fics_by_maple: (Spencer)
[personal profile] fics_by_maple
Title: A Kind of Stalwart Forward Movement
Pairing: Brendon/Spencer
Word Count: 15,400K
Rating: NC-17
Summary/Request: "Canon AU where Brendon never joined Panic" – includes sexytimes, cliché confusion, happy endings and Brendon levels of ridiculosity.

Written for [livejournal.com profile] popoffacork Fic Exchange for [livejournal.com profile] natacup82. Beta by [livejournal.com profile] queenb23more with lots of handholding and nudging from [livejournal.com profile] mrsquizzical and [livejournal.com profile] reni_days


A Kind of Stalwart Forward Movement – Part One

~

Spencer counts off six resting beats before pinching the crisp ring of the cymbal into silence.

He's breathing hard, and the resounding buzz lingering in his inner ear and the vibration thrumming in his hands make him remember what it felt like to be onstage. Behind his closed eyes, he clings to the image of Ryan and Brent turning upstage to smile back him. The image is hard to hold though. It had now been longer since the band broke up than they had toured together, one year on the road with the band and three since that time, working with Pete.

He pulls out his earplugs, wipes his face, and takes a long drink of water. He can feel a pinching twinge in his left wrist and an ache across the back of his ribs. "Christ, you're out of shape, Smith," he grunts, stretching his arms side to side and doing windmills.

His phone buzzes an alert on the floor by his feet, two missed calls, both from Pete.

"Dude! Why aren't you here? Fucking everyone is here," Pete shouts into his ear by way of greeting Spencer's return call.

"Where are you? It's only like," Spencer looks at his watch, "eight o'clock. Why are you there already?"

"Had dinner with the guys and then Bill and Sisky were saying I should see this kid who opens and - Spence, you got to meet him. I called you, man, you didn't answer. You need to see this guy. We're gonna hook him up. He's the real deal."

Spencer shakes his head. Pete sees the 'real deal' every other month. Spencer had even been in the 'real deal' once and that didn't last either. Still, Pete's enthusiasm is impossible to ignore.

"Fine. But I have to shower first. I was drumming," Spencer tries to sound casual and move on. "They don't even go on until ten, right?"

"You were drumming? Dickhead! You never play when I ask."

Spencer rolls his eyes, switching the phone to his other shoulder. "That's because you always Twitpic me doing it!" He pauses, hearing the mesh of voices that he recognizes in the background, laughter and general muffled sounds that indicate Pete isn't paying attention anymore.

"Going now…" Spencer warns.

"Hang on!" Pete shouts just before Spencer disconnects. His voice is more direct now, like Pete's cupping his hand over his mouth.

"So, like, I need your gaydar with this guy."

"Fuck off," Spencer yawns, tapping a random, lazy pattern on his snare before getting up from his stool. "Your gaydar is just as good as mine."

"I know, right?" Pete laughs, probably because thinking of himself an Honorary Gay has never failed to please him. "But this guy, okay? He's hot. I don't even mean that in a 'from the waist up' way either. Like, even from the waist down, this dude is hot."

"Right. …But?"

"But, like, a dork?" Spencer nods in agreement with a half-shrug because most of their acquaintances are hot in a dorky way – this is nothing new. "The kid's totally green. Got no clue. I don't want to sexually harass him on accident."

"As opposed to when you sexually harass me on purpose?"

"Exactly!"

Spencer snorts.

There's loud laughter on the other end again and he can hear Pete talking to someone else.

"I'll get there when I get there!" Spencer shouts, on the off chance Pete is actually listening.

~


For all the protest he'd put up, he remembers why it's beneficial to arrive with Pete; he has to park a mile away in a sketchy neighborhood – no way he was going to trust valet parking – and then they don't have his name at the door.

"Come on, I know my name is on the list."

"Well. It's not." The woman won't even look at him and he wants to argue, but the menacing eye he's getting from the bouncer standing next to her keeps Spencer from being a dick about it.

People waiting in line at the door are giving him shitty looks for trying to cut ahead. "Bite my ass…" he mutters under his breath, turning away, but he keeps his head up and avoids eye contact, glancing at the marquee that reads The Academy Is….

A cluster of paparazzi lurks just off the curb, circling in the street and off the property, like sharks. Spencer instinctively nods at one dude he recognizes – not a completely bad guy in spite of his profession – who returns an odd kind of salute with two fingers that hold his cigarette. He doesn't raise his camera though. The only time Spencer makes TMZ is when he's walking behind Pete and Ashlee out of a restaurant.

"Dre!" Spencer calls when he sees the bodyguard walk past the doorway. He stops and gives a hard look in Spencer's direction and Spencer actually waves like tool before he can stop himself but Dre just keeps going out of sight again.

"Oh, motherfucker," Spencer swears, refusing to look at the people working the door because he already knows they're laughing at him. Spencer pulls out his phone to call Pete – which he knows will earn him endless shit, but it's hot and humid and feels like it's gonna rain – when Dre steps outside, beckoning Spencer over with an upward jerk of his chin.

"Awesome." Spencer beams at him then and Dre's hardened expression breaks and he smiles back.

"Sorry, man," Dre says, holding up his fist to Spencer. "Had to get Pete secure before I could get you."

"That's okay. I appreciate it, dude," Spencer bumps his fist and grins. "I take back every bad thing I ever said about you."

He tries not to look too smug as he gets his hand stamp, hearing the groans and remarks from pissed off people waiting in line, but he doesn't feel too badly about it either.

"Spence!" Pete shouts at him. "Jeez, dude, it's taken you long enough!"

"I'm here exactly when I said I'd be," he replies, taking the plastic cup Pete offers him, promptly setting it aside on a table. He learned that lesson years ago.

He exchanges hugs and handshakes and laughs off a few remarks about his beard with The Academy crew. They still remember him as being barely legal.

"Good to see you, man." Spencer shakes hands with Michael Guy. They've met before but he wasn't with TAI back when Panic! had toured with them.

One of the respectable things about Pete is that he doesn't dismiss lesser known bands or crew members. But this is also what makes Pete a pain in the ass because Spencer spends the next twenty minutes going around meeting a bunch people he has no hope of remembering.

There are far too many Mikes, Alexes, and Tonys for one thing.

"Okay, and this – shit! Get over here!" Pete pulls a thin guy away from the merch table. "He sells merch and fixes people's equipment. Unreal!" Then Pete looks over. "This is Brendon. I got that right, right? From Vegas?"

"Oh, really," Spencer offers, but at this point he's kind of over shaking hands so he keeps his hands in his pockets and nods. "Cool."

Brendon blinks at Pete with wide eyes and a startled grin and then back at Spencer. He recognizes the look of someone not fully comprehending his sudden proximity to Pete-Wentz-of-Fall-Out-Boy.

"Hey," he squeaks, looking from Pete over to Spencer for a moment and then does a double take. Spencer almost thinks he recognizes him.

"Uh, nice to meet you." Brendon flaps his hands helplessly like he'd extend a formal shake but he has two t-shirts, a couple twenties, and a sharpie gripped in his hands because Pete has literally pulled him away in the middle of a transaction. His hair is stuck to his sweaty forehead and Spencer is slightly impressed by the button up shirt he's wearing, rather than just a t-shirt.

Spencer feels his jaw tighten and the tug of an uneasy smirk that he fights to control because he gets the slow realization that Brendon is kinda hot.

"I really wish I could talk. Really! But maybe later? I hate to – really, sorry, but I should…" he indicates the line of distressed girls across the table, even while some shout hellos at Pete.

"It's all good, you go. Hard working man, I respect that. Hangs later, though!" Pete points at him and Brendon nods with a big smile.

Spencer sees it when Brendon looks back over his shoulder directly at him. He chews the inside of cheek and feigns focus in a conversation with another drummer.

Just before The Academy Is goes on, he watches them cheer each other and high five. It's a different ritual now than when Tom was with them, but all bands do some version of the same thing.

Bill's energy is infectious and watching Butcher from side stage like this brings on déjà vu. By the end, he's absorbed the buzz of the show, leaving him vaguely horny and with a desire to get his hands on a pair of sticks again.

Instead, the usual commences, with them crowding into booths and chairs near to the bar for an hour just bullshitting and watching the younger ones (and Pete) compete in gross-out chicken. When they've begun to clear off to finish the load out, Spencer notices Brendon sitting on the other end of the bench.

"Hey. Sorry, I didn't catch your name earlier?" Spencer says. He really had, but it's an easy opener.

"It's Brendon. Hi! You're Spencer Smith, right?" Brendon asks like he's not sure and then immediately closes his eyes and shakes his head at himself.

Spencer chuckles a little. "That I am. Busy night?"

"Incredibly. Sold a fuck load of t-shirts. I'm still getting used to all this."

"Yeah? First time on the road?"

Brendon nods with his lips pressed around the mouth of a Coors Light. He wipes his chin with the back of his hand when he's done.

"I've only done …six dates? Never toured like this before. It's kind of crazy fucked up – oh, but awesome! I'm not complaining."

"Right." Spencer scoots a little closer so he doesn't have to shout. "I remember it's tough though. Driving all night. Trying to sleep during the day. Living on Red Bull."

"Totally. You show up, sleep in a hot van, unload, wait for soundcheck. Oh, but thank god this place has a shower! I'd gone five days without. So gross. And there's–" he cuts himself off with laugh. "Sorry, don't know why I'm telling you all this."

The intonation on the 'you' gives Spencer a ping of awareness that Brendon knows him but maybe only because of Pete's introduction. Brendon's no doubt heard them all talking about 'old times'. "Well, it's been awhile. Can't say I miss sleeping in a van though. I like my bed too much."

Brendon looks like he's holding his breath and wants to say something. Spencer likes the way his eyes are kind of dark and the way he looks at Spencer with a nervous smile.

He realizes that Brendon's hair and shoulders are wet and that he's wearing a t-shirt now.

"Did it finally rain?" Spencer points as he asks and nearly brushes Brendon's shoulder before he stops himself.

The movement doesn't go unnoticed by Brendon, he can tell. "Yep. Got everything loaded up just in time." Brendon jerks his head a little shaking off a few drops of water. "I can't afford to have it get rained on. I like the rain though. It's fun!"

Spencer rarely finds rain fun, but whatever. "Rain in L.A. is weird. That whole ocean thing," Spencer says, remembering a moment too late that his sarcasm doesn't always translate. "Still not used to that."

"You like it though, right?" Brendon asks. "Living here? Near the ocean? Shane's cousin just moved here and we're moving in with him after tour."

"Cool. Welcome to Lalaland, then."

Brendon giggles. "Thanks! It's gonna be awesome. I'm going to surf – do you surf?"

"Not so much. No."

"No? But it's so fun! I mean, I've only surfed in Hawaii, my family went on vacation there once, but you live here! The ocean's right there-" He points.

"-Actually, the ocean's back there." Spencer points his thumb over his shoulder.

"-And Disneyland is just over there," Brendon continues.

Spencer grabs Brendon's wrist and rotates his arm forty-five degrees. "There." The bones under his fingers feel delicate and Brendon makes no move to shake him off, but Spencer releases him after a beat.

"Do you like Disneyland?" Brendon asks.

"It's okay. I prefer Knotts Berry. Better rides. But I don't really go to parks very often. Nobody to go with."

Brendon gasps. "I would totally go all the time."

There's an awkward and implied follow up for them to go together that lingers unmentioned between them for a moment when Pete loudly interrupts.

"Fuck yeah." Pete grins down at them. "So you guys have met? Wait, I introduced you, right? Dude," he turns to Brendon, "trust this guy. Spence Wentz knows his shit."

"That is not my name."

"Can't deny family, brotha!"

Brendon giggles which seems to satisfy Pete so he's off again, surrounded by a cluster of people before Spencer can even ask Pete who it was he actually wanted Spencer to meet. He's met three bands and all their crew tonight and he can barely remember any of them, especially with Brendon in front of him. He probably ought to go mingle and make some contacts but he doesn't want to work.

He wants to stay right where he is.

"Wow." Brendon's wide-eyed after Pete for a moment and then gives Spencer the same look. "This night has been unreal. I think he like, likes me?"

"I get that impression, yeah," Spencer agrees, but then Pete likes most everyone.

"I think, he said he wants to, I don't know, give me a job or something? I can't even think about that right now. Crazy shit."

Spencer chuckles. He's seen Pete help lots of people find their way in the business so it wouldn't surprise him.

"Hey so, this'll sound … okay. I um, I kinda knew Brent Wilson in high school."

Out of everything Spencer might have guessed Brendon would say, it wasn't that.

"Seriously? You went to Palo Verde?"

"Yeah. I mean, we weren't friends friends. Sort of, like, we had some classes together. God, that seems so long time ago."

"It really fucking does, yeah."

"Sorry. I wasn't gonna say anything." Brendon waves a hand in apology. He seems to move a lot. "That's probably weird, huh?"

"Nah. It's okay. Brent…" Spencer uses both hands to idly rotate his plastic cup, sloshing the last of his warm beer. The mention of Brent recalls some of the best and worst moments in his life and it takes a second to file them. When he looks up, Brendon is watching his hands move. He glances up at Spencer then, too, his face open, waiting for Spencer to continue. "I haven't actually talked to him in a few years."

"Right. Since after the, um, break up?" Brendon pauses and bites his lip and then looks up at Spencer without raising his head completely and grins like he's about to tell a secret. Spencer is pretty charmed. "Okay, so I was in the same class as you guys, right? '05. Brent said you guys got signed and then he quit school and after that everyone knew Panic! At the Disco was a hometown band. It was cool. I kept track of you guys." Brendon flicks Spencer's arm with the back of knuckles. "I was a fan. Not ashamed to admit it."

Spencer chuckles a little. He's so often creeped out when people talk about the band, talk about them as if they knew them, but Brendon really did. He could be lying for all Spencer knows, but he doesn't really think so.

"Thanks. It really was cool. For a while, it was. Then it got to be too much. So much attention, the money, a lot of shit. And we were just kids, you know?"

"Yeah? I don't know, I was so fucking jealous though. But – like, in an inspired way? I didn't hate you guys because you'd made it or whatever. Fuck Brandon Flowers, right?" Spencer laughs at that and Brendon continues. "You were out of school and on the road. You and Ryan Ross still best friends?"

"Hmm," Spencer hedges. "Ryan and I have been friends since we were kids. That'll always be..." He doesn't know what to call it when you share a childhood with someone who isn't family.

Brendon nods. "Yeah, no, I get that. Sure."

Spencer takes a drink, forgetting that it's warm and sets it down, spinning the cup a few more times. He glances at Brendon, who's looking at him with attentive eyes. Spencer rarely discusses the band break up, let alone with a stranger. But this stranger is looking very pretty and he's looking at Spencer like he hasn't been looked at in a long time and he's got the high of the show still running like static through his skin. It makes Spencer want to remember what it felt like to be a rock star – the good parts, not the bad.

"Maybe I shouldn't have asked…" Brendon looks down, looking a little sad.

"No we're all good now. Brent was just done, and by the time Ryan's dad died, we'd met Jon. He and Ryan were already playing on that last tour and, you know, I don't know…" Spencer could feel himself slipping into that stalling speech pattern he tried to avoid. "Something was missing for me. My heart wasn't in it anymore. But Pete, fucking Pete." They both looked near the backstage door where he was standing. "He wouldn't let me go back to Vegas, and here I am."

Spencer looks at Brendon's face. "Meeting new people all the time."

Feeling bolder now, the more time he's spent with Brendon, he pointedly looks at his mouth, his hair, lingering at his neck and then slowly raising his gaze back up to Brendon's eyes. And Brendon, for all his nervous giggling and constant motion, is doing the same. Raising just the corner of his mouth in a smirk of approval after Spencer checks him out. Brendon actually scoots just a little bit closer.

Definitely on the same page then – no doubt.

Brendon has his cheek resting on his fist, fairly beaming at Spencer. "I could listen to you all night."

Spencer can feel his face heat up. "How long you got?" he asks, chancing the flirt.

Brendon grins at first before it crumples into a frown. "Oh, shit. Not very long, actually. We hit the road at two?"

Spencer checks his phone, which shows nearly twelve-thirty. "That's not very long."

Brendon's kind of relaxed, his limbs all loose, but he has a tight set in his jaw. Still playing up a little, Spencer thinks, and he doesn't really have to, he's in.

"You're right. That's not much time left." Spencer tries to remember just how nasty the bathroom stalls are in this place. Then the realization of what he's contemplating startles him and he sits up trying to adjust the way he's situated in his pants without drawing attention to his crotch.

"So, uh," Brendon starts and it's the first time he's sounded nervous all night. "This'll be really embarrassing if I'm wrong but do you-?"

"-You're not wrong," Spencer tells him.

"Really? So you want to, like…?"

"Yeah."

Brendon's whole body quivers then, tension easing as he wiggles in his seat and scratches through his hair, giggling a little to himself. "I love California."

Spencer laughs at that and looks around trying figure out where they can go.

"Maybe sneak out?" Brendon suggests, sliding out of the booth. ""I might get put to work if I get spotted leaving, but my van's parallel parked down the street."

"That works," Spencer agrees, wondering how guilty he should feel. He'd be surprised if Brendon doesn't get his ass chewed for ducking out to get laid. The standard punishment, as Spencer recalls, is buying beer for everyone. Then he remembers how much money crew makes on small tours and amends the thought; not beer then, doughnuts.

"Hey, where you going?" a high voice asks behind them just before they make the door. Brendon nearly jumps out of his skin and rounds on the guy.

"Who? Us?" Spencer rubs a hand over his face not to laugh. Brendon's not very slick but the guy with a knit cap and camera looks none the wiser. "We're just going outside. Outside."

"What? Ooh! Are you gonna smoke up?" he asks, like he wants to come.

"No. No. Ugh, this is Shane," Brendon grumbles. It's not really an introduction so they don't say hello, which makes it more awkward. "Just, like, don't come to van for a little while," Brendon says.

"Why?" he looks from Brendon to Spencer to Brendon again when his eyes get bigger and he laughs. "Oh! Um, okay. … For real?"

Spencer can feel himself blushing.

"Just don't. Say. A word." Brendon's threat sounds more like a plea.

Shane snorts. "Right. Have you met me? Aren't you going to introduce me, first?"

"No. Go away, Shane."

"Fine – don't get the van gross."

"Oh, my god, shut up!" Brendon sounds mortified, but Shane's giggling and Spencer can barely keep himself from doing the same.

"Hey, is that the guy from-?"

"-No!" Brendon claps his hands over Shane's mouth. "It's not. Why are you still talking?"

Spencer keeps his eyes trained vaguely out the doorway, trying to look disinterested, and Brendon hisses various warnings under his breath. Shane concedes and he is clearly a good friend because Spencer can see that Brendon is going to suffer for this.

"Oh my god, I'm so sorry," Brendon mutters as they cross the street.

Spencer glances at Brendon walking a few feet away, the rush of anticipation already making his cock warm and swell. Brendon catches the glance and looks down, chuckling as he shakes his head.

Brendon's got an old Ford Aerostar that's faded with oxidation and the inside shows the usual state of tour chaos; fast food trash and dirty clothes litter the floor while the back is full of merch boxes and equipment.

"Can't believe you're not on a bus. What a bunch of assholes," Spencer jokes, absently reaching to finger the still damp towel hanging from the handhold that smells like Brendon's hair. He'd completely forgotten about the sanctity of The Clean Towel kept for showering on tour.

"Ha! Nope. Haven't earned quite enough to be on a bus, yet. Me and Shane take turns driving, though. It's not too bad."

Brendon shoves a couple backpacks into the front seat, his ass hovering right in front of Spencer's face as he moves around and then steps down backwards onto the pavement again. Spencer moves in then, crowding close to Brendon's back but not touching him. He noses behind Brendon's ear, into his hair and rests his finger lightly at his waist. Brendon freezes for second before letting his head fall back, pressing into Spencer's touch. He holds him more securely then, squeezing.

"Let's …" Brendon says in low voice, turning in Spencer's arms. "Get inside where no one can see." His mouth is only a breath away from Spencer's but he climbs backwards into the van, pulling Spencer by the front of his shirt. Trash crumples under their feet and it smells of French fries and socks when Brendon slides the door shut. He presses the lock on his key remote and drops it on the seat.

The space between them feels too wide and awkward, and Brendon leans down in starts and stops like he thinks Spencer still might change his mind.

"Hey, c'mere," he says, putting a hand on the back of Brendon's neck and pulls him gently closer.

The moment he feels Brendon's lips, Spencer has to think how long it's been since he's kissed. Since he remembers kissing being quite like this; sure but not too aggressive.

"You know what," Brendon says, crawling over close enough to straddle Spencer's lap and rubbing his upper lip. "I've never kissed anyone with a beard."

Spencer strokes a circle around his mouth with his thumb and forefinger. "Now I think of it, I haven't either. S'it okay?"

Brendon cups Spencer's jaw with both hands, putting on a serious appraising expression. Spencer lets him turn his face from side to side and then Brendon curls his fingers to stroke along his jaw and leans in close. "I like it."

Spencer tips his chin up and keeps his eyes open as Brendon leans close enough to kiss him again. He's not ordinarily fond of kissing someone he doesn't really know, but he really likes the way Brendon moves his mouth and how he tastes of beer. He likes how Brendon runs his hands slowly and deliberately down his neck and over his chest.

Brendon presses both palms to Spencer's nipples making him gasp into Brendon's mouth. "Spencer?"

"Mm?"

Brendon rocks forward into Spencer's a chest a little, reaching for Spencer's wrists and repositions his hands onto his ass. "Not a lot of time, remember?"

Spencer makes a cognitive effort to remember that he doesn't need to be a gentleman here. He doesn't stop kissing Brendon when he begins to open Spencer's jeans. He shifts up a little and Brendon leans his head against his shoulder to use both hands to push them down to his thighs.

It feels both perverse and exciting to be exposed like this while he's got the rest of his clothes on, while there's some risk of being caught.

Spencer's hand goes automatically to his cock and Brendon bites his bottom lip when he looks down and kneels up to get his own jeans undone enough to push them half way down.

"Um," Brendon makes a contemplative sound. He and Spencer both look down as he palms his dick. "On the road like this, haven't trimmed, sorry." Brendon's sincerity is adorable if not necessary.

"Are you kidding? I can't be bothered to shave my face," he says, shifting his hand from his own cock to Brendon's. It's too dark to see much but he still looks, considering the weight and heat of it in his hand. He gives an easy squeeze and then strokes it slowly a few times until Brendon puts his hand over top of his and squeezes harder.

"Yeah," he says, giving Spencer a reassuring smile before closing his eyes, guiding him through a few more firm, quick pulls before leaving it to Spencer to figure out. "Yeah…"

Brendon's pretty easy as far as handjobs go, responding best to firm and fast. He's so responsive that Spencer can't help but wonder what he'd look like, how his little short gasps of breath would sound if Spencer had time to use his mouth.

Brendon pulls his t-shirt up, exposing his stomach, and then braces both hands on Spencer's shoulders, bowing his head a little.

Rainwater is still beaded over the windows and they begin to fog up quickly. The negligible privacy doesn't keep out the sounds of traffic at the end of the street or of people wandering out of the venue. Brendon's breathing fast and shallow, and he raises his head when voices are heard passing them on the other side of the street. Spencer keeps stroking him, concentrating on Brendon's reaction, and when he looks into Spencer's eyes again, he sees the moment when they go glassy and unfocused before they close and he lets out of a low, quiet groan as he spills over Spencer's fist.

"Fuck," Brendon groans, collapsing onto Spencer a little more. Spencer keeps a gentle grip on his cock and rubs a slow circle over the side of Brendon's ass with his other hand, giving him a moment to collect himself. "L.A. is definitely my favorite city," Brendon whispers, reaching blindly for the towel and tugs it down, using one end to wipe off Spencer's hand.

It's too quiet inside and too loud outside to be doing this. They're too dressed and too hot and the casual, silent agreement of 'I'll do you, you do me' makes Spencer uncomfortable but not so much to keep his head from falling back when Brendon takes his dick into his hand. Brendon responds well when Spencer hisses and he lets Spencer's cock slide through his grip, milking over the tip before slipping down the shaft again.

"Like that," Spencer tells him and opens his eyes just enough to look down at Brendon's face, his cheek resting on Spencer's shoulder. He's struck by how attractive he finds Brendon's mouth, how he wants to kiss him again and to slide the head of his cock over that bottom lip.

That thought repeats in his mind as Brendon jerks him off and when it finally makes him come, Brendon raises his head so that his moan is muffled by a kiss. He didn't want to hope for more kissing from someone who is supposed to be no more than a hook up but the kissing is nearly as satisfying as the orgasm, and he's glad Brendon isn't shy about it either. Headlights refract in the rainwater and the moving light is disorienting for a moment as he catches his breath and he thinks this is one of those moments he'll never forget.

"It's the clean end, I swear," Brendon says, chuckling a little as he wipes off his hand and Spencer's stomach.

"Thanks. It's not your friend's towel, is it? I think he's already pissed."

"Shane? Ha! He never gets pissed. Besides, he hides his towels from me."

Spencer laughs and then they both suddenly freeze when a couple of girls walk right past the van, oblivious of their presence. Brendon looks from the hazy window back to Spencer and he realizes that he's clutched Brendon to him, both hands over his exposed ass as if to shield him from view somehow.

"You're actually a nice guy aren't you, Spencer Smith?" Brendon states it like a fact more than a question and before he has the chance to blush, Brendon darts down to kiss him once more before scrambling off of him and they take a minute to tuck themselves back in.

"Um, I am," he finally says when Brendon is sitting next to him, humming something that might be Roxanne. "I try to be, anyway."

Brendon studies him for a second and then burrows close to his arm. "Hey, so," is all he gets out before they're interrupted again.

"Bren, c'mon, man," Shane says outside the door, his back to the window. "People are starting to take off and we gotta gas up still."

Brendon sighs and then whispers, "'m sorry."

"No, don't … it's the life, right?"

"Seriously," Shane goads again. "I know it doesn't take you that long."

"Oh, fuck you!" Brendon shouts back, but his tone is obviously playful as he pulls the door open. "You're supposed to back my play, homie!"

"Back your play? Wait, are we using football or baseball metaphors for your sex life?"

"Okay, you? Are officially fired as my assistant."

"Fine. I want my van back."

"Fine."

"Fine."

The straight-faced exchange between them is only broken when Brendon pokes out his bottom lip and flutters wide eyes at him.

"That doesn't work on me. I don't think you're cute."

"Yes, you do." Brendon shoves at Shane's arm. "I put all your shit up front, by the way."

"Thank you," Shane says sincerely and then mumbles, "for not jizzing on my stuff," as he opens the front door. He glances at Spencer as he climbs out of the van and Spencer tries to avoid eye contact and look casual at the same time but doesn't think it works.

"Right, so…" Brendon turns to face Spencer as Shane tries to look busy with his backpack in the front seat. He moves closer to Spencer but doesn't quite touch him and lowers his voice. "I'll be back in L.A. in about a week. Maybe I could see you again?"

"Really? Oh. Oh, um." Spencer shifts on his feet and smoothes his hair because he hadn't expected that. He purposefully kept himself from thinking of this as anything but a one-time thing because he really likes Brendon and it sucks to think he'll never see him again.

His momentary pause is just long enough to make Brendon tense and step back. He shakes his head and puts on this 'I'm a dork and it's okay to laugh at me' kind of face. "Shit, no. You didn't -you weren't looking for. Sorry."

"Wait! That's not." He can see Shane's pissed off expression out of his peripheral vision over Brendon's shoulder.

"No, I get it. My bad."

"I wasn't," Spencer tries not to look pissed off because he reverts to that when he's frustrated and embarrassed. "I just didn't think you wanted to see me again." He sneaks a quick look at Shane who genuinely appears not to be listening, which he appreciates. "That's all. You …want my number?"

Brendon's uncertain expression eases into a smile and he looks down. It's stupid, but Spencer feels a punch of affection in his gut more at that smile than he did with their cocks hanging out only a few minutes earlier.

"Yes! Um, let me find my phone." Brendon dives back into the open door of the van. Shane glances at Spencer and acknowledges him with a friendly enough nod, but he can still detect a hint 'I will kill you' in the look.

He puts his own number into Brendon's phone and ignores his own when it chimes with a text message. He assumes it's Pete and refuses to look at it.

"I should head back," Brendon says, jerking his head towards the crowd gathered outside the stage door down the alley. "You coming back in?"

"I actually don't want to deal with," with Pete, "with anyone else tonight. I'm gonna book."

Spencer can't help that he gazes at Brendon's mouth again. One more kiss would feel so good but neither wants to risk being seen by their friends.

"I'm glad I met you tonight. It was good … talking."

Spencer kind of expected Shane to make a derisive noise, he probably would have himself, but Shane resolutely keeps his back to them, pretending not to hear.

"Yeah, you, too. I hope the rest of the tour goes okay for you."

"Thanks." Brendon shoves both hands into his pockets and his shoulders are up near his ears and Spencer can tell he feels just as frustrated.

"Okay. I'll see you then…"

"Okay. Laters."

Spencer goes the opposite way down the alley, adding an extra block to the trek to his car, but he doesn't want to risk running into Pete or any of the guys. He can already hear the shit talk he'll get for screwing a roadie.

~


Spencer appreciates that he's more or less self-employed because he can sleep off a late night, spend half his workday in his underwear on the Internet, and not roll into FBR's L.A. office until the afternoon.

It doesn't keep him from running into Pete, who never needs the benefit of sleeping off a late night.

"Dude!" Pete pounces before he's made it to his desk. "You totally-"

"-No! I will not, under any circumstances, be discussing the events of last night, or anyone I may, or may not, have met." He gives his pointiest eyebrow at Pete, who is usually completely unaffected by it, but for some reason he smirks and gives in. Spencer will never not respect Patrick for the early years that he put up with.

Thankfully, there are enough people in the office who want to talk to Pete, which outweighs Pete's desire to torment Spencer.

A couple hours into clearing out his inbox, he gets a text that reads 'help! i cant tell where i am. its dark in here and i can hear someone laughing' -i luv these things!

Spencer stares at it for a minute, perplexed, before he remembers the line as printed on Taco Bell hot sauce packets and then another text comes in; this is bden btw. hi!

Spencer takes a second to reconcile 'bden' with 'Brendon' and barely keeps himself from collapsing onto his elbows on his desk with an undignified noise as he beams at his phone. After looking around to make sure he's gone unnoticed, he keys in 'at night the sporks pick on me' TB for dinner eh?

A few minutes later he gets glamorus life of rocknroll baby!

Spencer watches the clock and waits a full half hour, just so as not to look too eager, before replying sell lots of tshirts 2nite and maybe u can afford jack in the crack tomorrow.

After seeing it in text, he wonders for a second if anyone besides him and Ryan used that expression for Jack in the Box before he gets the reply, about to earn that bacon ultimate cheeseburger now. wish me luck!

luck! he thumbs in and then he packs his laptop, grabs the rest of his FBR request memos, and leaves before Pete can corner him.

His week keeps him busy enough because Pete gets into a Twitter war with Perez Hilton, and one of their baby bands gets into a wreck on the Interstate, and another shoots a video in L.A., but all the while, he gets random texts from Brendon. Some are obscure lyrics, everything from Sublime to Regina Spektor or lines from Saturday Night Live and Family Guy. Spencer sometimes wonders if he's being tested for compatibility, like Brendon is trying to throw him off, but he thinks they're like riddles and every new piece makes him more interested.

Spencer is just about to fall asleep when his phone lights up. He blearily presses view to read the latest.

shanes driving. its raining. smells like that nite w/ u. never alone

Spencer closes his eyes and inhales, subconsciously trying to remember the smell. Mostly, he remembers how stifling and sour the van was, but there are details too, and this is the first time either of them have acknowledged that they've jerked each other off.

He imagines Brendon in the dark van, curled over his phone, tired, lonely and probably with a hard-on he can't jack off. Spencer remembers that, and he doesn't miss it at all. He slides his hand into his underwear, adjusting and rubbing his cock as it's begun to swell.

He backspaces a few times before settling on was a good nite. maybe next venue will have shower for u?

It's stepping things up a notch maybe, but playing it safe, too.

can i think of u if it does? Brendon replies.

Spencer grins, turning to smoosh his face into his pillow, amazed at how smug and embarrassed he can feel when he's all alone in his own bedroom. He props himself on his elbow and scratches his beard before texting think of seeing me again in 3 days?

4 days :( cant wait. gnite

nite

Spencer can't wait either. He flops around long enough to shove off his blankets and underwear.

~

Continue to Part Two
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