Brother Of The Bride

Henry and Natalie's wedding has come, and Gabe's brotherly instincts are kicking in, as he's forced to give up the role he had never taken on as Natalie's protector. He learns what it's like to loosen the grip, on something he had never held. Gabe's POV.

You look beautiful.

The thought trailed through my mind, but I didn't even bother to say it out loud. She couldn't hear me. I had stopped saying things out loud. Sometimes, even though the sound resonates in my own ears – it feels like nothing is being said. That's what my words are worth – nothing. Nobody cares, because my voice doesn't exist to them. Neither do I.

That's beside the point. A vision in white sat before me, looking in a mirror, touching her hair cautiously and staring at her reflection nervously. Natalie bit her lip. I stood up from the couch in the room she had been spending her time in before the wedding started, and stood behind her. My arm fell around her shoulders, and I looked at us in the mirror. We looked nice, like a brother and sister should on one of their wedding days. I wrapped my other arm around my sister, crouched down next to her, embraced her from the side, and kissed her cheek.

"Everything will be fine, I promise." I whispered, wanting both of us to believe it.

My teenage years were spent toying with Natalie, pushing every button a little further, and pulling the seams of my family, because an evil, jealous streak in me thought that if I couldn't be a part of a happy family – none of them could be a part of one. But I'd grown up since then, and so had Natalie.

Now I was just scared for her sometimes. Scared if she really wanted some of the choices she made, and scared of what she did next. Just like my mom, Natalie always had me on the edge of my seat. But I knew she wanted to get married today. If she wasn't sure about it, I would have done something to stop it.

I still have the power to control things around here, you know. I'm just a little more thoughtful about using it.

Being so close, I could feel Natalie's heart racing. She was nervous wreck. I tried rubbing her back, but she obviously couldn't feel it.

It made me feel better knowing that I tried, though.

At least trying made me a better brother than I used to be. I had driven Natalie to hate me. And she doesn't even know me. I know her better than anyone, though. Better than my mom, my Dad, and even Henry. Henry was in her heart, yes, but I was in her head. Sometimes I think I know her better than she knows herself. Sometimes when she thinks or feels something, she pushes it away and manages to convince herself it was never in her mind – but I know it was.

Natalie knows who she pretends to be, and I know who she is afraid to be.

But the girl I know has more potential than the girl Natalie knows will ever admit to having.

That kills me.

Ignore the irony.

Natalie's hands fall to the skirt of her dress and she smoothes it down. Natalie jumps up all of a sudden as the door whips open. Henry's scruffy, careless, skater boy style had been sharpened to a sophisticated man….in a tux…with that goofy ass grin on his face.

"Hey." He murmured, looking Natalie up and down. "You look…."

Save it, loser. I thought.

"GET OUT!" Natalie screamed and Henry and I both flinched.

Terror flooded Natalie's face. "You're not supposed to see me before the wedding you idiot! Oh my God, you just cursed us, you just ruined everything, I can't believe you're here, now what the fuck are we supposed…."

"Shh…Nat." Henry whispered, walking over to her and hugging her. She pushed him away. I laughed. "Do you actually believe in that shit?" Henry asked, beginning to chuckle.

"Yes." Natalie murmured.

"It's fine, just calm down. It's just a silly superstition, I just wanted to see you. I don't want to humiliate myself in front of everyone drooling over how exquisitely beautiful you look…so I figured I should give myself a preview to help prepare." Henry said, grinning, and holding Natalie's hands.

She smiled back at him, but it faded and she looked at the floor.

"Something will go wrong though, I know it. Either today, or…later…I just…" Henry cut her off,

"Everything will be fine, I promise." Natalie hugged him, and kissed his cheek. When they pulled away, their eyes stayed locked for a long time. It wasn't that I didn't like Henry, because he's an alright guy, and I know how much he loves my sister.

At the same time, that's why I hate him.

He loves Natalie and he gets the love in return.

I love Natalie, and what do I get?

I had said those same words to Natalie ten minutes ago, and she couldn't hear.

When Henry says them, she believes him.

Henry gets to love Natalie, to protect Natalie, to see her name on his caller I.D., he gets to drive her places, he gets to fight with her….I don't think I could ever put into words the burning desire I had to have just one argument with Natalie over the bathroom before school.

One chance to…embarrass her in front of my upperclassmen friends, to rip the heads off of her Barbie dolls. Yeah, those days were gone, but my longing for a sister never left. A sister that could see me. That could see me the way I see her – in a way that nobody else can, because that's what it's like for siblings.

You bring out the worst in each other, but can see the best. Even if they can't.

I saw Henry and Natalie whispering something to each other, and then Henry left. My Dad came in a few minutes, later, to get Natalie. This was it.

It was time to give away the sister I never had.

A/N – I hope I did this relationship justice. Or…half of a relationship, since it was one sided in this :D