The thing about ending a set is that Gabe is almost always horny. Making musical love to the crowd is just sexually energizing. He comes off stage hot and buzzing and ready fuck the first thing that crosses his path.
On this tour, its almost always one of the My Chem guys, usually Gerard. He's one of Gabe's best, oldest friends and front man to front man, Gerard may be newly sober and out of the party circles but he still just gets it. So when Gabe body slams him into a wall after the Midtown set while the roadies set up for the My Chemical Romance show, Gerard kisses him back and just goes with it.
Gerard is always the one who spins them around, gets them into a room with a door. Usually he maneuvers Gabe with a nip to the neck or the earlobe and Gabe turns to putty. He leans into Gerard's mouth on his jaw. He wants a hickey. He loves them. They're like purple and red badges of orgasm-hood, which is better than honor on pretty much every level.
He's got his fist around his and Gerard's dick when the door to the dressing room they're using this time opens. Gabe lifts his head from the very important task of sucking Gerard's tongue into his mouth and looks over at the figure in the door. He can't help the smile that curls his mouth. "Hey, Iero. What's up?"
Frank stands in the doorway, eyes wide, jaw a little slack. He's a mess but he's a mess who can't keep his eyes off Gerard Way's ass. "I- We- We're on in ten, Gee."
Gerard turns his head and looks at Frank. Gabe can see pink spread beneath his makeup and tattoos as Gerard stares at him. "Frankie?"
"Yeah, okay. Uh, I'll just go and-"
"No, Iero. Stay." Gabe holds out his other hand out and Frank drifts towards them like a comet towards the sun. Gabe grabs his shoulder as soon as he's in reach and pulls him up tight against Gerard's back.
"Gerard," Frank breathes like a prayer and Gerard turns his head. Watching them kiss slow and sloppy is enough to send Gabe over the edge, splattering his fist and the bottom of his shirt. He backs away carefully, taking Frank's hand and wrapping it around Gerard's cock to finish him off.
He straightens his clothes as Gerard fucks Frank's fist and grinds back against him like the worlds sexiest wave. Gabe's settled comfortably on the couch with a soda when Gerard finally orgasms , splattering the carpet with ropes of come , his cry choked off by Frank’s tongue down his throat.
"Hell yes," Gabe laughs, giving them a few golf-claps. Gerard blinks sheepishly at him and Frank is hard and wanting but Gabe waves them off. "You've got a set to play don't you?"
Frank plays like a madman and halfway through the set drops to his knees in front of Gerard and presses his forehead to his thigh. Gerard tangles his hand in Frank's short hair, possessive. Gabe is watching from the wings off stage left and he can't help but smile.
The Warped Tour has been like hell, only hotter. Two months of rock and roll hell full of people Gabe really, really likes but still. Hell. Gabe is getting his feet back under him in the wake of Midtown collapsing and helping around Warped is giving him time and space to lick his wounds.
He loves his family and he knows that they want to help, but there's music every day that isn't reliant on him which is what he needs right now. Then there's the fact that Warped has Fall Out Boy. That means he gets to spend time with some of his best of his best friends on planet earth. Pete for example is amazing at making him laugh, and Gabe needs that desperately right now. Also, being around Patrick Stump makes him want to try harder at all things musical. The man is just scary talented.
Since he's been spending all that time with Pete, he can't help but notice the guy falling hard and fast for Mikey Way. Not that Gabe can blame him. Mikey's hot in a lanky, scene sort of way. Back in the day, the old days when they were all getting blasted at house parties in Jersey, he was scene princess to Mikey Way's scene queen.
Now that My Chem was bigger and Gerard and Frank were all coupled up and sober together, Mikey'd tapered off whoring around and Gabe took the crown and the coveted title of queen of the scene. He hadn't lost touch or anything, he just hadn't sucked Mikey's cock in awhile was all.
Now Pete? Pete looks actually hungry for Mikey. It'd be cute if it weren't bordering on creepy stalker staring. Gabe slides up behind him during one of My Chem's sets. "He's gorgeous isn't he?"
"Yeah," Pete sighs, leaning back against him. "He is." His head only comes up to Gabe's breastbone. Gabe resists the urge to pat his head like a puppy.
"You want him?"
Pete turns then, looking up at him. "Gabe, what-"
"Simple question, Peter Pan." He tugs on Pete's earlobe to get his attention. "Do. You. Want. Him?"
"Like air." Pete blurts and Gabe laughs.
"You trust me?"
"Not any farther than I can throw you."
"Seriously. You trust me – yes or no?"
Gabe bends over, takes Pete's face in both hands and kisses him. He gives Pete's lower lip a friendly bite and Pete laughs into his mouth. A loud, discordant note emanates from the stage as Mikey Way misses a solo note. Pete can't see it with his back to the stage, but Mikey's eyes are locked on the two of them. Perfect.
When they break for air Pete actually giggles. He's such a girl. "You are the biggest whore on earth."
"Well, yeah." Gabe says, rolling his eyes.
"I am not charmed by this, Saporta."
"You so fucking are. This is why you love me. Now come with me loverboy. Be vewwy, vewwy quiet. We're hunting hotties."
Pete laughs. "Cracked. Like an egg."
He puts his hands on Pete's hips. "A delicious scrambled egg. Now do you want to have an orgasm and your dream boy, or do you want to stand here and sweat?"
Gabe gives in then and does pat Pete on the head, just like a puppy. "Good boy."
Pete lets Gabe lead him through bus city. They come to a halt at the My Chem bus. Gabe knocks twice and the driver opens the door. "What's up guys?"
Gabe holds up thirty dollars he's fished out of his pockets. "I need you to disappear for a couple of hours. Go to Starbucks on me."
"A cup of coffee at Starbucks is four bucks," the driver says, head cocked.
"The other twenty-six is a straight up bribe. Also I've got another ten for cab fare if you want." The driver holds out a hand and Gabe puts the thirty in his palm. The driver makes a "gimme" gesture with his fingers and Gabe sighs. He fishes out another two fives and adds them to the lump in his hand.
He steps down out of the bus and nods at them. Then he points a finger directly at Pete's chest. "Don't steal the bus. Don't get jizz on the couches or carpet or windows if you're not prepared to clean it up. I know your managers."
"Sir yes sir." Gabe says, giving a little salute and dragging Pete aboard.
"You spent 40 bucks on getting me laid." Pete says, his voice incredulous as he trips up the stairs.
"You're in love with him and, for that, I would've spent 45 if you needed it."
Pete doesn't deny it. He just smiles. "You're a true friend."
They settle in the lounge, making out lazily. Gabe leaves most of his clothes on, just unzips his fly but he gets Pete half naked. His shoes, jeans, and shirt are in a pile on the floor and Pete kneels in just his boxers on the carpet and sucks Gabe's cock, slow and steady. They're not racing towards orgasm here. They're creating a tableau that's all about showing off Pete. His back is smooth and shining in the inside lights, and his hands are behind his back, bound with Gabe's belt.
My Chem comes tromping into the bus as a unit ten minutes after they start. Pete's in that fun, blissed out state he gets when he's tied up with a cock in his mouth, and Gabe's not close but he could be. So when the five of them hit the top of the stairs, Pete doesn't miss a stroke.
Ray curses, loud "What the fuck Wentz?' before stumbling out. Frank and Gerard laugh into each other's skin. They leave the bus, arms around each other's neck, Frank biting Gerard's ear. Gabe watches them go and feels like a sex ambassador. There should be a sash or something for that.
Bob shakes his head. "Do not get come on the Xbox. Seriously. I'll beat you to death with the controller."
"We won't,” Gabe assures him. “I'm not planning on letting Wentz come."
"Oh, well great. More than I needed to know," Bob huffs, turning on his heel and trumping off.
It leaves them alone with Mikey, who is staring. He waits until the door slams shut behind Bob to actually move but when he does, it’s to take a few cautious steps closer.
"What is this?" he asks. Pete gives a little hum at the tremor in Mikey's voice.
"This is for you." Gabe says.
"It's a gift. I get you a bassist who's in love with you; you come sit on the couch with me and say thank you. It's just polite."
Mikey falls more than sits. He reaches out with a trembling hand and traces the outline of Gabe's cock through Pete's cheek. Pete actually whimpers and leans into the touch, his eyes drifting closed with the most intense pleasure Gabe has ever seen on his face. And he's seen Pete's "O" face more than a few times.
"He loves me?" Mikey asks. Every word shakes like he can't wrap his head around the concept. It's cute. It proves Gabe's point and ups his conviction that this is the right thing to do but still. Cute.
He takes a deep breath because Pete's good at this. It's all he can do not to punctuate each word with a hard thrust. "Stupidly. Like, to an embarrassing degree. He wants to have your babies. Isn't that right Pete?"
Pete moans – long and low. Then he shudders and lapses into high, desperate whimpers that echo from the back of his throat, driving Gabe over the edge. He pushes back, hard, on Pete's head just in time to paint his neck and shoulders. Pete pants, pupils blown wide and dark. "Please," he grits out, his voice rough from abuse. "Mikey, please."
"Haven't you figured out yet that I'm yours? Mikey, if you want me, I'm yours."
"The summer?" Pete says, knee-walking over to Mikey and putting his cheek on his knee. "We don't have to end with the summer. Not if you don't want to. I’ll give you forever if you want it."
"You can't say shit like that to me," Mikey whispers. "I'll say yes."
"He wants you to say yes," Gabe says, trying his best to bridle his annoyance. They're sweet and they're insanely in love with each other but this is getting old. "He wants to marry you and buy a minivan with you. So either say yes and make the guy's life, or say no and let me jerk him off because I think he might be dying."
Mikey reaches out and drags a hand through Pete's sweat-clumped hair. Pete leans into it like a cat. If Mikey doesn't love him back, doesn't take that devotion, then he doesn’t deserve it and he's not the man Gabe always thought he was.
"I- Pete, I thought- Yeah. Yeah, Jesus Christ I love you so fucking much but its crazy. It's only been two months."
"You're my Mikey," Pete says, tilting his head so his chin digs into the space between knee and thigh. "I know. Do you?"
"Yeah," Mikey laughs, and holy fuck is he crying? No, just a little glassy but not out and out tears. Thank god. Plus, Mikey's smiling wide like he never does, ever. "Yes, Pete. Yes." He folds himself nearly in half to kiss Pete. It's slow and sweet and not at all appropriate for the level of bondage going on in the room right now.
Gabe watches them tongue fuck each other for about five minutes before he reaches down and tugs Mikey back into a sitting position. "His face," Gabe says. "Take out your dick and get his face. I left it clean because he wants to be yours, so you should do it."
Mikey's eyes are huge. "Oh god."
"He loves you and he's yours, so mark him. Trust me, he loves that shit. Don't you Pete?" Pete nods so hard it’s a wonder he doesn't break something. Gabe labels that Exhibit A in his head and continues on with his closing argument. "I've never done it for him. It's yours. Special and all that shit."
"You're a sick man, Saporta."
"I'm your fairy fucking godfather, Way. Literally."
Mikey laughs but does as he's told. With Pete panting for it and Mikey all sex and love dazed, the whole thing takes maybe two minutes. He splatters white across Pete's open lips, his cheekbones and his nose. When Pete licks his lips, Mikey loses it. He pushes Pete back with a boot and follows him onto the ground, kissing him desperately with his hand shoved down Pete's boxers.
Gabe makes his way quietly off the bus and counts that as a win, even if he’s out a perfectly good belt. He knows he won't be best man at the wedding because Pete's got Patrick and if Mikey doesn’t use Gerard, Mama Way will kill them all. But he's going to be maid of honor, definitely.
As far as Gabe knows, Mikey called Pete who called Bob who talked to Zach who apparently was part of some Bearded Guy Union that got him on this latest Panic tour as head sound tech. It's not the most glamorous job the way Bryar tells it, but apparently there are teamsters and the pay is insane with a nonexistent per diem cost. It's not rock star money but if the guy doesn’t want to run around LARPing in the desert, Gabe can't blame him.
Cobra's co-headlining with Panic who are all going for sharp dressed dapper looks this time around. The whole tour is Fueled by Ramen guys. Well, Fueled by Ramen plus solo Patrick. Blond, hot solo Patrick. Solo Patrick who wears leather gloves and thigh high boots. Madness. Then Travie who's soloing too and the new kids – the guy and the girl whose names Gabe cannot remember to save his life – join in with them too. So overall, Gabe has been enjoying the sights. He's also been enjoying all the sex.
"You are the grand dame of sluttery," Ryland observes when Gabe stumbles off the Panic bus covered in hickeys and bite marks. "Did you fuck the whole band?"
"Just Brendon and Spencer. They love a third. You should try it some time. Spencer gets bitey and Brendon is super flexy. He can put his legs behind his neck. I'm not exaggerating." He makes a pretzel shape with his fingers. "Seriously, it's like he got a graduate degree in kama sutra poses."
Victoria snorts into her magazine. She flips a page in a way that clearly states she has no patience for his fuckery. Ryland just stares. "Aren't they exclusive? For the last like, five years?"
"Except for when they fuck people together."
Ryland snorts. "Oh right. Of course. How silly of me."
"So who's your project this tour?" Alex asks. He's sitting on the floor of the bus playing something on his DS that Gabe can't see from his spot on the couch.
Gabe aches a little from where Spencer worked his fingers inside him and made him come so hard he saw stars. It only twinges a little when he folds his legs Indian style underneath him. "What's that supposed to mean?"
"It means that you always have a project, Gabe" Vicky sighs. "You pick a pair of people you've deemed to be soul-mates and then you fuck them into submission and sex them into living happily ever after."
Gabe frowns. "I do not."
"You do too." Alex actually hits pause on his game to tick them off on his fingers. "'Fall of 04, Frank Iero and Gerard Way, Warped '05 Pete Wentz and Mikey Way. You were in their wedding. '06 Honda Civic – the Paramore chick and Butcher which – that was your worst one. Seriously, what were you thinking? And then you feel compelled to get Carden involved with a Disney kid every fucking time you can. What's that about?"
"The guy needs a little Disney in his life." Gabe says, affronted. "Plus, those Jonas kids' purity rings are like targets. I can't help myself."
"My point is," Alex says, talking over him. "You like a project. It's who you are, it's what you do. We all know this but we love you in spite of it. I'm just asking, who's your project this time?"
Well when they put it that way… Gabe bites his lip. It's split because Brendon digs in when his teeth when he's coming. It helps to clear his head though. The answer's obvious to him. "Bob probably."
"Hey," Nate calls from the back of the bus. "Leave Bryar alone. He's had a shittastic year."
"That is half the point. More than half. I believe in the power of love, you guys."
Vicky rolls her eyes hard. It's a wonder she doesn’t strain something. "You believe in the power of your penis."
"It's the same thing."
"It kinda is." Gabe whispers. Vicky reaches out and slaps him without looking. He thinks his mother must've given her lessons or something.
He spends the next dozen dates on the tour watching Bob Bryar. Well, to be more specific, he watches people watching Bob. Surprisingly, the person who spends the most time sneaking covert glances is Patrick fucking Stump.
He isn't obvious about it. The guy spent few years of his teens with an ill-advised crush on Pete Wentz. He knows how to avoid being blatant. Had to. Pete could be an observant fucker when he wanted to be. Gabe didn’t like to think about those two and their few disastrous hook-ups. It was messy and one shouldn't talk about it unless they were there – like 'Nam.
Of course Patrick’s not looking at Pete now. He's looking at Bob, who he lived with for awhile back in 06. Who he had a thing with for awhile, quietly, without anyone outside the scene ever noticing. As far as Gabe can tell, it only ended because they had to go their separate ways on their separate tours. They don't have to do that now. Not if they don't want to.
He studies his quarry carefully. The two of them are careful never to be alone together and when they speak, it's stilted and awkward – like each of them is trying to say something important but don’t want to talk over each other. Occasionally one or the other will blush when they try and fail to interact, like two exes still so obviously in love with each other should.
So five cities later, Gabe sidles up to Patrick during a sound check and drapes his arms around his shoulders, folding them loosely under Patrick's bow-tied throat. "So. Bob Bryar."
"No? That's it? No? I am so disappointed in you, P-Stump. For a man with that much creativity you have surprisingly little vision."
"Gabe," Patrick sighs, not turning around. "Everyone knows what you're up to. If you wanted to keep your little whorey yenta routine a secret, you really shouldn't have made that toast at Pete and Mikey's bachelor party."
"That was a great speech."
"I really didn't need to know that Pete likes facials. I could've lived my whole life without every knowing that about my best friend. You're a menace."
"But they're happy! It worked didn't it?"
Patrick sighs and it shakes Gabe's arms. Patrick is tiny, even smaller than Pete. He could pick him up and carry him around, no problem. His legs would just click into place at the small of his back and it'd be perfect.
"Bob and I didn't work because we weren't supposed to, not so you could have a challenge."
"Maybe. Maybe you both just needed a lifestyle change. Maybe he still wants you."
"And maybe you will settle down and stop fucking your way through your friends and neighbors."
Gabe takes in a sharp, affronted breath. "No one benefits from that."
"You get my point then."
"No. I really don't. Look, let's try. One try. You get an orgasm out of it either way. And if I'm right you get Bob back."
Patrick's head droops but he doesn't turn around. Gabe gives him a squeeze with one arm, just to check in. "Patrick?"
"I know you get a kick out of your little matchmaker routine, but this is my life."
Gabe frowns. He untangles himself from around Patrick and forcibly turns him around so that they're face-to-face even if the height difference keeps them from being eye-to-eye. "Pete and Mikey got married, man. Gerard and Frank have a house and dinnerware and like seventeen dogs. That's serious shit." He folds his arms over his chest and looks down at Patrick with what he hopes is his very best serious face." I know this isn't a game. You pining for someone you could have, easily, isn't fun to watch. I do this because I love you, I love all of you, and I want everyone I love to be happy."
Patrick stares at him. His contacts reflect the low light of the club even with all the bulbs in the place on full and make his eyes look bright. "I'm happy."
"You're okay. But you could be happy. Come on, Patrick. Let me try or I'm going to call Pete."
He narrows his eyes. "You wouldn't dare."
Gabe puffs out his chest a little. "Oh, I dare. I absolutely would dare. I would dare and he would net stalk Bob and do that thing that he does when he's trying to help because you're his person until it explodes all over you."
Patrick digests it, rejects the idea of Pete finding out, ever and says, "Let me make sure I understand. You're coercing me into having sex with you so I can find true love."
"Hey, if you don't want to do the sex part, we don't have to. I can still get you a Bob – sex or no sex."
Patrick sighs and rubs his eyebrow with one gloved knuckle. Then he runs it up through his bleached hair. "I'm the only one of our friends who hasn't fucked you. Aren't I?"
"I don't fuck people in my band because we both know that gets messy and only works for Gerard and Frank." He snaps his fingers as another name comes to him. "Oh. And Travie, but he's straight. Like actually straight. Not 'oh I'm straight but if you want to blow me sure go ahead' straight. Weird right?"
Patrick laughs at him, his dismay writ large over his face. "Yeah. Sure. Whatever, I guess I don't want to be left out of the loop. I assume you have a plan?"
The plan is simple. They make out so violently during sound check that they fall ass over tea kettle into the sound booth. That actually proves easier with Patrick than anyone else Gabe has ever tried this trick with because he's so small. Patrick fits neatly against his chest and his legs are the perfect length to latch onto Gabe's hips. He only needs to slide one arm beneath Patrick’s ass to help him stay up, so his other hand is free to work its way into those insanely tight pants.
For the record, the gloves are good. They're fucking awesome on the skin of his neck. Overall, Gabe approves of the new ensemble.
They crash into the sound booth and Bob curses a blue streak as Patrick gasps, grinding down involuntarily as Gabe twists his wrists. He's zoning out but Gabe's with it. He is golden, and the way Bob is looking at Patrick is just making things better.
"I've never been with two blonds at once," Gabe murmurs.
Bob's eyebrows shoot into the hood he's wearing tugged over his forehead. "I- What?"
"Two blonds. Blond on blond as the Rolling Stones say. Here," He reaches behind him with one arm and taps Patrick's leg where it rests just above his ass. Patrick's legs both drop to ground and he stands on wobbly legs, arms still clasped behind Gabe's neck. "Help me hold him up will you?"
Bob pushes back from the sound board and moves to do as he's told because the whole thing is going too fast for him to think. He comes to stand shoulder to shoulder on Gabe's right side, the heat of his body emanating through his black hoodie and Gabe's shirt to skin. That's a good thing in Gabe's book. It gives him the freedom to scoot a little bit to the left, and out of the circle they need to form to get Patrick's arms around Bob instead. Once he's secure, Gabe looks at Bob and says, "You should kiss him."
"Because he's going to get loud in a second," Gabe says, dropping to his knees. He's squished between them but he gets Patrick's fly open and sucks Patrick down in a practiced move that has him shouting into Bob's mouth. Gabe looks up as he bobs his head and sees Patrick scrambling, gloved hands clutching at the hoodie Bob's wearing. He whimpers and pants directly in Bob's mouth, more an exchange of air than a real kiss.
Gabe stops, nipping briefly at Patrick's hip in a gentle reminder of what they're here for. It's all Patrick needs to start talking.
"God, I missed you," he blurts, like the confession is torn from him against his will. To some extent it is. "Bob, I'm sorry I-"
"I should've tried harder. I-" Patrick gasps as Gabe swallows, his throat working the head of Patrick's cock. "I'm- I was- Oh, fuck, Bob."
"Yeah, I'm here. I'm right here."
"With me. Like we used to. Remember?"
Bob makes a choked noise. Gabe's eyes are watering, but not so much that he can’t see the two of them pressing their foreheads together. "Of course I remember. Fuck, Patrick how could I forget a fucking thing about you?"
Patrick's hand descends, blocking Gabe’s view and bumping against his head as he scrambles for the button and zipper of Bob's fly. His hands slip and shake because Gabe is good at giving head, he loves doing it and he knows how to get the desired results. Whatever simultaneous spiritual orgasm unity Patrick's trying to achieve, now is not the time for it. The time is tomorrow on their next hotel night. Now is for opening the lines of communication, which they've clearly done. So Gabe pulls out a patented move that involves humming, a head swivel and some carefully executed swallows that has Patrick coming hot and bitter in his mouth.
He feels more than sees Patrick give up on Bob's fly and clutch at his waist instead. He hears Patrick chanting Bob's name though, over and over. Over that is the much louder sound of Bob telling Patrick how beautiful he is like this, how he's always thought so, how he missed him too so fucking much.
After Patrick's done, Gabe pulls off and scoots back about a foot. He spits on the floor of the booth, not caring about the mess because he's pretty sure it's seen worse, and looks at his latest project.
When Gabe wasn't paying attention Patrick tugged the hood off Bob's head and now his leather-clad fingers are buried in Bob's slightly-too-long hair, stroking through the gold strands. Gabe thinks Bob’s arm farthest from him is around Patrick's narrow waist but his other hand is on Patrick's face, the backs of his fingers stroking over Patrick’s jaw up to where his sideburns once were then back down towards his chin. Their noses are pressed tight together and Patrick's lips are moving quickly. Gabe catches the words "still love you" and "try again" and "please" and "crazy" and "yeah."
The way they're clinging to each other isn't a guarantee or anything. However, it's enough progress that Gabe’s calling this one an unequivocal success.
Gabe met Bebe Rexha before of course. He went to one of the first Black Cards shows out in Poughkeepsie, before she started breaking out the handcuffs and furry hats. Pete touted her as the second coming of vocal talent which, coming from Pete "Patrick is magic, no really, see the disappearing rabbits?" Wentz, is saying something. He just hadn't really noticed her back then, when she was the new project and delicate and Pete's extended not-bio-family were trying very hard not to scare her off.
Well, that isn't true. She was stacked like a loaded deck with fingernails like fire-tipped talons and a face that could probably launch those fabled thousand ships. She was also twenty-one to his thirty-something and he was a slut, not a cradle-robber thank you very fucking much.
He meets her again at the Angels and Kings after-party for the first Fall Out Boy show in seven years. She's a little more subdued now. Her signature Long Island fingernails are a rich pink instead of blood red and her lipstick is a matching shade. She's wearing an old Clan t-shirt cut up in a way that exposes an incredibly sexy hint of skin in just the right places and black leggings that made her legs seem impossibly long. Gabe just stares at her for a solid fifteen minutes before Patrick hip checks him.
He's a red-head again which Gabe thinks is a crying shame. He liked the blond against blond aesthetic he and Bob had going but hey, it’s Patrick's legal right to choose or whatever. A lemon and a strawberry are still a good combo. He bet they look fantastic when they fuck, Patrick's sparse ginger body hair a gentle contrast to the gold covering Bob from his face to his toes.
Yeah. Bob's the lead sound tech for the tour and Gabe is hoping they have all the bunk sex. All of it.
"So you like her?" Patrick asks, drawing Gabe's attention away from imagining the man riding his boyfriend like an unbridled stallion.
The thought was distracting so he's a little lost. "What? Who?"
"Bebe. She's a good kid and pretty. You should go talk to her." He pokes Gabe's side.
Gabe jerks away and shakes his head as he watches her dance. "Yeah, no."
"Because of reasons."
Patrick snorts. "That is such a shitty answer. It's because you don't know how to talk to someone you really like. Isn't it?"
"I like you."
"Yes but you like-like Bebe. You like-like her a lot-lot."
That may in fact be true. He's liked her from the beginning but every time they bump into each other, he likes her more. Problem is, she isn't the type of person he can walk up to and go, "hey, want to have sex?" That's his main move in this sort of situation and it absolutely will not work here.
"Go ask her out."
"I'm serious. Say – want to get dinner sometime – and then actually go eat dinner."
"I know how to eat dinner."
That earns him a snort of derision and a clink of ice in the glass Patrick's holding. "Off the stomach of whoever you happen to be fucking at the time. That isn't dinner. Go ask her or I will tell every person you ever sex-yenta'd into a relationship that you like her and let them take a stab at hooking you up."
That was a long list. Both Ways, Pete and Frank, Patrick and Bob, Ryland and Greta, Ryan Ross and that gorgeous girl from that Belgian band. The Alexes from the Cab. Carden and that JoBro – the curly one. To be fair he can't keep those fluffy little moppets straight. There are others too, the woman down the street from his parent's who he hooked up with the checkout girl at their A&M by way of a sex date and the ER doctor he met when Pete busted his face who he got with his yoga teacher via claiming to want to be shown how to do something out of the pages of the Kama Sutra. He'll admit it; he's afraid of the mass of matched sets that could descend on him.
"Fine. I'll ask her. Will you leave me alone if I do?"
Patrick grins at him. "Not fun on this side is it?"
"I'm sorry, but how hard did you fuck Bob last night?" Gabe asks. When Patrick's eyes widen, Gabe taps the side of his neck. "You have claw marks. Right here."
Patrick ducks his head, sheepish but amused. "Shit."
"Mhm." Gabe hums. He loves being right. Even more than that he likes seeing people he brought together still desperate for each other. It gives him a high that no drug he's ever had even approaches. Only performing in front of a screaming crowd or coming hard with someone else's skin within touching distance comes close.
Patrick sighs and droops his head, just a little. His shoulders are still squared. Pete once told Gabe that you could tell how Patrick feels about any given issue based on the set of his posture. He can't read him like Pete can but even Gabe and his ignorance can tell that this is a determined Patrick. "I'm still not letting it go until you ask her out on a clothes-on date." He gives Gabe a sharp punch right in the shoulder. "You can do it, champ."
Gabe punches him back, aiming for the side of Patrick's head. He ends up cuffing his ear. "Don't call anyone champ, ever again. It's just bad," Gabe declares but he doesn't wait for Patrick to answer. He just grabs the drink from his friend's hand, downs it in one long chug, and hands it back before walking across the party towards Bebe.
Bebe looks up at him and smiles when he says her name. She flips some dark hair over her shoulder. Gabe feels something in his stomach flip over as she looks up at him with her gorgeous, open face. "What's up?"
He clears his throat, twice, before his voice agrees to work with him instead of sitting like a dead animal in the back of his mouth. "Do you want to get dinner with me?"
She blinks, startled, and actually jerks back just a little. It sends that flippy thing in his gut plummeting down to his toes. "I…I don't really do casual sex," she says and Gabe sighs.
Great. His reputation is preceding him in a bad way for the first time in his illustrious social career. The manwhore thing's never been a problem before now. He's not going to let it get in the way though. He refuses to let it. "I kind of figured that. Which is why…you know, dinner."
Her lips purse, forming a small, incredibly sexy oh shape outlined in smooth, shimmering pink. Gabe's impulse is to lean down and kiss her, no small talk or drama. Just kissing. He doesn't though.
"You want to go to dinner with me."
"I want to date you and I was told that in some cultures you don't draft people into sex. You verbally invite them to partake in food with you. So, this is me, using my words. Do you want to go on a date with me?"
She grins at him, all her straight white teeth showing. There's hint of pink on one where her lipstick smeared, but even that is charming and lovely. When she nods and says "Yeah. I'd like that," it feels like all the victories he's felt getting his friends together.
Except this is better, because this moment, with this woman, is different and more importantly, it's only his.