Title: Ready to fall
Author: Telis (theaerosolkid)
Summary:Truckstops and Statelines: “No,” Jon said, when they asked him the first time.
Word Count: 2393
Disclaimer: Fake, fake, fake.
A/N: For notshybutsly. Thanks to disarm_d for the beta and to warmingweather for being my sounding board. ♥
“No,” Jon said, when they asked him the first time.
“I don’t know why he’d say no,” Brendon said, staring at his feet.
Ryan waved his hand impatiently. “That doesn’t matter. We have a headlining tour coming up. We need to figure out what the fuck we’re doing.”
“Anyone else come to mind?” Spencer asked. “I guess. Brendon could play bass. And instead of a cello player, we could get a sessions guy to do guitar. Or something.”
“No, that’s not going to work, we need the fucking cello,” Ryan said.
The stress level in this room is way too ridiculous, Brendon thought, and didn’t say anything for the rest of the band meeting.
“Hi,” Brendon said, sitting down next to Jon.
Jon had a tendency to drift away from a party in progress. He’d grow bored with the proceedings after a few hours, after he’d gotten a decent buzz going, and he’d wander somewhere not too far away. Just removed enough that he wasn’t part of the action, really, but that he could still observe. Jon liked watching. He didn’t usually take pictures when other people were drunker than he was, for which Brendon was fervently grateful.
“Hey,” Jon said easily, still daydreaming, still watching.
“The tour was over, we survived,” Brendon sing-songed, almost under his breath, and felt stupid, sitting on dew-damp grass and singing blink-182.
Jon chuckled but didn’t say anything.
I am such a fucking spaz, Brendon thought, flopping to his back and watching the stars spin. He rolled his head to the side and focused on the red plastic cup held loosely in Jon’s hand, resting against the ground.
“Is there a reason you don’t want to come on tour with us?” Brendon asked the red plastic cup.
“Yep,” Jon said. He didn’t say anything else.
“Okay,” Brendon said, and lurched to his feet. He managed to take a few steps before the ground did a nifty twirling maneuver and tripped him up. “Ow.”
“You okay?” Jon asked.
“Sure am,” Brendon said brightly, voice muffled by his forearm.
“You gonna puke?”
“Don’t think so,” Brendon said. He considered for a minute. “Maybe. I dunno. I have my iPod with me. Do you have headphones?”
Jon leaned back, shimmied a hand into his front pocket and withdrew a pair of black earphones. He tucked one into his ear, handed the other to Brendon, who fumbled for it before managing to get it set loosely in his ear. He wriggled, worming a hand into his pocket, and finally got them plugged in.
“You pick,” Brendon said, nudging the iPod in Jon’s direction.
“I think this is Ryan’s,” Jon said, spinning his fingers round the dial.
“Might be,” Brendon said unconcernedly.
Jon laughed softly. He picked the Nightmare soundtrack.
“’Twas a long, long time ago,” Brendon recited along with the music. Jon lay down next to him, close, so the wire between them was slack.
“You’ll be okay without me,” he said, midway through Jack’s Lament. Brendon stopped humming along.
“Be better with you, though,” he said. “Is it William? Are you afraid he’ll think we’re stealing you or something?”
“Nah,” Jon said.
“College? Are you worried that you won’t go back?” Brendon pressed on.
“I know that I won’t,” Jon said calmly.
“Are you gonna tell me, ever?” Brendon asked plaintively. He might have whined a little. Maybe.
“Nope,” Jon said. He didn’t sound smug. He didn’t sound like anything.
“I want to know,” Brendon said.
“It’s good to want things,” Jon said.
Brendon didn’t remember walking back to the bus, but he must have, because he woke up in the back lounge, curled in a tight ball. There was a newly-familiar throbbing at his temples, and his mouth tasted disgusting. He stumbled to his feet and wandered to the kitchenette.
“You killed my iPod’s battery,” Ryan said right away, scowling at him.
“Cry me a river,” Brendon said, reaching for a mug and the coffeepot.
“We need to have another meeting today,” Ryan said. “About who’s going to take over for bass.”
“Yeah, yeah,” Brendon said. He wrapped his hands around his mug, breathed in the thick scent of fresh coffee. It was better than drinking the stuff, sometimes.
“How’s your voice, you think?” Ryan asked carefully. It was his way of asking, Did you puke last night?
“No problem, bossman,” Brendon said, closing his eyes.
“Great,” Ryan said. “Think of replacement bassists while you’re not listening to my iPod this afternoon.”
I know just as many people as you do, Brendon thought. And then, unkindly: You’re probably the reason, you uptight asshole.
“Fancy meeting you here,” Brendon slurred out, dropping to his knees beside Jon on the grass outside another nondescript house party. They all blended together after a while.
“Say hello to Mr. Ground,” Jon said, putting gentle pressure on the back of Brendon’s neck. He tipped forwards, face-down.
“That was mean,” Brendon said.
“Sorry,” Jon said, unrepentantly. Brendon could hear the grin in his voice.
“Ehh, no sweat.”
“Thanks,” Jon said. He nudged Brendon over to his side, lay down next to him. “You cold?”
“Kinda,” Brendon admitted.
“Here,” Jon said, shucking off his hoodie and laying it over Brendon.
“Thanks,” Brendon mumbled. “Think I drank too much.”
“S’okay,” Jon said. “I forgive you.”
“Not worried about you,” Brendon said darkly.
“I can’t believe you’re leaving us,” Brendon said, eyes trying to flutter closed.
“Technically, you guys are leaving us,” Jon said with a smile.
“You know what I mean. You’ve been playing with us. Now we’ve gotta figure something else out.”
“I’m sorry,” Jon said. He sounded it.
“I hope you do have a good reason,” Brendon breathed. He closed his eyes, trying to stop feeling like he was on a rickety Tilt-a-Whirl. Closing his eyes only made it worse. Funny that he spent his time chasing this feeling, and once he had it, all he wanted to do was sober up.
“I have a really good reason,” Jon said quietly.
“Okay,” Brendon said.
Brendon started awake. The sky looked lighter. He still felt drunk. He glanced to his side, saw Jon stretched out on his back.
“Hey there,” he said. He sounded like he was speaking more clearly. Jon looked over at him and smiled.
“It lives,” Brendon said cheerfully. “I am not hungover yet, most likely because I think I’m still drunk.”
“An accomplishment,” Jon conceded.
“You could tell me why right now,” Brendon said. Jon didn’t bother to play coy, which Brendon sort of appreciated. Being witty was rough when your brain was sloshing around in your skull.
“You’re not going to let that go, are you?” Jon asked.
“I have your phone number. I know where you live,” Brendon said, wiggling his fingers at Jon. “More importantly, I am the youngest in a family of five, and I have ways of making you talk.”
“So far you’ve been spectacularly unsuccessful,” Jon pointed out.
“So far I have only tried while I’ve been embarrassingly drunk,” Brendon said. “Seriously, do not escalate this war with me. You’ll lose. It’ll be humiliating, I promise.”
“I think I’m prepared to deal with that,” Jon said, rubbing his jaw.
“You aren’t,” Brendon said. “I’m very sure you aren’t.”
“It’s a good reason,” Jon said, mostly to himself.
“I’m sure it is,” Brendon coaxed. He sat up, crawled closer to Jon. There wasn’t much noise coming from the house, now that he took a moment to listen. It must be pretty late, Brendon thought, or is it pretty early? Jon was looking up at Brendon with something unreadable in his eyes. Brendon bit his lip. Jon’s eyes followed the action, and Brendon felt a heady rush of -- something. Power, maybe; possibly something more like influence. It was a strange feeling, the thought that something as silly as biting his lip could make someone pay attention to him. Pay a specific kind of attention to him.
“Is Ryan the reason?” he asked quietly. Jon shook his head. Brendon leaned in closer. “Spencer, is he?” Jon shook his head again, the gesture more minute this time. Brendon licked his lip, not trying to be -- not trying to whatever -- but just to get some moisture on his chapped lips. He tilted his chin up, trying to angle his awful breath away from Jon’s face. Jon’s gaze shifted from his mouth to his throat, to where Brendon felt certain that the hammering of his pulse was visible.
A look of intense concentration came over Jon’s face, and he leaned upwards, as though he couldn’t help it. Brendon stayed still. Jon closed his eyes and dropped his head back to the ground. Brendon inched closer, brow knit with confusion. Brendon took a deep breath, and when he did, Jon’s eyes opened again. He was looking up at Brendon’s mouth again. Brendon tucked his chin down and bent his head, pressed his mouth softly to Jon’s.
Jon made a noise below him, something in between a moan and a grunt; harsh, guttural, and his hands came up to cup Brendon’s hips, tug him atop his body. Brendon squeaked but went with it, sprawled over Jon, all awkward limbs and fumbling hands. He settled when Jon bit his bottom lip, though, when Jon’s hands tightened around his hips, just enough pressure to calm him.
Brendon couldn’t taste much, his mouth felt stale from too much beer and that poorly-timed nap, but Jon seemed content enough, licking up into his mouth. Brendon moaned quietly into Jon’s mouth, and, working on instinct, rolled to his back, pulling Jon over him. Jon went willingly enough, and pressed his weight down easily, enough weight so that Brendon felt comfortably smothered. It was a feeling he savoured. He broke from Jon’s mouth, and the world started spinning again. It was more pleasant this time. Jon’s breath was coming cold and measured, slow; right against his.
“Your breath is cold,” Brendon said inanely.
“The iceman cometh,” Jon intoned. Brendon chuckled and kept his eyes closed, but tilted his head, baring the smooth column of his throat. Jon’s breath hitched, then, just a little, and he kissed Brendon’s throat carefully. Brendon hummed, arched up into it. He still felt loose and pliant, his favourite thing about drinking, the way he could slither. He knew it probably looked a lot less graceful than it felt, but Brendon never really felt graceful, so. It was hard to think with Jon’s tongue slowly lapping at his skin. Jon felt so cold up against him, how had he never noticed that before?
“You’re so cold,” Brendon said. It was hard to talk, too, when Jon started sucking, a little harder.
“You’re warming me up,” Jon told him, and, yes, his mouth was feeling warmer against Brendon’s skin.
“Oh, good,” Brendon sighed. The world keeps spinning, he thought, and then realized, oh, well, I’d rather it spin than not, really.
When he woke up again, he still didn’t have a hangover. He figured he’d probably have a hickey, though. It seemed like a more than fair trade. Brendon sat up, and smacked his head on the top of his bunk.
“Ow,” he told the empty space. Its silence was not reassuring. He rolled out of his bunk, landing on Spencer.
“Ow,” Spencer said with feeling.
“Sorry!” Brendon yipped. “Didn’t know you were there!”
“Look, next time,” Spencer suggested dryly.
“D’you know where Jon is?” Brendon asked. Spencer shrugged. Brendon decided that this was probably a good thing. His breath was terrible. He should shower.
“You have officially been avoiding me,” Brendon called out to Jon as he made his way across the lawn. The ground was refusing to stay put, but Brendon was managing to remain upright. He considered it an omen, indicating further victories in the near future.
Jon didn’t protest the accusation.
“Did I puke on you or something last night?” Brendon asked. “I’m really sorry if I did.”
“You didn’t do anything,” Jon murmured. He didn’t look up from his hands. Brendon fumbled his way into a sitting position next to Jon.
“If you’re not going to look at me, you could at least tell me why you won’t go on tour with us,” Brendon said. Jon sighed. “If you want.”
“Do you remember last night?” Jon asked.
“Sloppy makeouts, yep,” Brendon said. “I think I might’ve passed out on you? I don’t know. Yeah, I think I passed out on you. Did you drag me back to the bus? Thanks, by the way. Also, I didn’t have a hangover when I woke up. Your kisses are magic.”
“Something like that,” Jon said.
“I’m not going to be weird and clingy,” Brendon said suddenly.
“I mean, if you don’t want me to be,” he said, rushing the words. Jon sighed again.
“I don’t know what I want,” Jon said moodily. He took a sip from the cup in his hand.
“I wonder when red plastic cups became the official party cups,” Brendon said, apropos of absolutely nothing. Jon looked at him out of the corner of his eye. “Well, I do,” Brendon insisted.
“You’re going to hate me so much,” Jon muttered. Brendon scooted closer. Jon finally looked at him, really looked at him, and he lifted a hand to press it to Brendon’s throat. Brendon shuddered, which probably wasn’t entirely due to the distinct lack of heat in Jon’s hands.
“You don’t remember last night?” Jon asked, intent.
“I said I did,” Brendon said. “I remember making out with you, I told you.”
“No,” Jon said, sounding frustrated. “Not that.”
“What, then?” Brendon asked. Jon’s other hand let his cup go, let it spill over the grass and roll away. Lucky it tipped the other way, Brendon thought, you’re lucky it didn’t spill all over you, it’s a few days till laundry, yet.
Jon reached over and wrapped his fingers around Brendon’s wrist, drew it up to his mouth. He pressed a soft kiss to the skin, over the pattern of veins. Brendon frowned a bit, but he didn’t say anything. He wasn’t very drunk. Not really. Jon kept kissing his wrist, started sucking gently. Brendon closed his eyes, going pliant in Jon’s hands. The hand at his neck was starting to warm up, the heat from Brendon’s pulse transferring to Jon.
His eyes snapped open when he felt a sharp flare of pain at his wrist, and as soon as he tensed, Jon pulled away, leaving a pair of tiny, neat puncture marks, right there on Brendon’s wrist.
I am clearly very drunk, actually, Brendon thought, and he looked up at Jon to tell him so, and when he did, he saw a smear of blood at Jon’s mouth. His fingers came up, slowly as though through water.
“You...?” he trailed off. Jon’s lips parted, showing his teeth, his canines lengthened, sharpened. “I don’t -- what?”
“I told you I had a good reason,” Jon said thickly, and Brendon stayed very, very still.