Darrin turned to look at his little brother who was sitting on the couch munching away on a chocolate chip cookie, then lifted a thin, delicate shoulder. "I have no idea, but I'll call you tomorrow evening and tell you all about it."
Darrin paused for a moment as he was bringing a cookie up to his mouth. He was a bit nervous. He didn't want to do anything that'd cause him to mess up in front of one of the other doctors he was supposed to shadow. He was also nervous for other reasons, but instead he said, "Yeah, a little, but I'm sure I'll do fine."
Quietly. "Do you think they'll find out?"
Darrin avoids the question by craming the cookie he'd been holding in his mouth and taking his sweet time chewing. Damn you Neal! Stop getting into my head and pulling out that which terrifies me the most. I don't want to think about this. Not now. Do you even realize how much worse my nervousness will be if this is going to be on the forefront of my mind? "I sure hope not," he says softly. "If they do then I might as well kiss this line of work good-bye. No one would want me to see them. Everyone would be uncomfortable around me, it'd just be a big mess."
Neal looks at his brother with softness in his eyes, even though the question that came out of his mouth stung like a sharp slap across the face. "Then why did you even do it?"
Darrin looked away and busied himself with putting away the rest of the cookies. "You know why. I shouldn't have to explain myself again." He knew the words where sharp and hurtful, but it didn't matter at that moment.
Neal rose from the couch and went up behind Darrin, slipping his arms around his waist and resting his cheek against his older sibling's back. "Darrin, I'm sorry. I didn't mean for it to come out that way. It's just, I'm worried for you. You know I'm the only one that gets you. Don't push me away, please."
Darrin licked his lips to wet them and closed his eyes, fighting back tears, whispering, "I don't need this worry. I need to focus or else I'm going to screw up. Help me keep positive thoughts running through my head. I've got enough negative thoughts that sneak up on me at the worst times, of my own."
Neal nods against Darrin's back. "Ok, it's a deal. You want to watch 'Nightmare Before Christmas'? That always seems to help cheer you up?"
Darrin slowly turned around, staring into the face that was just a younger copy of his own. "I really should see about doing some more research so I'm all up to date on the latest diseases, diagnosis and things. But I guess I could use a good movie to calm down with. Popcorn?"
Neal nods and goes to find the movie to put in the DVD player while Darrin pops a bag of extra butter popcorn in the microwave. Soon the two of them are snuggled on the couch with a bowl of popcorn between them, the lights off, and the TV screen showing them their selected DVD choice.
Darrin slowly pushed open the front door to the clinic and looked around. He was dressed in baby blue scrubs, white sneakers, and his bright red hair had been slicked back. He was supposed to meet someone there who was to tell him who he was going to be paired up with for the day, but he couldn't seem to see anyone at the moment.
Guess I'll just wait right here until someone shows. Hopefully that'll be soon.