How many times had he stopped at this door since the building had gone up? How many times had he thought about knocking? About calling? Did he still hate his brother? Could he forgive him again? Althea wanted him to face Zain, to try and talk to him. See where it went. He wanted to punch him again, to run away from this and avoid the confrontation. He felt sick, weak…afraid. Althea had called him on his fears, that he was turning to anger as its all he knew. Swallowing down the fear, he did the only thing he could do now…he knocked on the door
Zain was a slovenly mess. He had gone full swing into depression and loneliness and his hygiene had gone to the hells. He had thick stubble and sunken, sleep deprived eyes. His room in the back of Adush’s shop was a complete mess. He was heartbroken about Ira but tried not to show it.
From somewhere within the mess a weary voice that would be familiar to Damien would be kind of audible.
“…It’s not - locked. Come in…”
This next part was under his breath and less audible: “though I’m not sure… who would want to visit a sad sack like me… who never made the worthy cut for anything, ever.”
Comes in slowly, looking around as he steps inside. Moving to the back of the shop, he looks to his brother quietly for a moment, the pain, suffering and even fear in his gaze reveal much of his inner turmoil in being here. Yet here he stands
Its sadly not surprising I find you broken as ever…only thing I don’t see is your normal response to it…clearly referring to the old drug habit …You betrayed my trust again…abandoned me…threw me away…I don’t even know how to feel at this point…
Zain isn’t angry. The emptied syringes and spent death sticks usually would have been trying to sort of drown out his sorrows.
“Come to kick me while I’m down, like people usually do brother?”
“That’s typical…” A slight bitter laugh.
You don’t have the right to mock me coming here…you abandoned me…left me to die…again…if Mart hadn’t stepped up…takes a breath pushing down the anger he felt rising like hot bile in his throat You have nothing to say to me? Its still all about you? You didn’t really care did you…you just preferred to be rid of me…if that’s the case…just say so now…and I will go…and this time I won’t come back…
Stands quietly, waiting
“Why did you come here?”
“Did it ever occur to you when I ran it was because things hurt too much and I had to gather myself in order to come back?” He quirks an eyebrow.
You couldn’t call me, send me a message…anything? Your girlfriend was all that mattered to you…You again…didn’t even care how much abandoning me again…would hurt me. How much it still hurts me…Mart adopted me to try and help…try to provide some kinda stability that I have never actually had…When I first started lessons under Althea…she asked me what I would do if I saw you again…I told her then I hated you…she asked me again today…and I told her I don’t know…I still don’t know…
“No one comes to visit me. You came to yell at me. That I should feel so special. I’d offer you some tea or something to eat but we are out and I think the biscuits went rotten.”
He doesn’t get up.
“Lessons? They found you worthy where I was not. That’s nice. I’m… as glad as I am able to be.” A sad and tired weak smile to his brother.
I’m not even yelling…I’m talking…can you quit playing the victim for five minutes for choices you made…I am not a Jedi, nor do I want to be…shes teaching me to get control of my anger…since it seems I do connect to the force…and not in a good or constructive way…
He takes one of the least moldy food-like substances from one of the tins on the table and scrapes the inedible portion off with a knife, giving the still good portion to his brother.
“Oh, is that so then?”
So it seems…I do whats called force raging…dangerous and destructive…including to myself…shes been helping me for close to a month now to get through my anger issues…probably half the reason I didn’t go through with my original thoughts when you returned…because rage was the first response…
Passes him the sorry excuse for food he has been subsisting on mostly for this time.
“She [Iradtoki] dumped me you know. Thought that might let the Jedi Council give her another chance. We stayed ‘friends’. Ha. Haha. The rage thing? Yeah… I have witnessed you using it before. Remember that large pack of Kath hounds you had beaten back bare handed when your armor was trashed and you came in all bloodied and scraped?”
I honestly don’t remember too much of doing it…only that I did do it. eyes the moldy food before tossing Zain a packet with several fresh meals in it
We live better then that…we should not go back to eating like that ever. Learn to take care of yourself…but don’t worry…you won’t have to worry about being responsible for me anymore…Mart picked up your slack…he adopted me…made me into his family since you didn’t really want a family with me…I don’t hate you…not anymore…I just…learned I cannot rely on you…because in the end…I am the very last person on your mind.
Knocks the fresh ration packs off the table but thanks his surly brother.
“You could never excuse a man for needing to go find himself, could you? I am glad Mart can give you better care and nurturing than I ever could. In time I will be forgotten. Dad and I eke out a meager existence here. I am not relevant. I never was important. I never will matter to anyone. It’s like your Jedi friends say. You are having a better life now than you did then. I don’t envy it though. I simply used to wonder when my turn would be. Thank you for visiting. You are the first visitor I have had since… arriving.” While gesturing to the mess.
frowns as he does so, perhaps a bit offended by the disregard
There is a difference between making the attempt to find yourself…and abandoning someone, you left no information, no contact, no letter, no one knew if you were coming back…As to your whining you were never important…that is a lie…you were always important to ME…you mattered to ME…its why it hurt so bloody badly every time you threw me away…even now…I am the one that reaches out…and you slap me aside for your self pity…
“So do what you will. If you want to beat up a shell of a man, go ahead. Thank you for visiting your pathetic brother whom no one likes and is the butt of Viscara’s jokes.”
and there’s the self pity again…no…I don’t have to beat you up…you victimize yourself more then enough without my help…I will go since you neither want or need me here…though I will leave the food…even if my effort to be nice was slapped aside…turns to do exactly that unless stopped
“Wait. I found… something from when we were little.”
Stirs around in the mess. Zain retrieves Damien’s Little Cththy the Cthon doll from when he was a little kid.
Looks back to him…and the doll, then back to him again
You bought me that when I was five…and was in the hospital for a week…I didn’t forget…
The broken man looks to his younger brother and slowly nods, handing him the doll but not stopping him from leaving.