Castle Roland

Unexpected Reactions

by Rilbur

In Progress

Chapter 3

Published: 8 Apr 14

Andy scowled at the man sitting across the poorly made table from him. Speaking slowly and loudly, as appropriate when talking to a moron, he repeated, "It. Hurts."

"I know it hurts," Agent Hunt said evenly. "I want you to do it anyway."

Andy started to grow angry as he repeated himself again, "It. Hurts!"

"You need to learn to control your ability so you don't hurt others," Hunt explained. "So, I need you to do it."

"It hurts!" Andy repeated, slamming his hands into the table in frustration. "Don't you get it? It hurts, I don't want to do it because it hurts!"

"If you don't use your abilities, you aren't learning to control them," Hunt smiled. "I know it hurts. And I don't need you to do a lot. Just lift the feather."

Andy started crying. "It hurts!"

Hunt sighed and then got up and walked around the table. Picking Andy up he held him close for a minute. "I know it hurts, and I'm sorry. You have no idea how sorry. But if you don't learn how to control it, there is no guarantee you won't hurt someone. Maybe even yourself."

"All I have to do is lift the feather?" Andy asked.

"Sure," Hunt nodded. "After that, we'll go watch a movie. They have a couple of good ones around here."

"Just once?" Andy asked.

Hunt nodded. "Yeah, just get it into the air. I don't even care about control, so long as you don't bring the building down around our heads."

Andy frowned and reached out with one hand. "And if I don't move it?" he asked, pulling his hand back.

"You have to move it," Hunt said firmly. Then he smiled. "Or if you manage to use your power, and it hurts, I mean really hurts, I'll let that count." After a moment, he added a qualifier, "No lying though, it has to really hurt. Not a pinprick, I mean real pain like you had the other day."

"And then we go watch a movie, and you don't bother me about it again?" Andy asked suspiciously.

"I'll give you the rest of today," Hunt offered. "I won't try and get you to use it again."

Andy sighed. "Fine."

"Great," Hunt smiled. "Now, be careful. Reach out slowly, gently. We want the most gentle force you can generate. I'm hoping that if you don't use a lot of force, it won't cause you a lot of pain."

"Kinda like picking at a scab?" Andy asked. "The harder you pick at it, the more it hurts, so you have to do it slowly?"

Hunt laughed. "Exactly! Just do it very gently."

Andy pushed his hand out toward the table and tried. "I can't," he said, frowning. "I can't do it."

"Think back to the accident, how did you do it then?" Hunt asked.

"I pushed," Andy said. "But... like..." Andy moaned as the table wobbled a little. "That hurt!"

"How bad?" Hunt asked, hugging him a bit tighter.

"Bad!" Andy said. "Like skinning my knee."

"Ouch," Hunt agreed. "But it wasn't as bad as the other day?"

"No," Andy shook his head. "And it went away quicker."

"Great!" Hunt smiled. "Now, you managed to get everything around the feather, but the feather didn't move much. Do you think you could get just the feather?"

Andy raised his hands again, but Hunt pulled them down. "Can you try and do it without raising your hands?"

Andy frowned, and nodded. Looking at the feather, he concentrated on it. Ever so gently, he pushed, just a little bit. The feather started to scoot across the table. It hurt, but it was kinda like pressing your hand down onto a nail, or pinching yourself. It wasn't all that bad so long as he was careful.

"Good, now stop," Hunt said. "You're just pushing it away. Can you push it up? Or pull it towards us?"

Andy frowned. Pull it back? He was just pushing! Staring at the feather, he thought about what he was doing. It was a kinda push, but... he wasn't doing it with his arms. Maybe he could... The feather trembled on the table, just a slight shiver. If the air in the room wasn't absolutely still, Andy might have thought it was just the wind. Trying harder he continued to push backwards. Slowly the feather started shifting backwards until it was back at the center of the table. "Up now?" he asked, and Hunt nodded. Andy focused back on the feather and tried again. The feather rose up, as did some black dust from the table.

"Can you get it to just the feather?" Hunt asked. Andy concentrated, but couldn't quite seem to manage it. The feather fell back to the table as Andy lost his concentration.

"I'm sorry," Andy said. "I don't think I can."

"We'll try again tomorrow," Hunt told him. "For now, we have a movie to go watch."

Andy smiled. "Which one?"

"Why don't we go take a look?" Hunt suggested. "Oh..." he said, distracted. "I need to fill out a report. Why don't you head for the movie room yourself, and I'll catch up."

Andy nodded and slipped out the door. Over the last few days, he'd gotten familiar enough with the place he'd been taken to to make his way around without help. He'd been suspicious when they'd brought him here, but Agent Hunt had taken over right away and he was a pretty nice guy. He'd explained everything, or at least everything he could. Some things he either didn't know, or wasn't allowed to talk about, but he'd been completely honest about those things. He hadn't tried to lie to Andy about what they were. So, for the moment, Andy trusted him.

Andy smiled, thinking about how long they'd spent just talking about what was going to happen. "It's going to be a strange time," Hunt had told him. "There are going to be a lot of surprises, some of them fun, some of them not." Andy remembered how Hunt had dipped his grilled cheese sandwich into the tomato soup, then lifted it up and took a very crunchy bite out of it. "Strange, I thought I'd dipped it!" Hunt had joked before trying it again. "A little trick I picked up purely by accident when I was in training," he'd said as he'd tried again. "Took me by complete surprise when I did it. Turns out I can generate a shield around myself and anything I'm in physical contact with. I had a lot of trouble learning to control it, so that it only happened when I wanted it to." The next bite he took was suitably soaked in the red liquid. "You never know what is going to happen around here," he'd warned.

Andy froze, those words being ironically appropriate to his situation as the lights cut out. "Hello?" he called. "Anyone there?"

There weren't any windows, and all the doors were closed, so he had to slowly grope his way down the corridor. The first door he ran into was locked. Sighing, he continued to grope his way down the corridor to the next one, also locked. Beginning to get a bit scared, he move a little quicker. "Hello?" he said, not liking the edge of fear in his voice. Showing fear was bad.

Just as abruptly as the lights had gone out, they came back on. Glancing around warily, Andy continued to make his way to the movie room. It was easy enough to find, but Andy couldn't figure out why the lights had gone out on his way there. Flipping the lights in the room on carefully, he stepped in and closed the door behind him, a bit nervous after the sudden plunge into absolute darkness. Finally shrugging it off, he ran over to the wall where all the movies were stores. Grinning, he realized that someone had forgotten to lock the drawer containing 'R' rated movies. He debated with himself for a moment over whether or not to try a fast one, but the lure of seeing an 'R' rated movie quickly won out over the worry of loosing the privilege of watching anything over 'G'. Sure, he didn't get to watch that stuff at home very often, but he never got to watch 'R' stuff! Deciding on one called 'Child's Play', he placed it in the DVD player and had it queued up before Agent Hunt could catch up.

"Hey little guy," Hunt smiled. "So, what do you feel like-" Hunt frowned as Andy turned the TV back on. "I see, I guess you've already chosen. You do know this is a horror movie, right?"

"Please?" Andy begged, now really fascinated. He'd grabbed it because if all else went bad he might get away with claiming he didn't know it was 'off limits', but horror sounded like fun. "I wanna watch it!"

"Well," Hunt dragged the word out. "I really shouldn't. It's a very scary movie"

"Please?!" Andy begged again.

"Fine, fine!" Hunt laughed. "But don't come to me complaining about nightmares!" Andy nodded eagerly. "Let me pop a little popcorn first," Hunt said as he moved over to the kitchenette attached to the movie room. Coming back with a steaming hot bag of popcorn, he sat down on the couch and patted the spot next to him. "Why don't you sit down and share?" he suggested.

Andy happily hopped out of the armchair he'd been using and plopped down next to Hunt. "How much longer am I gonna have to stay here?" he asked as he pressed the 'play' button.

"Hard to say," Hunt shrugged. "Maybe a week or two. Depends on how quickly we get everything done."

Andy sighed as the movie started. Agent Hunt was nice, but he hadn't seen his family in several days. He knew they were fine, but he was still worried about how Dad was going to react over his being 'one of those people'. He hadn't seen or heard from Dad since the day he'd first used his powers.

Slowly the movie helped distract him from his thoughts. The discovery that one of the main characters was a kid named 'Andy' certainly guaranteed that! The movie passed all too quickly, and once it was over Hunt quickly popped the DVD out of the drive and put it away. "Hey kiddo, just about dinner time. Why don't you head on out while I clean up in here?"

Smiling, Andy ran out of the room, food the most important thing on his mind. He hadn't gotten three steps down the hallway when the lights started flickering. Putting his back against the wall, he looked around for a moment. He was considering going back to the movie room to talk to Agent Hunt when Chucky dropped out of the ceiling, cackling. Screaming in sudden terror, Andy reflexively used his power to push Chucky away as hard as he possibly could. The searing pain of using his abilities at such strength tore through his body, and he was more than willing to let the darkness claim him just to get away from the agony.

Andy moaned as he began to wake up. His entire body hurt, as if he'd been beat from head to toe. Some vague part of him remembered the last time he'd woken up like this, and he concentrated on his nether region for a few moments before sighing in relief that this time, at least, he hadn't managed to piss his pants. Donny would never let him live down having done that again!

His eyes didn't seem to want to open, but his ears were working fine as he listened to two men argue. As he continued to come to, he realized that one of the men was Agent Hunt, and they were arguing over him!

"Andy needs to learn to control his abilities, or he'll be a danger to himself and others," Hunt argued.

"And I'm telling you that the very last thing he needs to do is use his abilities," the other man snapped back. "Look at these charts, just look at them. His neural function has been degenerating faster and faster, and there are distinct drops every time he's used his powers. Look at this!" Andy managed to get his eyes open in time to watch the white-coated man slap a clipboard full of papers with his hand. "Do you really think it's coincidence that every time he makes any use of his powers, the rate of degeneration gets worse? Or that there is a major drop whenever he makes a major use of his powers? Not to mention the fact that large-scale use of his powers knocks him unconscious!"

"Doctor-" Agent Hunt began.

"That's right!" the doctor said, faking amazement as he looked at his name tag. "I am the doctor here! And in the hospital, the doctor's orders take precedence! And the doctor is ordering no more training. Period. The end. Once we have a better handle on his disease and how it relates to his augmentation, I'll consider changing my orders. Not before!"

"Doctor, you know full well that I can either state that the kid has sufficient control over his powers to not be a danger to himself or others, or he doesn't get to leave," Hunt snarled. "How the hell am I supposed to get him trained if I can't train him?"

"Andrew hasn't used his power unless asked to or directly threatened," Andy opened his eyes just in time to watch the doctor flip through papers on a clipboard. "Stupid question, but regulations say that medical considerations have priority, right?" the doctor asked.

"Yes doctor," Hunt agreed, nodding.

"Well, I'm stating a medical necessity here," the doctor nodded. "Look at his records, he was being referred to St. Damien's Neurological before he even showed up as a blip on your radar."

"Whatever treatment can be provided off site can be brought here," Hunt shrugged. "Your point?"

"We can get our hands on any piece of medical technology we need," the doctor corrected. "Personnel not so much."

"I get the impression I'm missing half of this conversation," Hunt complained. "What are you talking about?"

"Doctor Peter Chavez, he's a low-end class one augment," the doctor explained. "He has the unique ability to cure conditions that cause degenerative nerve damage, and afterword a second augment can help heal the existing damage. When he discovered his gifts he left the BEST program and joined St. Damiens."

"So that's why Dad didn't like that place?" Andy asked as he tried to sit up. "It had a bad... an augment there?"

"Hey, glad to see you awake," Agent Hunt said, turning to face Andy. "How are you feeling?"

"I believe that's my question, Agent Hunt," the doctor smiled as he pulled a light out and started flashing it in Andy's eyes. "My name is Doctor Tennant, and how are you feeling Andy?"

Andy shrugged. "Not that great," he complained. "Are we in an airplane or something?"

"Why do you ask that?" Dr. Tennant asked.

Andy shook his head. "We're moving, aren't we? As big as the room is I figured it had to be a plane."

Agent Hunt frowned. "Doctor?"

"Inner ears weren't involved..." Tennant whispered to himself. "No sign of damage to..." Tennant shook his head. "Andy, I need you to concentrate. How do you feel like we're moving? Tell me anything you can."

"Well," Andy frowned. "I dunno. It's like being in a car."

"No sense of directionality to it?" Tennant asked.

"Huh?" Andy complained.

"Does it feel like we're moving in a specific direction," Agent Hunt asked.

Andy shook his head. "No, not really."

"Andy, did you feel anything like this before you woke up? When you weren't actually moving?"

Andy was starting to get scared. "What's wrong?"

"Take a deep breath Andy," Dr. Tennant ordered. Andy complied, and Dr. Tennant smiled. "Now, take another. Good. Alright, I don't know what's wrong. I don't even know that something is wrong, we're going to need to run some additional tests. It may just be part of a new augmentation coming out. Or, and I don't want to worry you, but it's possible that you're disease has reached a new stage."

Andy sagged. 'New stage' was bad, he knew. Stages tended to get worse, not better.

"Hey, not so gloomy there kiddo," Dr. Tennant smiled. "It's possible this is nothing, and even if it is something I have a fairly good idea how to keep it from getting worse."

"Doc," Hunt warned.

"This is an order, Agent Hunt. Shut. Up." Dr. Tennant stood up and glared at the agent. "That discussion is closed, and I win."

"I'm going to have to pass this up," Agent Hunt warned.

"Fine, just don't bother me with it," Dr. Tennant warned. "I'll pass it up my chain if I have to."

"Whatcha guys talkin' about?" Andy asked, wide-eyed.

"Well, you know how sometimes you get into fights with your brother over stuff like... what movie to watch?" Hunt asked.

Andy nodded, "Yeah."

"What do you do about them?" Hunt asked.

"If Mom is around, we ask her about it," Andy shrugged. "If she isn't, I get to decide 'cause I'm older."

"And if you abuse that privilege?" Hunt asked.

Andy grimaced. "Probably stuck in a corner for half an hour."

Hunt nodded. "Well, the doctor and I were fighting about stuff. What you heard was the adult version of which movie to watch, complete with threatening to tell 'Mommy' on the other."

Tennant snorted in amusement. "Yes, and I think we all know who-"

"My turn doctor," Hunt cut him off.

"Sorry," Tennant bowed his head for a moment.

"Anyway, the argument was a bit more complex than that, because we also got to argue over who had the authority here," Agent Hunt continued. "Instead of just deciding based on who's older, we both have areas where we can give orders. The doctor is in charge of medical decisions, and used that to take charge."

"So he's the oldest when it comes to medicine," Andy crinkled his forehead as he thought, "so where are you the oldest?"

Hunt smiled, "Your training. Anything that's covered by medical he can give me orders on, unless I kick it up to 'Mommy', but he can't give orders anywhere else."

"So since I'm sick," Andy smiled in understanding, "he's the boss everywhere!"

"Not... everywhere," Hunt grimaced. "Just anywhere that touches on your health and well-being."

"So he can order my Dad to let me go to that place?" Andy asked.

"No," Doctor Tennant frowned. "Unfortunately not. Why, do I need to?"

"Dad doesn't like bad..." Andy broke off. "Augments. He doesn't like Augments."

Doctor Tennant rolled his eyes. "Great, just what I need to deal with. Another bigoted, holier-than-thou-"

"Doctor!" Agent Hunt snapped angrily.

Tennant glanced at Andy before sighing, "Sorry, won't happen again."

"The boy's father isn't an idiot like the Church of Purity, either," Agent Hunt added angrily. "I looked it up. Bad history when he was a kid, or should I say some bad apples."

"Bad apples," Doctor Tennant sighed. "Almost worse, in a way. He has an actual justification."

"Yeah," Agent Hunt agreed. "Anyway, I talked to your mother. You have her permission to go, and your father isn't going to interfere."

Andy nodded. "OK," he shrugged. "Why didn't you tell me earlier?"

Agent Hunt shrugged. "I wanted to finish your training, first. It's one of my real big responsibilities. An untrained augment can do a lot of damage by accident, even hurt people. That's the kind of thing that validates the fears of people like your father, who are convinced that augments are dangerous and should be 'dealt with' in some manner."

Andy frowned. "I'm not going to hurt anyone!"

"Andy, before this week, did you know you could move things with your mind?" Agent Hunt asked. "Imagine if instead of it being a car speeding at you, it was a bully, trying to beat you up. The force you hit the car with could throw people through walls."

"I could hurt people without meaning too," Andy said softly, looking down at his hands.

"Yeah," Agent Hunt nodded. "When I discovered my powers, a teacher was yelling at me because I forgot to bring my homework to class. I was a bit cranky because I hadn't gotten enough sleep the night before, and I yelled back at him. Unfortunately, what came out wasn't yelling." Hunt opened his mouth wide and a small, blue ball of fire burst out, dissipating almost instantly once it was in the air. "I missed him, more-or-less, but I did manage to set the room on fire."

Andy shook his head. "But I know I'm an augment now!"

"Yes, but you don't have full control over the one ability you know about, and there could be others. You don't know, I don't know," Hunt shrugged. "Once I knew about my ability to breath fire, I learned to control it fairly quickly. At least when I was awake. It took me weeks to get some semblance of control when I was asleep, and I burned myself pretty badly a few times, despite having people keeping an eye on me specifically to make sure I didn't burn myself to death on accident. Every time I had a nightmare about fire, I'd breathe some. Eventually I learned to control it, but I had occasional accidents for years afterward."

"I can control my ability," Andy protested. "It hurts to use it!"

"And if breathing fire had been my only ability, that would have been enough for me too. The problem is, you might have other powers, like I do," Hunt said sadly. "The problem is... Doctor," Hunt turned to Tennant. "Do you have anything nearby that I might... demonstrate with?"

"I keep a small stock of things on hand," Tennant nodded as he ran off to a small cubboard. "For kids that come in and don't understand what's going on. Will this do?" he pulled a small blue teddy bear out. "I didn't exactly intend to be doing displays, the idea was to provide a bit of comfort, but..."

"It'll work." Walking over to the bear, Hunt pretended to shake it's hand. "Well, how do you do Mr. Bear. I'm very pleased to meet you." Andy giggled at the silliness of it, then gasped as a skewer pushed out of Hunt's hand to impale the bear. "It's a physical control," Hunt said softly. "If I manipulate my hand just so the spike comes out, hard and fast. I manipulate it another way..." the spike began to retract, slowly. "I start pulling it in. Takes a while. It's purely physical, based just on the way I hold my hand."

"If I hadn't discovered that while I was in training, odds are very good I would have hurt, maybe even killed, someone..." Hunt shook his head as he trailed off. "I did hurt someone. Thankfully, he was an augment with the ability to heal, so I didn't kill him. If it had been a normal..." Hunt sighed softly. "I didn't want to scare you with this Andy, but the doctor insists on sending you to the hospital. I understand his reasons, but you need to understand what's at stake."

Andy looked at the teddy bear. "Who did you hurt?"

"A friend," Hunt said softly. "A good friend, who forgave me very quickly."

Hunt took a deep breath. "Alright, I think I've scared you enough for one day. And there is some good news. I'm quite certain that they'll be able to assign you another agent who is based in the area. He'll help you just like I would."

"Doctor, would you mind if..." Hunt held up the bear.

"Go right ahead, it isn't much use now anyway," Tennant sighed. "Andy, I know this was scary. It was important you understand though. I'm sorry..." Tennant shook his head. "If I had a choice, I would let you complete your training. But you can't. You need to avoid using your power as best you can. Please, let them help you at the hospital."

Andy nodded as Agent Hunt walked over with the bear, eyes half closed. He surprised Andy by simply handing it over, "Here."

"But-" Andy started to protest. The spike had ripped straight through the bears chest, almost ripping it in two. But the bear he was holding in his hand... There was a long, jagged tear held together by the bear's own fur, woven together and knotted over the tear. "How did you..." Andy looked up at Hunt.

"I didn't get picked as your trainer out of a hat, kid," Hunt smiled. "I have a low-grade telekinetic ability myself. Can't apply much force, but I can work fairly quickly with light stuff. The weaving trick... I picked it up pretty quickly the first time I tried something like it. It's practically a fourth augment. Call it cloth manipulation."

Andy looked at the bear, and then back up at Hunt. "Thanks."

Hunt bit his lip for a moment. "Keep it as a reminder. Not only can your powers hurt people, maybe on accident, but they can help them, too."

Andy looked down at the bear. He'd need to think about what Hunt had told him for a while.

"When..." he started. "When are you going to send me?"

Hunt shrugged. "I'll pull some strings, get you where you need to be as quickly as I can. I've held you up long enough, it would seem."

"Dress warmly," Andy's mother told him firmly a few days later. "I don't want you catching a cold."

"Moooooom!" Andy complained, while Donny snickered.

"And wear clean under-" she started to add.

"Mom!" Andy cut in. "Not in public!" Donny managed to contain the guffaws of laughter, but only just barely. And probably only because Andy started glaring at him.

Mom sighed. "Oh fine," she said exasperatedly. "I'm just glad..." she looked away. "I'm sorry your dad couldn't bring himself to come."

"I... think I understand," Andy said hesitantly. "Agent Hunt talked to me, a lot. It's not that Dad hates me. It's just that he's hated the very idea of augments for a long time, and to discover his son is one hurts him." Andy tried to remember the words Agent Hunt had used. "I... don't quite understand all of it, but when he looks at me he's being forced to rethink things he doesn't want to have to rethink. And it hurts him. Not because he doesn't love me, but because he does love me, a lot."

Mom looked down and sighed. "I didn't really care for everything they did, but... I think maybe they did right by us. I didn't think so, especially when they cut you off from me, but... it sounds like this Agent Hunt was good for you."

Andy nodded. "I got to go Mom," he said, seeing Agent Hunt waving at him from the departure area.

Mom glanced over and sighed. "I know. Be safe. I love you."

"Love you too Mom," Andy smiled before putting his hands on the wheels. "Oh, and be careful Donny," he added as an obvious, and insulting, afterthought. He sensed, more than saw, Mom try to reach for the handles before stopping herself. "Thank you," he smiled over his shoulder before he resumed pushing on the wheels. Agent Hunt had explained that for him too. She wanted to help him so much. She wasn't trying to say he couldn't do for himself, she just hated to see him hurting.

Andy approached the metal detector, but Agent Hunt's badge got the security guard to just wave them around the line. As they approached the entrance to the plane, a man in a nondescript suit stood up to meet them. "Hello. Agent Hunt and Andrew Webster?" he asked. Hunt stuck his hand out, nodding, and the new man took it. "I'm Agent Wilson."

Hunt nodded curtly. "This is Andy," he inclined his head.

"Hello Andy," Wilson smiled. "It's nice to meet you. I'm the BEST agent assigned to you for the duration of your stay on the east coast. Nice to meet you."

Andy nodded and took the offered hand. "Nice to meet you too, sir."

Wilson laughed. "Don't call me sir, kid. If you have to, 'Mr. Webster' will do, but why don't you try 'Fred' on for size."

Andy smiled gently. "I..." Andy glanced over at his mother, who was still watching him. "Mom wouldn't like it, but sure, Fred."

"What Mom doesn't know," Fred laughed. "Come on. We need to board."

Andy nodded and started pushing his chair.

"I'm sorry," one of the attendants at the door said as he stopped them. "For security purposes, outside wheelchairs aren't allowed on the plane. We'll store it until your final destination, and provide a special one while you're flying with us."

Andy frowned. "What about canes?" he asked, pulling them off the back of the chair. These were a new design, with armholes that went around his forearms to hold them in place.

"We prefer if you use the airlines," the attendant shrugged. "I'm sorry, it's stupid, but those are the rules."

Fred shook his head. "I'm sorry Andy, I didn't think or I would have made arrangements in advance."

"It's OK Agent- I mean, Fred," Andy shrugged. "Mom kinda warned me."

"Here," the attendant interrupted, "see how these fit you." Andy took the proffered canes and tried to stand with them.

"A bit long," he complained.

"Here," the attendant fiddled with them for a moment. Andy had trouble standing without both of them to support him, but he managed. "How about now?"

Andy carefully took a few steps. "I'll live," he sighed. "Probably fit better on the plane than the stupid wheelchair anyway, right?"

The attendant nodded. "If you require any assistance at all, let one of us know and we'll be glad to provide it." The attendant covered his mouth when Andy kicked the wheelchair before turning to board the plane.

Andy had to walk slowly down the ramp, but that fitted him right now. Fred picked up the backpack slung over the rear of his wheelchair without a word and walked beside him. "First time flying?" he asked.

"Yeah," Andy sighed. "Also... first time away from Mom and Dad. Well, second. They didn't let me see them while I was at the training place."

Fred nodded. "But that was just for a few days, until they did the worst of the training. And you knew they were just a little bit away, even if you couldn't actually see them."

"Yeah," Andy said softly. "Now... I'm flying a billion miles away and it feels like... like... goodbye. I mean, really goodbye."

"Don't worry, you'll be able to call them often," Fred said supportively as they entered the airplane itself. "This way," he turned and guided Andy to a seat. "Do you want the window seat? I'm fine either way, I won't mind getting up to let you out."

"Thanks," Andy smiled and sat in the window seat. "I can see Mom!" he said excitedly when he looked out the window, and started waving. She waved back, and Donny started jumping up and down trying to get Andy's attention, so Andy waved at him too.

He might be an annoying retard of a little brother, but he was Andy's little brother!

"That's why I got these tickets," Fred smiled as he answered Andy's comment.. It seemed like mere moments before they were told to buckle up, and the plane started moving.

Andy felt a single, solitary tear drip down his cheek as he lost sight of his mother and brother.

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