Breaking Point (1/2)
Part of the “Smaller Than He Seems” AU, in which Ford was accidentally de-aged into a kid during his multiverse adventures, while retaining all his memories. He appears about 12 at this point.
Rating: T (for some language)
Word count: ~4000
Summary: In which Stan drags Ford to the mall to buy some shoes. Ford dodges an awkward encounter with a local. Stan says something he regrets.
Ford sat in the shadows of his old sitting parlor, trapped deep in a labyrinth of thought. Two bare feet dangled over the edge of the couch. Thanks to his diminutive stature his legs couldn’t reach the floor, and it was making him feel ridiculous. A pity he’d never acknowledged what a blessing being taller than 4’9” was before he fell into this predicament. And what a dreadful, annoying predicament it was. He found it hard enough pushing himself to extremes beyond the portal as an adult, trapped in an unforgiving world where he often wouldn’t have food to eat for days and had to constantly remain vigilant of the agendas of those around him. But traversing this road in the guise of a child?
Sometimes he truly wondered how he was still alive.
He’d tried his best to move past the set back then. He’d tried his best to keep his morale up, his wits about him despite his clear disadvantage. He’d tried to ignore dwelling on the logical repercussions. However, the unspeakable reality was that— barring supernatural intervention— he was stuck like this forever, a man with decades of life experience reverted in form to an age no older than the great niece and nephew he’d met only yesterday. Ford fancied himself a master of denial towards this fate before his brother activated the portal and unexpectedly dragged him home. But now, everything and everyone around him just served to prove how wrong this all was, how wrong he felt in his own skin.
He’d been gone for thirty damn years, long enough for Stanley’s hair to grey and the skin of his face to crease and sag with age. He was supposed to look like him. He was supposed to age alongside his brother, and now no one would ever think to guess they were twins.
His wrists faintly quivered as he lay his palms out flat on his lap. He stared at his hands intently until his eyes watered and he was forced to blink. The skin was too smooth, too young and unblemished. Long ago a small part of him marveled at how the adjusting of his biological clock erased the decades of wear and tear, but now he’d do anything to see his old healed over wounds and scars. Anything…if only to remind himself that those past fifty or so years were real. He wrapped the scarf he brought back with him through the portal— plum purple in color— tighter around his neck.
A knock on the door rapidly shook him away from this maelstrom of thoughts. Hastily, he shot to his feet, thoroughly embarrassed at the thought of someone seeing him dangle his legs on a too-deep couch.
“Come in,” he said, cursing internally at just how small his voice sounded.