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A slight sense of foreboding crept upon Joshua as Keith’s eyes widened and his foot tapped against the linoleum floor. The curse that left his lips caused Joshua’s brow to crease and his heart to thump once more, as he remembered a situation all too similar.

He’d only been present to someone fainting once before. It’d been during his freshman year – though here it felt like a lifetime ago. His father had been out of town for the weekend on business with the company, and his mother had been on a brief getaway with one of her former co-workers from her modelling days. He and his brother, Philippe, had been home alone; Philippe in his room working on his paintings, and he studying for a Geography test. He’d found himself so caught up in revising sedimentary deposits and erosion theory to check the passing of time – or to prepare he and his brother food. It wasn’t until Philippe had stepped into his room, mumbling a complaint about headaches and hunger, that he’d even realised how much time had passed.

And it wasn’t until his brother had pitched forward onto the carpet that Joshua remembered how stubborn Philippe was about taking his insulin.

Philippe had awoken only half a minute later, back to his effervescent self and claiming to feel fine, but that thirty seconds of uncertainty and fear had left a mark on Joshua that was not so easily shaken.

Joshua let his dufflebag slip from his shoulders and land with a too-audible crash upon the ground, followed by his sweater. He couldn’t guarantee what Keith would do next, but given their situation he figured fainting wasn’t too far-fetched a solution.

He strode over to Keith’s side, motioning to catch him should his fears be true.

“Keith!” His voice shook as he spoke. “Keith, are you okay?”
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State of Shock · Electroshock Therapy