"Unearthed Emotion" by Tris

A/N: After 20 drafts, it's finally ready. Ho. Ly. Cow. This was a pain in the neck…and this is not incest. I considered editing it to make that more clear, but I think it would be pathetic to change my true vision because of cowardice, don't you? Yeah the computer crashed and I "lost" this story except for the printed drafts, so I pieced this together from 3 typed pages and I wanna ScREAM I'm so frustrated! But flames ahoy, come one and all to the BBQ! I think I'm a little wacked at the moment…

Everyone take credit! Take it by the barrel! My family for support and ideas, In The Beginning for Victoria's name, Atlus, take it! I'm going insane oh cripes!


"Unearthed Emotion"

Taking a deep breath, he palmed the door controls and stepped into the room, the whoosh of the mechanism announcing his arrival. Instantly curses directed at GUILT, Delphi, and disease in general clogged his brain.

"Sid! I knew you'd come."

The director swallowed with difficulty. Removing the GUILT hadn't magically fixed his brother; Greg was haggard, barely able to lift his head from the pillow. He'd lost some weight, too--the pale green hospital gown hung loose on him. "Greg—" He broke off and walked slowly to the bedside, sitting in a chair that had been pulled up for visitors.

Greg's contemplative frown was beginning to show. "What's wrong?"

"Nothing! It's just I…"

"You weren't worried about me, were you?" Greg's furrow deepened. "There's nothing to worry about with Derek. I should know, I trained him!...You were worried!"

Sidney began taking a great deal of interest in the floor and walls. "Well…Derek himself told me this wasn't going to be a walk in the—" He paused and cleared his throat firmly. "—a walk in the park. I think some concern, or at least seriousness, is fitting."

Strangely, everything was going blurry. He blinked, trying to clear his vision, and subsequently heard a soft pattering like rain on his lapel. He reached his fingers to his face in surprise before quickly turning away. "I'm sure Angie will be here soon. I don't want to be in her way, Greg. I'd better leave." His face turned a faint rose as he heard—and felt—more pattering drops.

"No—wait, Sidney."

Sidney shook his head, trying to ignore the tightness building in his chest. "Greg, I have to go…you understand, there are so many things to do. Victor probably has—Greg?" From the corner of his eye he saw a spasm of pain cross his brother's face.

"Sid…your, uh, fingernails…"

He stared blankly.

"They're…digging into my arm…"

"What?" Sidney looked down and realized he was gripping his brother's arm with crushing force. "I-I'm sorry, Greg." As he let go, Sidney looked into his brother's eyes and finally caught the understanding love in them. A smile spread shyly on his own face as he felt his embarrassment fade. He removed his glasses, folded them up and pocketed them before leaning over. Hesitating only briefly, he stretched his right arm across Greg's chest and lay his head on Greg's shoulder, being careful not to put any pressure on the surgical site.

Greg was too weak to hug back, so he rested his cheek against Sidney's hair and breathed in his comforting, familiar scent.

Meanwhile, Sidney was frowning in confusion. Being close to his brother was not dissipating the awful tightness in his chest and throat; in fact, it was getting a little hard to breathe. As the pressure inside him became unbearable, he buried his face in the hospital gown and bunched the cloth tightly in his fists. A small sob jerked from him.

"What…!" Greg was startled from his light doze.

"Uh—sorry, I—" He choked out a second sob.

"Sidney, what is it?" Greg brought his hand up to rest on Sidney's arm.

"Greg, you can't die," Sidney stammered. "You…you just can't. If I lose you, I'll die too. It's just not fair! First Victoria, now you…you have to get better. Greg, please, get better!" He burrowed his face deeper into Greg's shoulder, losing the last shred of self-control he'd managed to cling to.

"Sidney, Sidney," Greg said softly, as if his brother was a tiny child that needed comfort. He rubbed his hand over Sidney's arm. "I'm going to be alright, I promise. Derek came through; I'll be back on my feet before you know it. Okay?"

Sidney managed a jerky nod, but he couldn't stop what had started. By now his entire body was wracked with deep sobs which he attempted to muffle on Greg's shoulder. He had had no idea that it was physically possible for him to cry this hard and was beginning to rethink the whole embarrassment issue.

His body, however, refused to let him reclaim his dignity; he clung helplessly to Greg as the held-back grief ravaged him like surf pounding the shore. It was getting to the point where he thought he might pass out when the tears finally slowed, and stopped. For a while he didn't move, he simply held his brother and recovered his breath.

"Feel better?" Greg's voice was starting to sound sleepy.

"Yes, but I also feel like a five-year-old."

"Get over it."

Sidney sat up slowly, wiping his eyes with his fingers and sniffling. Greg smiled at him and snuggled down in bed. Sidney pulled the blanket up and tucked it carefully under his brother's chin, then smoothed back his graying hair which had gotten mussed by the pillow. Greg's eyes closed at his brother's gentle touch.

Unexpectedly Sidney gave an impressive yawn. He rubbed his jaw and looked at the door thoughtfully.

"Leaving?" Greg asked drowsily.

"Um…" He paused, gaze turning to the large hospital bed. "Is there room for me?"

Greg opened an eye. "Yeah, you wouldn't prefer your office couch?"

"Oh. I didn't think of that…yes, of course I could…" No amount of effort could hide the disappointment in the director's voice.

"Sidney. Get on." Greg hid a smile as he pointed to the mattress. "It's fine; it'll be like when we were four and you crawled into my bed 'cause you had a nightmare."

"I remember," Sidney said, getting to his feet and laying his palms on top of the white blanket. "I think it was about spiders." He leaned his left knee on the edge of the mattress and carefully swung his right leg over so he was on his hands and knees for a second. Then he eased himself down so he was lying on his stomach. He let his left arm dangle off the side of the bed while he nestled his head on a patch of cloth his tears had missed. He wrapped his arm around his brother again, and Greg automatically leaned his head against Sidney's.

"Hmmm…" he sighed contently, listening to Greg's heart beat thump softly but quite steadily in his ear. Their breathing was beginning to lapse into an even, steady sync. Sidney yawned again and his body started to relax. His own eyelids were starting to feel heavy. As he let them drift closed, he began to absorb the words of reassurance he'd been given…and believe them.