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Breaking Free
Chapter 3

Disclaimer: Recognizable characters are Marvels. The Master and any non recognizable are mine, 
so be nice and ask if you want to play with my toys :-)
Rating:Rating:I'm going with a PG rating for now, but that might change.
Archive: RedShades, anyone else just ask. I'll pribably say yes, and I'll send you the HTML version.
Feedback is welcomed wholeheartedly. Flamers will have a hose turned on 'em.
Dedication: This is for Ali Malik, 'cuz she asked for it.
Many thanks to my beta, Crystal Wimmer. She's the best!

~words~ Is telepathic talking

*words* Is someone's thoughts

February 5th 1986


Scott stretched as he sat up in his bed. His body was sore and stiff. *I swear, one of these days I'm gonna get Nathaniel. Then we'll see how eager he is to shoot off that big mouth of his.* Scott though angrily. Scott had gotten into five fights last week, four because of something Nathaniel had said. The other time was because one of the other kids had called him (Scott) a freak and a cry-baby because of his headaches. The four Nathaniel had instigated had, of course, been with boys bigger than Scott. He'd lost those fights. Badly.


The only good thing about the fights was, when Ms. Branson saw the bruises on his back, she assumed they were from the fights. He hadn't told anyone about what Mick had done to him. Mick's threat echoed through his mind as he thought about that day. "If you ever tell anyone I gave you those bruises boy, I'll kill you. It won't be a quick death either. You just keep your goddamn mouth shut. You got it." Scott shivered. He believed Mick. The look in the man's eyes that day would have been enough to scare even the biggest man.


Scott stretched again, and then got up. He dressed quickly and went into the bathroom. He sighed as he looked in the mirror. The last fight had been three days ago and he still had a large bruise on his left cheek from it. There were several other bruises on his face, but they, at least, were fading. He brushed his hair then went down to the dinning room for breakfast.


Nathaniel waved as he saw Scott. "Come on, I saved you a seat," he called as he patted the seat next to him.


*Great,* Scott thought to himself. *Why the Hell can't he ever take a hint and leave me alone.* Scott had done everything he could to avoid Nathaniel and tell the boy he didn't want to be friends, without actually coming out and saying it. Somehow, Nathaniel had gotten the impression that he and Scott were best friends. Scott sighed and sat next to Nathaniel.


Scott finished his breakfast quickly and went outside hoping Nathaniel wouldn't follow him. No such luck.


"Wait up, Scott," Nathaniel shouted as he ran and caught up with Scott. "A guy'd think you were trying to avoid him the way you took off like that."


"I was," Scott said matter-of-factually. He kept walking, picking up his pace.


Nathaniel chuckled and matched Scott's pace. "What, you mad at me or something?"






Scott stopped and turned to Nathaniel, his face almost red with anger. "Why? You want to know why?" Scott asked in disbelief. "Look at my face Nathaniel. My whole body is sore. I got my ass kicked four times last week because you can't keep your big mouth shut. I really don't want to start out this week the same way. Why did you tell those guys those lies anyway? In the six months I've been here, I've gotten beat-up more times than I can count for defending you when those creeps pick on you. I'm the only one who even talks to you."


"I was only kidding, Scott. It's not my fault those guys can't take a joke. Besides, David really is a big, ugly, jackass. You did say that."


"No, you said that. That's not joking Nathaniel."


"Yeah, I did say that, didn't I? Oh, well. You told Ms. Branson when she asked about the bruises, and she said that he's been punished for it."


Two of the fights had been with David, the other two with two other boys. David and the other boys had been restricted to their rooms for a month, they were only allowed outside for one hour each day and were supervised the whole time. They also lost all other privileges for a month. They had told Ms. Branson that Scott had started the fights, but she hadn't believed them. All three of the boys were known for starting fights.


"That's not the point. I have enough trouble with David already; I don't need you making more. Just stop telling them crap like that. I mean it Nathaniel." Scott started walking again. After a few steps he turned towards Nathaniel, who had started to follow him again, "And stay away from me. I'm tired of you following me around all the time. I want to be alone for a while."


"Sure, Scott." Nathaniel said. He smiled evilly as he turned and walked towards the orphanage. *Soon, Scott,* he thought to himself, *Soon, you will be mine."


x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x

March 5th 1986


Scott sat quietly in his favorite spot in his tree, watching the other kids play. Some were playing baseball, some basketball, and some freeze tag. A small group of boys played jacks, a small group of girls were jumping rope, and few kids played on the jungle gym. They never asked him to play anymore. Not even the ones who'd been nice to when he'd first got there. No one understood why he got headaches they he did. They called him a freak. His headaches had started getting much worse recently and he'd had to go to the doctor a few weeks ago. The doctor gave him special glasses with ruby quartz lens and he's headaches were not as severe or frequent anymore. That didn't help with the other kids though. Now the teasing was worse. Only a freak has to wear sunglasses all the time, they'd said. No one had asked him to play with them sense he'd gotten the glasses.


Scott had gotten a lot faster in that time. A lot of the bigger boys had starting picking fights with him, Scott had to run to keep from getting beat up. He'd managed to get away every time and learned to avoid the boys as much as possible. Today, he wouldn't get so lucky.


"Get down here freak." David yelled as he and two of his friends walked towards the tree. "You're gonna pay for rattin' on me and getting me into so much trouble punk."


Scott was startled by David. He was so caught up in watching the other kids playing that he hadn't seen the boys walking towards him. "Shit," he muttered as he climbed down the tree. As soon as his feet hit the ground, he took off running in the opposite direction.


"You can't run forever punk," David yelled after him as he and his friends ran after Scott.


Scott took a quick look back, careful to keep his balance. *Good, I'm losing them,* he thought to himself. Suddenly, he felt the air knocked from his lungs as he was tackled to the ground. He twisted to look at the boy and cursed himself as he realized who it was. He was looking into the face of Jack Dalton, one of David's best friends. *I shoulda realized he wasn't with them. It was a trap,* He though as Jack hauled Scott to his feet and pinned his arms behind his back. Scott struggled to get free but, although Jack was the same height as Scott, Jack was much stronger. Jake tightened his grip on Scott, who winced in pain. As he looked around, Scott realized how much trouble he was in. They were to far from the orphanage. No one would hear him if he yelled.


"The other boys told me you'd run like a chicken shit," David started as he and the other two boys caught up, "told me you're fast as a jackrabbit to, so we set up a little trap for ya. You're not only a freak, but you got a real long yellow streak to don'tcha? That's why all them people brought your ass back here."


"At least some people took me home," Scott fired back. "Now one has even tried to foster you in over eight years. No one wants a big dumb PUNK like you." Scott knew it wasn't a good idea to antagonize David like that, but he knew he was going to get beat up either, he figured he'd get in a couple good shot's while he could. Without warning, Scott pushed back against Jack, using him to steady himself, and kicked David square in the chest with both feet. The action caused Jack to loose his grip on Scott. Both boys landed on the ground. Scott got up quickly and Kicked Jack hard in the stomach as the other boy tried to get up. Frank and Lance Clark- David's other two friends- lunged at Scott. Scott managed to connect a solid right with Lance's jaw. The he swung at Frank, but the older boy was ready. He caught Scott's fist and twisted it roughly behind his back, then pulled Scott close to him. Scott yelled in pain. Frank caught Scott's other fist as Scott attempted to punch Frank, and pulled that one back as well.


"You are going to pay for that you little freak!" David said as he got to his feet. Jack and Lance were also back on their feet and joined David in front of Scott. "I'm gonna make you wish you were never born." David swung his fist as he finished talking. Somehow, Scott's glasses had stayed on during the scuffle. They broke and fell to the ground as David's fist connected with the side of Scott's head. He hit Scott in the face again, then punched him in the stomach several times. "Let him go," David said.


Frank released Scott, who drooped to his knees, arms wrapped around his stomach as he gasped for air.


"Get up," David told him. Scott didn't move. He looked up and glared defiantly at David. "I said get up."


Scott slowly started to stand, before he could get all the way up, another fist connected with his jaw and fell to the ground with a thud. He was then bombarded with fists and feet. The boys hit and kicked Scott where ever they could. Scott wrapped his arms protectively around his head. He screamed in pain as a foot connected with the wrist Frank had twisted. The bone broke as another kick connected with it. He withdrew into his mind, trying to block out the pain as the onslaught continued. They weren't bothering to punch him anymore now, only kick him. Scott inhaled a sharp breath as several feet connected with his ribs which cracked under the pressure. Several then connected with his back.


Several minutes passed before the boys finally stopped. David looked down at Scott. "Tell on me again freak, and you'll think this was nothin' compared to what I'll do to you." David lashed out one more time, kicking Scott in his ribs. Then he and the other boys turned and walked away.


Scott watched the other boys walk away. He could have sworn he saw Nathaniel watching in the distance, an evil-sharp toothed grin on his face and a blood red diamond on his forehead. He blinked to try and clear his vision, and then looked again. No one was there. Finally, the pain became too much for Scott and he slipped into unconsciousness.


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March 7th 1986


Scott blinked against the bright light as he slowly opened his eyes. He tried to lift his left arm to cover his eyes, and yelled as a bolt of white-hot pain lanced through his broken arm.


Ms. Branson, who had fallen asleep in a nearby chair, jumped up and rushed to Scott's bedside. "Try not to move to much Scott," she said in a gentle voice. "You've been hurt pretty bad." She gently stroked his forehead as she spoke to him. "Just rest. Relax and go back to sleep. You're safe here."


Scott stared at he briefly through unfocused eyes, then drifted back to sleep.


Late the next afternoon, he awoke again. "Hi sleepy head," Me. Branson said smiling. "How do you feel?"


"Hurts," Scott whispered. He looked down at his left arm, which had been immobilized in a white and blue sling. The arm was in a bright blue cast that extended from just below his knuckles up to his elbow. He tried to lift his head, but was hit with a wave of nausea. He brought his right hand to the side of his head where David had first punched him. He had a thick gauze pad over the cut and his eye that was held in place by gauze wrapped around his forehead.


Ms. Branson looked at him with concern. "Don't try to sit up Scott. You have a concussion. What hurts?"


"Everything." Scott inhaled sharply as he became more aware of the pain he was in. His legs hurt some, but his arms, chest, back, and head felt like they were on fire. He listened quietly as Ms. Branson listed his injuries. He had a light concussion, six stitches were his glasses had cut his face when they'd broke, six broken ribs and two fractured ribs. Eight more stitches were two of his broken ribs had pushed through the skin. His arm had been broken in two places and his wrist broken as well as sprained. His chest, back, and both his arms, were covered with bruises. He also had some swelling in his back.


"You're going to have to stay for a while, sweetheart. At least until the swelling goes down in your back." She paused for a moment, then asked, "Who did this to you, Scott. Was it David?"


Scott stared at Ms. Branson, but didn't answer.


"You have to tell me Scott. I can't do anything if you don't tell me who it was."


Scott stared at her a view more seconds then closed his eyes. *Not a snowball's chance in hell I'm saying anything," he thought to himself. *Not a snowball's chance in Hell.* With that thought, he drifted back to sleep.


Ms. Branson leaned over and lightly kissed the top of Scott's head. "Sleep tight," she whispered. Then she left to find a nurse.


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March 19th 1986


"I can walk," Scott protested as a nurse brought a wheelchair into his room.


"I know you can, but this is hospital policy young man. You either roll out, or stay here." She smiled at Scott as the boy mumbled under his breath and got into the chair. She ruffled his hair and turned the chair around. The nurse wheeled him to the elevator, then down to the check out desk. Ms. Branson was there, signing the necessary paper work. She looked up and smiled as she saw Scott.


"Hello, Scott," she said cheerfully. "How do you feel today?" She felt her anger coming back as she looked at Scott. The patch over his eye was gone and the stitches were out. He had a nasty scar the doctor said would fade some, but not much. The bruise around the area was now a dingy greenish-yellowish color and almost gone. The stitches in his side were out as well and would also leave a scar. His ribs were now tightly wrapped to help them heal.


"Fine, Ms. Branson," he said. *My back and arm still hurt like a bitch.* He kept that thought to himself. He didn't want to take the chance of them saying he had to stay any longer. "I just want to get out of here. I'm tired of laying in that bed all the time."


"You still have to take it easy Scott. Don't try to do to much at once," the nurse warned. Then she turned to Ms. Branson. "The doctor wanted to talk to you before you left, but he just got called for an emergency surgery. He gave me these," she said handing Ms. Branson a couple small pieces of paper "one is for pain, one is for a muscle relaxant, and the other is for an antibiotic. The pain reliever is refillable, the other two he only has to take until they're gone. Make sure he doesn't do anything strenuous. No running or jumping or anything like that. Bring him back in two weeks so the doctor can check to make sure everything is healing correctly. He'll let you know then if he wants to see Scott again, or if you can just have the orphanage's doctor remove the cast."


Ms. Branson thanked the nurse. The nurse walked back behind Scott and wheeled him towards the exit, with Ms. Branson walking beside Scott. "Good bye, Scott," the nurse said. "See you in a few weeks. Behave till then." She gave him a hug then opened the door to the car.


Scott returned the nurses hug and said good-bye. Ms. Branson helped him get out of the chair and into the car. She shut his door, and then got into the passenger side in the front.


Mr. Johnson, who was behind the wheel, turned and faced Scott. "Hello, young man. You gave us quiet a scare there. How do you feel?"


"Better, Mr. Johnson. Thank you."


"Good. Good, I'm glad to hear that. You and I have to have a talk when we get back to the orphanage." That said, he turned back around, started the car, and started the drive back to the orphanage.


*I know what you want to talk about,* Scott thought to himself as he stared out the window, *but you won't get anything from me.* He waved to the nurse, then sat back in his seat and put his seat belt on. He sat quietly as they drove back to the orphanage. The drove back was short and Scott sighed deeply as they pulled into the driveway. *I'd give anything to be anywhere but here.* He looked out the car window and noticed David and his friends standing a few feet away. As Ms. Branson opened his door to help him out, Scott saw David make of fist with one hand and pound it into his other hand. Scott knew what it meant. It was a warning to keep his mouth shut.


Scott ignored him. He leaned on Ms. Branson, who led him into the orphanage and into a small room in the back. "This is supposed to be for people who help out here that need a room, but you'll be using it for a while. The doctor said no steps for at least two more weeks, except to go outside for a little while each day. We moved all your stuff into here. I brought you some coloring books and crayons and a couple more models." She helped Scott to the bed and turned to a stand by the bed. "They're in here she said, tapping the stand. In the bottom drawer in a little lap table you can lean on. I'm going to go to the kitchen and get you something to eat. What would you like?"


Scott thought for a moment, and then asked, "Can I have grilled cheese with ham and a soda?"


"Sure. Would you like some cookies, too?"


"Yes, please," Scott answered.


"Will you be all right here by yourself?"


Scott nodded yes.


"OK," Ms. Branson said. She ruffled his hair then turned and left.


Scott smoothed out his hair. *Why do adults always do that?* he wondered. He looked up when he heard a noise at the door and tensed when he saw it was David.


The older boy glared menacingly at Scott as he walked over to the bed. "Remember punk, not a word or I'll pulverize ya."


"I didn't say anything, asshole."


"Better make sure you keep it that way." David whispered as he leaned in closer to Scott. He pounded his fist into his open palm again, in front of Scott's face, to emphasize his point. "Don't forget." He stared at Scott a few moments longer than turned to leave, just as Ms. Branson walked in with Scott's lunch.


"What are you doing in here David," she asked, glaring at the boy.


David quickly smiled a false, cheery smile and lied, "I saw you guys pull up and I'd come to see how Scott's doin'. You know, see if he needs anything."


"He's fine, David, now go back outside."


"Yes, ma'am." David walked to the door, turned and glared at Scott for a second, then left.


"Was he bothering you, Scott? Did he threaten you? Are you afraid of him and that's why you won't tell me what happened," she asked.


"No, Ms. Branson," Scott lied. "He was just saying hi."


Ms. Branson was silent for a moment, and then sighed. "Here's your lunch. Mrs. Simpson made some chocolate and peanut butter chip cookies especially for you. She missed you." Ms. Branson set the tray on the stand and sat down next to Scott. "I wish you would talk to me Scott."


"There's nothing to talk about. Thank you for bringing my lunch, and tell Mrs. Simpson I said thank you for the cookies and that I missed her to."


"Okay, Scott. Mr. Johnson will be down in a little bit to talk to you. I'll come back in a few hours to check on you." Ms. Branson kissed the top of Scott's head then got up and left.


"Okay," Scott said as he watched her leave. Then sat all way back against the head board and picked up his lunch tray. *I wonder if all women are that mushy. That's like, the third time she kissed me today. I wish she'd stop,* he though sadly. *Mom used to do that.* He felt tears start to roll down his cheeks and fiercely wiped them away. *No crying Summers. Mom and Dad are dead and there ain't jack shit you can do about it, so suck it up. It's time to start looking out for yourself. Nobodies gonna do it for you. Time to start acting like a man, not a scared little boy.* He took a deep breath and released it, then ate his lunch.


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Ms. Branson's office a few hours later


"I don't know what to do Ms. Branson. He refuses to talk about it." Mr. Johnson said, sighing in frustration.


"I know," she said sadly. "He won't talk to me either. I know it was David and his friends, but there's nothing we can do if Scott won't identify them." She sat back in her chair, just as frustrated as Mr. Johnson. "He's changed so much sense we brought him here. He used to be more talkative, at least with the staff. Now, he hardly talks to anyone. I think he's started cursing as well. When I was bringing him his lunch, I heard him talking to someone. I couldn't hear most of what was said, but I distinctly heard the word asshole and I'm sure it was Scott who said it. When I entered the room, David was there. I think he threatened Scott."


"Did you ask Scott about it?"


"Yes, but he said David was just saying hi. I know he was lying."


"Are you sure it was him that cursed? It could have been David."


"I'm almost positive it was Scott. A few of the other children said they've heard him curse, but I didn't believe them. I thought they were just trying to get Scott in trouble. I just don't know what to do. He won't talk to the psychiatrist. I wish someone would look past those glasses and the brain damage and see what a sweet kid he is. I know he'd be okay if we could just get him into a stable home now."


"I know," Mr. Johnson said, "but we can't force anyone to take him." *They won't even consider fostering him now that he has to wear those damn glasses,* Mr. Johnson thought bitterly. *They take one look at him, find out why he has to wear those glasses, and turn away.* "There's nothing we can do but let him know we're here for him and hope for the best." He sighed again as he stood up. "I have some things to take care of." He said, and then walked out of the office.


Ms. Branson watched him leave and fought back the urge to cry.


End Chapter 3


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