I'm back, and this is terrible in comparison to how I used to write.

Words cannot describe how sorry I am right now.

However, I hope you enjoy this, despite its pure fail.

It had been an hour at most, but even a complete stranger would have been able to tell that Joshua Shepherd was bored. Toys and battered magazines had been discarded in haphazard piles all over the spacious room, leaving almost no space for Alex to rush through unfinished homework. However, luckily for the eldest child in the room, the incessant chatter had not yet begun.

As predicted by 'that man on the radio' it was yet another wet and cold day in Shepherd's Glen. All the children were cooped up inside, either wallowing in their own self pity or annoying their respective siblings and parents. There were no sounds from the street, except the occasional car and the curses of an adult caught in the rain without their 'damn umbrella'.


There it was. In a few minutes, Joshua would be bugging him, tugging at his hair and forcing him to join in with some stupid plan that usually involved pain or embarrassment on his part. Alex had grown up a lot, or so he felt, over the past few weeks. The idea of pulling pranks on the neighbours in the pouring rain just didn't hold the same allure as it had before.

"What is it, Josh?" he questioned, not once removing his gaze from the question papers strewn in front of him. He had resorted to sitting cross-legged in the corner like a little kid, as moving Josh's things seemed to be tantamount to sinning or killing a puppy. Unsurprisingly, he didn't fancy facing the grief that came with that.

"I'm bored." Was the almost whiny reply which reached his ears, muffled by the pillow which his brother was now resting his head on. It was difficult not to laugh at that. It was pretty much like the checkout girl at the supermarket saying she hated her job, blindingly obvious.

A month had passed since they had visited the playground together, a place they had not travelled to since. Josh was the type of child who held grudges and bad memories for years on end, much to the chagrin of his older sibling. The whole incident with the bugs had left him weary of that area, but of course, it came out as hatred for his older brother's negligence to help him. Not that Alex minded too much, as he could read the boy like a book.

Well, at least he could most of the time.

Even as he continued to scribble what was probably nonsense onto the pages around him, Alex could feel those large eyes boring right into him. This was his little brother's favourite tactic; it worked on their 'loving' mother like a charm. Nobody in their right mind could resist that childish gaze, Joshua just could not be ignored. Perhaps that was why people had begun to stop acknowledging the teen's presence in the family. Joshua was just the perfect little boy, with all the sweet little mannerisms, while Alex was the awkward child with almost no self-confidence.

There was no competition, which was obvious.

"Do something then, and shut up." That reply was sure to irritate the other, but Alex was no longer in the mood to please him. Too many things were running through his head, including the events that had taken place after dinner months before. One wrong move got him in trouble, and yet Joshua was allowed to waltz around the house like it was nobody's business. Although, it wasn't too bad a response, as they were brothers after all. They weren't meant to get along well, even if the elder of the two wanted them to be closer.

The slamming noise which followed nearly made Alex jump out of his skin, forcing the pen to fall from between his long fingers. It was almost unbelievable how quickly the tiny brunet could move which somebody struck a nerve. He was already stood over the teen, an odd mix between anger and disapproval forming on his childish features.

"Take me to the lake again."

That was not a request, the almost-anorexic boy was giving him an order. The mass of water was not too far from their house, but they had been banned from even talking about it in front of their parents. Apparently it was a dangerous place. There were dozens of feeble reasons why; Joshua wasn't a strong enough swimmer, Alex still wasn't responsible enough, there could even be a problem with the boat.

All of them had been ignored before, resulting in the two of them running down the street, the older boy pulling Joshua around a corner as the porch light was slammed on. Nobody had ever caught them sneaking about at night, but it was always too close for comfort. It had been practically impossible trying to explain why Josh's Robbie doll had been found ten metres down the street, when the two of them had supposedly been sleeping soundly in their room. Yet, somehow, they had managed it.

"Josh, it's raining. Wait until tomorrow."

There was a storm brewing, that was for sure, and Alex knew that his parents would give him hell if Josh returned with so much as a slight tickle at the back of his throat. Trying to avoid the reaction that he knew was coming, Alex shifted slightly bringing the papers closer to him, pretending to think deeply about the problem scrawled across the page. As he expected deep down, that most definitely did not work on the defiant little boy that he called his brother.

"Alex, please. You know you want to." the other half-pleaded, crouching before the teen, pushing the sheets out of the way nonchalantly.

Nothing could have prepared Alex for the feeling that suddenly welled up inside him. The mixture of the soft, whining voice and teenage hormones nearly pushed him over the edge. Against his will, he felt his cheeks heating up as he tried desperately to hold the young boy's gaze.

It was sick and wrong, but the near-adult felt his eye line moving down to Joshua's open legs, along his thigh, his heaving chest, anywhere but those huge orbs of eyes. As if, somehow, that made this all less disturbing. He chewed his lip absent-mindedly before looking away, his thoughts being replaced by ones which should have repulsed him.

Yet they didn't.


The brunet found that he had nothing to say.

I'm sick, okay...but, at least you guys are sick for reading this too. Haha.