Title: "One Step Too Far"

Author: Shaitanah

Rating: to be on the safe side, NC-17

Warnings: m/m, incest, underage sex, slight bondage, mild torture

Summary: Sequel to 'When Our Worlds Collide' Another encounter of the two brothers. 'He was right: I still could not hate him.' Slash/Incest

A/N: The little brother's POV this time, so the atmosphere is a little different. Oh, and the age gap: it's approximately 6 or 7 years. At present the little one is 15. This story takes place a few months after 'When Our Worlds Collide'.


ONE STEP TOO FAR

Intending to burn

Pretending to fight it, everyone learns

Faster on fire, things took a turn,

Lost all desire, you live and you burn,

You live and you burn

Alkaline Trio. 'Burn'


I put the bottle down and turned to look at the man who had just walked out of the door. My mind still dazed by the liquor, I staggered as I strolled after him. It was definitely him.

I unsheathed my sabre. Its tip grazed the asphalt, making soft screeching noises, as I walked. I didn't give a damn. He knew I followed him, after all.

He halted, his back painfully rigid. I raised my weapon, preparing to strike.

"My skills have improved since our last encounter," I said and grimaced involuntarily: that sounded appallingly like bragging. I never meant to show off; I merely wanted to let him know that my intentions had always been serious.

"Have they now?" he asked. I could tell he was smirking. "Prove it."

I lunged forward in a blur of speed. Everything happened too fast. I choked on the inhale as something chilly slashed me on the chest. I groaned; my fingers slipped, and he overtook my blade. My tunic was torn on the front; I bled from a shallow cut across my chest.

"You'll always be weak, little one," the resentful voice uttered. He threw his hand forward, and my sabre dipped in the mud at my feet.

I grasped it and faced him with fierce determination. Less talk, more action, you bastard!

We crossed our blades. His eyes acquired that annoying amused glint that I deeply detested. He was laughing quietly at me. Nothing could blow his composure. I tried to fight off admiration, but his every move made my heart thump unbearably. 'Desire' was forever carved on the left of my chest.

I tripped him. He sank on one knee and slashed at me, forcing me to withdraw. Blood rushed in my face. I tumbled backwards. I really shouldn't have drunk so much. If I had only known…

I leapt towards him and drove him back against the damp grey stone wall of one of the huts. He released a quiet breath of amazement as he realized there was nowhere to go. I pressed the edge of my sabre to his throat, bloody sparks dancing before my eyes.

"What exactly are you waiting for?" he teased.

I groaned and pushed harder. Why!? Why could I not do this!? My opportune moment smirked and winked at me, sailing farther and farther away.

"You're so relentless. One might think you want something from me."

"The hell!.." I fired off. I blinked my weary eyes, watching his features blur before me.

"Too passionate, my dear," he scoffed. "That's your major drawback."

Before I could react, he pushed at me. I whirled, brandishing my sabre. He came down upon me like a raging hurricane. His katas were flawless, every move a miniature performance based upon cold reckoning and polished skill.

I felt like a child left out in the dark. He was a flickering dot of light looming over me, daring me to attack.

I did. He punched me in the stomach. Blood seeped from the cut on my chest. I gagged as I began sinking on the ground. In a flurry of strikes there was nothing but pain. Jolting through my body, it temporarily paralyzed me.

His fingers wrapped around my wrist, he yanked me towards him and flung me into the wall. Moaning, I rose and attacked again. My blow met solid resistance. He gripped my elbow and twisted the joint, making me go down on my knees.

"Please…" I moaned pitifully, not really knowing what I was begging for.

His face hardened. "Once more. Please what? Let you kill me? You wish."

He hit my legs and I fell to my side. He knelt heavily beside me, pinning me down with the weight of his hand on my shoulder.

I could not believe I'd let him win again. I couldn't contain a sigh of desperation. He sniffed the air curiously, and for the first time in years I heard him laugh. It was a rich, tantalizing sound that only raised my suspicions. I frowned slightly.

"You're not skilled or lucky enough to go after me drunk, you know," he commented sardonically.

I knocked my forehead into his and swept a sharp piece of rock over his neck. He smacked me in the face wordlessly. Starbursts exploded before my eyes. I lay motionless, my head turned away from him. He was on top of me despite my weak-willed protests. He snatched the rock out of my hand and drove it into my palm. I cried out uncontrollably.

He brought the bloodied rock up to my chest and passed it over the ragged fabric of my tunic.

"No…" I whimpered. "Don't…"

He knitted his eyebrows in mocking concern. Blood trickled down his neck. He crushed his insatiable mouth against mine. Something exploded beside me; I burnt as if in the grip of fever and whilst I really wanted him to stop I eagerly gave in as he ravished my mouth with his.

He had always been remarkably skilled at breaking things. But then again he had also been a prodigy at fixing them.

-----------

Tears streamed down my face. I sobbed noisily and wiped my nose with the sleeve of my tunic. That was simply u-n-f-a-i-r!

I had been practicing all day, darting knives with incredible speed. I had exceeded my own level of standards. In the end my head buzzed like a bee-hive, my legs bucked and my eyesight was beginning to fail me. I had hit all the targets but one. Searching for the missing knife, I came across it… in the body of my toy airplane. I had accidentally nailed it to the ground. I pulled the knife out; to my terror, the plane fell apart. I stared at it, weeping silently. Then I collected the halves and went home, representing a model of misery.

He was swinging casually in the hammock stretched between the trees, reading one of his stupid philosophy books. The left wing of the plane fell off. I groaned in dismay. One of the screws was warped out. Biting my lips, I dropped the model on the grass, ready to wail in vexation.

He shifted in the hammock and craned out his neck to look at me. I stood with my back on him, so he could only see my lean, sharp shoulders tremble as I fought tears again.

"You're too big to take toys out to practice with you," he remarked coolly.

I scowled. "None of your business. Like you care what I do in my free time."

We had a huge falling-out recently; I was still mad at him. Deep inside I felt an itching desire to turn to him for help knowing how good he was at repairing any breakage. I resisted; he'd probably have told me off again. All day I was morose, but I went to bed extremely proud of myself.

I woke up the next morning to the smell of freshly baked rolls. Father had already left (big surprise, huh?). I leapt out of bed and hopped to the kitchen. Mother smiled at me. I responded with a shy grimace, swallowed the breakfast and was ready to go.

A gust of warm breeze brought flower petals inside the drawing room, erupting the stillness of the bee-fried air. There was a shiny model of an airplane resting on the window-sill. I refused to believe my eyes. The plane spread its polished wings in perfect symmetry as if ready to take off. Its sleek body glistened brightly in the sunlight. I held my breath and touched it with reverence. It looked exactly like mine. Still mistrustful, I checked the hull and saw a tiny airforce sticker still intact. The screws propelled as I laid a fingers on them. Even my name remained beneath the wing – and no trace of splinters. It was my plane!

I spotted brother by the wicket-door. He was talking to someone. As soon as he caught me staring I looked away, confused. Placing the model carefully between my palms, I took it to the safety of my room and never mentioned it again.

But I knew. I simply knew.

---------

"Where's my star?" I asked, almost spitting the words at him as soon as he broke the kiss off.

"You mean my star," he smirked. "Didn't think that would interest you at the moment."

I had broken the blue light from the highest mountain around our village. I had destroyed it without pity and tossed the shards at his feet to show him he meant nothing to me.

I had wanted to make myself believe it.

----------

She had rich brown hair that rippled down her back in unruly cascade. She had enormous eyes the colour of a forest after a thunderstorm and lily-white skin. She had small delicate hands and a smile that could melt stars.

I watched her with childish reverence as she danced in the school garden; I held my breath whenever her clear voice gave answers to the teachers' questions; I wanted to speak to her but I could not.

"Give her a flower," brother said once, having noticed my torment while picking me up after school.

He was lying on the branch of a huge tree that grew by our fence, sketching something in his notepad. I was sprawled beneath the shade of that tree, blowing chewing gum bubbles.

"Who?" I pretended to misunderstand.

"The girl from your class, the cute one."

"What makes you think I'm interested in her anyhow?" I snorted. "Girls are stupid and useless."

He chuckled to himself. An uneasy pause lasted for a few minutes. I hoped he wouldn't press the matter, but he shrugged noncommittally and went on:

"At least say hi. How can she notice someone who doesn't talk at all? Oh, and flowers always work."

"How do you know? Do you have a girlfriend?" He did not. I humphed sarcastically. "Huh! Then you know so much. How come, by the way?"

He looked down on me, his eyes glimmering with their usual placid, a tad menacing glint. "Because girls are stupid and useless," he replied, adding his own strange meaning to my words.

I shivered, muttered: "Like you'd know," and retired to the solitary confinement of my room, and spend the rest of the day sulking miserably. The next day reason won the argument with mistrust; I picked an elegant bouquet of bluebells, added a cherry blossom and gave it to her right after classes. My heart leapt to my mouth. I was once again numb.

"Is that for me?" she asked, blushing faintly. "Thank you."

I goggled my eyes at her. It hit me that I must look like an idiot. I said 'hi' and told her my name.

"I know," she laughed. "We're in the same class for Maths. You're two seats away from me."

Completely thrilled that she could remember me, I blurted out an offer to walk her home. She cast her eyes downward and said that her elder sister was about to pick her up. I went shy, and then she said: "How about we go out one of these days?" and waved at me when I nodded energetically.

I never told brother about this, but later on he saw us together. And once again, I was sure he knew.

---------

I bit my lip and promised myself to be patient. I would tolerate anything. I had long since understood his motives: everything he did he did to make me stronger.

"Why don't you kill me?" I jeered, wetting my lips. "Or are you afraid? You're hardly far stronger than I am, dear brother!"

He pursed his lips in an almost furious manner. How I prayed for but one hint of emotions on his unreadable face! Now that I saw it, I was suddenly frightened.

"Oh, I will kill you," he said peacefully. "Quite soon, in fact."

He got up. I jumped to my feet and made a go for my sabre. Intoxication combined with blood loss hit me like a blast wave. I staggered and fell into his arms. He carried me inside the hut like I was a bride; I pressed my head to his chest and closed my eyes, bathing in the sensation of false safety. He dropped me on the bed; I had no time to protest as he bound my hands beneath my head and sat down beside me.

"You'd better not struggle," he murmured, tickling my neck with his breath.

"One last time," I pleaded. "Don't do this."

He smiled and sucked me into a sweet tantalizing kiss that stole my breath away. I could feel his tongue caress mine in a series of deliberately slow strokes. Alarmed by such tenderness, I didn't dare respond. None of us closed our eyes.

He stripped me of my tunic, and his lips came down on my face, sliding across the neck towards my collarbone. He licked the dimples on my chin, flicked his tongue over a prominent bone on my shoulder. He pressed his finger to the cut that became a thin line covered in cloted blood. I jerked as my body exploded with dull pain.

He stole up to the hieroglyph-shaped scar. I took a deep breath, bracing the muscles. He lapped at the skin gently, sending tingles of shiver to the bottom of my abdomen.

Beads of blue crystal entwined in his silky hair grazed my skin.

"You… ah… you kept it," I exhaled sharply.

I felt his lips part in a calm smile. The blue star that I'd broken was now in his hair, azure sparks in a mass of black waves.

"It was a gift," I said.

The tip of his tongue slipped over the hieroglyph. Mercilessly rewriting it over and over again with his tongue, he was tearing ragged breaths out of my throat. No other part of his body touched mine. He brought my legs apart; I rocked my hips incoherently, desperate for some contact.

"Not yours to give to whom you will," he stated coolly. His fingers curled around the buckle of my belt. Gently he moved my trousers down to the middle of my thighs. "You're mine. I'm entitled to you like to every other item of the family inheritance."

My moan became more of a guttural growl as he brought his lips down… closer… dangerously close… I was ready to beg him to touch me, or let me go. His breath scorched my skin.

"I loved you once," I murmured miserably.

His obsidian eyes held me prisoner. A surge of desire resulted in heated flush that tinted my pale cheeks crimson. I didn't know whom I loathed more: him or myself.

"Love dies," he said flatly.

The tenderness was swept away by a fit of brutal passion. Tough ropes rubbed my wrists sore. With an almost inhuman scream I came undone as he spilt all his bitterness, coldness and hate inside me.

While fighting to recover, I felt the edge of the rock graze the skin across the hieroglyph-shaped scar. Was he going to write anything else? He viewed me as a book, the journal of his musings, desires and sins.

Soft strokes came swiftly, keeping me on the verge of pain and excitement. I wanted him. More of him. I wanted to be him, and to be with him, to kill him, and to miss him, and to forget him. And once again he was right: I still could not hate him.

"This is for you to remember me by, my sweet weakling."

Akumu. Nightmare. The name he went by. I used to know him as another person, and I regretted it. I would have preferred to only know the cold-blooded murderer, Akumu.

He sat back, picked up his sabre leisurely and raised it over his head. He would kill me now that my body had been marked. I closed my eyes, and the world was reduced to the impenetrable darkness and the hammering of blood in my ears.

I heard the air shift as he brought the blade down swiftly.

I opened my eyes. The blade stuck out of the mattress within a millimeter away from my face. Brother was nowhere to be seen.

"Liar!" I shrieked angrily.

He left me alive because he could. Just as he could end my life one day. And there I was once again – spared on a whim.

June 29 – July 1.2007