Home Sweet Home (Rumlow X Reader) Chapter Twentysix

Chapter Twentysix – Mr. Red, White & Blue

Rollin’s family Lake House 

Inside your dad’s expansive Texas lake house, the inviting front porch greets you with its rustic wooden beams, evoking a sense of nostalgia. As you step inside, the spacious open-concept living area unfolds before you, with natural light streaming in through the large windows, which span from floor to ceiling. The decor oozes a modern and minimalist vibe, characterized by neutral tones that create an effortlessly soothing atmosphere.

The kitchen, is a haven for culinary enthusiasts, with top-of-the-line appliances and a large island, perfect for preparing family meals. Each of the multiple bedrooms is meticulously designed and includes its own private bathroom, ensuring the utmost comfort and convenience.

Venturing out to the rear of the house, you’ll find a splendid patio that stretches towards the tranquil lake. The property is cocooned by majestic trees, enveloping it in an aura of seclusion and serenity. It’s the ideal retreat to escape the relentless hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Brock sits at the crooked picnic table, part his doing and part the result of the whiskey Jack had kept pouring for them that day several years ago. He reflects on that day, you were just a little girl, running around in the field next to the house, chasing butterflies while he and Jack stumbled their way through the building of picnic tables. 

He sighs, taking a slow sip of the beer warming in his hand. Brock has come to terms with the fact that he watched you grow from the pigtailed child into the woman he loves. However, what he hasn’t come to terms with is sleeping with his best friend’s little girl because, truth be told, no matter how old you get, you will always be Jack’s baby girl.

-Brock, honey, how are you?

Lillian Rollins asks, briefly startling Brock. She leans in for a quick hug and a kiss on the cheek before settling down beside him, her back against the table.…

-Oh, I’m here, the shop’s running me ragged most days.

He chuckles. 

-How about yourself?

He asks, taking another small sip of his drink.

-Trying to keep busy and keep that one out of trouble.

She says, nodding in toward the direction of Peter. Brock laughs, acknowledging that she must be a very busy woman.

The sound of joyous laughter draws Brock’s attention. He looks over and sees you playfully swatting at Jack, who’s armed with a handful of ice. A smile graces Brock’s face as he watches you wipe the back of your neck, where your dad likely slid a piece of ice.

-She gets prettier every time I see her.

Lillian says, smiling as she observes with him.

– Yeah.

Brock breathes, then quickly clears his throat. 

-Thank goodness she looks like her mother.

He adds with a weak chuckle. Lillian laughs in agreement.

A comfortable silence settles between them as a warm summer breeze lazily drifts around.

-I don’t think I ever thanked you, Brock.

Lillian says, placing her hand over his, which holds the beer bottle. 

-You’ve been the only constant in Jack’s life. You looked out for him over there, and it came at a great cost to yourself.

Lillian gives his hand a gentle squeeze. Brock finds himself at a loss for words.

-You made sure my baby could come home and meet his baby. And for that, I am beyond grateful.

Tears glisten in her eyes, but she chuckles lightly as she wipes them away.

-You don’t need to thank me. Jack is… he’s my brother. I know he’d do the same for me. If anyone is grateful, it’s me.

Brock finally says, his voice feeling raw and rough like it’s dragging over sandpaper.

Amidst the lively sounds of chatter and laughter, a warm smile graces your lips as you observe your family and friends gathered together. You begin the task of collecting the now-empty dishes, bringing them inside the lake house.

In the kitchen, you navigate with ease, even though it’s been years since your last visit. Memories come rushing back – of sprinting through the house in your swimsuit with a towel wrapped around you, competing with Molly and Jess for the bathroom, all in an effort not to freeze. Your smile widens as you realize how many cherished memories this Texas house holds.

As you scrape the plates into the sink’s garbage disposal, giving them a quick rinse, thoughts of your mom begin to fill your mind. The events from New York start to creep up your spine, causing an involuntary shudder. You attempt to push these memories away, but they persist, urging you to retreat or drown them out with loud music. However, you understand that these memories won’t simply vanish. Taking a deep breath to regain your composure, you retreat to the safety of that back corner of your mind. Your movements become almost robotic as you load the dishwasher.

After finishing up in the kitchen, you grab a couple of bottles of champagne from the refrigerator. The ice buckets outside appear to be empty, so you head back outside with the hope that a glass or two might help drown out the voices in your head.

If only you could hold Brock’s hand, or cuddle up with him and be surrounded by his warmth, his scent. He could keep you safe, Chase away the demons. 

Stepping out of the back door, you’re immediately greeted by a wave of muggy heat. Glancing at the clock hanging outside, it’s nearly 4 pm, and you silently wish for the sun to set and take some of the overpowering heat with it. You make your way to the drinks table and nestle one of the champagne bottles into the refreshing ice bucket.

The other bottle is held at arm’s length as you hesitate to open it, knowing how champagne corks can unpredictably spring to life. You remember an article about a bird being struck out of the sky by a champagne cork once, and the thought of it happening here troubles you. As you gingerly coax the cork, it gives way, and with a sudden “POP,” you let out a startled squeak, momentarily transported back to New York. The bottle slips from your grasp, crashing to the ground in a clamor of shattered glass. 

Brock startles at the sudden crash, his muscles tensing as he instinctively clenches his fists. 

This can’t be happening, not now, he thinks to himself. He forces a series of steady breaths, struggling to regain composure.

No… no… no, not here, not now, panic starts creeping up, gradually engulfing him. 

– Shit!

You mutter, urgently searching for something to clean up the mess. In your haste, you collide with your father, a solid wall of muscle. Jack steadies you with gentle hands on your shoulders, brows knitted with concern. He then glances down at the shattered bottle.

– Sweetheart, you’ve had enough. I’ll take care of this. Go enjoy some time with your friends, okay?

He says affectionately.

-Yeah, okay. Thanks, Dad. 

Relieved, you nod and obey your father’s advice. 

Brock takes a shaky breath and gazes down at his feet; his brown ankle boots transform into worn, dusty combat boots. The ground beneath him shifts to sand, and he clenches his eyes shut, forcing himself to breathe. Gradually, he opens his eyes, hoping it’s merely a trick of his mind, something he can shake off. The sky overhead is a brilliant blue, the blistering sun beating down upon him. The sharp, high-pitched whizz of bullets fills the air.


Someone shouts.

The loud whooshing sound sends Brock tumbling hard onto his belly as he instinctively covers his head. The explosion rocks the ground beneath him. Slowly, he raises his head, watching as debris falls from the sky, showering them with sand and rocks. Chaos reigns all around, with soldiers screaming in pain, guns firing, and orders being shouted amidst the commotion.

Brock struggles to regain control over his breathing. He yearns to escape this memory, well aware of where he actually is. He desperately recalls breathing exercises and Jillian’s words, but it’s all to no avail. He needs to break free from this moment, find a quiet place to calm down and be alone. 

James hums appreciatively with a mouth full of food, possibly his third plate, though that detail hardly matters. Molly sits across from him at the picnic table, with Jess beside her, their gazes not so much focused on James’s eating habits as they are on deciphering where he stows away all that food. It’s evident that James is no stranger to the gym.

-Seriously, this food is amazing. I’d hire you as my personal chef… If I had the money

James mumbles between bites to Molly.

Blushing slightly, Molly tucks a loose strand of hair behind her ear. Before she can respond, Jess chimes in with her characteristic boldness.

-Oh, I’m sure Molly would be willing to accept a different form of payment.

Jess teases, waggling her eyebrows playfully and taking a small sip of champagne.

-If you catch my drift.

She adds, grinning impishly. 

-Jess, even a ten-year-old would get what you mean.

You interject, chuckling as you take a seat next to her. 

-Yeah, I know… I guess subtlety’s not my strong suit.

Jess admits, frowning slightly at herself and then taking another small sip of champagne, making a face at the taste.

Molly, curious, leans in, asking Jess.

-Why do you keep drinking that if you don’t like it? 

She then glances around and lowers her voice, catching James’s attention. 

-And I thought we’d lost you. You know you don’t have to impress Brock, right? He’s already yours.

James glances at the three of you from across the table, carefully chewing his food before swallowing. 

-You two know… I mean, about?

He asks.

-About YN and Brock? Of course, we know.

Jess responds, slightly offended by the notion that your two best friends wouldn’t be aware.

-Wait a minute, HE knows?

Jess continues, looking at you with a raised brow. You nod in confirmation.

-Yeah, it’s… a long story

You begin, but James, true to form, cuts you off.

-Nah, it’s not really. 

He smirks, his confidence now amplified by the alcohol.

-Oh, do tell.

Jess says, her eyes widening as she leans in, a teasing smile on her lips.

James raises a brow. 

-Snap! You walked in on them, didn’t you?

Jess exclaims excitedly, almost too loudly.

-That I did.

James answers, flashing you a knowing, teasing grin.

-Damn, I’m so jealous. I want to do that!

Jess playfully whines, snapping her fingers and crossing her arms, pouting a little. James lets out a startled laugh.

-Nah… you really don’t. You might think that seeing another man’s naked butt won’t bother you because you’ve watched porn.

James reflects, squinting as he continues to speak. 

-But it does… it really does.

He shudders at the memory. Molly and Jess burst into uncontrollable laughter, and you can’t help but scowl at James, though there’s no actual malice behind it.

You suddenly realize that Brock is nowhere to be found. You scan the backyard, all the way down to the lake. But Brock is gone. Could he have left already? Without telling you anything? No, that can’t be it. He wouldn’t do that. 

You excuse yourself to Molly, Jess and James, before you round the corner and look around the spacious parking space in front of the house. Now filled with various vehicles. And Brock’s truck is still there, so he obviously didn’t leave. Did something happen? You know that Veterans sometimes struggled with this particular day. That was the reason you always celebrated the 4th out here. Away from the fireworks and all that. It could be a trigger, you knew that. But you can’t remember anyone that’s had an experience like that at ANY of these parties. This place has always been a safe haven for Brock and your dad. They even came out here alone, if they needed time away. 

– Brock?

You glance around until you spot him just around the corner. He looks deeply troubled, almost frightened. Seated in a patio chair, he’s hunched over, face buried in his hands, and his shoulders tremble. The weather couldn’t be more different; it’s a scorching 96°F and sunny.

Is this a panic attack? You’ve never witnessed one before; your dad usually left the room when it happened. You’ve read about them, but seeing it unfold in real-time is entirely different.

You kneel in front of him, adjusting your dress before reaching out, hesitating. 

-Brock… it’s me, it’s YN

You say softly. 

-Can I touch you?

Brock doesn’t respond, but you can hear him take a shaky breath as you place your hands on his shoulders. His muscles are tense, and your heart aches for him.

– Oh, Brock…

You whisper, your heart breaking. Brock starts mumbling words you can’t quite make out as he rocks back and forth.

– I can’t do this… I can’t do this… I can’t do this..

He chants into his hands, his breathing erratic, as if he can’t slow it down.

You realize he’s on the verge of hyperventilating. Suddenly, his head jerks up, eyes darting around as if searching for something, even though nothing is there. The sounds from the festivities are muffled here.

– I… I can’t do this!

Brock repeats, like a mantra, each word accompanied by a head-bang against the wall. Your heart breaks further as you brainstorm ways to help him. Then an idea comes to you.

You gently slide your hands down his arms in a calming manner, taking one of his trembling hands and placing it over your heart. 


You say, a bit louder. 

-Can you look at me, please?

Your voice trembles, tears welling in your eyes. Brock attempts to look at you, but his gaze keeps flickering to the front yard. His breath remains frantic.

– Can you breathe with me, Brock? Please…

You continue, taking a deep breath to model slowing down his breathing. He head-bangs again.

Tears start to flow, and for a moment, you consider seeking help. But you don’t want anyone else to witness his vulnerability. There must be a reason he came out here alone. You sense his tension, as if he might bolt at any moment.

Think, YN! Think, dammit! Finally, your brain kicks into gear. 

-Brock, can you look at me?

-You ask.

Feeling like a broken record, but it’s vital to keep his attention. His eyes pause for a brief moment before scanning the front yard again.

– What’s the color of my dress?

You ask, recalling the technique of redirecting thoughts to something safe. Brock glances at your dress, then up at you briefly before getting lost again.

– Brock! What’s the color of my dress?

 You repeat.

– B… Bl… Black.

Brock responds, sounding as frightened as he appears. You gently squeeze his shoulders.

– Good! Now, what’s the color of your shoes?

You continue. At least he’s responding; you hope it helps.

-B… Brown..

Brock replies, looking down at his shoes, hands gripping his thighs.

– Good. You’re doing great.

You reassure him, noticing his knuckles white from gripping too hard.

– Okay, now what’s the color of the grass?

You ask, moving your hands to his knees, maintaining a safe distance. You want to avoid any unintentional harm.

– Green…

He replies, still gripping his thighs. You take a deep breath.

– Good, Brock. We’re almost there. Now, look at the sky and tell me what color you see.

– Blue… It’s blue.

He finally replies. His hands drop by his sides, he takes a few deep breaths, and he looks at you. 

-The sky is blue, YN.

You gently place your hands on Brock’s knees, allowing him some space to breathe, though you realize you need it as well. It’s tougher than you imagined to watch the man you love struggle like this. You lower your gaze to his brown shoes, musing to yourself, 

-What color are your shoes?

As tears threaten to well up again, you take a deep, shaky breath.


Brock starts, lifting his hands to gently cover yours and clearing his throat.


He says softly, and you slowly raise your face to look at him, hoping he won’t notice your tears. This should be about comforting him, not the other way around.

Brock gazes at you for a while before slowly getting to his feet. You follow suit, rising to your feet as well.

-Come here, Princess.

He tells you, and he envelops you in his strong arms, offering comfort to both of you within his embrace.…

-I’m sorry… I didn’t mean to scare you.

He says softly, rubbing soothing circles on your back.

He’s apologizing? You lift your face to meet his gaze, and he lifts his hand to your chin, letting his thumb glide over your bottom lip.

-You didn’t have to do that.

He continues, his warm brown eyes radiating comfort.

-Yes, I did.

You reply, inching your face a bit closer to his, though you’re aware of the potential danger of someone coming around the corner at any moment.

– Princess… I lo—

Brock begins, but a voice interrupts him. Instead of moving away from you, he wraps his arms around you again, pulling you into a hug.

-Brock, YN! There you are.

Your dad appears around the corner.

-Everything okay?

He asks as he approaches. Brock lets go of you but keeps his hand on your back.

-Yeah… everything is fine now. It was… I think I might have scared her. Things got a little hairy.

Brock tells your dad, conveying a message only they both understand.

-But you’re okay now?

Jack asks, eyes racking over his best friend. 

-Yeah, yeah man, I’m good.  She helped me out a great deal. You taught her well.

Brock adds, and your dad gives you a hug. You meet his eyes, noticing a new level of compassion you’ve never seen there before.

-I knew this would happen, sooner or later. You okay, Sweetheart?

Jack asks, his tone a mix of compassion and guilt. You give your dad a small nod, too afraid to speak, lest you start crying again.

-Come on, Grandma and Grandpa are leaving.

Jack said, opening his arms to you. 

-I think we’re getting ready to head out too, right Brock?

He asked.

Brock simply nodded, shoving his hands in his jeans pockets.

With one last look over your shoulder at Brock, you stepped into your father’s embrace. Brock smiled at you, mouthing “Later.” You nibbled on your bottom lip as excitement bubbled in your belly.

-Are you sure you guys will be okay here on your own?

Jack asked as the two of you walked back toward the winding-down party.

You fought the urge to roll your eyes.

-Yeah, Dad, we’ll be fine. James is going to stay with us too.

You reassured him.

Jack snorted in amusement. 

-I’d say no boys in the girls’ room, but I don’t think you three would listen to me.

-Probably not.

You laughed.


You sigh, settling on the porch swing with Jess on one side and Molly on the other as you watch your Dad’s truck drive away.

-Is Brock coming back?

Molly inquires.

You nod and offer a reassuring smile, your teeth gently tugging on your bottom lip. 

-Yeah, he said he was.

Your stomach swoops a little at the thought of finally getting to be alone with him…well somewhat alone. 

-Bow Chicka wow wow!

Jess playfully adds.

You roll your eyes at her comment, and both you and Molly share a laugh.

-So, James?

You turn to Molly, curiosity in your tone.

She blushes, her cheeks turning a shade of pink. 

-He’s very… nice.

She says, choosing her words carefully.

Jess, however, can’t resist teasing

-She means to say he’s very hot and very much wants to take a ride on his disco stick.

Molly playfully swats at Jess, and the three of you share a hearty laugh. James eventually joins the group, drawn outside by the commotion. Jess teases him a bit, and James returns the favor with interest. After some good-natured ribbing, the four of you decide to delve into the old trunk of games in the living room.

Gathering around the large coffee table with drinks and a large bowl of Molly’s spinach and artichoke dip, along with several bags of tortilla chips and a stack of games, you all settle in for the night.

Your smile widens as you hear the familiar rumble of Brock’s truck pulling up a few hours later.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please reload

Please Wait

This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies.  Learn more