A Death in the Family

Part I - Vacation

Chapter 1

"Geoff," Davy called his brother over to the van.

Geoff smiled and headed over after finishing reviewing the checklist. "Everything's in order," Geoff told him. "Camping gear, supplies... all we need are our brothers and we're ready."

Davy nodded then looked around the underground garage. "Think they can do without us?"

Geoff shook his head. "They're going to have to."

Davy started to object and Geoff's answer was to guide him to the passenger side of the van.

"We have not had a vacation in... " Geoff paused as he thought about. "We've never had a vacation and you're about to get married. We are going!"

Davy laughed. "Yes sir!"

Geoff, his usually serious expression forgotten, gave his brother a playful shove towards the van.

"Who all's coming?"

Geoff looked down at the list and began reading. "You, me, Joey, Kenny, Tommy, Wayne and Derrick."

Davy wasn't sure if he was surprised that many were coming or more worried about leaving the others alone.

"Rico can handle things here. Its only a week," Geoff assured him.

Davy shook his head and chuckled. "Am I that transparent?"

"Only to me."

Davy smiled looking over at his brother. Geoff– his brother and twin so like him and yet– so unlike him. Physically they couldn't have looked more different: where he had dark curly hair, Geoff had straight blond hair; While he was on the slightly heavy side, Geoff was wiry and thin. Then there were Geoff's two most distinguishing features: his eyes, soft amber brown eyes that seemed to say more than Geoff usually did, and his ears– the long pointed ears that marked him as an elf.

It was the ears that had marked him as different. It was the ears that had caused the first ten years of his life to be so miserable– and it was that misery that had brought him to the Wilson clan. They were both ten when they met– became brothers.

He smiled. He had never felt so close to another human being as he did with Geoff. It was as if they were the same person– as if they were twins not by choice– but simply by being.

He was broken out of his revery as the others arrived. Even as he focused on them, looking at Joey sent him right back to the way Geoff looked when they'd met. Joey was so much like his brother in looks and temperament it was ridiculous. Odder still since they had never met until that fateful day years ago when Joey tried to save Geoff from the nightmare their father had left behind.

Their father-- Edward Mays had never been a father to Geoff. Biologically sure– he'd donated the material, but when the results were known and Geoff turned out to be a ‘pointy eared freak,' his fate had been sealed.

Perhaps the man had mellowed with age– and a son that was ‘normal.' Davy didn't know– didn't really care. He could never forgive the man for what he did to Geoff. Geoff, the kind supportive spirit who'd helped him through the loss of his own father.

Davy smiled at that. His father gave Geoff the one thing he wanted more in the world-- a father who loved him. He'd never begrudged Geoff that love. Lord knows his father had more than enough to go around. Geoff was a son of his heart– they all were, and that was all that mattered to the Wilson patriarch.

Davy drew a sharp breath realizing that he was now the patriarch of the Wilson clan. It had never felt overwhelming though– Geoff was always at his side.

He watched as Geoff hugged Joey and felt a slight pang of jealousy. Joey was Geoff's half brother. His real brother– something none of them could ever be. He shook his head and smiled as he looked at the others.

His brothers. Geoff and Joey– looked like they should be surfing somewhere. Kenny, who looked like he could be Itallian, or Asian– or both. Tommy who'd goblinized at thirteen, towered over his brothers. Wayne– who would have dwarfed the others if it wasn't for Tommy, stood watching him from the side.

Then there was Derrick, with his close cropped hair he could have been anybody from anywhere– completely nondescript except for his eyes. No matter how happy he'd seen Derrick, no matter how relaxed or content– there was always a haunted look to them.

Blonde surfers, an olive skinned Snake Shaman, a one eyed Orc, a well muscled African-American, and a Swamp Rat-- none of them alike-- every one of them precious. His brothers, his family.

Davy tried to remember the love and pride he felt towards his brothers as they began the fifth hour of their trip.

"And now you know why mom and dad never took us on vacation," Geoff told him.

Davy laughed as Geoff turned off the main road.

"It only gets worse from here," he sighed.

Geoff nodded and concentrated on the road. Kid as they might about it, they both of them loved their brothers dearly-- it was just hard sometimes.

It had been a long drive and everyone's nerves were frazzled. Davy was seriously wondering about this being a ‘bonding experience.' Everybody was tired from the road– that he could deal with, but the testiness was something else entirely.

"That which does not kill us," Geoff sighed as he picked up a box of supplies and handed them to Davy.

"May make us wish it had," Davy answered wryly.

As he carried the box inside, he realized it might even be closer to the truth.

Derrick was complaining about something as he loaded the fridge and Wayne was just trying to stay out of his way.

As Geoff entered with the last box of groceries Derrick turned on him. "Ten! What gives here– you don't got enough crawfish for ever'body, and I don't see no Cayenne!"

Geoff bowed his head and gave an exaggerated sigh. "Rabbit– its called ‘bait'. You use the ‘bait' to catch the food."

Davy had to laugh as he saw the almost crestfallen expression on Derrick's face. "No jambalaya?"

Geoff smiled and apologized, "Sorry Derrick– not this time."

Davy laughed as the tension finally gave way to the banter he was used to.

"See– no worries Brah!" Wayne assured Davy he draped an arm over his brother's shoulder. "No worries." For the first time in six hours– Davy smiled.

Geoff watched as the years seemed to melt away from all of them. It was amazing how a few days of nothing but fishing and fish stories had mellowed them all out. He still wasn't looking forward to the ride back– but for now he basked in the laughter of his brothers.

He watched as Davy cast his line into the water. It was as if nothing else existed but that moment. Tommy kept checking the fish against recipes and telling Davy that he needed three more pounds for the dish he was planning on making.

Davy gave him a slight bow. "I make no promises."

Joey's laughter echoed brightly as he watched the older Wilsons unwind. Geoff found the laughter contagious. Finally he found himself caught in the spell as well. For at least a week– nothing else mattered. The world could stay on hold just this once.

He watched as Davy raised his catch over his head in triumph. "Tommy– I think I got a little more than three."

Tommy started applauding, then stopped as Davy slipped and lost his footing. All three were on their feet in seconds rushing towards the spot where Davy fell in. Almost immediately Davy was back up, soaking wet and laughing. "I don't think he wanted to stay for dinner," he sighed.

This brought relieved laughter from Tommy and Joey, but Geoff moved in and offered Davy a hand out of the water.

Davy took it and gave him a serious, yet happy smile. "I'm fine brother of mine... just fine."

Geoff nodded. "I know– but Gina would kill me if I let anything happen to you."

Davy shook his head. "Contrary to popular belief– I can go fishing without getting into trouble."

Geoff smiled. "I can see that."

Davy tried to glare at Geoff then just shook his head. "I did quite a job– didn't I?"

Geoff nodded. "Eh, it was only about an eight– next time you might want to..."

The rest of Geoff's taunt was lost in a shocked sputter as he found himself pulled into the water.

Davy and Geoff were both having a hard time keeping a straight face as Kenny scolded them incessantly.

"Gina's going to kill me if you two idiots catch pneumonia," he fussed as he finished checking Davy's temperature.

"You should know better," he added turning on Geoff.

"I should know better!? He started it!"

"You laughed!"

"Children!" Kenny scolded.

The two of them looked up at their brother with innocent expressions on their faces. They looked so much like two kids caught red handed that Joey couldn't help but laugh.

"And you aren't helping!" Kenny groused. "This is supposed to be a vacation!"

Davy and Geoff looked at each for a moment and then broke into fits of laughter.

Copyright 2001 - M.T. Decker

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