Derek and Danielle

Chapter Twenty-Nine

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 showed up at Danielle's door about an hour before bedtime with a bit of an unusual request. "Can you give me a leg massage?"

"Okay, um. Sure. Your room?"

Derek nodded, and went to his bedroom. He put on some loose jogging pants and a comfortable T-shirt, and then lay down on top of his bed covers. Danielle entered, also fully clothed. She was wearing her shorts and cotton long-sleeved shirt from earlier in the day.

Danielle pulled Derek's chair over to the side of the bed, then rested her hand on his back to get his attention. He liked the tingling up his spine he felt at her light touch. "Yeah, Dani?"

"Your clothes'll make it a bit tougher, you realize."

Derek nodded. "Maybe after Mom and Dad go to bed."

"Okay, then. I'll try my best for now." Derek propped his head on his pillow, and closed his eyes, breathing deeply to relax.

Even so, as Danielle's hands worked their magic, slowly kneading out the aches from his racing that weekend, Derek found he had to adjust himself to avoid having his erection become a bit painful. Danielle had just grinned at seeing him do this, groping his butt briefly in the process, then working on his back, which was beginning to send him into a slight sleepy haze.

The slight creaking of the door told Derek one of his parents had entered. "Oh, hey," his father said. "Massage?"

"Yes," the siblings chorused. Derek opened his eyes more and yawned as he focused on his father.

Samuel chuckled, then his expression became earnest. "I just wanted to come up and talk to you both for a bit. You two are both making me proud, you know. Putting in the work in your sports and your education both – that's not always easy. And agreeing to help out around the house some more – that's also a great thing and a learning experience besides.

"Anyway, Derek, if you're still feeling stiff or sore tomorrow, ask your coach for a referral to your sports doctor. I used to play basketball once upon a time, and while it was a bit different back then, we still had doctors to go to."

Derek nodded. "Yeah, I will. I just discovered Danielle gives good backrubs after, um, that time you and Mom were arguing."

Samuel turned a bit red and said, "I heard a bit about that from your mother afterwards. I feel kind of bad that I stressed you kids out so much you fell asleep, Derek, just from a backrub."

"It's okay, Dad, really." Derek's erection had subsided, so he sat up in bed. "Um, listen – before you go? I kinda want to tell you something. Danielle already knows about it, by the way."

Concerned, Samuel came in and knelt before Derek. "Are you okay? Is there a problem?"

"Not really, Dad. This is just kind of embarrassing," Derek admitted.

"What, was there a… team hazing thing you had to do?" Samuel asked, frowning. "I'm going to speak with your coach if that's the case."

"Dad!" Derek laughed, almost against his will. "I'm just bisexual, that's all!" He flushed briefly.

"Oh!" Samuel seemed stunned. "Oh," he said again in a quieter voice.

"Well," he finally said, "I'm happy you had the maturity to say that to me about yourself, but it really doesn't matter as far as I'm concerned. After all, you know your mother and I—"

"Uh, yeah," Derek hurriedly broke in.

"So, you… have a boyfriend now, or another girlfriend…?" Samuel stood up, and retreated back to the entrance, leaning on the doorjamb.

"A boyfriend. Kind of. Rick and me, sort of. Only he hasn't told anyone yet."

"Well, congratulations. He's been your friend for ages, so he obviously passes parental muster. When you and he feel comfortable about it, by all means introduce him to your mother and me. Speaking of which, may I tell your mother all this?"

"Sure," agreed Derek.

"And what about you, Danielle?"

Danielle shook her head. "Strictly boys for me," she said without hesitation.

"Looks like at least one of the genes didn't get passed down, then," joked Samuel. "Well, look, kids, I'm going to call it an early night and your mother's joining me. So don't stay up too late, as you have school tomorrow."

"Good night, Dad," the siblings chorused in unison.

Samuel laughed. "You always surprise me when you do anything twin-like, you know. Anyway, I'm off."

Their father's footsteps faded away as he walked down the carpeted corridor. Danielle looked at Derek, puzzled. "Why'd you decide to tell Dad now?"

Derek shrugged. "It just felt like the right time."

"Hmm." Danielle grinned and leaned in confidentially. "So, wanna get naked?"

Derek wiggled his eyebrows. "You read my mind. Get the door and kill the light."

As soon as Danielle turned off the overhead light, Derek turned on the bedside lamp, making sure the cone of the lamp pointed away from his door.

He and Danielle were down to their underclothes when he whispered, "Is the light in your room still on?"

"Shit. Just a second," whispered Danielle urgently. She tiptoed to Derek's door, then opened it a crack. The hallway light was now off, Derek saw. After Danielle carefully stuck her head out the door, she retreated quickly and made sure to close Derek's door quietly.

"We're okay," she said, relieved.

Derek got under his bedcovers, inviting Danielle in as well as he shut off the bedside lamp. They embraced, their lips coming together in a torrid kiss, Derek's hand eagerly making its way to Danielle's breast. Hers, equally eagerly, gripped him through his underwear. From there, their hands began roaming, as did their mouths.

Before long, their underwear came off, and so did the bedsheets. By unspoken agreement, the two siblings did not mention any sex except the oral kind, which Derek obliged happily.

Derek had his face buried in Danielle's vagina, eagerly lapping up her juices as he probed with his tongue and fingers this way and that, responding to her whispered instructions to bring her over the edge—

The first sharp gasp Danielle gave out was immediately followed by a muffled series of screams as she held Derek's pillow over her face, locking her legs around Derek's head as her back arched in the ecstasy of her orgasm.

Finally, exhausted, Danielle lay back, grinning blissfully as she tossed the pillow aside. Derek sat up, deciding he'd try something new. He straddled Danielle just above her bush, and began slowly stroking his erection, which had been begging for attention since he'd begun eating out his sister.

Danielle nodded. "Faster!"

She reached out as though to underscore the point, and began roughly stroking Derek's cock. He could only lean forward, one hand groping Danielle's breast, and the other on his knee, as she quickly brought him to the edge, forcing him to grit his teeth as he made a "hngh!" noise—

And the first stream of cum from his cock splattered all across Danielle's torso, some drops even hitting her face. Derek's body jerked again and again as he sprayed successively less massive amounts of fluid across Danielle's body, until, finally, gasping in exhaustion, he held Danielle's wrist and shook his head. "No more, please!" he hissed.

She slowly withdrew her hand, brushing her thumb across his cockhead to swipe off any leftover sperm. Derek hissed as he jerked back from the sensitivity; she casually licked off the fluids and whispered, "Gonna take care of the rest for me?"

Derek got off of her to readjust his position. He carefully ran his finger along the couple (or so) jizz spots on Danielle's face, cleaning her up as best as he could. He brought his tongue into the action as he carefully and slowly lapped up his juices, swallowing occasionally as he did so, from the remainder of her body, taking some time to suck and lick at her nipples and areolas.

As Derek lapped up the last of the cum, he prepared to swallow before Danielle's hand on his arm stopped him. She gestured to kiss her, which he did, letting his fluids flow across their tongues as they heatedly kissed.

As they slowly parted from the kiss, Danielle's hand on his shoulder stopped him. She had a strange look in her eyes – a kind of intensity that wasn't there the other times they'd done things like this. Or maybe, thought Derek, it had always been there. And he'd just never noticed.

But Danielle was talking—

"Derek? I love you so much. How can what we're doing be wrong when it feels so right?"

Danielle gulped quietly, letting a tear fall from her eye as she kept gazing at him.

"Hey, shh. It's okay, Dani. It's okay, huh?" Derek said in a soothing voice. Hurriedly, he looked for his underwear, then decided not to bother since Danielle was on the Pill. He'd learned in sex ed even small amounts of sperm in accidental contact with a woman's vagina could cause pregnancy.

He snuggled in next to Danielle, hugging her to him as their bodies came into contact. She latched onto him, not wanting to let go. Derek rolled over so Danielle was on top of him. He rubbed her back as she buried her face in his shoulder, wetly sniffling as she tried to deal with her emotions.

Derek didn't know how long he lay there, holding Danielle in his arms as he tried to calm her down and let her know she was safe. Eventually, she raised her head and kissed him, slowly and languorously. When they finally broke the kiss, Derek reached up and pushed her hair out of her face, holding it against the side of her head as he looked into her eyes.

In a low, but clear voice, he said, "Danielle? With all my heart, I wish I could tell the world I'm in love with you, too. I really am. I'm only fourteen and I shouldn't know what love is. But we've grown up together. We've even been together since before we were born. Maybe just for us, it's true we know what love is because it's maybe always been there, just … I never really realized it except for some bad wiring in my brain and a couple of accidents."

Danielle smiled. "Well, if it's bad brain wiring, I'm thankful for mine and yours both. God, Derek, if things were different I would ask you to make love to me, right now. I want you so much."

"I would too, I swear I would – but I promised you. I want to make it romantic and sexy, at least the way I think of it," Derek said softly as he ran his hand though Danielle's hair – hair so similar to his own, if he grew it long, he wondered if brother and sister could be told apart.

"Stay with me tonight, please?"

"Of course, Derek, my sweetheart," Danielle whispered.

Derek reached down, pulled the covers over them, and held Danielle in his arms as they both fell asleep.

Danielle shook Derek awake the next morning. "Hmm?" Derek said hazily.

"It's six in the morning. I need to get out of here, okay?" Danielle hissed as she got up off of him.

Derek snapped to full wakefulness as he realized what was going on. "Shit, you're right! I'll go shower first, okay?"

Danielle nodded. As she quickly got her clothes on, and Derek slipped on his underwear to be half-decent when he walked to the bathroom, he said, "We had a good time last night, huh?"

Danielle came up to him and placed her hand on his cheek. "Did you mean what you said last night?"

Derek smiled as he remembered his little mini-speech. "I did. Look, it probably sounds so stupid and corny—"

Danielle put her finger on his mouth. "Shush. There's no law that says you have to be some age to know you love someone. I know I love you, Derek. And I'm fourteen, too."

Derek reached up and squeezed Danielle's upper arm briefly. "Thanks. You better go, though."

The siblings nodded to each other and quickly went their separate ways.

After school, Rick caught up with Derek. He grinned widely as they spoke in low voices, walking away from the school. "Listen. I scored a little pot. D'you wanna…?"

"Sure! Lead on, big guy." Derek clapped Rick on the shoulder and gestured with his other hand as he shifted his backpack on his shoulders.

"Cool. Okay, I bumped into the football guys this morning before Phys. Ed, during Recess. They had their drug tests last week, so they were celebrating a bit around the back of the gym. I got a bit stoned; felt kinda nice and mellow and hazy, you know."

Derek laughed. "So that's why you kept just smiling at me and Danielle at lunch, huh? She was wondering if you'd taken some cough meds or something."

Rick grinned. "It was mostly worn off by then but I still felt kinda goofy, so I was doing more feeling than talking."

"Hm. I tried some of that crap once, in like, seventh grade? It just tasted like smoke and smelled about as nice. Some eighth grader, last day of school kinda thing," Derek remarked.

"Probably not even the real thing. You can make oregano look a bit like pot. Nah, this stuff is real. I felt it after I took a couple hits off the joint they were passing around, and I got another joint off Jason afterwards."

"How much'd it cost?" wondered Derek.

"Nothing. Jason has a connection, I think? And he was being generous that day."

Derek frowned. "I wonder if he's trying to get more customers."

"Aw, jeez, shut up." Rick shoved Derek. "Be like my grandmother more, why don't you."

"Hey," admonished Derek. "I got one thing your grandma doesn't have." He wiggled his eyebrows.

"Okay, okay, bad mental image! No more talking about grandma!" Rick shuddered.

Derek grinned. "C'mon, race you. Let's go!"

The boys stopped talking and began running as they made their way to Rick's house.

Rick and Derek lay on Rick's bed, kissing lazily as the marijuana made its way through their systems. As they made out, they'd shared the joint, and it was now gone, so any evidence of their drug use was no more. Rick had opened his window to try and circulate some air, as well.

"Looks like we both get mellow on this shit, huh?" asked Rick as he gently ran his hand through Derek's hair, then ran his hand down the back of Derek's neck, his shoulder, and rested it on his chest.

"Mm-hmm." Derek closed his eyes and leaned in for another kiss, which Rick gladly provided. "I've heard some people get paranoid, but me? Just feeling lazy."

Derek felt wonderful. And safe. He snuggled in closer to Rick, prompting Rick to put his arm around Derek and let him rest his head on Rick's chest. Derek put his free hand on Rick's chest as well, feeling his quasi boyfriend's heartbeat as he slowly rubbed the firm muscles Rick had been building in their weightlifting sessions.

The creak of the door opening startled the boys, and Derek heard Mr. Harlan say, "Rick, I—oh!"

Derek's face went cold as he squinted his eyes shut; it was as though not seeing Rick's father would somehow keep him from acknowledging the fact. He froze, not sure if it would look worse to try and jump away from Rick. Rick also didn't move as he said weakly, "Uh, hi, Dad."

A heavy sigh. "Can I get you boys to come out to the living room? We should talk about this."

Derek reluctantly opened his eyes, looked morosely at Rick, whose face was also white, and began untangling himself from Rick as the other boy did the same. They walked out of Rick's bedroom and made their way to the large living room, which had two chairs and a couch. Rick's dad was on the couch, and he said, "Have a seat, okay?"

Derek took the chair closest to the window, while Rick took the other one. He could barely stand to look Mr. Harlan in the eye.

"Okay. Boys? I can't say I'm totally surprised by this. You've been close with each other even more than with Evan, and Rick has had yet to bring a girl home. So I had my suspicions. Now, can you both please look at me?"

Derek looked up at Mr. Harlan's face, as did Rick. He wasn't angry, thankfully. He just seemed kind of like he was processing, getting used to something.

"What I wish you'd been comfortable enough with was to tell me you two have decided to… do things with each other – are you boyfriends, or—?"

Rick mumbled, "We're sorta boyfriends, Dad."

Derek nodded.

"Okay. Now, Derek, are you… er, gay, as well?"

Derek quietly said, "No. I'm, um, bi. But Rick's the one for me right now." Which, Derek thought, was not a total lie.

Mr. Harlan nodded in understanding. He took a deep breath and said, "All right. Here's what I want you to understand. You both are free to carry on your relationship; I have no objections. But Rick, I really wish, as a father, that you'd come to me before this. I'm concerned, but I want what's best for you even if what you want isn't what everybody thinks should be 'normal', okay?"

Rick nodded.

"Derek? Can you promise me there will be no sneaking around to see Rick after hours? I'm not going to be totally naïve and assume you boys have done nothing, but no boyfriend of my son's will sneak, because sneaking implies the relationship is shameful. And you two have nothing to be ashamed of, okay?"

Derek nodded as well and tentatively smiled at Rick, who smiled slightly and nervously in return.

Mr. Harlan's face went a bit red as he said, "The final thing I'm going to ask you guys to realize is that chances are you may want to have sex some day; if you do, I ask that you first have the common sense to understand what condoms are for, and second, that you have the courtesy to not wake me up."

Derek couldn't help it. He started giggling, his nervous energy finally finding a release as he tried not to look Mr. Harlan in the eye, even as a smile threatened to break out on the older man's face.

Rick abruptly started laughing as well; as hard as he was trying to keep it in, he clearly was unsuccessful. He was leaning back in his chair, his hands over his face as he tried to subdue his laughter.

Derek was able to get hold of himself. As Rick's laughter dissolved into weak hiccups, Derek was finally able to say, "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to be disrespectful by laughing. I just…"

"It's okay. When I came in on you two, your faces went as white as anything! I don't blame you for being worried and nervous." Mr. Harlan leaned forward, his arms on his knees, his hands clasped. "Look, I'm not going to say Sandra and I get up to nothing in my bedroom—"

Rick whined, "Dad." His face was red, and he was blinking rapidly as he weakly hiccupped again.

"Now, let me finish – but she and I always make sure we don't disturb you, Rick. So that's why I ask that if you two do get up to anything, you don't disturb me. Courtesy, that's all it is."

Mr. Harlan took a deep breath and said, "Anyway, I came to ask Rick if he'd help in the garage, but under the circumstances, I think that can wait until after supper. Would you boys mind – Rick, I'd like to talk to you one on one for a while, okay?"

Derek nodded glumly. "Yeah, I'll take off."

Mr. Harlan stood up and extended his hand to Derek, who hesitated, then stood up as well and began shaking hands. He looked Derek in the eye and said, "You're a good kid, and you'll make Rick a good boyfriend. I ask only that you don't hurt him. All right?"

"I would never, Mr. Harlan. I promise," replied Derek as the handshake ended. Rick by now was wiping his nose and looking up at the two of them.

"A final thing, boys. Stand up, Rick." Mr. Harlan placed his arms over Derek's and Rick's shoulders. "I'm going to overlook the pot you boys smoked, this time. In the future, don't bring it into this house." Derek and Rick gasped simultaneously. "H-how did you…?" Rick stammered.

"I don't smoke it, and I know you don't burn incense, son – even an open window doesn't always clear the air fast enough to hide the smell. As I said, I'll overlook it given what I've found out today, but if I catch you with drugs again I will confiscate them and ground you. That includes not being able to see your boyfriend here."

To Derek, he said, "I'm going to leave it up to you to decide what to tell your parents. Or not tell. You're not quite a man, but you're getting to that age where you're capable of making intelligent decisions for yourself. All right?"

Derek nodded. "Okay. And sorry, Mr. Harlan. About, you know, smoking up in your house."

Mr. Harlan, as he took his hands off the boys' shoulders, waved off the apology. "Doing pot once is one thing. Regularly is another. You may have forgotten, but there are things like random drug tests and you boys are on a sports team."

The air of dismissal was clear in the air as Rick's dad looked at them both before heading off to the kitchen.

Rick reached for Derek, who enveloped Rick in a hug. The boys clung to each other, Derek rubbing Rick's back to comfort him. He kissed Rick on the cheek and said, "It could've been a lot worse."

Rick nodded against Derek's shoulder. "Yeah. See you tomorrow?"

"I will. Take care, okay, Rick?" Derek slowly moved back and rested his hands on Rick's forearms.

"You too." Rick held Derek's hands, then let go.

Derek got his coat and shoes on, then scooped up his backpack and quietly left the Harlans' house.

That Monday night, Rick called Derek. "Oh, man. I still can't believe we got busted!"

Derek was looking through his bookcase for something to read. He was bored of just fiddling around online and didn't really feel like any multiplayer gaming. He paused in his searches, and said, "Yeah, tell me about it! I mean, I'm sure your dad would have found out one day, but I'd rather we'd been able to tell him."

Rick chuckled nervously. "Imagine if Dad'd caught us naked!"

"Oh, man! Don't even joke about that!" Derek shivered. "That's, like, a guy's worst nightmare, no doubt about it!"

Rick sighed. "Yeah. Listen, me and my dad had a talk. He just wanted to talk about when he was a kid and all. He admitted he'd fooled around with a guy or two when he was younger, but it was never serious. He just wanted me to understand that… y'know, sometimes these things are flashes in the pan."

"Oh, come on, Rick. Do we look like a flash in the pan to you?" Derek felt a bit hurt, actually. "Your dad might be right about his own life, but he's not a hundred percent right about everything, damn it."

"Look, I don't think he's right about that either. But Derek, you're bi. What if…?" Rick's voice broke. "What if another girl comes along?" He half-whined.

Derek thought about what he wanted to say, trying not to think about the slimy, gross feeling slowly coming over him, as he had that night he and Sara broke up.

So he mixed his lies with the truth. Again.

"I dunno what to tell you, Rick. I just know, right now, it's you and me. And dude, who says I only have to like one person? Huh? You ever think of that?"

Rick didn't speak for a few moments. Derek took that opportunity to grab a book off his bookshelf and sprawled out on his bed to begin reading it after he and Rick finished talking.

Derek tried to mentally push away the fact that a "girl" had already "come along" for him. But it was true, he thought, that he kind of had different feelings for Danielle and for Rick, but they weren't exclusive to one another. He knew he had to think about it some more and talk with Danielle when he had a chance.

Slowly, as though the words were unwillingly drawn from him, Rick said, "I guess you're right. But Derek? I just know I've liked you since I realized you could look at someone and feel attracted to them. I've wanted you since I was twelve." He let out a short, harsh, laugh. "You caused my first hard-on, you know."

Interested despite himself, Derek said, "Really? How?"

"It was just after P.E. in middle school. We were changing, and I looked at you. And it was like, I started getting this funny feeling. And then my dick got hard in my underwear, and I nearly panicked right there, but luckily it went back down by the time I had all my clothes back on."

"Huh," answered Derek. Truth be told, he didn't quite remember his first hard-on, but he did know that sometime during that year in school, he'd started realizing that girl curves and boy curves both seemed to make him get funny feelings in his stomach. Especially when girls' breasts would jiggle in their shirts. Then sex-ed classes had come along, and he realized what it was he'd been feeling: physical attraction.

"Anyway," Rick said finally. "Look, I wanna tell your parents. You know, meet them as your boyfriend."

"Sure!" answered a relieved Derek. "I already told my parents about me, and they're totally cool with it. You wanna come over on Wednesday or something? Tomorrow me and Dani have to do the cooking, so I don't wanna accidentally make you a crappy dinner. We're just starting to learn how."

"Okay, sure," said Rick.

"Cool. One of these days though, Danielle and me, we'll make you an awesome spread," promised Derek.

"You could feed me a bowl of soup as long as it was your cooking, Der."

Derek grinned. "Thanks for the vote of confidence."

The boys chattered a bit about school, and then wrapped up the phone call. As Derek let the phone fall to the bed, he stared out his window, and sighed. At least he and Rick could openly share their relationship now with the important people in Derek's life.

But why did his sister have to deprive herself of even that? Even some kind of fling she could have?

He sighed, and tried to put those thoughts out of his mind as he opened the book and began reading, losing himself in a fictional world for a time.

Danielle and Derek managed to turn in a respectable cooked ham and mashed potatoes that Tuesday evening, though Derek had fretted the entire time the oven was on. Danielle had finally come up behind him, massaging his shoulders and saying, "Look, it's not the end of the world. Okay?"

He had sighed and leaned back slightly, heedless of whether his mother would think it proper. Danielle propped her chin on his shoulder and rubbed his back. "Now c'mon, get a grip." She pushed him forward again and knelt by the oven. "See? No smoke or anything. We're not gonna mess it up, little brother."

Indeed, the supper that night had been applauded by their parents. "Just a touch more pineapple juice the next time you cook the ham, kids. It's maybe a bit dry, but still tastes good," their mother pronounced. Samuel, in his turn, said, "And the mashed potatoes don't taste runny, either. Just don't rush when you cook and you kids'll always turn the food out fine."

Derek nodded, relieved. He and Danielle had taken probably about ten minutes longer than their parents would, since they'd hesitated, reading and re-reading the recipe as well as the mashed potato mix box instructions to make sure they'd understood everything.

As it turned out, Rachel decided to do the cooking for the next couple of days, but asked both children to help out and watch as she cooked on Thursday night, as Derek had asked, and gotten permission, for Rick to come on Wednesday. If nothing else, at least he wouldn't look like a complete idiot if someone ever needed his help to cook.

On Wednesday afternoon, a slightly nervous Rick stood next to Derek as he opened the front door to the Collinses' house. Derek, noticing this, rubbed Rick's back. "You'll be fine. My parents don't bite, right?"

"I guess." He took a breath and said, "Okay. Let's do this."

As it happened, Danielle was home and just going up the stairs. She turned and looked to see who'd come in. "Hey, guys!"

Derek grabbed Rick's hand and held their clasped hands up for her to see. "Danielle, officially meet my boyfriend."

Derek carefully watched his sister as she came to give Rick a hug. She didn't seem upset or even territorial as she embraced Rick, then said, "Welcome to the fam. I'm gonna be on the phone with Sara, actually. She's been kind of squeezing in my ear lately about Jason-the-quarterback actually noticing her."

"Cool. Maybe they'll be prom king and queen," joked Rick.

Danielle laughed. "If that happens, she'll be over the fucking moon. Anyway, see you later, guys." She rushed upstairs, and shortly after, the guys heard her door close.

"So. My room?" said Derek suggestively.

"Sure. Let's just cuddle, though, okay? I really don't want your parents busting us," warned Rick.

"C'mon up, then."

Up in his room, Derek said, "You know what I really want? A beanbag chair like Evan's. That'd be awesome to cuddle in."

Rick nodded. "Yeah; I bet he and Katie love it."

"Hey, did he tell you?" asked Derek.

"Oh, you mean about him banging Katie that night? Yeah." Rick whistled. "Dude sounded like he needed it. He tell you about James, yet?"

Derek shook his head, then sprawled on the bed and gestured for Rick to join him. They shuffled around until they found a good position where they could both see each other, and Rick continued. "Well, anyway, I don't know what all happened, but Evan says James has stopped trying to mess with his shit."

"I suppose that's all right. What else?"

"Just that he thinks James was trying to make Evan hate him. Why, I have no idea." Rick shrugged.

Something niggled at the back of Derek's mind, but Rick's kiss distracted him as he shifted so he was on top of Derek. "C'mon, I can think of something more fun to do."

Before long, the boys were shirtless as their hands roamed, kissing in earnest.

They were rudely interrupted by the sudden knock at the door. Rick scrambled into his shirt as Derek bellowed, "Yeah?"

"Hey. Mom and Dad just called. I told them Rick's here. You guys better be decent in there!" Danielle called.

Derek, by now fully clothed again, said, "Yeah, we are."

Danielle opened the door, looked at them, and rolled her eyes. "Mussed hair? And your shirt's on backwards, Rick. Try again. And hurry downstairs, huh?"

As Danielle closed the door, the boys sheepishly looked at each other and began laughing. After they straightened each other up, Rick said, "Man, I admire her. If I was straight, Derek? I'd worship the ground she walked on. I'm sure of it."

"Well then, you can worship my ground instead, Rick," joked Derek.

Rick looked Derek in the eye. "Who says I don't? I don't promise my body to just anyone, remember?" He said quietly, "Derek Collins, you could ask me to get on that bed right now and spread my legs for you and I would. I just try not to show it, because guys aren't supposed to practically drool after each other."

Derek, humbled, said, "Shit, I'm sorry. I shouldn't've joked like that."

"S'okay. Honestly. Anyway, let's cut the emotional shit and go downstairs, huh?"

"After you, good sir," Derek said with a mock snooty air. "Whereupon I shall have a fine view of your posterior, sir." He stuck his tongue out, prompting Rick to laugh and wiggle his ass as he went to the door.

Downstairs in the living room, the boys introduced each other as boyfriends to Derek's parents, and Rachel and Samuel both smiled widely and welcomed Rick.

The atmosphere stayed bright and comfortable as Rachel announced that dinner would be served soon. Danielle, Rick and Derek hung out in the living room, watching TV in the meantime. Danielle joked, "Wow. The Hitler channel's actually branching out now."

It was true: the current episode was a pictorial history of Russia from 1900 to the Russian Revolution. Rick eyed Danielle. "Hitler channel?"

"Sure. Haven't you noticed this thing has something on World War II like ninety percent of the time?" Danielle gestured at the television with the remote as she shifted on the end of the couch to get more comfortable, while Rick and Derek, at the other end, were already pretty well-situated."

Shortly after, dinner was ready, and Derek happily noticed nobody was uncomfortable with Rick now eating with them not as his friend, but more-than-friend, even when Samuel said, "So when did you two decide you liked each other?"

Oh god, Rick, don't tell them we jacked off together in the pool room, mentally pleaded Derek. Rick was just irreverent enough at times, though he usually kept it under control.

Luckily for him (and Derek thought, his parents' mental health), Rick said, "I dunno; I think it came in stages, you know. We just kinda … noticed each other?"

Derek nodded. "Yeah, Dad. It just kind of snowballed, I guess."

"You know, your mother and I met somewhat differently. Remember, Rachel?"

"Mm-hmm. I certainly do, considering you accidentally sneezed on me when handing me your phone number after we were chatting at that flea market." Rachel disarmed that with a warm smile at her husband as the younger generation laughed at his expense.

"I had allergies!" protested Samuel.

"Actually, he did. His eyes were pretty red after a couple of hours. Wasn't it kind of near that dusty industrial district?" asked Rachel.

"Yeah – yeah, it was. Anyway, your mother gave me one of her allergy meds and a second chance. And thus begins the story that ends with you two kids and a young man dating one of them," concluded Samuel as he took a bite of his food.

Danielle mused, "That's a nice story." When nobody else was looking, she glanced at Derek.

Derek looked away and fiddled with his food as he muttered in acknowledgement.

Luckily, the remainder of supper proceeded smoothly, ending with Rick thanking the Collinses for the food and saying he needed to do homework.

At the front door, as he put his coat on, he said, "It's legit; I got that English essay to do."

"Shit, thanks for reminding me," said Derek. "I'd almost forgotten."

"See you tomorrow?" asked Rick.

"You know it. In front of the school?"

Rick nodded and leaned in for a kiss, which Derek reciprocated. The boys found themselves almost making out before realizing they were in the entry foyer and needed to keep it 'proper'. Derek cleared his throat and reluctantly stood back, letting Rick open the door and leave with a grin and a wave.

That night, Danielle briefly stopped by his bedroom. He could hear the distant sound of the TV set, telling him his parents were downstairs still.

"Hey," said Derek. "just finishing my essay."

"Just came by to let you know I really am not jealous of you guys. Honest."

"Thanks. I appreciate that, you know," said Derek as he got out of his chair to approach Danielle.

"I'm sure we talked about this before, but you're going to have needs Rick can satisfy and I can't," said Danielle matter-of-factly.

"But what about you, Dani? You can't be totally happy with just me, can you?" Derek peered at Danielle, as though by looking into her eyes he could divine the inner workings of her mind.

Danielle looked away, troubled. "Maybe I'm just emotionally blocked or something? Fuck if I know. It's like, right now, you complete me. I know it sounds overblown, but when I try to imagine myself with anyone else I feel like something's missing. But when I'm with you or even thinking about you, everything's… just there, you know?"

Derek sighed. He reached out, bringing Danielle into a hug. "Listen, I won't be mad if you wanna… y'know, get a boyfriend. Or even a girlfriend."

Danielle squeezed him, then let go. "That's sweet of you, but right now, I'm really not looking." She bit her lip pensively. "Listen, I think we should cool it down a bit about these overnight things. We've been kinda reckless about it."

"Honestly? I'm kinda relieved. Not that I hate it, but my worst nightmare is—" Derek shuddered. He muttered, "Mom and Dad taking you away from me."


Derek shifted on his feet, the somber mood hovering over him.

Danielle giggled in reminiscence. "Look, changing the subject, okay? So Megan's all over her hate-on for you, and she actually comes up to me after school and starts talking to me. And she asks if maybe I could sort of set you up with her somehow. I tried kinda brushing her off, and then she just stunned me. She's all, 'Do you ever wish Derek wasn't your brother? Sara was telling me he has a—' and I just shut her up right there and was all, 'What the hell, bitch?'"

Derek groaned. "Sara's actually telling people how big my dick is now? Shit!"

Danielle laughed. "Hey, I don't get it either. You'd think she'd be all like, 'oh, micropenis dude, that's him.'"

Derek couldn't help guffawing in laughter.

Danielle grabbed him to keep from falling over, and as she straightened him up, she said, "Well, anyway, Megan likes you. And I told her you farted in my face once."

"Gee, thanks. How about leaving the tampon in the fucking garbage can?" groused Derek. "Brain bleach, stat!"

Danielle shoved Derek and rolled her eyes. "Please. How about purposely getting that mud all over me and making me run away all grossed out?"

This could go on all night, Derek thought. In surrender, he raised his hands. "Okay, okay. Truce?"

"Truce." Danielle tried looking stern as she put her hands on her hips, but a warm smile soon cracked her stern visage and she said, "You know, you really are the kind of brother I could only have hoped to have that day I first realized my feelings about you."

Derek nodded, not sure what to say in response. Danielle leaned in, kissed him briefly on the lips, and said, "Don't worry about an answer. I just wanted to tell you. Good night, okay?"

"Night," answered Derek.

Danielle wordlessly left his bedroom, closing the door after her.

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