It was possible Spencer hadn’t really thought it through when Ryan came to him, eyes pleading, and told him he wanted to start a boy band. If he had, he’d never have said okay.
“Twenty minutes til showtime!” someone (the stage manager, probably) yelled into the noisy dressing room.
“I can’t find my pants! Ryan, where the fuck did you put my pants?” Brendon was yelling as he tore through the piles of discarded clothes, hair products, makeup, and empty food containers that covered the floor. Spencer eyed it distastefully.
“Why would I put them anywhere?” Ryan asked, rolling his eyes at the mirror as he leaned in to line his eyes. Even after two years, Spencer still wasn’t sure why singing ridiculously poppy songs required elaborate stage make-up, but it had been part of a brutal,-but-necessary compromise that strictly limited Ryan to no more than three words of more than three syllables per song. No matter what lies Ryan tried to tell you about junior high, Spencer was not a make-up dude, but it was better than hearing Brendon sing about the ‘provocative metamorphosis of effervescent virtuosity’ every night (much less singing the three-part back-up line for virtuosity he’d seen in Ryan’s notebook).
An empty Lucky Charms box went flying by Spencer’s head.
“Dude, you’re the one who threw them across the room after you pulled them off me!” Brendon argued, throwing around more refuse.
Spencer sighed and tuned them out. Brendon and Ryan arguing before a show was like…his mom making cookies at Christmas time. Inevitable, and only ending with him getting sucked in too if he tried to intervene. Much better use of effort for him to just get ready for the show, too. Not that he was especially eager to put his outfit on, or anything. He glared distastefully at the tight, shiny pants in his hand. They needed to stop letting Ryan dress them. The matching leather jackets had been bad enough, but rainbow-coordinated pants just went too damn far. Seriously, what were these things made out of anyway? Any fabric that glossy could not be normal.
“Need some help with that?” a cheerful voice said behind him over the din of Ryan and Brendon’s bickering. Spencer turned around and ah, yes, Jon Walker, the only other passably sane member of the group. After the whole fiasco with Brent and his (sometimes purposeful) two left feet, Jon Walker had saved the day with his effortless dance moves and his relaxed attitude towards life.
Spencer scowled and shoved the pants at Jon for observation. “I’m making a bonfire with Ryan’s collection of exercise videos,” he grumbled, waving them a little.
Jon looked from them down to his own much looser red ones, then back to Spencer. The corner of his mouth twitched. “They are quite…blue,” he commented diplomatically, and a small snicker escaped.
Spencer glared. Did he say Jon was okay? Clearly, that was a mistake.
“Aw, Spence, don’t be like that,” Jon appeased, using his best poor-boy face as he reached out and maneuvered Spencer around to rub at his shoulders. He was a cunning master of manipulation. “Have you done your stretches yet?” he asked helpfully.
Spencer nodded his head, and let himself relax into Jon’s touch just a little. He always went tense before a show.
There was a crash, and they both looked over to where Ryan and Brendon had progressed to making out on the couch with bonus groping.
Ryan was grinding down on Brendon’s lap, these small little noises escaping between their mouths, and Spencer swallowed hard, leaning more into Jon. It was still fucking hot, no matter how many times he saw it, and he wouldn’t mind going over there and grabbing Ryan’s hair, tilting his head back to mouth at his throat, except –
“Guys,” Spencer remembered abruptly. “Show.”
It was enough to startle all of them apart, back into the reality where, yes, they had to put on a show.
Brendon detangled himself, and hopped into his (mysteriously found) pants while singing through his warm-ups.
“Here, Spence, let me put your face on,” Ryan ordered, grabbing Spencer’s hand and leading him over to the counter.
And here was where Spencer couldn’t help but relax into Ryan’s steady grip on his chin, the sound of Brendon singing and Jon laughing a comforting background to the press of the wand to his eyelid. It was a long moment of quiet breaths, Ryan close as the rest of the world outside their dressing room faded out.
“There, done,” Ryan murmured, and Spencer opened his eyes to Ryan darting in for a quick kiss.
“Spence, help me with my mic?” Brendon asked, and Spencer could hear the adrenaline just from his voice. He rolled his eyes, but nevertheless went to help.
“I don’t see why you can’t do this yourself,” he grumbled, even as he gently brushed back Brendon’s hair to tuck the clip behind his ear.
Brendon just grinned up at him, warm and bright, and Spencer felt that familiar stutter in his chest.
“Because, Spencer Smith, no one does it like you,” Brendon answered.
“Five minutes!” was called into the room and Spencer saw Zack waiting by the door, ready to escort them to the stage. He took Brendon’s hand on one side, Ryan’s on the other, grinned at Jon, over on Brendon’s far side, and lead his boys to the stage. Yeah, he wouldn’t give this up for anything.