Why was it that older brothers are always the ones to get ill?
Dedicated to: Silvana, for inspiration (go read 'Brotherly Love' and you'll kinda know what I mean)
Why was it that older brothers were always the ones to get ill?
Jared sighed as he stared out of the window into the pouring rain. The hotel in the middle of Copenhagen was swarming with bored holiday makers, their trip out spoilt by the seemingly never ending down pour. Even Tomo, who would normally be out and exploring the monuments and the shadowy alleyways was sitting in his room next door, absentmindedly strumming his guitar as the TV blared out some unrecognisable Danish version of what Jared assumed was MTV.
But the reason for the boredom and the trodden down spirits of the younger members of the band weren't completely caused by the dismal weather. Instead it was Shannon, lying fast asleep in the other room, with a temperature that would make the devil cringe. The flight from San Diego to New York had gone reasonably well, eight hours on a plane with nothing but an i-pod flying past pretty quickly. It was during the hour long wait to board the plane to Copenhagen that his older brother had started to feel sick. He'd been quiet and subdued for most of the marathon journey to Denmark and hadn't slept very well.
Jared had noticed it all, sitting, staring out of the window of the aeroplane into the clouds with Pink Floyd humming indistinctly in his ears and a notepad with half a million scribbled notes scrawled across it. The brothers could pick up any change in each other's behaviour in seconds and Jared had known long before Shannon had closed his eyes and muttered something about a headache that the drummer wasn't feeling well. He'd hoped that a couple of paracetamol would have got rid of it by the time they'd touched down in Copenhagen but Shannon had just felt worse than ever and had gone to bed with no more than a nod as soon as they'd reached the hotel, drenched and shivering in the cold European weather.
The vocalist sighed again and stood up, moving away from the window and lying his i-pod on the arm of the vibrant red sofa before slipping out into the corridor and along to his brother's room. Pushing the door open he smiled weakly as he glanced across at Shannon. The drummer yawned widely, as if trying to convince his little brother he was alright.
"You feeling any better?" Jared asked quietly, sitting down on the edge of the bed and gazing absentmindedly through the chink in the curtains and out into the hammering rain.
"A bit." His voice was hoarse and sounded slightly forced, as if he was trying to make the best of things again.
Jared stood up again and glancing towards the empty cup picked it up from the bedside table and headed into the bathroom to fill it with water again. Setting it down he gave his brother a long, hard look before shaking his head. "Least we have another two days." He sighed. "How bad do you feel?" Shannon went to answer but Jared cut him off "Please be honest." He almost begged.
The drummer chewed his lip "Bad." He finally murmured "I'll be okay soon though."
The vocalist nodded, making a split second decision. "Me and Tomo are gonna go out to have a look around, that okay?"
"Sure." Shannon replied, almost gruffly "Have fun."
It was late by the time the pair finally got back, soaking but grinning like tomcats. Jared's grin evaporated though as he stepped back into his brother's room, his dark hair still ringing wet. The smell of vomit hit him like a brick wall.
Shannon was lying on his back on the cream carpet in a pool of his own sick - his eyes closed and his breathing heavily. Jared was down on his knees next to his older brother in seconds, his voice almost panicked as he yelled Tomo out of his room. The guitarist came dashing in just as his friend was attempting to lift the drummer up and it took both of them to get him back on the bed.
"Shit." Tomo swore, out of breath and sounding as worried as his companion.
Jared glanced up at him as he lay a hand on Shannon's forehead again, flinching as if he'd been burnt. The drummer's eyes flicked open seconds later, hazy and tired.
"I don't...feel great..." He murmured, stumbling over the words.
Jared smiled half heartedly at him before glancing at Tomo "Go get someone." He muttered quickly, but the guitarist had already gone.
"Why'd you try to get up?" The vocalist asked, sounding almost annoyed.
"I wanted a drink." Shannon snapped back, closing his eyes to gulp into oxygen "And then I fucking threw up..."
Jared nodded but didn't say anything, just glanced down at the mess on the carpet "How many paracetamol did you have?"
"Two." Shannon muttered back "I'm not stupid little brother."
Jared nodded again, resisting the urge to snap back. The two brothers rarely ever fell out but stress and in Shannon's case, illness were getting to them.
The tension was buzzing like angry wasps around a nest by the time Tomo came back with a first-aider.
It didn't take long to clear up, medicine and prescriptions and a mop and a bucket for the carpet. Then, with yet more air fresher and the sound of the amplified rain through the now open window, everything calmed down again. Tomo went back to his room and Jared was left, sitting on the window sill and staring out again.
It took a while for him to murmur across to his brother, lying with his eyes shut under the covers that he was sorry for snapping. It was the first thing they'd said since Shannon had called him 'little brother'.
The drummer opened his dark brown eyes, glancing over to where his younger brother was framed by the deep reds that the setting Sun was throwing across the city. "Don't worry about it." He murmured "I'm sorry I got pissed."
Jared nodded simply "I don't like it when you're ill." He mumbled "It doesn't feel right."
Shannon laughed softly "You mean you're supposed to be lying here with me rushing around after doctors?" He smiled slightly "I have to get a break sometimes."
Jared smiled back, turning away from the window "I..." He stopped "Just don't do that again, you scared the living shit out of me."
"I'll remember next time I feel sick." Shannon agreed, slightly sarcastically before his tone softened a little "Don't worry Jared." He murmured "You worry way too much."
The vocalist laughed quietly "I know." He muttered "But..."
Shannon cut him off "And I don't know what I'd do with out you little brother."