Daniel Matthews lost someone dear in the past. When he sees a young man lose his fast food dinner to a couple of bullies, he ends up buying both of them a meal. To his surprise, Liam reminds Daniel a lot of his brother, gone too soon. But the feelings Liam rouses in Daniel are definitely not the same.
Daniel offers to take him home, but Liam lies about which house is his has no home. He has nothing. Or had ... until Daniel.
Daniel gazes with slight amusement at Liam who is bundled up in his thick jacket, its long sleeves falling down over Liam's hands. Liam is small and very skinny. Daniel plans on fatten his up though the thought surprises him. When did he decide he was taking Liam home with him?
"It's not good for you to stay in those wet clothes, you'll catch a cold. But I don't want you to starve to death." Right, Daniel. Way to distract you from yourself.
"I'm not going to starve." The words might mean to show that he's upset but there is no bite in them. Liam isn't even looking at Daniel. His big eyes widen at the spread on the table before him.
"Go ahead, take whatever you want." Daniel nudges at Liam's elbow on the table, which he quickly pulls away.
Daniel has ordered almost everything the pizza parlor has to offer. Pizza, pepperoni with extra cheese, pasta, salad, garlic bread. "Which one do you want?" He takes one big slice of pizza and puts it on Liam's plate. "You want salad, or pasta, too?"
Liam shakes his head and timidly takes the pizza. Daniel grins widely. He bites into one already.
"Come on, it's good."
Liam first nibbles into it, and then takes a bigger bite. He chews and swallows it, and smiles shyly.
"It's -- it's good," he mumbles, and takes another, bigger bite.
"Go on. Try the others."
What happens next makes Daniel's heart clench. Liam can't get the food in fast enough. He takes a spoonful of salad, puts it on his plate, and gobbles it up in one mouthful. Then he twirls the spaghetti around the big fork and does pretty much the same thing as he did with the salad. He rubs his mouth with the back of his hand to wipe his lips, muttering how good the food is. His hand is hovering in the air reaching out for a pizza when his eyes catch Daniel's, and he stills. His face turns red and slowly he retracts his hand. Tears brim in his eyes and he looks at his lap, rubbing his mouth once again.