His name is Zachary Strider. He's only a teenager, fresh out of high school, and struggling to get into college. He won't show that he's struggling though. Cool guys don't do that. So he acts like nothing is wrong, and he convinces himself that there is hardly any trouble. Everyone believes it.
He just moved out of his father's home. He never did get on well with the old man. He doesn't want to have anything to do with him anymore. He can live how he wants now. He promises himself that he will be better than his father.
It's not that his father was abusive. He was a kind man, but he and Zachary never got along well. they were too different. His father was strict, orderly businessman who expected military-like obedience from his son. Zack... well, he was Zack. They argued over many things. Music, Lil Cal, girls, dating, games, everything. That's why Zack swore that if he was a father he'd try to understand.
He gets into college, and gets an okay apartment all to himself. It's not close to the university, but he's fast enough. He always has been. And when he's walking back home at night, someone stops him. Several someones, actually. A lady, and two men. At first he thinks they're going to mug him, but the lady calms him down considerably.
She introduces herself as Mary, and the older man is Hass, and the younger man is Fred. But she's drunk and not feeling well so Hass takes over from there. He asks Zach to join them for the evening, because there is much they need to talk about. Zach does, because he gets the feeling he knows them, and something in his mind is saying he has to.
Over the next few months, the four contact each other. They're all expecting children to fall from the sky for them- a load of crap, in Zack's opinion but still. Mary doesn't believe it either. Fred seems excited, and Hass seems to know everything. It's almost scary, but Zach plays it cool. He always does. More time passes.
Mary calls them first. She holds a child in her arms but seems confused. She won't say why though. She only says that Hass is wrong about one thing. Hass doesn't call them again. Then it happens to him, as well.
He doesn't know where to begin. No one ever does, especially not with parenthood forced onto them by a meteor. But he knew it would happen. He wish he'd gotten more information on it. Now he's staring a little baby in the eyes behind his shades, and she's staring back. He was told to expect a boy. What else was Hass wrong about?
He slides down into the crater, where she waits atop a dead pony. She's just looking up at him with those red eyes. She even has a headband already. She's a cute lil kid, he decides, appointing her some shades of her own. Picking her and the pony up, he half smiles to himself. He thinks he'll call her Rose. After all. Roses are red.
He manages to avoid everyone in the apartment. He has to, because come on he is carrying a dead pony and a little girl that legally doesn't exist. He has plans. Mary gave him some tips, after all. He sort of worries for the poor kid though. Sure she's a scientist and pretty wealthy to boot, but she's also an alcoholic, too.
Speaking of which he will have to clear out the booze himself. Or at least get it out of the bottom cabinets. He needs to clean up a lot, actually. She sits in a clean sink as he pushes sharp objects out of her reach, and oh god his porn. Cant have Rose finding that, nope. So for an hour or so he's frantically getting things out of her reach and eventually he takes her out of the sink and collapses on the couch with her.
She reaches up at him. He smiles.
He's not ready to be a dad. But a brother is good. And he'll be the best goddamn brother ever.