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[personal profile] mdseiran
Title: The Way We Live
Fandom: Night Head Genesis
Warnings: None.



It always starts with a whimper. A soft sound, normal, or would have been if this was someone else. But after the whimper the screaming will come, the pulling of hair, the desperate pleas. The whimper is the siren and Naoto knows to watch out for it even in his sleep.

He moves from one bed to the other in record time, carefully placing his hands on Naoya's head and back. All the thoughts clamoring for his attention disappear save for one, and this worry he feels every time is the only thing that can drive everything else away. He knows words won't work, but he tries them anyway; "Naoya," he calls softly, more persistent the second time, refusing to let his brother stay in his world of nightmares. One hand gently strokes along the younger man's cheek, and he tilts his head into the touch even when his eyes stay closed.

"Wake up, Naoya," and Naoto shakes him a little, waiting for a set of hands to unravel from brown locks and come to rest like a vice around his wrist. This is the second sign, and Naoto twists around until he is the barrier between his brother and the world. "It's okay, just wake up," he murmurs, arms tight around Naoya's waist. "Just a nightmare," even though it isn't and they both know it, but it sounds normal and better than the truth. The third sign comes when Naoya starts to shiver violently, and Naoto bites back the sigh of relief. "I'm here," he whispers, as he does every time, and Naoya turns in his arms until his face is hidden in Naoto's chest.

The tears come then, as they do every time, and Naoto wipes and soothes and reassures until sobs turn into soft, steady breaths. It's a ritual almost as old as they are, often repeated, and Naoto knows this is how it is meant to be.


---


Naoya can't remember a time when he didn't have nightmares, nor can he remember a time when his brother wasn't there to chase them away. The dreams come often, always persistent and terrifying, and sometimes he thinks that it would be better if he could sink into them and fade away, just another fragment of a bad dream. But whenever he'd get too close to that temptation, something would call to him, tug at him, and the chance would slip by.

He has never told Naoto that his thoughts are easiest to pick up when he's scared or worried; Naoya can sense them even without touch, and he considers those times as his turn to contribute. He knows that his power weakens them both when it kicks in, and never fails to feel guilty about it afterwards. But Naoto always brushes away the guilt with a smile. "It's what I'm here for," he'd say; here to help, here to comfort, here to shield you from it all. His brother is the stronger one in both mind and body, and Naoya knows this. So whenever his brother's feelings overflow, he'll subtly turn the tables and be the comforter, the protector, the shield. It makes him feel better about the burden he is day and night, even when the thoughts crowding Naoto's brain end up as extra material for his dreams. It's part of the sacrifice, another facet of their ritual, a hidden one that Naoto doesn't know about. Because if he does he'll take it away and unknowingly take away a little more of Naoya's sanity.

He recognizes the hands on him both through touch and the thoughts that follow. His mind shrinks away from it at first, overwhelmed, but instead of the stream of visions he is half-expecting there is but a single thought. Naoya, Naoya, Naoya, the voice goes, growing louder every second until it wipes all traces of the nightmare away and makes it safe to surface. Niisan, his mind points out, Niisan is upset, and it is the urge to reassure even a little that drives his eyes open with a gasp. The touch becomes more real than the thoughts and he curls into that until he can feel it everywhere, and it is only then that he allows himself to shatter. Because this is his safe place, his haven, and as long as Naoya, Naoya, Naoya remains, he won't sink.

Date: 2007-05-08 05:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lyntek.livejournal.com
This is so awesome Q_Q NHG! You capture the ♥ness of the brothers! (cuddles Naoto ;O; )

Date: 2007-05-08 05:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mdseiran.livejournal.com
You are so biased. D8

*cuddles anyway* XD

Date: 2007-05-08 06:04 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] dreamlessness
♥♥♥ this fic gives more light to the brothers' intricate relationship! thank you, i've been craving for good NHG stuff since lyn and i finished the anime :D :D

Date: 2007-05-08 07:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mdseiran.livejournal.com
XDD The fact that I am ficcing at ep7 is probably a sign of addiction?

♥ is kind of hard not to fic them, they're so screwed up. xDD

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