Derek and Danielle

Chapter Seventeen

Disclaimer: This story is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

As well, this work of fiction depicts sexual activities between teenagers, siblings and otherwise. As such it may be illegal to view this story where you live, and you should cease reading at this point if that is the case.

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Derek hesitantly called Sara the next morning, as he was leaving for school. She reluctantly agreed to meet him at the football bleachers, then quickly rang off.

On that blustery morning, Derek wrapped his coat tighter around himself and rubbed his hands. He hadn't had to wait long, as he could spot Sara walking towards him. Her expression was neutral as she came within talking distance.

Awkwardly, she said, "Hello."

"Hey," replied Derek, feeling a bit foolish.

Almost simultaneously, they both said, "About yesterday—"

That forced a laugh from both of them. Sara pointed. "You first."

"Yeah. Um, look, I was thinking about it after? And I feel… well, kind of like a dick. You didn't have to; I'd never make you do something like that."

Sara blushed and looked at her feet. "I feel bad about that, too. I was like, 'well, Derek did all that for me, so I should reciprocate, somehow, right?' Only when—" Sara gulped and came closer. "When you came in my mouth, I was just, like, appalled at myself. I just never meant to go that far and I was carried away…"

When she didn't say any more after trailing off, and just began biting her thumbnail nervously, Derek reached for her shoulders. When Sara didn't move away, he gently held her and said, "Look at me, okay?" She hesitantly did so. "I'm sorry I made you feel like that. I swear, Sara, if I had had any idea, I'd have said, 'No, you don't have to blow me.'"

"But that's the thing! I kind of wanted to!" she said earnestly. Then she grimaced. "But then I felt kind of icky and I … God, I'm sorry! I'm sorry, Derek!" She reached out and hugged him.

"Hey, shhh. Hey, it's okay," muttered Derek in her ear as he quickly checked his watch behind her head. They still had fifteen minutes before classes started. Derek rubbed Sara's back, feeling her slowly stop shaking in nervousness.

He pulled back slightly and brushed her hair out of the way. "Maybe we should cool it down, anyway. Just, like, hang out and stuff. If you want to. And if you don't wanna go to the Hallowe'en Dance—"

Sara broke in, saying, "No, no, I still do! But yeah, I think I kind of have to work up to being all… sexual and stuff. I think we just went too fast, you know?"

Derek nodded slowly. "I think we kinda did." He swallowed nervously. "Sara, I couldn't live with myself if we'd actually, you know—" he blushed. In a small voice, he said, "you know, if we'd had sex. Like, sex sex. And if you'd hated it after."

Sara, wide-eyed at the possible consequences, nodded quickly. "I would've felt pretty bad about myself afterwards. And maybe angry at you, even if it wasn't your intention."

Sara stepped back and held Derek's upper arms. "I guess this is what all the boring old grown-ups mean when they go on about 'learning experiences', huh?"

Derek chuckled. "Yeah. Look, why don't we just make a date for lunch at that place again? No pressure, okay?"

Sara grinned and let go of Derek. "All right; that sounds good – talk to me at lunch about it. And hey - thank God I've got a boyfriend with brains in the right place, huh?"

Derek tapped his temple. "Me very smart. Yes, I am."

The teens laughed as the tension ebbed away, and began walking back to the school building. Even so, Derek thought, it was clear that he and Sara were still learning about each other. He couldn't help but compare to Danielle, who seemed to know him like an extension of herself sometimes. Maybe it was growing up together, or maybe it was the way they talked about everything.

Who knew?

This thought would return to Derek later.

The pounding headache slammed into Derek as soon as he woke up that Monday morning in the middle of October. To add insult to injury, his throat hurt a bit too. He felt cold, and shivered even though his window was tightly closed. After finding a bathrobe and wrapping it around himself (he had worn a T-shirt and boxers to bed), he shuffled out of his bedroom and saw Danielle leaving the bathroom, looking so worn-out and tired he wondered if she'd slept at all.

She shivered and wrapped her bathrobe tighter around herself as she squinted in the light. "Not you, too? You look like you got hit by the entire football team." Danielle's voice sounded a bit rough, like her throat was sore.

Derek swayed as his head pounded. He nodded heavily. "Me too." At the sound of his voice, he muttered, "Shit. Even a sore throat, too. Mom and Dad are gonna love this."

Sure enough, as the twins listlessly ate their cereal at the breakfast table, their mother took one look at them and groaned. "Oh, my God. Both of you, sick at once? How?!" She fretted as she rummaged through the cupboards for any kind of cold remedy.

Danielle mumbled, "I think Tanya on the volleyball team had it last week. She was coughing a lot."

Derek rested his head on his hand as he spooned up more soggy corn flakes, then swallowed them. "Probably caught it from Danielle, then. It's not like we don't live in the same house, or anything," he weakly joked.

Rachel came up to Derek and put her hand on his forehead, then checked Danielle. "You're almost burning up, you two!" She sighed. "Maybe I should stay home today."

Derek protested, "No, you can't – that big presentation you were talking about, remember?" At his mother's frown, he muttered, "All I wanna do is sleep. Gimme some knockout drops and I won't wake till supper."

Danielle said, "Yeah, Mom. God, if I didn't need to go back up I'd just zonk out here at the table."

"Are you sure? Maybe your father could stay at home, instead."

Irritably, Derek said, "No, don't. Look, you shouldn't catch whatever we've got, right?"

"What's that, honey?" Their father walked in, and said, "Whoa! You kids look pretty bad. The flu?"

"I think so, Sam. Danielle was saying one of her classmates had a cough."

"Rotten luck, kids. You want me to stay in?" Samuel asked, concerned.

"You'll catch whatever we've got, Dad. You should go; you and Mom have that thing at work," urged Danielle.

Skeptically, both parents eyed their children, then seemed to decide their irritability was just due to being sick and worried about their parents missing an important meeting. In truth, Derek didn't want his parents around because he was afraid he'd say something about what he'd been doing; he'd heard stories of people who revealed secrets when they were delirious. So, apparently, did Danielle.

"All right, then. Here's the cough medicine – Theraflu – I'll put some hot water on for that. Also, ibuprofen," their mother briskly said. "Oh, and I'm going to call the school on the way. You kids get to sleep as soon as you can, all right? We'll try to come home as quickly as possible."

Even though teenage boys aren't supposed to think it cool to be kissed on the head like a little kid, Derek smiled briefly as both his parents bid him good-bye with one. Danielle didn't escape either, and they grinned at each other.

Derek took a painkiller as well, as did Danielle; they also left their half-eaten cereal in the bowls when they plopped the bowls in the sink. Soon, the kettle was boiling, which reminded them of the Theraflu. Danielle got up, and a few moments later was back with two mugs. Derek carefully sipped at the lemon-flavored hot water, and inhaled the steam through his nose.

Danielle sipped from her own mug, and said, "You wanna put a movie on or something?"

Derek grimaced. "Meh."

Danielle giggled. "Meh? Meh? That's so ridiculous."

"Ha. Ha. Very funny. Like the headaches we've both got." Derek sipped some more of his drink.

Danielle mused, "You know, how come we haven't added each other to an IM program so we can talk to each other without worrying about Mom and Dad overhearing?"

Derek smacked his hand to his forehead, and immediately regretted it as his head throbbed in pain. "Shit. That's so stupid it's positively brilliant!"

"I watched The Great Escape, too." Danielle pointed and mockingly said, "Your attempt at wit has failed!"

Derek rolled his eyes. "Whatever."

By now the lemon-scented drinks had cooled enough to let the two of them drink more deeply from the mugs. "Wanna catch some TV or a movie? I'm a bit more awake now, but I really don't want to move much," said Danielle.

Derek said, "Sure."

As it turned out, one of the TV channels was rerunning a comedy from a few years ago; Derek settled in on the couch, and to his nervous (but pleased) surprise, Danielle curled up next to him, tucking her legs under her as she made him turn just a bit so she could rest her head on his chest.

The siblings linked hands. Derek said, "Mom and Dad?"

Danielle waved that off. "You're just my extra body heat."

Derek weakly laughed. His throat was starting to hurt again. He put it out of his mind, reasoning it was only a couple of hours, and their parents likely wouldn't arrive until after lunch. He rested his chin gently on Danielle's head and settled in to watch the movie.

Derek said, "That was nice," as the movie ended.

"Yeah. Me too. Feel any better?" Danielle reluctantly shifted so she was sitting up on the couch and pushed her hair out of her face. "Think my headache's going away a bit, but my throat's still a bit sore. And my bones kinda ache still, too."

"Yeah, same here. We should go upstairs."

Danielle drank down the last of her (by now, cold) drink, then wet her lips and nodded.

They both put their mugs in the sink, followed by Derek grabbing the cough medicine ("Do not operate heavy equipment, et cetera…") for later. Danielle ended up lingering in Derek's room, and she admitted, "I missed cuddling downstairs. You were so warm."

Derek reached out for her, and she entered his embrace. He noticed he was now a bit taller, so Danielle's chin was almost perfectly lined up with his shoulder. Out of nowhere, he began humming a quiet tune and swaying back and forth.

Danielle began moving with Derek, too, and said softly, "Hey. Some music would be nice."

Derek was within reach of his stereo, and popped a CD into the player. The very mellow strains of music filled the air, prompting the siblings to keep dancing. Danielle began almost automatically correcting his movements, converting Derek's impulsive act into a dance lesson.

Derek recalled she'd taken some dance lessons when she was younger. He, being a boy, had naturally refused. Now, though, he wished he'd gone.

By now, he and Danielle weren't embracing and just swaying; he was holding her left hand in his right hand, his left hand her waist, and her right on his shoulder, and they were actually moving to the music.

Not much, granted, since Danielle seemed to wince when she had to move her legs too much, and Derek could feel his legs protesting as well. But just for a while, as he let the music flow over him, he could pretend he was in the gym, slow-dancing with his sister.

After a couple more slow songs, Derek fancied he might just be a decent slow-dancer. But his energy was rapidly flagging, and Danielle had had to come up and rest against him, her chin on his shoulder. He knew he was pretty badly off when it was clear her boobs pressing against his chest didn't produce much of a reaction at all.

They also returned to embracing as they rocked back and forth, slowly coming to a stop as the music track faded away. Derek reached out and turned off the stereo, then gently reached up to hold Danielle's face in his hands. He leaned in and gently kissed her on the mouth, prompting her to open her mouth a bit and lock lips.

After a couple of moments, they broke the kiss. Danielle sighed and rested her head against Derek's shoulder, her hand on his chest. "That was nice," she said quietly.

"Yeah. I feel like I could collapse right here, though. And you kind of look like it too." Derek searched for the cough medicine. "Here, this is the good stuff. Knocks you out."

"Gimme," blurted Danielle. Derek walked her to her room and led her to her bed. Without protesting, she slid between her sheets, then sat up. Derek poured out some of the cough syrup for her, and held the little plastic cup so she could take it and drink it.

Danielle sighed in relief, then lay down, resting her head on her pillow. Derek pulled her bedsheets up around her shoulders, then knelt down. "Get better, all right?"

"You too. And thanks."

Derek left her room, turning off the light as he did so. He tiredly shuffled into his own bedroom, drank down some of the cough syrup as well, then nestled in between his sheets. Within minutes, he was out like a light even though it was only noon.

Danielle had decided to return the favor, it seemed. She was seated on his bed, gently stroking his hair as Derek slowly woke up.

Derek grinned. "Hey, sis. How long was I out?" He blinked, seeing that the day had turned to night and the only light was from the lamp on his bedside table.

"It's eight at night now. How do you feel?" Danielle cupped his cheek, then felt his forehead.

"Still kinda crappy. Headache's pretty much gone, but m'throat, it's kinda dry and my bones still hurt a bit. But I'm definitely wide awake."

Danielle nodded. "Sounds about right; I figured you would need some water. C'mon, sit up."

Derek slowly pushed himself up to a seated position, then accepted the glass of water and drank deeply. "Mom and Dad?"

"They got home around one, Mom said. She finally got me awake half an hour ago. She tried to wake you up, but you were still asleep. I came in just now to check on you."

"How about being sick? Same as me?"

"Yeah. Wide awake, but I'm not gonna be trying any athletic competitions," Danielle remarked.

Derek groaned. "Aw, geez. Rick is gonna totally have a laugh when I run like an old man at the next track practice."

"If it helps, the coach is probably gonna be trying hard to avoid laughing when I flub a simple jump to spike the ball."

Derek put the glass of water on his bedside table and shifted slowly, nodding at Danielle. She stood up to get out of his way as he got out of bed, testing his ability to stand. "I'm gonna have a shower, okay?"

"Want me to get your clothes for you?" offered Danielle.

"Naw, you don't have to. Thanks, though." Derek wondered, "See you downstairs?"

Danielle nodded. "Dad decided to get McDonald's. He should be back any minute."

Derek's mouth watered. "What is it, Danielle, about the way it tastes so awesome when you're sick?"

It was true; Derek had always loved it as a "comfort food" when he got ill.

Danielle shrugged. "Maybe the way they salt and spice everything? It's kinda overwhelming, to be honest."

"Pfft. One meal's not gonna kill me. Or you. See you after my shower."

Danielle gently squeezed his arm, then grabbed his water and left his room. Not long after, Derek was luxuriating under the hottest shower his skin could stand, and actually felt like a human being when, freshly clothed, he eased into his chair at the kitchen table to be greeted with a burger, fries and a Coke.

Samuel said, "You look better, both of you. Some color in your faces again."

Rachel said, "How much of the cough syrup did you take? You two were sleeping like rocks!"

"Pretty much a full cup each," Derek replied.

"Well, I'm glad you kids are okay. Sam and I, we got the presentation done, but I won't deny that we were a little distracted. We managed to get out of all the meetings as quickly as we could; our boss understood and said he'd take care of any last-minute questions from the bigwigs."

As the teens slowly ate their meals, their parents ate the takeaway salads Samuel had picked up. As he finished, he joked, "Can't put it away like you kids anymore."

Rachel said, "Oh, now, you can put one thing away like you used to."

Derek barely avoided coughing his Coke up, while Danielle suddenly became interested in a french fry on her plate.

"Now that the tension's been broken a little bit by your mother's risqué little joke, is there anything you need? More medicine, the doctor… anything?"

Rachel reached for Derek's forehead, then felt Danielle's. "They're definitely not as bad as this morning, Sam. I think a good night's sleep might just do it." She brushed her hand through Derek's hair with her right hand, noting she was also affectionately patting Danielle's head.

"Yeah, Mom. Can we put the cough syrup in the upstairs bathroom?" asked Derek.

Danielle piped up, saying, "And maybe some more Theraflu?"

"Of course. Are you kids done?"

They'd actually managed to clear their plates, and Derek felt pleasantly full. He relaxed back in his chair as his parents bustled around, clearing the table, followed by Samuel slipping into the living room to watch some after-dinner TV, and Rachel putting the water on to boil. She put the bottle of cough syrup in front of Derek. "I got this from your room, where you left it."

Before long, they were shooed upstairs by their mother, admonished to get as much sleep as they could.

When he re-entered his bedroom, Derek belatedly remembered to check his cell phone messages. Three texts from Rick, four from Sara. Damn, he was popular!

He texted Rick back quickly that he'd gotten sick, then figured he should call Sara. It was about nine o'clock, he noticed. Still time, he thought, to call and not wake her up.

"Hello? Derek? Oh my God! Are you okay?" Sara frantically blurted.

"Yeah. I just woke up feeling like a fucking bulldozer'd gotten me," replied Derek as he slipped out of his jeans, leaving his T-shirt and boxers on.

"Wow. You sound pretty bad, too. Look, do you need anything?"

"Nah, it's okay. Mom's been fussing over me like crazy, and I was sleeping most of the day anyway." Derek slipped under his covers and rested his head on his pillow.

"Okay. I was worried when you didn't show up to school today and didn't answer my texts, but I'm relieved you're feeling okay. Well, okay-ish I guess."

"Yeah, I might be able to go to school tomorrow. Hey, um, did anyone give any homework or assignments?"

Sara rustled some papers. "Just some stupid ten-question open-book quiz from Mr. Alcott. I dunno about the classes I'm not in with you, though."

"Okay." Derek sighed. "Hey, I'm not gonna be awake much longer. I got up about an hour ago but my energy's starting to drop a bit. I'm gonna just veg for a while, okay? Hit me up on Facebook or whatever."

"Sure; get better, okay, sweetie?"

"Yeah. Bye, babe."

At that moment, the phone rang again. Derek groaned as he saw who was calling. "Rick, dude? C'mon. My throat hurts and shit." He reached for his mug and gulped down some of the Theraflu.

"Hey, you didn't show up! No phone calls, no nothing. For all I knew aliens came down and dropped you in a black hole or something!"

Derek chuckled softly. "Well, I'm fine, Rick, but look, my throat hurts and I've been feeling like crap most of the day. Hit me up online, okay? I'm gonna veg with my laptop for a while."

"All right, buddy. See you later."

Rick rang off, freeing Derek to find his laptop and curl up in bed for a while. Rick informed him of a couple of assignments Sara didn't know about, and Evan passed on his sympathies as well.

Remembering his discussion with Danielle, Derek found a different IM client than the one he usually used. He installed it, then set up his screen name and password; after that, he e-mailed Danielle and told her about the program and which name to add as a friend.

To his amusement, about ten minutes later, 'daniqueen' popped online. He finished the last of his drink and left the mug on his table.

kingderek: Stealing my theme, are we sis?

daniqueen: You have only your ego to blame, *bro*.

kingderek: Whatevs. Anyway, you wanna talk for a bit or just go to sleep?

daniqueen: I dunno. You gonna sleep?

kingderek: Yeah, I think I will. Hey, thanks for dancing w/ me. Took my mind off being sick for a bit.

daniqueen: Ya, it was nice. Maybe when we're better we can try some of that techno stuff, huh?

kingderek: Cool. But I'm gonna call it a night. *yawn*

daniqueen: Okay. Seeya. *smooch*

kingderek: *smooch* back at ya. 'nite.

Derek signed off, then shut his laptop down and then turned off the lights in his room. He was in bed shortly after, and though he didn't realize it, he had a rather goofy smile in his face as he fell asleep.

You can reach me at quantumchaos77 AT gmail DOT com :-)