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07 July 2011 @ 11:36 am
Talk About It  
Title: Talk About It
Fandom: Switched At Birth
Author: Author: rainbowsfics [aka RainbowsArePretty]
Rating: T
Warnings: Minor mentioning of gambling addiction, Minor mentioning of an incident of past drug use, hints at a possibly incestuous (though not actually blood-related) relationship (between Toby and Bay), one mention of the F word.
Pairings (if applicable) hints of Bay/Toby
Character(s) (if applicable) Toby, Bay
Story Summary: "I . . . I really messed this up, Bay," he choked out, his eyes blurring with tears, "and I don't how I'm gonna fix it. I was already in a lot of debt before this game, and now . . . " He trailed off. Hints of mild Toby/Bay



Bay bit her lip as she drew the pencil back and forth across the page, her eyes silently judging her work. She lied back further onto the pillows on her bed. It was close, but there was just something missing. Bay had prided herself on being versatile in many different art forms, but this was the piece of work she always came back to. It had to be perfect; she wouldn't have it any other way.

A sudden, almost hesitant, rapping distracted her from her thoughts, and her were drawn away from the canvas and onto the door. Her brow furrowed; who could it be? For a moment, she entertained the thought of Ty coming to her door, telling her that he had made a mistake, and all he wanted was for her to take him back. Wait , were they even over? She shook her head. This was too complicated for this late at night.

The knocking began again. "Come in," she called out.

A peak of reddish-blond hair appeared, as Toby peered into the room. "Are you busy?" He asked, looking around. His eyes were wet, his hair was mussed, and his clothing was in disarray,

Bay tucked the artwork under her bed, and stood up to put away her pencils. She turned to look at him as he stepped into room. She frowned and stepped closer, inhaling sharply. Upon closer inspection, she realized his eyes were not merely wet, they were also red.

With one backwards step, she pressed herself against the door, effectively closing it and shutting out the rest of the world.

"Toby, are you high?" Bay questioned, quietly and defensively. Her words trembled as they edged to a growl.

His eyes widened. "What? Bay, of course –"

She sighed quickly. "Toby, don't lie to me. Your eyes are bloodshot and you're a mess. You think I don't remember the last time this happened?"

She brushed past him and sat back down on the bed as he frowned defensively and looked down at himself before half-heartedly tucking in his shirt.

She sighed again, quietly, before tilting her head upwards and closing her eyes. "God, Toby, I thought you said you weren't going to that again," she paused before starting again, "You have no idea how scared I was that day."

She remembered it well – how he came home giddy and stumbling, eyes red and unfocused. He had trouble focusing on his thoughts or maintaining his balance. He also experienced a shocking reaction to it, and spent the most of the night in the bathroom throwing up, Bay faithfully by his side.

She turned her eyes towards him, only to find him staring down the floor. He closed his eyes before bringing them up to meet her gaze. His right hand clenched into a fist.

"I'm not high. I swear. I just . . . " He exhaled nervously and pressed the heels of his hands to his eyes before sliding them upwards to further disarrange his hair. Bay recognized it as a habit he had when he was particularly distressed. He stepped closer to her. "I messed up, Bay. I mean, I really screwed up."

Bay slid over in the bed in a silent invitation. He nodded and, after a brief hesitation, kicked off his shoes before joining her in the bed. His body was tense as he moved to get comfortable. He fidgeted as he tried to lie down without having any physical contact with her.

It was understandable. For years, they had been closer than other siblings they had met, and it was fine. Now that they were no longer blood-related, they didn't know how to act around each other.

"Tell me what happened," Bay urged.

He let out a shaky breath. "I . . . I got Daphne and Emmett – you know, the motorcycle guy? I got them to join me in a game, and got them to signal me when someone was bluffing. Deaf people are really good poker players, apparently." He closed his eyes, and Bay pressed a hand to his arm in an attempt to comfort him.

"It was going great until Emmett bailed – then it was just me and Daphne. I was still winning until . . . until she screwed up. I don't know what happened. I bet it all," he let out a mirthless chuckle, "and I lost it all."

Bay nodded; she had heard Daphne's side of the story and knew that, while Daphne had been Toby's accomplice, it was only his fault that he had lost the money.

"I should've just taken you," he mused, "You were always so good at it."

She shook her head, "I wouldn't have gone."

"I know. You were always the responsible one," Toby murmured.

Bay snorted; if only he knew how irresponsible she had been lately.

"I . . . I really messed this up, Bay," he choked out, his eyes blurring with tears, "and I don't how I'm gonna fix it. I was already in a lot of debt before this game, and now . . . " He trailed off.

She wrapped an arm around his shoulders, ignoring the way he stiffened under her touch, and brought him down so that he lying partly on top her, his head resting on her chest.

She ran her left hand through his hair while her right wrapped protectively over his waist, hugging him to her. He closed his eyes, finally relaxing as he succumbed to her soothing touch.

"How much was it, Toby?" she asked. Knowing him like she did, she didn't expect an answer, or at least not an actual figure. If he had inherited anything from their parents – correction, his parents – it was his pride. He was never one to admit defeat or failure.

She felt him shake his head, "A lot. I mean, selling my guitars and stuff helped a bit, but it only brought five thousand dollars, and I need more than twice that." He threw an arm over her body, pressing closer to her, seeking comfort. "I'm so fucking screwed, Bay," he murmured into her shoulder.

She rubbed small circles into the back of his neck, humming softly.

"I'm sorry, Bay," he mumbled, his voice muffled against her skin.

Her brows knitted, "For what?" She asked, confused.

"I haven't exactly been a great role-model for you. I've been a pretty crappy big brother."

"Well, it's a good thing you're not really my brother then, isn't it?" She smiled.

He looked perplexed for a second, then chuckled wryly, "I guess it is."

She smiled down at him, then placed a chaste kiss in his hair. "We'll fix this, Toby. Don't worry."

He smiled sadly, "I don't know how, but thanks," he looked hesitant as he spoke again, "Even though we aren't really siblings or whatever, you can always come talk to me . . . about anything."

"What do you mean?" she asked, her eyes narrowed suspiciously.

"I . . . know what happened with Ty."

"Mom told you?" She asked, feeling more hurt than angry.

He shook his head, "I overheard you telling her about it. I'm really sorry about what happened. I mean, if I had known I would've skipped the game to be at the dinner."

"You couldn't have known. I didn't know. No one knew. Only Ty knew," she spat his name out bitterly, "And now . . . now he's gone." Her eyes began to well up with tears again.

Slowly, he rose up to switch their positions so that Bay was the one seeking comfort. She buried her face in his chest, crying softly.

He ran his fingers through her hair as she had done. "I . . . I'm glad that you didn't sleep with him," he revealed awkwardly.

She chuckled sadly, "Me too."

"It wouldn't have made him stay, and you'd just be hurt worse," he said consolingly.

"Yeah, that's what Regina said," she responded tearfully.

He enveloped her in his arms, "She's right. Save yourself for someone who's worth it."

She felt herself getting angry. Ty was worth it, right? "Did you?" she asked spitefully.

He didn't respond. He looked at the clock before disentangling himself from her.

"It's late," he murmured, "I should go."

"Wait," she said, sitting up, "Please don't go. Stay."

He seemed torn, "I don't think that's such a good – "

"Please."

He sighed, nodding. "Okay."

Bay shifted over in the bed, making room for him. He pulled up the comforter and lied down, pulling it over the two of them. She turned over, reaching to turn off the light.

"'Night, Toby," she whispered, curling up closer to him.

He sighed, and wrapped an arm around her. "Good night, Bay."

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

It had been three days since their conversation, and neither had mentioned it again, not the Bay gave him much of a chance to. She had been out of the house for that last two days, and was only seen at breakfast and dinner.

Currently, she was in his bedroom and he was still asleep. She looked down at the items she had brought with her. It was especially hard to get them without having anyone find out, and the task required going to some less-than-desirable places, but it was worth it.

She edged closer to the bed. "Toby," she murmured, "Time to wake up."

He murmured something indistinguishable and she rolled her eyes. "Toby," she urged, a bit louder this time, "C'mon, wake up." She shook his shoulder until his bleary eyes opened.

"Bay? What's wrong?" He mumbled, still sleepy.

"Get up. I have something to show you," she smiled.

He did as she asked."What? Bay, if this is another one of your artworks – and you know I love them – I'm sure it could wait until I wake – Oh, my God."

His eyes widened, and he walked, almost zombie-like towards the surprise she had arranged. "Are these – oh, my God – are they . . . my guitars?"

She nodded, and he drew a hand reverently over the guitar cases. "Bay, I can't, I mean, how could I ever – wait, what is this?"

He looked perplexedly at the briefcase lying in between the guitars. She walked over to the briefcase and unlatched the lid, letting him see the contents. His eyes widened even further.

"Bay . . . " he whispered, shell-shocked.

"It's fourteen thousand dollars. I figure it's enough to get you out of debt."

He shook his head, "Bay, this is great. It's amazing. But I can't accept it." He looked forlornly at the money.

She stepped closer to him. "You can, and you will. It's not a loan, Toby, it's a gift."

He pulled her to him, clutching her in a tight hug. "How did you ever – I mean . . . God, Bay, I don't know how I'll ever repay you."

"Luckily, I do," she smiled. He looked perplexed for a moment, before she pulled out a brochure she had been hiding behind her back.

He took it from her outstretched hands. "Gamblers Anonymous?" he asked, reading the title.

"You need help, Toby."

"I –" he began to argue, but cut himself off. He closed his eyes and nodded.

Opening them, he look scared and meek. "Will you come with me?"

She smiled, "Of course."
 
 
 
oddesi on July 14th, 2011 08:06 am (UTC)
Great fic! Finally someone acknowledges that it should be weird for Toby and Bay to find out they aren't blood related.