Sweet Brotherly Love
Shin really didn't know when it started. Only a few weeks ago had he even noticed it, and now it was the only thing he could think of.
He over looked at Jou, his eight-year-old little brother, who was sitting on the couch watching afternoon cartoons. Shuu, his sixteen-year-old brother, was off at viola practice, so it was his turn to watch Jou that afternoon.
Despite the age difference, they still got along quite well. Perhaps it was because their sometimes overly strict parents were usually too busy with work, and therefore Shin and Shuu were the ones who ended up watching their little brother. As Shuu was often gone after school, however, Shin was the one who usually looked after Jou.
"Done with your homework, Jou?" Shin asked as he sat down next to his little brother. "You know how Dad doesn't want you watching TV until your homework is done."
"Yep, there wasn't much, so it didn't take very long." Jou replied, his eyes fixed on the TV.
"Then why don't you study your math some more. Dad won't be happy if you don't get a good grade on your test next week."
Jou sighed as he turned off the TV. "Okay, but I think I know most of it already."
"I'll tell you what," Shin said, seeing his brother's unhappiness, "you study your math, and we can go to the park later, okay?"
Jou's eyes immediately widened behind his glasses, and agreed to the compromise. Shin figured their mother wouldn't mind a trip to the park before dinner, and ruffled the boy's black hair before he went to his room to study.
As Shin watched his brother go, he wondered once again how it all started. Yes, Jou and him were close, but that was no reason for his current thoughts. There was no reason in the world that was good enough to explain what he was feeling.
After all, only sick perverts fell in love with their little brothers.
Shin took off his glasses and rubbed his face. What kind of monster fell in love with his little brother? What kind of sick freak fell in love with such a little kid?
Him, that's who. He was the monster, he was the sicko. He truly despised himself, and was completely disgusted with what he had turned into. Jou was eight years old. Eight. That was way beyond being underage; that was revoltingly underage. Not only that, but Jou was also his little brother. Which made it incest, as in, filthy, disgusting, immoral incest. The combination of those two evils was the most abhorrent thing he could ever think possible.
"I am a fucking monster," Shin whispered, his face still in his hands.
Shin finally looked up at the clock and realized he had been torturing himself for over half an hour. With a sigh, he tried to compose himself and pretend nothing was wrong. Even though his thoughts were constantly terrorizing him, he needed to at least try to act like everything was normal, no matter how hard that was.
Finally, Shin got up from the couch and went to Jou's room. He probably had enough of math for the day, and if they wanted to go to the park before dinner, they would have to leave soon.
"Jou, you almost done?" Shin asked as he poked his head in his brother's room.
"Yeah," the boy replied, closing his book. "I'm done."
"Okay, then, get your shoes on and I'll meet you outside." Shin watched as Jou nodded and nearly ran out of the room. He really was a cute kid, and well behaved thanks to their parents. Shin sighed as he tried to bat away even those innocent thoughts, and went to tell their mother where they were going.
Shin often wondered why his mother brought home so much work from her office. It often felt like she was still at work, as she wasn't to be bothered when she was working in the den.
"Hey, Mom, can I take Jou to the park? He's done with his homework, and I thought it would be better than just sitting at home."
"Sound's like a good idea, if you're sure he got all his homework done," his mother replied. "Just make sure to be home in an hour to make dinner, since I'm too busy with this report to make it myself. And make sure Jou's careful. I don't want him getting hurt or getting his clothes dirty."
Shin nodded, and went to get his own shoes on before heading out the door.
"Okay, Jou, we have an hour before we have to be back," Shin said as he shut the front door behind them.
"Only an hour?" Jou asked, his face falling a little.
"We have to be home to make dinner soon. Now, come on, the faster we get there, the longer we have at the park."
Jou nodded, and the two headed to the local park. Shin took his brother's hand, just as they always did when they went out alone. It was for protection, Shin thought, always has been, always will be. Yet, as they were walking along, he couldn't help but feel that he really shouldn't be holding his little brother's hand.
Fifteen minutes later they reached the park. As soon as they got there, Jou ran to the jungle gym and started climbing to the very top. Shin, on the other hand, was content to sit on a park bench and watch his brother.
As he sat there, Shin began once again thinking about how this all happened. He had always loved his little brother, but how in the hell did he fall in love with him? How did he turn into such a sick pervert?
It all just sort of...happened, really. There was no exact moment Shin could point to that made him fall in love with his brother. It was gradual in a way, yet it happened so fast. One week he wanted to ruffle Jou's hair, the next he wanted to kiss him on the lips. It didn't stop there, either, that would have been much too kind. He also felt himself loving Jou more and more every day. Shin dared not wonder where these sick thoughts would finally lead to.
Shin once again tried to ignore those thoughts, as the park was not the best place to dwell on his sins. He smiled and waved to Jou, who was now at the top of the jungle gym. Just keep your eyes on Jou and make sure he doesn’t get hurt playing in the park, Shin thought. He paused for a moment, thinking about what he just told himself, and whispered, "if I ever hurt Jou..."
He would never, ever make Jou the least bit uncomfortable because of his sick thoughts. To physically act upon his reprehensible thoughts was even more despicable than merely having them. No, he would never touch Jou in that way. Never. The mere thought made Shin shutter in self-disgust.
After trying once again to push those thoughts aside, Shin called Jou back, saying it was time to go. During the walk home, he was only mildly surprised to realize he felt even more like he shouldn’t be holding his brother’s hand. Did he really get that much worse in the time they were at the park?
When they got home, Shin’s mother reminded him to make dinner. Wondering what to make, he called Jou into the kitchen. Jou did always like helping him out when making dinner.
"So, Jou, what do you want for dinner?" Shin asked as his little brother came into the kitchen.
He thought for a moment before answering, "Macaroni and cheese."
Shin smiled. "You sure that's what you want?"
Jou nodded. Shin could see that Jou had made up his mind, and got out the boxes of macaroni and cheese that were usually reserved for lunch. He supposed his parents wouldn't mind it too much, especially if he made a decent side dish to go with it.
The two made dinner, or rather, Shin made dinner and Jou helped out. Shin always made sure Jou always had something important to do, such as measure out the milk, or pour in the macaroni.
Jou was setting the table when their father came home from the hospital. He was a big and important doctor there, as Shin often said to Jou to explain their father's long hours away from home. Their father wasn't exactly thrilled with having macaroni and cheese for dinner, but managed a smile when Shin explained that it was what Jou wanted for dinner.
"Don't let him think he'll always be able to pick dinner, though," he said as he went to put away his hospital paperwork.
"I won't," Shin replied. "Dinner will be ready in a few minutes."
A few minutes after their father left the room, Shuu came home from his after school viola tutoring session.
"I see Jou picked dinner tonight," he said as he looked into the pot that was on the stove. "Any reason why?"
"Felt like it," Shin replied, shooing away his brother. "Have fun at practice?"
"Not if you count going over the same song for three hours fun. What did you and Jou do today?"
"Jou studied for a math test then I took him to the park," Shin replied, not mentioning what he did while Jou was studying. "Go tell Mom dinner's going to be ready soon," he added, quickly changing the subject.
If I fell in love with Shuu, at least then it wouldn't be underage, Shin thought to himself as he watched his brother leave to put away his viola. He would have been mildly amused by such a comment, if it weren't so damn close to home.
Dinner itself proved to be uneventful, despite what was being served. Everyone noticed Jou eating more than usual, yet no one seemed to notice how little Shin ate. Ever since this whole thing started, Shin didn't have much of an appetite, and his figure was starting to show it.
As it was Shuu's turn to do the after dinner dishes, Shin went to his room to do his homework. He needed to work on a literature paper, and his calculus homework was due tomorrow.
Shin had always done exceptionally well in school, partly because his father was so strict about doing well. He had just recently been awarded a scholarship to Tokyo University, and he was on his way to graduating in the top 5% of his class.
None of that mattered, however, since he was nothing more than a perverted monster who was in love with his little brother.
Shin was concentrating hard on his calculus homework, mainly so he wouldn't have to think of other things, when he heard a knock on his door.
He was about to ask who was there when Shuu opened the door and walked in. "Would you like to come in?" Shin asked as Shuu took a seat on the bed.
"Shin, what's wrong?" he asked, ignoring the comment.
Shin could only look at his brother. Oh gods no. No. No one could ever learn about what he was feeling for Jou. Absolutely no one.
"Just stress from school, I guess," Shin finally replied, trying his hardest to appear calm. "Why do you ask?"
"You're not acting right, Shin. You haven't been eating recently, and I notice that you have this new found habit of sitting alone in a room and staring into space."
Shuu's gaze almost hurt. "Oh, that. I guess I have been more stressed out than I thought I was. I'll try to relax, if it'll get you off my case." Shin smiled as he said the last part, hoping to reassure his brother. Oh please, let that convince him.
"Okay, fine, but if there's absolutely anything bothering you, or you just need to talk to someone, let me know, okay?"
"I will, now get the hell out of my room."
"Okay, fine," Shuu said, finally smiling, "but start eating. You’re skinny enough as it is." He left the room, leaving Shin very relieved.
Shin sat there for a moment, thinking about what his brother had said. Oh, he did want to tell someone of what was going on, but he couldn’t.
"I can’t tell you," Shin, finally whispered, "I can’t tell you because it’s too horrible to tell. You’d think I was some horrible monster, and you’d be right."
He looked down at his unfinished calculus homework and began working on it again. Anything so that he wouldn’t have to think about what was happening. Besides, it was due tomorrow.
After he finished his homework, Shin went to bed. He knew he wouldn't be sleeping much that night, he never did, as being alone in the dark silence did nothing but intensify his self-torture. He always ended up staring at the ceiling for several hours, reminding himself of just how sick he was. It was no wonder he dreaded going to bed.
That night proved to be no different. He spent the next hour staring into the darkness, wondering how he was going to live with himself the next day.
A cry broke Shin from his thoughts. It sounded like Jou, and since everyone was usually fast asleep at this hour, Shin quickly got up to make sure his little brother was all right. It probably was just a bad dream, but Shin wanted to make sure.
He slowly opened the door to his brother's room, and found Jou sitting up in bed. Shin could see that he was still upset from the light of the boat shaped nightlight plugged into the wall. It was actually Shuu who gave it to him for a birthday present.
"Jou, are you all right?" Shin asked, sitting next to him on the bed.
"I had a bad dream. I was killing this monster, but instead of it trying to eat me, it was screaming that I shouldn't kill it."
"It's okay, Jou. After all, it was only a bad dream." Shin ruffled his hair a bit before adding, "Why don't you go back to sleep, and I'll stay here a bit to make sure the monster won't come back."
Jou nodded, and crawled back under the covers. In almost no time he fell asleep, almost like he forgot about the monster.
Shin looked down at his sleeping brother. He was huddled underneath his blanket, with only his head poking out and his hair already disheveled. He was so precious lying there perfectly still. His features were soft with a bit of redness in his cheeks, and his lips were slightly parted. Shin would have compared him to a sleeping angel, but angels were never this lovely.
"You are so beautiful, Jou," Shin barely whispered, carefully stroking his hair. After admiring his brother for a moment longer, Shin bent over and gently kissed him on the lips.
"Oh my god."
Shin quickly pulled away from his brother in horror, realizing what he had just done. He didn't just kiss him on the lips. No, no, that couldn't have happened.
Oh god, he did.
Shin left the room, terrified of what just happened. He had kissed his little brother on the lips. He had finally acted upon his sick and demented thoughts. He really, truly was a monster.
He huddled on his bed, trembling with fear and self-loathing of what he had become. How could he have done such a thing? How could he have possibly kissed his little brother?
"I am a monster. I am a god damn fucking monster. I kissed my little brother, therefore I am a monster. I no longer have the right to live."
Shin got up from his bed and sat at his desk. He could no longer live with himself. Who knew what would happen next? He clicked on the desk lamp and pulled out a clean sheet of paper. He needed to tell Jou a few things first, however.
First of all, I want you
to know that I love you very much, and that I would never do anything to
hurt you. What I
did was completely my fault. Don't let anyone ever try to tell you that it was your fault. I don't ever want you to blame yourself, either. As I said before, this was all my fault. Tell Shuu that I'm sorry and that I love him, but there was nothing he could do. Tell Mom and Dad that I love them, too. I hope you turn out all right, despite all this. I'm sorry, Jou, please forgive me.
He folded the paper neatly into quarters and wrote "Jou" on one side before turning off the lamp. Quietly, he crept into Jou's room, being careful not to wake him. He looked at his little brother, who was still fast asleep.
"I'm sorry, Jou, but I hope one day you'll understand. I always loved you, even before all this happened." Shin then took the note and tucked it behind Jou's pillow, leaving a corner sticking out.
After one more look at his brother, Shin left the room and walked to the kitchen. He looked at the cutlery set sitting in its block on the counter. One by one he looked at the knives before deciding on a medium sized one and carrying it to the bathroom.
Shin sat in the bathtub, as to not make too much of a mess. The blood could be easily washed away if he remained in the bathtub. He looked down at the knife, and saw that it was still shaking. This wouldn't do, he needed to be steady for this.
Slowly, he rolled up the sleeves of his pajamas and took a deep breath. Trying as hard as he could to steady himself, he quickly brought the knife over his forearm. Almost immediately, the slash became red, and soon the blood was dripping from his arm. Taking another deep breath, Shin brought the knife over the other forearm, and once again the blood dripped from his arm. He lay the knife down on the side of the bathtub, and watched as his blood began its slow journey to the drain, staining his pajamas on the way.
"This is what you deserve, you sick, disgusting, horrible monster," Shin whispered. Even as he said that, he still could not ease his trembling.
He didn't know how long he sat there watching the
blood drain from his arms. It hurt, oh did it ever hurt, but it was an
appropriate death. Monsters like him should suffer. He then closed his
eyes and blacked out, not even feeling his head hit the bathtub wall.
* * *
Mr. Kido never screamed. In fact, he rarely raised his voice, but relied on a firm tone to get his point across. That morning, however, as he flipped on the bathroom light, he saw his son lying in the bathtub, deathly pale, with a trail of blood leading to the drain.
Mr. Kido screamed louder than he had ever before in his life.
He tried to find a pulse while at the same time trying desperately to wake up his son, anything at all to give himself hope.
But there was no hope left.
"Shin's dead," he mumbled, turning to the rest of his family, who had gathered when they heard the scream. Mrs. Kido collapsed onto the toilet seat and began to cry rather loudly. Jou buried his face in his brother's pajamas and sobbed, while Shuu stood there in shock. Mr. Kido turned back and continued to kneel in front of the bathtub in silence.
It was a long time before anyone broke the strange mixture of silence and tears.
"I'm going to call an ambulance," Mr. Kido finally said while getting up.
"Shuu," Jou mumbled after he had left, "I found this underneath my pillow." He held up a piece of paper that looked like it had been folded.
"Did you read it?"
Jou nodded, and started crying once more. Shuu wrapped one arm around his younger brother while he took the note and read it.
"God damn you, Shin," he finally muttered. "Why the hell didn't you tell me what was wrong? You said you didn't want to hurt Jou, but now look at him. He's never been in so much pain before in his life. You thought this was the only way? Well, let me tell you something. Wrong god damn fucking answer, Shin!"
He stood there with his fist clenched around the
note, barely able to contain his rage. The other arm was still wrapped
around Jou. He didn't even notice the tears falling from his face.