Eavesdropping on Two Brothers (by DJK)

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.

“Why not?”

“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.”

“No more?”

“Nope. “

“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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16 thoughts on “Eavesdropping on Two Brothers (by DJK)”

  1. Such a fun collection of vignettes, exploring a relationship often neglected in fanfic. I love the way you end each one, especially #5: “Hoss was not even a little rusty at being his confidant” and #6, when Hoss points out the “better insult” he could have pinned on his big brother. That one was a hoot.

    1. Sorry illness has kept me from responding promptly. Thank you so much for letting me know you enjoyed them and even more for telling me something specific about what you liked. DJK :>)

  2. I thought I hadn’t missed a DJK story, so I was happy to find in between this stories two I didn’t know before. Thank you!

    But my favorite story is an older one, I love the “Eagle” story. Hoss’s logic is perfect, and I’m always touched how Adam defends his love to Inger without seeing Hoss’s clue coming.

    1. I’m glad you found something new to enjoy. I appreciate you telling me which of these little bits you enjoyed most. The fact that you have read so much of my work is such an encouraging compliment. Many, many thanks! DJK :>)

  3. These were wonderfully done. I love the little glimpses and especially how their relationship changed over time.

  4. Wonderful to feel Hoss and Adam growing up together in this collage; each little snippet reinforces how well Hoss understood Adam, and how much Adam trusted Hoss. Thank you so much!

    1. Hoss and Adam had a very special relationship. Thank you for letting me know that you felt I did it justice! DJK :>)

  5. A wonderful compilation! I especially loved little Hoss peppering his brother with question after question. A great peek into their relationship.

    1. Thank you very much for responding and especially for letting me know something specific you enjoyed. I appreciate it so much! DJK :>)

  6. It’s wonderful to have these little glimpses into such a special relationship. Those two will always be there for each other no matter how old they get. I loved them all but I think 5 and 8 were my most favorite.

    1. Thank you so much for letting me know you enjoyed this group of stories and the relationship portrayed. I especially appreciate your telling me your favorites. DJK :>)

  7. These were great! I love the relationship between Adam and Hoss, and I think sometimes it is overlooked how similar they are in some ways. These little stories really brought home how long these two have lived and played and worked things out together — definitely a unique relationship among the Cartwrights. Thanks for writing!

    1. Thank you so much for your response! I,too,enjoy exploring the relationship between Adam and Hoss which doesn’t get as much attention as Adam and Joe’s relationship. DJK :>)

  8. A wonderful look at the brothers’ relationship through the years. I remember a few of the vignettes, but others were new to me. Great way to begin the morning.

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