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Children Carry All

Title: Children Carry All

Author: Eglantine_br

Rating G

Law and Order UK/Matt Devlin

Word Count 575

Children Carry All

She handed a stack of paper to the first desk in each row.

“Please take two sheets, and pass the rest back”

Matt was in the middle of the row, near the wall. The girl in front of him gave him the paper. She was pretty. But her smiles were never for him.

Miss Look waited until everyone had a sheet.

“You may begin.”

Matt rested his sweating hand on the paper's edge. He wrote his name at the top, carefully.

His pencil made a loud scrape, as he worked. Sometimes he stopped to erase. He brushed the resulting pink crumbs to the floor. He could feel the tightness over the tops of his feet. The shoelaces gripped there in dusty knots. He wiggled his toes.

He was not the first to hand his paper in. He had not been as quick lately, but he was careful not to be the last either.

“Take out your books, and read chapter 12.”

Matt took out his book, and leaned over it. He kept his arms close.

He looked out from under his hair, he watched her. He watched the clock too.

She went through the papers with her red pen. He could not tell anything from her face. He had a place in the very back of his mouth where a tooth had come out. The new tooth was pushing in. It had points. It made a place to scrape his tongue. So he did that.

“Class dismissed.” He was at the door. He was in the middle of the crowd, almost out.

“Matthew-- may I speak to you a moment?”

So he had to come back.

Her eyes were trying to see into him. He tugged on his sleeves before he could stop himself. He put his hands behind his back to to keep them still.

Miss Look smiled up at him from her desk chair.

“Matthew, I have to say, I'm a little surprised at you. You did very well at the start of the year. You are a bright boy, I know that you don't have any trouble understanding the material. But lately you seem distracted. You have missed quite a lot of work, you have been late three times this week. I want to understand. Is there anything you want to tell me? If you are having some sort of trouble I would like to help. Is-- is everything all right at home?”

And now his hands were too sweaty to clasp them together. They felt wet and horrible.

“Everything is fine, Miss. I will try harder.”

He was careful with his voice. He said it good and firm, but not loud. She smiled, puzzled, but not unkind.

“All right, Mr Devlin, you may go.”

She made a sort of wry joke face when she called him 'Mr Devlin,' because of course, he was a child. He smiled too, to show he understood.

Now his hand was on the door. She made a throat clearing noise.

“If you change your mind, you know you can always talk to me.”

Matty nodded. He shut the door behind him. And now he had to really run, the sky was darkening. It was best to be home with the door to his room shut before dad came home.


( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 26th, 2012 05:25 am (UTC)
Stunning little piece. Loved the pink crumbs of the eraser and his shoes feeling too tight.
Why do I imagine his teacher to be standing in a sun ray? Well done :)

Edited at 2012-02-26 05:31 am (UTC)
Feb. 27th, 2012 01:11 pm (UTC)
Thank you. I am not sure this century is a real-feeling place for me, at least not right now. but sometimes things won't let you go. This insisted on being written. I tried to resist.
Feb. 27th, 2012 01:53 pm (UTC)
I'm glad that there are still people out there who DO care!
I agree about the confusing times we have to live in. What can you do? We have to endure it...
Feb. 26th, 2012 02:03 pm (UTC)
Poor kid. It's awful to think of children growing up in fear. I'm glad someone has noticed though. I hope she keeps asking. I wonder how many teachers find themselves in that situation and fret over whether to intervene?

Edited at 2012-02-26 02:04 pm (UTC)
Feb. 27th, 2012 01:15 pm (UTC)
Miss Look is a good human. She is not entirely taken in by his protests, either. I think she is just not sure what to do next.

I did not want to write any more LOUK. But there was some Hornblower lurking behind it, I am working on that now.
Feb. 27th, 2012 10:27 pm (UTC)
I'll happily read anything you write! :)

I think she is just not sure what to do next.
What a terrible situation to be in. I hope she has the courage of her convictions.

Feb. 27th, 2012 10:05 am (UTC)
Oh, I didn't know you write Law & Order fics, too. Poor Mattie. Someone should have taken care of him.
Feb. 27th, 2012 01:15 pm (UTC)
I think that is why he became a cop. He is a very good boy.
Feb. 27th, 2012 07:12 pm (UTC)
I just started writing him. I want to take care of him.
Feb. 28th, 2012 07:10 am (UTC)
He is lovely, isn't he? I'm glad he's got Ronnie, now. Ronnie does take care of him.
Feb. 29th, 2012 12:25 am (UTC)
If she didn't, I wouldn't be at following_sea now! She fund my Matt Devlin Lives and lured me over. ;-)
Feb. 29th, 2012 12:28 pm (UTC)
Feb. 27th, 2012 05:50 pm (UTC)
done with your characteristic restraint and appreciated very much

thank you !
Feb. 27th, 2012 07:13 pm (UTC)
Happy. Writing pinchbeck buckles now.
Feb. 27th, 2012 09:28 pm (UTC)
Yes I See you posted it good * goes off ready to read *
just finished posting menagerie fic for the evening here !
Feb. 29th, 2012 12:29 am (UTC)
Matty. *squishes him*

They didn't have mandated reporters in the early 1980s, did they?

It's odd for me to see the inside of his head, child or adult, because I spent my entire fic writing from the boyfriend's POV. Interestingly done.
Feb. 29th, 2012 12:43 pm (UTC)
I don't know when mandated reporting started-- here or there. Probably could find out.

He does not want anyone to know, of course. He is afraid of loosing what stable warmth he does have. If asked directly he would deny all.

It feels odd for me to write him too. I certainly did not plan on it. But he started standing in the corner of my thoughts. He did not speak-- he was just there. Small and cold. Wearing dirty kid sneakers, and a sweatshirt. I had to take him in.
Sep. 26th, 2016 05:49 am (UTC)
I can't imagine any little girl failing to notice any little boy who was going to grow up into a Jamie Bamber.

Poor Jamie - do nearly all his characters get abused and/or killed? He does suffer pretty, the darling boy, but this was just sad. At least Archie got to get through most of childhood before the really bad things started to happen. In a way this is even worse.
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )