Brendon is really fucking late. He's past late and way out the other side. He's so fucking late that if he doesn't show up at Decaydance's Invisible Children MTV show soon, Pete is probably going to drop him from the label before he's even played his first show.
The traffic is really bad, and it has been all the way from the airport. The driver Pete sent for him is looking pissed too, tapping his hands against the steering wheel as the car inches forwards in the gridlocked LA traffic.
"How far away are we?" Brendon asks, thumbing through his phone and trying not to think about the time. He can't keep still.
"Fifteen minutes?" Zack, the driver, estimates. Brendon had introduced himself and spent the first ten minutes of the journey breathlessly telling Zack about how this afternoon was his first show and how he didn't want to fuck it up. He's spent the rest of the journey staring at his watch and watching his big chance slide away from him, just like that. Stuck in traffic while the biggest show of his life goes on without him.
Brendon lets out a deep breath, and loosens his tie. He's so fucking late.
"Where the fuck have you been?" the guy with the earpiece hisses, grabbing Brendon as soon as he gets through the door. His security pass says Spencer Smith, Decaydance in bold letters. Brendon's pretty sure they've spoken on the phone a couple of times. "We've been waiting for you. The whole fucking place is waiting for you. We've had to turn the whole fucking schedule upside down because of you."
"My plane was delayed," Brendon tries to explain, but Spencer's grabbing his elbow and steering him away and down a hallway. "And then the traffic—"
"This is your dressing room," Spencer interrupts. "Your stage clothes are over there, I'll go let everyone know you've finally arrived. Hurry the fuck up and get changed."
"Clothes?" Brendon asks, but Spencer's already disappeared, clipboard in hand. "Okay," he says, staring at the clothes hanging on the rack in the corner. "Right."
There's a pair of dark pants and a white shirt with what looks like frills down the front, and a black jacket with a rose pattern picked out in velvet. Brendon blinks, and tries not to think about what his mom and dad are going to say when they see him on stage dressed in this. He's pretty sure he's never worn anything like this in his whole life.
Brendon Urie is the newest addition to Pete Wentz's Decaydance music label, the latest singer to work under Pete's hugely successful musical umbrella. He hasn't even released an album yet, but Pete's had his name out there for months. Brendon had barely even heard of viral marketing before Pete signed him up; now it's been months of embedded youtube clips and USB stick giveaways, fake websites and Brendon's name attached to every piece of press Pete gave. It was his name on Pete's t-shirt, and tiny thirty second bursts of some of Brendon's songs on Pete's latest Decaydance mixtape; it was his face on Pete's blog, and a fake website with his name on linked from Pete's twitter. He was out there, and it was weird. He hadn't even played a show yet, and apparently, according to Pete, he was the hottest name on the label. Even Patrick seemed to agree; he'd told Brendon so himself earlier in the day. Patrick had driven Brendon to the airport at ass o' clock that morning, after Brendon had crashed at Patrick's place. They'd been at the recording studio where they were laying down Brendon's album until really late the previous night.
"You'll do good," Patrick had said, pushing Brendon's duffel at him and rolling his eyes. "Tell Pete if he doesn't get his ass out here to listen to your stuff soon, I'm gonna kick his butt, okay?"
"Okay," Brendon had said, grinning, and then he'd run for his flight.
Now he's just minutes away from his first live show and the nerves are kicking in. Not only his first show, but being filmed for TV, too, to go out on MTV later that night. He bites his lip and concentrates on changing his clothes. He thinks that there's no way this outfit can have been made for him; this Decaydance show had been in the pipeline for months, and the first Brendon had heard of it had been earlier in the week, when Spencer had called him up with his flight details. Brendon figures he's the replacement for the kid from the Disney Channel whose name was no longer on the bill. Whatever, that kid must have been tiny because the clothes Spencer had pointed out for Brendon to wear were way too small.
"Aren't you ready yet?" Spencer says exasperatedly, pushing into Brendon's dressing room and rolling his eyes when he saw that Brendon was still half-dressed.
"Just a minute," Brendon says, trying to hop out of his jeans and his shirt and tie, which was what he'd thought he was going to perform in. "I'm pretty sure that this stuff isn't going to fit me."
"Well," Spencer says. "You'll just have to figure it out. That's what you're wearing."
The clothes are way too small. He has to breathe in to button up the pants, and the shirt is tight around his neck and he has to undo all of the buttons on the cuffs of his jacket just to get it on. "Jeez," he says, trying not to take any deep breaths as the jacket stretches taut against his back. "How tiny was this guy?"
"What guy?" Spencer asks. "Come on, it's time. We need to get you wired up."
Brendon hums uncomfortably and speeds up down the hallway after Spencer, towards the roar of the crowd. He hasn't even had a sound check or a rehearsal. He doesn't know what the fuck he's doing, his clothes don't fit, and Pete's somewhere out front with the crowd, introducing the acts from a plinth somewhere up above the stages.
"Oh my god," he says, as Spencer stands next to him and talks into his headset a lot. Two guys are kneeling next to Brendon, attaching wires to the small of his back and a girl is trying to fit him with an earpiece and handing him a microphone.
"What?" Spencer asks, tearing his attention away from what he's saying. "What's wrong?"
Brendon tries to swallow. "Nothing," he says, because everyone around him has been involved in the music business for ages. No one wants to deal with some nervous kid who hasn't even played his first show. He's singing three songs, and they're scrawled onto a piece of paper he's scrunching up in his fist. He hasn't even got his own guitar here; someone else is tuning up a guitar for him, and Brendon wants nothing more than to escape back down the hallway with the guitar and play a few songs to calm himself down. He tries to remember the instructions Spencer's telling him, about standing on his mark and looking at the camera and trying not to look freaked out. Brendon's sung in public more times than he can count, but he's pretty sure there's no comparison between his parents' church and a screaming crowd of MTV kids.
"Right," Spencer rolls his eyes again. "Pete says good luck," he says, one hand on his earpiece. "He says, break a fucking leg." Spencer cracks a grin, the first time Brendon's seen him smile, and he's talking to Pete when he says, "No fucking way am I telling him that. And have you noticed? We're recording for MTV. Try concentrating on what you're supposed to be doing, huh, Pete?"
The band on the other stage are finishing up, and then Spencer's concentrating on him, and Brendon can hear Pete's voice echoing around the auditorium, over the screams of the crowd. There are three stages, so that the techs can set up bands in the background and there's a smooth handover for the TV recording.
"This is it," Spencer says, one hand in the small of Brendon's back, pushing him forwards. The tech is handing him his guitar. "You're on in five, four -"
Brendon misses the rest of the count, and then he's there, on stage, and there are cameras and lights and he's trying to remember what Spencer just reminded him, about where he had to stand and where his mark on the floor is.
And people are - people are screaming. They're screaming for him. He blinks into the lights and tries to stand where he's supposed to stand; he waves awkwardly and grins. "Hi," he says, "I'm Brendon Urie, and you guys are a really beautiful crowd, okay?" and then he starts to sing. He can barely hear himself over the kids in the audience; he's wearing an earpiece to block out the noise but it's weird, the kids are pushing forwards and there are more security, all of a sudden, walking the pathway between the barrier and the stage.
He sings his three songs and it's a mixture of amazing and terrifying. He has no idea what's going on, but there are a lot of kids being lifted over the barrier; every time he looks down there are more security guys lining the rail. Every time he breathes in it feels like his jacket or his shirt is going to split; he knows he can't bend over because his pants are so tight. He's uncomfortable and hotter and sweatier than he feels like he's ever been, but it doesn't matter because he's singing, on stage. For TV. It's like everything he's ever worked for, and he feels like fucking flying. It's amazing.
Then it's over, and he's breathing so hard he can barely say thank you, and wave and stumble off stage as the attention swings back to Pete.
Spencer's grabbing his arm. "Holy fuck," he says, wide-eyed. "What the fucking hell was that? Did you see that crowd?"
"What was what?" Brendon manages, trying to pull off his guitar, but the tech's trying to help too, and Brendon's sweaty and trying to wipe his brow as he stumbles over and bumps into Spencer's side. Spencer steadies him, and Brendon feels something tight in his belly, thrumming beneath the adrenaline and his stupid, desperate excitement.
"Apparently we need to get you the fuck out of here," Spencer says, moving away, one hand touching his earpiece, obviously trying to listen to what someone's telling him. "That reaction was not anticipated. Come on."
"Seriously," Brendon says, tripping over his feet as he tried to avoid what seemed like hundreds of cables and wires, "what's going on?"
"That was crazy," Spencer says, to someone that isn't Brendon. "Yeah, I'm going for a car now. No, if he wants us to avoid the reporters, the best way is to go to the underground parking lot, see if we can leave that way."
"My stuff," Brendon complains, pointing behind him as Spencer pushes him down a hallway that doesn't look like the one with Brendon's dressing room on it.
"No time," Spencer says, grimly, "Fucking Pete, honestly. I'll break both his legs. I bet he engineered this whole thing and just didn't tell us. I'll kill him."
"That's it," Brendon says, stopping dead and folding his arms. "Tell me what's going on."
"Every reporter on the west coast is waiting for you," Spencer says, tugging out his Blackberry and scrolling through his messages. "I should know, I spent the last month getting them here. And there are a hundred kids out by the stage door screaming your name. Already. And now, apparently, Pete wants you out of here before they catch you."
"The kids?" Brendon asks, confused. "They're waiting for me?"
"Yeah, them and the reporters," Spencer tells him, grabbing his elbow and steering him through a doorway and down a stairwell. "Pete's got some new, stupid, fucked-up idea that he wants your music to speak for itself, so that means changing all our fucking plans and hiding you from the stupid fucking press."
"You sound pissed," Brendon says, because he's gotten pretty good at saying the wrong thing at the wrong time.
Spencer makes a noise like a growl and takes Brendon down another flight of stairs, through a heavy set of doors, and past security into an underground parking lot.
The parking lot is full of expensive, exotic cars, and Brendon can't stop staring because these cars are amazing. This must be where all the VIPs park, or something, because there is no way the kids in the audience could have afforded cars like this.
"This is all Pete's fault," Spencer says, rolling his eyes, and leading Brendon through rows of cars, "so he can get a fucking cab home."
"We're taking Pete's car?" Brendon splutters, as Spencer unlocks a midnight blue Porsche 911 and tells Brendon to get in. "You have a key for his car?"
"I'm his assistant," Spencer says, tugging off his jacket and passing it to Brendon to hold as he climbs into the driver's seat. "Someone has to go pick his stupid car up from wherever the fuck he's left it."
"Right," Brendon says, as Spencer revs the engine and leans one arm across Brendon's headrest so he can reverse out of the parking space, "of course."
"Jeez," Spencer complains, as he takes the corners too fast on the way out of the parking garage, "have you any idea how much organization it takes, getting all those reporters to line up and talk to some guy who hasn't even played live? You haven't even got a fucking album out yet. And then Pete decides—just like that—that actually, maybe not today? Fuck. I'll fucking kill him. I'll fucking quit, see how he likes that."
"Sorry?" Brendon says, awkwardly. He's not exactly the best driver in the world himself, but he's never driven recklessly in a car that's worth this much; Spencer is concentrating more on grouching than he is on how close he's coming to scraping the paintwork.
"Hmmm," Spencer says, grumpily, slamming on the brakes and leaning out of the window to talk to the security guys by the exit.
"Something wrong?" Brendon asks, when Spencer closes his window and looks even fiercer.
"Someone's leaked that you've blown off the reporters," Spencer says, grimly, "so now they're on their way back to your hotel. So now we can't go there, and we're probably going to have a tail once we get out of here, and I'm going to rip Pete's legs off."
"O-kay," Brendon manages, and sinks down lower in his seat. He's not exactly sure which alternate universe it was that he woke up in this morning, but whichever one it was, he's suddenly famous. It's kind of exciting.
Forty minutes later, and they're still driving.
"Where are we going?" Brendon asks, finally, after he's tried fiddling with the radio and Spencer's vetoed every music choice in favor of shouting at people on his hands-free.
"Pete's place," Spencer says, without taking his eyes off the rear-view mirror. "You can hole up there for a couple of days while Pete engages his brain and stops fucking up our plans."
"With Pete?" Brendon asks, confused.
Spencer rolls his eyes. "No. Pete's other place. Up in the hills. No one will think to follow you out there." He crosses three lanes of traffic and takes the freeway exit amid a screech of horns; Brendon is torn between fearing for his life and reveling in the adrenaline. "Excellent," Spencer goes on. "Lost them."
"Uh-huh," Brendon says, and tries not to stare at Spencer too much. Being a musician is nothing like he imagined.
Pete's place turns out to be a lodge way up in the hills; it's walled and gated and by the time Spencer's pulling up outside the front door, Brendon's totally overawed.
"We're staying here?" he asks, climbing awkwardly out of the Porsche and onto the gravel.
"We are," Spencer says, stretching. "Here," he throws a set of keys across at Brendon. "Knock yourself out."
Brendon has never even been in a house like this. He grew up in Summerlin; his house was nice and his family weren't exactly poor, but this place is beyond his wildest expectations. This place is huge and expensive and kind of amazing. There are wide skylights in every room, wall to ceiling windows right across the back of the house, and soaring wooden ceilings. Spencer's already on his phone, pacing the hallway and Brendon watches him for a moment before opening the patio doors and walking out into the yard. There's a gorgeous pool, all warm Spanish tiles with a Jacuzzi area at one end. There are palm trees and patio loungers and a huge barbecue area with a grill and even a bar.
"There's a pool house," he says, out loud, even though Spencer's not around to hear, and the maid that Spencer told him about only comes in the mornings. Brendon's already tugging off his too-tight jacket, rolling his shoulders because he can breathe again. He unbuttons his shirt a little, kicking off his socks and shoes. He wants to peel off his pants too, but he doesn't, standing by the edge of the pool and wriggling his toes.
"Yeah," Spencer says, coming up behind him. Brendon can't help but be aware of how close Spencer's standing. "Transforms into a movie theater, too."
"You're kidding," Brendon says, wide-eyed, and he knows he's staring, but the pool house must be made of magic.
"Nope," Spencer shakes his head. "It's actually kind of cool."
"Cool," Brendon echoes. Cool does not actually sum up how amazing this place is.
"Yeah," Spencer says, already heading back inside. "Look, I'm going to make some calls. There should be some shorts and shit in the pool house, try some of the drawers. Help yourself."
Brendon takes a moment to think about how long it'll take him to consider this kind of thing completely normal, like Spencer clearly does, before heading to the pool house to look for something that isn't skintight black pants he's pretty sure he's going to have to peel himself out of. He finds a pair of knee-length yellow shorts with white flowers, after a couple of minutes of staring at the huge couches and trying to figure out where the screen is hidden for the transformation from pool house to movie theater. He's pretty sure that they're girl shorts, but he isn't exactly sure that he cares. The shorts are cool.
Brendon squares his shoulders, and tries not to worry about his parents—who have probably been calling his cell phone all afternoon, not realizing that Brendon's stuff is in a dressing room in one part of LA, whereas he is here, up in the hills - or about his music career, which seems to be completely out of his control. Brendon hopes that Pete knows what he's doing, because this is everything that Brendon's ever wanted and he's not exactly sure he knows what he's going to do if this doesn't work out.
Instead, he takes a running leap into the pool, tucking his knees up into his chest as he hits the water.
When Spencer comes to find him a while later, Brendon's floating on his back in the pool, having found a stupid pink blow-up inflatable raft and spent a whole five minutes blowing it up and congratulating himself on some pretty impressive breath control.
"My BlackBerry's run out of charge," Spencer says, miserably, standing by the edge of the pool and looking vaguely out of place with his smart pants and his button down and his neck tie. "Pete says he doesn't have a spare charger here and the internet's fucked, so we're stuck here overnight until he sends over some further instructions. Apparently."
"Overnight, really?" Brendon asks, sculling in a circle and determinedly not thinking about all the ways this day could have gone better.
"Yeah," Spencer says, toeing the ground. "I have so much work to do, it's ridiculous. I'm going to kill Pete."
"You said," Brendon says, lying back and trying to get comfortable. Pete's taking a huge risk with Brendon's career; Brendon kind of wants to yell at him himself. He bites down his agreement and forces a smile. If there's one thing he's learned over the years, it's which battles are worth fighting, and which are worth waiting out. "You should totally get in the pool though. It's really nice."
"Hmm," Spencer says, but he looks tempted, Brendon can tell.
Brendon grins. "I saw some more shorts in the pool house," he tells Spencer. "And there's another raft, too. I think it's a giant pineapple, or something, but I think you'd look really manly floating on a pineapple."
"Your raft is pink," Spencer points out, but he's already kicking off his shoes and taking off his socks.
"It's red," Brendon calls after him. He pointedly does not watch as Spencer pulls his tie over his head and shrugs off his shirt as he heads into the pool house. Spencer's back is really nice, broad shouldered and freckled, Brendon thinks.
He hums The Only Living Boy in New York to himself, one hand trailing in the water, and misses his iPod. He hopes someone is looking after his stuff.
When Spencer comes back, he's wearing a pair of blue board shorts, dragging a giant inflatable pineapple and clutching two beers in his other hand.
"Where did you find the beer?" Brendon asks, wide-eyed, trying to sit up and not stare at Spencer's chest. Something pulls, deep in his stomach, and he tries to squash it down. This is not the time or the place for a crush, even if Spencer is kind of seriously attractive. Brendon had been right, those were freckles. "Why didn't you tell me there was beer?"
"This is Pete's place," Spencer smiles, resting the beer on the tiles as he climbs on to his inflatable raft. "There's always a party, you just need to know where to look. And my pineapple comes with a bottle opener, look."
"That's awesome," Brendon says, in wonder, "Why doesn't mine come with one of those?"
"Clearly the pineapple is superior," Spencer tells him, nudging himself alongside Brendon's raft. "Here. First one to finish has to climb out and go and find more, so make it last."
"There's more?" Brendon shakes his head. "Pete's amazing."
"When he's not screwing up a month's worth of plans and organization," Spencer says, grimly. There are more freckles, Brendon realizes, across Spencer's nose and his cheekbones. They're kind of cute.
He splashes Spencer with his foot. "Your BlackBerry's out of charge," he says, rolling his eyes and determinedly not staring at Spencer's freckles. "We can't do anything until tomorrow, so how about we don't think about it until then?"
"A whole month," Spencer complains, belligerently. Brendon splashes him again.
"It's my career," he says, evenly, "and if I can leave it until tomorrow, then I'm pretty sure you can too."
"Hmmm," Spencer says, grumpily.
Brendon splashes him again, just because. "Shut up," he says, trying to sound laid back, "and tell me something about you that isn't Decaydance related, for a change."
Spencer halfheartedly splashes him back. "I'm hungry," he says.
Brendon rolls his eyes. "Me too," he says. "But that doesn't count. Something interesting."
Spencer shrugs, and stretches out on his pineapple, letting his feet trail in the water. "I play drums," he says finally. "Like, in my spare time. Not in a band or anything."
"What, really? Me too. Do you have a kit?"
"Yeah," Spencer nods. "I think Pete's got one too, here. There's a music room downstairs."
"Really?" Brendon stares at the house. This place just keeps on getting cooler.
"Yeah," Spencer says, already starting to paddle towards the edge of the pool. "I'll show it to you later. You want to go raid Pete's kitchen? Go through the freezer? There'll be pizza, I bet."
"Not yet," Brendon reaches for Spencer's arm, slowing him down. "Just sit there and drink your beer for a while, and try not to think about your phone."
Spencer makes a sound in his throat, but he stops paddling.
Brendon counts that as a win, and he settles back down on his raft, humming a Beach Boys song under his breath.
They stay in the pool until they finish their beers, and by then, even Brendon's willing to climb out for the sake of raiding Pete's kitchen.
Pete has the biggest freezer Brendon has ever seen, and he's half way to telling Spencer just how completely amazing Pete's place is, when he realizes that Spencer is definitely not going to be impressed by Brendon's complete naivety and lack of cool, so he shuts up. He concentrates on finding something he wants to eat, which isn't exactly hard when the freezer is the size of a fucking Walmart. There are probably pizza flavors here that Brendon's never even tried before, and even though they pretty much have the whole range to hand, they still end up bickering over whether to have Philly cheese steak or buffalo chicken. They end up putting both in the oven, and finding chicken bites that they can microwave and eat while they're waiting for the pizza to cook.
They sit out by the side of the pool and eat the chicken with their feet dangling in the water, and Brendon asks Spencer about his favorite movies to pass the time. It gives him an excuse to keep sneaking glances at Spencer's shoulders. Spencer's really pretty, even with the beard.
"Star Wars," Spencer says.
"Spinal Tap's my favorite," Brendon says. "You can't tell me that isn't up there with the best of them, so don't even try."
"Don't think I've seen it," Spencer says, lazily. "But I think Pete's got a copy of that here." He tears the last piece of chicken in to two so that they can share.
"What, really?" Brendon is trying not to notice how close they're sitting, lazing by the edge of the pool with the snacks in a box between them. They keep bumping fingers when they reach for the for the tub of ketchup, or when they reach for their beers. Beads of perspiration run down the neck of his bottle; Brendon wipes his damp hands on his shorts.
Brendon hasn't spent this long just hanging out in a long time. Working with Patrick totally doesn't count, either, even though it's completely awesome, and technically they hang out after they finish in the studio. Mostly, though, they're talking about chord progressions and levels, and how to make that one bridge sound better and arguing about the song order on the album.
Spencer's different, and not just because he's totally hot. He just seems, well, nice, when he's not being the busiest person Brendon's ever met.
"We could watch it, I guess," Spencer says, after a minute. He checks his watch and glances at the kitchen.
Brendon sniffs the air, trying to see whether he can gauge whether the pizza is burning or not. He's pretty sure that Spencer's way is more accurate, but Brendon's been living in an apartment for the past couple of years where the oven doesn't exactly work in the way that ovens are usually meant to, so he's learned to rely more on his instincts than the clock.
"Two more minutes," Spencer says.
Brendon nods. "The movie sounds good," he says. "Pizza and Spinal Tap, that's like the perfect evening, right?"
"Sure," Spencer says, easily, and climbs to his feet to go and check on the pizza.
Pete's pool house is genuinely amazing. It's full of couches, and huge armchairs that recline, with places in the armrests that chill Brendon's beer and keep his pizza plate from sliding off and onto the floor. A movie screen comes down from the ceiling, and there are black-out blinds so that the evening sun doesn't zigzag across the screen. It's kind of futuristic, like an episode of The Jetsons or something.
Spencer's clearly spent a lot of time here before, too, because he goes straight for the kitchen area and starts asking Brendon whether he wants Cheetos or Doritos or potato chips even before he's opened the cupboard doors. When he comes back in, he's got armfuls of chips and candy and he nudges the mini fridge by the side of Brendon's chair with his foot on his way past, so that Brendon can see where to get more beer or coke from.
"Is Pete going to mind we've eaten all of his stuff?" Brendon asks, as he helps himself to another slice of pizza.
Spencer grins. "Pete's pretty cool," he says, "he keeps this place pretty stocked up. He mostly lends this place out to his friends."
"He sounds like a good guy."
"Yeah," Spencer nods. "When he's not fucking up a whole month's work."
Brendon rolls his eyes.
"Okay, okay," Spencer relents. "I'll shut up."
"Good," Brendon says, relatively calmly, because the very idea of Pete having fucked everything up with this one decision is enough to give him a panic attack if he thinks about it himself too much, so he very deliberately isn't. "We should have another beer and put the movie on."
Brendon stretches out in his armchair and wiggles his toes as Spencer messes with the DVD player. He's still really fucking hungry, even after his share of their pizzas, and he's eyeing the remains of Spencer's hungrily. He sneaks a piece when he thinks Spencer isn't looking.
"I saw that," Spencer says, without looking up.
"What, do you have eyes in the back of your head, or what?" Brendon grumbles, through a guilty mouthful.
"I have sisters," Spencer tells him, grimly, pressing lots of buttons in what looks like a very knowledgeable way. "Good," he says, as the screen lights up, and the movie starts to play, "I was beginning to think we'd have to switch to the TV."
"Uh-huh," Brendon nods, chewing quickly as Spencer comes to sit back down. "Hey, did you know? Dozens of people spontaneously combust every year. It's just not really widely reported."
Spencer looks at him strangely.
"It's a quote," Brendon explains, rolling his eyes, "from the movie."
"Oh, right." Spencer nods, and steals a handful of chips from the open bag on Brendon's lap. "Sure."
"You need to be educated," Brendon says, finishing off his beer and reaching for another. He passes one to Spencer, too, because he's polite like that. "I figured everyone knew this movie off by heart."
"Only weird people, maybe," Spencer tells him, washing down another handful of chips with beer.
Brendon makes a sound in his throat. "They go up to eleven, Spencer," he explains.
Spencer's face doesn't change, and Brendon flops back down in his seat.
"How can you not know this?" Brendon asks. "They build Stonehenge! It's in danger of being crushed by a dwarf!"
"Yeah, okay," Spencer says, shaking his head.
"Shush," Brendon says, trying not to notice how Spencer's still looking at him, "it's starting."
The movie ends with Brendon kind of drunker than he had been at the start. Brendon had made Spencer watch all of his favorite scenes at least twice, and if Spencer had maybe tried to look pissed at the beginning, by the end he was laughing just as much as Brendon and he didn't complain once when Brendon insisted on rewinding back to Stonehenge so they could watch it over again. Brendon's pretty sure watching that part a third time was entirely on purpose, too, although Spencer tried to blame Brendon for sitting on the remote.
"See?" Brendon asks, after the titles have finally rolled. "You see?"
"I see," Spencer says, grinning as Brendon scrambles to his feet and peers into the mini-fridge.
"There's no more beer," Brendon tells him, miserably. He thinks he probably looks very sad indeed. He feels very sad. And maybe a little drunk.
Spencer shakes his head. "There's always more beer," he explains. "I'll go find some."
When he comes back, Brendon's moved back outside. He's sitting on the edge of the pool with his feet dangling in the water. He's still wearing his swim shorts from earlier, but teamed with a weird t-shirt with a duck on the front that he'd found inside.
Spencer sits down next to him and hands him a beer. "So," he says, as Brendon moves his feet a little, the water splashing up and over his knees. "Just how straight are you?"
Brendon blinks, because seeing straight is beginning to be a problem, although he's pretty sure that's not what Spencer's asking. "Um," he says, because Spencer's sitting pretty close, his shoulder brushing Brendon's. "Not very, I guess? Why? It's not going to be a big deal, right?"
Spencer shrugs, and Brendon thinks that Spencer's maybe sitting a little closer, afterward. "No," he says, and he's looking at Brendon, and his eyes are clear and bright, "not a big deal at all. I was going to kiss you, that's all. I just figured I'd check so that I wasn't going to make a total dick of myself."
Brendon's breath catches. He's not used to people being so direct. "Well," he manages, "I guess, in that case, I'm pretty much not straight at all. Kind of totally the other, actually. Pretty fucking gay. Like, completely. And kind of single, too."
"That's good," Spencer says, nodding. He's moved his hand so that it's touching Brendon's; if Brendon moves his legs, the water laps over their fingers.
"You're pretty full-on," Brendon says, before he can help himself. His heart's beating loud in his chest. "Kind of direct."
"I don't have much free time, normally," Spencer says, and he doesn't move away. "I don't like to waste it. Besides, you're really kind of hot."
"Cool," Brendon says, breathlessly. "that's, um, admirable. And, uh, thanks."
"So," Spencer says, moving closer. "I'm going to kiss you now. Just so you know."
"Awesome," Brendon manages, and then Spencer's mouth is on his, and he tastes like beer, and he's kissing Brendon, one hand in Brendon's hair. Brendon kisses back, his mouth opening beneath Spencer's, and it's easy enough to shift so that he's touching the back of Spencer's neck as they kiss. Spencer's stroking Brendon's side, his fingertips brushing Brendon's hip, sliding underneath his t-shirt until his hand's resting in the small of Brendon's back.
It's a weird angle for making out, and Brendon's conscious of how awkward he feels, the water lapping at his knees every time he moves. Spencer hooks his ankle around Brendon's, and tugs him closer, kissing him again. They kiss until Brendon runs out of breath, and then he hides his face in Spencer's neck and kisses the pale, warm skin beneath Spencer's ear. Spencer shivers, and Brendon presses closer.
"Think we can fit two of us on an inflatable pineapple?" Brendon asks, after a moment. He can feel Spencer's heart beat beneath his palm, maybe beating a little fast. It echoes his own.
Spencer snorts, but doesn't push Brendon away. He's warm and smells like beer. "You want to try?"
"Sure," Brendon says. It seems like the right thing to do. Plus, the pineapple has the bottle opener, so they can float and have beer at the same time. He's pretty sure that if they can do that, they can make out, too.
It's a tight squeeze, and the raft complains noisily as Brendon tangles his legs with Spencer's, but they stay afloat. Brendon lets his hand trail in the water as they float lazily towards the middle of the pool.
"So," Spencer says, "this is all very nice and all, but -"
"Shut up," Brendon says. "Stop rushing. Right now we're floating. With beer."
There's a pause, and Spencer laughs, warm breath against Brendon's cheek. "You're bossing me around," he says.
"Yeah," Brendon agrees. "It's probably a new experience for you."
Spencer makes a sound in his throat, but doesn't deny it, and Brendon grins. All this beer is really nice, but at some point he's probably going to want more pizza. And definitely more making out. Mostly he wants the making out.
"I think you should kiss me again," Brendon says, already touching Spencer's beard. Beer makes Brendon mellow, and it makes him want to touch. Brendon always wants to touch, but beer tends to make him actually go for it. He runs his thumb across Spencer's jaw again, liking how rough it feels. "And I think you should always have a beard. I like your beard."
"Oh, really?" Spencer slides a hand under Brendon's shirt, and the pineapple rocks a little.
"Uh-huh," Brendon hums, nudging his knee in between Spencer's legs. He likes how warm it feels, being so close. He presses closer. "I think you should get used to being bossed around."
Spencer kisses Brendon's jaw, and Brendon's head tips back. "Okay," he says, and then he's kissing Brendon again, and the raft is rocking from side to side, water splashing across their feet. "This is not going to work," Spencer complains, but Brendon shuts him up with another kiss. "We're going to fall in," Spencer protests, and Brendon can see his point, but he doesn't care enough to stop. He's trying to shift, trying to move so that he's on top of Spencer, so he's close enough to rub up against Spencer's thigh, when the pineapple rocks unsteadily. That's when it tips over, and Brendon suddenly finds himself underwater.
"Told you," Spencer says, when he's treading water and pushing his hair out of his eyes.
Brendon rolls his eyes and wipes his face. He's always wanted to make out in a pool. He grins, and splashes closer to Spencer, running wet hands through Spencer's hair, and laughing. The beer's made him mellow and happy and warm, even after the surprise dip in the water, and he tugs Spencer in for another kiss.
Making out in a pool after the sun's gone down is messy and wet and weird. Brendon ends up wrapping his legs around Spencer's waist, but that just makes them overbalance and them both tumble backwards, under the water. They end up pressed against the edge of the pool, making out and rocking up against each other. Brendon tugs off his t-shirt and throws it somewhere behind Spencer's head.
"Smooth," Spencer says, but he follows suit. "Hang on, really, we're doing this here?"
"Sure we are," Brendon says, with a grin. He's rocking up against Spencer, tangling his fingers in Spencer's wet hair and tugging him closer, kissing along his jaw and nosing at Spencer's ear. Spencer tips his head back so that Brendon can mouth at his skin. He smells ever-so faintly of aftershave. "I've never made out in a pool before."
"Happy to help," Spencer says, "but seriously. You don't want to take this inside?"
Brendon grins, and kisses Spencer again. "I guess," he says. "We could do. Like, there's a bed, right?" He waves towards the pool house.
"Yeah," Spencer says, and climbs out of the pool, leaning over, dripping wet, and offering Brendon his hand.
There are towels in the drawers by the door, and Spencer's stripping out of his swim shorts before Brendon's even had time to think, drying himself and tugging Brendon by the hand over towards the bed.
"I'm all wet," Brendon complains, trying to towel himself down and kick off his shorts and not trip over, all at the same time.
"I'm pretty sure I don't care," Spencer says, pulling back the covers and clambering on to the bed. "Do you?"
"Not particularly," Brendon says, his mouth going a little dry when he sees Spencer all laid out in front of him. He's toned and freckled and hard, with the shiniest hair Brendon's ever seen outside of a commercial, and Brendon's not exactly sure that he isn't the hottest person he's ever had sex with. Spencer fists himself lazily, propped up on his elbows.
"You should get over here," Spencer says. "Let me suck you off."
Brendon doesn't need to be invited twice; he feels kind of anticipatory and tightly wound. Maybe it's the alcohol, maybe it's the leftover adrenaline from the show earlier, maybe it's being here, with Spencer. He's hard and kind of desperate and he wants to come. "Yeah," he says, but then he's lying down and Spencer's crawling in between his legs and running his hands down Brendon's thighs, so that Brendon shivers and his cock bumps against his stomach.
"I really love giving head," Spencer tells him, and his mouth is really, really close to Brendon's erection.
Brendon makes a noise in his throat that maybe sounds like a groan, and he shivers. He's had his fair share of sex before; he's been to college and lived in a crappy apartment and been around musicians for long enough that he's had experience, but Spencer is so up front and direct about it, and that's different to everyone else he's been with.
"And you've got a really, really nice dick," Spencer keeps talking, and he still hasn't taken Brendon into his mouth.
Brendon's hips press upwards, outside of his control. He really wants to get off. "Spencer," he complains. "Fuck."
Spencer grins, leans over, and runs his tongue up the underside of Brendon's cock.
Brendon gasps out a breath and lets his head fall back against the pillows.
Spencer is really, really good at going down on him. He's got awesome breath control, and he keeps his hands busy stroking at Brendon's balls, and down his thighs, and he sucks at the head and even takes him in really fucking deep. Brendon wants to tangle his fingers into Spencer's hair, but he doesn't, pulling at the sheets instead. He kind of wonders how good Spencer would be at this sober, because even after a few drinks he's amazing. Brendon feels loose and relaxed, even though he's so turned on he can barely stay quiet.
Spencer pulls off to take a breath, and Brendon takes the opportunity to grab his arm and tug him closer for a kiss. Spencer kisses him hungrily, pressing him back against the pillows, and Brendon wraps his arms around Spencer's back and nudges his leg in between Spencer's.
"This is totally better than talking to reporters," Brendon says.
Spencer looks fierce for a moment, but Brendon shuts him up with a kiss. "I'm not worrying until tomorrow, so you can stop too," he says, because if he stops to think about what he might just have screwed up by leaving the show like they did, well. He'd probably have a panic attack. He kisses Spencer again instead, until Spencer pulls away and ducks down between his legs again.
"I always finish what I start," Spencer says, and Brendon can't stop staring at his mouth. His lips are red and wet from kissing Brendon, from sucking Brendon's dick. Brendon's hips press up, out of his control, and then Spencer's just grinning and ducking his head, taking Brendon in again.
Spencer's mouth is hot and wet and tight. Brendon can't think past Spencer licking the underside of his cock, so sensitive that Brendon cries out as Spencer sucks him in again. His fingers scrabble at the sheets, desperate for purchase, and he knows he's making noises, whimpers and gasps. He can't remember getting a blow job this good. Time's sliding away from him, and he doesn't care.
"There is no fucking way Pete doesn't have condoms here somewhere," Spencer tells him when he pulls away to catch his breath. He's still touching Brendon's balls, rolling them in the palm of his hand, the tips of his fingers brushing Brendon's ass.
"Yeah?" Brendon manages. He barely recognizes his own voice; Spencer's slowly taking him apart.
"Yeah," Spencer says, with something that may or may not resemble a wicked grin, "and I'm pretty sure that once we find them, we're going to use every single one he has."
Brendon groans, and Spencer just keeps on grinning, circling his fingers around the base of Brendon's dick. He sucks Brendon in again, and this time, Brendon's close to the edge. It doesn't take long for Brendon to come, to cry out and reach for Spencer, catching hold of his hand and holding on as he rides it out.
Spencer swallows, and Brendon can barely breathe.
He lies there for a long time, trying to catch his breath. It's only when Spencer leans over and kisses him he remembers where he is, and he rolls onto his side and lazily kisses Spencer back.
"That was kind of awesome," Brendon tells him, and Spencer just laughs against his mouth.
"Sure it was," Spencer says.
Brendon rolls his eyes. "And so modest too."
Spencer laughs again. "Of course," he agrees. His hips jut forward and Brendon can feel Spencer's erection against his thigh.
"Want me to return the favor?" he asks.
Spencer grins. "Yeah," he says. And, "I kind of want to fuck your mouth."
Brendon likes that plan, and they shift so that Spencer's kneeling over him and Brendon's propped up on the pillows. Spencer holds his cock in his palm, just by Brendon's mouth.
"Yeah?" he says, and Brendon responds by leaning in and taking Spencer's cock into his mouth. Spencer tastes turned on and kind of musky; he still smells a little like the pool. Brendon licks at the tip, over and over, because he can't get enough of the way Spencer tastes.
Spencer keens, and says, "Brendon, please, can I -" his fingers tangle in Brendon's hair, and Brendon's trying to say yes, but he just ends up humming along the length of Spencer's cock. He chokes a little, and pulls off.
"Yeah," he says, nodding and coughing. "Fuck my mouth."
Spencer's fingers tighten in Brendon's hair and then Spencer's taking over, shifting so that he can better control the way Brendon takes him in, the speed and how much. Brendon hums again, and just like before, Spencer's hips press forward. It's kind of amazing, even though Brendon's jaw is already getting tired and Spencer's kind of heavy against his tongue.
Spencer's pretty far gone already, and it doesn't last long. Brendon feels kind of amazed at how turned on Spencer obviously is; Spencer comes after only a couple of minutes.
Brendon doesn't catch it all, drooling a little. He wipes his mouth with one of their t-shirts, and lets Spencer lie back against the sheets as he tries to get his breath back.
"You said something about condoms," Brendon says, after a while. Spencer's shifted closer, so that his knee is between Brendon's legs and Brendon's kind of plastered against Spencer's side. They kiss, lazily, and it's really kind of nice.
"Nrgh," Spencer manages, sleepily. "We should try the bathroom."
"In a minute," Brendon says. He's comfortable where he is, and Spencer seems to be, too, from the way he's clearly falling asleep with his arm across Brendon's chest. Spencer mouths something against Brendon's neck, and Brendon figures they'll just look for the condoms later.
When Brendon wakes up, it's to find Pete sitting on the end of the bed, grinning.
Brendon blinks, decides this is some kind of nightmare, and tries to roll over and go back to sleep.
"Guys," Pete says. "Really?"
"Go away," Spencer says, without even sitting up, and this is the only thing that convinces Brendon that it's not some kind of sex-induced nightmare. That, and the fact that at some point in the night, they've clearly kicked the covers off the end of the bed, so Brendon is currently displaying all of his junk to Pete fucking Wentz, and Spencer is just lying there with his ass in the air. None of them move. Brendon is still secretly sort of hoping it's all a dream.
"Nrgh," Brendon manages, eloquently. He covers himself up with his pillow, not because he has any problem with nudity—the more the better, generally speaking—but seriously. Pete Wentz. Being caught naked in Pete's pool house with Spencer is maybe not the best way to kick-start a music career.
"Dudes, seriously?" Pete goes on, still sitting at the end of the bed. "The two of you? Really?"
"Yes," Spencer says, kind of patiently, even though he's still sprawled face first across the pillows. "The two of us."
"Spencer Smith," Pete says, wondrously.
"If you don't fuck off," Spencer says, and Brendon is kind of amazed at Spencer's ability to, firstly, tell Pete to fuck off, and secondly, do it all without moving, and thirdly, do it all while naked, "I am handing in my two weeks' notice right the fuck now."
"Spencer," Pete says, rolling his eyes. "Spencer, Spencer, Spencer. You can't quit, you love me too much."
"Not right now, I don't," Spencer says. "Seriously, Pete."
"Okay, okay," Pete laughs, loudly, and Brendon winces. He'd had enough to drink the previous night to warrant requiring a couple of Tylenol and a glass of water before venturing towards loud noises. Pete stands up and throws Spencer's discarded shorts at Brendon. "I'll give you guys five minutes to find some clothes. I'll put the coffee on, and then you can come see all the print reviews of your show, Bden."
Brendon freezes. "What, really?"
"Really," Pete says. "And they're good. Get some clothes on and come see."
"If that fucker pulled this off," Spencer says, sitting up as the pool house door closes behind Pete, "I'll punch him in the face."
"He says they're good," Brendon says, wide-eyed. "Spencer, fuck."
"Well," Spencer says, rolling his eyes. "I'm just glad that whole month's work I put in paid off. Come on, get dressed."
When they get into the kitchen, Pete has a laptop out on the table, next to a couple of newspapers and a small folder of print-outs. He's also halfway to pouring out fresh coffee, and Brendon has to stop himself from making grabby hands as Pete passes him a mug. There's a box of pastries, too, and a BlackBerry charger that Spencer falls upon with a kind of wild-eyed gleefulness Brendon isn't sure he could replicate without sitting down for a while, first. Pete rolls his eyes and passes them a box of Tylenol.
"Dude," Spencer says, knocking back his pills with a gulp of hot coffee, and waving a hand at the pastries and the print-outs, "who the fuck did you get out of bed to get all of this organized?"
Pete shrugs his shoulders. "Ryan," he says.
Spencer rolls his eyes. "Bet Ryan was overjoyed to have you calling him so early."
"Now he'll know what it's like to have your job," Pete says, easily. He leans over and ruffles Spencer's hair.
Spencer bats him away with a practiced air. "I could still punch you in the face, you know."
"Not until you've seen these," Pete says, and slides the pile of cuttings and print outs across the table. Brendon reaches for them, but for a few moments he's not sure what he's seeing. Then—he takes a deep breath, and forgets the vague attempt at a hangover pressing at the base of his skull. They're reviews. Reviews with the parts about him already highlighted, and they're overwhelmingly positive. 'Brendon Urie took to the stage like a pro,' one says, and another says, 'This time Pete Wentz has stumbled across actual talent' and 'Despite the secrecy, the crowd couldn't get enough'.
"Wow," Brendon manages, lamely. He's pretty sure that if he was even vaguely cool, he'd brush the reviews off as if he didn't care, but he can't even pretend not to. People liked him. Pete's plan to whisk Brendon off, hide him from the press and let the performance speak for itself had worked.
"Still going to punch you in the face," Spencer says, evenly. "A month, Pete. I bust my ass for a month, and then you throw it all away at the last minute."
"Bah," Pete says. "Shut up and eat your pastry. It worked, didn't it?"
"It might not have done," Spencer goes on, and Brendon can't help but start looking at the reviews Pete has open on his laptop, the websites the print-outs are from. "You risked a lot, Pete."
"It worked, though," Brendon says, tentatively. Some of these reviews are really good. Apparently pre-orders for his album are pretty spectacular. The album Brendon hasn't even finished recording yet. There are still all the edits and pick-ups to do.
"See?" Pete says, pouring himself more coffee, "Brendon recognizes my genius."
"Brendon doesn't know you well enough to call you on your asshattery," Spencer says, darkly. "And okay, so you seem to have pulled this one off -"
"You recognize my genius," Pete tells him, delightedly. "I'll get Ryan to write the date and time in my dayplanner."
"Shut up," Spencer says, but he's loosening up, Brendon can tell. His shoulders are relaxing; the coffee must be kicking in. Brendon bumps his knee against Spencer's under the table, lightly enough to be accidental. Spencer presses back, though, his foot brushing Brendon's.
Pete just laughs and leans over, giving Brendon's shoulder a rub. "You should take another couple of days," he says, which Brendon doesn't exactly understand.
"What?" Brendon asks.
"Spend the weekend here," Pete goes on. "Stay under the radar. No one knows you're here. I'm going to fly out, see Patrick, listen to your stuff. We'll leak some of the finished bits, then in a few days you can fly out and do the pick-ups, and we'll take it from there."
"Uh -" Brendon manages.
"Can we talk about how much this isn't our original plan?" Spencer says, rolling his eyes and reaching across Brendon for a pastry. "About how much work went into that original plan?"
"Plan's changed," Pete says, easily. "Now you're taking a couple of days, too. You're going to stay here with Brendon."
"As what?" Spencer asks, but Brendon's heart is already beating a little faster in his chest. "I'm running security now?"
"No," Pete says. "But you're not getting a day off until Christmas, and neither's this kid, either. So make the most of it, take some time, eat my food, fly out to New York next week."
"Um," Spencer says. He raises an eyebrow at Pete, but doesn't move his leg away from Brendon's. "What the fuck do you need me for in New York?"
Pete shrugs. "I'm pretty sure, as Brendon's manager, you should be out there with him."
"It's a promotion," Pete says, taking a bite of his pastry. "So shut up, unless you want me to take it away again. You do want it, right?"
"Well," Spencer says, "yes."
"Good," Pete says, nodding. "Be in New York on Tuesday, and don't expect a day off until next year."
"Here," Spencer says, later. He's holding out a tall glass of something green, the lip frosted with ice and salt. "Margarita," he says, and nudges Brendon's knee with his own as he makes room on the table for their drinks.
Brendon grins and shuffles over onto his side. He's lazing by the pool in one of Pete's lawn chairs, Spencer's discarded shorts low on his hips. He's been dozing for a while, dipping in and out from the low murmur of Spencer's voice as he wandered from room to room, cell phone in hand.
"You should move over," Spencer says, nudging Brendon again.
"Didn't we learn anything from the inflatable pineapple incident?" Brendon asks, but he rolls on to his side, shuffling back so there's room for Spencer to fit next to him, their legs tangling together as Spencer runs his hand down Brendon's side.
"Yeah," Spencer says, and before Brendon knows what's happening, Spencer's leaning in and kissing the underside of Brendon's jaw, his cheek, the corner of his mouth. "Don't make out on a raft."
"But lawn chairs are okay?"
"Oh yeah," Spencer tells him, kissing him again. "Lawn chairs are okay. And beds, too. Most places, actually."
"And now that you're my manager?" Brendon presses his knee between Spencer's thigh, wrapping his arms around Spencer's back. There's barely room to breathe, they're so closely pressed together. Brendon can feel the sweat pearling in the hollow of his back.
Spencer shrugs. "I guess that means I get to see you more," he says. "I mean, if you want to."
"I want to," Brendon says, and he closes the distance between them, kissing Spencer's mouth. If Spencer gets to be up front and direct, then Brendon gets to be, too. "I want to do this a whole lot more," he says. "But, you know. I kind of don't do casual relationships. I'm pretty sure you need to tell me right about now if that's going to be a problem."
Spencer rolls his shoulders, and Brendon can't help but feel concerned. He's not against the odd hook-up, but he's enough of his mother's son that dating someone means being exclusive.
"I'm never around," Spencer says, softly, but he isn't pulling away, something that Brendon tries to take as a positive. "I'm always busy. Who wants to date someone they never see?"
Brendon shrugs lightly, trying not to betray himself. He knows he's kind of old-fashioned and secretly, he's never going to be cool enough to be a famous rock star, but he really likes Spencer. "I figure you're going to see a whole lot of me," he says.
"Yeah," Spencer says. He shifts so that they're pressed together from shoulder to knee. "You sure you want to date someone you have to see all day long at work?"
Brendon shrugs. Something's buzzing in his chest, a spark of hope and excitement and heat. "I'm pretty sure I want to try," he says, and he grins as Spencer nudges him with his nose.
"Awesome," Spencer says, and presses his mouth to Brendon's. "I figured out where Pete stashes the condoms."
Brendon grins, and kisses him back.
The New Year show is amazing. Brendon feels like he's on fire, because the audience is screaming, and they're screaming for him. His album has already gone platinum, and Pete keeps calling him up to tell him he's a fucking success.
He plays two songs as an encore, and then tumbles off stage in a mess of cables and microphone wires.
Spencer's waiting in the wings, talking into his headset and pointing people in different directions. It seems a little like he hasn't noticed Brendon, but Brendon is more than aware that Spencer always knows where he is. Brendon's also aware that Spencer is technically off duty, and that from this moment on, they are both on vacation.
"Dude," Brendon says, through a haze of heat and sweat and adrenaline, "Dude."
Spencer rolls his eyes at him, but there's a smile hiding somewhere close to the surface, the good kind, the kind that means everything. "Hey," he says.
Brendon stops himself from pushing Spencer right up against the wall and kissing him, there and then, wires and everything. "I rocked," Brendon tells him, as someone takes his guitar away from him, and someone else helps off with the microphone and the wires.
"You did," Spencer says, passing his clipboard to his assistant and taking off his bluetooth headset. "So did I."
"Oh, yes," Brendon grins, pushing Spencer down the hallway and toward his dressing rooms. "You're the best manager."
"The very best," Spencer says, as they get to Brendon's dressing room. He backs Brendon against the wall and leans in to kiss away Brendon's agreement, the door closing behind them. "And we have time off for the first time in months."
"We do," Brendon agrees, happily wrapping his arms around Spencer's neck and kissing him back.
"We should celebrate," Spencer says, tugging off Brendon's shirt. Brendon's plastered in sweat, and he would care, aside from how Spencer doesn't seem to in the slightest.
"I thought we were," Brendon says, breathlessly, tugging at the buttons of Spencer's shirt.
"Not here," Spencer says, kissing him. "I got us a hotel room."
"Dude," Brendon says, rocking back on his heels and clutching at Spencer's collar. "You're the best boyfriend."
"Yeah, yeah, yeah," Spencer says, hands on Brendon's hips, hooking his fingers into the belt loops. "Shut up and let me jerk you off in the shower."
"You're so romantic," Brendon says, and kicks his pants off on the way into the bathroom.