she's the sort of girl who'll put on fresh make-up to fuck, and she leaves open red kisses on his chest and shoulders, but he flinches when she touches his cheek and goes for his mouth.

what, she laughs, shaking her head. you'll make out with your own sister but you can't touch me?

fuck you, he wants to say, fuck you, and he thinks fleetingly of his (royal fuck-up, forever and always) car four stories underground and the crumpled valet ticket in his jeans pocket.

instead, he slips his fingers through her bra strap and says, get this off. not fair that he's naked and she isn't, and it shouldn't make him feel vulnerable, but it does. (this is how time passes: something coiled inside him unravels with every flick of her tongue over her lip.)

are you one of those, then? she's smiling, pushing the strap back up into place. like to see everything all laid out and ready?

he won't answer, turns his head to stare at the wall, and she sighs, dramatic.

you usually talk more, lover.

he laughs, bitter, and lets his fingers settle on her hip. usually, he repeats, thinking, usually, i would be getting the hell out of here.

-

he's learned to appreciate the irony, if that's what it is, but he still doesn't find it's particularly funny. he's not sure if that's a good thing or if it just means he's less depraved than he thought.

the first time he kissed his sister, he was seventeen.

okay, maybe the first time was really when they were eleven. maybe, but he doesn't really think it counts. they were kids, he thinks, and they didn't know better and –

so if it doesn't count, then the first time, really, is when they're seventeen and their mother has been drunk for a week.

the first time, he feels something pull at him inside. she comes into his room and the bright orange dress she's wearing – a summer dress in october, only she could pull that off – is a size too big for her. she slumps down on his bed and that stupid dress rides up and his breath catches, but he doesn't know if that's arousal or shame or both. he looks away, because he's not stupid, but he can't think of anything to say and she's not talkative by nature, and the silence makes him want to throw up.

and he just leans over and kisses her. mind blank, nails digging into his palms so hard he finds blood underneath them later. she's frozen, and he's frozen, except he's not because he's out of the room in the second it took for him to lean across the bed and ruin her, ruin him.

on his way out he grabs a six-pack off the living room floor, and minutes later he gives his best friend his best smile, holds up the beers, and says, wanna get drunk and jerk off? and the door clatters shut behind him.

-

his last conscious thought before his sister drops to her knees at the edge of the bed and pulls him partway down with her, before he curls a hand around the back of her neck and she bends her head, is that he's ruining his twin sister. because she wants something he can't give her. because she wants fairy-tales and a way out of this dead-end town, out of this life, and all he has ever been able to give her is sins in the dark, away from people's prying eyes; sins that should, technically, make him want to gag but that only make him want to merge himself with her.

he looks back, and he doesn't think he's changed that much. matured body-wise, yes, but he still wears the same clothes and smiles the same smile. he still doesn't like coffee and he still listens to the same music, takes care of his mother like he's always done and still likes giving blow-jobs as much as he likes receiving them.

(he still has the same old fucked up desires and needs, his sister flushed and writhing beneath him, on top of him; alcohol and pretty pills, the boys and the girls whose names he can never remember and)

he still wants the same things, but, he thinks later, staring at his sleeping sister, maybe his focus has just become less focused.

it doesn't make it better, but at least it makes sense that way.

-

after, he refuses to stay. there's a dirty itch under his skin when they roll apart, something tight in his chest that he can't fix by digging his nails hard into his palms. (he used to be held together by strings: pull, release, tighten. cut. he's cut loose, now –)

she offers him the shower with a glint in her eye and her bruised lips curving up, but he says no to that too, pulling on his clothes like desperation, fumbling for the door. (– left adrift in the center of a place that is no place, nothing left for him to do but plead for absolution.)

he marches out into the rain, the little tin soldier carried over water, bobbing for air and drowning, floating beaten and bloodied in the gutter.

he's four blocks away before he realizes he forgot his car.

a/n: i would like to blame this on a challenge (technically, i could – 500+ words, sin, orange, and royal), but i really don't think that this is what my lovely writer-in-crime had in mind. so yeah, the blame falls on me.