Author's Note: Yet another drabble. No stories yet. Still feeling my way. This one a little different. You figure whose POV this is. I made it ambiguous; or at least, I hope I did. It was originally slated for LJ, but heck I know how to submit fic there so this site gets it. :) Thank you for reading.



Title: Breathing

Time: 15mins



He could see him; a shadow writhing in the deep, limbs stilling that only sped up his own. The red filmed his eyes; wispy streams of pain that rose up in place of bubbles to separate them.

He wanted to scream, but he couldn't because giving in to his anguish would doom them both. Instead, he kicked harder, slipping hands under flaccid arms, and reached for the light above promising relief. They broke surface but only one gasp was heard as water shed from their bodies when he propels them to shore.

He kicked aside scattered spent guns, a dying fire, until he could lay him flat on the ground. Tilt head back, pray, take a breath and breathe for him like he did for them both after they had to watch the one person they always thought would be forever burn in a quiet warrior's pyre.

Lips were gray; the lake ran down like tears, skimming a face thinned by pain, too many hunts and a burden of a destiny they both want to deny. But nothing else moved and destiny be damned because if he doesn't feel his brother inhale soon there's no reason to remain and fear a future when his brother's not around to share the dark burden. He refuses to see another body burn, watch white salt mingle with ash, turning as black as his despair. He'll only want to see the fire while he embraces the only reason he had left to keep breathing, and feel the fire very appropriately take them both because it would be less painful than to watch alone.

Gasping became sobbing because it was taking too long. God damn you, breathe. And the lips were still gray and his brother now looked like he stopped crying when he wasn't even crying in the first place. Why should he when he refuses to accept the air given to him? And his brother looked so peaceful like it didn't hurt anymore to live; he just wanted to stop and pull his brother to his chest and wait for them to burn. Because it would hurt to live if he's the last man standing—god damn you, breathe—but he won't stop until the body's warm and dead. Even after that, he'll probably keep going if he stopped to think about what he would be willing to do; it would probably shock his brother, but at least he would be alive to hate him.

A jerk and the body shudder under desperate hands over the chest. Shivering, shaking, coughing and viable proof that it did hurt to live sometimes but thankyouthankyouthankyou, he's breathing.

He knew he should say "you're okay, you're okay" but all he could do was sob out "thank god, thank god" because he couldn't take in another breath to form anything else. He felt warm water dampening both their shirts like blood and he didn't care if it was the lake or tears because his brother's breathing, he's breathing and nothing else matters anymore. He knows he's babbling to the head resting on his shoulder, body wracking with the need to breathe; his arms around the trembling body were the only things keeping them both up. Rocking, whispering gratitude to someone he's not sure would hear him, listening to the gut wrenching coughing like it was the sweetest music he ever heard until he hears the coughing quieting and a sandpapery voice fills his ears.

"Dude, get a breath mint."