1. Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go -- Wham
by Renee-chan

When Bailey slipped out of the house (again) on a school night, Charlie had been more than a little angry. Every time that he felt he was beginning to get a handle on the new role that his life had thrust upon him, one of his siblings could always be counted upon to jump up and throw a wrench into the works.

Julia he felt he had pegged. Young girl, burgeoning womanhood, suddenly bereft of her mother. All of the problems that she was going through, they at least fit that picture. And with Kirsten now in her life, she seemed to be straightening back out.

Claudia was in much the same boat as Julia. A young girl needed a mother figure in her life, especially at such crucial periods of time as those two were at. Claudia, at least, had her passion for the violin and while she might have lost her parents, she still had her love of music and the steady figure of Ross in her life.

The only one that he could not figure out, no matter how hard he tried, was his younger brother. Bailey had never been such an enigma to him growing up. When he had been in high school and Bailey had been a child, he had displayed a love for his older brother that bordered on hero worship. He dogged at his heels every chance that he got. And of course, Charlie had been less than receptive to that role at the time.

How things had changed... Charlie had returned to this house, angry, confused and more than a little resentful at his new lot in life. The one bright spot in this bleak new existence, however, was the thought of coming home to his brotherís ever--present, infectious smile that -- no matter how irritated he might have been at the tag-a-long -- never failed to brighten his day.

What he actually found didnít match up at all. If he was resentful, Bailey was more so. If he was angry and frustrated, Bailey was more so. Oh, it was still his little brother underneath all of that teen angst, sure. Bailey was still kind and thoughtful and generous... but he was different. Charlie couldnít deny it. And now that Kirsten had come into their lives and improved them in so many ways... if anything, Bailey seemed to be worse. Going out all nights and all hours, with never even a phone call to let his brother know that he was all right.

And now this.

Charlie could only stare in disbelief at the undulating figure on the dance floor. That the dancer was beautiful was unquestionable. That the dancer had a grace that Charlie never believed he could find in this, of all places, was undeniable. That it was his baby brother... that particular fact didnít compute. Dancing alone in the middle of the floor, oblivious to the women (and two men) around him trying to engage his attention, he seemed like some sort of ethereal sprite only recently come to the world of men. He didnít look like he belonged. He looked... lonely.

Until those smoky, hazel eyes snapped open and locked with Charlieís. There... there was that ever-bright smile that he had missed. His mind barely registering what he was doing, Charlieís body answered that bright smile and let it draw him forward onto the dance floor. Rules be damned. He wanted his brother back.

Party of Five Fanfiction | Drabble 2
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