Title: Courtship in 4/4 Time
Size: 2562 words
Recipient: Deepsix (V)
Brendon doesn't know what wakes him up. The bus is still moving and it looks dark beyond the two inch gap left between his curtain and the wall. But something woke him up, so he lays still and listens. He can just hear the tinny sound of Jon's ipod above him, and Ryan's rustling around in his bunk. He hears a high-pitched squeak, a low laugh, and then "shhh." Oh, right, Keltie's with them.
It's not like Brendon cares. They have a rule about no sex on the bus, but they've all broken the rule plenty of times. They've all just learned how to be courteous and discreet about it. Which is why Spencer has earplugs, Jon sleeps with his ipod on, and everybody knows that Brendon can sleep through just about anything as long as you wait until he's out. Which begs the question of what woke him up tonight. Whatever it was, he's pretty sure he's not falling back to sleep right away. And he's fucking thirsty.
Brendon slides out of his bunk, under the curtain, as quietly as he can and tiptoes toward the kitchen. He's surprised to find Spencer alone in the dark in the front of the bus. He's sitting at the table, facing away from Brendon, his headphones on and his laptop on the table in front of him. Spencer's leaning back against the wall, one leg stretched out on the bench seat, and he looks blue in the light of his laptop, flashing to white when a car passes the bus outside. It's mesmerizing and Brendon just watches for a minute, until he realizes that Spencer's arm is moving. It doesn't take a genius to recognize the motion, slow, regular, the muscles in his shoulder flexing. Four years living in each other's pockets and it's not like Brendon can't recognize one of his bandmates jerking off.
Brendon wonders what Spencer's watching, what it is that's turning him on, who it is on the laptop screen that is making the back of his neck flush, making him gasp as he speeds up the pace of his hand. When Brendon was a kid, his mom used to tell him over and over again that curiosity killed the cat, and he knows better, he does. But dammit, he maybe has a vested interest in knowing what turns Spencer on, and besides, he's bored to death with all of his own porn and wants to know if Spencer has something more interesting. He holds his breath and tiptoes over, moving slowly until he can see the laptop screen. Spencer's arm is speeding up more, getting a little erratic, and he's panting. Brendon has to lean over and down to be able to see the screen, and he can almost see, but not quite, so he takes a half-step to his right, steps on something cold and hard, turns his ankle and does a really undignified face-plant.
"What the fuck!" Spencer yells. Brendon turns over and Spencer is looming over him with a glare, so Brendon waves up at him and grins sheepishly. "The hell are you doing?"
"Falling on my face, apparently." Brendon pulls himself up, leaning against the bench, and tries to act as cool as he can while sneaking a peak at Spencer's laptop. "I woke up thirsty and that fucker Ross is back there doing stuff to his girl that I do not want to... is that Bob Bryar?"
Brendon really wishes that he could learn to not just blurt things out, because Bob Bryar drumming his ass off on Spencer's laptop or not, the question goes over like a lead balloon and the amused annoyance on Spencer's face turns suddenly to anger. Brendon's pretty sure he's also blushing, but it's harder to tell these days with the beard. Spencer slams the laptop shut and pushes himself out of the banquette.
"Dude, are you jerking off to Bob Bryar?" Again, with the inability to shut up when he should.
"No!" Spencer grabs his laptop off the table. "Jesus, go the hell back to bed." With that he stomps off, back to his bunk, and okay, Brendon really should have expected that reaction. He turns back around and sits down on the filthy carpet, wiping at his elbow where's he's pretty sure he lost a layer of skin. His foot hits something cold again and he reaches out and picks it up, turning over the little glass pipe that Jon bought in Phoenix a week ago. "Fuck."
Walking in on Spencer jerking off to Bob Bryar is exactly the kind of thing that Brendon should pretend never happened and go on with his life. It's the polite thing to do. Like the time he walked in on Ryan making out with Amanda Palmer or the time in Europe when Jon got drunk and cried because he missed Cassie. Those things never happened and Brendon doesn't mention them and other people don't mention certain things he's done. It's one of the unwritten rules to staying sane in a band. They're all just happier that way.
The problem is that Brendon has a bit of a Thing for Spencer. He calls it a Thing in his head because crush makes him sound like a 14 year old girl and other words are just a little too scary to even think, so "Thing" is the label Brendon has put on the three year old Spencer-shaped box in his head. He's actually been pretty good at forgetting about his Thing most of the time these days, but he suddenly can't get the image of Spencer, panting shallowly in the laptop glow, out of his head. He just keeps poking at it like a sore tooth.
Spencer's been avoiding Brendon for hours, but there isn't really any good way to hide from someone on a tour. When Brendon sits down across from Spencer in the nearly-empty catering space and just looks at him, Spencer sighs and puts down his sandwich, giving Brendon an irritated but resigned look. "What, Brendon?"
"Just." Brendon turns his water bottle, watching it leave overlapping wet circles on the table. "Bob Bryar? Really? Not that he's not hot! Cause he is in his own big blond intense way. Just not what I would have picked as your post-Haley type."
"I don't have a..." He stops and rubs a hand over his face, then takes a drink of his coffee. "I don't have the hots for Bryar, not like that. It's more. Competent drumming turns me on, okay?"
Brendon laughs. "Seriously?"
"Oh god," Spencer groans and puts his head in his hands. "Yes, okay. I'm pretty sure Ryan would say there's something deeply narcissistic about it, but fucking whatever."
"Only if you're whacking off to our own concert vids."
"No!" Spencer looks up at Brendon in horror and Brendon can't help laughing again, because seriously, this whole situation is hysterical. "Stop laughing, Urie. I know all about your collection of Justin Timberlake photos!"
"Hey!" Brendon tries to act indignant, but can't quite manage it. "Does that mean you have like an all-star collection of drumming videos? Jerk off material for any mood? Like some days you're in the mood for some Travis Barker and some days your in the mood for a little Meg White? What about some old school Keith Moon?"
"Okay, stop," Spencer says, throwing his napkin at Brendon and hitting him square in the face, but he's smiling. "We are now officially done talking about this."
"Shut up, Brendon."
"Alright! Alright! No more." Brendon holds his hands up in surrender and then reaches across to steal some of Spencer's cheetos.
Brendon doesn't say anything else about Spencer's drummer kink, but he does occasionally search Youtube for videos of drummers and e-mails the links to Spencer. Mostly he just sends the links without comment, but when he sends Spencer the video of Buddy Rich vs. Animal, he writes, "I hope this doesn't turn you on, you sick fuck." Spencer retaliates by sending Brendon a bunch of really weird and/or gross porn that Brendon never really wanted to know existed. One day Brendon comes across a Swedish short film called "Music for One Apartment and Six Drummers" and it's so fucking cool that he has to email it to Spencer right away and then goes to track him down so they can watch it together.
They both get obsessed with the video and spend the next week turning anything and everything they can find on their bus, in their dressing room, and random truck stops into percussion instruments. Ryan and Jon get into the act for a few days until they get bored with it and then annoyed by it and eventually ban it from the bus altogether. On the next hotel night, though, Brendon steals Jon's stash and he and Spencer spend the night getting baked and composing what they title, "Two Dudes, Some Weed, and a Crappy Hotel Room," and they declare it cooler than any of the stoner songs Ryan and Jon have written with their guitars. They get Shane to come in and film them while they perform their opus using hotel glasses, wooden hangars, a plastic garbage can, and the wall-mounted hair dryer in the bathroom. It's wicked awesome and Brendon falls asleep curled up next to Spencer in his bed, discussing the Two Dudes album that they are clearly going to have to record.
The next day Spencer finds clips of the Vegetable Orchestra online, and they start plotting a trip to a Farmer's Market for some instruments. It's maybe the most fun Brendon's had offstage on a tour in a long time and Spencer's started looking more relaxed and happy than he has since he broke up with Haley, so Brendon counts it as a win all around.
Brendon's watching Dirty Jobs and thinking about making castanets out of walnut shells when Jon flops down next to him in the lounge and slings an arm across Brendon's shoulder. "What's up, young Bden?"
"Mike Rowe is sticking his finger up chicken's asses and I think I'm scarred for life." He sinks down against Jon, because it's an incontrovertible fact that Jon Walker makes a good pillow.
"Ugh. That guy is not right in the head." But Jon makes no move to leave or change the channel and they're quiet for a while, laughing at Mike's antics on-screen. Eventually, it goes to commercial and Jon says, "so how goes the seduction of Spencer Smith?"
"The what?" Brendon leans away from Jon enough to look up at his face.
"Dude, you are many things, but subtle is not one of them. Wooing Spencer with percussion is ingenious, I'll give you that, though."
"I'm not wooing Spencer!" Brendon sits up and pulls away from Jon. "What the fuck?"
"Uh huh. Whatever you say, man." Jon grins that smug way that he does when he thinks he knows more than you about something. "All I'm saying is that, if you did have a plan to woo our drummer, it seems to be working."
"I don't!" Brendon exclaims and then stops, lets what Jon just said sink in. "Really?"
Jon grins wider, but doesn't say anything else, just reaches for the bong behind Brendon on the shelf. "Wanna smoke up?"
And okay, maybe Brendon has been flirting with Spencer. Maybe he has been trying to win him over with drumming, but he's a little freaked out by the idea that he's not as subtle as he thought he was. Luckily, the tour is wrapping up and things get crazy for the last few days and Brendon doesn't have much time for anything, much less freaking out or planning his next move. The tour ends and they all go home, spending the first few days apart, like always.
Brendon loves his house and he especially loves his new music room, so he offers it up for rehearsals for the next tour and invites Spencer over a couple of hours earlier than the other guys. Spencer finds Brendon in the music room, playing the practice drum set, and he grins when Brendon winks at him and throws his body into it. Spencer watches him for a minute or two, tapping against his own thigh, but it's not long before he walks over, grabs an extra set of sticks and takes up a counter-beat on the tom across from Brendon.
He's not sure how long they play, but they play back and forth, alternating between challenging each other and playing together. Brendon knows he's a pretty decent drummer, but Spencer is amazing and he switches up the timing and goes easily from rock to jazz to salsa and Brendon just lets him take the lead and does his best to keep up. By the time they give up, Brendon is sweating and Spencer is flushed and laughing and it takes Brendon's breath away a little.
Spencer grabs a beer out of the mini-fridge and hands one to Brendon. He takes a drink, watching Brendon as he wipes his face off with a towel and moves out from behind the kit. He's still grinning at Brendon and god, that smile has always made Brendon's stomach flutter.
"So," Brendon says and then doesn't know what else to say, so he takes a drink of his own beer.
"So," says Spencer, and then he's suddenly moving forward, pushing Brendon back into the picture window behind him, crowding up against him. "Are we done with this part of the program?"
"Um, yes?" Brendon's not entirely sure what Spencer means, but then Spencer's moving in even closer and pressing his mouth to Brendon's and okay, Brendon is totally down with that.
He pulls away briefly to ask, "Does this mean I'm hotter than Bob Bryar?"
"Shut up, Brendon."
And yeah, okay, good plan. Brendon opens his mouth under Spencer's and wraps his arms around Spencer's neck, letting Spencer press him flush against the warm window at this back. It makes him feel incredibly slutty, just melting against Spencer like this, but it's SPENCER, and Brendon doesn't really have any defenses here. Spencer slides his knee in between Brendon's legs and presses in even further, pushing Brendon up on to his tiptoes. He wraps his hands around the sides of Brendon's face and tilts Brendon's head back, angling just the way he wants him and deepening the kiss. By the time Spencer pulls away, Brendon is panting and frankly a little embarrassed by how undone he is.
Spencer just smiles at him, softer this time, and smoothes Brendon's t-shirt. "How long do we have before everyone else shows up?"
"Long enough for you to fuck me," Brendon blurts out and Spencer laughs, pulling away. He turns and walks away, turning back to Brendon at the doorway.
"Are you coming?"
"God, I hope so," Brendon says and shakes himself out of his stupor to push away from the window and follow. A thought occurs to him as he's following Spencer down the hall to his bedroom. "Hey! We should totally play the drums together onstage this tour!"
Spencer's laugh echoes down the hallway.