|Kaden Murphy (chippackets) wrote,|
@ 2021-03-13 21:41:00
[The rain is bucketing down in a way that fills Kaden with a familiar kind of dread. It’s the worst kind of March rain, heavy and cold, the kind of rain that will fill the Hole in a matter of hours and hang around for a matter of weeks. A constant, persistent, disheartening downpour.
It is just another sickeningly unfair way in which the world works though, isn’t it? That something can last for such a short time but still give you shit to wade through a week later.
Kaden has his math homework spread out on the bed in front of him as he tries not to think about anything else. The rain pounds against the windows like its trying to tell him there’s some things he can’t study his way out of, some things he can't escape.
With a roar of engine, things get suddenly worse.
Kaden knows that car, know it’s not Tragos, misses the day when it might have been Barak because at least he knew how to placate Barak, most of the time. Cy is so fucking unpredictable none of Kaden’s tricks work – apart from giving him something expensive, some gift from Aphrodite, that does it most of the time. But Kaden has nothing for Cy tonight.
Maybe Cy will leave him alone. Some nights, he just ignores him. Some nights Kaden sneaks out of the house before he can find out if it would have been a lucky night or not, but tonight the flood waters have swallowed up the drive. It’s not impassable, but it gives him pause, and a pause is all the time Cy needs to stomp down the hall and shove the door open.
“Guess what, asswipe,” he says. “You’re fucked.” Fucked. Cy says it deep, and he says it with an immeasurable amount of pleasure.
Fear floods Kaden faster than the streets. Cy has a wet envelope in his hand and he scrunches it up and throws it at Kaden’s head. It hits Kaden’s raised hand instead of his forehead, and falls with a wet sound onto his lap. “What is-” he starts to say, but he’s already smoothing out the envelope, the wet paper tearing like tissue under his fingers. He sees the header from the Office of Children and Family Services and he Knows.
Of course Cy’s been declined as his guardian. Of course the unpaid – and still growing – hospital debt impedes his ability to care for a child.
The fact that Kaden thought it might have ended any other way, the fact that he hoped… it makes Kaden feel beyond stupid, now.
The letter tells him he’s got an appointment with a social worker to find a new place for him to live, and Kaden is swamped with every horror story he’s ever heard about group homes and foster parents and abuse and fear and -
At least Cy’s unpredictability is his, you know? And at least here he has Tragos. If he’s moved somewhere else he'll have nobody and Kaden can’t handle it.
He lost Tragos once, when he was ten and Tragos was fourteen. When Tragos went to juvie for a while and left him all alone. His mom had been dead nearly three years and his dad in prison a few months and Barak and Cy were both War Dogs in their twenties and Kaden was left alone with a half grown puppy and it was the worst few months of his life. It scarred deep, those months. Whenever he thinks about losing Tragos again the scar throbs and right now, it is throbbing so hard it threatens to split open. He doesn’t want to be separated from his brother again.
Cy has thumped away back toward the kitchen and his music pulses through the walls and Kaden’s chest, and Cy’s presence is the only thing that stops him crying in a sort of hopeless panic. He spreads out the letter and reads it over and over, hunting for loopholes.
Maybe, he thinks… if the debt goes away, he can stay.
It would have never, ever, ever been even a maybe a few months ago, because the kind of money that Cy owes the hospital is astronomical… but Kaden has brushed elbows with goddesses and has seen a wealth that is even more astronomically unbelievable…
Both his parents and all his brothers have taught him that reaching out for help makes you vulnerable and being vulnerable is unacceptable. His mother taught him to steal and run, his father taught him to take, not ask. Kaden was never quite as indoctrinated as his older brothers… but still, as he takes out his phone to start typing, he feels the fear in his bones that he is doing something very, very wrong.
It pulses and hums and overwhelms, but he’s doing it anyway, because his other choice is being separated from Tragos and… he can’t, he can’t do that ever again.
One fear wins out over the other, and he sends the message, his stomach cramping in dread.]
I’m really really sorry to ask but, goddess, I need your help. In a… really big way.