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Bro is the sickest thing this town has ever seen. Sick as in, sick skateboard flips, and sick as in, sick motherfucker.

The Game didn't bring back the freaky troll dancestors. It didn't bring back the chess dudes or the Midnight Crew or the Condesce or anybody else who died over the course of the two Sburb sessions. All it brought back was the trolls, their lusus, and the Guardians. At least John and Jade are thrilled.

Bro doesn't remember anything after Jack stabbed him right through with his own shitty sword like a shish-kabob. That's good, because he doesn't remember the way you tried to pull that sword out of his body and you couldn't, or the way you knelt in the pool of his blood and cried - no, you were stoic - no, you did cry, you cried silently just like you'd taught yourself. It's not embarrassing or uncool to cry when your brother-dad dies and you find the still-warm corpse and think, should you bury it? Can you bury it on the Beat Mesa? Should you just sprinkle some sand over the body and call it done? You can't dig a grave, your hands are shaking and you don't have a shovel anyhow.

Bro doesn't remember anything. He's got a sick scar, though, right in the middle of his chest, through the sternum. "Clean," he'd said, approvingly, when he pulled off his ripped t-shirt to see. That's the kind of thing that matters to your Bro. It's not the only scar he's got, not by a long shot; but it's the one that killed him. You wish he'd keep his shirt on, even if he's just got up for water in the night.

You, unfortunately, remember everything. You remember everything you went through from thirteen to sixteen, you remember Bro dying, you remember a lot of people dying (a lot of them were you), you remember meeting Dirk. You had some great conversations with Dirk, some great laughs, some great jams. You had some great hugs with Dirk.

Bro hasn't hugged you since he just resurrected, right out of the blue, like a pale blond Lazarus with freckles and a nose that looks like it was broken once. You got one good bone-cracking hug, the kind he hadn't given you since you were almost too young to remember. He smelled like Old Spice and sweat, just like he always did, because using Axe body spray would have been taking irony a step too far, or maybe just in the wrong direction. And that was it, that was as far as Bro is willing to unbend enough to drop the persona. He hasn't done it since.

He doesn't have Lil Cal. You'd thought, in hindsight naively, that once he was free of whatever voodoo shit Lil Cal had cast over his mind since birth, he might be less...Bro. In a nutshell, you'd secretly hoped that he might be more like Dirk.

Bro is a lot like Dirk, and not just in looks. But it's like somebody took Dirk at fifteen and squeezed out or hid away the bits that made him empathetic and human, so all you got was what Dirk had wanted to be at fifteen, but thankfully never turned into.

He's in the kitchen right now, while you're thinking this. He probably knows you're thinking about it. It's hard not to think about him when you live with him and the whole apartment has the imprint of his personality on it. Less than your old one had, the tiny apartment on the top floor of a building with, in retrospect, way too many druggies in it. The penthouse suite, you used to call it, in deepest irony. The place you've got now really is a penthouse suite deserving of that title, because what's the point of earning a gazillion boonbucks on the nakodile stock market if you don't use it to live out your fantasy of being Dave Strider in Dirk's timeline? Minus the bit where he got killed by the Condesce.

So there are no shuriken in the sink or shitty swords in the fridge, and there's definitely no Lil Cal waiting to ambush you. But there are still puppets, and Bro's dragged in a huge-ass sewing machine that dominates the living room like the Hulk dominates New York, and he's in the kitchen with his shirt off in the summer heat, doing some embroidery and sulking because you won't strife with him. Nobody else would be able to tell that he was sulking, because he thinks sulking is beneath his dignity and his mouth is a flat line as always. But you've lived with him for long enough that you can tell.

He didn't used to sulk, either. He would just have told you to get your sweet ass up on the roof and beaten it raw, then left looking just as stoic as before but with a palpable air of smugness. But you won't strife with him any more, won't even draw your sword to parry his attacks that come a hair's breadth from your neck. He'd actually cut you last time, a thin line that oozed a bead of blood down your throat. It had stung like a motherfucker, but you know better than to show weakness in front of Bro. That's a sad thing to think, isn't it? That you can't show weakness in front of your father figure - that there's no point - because you won't get sympathy.

It had worked, anyway. Bro hasn't tried to strife with you since. He's just sulking like a teenager, except you've done the math and he's like, nearly forty, and it's just sad.

Other people (Rose) have pointed out that you don't have to live with him. He's your guardian, not the other way round, and did just fine for the first nineteen years of his life before he found you in a meteor crater. He will not die (again) if you decide you don't want to put up with his shit any more, wash your hands of him and leave him alone.

This is all absolutely true. And John and Rose have proved that leaving their guardians alone for a while (usually with each other) has not made them disappear. Nothing is going to happen to Bro if you move out, get some space.

You can't actually convince yourself of it. You found Bro dead, you saw his corpse. You touched his corpse, when you failed to get that sword out of his chest and collapsed crying in a pool of his blood and put your head in your arms right on his cooling stomach. And he keeps taking off his shirt and showing off that goddamn scar like he thinks it's cool or some shit.

So he's sitting at the kitchen table, doing his surprisingly delicate embroidery on the face of another puppet, and sulking. The light coming in pulls out the glint of gold in his fair hair. Still no silver, though with the life he's led he ought to be completely grey. So should you, probably. His attention seems completely absorbed by the delicate work, but you know he's aware of his surroundings at all times. He knows you're staring at him. You will yourself not to care. What's it to you if he knows you're looking at him? A cat may look at a king, and you can give your Bro a long hard stare if you please.

The puppet he's working on isn't wearing any clothes. That's fine: it's not like it's going to feel embarrassed about its puppet modesty. It's also neither a smuppet nor anatomically correct, which is a pleasant change. A man has a right to make obviously fetishistic puppets if he wants, you guess, but you don't want to know about it. You've had enough disturbingly sexualised puppets and plush quivering ass for several lifetimes.

Bro knots and snips his thread. He holds the puppet's face up to the light with a critical air. Bro's puppets are usually either smuppets or of famous people, but this one you don't recognise. It's grey, so perhaps a troll celebrity? Whoever it's meant to be, it passes the quality control test. Bro re-threads his needle and starts stitching the face onto the rest of the head. You start to feel weird about watching him. The light catches on old silvery scars and the ripple of muscle in his torso and arms.

Yeah, fine, your Bro is hot. It's a fact: unless you are literally dead to even the vaguest notion of masculine attractiveness (and you are so, so not), you will find Bro hot in some fashion. He's not super movie-star handsome or anything, though he's pretty good-looking: no, it's the combination of his high cheekbones and strong jaw with his muscular arms and big, strong hands. It's his confidence, his walk. He is, in a word, rugged. He could be a walking Old Spice commercial. And you notice these things in ways which are, in your limited experience, not entirely normal for one brother to notice about his older brother, despite what porn tells you.

But that's just how it's been ever since you started noticing anybody's hotness. And you've met some crazy-hot people (and some just crazy) in your relatively short life, but compared to Bro, they always somehow come up short.

You look a lot like Bro, everybody has said so for as long as you can remember. And as soon as you met Mom, you recognised her mouth and her eye shape - yours. Since Bro and Mom are both seriously good-looking individuals, you can't complain, though you're not convinced you're on the same level as them looks-wise. Bro's hard and Mom's soft, and they evened out in you and Rose. Is it narcissistic, to be so into the objective hotness of the guy who contributed half your genetic material and looks so much like you? You tried to talk about it with Karkat, but got derailed by his fantasies of hatemancing his past self which were, to be fair, pretty hot. Or Kankri, if he still existed. And, much as you love Rose, this is not a subject you can broach with her. Ever. It's so Freudian that she might pass out with psychoanalytic glee and never truly recover.

You can see yourself in the curve of Bro's jaw and the straight line of his nose. His hands are like yours, big and veined with long fingers, and they thread the needle through cloth with the same care he used to apply to wrapping up your strifing injuries. His eyebrows are drawn into a furrow above his ironic shades. That's one thing you'd have liked to inherit from Mom, rather than Bro's caterpillars.

It's sad to want him to do that now. Not the eyebrows; him sitting you down on that toilet lid and disinfecting the wound, then so carefully, so tenderly applying the bandaid. That was how Bro found it easiest to show physical affection, you think. He needed that plausible deniability.

You'd told that to Dirk, and he'd said, Wow, Lil Cal fucked him up bad, huh.

Yeah. Lil Cal fucked you both up pretty bad.

You still love him, though, You thought you'd rid yourself of it by the end of the Game, purged yourself of the endless aching consuming love for your Bro through the tv-approved medium of talk therapy. But as soon as you saw him again it rose again in you like your gorge rising in your throat, fit to choke.

This isn't the kind of love you can get over.

So you haven't gotten over it. You're sitting here at the kitchen table, watching Bro doing his sewing and sulking, and you are not remotely over it. You are not even in the same country as getting over it. You are very possibly not even on the same planet as getting over it. You left behind getting over it several universe-hops ago.

You could say something. Very possibly, you ought to say something. All the problems of your childhood came from not talking about your feelings like normal human beings, real human beings. Most of Bro's mystique was down to him not seeming like a real human at all. But you're a grown-up now too, and you know damn well that Bro is just as human as you. He was even a teenager once, albeit an impossibly cool one. You desperately want to see the photos of him back in the eighties. You bet there are some, somewhere. Bro didn't just spring into existence at age nineteen when he scooped you up from that meteor crater. He just likes to pretend he did.

But what's going to come out of talking about it? Realistically speaking? You know what you want: to come of it: Bro tell you he loves you, you're the most important person in this world and any other to him, and he's sorry.

You also know the chances of him saying any of that. You're not even sure the last one is true. You have a nasty suspicion that if you bring it up, he'll pretend not to know what he ought to be sorry for. Worse: you're afraid he genuinely might not know.

You leave Bro to his sewing and sulking, there in the light through the kitchen window that turns the faint stubble on his cheek to glints of gold. You should go and see what you can do about Karkat's problems instead of dwelling uselessly on your own.


"I don't see why we have to talk about it."

"No, I guess you don't." You swallow hard. "But I want to talk about it. You owe me." If Bro asks why he owes you anything or pretends to misunderstand, you will blow a gasket. Right there, boom, you'll lose it and tell Bro exactly what he owes you, and then the two of you probably won't speak at all, forever.

But Bro has just enough emotional intelligence not to step on the obvious landmine and torpedo your entire relationship, despite being ignorant of your recklessly mixed ballistic metaphors. He regards you through his stupid anime shades, with one thick eyebrow perfectly arched. You can do that too, now. You practised. Somehow, it never looks quite as elegant as when Bro does it.

Bro spreads his hands and stops just short of shrugging.

"What do you wanna say?" He speaks slowly, making his Texan drawl even more pronounced. He might even be doing it deliberately. "Your childhood? You're nearly twenty now. At some point you gotta stop blaming your parents."

That's the first time he's referred to himself as your parent. Ever. He's always been Bro, shirking the responsibility of calling himself your father. He'd told you you didn't have parents, when you eventually asked, and refused to explain any further. He wouldn't even make up fake names. You'd had to put it out of your mind before you could drive yourself crazy with wondering about these nonexistent parents who surely must exist or have existed. If Bro ever talked about parents, it was a rare reference to one of his foster-homes.

As usual, he's trying to piss you off to avoid having a serious conversation.

"I'd stop blaming my dad if he actually talked to me like a goddamn equal. You wanna talk about that? You wanna talk about all the weird shit I had growing up? I mean, we all had weird shit in our lives growing up, but only I got the witholding-approval-and-love routine. Let's talk about that."

"Sure, and we can talk about how you used to stare at my ass all the time then go jerk off."

Your ears buzz. You had no idea he'd noticed. Well, of course he must have noticed, and if you'd thought it through you would have known; but the idea of Bro knowing that was so unspeakably mortifying that you'd never let yourself think about what might happen if he found out. As usual, Bro has gotten the drop on you.

"Don't wanna talk about that, huh." Bro thinks he's got you. He thinks you're going to be so embarrassed that you're going to drop this conversation. He thinks he's going to throw down that bombshell, watch it explode, and walk away.

"Sure, let's talk." Bro's thin mouth thins when you call his bluff. "Why, what do you wanna know? How many times I thought about you when I did it? What I thought about us doing?" You don't want to tell him any of those things. But Bro, for the first time you can remember, looks uncomfortable. Bro looks uncomfortable, not unflappable or cool. He looks like he wants to ollie out on his rocketboard. So you keep talking.

"You know all those times we Strifed up on the roof and it was hot, hot as the fucking sun, because that's the Houston summer for you? And a couple of times it was so hot you took off your shirt and Strifed like that? I don't know how you didn't burn, but it's not like I was thinking about sunburn at the time." You swallow. "I thought maybe you did it to distract me, because of course I kept looking at your chest, at your-" You gather your courage and say it. "Your tits." You hadn't called them that at the time, even in your head: but in the intervening years you've discovered that calling well-developed pectorals tits or a rack or whatever makes them sound like breasts, makes you feel dirty in the good way.

Even better: you know that Dirk is into it too. Just one of those things you've shared at brotherly sleepovers, in between braiding each other's hair and having rap battles.

Bro says nothing, like he's waiting for you to continue. Maybe he likes hearing this, likes listening to you admit all the humiliating details of your adolescent fantasies.

"Most of the stuff I thought about involved Strifing. You know, you'd beat me in a Strife and then while I was on my knees you'd come and stick your dick in my mouth or in my ass. I thought about you making me do it. Like that way I couldn't be held responsible, I guess." Those fantasies had involved a greater or lesser degree of force, depending on your mood. You loved the idea of being overpowered by Bro because his love for you was so strong he couldn't contain it, he just had to have you and kiss you and fuck you, all that repressed emotion pouring out. You always wanted him to start it because then it would be proof that he felt the same and it would be his fault for being a dirty brother-fucker, not yours.

Bro's face is perfectly blank, like he doesn't even know what expression to make, like all his mental processing power has been taken up by what you're telling him and he doesn't have any spare bandwidth to react.

You should really stop telling him this stuff.

"I pretended I didn't know you knew where I was looking. But you didn't know what I was thinking about, did you? You're shocked, I bet you're really fucking shocked, hearing me tell you all about what I used to jerk off thinking about. Did you think it was sad? Disgusting? Is that why you used to walk around with your dick out sometimes, no big deal, just some casual familial nudity in the privacy of your own home, only you knew I couldn't stop looking at your dick? Did you feel good imagining me thinking about how massive it was, about what I wanted to do to it? I bet you liked thinking I was just creaming myself over those little glimpses of your cock."

And you had, too. You'd thought about Bro's dick, swinging flaccid between his thighs, casual and unselfconscious. He had big balls too - well, of course he did - and you used to think about how much he might come, how much spunk he might shoot into you. He used to come in and use the toilet while you were in the shower, because he was a dick like that, and one time he did it buck-ass naked and you watched him pull back his foreskin to piss and you could barely wait for him to leave the bathroom before your stiff dick was in your hand and you were so turned on you trembled.

You're trembling now, just a little. Bro's mouth is a flat line.

At last, Bro spreads his hands. "What do you want me to say?" His voice is gravelly.

"I want an apology."

"For what? Making you think bad thoughts?"

Maybe you do want that. Maybe you wouldn't have been so fucked-up as to fixate on fucking your own brother if you hadn't been raised by a man who made puppet porn for a living and had all his puppets all over the house with their dicks or suggestively-shaped probosces just hanging out or artfully arranged in suggestive positions. You're pretty sure you're not meant to let kids see that.

"Maybe," you say. You want an apology for a lot of things, but you'll take what you can get. You can't get anything off Bro that he's not willing to give.

"An apology for making you think about my dick, huh." Bro spreads his knees wider. "Let me make it up to you."

You look at his crotch, of course. He shouldn't be able to see you looking through two layers of polarised glass, but you know he notices.

Let me make it up to you. Trust Bro to go in for bad porno dialogue. Or is it bad romance novel dialogue? The only romantic novels you've read in the past five years have been written by trolls, and trollish romantic dialogue is wild. You repeat it sometimes to make Karkat blush.

If this were a game, you'd save at this point. Then you'd pick one option, go down that path, and then reload and pick the other option. You'd see both routes and pick the one you liked best, or at least didn't lead to a bad end. It used to be that you could do something similar in real life, or at least in Sburb: all those too many goddamn Daves were at least useful for something, though the lack of a reload function kind of sucked. But the Game is over, and you only get one shot and you can't even ask Rose to make a cryptic comment about the future.

"Sure," you say. "You should do that."

There was never any other option, really. It's like the choice to move out of the apartment and leave Bro to his puppets and toxic masculinity: the button is there, sure, but it's greyed out. To pick it, you would have to go all the way back and undo previous choices you made that locked you onto this path. Like your entire childhood.

So, the option to say no is there. But you were never going to take it.

Bro gets up out of his chair. He doesn't loom over you any more like when you were thirteen, but up close you notice the couple of inches and thirty pounds of muscle he has on you. You're tall, but you're built like a bag of coathangers; Bro is just big. His hands go to his belt and he undoes it as you watch. His unzips his jeans to reveal thankfully plain orange underwear, and starts shimmying them off.

You want to say something stupid like What are you doing. Bro drapes his pants over the back of the chair. The hair on his legs gleams gold in the sunlight. There's something inherently ridiculous about a man in just a shirt and socks, but your Bro makes it work.

Are you really going to do this here? Leaving aside the question of are you really going to touch Bro sexually, which is an eventuality of such magnitude that your brain refuses to confront it directly: are you going to do it in the kitchen, right at the table where Bro does his sewing, right where you eat?

Bro takes off his shirt and reveals his muscled torso. His sparse chest hair is as fair as that on his head. Maybe you really are going to do it here.

For an alarming and hallucinatory moment, you think he's going to leave his socks on, like they do in the porn films with overmuscled white guys with bad haircuts sucking each other's dicks in locker rooms. You're not sure you'd survive it.

He bends to take off his socks. Oh, thank god. You're still not sure you're going to survive this.

Bro stands before you in only his underwear and shades. You feel weird about looking at his body, even though you've already seen all of it, a lot. Bro's body holds no mysteries for you in appearance: you know his freckles, his scars, his hair. You know his knobbly knees and muscled thighs. You know his oddly long, almost prehensile toes. You want to know them by touch.

You should probably get naked too. It would be weird to keep all your clothes on if you're going to, you know, Do It. Bro is looking at you with just a fractional raise of his eyebrow, as if to say, Get on with it then.

You don't take orders from Bro these days.

"Sit," you say.

Bro stays standing.

You reach out like your hand doesn't even belong to you, like you're watching your body move in a dream, and put it on Bro's shoulder where the skin is tanned a subtly different colour. How come he tans and freckles when you're the same shade and just burn? You push down, not like you're forcing him - you can't force Bro to do anything, especially not through physical power. Just like you mean it.

Bro lets himself be pushed down into the chair. He's still got his underwear on but that's fine. You can wait. He's so lovely from this angle, all high cheekbones and wide sensual mouth.

You know a few things you could do in this position. You put your fingers to the corner of his mouth and pull it open a touch. Bro lets you. His lips are warm and dry. You feel his straight white teeth. Did he have braces as a teenager? The mental image is beyond your significant powers of imagination. Even now you've met Dirk and are slightly better able to imagine Bro as a child of the 80s, nope, braces are right out. But you never had any because you were too busy playing a game with no orthodontists, and your teeth turned out fine, so maybe it's just good genetics.

"Good genetics" is Bro all over. He couldn't be the same person if he had a cleft palate and a puffy face: it's the fact that he's so good-looking that makes him so ironically charismatic. Douchey popped-collar polo shirts and baseball caps worn indoors are only ironic when they're on a stereotypical hunk of masculinity. No wonder you started thinking dirty thoughts about him as soon as you hit puberty.

You get your dick out. You feel weird about it. Bro doesn't even have the decency to look apprehensive or eager or anything, really. He just sits on that chair and lets you get your dick, which is heading towards half-hard, out of your jeans and dangerously close to his mouth.

You shuffle closer, close enough that you can feel his hot breath from his nose on your belly. You press the head of your dick to his closed mouth. You're proud your hands don't shake. You're very aware that he could just not open his mouth. He could just sit there like a statue breathing through its nose, and leave you to make a fool of yourself trying to get your dick in his mouth. You'd have to jack off instead and come on his face.

You could come on his face. You always thought it was something people only did in porn, but Bro's done puppet smut and acts like something out of a very particular kind of porno, so maybe it's appropriate.

You push the tip of your dick a little harder against Bro's thin lips, and they part. Slowly, achingly slowly, his mouth stretches around your dick and swallows it.

It's not easy, exactly. Nothing involving Bro is easy. But it's natural. It's not awkward or inappropriately funny or just kind of disappointing, which are all adjectives you would apply to sex in general and first-time sex in particular. It feels perfectly right to have your dick in Bro's mouth. You know he wants it, just like he knows you want it. He knows what you like, he moves in a way you know and anticipate. You move together like you've been having sex with each other for years. He lets you move your dick in and out of his mouth in an easy rhythm, you know instinctively how much he can take (all of it, of course). You know that he's never done this to another human being before. You think that's really sexy, that Bro is a virgin. That you're taking his virginity.

So you push and pull your dick into and out of Bro's mouth like it's not your dick and it's not Bro's mouth, like none of this is real, like the two of you are just actors. Except that the way you move together is the way people move together when they've lived together for twenty years. You put one hand on Bro's jaw to feel the tiny prickles of invisible stubble there, just starting to sprout. His throat bobs beneath your pinky finger as he swallows around your cock. It feels good and you shudder and put your other hand in his hair, not tight, just enough to let him feel it. His hair is stiff with gel, just like Dirk's. Even Bro can't get his hair to spike up like that naturally. There are some limits to natural coolness. Only the cool know how much work it is, since appearing to work at being cool is, of course, the most uncool thing to do.

You fuck Bro's mouth in an easy, gentle rhythm, pushing more and more of your dick in with each thrust, watching his face carefully. Your gaze wanders down his body to his steadily rising and falling chest, and then down to his groin. Yep, that's a hard-on. Bro has a hard-on because he's sucking your dick. You can't take your eyes off the tent in his stupid orange underwear. You want to see it for real. You want to see his huge boner for real, not just in whatever you could see on those horrible hot human-on-puppet action videos he used to make for PlushRump where he fucked a puppet, put his dick inside it, except the focus was on the puppet not on Bro's dick and it made you feel a bit sick.

Sweat is forming at your hairline. You're trying not to show it, but you haven't had your dick sucked enough to be blase about blowjobs, and Bro's rhythmic regular sucking threatens to make your knees tremble. It's ridiculous that he should be good at it already, but he's always known you better than you knew yourself. You fit together so perfectly that you wonder about fucking him, about how that would feel. About your bodies fitting together like two puzzle pieces.

Sex isn't easy, for you. Fun, usually, but not easy. You overthink things. You feel awkward. You don't know what to say. Here with Bro, it's easy. You'd think it would be hard to do it with your brother, that the taboo and shame would make it awkward: but your dick in Bro's mouth is perfectly simple. You can imagine how easy it would be to get him to fuck you, how natural it would be for him to kneel above you or behind you and put his dick inside you. You wouldn't need to say anything (because you saying things makes it go wrong). You bet Bro already knows what you want, what you need.

You could come in his mouth. In a minute, you are going to come in his mouth. That would be good, to shoot your load in his mouth and leave him with the taste of you on his tongue. You've wanted to suck Bro's dick for so long that it's only fair if he thinks about sucking yours for long after he actually does it. You could pull out halfway through so you get some come on his handsome face, too. He'll probably like it, the dirty fucker.

You come thinking about the bulge of Bro's erection in his underwear, the proof that he wants this like you do. You come thinking about what Bro's hard dick will look like when you get him naked. You come in Bro's mouth, like you wanted to, and he doesn't even have the decency to choke or look surprised or anything, just lets you shove your cock down his throat and shoot your come into him. You know he's never done this before in his life and what the fuck, you were definitely not this smooth when giving your first ever blowjob, even after you did extensive research to prepare to give the best head ever given in this universe or the last.

Bro sits back and lets your dick slide out of his mouth. Yeah, you're still hot for it. He's looking at you like he's expecting you to leave, like he thinks you got what you came for. He's wrong.

"We're not done." You look at the tent in his ludicrous orange underwear. "I want your dick."

Bro could be a smartass and say something like Too bad, I need it. Instead, he gets up and pulls down his last remaining piece of clothing. His hard dick springs free. It's exactly how you imagined it. How you cobbled together what you could see of it in those PlushRump puppetfucking videos when he stuck it up some smuppet's sewn rectum. It's uncut, like yours, and big and perfectly shaped. It's the most beautiful human cock you've ever seen. As the culmination of all your sweaty teenaged fantasies, it couldn't be bettered.

"Futon," you say with a dry mouth. You're not doing this on a dining chair. You want real leverage for when you ride him like a pony.

He flash-steps to the futon, because he's an asshole. It's not the same futon of your childhood, the one Bro used to lie in wait on until you'd come in for a drink in the middle of the night and he'd scare the piss out of you. This futon is new and actually kind of comfortable, great for video games or watching stupid tv and making stupid comments, which is one of your and Karkat's favourite activities.

You push Bro down - again, not a proper push, just a firm suggestion. He goes, with a look at you like he's waiting to see what you'll do, but he still has the upper hand. Like he could turn the tables, but it's more fun to see what you'll do. He's still hard. Your pants are still undone, and you bend to whip them off before you can feel awkward. You'd captchalogue them to be cool, but you once did that and found yourself sprawled on the floor minus both pants and underwear, so it may need more practice before being pulled out as your party trick. You can feel Bro's eyes on your body, no longer the same one that got sucked into Sburb, the one he trained. You're not naive enough to believe that he hasn't caught sight of or spied on your naked body before now, but he's giving you the old once-over like he's trying to commit you to memory. If he says anything about you needing to put on muscle, you'll hit him. You'd still fuck him after, though.

He says nothing. His mouth is a flat line, but there are no tight disapproving wrinkles around it. His dick is right there and you need to sit on it, urgently. You straddle him and spit out a rhyme to get the lube out of your sylladex.

You have a very old fantasy about Bro preparing you to take a dick with his long, careful fingers. You like getting fingered, feeling somebody take care over your body and your pleasure. You also know damn well that Bro's not going to do it. You straddle him as best you can on the futon, which is barely made for one person Bro's size, never mind two. His face remains impassive as you coat your fingers in lube and start to circle your hole, then push them inside to make sure you're well-slicked and loose.

You hesitate a moment before reaching down to spread the rest of the lube over Bro's dick. Only for a moment, but you know he notices it. Touching Bro's cock is the last taboo, the last step. It's what you've thought of, dreamed of, for years. Your earliest sexual fantasies revolved around Bro's dick. Just seeing it would be enough: thinking about touching it usually made you come.

The skin is soft, velvet over steel. You stroke your lube-slick hand up and down it in a jacking motion, and feel his heartbeat pulsing in the vein. You pull the foreskin over the wet head a couple of times, just like you do to yourself. He likes it, and you know he likes it because you can see a muscle in his stomach tense in pleasure.

It's very easy for you to take his cock. Not because you're some kind of promiscuous anal expert (you wish), but because you just know what to do, how to breathe out and let the tip of Bro's perfect, wonderful cock breach your not-entirely-virgin asshole. It isn't awkward or difficult to get the right angle for the rest of it to slip in easily: you just do what comes naturally. Bro stays still and silent underneath you as you envelop him. If you didn't know better, you'd say he was bored.

You sink down on Bro's dick, all the way down, until your ass is settled on his pelvis and you let him take your weight. It drives his cock deeper inside you, and your mouth opens in a breathy gasp. You already know how this is going to go: you, moaning like you always do when you're taking it up the ass, bouncing away on the hard dick of a silent Bro. You understand, obscurely, why despite being a control-freak Bro prefers it this way. In his passivity, he gives less away. You do the work, so you take the risk. If anything goes wrong, it's on you.

It's a stupid way to think, but that's Bro's complex about 'coolness' for you. You circle your hips and enjoy the feeling of Bro's thick cock filling you up. This is your second favourite way to do it, right after being held and made love to tenderly in the missionary position. Bro's face gives so little away that he doesn't look like he's got his dick inside you at all. It's a pretty good performance for a man you know is a virgin. Only you can recognise the tension around his mouth and in his thighs as he controls himself. He wants to fuck you just as badly as you want him to do it.

You just keep going. You don't have to be quick about it, or furtive, or get beaten up first, which is how a lot of your Bro-related fantasies start. Most freeingly, you don't even have to worry about Bro's pleasure. All you have to do is rock back and forth on his hard dick and use it to make yourself feel good. Really, it's the least he can do for you.

The sad thing is, even with Bro not doing much, it's already the best anal you've had. Which is ridiculous, because you've done it with a guy who actually cared about and tried to give you pleasure, who saw sex as a mutual act; but Bro's dick is shaped just right for you, just the right length and just the right thickness, the Goldilocks of dicks, and his body is quivering beneath you, just a touch, and it's genuinely the hottest thing you've ever felt. His eyes behind the shades are fixed on yours.

You lean forward and take the shades off. The whole time, you're thinking, He's never gonna let me touch his shades. Then you take hold of his shades and you take them off his face, easy-peasy, and he doesn't say a word or grab your wrist or anything you thought he would definitely do because you've never seen Bro without his shades. Never.

Bro's eyes are the exact same hawk-orange as Dirk's. Not just brown-amber, but true Tropicana orange. He has the same upturned corners too; but the bags underneath are heavier, and there's the faintest touch of crows-feet. He's not old, but he's definitely older, in a way that you can't comfortably comprehend. Bro has never seemed to age.

You rock on his dick again, just to feel it hard and throbbing inside you. It's easier to read his expression without the stupid anime shades. All that obsession with wearing them constantly has left him reliant on them to protect the secret of where his eyes are really looking. It's the only crack in his poker face. You, despite your shades, always knew that you were observed right through them. Bro and cameras were the surveillance of your apartment. You always knew that your privacy was a fragile illusion.

It's the middle of the afternoon, and the living room is silent. You're high up enough that you can't hear the hum of the voices of passers-by. The apartment is soundproofed against you having to listen to your neighbours having a fight, like in your old building. The curtains are open and technically somebody could see you riding your brother on the futon, except you're twenty floors up so there's nobody to peep in but crows and Davesprite. You wish Bro would put his arms around you at least, make it feel more like you're making love.

You put your arms around Bro's neck instead, and start to move on his dick in earnest. You're not holding your hard dick, so it just flops around stupidly between your bodies. If you lean forward a bit, you can rub it against Bro's abs. His thick cock nudges parts inside you that don't get stimulated even with a dildo. Call you a sap, but the real thing really is better. It's that stage of fucking when you pass from feeling good and slightly uncomfortable with the stretch, to just feeling good. You start to sweat a little. Your thighs work hard to get you up and down Bro's dick. Yeah, you could come from this with just a little help from your hand.

Caught by a whim, or maybe just carried away by the sex, you lean forward and press your lips to Bro's. It's weird, weirder than fucking him, even; but it's for something in you that wants the memory of goodnight kisses, that wants the physical show of a love you could never take for granted. Bro, to your shock, actually opens his mouth when you lick his thin lips, and lets your tongue slip inside.

It's hard to kiss somebody properly when you're also working yourself up and down their dick. You sit down hard, and moan into Bro's mouth as it jars all those wonderful nerves inside you. You suck at his mouth and twine your tongue with his. And then, mirabile dictu, his lips move under yours and he leans, just a fraction, into your kiss. An expression of feeling, or a concession in the war? You take advantage and plunder his willing wet mouth. You take possession of this hidden cavity, of another orifice of Bro's impenetrable body.

Your body has always been delicate, leaky, penetrable. You couldn't rely on it, couldn't trust it to hold out for you so you could do what you needed to do. The thick skin Bro had tried to cultivate in you was as thin as tissue paper - just like, as you eventually worked out, Bro's own. Sburb gave you true strength, the kind none of Bro's 'training' could have taught you. You know Bro could still beat you in any Strife, any time; but you're stronger than him now in the way that matters, and you hardly know what to do with that.

You lick his hard palate and trace the inside of his lips, which makes a tiny shudder run through him and you have to fuck him now, you have to. You stop sucking and just breathe into his mouth as you start to move again, start rocking on the unyielding column of flesh inside you, still throbbing away. You work in steady rolls of your hips, just like you'd use a dildo, taking it steady and rubbing your prostate on every push. You open your eyes to see a close-up of Bro's freckles; you close them again and just focus on the feeling of a dick inside you and Bro's unforgiving mouth against yours.

Time slows, just a little, in the way you're attuned to. Your eyes are closed. All you need to feel is the drag of Bro's massive cock inside you, in and out, up and down, rubbing you just right where it aches. You're starting to sweat around your hairline with the exertion as you grind steadily on the thick girth inside your ass. You can hear your own ragged breathing and feel the ache in your thighs. Bro's shoulders are as solid as a rock, and you use him for leverage. You can hear his breath too, just the rough subvocalised drag of his inhalations. It's sexy, so sexy, just as sexy as a normal guy throwing back his head and moaning. You want to make him make more noise. You want to feel Bro's hands on your hips, working you up and down his dick with an uncompromising grip. He doesn't need to be good or kinky or even nice: you just want him to fuck you like he means it.

If you play your cards right, maybe you can get some of those things.

Bro's shoulders are slick with sweat in your grip - yours, definitely. You dig your nails in and clutch his smooth skin and the muscle beneath so you can get better leverage. Bro doesn't betray a flinch when you use him to pull yourself up further, before letting yourself drop harder onto his cock. Bro grunts under his breath, like something's stuck in his throat, so you do it again. It's going to make your thighs burn with all the squats you'll have to do, but it'll be worth it.

It's getting easier to move. Your body is adjusting to the thick solid weight of Bro's dick inside you, and it slips in and out of you in just the right way, stroking you just where you like it.

When you next sit down, you moan. Not too pornographically, not too fake - though it's all Bro deserves - just enough to encourage Bro to take this seriously. You open your mouth and let out a low breathy sound, like you've just sunk into a hot bath or you're having your hair washed. You sit up, and when you sit back down, you do it again.

There's a tremor in Bro's thighs. It spurs you on. You let yourself go and the next time you sit down and his fat cock jars your prostate and makes the stars go off behind your eyelids, you don't need to fake anything. It's like your voice has been unlocked, and you can't stop making sex noises You always get to this point when you're getting fucked, even if it's just you taking some quality time with a dildo. You just can't keep quiet when taking it up the ass.

And maybe that shakes something loose in Bro too, or maybe you're just not moving fast enough for him, because although you'd already resigned yourself to doing all the work here, two huge hands slide up your thighs and grab hold of your ass. You yelp as Bro gives it a good squeeze, like he's checking the plushness. Yeah, distinctly skinny, if you're honest: Rose got the plush ass genes from Mom, and left none for you. Bro doesn't seem to mind, though. You fall forwards into his chest as he helps you lift off his cock, then pulls you to plunge back down, and you feel the tiny vibration of a moan caught in his throat.

The world narrows to just the burn in your thighs and the ache in your cock, and Bro's face in your blurred vision through eyes that keep trying to close. His chest is flushed, and you want to lick it but you don't have the coordination to do that while he's helping you ride him, his big strong raw-knuckled hands under your ass pulling you up. Neither of you are thinking. You can see Bro's face, his red open mouth letting out sweet low gasps that you'll treasure for ever, if only you could captchalogue one for posterity or later use you would. The muscles in his stomach tense as he thrusts, and you can feel them where you're pressed up against his firm body. It's arguably the dirtiest thing you've ever done; even dirtier than fucking aliens. And it's the best sex you've ever had, or probably will ever have. Because it's with your brother. You'll never know anybody's body so well, never know anybody's soul as well as your own.

Bro makes some inarticulate noise, and you force open your eyes to find him looking at you, staring at your sweaty red face with his hawk-orange eyes, like he's trying to commit it to memory. Like there's something there he wants to keep.

You're hot, hot all over, prickling up and down your bare thighs and back. You want Bro's big hot hand on your lower back more than anything, just where it curves, but he's clutching your ass in a grip just short of mauling you, and everything inside you is growing tighter and tighter because the pressure in your cock and in your chest is getting bigger and bigger, and you're panting through your open mouth and drooling just a little and you know your face is red and you wanted to look cool in front of Bro, you really did, you wanted to make him cry with how good it felt; but instead you're both moaning, both sweating, both clawing at each other's skin like you want to climb inside it.

Bro is gripping you so hard it hurts, in the good way, and you think deliriously: you will never love anybody the way you love Bro. Nobody, not even Dirk. Not even Rose. Not even Mom. You will never have this kind of love for anybody else. And that's probably a good thing.

Bro curls forward and his teeth scrape your shoulder bone, his tongue licks your skin. You want him to bite and suck, you want him to leave a mark, you want to go out and have everybody stare at the enormous hickey not quite hidden by the collar of your shirt. You want more than a well-fucked feeling and sore hips tomorrow. You want to bruise.

For possibly the first time in your life, Bro isn't trying to bruise you, toughen you, improve you: any of the usual ways he knows to show his love. It's just a clean hard fuck and he's not careful with you, but he's not harsh either. He doesn't try to use you or punish you. He just fucks you deeply and naturally and well, like you're a guy he knows and likes and whose body he knows as well as his own.

Bro pants wetly against your neck, right where you're sensitive, like it's a serendipitous accident. Maybe it is. You keep working with him, keep rising and falling in his lap and letting out uncontrollable moans whenever he drops you down and his thick cock goes all the way up inside you and touches places nobody has ever touched before. It feels so good stroking your prostate, and you've never been able to hold out against that kind of dedicated merciless stimulation. You're just thinking about how your cock is tingling and your balls are drawn up and if you could just get a hand down there you'd be off like a shot, like a rocket - when Bro lets out loud, throttled groans into your throat, and fucks you in long, tense thrusts, his whole body quivering under you.

You don't give him the chance to pull out: this whole exercise was about you getting to come, not him. You grab your aching dick and start jacking it furiously, clenching on Bro's thick cock and making him grunt into your shoulder, body still flexing in the aftershocks of orgasm. If you'd come before him, you'd have gotten off his hard dick and told him to take care of it himself, you were done - maybe. You like to think you'll be that ballsy.

Bro's dick is still hard enough for you to rock back and forth and make it rub against your prostate so hard you see stars. Bro helps, pushing you down hard on his cock. You can taste his sweat in your mouth. The air is hot and thick, and sweet-achy prickling runs up your thighs in a way that presages a really good orgasm. And Bro isn't pushing you off now he's come, he's holding your thin hips and he's going to make you come, gonna make you -

Your eyes screw up, your mouth curves into a grimace, your toes curl, and every muscle in your body locks up as the rushing waves in your belly reach their peak and the knot unravels and pleasure radiates out from your core like a supernova and you judder in jerky helpless thrusts as you come hard on Bro's dick.

Bro's cock is softening inside you, and it feels...kind of nice, actually. Now that you're no longer horny, it feels weird to have something up there; but in a way you can tolerate for a few minutes just because it's nice to have a part of Bro inside you, not doing anything, just resting. You haven't taken your face out of his shoulder, either; the shoulder where you sank your teeth into the thin skin like you were claiming him the way you licked candy so nobody else would touch it. (The few times you'd tried that on Bro, he'd eaten it anyway while staring you down. Total power move. You couldn't bring yourself to do the same.) You press your tongue to the bitemarks and think, it is weird to kiss him now?

The air in the living room feels cool on your sweaty skin, even though it's early summer outside in Houston. So, this is it. You really, truly, finally achieved the pinnacle of your sweaty teenaged fantasies: you fucked your Bro. You got Bro to fuck you.

"So," says Bro, in an even more gravelly voice than usual, "how's that for a apology?"

Genuinely the best you've ever received. Strictly speaking, the only apology you've ever received expressed through the medium of sex, but also the best in both separate categories, of which you don't have as much experience as you'd like but nevertheless feel able to say: man, that was the fuck of your life, and as an apology, what it lacked in actual apology it made up for by giving you an orgasm at the end.

"A lot better than I thought I'd get," you allow at last. You're still on Bro's lap. His come is starting to ooze out of your hole and that's hot, that's really hot, not gross like it ought to be. Does Bro being nearly forty preclude the chance of another round? Because you're thinking about another round. If he's willing to help you ride him, he might be willing to do you doggy style, face down ass up. Telling him to raw me, daddy while he does it might finally tip the ironic scales in your favour. On the other well-lubed hand, are you sure you want to invite Bro's especial brand of irony into your sex life?

Holy shit, you and Bro are going to have a sex life. Probably. If you play your cards right. He hasn't straight-up dumped you off his lap and absconded, which is a better start than you could have hoped for.

"In fact," you say as you tighten your thighs around his, "I could go for a few more apologies."

It's not an apology, really. It doesn't involve Bro admitting what he did wrong, or actually saying sorry. But his body acknowledges you and your feelings better than words could. You spent so much of your childhood obsessing over what Bro said or didn't say and what he might mean by it all; but his body can't lie to you or keep a secret. And you want to do it again, to throw your bodies together and move in the ways you both like best. You want him to show you that he loves you, not through the punishing 'training' of your childhood, but in a way you understand.

"Mm-hm." Bro's amber eyes are fixed on your face like he's learning it again. You return the favour. Unnaturally orange eyes, with the tiniest touch of crows' feet in the corners. High cheekbones, nose so straight and sharp you could cut cheese with it. Thin wide mouth, recently kissed. A narrow jaw and strong chin, and, just beneath where his shades would sit, a splotch of freckles. You love that clutch of freckles. You love the blue vein showing through the thin skin at his temple. You love the glint of fair stubble on his upper lip and on his throat. You love everything there is to love about your Bro, even the things it's hard to love - the puppets, the machismo, the idea that loving somebody is wanting to make them better. You spent your childhood worrying that Bro could only love you for what you might be; but you have always had no option but to love Bro for what he is.

You take hold of his jaw and kiss him, really kiss him, not deeply but with intensity. He lets you tilt his head up and kisses you back, at first diffidently but then with real interest. You take it slow, kiss him leisurely. You've got time. His mouth is pliant and responsive. If you keep his mouth occupied, neither of you can say anything to ruin it. If you don't open your eyes, you can speak to each other truly, body to body, mouth to mouth. Love me, stay, stay, stay.