Kit's Brotherhood
rating: +12+x

"…This time, it really is the end of the world," Kit mumbled shakily down the phone. "This time, I promise. There's zombies everywhere, and I don't have a gun. Blake, I…" He hesitated, stumbling over his words as he thought of what he was asking, "…need you."

It was cold, outside. The wind was bitter and biting – a promise of winter on the way. Kit didn't like being in the public view, but his flat wasn't safe anymore. The Duvet Queen had taken up residence, and was quietly pulling cat after cat from a portal that had appeared in his disorganised living room. And Kit was allergic.

Outside offered some relief, but few people had a normal face anymore. They were mauled, disfigured, silently begging for brains. Maybe they weren't saying anything, but he knew what they wanted. Brains. His, maybe. Though his thoughts were cancerous, his brain was infected, it was stained with broken thoughts and buried memories. Kit suddenly realised the phone against his ear had gone silent. But with the silence came a promise – Blake was coming. Blake would help him fight against the zombies, and maybe even evict the Duvet Queen, the alien creature who could no longer read words that came from any sort of authority.

By the time Blake came up in his car, tires squealing, most of the zombies had gone, and Kit could breathe again. But seeing Blake was still a relief, like it always was. Blake climbed out of his smart, but practical, car, and glowered at his brother.

"Zombies, huh." He stated, flatly.

"Yes. No. Yes. But they're gone now." Kit reassured. Or tried to reassure. His voice was trembling, and so was his body. Everything was sore, which happened if one stood outside, staring at nothing, for many hours. He felt a sharp pang in his lower back that reminded him of an injury he had gotten when he fell off his moped many years ago, in an overexcited reaction to seeing a rainbow. The pain came first, then the opiates, then addiction, and then… Bloom. Bloom had come next, in all her beauty. But Kit had been out for a while now, avoiding the alleyway where tongues and flashlights waited to pounce.

"Fine. Let's go inside." Blake stated, staying put, knowing better than to approach his brother when his whole body seemed to be trembling with electricity.

"No! Shit. No." Kit stated, firmly. "…We can't." 'And I can't tell you why.' His brain concluded, clumsily.

Blake didn't question anything anymore. He didn't want to know which delusion was preventing his brother from going inside.

"…Don't worry. It's nothing that's going to get me detained." Kit muttered, his voice sounding almost normal as his body twitched outside of his control. Bloom withdrawal was a hard trek, after all. "Not like the seven-year mirror sentence." He concluded, after a moment, as he started walking – leading the way to no-where.

Blake followed, keeping a respectful distance, watching his brother's back – literally as well as figuratively. After a moment, he dared to speak again.

"I hate to break it to you, Kit. But you don't get a seven-year prison sentence for breaking a mirror."

Kit stopped in his tracks.

"Wait, what?" He mumbled around an unlit cigarette. The wind kept blowing out his lighter. Should have kept the old one that seemed to never seemed to go out.

"Yeah. Sorry buddy, you're getting curses and crimes confused. You spent seven-years in prison for breaking a mirror…"

He motioned Kit to finally keep walking.

"Over a toddler's head," he concluded.

Kit looked momentarily confused, then shrugged.

"Wait, you heard about that?"

"You gave my number to the prison guards. Or, should I say guardias de prisiones. So, yeah, I heard about it. In Spanish."

"Huh," Kit mumbled, then let out a noise of triumph as his cigarette was lit.

"When they told me about it, trying to get my Euros, y'know, I told them… I mean, in Spanish, I said. 'A poor innocent mirror?! Fuck him!'" Blake spat on the ground. It was exaggerated, it was humouring his brother – but at the same time, Blake was thinking about how he could never let Kit near his own son.

"Hm. Well, every day is a journey!"

"Yeah, every day. You were there for a day! Look, we all been in a k-hole, but the party has to stop at some point."

"And that point is… mirror smashing?"

"That's probably the point beyond the point."

"Mmm." Kit mumbled, non-committedly. "Well, I still don't get why a mirror would get upset enough to have me locked up."

They walked in the drizzle for a while. If anyone saw the fresh sutures on Kit's arms, they blanched or blushed and looked away, suddenly aware they were trespassing on something painfully private.

Blake didn't ask. He didn't trust the answer, and never could.

Eventually, they stopped in a small green area that couldn't be quite called a park. Kit lead them to sit on a damp bench and Blake didn't complain. He was just thinking about how long he had to spend with Kit for it to be considered okay – for anything that happened afterwards to not be his responsibility. Although with both their parents gone, Blake couldn't help but feel some sense of responsibility to his younger brother. Kit wouldn't even look out for himself, and no-one would look out for him. But still, something needed to be said when it was apparent Kit was more on this planet than his own.

"Look, Kit. I've got a wife who's addicted to social media, and a goddamn mouth to feed on the way. Soon, I'm not going have time for your shit. Soon, no-one's going to have time for your shit."

Despite the apparent harshness of the words themselves, what Blake said lacked the venom it needed. Instead, he just sounded tired, and despondent.

'Despondent,' Kit thought to himself, 'a word used by survivors of suicide.' He came up with his own definition that no dictionary would ever use. Absently, he hoped Blake wouldn't kill himself. He couldn't think what to say at his wake, and what he would want to tell him after he was gone that he couldn't tell him now, with his muddled thoughts and apparent delusions.

"I know," was what Kit said instead, like he always did. The repeating pattern of his brother swearing he wouldn't be able to respond to his phone calls – and the repeating pattern of him pretending he understood when he was many kilometres away from being close to understanding.

In the absence of words, Kit placed two cigarettes in his mouth and lit them. After a second, he thought to offer one to his brother, who took it wordlessly. They both just stared into the trees in silence whilst smoke gathered around them.

"You smoke too much," Blake finally said, as his cigarette nearly burnt itself out.

"…No such thing as 'too much' unless it kills you," Kit muttered in distant reply.

Blake looked at his watch. It had only been nearly 20 minutes. It felt like hours had stretched distantly between them. But really, he should get home soon. Amber was only going to be patient for so long, and, heavily gravid in her last month of pregnancy, her mood was growing short as her discomfort grew more.

"Is it…" Blake thought for the right word, "…okay for you to go home now, do you think? I have to get milk before I go home, and the shops are nearly closed."

Maybe it was a Sunday. Kit blinked, stubbing the cigarette out on the bench. He had a dull awareness of days passing, but rarely registered their names. If the shops were closing whilst the sun wasn't nearly set, it was probably Sunday. Probably.

"…Yeah. I think. She'll be gone by now." Kit concluded, after a moment of dull thought. The cats and their cloned kittens would hang around for a while, but he didn't have to stumble over the girl in his living room.

Blake didn't ask who she was. He doubted it was a bedfellow, with Kit's history, and decided it was much more likely to be a delusion who had chased him out of the house in the first place.

By the time Blake had walked Kit home and followed him the three stories to his flat, he clocked in an hour with his brother. Who could argue that an hour was too short a time? Who could argue that, if anything were to happen when he left, it was somehow Blake's fault?

Kit let him in, after a moment of hesitating. Blake noted him staring at the floor, eyes tracking something that wasn't there. At least not for him. What was there for Kit was another question. He trailed him into the conjoined kitchen/living room, and watched Kit slump heavily into the only armchair he had. He watched Kit look to the window, wide open, the windowsill slightly damp from the drizzly rain. Blake was about to speak, when Kit got there first, his words softer than usual.

“We should close the window,”

“Why?”

“Because I don’t want to jump out of it.”

Blake approached the window, and closed it with a gentle thump. After a hesitant moment, he retrieved the key hanging nearby, and locked the window. The key ended up in his pocket. Kit hadn't noticed, still staring at the spot where there had once been a Kit-sized gap, an empty space calling for him to crawl onto the windowsill and… Blake couldn't think on it any further.

"I've got to go," he said instead. Kit turned his head, watched something on the floor, then looked up at Blake.

"Of course," he said, simply. Blake always had to go. Blake had a job. Blake had a wife. Blake had a baby on the way. Above all, Blake had a life.

"Have you… got food in?" Blake asked absently, concentrating far more on retrieving his car keys from his jacket pocket.

"Sure," Kit muttered, with equal absence and enthusiasm. Another pattern. A question, and a lie in response. Their relationship was built on intense dependence, followed by simple lies.

"…Okay then." Blake said, with a tone of finality. "Well. You have my number. Uh. …I'll tell Amber you said hi."

Of course, the woman he had only met two times, before the child was a twinkle in Blake's eye. The woman that Kit couldn't care less about, when he had someone like the Duvet Queen visit him.

"Sure. Okay. 'Bye." Kit said, not bothering to stand. Blake nodded once, then walked the short distance to the front door, letting himself out. The door shut behind him with an echoing thud, a final curtain drop on their relationship.

Brotherhood. It was rarely an easy ride. Kit closed his eyes as he felt a cloned kitten climb onto his lap. Time to try and sleep. Time to try and escape all this.

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