Down Goes the Duke
Roman gains a new perspective after his brother's funeral
Warnings: death, nude corpse, psych ward, drugs, referenced gore, sexual references
Roman and Logan didn't expect to feel much when they arrived at the funeral. How could they? When they heard of the request for an open casket viewing with the corpse in the buff (that hadn't been entirely complied) and of too many substances in his body as the cause of his demise, the two just saw it as typical Remus behavior headed for the grave. The couple didn't really have a lot to say when they sat down. Logan might've only seen the taboo behavior and then some expressed before they got a restraining order against Remus, but Roman saw so many years of his brother's toxic behavior. Roman saw the so many times their parents dismissed the behavior as "boys will be boys" until Remus hotwired their car and attempted to run Roman over when they were 7. The couple saw familiar faces and a multitude of emotions surrounding them, but they didn't dare to say anything for concerns of inappropriate frustrations expressed.
Roman found himself grateful of his ability to be a convincing actor since the only one who called him out for zoning in and out was his own husband. At one point, he zoned out for a little while before feeling Logan's hand in his own and turning toward him to see a small smirk on his face that basically said "I knew it". It was also hard for the average visitor to tell that Roman was speculating that Remus recognized his own boldness enough to plan certain things for the funeral. Since he heard that the "nude corpse" thing wasn't entirely accepted, he wondered what else his deviant brother initially had planned for his funeral.
By the time most of the funeral home was empty, Roman and Logan decided to walk to the casket. They saw that there was a hat covering the man's crotch (a hat that Roman knew belonged to Remus's boyfriend, Damien), but everything else was uncovered. Roman saw a sinister smirk on Remus's face that Roman knew all too well.
From the corner of Roman's eye, he could see a person in all black approach them with a somber expression and an envelope.
"Are you Remus Ellington's brother?" the person asked Roman.
"Yes... is there something else he did that caused damage?" Roman awkwardly asked.
"Actually, I'm a doctor at the psych ward he kept leaving and coming back to. He prepared something for you, but I guess he didn't know how to give it to you," the person gave Roman the envelope and he looked at it just as the person left.
Logan looked over the envelope with Roman and the two looked at each other.
"Do you need to open it alone or do you want me to be here in case something happens?" Logan asked.
"I think the latter is more assuring," Roman replied.
Roman carefully opened the envelope and shook the contents of it out only to find a letter that seemed to be a little over a page long. Roman picked up the contents and looked it over.
Roman, hello brother. I heard this is therapeutic. I feel trapped...like cum in arousal. No no, I feel trapped. I remember when we were children and close. I came up with these ideas no one would ever proclaim out loud. Remember my organ soup drawing? You said you loved it and I felt so excited since you were the first person I shared it with. I did so with other drawings and ideas and you shared yours with me as well...like an STD. No no, focus. Look, you liked my ideas, our parents didn't and eventually made sure you didn't. I guess my lashing out at being rejected made things worse. I wish there was a way for me to express these ideas without getting sent back here. I've tried talking to you and others about how I feel, but things went wrong. Maybe flesh melting off my hand might be a better souvenir. Ugh! What was I saying? Oh yeah. I miss you Roman. If there was a way for us to start over while successfully restraining myself, I would. Maybe I'll check which pills and fluids will help me. Wish me luck.
Apart from the drawn detailed penis by the signature, Roman was shocked by the contents of the letter. It unlocked a lot of memories within Roman's head. Remus wasn't wrong when he said that Roman liked his ideas. He had never seen such drawings or heard such ideas from anyone and thought they were awesome. He also gathered that they actually didn't feud until after their parents told him many times that Remus's drawings and ideas aren't ideas that should be revealed to anyone else. They allowed the brothers to be together, but he was only bothered after their parents' constant reminders and he pieced that things got worse from there.
Roman remembered that first drawing all too well: it was of Remus stirring organs in a body with an open stomach like a soup. He loved it and wanted Remus to keep it up. He knew what it was like to have ideas that he was proud of only for them to be shot down.
Roman failed to hold back some sobs as he looked down at the body. He wished there was more he could've done to rebuild bridges. He wished could've tried to speak his language. Maybe then he wouldn't OD'ed just to restrain himself.