Brendon likes The Cab. The Cab are, like, his babies, right, and he loves how they’re all named Alex except for the ones that aren’t. Cash is totally his main dude. Cash is fucking ace, and Cash will know exactly what to do.
“Cash. Cash,” Brendon says. “I admire and respect your band.” Brendon is, like, a total master at opening salvos.
“Uh huh, okay, what’s up?” Cash sounds a little absent. Brendon forgives him for his lack of interest, since Cash has a surplus of Alexes and one miniature Ray Toro to distract him. Brendon is currently lacking in the bandmate department, considering he’s locked himself in a bathroom stall in the Denny’s they’d stopped at twenty minutes ago. He figures he’s got another half hour before Zack starts looking for him.
Brendon says, “I need to gossip about boys. You, Cash, need to gossip about boys with me.”
There’s a lengthy pause. And then Cash goes, “Um,” and, “Why?” and, “Can’t you just call Shane?”
“Shane doesn’t want to talk about boys.” This is sadly very true. Shane is a good friend, but he’s no Cash Colligan. Or Alex. “Hey, hey, put Alex on.”
Cash snorts and then his voice fades on, “Yo, phone,” and then there’s a slightly wary, “Hello?” as one of the Alexes picks up. Brendon has no clue which one it is.
“Alex,” Brendon says, “Alex, just the man I wanted to talk to. Like, okay, which one are you?” Because it doesn’t really matter, except sometimes it’s nice to keep them all straight in his head.
“Urie, what the hell?”
“Oh. Oh, okay, Johnson, perfect.” It is indeed perfect. Johnson is, like, the Ursula to his little mermaid – in that he totally has these great plans, not in, like, the cruel evil witch sort of way – and, okay, Brendon is a freaking genius, because Cash is so Flounder, and Singer is his Scuttle, and Ian as Sebastian is maybe a stretch – except for his freaking awesome fake Jamaican accent - but Marshall is totally Max. Marshall was born to be Max, and this is perfect. There is absolutely no way Brendon can’t win Jon Walker’s heart with The Cab backing him.
The thing about Jon Walker is that Jon Walker is a prince. A prince among boys and Ryan Ross, because Brendon has never quite been able to qualify Ryan Ross as a boy, no matter how many girls he dates.
The thing about Jon Walker is that for a long, long, long time, Jon Walker was an unavailable prince, and Brendon pined from afar. Or, like, across the bus from him and shit. And it was less like pining and more like having a teeny tiny mancrush or whatever, because Brendon himself is kind of awesome, and maybe he hasn’t had anyone steady for a while, but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t been getting busy, right?
And then three months ago Cassie and Jon had a mutual, if hurty split – Brendon had seen Jon’s face, okay, no matter how much he insists it’d been expected and inevitable – and Jon is. Well, Brendon has no clue if Jon’s ever been interested in boys, considering he’s only dated Cassie since Brendon’s known him, and Jon’s a dependable guy, despite the amazing amount of pot and alcohol he can consume on a daily basis. He figures it’s totally worth a shot, though.
“It’s not worth it, man,” Ian says, and Brendon resists the urge to ask him to repeat that, only more like he’s a crab living off the coast of the Caribbean.
“Look,” Brendon says. He’s squished into The Cab’s van, and he gets the feeling like maybe they don’t appreciate his presence. “Look, if you guys are going to continue being my sidekicks, you’re gonna have to be more supportive. Helpful, even.”
Marshall cocks his head. “Sidekicks? Are you serious?”
Johnson says, “What the fuck, Urie,” hands at two and ten on the wheel, not bothering to even glance at him in the rearview mirror, and then Singer twists around from the passenger seat and says, “Wait, what? What about Spencer?”
“This conversation is not about Spencer. This conversation is about getting Jon Walker to fall in love with me.”
Brendon expects the stunned silence, but the laughter that comes tumbling after is kind of uncalled for.
Brendon texts Jon, cab has stolen me send help, even though the Band of Alexes have been vocal about Brendon going back to his own fucking bus already, geez.
At the next stop, Spencer shows up, which is wrong.
“This is so wrong,” Brendon says as Spencer drags him out of the van. Brendon makes a grab for Marshall, but misses, flails his arms a little and only doesn’t fall on his ass because Spencer catches him around his waist. Spencer is awesome. Spencer is Brendon’s own personal hero. This is a wondrous fact of life, except Spencer is not actually supposed to be his hero.
“Jesus Christ, Brendon,” Spencer says, pushing on his back to get him moving across the parking lot. “What the hell.”
“I have this plan. This plan that does not include you rescuing me, Spence, you’ve gotta work on that.” Spencer’s, like, the hero’s constant companion, the one who worries his hands a lot and says, “Oh my!” which doesn’t actually sound very Spencer-like, but whatever. Maybe Ryan can be that guy.
Spencer looks at him like he’s crazy. Brendon is not actually crazy. That child therapist told him so.
“You need to stop bothering The Cab,” Spencer says, very, very slowly, staring straight into Brendon’s eyes.
Spencer obviously does not understand the importance of wacky sidekicks when dealing with adventures in true love. Brendon bobs his head and says, “Yeah, sure,” anyway, though.
Spencer is the villain. Spencer is so the villain; that explains everything, because Spencer has sabotaged every chance Brendon’s had at declaring his love for Jon. It’s not even funny.
Spencer is everywhere. Spencer is always in Brendon’s face, seriously.
And then he sics Ryan on him, and that’s even less funny.
“Stop being a dickwad,” Ryan says, yanking back the curtains on Brendon’s bunk.
Brendon crosses his arms over his chest and pouts. “You stop being a dickwad.”
For a minute, Brendon thinks Ryan’s eyes have gone red, and his heart nearly stops. He’s never really gotten over those early days of thinking Ryan was an advanced humanoid robot with laser beam capabilities. It’s silly, he knows this - especially when Ryan writes songs about his clothes coming to life at night and having a party - so then his brain catches up with his vision and he realizes that Ryan’s just high. Or had been high in the recent past, because Ryan gets vague and smiley when he’s high, and he currently kind of looks like he wants to punch Brendon in the head.
“Don’t make me punch you in the head,” Ryan says. He’s got his hands on his tiny, tiny hips, balled into fists.
“You totally don’t have to punch me in the head,” Brendon says as earnestly as possible, because he doesn’t want to actually get punched in the head. That hurts.
And seriously. Seriously, Ryan is no longer the hero’s constant companion. Ryan is that superfluous character that needs to be killed off. Brendon tries to convey this in a glare, but Ryan just ignores him.
One of the good things about Ryan, though, is that he’s easily distracted. Ryan opens his mouth to, like, yell some more or threaten Brendon’s balls for no reason whatsoever – that happens a lot – and Brendon cuts him off with, “Tell me again about the cave with the talking flowers!” because the cave with the talking flowers is Ryan’s latest lyrical attempt, and Brendon’s starting to think their next album might be about a wizard. Jon’s encouraging him, so you never know.
Ryan’s eyes light up and Brendon sort of zones out for a while.
Brendon is totally not ashamed of his body. Brendon has a super fly body, it’s true – he’s compact but he’s got a great ass and he’s awfully fond of his dick. Sometimes, Brendon wakes up naked after a night of drunken carousing. This is totally fine with Brendon. It’s kind of his secret goal to beat Mike Carden out of his Drunk Naked Guy title.
It’s a hard feat, though, because Carden’s totally casual about it. Like, one minute he’s completely dressed and the next he’s leaning against the little kitchen sink on the TAI bus, no longer wearing any pants. Ankles crossed, beer dangling from his fingertips. You can only tell he’s drunk out of his mind by the telltale squint of his eyes and the red flush on his neck. Mike Carden is hands down the smoothest Drunk Naked Guy Brendon’s ever seen.
Brendon just gets sloppy and overheated and though he mostly doesn’t remember the stripping part, he often wakes up on picnic tables or bus roofs – if they’re stopped for the night – or other bands’ vans, or squished into bunks with Bill or Sisky or Guitar Tech Gabe, not to be confused with Gabe Saporta, who Brendon has thankfully never woken up naked with, because Brendon isn’t sure he’d still have all his working parts.
But anyway, as far as Brendon can remember, he’s never woken up naked with Spencer. Or any of his bandmates, except for that one time with Ryan that they never speak of – Ryan’d just looked right through him and said, “Huh, this blanket’s kind of heavy and warm. I really hope it gets the fuck off me so I don’t have to kill it” - so it doesn’t really count.
It’s not like they’re even in one of the bunks, either. Brendon thinks they’re on TAI’s couch, but he can’t be sure. All the lounge couches look and smell exactly the same.
“Um,” Brendon says again. He’s sort of sprawled out on top of Spencer and his ass is cold. This is so awkward. Where’s The Cab when you need them?
It’d be easier if this happened with Jon, because they’d stumble through this all rom com-ish, with blushing and shit, but this is Spencer. Spencer, who has a mountain man beard and an old tie around his head and a belt buckle that says Big Texas on it that’s digging into the sensitive skin of Brendon’s abdomen.
Brendon shifts up so his head’s a little ways away from Spencer’s. He’s got a headache, but nothing major – hangovers are for old people and Sisky, who’s like a wet bobcat the morning after – and Spencer’s staring at him with narrowed eyes. His hands are on Brendon’s waist and Brendon asks, “I didn’t molest you, did I?”
Spencer says, “You’re molesting me now.”
Brendon belatedly realizes that arching away from Spencer’s face has the arguably pleasurable result of grinding his crotch into Spencer’s. At least the pain from the belt buckle is keeping any hardcore arousal at bay, deep down in his belly like a tiny little tickle. Brendon is a boy and Spencer is hot. It may not be the grand Jon Walker love affair of his dreams, but Brendon’s body isn’t honestly going to protest.
Brendon arches an eyebrow. “Do you mind?”
Spencer shrugs and Brendon’s neck is getting tired, so he flops back down and burrows his hands under Spencer’s armpits.
“Move your hands a little,” Brendon says, voice muffled by Spencer’s throat. “My ass is chilly.”
“So, The Cab,” Brendon says, dropping down at the lunch table in between Marshall and Ian, and across from Cash and Singer. Johnson is conspicuously absent. “We’ve got a villainous cockblocker to take care of.”
Marshall groans. “Brendon, what the hell.”
“I’m eating,” Ian says. He waves his sandwich around to emphasize this fact. “Let’s not talk about cocks while I’m eating.”
Cash snickers and Brendon presses a hand over his mouth and waggles his eyebrows at him, because Cash and Brendon are almost always on the same page. And then Brendon straightens up and schools his face into something suitably stern, because he is so serious about this. Something must be done about Spencer.
“Something has to be done,” Brendon says, nodding.
“Whatever,” Ian mumbles, mouth full.
Singer is all tiny body and big eyes - and he’s seriously stealing Brendon’s shtick here; no one should be more adorable than Brendon Urie, particularly while in Brendon Urie’s presence – and he asks, “What’s a cockblocker?”
Cash cracks up. Brendon has to cover his face.
“No, seriously. Seriously, what the fuck guys, what’s—oh. Oh, wait.”
Marshall chucks a fry at his head. “Jesus, Singer.”
Brendon can’t stop laughing. Singer is—Singer’s hilarious, this is true.
“Fuck you guys,” Singer says, scowling. He flips them off and then steals Cash’s milkshake, and then Cash says, “Oh, you’re going down,” and tackles him off the back of the bench and Brendon’s starting to think that maybe his sidekicks are all fucking useless. That’s okay, though.
There are some trials that the heroine—uh. Princess? Protagonist? Star? Star. Brendon totally likes the sound of that one. And anyway, what the fuck Band of Alexes And Douches Not Named Alex, Brendon can totally take care of himself.
“Jon!” Brendon launches himself at Jon before anyone else can co-op his lap. “Jon Jacob Walker, of the Chicago Walkers.”
Jon arches an eyebrow. “Brendon.”
“Brendon,” Spencer echoes. Spencer is sitting directly next to Jon, and this is problematic.
“Spencer.” Brendon kicks him in the shin, but Spencer’s only response is to get this pulsing vein in his forehead, and Brendon is totally not afraid of Spencer’s pulsing vein. He picked an awesome time to forego the head tie. “Spencer,” Brendon repeats, “don’t you have to see Ryan?”
“No,” Spencer says.
Brendon breaks out the heavy duty puppy eyes – take that, Alex DeLeon! – and asks, “Are you sure? You don’t need to see him about that thing? That Ryan—thing?”
“That Ryan thing,” Spencer says. It’s in his I-am-not-amused voice. The one normally reserved for small children and cats.
Which is uncalled for, because surely Spencer is one of his very best friends. Surely Spencer would like to see him live happily ever after, despite his previous attempts at villainous cockblocking. Surely Spencer isn’t being deliberately stupid and evil about this. Surely.
Brendon considers kicking him again, but Spencer’s left eye is twitching a little and Spencer can totally hold Brendon down and mercilessly tickle him if he has to. Brendon beats a hasty retreat, scrambling off Jon’s legs. He gives Spencer his Pointy Finger of Doom, though, because Spencer just better watch his back.
Brendon likes leaning on tall things, like lampposts and Gabe Saporta. Which is probably why he wakes up naked, duct taped to a Big Wheel.
Two of the Alexes are standing over him when he blinks open his eyes.
“There’s a giant ‘G’ spray painted on your back,” Marshall says.
This is good news. Brendon’s sure he’s finally beat out Carden in drunk naked shenanigans, but then Johnson says, “Hey, have you seen Carden’s parrot? It calls Pete a douche,” and there’s nothing funnier than a naked guy wearing a parrot, okay, Brendon knows this.
He gives a resigned little sigh. “Want to help me out here, guys?”
The Alexes cock their heads in unison and give him creepy, creepy smiles. Brendon no longer likes The Cab. This is very obviously a Grimm fairytale now, and The Cab are going to plump him up and eat him.
Eat him. Brendon giggles a little.
Johnson rolls his eyes and hunkers down to pick at the tape around Brendon’s wrist. Brendon only screams a little bit when he gets down to the skin.
The problem with getting drunk and getting naked is that Brendon keeps losing his clothes. It’s not like he has an endless supply here, and he can only beg Zack to stop at Wal-Mart so many times before Zack starts threatening to tell Ryan what Brendon had said about that flying car song, the one with all the penis metaphors.
“Isn’t that mine?” Spencer asks, and Brendon is indeed wearing one of Spencer’s t-shirts, along with one of his black suede vests and his Virginia Is For Lovers belt buckle – he figures he should go all out, if he’s going to steal Spencer’s clothes and risk a slapping. Spencer’s totally a slapper if he gets too het up. He looks sort of amused now, though.
“Yep,” Brendon says. He hooks his thumbs into the vest arm holes and rocks back on his heels. “If I still had a beard we’d be twins.”
“You never had a beard,” Spencer says.
“I totally had a beard, dude, remember at the—” He cuts himself off before saying porno-cabin - even though Ryan’s the only one who usually gets pissy about that, because Ryan thinks it cheapens the experience, even though all they did there was smoke pot and watch lots and lots of porn, seriously – and then he spots Spencer’s smirk. “Oh, funny, asshole.”
Brendon can rock a beard, for real. Spencer’s just jealous.
“Come on,” Spencer says, grinning, cupping Brendon’s elbow and tugging him along, “sound check. We’ll switch places and everything. Ryan might cry.”
“I like how your mind works, Spencer Smith,” Brendon says. Spencer may be slightly evil, but Brendon especially loves it when he uses his powers for pure awesome.
At sound check, while Brendon’s behind Spencer’s kit and Spencer’s behind Brendon’s mic, Jon looks over at Spencer and they grin matching grins – and Jon’s beard, in the weeks since his breakup with Cassie, has gone past Chuck Norris and entered the scary patriotic realm of Rutherford B. Hayes – and Brendon. Brendon realizes that Spencer is maybe not the villainous cockblocker he originally thought.
Brendon’s pretty sure that Spencer’s in love with Jon, too.
“It’s tragic and doomed, Shane,” Brendon says. “Tragic and doomed.” He hears a clicking sound, and then Shane hmmms and says, “Yeah, sure,” and Brendon thinks that Shane isn’t paying any attention to him at all.
“You suck,” Brendon says.
“You know it,” Shane says.
Brendon grins, because Shane’s kind of awesome anyway. Then he sobers and says, “Look,” and, “If you were competing with Spencer for the affections of—”
“Spencer would kick your ass,” Shane cuts in.
“You mean your ass.”
They have a quiet stalemate, while Brendon ponders how much Shane actually knows. He finally concludes that Shane doesn’t know anything, because Shane is dumb. “You don’t know anything, Shane,” Brendon says. He can totally win Jon Walker using his wily wiles and charming demeanor and awesome body. Spencer’s, like, too tall. And broad. And bearded.
Brendon tries to ask Carden what his Drunk Naked Guy secret is, but the bird is kind of unnerving, perched on the arm of the sofa by Carden’s head. It’s yellow and orange and evil. Carden calls him Little Adam and he looks like maybe he wants to poke Brendon’s eyes out. Parrots are shifty like that.
“Pete’s a douche,” Little Adam squawks.
“Amen,” says Butcher.
“Sing it, sister,” says Bill.
Carden yawns, scratches his balls, then rolls over into the cushions, flashing everyone his ass. Seriously, so smooth. Brendon just might as well give up.
“Ryan Ross,” Brendon says, “I do not fear you.”
Ryan says, “Okay,” without looking up from his notebook. Brendon peers over his shoulder and spots, “dazzling,” and, “moonshine,” and, “penguin love,” and he thinks maybe Ryan’s been listening to too much Air Supply.
It’s important, Brendon knows, to figure out whose side Ryan is on. It’s absolutely imperative, because Ryan and Jon hang out, like, all the time now, and Ryan theoretically holds a lot of sway. Theoretically, because Brendon suspects Jon tunes out a lot of what everyone says to him – his nods and encouraging throat sounds are suspiciously timed. It’s what makes him such a good listener.
“Ryan Ross,” Brendon says. “In an epic battle between good and evil—” Brendon pauses. He’s not sure how to phrase this without calling Spence Maleficent or Cruella, and Ryan’s been known to eat the livers of people who insult Spencer.
“There’s no good or evil,” Ryan says. He’s doodling a little bunny with big, big teeth. Like Bunnicula. “That’s why Star Wars is lame.”
Brendon sucks in a horrified breath. “Ryan. Ryan, you can’t—you can’t mean that.” Star Wars is the very opposite of lame. Star Wars is awesome. It’s like Indiana Jones in space, only it’s not actually anything like Indiana Jones at all.
Ryan smirks at him.
“I don’t even know who you are anymore,” Brendon says, and then he backs slowly away.
“How did you not see this coming?” Brendon asks Spencer, because Spencer’s usually the one who actually knows what the fuck is going on at all times, even when he’s drunk.
Brendon tries to glare, but he gets distracted by Spencer’s bare chest. It’s not like he’s never seen it, but he’s never been handcuffed to Spencer’s belt before - if he twists his hand a little he could give Spencer a good old fashioned grope. He doesn’t know how this happened. Also, Spencer has jwalk waz here magic-markered on his stomach – he’d made a smiley face out of his belly button - and Brendon totally doesn’t like the look of that.
“You’ve got Spencer James Smith the Fifth written on your thigh,” Cash says, looming over where they’re sprawled on the asphalt. He takes a sip of his soda. “Comfy?”
Brendon jangles the wrist that’s handcuffed to the No Parking sign – and who the fuck on this tour has two pairs of handcuffs, let alone one? – and says, “I don’t know why I even keep you around.”
Cash grins. “I’m fucking awesome, dude.”
Never feeling like an idiot is an important part of being a Drunk Naked Guy. There are no regrets the morning after, even if you vaguely remember formally introducing everyone to your dick the night before, or taunting Vicky-T into pinching your nipples. Brendon usually has that part down – it’s been years, and he’s always felt that clothing is way too restricting - but technically he’s not even naked - he’s got boxers on – and the only thing Spencer’s missing is his t-shirt.
So, basically, he just feels stupid, tied up between a traffic sign and Spencer James Smith the Fifth, who’s apparently claimed one of his legs for his very own.
Spencer mutters, “What the fuck,” and starts unbuckling his belt. He slips free of Brendon’s shackles like a sneaky snake.
“Hey, hey, you can’t leave me,” Brendon says when Spencer gets to his feet, swiping his palms off on his jeans, because Spencer never leaves him anywhere. Spencer isn’t Ryan or Bill.
Cash takes another sip of his soda. “I could see if any of the techs have a blowtorch. Or, like, bolt cutters.”
Brendon makes grabby hands at Spencer. “Spence, seriously, don’t leave me,” he says. “The Cab’ll accidentally cut off my hand, you know it. I’ll be all lopsided and shit.”
Spencer stares down at him. It’s his I’m-waiting stare, which means Brendon better make it worth his while.
“I will buy you pancakes, Spencer Smith,” Brendon says seriously, because pancakes are serious business, and so are blowtorches wielded by Cash Colligan. “I will buy you motherfucking pancakes any time you want them.”
Spencer shakes his hair off his forehead and grins. “I’m pretty sure these are Ryan’s—”
Brendon’s mind whites out for a minute. He doesn’t want to know why Ryan has handcuffs. Actually, fuck yeah he wants to know. He always knew Ryan had a kinky side, what with all the cowboy hats and fingerless gloves.
Spencer bends down and taps his cheek. “You home?”
“Seriously,” Cash says. “A circular saw oughta do it. I’m pretty sure Gabe has one. I’ll be real careful.” He grins real wide.
Brendon loves Cash, he truly does, but he doesn’t want him to come anywhere near him with razor-sharp or superheated objects—no really. That’s okay. Brendon shakes his arm again and gives Spencer big puppy-dog eyes and asks, “Key?”
Spencer gives him, like, this breathtaking smile. Brendon’s heart sinks a little. He thinks if Spencer turns that smile on Jon Walker, Brendon’s snack-sized adorableness won’t stand a chance.
He hates it when Shane’s right.
The Cab boys are incompetent. That’s the only explanation.
Brendon doesn’t like to make sweeping statements like that, but The Cab are not being the least bit helpful. All of the Alexes are hiding from him.
“All of the Alexes are hiding from me,” Brendon tells the Butcher. Butcher is giving him a sympathetic ear – which for Butcher means shots of whiskey and lots of buck up, mans and the occasionally half-hearted beat box - and they’re both a little drunk. Just a little. Butcher’s got a bottle of Jack tucked into the couch cushions between them and it’s only a matter of time before he breaks out the parka – which is, okay, a slight exaggeration. But Butcher’s the only guy Brendon knows who likes to put clothes back on when he’s plastered. He’ll wake up in, like, every single pair of pants he owns, even if it’s the middle of July.
The problem. The problem Brendon’s having, right, is that he keeps losing. “I’m a loser, Butcher,” Brendon says. He slumps down into Butcher’s shoulder, face buried in his soft flannel shirt.
He doesn’t have a talking bird or an awesomely ninja way of stripping and he doesn’t have Jon. He just has Butcher and TAI’s couch and a fifth of JD. It’s, like, the makings of a country-western song.
And then Butcher mumbles something like, “Hate to see you like this, little dude,” and curls whiskey slow fingers into the front of Brendon’s shirt and shifts over to lick into his mouth.
Making out with Butcher. Total win.
Brendon wakes up freaking sweating and he squirms under Butcher’s sleep-heavy limbs. He’s kind of impressed, though, when he realizes Butcher’s wearing all of Brendon’s clothes overtop his own. Seriously, Brendon’s, like, so much tinier than him. It’s almost like magic.
Brendon’s a biter. He didn’t used to be, but it’s basically his only defense when Spencer wrestles him off the couch, especially when such manhandling is totally uncalled for.
One minute Brendon’s watching the James Van Der Beek classic Varsity Blues, and the next he’s on the floor with, like, one hundred and seventy pounds of Spencer Smith on top of him.
Spencer’s knee is digging into his hip and he’s got an arm curled around Brendon’s throat and Brendon wrenches his head left to clamp down on Spencer’s shoulder. Spencer yelps, “Ow, ow, ow,” but doesn’t let go and Brendon digs his teeth in harder and harder, fingernails scrabbling and sinking into the skin of Spencer’s forearm – he maybe jabs him a little in head, too; he’s seriously cutting off Brendon’s air - until Ryan shouts, “Just fuck and get it over with already, Jesus Christ,” and Brendon lets go in total shock.
Spencer crows in triumph and mashes Brendon’s face into the carpet.
“Fucking fuck, Spencer,” Ryan says, exasperated, and Brendon hears him stomp out of the lounge.
It’s possible that Brendon has been misreading the entire situation. Brendon’s not exactly known for his social acuity, but he’s not a total moron. Generally, he likes to assume that everyone finds him irresistible until proven otherwise. Spencer, to Brendon’s knowledge, proved otherwise years and years ago.
“This doesn’t make sense,” Brendon says to Jon.
Jon’s sprawled back on the couch, a hand curled loosely around a beer that’s perched precariously on his stomach. He nods slowly - his beard has nearly reached ZZ Top proportions; Brendon thinks maybe they’ll need to plan an intervention soon, before Bill starts calling him Grizzly Adams and Ryan starts writing songs about West Virginia – and asks, “What doesn’t make sense?”
Brendon waves his hands around a little. “Spencer.”
Jon laughs. “Spencer makes the most sense of all of us, Bren. Spencer’s the king of logic.”
Which is true, if basically irrelevant to the subject at hand. Spencer has possibly been hitting on him. Him, not Jon. “Spencer’s been hitting on me,” Brendon says, then claps a hand over his mouth, eyes wide. He totally hadn’t meant to say that out loud.
Jon just says, “With a baseball bat, yeah, not like you’ve noticed,” though, and laughs again. “Dude, dude, you should see your face.”
Brendon doesn’t need to see his face. He’s pretty sure he’s wearing his holy crap face. His what the hell face, the face of a vegetarian who’s accidentally eaten meat and found it delicious. Heh. Eaten meat. Brendon giggles a little.
Jon points at him without really moving his hand. It’s more of a gesture with his knuckle, emphasized with an eyebrow arch. “You know what you need? Beer.”
Brendon has to make sure. He has to make sure, because Spencer can be a sneaky snake. Spencer is capable of evil shenanigans - he’s been Ryan’s best friend for, like, fifteen years – and it’s totally possible that Spencer’s just trying to distract him from his ultimate goal of getting into Jon Walker’s pants.
Cash squints at him over the backseat. “You lost me,” he says.
“On what part?” Brendon asks.
“All of it?” Cash scratches his chin. “Yeah, no.”
Brendon turns earnest Bambi eyes on Marshall who holds up his hands and says, “Don’t look at me.”
He doesn’t get why no one’s willing to do this for him. This should be easy. This should be a snap. Hang out with Spence and, like, feel around some.
Smirking a little, ‘cause he’s an ass, Singer says, “I could pass him a note? You know, like, get him to spill his secret crush. I used to do that for Cash all the time in high school.”
“What, like, last week?” Brendon says, because fuck The Cab. They’re all jerks. Brendon crosses his arms over his chest and kicks the back of the seat and pouts.
“So I’m just throwing this out there,” Johnson says, and Johnson hasn’t said a lot during this whole ordeal, so Brendon doesn’t actually think he’s as much of a jerk as the others.
Still. He gives him a firm glare.
Johnson says, “Maybe you should own up to the fact that for the past three months you haven’t been able to shut up about Smith.”
Singer pitches his voice higher and says, “Spencer’s made of special evil, Spencer’s blocking my cock—”
“Cockblocking,” Cash cuts in.
“Villainous cockblocking,” Marshall says.
“Spencer’s smile blinds blind men,” Singer goes on, both hands over his heart, “Spencer’s got freckles on his manly bare chest, Spencer knows where Ryan keeps his handcuff keys, Spencer wants Jon Walker for his very own, Spencer’s my favorite, I’m a twelve-year-old girl.”
“I hate you,” Brendon says with deep meaning.
“Whatever, dude,” Johnson says.
Brendon loves The Cab. Brendon totally and wholly loves The Cab in all their Alex glory. “I love you guys,” Brendon says. All the Alexes look alike when Brendon’s drunk. Brendon seriously adores them, they’re awesome, and, like, the best fucking sidekicks a star could ask for, no contest. “Who wants to see my ass?”
Brendon vaguely remembers The Cab escorting him back to his bus at some point. Things are a little muzzy, but Cash and Marshall tugging him up the bus stairs and pushing him at Spencer – he’s pretty sure that actually happened.
He squirms a little. He feels a hot flush start up from his neck, and he grins into the chest under his head. There’s a hand on his lower back, and Brendon feels it when he wakes up, jerks a little underneath him, fingers twitching.
“Morning,” Brendon says thickly. He opens his eyes and stares directly into a photo of Keltie and Hobo. “Ryan’s going to kill us,” he adds, and then he thinks, oh fuck, and tenses, because it’s tough to get Spencer and Ryan confused, considering Ryan has the arms of an anorexic girl with the reach of a harpy, but there is every possibility that Brendon has woken up naked with Ryan again.
The body under him starts shaking, little gasping, totally amused breaths, and Brendon risks a head tilt and gets a forehead full of wild beard.
It’s like a dream come true.
Well, not exactly, because Jon Walker’s not as naked as Brendon, and they’re folded up in Ryan’s bunk, and Brendon wasn’t kidding, Ryan will so totally kill them. Jon is one comfy dude, though. And Brendon is not disappointed at all that he’s got Jon instead of Spencer, because The Cab have finally come through for him! This is his big chance. To get to the sexin’. With Jonny Walker. Yes.
He could have sworn, though— “Um. Have you seen Spencer?”
Jon’s whole body shakes when he laughs. Brendon sort of slides out of Ryan’s bunk sideways and lands on his back, and Jon just laughs harder.
And, of course, that’s the exact moment Spencer appears over him, frowning. He pulls a disgusted face and moves around him and Brendon doesn’t say anything because he feels really, really dumb.
Then Ryan’s looming in the hallway like one of those giant storks or fruit bats or something and he steps on Brendon’s hand.
“Hey, ow,” Brendon says.
Ryan leans his weight onto it, grinding his bones into the carpet, and seriously, fucking ow, what the hell.
“You’re an idiot,” Ryan says, and walks away.
Brendon shakes out his fingers, pouting. He can hear Jon still giggling in Ryan’s bunk. Seriously, all his bandmates suck.
Brendon totally isn’t an idiot, Ryan is so wrong. Brendon’s just a little confused. It’s perfectly legitimate, because Jon Walker is awesome and Spencer is. Okay, so Spencer’s awesome, too, and he laughs at all Brendon’s jokes and they’re super cool at pulling pranks together and they both think Ryland and Suarez are robots Gabe built in his spare evil-mastermind time. Jon likes to sing Disney songs with him and sneaks him coffee. So there’s, like, ample opportunity here for sexual angst and confusion.
He needs to conduct an experiment or something. Be all scientific and shit. Which is why he corners Spencer in the back lounge.
“Hold still,” Brendon says. He cages Spencer’s face with his palms.
Spencer arches an eyebrow. “Okay?”
Brendon licks his lips. This seemed a lot easier to initiate in his head. “Okay, wait.” Brendon shifts on his feet. Spencer’s, like, three inches taller than him when he wants to be. He has not planned this well. “Never mind.”
Brendon’s got game. Brendon totally has game, for real, he’s just sort of stymied by Spencer and Spencer’s bearded, hulking shape and strong thighs.
“Never ever talk to me about Spencer’s strong thighs again,” Ryan says.
“But you see my problem,” Brendon says.
“No,” Ryan says, flipping his Cosmo Girl closed and getting to his feet. “Not really.”
Brendon figures one of his problems is that he’s approached Ryan about this and not, like, the Butcher. Butcher’s pretty slick. Butcher’d probably be willing to help Brendon out with this, because Butcher’s a helpful guy.
When Brendon finds him, though, Butcher just waves a hand towards Bill – who’s sprawled out on the couch, limbs akimbo, a bottle wedged into the v of his legs - and says, “Allow me to introduce you to Mr. Grey Goose.”
“Will he help me with Spencer?” Brendon asks.
Butcher shrugs. “Sure.”
Brendon does not get drunk with Butcher. It’s a close thing, because Butcher is a persuasive fellow, but Brendon figures he’s better off approaching this situation sober, like a reasonable adult.
Okay, so, he’s not completely sober. But Brendon totally doesn’t need vodka to make him brave, no sir - “It’s merely fortifying,” Bill had agreed, nodding; “bracing.”
Spencer cocks his hip and eyes his hair and Brendon self-consciously flattens it a little, because it’s probably doing weird things. Weird things that betray his less-than-soberness. Brendon’s well aware that his hair is ridiculous and telling.
Spencer’s mouth tightens. He doesn’t look mad, exactly, but he doesn’t look happy either.
Brendon does his very best to look appealing – “Alluring,” Bill had said, “the word you’re searching for is alluring, Urie, you must always use correct vocabulary when intent on seducing your lady love” – but Spencer doesn’t seem to be buying anything he’s pushing. It’s disheartening. Maybe Jon’s wrong about this.
“You have a hickey,” Spencer says.
Brendon claps a hand over his neck, even though he doesn’t remember making out with anyone. Maybe he’s drunker than he thought. It’s not like he isn’t prone to blackouts.
Spencer’s lips twitch. “On your arm, Brendon, what the hell?”
“Oh,” Brendon says. That makes much more sense. It doesn’t actually make a hell of a lot more sense, but Brendon’s pretty sure he gave that to himself. “I gave that to myself.”
Brendon bounces on his heels. “So, um, maybe you could—”
Spencer grabs Brendon’s arm and spins him around, pushing him in the middle of the back. “Move,” he says, and Brendon’s stunned enough to let Spencer maneuver him towards the bus, hand sliding down his spine to settle at the small of Brendon’s back.
Brendon’s mouth snaps closed. He crosses his arms over his chest and frowns and narrows his eyes because what the fuck, Spencer Smith. Then he stumbles and Spencer catches his waist, grip a little gentler than before, and oh. Okay, then.
They reach the door and Brendon twists around before Spencer can crowd him up the steps, because he feels like he should put up some sort of protest here, even though his shirt’s ridden up and Spencer’s hands feel kind of awesome on his bare skin.
“Don’t,” Spencer says, and okay, seriously, who would’ve thought Brendon was into getting pushed around? Or, wait, that’s actually pretty obvious, but whatever. Not the actual point.
Brendon doesn’t have an actual point. Which is probably why he lets Spencer guide him all the way into his bunk, fully clothed, what the fuck, with the admonishment, “Sleep it off.”
Brendon still thinks Jon is wrong. Spencer had tucked him into bed and left him and if Spencer’s so interested in Brendon’s spectacular body, he’s pretty sure he’d have taken advantage of him. At the very least he could have, like, groped him or something as he helped him up onto his bed.
“I think you’re wrong,” Brendon says to Jon, crawling into his bunk. Whispers, really, ‘cause it’s late and Brendon doesn’t want to wake up Ryan and Spencer.
Jon grunts. Jon is probably not awake either, but Brendon doesn’t let that stop him.
He pokes Jon in the side. “Jon. Jon, Jon, Jon—” Brendon squawks a little when hands grab his ankles and yank him out of Jon’s bunk.
Luckily, Jon’s on the bottom, so Brendon doesn’t have very far to fall.
Brendon blinks up at Spencer from the floor. Spencer looks tall and foreboding, even in his hot pink sleep shirt and ducky pajama bottoms. “Um. I couldn’t sleep?”
Spencer says, “Brendon, Jesus, you’re like.” He pauses, scrubs a hand through his hair.
Brendon grins brightly. “Adorable?”
“Nonstop.” Spencer drops down in front of him, props his back up against Ryan’s bunk. He taps Brendon’s feet with his own. “And you’re kind of a slut.”
“Oh hey, don’t confuse nakedness with easy, dude,” Brendon says, justifiably offended. No one ever accuses Carden of being a slut. It’s just one more aspect of being a Drunk Naked Guy that Brendon epically fails at, apparently.
Spencer makes a sound like a laugh and a groan and reaches out, fingers curling into the hem of Brendon’s t-shirt. He tugs, and Brendon shifts forward, letting Spencer reel him close, so so close, noses almost touching, Spencer’s knees pressing into his chest. Spencer says, “The Cab told me you were gay for me.”
Brendon hisses though his teeth. The Cab need to die. Brendon latches onto Spencer’s wrists and says, “The Cab need to die.”
“I don’t know,” Spencer says, grinning now, and that totally doesn’t do anything at all to Brendon’s insides, no way. “They make pretty good sidekicks.”
The next morning, Brendon texts The Cab, ur ttly my favs i owe u cake.
Marshall texts back, are u drunk? and Cash sends, pudding cake!!1! and hell yeah pudding cake. Brendon likes the way Cash thinks. Cash is totally his brain twin. It would be awesome if they had, like, brain twin superpowers. Like telepathy or the ability to turn into a spoon.
Spencer leans over his shoulder and plucks his cell out of his hands, tossing it aside.
“We owe them cake,” Brendon says. He didn’t actually mean to say that, but Spencer’s nuzzling the back of his neck, a hand squeezing his hip.
“Okay,” Spencer says, voice muffled, buzzing Brendon’s skin. His beard tickles.
They’re wedged in Brendon’s bunk, curled into each other, Brendon’s back curved along Spencer’s chest. It’s pretty cozy, particularly since neither of them is wearing very much, and Brendon’s one hundred percent not drunk at all. Spencer has some good ideas. Sober make-outs are awesome. He should tell Butcher.
“Pudding cake,” Brendon says around a yawn.
Spencer chuffs a laugh. “Okay, yeah.”