Brother of Mine
Summary: Originally posted to SentinelAngst.
Disclaimer: Canon characters do not belong to me. They are the property of Pet Fly and Paramount. I don't make any money etc., etc.
I met with him today, just the two of us, at a secluded park on Taylor street. I guess to most brothers meeting at a park would bring back fond memories, but to the two of us, it brought back nothing but pain. We sat there, on an old park bench, watching the children play, listening to their laughter, and wishing that we could turn back time.
He was the first to break the silence, shifting sideways on the bench to look at me. I kept my eyes straight ahead, my elbows balanced on my knees for support.
"It's true, isn't it? What they're saying, it's true?"
I remember tipping my head forward, staring at a spot on my shoes, and willing the ground to open up beneath my feet. I formed the simple word in my head, spelling the letters out in my mind.
It suddenly seemed so strange to me how much weight those three little letters could hold.
"Answer me, Jim.."
So I did, I answered him, my eyes studying the freshly mowed grass at my feet, and my mind a million miles away. I heard the word escape my mouth, and yet the voice that spoke it was not my own.
I can remember immediately dialing down my hearing, unconsciously preparing for the outburst that never came. Instead, there was this hand, his hand, his flat palm against my back, his face inches from my ear.
"Thank you." he whispered, his breath hitching in his throat as he tried to speak.
I turned to look at him, afraid of what I might see in his eyes. Part of me wanted to run, to escape the park, the pain, and the brother that now knew my deepest secret. I felt the pressure on my back increase, his hand drifting to my shoulder, his fingers curling in a tight grip.
"You don't have to say anything, Jim. I know, I guess I've always known. I looked up to you for a long time. You were like some super hero, that could see through walls or something. And then it happened, I don't know quite when, maybe a few years after Mom left. I don't know. I started to hate you, or maybe it was just jealousy talking. I'm not sure. I had to prove something to myself, prove to you, and Dad, that I was as good as you. It became a competition, a game. I blamed it on Dad, but it wasn't him at all, it was me."
"Let me finish. What you are, Jim, who you are, is an incredible thing. I heard him, Jim; I heard every word Dad said to you that day on the stairs. Dad may have thrown the first stone by calling you a freak, but later on, I was throwing them right along with him."
Memories of that day flooded back to me, and I couldn't help the shudder that passed through my body. I remember closing my eyes, trying to blot out the image of my father looming over me.
"I'm sorry, Jim. I'm so sorry. Please, I was a kid. A stupid, jealous kid. I couldn't see what you were, what you are. But things have changed, we've changed. Let me in. Let me be a part of your life now. Teach me. Show me what it is to be you. I want to know everything, what you see, what you hear, feel, taste, smell. All of it."
It's funny how your voice fails you when you need it the most. Like when you're at a funeral, and the best you can come up with is to say that you're sorry. Then again, I never have been good with words, so it shouldn't have come as any great surprise.
I know I cried, but I can't remember exactly when the tears started. I remember his arms around me, the feel of his hands tracing circles on my back. There were no words, just the salty residue of both of our tears mixing together. Eternity passed before we parted, the click of the street lights above our heads, lighting the path home….