It starts in Helsinki, of all places, like this: Larry, in his usual good mood during 'Crazy Tonight', slaps Adam's ass on a whim after a few seconds together on the catwalk. When the show is over, he's the last one to walk into the dressing room, just in time to see Bono burst out laughing.
Larry glances over at Edge. "What's up?"
"I don't - Oh." Edge starts to snicker and gestures for Larry to turn around. He does so, and there's Adam, still in his stage clothes and looking rather confused. Before Larry can ask what the hell is so damn funny, Bono points at Adam's backside and manages to get out "His arse!" between laughs.
Adam stares at Bono, frowning. "What about it?" He twists in place, trying to see what might be wrong. "Is it the pants? Wardrobe'll kill me if I've torn them already..."
Edge shakes his head, "No, but Larry left his mark, that's for sure!"
"I what?" Larry moves closer to his bandmates, leaning to the side a bit to get a closer look at Adam's rear. On the left side, almost precisely over the pocket, is a smudged but still distinct handprint.
"Oh." He winces, chagrined. "Um...Sorry, Ads, I didn't think that would happen."
"What, copping a feel, or leaving a mark?" Adam's tone is far from annoyed. "I don't think it'll be a problem - Sharon's cleaners are magicians as far as I can tell."
"What got into you, anyway?" Edge asks with a grin. "I mean, I only caught it out of the corner of my eye but I could tell you were goosing him!"
Larry reddens, sitting down to put on his socks and shoes. "I didn't 'cop a feel'," he protests, "and I didn't goose him, either!"
Bono and Edge snort in unison, both of them still highly amused by it all.
"He didn't, really," Adam admits. "It was more of a tap. Hardly anything to get worked up over."
"Maybe, but being touchy-feely with a bandmate is far more my M.O. than his," Bono puts in. As if to illustrate his point, he is half draped over Edge, who rolls his eyes and smiles indulgently. "We know, dear." Edge reminds him.
"So, what was it?" Bono continues. "A bright, moving object, 'cause of the pants? I totally get it if that's what it was - a big, bright white or shiny target is always the hardest to resist, in my experience."
Adam clears his throat primly. "Did you just imply that the white pants make my arse look big?"
"Ah, they do at that." Bono nods. "Big and round and...what's the word I'm thinking of, Edge?"
"Pert, I believe."
"Yes! Big and round and pert. Can't say I blame Larry for giving in to the urge to touch."
Adam tips his head to the side and considers this for a moment. "Larry?"
The drummer in question has his face in his hands, socks donned but shoes forgotten on the floor. "Mmrgh?"
"Is that what happened?" Adam asks in a gently amused tone. "Not that I object to any of it save a possible stain, but is what Bono said a reasonable explanation?"
"What, that the sight of your admittedly fine arse clad in white became so enticing that when presented with it in such close proximity, I just had to reach out and touch it?" Larry drawls.
Bono promptly buries his face in Edge's shoulder to stifle his giggles, and Edge claps a hand over his own mouth, shaking with silent laughter.
"Ehm, I suppose so, yes," Adam manages to reply.
"Well, yeah." Larry shoves his shoes on, stands, and goes over to Adam. "I mean, those pants are such a flattering cut and fit you so well, I just had to give you a nice, friendly pat on the bottom."
"I see." Adam's eyes are bright, and he can't help but return the mischievous smile.
"In fact, I believe all of your current pants are cut in the same way. If I keep losing control of my hands, will it become an issue?"
"I've already said I don't object."
"Good. Just so we're clear." Larry grins and strides out of the room - swatting at Adam's arse as he goes. He can hear Adam's chuckle in his head all that night.
It becomes something of a game, with Bono taking a swipe at Adam, and even daring a smack to Larry's own ass. (A few shows later, Larry retaliates, noting with satisfaction the way Bono's voice jumps up an octave.) Edge prefers to keep the molestation to a minimum and just smirks at the three of them from a distance.
As the tour continues, Larry finds that it really doesn't seem to matter whether Adam is wearing white or gray pants, though in Moscow he learns resistance is much more difficult when said pants (and the man wearing them) are soaked with rainwater. Dripping hair and a sodden shirt don't help his resolve, either. The night Adam goes out for the encore sans shirt entirely, Larry finds he has a prime seat to watch the bassist practically posing in the rain, the fit bastard. For a moment, he wishes they could've played 'Crazy' like this, but has to admit that he wouldn't have been able to stick with a quick grope with all that skin on display.
He makes a point of not doing it every show, partly because it's more fun as a surprise than a choreographed moment; sometimes he's not in the mood, and other times, their paths don't cross on the catwalk. The latter is the case in Rome, unfortunately; by the time Larry catches on that this is the last show, he won't have another chance for months, he hears his cue to get back to the main stage. The gig is an excellent distraction, though, and the enormously responsive audience keep him in a great mood. Walking into the dressing room after the encore, something lands on his head, and he grabs it before he can trip over a chair in his distraction. It's a thin white shirt with about a pound of silver and iridescent sequins sewn on.
"That doesn't bother me, and I kinda like looking like a disco ball," Adam is saying, voice deep with laughter.
Ah, yes. It's the shirt Adam had been wearing for the encore, still warm and faintly sweaty. When he looks up, Adam catches his eye with a wink before sitting down to untie his high-tops. Larry showers and changes into street clothing on autopilot, his mind filled with static; static interspersed with flashes of Adam on the catwalk, walking away from him. Always walking away, always serene and amused and indulgent, and only now does Larry realize how much that gets under his skin. Was that the reason for the game he'd - they'd - been playing? Sure, Adam had a nice body and the pants showed off his assets, but that was what started it all, not why he kept going.
If he'd been aiming to get Adam to react - really react, not just smile or laugh and shake his head - that was an exercise in futility if there ever was one. Bono's antics were far more invasive than a smack on the ass, and rarely generated more than a smirk from the bassist. Onstage, Adam was unflappable, and that was that. Offstage, he was as mischievous and playful as anyone, so why wasn't Larry trying to get a rise out of him then? Did he need an audience, people to bear witness?
"The last show, and you manage to split your pants - right under your arse? I think someone pulled a prank on you, B." Edge is taking the piss out of Bono as Larry finishes dressing and stands, rolling his head around to loosen tightening muscles.
"Would that someone be you, Edge?" Adam comes out of the adjoining bathroom, towel slung over his shoulders. He's still shirtless, but is now wearing his own - equally flattering - pants.
Edge snorts. "Fuck no. I was the one who suggested covering it up with the sweater!" At Bono's cheeky grin, he adds, "At least this time you weren't trying to hide behind me."
Adam walks past, one hand brushing over Larry's hip, the touch so light he thinks he's imagined it, but no, there's another wink; Adam knows what he's doing, has known what Larry's been trying to do all along, and goddammit, that is enough. In two long strides, he's right behind him, both hands landing on that perfect ass, which elicits a startled (but not displeased) yelp from Adam, who immediately turns to face him. Another stride, and Adam is backed against a wall, his expression just before Larry kisses the hell out of him one of delighted relief.