Author notes: Just a little bit that popped into my head after watching Josh is Done. What if things had gone down differently after Drake's breakdown in class? I'm new so please be gentle with me, I'm sure the characters are sorta out of character...sorry!
Disclaimer: If I owned it, I'd be rich. Right now I have 3 dollars worth of quarters for laundry tomorrow
Drake Parker heard his shoes squeak harshly across the tile as he ran. Dripping wet and miserable, all he wanted to do was escape the surprised glances and pitying looks people kept giving him. He wanted to go home. He wanted to curl up in bed. He wanted to sob until everything was ok. But mostly, He wanted Josh Nichols to be his brother again. If he could, he'd go back, change what happened, and not leave Josh behind. He said Josh needed him more than he needed Josh.
He was wrong.
Part of him had hoped Josh would come after him, but in his heart he knew he wouldn't. He ran shoving through the heavy metal doors of the school. He ran down the sidewalk, past the gate, and into the street, narrowly avoiding getting hit by oncoming traffic. He kept running until he reached home. Thankfully no one was home, and Drake beat a hasty retreat into his room. Quickly stripping out of his wet clothes and getting into dry ones, he sank down onto the couch.
He lay despondantly on the couch. He hauled himself upright and pulled himself into bed. The last thing he wanted was to face Josh, so he rolled onto his side facing the wall. He needed to concentrate on something else. Slowly, his attention was drawn to his hands, which still burned. Even after the shower, his skin felt like it was on fire. That was probably bad. Lifting his left arm, which felt like lead, he examined the skin. It was puffy and slightly red. He might need to bring this up to his mom. He heard the front door slam and a flinch ran up his spine. It would only be a few moments before Josh was up here, ignoring him which was worse than when he was yelling at him. He moved his fingers, hissing through is teeth at the pain in caused. He felt, more than heard Josh enter the room.
"Hey Drake." Josh greeted quietly.
"Hey." Drake replied equally as quite. He shifted onto his shoulder to glance in Josh's direction.
"How are your hands?" Josh questioned, moving forwards into the room. Drake was slightly surprised that Josh had asked.
"Their fine." He replied quitely. "Just a little sore."
"Can I see?"
"I thought you didn't want anything to do with me.." Drake began uneasily.
"Did you mean what you said at school?" Josh countered and Drake nodded.
"Then I think It would be in everyone's best intrest for me to be your brother again." Josh replied, walking across the floor and hoping up on Drake's bed. "So as my brother, present your hands, so I can see them."
"Ok..but why? I mean life was going so much better for you when I wasn't there screwing it up." Drake said quitely. It seemed as if Josh was putting the whole thing behind him. As if the past week hadn't happened. He slowly sat upright, and held his hands out so Josh could examine them.
"Yeah, life was going pretty good." Josh agreed. "But do you really think I could just stand by and watch you struggle?" Drake didn't reply, and Josh took to examining his brother's hands. "These look like they hurt." He said, glancing up at Drake.
"Their just a little sore is all.." Drake began, attempting to pull his hands back. Josh kept a gentle yet firm grip on his wrists preventing him from doing so.
"You might be having a allergic reaction." Josh said in concern.
"Their just sore." Drake repeated pulling his hands out of Josh's grasp and folding them against his thighs. Josh really took a look at him then. His hands shook slightly from where they were perched on his legs. Drake's eyes were red rimmed and bloodshot, he'd been crying. Pain and panic edged around his eyes and the corners of his mouth, and he was biting his lower lip. Josh doubted that his hands were only sore, and he doubted even more that Drake was just going to forget the past week. It had affected him more than Josh had assumed it would.
"Hey," Josh said leaning forward and pulling Drakes hands back towards him. "What's wrong? Don't tell me nothing, I know you better than that. Was it just this past week? I'm over it Drake, it's ok now." He expected Drake to pull his hands back and tell him nothing. Or tell him it was just the past week, and then they'd be done with it. Josh was so surprised by what happened next, he wasn't sure what to do. It was such an un-drake like thing to do.
Drake's face crumpled, and he started to cry.
Drake wrenched his hands free from Josh, and rolled onto his side, facing the wall. Whether to hide the fact he was crying or to shut Josh out, he wasn't sure. Josh put one hand out, putting it on Drake's shoulder.
"Aw Drake, it's ok..." Josh mumbled, debating on trying to turn him over.
"No, its not." Drake got out in a gasp.
"Why not?" Josh asked, keeping his hand on Drake's shoulder.
"Cause I'm the worst brother in the world." Drake muttered. "It's only a matter of time before I screw up again."
"Your not the worst brother in the world." Josh said "And you don't mean to screw up."
"No one does. I'm a screw up, didn't plan to be one though."
"Drake, you are not a screw up." Josh began in alarm.
"Sure I am." Drake assured him. "I've been a screw up for all my life. I mean, my dad was happy with my mom until his stupid son screwed everything up for him."
"Whoa, Drake what's that suppose to mean?" Josh asked, becomming more alarmed by the moment.
"It means my parents were happy until I came along. I screwed everything up for them. Their marriage ended because of me."
"Hey Drake, no it didn't." Josh soothed. "Your dad and mom just fell out of love. That wasn't your fault. You didn't ask to be born. Besides, mom married dad, their happy." Drake didn't look convinced, so Josh tried another tactic. "Besides, if your mom was still with your dad, they would always be fighting, and we wouldn't be brothers!"
"But we weren't brothers." Drake replied quitely. "I'm just your roommate."
"What?" Josh gasped, when his own words came back to bite him. "No, Drake I didn't..."
"Of course you did." Drake replied meeting Josh's eyes. "You don't lie. I know that's how you felt. And you offer to be my brother again because I can't handle it without you, and you feel sorry for me." Drake broke eye contact then.
"Drake..." Josh stalled for words.
"You know the saddest part?" He asked. "I'll take that. But, I know I can't do it, because it'll screw up your life." A little sob hiccuped in his throat and Josh did the only thing he could think of. He lunged forward and pulled Drake into a hug. He was alarmed when Drake slid bonelessly against him, and didn't even try to pull away.
"Jesus Drake." Josh cried softly. "Why didn't you say anything?"
"You wouldn't listen."
That simple quite statement sent Josh for a loop. He had been rightfully angry at Drake for making him miss his exam. He'd kept hold of that anger even after he'd aced his exam and didn't lose the letter grade. If he had known Drake had these kind of issues, he wouldn't have written him off so harshly. Drake had reached out for him, but in his own way. Josh had been so angry with him, he'd missed all the signs his brother was heading for a breakdown.
And what a breakdown it was.
In class it had scared him. To see his brother dripping wet, furious and so close to tears. He had screamed and begged and run out of the room. He should have followed him. When he didn't, Drake must have taken that as a complete write off. He sighed and hugged his brother.
"Sorry bro." He muttered soothingly "I'm sorry."
"ok." Drake's voice was small and Josh doubted anything good was going to come of this.
Ok so that's it. If you want more chapters, I might be able to do that. What do you guys think? It's my first story, so please be nice!