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June Fic-A-Day: #24, Homeward Bound

Homeward Bound
Fandom: City of Heroes
Word Count: 679
Characters: Teff
Warnings: None.
Prompt/request: None, directly.
Notes: Takes place after "Make the Call" and some time before CoH Sims starts up, for those keeping track at home. I know this is pretty late for Fic-A-Day, but I got all caught up in researching the location. :)

His pop now drove an SUV instead of a pickup, but the radio remained tuned to country music. Teff appreciated the window-mounted gun rack. That made it more comfortable. Everyone in Teff's hometown had gun racks in their vehicles. You were un-American if you went without.

He was acutely aware that he probably looked, and possibly smelled, like he'd been out in a blind for a few days. He was more aware of it in a recent-model SUV than if he'd been in the family's old pickup, where you could spill stuff on the seat and as long as you didn't let it "set" nobody cared.

The truck was Pop's, always. Mom had her own car when Teff was younger, and the minivan after his brothers came along. Teff wondered if she'd upgraded to an SUV as well. His parents' cars were separate domains, and each one only drove the other's in cases of dire emergency.

It was a real drag, losing his Pacer to the Paragon cops. Okay, it was a crappy car, but at least it'd been his, and he'd had the control and the freedom of driving. Now he didn't even have any recompense for the loss of the car.

The silence stretched between Teff and his stepfather, with the radio as a country-muzak background. Teff didn't want to get started on why he'd asked to return home, and he knew Pop was waiting for him to speak. It was just as well he hadn't had much to eat today.

The ticket arrangement was pretty quick – Teff hadn't thought his dad knew enough about the internet to do it, but he did, and so here he was, less than twenty-four hours later, back home in rural Maine. He could feel his accent returning and his voice going nasal just from breathing in this region. "A Boston accent on steroids," that was how a Paragon native described Teff's accent once. After that he'd worked to tone it down and talk less through his nose. After being in Paragon so long, hearing the local patois sounded strange yet welcoming.

Pop's accent wasn't as thick as Mom's. Pop wasn't originally from here, so he hadn't absorbed the pronunciations with mother's milk. Probably an outsider couldn't tell, Teff thought, though locals always would.

The sharp familiar scent of pine came through the open windows. Soon they'd be off the main road, Teff knew, with its forest pressing in on both sides, and then – well, maybe Pop had paved the road leading to the house, who knew?

"Your mother doesn't know yet about your trouble with the law," Pop said.

"Thanks," Teff sighed. "How's Ryan and Josh?"

"Ryan's fifteen now and wants to start working the lumber camp this summer. Josh's birthday is coming up, he'll be twelve, you can help us celebrate that if you stick around. He'll probably want to tell you about the buck he brought down last fall, he can't stop talking." Teff's dad chuckled.

"Sounds good." Teff didn't know what else to say on that topic. He couldn't picture his baby brothers being fifteen and twelve. "Is Mom home, or do I have a chance to clean up?"

"Oh, she's home. She's been preparing for the return of the prodigal. Had her whole Christian women's group squalling over you."

"Oh, God..." Teff put his head in his hands.

"Yeah, she's thanked Him too. Just be ready for it." Pop looked over at him. "Were you so broke you couldn't get a shower and a shave?"

"Yeah, Pop. I told you, I had some real bad luck."

Pop grunted. "Hope you left it behind, then."


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 25th, 2006 08:39 am (UTC)
This gives me a whole new insight into Teff. *nods*
Jun. 25th, 2006 11:38 am (UTC)
Thanks. :) He's finally getting his backstory told.
Jun. 26th, 2006 03:55 am (UTC)
Good finish. There's a very believable father and son dynamic between them.
Jun. 26th, 2006 11:27 am (UTC)
Thanks very much. *^_^* *is relieved*
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )


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