Oh, Brother...

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by TickingTimebomb, Feb 18, 2013.

  1. McFadden’s was always busy on a Saturday night. A typical Irish-styled bar in the middle of Manhattan, the establishment attracted all sorts of people looking for a drink, looking for a new Facebook default, or just looking for a fuck. As was common in such places, the average patron was college-aged, hormone-driven, and scarcely of legal drinking age. The barhops could care less: it was more money for them, anyway, and at least the college kids knew when to call it a night, unlike the filthy old scum who sat in the dark corners buying drinks until it was time to go to work the next morning. But the college kids never noticed those folks: they noticed the bass-heavy, 80’s-driven music, the generous pints the bartenders doled out to anyone willing to pay for them, the hot, sweaty guys, the sexy, scantily-clad chicks, lips locked, spreading secrets, hands in the air, wild abandon. Yes, McFadden’s was always crowded, always loud, and always fun.

    It was here that Jesse Andrews and his crew spent most of their weekend nights. Jesse, just twenty years old, appreciated the fact that the men upfront accepted his fake ID without so much as a second glance. They also sold Guinness, his drink of choice. And wherever he was, the fun followed. Jesse was a popular guy, a charming guy, a sexy guy. Tanned skin and shaggy, dirty blonde hair gave the young man a West Coast appearance despite having grown up in New England. His frame – an even six feet tall – was endowed with light muscles from his travails on the school soccer team: a junior and a star athlete, he was destined for the captainship next year. Soft, supple lips looked so inviting. Light blue eyes could drown you. The man oozed confidence, charm, and sex appeal.

    Just as a Beyonce song came on, Jesse’s cell went off, the dull vibrations just barely getting his attention amidst the chaos of the bar. Checking the caller ID on the front of his phone, he excused himself from the group, heading quickly out of the building and out onto the cold city street.

    “Hey, Mom,” he said, wondering if it was obvious he was getting a little tipsy.

    “Hi, honey,” said the woman on the other end. “Listen, remember how at Christmas we were talking about maybe having your brother come stay with you a little while, to see what it would be like living away from home and get a sense of what college is like?”

    Jesse vaguely remembered the conversation and was clearly in no mood to talk about it at the moment. “Yeah, Mom, I remember, why?” He asked, looking around; he wasn’t thrilled at the notion of people knowing he was missing out on more shots to talk to his mother.

    “Well, your father and I are thinking about having that happen in the pretty near future.”

    Jesse didn’t like the sound of ‘pretty near future.’ “What, like, next week? Next month?” He asked, growing a bit impatient: all this mother-son talk was making him lose his buzz.

    “Well, he’ll be on the 11:57 tomorrow.”

    Light blue eyes went wide. “Well, gee mom, thanks for the notice!” He said sternly, a bit annoyed. Jesse’s relationship with his brother was strained at best, and in fact they had scarcely spoken since the end of the summer. And even when they did speak, it was always forced: the two simply had nothing in common.

    The boy sighed. “Alright, I guess I’ll be there at the train station to pick him up,” he said at length, shaking his head. The conversation ended shortly thereafter, and Jesse headed back inside, determined to make this night – probably the last awesome night he’d have in a while – be the best it could be.

    Morning came all too quickly, and Jesse awoke with quite the hangover. He was alone in bed, much to his disappointment. He glanced at the clock: 11:30. The train ride was only an hour or so, and Jesse would have to be at the train station in an hour and a half. That gave him just enough time to hop in the shower, throw on some clothes, and do a little bit of tidying. As for where the heck this kid would sleep… well, there was only one bed, so they’d have to run to the store and buy an air mattress or something.

    Checking himself once more in the mirror – not that Jesse particularly cared what his younger brother thought of him, but he put a lot of effort into his appearance and was, frankly, pretty proud of himself in that department – he was out the door, heading to Grand Central Station. A brief subway ride away, Jesse found himself shortly thereafter in the middle of the terminal, looking up at the giant board to figure out which track the train would be coming in on. ‘Track 21,’ he said to himself, walking across the sprawling lobby towards where that train would let out. Picking a spot for himself, he leaned against the wall, wondering exactly how he was going to get through the next – wait, how long exactly was this kid going to be here?
  2. At first thought, a train ride seemed quite inviting. A quiet and peaceful span of time to just unwind and be alone with your thoughts. But after awhile the silence becomes filled with noises of things you would never notice in a crowded area - the woman on the seat opposite of him biting her nails, the man flipping pages in a book somewhere amongst the cart, or even the pitter patter of restless children badgering their mother in not so hushed tones. It was these things that began to peeve the already irate Casper Andrews. If being shipped off to stay with his brother at the minimum of month wasn't enough, the delightful older gentleman who sold him his train ticket of course had to ask him his all time favorite question when the teen offered his name: 'Casper, like Casper the friendly ghost?' There was quite literally nothing in the world that pushed his buttons more, and often times he had to refrain from pulling his hair out when the topic was mentioned. There was a reason he proffered to be called Cas as opposed to Casper.

    When the train finally came to a halt, Cas heaved his lone duffle bag over his shoulder and sauntered towards the exit along with the other twenty something people being let off in the same place. It took a good five minutes to track down his older sibling in the mass of people that was Grand Central Station, sucking in a sharp breath before making his way over to meet him, not so much as a fake smile forced across his features. Their relationship wasn't what one would a good one - luckily visiting Jesse wasn't his main reason for traveling up to New York. In fact, his mother even urged him before he boarded on the 11:57 to work on their strained relationship. Though the way he measured it in his head was something of being outside the house as much as possible. How hard could it be to come by a fake ID in such a busy city? Heh, well, he'd need to get around - there was only so much a seventeen year old could get away with on his own.

    The only real thing they partially shared was their looks: Casper wasn't nearly as tall, a 5'6 compared to his brother's even 6 feet, he'd also inherited their mother's short dark brown hair opposed to the elder's shaggy blonde of their father, and the real match came to their light blue eyes and sun-kissed skin. Casper wasn't a socialite in the least; he preferred the company of his video games rather than that of another human being and even when he did interact with others, he was quiet and rather sarcastic.

    "Hey, Jesse," he greeted in a smooth tone to finally break the ice, wishing he could have done it with even lesser words.

    Clearing his throat, he gazed at the elder of the two through dark sunglasses that more or less weren't needed, but luckily Grand Central harbored the eccentric and most didn't even care what in the world some teenager was wearing. Adjusting the bag over his shoulder, he quirked up an eyebrow over the brim of his shades as he waited for the other to give him some type of direction.
  3. Jesse arrived at the train station before Casper's train did, so the blonde had a few minutes to himself while he waited. Though he rarely felt this way, and would even less frequently admit as much, he was nervous about this visit. He knew Casper wasn't exactly his biggest fan, but he couldn't for the life of him figure out why. Hadn't he always been nice to him? Hadn't he always said "hey" in the hallway, hadn't he always tried to make things okay between them? Sure, the past few years - since he'd gone away to school - they hadn't had much contact, but the idea that his own brother seemed not to be particularly fond of him made him ill at ease. Or, perhaps he was just totally over-analyzing all of this. No matter, Jesse decided as he saw people begin to trickle out of the gate from which he was expecting his brother to appear any second: he would just bite the bullet, try his best, and he was sure he could make things work between them.

    "Hey, bro," he said, mussing up the younger male's hair playfully as he greeted him. "How was your trip?" Before waiting to hear an answer, he glanced down and noticed the duffel bag Casper had slung over his shoulder. He figured it was probably pretty heavy, so he made a grab for it. "Here, let me carry that for ya, it looks pretty heavy," he said, taking it into his own hands. But as he did so, it occurred to him that it probably wasn't much of a vote of confidence, telling his high school-aged brother that he wasn't strong enough to carry a single duffel bag. He had always considered the possibility that their strained relationship was due to the fact that their parents were always bragging to people about Jesse - about how good at soccer he was, about how popular he seemed to be, etc. - and it was times like this when Jesse realized that perhaps he did come off as thinking he was better than his younger brother, even in little moments like this where it certainly hadn't been his intent. "I mean, since you had a long trip, you're probably pretty tired," he added quickly, hoping to explain that away. "How was your trip, by the way?" He asked as he led Casper across the lobby towards the subway station; it was clear that his intention was to talk as much as possible in the hopes that something would stick. "Oh, and how long are you going to be here, do ya know?" He hesitated, realizing that probably made him sound like he wanted him out of there as soon as possible. Well, he wasn't thrilled with the situation, but he didn't want the poor kid thinking he didn't even want to see him: they were brothers, after all. "Just so I can figure out sleeping arrangements. There's only one bed in my place so we might have to buy you an air mattress or something." He would have to start thinking before he spoke if this was going to go smoothly.

    The subway ride was pretty short - much shorter than Casper's train ride had been, at any rate - and from there it was just a two-block walk to Jesse's apartment. "It's kinda cool having my own place," he said, figuring he'd try to come up with some conversation topics: the subway ride, only about ten minutes long, had passed with uncomfortable silence (or at least Jesse had seen it as such) between the two brothers. "I can show you around campus, if you want," he suggested as they made their way up the stairs and down the hall. Unlocking the door, Jesse allowed Casper into the room, following behind him. "You look good," the elder of the two said once they were both inside and settled. "Ya know, staying healthy and such. That's good." The way their mother had sounded on the phone the previous evening, one would have been led to believe Casper was going in the way of Amy Winehouse. Certainly this didn't appear to be the case.
  4. The only real thing that rattled around Casper's brain as he was steered from the train station to the subway to Jesse's apartment? How much his brother was talking. There were too many questions to answer that he barely got the chance to digest it before the guy was rambling about something else. He took it that Jesse wasn't comfortable with silence, whereas he didn't mind it. Casper wasn't quite a happy camper with the prospect of his older brother carrying his bags for him either - did he look frail? No. His brow ticked when the bag was taken from him, but he offered up a "Thanks." nevertheless. Leave it to Jesse to make him look possibly less masculine than him - no, his muscles weren't as toned as his athletic brother's, but he did manage to keep his physique fit. It began to occur to him that perhaps his brother was just being nice and not trying to one up him; Casper always had a tendency to view things quite negatively.

    To the various times he was asked about his trip, Casper just went with, "It was fine." As for any other questions - he made something of a mental checklist, considering his brother went off on a continued tangent as they went along to his apartment building. His attempts to conjure up a conversation were mostly in vain, only receiving a nod and mumble to most things Jesse put out there.

    It wasn't long until they were entering his apartment, Casper walking in ahead of Jesse. In a few moments the two were settled and his brother was yet again jabbing at him for conversation. He didn't feel that relaxed inside of the elder's home just yet, opting to stand opposed to grabbing a seat or stowing away his things somewhere. They could stay in the duffle for all he, or Jesse for that matter, cared. His eyes wavered over his brother's form from head to toe and offered him a shrug. "You don't look so bad yourself." No, it wasn't his health that had him shipped off to his college bound brother in a hurry. Expression stoic as ever, he got down to business, "You said there's only one bed, so I'll take the floor. Mom wants me to stay for a month, but a week is the minimum." Before he could have the chance to comment on that note, Casper quickly continued, "I'll be on the 8:45 next Sunday." Exactly a week from today. Soon? A bit. In Casper's defense, he had a feeling Jesse would want him out soon as possible; his little brother hanging around would probably cramp his style. He shuffled his feet a bit, glancing down from the blonde's gaze as he cleared his throat once more, hands shoved in his pockets. "You can relax, by the way. You haven't stopped talking since you picked me up."
  5. If Casper was annoyed by all of Jesse's many attempts at making conversation, then Jesse either simply didn't notice, or noticed and didn't let it get to him. He wasn't sure how long his little brother was going to be in his hair for, but he was determined to make it enjoyable on both ends. Spending a week, or two weeks, or however long being annoyed at one another was just a waste of time. So he tried to make casual conversation, as difficult as it ended up being. It never occurred to him that perhaps Casper preferred the quiet: Jesse like to talk, so he naturally assumed that everyone around him did, as well.

    At the younger male's compliment, Jesse couldn't help but chuckle, a rather pleasant sound that some would call charming, other's infectious, and still others repulsively chipper. "Gee, thanks, kid," he replied, giving the boy a playful punch in the shoulder. He didn't mean 'kid' in a condescending way, but rather as a term of endearment, though understandably one might find it a bit off-putting. He listened obediently as his brother gave him the business, nodding in affirmation to the statement that there was only one bed. He was about to interject that he was happy to buy them an air mattress or something, but it seemed like Casper was still speaking, so he kept quiet for now. (Frankly, he was just happy that his little brother was finally saying something.) It didn't take a rocket scientist - and Jesse was certainly no genius - to put the pieces together that Casper was staying for as brief a time as their parents would allow. The blonde was a teensy bit offended by that, but he rationalized this by figuring that Casper probably had to get back to school and all that. It couldn't be that he just wanted to spend as little time with his older brother as possible. Who didn't enjoy some quality Jesse Time?

    "Well, you're welcome to stay as long as you want," he offered with a shrug of his shoulders. Obviously that was an exaggeration, but he meant that Casper could stay longer than a week if he wanted. Jesse wasn't in love with the fact that he had to share his room and shepherd his kid brother around, but he wasn't going to kick him out over it. Either way, he had a pretty strong feeling that the boy would stay just long enough to be out of Mom's hair for a while and make it seem like they'd really hit it off, and then hightail it back home. Really, that was fine by him, as long as there were no hard feelings on either end.

    The older male blushed a bit as Casper pointed out, quite perceptively, that he was talking much more than necessary. "Er, sorry," he replied, rubbing the back of his neck. "Just, ya know... fillin' the silence." But no sooner had he apologized for speaking too much, than he was back at it. "So, are you tired? Do you wanna rest? Or I can show you around. It's a pretty cool neighborhood. Or if you're hungry, we could grab a bite. Whatever you want."
  6. Casper stared rather blankly at his brother as he was lightly punched in the shoulder, little to no reaction whatsoever. The playful actions such as ruffling his hair or punching his shoulder as Jesse just did were tolerated by Casper rather than enjoyed. He, however, didn't really care enough to tell anyone he wasn't so fond of their actions, especially when that someone happened to be his brother.

    He gave the older of the two a quick nod, confirming that he understood both that he could stay longer than a week, but not actually as long as he'd like. Other than the fact that they'd probably sick of each other and Jesse would want his space to himself once more, Casper had school to return to, if not much else. In truth he was fairly glad when his brother didn't argue that he was attempting to stay for the least amount of time as possible as it would probably just have made Casper bristle and feel slightly irked.

    At the very moment Jesse apologized but sprang right back into another earful of words, Casper realized that the guy was unable to figure out that he enjoyed the silence, to an extent at least. The boy didn't quite see why Jesse had apologized only to hop right back into what he was doing, but would bite his tongue from making a remark. His brother was clearly trying and at the very least, deserved a bit of leeway on Casper's part. Besides, his chattering wasn't so terrible considering it made up for Casper's lack of conversation.

    "Can we go get something to eat?" Casper asked once his brother finished speaking, his hand digging around in his back pocket before revealing a wallet and holding it up. "I have cash." Of course he didn't expect his brother to pay for him the entire time he was staying with him, nor did his parents, who forked over extra money for 'things he just wanted to buy' or 'emergencies'. He would go ahead and let his brother lead them off to wherever he preferred eating, more so because Jesse knew the area well or at least definitely better than him, and Casper would eat just about anything that didn't include peanuts as the kid was allergic.