Disclaimer: I do not condone incest! Not that this is incest, but I even find things between adopted siblings make me go squicky. Do not try this at home kids! Oh, and these are my characters, if you want to use them, ask. I'll only say yes.
Author's Notes: I am SO sorry. Really, I am. Blame the plot bunny.
"Hey, can I ask you something?" Joshua asked his brother, Michael. Michael put down the controller of the game cube he was playing, and looked up. Joshua was sitting on his bed in the room they shared, sitting forward with a look of worry across his face.
"Woah. Wassup, dude?" Michael responded upon looking at his younger brother.
"I'm having a problem," was the eventual reply, however, the brown haired boy did not appear to want to elaborate on this. After a few minutes, Michael picked up his game controller and carried on playing his game.
He had a feeling he knew what the problem was. Since their mum adopted him four years previous as a twelve year old, he'd noticed his little brother go through the same problems that he had gone through. At sixteen, he'd finally come to terms with himself, and now, two years later, Joshua had reached the same point.
But that was no reason to disturb his video game if he wasn't going to say anything.
"Yes?" He paused the game again and joined his brother on the bed, "what's the problem?"
After a few minutes of knuckle cracking, and opening and closing his mouth without saying anything, Michael went to stand up, and found Joshua's lips on his own, preventing him from doing so.
I was so not expecting that. Michael backed off and Joshua pulled away. "What the hell are you doing?!" He pushed his brother away and left the room, leaving the Joshua on the bed, alone and confused.
This was nothing compared to how Michael felt. He'd come out to his family, his mother and his sister Cassy, soon after he had accepted it himself. He knew Joshua was having the same issues he had experienced, but at no point did he ever imagine it would involve wanting him. They were brothers! It wasn't right! Was it?
He walked down the stairs and passed the kitchen.
"Michael! Don't walk past me with a face like a slapped arse without coming in and telling me what you were yelling about upstairs!"
The blond stopped in his tracks, he knew better than to ignore his mother when she called him; she would have followed her children to the ends of the earth to get them to talk to her – and this would be over anything, because she said silence meant a worried mind.
"So what was going on?"
"Nothing. We were just having an argument."
His mother beckoned him into the kitchen and offered him a seat at the breakfast bar.
"Eat," she put a plate of corned beef sandwiches in front of him, "they were for Cassy but I'll make some more. So what happened?"
Michael looked at the plate, and wondered whether he should tell his mother or not. He remembered when she adopted Cassy, she specifically said 'no relationships,' but she never said anything about the two brothers. It must have been implied.
"It was nothing. Joshua beat me at my best game and I got annoyed. Nothing else," he said, picking up a sandwich.
"Is that all?" his mum asked him.
"Yes," Michael found the sandwich he was about to take a bite out of out of his hands and in his mother's, and the plate taken away.
"These are Cassy's, make your own," she smiled at him, ruffled his hair and told him to go back upstairs and make up like a good brother or else she'd knock their heads together.
A few days later, Michael and Joshua were back to normal, and were both doing their day's homework in their room.
"What's the formula for photosynthesis?"
"Do you know the one for respiration?"
"Reverse it, balance it, photosynthesis," said the older brother.
"Oh, thanks." There was a pause, "Mike…"
"A kid called me a fag today," He confided.
"Well, you are," Michael told him. He finished up the last sentence of his essay plan and tidied his folders.
Joshua was silent, continuing his homework and remained so until his brother went to sit next to him.
"So, so far you've written, 'I hate Slater, I hate Tony, I hate Simon' and 'I hate Mr Franks'. Where's your formula for photosynthesis?" Joshua pointed to a place on the paper that was covered over by, 'Kyle is a fag'. "You did all that in the few minutes since you asked? I'm impressed. What happened at school?" Michael spread himself over the desk; arms outreached to the other side and looked sideways to the brunette.
The younger brother didn't look at over until Michael made him. His eyes were glistening, clearly upset, "Josh?"
"I told Kyle that I thought I might be… and he told everyone else. I thought he was my friend!"
Michael raised an eyebrow, then sat back up, "what difference does it make if people know? They'd find out eventually anyway."
"But I don't know if I am! I just wanted to tell him cause, well, he's supposed to be my friend and I thought he'd understand, and everything went wrong when I tried to tell you, and-" Michael wrapped his arms around his little brother and pulled him into a hug.
The blond had to laugh inside, he thought Joshua was becoming hysterical over nothing, and if anyone else saw him they'd be able to tell him straight out, yes he was indeed gay. He hated the stereotype; the problem was he noticed that Josh fitted it very well indeed. He pulled away and looked the younger boy in the eyes, "well when you figure it out, you either correct everyone and ignore the ones who don't believe you, or you put up with everyone telling the truth about you. Big fucking deal." He laughed, allowing Joshua to relax and chuckle too.
"How do I know if I am?"
Michael opened his mouth to respond, then closed it again. He didn't know how he knew; it was a case of putting a name to his feelings and finally making sense of them. "Well… Do you like girls?" Joshua shrugged. "And what about guys?" he shrugged again. "What about anyone specific?" He shook his head.
"If I kiss a guy, do you think I'll figure it out?" Joshua's older brother glared back at him.
"If you don't recall, you already tried that." Michael stood up, went to his bed and lay down. He felt his brother follow him, and came face to … side of the face with him when he turned his head.
"Yeah but that was wrong, I surprised you and that wasn't what I should have done." He looked remorseful, and yet hopeful. Michael squeezed his eyes shut and open again, he knew where this was going. Why, why, why? "So the fact that we're brothers didn't factor into it, only that you didn't ask me?"
"We're not real brothers, and it's not like we've known each other all our lives. We're more like friends living in the same house-"
"With the same mother!" Michael sank back in to bed, exasperated. He's thought about it. I can't believe it.
"Mike… I can't trust Kyle, and now all the kids in school are ripping on me. You're the only one I can talk to about it 'cause you've gone through the same thing. I can't trust anyone else with this, they'll just do the same as Kyle won't they-"
"Fucking hell, calm down," he sighed. "I get it. You want to kiss someone you trust so you can figure it out. The answer isn't going to come just like that you know." Joshua nodded, looking down. He knew, but it could help, Michael decided. At least he would know if he liked it or not. I can't believe I'm gonna do this. "Okay. I'll do it. But I don't ... like you like that. It might not help anything, it should be someone you like and who likes you back."
For the first time in the conversation, Joshua looked at Michael of his own accord, "is half the formula okay?" Oh, fuck. He lied, I can't do this now! Wait, he likes me? Joshua saw the panic in his brother's face. "No, you can't change your mind! Please! At least I'll know if it's admiration or not…"
Before Michael could change his mind again, he decided to go for it. He pulled the younger one onto his bed and pressed his lips against his brother's. Johnny Depp, Johnny Depp, I'm kissing Johnny Depp. Joshua took full advantage of the situation, parting his lips slightly and letting his tongue ask for access, which was surprisingly allowed.
Suddenly, without warning, the door opened and their mother walked in, "boys, your wash-" The boys separated as fast as they could and as far away as possible. "Huh…" She put her hand to her head and rubbed it. "I… you… okay." She left the room, leaving the door open. Michael jumped up and ran to follow her.
"Mum…" He was scared. He knew his mother was accepting of most things, but not this. And now that she'd been confronted, he didn't know what would happen. A mother's love is unconditional right? Yeah, if it's your birth mother; when you're adopted, it's not always guaranteed. "Mum, that wasn't what it looked like, honest." His voice was wobbling.
"Sure, I didn't just see my two sons with their tongues down each others throats. What I saw was really two clowns practising acrobats on your bed. Yeah. Right. What did I say about no relationships?" She yelled. Michael had never seen her so mad, and he didn't know how to defuse the issue.
"Mum!" Joshua ran up behind them. "Mum, it was my fault. I'm sorry. Please don't punish Michael, I asked him because I was confused, and, mum I'm really sorry. I needed to figure it out and, I made him help, and I was scared, but he helped-" Michael put his hand to his head and wished his brother would calm down for once. He preferred it when he was silently confused.
Their mother looked at him incredulously. "So you're not in a relationship?"
The brothers blinked. "No." They said in unison.
"Michael was just helping you to 'figure something out', Josh?" Joshua nodded. Their mum straightened her back, nodded, and smiled. "And did you figure it out?"
Two sets of eyes fell on Joshua, both knowing that one kiss wouldn't be enough, which was confirmed when Josh shook his head.
His mother scratched her head, "okay", she turned and went back downstairs, "dinner's at six tonight."
"What?" came Michael's response. "Is that it?"
"Yep, I don't care as long as you're not in love with each other or sleeping together." She walked off, leaving the two boys on the landing. They turned and went back to their room, closing the door behind them.
Michael sat at his desk and got out a folder from his drawer, opening it up to get ready to do more homework after dinner. "I won't tell her, Josh, but this is as far as it goes. No more. Okay?" The younger one nodded. "What are you going to do about everyone at school?"
Joshua flung himself onto his bed, landing on his front. He lifted his head and looked over to the object of his affection, "I'll put up with them."