TITLE: Curious

RATING: T (language and mature content)

SUMMARY: Oneshot. Pre-Movie. "The thin, shadowed figure turned around sleepily. Their eyes met, Bobby's suddenly flooded with perplexed panic, Jack's almost hollow of any emotion at all." Jack's curious about something after watching a Halloween movie with Bobby.

A/N: See bottom. Otherwise my note with give out those nasty undesired spoilers…

DISCLAIMER: I don't own Halloween or Four Brothers. Just my imagination. And God gave me that too so…hmm…I own…nothing? Drat.

Please read and wait for it, wait, here it comes…BOO…uh, I mean REVIEW! I. Am. So. Lame.

Bobby awoke with a start as a rustling in the kitchen caught his sleeping attention. His covers were thrown off instantaneously and he instinctually retrieved his gun from underneath his pillow. He wondered why something always had to happen when he came home. As he silently stood from the couch and padded across the living room, he vaguely wondered, if it wasn't an intruder, which of his brothers was up to something now. Maybe it was Angel sneaking around with that Spanish girl that Bobby could never remember her real name. Or Jerry had stayed over at Camille's again and was returning home late. Jack could be inhaling food. He always ate after a nightmare. Bobby hoped it was merely one of those tame possibilities. It was Halloween night, or post-Halloween morning as he checked the clock, after all. Some kids could have taken a prank or a dare to far or some snookered teenager might be searching for something other than candy. As he reached the dim kitchen, Bobby sighed in relief.


The thin, shadowed figure turned around sleepily. Their eyes met, Bobby's suddenly flooded with perplexed panic, Jack's almost hollow of any emotion at all.

"Jack, hey, man, what – what are you doin' up?"

Jack shrugged lazily and Bobby silently wondered if his brother was even truly awake.

"Are you sleep walkin' or some shit?" Bobby questioned, knowing it was a stupid question to ask.

Jack shook his head.

"You hungry?"

Again, another slow head rattle.

"Did you have a nightmare, Jackie?"

Bobby imagined Jack's head was going to roll off to the side with all the back and forth it was doing.

"Then what are you don'?"

This time, Jack stayed stiff.

"Ma's right, you know. It's gonna get better."

"I know," Jack finally spoke, his voice vague and distant like his gaze.

"We are all here for you, Cracker Jack."

"I know," his verbal response was almost as unhelpful as his shaking head.

"So," Bobby swallowed, slowly stepping towards his brother with an extended hand, the other palm up in a sign of surrender, "why don't you give me that knife?"

Jack glanced down at the large butcher knife in his clenched fist as if noticing it for the first time. With a confused and pained expression, Jack dropped the weapon to the floor. The metal crashing against the tiling was like thunder amidst the silence and it punctured Jack's ears, reverberating off the edges of his mind. He didn't hear Bobby call out his name as he backed away from the blade.

Bobby cautiously moved forward, keeping his arms up as Evelyn sometimes did to show he wasn't a threat to the cowering child. He couldn't approach this with his normal Bobby Mercer style. Whatever this was, it was beyond serious and had the tough, stoic, eldest brother shaking scared. Jack hated weapons. In the couple years that the boy had been his brother, Bobby had been able to easily pick up on that. Jack got jumpy around his brothers' guns and event went as far as shying away from fireplace or garage tools. When Bobby would pull out his lighter, the 12-year-old would flinch. Now, Jack had been standing in the middle of the kitchen, holding the knife as though possessed by Michael Meyers. Bobby silently scolded himself for allowing the pre-teen to watch Halloween with him earlier that night. The film hadn't even made Bobby flinch the first time he saw it and it appeared as though Jack had been just as equally unaffected. Apparently not.

"Jack? Hey, Jack, look at me."

Jack simply stared in horror at the ground.

"Jackie? You fuckin' scarin' me. Do you want me to get Ma?"

It wasn't a threat as Bobby sometimes used to get the truth or behavior he desired from his younger siblings. This was an honest question as Bobby wasn't too sure how to handle what was happening. Jack shook his head furiously and Bobby was somewhat relieved. He didn't desire to leave his bothered brother alone for even a second to run upstairs. He had a feeling Jack was about to do one his famous bolting away productions. He would run, Bobby would have to catch him, Jack would scream, and they whole house would be roused.

Instead, what Jack did frightened Bobby even more.

"I was just – curious," Jack's voice sank deeper into the vacancy of his gaze.

"Curious? What, about the damn movie? What the hell were you curious about, Jack?"

"I've never been stabbed before."

The statement struck Bobby like a blow from the Boogeyman himself. His insides were contorting. His heart was twisting as if by a blade. His breath was escaping him, as if the Shape's hands were around his neck instead of the teenagers in the film.

"Do you think it hurts – a lot?" Jack's voice was so innocent for such a dark question.

"Yeah, Jack, it does," Bobby swallowed, vividly remembering the agony of metal slicing into his skin from several bar fights or bad deals.

"Like fire?" Jack cocked his head to one side and now Bobby was also regretting popping in the second installation of the series. "Fire hurts – a lot. So do guns."

Bobby's fists clenched at the memory of the ten-year-old Jack walking through their front door. Burn marks decorated his back and shoulders and there was bandaging around his arm where a bullet had grazed him during the final beating that had landed Jack in the hospital and then a new home.

"I don't like fists," Jack whispered. "They never stop." Jack paused and stared down at the discarded weapon. "I don't know what a knife feels like."

"What the – fuck – Jack, were you –" Bobby couldn't speak, he could barely form thoughts.

"Maybe falling would be better. That doesn't look like it hurts as much. I could jump – and fly."

They had thought he was getting better. They had thought these black ideas and suicidal fantasies had subdued. They had thought he was, at least, somewhat, okay. Bobby had thought he was okay.

"Jack, stop this, damn it." Bobby was beginning to wonder if getting Evelyn wasn't such a bad idea. "Just stop, alright? You're scarin' the shit outta me, okay?"

"I can't do it, Bobby," Jack breathed, for the first time acknowledging his brother's presence.

"Can't do what?"

"Fuck. I could handle it, you know? The pain. The beatings. All that shit." Jack's voice was slowly coming alive and more of his own, as if he was crawling out of the void. "It hurt, Bobby. It hurt like hell. I would burn and bruise and bleed and think I was gonna die, but I could fuckin' take it. But this?"

"What's goin' on, Jack? Talk to me."

"It's – it's inside me, Bobby. It's everywhere. It won't go away. It won't heel. I just want it to go away. I just want it to stop."

"Jack, shit, you can't get rid of that shit this way. You said it your own damn self. You survived, Jack. You took all that and fucking survived. You're strong, Jack. Your own of the strongest people I know. You're stronger and better than this."

"What if I'm not?" Jack asked helplessly, gripping the counter as if it was the only thing holding him up from falling in more ways than one.

"Bullshit," Bobby spat, walking over to Jack and taking his brother's shoulders without hesitation or flinching on Jack's end. "Jack, you listen to me right the fuck now. Look at me! You are. You. Are. Have I ever lied to you?"

Jack weakly shook his head.

"Well, I ain't now either. All that fucking pain and fear and guilt and shame all that shit that's eating away at you inside is normal, man. It hurts it and fucking sucks, but you deal with it. You survive it."

"Does it ever go away?" Jack questioned in a small voice, finally looking up at his older brother with those blue eyes Bobby had thought disappeared.

"Not all of it," Bobby sighed truthfully. "But it gets better. You have to believe me, Jack, it gets better. I'm not sayin' shit won't happen or it'll be easy, but you don't quit. Mercers don't quit, remember? You survive. You can survive this."

And then, it happened. Jack flung his long arms around Bobby's frame, collapsing into his brother and hanging on, as if his life depended on it. Bobby felt Jack's tears against the front of his shirt as he leaned in and wrapped his sobbing sibling in a crushing embrace.

Michael Meyers, 0. Death, 0. The Mercer brothers, +1.

A/N: So, this started out as an OS about a Jack suicide attempt, then turned into a chapter for "The Little Things", then I didn't like how it fit, so back to OS. Then I added the Halloween elements due to the time of the year and tweaked it even further. FYI "The Shape" is what Michael Meyers is referred to. The instance with the knife was actually inspired by something dark from my own personal life. I have struggled with depression (not due to anything near to what the character of Jack or any of the Mercers have gone through) and suicidal fantasies. There was a point in my life where I kept having this weird fantasy of what getting stabbed would be like and imagined myself stabbing myself in the stomach with a large knife. It was like a reoccurring daydream nightmare that I couldn't rid myself of. There's more to THAT story, but I'll stick to fiction. Although I have done things in the past, I have come a long way and I am not in danger of harming myself now, don't worry! I just wanted to provide some background for people who might think this plot concept isn't plausible. It's not always razors and pill bottles. I had one vividly sick imagination and had a whole creative list. OKAY, no more sad and dark. Go read a funny fic, oh wait, I don't write those because my humor is about as funny as a math teacher who tries too hard. Hmm, go find a humorous one shot or go back and read about Jack and Bobby hugging again to make you feel better. Yeah, I'm off to go do that too….