Author's Notes: Um. I don't know what this is. It's just, I got this review like two days ago, a REALLY nice review of this story, and I realized that I had it finished in my notebook but I'd just never typed it up. So I figured you know, what the hell, might as well finish it if someone read it, and I always hate it when stories go unfinished, so...I'm gonna finish this thing. This chapter is short but whatever, they all are (man, I was so young when I started this fic)
Just know that it's typed right out of my notebook, and I haven't really edited it much so it probaby sucks (I like to think I've improved since last time I updated, because I have) so this isn't my best work, but I think it's good enough. :) So I don't even care if I get reviews at this point, I just want to finish this fic for the sake of it being done.
So enjoy those of you who are left!
Disclaimer: I don't own the Brothers and never claimed to. Also, this is entirely fiction and should be taken as such. :)
As tired as Will had been moments before, he couldn't seem to fall asleep. He let his mind wander, instinctively tightening his arms around Jakob, who had fallen asleep within minutes. There was just something about Jake that triggered the protective nature in will beyond the simple fact that they were brothers.
Jake was just the sort of person who needed protecting. He was sensitive and naïve, all the things that Will wasn't. Will was cynical and hardened, the extrovert to Jake's introvert; he knew the way people and the world worked. Sweet, innocent Jakob couldn't handle the cruelty of the world, and that's where Will came in, shielding him from these things.
Or at least that's what he thought he'd been doing.
But if Jake was having these horrid nightmares about the tower where it was Will who was the one doing the torturing and not the Queen, then Will obviously wasn't doing his job correctly. The impact of this realization was like a slap in the face, and he pulled his brother closer, his eyes pricking with the tears he'd never cried.
Jake infuriated him with his silence, his refusal to tell will anything that went on in that muddled head of his. But why would Jake to tell him anything when all that came out of his mouth was mocked or written off by his brother, the person he was ultimately supposed to trust?
Will shook his head, the sadness turning to anger at himself for causing Jake to be afraid of him. He hugged Jake tightly, as if that could somehow make up for all the years he'd mercilessly bullied his brother.
Jake shifted against Will, throwing an arm around his waist, "Will," he mumbled, a pained expression on his face, "please…"
Will trailed a hand down his brother's back and he sighed, the expression softening ever so slightly. As far as will could tell, Jake's dream wasn't as severe as the one he'd had before, where his eyes had been bloody open…
Will shuddered at the memory of his brother sprawled over the floor screaming at imaginary ghosts with his eyes open.
He felt Jake shift next to him again, the same pained expression on his face, and Will's chest gave a small twinge of pain. Will raised the hand that wasn't holding Jake and lightly rubbed the spot with his fingers, running them over the faded scar where the blade had sliced through his chest.
He didn't understand why it was suddenly giving him so much trouble. Sure, it had flared up occasionally when Jake was having his nightmares, but nothing compared to the pain he'd felt while downstairs.
Then again, Jake hadn't really been dreaming then, he'd been having some sort of hallucination. Will would have liked to think it was a coincidence, but Jake would probably say it had something to do with the bloody magic in that dagger. Did that somehow mean that now he and Jake were more deeply connected?
Or was it just when Will became too worked up over something?
Though that didn't explain why it was hurting him now, when he was at complete rest in the middle of the night. Maybe it only pained him when something was wrong with his brother, which would explain the pain he was feeling now while Jake was having unpleasant dreams.
That would make sense, but Will couldn't really remember having problems with it before he'd actually acknowledged it…
Will yawned, snuggling deeper into the blankets and curling slightly around Jake's lean body. He was tired, but his brain didn't want to seem to let him sleep.
Next to him, Jake's grip on his waist tightened and he whimpered softly, muttering becoming more audible. Will was sure he didn't want to hear what his brother was saying, for fear that he'd hear something he'd regret, but Jake had always talked in his sleep, and now he was getting incredibly loud and Will couldn't help but overhear.
"Leave me alone…." Jake mumbled, "no, Will, please." Tears leaked out of the corners of his eyes and Will tightened his own hold on his brother as Jake battled imaginary demons in his mind. "Stop, it was an accident…please!"
Jake was talking rather loudly now, and Will was debating in his mind on whether or not to wake his brother. He decided against it, his curiosity getting the best of him.
"Forgive me." Jake whispered, clutching onto Will's shirt and burying his face into the fabric.
Will froze, knowing that Jake only spoke the absolute truth when he was sleeping, and Will knew that Jake was talking to whatever twisted version of himself that haunted Jake's dreams. Will bit his lip, finally deciding that he had heard enough. All his brother had ever wanted was forgiveness, and Will couldn't even grant him that.
Fresh guilt flooded him, and he shook Jake's shoulders roughly, causing his brother's eyes to peel open with a gasp.
"You alright brother?" Will murmured, wishing he hadn't heard.
Jake nodded slowly, swiping at his eyes with his sleeve, "I'm alright now," he answered thickly, voice still clogged with sleep.
Will swallowed the lump in his throat and nodded. It took him several long moments to find his voice, and several more to find the words that would make everything better. "Jake, I…" he trailed off, biting his lower lip, unable to grant his brother the apology that was well over due.
"It's alright Will," Jake mumbled sleepily, "the giants will only get you if you steal the golden harp…"
Will closed his eyes briefly before nodding again. Jake had fallen back into the recesses of his mind, and Will couldn't bear to wake him up again if he wasn't screaming. Not if he was having the normal dream about the giants.
"Don't worry Jakob," Will whispered softly, more for himself than for his brother, "If the giants come I'll protect us."
"Mmm," Jake hummed, rearranging himself against his brother's chest, "love you Will."
Wilhelm Grimm bit his lip, willing away the tears building behind his eyes, but they fell anyway, rolling down his cheeks in silent grief. After nearly fifteen years of holding it all back, Will sobbed quietly in the darkness. For their sister, their mother, for his fragile minded brother, who seemed to still love him after all this time.
But most of all, he cried because he wasn't sure he knew how to answer.