Title: Sibling Rivalry
Prompt: “Did you just fall?” “No, I attacked the floor.” “Backwards?” “I’m freaking talented!” – PuckRachel Drabble Meme on LJ (by: by: alli_cat3)
Rachel Puckerman was humming to herself as she prepared dinner. In the background she could hear the sounds of a violent video game mixed with a young female voice loudly singing random notes and couldn’t help but find it ironic that at forty-one years old she found those noises both normal and comforting. Mostly because it meant both her children were focused on something other then tormenting each other.
As parents Rachel and Noah had both learned an age old lesson very quickly; silence is bad. If they’re quiet you should be worried, if they’re making a racket they’re probably not bleeding or plotting something that will cause them to bleed. Therefore, if Adam wanted to shoot zombies and Ava wanted to spin around and sing at the top of her lungs, their parents were not about to stop either of them.
She just wished that the ‘lesson’ that was supposed to cease being important by the time your children had surpassed the age of six didn’t still apply to her two offspring. At nine and fifteen she should be comfortable with leaving them alone in a room together, without the fear of her daughter’s head being shaved (Ava was four, Adam was ten) or her sons possessions making their way down their building’s garbage chute (three weeks earlier); unfortunately, that was not the case with the Puckerman children. She was just beyond grateful that they managed to at least pretend when the family was in public.
Rachel might have retired from the stage five years earlier in order to focus on writing, something she had found she enjoyed greatly; but she was still a two time Tony Award, three time Drama Desk winning actress, now a New York Times bestselling author, married to one of Manhattan’s top Assistant District Attorneys; therefore, the “Page 6” gossip column was still very much a concern. Especially since there was a buzz being generated in political circles about Noah. From what he had last heard, some people wanted him to run for the House within the next two elections and others wanted him to stick with the DA’s office and run for New York County’s DA in the next election, three years from now. Sometimes she thought being a “political wife and mother”, where her main job was to smile and stand next to her husband (while corralling their children) was more difficult then doing eight shows a week.
Noah repeatedly assured her that they wouldn’t have to be concerned about the kids behavior for much longer and used his relationship with his sister as an example. He always pointed out that he and Sarah also have six years between them and they have a wonderful relationship. Rachel usually responded by reminded him that it had taken them until their twenties, and a few hundred miles between them, to iron out the sibling rivalry.
A loud muffled thud coming from the living room caused Rachel to pause in the middle of chopping vegetables and mutter a curse under her breath. She hadn’t expected the peace to last long. She quickly stepped around the corner that separated the kitchen from the living room of their Upper East Side apartment and paused in confusion.
They weren’t wrestling, they weren’t throwing things, they weren’t even anywhere near each other. As an added benefit, nothing appeared broken – neither parts of her home nor parts of her children.
Before she could ask why her nine year old daughter Ava was just lying in the middle of the floor staring at the ceiling, while her fifteen year old son Adam stared at her from the couch, having actually paused his video game, he asked, “Did you just fall over?”
“No! I attacked the floor,” Ava answered as she climbed to her feet and set her hands on her hips.
“Backwards?” Adam’s voice came back full of doubt and laced with some laughter.
Rachel winced and silently prayed for Noah to come through the door at that instant, even though she knew he’d be later then normal for the next few weeks as he was in the middle of a trial he had been prepping for over six months. Because as understanding as she was of his career (he had stood by her during the insanity that had been the beginning of hers), she had a feeling she was going to need a secondary referee within the next few minutes. There hadn’t been a major blow up in almost a week between their children; but that tone Adam had just used was usually a good indicator that her daughter was going to lose it. Hindsight being what it was, Noah was right, Ava was really all her mother’s daughter while Adam was totally his father’s son, and Rachel was more then aware of exactly how much she and Noah had clashed as children. That was without the added ‘benefit’ of shared genetics.
She watched Ava’s eyes narrow, and Adam’s widen as though he realized his own mistake and Rachel instinctively knew he was thinking about hiding, her daughter’s face grew redder and was finally followed by a loud stomp of her foot before she screamed, “I’m freaking talented!”
“Yea, alright midget. Keep telling yourself that,” Adam responded through his laughter, apparently his self-preservation wasn’t as good as Rachel thought it was.
She supposed full week of peace was too much to hope for.
When the pint sized nine year old almost immediately launched herself at her brother, grabbing a couch pillow on the way and began hitting him with it, Rachel did a quick survey of the room; her awards were no longer displayed in the living room due to a similar incident and a broken Drama Desk award, she had moved the crystal decanter set her father’s had bought Noah for his fortieth birthday last year to a very high shelf, the brand new coffee table was solid wood with rounded corners (purchased because skateboards and glass don’t mix; she’s just glad that Adam hadn’t been on the stateboard when it went through the table) and her once beautiful wood floors were now fully carpeted (because he was on the skateboard when the floors got destroyed).
She then debated the benefits and drawbacks of getting in the middle of things without a second parent to back things up since their kids were more ‘scared’ of Noah then Rachel (both parents suspected it was a combination of Noah’s access juvenile detention centers and overactive imaginations).
She quickly decided that they would probably survive without injury this time.
Finally just rolling her eyes at the sight of Adam trying to hold off his much small sister Rachel headed back into the kitchen to finish dinner, calling out to them as she went, “Try not to leave any visible marks Ava; we have a dinner to attend with Daddy on Friday. And if someone starts bleeding or if either of you break any major bones you’re both grounded. For life.”
The next time Noah used himself and Sarah as an example Rachel was making him sleep in the guest room. She adored her children with every fiber of her being; but some days she wondered what she had done to deserve two perfect genetic blends of her and Noah’s stubbornness and temperaments.
Ten minutes later when the noises stopped and full silence came over the apartment she froze. When her hand almost immediately reached for the cordless phone, to dial 911, she waited a second and then breathed a sigh of relief as she once again heard zombies being shot and a young female voice singing.
Adam wanted to go to NYU in two years like his parent’s had; maybe it was time to remind Noah of how many friends they had made while living in the dorm’s their freshmen year of college. After all, it wasn’t like they’d never see their son (Heaven knew she didn’t trust him near a washing machine after last year; hereby referred to as The Great Flood of 2034); they’d just be less likely to develop ulcers before they were forty-five.