Worry Rock


---Mick's POV---

Warren was confused. That's all. Confused. Things were too new and hectic. No one understood him. He didn't have a girlfriend, or any friends outside of the band. He drank too much and couldn't stop. He hurt people. But I guess it's a little too late to notice that all now.
I blame myself. You know, I should have noticed. I should have made him come out with Rene and me that day. I should've taken all the alcohol out of the house and got him into a rehab center. I should've done so much. But I didn't.
And now he's dead.
Overdose. He was drinking again. That combined with the too many hangover pills he was taking pushed him over the edge. If I were there, I could've called an ambulance, but no. I missed my last chance to save my brother, and for what? Some ice cream at the zoo.
I look around at the people attending the funeral. They'll expect me to give a eulogy. I don't know what to say though. What, that Warren was a good person? That he loved everybody and is in a better place now because of it?
I look at Carlie's face, pale and tear stained, sitting next to her best friend down the row as Jakob holds her. Mom is on my right, already broken down into tears and holding onto my wrist with a grip suggesting she thinks I'm about to slip off into death as well without her to anchor me down. Grandpa Warren, my brother's namesake, sitting next to Mom, managed to sit through this without crying, but he never would cry in front of us anyway. He probably will later. Boom has even let a silent tear or two run down his cheeks. And through this, all I can think is, none of them really know Warren.
Because it's true. Only I know him. He's my twin. He's part of me. Literally. We came from the same egg. Since before birth, we were always right there next to each other. We're an item, us two. A two for one deal. And now... now it's half off.
I stand from my chair shakily, my mother letting go of my wrist as I take a little step towards the podium. I must be about as pale as my twin is now, or at least how he was in life, the fucking vampire.
I feel a hand close around mine and look back to see Rene in the seat left of the one I sat in, her soft fingers around my wrist, those big eyes looking into mine, so full of - what? Sympathy, sadness, confusion, and concern all come to mind now. Rene feels horrible about her spat with my brother before we left. But not worse than me, I'm sure. I mean, fuck, those were my last ever words to him. The last thing I ever said to my brother was a threat. And he said 'whatever.' And that was it.
"Do you want me to go up there with you?" she offers in a whisper.
Yes. Yes, I'd like more than anything not to go up there alone. I'd like to not go at all, but facts are facts. And this is something I have to do.
I shake my head. "No... I- I'll go alone. Thanks." I hope she knows I mean that as she nods and releases my hand.
And without her there now, the world seems even colder.
I somehow reach the podium, gripping it as if it's the only thing left that's keeping me from dying right here and now, following Warren into the grave.
Which, honestly, is not very tight.
I look around at everyone here for a minute. All people I love. All people who love Warren. Dressed in black, with stubbornly running makeup and fixed looks of greif upon their faces. I take a deep breath and start.
"W- Warren-"
My voice cracks, and I clear my throat and take another moment to compose myself. My eyes blurring, I look out at everyone here and try again. Suddenly, I realize something. I need to be the strong one now.
"If this were any other funeral, I wouldn't be alone up here now," I say after another settling breath. "I guess, in a way, I'm still not. Warren is still here. I always could feel when he's around. I guess it's a twin thing. But I'll put money on him laughing at us all right now... If we could hear him, he'd be yelling at us to lighten up." I try to control my voice, making sure it doesn't crack again. "He'd tell us, 'put on some color.'" I smile weakly. "'Smile and remember me, don't sit here and be upset about me being gone.' He'd probably wear that pink and white suit of his and crack just the right joke to make us all laugh and be happy. Because that's who my brother was. Not a depressed rock star type. Just a guy with a really addictive personality, ready to cheer me up at any time."
I pause. What would my brother really want me to say about him?
"I remember the first song he ever wrote... I told him it sounded like a tornado going through a music store." Weak laughter spreads through the small crowd, and I give another weak smile. I guess this is really it, isn't it? All the people who matter to me. I remember the hearse driving along through the city and fans lined up by it, not a huge crowd, but enough. They would've been here too if we'd have let them. But Warren wouldn't have wanted that. Warren knew who really loved him. And now, so do I. I wonder if these are all the same people who would come to my funeral if we were switched? Probably. Look at us, having the stupid identical funerals. Saying the same stupid identical speeches. The same jokes. The same everything. Because we're the same.
So why wasn't it me?
"But he made fun of me too. For whatever came up. He used to tell me my hair looks like bogeys." I smile more at the memory. That twit. I mean, clearly, it was not booger green. Til it faded... "I guess it sort of did. There's something to be said about Warren. He had great hair."
More laughter.
"But really though, I think that's all I was doing, making fun of him. Teasing, because he's my brother. I never really told Warren, but I thought he was a fucking great songwriter." I pause a moment to think about it. Oh god, his lyrics. They, I dunno, they made me feel something. I couldn't describe it, but whenever I read my brother's lyrics, no matter how damn cheesy or mushy, I feel something. "He- he wrote one song... He didn't show anyone, really, but I found it and read it anyway. Mostly because he called it 'Brother.' And I remember this line that said, You're the pupil of my eye. You make me see when I'd be blind. Without you, I'm a pretty face without feeling. Without you, I find it harder to heal."
I stop again, blinking hot tears from my cold, cold eyes. That lyric makes me want to cry. Shut the fuck up, I know, it's pussy that a damn lyric makes me want to cry. But it's Warren's lyric. My twin's. About me. God, I miss him so much.
I hate being alone.
"Cheesy as hell as that may be, it's my favorite thing he's ever written. Like, he thought of me the same thing I always thought about him. That we're kind of, I dunno, part of eachother. And he knew that. And he knew that he affected other people too. Fuck. Everybody he met. He's like, an artist, and a musician, and a friend, and a brother, and a son and a star and a fucking asshole all at the same time."
I sniffle, and the room stays dead silent listening to me. It feels wierd being up here on a podium. Dressed in black. Mourning. With all these people in front of me, looking at me, expecting me to say something beautiful and heart warming. All I can do is comfort myself. God, I don't even fucking care anymore.
"But that's why we all love him. Because he was so great and complex and simple all together. He was his own contradiction. He held people together and made them care. And he will forever now. I know that."
More silence, wrinkled with muffled sobs and sniffles. Any speech teacher would probably have wanted to slap me at this time, with all these damn silences. But I need to digest this too. Shit. What the hell am I going to do?
I close my eyes. I can't even look at them anymore. Crying. I can't look at people crying. Especially when I'm about to. I just can't. My grip tightens on the podium, turning my knuckles white as tears escape my tightly closed eyelids down my face.
"I love you, Warren," I whisper. Hell, for all I know, it could be a scream. All I really know is that that's what I said. I needed to say it. I can't even think right now whether I've said it to him before, and now's my last chance. "I love you," I say again.
I don't know how long we stayed like that, me gripping the podium and holding back tears, and everyone else watching me, crying, wishing he would come back nearly as much as I do.
There's a hand on my back now, unfamiliar, old, comforting. I think it's the preist's. Fuck, why am I so damn emotional? I was always the emotional one. I was always the one who needed that hand. Now, more than ever. But it doesn't help now. It doesn't matter. This guy didn't even know Warren. He can't know how I feel. How can anyone? He was my twin, for crying out loud.
And here's another touch now. This one, I know. It's familiar. It's young, and gentle, and perfectly smooth. It's the hand that gave me the coffee that spilled on my arm so long ago. Its owner jumped over a counter and left home to be with me. It's the one that slapped me for annoying the hell out of her, that touched me like no girl touched me before. I realize now, that's the hand I really need. Rene's hand. Delicate and familiar and caring.
"Come on, Mick," she whispers quietly into my ear. "Come sit down."
And I did.


It's over now. The funeral, I mean. I think I've cried more in the last few hours than I have in my whole life put together. Fuck, I hate crying.
I'm sitting in Warren's bedroom. Nothing's changed. Hell, it still smells like alcohol and incense. His floor's still covered in dirty clothes. His walls have pictures of bands. His bed is still as unmade as the last day he rose from it.
That's where I'm sitting now, on Warren's gross-ass bed with the unwashed sheets all bundled up and hanging off the side.
A knock at the door. "Mickey?"
I stay silent. I don't want to talk to her right now. I don't want to talk to anybody. I want to stay here, alone with Warren.
"Mick, I know you're in there. Can I come in?"
"No," I croak out hoarsely. I'm sure I'm in danger of sounding like a five year old now.
The door slowly creaks open. I think she would have taken any answer as an invitation in.
"Go away, Rene," I say quietly. I don't want her to see me like this. With my eyes all red and puffy and cold, hugging my own knees on top of my late brother's bed. I'm still fully dressed and everything. I haven't even taken my shoes off from the funeral.
"No." I feel a familiar weight lowering beside me, but don't look up. "Mickey, it's okay..." she starts.
"It's not. It's not fucking okay. Warren's not fucking okay, he's gone. He's my brother, he's my best friend... why the fuck did he leave me?" I hug myself tighter. I'm sure I must be going insane now.
"I- I don't know, Mick." She puts her hand on my back. "But I know he did love you. And I know that now, you're the one who's still here. Not him. Because you're stronger than that, Mick. You can make it through this. It's what he would've wanted, isn't it?"
Then, what very little composure I had breaks down - I doubt I'll ever have very much again now - and I begin to cry. You'd think I run out of tears. I've cried with Mom today, who left a huge tear stain on the jacket of my suit. And with Charlie, who seemed to want to hug me until I exploded. And then with the rest of my god damn family who kept looking at me with this piteous look, like 'oh, poor Mick.' Not even getting that emotional themselves, just letting me do it for them. And I've cried more alone. And now with Rene.
I hope I stop this soon.
She hugs me as I cling to her, fresh tears billowing out. "Shh," I hear her saying faintly. "Okay... I'm here."
She's here. I think she really is, you know. Not just feeling sorry for me or anything. She cares. I don't react except to hug her tighter. I think right now, I just really do need her here. Wierd. Five seconds ago, all I wanted was to be alone. How does she do that?
I'm not sure how long we sit here, but I know it's a long time. By the time I don't have any tears left in me, it's dark outside, and she has a damp spot on her tee shirt she had changed into once we got home. I seem to remember muttering a lot through my tears, about how I miss Warren, how I love him, how he and I were so inseparable and how I should've done more to help him. Honestly, I can't even tell you the exact words I said, but you get the gist of it.
Rene stays quiet through it all though, hearing me out. Letting me break down all over her like some kid losing his first friend. Come to think of it, that's all I am. Some big,18 year old kid, who just lost the best and first friend I've ever had: My brother.
Once I'm done spilling my guts, we're just quiet for a while. It's nice, actually, just being quiet. Probably quieter than I've ever been now. I can't even hear anything from outside the room. All there is is Rene's breathing, and her beating heart.


We fell asleep that way, she and I. I know this because when I wake up, my head is laying on her chest, still listening to her slow, steady heartbeat.
I look up to her face. It's really gorgeous right now, I mean it. No makeup, hair half falling out of that ponytail from last night, her mouth just a little bit open in sleep. Rene always sleeps with her mouth just a little bit open.
I watch her for a while, just thinking. Not even about Warren, strangely. I think the Warren part of my brain is just tired right now. I guess you could say I'm just thinking about... everything. Everything in this room, anyway. To me, that's everything right now. Me in my ruffled suit from yesterday, complete with a tie and nice, shiny shoes. Her in her t-shirt and jeans she had changed into once we got home. The blankets still left ruffled at the edge of the bed. The papers full of songs and lyrics and things on the desk. The dirty clothes on the floor. The posters and pictures on the wall, staring down at the two of us on the bed, almost welcoming us to come in and take my brother's place. It hits me now how very unusual this may look right now, us just lying here together. But you know, I don't really care.
Rene finally opens her big, perfect eyes and looks down at me. Weird, I knew she was about to. Something about the slightly quickening beat of her heart told me. And she always lies there a while. She shifts position a little, always holding onto me a bit tighter, and her mouth closes. If you've woken up with her as much as I have, you'd know all this too.
"Morning, babe," she says with a little smile, kissing the top of my head. I swear, I feel like such a girl right now.
"Mornin, sunshine," I sigh, finally tearing my eyes away from her. I don't know why, but I never want to look at Rene for too long. At least, not when she's looking back.
"Feeling any better?"
"Yeah, a lot... sorry for all that last night," I say quietly. "I just... was scared and all. I mean, I miss him..."
"No, Mick, it's alright. That's what friends are for, isn't it?"
I smile a little. "Yeah, I guess... thanks."
"No problem." I feel her smiling too now. "So, what do we do now?"
"I don't know," I answer truthfully. "Sit here until we think of something?"
"Sounds alright with me."
And again, silence.
"Mick, look, I... I know that you're probably the last person to go to now for comfort, but..."
I look up. Oh god, what is it now?
"It's my mom."
"What happened?"
"She- she wants me to come home. She heard about Warren." Oh, shit...
I lean up on my elbow, looking down at her. She's leaving? Going home? Now? But, I need her. I can't lose two people in the same god damn week, I fucking can't.
"I- I told her I'm not coming." I try to hide my releif.
"Why?" I ask so articulately.
"Because I wanted to be here. With you..." She looks away. "She said not to come back..."
I glance away for a moment before looking back at her. "So, you left your mom... to be with me?"
"Yeah." She looks at me.
"Why?" Really, I just have this way with words...
"Because I really like you, Mick. I... I want to be with you."
Ding! Great answer, Rene, that was number one on the list of really good answers, and now let's see what you've won!
"I... I want to be with you too." Me... Well, not the greatest prize ever, but pretty damn good, I think... She smiles, and I can't help but return it.
"Hey, close your eyes," I tell her.
"What?" she asks with an incredulous smile, squinting a little.
"Just do it."
She looks doubtful for a moment before sighing and closing her eyelids. I take another good look at her now. God, she's gorgeous. Really. She just has these naturally full lips, and this cute little nose. And her eyes, even closed, are just this perfect shape.
I reach my hand over to her face, wiping away a little strand of hair to tuck it behind her cute ears. Strangely, she lies still and lets me, only moving slightly at my touch. I touch her cheek, and she moves into my hand. I feel my heartbeat quicken at this and move a little closer. So does hers.
We stay like this for a while before I bend down slowly, always slowly, and kiss those full, perfect lips. She responds, kissing back and entangling one hand in my faded green and brown hair, the other resting on my chest, right over my heart. She's always done that, Rene. Puts her hand right where she can feel my heart. I think she just likes to feel it. Like when she feels it, she's just close enough to me that she knows I'm here. But then, maybe that's just how I feel about her.
It's weird. We've been intimate before now. Well, we've had sex, I mean. But then, y'know, I think that was all meaningless. This is real. It's the kind of kiss that makes you feel a million things at once, and pulls your entire life into prospective. How beautiful and terrible it is, all at the same time. Bittersweet, some call it. But whatever it is, I wouldn't ever want it to stop.
And I swear, as I sit here with Rene, I just feel something else. Something that feels like Warren. And finally, he's just looking at us... and smiling.