Four Brothers

Author's Note: One of the darkest stories I've written. I'll update/write more depending on the feedback. I don't post if I have no motivation; I just keep my stories to myself :)

Summary: When Mr. and Mrs. Lucas are killed in a car accident, Kevin as the oldest immediately becomes the legal guardian of his younger brothers. But a leap from brother to father is huge and Kevin may not have what it takes as his family starts falling apart.

Warnings: Language, Mature Content, Sexual Content, Character Deaths, Self-Harm


1.
He didn't want to remember.

Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am in a thousand winds that blow,
I am the softly falling snow.
I am the gentle showers of rain,
I am the fields of ripening grain.
I am in the morning hush,
I am in the graceful rush
Of beautiful birds in circling flight,
I am the starshine of the night.
I am in the flowers that bloom,
I am in a quiet room.
I am in the birds that sing,
I am in each lovely thing.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there. I do not die.

Kevin stared numbly at the framed piece of paper on the nightstand next to his parents' bed. "Fucking liars," he whispered. "Fucking liars. If you're not dead then where the fuck are you Mom and Dad?"

He took the picture frame and threw it as hard as he could against the wall. He heard it crack and fell unevenly to the floor, burying his face in his hands, trying to hide the choked sobs that coursed through his body.

He didn't want to remember the way the gravel sounded when it hit their coffins. He didn't want to remember the murmured "thank you's" he said to people who attended the service. He didn't want to remember how he answered Frankie when his little brother asked if Mommy and Daddy were going to Heaven. He didn't want to remember how Joe screamed when he heard the news and ran off to his thinking place in the treehouse outside despite the fact it was snowing. He didn't want to remember how he had found Nick huddled in his mother's closet, sobbing desperately into one of her shirts. He didn't want to remember.

"Fuck." He said it again when he opened his eyes and looked at the shards of glass that littered the floor. Not bothering to pick them up, he went downstairs into the kitchen.

Joe was sitting at the table, eating a cookie. Kevin didn't say anything; he knew the way Joe dealt with grief—he simply pretended nothing happened.

"Hey," Joe said, lifting his glass of milk in Kevin's direction. His voice was hoarse with agony. "You want one?"

"I… yeah, sure," Kevin said. Joe poured a glass of milk and slid it across the kitchen table to Kevin. He threw a cookie later. Kevin didn't say anything but he noticed Joe had eaten almost the entire bag of Chips Ahoy!

"Where's Nick?" Kevin said, biting into the chocolate-chip cookie.

Joe shrugged. "Sleeping."

Joe looked like he could use some sleep himself, Kevin thought. He had bags under his eyes and hadn't shaved for four days. But then he felt his stubble and knew he couldn't be criticize his brother.

"Still?" he said, continuing the conversation. Nick hadn't left his room for the last two days.

"He sleeps when he's trying to forget," Joe said calmly, taking another cookie out of the bag.

Kevin nodded. "And Frankie?"

"I let him go over to a friend's house to play," Joe answered. "It should be good for him."

Kevin thought about saying, What about you? but didn't. "Good. Thanks, Joe."

Joe dipped his cookie into the milk and took another bite. He didn't wipe his mouth and the milk-mustache on his upper lip made Kevin want to cry all of the sudden.

"I really miss them, you know?" Joe said, his voice empty. "Like I really, really do. I used to wish they were dead a lot when they made me mad and now I'm just really, really empty-" his voice cracked and he bowed his head downwards, trying to stop from crying.

"Hey," Kevin said, reaching across the table to hug his brother. "It's going to be okay." He felt a lump in his throat and started crying too. "It's going to be okay."

"I hope so," Joe whispered.

The phone rang. Kevin looked worriedly at Joe, but Joe nodded, and Kevin answered it. "Hello? This is the Lucas Residence; Kevin speaking, how may I help you?" Even in their deaths, the Jonas parents still reflected in their sons; their upbringing was still evident.

"Hello Mr. Lucas. I know this is an inconvenient time to call and I'm extremely sorry about your loss but this is Betsy Hanson calling about guardianship of your brothers. We have to discuss who will be placed in charge of caring for your brothers and foster programs may be involved." The voice on the other end was calm and firm; Kevin felt his heart racing.

"I want to keep my brothers," he said, his voice breaking. "I want to keep my brothers," he repeated stupidly.

"Yes, Mr. Lucas and as of right now I think that is an option because you are over the age of eighteen and taking your brothers away from you at this time of grief is a very painful ordeal. But we do have to discuss what is best for your brothers, especially the youngest two, Nicholas and Franklin."

Kevin's grip on the phone tightened; Joe stared at him worriedly.

"I can keep them," Kevin said stubbornly.

"I know, Mr. Lucas. But we need to meet you at 377 Shire Avenue tomorrow—the legal firm in the area to discuss your parents' wills and the ownership of your siblings."

Kevin hated how she was talking about his brothers like they were dogs. But he just swallowed his anger and said, "Okay, I know the place. The black building?"

"Yes. Are you and your brothers available at 7:00 A.M. tomorrow?"

If Nick can wake up, Kevin thought numbly. "Yes."

"Good. We'll see you tomorrow then."

"Okay."

"And once again I'm sorry for your loss."

"Thank you," Kevin replied without an ounce of sincerity. I hate you.

He hung up the phone and looked at Joe. "It'll be okay," he promised again, but in his heart he wondered if it really would be.


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