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The fight at the fountain had been a disaster. Rosette had been weakened when Chrono had broken the seal. Chrono had stopped fighting when he realized what he’d been doing, which only made him an easy target for Aion’s attack. Joshua had been able to easily get to Azmaria thanks to Chrono’s horns.

But things got even worse when Aion decided he wanted a few more prisoners. At the last second, right before he’d retreated back to Eden, he decided there might still be some use for Rosette as a Limiter, and he wanted his former “sword” to stay nearby so he could be an audience during the final show. They were both weakened right now. When would he have a better chance to take them away?

Father Remington didn’t even have a chance to react. As soon as Aion gave the order, Joshua and Fiore moved with quick precision, each grabbing their designated prey. The other allies of the Order could only watch in horror as they lost not only the Songstress of Vegas, but the Sinner and his contractor.

That was how Rosette found herself waking up in a strange room in a bed, surrounded by shelves of books. It only took her a moment after she opened her eyes to remember what happened. She sat up so quickly in her bed that her head spun. This wasn’t the prison cell she’d expected to wake up in, but if this was Aion’s place, then it wasn’t anywhere she wanted to be. She was just starting to push up out of the bed when she heard a voice at her side.

“You’re awake! Finally. I was getting tired of waiting.”

Rosette turned her head, ready to throw a punch at the owner of the voice, but she froze as soon as she saw who it was. Standing at her bedside, giving her the same strange, empty smile he’d given her in San Francisco was…”Joshua?”

He laughed. “Yeah. Sleep well? That’s my bed, you know.”

“Your bed?” Her eyes scanned the room. The bookcases full of books…the model airplanes…the toy gun on the table beside the bed. Everything pointed to this being HIS room. It was filled with so many of the same things he used to collect in the orphanage, to comfort him and distract him from the illness slowly killing him. If she’d only seen the room, she’d hardly believe that Joshua had changed at all.

But the tall, handsome teen with the distant-sounding voice was so different from the cheerful brother in her memories. His dark blue eyes almost seemed to look right through her, and he didn’t seem very "little" anymore. She could already see him growing into an adult. He didn’t look like someone you’d expect to still play with toys.

She’d lost so much time with him. It made her heart ache.

As she was thinking this, Joshua sat down on the bed and turned toward her. “Aion said I should ask you something.” Rosette frowned as soon as he mentioned Aion, but Joshua continued before she could object. “You really are my sister Rosette, aren’t you?”

The question hit her like a ton of bricks. His distant response at the fountain, where he didn’t even recognize her, had felt like a betrayal. It made her realize how badly those damn horns had corrupted his mind. And now he even had to ASK who she was? “Of course I am!”

His response surprised Rosette. He immediately reached out to wrap her up in a hug, smiling warmly, if still distantly. “So it really is you…I’m sorry. The Noise makes it hard to remember. I didn’t recognize you.”

A lump caught in her throat. “Joshua…” Her fear and anger over being captured temporarily faded, and was replaced with relief. Finally. Finally she had her brother back. She curled her hands against his chest and laid her head against him. “I’ve…I’ve looked for you for so long.”

“Yeah. Me too. I’ll never let anyone separate us again. I promise.” He pulled away and smiled at her—warmly, lovingly, like she was the center of his world. And then she did something she didn’t expect. He bent down so that their faces were at the same height and without warning pulled her close and pressed his lips against hers.

For a moment she froze, her heart pounding a mile a minute. The kiss was passionate and needy. The sort of kiss that a man would give to his lover—not a younger brother to his sister.

Her BROTHER! She suddenly realized what she was doing and pushed him away, breaking their embrace. She grabbed the lapels of his coat and jerked him forward so she could look him straight in the eye. “Joshua! What the HELL? I’m your sister!”

His eyes went wide. “I know you are now,” he said, in a confused tone.

“Well, you don’t kiss your sister like that! Damn it, Joshua, how much have those horns messed with your head?”

He frowned. “Why not? I love you. You kiss the people you love, don’t you?”

“N-not THAT sort of love, idiot! That’s for a boyfriend, or a husband, or…”

“It’s the same thing, isn’t it?”

She was so shocked and embarrassed she could barely stutter out her response. “N-n-no! NO IT’S NOT!”

“Geez. Now who’s the idiot?” He put his hands on either side of her and leaned over to her, shifting his body so that his weight was being supported by his hands and knees on the bed. “I want to be with you for the rest of my life. I don’t need anyone as long as I have you. I’ve waited so long for you to be with me, to hold me, to tell me you love me. That sounds like the same sort of love to me…”

“Well…well it’s NOT. Joshua, siblings don’t do that sort of thing with each other.”

“Why not?” He pondered that for half a second, and then his expression darkened. “Oh. I get it. You’d rather have that traitor.”

“Traitor?”

“Chrono of the Broken Horn.” He spit out the name like a curse, his eyes narrowing.

Rosette could feel her cheeks reddening. Chrono and her, kissing like that, telling her he wanted to be with her forever….”No, we’re not like that either!”

“Really? Then why would you act this way? Who else would it be?”

“N-NOBODY!” She couldn’t believe she was having this conversation with her BROTHER, of all people. “Besides, what about you? You seemed pretty cozy with that maid of yours back at the fountain!”

“Fiore?” He tilted his head to the side and laughed like she’d just said something adorably stupid. “Of course I am. She’s my maid.”

“JUST your maid?”

“What else would she be?”

“You didn’t learn to kiss like that from no one.”

Her brother gave her the biggest, shit-eating grin she’d ever seen anyone give. “She’s a better kisser than you’d think a doll would be.”

For some reason, that felt like a kick in the gut. She gritted her teeth. “If she’s that good of a kisser, then what are you doing kissing me?”

“I like her, but that doesn’t make her as important to me as my sister.” His grin only got wider. “Why, are you jealous?”

“No, you idiot! I don’t know what Aion did to fuck up your head, but just because I don’t want you kissing some quiff doesn’t mean—ah!!”

Rosette gasped. While she’d been yelling, Joshua had slipped his hand up her thigh through the slit in her skirt. The touch was so intimate and new to her that for a moment her brain could hardly piece together a coherent thought.

“Want me to show you what else she’s taught me?” His hand moved to her inner thigh, sliding up to the edge of her bloomers.

“What she’s WHAT?”

Her brother cackled. “You really are jealous, aren’t you? My poor, sweet, innocent sister…” His fingers moved to the part of her bloomers covering her crotch, rubbing the lips of her vagina through the cloth. Her hips jerked up involuntarily, which only made his fingers press against her closer.

“Oh!”

“Do you like it, Rosette?” Her brother smiled as he started to rub her sensitive area and she began to squirm. “I think I’ve gotten pretty good at doing this sort of thing. It feels good, right?”

“N-no, no it doesn’t!” was her response, but the tone of her voice said otherwise. It was trembling and breathless. She didn’t want to admit it, but it felt fantastic, better than she could’ve imagined.

“Rosette,” Joshua admonished, “you shouldn’t lie. You’re too good for that.” He punctuated his words with a twirl of his finger against the cloth covering her clit. She wasn’t able to hold back the moan that motion made her do, which seemed to please her brother. “Found it~! This spot always seems to feel really good to Fi. You, too?”

He started to rub her on her clit in earnest, dragging another moan out of her throat. Her gut rolled with emotion—lust, disgust at her lust, jealousy toward the girl he kept mentioning…”Stop talking about her!”

“Jealous, again. I’m just treating her well, since she shows me so much kindness. And what about you and that demon of yours? Has he ever made you sound like this?” He reached through the cloth to give her clit a gentle pinch. She yelped, once again pressing her hips up into his touch.

“I—I told you, we’re not like that!”

“Hmm.” He gave her a look like he didn’t quite believe her, then shrugged. “If that’s true, you’ve been good, waiting for me. Maybe I should give you a reward.”

Again, before she could react, Joshua decided to escalate things. He slid lower on the bed and pushed her skirt to the side so he could kiss her inner thigh. “Wh-what are you doing?”

“I told you, it’s a reward.” She could feel him smiling against her thigh. “This feels really good. Try not to squirm too much.”

He reached up and grabbed the waistband of her bloomers, then quickly dragged them down her legs. She shrieked in surprise and snapped her legs shut. “Joshua!”

He pouted. “Sis, this won’t work if you keep your legs closed.”

“That’s the point! This is…dirty!”

“You think me showing you how much I love you is dirty?” She couldn’t tell if he sounded angry or hurt. It was probably both.

“Joshua, I’m trying to tell you, this isn’t how you’re supposed to show that!”

“You’ve been a part of that stupid system for too long. You’ll like this, I promise.” He gently but stubbornly pushed her legs open, putting his shoulders in between her legs so that she couldn’t close them easily again. Then he pulled her skirt to the side so he could get a full view of her. When he did, the look on his face was the sort that Rosette had sometimes seen on the face of worshipers as they stared up at statues of the Virgin Mary. “Wow…you’re so beautiful! Even more than I thought you’d be.” He smiled and leaned forward to place a kiss against her crotch. She shivered and whimpered. The kiss had sent a jolt of pleasure up her spine.

“J-Joshua…”

“See? I told you this would feel good.” He slid his tongue along the length of her slit, causing her to tremble.

This was wrong. This was so, so horribly wrong! Her brother wasn’t supposed to make her feel this way! But as he started to stroke her with his tongue, sending sparks of pleasure from her crotch out through the rest of her body, her objections started to melt away. This felt amazing. Her brother had grown, changed, turned into a teenager with experiences she’d never dreamed of, and now he was using those experiences to give her a pleasure she’d only half-allowed herself to even fantasize about. Before she knew it she was arching her back, pressing herself into his mouth.

He chuckled in response—sending vibrations up through her body—and then pressed his lips around her clit and gave it a suck. She cursed, her legs snapping shut in response. Joshua seemed to like that—he gave a soft little moan into her skin, once again causing a vibration of pleasure to go through her, then started to lick and suck on her clit in earnest.

No, no, no, she couldn’t handle this. This was too much. She could hear herself vocally responding to his touch in her ears, but it sounded so much unlike her own voice that it was like listening to a stranger. As he brought her pleasure higher and higher, she could hear her voice getting louder and more desperate. She cried out his name, clutching at the sheets beneath her…

And then he gently pried her legs apart and pulled himself away. She groaned and grabbed at his shoulders, trying to pull him back in. “No! Damn it, don’t stop, not now…”

“You’re really wet now.” He smiled, his lips glistening for a reason she was too embarrassed to think about. Not that he would let her forget it—he slid a finger between her legs and brought it out for her to see. “It’s really slippery now. It’s perfect.”

She opened her mouth to ask him what he meant, but his actions answered her before she could speak. He reached down to the fly of his pants and undid them, pulling out his erection. She’d seen him naked as children when they used to take baths together, but she’d never seen him like this. She couldn’t help but stare at him, her mouth dropping open in surprise.

“Joshua…you’re not really planning on…”

In response he crawled closer to her and positioned himself in between her legs. She could feel his erection against her thigh. “Sis, I want you to join with me. I’ll prove I’ll never let anyone separate us again.”

She swallowed. Her heart was pounding. “Are you…sure? We really aren’t supposed to do this…”

Joshua sighed. “Why do you keep asking me that? Do you really doubt me that much? Or…do you really not want this?”

His question made her pause, but to even her surprise, Rosette shook her head. “No. I…do.”

He pressed his head against her opening and she shivered. “Fi helped me learn to last longer, so this should be really good.”

“You’re talking about your maid again?! Did you sleep with her, too?”

He snorted. “No. I’ve been waiting for you all this time, of course. She taught me with other ways.” He put a hand on her hip and leaned forward, looking her straight in the eye. “Ready, Sis?”

She took a deep breath and nodded. He responded with a smile and a short, gentle kiss on her lips, then grabbed her hip for support and thrust inside.

His thrust was accompanied by a sharp stab of pain. She gasped out a “shit!” as her body tensed and her eyes squeezed shut.

“Rosette?” She opened her eyes to see Joshua looking at her with worry. “Are you okay?”

“Y-yeah…it stung a little, that’s all. Geez, you don’t have to do it so hard…”

Joshua’s expression slowly morphed. He still looked worried, but he gave her a smile, his eyes suddenly growing wet with tears. “You waited for me, too…I’m so happy.” He bent down to kiss her, long and loving. As he did, she shifted her legs to wrap around him, waiting for her body to get used to him inside of her.

He kissed her until he was almost out of breath and broke the kiss, panting for air. “Is it…is it getting better?”

“Yeah.”

“Can I…keep going?”

She nodded, wrapping her arms around his back. “Please…”

He gave her a look that was a mix of relief, worry and love. “Okay. If it keeps hurting…tell me.”

He pulled his hips back a little, then pushed back into her again. She gasped softly at first. It still stung. He paused, looking at her with another worried look, and she pinched his back. “Keep going!”

He nodded and started to slowly begin to thrust in and out. He was obviously enjoying himself—he shuddered and lowered his head onto her shoulder, mumbling her name. At first, it still hurt, and she had to bite her lip to keep from letting him know, but as he continued the pain slowly began to subside and be replaced by the beginning glows of pleasure. She leaned back against the pillow on the bed. “Oh, Joshua…”

------------------------------

When Chrono woke up, every part of his body hurt, but his chest hurt the worst. He groaned and put an arm around his stomach. It hurt too much to sit up…

“Are you still refusing to heal yourself? You really are a sentimental idiot.”

His body tensed as soon as he heard the voice. Aion. He turned and looked over at his bedside, where the tall, sharply-dressed demon sat, legs crossed. He pushed his glasses up his nose and smiled. “Hello, brother. Did you sleep well?”

“Where the hell did you take me?”

“You’re on Eden, in my room. Don’t you recognize it? You haven’t been gone for that long.” He laughed, but it sounded bitter and hollow. “I’d let you sleep in your old room, but I’m afraid Joshua’s claimed it as his own.”

Chrono winced. Joshua, the boy they’d travel so far to find. The once cheerful and kind boy, so warped by what Aion—what his horns had done to him. “Where is Rosette?”

“With her brother in his room, getting reacquainted.” Aion placed his hands on his knee and threaded his fingers together. “The results in San Francisco weren’t promising, but I wanted to try one more time to see if she could be of use as a limiter for him. I thought maybe if there were fewer distractions and they were given a chance to connect more, the results might improve.”

Chrono wasn’t really sure what he meant by a ‘limiter’, or what Aion was planning to do with the Christophers, but he was sure he wouldn’t like it. He gritted his teeth and forced himself to push up from the bed. “Let me see her.”

His brother frowned in response. “Not if you keep insisting not to heal your wounds. You can barely sit. I don’t see how you’re expecting to walk.”

“I’ll manage it. Let me see her.”

“I don’t think it’ll do to interrupt them.”

“What are you hiding from me? What did you do to her?”

Aion sighed and rested his chin in his hand. “You’re really so quick to paint me as a bad guy…that hurts, you know.”

“Do you really think I’d treat you any way else after everything you’ve done to me? To Joshua? To Rosette?”

“As I recall, you’ve hurt Rosette more than I ever could with that contract of yours.” Chrono only growled in response. The other demon shrugged. “Fine. If you’re going to be so stubborn, I’ll take you to see them. But you’re not going to like this.”

To Chrono’s surprise, he rather gently helped him out of the bed and onto his feet, then waited patiently as Chrono slowly found the strength to move. It hurt, but he couldn’t allow himself to try to heal, particularly until he knew if Rosette was okay. The last time he’d seen her, she’d looked so pale and fragile because of his sudden, forceful use of his powers. He wasn’t sure how much of her lifespan was left after his fight, but he couldn’t imagine that it was much. Just thinking about the battle made him feel sick with guilt.

He slowly made his way through the familiar halls of Eden to his old room. It was eerie—he knew he’d been gone for over 50 years, but so much of Eden had been unchanged that he could easily find his way. It was almost as thought he’d never left.

The closer he got to his—no, Joshua’s room, the more he could sense Rosette’s astral signature. Aion was at least telling the truth of where she was. He was nearly to the door when he heard Rosette cry out in what sounded like pain. Fear flooded through his body as he dove to the door, adrenaline and instinct allowing him to push through the pain. He was ready to fight Joshua if he had to as he threw the door open.

The scene that played out before him was the last thing he ever expected to see. The two siblings were tangled together on a bed, Rosette’s legs wrapped around her brother as he held her close and thrust into her. Their bodies were moving together so violently that he was slamming her against the headboard of his bed, pushing the bed forward slightly with every thrust.

Joshua groaned and kissed Rosette, then pulled away to breathlessly speak. “Sis, I’m close…!”

Rosette dug her nails into Joshua’s back. “Not yet--harder! Joshua, please!”

Her brother answered with a groan and an even more violent thrust, which caused Rosette to moan with pleasure.

Chrono’s stomach sank. He felt dizzy, weak, nauseated. It was too much—his knees gave out on him and he dropped down. “Rosette?”

His contractor’s eyes flew open and she turned her head, staring at him in shock. Her eyes were filled with guilt. “Ch-chrono? I—“

Joshua’s head turned too, and he paused for a moment to glare daggers at Chrono. But then a glint of realization seemed to light in his eyes and he grinned, grabbed Rosette hard and forcefully thrust into his sister. She cried out in response, her face flushed red. Her eyes never left Chrono’s, but her fingers tightened against Joshua’s back.

Joshua grunted. “Don’t focus on him!”

She glanced back toward her brother. “J-Joshua…”

“Call me ‘brother,’” he demanded, before scraping his teeth along her neck.

Her gaze went back to Chrono, but her eyes were glazed over, as if she was barely looking at him. “B-Brother…Joshua…damn it!” She cried out and shuddered, her neck craning back and her legs pulling Joshua into her. Chrono recognized with horror that she was having an orgasm.

Her brother wasn’t far behind her. He gave her a few more short, jerky thrusts and moaned loudly into her neck, arching his back as he came into her. They collapsed together onto the bed, panting and sweaty, with Joshua mumbling random bits of obsessive words. “Thank you. I knew you’d stop the Noise. I knew you could. I love you, Sister…” Rosette didn’t respond beyond stroking his hair, but kept looking at Chrono. She looked guilty. Her eyes scrunched up, the way he knew she always did when she was about to burst into tears.

He didn’t even remember Aion had come down with him until he heard his voice behind him. “What a touching reunion,” he said with a note of smugness as he walked past Chrono into the room. Rosette tensed and immediately sat up, pulling her skirt back over her to cover herself after Joshua pulled out. Aion looked over at him with a smile. “So. Did it help?”

Joshua looked up at his Master, overjoyed. “It did…the noise is still there, but it’s so much quieter. Even with him here.” He looked back at Chrono and put his arm around Rosette, giving the sealed demon the same sort of expression you’d expect a child to give when he got a toy that he knew the other wanted desperately.

Something in Chrono snapped. He leaped to his feet and rushed at Joshua, swinging a punch in his direction. He would’ve hit him if Aion hadn’t pulled him back. “You’ll reopen your wounds,” Aion warned.

Chrono didn’t care. He struggled against Aion’s grip and shouted at Joshua. “You—you forced yourself on her! Your own SISTER! How could you?!”

Rosette paled. “Chrono…”

He looked over at her, desperate and pleading. “You didn’t want this. I know you wouldn’t want this. Rosette, PLEASE. He’s your brother! He’s—he’s sick. Those horns are driving him mad! You wouldn’t let him do this to you!”

Her eyes filled with tears. “Chrono, I…he needed me.” Her words started to pour out in the babble that Chrono knew meant she was lying to him. “He told me I could help him—that this was the way to do it—I couldn’t just say no, could I? I couldn’t—“

Joshua cut her off by pulling her onto his lap. “You didn’t say that. You told me you wanted this.”

Both the contractor and the contracted looked like they were going to be sick. Chrono meant to say something—although he wasn’t even sure what he could say—but Joshua interrupted him by sliding his hand underneath Rosette’s skirt. She gasped and leaned back against him. “J-Joshua…”

“Don’t you dare lie now. I won’t let him have you. You’re mine. I’ll never let anyone separate us. Not him, not Fiore, not anyone.” He spread his legs, sitting in such a way that Chrono could see his hand rubbing Rosette and his erection rising again as he did. Joshua looked him straight in the eye and grinned, his tone possessive. “Just give up already. My sister’s always cared about me more than anyone else. She’d never let a filthy traitor like you touch her, and we were meant to be together. Here, I’ll show you how well we fit…”

He lifted up Rosette’s hips and lowered her down onto his erection. She gasped and leaned her head back against him, which opened her neck up for a kiss as Joshua began to thrust inside her again.

Rosette couldn’t stand to look at Chrono in the eye anymore. “I’m s-sorry…I’m sorry, but I…I want…Unnh!” She couldn’t finish her sentence as Joshua began to thrust up harder, causing her to moan.

Chrono couldn’t stand to watch this anymore. He dropped his gaze down to the floor, his hands curling into fists. Was this really how it’d end? All their time together, fighting to save Joshua…was it really all just so he could stand here and watch this happen before his eyes? He never thought that this was what Rosette wanted! How could she let herself give into this so easily?

Aion leaned down and started to talk softly in his ear, the sibling’s moans of pleasure serving as a backdrop to his words. “My poor little bird that can’t fly…when will you learn that you don’t belong among humans? When will you learn that you’ll always lose your contractors? Come back to me. Work with me again. We still have our dream. You can still do something.”

They’d lost…they’d lost everything. Despair gripped Chrono’s heart. He took a deep breath, opened his mouth, and told Aion his answer.