"This is all your fault," Spencer says.
Brendon keeps stabbing the 'L' button. "How?" The button is already lighted up, but they're not moving. The fucking elevator hasn't moved at all for the last five minutes. The nice lady at the end of the alarm button had told them that it might take them up to ONE HOUR to get some repair guys here. Spencer just wants to get the fuck out this elevator, this building, possibly even this fucking city. In fact, returning to Vegas to live in his parents' garage sounds really good right now.
"Stop it," Spencer says and he grabs Brendon's wrist. "She said someone was coming."
"In one hour, Spence." To be fair, Brendon sounds about as tired as Spencer feels. "Do you think we will suffocate in here?"
Spencer takes a deep breath and thinks big and wide and open-skied thoughts to keep the panic at bay. When he was younger and playing hide and seek with his sisters, he once had the great idea to hide inside a chest. Except when he wanted to get out (they hadn't found him! he won!), the lid was stuck and so fucking HEAVY and Spencer couldn't open it anymore, even when he pushed with his entire body. When his parents found him, he was shrieking and crying and shaking. He'd had nightmares for years.
"No," he manages to press out. "Ventilation." He gestures vaguely at the ceiling of the small elevator cabin. It looked bigger when they got it, fuck, is it shrinking?
Spencer closes his eyes. He reminds the part of his brain that starts panicking that the elevator cabin cannot shrink. It's physically impossible.
His brain thankfully provides a recap of the scene in the garbage disposal in Star Wars. He wishes he had something long enough to put between the walls of the elevator, so he could try and convince his stupid brain that the cabin is not shrinking. It cannot, it's totally—
Spencer notices that he's starting to sweat--his palms are all wet, and he thinks he's maybe shaking a tiny little bit. And he's cold. But it all feels very far away because Spencer's still busy telling himself that the cabin is just as big as it was when they got it.
Then suddenly Brendon grabs Spencer's wrist, encircles it in his hand. Brendon's hand is hot and dry, and the touch is just enough to jar Spencer out of his thoughts.
"Spence, hey, calm down, everything's all right," Brendon says. He's rubbing his thumb over Spencer's wrist, his pulse point, a firm comforting pressure. "Hey, come on, let's sit down."
Spencer doesn't know how he gets his legs to cooperate, but Brendon's gently tugging on his wrist, pulling Spencer down with himself, and when Spencer finally sits on the floor, breathing's a little bit easier.
"Hey," Brendon says, and Spencer turns his head to look at him. Brendon pulls Spencer closer, wraps his arm around Spencer's shoulder, so Spencer can tug his face against Brendon's neck, just like he did when shit with Ryan and Jon became too bad and Spencer just needed a time-out. It's familiar, safe and warm.
Spencer tries taking a deep breath. His lungs feel like bursting, but with each breath it gets easier.
Spencer fucking hates feeling so out of control.
Brendon hums--the melody sounds vaguely familiar, but mostly it's just white noise taking up the space left behind by the panic. Spencer would be able to cope much better if he didn't feel so stupid and ridiculous afterward, when the panic has subsided. He kind of wants to move away, pretend nothing happened, but Brendon's holding him tightly enough that Spencer would have to do more than just sit up and shrug Brendon's arm off. So Spencer stays.
It's pretty comfy, actually.
"Better?" Brendon's breath is ghosting over Spencer's face, each exhale hot against Spencer's skin.
Spencer nods. "How long until they come?"
"About 45 minutes, I guess."
45 minutes. 2700 seconds. Spencer guesses that's doable. Just as long as he doesn't look at the walls (still static; he hopes).
"You gonna be okay?"
Spencer sighs. "I will be," he says. He can make Brendon drive him home if he doesn't feel up to it once they get finally out of this damn elevator. Brendon won't mind--being scooped up like this makes Brendon twitchy, he'll be glad for the chance to do anything, even if it's just driving the car. "Just--keep talking?"
"Hmm." Brendon leans his head against Spencer's. "Hey, did I tell you about the thing my mom's knitting for the new baby?"
This time Spencer is glad for Brendon's large family. He throws in the occasional story about their friends, but Regan already told Spencer about Shane's new motorcycle plans. As far as Spencer is concerned, anything that involves welding is automatically off limits. Brendon had pouted when Spencer had forbidden him to even think about building his own motorcycle.
Spencer listens to Brendon's voice, the way it dips and rises, interspersed with giggles and little bouts of laughter, and he concentrates on breathing. He starts to smile when Brendon relates an epic fight between Kara's mother-in-law and Brendon's mom about white salad of all things.
"Any salad with marshmallows in it is not a salad," Spencer says sleepily.
"You have obviously not spent enough time around me," Brendon replies.
And then, finally, the speaker crackles and a man asks, "Hey, are you still in there?"
Spencer bites his tongue--where should they have gone? Out in the elevator shaft?
"Yes," Brendon says. "Are you gonna get us out?"
"Yeah, just give us a few minutes."
It takes them much less time, which Spencer is grateful for. He feels like a metric ton is falling off his shoulders when they finally step out into the lobby. "From now on I'll always take the stairs," he says.
Brendon bumps his shoulder. "Hey, let's go home, okay?"
Spencer takes a deep breath. "Yeah, let's go home."