The Loud family never imagined what was about to happen to them. Lincoln, the only boy in a family with ten girls, is diagnosed with a terminal disease. With nothing left to do, the doctors give him just a few weeks left, at best. How will an eleven years old boy react when he finds out he'll die soon? What's gonna happen when his sisters find out? Will the family hold on to their emotional core being taken from them, or will they fall apart? A story of pain, lost, family, and a boy that must face humanity's toughest test: accepting his mortality.
Greetings, readers. This is a story I started drafting a week ago. I made a giant storyboard for this, and I was so immersed within the plot that I just had to start writing it. Usually I take my time before publishing, but this fanfic right here is something else, I can tell.
About the story in general, there are two things I want to say before we start: 1° I will not write Lisa's dialogue the way she talks. I just can't. I've read it that way, and I've loved it, but it's not my thing. And 2°, I'm not even gonna try to make clever jokes with Luan. They're gonna be plain stupid -not so out of character, tho.
That being said, let's get this started.
DISCLAIMER: I do not own The Loud House or any of its characters. They belong to their rightfull owner.
Luckyly, the neighbors were used to the big mess it happened everytime the Loud family went somewhere in the van. That sunday morning, before they went to the park, it was the same as always.
"I take the front!"
"No, you take the back!"
"I want the window!"
"This seat smells worse than Lana!"
"Hey, nothing smells worse than me!"
"I like this seat. The lack of space makes me feel like I'm in a coffin."
"Nice try, Luna, but I want the back seat and I'll get it."
"You can't always get what you want, sis."
"If you don't back off right now you will end up like that guy who lost his left hand and left foot."
"Wow, Luan, that was way too harsh."
"Why? He's ALRIGHT now. Haha! Get it?"
"You're not even trying now, aren't you?"
It was a sunny day, with a radiant blue sky, no clouds on sight. The warm sping breeze came along with the soft smell of flowers and grass, inviting them to have fun outside.
Nothing in that warm happy day seemed to foreshadow the terrible storm it was about to land upon the Louds.
Lincoln was sitting on his house's entry, watching his sisters practically fight to the death for a good place in the van. He remembered with a smile just a few weeks ago when his plan to get the sweet spot had completely failed, ending up in a similar situation. His sisters hadn't actually fully forgive him for trying to cheat them into that. So he decided to stay out of it until they settled down, and he would just occupy the remaining seat. That way, he was avoiding any trouble.
Besides, he wasn't feeling well. He had been feeling really tired for about two days, getting agitated for even the smallest effort and having a strong headache. He asumed it was because he wasn't sleeping well lately, so he shrugged it off. Still, any fight he could avoid…
"Lincoln!" Yelled Lola, creating a hiatus in the female hecatomb. "Why are you sitting there all alone?"
"Did you find a new 'sweet spot'?" Accused him Lana.
"N-No, not at all!" He said hurriedly, seeing his sisters rapidly approaching with hostile intentions.
"You okay, dude?" Asked Luna, noticing he wasn't looking as energic as always.
"Yes, I'm okay. It's just… Well…"
"Lincoln, what is it?" Said Lori, impatiently.
"I thought you were still mad at me about the whole 'sweet spot' thing, so I decided to wait for you guys to get your seats first, and then I would just use the last one."
The Loud sisters looked at each other. Lincoln had his selfish moments, like that time he bought a pool just for him, but in the end he was always the one that cared the most about his siblings. Somehow, listening him saying he didn't wanted to fight helped them realize how absurd it seemed to be fighting over such a stupid thing.
"Come on, Lincoln, let's get in the van before mom and dad get outside" said Lori, approaching his brother to take him to the van door.
"But how are we going to be sitting?" He asked.
"All of you, make a line, from youngest to oldest, and get in the seats from the front to the back", she quickly instructed.
Without arguing, everyone made a line and started getting inside the car, starting with Lisa.
"Leni" sighed Lori.
"Yeah?" Asked the blonde, with a big smile.
"You're the second oldest."
"Yes, I am!"
"That means you go AFTER everyone else."
"Ok!" She said, moving to the end of the line, allowing the twins to enter.
Lucy went after, but before Lincoln could get in, Lori stopped him.
"Lynn, would you mind going in now and leave the sweet spot to Lincoln? I think he earned it… just this once."
"But I…!" Lynn stopped half way through the sentence, as Lori glared her. "I mean, of course, brother! You deserve it."
After hugging him and gaining a nod from Lori, she jumped in the car. Lincoln put one step inside, and turned to look at her oldest sister.
"Don't mention it, twerp. Literally. Never."
After that, the rest of the girls got inside, just in time for their parents to come out of the house carrying Lily. They entered the van and, after securing the baby in her seat, the father turned on the engine.
"You know what, kids? You must have broken a record today. I hadn't even finished putting on my shirt when you stopped fighting! Usually it takes your mother and I about fifteen minutes to calm you down after we get to the car."
"And you would've taken longer this time!" Excitingly said Lana. "It was a slaughter!"
"But then I saw Lincoln all sad on the entry, and then we stopped fighting", quickly added Lola "So, it was actually thanks to ME that everything ended so fast. You can thank me later."
"What happened, Lincoln?" Asked Mr Loud, looking at his son through the mirror.
Lincoln was about to answer him, but Lucy speaked first.
"He made us realize how pointless and vain our dispute was; just like how everything we do in our lifes it's innocuous, for it does not change our final destiny, death."
"Too dark, sis" said Luna.
"Lucy's right… about the first thing, the second was literally too weird… Lincoln didn't wanted to fight with us for a place in here, so he step aside. And that made us realize how dumb the whole thing was."
The parents looked at each other, surprised about what Lori was telling them.
"Wow, Lincoln, that was really mature" said Ms Loud.
"Thanks, mom" said the boy with a smile.
"I mean it. Maybe you're ready for the grown up table after all."
"No he's not", replied the ten sister in chorus.
"Thanks for the support", sarcastically said Lincoln. "If I'm not in the grown up table it's just because I don't feel like giving up dessert yet. If I actually wanted to be there, I could totally do it."
"Lincoln, it's clear you're not ready to the grown up table", said Lynn, with a sense of superiority.
"That's enough. No more arguments until we reach the park", finally said Mr Loud, ending the discussion.
While the caos inside the van started to appear, with the twins fighting each other, Luna with her headphones at max volume and Lynn looking for an excuse to hit him, Lincoln began to think about what his sisters had said. It was truth he recently had made everything to get in the grown up table and the episode had ended up bad, but it was really because he sabotaged himself. Acting all grown up was really boring. He prefered the jokes, the yelling, and even the food fights that he had in the little-ones table. He didn't wanted to quit on those things. Why rushing up having to get to the grown up table? He was a kid after all.
He would have time to grow up.
Fortunately, they got to the park in a few minutes. While their parents took Lily to the nearest sandbox, the rest of the children started drifting apart. Lisa found an anthill and started taking notes on the ants behaviour. Lola and Lana went to the slides and swings, trying to get along with the rest of the kids their age. Lucy looked for a lonely place where noone would bother her while she wrote her dark poems. Lynn started running with her soccer ball until she found a couple of boys playing a match and decided to join them. Luna started playing her guitar on top of a bench, with a couple of people watching her, and Luan decided to record everything in case something funny happened, like Luna stage diving right to the ground. Lori and Leni sit under a tree. While Lori was busy texting with Bobby, Leni found herself surrounded by a bunch of boys trying to impress her and get her number.
Oddly enough, Lincoln found himself alone, with no sister trying to get him to do anything. A little taken aback from that fact, he decided to take advantage of this by doing… what, exactly? What were eleven year old boys supossed to do on a park with noone to play with? Bored and without a clue about what he should be doing, he decided to start walking, looking for something to do.
He spent the next hour walking, but he didn't found anything to do. He toured the whole park, trying to avoid his sisters, until he found a lonely tree whose branches were perfect to climb. Usually, he wasn't the climbing trees type, but he was so bored and the tree looked so tempting that he decided to do it anyway. So he climbed the tree, and once he reached the top, he rest against the trunk and watched between the leafs. It was really quite in there, sitting beneath the shadow of the oak, being able to see everyone while hidden from them.
As his headache returned —it was starting to hurt more often, he thought—, he decided to close his eyes and relax. He didn't wanted to fall asleep, but he found a comfortable position where he managed to relax himself. Still, he wondered why he was the only one who could found nothing to do in the park. All his sisters had found their place within seconds of arriving. Lisa, Lucy and Lori maybe enjoyed more being alone undisturbed, but the rest had managed to get along with people they didn't know without even trying. A feeling he was lately trying to ignore came to his mind, an awful sensation that he was the only one that wasn't good at anything in his house. That incident with the trophy case was still in his mind. All their sisters were good at something, and even though his case wasn't empty now, that trophy was just a gift from his sisters. It wasn't real. Perhaps, after all, he wasn't good at anything.
He suddenly heard a thud and felt the tree vibrate. He looked down and saw a soccer ball bouncing in the ground, and a girl picking it up.
"Stupid boys", said the girl, kicking the ball once again against the tree. "Who needs them anyway?"
She picked up the ball, but this time she held it against her chest and reclined herself agains the tree.
"Lynn?" Said Lincoln in a whisper, so she coudln't hear him.
She looked pretty sad, sitting with the ball against her chest. Lincoln was sure he had seen her playing with a group of boys about her age. Was the game over already? Had they fought? He thought about coming down and talk to her, but he wasn't sure that was the best idea.
"I don't need them", muttered Lynn. "I don't want to play with them neither. I can do it alone."
He sensed the sadness in her last words. He knew how much her sister tried to keep her tough girl appearance, so for her to sound this sad, this had to be some pretty big deal. He finally decided to talk with her. Since he didn't want her to find out he had been listening, he climbed down by the other side of the tree, trying to not make a noise.
He finally positioned himself behind Lynn, who wasn't aware of her brother's presence.
"Hey, Lynn", he said at last, scaring his sister. "Ha! Two for flinching!"
"Hey!" She complained, smiling at the weak punches he was giving her in the arm. "That's not how it works! You can't just Lucy-out-of-nowhere to scare the other one!"
"Whatever. Why aren't you playing soccer?" He asked, knowing that this could hurt her sister a little.
Indeed, Lynn's face shadowed a little.
"I was playing with some boys, but they kicked me out."
"Boys don't like girls being better than them in sports", she sowly said, looking straight to the ball in her hands. "Even in school, they always try to avoid me. It's not my fault to be this good, you know! If they trained as hard as I do then they'd be good aswell, and they wouldn't be afraid to play with me!"
He noticed how sad her sister seemed to get, and decided to intervene.
"Well, if they don't want to get an up-close lesson on how to play soccer, it's their loss. Who needs them anyway?"
Lynn looked up, with a shy smile on her face.
"Thanks, Lincoln. But some sports are meant to be played by more than one person."
"That's what I'm here for."
The big smile Lynn gave him made Lincoln feel really happy.
"You mean it?"
"Of course. Let's kick it up, shall we?"
Lynn quickly stood up and kicked the ball forward.
Lincoln once again began thinking about his lack of abilities and his almost empty case. Perhaps, after all, he was good at being a brother to his sisters. He really liked that thought. He liked feeling he could make his sisters happy. Perhaps, he wasn't as useless as he thought he was.
He started playing with Lynn, chasing her around the park, trying to get her and steal the ball. But she was very good, fast and skilled, so he could barely keep up with her. The very few times he managed to steal the ball he could only keep it for some seconds before he lost it again. Even though he didn't have her sister's stamina, all this years helping her practicing did their thing and he could usually keep up for about twenty minutes before getting tired.
But that day, little after ten minutes Lincoln stopped, barely being able to stand up. His heart was beating incredibly fast and strong, like it was trying to escape from his chest. He was breathing hard, not being able to recover from the effort, and his head was killing him once again. He couldn't believe he was this bad after only ten minutes.
"Alright, Lynn, you win. Can we play something more… still?"
"You gotta work up, bro", she said, while doing tricks with the ball. "Stay right there. Let's practice long passes, okay?"
"Okay… You go while I… I try to catch my breath…"
Lynn walked away about thirty meters, before preparing the ball.
"Here it goes!"
With a strong kick, the ball went up in the air, landing right in front of Lincoln. Since stopping the ball was his great weakness, he cheated and used his hands to catch it. Lynn yelled him something about not being practicing for goalkeeper, but he could barely listen her. He was feeling dizzy, although it was a strange sensation. It was like everything started moving in slow motion. He could still feel his heartbeat pounding in his chest, like his heart didn't know he wasn't running anymore.
"Come on! Kick it back!"
With a lot of effort, Lincoln managed to kick it, but he couldn't give it as much strenght as he intended to do. The ball didn't even left the ground. It slid all the way to Lynn, who stopped it with her sole. He saw that she was saying something, but this time he didn't even hear it. He took a hand to his head, which was hurting him almost as bad as his chest. He didn't remember ever feeling so much pain, and yet he wasn't able to react properly. He was standing still, with his gaze lost, completely dazed.
He saw Lynn kicking the ball. He watched it getting nearer and nearer, all in slow motion. He knew what was going to happen way before it did, but he couldn't even think about dodging it.
With a thud, he fell backwards on the ground, the ball bouncing right next to him. He felt some sore in his forehead, but it was indistinguishable from the overall pain he was feeling. He couldn't even move anymore. All he could see was the blue sky and some trees on the background.
"Linc! You okay?" He heard, before Lynn's face appeared in front of him.
She looked worried.
"Lincoln, you're bleeding! You hear me? Lincoln?"
It seemed that Lynn was shaking his shoulder, but he coudln't answer her. Everything was becoming a blur.
"Why's your nose bleeding if it hit you on the forehead? Lincoln! Why aren't you answering?!" She said, shaking him harder. "Lincoln! Lincoln! Lori! Luna! SOMEBODY! HELP!"
Someone came in a rush, but he wasn't able to see who it was. Everything turned black, and he quickly passed out.
Okay. So, as you may have noticed now, english is not my first language. Argentinian here, folks (you know, South America? Messi? Maradona? The Pope?). I didn't tell you guys before you started reading because I needed you to at least give it a shot, ha. I'm really trying to write as best as I can. Obviously, I'm aware that there may be a lot of mistakes that I don't see, 'cause I don't know best. I believe you could read this without too much inconvenients, but if you found a part that was awfully written or that was just too confusing, please let me know and I'll try to fix it.
About the chapter itself, what's wrong with Lincoln? What does he has? How will the rest of the family react to this? Well, next chapter will be answering some of this questions.