Author's Name: Shelli
Story Title: Sweethearts Carved on a Headstone
Rating: PG-13 for the warnings below.
Warnings: Incest, adult/teenage kissing.
Summary: This is wrong has become Frank's mantra and he tries to deal with how he's come to feel about his nephew (the emphasis is important here) but he feels powerless against it. (And really, he is.)
Disclaimer: I don't own anything to do with Little Miss Sunshine, and I don't necessarily condone pedophilic incest as a general rule.
This was written by request for my wonderful friend for at times I am a bad friend and need to write pronnance.
Sweethearts Carved on a Headstone
The precise moment in which Frank realized he was falling in love with his nephew is hard to pin down. To be honest Frank doesn't really like to think about it because if he tries to figure it out, then he has to think about how he is falling in love with his nephew and that's way worse than falling in love with any student, even if he pops his collar.
He's gotten into the habit of listening to Dwayne breathe as he falls asleep, lying awake and staring at the ceiling and telling himself to stop, stop. But it doesn't work. His dreams are darkened with thick black hair and pale skin and a quiet smile and fuck screamed loud and clear. His fingers curl against the sheets and he shuts his eyes tight and tries to block it all out.
It's hard though when Dwayne starts whispering to him at night, starts talking and it's one of those teenage conversations where they're reaching out to you for help—and oh God how can he do this to this boy who looks to him as a mentor? How can he do this?
When he walks into the room to find Dwayne changing and the color jumps into both of their cheeks and he loses the ability to talk, he decides that it's time to move into the living room.
The idea of him moving out was presented a few weeks after the return from the pageant, but it was half-heartedly brought up and when Dwayne's eyes flashed and Frank didn't pursue the topic, it was brushed under the rug. But Frank lies back on his pillow with his blankets pulled up to his chin and his wrists itchy now that the bandages are gone, and he takes a breath and lets the words fall out.
"I was thinking about moving to the couch."
The silence in the room shifts from soft and gentle to icy and fearful and he hears Dwayne hold his breath.
"You deserve your own room. You don't need me in here all the time… You deserve some privacy."
"I don't care. I like having you here." Scared and shaky he can almost see Dwayne's fists curled over his thighs, but he tries not to look.
"I'll still be here, just sleeping on the sofa."
"I like having you here. Fuck privacy." It's killing him and it's killing Dwayne and he wonders what the hell is wrong with him that he even has to cause him this pain.
He bites his tongue on "Well maybe I want some" because he knows Dwayne will twist it into something like Frank not liking him, and Frank is scared of those consequences. The world of silence that may follow would be too much for him to handle, so instead he takes a breath as softly as he can and tries to get his words out past his stomach sinking through to the floor.
"Alright, Dwayne, if you're sure. It was just an idea."
They don't talk anymore but the air tastes different and Frank wants to throw up. He itches at his wrists instead and tries to sleep.
It's a week later and Dwayne's talking a little less and there's an edge to his voice and Frank's heart skips whenever he turns his eyes toward him. He tries not to think about it, to avoid being near him, but in the end, he can't stay away. Whatever drew him to Dwayne in the first place keeps eating away at him until he realizes that it's inevitable. He hates himself for it.
It was his mistake to suggest moving and now Dwayne skirts his eyes away when he walks into a room. That tense silence slides in through the vents at night and there are no more whispered conversations, nothing except Frank's skin moving against the bedspread. He can't even hear Dwayne breathe anymore and it kills him more than he'd like to mention. But what is he supposed to say? What can he say? So he turns onto his side and stares at the corner.
Richard's off on a business trip and Sheryl is at Olive's kickboxing class. Frank vaguely pokes around the kitchen for something to make for dinner, but in the end he gives up and makes popcorn instead because there's a movie coming on, and Dwayne can handle snacking on his own later. The sense of anger still comes from Dwayne and it bothers Frank even as he tries to analyze just why it bothers him. Should it bother him this much? Is this because he cares about Dwayne or because he cares too much?
He takes a breath and knocks on their—his bedroom door.
"Hey Dwayne, watch a movie with me?"
He's on his bed, hands behind his bed and eyes on the ceiling, and he isn't good at lying because he can see it on him before he even replies. "No thanks."
He hesitates with his hand on the doorknob and studies Dwayne, weighing the weight of his steps if he were to go in and ask what was wrong. Finally he decides he hasn't got much choice; Dwayne needs someone to understand and Frank is his only source. He's being irresponsible enough already; he shouldn't shun Dwayne completely.
His heart beats loudly with every step closer to the bed and he stands there, looking at Dwayne not looking at him.
"What's wrong, Dwayne?"
"Did anyone ever tell you that you're a terrible liar?" He doesn't even blink, doesn't even move, and Frank tries to stop his hands from shaking. "You can talk to me, Dwayne, you know that."
Here he gets a response. He blinks, twists his eyes to the side before finding the ceiling again. He stands there silently, reaching for words while pushing his thoughts away, and Dwayne takes a breath. "I can't talk to you about this. I can't, okay?" He turns on his side and mutters, "I'm sorry." The sincerity of his words slices through Frank.
His skin is on fire and he hesitates, thinks, hovers, then sits on the edge of the bed, his hand shakily reaching out to rest gently on his shoulder. "I'm here if you need me." His thumb brushes Dwayne's skin under his sleeve and he hears his breath roar in his ears and he wonders what the fuck is wrong with him. He clears his throat quickly, stands, runs a hand over his head and turns to leave.
Sheets rustle and there's a warm hand on his arm. "Are you mad at me?"
He stops, heart in his throat, and turns slowly. "No. Why would I be mad at you, Dwayne?"
He swallows and looks to the side. "You wanted to move out. I thought…"
Frank smiles because it's almost too ridiculous and he laughs, shaking his head and reaching out to pat Dwayne on the shoulder. "No, I'm not mad at you." He starts to let his hand drop when Dwayne's grip on his arm tightens and their eyes catch, Dwayne staring up at him and he looks so scared.
"What's wrong with me?"
Frank narrows his eyes and draws air so he can speak but finds he can't. He tries again and is slightly more successful. "What do you mean?"
His eyes are moist when he turns them away, drops his hand from Frank's wrist. "Why do I… You're my uncle." He drops his head and Frank's ears are roaring, but this can't be what it sounds like.
"What?" is all he can get out and he's frozen, paralyzed.
"I…" Dwayne stares at his lap and he sounds like he hates himself as the words pour from his mouth. "All I can think about is what it'd be like to kiss you."
It's like something punched Frank in the stomach and he reels for something to say to that. He turns, sits next to Dwayne and stares at the floor.
"I knew it. I knew you'd hate me for it." The tears are clogging his throat but aren't falling yet and Frank quickly tries to backpedal without divulging that he can't think of anything else either.
"No, of course I don't. Dwayne, it's okay." He lays a hand on Dwayne's shoulder, and he finds wet eyes staring up at him, searching and confused, and Frank feels himself being read. Dwayne closes the gap between them and his lips are chapped and this isn't really anything like his fantasies, but this is Dwayne and his mind is screaming no no no but he can't stop this.
He has to though, and he pulls his mouth away from Dwayne and sits up, puts his head in his hand. "Oh God."
"I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry." Dwayne is near sobs and Frank slides his arm around his shoulders before he has a chance to think about what he's doing.
"No, no. It isn't you." He's quick to comfort him because Dwayne, he's fragile. He doesn't want to go back to that night with the razor blade so he doesn't go into the fact that he's fragile too. Instead he pulls Dwayne to his side and resists the urge to press his lips to his forehead. "No, I'm the adult. I shouldn't—"
His head is off his shoulder and staring up at him with something like happiness so quick that Frank barely has time to process it. "You—you too?"
He starts to fumble for something to say but Dwayne's lips are back and this time his resolve crumbles and he slides his lips against his in return, hand falling onto Dwayne's arm. He isn't sure how long they stay in that embrace, but it's long enough that he think his heart has stopped beating and then they finally pull away neither one is breathing properly.
"This is so wrong." He watches for Dwayne's reaction and he half laughs, have looks as if he's about to start shouting fuck.
They sit together for a few minutes, arms wrapped around each other, unsure of where to go from here or how they even got to this point. Eventually they head out to watch the movie. Sheryl and Olive come home and they do a decent job of avoiding eyes, trying not to blush.
When they go to bed, they set the alarm for an hour before Sheryl usually gets up and Dwayne fits himself in Frank's arms.