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    Nephylim
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 

My Brother Daniel - 7. Chapter 7

We’re having great fun in the restaurant. Daniel takes dish after dish of the conveyor until I point out we have to pay by the dish and if he carries on the bill will run into hundreds. Daniel freezes and puts all the dishes back.

“You don’t have to put them all back.”

“Sara sa…said I have to be equal. I ha…have money to p…pay but I don’t have that much and we…we have to have half in the cinema.”

“Oh no. This is my treat, Daniel. I invited you and I’m going to pay.”

Daniel shakes his head. “Sara said.”

“I don’t particularly care what Sara said. Sara isn’t here.”

“Sh…she’s right. I sh…should pay.”

“Okay, how’s this? We each have only three dishes and I pay. We can share so we get to taste six different things. I’ll pay for the cinema but you can buy treats.”

“Treats?” He perks up instantly.

“Sweets and drinks for when we’re watching the film.”

“Can I have ch…chocolates?”

“Anything you like; you’re paying.”

He grins and nods and we finish our meal in peace.

The next blip arrives when we reach the cinema. There are an array of films on offer, of which Daniel only wants to see the cartoons, and I can’t think of anything worse.

“But…but I don’t watch sc…scary films, Rayn. I ge…get scared and have nightmares.”

“Twilight isn’t scary.”

“It’s got vam…pires in it. Vam…vampires are…scary.”

“Not these ones.”

“No,” he says stubbornly.

“Well, what about Skyfall, the James Bond one?”

“Okay.”

“Oh. Just…okay?”

“I li…like adventure. I like Indi…anna Jones. But they don’t have him.”

“No, they haven’t had him for a while. So James Bond then?”

“Yes.”

“Okay, I’ll get the tickets, you get whatever treats you want.”

“Okay. I can go by myself?”

“Sure. I’ll be right over there.”

Beaming, Daniel trots off. Just as I take the tickets I hear his voice. He’s clearly not happy. With a groan I hurry across the floor. There’s a little crowd gathering. “I gave you twenty,” he says to the red faced girl behind the counter. “Sara says that if…if I give twen…ty I have…have to have ten back.”

“What’s the problem.”

“Rayn,” Daniel says in obvious relief. “Tell her. I… I was careful and I made it come…come to…to less than…ten. I ga…gave her tw…twenty and I have to have a ten back. Sara says,” he all but wails. I scan the counter and sigh. Giving the poor girl an apologetic smile I take Daniel’s hands in mine.

“Calm down. It’s alright.”

“But…”

“Calm down, Daniel. The lady gave you the right change. See? It is ten. A five pound note and five pound coins. Five and five make ten.”

“But….but…I….”

“Count it with me.”

I make Daniel count the money carefully and he hangs his head. “I…I’m s…sorry,” he stammers to the girl who gives an awkward, embarrassed shrug and slouches away. Daniel’s eyes are swimming with tears as I lead him away, amid the stares and muttered comments. “I’m sorry,” he whispers.

“Sorry? What on earth are you sorry for?”

“Making a s…s…scene.”

“You stood up for yourself, Daniel. Stood up against what you thought was injustice. Even if I hadn’t been here someone would have explained it to you and once you saw you were wrong you would have said sorry, just like you did right now. Never, ever back down when you’re sure you’re right, no matter what. But never be afraid to admit when you’ve got it wrong, either.”

“I…. That was…good?”

“Maybe you could have been just a little bit quieter but yes, that was good.”

Daniel beams. “Sara wouldn’t sa…say that was…was g…good.”

“Sara isn’t here.”

“No. She isn’t.” Daniel looks up at me with something like hero worship shining from his eyes.

“And don’t look at me like that. Equal, remember?”

“Sure. Whatever you say.”

“No, Daniel.” I stop and turn him to face me. “What did I just say?”

He thinks carefully. “It’s go…good to stand up for my…myself?”

“Even against me.”

“No. Never.”

“I’m not always right, far from it. Don’t ever take what I say as truth, just because I say it. If you think I’m wrong say so.”

“O…okay.” He nods eagerly. “Can…can we…see the film now? I wa…want ch…chocolate.”

He gets his chocolate, plenty of it. It’s worth it to watch him enjoy a film. He gets totally absorbed into it. He jumps and laughs and clings to my arm so tightly it bruises. In the end, when there are explosions and a lot of tension, he hides his head in my shoulder and when someone dies he cries. He cries real tears, big fat ones that roll down his cheeks as he stares at the screen. He links his arm with mine and puts his head on my shoulder. “I hate sad bits,” he whispers. “I cry in sad bits.”

“I noticed,” I say and kiss his hair. He sighs and rubs his cheek on my arm. I’m never going to get tired of hearing Daniel sigh like that.

By the time we get back to the car, after the drama of the day, Daniel is practically out on his feet. “You look tired.”

“I’m not tired,” he says, yawning broadly.

“You’re half asleep already.”

“No I’m not.” I smile to myself and say nothing. Within a few minutes driving he’s fast asleep.

Sara must have been waiting in the window again because I’ve barely pulled up at the kerb and she’s there in the doorway.

“How did it go?” she says ducking her head to look into the car.

“It was… eye opening.”

Sara nods. “I thought it might be.”

“He’s worn out.” I glance over at the peacefully sleeping Daniel and smile. “We had some adventures.”

“Really?”

I very quickly recount a few of the incidents from the evening and Sara nods wearily. “So you’ve seen now. You’ve seen what he’s like.”

“Yeah, I’ve seen what he’s like.” Daniel stirs and I smile again. “He’s amazing, that’s what he’s like.”

“You haven’t given up on him, then?” She sounds surprised and I look her full in the eye.

“I will never give up on Daniel, never. He’s a wonderful, warm, caring, brave person and if anyone has a problem with his ways, then it’s their problem, not his and certainly not mine.”

Daniel’s eyes flutter open and my heart turns over. He’s beautiful, so fucking beautiful in every way. His eyes are cloudy with sleep but still bright enough to light the car, light the world. He smiles sleepily and yawns. “Oh. We’re home. Hi, Sara.”

“Did you have a good time?”

“Oh yes. Yes I had a good time, a great time. I worked out the coins to put in the ticket machine, and we went to the Japanese sushi restaurant, and we had three each so we could taste six, but I couldn’t read the menu and the waiter said I was cute. Rayn wouldn’t let me pay for dinner but I remembered what you said and I was good and he let me pay for snacks but I didn’t get a ten although I did because it was coins.” He blurts out in one of his stunning, breathless information dumps. Fluent, it may be, understandable, not so much.

“Sounds like you had a good time. You can tell me all about it inside. Are you coming in, Rayn.”

“Please, Rayn.”

“I can’t, not tonight. No, Daniel, I know what will happen. If I come in I won’t want to leave and it’s already getting late. We’re going out next Saturday. It’s less than a week. You can wait that long.”

“I can’t. I can’t wait, Rayn. I love you. I want you to stay.”

Acutely conscious of Sara’s eyes burning into my back, I shake my head at Daniel. “What have I told you about saying that?”

“You’ve told me we can’t be in love until we know each other.”

“That’s right. We need to––”

Daniel leans forward and presses two fingers against my lips, silencing me. “You can think what you like. I know how I feel.” He smiles sweetly. “And I know how you feel. You don’t have to say it, but I can if I want to. I love you.” When he leans forward and kisses me I believe him.

****

The next day was Monday and I spent the whole day at college and the evening at work, thinking of Daniel. I rang him five times and the sound of his voice was like a balm to my frazzled nerves. I never thought I could miss anyone so much after just one day.

I worked the same shift as Sara and found myself talking about Daniel constantly until, in the end she warned me to shut up or face physical violence. She said it with a smile thought, which was a great relief to me. There’s been a general thawing of relations between me and Sara, and it’s making life a lot easier.

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday went the same way, except I rang Daniel more every day. Saturday, I took him to Butser Hill Village and we had a brilliant day, although Daniel got over excited and we ended up arguing about his single mindedness in demanding my attention constantly as he flitted like a butterfly from one thing to the next. I think if there is ever real trouble between us it will be because of that.

The next week passed in much the same way, although I was able to see Daniel a couple of evenings and on one occasions spent a few hours at home with him, cuddled on the sofa watching television. What an interesting collection of television programmes we watched! I’d never seen some of those cartoons before.

And so the days weeks and months passed and I learned so many things about Daniel, new things every day. He sings like an angel, but hates to listen to music, unless it’s very much in the background. He’s an expert at doing crosswords but can’t handle Sudoku because the numbers confuse him. He can read and understand the most complex academic discussions on a range of subjects, including philosophy and even quantum physics, but he can’t read a bus timetable, or write anything more than his own name. He can deal with concepts but he can’t deal with lists and he can’t play scrabble because he spells everything exactly as it’s said, and the way it’s said gets somewhat scrambled between the hearing, understanding and performing. I gave up trying to teach him to play scrabble in frustration.

Daniel is warm and kind with a keen sense of justice and a love of all living things. He’s a particularly passionate advocate for animals and if he sees an animal being mistreated he just can’t keep his mouth shut. We’ve been in so many altercations with pet owners I’ve got to the stage where I hate to see them coming, knowing we’re either going to end up in an argument – sometimes accompanied by threats which Daniel shrugs off as if he hasn’t heard them – or ten minutes cooing over a pampered pet, until I drag him away. He’s the same with children and it gets even more heated when he sees someone mistreating a child. That’s got us into some fairly serious trouble and once the police turned up. Fortunately they saw Daniel’s side of the story and ended up cautioning the father in question.

One thing that bothers me a lot is that Daniel has absolutely no concept of how terrible people can be to each other. He says exactly what he thinks and can’t keep what he thinks to himself – like with the animals and children, although it gets much worse than that. If he sees someone being teased or mistreated he wades in, careless of the danger. He’s fearless and single minded. For Daniel everything is black and white. Either it’s fair or it isn’t. Either it’s acceptable or it’s not. Either it hurts or it doesn’t and when it hurts, it really hurts. Daniel isn’t one to suffer in silence and on one occasion when someone hit him for interfering he wailed until we had an audience and the assailant, after vain attempts to silence him, ran away.

I can completely see what Sara was trying to warn me of right at the very beginning. Daniel can’t cook, understand bills and statements or handle money. He can’t work a washing machine unless it’s set up ready for him and he even has trouble choosing a television channel. In short, anything with numbers, other, surprisingly, than dates, are a whole different world to him, a world he doesn’t understand at all. Then there’s the fact that if something crops up he can’t deal with he totally freaks, which means it’s okay to leave him alone as long as I make absolutely sure there’s nothing likely to interfere with his equilibrium while I’m gone and check in regularly to make sure nothing’s happened.

It is a responsibility, a huge responsibility and Sara’s right – he’ll never be able to live independently. However, despite all of that, maybe because of it, as that’s what makes Daniel. One thing above all I’ve learned and come to understand more and more with each passing day, is that Daniel was right all along. I love him, and I have since the moment I first set eyes on him. It’s a love that only grows deeper with every peep at what’s going on inside his head.

It’s not all one way. I’ve given my secrets to Daniel, too. I’ve been completely honest with him, because nothing less would be good enough for him. I’ve told him about my family and the way they turned on me. I’ve told him about Andy and the way he manipulated and betrayed me. And I’ve told him exactly how I felt that night, in the cold and dark when I was more alone than I have ever been, without even the money to buy razor blades. He doesn’t understand it, any of it, because he doesn’t understand why anyone would be that mean and hurtful to someone, let alone me. But he understands how much it hurt me, and because of that he takes in all inside himself and transforms it into something good. He shows me how much I’ve learned from that experience, how much I’ve grown and that, as much as I believed it broke me, in fact it made me stronger. Without all that would I have been able to understand and cope with Daniel?

One thing we haven’t discussed is what happened to him when his father beat him. Sara’s told me about that day and it’s terrible aftermath, but Daniel’s never spoken about it since that one time at Henllys. Fortunately, he agreed to go back to his psychologist and, I believe, he’s spoken at length to her. As a result, his speech has been improving almost daily and he hardly stutters at all now, although that careful way of speaking, weighing each word, each sentence before he speaks it remains. I’m glad. It’s something uniquely Daniel and therefore beautiful.

The things that Sara told me chilled me to the bone. It’s unbearable to think how close it came to a world without Daniel. I can’t imagine what it would have been like never to have met him. The very worst thing of all was that the head injury and subsequent coma had left Daniel suffering from seizures. They were well controlled with medication but he still had them now and again. As far as I know he’s only had one in the whole time I’ve known him but I was unlucky enough to witness it and it freaked me completely. Apparently, it wasn’t even a particularly severe one and only lasted a few moments. There was no thrashing or convulsing and I think that made it worse. Maybe I would have known what it was then and been a little less scared. As it was Daniel simply collapsed and lay frozen, staring into infinity and not breathing. I thought he was dying.

Fortunately Sara was around and calmed my panic. She was contrite she’d forgotten to warn me. I wanted to kill her. When Daniel came round he was sick and upset and that was the worst thing of all, although the whole thing barely lasted five minutes after which Daniel was pretty much back to normal, although quieter than usual and very sleepy. By the next day it was as if it had never happened. Except that it had happened and for the next few days I was constantly on edge waiting for it to happen again. So far it hasn’t and I’ve begun to relax.

After long discussions with Sara I feel better about the whole thing but I’m still angry with her for not telling me something so important. I was angry with Daniel, too at first, until I realised he blocked the whole thing out of his mind within minutes of it happening. I suppose it’s his way of coping. Anyway, I’m assured that it’s a rare occurrence now, happening maybe once or twice a year and, as Daniel is hardly ever left alone I’m pretty much reassured that he isn’t about to die at moment. Well, no more than any of the rest of us.

Dammit, thinking about that always makes me maudlin and tonight is no time for that. Tonight is a big night for us. For the first time, after almost six months I’m going to meet his mother, and Daniel’s going to stay the night with me. Two big firsts in one night, and I’m scared stiff. It isn’t as if we haven’t slept together. We’re both young men with strong libidos and Daniel truly has no inhibitions. Six months is a long time, way too long for us to abstain entirely, but he’s never stayed with me a whole night. I’ve never fallen asleep with him in my arms and woken to the sight of his beautiful face. I’m excited.

Copyright © 2016 Nephylim; All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 
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Chapter Comments

Six months of Daniel hasn't chased Rayn away, in fact he's closer now than ever.
In their own way, they're each amazing. :yes:
Now meeting mother. That'll be interesting -- can't wait -- OK maybe I can :gikkle:

 

Thanks for sharing another great chapter in a fascinating story!!

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On 02/08/2016 06:29 AM, skinnydragon said:

Six months of Daniel hasn't chased Rayn away, in fact he's closer now than ever.

In their own way, they're each amazing. :yes:

Now meeting mother. That'll be interesting -- can't wait -- OK maybe I can :gikkle:

 

Thanks for sharing another great chapter in a fascinating story!!

Mother's not the meeting they have to worry about. Remember, I said it wasn't going to be all sunshine and roses, well make the most of it because it's about to start to rain :)

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What a lovely relationship that Rayn and Daniel have. They are both amazing in their own ways. Can hardly wait for the next chapter :)

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On 02/08/2016 10:32 AM, Zenith said:

What a lovely relationship that Rayn and Daniel have. They are both amazing in their own ways. Can hardly wait for the next chapter :)

Thank you :D Daniel and Rayne were made for each other. Daniel's voice in my head is so full of life and laughter. Rayne was lost in sadness, but there's no room for that with Daniel. Rayne wanted a new start and by God he got it

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On 02/08/2016 10:32 AM, Zenith said:

What a lovely relationship that Rayn and Daniel have. They are both amazing in their own ways. Can hardly wait for the next chapter :)

Thank you :D Daniel and Rayne were made for each other. Daniel's voice in my head is so full of life and laughter. Rayne was lost in sadness, but there's no room for that with Daniel. Rayne wanted a new start and by God he got it

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On 02/08/2016 02:02 PM, Roberto Zuniga said:

I was a bit away because of work, but I came back. I just so love this story!

Thank you! I'm happy you came back.

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I really like how this story is unfolding. Everyday, Rayn understands more and more about Daniel and how he views the world. It's been six months and Rayn hasn't met the mother yet?? That's strange to me. Question, is the father still in prison or out now??

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On 02/14/2016 08:27 AM, LadyDe said:

I really like how this story is unfolding. Everyday, Rayn understands more and more about Daniel and how he views the world. It's been six months and Rayn hasn't met the mother yet?? That's strange to me. Question, is the father still in prison or out now??

I think with someone like Daniel it has to be taken very slowly. Also there is some history with Daniel, his mother and Sara. Although it isn't true, Daniel has it in his head that his mother blames him for his father going to prison. It's all taking a long time to sort out, and they're taking it very, very slowly. I have no idea whether father is still in prison but he definitely isn't on the scene at all

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Loving the story. Thanks for writing. I wait in trepidation to read on. So they've had sex but it was no big deal, is that right? I would have thought that would be a huge hurdle for them both, bigger than meeting mother.

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On 04/09/2016 02:37 AM, Jaro_423 said:

Loving the story. Thanks for writing. I wait in trepidation to read on. So they've had sex but it was no big deal, is that right? I would have thought that would be a huge hurdle for them both, bigger than meeting mother.

Yes, I didn't want to make a big issue of the sex. It probably was something big for them, but not something I wanted to dwell on. It could easily become a huge issue given Daniel's problems and whilst I don't want to skate over it as such I didn't want to focus on it either. Rayn and Daniel had sex, it was great, they moved on. :)

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