The Brothers Triton

"All right, man, come on."

"Hell, you'd think he'd never drank before. You need to work on that, DK."

Only a low, pained moan came in reply. Matt Barone and Harry Didden traded amused looks over Duncan Kane's head, but continued dragging him to a nearby car. Once there, they struggled back and forth with his dead weight as Matt tried to unlock the backdoor before it was finally opened and the third boy was heaved into the backseat.

Duncan looked up, startled, as he bounced into place. "Wait," he said, slightly slurring, "my car…"

"We'll get it in the morning," Harry promised him, patting him slightly on the leg. "What kind of brothers would we be if we let you drive like this?"

"What kind of brothers would we be if we let him walk like this?" Matt said snidely as he got behind the steering wheel. "You're fucked up, DK."

"You're telling me," Duncan replied, lying back without further protest. Harry snorted in reply and haphazardly buckled Duncan into place before getting into the passenger seat.

The car started with a roar properly befitting an 09er vehicle and Duncan openly groaned. This caused both Matt and Harry to laugh, but Matt was considerably more careful in the way he drove out of the parking lot of the bar they'd been in. He'd just had the interior detailed, after all.

"What a night," Harry sighed, opening the window and letting the cool air sober him up a little further. "We're Tritons, baby."

"Don't call me baby," Matt grumbled. But then he grinned at the thought and said, "My dad is going to be so psyched. He's been pushing for me to get in since I was born."

Harry nodded, "Mine, too. Hey, Duncan, was your dad a Triton?"

"I… think so." Duncan stared up at the ceiling. "I haven't talked to him about it."

Aghast, Harry turned in his seat, "You haven't told him what you've been up to? Hell, this is the proudest day of their lives. Well, you know, besides when they got in."

Duncan shrugged, "It's not that big of a deal."

Harry and Matt stared wide-eyed at one another.

"Not a big deal?" Matt repeated.

"We're elite, Duncan," Harry insisted. "It's official and everything. Out of the whole school, we are the shit."

"No, I feel like shit," Duncan said dryly. He coughed heavily and turned on his side. "Damn it, Matt, slow down."

"What, too sensitive?"

"I'm just queasy," Duncan replied. The passing highway lights were shining down on his face, so he lifted a hand to shield his eyes from the glare. He hadn't been this wasted in… he couldn't even remember. It had been a long time, at least.

"I have to say, though, that was better than the karaoke bar," Harry said with satisfaction. He had yet to live down the embarrassment of singing the Hokey-Pokey in front of a large audience; Duncan, however, could still claim to be the most off-key that night.

Veronica, though.

Duncan smiled to himself. She'd always been a good singer, he'd heard her hum enough when they were riding somewhere together to know she could carry a tune, but her performance had left him so… proud. It had been easy to see her shock at being called up, but in true Veronica style, she'd schooled them all. Of course, he felt slightly guilty for playing that joke on her, but what was he supposed to say? The quick brown fox wasn't about to explain that they had nothing to do with the fake ID ring at school.

(Not to say that they couldn't manufacture their own; his wallet carried brand spankin' new proof of that, courtesy of his new brothers.)

Softly, and only to himself, Duncan started humming "One Way or Another".

It was only when he heard the sneer in Matt's voice as he said Veronica's name that Duncan went silent once more.

"But if that bitch, Mars, has anything to do with it, we may have just seen the last initiation," Matt bit out. "I can't believe she took pictures of us. How the hell did she find us?"

Duncan stayed still and tried listening hard through the haze of liquor in his veins.

Harry sighed, "I don't know. The elders said they took care of her, but…"

"She still got the photos. And I was so close, too, right on her tail before she got out the door." Matt made a frustrated noise and Duncan heard the engine rev a bit and felt his stomach jump in response.

"She's fast," Harry grudgingly agreed.

Matt laughed (if Duncan had been sober, he would have thought of it as a rather ugly laugh), "I bet she is. What did she get on the purity test, a ten?"

"Fourteen, I think," Harry mused. "But, wait, didn't Pam put that up?"

"Who the hell cares? Everyone knows what she's like and everyone's had a taste."

There was pause and a strange noise; Duncan lifted his arm to see Harry give Matt a warning look and nod his head towards the backseat. Matt, though, scoffed out, "What? Duncan knows what I'm talking about. Don't you, DK?"

Duncan frowned, but Matt didn't give him a chance to answer.

"I heard she's a little freak," Matt continued. "Whips and nipple clips and candle wax if I heard it right."

Harry stunned Duncan by saying, "You know, for all the stuff we hear about Veronica Mars, seriously, can you think of one guy who can prove he's done anything with her?"

"Besides DK?" Duncan saw Matt's eyes lift to the review mirror and gave him a cocky wink that he immediately wanted to give a matching black eye. "Don't leave us in suspense here, man."

Duncan glared at him and turned away.

"Ignore him, Duncan," Harry said. He looked over at Matt. "Maybe you should let me drive."

"Like hell," Matt swore. "We're brothers, right? It's official, we're Tritons and if I got that chant down right, there are no secrets between us. So come on, Duncan, how was it?"

"Shut up," Duncan retorted in the most scathing voice he could summon without slurring. "Veronica's not like that, she never was and she never will be."

"Oh-ho!" Matt laughed triumphantly. "I knew there was something!"

He was on the verge of jumping from his seat and going after this so-called brother, but Harry was quick to intrude and say, "Hey, Matt, I need to take a piss."

"Are you serious?" His voice skeptical, but thankfully diverted from Duncan, Matt sighed and began slowing the car. The lights grew brighter as they pulled into a service station and Duncan covered his eyes again, rubbing idly at his uneasy stomach.

"Here." Harry threw his wallet at Matt. "Get something for me."

"Like what?"

"Anything. There's a hundred in there, have a ball."

Matt exited the car and Duncan heard Harry's door open and then close a few seconds later. He jumped in surprise when he heard the doors lock and he looked up to see that Harry hadn't left.

Harry stared out the window and muttered, "I'm sorry about that. He can be a real asshole when he's been drinking."

"Really? I hadn't caught onto that," Duncan said back. Silence fell between them and in the distance, he could hear the cars whizzing by on the PCH. Something clawed at him, though, and it wasn't very long before Duncan added, "Thanks for… you know, defending her."

He felt his cheeks burn and another rolling in his stomach, this time more out of guilt than anything else.

"Well, I remember how she was a couple years ago and she wasn't like what they say," Harry replied uncomfortably, as if this were his first confession to such anti-09er sentiments. His tone implied that a burning in effigy wasn't far off. "As for now, I don't know, but… but Veronica was better back then. It's a long way to fall and I just get the feeling-"

"She hasn't," Duncan finished lowly. "Believe me, she hasn't."

Harry looked back at him, "Then why do you let-"

Duncan looked away. "I don't know."

They went quiet again and Duncan heard Harry attempt to speak a couple of times before finally saying, "All you'd have to do is say something and they'd stop, Duncan."

"Contrary to popular opinion, I'm not the King of the 09ers," Duncan said with a careful shake of his head. "These days that's Logan and…"

"We all know what Logan thinks," Harry said, snorting again.

"Yeah."

Duncan bit his lip and closed his eyes. There was a raw ache in his throat, the one that always returned when he recognized how many times he'd failed her. He'd ruined so many things without saying a word to or for Veronica Mars. And yet she was the one constantly put down and he was 'elite'. It made him sick to think of it.

"I lost my virginity to her. I was her first, too," Duncan whispered so lowly, he wasn't sure if heard himself say it. Harry, though, had.

"Yeah?" A guy to the core, Harry craned his neck back and asked, "And?"

"And it was…" Duncan trailed off and put his hands behind his head. "It was incredible."

"Whips and nipple clips, huh?" There was a teasing smile in Harry's voice and Duncan gave him a low chuckle.

Duncan shut his eyes tighter, not bothering to care that the alcohol was loosening his tongue a little too much and that this 'brother' was learning more than even his own best friend had been told. It was easier to say it than he'd expected; it was all the hesitation and fear that had made it so difficult to confront, but now-

"She was wearing a white dress," he said softly. "And we went crazy the first time, but the second time, it was so much slower and just… incredible."

The memories, long pent up, came tumbling over him and Duncan sighed with a mixture of every word that could describe how he felt over not having her anymore. Sadness. Regret. Misery. Loneliness.

"So it was with someone you loved," Harry said. "Mine, too."

Duncan glanced at him. "Yeah?"

"Yeah." Leaning back in the seat, Harry said, "The best part, though? It was waking up with her afterwards. I mean, nothing could replace that for me, waking up and finding her there and just looking so spent and happy. You know what I mean? Duncan?"

Duncan didn't answer. His face had gone slack and he stared up at the ceiling of the car, Harry's words taunting him in a way that Matt would never be able to compete with. What was he thinking, acting as if it were a normal rite of passage? No amount of alcohol could make him forget that that night with Veronica was far outweighed by its wrongness, by how disgusted he still felt with himself. It hadn't been incredible, it had been sick. There was no reason he should think of it with anything more than revulsion. His stomach began rolling again and Duncan brought his hand to his mouth and gagged.

That was it. That was the last time he'd been this wasted and he'd slept with Veronica against his better judgment because of it. And then he'd woken up next to her and bolted because… because…

Duncan gagged again, harder this time, and Harry worriedly said, "Man, you're not looking too good."

There was a loud knocking at the driver's side window, distracting Harry. He leaned over and opened the door for Matt, who dumped a load of snacks and drinks into the console between the seats. Giving his friend a grin, he said, "You should know better than to give me your money."

"Right," Harry said faintly, glancing back at Duncan, who looked significantly greener. Matt, however, paid them no heed and quickly started the car and backed out of the service station.

It could be worse, Duncan thought as the sour taste gathered in his mouth. Veronica could have demanded something more from him instead of treating it as their final goodbye. Then he would have had to explain to her, told her why they couldn't be together even as he fought the urge to drag her into any available bedroom and repeat the whole thing.

"Uh, Matt, you better slow down," Harry's voice came as if from far away and Duncan felt the car sharply turn a corner beneath him.

No, let him do it. I need an excuse.

Duncan struggled with the seatbelt, finally unsnapping it just when Matt caught on.

"Duncan's sick-"

"What the fuck? You better not puke in here-"

Too late. Duncan finally unsnapped the belt, turned his head and vomited all over the plush floor mats. His body spasmed with each thought that went tumbling through his mind.

Veronica – gone.

Virginity – gone.

Any possible sense of decency – gone.

Duncan set his right hand against the back of Matt's seat – he could hear the other boy shouting obscenities at him, but didn't care – and let his body rid itself of the alcohol in a way he wished would get rid of his every thought of her.

White dresses. White panties. Stupid, fuckin' wasted Duncan still in love with his half-sister.

He retched out everything he could and the dry heaves still continued.

Things were getting dark around the edges and Duncan pushed himself back onto the seat before he could fall face first into his vomit. Matt was still yelling and Harry giving him a really worried look, but Duncan stared at the ceiling again and blocked them out.

"I'm a fucking Triton," he said hoarsely, his throat now truly raw and aching. "I'm fucking elite."

Matt stopped raging about his car and stared at him. Bewildered, Harry gathered himself together enough to ask, "What?"

Duncan looked over at his brothers and wearily said, "I can't even take care of myself. How the hell was I supposed to take care of her?"

And then he finally passed out.


A/N: …because Duncan, for some reason or another, inspires me. Reviews are greatly welcomed.