Warning: this gets more graphic and the story goes on and Murtagh's thoughts become gradually less and less innocent, ending with a bit of a lime. If you are offended by homosexual relationships and incest then now is the time to click the back button. Consider yourself warned.

Disclaimer: I do not own Eragon and am not making any profit by writing this.

--

It was raining that day.

It seemed cliché, almost absurd, but it was. The thin, spindly limbs of the bare trees were silhouetted against a gray sky. The light drizzle soaked the tuffs of grass here and there, and turned the dusty dirt to thin mud.

There was no color anywhere, not in the tombstones, not in the people, and not in their surroundings. Even the trees seemed lifeless, their leaves now decaying on the damp ground as winter set in. The only hint of color at all was in the dirt – the cold, hard clay where two graves had been dug side by side. A priest droned on in the background.

It was fitting, Murtagh thought as he watched the first coffin be lowered down. The world itself seemed to be mourning at this loss. Even Murtagh himself was mourning, and he hadn't even known the two of them.

He shivered in the cold winter air, and pulled his black coat more tightly around him.

He glanced up from the graves as the second coffin was lowered. He could see the priest's lips moving, but couldn't seem to hear. The world was noiseless, empty. He watched blankly as the priest paused and gestured to a young man, who stepped forward with a white rose clutched in his hands. Murtagh's heart lurched and fluttered when he saw that expression in the young man's red-rimmed eyes, his half-brother Eragon's eyes – desolation.

"Bye, Dad," Eragon whispered. He dropped the rose in one of the graves.

He tilted his head in Murtagh's direction ever so slightly. Murtagh stepped forward mechanically, his body somehow going through the motions while his mind was frozen. He took a rose identical to Eragon's from the priest and moved to stand before the second grave. Eragon's hand brushed his for just an instant, and sparks shot up Murtagh's spine from the small contact. He ignored them.

Murtagh's shaking hand let the rose drop into the second grave. "Bye, Mom."

I didn't even get to know you.

The first handful of dirt was dropped onto each of the coffins. Murtagh watched silently, dully. Eragon did as well. Comforting, quiet words were spoken. People began to make their way back home again, having paid their respects. The coffins began to vanish beneath the dirt, and soon the holes were filled. The priest closed his Bible, patted the two on the back, and began to slowly stroll away. Before long, Murtagh and Eragon were left alone at the two graves.

It had been a car crash. Murtagh didn't know how it had happened. Perhaps they'd been drunk? But no, from what Eragon had told him of Brom and Selena, neither were the type to drink then go drive home. Perhaps another driver had been drunk, and had crashed into them. Perhaps it had been raining heavily that day, and they'd accidentally gone off the road. Did it matter? They were dead. Just dead.

He found himself watching Eragon. How long had it been since he'd last laid eyes on the brunet? How long since he'd gone off to college with Eragon still in high school, and began to deliberately ignore Eragon's attempts to keep in contact?

Eragon didn't move. He just stood, his head bowed. After a long moment, he said, voice shaking, "You didn't know them."

"Selena was still my mother," Murtagh replied. "Isn't that reason enough for me to be here?" He flinched at the sound of his own voice. It sounded so calm, so reasonable, so lifeless.

"Oh." Eragon's hands clenched and unclenched, and he looked as if he was about to speak several times, but he remained silent in the end.

"What are you going to do now?" Murtagh asked suddenly.

Eragon stared at him in surprise, then grimaced and looked away. "I don't know," he said hoarsely. His eyes seemed over-bright. "Dad… left me most of his money. Not the house, so I'll get an apartment or something, I," His voice gave out. He swallowed. "I guess. H-how… how've you been?"

Murtagh shrugged dully. "Okay."

Eragon struggled to speak again, still unsure. Finally, he just collapsed in the mud. Tears trickled down his face. "Fuck," he muttered, wiping them away angrily. "Why'd this have to happen now? I'm s-still a k-kid." His voice began to shake again. "I-I mean… w-whose parents… die… two d-days after h-high school graduation."

Murtagh hesitated, then knelt by Eragon's side. "Are you going to be okay?" he asked quietly.

Eragon nodded, just as a sob tore loose. "Fuck," he wept. An insane, terrified laugh bubbled up from his throat. "Fuck. That's not e-even w-why I'm c-crying! I d-don't… care… graduation… j-just w-want 'em… b-back… damn c-car… crash… can't believe…"

Murtagh wrapped an arm around Eragon's shoulders and pulled him closer. Eragon let himself be pulled, still sobbing but no longer even trying to speak. When Eragon's shaking slowly faded, and his weeping began to quiet, Murtagh spoke. "C'mon," he muttered, standing up and pulling Eragon upright as well. "You should get home."

Eragon shook his head, tears still streaming silently down his face. "No," he whispered. "Not home anymore. Can't go back. Mom and Dad's house, not mine. C-can't live there… w-when they're…"

Dead.

"Gone," Murtagh finished. He hesitated. Eragon was his half-brother, not to mention… that. "You could… live with me, for a while," he offered.

Eragon looked up, his red-rimmed eyes startled. Murtagh noticed he was shivering and pale from the cold and rain. "I-I couldn't… y-you have an apartment? Y-you just s-started college. Y-you can't support…"

Murtagh pulled off his jacket and wrapped it around Eragon. "Morzan left me a house and some money when he drank himself to death, and I'm hardly broke. You can stay with me at least for a while." When Eragon didn't answer, obviously not sure whether to take the offer or not, Murtagh smiled half-heartedly. "C'mon, kid. Let's go home."

--

It'd begun an eternity ago, during a time Murtagh vaguely recalled only as "the time before Eragon."

When was it, exactly? The tenth grade, maybe. It didn't matter. All Murtagh remembered was getting out of the car one day to go to school one day… meeting Eragon there… Morzan ranting about how the evil Brom had stolen Selena away from them… realizing Eragon was his half-brother, Brom and Selena's son. Wondering if he cared what Morzan thought. Becoming friends with Eragon just to spite Morzan.

Spending more and more time with Eragon.

Admiring Eragon.

Becoming more than just friends with him. Best friends? No, Eragon's best friend was Saphira, his adopted sister, and Murtagh's best friend had been Thorn Briarson until the redhead had moved away in the tenth grade. Not best friends, just… a close kind of friend. A brother kind of friend.

It wasn't until it was too late that Murtagh had realized that Eragon had gone from being a friend, to a brother, to a wet dream. His own half-brother!

Hormones, he'd blamed it on. Chemicals in his head making him think strange thoughts, things that had to do with puberty, things that weren't his fault. Things that never went away like they were supposed to.

Murtagh had tried everything to make himself stop thinking – that way – about Eragon. He had brought home girl after girl; none of them satisfied him. He had switched to men; none of them were good enough. Murtagh had even gone so far as to find someone that looked like Eragon, seduced the look-alike, and dragged him to the nearest secluded area for a quick session. It had done nothing but make him want the real thing even more.

So he had simply distanced himself from his brother. At the end of his senior year and the end of Eragon's junior year, he'd taken off for college and tried to force himself to forget. Then a lawyer had called one day, explaining that his mother had died and left behind a rather ambiguous will, and would he and his half-brother, Mr. Eragon Rider, please come to his office to settle any issue on the money she left behind for them?

That was when his plan of avoiding Eragon for the rest of his life had crumbled down around his ears.

--

It wasn't late when they finally got to Murtagh's house, but Eragon collapsed onto the couch and fell asleep immediately. Murtagh was tired – exhausted, actually, because he hadn't gotten any sleep ever since he'd been contacted about the car crash – but he didn't go to sleep. Instead he paced the house, finding anything to do, anything at all, to distract himself from… those thoughts.

He washed dishes by hand, he swept, he straightened every picture and painting on every wall, he fluffed every fucking pillow in the entire house. Yet still, still, he was awake enough to think. When there was nothing left to do, he paced the floor, hands clenched and shaking.

It didn't help.

Every so often he would glance over at Eragon, and his expression would briefly soften before he'd give himself a mental slap for staring. It was wonderful to watch Eragon sleep, somehow, just wonderful. The gentle rise and fall of his chest, his blue eyes closed in exhaustion, his expression peaceful and free of all the grief that had clouded it before.

Murtagh couldn't help but wonder sometimes what that face would look like twisted in ecstasy, those lips parted as Eragon panted, eyes shut tightly, that slender body writhing on his bed…

With a soft groan, he collapsed in a chair and buried his face in his hands. He was screwed. It was bad enough he was lusting after his own half-brother, but now they'd be living together? Eragon would find out! It's not for long, he told himself. Just a few days until he decides he's sick of living with his bad-tempered half-brother.

Yes, that was it. Just for a little while.

--

Murtagh awoke to the sound of not birds, as he was used to, but the sound of distant sizzling. His eyes fluttered open and he stretched, feeling sleepily puzzled. What was that noise? It sounded like… bacon cooking? He sniffed the air. Smelled like bacon, too. But he lived alone, so who was – ah. Funeral. Eragon. That was it.

Wait, Eragon was cooking?

Murtagh yawned and propped himself up on his elbows. He was sitting – or really, more like laying at this angle – in the recliner, covered in a blanket he didn't remember grabbing before going to sleep last night. Actually, he didn't remember going to sleep at all last night. He glanced at a clock on the wall, and started in surprise. It was almost noon. He stumbled upright, yawning, and made his way to the kitchen.

Eragon stood with his back to him, spatula in hand. The thick smell of delicious, greasy bacon filled the air as a pan on the stove sizzled.

"Eragon?" Murtagh said.

Eragon started and turned. "Oh, hey Murtagh," he said. He looked tired but much better than the night before. His smile was weak. "I, uh… decided to make something, so I raided the fridge and found this bacon. That okay?"

"'s fine," Murtagh said, and collapsed into one of the chairs at the kitchen table. He needed to get more sleep.

"Oh," Eragon muttered. He flipped over a few pieces of the bacon, then took a few out and put them onto a plate. He hesitated, then went and set it in front of Murtagh. "Are you hungry?"

Murtagh stared at him, then shrugged. "Sure." He took the plate gratefully. He loved bacon. "How are you feeling?"

Eragon flinched. "Fine. Better," he said. He paused, then said, "Hey, Murtagh?"

"Yeah?"

"How long can I stay here?"

Murtagh considered it. He'd never really thought about it before, really – last night he'd been more focused on just getting home and making sure Eragon wasn't a suicidal wreck. "Do you have anywhere else to go?" he asked.

Eragon considered it, then nodded. "I guess. Mom and Dad left Saphira the house, but she's my best friend, not to mention my adoptive sister. She wouldn't throw me out. I want to find an apartment of my own as soon as possible, but that might take a while."

"Do you want to go live with her?"

"It'd be okay."

"Would you prefer to stay here?"

Eragon flushed slightly. "She, uh, has this friend living with her now, and I think they want to move into that house together."

"What kind of friend?"

"The guy kind."

"Ah." Murtagh picked absentmindedly at his bacon, hesitating and considering. He felt a twinge of pride that Eragon preferred to stay here rather than go, despite the fact that that was only true because Eragon didn't want to listen to his sister get screwed into the wall every night by this mysterious stranger. "Well," he said after a long moment, "you can stay as long as you need to."

He regretted it even as he rejoiced. He would have Eragon to himself, just for a little longer.

--

That night, Murtagh abruptly woke up. He wasn't sure what it was, but something was wrong. He slipped out of bed, glancing suspiciously around the room. The window was still closed, the door was still open, and nothing was out of place.

He padded silently to the door and down the hallway, hazel eyes alert and searching for anything strange. Nothing seemed to be wrong, but – there. A noise, a whimper, coming from up ahead. He crept into the living room, noticing immediately how cold it was when he got there. Murtagh glanced at the window and saw it was partway open, and the cold winter air was blowing in. He shivered and hurriedly closed it.

It was then that he heard that noise again – the little whimper. Murtagh's eyes fell on Eragon, who was curled up on the couch. He was asleep, but restless and shivering under a thin blanket.

Murtagh felt something in him weaken a little when he heard Eragon make that tiny noise again – that little whine. He was having a nightmare?

Murtagh left, returning a moment later with a spare blanket. He laid it across Eragon, who mumbled softly in his sleep. Murtagh turned to go, but then paused; the two blankets were thin, and the room was freezing, not to mention Eragon was still restless. Sighing, Murtagh carefully slipped onto the couch next to Eragon and put his arm loosely around Eragon's waist. He flushed slightly at the close contact, but pushed back those reactions. This was about keeping his brother comfortable, not about his sick fantasies.

Sure enough, Eragon calmed, the nightmare apparently gone, and fell into a deeper sleep.

--

The next morning, when Murtagh awoke, he found himself alone. He stiffened and jerked upright when he realized what that meant – Eragon had woken before him. Was he disgusted by waking up like that, in his own brother's arms?

He calmed slightly when he heard someone banging around in the kitchen, apparently making breakfast. Murtagh got out of bed and peeked around the corner into the kitchen; Eragon, once again at the stove, glanced back at him.

"Oh. Good morning, Murtagh," Eragon said, quickly turning back to his cooking.

Murtagh sighed in relief. Apparently Eragon hadn't cared. Thank god. "Good morning," Murtagh replied, and sat down at the table. "What's for breakfast?"

--

Several days later, when Murtagh returned home late that afternoon, the house was relatively silent. Murtagh dropped his bag on the floor next to the door and glanced around. Wonder what Eragon's up to, he mused, shrugged off his jacket. He turned to hang it up on the coat rack next to the door, then paused as something caught his eyes. He pulled a note off the door. It was written in Eragon's almost illegible scrawl.

At Saphira's, it said. Be back later. Love, E.

Murtagh read it, feeling that familiar ache start up again when he read the word "love". When he was done, he tore off that single phrase – Love, E. – and tossed the rest into the trash. He slid the remaining strip of paper into his pocket and continued on his way.

It was almost eight o'clock, and Murtagh had to get up early the next morning. He sighed as he thought about it; he hated going to bed early, but he hated getting up early with little sleep even more. After grabbing something to eat for dinner and taking a long, hot shower, he grabbed the remote stretched out on the couch. With the press of a button, the TV was on, and Murtagh was dozing just as quickly.

He was jerked awake by the noise of the front door banging open. A voice that sounded suspiciously like Eragon's cursed softly.

"Shhh!" he heard Eragon hiss. "I don't know if Murtagh is still awake or not."

"Why in the world would he be asleep at this hour?" This time it was a musical female voice. It seemed vaguely familiar.

"He has to get up early tomorrow," Eragon explained.

"Oh."

"It matters? Even if he is asleep, I'm going to wake him up." Murtagh froze at the sound of the third voice. It was deep, male, and full of dry humor. Wasn't that…?

He slid off the couch quietly and moved silently to the open door leading into the hallway where the three had just entered. He stood in the doorway, nearly invisible in his dark clothes against the lightless room. The trio didn't notice him.

Eragon stood next to the door, a woman and a man next to him. The woman was blonde and blue-eyed, dressed simply in a navy jacket and loose cargo pants; Murtagh recognized her at once as Saphira Rider, Eragon's sister. The man was roughly the size of a professional football player, and had a shock of unruly red hair.

"Thorn?" Murtagh said, disbelieving.

Saphira and Eragon jumped. Thorn turned, grinning hugely. "Tag," he chuckled, striding over to his best friend. "It's been a while, huh?"

Murtagh embraced him like a brother, completely missing Eragon's surprised and – hurt? – expression. Murtagh smiled for the first time in months. "Years, idiot. What are you doing here? How did you find me?"

Thorn nodded to Eragon. "The kid there showed up on my front doorstep, demanding to see the lovely young lady I live with now. And then he and the lovely young lady had a conversation, conveniently featuring you, within my earshot. So I decided to see what you've gotten yourself into while I was gone."

"What I've gotten myself into? I'm surprised you're not in prison somewhere," Murtagh retorted.

"You're the one who assaults teachers," Thorn replied, ruffling Murtagh's hair affectionately.

Murtagh slapped his hand away indignantly. "That was once, and Professor Galbatorix deserved it."

"Of course," Thorn said dryly.

Saphira smiled politely at Murtagh and stepped forward. "It's, uh, nice to see you again?" she said. Murtagh glanced at her and nodded just as politely. He'd never quite been friends with her in high school, though after she'd beaten the living shit out of one of Eragon's ex-boyfriends he'd come to respect her.

"Uh, is it okay if Saph stays over for a while?" Eragon asked somewhat awkwardly.

Murtagh nodded simply. "It's fine."

Thorn glanced between Murtagh and Eragon, then frowned. He nodded to Eragon and Saphira after a moment, saying, "Well, you two probably have more catching up to do, and Tag and I certainly do. See you." And, without further ado, he dragged Murtagh out the door, leaving behind a bemused Saphira and Eragon.

As soon as the door was closed, Thorn crossed his arms over his chest. "You still have that 'problem' you had in the tenth grade, don't you? And don't lie, Tag. It might've been three years since I've seen you, but I still know you."

Murtagh hesitated. "I'm not talking about this here," he said.

Thorn strode down the steps purposefully and onto the sidewalk. "Let's take a walk, then."

Murtagh followed him. "It's not as bad as it was," he said quietly when they were a ways away from the house.

Thorn snorted. "Your lying abilities haven't improved, I see. It's really gotten worse, hasn't it?"

Murtagh grimaced. There was no hiding anything from Thorn, was there? "Yeah."

"Can I be blunt, then?"

"You'll be blunt whether or whether not I give you permission," Murtagh pointed out dryly.

Thorn nodded in agreement. "True. In that case…" He paused. "You're a complete idiot."

"Shrewd observation."

"I'm serious, Tag," Thorn said. "I was around you for about five minutes and noticed how awkward you are around him. How long until he figures it out now that you're living with him?"

Murtagh groaned and collapsed into a nearby bench on the sidewalk. "I don't know," he muttered. "I wasn't thinking when I asked him to live with me. Being around him does that to me sometimes."

"I know the feeling."

"Really?"

"No, not really. Saphira's cool, but she doesn't mess with my head."

Murtagh sighed and buried his head into his hands. "What am I going to do?"

--

Nothing changed for days. Murtagh began to lose his mind. How much more of this could he take?

He wasn't sure if fate just hated him, or if he was subconsciously trying to drive himself insane, but it seemed like at least once a day he would walk in on Eragon undressing or redressing or getting out of the shower. Every time this happened, Eragon just looked faintly embarrassed, while Murtagh fought back the savage urge to tear the rest of the brunet's clothes off and slam him against the bed, pressing himself against that lithe body and –

Well, you get the idea.

--

When something finally did change, it was for the worst.

Murtagh was getting ready for bed at the time, pulling his shirt over his head and slipping out of his jeans. There was a knock on the door. "Murtagh?" he heard Eragon call softly, tentatively. "Are you still awake?" The door gently slid open.

Murtagh looked up just as he slid into a pair of pajama pants. Eragon stood in the doorway. It was hard to tell in the dim lighting, but his cheeks looked faintly pink. "Yeah?" Murtagh asked, crossing his arms over his chest.

Eragon looked embarrassed. "I, uh, wanted to know if you… I mean, would you mind…"

"What?" Murtagh asked when Eragon trailed off.

Eragon hesitated, then shook his head. "Never mind. It's stupid." He turned and started to leave.

Murtagh, much to his own surprise, caught hold of Eragon's arm. Eragon stared at him, surprised. "Go ahead," Murtagh said. "I'm not going to bite your head off for asking a favor."

Eragon flushed a brighter shade of pink. "Would you, uh, sleep beside me again?"

Murtagh stiffened, staring at his brother in shock. He wants me to? he thought. When Murtagh didn't immediately reply, Eragon looked even more embarrassed and tried to yank his arm away. "No, it's fine," Murtagh said quickly. "I will, but why?"

Eragon averted his eyes. "I haven't been able to sleep well since… since that night you slept on the couch with me."

Murtagh nodded. It was more than okay, actually. It was incredible. It was perfect.

When they were in bed together later that night, on opposite sides of the mattress, Murtagh found himself sliding closer and closer to Eragon. He shivered as their skin finally brushed, sending sparks up his spine. Heat and want and need curled in his stomach, and his heart pounded in his chest. Eragon remained still, his breathing deep and even, his eyes closed. Deciding it was safe and that his half-brother was indeed asleep, Murtagh slid an arm around Eragon's waist and pulled him closer. He closed his eyes and began to doze off.

He was asleep when Eragon, perfectly awake, opened his eyes and began to think.

--

A little while turned into a few weeks, and a few weeks turned into a month. Murtagh spent the entire time tearing himself apart and loving every moment he spent in Eragon's presence. Eragon spent the time looking for a reasonably priced apartment that was near his college.

"Murtagh?" Eragon asked sleepily one morning. He was resting his head on the kitchen table, a half-eaten bowl of Cheerios sitting next to him. Murtagh was absentmindedly flipping pancakes at the stove.

"Yeah?" Murtagh said, pouring more batter into the pan.

Eragon didn't answer immediately. He seemed to be considering something. Finally, he asked, "Do you mind me living with you?"

Of course. Do you have any idea how hard it is just to function with you nearby? Sometimes I can barely stop myself from throwing you against the wall and –

"No," Murtagh said. "Why?"

"No reason."

Murtagh shrugged and went back to his cooking.

"Except…"

Murtagh sighed. There always was a reason. "What?" he asked.

"Well, you live pretty close to Wallace State College," Eragon said cautiously. "I mean, you have to, since you go there… and my classes there are starting in a few weeks."

"Yeah?"

Eragon nodded. "Plus, I still can't find a nearby apartment, and even if I did it'd be pretty hard to find a roommate at this point. So, since most of my stuff is already here, I was thinking… I could pay half the bills, and I'm not going to be a nuisance – "

Murtagh stared at him in surprise. "Eragon, if I thought of you as a nuisance, I'd have thrown you out on the street weeks ago," he said.

"Oh," Eragon said, flushing slightly. "Well, then why…" He cut himself off abruptly, then shook his head. "Never mind. So, is it okay if I live with you for now?"

Leave, damn it! I can't even think when you're around!

"It's fine," Murtagh assured him. "I… like having you around, I guess." He didn't think he could stand to have Eragon leave now, because despite how much it hurt, somehow it felt much better than when he'd lived alone.

--

Murtagh was slowly losing his mind. He wasn't sure how much more of having Eragon so close he could take. Weeks after Eragon had first come to live with him, he found his sick fantasies happening more often, sometimes while he was awake.

This thing he felt wasn't love. No, it wasn't love, wasn't anything like that fleeting, beautiful emotion; this was something different, something primal and desperate and agonizing. This was something dark. This was something wrong. Murtagh knew that. He told himself it every day, as a mantra he repeated endlessly in his head – don't look, don't think, don't feel this way – but it was one he found himself ignoring every time.

He didn't care.

Day after day, night after night, it crept into his mind, spreading thoughts he couldn't banish… and even more frighteningly, ones he didn't want to.

Today was no different.

He kept still and silent, only his faint shaking and the rise and fall of his chest showing that he was alive. His hands were clenched into fists so tightly his knuckles were white. He was pressed against the wall next to a shut door. His eyes were clenched shut, his ears intent on the faint hiss of the shower from the other side of the wall, in the bathroom. He shouldn't be doing this, that much he admitted to himself. But he really didn't care.

His eyes remained closed as he listened carefully. He could imagine it all too clearly – the figure in the shower, obscured by steam and rushing water. The mist drifting away, revealing that perfect body inch by inch. The water droplets sliding down heated skin. The dark brown hair in loose, sopping wet curls. The blue eyes closed in pleasure… a soft, appreciative groan for the relaxing hot water coming from those soft lips…

Murtagh bit his lip, shaking slightly.

He wanted nothing more than to open that door. To slip in, and see everything he could through that thin shower curtain… or perhaps just slide the curtain aside. Yes, and lick every one of those water droplets off that smooth skin, and –

His eyes snapped open when the water shut off with a final hiss. There was the sound of the shower curtain being pulled aside, and a soft sigh of contentment. Murtagh froze, then quickly slipped away from the wall. He glanced back one last time at the closed door as he hurried to the living room, where he sat down on the couch in the same position he'd been in when Eragon had left to take a shower. He fixed his eyes on the TV, not really seeing the show that was on but rather trying to relax. Eragon would know something was wrong if he saw Murtagh was tense.

Minutes later, Eragon walked in, dressed in loose pajamas. His wet hair was ruffled, as if he'd just dried it off with a towel.

"Hey, Tag," Eragon said, smiling half-heartedly at his half-brother. He draped himself across a nearby chair. "Still watching TV? You're going to rot your brains out."

Murtagh forced himself to grin back. He'd been doing this for so long that that the smile was effortless and looked genuine. "You're lucky – you don't have to worry. They're already gone," he chuckled. The laugh sounded fake, but he'd managed the smile properly, so hopefully Eragon wouldn't notice. He leaned back on the couch and tried to focus on the TV.

Eragon laughed and chucked a pillow at his head. Murtagh started, then glared mock-indignantly at Eragon. He tossed a pillow back, nearly hitting a lamp.

Murtagh expected Eragon to continue with another pillow.

Instead, Eragon decided to throw himself at his half-brother.

Murtagh's eyes widened in shock as a lean body was slammed against his; laughing, Eragon caught hold of him and pulled both of the off the couch onto the floor, where he proceeded to try and wrestle Murtagh into submission. Murtagh, now over the shock, replied in kind, laughing as he tried to pin his brother down.

Then Eragon's leg brushed up against Murtagh's crotch, and suddenly it wasn't funny any more.

Murtagh went rigid. Eragon took the opportunity to gain the upper hand. He rolled them over and shifted so he was straddling Murtagh, pinning his wrists to the floor over his head. "Gotcha," Eragon panted, flushed and grinning triumphantly.

Murtagh didn't dare breath. He was suddenly very aware of how close Eragon was, of how those blue eyes sparkled innocently, of how the brunet's breath was coming out in quick pants and ghosting across the sensitive skin on Murtagh's neck. And, more importantly, how they were positioned. Eragon's chapped lips were inches away, so temptingly close. He felt the blood drain from his face and shoot straight down. He'd never been so hard so fast.

His mind was spinning, losing control; there was something about the fact that he was completely at Eragon's mercy that turned him on more than anything else ever had. He wanted Eragon touching him now, holding him down and ripping his clothes off, almost as much as he wanted to throw Eragon off him and have him being the one pinned down instead, helpless and desperate against building need and –

– and that was far enough. Murtagh shoved those thoughts away.

"Murtagh?" Eragon asked, puzzled. "Are you okay? You look kind of… pale."

"F-fine," Murtagh managed to gasp. "J-just fine. Get off!"

Eragon frowned. "No need to be sharp." He obediently stood up and offered Murtagh a hand. Murtagh ignored it and scrambled upright on his own.

"I'll see you later, okay?" Murtagh muttered, flushing pink and hurriedly turning away. "I'm… going to bed."

"Murtagh – ," Eragon protested, reaching out to stop him.

"Good night," Murtagh said quickly, jerking out of reach. He hurried up the stairs to his room.

As soon as he got in his room, he shut the door and began to fumble with his belt. His pants were almost painfully tight; he couldn't take it anymore. He unzipped his pants, sighing in relief as cold air brushed his most sensitive skin.

There wasn't any time for thoughts of how wrong this was, jerking off to his own flesh and blood when they were only a room or two away. He didn't care.

He needed, he ached, he wanted! What could he do? He could not even begin to fight it. How would he? He could not ignore it, nor sate its appetite, nor force it out. It was deep within him, rooted within the very depths of his mind, and he knew it. This ache was part of him, and having Eragon around was making it worse.

He collapsed on the bed, groaning softly as he massaged the head of his erection. It wasn't anything close to the pleasure he craved, but it was good enough for now. He rubbed the very tip of his cock, spreading around the beads of pre-cum that had formed there. He gasped quietly and tightly shut his eyes.

He imagined what it would have been like to take Eragon then and there. He would have shoved the younger man off of him, pushed him against the couch and pulled off both their shirts. Belts would have come next; he would've unbuckled Eragon's, then used the leather strip to bind the brunet's wrists behind his back. Eragon would have struggled, not to get away but to be the one doing the dominating. Eragon would've been just as aroused as Murtagh was, just as hard and needy and wanting it.

Soon he would have had Eragon panting and writhing under him, moaning frantically and fighting his restraints as Murtagh teased him, begging for Murtagh to let him cum. But Murtagh wouldn't let him have what he wanted until he himself was satisfied. He would've unbuckled his pants and Eragon would've opened his mouth willingly and –

There was an insistent knock on his door.

Murtagh's eyes snapped open. "Don't come in!" he shouted. He yanked his pants back up, shaking hands struggling to redo his belt quickly. He sat up against the backboard and pulled the covers over his waist to cover the bulge in his jeans.

"Give me one good reason not to."

Murtagh flinched at the sound of the voice. Eragon sounded pissed. "I, uh," he stammered. Fuck, this wasn't the time for this!

"I didn't think so." The door opened. Eragon glared at him. Murtagh was surprised to see… tears in his eyes? That couldn't be right.

"What?" Murtagh asked, flushing.

Eragon crossed his arms over his chest. "When do you want me gone by?" he demanded.

"Gone? What do you – "

"Don't fucking plan dumb, Murtagh," Eragon snapped. "You've been avoiding me for a year. You're still avoiding me. You won't talk to me like a normal person, and you won't even look at me. I'm sick of it! Do I… disgust you or something? Do you find me that annoying?" His voice was harsh, but Murtagh could see his eyes were tearing up still, though he was obviously trying to fight it.

"You don't annoy me," Murtagh protested. Eragon ignored him.

"You know what? I just thought, hey, Murtagh's like that sometimes," Eragon continued. "I told myself it was just because you generally don't like being social, and even though you made an exception for me before, I should just let you have your space until you're comfortable doing whatever the hell you're doing. And then Thorn showed up." Eragon's tone turned to outright disgust.

"You talked to him. You joked with him. Hell, you hadn't seen him in three years but you didn't hesitate to even hug him. And then I wondered, hey, maybe it's just me that Murtagh's a bastard to!" Eragon yelled. "I – "

Murtagh shook his head insistently. "Eragon, you don't disgust me. I just…" He fought to come up with an excuse, but drew a blank. His mind was still whirling, caught up in the pleasure and need. The need he was still concealing through a very thin blanket.

"You just what?" Eragon said. When Murtagh didn't reply, he shook his head disgustedly. "That's what I thought."

He turned to leave, but Murtagh made a split-second decision. He couldn't let Eragon continue to have this delusion, even if it meant revealing his vile secret. He jerked forward out of bed and grabbed Eragon. "Wait!"

Unfortunately, Eragon wasn't expecting this and Murtagh, having just jumped off a bed, was unbalanced. Murtagh knocked Eragon onto a heap on the floor. Eragon tried to jerk away, and soon they were wrestling again. Somehow Murtagh managed to not only keep Eragon from brushing against his 'problem', but to pin Eragon down. "Wait," Murtagh panted. "Wait just a fucking minute."

"What?" Eragon hissed, glaring up at him.

Murtagh opened his mouth to reply, then found he hadn't actually thought this far ahead. Shit. "Look, I don't hate you, all right?" he said. He forced himself to keep eye contact with Eragon and not start examining the lithe, hard body beneath him. Fuck, but it would have been so much easier if he weren't so hard it hurt just to think about it!

"Then why are you acting like this?" Eragon demanded hoarsely. "I don't… why…?" His voice began to shake, and he yanked at his pinned wrists. "L-let me up!"

"No," Murtagh growled, tightening his grip on Eragon's wrist. Eragon finally just laid limp and still, simply glaring up at his captor instead of fighting. "Eragon, I'm sorry, I…" Murtagh drew in a deep breath to try and calm himself. "I don't hate you. That isn't the reason I've been acting like this, honestly."

"Then why?" Eragon's voice was desperate, no longer angry, just broken. Tears began to trickle down Eragon's cheeks – cheeks that turning blotchy in embarrassment at being seen crying by another man. Murtagh stared at him in shock. Why was Eragon reacting this way? If the brunet didn't stop crying, didn't stop looking up at him with those terrified blue eyes, didn't stop looking like his world was ending, Murtagh might…

… might…

"Because I love you," Murtagh whispered.

… might do that.

Murtagh felt his mind screech to a halt. Had he just…? Yes, judging from Eragon's expression of pure disbelief, he had. Murtagh scrambled away from Eragon like the younger man was a poisonous snake, moving away until his back bumped into the front of the bed.

"What did you say?" Eragon breathed, eyes wide and fixed on him.

"You weren't supposed to know," Murtagh choked out. "It was just supposed to go away!"

"Murtagh, did you just say…," Eragon said, confused and -- not angry? "Please, tell me the truth." He rose into a sitting position, blue eyes intense and fixed on Murtagh.

Miserably, Murtagh nodded. "Yes," he said through gritted teeth. He shut his eyes tightly, wishing he could just die then and there.

"Oh." Eragon's hands clenched.

"Eragon," Murtagh said desperately. "Eragon, please, just forget I said it, okay?"

Eragon shook his head slowly. "No. I don't think so."

Murtagh felt like screaming. This was insane! "Eragon – "

Then Eragon was crawling over to him, straddling his lap, lips pressing against his in just the right way. Murtagh's mind was wiped free of any lucid thought. It was sinfully perfect, despite Eragon's inexperience and the wetness from the tears, because it was Eragon – wonderful, glorious Eragon – who was doing this. It was Eragon's hands fumbling with his clothing, and Eragon's breath ghosting across his skin, and Eragon's perfect, perfect lips kissing him.

"What?" Murtagh gasped once Eragon's mouth left his and began exploring his neck.

"Idiot," Eragon panted in his ear. "Want you, too."

Murtagh groaned helplessly before managing to regain his senses somewhat. "B-but… wrong… d-disgusting… brothers, can't… a-ah, Eragon! There… r-right there!"

Eragon obediently licked and bit at the spot he'd just brushed past. "Later," Eragon growled against his neck.

It took all of Murtagh's willpower to shake his head. "N-no, explain. Eragon… p-please…"

Murtagh shivered as he felt Eragon's lips brush past his neck, up to his ear. "Why do you think I stayed?" Eragon breathed. There was a soft, broken laugh. "I found an apartment weeks ago, you know. I lied. Couldn't leave you. Need you. Wanted you ever since… the ninth grade. I blamed it on hormones. Didn't change anything. Never stopped wanting you."

"Eragon…"

"Love you," Eragon whispered, "so much."

"Eragon, I…"

Eragon ignored him. "Can't stop thinking about you," he murmured. "Driving me…crazy." His hands gripped the definite bulge in Murtagh's pants, and the older man gasped, hips arching upwards.

"Eragon," Murtagh hissed, shutting his eyes tightly.

"What?" Eragon breathed.

Murtagh opened his eyes again. He growled, gripping Eragon's shoulders and shoving him onto the floor, then crawling on top of him. His hands wandered down Eragon's sides, squeezing roughly when they slid down to his ass. "We'll talk about it later," Murtagh whispered huskily. He began to fumble with the buttons on Eragon's shirt.

"Alright," Eragon panted, grinning up at his half-brother. "Later."

His fingers tangled in Murtagh's hair, and he pulled him down. Their lips met in a burning kiss, and Murtagh no longer cared how wrong and disgusting it was. It simply did not matter.

Because when Eragon touched him, fingers barely brushing across his skin, it burned like hellfire. When Eragon whispered in his ear, his voice made Murtagh groan in anticipation. When Murtagh pressed up against Eragon roughly, he loved the way Eragon would shiver. Screw DNA. This was perfect. Perfect.

When he pulled off Eragon's pants and tossed them aside, Eragon growled and kissed him roughly. After an eternity of that wonderful mouth on his, Murtagh found himself no longer content with kissing, but it was Eragon who took things further. It wasn't long before Murtagh found himself gasping, arching his hips upwards in a desperate attempt to shove himself further into the mouth enveloping him.

It was heat, it was glorious friction and incredible pleasure. Murtagh didn't know how long he managed to endure it, but soon enough he was coming hard, and Eragon's mouth was back on his, kissing him desperately.

Everything after that began to blur. Somehow they were back on the bed; Murtagh had the feeling he had dragged Eragon up there, but he wasn't sure. Then, somehow, it didn't matter, because Eragon was slipping out of the rest of his clothes, throwing them aside, crawling on top of him… Murtagh rolled them over, and began to kiss and lick every inch of Eragon's skin. He felt his own arousal grow again, pressing up against Eragon's… he was distantly aware of curling his long fingers around Eragon's length and watching, fascinated, as Eragon threw his head back and groaned, cheeks flushed and blue eyes shut tight.

The last thing he remembered was curling his aching body up next to Eragon's and pulling the covers over them both.

--

When morning came, Murtagh woke slowly. He wandered in and out of consciousness, thinking about life in general… until he remembered.

He sat bolt upright in bed.

Eragon.

He'd slept with Eragon.

He stared blankly into space, eyes wide. "Fuck," he muttered, pushing his hair out of his eyes. What was he going to do? They were half-brothers! Eragon was probably was already regretting it, already deciding to move out, already never going to talk to him again… never even look him in the eye again…

"Tag, are you going to get out of bed or what?"

Murtagh started and jerked his head around to face the door. Eragon stood there, wearing only a pair of boxers, his chest covered in hickeys. Eragon grinned. "So you are awake. Good." He walked to the bedside. Murtagh stiffened as Eragon bent to kiss him gently.

Murtagh found himself kissing back, though he hadn't intended to. "This is okay with you?" he asked once Eragon pulled away. "I mean… we're related. That doesn't bother you?"

Eragon shook his head. "Not if it doesn't bother you. Besides…" He stretched out on the bed, looking up at Murtagh. "How could this be wrong? It's not like it hurts someone."

"That's a flawed argument."

Eragon's smile vanished. "Do you not want this?" he asked, meeting Murtagh's hazel eyes. "Does it sicken you?"

Murtagh hesitated. Despite how many times he'd told himself how disgusting wanting Eragon was, he still couldn't look at the brunet and feel that disgust. He bent to place a kiss on Eragon's cheek.

"Never."

--

Ha! I finally managed to write Eragon was partially dominant. Though technically he didn't top, but I don't think I could manage that with him still being in character. Oh! And I just realized. I didn't write any bondage in this lime! Another first; I'm on a roll. :D

I wasn't expecting to even write a lime, though. I'm avoiding lemons and such for the moment, and I tried to tone down the lime as much as possible but it still turned out a bit, uh, graphic. Oops…

Reviews are love and much appreciated, especially any form of concrit.

Love and apologies,

- DH