Hello reader, I hope you enjoy reading this story as much as i have enjoyed writing it. Updates will be fairly regular and all reviews are much appreciated :)

Boring disclaimer: brothers doing things they really shouldn't etc etc.

I own nothing except a twisted mind and a way with words.

The glowing green digits on Greg's alarm clock stood out in the darkness of the room, making it impossible for them to be ignored. 8:00 am, the beginning of a new day. A day like any other - or so it would seem. Greg could hear the steady patter of rain against the roof above him and the sounds of his mother and Manny in the kitchen below him. But it wasn't quite a normal day, it was the 15th of December and in Greg's mind it would always be the day that Rodrick returned. He had been counting down to this day for weeks, months even and dread coiled in his guts every time he thought about it. He groaned and put his head in his hands, trying to dispel the clammy cold feeling that settled in his chest and caught in his throat whenever he thought about his brother. He wasn't entirely sure why the thought of seeing Rodrick made him feel so terrible, especially when everyone else in the Heffley household was so damn happy about it.

Greg had only told one person of this sense of foreboding that laid heavily on his shoulders and that was sweet, caring, thoughtful Holly. He pondered her explanation for his emotions as he laid in bed, maybe she was right, maybe it was just that he hadn't seen or spoken to Rodrick in a year and a half? Or perhaps he was just worried that Rodrick wouldn't be his brother anymore? That he would be a stranger and Greg would have to get to know him all over again.

Greg snorted at Holly's notion that he had known Rodrick in the first place. In all honesty, no one really knew Rodrick, at least not completely. It had been a constant source of frustration for him when he was younger how Rodrick had been able to read Greg like an open book but Greg had never been able gauge even the tiniest inkling into what was going in Rodrick's twisted mind.

He glanced at the clock once more , any minute his mother would shout up the stairs for him and there was no going back to sleep after that. His mother always got pretty upset if he didn't get out of bed when she wanted him to. He dragged himself out of bed and to his closet, grabbing an ironic t-shirt and a pair of blue jeans and shoving them on. He knew he would be made to change later, his mother had insisted they go to some fancy restaurant to celebrate, but that wasn't until later, and he wouldn't think about it, not until he absolutely had to. He snatched his phone from where it lay on his desk and punched in Holly's number. He pressed the phone to his ear, tapping his foot impatiently.

"Hey Greg, what's up?"

Greg smiled, the sound of Holly's voice always made him relax.

"Oh nothing much really, do you wanna hang out, I'm kind of at a loose end" He said finally, knowing Holly was too sweet to ask what kind of teenage boy was at a loose end at 8:30 in the morning when most didn't rise until about 12 pm.

"Well, I've got an essay due, but I'd much rather see you, so yeah, I can hangout. When and where?"

"I'll be at yours in 20, bye." He snapped the phone shut and ran downstairs, pausing only to yell to his mom he was going out, but he was out the door before she could respond. Greg walked with purpose through the deserted suburb; hands thrust deep into his sweatshirt, head bowed against the wind as a miserable mist of drizzle soaked through his skin and clothes, creating small puddles of icy water on the pavement. Before long he stood outside a pretty white house decked out with fake icicles and blue lights glimmering in the weak grey morning light. He grinned as he rang the doorbell, just the thought of seeing the blonde made his spirits soar, if anyone could help him clear his head it was Holly.

Greg watched Holly as she raced around the kitchen, getting him a coffee that he didn't really want; she met his stare and blushed. He turned his head and surveyed the spacious kitchen. A small framed photo on the side caught his attention, with a jolt of surprise he realised exactly what it was a picture of. "I didn't know you had this?" He said as he studied the photo.


"This photo of everyone at the roller rink two years ago, I don't remember it being taken? I guess that would explain why I'm not even looking at the camera." He handed the photo to Holly who giggled before handing it back.

"You don't remember it because you weren't supposed to be in it! My mom was taking it of me but you ended up in the background and everyone assumed it was a group shot and piled in!"

"Seriously? Oh, well sorry about that." He scratched the back of his head awkwardly and set the photo down, Holly shrugged her shoulders and handed him his coffee. As they sipped in silence Greg studied her through his eye lashes, not wanting to be caught staring again. She really was beautiful, she had always been pretty but now she was just stunning. Her hair cascaded in long blonde waves down her back stopping at her slim waist and her eyes sparkled with kindness and honesty.

She looked so very similar and yet a million miles away from the Holly on the picture and he idly wondered whether he looked any different to his 13 year old self. He was still skinny but 15 had brought with it a growth spurt so he was now gangly and awkward as well, like he had not quite adjusted to being so far from the ground yet . He had let his hair grow and it now hung over his face in a choppy fringe that his hairdresser had insisted was fashionable. Apart from that, had he really changed? He considered poising the question to Holly but he didn't want her to think he was being vain, so he kept it to himself. A hand atop his own distracted him from his self-analysis.

"Greg, you've been awfully quiet and you look so pale, are you alright?" Her voice was brimming with concern and it made Greg feel awful. He didn't want to burden his best friend with his troubles but he just couldn't force a smile. He slid his hand out from under hers and put in his lap. Holly's eyes flashed with hurt but she didn't say anything.

"I'm sorry Holly, I'm just, well he's back today and I don't know what to do about it, it's like he can just come back and expect it to be the same, I only just got used to him being gone and now he's back !And everyone's so happy and I just know they'll be falling over themselves to get to him but he was always horrible to me and with him gone I can finally walk just a little taller but now I know I'm just going to be little Greg again, I mean I'm 15 for Christ's sake!"

He knew he sounded like a petulant child but Holly face was filled with understanding and he felt an urge to carry on.

"And it gets worse, I actually missed him at first so so much, he was my big brother all I ever wanted was his approval but he never gave it to me, sometimes he would play the part but I know he never cared and now he's back and he's going to fuck up my whole life, I just know it!" Greg finished in a rush feeling baby tears of anger and humiliation collect in the corner of his eyes, he swiped his hand across his face not wanting to cry in front of Holly.

"Greg." She began.

Suddenly he couldn't stand being around her and her pity. He looked into her eyes and he only saw himself reflected in them, pathetic and childish, so undeserving of the sympathy she felt for him. He stood up abruptly, knocking over his chair.

"I've got to go, I'll see you at school after the holiday" he said interrupting her and wincing at how harsh his voice sounded. He didn't want to be cruel to her but he couldn't stand how vulnerable he had made himself and in some selfish way he blamed her for awakening it in him. He turned around and made to leave but a small hand closed over his wrist, tugging him back until he was face to face with her. She stared at him, her eyes inexplicably sad as she put her arms around him and held him close. Slowly he hugged her back letting himself be comforted. He felt warm breath at his ear as she whispered:

"Don't forget who you are Greg, Rodrick's not your identity and he never will be. You're too strong and he'll never take that away from you. I know you don't want to be a kid anymore but don't let go of what makes you you." She pulled back so that their faces were now inches apart and Greg's eyes widened in surprise as she began to move closer until he could almost feel her lips on his, any second now….

A loud guitar riff made them jump apart in surprise as they looked wildly around for the source of the rock music; it was a few seconds before Greg recognized the song and realized it was his ringtone. He dug down into his sweatshirt pocket and pulled out his phone, answering it coolly as if seconds before he and Holly had not been about to kiss.

"Hey Mom."

"Don't you hey mom me Greg Heffley!" Greg moved the phone a few centimetres away from his ear, his mother sounded borderline hysterical and utterly furious "Where are you! It's almost 1 o'clock! Your brother's going to be here any minute now and if you aren't here when he arrives so help me Greg, I will ground you until the day you DIE!"

"Mom, chill okay? I'm on my way home now. I'll be back soon, just stop yelling."

Greg snapped his phone shut on his still screaming mother and zipped his hoodie up to his chin.

"That was my mom, I'm late" he explained lamely.

Holly just nodded staring at the floor.

Greg left without another word. The wind hit him the second he stepped outside the door, biting at him with sharp icy teeth as he set off home at a jog although he didn't want to go home at all. He managed to reach his house in just less than 10 minutes; he came to a stop on the drive trying to get his breath back. And then his heart stopped, because there parked on the curb was a white van with the words loded diper spray painted on in black.


Greg walked to the door with slow heavy footsteps his heart beating loudly in his chest and panic clouding his thoughts and clawing its way up from his stomach into his throat. He stopped hand on the door, it wasn't too late, he could go back to Holly's she would let him stay for a while, he would explain to his parents later, anything to prevent the inevitable. Just as he was about to run away, the door opened. And standing there in the hallway was Rodrick.

"Hey little brother."

Hope you enjoyed the first chapter and leave me a review telling me what you thought of it .