Summary: This is a compilation of ten private conversations between Adam and Hoss Cartwright from childhood through adulthood showing facets of their brotherhood. (They were written separately as responses to various challenges and prompts.)
Rating: PG (references to adult themes) Word Count: 4,520
Eavesdropping on Two Brothers
The five-year-old stopped with his hand on the door knob. His eleven-year-old brother walked up behind him and pulled his hand back to his side.
“You can’t go in there!’ Adam hissed into his brother’s ear.
“Because the door’s shut.”
“I knows it’s shut, Adam, but I’s big enough to open it.” The little boy’s voice held a puzzled exasperation.
Adam’s tone was one of condescending frustration. “You may be big enough, but you can’t open that door anymore, not when it’s closed.”
“Why not? Why can’t I open it; I done opened it lots of times.”
“That was before. Now you can’t.”
“Before what?” Hoss could not imagine what might have occurred that would prevent him from opening the door to a room he had always entered at will.
“Before Pa married that woman.”
“Our new ma?”
“She’s Pa’s wife not our ma, but now that she is that is her room too.”
“And I can’t go in.”
“Not if the door is closed.” Adam stated with completed assurance.
Hoss heaved a sigh. “Why not?”
“Because when married folk close the door to their bedroom, other folks can’t go in. Married folk don’t want to be disturbed in their bedroom.”
“I would be dis-ur bing?” Hoss’s brow became furrowed.
“You sure, Adam?”
“ I’m sure, and you know Pa gets mad when he’s disturbed, so don’t even think about opening that door.”
“I don’t want Pa to be mad.” Hoss declared and shifted from one foot to another.
Adam placed a hand on his little brother’s shoulder and turned him away from the door. “Come on. I’ll help you get dressed. You can’t go and watch Pa shave anymore.”
“But . . .”
“No buts, little brother, unless you want Pa to wallop yours. She’s here now, and you can’t do things like we used to anymore. Just remember not to open that door unless Pa calls and tells you too. Okay?”
Hoss sighed again. “Okay.” He glanced back over his shoulder at the door to his pa’s bedroom. He sniffed just once before obediently following his brother.
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