Those curls!!!! By Marea67About:
: B&S belongs to ABCSummary
: for Fatcat
, who wanted a Tommy/Kevin (short) kid-fic. This was supposed
to be something light....
“Thomas Walker!!!” Nora’s voice booms through the house and Tommy cringes. First of all, it always amazes him that his mother, so much tinier than his dad, can create so much more noise than his dad would dare to make in this house. And, second, of course, he should have known, that that little 7-year old snitch of a brother would immediately run to his mother.
He quickly looks around, looking for an escape-route and decides to dash out into the garden, hoping he can hide in his favourite hiding-spot, but as he turns around the bush, he’s met by an angry Nora.
“M-m-m-om. I was just looking for you... You called me?” He tries hypocritically.
Nora is not amused.
“Did you fight with Kevin again?” Nora asks. Tommy is tempted to deny it, but Kevin is in tears and covered in bruises. Face it, Tommy, you’re not getting away with it this time.
“He was being such a pain in the a...”
“Thomas Walkerrrrr!!!” Nora warns. Okay, Tommy, let’s not push the topic any further.
“Sorry, mom.” He replies meekly.
“Why do you keep hurting you little brother like that? Why can’t you two just get along?”
Nora sighs. After all the tantrums between Sarah and Kitty she had hoped that things would be easier between Kevin and Tommy, seeing they were born so closely after each other, but it doesn’t seem meant to be. The boys are, if possible, worse than the girls.
However, where Kitty and Sarah were both hell-cats who were each other’s match, the fight between Tommy and Kevin is more out of balance. Tommy clearly bullies Kevin and actively picks his fights with him, where Kevin tries to avoid any form of trouble and just tries to stay away from Tommy.
“He’s such a girl.” Tommy says. The look he gives Kevin doesn’t promise him much good and Kevin hides behind Nora. “He cries like a girl, he has curls like a girl and he never wants to do boy-things. He wants to play with Kitty all the time.”
“Maybe it’s because Kitty doesn’t beat him up?” Nora ask sarcastically.
Tommy rolls his eyes. How can he explain to his mom that Kevin is just not ... right
? Kevin is younger, true, but Kevin also has friends who are more fun than him. Tommy can play with them, even without hurting them, but something about Kevin just makes him want to shove and push Kevin around.
And then there is that curly hair that, everyone says, is so cute. Kevin is ‘adorable’. Tommy isn’t. Never. But then, boys aren’t supposed to be cute and adorable. Not in Tommy’s mind anyway.
“I’m not a girl.” Kevin says quietly, but stubbornly.
See, that’s another thing about Kevin that Tommy dislikes. Kevin always needs to talk back, as if he’s smarter than Tommy, so Tommy silences him with a good punch, because when push comes to shoves, Kevin can never really win a fist-fight. Tommy always wins. And yet, Kevin keeps trying. He just doesn’t learn to shut up.
“Yes, you are. You’re a girl, ... a girl, .. a girl...” Tommy taunts until Nora gives him ‘the look’. Tommy stops immediately. This is too serious. It’s always smart to know when to stop. ‘The look’ is always a good reason to drop whatever you were doing.
“I. Am. Not. A. Girl.” Kevin says very clearly, before he runs off in tears.
Nora sighs tiredly and turns to Tommy.
“Was that fun
? You’ve made your brother cry again. Come on. Now laugh about it. Because that is what it was supposed to be, right. Funny! Well, it was not funny. And I am not laughing. And you won’t be laughing either.
You won’t go to Ojai this weekend. You’re going to stay here. I will explain to your dad, what is going on and that I am fed up with your attitude towards your little brother. You’re 9 years old, Thomas Walker, and you know very well right from wrong and if you wish to behave like a 4-year old, I will treat you like one.”
Tommy gasps in horror. No Ojai? He loves going there! There is no worse punishment to him than this and his eyes fill with tears.
“It’s not fair.” He tries carefully.
“Neither is beating up your little brother who’s weaker than you.” Nora reminds him.
Kevin washes his face in the bathroom. The cold water on his swollen eyes feels good. It’s what Nora usually does, put a cold compress on his face. When he looks up, he’s just tall enough to look in the mirror that hangs over the washbasin. All he can see is his face, all red and puffy. And ugly.
He can’t see how expressive his face is becoming, or how the large dark curls around his face form a beautiful contrast to his blue eyes, or how his smile can brighten up a room, already betraying that Kevin could grow up to be quite a handsome man, if only he would allow it to himself.
All he sees, is a kid that once again got called a girl, by someone who, without contest, was manlier than him. He so wishes he could be more like Tommy, just be ready to fight, fists ready for the first strike at all times, but he’s not. In fact, he’s afraid of violence, dislikes pain, avoids fights and doesn’t go look for trouble.
Kevin stares at his own reflection and hates what he sees. And he hates Tommy and he hates Nora for always trying to ‘solve’ things. And he hates Kitty, because she always wants him to play with her and he hates ..... everything
. His eyes fill with tears again. He hates himself.
“Kevin Walker! Downstairs! Now!” William’s voice makes it clear enough that he won’t take no for answer. “Where is that boy?” He then asks Nora
“He’s been in his room all afternoon. Since the fight with Tommy.” She shrugs. “Just wanted to sulk, I suppose.”
“Mommy, why do I have to set the table? It’s Kevin’s turn.” Kitty whines.
“Because your brother had a bad afternoon. Be mad at Tommy for that.” Nora replies, regretting her words a few minutes later, when she sees Kitty punch Tommy in the arm and she hears how Sarah calls her brother an idiot.
Nora is getting so tired of all this fighting and she’s glad when finally three of her four kids take their place at the table. She turns around to call Kevin one last time, but is horrified by what she sees. Everyone looks up at her gasp and a dead silence falls on the Walker-table. Kevin looks pale and he stiffly walks up to his seat at the table, fully aware that everyone is looking at him.
“What on Earth....?” Sarah starts, first to regain her voice.
“Have you lost it?” Kitty asks, about a heartbeat later.
“I’m dead.” Tommy whispers to no one in particular. William looks at Nora and he can see the tears that start to form in her eyes.
“Kevin.... Why did you do this
?” William now asks, not sure if he should comfort the boy or just kill him.
“I’m not a girl.” Kevin replies defiantly and he his blue eyes are big as he stares at each of them, daring to contradict him. But no one does.
Sarah and Kitty try to ignore him, but can’t help staring at him all the time. Tommy, on the other hand, doesn’t dare to look at Kevin.
“I’ll take him to have a decent hair-cut tomorrow.” William promises softly and Nora nods numbly.
She leaves the dining-room and goes straight upstairs, where she walks right into Kevin’s room. Somehow she had expected something more dramatic, but Kevin being Kevin, it takes her a few moments to realize where she has to search. She picks up his waste-bin.
There on the bottom are his curls. He had taken each strand of hair and meticulously cut away every curl he could lay his hands on. The strands of hair are so soft. With tears in her eyes, she lets them slip through her fingers. Kevin had made his point come across in the strongest way possible. By getting rid of one of the things his brother hated about him...
Kevin can’t sleep. He’s somehow disappointed. He had expected a bigger punishment for his action, but no one has said a word. In fact, it’s been eerily quiet in the house all night. Sarah and Kitty left to make their home-work. Tommy seems to have disappeared into thin air. Not even William growls at him over something.
There’s a little knock on his door and it opens just a bit.
“Kev? Are you asleep?”
“Yes.” Kevin answers, not in the mood for an argument. Tommy smiles at his brother’s answer and he slips into the room.
“Move over.” Tommy orders and Kevin frowns. Now what? Tommy sits down next to him on the bed. It’s not as dark in the room as he had expected, so he can see Kevin’s pale face beside him.
“Look, I’m sorry.” Tommy starts carefully. “I never expected you to do something this
“The hair was stupid. I looked like a girl.” Kevin shrugs, as if it was meaningless to him. Tommy shakes his head.
“No. You didn’t. I was just teasing you. Man, you nearly gave me heart-attack when you walked in...”
“Well, at least now I’m no longer looking like a girl.” Kevin points out, once again.
“No.” Tommy admits. “I know we don’t always get along, but ... I never wanted this
either. I wanted to make you more... I don’t know... different. I guess, I wanted you to be more like me...”
William had had a firm talk to Tommy and he had ordered Tommy to apologize to Kevin, but now that he’s sitting here and he sees how hurt Kevin is, Tommy’s more protective side shows up. His relationship with Kevin is complicated this way. Even though he himself inflicts pain on Kevin, he simultaneously wants to take it away as well.
“Mean? A bully? Stupid?” Kevin asks, not impressed with Tommy words of apology. He’s confident that Tommy came in here to beat him up, so he might as well get beaten up for a good reason. He knows he can’t physically win a fight with Tommy, Tommy’s too strong, but he can handle Tommy verbally.
“Kevin...” Tommy sighs. “Why do you have to always make things so difficult? I just wanted to say that I’m sorry.”
“Did mom make you?” Kevin asks, knowing very well that Tommy would rather eat glass than come to his room to apologize.
“Dad.” Tommy answers honestly.
“Dad?” Kevin is baffled by this and he thinks it over, until he sees the answer. “Mom made him do it.”
“I guess.” Tommy shrugs, there’s no point in lying about it.
He and Kevin look at each other, suddenly aware of the weirdness of their conversation. They both start to laugh. Tommy wraps an arm around Kevin and gently pulls him closer in a way that in rather uncharacteristic for him. Kevin tenses up a bit, ready to run if the situation calls for it, but instead Tommy ruffles his hair, well, what’s left of it anyway.
“You look as if Frankenstein gave you a hair-cut.”
“It still looks better than yours.” Kevin replies quickly. Tommy looks at him.
“I’m sorry.” He now says, sincerely.
“Me too. It was rather stupid...” Kevin admits.
“I’m never going to call you names again.” Tommy promises.
“Liar.” Kevin won’t be fooled this easily.
“Till the end of the week...?”
“For a whole week starting now.” Tommy offers as a last deal.
“Okay. Starting now.” Kevin agrees. Tommy smiles again and both he and Kevin wonder how long he’ll keep his promise. But Kevin is willing to take it, if it means that he’ll have one week of peace.
Nora quietly opens the door to Kevin’s room to just check on him before she goes to bed. She frowns, but then smiles when she sees the scene in front of her. Tommy is in Kevin’s bed, Kevin closely pressed up against him. Tommy seems to protectively hold his brother and suddenly she believes that things will work out just fine between Tommy and Kevin after all.