Tony really wanted to push Lee up against a wall and reclaim him after a weekend's worth of watching him be manhandled by fans. Flirting with fans. No, that wasn't fair. Lee did his share of flirting, yeah, that was part of his public persona (and his private one, though the flirting was more specific in that case) but what he really did well was see his fans. He'd take a brief moment to say hello, compliment a t-shirt or phone case, pose for a photo and personalize an autograph. Mason's eyes tended to glaze over when he dealt with fans who weren't beautiful women. Lee cared about them all. Tony loved that about his boyfriend but after an entire weekend of watching it, Tony felt a very strong need to mark his territory.
They'd checked out of the hotel that morning, though, and since Lee didn't want to risk outing himself via graphic YouTube clips and Tumblr gifs, it wasn't happening any place without a lock on the door. Tony consoled himself with the reminder that they only had an hour and a half flight home. With luck, they'd be home and in bed with plenty of time before bedtime.
Luck failed him that day, however. Their flight sat on the tarmac for an extra hour while the mechanics tried to fix some electrical problem and then it took another forty-five minutes when airline decided the fix was too complex for a quick touch-up and moved everyone to a new flight. That flight itself got routed another half hour out of the way to avoid a storm. Exhaustion from a long weekend was already setting in by the time they touched down in Vancouver and then it turned out the airline had left everyone's luggage on the old plane and the passengers clogged up the customer service desk as everyone filled out the paperwork to get their luggage delivered when it finally made it to Vancouver.
After all that, it wasn't surprising that Lee and Tony barely had the energy left to crawl under the sheets before they fell asleep that night.
Early calls and long nights meant that they repeated this every night for a week. Part of the business; even young guys like Lee and Tony only had so much energy to spare at the end of the day. It wasn't until next Sunday that Tony finally got the chance to push Lee against a wall.
The wall broke.
"You gave him a concussion?" Amy asked Tony the next morning, with barely contained glee. "You're okay, right?" she asked Lee. "Please tell me you're okay, because I want to laugh my ass off." The phone rang and she picked up the receiver. "Darkest Night, please hold," pressed the hold button and put it down again. Zev handed her a cup of coffee.
"You never gave me a concussion," Zev said to Tony. He took a drink of his own coffee.
"You never asked," Tony said.
"I'm fine," Lee said. He fingered the lump on his head gently and winced. "It was just a mild concussion and it wasn't Tony's fault. The drywall was rotted." Lee somehow managed to make sitting in an office chair look sexy, leaning casually back with his legs stretched out in front of him. Of course, it didn't hurt that he was wearing his leather chaps.
"It was my apartment, so still my fault," Tony said guiltily. He leaned against Amy's desk. She poked his leg with her pen and he stood back up.
"Your landlord's fault, not yours," Lee said. He reached over and squeezed Tony's hand lightly.
"You broke a wall during sex!" Amy grinned. "You've truly made it as a couple." Since Amy already had way too much interest in his sex life, Tony didn't mention that they hadn't actually gotten to the sex part. Besides "broke a wall during sex" sounded a lot better than "broke a wall and barely got to second base."
* * *
The next evening, Tony leaned back and relaxed into Lee's organic cotton sheets as his boyfriend kissed his way down his chest. Lee hooked his thumbs in the waistband of Tony's boxers and tugged them down over his hips. Tony gave a sigh of pleasure and closed his eyes.
The next thing he knew, Lee was shaking his shoulders. "Tony?"
"What?" Tony asked blearily, trying to sort through the sleep-fog in his brain. He hadn't heard his alarm go off. "Are there demons?"
Lee sighed and dropped his head down on the pillow next to Tony. "You passed out," he said. He rested a hand on Tony's cheek. "I couldn't wake you for a moment. Are you feeling okay?"
Tony slowly realized that his boxer briefs were still down around his ankles. "I fell asleep during sex?"
"Technically, foreplay," Lee said.
"I'm so sorry," Tony said. His super-hot and very caring boyfriend had been about to go down on him and he'd fallen asleep? Aging was a bitch, he thought, looking at the world just a few years shy of thirty. A mere 18-hour workday wouldn't have prevented him from having sex when he was younger. "Take two?"
Lee traced circles on Tony's stomach with his fingertips. "From the top." He moved down and Tony felt the brush of Lee's stubble at his waistline. He let his eyelids fall shut. And then Lee was shaking his shoulders again.
"What?" Tony jerked awake.
Lee sighed and gave him a soft kiss. "If you're that tired, you better sleep. My ego can't take the hit if you doze off again."
Tony covered his face with his hand. "It felt good. Relaxing. In a sexy way." He tugged his briefs back on. At this rate he might need little blue pills before his next birthday. "Only I guess it was too relaxing."
Lee smiled and tugged Tony's hand away from his face. "We'll pick it up again tomorrow." He kissed Tony again and pulled the covers up over both of them.
The next morning, they were woken up by the fire alarm when Lee's neighbor's toaster oven short circuited. They made it out of the apartment with Tony's laptop, Lee's leather jacket, three socks (Two for Tony, one for Lee), one pair of pants (Lee's) and one shoe. (Lee had it on the foot that wasn't wearing a sock.) Tony cast a modified Notice Me Not when he spotted a couple of camera phones pointed their way. Lee's fans didn't need to see him like this and Amy didn't need to see photos of Tony in his Mickey Mouse boxer shorts because she would never let him live it down. (Sorcerer's Apprentice Mickey, a joke gift from Lee.) Fortunately, Lee's keys were in his jacket pocket and he had spare clothes in his car.
"Did the landlord fix your wall yet?" Lee asked, as they watched the fire department drench everything in sight.
Tony snorted. "It's on his list."
"I suppose a few days in a hotel won't hurt," Lee said. He put his arm around Tony's waist. "Some place nice. We'll make a weekend of it."
* * *
Their "weekend" began at seven a.m. on Saturday morning after a long night's shoot. Vampire shows logged a lot of late night hours. (Coincidentally, so did vampires.) Both of them were sore from the night's work; Lee from stunts and Tony from hauling around sets and props, which technically weren't part of his job, according to union rules, but it needed to be done and doing what needed to be done was part of his job. Fortunately, the hotel room had a huge, marble tub, easily big enough for two men to share with plenty of wiggle room. Hopefully with actual wiggle, Tony thought, stripping off his clothes. He slid into the hot water with a deep groan.
"Not starting without me, are you?" Lee called from the bedroom.
"I hope you're open to alternative lifestyles because I'm contemplating a long-term relationship with this tub," Tony said. He leaned back against the sloped marble tile. Lee entered the bathroom, entirely naked, and Tony took a moment to admire the view before his boyfriend sank into the water and put his arm around Tony.
"We can get a big house together and adopt a couple of sinks," Lee said. He kissed Tony, long and deep. His hands caressed Tony's chest and slid down to cup his ass. Tony linked his fingers behind Lee's neck and pulled Lee over to straddle his lap. Exploring Lee's body with his mouth and hands kept Tony sufficiently busy that he didn't hear someone let out a scream in the hallway. He only half-registered the sound of a door being torn off his hinges. His mind suggested he might want to investigate but his body was currently driving the ship. His brief struggle of mind versus man-on-man resulted in an abrupt victory for his mind when a large, red, vaguely humanoid demon (for a value of "human" that involved eyestalks and pointy elbow spikes) burst through the bathroom wall.
Lee wrapped his arms tight around Tony and half-rolled, half-threw them out of the bathtub and onto the marble floor just before the demon ripped one side of the bathtub into rubble. Hot, soapy water gushed onto the floor. Tony pushed Lee behind him. He attempted to pull himself to his feet and the demon threw a chunk of marble at his head. He ducked, slipped, and almost impaled himself on a jagged slab of marble. Lee caught him just in time. The thought flashed through his head that having Lee naked and on his knees in a fancy hotel bathroom was a lot better in theory than in practice.
With little room to dodge and a high risk of getting fatally stoned, Tony fell back on that old classic, the Powershot. He swung his arm around his head - Lee ducked instinctively - and blasted the demon to ash. Tony collapsed back into Lee's arms as water, ash and rubble sloshed around them. Lee's arms curled around Tony and Tony rested his head on his boyfriend's shoulder. "Good reflexes," he said, dazed and exhausted.
"Season three, episode twenty," Lee said. "Time loop episode. Did that stunt for nearly a week straight from every possible angle. You okay?"
"Bruised," Tony said. "Marble," he explained. The backlash from the Powershot had kicked in and he didn't have energy left for spare words. "You?"
"Same," Lee said. He hauled himself painfully to his feet and helped Tony up. "Guess we should put some clothes on. You need food and we need to find a new place to stay."
Tony patted remaining side of the tub. "I'm sorry," he said to it. "You deserved better."
The demon had come through a weak spot between realities that had been exposed when a crumbling, old apartment building was torn down earlier that week. Tony eyed the real estate sign on the edge of the lot, which promised that a stylish, hip and very expensive set of condos would be here in the spring of next year. "Gentrification from hell," he muttered. It had taken them all weekend to track down and close the weak spot and he had run out of energy a few hours back. He wasn't doing anything in bed that night except sleeping.
* * *
"Are you still wearing the same outfit from Friday?" Amy asked him on Monday morning. She had purple and black striped stockings under her black pinafore.
"What the hell does it matter?" Tony grumbled. He ached all over and had pretty impressive bruises on his left hip, both knees and his right elbow.
"Oh, look who's Mr. Grouchypants. If I didn't know better, I'd think you weren't getting any." Tony glared at her and her eyes widened. "Whoa. Are you not getting any? Are you and Lee secretly fighting?"
"'Why would it have to be a secret fight?" Tony asked.
"Because I don't know about it," Amy explained. The phone rang and she grabbed the receiver. "Darkest Night, please hold."
"Some people would call that minding your own business," Tony said.
"Some people don't take interest in the world around them," Amy told him loftily. "Spill. You had a fight?"
"No," Tony said. "It's just been a while. Timing and circumstances and everything."
"Concussions and fires and demons. We just can't seem to get it together to get it on," Tony said. "I swear, it's like we're cursed-" He stopped and looked at Amy, whose eyes had widened. "Not an actual curse," he said.
"Why not?" Amy asked, throwing her hands out to indicate the world around them. "Weirder things have happened. Way weirder. A curse is possibly the least weird thing I've seen around here."
"Not everything has to do with magic," Tony objected.
"You had a demon," Amy reminded him. The phone rang again and she picked it up. "Darkest Night. Your call is important to us. Please hold."
"Sometimes a demon is just a demon," Tony said. "A curse to stop me and Lee from having sex? That's oddly specific."
"Maybe it's a side effect," Amy suggested.
"I dunno." Amy shrugged. "Maybe it's a sign of the sexpocalpyse."
"Pretty sure you can't have a Second Coming without the first," Tony said.
"Call Leah," Amy suggested. "If there's a sex curse, she'd know about it."
"I am not telling Leah about my inability to have a sex life," Tony said firmly. Henry didn't need to know about this, either. Tony could take care of his own problems.
* * *
A curse. Totally ridiculous, Tony thought, when the president of the Western Canada Recreational Railroad Society walked in on them just as Lee grabbed the lube. One hotel door looks like another, after all. Though if you're barging into people's hotel rooms, it's really not fair to be upset if a bottle of lube flies out of someone's hand and whacks you in the nose. You can't just go around getting people kicked out of hotels because you can't read a number on the door.
* * *
It wasn't a curse when an attempt at sex on a beach ended up with sand in wrong and painful places. That was just physics. Crabs, of course, were always a risk with sex.
* * *
Sure, camping out under the stars sounded sexy, until you got chased into a river by angry raccoons.
* * *
Tony figured he'd experienced all the ways that sex in the backseat of a car could go wrong and so he was prepared. Lee parked his SUV on a secluded spot of private property that belonged to a friend. They stuck blocks under the wheels so it wouldn't roll. They folded the seats forward to give themselves space and put down a thick blanket. Tony cast a Notice Me Not on the car and warded it inside a circle to keep out cops, serial killers and, most importantly, raccoons.
"If something starts scraping the outside of the car, we are not going to go looking," Lee warned Tony. "We'll just drive away."
No urban legends attacked them that night, no cops found them; no nosy neighbors or teenage stoners wandered by. The brakes didn't get loose, they didn't bump into the gear shift or get anything caught between the seats.
A piece of a NASA satellite crashed through the roof. Tony rolled out of the way before it could hit him. A shard of the roof flew off and lacerated his shoulder. The satellite tore through the floor of the car and the chassis and buried itself in the ground below them. Tony lay on top of Lee, panting for all the wrong reasons and felt the blood trickle down his shoulder. "I think we're cursed," he said.
* * *
Tony got ten stitches and a discreet pamphlet on domestic abuse. They rented out a new hotel room and Tony got out his laptop to look up curses. "It's got to come from a person or an object," Tony said.
"What about some of the props on the show?" Lee asked. "I don't know where half the stuff comes from."
"Thrift stores and garage sales, mostly," Tony said, scrolling through the files to see if he could find another clue.
"There could be a prop shop that rents out cursed objects," Lee said thoughtfully. "Warehouse 13 meets Slings and Arrows."
"You should pitch that," Tony said. "We do have a lot of objects of unknown origin, but Dalal handles all the props and he and his girlfriend are definitely not cursed." At Lee's questioning look, Tony grimaced. "He overshares."
"Could be full of it," Lee suggested.
"Possibly," Tony admitted. "But if it's not an object, it's a person. Someone casting a curse needs something personal from the target. A lock of hair, a few drops of blood... a handwritten signature..." He shrugged and winced as the movement pulled at the cuts on his shoulder.
Lee's eyebrows shot up. "You think a fan did this?"
"The last time we had sex was just before FangCon," Tony pointed out. He felt a bit guilty about the betrayed look on Lee's face. Lee wasn't blind to the quirks and faults of his fans, but he did enjoy interacting with them. Working on a syndicated genre show didn't gain you much in money or critical acclaim, but you did get a number of fans that were deeply invested in your work and Lee thrived on that.
Lee frowned. He ran his thumb over the cloth tape holding the bloody gauze over Tony's wounds, smoothing down the parts where the tape was peeling up. "We have to fix it," he said.
Tony nodded. "I'll do a tracking spell tomorrow. Find out who cast it."
* * *
Through trial and error, Tony discovered that lube (guava flavor, because it's what he had nearby) tuned into the curse nicely and when he splattered a bit on a map and focused his magic, the drops of lube all gathered together in the same spot in Victoria. He found a more detailed map and cast the spell again until he'd located a street address. "Up for a road trip?" he asked Lee. Lee's car had been towed in for repairs but he'd gotten a rental.
The blue house with white trim had a minivan parked in the driveway and a ten-year-old Honda parked at the curb. The back of the Honda was plastered with bumper stickers, including "A Vampire Is Forever (Not Just For Christmas)" and "Don't Blame Me, I Voted For The Mold Man". It also had a parking sticker for the local high school.
"Teenager," Tony guessed, as they sat in the parked SUV across the street, like a couple of creepers. "Now what?"
"I'll talk to her," Lee said, unbuckling his seat belt.
"Are you sure that's safe?" Tony asked. "She's already cursed you once. We don't know what else she can do."
"One way to find out." Lee gave Tony's hand a light squeeze. Tony turned Lee's hand palm upward and picked up a pen.
"I already have your phone number," Lee pointed out.
"Funny," Tony said. He drew a symbol on the center of Lee's palm. Lee examined it.
"Is this the Captain America logo?" he asked.
"It's a shield," Tony said. "Symbols have power." He put the cap back on the pen. "It was the first thing I thought of," he added sheepishly. "If anything goes wrong, it'll protect you until I get there."
Lee closed his fingers lightly around the symbol. "Thank you," he smiled. He went up to the door of the house and rang the bell. Tony slouched down in the seat and took out his phone to play a game.
"OH MY GOD YOU'RE LEE NICHOLAS!" a voice shrieked a few minutes later. Tony winced from across the street. At close range that had to have hurt Lee's eardrums.
About fifteen minutes later, Lee came out of the house with a sixteen-year-old girl. She had tight brown curls tied back in a ponytail and wore a red t-shirt that said "On The Internet, Nobody Knows You're Undead". Lee tapped on the car and Tony rolled down the window. "Hey," he said. "Tony, this is Jessie. Jessie, this is Tony. He's a wizard."
"Uh, hi," Tony said.
"Hi!" Jessie gave him an embarrassed wave. "Uh, I sorta screwed up. Can you help me fix it?"
* * *
"She's really a very nice kid," Lee said on the drive back.
"Sure," Tony said, because he didn't feel like arguing.
"She just wanted to get my attention."
"She got us two trips to the emergency room and thousands of dollars in property damage," Tony pointed out. He shifted his arm and felt the pull of his stitches.
"I know," Lee said. "That's why I said you'd train her."
Tony sighed. "Lee, I don't have the experience to Yoda for another wizard kid."
"We can't leave her on her own," Lee said. "You saw what happened when she tried to teach herself. Can't you at least send her copies of the stuff on your laptop?"
Tony imagined giving all that magical knowledge to a hormonal teenager and shuddered. Lee was right; she'd do a lot less damage with someone guiding her. "Fine, I'll train her," he muttered. "Professor Tony's School for Gifted Youngsters it is." He supposed that sticking Lee's photo in a box and surrounding it with candles and scribbled symbols from a manga was pretty normal for a teenager. Getting results from those symbols was the unusual part.
Lee flashed a grin at him. "We've still got a three hour drive ahead of us. Maybe we should stop somewhere for the night?"
* * *
The hotel, as hotels go, was elegant but not flashy. No marble bathtub in this one, which Tony figured was for the best. Just a clean room with a king-sized bed. Tony and Lee stripped off their clothes slowly, because moving abruptly made the bruises hurt more and pulled on the fresh stitches. Tony finally stretched out on the bed and pulled Lee on top of him.
It wasn't the sexpocalypse, but there was a Second Coming.
* * *