Chapter 86 – Not what siblings do (1)
Translator: SKAIS Editor: Dict Groiler
“Throw?” I asked, taking pity on him. “Of course I won’t throw you away. I’d never do such a thing.”
His tearful eyes turned towards me once more, more of his tears spilling down his cheeks…
“Is, is it my fault? If you let me know what’s been bothering you, I can fix it! Why are you like this?” he begged me…
I suddenly felt like I had committed a heinous crime towards him. I watched him as he lowered his face and nuzzled his cheeks against my palm that was cradling his face…
Was he aware of what he’s doing?
For now, the only problem I could see was his height. For someone who’s two years younger than I am, he’s rather tall. Not like an adult, but certainly tall enough for me. Even when I’m standing, he doesn’t have to crane his head up to look at me when sitting down himself.
I noticed his face growing closer to mine. Instinctively, I had to step back to prevent the distance between us from lessening further. But he only grabbed me by the hem of my sleeves once more, keeping me in place…
As if afraid of me disappearing.
“Where are you going?” he asked in panic.
“I’m not,” I answered quickly, “It’s, you’re too close.”
Despite my insistence to keep some distance, Ricdorian drew his face even closer as he slowly closed the gap…
“Can’t we be close?” he whispered and I could feel a slight panic forming inside me…
No! We mustn’t!
It’s too dangerous and yet…
When he’d stare at me with those tearful eyes, I could feel my heart clenching painfully once more, taking my breath away. I swallowed down my outgoing protests as my eyes trailed down to his shirt, which had fallen off place to expose pale, yet strong looking shoulder blades of his…
I mustn’t. I reminded myself.
This was someone I saw as a little brother. Someone who strived so hard to remain strong, yet deep inside was quite soft and tender in personality…
My eyes caught his reddened lips…
Why was it so red?
The moment I regained my senses, I immediately pulled away, but his grip was stopping me.
“Okay, sleep time’s over, wake up!” I pleaded, but he refused to budge.
“I don’t want to.” he admitted, the grip on my shoulder tightening up, “Once I do, you’ll be gone, and I’ll be alone.”
Was he dreaming? Did he still think this is a dream?
Alas, I couldn’t stand it any longer and squished his cheeks between my palms. He paused as I continued to push and pull at them…
“Get up quickly. Come on, wake up for real now! How much longer are you going to sleep for?” I asked, intentionally making my voice louder. When he didn’t move, I hesitated for a moment and stopped talking.
I took a good look at his surroundings and felt a little guilty. He didn’t even have a blanket to sleep with. That fact broke my heart a little.
And then Ricdorian blinked, finally gaining semblance of alertness as he gazed at me.
“Not… a dream?”
“Of course not, silly,” I gently chided, “Now come on now, stop being half-asleep.” I said, squishing his cheeks more to aid him in escaping sleep. I gave him a bright grin. “Did you miss me that much you started dreaming about me?” I teased, booping him on the nose with my index finger.
His eyes widened fractionally as he finally caught up to what he was doing before, and shook his head as he sat up properly.
“Oh, that… the, uh,” he stammered.
I could feel his cheeks warming up against my palm that was still holding him up. If the lighting of the place was great, I could have seen his pale cheeks flush red from the neck up. Like this, he resembled greatly a tomato as he struggled to let some words out, smacking his lips, and licking them to wet his mouth…
“That, the…cheek.” he stuttered…
“Cheek?” I asked, tilting my head in confusion.
“…let go of it.” he softly told me. Well, that certainly didn’t make me let go of him. Come now, was he embarrassed?
“Nope.” I told him with a smile, popping the ‘p’ sound for emphasis. His eyes looked up at me with a slight quiver. “You’re still clinging to me, remember?” I pointed out, casually nudging my head to the sleeve that was still caught in his grip. “My sleeves?” I pressed on.
Ricdorian’s gaze trailed down my sleeves to his hand that was clutching it like a lifeline. He was shaking like a leaf, yet he still refused to let go. Rather, he slowly raised his eyes back to lock with mine, but I could see a new hint of cautiousness behind them.
“… can’t I hold on to it?” he finally said and I was startled by his speech pattern.
Normally, when Ricdorian spoke, he would do so formally, but now, he spoke to me as if I was someone familiar…
Someone he was comfortable with.
I felt myself die a little bit inside! My heart was threatening to jump out my throat! He’s going to send me to an early grave, this one…However, his next words were like an arrow to the heart.
“You–you didn’t keep your word, you know…….요” he pointed out to me, sounding a little betrayed, but the way he said it was a little awkward to hear, I couldn’t help but burst out in an uncalled for laughter.
He was trying so hard to talk so informally it seemed.
“Why, if you’re going to do it, do it till the end, without honorifics.” I told him in a matter-of-fact tone.
“But-” he began to protest, but I stared at him sternly, stopping him in his tracks.
“But?” I prodded. Eventually he broke away from my gaze and bowed his head in embarrassment. He glanced up to look at me, but refused to raise his head…
“I was… afraid,” he began, “-that you wouldn’t like me if I continued to speak that way.” he mumbled out, rubbing his arm. I decided to take pity.
“Well, I don’t hate it, you silly goof.” I told him gently, smiling to ease his nervousness.
“You don’t… hate it?” I giggled at him lightly, before shaking my head. Still, he seemed a little skeptical to believe my words this time around. “You’re not just pretending? I mean, I did everything I could already.” he told me.
I blinked at his words.
“I already let out what I thought about you.” He murmured. The grip he’d had on my sleeves had loosened up a bit. It seemed as though he’s back to his old self already. I can see that usual playful glint in his eye the next second our eyes met. “Don’t you think so?”
I could barely process his words, too focused on the reddish tint still apparent on his face.
“Indeed, I missed you so much.” He answered me, with a tinge of longing in his tone, “So much so I started to dream about you.”
The words he spoke were achin to melody for me, like a song. He spoke with a childish wonder, children much younger than him usually spoke with. But when he would say it like that, it was like something would tug on my heartstrings.
“Don’t you think so too?” he asked me.
I watched the receding red tint on his skin which had from his cheeks to the tips of his ears, run up the length of his neck. No longer did he feel tense, or strange…
And all I could think of was how adorable he looked right now.
I was struck with the sudden remembrance that this boy was indeed just a boy, someone younger than I am, not yet an adult. Without realizing it, my hand moved on its own, and rested on top of his disheveled silver hair.
I rubbed it in a fond manner, and marvelled at the sensation.
It was so fluffy, I wanted to coo at him!
“I do, and I’m glad.” I answered him with a genuine smile.
And then it dawned on me.
I’ve been with him so long, been so invested in his well-being, I hadn’t realized just how much I had grown attached to him. Suddenly, the bars that stood between us no longer mattered to me.
No longer did I think they would only separate us permanently.
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