Authors: heart_iswild & so_jayded
Word Count: 15,000 (YES THAT'S RIGHT)
Warnings: Self-injury, incest, blah blah blah
Notes: This is not chaptered. No, seriously, it's not. The post was just too big for LJ so we had to split it into two parts. :( That's never happened to me before.
Zac was thrilled to be able to wake up without the screech of an alarm clock the next morning. They didn't need to be in the next state for another 2 days, which meant they were basically free to do whatever the fuck they wanted. He half expected Natalie to come knocking on the door, but she hadn't yet.
"Tay," Zac whispered into the top of Taylor's hair. "It's 10:30, we should probably get up soon."
"Dreamin'," Taylor murmured. "Lemmelone."
Zac thought that was possibly the cutest thing he'd ever seen in his entire life. "Tay, seriously, Nat's going to be back soon."
I laughed again. "I'm right here."
Taylor's eyes cracked open and he sighed. "Don't wanna get up. We're off." He squeezed my middle and pressed a kiss to the middle of my chest. "Was dreamin' about you."
"Really?" Zac asked. He realized how pathetically excited he sounded as soon as Taylor laughed. "Well I mean. What were you dreaming about?"
"You really wanna know?" Taylor teased, turning over and pressing his face into Zac's neck. He thought he'd never been more comfortable in his life. Part of Zac wondered if Taylor's sudden comfort was a result of Taylor just being crazy. Because really, Zac didn't believe in fate or soul mates or any of that bullshit. He thought Taylor was a bit of a mental patient.
"Yes," he admitted, because he did want to know, even if it meant that it was going to be some other oddity of Taylor's brain. "I want to know what your subconscious thinks of me."
Taylor blushed a little and nuzzled his head into Zac's neck. "I dreamed about you. Making love to me. And it felt... amazing..."
Zac's breath caught in his throat as he felt a surge of excitement go straight to his cock. "Oh yeah?"
"Mhm." Zac reached down beneath the covers, moving his hand over Taylor's hard stomach and down to his crotch. He smiled when Taylor's eyes grew wide and his hand grabbed his wrist. "Zac, what are you doing." He sounded very serious.
"Just checking to make sure you didn't have a wet dream."
Taylor spluttered at that and laughed a little. "I've never had a wet dream in my life, I don't think I'm going to start at twenty-five."
"Well," Zac reasoned. "Maybe you're a late bloomer?"
Taylor made a face and rolled onto Zac. "I'm glad you came back here with me last night. I. Don't know what I would have done if you said no." Taylor rested his head against Zac's chest and sighed. "I love you," he whispered, tracing a pattern on Zac's stomach.
"I love you too," Zac said, smiling down at his brother. This was just so fucking surreal. Zac had always known that Taylor was open-minded, but never considered that he was open enough to be with his own brother. "So um," he began, not wanting to ruin the moment but figuring it had to be done, "is this. Is this it? I mean, does it end here?"
Taylor turned his head so that he was resting his chin on Zac's t-shirt covered chest. He connected their eyes and squeezed his middle gently. "No, of course not."
"But- I mean. Natalie, and our family, Tay. Your kids."
"Do you think they're just going to disappear?" Taylor kissed Zac's chest. "Natalie's known that I didn't plan to stay with her since, God, since we started dating. She knew it was going to happen. I already know what the outcome is going to be, you know?"
"You think she's just going to roll over and take it? Just, like, deal with the fact that you want to be with me like she'd be able to deal with whatever you set her up for?"
Taylor sighed and squeezed Zac again. It was hard to make Zac understand. "I told her. That it could be anyone, you know? I said, Nat, it could be your mother and I can't not be with that person, because every day I'd die a little more inside and then what would. What would happen to the kids, then, if their father died of loneliness right in front of them?"
Zac couldn't stop the heart-felt smile that twitched up the corners of his mouth. Taylor was so adorable, and if what he was saying was true, if Natalie would just take it, then what did that mean, exactly? "So are you going to like, divorce her, or something?"
Taylor nodded again, his chin digging into Zac's sternum. "Yeah, I guess that's what it means." His voice was dreamy and far-away. The other thing, well, the other major thing that Zac was worried about was their immediate family.
"And mom and dad? Ike? Our fans?" It was true that their family would probably expect something like this from Taylor, but certainly not Zac.
Taylor squeezed his eyes closed. "Why did you kiss me if you didn't want this so badly? Why. Am I. Unappealing?" He felt terrible, like last night had destroyed any chance that Zac would want to be with him. Taylor knew sex was important to people, he knew that and he didn't know why he'd thought it would be okay to be with someone normal when he was so strange. Why he thought someone would want to be with him when he couldn't really provide to the physical.
"Taylor," Zac started, cupping his red cheeks in his big hands, "you are perhaps the most appealing person on the entire planet, and possibly other planets, too. I-we can work on the whole...sex thing. It's not a big deal." Taylor's face cracked into a smile and before Zac knew it, he'd crawled up his body to kiss his lips. Taylor glanced at the clock quickly before he stuck his tongue into his brother's mouth (which was something they hadn't done yet), and figured they probably had about an hour before anyone came in to bother them. Two, if they were lucky.
Zac whimpered around Taylor's kiss, threading his fingers through his hair and pulling Taylor down, flush against him. Taylor wasn't a horrible kisser, but he wasn't the best, either - Zac had a feeling he just didn't get much practice, and that was adorable at the same time it was a little discouraging. When they broke apart after a while, Taylor's cheeks were flushed and his eyes were closed. Zac thought he looked beautiful like that, his hair all tousled and his cheeks red and mostly because Taylor was on top of him. He wanted him so badly, but he didn't know what to do, didn't know how to get Taylor into the same state he was currently working his way up to so that it could be mutually pleasurable instead of Zac being the only one to benefit from it. He knew Taylor didn't care about the physical, as hard as that was to believe, but he didn't want to use his brother's body as a human sex toy.
"Tay," Zac breathed out, grabbing his chin a little more forcefully than he'd intended, "what turns you on?" Taylor looked confused for a split second, before embarrassment completely took over his face. "Let me get inside that head of yours." Zac knocked on his temple gently, smiling reassuringly.
"Um, I don't know. Things..."
Taylor sighed in frustration, blowing the bangs out of his eyes. "Like. Talking. Ugh I don't know Zac, it's stupid."
"No it's not," Zac told him, tucking his light hair behind his ear. "Just tell me."
"I. Natalie just touches me until I." He blushed. "But that always. I don't know. Hurts?" He let out a little sigh and leaned against Zac's chest, hiding his face. "But that's all just like. Physical. It's not mentally satisfying at all. When I'm alone it's because. Because I'm thinking about being with someone who understands me. Or sometimes when I'm talking to someone and we have a. Really good conversation?" His cheeks were so red he thought the blood vessels in his face would pop. He felt so ridiculous, admitting that more frequently than not he got hard in completely awkward situations, when someone was talking to him about museums and music or how the new movie was. "And music. But I think everyone knows that."
Zac chuckled, running his fingers through Taylor's hair and scratching his scalp. Taylor made a purring noise and pressed a wet kiss to the side of his brother's throat. "So then, let's talk." He thought for a moment and moved his hands to his brother's back, gently running the pads of his fingers over the baby soft flesh. "Tell me what you thought about the Coheed show you went to the other night with Pete. Was it good?" He felt Taylor's face tighten into a smile against his chest.
"Tell me about it."
Taylor wetted his lips and shifted his head so he could look at Zac while he talked, telling him about his night, about how he hadn't wanted to leave to go out and smoke, even though Pete kept trying to get him to go out. And the music, how he felt it pumping through his veins and-
Taylor stopped abruptly, his cheeks heating up again and he hid his face against Zac's chest. He could feel himself, hard and throbbing, and it was so mortifying that they'd had to do that. He was always ashamed of himself for that, that he wasn't normal, like everyone else. "I'm sorry," he admitted, unable to stop the frown from distorting his mouth.
Zac frowned a little too, but only because he had no idea what the fuck Taylor was apologizing for until-
"Why are you-? Oh. Oh." The second he shifted his knee, he felt it. Taylor had an erection. From talking about Coheed and Cambria. It was almost too hilarious to believe, but he had to keep a straight face. Laughing at him would only make him more embarrassed. "Tay, stop it." He lifted his brother's chin and looked into his blue eyes. "I think it's adorable that this kind of stuff turns you on."
Taylor's cheeks were still red. "I'm a freak and that's cute to you?" He shifted his hips a little against Zac's knee and moaned. "Oh, I. Zac..." He leaned forward and kissed Zac again, this time trying to be more careful, better, so that Zac would want him. Taylor had dreamed about this last night, he wanted it, the feeling of Zac inside of him, knowing they were connected completely, listening to Zac whisper 'I love you' into his ear over and over like it was some sort of chant.
Zac was not going to pass up this chance. He wasn't sure when he'd have it again, if at all. Surely talking about music couldn't always give Taylor a hard on, just like talking about sex didn't always turn Zac on. So he was pretty much going to do everything he could to make the next hour and a half holy as all hell.
Carefully, he put his hand on the small of Taylor's back and rolled them over slowly so that he was hovering over him. He watched Taylor's face carefully. It wasn't hard to see that Taylor was nervous, but he was trying his best to hide it and Zac thought that was the most adorable thing he'd ever seen in his life. He wondered if Taylor had ever enjoyed sex, but he didn't want to ask and ruin the mood.
He wanted to be the the one that made it good for him, so Taylor could never even look at anyone else. So whenever Taylor looked at him, he'd shiver from the memories. Maybe the memories would be enough to turn him on the next time.
He leaned down to kiss him, using his tongue to open his mouth just a little bit. He thought it was cute that Taylor followed his lead and sort of lapped at his tongue like a kitten- like he'd never kissed anyone before and Zac was teaching him how. Slowly, he reached his hand between them and squeezed Taylor's erection. It put him off that he didn't moan or grunt or anything, but took the fact that his legs were spreading to accomodate Zac's body as a good sign.
Taylor had his eyes closed so tightly, swallowing back whimpers and trying not to look completely desperate. The very idea of Zac, Zac that he'd always loved, who'd always been there for him, who'd kissed him and made him realize a thousand things he never would have considered, had his hand on his dick and it didn't hurt, not at all, not like when Natalie would touch him.
He pushed it all from his mind and broke away from their kiss as Zac's hand slipped inside Taylor's pants. He was breathing hard against Zac's chest, legs spreading more and more because he wanted something - probably release but he wasn't very sure what that need felt like.
"Relax," Zac coaxed when Taylor was beginning to look overwhelmed. Taylor nodded his head, but knew he wouldn't be able to calm down. This was far too exciting for him.
Pulling Taylor's pants and boxers down was easy. Zac had imagined this moment thousands of times before, and every single vision he'd had always contained some sort of ridiculous mess-up. Like maybe Zac wouldn't be able to unbutton his jeans and would have to cut open his pants. Or maybe he'd get Taylor naked and his penis would be small. Or maybe everything would seem like it was going to be fine, but midway through whatever they were doing, Taylor would come to his senses and smack Zac across the face.
Secretly, Zac was still afraid that Vision C would come to fruition. He was worried that Taylor would remember he had a wife, that his family would hate them both for this, but Taylor didn't do anything when Zac's hand wrapped around his cock but moan softly into Zac's ear, gripping onto Zac's shoulders and rocking his hips up into Zac's hand.
Taylor's dick was a little smaller than he'd thought it would be. It wasn't small, by any means, but it wasn't huge either. It felt just right inside of his palm. Zac stroked him slowly for a while, twisting his wrist different ways to see what got the best reaction. Taylor seemed to like it when he paid his cock-head special attention, so he tried to focus on that for a while.
Taylor clutched Zac's shoulders and let out a shuddering breath. "Zac, I think I'm going to. I'm gonna." Taylor couldn't say it, not without his face turning bright red. He was shaking against Zac and nearly cursed when Zac pulled his hand away.
"Not yet," Zac murmured, rubbing his nose against Taylor's and sighing happily. He laughed when Taylor let out a flustered whine. "I want to make love to you." Zac was unable to decipher Taylor's subconscious at that particular moment. He watched him smile and nod, as if giving him permission, but his eyes looked petrified. "I promise you'll feel good. I would never hurt you." It sounded cheesy, but it was still probably comforting to hear, Zac figured.
"I..." Taylor nodded and pressed his forehead against Zac's shoulder. "Just be careful, okay?" he whispered.
Zac ran his fingers through Taylor's hair before he slid them down his back and over the curve of his ass. He'd always loved this particular part of Taylor. More often than not, he got hard just looking at it for too long, because all he could picture was what Taylor would look like, bare-assed and with Zac's cock buried in it. Touching it now was like fulfilling some fantasy or something, and Zac groaned, exploring the soft skin with his fingers.
The contact tickled Taylor and made him giggle beneath his brother. He'd never had somebody feel up his ass before and wasn't quite sure why anyone would want to, but Zac seemed to be enjoying it. A lot. So Taylor lifted up his hips a little, which did make him feel oddly exposed, even though he had been half naked for probably twenty minutes by then. Zac took the opportunity to spread Taylor's legs around his hips and run his free hand down the tense muscles in his lower stomach.
Zac's jeans were starting to feel painfully restrictive, and having Taylor in this position was unbelievably arousing. "Do you... have anything to use? For lube?" Zac asked, knowing it was a ridiculous question because Taylor apparently didn't even have sex with his wife, so chances were he wasn't going to be prepared to have gay sex with his brother.
Taylor bit down on his bottom lip and looked thoughtful for a moment. Zac wanted to kiss him, bite at his lip and his throat and, fuck, he had to get his jeans off so they could move forward before he wound up coming in his pants.
"I don't... think so?" Taylor finally concluded. That sort of broke Zac's heart. He wasn't sure that attempting it without lube was the best idea.
"Gimme a sec," Zac said before letting go of Taylor's legs and running to the bathroom. This was a fucking hotel, they had to have some sort of lubricatory substance that would suffice. He rummaged through the drawers, muttering to himself and throwing unuseful things onto the floor. It wasn't long before Taylor showed up in the doorway, still with his shirt on and his dick standing on end, his arms crossed as he leaned against the wall.
"Going well?" His eyebrows were raised in amusement, because really, Zac looked utterly ridiculous right then.
"Aha!" he yelled victoriously, holding up a travel sized bottle of brand-less baby oil.
"Will you come back to bed now?" Taylor asked, holding his arms out for Zac. "I missed you."
Zac raised an eyebrow and walked forward, squeezing Taylor's middle and pushing him up against the doorframe. "I wasn't gone for very long."
Taylor blushed and shook his head, leaning down and giving Zac another kiss, careful and slow, like he was trying to do it right. Zac slid his hands back down to Taylor's ass, squeezing gently and letting his fingers wander over the surface, to dip down into the crack. He dropped the baby oil bottle to the ground, hoping to God that it hadn't busted open because he needed this right then. They broke apart, Taylor's breathing was heavy and Zac was nearly whimpering at the discomfort in his jeans.
Taylor moved first to unbutton them. He did it swiftly, which surprised Zac a little because honestly, he was a bit retarded at everything else. They both watched as they dropped to the floor, leaving the massive tent in Zac's boxers to stand freely. Well, almost freely.
"I'll get those for you too," Taylor said, blushing as he moved the waistband down Zac's legs so that he could step out of them. And then they were both naked from the waist down, staring hungrily at each other like members of the Donner party.
Taylor shifted awkwardly on his feet, trying to keep his eyes on Zac's face because, honestly, it was weird to stare at Zac's penis and know that he'd had his mouth around it the night before. It felt good, because he knew he'd made Zac happy and feel more connected to him, but just the thought of his mouth having been there was odd. And now it was going to be inside of him, and he could handle that thought a lot easier, actually. Because he knew that when it was over and Zac's hair was sweatsoaked and his eyes were gleaming that there was no way they could ever get closer. They were already so close, this was the last boundary that they needed to break. And that turned Taylor on even more, knowing that he'd found the person he'd been looking for and that they were going to be everything to each other.
His eyes fluttered closed and he reached out for Zac, sliding his hand down his torso and stomach and stopping at his waist to pull him close against him. "Can we go to bed?"
"Mhm," Zac answered, tugging his shirt over his head. He was always self conscious about his stomach, but he'd lost a bit of weight recently and his feelings of hideousness had diminished with the fat. He let Taylor's eyes roam over his body for a minute before stripping him of his shirt too, picking up the baby oil from the floor, and urgently pushing him towards the bed. They collapsed on top of each other, and to prevent any awkwardness that might've ensued, Zac began kissing his brother immediately. Instinctively, Taylor spread his legs to that Zac could move comfortably between them. Their cocks were rubbing together and while it felt sort of weird, it was still nice.
Taylor whimpered and pulled Zac closer. "I want to feel you," he mumbled against Zac's lips. "Inside me."
Zac felt - well he wasn't really sure, but he felt harder and his blood felt hot and he knew those were good things and he wanted Taylor. Now. Taylor went over the words he'd just said in his head while Zac futzed around with the baby oil. He wondered if people actually said that kind of stuff when they were about to make love, or if he'd just sounded ridiculously cheesy. Whatever the case, it seemed to make Zac more eager, if that was possible.
The clear liquid dribbled into Zac's palm slowly. He watched it, only being able to assume what to do with it, and started to stroke himself so that he'd be completely slick when he entered him. His eyes moved down to Taylor's asshole, which probably also was supposed to be lubricated, but he wasn't really sure how it was going to get that way. Was he supposed to, like, finger it or something? He spread some more baby oil on his fingers and slipped them down between Taylor's legs, touching over his hole and watching Taylor shiver. Zac closed his eyes and pressed a finger up and into Taylor, groaning a little at how tight and hot he was.
Taylor's eyes were closed and his lips were parted and his brows were furrowed together; Zac wasn't sure if Taylor was in pain or not, but he wasn't about to ask, not when they were so close to finally doing what he'd been dreaming of for so long. He stuck his finger farther in until it was at the knuckle and couldn't go anymore, and experimentally wriggled it around a little. It felt really weird, honestly. Not like a vagina. And when he thought about it actually being an ass, it sort of grossed him out more than he would've liked to admit. And the fact that his cock was about to go in there....
"It feels weird," Taylor said. Zac snapped out of his thoughts and looked at Taylor, whose eyes were a normal size, but looked a little shifty.
"Does it hurt?"
"No, it's just. Weird." Zac could see that Taylor's erection was less, well, erect than it had been. Zac frowned at that, slipping his finger out and wiping it on the bedspread.
"Do you not want to do this?" he asked, watching Taylor's face for a shred of dishonesty. He shook his head, watching Zac's eyes.
"I do, Zac. I do. It's just. Weird. I've never had anything... inside me?" He blushed at that and reached down for Zac, pulling him up and kissing him once, softly. "I want to feel that connected to you, though," he mumbled. "So please..."
Zac nodded his head, still skeptical, but figuring he wasn't going to ask again. He didn't want to deter Taylor, especially if he was being honest about wanting this. He lifted his hips a little and looked down between them, grabbing the base of his cock and pressing it against his entrance. Making sure to keep his eyes on Taylor's, he began to push, very, very slowly, until the head of his dick felt like it popped in. Taylor's face showed only a trace of discomfort, though Zac suspected he probably felt worse than he was letting on.
"Keep going," Taylor said, smiling and nodding to reassure him.
Zac gulped down air and bit his lip hard, watching Taylor's face still as he pushed in more. Taylor's eyes closed and he tensed a little, gripping onto Zac's forearms so hard his nails dug in. When Zac was finally all the way inside of him, he let out a little moan and pressed harder into him. Taylor mewled a little, Zac couldn't tell if it was pleasure or pain, and right then he almost didn't care.
Taylor untensed a bit, letting out a puff of air and finally opening his eyes again. "You can. You know," he mumbled, shifting around a little, experimentally, and making Zac moan loudly at the feeling. It did hurt, but only a tiny bit. It was mostly just foreign and strange. But he could deal with it.
Zac started to move, only slightly, because he didn't want to hurt his older brother and also because if he went to fast, there was no way he'd hold out for more than 3 minutes. It was extraordinarily difficult to keep his eyes opened, and whenever he slipped up and let them flutter shut, Taylor would squeeze his arms so that they could look at each other.
For Taylor, this wasn't about how it felt. This was about what it meant. They were together in every way they could be, and Taylor didn't want Zac to look away from him, not ever, because this was so intimate, so perfect, even if it was messy and a little disgusting. Taylor didn't care. Zac was his and he was Zac's and this was how they proved it, how they staked ownership on each other.
Taylor moaned a little when Zac pushed into him particularly roughly and he wondered how long they'd both be able to last. He wondered how long he'd be able to go without talking honestly, because he wanted to say so many things in that moment, but he felt like Zac would think he was even weirder if he did. And he knew Zac wouldn't stop loving him, but he didn't want Zac to get turned off and not want to do this anymore. Taylor wouldn't be able to stand that, not when he knew how important lovemaking was to most people, how pivotal it was in a relationship.
"Fuck," Zac grunted, his eyes locked on Taylor's. He felt lame that 'fuck' was all he could muster up in that moment, but he'd never really thought of himself as particularly eloquent. He could feel the sweat beads fall off of his skin and onto Taylor's and he hoped he wasn't completely grossing him out. After all, having his dick inside of him was really, really gooey and he wasn't quite sure how it would feel to be on the other end.
Taylor whimpered as Zac sped up a little, bucking against him harder and faster and it did hurt a little, but that didn't matter. What mattered was Zac above him, loving him, holding onto him and knowing, without a shred of doubt, that the man inside of him was the person he wanted to spend the rest of his life with.
Their movements were messy and jerky and inexperienced, but it was still a beautiful sight to behold. Two boys, who really, really loved each other, and were consummating that love in the only way two lovers can LOL. When Taylor experimentally squeezed his ass around Zac's cock, that was all it took. Zac didn't have time to pull out before he was coming, literally shaking so hard he thought he might black out.
When it was finished, Zac opened his eyes. Taylor's grip on his shoulders was painful and his eyes were shut tightly. "Are you okay?" Zac whispered.
Taylor nodded his head and Zac looked between them to where Taylor'd come on his stomach and it was weird. Taylor was acting like he'd never come before in his life, and Zac knew that wasn't true. He'd obviously done it at least three times.
"I. That." Taylor's eyes opened and he looked up at Zac before. "It's never felt that good before," he admitted, glancing down at his stomach and blushing hard. "You are amazing," he mumbled, pulling Zac down against his chest and kissing the top of his head. "Promise you'll stay with me forever?"
Zac's grin was ridiculous. He thought he must've looked like the joker, because he was just so fucking happy. He hadn't thought that Taylor had even been enjoying it that much, but he could hear in his voice that he was truly satisfied. And that made him want to squeal.
"We're brothers, underneath everything Tay. It'd be kinda hard to not be with you forever. Plus we're in a band, and best friends, and..."
"You know what I mean, you little shit."
Zac chuckled and turned over so that they were both on their sides. It was nice to feel Taylor's arms around him and be protected by him, but he didn't want to feel like he needed that, not after what they'd just done. He kissed Taylor's forehead and Taylor sighed happily.
The door clicked open, almost silently, and there wasn't enough time for either of them to react and get under the blankets. They both just sat there like two deer in headlights as Natalie walked in, dropping the key card that Taylor had forgotten to take back on the floor.
"I-Oh my God. Are you- are you fucking kidding me!?"
Taylor closed his eyes and sighed. "Can't you knock or something?" he asked. He knew it probably wasn't the best thing to say, but he couldn't think of anything else. She would've had to have found out sooner or later anyway.
It just happened to be sooner.
"How could you- Taylor! That's your brother! That is so fucking wrong, oh my. Oh my fucking-"
"Can you stop cursing? It's not helping anything." Zac pulled the sheet over himself and watched silently as Taylor got out of bed. He rubbed his face after he pulled on his boxers, and walked over to his wife. "Natalie, I-"
But there was no time to explain before she slapped him in the face. The blow was so hard that he thought she might've knocked his tooth out.
"Natalie!" he grabbed her hand, ignoring the pain in his jaw and forced her to look at him. "I told you. I tell you all the time. I'm sorry, I really am. But we just don't work and you know that. You know how I feel. And I'm sorry, but this feels right to me." He sighed and loosened his grip on her hand but didn't let it go. "I know you probably thought - think - that I'm absolutely insane for how I am, but. I told you that when I figured out who it was, I was going to go to them and be with them. And I found it, okay? I found it and if you love me half as much as you say you do, you'd understand that I am not the sort of person who could just let that go."
He felt horrible. Natalie's whole body crumbled into his arms, and he held her and petted her because that was all he could do. Zac felt like he was unwelcome- like this was some private moment that he was intruding upon, and really, he felt horrible too because he just ruined this poor woman's life. She's probably, after six years, figured that Taylor would never find his soul mate. But there he was, sitting on the bed, watching Taylor whisper into her hair that it was over. For good.
Taylor sighed and squeezed Natalie again, helping her straighten up. He let go of her and reached over, scratching at his burns with his jagged nails, not minding when a few of the newer ones started bleeding. It helped him deal with things like this, the pain did. "I do love you, Natalie. I. How could I not, you know? You're the mother of my children and you. You do mean so much to me but." He shook his head, looking down at the ground, trying so hard to fill the awkward silence. "I just can't. I just can't... stay with you, when I know I could be with Zac and feel right."
And really, what could she say to that? She didn't want to say anything. She wanted to punch him and hit him and kick him and make him hurt, just like he was doing to her. But she loved him, and if this was what he wanted, well then, what choice did she really have?
"We'll work out the details later, then," she sniffled, wiping her eyes on her sleeve. And with that, she turned on her heel and walked out, slamming the door much harder than necessary.
Taylor collapsed down onto the floor, just staring at the door for a second before looking over at Zac. "I love you," he said, offering Zac a smile. "Thank you for staying through that."
Zac felt awkward because he hadn't exactly had a choice. He could've, what, gotten up - naked - and made his way out the door? That would have been even worse than just sitting there. He got up quietly and put on a pair of clean boxers before sitting next to his brother on the floor. He examined his face carefully without actually touching it; there was a large bruise forming on the right side of his cheek where he'd been hit, and his eyes were glassy, though he had yet to let any tears fall.
"This is a stupid question, but are you okay?" Taylor turned his face to Zac's and smiled closed-mouthed, but his lips were quivering and the tears were starting to betray him. Zac also noticed then that his forearms were bleeding. A lot. And he kept scratching at them with his stubby nails to make it worse.
Zac grabbed Taylor's hands. They were bloody from all the scratching - he'd been scratching at his burns, Zac realized, and they bled a lot worse than he'd imagined they would. "Taylor, you're not okay."
He shook his head and leaned against Zac, clutching onto him tightly, hoping that Zac wouldn't get mad for the blood he was leaving everywhere. "She's going to kill herself," he whispered into Zac's ear.
Zac froze beneath Taylor's grasp. "What? Taylor, don't be ridiculous. Why do you think that?"
"Because she told me." He pressed his face into his brother's neck, letting himself cry when Zac gathered all of him up in his arms.
"Shhh," Zac cooed, rocking him a little bit. "I'm sure she was just upset."
Taylor shook his head. "She told me if I ever left her she'd. She'd do it, because I was it for her and I didn't feel. If she didn't have me, there wasn't a reason for her to be alive and I. I don't love her, Zac, not like that. I never did. And it hurts to be with her and I love you, and you're everything to me and I can't. I can't. God, I can't." Taylor had lost himself to hysteria at that point, crying against Zac's shoulder and hyperventilating. It wasn't so easy to stay strong when he knew what Natalie was going to do. How he was going to have to explain it to the kids. How he was going to have to deal with knowing it was his fault for the rest of his life.
"Well, Tay, shouldn't we like...go afer her?" Zac was really, really confused about why they were just sitting there if Natalie was about to throw herself in front of a bus.
Taylor shook his head. "She's probably gone already. She said she was going back to Georgia. I don't think I'll see her again."
Zac didn't want to sit there doing nothing, but if she had taken off... New Jersey was a big place, and New York was just a cab ride away. It would be impossible to find someone in the middle of ten million people. He just hoped to God that she didn't do anything drastic. The last thing they needed, the last thing Taylor needed, really, was to get saddled with the kids all by himself.
Taylor was holding onto Zac so tight, and he didn't want to let go. "Stay here with me? Just like this? Until I feel better?" Zac agreed, (how could he not?), and held onto his brother tighter. It was strange seeing him like this; usually Taylor was the one comforting him, and Zac wasn't sure he could do a good job as the protector. He wasn't used to it.
It took a while, but Taylor calmed down eventually and slid off his lap. "I should. I should call Mom. I think I need to talk to the kids, you know?" Taylor hadn't wanted to leave them at home at all, but it was only five shows and dragging them all out would have been ridiculous, so they were spending the week with Grandma and Grandpa. Taylor made a point to call them every night.
Zac nodded and watched as Taylor pulled his phone off the charger, ran a hand through his hair, and, still bloody, went into the bathroom to make the call.
Feeling awkward and confused, Zac got up and began to pick up Taylor's shit so that he wouldn't have to do it. How had a morning that had started out so well end in shambles?
"Hey," Taylor said, emerging from the bathroom about fifteen minutes later. His eyes were red and he had band aids all over his arms, but he looked a bit calmer than he had. "I just talked to mom- she said Pam called her and Natalie's on the way to Georgia."
"So. She's alive."
"Unless they're flying her corpse out there, yes."
"That's good." Zac sighed and reached out for Taylor. Taylor grinned and wrapped his arms around Zac.
"I feel. A hundred times better, now. Mom reassured me that I wasn't a. Complete failure, you know? Even though she doesn't know why, she knows that we're obviously not together anymore and doesn't think I'm a horrible person for it and. Well, the kids miss me and I promised them we would take them to the Zoo when we got back. Will you help me with them?" Taylor still looked sad, but his eyes weren't as worried as they had been and he looked honestly excited about sharing his life with Zac when they returned home. That made Zac feel so, so much better about the whole thing.
"Of course," Zac told him, rubbing his back and pressing a kiss to his jaw. "I'll even move in with you if you want. We can start a life together. The five of us." And Taylor would've thought it sounded cheesy if it weren't exactly what he wanted to hear.