Normally, Brendon totally would have written off James Dewees chugging a bottle of blood, was the thing. But usually James chugged blood on stage, and spit it back out afterwards, and normally he didn't have fangs.
"Aw, goddammit," James said. "Can't you, just, you know, scurry off to the rest of your baby band stoners?"
"But this is so cool!" Brendon said, bouncing. James eyed him unhappily and tossed the Red Cross blood bag in the trash. "Oh, hey isn't that a biohazard? Don't you have to have like buckets or whatever, like in Bio class with the pigs? I'm pretty sure you have to dispose of biological waste properly."
James stared at him. "Please go away. Seriously."
"You know," Brendon said, hopping up on the snacks table—where along with the Coronas and chips, James apparently also had a special delivery of bloody goodness arranged, which totally shot a hole in Zack's theory that it was way too much trouble to have bouquets of green pixie stix waiting for Brendon at each venue. Surely it was easier to get candy than blood. He grabbed a handful of carrots and started munching on them, saying through a full mouth, "You know, you're not what I imagined a vampire to, uh, look like."
James put his hands on his hips and raised an eyebrow. "I hope you're not saying what I think you're saying, littlest Panic child."
"No no!" Brendon said, swallowing hastily, but oh wow, James' fangs were totally poking out and it was awesome. He sort of wanted to lick them, but he also wanted to run because if James drank his blood Ryan would totally throw a complete jealous hissy. "Just, um, you're not as dark and broody as expected?"
"Is it my birthing hips?" James asked, but he was sort of smiling though, so Brendon counted it as a win. "Is that what throws you off? No one expects a vampire to have meat on his bones, Christ. It's such a pain, those fucking movies. Brad Pitt can kiss my fat undead ass."
"Well, yeah," Brendon said. "But it's more the Hannah Montana jumpsuit, honestly. Dude, does everyone else know? Does Ray know? I mean, he rolls around with you a lot. Is he, like, your blood-bonded sex slave?"
He was suddenly filled with concern, because man, enslaving Ray Toro was not on, Ray was totally like the nicest guy ever and also the only one left in the entire world that would still play the Donkey Kong Bongo game with him. He wasn't sure exactly how he could thwart James Dewees and his evil, guitarist-seducing ways, though, because it was James fucking Dewees. Even if he wasn't a vampire, James could probably break Brendon over one knee.
"Yes," James deadpanned. "I'm slowly devouring the music industry, one by one. First My Chem, then the world. I was thinking of going after The Cab next, what do you think? Turn 'em all into my Renfield minions."
"Dude, that is cold," Brendon said, affronted on behalf of his homeboy Cash Colligan. "Give them, like, a few years to not be so, uh. The Cab. They barely even have facial hair!"
"You're right," James mused. "I don't think they're ripe yet. You, on the other hand…"
Brendon maybe choked on his carrot. James smiled at him and cocked a hip suggestively.
"So, Brendon—it's Brendon, right?—how do you feel about bloodplay? Dude, I bet you'd be the specialest special brownie in the world."
Brendon was saved from having to reply by Frank poking his head around the corner.
"James, what the fuck, dude, we're doing sound check. Get your ass on stage, motherfucker."
"Does he know?" Brendon squeaked, and immediately regretted it when Frank whirled around and gave him a seriously scary glare. Brendon meeped and hid behind James—he figured if James was going to make him into a blood donor/sex slave, he could at least protect him from terrifying tiny guitarists. That was the duty of all good vampire masters, right? He'd have to ask Ryan about the proper vampire etiquette for these situations.
"Christ, fucking Mikey," Frank said, grinding a palm into his eye and generally looking long suffering. "He's not allowed to invite Pete with us on tour any more, not if Pete's gonna bring all his children along. What is this, a daycare? Fuck. You think anyone'd be mad if you ate Ryan?"
"I think this one's Brendon," James said, slinging an arm around Brendon's shoulders. He smelled like cigarettes and Corona and blood. It was sort of hot, in a weird, overly manly way. Previously the closest Brendon had come to being attracted to an actual man was when Jon had gone through that unfortunate lumberjack phase. "And I think I'm gonna keep him. Look at his little face!" Brendon tried to make his eyes as big as possible. He was unsure that he really appreciated James' protection, though, now that James was giving him a noogie. Maybe he should have just thrown the veggie plate at Frank and ran.
Frank stared at them both, nonplussed.
"I will kill you," he told James. "You are not bringing him on our bus."
"Oh, whatever," James said. "You brought Mama. At least Brendon can play piano, can't you, boy?"