Harvester of Shadows 20/34

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Title: Shadow
Genre: drama
Characters: Ramon, Crystal, Early.
Prompt: 111
Rating: M
Type: series
Summary: Ramon has something for his dad.
Warnings: adult situations, language.
AN: Sorry about these short chapters, but they just wouldn’t work as one long.

I hang my coat up in the first bar
There is no peace that I’ve found so far
The laughter penetrates my silence
As drunken men find flaws in science

Their words mostly noises
Ghosts with just voices
Your words in my memory
Are like music to me

-Snow Patrol

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He had been waiting an extra bus, walking really show, trying to will himself not to get a drink, failing terribly as he ended up buying a bottle to go in a liquor store. And as he closed the door behind him at his and Crystal’s small apartment, he knew exactly what he had coming. Nate wanting his attention by pulling his arm, the toddler fussing, and Crystal yelling from the kitchen. “You’re late!”

Early came out into the kitchen and smiled at her, Nate still clinging to his arm. “Overtime, sorry mama.” He said.

Crystal let out an annoyed sigh. “You’re drunk. Jesus fucking Christ Early, when are you gonna grow up?”

Early looked down at Nate and winked at him, the kid laughing. efficiently ignoring Crystal.

“Anyway, Ramon came home for an hour ago, and locked himself on the bathroom, he won’t come out.” Crystal said with a tired expression, smiling as the toddler climbed on her lap, sensing his mothers concern. “I told him you’d gonna punish him when you got home.”

“What?” Early groaned, “Seriously Crys, dammit.. Why don’t you fucking deal with it? it feels like I’m only home to sleep and yell at the kids, without knowing why, that’s just not fair.”

“Just do it.” Crystal said sourly, holding out her hand. Early pulled his weekly pay check up from his pocket and with a snort tossed it in her hand. “Love you too.”

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Early untangled himself from Nate, and walked upstairs to the bathroom. staring at the door for a moment he rubbed his face with his dirty hands. All he wanted was a bath and sleep, and these people of course had to make that into a project of its own. “Ramon?” he called softly. No answer. “Yo Ramon!” he called again.

“Yeah.” Ramon answered from the other side of the door.

“Would you please be so kind as to get the fuck out of the bathroom? some of us would like a shower in this decade.” Early said, figured that a half joke might work. If he had been a teenager and he had been told his dad would fuck him up as he came home, would he have opened the door? not a fucking chance.

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“Ramon, seriously, open the door.” Early said with a firmer tone.

“Just a minute.” Ramon called from the inside.

Early frowned. “Listen, your mum is full of crap, I ain’t gonna punish you, I just want a shower. So would you open the door?”

“Just a fucking minute!” Ramon yelled back. “This actually takes some concentration!”

“What?” Early sucked in his breath. “Ramon, what are you doing in there?” Early asked, a tiny shred of fear invaded his tone.

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He waited for a little while, and when nothing happened, he stepped all the way up to the door and listened at it, hearing nothing. “I swear I will kick in this goddamn door if you don’t open on the count of ten.” Early growled. “one, two, three, four..”

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“Alright man, chill.” Ramon yelled, opening the door.

Early stepped in, and scanned the sink and toilet like a pro, knowing exactly what he was looking for, and then looked up at Ramon with an undecipherable expression. “Wh-what is this?” He gestured up and down his son.

“If you had given me a fucking moment I would have told you that I was trying to get these goddamn strikes right, its actually pretty hard.” Ramon huffed.

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Early looked at his son in disbelief, “Why.. I mean.. look at you.”

“Is something wrong?” Ramon asked, even if he knew the answer from his fathers expression already.

“You’re damn right something is wrong.” Early almost whispered. “Where is it?” He held out his hand. “Give it up, cause you know I will find it eventually, you’d have to work real hard to outsmart me on that account, son.” The last of the sentence was spoken with such venom that Ramon took a step backwards.

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“I just dyed my hair, man. would you relax?” Ramon said with a little smile.

Early just stared at him, not saying a word.

“Seriously, dad.” Ramon whined.

“If I find drugs anywhere I will kick your fucking ass, so you won’t be able to crawl to school for a week, do you understand me?” Early growled.

Ramon just stared at his dad and frowned, “Dude. You are seeing ghosts. Booze it up dad, I don’t think you’re completely crazy paranoid yet.”

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Early fell silent, and then nodded. “Okay.” He just said softly.

“Okay? OKAY?” Ramon yelled, “No its not fucking okay! You’re never around, man. And when you are you are so pissy drunk you can’t stand up straight. And on top of that you’re accusing me of doing drugs. Honest to god!” Ramon rolled his eyes, pushing Early, who stumbled back a step, loosing his footing.

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“I’m sorry.” Early said with a tiny voice. “It just scares me, that’s all. I don’t want you to have my life, you understand right? I want you to get a decent education and get the hell out of this dump, having the best life you possibly can.”

Ramon just smiled, not sure what to say, cause he didn’t want his dad to go all sentimental drunk on him. “Lets start over, okay?” Early nodded with a little thankful smile. “Hi dad, I went to the movies today with Connie, Dharma’s step-brother and his boyfriend, we saw ‘Shadows’ and it was fucking awesome. It rained and so Connie let me borrow some of his clothes, I was soaked.” He tossed out his arms to each side. “Tada!” Spinning he grinned “Like it?”

Early smiled, leaning against the door frame, crossing his arms over his chest. “You look like a million. And I’m glad you had a great day.”

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“How was your day?” Ramon asked.

Early smiled tired, “Long, stressed and pointless.”

“Dad?” Ramon asked gently taking his dad’s hand examining it, watching the dirt, cuts, scars and bruises. He was ‘so’ never gonna work factory work. “Why do you do it?”

“I do it for you, for Nate and the baby.” Early said tenderly.

“Not for mama?”

“Yeah, for her too.” Early said, reaching up and ruffled his sons hair. “Not get out, I really need a shower, I don’t think your mama will be too pleased if she has to sleep next to me when I smell like this.”

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“D-do you love mama?” Ramon suddenly asked, causing Early to look directly at him, puzzled. “It’s just that I never see you two hug or kiss, or any of that which other peoples parents does, you two just argue all the time. And when you don’t argue, you ignore eachother.”

Early looked away from his sons large blue eyes. “We just kiss when you’re not looking.” He said with a little smile, he knew that Ramon knew he lied, but he would be damned if he wanted to openly admit that.

“Good.” Ramon said, “Cause I have something for you.”

“For me?” Early asked.

“Yeah.” He stuck his hand in his pocket and roamed around until he found the little piece of paper from the theatre. “See.. Dharma’s stepbrother’s boyfriend told me to give you this.” he placed it in Early’s hand.

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Early unfolded the paper. Read what it said and then looked up at Ramon, “You? You went to the cinema with Ferris?”

Ramon nodded weakly, “Yeah, it was Seth and Ferris that paid the ticket and all.”

“How the hell did you meet him, them?.. I mean.. Jesus..” Early looked like he was gonna cry for a moment, biting his lip.

“The guy Connie, he used to date Seth’s stepsister.” Ramon stated flatly. “He was a really cool guy, Ferris. I liked him.” A small smile graced his lips, “He told me not to look at the note, so I didn’t.”

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Early pocketed the note. “Don’t tell a soul, and especially not your mama, okay?”

“Promise.” Ramon said with a swift nod. “So are you gonna call him?”

“If you haven’t read the note, then how would you know if he wrote a phone number?” Early asked , brushing past his son to turn on the water, waiting for it to have the right temperature.

“I just assumed it was his number, that’s all.” Ramon said.

“Sure you did.” Early sighed, “Now, would you please?” He ushered Ramon towards the door. “Yo, Ramon? forgot to say, I love the stripes, they look cool on you.”

Ramon just smiled and dashed down the stairs to watch telly.

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