Wiffle (faerie_dance) wrote in daily_snippets,

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One-Shot: Vox Aeternas: Jonas Brothers

Title: Vox Aeternas
Author: Wiffle
Rating: G
Warnings: Very mild slash, extremely mild. Joick.

He’d seen that tear, that single tear that held all that was Nick, slide down his brother’s face. He had seen and felt emotions so powerful that his entire body froze, trapped in a haze and maze of something he couldn’t simply laugh away. And that terrified him.

“Nick? Nick! Mom, have you seen Nick?” Joe jumped down the last few stairs to the first floor, swinging around towards the kitchen with his hand on the banister. Denise looked up from where she sat at the table, pen in hand.

“No, honey. Did you check upstairs?” Joe scrunched up his nose, nodding.

“Yea, I’ll keep looking, thanks.”

He made his way past the family room where Frankie was playing Guitar Hero and Kevin sat behind him on the couch, cheering him on, book discarded next to him.

“You guys seen Nick?”

Kevin looked over to Joe and shook his head, while Frankie didn’t even look up or pause his game as he called back to his brother.

“No, but if you see him, tell him to come play!”

Joe couldn’t help but chuckle as he nodded again, even though Frankie couldn’t see it. He stepped into the room, leaning over to ruffle his youngest brother’s hair.

“Alright, Frank the Tank. I’ll let him know.”

The black haired singer made his way through the house, searching the other rooms on the first floor before he leapt down the stairs into the basement, jumping the last two. A triumphant grin stretched across his lips as he stepped forwards, hand on the doorknob that led into their sound studio. He opened the door quietly, knowing that Nick was probably in the middle of practicing something and didn’t want to disturb him.

“Ni-” He barely even got his brother’s name out, the rest of the syllable slowly dying on his lips as he stared into the room. Whatever he had been expecting, it was not this. The studio was soundproofed from the rest of the house and suddenly the sounds of his family faded away, replaced with one of the most haunting melodies he had ever heard come from his brother or that piano.

The melody was so slow, notes gently twinkling, matching the flutter of Joe’s heart in his chest until those deep base chords suddenly joined in, rocking through the singer’s stomach, settling warm and low there in his chest. Those slender fingers continued to grace the piano with their touch and Joe followed the line of his arms, the curve of Nick’s body up to his face, his heart flying up into his throat.

Nick’s eyes were closed, his body lightly swaying to the music as though the piano were not a separate entity, as though the music came from deep within. Another chord, soft but deep and powerful resonated through the boys and Nick’s head dipped forwards, curls obscuring half of his face as he swayed with the sound. There was no sheet music set upon the piano, no pieces of paper pre-set with music, forcing certain keys or certain harmonies. Just Nick and his music; and Joe was transfixed.

He didn’t know where it came from, this music. It was like nothing they had ever played, nothing close to ‘A Little Bit Longer’. It was just a simple melody, three simple notes, three simple chords, repeating slowly, over and over. And Joe suddenly felt like he was witnessing something that was not meant to be witnessed. Nick was lost in his own world, lost in his music and Joe couldn’t help but feel that he was seeing all that Nick was in this moment. His hopes, his dreams, his fears, his passions: Nick. And for some reason, Joe couldn’t help but think that he’d never seen his brother look so beautiful.

Something glistened on Nick’s cheek and Joe watched, mesmerized, as the lone tear made its solitary journey down the smooth plain to rest quivering on Nick’s chin before it fell with a splash onto the white keys.

And suddenly the music trickled off, Nick’s eyes opening in surprise as he looked down to the single wet key, finger slowly running through his music made real. He looked up, brown eyes still open, uncovered, laid bare without the mask he always wore and his eyes widened in shock.


But Joe had already dashed from the room before the almost choked word escaped from Nick’s lips. He ran. He ran as fast as he could, tearing up the stairs and through hallways, darting around corners and flying past his family. Cool air whipped at his face as he slammed the front door open and took off down the street. He ran as fast as his legs would carry him, sneakers pounding against the sidewalk, crunching through leaves and grass. The air continued to whip at his face, caressing his skin, cooling across flushed cheeks and highlighting the two single tear tracks glistening there. His mind couldn’t think, he couldn’t breathe.

Just release.
Let go.
Let it go.
Let it all go.

The pressure in his chest pushed against burning lungs, coursed through limbs made heavy with exertion but somehow still moving. He ran straight through the park, just past the soccer fields and straight onto one of the trails leading into the woods. The sounds of children laughing faded behind him but he hadn’t been paying them any attention to begin with. He stopped in the middle of an old makeshift bridge over a small stream that had been created from years and years of people setting down what they could. Sticks, branches, logs, some cut timber, even an old wooden chair that looked as though it had come from the high school, littered the melee as Joe slowed down right in the middle, hands on his knees, breathing heavily. He stared down to the softly gurgling water below, watched his own reflection distort before rippling and fading as two tears fell to disappear forgotten into the water.

He didn’t know why he was so terrified.

Release, let go, let it all go.

A faint, choked noise escaped past the gasping breaths he was taking. No, don’t release. Don’t let it all go. He was terrified of letting it all go. He had seen it. He had seen the utter rapture on Nick’s face, had felt himself become so completely lost in a place he had never allowed himself to go until the only thing he knew and knew for sure was the curly-haired boy sitting in the center of it all.

He’d seen that tear, that single tear that held all that was Nick, slide down his brother’s face. He had seen and felt emotions so powerful that his entire body froze, trapped in a haze and maze of something he couldn’t simply laugh away. And that terrified him.

“Joe?” The voice of his brother, still melodious even when whisper-soft and hesitant, penetrated deeper into Joe’s consciousness than the sounds of the water, the wind, the woods, combined. Joe’s head whipped up, eyes still wet and locking onto Nick’s. He heard the involuntary intake of air slipping through Nick’s lips when he saw Joe’s face.

“Joe?” His footsteps were light, careful as he balanced his way across the bridge, across the stream of Joe’s emotions and onto the center of the bridge where his brother sat teetering on the edge of it all and slowly knelt down next to his older brother.

“What does it feel like, Nick?”

Joe’s voice was thick, scratchy from running and crying, and it caught Nick off-guard.

“Wh-…What does what feel like?”

The youngest member of the band had never seen his brother act this way before. It scared him, Joe could see it in his eyes. The singer looked back down to the water, long black bangs falling forwards and hiding his eyes from view, hiding Joe from view.

“To let go.”

Nick was silent at Joe’s side, his own gaze falling to the water, meeting Joe’s eyes in the rippled reflections staring back at them. Equally dark brown eyes stared into his, almost begging, pleading, wanting no needing to understand. Nick broke their gaze first.

“I don’t know, Joe. It feels like, it feels like home. It feels like love. It feels like, like no matter what happens, or has happened, or will happen, everything is going to be alright.”

The younger of the two looked down to his hands, fingers now so lonely without the smooth silk of white keys or ridged edges of guitar strings to accompany them.

Joe looked up from the water and his eyes came to rest on his brother, hanging onto his every word for fear that his emotions might slip away from him to land in the water below and be swept away before he could save them, save himself.

“It feels like, like you don’t have to pretend anymore. Don’t have to lie, don’t have to hide. You don’t-” Nick’s words caught in his throat and he looked up to meet his older brother’s gaze, unending, unfailing, ever-constant. He swallowed over the lump in his throat and looked back down once more, thumb running over the pads of his fingers as though in consolation to their loneliness. “It feels like you don’t have to live between two worlds anymore.”

A third hand slowly came into Nick’s line of vision, hovering over his own hands which lay almost forlornly in his lap. Joe’s hand slowly sank down until his palm rested against Nick’s, pads of his fingers falling so perfectly against his brother’s.

Nick looked up then, his eyes filled with the same quiet strength Joe admired so much in him yet somehow still laid open, still completely stripped, completely bare. It was a place Joe had always been terrified of going, but somehow, there in Nick’s eyes, in his words, in his music, somehow Joe thought that maybe the strength he’d always needed to do it had been beside him all along.

Nick’s lips parted to speak and Joe’s eyes followed the movement, bringing a hand up to rest a finger on those lips, silencing him without words. And Nick complied, sat still as Joe rested his finger there, brows almost furrowed in concentration, brown eyes peering from beneath black bangs. He spoke something to himself but no sounds came out to reach Nick’s ears.

Hesitant, hopeful, searching brown eyes traced the contours of the singer’s face but the Joe’s eyes did not leave Nick’s lips, his hand still pressed against his brother’s, both lying in Nick’s lap. They were the dreamers in two places at once, living two separate lives. Perhaps they all were. Perhaps that’s what it meant to be human. Perhaps, perhaps he just had to let it all go.

And as their lips came together, that’s exactly what he did.
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