Remix: Aphrodite’s curse (Girdle of Desire remix) [Justin/Alex, 874 words, rated PG, implications of incest, sexual references, possibly gratuitous mythological and folkloric references], by nessataleweaver
She’s always been the most beautiful girl in the world to him. That’s why he doesn’t notice the change at first.
So the part where the only customer she talks to is the one who ends up asking out Harper? That should have been a clue. Alex is right, if he doesn’t want Harper then he doesn’t get the right to be critical, but he can’t help but think about Monkey’s Paws.
But he keeps getting distracted by the way the sunlight lingers in the curls of Alex’s hair. He keeps wanting to reach out and wrap them around his fingers.
He doesn’t even notice when she uses magic on their mother. When she slips up and actually admits it, he can’t enjoy it. He can’t even take the golden opportunity to rub getting caught in her face.
He’s too busy tracing every detail of her face with his eyes. He fills his hands with crockery to keep from finding out how well the curve of her still-developing hips fit into his grasp.
He avoids her at school. He can’t look her in the eyes after the dreams he had last night. He won’t be able to stop himself from blushing, and then she’ll be onto him like a crazy ten-minute sale. Or even worse, he’ll DO something out of one of them, and while he really wants his parents talking to each other, he doesn’t think that their oldest child’s sudden VC Andrews tendencies is really a deal-maker.
Finding Alex early for wizard lesson should have sent more than just a few alarm bells ringing, but he’s too busy telling himself that tiny brushes of his fingers against her don’t really count as wrong touching.
But when he finally figures out that maybe this isn’t his fault, and he’s not an irredeemable sicko, he’s so relieved that he barely remembers to chide Alex for setting new standards of reckless and irresponsible abuse of her magic - even for her!
All he has to do it just hold on to his self-control, and this will go away. Sooner or later. At least he’s got a reasonable explanation for why he’s feeling like this.
But he has no explanation whatsoever for why Alex keeps looking at him that way.
He’s been browsing mythology books and even websites, to see if there’s something he can do to ward off the effects of this.
The thing about Aphrodite; her being the most beautiful woman in Olympus, Hades and Earth? That part was 100% natural. But what most people don’t know is that it was her girdle that not only marked her status as a Goddess, but made her irresistible to all men – to compensate for the fact that everyone has different tastes.
Only the Gods were immune to her allure. But he’s not even a man yet, let alone a God. Every time she’s next to him, her body heat sets him on fire, but every time she’s away from him, his heart shivers in his chest and Justin’s starting to wonder if he’s going to survive this with his sanity intact.
The best thing about their parents being nauseatingly in love again is that they’re too occupied with each other to notice him, and that what he really wants to do at the dinner table is to sweep everything off onto the floor so he can lay his sister down on it instead.
Or the three cold showers a day he’s taking.
Or that he’s using magic to clean his bedsheets, because they don’t have enough sets for him to change them every single day.
He’s spent his life trying to do the right thing. Alex spends her life either getting him to cover for her sins, or trying to get him to join in.
So of course she can’t just leave him alone on the couch.
Her body’s pressed against his, and she’s making him hotter than the volcano she’s somehow managed to find on the television. He’s about to erupt, as well, when she pushes him away.
It’s the first time in years that Alex has apologized to him for anything. But he can’t enjoy it; he’s too busy being sorry that she stopped him.
Maybe Alex realizes just how close he is to snapping, because she spends the weekend locked in her room. But the thread of his self-control keeps thinning, and when his parents go out on another date on Sunday night, he finds himself outside Alex’s door.
If she answers, he won’t be able to stop himself. If she lets him in, he won’t stop until they hit the bed, and then she won’t be able to stop him, either. He knows that, but he still knocks at the door.
But then he remembers how much he loves Alex.
That’s why he can make himself leave before she answers.
Even though he spends the rest of the night in near-agony, his heart doesn’t hurt anymore.
The ‘gift’ has melted away. But the desire he feels for her hasn’t.
But Alex doesn’t mind. In fact, she seems to like it. She even seems to feel the same way.
Maybe they should re-name that spell Aphrodite’s Blessing.