They lapse into silence then, and Brendon tries not to glance at the clock too often. He can't help but feel paranoid. Why would they be late? Had someone tipped them off about Brendon? Was he about to be arrested, and would Ryan be in trouble too?
Ryan lays a hand over Brendon's knee, and he stops bouncing it up and down. "Sorry," he murmurs.
Ryan looks contemplative for a moment, then stands up to walk over to the hover board. He starts to tug on it, and Brendon is seconds away from saying What the fuck are you doing? when Ryan says, "Will you give me a hand with this?"
"What the fuck are you doing?" Brendon asks, but he still goes over to help. Ryan scowls, though Brendon's not sure if it's at him or the hover board. "Here, let go," he says, then goes through the menu to select the auto-release.
"Oh," Ryan says as the mechanism expands to move the boxes off. "I will never understand technology."
Brendon grins at him, then moves over to let him take over. He still has no idea what Ryan's up to. Ryan takes a little while with the menu before clambering up onto the board as it hovers a few feet off the ground. Ryan holds out a hand, looking expectant.
"What are you doing?" Brendon asks, looking around for their customers, willing them to appear to keep him safe from Ryan's schemes.
"C'mon, dude, trust me." He stretches his hand out further, and Brendon's reminded of one of those really old Disney movies that his grandmother let him watch when he was a kid. Do you trust me? He takes Ryan's hand.
When the board starts to move, Brendon jumps and grabs onto Ryan's arm. He's a little reassured when Ryan only gives him an annoyed look. He realizes then that Ryan has set up a course around the room, just to fly around and pass the time.
He eases his grip on Ryan's arm, but doesn't let go. "What if they show up? Isn't this a little unprofessional?"
"No more unprofessional than being over 30 minutes late to a meeting." He sits down and lets his legs hang over the side, gesturing for Brendon to do the same. Brendon does, but very slowly. "Spence and I used to borrow his dad's board every time he was out of the house and ride around like this. The old lady that lived next door caught us once, and we had to hear her safety lecture for almost an hour."
Brendon takes in Ryan's smirk as he relives the memory. "You guys have been friends for a long time, huh?" He tries to push down the spark of jealousy.
"Yeah," Ryan says, and now he looks wistful. "We had secrets, and we only trusted each other." Brendon thinks of Spencer's psychic thing and wonders what Ryan might have shared that seemed just as big and scary as that when they were kids. He knows talking about Ryan's family is off-limits, so he won't ask, but he still wonders.
"I wish I'd had somebody like that." He didn't mean to say it out loud, but he won't take it back, not when he thinks back to being twelve years old and getting in a van to go off to a school for "specials" because his parents refused to deal with him anymore. Maybe if he'd known Spencer, they could've figured it out together and never let their parents find out a thing.
He snaps out of it when Ryan's hand closes over his. He realizes that on most days, they would all three be giving him such crap for all this moping and worrying, but for some reason, they're all comforting him, especially Ryan. He starts to ask Ryan why that is when they both hear a shout from outside the building. Ryan scrambles to stop the hover board, and they stumble off next to the cargo right as a group of four big guys come in, loud and obnoxious. They're all holding big glass bottles. Drunk, then.
"Oh, good, we 'ere wond'rin' when that stuff'd get here," the guy in the front says.
Ryan visibly stiffens, so Brendon steps up. "It got here an hour ago, at the time we agreed to beforehand." He struggles to keep his tone polite. "Now if you could just sign--"
"N'hang on," one of the other guys says, practically shouting. "Are you insin--insin'yatin' somethin' here?"
Brendon struggles to remain calm, even though he can feel Ryan seething, his thoughts building up so much that Brendon has to concentrate to keep them out. "Of course not, sir. Now if you'd just sign this--"
Brendon just registers that this shout came from Ryan, but then Ryan's rushing over to get the hover board back from the other two guys, and the next thing he knows, everything goes chaotic and he's on the ground.
"Ow," he moans. His head hurts like a bitch.
"Shit," Ryan whispers, coming into Brendon's line of vision. "Just go, I don't want to deal with you anymore!" Ryan shouts over his shoulder. Brendon wishes he wouldn't. His head feels like it's exploding.
"What happened?" Brendon grunts, trying to sit up. Ryan holds him down.
"One of those motherfuckers threw a bottle at you. I'm still not convinced it wasn't on purpose," he says darkly, glancing over his shoulder. "Sit still," he says, pushing Brendon's shoulder down again. He pushes Brendon's hair back and skirts his fingers around the place where Brendon assumes the bottle hit. It suddenly throbs really painfully and Brendon hisses. Ryan draws his hand back, muttering an apology.
"How bad is it?"
"I think you'll live," Ryan says, but he keeps looking at the place on Brendon's forehead until it makes Brendon feel self-conscious. He bites his lip, and Ryan's eyes dart down to follow the motion. His fingers slide down to rest over Brendon's cheekbone. This time, when Brendon sits up, Ryan lets him.
"Ryan?" he asks, testing his ground, but before he can begin to think of what to ask, Ryan's lips are on his. Brendon gasps, and Ryan brings up both hands to frame Brendon's face before licking his way into Brendon's mouth. Brendon doesn't bother to hide his moan because maybe this is making his head throb, but it's also making his dick throb and Ryan is kind of a ridiculously thorough kisser. Ryan hums into Brendon's mouth, his hands gripping more insistently as he moves more into Brendon's space. Suddenly Ryan pulls back from the kiss and he's in Brendon's lap, looking very debauched, and Brendon is unbelievably turned on.
"What are the odds of getting back to the ship without being stopped?" Brendon asks even as he leans forward to bite at Ryan's lip.
Ryan doesn't answer right away, mostly because he can only do so much with his mouth at one time, but then he pulls away to catch his breath and says, "Jon and Spencer were gonna head to the bar."
Brendon closes his eyes for a moment, knowing that it's not going to be easy to walk back to the ship, but reminding himself that it'll be worth it once they get there.
"We can ride on the hover board."
Ryan is always full of good ideas.
Brendon tries to wait until they make it to their deck to resume whatever it is they started, but as soon as they get into the elevator, he can't help himself. Ryan responds in kind, fingers sliding under Brendon's shirt and tracing patterns along his back.
"How's your head?" Ryan murmurs just as the elevator dings and the doors slide open.
"Fine," Brendon insists, and it's actually true. His thoughts have been pretty focused on Ryan this whole time, which he wouldn't have thought could be possible with the initial amount of pain he felt.
"You sure?" Ryan asks, amused, as he observes Brendon's expression.
Brendon growls and pulls Ryan out of the elevator by the shirt only to push him against the nearest wall. This is no time for Ryan to be amused.
"Fuck, Brendon," Ryan says as Brendon sucks on his neck, slides his fingers over the skin of Ryan's hips, and pushes his leg between Ryan's.
"That's the general idea."
"Bed," Ryan demands, pushing Brendon toward the living area. Brendon hesitates between the two doors, but Ryan makes the decision for him as he heads into his own room, throwing his shirt at Brendon as he walks.
After Brendon discards his own shirt, they continue making out on the bed for a little while. Brendon feels the ever-present whisper of Ryan's thoughts in the back of his mind, but he presses down the urge to filter them in. He's always got control, thanks to the Academy, but he's always tempted during sex to throw caution to the wind just to make people feel good. Just to know he's doing things right.
Instead, he's learned just to ask. "What do you want?"
Ryan stares at Brendon's lips with his own mouth hanging open for long enough that Brendon thinks he knows the answer, but Ryan surprises him. "Want you to fuck me," he says, pulling out a drawer and handing the tube to Brendon.
"Fuck," and that's another reason why he's glad he doesn't listen in. Sometimes it's nice to be surprised.
When he's got two fingers inside, pressing Ryan just right, Ryan makes this low, insistent noise and mumbles, "Wanted this so much. Fuck." His toes curl against Brendon's side, an invitation for him to press a third finger inside.
"You look so fucking good like this," Brendon says, taking in the completely wanton look on Ryan's face, the way he tips his head back and pushes his hips as Brendon presses in.
"C'mon," Ryan says, insistent, shifting his hips.
"Alright, alright, hold your horses," Brendon says, trying to keep calm and not embarrass himself so soon. Ryan glares at him, and it's just enough to take the edge off of his desperation.
When he pushes his way all the way in, Ryan digs his heels into Brendon's shoulders and tells him to move, and Brendon's neverending thought of sogoodsogoodohgod is paused long enough to be amused at Ryan being a total power bottom. It gives him the presence of mind to smile down at Ryan and then pull all the way out, slamming back in, and yeah, he knew Ryan would love that without needing to invade the privacy of his thoughts.
His control slips down to power-saver mode soon after that, and he finds himself babbling things like "knew you'd feel perfect" and "wanted to hear you," and he's not even embarrassed because Ryan is giving it back just as much.
Brendon feels his thrusts get more erratic, hoping it's not too soon, and then Ryan moans and comes all over his stomach. Brendon has just enough time to register Ryan's blissed-out look and how tight and perfect he feels before he's coming too, hips still pumping helplessly.
Brendon doesn't exactly expect Ryan to be tolerant of cuddling, but after cleaning the two of them off, he lets Brendon pull him in and turns Brendon's quick, gentle kiss into something with a little more intent.
"'ll try to wake up before Jon 'n' Spence get back," Ryan mumbles into Brendon's shoulder, but Brendon's not sure if he means himself or both of them. He absently wonders what Spencer and Jon would do if they found the two of them like this, and his mind trips over the possibilities as he slips off to sleep.
Brendon wakes up to Spencer saying, "Breeendonnnn!" from the hallway, following it up with a pretty uncharacteristic giggle.
"Shit," Ryan whispers, stiffening but not moving away from Brendon. Spencer appears in the doorway, and Brendon watches as the huge, drunk smile slips right off his face.
"Hey, Spence," Brendon tries, but Spencer just stands there, staring at them with that unchanging expression. Then, just as suddenly as he'd appeared, he turns and disappears, and then they both jump as they hear a door slam.
The tension drains out of Ryan's body, and he makes a miserable noise into Brendon's shoulder. "He's gonna be pissed at me."
Brendon traces circles into Ryan's hip and tries not to sound as utterly confused as he feels when he asks, "Why?"
Ryan doesn't answer, and Brendon can't read his expression when he leans in to press his lips to Brendon's. The kiss is so much sweeter than anything from earlier that Brendon finds himself clinging, desperate because it feels like an ending.
"Get dressed," Ryan says, getting up to do the same. Brendon trips over his jeans while trying to get them on because he's too busy staring at Ryan, but Ryan doesn't even notice. He's seconds away from letting himself read Ryan's mind when Ryan glances in his direction, and Brendon feels so guilty he pulls his shirt on inside-out. Ryan laughs at him, and it sounds so far-away and fake that Brendon's chest tightens in anticipation.
He knows he should just go. Ryan's looking more closed-off with every passing second, but he's too selfish, he has to know how real this was for Ryan. Reading his mind without permission goes against everything Brendon believes in, so he moves into Ryan's space and makes him uncross him arms while he kisses him, one last time. He puts everything into it, how much he wanted this, how much he still does, and fuck, Ryan's hands fist into Brendon's shirt and he gives it all right back. Which makes everything worse when Ryan pulls back and keeps his eyes closed while he says, "You should go. Jon's probably down on the lower deck."
Brendon waits, but even when Ryan shudders just slightly and opens his eyes, he won't look Brendon in the eye. Brendon makes a frustrated noise and stomps over to his own room, slamming the door. Fuck Ryan. Fuck Spencer, who the fuck does he think he is? Brendon trusted him with something that could cost him his life, and this is how he repays him? Wasn't it bad enough that he's completely unavailable to Brendon, now he's keeping Ryan from him too? Fuck the world, seriously.
He hears their voices rise next door, but he blocks them out, pounding numbers into the computer. They'd lifted off while Brendon was asleep, and Brendon can't help throwing in a fuck the captain for that, because more than ever he just wants to walk around and find a random bar with a bartender that will listen to him for a little while.
And fuck his morals, god, because suddenly he hears I can't believe you would fucking stoop that low in what is clearly Spencer's inner voice, because of course Spencer can't fucking control his own ability right now. Perfect. The computer seems to sense his frustration, maybe in the way he's abusing the buttons, and helpfully informs him that Jon is milling about on the lower deck at the moment.
Brendon sighs, resting his forehead against the coolness of the computer console. He can't sit around and listen to this, and his anger is replaced with hopelessness as he takes in what Spencer really thinks of him. Jon Walker may not be obligated to listen to his woes, but he might just do it anyway. He's cool like that. Brendon makes up his mind and gets onto the elevator quickly, hoping to avoid overhearing any more declarations.
Jon spots him right away, offering a lazy smile and a greeting instantly. A second look at Brendon's expression, though, and he looks concerned and moves in to hug him. Brendon loves Jon Walker hugs, because they never seem to ask anything of him, and always seem to give him exactly what he's looking for.
"C'mere," Jon finally says, tugging until Brendon follows him between the boxes on deck. Brendon's never really thought about this being a place to hide away, but it makes sense now as Jon sits down and pats the ground next to him.
Brendon lowers himself onto the cold floor and tries to shut down Spencer saying "stoop that low, fucking stoop that low" on repeat in his head. "Jon," he starts to ask shyly, "do you think...?" Fuck, he doesn't know how to ask this without sounding like a complete idiot.
Jon makes a 'go on' noise, wrapping his arm around Brendon's shoulders.
"Would you think less of someone else if they decided to sleep with me?"
Jon stiffens next to him, and when Brendon looks, Jon is livid. He's never seen Jon look so angry. "Who said that about you? We will turn this fucking ship around and I will beat up whoever said that, Brendon, I swear."
That's almost enough to make Brendon smile, except it's not some stranger, it's Spencer, someone that knows Brendon well enough to support his opinion. "It wasn't on planet," Brendon mumbles.
The angry look slides off Jon's face. "What?" he asks, voice soft.
"Spencer," Brendon says, trying to hide his face in his knees. "Spencer said it."
Jon snorts, but when Brendon looks at him, miserable, he stops. "You must have heard him wrong," Jon insists.
Brendon shakes his head. "It was all pretty clear."
Jon brings up his other arm to give Brendon a sideways hug, and Brendon tilts his head over to rest on Jon's shoulder. "Then he didn't mean it, Brendon, I know he didn't."
Brendon wants to say that it's pretty hard to lie in your own head, but he can't, so he just settles on shaking his head some more. With some urging, Brendon fills Jon in on what happened, leaving out the parts where he was desperate and pathetic.
Jon gives him another hug when it's over, but insists, "There's something missing there, Brendon. There's no way Spencer would say that about you." After a moment, Jon looks shifty and then offers Brendon something quietly.
"Seriously?" Brendon says, taking it. "Weed? Hey, is this stuff legal in space?"
Jon shrugs and says, "It's not really regulated," and that's that. This is why Jon is the best person to go to with your problems; he always has some solution.
Brendon smokes up with Jon, and before long he finds himself moaning about "all these feelings, Jon, it's just not fair."
Jon nods along, staying quiet for the most part, and Brendon starts to feel a little lighter, confiding in Jon like this. He's mumbling around the joint in an attempt to tell Jon just that, but then Jon takes the joint from Brendon's mouth and puts his lips there instead, and Brendon stops babbling.
Jon kisses him softly and Brendon kisses back in a daze, wondering when he earned this privilege. "This isn't a big deal, okay?" Jon asks, and Brendon nods helplessly, taking in the next kiss that Jon presses to his lips. "You promise not freak out on me?" and Brendon just nods some more until he feels ridiculous and they both start giggling. They go back to lazy kisses and smoking, and Brendon starts to forget about Spencer and what he may or may not have meant.
Brendon really expects the shit to hit the fan after that, but when nothing happens and really nothing happens and Ryan and Spencer are both trying to act like nothing has changed, Brendon goes to Jon.
"They're both avoiding me but pretending not to. I think I'd be the first to know if they suddenly had that much work to do," he says, gesturing at a nearby computer. "And speaking of, you do need to sort the purple order into two shipments. I can help if you want."
Jon thanks him for that, but it's not like he was doing anything else. They start pulling out smaller boxes from the bigger boxes, and Brendon still has no idea what it is they deliver to people. This whole ship is a huge fucking mystery. Halfway through the job, Brendon tries to casually slip in, "So what did Ryan say when he found out you and I, y'know, made out?"
Jon gives him a look that says I see straight through you and says, "I didn't tell him."
Brendon says "oh" without inflection and tries to focus on stacking the small boxes just right.
"I meant it when I said it wasn't a big deal. It was fun, we both enjoyed it." He shrugs. "Ryan and I do it too, sometimes."
Brendon stares back at him, wide-eyed. He can't think of what to say to that. "Does Spencer know?"
Jon bites his lip a bit before finally shaking his head. "Listen, Brendon. You've only been around here for a couple of months. Don't try so hard, y'know? Just take your time, figure out what you want. I bet if you wait, things will work out all on their own." He claps Brendon on the shoulder, then goes back to sorting.
The problem, if Brendon is completely honest with himself, is that he wants them all, even though that thought just makes him feel like a two-year-old with grabby hands. And it's not just that they're all attractive and he can picture himself with each of them (though they are, and he has), but he trusts and really cares for all three of them. His feelings for each of them are different, but they all feel the same at the heart of it. Choosing one just seems arbitrary and makes him feel weird.
He tries to push down all of these feelings and just focus on getting his friends back. Luckily, Ryan goes pretty much back to normal within a couple of days, so Brendon feels less like he's stuck on a ship with nothing but Jon and computers to keep him company.
Spencer, though, has taken to bolting out of a room within five minutes of Brendon entering one. When they do have to talk to each other, Spencer takes on this all-business attitude that makes Brendon want to hit things. He hasn't seen Spencer smile in almost a week, and the worst part of it is that he doesn't know what he did wrong. He should be mad at Spencer, not the other way around.
Which is why it's really weird when Spencer shows up at his door after midnight one night. Weird enough that Brendon has to stop and make sure he's not dreaming when he's woken up by Spencer's gentle, "Brendon? Are you awake?"
"Mffl," Brendon mumbles. "What time 's it?"
"Sorry, I, uh. It's pretty late. Can I come in?"
Brendon blinks at the sight of him in the doorway. He really doesn't want to deal with whatever this might be while he's just woken up, but. "Yeah, sure."
He yawns huge and obnoxious, rubbing at his eyes, and when he opens them, Spencer is standing at the side of his bed. Brendon blinks at him, waiting for the automatic contacts to kick in, and just as he gestures for Spencer to sit on the edge of the bed, Spencer blurts, "I owe you an apology." Brendon blinks some more, and Spencer comes into focus. "Oh," Spencer says, blushing and sitting.
"What're you," he pauses to yawn, "'pologizing for?" Brendon asks.
"I, uh," he begins, biting his lip and letting his gaze slip down to the comforter. "I kind of overreacted the other day. It's... none of my business what you do with Ryan."
Brendon waits, but Spencer doesn't add anything else. "Okay," he says. That still doesn't explain why Spencer has been avoiding him ever since, but if the way Spencer is nervously picking at the comforter is any indication, he has more to say.
"Jon told me that you overheard something."
Oh. So it's gonna be one of those talks. Brendon really wishes he was awake for this, but then again, maybe in the morning he can pretend it was all a dream.
"I think I can figure out what it is you heard. But Brendon," and oh, Spencer's making eye contact now, "that wasn't about you at all." He reaches out and touches the comforter where Brendon's knee is, and Brendon just stares at his hand in disbelief. "I can't explain; I wish I could, but. You gotta know I would never say something like that, not about you."
Brendon swallows thickly. He really can't believe Spencer would lie like this, and he's really not prepared to deal with it right now.
Hey, and Brendon wants to flinch, but Spencer's thought-voice is so much more soothing and real. I'm serious. I would never even think anything like that. In fact, I think you're pretty awesome.
And then they're not just words anymore, because Brendon can feel the emotion behind them. Brendon's heart stumbles over itself to catch up with this turn of events, and when he stares back at Spencer, wide-eyed, Spencer is blushing.
"Okay?" Spencer asks shyly.
Brendon covers Spencer's hand over his knee. He smiles. "Yeah. Yeah, we're okay."
He feels that familiar expanding in his chest when Spencer smiles back.
After a couple of days of tiptoeing around Spencer, Brendon gets tired of worrying so much and knocks on Spencer's door. He hears the "come in," but an apology is the first thing out of his mouth when he realizes Spencer is in bed.
"It's okay, I wasn't going to sleep," Spencer says, stretching to stop the music streaming from his computer. "What's up?"
"I just wondered if you wanted to practice some more?" he asks cautiously.
Spencer agrees and gestures for Brendon to sit on his bed. Surprised, Brendon shuts the door behind him and sits, absently pulling on the cuffs of his shirt.
"D'you maybe wanna try to read my mind again?" Brendon offers, hoping that whatever scared Spencer off before is no longer a problem.
Spencer consents to this, and they spend an hour or so trying to figure out how to make it work.
"It worked last time," Spencer finally says, exasperated.
Brendon can barely remember "last time," it seems like it happened so long ago, but, "There must be something you did differently that time. Do you remember?"
Spencer thinks back, and Brendon does the same. All he can remember now, though, is sitting cross-legged across from Spencer and hating himself for being discovered fantasizing about Spencer's eye color. Since Spencer is sitting in that same position as last time and has been for the past few attempts, that can't be it, though Brendon wishes it were that simple.
"Let me just try one more time," Spencer mumbles, pushing his hair out of his eyes and getting that focused look that Brendon can't help but find endearing.
Brendon concentrates on the song that's stuck in his head, since he's having trouble thinking of much else, but this turns out to be a bad idea when he starts humming it after only a minute has passed, and he has to apologize and let Spencer 'start over'. He's incredibly bored, so he plays that statement on repeat in his head and hopes that Spencer can finally read it so that they can do something more interesting.
Spencer's eventual sigh sounds heavier than normal, so Brendon makes sympathetic noises and tells him the story of how terrible he once was at school.
"I was supposed to be learning how to hear one person's thoughts and block the rest out, but I was young and I didn't understand, I just heard it all, so I asked my teacher why he would cheat on his husband with a woman. I told him girls were gross."
Spencer makes a choking noise, clearly not expecting to laugh, and it only makes Brendon smile harder. He adds, "It's a statement that still rings true, if you ask me."
Spencer rolls his eyes, but he does seem slightly cheered despite it all. "I'm surprised he didn't fail you right there," he says.
"Well let's just say he didn't stick around much longer after I figured out how to filter in thoughts." Brendon stretches obnoxiously over Spencer's bed, loving the feeling after sitting in one position for so long. Spencer grimaces and pushes Brendon's legs away, but Brendon doesn't take it personally. "Whatever, you love me." He gets another eye roll for that, but he can't help but smile as he asks, "So do you wanna work on the mental block now?"
Several emotions flit over Spencer's face in rapid succession, and Brendon doesn't understand why, but Spencer looks completely freaked out. "No, no I don't think, I mean, no."
Brendon begins to backpedal, "Oh, I just--"
"No," Spencer says again, shaking his head firmly.
Brendon holds his hands up in surrender, wishing he hadn't asked. "Okay, we won't do it! I didn't mean, you know I won't read your mind if you don't agree to it first."
"I know, I just. It feels weird, and I never know what you're going to find in there," he says, not looking Brendon in the eye.
Brendon assures him that he really honestly only looks at the surface, because that's all he needs to see to know if there's a shield or not. So usually it's just the repetition of Spencer trying to shield his mind (which means he's doing it wrong, but they've been over that), or frivolous things like if it's too hot or too cold or there's a distant ache in Spencer's toe.
Spencer smiles at that, cutting his eyes back at Brendon. After a few seconds of silence, he agrees to try it, just once because he doesn't want to walk away with a headache this time.
Brendon closes his eyes, getting in his zen place, and gives Spencer a few minutes to try to get it together, as usual. Finally, he just barely pries into Spencer’s thoughts.
Fucking block, how do I--just don't think about his mouth--fuck--block, block, maybe if I--
Brendon forces himself to stop listening, eyes popping open in surprise. Spencer's face is scrunched up in concentration, and Brendon reaches up to smooth out the lines, almost without thinking.
Spencer starts at the contact, blinking at Brendon. "Shit. Did you hear--?"
"Sorry," Brendon says by default, his fingers still lingering at the edge of Spencer's face. His heart is racing, and he can't quite hide his smile, but he owes it to Spencer to own up. "I should've stopped listening immediately. But your thoughts just sound so nice."
Spencer lets out a self-deprecating laugh. "You know how if you try really hard not to think about something, you think about it twice as hard?"
Brendon swallows and lowers his hand. "Is that why you didn't want to do this today?"
Spencer fidgets a bit. "It's the reason I don't want to do it every day." He looks completely shocked that he said that out loud, and then he adds, "Fuck. I shouldn't have said that. I should just--"
He makes an abortive attempt to stand, but Brendon stops him with a hand on his arm. "Spence," he says, and his breath catches on the word. He clears his throat and continues, "First of all, this is your room. And second," and then he leans forward, bracing himself on Spencer's arm, and kisses him.
Spencer makes a surprised noise against Brendon's lips, then sighs and slides his hand into Brendon's hair as the kiss continues. Brendon can't help thinking about how different Spencer kisses compared to Ryan. Ryan's kisses are quick and dirty, compromising nothing and making Brendon lose control way too fast. But Spencer, wow, Spencer is slow and calculated, making Brendon feel warm all over but still managing to make the kiss suggestive enough to have Brendon squirming. Brendon nudges Spencer's shoulder, and Spencer shifts willingly so that they're both laying across the bed with Brendon mostly on top of him.
"Are you sure about this?" Spencer asks, and Brendon revels in how breathless and perfect he sounds.
Brendon has never been more sure about anything, but with Spencer's mouth right there - fuck, he loves kissing so much - he can't possibly stand to waste time talking.
Yes, he says instead, pouring enough feeling into the single thought that it feels like a release when he pushes it into Spencer's head.
Spencer moans and arches against him, pulling Brendon's hips down as he deepens their kiss. "Fuck," he says shakily in the one second Brendon pulls away to settle over his lap more comfortably.
"If you're not sure," Brendon mumbles, almost indistinguishable as he doesn't quite pull away from Spencer's mouth, "now would probably be a good time," and damn, does Spencer always taste this good? "to say something."
Instead of answering, Spencer slides his hands over Brendon's hips and around to slide them into Brendon's back pockets, and then he pulls Brendon flush against him.
"Nn," Brendon moans helplessly as Spencer rubs against him just right. "So we're really doing this?"
"What kind of dumbass question is that?" Spencer asks, laughing, and Brendon's breath catches at the sight of Spencer all flushed and amused. Spencer squeezes Brendon's ass through his pants as he pushes his hips up toward Brendon's, and Brendon has to close his eyes at how good it feels.
"Okay, yeah, we're doing this, I know we are," he says, "but mostly I wanted to know for sure if I had permission to suck you off."
Spencer swallows thickly and, staring at Brendon's mouth, he nods.
Brendon beams down at him, shifting so that he can get his hands at Spencer's zipper while he mouths at Spencer's throat. As soon as he gets a hand wrapped around Spencer's cock, Spencer pushes his hips forward and makes a pleading noise that thrums inside Brendon's body.
Brendon doesn't waste his time teasing after that. He moves back on the bed, pulling at the hem of Spencer's pants, and then takes him into his mouth. Spencer starts to say, "oh," but then draws it out when Brendon moves. It's been a while since he's done this - too long in his opinion - but he takes his cues from Spencer on how fast to move, and he makes an encouraging noise when Spencer tentatively threads his fingers through his hair. He moves his hand from Spencer's hip when he can't stand the thought of not being touched any longer, and he gets his hand wrapped around his erection just in time for Spencer to say, Your mouth is more perfect than I imagined it would be. The tone of it is filled with so much want that Brendon has to squeeze himself to keep from coming right there, and he pulls off long enough to catch Spencer's eye.
"I want you to fuck my mouth," Brendon says, getting straight to the point.
Spencer's eyes seem permanently wide, but Brendon's pretty sure it's in a good way, so he moves around until he's in a better position and sucks the head of Spencer's cock into his mouth without waiting for an answer. He opens his throat and urges Spencer forward, moaning in approval when Spencer pushes deep and pulls back out, gathering a rhythm. Spencer continues to make noises that Brendon couldn't even have imagined, and Brendon moves his hand over his own erection in erratic movements that match up closely with Spencer's thrusts. Spencer's hand tightens in Brendon's hair as he gets close, and Brendon sends an encouraging thought just in time for Spencer to push in fully and come down Brendon's throat. Spencer moans his name, stretching out the vowels, then collapses in a boneless heap on the bed.
Brendon can't catch his breath, but he's not too concerned, focusing mainly on the movement of his hand until finally, he pulls himself over the edge and comes, not taking his eyes off of Spencer.
"C'mere," Spencer mumbles, reaching for Brendon. Brendon hesitates for a moment before wiping his hand clean on his pants. He can't bring himself to care about the mess at the moment.
Brendon settles against Spencer's side on the bed, and Spencer tilts his head to give him an enthusiastic kiss.
"Mm," Brendon hums against Spencer's mouth. "I thought you might like that."
"Yeah, because you stalked me in my mind," Spencer accuses with a shit-eating grin on his face.
Brendon shoves at his shoulder but then negates the motion by snuggling closer. "I gave you plenty of warning before I did it, asshole."
"Uh huh," Spencer answers, ignoring him. He leans in and sucks a mark onto Brendon's neck, making him squirm. His laugh vibrates across Brendon's skin, and Brendon loves the fact that post-coital Spencer is so happy and tactile. He hopes that's always the case. "I'll make it up to you next time," he murmurs against Brendon's ear, and Brendon shivers involuntarily.
"Yeah?" he says. He didn't assume there would be a next time, but his heart jumps in his chest to know that Spencer believes there will be.
"Promise," Spencer whispers. His hand slides along Brendon's back and pushes up the material of his shirt. "Less clothes next time."
"Definitely," Brendon agrees instantly. He kind of wants to express his vote for less clothes now, but Spencer looks about three seconds away from falling asleep, so he keeps his mouth shut. It can wait.
Brendon wakes up groggily in the middle of the night to Spencer stretching awkwardly over him. "Spence?" he says, squinting against the light of the panel.
"Sorry, I was just--it got too hot. I'm trying to adjust the temperature."
Brendon can admit to that; he's burning up. He slides out of the way so Spencer can get at the computer, but as he stands, he pulls his shirt off and throws it on the floor. He's busy shimmying out of his pants when he notices Spencer staring, and the walls subtly change hue as the cooling system switches on. "What?"
"Nothing, just. Enjoying the view," Spencer says with a smug smile.
Brendon grins appreciatively, and despite his sleepy state, he's totally awake enough to insist on equality. "I think, to be fair," he begins, crawling on top of Spencer and fingering the hem of his shirt, "the least you could do is ditch your shirt."
"I don't owe you anything," Spencer teases, and Brendon bites at his sleepy smile.
"Hey, you're the one that said he was hot. Unless," Brendon smiles mischievously, "you meant the other kind of hot. But I can help with that, too."
Spencer brings his hand up so that Brendon thinks he's reaching for him, but instead he covers his mouth as he yawns hugely. Brendon laughs at that at first, until of course it makes him yawn too, and Spencer grins up at him, looking proud of himself. "Maybe tomorrow," Spencer suggests, squinting at Brendon in the relative darkness as the light from the panel fades out.
"No way, Spencer Smith. You lose this shirt or I'm going back to my own room."
"I don't believe that for a second."
Brendon pushes back onto his knees, but he doesn't get very far before Spencer grabs at his arm and pulls him back down.
"Alright, fine," Spencer says, yanking his shirt off and nearly smacking Brendon in the face in the process. Brendon 'accidentally' brushes his hand against the wall panel to light it up as Spencer tosses the shirt away so that he won't miss out. He gets an eye roll for his efforts, and Spencer pulls him down for another kiss.
"Go to bed, Brendon," Spencer says, and any worries Brendon might have had about the morning after vanish as Spencer's arm wraps around his waist.
Brendon oversleeps the next day. He has a vague memory of Spencer telling him to go back to sleep, but he definitely should not have slept so long after that. Feeling guilty, he rushes to grab his clothes and throw them in the laundry, then darts out to take a shower. As he wakes up fully under the warm spray, he realizes with a smile that it doesn't really matter how late he slept. Mostly because he gets his work done in a fraction of the time most people would, but also because the only person that he'd normally worry about reprimanding him was the one who told him to go back to sleep in the first place.
"Nice of you to join us," Ryan says when Brendon steps off the elevator.
Did you tell them? Brendon immediately asks Spencer, even while Ryan is speaking.
Just Ryan, Spencer answers immediately, not turning around. Brendon can hear his smile.
"Yeah," Brendon tells Ryan. "I had this really amazing night's sleep, you know?" He turns to look for Jon, discovering him already smirking back at him with knowledge behind his eyes. Ryan just makes an exasperated noise and ignores Brendon, but Brendon feels obligated to tell Jon, even if Ryan has clearly already passed on the information to him.
"Hey," Jon says, clapping him on the shoulder once he crosses the cargo deck. "Good night?"
"The best," Brendon says quietly, smiling at the memory. The sex was great, and he's definitely remembering the awesome sex, but what his mind keeps repeating is the promise that there would be a next time, that the middle of the night practically cemented it. "I think Spencer and I are together now."
"You think?" Jon asks, amused.
"Yes, I think," he says, wanting to add I'm not a mind reader, but unwilling to tell the blatant lie. I'm not breaking my promise about reading minds doesn't have the same ring. "We're definitely something, I just don't know what yet."
Brendon punches in his password on the nearby wall panel, but he can feel Jon's eyes on him. "Why are you staring at me?" he asks without looking over at Jon.
"I'm just wondering why you're not doing cartwheels right now."
Brendon chances a look behind him and discovers Spencer staring back at him. Their eyes meet and Brendon beams, fucking hell, he can't help it. Spencer smiles back on reflex, ducking his head and going back to his work, but Brendon turns back to the panel, satisfied. "I don't need to," he tells Jon.
"Oh, sure," Jon says, though his voice falls a bit flat. When Brendon glances over, Jon is looking across the deck, not at Spencer as Brendon expected, but at Ryan. He's working diligently, but he doesn't look happy.
Brendon raises his eyebrows at Jon, whose only answer is an easy-going smile. Brendon is in no place to give relationship advice, especially given his now inconvenient feelings for both of them, but he'd much rather Jon and Ryan be with each other than have them find other people.
Most days, Brendon is content with his daily tasks, but today he is completely bored with just being the secretary. Sure, some days they give him something that's actually a challenge, but most of the time his job is entirely redundant, and he still wonders why they felt the need to hire someone. They hadn't expected him to be able to unlock the coded files in the beginning, but they definitely didn't need anyone to remind them of their own daily obligations. He still feels awkward giving each of them their updates every night, especially with Ryan, who looks back at him as if to say, 'I know that already, dumbass.'
The day drags on, and once Spencer goes upstairs to talk to his boss (and oh, Brendon has never been quite so annoyed about that), he finally gives up and heads back to his room to listen to music. Normally, he'd work with Ryan for most of the afternoon, giving him a hard time about his weak-ass box sorting, but Ryan is in such a virulent mood that Brendon decides not to deal with it.
He's still lying there, lost in thought and halfway drifting off, when Spencer knocks on the connecting door. Brendon works on waking himself up enough to answer, but Spencer opens the door before he can say anything.
"Hey, you," Brendon mumbles, easy smile flitting across his face.
Spencer wastes no time, straddling Brendon on the bed and beginning to pull the buttons of Brendon's shirt loose. "Hey yourself," he says, methodically pulling off Brendon's shirt. "Some of us had to work all day while you were lazing about upstairs doing whatever you liked."
Brendon decides this is the best way to wake up, even if he wasn't all the way asleep. "I might've been 'lazing about,' but I assure you I wasn't doing whatever I liked," he says, staring hard into Spencer's eyes.
Spencer frees the last button and glances up at Brendon right as he says this, and then Brendon is treated to a version of Spencer's smile that he's never quite seen before. Something close, maybe, but there's something about this smile that's sexy and sweet at the same time.
Brendon follows Spencer's guidance and allows him to pull the shirt off of him. He opens his mouth to complain about equality again, but Spencer is apparently one step ahead of him, pulling his own shirt off as quickly as possible. "I'm not exactly complaining, but do I have to do any of the work here?" Brendon teases, smirking up at Spencer.
Spencer casts his shirt aside, hair sticking up comically, and without answering, he leans down and presses his mouth firmly against Brendon's. Brendon kisses back sweetly for a moment, just because he knows he can, but then in a moment Spencer completely changes it up. At first he just slips his tongue into Brendon's mouth, but as soon as Brendon begins to respond, he pushes back, then moves again, and Brendon's moan is unearthly when he realizes Spencer is fucking his mouth with his tongue. Spencer hasn't even touched him yet, and already he's straining against the zipper of his jeans.
When Spencer does finally ask, "What do you want?" Brendon can't think of anything but getting his damn jeans off. He goes for his own zipper, but Spencer bats his hands away. He takes off Brendon's pants in that same methodical way, getting a steady grip on Brendon's cock before he says, "I'm serious. Tell me what you want."
His thoughts want to stray toward the 'just keep touching me' variety, but as soon as he gets this mental image, he knows immediately that that's what he wants. He pushes the image into Spencer's mind, no words necessary, and he can tell by Spencer's weakening restraint that he got the message.
"Fuck, Brendon," and his voice is as breathless as Brendon hoped it might be. "As if it's not hot enough for you to say 'fuck me' like a normal person, you've gotta mess with my mind like that?"
"A picture is worth a thousand--"
Brendon smiles. Spencer rolls his eyes, but he's smiling too. "Where--?" he starts to ask, and Brendon points toward his bedside drawer.
After Spencer's got one finger inside, Brendon starts to talk; he can't help it. "God, I always wondered what this would be like. With you."
"You did?" Spencer asks, and Brendon thinks he sounds surprised but it's hard to tell over the rushing in his ears.
"Yes," Brendon answers, squirming as Spencer pushes in a second finger. "It's all I could think about some nights."
Spencer moves his fingers in and out, going in at just the right angle and making Brendon arch off the bed. "I didn't. Think about it, I mean," Spencer says in a serious tone.
The disappointment Brendon would have felt in any other situation upon hearing that hits him briefly, but all he can think now is that he's grateful for whatever happened to change Spencer's mind about him.
"Not that I didn't want it," Spencer clarifies, and Brendon's heart trips and backpedals over that last thought. "I just... I was afraid to think about it. I thought if I did, you might hear."
Brendon has no idea if it's on purpose, but Spencer chooses that moment to push a third finger inside. Brendon utters a string of curse words in the cadence of a moan, pushing against Spencer's fingers and begging him to get on with it already. The thought of Spencer sitting next door, jerking off and trying not to think about him is just too much for him to process right now.
"Do you mind staying on your back?" Spencer asks, finally starting to sound like he's affected by this too. "I want to see you."
"Yeah, just," Brendon shudders. "Hurry."
After several agonizing seconds, Spencer starts to slide in. Brendon grabs at the sheets, trying not to make a lot of noise. It's been a while, but the pain mixes in with pleasure so fast that he can't even stop to think about it. There is a stinging moment when Spencer pushes in fully, and Brendon hisses reflexively. "Hey," Spencer says, reaching out to smooth Brendon's hair. "You alright?"
Brendon nods by default, but Spencer still gives him time to adjust. He concentrates on Spencer's erratic breathing, in, out, in, and how is everything Spencer does so hot? He breathes out slowly through his nose and then looks Spencer dead in the eye. "Move," he says, more permission than command.
He does move, and after the first couple of thrusts, his hips shift just slightly and Brendon feels a burst of pleasure.
Do that again, Brendon says, though he's not sure if Spencer can hear it over the noises coming out of his mouth.
"God, Brendon," Spencer says, reverent. Brendon smiles, has to, because that look on Spencer's face is real and he put it there.
Spencer smiles and shakes his head as if he can't quite believe Brendon is real, and boy does Brendon know that feeling. He stops his sure movements long enough to lean forward, bending Brendon practically in half, and kiss him for a long moment.
"You just did that to shut me up," Brendon pants.
"You'll never know," Spencer says, smiling. In the next second, Spencer is moving again and the moment has passed, but it's one Brendon remembers for a long time after.
Brendon wraps his hand around his dick and matches his movements to Spencer's thrusts, and god, he never thought to hope for this. Spencer speeds up, and Brendon starts babbling, knowing that they're both close, and everything washes over Brendon all at once. He's not sure who comes first; he just knows that when he catches his breath, Spencer is still and staring at him, breathing just as unevenly.
Eventually, Spencer moves away, but not before saying, "Stay here."
Brendon starts to say, 'Where would I go?' but he's not really in the mood to be a smart-ass. Spencer returns with a cloth that he uses to clean Brendon off, and to Brendon's happy surprise, he slides back into bed next to Brendon once he's done. "Aren't we gonna eat dinner?" Brendon asks, amused, but he's totally willing to skip a meal for this.
"Dinner's not for at least half an hour," Spencer reasons, moving in to kiss Brendon.
Brendon smiles into the kiss, before opening his mouth to deepen it. They make out lazily for a while without a care in the world. Brendon has a momentary flash of thought, I can't believe this is real, followed by a paranoid feeling that something is going to go wrong, but he pushes the fear down so quickly it's easily forgotten.
"You're falling asleep," Brendon says with a laugh. There's no denying it; Spencer doesn't even open his eyes when Brendon pulls away.
"Shut up," Spencer mumbles, smiling and snuggling closer to Brendon.
"I am not that boring of a kisser."
"The evidence says otherwise," Spencer says, now focusing his attention on Brendon's collarbone.
"I bet it wouldn't if we asked Ryan," Brendon says. Shit. He really needs to learn to filter his thoughts before he speaks them out loud.
Spencer doesn't seem too bothered, though. "I don't think that counts. Ryan's a pretty dominant kisser; it wouldn't be an accurate measure of your skill."
Brendon wants to ask if Spencer knows from personal experience, because wow, but. Brain-mouth filter. "He's mad at me," he says instead.
Spencer rolls his eyes. "He'll get over it."
Brendon really hopes so. "Is there anything I can do to make it better?" he asks cautiously. He's not sure when his window on Talking About Ryan is going to run out, but he's not sure what Ryan's even mad about, and Spencer would know.
"Stay out of his way," Spencer advises, but it comes out as a mumble and takes Brendon a second to decipher.
"Jeez, just go to sleep already," Brendon says, laughing.
Spencer hums happily. "Do you mind?"
Brendon leans forward to kiss Spencer one more time. He can't believe that Spencer doesn't realize how crazy Brendon is about him. "No, I don't mind."
After a few seconds of staring at the blissful look on Spencer's face, Brendon reminds himself that it's creepy to watch people sleep, and closes his eyes.
The next few weeks and the accompanying stops go quickly for Brendon. Ryan gets over whatever is bothering him - Spencer was right about staying out of his way - and Brendon gets to go to sleep every night with Spencer Smith by his side. The only drawback is--
"Come on, Brendon. It's been like three weeks."
"That's a lie!" Brendon protests. "We did it last week."
"Yeah, for like 5 minutes. You know that's not enough for me!"
"But think of all the other things we could be doing!" Brendon whines, sliding his hand beneath the hem of Spencer's shirt to prove a point.
Spencer breathes out slowly through his nose, usually a sign of Brendon's imminent victory. Brendon skims his hand over Spencer's skin and then down to trace the line of Spencer's hipbone down to his low-slung jeans. Spencer bites his lip, and Brendon smiles at his accomplishment, but then Spencer says, "I just really want to improve."
"Fine," Brendon says, sighing. Then suddenly, he has an idea. Beaming, he asks, "Can we make out while we do it?"
Spencer looks reluctant, but Brendon keeps his fingers moving steadily on Spencer's skin, and he finally says, "Yeah, okay."
Brendon does a little fist-pump of celebration and pulls off his shirt. When he hops onto the bed and looks up at Spencer, he's shaking his head and obviously trying not to laugh. "What?" Brendon says.
"Nothing, just." He eases onto the bed next to Brendon and looks him in the eye. "Just you, I guess."
Brendon gives Spencer his best proud smile before going in for the first kiss.
"Hang on," Spencer says, laughing. "You're the coach here, dumbass. If we're gonna actually get any work done, you're gonna have to tell me what to do."
"I like the way you say that," Brendon says, waggling his eyebrows. Spencer smacks him on the shoulder for good measure, but it's still worth it. "Alright. Uh, why don't you try reading my mind again? I know it didn't work last time, and I freaked you out the time before that, but that was before..." he gestures between the two of them, unsure how to put it into words.
"You didn't freak me out," Spencer says softly, throwing Brendon off.
Brendon rolls his eyes. "You caught me out right when I was thinking about how dreamy your eyes were, and then you all but ran out the door. It doesn't take a mind reader, et cetera."
"Shut up," Spencer says, letting out a short disbelieving laugh. "I didn't know for sure what I'd heard, and at the time, you were my coworker, teacher, and my friend. Excuse me for not wanting to screw that up."
Brendon rolls his eyes. "But it wouldn't have screwed it up. Don't tell me I was subtle about my major crush on you."
"You're the mind reader here, not me," Spencer complains.
"Not for long, Spencer Smith," Brendon says, pulling Spencer in for a kiss again. This time, Spencer moves forward willingly, returning the kiss slowly and sweetly. Brendon carefully focuses on lowering his defenses so that Spencer can read his thoughts, then, even as they kiss, says, Mind's wide open whenever you're ready.
Spencer laughs lightly against Brendon's mouth. "You're unbelievable, you know that?"
"I choose to take that as a compliment," Brendon replies, then moves toward Spencer again. He tries not to think too much about his vulnerable state, but it leaves him feeling unsettled, like he showed up at a delivery without clothes on but only just realized it.
As soon as Brendon realizes he's being a very boring kisser, though, he stops worrying about it and focuses on Spencer. He skips all other pretense and pushes his tongue into Spencer's mouth. He's rewarded immediately with a quiet sound not unlike a moan, followed quickly by Spencer's hands on his hips as he shifts to be on top of Brendon. Spencer keeps touching Brendon all over, and Brendon is busy focusing on where else Spencer's hands might roam when he feels the intrusion of Spencer's mind into his own. He fights against the automatic defense and finds it easier to let Spencer in this time around. He's not sure if that's because Spencer has started making obscene noises and grinding down against him, but it's definitely not hurting.
"Take off your pants," Spencer demands, shifting back just long enough to pull his shirt off and throw it away. Brendon has no issue with this, but Spencer loses patience and helps Brendon with the process. With some skill previously unknown to Brendon, Spencer manages to lose his pants in record time without their mouths ever parting, and then there is that first beautiful moment when their cocks slide together without anything to get in the way.
Brendon clings to Spencer and moves against him, kissing him messily and desperately. Spencer pulls out of the kiss with an obscene smack and licks deliberately across his palm, staring Brendon in the eye, before reaching between them. His grip isn't perfect, but Brendon has no problem helping out, and within moments they are moving at a rhythm just a touch slower than Brendon's frantic heartbeat. Between that blessed friction and Spencer's filthy kissing, it's not long before Brendon is uttering a string of curses and coming so hard his vision blurs.
"Okay, so wow," Brendon says when they're both lying there trying to catch their breath.
"Yeah," Spencer agrees. "I had no idea you had a thing for hands."
"I don't have a thing for hands," Brendon protests, though it doesn't hold much merit given what just happened. "I just had a thing for your hands when you happened to figure out how to get inside my head."
"Either way," Spencer says, and he's got a point. "Maybe you should let me read your mind more often," he says, tone only halfway joking.
"I can filter you in. Make it so you can read my mind anytime, no limits, without me being vulnerable to anyone else," Brendon admits, biting his lip and staring up at the ceiling.
He can hear Spencer shifting onto his side to look at him, but Brendon doesn't turn to meet his eyes. "Why would you do that?" Spencer asks.
Because I trust you, Brendon says, because saying it out loud doesn't seem like enough. He counts out three seconds in his head before he turns to meet Spencer's gaze, which is intent back on him.
"I won't ever do it unless you give me permission," Spencer says.
"This is your permission," Brendon counters, starting to feel uncomfortable. If Spencer doesn't want this, if he just stepped over some line--
"I know, but I'm not going to do anything you wouldn't do," Spencer says, sure of himself. "You can read my mind no matter what, but you've only done it a handful of times when I knew it was coming. You told me there are people like us who don't treat their abilities right, people you would never trust, and I don't want to be one of those people."
"Just don't go snooping through my thoughts while I'm asleep, and we'll be okay," Brendon says with a smile.