A/N: So, here is the sequel to "The Kid." You don't need to read it to understand this one. This is starting a few days after the events in "Divorce Party," so if you don't want to be spoiled, don't read.
Extended Story Summary: This story is continuing what I started in "The Kid." It is about Kyle and Horatio getting to know each other and forming a real father/son relationship. Now that Kyle is living on his own, he is faced with new temptations and decisions that could change his life forever. Horatio is keeping a careful eye on his new freedom-ridden son, but after the boy keeps getting into trouble, Horatio wonders whether he has made a mistake in letting him get his own apartment. However, both father and son have bigger worries when Ron Saris comes back to town.
This chapter basically sets things up for later chapters. Oh, and father and son have a moment at the end. ;)
Disclaimer: I don't own the characters, except Leslie and Charlie (who don't appear until later.)
Warnings: None for now, but there might be a few slightly sexual things later on. And when I say slightly, I really mean just that.
Oh, and I am going to try and keep this story as canon as possible, however to avoid the mess I got in when "Divorce Party" aired, I will say that there might be elements here and there that are a little AU.
Kyle Harmon pulled the last book from the shelf of his former room. He turned it over. The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe—a childhood favorite. He put in the box with the rest of his books. He stood back and admired his few boxes. Soon all these things would be moved into his new beachside apartment. Kyle felt a rush of exited nervousness pass over him.
He looked out his window. His father and mother were standing by the MDPD hummer, locked in conversation. He took a deep breath. He couldn't believe that tonight he would sleep in his own apartment. He knew, having graduated early, that he would be moving out sooner rather than later. But he had been completely taken off guard when his father had provided him an apartment of his own.
Kyle stacked two boxes on top of each other and started the descent downstairs. He was surprised about how nervous he was to move out. He thought that he wouldn't be. After all, he had lived in eight different homes before coming to live with his mother. Moving was nothing new.
But this was different. He was going to live on his own. He was going to be treated like an adult—expected to pay bills and go to work every day. There would be no parents to take the fall for his mistakes. Kyle halted on the stair he was on. His nervousness was turning into fear.
"Here, put this in." Julia handed Horatio a lamp that had once been in her living room. Horatio took it and put it into the back of the hummer.
Horatio was desperately trying not to look at Julia. He knew the woman was looking for an argument. He busied himself with re-arranging some of the things already in the back of the hummer.
Julia stood to the side of Horatio, her arms folded across her chest. "This isn't my fault," She finally said. "I am a good mother. He was doing fine. I don't see why he needs a place of his own at seventeen."
Horatio sighed but decided that it would be easier just to face her. "Julia, he has graduated high school and he has a job. It's time for him to learn the responsibilities of living on his own."
"And what if those responsibilities prove to be too much?"
Horatio had to concede that he had thought of that often. He trusted his son, but he also realized that the boy still had naivety in him.
"He's going to make mistakes, Julia. That's part of growing up. But I'm going to be around to keep an eye out on him. Okay?"
She stared at him, her eyes challenging. Finally, she drew a breath and nodded. "Fine."
Just then Kyle appeared outside carrying two boxes. "I've got two more upstairs," he called to his parents.
"I'll get them," Horatio said. He glanced at Julia before turning up the walk and entering the house.
Kyle put his two boxes in the back, and then turned to his mother. At just under six feet, he towered over his mother, who was not wearing heels.
"Thanks, Mom," Kyle said with a small smile.
"What for?" She asked.
"Thanks for taking me in. For getting me all the stuff you've gotten me. I know we've had a rough patch here and there, but I…" he hesitated, clearly uncomfortable, "I love you, Mom."
She smiled and gave him a hug. "I love you, too, Kyle." Her voice was unusually sincere.
Horatio appeared with the last two boxes, which he quickly loaded into the car. "Time to go, Son," he said to Kyle.
The boy nodded, gave his mother one last hug, and climbed into the passenger seat. Horatio climbed into the driver's seat, and the two hit the road.
They pulled up outside Beachside Apartment Complex fifteen minutes later. Kyle jumped out and began to unload the car. Horatio did the same.
A couple hours later, Kyle looked around his place. He and his father had set up most of his things around the apartment. A bed and couch had been moved in a few days earlier (compliments of his mother.) There was an old looking fridge that had come with the place, a stove, and a few cabinets. Right across from his kitchen sat his new looking couch. Kyle smiled. At least he had a nice place to sit.
Horatio turned to Kyle. "There is one more thing. Your mother wanted to make sure I didn't give it to you until everything else had been set up."
"Another gift? She already got me a couch."
"Your mother is very generous." Horatio said it as if he was trying to convince himself it was true.
Kyle looked around as if the thing would be lying around. "Stay here," Horatio commanded, then left the apartment. A minute later he appeared, carrying a large box that was evidently very heavy.
Kyle rushed over and helped him lean it against the couch. His jaw dropped. "A flat screen TV?"
Horatio raised his eyebrows as if he was having a hard time believing it himself. "Compliments of your mother."
"Wow. Do you know how to set it up?" Horatio nodded, and the two got to work.
When they had finished, both stepped back to admire the new TV on the wall. Kyle glanced guiltily at his father. He knew his father didn't make much money, and he couldn't help but wonder if his father even had a TV as nice as this one.
Horatio looked around. "I guess…we're all set."
Kyle's stomach flipped over in fear. He had forgotten that his father was going to leave. Panic attacked him. "Wait," he said. "Maybe…maybe you could stay for dinner?"
Horatio looked surprised by the boy's request, but his look of surprise quickly turned into a gentle smile. "Of course."
Kyle breathed a rather audible sigh of relief. "Do you like Chinese?"
When Horatio nodded, Kyle went to the wall phone (which was so old there was a coiled cord attached), and ordered in a meal.
Eating there dinner some time later, Kyle couldn't help but realize that he didn't know much about his father. The man had been there for him time and time again. He had gotten him his job and this apartment, yet Kyle had never bothered to ask about his life.
Kyle put down his fork. He suddenly felt very shy. "Um…how old were you when you moved out on your own?"
Horatio raised his eyes to the boy. He apparently had not anticipated questions. Kyle hoped that the questions weren't unwanted.
"Well, you know that my parents were murdered when I was seventeen. My younger brother and I went to live with my aunt. I moved out when I turned eighteen."
Kyle nodded, absorbing the information. "So you were pretty much my age?"
Horatio nodded. He looked Kyle squarely in the face. "Which is why I know that you have to make a lot of decisions when you live on your own as a teenager."
Kyle looked away a little embarrassed. "I know, Dad. I'm not going to do anything stupid."
Horatio knew for a fact that that wasn't true, but it was a reality he would have to accept whether the boy moved out at 17 or 30.
"I trust you, Son." Kyle looked at the ground but smiled. He felt a rush of appreciation for his aging father.
Horatio glanced at his watch. It was nearly 9:30. Kyle felt the fear start to grip him again. He didn't want his father to leave him alone in the empty house.
Horatio looked up and caught the look on his son's face. Kyle quickly tried to hide his dread, but it was useless.
There was a moment of silence. Then Horatio spoke softly and comfortingly. "It's okay, Kyle, if you want me to spend the night. I can sleep on the couch."
Kyle's cheeks turned red but he nodded sheepishly. "Were you…nervous…when you first moved out?"
Horatio chuckled softly as he got up. He grabbed their plates then leaned towards Kyle as if telling him a secret. "Terrified."
A/N: Thanks for reading. I really need some reviews to get this story kicked off.
Coming Up: Kyle has never really thought about what he would do if Leslie was standing in his house…with no one but him…wearing nothing but a towel…
Also, Horatio works a case that makes him regret his particular choice of apartment complex for Kyle.