Friday August 28, 2015

summary: Sharing your umbrella with a friend is hard. You try to squeeze your friend closer but the rain always seems to fall off the edges and soak into their back. You wonder why they don't just open their own umbrella.

Pittoo was not fine.

Or at least, this is what Pit had noticed about him. Worried glances directed at his other were hidden under bright smiles and enthusiastic gestures, as they always were. This was normal.

As Pittoo's wings drooped lower over the weeks, Pit's moved faster, fluffed out larger, stretched their hardest whether in flying with his twin or trying to hold him. Pit always tried to be larger, to seem sturdy and safe and in hugs, he always tried to hold his wings over the both of them as an umbrella to keep out whatever rain was weighing Pittoo down. But he was much too small, his wings much too short, and whatever he was trying, it wasn't working.

The more Pit tried to pull his other to him, Pittoo tried harder to pull away. Pit didn't understand. He would sit at the very edge of Skyworld, kicking idly at the dirt on the side of the land and watching the specks fall out of sight, wracking his mind for an idea of what he could be doing wrong? What would Pittoo want? What could he do to help? He knew that Pittoo was unhappy. He definitely knew that he didn't like it when Pittoo was unhappy. But he didn't know what he could do to fix it.

Pittoo had his own room at Skyworld, prepared for him long before he'd even considered living there. Pit snuggled down into the cushions he'd put in the corner, the crease in his brow matching the wrinkles he was rubbing into the pillows. Pit was pretty sure he'd stayed in the room many more times than Pittoo even had, once because he'd thought it was nicer than his own room (and, like a jealous child, he'd tried to claim both rooms for himself), but now because he needed to be there for when Pittoo would return. Most days, Pittoo would run off somewhere to be alone, waking up early to avoid Pit's smiles and questions and masked worried gaze. He would usually return late, and each time Pit would try to ask him things like, "How was your day?" "Are you okay?" "Is it alright if I stay here with you tonight?" The answer to all of these was usually a defeated "Fine" slipping from tired lips under eyes darkened by lack of sleep and energy.

But tonight there was no "Fine." There wasn't even any questions. Pittoo's door never opened. Pit fidgeted for one hour, two, and still his other did not return.

There was a normal amount of avoidance when it came to Pittoo. But this was not normal.

Pit rushed outside, driven by the drumming sound of the rain around him. It quickly soaked through his tunic and wet his hair, sticking his bangs over his eyes and blurring his view of where land ended and open sky began. He ran along the edge, knowing that Pittoo would try to be far away but that he can't have gone far, since he couldn't fly. Pit squinted as raindrops slid into his eyes and down his nose, spraying off of his limbs as he ran and joining those in the soaked grass below. His sight followed the edge of the dirt to a hunched over figure, looking much too small, and Pit's feet were skittering closer to the edge but Pittoo was there and he was falling forwards but it didn't matter because Pittoo was there and.

Pit slammed arms first into the muddy grass, sliding a little ways and smearing his whole front with grime, the rain doing next to nothing to wipe the dark coating off of his knees and chest and elbows and face, but it didn't matter. Pit slipped slightly as he got up, but that didn't matter either, because nothing mattered, Pittoo was all that mattered, he needed to be OK.

Pittoo was sitting on the edge, his hands gripping and loosening on the wet grass around him and his shoulders hunched forward, wings folded close to his back. Pit didn't ask his questions or smile, he kneeled forward and pulled Pittoo's body back into his chest and away from the sky. Mud was smearing into Pittoo's hair and even more water was dripping into his tired eyes off of Pit's soaked bangs, because both of them were soaked and neither seemed to have an umbrella on hand. Pittoo's eyes drooped and as his eyelids fell, his hand raised up and rested on Pit's arm across his chest, holding it in a grounding sort of way. The rest of his body curled towards Pit, onto his folded knees and away from the edge, his already filthy legs sliding through the mud, his dirt mixing with his other's. Pit could feel the shaking in Pittoo's chest, he could see it, and he could hear it in his voice.

and for once, what came out wasn't "Fine."

Pittoo wasn't stupid. He knew that Pit's annoyingly cheerful act was an attempt to cheer him up. He knew he'd been bad recently, that he didn't have as much energy or as much feeling, and he knew he hadn't been acting normal. Nothing really was normal around him anymore.

His relationship with Pit used to be rougher, more playing around and teasing and shoving each other into the mud when it rained. There was no need for umbrellas when you were happy and all you wanted was to get wet and jump in puddles. He used to be angrier, and Pit used to be more defiant, and it would all balance out because it was all in good fun and they both were in better spirits because of it.

But Pittoo couldn't feel that anymore. He didn't taunt Pit for preening his wings in his room, or for eating so messily, or even for following him around like a lovesick puppy. He couldn't find the words. He couldn't find the energy. Pit hadn't realized what was wrong for a while, and things had continued being normal. But of course that couldn't last forever, much to Pittoo's dismay. Pit had noticed. Pittoo had failed to avoid dragging Pit down with him.

Now each day, Pittoo was greeted with warmth and concern and Pit's annoying fucking ever present energy. Every fluff of his undersized wings was met with Pittoo's masked annoyance, how unfair was it for his other to be this happy and full of energy when he wasn't like that. He bet Pit thought he was being clever, but Pittoo could recognize pity in his eyes. He hated it. He knew it was unreasonable, this annoyance was not meant for fun, he wasn't going to tease Pit about it and Pit wasn't going to tease back and they wouldn't both pout while laughing inside because things just weren't normal anymore. They weren't. This was Pittoo's fault.

He couldn't bring himself to ban Pit from his room. Not when Pit looked at him with such genuine concern and Pittoo had to remind himself that he should be appreciate it. The only thing he could do was try to avoid Pit's smiles and his worry and his never-ending questions of "How bad was today?" "How much do you hate yourself?" "Can I stay near you so I can watch you be miserable and look at you with my mean fucking pity eyes?" While he tried harder and harder to avoid Pit, he couldn't avoid the constant exhaustion and annoyance, and this newfound discovery that all these changes could be blamed on himself.

Yes, he told himself, kicking at the edge of Skyworld and watching the dirt mix with the raindrops and falling to earth.

Yes, this is all definitely his fault.

Thunder cracked above and he shrunk a little bit lower, a little bit closer to the world below. His vision was blurring in and out and he couldn't focus, his thoughts whirling everywhere around that one confirmation of "my fault" "my fault" "my fault." Each drop hitting his bare shoulders and rolling down his back, down his wings, soaking into his now ragged feathers, was a necessary repetition, he deserved this. His mind felt swirly, it felt light and confused despite all the rain weighing it down, and his fingers weaving into the grass under him and pulling would do nothing to ground him. Every single "my fault" was lining up, adding onto each other, and another stumbled into the picture with the splash of mud behind him.

Pittoo didn't even bother looking behind him as he heard what had to be Pit, falling to the ground, surely looking and worrying for him, again, again, his fault, and he must be cold too and dirty and this is wrong, because only Pittoo deserved this and how dare he pull Pit here. Pit was kneeling and pulling Pittoo towards his chest, but really it was Pittoo who was pulling Pit closer to the edge, even as they both leaned away from it.

"My fault."

His eyes closed and he curled closer to Pit's warmth, it was already his fault, so was all this mud he was rubbing his face through, and so were the scrapes he had seen covered in mud on Pit's elbows. Pit would say he didn't care. Pittoo cared.

"My fault."

Pittoo was not fine.