tagIncest/TabooMy Sister, Fiona Ch. 03: Brianna

My Sister, Fiona Ch. 03: Brianna

byGrandTeton©

An anonymous commentator first suggested about a year ago that further stories about how the other characters got on might be interesting. Susan's story has already been told. This is Bree's story. My Sister Fiona gives you Ron's side of most of it.

***

I can't remember a time when I didn't love my big brother, Ron.

I like to think of us as a love story, a story about how a forbidden love developed over time and blossomed in the midst of adversity. I really think it is, but it's also a story of evil, stupidity, reticence and education. The evil happened to my older sister Fiona. There was a lot of effort from everybody to get her as far over it as she's going to get. I'm glad to say she got far enough out of it to make a life for herself and her family. The stupidity was part mine, part Ron's and even part Susan's. I'll explain later. The reticence was mostly mine, holding back when I wanted to let go, and maybe should have. The education was mostly for Ron, provided partly by Susan and mostly by me. I probably learned some, too, here and there.

You could say that our story started the year Fi had her horrible problem, but really it goes back a lot farther than that. My first memories are of playing with Ron and Fi in the backyard. Fi, as usual, was the organizer. I'm pretty sure Susan Martin was there, too, Fi's best friend in all the world outside her family. It was years before I figured out that technically Susan wasn't part of our family. You couldn't tell it by any of us. I suppose I was three, which would make Fi five and Ron seven, quite a spread for three kids to be playing together, even siblings, but it wasn't at all unusual for us. You see, Fi was so loveable we'd do anything she asked. Since she loved us, she wanted us to be together lots. That's not to say that Ron didn't go off sometimes with the guys (are they guys yet at seven?) and I'd play some with my age group and Fi would just play with Susan, but it didn't happen nearly as much as it did in other families I came to know.

Anyway, the way Fi ran it we'd play girlie games for about a half hour, maybe a doll tea or paper doll fashions, and Ron would participate even if he was dying inside. The things that can embarrass a seven-year-old boy are legion. The second half we'd play boys' games, like war or, I guess, war. Fi would be the general. Then we'd do something that wasn't gender-tied, like soccer or baseball. Because Susan was always there we had equal sides, Ron and I against Fi and Susan. When we were younger we played catch or something, but Fi usually had rules even for that to make me almost Ron's equal. Fi's passion for fairness was another reason we all loved her.

I loved Ron because, unlike most of the little boys around at the time, he made time to play with his sisters. That made us feel special. Ron was good that way. There wasn't any special event that made Ron loveable. It's just that he was always there for us.

Fi was small, I know, and an easy target for bullies. She was never bullied. A lot of it was because everybody loved her. Even a bully can be put off by numbers. Another was because she'd never give in. If it wasn't fair she wouldn't do it, and giving up her allowance or whatever they tried to make her do just wasn't going to happen. The third was that they didn't want a whirling dervish who would never give up if you were hurting his sister no matter how hard you hit him. That would be Ron. It would usually be me, too, and didn't they look silly trying to put down someone that small. Then I got bigger than Fi and I was worse trouble. It came to be a byword that you didn't mess with the Hamilton kids. It made life easier for all of us.

Fiona started school two years before I did. I can remember bitterly resenting the fact that I wasn't allowed to go yet. I taught myself so much, with Fi's help, and sometimes Ron's, that they booted me ahead after my first week in school, so I was just a year behind Fi. That seemed just about right to me, and Fi and Susan seemed to be happy that there wasn't quite as much obvious distance, too.

That's basically the way it went through school. Somewhere along the way I misplaced my virginity, which I later came to regret, but not bitterly. When you're young and stupid you do young and stupid things. It's the way we're built. There doesn't seem to be any reason to regret going with the cultural imperative. You'd have to be superwoman to get everything perfect. Trust me, I've done stupider things in my life.

So when it all blew up on us we were a pretty close bunch, the three of us and Susan, and for the last year or so Josh Talbot, Fi's boyfriend and second shadow. Josh had an older brother, Jim, but he wasn't around much. We kind of welcomed Josh and kind of swallowed him up. The five of us weren't totally exclusive even though we did tend to hang pretty tight. It was probably Fi. Everybody loved Fi.

The morning of the incident, which is what the police called it even though I still think of it as a disaster, I was called out of class to go to the Dean of Student Affairs. It was just first year for me, a couple of weeks after my eighteenth birthday, and I was a little nervous even though I was positive no one could possibly know who'd put the detergent in the cola dispenser. Lots of bubbles! The last bubbles I thought of for months, actually.

I was standing in the waiting area, sort of bouncing from one foot to the other, not entirely sure that they didn't have anything on me, when Ron came in. Since Ron never got into the kind of messes I did (but got out of, too, by myself, even if I used Ron's name as a kind of "Open Sesame" talisman when I was in a little deep) I had no idea what was going on. They could scarcely toss us both out for something he had nothing to do with. Or was it that business the two of us concocted when I was working in the alumni office, taking the whole family out of their records? They might have nailed me if they were very good, but I don't think his fingerprints were on anything.

"Do either of you know where your parents are right now?" the administrative assistant asked. "It's extremely important."

"No, Dad is at the capital for something to do with the government, and Mom is up in the mountains on a biology project, and there's no cell reception," Ron explained.

Oh, oh. They must have caught on to something massive if they were about to drag the parents in. I got a little more nervous.

"All right. Please go in to see Mr. Wales. He's expecting you."

Ron seemed to have no more idea than I did of what was going on. I suppose his conscience was cleaner.

"Mr. Hamilton, Ms. Hamilton, I have very bad news, I'm afraid," the dean started out. "Your sister Fiona has been attacked on campus, in the gym, actually, by one of our staff. She was raped. She's in hospital, now. We have the man we believe responsible, and we've turned him over to the police. My assistant will take you to see her, now."

Oh shit. It was about Fi. She'd been hurt. I couldn't believe it. No one would hurt Fiona. It just couldn't be!

Ron offered to drive us over.

I wasn't even thinking about driving. I don't know that I was actually thinking. Ron just wrapped me up. A wonderful hug. It helped. Not enough, but then nothing could be enough just then.

"As upsetting as this has to be for you, as it is for me, you shouldn't drive. I'd take you, but I don't think I should drive, either. It's important for you to see her, though. She's gone through a terrible time, and needs all the support, the love and friendship, that she can get. Please help her."

"Of course."

I agreed. Anything Fi might need I'd give her, and if she needed me, then that's what she'd get. Ron was the same. It never occurred to us to do anything else. Ron might have had a date that night, I wasn't sure, and he never let on, but if so, it went right out of his mind.

"Does she have a special friend, or a boyfriend, or both?"

"Yes, Susan Martin has been her friend since forever, and she's been going out with Josh Talbot for a while." That sounds better than it actually was, as Ron sort of gasped it out. I couldn't speak. My gut was roiling. Not Fi! I just nodded to confirm what he'd said.

"We'll see that they're advised. Poor Fiona. You know, I'm a gentle man, but I felt so much like I wanted to kill that son of a bitch, I really did.

"Look, you've got to go see her. Help her. Show her how much she's loved. I know that much. I'll want to see her, and you again. We are arranging counselling for everyone involved, and anyone else who feels they might need it. Poor girl. Go. Help her."

We went. The assistant was pretty much no nonsense, and whatever obstacles they put in our way, she just rammed through. I wouldn't want to get in her way, and I can be a pretty rough customer, knowing I have the rest of the five musketeers in my corner.

Fiona was weeping. She looked like hell. I took one hand, and Ron took the other. I started to cry, too, quietly. Tears were pouring down my face. They were a mix of sorrow for what Fi had suffered and anger at the son of a bitch who'd done it. Ron was crying, too. Guys don't show their emotions as much, but you could tell Ron felt gut-punched. Me too.

"Ronnie? Bree?" she whispered.

"Yeah, it's us, cupcake. We love you," Ron told her.

"We're here for you, Fi. We'll always be here for you," I added.

The doctor just stayed back out of the way. No "I'm the doctor and I know best" shit. She probably did know best. Fi needed support just then more than anything else, and that's what we were there for.

A few minutes later, Susan Martin and Josh Talbot came in. They both looked liked death warmed over, and not warmed up too much, at that. Susan took one look, touched Fi's hand in greeting, and hugged me. She knew that this had hurt me nearly as bad as it had hurt Fi. Ron knew, too, I could tell, but just then Fi was the one hurt worse and that's where he focussed. It felt good that he knew there'd been an impact on me as well. Of course, he was hurting, too. He put it off, the way I had. Our hurts had to wait.

Josh took the hand I had been holding, ever so gently. I didn't fight it. Fi needed Josh more than me just then.

"It's Josh and Susan," Ron told Fi. "Fi, Josh is here because he loves you." It seemed plenty obvious to me, but I suppose it had to be said. We were all there because we loved her. Always would. Some things are hard-wired, and that was one.

Josh admitted that he loved her. He looked surprised. I think myself that he knew he loved her but hadn't realized until then just how much he loved her. Looked like forever stuff to me. I'm pretty sure Susan and Ron caught Josh's epiphany too. I hoped it would help more than it complicated things for Fi. There'd been the tiniest part of a smile when Josh took Fi's hand. It would help. It wasn't a complication at all.

Susan took me home a little later. You couldn't have budged Josh with a hammer. Ron wasn't going anywhere, either. Susan promised to stay with me, and I promised to be back first thing in the morning. I guess we were day shift. Ron gave me a kiss goodbye. It was sweet.

Once home Susan and I curled up in my bed and hugged. I'd known Susan for a long time, my whole life, in fact, but we got to know each other a lot better in those first bitter days. We came to depend on each other, lending strength when the other ran out, taking it when we needed it. It was friendship, family, my second sister. It helped us then in the midst of the pain and loss we both suffered for Fi, in keeping our strength to help Fi, and in getting through it when we discovered we were both in love with the same man.

Dad almost collapsed when he got home. I was incredibly glad to see him, though. Ron was at the hospital and I really needed for there to be a man around. I was starting to get awake visions, starting at every noise, waiting for that bastard to break down the door and attack us, too. I'm not like that. I'm pretty good at being alone, but not that night. Once Dad was home, I felt better, safer. Nobody was going to get through him to hurt me.

Susan was staying the night anyway. We weren't splitting up for a while. We needed to support each other, though we felt so much more secure now Dad was home. I got Susan one of my nightshirts and we climbed into my bed together after Dad fell asleep, maybe thirty seconds after his head hit the pillow.

I'm not an early riser, but Susan and I were up early, eager to get to Fi's bedside. It was just on eight when we showed up at the hospital. Ron looked startled, but pleased.

"Good morning, sweethearts," he greeted us.

"Ron, before he went to bed Dad said to chase you home when we came in. He's still asleep and we were careful not to wake him."

"Too bad," Susan chortled, "your dad's hot."

That was Susan, being outrageous again, trying to take Fi's mind off her own problems, the way she usually did, and having it work again, too. It was pretty easy to love Susan. She explained that there wasn't any point in making a play for Dad, since he was so wrapped up in Mom. That was true. It was kind of hard to get Dad to admit that any other women, apart from Mom, even existed, except his daughters, of course, but they weren't women, yet. I doubt that in his mind we ever would be. It was warming even if it was frustrating at times.

Fi nodded slightly in confirmation.

I took Fi's hand from Ron. A little physical contact to prove we were still here, and that she wasn't dirty or in any way untouchable. Being support. Josh's handholding was probably more effective.

"You all right, Bree?" Ron asked. Of course he could tell I was upset. Ron's like that. He can feel what the people close to him feel. More important, he cares about how they feel.

"Yeah, Susan's been great. Go to sleep when you get home, Ron. Dad can take care of himself, and they think Mom will be home by suppertime."

Ron kissed Fi goodbye, right on the lips, an "I'll always be here for you" kiss, which I think was just what the doctor ordered. Fi gave a little sigh and settled into it. I was surprised when my goodbye kiss was just the same. I don't think Ron had ever kissed me on the lips before. I settled into it, too, accepting his promise, enjoying the feel of his lips until the sparks started to ignite. You can't have sparks with your brother. It's not allowed. Happened, though. I knew I'd have to think about that for a while. I loved Ron, of course, and there were all kinds of good reasons for that. I don't think that was all of the message I was getting, though. Not a good thing, maybe. Perhaps I was misinterpreting my feelings. Wouldn't be the first time.

Ron kissed Susan goodbye, too, the same way, since she was part of the family. It seemed to hit her as hard as it had hit me. I wondered whether she was starting to fall in love with Ron. She'd be good for him if that was what was happening. The fact that I got a little pang of jealousy - I was pretty sure it was jealousy - surprised me. It wasn't like I could ever get together with my brother. It was nice that someone who'd make him a fine partner had feelings for him. I supposed.

Ron faked a kiss at Josh, who laughed (he needed to laugh, too) and waved it away with Fi's hand. He wasn't letting go, though. A little smile crept across Fi's face at the idea.

Dad showed up later that morning. I was pleased he'd thought Fiona was in such good hands that he didn't have to rush. I passed him the hand I was holding. I could tell Fi noticed. She settled in more comfortably, a little more relaxed. Dad just held on, a little gentle pressure, showing her he was there for her, and no one could get through him. No way anyone was getting through him.

Dad hugged me with his other arm and I put an arm around him. It felt really good. Settled me a lot, so I hugged Susan. She needed some love, too. She'd been shaken up pretty badly, just like the rest of us. So there we were, Dad holding Fi's hand, hugging me, me with an arm around Dad and another around Susan, Susan with an arm around me, Josh on the other side of the bed holding Fi's hand just as Dad did. We were like that pretty much until Mom came.

She just grabbed Dad and hung on, crying, I think, though with Mom you can never be sure. She's pretty solid. Whoever decided women were flighty didn't know Mom. After she'd recovered her equilibrium, she reached out to Fi.

"You know we love you, sweetheart," she told her. Fi nodded. It wasn't a statement you could doubt, not when Mom said it that way.

Mom was there about half an hour before she gave herself a quick sniff and said she'd better get cleaned up before the hospital people asked her to leave.

"Be back in an hour, people, and I'll bring food."

That sounded like a good idea. Susan and I hadn't had much for breakfast, and lunch had been a shared doughnut Dad had brought up for us.

"You don't need to hurry, Mom. We're good for a bit," I told her.

Mom was back in about an hour and a half with the best part of the menu from the local Chinese food place, toted in by Ron. I nearly missed supper the way Josh was mechanically eating everything within reach. Looked like his reflexes were fine. Mom had cleaned up and even fixed herself up a little. She looked pretty good. I saw Dad's eyes widen when she came in, and a hint of a smile. It was so good to see they were still in love. They could get through this, and that would help Fi so much. Susan's eyes opened a bit wider when Ron came in. Ron's eyes were on Fi, though. I wasn't sure why I didn't feel as pleased that Susan cared for Ron when I was so happy that my parents still loved each other.

Ron kissed me on the lips again. He'd never done that before, and now here it was twice in one day. His kiss made things start fluttering inside. It couldn't be lust, since he was my brother. I didn't know quite what to make of it. He kissed Susan, too, who made a production of it for Fi's benefit - Fi even giggled - and kissed Fi hello. I gave Fi a quick kiss goodbye. Susan gave Josh a pretty hearty kiss. Fi smiled, and whispered

"He's mine."

"That he is, sweetheart, that he is," Susan conceded. "But your brother's fair game."

I wasn't so sure that was so, but it probably was. After all, I couldn't have him. I wondered briefly whether I should have put more effort into kissing Ron back. The surprise at being kissed like a real female rather than a sister had put me off my stride. Perhaps I could do better in the morning.

I warned Ron that Fi was having problems still, with fierce bad dreams.

"Hug her, Ron. It'll take the two of you, but it seems to be what works."

"Now that's no burden," he laughed, one eye on Fi, checking her reaction. He grinned when she gave him a tiny smile. I grinned, too. If love could do it, we'd get her out of this.

Mom chased Susan and I out, insisting that if we were going to be day shift we had to get our rest. Dad came with us. He was day shift, too, I guess. She promised to be home in a bit.

Once we got home and were private in my room I asked Susan

"Susan, should I be feeling all hot when my brother kisses me?" She looked startled.

"Well, your brother is a hot guy, Bree, and maybe that's it. I get hot and bothered kissing him, too."

"You put your back into it, Susan, I saw you. It should have been a hot kiss."

"Yeah, I tried. I really like your brother. I think Ron's more than just a hot guy. He's forever stuff."

"I think so too." I wasn't too sure where that came from. At least I hadn't said he was forever for me. I hoped Susan would take it as a simple compliment. Ron was a pretty wonderful guy. I could tell she thought so.

Neither of us got too much sleep, tossing and turning to all hours. It might have been about Fi's terrible situation, but it might have been about being kissed by Ron. That's what was working through my mind, anyway. What hurt was that I couldn't have him. Susan wanted him, and at least she wasn't his sister, not by blood, anyway. If I pushed it at all it would hurt Susan and it would hurt Ron, too, and it would just get me into a mess with someone I couldn't have. All of society's strictures were against it. It was illegal, too, for whatever that's worth in this day and age. Not as much as what Ron's ingrained disgust would do to me.

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