manicdak: (pic#660571)
[personal profile] manicdak
Title: Brooks Runs Away
Prompt: Run, Nightmare, Cockwaffles
Rating: PG-13
Series: This Thing That Happened This One Time
Content Summary/Notes/Warnings: Brooks takes the train down to Davis for a surprise visit.

Jared woke up to the sound of the doorbell ringing, an odd and somewhat terrifying before his alarm had gone off. He shook Amos in a muted panic until he was also awake.

“What?” he grumbled in his half asleep state.

“Someone’s here,” Jared replied.

“Well answer the fuckin’ door.” Amos rolled over and buried his head beneath his pillow prompting Jared to shake him again until he sat bolt upright in bed.

“It’s too early,” Jared said. “What if they’re breaking in...”

“Dude, you’re the big, strong one, Mr. Athlete!” Amos replied. “If someone is going to rob us, you should be the one to confront them, besides... thieves don’t ring the doorbell. Get up off your scaredy cat ass and go see who it is!”

“Fine.” Jared harumphed, threw the covers back, and shuffled out of their room. He cautiously approached the door and peered through the peephole. He expected to see some sort of shady character, but instead saw the familiar face of his little brother.

“The fuck?” he muttered to himself and threw the door wide open. He didn’t give Brooks a chance to enter the apartment, but instead stepped out and shut the door behind him.

“What are you doing here?”

“You said I could come and visit anytime,” Brooks said. He looked guiltily down at his feet.

“Do mom and dad know you’re here?”

Brooks grudgingly shook his head, and Jared pulled him inside. He sat him down on the sofa and marched into the kitchen then returned with the phone handset and tossed it on the couch.

“Call them.”

“It’s early,” Brooks said.

“Call them now!” Jared set his glare on his brother until he picked up the phone and made the call.

He could tell Brooks was getting an earful by the pained expression on his face. When he finally hung up he said, “thanks a lot”, and crossed his arms over his chest, sinking back into the cushions.

“You shouldn’t have come here without telling them,” Jared replied. “How did you even get here?”

“Amtrak,” Brooks said.

“Why?” Jared’s voice took on a hint of concern. His brother often had trouble with other kids at school, and his mind was leaping to the worst kind of conclusions.

“Is something wrong at home?”

Brooks frowned at him. “What? No.”

“What then? This can’t be solely for fun.”

Brooks sighed at him. “I’m sorry, man. Mom and Dad are just being a nightmare about college. They want me to go close to home. I... don’t want to stay in small town Oregon forever. I mean, I love it, but there are bigger things than the Shakespeare Festival, right?”

“Sure,” Jared replied.

“Anyway, I filled out my applications, and I’m meeting with some people over at the dance college. Gonna tour the facilities and stuff. I had all this stuff set up... I know they care, and they’re trying to be supportive, but they had some things going on this weekend. They wanted to reschedule, but...”

“You decided to come anyway?”

“Yeah.” Brooks hung his head. “I told them I was hanging out with Dev.”

“Brooks.” Jared shook his head.

“I know,” Brooks muttered as he rolled his eyes to the ceiling. “I’m a terrible human being. I snuck out of the house to further my education. Lock me up without a key.”

Jared was about to reply when he heard Amos begin to shuffle around in the bedroom. He glanced at Brooks to see if he noticed, but he was going on and on about how he was a ‘problem child’.

“Can you hang on a sec?” Jared held up a finger to silence Brooks. “I’m going to go put on some sweatpants and we can go for a run and get breakfast. How does that sound?”

“A run? I’ve been on a bus and a train all night and I...”

“You gotta stay in shape,” Jared said.

Brooks looked down at his flat stomach.

“Hah, Hah,” he said. “Try again.”

“Come on,” Jared said. “It’s just about that time. It can be like it used to be back home. Besides, maybe you don’t need the exercise, but I do. If you’re going to bust in this early...”

“Fine.” Brooks relented. “Hurry up, I’m hungry.”


Amos was in the midst of getting dressed when Jared opened the door and squeezed in.

“Who is it?” he said without looking up from the drawer he was shuffling around in.

“My brother, Brooks,” Jared said. He flopped down on the bed and sighed.

“What’s up?” Amos asked. “Something wrong?”

“No.” Jared laughed. “He came here to take a tour of the school. My parents wanted to reschedule and he didn’t.”

“Geez,” Amos said. “I thought you were studious.”

“I can’t even compare,” Jared muttered. “Next to him, I come off like a total slacker.”

“Well, that settles it,” Amos said. “I must meet this guy.”

He pulled on a shirt and moved toward the door, but Jared jumped up from the bed and blocked him.

“Wait,” Jared said. “He doesn’t...he doesn’t know about us.”

“Oh,” Amos said. “You still haven’t told them?”

“No, I just...” He frowned. “It hasn’t felt like the right time yet. We were just going out for a run.”

Amos smiled sympathetically. “In your own time. Don’t worry about it,” he said.

“I’m going to do it,” Jared said since he was getting the distinct feeling that Amos didn’t believe him. He wasn’t sure he believed it himself. He was disproportionately afraid that his family would reject him despite all evidence to the contrary.

“Okay,” Amos said. He stood on his tip toes to kiss Jared goodbye. “Have fun. I’ll catch you later.”

Jared got dressed quickly and returned to Brooks, who was waiting patiently, still seated on the couch. He had changed into his own jogging gear.

“You ready?” Jared asked.

“Yep.” Brooks stood up. “Let’s do this.”


Later, Jared brought Brooks to his favorite diner. His attempts to avoid Amos by going for a run were thwarted as soon as he set foot in the door. There he was at the counter, getting his morning coffee.

Amos turned and caught Jared’s eye before he could decide on whether or not he should turn tail and run. Amos wasn’t going to make it easy on him either. He waved at them while smiling a devious smile.

“Hey, hey, Red,” he said. He grabbed his coffee from the counter and walked over to them.

“Who’s this?” He gestured toward Brooks.

“This is my brother, Brooks,” Jared said. “Brooks, this is Amos my...Roommate.”

“Nice to meet you,” Brooks held out his hand.

“The pleasure is all mine,” he said. He reached out to shake hands while turning his head to glare incredulously at Jared. “Can I join you guys?”

Jared frowned at him for inviting himself to breakfast while Brooks happily accepted and led the way to the nearest booth.

Jared realized he didn’t have to worry about five minutes into a conversation about the DIY T-shirt that Amos was wearing. He should have known better than to think Amos would ever out him purposely, so he finally relaxed as the two most important guys in his life chatted. Amos would be angry with him for a while, he knew, but at least he had some make up sex to look forward to. He was definitely planning on some hardcore apologizing later for acting like a child. Of course, that was all contingent on coming out to Brooks. Jared didn’t know if he was ready, but he was going to have to give his brother a place to spend the weekend, and he was absolutely not going to make Amos pretend like he was a roommate in their home.

Eventually, Amos excused himself to go work in his studio before their breakfast arrived. Once he was gone, Jared couldn’t help but wonder about Brooks’ opinion.

“So, what do you think?” he asked.

“What do I think?” Brooks echoed.

“Yeah,” Jared replied. “Of Amos?”

“Oh.” A moment of confusion flashed across his face then he shrugged. “He seems really nice.”

“That’s it?”

“Well...” Brooks looked curiously at him, and Jared attempted to hide his eager expression.

“I’m not sure what you want me to say.”

“Nothing. Nevermind.” Jared turned his attention to his coffee.

Brooks wasn’t stupid. He’d realized something was up the moment Amos had accosted them. Jared was acting suspiciously as he usually did when he was hiding something. He didn’t have long to think about possible scenarios before another guest arrived.

He wandered up to their table with a cup of tea and a saucer in his hand, grinned at Jared, and motioned for Brooks to scoot over with his free hand. Brooks was obliging, and soon enough Llewlyn Jones was seated with them.

“How’s it goin’, Red?” he asked then nodded toward Brooks without taking his eyes from Jared. “Who’s the baby gay?”

The look of mortification on Jared’s face said all that Brooks needed to know. He couldn’t help but laugh.

“What?” Llewelyn’s gaze swiveled from the giggling Brooks, to Jared who was attempting to form words but was mostly just gawping in his direction. He felt suddenly self-conscious, which wasn’t something he often felt.

“I said something wrong, didn’t I?” he said.

“Oh, man,” Brooks replied. “I’m the straightest person at this table, aren’t I?”

Jared didn’t reply, he was too busy trying to vaporize Llewlyn with his glare.

“Oh...” Llewelyn’s eyes widened with realization. “You didn’t...” He pointed at Brooks, then pointed at Jared. “Did I just out you somehow?”

Jared sighed and sank bank in his chair.

“Oh, my god.” Llewleyn clasped his hands in front of him. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean it.”

Jared couldn’t be too angry at Llewelyn, who looked sincere in his apology. “Don’t worry about it. I was going to do it anyway. Amos would have my head on a platter if I spent the entire weekend pretending that he’s just my roommate,” he said.

“Oh, good.” Llewelyn breathed a sigh of relief and sipped on his tea then turned to Brooks. “So you’re...”

“His brother,” Brooks said. “Looking into going to school here, and visiting. I’m learning a whole lot of new things already.”

He turned expectantly toward Jared, who was staring guiltily down at the table.

“So, Amos is your boyfriend, I’m assuming? How long have you two been together?” Brooks said.

“It’s a long story,” Jared said. “But we’ve been living together since last year.”

“Geez, it’s like you’ve got this whole different life than the one you've been telling us about,” Brooks said. “Why haven’t you told mom and dad? You know they’ll totally support you.”

“I know,” Jared said. “It’s not about them, though. I’ll do when I’m ready.”

“Before you’re thirty?” Brooks asked.

“When I’m ready,” Jared said.

Before Brooks could reply again, Llewelyn cleared his throat to remind them that he was still sitting there.

“Should I go, or...?” he said.

“No, stay.” Jared commanded. He didn’t really want to hear his little brother lecture him about what he should and shouldn’t do, and if having Llewelyn sitting awkwardly in their midst would stall the conversation for even a few minutes, then it was worth it.

Llewelyn didn’t have time to extricate himself from the situation either as the waiter arrived with their meals. Brooks stared down at his plate, an amused smile twisted up the corner of his mouth as he poked at the main dish with his fork.

“Why exactly are my waffles shaped like roosters?” he asked.

“Oh!” Llewelyn’s eyes lit up as he leaned over to inspect the dish himself. “You ordered him the cockwaffles? Good choice!”

“I didn’t order him anything! He ordered them all on his own,” Jared replied. He leaned back in his chair with his hand covering his own grin. He didn’t want to laugh at Brooks expense, but he couldn’t help himself.

“It did not say...Uh... 'cockwaffles' on the menu!” Brooks, never one to balk at laughing at his own expense, unlike his brother, was openly giggling. “It said 'Janet's daily special'!”

“Yeah, but everyone knows what that is,” Llewelyn replied.

“Well...” Brooks regarded his plate. “They look good. You want one?” He forked one of the waffles and held it up toward Llewelyn.

“I always want one, Darling,” he replied and quickly removed is cup from the saucer it was set upon to use as a makeshift plate.

They ate their breakfast while listening to Llewelyn talk about his day. It wasn’t even noon, but he was rambling on about everything he'd already accomplished for his upcoming fashion show. Jared was glad he had something in front of him to eat, because he wasn’t sure he could have payed attention to Llewelyn on that topic for very long. At least he could keep his mind occupied, and he didn’t have to worry about answering any questions Brooks might have had for him.

Eventually, he had to interrupt and excuse himself to class. He worried over his brother for a moment. The kid had gotten himself to Davis on his own, but Jared still felt too responsible for him just to let him wander around campus alone. Thankfully, Llewelyn happily volunteered to show him around, and Brooks didn’t seem at all upset about having a chaperon. Instead he was practically glowing with enthusiasm at the idea of spending the day at the art and design colleges. He’d taken a shine to Llewelyn, that was for sure. It wasn’t surprising. Brooks always had been friendly and open towards everyone, sometimes to his own detriment, and Llewelyn... Well, even Jared found it hard not to like the guy, and they had met back in his desperately closeted days.

With Brooks in good hands, Jared made his way to a lecture where he fell into a worry free sleep.
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February 2013


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