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This page last viewed: 2017-06-17 and has been viewed 1406 times
Warnings: None especially. No sex , no violence, no language -- maybe angst with a big A though... The final line is ambiguous -- it probably errs towards being a slashy thought but can be considered smarm.
Comments: Thanks to Jenny for doing such a quick edit on it... Thanks also to the others who've commented on this before it was posted to a wider audience. Comments as always welcomed.
Disclaimer: Top cow own the guys and the concept -- I'm not making any profit from this and will put them back where I found them when I've finished with them...
Summary: Two birthdays decades apart are intertwined .......
LA, Sometime in the late 1950's...
It was his special day. He'd woken up early and made sure his shoes were polished and the clothes they'd brought the last time they visited were clean and straight. He'd taken note of Sister Olivia's teaching, ëbe clan and smart, Templeton dear, no one wants to see, let alone adopt a dirty, unkempt child. Look after your clothes too, parents like children who are smartly dressed as the lord intended.í
That was this morning. Now he was waiting in what had come to be his favorite position, sitting on the ledge of the window that looked out onto the front of the orphanage. Not the left hand window, that only gave the view of the garden. From where he was sat on the right, a boy could see all of the drive, almost all the way up to the road.
Templeton glanced back at the big clock that was hung on the wall of the lobby. 2.30 pm. He frowned a little, they usually arrived at 2pm, he knew that because he was always allowed out of Sister Dominica's religious instruction class to see them. He brightened however, it was his birthday, maybe they were planning on a big surprise for him. Maybe they'd gone to a big toy shop and had bought so much for him that they were delayed. He smiled to himself; they'd even talked about maybe taking him out for ice cream today. He liked the idea of that very much, he'd seen it in the other kids, when they'd gone to a new family, they'd always gone out for ice cream first. He leaned against the cool glass and dreamed about waking up in his own bed, in his own room, surrounded by toys and maybe a dog. He smiled; he'd love a dog, a big floppy eared, golden dog who'd jump all over him and a mother who wouldn't shout at him if he got his clothes just a little messy...
Templeton looked around into the lobby as he heard the phone ring in Father O'Malley's office. He knew the sound of it so well because he spent a lot of time standing outside the office, particularly after Sister Dominica's classes. He continued looking out of the window when he heard Father O'Malley's voice and the door shut to. It wasn't important, making sure that he was here for when they came was.
He started when he felt a hand touch his shoulder, he automatically said, "Please, I'm just waiting for..."
"Come down child."
Templeton looked into Father O'Malley's face, he slid down off the ledge and stood there waiting. He wondered why the Father's eyes were shining a little, had he just had some bad news? Sister Mary had looked like that two Saturdays ago and he'd later overheard one of the other Sister's saying that Sister Mary's mother had just died. "I have permission to be out of class, Father."
Father O'Malley knelt down and said and in his still strong Irish accent, "I know my child. I know. You can come with me into my study. We'll have some tea and a chat." Templeton shook his head and opened his mouth but the Father shook his head gently and took hold of his hand, "Come, it will be alright."
Templeton followed, always looking back at the window. Father O'Malley shut the study door behind him and perched Templeton on one of the old chairs that were close to the hearth. Templeton was glad of the warmth, with his mind focused upon the waiting; he'd forgotten how cool it was in the lobby. He liked the study, it was warm and comfortable and peaceful. Only the ticking of the clock on the wall disturbed the quiet. He watched the Father's movements as he poured some tea and arranged some cookies on a plate. He ventured, "It's my birthday today. They are going to take me out to tea."
Father O'Malley came to sit down beside him and took hold of Templeton's hand again, "I'm sorry Templeton. They just called, they won't be coming again."
Templeton looked up in confusion, "But they said last week..."
"Mr Stokes just called. They really like you but they..." Father O'Malley paused, the usual thing had happened, once they started looking at children to adopt, the wife had gotten pregnant at last, but how to tell the boy they didn't want him because now they had the thing they really wanted? "They have to move. They're going to live in San Francisco. That's a long way to go and they're going to be very busy finding a new house and everything. Here, have some tea and a cookie."
Templeton looked up uncomprehending, "But it's my birthday!"
Father O'Malley ruffled the boy's hair, "I know, I know Templeton." Seeing that the boy's large blue eyes were beginning to overflow, he fished in his pocket and found his handkerchief. "Here ya go boy. Wipe those tears away, you're a lovable boy, someone will come for you, someone will. Everyone has his own special family just out there waiting for him, just takes some folks longer to find them than others."
Templeton bit his lip and nodded. "I guess." He paused and said, "Do I have to go back to class?" He took a sip of his tea and a nibble from a chocolate cookie that the priest had pressed into his hand. Templeton took another nibble of the cookie as soon as he'd swallowed the first.
Father O'Malley smiled ruefully and shook his head, "I think the Sisters will excuse you just this once, it is your birthday after all. You can stay here if you want and we'll have some more of these lovely cookies. Want me to read a story to you? "
Templeton frowned a little, "Do you think once they get settled, I mean in San Francisco..."
Father O'Malley shook his head, "No I don't think so."
Templeton frowned, "I liked them ..."
Templeton sniffed, "If you read a story to me..."
Father O'Malley stood up and moved away to the bookcase, "What story do you want me to read?"
O'Malley reached up and withdrew the volume, and returned to his seat. He looked at Templeton for a moment, "Come here my child."
Templeton put down his cup and moved across to the priest, he kept hold of the cookie. He stood uncertainly in front of him.
O'Malley put his arms out, "Come here, I think this chair is big enough for both of us."
Templeton squeezed onto the chair. He looked up at Father O'Malley, "I wanted ..."
"I know son. My birthday treat for you, some home made cookies and a story."
December 7th 1986
"What you got there Face?"
Face put down the old diary he'd been reading and looked up at Murdock who'd put his head around the door. Face shook his head; he hadn't heard the door open. Stockwell was making him lazy. "Just some old stuff, when Father O'Malley died, he left me his diary."
Murdock stepped into the room. He looked at the diary again and then back up at Face. "Ah. Anything in there about..."
Face shook his head, "No, he never recorded stuff like that in there, it was just a diary. I just read it sometimes that's all."
Murdock nodded and sat on the bed. "So what you going to do tonight?"
Face shrugged, "Not a lot, don't think anyone's going to read me a story tonight."
Murdock looked keenly at Face, the blond's voice was tight as though he was trying to control deep emotions. "You okay Muchacho? Still thinking about Bancroft?"
Face shook his head, "No, well not really." He gripped the diary tightly for a second and then moved to his dresser and slid the book into a drawer and closed the drawer shut. Face remained facing away from Murdock. "I'd never have had homemade chocolate cookies or been sat down and read a story from beginning until end in front of a real fire or even been carried me up to bed because I was too tired to walk there."
Murdock moved to be beside Face, he slid an arm around the blond's shoulders. He paused a little before answering, "No Muchacho, he wouldn't have done. We don't have homemade cookies but they are chocolate, there'll be no story but your sister's downstairs and later we can get BA to carry you to bed if you'd like."
Face nodded, he said absently, "I nearly had a sister back then too." Murdock merely raised his eyebrows, confused. Face shook himself out of his reverie, "Store bought chocolate cookies will be fine, I have my family with me, that what's important."
"And we'll always be here, no matter what."
"Happy Birthday Face!"
Face just nodded. Moving slightly out of Murdock's embrace, Face commented, "I'll be down in a minute, just have to wash up and brush my teeth."
Murdock grinned, "Sure. No problem, muchacho. Don't be too long, BA's looking at those cookies."
Face chuckled, "I won't be long. Just need to tidy myself up."
Murdock left the room and closed the door behind him.
Face smiled as he heard Murdock's voice call out something indistinct to Frankie. He opened the drawer again and looked at the diary, and then looked at the closed door, "And I wouldn't have had you."
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