Three seconds after the door to the SUV closes behind them, safely enclosing them inside it, Brendon bursts out laughing.
“Opened you wide up?” he manages. “Seriously?”
Spencer is already snickering. “So wide,” he agrees. “Whatever, bitch, I won that round hands down.”
Brendon rolls his eyes. “Only because if I’d taken it any further after that, that chick would have keeled over.”
“Your problem,” Spencer says unrepentantly. “That round is mine, fair and square.”
“You are both idiots,” Zack calls back over his shoulder. “Livejournal is going to explode.”
Spencer beams at Brendon, who can’t help laughing back. “Whatever, dude, it’s one round. I’m still so far in the lead, you’ll never catch me.”
“Whatever.” Spencer tosses his shiny, shiny hair. “I’m just getting warmed up.”
It takes awhile for the interview to hit. In the meantime, Brendon racks up some points with a few strategic photo poses—head on Spencer’s shoulder, arms linked, coy smile. Spencer grumbles later, but Brendon knows he’s secretly impressed.
Zack reports that Livejournal does, indeed, explode when the interview finally does go live, and Spencer spends three days so smug and pleased with himself that Brendon can’t stop laughing every time he looks at him.
Pete calls, cracking up, and votes for Spencer to get double-points for the round.
“For sheer balls,” he says through his laughter, and Brendon can afford to be magnanimous, so he agrees.
“I’m still winning, and you all know it,” he insists.
Brendon gives a radio interview in which, when they ask him the inevitable question about the dream, he twists his own story yet again.
“Yeah, you know,” he says, “it was this kind of…this kind of really vivid dream about—just. Moving to California, you know, and like. Spencer, and the beach and the waves, and just kind of—“
The interviewer laughs, half-incredulously, and gives him the perfect opening. “Doesn’t one of the main lines in that song talk about…uh. Oral sex?”
Brendon lets the pause drag out too long, then laughs nervously. “Um,” he says. “You know…how dreams are.” He laughs again. “Maybe—we should talk about something else now!”
The interviewer seems to be literally struck dumb for a moment, during which Brendon fist-pumps the air and mentally awards himself full points for the round. They move on to talking about Ryan and Jon’s new sound, but as far as Brendon is concerned, the interview is already over.
Spencer rolls his eyes when he hears it, but he’s grinning.
He promptly retaliates by tweeting lyrics to fourteen distinctly sexual songs in a row, then a seemingly-unrelated twit-pic of Brendon looking rumpled and sleepy, with the caption, A good day with a good friend. =)
Brendon watches his @replies skyrocket. “Well-played, sir,” he says to Spencer. “But not well enough.”
He sends out his own twit-pic, a photo he’s been storing on his phone for just this sort of occasion. It’s Spencer, crazy morning-hair everywhere, with a cherry sucker in one hand and swollen, dyed-red lips. Brendon’s own caption says, How many licks? Inquiring minds want to know.
Spencer scowls when he sees the picture. “Fucker! I didn’t even see you take that!”
“Gay married boyfriends” becomes a trending topic within half an hour. Brendon wins the round.
Over the course of the next month, Spencer scores points for:
- Five more tweets, one of which actually manages to incorporate both a twit-pic of Brendon’s ass, and a reference to how well some people manage to fill out their girl-jeans, all somehow without ever saying anything too direct,
- A distinct and visible public fondle of Brendon’s hip,
- A “double-date” with Pete and Ashlee, during which he somehow manages to get himself photographed pulling Brendon’s chair out for him, wtf, and
- A new “what-we’re-up-to” post on the website, which outlines several of their current projects, praises Brendon to the skies in every line, and at one point makes rather pointed mention of the fact that Brendon “wakes up singing in the morning.”
Brendon retaliates with:
- A public tweet to Spencer asking him what kind of wine he should pick up to go with dinner,
- A random video of Spencer drumming, set to “When I See You Smile” which Brendon didn’t even make, just finds on YouTube and links with no explanation whatsoever.
- Two more photoshoots involving “couple” poses, one of which has Brendon almost literally in Spencer’s lap.
In the end, Brendon is still in the lead, but it can’t be denied that Spencer is gaining on him. He re-records the outgoing SayNow message, earnestly asking everyone to leave messages for Spencer “showing him how much we all love him, okay?” but it’s a stopgap measure and he knows it.
He’s going to have to up the stakes.
He still hasn’t thought of anything foolproof a week later, when Spencer unexpectedly goes for the kill-shot during a live, streaming webcam interview, by reaching out to absently and tenderly brush the hair back from Brendon’s forehead. He “catches” himself a moment later and whips his hands into his lap, the very picture of horrified embarrassment, but his eyes are wicked when he glances sideways at Brendon.
Brendon doesn’t let himself think. He waits until the interview is over and “forgets” to turn off the camera before turning to Spencer with a smile.
“Thank god, I thought that would never end,” he says, and Spencer’s eyes widen with sudden realization in the instant before Brendon sweeps in and kisses him.
It’s not like Brendon’s never kissed a boy before, okay, he’s tried almost everything at least once by now, but like. He’s never kissed Spencer.
He…can’t quite remember why the idea seemed like such a joke until now.
Spencer’s mouth is warm and soft and tastes a little sugary from the bubble gum he was chewing before the interview, and at first he seems too shocked to move, but then suddenly something shifts and he starts kissing Brendon back, hesitant, a little tentative, and maybe it’s only because of the camera, but fuck. Brendon—doesn’t want to stop.
Someone in the background clears their throat, and Brendon doesn’t have to fake the hot wash of color that spreads over his cheeks. He breaks the kiss, staring helplessly at Spencer while Spencer manages to stammer out an apology and shut the camera off, and then there is an endless beat of silence.
Eventually, Spencer laughs—a rough, nervous sound. “Okay,” he says. “Jesus. You win.”
Brendon doesn’t give a fuck about that. He wants to know what would happen if he kissed Spencer again, right now—no cameras, no game, no points. Just a kiss, a for-real kiss, a what-if-we-weren’t-faking-it kiss. He wonders how freaked-out Spencer would get.
“Uh. Brendon?” Spencer rakes a slightly shaky hand through his hair. “You okay, dude? You’re kind of…”
He doesn’t say staring, but that’s exactly what Brendon is doing, and he knows it. He just—he should walk away, this is the moment to laugh it off, accept his “win,” walk the fuck away, but—
He can’t do it.
He leans in so slowly this time, because maybe Spencer really will freak out, maybe he won’t want this and Brendon wants him to have time to push him away, if that’s what he wants to do, but Spencer doesn’t move. His eyes go wide and his cheeks turn pink, and Brendon thinks maybe he stops breathing a little, but he doesn’t move.
This kiss is slower, a little sweeter, a little less tentative and more curious. Brendon feels weirdly shy when he finally pulls away.
Spencer looks a little overwhelmed. “There, uh—“ He clears his throat. “No cameras.”
“Yeah,” Brendon agrees carefully.
“Yeah,” says Spencer, and his eyes fall to Brendon’s mouth.
“Aaaaaaaaaaaand, you actually killed them!” Zack’s voice suddenly booms from the hallway. “I think I just watched three hundred fangirls pass out on the internet, it was awesome—everything okay in here?”
Spencer stands up abruptly. “Yeah,” he says, and he sounds almost normal. “Yeah—so, we finally broke them, huh?”
Zack’s eyes dart back and forth between them for a second, but whatever he might see, he chooses not to comment. “Broke their little brains,” he agrees slowly. “It was hilarious.”
“Awesome,” says Spencer, and Brendon’s chest feels a little tight and panicky when he notices that Spencer isn’t quite looking at him. “Want a beer? Bren?”
Brendon coughs a little. “Uh,” he says. “Sure. Thanks.”
Spencer turns and meets his eyes then, and Brendon is startled when he smiles, slow and bright and maybe just a little bit sheepish. “Come with me and get your own then, asshole. I’m not your bitch.”
“You know,” says Zack, “if you two want to be alone or some shit, you can just say so.”
Brendon chokes, but Spencer just stares for a second and starts laughing in spite of himself. “Zack,” he says. “We want to be alone or some shit. Get lost.”
“Love you, too,” Zack says flatly, and then he’s gone.
“For the record,” says Brendon, before Spencer can get back to where he is. “I just—I just want to clear this up, because. Um. It’s not a game anymore, right?”
“You’re kind of lame,” Spencer tells him, smiling.
“But—you still want to kiss me,” Brendon checks, because he really does kind of need an answer here, okay.
Spencer rolls his eyes. “Less with every passing minute,” he says dryly.
Brendon grins, happy and sudden, and leans forward. “Good enough for me,” he says against Spencer’s mouth.
“Shut up,” Spencer says back, and then he’s licking into Brendon’s mouth, and—
Gay Internet Chicken is the best game ever.