Chuck pushes back his fringe, looking at the mirror. He can understand the sparkly shirt and tight trousers; the gel makes sense, too. It's just, scrubbing at the line of black under his eyes, that he's pretty sure that the eyeliner is actually a little bit gay.
"Are you ready?" Bryce is standing behind him, mesh top exposing all his muscles, his black jeans fitting like a second skin, and for a second Chuck has second thoughts. Bryce looks like he fits, he looks like he does this every weekend and Chuck just knows that he's going to be out of place, awkward like always.
"Are you ready?" Bryce is standing behind him and for a second Chuck has second thoughts. Bryce looks like he fits, he looks like he does this every weekend and Chuck just knows that he's going to be out of place, awkward like always.
"Are you sure you want me for this? I mean, surely Case-"
Bryce interrupts, turning so that they're looking at each other instead of through their reflections. "Can you really see that working?" he asks with a grin. He reaches up and rubs his thumb under Chuck's eye smudging the eyeliner. "Better. Come on let's go."
Chuck was buying a carton of milk on his way home when a large man with a little dog had rolled down the window of his limousine, leaned out and yelled at a skinny man in a driver's suit complete with little cap. As soon as he saw the man's face, the Intercept kicked in, identifying Vitali Romolov, Russian Mafia, and he turned around, back across the parking lot to his car where Casey was waiting. Ellie had convinced them that because they both worked at the same place they should car pool - it was good for the planet. Casey had been grumpy about it until he realised that he could use it as an excuse to keep an even closer eye on Chuck.
The queue to the club is long and Chuck doesn't feel quite so out of place after the third guy has looked him up and down. Bryce has his arm around his waist leaving Chuck with no idea what to do with his hands. His fingers are in the tops of the pockets, the pants too tight to get them any deeper in, and his shoulders are scrunched down so that he doesn't tower too much over Bryce.
They have good information that Vitali will be here tonight. His legitimate front is as a record label executive; his more lucrative and less legal sideline is in the sales of arms and information for his Mafioso brother. That he's gay, and that the band that he is scouting are 'queercore' is completely coincidental to the case.
Bryce directs him across the room, hand resting on his lower back, and Chuck feels like he's back at college. It's just another night where Bryce tries to get him to react, to push his boundaries. He's a little older now, a little more confident and a little less out of his league.
They sit at the edge of the dance floor and Bryce leans in close to talk across the noise of the band. "Can you see anyone else?" Bryce's hand rests n his shoulder and they're a bit closer than he's used to but he's acting a part and it isn't out of place here. There are a couple of guys rubbing up against each other in the shadows behind a column and there are more than one couple holding hands and touching as they jump up and down in the mosh.
Vitali is sitting in a booth and he's surrounded by a couple of guys who probably are both bodyguards and PA's. Chuck flashes on one of them, "Vladimir Dyomochka, his cousin is a crime boss in Vladivostok."
"Okay. I'll let Casey know and they can bring them in." Bryce texts someone, his other hand staying at the back of Chuck's neck. His thumb is distractedly running against Chuck's skin. It feels kind of weird, nice, if he lets it but he's not sure that this comes under the heading of pretending.
"Want to dance?" Bryce asks as he finishes. "We can watch from over here." Bryce is looking at him, daring him to stay rather than scurry like a chicken back to safety. He grabs Bryce's hand and joins the crowd jumping into each other as the band plays. He's grinning and Bryce is grinning and it's good, like the last few years never happened.
They respond quickly and it only takes a few minutes for Casey, dressed in a tight black shirt and security badge, to pull their target aside and direct him outside. It's over before anyone even had a chance to register something was going on.
Bryce's hands are on his hips, and when the song stops he wipes the sweat from his brow. He points to the exit where he's sure Sarah and Casey are waiting to debrief them. Chuck nods and they walk across the room, fingers still touching.
"So," Bryce asks just as they get to the door, "not too hard pretending to be gay?" and Chuck thinks about the way that Bryce has been touching him all night. He steps into Bryce's space, not really thinking about what he's doing.
"Pretending, huh?" he asks.
Bryce grins and then leans in, pausing a breath away, "Yeah, pretending. Because this is actually being gay," he says and then he brings his mouth in to kiss him. Chuck's hands reach around and rest on Bryce's shoulders.