Hearts Asunder by MourningStarre

Part 1

Jason Quartermaine and his brother AJ are in the midst of an intense confrontation. Jason had just discovered from his girlfriend Keesha that recovering alcoholic AJ had started drinking again and had been for quite a while. The fact that AJ talked Keesha into covering for him and somehow managed to get her to withhold this information from him only made Jason that much angrier. He always knew AJ had a thing for Keesha but his using her as an enabler to his drinking and then convincing her to keep it from him was the last straw.

Jason had never been so angry in his life. Keesha being upset and feeling the enormous guilt she was about AJ did nothing to contain his boiling rage and this anger scared him. Jason had never wanted to physically harm anyone before but it took every ounce of strength he had to not pummel AJ as they exchanged barbs.

Wobbling over to the bar AJ grabs a crystal decanter that was filled with vodka. "Save the platitudes baby brother," AJ slurred. "If I want an AA meeting I know where to go," foregoing a glass he downed several big gulps of the clear potent liquid. "Why donít you just get off my back and stay outta my business. This is my life and I can do whatever the hell I want with it," AJ snarled angrily to his brother.

"Youíre right, this is your life but when you bring the people ĎIí care about into it then it becomes ĎMYí business!" Jason railed snatching the decanter from AJís hand and placing it on the far end of the bar out of his brotherís reach. "Keesha is very upset right now and feeling guilty because she kept your little secret. Because Ďyouí convinced her that you were in control of Ďyourí drinking problem and since you are such a pro at working peopleís sympathies you pulled her in as a guest at your one man pity party."

"Is that why youíre all over me?! Because Keesha is my friend?" he said patting himself on the chest. "Because she understands me and she helped me?"

"Keesha didnít help you, she understands that now, which is why she is upset and you donít even care. You donít care that sheís at the foundation crying her eyes out and wringing her hands over you!"

"Thatís a lie! Iíve always cared about Keesha, but I donít need to tell you that do I?" AJ said in an accusatory tone. "I saw her first JasonÖme. I invited her over to play tennis, I was interested, you knew that, but you didnít care. Every time I turned around there you were with that damn look in your eyes, like you was some lost sailor and Keesha was the beacon that would lead you back home. Why couldnít you let me have something good for a change? If I had Keesha maybe my life wouldnít have gotten so screwed up. You took Mom and Dadís love from me, and you had to take Keesha too."

"Iím so tired of you and that weak shit!" Jason barked angrily. "Keesha was never yours for me to take. We met her the same day AJ. So what you laid eyes on her a few minutes before I did, that did not give you sole rights to her. Sheís her own person AJ and she didnítÖwantÖyou," Jason said measuring every word and emphasizing them with a poke to AJís chest with his forefinger. "She wanted me," pointing to himself. "Weíre in love, we always have been and we always will be, get over it. As for Mom and Dad if you donít know how much they love you thereís nothing I can do to convince you and you know what I am damn tired of trying." Laughing derisively, "At least youíre consistent. Itís just like you to blame your rotten life on anybody except you. Iím mean poor misunderstood AJ never does anything wrong. Itís my fault youíre lacking the love you feel youíre missing from Mom and Dad. Itís my fault that youíre an alcoholic and of course itís my fault that Keesha doesnít love you."

"I get youíre trying to be flip, but your words are dead on. My problems are all your fault," AJ said, his eyes now angry slits. "Think about it. If you werenít here my problems wouldnít be either. Youíre not even Momís biological child and she loves you more than me. Hell everybody loves you, youíre perfect, and Iím not."

"I give up," Jason said waving his hands before him in resignation. "Keep feeling sorry for yourself AJ, but Iím done with you, finished!"

"The Ďgolden boyí is raising his voice and his hands in submission? Youíre not going to help your poor, little, misguided older brother anymore? What am I gonna do without your unflagging support?" AJ queried his words saturated in condescension.

"Youíre gonna find out. Whatever happens to you now is your own business. Oh, and you can forget about turning to Keesha for a sympathetic ear, sheís off limits to you from now on."

"Itís not enough you took her heart from me, now youíre taking her friendship away from me too?"

"Aside from just being tired of seeing you bird-dog her every chance you get, the fact that you conned her into keeping things from me under the pretext of Ďhelpingí you was all I could take. You would stop at nothing to see Keesha and me apart; I believe that with my whole heart. If I had any doubts before, finding out you conned her into lying to me to cover your rotten ass convinced me. I guess you were hoping that this would bring a rift between Keesha and me, but it didnít and it wonít because I love her. Iíve been in the position you put her in before so I understand. I tried to warn her, time and again but she refused to listen, she would say I was being too hard on you." Jason scoffs, "Too hard. I do love you AJ, but Iíve come to realize thereís no one in this world more important to you than you. If AJ Quartermaine is not happy then nobody else can be. Youíve disappointed me for the last time and Iím sure as hell not going stand by and watch you hurt Keesha like youíve hurt me so many times before. Mom and Dad and the rest of the family havenít seen you like this and I donít want them to. Do yourself and everyone that cares about you a favor, check into rehab tonight."

"Forget that, the only thing Iím checking into tonight is some hot babe," AJ said with a lascivious grin at the moment Keesha entered the Quartermaine living room. "Speaking of hot babesÖ" he smirked as he watched Keesha walk over to Jason.

"I couldnít stay away, I was too worried," Keesha said to Jason after greeting him with a kiss. Turning to AJ, "Are you okay?" she asked her voice full of concern and her eyes glistening with refreshed tears in worry of her beleaguered friend.

His arm wrapped possessively around her waist, Jason seethed as he watched his brother literally undress Keesha with his eyes.

"Oh hey Iím fine. Just like a cat I always land on my feet," AJ answered. Extending his hand to caress her cheek, "Donít go worrying that beautiful head of yours overÖ"

Jason slapped AJís hand away and connected with an upper cut to his jaw that landed his brother on the floor. "Thatís it! Get the hell out of this house now AJ!" Jason demanded of his older sibling.

"Jason what is wrong with you?" Keesha shouted totally aghast by his behavior as she helped AJ to his feet.

"That," Jason answered sharply taking Keesha by the arm and bringing her beside him. "Do not baby him. He did this to himself. AJ needs to learn that when he falls down weíre not going to be there to pick him up anymore."

"He didnít fall down Jason you knocked him down," Keesha explained tersely. "This is a time when he needs support more than ever."

"No what he needs is an overdose of tough love and I happen to have an extended supply," Jason said his eyes boring holes into AJ. "I will not placate him and Iím not going to let you do it either. The only thing Iím willing to give him tonight is a ride to rehab."

"No thanks Iím going to decline that kind offer," AJ said retrieving the container of vodka from the bar.

"AJ donít," Keesha pleaded.

"Shhh, donít worry Keesha Iíll be fine. The Ďgolden boyí has spoken, Iím out," he said with a mock salute to his brother. With the bottle grasped firmly in hand AJ left the room.

"Arenít you going to go after him?" Keesha inquired after hearing the front door close behind AJ.

"No, Iím not," Jason replied. "The worst thing that can happen is he stumbles into Grandmotherís garden and knocks over a statue. Justus took his car keys away and gave them to me."

"Can you explain to me why you hit him?" she asked placing her hands on her hips.

"Because Iím tired of watching him hit on you."

" ĎHit on me?í" she repeated incredulously. "He was concerned because I was upset, he didnít even touch me."

"He didnít touch you because I hit him and the only person AJ is concerned about is AJ. I donít want to discuss him anymore. Until AJ gets the help he needs he on his own."

"You donít mean that. Jason you need to go after him. He needs you. Heís your brother and heís really hurting right now and he thinks alcohol is all he has to hold on to. He needs to know that people care about him."

"He knows that. He manipulates people with that Keesha just like he did to you for all these weeks. Iím not going to let him manipulate you or me anymore. If AJ wants to self-destruct he will do it by himself."

"This is the exact reaction he was afraid of, that his family would write him off. Fine, if you donít go after him I will," she said turning to leave.

Taking her hand to prevent her from leaving, "No you wonít. Arenít you listening to me? Youíve seen what AJís drinking can do and how your way of helping him has helpedÖit hasnít. Holding his hand is not helping him and I told you it wouldnít. Letís try my way now. The only person that can help AJ now is AJ. Heís got to want to be helped and right now he doesnít want to be."

"Jason I donít thinkÖ" Keeshaís words were interrupted when she heard what sounded like a crash. "What was that?"

"I donít know," Jason replied as they both ran outside.