Pre-Four Brothers fic. One of my attempts at a short story, as opposed to the 35 chapter one I took a stab at. It's kind of just random. Enjoy!

Bobby Comes Back

When Bobby came back from an overnight stint in jail for a DUI, he was furious. He couldn't place his finger on exactly what it was. Whether it was anger at himself for thinking that sixth beer at the bar had been a good idea, or that getting in the car after that beer had been a good idea. Or getting in the car with Susan, who he wound up having to drive back home to the other side of the neighborhood… Two blocks from where he was pulled over. Anger at the cop was a pretty good explanation for that feeling in his gut as well.

And the fact that this morning he had to take the bus, and then walk back from the bus stop, because his car was impounded, to get home… That made him particularly furious.

And the hangover. Oh, yes… The hangover.

He threw up two houses away from home in somebody's bushes. Disgusted with himself and nursing an agonizing headache, he wiped off his mouth with the back of his hand and continued home.

Now he could add smelling like vomit to his list of reasons to be angry.

Going through the front door, he nearly ran into Angel, who was rushing out the door to work but took the time to laugh at Bobby's pathetic expression and remark, "Nice job, Bobby. I knew you couldn't stay home for long without some kind of drama."

"Fuck you," Bobby retorted, pushing him out the door.

"Ma is pissed…" Angel persisted.

"I'm sure…" Bobby muttered. And with that, he slammed the door shut behind his brother. "Good riddance…"

Angel reopened the door and smirked. "Heard that."

"Aw, fuck off…." Bobby retorted, pushing him out the door again.

The room spun for a second as he added Angel to his shit list. He took a deep breath and forced himself forward, heading for the kitchen. Water. Then shower. The day would simply be easier if he could plan it out like this. A nap. A nap would be next after water and a shower.

He was relieved to find Jack the only one in the kitchen, head bowed over a big bowl of Cheerios. He almost hoped that Jack was in one of his quiet, dark moods so that he could join him in sulking. Twelve year olds were good in that respect. Especially Jack who could be thankfully reserved at some convenient times.

But he wasn't in one of those moods.

Bobby wasn't even able to grab a glass for water from the cabinet when Jack jumped up and darted over to him, latching onto him. He threw his arms around Bobby's waist.

Bobby resisted the urge to throw up at being jolted back by the embrace and tried to push Jack off, even though in his head he felt terrible for it, since he would normally feel flattered that Jack showed any affection at all for him. Only a few times before had he been privy to Jack's clingy side, and that was at least a few more times than anybody else in the house.

"Hi, nice to see you too…" Bobby said as Jack refused to let go of his hold.

"You're back," Jack said.

"I know I am. And I'm gonna get sick all over you if you don't let go, so stop this hugging bullshit." Bobby tried to push him again. Jack was pretty good at keeping a grip. "I feel like crap, little man."

"Angel said you were never coming back," Jack persisted, squeezing Bobby harder. "He said you killed somebody."

"Really…" Bobby shook his head. "I knew there was a better reason to have him on my shit list."

"But you're back," Jack persisted. "Who'd you kill?"

"Nobody, Jack. Absolutely nobody. That'll change when Angel gets back from work and I make him wish he was never born, however. Anyway, I need some water." He tried to push him away again.

"Did you break out?" Jack clutched Bobby's shirt with his fingers.

Bobby couldn't help but smirk. "Yeah, I broke out."

"Are they gonna look for you here?"

"Oh, Jackie, stop being so gullible." Bobby gave up and took him beneath his arms, hauling him up onto his hip and wincing as Jack hooked his legs around his waist and his arms around his neck. "I really need to throw up, don't you understand?"

"Why?" Jack asked.

"Because I drank like a whole keg by myself last night. On top of about a half bottle of vodka."

"What's a keg?"

Bobby just groaned, feeling the room spin again. "Where's Ma?"

"At work. What's a keg?"

"You're twelve. Don't you know what a keg is?" Bobby muttered. "I swear I was drinking from a keg when I was five."

"What is it…" Jack persisted.

"It has beer."

"Oh." Jack made a face, like disappointment, like he was thinking it was going to be something a lot more impressive.

"Where's Jerry?"

"Camille and him went to her parents."

"Did Angel leave you alone?"

"I don't know…" Jack answered.

"He's a retard." Bobby sighed. Normally he would be the first to say a twelve year old could be left alone, but Jack was prone to being nervous when he was alone, and nervous Jack led to a variety of problems.

"Did you really kill somebody?"

"Just my liver…" Bobby answered, putting Jack back down on the floor and giving him a pat. "Do we have any aspirin?"

"Why do drugs end in –in?" Jack asked. "Aspirin. Vicodin. Klonopin. Vi—"

"Why do you know the names of drugs? You don't know what a keg is, but you know what vicodin is?"

Jack shrugged, going back to the table and sliding into his chair. He picked up his spoon and stirred around his cereal.

Finally, Bobby was able to find a glass and fill it with tap water. He drank half of it quickly, now making himself feel more full and water logged as well as nauseous. He made a disgusted face and sat down next to Jack at the table. He took a look at the soggy Cheerios in Jack's bowl and fought a wave of nausea.

"Was Ma pissed last night?" Bobby asked

Jack shrugged. "She didn't tell me."

"Did she seem pissed?"

"Are you in trouble?" Jack asked. "Does she know you killed somebody?"

"For the last time, Jack, stop believing what Angel tells you. You should know better by now."

"Then where were you, if you weren't in jail?" Jack replied quietly, feeling foolish after being berated.

Bobby sighed, and then he was the one to suddenly feel dense. "Well…" He looked at Jack, who wasn't looking at him, but was instead sitting crookedly and staring down at the kitchen tile. If he didn't know him better, he'd assume wasn't listening, but he just knew that affectionate Jack was gone for the moment since he'd secured Bobby was back and reclusive Jack was back.

Ma always told Bobby to try to get Jack to make eye contact when he talked to him, force him to, but he was too tired and to be honest felt a little relieved to not have to look in his eyes when he explained this. "I was actually in jail, to be honest."

"For killing—"

"No." Bobby hit the table and ignored Jack's flinch. "No, for the hundredth time. I did not kill anybody."

Jack said nothing.

"It was… for drinking. And driving. I got pulled over…" Bobby admitted in a calmer voice. "It was really stupid, really dangerous, and I don't recommend it. Okay?"

"I can't drive," Jack told him.

"True. Well for when you can. Make a mental note. Bad, no scratch that, terrible idea." He stood up. "On that note. I'm going to go throw up. I'll be right back. I'll feel much better."

"That's bulimia."

Bobby laughed at him. "Nah, it's called a hangover."

"But if you're making yourself throw up."

"Who are you with all these big terms…" Bobby muttered. "I'll be right back."

As he made his way to the bathroom, he thought about how Jack had greeted him when he walked through to door and it made him really think to himself. When Ma first called him home when she took in Jack, he came back grudgingly, not really expecting to stick around. But the kid had kind of grown on him, and he had to admit it made him feel pretty good to have a little kid devoted to him.

It was nice to have somebody's respect in this house.

After dry-heaving for a few minutes in the bathroom and hating himself, Bobby splashed water on his face and located a bottle of aspirin in the medicine cabinet. He returned to the kitchen and found Jack in the same place.

"That's better," Bobby said after throwing back four aspirin with a few gulps of water.

"Your eyes look red," Jack told him.

Bobby shrugged. Then he thought back and started to laugh. "I knew this guy in high school… He was so hung over the next day that he was throwing up really bad, for like an hour, and he burst the capillaries…" Bobby smirked and pointed to his eyes, "… all around his eyes. It looked terrible. It was hilarious."

Jack made a face. "That's kinda gross."

"Yeah," Bobby admitted with a laugh. "Kinda. But also hilarious." He finished the glass of water and ran his hands through his hair. "And now…. A shower."

Jack rubbed his nose. "There's no hot water."


"At least that's what Jerry was complaining about before…" Jack said, speaking more hesitantly when he noticed Bobby's irritation. "He was yelling at Angel because Sofi—"

"Sofi?" Bobby interrupted. "Let me guess. Sofi spent the night and then showered here. She lives two damn minutes away and has to take an hour shower here, huh?"

Jack paused. "I don't know…" His voice wavered a little bit.

Bobby clenched his fists, headache throbbing. "God, I'm pounding Angel. Why doesn't he shower at her place?"

Jack shrugged uncomfortably.

"I probably deserve a cold shower anyway, right?" Bobby muttered. He pushed his empty glass further away from himself with another sigh. "I should go shower at Sofi's. And vomit all over her bathroom. Then we'll see how the hell she feels about me."

"The last house I lived in," Jack spoke up slowly. "The woman just sprayed herself with air freshener. When she didn't feel like showering."

Bobby laughed. "Seriously? I should start doing that. Wow."

"It didn't help much though."

Bobby smirked. "Nah, I wouldn't think so."

Jack pushed his bowl away. "It's all mush now."

"Looks like what I was throwing up."

Jack looked at Bobby in digust. "Ew, Bobby."

"Ew…" Bobby echoed teasingly. "Yeah, exactly."

He watched Jack get up and dump the bowl in the sink, smirking to himself. He wanted to thank Jack for the laughs but didn't want him to think he was teasing him too much, since Jack was still pretty sensitive. He was getting better with understanding the banter in the household though, and that it both wouldn't stop and wouldn't be forgiving.

"So you're glad I'm back?" Bobby asked as he got up and refilled his glass with water.

"I guess," came Jack's typical response, leaning against the counter.

"You guess? C'mon, make me feel a little bit loved."

"What was jail like?"

"I prefer sleeping in my bed, if that's what you mean." Bobby shrugged. "I don't think AAA would rate it very well."

"What's AAA?"

Bobby sighed. "You never cease to amaze me how sheltered… You have so much to learn, Jackie. Thank God I'm here to jade you."

"What's jade?"

Bobby grinned. "Exactly."

Jack wrinkled his nose. "What are you going to do to me?"

With a laugh, Bobby reached over to grab the kid, tickling him. "Absolutely nothing, cupcake." Jack fell to the floor, trying to guard himself as he giggled. Bobby stopped and bent down to pull him back up.

"I'm gonna take a nap," Bobby told him. "Wake me up in an hour and we'll go to McDonald's. Or wake me earlier if the house is on fire."

"Okay," Jack agreed, out of breath.

"In my sleep… I shall plan Angel's demise," Bobby muttered as he walked out of the kitchen.

Jack watched Bobby leave and smiled to himself. The house was back together. He felt silly about it, but he'd actually been pretty scared last night when Angel told him Bobby would never come back. He'd asked Angel incredulously a few times, but the answer remained the same and then Angel finally snapped at him to stop asking about Bobby.

He was glad the house was the same. He almost felt used to it and didn't want a change.

He didn't think he could handle a change just yet.

He would almost admit to himself that he liked it here. He'd never said that before, and wasn't sure really. All he did know was that he was glad Bobby had come back.

Yeah okay kind of fluffy... I'm not too good at this short story stuff but I'll keep trying to get better!