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Before (It's too late)

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"Where did you go?" Javier could feel the tension, his older brother on the porch and looking like a kicked dog; like he's been thinking too hard and started drinking to accompany those impending thoughts. Javi wasn't.. he's not like David. He isn't violent, or aggressive; maybe that's because his older brother was so hostile if Javi said anything he didn't like-- sometimes he felt like the big brother, with how many damn tantrums David threw, even at twenty-two. 

Javi hasn't even graduated high school, and he's still taking bullshit from him because 'that's what brothers do, mijo,' or something on those lines that Pa repeated so often. No one is home, Pa having taken their mother out on a date night, leaving David at home; that made it harder to just go on up to bed. David always has something; if it's not one thing, it's the other. If Javi does something inconvenient for him, there was certain hell to pay and the younger sibling just bit his tongue and learned to quiet down.  "Out, man. Nothing serious." He went to a party with a couple of other seniors in his class. Javi was--- he was a little drunk, but not ready to fall over and pass out. His head is throbbing, though.

David looked like he wasn't content with that response. He never was. "I went to a party. Don't worry, officer, I got permission." His tone is laced with light sarcasm, and his older brother pursed his lips. Not like he could talk; David looked pretty wasted as it is, assuming by all the empty beer bottles stacked messily in the cardboard casing at his side. "Why do you always have to be such a smart ass?" The man hissed, and Javi furrowed his eyebrows. "It's just a joke, David." He wanted to just go to sleep. God, but he knows if David wasn't taken inside, he wouldn't go. 

Something's bothering him; like always, he wants to take it out on everyone else. Javier tried to be understanding, he really did, but sometimes David was so... suffocating. "It's not fucking funny." He doesn't know where it's coming from, but he squeezes his fists for a split second, and unclenches afterwards. "Damn, I'm sorry, okay? I'm going to bed. You should, too." Javi gets closer, jacket barely keeping him warm in the nightly chill. His older brother didn't look too well, either. "I'm fine." David responded, restrained and stand offish. "You look like you're freezing. Come on, bud." He won't remember it tomorrow, and the least Javi could do was bring him inside so he doesn't catch a serious case of hypothermia. Their parents would be pretty pissed, anyway.

He moved in haste, one palm settling over David's shoulder and the other reaching to grab his hand. The older man tried to push him off, but he's too uncoordinated to do any real damage. "Seriously, man? Are you really going to do this?" Javi could feel his own patience dwindling from the headache and the lack of sleep, and he's pulling David to his feet regardless. "Fuck you." It's the only audible thing that Javi could hear, and he snorted as he pulled his arm over his shoulder and wrapped his own around David's side. His brother was still a good few inches taller, but he's leaning so much on Javi that it doesn't seem to matter. 

It's not until they're halfway upstairs and his brothers breaths on his neck, does he notice how uncomfortably close they were. "Hey, Javi?" It's the most sincere he's sounded in a long time. "Yeah?" They make it up the stairs, and turn the corridor to David's room. "Y-- think I'm.. a waste of.. space?" He presses his mouth against his ear, and Javier swallowed heavily. He wants to reassure his brother, but he's starting to realize how feverish he was starting to feel and how hot his older sibling's mouth was. "No, not even for a second. Why would you say that? I love you. You're my brother." David is silent, if only for a moment, before he spoke again.

"I signed up for the army today."