Not my Brotherbr PG-13, for chocabr Max/Benp

Author's Note: Here's the the rule: if Alec's not around, Ben is the answer. I'm answering my own challenge. As always, the NC-17 version of this story can be found at NWP: http://nunswithpens.hyperboards.com/

Chapter One (not a stand alone, in other words)p

Manticore 2019

Ben was back again.

She couldn't let them know how excited she was. It had been years since she'd seen him, though a series of bad luck. Ben was an excellent soldier, but volatile. He spent his time in and out of Psy-Ops and she heard he had to pop more pills than Manticore gave any of them.

Max had been cleared for solo missions soon after Ben went into Psy-Ops in '13. He'd been in and out after that year, from Psy-Ops to missions and back again, but she'd heard he'd finally been cleared from Psy-Ops for good. For the first time since he'd gone in, she was there to see him.

Turning the corner, Max looked to her brother expectantly, waiting for him to glance her way. He finally did, and a jolt ran through her body. It couldn't be Ben, yet she recognized him.

Forcing her feet ahead of her, she pushed aside her surprising attraction to her brother. He was physically appealing and she hadn't seen him in awhile. When she was used to him again, they would get back to acting like brother and sister and this strange...awareness, would go away.

"Welcome back," she cleared her throat as their eyes met.

"Max?" he tilted his head, running his gaze over her body and back to her eyes. "You grew up," he smiled as flames burst to life in her stomach and she felt her face heat.

"It's been a few years."

"Miss me?" he bit his lip, watching her.

"Of course, I-"

"Hey, Ben!" Jhondy bounced into the conversation and Max backed off.

***

He could feel her eyes on him all the time, constantly aware of her. It had been confusing at first, his sudden interest in her. None of his other sisters stood out to him, though he supposed they were pretty enough compared to people he'd seen on missions.

So far, none of his missions had involved much interaction with people, mostly military ventures and routine assassinations.

But he'd seen his share of ordinaries. Enough to know that his sisters looked a lot better. Max, particularly.

Turning, he met her eye, catching her staring.

Clearly surprised, her eyes darted away immediately and he followed her gaze to Zack, who was looking back at Ben disapprovingly, shaking his head. Did he know what Ben was thinking? The way his mind had a tendency to imagine Max in various states of undress? His personal favorite being entirely, though he was certain Psy-Ops would have something to say about it.

Not that they had a problem with sex. For the males, sex was encouraged on away missions, but Ben was a special case. Psy-Ops had started monitoring him years ago and it was terrifying, thinking they'd made some kind of mistake on his brain. They'd specifically ordered Ben not get involved with anyone and he knew they were afraid what he would do.

Considering their love for screwing him over, it was a little surprising all the extra channels he got in his room on missions. They were probably just monitoring to see if he went for S&M or girl&girl. To Ben, this was a question of math. Two is better than one.

Of course, his sisters hadn't been a channel option. Just the thought of Jhondy or Eva in that context was strange, but somehow when he imagined Max, or better yet, two Maxes, it was different.

That thought, alone, was enough to realize Zack didn't know what was going through his head. Zack had always been protective of Max and would probably just kill Ben rather than bothering with the time it would take to glare at him.

***

Ever since Ben came back, Max had been having trouble concentrating. Unless she was trying to focus on how he looked, or the way he bit his lip a lot, how he would often catch her eye and smile...

She shook her head and found Zack looking at her again. It was kinda strange. Lately, he seemed to be watching her a lot. But it was Zack, he watched them all, kept track of what they were doing. If he somehow found out everything she'd been thinking about Ben, taking her own life might be the only solution.

Lydecker came into the room and she snapped to attention, though her mind wandered back to Ben. They rarely spoke, but it was like he was always there and she was continuously aware of him.

"-and 452, come with me."

Max blinked, immediately following Lydecker into the next room, where he handed her a folder and turned to give a second one to whoever followed her. Glancing to her side, she recognized Ben immediately and forcibly stilled the spark that leapt through her body.

"We're sending you both on a deep cover mission."

"Sir?" Ben asked.

"You've been cleared from Psy-Ops and we're sending 452 along, so there shouldn't be any problems."

"What's our assignment?"

"There's a well to do family in Seattle, Cale. Our sources report they have hoverdrone information we're interested in. We want the technology and we'd like to see their power come to an end."

"Steal the technology and discredit the family?" Max confirmed.

"Affirmative."

"What's our cover?"

"452 is going in as a woman with previous acquaintance to their nephew, Logan."

"Who's Logan?"

"Everything we have on him is in your briefing. He was killed a few months ago."

Max shrugged and Lydecker turned to Ben.

"You're going in as a computer expert, you'll both go to a party as the guest of a different member of the family. With her snooping around," Lydecker indicated Max, "They will be more willing to deal with you than they would otherwise."

"So we don't know each other?"

"Correct, you'll be introduced at a party."

"How do we react?"

"Friendly. Max, you have no idea who he is. Ben will later be informed of who you are. The story is in your briefing. Any more questions?"

Max and Ben exchanged glances and shook their heads.

"Good."

***

Max left the room and Lydecker motioned for Ben to stay behind.

"You know that previous restrictions have been lifted, correct?" Lydecker asked.

Ben's mouth quirked, "Yes, sir."

"Are you up to date on the rules?"

"Yes, sir."

"Dismissed, then."

"Yes, sir," Ben left the room.

***

They'd both been undercover a week before the party. Max casually mentioned that she had been a friend of Logan Cale's and Ben was introduced to a less law abiding member of the Cale family. Both were invited.

Jonas Cale was the head of the family and Max disliked him immediately.

"Understand you knew my nephew."

"Yes, I respected him a great deal, we worked together."

"Ahh, that free-thinking liberal save the people nonsense he was always spouting?"

"I don't know that the people would agree with your definition."

"Maybe not, but that kind of belief got my nephew killed, be careful that the same thing doesn't happen to you."

"He died for what he believed in. There were actually some things about the family he mentioned to me that I thought perhaps we could discuss, for the sake of continuing his work?"

"Well, family business stays in the family."

"Oh, it isn't of a personal nature, but we talked about a few things concerning the hoverdrones that I would like to speak to you about. I'm actually not even sure you know about it yourself," she finished in a whisper, looking around.

"Well, I can see we'll have to set up a meeting, but for now, this is a party, there is plenty of time for business later, Miss...?"

"Guevara," Max supplied the name she had come up with on the spur of the moment when one of the tech guys asked if she cared what last name she was getting.

"Miss Guevara, this is Daphne, a good friend of the family. Daphne, this is Miss Guevara, she worked with Logan."

"Pleasure to meet you. You are a journalist too, then?"

"Researcher, actually."

"Fascinating, do you enjoy it?"

"It is both troubling and rewarding," Max smiled, but sighed, barely fighting the urge to roll her eyes. You'd think Logan would be a little more interesting, considering the way they talked about him. Never had to pay for anything, just wrote a few articles a year about how bad the poor had it. Honestly, considering how little he'd done, it was amazing people had been willing to kill him for it.

"Who's that?" Daphne interupted her thoughts and Max turned, catching Ben's eye across the room and drawing her breath sharply. Hearing a chuckle, Max shook herself from the spell and turned to her companion.

"Not bad," she grinned, trying to cover for her reaction to him.

"If you like that type," the blonde winked.

"Oh, I don't," Max smiled.

"Sure."

***

Not having seen her for a week, Ben had forgotten how remarkably beautiful Max was and now cursed his faulty memory.

"Yeah, that bitch is hot," a young man muttered at his side. "Heard she was with Logan, though. So was the other chick. Never understood why all the hot dames went for him. Boring as hell."

Ben shrugged, turning away from Max. "She's not bad."

"Right. Not bad," the kid laughed, "Go for it, man, business can wait."

Looking at his new 'friend' carefully, Ben nodded and strolled over to Max.

"Hey, I'm Ben," he held out his hand.

Max smiled, "Max Guevara."

"Pleasure to meet you," he smiled, turning to the other woman, "And you are?"

"Daphne."

"Ben," he smiled.

"Well, I see an old friend of mine," Daphne smiled, "I better go say hi. Nice to meet you two."

"So, Max...what are you doing here this fine evening?" Ben asked.

"Came to dicuss a little business, and yourself?"

"I'm more interested in pleasure, but that's not really something you discuss," Ben smiled.

***

Max's eyebrows shot to her hairline. Not only was the smoothness unlike Ben, but her reaction to the unexpected come on was rather disconcerting.

"Who are you and what have you done with my br-Ben?" Max swallowed, unable to call him her brother.

His eyes glinted, "Heard someone else say that. You like it?"

Max rolled her eyes, "It's different."

"Maybe different is good, wanna dance?"

"We aren't supposed to know each other."

"And we don't, but it would be pretty ridiculous to claim no attraction," Ben smiled, "Don't you think?"

"Yeah," she muttered, taking his arm as he led her to the dance floor.

Neither of them had ever danced before, but a few seconds of watching the others and they stepped into it easily. The waltz, pretty old school.

Max hadn't felt Ben's arms around her since they were younger and it was different. Exciting. The heat of his hand on her back made sparks shoot through her. The beautiful gown she'd stolen for the occasion suddenly felt restricting and she turned wide eyes to Ben as he pulled her closer.

"How was your week?" his deep voice flowed over her and she had trouble recalling his actual words.

"Oh, fine, no one doubted my story. You?"

"Well, I'm supposed to be mysterious and skilled. So it isn't too hard," he smiled.

"At least no one really wants to talk about Logan much, he didn't seem to be a favorite in the family."

"Wasn't he some crusader?"

Max shrugged, "Apparently."

"I've heard he was boring as hell, maybe that's why they avoid talking about him."

"Hey, maybe the family killed him off," Max smiled.

"Never know," Ben murmured, "Where are you staying?"

"Some hotel room."

"You have anything to do tonight?"

"Nope, once the meeting is set, I just snoop around."

"Well, they're supposed to be pursuing me, so why make it easy for them?"

"You have some kind of plan?"

"Not an official one."

"Something on the DL?" Max asked, grinning at her use of CVU 101.

Ben grinned in recognition, "We can't get caught, soldier."

"Where are we going?"

"Lose your tail at meet me at Crash," he gave her directions to a Bar.

Her immediate reaction was to say no, it was against the rules. But the look in his eyes made her curious. More than that, it made her feel dangerous, the risk of meeting him when they were on a mission increasing her desire to go.

Lips curving into a sly smile, she pressed closer to him and nodded. Ben's eyes closed briefly, then flickered over her face.

"Then I'll see you there," he whispered as the music ended and he disappeared into the crowd.

***

Ben held a beer in his hand as the woman he refused to acknowledge as his sister walked through the door.

He heard a hiss of breath next to him and turned to see a black woman eyeing Max.

"Damn, that's one FINE shorty," the girl said, turning to her lanky companion, who nodded in agreement.

"Probably taken," he sighed in long suffering, sipping his beer.

Max approached Ben, smiling, "Get me a drink?"

"What a waste," he heard the woman next to him mutter as her friend snorted 'Typical' into his beer.

"Sure," Ben smiled, motioning to the bartender. "What do you want?"

"Beer's fine with me," she smiled, sliding onto the stool next to him.

"So how have you been, Max?"

She seemed to sense that he was serious about the question, wasn't asking for a one word answer, so she watched him for a moment.

"I don't know, Ben. Sometimes I wonder if we're doing the right thing."

"Is there a right thing?"

"I don't know that either."

"Everyone out here thinks so, but we're different."

"Yeah, we are."

"You ever wonder what it would be like to just do whatever you want all the time? Have someone to love, maybe?" she watched him, "Be ALLOWED to love?"

"We love each other," Ben told her, swallowing.

"But maybe there's more to it," she whispered, and he knew she meant beyond the familial love they all had for each other.

"Could be," he ran his thumb over her hand, where it lay on the bar. "Wanna walk?" he asked.

"Yeah," she whispered.

***

Her heart was hammering as they left the bar. Ben took her hand as they walked, squeezing it.

They went back to the hotel Ben was staying in. Max told herself that they were just going to relax and talk. What else was there? Sneaking up the fire escape in back, they laughed as they opened the window, easily avoiding anyone who might be watching the room.

"So," Max smiled, nervous, "You wanna watch TV?" She grabbed the remote and flicked it on.

"No!" he leapt for her as images of less than fully clothed women appeared on screen acting...more friendly than Max ever was with her sisters, anyway.

"Whoa," Max's eyebrows shot to her hairline as Ben grabbed the remote from her and shut off the TV.

"All they have is crap," he shrugged, his cheeks turning pinker than they had been originally.

"Why Ben," Max grinned, flopping onto the bed and grinning at him, "Were you watching porn earlier?"

"What?" Ben laughed it off, jumping onto the bed next to her, "Obviously not, I don't need that."

"Well, no one NEEDS porn," she laughed, loving the embarassed look on his face as he hastened to assure her that all the channels were like that.

"I don't have those channels, do they give them to all the guys?"

Ben shrugged, "Wouldn't know."

"They don't give US any, that's for sure," she smiled.

"Why, you want it?" Ben asked hopefully.

"The girl on girl shit? Hell no!" she laughed.

"No one's perfect," Ben sighed sadly.

Max rolled her eyes and pushed him. He grabbed her hand, pulling her on top of him.

"You do seem pretty close, though," he whispered as she looked down into the sincerity of his eyes.

"Not bad yourself," she smiled, running her hands along the musles of his arms.

"Do you ever think we were made to be different than they tell us to act?" he asked, raising his hands to her waist as she lay over him and massaging her lower back.

"How do you mean?" she asked breathlessly, swallowing as she shifted over him.

Ben's eyes fired at her movement, burning into hers.

"When your instincts," he took her hand, "are against," he raised it to his mouth, "the rules," he pressed his lips to her wrist.

Her pulse went through the roof and she knew he could feel it.

His mouth curved into a smile and he nipped her pinky.

"I...know what you mean," she tried to think of why they weren't supposed to do this.

Any reasons she might have had flew out the window as Ben nibbled lightly on her thumb.

"Have you ever...?" Max trailed off and Ben looked at her.

"Have you?" he asked.

"I asked you first," she rolled off of him and he chuckled, leaning over her and brushing her curls from her face.

"Have I ever...been with anyone?" he asked.

Max nodded and Ben shook his head. "Wasn't allowed," he whispered. "You?"

He didn't look at her as he asked, almost like he was afraid to know the answer.

"Once," she told him seriously, watching him swallow, "Zane and I were supposed to be scouting and he kissed me. Then I kneed him in the balls...does that count?" she asked.

Ben's eyes flew to hers and he laughed, "How old were you?"

"Thirteen, I think."

"Is that how you would react now?" he asked.

"I'm pretty sure Zane will never try it again," she smiled.

Ben ran his hand down the side of her face, his lips inches away from hers. "What if I did?" he asked.

"Well, I don't know," she smiled, "I guess you'll have to live dangerously."

"No other way," he murmured, leaning into her.

Her eyes slid shut as their lips met and fire exploded between them. Ben pulled back from her in shock, staring for a second before he smiled and bent to kiss her again.

Lifting her with him, he rose to his knees, settling on his heels and bringing her to straddle him as he wrapped his arms around her, pressing her body into his as she opened her lips to him and he plundered her mouth. Meeting his ardor, she wrapped her arms around his neck, twisting her fingers through his hair and holding him close to her. The sensation of his tongue against hers was strange, but exciting and Max followed her instinct, twining her tongue with his as she pressed against him.

Closing her mouth around his tongue, Max sucked gently, swallowing his moans as he held her hips, pushing her down on him. She could feel him against her and gasped, pulling away to stare at him. His lips were red and his eyes dark as he waited for her.

"You can leave if you want," he told her.

She shook her head and he smiled, kissing her neck and running his tongue to the indent of her shoulder.

"What do you want, Max?" he asked, his hands slipping around her.

"I...don't know," she shook her head helplessly, "but I trust you."

***

Ben swallowed. She trusted him. They were breaking the rules and he had no idea what he was doing, but she trusted him. All he had been able to think about since he got back was what it would be like to do this to her, with her...to hear her moan and feel what it would be like to be with her.

She trusted him.

He forcefully calmed his raging heartbeat, looking away from her delectable beauty as he thought about what to do.

The rules told him to tell her to leave and never touch her again. His instinct told him to throw her down on the bed.

Ben didn't do either. "We'll wait 'til you know," he smiled, pulling down the covers and slipping between them. He held out his hand to her and she took it, slipping into bed with him and laying her head against his chest.

Her body distracted him at first, but the comfort and warmth of her so close to him, trusting him enough to let down her guard, allowed him to relax and drift off into slumber.