Warning: This story features love between two males—and by love I mean sloppy kisses and gratuitous fondling. If this bothers you, then please waddle right back on out and save me the hate mail.

A/N: Makii, this is for you and your unerring patience with my sloth-like writing. Thanks for your name, darling. Also—I don't own the Tekken©, franchise.


There's a Possibility

Chapter One

If you could see that I'm the one who understands you,

Been here all along, so why can't you see?

You belong with me.

You belong with me.

-Taylor Swift, You Belong With Me.

Lunch was, if nothing else, the best time of the day for catching up on gossip. The school lunch was hardly worth noting and even the students who spent the ridiculous two dollars on it, almost never ate the entirety of their meal.

Ban Phisher was picking at his own lunch of slimy pizza, one large, overcooked roll and side of half frozen peas, not really interested in eating any of it. An unopened box of chocolate milk sat next to his tray. It was the only part of the meal worth consuming, and he liked to save it for last as if it were desert.

The boy's gaze swept across the lunchroom as he searched for his companions. The eyes that flittered around the room, dismissing unfamiliar faces, were a vivid blue, almost purple in their color and framed by long, curling black eyelashes. He was extraordinarily pretty for a boy; with high cheek bones and a full, soft mouth. His nose was delicate and straight.

The boy frowned and black, finely arched eyebrows met in annoyance. He hated sitting alone at lunch.

He twisted around in his seat to check the long lines of teens still waiting to get their own lunches and huffed. His teacher had let them out a few minutes earlier than usual, which had resulted in Ban blasting through the lunch lines far sooner than he would normally. If he had been looking forward to eating, he might have appreciated it.

As it were however, he was anxiously awaiting the day's gossip on the new student to grace their high school. New students didn't come often; since the new school had been built, the majority of teens went to it, instead. Fairview High was in disrepair and getting old—the new school was brand new and practically glowed in comparison. Plus they had a pool. Fairview could only dream about having a pool.

Finally a short girl wormed her way through the masses, growling curses at the taller students bumping her around. She had a shock of very short blonde hair that was spiked up messily on her head. The spikes were natural; she hadn't brushed her hair that morning. Ban greeted her enthusiastically and she grinned back.

"Eager much?" she teased. She set her own tray down and he eyed it for a moment—her lunch was vaguely similar to his own. Instead of pizza she'd gotten nachos, though the "cheese" that came with them looked more like yellow water, than actual cheese. "Bekah not here yet?"

"No." Ban waved a hand. "She's probably upfront through. Now tell me everything," he demanded.

Kim rolled her eyes, popping open the can of soda she'd brought from home. Their school only sold soda from a machine and that was a dollar. On top of the price, the machine was located on the other end of the school from the cafeteria, which made the trek to buy one a pain. "Not much to tell, honestly. He's good looking, but he didn't say anything to anyone. He just sat there."

"Good looking?"

"Mm, yeah—more your type than mine." She scratched her cheek thoughtfully. "Reddish brown hair, pretty tall, green eyes—buff too."

Ban wrinkled his nose, flicking some of the roll he was destroying down onto his tray. A souped-up, thick necked guy was hardly his idea of good looking. "I'm not much into buff guys."

"He's not that buff. Lean, but not flimsy." She looked up, past Ban, her face lighting up. He glanced over as a tiny girl scooted into the spot next to him. She had long, dark hair that hung at her waist in heavy waves. Her face was almost an exact copy of his, though the eyes that looked back at him were brown and the mouth smaller.

"Bekah," he greeted his sister and she smiled.

"Gossiping already?" Her voice was quiet and soothingly sweet. Her eyes were crinkled with amusement.

Kim handed over a can of soda to the girl, still making the odd euphoric face she always made around Bekah. A lot of people gravitated towards his sister; she was kind and very giving, and Kim was the extreme of this gravitation. She'd been hanging around them since they were very little, always protecting Bekah and following her around like a shadow.

Ban snorted in mock-outrage. "Gossiping? I would never."

Her face was grave as she took a bite of her salad. "Of course not. So then what are we doing?"

"Gossiping," Kim said. Bekah rolled her eyes but listened as Kim reiterated what she'd already said, and then picked back up where she'd left off. "So anyway; he didn't talk to anyone, not even Vanessa and she was practically in his lap the whole class." The girl made a face, her icy blue eyes full of revulsion. It was a well known fact that Vanessa and Kim did not like one another.

Ban looked across the lunch room to the queen of the school's table, spotting Vanessa instantly. Her hair was a bright, vivid coppery orange that she'd gotten cut in a trendy bob, and easy to find from across the long lunchroom. Kim followed his gaze and her eyes narrowed in open hostility.

Bekah cleared her throat, distracting the girl. "You never said what his name was, Kim."

"Oh, really?" The girl blinked and tilted her head. "Whoops. Edric—something."

"Edric?"

"Yeah. A name that weird I don't forget. The last name was pretty normal, so I can't remember it." She folded her hands under her chin and frowned thoughtfully. "I wonder what kind of name Edric is. And here's my brother," her eyes slid over to Ban and there was a devilish spark in them. When Ban had finally come to terms with being gay he'd confessed it to only two people—Bekah, his most trusted advisory in the world and Kim; who'd accidentally overheard.

Surprisingly she hadn't spoken about it to anyone, unsurprisingly, she teased him endlessly about the crush he had on her brother. Noah was a grade higher and seriously attractive—something that wrecked havoc on Ban's hormones.

Noah gave a brief wave to them as he sat down next to Kim, setting his thick binder down on the table. Senior students got their fifth and six periods off three days a week and, while most went home to sleep, Noah always came to eat lunch with them and then went into the library to finish up his extra credit work.

"Hello Noah," Bekah said softly, nudging her knee against Ban's lightly. He straightened up, taking comfort in her strength.

"Hey." Noah nodded to them both, tossing a casual smile over at Ban. While the boys had never become as close of friends as Kim and Bekah, they had been companions for many years.

"That thing gets bigger every day." Kim stared at his binder in horror. "I still can't believe I have someone in the advanced AP classes in my family. It's painful."

Noah rolled his eyes, shoving the blonde's head lightly, though it still rocked her to the side. Noah was easily a head taller than all of them; at eighteen he was five nine and still growing. Kimberly, comparatively, was five two, almost three. They didn't look much alike in more ways than just their height; Kim looked much more like her mother, with strong facial features and pale blonde hair.

Noah's hair was also blonde, though an odd, pale orange-gold shade, that shone in the overhead lighting. His eyes were the color of warm caramel and lined with short, pale eyelashes. His nose was long, and broad at the tip, his mouth wide and dark. He flashed white, straight teeth at Kim when he smiled, making Ban's heart do flips. It should be illegal for someone to be so utterly perfect.

"No need to be jealous, little sis. I took the brains and you took—"

"—the boobs," Ilana said bitterly, slamming her lunch down on the table. Ban moved his hand away as a wad of the cheese-water flew at him. She'd made the same lunch choice as Kim, and hers didn't look any more appealing.

"She can keep those," Noah told Ilana, his smile turning wry.

"Welcome, A-Cup," Kimberly said cheerily, smirking over at Ilana's bitter face. The girl grimaced back. "You're looking quite lovely today."

"Shut up, Kim. I may not have melons," she made an obscene gesture with her hands, over-exaggerating the size of Kim's chest. "But at least I'm not a midget."

The blonde's face twitched violently and her grip on her can of soda tightened. "I am not a midget!" She pointed at Bekah accusingly and the girl stared back. "She's four eleven! Why isn't she a midget, too?"

Ilana glanced at Bekah and then back again. Her hazel eyes were mocking. "She's small, yeah. But you're the one with huge boobs. It throws off the balance. Makes you seem like a flotation device."

"Well at least I have boobs," Kim snapped.

Ban finally opened up his bottle of milk, watching the tiny frown that twisted Bekah's lips. She didn't like when the discussion turned to her height. No one in their family did. Ban himself was only five three, barely a few centimeters taller than Kim, and a full head shorter than most of his classmates. Their mother was five two and all their siblings four eight and smaller.

The boy glanced back at Noah, who was listening to Kim and Ilana argue with an amused expression. He'd first developed a crush on Noah in the sixth grade, though he'd never done anything about it. Noah had, had a few girlfriends in the past, one of them—Felicity O'Brian, a tall, gorgeous senior—more on and off than the others. Currently on again, to Ban's bitter disappointment.

Noah noticed his stare and glanced over. "How's your mother doing, Ban? We hadn't seen her in awhile and our mother was wondering."

"Uh," the boy cleared his throat carefully, not wanting his voice to break as he spoke. "She's doing really well. She told me that your mom started taking private patients, but I didn't expect them not to see one another at all."

Noah shrugged carelessly. "Different sides of the hospital."

It was through their parents that Kim and Bekah had first met and created the shared friendship between all the siblings. Both Noah and Ban's mothers worked at the local hospital—Ban's mother in the ICU and Noah's mother, Theresa, in surgery. Recently Theresa had gone to taking personal patients in the private care unit and was now on the other side of the massive hospital.

Ban chewed on his bottom lip, glaring at his milk, trying to make his brain work on a witty comment. As usual it failed him at the prime moment and he settled for staring up at Noah through his lashes, imaging that it was him Noah saved his best smiles for. Noah had returned to watching the girls argue and it made it easy to stare

Ilana took a bite of her nacho water and sighed gustily. "I need a boyfriend."

"Good luck with that." Kim snorted. She was munching her way through a large bag of skittles, completely ignoring the food in front of her. She was one of the people who bought but never ate her school lunch. "Even if they ignored your face, your black soul would poison them within days."

"Kim!" Bekah said sharply, her tone reproachful. "That was uncalled for."

"It's perfectly fine, Rebekah," Ilana assured her. "Her jealousy manifests its self through insults."

"Jealous," Kim scoffed, "of you? Dream on A-Cup."

Ilana bristled and shot Kim a cold look before turning her attention to Noah. She smiled pleasantly. "Let's all change the subject. Are you still dating that girl?"

Bekah looked up hurriedly, casting a worried look at Ban. The boy bumped his knee against hers as she had done earlier, trying to arrange his face into something that looked normal. She didn't seem very convinced so it must not have been very good. He didn't like when the girl worried over his feelings and she seemed to be worrying more than ever, lately.

"Felicity," Noah told Ilana patiently. Ilana, who knew the girl's name perfectly well, asked often to let Noah know she still didn't like his choice in women. "And yes, we're still dating."

"Hmm." Ilana, though she'd never been let in on Ban's secret, was horribly knowing when she wanted to be. Her hazel eyes slid over onto Ban's face and she narrowed her eyes, watching his reactions. The boy had been worried for awhile that she was starting to pick up on his feelings, and it looked like his feelings were well founded. Ilana opened her mouth to say something, but was interrupted.

Ban jumped in his seat when the first bell rang, warning them to finish up lunch and get heading back to class. Noah stood immediately, collecting his binder. Ilana closed her mouth reluctantly, casting an impatient look over at Ban, who squirmed in response. This was not a talk he wanted to have with the pretty girl. Not yet.

"I guess I'll be off then." Noah gave Kim a noogie that made her hair even messier than before. She slapped at him halfheartedly. He raised his hand in a mock-salute. "Later."

Bekah smiled politely. "Have fun, Noah." She waited before he was out of earshot to give Ban a look of disapproval. "You're never going to get anywhere if you can't even talk to him, Ban."

"I'm aware," he muttered back. His greasy, slimy mess of a pizza lay on the tray untouched, but he couldn't make himself scarf it down as the students around him were. He rose with his smaller sister and headed towards the trash cans, dumping the whole mess in and passing his tray over to an unlucky student who had been chosen for trashy duty. Kimberly was two steps behind them, her skittles safely hidden in the deep pockets of her sweatshirt.

Ilana waited until they were in the hall to whip out her cell phone, sliding open the keyboard and answering the multitude of texts she'd gotten during the time she'd been eating. Bekah cast a glance over and asked, "talking to Kira?"

"Mm, yeah." Ilana shut her phone after sending the reply. "She says the cast is already off and she's heading home."

Kira was the last girl in their small group of friends: a tall, wiry teen that had a tendency towards chattering. She'd been involved in a small accident—Bekah had fallen down the stairs, accidentally dragging Kira and Ban down with her—that had broken her leg. She was finally getting the cast off after months of complaining and hobbling around.

Bekah was always getting into accidents like that one, though she did her best to never involve the hapless people around her, she sometimes did. Kira was the one she took down the most; Kira was scatterbrained and didn't keep an eye on the tiny creature like the others. If she had she'd probably never had gone tumbling down the stairs after her friend.

"That's good." Bekah's cheeks colored, painting a clear picture that, like the others, she too was remembering the embarrassing scene their fall had caused.

"Hey," Kim hissed, shoving Bekah towards a more hidden hallway. She gestured frantically for the others to follow suit, hissing more when they were slow to follow. Ban peeked around the corner with her, wondering what they were doing. "That's him." The blonde was whispering, her quietness made them all hushed and they tried to follow where she was looking.

At the end of the long hallway, towards the back of the school, there was a boy sitting propped up against the lockers. He had his legs stretched out in front of him and they were very long, suggesting he might be upwards of six feet tall. Ban spared himself a moment to be jealous of the boy's height before he followed the line of his body to the face—the greatest point of interest.

Edric—something was good looking. His hair was shaggy, longer even than Ban's and his was already hanging in his eyes. It was a dark, reddish brown that went well with the vivid green of his eyes. Even from down the hall his eyes were clear, such a bright green that they seemed to shine. Ilana let out a low whistle.

"Not bad." She straightened up then, looking down at Kim and Bekah—who'd fallen down when Kim had tugged on her—with raised eyebrows. "But not worth us acting like idiots. Can we walk again, now?" Ban bent to help his sister up, trying not to smirk since she was already annoyed with falling down.

Kimberly sniffed. "You're the ones who wanted a look at him. I let you get your look."

"Thank you," Ilana responded sarcastically. She flicked her golden brown hair over her shoulder and moved out from their hiding place, walking towards Edric without appearing to care. She probably didn't; Ilana despised chasing boys. She was far too lazy. Bekah hastened after her since their class was a shared one, her short legs forcing her to run after the taller girl.

"So, think you could date him?"

Ban glanced at Kim in surprise, fighting embarrassment. "No." He glanced at the silent boy again and shook his head. "I like Noah—just Noah."

"I guess…if you say so." The girl's icy blue eyes studied him calculatingly. Sometimes Kim was terrifyingly perceptive, but she seemed satisfied with his answer. "Even so, I think I'll go see if he'll talk to me." She smirked. "If for no other reason than to get under Vanessa's skin."

"You're a terrible person, Kim. I really mean that."

Kim beamed at him, looking immensely flattered. "Gosh, Ban, that's the nicest thing you've said to me in a long time.

Ban rolled his eyes.

"Seriously," the girl winked. "Here's my class. See ya."

The black-haired boy watched her disappear into her class, still walking along towards his own. Alone and left with nothing else, his mind wandered—as it always did, lately—to Noah. It was hard to think about the precarious situation he was in without getting horribly frustrated.

While he was in love with Noah, had been love for a long time, Noah's feelings were that of a polite friendship. They never hung out past the occasional visits Noah paid to their house and there was nothing more there. Noah wasn't even gay—Felicity was as 'woman' as teenage girls got. Well, besides Kim and her "floatation device" breasts.

Ban wandered into his class and sank into his seat, propping his chin up on his hand. Maybe there was some way he could test it—see if maybe, even just a little, Noah might be capable of returning his feelings. However unlikely that was. And it was very unlikely.

The final bell rang and the teacher rose to go shut the door and lock out any who dawdled. Ban sat up straight again, pulling out his notebook to resume taking notes. Back to work. Sadly, Ban shooed Noah's face from his mind and focused on the words the teacher was scribbling out on the blackboard.

Ban hopped off the bus, moving aside to allow Bekah and their siblings off as well. Bekah took a moment to help their youngest sister off the last step, holding the girl in her arms and swinging her onto the sidewalk. Zoe was extremely small for eleven and very skinny, allowing Bekah to carry her easily, though she herself was tiny.

Their house was only a few streets down from the bus stop and they began the trek home, Bekah holding Zoe and Gabriel's hands protectively. Gabe, for all he was thirteen and turning into a massive brat, allowed the girl to coddle him still. It was terribly hard to resist Bekah's charms. It didn't, however, stop him from picking on Zoe the whole way home. Zoe, for her part, smiled happily back at him, content to be with her beloved brother again.

Gabe was the only one in their family besides their father who was blonde, though he'd still gotten the odd blue-purple eyes their mother had given most of them. Zoe, on the other hand, had the same midnight-black hair as Ban. Her large eyes were a darker shade of violet than Ban's, though it suited her sweet face. Zoe was the baby of the family in more ways than one—she was terrified of strangers and even now, as they walked home, she held to Bekah's hand like it was her last lifeline.

Alex and Anna were walking ahead of the others, hands linked, heads close together as they spoke. The girls were the second and last set of twins in the family and far more attached to one another than Ban and Bekah had ever been. Both had black hair, but Alex had blue-purple eyes, whereas Anna's were a dark brown. It was the only difference in their faces.

They both had delicate, elfin-like faces: small noses, small mouths, large eyes and long lashes. Alex wore her hair at her shoulders in layers, though most days she had it up out of her face. Anna's hair was longer and wavy. Both were around four eight and, at fifteen going on sixteen, it was unlikely they'd get much taller than Bekah.

"What's for dinner tonight?" Ban asked his sister as they grew closer to home, finally tired of no one but Alex and Anna speaking.

Bekah glanced back, "I was thinking about making ravioli. We don't really have much since we didn't go shopping yesterday."

Zoe craned her neck up to look at her sister. Her tiny face was solemn—she rarely wore any other expression beyond this one. "I like ravioli. If we have to have a vegetable, can it be carrots?" She frowned, scrunching up her little nose. "We had peas for lunch at school and they were gross."

Alex and Anna had slowed their walking to join in on the conversation. They looked at Zoe and said, "we had peas too."

"They were terrible," Anna told them conversationally.

Alex nodded her agreement. "Absolutely revolting."

"You should have gotten the salad," Bekah told them, stopping at the bottom steps of the front porch to let Ban—who had the house key—go around them to unlock the door. "They use romaine lettuce in their salads. It's really good."

"Ugh, herbivore." Alex said it like it was an insult and Bekah stuck out her tongue in response.

Ban finally got the door open, having to fight with his house key since it didn't fit quite right sometimes, and the others trailed inside after him, everyone stopping to take off their shoes by the front door and change into their house slippers. Their mother did not bode well with dirty shoes in the house. It was one of the few rules actually enforced in their household.

Gabe had barely thrown his backpack down on the sitting room couch before he was running into the living room—the sound of the television coming on followed his departure. "Gabriel don't forget to do your homework." Bekah called after him as she headed into the kitchen to start dinner.

Gabe's voice drifted back to them, sounding distracted. "Yeah, yeah."

Zoe followed after her brother loyally, curling up next to him on the couch to watch him play Tekken. Though he was always rude to the girl, and constantly picking on her, Zoe absolutely adored him. Gabe, though it obviously annoyed him, never made her leave—not even when friends were over, though Ban was pretty sure that'd change as they got older.

Alex and Anna faded upstairs and their giggling would occasionally drift down to the rest of them. Laughter from the twins was almost always a bad thing; whether it be a stink bomb explosion or some sort of horrific experiment showing up in Ban's bed. But Bekah reined them in for the most part, and they were—hopefully—doing something perfectly innocent.

Having followed her into the kitchen, Ban watched Bekah cook, sitting on the island counter. He could be finishing his homework, of course, but most of the Phisher family waited until their mother—and her extensive knowledge of all things—got home to actually do it. His gaze drifted away from her and towards the large kitchen windows.

"Someone's moving in next door," Ban noticed in shock. He hadn't looked out at their next door neighbor's house recently; it'd been on sale for so long he'd gotten bored of watching it sit there, growing mold. Now he could see a woman in her thirties hustling boxes from the driveway into the house. A man, younger and much taller, was helping her. Ban assumed him to be the husband. He watched their progress with interest.

"I know," Bekah replied, stirring the pasta sauce as it heated. "I met the woman this morning. She's very kind—Emma Price. She has a son."

Ban frowned suddenly, looking at his sister accusingly. "Wait a minute…that Edric kid, he's her son isn't he?"

The girl smiled sheepishly. "I didn't meet him, but yes; I knew. And before you ask, the man is her brother. Her husband is dead." Bekah left the ravioli boiling and the sauce warming as she went to the fridge to search for carrots. "So, did you think he was cute?"

"He was, I guess," Ban said, hedging. He did think Edric was cute, despite having a name even odder than "Ban"—he'd gotten a lot of grief as a child for his mother's odd taste in names—but he just wasn't right.

"Not your type?" his sister surmised, spot on as always. She straightened and there was a bag of carrots in her hand. Her face was sad as she studied him. "I want you to be happy Ban. I'm worried that Noah's going to…" she trailed off, and Ban knew what she meant. He had often woken in the night with horrible dreams of rejection and humiliation fresh on his tired mind.

"It's going to be okay. I'm in no rush to ever tell him about this."

She frowned. "But that's another thing. I don't like all this hiding." She waved a hand and started to peel the carrots to prepare for boiling them; Gabe always complained if the skin remained. "No one here will care if you're gay; we love you and always will. I don't want this to be something you hold inside and agonize over."

"I'm just not looking forward to it being the thing on everyone's mind right now. That's more than I can handle. For now…I'd rather just let things stay calm and easy."

The girl sighed quietly. "Okay, Ban," she conceded.

Ban tapped his fingers against the counter, watching her bustle around. "What about you?"

"What about me?"

"When are you going to start dating? Oh, wait—that's right; you like older men." He looked back out the window into the darkening afternoon and spotted the neighbors again, his focus now on the man. The sun reflected off his gold hair as he helped his sister bring in boxes. "What about him? He married?"

The girl's cheeks heated in a second and she spluttered. "Ban!"

"What?"

Her lips twisted and she was the picture of disapproval. "No, I don't believe he's married. But he's in his late twenties, I'm sure."

"So? You're seventeen—almost eighteen. Nearly legal."

"Yes," she said sarcastically, "nearly."

"Oh, pooh." Ban smiled at her expression. Bekah was far to fun to shake up; it was a fond pastime of not only him, but their siblings and friends as well. The only one who never really teased her was Noah, who never did anything that might be considered disrespectful. Ban groaned and scratched his hair, making it stick up oddly.

Bekah turned off the stove and started to ladle the ravioli into a large bowl. "Ban, go call dad and tell him to get home. I'll round up the others."

Ban nodded and hopped off the counter, landing lightly on the balls of his feet. Their father owned a small store at the end of the block—he was always selling his odd creations there, though it was their mother and her large paychecks that actually supported their family's income. It was more of a pastime that sometimes made money with their father.

Their dad's work number was programmed into the house phone and Ban had the phone ringing, having only pressed two buttons. From the kitchen, Bekah's voice rang clear, bidding them all to dinner. Gabe ran past Ban a few seconds later, Zoe trailing behind him, her socks making her slide around on the hardwood floors.

"Kevin here," his father's voice announced suddenly.

"Hey dad," Ban said. Alex walked by him, giggling about something she and Anna had done upstairs. Ban frowned. He'd better not find something squishy in his bed tonight, or there would be hell to pay.

"Oh, Ban." The man threw something down and the clank of metal on concrete made Ban wince. "Is it dinner time already? Huh. I'll be home in ten."

"'Kay." Ban hung up the phone, not needing to say anything more. Their dad wasn't much of a phone person and that suited Ban just fine. He drifted back into the kitchen, taking his usual seat at the table and accepting a plate from Anna. "Dad'll be here in ten minutes. He still has to close."

Bekah set down the bowl of boiled carrots and joined them at the table, pushing hair from her face. "Lost track of the time again, I suppose. He really needs some sort of clock there." She took Zoe's plate and filled it up with food and then passed it back to the girl, who in turn passed it down to Alex who sat at the end of the table.

They continued to pass plates around until everyone had food, making sure to leave enough for their parents. Their mother almost never got off work before seven most nights, sometimes even later. And then she was gone again by eight the next morning.

Ban speared a ravioli, suddenly ravenously hungry after skipping lunch. It was warm and delicious; almost everything Bekah cooked was. She'd been playing mother for years, always filling in for their mother, who was always away with work. She never complained about the housework, nor raising her younger siblings when she should have been mooning over boys. But that was just Bekah. She enjoyed her work and her family, and never took anything for granted.

Ban wished he could be the same, though he doubted he would ever be quite so selfless. He was one of the people Bekah pampered the most and it showed. The thought made him smile stupidly and he took in a large mouthful of veggies to hide it from Alex's curious eyes. They were moving onto ice cream when their dad arrived, all six feet of him. Their father was the only person in the family with any semblance of tallness and it appeared his height had decided to skip all his children in the gene pool.

He smiled at Bekah and kissed her forehead before sitting down next to Anna at the table and taking the plate of food she hurriedly passed over. Above anyone else, Anna and Alex adored their father. It was the weird science-nerd thing again. Ban watched his dad chow down on food, pretty sure he'd skipped lunch as well that day. Probably breakfast, too.

Kevin Phisher was a handsome man, though none of his children much resembled him. His hair was sandy blonde and streaked with grease—he'd probably been working on someone's car again. While his odd inventions didn't sell as well as he'd like, he was known for being an excellent repair man and a cheap one at that. He had dark brown eyes, set under well shaped natural brows—his nose was long and straight, his lips very thin.

Alex returned to the table, having finished washing the dishes—it was her day to do them—and took her seat on her father's other side. "We finished the plans for our robot," she told her father excitedly. He raised his eyebrows.

"Already?"

Anna nodded a wide smile on her pretty mouth. "It took more time than we initially thought it would, but we're finished now. May we still have materials for it?"

Kevin smiled back, unable to resist the girl's excitement. "Of course you can. We'll go into the shop this weekend and you can work on it there." They shared an ecstatic look and Ban rolled his eyes, unable to understand the pleasure they got out of playing with scraps of metal. Bekah came back around with bowls of ice cream and Ban took his, happily digging his spoon into it.

Gabe was already gulping down his ice cream, anxious to be back to his video games. Bekah didn't even have time to warn him, though it wouldn't have done any good, before he was clutching his forehead in pain. Zoe, who'd been trying to keep up and follow his example, watched him wallow in pain.

"I've told you so many times not to eat so quickly," Bekah griped, shaking her head as Gabe continued to moan unhappily. Zoe had started to try and eat her spoonfuls of frozen cream faster, but Bekah was quicker this time. "Zoe, don't eat like him."

The girl nodded obediently. "Okay." She slowed down, chewing on the balls of cookie dough when she found them. Ban leaned back in his chair and sighed around his own mouthful of cookie dough. He didn't want children, not really (he'd gotten enough of kids, with four younger siblings), but sometimes it made him sad to think about the fact that he'd never be able to have a child of his own.

He could, of course, hire someone and implant his spawn inside them, or do something creepier than that, but he and his partner would never be popping out kids left and right like his parents had. Hell, they probably wouldn't even be able to adopt with the way things were. They could get married, but children were still out of reach. The boy shook his head suddenly, knocking out the image of Noah holding a black-haired, caramel-eyed baby out.

Sometimes he was seriously a sap.

Ban walked his bowl to the sink and waved to his siblings before heading up to his room, taking a moment to get his school stuff. His room—his personal sanctuary, more like—was messy. Very messy. He'd been keeping Bekah out and away from her desire to tear through like a whirlwind and clean it, so the dirt was beginning to pile up.

He cleared a small spot on his desk, taking a moment to boot up his computer before he got out his homework to do. There wasn't much of it. Most of his teachers were reluctant to hand out much homework, considering a vast majority of it never came back. The boy clicked his pen and set to work, turning off his music so he could better concentrate.