"Listen to your older brother."

"You're not fucking older." Murphy growled.

Connor grinned. "An' how d' you know mother didn't tell me, secret like?"

"An' how do you know she even knew which one of us was which before we were a year old?" Murphy answered.

Connor had to consider that one. It was… it was all too fucking possible. "She tell you that?"

"She told us both that, she never could tell us apart until my hair came in darker."

"And I'm betting she was just saying that not to hurt your feelings." Connor laughed, continuing with his joke.

"There wasn't a day of our life mother ever cared about hurting my feelings." Murphy joked back. "She was probably just trying to make you feel better about not being the handsome one."

"Ah you see, that ain't a problem, I am the handsome one. You're the pretty one."

Murphy laughed. "Fuck you. I'll show you who's pretty." He jumped and caught Connor by the arm, pulling him off his chair and to the floor, and then it was on. Murphy had the edge first, but the boys got into it often, and they knew each other too well. Murphy always pulled his punches, a fact Connor was well aware, and so because he didn't mind fighting a little more brutal, it didn't take long for him to get the upper hand. He had Murphy flipped onto his back and pinned.

"Say it." Connor smiled.

Murphy laughed, and got himself shoved into the floor a little rougher. Connor waited, he felt Murphy squirm a bit beneath him. "I won't let up until you say it little brother."

"It." Murphy grinned and winced a bit as Connor shoved him yet again. He relaxed and closed his eyes. "Go on then, you'll get bored eventually. Ya' always do."

"Not this time." Connor promised. And damn it he actually was getting pissed off, because this was where Murphy always ruined the fun. There's no fun to winning if you can't claim victory. "Let's see you wait this out then." He leaned forward and trapped both of Murphy's wrists in one hand, and with the other hand covered Murphy's mouth and nose, Murphy's eyes shot open. "Say it Murph."

He held on for a count of ten and moved his hand. Murphy took a deep breath but stayed resolutely silent. Somewhere along the line this had slipped over the edge of just messing around, and Connor was determined to come out the winner. He felt absolutely positive that he needed to win this one. He covered his brother's mouth and nose again, staring into his brother's eyes. Murphy didn't struggle. Again he counted to ten in his head.

"Fight me." He kept his hand in place. Counted to twenty, then thirty. Murphy stared at him the whole time. Connor let go and this time Murphy was seriously gasping for air. "Say it." Connor said again.

"What the fuck?" Murphy barely asked before Connor was covering his brother's mouth and nose yet again. This time Murphy struggled. Connor watched his eyes. He felt Murphy try and buck him off with his hips, but Connor stayed steady, he was going to win. Finally. He held on, counting again, ten, twenty, thirty, forty. And then Murphy stopped fighting just as suddenly as he'd started, and stared straight at Connor for a second longer before shutting his eyes.

That was what did it.

Connor let go and practically jumped away from where he'd tackled Murphy.

When he next looked at Murphy, his brother's eyes were open again, watching. He didn't get up, just laid there catching his breath. He didn't say anything.

"Are you alright?" Connor asked, feeling just as breathless. He didn't come close.


And then Connor was out the door.

Murphy stayed on the floor for a couple minutes just letting his brain and his lungs catch up with what had just happened. His head felt like shit when he pushed himself upright, and he had to take it slow if he didn't want to fall right back down on his ass.

He headed for the box of beer sitting beside the fridge, pulled out two, and headed out the door and up to the roof. He didn't see Connor right away, and he worried a bit that Connor might have gone somewhere else. But he was just looking in the wrong place. Instead of where they liked to look down on the people walking in the streets below, Connor was on the other side watching trucks and cars speed past on the interstate running above the city.

Murphy sat down, back against the ledge and twisted the cap off the bottles. He held one up to Connor who accepted it silently and took a long drink. Murphy did the same. They stayed that way for a few minutes, Connor standing and looking out at the Interstate and Murphy sitting beside him. Eventually Connor sat down next to his brother, but he didn't say anything.

"You win." Murphy said.

Connor made a sort of choking noise and jumped back up. "Don't fucking say that."

Murphy laughed. "Isn't that what you wanted me to say?" He asked, staying where he was because he still felt somewhat light headed and the beer wasn't helping any. "You always win." He insisted and watched Connor pace.

"What are you even fucking doing here?" Connor asked.

"Sharing a beer with my twin." Murphy answered easily. He raised an arm to protect his face when Connor threw the empty bottle at the ground beside him. It smashed and Murphy felt a couple of the shattered pieces harmlessly strike his side.

"Why don't you ever do anything?"

Murphy rubbed at the side of his nose. "What would you have me do?"

Connor was just about jumping with agitation. "Fight back, damn it."

Murphy just shrugged. "Maybe it doesn't mean the same to me what it does to you?"

"Why the fuck not, Murph?" Connor yelled.

Murphy shrugged. "Cause I know you'd never hurt me Conn."

"Then what the hell was I just doing?"

This time Murphy stood up, brushing the broken glass off his self as he did so. "Didn't say you aren't ever an asshole. What did you think you were doing? Were you trying to kill me?"

"No. Fuck, Murph why would you even ask me that?" Connor stepped back from where Murphy took a step toward him.

"Then stop acting like you did." Murphy answered. "Sometimes you go kind of far, but there's one thing I know. One thing I trust more than anything else, Conn."

"What?" Connor asked.


"You're a fucking idiot." Connor insisted.

Murphy wrapped his arm around him and led him back downstairs. "Just remember though, you only won this time cause I feel sorry for your stupid ass self."