Thicker Than Blood

by P.A. Lovas

"Come in," I called to the slight knock on the door, my voice muffled by the thread hanging from my lips. The person banged again, and I raised an eyebrow in confusion. "Come in!" There was a slight pause before another knock, and I rolled my eyes, pulling the string from my mouth. "Come in, Robert."

"Hey there, pussycat." He grinned as he entered the room, bounding over to my side. "I was wondering-" He stopped mid-sentence as he looked down at my hands. "What are you doing?"

"What does it look like?" I grumbled, closing an eye as I attempted to poke the needle through one of the buttonholes, swearing when I missed.

"You sew?"

I winced as the needle missed its mark, instead sinking into the tip of my finger. "Not really." I sighed, sticking the injured finger into my mouth.

I turned questioningly to Robert as I watched him look conspicuously over his shoulders, before reaching out his hand to me. "Gimme."

"Huh?"

"Just shut up and give me the stupid needle." I dropped the small strip of metal into his open palm, smirking as he reached over whipping the shirt from my lap.

He squinted at my work, rolling his eyes before bringing the thread to his teeth, snipping the needle loose and pulling away what I had attempted to sew. Within moments, he had the needle threaded and the button attached, grinning up at me as he nipped away the excess string. "All done."

"So I see." I sat there staring at him for a moment, my lips twitching. "Voodoo dolls?"

"Sixth grade. Didn't work at all."

I laughed aloud, shaking my head slightly. "That sounds like something you'd do."

"Still, do me a favor." He scratched the back of his head, grinning sheepishly at me. "Don't tell your brother, ok?" I smiled at him, giving a quick nod of my head. "Thanks. He'd never let me hear the end of it."

"Don't worry about it." I turned my head, attempting to hide the wide grin that broke across my face as I thought of the things Alex would do for this kind of ammunition. "So, what'd you need?" I asked, trying to change the subject.

"Oh, I was just seeing if you were busy, that's all." The bed heaved as Robert threw himself backward onto it, his hands slipping behind his head. He kicked his feet a little, turning to flash me a grin as me began poking me repeatedly with his sneaker.

"Bored much?"

"A little."

I laughed, pushing his feet off the bed. "You know, Alex would kill you if he caught you with your shoes on his bed."

"I know." He wagged his eyebrows at me as he threw his legs back onto the bare mattress, clapping his sneakers together. "Hey, what happened to the sheets?"

"In the wash," I answered quickly, turning away from him.

I felt the mattress jump lightly as Robert laughed. "What'd, he have an accident or something?"

"No." I shifted through my mind, scrambling for an excuse, which came to me easily. Apparently, I'm getting pretty good at this lying thing. "He tumbled one of his awful sandwiches again."

"Ah, I see. Speaking of the reject cowboy, where is he?"

"He's at practice," I explained, heaving a little sigh. I've long since given up on the hope of the two of them getting along. They were friendly enough around me, though they still managed to throw nasty comments to each other as often as they could.

I've tried to appeal to them on all cases, even pleading with Alex, reminding him how much we really owe Robert. Not only was he the one who got us into this private school, but also, if it wasn't for him, Alex and I would probably still not be on speaking terms.

"Why do they even bother with all that?" Robert groaned, rolling his eyes. "The team just sucks and we've yet to win a single game."

"Yeah, but maybe this season with Alex as the second string quarterback..."

"You mean second string benchwarmer," he interrupted with a laugh, and I smiled lightly in realization. Robert hadn't come to see me at all. He had come to try and pick a fight with Alex.

"So, why aren't you out wreaking havoc on the school?"

Robert threw himself into a sitting position, pulling his ankles towards him till his legs were crossed. "Not today, I'm afraid. I got a call from my Uncle yesterday with a warning to behave." He heaved a sigh as he shook his head, clicking his tongue lightly. "Shame really. So many hangovers..."

I leaned back on my arms, letting my gaze wander to the ceiling, as I chuckled. It was very rare that Robert actually listened to somebody, but his uncle was a special case. Being the superintendent of the entire school district, he was the reason we were able to enroll into this exclusive, not to mention expensive private school. Even so, he often had to keep a close eye on his disobedient nephew, pulling many strings in order to keep the boy out of trouble.

"Hey," Robert said, jumping to his feet. "You know what we haven't done in a long time?"

I made a small questioning noise as my eyes slid over to him.

"Anything." He reached down and grabbing my hand, yanked me to my feet. "Come on."

"Where are we going?"

Robert grinned widely, wagging his eyebrows. "The El Casa o' Taco."

"Oh no," I cried, dramatically dropping my head to his shoulder. "Anything but The House of Tacos. There's enough grease on those things to choke a horse."

"Precisely," he laughed, pushing me out the door. "Move it. Those quesadillas aren't going to eat themselves."

"Unfortunately not. Remind me to pick up some more Tums," I groaned, reaching to shut the door behind us. "I think we finished all of them after our last exploit."

"Now, what to watch." Robert reached over, snagging the TV guide, while I busied myself with the food.

"Who knew…" I began, pulling the contents from the grease-soiled bag.

"Who knew what?"

I lifted a small Styrofoam container, peering into it. "That they served french-fries."

Robert grinned. "The House of Tacos serves everything!"

"Yeah," I said, scrunching my nose at the dripping object in my hand. "Except for decent tacos."

"Picky picky," Robert mumbled, his eyes skimming over the pages of the TV guide. "Ooh, there's a trilogy on Lifetime."

"Oh goody." I threw the taco back into the bag, deciding to tackle the french-fries instead. At least those were supposed to be greasy beyond recognition. "What classics are they showing this time? 'My Teenage Daughter is Knocked Up, Again'?"

"Nope." Robert shook his head, his face a mask of pure seriousness. "This time we shall be enjoying 'You Raped My Stepmother's Child'."

I coughed, nearly choking on my food. "Bullshit. That's not really a movie."

"Sure is. Followed by the sequel 'You Raped My Stepmother's Other Child'."

"You are so full of it."

"And finally the third in this heartwarming family saga, 'You Raped My Stepmother'."

I reached out, trying to grab the book from his hands. "Lemme see that."

Robert grinned, waving it in front of my face. "See?"

My eyes narrowed as I watched him swivel the book in the air. I reeled, pouncing on it and Robert cried out, holding the book over his head as he toppled onto his back. I reached for it in vain, before my hands fell, and the two of us were laughing hard, gasping for breath.

I turned at the loud slam, and it wasn't until I saw the look of shock masked in those deep blue eyes that I realized the compromising position I was in. I quickly scrambled back, shifting myself off of Robert. I kept my gaze hidden, feeling the accusations pouring from those eyes. But, with Robert here, I couldn't say anything, and I knew my silence was damning me more.

"Hey, Alex. Bad day on the bench?" Robert lifted himself onto his elbows, grinning.

"Fuck off, Silverstein."

"Wow, that good huh? What'd you do, work up that sweat sitting under the heat lamp?"

Alex turned, his eyes blazing and I quickly rose to my feet, standing between them. "Stop," I mouthed to Alex, my heart squeezing painfully as his eyes narrowed, the look he gave me filled with pure venom. I tried to think of something I could say in front of Robert to sooth him, but before I could come up with anything, Alex stormed into the bathroom, slamming the door shut.

I heaved a sigh, my arms folding as if attempting to offer me comfort. I turned to Robert, giving a small shrug, trying to school my expression into one of confusion. Robert returned the act, pushing himself to his feet.

"Well, I'll take this as my cue to go."

"Huh?" I blinked at him.

"This is your department, not mine. Besides, he's no fun when he's this melodramatic." Robert dropped a quick wink to me and I forced a smile. "Give me a call later, alright pussycat?"

I nodded, not bothering to protest about his use of the despised nickname. I was too worried about Alex to care about much and as Robert slipped from the room, I silently thanked God for his apathy in other people's problems.

I braced myself as I walked over and rapped lightly on the bathroom door. "Alex, it's me," I said stupidly, unable to think of anything else. I heaved a small sigh when there was no response. "Please, Alex, let me in."

"Nobody's stopping you. The door's open," his voice mumbled from the other side.

I raised my hand to the knob, turning it to find it was, indeed, open. I smiled lightly at the realization that he wasn't mad enough to completely shut me out. With a small push, the door slid open to reveal Alex, his back pushed against the wall and his head dropped into his hands. I slowly made my way to his side, pushing back any fear of rejection as I dropped to my knees beside him. "Alex, I-"

"Don't," he said, his voice muffled by his hands.

"Please, listen to me," I pleaded softly, a flicker of pain running through me as he shook his head. "I didn't-"

Alex picked up his head, his eyes meeting mine, freezing the words in my throat. His eyes were immensely bright and clearer than I had ever seen them before. "Don't say anything."

I gasped as he grabbed my wrist, tugging me forcefully to his chest, his arms wrapping around me tightly. I lifted my head questioningly, trying to look at him. "Alex?"

"You don't have to explain anything."

I looked down, burying my face into his shirt. He smelled of grass and sweat and everything in the world that I loved. I fought down a lump in my throat. "Don't hate me. I couldn't stand it if you hated me."

Alex's hands were on my shoulders, pushing me back. He lifted a hand, tilting my chin as he stared into my eyes, bringing his other hand up to brush my hair back. "I could never hate you, Adrien. Never."

"I love you," I whispered in response, shivering as he smiled at me. Never in my entire life had I imagined that a smile could send you to your knees. I knew then, that if I hadn't already been kneeling, I would have fallen there.

I shuddered as Alex lowered his head, pressing his lips to mine as shyly as he had the first time he kissed me. My eyes slipped closed and I pushed myself deeper, melting in his arms. At that moment, everything was forgotten…friends, school, family, blood. None of it mattered. Not when he kissed me like this, my body trembling at the need pulsating through me. All that existed were my arms around his neck, pulling him over me, the feel of the cold tile against my back as his hands slid under my shirt. He filled all my senses, overwhelming each and every one. I sighed.

Alex pulled back slowly, dropping a small kiss to the tip of my nose before rising to his feet. I remained on the ground, peering up at him, my eyes demanding to know the reason for the abrupt stop. Damn it, I had been happy right there.

He laughed, reaching down a hand and yanked me to my feet. "I'm all sweaty and I need a shower badly," he explained, his hands sliding around my waist, his fingers teasingly pushing past the waistband of my jeans.

"Well," I responded, my arms winding around his neck. "I suppose I'll have to help with all those 'hard to reach' places."

"Obviously."

I smiled as Alex pushed away, moving over to play with the taps, dipping his fingers into the water to test the temperature. I swatted his hands away, turning the taps until they pointed as far into the 'red' as it allowed, watching as the steam began swirling in lazy patterns. Alex smirked, pulling me back to him as he began strategically removing articles of clothing and I sighed, knowing the rest of the evening was going to be hot in every sense of the word.

AN: I've given up on warnings for this story. After the last part, I don't think anything else should surprise you. And yes, this story is a very good example about what happens when you give your characters free reign to do whatever they want. Boys will be boys, right? ^^; Though I can't help but wonder how many people I've freaked out. Heh heh. Thanks to those who have reviewed, as few as that may be. I love you guys!