Content Warning: While these fics take place after the event, they will discuss a school shooting.
Copyright 2017 Thianna Durston
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Finn huddled next to Santi as they waited for the others to arrive. Being back at campus after what happened felt strange. Almost wrong. Because FPU looked normal. And yet it wasn’t.
There were people in security uniforms everywhere and very few students. What students he did see walked in groups, just like they planned to do. It felt odd and he wasn’t sure what to do with that.
“Here.” Frank handed each of them a large mocha. “You two need to get your caffeine intake up or you’ll never face stepping onto campus.”
“How did you do it?” Finn asked as he took a sip. Frank was on campus the day before with all the employees of the school, preparing to help the students transition back after the attack.
Frank took a sip of tea and looked around before looking back at Finn. “It’s not easy, Finn. And I haven’t entered the library yet. But when it comes down to it, you take that first step and the second is much easier. And the third easier than that. Then you just keep doing it day after day until you don’t notice those steps. That’s when you know you’re on the mend.”
Finn had read the letters from the deans online and they had been positive but somewhat convoluted. Frank’s description made a lot more sense.
“At least we have almost the full term to get the guts to go back into the library,” Santi said, trying to sound upbeat. “I don’t think I could do it today.”
“Or tomorrow,” Finn agreed, wrapping an arm around his shoulders. “Maybe we can find somewhere else to do Study Sundays.”
Santi’s brown eyes softened and Finn kissed him. “We’re going to be okay,” he murmured, trying to make it sound true.
“I know.” Santi leaned his forehead against Finn’s. “I just want to get to the okay part.”
A car pulled up and Finn turned as Rafe climbed out. He gasped at how haggard Rafe appeared, as though he hadn’t slept in a week. Was that how he and Santi looked?
When Rafe reached them, Frank drew him into a tight hug. “You okay, kid?”
Rafe shrugged before turning to Finn and Santi. “Did you hear about Nick?” he asked in a scratchy voice.
Finn and Santi glanced at one another and turned back. Fear darted down Finn’s back. “What about Nick?” he asked.
“He collapsed last night. Convulsions, unconscious, the works. He’s in the hospital. Thankfully he’s conscious now, but Ethan spent all night at the hospital wondering if he would wake up.”
“Holy shit,” Santi whispered. “What happened?”
“They’re not sure.” Rafe sighed. “I wish bad things would stop happening. I don’t think I can take much more.”
Frank put a hand on Rafe’s shoulder. “It will. I know it looks bad now, but things will get better.”
The tone of Frank’s voice, as though he would force things to get better for their sakes made Finn smile. How he made it through his first eighteen years without Frank’s help, he wasn’t sure. Living with Frank was so different to living with his parents. With his folks, he always felt like he was walking on eggshells around them. With Frank, he could be himself. Frank was happiest when he and Santi were loud and slightly obnoxious. Finn wasn’t sure why. But he loved him for it.
“Is Deke coming?” Santi asked.
Finn added, “Does he know about Nick?”
“No and yes,” Rafe said with a yawn. “He was up all night with Ethan at the hospital. He’s going to come up this afternoon to hear the information.”
“All right,” Frank said. “It’s time. I’ll walk you to the student union where the dean’s holding the conversations. You can do this,” he added in a calm voice. Finn watched Frank as he stepped up to the sidewalk and onto it, putting him on Falcon Pointe University grounds. He turned around and beckoned to them. “Come on, boys. Your turn.”
If you have enjoyed this tiny window into Falcon Pointe, check out the first books in the Men of Falcon Pointe series.
Flash Fic #9 will be posted on Wednesday, Nov 29th.