Nothing. I felt not a fucking thing looking at my dad. He was just there, dead. Nothing was real to me. This was just a bad dream that I could wake up from, that's all. I closed my eyes as tightly as I could; Ma used to sing this song this song to me whenever I had a bad dream, when I was little.

Close your eyes, count to three, when you open them there'll be no bad dreams, just you and me.

I counted to three and opened my eyes; still a bad dream. I did it again and counted to three in every language I knew: English, Italian, French, and Spanish. Not a damn thing worked. That's when it really sunk in. That's when I started to feel. This is real; all of this shit is real. My father, Don De Luca is dead and my life will never be the same.

The cold air in the hospital made my bones feel like ice. Ma's tears soaked my shirt. The wetness grew and grew; it felt like a poison burning through my shirt and then my skin, heading straight to the heart. She eventually pushed herself away from me, and sunk into the worn down wooden chair next to where he laid. Without her hugging me throughout this, I felt empty, lost even. It may have been sissy to admit it, but right now I needed my Ma; shaking my head, I pushed the thought aside as I tried to imagine the pain she was going through. He may have been my dad, but he was the love of her life, first.

Ma grabbed his motionless hand. She studied it like a small child; her slim fingers pushed down on his knuckles creating a fist. Ma lightly grasped it in her soft hands, and placed a tender kiss on his fist. She let it linger. I almost wished that this was some sort of Disney fairytale where Dad's eyes would magically reopen after a kiss from Ma.

But I didn't.

Right now, I knew that wishing for the impossible would just be a waste of time and starting now I knew I would have no time to waste. They would need me to be the man of the house, now that Dad was gone. Derrick only came ever so often, and I would be in charge from now on. Ma would need me. I turned to walk back out into the world that was untouched by the death of Don DeLuca. Before I could, Ma did something I'll never forget.

"Duncan," she called out, still holding his fist to her, "go get your brother from his friend's house." I walked out of the room, but something told me not to leave just yet; so I just lingered right outside of the doorway. She pulled his fist away from her lips and looked down at what I presumed was her own hand. Slowly-painfully so-she pulled off the wedding band that rested upon her finger for twenty six years. She gazed down at it and her body began to tremble. With a quavering hand she pulled his stiff fingers out of the fist. Now shaking even more, Ma dropped the band into his hand. Then she closed it, let out a shaky breath, and began to cry. A cry that I don't think I was meant to see.

Walking back into the lobby of the ER, I passed through a sea of police officers. They all had the same face, a sunken, sullen face that couldn't be repaired by any amount of joy; only time could heal it. As I passed through them, a few of the officers who were close friends of my dad looked at me with eyes that asked for a miracle; an act straight from Jehovah himself. I just shook my head and continued on out into the drizzling rain and bone-chilling cold.

What the hell was I supposed to tell Dylan? "Dad died. Good thing we never save up for Christmas presents for him, eh?" No, that wasn't right. Maybe..."Dad died. At least now you don't have to hear him nag about your grades anymore." Groaning, I clenched my fists; how could I let my little brother know that our dad died? The one guy he had really looked up to, the one guy that he had always strived to get his attention. Biting my lip, I gripped the steering wheel until my palms were numb; a tear bubbled on the corner of my eye, and I tried to focus on something else in order to keep it from falling. I haven't cried since Grams died three years ago. The small teardrop in the corner of my eye didn't feel natural; it burned a little actually. It felt like a little alien thing, unfamiliar to its surroundings. Blinking a couple of times helped it slip out. I tasted the salt on my lips and felt the wetness beneath my nose. "Be strong, don't cry." I mentally chided as I pulled in the driveway of that house that Dylan was staying at.

For a minute I sat in the car, mentally preparing myself for everything that was about to happen. The clock wouldn't stop ticking, nor would it go backwards; I hated the clock for that. After a while of sitting in this family's driveway like a stalker, I got out and walked to the door. It wasn't raining anymore, but I heard the crack of thunder behind me and it was still cold like a bitch. Before I knocked on the door, I looked into the windows that were alongside each side of the door. From outside, the glare of a television could be seen flickering against the walls of the home and gunshots and muffled cursing and squeals of excitement could be heard. I delivered three hard knocks on the thick wooden door. The gunshots stopped and someone called for their mom. Within a few seconds, I heard the hasty unlocking of locks and a woman quickly opened the door.

If I hadn't been in the situation I was in right now I would've hit on this woman, because she was a total babe. Completely MILF worthy. She was wearing this thin robe that you could totally see her nipples through, slight curves, full lips, dark feline eyes, and dark hair. I think she was Asian. "Hello, did you need something?" The lady asked, slightly annoyed and angry as she crossed her arms over her chest. Must've noticed me looking. I told her I was Dylan's brother, and that there was a family emergency. She nodded and hesitantly invited me inside but I declined and went back to the car.

Dylan was quick to come out to the car. He hopped in and immediately wanted answers to what was going on. I had to dance around it just for a little while. I couldn't just slap the kid in the face with "Dad's dead." as soon as he got in. "Who's mom is that? Whosever it is you need to go to his house way more often becau—"

He took his head off of the window, and cut me the same "Quit the BS" look that Dad used to give. That look even coming from my brother sent a knife through my heart and made me realize that I'd probably never see it again. I sighed and changed the radio station hoping to drown the tension with music. Dylan quickly turned it off and began to stare daggers at me. I turned it back on, he turned it off; and things went on like that for about three minutes. Until Dylan turned it off. "Duncan, tell me what the fuckis going on." His voice was clear and hard, and I had to remind myself that was only fifteen. It still shakes me up whenever he cusses.

"Dylan, Dad got shot." Each word seemed to run out of my mouth faster than I could control. I decided to rip it off like a band-aid; there was no use sweetening it with bittersweet milksop. Then, he got the same look in his eyes as the police officers in the ER lobby. He was looking for a miracle from the grace of God.

I shook my head.

His lip began to tremble, and he placed his face back on the cold window as the tears drifted down his face.

My sister Diana is a lot of things, but normal isn't one of them; neither is average or simple. So I was just a little surprised when she woke me up, shit-eating grin on her face, by throwing an untoasted bagel, orange, and half pint of milk at my face at eight in the morning. "Di, it's eight in the morning." I said, my voice bleak and dripping with annoyance. I sat up in bed and tried to rub the sleep out of my eyes. "What time did you get in last night?" I asked slowly sliding out of the bed, inch by inch.

"Eleven- thirty." She spoke from my closet. I heard the screeching of hangers echoing through my room, then the thumbs of several shirts, a jacket, and a pair of jeans hit my bed. "Wear that, put your grey shoes on, and meet me in my car." She left the door open behind her when she walked out. I sighed and tried to run my fingers through my mohawk. But, it was hard like a rock, just like something else. Guess who needs to go to the bathroom.

I rushed down the stairs, orange and bagel in hand after taking the quickest shower I think I've ever taken. Didn't even get the chance to style the 'hawk or shave. My face and hands felt like ice as soon as I stepped outside. Diana was in the car tapping her fingers on the steering wheel just like Ma does when she's pissed.

The car was already warm when I got in. I guess Di finally got the nerve to fix the heat and a/c in her car. She pulled out of the driveway and the cut her eyes at me. "What took you so long, Dunkie?" She sneered while changing the CD to some weird ass French rap.

Man, that 'Dunkie' nickname is really annoying when anyone other than Princess or Delilah calls me that. And even then, I still can't stand it. I told her I had to shower, it was Saturday, and I haven't touched water since Thursday afternoon. "Where the hell are we even going Di?" I asked while bending over the front of the seat to look for the lighter that fell out of my pocket. While I was under there I found my lighter and a condom wrapper. I left the lighter and grabbed the piece of trash between my between my pointer finger and my thumb.

"Di! What the fuck?" She bit her lip and gave me the same fake innocent smile that I used to give Ma and Dad when I got in trouble. I kept staring her down, and damn did I feel like Dad right now. I guess it was my responsibility now. "I seriously thought you were a lesbian," I remember how she didn't like to be "labeled and confined" or some bullshit like that," I mean you were dating that hot Kira chick, what happened to that?"

She sighed as she put on her turning signal to turn into Officer Sparks and Tonya's subdivision. "Well… She broke up with me when I came home from our, or well my, apartment smelling like sweat and shame." She rambled in one breath. I furrowed my brows not catching half of what she said. "Okay… Remember that guy you met when you came to visit like two months ago? Well, I just got a little tipsy and screwed him. I went back to my apartment smelling like sweat and sex the next morning and the stain on my pant leg didn't make it any better. So she broke up with me." She didn't look too broken up about it. They didn't date for a long time or anything so, I guess she's okay.

"Could you just put that in the glove compartment and go get Delilah from Tonya's?" I rolled my eyes. Most people think I'm the black sheep of the family, and I am; but Diana is just a different type of black sheep. Like acting out a one woman version of West Side Story when she was eight, or singing "Like A Virgin" when she played The Virgin Mary in our church's Christmas program, or even giving her fourteen year old brother a green mohawk for her class exam, different. That's Diana. No one else like my sister; no one else.

"Dunkie! Dunkie! You gotta play with me c'mon!" Delilah squealed while tugging on my coat with her pink snow covered mittens. "C'mon!" She yelled again running around in circles, a few of her white-blonde curls falling from underneath her matching pink beanie. She was just so innocent and happy and I didn't want to be the one to ruin it by telling her that her daddy's dead.

"Lilah, I had a snowball fight with you, pushed you on the swing, played tag, hide –n – go seek, and we made a snowman. You can make a snow angel by yourself, okay?" I said before dusting off the snow covered bench where Diana was sitting. Delilah stared me down and stuck one finger out towards me, like she was saying "I'm watching you." I chuckled, Dad used to do that all the time. Damn, do we all do something like him?

Diana and I just sat in silence watching the sweet little angel that was Delilah run and play. She was so big now. Next she'd be starting school, driving, dating; all without Dad. I remember the day that Ma and Dad brought her home.

"It's been two hours, it doesn't take that long to get groceries." I mumbled under by breath while throwing a soccer ball to Dylan. I don't know why I even did that, it's not like I'd get it back; Mr. "Mom said not to" is too afraid to break the rules anyway. I fell back into Dad's armchair that we 'weren't allowed to sit in'. Ma and Dad were supposed to get off early today because it was the weekend. Unfortunately, some "big" case came in at the station and they had to stay behind. Now, they're out getting groceries which is taking too damn long in my opinion. "Hey Dyl, you hungry?" I asked my brother as I felt my stomach grumble.

"Yeah, but Mom's not home and neither of us is supposed to go into the kitchen when she's not home. Remember last time?" My younger, more obedient brother was referring to the Marinara Massacre of 2005. We don't talk about the Marinara Massacre of 2005; let's just say Ma's wedding linen and spaghetti pot were never the same again.

I rolled my eyes and sighed. Diana came downstairs with God knows what on her face for acne, or oily skin, or pores. Some stupid shit that she's always babbling about and that one else cares about. We asked her to make us something to eat seeing as she was the only "responsible" one in the house. She asked why.

"Because you're a girl and it's a girl's job to cook." Dylan proudly declared before standing toe to toe with his maker, Lady Di. She furrowed her brows causing some of the mask to crack off of her face.

With police precision, Di put Dylan in a chokehold. "What'd you say you little punk? That's sexist. Don't say it again. Got it?" She grunted, halfway serious. Dylan was laughing uncontrollably, then Diana started laughing and pulling him by his legs all over the den. I couldn't do anything but laugh. Then Dylan starting bitching about carpet burn.

Diana started to lift Dylan's legs even higher in the air, and the door handle began to jiggle. She panicked and dropped him. I was laughing, Di was laughing, and even little Dyl 's moans and groans of pain were cut with laughter.

All of that was cut with a small giggle. We all looked over to see Dad smiling. Dad only smiles for pictures and Ma. Not smirk, a real smile. What the hell is going on?

Everything fell quiet; painfully quiet as we all stared down Dad as he smiled at this thing wiggling in his arms. "I'm surprised you guys are being so quiet. I would think that you would want your new baby sister to get used to her home." Baby sister? That's when we all piped up asking where she came from. Where was her mom? Why did we have her?

I guess we were all just a little bit too loud, and she began to cry. I thought Dad would flip the shit on her, but I've never seen Dad be so gentle. He just shushed her, and rocked her back and forth occasionally rubbing her white-blonde curls. I couldn't believe that the man who cursed me to hell and back last weekend for using his car is sitting here, cuddling a baby like Mother Goose.

Dad told Dylan to go upstairs for a minute. Diana and I exchanged looks like we were a part of some secret. Dad just kept rubbing the baby's soft curls. "We found her mom a few streets away from their apartment." The smile on Diana's face dimmed some. "She overdosed. Child Protective Services were going to take her, but your mom wouldn't have that, so now, we have her."

Diana said something about designing a baby room and then she grabbed Ma and the car keys to go shop for anything and everything. Then it was just me and Dad, and a baby. This little baby was just staring at me. "Did you want to hold her?"

"Uh... Dad she's pretty small I don't want to break her or anything." Then she blinked a few times and smiled at me. I never would've thought a gummy little smile would make me feel so, good; happy, even. Dad must've seen this, because the next thing I know I had a baby in my arms. Not just a baby any more, my little sister.

"Dunc, you ready to go?" Diana asked, snapping me out of the Delilah flashback. Delilah came jumping through the snow singing her new "Hot Chocolate Song". I shook my head. They both tried to bribe me with hot chocolate and doughnuts. Delilah even tried chocolate frosted doughnuts with ice cream, sprinkles, fairy princess glitter, and cherries on top. Yet even those big blue eyes and pout didn't break me; not this time. So they left, I was alone, and it was snowing. Great.

I stuffed my hands into my pockets and pulled out my phone. Courtney and I haven't talked since school on Friday. She's probably ready to chew me out for not contacting her. Princess lives about five minutes away, she'll give me a ride home. I sent her a text and began to wait in the freezing cold with the snow falling down and covering my coat. I pulled it tighter around me after I light the one lone cigarette that was in the pocket of my jeans.

"Duncan!" A sharp voice shouted, snapping me out of my smoking haze. I looked up to see Princess. Normally, I would have something to say that would piss her off. Only nothing could come to mind. "Duncan, seriously? Smoking in a park for children? And it's freezing cold out here. You have snowflakes in your hair and your earlobes are turning blue! Hurry up and put out that cancer stick before you get hypothermia!" She had her nose pinched up and her eyebrows knitted together like she always does when she's yelling at me.

I take one more drag before stomping the cigarette out in the snow covered concrete. Princess huffs and rolls her eyes before she mumbles something about being a litterbug under her breath. I look at the ground and back up into her eyes and bite my lip. "My dad's dead."

Her jaw dropped slightly, and her breath fogged around her as she exhaled. She quickly pressed her lips together and swallowed. "Come on let's get out of the cold." She grabbed my bare hand with her leather gloved hand and we walked back to the car.

We were almost back to my house, and Princess hadn't yet said a thing. "Y'know something? He always loved you." A bittersweet smile spread across her lips. "He used to always tell me 'Hold on to this one she's a keeper. Don't screw it up.'" I said, trying to sound a little humorous and cheer her up. I heard a few sniffs and snorts over some Broadway soundtrack she had playing. Turning towards her, I saw a single tear slithering down her cheek. "Princess, c'mon don't cry. Don't mess that pretty face up." She smiled. I wiped the tear from her face when we reached the stop sign.

She pulled into my driveway and there was this slight tension between us. "My facebook password is your birthday. So get on there and take care of all the condolence shit when it starts coming in." I said, trying to ease the mood. Then she laughed. It was the first time that I've heard someone honestly laugh, and it instantly brought a ghost of a smile on my face.

"You know I already have that." Any other guy would've probably been upset by the fact that his girlfriend has his password. Then again, I'm not like most guys and Courtney's not just some plain old girlfriend. She's Courtney.

I smirked, unbuckled my seatbelt, and leaned over to give her a kiss. For some reason, this kiss just felt different. Not bad; but it made me feel better. "I love you." I mumbled. She smiled and mouthed it back.

Seeing her made it better. The best I've felt in the last day or so. It all came crashing down when Delilah answered the door.

"Dunkie where's Daddy? No one will tell me."

an: I hope you all enjoyed this chapter. This story's beta is now Prinzessin author, edwardandbella4evah. Leave me a review, if you wouldn't mind. :)

Best Wishes,


disclaimer: I do not own Total Drama.