The prompt from gelsey was Prevail to be written in the world of my character Chester.
Warning: Grief and angst
Word Count: 473
Summary: It's only after Chester's brother's funeral that Richard finally arrives to support his cousin.
Chester didn't realize how stressed he was until he saw Richard on his brother's porch and felt his shoulders drop two inches as his muscles finally relaxed.
“How are you holding up?” Richard asked, getting right to the heart of the matter. But Chester wasn't ready to talk, so he just shrugged.
“Come check on Caroline,” he said, distracting his favorite cousin's focus. “She's been asking for you.”
* * *
Chester didn't realize how tired he was until after Caroline was tucked into bed. Once he collapsed onto the couch and finally stopped moving, starting up again felt impossible.
“You haven't been sleeping, have you?” Richard asked perceptively, handing Chester a bottle of beer.
“When do I have time to sleep?” Chester asked with a shrug. “I've got a niece to raise, my sister-in-law's sister to block from getting custody of said niece, the government after me to run my dead brother's project...”
“You're missing time to take care of yourself in all that,” Richard interrupted as he sank onto the couch at his cousin's side.
“There are more important matters,” Chester insisted, but Richard cut him off, pressing his hand over Chester's mouth.
“No, there aren't,” Richard insisted. “If you don't take care of yourself, none of the rest will ever get done. If you do, the rest might just fall into place.”
“Promise?” Chester asked plaintively around Richard's hand.
* * *
It was two bottles of beer before Chester could really admit how scared he was.
“I don't think I can do this,” he finally admitted, his eyes fixed on his bare feet rather than the probably disgusted expression on Richard's face.
“Nonsense,” Richard replied, just as Chester expected. But Chester did not expect the hand under his chin that pulled his head around to face the only person who had never abandoned him. “You can do this,” Richard said firmly, confidently.
“I don't know anything about raising a child,” Chester whimpered.
“Who does?” Richard said, his lips quirking in a smile. “But you know what it's like to be a genius child in a world that doesn't understand.”
Chester nodded even as a shudder ran down his spine. He tried to turn away.
“Hey, look at me,” Richard insisted, firming his grip. “You're not in this alone.”
“But they're gone,” Chester finally said. “My brother and his wife ... why would they trust me ...?” His voice finally failed as the tears that had been building for days finally fell.
“Hush now, let it out,” Richard said, pulling Chester in to cry on his shoulder. “They had good reason to trust you. You'll see.” He continued to whisper assurances into Chester's ear as he rubbed circles on the sobbing man's back.
In time, the sobs faded, and Chester finally began to feel that just maybe, with a little help, he could make this work.