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you can't smoke in L.A.

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It’s mercifully cool in the bar where they are slumped, these four men with such differing expressions in their eyes. The wooden table tops are scratched and they’ve found a booth in a quiet corner, far from the jukebox, which is playing hair metal, much to their disgust. Still, the quiet and the cool air is what counts. That and the cheap booze.

Bam is typically loud and confident as he leans on Ville, and he is also the most visibly affected by the alcohol out of all of them. His eyes are sharply red and his voice slips and sways in time with his body.

“Yo Wille, let’s go and do a fucking line already, this place is dead.”

Ville smiles but it’s awkward, glancing around to confirm the absence of the media whose presence seems to continually loom over him like an overbearing parent, stifling him. “Sure, Bam. I’ll catch up to you.”

When Bam leaves, Ville crumples, sliding down in his seat and pressing a hand to his eyes. Tim looks and feels uncomfortable. Deron looks and feels indifferent. Still, he has to ask.

“You ever fuck him?”

Tim’s eyes widen with shock, but Ville is nonplussed, offering Deron a wry smile as he fishes for his cigarettes. He’s about to light up when Deron coughs and he glances over at him.

“This might be news to you, but you can’t smoke in bars here.” He rolls his eyes as he says it, and Ville mutely replaces the cigarettes in his back pocket.

Bam comes back, the coke dusting his lapel like powdered sugar. He looks pissed, but it’s somewhat distant in his eyes.

“I did your line too,” he says to Ville as he flops back into the booth, wiping his nose hard.

Tim knows that he is being conspicuously silent, crushed between the wall and Deron’s right side. He’s not naturally quiet, but he is observant, and he is picking up one hell of an atmosphere between the other three. He keeps his mouth shut.

The night drawls on. Deron shouldn’t really keep drinking, not after last summer, the promises he made. But fuck it, he thinks, he can handle himself.

Ville doesn’t want to handle anything, he’s aiming for as wasted as he can get while still making it back to his hotel. Even that is only a minor consideration. And Bam is just being Bam. He’s untouchable. No matter how trashed he gets, nothing bad has ever happened to him, and Ville thinks the man is unaware of even the possibility of mugging or kidnapping or assault.

Tim is looking for the earliest opportunity to bail, and eventually he thinks ‘fuck it’ and just leaves with some lame excuse. He likes partying, drinking, all that good shit, but tonight there’s something in the air that he doesn’t want to deal with. The CKY crew seem massively fucked up to him sometimes, there are tensions that he can’t even comprehend behind those wide smiles, and he’s still too new to navigate them. So he bails and he doesn’t look back.

Deron is sneering at Bam like he’s an embarrassing younger brother, which, in many ways, he is, really. He slumps on Ville and Deron wonders for a brief fleeting moment if he is actually going to give the man head right there in the bar, the thought flits through his head and he snorts to himself, but the others don’t notice. Or, at least, Bam doesn’t. Deron keeps on drinking until he can really feel it, and it takes a lot for him to get to that point these days. His wallet is empty now save for a handful of change.

Finally it’s time to leave, to stumble back to respective homes and hotel rooms. Deron wants to lose himself in sleep but he knows that it won’t happen, not tonight. The air is too thick and hot, the night is too dull. Everything is too much of nothing for anything to go right, he thinks.

He and Ville light up cigarettes as soon as they’re out the door, and Ville smiles when he notices. Bam is slurring something about a club but Ville isn’t interested, he’s not buzzed, just bored and hot. He thinks maybe he’ll watch a porno when he gets home until he falls asleep, maybe drink a few more beers from the mini bar.

Bam disappears and Ville drifts closer to Deron as they walk, trying to blow smoke rings and failing as the smoke hangs in threads in the still air. They flash orange under streetlights and have nothing much to say to each other.

“I have fucked him,” Ville says bluntly, his voice a shock in the silence. Deron stares at him, expressionless until he slowly raises his eyebrows and draws hard on his cigarette. Suddenly Ville is laughing, his chest tight and breathless like an asthma attack, but the feeling is good, smoke burning out of his nose, and Deron laughs as well because the whole thing seems ridiculous. Fucking Bam is like going steady with a groupie. Fucking Bam is too easy and pointless and it could fuck so many things up that it’s hilarious in the Los Angeles summer heat.

They laugh and their fingers brush, bodies collide and Ville grabs Deron’s hand, skin fiery hot against skin, and Deron’s still laughing when Ville kisses him, lips pressing hard against his mouth, teeth. Deron kisses back with a bite, twisting Ville’s fingers painfully until he has to gasp and back off and Deron snaps “I’m not a faggot like Bam”. Ville smiles and puffs on his dwindling cigarette; on the exhale he drawls “And you can’t fucking smoke in Los Angeles”, which makes a weird kind of sense.

There are so many reasons why Deron follows Ville back to his hotel room, why he bites down hard on his neck and Ville’s long fingers move slowly, leaving scratches. They drink a lot more beer and whiskey and when they fuck that’s slow as well, and Deron is an alcoholic so he isn’t in control of his actions, and Ville does a couple of lines before they get undressed so he isn’t in control either, it’s just one of those traps that addicts fall into.

Ville’s lips feel good around Deron’s dick and he holds him there, pushing deeper in because there’s nothing to think about except how it feels, holding onto that and fighting against the urge to come until he is shaking. There’s nothing else to think about and he drinks whiskey while Ville sucks him and he holds him there. He doesn’t come until Ville fucks him, slides into him deep and slow, pinning him to the mattress while there’s nothing to think about, Ville with a cigarette stuck in the corner of his mouth and his face twisted, tensed on one side from the coke, pupils wide and Deron comes really hard and his voice cracks as he yells it out, shouts it out loud. Ville keeps on pushing in for a long time afterwards but he’s too wasted and the coke freezes him up and eventually he has to quit because his cigarette ash is falling onto Deron’s stomach, mixing with his come and making one hell of a mess.

Bam is an alcoholic too, Bam does coke like Ville does and Bam fucks Ville and Bam is happy. Deron passes out finally from too much whiskey and he thinks he’s happy, too. There’s a no smoking sign on the wall of the hotel room, and Deron isn’t gay but you can’t smoke in Los Angeles, and Deron wants to be happy like Bam is, too.