Birth order (not actually relevant but still):
Jack + Hiccup
Hiccup sighed heavily as he walked into the hospital room, patting out the last of the melting snow in his hair. He should have grabbed his coat from his locker.
It was just him today. Him and Jack. He was supposed to be at school, but he had been at organ compatibility testing all weekend and hadn't been able to focus on any of his classes until he assuaged his guilt at not visiting enough.
Jack didn't look good. He hadn't for a while, but it was still painful to see. He was pale and there were circles like bruises around both his eyes and he was too thin under bed sheets and hospital gown.
Hiccup didn't sit in the provided chair. Instead, he dropped his backpack on the floor, shucked off his jacket, and perched himself on the side of the bed, carefully picking up one of Jack's hands.
Rapunzel liked to joke that when the two of them were born, mother nature must have split them unevenly. That was why Jack was always colder than average and Hiccup could be sent home from school with a mild fever any time he wanted. It didn't make Jack's cold hand feel any less wrong.
Jack's head turned weakly toward his twin. Hiccup smiled as he opened his eyes. Jack had been on dialysis regularly for weeks now. It left him tired and sick, but at least he was alive.
Jack blinked slowly a few times, trying to focus. The pain had gotten bad a few days ago. Bad enough that, in addition to all the antibiotics and fluids, heavy pain medication was being pumped into his bloodstream via the IV in his hand, often leaving him confused and scared, unsure where he was or why. Today looked to be a good day, though. Jack's face broke into a dopey grin.
"Hey," Jack slurred, sounding veague and fuzzy.
"Hey," Hiccup returned, smile growing. This was so worth getting yelled at for playing hooky later. That smile would make eating rocks worth it. "How you feeling?" He brushed Jack's overlong hair out of his eyes. Jack hummed and leaned into his hand, closing his eyes, so Hiccup left it there, fingers carding through brown locks in need of a comb. Just about when he thought Jack had fallen asleep again, or at least forgotten the question, he opened his eyes.
"Okay," he muttered, sounding like someone had taken a pair of scissors to the word then tried to tape it back together. He pressed his face into Hiccup's hand again. "You?" Hiccup laughed, still speaking quietly.
"Better than you. That's for sure."
"I feel… great." The words were so woolly he knew that their father wouldn't have understood it, but Hiccup could.
"I know you do. That would be all the drugs Dr. Blakely has you on. I could give you the full rundown, but…" he trailed off, grinning at the childishly sour look Jack threw him.
"Noooo… No… sciency stuff. 'Kay? Head feels funny an' 'f you start talkin' all-" He tried to wave his hand, but the one Hiccup wasn't holding had the IV in the back of it, which he had apparently forgotten about. His forehead creased in disgruntled confusion as he considered it. He pulled his hand from Hiccup's to reach for the needle. Hiccup caught both his hands as gently as he could before Jack could do any damage.
"Hey, hey, hey." He kept his voice calm, like he was talking to a scared child. "You gotta leave that in, buddy."
"Why?" He looked up at Hiccup with wide, glassy eyes like he had all the answers. At least he had this one.
As he simplistically explained what the IV was doing, he rubbed the top of Jack's hands with his thumbs, careful not to irritate the injection site. Jack seemed to follow most of it, but Hiccup had run through the same explanation enough times to know he wouldn't remember any of it. Strong medication did that sometimes. He had done hours and hours of research on any possible side effects of any possible medications Jack might end up on, as well as all treatments and any options the doctors had mentioned, and some they hadn't. He became the family's uncontested expert within days of the diagnosis. His father brought him along to every meeting with doctors or surgeons, knowing his sixteen year old son was better equipped to understand the jargon and more likely to remember the important information.
Hiccup was often sick to his stomach at the thought of it because it felt so wrong to be glad of anything that came out of his brother being in hospice, but he was glad of it. It felt so good, being his father's go to for information. His brain wasn't getting him into trouble right now. It wasn't weird or strange: it was useful. He hated that.
"Hiccup?" It was quiet, fuzzy, hardly there in the humm of hospital activity, but Hiccup heard it.
Hiccup smiled reassuringly. Jack must have forgotten he'd already asked.
"Yeah," he said again. Moving one hand to reclaim its spot in Jack's hair. "Yeah, I'm okay."
Jack frowned, stubbornly refusing to go back to sleep even though Hiccup could see his eyelids drooping.
"Don' l'k 'kay," he declared. "L'k tir'd 'n'..." he had to think for a minute, eyes pulling closed before he dragged them open again. Hiccup waited patiently for him to find the word he was searching for, and then remember how to make his sloppy muscles form the syllables. "G'lty," he decided.
Hiccup chewed the flaking skin off his lower lip. Something in the back of his mind was impressed that Jack was able to focus on him this long. His blue eyes were glassy, but they held a clear- if sleepy -demand for truth. Hiccup pulled his hands into his lap, watching himself absently pick at bitten nails, nodding slowly.
"Yeah." He felt himself deflate at the admission. "There's some of that." Jack reached out to him, hand only making it to the seam on the side of his jeans, weak fingers struggling to grip the stiff stitches. Hiccup had to laugh, if a little thickly. He swapped the fabric for his hand, trying to reassure his brother that he really was alright. "You're too smart for your own good," he teased lightly.
The sadness in Jack's features vanished. He laughed drunkenly, nose scrunching and shaking his head. Hiccup felt his own chuckles become more genuine.
"Naw," Jack claimed. "'S 'ur job. 'N' ur pre'y good adit." Hiccup just shook his head. "Smar'st guy I know." He nodded sagely and if it had been anyone else saying that in a less drugged state Hiccup might have blushed, but instead he rolled his eyes. "Proud a you." He froze, breath catching. Jack's gaze had gone soft, once again focusing on Hiccup's face. Hiccup was saved from answering by Jack's grin. The kind that clearly said he was higher than a kite. "Even if 'u're a tree." He giggled, then frowned. "'A's no' righ'," he mumbled, beginning to look frustrated, and maybe a little scared.
"That's called word salad," Hiccup said quickly, pulling Jack's attention back with a squeeze of his hand. "It's a side effect of the painkillers you're on." The first time it had happened their father had been there and had panicked, yelling at the hospital staff as Hiccup and a doctor and two nurses tried to explain to him that it was perfectly normal and he needed to calm down to help Jack, who had looked lost and overwhelmed and on the verge of tears with Rapunzel curled up with him on the bed and Merida carding the hair from his forehead.
In the present, Hiccup watched as Jack looked around the room, still confused.
"Hospi'l?" He looked back at Hiccup.
"Yeah, you're in the hospital."
"Why?" Hiccup took a deep, deep breath. This was the part of the conversation he hated.
"Do you remember falling in the lake?" He leaned a little closer as Jack stared at nothing across the room, the soft question pulling his mind somewhere else. Slowly, he nodded. Hiccup mirrored the movement. "Good. That's good. Well, after that, an ambulance came and took us to the hospital. We both had pretty bad hypothermia. I got better in a few days, yeah?" The careful question prompted Jack to nod somewhat absently.
"Good." Hiccup tried to sound encouraging, but it was getting hard through the slight lump forming in his throat. "But, see, you were in the water longer than me, and it made you really sick." He had to take a deep, shaking breath to steady his voice. "But the doctors are going to fix it," he declared, giving Jack's hand a little shake. "We're gonna fix it."
And they would. He and Jack were full-blooded siblings: if anyone was going to have a compatible kidney, it would be Hiccup
So... this doesn't feel finished. Any opinions?
Also, this verse makes me happy and you will be seeing more Hiccup + Jack twin shenanigans. On that note, any requests?
Let me know what you think.
Remember, you are LOVED and LOVELY.