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A PROMISE KEPT

By: Maddy (SchmoozerN@aol.com)
Edited by: Nat (natalia_carter1013@hotmail.com)
Fandom: The Road to El Dorado
Paring: Tulio/Miguel (Kinda)
Rating: PG
Status: New .
E-mail address for feedback: SchmoozerN@aol.com
Editor: natalia_carter1013@hotmail.com
Series/Sequel: None yet.
Other websites: www.Cornfield.homestead.com, www.Dlucero.homestead.com, www.Fanficwriters.homestead.com,
Disclaimers: Miguel and Tulio belong to Dreamworks.
Notes: I decided to take out the year, so you can use your imagination on how old they are. (They are young)
Summary: Tulio makes a promise to take care of someone very special to him.
-----------------------
"But you ALWAYS get to be the Pirate!" a small, whiny voice complained, as the ocean waves continued to sway the boat gently in the water.


"I do not! You got to be the pirate last time!" another answered back.


"Oh great, one time," the other voice fought back.


"But you like being the evil man who comes and tries to steal the gold!"


"There IS no gold! And hey, I do not!"


"Do too!"


"Do not!"


"TULIO AND MIGUEL!" The startled men jumped in surprise, turning quickly on their heels, hands behind their backs hiding the sticks that they were bashing together pretending they were swords. The image in their minds of the boat on the water disappeared, to reveal just a tub of water with a wooden washboard over the top. The waves of the ocean against the boat side turned back into just being the grass blowing in the wind hard enough to make a light drumming like noise against the sun paled handmade bricks of the house. They suddenly realized they were both covered in mud from playing so hard. Tulio's expensive clothing, luckily, was only spotted, his knees grass-stained.. Miguel's ragged, full-of-holes clothing, patched and stained, was absolutely covered in mud. Behind them stood the mansion that everyone in Spain was jealous of. The "men" returned to boys as the imagination they were putting together faded away back to reality.


"How many times have I told you not to put the washer board over the water like that because you might hurt yourselves, eh, how many times?" the young lady asked, looking to both of them as she stood in front of them, glaring down at them. She had long, jet black hair, and deep brown eyes. "Well?" she asked impatiently putting her hands on her hips.


The boys looked at each other, and at the same time piped up, "Five times." They looked surprised at each other at first, but it didn't take long before they started to giggle, looking up to see if Tulio's older sister, Rosa, thought it was funny. She didn't.


"This isn't funny," she sighed as she heaved the heavy board off the top of the tub.


Miguel was feeling exceptionally brave for the day, being the pirate king and all. "Who died and put you in charge?" Tulio turned a bit pale, gently pulled on the slightly younger, Miguel's torn, ragged clothes, whispering harshly to his friend.


"Miguel, don't!" he pleaded with his friend, already knowing the consequences, but it was to late.


"Your no good mother who died dirt poor, and left you plum alone on our doorstep, you're just lucky she was working for our mother. Why, Who else would take a little weak thing like you?" Rose said coldly, as she tightened the bow in her long hair. Miguel's eyebrows knitted, and his lips became pursed together like he was going to cry, but he didn't.


"You take that back!" Miguel said, taking a step closer. He was small for his age, and was often teased when standing next to the tall for his age Tulio. His blond/gold hair shinned in the sunlight, almost seeming as bright as the sun itself. His face was young, and normally bright green eyes seemed less, his skin was smooth yet, for he had at least six years to go before he would get to being old enough even to be considered being close to being a man.


Rosa turned quickly to look at him, a small evil smile growing on her lips, knowing she had him in her clutches.


"Oh yeah? Why should I?" Miguel went on trying to not to be afraid, knowing, though, what would happen if he went too far.


"You're just lucky your papa worked so many years and so hard for us, before he died. Be grateful for what he did. He just plum saved you from an orphanage. But he didn't save you from being a nobody."


Miguel's eyes were filled with tears. The older girl's harsh words had stung him. He immediately looked to Tulio for some help, but it didn't come. Miguel gave a pleading look to Tulio, though he knew it was almost hopelessTulio was deathly afraid of his sister. To his own surprise and that of them both, Miguel spoke up.


"Oh yeah? Well at least I ain't no low life, no good, scum sucking loser like YOU!" Miguel shouted at her, unable to hold his rare temper back any longer. He gave a low growl, sounding quite like a bear ready to strike. The anger built up inside him was finally let out and he leaped from where he stood just a moment ago. He tackled the not so prepared Rose. It was so smooth quiet, and fast it almost made her not even having time to give a startled cry. Taking a step back, she tripped on her long skirt and heard a loud ripping noise as she fell with nothing to grab onto, both of them falling back, with a huge splash into the now uncovered tub of water.


------


Tulio gave a sigh of boredom, as he stared at the doorway, waiting, hoping. Suddenly a rap on his desk made him snap to attention, and nearly jump clear out of the chair. Looking up sheepishly at his tutor he began to apologize. "Sorry, Professor Bandaras, I was just thinking."


The thin teacher looked down at him, so tall he could probably just miss the highest tree, he pushed his glasses up on his pointed nose again, looking cross and strict as always. "Yes, so I see."


Tulio looked up at him and then nearly laughed out loud suddenly, for he remembered what Miguel had whispered to him the day in learning before he had gotten in trouble-- "Reminds you of an old bird, doesn't he? Well I wish he was a bird, maybe he would fly away!"


That had them both off on a set of giggles making the 'old bird' teacher look cross as his lesson was interrupted. He always did when Miguel was around, for they rarely made it through a lesson with out a joke or a comment. "I know you miss your little friend a lot my dear boy, but try to think of the time you can spend now learning! I happen to be one of the best teachers around, so I suggest you stop your moping and listen to me," he lectured Tulio, pointing a finger of his left hand in the air and closing the book shut with a large bang. "If you don't study, you will be no better then a common thief."


Tulio rolled his eyes as the professor turned away. "That's what you always say," Tulio pointed out.


The professor seemed to think about it for a moment. "Well, yes, yes I do. Now, on with the lesson." Tulio sighed, taking one more glance at his friends empty chair before opening his book to learn.


What seemed like hours later . . .


"And that is the end of my lesson for today, you may" The professor had blinked, Tulio had already gone. With a sigh and a shake of his head he took off his glasses. "Go," he muttered sticking the glasses in his pocket.


Tulio had already ran to the other room, setting his books down on the table of the Library. Quickly he tore through the rooms, in search of only one person. Not watching where he was going, he bumped with a thump into something large and soft.


"Tulio! Slow down child, what is the rush?" A soft pair of eyes looked down at him; it was the plump, kind, old nurse, a favorite to both him and Miguel for she brought them sweets to eat.


Out of breath Tulio tried to explain. "Miguel . . ." thought that's all he had to say. The Nurse sighed.


"In trouble again, I'm afraid." Tulio hung his head, knowing to well.


"Yes, I know, but do you know where he is?"


"Yes, I do, but Carlo, well you know how he is," she said hesitantly, her face turning to a frown. Gently putting a soft hand under Tulio's chin so he was facing her and paying attention. "Tulio, listen to me for a moment child, do me a favor, try to watch out more for Miguel, he's younger then you, and I think he could use some guiding. He could ever since his mother died, God bless her. I know you have good judgment, listen to that little voice in your head. Try to correct him when he does something wrong, you understand what I mean don't you?"


He gave her another nod and put a hand on hers. She smiled, patting his cheek. "He's down in the living room, polishing." Tulio smiled and giving her a quick hug around the middle started to take off.


Rushing to get there, he ran down the stairs and tore open the door. There sat little Miguel, all alone in the big room, filthy as ever, his hands covered in polish, wearing the same shirt he had been a couple days ago. Tulio stopped in his tacks, smile fading.


He gave a gasp of amazement. "Oh Miguel, look at you!"


Miguel didn't look back. He asked quietly, "What? What about me?"


"Did Carlos do this to you?" Tulio asked softly, pointing to one of the huge black, blue and purple bruises all over Miguel's arms, legs and body that was showing, and who know what was not showing underneath. They were fresh and had obviously just been made. Miguel nodded quietly, not saying anything, wiping his nose on his sleeve. Though even that made him whimper. Tulio frowned again and sighed, sitting on the floor near Miguel who was scrambling to finish this new pot that needed to be polished. He looked exhausted.


"Miguel, stop and take a rest, I-I mean you finished most of it anyway, I'll talk to Carlos"


Miguel exploded, with a half sob. "A-and do what?? Get him to hit me again?"


"N-no! of course not, I will talk him out of making you do this, some how" Tulio said softly.


Miguel looked up at him eyes wet with tears. "Why does everyone hate me?" The tears were trickling down his face now.


"That's not true, not everyone hates you!" Tulio answered, slightly taken back by the question, gently wiping a tear off his friend's face. "I don't hate you!"


"Not you, they do, Carlos, Rose, Bandaras" Miguel, with a sob, pulled back from the touch.


"Miguel, think about it, my sister doesn't even like me, and Carlos, he's just plain mean, everyone hates him back, you said so yourself you remember? He thinks just because he's in charge of the servants he can boss everyone around." Miguel wiped a tear away, listening more quietly now.


"And Bandaras?"


"Well Bandaras , Bandaras is just a funny old bird remember? He doesn't know anything!" Tulio said with a gentle smile. Miguel gave a little halfhearted laugh, sniffling.


Tulio sighed, and a softer look came over his face, remembering the nurses words and his promise he gently put a arm around Miguel's sholder. Miguel looked to him and suddenly crawled into his lap, Tulio was taken back a few minutes, but slowly wrapped his arms around him. Miguel clung to him needingly, putting his head on Tulio's shoulder, with a sob of distress, he began to cry fully.


"I-I d-d-don't w-w-want to b-be hit no m-mo-more. I-I want my m-mom" Miguel managed to sob out into Tulio's shoulder..


Tulio sighed and hugged him, cradled and rocked him in his arms. "No one will ever hit you again Miguel, not when I'm here"


"I'm not a nobody, I'm not!" he choked.


"Nobody ever again," Tulio said again over Miguel's sobs slightly.










Tulio looked down on his friend after a few minutes. Miguel had fallen asleep in his arms, the kid was worn out, only then did Tulio see the extent of his bruises, not only were his arms bruised but his chest and the back of his legs. Tulio hugged the sleeping boy closer, he felt Miguel's soft breathing and still his body shaking from crying so hard.


"I swear no one will ever hurt you again, I'll be here to protect you. Just you wait and see," Tulio said into the air of the empty room.


The only noise was the sound of Miguel's soft whimpers as he slept. What seemed to be endless tears, finally stopped. Looking down at him, Tulio carefully pulled a hand free and gently moved Miguel's blond bangs from his eyes, hugging the little body closer to him again before whispering.


"I promise...." 

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