Blank Slate Chapter Nine

Disclaimer: I do not own Gundam Wing.

Warning: Possible graphic triggers for abused PTSD sufferers.

Chapter Nine

Daniel had found himself enjoying having a little brother. The younger child was quiet, like him, but Daniel could see an inner prankster. This made Daniel thrilled, though he couldn’t explain why he would be excited about rule breaking. The weeks with his new family had been passed like a dream.

He should have known life wasn’t going to be paradise, though.

It was Friday. School had ended and Daniel had walked home in the crisp February air in peace. His mind had wandered to possibly showing Chia a prank to do on a friend with a paper clip he had borrowed from the English teacher. He intended to return it, so he had forgot to actually ask permission to borrow the paper clip.

Ah, school, his brain shifted thoughts quickly. This school was like the others, except for the horror school from the bigot area. No one bothered him much here and he chatted when people talked to him. He wasn’t a click kind of guy, though, and hadn’t made any friends like the friend, Sam, that he already had. The same Sam that called every night to talk about random movies and plot to kidnap Daniel for a sleep over that would be the sleep over of a century, or so he kept saying.

Daniel walked through the front door and felt a new sense come over him. An instinct told him to run. He shoved it down and called out, “Mom! I’m home!” Silence greeted him. The horrible memory of finding Mama Snow unconscious assaulted him. “Mom?” He walked further into the house and heard a small noise coming from the master bedroom.

He knocked quietly and heard sniffles and choked sobs. “Mom?” he asked again as he slowly opened the door. The room was dark, the blinds drawn shut. He allowed the light from the hall to come across a figure hunched and sobbing into a pillow on the bed. His foster mother was trying to stifle the crying into the blue pillow case. He walked over to her and laid a hand against her shoulder. “Mom, are you okay?”

She shook her head but didn’t bring it up to see him. She was in her night clothes still and he could see horrible angry purple bruises all down her arms. He hadn’t ever seen her arms before. She kept them covered, but since it was cold and winter he had never thought anything about it. Now he saw that someone was hurting her. The large hand marks where she had been grabbed stood out against some of the lighter healed bruises.

“Who did this?” he asked quietly. A fire of anger came over him and he climbed onto the bed in front of her. Gently he brought his hands in to bring her face up to see him. The tears had caused rivers to run down her face and he could see an angry shade of red, purple and blue covering a swollen closed left eye. It was the only damage done to her face but since her arms spoke of multiple attacks, he knew the damage done to the face was a rare occurrence of repeated abuse. “Are you hurt anywhere else?” he asked his foster mother.

She looked at him with her only good eye and saw the light of someone not twelve dwelling inside the small body of the boy in front of her. “It hurts to breathe,” she whispered and gasped again. “I… I…” she didn’t know what to tell the child.

With careful hands he brought them down to her sides and gently pushed against her ribs. She gasped when he touched her fourth rib on the right side. “Bruised but not broken,” he told her. He looked back at his current mom, “Did dad do this?”

She nodded and threw her face back into the pillow. She mumbled into it making it hard to understand her, “I didn’t have lunch ready for him today.”

He felt his world shatter again. He had thought this was an awesome family. He hadn’t ever seen his new foster father raise his voice or even get angry. He was strict, and had made it clear that he expected his foster sons to do their best in everything they ever set out to do, but he had never gotten angry or even punished physically.

“I can’t have children,” she admitted and peaked up at him. He nodded. He understood. They were there to keep her from being beat while they were home. His foster father would never hurt his wife in front of people, and especially not in front of the kids. He needed to keep his mouth shut to keep his foster mother safe.

~*~Ma~*~

Once again, though, he should have known that this man who hurt his love wouldn’t settle for just hurting the woman. Daniel asked Chia if their new dad had ever lost his temper with him, but Chia said he had never been even spanked. Daniel, on the other hand, wasn’t seven. He was twelve and should have known that setting the man off could result in the same punishment he gave his wife.

So, when the hand came at him suddenly back handing him across the face, he really shouldn’t have been surprised. Justin sailed a tight ship, and Daniel had caused a delay in their schedule that morning. They were getting ready for church and Daniel couldn’t get his newly chopped hair to lay right. It took longer than he thought it would to brush it out and use some brush through hair gel to get it to not have bed-head.

As he walked out of the bathroom the hand came out of almost nowhere. It completely caught Daniel off guard and he was thrown back and against the wall of the hallway.

“We’re late now,” Justin didn’t yell. He growled. Now Daniel knew why they had never heard the man yell. He wasn’t a screamer. He was a hitter and would lower his voice. Justin stood grabbed Daniel by his collar and forced him back onto his feet. Daniel grabbed at his shirt to stop from choking as he was pulled roughly through the now empty house and toward the car.

Before he was able to get into the back seat Justin pulled him close, nose to nose, “You tripped.” He didn’t have to say more. Daniel knew he had a mark across his face and it could possibly bruise. The threat was there, though. He nodded. A smack across the face was nothing compared to what his foster mother would go through if he was removed and right now he was glad the man had hit him and not the woman.

This he could handle, and it would protect the other two in the house. He now knew he could bring the wrath on him and this would be acceptable to him as long as the woman and child didn’t get any of this pent up anger this man held in a barely controlled check.

~*~ Tsuzuku ~*~

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