a

Compliment

"You know, I really like your hair like that, Franny," Wendell said with what seemed thoughtful consideration, and Francis's head jerked up, his eyes narrowing in suspicion.

The twins were lurking in the doorway of his bedroom, heads tilted towards each other in a manner that Francis could never decide if it was unconscious or deliberate, their arms casually twined around each other's waists, and although he had not invited them in, they had never needed or cared about receiving an invitation. As he watched, they came forward, Darlene sitting on his bed and crossing her legs in mock prim posture as Wendell leaned against her, again wrapping an arm around her shoulders and casually kneading her neck with his free hand as Francis responded to them.

"Wendell, you've been saying every day for the past six months that my hair makes me look like a homosexual hairdresser from LA."

"Yeah, well, I've decided the look works for you," Wendell shrugged, giving him a smile.

The only time that Francis ever saw Wendell smile in a manner that wasn't lustful, savage, or smirking he had also seen only aimed at his twin, Darlene, or their baby brother, Lenny, so seeing Wendell smile at him now, and then looking over at Darlene to see her smiling at him too in the sickly sweet way she managed that could only mean deception, he was even more on guard.

Especially when she got in on the game too.

"Francis, where did you get that shirt? The color really suits you, brings out the hue of your skin and the color of your eyes," she purred, as Francis blinked, now certain that they had something up their sleeves.

"Darlene, last week you said everything I own makes me look like a pathetic emo wannabe that should complete the look with eyeliner and tight jeans that show off the balls I don't have," Francis reminded her, but Darlene just continued to smile at him as Wendell twirled a strand of her hair between his fingers. Both were just close enough to him on his bed that Francis edged away, nervous.

"I don't recall that…honestly, I think you look good right now. Very…sexy…" she breathed, and she reached one hand out, beginning to lightly walk her fingers up his arm.

When Francis jerked away, blinking rapidly, Darlene's smile widened. "Oh, come on, don't be shy. Why are you so far away from us?"

"We're family, Franny," Wendell nodded, and he helped Darlene to her feet as both slowly advanced towards Francis, backing him towards the doorway. "We're family, and you're growing up so fast…don't you want to get close-"

"What the hell, stay away from me! You two do whatever the hell you want, but don't drag me into it!" Francis blurted as he almost sprinted out the door, slamming it behind him. They could hear the sound of his feet pounding down the hallway as they both began to snicker, grinning at each other from the now closed doorway.

"You were right, that was fun," Darlene smiled, even as she reached out with one hand to deftly lock the door. "How much time do you think that buys us?"

"At least the rest of the day," Wendell replied as he tested the knob, one arm again snaking around her waist as he started to back away with her towards the bed.

"Better get busy then," was her last words before his mouth descended upon hers. "No time to lose."