Glimpse Inside

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012 11:16 pm
unstablekitten: (bubbles)
[personal profile] unstablekitten
Title: Glimpse Inside
Characters: Muck (an OC), Chloe (an OC)
Summary: After being left at school Chloe finds herself spending the evening at Muck's family's farm and gets a glimpse into a world she's only dreamed of.
Notes: Muck is 16 and Chloe is 14. This takes place after Cupcake.
Rating: G

The fourteen year old sat quietly as hockey practice ended. It would take her older brother at least twenty minutes before he'd be finished and out of the locker room. So absolutely no reason to hurry and cram her things back into her book bag or bolt for the side door. Uncoiling legs from her sitting position, which had them crossed and tucked with her feet under her knees, Chloe stretched. Muscles ached as she stood, how good it felt not to be bent over a book reading. It was amazing at times she got any reading done during hockey practice, but yet she managed it. The noise became a background hum to the girl as she focused on her homework. Only when the final whistle blew did she ever acknowledge what was going on around her. That was out of necessity though. Chloe had learned the hard way being too absorbed in her studies meant her sixteen year old brother wasn't going to wait for her and would just take off leaving her behind. Gathering up books she dropped them into her bag along with papers and pencils. Jace should be out any minute and she knew it. Making her way from where she had been sitting she could hear a few of the older teenagers as they left the locker room before she could see them. In the midst of the group was Jace, of course, laughing and talking louder than the others. Just as Chloe made it to the bottom row of seats she saw her brother duck out the side door. Not again! Quick as she could Chloe bolted for the door and raced after him. By the time she got to the parking lot though Jace was already half a block down the street. Frustrated the girl felt like screaming yet kept it to herself. Screaming wouldn't do any good. Not with the long walk home she'd have, again.

Kicking at a small rock as she went Chloe was surprised when a truck pulled up alongside her and a familiar voice asked, "Need a ride home?"

Looking up she saw Muck was leaning towards the passenger door. Before she could answer he pushed it open and motioned for her to hop in.

"It's out of your way and I don't mind walking." Chloe stated with her hand on the door ready to shut it.

Muck raised an eyebrow in that brotherly concerned way he had when dealing with her as he asked, "Now Chloe, do you really think I'm going to let you walk home alone at this hour?"

The sun was setting behind the trees and the warmth of the afternoon was already giving way to a cool evening wind. While the jeans and hoodie she wore were warm enough the younger teen couldn't argue with the fact walking home by herself after dark wasn't high on her list of fun activities. Hopping in she closed the door behind her.

With a smile Muck said, "Now that wasn't so hard was it?"

Sticking her tongue out the girl ignored the sixteen year old boy as he chuckled at her. It took only ten minutes before they were at her house. One look though told them both that no one was home. Which didn't strike Chloe as out of the ordinary at all. Her parents were always working and Jace was rarely home. Not exactly a fun filled time for her spending most of her evenings and weekends alone. Opening the door she moved to get out only to have Muck's hand grab her arm.

"What?"

"No one's home."

"I know that, Muck. No lights on kind of gives it away you know."

"When will your parents be home?"

Chloe shrugged. Anyone's guess was good as to what time either of them would show up. They might have had a dinner out scheduled or some party with friends to attend.

"What about Jace?"

It was Chloe's turn to laugh. Jace? Home? Not likely. Not if he could avoid it. Given he'd ditched her at school she didn't doubt for a second that her brother was off somewhere partying again.

"All right then you're coming home with me."

"Hey! I can stay home all by myself. I'm not three you know and I don't need a babysitter."

"Just keep telling yourself that cupcake. Now shut the door, I'm taking you home with me."

For a second Chloe almost challenged Muck and dared him to try and keep her from entering her home. The fact he hadn't loosened his hand on her arm though kept her from jumping out of the truck. With a sigh she closed the door and leaned back in the seat sulking.

"Oh cheer up. I’m not going to make you do my chores or anything. Besides mom will be thrilled to have you stay for dinner. She always likes having more kids around to feed."

"Why?"

Not taking his eyes off of the road he moved from the paved highway to the side dirt road that would take them to the farm Muck answered, "Always wanted a big family. Didn't get one though. So having my friends around at mealtimes kind of gives her that for a little bit. She loves it. So don't worry about being an imposition or anything silly. Okay?"

"Okay."

It would be nice to actually be around others for a change instead of left to fend for herself. A home cooked meal would be quite a treat too. Especially since when she'd left for school that morning Chloe had noted that the only things in the fridge were a couple of oranges and a jar of pickles. There hadn't even been any crackers in the pantry or a loaf of bread in the bread box. For a change she'd actually get a real meal instead of ordering something in, if her parents had remembered to leave any money for her to do so, or scrounge in the house for something else to eat. After several minutes the truck turned onto the gravel driveway and towards the old farmhouse. With its weathered green shutters and rocker sitting on the porch it looked like something out of a painting. Rustic and charming, it almost didn't seem real. A loud bark, bark, bark snapped Chloe from her thoughts as she saw a large German Shepherd just outside of the truck.

"Uh ..."

"Blitz." Muck said as he stepped out of the truck and reached down to pet the dog. "You be nice to Chloe, she's a guest."

Opening the door Chloe hopped down and waited when Blitz raced around to the passenger side to inspect her. After a sniff at her shoes and a few licks of her hand the dog seemed satisfied that she wasn't a threat and wagged his tail until it resembled a hummingbird's wings with how rapidly it moved. Once inside she was ushered into the kitchen where Muck's mother was busy getting things finished for dinner.

"Well now. Hello sweetie.", Mrs. Winburg said with a warm smile that reached up to her eyes.

"Mom, this is Chloe. Jace's little sister. She got left at school and no one was home when I went to drop her off so I brought her here."

There was no question of if that was all right or not and from the look on the older woman's face there was no need of one. She simply nodded her head and smiled.

"Always nice to have company for dinner. You make yourself right to home, sweetie."

Chloe couldn't help smiling back. Moving closer to see what Mrs. Winburg was doing her eyebrows rose in curiosity as dough was quickly moved, squished, smashed and rolled. A cookie cutter went through the dough easily and miniature pumpkins appeared on a cookie sheet. Cookies? They didn't quite look like cookies though.

Seeing the younger girl's interest Mrs. Winburg said, "I'm making buttermilk biscuits. Have you ever made those before?"

Shaking her head no Chloe answered, "My mom doesn't do much cooking."

"That's a real shame. If you'd like to learn I'd be happy to teach you."

While the two talked Muck slipped out of the kitchen and made his way to the living room. Picking up the telephone he dialed Jace's cell phone number.

After three rings Muck heard Jace's voice on the other end, "What up?"

"You left Chloe at school." Muck stated before adding in, "I brought her home with me since no one was at your house."

"You dog!" Jace exclaimed with a laugh, "I didn't know you liked them young."

Muck was taken by surprise for a minute before regaining himself, "You know that's not what's going on."

"No skin off my nose if it is. You're welcome to her."

"Jace!" Muck exclaimed before lowering his voice to a whispered hiss, "This is your little sister you're talking about here."

"Yeah, so?" Jace replied distractedly. "Look I don't care what you do with her. Keep her; sleep with her, dump her on the street. She's your problem tonight, not mine."

A click ended the conversation and Muck was left staring at the receiver for a minute before placing it back in its cradle. Jace was a jerk. He knew that. Still he hadn't expected the other to be so nonchalant about his sister or how she was. Perhaps it shouldn't have surprised him but it did.

Dinner was an all-out festivity in the Winburg home. Flowers, freshly picked from the garden that morning, sat in the center of the table. There was meatloaf, mashed potatoes with pools of melted butter on top, peas, salad, buttermilk biscuits and glasses of ice cold milk to drink. Chloe viewed the whole thing like something from a movie. It was better than Christmas. Everyone talked and there was laughter. No one said anything about what she ate or how much. After her fourth biscuit and second helping of everything Chloe did scold herself for playing piggy so. It all tasted so good though and she hadn't realized just how hungry she was until that first bite. Over and over again she had complimented Mrs. Winburg on how wonderful everything tasted and told her how much she enjoyed it. The older woman couldn't stop smiling and Mr. Winburg heartily approved when the girl had seconds.

After dinner and leftovers were put away a game of Scrabble got underway. Chloe was having an absolute ball and by the looks of it everyone else was too. A couple of games later the adults proclaimed defeat and retired to the living room to watch a television show they wanted to, leaving the teenagers alone to do homework. By ten o'clock Muck's parents were heading to bed and reminded their son that it was getting late.

Startled by the time Chloe apologized, "I'm sorry if I kept you up."

"Nonsense." Mrs. Winburg said, "We enjoyed having you. You come back anytime you like. Our door is always open to you."

"Thank you."

Chloe watched as Muck's parents headed towards the living room and the stairs to go up to their bedroom. The two seemed very much in love still and it made her wish her parents acted like that, even just a little. Honestly she wished her family acted like a family, once a year would be nice. Once a month would probably kill them but it would have made her cry from sheer joy to do things as a family like others did.

"All right, kiddo. What do you say I take you home?" Muck asked heading towards the front door and the coat stand where he'd left his jacket.

Standing Chloe quickly gathered her things before heading towards the door. She wasn't really ready to leave just yet. To leave this world of togetherness and warm meals and well others. It was nice not to be alone for a change. If only this rare treat wasn't so very rare. Picking up her book bag Muck carried it out to his truck and opened the passenger door for her. Surprised she blinked for a minute which caused the older teen to smile lopsidedly. Once Chloe was inside he shut the door and went around to the driver's side and got in. The engine quietly purred to life and they were off down the gravel driveway in what felt like seconds to the girl. She wished time would stop and she could stay here, frozen in this moment right now. To not have to go home and quite possibly face an empty house. Even if it wasn't empty, by some miracle, when she got there it would be the following morning and all weekend long. If it hadn't been for friends having other plans she would have asked them if she could stay over. Anything was better than being alone all the time. Which was in large part why she had begun volunteering at the hospital as a candy striper. Helping others kept her from focusing on what she didn't have and it also kept her from being so very alone. The car ride home had gone faster than she'd expected and both teenagers noted the cars in the driveway. At least her parents were home, for now.

Opening the door Chloe paused and turned towards Muck, "Thanks for taking me home with you. I had fun."

"See it wasn't all bad." With a wink and smile Muck added, "I didn't even make you help me with my chores."

Jumping down Chloe replied, "You also didn't ask me to."

"I'll hold you to that next time. Sleep well, cupcake."

"Night, Muck."

The older teen waited while Chloe closed the door and it wasn't until he saw the front door shut behind her signaling she was safely inside that he backed out of the driveway. Moving towards the window she watched as he drove away. Muck was clearly one of the better people her brother knew and hung out with. If only she knew more of those.

"Is that you, Chloe?" Mrs. Zanders called from the den.

"Yes, mom it's me." Chloe replied slipping off her shoes and setting them along with her book bag inside the hall closet.

There was no question of where she had been or who she had been out with. Not that Chloe had expected such. Her parents were fairly hands off and liked to let both of their children do what they liked, see who they wanted and make their own mistakes. This suited Jace just fine and let him do all the partying he liked, which everyone at school knew was a lot. For Chloe though she felt like she was a stranger in a home with people she didn't know. All she wanted was someone to care, someone to worry about her and want to take care of her. It was silly though. She'd wanted the same thing as a little girl. Going so far as to ask Santa for that for Christmas each year she wrote him, until she was eight when Jace had told her there was no such person as Santa Claus. A happy family that cared for one another it was the stuff of fairytales, dreams and make-believe ... and yet she'd seen those who had families that cared for one another. Friends who might not have had a storybook family still had families that worried about them and wanted to know how they were doing. It was funny in a way she wanted what they had and they longed for what she had instead. The thought of families and someone caring about her continued to drift through her mind as she crawled into bed and sleep claimed her. At least for tonight her dreams wouldn't turn to nightmares instead her subconscious relived the dinner she'd had with a family, a real family that cared about one another.

Date: Friday, December 14th, 2012 12:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] unstablekitten.livejournal.com
It was seriously time to delve more into her home life and let people see more of how things are for her. Sad it took this long. Jace really is a dick.

I'm glad this little story popped into my head and wouldn't go away. Nice to see the two interacting more and getting more of the foundation for their relationship cemented.

Eee! I hope you do. :D Adore Holli. She and Ace are adorable together. Totally makes me want to write more in hopes that you'll write about those two. :D