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    Aceinthehole
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The Hidden Ones: Resurrection - 29. Brother to Brother

---Teddy---

When people find out I’m with Ryder Sullivan they picture the perfect life. They picture big money, mansions, cars. The ‘good’ life. They never ask about the lack of privacy, the media starting rumors, or the mental health issues that have been so apparent in his career. Yet, they sit on the edge of their seats, waiting for him or any other celebrity to screw everything up. They hope for their failure, and publicize anything that can lead to it. But we’ve come too far to let them tear down everything we’ve built.

 

Ryder quietly sang as I rested on his chest. I don’t know when, but at some point his voice became the perfect fix for all our problems. All it takes is him singing a song or two, and just like that we’re back on the same page.

“Should we go talk to Oli?” Ryder exhaled.

“Yeah.” I slowly nodded. “I think he’s just embarrassed.”

“There’s nothing to be embarrassed about.” Ryder shrugged. “He did the right thing.”

“He doesn’t see it that way.” I said as I rose to my feet. “Probably thinks he almost screwed something else up.”

“So you’re the Oli whisperer now?” Ryder teased following me out of the room. “I’ll remember that for Florida.”

“Won’t matter, he gravitates towards you anyway.” I shot back as I lightly knocked on his door. “Can we come in?” There was a minute or two of silence before I started to knock once more. “Come on, it’s Christmas, you should be bouncing all over the house.”

Another moment of silence passed as we patiently waited for him to open the door. “No one’s mad at you.” Ryder tried to comfort. “And no one blames you for what you did.”

After another minute the door finally began to open. It creaked less than halfway then stopped as Oli crawled back into his bed.

“Come on.” I exhaled as we slowly entered. “It’s Christmas, you have to break in your new drum set before we leave for Florida.”

“It’s a really great set.” Ryder tempted. “We had it designed just for you. Lots of cymbals and good spacing so you can play whatever style you want.”

I let out another sigh as Oli burrowed even further into his covers. He tried to squirm away as I began to fix his hair, but eventually gave in. “Ryder, can you give us a minute?”

“I, are you sure?” He cautiously checked.

“Yeah, I just need to talk to him brother to brother.” I nodded in a confident tone.

“Okay.” He said, slowly getting back to his feet. “Just let me know if you need me.”

I nodded and patiently waited for the door to shut on his way out. “He’s not mad at you.” I began. “Neither of us are.” Once more he stayed quiet as I began to pet his hair. “Boy do I wish you were around when I was a kid. When I got cheated on, no one really came to bat for me. Liz and Blake tried but there was only so much they knew to say.”

Once more Oli refused to speak. “But you, you just went right after him.” I shook my head. “You wanted to protect me.”

“I wasn’t going to actually do anything.” He finally mumbled.

“I don’t know about that. I was the one holding you back.” I softly laughed. “It felt like you were ready to knock him unconscious.”

“He’s so much bigger than me. I wouldn’t’ve stood a chance.” He muttered, still not looking at me.

“But you were going to try anyway.” I said, continuing to comb his hair with my hand. “Thank you Oliver. I don’t care if you’re embarrassed about it. I love you for it.”

“Even though I was wrong?” He forced out.

“Even though you were wrong.” I nodded my head. “Your heart was in the right place, and you wanted to protect your family. I could never blame you for that.”

“What’s Ryder think?” Oli asked in a low voice.

“You heard him, he’s not mad.” I shrugged. “I think he’s proud that you wanted to protect me.”

“I didn’t ruin anything?” He continued, beginning to show me his doubts. “Like you and Ryder are okay?”

“Yeah, we’re okay.” I lightly giggled. “Trust me, it’s going to take a lot more than some TMZ bullshit to break us up.”

A minute or two of silence passed until Oli finally knocked my hand away and turned over to look at me. “Mom showed me the picture she gave you.” His face looked worn down and beaten by the day, yet his eyes still carried that Christmas hope only kids know. “I, why’d you date him?”

“What do you mean?” I smiled. I went to fix his hair once more but he pushed my hand away before I could.

“You were so different than him, so, just, why?” He let out, not able to put his question in words.

“Because we were different.” I shrugged. “I was sick of dating the same old same old. People that just told me what I wanted to hear to make me happy. But Ryder wasn’t like that.” I shook my head. “He would tell me the truth, even when I didn’t want to hear it. He saw the world so differently from everyone else. He still does.”

“But when I used to say that,”

“When you used to say that you were talking about an ex-boyfriend that cheated on me.” I reminded him. “But things change, and now here we are.”

“I wouldn’t’ve gotten so into them if I knew it would hurt you.” He confessed and turned his head away. “But mom and dad never really told me the details, or tried to stop me.”

“Dad was just happy you liked rock music.” I exhaled, shaking my head. “It’s not your fault, and it’s not a bad thing that it happened. It all worked out in the end, didn’t it?”

“Yeah.” He nodded his head. “You’re sure he’s not mad at me?”

“Positive.” I quickly nodded. “Can he come talk to you?”

“I, yeah.” Oli accepted.

“Ryder!” I shouted, slowly getting to my feet. Before I could even get all my weight off the bed the door swung open. “Were you waiting out there?”

“No.” He lied with a quick shake of his head. “I just wanted to make sure I was close if you needed me.”

“Whatever.” I rolled my eyes, but as I turned towards Oli I saw him staring off.

All it took was a nod for Ryder to get the message, and just like that he was sitting right next to his biggest fan with his hand on his side. “So first that kid at your school, and now me? I should start paying you for your job as Teddy’s body guard.” Oli stayed quiet as Ryder gently rubbed his arm. “I’m proud of you for what you did. You didn’t let who I was come in the way of protecting your brother.”

Oli looked over at me then right back down as he thought it all over. “I’m serious,” Ryder encouraged. “Not everyone has guts like that. Some people will let celebrities do whatever they want to their family. But not you.”

“He’s my brother.” Oli forced out. “I-I don’t know.” I couldn’t help but smile at his broken attempt to communicate his feelings. He doesn’t have to say it for me to know he loves me.

“I love you too.” I teased, causing him to uncomfortably fidget.

“Yeah, whatever.” Was all he could manage but I knew it connected with him.

“We cool?” Ryder asked him, lowering himself so he could look the boy in the eyes.

“Yeah.” Oliver nodded. “I’m sorry, I should’ve,”

“There’s not anything else you should’ve done.” Ryder interrupted before he could doubt himself. “You reacted the best way you knew how, and that’s what matters.” Oli nodded his head as Ryder began to grow more serious. “You know being a rock star means having to deal with crap like this, and if we make music together, it, there’s a large chance they start rumors about you too.”

Oli thought about it for a few seconds before shrugging his shoulders. “People don’t like me anyway.” He decided. “So what do I care?”

“I like you.” I teased, causing him to make a face. “Now everyone up.” I instructed, getting to my feet. “It’s Christmas, we’re not going to waste it in bed.”

“Alright, alright.” Ryder sighed, as both he and Oli slowly rose from the bed.

The rest of the day was everything I would’ve wanted me and Ryder’s first Christmas together to be. We got to relax, and hangout with family all day. Eventually he and Oli went to the basement for guitar lessons and breaking in the new drum set. Ryder’s heart still isn’t perfect, but it’s come a long way in the past month. I’m still not comfortable with him playing and singing, but he can at least play guitar for a good forty minutes before he has to consider stopping. The physical therapist that’s been working with him even says he should get close to where he used to be!

*************************************************************************************

As I took a seat on the bed across from him I couldn’t help but nervously laugh. “Okay, my mom’s gift kind of makes it look like I stole her idea, but I swear I didn’t.” I began, slowly handing him his present. “I-I hope you like it.”

“Is it more steak?” He asked, tearing into the box. He fell speechless as he finally saw what rested inside. “It, I haven’t seen this picture in years.” He gasped, slowly taking the frame out of the box to expose the picture of him on his dad’s shoulders. “H-how did you get this?”

“When I went to pick up your luggage I took it for you.” I shrugged. “I knew at some point soon you’d want to see it, so I had it reframed and even photo copied just in case something happens.”

He let out a breath as he speechlessly looked at the picture. It’s crazy how much he looks like his father now. If only he could be around today to see his son. How proud he would be.

I pulled Ryder in close as a few tears began to fall from his eyes. “Thank you.” He exhaled, not knowing what else to say. “I, thank you Teddy.”

I proudly pulled him in tightly, relieved at how much he loved his gift. He could buy anything he wants in the world, but at the end of the day I know family matters to him the most.

“It’s not going to be nearly as good.” Ryder straightened himself up and pulled away. “But here’s your gift, Merry Christmas Teddy.”

I couldn’t help but smile wider as he nervously watched me open the present. Whatever it is, he’s really worried about it!

“What is this?” I couldn’t help but ask noticing a number of small things in the box. “Lyrics?” I asked as I pulled a small frame out.

“That, that’s the lyric sheet for Surrender. It was our first big hit, and you, you were in the studio when I wrote it,” He explained, trying his hardest to keep it together. “Then the next day you came over and accidentally named it. You said it sounded like a surrender and it just stuck.”

I felt my heart flutter as I quickly realized what this box was. “And this?” I asked, pulling out a small worn pamphlet with the words Point Pleasant faded on it.

“That’s from when you took me to the beach for the first time.” He clarified. “It, it was one of my favorite days from that summer.”

I tried my hardest to stop the smile from growing even more, but I could tell it was a losing battle. “I know what this is.” I shook my head, pulling out a flyer from his first warped tour.

“I couldn’t’ve survived that day without you.” He exhaled. “You were there with me for every second. I, when we thought we weren’t going to make it, when we somehow made it, when you yelled at Beartooth to keep us on!”

“And when you were on the radio for the first time after.” I pointed out as my smile turned proud.

I had to fight back tears as I pulled out the last item in the box. “This?”

“It’s a coaster from The Barn.” He sighed. “I know, it’s kind of crappy but, I, it,”

“It’s where I first saw you sing.” I shook my head. “And where we had our first date, it’s not crappy at all.” I exhaled as the tears finally became too much to hold in.

“You like it?” Ryder excitedly asked.

“Yeah,” I slowly nodded my head as he pulled me in close. “I really do.” I should’ve known this was coming, I should’ve known Ryder Sullivan was going to be a good gift giver. He always was. “We have to stop crying today.” I teased as he held me tightly.

“I don’t know, you still have two gifts left.” Ryder lightly laughed as he let me go.

“Two?” I asked as I cautiously watched him.

“One from me and one from Oli.” He shrugged.

“Oli’s in bed, no?” I asked as Ryder handed me a long thin box.

“Yeah but he gave me something to give you.” Ryder shrugged. “But that’ll come next.”

“Okay, so then what is this?” I examined, slowly opening it.

“Part two of your gift.” He said with a big smile.

As I unwrapped it and pulled open the extravagant box I felt my heart stop. “Ryder!” I yelped as the shiny Rolex watch flashed in my eyes. “I-I can’t accept this. Are you crazy?”

“Why not?” Ryder shrugged. “I never get to buy you anything nice, just let me get away with it this one time.” I gulped hard as I took it out of the box and took a long look at it. “It even links with the monitor on my wrist so you can check my heart rate with that.”

I looked at the watch in amazement as one small button switched it from a classic watch look to a smart watch. I didn’t even know they made watches like this! It must have cost him a small fortune! “Ryder.” I let out once more.

“Teddy.” He teased with a smile. “You deserve it, and there are no returns so you’re kind of stuck with it.”

“Well in that case.” I laughed as I carefully placed it back in the box.

“Now this one is going to put them all to shame.” Ryder exhaled, handing me a piece of paper. “Your brother asked if I could give this to you a few days ago.”

“Why you?” I asked, taking a look at the essay in front of me.

“I don’t know.” Ryder shrugged. “It took some convincing to even get him to give it to you. He really didn’t want you seeing it. Made me promise you wouldn’t talk to him about it after you read it.”

“Okay.” I exhaled, taking a long look at it.

Oliver Haner

Mr. Rose

Grade 8 Language Arts

December 18th 2031

My brother Teddy is my biggest idol. He’s a surgeon in the emergency room of St. James hospital. He’s eighteen years older than me, and we don’t always get along but he’s a really cool brother. Sometimes he even watches me play my drums. I want to be like him because he saves people. Even now with his boyfriend living with us he still spends most of his time at the hospital. He sacrifices a lot to help people, and I hope I do that too one day. He works really hard in everything he does, and I want to be like that too. The most important thing to him is family. When he’s around home is a lot more exciting. He likes to annoy me, but he also really likes to tell me he loves me. A lot of times he does it to bug me, but I can still tell he means it. I like when he takes me places. Sometimes he lets me come to the hospital with him and I get to see what the emergency room is like. It’s a really crazy place, but he’s always very calm when he’s there. He’s an amazing doctor. When I broke my arm he made sure I was okay, and checked on me every day for a month! I can be more like Teddy by listening in school and studying. I can also be like him by getting really good at the drums. He doesn’t really play any instruments but he works really hard, and I should do that too. I can make us both proud by becoming a really good drummer and musician. Something I don’t like about Teddy is that he doesn’t spend enough time at home. He was always at school when I was little and now he’s always at work. I know he’s helping people, but sometimes I want to spend time with him and can’t. I have the coolest big brother in the world, and even though we fight I want to grow up to be like him.

A+

I could feel the steady stream of tears falling from my eyes as I skimmed the short essay over and over again. “He didn’t pick you?” I finally managed.

“Nope.” Ryder proudly smiled. “That night he was asking me questions about you. He really cares about you Teddy.”

“I guess so.” I stood up and wiped tears from my eyes.

“No, no, no,” He shook his head. “Where are you going?”

“To talk to him.” I shrugged as Ryder tried to grab my arm.

“I promised him if he gave it to you you wouldn’t get all emotional.” Ryder exhaled, trying his hardest to restrain me.

“Well you shouldn’t make promises you can’t keep.” I forced out, breaking free and wandering into his empty bedroom.

“Let’s just go to bed.” Ryder pleaded. “I almost got hit by Oli once today. I really don’t want to go for round two.”

“I know where he is.” I nodded, ignoring Ryder and running down stars. Sure enough the second I hit the living room I could hear drumming from the basement.

“Let’s just let him practice in peace.” Ryder begged.

“You’re really scared of him.” I couldn’t help but laugh as I slowly climbed down the basement stairs.

“Busted.” Oli groaned as me and Ryder entered the room. “Please don’t tell mom and dad, I promise I don’t,”

“I won’t tell them.” I shook my head as I read the guilt on his face.

“Did it wake you up? Is this new kit that loud?” He asked, looking it over. It really was a gigantic kit. I have no idea what Ryder or my dad were thinking. It must be at least twenty-five pieces. It’s actually kind of amazing he can play something that size.

“No, I um, I read your essay.” I shrugged as I threw my hands in my pockets.

“My essay?” Oli repeated in a confused voice.

“It’s late, why don’t we all just go to,”

“He doesn’t know!” I shouted turning towards Ryder. “He didn’t tell you to give it to me!”

“I, that’s not the important thing here.” Ryder gulped, looking from me to Oli.

“What essay?” Oli asked before it clicked in his head. “Ryder!” He cried out. “You promised you wouldn’t show him!”

“I know, I um, I learned I need to stop making promises I can’t keep.” he nervously laughed.

“It’s not funny!” Oli shouted. “You’re such an asshole!”

“Look at the time, midnight already?” Ryder slowly began to back pedal towards the stairs. “That’s bedtime for me! Sorry Oliver!” He shouted, before running up the steps.

“I hope you like being single, because I’m going to kill him.” Oli angrily muttered.

“I get it.” I nodded, and took the closest seat to him. “He broke your trust which isn’t cool, so you have every right to be mad, but was me reading your essay really the end of the world?”

“I just didn’t want you to see it.” Oli muttered. “Most of its made up anyway. I just had to meet the word count.” He lied as he looked away from me.

“I see.” I nodded my head. “You know it’s okay for you to say you love me right? You don’t have to try and be a big tough man all the time. It’s okay to love people.” A blush covered Oli’s face as he heard my words. “It was a really good essay though, you even got an A on it.”

“That’s my only A so far this year.” He explained as his blush grew.

“Well I think you can get a lot more if you keep working hard.” I tried to encourage but he kept silent. “I wish you would’ve told me you want me home more though.”

“I tried.” He finally spoke. “I used to say it when I was little.”

“Sure when you were a toddler.” I shrugged but the second the words left my lips I realized how much I had ignored him. “Oh.” I exhaled, as it all connected in my mind.

“It’s fine.” Oli quickly shook his head. “I was just a little kid anyway.”

“It’s not.” I shook my head. “I’m sorry Oliver, I, I’ll make sure to be home more often from now on.”

“No.” He quickly replied. “This is exactly why I didn’t want you reading it!”

“Why?” I asked with a tilted head.

“I don’t want things changing. I like how they are right now.” He insisted, looking down at his drums. “We’ve started hanging out more, and doing fun things. If we try we’re just going to ruin it again.”

“So you don’t want me home more often?” I prodded, unsure what was going through his head.

“Maybe.” He exhaled. “It’s selfish if I do. When you’re at the hospital you’re saving people, and when you’re here with me you can’t. That’s why I stopped asking.” He shyly admitted.

“Ah.” I let out, finally seeing the big picture. “Well it’s okay to be selfish every now and then.” I explained. “And I think I’ll start taking some more days off to spend with you or Ryder.”

“Okay.” He nodded still wrestling with himself over it.

“Don’t stay up too late playing the drums, okay?” He nodded to my words as I stood up and headed back to the stairs. “Good night.”

“I love you.” He forced out, before looking right back down.

“I love you too.” I smiled as I slowly climbed the stairs.

There are days when all we do is try to rip one another’s heads off. Days we’re nothing but polar opposites who can’t stand one another! But even at the end of those days, when I lay down, I wouldn’t change anything about him. He’s himself and unapologetically so. The world could learn a lot from little Oliver Haner.

*Everlong- Foo Fighters (The Colour and the Shape, 1997)

Copyright © 2018 Aceinthehole; All Rights Reserved.
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Lots of minor misdirection in this chapter!  ;-)

 

Everyone still keeps comparing Oli to Teddy, but they really have very different personalities. Of course there are similarities, but the two react to many things in contrasting ways. As is common with First-born or only children, Teddy excels at adult-endorsed activities like school and work since he grew up with lots of adult attention. Quite often with children born after a large gap, the younger child is the de facto first-born child of a second family. But Oli is definitely a second child in how he interacts with his family and the world, he is very rebellious at times!  ;-)

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I loved that the watch linked to Ryder’s heart, and that each gift was a part of them . 

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Happy tears! What a beautiful little family, warts and all. When Teddy and Ryder finally move out on their own, it would not surprise me in the slightest to see them invite Oli to live with them (and the parents will probably sigh with relief!).

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Oliver steps up to the plate and hits it out of the park.  He is a remarkable young man, Protecting his brother, and though reluctant to let anyone know he is secretly so proud of Teddy.  The shifting family dynamics are awesome, Thanks for the chapter!!

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This was an amazing chapter. Oli is learning that you are still valuable, actually you are better, if you are in touch with your feelings, if you own them instead of letting them drown you. And Teddy issue getting the required wake up call to his behavior about work, how he "robotomized" it. He was always driven and an achiever, but after Ryder he made "keeping in constant movement" a way of life. He is realizing that those he love need him, he has to be present, as a brother, and specially as a partner. 

Ryder doesn't lose his mischief streak,  but it was funny being afraid of Oliver... Hey, if he can sing a play for 40 minutes already, he can probably survive a mild nookie with Teddy, it's only like 13years late :gikkle:

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Very touching. But why didn’t they get (or already have) those sound absorbing pads and portable walls? If they don’t want to hear the racket Ollie makes. Hell they could standup old mattresses around the drum set. 

 

I was half half expecting the box to be a ring. That better come in due to time. However since the watch is digital wouldn’t it be nice if Ryder had put images on the digital dial? Maybe he could take off his heart monitor watch and have Teddy’s go off but a proposal message on the dial. It would be corny for Ryder but have something like “Whenever I’m around you you make my heart flutter.  Will you marry me?” 

 

Finally was the first guy guy in high school who cheated on Teddy ever named and will we encounter him?

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On 3/22/2018 at 10:32 PM, Hunter of Porn said:

Finally was the first guy guy in high school who cheated on Teddy ever named and will we encounter him?

Wasn’t that the guy that Mike and Blake beat up? I think a name was mentioned at some point. But my memory is bad with names…  ;-)

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