Monday, November 12, 2018

Strong and Silent

Strong and Silent
A Sam and Beck Story
By Snarks

Samiyo was awakened at 2 AM by the familiar burning sensation in his stomach, which was also growling it's displeasure at being empty. He was sweating and his heart was racing. He put his hands on his thighs to stop the shaking.  His eyes opened wide as he looked to see if Beckett had been awakened by the noise and closed them again as a stab of pain shot through his head. A headache. Not good, Sam thought.

He knew that if Beck found out that he hadn't eaten during his dinner break as he'd said, he'd be in trouble. If there was one thing his blonde lover insisted on, it was that Sam eat regularly. The fact that he was hypoglycemic concerned Beck to no end, and skipping meals was strictly forbidden.  Despite the dizziness and the throbbing pain in his head, Sam grinned, he could just imagine Beckett having one of his cousins or friends at the bar watching to make sure he ate, as though they had nothing better to do than police his eating habits.

Another grumble and an increase to the burning sensation had Sam out of bed as quickly and as quietly as he could manage, keeping an eye on Beck every moment to make sure he was still asleep. He felt as though he were running through a particularly unsteady funhouse, which wasn't unusual, so he kept his balance by putting his hands on the walls to steady himself.

He went into the kitchen and to the cupboard where he kept his stash of jelly beans only to remember that he'd finished them two days ago. He'd meant to buy another bag and it had slipped his mind until this moment, so he took a loaf of bread out of one of the top cupboards and tried to slowly eat a slice. It was dry and stuck in his throat as it went down but at least the burning sensation in his stomach lessened. He knew he should eat more but the idea of making peanut butter crackers made him a little queasier than he already was. He forced down a couple of Tylenol for his headache and sat down to let the latest wave of lightheadedness pass.

After looking around the kitchen once more and finding nothing that appealed to him he decided to walk down the hill to the local 24-7 for a snack, so he went into the laundry room, picked up some clean clothes and slid out of his sleep pants.

Sam closed his eyes and concentrated on getting his clothes on properly with shaking hands, while mentally reassuring his stomach that it would have something to fill it soon. He nearly lost his balance and had to prop himself up in the corner between the wall and the door to prevent himself from falling over while he put his jeans on. He fought with the button and zipper for a few moments, his irritation growing with each passing second until the things finally decided to cooperate.

He looked for his car keys. They weren't where they usually were. Or maybe they were, but at this point, he couldn't rightly remember where the usual place was. With a muffled curse he gave up and decided to walk. He was young and in good shape, he rationalized, he could handle the hill on the way back. He'd just take it slowly and pray that Beck didn't wake up before he could get back home. He took his debit card from his wallet and carefully opened the door, wincing as it seemed to squeak very loudly. Surely Beck had to have heard that. He stood quietly for a few moments, and hearing nothing from the bedroom, just as carefully closed it behind him and headed out.

On somewhat wobbly legs he began his trek down the hill, making it to the store in what seemed to be record time. Or maybe that was because the road was moving so quickly beneath his feet. Either way, as long as he could stay upright, he wasn't going to worry about it.

Entering the store the first thing he did was get himself a cup of Irish Cream coffee, believing that the sugar in the creamer would help. Coffee at the 24-7 wasn't the best but he knew that in his condition that he wouldn't have been able to make coffee without dropping the pot. He looked around at all of the sugary snacks and dismissed them one by one. He had a sweet tooth, but the snack cakes were so loaded with processed sugar that he knew they would just make him ill. He knew he needed sugar, but not quite that much.

Deciding on two bottles of mango juice and two bananas he approached the register to pay when his gaze was caught by the display case full of taquitos and hot dogs which were kept rolling to keep them warm, if not completely hot. His mouth watered and his stomach grumbled loudly. The idea of a few taquitos appealed to him even though he knew his stomach would be paying for it later. He paid for his purchases and went outside into the cool early morning air, slathered the taquitos with hot sauce and ate them quickly before they could get cold.

Feeling marginally better he crossed the street and sat down on one of the park benches where he peeled one of the bananas and began to break it into sections before eating each piece slowly, savoring the flavor and texture. He opened one of the bottles of juice and drank half of it in one gulp. The taquitos began weighing uncomfortably on his stomach, but the fruit and juice seemed to help. He sat for a while longer, enjoying the relative quiet, before picking up his cup of coffee and heading back up the hill.

That was when the dizziness picked up again. His knees felt as though they'd turned into rubber bands, so he sat down on a boulder and waited for the feeling to pass. His hands were still shaking. He tried several times to put the cap back on the opened bottle of juice but the cap was uncooperative for quite some time. Finally, he managed it and put it into the bag that held its twin. He held onto the remaining banana, debating whether to eat that as well and, using both hands to keep the coffee cup steady, carefully took a sip of his still hot beverage. Several minutes later he felt a little better and continued his uphill journey.

In order to take his mind off of the feeling in his stomach, he began to quietly hum a tune, directing himself, using the banana as a baton to keep the rhythm. It was a slow song, and easy to walk to for the time being. 

The trek back up the hill wasn't as easy as he'd thought, even taking it slow. His stomach protested the feeling of being overfull almost as much as it had being empty, but he tried to take things easy, resting at each phone pole for a few minutes before beginning again. Even so, he was weaving unsteadily and he was grateful that there was no traffic on the street at this time. He'd never had an episode this bad before and he was beginning to become worried. He put his hand into his pocket to call Beck after all and groaned when he realized he'd left his phone at home.  Frustrated, he jammed the banana into his jacket pocket, tossed back the last of the coffee with a grimace since it had cooled considerably, and put the cup in his other pocket to throw away later. He despised people who littered.

When he was about a third of the way up the hill he saw the flashing lights of a police car but thought nothing of it until he heard the short whoop of its siren. He turned curiously and watched as two policemen exited the car and headed toward him.

"Good morning sir," one of the officers asked in a friendly tone, "can I see some ID please?"

Sam blinked, confused, "I don't know. Can you?" he asked.

"May I see your ID, sir." the police officer asked again with a bit of an edge to his voice.

Sam leaned forward to get a closer look at the man's badge and then did the same to the other before turning his attention back to the first one.

"What on earth for?" Sam asked, a little befuddled, "Is there some law against minding my own business and walking home, Officer Davis?" he asked politely, eyes wide with curiosity.

"Where are you walking from?" the other man, Erickson, asked, "and where are you heading?"

Sam slowly lifted the bag from the 24-7 so that they could see the logo, and repeated in an exaggeratedly slow voice, "As I said just a second ago, I'm heading home. You know. The place where you live? Hoooommmmme."

The officers' expressions showed exactly how they felt about Sam's tone of voice.

"I'd like to see some ID, sir. Now. Please," Davis asked again, more forcefully this time.

Sam reached toward his back pocket.

"Slowly, please." 

Sam could see the officers were tense and that they had their hands on the butts of their guns. He sighed in frustration and slowly reached into his back pocket, finding only his debit card which he pulled out anyway. 

"You don't have a photo ID?" asked the second officer, Erickson, as he studied the name on the card.

"I didn't think I'd need one to go to the store and back, especially since I'm walking and minding my own business." Sam said pointedly, "What exactly have I done that you feel the need to stop me in the street.  Was I speeding, perhaps? Playing my radio too loud? Or am I going to be charged with felony WWB? Do I need a lawyer?"

"WWB..." Davis stammered.

"Yes, 'Walking While Black'. I'm assuming that's the law I'm breaking?"

"Mr...." the first man said angrily as he studied the card once again, "... Datoru? You match the description of an intoxicated male waving a gun around, so my next question to you is, do you have a firearm on you?"

"Fire... what on earth?" Sam finally managed to ask, dumbfounded.

"Empty your pockets, please." Officer Davis demanded.

Sam jammed his hand into his jacket pocket and suddenly found himself staring at a warning hand that was a little too close to his face for his own liking. Davis's hand, the other had his on the butt of his gun, ready to draw at a moment's notice. Politely, Davis said, "Slowly remove that from your pocket using only your thumb and forefinger." 

Sam aimed a sultry look at the two men as he slowly, as ordered, took the item out of his pocket. "Yes, it is a banana, but no, I'm definitely not glad to see you." he drawled.

"Drop it." the first officer said.

"Honestly?" Sam asked, incredulously.

"Drop. It." Davis repeated.

"If it bruises you owe me a new banana," Sam replied sulkily as he did as he was told.

Erickson quickly patted Sam down, finding only the empty cup which he sniffed, while Davis opened the bag containing the bottles of juice. He took the cap off of the one that was already opened and sniffed that carefully as well. "What is this?" he asked, suspiciously.

"Mango juice," Sam replied as though talking to a small child. "Is there a law against mango juice as well?"

"Is there alcohol in it?"

"Does it smell like there's alcohol in it?" Sam retorted.

"You're about two seconds away from being arrested, Mr. Datoru, if that is your name, so I'd watch my mouth if I were you."

In a tight voice and with an expression of anger that rarely crosses his features, Sam growled, "You pull me over for walking. Walking! You say someone reported a drunk man with a gun. I am obviously not drunk, nor do I have a gun, and you're threatening to arrest me?"

"You match the description," Officer Davis interjected, "and you were walking unsteadily when we pulled up behind you."

"I'm tired, officers," Sam replied tiredly, as though to prove his point, "and I'm hypoglycemic. I needed something with sugar in it to get my levels straightened out. That's why I was 'unsteady' as you say. I went to the store and was merely going home, not bothering anyone that I was aware of when you pulled me over and started making accusations. And what I'd like to know is who on earth is awake at this hour, besides us, that has the time to watch me walk up the hill and call you with what was obviously speculation and no real proof."

Sam was pleased to see the two men's expressions change from anger to embarrassment. He could see the blush rise on Davis's face in the glow from the street lamp.

"Now, I just live a little ways further up the hill. If you'd like to follow me to my house I'll be more than happy to get my ID for you." the young man offered reasonably. He took a step and nearly lost his balance.

"How about if we give you a ride, then," Davis suggested, as he helped keep Sam upright by gently grabbing his elbow.

Sam grinned slyly and asked, "You do mean my house, and not the station, right?"

Erickson grinned back a bit sheepishly, "Your house. Promise."

"I'd really appreciate that," Sam breathed in relief, now that the worst seemed to be over. "But first, may I have my banana and my juice back?" he asked archly.

"Sure," replied Davis, who was holding the bag, handing it over to Sam with a somewhat embarrassed smile.

The other officer bent down and picked up the banana, inspecting it carefully and brushing off the road dust before handing it back. "Look ok?"

Sam looked at the piece of fruit and grinned, "I guess it's still edible, thanks."

He felt a little unsure while he rode the rest of the way to the house, wondering if Beck were still asleep, if he'd been missed, and if he was going to be able to get his wallet out of their room without waking his lover if by some chance he was still sleeping.

Sam directed the officer behind the wheel toward the house he now shared with Beckett, which, as promised, was not far away.

His stomach dropped as the car approached the house which seemed to have every light burning. Beck was awake. Well, Sam thought as he led the officers to the door, at least I don't have to worry about waking him up now.

The door flew open and Beck ran out into the early morning chill wearing only his sleep pants and a tee shirt, hugging Sam and sounding near tears as he asked over and over how he was and where he'd been.  The officers stood back politely while Sam assured his lover that he was fine, and explained the situation.

Beck shot an astonished look at the officers and one of inquiry at Sam.

Samiyo laughed, "Yes, it's all true, I couldn't make something like this up."

"It's obvious that Mr. Datoru does live here," the first officer said quietly, in deference of the time, "so we'll just be on our way. Sorry to have bothered you, gentlemen."

"Goodnight guys," Sam replied with a smile. With everything over now he could find the humor in the situation and laugh, though he could tell that Beck was still not seeing it. The couple saw the officers off and began to walk back inside when Sam's eyes widened as his stomach seemed to clench and twist. He was very familiar with that sensation as well as it was a common by-product of eating certain foods.

He broke away from Beck and ran to the bathroom. "I'm ok! I'm ok! I'm ok!" Sam called back over his shoulder.

Beck ran after him but was stopped by a locked door.  "Sam!" he called, concerned.

"I'm ok," Sam replied, "you know, just stomach stuff. I'll be out in a minute."

Reassured that Sam was, in fact, alright, Beck walked back into the kitchen and put on a pot of coffee. It was now close to 5 AM and he doubted that he'd be able to go back to sleep at this point. He went into the laundry room and dressed in clean jeans and a tee shirt before returning to the kitchen to wait for his lover.

Sam returned, looking a little paler but otherwise fine, and with his usual gap-toothed grin in place.  "Well!" he exclaimed, "that was fun, wasn't it?" he asked as he sat down at the table, gratefully accepting a fresh, hot cup of coffee.

"No, it wasn't!" Beck replied sternly, "do you have any idea how scared I was when I couldn't find you? You left your wallet, your phone... I had no way of getting in touch with you! And what on earth were you doing going out so early in the morning? Yes," he said, trying to squelch his irritation, "I know you said you went to the store, but we have plenty of food here!"

"We don't have bananas. Or mango juice," Sam said with an injured tone, "and I was out of jelly beans." he added petulantly, then he clicked his fingers, "Dang! And I forgot to buy a new bag!"

Beckett's eyes widened in surprise. He knew the importance of what Sam had just said. 

"Out of... you had low blood sugar and you went out in the middle of the night, by yourself?! What...!"

"...was I thinking. Yes, Beck," Sam said in a bored tone, having heard this particular lecture many times before, "I know, and I told you."

"You should have woken me up!"

"Why?" Sam asked as though the answer should be obvious, "It's just a little low blood sugar. I've been dealing with it my whole life and I'm fine!" he said as his stomach twisted once more. "I took care of it." He stifled a burp that reminded him strongly of the taquitos as he tried to ignore the pressure in his abdomen.

"How do you feel now, hon?" Beckett asked, still concerned but calming down considerably, "No blurred vision?"

" 'I can see clearly now, the rain is gone...' " Sam began to sing. He stopped abruptly when he saw ice blue eyes trained on him. Ice blue... not good, Sam thought.

"I'm fine," Sam replied, becoming frustrated again, "the headache is gone, the dizziness is gone. I'm pretty sure I can walk in a straight line now without having the cops pull me over for DUI." Sam joked.

Beck put his hands on Sam's face, checking for excess perspiration and clammy skin.

"Beck," Sam laughed, taking the hands in his own, "I'm fine, I promise."

"You promise," Beckett repeated wryly, "that's what you told me when I asked you if you'd eaten dinner during your break at work," Beck replied quietly.

"Well," Sam hedged, "I kind of did."

"Really? What did you 'kind of' eat?"

"Ummm...." Sam stalled for time as he thought, "I had a few potato chips!"

"You worked an eight-hour shift, and ate a 'few potato chips' during your break," Beck said, trying to get the story straight.

"I wasn't really hungry." Sam shrugged.

"Were you hungry before you left for work?" Beck asked, shrewdly.

"Ummm, no, not really," Sam admitted quietly, "but I did have a glass of soda!" he announced as though it was a point in his favor.

Beckett was quiet for several moments. "Walk for me," he said finally.


Beck only raised his eyebrows slightly in response.

Sam stood up and gave his lover the show of his life, using all of his best runway moves.

"Now heel to toe, in a straight line."

"I'm not drunk." Sam retorted.

"Humor me."

With the grace of a tightrope walker, Sam did as he was told.

"Alright then," Beck replied, satisfied, "now you can walk into the living room and have a seat. There's something you and I need to take care of."

"You can't possibly mean..." Sam began, dismayed.

"I do," came Beck's short response as he stood and gestured Sam ahead of him.

"C'est des conneries," Sam muttered as he slouched into the next room, arms crossed. 
(This is bullshit)

"Vous réalisez que je peux vous comprendre, n'est-ce pas?" Beckett replied with a slight rise of one fine, pale blonde eyebrow.
(You realize that I can understand you, don't you?)

"Ohhhhh...  apaadi!" Sam groused as he sat down on the couch. 

"None of that until you teach me more," Beckett replied with a half smile.

"Well, I'm sick and you want to spank me." Sam pouted.

"You're not sick anymore, otherwise it would never cross my mind, at least not until later."

"Mo nireti pe o tesiwaju lori Lego." Sam scowled.
(I hope you step on a Lego.)

"Hmmm, how many words is that?"

Sam looked at Beck with a confused expression, "Ah, seven?"

"Then I'll add seven more swats when we're finished."

"Ko si ewa!!" Sam stomped his foot without thinking, giving Beckett a dark look. 
(No fair!)

"You're just making things worse for yourself," Beck replied as he went to the cabinet to take out one of the paddles they kept in there.

"Ohhhhh! No, Beeeeeeeck!" Sam turned imploring eyes on his Top.

"Hush!" the older man said in a level tone as he sat down beside his lover. 

"I'll scream!" Sam threatened.

A slight rise of one of those fine, white-blonde eyebrows caused the younger man to blush and look down at his still crossed arms. "Never mind." he groused. He knew that there were no other dwellings within earshot, which was one of the reasons they'd chosen this house. They both valued their privacy and knew how loud Sam
could become while making love. Or during a spanking.

"Well Samiyo, do we need to go over the reasons why you're being punished?" Beckett asked, knowing that Sam hated having to recount his misdeeds.

"No," Sam replied petulantly.

"Alright hon, come here."

Sam glared at Beck from the corner of his eye for a moment but then got up huffily and began to unbutton his jeans.

"No, all things considered, I think we can leave them up this time."

Sam's eyes went wide with surprise but his mother had always taught him to never take a gift for granted, so he lowered himself over his Top's lap, allowing himself to be positioned before feeling the comforting weight of Beck's arm across his back.

"But the attitude didn't help your case either," the blonde added with a slight grin that he knew his lover couldn't see.

Sam began to make a reply which was cut off sharply by the first smack of the paddle against his rear.  Eyes wide with surprise and what promised to be the beginning of a memorable spanking, Sam once again felt that familiar bubbling sensation in his stomach. The paddle fell several more times, each time making the feeling worse.

He'd lost track of how many times the paddle landed. All Sam knew was that the pressure was getting worse with each spank.

"Beck?" Sam said in a small voice through the tears which were already falling, "Beck? I think you better stop."

"What was that? Are you telling me what to do here?"

"Noooo," Sam replied in a tentative voice, "not really, it's more of a suggestion?"

"I'll take your suggestion under consideration," Beck replied, "in the meantime..."

"Beck... Beck, really... I really think..." Sam breathed.



Beckett was ready to land the paddle once again when it happened. 

As expected, the taquitos had come back to haunt him, and Sam released a 'strong and silent'. He was chagrined that it had happened but it was even worse when it happened again not a second later, even though Beck had stopped.

Beck sat quietly for a moment before helping Sam up and gently seating him on the couch before getting up woodenly and heading for the front door, which he opened wide before walking out and taking a deep breath.

"Good Lord, Sam, what did you do, eat something dead?!" Beck asked as he looked back over his shoulder at his man, still a little breathless and more than a bit stunned.

Sam looked at his lover incredulously, "Well I sure as hell didn't eat it while it was alive!" he retorted as he joined his lover at the door, taking in the fresh air.

Beck's eyes went wide and his mouth hung open for a moment. He tried his hardest not to laugh but it wasn't to be stopped. Pretty soon the two of them were sitting on the concrete steps, laughing helplessly and holding onto each other because their elbows and knees felt like wet noodles that didn't want to support their weight. Beck knew that their laughter was most likely more based in relief than in anything actually humorous, but he wasn't going to question it. He had his man by his side. Sam was healthy, and home. It was a good day.

Tears of laughter running down his face, Beck hugged Sam to him. "Let's head out for breakfast, it's going to take a little while to air out in there," he said, still chuckling.

"Rock, paper, scissors?" Sam asked.


"Which one of us is going back in there for the car keys." Sam giggled.

"We'll walk. It's a nice morning." Beck decided. 

When the two of them could finally stop laughing and support their own weight, they began their trek to the nearest diner, arms around each other and heads together, as they once again laughed about the events of the morning.



Symptoms of Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) include:

blurry vision
rapid heartbeat
sudden mood changes
sudden nervousness
unexplained fatigue
pale skin
difficulty sleeping
skin tingling
trouble thinking clearly or concentrating
loss of consciousness, seizure, coma

Hypoglycemia is usually mild and can be treated quickly and easily by eating or drinking a small amount of glucose-rich food. Always carry something to eat in case a hypoglycemic episode happens, such as sugar or glucose tablets, fruit juice, or hard candy.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Bartender! Another Insult, Please! Part 9

Beckett Reed and Samiyo Datoru
Original Characters 
Written by Snarks 

Beginning March 2014

I was surprised when the phone rang again later that morning and smiled when I saw the number on the caller ID. I looked at my watch and frowned. Shouldn't the boy be in school by now? I wondered.  Shrugging the question off, for the time being, I picked up the phone.

"Hello again, Kanonu," I greeted cheerfully.

At first, I wondered at the silence on the other end, and that was when I heard the voice I most wanted to hear.  "Hello, Beck," Sam said quietly.

"Sami," I replied, feeling my heart race at the sound of his voice and worrying about what he was going to say.  I feared that I'd gone too far the night before and that Sam was only calling me to tell me he never wanted to see me again.

"Would... would you like to come over for coffee? If you're not too tired?" he asked tentatively.

"I'd love to, hon," I replied, feeling encouraged that he hadn't told me to bug off over the phone.  I hoped that he wasn't only being kind and planning to break up with me in person.

"I missed you last night," Sam said, in that same quiet tone.

"I missed you also.  I dreamed of you." I admitted.

"When can you be here?" he asked, "there's so much I want to talk to you about. So much..."

"I understand, Hon.  I'll be there as soon as I can." I said, snatching up my keys and preparing to head toward the door immediately. Since Kanonu had woken me up so early, I'd already showered and changed and had been watching television, hoping to either pass the time or fall asleep again.

I drove there in record time only to find my Sam standing outside, waiting for me.  I parked my car quickly and fairly ran toward him. He reached out his arms and wrapped them around me with such force I was nearly knocked over.

We stood on the front walkway hugging for several minutes, each of us apologizing softly until the next-door neighbor yelled 'Get a room!' from his upstairs window.

I looked up at him but didn't respond. A strange expression crossed his face and he shut the window, closed the curtains and seemingly disappeared.

I raised an eyebrow at Sam who laughed and then rested his forehead against my chest. "I think we should knock on his door and ask if he'd like to join us for some coffee. What do you think?"

"Do you want to talk about last night?"

"Not yet. Let's... let's talk about other things for now. Please?"

I kissed him on the top of his head and hugged him again. I couldn't help but smile when I saw the curtains in the neighbor's upstairs window close hurriedly.

"I'm sorry about 'Nu," he said as he served the coffee. "I had no idea that he'd been calling you." 

I knew he'd been upset when he heard his brother and I talking. I knew that Kanonu hadn't told his brother he had been calling, and I knew that no one else in the Datoru house had been awake at the time because neither of them would have allowed him to make a phone call at five in the morning. I'd been a bit disgruntled when the phone woke me up, and I'd been very disappointed to find the wrong Datoru on the other end of the line, but I was encouraged by what he'd said.

"He just doesn't have the shutoff valve that the rest of us have. Whatever is on his mind, he says, no matter how inappropriate or embarrassing it is," Samiyo explained. "and if I'd known he'd been calling you I would have put a stop to it. Why didn't you tell me?" He asked almost accusingly, "I could have stopped him."

"I liked his calls," I replied with a smile, "He's a great kid. He's charming and funny, and smart as a whip. He has a great mind for details. He seems to have a wonderful grasp of mechanics, and he's interested in so many things." 

"Yes!" Sam nearly yelled happily, "That is exactly what we see in him, Mama and I, and people who are open-minded enough to see Kanonu as he really is, and not just what they see on the outside! But people don't bother to get to know him. They just see what he acts like on the outside where he's nervous and feeling out of place."

"I can understand that. Just keep in mind that their refusal to get to know and understand him is their loss."

"I try to remind myself of that, but it's hard when I catch those cockroaches chasing him with sticks and calling him names," he said angrily. "And when you complain to the parents they say some bull !@#$ like 'Oh, they're just being boys.' Boy hyenas, maybe, but not human boys!" he growled. Then he took a breath and calmed himself down. "No use getting upset about it now, eh?"

"True enough. Tell me more about Kanonu." Except for his anger and upset when he spoke about the neighborhood kids and the way they treated his little brother, whenever he talked about his little brother his face lit up. The love he had for his mother and little brother was evident.

Sam laughed and shook his head. "'Nu's name was actually a joke."

"A joke?" I wondered why anyone would make a joke of their child's name.

"Well, Mama was in the hospital, in the delivery room, and according to her, the doctor kept telling her to push! Push!" He related the story animatedly, "So Mama gave one almighty push and out came 'Nu like a shot with almost enough force to knock the doctor over. According to Joseph, the doctor nearly dropped him. So as a joke they named him Kanonu... it means canon." he laughed. I loved the sound of his laugh and had missed it the night before. "Joseph wanted to give him the middle name of Rogodo but Mama said absolutely not."

At my expression of inquiry, he explained, "It would have made his legal name Cannon Ball."

"When did you move to America?" I asked after we'd done laughing.

"I was just two years old at the time. There were no jobs to be had for a single mother, and she had no one to help take care of me while she worked at the hotel. One woman was so impressed with how thoroughly Mama would clean her room, how honest and sweet she was, that she asked if Mama would like to go to the United States and work in her house."

"It was a good job, much better money, a place to live, so she said yes. Miss Leila found a wonderful daycare for me, and by the time I got home Mama would be done working and she would make dinner. She and I, and Miss Leila would sit in the kitchen and eat, talk about our day. Miss Leila was like the grandmother I never had," he said fondly.

"But then she died. Heart failure. Mama and I were heartbroken, but then the most amazing thing came out of the tragedy. Miss Leila had no children or other family to leave her money to, so she left most of it to Mama, and some in trust for me. Miss Leila's only condition was that Mama use some of the money to go to nursing school. And so she did."

"Mama is a nurse! I should I have known." I laughed. 

"Her patients call her The Angel, and have given her many angel figurines over the years," he said, "Mama keeps them in her room to keep them safe from accidents." Suddenly shy he said, "Come with me a moment," and led me upstairs by the hand.

When we arrived at the top of the stairs he turned right into the first bedroom. 

"This is the bedroom that 'Nu and I share. Sit, please," He said, motioning to the full-sized bed. A twin bed took up the opposite side of the room. I nearly laughed. It looked as though there was an invisible barrier in the center of the room. Sam's side was almost militarily neat and clean while Kanonu's side looked as though a tornado had gone through it.

"I keep this in the closet because I'm afraid that 'Nu will accidentally knock it over," he continued, taking a box out. He pulled out an angel. Cream colored robes were edged in gold, it's pale blond hair fell to its shoulders in soft waves, it's blue eyes looked lovingly down at the child whose hands it held. Gently curved wings nearly enfolded the child as though to keep him from harm.

"When Joseph was sick, he asked Mama to buy me something special. That last day in the hospital, he gave this to me. He said that he would always be with us." Sam stopped speaking for a few moments, swallowing against the tears that threatened. 

"He said he would always be watching over us. He said that he was proud of me. He said that he knew things would be difficult for me, now that I would be the man of the house but that he also knew that I would do a good job and that I would grow into a man that he would be proud of. He apologized that he hadn't adopted me and given me his last name, but that in his heart I would always be as much a blood son to him as Kanonu was."

Sam took a deep breath and looked down at the angel in his hands. "He said that one day, when things seemed at their bleakest, my guardian angel would come to me and make himself known... and that he would take care of me just as I take care of 'Nu and Mama."

He looked up at me, his amber eyes searching my pale blue ones. "When I got home that night, when you wouldn't take no for an answer, Mama was home having a cup of tea. Someone had given her a pin in the shape of an angel, and she was wearing it on her collar. It made me think of this, and this... made me think of you." He said softly, one finger stroked the angel's porcelain cheek. "The first time you hugged me... when you wrapped your arms around me, it made me think of the angel's wings, and I felt... safe."

"But I was afraid. Afraid that you would get to know me and decide you didn't like me as much as you'd first thought. I was afraid you'd leave me. I was afraid that my sarcasm would eventually drive you off..."

"Which is why you tried to drive me off last night," I stated. "I had the feeling that you were testing me."

He looked down at the angel, I could see that he was upset and uncomfortable, and feeling a little guilty.

I took his chin gently in my hand and turned his face toward mine so that our eyes met again. "I meant what I said, Samiyo Datoru. I do love you. With all of my heart. I'm not an angel by any means but I do want to help if you need help. I want to protect you if you need protection. And I'm not going to leave you."

He gave me a somewhat watery looking smile but he didn't allow the tears to fall.

"I love you, Sam, and I even love your smart mouth, however," I said more sternly, "You will not use your sharp tongue on me."

He smiled, a combination of embarrassment and sheepishness which nearly made it impossible for me to say the words that came next.

"You've told me a lot about your family and about yourself, and I feel it's important that I tell you a few things about myself. I want to be with you, always, but there is a chance that you may choose not to be with me after I say what I need to say."

Samiyo looked up at me uncertainly.

"First of all, I'm nearly thirty years old, almost eight years older than you. Is that going to bother you?"

Sam nearly laughed and then shook his head. "Joseph was fifteen years older than Mama when he married her. Age means nothing, Beckett, it is merely a number. Now if you were, say, fifty years older than I am, I might have to think about it." He smiled to take the edge off of his words.

"Second, and this is important, Sam," I continued seriously, "I had a partner. He died eight years ago in a car accident."

"I'm very sorry to hear that," Sam replied, sorrow clear in his eyes. 

"We had an arrangement that some people might have found odd if it had been known, and if you and I are to be together... if you aren't frightened away and if you consent... we may have a similar arrangement."

"And that is?" Sam asked curiosity and a little wariness on his countenance.

"When my partner, Xavier, would say or do something inappropriate, or something dangerous, I would spank him," I said as gently as possible, looking for Sam's reactions.

Sam was quiet for a long moment. I half expected him to throw the angel at me and tell me to get out, rule of hospitality or not. Instead, he stared down at the angel as though it would speak and give him the answers he sought.

"You said if I consent?" he asked quietly.


"And if I don't?"

"Then we find what works for us and do that. I'm not going to demand that you do anything that you're not comfortable with. No matter what we decide, I respect you, and always will. What you want and what you feel are important to me."

"Beckett..." he began before trailing off.

"Talk to me, Sam. Tell me what's on your mind."

"Last night, you only took me off guard. I wasn't expecting you to do that. No one outside of my family has ever done that... but... it felt... right, somehow. That's why I had to get away. I had to think. I wondered if it were a onetime thing with you. But..."

"But..." I prompted.

"I loved Joseph very much, and Mama means the world to me, but I don't want another parent..." he said, looking worriedly up at me.

I smiled reassuringly at him. "We will not have a 'Daddy and Boy' relationship, although I may refer to you as my boy now and again, in an affectionate way. Is that all right?"

"Yes, I ... I'd like that, but... what about..." 

"You and I are equals, Sam. If there is a decision to be made then it's our decision, not just mine. But..." I continued seriously, "If you do agree to a discipline relationship, then where discipline is concerned, what I say goes. If you've done or said something completely out of line, I will spank you, and it will be more than one swat. If you decide that it feels natural and right, as you said before, you have to decide if this is something that you can live with."

"Will you use your hand? Mama uses a wooden spoon," he shivered. "How would you do it?"

"We would discuss that and decide what would work best for you."

"There was an old man in Nigeria before we left, he would chase me with a switch and use it if he caught me. Please don't ever use a switch on me, all right?" he asked earnestly.

"Never. I won't use anything that you don't agree to beforehand. Agreed?" I asked. It took some self-control on my part not to become angry at the man who would have taken a switch to a toddler.

Sam bit his full lower lip in thought. "I... I think that this is something I would like, Beckett," He replied, looking back up at me with just a hint of that wariness still in his eyes, "But if I decide that I don't like the arrangement after all...?"

"Then as I said, we find what does work for us. My love for you is unconditional. You don't have to submit to a spanking, and I don't have to spank you to love you." I smiled at him.

He smiled back. "Then yes, I agree."

At first, I felt more than a little guilt making love to Mama Emira's son in her home, but other feelings overwhelmed me and within minutes, I forgot where and even who we were, as our bodies ceased to be two individuals and seemed to meld into one energy filled with sensations I hadn't felt in eight years.

Bartender! Another Insult, Please! Part 8

Beckett Reed and Samiyo Datoru
Original Characters 
Written by Snarks 
Beginning March 2014

Emira Datoru was just turning off her alarm clock when she was fully awakened by the sound of her youngest son screaming as though he were being boiled alive.  A sure sign that he'd done something to dam up Samiyo's endless supply of patience.

She rolled her eyes as their neighbor pounded on the wall and yelled at them to shut up.

"I can't believe you did that!  How dare you?!  You little..."

"Samiyo! Da nigba ti o ba wa ni wa niwaju!"  She called firmly as she got out of bed, wrapped a shawl around herself and walked quickly down the stairs to the living room where her two sons were shouting at each other.  (Stop while you're ahead!)

"Mama! Mama!  He's gonna kill me, Mama!  Get him away from me!"  Kanonu shouted, keeping the refrigerator between himself and his older brother. "Away from me! Away from me."  He repeated in a near whisper. "Keep him away. Away."

Emira closed her eyes.  'Nu was repeating himself, always a bad sign when he was upset, it usually led to him hitting himself on the head.  Sometimes it was a bid for sympathy, but most times it was real, and then she had to hold him until he calmed down.

"I'm not going to kill you, Nu, but you're gonna wish I had when I ..."

"Samiyo!"  Emira said loudly enough to be heard over the two of them.  

"Mama!  You don't know what he did!"

"Mama!  He's gonna kill me!  Gonna kill me!  Kill me!"  The boy's hands clenched and splayed repeatedly.  Yes, this was for real.

"You had no right..."

"I only wanted to help..." Kanonu replied, his eyes unfocused and looking somewhere at the wall rather than his brother.


"Tell him to stop!  Stop!  Stop! Tell him..."

"Tell him to stand still so I can..."

If there was one thing Emira disliked it was yelling.  She had made a point to bring her sons up by example, and rarely yelled, nor did she tolerate them yelling at each other unless it was in play, and outside the apartment.  Resorting to her second option, she picked up two sauce pans and clanged them together, wincing as their neighbor made it clear that he had both heard and disapproved of the noise coming from their apartment.

It did the trick however, and both of her sons stopped dead in their tracks. 

"Sit."  She ordered, pointing with one of the pans toward the couch.

"Mama..." Both boys said in tandem.

"Sit."  She said levelly as she put the pans on the counter before opening a drawer and taking out the dreaded wooden spoon.

"Make him sit first."  Kanonu said, still keeping the refrigerator between himself and his brother. "Make him sit first.  Sit first."  He said, looking somewhere over Sam's shoulder.

"Samiyo," was all his mother had to say.  He sat on the couch with a thunderous expression aimed at his little brother.  As usual, when he was particularly angry, he wished that Kanonu would go somewhere. Anywhere.

Emira motioned to Kanonu who then entered the room and sat on the love seat, eyes on his brother and ready to run if Sam so much as twitched a finger at him.

"Samiyo, tell me what happened."

"He's a big mouthed shi..."

Without a word, Emira picked the spoon up from where she'd placed it on the coffee table and advanced on him.  

"I'm sorry, Mama."  He said as he put up his hands in surrender.

"Samiyo?" She asked again.

"He called Beckett!  He's been calling him all along to 'chat'! He told Beckett... jeez Mama he told Beckett pretty much everything I've ever said about him!"

"I was only trying to help!"  Kanonu protested again. "Trying to help... to help..."

"Help!  You humiliated me!  I don't think I'll ever be able to look him in the eye again!  What were you thinking?"  Sam yelled at his brother.

Kanonu stubbornly refused to respond to his brother, focused his gaze on their mother and refused to speak to or acknowledge Sam, although they could both hear him whispering the last words that had come out of Sam's mouth while he twisted his fingers into pretzels.

"Samiyo," his mother said in warning.

"No Mama!  I'm tired of this!  You let him get away with murder and I'm just supposed to say, 'Oh, that's all right. Go ahead and f*** my life up...', ahhhh!  Mama!" He protested loudly as his mother brought the wooden spoon down on his thigh six times.

"Lan-gu-age!" She warned.

She then turned to Kanonu, got him to his feet and gave him three whacks.  Her youngest son opened his mouth to cry but she cut him off.  "Hush you!"  She told him sternly. "You had no bus-i-ness calling Bec-kett for any reason, es-pec-e-al-ly not this morning."

Before he could justify himself, she said, "What happens between Bec-kett and Sa-mi is between them, and you just keep yourself out of it.  Do I make myself understood?"

"Yes Mama. Yes, mama, yes." Kanonu replied quietly.  

She noted the lack of echo and tears and took a deep breath to calm herself down, "Did you call Bec-kett this morning?" she asked, her accent thickening as it often did when she was angry,

"Yes Mama." Kanonu replied.

"What time did you call him?"

"I don't remember," He said, looking at the clock above the television set as though it would tell him.  "Don't remember." he repeated wringing his fingers into what looked like painful knots.

Emira looked at the clock which now read 5:34 am and sighed.  Her shift at the hospital started at 8 and she hadn't even had her shower yet.

Five thirty-five.  "And you told him what Sa-mi told me?" She repeated, trying to remain calm.

"Yes Mama.  But I was only trying to help," the teen said, tears welling in his eyes again. "trying to help... to help."

Samiyo had been about to say something akin to 'I told you so' when he noticed his mother run a hand across her eyes. A sure sign that she was tired and worn out, and Sam felt the guilt hit like a fastball. 

Everyone had known that Kanonu, from the day he was born, was going to have difficulties.  Even though he was still very young, he'd been tentatively diagnosed with PDD which had been changed to Asperger's as he'd gotten older, his father Joseph, the only father Sam had ever known, had died four years later of complications due to pneumonia. Sam had been as much of a help to her as any ten-year-old could be, but that had still left a lot for his mother to deal with on her own.

"Mama... I'm sorry. It's not that big of a deal.  I... he just... surprised me is all.  I'm sorry," he said earnestly. "You go on and take your shower.  This is ended as far as I'm concerned, all right?" he said softly, taking the spoon away gently and wrapping his arms around his mother.

"I'm sorry Mama.  Sorry Mama.  Sorry." Kanonu echoed.  "I'll go get dressed." He said to the floor as he headed toward the stairs and up to the room he and his brother shared.

"Go on, Mama," Sam said quietly, giving his mother another gentle kiss and hug.

"I know that things have not always been easy or fair for you."  She replied quietly, looking into eyes that were almost the mirror of her own. "I know that your brother does get away with a lot more than you ever did, and that I have asked much of you ever since he was born.  And..."  Ever since Joseph died, she thought, but couldn't bear to say aloud.

"Mama, it's all right.  I'm all right.  I just forgot myself for a little while." Samiyo said, hugging her tightly.  "It's early, I was still half asleep when I heard him, I wasn't thinking clearly.  Go on now."  He smiled.

She smiled gratefully at him and went back upstairs to shower and get into her nursing uniform.

He hated it when he upset her, and he hated it when he lost patience with his little brother because those were the times that he felt he'd let Joseph, who had asked him to watch over them, down.  With a quick prayer of apology, he quickly made a pot of coffee, toasted bagels, set out coffee cups, poured a glass of milk for 'Nu and placed his meds beside the glass.

He thought about what he'd heard Kanonu saying when he'd come downstairs for a glass of milk and he blushed hotly.  It was then that the boy came down, neatly dressed, into the kitchen with his eyes averted.

"'Nu, I'm not mad anymore.  I know you meant well and I'm not mad, all right?"  He said gently, ducking a little to see his brother's face.

Kanonu looked up from under full lashes and focused his gaze somewhere around his brother's left ear, "OK?"  He asked.

"OK."  Sam repeated.  "Can I hug you?"  It was important to ask his little brother if touch were all right.  He'd learned long ago that his brother didn't always react well to being touched but would tolerate and sometimes even return a hug if asked.

Kanonu held out his arms and buried himself in his big brother's embrace.  That was how Emira found her two boys when she came down for a quick breakfast.