By SF Writer
Copyright © 2000 Stormnation, All rights reserved.
Chapter 12 - Truths and Injustices...
* * * * * * *
Brad grabbed Josh by the collar and spat in his face, the gob of saliva hitting Josh in the eye and dribbling down his cheek. "You dont cross me ever. You did it once and I let you off. Now youre on your own."
"Do you hear that guys? Nobody talks to Josh, ever. From now on hes a nobody."
"Youre the nobody." Dade snickered. "Stupid piece of shit."
"Ok Josh. You want to save Dade a beating do you?"
Josh nodded in response, trying to do his best to keep a proud face. Dade watched Josh inquisitively, puzzled by Joshs sudden growth of a spine. Dade knew the eyes of everyone had drifted off him and onto Josh. He took the opportunity to take a few steps back until he felt that he was standing on Robertss hockey stick that he had left behind. He watched on waiting for the moment he could seize the advantage.
"Youre scared Josh. Youre weak Josh. Youre nothing Josh. Get down on your knees and beg for mercy and maybe I wont beat you like the bitch you are."
Josh gulped, his sudden impulsive moment of standing up for himself swiftly dissipating. He knew Brad was right, Josh was scared and he felt weak. He was tempted to just get on his knees and go back to the safe comfort zone of being Brads fool. He tried his best to hide that he was scared from Brad, still wanting to stand up to him.
"Josh, do you want everyone in the school to know what a pansy fag you are?"
Dades ears perked up at Brads last statement. Unsure of whether Brad was just fucking with Josh or whether Josh was really gay and Brad knew about it. Dades interest perked even more as Josh flinched and became observantly shaky.
"Think what you like Brad. I dont care. I dont care what you say or do anymore. But youre not touching Dade just to get back at Storm. Face it Brad, youre the loser. And Storm knows it. Now I know it too."
Brads face became blank at Joshs sudden speaking out of his opinion of him. And the fact he knew Storm thought the same. He tried to rebuff the statement the only way he knew how with his fist. He lashed out and smacked Josh over, hitting him in the cheek. Josh fell back caught suddenly off guard by Brads hit. Brad threw himself on top of Josh and unleashed a wicked combo of punches on Joshs head. Josh didnt even have time to react because Brads sudden attack had surprised him so much. When Josh went to lift his head up Brad smashed his own head at Joshs knocking him back down.
Dade used this ruckus to his advantage, he slipped his foot under the hockey stick and kicked it up in the air. He grabbed the handle and spun around, swinging the stick at full speed down at Brads head and freezing just as it touched Brads nose. "Yo dipshit. If you like your thick head attached to your shoulders youll get the fuck off him. Right now." Dade said determined.
Brad got up and Josh held his hand to his nose, wiping away the blood running from it. Dade stepped back slowly, not taking his eyes off any of the three thugs. He didnt usually resort to weapons but when youre outnumbered you gotta do what you gotta do. He glared at Brad menacingly. Brad gloating smugly to himself with a cruel smile as he looked down at Josh, spitting again in Joshs face.
"Theres a good bitch." Brad said smugly to Josh. "Lucky your little girlfriend was here to protect you Joshy."
Dade glared at Brad unflinchingly, his eyes fixed on Brad as Brad moved backwards to his two sidekicks. Dade was really starting to dislike Brad more and more. "What happened to you Brad? You used to be an ok guy? Now youre like the biggest fuck up on the planet."
"Thats what your brother thought. So I beat him stupid last week. I dont think I beat him enough. Im surprised you didnt notice the scars little man. We did a really good job of working him over, didnt we Joshy? Made him scream., made him bleed. Couldnt quite make him beg. Ill save that for next time."
Dades eyes flared with anger at what Brad had said. Had he really made Storm scream? Made his brother bleed? Why didnt he notice anything? "Youre lying!" Dade yelled.
"Tell him Josh. Tell him how we made a fool of that freak. I held your brothers head by the hair and spat in his face and he didnt even know it was me. He was that far gone. I broke the mighty Storm. Im the man."
Dades eyebrows furrowed in disbelief and his mouth ran agape as Brad turned and walked away, smiling that cruel sadistic smile of his as he went. He was clearly proud of himself right now. Dade fell to his knees in shock, he couldnt believe what Brad had told him. Now he knew exactly why Storm was acting like a jerk the past week. Brad really had broken him. Dades anger came flooding back and he stood in rage. "BRAD!!!! YOURE GOING TO PAY!!" he yelled.
Brad kept walking away and waved teasingly at Dade as they turned the corner and left sight of Dade. Dades eyes were still filled with rage and anger and his head slowly turned to Josh who had risen to his feet and stood looking at where Brad had once been.
"I didnt touch your brother." Josh said knowing Dade was thinking he helped Brad to beat Storm. "I tried to stop them. But they wouldnt listen."
"Then you obviously didnt try hard enough. Youre just as bad as them. You hurt my brother and Im going to make you pay. And Im going to make Brad and those other two pay as well."
"Then beat me. Go ahead. Im good at taking it these days. Why dont you just join the club?"
"Youre not worth it. Brad was right, youre weak. I should have let him finish you off." Dade snickered turning to walk away.
"Why am I paying for what he did? I didnt touch Storm, I helped him get home and yet Im the one whos paying for what he did. Im the one whos been smacked around by everyone, Im the one everyones blaming. Why me?"
"Because you didnt do enough. If you really wanted to stop them you would have stopped them. You were weak. Youre a coward and a weak fool. You hide behind principles but you dont have the spine to stand up for them."
"Then why did I stick my ass out for you today?! Im busting my ass trying to do the right thing and all Im getting for it is static!"
"I didnt ask you to do that? If I needed you so bad why the hell was I the one saving your ass huh?"
"Fuck!" Josh screamed frustrated falling to the ground in a slump. "I cant win. Im born to be a loser."
"And with an attitude like that, thats all youll ever be." Dade said pulling Josh back to his feet. "Tell me what you want Josh."
"I want to be able to look in the mirror in the morning and not be repulsed by what I see."
"Thatll never happen coz ure so fucken ugly." Dade replied sharply. "Thats a joke. Loosen up. Josh you need to grow a spine for starters. Youre on the right track. Dont get me wrong I do appreciate you standing up for me today. I really do. I know it must have been hard and you did a damn sight better than my so called friend Robert."
"Well Brad was wrong, he shouldnt have come after you."
"Brad is a jerk and if you hang with him youre a jerk too. But youre not going to hang with him anymore are you Josh?"
"I dont think I have a choice."
"Be my friend. Ill help you Josh. I want you to be my new best friend. Call me stupid but I think you got potential. What do you say?"
"Your best friend? You hardly know me. Youve got lots of friends already, why me?"
"I know enough about you. You always were the quiet kid though. Like I said, I think you got potential. Anyway, Ive made the offer. You decide what you want." Dade said packing up his gear.
"Do you mean it? You really wanna be friends?"
"One thing youll learn about me is I only ever say what I mean."
"You remind me of your brother, hes so intimidating. But hes straight up and I like that."
"Runs in the genes I guess. Anyway I better go. Thanks for helping me today Josh. Think about what I said."
"I thought about it already do you need some help with that stuff?" Josh asked.
"I thought youd never ask." Dade said throwing Roberts gear to Josh. "Thanks a lot buddy, I really appreciate it. Well get you cleaned up when we get home."
"Oh shit. Your brother will be there wont he? Your brother hates me."
"My brother hates the world, dont worry about it. But if youre going to be my friend, a word of warning dont ever piss my Mom off."
"Ok I got ya. Dont piss Mom off."
"I think you and I are going to get along just fine. Lets go Ace."
"Ok then Dade."
Josh walked next to Dade and waited for Dade to do something. Dade raised his eyebrow at Joshs overly obedient nature. "Walk with me, not behind me." Dade said motioning Josh to walk.
Dade rested his hand on Joshs shoulder as they walked along the footpath together towards Dades house. "Im gonna teach you a few things Josh. First of all, Im going to teach you the difference between a real friend and people like Brad and Robert who dont actually give a real shit about you. Lesson One Dade is master, never forget that and well be fine."
"Ok." Josh replied.
"Geez. Youre as gullible as Lucas. Im going to have to control myself from taking advantage of you. Anyway lesson one, friends are people you can depend on and trust. You dont screw them over or leave them hanging. Lesson two "
* * * * * * *
"Is he ok Mike? Whats wrong?" Lucas yelled bursting into the waiting room of the Merlow district hospital.
"What are you doing here? How did you know?" Mike asked.
"Sarah called me. Whats wrong with him Mike? Where is he?" Lucas asked anxiously.
"Hes being seen now by a doctor. Moms in there with him. I dont know whats wrong with him, he just started coughing up blood and vomiting blood."
"I dont know Lucas."
"Is it serious?"
"I havent been allowed in to see him. Moms the only one allowed in."
"Oh man. This cant be happening. He has to be ok. He has to."
"Hell be ok. Hell be ok. Hes my bro and hes strong, hell be ok." Mike said trying to keep a grip on things. He was more worried than he cared to show.
"You as scared as I am?"
"And then some."
They looked at each other worryingly, Mike keeping a constant watch on the door waiting for June Marcus to walk through and tell them everything was going to be ok. Lucas sat down next to Marcel and they looked at each other silently, neither person saying anything. Mike stayed vigilant in his watch on the door, becoming more anxious as the time passed on.
"Mike Mike!! Whats going on? Where is he?" Dade yelled rushing to Mike followed along by Sarah.
Mike composed himself and tried to be as calm as he could, not wanting to upset Dade more. "Dont worry Dade. Moms in there now and shes going to come out and tell us everything will be ok. Dont worry Dade hell be ok."
"Dont sugarcoat everything for me Mike. I want to know what happened."
"Ok he started vomiting and he got really sick, then he began coughing up blood and vomiting again but with blood. And he started to lose consciousness and he passed out. We think it might be internal bleeding."
"Fucking hell. Is this because of what Brad did to him? Is it Mike?"
"I dont think so. I dont know. I dont know Dade. Well have to wait and see."
"I should have fucked him up while I had the chance."
"What are you talking about?"
"Yeah what are you talking about Dade?" Marcel asked approaching from behind.
Marcel, Lucas, Mike and Sarah all stood around Dade wondering what he was talking about. Dade tried to find a way to backtrack out of his statement because he knew the last thing they needed to hear was that Brad went after him. "Uuh nothing."
"What happened Dade? Tell us." Lucas asked.
"Brad came after me today."
"That fucker is gonna die, I swear." Marcel said fuming. "Did he hit you Dade?"
"Yeah he did but Josh stepped in and helped me. Im ok honestly. I can take care of myself."
"Josh stepped in?" Mike asked in surprise.
"Yeah he really stood up to Brad today. Brad smacked him up big time for it too. So when you see Josh with his shiner on Monday at school youll know where its from. He did real good. I ended up saving Josh from Brad when I swung my hockey stick at him. I should have let the damn stick hit him. But I didnt know what he did to Storm then."
"I never thought Josh had it in him. Brad hit my little bro. Fucker is going to pay."
"OoOOoh I HATE THAT GUY!" Marcel screamed in frustration.
"That fucker is going to suffer."
"Im going to finish what I started and make him feel what its like to be hurt the way he hurt my guy."
"Im going to make him pay for what he did to my brother. And I swear if Storm dies, so does Brad." Dade said with his eyes getting narrow.
"Hey! Storm is not going to die! Dont even say that!" Lucas stammered.
"He wont die, he wont. Will he Mike?" Marcel said shaking his head.
"Hes not going to die, he cant die. Its not that serious is it Mike?" Sarah said frightened.
"No! Hes not gonna die. Stop thinking like this, itll only make things worse. We have to be strong for Storm. We cant let him see how worried we are or hell get scared." Mike said urging everyone to calm down.
"He cant die." Lucas said shaking his head.
"He wont die Lucas. Im sorry for saying that, I didnt mean it the way you thought. Im sorry." Dade said hugging Lucas.
"Im sorry Dude. Im just so scared. I love your brother so much. And if he died without me getting to tell him that see the last time we saw each other he stormed out the door. We had a fight. I dont want it to end like that."
Dade pulled Lucas' face up and looked him in the eyes "He wont die! Hes going to walk through that door and tell us we all look like idiots and shouldnt worry."
"Lets not talk about that. Everybody get a grip. Lets just stay here and wait for any word. And if anyone says die Im gonna kick their fucking ass. So everyone just chill." Sarah said wiping her eyes.
"Sarahs right. Lets just try not to worry too much because it wont help. Everybodys just a bit caught up in the moment." Marcel sighed. "Everything will be ok."
Nobody said anything to each other as they formed an uneasy silence. Mike sat down and Sarah sat down next to him, holding his hand and leaning her head on his shoulder with a few subtle tears slipping down her cheek. Mike tried to keep himself focussed and be the pillar of strength that everyone had suddenly expected him to be. He rested his head back and wrapped his arm around Sarah as she leant into him. They sat there silently, their eyes ever vigilant in their watch on the door.
Marcel sat down next to the window, staring out it blankly. His thoughts raced with every possible scenario that could happen. He tried to keep positive but he couldnt help thinking about if Storm didnt make it. He didnt think it was that bad but Mrs. Marcus hadnt come out yet so he thought it must have been pretty serious.
Dade sat down next to Marcel and pulled Marcels arm around him as if it were a natural thing to do. He buried his head in Marcels shoulder not wanting to face the world. Marcel held him tightly, not saying anything. Marcel had a great respect for Dade, who had always treated Marcel in turn with great respect. Marcel loved him like the little brother he never had and they were also great friends. He was comforted by the fact that Dade was so comfortable with Marcel that it seemed natural to turn to Marcel for support and comfort. And Marcel would grant it whenever he was given the chance to.
Lucas paced up and down the hall endlessly waiting for a sign, any sign. And when hed walked every inch of that hallway, he walked it again and again. The white sterile walls of the hospital not distracting Lucas from his thoughts at all. Lucas was torn up inside worrying about Storm and if hed be ok. Worrying if Storm realized how much he loved him. Wondering if the love he yearned for so much would be taken away from him. Lucas had to do his best to keep from bursting into tears right now. He wanted to make Storm ok, he wanted to switch places with Storm. He wanted to be able to hold Storm right now and tell him everything would be ok. He felt so helpless.
The five of the group waited anxiously, barely saying anything to each other the whole time. They were all too worried to start up some idle chitchat. They had been in the waiting room for over three hours now and it was nearly 8pm. The air was cold and sterile with that hospital smell that made them feel even worse.
Dade had fallen off to sleep on Marcel and Marcel had also drifted off. Sarah had begun to fall off to sleep also and Mike gently ran his fingers through her hair, soothing her to sleep. Mike and Lucas were the only ones still awake. Lucas paced nervously and then returning to his seat for a while, before he returned to his pacing. Mike had not moved once, save to heed natures call.
At last their patience was rewarded. June Marcus stepped through the waiting room door softly and noticed most of the group asleep. Mike rested Sarahs head down gently and approached June. Lucas ran down the hallway towards June and he and Mike stood anxiously awaiting answers.
"Everything is going to be ok. Hes got an aggravated stomach ulcer. Its basically a hole in the stomach. We believe its due to the extreme stress Storm has been under lately. I know hes been under a lot. Its also been aggravated by more than likely a few blows to the stomach area most likely done in a sparring session with someone at training most likely. Which is why the ulcer is aggravated."
Mike and Lucas both know it was no training session that aggravated Storms ulcer but his beating by Brad. Mike didnt think it wise to worry June with it so he kept his mouth shut, he could handle Brad. Lucas was just following Mikes lead.
"Is he going to be ok Mrs. Marcus?" Lucas asked nervously.
"Its too soon to tell. Im so angry with him. Waiting till he was practically dead to tell me something was wrong. Thats just not on. As soon as hes able to Im going to give him a big piece of my mind. Stupid proud shit. Hes too much like his mother." June said frustrated. She herself was trying to keep a brave front but was not doing too good a job of it. "Hell be ok Lucas. He just needs time to recover. Theyre operating on him now with athroscopic surgery. If all goes well theyll keep him in for about 3 days to let him recover and for observation then he should be back on his feet. Lets just keep our fingers crossed."
"Oh my god." Lucas said shaking his head in disbelief.
"Mom. Dont be mad at Storm. Hes been through a lot this last week."
"Im not angry at him. I wish I could have been there for him. Ive been so worried about him lately. He always tries to be so strong. And I havent been around to notice my own son in pain. What kind of a mother is that?"
"A mother who works her ass off. Dont beat yourself up about this. Everyone else already has enough. We all love him or we wouldnt be here. If you werent the best mother in the whole world Marcel and I wouldnt adore you the way we do. Dade loves you, Abby loves you, Storm loves you, we all love you."
"Oh Abby. I have to call her. And Ill have to call his father." June said wiping the tears out of her eyes. Her job was to be the pillar of strength all her kids depended on and she didnt want them to worry about her.
"I called them already. I figured youd want them to know."
"Thank you Mike. Youre so dependable you know that?"
"Thanks Mom. Are you ok?" Mike asked worriedly.
"Ill be fine son. I just got a hell of a scare thats all. Hows Dade doing? He looks sound asleep now."
"Yeah he fell off to sleep a while ago, Marcel not long after and then Sarah dozed off. But nobody wanted to go home until we knew if Storm would be ok."
"I think hes going to be fine so I want you all to go home. Theres nothing more you can do here. Theres no point in everyone staying here. Mike do you think you could look after Dade tonight?"
"You know I will. Ill keep the house standing till you get back."
"Well then you all go home now. Heres some money to catch a taxi and for dinner. You can call me down here if anything happens. And dont forget to call your father to let him know you're ok."
"I just wanna have a talk to this lot." June said walking next to Marcel and Dades slumping forms.
June leant down and kissed Marcel gently on the forehead. "Marcel, its time to go home sweetheart."
"Is Storm ok?" Marcel mumbled.
"Hell be fine. You go on home with Mike and Ill call you if anything else happens."
Marcel gently slipped out of his chair, easing Dades head up as June took his place. She sat there stroking her sons hair and watching him sleep soundly. She kissed his forehead gently "Dade honey, its time to go home."
"Mom " Dade mumbled snuggling up closer.
"Yes its me honey."
"Hell be fine. He just has to stay here a few days. Hell be fine."
"Are you coming home too?"
"No honey. Im going to stay here with your brother."
"I wanna stay too." Dade mumbled half asleep.
"Its warmer at home honey. Ill be back in the morning."
"I dont want to go." Dade sulked, a few streams of tears slipping gently. "I wanna stay."
"You cant Dade. Theres nowhere for you to sleep. Will you please go home for Mommy?"
"Ok then Mom. I will." Dade resigned grudgingly, wiping his eyes and fully awake now. He stood up obviously not the happiest person in the world.
June stood up and gave her son a hug "Dont worry honey. Everythings going to be ok. Mike will look after you tonight."
"Im ok Mom. Im just being a baby."
"I know what youre feeling son. But I dont want your brother to wake up and nobody be there."
"I know. I just wish I could stay too. Dont worry Mom Ill be fine."
"Thats my boy." June smiled.
"Yeah. Besides Mikes going to spoil me tonight arent ya Mike?"
"You bet bro, come on home with me." Mike said extending his arm out to Dade.
"Ok bro." Dade said giving Mike a quick hug before the two of them began walking away slowly.
"Are you sure hes going to be ok?" Sarah asked June.
"Hell be fine. Just give him a few days."
"Ok then, bye Mrs. M. I love you." Sarah said kissing June on the cheek before she ran after Mike, Dade and Marcel.
They waved back at Lucas and June, who in turn waved back at them. Lucas turned and looked at June nervously. She didnt seem too eager for his company. June tried not to look at Lucas, she didnt want to be around him right now. She wanted someone to blame and that person seemed like Lucas.
"What is it?" Lucas asked nervously.
"Nothing Lucas." June replied.
"Do you blame me?" Lucas asked bluntly. "Do you think its my fault Storms in here?"
"No. Of course its not your fault. Its nobodys fault."
"I love your son more than anything in the world and I would never do anything to hurt him I swear it."
"You dont know the meaning of the word. My son is lying on a hospital bed I dont know whats been going on with him lately. Ever since you two started seeing each other he hasnt been the same. You changed him, you changed my son. Its your fault hes like you, its your fault hes so stressed out and tense. Its your fault hes lying in that bed. Its your fault. I wish youd never met my son." June said tensely as she walked away from Lucas.
She walked outside and did something she hadnt done for a long time; lit up a cigarette. She put it to her mouth, her hand shaking and her face wet from all the crying shed done tonight. She felt a hand take the cigarette slowly from her hand. She looked to see it was Lucas, who now stood there holding the cigarette in his hand as the wind blew his hair. It was cold and dark outside, it had been raining and it looked as though the rain would return soon. The wind remained and June held her arms tightly as the cold got to her.
Lucas held the cigarette in front of his eyes "You dont really want this do you? If you smoke it then Im smoking it with you."
"I dont really need it. I only smoke when Im really worried. And right now Im really worried."
Lucas threw the cigarette to the ground and stomped it with his shoe. "Im sorry you feel that way. I knew somewhere deep inside that you resented me. Hell my own parents resent me. They think I made Storm bi. But I didnt. You should know as well as I do that you cant make Storm something he isnt. And the only reason Im happy is that I know your son loves me just as much as I love him. Thats all I need, thats all Ill ever need."
June wiped her anguish filled tears from her eyes, she resented the fact that Lucas was right. She resented even more that she had let her deep buried feelings surface. "A mother only ever wants whats best for her son. I dont want any of my children to hurt or feel pain or to have to suffer. And the life you two have chosen for yourselves is just its going to tear my son apart. I dont want him to have to go through all the pain that I know will come."
"You still dont get it, we didnt choose anything. We were born like this. This is who we are. Do you think anyone in their right mind would actually choose to like someone of the same sex? Its crazy. Do you think Marcel chose to be gay? I beat myself up all the time, wondering if it was me who made Storm like me. Our hearts are connected and thats all there is to it. Surely you can see that."
"I can see it. I can see it in my sons eyes. I can see it in your eyes. Im just so worried about him. Hes my baby. Daniels always had a weak spot for his Mom, even more then Dade. When his father and Abby left, he went through a really rough time. But he stayed with me and helped me look after his little brother and helped his mother cope. Hes such a special person. Im so proud that hes my son."
"I know you are. You know thats owed to you as well. You have great kids. All of your kids are just some of the greatest people Ive ever met. I mean Abby even though Ive only been with her a few times is I know a wonderful person. And Dade well hes just the coolest dude on the planet. Except for his brother of course. And well you know how much I love Storm."
"Storm you dont know the real reason he likes to be called Storm do you?"
"The real reason? He told me it was because of the way he fought and his whole attitude."
"Thats partly it. His nickname has been Storm for a long time but well it wasnt till his father left that he actually started using it as his first name. Daniel Marcus the second just didnt agree with him anymore. He didnt want to be associated so obviously with his father who he thought of as a deserter. Thats why hes called Storm now. The real reason."
"Oh wow, thats amazing. You know I just dont think I could get used to calling him Daniel. Im so used to Storm. It is such a cool name though, suits him so well. But I never would have guessed that thats why he uses it. He doesnt talk about that much. His Dad I mean."
"Yeah, his Dad and him just dont get along. Storm wont give him any chance. I try to tell Storm that his father is a good man. That we just grew apart. But Storm wont hear it. Hes so driven against his father. He still hurts that his father left him."
"Do you think theyll sort it out?"
"Its been a long time. I had hoped they would years ago but I dont think they will. Daniel, his father Daniel that is, well hes tried his best but Storm isnt the most forgiving person."
"So his Dad just up and left?"
"Not really. We came to that decision mutually. And he had to move for work anyway. The hardest decision we ever had to make was splitting the kids. Abby went with her father and the boys stayed with me. Abby was always closer to her father anyway. Her and I have the same relationship as Storm and his father, except we at least can get along. Dade has an excellent relationship with his father and me. He was young enough at the time to adapt I think. It hit Storm and Abby a lot harder."
"I know when Storm has talked to me about times when you and Mr. Marcus were still together that he gets a bit tense. He doesnt like to show it, which is probably why he doesnt like talking about it. I think deep down he misses his Dad. I can tell he still hurts. Hes a lot more vulnerable than he makes out to be isnt he?"
"He sure is. Hes such a proud person, I think he gets it from me. His father is actually a lot more laid back than I am. You havent met his Dad have you?"
"I did once. That was back when Storm and I were just best friends. He seemed nice enough to me."
"Its getting cold Lucas, lets go back inside."
"Ok." Lucas replied walking back in.
Lucas held the door open for June as she walked back into the hospital and they made their way back to the waiting room. June sat down and sighed, holding her head in her hands. She sat back up and leant her head back against the wall, looking at Lucas who was still standing.
"Sit down Lucas." June said motioning Lucas to sit next to her.
Lucas bit his bottom lip and hesitated before he sat down finally. Still a bit uncomfortable now with being near Mrs. Marcus knowing her true feelings. June took one of Lucas hands and held it in both of her own, rubbing it gently.
"Im sorry for saying those horrible things before Lucas. You know I love you and I dont regret Storm choosing you. I only wish that you and Storm were just best friends because it would be easier but I know that it wouldnt be true to yourselves. I guess my maternal instincts were on overdrive and I was being over protective of my son. I just want whats best for him. But I realize thats you. You have a gentle heart, you calm my son. You help him grow. You have added something to his smile. And I thank you for that. Please forgive me."
Lucas managed a weak smile and gulped, trying to quell the tears that threatened to leave him. "I forgive you, I understand. Thanks for being honest with me." Lucas smiled half-heartedly.
"Whats wrong honey?" June asked concerned.
"It just gets to me. I mean I know youre sorry and everything but it still hurts. To hear you say those things, that somewhere deep down you resent me. Just like my parents. I really feel like Im a lesser person. Like Im not good enough. The only thing keeping me going is the fact that Storm loves me. I dont know what Id do without that. I really dont think I could make it. He doesnt realize how much I depend on him and need him."
Junes eyes had welled up as she witnessed Lucas pouring his pain out. She had picked up in that one statement what made Lucas hurt, and what made him smile. She felt so bad that she was one of the reasons he hurt. She tried so hard to be a positive role model and tonight she felt as if she had failed miserably, she could see it in the hurt and worn look on Lucas face tonight. His face was so dejected and sad, the hurt and pain making its way through his usual happy go lucky demeanor. Lucas was such a warm, friendly and happy person that when he was down you could really notice.
"You poor thing." June said hugging Lucas. "I am so sorry. I understand why you hurt so bad and it makes me feel even worse. Do you really feel like youre not good enough?"
Lucas agreed, nodding meekly. His eyes speaking volumes to the way he was feeling. Sadness filled them, deep pools of sorrow and resentment. Lucas' face was wet from all the tears hed cried that night and still even now the trail of tears was so evident. One solitary tear escaping his left eye and streaming down his cheek before it dropped to the fabric of the seat.
"When my son wakes up and you look in his eyes youll see how much of a person you really are. You are a beautiful person. I love you because you love my son and because he loves you. And because of the person you are "
"Excuse me Mom." A voice said, interrupting Junes heart to heart with Lucas.
"Abby!" June said in surprise as she looked up and saw her daughter standing before her.
It had been a while since June had seen her daughter face to face, the majority of their correspondence over the phone because of the distance between their towns. June noticed Abby had trimmed her hair and it was now of medium length blonde. Her eyes were a deep piercing blue and she had the same smile as her two younger brothers, which they had all inherited from their father. The oldest of the Marcus children at 22, the fruit of her parents young love.
Abby smiled warmly at her mother and embraced her as she stood to greet Abby. "Its so good to see you Mom. How are you?"
"Im ok. I knew youd come as soon as Mike contacted you."
"He should be in recovery now. It was an aggravated Stomach Ulcer. They had to perform athroscopic surgery on him. You know what your brother is like, waits till hes nearly dead before he tells someone hes not feeling good. Theyre going to keep him in at least a few days to assess how bad he is."
"When he came up to see me he said he didnt feel good but he said it was probably just something he ate. I should have known something else was wrong." Abby said shaking her head.
"I think your brother has too much of my stubborn pride. I think he has too much of me in him, I wish he had a bit more of your father."
"Uuuhh speaking of Dad." Abby said stepping to the side.
June looked down the corridor and saw a man standing smiling at her. "How the hell did he get here so fast?" June mumbled to herself.
"He was visiting me when we got the call. I hope you dont mind."
"Of course not. Hes the father. He has every right to be here. I just wouldnt have expected him till tomorrow normally. I better go and say hello." June said motioning Abby down towards her father. "Lucas honey. Wait here, Ill be right back."
Lucas nodded in response half-heartedly. He watched as June and Abby walked down the corridor towards Daniel Marcus senior. Lucas put his head in his hands and closed his eyes. He had never felt so lonely in his life.
* * * * * * *
"Hello Daniel." June said managing a small smile as she looked at the father of her children standing before her. A spitting image of his oldest son, distinguished and relaxed all at the same time. He smiled back at his former partner, slight tension still remaining even after their long period of separation.
"Hello June. How is he?"
"Hes being operated on now. An aggravated stomach ulcer. Hell be fine. He waited till he nearly fell over dead before we noticed but he should be out in a few days."
"Thats great news. Its a good thing I was at Abbys when Mike called. Where is Mike anyway? And Dade?"
"They just left, I sent them home. You can both stay at the house tonight if you like. Im going to stay here with Storm."
"Whos looking after Dade?"
"Mike is. Hes more than capable and reliable enough. I didnt want them all sleeping here cold."
"In that case Id like to stay here with you. I know Mikes a good lad. Theyll be fine."
"Ill go back soon and stay there Mom. Im not going back upstate until I know Storms ok." Abby interrupted.
"Thank you Abby. You and I will stay here then Daniel."
"Should I take Lucas back with me Mom?" Abby asked.
June turned and looked at Lucas down the corridor sitting in a chair, looking as lonely and miserable as anyone could. She turned back to Abby and frowned. "No. I dont think you could take him if you wanted to. He can stay with me."
"Ok Mom. Im going to go home so I can see Dade. Youll call me if anything happens wont you?"
"I will sweetheart." June replied.
"Ok bye Mom. I love you." Abby said kissing June on the cheek and giving her a warm hug. "Dont worry Mom hell be fine."
"Bye Dad." Abby said kissing her father on the cheek. She smiled at her parents and walked out the door, waving as she went.
"Daniel sure has some good friends doesnt he? Is that Lucas kid his best friend now, what happened to Mike?" Daniel said looking down the corridor towards Lucas.
"Well you know Storm and Mike. Theyve grown up more like brothers than friends. Mikes turned into the son I had ready made without the nine months of labor."
"Mikes always been a great kid. Hows his father treating him these days, any better?"
June frowned, Daniel Senior knew just as much about Mikes father Bill as she did. Daniel was the one who always went over to sort Bill out when Mike turned up on the doorstep after being on the receiving end of his fathers abusive behavior. "Well I thought he was. Im not sure. Mikes not happy though. I really wish he were my son so I could take him off Bill sometimes. I keep hoping Bill will get his act together. He doesnt realize what a great son he has. Mike deserves a lot better. He says he wants to live with me and the boys."
"Hes always wanted that. Ill warn you June. Dont wait till its too late. You know what I mean." Daniel said bluntly.
"I know. I know. But what can I do? All I can do is hope that Bill will sort his shit out. Hes had more than enough time. I gave him some leeway before because I knew how hard it was for him to lose Amanda. But shes been gone 13 years now. Ive tried to help him but Im getting sick of telling Mike to forgive his father. Im just worried that one day "
"I know. Im going to catch up with Mike and Dade tomorrow and see how theyre doing. I want to make sure Mike is ok too. Dade always seems to be fine for some reason. I sometimes worry that he never gives me anything to worry about."
"You know, I hate to say it but he gets the least attention out of my our kids. Including Mike and Marcel. Hes not a high maintenance kid. I know what you mean about Dade not giving us anything to worry about. I need to spend more time with him."
"I think we both need to. But definitely I need to spend a hell of a lot more time with Daniel. I can count the days weve been together in the last year on one hand."
"I try to make him come around to spending more time with you but "
"I know. He just doesnt like me anymore. We use to be so close. I just dont know how to get through to him. He hates me."
"He doesnt hate you. He just doesnt like you a whole lot. He still thinks you abandoned him. No matter how many times I try to explain it to him he still feels like you abandoned him."
"I guess I did in a way. Hes a lot like you, you know? Proud and stubborn. Flawlessly loyal to his mother. Im the enemy. He didnt even tell me he wasnt seeing Sarah anymore. I always thought those two would be together forever."
"You thought the same thing about us too." June said coldly. "Sarahs with Mike now. And I hate to say it but theyre more suited than Storm and Sarah. I think those two definitely have a future."
"Young love huh. I bet Marcel is the only one that woos all the ladies aye? Probably has a different girl under his arm every weekend. Better watch out for Dade, he might end up like that."
"How wrong you are. Young love there definitely is. But a lot of things have changed. I think you and your son need to be having a long talk."
"Oh boy. That doesnt sound too good. Oh no. Oh no. Youve got to be kidding. Not my son. How could you let this happen?"
"Let what happen?"
"Come on I wasnt born yesterday. Look at that Lucas kid down there. Thats not an Im worried about my best friend look on his face. Its so obvious. Why else would you have let him stay here when you sent Mike and Dade home? My sons a faggot."
June slapped Daniel across the face before she even realized what she was doing. "Dont you ever call him that again. Do you understand me?"
"I didnt mean it like that. I mean what else do you call them?"
"What do you mean them? Them is your son. Them is the person you helped bring into this world." June said angrily.
"Look! I didnt mean for it to sound derogatory. Its just a hell of a shock to me. I mean, my son? Is this my fault? Is this because he didnt have a father figure."
"Listen to yourself. You sound like some of those damn redneck know-it-alls. Your son is in love with someone who just happens to be of the same sex. DEAL WITH IT. You cant change it, so just deal with it. Or you may as well just walk back through that door you came in."
Daniel took a few deep breaths "I dont like it. I dont like it. But Ill deal with it. I still dont like it though. He never did like doing it the easy way did he? Just tell me youre ok with it."
"Im ok with it. I was like you. I still wish he were so called normal only because it would be easier but you see those two together and you can feel the love they have for each other. Its like this invisible bond. Why do you think Lucas is so distressed over there?"
"I trust your judgement. If youre ok with it, Im ok with it. Just give me a bit of time ok?"
"Ill give you till your son opens his eyes. Then you better have yourself together Daniel. I wont have you going in there and upsetting my son."
"And dont call him Daniel. You know how much he hates that. I only call him that when Im angry with him and he knows it, but otherwise stick to Storm."
"Okay June. I take it Im the last one to know about this as usual."
"Are you surprised? I mean seriously Daniel, you dont exactly make a hell of an effort do you? You could try a bit harder at least."
"June, you and Abby had the same problems Daniel and I have."
"Emphasis on the word had. And how many YEARS has it been since you and your son have had a good relationship or even a civilized conversation. Abby and I were never this bad. Its pathetic Daniel. Hes your son. You should know whats going on with him. He shouldnt be repelled by the thought of being in the same room as you. Get your fucking act together before you lose him forever."
"Dont start with me June, I didnt come here to argue with you. But I promise you, Ill sort things out with Daniel before I leave."
"I just want you to have a good relationship with your son. Yeah hes stubborn and proud but hes just as vulnerable and so easily hurt. Hes still hurting after all these years. If he didnt care he wouldnt hurt."
Daniel stood in silence contemplating what June had said. He felt a pang in his heart that made him realize the depth of the hurt he felt and that he knew his son felt.
"June! June!" A nurse yelled running towards June. Her face anxious and distressed.
"What is it Casey?"
"Its your son. You better hurry."
"Come on Daniel." June said hurriedly.
* * * * * * *
Lucas mind swayed from thought to thought. He felt empty inside, something didnt feel right. Something wasnt there. His dreams were filled with uncertainty and pain.
"Lucas, wake up."
"Huh? Storm?" Lucas said opening his eyes groggily.
"No, its me Dade. Its time to go home."
"What about Storm?"
"Hes gone "
* * * * * * *
This chapter was followed by two chapters. One chapter was the What If chapter 'Final Rites' which was the original version of Storm Front 13. You can read it here.
Storm Front: Final RitesStay Tuned for Chapter 13: Paths Not Taken and send me a note to let me know what you thought of Chapter 12
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