He might have been the younger brother officially, but in all means and ways he’s always been the elder one—he’s the one who looks out for Jimmy when he’s reaching out too deep and too quickly, and he’s the one who has to drag his twin brother back when Jimmy looks like he’s about to lose it.
Jimmy might be the elder brother, but Jacob’s the one who’s been looking out for him whenever he can. Right from the beginning of this gig Jimmy’s the one who rolls into action and Jimmy’s the one who finds the hunts and takes whatever relief he can in killing the ones who took his family away from him. Jacob does understand where Jimmy comes from, he really does, but the feeling’s always been separate, distant; a fact more than a memory to him, something that he lists down in the near-endless list of things that Jacob keeps a mental tally of about his twin brother.
He understands the pain that Jimmy feels and acknowledges the sense of loss that his brother must feel in having Amelia and Claire being taken away from him, but there’s always that thin line between understanding and knowing and feeling and he does know and has felt the loss, once upon a time. He’s felt it in his years spent away from Jimmy in pursuit of his career and of his dreams, the one regret he has when he made the decision to leave his family and forge out a path of his own making. Jimmy is important to him and will always be, but there are still other things in the world he has to pay attention to as well, back then.
Jacob knows about pain and knowing and feeling but all of that doesn’t compare to now as he holds his brother’s lifeless body in his arms and feels the lack of breath against his neck. From the moment the black guy stabbed him Jacob knows that Jimmy’s not going to make it—it had been an expert move, one strike all the way through the spine, and there’s no way anybody can survive that, not even Jimmy.
The freezing air of Cold Oak feels just as numb as his veins as Jacob squeezes his eyes shut and buries his face into the rapidly-cooling shoulder of his brother. He barely registers the wet slickness of blood that slips around his fingers or the hard earth that bites into his knees; there’s only Jimmy and his lifeless body in his arms, and Jacob bites back a sound from the back of his throat as he feels the last bits of warmth leave his brother’s body.
“Jim,” he chokes out, the name falling from his lips even before he registers it; his voice is nearly inaudible within the silence of his—their—surroundings. “Jim. Jimmy.”
The tiny, wholly unanlytical and utterly unscientific part of him wishes and hopes and cries but there’s no response, no answer.
Jacob thinks that the silence is more than enough to kill him.