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chas_shaw in into_the_future

Webb Residence, late afternoon, [anyone?]

It wasn't far out to Mac and Ryan's place, but he was carrying an easel, painting boards and a backpack with artists's materials, AND it was very cold, so Charlie was puffing a bit when he got to the gates.

He peered along the drive and leaned on the bell on the gate. "I hope someone's in," he said to the intercom, "because I'm simply dying for a cuppa."


Atticus had left school early for a doctor's appointment, just another routine check up on his legs, really, and was now at home relaxing. The place was blissfully empty, with Mac and Ryan both out and Oma at school. Ryland was somewhere with one of his parent's, so he'd kicked back to enjoy time alone.

He was more than a little pouty when the gate bell went off.

Getting up, he checked the security camera and saw that it was just uncle Charlie, buzzing down to the gate and letting him in. He went to the front door, opening it up and peeking out.

"Hurry! It's cold!"
Charlie grinned at him and slipped through the gate, shutting it securely behind him then jogged up the drive to the house.

"Hey, Atti," he said. "Looking good. Sorry," he stepped inside, shivering and pushed the door shut, "couldn't remember the key code to punch in." He looked around. "Are you all on your own?"
"Unfortunately," Atticus said with a nod, resetting the code down at the gate. "Well, Frankie is here, but he's always here, really. Here, or following me around at school or something. Whatcha doing? Are you doing a painting?"

He eyed Charlie's art supplies, leading him into the massive living room. "Dad should be home soon, with Ryland and probably Oma. Maddie's not here, if thats who you were looking for. She's all up in Philadelphia, attached to Chandler's hip. Want a drink or something?"
"Anything warm would be brilliant," Charlie said, putting his baggage down with care. "Yes, I was painting away up north of hear but my damn van's broken down. I had to walk the last couple of miles." He blew on his fingers. "Coffee? Tea, whatever. How are you doing, anyway? How's the leg?"
Atticus nodded, heading towards the kitchen. "I can make tea. I don't like coffee," he said with a shrug. "My legs? They're okay, I guess. Won't ever be the same, after what happened though. It's been over a year now, but they still give me a lot of grief. You want sugar?"
Charlie made a sympathetic face about the legs. "Completely shitty," he said. "I'm so sorry. Two please. I need my energy these days."

Charlie liked kitchens and pottered around looking out of all the windows while Atticus made the tea.

"Are you going to college?" he asked after a while. "Sorry if you already told me. I've had a lot on my mind lately."
"College?" Atticus asked, putting on the tea pot. "I don't know. Haven't thought about it much. Still have a year left after the end of this term. Probably not, though. I hate school. I want to skate what little bit I can, maybe model or something. I don't know yet..."

He hadn't thought much at all about college, to be honest. It hadn't ever seemed worth it. "I'll go wherever Seth goes."
Charlie leaned back against the counter, legs crossed at the ankles and smiled at Atti. "And where's Seth going?" he asked. "Or isn't he sure yet?"
Atticus had absolutely no answer for that. "I...don't know. We haven't talked much about the future. It's more of a wait and see thing with us."
"I can see the attraction of that," Charlie said with a chuckle. "The sun is out, the snow is beautiful, the shadows were clear and crisp. It was a good day for painting - even if the van's somewhere," he waved a hand, "over there - somewhere. I haven't met Seth have I?" he added. "What's he like?"

charlie was prepared to bet that there weren't many of the family prepared to listen to Atti enumarate Seth's perfections - not that Atti would. He was your standard stand-offish teen. But it was nice to offer.
"What's Seth like? Wow. Tough question," Atticus said, handing Charlie a cup of tea and the sugar bowl. "Seth...is...gorgeous. Obviously. Has black hair like me, and pretty eyes, and a lip ring. He's pretty quiet, though, which isn't like me at all. Dad and papa love him. He's lived next door my entire life, we've always been close."

Hopping up to sit on the counter, he kicked his feet back and forth. "We're...a lot like dad and papa were, or that's what dad says, anyway."
"You mean fatally cute in a sort of louche and bohemian and, in Ryan's case, hairy way," Charlie nodded. "Yes I remember it well."
Atticus smiled a little bit at that. "I think it's cause we're young, and we've always been friends, just like they were. What were my parent's like, uncle Charlie? When you met them?"
"When I first met them?" Charlie cast his mind back nearly 20 years. "Well I knew Mac first and honestly then he wasn't a very happy man. Ryan was his best friend and - believe it or not - they seemed intent on keeping it that way. Mac was just desperate to be loved - didn't seem to see it was right there waiting for him."

He grinned at Atti. "I should say right now I'm really grateful to Ryan for getting them sorted out because for a long while it looked like Mac might finally tame D - Deacon. They had a desperate thing for each other. Deacon adored people to need him."
"I'm glad dad ended up with papa and not uncle D. That'd be awkward," Atticus said with another smile. "You knew dad when he was still on heroin, huh? I'm glad I didn't know him then."
"It was very edgy," Charlie said. "One didn't know what to do to help or even if one should try. But why would Deacon have been awkward? Apart from the ones you have you couldn't wish for a better father."
Atticus just shrugged, picking at the marble counter top. "I don't know. Guess cause I think of him as Uncle D, is all I mean. It'd be just as weird having like, you instead of dad. I love you both, but that'd be just fuckin' out there."
"Hmm, yes," Charlie frowned. "I suppose I can imagine an alternate universe where everything was different - say where Deacon was with Mac, and maybe I was with Sam Quaid, but that doesn't mean I'd have liked it better that way. I'm very content as I am. Well - I'm missing D, and home, and stuff."