Blood Brothers

"What did ya wanna show me, Hunter?" His voice was excited, and he was bouncing up and down as he waited for me to make it all the way up the latter to our tree house. I grin as I heave myself in and plop down on the bed mattress our dads had put up their for us, seeing as we often spent the night out in the tree house. "Hunter, show me! I'm gonna be like a bajillion and one years old if you don't hurry!"

"You're only eight years old," I stated matter-of-factly, pushing my hand into my pocket and searching around before finally pulling out my new treasured item. "Look what my dad gave me!" I grinned triumphantly, holding the gadget out, and he stared at me for a few moments, a confused expression coming over his face.

"What is it?"

Rolling my eyes I let out a soft sigh and flipped the blade out, making it completely obvious what it was. "A pocketknife," I sang, running my finger over the dull side of the blade, like I'd seen my father do many times before when he had nothing better to do with his hands. I turned my gaze away from the blade and back up to Cooper, who didn't seem to thrilled with the idea.

"Why? I mean… that could be dangerous! If you took it to school and the teachers caught you, you could get in a lot of trouble. You've never had time taken off of your recess, Hunter, and if you do, who will I play with?" He was pacing now, babbling on about how he didn't want me to get into any trouble, and I finally gave a laugh.

"I'm not gonna take it to school, dummy!" I said. "I actually had an idea, though." He stopped pacing, arms crossed over his chest as he looked at me, head tilted to the side. For a moment, I hesitated. Cooper didn't like anything that involved pain, and I didn't want to force him into anything he didn't want to do… "You're my best friend, right?" I asked, and he nodded his head.

"Yeah, duh." He murmured with a roll of his eyes, letting his arms fall back down to his sides as he took a seat beside me on the comfy mattress and crossed his legs Indian style.

"Well… I was watching this movie with my mom, and these two guys cut their hands, right? Then they pressed them together real tight and let their blood run together and they called themselves, 'blood brothers'. I don't exactly know what it means, but I… well, I guess I kind of do. I'll always be there for you, and you for me. Like real brothers, but not, because I don't like my brother…"

Cooper stared at me for a long moment, unblinking, before he paled slightly and shook his head. "You want us to cut ourselves?" he asked, voice hushed as if he were telling a secret. I nodded slowly. "No way!" he cried, much louder this time. "That would hurt, and… and… blood is really gross…"

Slightly crestfallen, I nodded my head lightly, and pushed the blade of my knife back in. "Okay, then, that's fine." I murmured, though it wasn't. I had been sure that Cooper would be able to look past his fear and do that for me! I don't even know why I wanted to do it, but it seemed important.

My eyes raised back to meet his when I felt his hand touch my arm, and he was nibbling on his bottom lip, still looking pale. "O-okay… I'll do it… but you have to… you have to c-cut for me." He stammered, taking a deep breath and I smiled leaning forward and wrapping him in a quick hug, before pulling back and pushing the blade back out.

Uncertainly he gave me his right hand, and squeezed his eyes shut as I ran my thumb over his palm, trying to prepare him a bit, though I knew nothing I could do would soothe the bit of pain that he would feel for a bit. "Ready?" I asked quietly, and he just gave a quick, jerky nod, and I held his hand steady, quickly pushing the blade against his skin and running it across his palm.

I was slightly mesmerized as he gave a gasp, eyes shooting open. Thick droplets of warm crimson were rolling from the slightly deep gash in his palm, and he was trembling. "H-hurry up!" He commanded and I did, looking down at my own palm and bring the blade across it as well. I didn't wince, didn't make any movement as the blood began to roll out of my own cut and fill my palm.

He held his hand up, blood immediately flowing down his arm, and I did the same pressing our hands together and lacing our fingers, watching the warm drops mix and trail down our arms, tying us together forever, my blood flowing through his veins, his through mine. My eyes met his as he took a deep breath, and he gave a shaky, brave smile. "Blood brothers…" he murmured.

-

"Faggot," I spat, grin pulling at my lips as I pushed the smaller boy into the lockers, my group of friends laughing behind me, spitting names at him as well. Tears were rolling down his pale cheeks, as he held up his hands and tried to push me away. My eyes stayed away from his right hand, as I dodged them, kneeing him in the stomach. The laughter grew more wild and out of control as he fell forward on his knees, clutching his stomach. "And that's exactly where you should be," I bellowed, "on your knees before me."

With that, I turned around with a laugh, motioned for the people to follow me, ignoring the subtle ache in my right palm. As the group split up, a couple of guys and I headed for gym class, them still laughing about the kid I'd beat up.

The kid I beat up everyday, the kid that used to be my best friend.

Cooper Valentine.

Nobody ever seemed to notice the identical scars on the palms of our right hands, and I was slightly grateful. I didn't want anybody asking stupid questions, because I don't think I could handle it. Coop was my best friend. He still is my best friend. No matter what I do to him, he always comes back to me, remaining loyal to our blood brotherhood.

Sometimes, when we find the time alone, and I'm allowed to be myself once more, he'll ask me why I do it, and I can never answer him properly. I dodge the question at all costs.

I don't know why I do it. I don't like to her Cooper, so that's not the reason. He's the last person in the world I want to hurt, but he remains an easy target.

Peer pressure? Is that what they call it? I'm scared of them. The popular kids, I mean, and that's just what I am. Popular. I've seen the things they can do, and I've… well, I've obviously been involved in the things that they do. Such as beating up innocent people just to get a laugh out of it.

I'm scared to say no, afraid that I'll be the next victim of their hate… but I'm beginning to think it hardly matters anymore, because when I have to see the new bruises I've given Cooper everyday, it tears me apart.

As I make my way into the house at the end of the day, I throw my backpack on the ground and walk into the backyard, climbing up the latter to the tree house (yes, this is still my favorite place to go). I lie down on the mattress, absentmindedly running my fingers over the scar on my palm. My eyes wander to the opening, as I hear someone making their way up, and I give a week smile as Coopers head appears.

"Hey…" I say quietly as he climbs the rest of the way in and lies down next to me, not looking at me, not saying anything. I reached down and took his right hand, eyeing the thing white scar that mirrored my own perfectly, before pressing a gentle kiss to it, watching him as he watched me with that same horrible sadness he'd been reflecting since this had started. "I'm sor-"

"I know," he cuts my apology short and takes his hand away from mine, gently resting it on his stomach. "But I don't know how much longer I can take this, Hunter. I can hardly move anymore, and it's getting really hard to get away from my parents concern." He lifts up his shirt a bit, and I immediately look away after getting a glimpse of the large bruises that completely covered his flat stomach.

"I won't do it again," I say slowly, and I look over at him once more, propping myself up and getting positioned above him, careful not to touch any of his bruised skin. Gently, I press a chaste kiss to his soft lips. "I love you, Coop."

-

I'm a sick filthy bastard, and I deserve nothing more than to slowly be tortured to death. These thoughts are running through my head as I throw Cooper to the ground in the bathroom, allowing a couple other boys to get a few kicks in as he writhes and moans in pain on the dirty floor.

I promised I wouldn't do this again. I think this as I press my foot as hard as I can into his groin, hearing him cry out in pain and trying to squirm away from us. His sandy blond hair is stained with crimson blood, from where he hit his head on the ground when I pushed him down. His green eyes are staring up at me, showing the most utter hurt and betrayal, worse then it ever was before.

I let the other two boys finish him up, delivering punches to his face and stomach and just as we exit the bathroom, I throw one last apologetic look to him, but his eyes are closed, and he lies still. "I love you, Coop…" I whimper before joining the other two at lunch.

When I arrive home that day after school, waiting for Cooper up in the tree house, for the first time, he doesn't come.

I waited for several hours, before I walked into the house, rubbing my aching scar. As soon as I made it into the house, the phone rang, and my mom picked it up. Sitting down at the kitchen table, I listen idly to her conversation, trying to soothe my scar by pressing my cool fingers to it.

When she hangs up, she looks at me with wide, tear filled eyes, hear arms limp at her sides and her face completely pale.

"M-mom?" I stammer, frightened, and she seems to snap out of her daze, tears rolling down her cheeks as she makes her way over to me, pulling me into a motherly embrace as she cries softly into my shoulder. "Wh-what happened?"

"Hunter, baby… I have some really bad news," she says; as she pulls away from my trying to pull herself back together as she wipes her tears away. "They… they found Cooper on the restroom floor… drowned in his own blood..."

My eyes widen and I jerk away from her, my back slamming into the counter behind me and I let out a yelp. "N-no he didn't… he couldn't have… I-I…" I stop breathing for a moment and I jerk my hand up to look at the thin scar, before breaking down and letting out a heart-wrenching sob.

If I wasn't going to hell for betraying my blood brother, I was for murdering him.

-

That did not turn out how I wanted it to. I actually really like the beginning, in italics, but the rest is shit. I may rewrite it later.