A/N: So again...I really have no excuse. Kpop boybands have good music and cute members ^^' But, it's the longest chapter yet I believe so I hope that makes up for it. I will try to be quicker next time haha
I came back to reality feeling sick. Very sick.
"Shawn? Shawn! What happened? What's wrong?"
I just shook my head, clamping my hands over my mouth. If I opened it I was going to puke.
"Shawn? Why are you crying? What's wrong? Are you hurt?"
I shook my head again, trying to push down the bile rising in my throat, the panic welling in my chest, and the memories assaulting me.
None of it worked.
Seth reached out to me, and even though I knew it was Seth, I knew it wasn't him, it still terrified me. I pitched forward, falling to my knees in front of the couch and violently throwing up everything I had just eaten. I knew I was home, I knew I was safe, but I could still feel his hands all over me. Touching, hurting, stroking—caressing me in ways that were so very, very wrong. So I cried, and I screamed, jerking away from anything that tried to touch me.
I don't know how long it took me to calm down. Five minutes? Ten? An hour? All I knew was that when I finally calmed down enough to quit screaming and crying, Seth was the only one still in the room with me.
He was sitting about five feet away from me, his eyes wide and his breathing even faster than mine was. Did I scare him? Did he finally realize how entirely fucked up I was? Was he thinking it would have been better if I had never been found, so that he wouldn't have memories of the way I used to be ruined by the way I acted now?
"Shawn honey?" I heard mom tentatively ask from behind the couch. She must have been standing there the entire time and I just hadn't noticed.
"Y-Yeah?" I asked, turning to look at her. Seth seemed to break out of his trance, turning to look at her as well.
"Are…are you okay now?" she asked quietly.
I nodded, shakily standing up. I looked at the floor once I was standing, not wanting to look at anyone. I noticed that my vomit on the floor—and my clothes—was now dry. Had I really been out of it for that long?
"Seth, why don't you go help Shawn clean up while I get this here?" mom asked, going to a small closet and getting out some cleaning supplies.
Seth immediately jumped up, dusting off his pants and holding out a hand for me. I hesitantly took it, stepping over the puddle of vomit to join him. I still kept my distance though, since I was now dirty in more ways than one. "I'm sorry," I said quietly. "I'm sorry."
"You don't have to apologize sweetie," mom said softly, touching my shoulder briefly before kneeling down to clean up my mess.
"It's okay, don't worry about it," Seth reassured me, tugging gently on my hand, trying to lead me to the bathroom.
I followed slowly behind him, feeling ashamed that I had broken down in front of everyone. This…this wasn't really what I had expected when I found out I was free. I guess I had expected things to just be normal. I hadn't really thought about the fact that I would be…broken. I had just thought I would immediately be better because I would be with my family. I didn't think that everything would be this hard. I couldn't even sit through a kids movie without freaking out! Speaking—or thinking, in this case—of kids reminded me…
"Where is Emily?" I asked as Seth opened the bathroom door, leading us inside.
He turned back to me and smiled a little bit. "Dad took her out. I don't know where they went, but she didn't really see anything if that's what you're worried about."
"I'm sorry," I said again as he closed the door behind us.
"Why are you apologizing? You did nothing wrong." He smiled again, this time it was bigger.
"But…you looked…scared," I said, hanging my head. I really needed to get out of these clothes.
"Of course I was scared," he said, bringing my attention back to him. He had this look in his eyes that I couldn't really explain. But I liked it. "It sounded like someone was murdering you and I had no idea what to do to make it better. Of course I would be scared."
"Oh." That's why he had been scared?
"Anyway though," he said quickly, changing the subject. "We should get you cleaned up. Did you need help? Or do you want me to go? And of course you're free to used the bath or shower. Whichever you prefer."
I thought for a minute. What did I want? My rib was still sore, and my back was kind of stiff because of all the…scars. So I could use his help in undressing. But did I want it? Then again…he was my brother…he wouldn't…touch me like that. He'd just help me get undressed. And then did I want a bath or a shower? Neither, because they're both…bad.
"I…can you…help me?" I asked, looking away. Wow, could I get any more pathetic?
"Sure," he said with a warm smile. I pulled my arms out of the sleeves and turned around, gesturing for him to pull it over my head. I knew full well that my back looked worse than my front, but I felt much more…exposed with my front showing. And the scars on my front, while less in number, were far worse than on my back.
I heard him gasp once my shirt was off and I immediately regretted the decision to have him help me. This was a bad idea. This was such a bad idea.
"Oh Shawn…" he whispered, sounding horrified.
"T-Thanks. I'm o-okay by myself now," I said softly, just wanting him to leave. Such a bad idea.
"I…you're…not…just…I…" he stuttered, unable say what he wanted to. I couldn't see his face but I could just imagine the frustrated look that would be there. He never really had been very good with words.
"I'm okay, really," I said louder. Please just go away. I don't want you to see me.
"You can go, it's okay," I said, trying to sound firm. I'm pretty sure I failed.
"Let me help you, dammit!" he nearly yelled.
I didn't mean to flinch. I didn't mean to pull away. I didn't mean to let out a whimper. I didn't mean to wrap my arms around myself and fall to my knees on the floor.
"I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry." This was such a bad idea. I should have just done it by myself. Then he wouldn't be mad and I wouldn't be a mess. Everything would have been fine and he wouldn't have had to see. Everything would have been okay…
I heard him get to his knees behind me. I managed not to flinch again. "It's okay. I'm sorry. I'm the one who's sorry. You didn't do anything wrong. I'm sorry. I shouldn't have yelled. I just want to help. Please, let me help you. I'm sorry. Don't be scared. I won't hurt you. It's okay. I just want to help. Please. I'm sorry. I want to help," he babbled on and on. I don't even think he knew what he was saying.
"I don't want help," I said, interrupting him.
"You need it," he countered. He was right too, but if only just seeing my back had reduced him to this…he wouldn't be able to handle the rest of it.
He touched my shoulder and I almost flinched. "Hey," he said softly. "Look at me."
I stubbornly shook my head. I didn't want to see his expression when he saw my front.
He ignored my shaking head and grabbed my right arm, trying to tug me to my feet. I didn't want to go, but I didn't want him to get more forceful either. So I compromised by standing but still facing away from him.
"Shawn, look at me," he pleaded.
"So that you can see that it's okay. I'm okay. You're okay. We're okay. Everything is okay. You don't need to be afraid, or embarrassed, or ashamed. Everything is okay. We'll take a shower, or a bath and I'll help you, and it'll be okay. Then we can go to the mall and get your hair cut, unless of course you like it that long, but you kinda look like a girl like that so we should probably get it cut if you don't want to be made fun of and then we can get you some clothes. You want your own clothes right? And then we can go get ice-cream or something and it'll be—"
"I get it," I said, turning slowly to face him. I tried to smile at him in order to draw his attention away from the scars the knife had left. I don't think it worked though, considering how pale his face got once he really looked at me.
He took at deep breath, trying to calm himself down some before he said, "You got a little bit of vomit on me too so I will need a shower as well and I figure we can both just shower together. It saves time and water and you need help anyway and you don't have to be scared because I won't do anything like that. I mean, I'm your brother so of course I wouldn't be into you like that or anything so you don't have to worry at all or be scared and—"
"Okay," I said, cutting him off again. His words were starting to run together so much that I could hardly understand him. Was I really okay with showering with him? No, not really. Was I really okay with showering at all? No, not really. Not after…that…had happened. But did I want a bath? No, no really….they were…scary. But I had to get clean, and I really did need help. And who better to ask than my twin? It was okay to shower with him right? It wasn't weird was it? I didn't know. We had taken baths together when we were little, so it was okay, right?
"Do…do you need any more help? Or can you get the rest of your clothes off by yourself?" he asked awkwardly, looking to the side.
"I'm okay," I said, turning back around and undoing my jeans. Might as well get it over with right? The sooner it all came off, the sooner we could be clean, and the sooner I could put more clothes back on.
I was still working up the courage to pull my boxers down when I heard the shower curtain being pulled back and the water being turned on. Several seconds later I heard Seth say, "The water's warm already. Come on."
"I-I'm coming," I said, quickly pulling my boxers down and climbing into the shower, looking at my feet and nowhere else. Seth backed up to make room and I wound up being the one under the spray. The water was pleasantly warm and I wasn't as afraid as I thought I would be. Maybe it was because even though it was awkward as hell, Seth was here with me. And I knew that he wouldn't let anything happen to me.
He cleared his throat, reaching back to grab the shampoo off the rack. "You look…really uncomfortable," he said, squirting some shampoo into his hand. It didn't really have any sort of scent. It just smelled like shampoo. "So I figured I'll just help you first then you can get out and I'll finish after that. Does that sound okay?"
"Sure," I said, switching places with him so that he could massage the shampoo into my hair without the water washing it out immediately. I felt stupid, because here I was, the older twin, getting my hair washed by my younger twin. It just made me feel so…helpless.
"Are you okay?" Seth asked, making sure he got the ends of my hair too. "You're really quiet."
"I'm always quiet," I said softly. I wasn't even sure he'd be able to hear me over the water.
"You didn't use to be," he said, spinning me around again. "Close your eyes," he instructed, pushing my head back under the spray. I had thought that I would freak out again, that him doing that would scare me, but it didn't surprisingly. I wasn't fully calm, but I wasn't scared either.
"Well I am now," I said in response to his previous comment. "You tend to be quiet when you can't…talk."
"You can open your eyes now," he said, turning back again to get a washcloth and the body wash this time. "And what do you mean by 'can't talk?'" he asked, squirting some of the body wash on the cloth and working it into a lather.
We switched places again so that I could rub the soap everywhere I could reach before I handed him the cloth and let him do my back. Everything had healed up pretty well, so it didn't hurt as he smoothed the soapy cloth over my scarred skin.
"What do you mean by 'You tend to be quiet when you can't talk' Shawn?" he repeated, working his way further down. I was starting to get really, really uncomfortable.
"Nothing. I don't want to talk about it," I said.
"Please tell me," he whispered, laying his head on my shoulder, still rubbing gentle circles into my side.
"I don't want to talk about it," I repeated. I could feel him open his mouth against my shoulder to say something but I cut him off. "Please. I really, really don't want to talk about it. Please."
"Okay, I'm sorry," he said, moving back so I could get under the water again. "The towels are on the counter," he said after I had rinsed off fully. "You remember where our room is, right?"
"Yeah," I assured him, stepping out as quick as I could without hurting myself in the process. I wrapped one of the big towels around myself, covering everything from my neck to my knees. I still felt a little uncomfortable, but not nearly as much as when I was naked.
"You can go ahead and pick out anything you want to wear," he called, closing the shower curtain again. "Shirts and jackets are in the closet. Shoes too. And socks, underwear, and pants are all in the dresser. I'll be out in a few minutes."
"Okay," I said, turning the knob on the door and peeking into the hallway to make sure it was clear before I walked quickly to our bedroom.
Once I was inside, with the door shut firmly behind me, I felt a little better. I still needed clothes though. I looked around briefly, noticing that the only thing that had really changed was the size of the bed. Everything else looked pretty much the same. The dresser, the closet, the chair in the corner that was now piled with dirty clothes instead of toys.
I made my way over to the dresser, pulling open a drawer and getting the boxers on the first try. I just grabbed a plain grey pair, staying away from some of the more interesting ones. Like the ones with the chilies that said "hot stuff." My brother really wore those?
Once I put those on and wrapped my hair up in the towel, I grabbed the first pair of pants my hands came into contact with, glad to be mostly dressed. After putting on a pair of plain white socks—since the pink polka dotted ones just weren't my thing—I opened the closet, looking for something simple to wear.
It took me a while to rummage through all of the shirts, but I finally found one that I liked. It was a dull blue with a smiley face on it. It took longer than I'd like to admit, but I eventually figured out what it was saying. "I smile because I have no idea what's going on" sounded about right for me. I had been locked away for so long that everything was new to me. I just had to work on the whole smiling part and it would be perfect.
Once I had the shirt on I felt even better. Until I saw myself in the mirror. How could I have forgotten about all of the scars on my arms? I couldn't wear a shirt like this, but it was too hot outside to wear a sweatshirt over it. What did I do now?
I heard a quiet knock on the door and turned to find Seth entering slowly, looking around to make sure I was dressed I guess. I stupidly hid my arms behind my back as he entered fully. Why I did it was a mystery to me. He had already seen everything. But I just couldn't help it, I felt the need to hide everything.
"Did you find everything okay?" he asked, walking over to the dresser and dropping his towel, digging through the drawers to find clothes. I turned around immediately, a dark blush coloring my face. How could he be so casual about being naked? It was scary. It was uncomfortable. It was embarrassing. It was shameful. Yet he didn't seem to care one bit.
I made a small sound of acknowledgment, looking for a pair of shoes. They weren't very hard to find. I put on the first black pair I saw.
When I stood upright again, I found Seth next to me, wearing everything but a shirt and shoes. At least he had some pants on now. I tugged at the sleeves of the shirt, somehow hoping that would make them longer. I didn't want to wear a sweatshirt because it would be so hot, but I didn't want to show off my scars to everyone either. My face was already bad enough…
"Is something wrong?" he asked after pulling on a plain purple t-shirt.
"W-What do you mean?"
"Well you keep pulling at the sleeves. If you don't stop it you're gonna stretch it out."
"Oh um…sorry," I said, hiding my arms behind my back again. "Is…do you have something long…and thin, that I could maybe…wear under…?" I couldn't look at him. I felt so stupid. Why couldn't I just wear the damn shirt like a regular person?
I watched his feet as he left. He was back soon though with a thin, long-sleeved white shirt. "Here," he said, handing it to me. "You can wear that underneath. It'll cover what you want it to, but I don't think you'll get too hot."
"Thanks." We stood there awkwardly for a few seconds. I didn't want to change with him standing right there, but I felt like telling him to leave would be rude after he had helped me so much already.
"I'll um…I'll go tell mom that we're clean. I think a trip to the mall would be good too." He ran a hand through his damp hair, biting his lip. Then he started his ramblings again. "We could get your hair cut and buy you some new clothes. Of course, I don't mind sharing, but I thought you might want your own. And then we could get something to eat, I'm sure you're hungry again after…after what happened. And then maybe we could take a walk around town. I know you haven't seen it in a long time, a lot of things have changed—"
"Sounds good," I said, cutting him off. He just nodded, smiled a little bit, and left. Once the door was shut, I quickly pulled the first shirt off, slipped the white one on, then the other one on top of that. It was a little warmer than I liked, but it covered everything and I didn't look too stupid.
After checking one last time that everything was covered and dropping my towel on the floor next to Seth's, I opened the door and made my way slowly to the living room. There I found Seth talking to mom, repeating the same thing he had just said to me, nearly word for word. It made me smile.
"Shawn!" Emily said loudly, hopping up from her spot on the floor and running to me. I was so shocked at the sudden outburst that I just froze. I didn't breathe, I didn't move. I just stood there, trying to calm my heart down. It was ridiculous how much little things terrified me. I half expected my legs to give out when she shouted my name again, but thankfully they didn't. I didn't need any more bruises.
Seth was at my side almost immediately, rubbing my upper arms gently. It was actually very soothing and helped a lot. Mom had grabbed Emily's arm and towed her into the kitchen, scolding her for being loud probably. She was little so I couldn't really blame her. Kids were loud. Seth had been loud. Even I had been loud. But I still wished she'd be quiet. It'd be nice to go more than an hour without being scared.
"So as soon as mom talks to Emily she'll get her keys and we can go. She said it'd probably be best for Em to stay home and I agreed. I don't think you could handle it honestly," he said, laughing a little. "And then yeah, she said we could go shopping and stuff. Dad got paid yesterday so we have quite a bit that you can use. I can tell that you don't really like being around people, so I'm sorry that we're going now, at the busiest time of the day, but I didn't think you'd want to wait several more hours here at home. Although I could be wrong, we can wait if you want, you just have to tell me and we'll stay home. But I know that if I was in your spot I'd probably want to go and get some of my own stuff and get a haircut and everything. You know, to kind of get rid of everything from before. Like starting over and all. But then again that's just me so if you don't want to—"
"It's fine," I said, interrupting him again. He didn't use to ramble so much when we were kids. Then again, he hadn't known so many words when we were kids either. I had been thinking about seeing how long he would go, and as much as hearing his voice soothed me, I just really couldn't take it anymore. His words got all strung together and made it hard for me to understand him. "It's okay. We'll go. If I can't take it, I'll let you know."
"Okay. Did you want the front seat on the way? I know you get carsick and it doesn't help that these roads are windy. But then I also know you get cold easily so I don't know if you'd want to be so close to the vents, but I don't want you getting sick before we get there, because I was hoping we could get some of the Chinese food once we got there. That stuff is so delicious. You have to try it. They put it in like two years ago I think. I'm pretty sure you'll like it. We like a lot of the same stuff when it comes to food so…" he trailed off, seeming to realize that he was rambling now.
I laughed. I actually laughed. It wasn't loud and it didn't last long, but I actually laughed. "I don't really care where I sit, I'm going to get cold and sick anyway so it doesn't really matter."
"We'll just both sit in the back then," he decided. And I didn't need to ask why. Since it was the same reason I wanted to sit with him too. We were finally back together and we didn't want to be separated.
A/N: I hope you liked it and comments are very much appreciated :D
And Seth wasn't a rambler when this chapter started out, but you know how your characters never listen to you -_-