Roy shook Jerry, putting a finger to his lips to keep him from saying anything. In a soft whisper he told his brother to get dressed. Jerry looked puzzled as he sat up. “Why?” he mouthed.
“We’re leaving before Tad wakes up. He doesn’t need us here and if Daws found out… Well you get the picture. So hustle.”
Jerry swung his feet over the edge of the bed, then pressed a fist to his mouth when he began to cough. He quickly lay down again, crushing his face into the pillow until he got it under control.
“We’re going back to the clinic,” Roy told him firmly as he rubbed his back. “Before you start saying ‘no’, you’re almost out of pills and you drank the last of the cough medicine last night.”
“All right, I guess.” Jerry looked around for his clothes when he realized he was still wearing the sweats Tad had loaned him.
Roy realized the same thing at the same time. “I’ll be right back,” he said softly. He opened the bedroom door and listened for any indication that Tad might be awake despite the early hour. Since all was quiet, he padded silently down the hall to the living room. It was still dead quiet so he hurried to the laundry room. He began to fold the clothes that had been left in the dryer.
“Leaving without saying good-bye?” Tad said tartly from the doorway.
Roy shrugged as he continued what he was doing. “Figured after the late night you needed your sleep,” he muttered.
Tad laughed quietly. “Right.”
Once he put the last item on top of the pile, Roy turned with the half-formed thought that he should apologize. He sucked in his breath as he stared at Tad.
“What?” Tad asked, and then turned red when he realized he wore only the pair of ancient, well faded cutoff sweat pants that he routinely slept in. “Sorry,” he muttered as he did an about face to step back into the kitchen.
“For what? It’s your house, you’re entitled to wear whatever you want, even if…” Roy quickly shut up before he said something really, really stupid.
Tad might have been embarrassed, but he was also intrigued. He wanted to know how Roy had intended to end that sentence. “Even if…?” He turned back to look at Roy.