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But how to graph the results?

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As a general rule, hunters figured that Jacob was the weird one. Packed off to college at sixteen (that was how he always phrased it but Jimmy knew that he’d been desperate to go, and a scholarship was a scholarship), trained in the impenetrable art of science and numbers, Jacob could be infuriatingly logical. Jimmy had intended to study the most distantly related thing he could find. It looked like life had been scheduling him to start one degree as Jacob was preparing to get sucked into the impenetrable world of postgraduate research with barely a backwards glance. Instead, Jimmy had turned up on Jacob’s doorstep with the news that their parents were dead, and that he’d seen it happen. He’d seen it in a dream.

Jacob had taken one long look at the unexplainable before his face split into a grin. He’d never been able to turn down a puzzle, and he and Jimmy had been glued at the hip ever since.

Hunters tended to be male and easily fell into odd pairs. It was something about being in the trenches against the supernatural, it founded something that wasn’t quite friendship but was incredibly loyal. Jacob was endlessly amused that so many hunters were mistaken for gay couples, while he and his brother were never under suspicion despite sharing some moments that siblings probably shouldn’t share. They never called the beast by its name, but it was pointless to pretend it wasn’t there in the lingering stares and the healing hands that loitered on bruised skin.

A handful of secrets that could at best stigmatise them and at worst have them running from a mob with flaming torches, but the thing that marked the two of them as weird and something to avoid? Jacob’s love for logical analysis. He was deadly curious as to how close a demon had to be for an exorcism to work. Did one kind of salt work better on ghosts than another? There were so many variations on methods for dispatching various spiritual creepy-crawlies. Were each of the methods uniquely effective, or was there some common active site within each one? One thread of power and healing that, if isolated, would make everything so much neater.

Jacob had once explained his ideal set up for a kind of ‘double blind exorcism trial’. He’d put a lot of thought into the concept of a placebo exorcism. They’d been in a diner in the middle of nowhere at the time, so Jimmy had been unable to check – but he was pretty sure, given the fervour in his voice and the way his face was alive, that his twin had an almost erotic enthusiasm to the idea. Jacob had an unhealthy enthusiasm for most things that led to the creation of knowledge. Hence the house. A place that they could ward and protect , where they could pack bullets and stockpile supplies without any askance glances and experiment. Somewhere they were completely safe.

A place where Jimmy could slam Jacob into a wall with enough force to crack his ribs without the neighbours wondering about the cries of pain. Jimmy hated Jacob for planning so far ahead. For predicting this kind of life for them.

“Quit daydreaming,” Jacob said, snapping his fingers in front of Jimmy’s face. “Again.”

“I don’t want to,” Jimmy replied, pressing the base of his thumb hard against his temple. He was never sure what gave him the headaches – trying to control his freaking brain powers, or having to deal with Jacob.

“Yes you do,” Jacob replied, giving Jimmy a grin. “Come on, see if you can press me against the wall.”

Jimmy sighed. All of those rumours about there being a dominant twin? Unfortunately true. So Jimmy planted his feet, and set his shoulders, and glared at Jacob until the pain in his temple became a throb deep behind one eye. Jacob waited impatiently, fidgeting and shifting. He gave Jimmy pointed looks, and jiggled one knee, and Jimmy was wound tighter and tighter with each half-sigh Jacob huffed out through his nose. And just when Jacob was opening his mouth to suggest a different tactic, something in Jimmy snapped, and Jacob was slammed up against the brick wall with enough force to knock the air out of his lungs.

“Sorry,” Jimmy said instinctively.

“No,” Jacob said, struggling to suck in a breath. Jimmy tried to move his own brain, spread it out a little instead of it being one painful knot in his skull, and Jacob began to breathe easy. “No, this is good. See if you can keep me here.” And he began struggling, trying to plant his elbow against the wall with enough force to lever his shoulder away, trying to pull his head free. Jimmy inhaled a long, calming breath. In through the nose, and out through the mouth. He kept his brain flat and mellow, kept Jacob pressed in place with the hard pressure in his skull.

“Good,” Jacob breathed. “This is so good.” He tried to twist and squirm, but Jimmy’s force was like a blanket, covering him head to toe. Jimmy personally didn’t think of it as holding Jacob down, more taking away his ability to move. Jacob was looking at Jimmy with dark eyes and a proud smile. Jimmy tilted his head, and thought about Jacob’s lips, and he quite literally pressed the smile off them. Jacob’s eyes widened, and Jimmy quickly removed his influence from Jacob’s face. “You’re getting cheeky,” Jacob said.

Jimmy lifted his chin a little. “Try and stop me.”

Jacob narrowed his eyes, coiled his muscles. Jimmy wished then that his influence was like hands, that he could feel Jacob press and shift against the restraint. He stared at the front of Jacob’s jeans, and his lips parted. “You get off on the weirdest things,” he said.

Jacob grinned. “Why do you think I like you?”

Jimmy frowned, imagined that there was a strip of cloth, placed over Jacob’s neck. He focused on the ends, easing them apart, pulling the cloth taut, pressing it down into Jacob’s throat. Jacob gasped, trying to suck in a breath but the cloth was magic, that was how Jimmy saw it. It made his throat freeze up. Jacob’s eyes rolled back into his head, and a weak noise passed between his lips, a small and breathless moan. Jimmy eased the strip of cloth away, and Jacob sucked in a shaky breath. He was completely hard now, his cock straining against his jeans.

“What’s it feel like?” Jimmy used so many images to make his power do what he needed it to. Water flowing over skin, a thick, numbing blanket. Ropes and pulleys when Jacob wanted him to shift something.

“Hands,” Jacob replied. “It’s your hands. All over me.”

Jimmy frowned. “Demon hands,” he corrected.

“No. No, there’s more of our blood in you than his.” Jacob’s mouth curled into his teasing grin. “I bet you can’t get my jeans open.”

Jimmy huffed a breath air, blowing at the few strands of his hair that were starting to stick to his forehead. “For science, right?”

“Always for science.”

Jimmy planted his palms flat on the wall either side of Jacob’s head, and stared down at his brother’s body. He imagined that the blanket holding Jacob immobile was really a network of ropes, lashing him down, tied to his clothes. He bit his lip, visualising the movements the straining denim would have to make for the button to slip through its hole, for the zipper to slide down tooth by tooth. Then he layered the ropes over the juddering animation in his head. He spread his mind out, and he tugged on the first of the ropes.

Jacob’s head leaned forwards, temple nuzzling comfortingly against temple. Jimmy was letting the slack up in other places, focussing too hard on one area. “Fuck you’re amazing,” Jacob said as he watched the button of his jeans thumb itself undone. Jimmy didn’t feel too bad about being less than perfect.

When the denim finally parted, when the stiff brass zipper was pulled down as far as it could go, Jimmy snapped another rope across Jacob’s crotch, holding his cock in place pressed against his body, denying it the freedom of springing free. Jacob threw his head back and groaned, and from there it was easy to throw more imaginary ropes up, to lash Jacob’s head back against the wall.

Jimmy started working on the buttons of Jacob’s shirt, but he could feel his body starting to tremble, sweat beading on his forehead, and it was so much easier to just cut the buttons loose than to slip each and everyone through its buttonhole. Jacob made a small noise as he heard his buttons spill to the floor, but it didn’t sound like a disapproving one. From there, it made so much sense to Jimmy to take the path of least resistance, to make the grey t-shirt his brother wore underneath tear up the middle, to make both shirts split in ragged lines across the top of Jacob’s biceps, right up to his neck. Jacob made another shuddery noise and Jimmy reached out with his hands for the first time, pushing and pulling at the material, removing that barrier between Jacob’s back and the cold brick wall, discarding the torn material.

Jimmy finally let the band across Jacob’s crotch loosen, letting his erection press free. There was a damp patch, a dark smear where the head of his cock pressed against cotton boxer-briefs, and Jimmy stared at it.

“No hands,” Jacob said, watching Jimmy from dark eyes above flushed cheeks.

“Make me,” Jimmy shot back. He reached out slowly, laying his palm flat in the middle of Jacob’s chest. Jacob was furnace hot, and his body was a little stockier than Jimmy’s. Jimmy took the opportunity to examine a scratch that Jacob hadn’t let him near, about an inch below his nipple. It was healing, but the skin around it was red and angry. He hadn’t put antiseptic on in. Jimmy frowned at the scratch, then moved his head closer and licked it. It tasted like skin and sweat and sebum, like dried blood and close calls. It made Jacob gasp.

Jimmy let his eyes and mouth travel over the expanse of his brother’s skin. The scar below his ribs where a knife had gone in too easily, that had meant a hospital stay and stitches and a punctured lung. Jimmy kissed that one gently, pressed his mouth along the length of the scar. He wished he could reach inside Jacob, press his mouth and fingers against the scar on his lung, kiss that better too. Above him, Jacob’s breath escaped in a sigh. The small, thick scar from a bullet going into his shoulder got a wet, open-mouthed kiss, Jimmy’s tongue tracing over the ridges of scar the stitches left behind.

“Why do you like this?” he murmured into Jacob’s skin. Being held down, being helpless. Jimmy couldn’t imagine anything worse yet Jacob’s cock was straining between them, pressing thick and insistent against Jimmy’s hip.

“It’s you,” Jacob replied, his breath catching in his throat. “Only you do this to me.”

Jimmy pulled the band across Jacob’s crotch tight again, and he groaned. Jimmy stared at his neck and the groan was cut off with a gasp as his throat closed down. As Jimmy imagined all of those muscles and pipes closing for one long stretch.

“Fuck,” Jacob said when Jimmy let him breathe again. “Fuck, Jim, your hands.” Jimmy’s fingertips were pressed to the wall by Jacob’s slides, keeping him from pressing his body flush against his brother. “Your hands all over me and it’s-”

Jimmy stared down at Jacob’s cock, at the length and hardness of it, at the tent it made in underpants that were most likely Jimmy’s. He thought about the shape of it, the look of the naked flesh below damp cotton. He thought of a black band of silk pulled taut against it, restraining it. He thought about that silk wrapping around the shaft, pulled tight so that it pressed against every inch of skin. Jacob made a shivery gasp by Jimmy’s ear, and Jimmy did his best to ignore it. To focus on that hard wind of soft material, coiling up the length of Jacob’s shaft, wrapping tight around the head of his cock and when Jacob let out a high, tight groan something in Jimmy’s head twisted and there was a feeling of something snapping, and then Jacob was coming, coming in long hot pulses, the air between them thick with the smell of sex and lust and Jimmy’s sweat.

Jimmy held him in place perhaps longer than he needed to, held him still with his arms spread until Jacob’s skin was starting to goose pimple with the cold, and Jimmy had finally been satisfied with the lines of Jacob’s softening cock. He let his bindings loose suddenly, and Jacob stumbled forwards, stumbled into Jimmy and the press of one mouth against another wasn’t the accident it had been in the beginning, was firm and intent and oddly chaste.

“We’re going to have to do that again,” Jacob said, his voice rough as Jimmy held him up with hands at his back, a little breathless. “Make sure the results are valid.”

Jimmy snorted. “Of course.”