When Aaron first gets offstage his skin glows, flushed and glistening beneath the too-bright lights. He always shines like a golden thing, like a beacon so hot and glaring that no one can touch it, but usually its just an illusion. When he gets offstage, though, its real. No one can touch Aaron—it makes him jumpy, angry, like a bird with ruffled feathers. Nick’s not sure if its because he feels lonely, the kind of bone-deep lonely that no one can really touch, or because he feels like he’s too good for it, for human hands, but no one ever touches Aaron when he first gets offstage.


Aaron has to touch them first.


The first thing Aaron does is wash off his makeup, which by that time is so thick and streaked with sweat that its merely watery paint that doesn’t disguise the red of his cheeks or the paleness of his face. Aaron’s natural skin tone is pale, more like platinum than gold, and the makeup is more orange than anything resembling an actual flesh tone. He hates it, but he likes washing it off, always takes far more time doing it than he actually needs to.


Or maybe he just likes making Nick wait, because the second thing he does is kiss Nick.


When Aaron gets offstage, his skin is hot and slick, and his mouth tastes like soap and the hard candy he sucks between songs. Jolly Ranchers, sometimes, or mints, that leave an indefinable sweetness on his tongue, in the depths of his mouth. Aaron’s tongue is small and quick, but sometimes it moves slowly, across Nick’s jaw, over Nick’s shoulder, and Nick can’t touch him until Aaron’s hands bring Nick’s hands to his hips, to his shoulder, to anywhere that even the barest strip of flesh is revealed. Aaron likes to tease, to take his shirt off but only let Nick touch the bones of his ankles, bare beneath his leather pants.


Tonight, Aaron closed the show in his favorite shirt, the one with a row of holes around the top, circles of pale skin shining against the black of it, and Nick knows why. Usually Aaron runs over immediately, shocks Nick into touching him but jumping into his arms, pushing Nick over into a chair so that Nick’s hands come up as a reflex, gripping Aaron’s slim hips or pressing against his flat stomach. Tonight, though, Aaron takes so long washing his face that Nick is sitting already when Aaron comes back into the room. Tonight, Aaron moves slowly, with purpose. His eyes are still lined in smeared black, and it makes them look dark and much, much older than they really are.


Nick doesn’t stand. Instead, he waits for Aaron to come to him.


When he gets there, Aaron just stands still for a second., and Nick thinks, odd, when he usually has so much energy after his shows, for him to be so motionless. But then Aaron takes Nick’s hand in his and guides it to one of the holes. Slips his hand inside, and feels the soft slickness of his skin, the frantic beating of his heart. The hard little nipple, and Aaron gasps when Nick rolls it between his fingers. Says, “oh,” like he hadn’t expected it, even though he was the one who started it, who took Nick’s hands and guided them to his heated skin.


Moans when Nick twists it, just a little, because Aaron is still young, still so very little. And Nick has to lean forward, murmur “shh” into the flesh of Aaron’s stomach, so hot even through the fabric of his shirt. Has to look down.


Leather pants, and Aaron is hard inside them.


But it doesn’t go any further than that, the simple touching, the staring. This whole thing is so maddeningly slow tonight. Usually its all a rush, a blur of pale skin and blond hair, heat and wet and then its over, and they never talk about it. Maybe Aaron even thinks its normal, something all big brothers do with—to—their little brothers, but he knows enough to know that it has to be fast and then over. Because thinking about it too much will make it all stop.


But tonight, tonight there’s nothing but thought. Aaron swaying on his feet, not even touching Nick except for his hand on Nick’s wrist, keeping his fingers on Aaron’s skin. Nick sitting in awe, unable to move except for where Aaron moves him, doing nothing but letting Aaron direct the motion of his fingers on Aaron’s nipple, doing nothing but staring. Its like a movie, every time he blinks another piece of Aaron flashes in front of Nick’s eye. The leather smooth over his thigh, the jut of his hipbone, the feather of blond hair over his face, his strawberry smear of a mouth, a single brown eye, tilted upwards in ecstacy.


Then Aaron looks down, and its all over. Something breaks, and Nick stands and Aaron reaches up and suddenly, they’re pressed to each other, mouths devouring each other, hands searching whatever flesh they can find. Nick has Aaron’s shirt up and off him in an instant, and there’s warm sweaty boyflesh pressed against him, and its fast and thoughtless again, rushed.


Well. Not exactly thoughtless. Little thoughts, half-finished, always flit through his head. Like, wrong, wrong, and he’s so fucking… and he’s my brother, I shouldn’t be, but they’re always cut off by the brush of Aaron’s tongue or the feel of his erection against Nick’s thigh. Right now, Aaron has pulled away from him, is licking his collarbone, and Nick’s hands trail up and down Aaron’s sides. It feels…it feels different than usual.


It feels like the first time, or like the last time.


Nick shudders, still stroking Aaron’s skin, and wraps his other arm around Aaron’s neck, coaxing him to his toes until their lips touch, but its not quite a kiss yet. Aaron licks at Nick’s mouth, sucks Nick’s lower lip into his mouth, but he just can’t, not yet. Not until he gets Aaron’s pants undone, and his hand is stroking Aaron’s cock. Then Aaron moans, and Nick has to cover it up with his mouth, shut him up with his tongue.


Aaron always comes remarkably fast—he is fourteen, after all. But tonight, its like he doesn’t want to. Even as he moans and whimpers at the strokes of Nick’s hand, he’s pulling at his older brother’s wrist, trying to move it. Move it away, Nick realizes, and as soon as he does he pulls back, gasping, and sits down in the chair. If Aaron doesn’t want to be touched, then Nick isn’t going to touch him, at all.


But Aaron…he doesn’t move away, or look horrified, or whatever the hell Nick had thought he would do. Instead, he sits down on Nick’s lap, pants still open. He looks breathless, exhilarated. “Nicky, no. I want you to. Just...”


“Just, what?” His voice is hoarse, and his hands quiver on the arms of the chair, trying not to touch Aaron’s skin, which is radiating heat.


“Just, I’m sick of pretending it isn’t happening,” Aaron says patiently, and takes Nick’s hand in his. Puts it on his chest, where it can’t help but travel, running over Aaron’s shoulders and gathering sweat. “Nick, you never do this with me, except for after the shows. You never let me do anything to you.”


“I know, but—”


“I know you think I’m too young, and I know you think its wrong because we’re brothers.” Nick looks up quickly, too quickly, and Aaron catches his eye. “What, did you think I was stupid? I don’t know the reasons why we shouldn’t be doing this?”


“Then why are you doing this?”


Aaron moves so that he’s straddling Nick, and leans over to look him in the eyes. “Because I want to. Because I love you. And I don’t think its wrong.” His eyes are wide and brown and honest, and much, much older than Nick gave him credit for. “I’m just sick of getting off with you and pretending like it never happened.” Nick opens his mouth to speak, and Aaron stops him, hand pressed firmly against Nick’s lips. “Look. If it wasn’t you, it would be someone else. Maybe it’d be someone who’d fuck me over. Maybe it’d be Angel, or Leslie.” That last one sounds almost like a threat.


Nick moves Aaron’s hand away. “So you’re saying, I could be anyone.”


“No! God, you don’t get anything.” Aaron leans his forehead on Nick’s shoulder, his breath a hot humid breeze through Nick’s t-shirt. “I’m saying, I’m with you because I wanna be. But you have to stop acting like I can’t handle it, or like we shouldn’t be doing this.”


“We shouldn’t be doing this.”


“I don’t care!” Aaron’s fingers dig into Nick’s shoulders. If he wasn’t so thick, it might hurt. “Look, don’t worry about it. I love you, I want you. I want to be able to touch you. I want you to touch me when I’m not all sweaty and gross.”


And even as fucked up as it feels, Nick has to grin at that. He almost leans over to kiss Aaron, but there’s a knock at the door. “Boys? Bus leaves in five minutes. Aaron Carter, get your butt dressed.”


“Yes, Mom,” Aaron yells, and hops off Nick’s lap. He shucks off his pants and pulls his jeans on in an instant, just long enough for Nick to see that he’s still hard, still wearing nothing beneath his pants. He slips on a button-down shirt and walks over, leaving Nick to button it for him.


Nick does, with a kiss for every button.


When he’s dressed, Aaron pulls Nick up, but won’t let him move towards the door. Instead he pulls Nick down for a kiss, long and wet and perfect. It makes Nick wonder if he could kiss this well when he was fourteen. Strangely, he doesn’t care. “Nick…tonight, on the bus…?”


“What about Mom and Dad?” Nick murmurs, but its pointless. He knows he and Nick are sharing a bunk tonight, knows that by morning there’ll be no way to go back. No way to look at Aaron and not think of long smooth limbs, of pale skin, of wet fragile kisses.


“I don’t care about them,” Aaron says, but he’s smiling, just slightly. He grabs Nick by the hand and leads him to the door.


And Nick follows.




Thanks to Beth and Molly for badsexyevil encouragement.