Brother’s Keeper: Episode 22

New to Brother’s Keeper? Read Episode 1

Jay smiles and says to Natalia, ‘You’re always welcome.’


In a single room in the intensive care unit of the hospital, Stephen is peacefully unconscious on a bed, with IV therapy inserted through his left arm.

Alan slouches on a chair opposite the bed, compassionately watching Stephen and struggling to stay awake.

Derek is asleep on the floor beside the bed.

Jay steps quietly into the room, holding a bag of McDonald’s takeaway. He stares at Stephen for a moment, fighting back his emotions, before he walks to the bed. He stands over Stephen and stoically stares at him, as he fights to supress the violent memories of the last time he was close to losing Stephen.

Alan opens his eyes and is startled to see Jay; he quickly sits up and watches Jay for a brief moment before he says softly, ‘He’s going to be alright.’

Jay doesn’t acknowledge him, and there is silence for almost a minute before Jay quietly but authoritatively says, ‘Follow me.’

‘No,’ Alan strongly refuses.

They stare at each other intently for a quiet moment.

‘We’re not doing this here. Follow me,’ Jay quietly demands.

‘Doing what? No!’ Alan says with his voice raised.

‘Keep your voice down,’ Jay chides.

‘Don’t fucking talk to me like that!’

There is another moment of silence as they stare intently at each other, and Derek wakes up.

‘What?’ Alan angrily demands.

‘How could you possibly owe Slim 200 thousand?’

‘What the fuck?’

‘I overheard you.’

‘What?’ Alan exclaims. ‘Why the fuck were you listening to my conversations?’

‘Alan,’ Jay says commandingly, and Alan is instantly forced to calm down, although he continues to curse underneath his breath.

Derek struggles to his feet, but the struggles don’t end there, he struggles mightily as he languidly walks towards Jay – like a drunk zombie.

‘Why the fuck were you listening to my conversations?’

‘What’s wrong with you?’

‘Me?’ Jay loudly exclaims. ‘Wrong with ME? Fucking really?’

‘How did you …’

‘Fuck you! Where have you been all my life?’

Jay is taken aback.

‘Yeah,’ Alan continues loudly. ‘Where the fuck have you been?’

Jay attempts to speak, but Alan continues.

‘You think you can just waltz in after 5 years and fucking ask what’s wrong with me?’ He shakes his head violently. ‘How fucking dare you?’

Derek reaches Jay and grabs the McDonald’s bag. He stands, on unsteady legs, between Jay and Alan, with all his focus on the bag.

‘I …’ Jay begins to say, before Alan cuts him off.

‘Fuck that. Ever since they died you’ve never been around. Never was there for me … you were here, but not actually here.’

A quiet moment as Alan stares intensely at Jay, and Jay doesn’t know how to respond.

‘What?’ Alan continues. ‘You went to fight for your country? Like you give a shit about that. You fucking left me. Left me alone in that fucking house.’

Derek attempts to reach into the McDonald’s bag, but it falls to the ground. He languidly bends over to reach for it.

‘I begged you not to go,’ Alan passionately continues. ‘Not cos I was scared you’d die … Fuck no! You’re Superman. And, of course, you came back a war hero, of fucking bloody course.’

Derek rises with the bag, but it slips from his fingers and falls again. He sighs and languidly bends over to reach for it.

‘Good though, good … Cos I thought that was that. But no, fuck no. You got a job immediately in New York New York,’ Alan says, and pauses for a breath. ‘5 long hard years later …’

Alan suddenly stops and focuses on Derek, who is struggling to pick the bag.

‘What the fuck is wrong with you? Pick it up,’ he aggressively scolds Derek.

Derek rises without the bag and shrugs.

Alan gets off the chair, picks up the bag, aggressively plants Derek on the chair, and places the bag on Derek’s lap.

‘Good?’ he asks Derek.

Derek nods and reaches into the bag.

‘Jesus. No more drugs and alcohol for you. It’s not a good look.’

Jay struggles to hide a smile.

Alan turns to Jay and notices Jay struggling to hold back a smile. He then also struggles to hold back a smile, but he cant and smiles. Jay smiles too.

They smile at each other for a brief moment.

‘I made a few mistakes,’ Alan continues. ‘Firstly, being a banker.’

Jay is mildly amused.

‘I needed some quick money to plug a hole in an investment. I was high. I asked Slim. He introduced me to the guy he works for, Roman. Fucking cunt of a guy, but he gave me the hundred thousand in cash that same day. He expected 150 last weekend. That, of course, didn’t happen. The investment fucked me in the arse. Now Roman’s got me over a barrel.’

‘How are you going to pay him?’

‘I’m going to fuck someone else in the arse.’

‘Don’t do that.’

Alan is amused.

‘That’s the game, Jay. That’s what we do.’

There is a moment of silence.

‘Why does Slim have your car?’

Alan shrugs indifferently.

‘He’s my dealer. I owe him 800 pounds. He took my car till …’


Alan laughs softly.

‘Yeah, I know …’

‘You know where he lives?’


Jay stares expectantly at Alan.

‘What are you going to do?’ Alan asks.

Jay doesn’t respond.

’45 Vicarage Road, Guildford,’ Derek interjects.

Jay and Alan turn to Derek, who is completely focused on eating a Big Mac.

Alan takes a step closer to Jay and they both turn to look at Stephen.

‘I’m sorry about him,’ Alan says, and Jay nods.

In the next moment, Alan smells Natalia scent oozing off Jay. He turns to Jay and attempts to speak, but Jay speaks before him.

‘Have you called his wife?’ Jay asks.

‘Well, yeah … left a voice message.’

‘Really?’ Jay questions, successfully hiding his disappointment. ‘Call her back,’ Jay says calmly. ‘And don’t leave till she gets here.’

Jay hands Alan a phone charger and walks towards the door.

‘I’ll see you tonight,’ he says.

‘Where are you going?’ Alan asks.

Jay ignores the question and steps out of the room.

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