Chapter 1: Prologue
Your name is Karkat Vantas, and there’s a thousand and one places you’d rather be than standing in front of your parents and frantically religious half-brother in a parking lot outside of a church. Kankri gesticulates wildly as he speaks, monopolizing the conversation like an Italian priest giving a college lecture. At least you don’t have to listen to this shit, you remind yourself, swiping your thumb over the volume control of your no-name knockoff mp3 player.
Kankri’s voice becomes a distant rumble of gibberish as music replaces the space, filling your ears with a catchy tune and pained, emotional lyrics. It doesn’t make any sense that when your own mother doesn’t understand you, My Chemical Romance is there for you, filling the void and telling you it’s okay to not be okay. Simple Plan cycles through shuffle next, and the song “Shut Up,” could not be more appropriate for a montage of your life leading up this moment if you’d written the lyrics yourself.
Enamored with analyzing which parts of your life would flash dramatically before the audience and match the given tone and lyric perfectly, you don’t see Kankri’s hand coming towards you until it’s too late. You cry out in complaint as Kankri rips the earbuds from your ears by the wire. You catch his wrist in your hand as he retracts it, startled by how much lighter his skin is compared to yours, three shades at least. Are you really even half-brothers?
A smile splits Kankri’s face as he breaks free from your grasp, arms outstretched above his head as if reaching toward heaven itself. “Praise be the lord!” he shouts exuberantly. He grins down at you and you’re infuriated by the height disparity. “Brother o’ mine,” he adds, sickly sweet.
“Go to hell,” you tell him, unsmiling as you stare into his eyes. Fuck his hazel eyes that almost look green when they glitter under the sunlight. They might as well be baby blue. Where the hell are the chromosomes from your shared Dad, exactly?
“Language,” your Dad mutters with a sidelong glance in your direction.
Kankri’s mother looks horrified and your father equal shades awkward and uncomfortable. You can practically hear the excuse for your behavior forming in his head from here. Your brother is quick to pacify the situation with another movement that intrudes too much into your personal space. His fingers tighten around your shoulders.
“My most sincere apologies Karkat,” Kankri says, eyes bearing into your own. There’s something there you don’t quite trust. “I made an unfair assumption regarding your lifestyle. Would a secular approach be less offensive to your sensibilities?”
You’d scoff if you didn’t think it’d make you exactly like him. “I’m not secular and you don’t give a shit about my sensibilities,” you snarl with as much venom as your newly dropped voicebox can manage.
“Thank the Lord for miracles,” Kankri says with too much excitement. “Which religious path do you seek, little brother?” he asks with unfeigned interest.
You shove his arms off you and smirk. “I’m a satanist,” you say, grinning for the first time today.
When Kankri manages to save face, unperturbed, you want to scream. “Are you certain, Karkat? Experimentation during our youth is a perfectly normal behavior, but cults--not to suggest that is what you’re involved in--can be extremely dangerous--”
You cut him off before he can attempt to convince you. “I’ve accepted Satan into my heart as my savior,” you say solemnly.
Kankri sucks in a breath and the four of you spend several moments shifting weight and avoiding eye contact. “I now understand the gravity of this situation,” Kankri announces. “I’m glad you asked for my help.”
Confusion contorts in your brain as Kankri wraps his hand around your wrist and begins tugging you in the direction of the church. Your father passes him a suitcase that looks alarmingly familiar. It’s all black but there are some faded white spots from a day when your school bus was late and you decided to get creative with a bottle of white-out. Before he turns away entirely you can see the guilt etched into his face.
“Dad?” you ask, and holy fucksucking little lord jesus, your voice cracks, making you sound infinitely more like a pathetic child being dropped off for his first day of kindergarten. Or Simba, cirqa Mufasa’s death. You don’t want to think much about either.
“It’s just for seven days,” your Dad says without looking at you. “We figured it’d be a good experience for you,” he adds halfheartedly. You know your mother’s words when you hear them. That crafty son of a bitch.
“I know what this is really about!” you shout, feelings bubbling in your gut.
You can go from zero to sixty in mere seconds, and you’re already finding it difficult to breathe. You’re beginning to inhale with shuddery breaths that wrack your rib cage and push you that much closer to producing actual tears.
“This isn’t a punishment,” your father tells you. If that’s the case, then why does it feel so much like one? You open your mouth to speak but close it when your father continues. “And it isn’t up for discussion.”
Hands balled into fists, you resign. You’re fourteen years old and you still aren’t permitted to have an ounce of control of your personal life. Why do you even bother?
“Fine,” you mutter, finally allowing your chest to fully expand. “Where’s the bus?” you spit. No one bothers to correct you except for your brother. He squeezes your hand and smiles down at you.
“The bus won’t be here for another hour,” he explains, voice giddy with excitement. “But the opening ceremony started just a few minutes ago.”
Your eyebrow twitches; Kankri’s mother looks distantly hopeful; your father, helplessly apologetic. You can not believe the heavy, steamy, just freshly plopped pile of bullshit your life is steadily becoming. Kankri pulls you towards the church as you drag your feet, already wary of the increasingly close chorus of voices singing about the wonders of christianity.
The last time you were in a church was when you were baptized, supposedly. As the two of you approach the oversized wooden doors your heart stutters and then stalls like a broken locomotive. It sounds worse than a Disney sing-along in there and you’re going to come waltzing in wearing a black Him t-shirt with a pentagram on it. It’d be funny in an ironic sort of way if you didn’t already know what bullying your fellow peers are capable of.
Just as Kankri reaches towards the door handle, fear grips you. You can already hear your father starting up the car.
“Wait,” you manage.
To his credit, Kankri stops immediately, hand still hovering in the air. His eyes are trained on you and you find great difficulty trying to gauge what he’s thinking; whether he’s entirely unsympathetic to your plight or still willing to offer you some form of small mercy.
“What is it, little brother?”
You can’t stand the way he tacks that title onto the end of his sentences when he talks to you, like either of you need a constant reminder about how you share some of the same DNA. You grit your teeth.
“I can’t go in,” you tell him.
Your brother quirks an eyebrow. “You’re scared,” he says as the realization dawns on him. His eyes are suddenly full of so much sensitivity and empathy or whateverthefuck that it’s disgusting.
“Why the hell would I be scared of a bunch of close-minded, bible-thumping, jesus worshiping pansies?”
You sniffle and wipe at your nose with your hand. These humid summer days are murder for your allergies. A moment passes where neither of you say anything. The noise coming from inside becomes that much more clear.
“That repulsive shitrumpus barely passes for singing,” you tell him with a scowl.
Not that you believe in god, but if you did, you’re certain he’d be offended by that blasphemous racket. Not that you care either way. You have to admit your mild surprise when your brother doesn’t snap back with diatribe dissecting the faults in your psychology and listing the various ways in which you’ve offended nearly everybody.
“Isn’t it about time you leave me alone to die?” you ask dryly.
You’re already enough of a misfit without your older, religiously devout brother escorting you inside and attempting to help you make friends. It’s like your first day of kindergarten all over again, but with less apple juice.
Kankri opens the door before you’re really ready. “Don’t be silly,” he says with a laugh. It would be infectious if not for what comes next. “I’m one of the counselors.”
Noise floods the sunlight as the towering doors open completely. It’s definitely just as bad as it looks.
“Praise be the Lord,” repeats your brother as he drags you inside.
You’ve never praised a single deity less.
Chapter 2: Lust
This is utterly unbelievable. Day one of your incarceration, and your wannabe iPod has already been taken away for having music on it that one of your counselors deemed “inappropriate for a holy setting.” So instead of listening to music to distract yourself and kill time you tear at the grass beneath your folded legs, foot jittering impatiently. How much fucking longer are you expected to wait out here?
The sun is blistering, hot enough that you’re hoping to see your brother burn. The air is thick and wet, soupy and suffocating even though all you’re wearing is your black swim trunks. You’re sitting amongst a hodgepodge of twenty-six other teenagers too naked and too damn old to be in vacation bible camp in the first place. Close proximity plus heat makes for a sweaty experience, and you’d be a little more pissed off about it if you weren’t having an mental breakdown.
Why exactly is your brother’s body so goddamn proportionate in the first place? Seriously. Who the fuck has perfectly symmetrical nipples? Maybe when you play teacher’s pet to God you get special privileges. The pope probably gets a lifetime supply of free snacks and endless blowjobs. Big guy up in the sky definitely plays favorites, under the hypothetical pretense that he even fucking exists at all. Either that, or you got the shit of end of the genetic stick, same as always. You wonder if maybe your Dad just didn’t have any good chromosomes left by the time of your conception.
Kankri gets everything first, and best. It’s like God took a big swig of I-don’t-give-a-fuck before molding your body. Maybe you just aren’t “holy” enough to warrant looking reasonably attractive. Hell, you’d sell your soul just to look a little fucking closer to average.
The grass between your fingers is crushed and sweaty as you seethe. Those shapely calves are probably a prize for memorizing every scripture known to man, and you’re willing to bet the twin indents below Kankri’s naval are a reward for spending half of his life on his knees. You very purposely don’t investigate that particular train of thought.
“Damn boy, lookin’ thirsty as shit,” someone says.
When you turn you find yourself staring into the wide eyes of a small, entirely entertained girl that can’t be much older than yourself. She’s pretty with thin limbs and a flat chest, plump lips curled in a devious smile. You can see a sliver of dark mocha skin when her tank top rides up. The black braids dangling at her waist shift when she glances between you and Kankri. The beads in her hair knock together when she laughs.
Your throat closes up just a little bit--whether because she’s really fucking beautiful or because you’ve been caught, you aren’t sure. “No, I’m not--” You rush to explain yourself, tripping over words. “I mean--” You’re making everything so much worse so quickly that it’d be impressive if you didn’t have to suffer through every agonizing second of it. “That’s my brother,” you manage to say, finding your coherency at last.
She cocks an eyebrow and shrugs. “Well your “bro” is thirsty as shit.” She laughs and it makes you smile. “I’m not throwing shade,” she says with a wave of her hand. “Just saying.”
You rush to refute her claims before processing what she’s said. “I’m telling you, I was only looking because--wait, what?”
“Your homeboy tryna fuck,” she reiterates. You’re not used to talking to girls who say fuck. Check that, you aren’t used to talk to girls.
You clasp a hand over your horrified mouth, shaking your head from side to side like it’ll toss that nasty shit out on the front lawn where it belongs. “No, no, he’s my actual fucking brother,” you explain, disgusted. “As in, we’re related.” She looks unperturbed. “By blood,” you add, hastily.
“With skin like Mary Poppins? You sure?” She shrugs her shoulders. “Look, I don’t care about all that gay shit, alright?”
The sentiment would be charming if you weren’t shitting your pants. Metaphorically, you mean. Though with the way this conversation is going you wouldn’t be surprised if you literally defecate all over yourself in the next ten minutes. You wonder if there’s enough time for you to flee to the nearest bathroom and hide your shame.
“Thanks for the concern, but I never said I was a--” you mean to say the word but courage abandons you at the last moment, leaving you to struggle through the sentence alone.
“Nobody had to say it,” she rakes her eyes across your body in a blatantly objectifying way that makes your toes curl.
If you weren’t such a raging homosexual, you might like it. For some reason, you still kind of do. You’re almost certain that no one has ever stared at you with anything less than derision, much less sexual attraction. You always assume that everyone finds you as disgusting as you do. Maybe you can be bisexual after all. Wouldn’t that be a relief?
“So what, you’re telling me you can sniff out the gay like a sexuality sniffing bloodhound? Why don’t we head over to the airport, I hear there’s an incoming plane from Canada. You can head off those rainbow motherfuckers before they start shitting sprinkles and passing out the party drugs.”
Your mouth keeps moving like in that shitty story where some asshole buys magic shoes and then dances to his own death. Yeah, it’s exactly like that. You’re going to talk until you starve yourself of oxygen. “Wait, on second thought, let’s pop a few before we break out the bibles. I’ll recite Joshua 31:12 and you can bring the holy water.”
The girl stares at you for a long enough moment that your brain is already preparing another asinine diatribe of bullshit. You wonder if this is a genetic problem, if you’re a mutated freak in more ways than one. Your eyes flicker back to Kankri where he is directing a group of five year olds into the pool with a broad smile. Who has enough energy to be that goddamned pleasant in the first place?
“Damn boy, you always talk shit like that?” You turn and gape in favor of furthering your own embarrassment. “My brother’s a faggot,” she tells you, like you even remotely give a shit.
“Oh, really? What’s his name? Maybe I know him,” you say sarcastically.
You wonder how long it will take before the whole camp finds out. You’re beginning to realize that it means your brother will likely find out as well. You are not ready to have that conversation with him, much less your parents. Fuck, you’re not even ready to have this conversation in your head right now with yourself.
“Chill. I’m just saying it’s fine. I get it.” You almost feel guilty. “My name is Meenah,” she tells you anyway.
Upon realizing you haven’t scared her off with your brash personality and pimpled face, you introduce yourself like you have at least some semblance of manners.
“Karkat,” you mumble, eyes flickering to the side.
She follows your gaze and it isn’t until Kankri smiles and waves at the two of you that you realize you’ve been staring at him again. Your face twists into a scowl and you flash him the middle finger. Kankri shakes his head disapprovingly and turns away. His back looks just as god awful as his front. Fucking muscled and pale and disgusting. You pray for the first time since your Dad quit being a pastor. You pray that his skin sizzles like your soul will in Hell.
This is some seriously fucked up shit. If God is real, he’s an even bigger asshole than you are. You turn away and cross your arms.
“Who could be attracted to someone as pasty as Elmer’s glue? He looks like a toasted bagel heavy on the cream cheese.” Despite your claims, your dick stiffens.
Meenah shakes her head. “You straight up nasty.” Your heart sinks and she squeezes your shoulder. “But that’s how I like it.”
When swimming ends, you spend free block scrubbing your hands in the bathroom. Meenah's voice rings in your head, fondness distorted into something uglier. Your palms are red and raw so you hide them in your pants the whole way to dinner. It’s hard to tell when it’s time to stop because you never really feel clean.
Chapter 3: Gluttony
Day two, you’re knee deep in crouton o’ Christ, helping your brother close up the barrels from this evening’s holy communion. The kitchen in the church remains empty as campers scramble from mass to mess hall for supper. Kankri has been falling all over himself for the past fifteen minutes and you’re starting to wonder if this is what they call a religious experience.
“I noticed you chose not to partake in the body of rice,” Kankri says with a completely straight face, full condescension. He wags his fingers and tilts the basket, hundreds of christ crackers slipping to break away on the tiled floor. It’s about right here that you realize he’s drunk.
“Wait a second,” you say cautiously. Suddenly the air reeks of old fruit. “Have you been guzzling this shit for every fucking mass? Save some for the goddamn people,” you say, and make a grab for the pitcher.
“I only supervise six,” Kankri reassures you. “And of course this isn’t real wine,” he says with a wink. At this point you can’t be sure he isn’t kidding. “We should partake in the Lord’s sacrifice,” Kankri implores you. He struggles to retrieve the unbroken wafers from the floor and stuff his face.
This is somehow, impossibly weirder than you expected. “Cut that shit out. You’re like mom with the fucking paella!”
Kankri licks the last of the wine out of the bottom of a tiny paper cup. The way it’s making you feel inside can’t be on purpose. Meenah can’t be right. Your brother wouldn’t even agree to watch Passion of The Christ with you on Halloween as a compromise. He insists the entire move is an offensive farce to anyone with a personal connection to Jesus and the Holy Bible. There’s no way in hell he’s nursing a cockrock for you. In fact, you’re certain he doesn’t even have genitalia. He’s flat like a Ken doll or a fucking CareBear. You’ve never seen nor heard of a single exploit or girlfriend.
“I’m married to the Lord,” he tells you. Three shots later when his face is pink he admits, “But the lord doesn’t put out.”
His own defeated laughter leaves an eerie ring in your ears. “Pass me a little more of that Lord,” you tell him, so you don’t have to register the way your palms are sweating. You still haven’t stopped talking about paella. You’re blaming everything on the wine.
“Okay, so mom sets the bowl in front of you--the yellow rice unappealing in every possible way, but it creates a smell so attractive you have to at least try it. Slowly, you pick up your fork and grab a reasonable sized bite. ‘Go on honey, eat,’ Mom is really pushing you to take the bite. You nervously take the rice into your mouth and chew. ‘Do you like it, honey?’ Swallowing, you answer with a quiet yes, making mother smile, but in your head you're thinking, get this fucking crap out of my mouth oh my god can I just have a fucking sandwich?"
Kankri turns to you like the memory has struck a chord. “Remember when you used to sit in my lap during confessional?” He says with the syllables all running together.
“Remember when you fantasized about me sitting in your lap during confessional?” You grimace. “Like that ever happened.”
“Maybe not,” Kankri relents. “But there’s a first time for everything.”
It turns out the whole thing isn’t just a thinly veiled metaphor for sex. Kankri doesn’t grind on you or get hard, he just holds you in his lap and whispers in your ear. You should probably stop him but unfortunately this is the closest you’ve come to human contact since you fell asleep on your wrist and it felt like someone else when you jerked off after.
Then he actually tells you, ghosting his breath across your neck in a hush. “Confess.”
The urge to give in hits you like the first time you listened to a My Chemical Romance album: right in your feelings. The implicit secrecy of the act shakes you. Shame sucks up your soul and climbs your throat until you’re spilling your sad guts into the crook of your older brother’s shoulder. This is what you get for being second-born, you guess. The shit end of the shit stick.
“I’m a raging faggot,” you admit. “A fucking dick connoisseur. Up my tailpipe, down the hatch. Fuck it. Time to fulfill my gay destiny.”
He rewards you with a hand at the front of your pants. Something about how fucked up this is means you’ve been hard since you accidentally tipped a quarter pitcher of wine off the table. You reach toward Kankri to return the favor but he closes his fingers around your wrist and tugs your palm until it touches the cold linoleum floor.
“Ah, ah,” he says, almost as if he were correcting a toddler. “I don’t share your shame baby brother, but I can help you fix it.” That’s the most asinine bass-ackwards religious diatribe you’ve ever heard, but right now with your dick flushed, you’ll buy it.
“I don’t share your denial,” you spit. “And you don’t see me bragging about it.” It’s not entirely true, but it’s the only thing close to control within your reach. Kankri lets his eyelashes flutter closed as his hand comes to a halt behind the waistband of your pants. “But fine. I’ll be the Abel to your Cain.” You take a deep breath. “Show me the path to light, motherfucker.”
There’s no way he practices abstinence with the way he’s cranking your dick. This is no tube twist of a novice. Your fingers fly to his shoulders to brace yourself and your hips jerk forward. His grip around your cock is loose, holding his hand still so you have to work to reach any kind of rhythm.
“How many hail marys do you owe for your sins, child?” You wish the religious theatrics would kill your boner but much to your shame you stiffen further.
You struggle to formulate a response without losing your pace. “Like I can keep track. Isn’t that your fucking job?”
Kankri closes his fist suddenly and tightly at the base of your dick. “Language,” he reminds you. Your toes curl and you suck in a breath.
There is still no sign of an active dick beneath you. Are you relieved or disappointed? You grind your ass down and a hand stills you at your waist. Kankri uses the other to finally offer you some friction. When his thumb teases back your foreskin and presses against the slit of your cock your legs tighten reflexively. Is he actually going to catch your load in his hand like a softball?
“I can’t let you climax if you don’t deserve it,” Kankri tells you plainly.
What the fuck happened to your christianity spouting, god sucking, saint of a bible thumping brother? He slows the pace as your hips struggle for more contact. Do you really deserve to cum anyway? You should probably be more ashamed of yourself for finally crossing the line between fantasy and literally plunging headfirst into hellfire, but something about bringing his sorry ass with you is making your dick throb.
Kankri pulls the foreskin over your cock. You’re aching to bust a nut already. Whatever humiliation and degradation Kankri is requesting suddenly seems worth it. You press yourself against his chest, cock rigid at his lower belly. “I’ll let you know when to stop,” he tells you.
The guilt is skyrocketing your arousal level. “Forgive me father,” you manage through clenched teeth. “For I have sinned.” You’re trying to think of it as a kinky roleplay, but it’s not helping. “Hail Mary, Mother of God,” you recite on autopilot, almost eager. Contrary to his earlier argument, this isn’t his first time in the proverbial confessional booth.
“Hail Mary, Mother of God,” you repeat, finding cadence in the words with each downstroke.
The prayer is distracting, something to keep you from thinking about how you can’t even make your brother hard. Are you that fucking unattractive? So disgusting that even your own brother can’t be bothered to notice the similarities between your more salvageable features. The acne has cleared significantly since eighth grade but your stumpy height isn’t doing you any favors. The two of you are similar enough that you can see where God went wrong in his divine creation. Tears well in your eyes and your dick pulses, muscles coiled like a wound jack in the box.
Kankri pumps your dick fast and nuzzles the skin on your neck. “Karkat, Karkat,” he says gently. He pets your hair. “All is forgiven.”
The minimal affection sends you shooting spunk into the fabric of your jeans. You muffle a cry against your brother’s shoulder and the familiar smell of his fabric softener sticks in your nostrils. Kankri retracts his hand before your semen ever reaches his skin.
Afterward, you vomit up two weeks worth of communion into the wastebasket.
Chapter 4: Sloth
I went back and made some minor alterations in the timeline. It had to be done. (This goes without saying, but...comments keep me motivated.)
You meet Gamzee twice before you remember his name. His hair is big enough to hide behind during recreation hour and his skin is dark enough that you keep losing track of him without help from the moonlight. Yesterday is lost to you, a stretch of space between swimming and suppertime you refuse to acknowledge.
“Brother,” he calls you right away. “Are you one with the moonlight miracles?”
Gamzee says a lot of stupid shit like that, but what’s more astonishing is that he’s nice to you. You’re used to guys his height shoving you into lockers and lodging spitballs behind your ears. Instead he hands you a stick with a scorched marshmallow at the end. Meenah elbows you from the other side when she leans forward to toast three marshmallows at once. Is this what true friendship feels like, or is it just indigestion?
A mosquito lands on Meenah’s exposed back and your palm connects with her skin before you can stop yourself. She’s wearing a hot pink bikini top and cropped denim shorts. Meenah says the code of conduct can suck her clit. Your hand feels hot.
You jerk your hand away and shove your marshmallow in front of hers over the fire. She shows all her teeth when she laughs.
“Think you can step, shorty?”
You rub the dead bug against your shorts. You’re certain you’ve never stepped in your life, not in school band and definitely not up to homeplate.
“Can I what? If you’re asking me to school you on something we all learn as toddlers, then I’d be happy too. Afterwards there’s a drooling demonstration and a class on how to thank someone for saving you from a mosquito .”
“Uh-oh,” Gamzee’s wide, lopsided smile slides from his face as your brother approaches.
Kankri folds his arms in front of his chest and frowns. “I didn’t see you at mass this morning.” His voice is level; undisturbed.
“Like you would know. You were too busy swallowing grape piss and indoctrinating toddlers with toxic religious rhetoric to notice.”
Kankri wags a disbelieving finger in front of you. “Or maybe you were too busy ‘keeping it easy,’ as your friends so eloquently informed me.”
The snort almost dislodges a booger. “Gamzee wouldn’t know his asshole from a hole in the ground.”
Kankri’s hand on your shoulder feels like a vice. “Don’t worry, I can catch you up.”
Kankri drags you from your place around the campfire by the wrist. You stumble from the rock and your older brother does his best impression of distressed. When he catches you you’re the one who feels embarrassed. The clearing before the forest fades into the background.
The little church where they sing bible songs is empty now, almost eerie in the darkness. Alone behind the podium, he demands that you strip. At first you think he’s intoxicated again, then you think you’re misreading the situation.
You flinch when he touches your arm. “Show me how you do it when it’s just you under the eyes of the Lord.”
Who’s writing his lines, anyway? You only comply because you’d rather not risk jizzing on your favorite black Good Charlotte t-shirt. The shorts come next, but you refuse to remove your underwear. Kankri doesn’t push it, just motions for you to continue. Unsure, your eyes track the floor as you move your hand to the front of your underwear. You feel like a fucking idiot.
“Don’t be shy. Show me how you really do it.” Kankri breathes from behind you. “No judgement in the house of God.”
You’re certain this shit is pulled from the back a romance novel so bad you put it back on the pharmacy store shelf where it belongs.
This is something you haven’t told anyone about, not even your online chums who will never suffer the disappointment of meeting you in real life. You wait until the house is empty, for a night when your Mom stays late at work and your Dad goes out for a few beers. It’s not like you light candles or run a bath or any of that girly shit, but your favorite scent is Vanilla Cherry Blossom because if you don't treat yourself, who will?
“No one does that shit on the regular, pervert. You’re asking for a special event.”
You drag your hand across your face. Why do you always bait him? Is it in your blood? You’ve already said too much. Now that you’ve mentioned it you feel compelled to follow through.
When Kankri smiles his eyes don’t crinkle. “Is that a confession?”
His watchful gaze makes you feel purposeful. Almost like a challenge. Is craving attention a cardinal sin? At this point your sin list is longer than your lived list.
“I need lube, stupid.”
Kankri bows, pretending he’s gracious. “Ask, and you will receive.”
The bible quotes are getting old. Doesn’t your brother do anything besides plagiarize? Before you can finish rolling your eyes Kankri grabs your hand and swallows your fingers. When you yank your hand away they’re soaked with spit.
“This isn’t lube. I couldn’t wipe the dirt from your forehead with this much spit.”
The marble floor feels cold as you lower yourself to the ground. You pry your ass open and push a finger in, wincing at the stretch. It feels stiff without the coconut oil. Why do you kind of like it? Is being this kinky genetic, too? You want answers from your parents. Fuck, why are you thinking about them at a time like this?
Kankri appears to sense your dissonance. “How old were you the first time?”
“What kind of fucked up question is that?”
The entirety of the situation dawns on you with the presence of your raging erection. You remember the fruity smell of kids shampoo and the sound of running water in your ears.
“It’s important I understand the depth of your sin.”
Rage boils over and you pounce, fist cocked. “You would know!”
The two of you roll around on the floor without real consequence. You only get one blow in before Kankri sinks his nails into your skin. Most of your weight isn’t muscle, and Kankri is at least half a foot taller than you. A nail catches on your shirt and your shin knocks the floor.
“I don’t like physical violence,” Kankri says, knee digging into the small of your back. You always knew your brother was a liar. You never knew how well.
“Could have fooled me,” you manage with a grimace.
Kankri makes a condescending noise and shakes his head. “Clean your fingers and do it again.”
“Go fuck yourself!” You try to toss him off but he bears his weight down against your back.
“What’s wrong Karkat, are you afraid of getting dirty?”
You slam your eyes shut and suck two fingers back into your mouth. Kankri purrs from above, releases his hold and urges you to roll over. Your fingers find their way again, prodding behind your ballsack. You can feel the sweat as it drips down your forehead. You’ll never be able to look him in the eyes again.
When your hand slows Kankri narrows his eyebrows. “Don’t stop.”
Kankri uses the heel of his shoe to push your wrist until it wrenches a noise from you. Your finger sinks past the second knuckle and Kankri smirks. It doesn’t take you long after that.
When you finish there’s nothing in your stomach to vomit up. There’s no marshmallows left when you get back to the cabin, either. The fire pit is reduced to ash. It’s too late for a shower but Gamzee offers to sneak you out for skinny dipping with Meenah. Never in a million years, but the suggestion almost cheers you up.
Chapter 5: Greed
This is gratuitous and has very little literary value, but I can't decide if I'm sorry.
Today everyone in your age group is being forced to make faith stone bracelets. The concept is cringeworthy; a symbol to represent your promise to God. There are two wide tables cluttered with colored beads, and two bowls of pendants with fish and crosses carved into stone. At least you’re not making churches out of popsicle sticks and Elmer’s glue again.
Gamzee coats the back of his hand in glue and spends the next forty-five minutes peeling it away like a snake shedding a layer of skin. You’re pretty terrible at weaving the string around the beads, but Meenah’s made four bracelets in between bouts of pelting you with craft supplies.
“It’s like doing hair,” she explains, carding her fingers across your scalp.
“Do you do your own?” Stupid question.
She laughs at you. “My sister does it.”
The rest of the kids fall away. You feel unworried; relaxed. For the first time, you realize most of the kids around here are lamer than you. Your fingers touch when you reach for beads at the same time. You think about how great it would be to hold her hand. You feel like you’re in an Adam Sandler movie.
“Here, best friend,” Gamzee says, sufficiently ruining the moment.
He urges a red freeze pop into your hands. Flabbergasted, you turn to survey the scene. The craft tables are empty; a trail of children stomping their feet in line for snacks. Kankri snags you by the shoulder before you can crack the popsicle in half. You pretend to be angry until you realize where this is going. Then you get hard.
He pulls you into the empty church when he’s supposed to be teaching the preschoolers the Parable of The Good Samaritan. You don’t feel bad about it, and from the looks of him, neither does he. You’re trying to find some profound coming-of-age wisdom between the lines, but your life just isn’t that important.
“Karkat,” Kankri says sweetly. “Let’s try something new.”
He backs you against a pew and plucks the popsicle from your helpless hands. It’s bright red, half the length of your forearm, and maybe half an inch across. As children the sealed plastic revealed Kankri’s whiteness. He couldn’t open a freeze pop without a knife or a pair of scissors. He directs the cold tip to your face and then your mouth.
When your lips seal around it with a suck, you imagine Kankri’s throbbing cock against your tongue instead. He leans over you and pushes the popsicle until you gag. You shove him but he only loses a few steps.
“Have you been well since confessional?”
Your lip curls. “If by well you mean horny as hell--”
Kankri drags you into the small wooden booth and slams you against the frame. The door rattles when he closes it behind him. The church doors swing open with a shudder and two familiar voices fill the room. Footsteps approaching and then receding as Kankri pulls your pants and underwear down. Your heart sinks at the sound of Meenah’s voice; Gamzee’s slow shuffle. They’ll think you’re disgusting if they find out.
“I told you he ain’t in here,” Meenah whispers. Are they searching for you? “Fuck it,” she says. “Let’s roll out right here.”
Gamzee drags his feet across the floor. “That’s some motherfucking blasphemy, sister,” he warns her.
Okay, so you’re not really a Satanist. You’re actually praying to any deity that will take you that the two of them will leave. You don’t want to listen to them talk about normal drama and roll cigarettes while you get your ass reamed three yards away by your unhinged half-brother. The first touch of the cool, blunt head against your ass forces a gasp.
“Fuck!” your voice cracks, elbow knocking the wooden seat.
The plastic catches on your skin but Kankri shoves it in your ass anyway. The temperature hits you first, the cold clashing with the heat from your rectum. Kankri doesn’t have to tell you to keep quiet. You cover your own mouth as he twists it inside you, stretching you half an inch at a time.
His voice is a ghost over your shoulder. “You like that little brother? Having your ass sodomized?”
You cycle through the tale of Sodom and Gomorrah. What’s the point? You clutch at the walls and your knees buckle as he flicks his wrist.
“Harder,” you complain.
Kankri pulls away, leaving you to tighten around the popsicle. You turn to voice another complaint when Kankri puts his hand on your back, bending you at the waist until your fingers touch your ankles.
The popsicle wobbles in your asshole. “Do it harder yourself,” he tells you. “I’m not just going to penetrate you with it.”
Teeth tearing at your bottom lip, you lower your knees to the floor. You grip the edge of the seat and push back onto the object inside you. Condensation smooths the path as Kankri fucks you open with the frozen phallus. Your asshole spasms with each backward thrust. Your cock bounces below you, head sticky with precum when it touches your stomach.
You’re starting to wonder if this incredible assgrabbing douchepress is ever going to formally fuck you. What kind of loonyblock shit weasel gets off on standing there and doing nothing?
“Shit,” you curse. “What’s the point in tolerating your unfortunate personality if you aren’t even gonna do half the work?”
The next time you grind your hips back Kankri pushes the phallus deeper inside of you. He pulls your underwear back up and over the popsicle half inserted in your asshole. The cotton stretches, keeping it firmly in place as your prick leaks into your y-fronts.
“Sit down,” Kankri whispers curtly. “And be quiet.”
It’s impossible but you try anyway, the cold stick nudged further up your ass while you hover nervously above the seat. A sound freezes the blood in your veins, but you feel like you’re burning up.
Someone slides into the other side of the confessional booth. The brash confidence assures you it’s Meenah.
“Sorry, father,” she says. “Didn’t know you was here.” There’s a pause where you almost choke on the tension. “Who was you talking to?”
Kankri pulls your cock free and answers in a steady voice. “Why, the Lord, child.”
You cover your mouth, not because Kankri is pushing you up against the wall, but because of the hypocrisy of it all. You’re starting to realize Kankri has likely never talked to the Lord in his life, if he even has a soul at all.
“Faster, asshole,” you whisper, and Meenah quiets.
Kankri wraps his fingers around your mouth. “I said, we are all Jesus’ disciples.”
The slow pace isn’t enough, so you reach down to jerk yourself off to the sound of Meenah’s playful, self-assured voice. You unsuccessfully try to block out Kankri’s “well-meaning” lecture on the health risks involved in nicotine addiction. Meenah doesn’t give a fuck, and that’s exactly what she tells your brother.
When you finally ejaculate everything feels like it’s in slow motion. Your cock twitches when Meenah laughs, squirting into your fist. Kankri is staring down at you clutching your slick, limp dick. There’s cum on your belly and between your fingers. Kankri slides the wooden screen shut. You can hear Gamzee chasing after Meenah as they rush to leave.
“Sorry,” you blurt, voice hoarse.
Gingerly, you pull the popsicle from your asshole. It’s half melted inside the plastic, juice sloshing around like blood. Your cock softens as Kankri smooths out his clothes. Your skin feels sticky. Kankri leaves wordlessly, closing the door quietly behind him. You sink back into a sitting position, balls cooling against the floor as you listen to his footsteps retreat and then disappear.
You toss what’s left of the popsicle into the trash on the way back to the cabin. You feel like you belong in there with it.
Chapter 6: Envy
I sincerely apologize for the lack of sex in this chapter. I'm not sure how it happened.
It’s hot enough that you’ve sweat through two shirts since noon and everything sticks to your skin. There’s a lot of little kids running around half-naked, and even littler kids with sagging pampers. The block smells like smoked meat and the asphalt burns your feet; the whole street scorched.
The end of the block is roped off where a fire hydrant is blasting full speed. A girl emerges from behind the stream like an angel from the shadows. Hair like Rapunzel, two twin braids hanging halfway to her ankles. Wide, brown eyes, and curved lips. When she steps forward the hoops in her ears glitter gold in the sunlight. Your eyes drift to the dip in her waist, the way the pink spandex hugs her body.
“Nice shorts,” she tells you.
You’re too scared to make an ass of yourself checking but you’re pretty sure they’re blue and there’s a shark across your left ass cheek. The tips of her braids have already begun to curl. There are droplets of water speckling her dark brown shoulders.
“Um,” you tell her.
Meenah passes you a cherry freeze pop and when the plastic chills your palm you blow your load in your swim trunks. There’s a song by Nelly blaring in the background and your hands smell like paella.
When you wake up, you thank god your sheets are dry. The bed above yours creaks when Gamzee leans over the ledge to greet you.
“Hey brother, you ready to up and get your miracles on?”
McDonald’s stops serving breakfast before you’re really awake. Your vocabulary is limited to “Shut the fuck up,” and “Eat your own enthusiasm, cockstain,” before eleven am. You shove a pillow in his face and move to get dressed.
What kind of Freudian clusterfuck was that, anyway? You wonder about it the whole way through breakfast, but despite the weird shit with your brother, you’re actually having a pretty good time. Only the kids in your age group go whitewater rafting today. Next year you’ll all be too old to come back, unless you want to try a hand at being a camp counselor. (Hint: you don’t.)
Meenah leads the way, skin shining behind the black regulation swimsuit an employee finally forced her to wear. The line for life jackets loops at the end and when the volunteer tightens the belt around your waist you feel like you’re going to vomit. They usher you to the next line where the three of you try to juggle an inflatable raft. It’s bright yellow and seats up to four people, but there’s an uneven amount of children so they never assign your group a fourth member.
It’s a timid little river and the wind is relaxed. The water is freezing despite the sun raised high overhead. Meenah’s knuckles brush yours and the queasy feeling in your stomach redoubles. It’s breezy but you’re still sweating. Gamzee isn’t wearing a shirt either but he’s twice your size so it does nothing for your self-esteem. You clutch the edge of the raft as Meenah pushes it off into the water.
The current does most of the work for you, so you kick back and relax while Gamzee runs his hand through the water. The other kids are spaced out, far ahead or far behind. When the water level rises Meenah tumbles overboard.
You rush to assist her but she’s laughing, splashing water at Gamzee and kicking her feet out. She fans her arms in the water and catches you staring.
You scowl. “Do you really think we’re supposed to be off the raft, catching west nile virus from the mosquitos in this murky river water?”
Meenah splashes water into your face and when you lean over to get her back she pulls you in. She holds your head under and when you pop up to breathe she spits water at you. For a moment it’s just good old fashioned horseplay.
You shield your eyes with your hand. “Gross, you might as well gargle with dirt and fish pee.”
“Well, shit, sister,” Gamzee says, bending down close to the shore. “A little miracle.”
He opens his fist in front of your face and there’s a frog inside the size of your thumb. He stares at it intently.
“There’s a whole universe up inside this motherfucker,” Gamzee says before it hops away.
He wades into deeper water to snag an empty inner tube floating by and resurfaces inside of it. Gamzee grins and shoots you a double thumbsup before carelessly floating to the left of where the where the river splits. There’s a little dip up ahead; Meenah is already climbing back into the raft.
In your rush to reach the float you scrape your ankle on a jagged rock and end up completely on your ass. Meenah’s cruel laugh almost makes you want to cry but she offers you a hand and pulls you into the raft anyway.
Meenah crosses her arms. “Damn, and they say black people can’t swim.”
You snort. “Calm your tits before you start a race riot.”
You don’t leave the raft after that. Instead you talk to Meenah about your shitty parents and your favorite bands. She thinks your Dad isn’t half bad and laughs when you tell her how Fallout Boy’s first album changed your life. The rest of the ride is uneventful. Mostly you just feel like a creep for how much you want to look at her.
You dismount when the water becomes too shallow and the two of you manage to drag the raft back to inventory. Camp is only a few feet away. It’s not dark out yet, but the summer air has begun to cool. Gamzee is probably halfway through supper already.
Meenah sends you a side long glance when your fingers bump and your face heats up. You narrow your eyebrows on autopilot. It feels just like your dream. She touches your face and you reach up to wipe the water from her forehead. She smiles like she wants to eat you. Her eyes are sucking you in.
“You sure you gay?” she asks with a raised eyebrow.
Before now, you were positive; you shrug your shoulders. It’s become impossible to swallow. You can feel the dips in the the rocks through your shoes. Words fail so you shake your head once, slowly. Meenah grins like a shark and presses her thumbs to your pulse before leaning down to kiss you.
This is probably the best thing that’s ever happened to you. Karkat Vantas, aged fifteen, Achievements: Kissed Meenah Peixes. She feels small and soft, and so do you, a little. Isn’t she embarrassed you’re shorter than her? Doesn’t she think the pimple on the back of your neck looks like a half-absorbed fetal twin?
“Just checking,” she reminds you before pulling away.
You turn in time to catch Kankri’s gaze; eyes flaring like lit firecrackers. Your blood goes cold. He doesn't say anything when you reach him, just collects your life jacket and points you toward supper like the rest of the kids. You don’t actually care if he hates you anymore.
Chapter 7: Pride
It rains the day before camp ends, so everyone spends nutrition block crowded inside the steeple. It’s humid and stuffy and the fans fill the space with a constant mechanical whir, but Kankri gives an informal sermon anyway. The whole god-forsaken place smells like actual straw and dirt, down to the gritty floorboards. Kankri appears as well-intentioned and expressive as always, but you’re still waiting for the anvil to drop.
“It was pride that changed angels into devils,” Kankri informs his captive audience.
You can only make out every other sentence, but isn’t this shit kind of heavy for the first-graders? One of them shoots a rubberband in your direction when he catches you staring, and you remember they’re already little pieces of shit. You’re in the way back between Meenah and Gamzee, so your brother can’t see you behind the pillar when Gamzee slouches forward.
“Your brother got the holy word inscribed on his soul,” he tells you. He claps an arm on your shoulder and smiles at you lopsided. “Or is it a mark of blood between two motherfuckers?”
“You fucking wish.” You feature a lvl. 99 eyeroll. “We’re only related by accident, the same way Mary conceived. Or was that divine contraception? Whatever. Same shit, different shade of brown.”
You watch him for a few more moments; why does he light your fuse like a firecracker, and why does that make you kind of hot?
“He’s such a piece of shit!” you complain, gesturing to all of him. “I wouldn’t be surprised if in ten years he ended up like the guy from Subway, you know, Jared. Talk about stereotypes.” You work yourself into a rise before anyone can stop you. “And how does he even keep his hair in that shape when it’s hotter than Satan’s waiting room and humid as a whorehouse on dollar night?”
“Karcrab,” Meenah teases, pinching your cheeks. “That’s trifling. You are a flaming homo.”
“Shut up,” you tell her, when Kankri notices you. “Not while my brother is watching.”
“That’s what she said!”
You turn to scowl at Gamzee while Meenah tries to pinch your nipples through your shirt.
“C’mon, why not?” Meenah goads.
After holy communion Meenah slips a note into your pocket and squeezes your hand. You haven’t even read it but your mind is already racing. It’s not like the two of you will see each other again after tomorrow, but the possibilities still feel infinite. Maybe you could have a steady thing over MySpace or AIM. (That sounds fucking stupid, even in your head, but you’re desperate.)
Two steps from the exit, Kankri stops you and motions for the crowd to move ahead. The rest of the church filters out while Kankri shuffles you into a corner. When the door closes the hinge squeaks and the smile slides from Kankri’s face.
“Karkat, you’ve become quite promiscuous.”
There’s something in your head stored for this moment, but you won’t think of it until hours after it stops mattering. Something about how Kankri is going to die a thirty year old virgin and how even Harambe got more dicks out in less time. Instead, your own insecurities swing left and hit you with an uppercut so hard tears almost well in your eyes.
“Promiscuous?” You say instead. “Call the PDA police, Karkat Vantas has been spotted fist-bumping with his best bro.” The sheer volume of your voice makes you feel bigger than you really are. “What are you going to pull from your Puritan bag of tricks next?”
“I’m so glad you asked.” He grabs you between the legs and squeezes, just hard enough to hurt. You could probably take him if you weren’t having flashbacks to when you were four.
“Do you know how to put on a condom, little brother?”
He wraps one arm around your middle that you could wiggle out of if you tried hard enough. You try jabbing him with your elbow but you’re wary of actually hurting him.
“Eat shit, fuckwad,” you exclaim. “Of course I can!” The chorus of cicadas that follows up is ten decibels louder, at least. You’re lucky Kankri can hear you over all the racket. “It’s just too hot for this shit,” you complain. “You could cook a chihuahua in a handbag.”
Kankri fishes a little square of plastic out of his pocket with his other hand and presents it to you. “Here,” he says, and when you don’t react he loosens his grip to tear the wrapper himself. “Prove it.”
“Yeah right,” you laugh, reaching for the contraceptive. “I don’t have to prove anything to you.”
Shoulders under Kankri’s chin, his hold on you goes lax as he starts working your pants open. The heat from his chest almost makes you feel safe. Kankri yanks your underwear down and your erection bobs between your legs.
“I got extra small,” Kankri explains as you roll the latex onto your cock. “This way when you blow your load, you won’t make such a mess.”
It feels tight and snug, stuck to your skin. You peer down past your belly to where it’s wrapped in bubble gum pink. When you reach down to jack yourself off Kankri swats your hands away.
“Not without my permission,” he says, lowering his voice to a whisper behind your ear. “Never without my permission.”
Your whole body heats up. Nothing since the last Green Day album has made you feel this overwhelmed.
“You were jealous,” you say, as the realization dawns on you.
You know you’ve said the wrong thing when the pretend kindness in his eyes flickers out like a blown light bulb. The grip on your wrist cinches and nails sink into the vulnerable skin covering your veins.
The atmosphere falls sideways when Kankri points to the floor. You’re liable to get at least two splinters from the unfinished wood, easy.
“The most powerful position is on your knees,” he reminds you.
At first, you think you’ve misheard him. Then, you’re certain there’s a misunderstanding. He grabs the collar of your t-shirt and shoves you down. When your palms break your fall your heart stops in your chest. He pushes his pants down to reveal a sizeable cock, even flaccid.
“Lick it,” he tells you. “Make yourself useful.”
When you try to pull away he twists his fist in your hair. You’ve been fantasizing about this since Kankri pulled you into his lap after mass but now that the opportunity is presenting itself you just feel sick.
“I don’t want to.”
Kankri pulls back to look at you, eyes softening as he presses a thumb to your lips. You almost think he’s going to let you leave. His fingernails bite into your scalp when he jerks you into his lap.
“I don’t care.”
Soft, Kankri can shove the entirety of his fat dick into your mouth. It bends as he stuffs your cheek full. You close your eyes so you can pretend he isn’t watching you.
“Tell me how grateful you are,” Kankri demands. When you don’t say anything he shoves his dick deeper and yanks on your hair. “Mind your manners.”
You mumble around a mouthful of cock, and when that doesn’t satisfy him you add, “Thank you, Kankri.”
His cock hardens in time for you to catch the vicious look in his eyes. “I’m so proud of you,” Kankri says unkindly. The words tear something inside you. “Who knew you were such a good little cocksucker.”
Is it better or worse that you don’t want your brother to fuck you? Kankri never loses face, and you end up with an erection anyway. His cockhead presses insistently at your lips, warm and wet.
“Humble yourself, little brother, and open wide.”
He handles his own dick like it isn’t attached to him; total disconnect. Kankri kicks your knees further apart and shoves his shoe between your legs. You bow your head when your cock jumps at the attention. Kankri grins and shoves his hips forward.
“Make yourself cum,” Kankri demands. “Show me how much you want it.”
The sound of his voice attracts your gaze as you do your best impression of slut: mouth open, eyes wide, desperate for release. He pulls his hand over his cock and back without blinking once. You grapple for your own, startled by the difference in size. When the pace accelerates you realize he’s essentially just jerking off into your mouth, using you like an old sock.
The first spurt of jizz hits your tongue, the next across your face. Then he jams his cock down your throat and drags you off by your hair. You wipe cum from your eyelashes as Kankri twitches one final time, shoving his hips forward until the head presses past your lips.
“Clean up,” Kankri tells you.
The command sounds more familiar than it should. Your gag reflex almost activates when you lick the cum dribbling down his shaft.
Limp, the condom slips from your dick in a trail of lube and jizz. You tie it off with shaky fingers and rush to refasten your shorts. Kankri appears completely composed before you can catch your breath.
You’re still wiping semen from your cheek when Meenah finds you. Stupefied, you stuff your hand into your mouth to lick your fingers clean. Kankri smiles when your lip curls, patting Meenah’s shoulder when their paths intersect.
Chapter 8: Wrath
The next time Kankri sees you, he knees you in the groin and drags you into an abandoned church. You crumple like a kicked puppy and try not to cry. It’s just after four and the little kids are still playing kickball. Everyone else is listening to the troop leaders hand out prizes for completing the End-of-Camp scavenger hunt. No one hears your scream as a trumpet rounds the hour.
“Let go of me dickbite!” you yell as soon as you’re able.
When the door slams shut soot falls from the ceiling and into your mouth like inverted fairy dust. Everything between your legs is throbbing in the worst possible way. Kankri digs his fingers into your bicep when he pulls you close, wrenching your arm from your pocket and sending the note Meenah left there flying.
Kankri snatches it from the air in slow motion; just enough time for your life to flash before your eyes. You are ready for God to deliver you from evil, straight into a new Hell fresh for the hating.
“What do we have here?” Kankri says, although it’s already painfully obvious.
You’ve only read the note once yourself. Just a few hours ago when you ditched Gamzee and his weird crush in the wheelchair to sneak off and commit it to memory. (You almost have it right, except you keep mixing up the six and the nine.) Too bad past you is the dumbest bucket of festering discharge you ever fell ass-backwards into.
Kankri unfolds the paper with agonizing slowness, smiling maliciously when recognition dawns on him. When he reads the numbers out loud, one at a time in level pitch and perfect punctuation, you can see his pink tongue move across his teeth.
“Well,” he says, when he finishes. “Are you going to call her?”
You charge forward to slug him, and miss. “Give it back!” you shout at the top of your lungs.
You can feel your heart stop when Kankri begins pulling at the edges of the paper. You squeeze your eyes shut in an effort to memorize it faster.
Kankri looks unsympathetic when he laughs. “Why should I?”
“Because the bible, that’s why!” you explode. You charge and swing again, but in your hysteria you miss by a mile. “What about forgiveness, about generosity?” You manage to brace yourself on his shoulders for about two seconds before he sends you flying. “What about the bassline to every chord you squeeze from your sickly pale neck!”
You prepare yourself as Kankri advances slowly toward you. You heard somewhere once that the best defense is a good offense.
“Jesus compels a choice the way no other religious founder does,” Kankri announces, wrapping his hand around your shaking fist.
“Yeah,” you snort, digging your heel into the ground. “You’re either with me, or you’re against me.”
Kankri sneers, leaning in close. “Your words, little brother. Not mine.”
In a couple of years when puberty makes you taller and dense as an anchor, you’ll relive this fight in your head with varying degrees of disatisfaction. Today, however, you lose to an elbow in the chest. With your back flat on the floor, Kankri makes a show of pressing his shoe to your throat.
“Let’s make a trade,” he says. “I’ll give you back this note,” he offers, crumpling it into a ball and stuffing it into his pocket. “If you give me something I want.”
“Just get it over with shitsponge,” you tell him, inching down your pants. You act like you’re mooning him but it still feels like you’ve exposed yourself. “I know you want to hit me.”
The first strike makes your shoulders tremble. He turns his wrist to backhand you, knuckles leaving pink marks across your ass. He falls into a rhythm until your skin lights up, on fire.
“I knew you were a masochist,” he says after a particularly brutal swing. “But this is disgusting.”
In retrospect, Kankri has always been this fucked up. Once, when you were kids, you agreed to play house and he made you be the dog. What’s worse is that he made you piss on the carpet and then beat you til you cried with a rolled up newspaper. In the end you were the one who got in trouble for the stain on the rug.
“Do you have anything to say for yourself?”
This time around there’s enough anger there that even with your pants around your ankles you almost feign confidence.
You turn to match his gaze as he reels back for another strike. “You’re a piece of shit and I hate you--”
The sound of the slap silences you before the pain reaches your brain. Kankri clutches you, scratching the sensitive flesh over with his nails.
You shiver and swallow hard. “You’re a total piece of shit,” you amend. “Now give me back the note before my ass explodes from all the attention.”
“You call that a sacrifice? Fair trade?” He stares down his nose as you rub your rear. “Is that how much Meenah is worth to you?”
There’s a pack of candles behind the alter. You can’t be sure that Kankri didn’t leave them here in advance as part of his setup, paranoid as it sounds.
“How many do you think we can fit?” he muses. You’re waiting for Kankri to make a clever joke about losing the Lord inside you but he just turns away and says, “Bend over.”
They’re unscented, cream colored, and in better shape than the popsicle ever was. Unfortunately, Kankri doesn’t lose interest after twisting the first one inside of you.
Kankri shoves the second candle unceremoniously alongside the first, forcing your asshole to stretch and accommodate it. Smoke moves overhead like a noxious cloud, the unreplicatable stench of incense stuck inside your nostrils. You roll your shoulders and sink into your arms.
Any sane person would report the behavior and peace out, but how would you explain the puddle of cum on the floor and the way you kept going back for more? Kankri cranks your cock until you’re ready to burst, before cinching the base and forcing you to cry out.
At first, you don’t recognize the little flick and switch. You turn your head in time to catch your brother lighting the first candle with a match. All the muscles in your body seize and Kankri laughs.
“You batshit pile of trash,” you say as it dawns on you. “Not on any timeline in any universe,” you tell him as he digs his shoe into your calf when you try to twist away.
“Don’t move too much,” he warns you.
You can feel the heat creeping closer, so you spread your legs wider and drop lower to the floor. The first drip of wax to catch your skin makes you cry out. It’s scarier than it is painful. The worst part is that your dick remains rigid, dangling between your spread legs and showcasing how much you want it.
“Put it the fuck out before you light us up like a Hibachi grill.”
You’re actually terrified that he won’t, that he’ll let the candles melt away until you’re cooked inside out like a pot roast. You watch in horror as the fire spreads from the first wick to the second. Warmth nearly scalds your skin as the wax begins dribbling onto your taint.
Kankri waits until you start crying to douse the entire spectacle in holy water. There’s a joke in there somewhere about the absurdity of carrying it around in a flask like a guilty Dad with a drinking problem, but you’re too drained to conceptualize it properly, much less say it out loud.
The first tear catches your attention but it’s already too late. The tatters of the note rain into your hair while wax dries on your thighs. Kankri makes a face like he “accidentally” broke one of your toys again.
You’re still trying to piece them back together when the door clicks shut.
Chapter 9: Epilogue
Kankri’s eyes glitter with compassion you will never trust, his wave goodbye as impersonal as the first time he jerked you off. His eyes are empty when he smiles.
“Peace be with you,” Kankri says sweetly. “And have a blessed day.”
You feel neither peaceful nor blessed. The note Meenah left you is torn into pieces so small you can’t reassemble them. You watch them fly behind the car when you open your fist outside the window. When your Dad yells you don’t respond. Instead, you listen to Jesus of Suburbia on your mp3 player with the volume maxed out and cry the entire car ride home.
You still don’t know why. (Meenah is too pretty for you, anyway.)