WARNING: Contains the beginnings of a romantic sibling (incest) relationship. No sex or sexual play involved.
When he first awoke to the morning sun, Jason found his vision engulfed in the color blue. His entire face was also nearly engulfed in it, and he knew exactly why, as well. This was his sister’s hair, and she had obviously been sleepwalking again. It wasn’t a rare thing for her, and not even uncommon. He had eventually just boiled it down to the fact that they’d shared a womb, and she was just always so comfortable in his presence. This conclusion had been made at the age of eight, and they had just recently turned thirteen a few months prior.
He certainly hadn’t minded it, given his own comfort in her presence. They had always been quite close to each other when they were younger. He could remember countless times of waking up on the couch and leaned against her for support, just as she did at the same time. The only thing he ever had to be careful of was his face being smothered by her easily mussed up hair. There had been several rather embarrassing times where he’d nearly found himself with a mouthful of her blue locks. He liked her hair for its uniqueness despite other more mixed feelings about the entire situation surrounding that color, but he was not interested in swallowing any of it.
That was back then, before they reached puberty. Now, her sleepwalking made him terribly awkward and extremely self-conscious. He didn’t sleep naked—thank God for that much—but the idea that Jeanne could be in her own room when they went to bed and be in his bed when he or she woke up was an unnerving one. Part of him wished she could control the urge—or that she would tell their parents about the entire thing and get a potion that would deal with it. And if it continued on for much longer, he was going to seriously consider bringing it up with her.
For a long moment, he watched her sleep—watched her chest rise and fall with her breathing. In truth, he didn’t exactly hate that she still sleepwalked and ended up in his room, in his bed. What he hated was the things it did to him, because it played with his emotions in ways he wished they wouldn’t be toyed with. It scared him, because he already knew his internal reactions were a far cry from normal. Were he to react how a sibling was supposed to react to their sibling’s sleepwalking, he would be mildly annoyed at the entire thing and nothing more. All this ever seemed to do was reaffirm that he was just not a normal teenager.
He knew exactly what it meant. While he hadn’t actually told anyone about these feelings for a specific someone, they had been explained anyway during the awkward little thing his parents and Shaun had called ‘the talk’ a few months prior. These feelings started sometime after he’d turned twelve, and they only seemed to keep growing from there. It was starting to grow into the territory of emotions he liked to call ‘misery’, because that was what it often led to him feeling.
And there was a growing part of him that was starting to get into feelings of self-loathing, because what kind of older brother—by a measly fifteen to twenty minutes or not—developed such an interest in his sister? Yes, she already was growing up to become a very attractive young woman who would probably break a few hearts on her way to finding romance. That, unfortunately, only aided and abetted his current problem. He still had an innate big brother instinct to protect her and make sure she was well. But there was also the desire to hold her, present her with more than just a birthday or Christmas present such as her favorite teddy-bear from last Christmas, and do so many of the things good boyfriends and husbands did for their significant other.
Why did he have to always feel like there was something severely wrong with himself for everything? On top of his hidden incestuous emotions, which were just a recent development, anyway, there was the true nature of his conception along with the most obvious result of it—his blue hair. He liked the color well enough, though was of the opinion Jeanne looked much better with it, but it still presented a small problem. Not everyone looked at it and dismissed as nothing but the consequence of some ‘new’ way of impregnation. Many people wondered if there were more oddities about him and Jeanne both. Jason had started wondering if perhaps the things he had been feeling were also a product of the magical conception.
Thankfully, it wasn’t long before Jeanne had woken up, as well. He gave a small sigh as she shifted around and eventually sat up, rubbing at her eyes and yawning. It was another moment, though, before she registered where she was, and when she looked at him with a rather pink face, he spoke.
“And she’s awake.” He finally sat up, as well, and watched her for a moment.
Jeanne’s face only turned darker by the second. “S-sorry,” she stammered out incredibly awkwardly.
A very large part of her wondered if she could actually succeed in finding and brewing something to end the highly embarrassing sleepwalking. While in the past, she hadn’t minded her little tendency to sleepwalk on a semi to regular basis, she was starting to really hate the very awkward next mornings. If it weren’t for the rather infernal puberty having been setting in for the last nine months or so, it wouldn’t have been quite the issue she felt it was now.
Unfortunately, there was puberty there, and it was making itself very well known to her.
She quickly scrambled up from his bed, hoping desperately that she didn’t look too eager to get away, all while expressing the awkwardness. In truth, she really wouldn’t mind staying, but knew it would probably look awkward. “I’ll get… er, going,” she got out before heading out of his room and closing the door with a small silencing spell in place while she did.
When a knock came on his bedroom door, Jason gave nothing more than a short, “Come in,” to the person waiting outside. Keeping his bedroom door closed was, while he had been insistent on, mostly so that when someone did come into the room, he could always make sure he wasn’t doing anything incriminating in his solitude. He loved the privacy, especially given his status as ‘only male’ in the house. And now that he’d been going through the mess of puberty and the odd feelings it gave him, the privacy was all the more important. Most of the time, it was more of a formality of generally being polite and asking permission to enter first—barring, of course, emergencies.
Jeanne opened the door to his room and entered quickly, closing the door just as quickly. “I’m done with the book I borrowed,” she announced. As Jason turned his head to look at her, and sequentially turned the rest of his chair around, a wry grin formed on her face.
“Remind me why I let you borrow that,” he sighed, seeing clearly the multitude of plots running through her mind.
“Halloween is coming up, and I needed something to do for the season,” she explained quite vaguely, a playful tone to her voice.
Jason’s expression was mostly not amused by this. “Who did you have in mind?”
The blue-haired teenager grinned. “Russett,” she answered. “And Carl, and Tate, and Skylar.”
In that last second, Jason’s hand met his forehead with an audible thwack and he sighed. “If Rebecca finds out you tried to traumatize Russett, it won’t matter that she’s younger and without magic. And Carl is way too paranoid already. If you want to mess with Tate and Skylar, fine, have fun. But leave Russett and Carl out of it.”
Jeanne deflated some. “Awe, I wasn’t going to do much,” she attempted to wheedle. “Just—”
“No,” Jason found himself insisting. Of course he had to be the responsible one of the two of them. Of course it had to be him… It felt so clichéd.
When he simply held out his hand finally, Jeanne sighed and passed the book to him. “I know Carl is paranoid, and I know Rebecca is tired of hearing Russett complain.”
“That’s why I’m telling you to leave them alone this year.”
“Katlin will get them if I don’t.”
“Not my point.”
She sighed—of course he had to burst her bubble of fun. Then again, it was true that she really didn’t want to irritate Rebecca, regardless of the fact that she was usually very sweet-tempered. There was also the fact that Russett, himself, was never too thrilled at being messed with. Though if she had to be honest, a large part of the fun was getting him all riled up in the first place. Part of her regretted the idea of getting him a paintball gun, because his revenge usually involved it.
And, of course, Carl already scared easily enough at times, and was beginning to hate that Halloween always seemed to be even worse for him. He had enough issues to deal with, especially given all his crazy theories revolving around The Agency that were based more on rumor and speculation than actual fact.
“Ok, fine,” she relented. “Only Tate and Skylar this year.”
Jason gave a small, albeit reluctant, nod. While he still didn’t entirely approve of any of his friends being messed with as mercilessly as Jeanne would do, at least they were harmless compared to everyone else, or didn’t have a very strong tendency to spout conspiracy theories. “Good. Now we only have to worry about what Katlin is going to do this time.”
And with that one, God help them all, because they were going to need it. For as merciless as Jeanne could be, Katlin could be even more merciless. It was a miracle that he still had some shreds of his own sanity left after some of the things she did. And she had an amazing ability to startle or scare nearly anyone she chose. It just so happened that part of Halloween was doing just that, which she loved.
Jeanne lingered as her brother turned back around, suddenly finding herself glancing to various patches of the dark wood-patterned linoleum floor. For a moment, she almost felt like she was waiting on him to give her some kind of direction of what to do now. But he wasn’t going to be doing anything of the sort, and if anything happened, she was likely the one who would have to initiate it. Regardless of whatever happened, or however he felt at almost any given moment, Jason was the one between them who practiced self-restraint. Even on the off chance he felt some similar pull towards her, he was unlikely to do anything about it. Surely, he knew what it would all be considered.
He could sense her still there after he put the book back in its place on his desk and went back to the math assignment he hadn’t quite finished. A part of him wondered why she was lingering, because that she was lingering was quite obvious. Was there something she needed or wanted at the moment? As much as he was afraid to find out what it was—because when she wanted something, it always meant trouble for someone else in the end—he knew that if she stuck around any longer, his curiosity would win out. That, in itself, wasn’t really a bad thing, but sometimes her ideas just defied any sense of sanity left in the world.
Before he knew what was going on, the swivel chair turned around completely and she was before him, closer than she had been. His eyes widened in shock, and he instinctively tried to back into the fabric of the chair. There was most obviously a look in her eyes that screamed of desperation and need, and it absolutely terrified him. If he had to be so honest, seeing that in her was terrible, because he knew that bottled within him was the same desperation and need. It was the emotions he bottled up because regardless of its inevitable building up, he couldn’t let them show.
Suddenly, the chair tipped back on two of the five wheels, and his right arm was pressed against the edge of the desk. The position was awkward, but that didn’t keep him from trying to back up any further. As appealing as this was becoming by the second, he had to stop it before he couldn’t bring himself to and things went too far. It was purely obvious what she was intending to do, but as much as a part of him—an admittedly large part of him, of course—craved to let things just happen as they would now, he had to restrain himself. If he didn’t, what would happen next?
She was practically in his lap now, leaning in closer and closer to him. One of the bad parts about the entire thing was that he found himself unable to move any more than he already had, although that was admittedly not the worst of if all. That title went to the fact that, as afraid as he was of the entire thing, his body was screaming to let it happen and not to hamper it. It didn’t help that he could see the texture within her irises, which was even more alluring than perhaps they were ever really supposed to be, with their almost patterned strands of blue and grey of varying shades. And her lips—the way they were parted just so, or the way they were not too thin or wide, but absolutely perfect and such a pretty shade of pale pink without any sort of gloss—looked absolutely perfect for kissing.
It was wrong, he reminded himself, immoral. Siblings weren’t supposed to be attracted to each other as such. They were always supposed to be siblings, and absolutely nothing more than that. Something was supposed to happen during their first six years or so of life living together that desensitized them to each others’ sexual charm later on in life. But for some reason, it hadn’t happened, and he felt attracted to her. And because of that, he felt like there was something wrong—defective—about himself, as if he really was a freak after all.
He was a freak, as some had said, regardless of what he, Jeanne, and their family said. No matter what their friends said, that their natural hair color made them unique, it always singled them out. It wasn’t helped in the least by the things some who knew the exact details of their conception would say. Some would say something like, ‘This is what happens when magic is added to childbirth.’ Others—including those who didn’t know magic was involved—might just go, ‘God only knows what else is different about them…’ Jason and Jeanne had both learned at a young age to not respond to the whispers around them. But regardless of all that, they still heard the whispers, and it still stung very deeply.
And because of this entire mess he was in now, torn between letting his sister kiss him and pushing her back in self-restraint, he felt even worse like a freak. It was the purest form of agony he’d known.
Her lips were on his, pressed with that desperate need, and he melted. What he knew was so wrong in that moment before now felt so absolutely right. Every reason he had for pushing her away and telling her they shouldn’t be doing this melted away and faded into the abyss. No matter that he’d denied himself for as long as he had—since puberty started really setting in—he couldn’t bring himself to deny her what she wanted and clearly so desperately needed. More than anything for himself or his own wellbeing, what made her happy was the thing that mattered most. And if she so needed this from him now, how could he ever deny it of her? For as long as it involved her, he was nothing but a fool in love.
After an eternal moment, Jeanne pulled away shakily. Her face was a bright red and the corners of her eyes were starting to wet themselves. It was a moment of total weakness, she told herself, that started this whole thing. She’d lost her self-control and did something she wasn’t sure either of them would ever truly come back from the same way. She’d kissed her own brother, after all. What kind of sister did that, no matter how much she loved him? Perhaps she really was some kind of freak, just as so many people outside her family and friends would say. And then, if she had to confess to any of her family or friends, would they start thinking the same? What did Jason think of her now?
It quickly crashed down upon her head and all around her—she’d just screwed things up royally.
“I-I’m sorry, I—”
She couldn’t finish that little train of thought, because her voice had suddenly abandoned her along with all her thoughts. His eyes were hardly guarded like they got sometimes, but through her own haze of sorts, she couldn’t read them at all.
For an agonizingly long moment, Jason sat in his still tipped back chair in some sort of shocked daze. His face was burning up, and he didn’t really know how to respond to anything. He was aware that Jeanne was starting to look absolutely terrified of what she must be thinking now, but there was almost nothing he could do for what felt like an eternity—as clichéd as that was. And if that moment of agony lasted any longer than it had already, he felt as though he might go absolutely insane. He had to do something to keep her from suddenly assuming the worst possible thing and causing some kind of household disaster.
He tipped the chair forward back onto all five of its legs and reached out to grab her hand. It was clammy, just like his own. “Wait,” was the only thing that came out of his mouth in that moment. “Wait…”
Jason looked vulnerable, she decided. It was unlike him to look such anymore, but this also wasn’t a normal situation for either of them in the first place. No wonder that he looked so exposed to the world for all its harshness. His emotional security was failing him, and it became more obvious by the second as the haze cleared up. For the first time in years, he looked like the little boy she’d sworn to protect right as he swore the same to her. And yet she had been the one to unravel the binds that had kept his heart protected from the world’s bitterness to reveal his actual vulnerability.
“I’m sorry.” She choked the words out, almost strangling herself. “I… I shouldn’t have done that.” She forced herself to look away and at the wood-patterned floor. “It’s wrong, immoral,” she recited from a comment that had had been posted to her problem, shared over the internet in hopes of getting some kind of help in the situation. “This… isn’t…” Suddenly, she broke down in a flood of tears, unable to finish what she was trying to say or even convince herself of its truth.
In a split second, Jason was up and holding the crying girl close. If he had to be so honest, a very large part of him was also on the verge of breaking down in the exact same way. The only thing stopping him from crying, as well, was his knowing that it was likely Jeanne needed someone to lean on in her own moment of vulnerability. And the fact that he was the one with her now meant that he was the one who had to let her cry on his shoulders, literally or metaphorically as the case may be.
Still, it didn’t mean he wasn’t going to use the moment of holding her as his own sort of comfort, because he needed something just as much as she did.
He ran a hand through her pin-straight hair. Was it truly so wrong of him to want to continue holding her in his arms? The thing he wanted most was to stay with her for the rest of their lives and make sure she was happy and well. He was very well aware that some might perceive his feelings as creepy or weird, but he couldn’t deny how strong they were. And they felt genuine. The thing that so many people in society said was so disgusting and wrong nevertheless felt so absolutely right.
Screw society, he decided, even if it was regaled to secrecy. If Jeanne wanted this as much as he did, how could he ever attempt to deny it? Their parents—although he was bane to upset them—would have to live with the relationship if they found out.
Eventually, Jeanne sighed and pulled back from her brother’s embrace. Though, she left her clammy hand in his. “I’m… sorry… That was—”
“Stop apologizing,” Jason interrupted, speaking softly. He brushed the long bangs of her hair from her face to see the tear streaks, which he immediately wiped away with his sleeve. “Because you don’t need to.”
For a moment, her eyes just widened and she couldn’t speak.
“Are you really that convinced you shouldn’t have done that?” he asked, almost whispering now. When she didn’t answer, he continued. “If that’s something you needed to do, then please don’t be sorry.”
She scrambled for something to say. What was she supposed to do now? After having freaked him out in her desperate need, it was only right to apologize. She’d kissed him, for God’s sake! A part of her was still trying to convince herself that siblings were just not supposed to kiss like that—like lovers. So what if her body had convinced her that she couldn’t take the restraint anymore? The part of her that was convinced people followed society without questioning it had too much hold over her to not let her escape the guilt of it. She and Jason were siblings, not lovers, and wasn’t that the way it had to be at the end of the day?
But at times in the end, wasn’t it feelings of the heart that mattered more than the logic of the mind?
“We-we’re twins,” she sobbed, albeit quietly. “We’ve lived together our whole lives. So why—why do I look at you and see more than my older brother?” Tears had not stopped falling, and now they came harder. Why couldn’t she see him as her brother, and nothing more? She wanted to ask that so much. But by his expression, she knew if she asked that, it would only hurt him.
Now he scrambled for something to say. Was it finally time to confess everything to her? “Maybe for the same reason as me,” he said, pulling her close again and stroking through her hair again. “You’re the most important part of my life, and I can’t stop from seeing you as more than my sister.” Was it alright to see her as more? He wanted dearly to ask that, but didn’t. She was already facing enough emotional stress.
She looked back at him from her position close to him, and found herself unable to stand it any longer. “Is it alright to love you like this?” she blurted out. Her voice was starting to grow hoarse, with her throat constricting like one of those Chinese finger traps when one tried too hard to escape them.
In all honesty, he didn’t really know, despite that society said it was so terrible and wrong. Was it truly so sickeningly acceptable to tear apart a love that just happened because it was made some universal taboo? Or was it something people were simply just too afraid of admitting still happened in those rare instances no matter what was done to stop it? Were they really as perverse as some would say, or just victims of love? And if it really was so repulsive, how could those desires still be there if he had prayed for the washing away of his sinful desires?
“I don’t know,” he admitted. “I just… I just know that I want to be with you.”
“I want that, too,” she said. “I—Even if it is wrong, I still love you.”
Finally, Jason gave her a soft, almost lopsided, smile. “I guess that settles it,” was his only offering, and gently pulled her back in to give his belated response to her first kiss.
Jeanne felt her face heat up more than it already had, and melted into the second kiss. She was hardly aware of anything going on around her, or that she was wrapping her arms around him while he stroked her cheek with one hand. This moment was too sweet, too amazing, to even try focusing on anything else at all. She had daydreamed on several occasions about kissing him, and what it might be like. But this reality superseded them all. It was almost like he was running on the instincts of someone who had done this sort of thing before, and she was perfectly aware that he hadn’t.
Unfortunately, their moment was ruined at what might have been the best part of it all, when a knock came at the door Jason liked to have kept closed. “Dinner will be on the table shortly,” Aster’s voice came through.
At that, Jason and Jeanne quickly backed away from each other, both blushing a very bright shade of red. “Right,” he called out, attempting to force the awkwardness from his voice. With any luck, Aster wouldn’t notice and wouldn’t sequentially ask if everything was alright.
Clearly, though, he wasn’t having much more luck at the moment. Aster was lingering outside the door, probably contemplating whatever might be going on with him and Jeanne at the moment. Jeanne, meanwhile, glanced to him as if to ask, ‘Do we actually tell them?’
He gave a small, silent sigh as if say, ‘We probably don’t have a lot of choice now.’ He turned to the door and made his way over to open it, red-faced as he was. “We’re coming.”
Aster blinked rather owlishly at the kids’ clearly embarrassed expressions, and wondered just what had taken place when she came knocking. “Is everything alright?”
For a moment, neither twin was sure of what to say. It was Jeanne who finally spoke up in the end. “We, uh… Dinner table,” she got out.
“Family discussion?” Aster quickly guessed, and got a nod from both the kids as confirmation. “Alright.”
When Aster turned to leave the hall and make her way back down to the kitchen, the two teenagers quickly followed. It was awkward, though, with the prospect of having to explain so quickly what happened after only just starting to accept it, themselves. It wasn’t as if they’d had the time to figure out how to explain it to their moms. Just about everything had happened so unimaginably fast that there was no time to really stop and think about what was going on. And now they were being dumped into a very awkward dinner conversation without any way of knowing what might happen.
After Cari had pulled up two pans from the stove to carry over to the table, Jason pulled up the last remaining one before Jeanne or Aster could. Shortly thereafter, after maneuvering around and placing everything at the table, they were all seated and, in yet another moment, were passing around the food. That didn’t take but a few minutes in the end, which left them all in an awkward silence. Of course, that silence was very quickly ended when Aster spoke up, and began the onslaught of an awkward family discussion.
“So what’s going on now?” she asked, as calmly as possible. Her mind was just racing, given that the twins’ blushing faces left open a lot of questions.
Cari glanced between the silent teenagers carefully, doing her best not to assume the worst of anything. This wasn’t a household disaster yet. “Yeah… What’s this one about?”
Jeanne found herself tripping over her own thoughts, not even able to begin vocalizing them yet. “Oh, well, um…” She glanced to Jason for help.
At this point, Jason began fumbling through his own mind even worse. Still, one of them had to start the explanation somehow, and if Jeanne was having too much trouble with it, it was clearly up to him. “We, er…” His face started turning even more red with embarrassment. How was he even supposed to begin getting it out?
There was an awkward silence that stretched on for miles. Eventually, Jeanne couldn’t take the silence anymore, and quickly blurted out, “We like each other!”
It took Cari a moment to catch on to what her daughter meant. When she did, her face turned a surprisingly bright shade of red, more-grey-than-blue eyes went almost unimaginably wide, and she heard Aster sputtering into a very shocked laughter. For a very long moment, the only thing Cari could get out was a small and almost too quiet, “Oh.” That was not the news she’d expected to get out of them in the end.
As Cari sat there in a blushing, shocked stupor and Aster nearly fell out of her chair from a roaring laughter, Jason sat stock-still and stared at his yet untouched dinner plate. He could sense that Jeanne was doing very similar. This was not the reactions he was expecting to see from their so abruptly shared news, and a very large part of him wasn’t sure quite how to deal with it. Although admittedly, Cari’s reaction was a little closer to what he was expecting. It just didn’t hold any of the scorn or disapproval he had expected to see. And he wasn’t at all sure of just why Aster seemed to find the entire thing hysterical. Maybe it was just shock.
For an eternal moment, no one could speak. Finally, when the phone rang and was sequentially answered by Cari only to find it was a telemarketer, that silence outside of Aster’s laughter was broken completely. And better—for once—that the telemarketer did call, Jason supposed, because the silence might have stretched on until long after dinner got cold. He, for one, really didn’t like having to reheat his meal for anything when it hadn’t been finished. Not all food was good after a second heating, or was just much better off being made into a soup or stew.
It was at that point, that Aster finally sat up straight from being hunched over in laughter, and looked to the still awkward twins. Her face was a luminescent pink color at the moment. “Sorry,” she offered, trying not to laugh even more again. “I just… wasn’t really expecting that…” She had honestly expected something much worse—though she couldn’t say exactly what that might have meant.
Jason shared a glance with Jeanne before looking back to the two parents. Now that the two women knew, what were they going to say? “We’d… Well, we don’t want to make you—”
Very quickly, Cari raised her hand to silence the boy. “You two want to, ah, be together?” she asked for confirmation. At the two awkward nods she got, she lowered her hand and spoke again. “Well, I don’t see a huge problem with it, but…” She glanced almost awkwardly to Aster now. She didn’t want to say too much more, and accidentally insinuate that she actually had terribly mixed feelings on the entire thing when her children needed some kind of support.
Suddenly, all pairs of eyes were settled on her and it made Aster uncomfortable to speak. “I don’t have any issues personally, either. It’s just… Well—”
“We know what people think of it,” Jeanne blurted out suddenly. She winced a bit internally, but continued. “And—and I know the risks of a child being born to siblings.” Her face heated up again. “I-I… did some research on it and found out what could happen.”
At Jeanne’s little outburst, Jason glanced back to his plate and rubbed the back of his neck sheepishly. “I… also looked into it.”
He had also asked for help in what to do with his feelings, but was absolutely not going to say that. A good few of the responses had been far less than pleasant and a part of him regretted ever asking for help. Some people thought he was trolling, and others simply thought he was some kind of perverse freak. While those posts had been reported and removed quickly enough, they still stung him pretty badly. He was perfectly aware his attraction to Jeanne was highly unusual and rare, but he couldn’t get away from the feelings.
“We can’t have children, otherwise they could be deformed, or suffer some mental or other physical illness because of recessive genes,” he continued. “The closer the relatives are in a family, like siblings, the more likely…” He wasn’t sure he could finish that train of thought, and didn’t want to try. “And I don’t even think we could… really be open about the relationship, anyway… Enough people think we’re…” Now he really couldn’t finish what he was going to say.
Cari’s expression became even more saddened. “You’re not…”
She struggled to finish her train of thought, but it was only to be expected. She’d heard enough whispers about her children, just as Aster had and everyone else of their friends and families. They’d even heard some quite brazen people call them weird to their faces, which hurt terribly—though the whispers often hurt worse, because those who did the whispering spoke only where they thought they were unheard, and would then acted pleasant in public. While most people just let the entire thing alone without commenting, others were far more vocal. And despite the kindness and acceptance from others, she saw what the whispering did to the twins. The worst part was there was almost nothing she could do to reassure them outside of telling them that such people didn’t know what they were talking about.
If the two of them grew up to never trust others entirely, she wouldn’t be at all surprised.
“We know what some people say,” Aster decided to put in as Cari recomposed herself a little. “But they can’t see past the outside.”
All of a sudden, Jason snapped. “I’ve heard some people call us monsters! Even if they are only looking at the outside… What if they’re right?” Even if most of them were just a bunch of ignorant religious fanatics, like Tate’s parents, what if they actually had a point somewhere, and these feelings were only the beginning? He felt himself shrinking into his chair. “I love my own sister, and not in the way brothers should… It’s incest. It’s taboo.”
Jeanne gave a small noise that sounded like a cross between a sigh and a whine, and lowered her head almost in shame. “It’s almost the biggest taboo in the world. And we’re… in the middle of committing it.”
It was a very long moment before either parent knew how to respond to their children. Finally, Aster cleared her throat to try and say something. “Yes, that is… what everyone says. But that’s also because it so rarely happens, on top of the more genetic issues. And suddenly, people are taught that it’s disgusting when it does happen.” She watched the two teenagers sulk for a moment before continuing. “The only thing that makes it that way is peoples’ attitude towards it after so long. I personally believe that as long as you understand the consequences whatever you do, that you will act responsibly.”
“If anyone else finds out—anyone we don’t trust completely…” Jeanne trailed off sheepishly. “The things people say will only get worse.”
“Then come up with a way that they won’t find out,” Cari suggested, feeling safe enough to speak without pain breaking into her voice again. “Put your heads together and figure something while around others you don’t want knowing.”
Jason glanced awkwardly between everyone. “Well, we could… always pretend to start having standard sibling arguments…”
“And we could pretend to mess with each other,” Jeanne suddenly put in. She looked a little less upset now, though not by a whole lot. “I can tease him, and he can make some kind of smart-aleck response.”
Aster thought for a moment on each scenario, and nodded carefully once. “I think those ideas are definitely worth at least testing out. And then when you’re alone, you can act however you like.”
As romantic as they liked. Both twins knew what Aster was leaving out saying, and possibly why. Regardless of whether they accepted the new addition to the twins’ relationship, thinking of them as boyfriend and girlfriend was still an extremely awkward thing. For now, the two were just happy the entire thing was accepted, and didn’t mind that their parents might only imply the depth of it.
“Now, we should start eating before we have to reheat dinner,” Aster interjected. She watched everyone grimace a little and nod, and begin to work on their meal. It was one thing to reheat leftovers, but having to reheat dinner was just not cool.
Eventually, Jeanne spoke up again. “So… Why don’t you really mind this?” she asked awkwardly. Just thinking about the potential answer she might get made her feel so terribly awkward, on top of feeling the compulsion to ask in the first place.
Cari shared a small glance with Aster before focusing back on the girl. “Many an interesting and awkward conversation with my parents,” she stated honestly. “And your grandma happens to be especially good at getting into to those. Not that your grandpa isn’t, either, but…” She eventually just shrugged.
“Can we not tell them?” Jason asked, pausing with his food for a moment of thought. “It’s…” He paused. “Awkward right now, to tell anyone else.”
Cari just nodded. “We don’t have to tell them. Although I would suggest talking to Shaun, because it’s on him to help you with male things.”
At first, Jason paled a bit. “And what if he doesn’t approve?”
“We trust him enough that he won’t say anything against it as long as you’re both responsible about it all,” Cari quickly replied. When neither Jason nor Jeanne looked entirely convinced yet, she sighed. “Do you want us to talk to him first?”
Jason shared an awkward and nervous glance with Jeanne, and reached for her hand underneath the table. She took hold of his quickly, and he noted that both of them seemed to relax a little more. Of course they needed to let Shaun know about the entire relationship, and how it had so suddenly changed. It was just difficult and scary, because who knew what he’d really think of it? Maybe if their parents did talk to him first, it would be easier later for the twins, themselves.
He made eye contact with their parents again and nodded a little. “If you don’t mind, please…”
“You’re serious, aren’t you?”
Shaun looked between the two women who had swiftly demanded they speak with him immediately as they nodded simultaneously, expressions equally solemn. It had been important, they insisted, and he if he wasn’t doing anything he couldn’t walk away from for a moment, he needed to take a short break from it. And over the phone, Aster had sounded like whatever was going on was something of an emergency. There had been an odd silence otherwise, like the world had just left them alone. In the end, he had consented to them stopping by immediately so they could talk to him about whatever had just happened.
He hadn’t been expecting them to tell suddenly him that the twins were interested in pursuing a relationship with each other. The first thing that had crossed his mind was something along the lines of, ‘What the hell did I just get myself into?’ before he moved on to how he was meant to deal with the news. There were two ways he could respond to it now. First, he could simply say no, that this was not going to happen between them because it was against Biblical law and illegal otherwise. Alternatively, he could accept the news much better and throw in his support to help when he was needed. The only problem was that he had absolutely no idea which course of action was both right and helpful for the situation they were now all in.
First, he supposed, it was best to get some more information.
“And it looks like the start of a good thing for them?” he asked.
“We have yet to fully determine that,” said Aster. “But it certainly doesn’t look like a bad relationship. You know how close they are.”
Shaun sighed some and began to pace about his office. “That worries me some, because they’re so close. What happens if this new addition to their relationship, well, ends badly? I’m more worried about it pulling the four of you and me apart. If that day comes, they might expect sides to be taken. I don’t want—”
In that moment, Cari wanted to smack the wizard out of his little spiel before it got much more panicky than it already was. She refrained and just gave an exasperated sigh that interrupted him. “Communication is not an issue for them, and you know it,” she enunciated clearly and sternly. “If there is a problem, they talk it out more often than not without needing us to interfere. I don’t see where they’ll have any problem talking about a problem that arises.”
He stopped pacing, swerved, and turned back to the brunette vampire. He had a genuinely concerned expression now, as opposed to his more frustrated one just a moment ago. “There’s still the chance this relationship doesn’t work out the way you all think it will. And even worse, what if the relationship becomes unhealthy for them?”
Both woman’s expressions hardened, and Aster quickly spoke. “If it does become unhealthy, we’ll take measures to deal with it. But you’ve seen them interact more than enough to know they both want the best for each other.”
“They’re also only thirteen,” Shaun sighed in exasperation, closing his eyes and placing a hand against his head, as if he had a headache. “Yes, we’ve talked with them about sex and relationships a few times already, but we don’t know if they’re actually ready for such a relationship.”
Cari’s hand met her forehead with an audible thwack—it sounded worse than it actually felt—and gave another exasperated sigh. “That’s what we’re going to find out now. We’re aware they’re young, haven’t had a lot of worldly experiences, and this would make their first romantic relationship. But they look like they match each other so well right now, and damn it, they’re adorable when they’re together. They already know the consequences of whatever their future actions are and what could happen if people found out. We’re dealing with right now, though, and we need your support to make sure things don’t go sour.”
“That’s not an issue,” Shaun defended quickly, raising his hands in front of himself some. “I don’t want anything to go wrong, either. But you’re asking a lot for me not to accidentally give them the impression I don’t approve. And to be honest, I don’t know if I do approve or not. This isn’t the kind of thing I plan for.” He paused, and watched the women carefully. “And why are you so accepting of this, anyway?”
A small blush formed on Cari’s face and she glanced away awkwardly. “We’ve had many an interesting conversation with my parents, which zigzag through all sorts of things. Very interesting things, and some weird ones that make us think about how things really work. I do have mixed feelings, but I’m also aware that this does occasionally happen. And I can’t leave those two feeling betrayed by one of the people they trust the most.”
“And if they can’t trust us, then I can’t see them trusting anyone but each other,” said Aster. “So it doesn’t matter if we have mixed feelings or not. They need our support now more than ever.”
Shaun sighed and rubbed his face some. “We’ll see what happens, and try to make things work out for the best, whatever that is. Now, before they do start thinking I don’t approve yet, we should talk to them immediately. The last thing they need is for someone they trust to start thinking they’re… weird.” He wouldn’t say freaks—he didn’t like the word much, anyway. As it was, Cari and Aster knew what he meant, and that was the important thing. “And hopefully they haven’t gotten into any mischief while you were gone.”