How had everything gone so wrong?
He had followed Hank to Augustine, let him lead the way as the two of them fought the DUP goons, everything was going so well, everything was fine, and then it wasn't. The minute that concrete bounded his hands together and prevented him from using his powers, the minute Hank booked it seconds later, Delsin —for the first time ever— felt the sting of betrayal. It cut him deep because goddammit he trusted Hank. And this is how he repaid him, by bailing and leaving him with Concrete Queen? The sheer delight on Augustine's face was enough to piss him off because he hadn't come this far to be caught by her, to simply be taken away Curdun Cay without a fight, he still needed to save his tribe back home, he still needed to fix the mess he started.
But then low and behold, his brother came to his rescue, yet again. Time after time Reggie was here. And as Deleon fell to the ground as a rocket grenade hit the floor, as he yelled at his brother.
"You could have hit me!" He found that there really was no heat in his words because he was just happy that Reggie would always be there for him to count on.
Until he couldn't.
It all happened too fast, it left him slightly disoriented.
They were dangling over the edge of the of Puget Sound, the concrete around Reggie was spreading up his body and Delsin was trying desperately to get back on the ledge. Because if he could pull himself up then he would be able to pull Reggie back up with him. But the concrete was making Reggie heavier and his grip was slipping. Then Reggie was speaking,
"Delsin... Delsin, look at me..." Painful acceptance was written all over his face. "You gotta let me go."
His heart ceased, it skipped a beat at the suggestion, because no fucking way, he wasn't going to do that! He already lost so much as it were, he wasnt going to lose Reggie too. "No, I can do this!" But in his heart, Delsin knew he couldn't, Reggie had been too heavy for him to lift, powers or no there was just no possible way for him to save himself and Reggie, but still he looked into the eyes of his big brother, and continued to beg and plead that he could save them both. Reggie, forever the comforting person that he was, simply smiled and seconds later plummeted to the waters below.
"I love you, bro."
Those were the last words he'd ever hear from his brother.
It was utterly raw and full of such heartbreak it would have made the man with the coldest heart ache for and feel sympathy. Because this young punk twenty-four year old had just watched his entire world fall away from him. And as he looked at Augustine, the emotionless expressions she wore. For she had no heart and felt nothing for his loss of the most important person in his life.
His body shaking, Delsin screamed once again, but this time it was different.
This time it was beast-like, a furious roar that tore his throat and it hurting. It was like a feral beast had been unleashed and now he was on a full scale attack. A beast that wanted blood and death for the woman who caused him such immense hurt. And Delsin foughther with everything he had. He fought her until his limbs were aching, until his powers ran bone dry, until the damn concrete structure Augustine built crumbled into the icy waters, because he wasn't going to stop until Reggie was avenged.
"I love you, bro."
The rage still boiled in his veins, even after he made it back to shore. But his heart still ached for what he lost. He wanted Hank Daughtry dead because this was all his fucking fault! He searched for him and when he did find the very man that gave him his Smoke Powers, the very man that started it all. He remember Fetch and how the death of her own brother caused her to become a killer, murderous without any remorse for her actions until the day she met Delsin, how her need for revenge almost consumed her.
And dammit that isn't something that Reggie would've wanted him to become.
"Is this how you want to leave your mark in the world, huh?"
So he let Hank go.
One would think that by being the bigger person, being better then a killer would have helped soothed his shattered heart, calmed down the storm whirling inside him, knowing that he actually listened to his brother for a change... knowing that his brother would be proud of the decision that he made it was make everything okay, but it didn't. Instead it made him worse because if he had just listened to Reggie when he told him that trusting Hank was a bad idea. Then this wouldn't have happened. Because he would've found a different way to save Eugene and Fetch all on his own without Hanks help. A safer way that didn't involve Reggie coming with him.
But he didn't.
And now his brother was...
His body started to shake again as he stood looking out into Puget Sound waters. His vision blurred and his breathe hitched in his throat.
Even saying his name hurt.
Because now that things had saddled down, now that he was finally thinking things over, he realized that this was no ones fault but his own. The person to blame for what happened wasn't Hank or Augustine, but simply Delsin.
"R-Reg—" His sadness cascaded down his cheeks as he ran hands through his hair, discarding his signature red beanie.
Then his mind started trick him, his heart was at that stage of frantic hope, in that stage of desperate denial, that maybe just maybe if he could get to where Reggie plummeted, then he could be saved. After all, his brother was encased in concrete, he wasn't going to drown. All he needed was a chance.
Just one chance, just a second.
Without any hesitation, Delsin jumped into the water.
Now there was another reason Delsin and water never went together. For he never was the best swimmer, in fact, he sucked at it.
Nearly drowning in the river Salmon Bay would put the fear of water in anyone. He was about 8 years old where he was playing by the docks —the same docks that his parents told him multiple times to stay away from during high tide— and Delsin with his rebellious streak high as any kids would be disobeyed only for him to slip and fall. Reggie jumping in after him seconds later —only for the idiot to get caught up in the waves himself— both of them nearly died, hell Delsin even blacked out for a few minutes only to wake up with a jerk, shaking and coughing next to a very confused, very concerned Reggie. Understandingly enough, no one blamed him or Reggie for avoiding deep waters after that.
But not this time, this time he needed to be in the water, so he could look for Reggie, because now it was his turn to save him for the icy depths.
But the water seemed to be against him, just like everything else was, too because suddenly there was a current and Delsin barely had time to take a breathe before he was under water. He kicked to the surface, taking one quick breathe before diving back under willingly and looked for any sign of Reggie. Delsin dove deeper and deeper, his desperation slowly turned to helpless panic, because it was getting harder and harder to see and very slab of concrete looked the same.
Breaking the surface once more, a wave suddenly caught him off guard, causing him to swallow some of the water before dragging him back into it's cave. Coughing, gagging, utterly spent from putting his body through so much exertion, still though, Delsin continued his search.
"I love you, bro."
He had to find Reggie. Even if it cost him his own life in the process, he had to try and save his brother, it was better then leaving him down here to die. As he choked and fought against the current Delsin felt something grab hold of him by the shoulders, lifting him out of the water with a jerk.
"No!" He shouted, crying brokenly, "Reggie!" Desperately trying to get out of the grip that had him as he helplessly looked at the water below him as one of Eugene's Angel form flew him away and dropped him on the ground with a thump!
Immediately, he tried jumping back in, because he was on a mission, and he wasn't going to fucking stop until Reggie was home with him, but something wrapped around him, tightly holding him back. "Yo, D! What the hell are you doing!?" Fetch's voice yelled in his ear. But he payed no attention to her as he fought her off.
"Let me go!" He snapped, angry and hurt. Why didn't they understand!? He had to fix his mistake. "I have to save him!"
"D-Delsin, what's going on?"
That was Eugene
But he didn't pay Eugene a second glance, his mind was in overdrive, determined to get to Reggie. "My brother! I have to... save him!" He was panting down, his voice hoarse and raw as he fought and pushed at Fetch's arms, trying to loosen her grip enough enough for him to escape. Reggie... Reggie... please. Soon though, his sudden burst of energy, his adrenaline wore off and Delsin collapsed to the ground. "Reggie— Reggie, my brother... let me go... this is all my fault."
He distantly felt Fetch wrap her arms around him, this time in a full blown embrace.
"It's okay, Smokes." She said, her voice comforting and her arms seemed to truly and protect him like Reggie's use to. Because if anybody in the entire world knew what he was going through, it was her. "You're gonna be okay."
The metaphorical wall Delsin built around his emotions, to keep him from breaking in front of his friends, broke soon after that, it shattering fully and completely. He screamed, cried, sobbed out everything. Every heart ache, every regret, every raging impulse. Delsin finally grieved for what he lost. His tears mixing with the water slipping down his face.
Because no, it wasn't okay. He wasn't okay, and probably would never be again.
For now, even though he knew he wasn't alone, even though he knew that had the support of his friends and his fellow Conduits would also be behind him in the best of their ability.
Delsin Rowe felt empty on the inside out, and he knew that he would always carry that feeling. For there was no replacing his big brother, the man who despite everything Delsin had done over the years, despite all the vandalism and arrests had always been there, to give him advice or comfort him, but now wasn't because of him.
"I love you, bro."
I love you too, Reggie.
I'm so sorry...