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#1 Sawyer Cooden

Sawyer Cooden

Posted 17 June 2016 - 12:11 AM

Sawyer always looked forward to dinners with the rest of his Cooden family, never dreading it, never feeling anxious about what they'd do or say. Despite the occasional argument, he always felt fulfilled in leaving, always excited to see them again in another week. Not that they all showed up every week-- he wished that was the case but knew it was likely impossible to achieve such a thing. Still, the variance each time made their dynamic unpredictable, fresh every time.

 

It wasn't as fantastic as a holiday. It wasn't as great as having them all in one place at once, bantering and smiling and attempting to ignore any internal drama they had with one another. But it was still something, a way for him to cling onto the bond he adored to have with them, a way to avoid growing up in so many words. He could only hope they appreciated him just as much. He could never love him less than he already did.

 

On this particular day he was meeting some of his brothers-- minus the middle brother, who was preoccupied with other things-- so he was quite excited to have a little "guy time." Despite his suggestion to meet at the arcade, it was apparently easier to meet at the diner; not everyone had enough time to play video games all night. It sorta sucked.

 

Yet he was happy nonetheless. He settled into a booth and waited for the others, ordering the appetizers they'd love ahead of time as well as the drinks he knew they'd likely want. When they arrived there would be a full spread waiting for them, already welcoming.



#2 Garrett Cooden

Garrett Cooden

Posted 17 June 2016 - 12:32 AM

Garett attended family-dinner night... fairly often. Often enough, at least. For the most part he was there everytime the bell was rang, everytime he was asked, but he couldn't deny avoiding the ordeal entirely when his youngest sister was involved. He liked her, sure, loved her even, but it was trying, tiring to cater to her requests and even more so to deny her. It was just an exhausting experience all around and he felt much better avoiding it than anything else. This, though, this was different. Easier. Better. He got along with all of his brothers. Well, actually. Sure, sometimes they were annoying, sometimes they were trying, too, but for the most part it was all easily digestible. And entertaining.

He took the most pleasure in the entertaining aspect. It was all too fun to drop little bombs around and wait for them to metaphorically explode. Setting Trevor's sights on Brandon (as if that needed any help) was the most fun, though it was always amusing to mess around with Sawyer, too. Hell, he even enjoyed poking at their middle brother, but that wasn't too applicable this time around as he had some other plans. Too bad because he really did enjoy these gatherings, especially if attendance was all around full on the brother font.. He enjoyed his family loads whether he wanted to admit it or not.

He strode in late as always, staggering in behind some ridiculously giggly couple, sunglasses pulled over his eyes despite the pitch black darkness outside. He spotted Sawyer immediately, noting the food and drinks immediately. And of course, in true Garrett nature, he slid into the booth and dove right in, not even sparing a second to give Sawyer any kind of hello. That was just how he worked, though. Selfishly, for the most part, as he was, at his core, extremely and totally self-centered.

Eventually he did manage a small wave, though, his eyebrows lifting over his glasses as he shoved another potato skin into his mouth. "I bet the doublemint twins? Fuckin' shocking. Usually Brandon's here before even you are,' he finally said, his mouth still a little greasy from his momentary pigout. Brandon was the adoring, endearing type -- lovey dovey and affectionate and all too happy about his family. Garrett figured he'd be here three hours later just at the mention of family dinner.

He wasn't surprised that Trevor was late, though. Trevor was a little... less enthusiastic about these things. Or, well, it always seemed like that, anyway. Garrett really didn't know for sure about that, but he also never really cared to ask, either... "How long you been waiting?"

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#3 Trevor Cooden

Trevor Cooden

Posted 18 June 2016 - 12:23 AM

Trevor seemed to appear out of nowhere, grabbing a chair from an empty table he had passed by and dragging it with him so that he didn't have to slide into the booth. Booths were never his thing, especially not during family dinners. They were hard to get in or out of, awkward to sit at, and never went well with Trevor's fight and flight mechanism that he usually brought to any conversation. Thankfully, it didn't seem like most of the family was there yet and he couldn't help but hope that he would be the last to show. 

 

"Brad is going to be late. According to anonymous tip, the soccer team's locker room was broken into last night. It's false but -" Trevor shot a shrug at Sawyer before searching the table for the mozzarella sticks and pulling them to the space in front of him. Had it been rude for him to anonymously call the front office and report a fake break in just to delay his twin brother from making it to the diner before him? Maybe. Yet, Trevor couldn't find it in himself to really give too much of a shit. He wanted a few minutes to prepare for the oncoming onslaught of being ignored whenever his sports superstar brother was around.

 

"Garrett." he said, nodding a hello in his brother's direction. There sat another reason why it was just better if Brad showed up later than him. Garrett always knew how to pit him against his twin - it was like he had a sixth sense for easily pressable buttons. "Haven't seen you at the last few family get-togethers. Too important for us?" 



#4 Sawyer Cooden

Sawyer Cooden

Posted 18 June 2016 - 12:44 AM

"Not too long. I've gotten a pretty good idea of how long it takes you assholes to show up," Sawyer said with a playful smile and a shrug of his shoulders. For a moment he wondered if it would be just the two of them-- until he glanced up and saw Trevor heading their way, in which case he gave a big smile and wave.

 

Sometimes he forgot that Trevor and Brad were twins at all. Sure, they looked exactly alike physically, but in application it was very different. They had different gaits, different demeanors; even from the corner of his eye Sawyer could tell them immediately apart based on that alone. Their voices were even drastically different, easy to tell apart in the old days when he used to call the Cooden landline while he was in college. All the siblings would answer and talk to him at once. Those were his favorite times.

 

"Fair enough," Sawyer said, not quite putting two and two together to understand how Trevor would know it to be false. He just shrugged it off, hoping Brad would be there soon enough regardless. And as he took in another breath to ask Trevor how school was going, he was interrupted by his brother's quip at Garrett.

 

"Aw, c'mon. He's better at showing up than Levi. I haven't seen that guy since-- well, when was the last holiday get together?"



#5 Garrett Cooden

Garrett Cooden

Posted 18 June 2016 - 02:33 AM

He hadn't even seen Trevor come in, though to be fair, that level of attention didn't usually come so easily to Garrett. That would require situational awareness and, well, a level of narcissism slightly less drastic than his own. He loved his brothers, loved them dearly, but he was also ridiculously and totally self-centered. Horribly so. He couldn't help but focus on himself more than the others with that in mind. And could anyone really blame him? He was Garrett Cooden! He was... well, he was hilarious, a bit of a pranking master, really. It was no wonder they all loved him so.

He snorted at Trevor's comment immediately, shoveling another handful of potato skins in his mouth as he rolled his eyes behind the dark sheen of his glasses. "I showed up the time before last, fuck you very much, and the time before that. I was just busy last time." His business hadn't come with a good excuse at all, though; he'd had a date, a last minute type thing. He'd planned to come to the dinner and had even agreed to it before he completely blew it off thanks to the date. He could imagine that everyone was a little sore about that. But then again, why would they be? These dinners were a regular thing and everyone had cancelled at least once or twice. Get over it, right?

"Last Christmas. Didn't even show up for Easter." He didn't care, mind you, but it would keep the accusatory limelight off of him so -- oops, sorry Levi! "And he didn't show up to the last two dinners either. So yeah. Throw that shit in reverse and park it elsewhere, kiddo." Still, he couldn't help but be a little miffed about how quickly that had been thrown into his face. He made an attempt to come to these damn things regularly and he didn't appreciate the implication that he rarely showed up.

So he turned his lazers to stun and focused on Trevor, finally stopping the vacuum that was his mouth as he pushed away his personal plate of appetizers. "Didn't want Brandon to make it before you, huh? Kinda severe, calling in and reporting in a false break-in." He was smirking a little too severely, still obviously irked by that 'too important' quip earlier. "You know you probably caused the damn kid to have a heart attack." How had Sawyer even missed the connection between point a and point b in this conversation? Was he just that oblivious?

Ridiculous.

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#6 Trevor Cooden

Trevor Cooden

Posted 20 June 2016 - 03:11 AM

And so it begins.

 

"Just busy. Right. You realize I'm taking advanced courses and I still make it to every disgustingly boring dinner with you fucks." Trevor cast Sawyer an innocent smile, as if to say 'not you, big bro', because Sawyer truly was the only sibling that Trevor hadn't gone through a phase of hating. His older brother had just always been the one that listened to him, that congratulated him on his graduations and achievements when everyone else was gushing over Bradley's new soccer trophy or new career best. Sure, they paid attention but never in the way that Sawyer did. Trevor couldn't find a genuine ear in the house aside from Sawyer.

 

Trevor shrugged through Garrett's accusation. It was all true and - yes, his actions were extremely petty, but Trevor couldn't find himself to regret them. His brother had a perfect life with a perfect circle of friends and a perfect family to be proud of him, so it probably didn't bother him too much when he set his brother back a few hours like this. "If you're trying to guilt me, you'll need to do better than a fucking heart attack, Garrett. Jesus fuck, really? A heart attack?" Trevor rolled his eyes and shoved another mozzerella stick in his mouth. 



#7 Sawyer Cooden

Sawyer Cooden

Posted 21 June 2016 - 03:40 AM

Of course things had to be dramatic. Not everyone enjoyed a simple, wholesome family dinner like he did. He tried to keep that in mind-- that each of his siblings bonded in different ways-- but he felt a sort of anxiety climbing up his back anyway. It was simply in Sawyer's nature to be a peacemaker, to desire to fix every negative emotion around him. So he put himself to work now, shaking his head at just about every comment his siblings made back and forth at one another.

 

"I didn't order all this food for you guys to be so hostile to one another," he said, raising his eyebrows, though they both likely knew he'd still pay for the damn dinner regardless of how much fighting took place. He frowned at Trevor over the "boring" comment, though otherwise tried not to take it too personally. (Which Sawyer wasn't terribly good at doing, mind you.)

 

"I'll pay for a round of drinks if you guys can keep things somewhat civil." There. Incentive. Maybe that'd work.



#8 Garrett Cooden

Garrett Cooden

Posted 23 June 2016 - 11:28 PM

The offer of drinks was nice incentive, but honestly, it wouldn't stop things from escalating. It might hinder it for a second if only because goddamn did he want that free drink, but once that was acquired it wouldn't really stop him at all. If anything, alcohol would make things worse. He was a belligerent drinker. Sawyer knew this. Sawyer had experienced and even escalated it firsthand more times than any of them could even count. But Sawyer was just that godawful optimistic and trusting and naive and damn, he really thought that things would settle down again. Poor guy.

Still, Garrett rolled his eyes regardless, huffing under his breath as he slapped his back against the booth hard while shifting, sinking into the seat and crossing his arms like a petulent child. "Oh, right, I forgot, you and your advanced classes. How could I ever think that anything could ever be as busying as being a suck-up nerd-ass little brat." Absently he picked at a piece of fuzz on his pants, tilting his gaze sideways and staring at Trevor with the most cutting glance he could, smirking maliciously all the while. "Some of us have social lives, kiddo. Ain't just books and shit, you know."

That was it, though, that was enough, he was going to be good for the sake of alcohol because he probably needed the shit just to get through this little bitchfest. He even managed to not make a snarky remark at Trevor's know-it-all rebuttal. Instead he turned his attention to Sawyer, flashed a grin, and popped another potato skin in his mouth. "You know what kinda drink I like."

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