opening up to me. He talked about his family first, about all his brothers, but he always avoided the topic of his mother dying. Jango, his father, had mentioned that he was worried that Tup’s depression had struck again during foster care because of the loss of his mother. His depression really came from losing his mother, but it’s also because of the treatment from Adrain.”

Obi-Wan nodded along to himself. “When did Tup tell you about the abuse?”

Justin scrambled to think. “I would say about a year in, he was around twelve, close to thirteen, when he started dropping hints that he was verbally abused. He expressed to me that he hated yelling because it happened a lot with his foster family. Then it came to threats. It took him a few years to tell me that he had been physically abused.”

Justin looked at Tup for a moment, gauging what he should and shouldn’t say. Tup gave him a small nod, letting him know that he didn’t care if Justin told them everything.

“Tup was so terrified of telling me. He didn’t even mean to tell me, it was a slip-up. He broke down after telling me a few months ago. He didn’t exactly tell me why but I figured that he guessed I would be mad at him, or not believe him, tell him he was overreacting and blowing it out of proportion. Because that’s what he heard every single day with Adrian.”

Rex felt his heart break for his brother. None of them had known that they had been abused. They had no way of knowing, but it still hurt him.

A gentle hand touched his shoulder. He turned his head and saw Boba looking at him, concerned. Rex just wordlessly leaned against his shoulder, not caring that their relationship had been rocky ever since he left for the Marines.

“I’ve got you, Rex’ika,” Boba murmured to him.

Obi-Wan looked to the judge, stacking a few of his papers. “No further questions, your honor.”

Judge Glen looked to the other side of the courtroom. “Does the defense have any questions?”

No one answered.

Obi-Wan looked to the bench where Tup was sitting. “The People call Tup Fett to the stand.”

Tup had a minute or two to gather himself before he was being led to the witness box. He refused to look over at Adrian. He wouldn’t give him the satisfaction that he rattled Tup without even saying anything.

Obi-Wan patiently waited for Tup to give him his attention before giving him a weak smile. “Tup, could you explain to us the kind of abuse you went through?”

At least he doesn’t hold back , Tup thought as he fidgeted. “Any way you could think, I guess? He would slap me, hit me, punch me.”

“Did he ever throw things at you?” Obi-Wan asked. Tup knew the man just had a list he was going down. It was a fairly long list.

“Yes. Anything he could reach at, at the moment. Books, phones…glass.”

Obi-Wan evenly met his eyes. “What would happen when he threw something glass at you?”

Tup knew he had to dumb it down for the jury. “He always made sure it would shatter against a wall or door. Then the shards would hit me. He did it to Comet as well.”

His attorney looked to the judge. “I’d like to pull a video from records, please.”

It took some time but eventually, a video popped up on the screen in front of him. The video started playing and Tup wanted to crawl in a hole. It was security tape footage. It began with the sound of Adrian talking to Tup. Well, more like yelling.

“You listen to me when I’m talking to you.”

Tup guessed eight-year-old him just stared at the ground, fighting tears.

“Don’t you dare cry, boy! I’ll beat your ass if you do!” Adrian shouted at him.

One tear fell from Tup’s face in the video and that’s when Adrian exploded. In a fit of rage, he grabbed a beer bottle from the table and flung it at Tup. The boy flinched when it hit its mark on the wall, covering his head to protect himself. Tup flinched at the memory of the pain from the glass digging into his skin.

The video changed and this time it was Comet. He was older, around twelve. He was arguing with Adrian. Tup couldn’t hear what the argument was about it, but he was surprised, seeing as it was a death wish to argue with Adrian. He never knew that Comet had done such a dumb thing.

Everyone watched as Adrian picked up a glass threateningly.

“You’re a f*ck up, Comet. You keep talking and see where you end up!”

Young Comet crossed his arms. “Screw! Off!”

Adrian had lost his patient and chucked the glass at him. It hit the wall and Comet only turned his head to block his face from the glass. Then he went back to glaring at Adrian despite the blood starting to trickle down at his hand.

Adrian took a menacing step forward but Comet flinched away. The man smirked down at the young teen. “Pathetic.”

As Adrian walked away, Comet just wordlessly slid down the wall, hiding his face. The video cut out.

Tup pushed the emotions out of his mind, as he looked at Obi-Wan. Crying would get old quickly with the jury.

“Tup, how many times did that happen? Give me an estimate,” Obi-Wan asked him.

Tup huffed, trying to think of a reasonable answer. He wasn’t sure he could remember all of them. “Twenty-five, give or take.”

Obi-Wan wrote it down. “Did you ever have to go to urgent care or the emergency room for the injuries Adrian inflicted on you?”

Tup frowned. He hated the question but it was a fair one to ask. “Maybe once or twice? I’m sorry, I don’t really remember.”

Obi-Wan nodded. “Well, let’s take a look. I’d like to pull the medical records for Tup from records please.” He waited a few seconds before he gestured for Tup to look down.

Tup read through the things on his screen and discovered it was his entire medical record, but a few were highlighted to stand out.

“Tup in the first highlighted box, it explains that you went to urgent care for stitches in your foot. Is that correct?"

Tup nodded. He remembered the sharp shooting pain going through his entire foot the day it happened. It happened right before school.

"And it says here that you stepped on a piece of glass that was accidentally left on the floor," Obi-Wan continued, slowing down his words. Tup lifted his eyes only to look at the man. "Was it an accident, Tup?"

Tup shrugged a bit. "That I stepped on it? Yes. I did not mean to do that. But the glass being on the floor wasn't an accident. Adrian had thrown glass at me again one morning before school. I was barefoot when I tried to walk away and it sliced my foot open."

Obi-Wan scrolled down a bit. “In the second box, it says that you got an x-ray for the theory of a broken ankle. What happened that made that a possibility?”

Tup nervously looked at his father, seeing him trying to hold in his anger. Tup felt awful for this. He shouldn’t have let things escalate to this. He should’ve told somebody.

“I was near the stairs,” Tup answered, eyes still glued to his father. “I was halfway down, trying to get away from Adrian when he hit me. I fell to the bottom. I ended up spraining my ankle, not breaking it.”

Comet looked confused, but he didn’t question it. There were a lot of things he was finding out about just now. But Tup had never had crutches or been in a boot ever with Adrian.He was walking on it the whole time.

“Tup,” Obi-Wan started, then stopped trying to find his words. “Tup, why did you never tell your social worker or father about this? Or any adult?” It was an evil question but a necessary one.

Tup fiddled with his fingernails, not answering for a long moment. When he did he looked at Obi-Wan head-on. “I was too scared to. My father was overseas, Adrian wouldn’t let us contact our social worker, and our brothers were scattered.”

“What about Comet?” Obi-Wan questioned.

Tup looked over at Adrian on instinct, and he wasn’t sure he had ever seen the man so mad. His eyes were filled with fire, but he was keeping his mouth shut.

“He threatened Comet if I told anyone,” Tup answered, directly looking at his foster father. Adrian’s jaw twitched. “He threatened everyone I loved. Just because he didn’t like Comet. That’s why he hit me and not my brother.”

Obi-Wan shifted through his notes. He faltered before he looked up but didn’t make eye contact with Tup. “How did Adrian affect you emotionally?”

Tup knew what he was asking, and he did not want to answer. He glanced at his father for just a brief moment, needing some reassurance from him. Jango just gave him a nod.

“I hated it with him. He made me feel horrible. I…I just didn’t want to live anymore. My mother was dead. My father was in a warzone. I had no idea where my brothers were. It was just a tough living situation. I didn’t have any health outlets.”

Obi-Wan nodded sadly. “No further questions, your honor.”

Judge Glen gestured to the other side. “Does the defense have any questions?” None of them spoke.

“Next witness for the prosecution is Comet Fett.”

Comet walked up to the stand, giving Tup a quick squeeze as his brother passed him. Tup collapsed in his chair, grasping his father’s hand. Jango wrapped an arm around his shoulder, letting his son get close to him.

“Comet,” Obi-Wan started, “what were some of the things that Adrian said to you throughout your time with him? Was it ever positive or comforting?”

Comet shook his head. “I don’t think that man has a parental bone in his body. He’s never had anything good to say. Most of the time when he was talking, he was telling me how dumb and stupid I am. That I’m a screw-up.”

“Did he know that you have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder?” the man challenged.

Comet nodded. “He’s always known. He’d never let me have my medication which messed with my system and school work. It was the most I’ve struggled in school before.”

“May I pull something from evidence?” the man repeated for the millionth time.

It was another surveillance video. Adrian and Comet were standing on opposite sides of the dining room table.

“You’re never going to be anything in this world, Comet! I don’t know why you keep trying to prove me wrong when you know you can’t.” Adrian's firm voice came across.

Tup winced at the sound of his voice. Jango wrapped him up tighter.

Then let me get help! A tutor! A teacher! Just someone!” Comet screamed back at him.

Adrian scoffed. “ Forget it, Comet! I am your father now, and you will do as I say! Stop trying!”

Comet started towards the stairs. “ You are not my father.” He dashed up the steps.

Adrian charged after him then the video cut out.

Comet’s eyes dropped a bit then rose again. Tup could see him getting lower in his seat.

“Was that a common argument you had with Mr. Bates?” Obi-Wan asked softly.

Comet nodded. “It happened a lot…the ADHD was a button he liked to push.”

Kenobi stayed silent for a second. “That made you question yourself, didn’t it?”

Comet nodded, trying to give a smile, but it was weak. “Yeah. It still does.”

Kenobi stared at him. “How much did he isolate you?”

Comet blew out a puff of air. “A lot. Tup and I weren’t allowed to have friends. We couldn’t talk to our teachers much. Life was so hard with him.”

Obi-Wan shifted his weight. “And what about Mrs. Bates? What was her role?”

Comet completely froze, blindsided by his question. He opened and closed his mouth a few times before timidly saying, “She…never hurt us. She didn’t really do anything, to be honest. She just…stood in the background.”

“Who took you and your brother to urgent care? Both of you have a few records of going there.”

Comet swallowed. “She did. She bent the truth about what occurred to the doctors but she never lied to them. She got us help.”

Obi-Wan smiled. “No further questions.”

Judge James Glen wrote something down. “Does the defense have any questions?”

No one pipped up so Comet got out of the box and was walked back the short distance to his seat by the bailiff. Tup grabbed his hand and leaned his head on his shoulder.

The two prosecution attorneys switched, Kenboi taking a seat. The woman took her place at the podium and folded her hands on top of it.

“The people call the next witness, Donna Bates. Mr. Bates’ wife.”

Simultaneously, Tup and Comet’s jaws dropped. There was murmuring from behind them, their brothers and other family members most likely.

Comet looked at his father, shell-shocked. “Why is she still helping us?” he whispered.

Jango shook his head minutely, surprised as well. “I have no idea. But we’re going to find out soon enough."

Notes:

Yes, Boba and Din still have some drama to go through.

I have considered going back to the beginning chapters, editing them, and tweaking them thoroughly. Would that be something you guys would want? What are your thoughts?

Chapter 39: Chapter 39-Closure

Summary:

Warnings: child abuse

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

Donna Bates was the perfect image of calmness for a woman sitting in a witness box. Tup couldn’t believe how calm she was. She was partially guilty for the abuse he and his brother went through. And that truth was about to come out. She was risking possible jail time.

Tup’s other attorney switched places with Kenobi, staring intensely at Mrs. Bates. She obviously wasn’t happy that she was using Donna as a witness but it was a necessary evil.

“Mrs. Bates, how long have you been married to Mr. Bates?” She asked her first question.

“About twenty years,” she answered easily. “We’ve been living together for the same length of time.”

The attorney, Bethany, tapped a finger on the podium. “And you were part of the discussion to take in Comet and Tup as your foster children?”

Mrs. Bates nodded. “Yes, he was the one that wanted foster kids in the first place. I agreed.”

Bethany narrowed her eyes. “Did you know that two of the children would be abused by your husband?”

Donna thought for a long moment before tilting her head to the side. “I didn’t know he would but I wouldn’t have been surprised if he did. And he did.”

“Why would you allow your husband to abuse two young children?” she asked sharply.

Donna stared at her straight on. “I don’t know. I really don’t know. I couldn’t tell anyone because I didn’t have proof and that’s when I inserted the cameras inside of the house.”

Bethany leaned forward. “But you still waited. Why?”

“I was the last line of defense from him kidnapping the boys and using them in despicable ways,” she responded. “I may not have done anything to help them but I did control my husband enough to not possibly kill them in a blind rage.”

Comet felt his blood turn cold. What could’ve Adrian done that was even worse? Would it have gone to the point where they were chained up in the basem*nt, being abused close to death? Would’ve it turned into sexual harassment?

Comet mindlessly gripped his brother next to him. Tup went easily, leaning on his brother’s shoulder. Comet needed to make sure Tup was safe, feeling relieved that he could feel his brother breathing against him.

“When did Adrian start abusing the two children?” Bethany asked.

“From the very beginning. Verbally at least. Yelling, screaming, cursing. He even abused Wolffe, their older brother.”

All eyes slowly turned back into the crowd. Wolffe was frozen in his seat, not even moving when Cody grabbed his hand nervously. Wolffe eventually dropped his head, never lifting it again. The rest of his brothers tried to meet eyes with him but failed.

The attention was back on Mrs. Bates. “Then once he aged out my husband nearly snapped. He would hit the youngest possibly every day. He would threaten and belittle Comet. They had no escape from him. They weren’t allowed to leave the house unattended by him. It’s safe to say that he’s always abused them.”

“Why come here today, Mrs. Bates?” Bethany asked.

There was murmuring on the defense side but no one moved to object. It seemed like a fair question.

“Because I want my husband gone,” she spat out. That was the first time that she had ever shown anger. It made Tup and Comet nervous. “That man is the reason my son is dead.”

The courtroom went quiet.

“C-Could you elaborate?” Bethany stuttered.

Donna nodded. “He didn’t kill my son directly if that’s what you’re wondering. But it was because of my husband that my son got into his car and started driving. And because of how distressed he was he ran off the road and rolled his car off of a cliff.”

Tup felt himself gasp quietly. He had never known that his foster parents had a son. There had been no signs of one. No pictures, no drawings from childhood, no certificates, nothing.

And to be honest, Tup pitied her. He lost his mother. He couldn’t imagine the pain of losing a child, especially in such a horrific way with such a horrible husband to blame. He pressed harder against Comet.

“Prosecution has no further questions,” Bethany quietly said.

Judge Glen turned his head towards Adrian’s lawyers. “Does the defense have any questions?”

“We do, your honor.”

An attorney Tup had never seen up close, stood up and walked to the podium.

He sighed and looked at Donna. “Mrs. Bates, you understand that you have committed a crime, correct?”

She tilted her head in a dangerous way. “And what crime would that be?”

He chuckled a bit and waved his hand. “For starters, child neglect. It could be argued that you abused those children along with your husband—“

Mrs. Bates smiled. “So you admit my husband abused the two foster children in our care?”

The attorney paused and then looked down at the ground, not looking particularly happy. Tup smiled to himself. The defender definitely didn’t want to do that.

“Yes, I did not do my job as a mother.” Her eyes fell onto the two boys in the seat.

Tup and Comet were shocked to see tears in her eyes. And they weren’t crocodile tears. They were actual tears. Donna Bates was crying.

“I should’ve done better by the children in my house. I was a terrible mother. If you want to take me to court, I won’t care. I’ll accept it. As long as my husband gets the same treatment, I will go to jail happily.”

The defendant cleared his throat, looking sheepish.

“No further questions, you Honor,” he said meekly and walked back to his chair.

James Glen shifted in his chair, facing fully forward to the courtroom. “We will take a one-hour break before we resume the session. The prosecution will finish with their witnesses and the defense will have the opportunity to call upon their witnesses.”

Tup felt himself lean back in his chair, taking a minute to just close his eyes as the rest of the people in the courtroom left. He felt Comet continue to maintain his grip on his shoulders.

“Boys, ready to get up?” their father asked them softly.

Tup looked at his father for a moment and nodded, standing up. He stayed close to his father’s side as he and his brother were directed out of the room.

As the Fett family walked out of the courtroom, Rex walked over to his older brothers and cousins who were surrounding Wolffe. His older brother had his back leaned against a wall, head tipped back.

Rex sighed sadly. He had had a feeling that Adrian yelled at Wolffe a few times after his brother aged out of foster care. He was much more jumpier than normal.

Jango dislodged himself from his two youngest and approached Wolffe. He gently took hold of Wolfffe’s chin and tilted his head down. Wolffe’s warm golden-brown eyes looked sadly into his eyes.

“Why didn’t you tell me?” Jango asked quietly. He just needed to know why.

Wolffe shook his head. “The boys were more important. I was practically an adult. I shouldn’t be upset that a deadbeat yelled at me a few times.”

Jango tilted his head to the side. “But you are. That’s why I’m worried.”

Rex sidled up to his cousins and Boba, not wanting to deal with emotions at the moment. He loved his brother, don’t get him wrong, but he was mentally exhausted.

Alpha watched the scene with analytical eyes. “I’m just going to say it…you all need therapy.”

Boba snorted sardonically. “As if you don’t as well, mister aviator? I know damn well you have some form of PTS. Hell, we could all need a Justin in our lives.”

Colt smiled. “Isn’t that Tup’s therapist?”

Boba nodded. “Yes, and the man is a miracle worker.”

The aviators chuckled. Boba wasn’t wrong.

Rex took the moment to unsilence his phone while the other made small talk. Within a few seconds, his phone was vibrating like crazy in his hand. The lock screen was filled with messages and calls from Rebecca.

Rex’s heart started pounding. Thoughts started going through his head of holy sh*t, I’m in so much trouble. She’s going to blame me for something transitioned to is she in some kind of trouble, or is she hurt?

“sh*t, f*ck,” Rex muttered under his breath.

Boba’s brotherly and possibly partneral instincts started kicking in. “What is it?”

Rex’s thumb shook, and he fumbled to call Rebecca. He didn’t answer Boba as he pressed the phone against his ear.

Boba took a step forward. “Rex,” he said sharply, wanting an answer of why his not-brother was so pale and shaking.

The phone continued to ring in his hand. “Damn it, pick up,” Rex hissed to himself.

Everyone other than Jango, Wolffe, Tup, and Comet had their eyes glued to Rex as he started pacing a bit.

“Rex, what the hell?!” Rebbeca screamed on the other side. She was so loud that everyone around him could hear what was happening on both ends.

“What do you mean ‘what the hell’?” Rex asked, trying to stay quiet seeing as they were still in a courthouse. It would look bad if he started arguing back.

Looks were shared at that. Boba looked at Cody. Ponds looked at Bly. Alpha looked at Kix. All of them were confused.

“You know where I am right now, Rebecca,” Rex said.

“Oh and you couldn't take the time to call your girlfriend?!” she shouted at him.

Boba reeled back in shock. He wasn’t well versed in relationships, hell he blew off the love of his life that morning, but she shouldn’t be yelling at him.

Rex had to take a breath before responding. “Rebecca, I am busy. My brothers come first. You know that,” he said, raising his voice slightly.

“Bullsh*t, I’m your girlfriend! That’s such an excuse!”

Rex gripped his free hand into a fist. “Have two traumatized little brothers in the middle of a court case for child abuse, and then tell me how to feel.”

Oh, f*ck off! You always pull the pathetic little brother card! I’m f*cking done with it, Rex!”

Rex really, really just needed to yell. He turned on his heel and started walking out through the door.

The others watched as Rex engaged in an animated yelling conversation once he was outside. He was most definitely screaming at his girlfriend but no one blamed him, to be honest. His free hand was moving through the air, sometimes forming into a fist to try and calm himself down.

“What…the hell was that?” Boba dared to ask.

Cody glared out the doors. “That was Rebecca. Rex’s girlfriend.”

Blitz’s eyes widened in shock. “That was the girlfriend?”

Alpha grimaced. “She sounds like a friggin nightmare. Is it always like that?”

Ponds shrugged, seeing that Cody was getting very angry. “The reason we found out that he had a girlfriend was that she showed up at our door looking for him. And we saw her for thirty seconds before they were out of the door.”

“I don’t like her,” Cody commented. “And that just made me like her even less.”

Blitz shifted to get a better look at Rex through the glass doors and windows. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen him this upset before.”

“Definitely one of his top freak-out moments,” Ponds muttered. It wasn’t a very long list but it was eventful.

They continued to watch him for a bit, seeing him calm down, then get riled up again, only to seem like a kicked puppy after. Or like he had been chastised. Eventually, he went quiet, eyes stuck on the concrete, and then said a few words to Rebbeca on the other line.

Colt gasped dramatically. “I know he did not just say ‘I’m sorry for overreacting’!”

The Fett kids stared at him with wide eyes.

“How the hell do you know that?”

“I can read lips,” Colt said distractedly, still watching the dwindling conversation.

They watched as Rex slipped his phone back into his pocket, and then his face fell. He ran a hand through his short hair and began to pace the front of the door.

Boba felt a nudge to his side and looked at Cody who was standing next to him.

“Could you talk to him?” Cody asked quietly.

Boba was shocked. He was only starting to work his way back into the family. He wasn’t expecting to be thrown back into his duties as a family member for someone other than Tup and Comet immediately.

At his shocked look, Cody decided to elaborate. “He tends to hide things from us. And he loves you a lot. He doesn’t want to ‘disappoint’ you.”

Boba felt confused. He hadn’t been around until recently.

Cody scoffed softly. “Don’t tell me you’re that blind, Boba. He’s missed you a lot. He’s always seen you as a brother: he’ll always listen to you.”

Boba sighed and tried to steal himself as he walked towards the door. He pushed it open and it caused Rex to pause his waking.

“You doin okay?” he asked gently in greeting.

Rex sighed quietly and shook his head.

Boba wordlessly held his arms out in invitation, waiting to see if Rex would accept the hug. The younger man hesitated for just a moment before he let himself be folded in the familiar strong arms of Boba. Boba pressed a hand firmly on Rex’s back, keeping the weight there.

Rex’s tense muscles eventually relaxed, going limp against Boba's chest.

“Do you want to talk about what that was?” he asked.

Rex shook his head, hiding in Boba’s neck and he returned the hug. “No.”

Boba leaned his head on Rex’s. He pursed his lips. “Well…if it makes you feel better, I had relationship problems today as well.”

Rex mumbled against his neck, “Really?”

“Mhm, I finally admitted to a person of interest in my life that I love them. They returned said feelings. We made out. It was really nice,” he felt Rex laugh against his chest, “and do you know what I said to them this morning?”

Rex shook his head no.

“I told them I wasn’t ready. I asked the love of my life to wait.”

“Damn,” Rex said, choked up a bit. “That’s pretty bad.”

“I’ll say,” Bob quipped. “Not my finest moment. But I couldn’t commit to them yet even though I wanted to so badly. I still have a lot of baggage I need to get rid of.”

They fell silent, just relishing in the hug. Rex eventually pulled away with a small, testing smile.

“It's the lawyer guy, isn’t it?” he asked.

Boba sighed. “...yes. Yes, it’s Din.”

“Well don’t give him the chance to move on from you. Figure out your baggage and quick because I don’t know how long he’ll be left on the market for you. I don’t know how he isn't taken yet. He’s so nice.”

Boba laughed. “Okay, Rex. Thank you for the advice I guess. You little brat.”

“Your brat, Rex said, repeating back the line he always did when he was a kid with Boba.

Boba’s eyes and smile softened. He held the side of Rex’s neck for a second before he straightened up. “Alright, we’ve been gone long enough. Let’s go.”

Tup could feel the tension rising in the courtroom. It was time for the jury to discuss the verdict. Everyone was seated back in the courtroom for two more witnesses, both teachers of Tup and Comet. One was a current teacher from their high school and the other was a teacher from Denver. The statements were over quickly. Adrian’s defense team didn’t call any witnesses to the stand. There was nothing they could do to salvage the damage done.

The closing statements were interesting as well. Kenobi was the one to speak to the jury, reiterating that Tup and Comet had no right to be ábsides by the people that were supposed to protect them and that the system failed them. That they were being dragged through the frustration of court and being plastered in front of every news story because their foster family failed to do good by them.

Adrian’s team’s closing statement was short, to say the least. The only thing that Tup caught was that Adrian had made mistakes.

No sh*t, and now he’s paying for it like we have the past seven years. Tup bitterly thought as he paced a bit in front of the table. The session was paused again as the jury was discussing everything. They had been gone for three minutes and Tup just wanted them to be back already.

“Tup,” Obi-Wan gently said. He waited for Tup to look at him before continuing. “The jury will be done very quickly. I promise you that.”

“What if it doesn’t work?” Tup blurted out.

Obi-Wan gave him a soft smile and tilted his head towards the general public seating. “Look out there.”

Tup did so, feeling Comet stand next to him now that he had stopped pacing. He saw the faces of quite literally all of his family. Jaster and Nicky sat with their grandsons, talking to Alpha, Colt, and Blitz. His brothers were spread around, some talking to Arla, Jake, or other cousins. Boba was sitting with Din and Fennec, conversing with Axel, Tup’s best friend, and Eli, one of Comet’s friends. Even Justin was sitting quietly in the center of the seats.

“They’re here for both of you, no matter what happens. They won’t leave you high and dry,” the man finished.

Comet suddenly hugged the man, never feeling so thankful for someone before. Obi-Wan hugged him back.

The doors opened with a groan and the jury started filling back in. Tup and Comet swiftly sat back down in their seats, eyes wide as they waited impatiently.

Jango looked up at the ceiling. God, please, let them have closure. That is all I ask.

The clerk stood up from her seat and turned towards the jury. “May I have the verdict?”

One of the jury members stepped down from the jury box and walked towards her with a paper in hand. The clerk took the paper and slipped a pair of glasses on.

Comet grabbed Tup’s hand, gaze never leaving the clerk. He prayed and prayed that they would walk away from this courthouse in fear for their lives.

“We the jury find Adrian Bates guilty…”

Tup immediately started crying with happiness, holding a hand against his face. Comet squeezed his hand hard, eyes misting up.

“...of twenty-three counts of child abuse, four counts of child neglect, and two counts of assault. Mr. Bates will be sentenced to sixty-eight years in prison without the chance of parole and will be fined one hundred thousand dollars in damages. Court is dismissed.”

Comet pulled Tup hard against him, hiding his face in Tup’s hair. Tup returned the embrace by hiding his face in Comet’s shoulder.

Jango stood in shock. He was expecting Adrian to go to jail but not for that long. And he was certainly not expecting to receive one hundred thousand dollars for this. He slowly directed Tup and Comet out from the table.

At that exact moment Adrian was standing near them, a bailiff on one of his sides, holding one of Adrian’s cuffed arms.

“Congratulations,” he sneered at Tup and Comet.

Tup straightened up, not even bothering to hide his tears. “You can’t hurt us. Not anymore.”

Adrian blinked at Tup before looking Comet in the eye. The older boy held his brother’s arm protectively. Jango tried to pull his boys along but they wouldn’t budge. Jango reluctantly let them win this battle, glaring at Adrian.

“You will never be anything in this world, Comet. You know it. I know it. Everyone knows it. I tried to teach you that but you just couldn’t listen to me. Who’s going to look out for you now knowing that you couldn’t even survive with a bit of tough love?”

Comet’s resolve started to crumble. Tup could see his face falling. He shifted to get in Adrian’s line of view.

“I will,” Tup hissed at him. “I always will. Unlike you.”

Jango decided that was enough and led his boys away, not without glaring at Adrian one more time.

Tup launched himself at his brothers when he got close enough. They enveloped him and Comet into firm hugs, some of them even crying. The rest of the family stuck around the edges, all smiling.

A woman cleared her throat. Donna Bates was awkwardly standing off to the side, waiting to speak to the boys about something.

“I’m sorry,” she whispered. “I should’ve done better.”

Tup leaned into Rex’s chest when he responded. “We can’t forgive you. Not fully. But thank you for what you did today.”

Donna gave a stiff nod, giving them one last look before leaving the room.

Everyone was led out of the courthouse, most of the adults saying a few last words to the lawyers while Tup and Comet were smiling.

They were finally free.

But no one noticed how Rex slipped off from the group, phone in hand, tears streaming down his face, and an angry voice screaming at him from the other side of the connection.

Notes:

Ahhhh we're finally done with this very LARGE story arc XD. This story arc is a fun one to write, but I feel it's time to move the focus to some other Fett family members. And of course, the next one to suffer is Rex. This next story arc will definitely be darker (maybe), but I'm not quite sure how intense it will get. But warnings will always be placed in the summary.

Tell me what you liked about Tup and Comet's story so far. What would you like to see possible in the future? Any people you want to have the attention focused on more often?

Chapter 40: Chapter 40-Begin Act Two

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

Rex Fett loved things easily. He wore his heart on his sleeve. He loved his friends, his family, and the people he cared about. He loved them fiercely. He would drop everything for them. It didn’t matter if he was in the living room or halfway across the planet. Because they were his entire world. He wouldn’t stop loving them. But he wasn’t currently fond of his precious little brothers.

“f*ck you, Waxer!” Boil screamed.

Rex wanted to slam his head into the table he was sitting at. It was way too damn early in the morning to have a screaming match go back and forth between his siblings. Things had been hectic lately with their father out of the house, leaving the boys to mostly parent themselves which was a mistake some days. Ponds sipped on his coffee, staring at the wall, trying to find a way to not explode at their brothers.

“Could we send them to Boba?” Cody asked hypothetically to the ceiling. The man had offered to help out with the boys again if needed.

“I don’t think he would forgive us,” Bly mumbled, still half asleep.

“I told you to f*ck off, Waxer!”

“I’m trying to help you, you stubborn little sh*t!”

“You are both the dumbest assholes in the universe!”

Tup came down the stairs. He was busy tying his hair back but stopped staring at the yelling match between the two sets of twins. He did his best to not flinch as the yelling got louder. He walked into the kitchen to grab some food and stayed away from the fray.

“Stay out of this, Echo!” Fives yelled.

Tup ducked away and sat next to Wolffe. “Why are they arguing?”

Wolffe put an arm around his shoulder, rubbing his shoulder. “Some stupid bullsh*t. Nothing to worry about.”

Cody looked at his phone and tapped the table a few times. “Boys. Boys!”

All of the teenagers' heads snapped toward their brother's position, taking in the authoritative voice.

"If you are late to school because of your squabbling so help me I will ground you for a week!"

They immediately shut up, looking sheepishly at the ground.

"Sorry," Fives muttered his apology.

Cody sighed softly. He didn’t like to yell at them."Get going. All of you."

Tup slipped out from underneath Wolffe. Comet was the first out the door, not wanting to risk Cody’s anger once again. Fives tucked Tup under his arm as the group of teenagers walked out the door. Soon the house was peaceful and quiet.

"I love them but my God," Wolffe mumbled, getting another cup of coffee.

Cody chuckled. "You're telling me."

Rex stared at the table once again, lost in thought. His brothers took notice but let him zone out for a minute. Until Cody nervously started biting at his lip.

"Rex..." he started softly.

"Hm?" Rex hummed, soft brown eyes going to his brother.

"We wanted to talk to you about something.”

Rex shrugged, thinking nothing of it. “Go ahead,” he said, waving a hand.

Cody wanted to open his mouth and say the words, he really did. But nothing came out. Rex looked so tired. Cody looked to Ponds for help.

“It’s about Rebecca, Rex,” Ponds broke the silence, preparing for an explosion.

Rex fidgeted but didn’t say anything. He dipped his chin to his chest. Of course, this was the topic they chose to talk about.

“We’re worried that…she is getting angry at you for no reason,” Bly gently said, wanting so badly to comfort his little brother who looked like he was falling apart at the seams. However, he didn’t know if his presence would be well received.

Rex shook his head a bit. “It wasn’t her fault. It was mine. I overreacted.” His brothers would’ve believed him a little bit if he hadn’t begun to silently cry.

Cody sat down across from Rex, grabbing one of his hands. “Then tell me why it sounds like you’ve rehearsed that?”

Rex’s teary eyes locked onto his eyes before he stood up. The chair scraped against wood flooring. He fled upstairs.

Cody watched him go with heartbroken eyes, leaning back in his chair.

“That didn’t go well,” Wolffe commented pointlessly.

“Maybe Dad will have better luck when he comes back,” Cody hopefully thought out loud.

“That’s still a few days away, Codes.” Ponds’ low voice told him.

Cody glared at him lightly. “I’m aware but he’s so difficult sometimes.”

“But we still love him,” Wolffe sang, trying to lighten the mood.

Cody cracked a grin.

Boba felt like a damn idiot. He was so completely, and utterly stupid. Din hadn’t left his mind for two weeks now. Any free time Boba had to think was filled with Din. It was slowly killing him inside.

Why did he tell him to wait? Why was he such an idiot to say that? Sure he had issues, but it sounded like an excuse to his ears.

“Boba?” a voice called his name.

Boba’s head shot up, trying to look like he had been paying attention. Jaster was looking at him, concerned.

“Sorry,” Boba apologized. His father had invited him over to just talk a bit, testing the waters of their still-rocky relationship, and Boba just spaced out on him. “Didn’t mean to ignore you.”

Jaster waved a hand dismissively. “It’s okay, Boba. Are you okay?”

Boba nodded then shrugged. “I guess so. Just…relationship issues.”

Jaster’s brow narrowed. “Rex-level bad?”

Boba had to snort. Stone, Thire, Fox, and Thorn were never the best at keeping things on the down-low. They had spilled to their grandfather the moment they could, but Jaster wouldn’t say anything to Rex. He knew that his grandson didn’t need his help unless it involved possibly hunting people down. Allegedly of course. So Boba wasn’t surprised that Jaster knew about the blowout with Rex and Rebecca.

“No, definitely not that bad. It’s…you know what, you probably don’t want to hear this,” Boba said, realizing Jaster was just trying to be nice.

Jaster reached a hand out, latching onto his son’s hand. “I want to know,” he said softly.

Boba sighed and gave in. “Fine…it's about someone who I work with. I like them but I just…can’t.”

Jaster tilted his head to the side. “Can’t do what?”

Boba leaned back in his chair. He glanced up to the ceiling. “Can’t let go of sh*t. If I don’t let go of the past I can’t be with them.”

Jaster nervously shifted in his seat. Nicky was better at him than this. Even with their grandsons being older, Nicky was still soft and gentle with them. Jaster wasn’t the best at that. His job was to encourage them and make them better.

“Have you tried going to therapy?” he asked gently.

Boba snorted sarcastically. “Yeah and the bitch just wanted me to be medicated. I can’t do it again.”

Jaster frowned in sympathy. “I’m sorry, Boba. I should've been there. Maybe I could’ve talked you out of active duty.”

Boba fiddled with his hands. “It wasn’t just the military if that's what you’re thinking. It was a part of it…but not all of it.”

Jaster thought about it for a minute. He really tried to recall what other bad things happened in his life. Boba was never one to care that his mother practically abandoned him. He had some friendship drama that he let go of quickly. His issues with Jango and his guardianship were mostly in the past now.

“Diana…” Jaster suggested a moment later. “That’s what it’s about?”

Boba’s eyes shot up to his then fell back to the table. He nodded his head a small bit. Jaster clicked his tongue and gripped his son’s forearm.

“I’m sorry, B.”

Boba shook his head at his father. “Not your fault. Wasn’t her fault either. I didn’t think I would miss her this much. Even if it was years ago.”

Jaster gripped him tighter to get his attention. “You’re not alone anymore. We’re all here for you.” If there were tears in his son’s eyes, he didn’t say anything.

Boba left an hour or two later, leaving Jaster to mule over the events. Soft footsteps approached him. A warm hand was placed on his shoulder, thumb stroking his shoulder. He melted into the touch.

“How’d it go?” his husband asked him nervously, taking a seat next to him.

Jaster lifted his head. “Better than I thought.” He leaned in to press his lips against Nicky’s. Nicky obliged him, kissing him softly. He gave his husband a weird look.

“Not that I didn’t enjoy that but was there a reason?”

Jaster leaned into him heavily, feeling Nicky stroke the short hairs on the back of his neck. “Looking at him reminds me of how much I failed my kids.”

Nicky felt his heart drop into his stomach. He knew how much his husband blamed himself for things, but Jaster rarely voiced them out loud.

“Oh, babe….” Nicky didn’t have anything else to say.

Jaster did his best to hide the shake in his shoulders, but his eyes glazed over with tears.

“Shhhh, shhhh,” Nicky whispered to him, “He doesn’t hate you, love. You’re both trying.”

“I f*cked that kid up so much,” Jaster practically whimpered, a far cry from the hardened emotions he normally had.

Nicky held him tighter. “And Jango was there to pick up the pieces. He loved Boba the way you loved Jango and Arla. It just took you a while to do it yourself.”

Jaster didn’t move from his chest. He just needed reassurance that he didn’t screw up everything. Nicky and Jaster didn’t move for a while, even when their grandsons poked their heads in, staring in shock at the scene in front of them. They eventually left, knowing they needed some privacy.

They gathered in the living room, lowering their voices.

“I’m so sad that Alpha, Colt, and Blitz are getting deployed soon,” Thorn said quietly.

Fox shrugged, bringing his brother close to him. “It was bound to happen. But yes, it sucks that it happened so soon. But Hunter, Tech, Wrecker, and Crosshair should be shore-side soon.”

Stone was staring in thought. Thire jabbed him in the ribs with an elbow. Stone hissed and shoved him back.

“The hell, asshole?”

“Why do you look like you are trying to solve world hunger? It's not a good look on you.”

Stone frowned and scoffed. “Oh f*ck off. If you must know, it’s about Rex.”

Everyone froze, worry spreading through the room. It was like life was sucked out of the room.

“Did he talk about what happened a couple of weeks ago?” Thorn asked timidly.

Stone shook his head, still thinking hard. “No. Ponds and the others are convinced his depression and anxiety are coming back.”

Everyone winced at the comment. They remember that time years ago and it wasn’t pretty. That had been a long two years.

“Are they just being protective?”

Thire jumped in. “He didn’t seem that great the days we saw him. He was always jumpy.”

Fox held Thorn again, seeing his brother getting worried for their cousin. “I don’t blame him. With a psycho girlfriend like that, I would be on my toes too.”

Silence rang in the room, not even Jaster and Nicky were talking in the other room.

“I just hope he’s okay,” Thorn whispered.

Rex did not want to get up. Cody and Wolffe were already gone from the room, getting ready for classes that morning. Rex didn’t normally hate going to classes, he rather enjoyed his classes but he didn’t want to do it today. It was only three classes but the thought of dragging himself to his classes made him want to cry.

A soft knock on the door made him lift his head off the pillow. Cody was leaning against the door jamb of their room, arms loosely crossed over his chest. They both stared at each other, neither of them shrinking away from the steely gazes.

Cody’s eyes softened. “Why don’t you stay home today? I can stop by your professors’ rooms to see what you missed.”

Rex frowned at his brother, taken aback. “Wait a minute. You want me to play hooky, Mr. Perfect?”

Cody rolled his eyes, sitting down next to Rex. Rex felt the bed sink down near his hip. Cody’s gentle hand fell onto his back.

“You’re obviously not feeling yourself. Get some sleep. I’ll have Arla stop by in a few hours.”

Rex whined and shook his head. “No, don’t bother her.”

His brother’s eyes hardened like stone. “She would not care. I’m telling her.”

Rex went limp on the bed, giving up on his endeavor to convince his brother that his aunt was busy and didn’t have time to worry about him.

Cody stroked his hair for a bit. His brother's soft ministrations nearly put him to sleep before Wolffe called up from the ground floor.

“Cody! Get your ass down here!”

Cody sighed but pressed a kiss to his brother’s head before leaving the room. Rex let his eyes close, and darkness consumed him.

Cody raced downstairs and out the door, his stuff already in the car. He jumped into the passenger seat, slamming the door closed.

“He actually listened to you?” Wolffe asked him incredulously.

Cody chuckled breathlessly. “I’m just as surprised as you are. Give me a minute, let me call Arla.”

He pulled his phone out while Wolffe started to drive out of the driveway. It rang a few times before Arla picked up.

“Hello?”

Cody leaned his elbow against the window. “Hey, Aunt Arla. I was wondering if you could swing by and check on Rex in a few hours.”

“Is he not feeling good?” She asked.

Cody sighed, thinking about it for a moment. “No, he’s not. I suggested he stayed home today to try and relax a bit. It would mean a lot if you could check on him. Wolffe’s last class is at 1 o’clock and we won’t be home until around 3.”

“Of course, I can. Does he need anything?”

“A mother’s love probably,” Cody joked. “He should be fine. I just don’t want him to be alone for long.”

“Alright, I’ll leave in a few hours. Love you baby.”

“Love you too,” Cody repeated and hung up the phone. He and Wolffe went silent letting the sound of the car heading down the road fill it.

“How worried are you?” Wolffe asked softly. He didn’t know what was going on instead his brother's head. He needed words.

“Pushing eight out of ten really. To the point where I want to bring up the anti-psychotics again.”

Wolffe shot a nervous glance. “That might go up in flames.”

Cody leaned his head back. “Yeah, I know. But he needs them.”

Wolffe didn’t say anything for a moment. Just staring at the road. “I know, but he’ll fight us tooth and nail. “

Cody closed his eyes, trying to think of a way to get his brother to listen to him.


...

Thinking about what he could’ve done differently was a dangerous game for Rex. It’s what he did the night his mother raced out of the house, looking for his two missing younger siblings. It’s what he did when red and blue lights flashed in their windows years ago. It’s what he did as he watched his brothers get piled into different cars, being taken by protective services.

Rex was never good at letting go of the past. He still caught himself missing his mother so much that it felt like a hole in his heart. His brothers rarely mentioned their mother and when they did they never seemed upset about her.

Rex closed his eyes, feeling his body pressed heavier on the bed. He tried to think about happy thoughts but instead, he thought about Rebecca.

Rex pulled up to Rebecca's house, feeling the rage inside of him building to an astronomical level. He slammed his car door shut and ripped open the front door to his girlfriend's house.

Rebecca stood there in a sundress with her arms crossed. The pretty delicate colors of her dress didn’t match the fire flickering in her eyes. She was shaking, cheeks flushed.

"Oh now you show up," she drawled.

"You screamed at me to get over here!" Rex yelled at her.

"Because you're being a bad boyfriend, Rex!" Rebecca yelled, venom dripping in her voice. "You always do this to me!"

Rex threw his arms up in the air. "Do what?!"

"Not paying attention to me!" She squealed. "I needed you!"

Rex took a step farther into the room. He was aware of the dangerous waters ahead but he soldiered on. "What was so important that you wanted me to leave my brothers? Please explain."

Rebecca's hands curled up into fists, nails digging into her skin. "I want you to stop spending so much time with them."

Rex felt himself rolling his eyes. "What have they ever done to you? Why does it matter so much?"

"Because when I need you, I need you!" She cried like a little girl.

Rex got closer to her, within arms reach. "I can't just ignore them! They're my responsibility just as much as my dad's!"

Rebecca's lips pressed into a firm line. "Well maybe if your father wasn't such a deadbeat you wouldn't need to look after your brothers."

Rex felt his resolve beginning to crack. He hated it when she brought things up like that. He held his hands up. "You know what, I can't talk to you right now. I'm going home."

He started walking toward the door. Rebecca jumped in front of the door, pressing her back to it. “Rex—“

Rex, gently, tried to maneuver his girlfriend away from the door, but she grasped his hands when they reached the doorknob.

“Baby please,” she whispered, sweetening her voice.

Rex tried to pry her away, but she just kept coming back. “No. No.”

Rebecca started softly crying and pulled him into a delicate kiss. Rex stayed put, not kissing her back.

“Why do you always have to make me upset?” She whimpered.

Rex felt one tear fall. He never liked to make his girlfriend cry but what was he supposed to do?

She started running her hands over his arms, pressing closer to him. He knew what she was trying to do. Her hands started to migrate downward.

He ripped himself away from her. “Rebecca, stop,” he pleaded softly.

Rebecca huffed sadly and wrapped her arms pitifully around her chest. “Fine.”

They both stared at each other, Rebecca’s eyes filled with tears while Rex’s were dry.

“I should go,” Rex awkwardly stated.

She nodded to the floor and opened the door for him. As he walked past her, she gently grasped his arm. He stopped.

“This is your fault,” she whispered before letting him go and closing the door.

The sound of keys jangling made Rex open his eyes. He looked at his phone and saw that he had been dozing for the past three hours. Arla must be the person entering the house. He heard her drop her purse on the counter before her feets padded upstairs.

He watched her walk through his door. She gave him a sad smile, leaning on the wall.

“Why don’t you come downstairs? I can make you something small to eat,” she suggested, but the tone of her voice was firm. She wouldn’t take no for an answer.

Rex sluggishly got out of bed, letting his Aunt direct him downstairs. She pushed him to lie on the couch, covering him with a blanket before walking into the kitchen.

He turned on the TV to not suffer in silence. He mindlessly watched some crime show when Arla came back in. She pressed a glass of water into his hands.

“Drink all of this,” she ordered gently.

He slowly started to sip at it as she placed a plate on his lap. He ate his small meal quickly, dowing the water and laying back down. Arla started running her fingers through his hair, making him relax under his hand. She pressed the back of her hand to his head.

“Hm,” she hummed. “You don’t feel warm. What’s going on?”

Rex buried his face in the cushion, not saying anything.

Arla bit at her lip, not knowing how to continue the conversation. Rex wasn’t her child; she knew that she didn’t have the right to push him into talking to her.

But when Rex’s shoulders started to shake Arla knew something was very wrong with her nephew.

“Oh honey,” she whispered, going down to the floor. She stroked his shoulders and back, her heart breaking as Rex leaned into her.

She lifted Rex to sit up completely before sneaking onto the couch next to him. She led him to tip into her, leaning them both back on the couch.

Rex flinched as she placed a comforting hand on his shoulder. She tsked slightly at that, making her touch extremely gentle.

Arla let Rex cry for a long time, not saying anything, just holding him. She wanted to know why he flinched but now was not the time to ask.

"Oh honey," Arla cooed. "It's all right. It's alright."

Rex leaned farther into his aunt's chest, wanting it so desperately to be his mother's touch and comfort, but Arla was the closest thing to that. His mother was dead. Because he had made Jango upset. Just like he did with Rebecca.

It's my fault. It’s always been my fault.

Rex continued to softly sob through the following thirty minutes. Once they subsided a bit, he felt a headache pressing against his skull. Arla's fingers were still pressing into his scalp, but it wasn't doing much. He made a soft noise of pain, shifting to get more comfortable against Arla.

"Try to sleep, Rex." Her voice was soft.

He obeyed her, letting his eyes fall closed. His crying tampered off into nothing as he fell asleep.

Arla stayed right where she was. She stayed there even when the teens came back home.

They walked into the room and stopped in their tracks. Ranges of emotions spread through their faces and Arla resisted the urge to hug them all tight.

“Is something wrong?” Fives asked but there was no need.

Everyone knew something was severely wrong with Rex. But they didn’t know if they could fix it.

Notes:

Short chapter but I feel that it sets up this lovely arc. I've given a few hints about Rebecca's lovely personality and she is most definitely not a good person so beware. Is there anything you guys want to see?

Chapter 41: Chapter 41-Accidents Happen

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

Rex Fett didn’t like to admit weakness to anyone. It made him feel guilty for not appreciating his life. Comparing his life to others’ was a favorite pass time of his. He shouldn’t complain that he would get breathless at the smallest fear that startled him. He shouldn't complain that his anxieties would override his brain. People had it worse than him.

Rex woke up to his alarm chiming in his ear. He took a minute to rouse himself awake before he pulled the covers off.

As he stood up Cody blearily looked at him. “Do you have class?”

Rex nodded. “One. I’ll be back in a few hours.”

Wolffe groaned. “I don’t know how you have the will to go to eight am classes but would you kindly shut up so I can sleep? Thank you.”

Rex snorted but followed his brother's request, being quiet as he got ready for the day.

He padded down the stairs, heading towards the sound of his younger brothers about to leave for school.

It thankfully sounded less chaotic than the other day. He walked by Fives whose head was dipping so much that he almost hit his bowl of cereal. Rex quickly moved the bowl over and grabbed his head, holding it in his hands before Fives woke up enough to do it himself.

“Thanks,” Fives mumbled.

Rex squeezed his shoulder and walked away after he was sure Fives would stay awake.

Tup seemed to be extremely tired as well, eyes closed and his head down on the table. Rex sighed but left it alone. He has to leave soon.

He walked to the front door and before he could leave he looked back into the house.

“Do you need anything?” He asked his brothers.

They shook their heads. Some mumbled no. Rex took his leave after that. He walked to his car, tossing his bag in the back before climbing into the driver's seat. He backed out of the driveway, heading down the road silently. Ten minutes into the drive he pulled into another neighborhood, parking in one of the driveways.

As soon as he parked the car, a young woman came out of her house. She smiled at him and waved cheerily, walking toward the passenger seat. He unlocked the doors and she hopped in, placing her bag on the floorboard.

“Good morning!” she greeted.

Rex chuckled. “Good morning as well Meghan.”

She smiled and leaned back in her seat, kicking her feet up on the dash. She clipped her seat belt on.

Rex started driving once again as she fiddled with the radio. She eventually landed on something she liked and kept the volume low enough so Rex could concentrate.

She made conversation with him enthusiastically which made Rex wonder how she was such a good morning person.

Rex’s stomach started to twist. It was random but he felt it and it made him uneasy. He pulled up to a red light at one of the major intersections of their city.

Meghan started humming the song instead of talking, picking up on Rex's weird mood.

The light turned green and Rex began to enter the intersection. He looked to the right on instinct. Then to the left.

A car was rushing towards them, showing no signs of slowing down or breaking.

Rex slammed on the brakes, putting an arm out in front of Meghan. He pressed hard on the horn while others around him did the same. The car had to serve to avoid clipping the front left side of his bumper.

The car continued to speed down the road. They watched as the car struck another vehicle from behind before spinning out and slamming into another one.

Rex didn’t even know he had begun to drive after a few seconds. When he did he saw his hands shaking on the steering wheel.

Meghan was now sitting up straight, feet still firmly planted on the floor.

“Rex?” She called quietly.

Rex pulled into a small parking lot, parking in the first spot he could find. He forcibly put the car into park and closed his eyes, head leaning back.

“I need you to drive,” he whispered.

Meghan looked shocked but nodded. “Okay. Okay, I’ll drive.”

Rex waited for her to dash around to the other side of the car. When he opened the door to stand up, her arms were already around him, holding him in a hug. He tensed up. Meghan stroked his back, feeling him eventually accept the hug by slouching into her.

She wasn’t Rebecca. And Rex felt like a piece of sh*t for enjoying hugging Meghan over his own girlfriend.

Meghan stood Rex up and directed him to the other side, slipping into the driver's seat. Rex strapped himself in the passenger seat.

Meghan had to adjust the seat quite a bit seeing as her legs were significantly shorter than Rex’s.

As she was five minutes into the drive she spared a glance. Rex let a few tears fall, eyes still closed. Her heart hurt to see her friend like that.

She eventually got them to campus safe and sound. She turned in her seat after taking the keys out. “Do you need to call someone?”

Rex shook his head no.

She bit her lip, looking at her watch. “We have thirty minutes before class starts. I think you should call your dad or brothers.”

Rex nearly let out a pitiful whimper. Calling his dad was the last thing he wanted to do but it seemed to be the best option. Meghan rubbed his arm a few times before getting her bag and walking towards the school.

Rex pulled his phone out, staring at it in disgust. Just as he was about to call his father, he guilty remembered that his father was in a different time zone. So he called the only other adult (even though he was an adult himself) that he wanted right now. He dialed Boba’s number.

Boba was preoccupied with trying to not stab himself in the eye with a pen as he stared at the paperwork scattered across his table. His law firm was trying to drown its attorneys in case after case and everyone was starting to feel the pressure. They even had the press trying to get in to ask Bail Organa about the case with Tup and Comet, seeing as it had been leaked that the boys were clients of his before. They were also looking for Kenobi as well, who wisely holed himself up in his office whenever the news buses showed up.

“Don’t look so gloomy, Fett,” Fennec chirped as she entered his office, slamming the door shut behind her.

Din was already in the room, trying to get some of his work done as well. The rest of their coworkers were spending their time arguing and bickering over their cases. Boba’s office was the only quiet place he could find.

There was tension when he first walked in but once he sat down and began to work it melted. There was only about a foot of space between them now.

Boba glared silently at his friend. She just smirked.

“Don’t poke the bear, Fen,” Din recommended softly, flipping through papers.

Fennec sat down as well, kicking her feet up sassily. Boba just glared at her one more time before returning to work.

Until he was interrupted by his phone ringing. He groaned lowly, refusing to look up as he began to write.

“Din, can you see who it is?” Boba asked him, exasperated.

Din hummed and reached for Boba’s phone in the back pocket of his slacks. He caught Fennec’s smirk of satisfaction from across the table. The caller ID was labeled Rex. There was only Rex that Din knew.

“You should probably take this,” Din said, hoping that his worry wasn’t too obvious.

Boba frowned and took the phone, staring at it in shock for a few moments. He put the phone up to his ear. “Rex?”

Rex lightly banged his head on the headrest. “Look, I’m really sorry to call you during work,” he rushed out, words breaking off with a pathetic noise. “But dad’s not home and I don’t know who else to call.”

Boba leaned an arm on the table. “Shhhh, shhhh. Tell me what’s wrong.”

Rex leaned on the window of the car. He closed his eyes tightly. “I almost got into a crash. And I’m really freaking out right now.”

Boba blinked, nearly standing in his seat in shock. “Please tell me you aren’t driving right now.” A panicky Rex behind the wheel of a car was not a good thing.

Rex sniffed. “I’m not.”

Boba relaxed a bit more. “Okay. Tell me what happened,” he repeated, softly. He wasn’t well versed in Rex’s mental stability but seemed like he was getting close to absolutely losing it.

Rex truly tried not to cry but he couldn’t stop. “Some asshole ran a red light, nearly T-boning us. I hit the brakes and he flew by. He rear-ended another vehicle about another five hundred feet away. It was bad. I couldn’t stay to check on them. I just…I couldn’t. My friend had to switch seats with me.” He felt the familiar chest-tight feeling.

God, don’t you dare have a panic attack on the phone with him.

Boba heard the change in his breathing immediately. “Rex…breathe. You’re safe. I’m sure everyone in the accident is fine as well. You’re safe.”

Rex blinked furiously. “Mom’s not.”

Boba swallowed. He was silent for a long moment. God, of course, Rex’s mind had to go there. “I know Mom’s not,” he whispered. “And I know you’re scared.”

“I can’t do it. I’m terrified,” Rex pitifully said. He wasn’t quite sure what he was asking for but he was hoping Boba would be able to do something.

Boba sadly stared at the table. “I hear you, kid. Are you at campus now or something?”

Rex rubbed his eyes to dry his eyes. “Yes. I’m done in about an hour and a half. My friend has another class and won’t be with me.”

Boba nodded. “Then you call me when you’re done, and I won’t hang up until you’re walking through your front door. Understand me?”

Rex nodded, feeling calmer. “Okay,” he said. “Thank you,” he mumbled, feeling the heat rising on his face.

Boba leaned his head on his hand. Rex sounded like a wreck. He could hear the anxiety in his voice. “Don’t thank me. Just call me. I want to make sure you’re safe. Go to class.”

Rex sniffed. “Okay. Bye.”

“Bye.”

Boba sighed tiredly, slowly laying his upper half on the desk. The other two in the room were silent, taking in the information they just received.

“Everyone always thinks that Tup is the only Fett with anxiety,” Boba said whimsically. “Well, they’re dead wrong because Rex is just as anxious as him.” He sat back up.

Din pressed his arm against Bobas. “Is he okay?”

Boba started to nod. “Physically he’s okay but he’s freaking out. My family doesn't do well with car crashes, especially Tup, Comet, Kix, and Rex.”

Fennec looked worried, which was surprising. “He sounded like he was having an anxiety attack.”

Boba sighed. “Panic attack. He’s notorious for it. He must be in really bad shape if that’s what triggered an attack.”

Fennec made eye contact with Din, both of them having a silent conversation.

“Boba, not to pry, but you both said mom,” Fennec said quietly.

Boba just closed his eyes. “My actual mom is a bitch to me. The woman I considered a mom is dead. Happy?”

Din picked up on the irritation in his voice. He laid a gentle hand on Boba’s shoulder, trying to calm him down. It might have been his imagination but he swore that Boba leaned into his hand. Din didn’t take his hand away.

“I might have to go and get him,” Boba said after a few moments of silent thinking. “I don’t think he’ll be able to drive.”

Din nodded. “I’ll go with you. I can drive your car back.” Fennec gave him another smirk, knowing that Din would jump at the chance.

Boba stared at his watch before shifting a few papers. “Guess we better get back to work.”

Din finally pulled his hand away, no matter how much he wanted to stay near Boba.

They continued their work in silence, only a few words passing between them. The paperwork was the most annoying part of their jobs but it was necessary to be thorough. Soon time passed long enough that Boba stood up, grabbing his keys from a drawer in his desk.

“Ready?” he asked Din.

The man nodded, soft brown eyes meeting Bobas. “If you are.”

They rushed to the car, not even wanting Rex to drive at this point. Boba had a bad feeling that he was spiraling just by thinking about driving. Din hopped into the passenger seat.

As Boba began to drive, Din looked at Boba, trying to think if what he wanted to ask was appropriate at the time.

“Why is he so freaked out?” he asked quietly.

Boba’s hands tightened on the steering wheel. He took a labored breath. “He has a lot of guilt for something that wasn’t his fault. It involves a car crash.”

Din went silent, knowing that was all he was going to get from the man. He wanted to help Boba. He wanted to comfort him. But he wasn’t aware of where he stood with him at the moment. It had been tense the past few weeks as if Boba wanted to be with Din but at the last moment, he pulled away.

Din wasn’t sure how much longer his heart could take it.

...

Rex’s hand trembled as he stared at the keys to his car. He was standing at the entrance to campus, unable to move his feet. But he had to get home. So he forced himself to walk slowly to his car, fighting the anxiety rising in his chest.

He slid into the seat of the car. He put the key in the ignition but he couldn’t turn it to start the car. He leaned his head on the steering wheel, biting his lip to keep the tears at bay.

He fumbled for his phone, calling Boba once again.

Boba’s phone lit up in the holder on the dashboard. Rex’s name came up on the caller ID. Din answered the call, putting it on speaker.

“I can’t do it,” Rex whimpered.

Boba sighed sadly. “It’s okay. It’s okay. I’m on my way, okay?”

Rex cried softly. “I’m sorry.”

Boba shook his head. “Don’t apologize, kid. Do you want me to keep talking?”

Rex sniffed. “Please.”

Din listened intently as Boba softly spoke to Rex, talking to him as if he was a frightened child but not in a condescending manner. Din’s heart broke at the sound of Rex’s soft crying, knowing that Rex wasn’t one to cry often.

Boba picked up the pace, going at least ten over the speed limit. Din didn’t stop him. Boba kept mindlessly talking, dipping into happy memories that he hoped would distract Rex long enough.

He pulled into the campus parking lot after twenty minutes, eyes searching for Rex’s car. He found a car with its door still open with a figure hunched over in the seat. Boba parked in the nearest spot.

He disconnected the call, threw the car into park, and jumped out of the car. Din reached over to take the keys out o the car before following him.

Boba jogged to the car, kneeling in the opening over the door.

Rex looked like sh*t, to say the least. His eyes were red and glassy, his body shook with tremors every few seconds, and with the lost look in his eyes, he looked like he was so much younger.

Boba immediately pulled Rex into his chest, holding the back of his neck. “I’m here. Everything’s fine now.”

Rex sobbed into his chest, gripping tightly onto his shirt. He felt Boba’s hands travel over his back and sides, falling back into his natural paternal instincts.

Rex whimpered and whined against him. He struggled in his arms, beginning to feel overstimulated.

Boba tightened his grip. “Don’t fight…don’t fight. It’s okay.”

Din stood a few feet away, eyes wide with shock as he watched the scene in front of him. He wisely stayed silent, leaning against the car.

Rex completely broke down in Boba’s arms, nearly screaming himself raw into his shoulder.

Boba stayed in the same spot the entire time, never once complaining about the rising pain in his legs from the awkward position. He knew words wouldn’t calm Rex down. Words had never worked before.

Boba held onto him tight as he slowly stood up, his knees no longer able to be bent in such a position.

Rex grasped him like he would turn to dust if he let him go. Boba gently hushed him as he opened the back car door. He slid into the back seat with Rex.

Rex was practically in his lap once Boba stopped shifting around. Din slowly got into the other side of the car, sadly looking at Rex.

“Do you need me to call Dad?” Boba asked in Rex’s ear.

Rex shook his head through his sobs. That was the last thing he was going to do.

Boba rocked Rex side to side for a bit, trying not to talk and letting Rex cry it all out.

With so sign of him stopping, however, Boba took Rex’s hand and pressed it to his own chest.

“It’s okay, Rex. I just need you to take some deep breaths. “

Rex's chest shuttered as he tried, pressing hard against Boba.

“Try again,” Boba instructed, stroking Rex’s back.

“Boba, I can’t,” Rex whispered to him, voice shot.

“Just relax. I’ve got you,” he cooed.

Rex whined softly, nails digging into his skin. Boba's gentle hands held his hand to stop him from hurting himself.

“It was my fault,” Rex cried into his chest. “I killed her. You should hate me.”

Boba shut his eyes tightly. He lost his battle as well and let a few tears fall. He hid them from Rex, not wanting his nephew to be in more emotional distress.

Boba felt an arm slip around his waist, squeezing softly. Boba turned and saw Din had moved closer, trying to offer him comfort as well.

Rex’s tears soon ran out and he slouched on Boba, hiding his face in his shoulder.

Boba’s hand continued to run over his back, listening as his sobs tapered off. He stared into space, trying not to picture the bloody form of Diana Fett.

Din touching his shoulder made him jerk a bit, disturbing Rex.

“I’m sorry, shhhh,” he said to calm him down.

“We should probably start moving,” Din suggested softly.

Boba sighed, looking down at Rex. He slowly started to move, taking a minute to get him standing so he could move from the back seat to the front seat.

Boba buckled him in. He closed the door, facing Din who was leaning against the car.

The younger man sighed and started towards Boba with his arms held out. Boba accepted the hug, letting Din’s strong arms hold him close.

“I’ve got you too. Alright?” Din asked.

Bob could’ve burst into tears that very moment. He just hugged Din together around the ribs.

“I’ll take Rex’s car, you take mine. Meet us at his house.”

Din nodded once before heading towards Boba's vehicle. He took one last longing look before jumping into the car.

Boba adjusted the seat in Rex’s car, taking another look at his nephew.

Rex was curled up near the window, silent tears making their way down his face. Boba couldn’t say anything to help him.

It was a long drive home. Boba had to take the back way because of the accident but even then it took twice as long.

Rex had stopped crying, even falling asleep for most of the ride.

The driveway of the Fett household was a welcome sight. Boba parked the car so that he didn’t block his own car that Din was still sitting in.

Boba nudged Rex’s shoulder. “Ready to go in, love?”

Rex nodded a bit, sluggishly unbuckling himself from his seat. Boba swiftly came around to hold him close once again as they walked to the door. Din tagged along as well, keeping his distance.

Boba tested the door, happy that it was open and he wouldn’t have to dig around for a key.

Rex sniffed against his shoulder, not wanting to let go quite yet. Boba was currently his anchor. He would need another anchor before he let go of him.

And the perfect anchor was standing right in front of them. Jango was back home.

The man looked like he was thrown for a loop at the sight of Din and Boba escorting his son into the house. But the moment he saw Rex’s red eyes and Boba and Don’s stressed-out faces, he knew something was wrong.

“Rex, what…” Jango started to ask.

Rex practically ran to him, slamming hard into him. Jango hugged him tightly, trying to feel for any injuries on his body.

“Sweetheart, what happened?” Rex was inconsolable, sobbing once again. “Cody, get in here!” he yelled to the next room.

Cody’s footsteps came fast, hearing the fear in his voice. He immediately rushed to his brother, cradling him in his arms, and holding his head.

“Take him upstairs,” Jango whispered, slowly taking his hands off of his son.

Cody did as he was told, walking gently with Rex. Once they were out of earshot, Jango focused his eyes on Boba.

“What the hell happened?” Jango asked.

Boba narrowed his eyes. “Aren’t you supposed to be in a different state?”

“Answer the question,” Jango snapped, feeling his fear rise inside his chest.

Boba didn’t take offense to the clipped tone. “Rex nearly got into an accident. It wasn’t his fault. But the person who almost hit him caused a lot more damage just a little farther down the street. He couldn’t drive.”

Jango’s face fell, looking longingly up the stairs. “God damn it,” he whispered.

Boba swallowed. “He had a panic attack. A bad one. It lasted so long.” He heard his own voice break. “And from what I saw there was a lot of carnage from the accident.”

Jango started to move forward toward him but then he remembered the second man in the room.

Din took the hint and laid a gentle hand on Boba’s shoulder, brushing hands with him before retreating out of the house.

Jango embraced Boba softly, knowing he needed some reassurance as well. Boba sighed and laid his head on Jango’s shoulder.

“Thank you for getting him,” Jango whispered. He knew that Rex would rather be caught dead than plead for his father’s help.

Boba nodded against him. “I wasn’t going to leave him high and dry.”

Jango hugged him tight, just holding onto him for a long time. “I’m sure Din is waiting for you.”

Boba could pick up on the smirk in his voice. He shoved him playfully. “Yeah yeah, whatever.”

Jango walked him to the door, ruffling his hair. “I’ll tell you how he’s feeling later.”

Boba nodded and walked out of the house, heading towards Din. Jango elected to ignore how tight Din hugged Boba when he got the chance.

Jango watched him pull out of the driveway. He checked on Tup and Comet in the other room for a few minutes before he started up the stairs.

Just as he reached the top, the doorbell rang. Jango froze.

He wasn’t expecting anyone.

He slowly walked back down the stairs, approaching the window. He peeked out and saw the figure of a woman. Frowning, he opened the door, and his jaw dropped.

“Mom?!”

Maria Fett, the ex-wife of Jaster, was standing in his doorway, looking up at her eldest son. “Surprise!”

Notes:

Sorry for the short chapter but my train of thought for the next few chapters totally flipped at the end of this one. Maria Fett is another bitch of the family but she's important. And there will be more comfort with Rex and Jango from the events of this chapter but it'll have to wait until the next one.

Let me know your thoughts!

Chapter 42: Chapter 42-Mommy Dearest

Summary:

Warnings: suicidal thoughts, mentioned past suicide attempts

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

Jango stared back at his mother, making sure she wasn’t an illusion. When he was sure, he just blinked at her.

Maria wormed her way into the house, taking in the environment around her. Jango closed the door dumbly, still in shock.

“Well, you’ve cleaned up the place!” She announced.

Jango frowned. “When was it ever unclean?”

Maria waved an impatient hand. “When Diana died, the house was a mess!”

Jango felt his heart drop. His mother just couldn’t leave well alone. She always had to go the insensitive route. And a dramatic one as well. The last time his mother set foot in his house was a few days after Diana had died, with only a few things out of place in the entire house.

God forbid I grieve my wife.

“Mom, what are you doing here?” Jango asked, keeping an eye on the stairs. The last thing he needed was for his currently overstimulated son to have a conversation with Jango’s mother.

“I was in the area,” she answered as she made herself comfortable, placing her purse down, and walking into the living room.

Tup and Comet were busy with homework, but they were interrupted when Maria went over to talk to them. Tup flashed an annoyed look at him but then his eyes darted to the stairs.

Jango took that as the moment to slip out of the room and rush upstairs to Rex, Cody, and Wolffe’s room. He softly knocked on the door before walking in. Rex was pulled into Cody’s arms, stretched out on the bed.

Jango sat on the edge, smoothing circles onto Rex’s shaking back.

“How are you feeling?” He dared to ask.

Rex’s breath hitched. He just shook his head. “I-I don’t know w-why I’m still crying.”

Cody tightened his grip on him, shushing him gently.

Jango let Rex squeeze his hand. He rubbed circles on the back of his hand. “Cause you just had a panic attack. It’s okay to cry.”

Cody lifted his chin. “Who rang the doorbell?”

Jango truly considered lying to him for Rex’s sake. But that would make things worse when he would eventually find out.

“Your grandmother.”

Cody’s eyes went cold while Rex whined. Cody’s grip became almost possessive.

“What’s she doing here?” Cody challenged.

Jango sighed, wanting to kick his mother out of the house. He loved her, but he couldn't stand her treatment of his boys and himself most of the time. “She said she was in the area. Tup and Comet go stuck with occupying her.”

Cody shushed Rex quietly when his brother whimpered again. “She is not talking to him.”

Jango held Cody’s hand as well. “I know you don’t want her near him, but he can’t ignore her forever.”

Cody narrowed his eyes, pulling his hand out of his father’s grasp. “Wolffe nearly punched her last time. Don’t tell me he can’t ignore her forever. I think he has a right to.”

Rex lightly hit Cody’s arm. “P-Please stop talking like I’m n-not here.”

Cody cradled Rex once again, leaning his head on Rex’s. “I’m sorry. You know she pisses me off so much.”

Rex laid his head on his brother’s shoulder, sniffing quietly. He closed his eyes, hoping he could just fall asleep and never wake up.

Don’t be dramatic. He hissed at himself in his head. You don’t want to die.

Jango sighed, stroking Rex’s hair. “I have to take Tup to therapy. Promise you won’t pick a fight with her?” He glared lightly at his older son.

Cody rolled his eyes but nodded. “I won’t.”

Jango stepped out of the room and paused when he saw one of his twin boys poking their heads out of the room.

“Does she have to be here?” Echo asked him. “She always upsets the eldest.”

Jango felt his heart melt that Echo cared so much about his older brother's feelings. He had worried that once his boys found out that Wolffe, Bly, and Ponds weren’t biologically his that their bonds would be strained.

“I won’t let her stay long. I promise,” he swore.

Echo nodded a bit, eyes analyzing him before he retreated back to his room. Jango walked downstairs, thankfully not hearing any of his sons crying, screaming, or begging for his mother to shut her mouth, so things seem fine.

Jango leaned on the wall, eyes falling on Tup. “Tup, you ready?”

His youngest nodded, putting a few papers away.

Maria looked at her grandson. “Where are you going?”

Jango didn’t pick up on Tup’s hesitation and responded for him. “Therapy.” As soon as the words were out, Tup’s face fell completely and Jango winced. He made a big mistake.

Maria frowned. “You’re still going to that man?”

Tup just stood there, staring at the ground.

Jango ushered him along. “We’ve got to go. You’re going to be late.”

Tup rushed out the door, head still ducked down. Jango was cursing himself in his head as he got into the driver's seat.

“Tup, I’m sorry,” he apologized. “It slipped out.”

Tup nodded dejectedly. “I know you didn’t mean to. Can we just drive?”

Jango sighed. “Mhm.” He kept striking out in the worst ways possible.

Tup and Jango arrived back home a few hours later. Tup opened the door, cautiously walking through the door. Jango held him close to his side, pushing him further into the room.

“I have to call Boba.”

Tup nodded. “Tell him I said hi.” He retreated to the living room.

Jango found a room and locked the door, not wanting his mother to barge in. He dialed Boba’s number.

“How is he?” Boba asked immediately, not waiting for Jango to say anything.

“Hello to you too, young one. How was your evening? Mine was so much fun. The kids had a half day so I got to hear them complain about homework.”

Boba groaned on the other line. “Please answer the question.”

Jango laughed a bit before becoming serious. “He was crying for a decent amount of time. Cody was calming him down last time I checked but I’ve been preoccupied.”

“With what?”

Jango didn’t answer. He was well aware of Boba’s relationship with their mother. He hated the woman. “Well, Tup had a session with Justin. And that went well. He says hello by the way. But…mom has crashed in my house.”

Boba went silent on the line. He barely gave any indication that he was still on the line. But Jango heard him sit down somewhere.

Jango looked up at the ceiling. “I know what she’s done to you,” Jango swore he heard a whimper coming from his brother. “Shhhhh, shhhh. I won’t mention you to her. I’ll make sure the boys won’t as well. I won’t let her know you’re in the area.”

Boba shakily took a breath. “Thank you.”

Jango closed his eyes. He hated how broken Boba sounded. “I love you.”

“Love you too.”

He could hear the sobs building up. “It’s alright. It’s okay. Is Din nearby?”

Boba sniffed. “Right next to me.”

“Stay with him. Let him help you.” Jango knew Boba had abandonment issues. Partially because of how he let Boba go years ago. Boba wasn’t good at letting people help him.

“Okay,” Boba whispered.

“I’ll check in later. Love you.”

“Love you too.”

Boba hung up the phone, placing it on his desk. Din was a steady presence at his side, his body heat comforting. Boba slowly leaned onto him, laying an arm around his waist. Din hugged him back, pressing a hand to the back of Boba’s head.

Din hated that he enjoyed having Boba in his arms at the moment. Boba was suffering, but he was turning toward Din for comfort. And Din wasn’t going to let him suffer alone.

Rex Fett wasn’t a man of confidence. He didn’t like the spotlight for his achievements. He was just doing the best he could. He tried to hide his less-than-attractive emotions from the world because that's what society told them. He grew up with the stigma that his elders were always right and he needed to respect them. So that was why every time he stood in front of Maria Fett, he kept his mouth shut.

Everyone had gathered at the dinner table, Maria included. Everyone had begun eating, even Comet who sometimes had struggles to even start eating his dinner. Rex guessed that he didn’t want their grandmother to ask questions.

“Where are Jonathan’s boys now?” Maria asked.

Jango swallowed uncomfortably. “Alpha, Colt, and Blitz are still aviators.”

Maria hummed disapprovingly. She was very vocal about her thoughts on family members being in the military.

Ponds and Bly made eye contact from opposite sides of the table. They had a non-verbal, mutual agreement that they would step in if she went too far.

The dull conversations continued, mostly with her asking where her stepkids, step-grandkids, and her actual children and grandkids were but she didn't dare mention Jake, Wooley, or Zeke without giving digs about them. Until she decided to target some questions to Tup.

“I thought you were done with therapy, Tup.” Maria started. “With you being medicated and all.”

Tup meekly looked at her. “Well… the goal is that I won’t need the medication. That I can regulate my anxiety and depression by myself.”

Maria couldn’t grasp that. “But you have the medication. Why not just stick with that?”

Tup shrugged nervously. “I just…don’t always like how I feel when I’m on the meds.”

Maria went silent. The judgment was obvious.

“How was class, Rex?” Wolffe asked softly.

Rex shrugged. “Nothing to report. Just a lecture.”

“Any ideas on your major?” Cody asked.

Rex went silent, thinking hard. His brothers and father gave him a minute, seeing the gears turning in his head. “I still don't know.”

“Aren’t you done with college by now? You’re twenty-two.”

Rex closed his eyes briefly. “I took two gap years. I did it so I could be home.”

Maria stared down at Rex, flipping her fork in her hand. “Why’s that? Because you were trying to make up for the fact that you’re the product of an affair?”

Rex’s hand shook so bad he dropped his fork. He felt like he had been slapped. His eyes were wide as he stared at Maria. He leaned back in his chair, breath stuttering. Tup gasped and shoved a hand over his mouth. Comet was appalled at his grandmother.

“Jesus Christ, Mom. What the hell?” Jango asked her, totally floored, that she would entertain such an idea. He would never believe that his wife cheated on him.

Maria held her hands up innocently. “She already had three kids before she married you. That isn’t classy, to begin with. And you two were constantly arguing before she found out she was pregnant with him. I’m just saying.”

Wolffe held Rex’s hand underneath the table, glaring at his grandmother. “Keep talking about our mother, I dare you.”

She wisely didn’t bring the subject up once again. Rex stayed silent the rest of the time, not even trying to eat. He felt too sick to do so. Comet picked up on it as well. Rex saw him push the plate away.

Way to go, Rex . He knew Comet picked up on his brother’s habits. It was unlucky that he picked up on Rex’s poor eating habits.

His phone started buzzing in his pocket. He peeked at it and ignored the call.

Jango looked him up and down, gauging his reaction. Rex’s jaw tensed.

“Rex…do you need to step away?” He asked, trying to give him an out.

Rex shook his head. “It’s fine. It’s not important.”

As soon as the phone stopped buzzing, it picked up once again. Rex sighed, pushing himself away from the table. “Sorry,” he mumbled before walking out of the room.

Tup awkwardly ate his food, feeling the tension rising. His grandmother was calmly sitting at the table, looking around the room, unknowing of the glares of his brothers.

Tup quickly offered to clear the table as quickly as possible once the time was right. As he was cleaning the dishes, he saw Kix come into the kitchen. His brother stepped up behind him, putting his chin on Tup’s head.

“You don’t need to tiptoe around us, kiddo.”

Tup froze, hands still submerged in the soapy water.

“What are you talking about?” He asked meekly.

“I know you’re helping out because you’re afraid that one of us is going to be mad at you since we’re mad with Maria. But you don’t need to do it. We won’t lose our tempers with you.”

Tup ducked his chin to his chest, starting to shuffle his feet. Kix was too observant for his own good but he was right.

Kix turned the water to a comfortable temperature before lifting Tup’s hands into the stream. Tup rinsed his hands, letting Kix turn the water off. Kix handed him a towel.

Once he was done, Kix gave him a gentle smile. “Why don’t you come up to my room for a little while? I haven’t seen you much.”

Tup knew the reason Kix was offering it even though he had homework was that there was a conversation that he should not overhear. And if it escalated, then Kix is one of the best chances of calming Tup down.

Tup didn’t object, he just let Kix tuck him under his arm and guide him upstairs. Kix made him stop by his shared room with Comet to change into more comfortable clothes. Tup padded into Kix and Jesse’s room, climbing into Kix’s bed.

Jesse smiled at him from his own bed. “Are we kidnapping a little one?” He teased his brother.

Kix rolled his eyes, possessively hugging Tup. “Mine.” It was worth it to get a giggle from his little brother.

Jesse turned on the TV in the room before tossing the remote to Tup. “Pick one kiddo. Comet will be in a minute.”

Tup flipped through the movies they had. He settled on something before tucking himself in Kix’s chest. Comet came into the room two minutes later, claiming Jesse as his pillow.

Not even fifteen minutes later, muffled shouts of anger could be heard through the door.

Kix discreetly turned the volume up but even then it wasn’t enough to block the sound. He turned Tup’s head into his chest, stroking his hair. “Just close your eyes.”

Downstairs Jango was currently still yelling at his mother.

“And how dare you ask Rex that?! You do not have the right to interrogate my children!”

Maria evenly met his gaze. “It wasn’t an interrogation. It was a simple question.”

“That you had no right to ask! You know it wasn’t an affair! So what if he isn’t finished with college? He’s doing just fine!”

Maria just looked bored, checking her phone. “Sweetheart, I’m a mother. I know what's best for children. And I think that Rex, Tup, and Comet need a kick in the ass. I’m surprised CPS hasn’t taken them again.”

The fight left Jango immediately. He knew his mother. And his mother's threats. She wouldn’t hesitate to report him. “Mom…just…leave. Please.”

Maria shrugged. “Alright, honey. I’ll probably be back soon. I’m going to stay with a friend but I’m going to say hello to your father first. Bye.” She walked out the door without an ounce of remorse on her face.

Jango slammed the door shut behind her, knotting his fingers in his hands. He was so close to losing his sh*t and throwing something but he couldn’t do that without scaring his children.

He walked to the living room to retrieve his phone. He angrily hit a contact.

“Hey J,” Jaster greeted. “What’s up?”

“Your ex-wife is heading over to your house, just a heads up,” he hissed out, his voice raising once again.

Jaster went silent and Jango heard Nicky whisper something. “What did she do? I know she started running her mouth.”

Jango felt the fight leave him, choking on a sob.

“Damn,” Jaster whispered. “Jango, talk to me.”

“She doesn't think I’m good enough for the kids.” Jango dropped his head in his hand.

“Well that’s bullsh*t,” Nicky commented. “We’ve seen how much you love them. Don’t listen to her.”

Jango sniffed. “It’s hard not to.”

“I know. God, I know but she’s just a bitch. She may be your mother, but she does not have your best interest in mind.”

“What if she reports me?” he asked like a little kid. “I can’t lose them again.”

“Then you'll fight like hell to get them back once again. Because that’s what a father does. It’s what I should’ve done for you.”

Jango took a minute to get his composer. “Don’t let her push you around tonight. Either of you.”

“Don’t worry. I’ll be hiding in our bed for a loooooong time,” Nicky said. “I should probably be doing that now.”

Jango didn’t say anything for a long time. He listened to his father’s breathing over the line. Then he finally said, “You did the best you could.”

“...I really didn't. I was a sucky father.”

“You kept us alive,” Jango countered. “We knew you loved us. What more is there to ask?”

Jaster chuckled a bit. “Fine. You win. I have to mentally prepare to see your mother now.”

Jango rubbed his face. “Why does she even want to see you?”

“She loves the boys. She feels that, and I quote, ‘they are the only responsible and reasonable ones in the family.’”

Jango rolled his eyes. “Of course she does. I have to check on Rex. Good luck.”

“You too,” Jaster replied sadly.

Jango tucked his phone into his pocket. He was about to go upstairs but a breeze came from the open door leading to the patio. Curious, he stepped out, catching sight of a blond.

“Rex?” He called softly.

Rex was sitting in a chair, hunched so his elbows were pressed on his knees. “Hm,” he hummed.

Jango took a seat next to him, pressing close to him but giving him some space. “Do you want to talk?”

Rex whirled around, teary eyes desperately staring into Jango’s eyes. “What was she talking about? Am I not yours?”

Jango felt like he was going to throw up. The broken eyes of his son were one the worst things he had ever seen.

“Honey, is there any real doubt that you’re my son?” Jango asked gingerly. “Without over-thinking?”

Rex’s face crumbled. “I…I don’t know. I know I look like you but so do Wolffe, Bly, and Ponds and they aren’t yours. It was just a coincidence—”

Jango pulled him into a hug, tucking him close to his chest, letting him hear his heartbeat. “Rex, no . You are my child. I have never had any doubt.”

Rex sobbed into his collarbone. “Then why would she say that about mom?!”

Jango rocked him side to side. “Because yes, there was a time in our marriage when we were having a few arguments. We never did it in front of you because we didn't want you to grow up the way I did. Maria has always mistaken that for Diana having an affair.”

Rex continued to cry against his father, feeling the most frustrated he had ever been. “Why do I keep crying ?”

Jango looked up at the sky. “I’m sorry, love. Just take some deep breaths.”

Rex sucked in some air, chest heaving against his father’s steady one. His father’s warmth helped him calm down, his sobs turning into soft whimpers and a few tears.

Jango looked down at him. “You okay now?”

Rex shook his head, leaning further into him. “No. Rebecca’s on my ass.” He realized his mistake as soon as Jango stiffened.

“Rex—”

“Don’t,” Rex interrupted. “Please.”

“Rex—”

“Like you said,” Rex said in a broken voice, “just a rough patch.”

Jango thumbed small circles on his back. “It doesn’t sound like a rough patch. It sounds like a rough relationship.”

Rex closed his eyes. “Dad, stop.”

Jango tighten his jaw. It took everything in him to not drag Rebecca through the mud but he targeted something else. He knew he shouldn’t. It was a bad subject to discuss. But no time like the present. Especially after the events of the day.

“Rex, you should go back on your panic attack meds.” Rex went oddly still. “You can’t have panic attacks in the middle of the day, especially when you’re driving.”

Rex pulled out of his arms, eyes so confused, so lost. “Tup does. He has medication and he still has panic attacks.”

Jango felt like he was being backed into a corner. “Tup is learning how to break out of it. You, however, have not.”

Rex slid even further away. “So it’s my fault? Is that what you’re saying?”

Jango sighed. “No, I’m not saying that. I’m saying that as your father who is concerned for your safety I want you to go back on the meds.”

“No,” Rex refused.

Jango bit his lip to not start yelling. “Rex…please listen to me—”

Rex stood up quickly. “You’re not listening to me . You know I hated how I felt when I took them! Why can Tup and Comet try and go off on their meds, but I can’t?!”

“Because I don’t want to walk in on you trying to kill yourself again!” Jango yelled. Rex went silently, staring at Jango like a deer in headlights. “You shouldn’t have been off them in the first place! You need them, Rex, or you will quite literally die! And I won’t let that happen, god damn it! I should’ve never let you talk me into agreeing for you to go off them!”

Once Jango was done yelling, Rex bit his cheek to not cry.

“God, I hate you,” Rex whispered, the words spilling out before he could even help it. He fled back into the house, leaving Jango to his sorrows.

Rex’s words punched him in the gut. He always tried his best to not lose his temper when talking to his kids about sensitive topics but his frustrations with his mother and the stress of the day caught up with him. Holding back his own tears, he went to go back into the house but he stopped dead when he saw Fives standing in the doorway.

“Did he really try to kill himself?” he asked, extremely quiet.

Jango found himself nodding before he could stop. “You were there.”

Fives took a step back. “N-No. I-It was an accident.”

Jango shook his head. “No, it really wasn’t. And it wasn’t the only time.”

Fives looked like he was on the verge of a mental breakdown so Jango approached him slowly, bringing him into a hug.

“I’m sorry,” Jango said, never meaning to break his son’s image of his brother.

Rex ran up the stairs, trying not to draw the attention of his brothers that were lounging in their rooms. He blindly walked into his room, slamming the door shut. He didn’t feel guilty for how it felt like it shook the whole house. He braced his hands on the door.

“Rex?” Wolffe asked gently and nervously. He stood up from his bed, walking to his brother.

Rex pushed himself off the door and into Wolffe. His older brother’s strong arms held him up. Wolffe slowly led him to his bed, laying down flat. Rex didn’t object.

Wolffe silently comforted Rex, hearing the door creak open. Cody froze when he saw the scene in front of him. Wolffe saw the same look he felt flash across his brother's face.

Their family was fractured once again.

Notes:

News flash: Maria is a bitchhhhhhh.

And fair warning Rex is a pretty unreliable narrator for the rest of this arc. And I'm going to explore Rex's past pretty soon.

Anything you guys want to see?

Chapter 43: Chapter 43-Words Hurt

Summary:

Warnings: elements of suicide (kind of), self-worth issues, and committing someone to a psychiatric hospital.

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

Rex Fett hated anger. Anger was what caused his family to fall apart more than seven years ago. So he was never one quick to anger or rage. He had made that mistake once before. So even he was surprised at himself when he lost his patience with his girlfriend and brothers all in the same day.

It had been a good day as well. Rex was actually having fun with Rebecca. They had gone to lunch and walked around the mall. There hadn’t been a single argument throughout the whole day. It was practically a new record for them.

Rex had seen that Rebecca was trying to be better. That’s why he stayed with her. It had crossed his mind that he would break up with her but…he just couldn’t do it.

Rebecca laced her fingers with Rex, smiling brightly up at her boyfriend. Rex returned it. He squeezed her hand.

“Anything else you want to do?” she asked him.

Rex shook his head. “Nope. I’m ready whenever you are.”

Rebecca bit her lip, looking around the stores. “One more stop and then we can go.”

Rex smiled. “Lead the way.”

Rebecca led the pair into another store, browsing around. Rex quietly walked with her, only answering questions if she asked them. They eventually walked out and headed to the car.

Rex looked at his phone and saw a few texts from his brothers, mainly Fives. The boy seemed to be trying to butter him up in order to give Fives permission to do something. And Jango also left him a message, saying that they needed to talk. Their blowout happened only a few days ago. He huffed, trying not to draw attention.

Rebecca frowned, however, putting her stuff in the trunk. “Something wrong?”

Rex shook his head, putting his phone in his pocket. “No. Forget it.”

Rebecca closed the trunk and tried to reach for him. “Rex–”

Rex ripped his hand away from hers. “f*ck, Rebecca! Just leave it alone!”

Rebecca pulled back like she had been smacked. Rex rarely yelled at her. If he did, it was because Rebecca had yelled first. And Rex just wasn't a person to yell. She stared at him, and Rex stared right back. Rex immediately felt guilty and opened his mouth to apologize but his girlfriend had already gotten into the passenger seat of his car.

Rex took a minute to gather himself before he got into the car. He tried to catch Rebecca’s eye, but she kept averting her gaze. Rex gave up and started to drive. He barely registered that he was driving which he knew was dangerous for him but he didn’t really care.

He pulled up to Rebecca’s house, shutting the car off. He mindlessly got out and helped Rebbeca carry the few bags she had. She opened the door for him which he took as a good sign. She could’ve been yelling at him. He walked to her room with her, placing her things down.

Rex nervously messed with his hands. “Bec, I…I’m sorry.”

Rebecca sighed, sitting down on her bed, and tucking a piece of hair behind her ear. She took a minute to look up at him.

“I know,” she said quietly with a weak smile.

Rex started to back out of the room. “I’ll call you later.” His girlfriend just nodded.

He fled to his car, trying to get away as quickly as possible. He got into the seat and froze. He just…paused for a moment, just to breathe. He leaned his head on the steering wheel, feeling his phone vibrate again.

He closed his eyes and pulled it out, seeing his brothers calling him once again. He sent a message to a group chat with all of them.

I’ll be home in a few hours.

He shut his alerts off for his messages and placed his phone in the center compartment of the car. Then he began to drive. He just…drove.

Boba walked into his office, fighting the urge to yawn. He and Din had been called in early to work, there being an ‘emergency’ of some kind. It was just a bullsh*t reason to get them into work, honestly. And Boba was too exhausted to do anything at the moment.

He stopped dead in the doorway, however. Curled up tight in a chair, eyes closed, and peaceful-looking was none other than Din Djarin.

Boba smiled softly and closed the door quietly. He walked over to his desk, having no plans to disturb the sleeping man. Work could wait for an hour.

Boba silently got through some paperwork, listening to soft, even breaths coming from Din. Din shifted around a bit but that was the sound he made. Boba made a few quick glances at him but he didn’t stare long, not wanting to feel creepy.

But he did begin to stare when the younger man started to shift around in his sleep. Din’s brow furrowed deeply, soft sounds soon escaping him. Boba was thrown for a loop. Was he having a nightmare?

Boba didn’t know what to do. It was often that he had seen an adult have nightmares in front of him. Jaster and Jango were the exceptions. Many times throughout his childhood he had to wake Jango up in the middle of the night. And his comrades in the Marines; most nights at least one of them jerked awake from the throes of a nightmare.

Boba went on one knee in front of Din. “Din, wake up for me.” He tried to wake him up gently. Din just shifted again, a hand curling into a fist.

Boba nudged his shoulder, his free hand holding onto his forearm. His thumb traced small circles into the muscle. Din’s eyes blinked open at him, fear clouding them just for a moment. They cleared after Din locked eyes with Boba.

“Hey there,” Boba greeted quietly. “You okay now?”

Din sighed and nodded, pushing himself up on his elbow. Boba helped guide him, never breaking the physical contact points.

“Yeah, thanks…and sorry,” Din said sheepishly.

Boba let him sit up fully. “Nothing to apologize for. But I will ask why you’re in my office and not yours.”

Din uncharacteristically groaned dramatically, leaning to drop his head on Boba’s broad shoulder. “Vizsla is being a royal pain in my ass.” Boba snorted loudly but motioned for Din to continue. “He’s been bugging me for days about stupid sh*t. He started walking toward me in the hallway, and I jumped into your office and locked it. Once he walked past I unlocked it and sat down. I didn’t mean to fall asleep.”

Boba stroked his hair fondly. “You’ve been knocked out for at least an hour and a half.”

Din pressed harder against him. “I should get work done.” Boba waited for him to move but he didn’t.

Boba took matters into his own hands and started to push Din up. The younger man huffed and pouted but walked toward the door. He stopped and leaned on it, looking at Boba with an analytical gaze.

“Still making me wait, Fett?” Din asked softly and sincerely.

Boba felt guilty. He didn’t mean to be a nuisance about starting a relationship with him but he still couldn't commit to Din. “I just…need more time.”

Din smiled a bit. And then he closed the door.

Rex opened the front door hours later. It was almost dusk, the setting sun glaring through the back windows of the house.

Rex tossed his keys onto the table and locked the door behind him. He went to go upstairs when Ponds poked his head around the corner.

“Rex, where the hell have you been?”

Rex stepped in place. What? He stared weirdly at his brother. “What…do you mean? I told you I’d be back in a few hours.”

Ponds had anger in his eyes. “Yeah, not f*cking seven.”

Rex frowned, feeling the irritation rise. He just wanted to be left alone. “Last time I checked you aren’t my keeper.” He was going to leave it at that, but Ponds never backed down from a fight.

“No, but I am your brother. Whether you’re an adult or not, you are still my responsibility.”

Rex smiled darkly at him. “Well, you’ve done a bang-up job so far now haven’t you?” He wanted it to hurt so that maybe he could stop hurting inside.

“Don’t you get all high and mighty with me. You’ve done sh*tty things as well,” Ponds responded, doing his best to not get involved.

Rex saw some of his family members poking their heads around the corners of the house. He knew that this argument was going to end badly. He wished they would just go somewhere quiet where they couldn’t hear them.

Rex held his arms out, still smiling. “Go ahead, moral compass! Tell me how many times I’ve f*cked up in my life just as long as I get to do the same to you!”

Jango looked so lost where he stood near Ponds. He couldn’t pick between his kids. He would just have to let them argue it out.

“Stop being a stuck-up brat, Rex. It’s not all about you,” Ponds snapped at him.

Rex felt it hit him in the chest, but…it didn’t hurt as much as he expected. A part of him wanted it to hurt. He wanted more self-misery. It would validate the fact that everything he touched he destroyed.

“How about stop drinking so much then tell me what to do, mother?” Rex suggested back, walking toward the stairs.

“At least I didn’t actually kill our mother. That is all on you. It’s your fault our lives are disasters, all because you couldn’t shut the hell up when you were told.”

Rex stopped dead. His hand gripped the banister, trying to stay standing. He was remembering. He didn’t want to remember.

“—just listen to me for once!”

“No, Rex! I’m your father, you’ll do what I say. You disobeyed me and your mother!”

“Jango, please calm down, sweetheart. He’s young. He’s allowed to make—”

Rex shook his head, knocking himself out of his trance. He didn’t have time to think about the past.

Fives looked about ready to go over and sock Ponds in the face, Echo holding onto his wrist to keep him back. Tup pressed close to Fives, staring worriedly at Rex. He knew how to read his brother and he was breaking at the seams.

Jango took a menacing step towards his eldest. “Ponds!” His son glared at him. “Knock it the f*ck off. It was not his fault. It was no one’s fault.”

Rex leveled his gaze on Ponds. He tried to remember the love he felt from his brothers throughout the years but there wasn’t anything. It was just replaced with the yelling, the arguing, and the blaming.

“Fine,” Rex whispered hoarsely, walking methodically to the door. “You want me out? I’m out.”

Ponds glared at him. “Good.”

Comet made a noise of protest. “Rex, don't leave.”

Jesse growled at Ponds. “How about you shut the f*ck up?”

Rex grabbed his keys. “I bet you hope I wrap myself around a tree, don’t you? Eye for an eye right?” he asked his brother quietly.

And Ponds hesitated. He hesitated to deny the claim. Rex felt a sob building up in his throat. That was the nail in the coffin. Ponds tried to take a step toward him, to try to fix this because it had gone way too far, but Rex took a step back, reaching for the doorknob.

“So much for being brothers,” Rex spit out.

Jango held a hand out. “Rex, don’t leave.”

Rex narrowed his eyes, yanking open the door. “Watch me.”

Jango immediately rushed after him. God, it was so similar when Tup tried to leave but he had Tup’s age at his disposal. Rex was an adult. There wasn’t much he could do.

“Rex, please don’t.”

His son ignored him, heading toward the car. Jango spun him around by the arm. Rex had pure rage in his eyes.

“Please, stop and listen. Please,” he begged him.

Rex didn’t move but his patience was being tested.

“I don’t blame you. You know I don’t. I’ve told you that so many times. You’re not thinking straight.”

Rex pushed his father away from him. “I’m not thinking straight?! Tell that mom’s kid!”

Jango shook his head. “No, no, don’t do that. He’s your brother. Don’t forget that.”

Rex just felt angrier. “Again. Tell it to him.”

Jango slowly moved to hold the side of Rex’s neck. Rex resisted the urge to lean into his hand. “Rex…you know I think you’re a danger to yourself right now. And it’s okay. We’ll get you help when you’re ready. But if you leave right now in that car, I will not hesitate to commit you.”

Rex’s eyes widened in fear. “You wouldn’t.” The last thing he wanted was to be surrounded by stark white walls, meds being shoved into his system, and being forced to talk about his feelings.

Jango lifted his other hand to his shoulder. “I would,” he whispered. “If it meant it kept you breathing. A part of you wants to crash and die. I can see it in your eyes.”

Rex’s breath hitched and he bit his lip to keep quiet. “Daddy, please,” he tried to use the only card he had left.

Jango firmly shook his head, grip tightening. “No. You’re not going to sweet-talk your way out of this. I will commit you if you don’t listen to me. Give me your keys.” He held a hand out.

Rex hesitated, lips parting to say something.

Jango reached farther. “Someone else will drive you for a few weeks. Give me your keys.” Rex slowly lowered them into his father’s awaiting hands. Jango tucked them into his back pocket and then slowly took his son’s hand. Rex didn’t fight him as he was led back into the house, seeing his brothers still frozen in their places.

Jango glared at Ponds. “I will deal with you later.”

He walked Rex up the stairs and into his room, seeing the blank look in his son's eyes. He gently laid him down on the bed, holding his shaking hand.

Kix popped into his field of view, eyes searching over Rex. He rubbed his brother’s shoulder, trying to get his attention. Rex’s eyes slowly went to him.

Kix smiled. “Scoot over.”

Rex obeyed him, moving closer to the wall. Kix slid in behind him, propping himself on the headboard.

Jango straightened up.

Kix glanced at him. “Don’t hit him.”

Jango snorted a bit. “I won’t. No promises that I won’t yell.”

Jango walked back downstairs, seeing that all but Ponds had dispersed. Ponds was currently pacing the floor slowly, anxiety rolling off of him.

“How stupid are you?” Jango called once he was close enough.

Ponds didn’t respond, he just looked up.

“Serious, what went through your head to make you think it was okay to say that to him?” Jango pushed.

Ponds shuffled his feet. “I…I don’t know.”

Jango’s hands shook. “You’ve got to be f*cking kidding me. Are you serious?! What would’ve happened if I wasn’t here to stop him from leaving?”

Ponds kept his eyes on the ground. “Someone else would’ve,” he argued, still muttering.

Jango crossed his arms. “No, they wouldn’t. You should know that by now. He would’ve sweet-talked Cody, Wolffe, or whoever tried to stop him. He would’ve gotten into the car and never come home again because he would get into a f*cking accident! You should know better! I have drilled this into your head for years! But you just don't listen do you?”

Jango couldn’t remember the last time he had been so angry. He never liked to yell at his kids but sometimes they needed to hear. Diana would never yell at the kids, she would always talk to them in a calm voice even if she were angry with them. Jango wished he could’ve taken after her mannerisms before she died.

He saw a tear leave Pond’s eye but he wasn’t done. “Oh yeah, you feel guilty now, don’t you?”

Ponds bit his lip, defiantly looking away from his dad. He was a grown man, he shouldn’t be crying because he was being chastised. But he did deserve it.

“So you have two options. Either you stay with Ponds or you stay away from Rex for a few days. Got it?”

Ponds just dipped his head, closing his eyes. He heard Jango’s footsteps walk away, most likely going to check on his other sons. Ponds crumbled to the ground against the wall. He just sat there and cried.

Comet fidgeted in the seat of the car, nervously staring at the building in front of him.

“You ready? his father gently asked him.

Comet swallowed. “Mhm.” He tried to open the door but found it locked. Jango wasn’t ready it seemed. He turned to look at him.

“If you want to leave, say the word and we will.”

Comet nodded. This would be his first session with Justin. And he was terrified. Tup had reassured him that Justin wasn’t pushy and would actually offer good advice. He just never imagined himself walking into therapy.

Comet lifted his chin. “Let’s go.”

Notes:

Ponds is an ass in the chapter just because I felt that he would be the only person capable of saying those things to Rex as you have seen in the past.

Rex will suffer a bit more (maybe a lot more) but there will be a light at the end of the tunnel for him, so do not fret my dear readers.

Chapter 44: Chapter 44-Challenges

Summary:

Warnings; mentioned possible substance abuse (it's not as bad as it sounds), past suicide attempt

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

Comet walked through the halls of the office with his dad, his heart hammering in his chest. They approached a door and Comet poked his head in.

A man sitting at a small desk looked up. “Comet, come on in,” Justin said from his desk.

Comet nervously started to enter the room. But Jango had a gentle grip on his wrist.

“Do you want me to leave?” Jango murmured in his ear. He had known that Tup wouldn’t talk to Justin the first time they went through this so that’s why he had stayed with Tup. But with Comet…Jango guessed there was a fifty-fifty chance Comet would stay silent.

Comet debated it. “I’ll be fine…I think.”

Jango nodded, stroking his arm gently. “Okay, I’ll be in the car.”

Comet entered the room fully and immediately felt better. He had recalled that Tup had told him that Justin’s office hadn’t felt like a prison or a white room with padded walls. He felt more at ease when he saw it was true.

“Take a seat wherever you would like, Comet.” Justin’s voice was soft, gentle. Comet had heard Tup always say nothing but great things about the man but it was jarring to see it being aimed at him. He was just so nice.

Comet slowly sat down on the couch, trying to hide his shaking hands. Stay calm, stay calm. Don’t freak out like a little kid.

“How are you doing today, Comet?” Justin tried to make small talk, hoping it would calm the nerves of the boy. He was so similar to Tup.

“I’m doing fine. How are you?” Comet asked quietly.

“I’m doing well,” Justin answered as he sat down. “Now, here’s what we’re going to do. I'm just going to ask you a few questions. You do not have to answer them if you do not want to. Are you ready to begin?”

Comet nodded. “Mhm.”

Justin gave him a gentle smile. “How long has your ADHD been bothering you? Early childhood? Maybe in the beginning of your teens?”

Comet sighed to himself in relief. Something that was easy. “It started when I was younger. I hated homework or really anything that required all of my focus. Multitasking is more my…thing. I could never sit still. I was squirming, jumping, talking…annoying the hell out of everyone,” he said quietly with a bitter smile.

Justin’s brow quirked a bit. “That’s what you think happens when your ADHD is affecting you? That you’re annoying everyone?”

Comet froze. Mistake numero uno, Comet, great job. He stared at his hands for a while. “No.” Justin just tilted his head, his critical mind not believing him. “Okay, that’s a lie. Yes, I do. My family and friends say that it doesn’t piss them off but sometimes I can tell when I become too much for them.”

Justin nodded along with him, gesturing for him to keep talking.

Comet shifted in his seat, suddenly feeling vulnerable. He had the words but he just couldn’t bring himself to say them.

Justin knew the lost look in the boy’s eyes. He had seen it in Tup’s eyes when the boy first came to him. Comet just needed some nudges in the right direction before Justin decided what the best way to help the boy was.

“Comet, how often do you take your medication?” Comet froze once again, not in hesitation but in fear. Justin didn’t like it. “Comet?”

Comet lifted his eyes, looking terrified. “You can’t tell my dad.”

Justin hated situations like this. His patients trusted him to not blab to anyone but Justin couldn’t do that if they were a danger to themselves. Justin sighed. “Okay.”

“Sometimes I don’t take them. And sometimes…I take more than I’m prescribed,” Comet said slowly.

f*ck. Justin stared at Comet for a long moment, trying to be gentle when he said, “Comet, that is very dangerous.”

Comet gave him puppy dog eyes and nodded sadly. “I-I know. I don’t do it anymore but…I don’t know.”

Justin collected himself. He knew that he had a lot of things he needed to unpack with Comet. A lot of things. “Okay. Why did you feel the need to take more?”

Comet leaned his head on the back of the couch. “I tried to hide the ADHD I guess. Or suppress it enough. I felt like sometimes that the meds didn’t work the way I wanted them to.”

Justin jotted that down quickly, trying to keep his eyes on Comet. “And why did you not take them sometimes?”

Comet’s eyes flashed in irritation but Justin was well aware it wasn’t something that Justin had said to upset him but it was Comet's own feelings. “I hate the way I feel some days. I just…” Comet kept trying to fight with the words in his mouth. “I have never felt normal when I’ve taken my meds. Sometimes I feel fine but then the next day I wouldn’t want to do anything. It was always changing.”

Justin understood where this was finally going with why Comet wanted to go off the medication. He hated being on it because he hated the way he felt when he took them. But Justin needed to be sure.

“Comet, are you sure that you don’t want to take Adderall for your ADHD just because some people in the world disagree with you taking medication for a disorder?” Justin poked gently.

Comet lifted his head very quickly. “That’s definitely not it. I haven’t even thought of that. People can think what they want, I don’t really give a shi-crap what they think.”

Justin smiled a bit at him, then dropped his eyes down to his notes. “You can curse, Comet. I’ve heard it all before.” Justin let him sit in silence for a few moments to let him digest their conversation. Justin looked up again and the boy looked a bit calmer.

“I’d like to talk about your coping skills related to your ADHD.”

Rex hated himself. He also hated his eldest brother. He also hated Liam Johnson for f*cking his life up. If he hadn’t been behind the wheel, his mother never would’ve died and Rex never would want to die at the moment.

Everything was just gray. The dark abyss was threatening to take control, creeping into the edges of his life. He needed help. He understood that. But it was just so tedious. It was so much easier to somewhat deal with his life if he could just stay in bed.

A knock on the door made him lift the comforter over his head. He just wanted to hide from everyone.

The bed dipped underneath the weight of someone sitting down near him. A gentle hand found his shoulder from the lump under the covers.

“Do you want to eat something?” A voice asked him.

Rex sighed, closing his eyes. “No, but you’re going to make me anyway, aren’t you Kix?” He asked his brother.

Kix laughed a bit, trying to lighten the mood which Rex appreciated, but it just didn’t work great. Rex reluctantly sat up in his bed, taking the food without complaint. Kix kindly avoided staring at him while he ate, instead he looked around the room.

Rex placed the bowl on the bedside table and Kix immediately curled under his arm. A broken chuckle came from Rex’s throat.

Kix heatlessly glared up at him. “Just because I’m twenty years old doesn’t mean I’m too old for hugs from my older brother.”

Rex sighed but obliged his brother and tugged him closer. Kix’s hugs were always good. Even if Kix had an ulterior motive for the hug, Rex still enjoyed it.

“You want to talk?” Kix asked softly, not looking up at his brother.

Rex just stroked his shoulder. “No. Not really. Just…been in a mood lately.”

Kix bit his lip, debating on opening his mouth. “Rex…I…this seems like something more than just a mood.” Rex went rigid and closed his eyes, trying to calm himself. Kix winced. “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have said anything.”

The awkward silence was almost painful. Rex tried to make it less awkward by hugging Kix closer. Rex just let his eyes close.

Downstairs, Jango heard the door lock being opened. He stood up from his desk and poked his head out. Ponds was walking through the door.

His eldest froze like a deer when he caught sight of his father staring at him. “I’m…just getting something. I'll be out soon.” He sounded so young, so scared.

Jango sighed heavily. Oh, how the hell had they gotten themselves into this situation? He never wanted this. He never wanted his son to be afraid of walking into his own house. Jango stepped out further.

“Ponds…it’s not forbidden for you to come home, you know,” he tried to sound soft, hoping no bitterness came out.

Ponds was convinced. All he had received were dirty looks from his family, even the younger ones being mad at him. It was rightfully deserved though. He had said some really f*cked up things. “I didn’t think I could. I’m not blind.”

Jango prayed to God that he had enough patience for this conversation. “Ponds, we both know that I’m pissed at you." Jango held his hands up in surrender. "But that doesn’t mean you stop being my son. I’m not going to kick you out.”

Ponds’ guard was up, not showing emotion. “No offense but I’m not taking my chances.” He stalked upstairs, footfalls quiet to not get the attention of his brothers. The quicker he was, the quicker he could get back to Mace's place and collapse into his arms.

Jango just walked back into his office, shutting the door behind him.

Tup and Comet were lounging on the couch, both silent. They had heard the conversation but they didn't feel bad. Ponds needed to know it wasn't okay what he did.

Earlier, Tup had asked every question under the sun of how the session went with Comet, feeling received when he said that he was going to continue seeing Justin.

Comet laid his head on Tup’s shoulder, staring at the TV screen. “You think Dad would let me start driving?”

Tup looked down, fondly rubbing his shoulder. A hint of a smile was on his face. Comet's hesitation was well warranted. Driving was a touchy subject with their family, as most people were well aware of by now. “I’m sure he would. It might take some convincing but we have your back.”

Comet leaned back into him. “Thanks, Tup. You’re a good brother.”

Tup grinned cheekily, shifting so that Comet was now holding him. “I know.”

Comet took in the silence of the house. He hated it. “We’ll be fine, right?”

Tup thought deeply, his honey eyes clouded. “Yeah…we will.” He didn’t sound confident.

As Jaster stared straight ahead at his living room wall, he wondered if it would be a bad idea to slam his head through it to knock himself out of his misery. His misery being his ex-wife.

Maria just didn’t know when to shut the hell up. She kept raving to the kids about how the rest of the family were failures, how they weren’t going to do anything meaningful in life, and a bunch of other nonsense.

Jaster applauded his husband for being able to ignore the nasty words being said, seemingly in his own little world, having a foot between them. Normally they would be curled up together but to avoid the nastiness of Maria. Jaster missed his warmth.

“What do you think of Tup going to therapy?” Maria suddenly asked him.

Jaster lazily glanced at her. “I think it’s great. Hell knows that our family needs therapy. Maybe he can break our cycle of poor self-management skills.”

That wasn’t the answer she was expecting nor wanted to hear. Her face was screwed up in anger. “It’s weak. And pointless. He has the drugs, let him be a druggie.”

Jaster glared at her. “He’s not a ‘druggie’, Maria. He’s not addicted. He’s trying to lean off of them because they have served their purpose. And you shouldn’t be talking.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

Jaster just motioned to the wine glass in her hand. “Just saying.”

Maria just sat there like a child with her arms crossed. “At least I’m not like our son.”

Jaster narrowed his eyes. “Which one?”

Maria scoffed. Jaster felt anger roll through him. “As if we have two sons together. You’re just a donor to Boba, and I’m just the woman who gave birth to him. No, I’m talking about Jango. I’m well aware that he has had issues with alcohol.”

Jaster just looked at her plainly, not raising to the bait. “I don’t blame him. Not with the way he grew up and not with what he has been through.”

Maria swirled her glass. “It’s his own fault. He wanted to be just like his daddy and become a Marine. I will never forgive him for that. And of course, Boba followed him, the idiot.”

Thorn had had enough and angrily stood up from the couch. Jaster and Nicky shared a worried look, then stood up and followed him at a slower rate. They both needed a break from conversation anyways.

They followed out the front door, where he was pacing on the lawn. Nicky nudged Jaster in the back, giving him a soft look. He wanted his husband to try and handle this.

“Hey kiddo, you okay?” Jaster felt a bit awkward

Thorn just shook his head, still pacing angrily. His hands were clenched into fists.

“Talk to me here,” Jaster requested after a moment of silence.

Thorn whipped around, eyes blazing. “I don’t know how the hell you stand her!”

Jaster sighed, feeling exhaustion seeping into his bones. “I know she sucks.”

Thorn laced his fingers in his head. “But you don’t call her out! Why?!”

Jaster didn’t get angry. He just walked over to his grandson and placed his hands on his shoulders. “Because I have tried for thirty years of marriage to make her change but I have failed over and over again. I have truly given up on her.”

Thorn crumbled and leaned his head on Jaster’s shoulder. “Why does she have to be so mean?” he asked pitifully.

Nicky approached quietly, stroking Thorn’s shoulder. “To make herself feel more superior I guess. Just don’t think too hard about what she says.”

Thorn just stayed relaxed against Jaster, loosely wrapping his arms around him to bring both of them a bit of comfort. Jaster returned the embrace before he pulled away.

“Go back inside, it’s cold.”

Thorn sighed but nodded. As the young man walked back into the house, Jaster stood close to Nicky, putting an arm around his waist.

“I’m ready to crash,” Nicky whispered.

Jaster squeezed him a bit. “I’m with you. Let’s go.”

They snuck back into the house, doing their best to be quiet. They crept up to their bedroom, shutting the door behind them. They took a sigh of relief before silently shuffling around to get ready to sleep. Jaster had changed into softer clothes while Nicky was in the bathroom. He sat on the bed with his head in his hands.

Nicky stepped out a few minutes later, dragging a hand down his face. He paused when he saw his husband’s hunched form. Nicky leaned against the doorway of the bathroom, observing him and also giving him a minute to try and ‘deal’ on his own. Sometimes Jaster needed space to work things through by himself but Nicky would always step in if no progress was made.

And Nicky did just that. He walked toward him and crouched in front of him. He slowly put his hands on Jaster's forearms, thumbs stroking the skin that they found.

“Jas…look at me.”

His husband took a while to raise his head but he did. Nicky held his hands inside, giving him a soft look.

“Don’t let her get your head, love. She’s just trying to piss you off by bringing up sore topics. You know this. Don’t let her win.”

Jaster was frozen for a moment then he leaned into Nicky’s form. Nicky took him into his arms, a hand traveling along his back. Jaster gave a hitched sigh but began to pull Nicky to stand up.

Nicky let Jaster maneuver him under the covers, rolling to face him. Nicky couldn’t really read the look in his eyes and he didn’t like that. He didn’t like not knowing what was going on in his love’s head.

“You did good with Thorn,” Nicky said randomly.

Jaster’s lip pulled up a bit. “I didn’t really do anything.”

Nicky scoffed. “You reassured him, you hugged him, and most importantly you listened. That’s all he wanted.”

Jaster closed his eyes, pressing close to him. “You’re still better at it.”

Nicky chuckled, lacing their fingers. “Okay.” He pressed a kiss to his head. “Goodnight.”

Jaster snuggled closer. “Goodnight.”

Rex kept tossing and turning in his bed, not able to fall asleep. It made him so frustrated he could cry but he had done enough of that the past few days. Huffing, he got up from his bed, stepping lightly through his room toward the door.

He wasn’t sure where he was going. His mind was so cluttered that it was hard to tell. All he knew was that his feet were carrying him to a familiar door.

He slowly turned the knob, thankfully not hearing any loud creaks or groans. He leaned himself on the door jam with his arms crossed, staring into the room.

Jango felt himself being pulled out of sleep. He knew something was awry. Slowly sitting up in bed, he glanced around to find a threat. But there was no threat, only one of his sons standing in the doorway, shoulder against it. Rex let his eyes land on Jango’s but then they fell to the ground.

Jango sighed lightly, patting the side of the bed. Rex hesitated before stepping over to the bed. He crawled in, laying himself across his father’s midsection, Jango still propped up.

“You okay?” his father asked, not sounding too concerned. Rex guessed it was because he hadn’t burst into tears yet.

“Yeah, just…needed a hug,” Rex whispered then cringed at how childish it sounded. But Jango just laughed, the low baritone pitch making him feel warm inside. Jango brushed a hand through his short hair, easing him into sleep. Until Jango started speaking.

“Rex…” he stopped.

Rex glanced up at him. “What?”

Jango shook his head with a gentle smile, holding his head gingerly. “Nevermind. Go to sleep.”

Jango really wanted to tell him that they needed to have a discussion about…everything but Rex was finally calm and he didn’t want to ruin that.

“I don’t hate you,” Rex suddenly whispered.

Jango's breath barely caught in his throat. He slowly stroked Rex’s back. “I know you don’t.”

Jango felt the stare of Fives on the back of his head. He had been doing it all morning and Jango was starting to get annoyed.

“Fives, can I help you?” He said loudly. No one else was in the room, most of them still sleeping but for some reason, Fives was up bright and early on a Saturday.

“I want to know how many times Rex tried to kill himself.”

Jango froze and then leaned his head on the back of the couch. “Fives, no. It’s not your business.”

Fives snapped. “He’s my brother! Of course, it’s my business!”

Jango sighed heavily. “Fine. But it’s not good, Fives. It’s bad.”

Fives leaned closer to him. “Please.”

Notes:

Next chapter I'm diving into Rex's journey with his mental health. I have no idea how graphic it'll be, but I'll try to give more specific warnings in the summary next upload.

And I added some action with Jaster's household. Hoped you liked it!

What do you think so far?

Chapter 45: Chapter 45-The Attempt

Summary:

Warnings: graphic suicide attempt, suicidal thoughts, lots of blood

Proceed with caution

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

Jango leaned back in his seat, narrowing his eyes. “Fives, answer me honestly. Are you going to tell your brothers everything I say?”

The snarky boy’s eyes were swimming with slight guilt. “…if they ask, yes. Who doesn’t know?”

Jango sighed, thinking about it. “I’m pretty sure Boil and Waxer know, they were old enough to see through Rex, but you, Echo, Comet, and Tup don’t know.”

“Comet and Tup don’t know what now?” A voice asked from the stairs. Jango fixed his gaze on the person and saw Comet and Tup walking down the stairs.

Jango didn’t answer him for a while, staring at the wall instead.

Tup timidly approached him. “…Dad?”

Jango sadly looked at his two youngest. He really didn’t want them to know, but it was nearly impossible for them not to.

“You and Tup don’t know something about Rex,” Jango answered softly.

Tup sat himself down next to Fives. Fives wrapped an arm around his shoulders, pulling his brother to him.

Jango closed his eyes for a few seconds, trying to gather some type of strength. “Tup, Comet, do you two remember when we had to take Rex to the hospital before you left for foster care? You both were pretty young.”

Tup and Comet looked at each then shook their heads.

“I kinda do,” Fives said. “But we stayed with Jaster and Nicky when you went.”

Jango nodded. “You did. Do you remember why we took him to the hospital?”

Tup bit his lip, eventually shaking his head. Comet shook his head once.

Jango went quiet again, trying to gather the words to explain this. “Rex…has had issues in the past with certain things. Anxiety, depression. You three know this. But what you don’t know are the lengths that he went to make it stop.”

Tup stiffened. He was beginning to catch on. The despair on his face made Jango second guess telling them this.

“What are you saying?” Tup asked. Fives tried to comfort him but Tup shifted away. “Are you saying he tried to kill himself?”

Jango didn’t want to do this anymore. He never should’ve started to tell them without Rex’s permission.

“Don’t you dare stop there,” Comet warned him. “You can’t just stop there.”

Jango looked at each of them for a moment. “He tried to kill himself. And it wasn’t just once.”

Comet fell into Fives. “Why?”

Jango pushed down the stinging feeling in his throat. “He felt that he was the reason your mother died.”

“The argument between him and Ponds had made that clear. But why?” Tup pushed.

Jango played with his thumbnail. It took him a minute but he turned to face his three children.

“Rex and I had an argument the night your mother died.”

“About what?” Comet asked quietly.

Jango dropped his chin to his chest. “Something stupid, of course. He went out of state with some friends for the weekend after he didn’t get permission. The night he got back we fought.” Jango swallowed, looking up to the ceiling. “God, it was so f*cking stupid. I should’ve just let it go.”

Jango’s hand shook with rage as he hung up the phone. He had just received a call from the mother of one of Rex’s friends, asking if he had gotten home safe from the boys’ trip to Arizona. A trip that Jango and Diana specifically said he couldn’t go on.

“Rex, get your ass down here right!” He yelled through the house. Nearby, his other sons flinched at the yell, beginning to whisper to each to find out what was happening.

Diana poked her head out of the kitchen, drying her hands on a towel. “Jango, why are you yelling?”

A teenage Rex came down the stairs, the fear of God in his eyes.

Jango crossed his arms. “Because someone disobeyed us and went to Arizona! And lied about it!”

Rex flinched at the harsh words. “I didn’t lie, necessarily. I just said I was spending the weekend with Ethan, Cal, and—”

“Cut the bullsh*t, Rex!” Jango interrupted. He saw Diana inch closer to him. “You knew you weren’t allowed to go and you still did! What the f*ck did you think was going to happen? That we wouldn’t find out?”

Diana put a hand on her husband's arm. She nervously glanced in her son’s direction, noting his shaking hands. “Okay, calm down. We can do this without yelling and not in front of the other boys.”

Jango shook his head. “No! I’m so sick of your sh*t, Rex!”

Rex’s eyes widened. “My sh*t? My sh*t. Really?! I can’t do anything without you breathing down my neck or saying how disappointed you are in me!”

Jango took a step towards him. “That is such a lie, Rex! You just can’t listen!”

Rex’s hands shook. Cody, who was the closest to him, hissed out to him quietly. “Just stop arguing. You’re making it worse.” Rex ignored him.

“So I went to Arizona! Big deal!”

Diana narrowed her eyes. “But you have to understand that you were told not to.” She didn’t yell, she didn't raise her voice; she just wanted him to understand their point of view.

“You are fifteen years old, Rex! You don’t get to make adult decisions because you are a child!”

A small child poked their head around the corner of the living room where the argument was taking place. His honey-brown eyes were filled with tears. “Daddy?” A seven-year-old Tup said quietly. Everyone that was in the room stiffened.

Diana smiled the best she could at her son. “Why don’t you and Comet go up to your room, hon? I’ll be up soon.”

Tup’s feet were stuck on the floor for a minute but then he moved back upstairs.

Rex was busy fighting tears. “Why can’t you trust me?” he asked his father.

Jango looked ready to rip his hair out.

Wolffe was sitting with Cody and tucked the younger teen under his arm, waiting for the bomb to go off.

“It’s not about trust, Rex. It's the fact that I am your father and you should listen to me!”

Rex threw his hands out. “But that’s not fair!”

They continued to go back and forth for another ten minutes, with Diana trying to mediate but failing.

Rex started to back away in fear of his father. Jango had never laid a hand on him before but Rex wasn’t sure if he would hold back now. He was really mad.

“Why can’t you just listen to me for once?”

“No, Rex! I’m your father, you’ll do what I say. You disobeyed me and your mother!”

Diana stepped in again. “Jango, please calm down, sweetheart. He’s young. He’s allowed to make—” She paused. Her eyes tracked to the back door. Which was wide open.

A cold feeling swept through the house. Even Rex and Jango followed her gaze.

“Why is the back door open?” She asked quietly, almost not wanting to.

Jango swallowed, looking up to the stairs. “Tup, Comet, come down please!”

Everyone stared at the stairs, anxiously waiting to hear the small patter of feet. But it never came.

“Comet!” Diana called her second youngest son. There was no reply.

“sh*t,” Diana muttered. Her heart was pounding in fear, her motherly instincts screaming that her two little ones had fled the house. Without thinking, she ran out the back door into the backyard.

“Tup! Comet!” She called again. She wanted to cry at the silence that answered her.

Rex’s heart had turned to ice as he watched his parents break into a hysterical conversation. His mother came back into the house, frantically looking for her keys.

“Ponds, drive around. See if you can find them.” Her hands shook.

“Diana, it’s a bad idea to drive right now,” Jango said.

She shook her head. “I’ll be fine.”

Jango ground his teeth but didn’t say anything else, pulling out his phone. Maybe he could call in some favors.

Rex was near the front door where his mother was headed. He shook when Diana got close. Before she walked out at the door she looked at him.

“Mom, I…”

She sighed and pressed a kiss to his head. “We’ll talk.”

And the only talk Rex got was a one-sided goodbye with a corpse.

Comet stared down at his hands. He was slight for a moment before he nudged Tup. “Did…do you remember that?”

Tup’s lip trembled. “Pieces. He blames himself?”

Jango nodded. “Yeah,” he whispered. “I didn’t help. I…I didn’t talk to him for a day or two after your mother died but I never blamed him. But he mistook that for anger.”

Jango took a look at each of his children. God they grew up too fast. Which meant they were old enough to hear what happened to Rex.

“The first time Rex tried to kill himself we were all here. Most of us scattered across the house. Some were even in the same room.”

“What did he do?” Tup asked quietly, almost like he didn’t want to know.

“He tried to cut his wrist open. And technically he succeeded.”

Cody laid on the couch, lazily staring at the screen. His little brother was laying on top of him, Tup’s small form holding on. His little brother was staring blankly at the wall, something he had been doing most days now.

“Cody, can you help me in the kitchen?” Kix asked quietly.

Cody sighed lightly as he tried to move but was stopped by Tup’s grip tightening. “Can you let me get up kiddo?”

Tup just shook his head, his tiny fingers holding onto his shirt.

Cody knew he wasn’t going to be getting up anytime soon. “Rex, can you help him please?” he asked his younger brother.

Rex was slow to get up. He just didn’t want to do anything. But he did as he was told, walking into the kitchen.

Kix nudged him towards the cutting board where a large, sharp knife lay.

Rex started cutting up the things Kix would hand him while his brother was working on something else.

‘Do it,’ the small little voice in his head told him.

Rex shook his head, starting to cut again. The methodic sound of the blade hitting the cutting board was haunting. It should’ve been his mother helping Kix. Not him. And it was his own fault.

The knife shook in his grasp. He could end it all in one slice. He knew where the arteries were in his wrist. It would be quick and easy. So he did it.

He dragged the knife across his wrist strategically, feeling it cut into his flesh. Blood seeped out of his wrist, dripping everywhere. Funny enough, it didn’t hurt. Why didn’t it hurt?

Rex stared at his wrist for a long moment, waiting for the adrenaline to stop flowing and he forgot that he wasn’t only in the room.

Kix turned around, going to ask if Rex was alright because he hadn’t heard the tell-tale sign of him chopping. He nearly screamed at what he saw.

Blood was going everywhere, onto the counter, and onto the floor, and Rex was just standing there.

Kix quickly grabbed a dish towel and put pressure on Rex’s wrist while his brother hissed in pain. Words for help couldn’t escape his mouth.

Rex was crying, his eyes closed. Kix put tighter pressure on his wrist, his heart pounding when he saw the blood seeping through.

Kix looked over his shoulder, seeing if anyone was around.

“Don’t,” Rex whispered. “Please.”

Kix shook his head. “I can’t help you with this.”

“Please,” Rex begged one final time.

“Dad, help!” He yelled anyway.

The next following minutes were chaos. Lots of talking, lots of trying to keep the little ones out of the room, and Cody trying to calm Rex down while they assessed the damage.

Rex hid his face in Cody’s shoulder, holding onto his waist with this free hand. He winced every time someone accidentally brushed the slice in his wrist.

“Shhhh, shhhh,” Cody said gently.

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” Rex whispered to his brother.

“It’s okay, it was an accident,” Cody cooed. And that just made Rex feel worse because this was no accident.

Jango applied more pressure. His face was set in concentration. “We need to take him somewhere. It’s too deep.” He gently started to direct Rex to the front door. As they walked, Rex fumbled for the closest hand to him which was Wolffe’s.

Jango paused and glanced at Wolffe then back to Rex. Rex was just staring imploringly at his brother. Wolffe huffed softly, “Okay bud, I’ll come.”

“What did you do?” Tup asked.

Jango smiled sadly. “We took him to the ER. He got stitches. And after they were done patching him up, one of the doctors pulled me aside and recommended that we clear his room out of all possible blades or sharp objects and keep an eye on him twenty-four-seven because there was no way that his wound was accidental.

“I went to talk to him and he just broke down into tears, so beside himself. I told him that he could and needed to come to me if he ever felt like that again. But then I got shipped off.”

Tup suddenly leaned against his father, trying to offer him comfort. Jango placed a hand on his back, accepting the hug.

“There were more times, weren’t there?” Fives asked, almost afraid to ask.

Jango nodded, brown eyes remorseful. “Yes. I had been contacted a few times by Jen telling me that Rex had gone to the ER or urgent care because of a knife-related issue. He got put on an antipsychotic eventually. He just…stopped taking it a few years ago.”

Tup lifted his head from his father’s shoulder. “And you’re worried he’s going to do it again?”

Jango held onto his son tighter, as if it would take his pain away. “Yes. I want him to go back on the meds but he keeps fighting me about it. He’s too anxious to even function.”

Tup relaxed into his father’s grip. “We’ll try and help out.”

Jango sighed. That’s not what he wanted to hear. “It’s not your responsibility to. I’m the parent, you’re the child.”

“And he’s our brother,” Comet argued.

Jango didn’t say anything else.

When Jango walked into his youngest twins’ room, Echo was reading a book. Shocker. His son took a second to register his presence and lifted his eyes from the pages.

“Hey Dad,” he greeted.

“Hi,” Jango said as he closed the door behind him.

Echo winced. “Ouch, a closed-door conversation? That’s never good.”

Jango tried to smile but it failed. “I need to tell you something.” He sat himself on Fives’ free bed.

Echo quickly closed his book, sitting up straight. Worry flooded his eyes.

“It’s about Rex. I just told Tup, Comet, and Fives and you deserve to know. Rex tried to kill himself eight years ago—”

Echo sheepishly looked down. “Dad, I-I already know.”

Jango froze. “What?”

Echo gave a watery smile, so much pain in his eyes. “I’m the smart one, remember? I took one look at his wrist when Bly tried to get me away and knew what he was trying to do.”

Jango watched as his son’s face crumbled and began to cry. His heart was breaking, being thrown for a loop. “Echo…what…” He didn’t know what to say.

Echo tried to wipe his eyes. “I’m sorry. I should’ve told you.”

Jango sighed and hugged his son, enfolding him in his arms tightly. His son clung to him. “I’m sorry, Echo. I’m so sorry.” His child had to live with the burden of knowing his older brother had wanted to die that night.

He just held him for the rest of the night.

Notes:

I guessed on the ages that