I... don't really like this one. I like bits and pieces of it but mostly... Meh. I like that I got it done finally.
Pairing: Van/OMC, Van/Deaq
Disclaimer: Not mine.
On April first, nineteen seventy-eight Donovan Frances Ray took his first breath of air outside his mother's womb with the help of a respirator. On May sixteenth nineteen seventy-eight Donny Ray took his first breath of air all by himself.
Donny doesn't remember but his mommy and daddy held him for the first time on May twenty-first, nineteen seventy-eight.
Donny said his very first word when he was only fifteen months old. It wasn't "Mama," or "Dada," or even "cookie." It was "bastard" and his older brother Terry was smacked right on the face by his Gramma.
When Donny was two years and seven months old he said his first whole sentence. And hasn't shut up since.
When Donny was two years and nine months old he got a new brother named Spencer Irving Ray. He was tiny and wrinkly and fat.
Donny was three when he used the big potty all by himself. His mommy tried everything for months and couldn't get him to use it on is own. Then she read something in a book about this guy named Pavlov and his doggies...
Twenty-four years later he still has to pee when he hears Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.
Donny was four the first time he went to the hospital. He was playing with Spencer when he stepped on a nail from the half-built play set in the backyard. Mom and Dad were out of state "on business" and his older brother was babysitting.
Terry tried to fix it himself with some toilet paper and duct-tape.
Needless to say it didn't work out well.
He got his first stitches, both of them, and his first shot--that he remembers--on the same day. They never did tell mom or dad.
Donny went to his first day of school on August thirteenth, nineteen eighty-three. He learned how to count to one hundred, and he learned his address and phone number, and he learned how to write his name and he learned that even if someone else does hurt you you should never bite anybody. Ever. Especially the nurse.
Donny was six the first time he went to the zoo. He also got to feed a duck for the first time, which was immediately followed by the first time he was ever bitten by a duck.
When Donny came back from the hospital he made his dad throw out all the yellow duckies from the bathroom. Donny never went to the zoo again.
Donny was seven the first time he moved. At the time he was told it was for his health, New York isn't a good place to live if you have asthma. He's since learned that his father crossed some not-so-good people in some not-so-good ways.
He didn't want to leave his house where he had his own room and he didn't want to leave his school or his friends and he certainly didn't want to move all the way across the country to go live in a trailer.
He saw cacti for the first time on that trip. He also got his arm stuck in a pool table, turned blue in an actual pool, was attacked by bats, rolled down a small mountain, and was in his first two and a half car accidents on that trip. The half is from when Terry accidentally hit him with the Lincoln, but it was only a little bit so it doesn't count a whole lot.
On Donny's eighth birthday his Dad was taken away by the police for the first time. Everyone from Donny's class was at the park for his party and the police, fucking pigs, just came out of nowhere.
Donny's family moved to a new trailer park after that.
When Donny was nine he got into his first fist-fight. Trinidad "Junior" Tullo told everyone that Donny's Dad wasn't really on a secret government mission. That was Donny's fifth trip to the hospital. He broke his right hand, wrist, and arm in 19 places and broke his nose. Junior had six cracked ribs, a black eye, two broken fingers, and a skull fracture. Donny got expelled from Carl T. and the next day four of Junior's brothers pulled up next to Terry and five of his friends and pulled out guns.
When Donny was nine he went to his first funeral. He went to his second, third, and fourth ones in the next two weeks. Donny was nine and a half the first time his mom told him just how much she hated him.
When Donny was ten he finally realized how his mom paid the rent without dad or Terry there to help. Donny also realized that she wasn't actually diabetic and that if he or Spence expected to eat he would have to learn how to cook.
He kissed his first girl when he was ten too. Maria was pretty, and nice, and sweet, and her mom used to let him and Spence stay over when mom "forgot" to pay the electric bill. One night after dinner they were watching TV and he leaned over and kissed her right on the mouth. Their lips were chapped, their noses bumped and they never spoke about it again. But they remained friends until the next time he moved. Sometimes at night, when it's dark and he's watching Hawaii 5-0 reruns, he still thinks of her.
When Donny was eleven his dad came back home. He brought Donny a big stuffed gorilla and Spence a big stuffed panther, Donny's family was and happy again, almost like normal. The first Saturday after dad came home he cooked a big breakfast with eggs, sausage, bacon, pancakes and waffles, just like he used to.
The first Sunday after Donny's dad came home Donny's family went to Terry's grave. That was the first time Donny ever saw his dad cry.
When Donny was twelve he spent his first night on the street. Donny and Spence and their mom and dad were living in a broken down bus at the Greyhound. Donny stopped going to school and started helping with "The Family Business." He learned he could copy anything he saw, a writing style, a drawing style, anything. He also met Uncle Teddy for the first time and found out he had a "good eye."
When Donny was thirteen he had a gun pointed at his head for the first time. That was gun. It was also right smack-dab in the middle of his very first ever police raid. It was the first time mom and dad got arrested together and the first time he went to a group home. It was also the first time he and Spence were separated for more than a few nights at a time.
When Van was fourteen he went to his first day of high school. That day he also ran away from his group home for the first time. The police found him and took him back, though he didn't stay long. He started fights, and ran away and did everything he could to get moved to All My Children with his brother. He didn't see Spence again for four years.
Van was fifteen when he kissed a boy for the first time, it was a few months before the first time he ever went further than kissing with anybody. Quincy was seventeen and tall with dark skin and short dreads and he promised he'd make sure nothing happened to Van as long as he was around.
Four months later Quincy got picked up for for a drug charge and sent away for ten years, five with good behavior. Quincy kept his promise though, those four months Van was never afraid. He always had food, and he didn't have to worry about rent or anything else while Quincy was around.
Van was sixteen the first time Chris hit him. He said it was an accident, he didn't mean to hit him, he would never do anything like that to him, he just got angry sometimes. Chris loved him. Loved him.
One week before he turned seventeen Chris put him in the ICU for the first time. He fell into a coma and didn't wake for three and a half months. Van had never missed his own birthday before.
When Van was seventeen he found out Chris was sleeping around on him and had his first "scare." He went to the clinic and spent the next six months making lists of everybody he had ever even kissed. He swore to God that if he got out of this alright that he would make something of his life.
Van killed someone for the first time when he was seventeen years old. It was clear-cut self defense, he told Chris no but he wouldn't stop, Van finally had had enough and he grabbed the first thing he could and hit him with it. That made Chris mad. Van's still not sure exactly what happened next, at least the order of it that is, but somehow apparently during the fight Chris pulled out a gun. That was the first time Van ever got shot. He was shot twice in the chest, once in the shoulder and got grazed on the side of his head. Somehow he still managed to get the gun away from him. He emptied everything left in the clip, five rounds and one in the chamber, at Chris. He only hit him once but shooting at a human skull at that close of range...
When the police finally arrived, seven minutes after everything was over, Van was semi-conscious in the hallway and his neighbor Laqueta was pressing a blood-soaked towel to his chest.
At eighteen years old Van was going to get custody of Spence but his father was released from prison and his mother was released a month later. Spence ran from his group home and moved into the Motel 6 with their parents. It was the first time Van ever really hated his mother and father.
When Van was nineteen he got his GED and decided he didn't want to become his parents. For the first time in his life he knew where he wanted to go and how to get there.
He realized that college wasn't a realistic choice for him, he had no money, no job--because you can't put check forger or identity thief on a resume--and no permanent place of residence. He knew he wanted to do something with himself, he just didn't know what or how.
When Van was twenty years and six months old (To the day) he started the application process for the Los Angeles Police Department.
He also got his first apartment with his first roommate. After two weeks of listening to Ethiopian Catholic Music blasted through the most amazing speakers he had ever seen he contemplated banging his own head in. Then he sold all of Elsabet's D's and felt much better. Until she found out. There are still days when he wakes up afraid.
When Van was twenty-one he completed the police academy and became a cop. His very first partner was this guy named Brain O'Connor. He was a pretty cool guy, even if he was possibly the whitest guy on the face of the Earth.
On his very first call (Because anything resulting in a ticket doesn't count) he let his first criminal escape. He told Spence to punch him in the face as hard as he could and run. It was the first time he lied to a superior officer, but it certainly wouldn't be the last.
When Van was twenty-two years old he put in for a transfer to the undercover unit of the Los Angeles Police Department. Brian gave him some tips on undercover work (Which he may or may not have known from experience); never sleep with a mark, trust no one, stay away from really nice cars (Because Murphy's Law proves that when you have anything you can't afford something bad will happen to it), don't take the drugs--no matter what, avoid people who know you, hide the wire good, and finally if you ever let anyone go for the love of fuck don't give them a flashy, million-dollar car. They'll get caught and so will you and then your life will be fucked.
Van was twenty-three when he broke his first rule. Well, technically he'd broken rules before, several dozen times in fact, but this time he broke Brian's Rules of Undercover Work (Which he always thought should be trademarked). He didn't brake them all, just a few of them. The part about never sleeping with a mark went out the window with Ethan, he didn't really want to but Ethan didn't trust him and you do what you have to to get the job done. In the end they got the Ethan and four other big guys in the drug ring. But...
He never took the drugs, in either sense of the rule, the LAPD didn't really have any real good cars so he didn't have to worry about that rule... But he did trust too many people. He always had; he trusted Chad when he was eight and Chad found out he still wet the bed (Chad told everyone at school), he trusted Junior when he told him about his dad (And that didn't turn out well at </i>all</i>), he trusted Chris (Enough said), and for god's sake he trusted his parents for how many years? And look where that got him.
At twenty-four years old Van got his chance to go to his first normal Christmas. Kambriel, Dre's wife, was hosting a huge family gathering and had decided Van was family and was going to attend. Van was afraid to go, his memories of Christmas usually involved some combination of one or both of his parents high, dollar store presents, fighting, arrests, or Santa suddenly "forgetting" where they lived this year. But saying no to Kam is like turning states evidence against Gotti, you only do it once. Van met all six of Dre's sisters (Latoya, Latricia, Antionette, and Jenae are the birth sisters, Darlene is Latoya's fiancée, and Shakeisha is Dre's brother Deaqon's ex-girlfriend), both of his parents (Myrtle and Linq), three uncles (Tyree, whose birth name is Moses, Christ, which is his birth name, and Quinn--born with the name of Milton), one aunt (Lydezma, aka Lyddie), and one brother. The brother he met wasn't Deaqon, but was another one of his exes. He was tall, and well muscled with longish hair in two braids down either side of his head. Quincy.
After the initial shock of seeing Quincy they talked for a bit and traded stories (Quincy, or Nykari as he now liked to be called, was a model prisoner and got out in '98 but still had another year of probation left, apparently Deaqon ran with his older brother "back when he was a kid" and that's how they met), updating each other on what they've missed. Everyone was having fun and doing fine until Quinn brought up Deaq.
Everything quickly went downhill from there. There was yelling and screaming, cursing and fighting, and by the end Kam ended up breaking Quinn's nose, Tyree had to get twenty-six stitches in his forehead (From a random dish being thrown), Jenae almost got thrown out of the hospital, and all fourteen children in attendance managed to sneak away and wreak havoc through the hospital. That was the first time Van realized normal was highly overrated.
When Van was twenty-five he met Deaq for the first time, just days after losing Dre. Deaq blamed him, even after he found out they were partners he blamed him, he probably thought he was a dirty cop. Contrary to what Billie and Deaq may think he doesn't blame himself for Dre's death. No one found the wire on him, neither of them were made, and in fact if they would've used the fake cash they would've both been dead a hell of a lot sooner. Hell, he made Dre put on his vest, for all the good it did against hollow-points. Knowing that nothing short of a time machine could have saved Dre doesn't make it better though, it actually makes it worse. The feeling of complete and utter helplessness is something that doesn't go away, it festers under the skin and feeds on the subconscious. It multiplies and grows until you're so afraid of being helpless yet again that you lose sleep staying up and planning for impossible situations that are never in a million years going to happen.
A lot of firsts happened that year; he got kidnapped and tortured for the first time, he slept with a woman for the first time (And there's no way Billie or Deaq will ever find that out, much less that he had to think about Deaq, which, given, in hindsight probably wasn't the best idea he's ever had), he got poisoned for the first time, he learned the power and speed of gossip in the force for the first time... And on a side note contrary to what Deaq and every other cop in LA may think he doesn't nail everything that moves, in fact before the candy store (And the "by any means" attitude that goes with it) he had only ever been with six guys, three were serious relationships, one was for the sake of the mission, and two were... complicated.
When Van was twenty-six he spent Christmas Eve with Dre's family, which had become a tradition almost immediately, but this time he managed to get Deaq to go. Deaq hadn't attended last year's gathering even though he was in town again, officially he had to work, unofficially he was terrified of seeing everyone again under one roof. Especially his sisters, who of course delighted in embarrassing their baby brother.
Van learned lots of new things about Deaq that week. He learned that Deaq went to three different grade schools, six junior high schools, and four high schools. He was expelled from every one of them for either fighting or truancy. He learned that Deaq lost his virginity when he was seventeen and his mother walked in. Shakeisha was particularly proud of that.
Van also realized that Deaq was a great big wuss when he told Van that he knew "Nykari" because they grew up together and went to the same high school for a time.
Van had great fun telling Deaq that Quincy moved here from Alabama when he was fourteen, dropped out when he was fifteen and never went back. Then he realized Quincy was an evil, evil person when Quincy told Deaq that he and Van met at Van's first family gathering and "hit it off." Deaq bought it and looked like he had eaten a lemon. Everything was going fine and dandy until Quinn spilled the beans. Then all hell broke loose. Who would've though Deaq would get that mad at a joke?
This time Quinn only had a minor concussion, Tyree had no stitches (But a black eye), and Jenea, Darlene, and Quincy were all asked to leave the hospital along with Deaq, Van and three of the children.
Just for the record Van would like to say that his and Deaq's first kiss was under the mistletoe back at the house and that there were fireworks and hearts and puppies and declarations of love and eternal happiness. That's not how it happened, but Van would like to say that.
What really happened was that at about three in the morning, in the parking lot of Chris-Town Bowl, across from Good Samaritan Hospital, Deaq and Van and Quincy had a..."discussion." What it was about doesn't matter, just that it ended with Van getting mad and going back into the hospital.
And promptly getting arrested for trespassing. Three and a half hours later Van was back at the hospital with Billie because apparently Kam, violent one that she is, found out about the "discussion" and hit Deaq with her purse and, long story short, he spent an hour getting a 9 mil bullet dug out of his bicep.
Deaq and Van had their first kiss at seven-thirty on Christmas morning, surrounded by various tired and injured friends and relatives sitting in a Denny's waiting for their food. Or at least that's what Van's told. He was pretty tired when they got there and apparently after climbing into the booth next to Deaq to apologize Van got tired and decided Deaq was a good pillow.
Van fell asleep where he was sitting and somehow during the course of breakfast, his head found it's way over to Deaq's shoulder. What happened next is a matter of opinion (Deaq insists that his arm fell asleep and he was trying to move it) but whatever happened resulted in Van half-curling around Deaq and drooling on his shirt. Deaq denies it to this day but Van has it on good authority (Linq's) that when he thought no one was looking Deaq gave the back of his head a small kiss.
It's Tuesday now, a little past noon. The seven of them (The more cases they got the more operatives they needed) haven't had a full day off in almost eleven months. There' a one on one on one game going on downstairs, Newbie is out doing "research" and Billie is probably working up the next bout of torture for them downstairs. Van and Deaq are watching some random god-awful movie on the TV upstairs and for the first time in a while Van feels content.