A/N: A bit of warning before you get into this: incestual slash and then some.
This is a present for xanthofile. Go check her out.

I write weird stuff at three a.m.

Cycles

I curl my arms around his neck and slide my tongue across his collarbone, listening to him gasping beneath me. I pull further down, trailing my tongue across every sweat-slicked pore of skin that my taste buds can find. I'm so used to his taste by now that I already know what to expect. I bite down beneath his bellybutton as I work on his pants. He bucks his hips so I can remove them, and then I continue downwards until his simple gasps change into moans.

It's funny how easy this is for both of us, and yet I hate it.

Arden and I aren't exactly lovers. There's no love involved. His kisses are like ice to me, even. I know there's no love to any of our movements. It's just fucking and then calmly switching to videogames later as our parents get home. Violence and sex, that's pretty much the positives and negatives of life in my opinion.

Our parents even know about us, but frankly, they just don't care. They wouldn't anyways. It's their fault we do what we do. Our parents happen to be fans of seeing us pleasure one another. Mom and Dad aren't the most loving parents. I don't think anyone in this house as ever said the words 'I love you' to one another. Well, my dad has said it to his liquor bottle quite a few times. I can't blame him. I love his liquor, too, if nothing else.

My father and mother have always treated us as if we're some kind of special porno for them to watch, and smack around from time to time. Usually the smacking involves some sort of wire or strap of leather. Sometimes the smacking involves throwing my brother and me into another tango for their amusement as Dad fucks Mom right there. After all, Mom doesn't say anything.

I don't think she likes what Dad does a lot of the time, but she doesn't say anything. She can't. Dad would knock her to the floor and tell her that Arden, I, or both of us needed a female joining in. Mom would cry when that happened, but she'd be forced into joining when he grabbed the gun and held it out with one hand, jerking himself off with the other.

This sort of stuff is pretty much a nightly occurrence. We've pretty much been trained to fuck like bunnies every night, even if Dad isn't around. Sexual release has just become normal for us. A day without a good round is like we're in hell. It's sad to admit it, but it's true.

Even so much as going to school is hideous to me. I can't stand walking through the halls, and I especially can't stand gym class. I don't change in the bathroom or anything; I shower with every other kid. I'm not ashamed of my body. Why would I be? I certainly wasn't raised that way. I'm ashamed of other people's bodies, really. They're so untainted, a lot of them. I want to taint them, make them normal to me. I want to make them all to just understand.

None of them understand. None of them even know.

Arden finds release and then falls slack within my mouth, and so I release him in a second manner, gliding away from him. I don't like touching him after he's climaxed. Arden gives a groan of protest and pulls to be sitting up, but he's used to my ways. "Dane," he says quietly, running a finger through his messed up blonde hair as the pink only barely begins to fade away from his cheeks. "Are you feeling alright today? You seem out of it." It's funny how only now he'd notice.

I stand up and walk into the living room, falling onto the couch and burying my face into a pillow as I feel around in the creases of the couch for the remote. It always falls in there. I don't even bother looking around the room anymore. I know Arden was watching television about an hour ago, so it's going to be in the couch. Dad loves to smack him for losing the remote all the time, and yet he's still forgetful. I wonder sometimes if he encourages Dad to beat him. Masochistic little…

"Arden! Dane! I'm home!" Mom calls from the front door. "There are groceries in the car. Go get them, boys!" I grumble. I just got to relax, too.

I pull out of my comfy spot on the couch to stand up, slipping on some sandals before going outside. It's freezing cold out. I hate the snowy seasons. The trunk is open, so I grab as many bags as I can muster and race myself back inside before old Jack gets another chance to bite at my skin with those icicle teeth of his.

Arden scrambles past me as I enter and I immediately go into the kitchen, plopping what I have down onto the table. One of the bags rips from the contact and a few cans of god-knows-what right now fall onto my feet. I let out a shout. I have pretty good pain-tolerance, but for some reason that hurt worse than usual.

I pull back and go to walk back out to the car a minute later, but the pressure on my foot manages to take me by surprise and I fall. My eyes glance over to the pile of cans at my side. They're yams, corn, and several mixed fruit cans that are about three times the normal can size. At least three fell on my foot. I pull off the sandal and the sock beneath it to inspect my foot. It's red, and the skin is slightly cracked looking. I barely touch it, and it stings.

My mother pulls into the kitchen at the sound of the cans and looks at me on the floor, walking over calmly and putting a hand on my shoulder. "Hon, are you alright? Your foot looks terrible. Did all those cans fall on it?" I nod, mentally scowling at the fact that if my dad was right here, my mother would be yelling at me instead for being a dumbass and breaking the bag – because paper ripping is obviously something only a dumbass can manage. I don't think either of them notice that I have straight As. Last time I checked, I'm third best in my class. A third place just suits me. I'm not quite a winner unless it involves making my brother scream or I'm hunting with my dad.

One of these days I'm going to turn that gun on him. Bang.

Arden walks in with the next batch of groceries and puts them on the counter when he notices the mess. He walks over to me, then, a somewhat concerned expression on his face. He's always fidgety around either of our parents. One of these days he might realize that Mom isn't so bad. She's just as annoyed by our dad as we are.

After all, what could be worse than being pregnant with one of your son's child? I know it has to be one of ours, because Dad hasn't actually came inside of her for – God well it's been a few years from what I've seen. I know it has to be one of ours. She won't admit it though, and I won't ask.

I wish she just would admit it, though. I'd be happier knowing it was ours for sure so that I could take him or her away from my dad forever and he couldn't do what he's done to us with her. They say violence goes in circles though. I wonder sometimes if I'd do what he does to my own children. He says thats how he was raised. He says it a lot.

Arden looks like our mom. He's got her pretty blonde hair and her blue eyes, both of them have washed out eyes as if they're fifty-years-old when Arden is only sixteen, my older brother by a year. She's only twenty-nine. Dad took her when she was twelve. He was in his thirties then. I don't think she even remembers who her parents are.

I look like my dad. I've got his cold green eyes that cut and his brown hair. I even have his pale complexion. I'm pretty sure the only thing I got from my mom was her nose. Arden has the same nose.

His nose is pressed in my face right now, and he's kissing my cheek gently. Apparently, I was trying to stand again and I wasn't even paying attention. I get lost in thought a lot. It's a problem, I guess, but thinking just seems so much safer than reality to me. That's why I do so well in school. Facts are so appealing to me.

For example, the sign in school I read yesterday says that a child gets abused every three minutes, and a child dies from abuse every seven. I wonder if I'll ever die from abuse. I hope I die from the abuse that Arden gives me. I'd rather die from his cold kiss than my father's gun or beaten to death.

I'm being dragged to the car next thing I know, and Mom gently kisses the other side of my face. She's on one side of me and my brother is on the other. I don't like having them touching me, and I assume that's why I snap back to reality. I glower slightly at the contact, but when I realize that I can't walk on my own very well because of the pain that shoots up my leg from my foot each time it comes into contact with the ground, I have no choice but to rely on them.

"I hope you didn't break it," Arden tells me, deciding that both he and I are sitting in the back of the car. The front seat is piled with groceries and so is half of the back, so we're forced to sit close to each other. Arden instructs me to sit on his lap. It's just easier, and I do it with minor protest. I just don't want to be touched right now; I'm used to the position.

Arden laces his arms around my waist and smiles comfortingly once I'm settled enough for our mother to close the door. "Here," Arden says as he continues to smile up at me. My brother has a very pretty smile. "I'll be your seatbelt."

"And what'll be yours?" our mother asks as she settles into the driver's seat, fumbling about for her keys. "I don't think Dane makes a very good seatbelt, but we'll have to manage. I just hope we get back in time to get rid of these groceries and clean up before your father gets home. He'll be furious if he actually has to come to the hospital. You made sure to get all of the refrigerated items into the house, Arden?"

He says yes just as my hurt foot comes into contact with an ice cold gallon of milk. I'd protest that it's there and he's lying, but the cold sweat of the container chills my foot and makes me sigh. It's comfortable. After awhile of getting over being touched, the whole position I'm in is comfortable, and Arden is trying to make me feel better. I don't see why they're fussing so much over my foot. It can't be too bad. I've never heard of someone's foot breaking from a few cans of fruits and veggies. Grant it, those were huge cans but that doesn't mean much.

I've been pelted with worse.

I become conscious of Arden's breath on the back of my neck. It's not erotic so much as it's pleasant. It's nice to know he can breathe so evenly. My big brother is such a nice person, really. He's as nice as he knows how to be.

"I wonder what it would be like to jerk you off right in the back of the car as we're going through town," he whispers in my ear, obviously uncaring if our mother hears or not. She wouldn't stop us. I feel a pang in my chest and sigh. Does no one in this family realize sex is only everything in life if that's what you want it to be?

I want love. I don't think that's so much to ask for. I'm not starving to get laid so much as I'm starving to be kissed once and have someone whisper how much they love me. I'll take anyone so long as they'd do it. Just once, that's all I want.

I do my best to ignore my brother. I don't want to shift any, but he swims his hand beneath my pants anyways. My mom pretends to not notice as his hand pulls down my jeans just enough that I won't get a mess on them. His hands trail up and down me, and eventually I give in to gasping against his neck. If he's going to bother me like this in the back of the car, I'm torturing him the best way I can.

I rock back and forth against him, and seeing as I'm sitting on him, I can feel just how much he enjoys that. He gasps but makes no protest or sign of wanting anything more from me. I wouldn't let him have it right here. It's bad enough that he's touching me right now.

I release with a muffled cry, muffled only because I have my teeth grinding into my bottom lips so bad I think it's bleeding. Mother throws a moist toilette back at my brother, and he cleans us both up quietly. I swear my mom has every answer to our problems. I think she's crying as she's driving, but she doesn't make any sobs. I can tell just from how she's shaking.

Arden pulls back up my pants and buckles them, and I can still feel the arousal in his own. I can't move enough to touch him in return, so he has to fall slack on his own. I shift slightly, purposely making two things harder at once: his attempts to calm himself and his dick.

"Do you ever just want to leave here?" I accidentally say aloud after awhile. Mom's turned on some slow country music about an emotional breakdown, which was followed by a song about loving life. The ups and downs, they say, are what keep life going. I think all I was tossed was downs.

My brother gives a groan and pulls me closer against him, burying his face into my back and not saying a word. I can feel him going rigid, and I don't think it's because of the now leaving erection in his pants. I feel something cold hit my back. I think he's crying. I've never once seen my brother crying.

Mom parks the car on the side of the road and slumps over the steering wheel, looking as if I'd just shot her in the head. Her eyes are wide, and she isn't crying anymore. She's just staring straight forward. Her blue eyes flash with emotion. The emotion is hatred. I see it in my father's eyes a lot. I see my father's hate-filled eyes when I glance in the car mirrors.

"Mom, I didn't mean to – Never mind," I whisper to myself more than to her. "You don't have to worry, Mom, I'm not going anywhere." I don't think any of us are going anywhere.

Mother pulls herself upright and shakes her head, putting her hand on her stomach.

"We could do it," she says quietly. "We could do it right now, even. He probably will think that's what we've gone and done as soon as he gets in that door and sees we aren't there. I left a note saying we'd be at the hospital, though. He'll just come looking for us. I- I tried to get away before when I found out I was pregnant with you, Dane. He wasn't mean to me when Arden was born, but when I got pregnant a month later, that's when he was mean. I love your father, you know that, right boys?"

No. I don't think either of us knew that. Arden hugs me tighter, and I shift. The mention of the hospital revitalizes the pain in my foot, and I move it away from the milk gallon. It's too cold now; it burns.

We don't leave, though. We never will. I'm sure of it.

Arden got a chance to move out of the house, but he turned it down. He's nineteen and he's got a job. He quit school to work full-time. Vince, my dad, prefers that Arden does all the work if he's going to stay. Arden hates his job. He works at a steel mill. Everyone works at the steel mills around here if they can't finish their education.

While he works, in charge of driving the tanker semis back and forth across a rickety bridge way too fast (I know it'll kill him one day), I'm busy going through offers from colleges. They're saying I can have a scholarship. I've earned several. I want to go. But I can't leave my mom and Vince alone with Trenton, the boy I just know is my son. He looks like me, and he looks like Vince but I know he's mine.

Vince laughs each time Trent calls him Daddy. I just think I'm going to cry.

He's almost four and I've already had to hear him scream from 'Daddy's playtime'. He tells me he's scared of Vince. I'm just furious. I can't leave for college. I want to protect Trent. Arden stays because he wants to as well.

I don't want to leave my boyfriend Erik, either. Erik doesn't deserve for me to run out on him when I know he needs me. I'm his first fuck and his acclaimed first love. I don't love him; I'm with him to torture Arden.

Vince doesn't try and hurt me anymore. He still hurts Arden. Arden, I believe, likes it. I stood up to Vince the first day I saw him hit Trent across the face. I punched him in the jaw, and he just collapsed. I realized then that Vince was only a man, and I'd made him out to be some kind of super villain that I'd need superpowers to defeat. I didn't.

He stopped hitting me that day. He kept hurting Arden, and he even kept hurting Trent when he thought I couldn't hear him. I let him hurt Trent. Call me selfish a bit, but I'm glad he's got a new toy instead of me. Well, I'm glad until I hear Arden moaning, getting the pleasure I want. Erik doesn't have the stamina to ever fuck me like my brother used to.

Erik calls as I crumple another scholarship offer and toss it into the trash receptacle. I answer the phone and without even letting Erik say anything past 'hello' I tell him that if he wants to talk to me he can come here in person. I hang up the phone on him without so much as a good-bye.

He shows up at the door ten minutes later as I'm teaching little Trenton the joys of videogames. We don't have any kid's toys in the house except a purple rhinoceros that my mother thought would be nice for his room. I think it's ugly, honestly, but Trent loves it. He calls it Rye, and I'll be damned if it doesn't go with him everywhere. He has it in his lap even as he's sitting in mine, the controller in his hands and a wide smile on his face. Each time someone dies he squeals 'boom'. I can't wait until I can take him hunting.

I haven't gone hunting in such a long time. I don't even know if I'm a part of this family anymore. I have to stay though. I just can't get away from them. I don't have a place to go, and I can't bare to be alone.

Erik walks in, but he doesn't even look me in the eyes. His red hair is hanging in his face, and his hands are in his jean pockets as if he's done something horrible and wants to hide it. Blunt as I am, I immediately tell him to get to the point of his visit. I don't bother getting up and touching him.

He plops down in the chair that overlooks us and I scowl. I didn't tell him he could sit down. I don't care if he is my boyfriend. "Dane, we need to talk."

"Funny, isn't that what we're doing? Get to the fucking point already." I turn towards the game. Headshot, just the way I like them. Erik gives a sigh and I think I hear tears in his voice when he tells me that he has to go away to college, and since I don't plan on leaving town that he thinks we should break up.

He wants to break up with me. The ungrateful little bastard wants to break up with me! I snarl slightly and focus on the game as if he isn't there. I imagine the next kill I make in the game is Erik. It isn't satisfying enough.

"Please, Dane, don't make this hard." He says that like he knows what hard is. He doesn't. He's a spoiled rich little brat who's just ungrateful.

I move Trent to the floor and stand up, my feet guiding themselves over to where he's standing. It only takes a moment before my knuckles make contact with his face. He seems stunned a moment and I just tackle him. My fists keep coming into contact with his face, over and over. His nose feels like glass, and it shatters. He tries to fight back, but I'm stronger than Erik will ever be. He inevitably fails against me, and I tower over him on the floor as he bleeds. This isn't the first time I've hit Erik.

"Please," he gasps again, his fingers tightening around my wrists now that I've stopped moving them about. "Please, Dane. That – You hurt me. I can't be with you, Dane. I just can't." His voice drops and he sounds so pathetic. I'm reminded of a little puppy sniveling beneath a bulldog. "Please just let me go."

No. Nobody leaves. Nobody will leave me, and I won't leave them. I need someone to love me. I can't just let him go. An unfamiliar thing occurs, I feel tears streak down my face. Trent looks up from the game and walks over to us, staring at me as if I'm doing something horrible. Crying is horrible. Erik whines from beneath me and I get up, only to feel his arms drape around me. "I – I'm sorry, Dane. I really am. I don't want to go. I was just upset, that's all. I was just upset."

He's pleading like my mother used to when I was little. I was Trent then, witnessing something I couldn't possibly understand. I've done something horrible. I've turned into my father.

Trenton begins to cry because I'm crying, and I feel my muscles go tense. I turn and grab him, pulling him against me. "Please don't cry, Trent. It's okay. We were just playing." He cries louder, and so do I. I've never broken down like this. When I almost did, I'd just pinch the top of my nose and look up until I didn't have to cry anymore.

Erik moves back, allowing me to hug him, and Arden comes downstairs at the commotion. He doesn't say anything when he sees me clinging to Trent. Erik looks at Arden, and Arden just gives a scoff and backs away.

I lean down and kiss Trent on the cheek, hugging him slightly tighter as I look up at Erik, feeling my eyes burning. My head is pounding like I've been hit in the head instead, and I just stare at Erik. I can see the red bruises beginning to erupt across his face, and he's trying his best to wipe up his bleeding nose with his shirt.

"Come here, Erik," I say softly, doing my best to keep the demanding tone out of my voice. I don't want to frighten him. He timidly obeys me, and I slip my arms about his neck and sob into him. "I'm sorry I hit you. I just don't want you to leave me."

"I know," he says quietly, turning to look at Trent. Erik knows Trenton is my son. I've told him before. He asked who the mother was, but I didn't tell him. I said she died. Honestly, I think our mother died a long time ago on the inside. I don't want Erik to turn out like that, but I want Erik to stay with me. "I want to go, but I won't. I'll stay. You need me. You should come first. You're right." He doesn't sound sarcastic at all. Am I really that selfish? Yes. Of course I am.

I look up at him, and I press my lips against his in a chaste kiss. Erik is the only one I've ever kissed chastely on the lips before. I don't even kiss Trenton that way. I can't bring myself to kiss Trenton that way. I love him. I shudder slightly at the delicate kiss and smile through my tears at Erik. "C-can I go with you? I can't go to college, but… I don't want you to go. I really don't. Can't I just go with you? I'll get a job at wherever you're going. Or is it me you just want to leave? Please don't leave me."

"You make this so hard for me," he whispers quietly, holding me tightly.

I go rigid, and do something I've never done before. I stare up at Erik, knowing that my eyes must look so pleading and pathetic. "Erik, I love you. Don't leave me."

He stares at me as if I've just said something unnatural, but I believe it. I love Erik. I depend on him. He makes sure I don't go crazy in this household of mine. I've never told anyone I love them before. I especially didn't think the person I would tell would be him.

A smile I've never seen before crosses his face and his kisses me back. "I love you so much, Dane. I-I won't leave you. I won't."

I can hear Arden laughing even as I pick up Trent, and pull Erik out to his car to take him to the hospital. Arden's voice is the last thing I have from that house.

Erik keeps me from going back, even if I am like my father.

I love both my boys very much, and I tell them so everyday. It's nice to be loved everyday.