|Blaine P. Jackson (blackson) wrote in dalton_rpg,|
@ 2010-11-24 15:17:00
|Entry tags:||! thread, @ character: blaine jackson, @ character: rose morgan, status: complete|
Who: Blaine and Simon (with guest appearances by other members of the Jackson family)
What: Going home for Thanksgiving
Where: The Jackson House, Lima OH
When: Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Blaine had to admit he was a little nervous about bringing Simon home for Thanksgiving, but Simon clearly needed the help and Blaine wanted to give it to him. “So,” he said as they carried their bags in the front door. “Whose room would you like? Betsy's and Brandon's are both open...”
"I'll take Brandon's," Simon said, taking his bag off Blaine. "Lead on."
“Are you sure?” Blaine asked. “Because Betsy's room is bigger, and closer to the bathroom.”
"Eh, I'm not really down with taking a girl's room."
"Well, maybe it's a little frilly, but it's not bad...”
"I'm not a fucking girl, Blaine"
"I didn't say you were! Betsy has the nicer mattress, and it's only for a couple days, so I thought--never mind. Brandon's room is the converted attic upstairs. The ceiling's sloped, so watch your head. The stairs are this way..."
"...Yeah, that's pretty cool. I always wanted an attic room. Cool."
Blaine showed Simon up to the attic, which was tastefully decorated in a blue palette. It was small and devoid of much personality, but it was cozy enough. "There are spare blankets in the closet here if you get cold at night," Blaine said, showing Simon. "And an extra pillow. Bathroom's downstairs."
"Right. Uh-huh." Simon looked around the little room. In the right light, at least, it was sort of sweet. And less giveaway girly than the other one. With Blaine's problem-solving, RA-ey eyes on him he felt very watched, very exposed, as if he was being tested. He half-wished he hadn’t agreed to come, he certainly wished he hadn't posted that stupid message on Blaine's advice post. Trying not to look nervous, he pasted on a look of extreme boredom and headed for the bed, then caught his head on the ceiling with a resounding thunk.
Blaine tried not to laugh. He really did. He maybe snerked a little. "It's okay," he said. "I do that all the time when I come up here. We all do, I think. If it gets too much for you, Betsy's room is still available. And if you do it too hard, help yourself to ice from the freezer or something like that."
"I'm fine," Simon snapped, irritated and humiliated. He ducked, rubbing his forehead, and dumped his bag on the bed. Stupid ceiling.
"I'll be downstairs in my room if you need me," Blaine said. "I'll have the door open. Dinner's..." He shrugged. "Whenever Adam shouts. Usually around six-thirty. But I'll let you get settled now." He smiled at the younger boy before turning toward the door.
Simon shrugged. "Yeah." As Blaine left, he had a feeling this was how he was going to spend the next few days. Uncomfortable, awkward, nervy. Which would manifest into him sulking in his room.
Shortly after Blaine left, there was a scratching at the closed bedroom door.
Simon paused in arranging his bedclothes (there was certainly not a battered stuffed panda under there that he couldn't sleep the first night in a new place without) and looked up. "What?"
"Mew!" There was a little cry from behind the door and then fresh scratching. Poppy, the smallest of the Jackson cats, a tiny four-and-a-half pound tuxedo queen, wanted in.
Simon jumped off the bed. Thud. "Ow! Son of a-!" Rubbing his head, he hurried over to the door to let the cat in. People, he couldn't deal with. Cats, though...
Poppy strode into the room like she owned the place, her tail held high. She immediately leapt onto the bed and started sniffing around his bag before she climbed in and laid down on top of his clothes, starting to purr.
Shutting the door swiftly behind her, Simon headed back to sit next to her, this time ducking in time. After a while, he stuck his hand in the bag too and started to scratch her between the ears. "Hello, cat."
Poppy turned to sniff at Simon's fingers, analyzing him before she decided she approved and let her pink tongue dart out to lick his fingertips.
Simon laughed, a wholly unaffected laugh, and wiggled his fingers, encouraging the cat to give its ministrations to his whole hand. "I'm Simon. I'm going to be your guest for Thanksgiving."
Simon's whole hand was licked clean, and then Poppy climbed out of the bag and into Simon's lap, sniffing over his shirt, climbing his chest, still purring.
Simon lay back, letting Poppy roam over his chest. "See? You can tell I'm not a dick, right?" Truth be told, he'd felt worse about himself with every passing day at Dalton, as he alienated himself further. But at least the cat liked him. "I don't mean to be, honestly. It just happens."
Poppy decided that the best place to lie down again was high on Simon's chest, just below his throat, her face tucked under his chin, her purr rumbling through her, making her fur quiver.
Simon raised a hand lazily to scratch the base of her neck, enjoying the feeling of her purring. For all his many good traits, one big problem Simon had with living with his dad was that he couldn't really have pets; James was allergic to cats and dogs, and Sara hated mice and reptiles. He felt like he could quite happily stay here forever with Poppy's warm weight on his chest. "I'm not really Simon," he confided to the cat in a murmur, "but then, maybe you can tell. Cats are smarter than humans, I think."
Poppy's response was simply to knead her paws lightly against Simon's chest and rearrange her head to a more comfortable position, giving a sigh as she settled down for an extended nap.
Simon settled down too, not wanting to disturb the cat, and a hush descended around him. He rather hoped they'd forget he was there, never call him away, let him live in this little oasis of calm. Unfortunately right then his cellphone burst into life with a tinny burst of One-Eyed Doll
Poppy leapt to her feet at the noise, bristling a little, her purr abruptly ended.
Simon, momentarily forgetting about the cat, sat up suddenly and groped for the phone in his pocket. ShitshitSHITshitshitshit don't hang up
Poppy leapt off Simon's chest and darted off the edge of the bed
By the time Simon got his phone out, it had stopped ringing. "Shit," he repeated, chucking it across the bed and kicking the wall. He rolled over and hung over the edge of the bed, looking for Poppy. "Hey, kitty. Kitty?"
Poppy looked back at Simon from under the bed, her gold eyes wide and reflective in the gloom.
Simon waggled his fingers at her coaxingly, making a cooing noise in the back of his throat. "Hey, sweetie, it's ok, I'm sorry."
Poppy twitched her tail, debating. The human was nice but made loud noises and sat up too fast.
"If you come out, I promise I'll turn my phone off," he wheedled. "Come on, honey."
Poppy crawled out from under the bed, twitching her tail again.
"Good girl," Simon grinned, moving back slowly to tempt her back onto the bed.
Poppy eventually jumped back onto the bed, but she settled down at Simon's feet, turning her back to the boy. I'm ignoring you. But you are permitted to pet me.
He did, tentatively, with one finger at first, then stroking her from the top of her head to the base of her tail, gently and sensitively
Eventually, Poppy started to purr again, chancing a glance at Simon out of the corner of her eye but turning her face away again if he looked back.
Simon smiled, then his face fell slightly, as he realised he'd gotten to act much the same in the last few years. Everything had to be on his own terms. And he remembered how disappointed his dad had been in him after he'd been kicked out of the Academy. He pulled a face to stop his eyes stinging and stroked Poppy harder.
Poppy's purr deepened as Simon's vigorous petting pulled free tufts of loose fur (she was shedding her summer coat for her winter one, after all), and soon she was kneading again, but at the bed this time. And then there was a knock at the door.
Simon's head jerked up. Aware that his eyes were watery, he rubbed at them hard with the heel of a slightly cat furred hand. "What?!"
"Dinner's ready," Blaine called through the door, deciding against opening it at the tone of Simon's voice. "And do you have any cats in there? We're missing two..."
Poppy perked up and got to her feet, giving a shake to send another layer of cat fur on the bed before hopping off and trotting over to the door.
"Yeah, yeah. Black and white one." Simon swung himself out of bed, managed not to hit his head on the ceiling, and brushed the hair off his trousers. An idea hit him. He scooped up Poppy. "You're a good alibi, you know that?" he told her, heading for the door, wiping at his pink eyes with his free arm as he held her against his chest with the other.
"That'll be Poppy, then," Blaine took a step away from the door as Simon opened it, grinning at the light dusting of black fur. "You haven't seen an absolutely massive furball, have you?"
"Nope," Simon answered brusquely. "Just her. She's been pestering me the whole time. You didn't warn me you had cats. I'm a bit allergic."
"Oh, shit, I'm sorry," Blaine said, quickly reaching out to take Poppy from Simon. "Do you want to get changed before dinner, then? We have five cats... I probably should have said something. If it's too much for you, we can put you up in a hotel or something..."
Simon's eyes flickered. He already regretted using that excuse; he was always surprised by people's friendliness. Of course, he wasn't allergic to cats, it had just seemed like a good excuse in case Blaine realised he'd been crying. "For fuck's sake, it's not a big deal. It just makes my eyes water, that's all. Whatever. Let's eat, I'm starving."
"You're supposed to be here to be having a break from things that make you uncomfortable," Blaine pointed out, letting Poppy climb onto his shoulders as he led Simon downstairs. "I'd be a horrible host if I made you sleep with cats. I'm sure we have some cat-fur-free sheets somewhere--they tend to sleep on that bed when no one's in the room."
Nuts. It looked kind of like Simon had managed to get himself into a position where he was about to cut himself off from the only companionship he was looking forward to. Hey, wasn't that always the way with him? "No," he insisted, a little more forcefully than he meant to. "It's not so bad and I like the cats."
Blaine glanced back at Simon, quiet for a moment, before saying, "You're not really allergic, are you?"
Simon scowled. "Fuck off, why would I lie about something like that?"
Blaine shrugged. "Just--are you allergic? Because if you are, I'll do what I can to keep the cats away from you. But if you aren't, I'll let them mob you. We have three dogs too. And an aquarium. And feral rabbits."
"Not allergic. More sort of slightly intolerant. I like cats," he admitted, somewhat irritable at being caught out so completely.
"All right then," Blaine said. "Let's have dinner. Any food allergies?"
Simon shook his head sulkily.
"Excellent." Blaine swept Poppy off his shoulders and deposited her on the floor as they stepped into the dining room, where she immediately scampered over to the other cats inhaling their dinners in one corner.
"So this is our house guest?" Blake, Blaine's younger older brother (by three years), looked up from where he was setting the table. Blake was a good foot taller than Blaine, skinny as a pole, but with the same curly black hair and wide grin. "You Blaine's boyfriend? Or one of his singing Swallows?"
"No," Simon answered bluntly. "I'm not gay and I can't sing. I'm Simon Morgan. I'm just a...friend." Not even that
"Touchy, touchy," Blake said, holding up his hands.
"Everyone's touchy around you," Blaine countered. "This is going to be your seat, Simon. What would you like to drink?"
Simon, deciding he was really only going to make life more difficult for himself by opening his mouth, shrugged.
"Whatever." He wasn't about to try and start a conversation, that was for damn sure.
The dining room soon turned into a circus of activity as Adam, a big man easily as tall as Blake, brought out the meatloaf he had made (and mournfully despairing over how it had 'all fallen apart'). Amanda (almost six foot herself, but with the curls and bright smile of both her sons) brought out side dishes of salad and rolls, nearly tripping over the cats darting underfoot and the three dogs who had shown up to join the party. Blaine slipped away to return with drinks for himself and Simon, wondering just what Simon thought of his loud and enthusiastic family.
Simon thought a lot of things, He wondered how Blaine had ended up so short. He wished he could be at home, where things might be a lot less of a classic family but he felt like less of an outsider. He also had to wonder what Adam would call a good meatloaf. It looked pretty damn good to him, as a lifetime eater of ready meals and microwave burgers, and he said so. "Doesn't look so bad, Mr Jackson."
"Really? You think?" Adam eyed his meatloaf with a bit of hope in his eyes, and Amanda laughed, patting Simon on the head on her next circuit of the table, bringing a glass of water to Blake. "You don't think it looks like pig slop?"
"Now you're just fishing for compliments," Blaine accused his father, taking the seat beside Simon. "And you've earned yourself an admirer for life," he told the other boy. "Praising his cooking, what were you thinking?" Adam was a very good cook, but his meals never turned out looking the way he wanted them to. They always tasted delicious, though (except for that one orange chicken of which they would never again talk).
"Best my dad does is cook pasta, it's pretty cool from where I'm sitting," Simon said with a slightly awkward smile. He might be a scrapper by nature, but they'd been nice enough to let him into their house, he should probably be nice back. Anyway, it was cool.
"I like this boy," Adam declared, pointing the spoon he was using to serve the 'pig slop' meatloaf at Simon. "Blainey, you need to bring him home for Christmas."
Simon laughed. "I've got my own home for Christmas, Mr Jackson. Sorry."
"Shall we say grace?" Amanada asked, slipping into her own seat. "Blake? Care to lead us?"
Blake clapped his hands together as if he were praying. He took a deep breath, closing his eyes, and then said "We thank the cow--cow, right Adam?"
"Cow for this pig slop, and the plants for the salad, and everything else for everything else. Grace."
"Grace," the other three Jacksons repeated, Blaine stealing a glance at Simon to see how he reacted to the unconventional grace.
Despite himself, Simon found himself grinning. He hadn't had any real faith for years, so he had been dreading having to mouth along to grace to a God who'd let him down. This, however, was an interesting development. "Grace," he chimed in.
"We're not really big fans of organized religion in this house," Amanda explained, helping herself to some salad and passing the bowl along.
"They kept kicking the Blaine-fart out," Blake said as he accepted the bowl, earning himself a dirty look from his younger brother.
"We disapproved of their disapproval," Amanda said. "So we instead return to a very natural way of looking at things. Somethings had to die for us to eat, so we thank them. And saying grace is just a traditional way of signaling that a meal is beginning, so it cuts out all that horrible awkwardness of 'do I start eating now? How about now? Should I wait?'"
Simon nodded, still with that idiot grin on his face. "It's pretty damn cool."
"Brandon started the whole 'finishing with the actual word grace,'" Blaine said, accepting the bowl from Blake and serving himself before offering it to Simon. "He went through a very literal stage."
Serving himself liberal amounts of salad before passing the bowl on, Simon was surprised at how relaxed he actually felt. "Me, too, I think every kid does."
"I never did," Blake insisted, passing along the meatloaf (it really did need to be served with a spoon, though it smelled delicious).
"No, you just went through a poet stage. Everything was spoken in haiku..."
Simon laughed, taking a deep drink and leaning on his elbow. It was a weird experience, joining a 'proper' family at the dinner table. Not something he made a habit of. But it kind of made him appreciate why people might want a bigger family.
The discussion went around happily, with each member of the family getting their fair share of teasing. Blaine's own emo stage was brought up (you should have seen him, Simon, he'd flat-iron his hair so on top of being shrimpy, he wouldn't have the Jackson curls and everyone was certain Amanda got knocked up by someone else!) and embarrassing costumes and overdone family photos, the time Adam absolutely failed to ride a horse...
Throughout the whole meal, Blaine kept an eye on Simon, making sure his guest wasn't feeling left out or uncomfortable, trying to find ways to coax stories of his own out of him.
While Simon was happy to laugh along and chip in, even to occasionally offer tidbits of information about his dad or Sara (and this one time, she actually set the turkey on fire, there was smoke rising from the actual roof), surprisingly enough, his mom never came up. And if he remembered himself or felt pressed, he'd clam up and become very interested in his meatloaf/goop.
By the time dessert came out (chocolate chip cookies), the Jackson animals had settled down too. Poppy had curled up on Simon's feet, and Chamberlain, a huge black newfoundland mix, had squeezed between Simon and Blaine's chair, his head resting on Blaine's lap and Blaine's fingers scratching behind his ears.
Simon was using a toe to stroke Poppy's back gently, grinning appreciatively at the cookies. "That smells fucking awesome."
"I can't cook to save my life," Amanda told Simon, "but I can bake."
"Between them, we never go hungry," Blaine declared, snagging three cookies for himself. He began picking the chips out of one as he took a bite of the second.
"I can tell." Simon grabbed a couple of cookies, vacuuming up one at the speed of thought. "Ahhhhh!"
The chip-less cookie was slipped into Blaine's lap, where Chamberlain inhaled it and licked his fingers clean. On Blaine's other side, Blake was echoing the gesture with Filibuster, a retired greyhound.
And Poppy was standing on her hind legs now, claws dug in to Simon's knees, demanding either food or attention. Preferably both.
Simon laughed, dropping one hand under the table to rub Poppy between the ears, while he crumbled away bits of cookie and chocolate to pass down to her.
Poppy daintily nipped the treats from Simon's fingers before hopping up into his lap properly.
Simon glanced at Blaine. "She's allowed to do that, right?"
"Your lap," Blaine said with a shrug. "Chamberlain'd be in mine if he still fit..."
Simon nodded, settling down to share his cookie with Poppy, making those little coaxing noises in the back of his throat to her as he held out crumbs until his cookie was gone.
"You do realize," Blake said, "that you're going to be black head to foot when you leave here, right? That little furball sheds more than the rest of our cats combined."
Simon grinned beautifically. "Eh. She's adorable."
"She likes to ride on shoulders," Blaine said. "And if you let her, she'll climb on top of your head."
Simon laughed, dark eyes shining. "I guess I'm her new climbing frame, then."
'All right, boys," Amanda said, rising to her feet and setting a cat of her own on her chair. "Time to leave the animals behind and clean up."
Simon picked Poppy off his lap and set her on the floor, picking up his plate and Blaine's. "Best meal I've had in forever," he said firmly.
"Wait until you taste Thanksgiving," Blaine said, grabbing their glasses. "Adam goes all out..."
"I may be prematurely drooling."
"You'll get to eat it tomorrow," Blaine said with a laugh. "Skip breakfast."
"Whatever you say, Blaine." Simon grinned, feeling better than he had for weeks.