After all that time.

After the anger and hatred and rage, after the disappointments and misunderstandings, the bloody knuckles and battered hearts and broken dreams, after being so, so sure that the last straw had crushed the last camel as it crossed the last line, after all that, all that and more, his brother still loved him.

Valued him.

Cherished him.

After all that time.

It was a long, loud car trip from Idaho back to Kansas. Jokes, insults, singing off key, stopping for lunch, then stopping again for dessert, and then again for coffee, for no reason other than because they wanted to and they could.

Because they were both alive and both happy about it.

Life was pretty not crappy.

Finally.

After all that time.