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....Yeah, quick question, why the hell is he awake?

Karamatsu sat up, rubbing his face with one hand. It didn't seem to be any time near sunrise. Was it just past midnight? Maybe 2am...?

He bit at his bottom lip, realising how dry it was. Maybe his body just wanted water or something. He reached for his water bottle, set on the floor near the futon, before downing the water.


...he could hear a voice. Someone talking. It was very faint, hardly audible, but present.

Was it one of his brothers in the futon? No, they're all asleep...

....Except Osomatsu, apparently. The eldest wasn't in the futon.

The sounds seemed to have been coming from the balcony. Karamatsu got out of the futon cautiously, quietly, making his way around the sofa to reach the balcony's door and peek through the gap.


"...yeah, i get it... alright. I guess I should try that..." Osomatsu spoke into his phone at his ear. "Thanks again, I guess. Bye..."

Karamatsu opened the door when his elder brother put away the phone. "Osomatsu?"

Osomatsu turned his head around, his eyebags becoming more prominent when his eyes opened a little wider. His hair's seen better days, currently a mess of tangles and scruff, and frankly he looked like he hadn't slept all night long.

His eyes seemed almost bloodshot.


"Karamatsu? Why're you awake?"

"I could ask you the same thing," Karamatsu stated, stepping out into the balcony before sliding the door closed. "Were you talking to someone on the phone?"

"Ah, yeah. Friend of mine," Osomatsu shrugged, grabbing the drink can he had set on the balcony railing before draining its remaining contents. He crushed the can when he was done, throwing it behind him. "Was just in that phonecall for a while."

There were a few other similarly-crushed cans on the balcony floor.


"They... called you? At 2am?" Karamatsu queried.

The elder just shrugged again as he stared down at the ground, grabbing a new drink can from a carton on the floor and cracking it open.

"What... What were you two talking about?"

"Nothin' special," Osomatsu mumbled, before downing almost half of his new drink in one swig.

"Osomatsu, y... You don't look alright."

"I'm fine," the elder murmured, the can landing back on the railing with a clang.  "...You should go back to sleep, Karamatsu."

"You need to sleep too, aniki..."


When met with no response, Karamatsu sighed before closing the distance between the two of them, huddling up to his older brother on the cold night. He rest his head against Osomatsu's shoulder.

" know, if there's anything wrong... you can talk to me, okay?" he reassured, practically giving puppy eyes as he looked up at his older brother.

Osomatsu continued to avoid eye contact. He didn't respond - Not immediately, anyway.


"...the... phonecall i was in."


" was the... the suicide hotline."

Karamatsu froze.


"...i... i-i'm sorry, i-i..."

"No one was supposed to know. That's why you didn't know," Osomatsu stated bluntly, taking another sip of his drink. "It's not your fault. This is the first time I'm actually telling anyone about this."

"A-Are you seeing a doctor? A-- A therapist?"

"Not yet, no. And frankly I'm not really planning to."

"But y-- You should , right...?"

"It wouldn't help. It's just a waste of time."

"But wouldn't it be worth a try--?"


"You don't get it, Karamatsu!" Osomatsu growled, pulling away. "You don't underst-- You shouldn't spend time trying to fix something that can't be repaired! You c-- You can't fix a damn piece of shit like me! You think you can repair some broken trash in a dumpster!? Y-- You think I can be anything more than just a fucking failure!? What, y-- Did you think I actually wanted to be the goddamn oldest brother!? You think I didn't try to be regardless!? That I didn't try my goddamn hardest only to end up failing anyway!? To be called a shit-ass burden of a brother no matter what I do, no matter how hard I TRY--!? For fu-- Did you think I didn't TRY applying for jobs before realising that no one would WANT a piece of shit like ME!? Did you-- What did y--!?"

" Osomatsu ."

"....It's going to be okay."

"...i-it's NOT going to be okay...!!" Osomatsu cried. "'s n-not.... !"


Karamatsu wrapped his arms around his brother, pulling him into a hug. Osomatsu sobbed, clutching back desperately, tightly.

"...i'm so t-tired ...." Osomatsu's voice was quiet, fragile and exhausted . "'s s-so tiring ... just being a-alive .... j-just existing ... just... i-i can't do this anymore..."

"Shh, shh...." Karamatsu cooed, rubbing his older brother's back as he squeezed him tight. "We'll get you through this, aniki. We'll get you through this."






"Okay, one question - Why are these two sleeping outside on the balcony? "

"I'unno!" Jyuushimatsu said in response to Choromatsu's question, the four younger brothers still staring at the two dozing against each other while against the wall. "Whattabout you, Ichimatsu-nii-san?"

Ichimatsu just shrugged, turning his head to Todomatsu to wordlessly ask him the same thing.

"I only know that neither of them were next to me when I woke up," Todomatsu stated.


"They look pretty tired," Choromatsu noted. "I guess we shouldn't wake them up..."

"But nii-san, it's breakfast time!" Jyuushimatsu exclaimed. "We should all eat breakfast!"

"They can eat later when they wake up on their own," the younger said as he grabbed his immediate older brother's sleeve. "Let's leave them alone for now."

Ichimatsu huffed, still having not said a word, before throwing a blanket over the two sleeping brothers.


"Aww, Ichi-nii, are you worried about them~?" Todomatsu sang, a sly expression on his face.

"What-- Sh- Shut up!" Ichimatsu hissed, uttering his first words of the day. "I just don't want two sick guys getting the rest of us sick!"

"Yeah yeah, makes sense," Choromatsu sighed, not wanting to make a scene out of this. "Let's just go eat breakfast already."

"Pancakes, pancakes...!!"


" you want to go down...?"

Osomatsu shrugged nonchalantly, his eyes still closed as he leaned into his younger brother. "...ngrh. not hungry."

"Breakfast is important..."

"...not hungry."


"....aniki, thanks for... telling me about all that last night. N...Now that we're on common grounds, we... we can help you."

"There's no point, Karamatsu. I... I don't have a future ."

"But you can have a future," Karamatsu stated, sitting up straighter to look his brother in the eye. "There are people that can help -- Don't you want to not want to die?"

"I've told you before that I hate change. And I've been feeling like this for so long , this... Now there's a strange comfort to staying in this familiar sadness and... not having it just feels wrong ..."


"But Osomatsu... It... It's not good to feel like dying...! "

"....Trying to change this just sounds so bloody exhausting and I... I-I just don't have that kind of energy..."

"It... I-It would be worth it, wouldn't it...? To... To find y-your spark for life again...? The... The will to l-live...?"

"The world's going to absolute shit , Kara. Life is an illness and death is its medicine. There's no point to any of this, I'm--" Osomatsu stopped abruptly, covering his face with his hands as the back of his head touched the wall behind him. "....i can't do this anymore, i'm... i'm so tired, of... of life , of everything , of anything , i... i'm just tired . This... This is just how it is and will be, and-- and change is just impossible because I'm too tired to do anything of substance ...."

"....osomatsu, let's... go down and eat first. It might... be easier to think after breakfast."