little lions
Posted originally on the Archive of Our Own at

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Archive Warning:
No Archive Warnings Apply
Hatchetfield Universe - Team StarKid
Hannah Foster & Tim Houston
Hannah Foster, Tim Houston, Tom Houston
Additional Tags:
Not Canon Compliant, Alternate Universe - Everyone Lives/Nobody Dies, black friday timeline but they dont get nuked, or something, Fluff, Domestic Fluff, Slice of Life, Platonic Relationships, Food as a Metaphor for Love, Sibling Bonding, tom doesnt realize but he has adopted the fosters, give him like half a year, POV Outsider, pov tom listening to tim and hannah, Autistic Hannah Foster, autistic tim houston, Stimming, briefly, tom observes the two autism creatures grazing in the field, Everything is Beautiful and Nothing Hurts
Part 1 of 100 ways to say i love you
Published: 2023-11-02 Words: 1,618 Chapters: 1/1

little lions


"He decides to not disturb the little play of house building between them. They deserve it more than any other kids in Hatchetfield."


Tom observes Tim and Hannah. He has thoughts.



little lions

“I saved a piece for you.”

Tom freezes in front of the kitchen door.

See, Tom never expected his son to have the greatest social skills, okay? He knew that his boy would be awkward, even painfully so, that he would struggle with leaving the nest for preschool, struggle with making friends, fumble through awkward teenage years. The only things that got Tom friends and entrances to parties through high school were his football skills and the ability to drink beer while doing handstands.

Tom was prepared to see Tim walk inside the house sadly after school, be unwilling to go outside, do anything to stay home. But instead, he got straight As — curving a little into lower Bs as years went on, but Tom has never been the top of the class himself, neither was Jane — and was praised for his conflict–solving skills by all teachers, a pleasure to have in class, quiet genius. Tom usually drowned in the amount of praising notes from his teachers, talking at PTA meetings and getting all the grace was Jane's strong side.

What he wasn’t prepared for was a bright, a bit of a homebody, true, but nonetheless a social kid who loved talking with just a few select people, and tolerated the rest. A calm baby, didn't fuss a lot even when he was teething, a careful toddler who never got too far away from him and Jane. All those parenting books about horrible kids who threw tantrums, were fussy eaters and bit other children in the sandbox went straight to their local library's donation box.

Much less he wasn’t expecting to hear his son say that he saved someone a piece of something.

He peeks through the small gap between the doorframe and the door itself, where he can see quite a big bit of their kitchen.

At the breakfast nook, knees pulled up to her chest, is seated Hannah, watching Tim intently. Both she and Lex have been spending an increasing amount of time at his house after the awful Black Friday (seriously, fuck Hatchetfield’s Black Friday. It was never this bad when he was away in college.), sometimes accompanied by Lex's boyfriend — Evan? Ethan? — so it's no surprise that she's there in the late afternoon on a school day. Must've ridden the bus with Tim, the elementary and middle school being on the same bus schedule.

“I know you said you like apple tart, and Miss Becky made one a few days ago, so I saved you a piece.” There’s clinking of plates in the kitchen, and from where he’s standing Tom can see Tim is bringing out the actual plates, not the plastic colorful ones they got from Walmart after Lex closed the cabinet door a little too hard and a few of the real ones shattered. The ones Tom specifically told him to not bring out unless they gave guests. “Don’t tell my dad, though. I told him everything’s gone. He loves that cake.”

Hannah smiles, bright and eyes–crinkling and nods, biting into the tart and making a high–pitched approval noise, nodding.

“Do you like it?” Tim jumps onto the table, in the way Tom always tells him not to because that table is old and fragile and Tim always replies that maybe they should sell it to the museum then, swinging his legs with barely–contained excitement.

“Mhm!” Hannah confirms, chewing diligently before speaking up, brushing her chin with the heel off her hand. “Delicious. Really good.”

Tim positively glows. “Tell Miss Becky that. You should taste her broth. She makes the best food ever. ”

“Better than your dad?” Hannah rivals, with a small devilish smirk climbing onto her face. It’s something Tom won’t usually say, but melts his heart — to see she’s comfortable enough with them to not be afraid of saying something wrong.

Tim rolls his eyes with a smile. “Everyone makes better food than my dad.”

Tom barely restraints the “Hey!” that wants to rip out of his throat. He decides to not disturb the little play of house building between them. They deserve it more than any other kids in Hatchetfield.

They seem peaceful. The entire kitchen, usually buzzing with nervousness of making lunches in the morning, the kettle and coffee express both working at full capacity, and gathering for dinner in the afternoon, doing dishes, people constantly walking in and out, seemingly takes the peacefulness from them. As if the room has its' own heartbeat, mind, emotions.

Even the sun outside seems to shine softer. Not the typical Hatchetfield bright, burning March sun, but what he’d expect from a nice early summer morning, when he’s driving to school before six in the morning to prepare for the school opening anniversary.

Hannah breaks the silence first.

“I want to learn how to bake. Lex never could, so maybe I would be the first one.” She says, looking down at the crumbs on her plate. Tim’s head swivels to her.

“If you had a bakery, I would be the first customer every day.”

Hannah looks up, looking somewhere behind Tim. “Really?”

He nods eagerly, moving his hands from the table to his pants to grip the fabric. “Yeah! I’d wake up at the asscrack of dawn and go there on foot just to be the first.”

Hannah doesn’t reply immediately, still chewing on the apple tart. Tim picks at his nails.

They are good for each other, Tom has thought a long time ago. At times, they’re like twins that were separated at birth and still manage to get the other. Hannah can shoot a look at Tim, and the other way, and there’s understanding between them immediately. Lex has said once that they talk telepathically, and honestly, Tom can’t reject that way of thinking.

With how they seem to talk with their movements now, it seems likely.

“I’d help you open every morning!” Tim puts a hand on his chest suddenly, bringing Tom out of his own world. “Scout’s word.”

“Are you even a Boy Scout?” Hannah questions, picking at the apple tart with a fork.

Tim flushes a little. “Well, I used to be.”

They fall into a peaceful silence once again, Tim swinging his legs, Hannah picking the apple tart and eating it slowly.

“You know, if you wanted to, we could have the bakery together.” She says, eventually.

Tim flashes into nodding his head so hard it might just snap off. “Yeah! But I still want to have breaks in work to be a train engineer.”

Tim and his everlasting dream of becoming a train engineer. It started all the way in kindergarten, when his group went on some kind of a trip and he came back a different man, declaring that he wanted to drive trains. As he grew, he read about it more and more, learning and surrounding himself with trains and related subjects — besides a brief NASA phase in early elementary school — and now he was right on the way to actually be a train engineer. Everything else in the world be damned, his boy will engineer the trains. Or whatever a train engineer does.

“You will. We’ll hire Lex and Ethan so they can get enough money to travel around the world.” Hannah moves her hand in the air as Tim’s eyes move after it.

“They want to travel around the world?”

Hannah looks around, and Tom leaps behind the wall so his eavesdropping won’t get discovered. He knows that he shouldn’t break their trust like that, but on the other hand, it’s not like they talk about something really private, so it’s understandable, right?

“Ethan told me to not say, but you said something you shouldn’t yourself, so,” she leans over schemingly to Tim, who also leans in, eyes shining with excitement. “Ethan wants to take Lex to some falls and propose to her.”

Tim leans back with a huge gasp, hitting his thighs with his fists. “No way!”

“Yes way!” Hannah jumps back in a fit of giggles, snapping her fingers. “And he’s trying to raise funds to renovate some ‘piece–of–junk van’ he bought from a friend, so he can drive to some Ka— Kma— K—something Falls and propose there. Get a ring, get good clothes, all that stuff. But he needs money, so we can give him the money we earn in the bakery.”

Tim nods thoughtfully, deep in thinking. “Do you think we can ask my dad for money?”

“Will he lend us enough to give Ethan to renovate the van?”

Tim furrows his brows. “Not sure.”

Hannah looks off into the distance, grimacing a little as she’s thinking. “They will figure something out. It’s Lex and Ethan, they always figure a way out.” Both of them nod at the same slow, thoughtful pace, looking anywhere but each other. The sun has moved downwards a bit, so it’s not shining right through the thin kitchen curtains Becky put up a few weeks ago, after saying that their kitchen looks soulless. “Do you have anything else from Aunt Becky?”

“Definitely!” Tim smiles brightly again, jumping off the table as it rattles dangerously, the boy already skipping to the fridge without a care in the world as Hannah attempts to stabilize the furniture from hell. “Okay, so there’s the end of a cheesecake, something labeled ‘for Tommy’” — both of them grimace in mock disgust, “eww”ing loudly, trying to hide the grins on their faces — “and some meatloaf? I think?”

“Pass me the cheesecake. I’ll eat anything but ‘for Tommy’.”

They both laugh, Hannah leaning backwards in her chair, Tim leaning forwards into the fridge.

Tom grins to himself.

The kids will be alright.


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