A/N: Justa short little summat that popped into my head as I made the tedious journey from the piccadilly line to the jubilee line at green park station on the way to school one day… god aren't I morbid? – One shot I think they're called… Hmm… anyhoo not sure I'm entirely pleased with it but I'm sure u know what plot bunny's are like. They won't leave u alone! I didn't put any names in, it could be any two of the boys u like, tho I did have 2 that began to creep into my mind the further into it I got. Would lub it if u r n r'd and let me know what u thought, and also what 2 boys u imagined… I'll put my two at the bottom. Cheers m'dears! :D
There are worse things than death, you know? I know. I know you don't believe me either. But I promise you. Worse things.
Of all the ways to realise that, I think I had to learn the most awful way, because we all have to, you know? Learn there are worse things… I wasn't raped, I wasn't tortured or beaten or diagnosed with some terminal disease that would slowly suck away each ounce of life from my body day by day making death a welcome saviour. No, none of that. Though I wish to God it had been. All I did was go to London.
He'd always wanted to go. I think it was an obsession with James Bond movies from an early age. It amazes me it always took him so long, though I suppose prior commitments… He should have gone with Penny really, while I think about it. It would have made more sense, her being British and all. But it felt like ages since we'd spent time together, like properly, and who could turn down going to London? The British have something about them, a certain charm perhaps and a city built by them… I don't know. Something just appealed. I'd always been quite the 007 fan, myself.
We landed at Heathrow terminal four, and got straight onto the Piccadilly line into the heart of the city. We took the train all the way Green Park, got in the elevator – though they call it a lift over there, and walked the three-minute distance to the Jubilee line platforms. We got on the train southbound and got off the next stop at Bond Street. We decided we couldn't be bothered with the elevator and dragged our luggage – three bags in all, not very big – up the flight of stairs to the entrance and exit. We put our tickets through the barriers, grinning at each other and the fact that we were in London and that there was a red mail box outside with the Queen's emblem on and left the station to find our hotel. It was a five-minute walk from the station and one of the most amazing things I've ever seen. Red double-decker buses, pubs and more black taxicabs than you could shake a stick at.
He loved it. Loved every single second and I think I only loved it as much as I did because of him. 'Cause I love him, you know? We're brothers. If he was happy, I was happy.
We checked into our hotel at three twenty in the afternoon. They held the door open for us and tipped their hats when we arrived, and the man behind reception shook our hands and explained everything to us. From pounds to pubs. I remember looking over at my brother. He could hardly contain himself.
We got to our room and put the BBC on whilst we unpacked. Grinning manically at each little British thing we'd never realised existed before. Sayings, humour, even sports. Then sat down and planned what we'd do for the week we were there.
The next day, having been too exhausted to do anything the night before, we headed out back towards Bond Street station, back on the Jubilee line, southbound again for Baker Street. We climbed all the steps, stood on the escalator, climbed more steps and went out to wait for an open topped double-decker that would give us a tour of the city. The air was cold, but the sky was bright, and we could see our breath when we spoke – just as England should be and he was beside himself with glee. I don't understand quite so much what it had been, I mean I enjoyed myself, I loved it, but he… he just took it to another level… I think he needed it though. The last rescue had taken its toll on him. He'd been badly hurt and it had been touch and go for a while. Things like that really wake you up, you know? Maybe he thought that was one time too close. Maybe he needed to do some of the things he always wanted to do before he ended up dead for someone else… I'm just a little bitter.
The tour took us round most of the major landmarks, if not all. Buckingham Palace, Hyde Park, Shakespeare's Globe, London Bridge, the London Dungeon, the Tower of London, Big Ben, the London Eye, Nelson's Column, Trafalgar Square, the Tate, Piccadilly Circus, Leister Square, the Royal Albert Hall, Westminster Abbey, Speakers Corner. I didn't realise there was so much to see. Apparently there was more, not to mention that we still had to go to each one of the places we passed, go inside them and see them and "absorb them" he'd said. I'd shaken my head and laughed. Happy to go along with what ever made him smile.
We spent the next three days touring, going to museums, galleries, even a West End Theatre – We Will Rock You at the Dominion. It was amazing. Standing ovation every performance, and ours was the same. His smile couldn't have been much bigger, and neither could mine.
The following day we went shopping. To Harvey Nichols – or Harvey Nicks as they call it, to Harrods, down Oxford Street and Regent Street and eventually back to Bond Street. He would have bought the city if he could have done.
Like most nights – and most Briton's it would seem, we went down 'the local' for a pint at the end of the day. Happily soaking up the pub atmosphere, listening to the banter of the natives. By the time we left, it was raining and colder, but we didn't really notice. Happy enough and just a little bit drunk enough to cope with getting wet for the three minute walk to the hotel.
The walk had been fairly silent up until that point. We were just around the corner from the hotel when suddenly he said it.
And I had turned confused, to look at him, frowning at the look on his face before I realised the other man. Who upon seeing I had looked even more confused, before I realised the grip he had on my brother. At which point, I must have looked scared. Because my feelings were mirrored in his face. And then… and then I realised the blood, when he coughed, that sprayed out and my eyes widened.
"Give me anything you've got on you or I'm going to do the same to you."
The British accent was no longer as wonderful as it had been, and in a rush I removed anything that was worth more than a dime from my person and dropped it at his feet. The man removed one arm from my brother's neck, and then the other from his stomach, pulling out the knife as he went.
"Oh Jesus." He said again, his hands going to the wound and coming away red. Even in the dim light from the street lamp I could see this was bad. Could sense it was bad.
"Hold on." Was all I could manage to utter. Hold on, hold on, hold on. The only useless words I could come up with. The man was long gone; away with my watch, cell phone, a few pounds and a passport photo that the two of us had had done the day before in a photo booth at Green Park station. "Hold on." I said again, trying to keep the panic out of my voice as his legs gave way beneath him. I managed to catch him before he hit the ground, shifting awkwardly so that I was kneeling and holding him to me. For all the rescues I had done, I had no clue about what to do to help him, and did the first thing that came to mind. I shouted. Loudly. For help. Two men and a woman from the same pub heard and came running. Calling 999 for the emergency services. They did their best to help, applying pressure to the wound, treating him for shock and keeping him warm, all the while allowing me to stay with him.
"Hold on." I kept saying to him, squeezing his hand tight as he looked up at me from where he lay on the pavement. "Hold on." I was begging by this point, my voice going in my desperation to keep tears at bay. I've never seen anyone so scared in my life. I've seen people held at gun point, people having limbs amputated without anaesthetic, people being crushed by boulders, anything you can imagine I've seen. And my brother was the most terrified out the lot of them. I think it's because he knew…
The ambulance arrived, along with the Metropolitan police, and they loaded him away, speeding towards King's College hospital. I followed in the police car, unable to fit in the ambulance. Telling the police everything that had happened.
I never know if I'm grateful or not that they let me in the emergency room while they were working on him. I held his hand and talked to him, begged him to just "Hold on." Wiped the tears from his eyes as he cried. And promised to pass on his messages to Dad and the others. Then I watched as he suddenly couldn't breathe, watched as he began to cough up blood, and watched as he flat-lined and remained unresponsive to defibrillation.
His hand didn't go limp when he died, and he didn't look like he'd seen some great white light. He just looked scared… terrified. And then he was gone. Just like that. I had to gently pull my hand from his when they shocked him, and after the third time I knew it was never going to happen. I walked slowly from the room and sat in the waiting area for four and a half hours.
"I'm sorry Mr. Tracy. We did all we could." The doctor said later, deeming me fit enough to speak to him after the fifth hour came around. He'd paused, and looked genuinely apologetic. Then he spoke again, his London accent unusually soft. "The police are here… I think they caught him."
I'd taken my eyes away from the hole they were boring into the wall at that point and looked at him. "Where?" I had said, assuming that I could go and see him.
"There are some officers waiting by reception." The doctor had replied. Doctor Heald. I stood up, shook his hand, and thanked him for trying to help my brother.
Originally I thought having to watch my brother die had been it. But facing the man who had done it in court. Testifying against him, and watching as he'd revealed what he'd planned to, and watching as he'd laughed when they'd sentenced him. I think in a way that was worse. Right there on the stand he admitted to crimes I couldn't bear to imagine, crimes he'd intended to carry out. On my brother. That had been worse. Worse than watching my own flesh and blood die.
At first I'd wished they'd give him the death sentence, despite there being no capital punishment in the UK. But after the trial I was glad it was just prison. The saying honour amongst thieves… you can kill a man, steal his belongings, burn down his house and chop him up into little pieces, but anything else? Touch him in any other way? Especially if he's young, you haven't got a hope. It's not the murderers or the arsonist's or even the mugger's who get hell in prison. It's the others. The rapists, the predators. They're the ones who suffer. There are worse things than death, and he'll learn.
Just like I did.
La la la, that was cheery wasn't it? John was my survivor, and Gordon was the little London obsessive. And can I just say as someone who had to run halfway across the city to catch the train home this evening, I'd probably have killed them myself if I'd been stuck behind them. Tourists and their bags move so slowly!!! Argh!!!!… okay.. I'm dun :D