Lukas heard the sounds of the coffee grounder before his brain really seemed to register that he was awake. He turned his head to the side to glance at his clock. It was half past seven. …but he was supposed to get up at six… It was Friday, right? He had work. His alarm should have gone off a long time ago.
He swung his legs over the edge of the bed, and before giving it a second thought, he jumped on his feet. The second weight was put on his left leg though, his brain re-booted and he suddenly remembered the whole ordeal of the previous day.
Seconds later he found himself on the floor, collapsed, still slightly confused, as it'd all just seemed like a dream. Lukas was used to weird dreams where he's get hurt and it'd all just come off as something too normal. His dreams did tend to freak him out sometimes now he thought about it.
He was taking deep breaths, trying to calm himself, calm his heart as well -it was beating too fast for his liking. The pain had been rather intense as he stood, and he'd hardly even been properly awake. Safe to say, he was as awake as one could imagine right now.
Despite the pain, despite the fact that he was already late, and he could hardly walk, he was set on getting off to work.
Trying to get dressed was more challenging than usual. Emphasis on trying.
He sort of had to sit down through it, and yet his one arm was rather useless. When he was finally presentable, he made his way to the hall, deciding the take the stairs without aid from the cane he'd been given. It turned out to be more of a challenge than he'd expected. Not only did his leg not like weight being put on it. It also apparently disliked being bent. Stupid selfish knee.
He stopped halfway down, sighing. Damn, he was already absolutely exhausted. It surprised him a bit. It sort of felt like he'd run ten kilometers, and not just slept for ten hours.
The sound of a spoon spinning in a mug, hitting the edges with little clinking noises, brought him back out of his mind, back onto the stairs. Eirik was downstairs. He had school soon, didn't he? Lukas started down the stairs once again, determined to get down rather quickly, no need to look weak in front of his own younger brother after all.
Now that they lived alone, he not only had to set a good example for Eirik, he also had to prove himself to his father and the rest of the adult population which seemed to judge him.
Their father had decided to move them to Berlin as he was offered a job there. Everything also happened to be cheaper in Germany compared to Norway. Lukas and Eirik on the other hand, hadn't been too thrilled with this idea. They'd set forward some rather good points and arguments, and in the end their father had let them stay, given that they could handle everything on their own.
Thus their father had decided to pay just the rent of the flat they lived in, and so in turn, to show how responsible they were, they had to earn everything else they needed.
It was a lot to handle, but Lukas didn't mind. As long as he could stay in his beloved home country, and his brother didn't have to move schools and try to make friends all over again, Lukas was satisfied.
Eirik lifted his gaze from the German book his was reading. He gave Lukas a once-over and made a grimace.
"Good thing you aren't allowed out today," he said, his mouth twisting in a tiny smile, yet his eyes remained concerned. Of course most people would hardly notice any change in his expression, but he knew Lukas could read him. He was still only learning to read his brother himself. Lukas way different to Eirik. Others saw them just as emotionless, both of them. Truth be told, Eirik had a harder time keeping his emotions in check, though as soon as Lukas lost his grip he was just as easy to read.
The recent time had got him on edge and nervous. He'd noticed a gradual change in Lukas. He'd been so much easier to read, and what he saw scared him. His brother seemed so tired. Just mentally exhausted, and however much he wanted to, Eirik did not know what to do, nor how to help.
Lukas had been to the ER because of 'accidents' a lot more than any normal person should ever. Eirik was betting that his medical journal was some seriously heavy shit by now.
"..What do you mean?" Lukas was still standing in the doorway to the kitchen. It looked as though Eirik had managed to confuse him quite well.
"It's Friday, isn't it?" He made his way to the nearest chair, grabbing a mug on the way for coffee.
"Not some odd holiday I've forgotten about, where we're not allowed to work, right?"
Eirik held up his phone with his left hand, while trying to write some final notes with his right.
"I called Tino to inform him you're off work for a few days. He told me he'd already arranged that with Berwald, so you really have no excuse to go even if you don't want to listen to my, by the way-very wise, words."
Lukas was silent for a while, seeming to take in the words as he sipped the hot coffee. Eirik's own had already gone lukewarm seeing as his little focus had been directed at the book in front of him. He was beginning to feel the lack of energy. It was early spring, yet still cold and gloomy in the mornings. He took the pleasure of walking to school.
"Isn't this an inconvenient time to be doing your homework?" Lukas seemed to have awoken a bit behind his mug.
"Well someone made me skip some classes yesterday, and go to the other end of town, so I don't know about you, but I think this is the perfect time to torture myself with German verbs." If the sarcasm had been missed in the way he spoke so monotonously, at least it was written all over his face.
Lukas realised his mistake immediately and held up a hand in defence.
"Also, now you remind me -I should probably get going," Eirik looked at his watch as he swept the book and his papers off the table and ran off to find where he'd dropped his rucksack the day before. He was running a bit late already. Despite his new year's resolution about being in time for things this year, he still managed to always be a few minutes late for every little thing.
Lukas was always on time for everything. Always prepared and all things neat and whatnot. Eirik on the other hand seemed to master chaos. He didn't think of himself as messy or forgetful, but his sort of order just differed significantly from his brother's.
However, they both liked things clean and proper, so their flat did not look like one belonging to two young guys.
"Also," he stood in the hallway, facing the opening to the kitchen, one hand on the doorknob, a demanding gaze trained on his brother.
"Doctor's orders, your brother's orders and even your boss's orders. Stay. Put. Don't go out, don't even think about it. Cook, watch TV, knit, whatever, be a good housewife for a few days till you're better, okay?" He'd started off as demanding, but ended on a tone of concern. Lukas was just sipping his coffee.
"I'll be home in the afternoon. Also, if I'm late now, it's your fault. Bye." He slammed the door shut; praying to whatever gods still around that Lukas could take an order, follow common sense, and stay home.
Walking through the gray streets of Oslo, he tried to just leave the worries he had for his brother, back home. Sigur Rós was playing in his ear buds and as Brennisteinn came on, he turned up the volume. With his hands buried deep in his pockets he turned off the outside world and his thoughts.
Yet he managed to be late. Not that it really did matter all that much. Their school, along with a few others in Oslo had introduced this new 'active' way of starting the day. Basically it was just designed to wake all the slightly winter depressed teens up. Despite it being cold, they'd apparently decided that it was 'spring' enough to go run, outside.
Eirik was told all this as he was hurried down the hallway by Xiang. He'd been slightly startled as his hand was grabbed and tugged just as he entered the school.
"Why are you suddenly so keen on getting to class on time?" This was quite out of character for Xiang, he was usually a 'bad' influence on Eirik. At least according to Lukas. So Eirik was confused, to say the least.
"They told me if I'm late even just one more time the next week, I'm gonna have detention on Thursday. Now you know that's not a big deal, right? It's a perfect cover to make my parents believe I'm actually taking extra classes and all that shit, like a proper Asian. But now, /this/, Thursday I'm going to this awesome concert, and I'm /so/ not risking my chances of going." He was speaking in a rushed manner, trying to fit all the words in, before they made it to the gym hall.
Changing among the other guys from his year really wasn't anything Eirik appreciated. He was quite insecure about his body to say the least. He was thin and pale, and despite most of the others being so as well, he still felt like he stood out.
He got gradually more desperate, rummaging trough his bag. He couldn't seem to find any of his meds. Biting his bottom lip, he reassured himself he'd manage running without his inhaler. He'd done so before, after all.
It took Lukas two mugs of coffee before he gave walking another shot.
Not that he did have anything to walk for; Eirik had made that very clear. And as to not worry his brother further, Lukas for once decided to lay low today. He needed the rest either way, he wasn't really sure if he would've even managed to bike to work.
The way there was uphill, and he always felt nauseous in the mornings. Eirik used to joke about it being 'morning sickness', indicating that it was the side effects of acting too much like a mum.
He wasn't sure how well Eirik remembered their mother. After the divorce they hadn't seen her a lot, and as far as Lukas was informed, she had a whole new family by now.
What was important for Lukas was that his brother had someone who cared about him, to look after him and keep him safe. And if Lukas had to both be his brother and his parents, then so be it.
He'd settled down on the couch in the dark end of the living area, which was really just a part of the kitchen. A book lying open in his lap, but it seemed as though 'Eva Luna' had been forgotten, and he was simply staring at the air filling the room.
These sort of books were his guilty pleasures, so to say. In contradiction to seeming so dull and empty, his mind was filled with beautiful colours, feelings, and words describing the indescribable.
As a kid he'd used this imagination to spin the most wicket and impossible tales to tell his brother, who'd in turn just stared at him in amazement, lost in the little world of fantasy these two had created. He wasn't certain how much of it had stuck with Eirik, he never would ask, and he never told any stories anymore. Now he'd just get lost in a completely internal world he'd create while reading. He'd be so lost he didn't even register that he was reading words anymore, but would just see the plot play out in front of his eyes like the most beautiful movie.
But all of this was hidden and he never shared these experiences with anyone, anymore. Perhaps he was lonely, but even if he happened to be, it really didn't bother him too much. He hadn't expected much from life, and this was enough as it was.
Needless to say, he was startled out of his daydreaming as the doorbell rang. Giving the clock on the wall a glance, he concluded it probably wasn't anyone looking to sell him lottery tickets or a religion, seeing as they'd usually drag a kid along to prove some sorta point, but judging from the time, the kids were probably at school now.
Cautiously he stood and walked, or well, limped, to the hallway. The book he dropped off on the way.
As he opened the front door, his immediate reaction was to close it right back up again. The grinning face he was met with, was not even the last person he'd expected to see, it wasn't even anyone he'd have considered it being.
His manners overcame his initial reaction, and he leaned himself on the doorframe instead of closing the door.
"For what do I owe the pleasure?" He tried to make it sound less sarcastic than the words tasted in his mouth. He took a deep breath; this certainly wasn't what he'd signed up for.
"Well, I have the day off, so I thought I'd stop by to see if you were already on your feet. Also," Mathias smiled sheepishly, pointing to a bag slung over his shoulder.
"I'm afraid your brother forgot this in my car, so I figured I should drop off as soon as possible." His smile grew a bit. It was awfully obvious that he would have taken any chance to just randomly stop by. Apparently he didn't care that it was written all over his face for Lukas to read.
"..That's rather thoughtful, I suppose.. What do you even work with? We never learned anything about you." Mathias did a little bow, but before he could utter another word, they were cut off by the phone.
Lukas held up a hand to excuse himself as he grabbed the phone off the table. It was Eirik's caller-ID, which was odd seeing as he never called home from school, unless something was really wrong. Lukas' stomach dropped when it wasn't his brother's voice at the other end of the line.
"Hello, Lukas? This is Eirik's friend Xiang speaking." There was a short pause, but Lukas couldn't get any words out, Xiang continued, voice rushed.
"We were running and he pushed himself too hard-" Some rustling of fabric was heard at the other end along with Eirik's hoarse voice.
"I didn't push myself! Xiang, gimme back the damn phone. I'm fine-" His words were eaten up by coughing and wheezing. Then Xiang was back on the line.
"We can't seem to find any medication, do you think you can come over with some, or should we take him to the hospital?" Lukas snapped out of his confused state as soon as he heard his brother's voice.
"Bring him somewhere warm and make sure his airways are free. Text me with your exact location, I'll be right over."
Mathias looked at him quizzically and alarmed as he hung up.
"Did you come here by car?" Lukas asked with urgency while eyeing Eirik's bag, the one Mathias had brought, which he knew contained all his brother's medications.
"Well yes, do you need a lift somewhere? What's going on?" The smile had been wiped off his face instantly as he saw the colour drain from the other's face.
Lukas grabbed his cane, nodding his head towards the car while locking the door behind him.
"I'll explain on the way." He was limping, but didn't feel a thing. All his own pain was suddenly forgotten.
He'd been given directions to a school, and was trying to make it there as fast as he could. It's was quite obvious to him that the guy in the passenger seat was on edge. He had some feeling telling him that he'd been witness to a lot more emotion, the mere two times he'd seen him, than he ever normally let show.
"My brother is having an asthma attack. His medication is in the bag you brought." He seemed to be calming down, though his voice still sounded slightly off. His brother probably had a hard time breathing right now, and it was all because Mathias had his bag. Even as a nurse he felt like he fucked things up more often than he actually helped people. At least it gave him a reason to be the best at his job, which he appreciated.
Mathias observed the beautiful, yet somehow tragic, boy out of the corner of his eye as they neared their destination.
"You're the most unlucky people I've met in quite a while"
Eirik knew he was being moved. He could feel Xiang's arm around his shoulders, hear his comforting murmur, but that was also the only things his senses could register. He was wheezing, yet with each cough his airways seemed to grow tighter. At this point he was hyperventilating and he could feel his consciousness slowly slipping. He wasn't getting any oxygen. He could no longer feel his extremities, couldn't see, couldn't hear, everything was tingling and he knew he was falling.