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Demons In My Head, More Than I Can Take

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Summer 1982

 

Nancy cracks open the door of her bedroom just a fraction to peer out into the darkened hallway. She has to pee. She must have had too much ice tea at dinner because normally she gets through a night without disturbance but right now her bladder is aching and she knows she won't be able to fall back asleep until its emptied. Except, lately, her parents have been cracking down on her dressing “inappropriately,” especially her mother, because “Oh my God, what if your father or brother saw you dressed like that!”

Puberty sucks. Not that Nancy just hit it or anything along those lines, she's fifteen, but it wasn't that big a deal when it was just pubic hair and the monthly cycle. She had received her first period at the age of eleven but the rest of her body had taken awhile to catch onto the fact she was now turning into a woman. Unfortunately, once her breasts started getting to a size she could be proud of her mother started insisting she cover them up.

Not that you could even see her breasts in the over-sized shirt she's wearing, one of her regular sleeping outfits. She likes to have her legs free at night. Especially when she comes fresh from the bath and slips beneath the covers as soon as she's dry and rubs her feet and calves over the cool sheets. She always hears sex is amazing, but how much more amazing can it be than freshly shaven legs on clean sheets?

Her mother's concern with the night shirts is that they shows off too much of her legs and, if she lifts her arms, somebody might catch a sight of her panties. How scandalizing! Imagine how traumatized her eleven year old brother would be if he saw her panties! She buys Nancy nighties to wear, silky pink things with lace collars, but the lace makes her throat itch. And they're cut in a style that a grandmother would scoff at for being too conservative. She's never even put on the one with the long sleeves.

Being a girl sucks. Mike can go around in just his tightie whities and their mother doesn't even bat an eye. And here she is, not being allowed to go topless since the age of two. Because she was obviously sporting some great knockers while she was still in diapers. The double standard also sucks. She lives in a house where she needs to check out the vacancy of her own hallway before using the bathroom just because she's told her body is something that needs to be hidden.

The hallway is clear. She rushes soundlessly down the hallway and disappears into the bathroom. Last time her mother had caught her she asked Nancy to put on a pair of sweatpants if she's going to be out in the middle of the night. Like she's going to stop to find a pair of pants just to pee at three in the morning. Like she should have to.

She's only in the bathroom for a couple minutes, but she cracks the door open again before heading out. Just in case. Even though nobody is going to be in the hallway at three in the morning. Her parents both have work tomorrow and Mike has some event he's attending with his friends at the crack of dawn. Damn kid doesn't know how summer vacation is supposed to work.

So no, nobody will be in the hallway at this hour because Nancy is the only one who has the ability to sleep in past eight. She's free to roam the hallway all night if she wishes, if for no other reason than to be defiant against her father's dress code.

Except, well, there is somebody out in the hallways at three in the morning tonight. And for a moment she stiffens with terror because this person is large and bulky and wide across the shoulders and shit, maybe it would be nice to be wearing a pair of pants right now. The figure is turned away from her but his torso is so broad he could probably grab her and throw her into the nearby towel closet and have his way with her before her parents even knew their was an intruder in the house. Except, for his bulk, he's oddly short.

Except no, he isn't. This person is actually very small. Miniscule even. He just looks large because he's holding a rolled up pile of sheets in his arms.

She breathes a sigh of relief, but quietly. She doesn't want him to start speaking to her, to wake up their parents. She doesn't want him tattling on her for wearing her “inappropriate” clothes where his “fragile young eyes” could be “scarred” by the sight of his big sister's thighs.

Why in good heaven is her little brother carrying sheets around the house at three in the morning anyway? Why would any eleven year old boy be changing his own sheets anyway? That's what mothers are f-oh.

Is he old enough for that already?

She knows about wet dreams. They learned about it in health class, between admonishments and calls to stop their nonstop giggling. It had been all girls and for a few weeks after they had taken to relentlessly teasing the boys about the subject. Asking them if they were “wetting the bed” and making baby noises at them. The tables had turned when the boys learned about the menstrual cycle and then they started pestering them about being able to see their pads or tampon strings, even though they never could.

Somehow, the idea of her little brat of a brother having wet dreams never occurred to her. The idea of him having any sort of erotic feelings in the slightest had never occurred to her. He's never shown any particular interest in girls. She didn't think he was old enough to care about girls at all. Unless he's peed the bed. He hasn't done that since he was seven, and even then he had been sick, delirious with a high fever brought on by a bad case of the chicken pox. He had been hospitalized shortly after the incident, when it became apparent just how bad the fever had gotten.

But no, peeing the bed hasn't been a normal occurrence since he was three.

Nancy decides to follow Mike downstairs. He heads to the laundry room, exactly as she figured he would. What would her parents say if she soaked her sheets like this with her own juices? Would they just “understand” like they probably would with Mike? Or would they tell her she was wrong for feeling arousal in her sleep? Her mother had once scolded her because of how “filthy” her panties were so she'd started wearing panty liners. Blood was okay, but not just natural wetness. Boys get sleep orgasms and girls just stain the sheets with blood. Life is so unfair.

Mike seems to be showing off his privilege too. He's in just his underwear. A pair of dark green briefs that seem just a bit too large on him. They're nicely cut though, flattering against his skin color. Nancy had asked for some nice panties last Christmas, some lacy things from Victoria's Secret, and her mother had told her not to be a whore and bought her a back of drab pastel colored high-cut briefs instead. The same kind of panties she's been buying her since she was six, just in a larger size.

She waits until Mike is inside the laundry room and once more she is looking through a crack in a door. She watches what he's doing and waits. She watches him open the top of the washing machine and shove the sheets inside. She watches him read the instructions of the detergent and then pour much too much of the white granular powder on top of the clothes. She watches him grab at the sides of his underwear and bend down, stepping out of the baggy green cotton. He's facing away from her and she fights to withhold a giggle at how tiny and pale his ass is. Her brother might be the palest person she's ever seen in real life.

Then, Nancy slams open the door, not loud enough that her parents would hear it upstairs but loud enough to scare the shit out of her little brother, and she cries out, “Hey, what's going on in here?”

Mike screams. It's loud but sudden. Once quick yelp-like scream and he's grabbing for something to cover himself but his underwear are already in the machine.

“You idiot!” he hisses, hunched over to try to hide his crotch. “What are you doing down here?”

“What are you doing down here?” she challenges, smiling wickedly. She feels like a fox from one of their old storybooks. She wonders if her canines are showing.

“What's it look like?” Mike asks angrily. He's still covering himself. It doesn't seem hard to do, he's pretty small. Their mother keeps saying he's due for a growth spurt any day now.

“It looks like you're trying to hide something from Mom and Dad.”

“No shit.”

“Come now, dear brother,” Nancy coos, stepping closer to him. “It's perfectly natural. There comes a time in all boys lives where- Do I need to give you the birds and the bees talk?”

“Fuck off,” Mike scowls at her. He turns away from her as she approaches, more comfortable with her seeing his bare behind then his covered groin. Boys and their penises. If they're not playing with them, they're being ashamed of them.

“Oh gross,” Nancy laughs when she suddenly spots something between her brother's fingers. Something white, even whiter than his pasty skin, oozing like corn syrup. “You didn't even wipe it off? That's disgusting.”

“I was going to take a shower,” he spits out. “It was, it was all in my underwear still. Why don't you go away so I can wash my damn sheets and go back to bed?”

“Well gee, Mike, have you ever used the washer before? Maybe you need something special to get semen out of the cloth. How about I go wake up Mom and-”

“No!” Mike cries out. He moves suddenly, grabbing for her, both exposing himself and smearing the stuff on her wrist. Nancy makes a sound of disgust and pulls back from him.

“Ew!” Nancy wipes at her wrist on instinct, not even thinking of the fact she now has it on her hands, which is even worse than having it on her wrist. It's cold and sticky and makes her think of eating frozen macaroni and cheese for some reason. “You are so disgusting. Ugh. Turn on the sink so I can wash this gunk off me. This is so gross.”

Mike immediately turns on the sink next to the washer but he washes his own hands first and wipes off the taps before letting her take his turn. She tries to hold her hands far away from her but she can still smell the stuff. It's sort of bleachy smelling, like a towel that's been sitting out in a hot car after a trip to the pool.

She waits impatiently as Mike uses the sponge to clean off the gleaming metal, trying to avert her eyes in the process but she's mildly curious. He's no longer hiding himself from her and she can see his genitals just swelling out slightly from between his thighs. Not much besides a saggy looking scrotum and a shrunken looking penis. It looks sort of like a baby mouse, small and hairless and undefined. She knows he's uncircumcised, their mother made a big deal of not circumcising him to show the family she hadn't converted to Judaism when marrying their father, but she isn't sure how that would look in comparison to one that was.

Mike moves out of the way, clumsily, nearly tripping over his feet. Nancy rolls the bar of Dove soap between her hands and makes sure to scrub until her skin turns pink, but when she's dried them she swears she can still smell her brother's secretions on herself. Maybe she's just smelling the bottle of bleach on the shelf above the dryer.

“Why are boys so gross?” Nancy gripes.

“Well, you didn't have to follow me down here,” Mike points out. He's back to his laundry. Nancy watches him close the lid and inspect the settings on the machine. He sets it for Quick Wash.

“You need to set the load on small,” Nancy says, ignoring his comment. “You'll mess up the track on extra large with only your sheets in there. Too much water sloshing around inside.”

“Oh. Um, thanks.” Mike leans over the machine, pressing his stomach against the cold white metal, and fusses with the settings once more. It's not an especially large washer, but Mike is not an especially large boy. These things are made for adults. Nancy wonders if he noticed he's still naked in front of her. “Mom and Dad don't know about the, uh, dreams.”

“This isn't the first time?”

Mike shakes his head. He slides back off the dryer and lets himself keep sliding right down onto the floor. He sits on the ground, folding his legs beneath himself and leaning against the washer. Nancy is, frankly, astounded by his nonchalance over his nudity. It must be great to be an eleven year old boy. He covers himself with his hands but besides that doesn't seem to mind being naked in front of his older sister. She sits down next to him, their knees touching. The washing machine hums behind them. The metal is cold through her t-shirt.

“You know, I meant it even though I was joking,” Nancy says, letting her voice go serious. “We can talk about this stuff if you need to.”

Mike shakes his head again. His puts his hands up to rest them on his knees, the one pressed against Nancy's brushes her skin and he yanks it back as if she was hot enough to burn. “It's not really something I want to talk about with my sister, you know? I've talked to Lucas about it some. He, um, he gets really uncomfortable though, so not much.”

“You know why it's happening, right?” Nancy asks, nudging him with her own knee. Mike scoots an inch away. “It's just part of growing up.”

“I know, I know, geez,” Mike huffs. “It's not any worse than when you're on the rag. At least it doesn't go a week straight.”

“Do you have a crush on somebody?” Nancy prods. She scoots closer to him again and he doesn't pull back. Boys are so weird, but she wants him to know she means it. She wants to be supportive of him. He's never been particularly close to either of their parents. Not to the degree he could discuss things like sex or drugs or alcohol with them. They must have watched a lot of Leave It to Beaver back in the day because that was the sort of family dynamic they had always shot for. “If you've been, you know, thinking about a certain girl a lot that might cause it, I think. You know, overactive imagination and all that.”

“They're not like that,” Mike says, turning his head away from her. “I don't dream about anybody. It's more of just, like, a feeling. Like being wrapped up somewhere warm and happy, and then I wake up and my underwear are sticky. Lucas says it's because I don't do anything about it when I'm awake but, um. Never mind.”

“You haven't started jer, touching yourself yet?” Nancy asks, stumbling over the terminology. It feels wrong to use a word like “jerking off” in front of Mike. It's one thing to made crude remarks about fucking or dick-sucking in front of him, there's something abstract and childish with that. It's not something either of them actually have to worry about. But masturbation is something much closer at hand, literally.

Mike licks his lips, not answering, not looking at her. He fidgets, then uncrosses his legs, pulling them up to his chest. He moves his eyes and looks down, towards her feet maybe. It's difficult to tell. “Can we not talk about this? Seriously? I don't want to talk about this.”

“Okay,” she agrees, nodding. She looks at Mike's feet, maybe checking to see what might be interesting about her own. His are still smaller than hers but he's catching up fast in that department at least. Then she realizes her shirt has slid up a few inches when she had scooted closer to Mike and too much of her thighs are showing. She tugs at the shirt self consciously. “We um. Yeah. We don't need to talk about it. But, um, you still might want to say something to Mom. Just so, you know, she doesn't catch you doing laundry in the middle of the night and think you're on drugs or something.”

“I'll say something to her,” he agrees, his voice low in resignation. He's still looking down at her. She tugs at her shirt again and he looks away again. “This is so embarrassing.”

“At least nobody else knows,” Nancy says. She lets go of her shirt, deciding it doesn't really matter if too much of her thighs are visible. Their parents aren't here right now. “Try growing breasts. Or bleeding through your pants in the middle of class.” That had happened several years ago, back when she had first started her period and her cycles had been irregular. In the middle of a science test on human reproduction, of all things. She got teased for months afterwards, with her classmates telling her she had taken the subject too literally.

“Try getting a boner in the middle of a presentation,” he challenges back to her, his voice unusually low. He sounds angry now, but at what? He wasn't angry a moment ago. “When there's not even a table or podium to hide behind.”

“That happened to you?”

He nods gravely, frowning so deeply the lines along his nose widen. He tightens his arms around his knees, pulling them even closer to his chest. She can see the side of his ribs as he inhales and exhales. Why is he so much paler than her?“At the end of the year. We had to do those presentations on the states. It was so embarrassing. The guys noticed and teased me. Nobody else said anything but I think they weren't the only one who saw it.”

“That does sound pretty bad,” Nancy admits.

Mike nods and looks down towards her feet again. Or maybe it's her ankles? He looks miserable. The pains of adolescence.

Nancy had never really considered the fact that boys had their own things to go through. The only thing that had really indicated that any of the boys in her class had been experiencing puberty were the cracking voices and acne. She had been envious of them at the time, not even thinking about stuff like unwanted erections and nocturnal emissions and new body hair and probably new body odors. But boys had always smelled sort of bad, in her experience. Except for the ones with the good cologne, of course.

Mike licks his lips again. He's still looking down and his cheeks are pink. Color always looks odd on him. His face gets bright red when he exercises too hard and he looks like some exotic bird with black feathers and a red face.

“Nancy?”

“Hmm?”

“Could you maybe go get me a towel? I forgot to grab one on the way down.”

“Yeah,” she agrees. She stands up, halting halfway up to ruffle his hair. “But you're still disgusting for coming down here like that.”

She grabs one of their oldest towels, fearing, irrationally, that he would stain one of their newer ones. When she reaches the laundry room again she finds the door locked.

“Hey,” she complains, pounding at the door. “You ask for a towel then lock me out.”

“Just leave it out there,” Mike calls through the door.

“You're so rude,” she complains. “I don't even get a thank you?”

“Go away!”

She doesn't leave the towel on the floor. Mike waits awhile before opening the door, waiting for her to leave she assumes, and looks annoyed when he sees her.

“I told you to go away,” he points out, hiding behind the door still.

“And I told you to give me a thank you.”

“Thank you!” he replies angrily. He holds out a hand. “Give me the towel.”

She takes a step forward and holds the towel out for him.. He reaches for it but she's not close enough. He breathes angrily through his nose and geez, puberty really must be taking a toll on him. He's always been prone to tumultuous emotions but he was always more likely to cry than kick stuff.

He takes one small step closer to her, probably the smallest step he could possibly take and still reach the towel, and that's when she sees why he was hiding behind the door. And why he had locked the door in the first place.

“Oh,” she says, immediately feeling stupid because that's a really stupid response to seeing your eleven year old brother's hard on. “You're uh, yeah, down there.”

“It just happens!” he says, yanking the towel back from her. “It'll go away, just leave me alone.”

He goes to close the door but Nancy blocks it with her foot. She doesn't know why but she wants to see it.

“It's not that big,” she observes, staring at it. Mike hurries to cover it with the towel. She knows dicks can get pretty big. Big enough to hurt. But his looks harmless enough. Maybe four inches? Not that wide.

“It's growing,” Mike protests. “You don't see me saying your boobs are small.”

“They're growing too,” she shrugs. She used to hate how small they were but lately she's been starting to feel a little proud of them. Barb tells her she has great boobs. She even asked to feel them once, after gym class when they were alone in the changing room. Nancy had let her, but it had been sort of weird and she'd made her stop when they heard voices coming in.

“Yeah, I've noticed.”

“You have?” Nancy's surprised by that. Her mother insists on buying her restrictive undergarments, ones that “conceal not accentuate.”

“Well, yeah, how couldn't I?” Mike asks. He scratches at his nose. He used to do that a lot when he was younger, he went through a period where he had tried to scratch his freckles off his nose. Nancy had always thought his freckles were one of his best features, but some kids had called him Frog Face once and he was convinced it was because his freckles looked like the spots on a leopard frog. “We share a bathroom.”

“I don't walk around topless.”

“It'd be okay if you did,” Mike blurts, then immediately slaps his hand over his mouth. Nancy freezes, her lips pursed. She sucks at her teeth then wets her lips.

“Okay,” she says, drawing out the first syllable. “That was, um. Something.” Mike is looking at her with big, frightened looking eyes. “You, uh you have your towel. So I'm just going back to bed. You know how to use the dryer, right?”

“Nancy, I'm sorry,” Mike breathes out. His eyes shine. Tears of humiliation? “I didn't mean that. I mean, not like that. I just meant, you know, whatever made you comfortable. I don't think it's fair that Mom and Dad make you-”

She holds out a finger and presses it against Mike's mouth to shush him.

“It's okay,” she says. “You're a boy. Boys say stupid things sometimes and-oh.” She goes mute because Mike took this in a very weird direction. She's pretty sure it's not normal for little brothers to suck on their sisters fingers. But it makes a very nice image. He has very full lips for a boy.

He holds her hand still with both of his, they're so much smaller than her own, and takes the middle finger between his lips beside her index finger. His tongue feels funny against the pads of her fingers.

“This is...weird,” she finally gets out.

Mike pulls back, leaving her fingers wet and quickly growing cold. “Bad weird?”

“Weird weird,” she responds, then thinks for a moment before adding, “Maybe not bad weird. Where did you learn to do that?”

“A porno video,” he admits, smiling sheepishly. He really does have big lips. And a big mouth. She wonders if he'll ever grow into them. “We stole it from Dustin's father.”

“Does sex usually involve finger sucking?”

“I don't know,” he admits with a shrug. “Maybe? You're the teenager.”

She is the teenager. And the big sister. Which is why it's up to her to set a good example for her little brother.

Nancy locks the laundry room door once more then shoves Mike against it when she kisses him. He struggles against her at first, not exactly sure what's going on, but melts when he feels the tongue in his mouth. He still tastes vaguely like toothpaste from last night. How late did he go to sleep? He isn't her first kiss but her experience is still rather limited. But not as much as Mike's, who ends up pressing eagerly into her for more. His hands paw at her chest, eventually slipping up under her sleep shirt to find her breasts.

He squeezes them, hard. Too hard. Nancy breaks the kiss to hiss in pain and Mike lets his hands fall back at his side.

“No, it's okay,” she says quickly, grabbing them and shoving them back into place. “Just not so hard?”

He nods and initiates the next kiss. He fondles her more gently afterwards, running his thumbs repeatedly over her nipples until they're hard and oversensitive. But the pain is good, really good, and she feels wet between her legs.

“I'm going to help you,” she tells her brother. “But just this once. You need to learn to do this yourself.”

He nods, but his eyes are lidded and his lips swollen and she doubts he hears her.

She holds him half in her lap, letting him push up her shirt to kiss and bite at her breasts. It doesn't do anything about the throbbing heat between her own legs, just makes it worse if anything, but watching her little brother writhe in her lap as she quickly strokes him to orgasm is satisfying in its own way. He's already so hard and excited by this new development that it doesn't take long, maybe a minute? Two, tops? His breathing is heavy against her nipples. He latches onto her like a leech.

When he ejaculates it's much warmer than the stuff he had wiped on her earlier. Something about that makes it less disgusting to wipe off on his thigh. Like cold soup versus hot soup. Nobody wants cold French Onion.

He slips his hand between her legs after, once his breathing has evened, but she pushes him away. As much as she wants to do this, as much as she needs to orgasm, she doesn't want to do it on her brother's fingers. Even though he seems eager to help and seems entranced by the wetness on his fingers.

“You okay?”

He nods.

Her breasts are bruised and sore for days after. Every time she hears her mother call her from downstairs for the next six months she holds her breath, waiting for the hammer to fall. It never does.

 


 

Winter 1984-1985

 

Jonathan and Will are uncommonly close for a pair of brothers. Especially for ones with a pretty wide age difference compared to say, a pair of Irish twins. They share tastes in music and movies and both possess a sensitive, artistic aura. Maybe if Mike had been more like Will, Nancy would have been closer to him too throughout their younger years. They've grown closer since Mike became a teenager but their relationship is...complicated.

But somehow, Jonathan and Will's is even more complicated.

The first time they had sex, Jonathan insisted on wearing a condom. As far as Nancy was aware, Jonathan was a virgin. Maybe he was afraid of her having something, maybe picking up an STD from Steve. Jonathan knew she was on birth control so it couldn't have been fear of pregnancy but there were worse things out there than getting knocked up.

Next time she goes to refill her prescription, she has Jonathan give her ride to the clinic. Then she hands him her negative results for basically every STD known to man and starts to unzip his pants right in the middle of the parking lot at the grocery store.

“I don't have any condoms on me,” he says, grabbing at her wrist. “Let me run in and-”

“I don't have anything,” she reminds him. “It's right here on the paper.”

Then it's Jonathan's turn to avert his eyes and mumble something about it not being a good idea. That's when Nancy realizes that her information on this boy has been wrong. Jonathan wasn't a virgin the first time they slept together.

“Planned Parenthood tests guys as well,” she coaxes him. “It's no big deal. I'll go in with you.”

“It, it isn't that,” he falters, “I just, well, I can't. It'd be unfair.”

Unfair to who? His future wife? His ex-girlfriend, whoever she may be? Or...

“You're sleeping with somebody else,” she accuses. She isn't feeling the pain yet, and part of her is hoping she's wrong. The other part knows she is right. “I can't believe it! You're cheating on me?”

“No! I mean maybe, I mean, no. I'm not! I, I love you Nancy.”

And that's when the truth comes out.

Honestly, it isn't exactly shocking. It isn't that she had expected to find out her boyfriend is carrying on a secret sexual relationship with his little brother, but it didn't seem like something unheard of either. She knows Will is gay, Mike told her years ago about Will's crush on him.

Still, she sits silently in the car for a long while, staring ahead through the window at the little barbershop across the street. Jonathan doesn't move or talk, he just watches her. And he's shaking. His hands are on the steering wheel, as if he's trying to steady himself, but his arms tremble like he's stuck outside in a blizzard in only his underwear.

“Please don't tell anybody,” he begs her. “It isn't something I planned to do. I don't even know how it started. It just, it just sort of happened.”

She assures him she won't tell anybody about it. As long as Will isn't being forced into anything then there's no reason anybody else needs to know.

But she doesn't know how to feel. Jealous? Betrayed? Cheated on? Jonathan is having sex with another person, regularly from the sound of it. That is the very definition of being cheated on.

Somehow, she feels like it'd be more painful to hear he had kissed another girl once than to know he's been pounding his brother on a nightly basis. There's something non-threatening about their relationship. It's not like Jonathan will leave her to marry Will. There are so many reasons that's a non-possibility. If anything, he's cheating on Will with her, since they had been sleeping together since before she started dating the older brother.

But she feels...left out. Lied to. Except is it lying if you don't ask? Lying by admission? But how do you tell somebody else about that?

And more importantly, how could he have possibly known her own response to his story. It's not like she offered up her own story.

Jonathan is still shaking. Terrified. Terrified of being judged, of being dumped, of being reported, most likely. She has power here. But does she want that power?

“Do you remember a few years ago, when Mike's voice started changing?”

Jonathan nods, stiffly. His knuckles are white on the steering wheel.

“He reached puberty earlier than Will. Well, I think almost all the boys his age did.”

“Will's just a late bloomer,” Jonathan says gruffly, defending his brother's honor. That gives Nancy another peek into their weird relationship.

“I know,” Nancy says, laying her hand on Jonathan's. He releases his vice grip on the steering wheel and covers it with his own. She continues with her story. “He started having...nocturnal emissions and he was pretty embarrassed about it. I mean, what eleven year old wouldn't be? Mom knew but Mike didn't know she knew.”

“It's normal,” Jonathan says. “All boys do it.”

“I know. I knew it then. But when I caught him carrying his sheets down one day at like, three in the morning, I knew what had happened. He was trying to wash and dry them before anybody woke up in the morning. He didn't expect me to be in the bathroom.”

Jonathan nods and rubs his thumb over the back of her hand. He doesn't speak but she knows he's listening.

“I followed him downstairs to the laundry room, he didn't see me. I wanted to scare him.”

“That's so mean,” Jonathan says, his voice disapproving. He always disapproves of how the Wheeler siblings treat each other. Not everyone treats their brother with kid gloves.

“Yeah, it was,” she chuckles. Then she coughs nervously into her hand. “That's not what I wanted to say, though,” she pauses and looks towards Jonathan. He's watching her still, his eyes so calm, his breathing so even. He really is the picture of serenity at times like this. Sometimes that can be aggravating, when you want a response out of somebody. More often it was just soothing.

She continues with her story, from beginning to end, leaving out only the unnecessary parts like how she bled through her pants in seventh grade because nobody needs to know that. Jonathan remains silent throughout the entire story, only speaking once she lays back against her own seat and goes quiet.

“Okay,” Jonathan says, inhaling a deep breath. He lets it out slowly. “You're telling me you molested your kid brother?”

“You're fucking yours!”

“He's thirteen, not eleven!”

“But I wasn't sticking anything up his ass.”

“Jesus fuck,” Jonathan curses. He breathes again, then deflates, slumping forward into the steering wheel. He extends his arms up over the dashboard and stares across the street at that same barber's shop. “We're, we're quite a pair aren't we.”

“It wasn't a one time thing,” she adds, before things start to go off track. “I mean, it only happened two more times, but I wanted to get that out in the open.”

“Yeah...okay. Yeah.” Jonathan breathes through his nose again. “When was the last time?”

“Years ago,” she assures him. “It's, it's not like you and Will. It was just us experimenting, I guess? He's a guy, I'm a girl, we just wanted to, you know, have some experience.”

“Okay,” Jonathan says. He sounds exhausted. Just done with everything and everybody. Nancy worries if he's done with her. They sit in the car for a good hour, barely speaking, but before he puts the key back in the ignition he takes her hand.

“I won't say anything,” he promises.

“I won't either.”

“Jesus fuck,” he repeats again when he starts up the car. “What is wrong with us in this damn town? If we're not hunting demodogs or fighting tentacle monsters we're having sex with our little brothers.”

 


 

They don't bring it up again. Not for a few months, anyway. Not until the snow has started to melt and summer is quickly approaching. They discuss going to prom but Jonathan claims he's not a “prom sort of guy.” They decide to go to the movies that night instead. Jonathan is early for their date, as usual, and her parents make him sit in the living room and drink Pepsi with them until it's time to go because “The Wheelers are a Pepsi family, gosh darn it!”

She can't even feel bad about it. Jonathan knows the cost of showing up early and he always does it. They sit together, the three Wheelers on the couch and Jonathan in the matching recliner, and watch the Golden Girls until they hear footsteps on the stairs from the basement.

It's only Mike and Will, which is odd since Dustin and Lucas have also been downstairs all day playing board games with them. It's also odd because Mike has his arms around Will and is leading him into the room. Will stumbles over the carpet.

“Oh,” Mike lights up, seeing Jonathan, “We were going to go call your mom. Will isn't feeling good.”

“You're not?” Jonathan asks, frowning as he looks towards his brother. “Do you need to go home?”

“I threw up,” Will warbles. His eyes are red and runny. Jonathan is already leaning forward to set his Pepsi can on the table. Already ready to collect Will and chauffeur him back to a warm bed and hot soup, probably. But Will stops him from doing this. He climbs up onto Jonathan's lap, no questions asked, and puts his arms around him. He's too large for this, too large to apply the full pressure of his body weight, and his knees dig into the cushions on each side of Jonathan's legs.

Jonathan doesn't even seem embarrassed when he wraps him up in his arms.

“Do you think it could be food poisoning?”

“Don't know,” Will sniffs. Jonathan tightens his arms around the boy's waist and Will seems to collapse into him. He's crying, softly. Mike walks up next to Nancy on the couch and watches them. She glances towards him and he looks concerned.

"Why can't you be nice to your little brother like that?" Nancy's mother asks, nodding towards them. Nancy covers her mouth and laughs at the very idea of being "like that" with Mike. The cola in her mouth goes down the wrong pipe and she starts coughing. The carbonation burns.

“I'm sorry,” Jonathan apologizes as he ushers his brother out the door five minutes later. “Can I have a rain check?”

“You ruined my not-prom,” she responds, faux serious. “I'll never get the chance to skip out on my prom again.”

“I'll make it up to you,” he assures, and she feels bad for him because he seems to have missed the joke. He's distracted, fussing over Will. Tucking his coat around him, feeling his head for a temperature, wiping at his nose with the back of his own sleeve.

The house seems empty once they're gone. Mike goes back downstairs to continue whatever game they're playing and Nancy finishes the episode of the Golden Girls. She wishes Barb was around. It's a selfish thought, she shouldn't miss her best friend only when her boyfriend isn't available, and Barb probably would have went to prom. Maybe. She wouldn't have cared if she didn't have a date. She never cared about stuff like that.

She might have discussed the issue with Jonathan and Will with Barb, too. Probably not, because she was supposed to keep it a secret, but knowing somebody was there she could talk to was a nice thought.

Nancy excuses herself, claiming she's been feeling off as well. “Maybe whatever Will had is contagious. Better call it an early night, just in case.”

She digs out the old hairbrush she keeps hidden in a Pink Panther lunchbox under her bed. The handle is wide, but not too wide, and smooth plastic with a nice rounded end. She knows you can buy toys made for this purpose, but where could you buy something like that in Hawkins without setting tongues a wagging?

She thinks of Jonathan when she pushes it into herself. She thinks of his face and his arms and his stomach. She imagines his voice in her ear. She imagines his hands on her hips. She imagines herself on his lap, one of her favorite positions because of the closeness. One leg on each side of his. Just like Will had been sitting on his lap earlier.

The idea makes her freeze. Should she feel jealous over that idea? Of Jonathan making love to Will, face to face, chest to chest, like he makes love to her? He had seemed so small in her lap, how would that even work? Jonathan is much bigger than Steve was, big enough that he leaves her aching.

She thinks of how big it would be inside Will. She throbs around the brush, still frozen inside her. She thinks of how sweet they had looked together, with Will wrapped up in Jonathan's arms. She imagines how much sweeter it would have looked if Jonathan had kissed him. How much sweeter it would have looked if they had been naked. How sweet it would look to see Will riding his big brother's cock, both of them with rumpled hair and damp skin.

Nancy fucks herself sore on the hairbrush to the mental image of her boyfriend doing his baby brother. She wonders if she should hate herself.

 


 

They never do bother to go see the movie. Jonathan ends up confessing he had no real interest in seeing Police Academy 2 in the first place (“I just agreed to go because I wanted to be with you.”)

He takes her three towns over instead, to an art show at a private university. It's all photography and he explains to her stuff like technique and landscape and subject that go way over her head but she's happy to see him passionate about something. Seeing him in his element, comfortable for once around other people, somehow makes him even more attractive in her eyes. And he was already pretty damn attractive to her in the first place.

They find a spot on the way home, barely making it out of the town with the university, and fuck in somebody's recently planted field. It's spring but it's still getting cold at night. Jonathan covers them both with a blanket and their body heat catches between them, their breaths fogging the windows.

They do it with Nancy in his lap not just because she likes that position, but because the car is small and there aren't many other positions that work. At least the backseat has enough leg room, once you push the passenger seat forward.

Nancy has had too much to drink. They were handing out free champagne to attendees (“Sometimes that's the only way to pull in some patrons”) and she knows it is going to be difficult for her to come. It always is, when the least bit of alcohol has passed through her lips.

But Jonathan has a slight case of whiskey dick as well so it's fine. If they have to go at it for an hour then they go at it for an hour and Nancy will deal with the ache between her legs tomorrow. It's not necessarily a bad ache. It's a nice little reminder throughout the day, as long as she isn't biking or hiking or something like that.

Perhaps she's had more than she thought, was the champagne that high in alcohol? Because she's having trouble staying wet and while a little friction is nice too much is painful. Jonathan must notice because he lets his hands lay on her hips but stills his own hip movement, no longer makes any attempt to help push her up with his hands.

“We can, we can try later?” he asks, sounding out of breath. Because they've been going at it for twenty minutes now and even the strength alcohol affords a person starts to wear off after a bit.

“No,” she insists, grinding down onto him. He's still hard. He still feels good inside her. “I just, I-tell me about when you fuck Will.”

“What? Now?” She wishes she could see him but the night is black and the car is even black inside of it.

“Yes!” She pulls herself back up on her knees, then pushes back down. “While you're fucking me. Tell me about it.”

He seems confused but he braces himself once more and pushes back up into her. It's deep, it hits her cervix and she feels sparks of pain. She thinks she might have to pee. Or maybe he's pressing against her bladder.

“What do you want me to tell you?”

“How does he feel? Is he tight?”

Jonathan breathes against her ear and she feels him twitch inside him.

“Yes, he's very tight.”

“Tighter than me?”

“Y, yes,” he admits. He pulls her back down by her hips. She's still too dry but she accepts the discomfort for now. “He's so small. Of course he's tight. Some, sometimes I have to pull out because it, it hurts. And I need to keep, keep opening him.”

“How do you do it?” she pants into his hair. It's damp with his sweat, with her sweat. With her juices because she had been touching herself before she went dry and had ran her fingers through it with herself still all over his hands. “How do you open him? Your fingers?”

“Sometimes.” He pushes back up and she pulls herself up on her knees, letting him slide almost completely out of her. There's something like a gush between her legs, not enough to indicate than he came but enough that she knows her juices are flowing again. “Sometimes I use my mouth.”

“Does he like that?”

“Uh huh.” She lets gravity do its job and pushes back down onto him. The slide is better, easier. Jonathan must notice because he picks up the pace once more. “He sighs when I, I have my t, tongue inside him. He loves it.”

“Is he noisy?”

“Yes!” Jonathan's voice goes harsh all of a sudden. He stills. Trying to stop himself from coming. Nancy knows the sign. She squeezes him, teasing him. His eyes are clenched shut with concentration. She can't see that but she knows it when she touches his face. She finds the little crinkle in the corner of his eye and kisses it.

“How noisy?”

“Quiet at first,” he admits. His face relaxes. She feels the skin loosen. Nancy presses back down on him, grinding against him. She's wet enough now to use her fingers on herself. Now that there's no fear of chafing her clit. He feels the movement of her hand between her legs and knows she's back on track. “He sighs and whimpers, like he's self, self conscious. Then he starts moaning. But it's best when he comes because, because he screams.”

“Always?”

“Usually.”

Nancy doesn't scream when she comes. At least not audibly. Her body screams. It stiffens and her muscle ache afterwards. She silences herself by biting, hard, onto Jonathan's shoulder, and presses down on him to keep him still because she needs him in her completely when she comes.

When Jonathan comes, it's still in a condom.

She knows Jonathan doesn't use condoms with Will. She knows this. Jonathan is clingy and coddling as he holds her and tells her that his favorite thing about post-sex is the way she smells like him. When she asks what his favorite thing about Will is then, he says licking the cum out from between his legs.

“You can't keep doing it,” she says, despite everything. “Somebody will find out, eventually.”

“Nobody will find out.”

“Somebody will,” she insists. “And Will deserves a big brother, not somebody who treats him like a dirty little secret.”

“I know,” he agrees, “I just-who's ass am I supposed to kick for hurting him this time?”