“It’s not a regular thing. Anymore.” Rhett said with a smile as the crew chuckled. He had to use all his strength to seem nonchalant and amused by the whole thing. He knew Link was angry. Rhett had basically conspired with Stevie to slip the hand holding option into the poll. When Link had seen it, it was too late.
“Oh, come on, Rhett. Of course they’re gonna pick that.” He’d growled. Rhett had tried playing innocent.
“You know how Stevie likes to get the clicks.”
Link scowled at him, not convinced.
“It’s not gonna be that bad. It’s for the show. It’s for the fans.” Rhett tried to reason with Link. He was starting to feel like the whole thing had been a bad idea. Link just huffed, slapped his laptop closed and left Rhett alone in their office.
And now they were here, hands intertwining. Rhett trying so hard to lighten the mood. Link barely able to hide his annoyance. Rhett’s stomach was in a knot. Why had he thought this was a good idea?
They used to hold hands all the time. It was a comfort thing, a remnant from their childhood. Obviously they knew it was weird, two friends holding hands. So they did it inconspicuously. In their office while eating lunch. At the darkness of the movie theatre. Under a shared blanket on airplanes. On their drives to work. It was something Rhett cherished. It grounded him. The feel of Link’s hand against his own made his busy brain quiet down.
And then suddenly Link had stopped. He didn’t explain it, even when Rhett tried to ask. He just scowled and huffed and snatched his hand away when Rhett tried to hold it. It made Rhett feel desolate. An integral part of their relationship had been stolen from him and he needed it back. When it was time to do the poll, he asked Stevie to put it in. He laughed and tried to make it sound like a stupid joke. Stevie had cocked an eyebrow at him looking suspicious, but in the end, she’d put it in. Rhett couldn’t help it. He was desperate.
Filming slogged on. Link’s grip was tight but so familiar. Just the feel of his hand made Rhett giddy. He knew he was acting stupid, but he couldn’t help it. Link was mocking him, regressing to an old version of himself. When the final cut was yelled, Link tossed Rhett’s hand aside, stood up and stormed off. Some of the crew changed pointed looks. Rhett didn’t even care anymore. He just jogged after Link. He caught him in their office. Link was standing in the middle of the room, hands in his hair. He looked pissed off. Rhett closed the door and leaned against it wringing his hands.
“Was it really that bad?” His voice was almost a whisper.
“Yes!” Link spit out turning to Rhett. His eyes were ablaze.
“I’m sorry. I just…I needed to.” Rhett couldn’t find the right words. “I miss it, Link. Why’d you stop?” The question was a plea.
Suddenly Link crashed into him. Rhett’s back was thrown against the door. A gasp escaped his lips. Link had already grasped the collar of Rhett’s shirt and was pulling him down. His mouth was hot against Rhett’s. The hairs on the back of Rhett’s neck stood up and a shiver shot through him. Link was kissing him. The kiss was needy and sloppy. Tears burst out of Link’s eyes, making his lips taste salty. Rhett’s hand desperately pressed Link’s head closer to him. His other hand snaked under Link’s shirt finding the warmth of his back. When their mouths finally separated to gasp air, Link whispered:
“Because every time you touch me, I want to do this.”