A Year Gone By:
"Did you... Want me to stay, bro-"
"Go away, Alta´r." He could see the hurt in his amber eyes.
He stirred in his light sleep, bare torso lightly sheened in a cold sweat, shining in the solemn Jerusalem moon that loomed high in the midnight sky, curvaceous surface visible to the naked eye. Subtle nightmares plagued him, as always, intangible but enough to leave the slightest mind scar, scars he didn't think he would ever be able to escape from, scars that ran deeper than the ones marring his flesh, those rend into his amputated limb. His brow quivered, kicking off the light blanket over him down around his waist. He panted, but he wasn't out of breath, the cool breeze making him shiver.
The nightmares slowly dwindled, calming him back down, falling slack on his back, eventually turning onto his side. They lulled him into a stilled awakening. Somehow, they were more taunting that way, it was as if they were clearly showing the power they had over him, able to rile him and send him back to peace just as easily, able to wake him up quietly rather than forcing him from tormented slumber with guttural cries and screams for help against an unseen entity. He closed his tired eyes again, biting on the inside of his lower lip, to be controlled by such things, it was weak.
Something told him that he wasn't going to be able to fall back into sleep for awhile, dark eyes gazing up towards the moon, the large planet having crept just half way across the aphotic expanse. A pressure tightened in his chest, making him softly wince, pulling himself up, a leg cocked, elbow propped on his knee. He took soothing breaths, feeling how his ribcage arched to allow inhale, pulsing lungs feeling like they were pressed away by something stronger, a lingering force that grew in his core until it suddenly stopped beating. He knew why, glancing fleetingly to the side and regretting it.
"Kadar..." Malik whispered to himself.
"Alright, brother?" A small voice asked him, so achingly familiar, he couldn't bring himself to look back up to the source. His eyes barely kept open, he wanted to welcome sleep back more than anything at that moment. The voice was persistent.
"Did you remember?" It spoke again. He saw a flicker of celestial movement, his skin crawling uncontrollably, of course he remembered. How could he forget? Wounds both mental and physical tore his body and mind, a constant reminder of blunder, of despair, of decay. He internally shivered, his bones turning to ice as the ghost image flourished a hand carelessly.
"Ah, you remembered," He said, catching him off-guard, could he hear his thoughts? "I wouldn't be here if you forgot."
He understood, then. His own mind was so merciless, sometimes. Tipping his head down, Malik idly traced patterns in the thin blanket. Creating an ethereal image of his own deceased brother. He didn't think he had it in him, neither the strength nor the tolerance for the self abuse with came with the hauntingly refreshing sight of Kadar. He supposed he was a masochist, vision flicking to his brother as his almost pristine voice rang once more.
"Damn..." Kadar's form had leant back, holding itself up on its palms, long legs sprawled out in front. His head was tipped, wmpty, listless blue eyes gazing up at the sky. The moonshine made him seem all the more transparent. "Hard to believe it's been a whole year, eh?"
Malik looks away as soon as it glanced at him, unable to gaze upon that late face, that toothy smile he could basically hear in his naturally jovial tone. He wouldn't allow his own being get the better of him and further sear his consciousness with an rampant disease which came to life whenever his past came to play. His fists clenched lightly in the blanket, shoulders curled into himself minutely as an unthought, self protection against whatever harrow melted itself inside.
"How's Alta´r?" Kadar's hollow voice murmured and as soon as the name of that barely-human demon was spoken, Malik felt a bolero of anger flare in his chest, almost unable to keep up as he continued to talk:
"You haven't been riding him too hard for your arm, have you?" The question was closely redundant and he had to bite back his own bitter laugh at the past innocence his brother held, he was surprised he'd the capacity to keep that trait alive. Malik could feel those azure eyes on him, boring into him, he could sense the airiness in his expression without even having to look at him.
He cursed himself, closing his eyes, willing the apparition to leave, albeit weakly. He didn't know what he wanted any more. His two considered options seemed to have the same amount of self destruction as well as ignorant redemption. To forget, or to linger.
Either he could begin to forget his brother, all that he was, or all that he could have been, trail through life seamlessly, droningly, emptily, but with no recurring pain of loss, he could overlook everything, nothing would remind him of the past as nothing would mean anything. With the alabaster tablet his life would become, he was certain an underlying pain would lie in the wake of everything he would do, but he could live with that if everything else would just go.
The other was to seep into the gifts his own mind supplied him, keep all that he knew of his brother, every facet of his personality, every feature of his structure, become lost in the simple idea of his continued existence within his own head. As much as he knew it would hurt to realize it was merely a recollection of his memories, at least he wouldn't feel the inconsolable guilt of having forgotten him.
Malik was pulled from his own internal dispute by his brother.
"...Or for me...?"
A gross smile threatened to erupt on his lips, Kadar wasn't so blind, after all. He closed his eyes again, the deep pounding in his chest returning, it hurt too much to have him here, though he would never admit it, turning his head to the side to look at the apparition.
"Kadar, why did you come?" The blatant question flowed from his lips easier than he thought it should, feeling his face perfectly mask his inner turmoil as he watched glistening tears form in the pits of Kadar's eyes. He shifted away, unable to fight the visible shudder that wrought through his body, the back of those frozen fingers brushing against his cheek, he could feel the electric cold jolt through his skin almost as though he was really there.
"Malik... You didn't want to see me?" The pain leaked thickly through his voice, Malik gritting his teeth to keep his composure.
"No, Kadar... Go away." Felled words split out of his throat without discretion, forcing himself not to look up.
High shines of ghostlike tears glimmered from the moon light. Malik was far passed feeling by then, his knuckles white from the tension of fisting the blanket in his hands.
"O-...Okay... I get it..." Kadar stammered, sniffing and leaning over towards his brother who didn't flinch as he kissed his cheek, gooseflesh riddling him. "I love you, big brother..." He whispered against his skin. Taking a closely quaking breath in, Malik closed his eyes, his chest humming.
"Think better of Alta´r, he will deserve it."
He heard the astral shuffling of Kadar's boots upon the bureau floor, a small sneer trembling his lips at the sentence, feeling his presence standing before him.
"Goodbye, brother." Kadar murmured, Malik slightly opening his eyes to watch him drift into nothing, slowly, but surely until he was gone.
Blankly he sat there, unsure of how his body continued to function, lifting a hand to his face and rubbing it gently. The next breath he took shattered him, sending his pent up tears crashing down over his lids, freely trickling over his flushing cheeks. He couldn't believe what he'd done; he had thrown away the only chance to linger with his long dead brother, to peacefully converse, to remember, all selfishly, thrown away like an empty, meat harvested carcass that might a well of been his own.
He tightly gripped his remaining other arm.
"I do miss you..." Malik choked out. The scar tissue beneath his palm was rough, he could never forget.