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A Deal's a Deal

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"Get your damn feet off me Gavin!"

Michael's shout was followed by a squeak of a laugh, then the heavy clunk of one body part or another slamming into the coffee table as Gavin was forced to oblige. The giggling continued anyway, the Brit righting himself on the couch and taking another sip of his beer.

Most of the evening had consisted of the four of them - Michael, Lindsay, Gavin, and Meg - gathered on and in front of the Jones's couch, watching an action movie they'd picked up from Redbox and going through most of a case of beer. There'd been a brief attempt at getting a four player game going, but they were about Mario Party'd and Super Smashed out for the year and they hadn't brought enough controllers for anything else.

In the end the girls had settled on one branch of the L shaped couch, Lindsay slumped comfortably reading her computer and Meg with her legs tucked under her, half following along on Lindsay's screen, half absorbed in her phone. That left the boys to settle on trying to beat each others' times in Mario Kart, passing the controller back and forth every couple of minutes.

Naturally, the concept of fair play was foreign to Gavin. He was always on the ornery side, but alcohol had a tendency to make them all that much more volatile, so Michael had yet to have a distraction-free run.

"I said fucking stop!"

"You only told me to get my feet off you," he countered. His feet were nowhere near Michael, instead draped off the arm of the couch, his upper body leaning into the older boy's shoulder, pushing him to the side.

"Gavin! Get the fuck off me!"

"But I'm bored Micoo," he whined, resting one hand on Michael's thigh and giving it a light squeeze. "And you're still winning anyway."

Michael pulled one hand off his controller long enough to shove him away. "What did I just say."

"Well you're no fun," Gavin pouted, making a big show of getting off that side of the couch and going to sit by his girlfriend instead. Meg didn't look away from her phone, but reached over to ruffle his hair just the same, turning Gavin's pout into a huge grin. "At least Turney loves me."

Michael snorted, eyes still glued to the game. "Yeah, well, that's her mistake."

"That's her mistake," he mocked under his breath. "You're a mistake."

Meg's elbow to his ribs caught him by surprise.

"Owww. What was that for?"

"You have to ask?"

"He started it!"

"When has he ever started it."

"But he did! Lindsay, you tell her. Michael started it."

Lindsay was more than happy to continue the trend of not breaking eye contact with her electronics while answering Gavin. "Ohhhh no you don't, you're not dragging me into this."

"Oh come off it, he wouldn't even let me finish my turn before, he definitely started it."

"Sure he did baby, sure he did," Meg said placatingly, letting her fingers play at his hair in hopes of distracting him.

He just pouted again, crossing his arms and sinking into the corner of the couch. "Glad you're all having a laugh of this."

"Yup," Lindsay answered.

Gavin opened his mouth to call her something choice in response, but was cut off by sudden cheering from the other end of the couch.

"Woohoo!" Michael shouted, jumping up and throwing his hands in the air. "New record. Suck on that, asshole!" He threw his controller down on his seat, waving his hands toward Gavin in a clear display of whatcha gonna do about it.

"That's what she said," Lindsay muttered quietly.

"What was that?"

She couldn't hold a straight face, despite trying to hide behind taking another sip of her beer, but denied it anyway. "Nothing."

"Awfully loud for nothing," he said, closing the short distance between himself and his wife's seat.

"She said your bragging was rife with innuendo," Meg offered helpfully, finally switching off her phone's screen to smile cheerfully at them both.

"Oh did she now."

Lindsay shrugged, trying not to giggle. "Maybe."

"Well I've got all the innuendo you need right here," he assured her. One hand reached down to push her computer closed as he leaned over her, before grabbing his wife's face in both hands as usual and kissing her hard. Lindsay obviously couldn't stop herself from laughing but reached up to wrap her arms around his neck anyway.

From the corner of the couch, Gavin gagged as loud as he could manage. "Oh get a room."

"Why don't we just get a music video instead?" Michael suggested, pulling back from the kiss but not letting go of Lindsay.

"Sick burn," she added while her lips were still free, then kissed him again.

"I think it's cute," Meg told Gavin, kissing him on the temple.

"You would," he grumbled.

"And what's that supposed to mean?"

"Just that you girls like that sort of thing!"


"No you dope, watching other people snog. All your movies and tv shows end with that," he said, motioning toward their friends. "You're all so crazy about it you'll even read it as words."

Meg snorted as she tried to hold back a giggle. "What else would we read it as?"

"Oh you know what I meant."

"What's the matter Gavin, you jealous?" Lindsay asked as Michael finally let her go and stood back up.

"Oh please. Of what, exactly."

Michael's voice was dark and low as he answered, "Oh I think you know."

"I think you're too bevved up boi, you aren't making a lick of sense."

"What's the matter boi? Come on, you can say it. You're jealous, right?" Moving far enough that he was looming over Gavin instead of the girls wasn't hard since he was only a cushion away.

Gavin squawked in alarm as he approached, pulling his feet up to push himself higher on the couch in search of escape.

Michael's hand planted itself above Gavin's left shoulder, blocking his escape since Meg was too close on the other side. "It's ok Gavvy. You can say it. We're all friends here."

Gavin's only response was to start letting out a high pitched whine, turning his head away in the only direction of escape still available. He buried his face into his girlfriend's shoulder, curling up against her as Michael leaned closer and closer.

"I know you miss me. That we haven't had as much boi time since I got married."


"Shhh it's ok, I'm here now," he assured the younger boy. He leaned in close enough that Meg - who was still pretending to ignore everything going on, unlike Lindsay who was watching transfixed beside her - had to tilt her head for fear of getting bumped into.

"MICHAEL!" Gavin curled up tighter and planted one foot firmly on his chest, pushing him back. Unfortunately for him, Michael was still stronger, so for a moment he was still looming there, more than a little too close, Gavin all but bent in half in front of him.

Finally, he pushed back off the couch, laughing and shaking his head. "Man, you are too easy," he said, brushing off his chest where Gavin's foot had been. "That was good. I feel like this calls for some shots."

"It's like the stream all over again," Lindsay said with a wistful sigh.

Michael stopped mid-turn, casting his wife an incredulous stare. "Oh?"

Meg nodded in agreement, face thoughtful, though her voice carried a hint of sarcasm. "You really had me going. For a second there, I thought you were really going to kiss him."

Gavin squeaked. "No he wasn't!"

Michael sighed. "Oh shit, here we go again."

The two boys complained in near unison, suddenly upright, at attention, and chock full of annoyance at the accusation.

Lindsay shrugged, opening her laptop back up. "That's because you've only been around them for what, a year? Sooner or later you'll learn to stop getting your hopes up, Meg."

Gavin made a flustered series of noises, leaning forward to look around his girlfriend at Lindsay. "'Getting your hopes up'?! You can't be serious."

Lindsay gave her favorite shrug, the one that meant she was pretending to ignore him while he was doing something stupid.

"Michael, tell her to stop!"

He laughed. "You tell her to stop, buddy. You started this."

"But I didn't."

"Actually, you did," Meg corrected.

"You're all complete monsters, I hope you realize that." Gavin huffed, sinking back into the corner. "'Stop getting your hopes up', what a load of rubbish."

Lindsay's smirk had gotten out of control again. "What's the matter Gavvy, tired of having your hopes squashed?"

"Oh come off it."

"It's ok to admit it," Meg added, reaching over to pat Gavin's knee comfortingly. "We all think about it sometimes."

"Think about what exactly?!"

"Please, everyone, we don't need to go right back into this," Michael interrupted, his voice intentionally dramatic. "We get it already, everyone here wants a piece of this action. It's ok. I understand. I'm irresistible. It's a curse. But sadly for any of your little fantasies, the lovely Mrs. Jones over here got first dibs."

Lindsay broke down laughing partway through his speech, and only got worse when he stepped over to take her hand and kiss her knuckles, waggling his eyebrows at the rest of them.

"Jesus Christ Michael," Gavin muttered, though his complaining was too quiet to hear over Lindsay's hysterics.

"Now then," Michael said, straightening back up, his voice still in full 'See, Geoff, I'm paying attention!' mode, "Back to the matter of shots. Are we coming to the kitchen or should I bring them here?"

Meg shrugged. "Either way."

"The lovely Mrs. Jones is too damn comfortable to get off this couch."

If any of them had bothered looking at Gavin, they would have seen him mouthing Lindsay's words mockingly, but Michael was already heading for the kitchen.

"Fantasies. Really," he huffed once Michael was gone. "As if anyone would actually."

"Me thinks you protest too much," Lindsay chuckled.

Meg rolled her eyes, reaching to put an arm around Gavin's shoulders, only for him to duck away. "And you," he said accusingly, "what's 'we all think about it' supposed to mean? Don't tell me you've actually thought about- about kissing Michael."

"Oh, no!" she answered quickly, shaking her head. "Not me."

"Good," he snapped, crossing his arms and letting his head rest on her shoulder. Her eyes rolled again before she bent to kiss his forehead, only for him to snap upright so fast he nearly knocked the glasses off her face. "Wait. Not you what. What did you mean."

"Can't get anything past you, can I?" she sighed dramatically.

"So you did mean something." His pout intensified.

Lindsay's resumed giggling behind Meg only made her sigh harder.

"I don't fantasize about me kissing Michael, you dork."

"As much as I want to be relieved, somehow that only makes me more concerned."

Meg just stared at him, eyebrow raised.

Lindsay patted her on the shoulder firmly. "It's ok friend, you can do this."


"I won't say I've never thought about you kissing him."

Gavin let out a frustrated noise between his teeth, whacking his leg with one fist and then pointing a finger vigorously at his girlfriend. "I knew it! I knew it, Turney, you traitorous bird, how could you."

Lindsay peeked over Meg's shoulder, one eyebrow raised at Gavin. "You realize there's not a person in the company who doesn't want to see you two just kiss and get it over with, right?"

"Well of course you'd think that. With your fanfiction and whatever else you're looking at on tumblr."

Lindsay shook her head solemnly. "You're the one who said girls were into that kind of stuff, Gavin. Don't be so surprised just because your girlfriend is, in fact, a girl."

"Well there's a difference between that and actually - now I'm going to be thinking you're thinking about that any time that we-" he cringed, flailing his hands.

"Thinking about what while you fuck?" Michael interrupted, reappearing with a bottle of whiskey in one hand, shot glasses stacked upside down on top, and most of a six pack of coke hanging from his other. "Oh wait, never mind, that is literally the last thing I want to know."

"Michael! They're talking about-"

Lindsay cut him off. "Babe, you like watching girls make out with each other, right?"

"Oh hell yeah. That's just like, the basics of good porno right there."

"Oh good lord," Gavin sighed, covering his face with both hands. "You can't just go telling people what kind of porn you watch."

"Why not?" the other three said in near unison.

"Have you people no shame?!"

Michael shrugged, setting down the drinks. "I mean, obviously not? Dude, we've watched porn together, don't act like this is a surprise."

Gavin sputtered as the girls let out matching "Ooooo"s beside him. "But that was to laugh at, not to… wasn't it?"

The older boy let out a hearty laugh, and only then did Gavin notice the heat in his own cheeks. "Holy shit. You are just too much. When the camera's rolling, you're the first one to start talking about dicks and trying to touch people's butts, but then something like this happens and you can't even say 'jack off'. You afraid your parents are going to hear what happens in my living room too?"


"Then what's your problem?"

"Well I'll bet it's got something to do with knowing people on the internet get their jollies to the thought of you and I shagging being one thing, and knowing my girlfriend does being something entirely different."

Michael laughed. "That's seriously a surprise to you?"



Silence hung heavy for a moment, broken only by the giggles Lindsay couldn't completely contain.

"Well, no, now that you've put it like that, I guess she's mentioned fanfiction plenty, but it's still not the easiest of ideas to wrap my head around now is it?"

Michael shrugged. "Just don't think about it too hard."

"Yeah, Gavin. Don't worry about it," Meg assured him, and he sighed.

"Fine. Just pour a round and let's drop it."

"See? That's more like it. That wasn't so hard now, was it?" Michael plopped down on the couch beside Gavin, clapping him on the shoulder and giving him a friendly shake.

He tried not to let the others see his tired sneer as he leaned forward to grab a shot glass from the table.

True to his word, Michael did drop it, and before long the Mario Kart victory loop had been replaced by whatever weird food show was on Esquire. Rounds of shots punctuated stories from the last week's adventures in the office. The mood returned to normal; just their usual Friday night unwind.

Around the time that she and Michael both poured a couple shots worth into their coke cans, Lindsay got too giggly and put her laptop away for fear of spilling on it. The two girls were fresh off their second On the Spot win and had spent the last few weeks attached at the hip in celebration of Team Free Willy's success. That included more confidence than usual when it came to challenging the boys at video games, and at some point they'd pulled out the big guns.

"Double Dash. Other team gets to pick who's your driver and who's in back."

"Jesus Christ, woman. I thought you loved me," Michael teased.

"I do, but that won't stop me from kicking your ass if you don't get back in here with the gamecube controllers in the next five minutes."

"When you're the one who left them in our room to begin with."

"Especially then."

"You drive a hard bargain," he conceded, getting up. "But, that means you have to switch the cables out."


"Oh, but you can't do that, Lindsay," Meg said, grabbing her arm when she tried to stand up.

"Why not?"

"Because you have to be my pillow."

Gavin let out an alarmed noise as Meg turned around from where she was currently leaning into his side, stretching her legs across him instead and snuggling into Lindsay's thighs. "Alright well, you're bevved up more than enough then aren't you Turney?"

"Oh don't be silly Gavin. I'm fine,” she assured him. “It's nothing personal, you're just too boney to be comfortable for long.”

“Boney?” he sputtered, then, “That's not the point though.”

“What is, then?”

Lindsay looked down at her and shrugged while Gavin tried to find words. “I'd say it's that your glasses are gonna get smooshed the moment I try to lean over. Either that or he's jealous.”

“What is with everyone thinking I'm jealous today?!”

“Awww, then you were worried. How sweet!” Meg pushed herself back up, leaning to kiss her boyfriend on the cheek, then pulled her glasses off. “You can keep them safe for me, then.” She put them on his face, only slightly poking him in the process, then flopped back down, face first into Lindsay's lap, and wrapped an arm around her teammate's stomach to cuddle again.

“That's- that's not it at all,” Gavin complained, pushing the glasses up into his hair so he could see properly again.

Michael laughed from the doorway, causing Gavin to jump, startled. “As cute as this little cuckolding scenario is, I have controllers to grab and a piss to take. Meg, let her up, she's got cables to switch. And make it snappy!”

Both girls' middle fingers rose at once, though Meg's was accompanied by laughter, muffled against Lindsay's thigh. He pointed one back at each of them as he slowly backed out of the room. “Gavin. Make sure she does it. Don't let her get out of this. She chose her fate.”

“Oh make her do it yourself,” he snapped back, crossing his arms and sinking back into the corner of the couch.

“That's what she said,” Lindsay muttered in response. Meg snorted, then started laughing so hard she had to prop herself up on her elbows in search of air.

“Are you two serious right now?” Gavin asked.

“About what?” Lindsay asked, taking the opportunity to get up and fish behind the TV for the right set of cables.

Meg was still laughing too hard for words, so he continued to address Lindsay directly. “I know it's different for girls, but just. Turney had her face more or less buried in your crotch.”

Lindsay snorted. “I'm sorry, did you want a turn?”

Meg let out another shriek of laughter, rolling over to clutch her stomach. Fortunately, without her glasses and with the TV as the room's only real light, she couldn't make good sense of Gavin's disgusted face.

“Not especially, no.”

His girlfriend sat up to get out of the way as Lindsay came to sit back down, and with a bit of coughing she managed to form words through her giggling. “Where was all this concern an hour ago when your hand was halfway down Michael's pants?”

“It was not!”

“No, that was last week,” Lindsay corrected. “This week he just had his leg across Michael's lap.”

“Oh, right! And then he started squeezing his thigh...”

He scoffed, lip folding into a pout. “Oh, come off it. That's different!”

“How is that different? You were so desperate to distract him you were practically giving him a handjob.”

“It wasn't like that though! It wasn't, it wasn't anything sexual, I was just having a bit of a laugh.”

“Well it's a laugh you seem to try for every day.”

"I- So? It's the only thing that gets to him. You're the ones twisting it into your... weird tumblr fantasies.”

“Meanwhile you're acting like I was going down on her just because I cuddled her thigh a little.” Meg made a point of patting Lindsay's thigh as she said it, and Gavin's eyes flickered toward the motion, wider than ever.

“But that's how it starts, isn't it?”

“Are you even hearing yourself?” she scolded him.


“It's only different for you because you know you're never going to follow through with it. But with us you've got no idea what we're thinking, so your mind goes straight to the gutter.”

Gavin scoffed again, louder. “And yours doesn't? You're the one who said earlier you actually fantasize about seeing me and him.”

“So you're trying to tell me that if Lindsay and I started making out right now, it wouldn't get you even a little hot?”


Both of them stared at him incredulously.

"Well, maybe. But it's not something I think about all the time or anything.”

“But you do think about it.”

“Well I sure am now that you've said anything!” he complained, looking as far away from her as he could. “But, fine. It has crossed my mind on occasion.”

Lindsay snapped her fingers victoriously. “I knew it!”

“Not a full blown fantasy though!" he was quick to add. "I haven't tried to think about it.”

“But still something you wouldn't mind seeing.”

“I – I'm not sure how to even answer that.”

“With a yes,” Meg urged, plucking her glasses back off his head.


“Look," she said, straightening her glasses out and leaning back against Lindsay. "You want to see us kiss. We want to see you and Michael kiss. I, for one, am willing to propose a trade.”

There was dead silence for several seconds.

“You can't be serious.”

“Oh, we are," Lindsay said, nodding as she wrapped an arm around Meg's shoulder. "Completely."

Gavin had to swallow a lump in his throat. "You're really that desperate."

"Listen man. We women are wily. We've got our ways," Lindsay assured him. "You can take the deal now and get something for yourself, or we can get what we want later."

"Well that's a bit of weird threat, isn't it? 'Kiss him or we'll make you'."

"Is it really such a bad price to pay?"

He shifted uncomfortably, hands folding over his lap. "Could you maybe be a little less excited to kiss each other?"

"Oh come on, it's no big deal."

"For who?!"

Meg sighed, wrapping her arm over Lindsay's. "Any of us. It's not like we don't all practically live together most weeks. We're apart what, weeknights and that's it?"

"And how is that relevant?"

"Gavin. Gavin," Lindsay said, drawing out his name with a disappointed drawl the second time. "You're really going to turn this opportunity down? You're not going to even think about it?"

"I didn't say I wasn't thinking about it, now did I? Christ, just give me a moment." He took a deep breath, rubbing his palms into his thighs before folding them again. Another, like he meant to speak, but he let it back out, his gaze darting around the room.

When he looked back at the girls, they were staring at him expectantly, Lindsay's head almost resting on Meg's.

He quickly looked away again, the next exhale so forceful it almost whistled through his teeth.

"I mean, do I have to decide right now?"



Lindsay blinked, pulling her head away from Meg's slightly. "Wait, yes?"

"Yes, yes. When else will we have such a prime opportunity?"

Lindsay wrinkled her face in thought, then shrugged and nodded slightly. "Ok. Yes."

Gavin groaned in exasperation, throwing his head back so that it rested on the back of the couch. "Oh come on."

Meg leaned her head up against Lindsay's again, this time so that they were cheek to cheek, both giving him their best puppy eyes.

"Oh, alright!" he snapped, eyebrows still drawn in confusion. "But for the record, you're both mental, and you," he pointed firmly at Meg, "are helping me get the taste of him off after."

"Deal!" she agreed, bouncing forward to kiss him quickly.

"Deal," Lindsay echoed, holding out her hand so Gavin could shake on it.

He slowly took it and shook, but before he let go he added, "But what if he won't do it?"

"You'll figure something out."

"...I'm not going to, to make him."

"You won't have to. If I know Michael, and I do, then he'll be all for it if you tell him you're messing with us."

"But what if he won't? I'll have a right shiner then, won't I?"

Lindsay sighed, pulling her arm back to steady Meg, who was already scooting onto her lap sideways. She couldn't hear the doors over the TV to know where he was, but she knew time was running short before Michael would be back, if he wasn't already listening to them argue from the hall. "Look, if he really doesn't let you, then you'll at least have tried and that'll uphold your end of the deal. Deal?"

Gavin stared at them for a moment - at Meg wiggling her eyebrows at him, giving him a too-familiar coy smile that muddied his brain, at Lindsay as she rested one hand on his girlfriend's thigh, clearly aware of his gaze as she gave a light squeeze, at them both as their heads tilted until they were leaning together above the temple, both still smiling at him, though Lindsay's mischievous expression still read as out of place.

He swallowed hard, licked his lips, gave a click of his throat to clear it before speaking. "Alright. Alright, deal."

Meg reached over to him with one hand, running her fingers down his jaw affectionately and smiling, before turning back to face Lindsay.

Lindsay, it turned out, had absorbed Michael's kissing techniques, though she wasn't quite so forceful. She took Meg's face in one both hands and pulled her in, gently but firmly, and the speed of it sent the older girl into a round of giggles as soon as their lips met. "Sorry," Meg laughed, pulling back just an inch or so.

"'s fine," Lindsay answered, already closing the gap again.

They spent a few seconds just giggling against each other, a combination of nerves catching up to them, elation that their plan had worked, and just the absurdity of it all. Then Meg's hand found the one on her left cheek, guiding it away so that her boyfriend's view wouldn't be obscured, and she leaned into Lindsay, starting to kiss her in earnest.

Lindsay let her hand rest back on Meg's leg, holding her on her lap as though worried she might slide off in their inebriated state. Meg's own hand slipped behind Lindsay's neck, fingers lacing carefully into her hair before her bun, doing her part to keep them close without Lindsay's possessive hold.

The gentle rub of their lips progressed into loosely open kisses, their meeting confident but unfamiliar, bold but not quite passionate. Their giggles died off, replaced by soft breaths between kisses. As close as they'd become over the last few months, neither girl had fully thought out this part of the plan or considered what kissing the other would actually entail or how serious they'd wanted to make it. The alcohol they'd had over the evening didn't help, only serving to amplify the little sensations that would have passed unnoticed if they'd been fully sober.

Meg pulled back slightly, catching her breath and straightening her glasses. She meant to cast a sideways glance to Gavin, to see what his reaction was, but Lindsay caught her eyes with a smirk and she couldn't quite make herself pull away. Instead, she brought her hand up from Lindsay's shoulder to her cheek, cupping it instinctively as she sank back into another kiss.

Gavin's strangled, barely contained whimper at the show hardly registered to either of them.

Unfortunately, neither did the footsteps across the room.

For a few seconds, Michael stood dazed in the doorway. The scene before him didn't seem real; his best friend's girlfriend was sitting on his wife's lap, the two of them clearly attached at the lips, while his best friend sat openly gaping three feet away. All of it in his living room, lit only by the gamecube's menu screen and the faint light from the kitchen behind him. The shots he'd taken before had his mind swimming. Surely he was dreaming, in which case he wasn't yet sure if this was a dream or a nightmare. But he definitely still had both hands full of controllers, and everything else seemed perfectly in place… except the kissing.

He didn't even know who to yell at. Instinctively it was Meg - she was touching his wife, his Lindsay, and that wasn't allowed. But Lindsay was clearly making no moves to stop her, which only fueled the fire in his veins more, in confusing and angering ways. And Gavin seemed to be making no move to stop either of them…


All three snapped to attention, staring at him like startled deer. Gavin's cheek twitched reflexively; he was too used to being yelled at by Michael, and too used to gloating about annoying him, so instinctively he wanted to grin and that reaction almost had him terrified, if Michael hadn't already beaten it to it.

"Oh shit," Lindsay whispered. Meg tried to push off her lap but Lindsay held her there, giving the slightest of head shakes when their eyes met. Michael was an easily jealous person, Lindsay knew that well, but she also knew his anger was quick to pass. For a moment, she'd been too caught up in the kiss to consider him possibly walking in on it, but she'd already been planning for the possibility before that, from the moment Meg's plan had gone into action.


"I'm not doing anything!" Gavin shouted back in a panic, then squawked when Michael took a step toward him. Now that he'd made the mistake of speaking first, Michael's attention was focused on him.

"No shit, that's part of the problem you dumbass!"

"Michael, wait!" Lindsay called, interrupting before he had a chance to give Gavin a verbal lashing. "It was my idea?"

"It- what?!" He sounded more bewildered than angry, the force still behind his words and threatening to break through, but for the moment he just wobbled in place, breathing labored as he stared her down.

"We were trash talking and we said we're a way better team than you two ever have been," she explained. Michael looked like he wanted to argue, but just grunted, so she continued. "When he asked why, I said it was because we don't try to keep some invisible no homo wall between us-"

Gavin let out a distressed "what?!", to which Meg gave him a pointed look to shut up.

"-so we're closer than you two will ever be. And Gavin said to prove it, so…"

"We just went for it," Meg finished, forcing a strained grin in Michael's direction.

"So it was…" Michael said, brow furrowed as he pieced together the information. He was still angry but he had no idea where to point it, so for the moment it was concentrated to his hands, squeezing the controllers almost painfully hard.

"A joke. A dare, kind of," Lindsay offered.

"...I can't believe you would-"

"I know! I know, I'm sorry," she said, waving one hand in a stop motion, her voice lighthearted but nervous. "It was dumb, I know. But I can't unkiss her now, it's already happened."

"I know it happened!" Michael shouted, the seething rage from before having changed to a distressed anger.

"We could make it even?" she suggested. She crossed her fingers on the hand hidden by Meg's legs.

"How? That doesn't even make sense!"

"Sure it does. I kissed Meg, so to make it even, you could kiss…"

All three of them looked to Gavin at the same time, whose eyes flared wide. "Oh, what?" he asked, bewildered.

Michael hung in the center of the room for a few more seconds, breathing angrily as the gears turned. "Yeah? Yeah? Okay then," he said finally, a dark chuckle woven into his words. "Okay Ms Smarty Pants, that's how we're going to play this?"

He threw the controllers onto the empty section of the couch, crossing the room surprisingly fast. "Pucker up, boi! Guess who gets to pay for his ladyfriend's crimes!"

"What? Michael, no!" He shrieked as Michael was suddenly straddling his thighs, hands braced on the back of the couch behind his head.

"Michael, yes," he corrected, leaning closer. "Fair's fair boi. If Meg's taking mine, I'll just have to take hers."

"B-but Michael," he whimpered, hands rising to grab the older boy at the wrists.

Michael leaned his face closer, tilting his head so he was pressed right next to Gavin's ear. "Work with me here," he whispered harshly. "We're going to get laid so hard boi. They'll eat this shit up."

Gavin's eyes flashed alarm again, his brain struggling to process the combination of ideas. He had an obligation to fulfill - a deal was a deal after all, even if he'd originally had no intention to follow through - but there was something very unnerving about having Michael be so close of his own volition, even if his attention seemed well intentioned.

"You've had too much to drink boi," he scolded, but his hands stopped trying to push Michael off.

Michael inhaled hard, making a show of sniffing beside Gavin's neck to cover for his prior whispering. He let the breath out slowly, pulling his head back up so their faces were only a couple inches apart. "Nah," he answered, his voice still threatening since the girls could hear him.

"M-Michael," Gavin stammered again, voice quieting as his friend's face grew nearer.

He held his breath, eyes shutting tight.

Michael's lips pressed against his, hard enough to push his head back into the couch cushion. For several seconds they just hung there, Michael breathing too hard and Gavin not breathing at all. Over three years of jokes and teasing had somehow culminated in this, one last ruse.

Michael's head tilted and he pushed forward harder, pinning Gavin's head still and opening his mouth against his. He felt himself channeling all his frustration into the kiss - his anger at seeing his wife kissing someone else, at Meg for being that someone, at Gavin for watching them, at Gavin for not stopping them, at Gavin for an entire evening of touching him to distract him in what were obnoxiously effective ways. At Gavin for always being like that. At Gavin for constantly being forward with him as a joke, then freaking out the instant the tables were turned. He wasn't ashamed to admit that he'd thought more than once that exactly this might be the best revenge he could ask for against Gavin's constant harassment, an attitude Lindsay had ironically talked him down from before, even though now it seemed he couldn't possibly have been more right.

The Brit squeezed Michael's wrists one more time, then finally let go and let himself breathe. With the initial shock of his friend's lips on his over, it suddenly didn't seem so bad, or actually bad at all. He'd expected kissing a guy - especially kissing Michael - to somehow be fundamentally different than girls. But the only difference he felt was that the way Michael kissed was so undeniably Michael that he suddenly felt sure he could identify him blindfolded from the ferocity alone. He wasn't sure why the thought came to mind, but something about it seemed important.

For the moment, he was most concerned with figuring out where to move his hands to. Holding onto his wrists just seemed silly, but he couldn't think of another place to put them that didn't feel like he was crossing any lines. His hands hovered awkwardly in midair until he finally settled on Michael's thighs, as close to his knees as he could manage, his arms stiff and still. Michael's were still pinned on either side of his head and had made no attempt to move; Gavin was trapped to the couch by all four of the older boy's limbs, though his weight was carefully held off him.

He whimpered slightly as Michael's lips shifted again, squeezing one of his between them. Instinctively he wanted to kiss back, his body seemingly ignorant of the source of the kiss no matter what his mind knew, but for now he tried not to. Michael was more than willing to make up for his stubborn inactivity though, moving more vigorously, sucking at each of Gavin's lips until they were wet and starting to swell from the first grazes of his teeth across them.

He felt and heard the couch shift next to him, and through the corner of his eye in the split second he opened them, he saw Meg inching toward him, no longer on Lindsay's lap. He felt her fingers dance down his left arm, which he picked up to let her take his hand between hers. She squeezed it hard as though encouraging him.

Gavin swallowed hard, realizing this was a sign of approval, and pressed his eyes shut again to kiss Michael back.

He pushed back up off the couch - rather ineffectively, given how much stronger Michael was, but enough to lift his head into his teammate's advances - and let his lips open properly between his. To his surprise, Michael actually growled as he pressed him back down, tongue darting out for a quick lap between Gavin's lips before he settled back against him. His hand reached out, slapping Meg's away from Gavin's, twisting his fingers between the Brit's when she let go and pinning it against the couch again. He pulled back from the kiss with an audible pop as Gavin's lip slid out from between his, glaring at the girls.

"Fuck off, he's mine right now!" he shouted, a fierce possessiveness to his voice.

Lindsay tried to muffle her groan against the back of her hand. Meg shivered visibly, too stunned for words.

Gavin just openly gaped, taken aback by the declaration, even if it was just part of the act. The plan, however quickly formed, hadn't called for this. He was Michael's what right now, exactly? Plaything? Tool? Victim? Something else he was too confused to name? He tried to think that it didn't matter, that it was just a line he was spouting to play the part, but it was just too much… And yet somehow, as Michael swooped back down for the heaviest kiss yet, Gavin didn't entirely mind, instead feeling oddly pleased that he was being fought over.

Michael came back up from his lips panting, reaching with the hand not holding Gavin's down to wipe his lips. "You like that?! You learn your lesson yet?!" he growled. Confused, Gavin just nodded slowly, oblivious to the soft groan he'd let out and unable to focus on anything except the continued closeness of Michael's face to his and the intensity held there.

Gavin turned his head to pull his gaze away from his friend, looking instead to see what Meg's reaction to everything was beyond the noise he'd heard. Her face was almost a deep enough red to match her hair, her eyes openly drinking in the sight before her as she nibbled at her lips, one hand wound into a lock of her hair. Lindsay was behind her, clearly almost pressed into her back, leaning to one side to see around her, face tight against her knuckles as she stared even more intently than Meg.

When his eyes traveled back to Meg again, she let out a soft laugh and smiled at him, and he found himself doing the same in return, a crooked grin forming on his flushed face.

"How's it going, ladies?!" Michael half yelled from above him, joining him in looking at their captive audience. "Enjoying the show? Huh? Are you?!" Gavin shivered beneath him, just a single jolt spurred by something in Michael's voice, the exact lilt his anger had taken on oddly familiar. He was fairly sure it was the one he used when he was enjoying himself but trying to act like he wasn't, when he was too happy to be angry but the show had to go on. Whether they recognized it too or not, both girls were now focused on Michael, their eyes wide at being called out.

With their attention fully on him, Michael ducked his head again, taking the opportunity of Gavin's head being tilted to target his exposed neck. Gavin gasped in surprise, squeezing Michael's thigh where his hand was still resting in an effort to suppress any further sounds. He felt a wet heat against the side of his neck, then the unmistakable tickle of breath against his skin. His head was swimming - was Michael really going to-? How far was he planning on taking this ruse? Was this even still part of the plan? He felt certain that if he called out right now, don't or stop or no, or even a calmer I think that's enough boi, Michael would be off him like it never had happened, but somehow he was actually enjoying the attention. That was a secret he had decided he'd take to his grave just as quickly as he'd realized it.

He felt Michael's free hand grab at his shoulder, holding it still to make more room for him between Gavin's stubble and collar. His open mouth pressed to Gavin's skin again, teeth coming first and coming just hard enough to make the younger boy gasp and squeeze his eyes shut, then all lips and broad tongue firm and wet against his skin. Gavin groaned approvingly, no longer able to hold his reactions back, only to feel Michael echo with a quick grunt of a moan against his neck.

Gavin was starting to pant by the time he could next will his eyes open, his grip on Michael's thigh now firm enough he was surprised it wasn't painful. No sooner did he manage to lock eyes with his girlfriend, now closer than he remembered her being, then Michael's lips shifted on his neck and he felt the pressure change. "M-Michael," Gavin whimpered, eyes rolling back and falling shut as his teammate sucked hard at his skin. He bit his lip, tilting his head further away to let Michael continue.

Then he felt a gentle touch to his forehead. His eyes eased open to find Meg hovering above him, fingers playing across his hairline, then brushing his hair back and holding it there as she admired his face. He heard an irritated huff from his neck, as though Michael had noticed Meg's approach and was annoyed but too distracted to push her away again. "Hi," Gavin managed, followed by a strangled gasp as Michael shifted his lips from the now tender spot and began to target a new patch of neck all the harder.

"Hi," Meg answered, petting his forehead with her thumb and casting a gentle smile down at him. "Jones is a good look on you," she whispered as she drew closer, until her nose was touching his.

"'s'not bad on you either," he breathed back at her, unable to find any more of his voice.

"You should wear it more often."

He swore he could hear Lindsay cheering as Meg kissed him.