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29 November 2007 @ 06:08 pm
Lucky For You, Jon/Spencer, R  
Title: Lucky For You
Author: autumnfades
Pairings: Jon/Spencer, Brendon/Ryan
Rating: R
Wordcount: ~12,000
Summary: Spencer is checking his watch, Prada loafer tapping impatiently, when the door swings open. The guy standing framed in the doorway is short and shirtless, hair dripping into his eyes, and he's got a towel draped over his shoulders, half of his face covered in shaving cream. His eyes widen and he says, surprise in his voice, "Oh! Fuck, is it Tuesday already?"
Notes: So, this was spawned from a conversation with _soapy when she asked what Spencer would have majored in in college. Somehow, that became accountant!Spencer, with '06 VMA's hair, wearing Gucci suits and carrying a sleek leather briefcase and a blackberry. A huge, huge thank you to _soapy, glamorous_nymph, sweetrecovery, and pau494 for letting me babble at them and reading over parts and betaing and just holding my hand while I wrote this. ♥!!! (Feedback is always welcome!)

Sometimes, Spencer really hates his job.

Sighing, he presses his phone between his shoulder and ear as he navigates a turn. “I’m an accountant, Patrick. I don’t do housecalls.”

Patrick just says, a smile in his voice, “Relax, Spencer, it’s fine. He’s a great guy; he’s just really busy, you know? And it’s not like he lives on the opposite side of town.”

Spencer just rolls his eyes and mutters, pulling to a stop in front of the glass-fronted apartment complex. “You so owe me one.”

He hangs up on Patrick’s laughter.

The guy lives on the fourth floor, and Spencer’s short, fast knocks on his front door echo down the granite-tiled hallway.

Spencer is checking his watch, Prada loafer tapping impatiently, when the door swings open. The guy standing framed in the doorway is short and shirtless, hair dripping into his eyes, and he's got a towel draped over his shoulders, half of his face covered in shaving cream. His eyes widen and he says, surprise in his voice, "Oh! Fuck, is it Tuesday already?"

Spencer raises an eyebrow and slides past when he steps aside. Turning to face him, Spencer holds a hand out. "Spencer Smith. Patrick Stump recommended me?"

The guy nods, smiling, and takes Spencer's hand, pumping it enthusiastically. "Jon. Walker." He brushes his shoulder against his cheek in a nervous gesture and says, cheeks pink, "Jon Walker. Sorry, I just got back, I kind of tend to lose track of the days."

Spencer just nods and follows him down the hall, stops dead in his tracks. Jon half-turns to him and says, sheepish, "So, it's kind of messy."

Spencer makes a little choking noise and refrains from saying, "Maybe??" Instead, he looks down at his feet, says, "If you want me to come back some other -"

Jon cuts him off, a hand on his arm, "No! No, really, trust me, it doesn't get better than this."

Spencer looks around and winces. Every surface is covered. Covered in papers and CD cases, newspapers and magazines, there's a guitar in every corner and a stack of suitcases by the window, the one on top gaping open, clothes hanging over the edges. The couches are barely even visible under everything, but Jon walks over to one of them. "Here, let me." He scoops a bunch of papers and records into his arms and just drops them on top of another pile, then turns to smile at Spencer. "Have a seat, I'm just gonna go...put a shirt on."

Spencer watches him go, then looks back at the couch. Making a face, he picks his way through the random piles of junk, hesitates before perching on the very edge of the cushion. The second he sits down, a cat appears on the back of the couch, blinking owlishly up at him. Staring at the cat warily, Spencer sets his briefcase down by his feet and folds his hands in his lap.

He loses track of how long he sits there, engaged in a silent staring contest with the cat, but Jon walks in some time later, clean-shaven and clothed, smiling. "Oh, hey, I see you've met Dylan!"

Spencer raises an eyebrow at the cat, but Dylan is already on the floor, winding his way in and around Jon's ankles. Jon crouches down to pet a hand down Dylan's back, looks up at Spencer. "Hey, you want a beer or something?"

"Uh, no. Thanks." Jon smiles and stands up, walks over to the bar to grab himself a bottle, then turns around to lean against the counter, crosses one ankle over the other. Rubbing his palms over his knees, Spencer starts, "Okay. So, you sounded kind of desperate for help on the phone..."

Jon grimaces, takes a sip of beer. "Yeah. Well, my old accountant kinda walked out on me a couple months ago."

"Walked out on you?"

Jon laughs, rubs a hand over the back of his head. "Yeah, I think he was fed up from me never being around and not really knowing anything about what to do when I was?"

Spencer leans back. "May I ask what it is you do, Mr. Walker?"

Jon grins at him. "Jon." Spencer just nods and Jon continues, "I'm in a band? Not a very big one, but we're on tour a lot, so I'm not home very often."

Spencer nods again. "Okay, so. You just need someone to handle your taxes?"

Jon shrugs. "Taxes, investments, that kind of stuff. I'm not." Jon makes a face and walks over to join Spencer on the couch, slumping against the arm. "Finances aren't really my thing, you know?"

Spencer nods, smiles for the first time that night. "Lucky for you, they're mine."



"You won't believe what I just had to do."


Spencer rolls his eyes. "Of course this is Spencer, who else would call you at 10 p.m. on a work night?" He can hear an excited voice in the background yelling, "Is he bitching again? Put it on speaker phone!"

There's a pause and Ryan's voice comes through slightly tinny. "Spencer. Spence? You're on speaker."

Spencer says dully, "Hey, Brendon."

"Hi, Spencer! Who are we bitching about today?"

Spencer sighs. "Patrick sent me to this guy, Walker. He's in some band and really busy, so I had to go to his house."

Brendon says, "Ooooh. Is he cute?"

Spencer can hear Ryan shushing him. "No he's not cute. And he's a total slob. His place is a trainwreck; it's disgusting. His last accountant walked out on him and he has no idea what he's doing. Patrick insists he's an awesome guy, but I can't get over his apartment. There's shit everywhere, guys. He hasn't unpacked his suitcases in, like, three years, I bet. He probably just goes out and buys new clothes when he gets home." Ryan snorts and Spencer scowls. "What."

"Nothing, just. Come on, Spence, stop being such a snob. Not everyone is anal retentive about cleanliness like you are."

"I am not anal retentive!"

Brendon pipes in. "Uh, actually, Spencer -"

"Who asked you?"

Ryan picks up the receiver, "Ooookay, Spence. Just...tell the guy you want him to come to your office next time."

Spencer pulls into the parking garage of his building and turns off the car. "There's no way I'm going back there. Do you know how much I paid for this suit? Who knows what kind of bacteria is all over that couch." Grabbing his briefcase, Spencer shuts the car door and locks it.

"I'm sure it's not that bad, Spence. You're just blowing it out of proportion."

"You didn't see it, Ryan." He pauses in the lobby, "Hey, elevator. I'll call you right back, okay?"

Once he's inside his apartment, he sets his briefcase down in the den, then heads to his room as he dials Ryan from his land line, setting him to speaker as he changes out of his suit.

It's a nightly ritual, one they've kept up since Spencer moved to Chicago two years ago. He'd started with an accounting firm right out of college and had taken night classes to become a CPA. After three years at the firm, they had asked him to transfer to their new offices in Chicago. The deal had included a car and a two-bedroom apartment, and while he hated to leave Ryan and Brendon, he knew it was a great opportunity. Ryan had pushed him to take it, but only if Spencer promised to call him every night and come home for holidays. He had insisted Brendon was behind the "calling every night” request, but Spencer knows better.

"So, do I have to listen to you complain even more about this Walker guy now?"

Spencer makes a face at himself in the mirror and says, "Yes. He has a cat, Ryan. A cat and a messy apartment with shit everywhere and he just leaves his guitars out, propped up against the wall -"


Spencer stops scrubbing soap onto his face to stare down at the phone. "Didn't you hear me tell you he's in a band?"

Ryan breathes into the phone and says, "Well, sometimes I tune you out..."

"Are you serious?"

"Well, you. You rant a lot, Spence. A lot. It's just easier to kind of tune out sometimes instead of trying to follow along. Whatever, point is, can we talk about something else? Christmas is coming up; have you bought your plane ticket yet?"

Sighing, Spencer bends to splash water on his face. Muffled into a towel, he says, "Yeah, like, three months ago. They get expensive if you wait. So hey, how's work? How's Brendon?"

Ryan pauses, says carefully, "Work is fine. College students still remain pretentious, lazy asses."

Spencer smirks, crawling into bed and thumbing the TV on. "And Brendon?"

"Brendon is fine. Everything is fine."

Spencer squints at the TV, not really paying attention to what's on the screen, and repeats, dubious, "Fine." Ryan sighs and Spencer knows he's rolling his eyes. Spencer smirks. "You guys are like your own personal soap opera, with all of your avoidance issues and unresolved sexual tension. It’s amusing."

"Shut up, it’s not like that." He can hear the rustle of Ryan getting into bed himself. "He's covered the refrigerator with drawings his kids made him again. They've all got mangled turkeys on them."

Spencer laughs and murmurs, "Cute."

"It's." Ryan sighs. "Yeah, it's fucking cute. Next week he's dragging me to their Thanksgiving play."

"That sounds nice."

Ryan sighs again, passes it off. "Whatever, he tries to get me to come every year, he just. His kids are the pumpkins this year, and he's really excited about it. He made the eyes, Spencer."

Spencer laughs, "You're so easy, Ryan."


Spencer's at his office the next day, working on one of his older accounts, when his phone buzzes. Eyes on the screen, he answers, "Spencer Smith."

"Hey Spencer, it's Jon. Walker? You came to my apartment last night..."

As if he could forget. His suit had been dropped off at the dry cleaners on his way into work today. "How can I help you Mr. Walker?"

A pause, "Jon. Call me Jon."

Spencer nods, still typing away at the computer. "Jon. How can I help you?"

He can hear Jon shuffling around on the other end and Jon breathes into the phone before saying, "I feel kinda bad about my apartment and stuff, so I was wondering if you wanted to meet me for coffee this afternoon? My treat, I just wanted to talk to you a little more about things without the distraction of my place..."

Sitting back, Spencer squeezes his eyes shut and pinches the bridge of his nose. "You want to -" He holds the phone away so Jon won't hear his sigh, brings it back to his mouth. "Okay. Sure, that would be fine. This afternoon, you said? I can do..." He checks his desk calendar. "How's three o'clock?"

"Great! That's great. Ummm...so, where's your office? If you want to just meet at Starbucks somewhere..."

"That's fine. I'm downtown, there's a Starbucks on every corner, but I usually leave at four and I don't have any more appointments today. I could just meet you at the Starbucks closest to your place, that way you don't have to go far." Jon gives him the address of a Starbucks by his apartment and Spencer hangs up, then sends Ryan an email.

From: spencersmith@tmobile.blackberry.com
To: ryanross@tmobile.blackberry.com
Subject: Fuck.

Have coffee meeting with the slob at three. At least I don't have to go back to his apartment again.

Save me.

He gets a reply almost immediately.

From: ryanross@tmobile.blackberry.com
To: spencersmith@tmobile.blackberry.com
Subject: Re: Fuck.

Take a picture, Brendon wants to see.

Scowling, Spencer types back:

From: spencersmith@tmobile.blackberry.com
To: ryanross@tmobile.blackberry.com
Subject: Re: Fuck.

Fuck you.

Spencer arrives at Starbucks promptly at three. Jon is, surprisingly, already there, sitting in the corner at a table by the windows, his hands folded across the table as he waits.

Jon looks up at him as he takes a seat and Spencer is a bit taken aback. Jon's wearing a dark knit sweater and his hair is combed down over one eye and he looks-- Spencer sits back and Jon grins at him, so Spencer makes a show out of checking his blackberry for new emails before clearing his throat and looking back up, hoping his cheeks aren't still pink.

"Hey, glad you could meet me. Sorry about last night, I just got back yesterday and it's been kind of crazy. Everyone wants to see me and there's so much stuff to take care of..."

Spencer nods, "I understand."

Jon just looks at him, as if waiting for him to say more. When he doesn't, Jon leans in. "So, what can I get you, Spencer?"

Pursing his lips, Spencer squints over at the chalkboard menu for a minute before turning back to Jon. Jon's still watching him and Spencer looks down at the table, flustered. "Just. Just a non-fat latte, please. Tall."

Nodding, Jon pushes back from the table and heads for the counter. Spencer watches him walk away (there's no harm in admiring his ass in those jeans) and realizes, horrified, that Jon is wearing flip-flops.

By the time Jon gets back with their drinks, Spencer is determined to be nothing but professional. And they start out talking about Jon's finances, they do. Jon brought all of his files from his previous accountant and Spencer has even started putting together a portfolio for Jon, looking over various forms as Jon explains how exactly he gets his cut from the band, but every time Jon shifts in his chair, Spencer's mind is drawn back to Jon's sandals and he finds himself interrupting Jon and blurting out, "Aren't your feet cold?"

Jon stops talking mid-sentence, mouth hanging open for a second before he starts laughing. "What?"

Spencer can feel his cheeks heating up and he shoves at his hair nervously, shifting back in his seat. "Well, I mean. You're wearing sandals. It's winter."

Jon grins at him, leans forward to nudge Spencer's elbow. "Yeah, but I'm a man. A manly man, and manly men are impervious to the cold." Spencer stares at him, eyebrows raised, and Jon slumps back. "Nah, you've got me. I can't find my real shoes. Not that it really matters? I kind of only wear flip-flops when I can help it, anyway."

Spencer just keeps staring. "...You're crazy. You know that, right?" Jon just keeps grinning at him. "It's like 50 degrees outside!"

Jon shrugs, "I'm used to it; I grew up here."

Spencer sips at his latte and says dryly, "And I grew up in Vegas, but that doesn't mean I'm used to the heat."

Jon leans forward onto the table again, eyes wide. "Really? You grew up in Vegas?"

Spencer nods. "Yeah, why?"

"We're leaving on tour again next month. Just a small one, a few big cities around the country before coming back home, but we're stopping in Vegas right before Christmas. You going home for Christmas?"

Spencer looks down at his drink. They've already started with the red Christmas cups and his chest tightens briefly, thinking about home and family and Ryan. He can't help the smile when he looks back up and Jon stares. "Yeah. Yeah, I'm going home for two weeks."

"Hey, that's awesome! You should come see us play. We're playing on the twentieth at The Joint. I could get you in, if you wanted to bring anyone..."

He's fishing, Spencer knows he's fishing, and he falls for it anyway. "Yeah...I could bring my friend Ryan. He and his roommate are practically married, I bet Brendon would love to go to a concert."

Jon's grin widens until he's practically beaming at Spencer and he says, "Awesome. Awesome. I'm gonna hold you to that, Spencer."

Spencer ducks his head down, embarrassed. He's never blushed this much in his life. Just. Jon's stupid lisp and the way he says his name, Spencer, it just. Smiling, he murmurs, "You do that."


Brendon slips in the back door and takes a seat in the last row, next to a girl with a purple hoodie. Grinning, he leans over and whispers, "I like your sweater."

The girl smiles at him before turning her attention back to the front of the room, where Ryan is lecturing on transcendentalism and Emerson. Brendon stops paying attention and just watches him pace back and forth, hands waving as he speaks. Most of the students are taking notes; some are watching him walk back and forth across the floor. Brendon gets distracted when the girl next to him leans over to her friend and whispers, "He's wearing the pants today."

Squinting down at the front of the lecture hall, Brendon can see Ryan's pinstripe pants, hears the girl's friend giggle and whisper back, "I guess that means we're staying to ask him a question after class?"

Grinning into the sleeve of his own hoodie, wrapped over his hand and cupped over his mouth, Brendon turns his attention back to Ryan.

Once class is over, most students file out right away, rushing to get to their next class. The girls next to him loiter, taking their time packing up their books, and they squeeze past Brendon to march down the stairs to where Ryan is standing, shovelling papers into his own bag. He looks up as they approach, smiles at them. Brendon can't hear what they're saying, but he squints down at them when the one in the hoodie puts a hand on Ryan's arm, leaning in to him and laughing. Pushing out of his chair, Brendon makes his way down the stairs, hands stuffed into his pockets.

Ryan looks up as he approaches, smiles wide at him. Brendon grins, ignoring the girls glaring at him. "Hey, Professor Ross."

Ryan waves goodbye to the girls and turns to Brendon, cocks a hip against his desk and crosses his arms over his chest. "Did you have a question about today's lecture, Mr. Urie?"

Brendon glances over at the girls, still lingering in the doorway, and he leans in and whispers, "Are they going to hunt me down if I take you to lunch?" Ryan looks at them and they quickly hurry out of the room, heads bowed together. Brendon smirks at him. "No wonder your lectures are so popular. You didn't tell me half the class had a crush on you, Ryan."

Ryan scowls, tugging the strap of his bag over his shoulder and following Brendon out of the classroom. "They do not. They just had a question about Thoreau."

Brendon rolls his eyes, slinging an arm across Ryan's shoulders. "Yeah, okay, whatever, Ry. Lunch, then?"

Ryan looks over at him from under the fringe of his bangs, shoves at Brendon's hip. "Let me guess. Chinese?"

Brendon grins back. "How did you know?"

The line isn't long and they're seated quickly, food arriving ten minutes later, and Brendon watches Ryan unwrap his chopsticks. Ryan always insists on using chopsticks for Chinese food and Brendon secretly loves it. Picking up his own fork, he watches the way Ryan's fingers fold over the sticks, slender and graceful, forgets to eat for a moment while Ryan works the chopsticks. He grins, saying, "You're such an expert."

Ryan raises an eyebrow at Brendon's hand and teases, "And you're such a spoiled American."

Brendon rolls his eyes. "Whatever, at least it doesn't take me two hours to eat one plate of food."

Ryan sets his chopsticks down and stands up, moving to sit in the seat next to Brendon. Brendon looks at him curiously and Ryan unwraps Brendon's set of chopsticks. "That's because you don't know how to use them properly. Here, put your fork down." Swallowing, Brendon complies, setting his fork down and holding his hand out. Ryan half-curls over Brendon's shoulder, so he can cup his palm over the back of Brendon's, and places the chopsticks between his fingers, positioning them. Chin hooked over Brendon's shoulder, Ryan's mouth is right next to his ear and little vibrations run through Brendon's body when Ryan speaks. "Okay, just hold this one with your thumb and forefinger and the other one with your thumb and middle finger and when you move the front one, make sure the other one is anchored."

Nodding, Brendon lets Ryan's fingers, folded over his, dictate his movements, and then demonstrates a couple pinches on his own, Ryan's hand still covering his. Satisfied, Ryan drops his hands to the table but stays pressed to Brendon's side, and Brendon tries to grab a piece of tofu. Face screwed up in concentration, he focuses on keeping it steady until he can get it to his mouth and Ryan cheers when he makes it, leaning back, squeezing Brendon's shoulder before moving back to his own seat and picking his own chopsticks back up. "There you go. Now you can eat Chinese food properly."

Brendon grins at him and goes for another piece.


He's not sure how Jon managed it, but next Wednesday evening finds Spencer waiting outside Jon's front door again, briefcase and portfolio in hand. He'd taken care not to wear one of his Gucci suits this time, trading down for a pair of slacks and a cashmere turtleneck from Banana Republic. At least he's aware of what he's getting into this time. Jon answers the door smiling, wearing an apron, Dylan tucked in the curve of his arm. Spencer stares and Jon laughs, motioning him inside. "I figured I got you to come out here again, I should at least feed you."

Spencer follows him inside and is surprised to see the couch actually cleaned off, as well as a cleared path to the kitchen. Jon sets Dylan down on the bar and walks back into the kitchen to stir something in a pot on the stove, and Spencer stands awkwardly by the bar, briefcase and portfolio clutched in both hands, hip cocked as he watches. Jon reaches into the cupboard above him, the motion drawing his sweater up in the back so a stripe of skin is exposed. Spencer hastily averts his eyes. His attention is drawn back, though, when he hears a muffled pop and he looks just in time to see Jon pouring wine into the pot, stirring as he does.

Curious, Spencer sets his briefcase down on the bar and walks over to peer over Jon's shoulder. Jon smiles up at him and hands him the wine bottle. "Hey, you wanna grab some glasses? They're right over your head." Looking up, Spencer takes down two wine glasses from the glass-front cabinet in front of him and sets them down. "I made pasta." Spencer nods and Jon grins. "It's pretty amazing pasta, I'm not gonna lie."

Spencer purses his lips and raises an eyebrow, teases, "I'll be the judge of that."

Jon laughs, "Ooh, harsh. Hey, why don't you have a seat at the bar? This is almost ready."

Spencer takes a seat on one of the bar stools, chin cupped in his palm as he watches Jon drain the noodles, then dip a spoon into the pasta sauce and taste it. "Mmmm." He looks over at Spencer, waggles his eyebrows. "Emeril's got nothing on me."

Smiling, Spencer rolls his eyes and, before he can stop himself, murmurs, "You're kind of lame, you know that?"

Jon just grins at him and says, "It's part of my charm."

Spencer looks down at the counter and mentally chides himself. Sighing, he looks back up. "Sorry, I'm not being very professional."

It's Jon's turn to roll his eyes and, as he gets two plates out of another cupboard, he says, "No one said you have to be professional one-hundred percent of the time, Spencer." Placing the plates in front of him, Spencer can see the little crinkles at the corners of Jon's eyes as he smiles. "I like that you feel comfortable enough already, anyway. Relax, Spencer Smith. I don't bite, I promise."

He winks as he turns to get the pasta and Spencer can feel his cheeks heating up. He bites his lip, shifting in his seat and looking down at his hands. He can hear exactly what kind of promise that is and he slides his hands down into his lap, presses the heel of his palm to his cock and takes a shaky breath. He clears his throat and says, "Do you need help with anything?"

Two hours later, Spencer is leaning back against the counter watching Jon play with Dylan in the little cleared stretch of carpet on the floor. Jon's portfolio is tucked safely back into Spencer's briefcase, the dishwasher is running, and Jon is showing Spencer how Dylan rolls over and plays fetch for kitty treats. Spencer watches, laughing into his wine glass, as Dylan rolls onto his back and stares up at Jon. "I've never seen a cat play fetch before."

Jon leans over and buries his face in Dylan's fur, mumbles into it, "Dylan is a special cat."

Spencer 'hmm's as he sips at his wine and Dylan looks over at him before flipping over onto his feet and walking over to nose at Spencer's shoe and meow up at him. Spencer hesitates for a second before bending over to present Dylan with the back of his hand to sniff. He can hear Dylan purr as he butts his head against Spencer's hand, and Spencer smiles, scratching behind Dylan's ears. When he looks up, Jon is watching them, leaning back on his elbows with his eyes half closed. Spencer sits up, clears his throat, and sets his wine glass on the bar before swiveling around on the stool to reach for his briefcase.

He can hear Jon pushing to his feet behind him and he stands up, turns to face Jon. "So, thank you for dinner. It was great."

"I told you it would be, but you didn't believe me."

Scratching the side of his neck, Spencer says awkwardly, "I should get going, though."

Jon raises an eyebrow, smiles crookedly at him. "You sure? It's not that late..."

Spencer wrinkles his nose and says, "Yeah, I've just got an early meeting tomorrow, so I should get some sleep."

Jon nods and walks him to the door, opening it and leaning back against the jamb.

Spencer smiles, looks down at his shoes. "Okay, so."

Jon presses forward suddenly, lifting up on tip-toes to wrap his arms around Spencer's neck. He says, muffled into Spencer's shoulder, "Thank you." Spencer blushes and pats at Jon's back awkwardly as he pulls away, rocking back onto his heels. Jon scrubs a hand through his hair and looks down the hall, then back at Spencer. "Okay, so I'll probably call you for another meeting next week or something."

Spencer nods and takes a step back. Jon still smells like his cooking and his sweater is bunching up over his stomach and Spencer has to shove his free hand into his pocket before he reaches out to smooth it down. "Okay, yeah. Great, so yeah. Just. Give me a call."

Jon smiles at him as he turns to go, says softly, "Good night, Spencer."

Spencer shoots a half-smile at him over his shoulder as he walks toward the elevator.


"I can't believe you, Spencer." Ryan makes a face into the phone as Spencer babbles into his ear. "Spencer, shut up, ohmygod. It's really not a big deal. You're allowed to notice that he's cute."

"That's not. He hugged me, Ryan. He cooked me dinner."

Ryan grins at Brendon, who's sitting on the other end of the couch watching him with wide, curious eyes. "Maybe he likes you."

Spencer makes a frustrated noise. "I'm his accountant. That's unprofessional."

Ryan rolls his eyes and nudges Brendon's leg with his foot. "You don't have to be professional one-hundred percent of the time, Spence."

"That's what he said!"

Ryan laughs, "Well, at least we know he's smart. Just. Do whatever feels right, you know? It's been so long since you've even gone on a date, it's getting kind of pathetic."

Spencer hangs up on him. Grinning, Ryan sets his phone down and looks over at Brendon. "What's up?"

Brendon waves a book at him. "So, I got this to read to my kids on Friday for reading circle? I wanted to practice my voices first."

"...Practice your voices?"

Brendon nods, scrambling closer so he can drape himself across Ryan's legs. He lays the book out flat across Ryan's lap and opens it. "It's The Giving Tree. Silverstein is classic." Ryan chuckles and leans back into the couch cushions when Brendon starts reading. "Once there was a tree and she loved a little boy…"

By the time the book is done, Brendon is half in Ryan's lap, curled into his side with Ryan's arm draped across his shoulders. "And the tree was happy. The end." Brendon shuts the book with a sigh and burrows into Ryan, wrapping his arms around Ryan's chest. "Ryan. Ryan, she loved him so much."

Ryan rubs his cheek over Brendon's hair. "She was a tree, Brendon. Trees don't have feelings."

Brendon pushes back, hand splayed across Ryan's ribs. "What! Don't say that, Ryan, of course trees have feelings!" Pouting, he snuggles back in against Ryan's side. "It's just no one pays any attention to them anymore."

Rolling his eyes but smiling, Ryan rubs Brendon's shoulder. "Whatever you say, Brendon. Hey, get the remote."

Brendon leans across Ryan's knees to reach the remote on the coffee table, then settles himself back across Ryan's chest, head resting on Ryan's shoulder as he turns the TV on and finds old Friends reruns.

He doesn't know what time it is, but there's an old episode of Cheers on when Ryan blinks awake. He's somehow stretched himself out on the couch and Brendon is pressed along his side, head on his shoulder with one hand curled against his collarbone, breathing soft, even puffs of air across his neck. Sighing, Ryan reaches for the blanket draped across the back of the couch and spreads it over them before turning the TV off and setting the remote aside, then curling his arm around Brendon's back and going back to sleep.

Ryan's brain is sleep-foggy in the morning, limbs pleasantly heavy, curled tight around the warm body snuggled up to his side. He nuzzles into the side of Brendon's nose without thinking, and Brendon murmurs something thick and incoherent into Ryan's jaw, his hand clenching in Ryan's shirt as his eyelashes flutter open, palm flattening over Ryan's chest as he pushes up slightly. One eye is cracked open and he says muzzily, "Ryan?"

Ryan blinks his eyes open, suddenly hyper-aware of everywhere he and Brendon are touching: Brendon's torso pressed along his side, their legs tangled together, and Brendon's hips-- Ryan's cheeks flush a dull red and he lets his hand slide down Brendon's back so he can sit up. Brendon yawns, his mouth opening widely, and rubs at his eyes with his fists before dropping them to his lap and looking around the room, confused. "Did we fall asleep in here last night?"

Ryan shrugs, pushing himself into a sitting position and shoving at his hair. He can't think properly, not with the imprint of Brendon's hand still burning hot against his skin, the phantom curve of Brendon's hip still pressed into his side. He can feel a yawn pushing at his lungs and he sighs around it, thinks to himself, Coffee. Kitchen. Coffee coffee coffee.

Swinging his legs over the side of the couch, he moves to stand up, but Brendon slings an arm across his shoulders, presses his nose into Ryan's cheek and grins. "It was lovely waking up next to you, Ryan Ross. You make an excellent pillow."

Ryan smiles weakly and leans into Brendon for a moment before slowly standing up, carefully angling his body away from Brendon. He grumbles, voice hoarse, "'M gonna go make coffee. Want some?"

Brendon nods, still smiling sleepily, and immediately snuggles down into the spot Ryan had vacated, curling in on himself and shutting his eyes. "Just resting my eyes."

Chewing on his lip, Ryan gazes down at Brendon for a moment, Brendon's fist curled under his jaw, eyelashes fanning out across his cheeks, lips parted just so his breath whistles through softly on each exhale. Ryan sighs, turning around, and heads for the kitchen to make them coffee. The coffee maker putters quietly and Ryan braces his palms against the edge of the counter, bows his head down between his shoulders. So, so fucked.

He stands like that until the water stops dripping into the pot, then he gets out two mugs and pours for himself, leaving it black, then for Brendon, adding sweetener and milk before carrying them back out into the den.

Ryan sets the mugs down on the coffee table before sitting down on the couch, rubbing a hand across Brendon's back. "Brendon. Hey, Brendon, I've got coffee."

Brendon's head jerks up at that and he blinks up at Ryan blearily. "Mmm. Coffee?"

Smiling, Ryan lifts Brendon's mug, waits for him to sit up before handing it to him. Brendon crosses his legs and hunches over his mug, blowing softly across the top before taking a sip. He sighs happily as he swallows, leaning into Ryan's side. "Best. Best ever, you are the best, Ryan. Marry me and make me coffee every day for the rest of my life."

Ryan's hand jerks, surprised and nervous, in the motion of tucking his hair behind his ear and he says, "I already do make you coffee every morning, Brendon."

Brendon shrugs against Ryan's shoulder, takes another sip before tilting his head against Ryan's temple. "I guess I'll just have to figure out a way to keep you forever, then."

Sighing internally, Ryan relaxes against Brendon, picking up his own mug, and says, in an almost-whisper, "I'm not going anywhere, Brendon."


Spencer arrives at the venue thirty minutes early, figuring maybe he'll be able to get a drink at the bar before the set starts or something. The place isn't very crowded and he wanders up to the stage, hands tucked into his pockets, just as Jon's band comes out to perform a sound check. Spencer is watching with curiosity as a skinny guy in a hat starts messing with the drums when he hears Jon say, "Spencer! Hey, you came!"

He looks up just as Jon hops down off the stage to stand next to him and he smiles, one eye still on the drum kit. "Yeah, well. You asked me to." He frowns suddenly, backing up a step. "Unless you didn't -"

Stepping forward, Jon cups Spencer's elbow, interrupting him, "No! No, I absolutely wanted you to come, so shut up right now. And look at you, in normal clothes! Jeans, Spencer? How terribly casual."

Blushing, Spencer sighs a little, feels his shoulders relax. He mutters, "Shut up," but he can't help the way the corner of his mouth quirks up. "So, hey, this is pretty awesome."

Jon grins. "I know, right? This place is pretty fuckin' sweet." He glances over at the skinny guy at the drums and says, "Nick's friends with the manager; he set things up." Looking back up at Spencer, his grin widens, "Hey, it's so awesome you're here, seriously."

Spencer smiles back, can't stop smiling, and he's starting to get a little embarrassed because they're just standing there grinning at each other, but he can't look away.

Someone clears their throat by Jon's shoulder and Spencer looks up, startled. A guy is crouching down, looking at Jon amusedly, and he's kind of. Well, he's kind of gorgeous, really. Wispy dark blond hair settles into his eyes, catches on the stubble over his cheeks, and the silver of his nose ring catches odd flashes in the dim lighting of the venue. Jon's grin falters for a moment when Spencer looks away, but he looks up at the guy and it returns, full-force, and he rises up onto his toes to sling an arm across the guy's shoulders. The guy laughs and slides down off the stage as Jon leans into him. "Hey! Spencer, this is my boy, Tom. Tom plays guitar, and he's awesome."

Spencer feels something tight forming in the back of his throat and he forces a smile, face heating up, and he's so, so glad for the shitty lighting right now. He's absolutely mortified and he shifts back, slides one hand out of his pocket and holds it out to Tom, determined to be as polite and professional as possible. He manages to say, "Spencer Smith, nice to meet you."

Tom shakes his hand, smiles up at him through his bangs. "Nice to meet you, too, Spencer. I've heard a lot about you."

Spencer can feel his blush growing, spreading down his neck, and he plucks subconsciously at the front of his shirt, forgets to respond, but Tom has already turned back to Jon, is saying, "Hey, Jon, I think you maybe forgot about sound check?"

Jon grins sheepishly at Spencer and tilts his head towards the stage. "Hey, so I've gotta go back, but I'll see you after the show, all right?"

Spencer just nods, watches Jon clamber back up onto the stage after Tom and head over to the stand where his bass is resting. He slips away from the edge of the stage, but figures it would be completely obvious if he left now. But, god, what was he thinking?

He manages to make it through the show, eyes trained on Jon as he plays, rocking back and forth with the beat and wandering over to Tom's side of the stage occasionally to press his cheek against Tom's and share his microphone for backup vocals. Jon catches his eye a few times and grins, wide and happy, and Spencer bites his lip, starts to edge towards the back of the crowd and the door, makes it outside with the vision of Jon pressed up against Tom's cheek imprinted on the insides of his eyelids.

Groaning, he shoves the heel of his hand up against his forehead and squeezes his eyes shut tight, fishing for his car keys in the pocket of his jeans. He just wants to go home and curl up on the couch with a mug of hot chocolate and his old VHS copy of Casablanca.

Jon tries to call him three times throughout the movie and Spencer steadfastly ignores his phone buzzing across the table.

He wakes up in the morning sprawled out face-down on the couch with a terrible crick in his neck and answers his phone without thinking. "'Lo?"


Spencer winces, sitting up, and says, voice thick, "Hey, Jon."

Jon sounds worried, voice coming through tinny and a little static-y. "Hey, what happened last night? You disappeared on me."

His lisp is even more exaggerated over the bad connection. Sighing, Spencer presses a hand into his eye and says, "hey, yeah, sorry, I wasn't feeling well. I think I just needed some rest."

"You okay, Spence? Want me to pick you up something from the pharmacy?"

Spencer shakes his head vehemently. "Ugh, no, really, I'm fine, I just. I needed sleep. But hey, about Thursday."

Jon starts, "oh, come on. It's Thanksgiving."

Spencer winces. "Something kind of came up. I'm not going to make lunch."

Jon says softly, "Spence."

Spencer sighs, shuts his eyes and flops back into the cushions, draping an arm over his face dramatically. "I'm sorry, Jon, I just."

There's a pause, then Jon says, "No, hey, that's fine. It's fine. You're sure everything is okay?"

"Yeah, really. Promise. Hey, have a good time with Tom, Thursday."

He hangs up feeling even more wretched than before and takes a steaming, thirty-minute shower before wrapping himself in a towel and sitting down on his bed to call Ryan. It rings six times before going to voicemail and Spencer hangs up, dropping onto his side and curling into a ball, phone pressed to his forehead, and falls asleep like that.


Part 2.
Current Mood: nervousnervous