AN - This was requested by demon doritto.
I hope you like it!
It was late by the time Hector had gotten off the train. He would never forget the disappointed look on Ernesto's face when he said he quit.
Hector knew what he wanted to do for the rest of his life, and it wasn't performing like a monkey for different people in different towns every night when he'd rather be spending his time with the people that actually meant something to him.
Smiling, he pictured his little girl's excited face after not seeing her Papa for three months. How big she must have gotten; kids grow faster than one might think...
And Imelda, she would probably be upset at him for not writing. But he wanted his early homecoming to be a surprise.
As he made his way through the crowded Plaza, suitcase and guitar case in hand, joy filled his face at the sight of the Rivera household. The candlelight shown through the darkness. The girls must still be up.
There were shadows moving about the house. The silhouettes of the people inside made it look like an altercation was taking place.
"What is going on?", thought Hector as he swiftly made his way inside, put down his luggage and saw what was happening: Imelda looked fierce and was obviously prepared to slap someone with her boot. Felipe was the victim as he tried to appear fearless yet flinched when the door had flung open. Óscar was nowhere to be seen. That's odd. Normally they were always together.
"Hector!", exclaimed Imelda as she momentarily forgot her anger towards her brother and ran into her husband's open arms. The two embraced. "I've missed you!", she said happily.
"I've missed you more, mi amor", said Hector, kissing her again. "You have no idea how good it is to see you", he said, releasing her. "Is Coco asleep?"
"Yes", said Óscar, emerging from another room looking very tired. "I just got her to sleep and I'd appreciate it if you'd keep the noise down", he said exasperated as he sat on the sofa. "Hola Hector."
"Hola", said Hector averting his attention back to the other twin. "What's going on her-?"
"Imelda's upset that I suggested she shouldn't be so uptight all the time, even after I made a little mistake", said Felipe as he leaned against a doorframe, crossing his arms.
Imelda turned her attention back to her younger brother. Even though he was taller than her she wasn't intimidated by that. "A little mistake? You nearly killed my daughter!"
"What?!", said Hector concerned.
"This idiot left his boots on the top of the stairs and when Coco tried to come down, she tripped over them and fell down the entire flight", explained Imelda.
"Is she-", began Hector, feeling that protective fatherly instinct.
"She's fine", interrupted Óscar. "Imelda, you're overreacting. There's only five steps on the stairs. And Coco wasn't hurt. She's a tough girl", he said thinking about how when he was younger, Imelda would always try to beat him and Felipe in a wrestling match.
"Be that as it may, I can't have you being so careless! You're an adult now, Felipe, it's time you started acting like one, you idiot!", said Imelda, looking as fierce as ever.
Felipe rolled his eyes. "You sound like Mama."
"Well someone has to! I shouldn't be in charge of 3 kids. I expected more from you. How do you expect me to take care of my daughter when you come home drunk every night? Last time you drank you got arrested."
"Well how do you think I feel, Imelda? Helping you out and you don't even appreciate it. Sometimes I think you don't want me around", argued Felipe.
"Yeah, you're right. And sometimes I wish you weren't even born!", yelled Imelda.
There was a brief silence throughout the room.
The look of hurt on Felipe's face was enough to make Imelda immediately regret what she had just said. "Felipe, I-"
"Don't!", exclaimed Felipe as he tilted his hat forward and walked towards the door, grabbed his jacket and put it on. "Adios", he said as he opened the door and left before slamming it shut.
The three who remained in the room didn't speak by merely stared at each other.
Óscar coughed and stood up. "Go after him Imelda. You need to fix this", he said refusing to look at her.
"I didn't mean what I said Óscar, I was just upset", she said.
He still didn't look at her as he made his way back to the guest room. "I know. But don't apologize to me. I'll stay here in case Coco wakes up." With that, he shut the bedroom door.
Hector scratched the back of his head before turning towards his wife. "Darling-"
She raised her hand to motion for him to be quiet. "I know, Hector, I know. You don't need to tell me." Grabbing her shawl and wrapping it around herself, she too made her way towards the door.
Hector followed suit. "Do you know where he could have gone?", he asked as he walked beside her down the dark street.
"I have an idea."
As the two walked down the now deserted streets, dimly lit by the lampposts, they took into account that very few people were out, along with a few stray dogs.
A sign that was shining for the Cantina was their destination. The closer the couple got the closer they could see some men who had a bit too much to drink to think clearly and despite the fact she was with someone, they started whistling and catcalling to Imelda.
She ignored them. Hector however made sure to stay in between as he glared at them.
Arriving at the door to the Cantina, Imelda paused.
"Imelda?", asked Hector, placing his hands on her shoulders.
She blocked him out for a few minutes the more she thought about her brother. These were odd memories to think about right now, but they came flooding back.
When she was little, her Mama allowed her to hold each twin at a time. Óscar was asleep but when she held Felipe, he was giggling and kept poking and prodding Imelda's face.
A few years later, their Mama and Papa had to work twice as hard with three children and Imelda would be the one in charge. How she adored taking care of her brothers, regardless of how messy they were. They looked up to her.
The twins had always appreciated how much Imelda had to give up her social life to take care of them. So when she needed help taking care of Coco, they pitched in. And how did she repay them? By telling Felipe she wishes he was never born? How selfish and heartless was she?
"I need to find him, Hector, I have to apologize", she said, her voice becoming shaky.
"Hey", said Hector as he hugged her. "We will."
Before they could even enter the establishment, the door burst open towards them and an extremely burly man staggered over to them. He was intoxicated as well. Doing his best to focus didn't help especially when he nearly tripped over his feet. The moment he saw Imelda, he straightened up allowing his stomach to show and slicked his greasy hair back, attempting to look handsome. His yellow teeth and unkempt facial hair didn't help much. "Hello there, beautiful", he said taking a few more steps forward." It was clear he had certain desires the more he looked her over.
Hector immediately outstretched his arm in from of Imelda as he glared at this lowlife. "I suggest you leave, Señor", he said stubbornly.
Before the man could get another word in, a large bottle of bourbon was smashed from behind him on the back of his head. The glass shattering to a millions pieces as he fell to the ground unconscious.
Felipe looked pretty pleased with himself but ultimately looked annoyed when he saw his sister. "I apologize for helping, Imelda. I know how much you hate that."
"Felipe, I, I'm sorry. I never should have said I wished you were never born. I'm truly sorry", said Imelda.
He seemed to be thinking it over but his expression said otherwise. "I don't want to talk about this anymore tonight. I booked a room down at the hotel that I'll be staying at for the rest of the week", he said checking to make sure his fingers didn't get damaged from the glass. "Tell Óscar he's free to join me if he wants. And I'll see you two tomorrow."
Without another word he walked down the street.
"It's a start, I suppose", said Imelda as she desperately tried not to get her hopes up that he could forgive her fully. But one thing was true, he was her brother and she would love him. She'd always love him.