Sven nodded, not looking up. He held Kennedy quietly, swaying a little as he rocked him back and forth, back and forth. He stared at the floor, not even wanting to meet the baby's eyes.
He watched his shoes and talked quietly to Kennedy, cooing softly as he hid behind his hair.
"S-sorry." Sven flinched, staring harder at his old shoes, tracing the laces with his eyes as he shifted nervously.
He didn't look at Kennedy when he heard the baby say his name. He just swallowed and focused harder on his shoes.
"Oh...O-okay." Sven started to move towards the bedroom, still not looking at the tiny boy. He shuffled slowly, only glancing up to see here he was going.
Sven carefully carried Kennedy to Nate. He held him out to the other boy silently, looking over at the wall rather than at the two of them.
Sven just shrugged silently. He started to shuffle off, head bent forward as always. He shoved his hands into his pocket, moving away.
Sven had gone back to curling up on the bottom bunk with his sketchbook. The only sound he made was the light little whispers of his pencil moving carefully over the paper.
He paused for the briefest of moments when he heard Nate come in and put Kennedy to bed in the crib. He was completely still for a bare second before he went back to drawing.
Sven stopped his drawing for a moment when the light went out. He didn't say anything. He just stopped, carefully setting his pencil down. He silently moved to rummage blindly in his suitcase for a few minutes.
After a little bit of quiet searching, his fingers ran over the plastic casing of his cheap little flashlight. He scooped it up and quietly snapped it on, shining the dim yellow light onto his half finished sketch.
Sven finished his drawing and just stared at it with the weak beam of his flashlight.
He followed every detail silently, quietly, carefully with his eyes, putting the pencil aside to look at the smooth, careful lines and swoops on the paper.
He swallowed hard, flicking the little book shut and closing his eyes. He could still see the little drawing, even with his eyes closed.
A tenderly drawn little picture of a little toddler girl, laughing and smiling...
Suddenly, with no warning, he flung his sketchbook aside, curling up into a little ball.
Sven jolted up when he realized what he had done, and that Nate now had his sketchbook. He uncurled quickly, banging his head on the bunk bed. His face went red.
"H-hey, give that back!" He called up, raising his voice a little.
Sven hurried to scoop up the sketchbook, holding it gingerly in trembling hands. He smoothed his hands over the cover, just pressing his lips together and staring at it. His finger traced a little pattern on the front.
He didn't answer Nate, he just curled up tightly, hugging the little book to his chest.
Sven was silent for another moment, just lying there with his treasured little book pulled into his chest. He squeezed his eyes shut.
"Katrina." He finally mumbled. "Katrina Taylor."
"Just shut up and leave me alone." Sven snapped, suddenly harsh. He hugged himself and his little book harder, pressing his eyes shut even tighter.
It took Sven a long time to fall asleep. It usually did. So he just laid there, curled up as tightly as his tall frame would allow and watched his dim little flashlight beam until his eyes got heavy and he fell asleep.
Sven hadn't even changed out of the clothes he had changed into the night before.
He uncurled himself stiffly, blinking and yawning as he unfolded his length. His clothes were now rumpled and crinkled, but he ignored it as he pulled on his shoes quietly and put his sketchbook away, tucking it into his suitcase and pushing the suitcase under the bed.
He quietly straightened out his bunk before he started to shuffle down the hall.
Sven shuffled faster. He glanced up out the window at the rain and quickly lowered his head. He didn't have a jacket. Not for a while. All he had was as many t-shirts and jeans that would fit in his little battered old suitcase with his books.
But he was used to doing without. He'd be fine.
"Yes sir." Sven said quietly. He moved a little faster, walking out the door and into the rain.
Sven didn't respond. Not vocally anyways. His face flushed a little as he pulled the helmet over his shaggy blond hair and snapped it on.
He silently climbed onto the bike, carefully gripping the handlebars.
Sven frowned a little and started to pedal. He moved slowly at first, but picked up speed. Soon, he was matching Nate, and even starting to get ahead of him.
Sven was unaware that he was even racing as he pedaled along, going faster and faster. He moved a little bit past Nate again, just watching the ground in front of him.
He stayed silent, just riding along.
Sven kept going at the same pace, not going faster any more. He had settled into his path, just pedaling quietly and looking up for anyone or anything.