Jon/Ryan, Spencer/Tom, PG-13, ~1700 words.
Crashed into a Pot of Gold
“Come on dude,” Shane said, nudging his arm, “It’ll do you good to get out.”
Brendon made a face. Shane only ever thought anything would do Brendon good when it was a something that he didn’t want to do alone.
“Go away,” he said, “I’m moping.”
Shane crawled up the bed, and stared down at Brendon. Brendon had two much older brothers though; he knew how to stand his ground, so he just stared back.
Shane grinned and ducked his head. Brendon only realised that he wasn’t conceding defeat when he suddenly pushed up Brendon’s t-shirt and blew a raspberry on his belly.
“Hey!” Brendon gasped, rocking his knees up to his chest and nearly catching Shane in the side of the head when Shane did it again.
“Stop,” he begged, curling in on himself. Shane responded by digging his fingers into Brendon’s tummy and sticking his tongue in Brendon’s belly button. Brendon hated that; it was all wet and slurpy and tickly. “Fuck, fucking stop,” Brendon said, unable to hold back a giggle and Shane sat back, beaming.
“Dude, you are totally coming to this party with me,” he said.
Brendon sighed. A person’s life was so hard when their best friend wouldn’t leave them alone to get their mope on in peace.
“Come on,” Shane wheedled. “It’s Ryan, dude, you love Ryan.”
“I love mocking Ryan,” Brendon corrected but even he could tell he was weakening. “Oh fine,” he sighed. “But you owe me an evening of ice cream and bad movies.”
Shane rolled his eyes, sitting up and putting his feet on the floor. Brendon made pitiful noises at him and threw in some grabby hands for good measure. If he was going to have to go be sociable less than twenty-four hours after getting dumped via text message by the guy he’d been fucking all semester then the least he deserved were some cuddles.
“Jeez,” Shane scoffed, lying back down beside him. “You’re such a girl.”
“Fuck off,” Brendon said, flopping over Shane’s chest and sighing happily when Shane started to pet his hair.
It was a shame, Brendon thought for maybe the hundredth time, that Shane had to go and be all straight and committed and things.
Sometimes Brendon thought it was weird that a guy as shy as Ryan liked throwing parties as much as he did. But then Brendon was probably the most extroverted guy he knew and sometimes he just wanted to curl up with his blankets, his dog and his Shane and wish the world would go away.
Jon met them at the door, looking like he hadn’t combed his hair or changed his shirt in a while. “Dude, when was the last time you went home?” Shane asked, letting Jon take his coat.
Jon grinned. “Tuesday?” he said thoughtfully. “Of last week?” He scratched his beard. “What? This place is totally more convenient for class.”
Brendon snorted and Shane rolled his eyes. Ryan and Jon were the most ridiculously domestic college kids that Brendon had ever met, but for reasons unknown they refused to move in together. If Brendon had someone as awesome as either of them, he would have moved in after the third date.
Sometimes, when Brendon was back in Arizona, learning how to make people beautiful, Shane would email him pictures of Jon and Ryan napping together on the sofa or holding hands behind their backs and mostly it would make Brendon call them up to tease them but sometimes it just made him ache.
“Regan’s in the kitchen, man,” Jon told Shane. “She looks pissed, what did you forget?”
Shane’s eyebrows shot up. “Nothing- Oh shit.” He made an elaborately guilty face and hurried off towards Ryan’s tiny kitchen.
Brendon and Jon watched him go, laughing. “I don’t know,” Jon said, putting his hand on the small of Brendon’s back to get him moving. “Dating girls, man, that’s where his problems start.”
Brendon laughed and spun around to give Jon a hug. “You haven’t said hi to me yet,” he scolded.
Jon didn’t look like he was fooled. Brendon had a decent collection of people who were willing to give him a hug when asked, but Jon was one of the few who knew before Brendon had to ask for one. “Hi, Brendon,” he said, wrapping his arms around Brendon’s waist and lifting him off his feet with the force of his hug.
Brendon let himself cling for a minute before straightening up. It was party time, he reminded himself, time to behave like a grown-up. “Take me to your leader,” he commanded.
Jon rolled his eyes and led him onwards.
There were a lot of people in the living room. Between them, Jon and Ryan knew an insane number of people. Jon because he gave off waves of awesome that drew people to his side and Ryan because he was creepily good at getting under the skin of the people he wanted to hang around with. Not going to school around here meant that Brendon didn’t know as many of them as he should, but the fact that his vacations always started earlier and finished later meant that he did know some.
He didn’t know the person talking to Ryan right this minute though.
Brendon stopped dead, staring. “Who’s that?” he asked, pointing to the guy. He was laughing, leaning into Ryan like they were talking secrets and his smile… Jesus Christ his smile.
“That,” Jon said, slinging an arm around Brendon’s shoulder and steering him closer. “Is our very own Spencer Smith returned from the wilderness.”
Brendon tripped over his own feet. “That’s Spencer?”
Ryan’s friend Spencer had been practically a myth since Brendon met Ryan. Ryan’s friend Spencer lived in Chicago and was majoring in some crazy, fast-track management thing and the sun shone out of his ass. Brendon had maybe been expecting some kind of superman but what he got was a pretty kid with silky, floppy hair wearing what Brendon was almost certain were girls’ clothes.
“The one and only,” Jon agreed, still leading Brendon closer. As they got nearer, Brendon could make out a glittery rainbow across the front of Spencer’s t-shirt and a little swell of hips and tummy spilling over the waistband of his girljeans. Brendon stuck his fingers in his pockets so he wouldn’t try to poke it.
“Spence,” Jon said, touching Spencer’s shoulder.
Spencer turned, still grinning from whatever Ryan had just said to him and Brendon felt his tummy do something squirmy. “Hey,” Spencer said to Jon before his gaze shifted to Brendon. “Hi?”
“Spence, this is Bden,” Jon told him, poking Brendon in the back.
“B-?” Spencer started to ask which spurred Brendon into action. “Brendon,” he said, holding out his hand and smiling the smile he’d been working on in the mirror. (He’d been going to call it his how you doin’? smile, but decided against it after Shane laughed himself nearly sick.)
“Oh hey,” Spencer said, shaking his hand briefly. Brendon wasn’t sure if that was an “oh hey,” or just a "yeah, I think I’ve heard of you". He hoped Spencer had heard of him; Ryan talked about Spencer all the time.
Out of the corner of his eye, Brendon watched Ryan and Jon immediately gravitate towards each other. Brendon wasn’t totally sure that Ryan could smile under the layers of eyeliner and glitter painted across his cheeks, but he was making a good attempt.
Spencer was watching them too and, when Brendon caught his eye, he sort of half-smiled tolerantly. Brendon hesitated, not sure if he should mock Ryan in front of his best friend, but it was too much to resist and he made an exagerated kissy face. Spencer’s eyes widened for a second before he cracked up. He had an awesome laugh.
“Hey, did you-?” Brendon started to ask, but just then a short, scruffy, blond guy who Brendon had also never met, came up behind Spencer and wrapped both arms around his waist, one hand flattening possessively over his belly. Internally, Brendon sighed; he kind of really wanted to touch Spencer there, see if it felt as cosy as it looked.
“I’m reclaiming you,” the guy told Spencer. He had the same kind of accent as Jon and oh this had to be Jon’s friend from home. Jon and Ryan’s best friends were off being cosily domestic in Chicago, Brendon had known that. He tried not to feel too disappointed.
Spencer shot the guy – Brendon knew his name, he totally knew his name, why couldn’t he remember it? – an easy, affectionate smile over his shoulder.
"Sorry," Spencer said, turning back to Brendon. He didn't exactly sound sorry, he was smiling too wide for that, but it didn't come across as unkind. He put his hand on Brendon's arm for a fraction of a second, squeezing apologetically. "I'll see you later, okay?"
"Yeah," Brendon said, watching him go. His heart felt all fluttery. It was actually pretty nice. "Later."
Across the room, Regan had apparently forgiven Shane because they were tucked up in one of Ryan’s armchairs, sucking face. Brendon put his tongue out at them, even though they couldn’t see. They were totally his favourite people to gossip with, how dare they be busy.
On another sofa – suspiciously far from Shane – were a group of underage babies sharing a bottle of beer and looking furtive and Brendon grinned. His second favourite set of people to gossip with.
"Dude!" Brendon said, dropping down between an Alex and Ian. Ian tried to elbow him in the guts and the Alex dumped his feet in Brendon’s lap but they were totally happy to see him; Brendon could tell. "Dudes, I think I just met the boy I'm going to marry."
Ian laughed. "Did you tell him that?" he asked, taking a sip of beer then handing it off to Brendon.
"Nah." Across the room, Brendon could see Spencer tucked into a corner with the guy who'd stolen him. Blond guy's hands were in Spencer's back pockets and Spencer's cheeks were pink and pretty. Brendon smiled. "Not yet."