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Orange ripples like watercolors, a hazy film covering the view. Salt runs down tanned, freckled skin and a slight hiccup comes out of a tall, lanky boy, fingers dug into blond hair. His fingers are wrapped tight around the strands and his bottom lip quivers as he bites onto it, eyes squeezing shut as those watercolors and salt bursts free in the form of tears.

Dirk’s not usually one for crying.

Yet, here he is. A tank top exposes his shaking back and shoulders, head bowed towards his lap. Wet shades are disregarded beside him on his bed, splattered with tears like some sort of gorgeous, bittersweet tapestry. Another quiet hiccup leaves him and he wipes at his face finally, trying to raise his head and allow in a shuddering breath. It gets sucked in quick and fast and oh so painful, the male holding his breath for a moment. White teeth bite down onto his lip until its white and then his mouth gapes open, a low sob leaving the male as he shakes and breaks. Again.

And again.

This cycle of crying and sobbing is repetitive and pathetic, leaving Dirk with a hoarse voice and strained lungs. A burning throat and throbbing headache, eyes rubbed raw at valiant attempts to brush away tears that rain down regardless of how hard he tries to deflect them. Even if he manages to brush them away, wet, long lashes leave him exposed. His red, splotchy skin exposes his faults; furrowed brows and pouty lips; a runny nose with a rubbed, red tip, looking as if he’s a frostbitten child.

So, he’s just sobbing by himself. Sobbing, because it’s hard to forget. It’s hard to soothe himself over something he’s pined and wanted for as long as he can remember; something that bubbled and curled in his heart and chest with every breath. Warmth would creep in with a glance at those red eyes and blush would blossom across tanned, freckled cheeks. A smile could make him light up forever; a toothy grin or poorly aimed joke, even at the expense of the orange eyed male.

Anything.

He’d take what he could get.

 

And oh, did he take.

He took and then gave- gave so, so much more than he was ever given.

Because Dave was never afraid to take.

He would take Dirk’s laughter and anything he could; be it food, money, or time, he would take it every time his brother would offer. He took clothes and items, friends and money. Laughter and smiles. He took happiness.

He’s not ever going to return them. Dirk knows that and it aches inside his heart, making it hard to breathe. Dave stole his heart and left him only with a sad memory and a t-shirt. A t-shirt. His brain can't process it. He only can when the fabric is clutched in his hands, tears staining the dark surface and coloring like scarlet blood. The fabric is faded and soft, worn with love. The sleeves are rolled up in a cute look and there are small holes dotting the bottom from where Dave’s nails and fingers have worried there during one of his secret, quirk movements. It’s long on the boy and dips past his hips but above his thighs, worn only at night-time to go to sleep, and even then it’s a rare occasion. It was a gift from their guardian, passed down to Dave, already worn and big. And now, seemingly, it’s been passed down to Dirk, not with love or sweetness, but bitter memories and scorn.

So Dirk holds his breath and clutches the shirt to his chest, laying down on his back. His bed sags underneath him and he’s left staring at his ceiling, vision blurry with tears as they drip down his cheeks. He wish he left it in his drawer, buried away for only his dreams to touch.

Instead it’s in his hands and all he can remember is how pretty Dave looked without his jeans on, only wearing this fucking t-shirt.