WOOT! Back story, yay!
All my friends know that I love back stories. At least… I think they do. If you're my friend and didn't know… Well, NOW you do. -_-
…My kitty has a concussion….. ;~;
GEMINI ARC: PART TWO
Luke and Antonio Centaurus. Two twins born to a teenaged mother, and an unknown father. Both of Greek lineage and the Messianic Jewish faith.
Their mother never showed any interest in raising them. The only reason they survived to pre-adolescence was because of their grandmother, a kind, yet rough woman. She was noticeably shorter than the boys from the time they were eleven, and was a very heavy smoker. That may have been the reason that she died a few days before they turned twelve.
Luke was always the loud one. The fighter. He had, luckily, enough happiness and confidence for the both of them, no matter what happened.
Tony was the shy one for as long as either of them could remember. He always hid behind his brother, letting him stand up for him.
The boys had their strengths. Luke, while his methods were unorthodox, was a good researcher and problem solver. He was also generally pleasant and kept a happy demeanor no matter what the circumstance. Luke had an IQ of near 200, but he was never distant. Never forced. Just real. Just Luke.
Tony was good at a lot of things. A lot more important things, Luke decided, but he very rarely even noticed, and almost never received praise.
For one thing, Tony was innocent. He maintained a certain childlike purity until teen hood, when his life was… for short of a better verb, ruined.
Tony was also much softer and gentler than Luke. While Luke tended to grab things, Tony would slowly pick them up, cradling them in delicate fingers, even if whatever it was wasn't fragile at all. It was entirely against Tony's nature to command anything. In fact, it was rare of him to even want anything.
Tony got sick extremely easily, and had very weak lungs. It wasn't uncommon for Luke to wake up and find his little brother having an asthma attack in the bed next to him. If that happened, he would hold Tony, rubbing his back and whispering to him until he felt better, no matter how long it took. Medical professionals may have argued that method, but it always seemed to work.
Luke was always obsessed by the paranormal. Tony had his artwork.
The only person to ever fully acknowledge those abilities and love the boys for them was their aunt, a young bachelorette named Michela Centaurus, called Mitchie by family. She worked as an elementary school teacher. Mitchie often took her sister's place when it came to things like teacher conferences and chaperoning field trips, and was always there when they needed her. She was only eighteen when her nephews were born, but thought of them as her sons.
Tony and Luke spent every afternoon of their childhoods at their aunt's house, because their mother didn't care if they came home, and because Mitchie was more than glad to have them over. For them, it was a chance to feel normal. To feel safe. They spent summer evenings catching fireflies in Mitchie's yard, and stayed over in her spare bedroom, sharing the full-sized bed, curled up until they both fell asleep together.
Luke missed those days with all his heart.
Their mother hated them for "ruining her life", and was extremely abusive. And for her, Tony was always the easiest victim. When it was physical, the reason was because he was far more fragile than his brother. A mere poke might have given Tony a bruise, whereas Luke was able to break bones and walk away without even a wince. Tony's body was weak. Too weak.
Luke always tried to shield his brother from the worst of it. But no matter what, he couldn't shield him from the emotional blows. The things their mother said to him… They were hard to even repeat. Hard to accept that any mother could even think of saying that to her child.
The hell started when they turned 14.
Tony had grown quieter over time. Luke just brushed it off, since he was naturally just quiet.
Tony got extremely terrified whenever anyone but Luke tried to touch him. Then he also panicked whenever Luke went a long time without touching him, for fear that Luke, the person that he almost worshipped, hated him, just like their mother.
He stopped drawing.
He almost never spoke, and when he did, he mumbled so badly that it was next to impossible to understand him.
But somehow… Luke never really noticed.
Later on, he grew to hate himself for that. For not even paying enough attention to his brother to realize that he was in pain. Tony needed him, and Luke had been too stupid to notice.
Even after that night.
"Tony… Tony what's wrong?" Luke's voice was fearful. Even though his brother had attacks like these all the time, it didn't make them any less frightening. "It's okay. Just take it easy. I won't let anything happen to you." He rubbed Tony's back gently and got up to look for his inhaler.
The only problem was… that it was nowhere in sight.
Tony was obviously getting worse with every pitiful gasp, and his huge, ice blue eyes were filling with tears. It had been twelve minutes since it began.
Luke felt like crying too. He trembled as he sat next to his brother, giving him a soft, reassuring hug. "It's okay. Shh… Just calm down. I'll get you some help, Tony. I promise."
He reached for his cell phone (provided by Michela), and dialed the first number he could think of.
"Hello?" the voice was young, a woman barely in her thirties.
"AUNT MITCHIE!" Luke screamed.
Mitchie had to hold the phone away from her ear to prevent going deaf. "Luke? What's wrong?"
"I-it's Tony! H…He's having another attack, and it's really bad, and I can't find his inhaler… ANYWHERE!"
Mitchie sighed. "Calm down. Have you called a doctor?"
"N-no… I…" Luke broke down. "I'm really scared. I think he might… d-die… And…"
"Hang on. I'll come get you," Mitchie assured. "Stop panicking, huh? You need to be strong for your brother."
Luke shook, but nodded. "O-okay."
They both hung up.
Mitchie was in monkey pajama bottoms, an oversized green t shirt that read 'Proud to be a TARD', her shoulder-length brown hair held back in a low pony tail, when she showed up on their doorstep.
Luke had wrapped Tony up in a fleece blanket, holding him, waiting for her to show up. They got in the back seat together, Tony still struggling for oxygen, tears now spilling steadily down his face. Luke kept at least one arm around him at all times during the whole scenario, trying as hard as he could to calm him down.
"Don't cry, don't cry… We're on our way to the hospital. Just try to breathe. Can you do that for me?"
Tony's eyelids fluttered. He was trying desperately not to pass out. He couldn't. He wouldn't. He had to be near his big brother. He had to stay with him. Just for a few more minutes, at least...
Tony tried to lay his head in Luke's lap, but Luke wouldn't let him. "Don't lie down. It'll make it even harder to breathe." Tony didn't even try not to sulk. Luke sighed. "Look, if you're dizzy, just lean up against me. You know I don't mind."
So Tony settled for that. He felt warm… safe. All of this affectionate contact made him almost have second thoughts…
Luke noticed that Tony seemed a little sad while he was in the hospital. Still… He almost died. Why wouldn't he be sad?
At the same time, sad was sad, and Luke never left his side, even if the stay was only overnight.
"You can go home in the morning," Luke reminded him, smiling. Unlike others, Luke's emotion was genuine. He never even saw the need to mask what he was feeling for other's sake, and this time, he was truly happy. Happy to see his brother alive and doing well. Happy that there was no permanent damage. Happy that above all, Tony was feeling better, and wasn't crying, gasping for breath, his tiny chest aching with no chance of relief.
Only then did Luke notice the deep red marks all over his brother's wrists.
"Huh?" he asked, picking Tony's wrist up to examine the wounds. "What happened? Did something scratch you?...Oh." Luke a huge grin spread across his face. "I get it. Buford doesn't take any prisoners, huh?"
Buford was Aunt Mitchie's fluffy black kitten. He was about seventy percent fur, and never knew when his innocent playing got out of hand. Luke himself had several scratch marks from Buford attempting to cling to his hand.
But Luke didn't know that these weren't from Buford.
A few months passed, and Mitchie was called to the boys' school. The first thought that came to her mind was 'Oh God, Luke, what did you do this time?'
But when she entered the classroom, she was surprised to find it Luke-free. The only other person in the room was Tony's homeroom teacher, Ms. Eckhart, an elderly woman with glasses and white hair.
She informed Mitchie that Tony hadn't been doing his class work. But she was concerned not for his grades, but for his emotional health. Eckhart knew that something was wrong, but didn't know what. Mitchie said that she would watch him.
Luke still hadn't noticed anything.
He was a little busy dealing with a secret of his own.
Luke was a ghost, after a run-in with a drunk hit and run driver. After that, he had bargained with a figure whom he identified as the Grim Reaper, and was able to go back to the world of the living at the cost of becoming a shinigami, a ghost with reaping abilities, and collecting souls for 'Grimmy'.
He had a human form, but for him, that was his false form. As Superman was born Superman, putting on glasses to become Clark Kent, Luke pretended to be human. And unlike Superman, he didn't try to be a hero. He didn't try to be a villain. He didn't try to hide himself, but he liked doing so, only for the sake of keeping his nice little secret all to himself. And no one expected him of being what he and his little rival Danny Phantom called "Soul".
Soul was out, enjoying the fun of ghost abilities, and had found a good place to hide from Phantom. Then, for some reason unknown to him, he felt like he should go home and check on Tony. He didn't feel like anything was particularly wrong, but…
Still, something was pulling him back.
Soul turned back into Luke, and marched noisily up the stairs, as always. He slammed the door open, announcing his entrance in a bold, almost cocky way. "YO! Tony! I'm-"
His words were cut short upon finding his little brother with a knife to his own neck.
Luke blinked. "…What?"
"No." Luke shook his head. "What are you doing?"
Tony looked away, ashamed.
Luke transported over to the edge of the bed, causing Tony to gasp. He wasn't yet used to his house being haunted, but of course he knew, since he was there at the accident that took his brother's life.
"C…Can you… give me that?" Luke looked broken. Tony nodded slowly. Luke wrapped his arms around his brother and squeezed. "D… Did I do something?"
"Did I do something?" Luke asked again.
"Then why? Why would you want…?" He shuddered. "W… what… What's wrong?"
Tony was hesitant. "…I… Luke…"
"I just… Mom… and school… I JUST COULDN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE, OKAY?"
"And you were gonna fix it by doing what? BY KILLING YOURSELF!"
"You don't get it!"
"No… No I don't get it," Luke agreed. "Go ahead and explain it to me, Tony, because I DON'T EVEN KNOW!" And it was at that moment that Luke officially broke. His heart shattered into a million tiny pieces, with no way to put it back together. He cried, holding his little brother close to his chest. "W…Why? Oh, God… Why? Can… Can you just tell me that?"
Tony shook his head, because in all honesty, he didn't know anymore. He always forgot things like this at times like these, mostly because when he was with his brother, he was no longer alone. All that Tony remembered from before was that Luke wasn't there. He felt lonely. He missed his brother, and there was some nagging voice in the back of his mind that kept wondering if he would ever come back. Tony knew it was just paranoia, but it still had bored a hole into the very depths of his soul.
That sort of thing had been happening lately… To him, the lines of life and death were blurred. He wasn't even phased by pain, and for some reason, he sometimes saw things that weren't really there, but in a way, they sort of were. He'd often snap back into reality to find himself digging a blade into his own skin… Not out of sadness, but perhaps even a deranged kind of curiosity.
"Do you feel okay?" Luke knew that was a ridiculous question. His brother wasn't sick. His pain went much deeper than his body.
Or… maybe he was sick. A disease of the mind? And if it was a disease, there had to be a cure. It was just a matter of finding it.
Luke devoted himself to two things over the course of the next five days: researching mental conditions, and fully doting on Tony. He made sure that Tony knew he would give him anything during that time. There was nothing that Luke wouldn't do to make his brother at least a little happier, nothing. But mostly, Tony only asked for sleeping medication, and spent at least 20 hours a day snoozing with his head in his brother's lap.
It was on the fourth night that Luke finally brought up what he had been debating for the past two days.
Tony was awake, but still half-asleep, allowing himself to just be held by his brother, half covered by a blanket pulled from the bed.
"I think… you should go stay with Aunt Mitchie for a while," Luke whispered.
"I just…" Luke paused. "I think you might do better over there. You're not safe here."
"Just think about it. You don't have to decide on it right away."
As much as Tony hated it, his brother was right. But not about everything. Tony felt perfectly safe with Luke, but he couldn't bother him anymore. He was being a baby. Tony decided that he needed to just leave his brother alone for once, and work through it all himself.
So a week later, he began living in Cordial Hill with their aunt. The brothers spoke on the phone every night, even if Luke did almost all of the speaking. Luke visited his brother at least once a week, blowing off any other plans he may have had, just to spend time with Tony, whose mind was slowly deteriorating.
Tony's brother was such a kind and generous person, just for looking out for him the way that he did, despite his own problems.
And Tony would do anything for Luke.
Next chapter starts crazy Tony!