DESTINY
    By Rusty


Gavin was running as fast as he could down the hall of the hospital emergency room.  He felt as though he was running against the wind, everything around him was moving in slow motion; it seemed as though he would never reach his destination.   He could barely breath and his heart was beating so fast he was sure his chest was going to explode.  He HAD to get to THAT door, but the hall seemed to go on forever. The harder he ran the door seemed to move further and further away.  It was quiet and dark and eerie, he could only hear the sounds of his own gasping breaths.

He was unable to breathe at all when he was finally able to reach the door.  His hand moved up to knock....just as the door opened.  Slowly.  He moved a few steps, still in slow motion, until he was inside the room. 

There was a man standing by the window wearing green hospital scrubs.  The man turned slowly from the window and looked at Gavin with an almost glazed look in his eyes. He looked just like George Clooney.  Gavin LOVED George and hadn't watched ER since he'd left the show. 

What was George doing HERE and WHY was he wearing his ER clothes?

“Are you Mr. McCourt?”  George asked in a monotone voice.

Gavin nodded, almost afraid to speak. He just wanted to know where Jack was, but didn’t know how to ask.  WHAT to ask.  He was AFRAID to ask.

“I’m so sorry. The injuries Mr. Ryan sustained from the car accident were extensive. We weren’t able to save him.” George said this with no emotion whatsoever.  Like it didn’t mean anything.

NOOOOOO!  NOT JACK! PLEASE! Gavin mind was screaming.  He felt like someone had hit him in the stomach with a lead pipe.  His whole body tingled as if it were asleep.  He couldn’t get enough air in his lungs to scream.  And he WANTED to scream. 

NOOOOO!  His mind screamed again. Please NOOOOOO!

“NOOOOOOOOOOOO!”   Finally Gavin worked up enough breath to scream.  A blood curdling scream.  The sound of it was enough to wake the dead.

“Gavin.”  George said, as he walked up to him and shook his arm.

“Gavin, can you hear me?”  He shook Gavin’s arm again.

George patted his face and shook him once more.  

“Gav, wake up.” 

Gavin stopped screaming and blinked at the sound of that voice.

“Gav baby, wake up.”

Gavin blinked again.  “Jaaaack?”

Jack rubbed Gavin’s cheek and kissed his forehead.

“Yes, it’s Jack.  You must have had one hell of a nightmare.  I’ve never heard anyone scream like that, let alone while they were sleeping.”  He kissed Gavin’s forehead again.  “I’ll go get you a wet cloth.  You’re wet with sweat.”

“NOOO!”  Gavin cried, wrapping both of his arms around Jack’s neck. They were sitting up in bed, the covers twisted around them. “Don’t leeeave me.  Pleeease, don’t ever leeeeave me.”

Jack wrapped his arms around Gavin and rubbed his hands up and down his soaking wet back.  “Oh baby, it’s okay.  It was just a nightmare.”

Gavin buried his face in Jack’s neck and sobbed.  “It was awwfulll.  JJJusst awwwful.”

“Shhhh, it’s okay now.”  Jack whispered, still rubbing Gavin’s quivering back.  “You wanna tell me about it?”

Gavin mumbled into Jack’s neck. “You were ..in an accident. It was jjust awful.”

“Well, I’m fine.  You’re fine.”  Jack grabbed Gavin’s arms and pulled them away from the death grip they had around his neck.  Gavin struggled a little, not wanting to let go. EVER.  “Let me look at you, babe.”

Jack placed one hand on each of Gavin’s wet tear stained cheeks and looked into his eyes.  “Hey, you’re okay.  I’m going to get you some water and a cold rag.  I’ll only be a second. Okay?”

“NO! I’ll go with you.”  Gavin grabbed Jack’s arm. He didn’t want Jack to be out of his sight. Ever again.

Jack smiled and took hold of Gavin’s hand.  “Okay, come on.”

Jack stood up beside the bed and waited for Gavin to climb off.  Still holding his hand, they headed for the bathroom.  Closing the lid on the toilet, Jack guided Gavin until he was seated.

“Gavin, you’ll have to let go of my hand so I can get you a drink.” Jack gently pulled his hand away and turned on the water.  He opened the cabinet and took the Advil from the shelf.  After filling a glass with water, he handed the pills and glass to Gavin. 

As Gavin swallowed the pills and gulped the water down, Jack wet a cloth with cold water and began washing Gavin’s face.  He wet the cloth again and rubbed it down Gavin’s shoulders and back.  Then did the same thing to his chest. 

“Are you okay now, babe?”  Jack asked, looking down at Gavin.  He took the glass from Gavin’s hand and sat it on the counter.  His face still looked pale and his eyes had that deer in the headlights look about them.

Gavin shook his head. “No!”

Jack smiled.  “Yes you are.  And so am I.  We’ll just go back to bed and I promise to hold you all night. Okay?”

Gavin looked a little reluctant, but figured as long as Jack promised to hold him ALL night, it might be okay.  “Okay, as long as you promise.”

“I promise.”  Jack pulled Gavin up and they were tucked back in bed a few minutes later.  With Gavin practically lying on top of him. 

Jack rubbed his back for at least an hour before Gavin’s soft even breathing gave evidence that he was finally asleep.  Jack just stared at the ceiling, unable to move.  With 165 pounds of Gavin pressing against his chest, he didn’t figure he’d be able to move until morning.
__________________________________________

Gavin hadn’t left Jack’s side all morning.  They had showered together, dressed together and walked down the stairs.  Together.  On a NORMAL day, Jack usually had to come back up the stairs, at least once to push him a little, in order to keep Gavin on any kind of schedule at all.

Gavin kept staring at Jack all through breakfast.  Jack could feel his eyes on him with every move he made. 

“What?”  Jack smiled across the counter.

Gavin blinked.  “What?”

Jack laughed and shook his head.  “Gav, as much as I love all this togetherness this morning, you’re beginning to make me a little nervous.”

Gavin eyes widened.  “I don’t know WHAT you’re talking about!”

“You haven’t left my side since the alarm went off this morning.  And you keep staring at me.”  Jack finished his juice and stood up from his stool.  Picking up the bowls and glasses from breakfast, he walked over to the sink.

Gavin was still staring.

“You’re still DOING it.”  Jack laughed again as he rinsed out the dishes.

Gavin huffed.  “Is that a crime?  I LIKE looking at you!”

“Gav, it was a nightmare. It’s over now.  There’s nothing to worry about.”  Jack opened the dishwasher and loaded the dishes. 

“Jack, sometimes dreams can be like.... premonitions. My dream could have MEANING!  I’ve read about stuff like that.”  Gavin got up from his stool and walked around the counter to the sink.  Grabbing a dishrag, he began washing the counters.

“Okay, what did your dream mean?”  Jack closed the dishwasher door and leaned against the counter. 

Gavin stopped washing the counter and leaned against the other counter.  “I don’t know... exactly.  But I think it might be best if I drive you to and from work.  At least for awhile. If this WAS a premonition, we'll have to change your destiny..SOMEHOW!”

Jack laughed out loud.  “Not in this lifetime.  I can drive myself just fine, thank you.”

Gavin huffed again.  “You’ve driven me back and forth to work before.”

“Yeah, and I’ll do it again if you EVER get another parking ticket. Or if you EVER don’t pay your insurance premium. Or if you EVER forget to get a police report after an accident. Or if......

Gavin put his hands on his hips.  “You didn’t drive me back and forth because of THOSE things!”

“No.  I spanked you because of those things.  But if you EVER do any of them again, we’re adding that to the list of things I WILL  do to you.” Jack laughed at Gavin’s expression.

“And the next time you back out of the garage without looking in your rearview mirror, we’re going to add both of those things to the list of things I’m going to do to you.  We still have to buy a new trashcan from when you did THAT yesterday.  One day it’s going to be one of the neighborhood kids.”

“I’m NEVER going to do ANY of those things again.”  Gavin huffed some more. “But you HAVE driven me to work and back when my car’s been in the shop or when I’ve been grounded for......OTHER things.”

“Well, my car works just fine and I haven’t been grounded in years.” Jack pushed himself away from the counter and put his arms around Gavin.  “It was just a nightmare.  You can’t let something like this control your life, Gav. And as much as I know you WANT to be, you are NOT a psychic.”

Gavin wasn’t placated in the least.  “Jaack, I KNOW I’m not a psychic.  But what if my nightmare meant something?  Something terrible.”

“It didn’t.”  Jack kissed Gavin’s lips and rubbed his nose with his.   “I don’t have court today, I'll be in my office most of the day.  You can call me anytime you want ..and check up on me.”

Jack went to the closet beside the door and grabbed their coats.  He tossed Gavin his and picked up his briefcase off the counter.   “Come on, we’re going to be late for work.”

Gavin grumbled all the way out the door.  “You just make sure you have your cell phone with you all day today.”
_____________________________________________________

Jack walked in the door, pulling off his coat as he entered the kitchen.  He then went in search of Gavin.  It had been at least......thirty minutes... since the last time they had spoken and he wanted Gavin to know he was home before his cell phone rang.  Again! 

His cell phone minutes had probably reached their limit by ten o’clock this morning.  By noon he was sure they had used up enough minutes for three months of service.  Jack had been really tempted to turn the damn thing off, but he HAD promised Gavin he could call.  Anytime.  He just hadn’t figured on Gavin WANTING to call every half-hour.  Like clockwork.

Walking down the hall, he saw Gavin through the den door sitting at the computer and talking on the phone.  That must be why he hadn’t called ...recently. 

Gavin didn’t look up from the computer or pause in his conversation with the lucky person that he was chatting with THIS time.  Jack leaned against the doorframe of the den and listened.

“Yes, I’m sure you’re as good as Miss Cleo.  But I would prefer to talk with her about this, personally please. What time does her shift start?”  Gavin sighed.  “Yes I know! But I’ve talked with three other people that said THEY were just as good as Miss Cleo and they’ve ALL told me THREE different things.  I really NEED to talk with Miss Cleo, herself.”

Jack had heard about all he needed to hear.  He walked up behind Gavin and pulled the phone away from his ear.  He pushed the button on the phone, disconnecting the Clairvoyant, who was apparently NOT named Miss Cleo, on the other end of the line.

Gavin turned around in his chair and scowled.  “Jaaack, why did you do THAT?”

Jack crossed his arms over his chest and LOOKED down at Gavin.  “Please tell me that you DIDN’T call a 900 number!”

Gavin’s scowl turned into a cringe.  “Okay.”

“Okay, what?  You didn’t call a 900 number?”  Both of Jack’s eyebrows rose waiting for his answer.

Gavin chewed his lip a minute, not knowing quite how he should answer.  Jack HAD asked him to say that he DIDN’T call a 900 number.  Hadn’t he?

“Gavin, don’t even try to finagle your answer to fit my question.”  Jack waited again.

Gavin let out a sigh of defeat.  “Well, I called Miss Cleo.  Or I TRIED to call Miss Cleo.  I kept getting imposters!”

“How many times did you call that number and how long did you talk?”  Jack ‘s eyebrows were still raised.  “And before you answer, I want you to know that all of this information WILL be on the phone bill.  Any answer you give had better match up with what ever I find listed on it.    Or you won’t be able to sit down to talk on the phone or anything else.”

Gavin cringed again.  “I called about three times and......talked for about....I guess...maybe....anhourorso?”

“An hour or SO!”  Jack shook his head and looked up at the ceiling.  It’s little wonder the man didn’t get a crick in his neck from staring up there so often. “Gavin, do you have any idea how much those 900 numbers charge per minute?”

“The first three minutes are free!”  Gavin said, holding his palms out. That should count for something.

“What about the other fifty-seven minutes?”  Jack rubbed his face with his hands.  He was TRYING to be patient. “Gavin, those 900 numbers cost at least three dollars per minute.  Some of them are even more.  Would you like to try and do the math on that for me?”

Gavin’s forehead wrinkled in concentration as he tried calculating the numbers in his head. It only gave him a headache. He was MUCH more concerned about talking with Miss Cleo and getting her thoughts on what his nightmare had meant.  SHE would have the answers. SHE would know what he could do to prevent anything BAD from happening to Jack.

The look on Jack’s face made it VERY clear that he was waiting for an answer to his little math quiz.

Gavin gave the only answer he could come up with.  

“A lot?” 

Jack rubbed his face again.  “Yes, Mr. Marketing Genius.  A whole LOT!”

Gavin, in obsessive-compulsive mode, couldn’t see how very FAST Jack’s patience was fading.

“I still think we should check this out with Miss Cleo.  She’s really good. She's a REAL clairvoyant, Jack. You’ve seen her on TV.”

Jack reached down and took Gavin’s chin in his hand.  “Gavin, LOOK at me.”

Gavin’s eyes widened.  Uh oh!

“I’m trying really, reeeally hard to be patient.  I know that the nightmare upset you.  But we are NOT going to do this.  You are NOT to call that or ANY other 900 number EVER again.  You WILL pay for those calls with your fun money.  The only reason I’m not already paddling your butt for making those calls is, for some reason I can’t even BEGIN to imagine, it NEVER occurred to me to TELL you that you were NOT to EVER dial a 900 number.” 

“But Jaack...”  Gavin’s whine was cut short.

“NO!  Not another word.  You’re obsessing and it stops now.”  Jack let go of Gavin’s chin and pulled him up from the chair.  “Let’s go to the kitchen and see what we can come up with for dinner.”

"But Jaa....OW!”  The swat that landed across his backside cut short his current whine, much faster and with much more efficiency than Jack’s previous NO! apparently had. 

“I’m going...OW! I said I’m go..ING!”
__________________________________________

“Eat some broccoli, please.”  Jack spooned some broccoli onto Gavin’s plate.

“I’m really not hungry.”  Gavin just sat, staring at his plate.

“Gavin, I’ve told you that we are NOT going to obsess about this.  You like broccoli, so start eating.”  Jack took a bite from his own plate. “Tell me about your day. Or at least the very small part of your day..... when you weren’t talking to me.”

Gavin scooted his food around on his plate.  “I didn’t get much done today. Couldn’t concentrate.”

Jack was determined to keep Gavin from obsessing and he knew from experience the only way to stop it from completely consuming him, was to remain firm and focused.  Jack knew the nightmare had upset him though, so he figured they would put that to rest right now.  Then move on.

“Gavin, you read on that web page that dreams of death are considered to be a GOOD sign.  Not that I believe they mean anything at all, but according to these so called experts, it could mean... moving or changing jobs,.. something like that.  Death illustrates beginnings, not necessarily endings.”  Jack waited for the inevitable argument.

Gavin didn’t disappoint him.  “We aren’t moving OR changing jobs, Jack! There ARE  people that dream about things and then they DO happen.   They see into the future or dream about murders or....accidents.   I’ve read about people that have gifts like that.”

“Gavin, regardless of whether or not there are actually people that have those *gifts*....YOU aren’t one of them!  You've had several dreams that you went to work naked, and that's never happened.”  Jack reached across the table, picked up Gavin’s fork  and placed it back in his hand.

“You ALSO had a dream that I ran off with The Highlander, and THAT never happened either.”

Gavin mumbled under his breath.  “The only reason you haven’t run away with THAT guy, is because you haven’t met him. Yet!  I KNOW you like him. Besides, this is different.”

Jack rolled his eyes. He was just about finished with this discussion. “It isn’t any different.  I know dreams can be very disturbing.  Maybe you dreamed it because you were still mad at me... for coming down on you for backing over the trashcan. Maybe that’s why good old George was in the dream.  You were thinking about leaving me and running away with him.”

“I would NEVER run away with him.” Gavin looked appalled. "I would NEVER leave you!"

Jack laughed at Gavin’s look.  “George and I are both very grateful, I’m sure. And I’m very flattered you find living with me to be a better option. Especially, when I know how you feel about good old George.  But maybe you were a little angry and it just showed up in your dream.”

“Jack, I wasn’t really mad at you about that.   You just wanted me to remember to look in the rearview mirror.”  Gavin shook his head.  “You only swatted me ONCE.  Sheesh, if I had a nightmare every time you REALLY spanked me, I’d never get ANY sleep.”

“You aren’t spanked THAT often, Gav.” Jack laughed again at Gavin’s look.

“That’s a matter of opinion.”  Gavin poked his own chest.  “In MY opinion, it’s often enough, thank you very much!

“Finish your dinner.  After we clean up the kitchen, we’ll run out and rent a movie. Something funny.  You, me, the couch and a movie.  We might not even finish watching that movie. Who knows what might happen?  Sound like a plan?”

Gavin took a bite of broccoli.  He really did like the sound of that plan.

“And Gav, I just want you to know that I like living with you too.  I wouldn’t EVER run away with that Highlander guy either.”

Gavin picked up a broccolli tree and aimed.  It found its mark.  Right in the middle of  Jack’s forehead.

By the time they had fallen asleep that night, Gavin had,  pretty much, forgotten about his nightmare being some sort of premonition of bad things to come.  The movie was funny, or what they had seen of it. As they cuddled on the couch, Jack kept Gavin’s mind, and...well, other things.....occupied with more pleasant thoughts.  Very pleasant!

Gavin figured Jack must be sort of clairvoyant himself....because they HADN’T finished watching that movie.  He was almost positive that Jack must have had some sort of..... premonition about that.
____________________________________________

“After lunch I’ll run to the grocery store and get the stuff on the list.  You can finish putting that stuff you bought this morning on the flowerbeds.  I’ll finish raking the leaves when I get back,” Gavin said, through a mouthful of sandwich.

“You know, if you would have went to the grocery store, instead of insisting on going to Lowe’s this morning with me, we’d already be done with all the running.” Jack said, giving Gavin a LOOK from across the counter.

“Well, that would hardly be fair!  You get to go to Lowe’s and I get sent to the grocery store.  You know I LIKE going there too.  They might have gotten some new stuff in.”  Gavin gave Jack a LOOK back.

“It takes forever to get you out of there. And we are NOT  buying that bathtub.  And the very next time you sit in it and refuse to move until I buy it for you...." Jack pointed his fork at Gavin, "Well...I've already told you what would happen if you ever pull that stunt again."

"In detail!"  Gavin squirmed on his stool.  "I was only joking...kind of."

Jack gave Gavin a wry smile.  "I know you how you are when you decide you WANT something.  The master bath is already finished and even if THAT bathtub would have been in stock when we were shopping for one, it’s too big and heavy.  We’d would have never been able to get it up the stairs.”

“It’s not a bathtub, Jack.  It’s a HOT tub! A really cool one!  I was thinking we could close in the back porch, see.  Make it into sort of a hot tub room.”  Gavin smiled at Jack.  He hadn’t mentioned his plans for this new addition before, but it was something he had been thinking about for awhile.  Ever since the first time he had seen that tub.  He and that tub were MEANT to be together. It was destiny.

Jack laughed as he picked up his dishes and headed for the sink..  “Oh, when did you plan on us building this addition?  Is this before or after we finish the third floor of the house.”

Gavin just kept smiling.  He knew he would eventually get that room and THAT  bathtub. 

“Someday.  Just.. someday.”

Jack finished putting the dishes in the dishwasher and headed for the den.  “Patrick  left a message on the machine while we were out before. I’m going to give him a call back.”

“I’m going to the store now.  I’ll be back as quick as I can.”  Gavin picked up his plate up and headed for the sink.  He rinsed off his dishes and put them in the dishwasher.

He took the list of stuff they needed off the fridge, then he grabbed his coat out of the closet.  When he got into his car, he began his usual car rituals. 

Seatbelt first.  He didn’t really think about it.  Putting on his seatbelt was an automatic thing. NOW.  It felt kind of funny.. if he didn’t have it on.  Of course, that wasn’t always the case. Jack had kind of changed his views on the whole seatbelt thing. No, it hadn’t taken long for Gavin to learn that wearing your seatbelt was not only an Ohio law, but a Jack Ryan law as well.

After starting the ignition, Gavin began fiddling with the radio dial. Not finding anything but the news on all of his favorite stations, he looked through his CD collection.  At the same time he let his foot off the brake and pressed the gas pedal lightly, slowly backing out of the garage. 

He decided he was in the mood for a little Faith.  Gavin hated country music, but Faith was a secret favorite of his.  He had purchased her CD a couple of weeks ago and... kept it HIDDEN in his car.  He didn’t want anyone to KNOW he listened to...COUNTRY MUSIC!   Jack loved country music though...so Gavin was FORCED to listen to it.  JUST because he knew EVERY word to EVERY song on EVERY country music station and that he sang along to EVERY single song. LOUDLY..... well, THAT didn’t mean he LIKED it!  How embarrassing!

He put the CD in and pushed the button to the number of his favorite song. After he pulled out of the garage he pushed the button to close the door.  He started singing .. “I LOVE THE WAY YOU LOVE THE WAY YOU LOVE ME”... loudly, drowning out the diva’s voice coming through the speakers. 

Just as he was really getting into the song, there was a loud CRUNCHING sound and his little car jerked to a halt.  Gavin groaned and shut his eyes.  He took a deep breath and looked up and into his rearview mirror.  The same rearview mirror that he SHOULD have looked into BEFORE backing out of the garage.

Not liking what he saw in that mirror, AT ALL, Gavin closed his eyes again.  OH GOD!  Maybe when he opened his eyes, that big black SUV would be gone.

This was ALL Faith's fault!

He opened his eyes again,  slowly,  and took another look into the mirror. He groaned again.  Louder.  Leaning his head against the steering wheel, Gavin started thinking about those countries without airports.

When they had returned from there trip to Lowe’s that morning, Gavin had parked Jack’s SUV across the driveway.  It had made it easier to unload the lawn supplies they had purchased.  He had completely forgotten about that after they had went inside the house for lunch.

Lifting his head from the steering wheel, Gavin spotted Jack standing on the front porch with his arms crossed.  He wasn’t wearing a coat and even from this distance, Gavin could see the muscles flexing under his shirt.

Gavin gave a sigh of defeat.  He knew there would be no time, AT ALL, to work up a good “getting out of the country fast” plan. From the look on Jack’s face, now might be a good time to work on his “funeral plan”.

When Gavin saw that Jack was starting down the front porch steps, he did the only thing any SANE man would do under the circumstances.

He locked his doors.

Locking the doors proabably wasn't a very smart thing to do and would probably cause him a little bit more trouble in the end.  But from look on Jack’s face, he was more worried about the “right this minute” of this situation, rather than how much trouble a couple of locked doors would cause...later.

When Jack reached the car, he rapped on Gavin’s window.  Gavin gave Jack a sick little smile and pushed the button, rolling down the window about 6 inches.  He decided that was WAY too much space and rolled it back up about 3 inches. 

“Gavin, get out of the car.  I’m in no mood for games right now.”  Jack said, leaning his arm on the roof of Gavin’s little car.

“I really think we should talk about this a little bit first.  Don’t you think?”  Gavin lifted his head up so he could be heard through the three inches of open window.

“No! I don’t think!” Jack rapped on the car roof. “It all seems pretty self explanatory, Gavin.”

“Jaack, this MUST be what my dream was about.  Your car WAS in an accident, you see. It DID come true.”  Gavin blinked into the window crack.

“If I could have talked with Miss Cleo, she probably could have warned me about all of this. Maybe we could have changed destiny.”

Jack eyes narrowed and he crossed his arms.  “Out of the car! Now!

Gavin cringed at Jack’s tone.  Apparently he should have left out the Miss Cleo part of his explanation. He unlocked the car door. Jack opened it as soon as the lock clicked, then leaned against the door, waiting for Gavin to slide out.

Gavin slowly climbed out of his seat.  He was careful to keep his backside close to the car and out of reach, in case Jack had an uncontrollable urge to start swinging at it.  Right out here in the open, where ANYONE could see. He glanced back to check the damage to both vehicles.  He couldn’t see what his own bumper looked like, but he was pretty sure he would find it a little...crunched. From where he was standing it looked like the passenger door to Jack’s SUV was a little... crunched as well.

Jack shut the door, then crossed his arms again.  “Gavin, I don’t know WHAT  Miss Cleo could have told you, that *I* haven’t already told you, over and over again. And I can promise you, *I* don’t  have ANY special powers.   It doesn’t take a clairvoyant to tell you what will happen if you back a car out without LOOKING in the rearview mirror. Those mirrors are put in every car for THAT very purpose. One of these days you’re going to back over one of the neighborhood kids, if you don’t start paying attention.”

Gavin hadn’t really believed the Miss Cleo defense would be any help at all.  He tried a different approach. 

“I know..but Jaack, ... I DID have that dream.  It was  .....*destiny*! There’s NOT a whole lot a man can do about something, if it’s already.... written in the stars!”  Gavin held his palms out.  It ALL made perfect sense.


Jack nodded his head.  As good as the whole destiny defense sounded to him,  Gavin didn’t really think Jack’s nod was one of agreement. 

“Gavin, I’m going to get the cars sorted out.  Make the proper phone calls and see what all needs to be done.”  Jack uncrossed his arms and rubbed his chin.  “In the meantime, I think it might be best if you found a corner to stand in.”

Gavin slid his butt down the length of his car with every intention of finding a corner. Fast!  When he reached the end of the car he walked backwards towards the house.

Jack turned his head and called out to him.  “Gav, if you’re thinking of placing a call to Miss Cleo, just to see how all of this is going to end,.... well, I don’t think you should waste your time.  I may not have any of those special *gifts*, but if you have any doubts about what your.. destiny.. is going to be, I’m sure I can make everything perfectly clear.”

Gavin shook his head as he backed into the garage.  “Oh, I don’t have any.... doubts. I can pretty much...figure it out.”

“Amazing!  We must BOTH be....clairvoyant!” Jack called out to Gavin, just as he disappeared into the house.
_________________________________________

Even though Gavin had felt like he had been standing in his corner FOREVER,when he heard Jack’s footsteps on the stairs, he decided it wasn’t NEARLY long enough.

“Come here, Gav.”  Jack called to Gavin as he took a seat on the couch.

Gavin reluctantly turned around from the corner.  He decided it would be best to start pleading for mercy right away.  All of his other lines of defense didn’t seem to be doing him any good.  He didn’t figure it would work, it NEVER did, but he lived in hope that....maybe onetime it COULD work. 

“Jaack, I’m really sorry.  I stood in that corner....forever.  I had PLENTY of time to ....well, think about all of this and I’ve decided... you were right all along.  I PROMISE...I’ll look in that rearview mirror.. from now on.”

“Come here, Gav.” 

“But Jack....I said I was sorry.” Gavin pleaded some more as he took a little step forward.

“Hurry up and get over here.”

“But Jaack...” Gavin’s eyes widened when Jack made a move to get up from the couch.  “I’m coming! I’m coming!”

Gavin made short work of the space between himself and where Jack was sitting. Jack pulled him between his legs and without saying a word, he began unbuckling and unsnapping Gavin’s jeans.

“Jack, I really am sorry. I promise...I won’t ever do it again.”  Gavin tried once more as his jeans and shorts were pushed down to his knees.

Jack pulled him forward and over until Gavin  was lying in that all too familiar horizontal position.

“I know you’re sorry.  You were sorry the last time, but apparently you need a little help so you’ll remember....every time you get into a car...to use you’re rearview mirror.”  Jack’s lifted his hand up...high, then brought it down fast. “This seems to be the only thing that works in helping your memory.”

“OW...I said I was...OW...sorry!”  Gavin squirmed, sure that he didn’t need anymore help in the memory department.  “I’ll... remem..BER!

Jack didn’t pause once. “I know you’re going to remember. I’m going to make sure of it!”

Gavin was sure the directions on how to properly use a rearview mirror were being typeset and printed on  his ass. Permanently!  If he ever needed a refresher course, all he would need to do was pull down his pants.  He could use a rearview mirror to read them.  He could sell pictures of it to driving instructors....all across the country.

“Thats...enough! Please!”  Gavin was howling and kicking, trying to cover his butt with his hand.   Jack didn't think it was enough, however.  He just grabbed Gavin's hand and held it to the small of his back, while continuing to set his ass on fire with his other free hand.

Fate or destiny or whatever you wanted to call IT, Gavin was quite sure that there would be OTHER reasons...MANY reasons, why he would eventually be back in this position again in the future.   But Jack had already convinced him that it would NEVER be for NOT looking in his rearview mirror again. 

Jack might not be a clairvoyant, but he did certainly have a *gift* for convincing Gavin.. that he was the one in charge of his own destiny.
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"I don't see why I can't rent a car too." Gavin pouted over his leftovers.  "You already spanked me for this. It's just not fair that you're going to keep on punishing me for the same...crime."

"Gavin, I warned you what would happen. I told you I was going to add driving you back and forth to work to the list of things I would do to you.... if you didn't use your mirror.  Did you think I was kidding?" Jack took a bite of broccoli and washed it down with his milk.  "The cars will be in the repair shop for at least a week.  You can just practice backing out of the garage with the rental.  But..THAT.. will be the ONLY driving you're going to be doing."

"Well, I don't like it. Not one bit!"  Gavin crossed his arms over his chest and squirmed in his chair.  He'd already learned his lesson.

"You don't have to LIKE it."  Jack wiped his mouth with his napkin in order to hide the grin that was starting to appear. 

"But for the next week or so, we’ll just think of it as your....destiny."

Seeing the look on Gavin's face, Jack couldn't hold back any longer.  He burst out laughing.

"Just WHAT are laughing at?" Gavin complained, giving Jack a scowl.

"You're..really starting to HATE that word, aren't you?" Jack's shoulders were shaking, the laughter rumbled from his chest.

Gavin's lips twitched.  "YES! I'm striking it from my vocabulary."

"Is that a promise?"

Gavin picked up a broccoli tree and aimed.
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