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It's Really a Conundrum

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“I don’t get it! I’m a director Billy not a musician.”

Spencer was trying, he really was. But trying to keep his hands in the position Billy had furled them into, fighting the cramp in his joints, was harder than the ghost made it seem. His hands felt like double jointed spiders and as Billy removed his hands from over them he had to bite his lip to stop them from springing back into a human position.

Billy extracted his arms from around Spencer and floated over his head to hand upside down in front of him with an exaggerated pout. “I told you bromethius, the Honey’s will always be digging a bro’s chilli, if that bro can play acoustic.” he rapped lightly on the honeyed wood of the guitar and winked. “Trust me Spence, you learn how to crank out a tune or two on this and you’ll be fighting off the babes.”

Spencer frowned, giving up on trying to hold the position on the fretboard and ran his reddened fingers over the strings instead. “Are you sure that wasn’t just because you were, oh I don’t know... Billy Joe Cobra?”

The ghost seemed to pause, tapping his finger lightly to his chin in thought. “Huh, well I mean it definitely didn’t hurt anything right?” He plucked the guitar from spencer and slung the strap over his shoulder, rolling onto his back in the air, the body of the guitar resting on his stomach. “But check it, who can resist a little of this…” He immediately started strumming at the guitar, playing a quick succession of deep rich chords before settling into a smooth gentle rock beat. Spencer slouched over on the stool Billy had shoved him onto, tapping his foot idly to the earthy tones of the instrument being caressed by the fingers somehow managing to slide them down the strings without a single hitch.

“Everything I say sounds wrong.” Spencer looked up at that, watching the ghost float idly, eyes closed. He crooned softly against the sound of the strings, keeping his voice husky on the edges and sticky like molasses in the middle. “I don’t know what I did. I used to feel so strong, now I can’t even lift my lids.”

It was always kind of amusing to Spencer that despite how Billy’s voice was his main claim to fame he never really sang that often. Give him a guitar and he’d spend hours strumming chords and plucking like he was born with the damn thing in his hands, but give him his voice all day every day and he never really chose to use it. Spencer didn’t really care, it was just one of those Billy things, like refusing to sit in a chair like a normal human or eating peanut butter by the kilo. Still it was nice to hear the ghost sing. Billy had a voice that was hard not to listen too, rasped faintly but smooth at the same time and had this tiny quiver in all the right places that had been described on the forums by his adoring fans as ‘sex covered in chocolate sauce’.

Billy had been perplexed over that one for a while, and had once spent a whole day floating mindlessly up by the ceiling and mulling it over.

Despite that as he continued to croon against the background of soft rock strummed on the guitar Spencer couldn’t help but grin a little. It was a natural sort of look for Billy, reclining against the air with his legs stretched out and guitar on his lap, watching the frets through the curtain of lashes covering his only half opened eyes. For a moment Spencer could see him alive, sitting on the floor propped up against his bed, content to lazily waste an afternoon in a haze of half-baked lyrics and experimental melodies. That seemed like a Billy thing to do.

He was so far lost in his thoughts that when there were hands reaching around him and elbows settling into the shallow curve of his waist he almost jumped a clear foot into the air. Billy snorted. “Scare ya Jason Brohees?”

Spencer laughed, eyeing the guitar now in his lap warily. “I wouldn’t say that.” His hands were placed carefully back into position by the ghost, who was humming faintly under his breath as he did so. Spencer sighed and dropped his hands after a few seconds anyway. “Come on Billy, I don’t really need to learn this. Plus I think I’m kind of a lost cause anyway.”

Billy matched his sigh, head dropping to rest on the young directors shoulder. “Spendalton. You’re killing me here. I’m trying to help you get the chicks -”

“I don’t need to get the chicks Billy.”

The ghost huffed and drifted around to float petulantly in front of him. “Come on Spencer, you’re 17. If you’re not already starting to try and work out how to get those cute beach bunnies to swap a lil spit, it’ll be coming!”

Spencer made a face, how making out was just made to sound that unappealing he’ll never know. He only hoped the nauseated twist in his stomach was just from that. Not from the other thing. “You’re gross dude.” he replied.

“You’re gross.” Billy immediately replied, prodding him on the nose like he was trying to tell off a bad dog. Or maybe a bad crocodile. He still had no idea how Billy had managed to train a damn crocodile. “Come on dude, you can’t seriously be telling me you’re not interested in the ladies.”

Nope. The rope tying itself into tighter and tighter knots in his stomach was apparently very much not about the Ghosts choice of wording. It was about the other thing. I mean looking at it from an outsider's perspective you would have thought Spencer would have worked this thing out already, but he was just always too busy to really try and figure it out. If he wasn’t making a movie he was editing and if he wasn't doing either of those things he was keeping the menace he called his best bro from doing something stupid out of boredom. Days turned to weeks and weeks turned to months and he still hadn’t worked it all out yet. Let it be said that not every problem can be solved staring at the ceiling at 3 in the morning and running the same track in your mind over and over.

At some point he had decided he wasn’t going to lie to Billy, or anyone really, about it. It wasn’t something that needed to be covered up, but it also wasn’t something that needed to be brought up randomly either. It was confusing balancing act he was trying to play as he defensively wrapped his arms around his middle to try and stop the knotted mass in his stomach from spilling onto the floor around him. He looked away and swallowed, trying to scavenge the right reply from the scratched out surfaces in his now muggy head. 

The ghost was suddenly back in his line of sight, sprawled out on his stomach, chin resting on his folded arms and eyes concerned. “Unless... you’re not interested in the ladies?”

Billy wasn’t normal person smart, Spencer thought as he closed his eyes and let out a quiet laugh as relief and nerves tingled in his fingers in equal measure. No, Billy Joe Cobra was Billy smart. He knew weird things about weird topics and was as sharp as they came when it came to learning new skills. But he still never bothered to check a calendar or learn how to work an oven or a microwave and if you wanted him to know what you were feeling towards him you would have to all up and spell it out for him. That said he was shockingly capable of picking up when something was wrong, if he wasn’t the direct cause of it.

Billy Joe, meet any other reason.

His blue eyes were creased faintly and the downward slope of his eyebrows showed he was worried but spencer was still struggling with his words. “Are you bro?” The concern on his face was making Spencer feel worse, the seriousness of his face not seeming to fit the lazy summer weather.

“I’m not sure.” He croaked out finally, pressing the pads of his fingers deeper into his sides. “I don’t know who I’m interested in.”

There was a moment of silence and he jumped to fill it, scared the longer it went on the stranger and weirder the air between them would become. “I mean I don’t know if I like chicks or dudes and I mean I have no problem if I’m… you know… gay or whatever, but what is killing me is the not knowing.” He stared into the carpet and ground his toes into the soles of his shoes. “I just… not knowing the answer makes me feel like a weirdo you know? Like there’s something wrong because I don’t know. Because I can’t explain it the way other people explain it and it’s getting me all messed up inside.”

Billy still didn’t say anything. And for a ghost that spent every waking moment of his day running his mouth off about some inane topic or the other the few moments of silence were more unnerving than any words could have ever been. The thick rope coiled and knotted in his gut felt as if it was one wrong breath away from breaching the tight hold he had around his middle. “I’m sorry I didn’t tell you I just-”

“Bro, no apologies necessary.” There was a weight on his head and arms crossed loosely across his front in an approximation of a hug. “Though if it was messing you up so much Spendex why didn’t you talk to me? we tell each other everything! Even that one time I thought I was pregnant!”

He couldn’t help but snort at that, “I told you not to use webMD didn’t I?”

“But I was pregnant in the end wasn’t I!”

“A Food baby is not a real baby.”

Billy was suddenly in his face, eyes filling with tears (mock or real Spencer still couldn’t figure out. He wondered if he could cry like this when he was alive. It wouldn’t surprise him) and he gripped the sides of his head. “Billy Joe Jr was a real to me. You’re a terrible god father.”

Spencer laughed and swatted him away, the ghost yelping and darting backwards to hover back from him, crossing his legs and propping his hand up on his chin. “Seriously bro, why is this making you get your freak on? It’s not that big of a deal.”

He shrugged, scratching at the back of his neck. “It feels like it to me Billy.” he grappled momentarily with the words he was looking for, a way to explain it in a way that wasn’t just an awkward nagging feeling in his gut. “I want to be able to give people a clear answer if they ask,” He gesticulated with his hands, “so they know it’s like this and not like that.”

The ghost shook his head and chuckled. “You just gotta give em’ a little bit of the BJC if they start getting all up in your business.” He struck a pose, hand on the front belt loop of his jeans and smile crooked. When he spoke his voice was lower, and oozing with charm. “Beautiful people are beautiful people no matter the details, and I’ve got a thing for beautiful people.” he finished his sentence with a wink at the space of air he seemed to be addressing before flicking back to Spencer. “Boom. Done. Easy as pie and as smooth as peanut butter.”

“It’s not that simple.” He groaned. “People will just ask more questions if you say something like that! And it’s too broad! You need like… a label for it!”

Billy gasped, looking positively scandalized. “You seriously believe you can put a Label on the Great BJC?” he huffed and turned away. “I take offence to that, Sir.”

“Ok well, maybe you do- … can’t have one. But I want one! I want something clear and too the point and something you can’t argue with! I just…” He sighed, slumping again. “I don’t know which one I am.”

There was another moment of silence, and Billy drifted back in his personal space, reclining on the air beside him, hands behind his head and ankles crossed. “This is really getting to you isn’t it Obro Winfrey?”

He shrugged.

“Well then let me help!”

He flicked his head to the ghost then who was positively grinning. “And how exactly do you plan on ‘helping?’ This is sort of a one man problem you know?” 

He pulled a face. “Well duh Brolock holmes, but while I can’t tell you whose chilli you wanna dig I can at least give you some decent looking candidates to help you figure that out.” He grinned. “I make a fine looking lady when I put my mind to it, and as for the fellas well…” he gestured to himself and raised and eyebrow with another crooked smile. “We both know I have that down.”

Spencer frowned, eyebrows knitting together and eyes narrowing. “I don’t know dude…”

Billy shot off then, Spencer whipping around to try and figure out where he went. A large folding screen divider was suddenly occupying part of his room, blue with gold stars. “I’m telling you bro, it’ll work! I’ll lay on the Cobra charm, not too thick mind you, and then you just have to pick which you like! Lady Cobra or Dude Cobra!” There was a pause and then Billy’s head poked around the side of the divider. “Or both… or even neither, but I mean this is the Cobra here.”

He disappeared again and Spencer stood up to cautiously approach the screen, catching a shirt to the face as it was flung over the top of the screen.

“Now give me some guidelines! This whole exercise won’t work if I’m not your type.”

Spencer coughed, feeling a faint flush of embarrassment creeping up his neck. “Well I mean… I don’t know?” Billy’s head popped back around, fixing him with a serious glare and he raised his hands in defense. “Ah sorry sorry...well I mean… Mallory Is kinda pretty? But everyone thinks that…”

The pop-star disappeared again. “It’s a start! What do you like about her?”

“Uh… well she has nice hair? Her legs are pretty good too, at least that’s what Rajeev says.” He paused. “Well I mean I guess I do too.”

“And?” Billy pushed, throwing more clothes over the lip of the screen.

“I don’t know! How about... “ He searched the room for inspiration and finally just ended up staring at the shirt in his hands. “Her clothes! Her style is nice for a girl.” He supplied finally, “Like… that indie stuff. Its pretty. Girls look nice in that stuff I guess.”

There was the frantic sound of shuffling behind the screen. “Say no more Louis Broton! I have got this - OW! Watch it!”

 He raised an eyebrow and decided not to bother asking, instead listening to the shuffling continue. It was only when it suddenly stopped he got worried. “Billy?”

There was a chuckle from the behind the screen and the sound of something metal clanking together. “That had better end with an I, because I am so spicy right now!”

Spencer shook his head. “I’m pretty sure the feminine of Billy is spelt with an ‘ie’, and not an…” He struggled for a second, brain blinking out before coming back online. “Oh my god.”

Billy grinned at him, leaning idly against the screen he had stepped from behind, running his slender fingers through his now long and beach tousled hair. It fell in waves around his slanted jaw and big doe eyes, cupid lips still curled into that grin, that was slowly becoming a smirk. Long legs and wide hips and somehow despite this Spencer was still surprised when he saw the breasts.

“Dude. How do you even do that?!” He cried, still staring in shock at the leggy ghost.

Billy laughed, spinning on the spot. “I know, being a ghost is pretty awesome.”

Spencer just continued to shake his head in disbelief. Somehow this was more absurd than anything else he had turned into in the past. And he had turned into a giant bird at one point so this was saying something. “You’re a total knock-out dude.”

The ghost grinned at him again, “Well of-” He frowned cleared his throat, and when he spoke again his voice was higher and decidedly sweeter. “Well of course, you were expecting less from me Spence?”

Spencer’s face fell into a flat dead pan, and unconsciously he started holding the shirt up in front of him like a barrier. “What are you doing.”

Billy laughed and pulled his hair back from his face, the hand he used to do it running down the exposed blue skin pulled over his collar bones, fingers curling up and pulling away just as he reached the swell of his chest. “Nothing, what are you doing?” He stepped closer.

Spencer lowered his shirt barrier as Billy pushed it down lightly with a hand. “No. I’m serious, what are you doing.”

The ghost sighed, hand on a shapely hip. “It’s called flirting.” He paused. “Is it working?”

Spencer shrugged and scratched the back of his neck. “I don’t know?”

Billy narrowed his eyes and ignoring the shouts of protest closed the gap until he and Spencer were standing toe to toe. He had his cool hands pressed against the sides of Spencer’s neck, leaning ever so slightly forward over him. Spencer tilted his head in response, face to face with half lidded eyes covered in long sweeping lashes and a pouted mouth shiny with gloss opened ever so slightly. Spencer blinked rapidly up, wondering what he was supposed to be doing, there was the uncomfortable buzzing in his stomach of confusion and anxiousness. They held that position for several long, tense moments before Billy popped his lips and shrugged. Spencer let out a stilted breath only to immediately choke on it as Billy grabbed his hands and yanked them up to cup his breasts.

He couldn’t even keep up with his thoughts now, too confused and staring through blurry cough watering eyes at the carpet as Billy squeezed his hands, in turn forcing him to forcing him to squeeze down as well. He was going to die here. His throat was burning and he couldn’t manage to snatch more that a rough gasp of air before he was hacking it back out again.

“Anything?” Billy asked, undeterred by the fact Spencer was 90% sure he was going to die. Almost idly the ghost jiggled Spencers hands up and down. “Nothing?”

Finally Spencer managed to slip his hands out, staggering backwards and landing ass first on the carpet, face red from coughing and almost disturbed in its expression. “What the hell Billy!” he demanded, pausing warily before taking the offered hand and allowing Billy to pull him up onto his feet again.

The ghost shrugged. “I mean I had to do something! You clearly were not interested in any other chili being brought to the table!” He sniffed and folded his arms. “Even though it was muy calliente…”

“Other chili?” He asked, shaking his head vigorously, “What other chilii! The only other thing you did was stare at me vacantly!”

Billy gave him a look that was a potent mix of disbelief and pity and Spencer couldn’t help but feel like he had just said something entiriely moronic. “That... was what would have been, in a usual situation, a kiss.”

Spencer stepped backwards, then, reliving the pregnant seconds he had spent in a dazed confusion. On auto pilot followed the ghost back to the screen divider as he flew in a streak of blue over the top of it. “Oh wow.” He said finally. “That was... very stupid of me…”

“Nah, you just weren’t feeling the vibes Bromeo. I’ve done a lot of kissing in my time and let’s just say that was the expression you get when you don’t wanna go there.” There wasn’t any judgement in his tone, just reassurance.

“Really?” Spencer asked, choosing to sit again in the stool pulled haphazardly into the middle of his room. “You can tell when someone doesn’t want to be kissed?” Idly he wondered what that would look like beyond the obvious, and about exactly how much kissing you would have to do in order to know it.

Billy stuck his head out over the divider, Hair once again side-swept and short. He folded his arms over the edge and idly dropped his head down onto his arms. “Well I mean it’s not so much knowing what a person looks like when they don’t want to be kissed as much as it is knowing what it looks like when they do and looking for that.” He grinned wickedly. “You however Spendleton looked like a fish.” He dropped down with a yelp as Spencer flung his shirt at him in a wild arc.

“No way!” He defended, though he really wasn’t sure. He might have done. Oh jeez what if he had looked like a fish? He buried his head into his hands to muffle his groan.

Then again it didn’t really matter if he had looked like a fish, it was only Billy after all and at least now he knew something more than he did at the start. Billy had been pretty, Really pretty, and yet even with a legs like that and lashes a flutter it didn’t really seem like it had done anything. But he definitely thought he was drop dead gorgeous so what did that mean?

“Maybe I only like people for their personality? That’s a thing right?” he asked.

Billy snorted and giggled wildly. “Sure dude, but then why haven’t you been trying to get with Shanilla this whole time?”

Spencer groaned and ruffled his hair in frustration. “I don’t like Shanilla, she’s…” He fumbled about in the empty recesses of his brain for the adjective and came up blank. “She’s Shanilla!” He stated finally, simultaneously feeling like he had summed everything up and knowing he hadn’t really explained anything.

Billy laughed again. “Then I think you just answered your own question Albro Einstein!” Spencer hummed chewed thoughtfully on the side of his thumb for a moment, listening to the rustling and clinking coming from behind the divider.

“What if I’m Asexual? or Aromantic?” He asked again.

Billy made a dismissive sound over the roar of what sounded like a hair-dryer starting up. “I’d think you’d know if you were not down to get down.” the hair dryer stopped again and in its place was the sound of snipping scissors. Spencer could only guess at what was happening behind the Divider but whatever t was it was starting to concern him slightly. He was pretty sure Billy’s hair didn’t even grow unless he wanted it to.

The curiosity got the better of him in the end. “What are you doing back there?” He finally questioned, getting up and walking over to rap his knuckles gently against the divider. “Billy?”

His head stuck out once again from behind the divider, for some indiscernible reason wearing a thick layer of hot pink lipstick and comical circles of blush of his cheeks. Spencer jumped back from the scare and Billy frowned at him. “Spence!” He snapped. “This is a process!” and vanished again before Spencer could comment on the hair rollers tangled in his hair.

Spencer raised a finger and then dropped it again. “Uh.” He paused, trying to work out exactly what it was he wanted to say. “Don’t you have to know ‘my type’ or whatever?”

“Nope!” Billy sing-songed. “I already have the perfect thing!” Clothes hangers rattled and Billy made a little ‘aha!’ like he’d found something important. “I wrote this song ‘Take it Further’; you know the one right?” Without waiting for a response he sang, “Baby let those clothes hit the floor, ain’t no rules behind this door but your hips keep talking, they’re begging me for more.” Again his voice was smooth and almost sticky, but he was playing up the breathiness and the vibration in way it made his singing sound like it was bordering on moaning. “That one. Well the music video for that was a huge hit. Unsurprising.” He chuckled slightly at this. “Point is, that music video was like three chilli levels of Spicy so at the music video awards I won Best Male Artist Music video, Best shirtless video, Sexiest Male video and the overall Sexiest video.”

Spencer couldn’t help but raise an eyebrow at that. It was a pretty long list of awards, especially for a single music video. “But what does that have to do with this?” He asked.

That was when Billy decided to step around from behind the screen divider and Spencer was pretty sure he understood what that had to do with this.

He was shirtless, leaning on the divider with his shoulder, one hand in the front pocket of his faded and wear mottled black jeans. This music video was obviously made at an entirely different time to the on tour weight gain because the lean muscle definition of his torso and arms was certainly something to say the least. His hair was almost damp looking, but only just, and was tousled so it hung forward out of its normal position into his left eye.

Spencer was actually finding it a little harder to breathe under the knowing and half lidded eyes staring intently from under the messy locks of hair. Billy smiled, a small cunning sliver of a smile, and laughed with a low rumble in his throat. “It has everything to do with this.” He promised. and that was how he said it, like a promise. Forming the words and delivering them with conviction and reverence. Spencer was struggling to make the connection, somehow this was even weirder than the girl and the bird.

Billy smirked this time, idly righting himself and sauntering closer with predatory steps. “What? Nothing to say this time?” He pressed.

Spencer opened his mouth. And then he closed it again. He forced himself to focus and tried again. “Uh… I mean… yeah, you uh.” His eyes made a quick journey in a line down from Billy’s eyes, to his lips, neck and finally abs before jolting back up again. He swallowed. “You look good.”

Billy pouted, and with a few weighted hip swaying steps had pushed Spencer back further again.There was a glint in his eyes that was making Spencers hands tremble a little. “Just good? Spence, you wound me.”

“N- No!” Spencer spluttered, for some reason so embarrassed over his wording. He looked good? Nice one Spencer, really freaking smooth. “You look great! I mean, like wow dude, uh… But of course from a totally impartial standpoint like you look good I mean I don’t think you look good.”

Billy laughed again. Something about that laugh and the ever closing distance between them, even as Spencer tried in vain to maintain it, was making his heart beat so loudly it felt like it was screaming at him. “You don’t?” He questioned, lips coiling around the words like they were the most important thing he had ever said, ending with them parted ever so slightly.

Spencer flailed his hands in some approximation of a ‘no-way’ gesture. His skin felt hot. “I didn’t, I mean I think you look good too but not great, I can see how people would think you would look amazing but I personally don’t because you know!”

Billy’s lips were still parted slightly, that fact somehow seeming to exaggerate the smirk and all the danger that it seemed to be promising. It also showed off the reddened swell of his lower lip, something Spencer was now struggling to not stare vacantly at.

Really he should have been looking where he was walking, or even paying attention to how far Billy had crowded him because if that had been the case he might not have found his back slamming into one of his walls. He let out an involuntary gasp at that, heart skipping beats like a child with a jump rope. His reactions had been slow, and by the time he was fully come to terms with the situation and tried to locate where Billy was in relation to him there was a hand pressing against the wall just to the right of his head. He stopped breathing then.

Billy was right there, leaning over him like it was a perfectly normal place for him to be, crowding him into the wall. His eyes were still half lidded, a spray of wild lashes covering sharper eyes. Even through a curtain of tousled hair Spencer could still see the predatory gleam. There was a ball of air in his throat but his body was too locked up to even decide where it was going. His skin felt like it was burning and several sizes to small. All he could smell was the crisp clean smell that accompanied a sun shower. 

Billy lifted his hand, the one not currently inches from the side of Spencer’s head, and smoothed a short, light but slow path down from Spencer’s shoulder. Spencer was wearing a shirt, but even through the layer of cloth he could feel the cool path his fingers carved. His skin jumped, shuddering and prickling across his entire body, like it was trying to move to the point of contact Billy had on him. He shuddered out the air in his throat in a hard jolt.

And then Billy was right there. Nose almost brushing Spencer's own, lip pulled back between his teeth and hand hovering just over his shirt. Spencer was breathing again, hard rushed puffs from between parted lips and he stared up into the eyes that were staring back. His hands were shaking. There was a tense anticipation like a knife lodged in his gut.

Billy smiled, a genuine but soft smile. “That’s the look.” He breathed.

Spencer didn’t get to question it. Hell, he didn’t even get to process it. The words were just registering at the same point those soft, dangerous lips were pressing against his. The hand hovering just above his shirt was now cupping the back of his head, coaxing him upwards and pulling him closer. He wanted to be closer. There were thousands of thoughts sparking so hard and so fast against the inside of his skull it was like he wasn’t thinking anything at all. Everything has condensed down to a thudding tremor and frenzied vibrations and the points of contact between them. He could feel every subtle shift of the fingers pushed up into his hair, nails just promising the spine tingling scrape against scalp, the insistence in the flat of his palm. The hand on the wall was now the hand on his hip, firmly pressing him back into the wall. Billy’s thumb was lazily grazing up and down the base of his shirt, lifting and flattening the fabric and teasingly brushing over the skin underneath with each pass. His lips were overwhelming too, soft and cool and just ever so sticky against his own. Billy would twist and move just so, Spencer chasing him blindly, desperate for the contact and the aching burn it was lighting in the spaces between his bones.

He hadn’t even noticed but his hands were clinging to his shoulders, holding tightly like Billy was the one thing between him and drowning in the sensation that was tearing him apart from the seams of his muscles to the roots of his teeth. He was trembling like crazy, knees lead and the support in his legs having the constitution of a house of cards.

Then Billy pulled back and nipped playfully at Spencer’s lower lip, teeth gentle and careful with the pliant flesh as he tugged back for only the barest sliver of a second. In that second all the already overloaded synapses in his brain shrieked and shuddered and Spencer’s legs gave out for a flash, back hitting the wall with a thud as he remembered how to hold himself upright. His throat reflexively contracted and the only sound he could manage was a high, shaking whimper.

The cool heaves of air against his lips as Billy chuckled low in his throat made him jerk forward again, spine jolting as his chest collided with his, lips pressed lax and parted against Billy’s as he dug his nails into the bared shoulders. Billy kissed back, lips darting and playing as he wound his hand around to the back of Spencer’s hip, thumb digging into his hipbone and fingers splayed wide over his shirt and jeans. He was holding his steady and close, and as Billy swiveled his thumb over his hard hip bone Spencer felt something cold pass over his lower lip, leaving a tingling path in its wake. His lips parted further with a hard rasp that rattled up from his chest as his bones vibrated under the skin.

And then Billy was gone, the shoulders supporting him dropping away without warning. Spencer's eyes flew open, his legs tottering until he fell with a thump against the wall. His brain was mush, and all he could do was stare vacantly ahead and try to remember how to breathe in a way that wasn’t shuddering gasps. He had one hand fisted in the front of his shirt, able to feel his heart hammering short staccato beats out against his ribs. His lips were tingling and only now was he starting to come to terms with what had happened.

“Well I guess that answers that question.” Billy laughed.

It took a moment for Spencer to move his eyes up to where the ghost was floating, back to normal thankfully, and another moment to make his mouth move to actually form words.

“What?” He croaked out, mind running laps trying to comprehend how he had just made out with his questionably dead best friend. 

Billy dropped back down to a his normal height off the ground and shrugged. “Pretty sure you’re into dudes, bro.” He paused and tapped his chin thoughtfully. “At least I’m like 90% sure anyway. Maybe 95%?”

Spencer was barely listening, carding his still slightly trembling fingers through his hair and closing his eyes. He pushed out his stomach as he breathed, sucking in as much air as he could and releasing it slowly. Was he really gay? He’d thought Billy as a woman just as gorgeous as the man guy that had just accosted him, but even as he tried to justify that he could feel the difference. As a woman He had been beautiful in the way a painting was beautiful, good to look at and capable of pulling emotions to the surface, but at the end leaving you unable to do anything about that beauty. As a guy… he’d been more like a chocolate cake. Awesome to look at, but you know the best part of it was in what you could do with it. He flushed a deep scarlet and buried his head in his hands with a scratchy whine, billy too busy prattling on about percentages and figures to pay much attention. Ok, so he was gay. That was fine. What wasn’t fine was that he had just made out with his best friend and apparently really, really enjoyed it. His best friend who also just so happened to be a ghost. 

His life was a shamble.

But that hadn’t been Billy, not really, anyway. It had been a fabricated edit of his best bro, an example of the very best of the male form designed to see how he would react to it. So he didn’t really have to worry about it. This was still the same dude who ate all his mom’s brownies in obnoxiously large bites and had been causing chaos with him since he was fourteen. He wasn’t attracted to Billy, Billy was his best friend. He was attracted to the version that had just made his knees weak with too cool lips and wide strong hands coiled possessively around him and-

He jerked his head up and cleared his throat, staring resolutely at the ceiling and trying to combat the blood that had already turned his face into a Christmas light, but apparently also had some other destination in mind. Dead puppies, dead puppies dead puppies…

“Spence?” Billy called.

Spencer smiled, his very best fake one, unwilling to let Billy see just how his skin was threatening to get up and crawl away and moved his head to face him, ready with some quip about chili.

His smile became a pulled tight grimace.

Oh.

Oh Fuck.  

Billy was definitely back to normal all right, Hair pulled back into his regular side swept and fashionably rough at the back style. He had the same old shirt in place, with the same ridiculous tie and faux military jacket and converse. And that was just the problem. Billy’s eyes were watching him, filled with concern, but all Spencer could see was the sharp line and heavy lids, lashes a wild and untamed spray. His lips were pressed into a pout, but the faint swell of his lower lip was still there. Hair looking like it was just begging to have hands fisted in it, tie loosened and top button on his shirt undone only heightening the line of his throat. Leanly muscled arms crossed, calloused fingers resting at his biceps, a patch of skin showing between his shirt and his jeans sitting just-so on his hips. 

Spencer clenched his hands into fists as a cold sweat broke out on the back of his neck. He was so screwed. So very, very screwed.

He was attracted to his best friend. Who was a ghost. If his life was a shamble before now it was something much worse.

“Spence?” Billy asked again, the concern in his eyes growing. 

Spencer forced out a laugh and crossed his arms, leaning back against the wall he was very unwilling to leave. “I guess I am.” He smiled, and hoped it didn’t look as ridiculously tight as it felt.

Billy let out a chuckle and looped his thumbs into the front pockets of his jeans, mouth a soft lopsided grin. Spencer made a mental note to swallow a can of bug spray to kill the moths nesting in his stomach.

It was just as the silence was about to start bordering on uncomfortable Billy shot up right. Spencer swore he could almost see the dog ears on top of his head prick up as he twisted around to sniff at the air. “Ooooh Geoff Bromsey I think your mom’s baking brownies.” He rolled his shoulders and let out a comical shaking gasp. “Oh, oh yeah she’s baking brownies.”

Spencer waved a hand and forced his smile to not be the same 50 watt thing he had been wearing so tightly it was making his face hurt. “I’ll race you down there?”

Brilly whooped, flipped through the air and peered directly into Spencer’s eyes. Spencer’s breath caught again, gut twisting in fear and nervousness as Billy’s cool breath hit his face. He grinned wickedly and offered a playful shove to the shoulder. “You’re on.”

 There was a streak of blue that warped straight through the carpet and Spencer was alone. He counted to three in his head, and then worrying he had counted too quickly, did it again. When he had finished counting he sank down again the wall until he was crouched in a little ball with his head in his hands.

He had a thing for Billy.

Somehow simultaneously he was aware that yeah, worse things had happened before, but also this was the worst thing that had ever happened in the history of ever.

In short, Spencer wright was officially screwed.