Groaning, he rolls over to his other side and pulls his blankets up higher against himself, up to his throat to trap whatever heat might still be present. He doesn’t feel the warmth, all he feels is chilled and it is a less than pleasant sensation. When someone steps into his room, he shakes his head and glares moodily at the wall in front of him.
“Stop sulking me, Agni.” Mira’s voice is soft as he looks down at the bundle that is his brother, the blankets all bunched up around him to form a cocoon. He sighs and shakes his head, setting down a tray of porridge and juice on the night stand.
Agni mutters and even then it’s easy to tell his voice is hoarse, his throat hurting. He grumbles again and squeezes his eyes shut.
“If I still was sharing your bed, I would be sick too and then what? We’d both be miserable and Zora would have had to miss out on work to take care of us. Is that what you want? You want me to be as miserable as you feel right now and you want Zora to be exasperated with us?” Not trying to be harsh, Mira is only trying to talk his brother through the bottled anger he feels, has felt since their sleeping habits have changed. Mira knows there is nothing but time that can be found to fix this. He adores his brother, knows Agni feels the same and will eventually forgive him. It might just take a lot of time.
He can wait.
“Brought you some porridge, sweetened with honey since that’s how you tend to like it.” He wrinkles his nose slightly and shakes his head, a faint smile to his lips. He personally doesn’t much are for honey, would rather have brown sugar to sweeten things when necessary. Honey is too sweet for his taste.
“Go away.” Agni’s words are rough and he pulls the blanket closer still. Mira sighs and pinches the bridge of his nose.
“Suit yourself, Agni. I’m just trying to help you get better but all you can think about is how betrayed you feel because I’m trying to adapt to the life we have now. We can’t share this one bedroom forever, even though we grew up this way after we left this family. The memories might be fuzzy but we had our own rooms before!” Not quite angered, just pushed to his limits, Mira walks out of the bedroom and slams the door. He stalks to his own room and once inside he slams that door too.
Agni blinks, startled and slowly unfolds himself from his cocoon to roll over and look towards his door. He knows he has pushed his brother to his limits before but never had he ever had quite this reaction. Mira had never left him before, even when pushed away. He was the glue holding them together.
His eyes filling with tears, Agni curls in on himself again, feeling now miserable both from whatever he was sick with and his brother’s departure. It was hardly his fault, Mira was the one who wanted them to be on their own now, Agni had only been trying to show him how wrong it felt and how bad it would turn out. Now he really was on his own.
He tries to sleep, ignoring the slight pangs of hunger. He doesn’t want the porridge. It has been made by his brother and his brother is a traitor.
The door to the apartment clicks shut and Zora steps back into her home. Her small back of groceries for the day is set down on the counter as she listens to the quiet of the apartment. It had been this peaceful since Mira had decided on having his own bedroom. She couldn’t complain, it was actually quite nice.
When she had left in the morning, however, she had been aware that Agni had had himself a fever and had smiled at Mira who had been preparing an easy breakfast. He had told her he would try to take care of his brother best he could so she wouldn’t have to stay away from work. When she’d left, the doors had all been opened. Now all were closed and it was as silent as a tomb, except for faint coughing coming from Agni’s room.
Sighing, she walks first to Mira’s room, knocking before letting herself in. Her brother sits in a little window nook in the wall, his forehead pressed to the window. He looks absolutely miserable. “I’ve bought you a few more geography books. They’re on the counter. Whenever you want to get them. I’ll check in on Agni.”
Mira shakes his head, a bitter laugh escaping him as he hugs himself as if no one else in the world might ever want to hug him. “He told me to go away so I did. I left him his porridge but he didn’t want it. Probably hasn’t even touched it. I did my best.”
Zora is more than aware that Mira’s patience rivals that of the gods. Still, he can only take so much pushing away and his brother has been pushing him away ever since the rooms have been split. She can understand how he might feel, to a slight point. “I love you, Mira. You’re part of this family and nothing you can do will ever make me push you away.”
He smiles at her weakly and she turns, closing his door but partway. Closed doors are not much to be trusted as far as she cares, open doors means not all is lost.
She moves towards Agni’s room and lets herself in without knocking. Her brother is huddled beneath his blankets, the now long since cold porridge is untouched. She rolls her eyes, rounds to the other side of the bed and rests her hand to her brother’s forehead. Hot with fever as she expected.
“You’re an idiot.” Her words are soft, gently really as she starts to tug blankets off from the slighter youth. He fusses and whines, trying to keep hold of them. His gaze is feverish, it’s not overly surprising. “If you hadn’t pushed Mira away, you would more than likely be better by now, your fever would be down to near nothing and you’d have food in you. Now we both know I can be gentle as can be but I think you’ve sulked long enough, it’s time for you to understand that no one is doing anything here to spite you. You’re getting into the tub and getting a cold bath.”
Agni’s eyes widen and he fights weakly to keep hold of his blankets though he knows it’s absolutely futile.
“Sleep sweet, Mira.” Zora tucks in her youngest brother gently, she kisses his forehead. The dinner their shared was quiet since she had worn Agni out to exhaustion with all the fighting he did and the cold bath she put him into. At the very least his fever is now down to a more than manageable temperature.
“Don’t let your brother’s huffing get to you. He’s just a little hurt that you’ve decided to finally have your own room. I know I should have tried to teach you both the benefits of having your own rooms but it was always so much easier to keep you both together. It’s my own fault in the long run and we’ll work through this together, I promise.”
Mira manages the hint of a smile though he sighs and rolls to his side as Mira stands and walks back to the door. She closes it partway once more and steps back outside to check in on the other sibling. Life isn’t always easy though it is easier now. She knows that in time, things will settle.