Nick awoke to feel someone crawling into bed with him, someone sliding under the covers with him and curling their back into him. He blearily patted along the body next to him until he came to short, soft hair, to eyes that closed when he touched them, fluttering eyelashes, soft skin. "Aaron."
"Nick," Aaron said, and curled up tighter into a ball.
"What is it, little man?"
"Its 12:05." Nick thought a second about what that meant, but didn't get it til Aaron said, "I'm fourteen, now. Its my birthday."
"Oh, hey," Nick said happily. He wrapped his arms around Aaron from behind, burrowing his face into his his brother's hair. "Hey, AC. Happy birthday."
"Just four more years," Aaron said quietly, as if he hadn't heard. "Four more years til I'm legal. Four more years til I can get out of here."
"Aaron. Aaron." Nick turned him over, until they were facing each other. "You know I'll get you out if you need it. You know we can go through court, get you emancipated. You can live with me, tour with me, everything. Or you can go off and live your own life. Whatever you need."
"But Mom and Dad..." Aaron's eyes closed tightly, and when he opened them again they were wet with tears, tears spiking his eyelashes black. "I know they're shitty parents, and I know they fucked me up, fucked both of us up, all of us, but..."
"But they're our parents," Nick said softly. "No, I get it."
"I know," Aaron said, smiling. He cupped Nick's face with his hand. "I know. You get it." He raised his head a little until they were kissing, Nick's lips chastely against his and both of their eyes closed. "Just four more years, Nicky. Four more years til I'm out, but you give me what I need already, okay?" Nick opened his mouth to speak, and Aaron quieted him with another kiss. "You give me what I need. And besides. Its just four more years til I'm legal."
"We'll never be legal," Nick said. His voice was choked with tears.
"We don't need to be," Aaron said. "We're necessary." He kissed Nick again, deeper this time, then settled back to sleep easily in his brother's arms.
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