curtkenobi: (Iago "I am not what I am")
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Title: Guardian
Author: Curt Kenobi
Fandom: Four Brothers
Summary/Prompt: Bobby will do anything to keep his brothers safe. (prompt from [livejournal.com profile] heeroluva)
Rating: T/PG-13
Warnings: allusions to character death, canon character death, psychological screwiness
A/N: Written for the [livejournal.com profile] sharp_teeth “the mournful influence of the unperceived shadow” meme. First attempt at a) commentfic meme participation and b) horror.

I personally think it fails epically at the horror and more examines the aspects of unhinged desperation. In a very sparse manner. I totally should flesh it some more.

Originally posted here: This right here.

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The snow crunches under his knees and the chill seeps into his skin, down to the bone as Bobby kneels in the graveyard before Jackie’s plot. There’s frost on the tamped down sod already, across the simple letters of the brass plaque that says Jack Mercer – beloved brother is here, six feet below in a box, dressed in a cheap suit and his skin still a shade of blue: the fuck of bleeding out in the goddamned cold. ...Mom’s grave’s not too far away. Jack’s isn’t anything grand, like hers – couldn’t spring for it, but it’s functional. It’s what the Mercer boys will take, though; Mom gave them everything they needed otherwise.

(Always there watchin’ out for us, Mom, weren’t you? Always were safe with you.)

The open space to the right of Jackie’s grave taunts Bobby, the snowed-over ground just waiting for more rectangular holes to be dug – dark gouges that will stain the pure white snow an ugly muddy colour and have coffins dropped down into the new abyss, their hidden treasures lifeless puppets on silky pillows. How many can fit from here to the walking path? Three? Four?… How’d they space that shit out anyway?

(Probably three… Magic number.)

Doesn’t matter. Bobby looks back to Jackie’s grave, the biting freeze of the cold metal melting to his fingertips as he touches the simple name. Little Jackie. Little fairy. Baby brother. Cold and dead and all alone. …Jack always fucking hated being alone, even though most of the time he couldn’t stand being around people; took him forever to warm to his family. And now they’ve let him down. Bobby let him down.

(Can’t anymore. Safe as safe can be, aren’t you? Yeah, safe. But ya gotta be scared, ain’t ya, Jackie?...)

“I’ll fix it, Jackie.” His words leave in a breath of fog, holding them encased in the air, his visible promise. “I’ll fix it. We’ll all be safe.”

He wonders if below his knees, Jack can hear his words. Jack might’ve been a pain, but that’s what little brothers exist for; he always trusted Bobby, though. The kind of cutting, unfathomable depth of faith that never was spoken, but always there, and Bobby saw it every time he closed his eyes and recalled the light leaving Jackie’s. That’s what had been there: terror, ‘cause he was fucking dying, and trust.

He knew Bobby will do anything for him, for his brothers – anything and everything within his power.

Bobby’s responsible for his brothers. He’s already lost one, but there’s still Jer and Angel left with him. …Bobby will do anything to keep them together, to keep them safe. He always has – has been known to be creative with just how far he has to go. This is just going to be another act as responsible big brother.

(…Like sleeping. Like when they were newly-taken-in and all piled into one room together, keeping away the nightmares, reassuring each other their patchwork family was real, at least for that moment. That their brotherhood always would be.)

Bobby gets to his feet, squares his shoulders. This is his responsibility: they’re his brothers. He’ll be damned if their safety’s left out of his control ever again.

He might be damned anyway, but they’ll all be safe.

-----------

Sofi’s not around, and Angel’s sitting with his head bowed in the living across from Jeremiah when Bobby comes in. They look up briefly, register (the non-threat, it’s just – ) Bobby, and go back to their contemplation or whatever. Bobby smiles a bit. They’re all three here together. The Mercers. Jeremiah, always wanting to make something for himself – all family man, but he can’t deny he’s a Mercer through and through. Angel’s like Bobby’s second in command – arm in arm, back to back, they’re the defenders of the Mercer family.

The Desert Eagle is solid and cool, smooth and heavy beneath his hand – and there’s blood on it – Jack’s blood, Sweet’s fucking goon in the van’s blood. Their life is painted on it. He can’t see it, but he knows its there, just like he knows this is how he’s gonna keep his brothers safe. It’s intrinsic. The shiny chrome blazes like fire, he knows, even though it’s hidden in his hoodie pocket. Like that Archangel’s fiery avenging sword. Yeah, he’s the Mercers’ guardian angel, all right, and he’s gonna keep them safe.

Jack’s blood is on his hands, too, even though he scrubbed them clean.

(As safe as safe can be….)

Bobby strips off his hoodie and lays it across his lap as he takes a chair. (Safe. Safe as safe can be. All the Mercer boys, just like it should be….) He closes his eyes, sees Jack choking on his own blood, spasming. Out of his control.

It’s not what he’s going to let happen to Angel and Jer.

Angel and Jerry are talking at him; Bobby’s only catching the noise. His eyes are on the family photos across from him, spattered with bullet holes and his mind is filled with his promise: I’ll fix it. We’ll be safe. We’ll all be safe. Safe. Like sleeping. No nightmares, no fighting to get by. Just…safe. Quiet and sound; safe and peaceful – Mom and Jack and Angel, Jerry and me. I’ll fix it…. It's a cacophonous loop, drilling into the fibre of his being, his intent as vital as blood. Blood.

“I’m not going to lose another brother,” Bobby declares in a break of their words, looking from the splinted, punctured memories on the wall to the reality of his brothers across from him, in the sanctuary of Mom’s house. His fingers curl about the Eagle and slip the safety. There’s resignation on their faces at his sentiment – “We know you don’t want to, Bobby,” their look says. “We know.”

They don't realise.

He stands, saying, “I mean it!” his words their own gunshot, the lamplight gleaming off the polished chrome as he draws and fires.

It’s quick and clean. Shock paralyses Angel before he can move and the action repeats.

(Safe. Safe.)

He’d’ve given Jackie the same – wishes that Jack had gotten the same pass. But that’s three of the four of them together with Mom now. Jack snug and still in his box; Jerry and Angel slumped back against the chairs’ cushions in the living room they grew up in. Angel’s eyes are still open. That…no. Bobby smoothes his fingers down over Angel’s eyes, closing them. There.

(Like sleeping.)

All his brothers, safe and sound.

The snow falls softly outside, blanketing the moment, tucking them in.

It’s time to sleep, safe with his brothers.

---------------

(The lyric in the cut is from "Anthem of the Angels" by Breaking Benjamin.)

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