My dog ate my notes for this story, so I can't remember half the plot. I fear this fanfic may be cut off short. I apologise.
Shout out to: Everything'sGoldenGianna09.
It had been two weeks since they were taken to the Refuge when the man showed up. He didn't ring the doorbell. He just charged into Mr. Snyder's office and threw the door open. The office, at that time, was empty. Jack could hear his footsteps as he stomped up the stairs. They were heavy, so Jack figured out they were a man's. Jack and Race had recently been transferred to a bedroom, which they shared with one other boy. A man poked his head into each of the rooms, looking for someone. He stopped at room three.
"Jack!" He exclaimed. Jack looked up from his spot on his bed. Race and Jack were having a nice talk and for once, they had both been in positive moods. The man started whimpering a little bit, out of excitement. Race thought the man might explode Jack rolled off the bed. "Who are you?"
"Have you seen Mr. Snyder?" The man asked, ignoring the question. Jack looked at him suspiciously. Who was this guy and how did he know his name? And what was wrong with him?
"He took one of the kids to the basement. I would knock before entering." Race called from his spot on the windowsill. The man glared at Race for a few seconds, his face flushed with anger. Jack and Race exchanged yet another confused glance.
"Anthony Higgens Jr., I asked Jack the question, not you. So keep your mouth shut." Race flinched a little and backed away. He didn't like hearing his real name and he definitely didn't like being told to keep his mouth shut. Part of it was PTSD, part of it was stubbornness and lack of self-control.
That's when Jack decided he had had enough of this strange man. "Don't talk to my brother that way. I don't care if you're the president of the United States. Leave him alone."
"I didn't know he was your brother." The man said, automatically calm. This man had some serious problems. Maybe he just had some mood-swings here and there, maybe he was going through a faze, or maybe there was something deeper, mentally and emotionally connected.
"I don't know who you are, but you don't seem to know as much about me as ya thought ya did."
The man walked out of the room, slamming the door behind him. Both boys jumped at the sound.
"Who d'ya think that was?" Jack asked after a minute.
"Probably a kidnapper or a cereal killer. You?"
Jack rolled his eyes. "I don't know. But it scares me. How'd he know my name?"
"Kelly!" Snyder yelled up the stairs. Jack exchanged a look with Race before running down the stairs with Race at his heels.
"Jack, this is your father, Daniel Kelly. After a long court case, he won custody over you." Snyder said.
Jack frowned and shook his head. "I don't have a father." And I don't want a father like that, he added in his head.
Daniel smiled. "You've never met me before. I had to leave before you were born."
"So you couldn't come back for any of my seventeen years?"
Race snorted from behind him. "He was probably with some other woman,"
Jack rolled his eyes. "Thank you for reassuring me that my father is not a complete and utter scumbag."
"I'm here to help. You believe that, don't you?" Race asked sarcastically.
"Yeah, sure I do. Just as much as I believe Mr. Snyder is my birth father."
"Boys!" Snyder yelled over them. Daniel had been looking back and forth between the two boys like a tennis match and Snyder looked like he wanted to beat them until kingdom come. "Go pack your things, Jack."
"I'm not going anywhere without Racer. He's my brother." Jack argued.
"If you won custody of him, you should be able to win custody of me, too." Race cut in.
"No Jack. That's not quite how it works." Daniel said. The only reason I can keep you is because I could prove you were my son."
Jack sighed, expecting his father to start hugging him and crying. He exchanged a look with Race over his shoulder. "Mr. Kelly, I'm eighteen. Why are you trying to adopt me now?" he distanced himself from his father and looked at Snyder as he realized that he was old enough to get himself out of this dump. "And why am I still in the foster system? My birthday was midway through the week. I shouldn't be here anymore."
"Yes, but I knew Mr. Kelly was coming to pick you up, so I wanted to make sure you got to see him." Jack translated that to "I want to keep you around longer so I can beat the crap out of you." Racetrack snorted at the obvious lie. "So why does he have to go with his dad? Why can't he just leave the Ref- I mean the group home. Go to Santa Fe like he's always wanted?"
"Because I'm not leaving you here, Racer. Whether you like it or not." He turned to the two older men, "I'm going out on my own. Mr. Kelly, I'm not quite sure if I believe you or not. If I want to see you again, I'll find away. For now, though, I think it's best if you stay away from me and my bruddas."
"Hey, Racer." Jack said as he climbed in the window, to Race's room. His roommate was fast asleep.
"Hey, Jackie. Anything new in the real world?" Race asked as he pulled his brother into a hug.
"Katherine Pulitzer wrote an article about the Refuge. We reckon you'll be out within the week."
"Means a lot"
"I know." Jack smiled at their regular banter. "Don't get sick on me now, Race. You don't have access to my doctoring skills on an everyday basis." He held his hand against the kid's forehead. "Ya ain't got a fever. Yet. Just take care of yourself."
"Okay Jackie. Thanks for being a good mom." Race said, even though both boys knew he liked it when Jack babied him. Jack's smile melted. Race could tell there was a serious topic coming up.
"Race, I'm really sorry. I shouldn't have used your real name, or told you to shut up, or yelled at you. I guess I was just trying to play hero again. But the thing is, there was no one willing to play villain. I thought you were, but you were just a victim."
"You're fine, Jack." Race replied. " I guess I'm still a little dramatic when it comes to her."
Jack smiled at his little brother.
"The Spider hasn't hit ya, has he?"
Race hesitated. He didn't want to tell Jack the truth, but he knew he needed to. "He has," Race whispered. Jack's eyes widened. "It's been worse for all of us, now that you aren't around. You were Snyder's favorite. When you left, he started taking it out on us. Particularly me. I think it's because he knows we're close. He can pretend it's you. It hurts, Jackie. I- I want to go home. I want a real home. Someplace where I'm wanted not only by the boys, but by the owner, too."
Jack held onto his brother. "Do you remember the Manhattan House? That was the ideal situation. It was you, me, the rest of the boys, minus Spot. We lived with this old guy, Mr Kloppman. Then we left. I wonder if I can get you back there." When it came down to his biological father and surrogate brother, he would pick the surrogate brother every time.
It has been quite a long time since I last updated, and I apologise. I hope I can update more soon.