darkside zodiac · original

Late Night Phone Calls ☆ Darkside Zodiac

Character/Pairing: Ike, Ace, sibling banter
Summary: It was tough dealing with insomnia.
Trigger Warning(s): none but a lot of sass and death threats are present

The hotel room had finally settled into the uncomfortable stillness that Ace hated so much. He sunk a little lower into the chair as he continued to watch the TV. It was re-runs from some old show that Ace knew nothing about. He only knew it was because the camera work was awful and the picture was grainy… or maybe that was just the TV. The thing looked like a piece of shit anyway.

His gaze slid up to the ceiling, giving it a blank stare.

Boring.’ He mused silently.

Letting his head flop to the side, he checked back over his shoulder once again and sighed in annoyance to see that Matt was still fast asleep. He knows it’s only been a couple minutes since he last checked but that doesn’t soften the blow any.

But this was how it always was.

Ace’s insomnia was too great and Matt valued sleep too much. He’d argued at first but Matt had made it very clear that since Ace wasn’t the one who had to drive several hours at a time every single day (sometimes multiple times a day), he was to leave Matt the fuck alone when he slept.

He’d of course made this point after nearly stabbing Ace’s hand to the table so Ace figured it best if he wanted to keep his fingers for future uses, he’d back off.

That didn’t stop him from hating every second of it, though. The hours of the night felt like days when Ace had to wait for Matt to get up. He loathed it. Everything was too quiet and too civil. It was disgusting. He hated the uncomfortable chair, the late night TV programs, the sound of cars passing by and sometimes it got to the point where he hated the sound of Matt breathing.

Usually at that point, he’d wake Matt up with some excuse or another. They were never very clever excuses but then again, they generally didn’t need to be. Matt would always just open his eyes with a couple lazy blinks, stare him down for a few seconds… and then roll over to face away from Ace before falling back asleep.

Jackass. Who the fuck sleeps, anyway? He should just do what Ace does and nap. That’s all you really need.

As he’s turning back to look at the TV again, his pocket starts to buzz. Not half a second before the warning buzz does his ringer start to go off and he jumps in alarm. He looks quickly over his shoulder as he fishes through his pocket but – of course – Matt is still fast asleep.

Ugh, does anything wake that bitch up?

He looks down at the cellphone in his lap and he doesn’t even need to check the screen before he opens it.

Only one other person than Matt bothers to call him anyway.

“What the fuck do you want? It’s 4am. Shouldn’t you be sleeping?”

The voice on the other end chuckled and the sound grated on his nerves. “I could say the same to you.” Her voice turned mocking. “Are you having nightmares again, baby brother?”

Ace pulls the phone away from his ear and hangs up immediately in annoyance. He scowls down at the screen and soon it lights up again and the ringer goes off. He answers it rather quickly this time, his voice biting into the reciever. “Fuck off.”

“Relax, brat. You’re too tightly wound.” She sighs and he could practically feel her rolling her eyes. “Can’t I call to say hi?”

“It’s 4am.”

“What do you care?” She laughs. “You never sleep. I should know.”

“Shut up, Ike. I don’t want to be reminded that I have anything in common with your sorry ass.” Ace slumps back into his chair, an arm folded over his chest and he rests his elbow into his palm to better hold up the phone.

“At least I do something with my extra time. Unlike you. You know, watching your husband sleep is considerably creepy – even by my standards.”

It’s Ace’s turn to roll his eyes. “I don’t watch him sleep.”

“Sure you don’t. My point is that I actually do my job. You’re scratching your balls and watching infomercials.”

“Do you ever shut up? Did you call me just to brag about shit I don’t care about? Cause if that’s the case, I’ll bludgeon you to death with a tire iron next time I see you.”

“Ohh, how romantic.” She chuckles and Ace can hear the faint creak of furniture. “As much as I’d love to say that’s the case, work has been slow lately. Everything has been running so smoothly. It’s boring.” She sighs heavily. “If someone doesn’t fuck up soon, I might have to go in and cause a little chaos myself.”

Ace feels his own little smirk pull at the corner of his lip. “Are you sure that’s safe? Won’t your boss get pissed?”

“First of all, we’ve been over this: I don’t have a boss. I am a… private contractor, of sorts. I work with a multitude of businesses.”

Ace finds himself staring up at the ceiling again as he chuckles. “Yeah, well, when they find out and decide to gut you, please make sure they give me a call first. I want to make sure I’m there to witness you bleed out.”

“Please. I’m not you – I’m not stupid.” She scoffs, sounding her own brand of annoyed and Ace feels particularly pleased to have gotten under her skin.

“I’ve been doing this longer than you and I’ve never been caught.” Ace replies rather smugly.

Ike scoffs again. “That’s because your beloved husband has been doing the thinking for you.”

“I was active before I met him.” He lets his head flop to the side absently. “And stop calling him my husband. It’s fucking annoying.”

“So no come back about him being the brains of the operation?” She smiles over the phone. “That was awfully easy.”

“I’m hanging up now. Don’t call me back. Ever.”

“Wait, wait, hold on. Don’t be so sensitive.”

“Why did you call, Ike?”

Ace hears the sound of a door creak on the other end and slam shut. “I like the company when I can’t sleep.”

“So go wake up your pet and spend time with her.  I have better things to do.”

“She had a big day.” Ike replies but there is a sigh in her voice. “Added another to her collection.”

“Gross. How the hell do you live there knowing those things are under your feet?”

“As long as I don’t have to see them or touch them, I can deal. Not that I haven’t had to before. She always needs to show me her new ones when she gets them.” She makes a distasteful sound. “Like a mutt dragging in a dead squirrel.”

“Seems accurate.” Ace rubs the back of his neck absently. “I still don’t understand why you keep her around. She’s too energetic. I’d have got rid of her ages ago.”

“She has her perks.” Ike replies simply.

Ace scoffs. “I don’t see any.”

“Likewise.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“Your husband, stupid. Who else would I be talking about? Do you even know anybody else other than me and him?”

“Why do you keep bringing him up? You got a crush or something?”

“Please. I’d sooner slit my own throat.”

“I’d be happy to arrange that.” Ace smirks.

There is a long sigh on the other end and Ace heard the piercing crack of a can opening. “You wouldn’t dare – otherwise you’d lose.”

“That’s true but I can still hold out for hope that one day your ass is on the 6 o’clock news.”

“Keep dreaming, baby brother. You’ll be winding up in body parts on some sewer bank far sooner than I will.”

“We’ll see.” He replies simply and he perks when he hears tired grumblings behind himself. He glances back to see Matt shifting around lazily and sitting up slowly. “I gotta go.”

“Hey, we were just getting into it there.” Ike protests lightly. “Should I take that as my victory?”

“Ace?” Matt questions, rubbing at his eyes when he finally sits up and blinks tired eyes over at him. “Who are you talking to?”

Ike chuckles low on the other end. “Ohh, I see. Your other half is awake. Say hi for me.”

Ignoring her request, Ace turns more toward Matt. “Does this mean you’re awake now? Can we get going?”

“I just woke up, man. Give me a second.” Matt waves a hand absently. “Is that Ike?”

“Who else?” Ike scoffs over the phone.

Ace grits into the phone. “Shut the fuck up. I’m hanging up now. If you’re so fucking lonely, go make a friend in an alleyway and stop wasting my time.”

“Wow, you’re snappy when your husband is paying attention.”

“I hope you stay awake so long that you die.” Ace replies curtly. “Wouldn’t that just be the lamest way for you to finally disappear?”

And with that, he snaps his phone shut in annoyance and hops off his chair to go pester the still slowly awakening Matt.

On the other end, Ike is sitting outside on her porch, nursing a can of beer in one hand and looking at her phone in the other. She smirks at the display and soon pockets it. There was no sense on calling back. He wouldn’t pick up anyway.

She takes a heavy swig from her beer can and sighs heavily as she looks up at the night sky. The stars were bright and twinkled to a silent tune as the moon hung heavy amongst them. This was one of the things that Ike preferred about living out in the country like this. No city lights to block out the sky.

The seclusion was what set her mind at ease.

There was a quiet lull all around her with crickets chirpping happily and the occasional eerie howl of a coyote in the distance to build some tension. Not that such a thing ever happened with Ike but she had heard Autumn complain about it enough to acknowledge such a thing existed. She didn’t see what was so frightening about a creature so small though. Even thinking about it was pathetic.

Well, she supposed she would never understand it and that was the end of that. She settled deeper into the chair and took another long swig. It was actually a bit nippy out this early in the morning and the ice cold beer wasn’t helping but there was something nice about being out here in the early morning chill.

As time pressed on, Ike noticed she could properly see the outline of some of the more distant trees and noted how the world around her was starting to get a light hue of blue.

Guess the world was finally waking up.

She balanced her can on her knee and flicked at the tab. Hopefully her phone would ring today and it would be a summon to get some work done.

She was getting bored and boredom had never been dealt with well when it came to her.

The last thing she wanted was the devolve into recklessness.

To devolve into Ace.

FIN ★ ☆ ★ Constructive critique always welcome!

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