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“You’re sure about this, right? You know you don’t have to.”
“I have to face this…. I need to.” Kurt sighs, bright blue eyes staring at the floor. “Y-you said I would be safe… and I-I trust you Dakota.”
Dakota’s heart practically melts. “No matter what, I’ll protect you.”
He let’s out a long sigh. “Alright, let’s do this.”
He takes Kurt’s small hand in his as they walk into the courtroom, which is filled to the point of standing room only. Dakota walks them up to where Adam is and greets him with a solemn nod.
“You guys ready? We’re due to start in the next few minutes. Once we do start, we will get one recess an hour in, and that’s it until jury takes their leave to come to a consensus. You’re sure you’re up for this, kid?”
Kurt nods, looking unsure, yet determined.
“Alright, you just get settled in, you aren’t up until last. Dakota you’re up first, you prepared?”
“As I’ll ever be.” He responds with an uneasy smile. “Kurt, bud. Davion will be here, but you can’t focus on him. Just focus on me, okay. Think about that book you’ve been reading, think about the stars and the galaxies, okay?”
“Okay… I’ll try.”
“That’s all I ask.” He ruffles Kurt’s hair with a small smile.
Dakota was on the stand for a long time, almost forty minutes. Adam asks tons of questions, all that he has answers for. The defense lawyer fires so many questions at him, try to put all the evidence off of Vechs and onto to Alicia and Kurt, just anybody but him. But everything they have- all the evidence, the fingerprints, everything from the old ‘Davion Murder Case’, there’s just no way they can pin the blame on anyone.
After Dakota was finally allowed to have a seat, he sits beside Kurt, wrapping an arm around his trembling shoulders.
“Is-Is all of that true….?” Kurt asks with a small voice, blue gaze on the ground.
“Yeah bud, it is… I didn’t want you to find out about it this way… I had wanted to have that talk with you… I’m sorry.”
“No- It’s, It’s okay.”
It takes a long time, and plenty of questions and coffee before the recess is finally called, which Dakota can tell Kurt desperately needs.
“You wanna go for a walk?” He asks gently.
Kurt nods quickly, looking extremely overwhelmed and maybe like he might puke.
He nods at Adam. “We’re gonna go on a walk, we’ll be back before the recess is up.”
He gets a nod as they head out of the room.
“How ya holding up?” He tries gently.
“I-I don’t know… this… it’s just so much.”
“I know bud.” He frowns, wrapping an arm around Kurt’s shoulder.
Kurt stops suddenly, a pained look on his face. “I-I there anything else I should know before I have to go up…. Before Davion does..”
He stops too, a nervous look on his face. “Well.” He squats so he’s closer to eye level. “Your father- Vechs- he isn’t a good man. He’ll try to put all of the blame on anyone but himself, including you. The defense lawyer will go at you with everything he she has, and I want you to know that she’ll try to go after your weaknesses and tear you down.” He shushes Kurt when he tries to speak. “But Kurt. You can do this. You’re so strong, probably the strongest person I know. And you’ll be okay.” He pauses, taking Kurt’s hands in his. “Do you trust me?”
Kurt nods, bright blue eyes wide. “Of course.”
“Then trust me when I say you can do this.”
“There’s one other thing I need to tell you.”
“After this trial is over, you get to come home… with me.”
“One hundred percent.” He smiles sheepishly. “I uh, got your room done over the weekend, that’s why I wasn’t at the hospital that often. But, I’m glad you can finally come home.”
“Dakota, Kurt, times about up.” Adam calls.
They head back into the courtroom and Dakota gives Kurt’s hand a squeeze.
“You’re up Kurt.” Adam says, smiling reassuringly.
“You’ve got this bud. Just go up there and be brave.” Dakota tries with a gentle smile.
Kurt nods shakily and walks towards the stand to be sworn in, taking the bible that is handed to him.
“I swear by Almighty God that the evidence I shall give shall be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.”
Kurt takes a deep breath and talks with a shaky voice. “I swear by Almighty God that the evidence I shall give shall be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.”
“State your name, age, and occupation.”
“Kurt Jay Maclour. I’m thirteen. Umm… student?”
“You may take the stand.” There’s a brief pause. “Prosecution, you may question your witness.”
“Can you recall what happened the night of the sixth at approximately ten pm?”
“I-I was sleeping when I heard shouting… I saw the police surrounding Mr. Davion and I called for him.” He takes a deep, shaky breath. “That’s when Dakota found me and carried me out of the bunker.”
“Dakota says he found you trapped in a cell with cuts, gashes, bruises, lacerations, how did this occur?”
He bites his lip, gaze focused on the dark stained table. “He- Davion- locked me in a room and only let me out to give me bread and water, or to take me to a different room and torture me. He-he would use all different types of knives… anything he could find that would hurt me…”
“How often did this occur?”
“Daily… for as long as I can remember.”
“Your mom- Alicia Davion- you knew nothing about her, correct?”
“Objection!” The defense lawyer calls. “Leading question.”
“Objection sustained.” The judge rules. “Restate your question or move on.”
“As Mr. Maclour stated, your mother was murdered by Vechs, did you know anything about this at any point?”
“I knew nothing about her…. I thought it was just dad and I….”
“No further questions.” Adam says, taking a seat.
“Would the defense like to cross examine?”
“Yes.” The defense lawyer says with a curt nod. “As was stated by Sarah, you are the son of Alicia Davion and Vechs Davion, so why take Maclour as a last name?”
“Objection!” Adam calls, shaking his head. “Outside of the spectrum.”
“Objection sustained. Please disregard that statement.”
“So, you said you knew nothing about your mother, correct.”
“Vechs told you nothing about her?”
He shakes his head. “No he-he never did.”
“See, what Vechs has told me leads me to believe that he had told you. He said that you asked about it when you were young and he told you that she had died.”
“I-I don’t remember that…. I never even knew I had a mother…”
“But it was very clear that you had asked about it when you were younger. Vechs here says that you both cooped with her loose by using pain, that you asked for it, is that true?”
He stared at the lawyer with wide, watery blue eyes. “No! I-I’d never ask for that!” He chokes back a sob, trying to get words past the lump in his throat. “He called it games…. He always had fun.. But I never did.”
“Going back to the topic of your mother, where you ever shown any pictures of her, maybe of her and Vechs together?”
“No. There were never any pictures. I didn’t even know I had a mother until I was in the hospital recovering!” He sobs, fingers clutching at the wood table desperately, tears slowly falling down his cheeks.
“That night- the sixth- did Vechs tell you anything before he was taken?”
He shakes his head, unable to find any words.
“Did he give you anything- a note perhaps?”
He shakes his head again, never once looking at the lawyer. “N-no.”
“Really, then why do we have the note that was found in your cell, addressed to you, written by Davion?”
“I-I was never given a note.”
The lawyer hands the note to the judge.
“If you would.” He gives a nod and walks back to stand in front of his table.
There is so much I need to tell you, so much you need to know. I wish I could do this face to face, but there isn’t enough time, they’ll be here soon. I was framed for the murder of Alicia- your mother. Her murder is Liam Houlder, he’s wanted revenge on me since we were both young. I didn’t kill her. I would never, she was the kindest and most beautiful woman I knew. We had gone into hiding when she was still pregnant with you. A few days after you were born, Liam and his gang found us and they took Alicia and threatened to take you too if I didn’t give them all of the money I had and run, so I did. I did that to protect you, to give you a good life. I’m so sorry that it has to be this way. I’m so sorry that I failed you, son.
His eyes were wide and bright with confusion and sadness. “I’ve never seen the note.” He tries, but his voice is weak and shaky.
“No further questions.”
“Would the prosecution like to re-direct?”
Adam nods, standing up and crossing to the center of the room. “As stated by Mr. Maclour, the only evidence found in Kurt’s room was the DNA evidence of both Kurt and Vechs. There was nothing but a bed and a lamp.” He paces silently for a moment. “Kurt, you said that you have never seen that note before, correct?”
“You also said that Vechs has never told you about your mother, or shown you pictures?”
“No further questions.”
“Would the defense like to re-cross?”
The lawyer shakes his head, arms folded neatly across his chest.
“Any questions from the jury?” None of the jury makes any moves to ask. “You may take a seat, Kurt.” The Judge says, giving the boy a sympathetic look.
He stands up shakily and barely makes it to the prosecution table before his knees give out and he collapses to the floor. Dakota is on his feet so fast and running to Kurt that he almost trips over his own feet.
“Kurt!” He shouts, falling to his knees beside the boy. “Hey, it’s okay, you did great!”
Kurt clings to him, thin arms wrapping tightly around his neck, tear seeping into his shirt, sobs wracking through his body.
“It’s okay bud, I’m right here. I’m never leaving you.” He murmurs into Kurt’s long brown hair, placing a gentle kiss to his temple.
“I’d like to call a recess!” Adam declares.
“Granted. Ten minute recess.”
“How-how could he say that?” Kurt sobs, fingers balling into the back of Dakota’s shirt.
“I don’t know bud, I don’t know. Some people are just assholes.”
“I-I never saw that note… I-I’ve never seen it before! Dakota I swear!”
“I believe you, one hundred percent. That asshole of lawyer is just trying to put blame on someone besides Vechs.”
“I-I just want to go home…” Kurt whispers, voice almost lost in the chatter of the room.
“I know bud, but we can’t leave until the case is over.”
“Here.” Adam says gently, handing a bottle of chilled water to Dakota, who accepts it with a nod.
“Here bud, drink some water.”
Kurt slowly unwinds his arms from Dakota and takes the bottle in shaky hands, taking small sips.
“Just take deep breaths. You’ll be okay. This will be over soon enough and we can go home.”
Kurt nods slowly, hands still shaky.
“Let’s get you back to your seat, okay?”
Dakota helps Kurt to his feet and keeps an arm wrapped around his thin waist as he helps him to his chair. He ruffles Kurt’s hair with a sad smile. “Just stay strong, okay bud?”
He takes his own seat and wrings his hands together nervously, biting his lip. He doesn’t know if Kurt’s gonna be ready to see Vechs again, but there really isn’t any other option at this point.
“Would the prosecution like to call another witness?” The judge asks, bringing the court back into session.
“No ma’am.” Adam says, taking a seat.
“Would the defense please call their first witness.”
“I’d like to call Vechs Davion to the stand.” The lawyer says with a nod.
Dakota can see Kurt tense up, hands shaky a little more than before. He takes Kurt’s small hand in his and gives it a gentle squeeze, and doesn’t let go. The doors to the room open and Vechs walks in, hands cuffed and being lead by two armed policemen. He’s lead up to the stand and the policemen move to stand on either side of him so he can’t try anything. He’s sworn in and the defense lawyer moves to the middle of the room, pacing in small strides.
“Mr. Davion, can you please explain what happened to your wife, Alicia?”
Vechs clears his throat. “Well, as was stated in the letter…. We-we were hiding because of a guy named Liam Houlder. He wanted to get revenge on me, I haven't a clue as to why. It was right after Kurt was born…. Only a few days. They found us and threatened to kill Kurt too… I-I did what I had to and gave them the money and ran.” He lets out a long huff of air, his face full of sadness.
“Can you explain why Kurt was found injured in a cell?”
“I-I’m not sure, he went missing for a few days and I had just found him, locked away in that bunker, hurt. That’s when the police showed up and arrested me. I did nothing to him. I would never, he’s my son!”
“Why did you keep Kurt from the government? He was never documented.”
“I did it to protect him. I thought that Liam would come after him. I thought he’d take away my son or the police would….. I just wanted to protect him.”
The defense Lawyer crosses his arms with a satisfied smirk. “No further questions.”
“Would the prosecution like to cross examine?”
“Yes.” Adam says with a nod and walks to the middle of the room. “Why, Vechs, was their only your fingerprints on the gun that was used to kill Alicia?”
“Liam… he wore gloves and forced me to hold the gun…”
Adam scratches his chin. “Hmmm, then can you explain how Liam Houlder could have killed Alicia if he’s been dead since 2002, which is a year before she was murdered?”
“And why, Mr. Davion were you found lounging around the bunker while Kurt was locked away in a cell?”
“Why was your fingerprints found on all of the knives and weapons that were found in the room used to torture Kurt?”
Silence again as a desperate look settles on Vechs’ face.
“Why did you kill Alicia, Davion? Why did you torture your son? Why did you keep him locked away for thirteen years? Can you even explain any of this with these lies you’ve been telling the court this whole time?” Adam demands, his voice growing louder with every question.
Silence settled in the courtroom as Vechs sat there, all expression gone from his features except defeat. “I… No… I can’t.”
“No further questions.” Adam states with a smug grin, moving to sit on the edge of the table.
“Would the defense like to re-direct?”
The defense lawyer is shaking his head in defeat. There is no winning now, and he seems to know that. “No Ma’am.”
“Any questions from the jury?”
The judge stays silent for almost a minute, until it becomes clear that there will be no questions. “Mr. Davion, you may be seated.”
Vechs is escorted to a seat, the one farthest from Kurt and the policemen stay practically glued to his sides.
“Would the defense like to call another witness?”
“The jury will now take a leave to discuss and come to a consensus.” The judge announces, nodding her head at the jury members, giving them permission to leave the room. “Lawyers are allowed to go to a private room to meet with their clients if they wish. An escort will come and get you, if you choose to leave, once the jury has returned.” The judge finishes, hitting her gavel against the desk.
Adam nods to Dakota and Kurt, indicating for them to follow. They go to a small meeting room and take seats around the table.
“I think we’ve got this. Vechs’ story wasn’t convincing at all. None of it quite made sense or fit in with all the evidence against him.” Adam states, sipping at a cup of steaming coffee.
“I can’t believe he tried to pin this all on some guy he didn’t even know was dead.” Dakota sighs, shaking his head sadly. “He’s a pathetic excuse of a man.” His head shoots towards Kurt when he hears a gasp. “Oh… Kurt I’m so sorry….”
“No.. It’s fine… you’re right… it’s just a lot to take in… to actually hear.”
“Yeah, I know bud.”
Adam waits for a few moment before cutting in again. “So the only thing we have left to discuss is visiting rights. I’m not sure what Vechs will want, but as Kurt’s legal guardian, you get to make that call, Dakota.”
“Oh… I don’t think I want to allow visits.”
“Alright, if you ever change your mind, let me know.” Adam jots something down and signs the paper. “That’s it then. I just need your signature here.” He points to a spot on the paper with a pen.
Dakota nods and signs the paper with his messy cursive. “I’m glad it's over.” He sighs with relief.
“Well, we still have to get the verdict, but I’m glad this case is finally coming to a close too. It’s been going on for too long.”
A knock sounds at the door before anyone can say anything else. “Jury is ready to give their verdict.” The guy says before heading back out of the room.
“Alright, let’s go do this.”
They walk back to the courtroom and take their seats.
The spokesperson of the jury stands. “In the case of Vechs Davion vs Captain Dakota Maclour and Kurt Maclour, we find the defendant….” silence settles over the room, feeling almost suffocating. “Guilty with the charges of first degree degree murder, neglect, child abuse, and child endangerment- sentenced to a lifetime in jail.”
Relief flows through Dakota’s body, especially when Kurt collapses against him, hugging him tightly, tears slowly rolling down his pale cheeks. Dakota shakes Adam’s hand firmly, smiling thankfully. After doing a few last things and signing a few papers, he leads Kurt out to his car.
“W-we can go home now, right?” Kurt questions quietly from where he’s sitting in the back.
“Yes, we finally can.” Dakota says with a sigh of relief.
It’s been a long day and he can tell they both need this. They both need to finally go home and just relax. He turned on the radio to give them something to listen to on the drive home. It takes about a half an hour, but they eventually pull up to a cute little blue house on a quiet street. He shuts off the car and glances back to see Kurt fast asleep, his cheek pressed against the window. He laughs quietly and gets out. He’s careful when he opens the car door and unbuckles Kurt, picking him up gently. Kurt almost instantly wraps his arms around Dakota’s neck and presses his face into his shoulder. Dakota’s heart melts at this.
He manages to get the door unlocked and opened without waking Kurt, which really seems like a miracle. Flicking on the lights, he moves towards the couch and sets Kurt down gently before putting blanket over him. He pulls out his phone and orders pizza as he grabs a glass of water, which he practically chugs. On examination of his ruffled clothes, he decides to go ahead and change into something more comfy. He finds a pair of sweats and a t-shirt to slip on. By the time he gets back out to the living room the doorbell is ringing. He pays the pizza guy, giving him a generous tip before moving back to the kitchen to grab two plates and puts two slices of pizza on both.
He turns to see Kurt standing in the doorway looking rumpled and tired. “Hey bud, was just getting us dinner.”
“Yeah, just tired is all.”
He hands Kurt a plate. “Me too. Why don’t we go watch some tv and just relax.”
“I...I’d like that.”
So, they head back into the living room and sit on the couch, Kurt pulling the blanket back over himself. Dakota grabs the remote and turns on the tv.
“Today during the Davion Trail, Vechs Davion was found guilty and sentenced to life in jail.” The reporter says, standing outside of the courthouse. “Oh! And here is Adam Kolder, the prosecutions lawyer. Sir, how would you say the trail went?”
Adam looks directly at the camera. “No comment.” And promptly walks away.
He flips to another channel. “What did you think of the breakdown we saw from Kurt?” One of the few that are on screen asks.
“It was obviously an emotion day for him, the poor kid.” Another answers sadly.
“Do you think it was all an act?” The third asks quizzically. “Do you think that Vechs’ story was true? Or do you think Captain Maclour has the right story?”
“I don’t want to believe Maclour’s story, but Davion’s made no logical sense. It’s just sad to see such an innocent child hurt like this.”
He quickly hits the button for his roku, shutting off the continual jabber from one annoying reporter after another.
“I’m sorry. It’s gonna be like this for a while, but it’ll settle eventually.”
Kurt shrugs, biting into his pizza, not looking to comment.
“What do you want to watch?” He tries, eyeing Kurt warily.
“I don’t know… what is there to watch?”
“Ummm well, we could try to find a documentary about space.”
“They have those?”
He can’t help but laugh. “Of course silly. They have a documentary on just about anything you think of.”
He laughs again and ruffles Kurt’s long brown hair. “So I was thinking, tomorrow we’d go out and get your haircut- if you want to of course- and get some new clothes so you can actually, y’know, have some properly fitting clothes.” He rambles, scrolling through a list of movies about space.
“I-I’d like that, a lot.” Kurt smiles sheepishly, blue eyes bright with tiredness and an odd calmness.
“Hmm how about this one? It’s supposed to be about nebulas… or something.”
“Oh cool!” Kurt beams. “Those are these clouds of dust and gas that are visible at night! They’re supposedly really cool to actually see! But you can’t really see them unless you have a good telescope, but some are visible to the naked eye… well if you’re away from light pollution.”
“I don’t know what any of that means, but I’m glad you found something that makes you happy.”
Kurt is practically glowing at this point, his bright blue eyes full of excitement. “I want to learn all about space! Do you know how many different galaxies are out there? There are likely over 200 billion! Can you believe that? It’s insane!”
“That is pretty insane.”
“Oh! The movie is starting!”
Dakota can only shake his head and laugh at the unyielding eagerness this boy- who once seemed so shy and scared- has. Now that, right there, is insane. He doesn’t understand anything that the voiceover is saying, not one bit, but Kurt is hanging on every word with this amazing sense of knowledge that he just really can’t bring himself to care that he is beyond lost at this point. By the time the movie is over, it’s getting late, which doesn’t seem to register to Kurt.
“Can we watch another movie Dakota? Please?” Kurt begs, bright blue, big puppy dog eyes begging silently too.
“It’s almost eleven bud, We should head to bed.”
“Aww.” Kurt pouts, those big blue puppy dog eyes getting bigger- though it seems rather impossible.
“Nope, time for bed. You’ve gotta get some sleep so we can go shopping tomorrow.”
“Fine.” Kurt groans with a giggle.
Dakota laughs, scooping Kurt into his arms, which causes the boy to giggle even more. He carries the giggling boy to his room and flips the light switch, casting a soft yellow light around the room from the blue lamp on the dark oak bedside table.
“I wasn’t really sure what to get for your room, so I kinda guessed?” He states as he sits Kurt down, rubbing at the back of his neck sheepishly.
“Wow…” Kurt mumbles in awe, bright blue eyes wide as they take in the room.
The walls are painted a deep blue- almost black- with constellations and planets painted accurately throughout the whole space, which includes the ceiling. All of the furniture is dark stained oak and black cloth. The floor is also a dark stained oak with a large black rug. The room was dark, but with the soft light from the multiple lamps, it’s just the right amount of light.
“I made sure to get the lightbulbs which cause less light pollution… and well, you can kinda see there’s a bit of a theme. I didn’t want to go too overboard, but I dunno, this just felt right?”
Kurt’s bright blue eyes glisten with unshed tears. “I-it’s perfect Dakota… I can’t believe you’d do this for me…” He sounds breathless, in total awe.
Dakota’s heart practically melts at the sight of Kurt looking so shocked and in awe and so happy. “It was nothing.” He insists with dopey smile.
“T-this isn’t nothing… it’s like, everything…” Kurt pauses, looking at the constellations. “Perfect.”
“Well I’m glad you think so.”
He suddenly has an arm full of Kurt, a mop of brown hair under his chin. “Thank you so much.” Kurt squeaks, tears slowly falling down his pale cheeks.
“He hugs Kurt tightly before pulling back just enough to see his face and whip at the tears. “No need to cry.” He murmurs, brushing hair from his face.
“B-but they’re happy tears.” Kurt counters around a hiccup.
“You’re gonna make me cry too.” He chirps, fighting back his own tears.
“It’s okay to cry Dakota.” He says gently. “It’s okay to be an emotional wreck every now and then.”
A few tears roll down Dakota’s tan cheeks. “You really are a nerd.” He chirps, biting his lip to hold back a lopsided grin as he ruffles Kurt’s hair. “We should probably go to bed bud.”
“Okay.” Kurt smiles sheepishly.
“There’s a pair of pajamas in one of the dresser drawers, and the bathroom is down the hall, second door on the left.”
“It’s no problem at all.” He winks as he retreats from the room, heading down the hall to his own. .