“... what do you mean, the second car broke down?”
Shane dragged a hand across his face, so tired he was having trouble thinking in a straight line.
“The second car broke down, and the mechanic can’t get back to pick it up until tomorrow morning,” said Shane. “So if you want to get back, we need to double up.”
“We can’t all fit in the car,” said Ryan, indicating the rental. “It’s illegal.”
“We’re on a back road in the middle of North Carolina,” said Shane.
Some of the exhaustion was beginning to seep into his voice - Ryan was looking over at him with a slightly worried expression.
“We are on a back road in North Carolina in search of a skunk ape,” said Shane. “We are on enough of a back road that I think we could strap Ryan to the roof of the car without anyone caring.”
“We are not strapping me to the roof of the car,” Ryan said quickly.
That had been a long shot, but they were in North Carolina for other reasons, and they’d ended up with a few free days.
So why not wander through the woods in the back country, right?
… in theory, at least, but ye gods, Shane was tired.
So many skunk ape jokes - “wow, it’s a tall, hairy, smelly humanoid - are you sure it’s not your relative?” and variations on that theme.
So many mosquitos.
So much kudzu, which smelled like grape Jolly Ranchers and had sticky leaves that made Shane’s skin itch.
He was still wearing his grey sweatpants as well, because he’d spilled something gross on his chinos earlier in the day, and grey joggers were better than a pair of red chinos with a dark brown stain on the thigh.
Everyone else was milling about, talking about who even knew what.
Ryan was fiddling with his watch, running his fingers across the glass front, no doubt smudging it up.
The watch had been a joke, originally - they’d done that dumb Post Mortem, after the treasure hunt, and it had been a big joke - ha ha ha, Ryan is so rich he has a fancy watch.
But Ryan wore it all the time, and fiddled with it all the time, the way he fiddled with anything else on his person.
It was beginning to get on Shane’s nerves.
Or maybe everything was getting on Shane’s nerves, because it was late at night in the backwoods of fucking North Carolina, and he just wanted to go back to their hotel room, take a shower with not nearly enough water pressure, and go the fuck to sleep.
"The alternative is that half of us go to the hotel, then someone else gets in the car and drives back to pick everyone else up," said TJ. "As the hotel is over an hour ago and it is eleven o'clock at night, I'd really rather not."
"You can sit in Shane's lap for an hour and then we can just get to the hotel and you can shower away the shame, or you can stand on this back road for two hours, while someone else comes to pick you up, so you can have a whole roomy back seat to stretch out on by yourself," said TJ.
He sounded on the end of his rope.
"... why does he have to sit in my lap?"
Shane was aware that he was whining, but didn't particularly want to stop.
He was tired, he was achy, he was muddy.
He was no longer at an age where getting muddy was a thing that was done, and yet here he was, with mud up to his knees.
And Ryan was still rubbing the face of that goddamned watch.
"Because you can't sit in his lap," said TJ. "At least, not without possibly knocking someone out with your ridiculous knees."
"Shane, I swear to fucking god, I will strap you to the roof of the car," said TJ.
"Please don't strap him to the car," said Ryan. "His legs would dangle over the windshield, and then we'd crash into something."
"Not if I put his head towards the windshield," TJ said grimly.
Everyone else snickered - Shane tried not to cover his face and groan.
"Fine," he said. "Fine, let's just... let's just do this. Whatever. Who needs dignity. I'll be a Bergara seat."
"Stop complaining," said Ryan, and he elbowed Shane in the side.
Shane elbowed him back.
"Why doesn't anyone sit in Ryan's lap?"
"Because you guys are already joined at the hip," said Devon. "If you've slept in the same bed, why would you complain about having to sit in each other's lap?"
"It's... different," Shane grumbled, but he didn't complain as they loaded the car up with all the camera equipment, all the... well, everything.
It was too many people in one car - Shane could tell that already, as he sat down, as everyone else climbed in.
Everyone but Ryan.
"If we get pulled over by the cops -"
"We are twelve different flavors of fucked," Devon said, leaning back in the front seat, her eyes shut. "Trust me. I know."
"Why twelve, specifically?"
Shane tried to keep his tone jovial, as Ryan stood by the open car door, his expression faintly nervous.
Ryan was still rubbing his hands across the glass face of his watch.
"I don't fucking know, Shane," said Devon. "C'mon. I want to go back to the hotel and take a shower."
"Right," said Shane. "Well?"
He looked over at Ryan, who looked back at him.
"If we hit a bump, I'm going to hit my head," Ryan said, but he was climbing into the car, settling into Shane's lap.
Ryan was warm, Ryan was solid, Ryan was surprisingly dense for someone as short as he was, and he was leaning forward, so that he didn't hit his head on the car.
Which was pushing bits of Ryan's anatomy right up against certain parts of Shane's anatomy, which was, uh... that might end up being a bit problematic.
But Shane wasn't going to think about it.
It was an hour.
Shane could keep hold himself together for an hour, couldn't he?
* * *
The road was bumpy, and Ryan was... squirmy.
They weren't even ten minutes into the ride before Ryan was shifting in Shane's lap, and he was fiddling with the goddamn watch.
Shane wasn't sure what to do with his hands - it would be weird to put them on Ryan, but he was squashed up against all of the camera equipment, and he had his elbow on the camera bag, his hand dangling off of it uselessly.
His other hand was trapped against his side, and he shifted, trying to get comfortable, failing miserably.
"Why are you always fiddling with your watch?"
"I'm just polishing it," said Ryan, and he sounded faintly defensive.
“You don’t polish a watch, that was a bit for the video,” said Shane.
“Well, maybe I find it soothing,” said Ryan, and there was an edge of annoyance in his voice.
“Sorry,” Shane said. “I’m just… it’s been a long day.”
“It has been,” said Ryan. “You feeling it, big guy?”
“Oh yeah,,” Shane said, with feeling.
Shane tilted his head back, so that it was resting on the back of the seat, and he let his eyes drift shut, beginning to breathe slow and deep.
He was tired.
Maybe he could catch a bit of a doze, and when they got back to the hotel, Shane could have a shower, maybe relieve some of the tension....
No, Shane wasn't going to think about that.
If he thought about that, he'd get an anticipation-boner, and he needed to not have any kind of boner when he had Ryan sitting in his lap.
It would give the wrong impression.
Definitely the wrong impression.
Shane kept his eyes closed, and tried to think of other things.
... all he could think of were Ryan's fingers, sliding across the glass of the watch, and that was making his cock swell, because okay, those were very nice fingers - blunt, but strong, with calluses from playing the guitar - and Shane was easily distracted.
He'd always been a sucker for a nice pair of hands, and Ryan definitely had a nice pair of hands.
A nice ass too, especially the way it was pressed right up against Shane's crotch.
The sensation of cold glass against his hand - picking up a glass of water, feeling the coldness sink down his throat, to splash down into his belly.
... the cold glass of Ryan's watch against his wrist, when Ryan had grabbed onto him as they wandered in the forest and something had made a terrifying noise.
(TJ had said it was a whippoorwill, which was downright Lovecraftian, even if they were in the wrong bit of the country for that).
The way Ryan's heartbeat had thudded in his wrist, pressed right up against Shane's wrist, and... oh, goddamnit.
Shane bit back a groan, and resisted the urge to press his forehead against Ryan's shoulder, the way he would if, say, Sara was sitting in his lap.
That was just it - it wasn't as if he was starving for physical contact, or even particularly sexually frustrated! He had a girlfriend who he adored, who adored him!
... who thought that his sort of, kind of crush on his best friend was cute, come to think of it.
He made a mental note to tell her about all of this - she'd no doubt find it hilarious, and probably hot.
At least his suffering would bring on some hot masturbation fodder for her, right?
That last sentence brought on a little huff of amusement, and Ryan made a startled noise, squirming against Shane some more, which... oh god.
"Could you maybe stop wriggling so much?"
Shane wasn't exactly... thrilled with how strained his voice was.
"Stop breathing down my neck," Ryan groused.
"I can't exactly breathe anywhere else," Shane said. "There's not much room, in case you didn't notice."
Brent was sitting on the other wide of the camera equipment, and he had his headphones in.
It was quiet - almost crushingly quiet.
“Can we put the radio on?”
“You wanna listen to fire and brimstone preachers, or country?”
“There has to be some kind of… something,” Shane said.
There was an almost manic edge to his voice, and he was aware of that.
He was aware of the way that Ryan was squirming, theoretically to get more comfortable, but… Shane was having dark thoughts.
Ryan was doing this on purpose.
He was wriggling with nefarious purpose, trying to humiliate Shane, right there and then.
Shane was going to lose all semblance of his humanity - he was going to be nothing but a howling ape.
That was the origin of skunk ape.
Some poor schmuck had a perfect ass in his lap, and he was driven mad from the sexual frustration and humiliation.
They were going to tell stories about the strange, pale ape wandering the wastes of North Carolina.
He was going to sprout hair out of his hands like they said you would if you jerked off too much.
Maybe he’d go blind too, for good measure.
They hit another bump, and Ryan jerked back against Shane’s chest, his back flat against Shane’s front, his ear pressed against Shane’s cheek.
“You need to shave,” Ryan said, and his voice was rumbling through Shane’s chest.
“I didn’t realize that you’d be rubbing your whole face against my jaw,” Shane said.
He was gibbering in his head - full on gibbering.
There weren’t even syllables - it was just a prolonged sound, like a tea kettle.
“It’s not my whole face,” said Ryan.
“It feels like it,” said Shane.
“Are you guys making out back there? I want to ask that you refrain from giving in to your belligerent sexual tension until after we’re all in our separate rooms.”
“Oh my god,” said Shane, and he pressed his face into Ryan’s shoulder, because he was going to start making that same tea kettle noise out of his mouth, and he needed to hold on to some of his dignity.
“I’m gonna ignore that and listen to this totally cool podcast,” said Ryan, and he squirmed, as if he was trying to get comfortable in a bean bag chair.
He was right up on Shane’s boner.
Full on planted on it, like some kind of… plant.
It was very clearly a boner now - he couldn’t excuse it as some fold in his clothing, or maybe his phone in his pocket.
They hit another pothole, and Ryan swore, as the podcast jumped, like a record being scratched.
“That can’t be good for your phone,” said Devon.
“Probably not,” said TJ. “I don’t care right now.”
“Fair enough,” said Ryan.
More squirming, and it was dark enough in the car now that nobody would notice Shane’s face in Ryan’s shoulder.
Ryan’s skin was sweaty under Shane’s breath, and it must have been sending chills up Ryan’s back, from the way his whole skin jumped like a horse’s.
Nobody could see them, although the glass face of the clock caught a bit of light from the dashboard now and then, or someone’s phone.
Shane’s hands were on Ryan’s hips.
When had that happened?
Shane’s hands were on Ryan’s hips, because there wasn’t anyplace else for him to put them.
His thumbs were pressed against the bare skin at Ryan’s waistband, and his fingers were resting in Ryan’s belt loops.
Ryan was holding on to the back of the seat, and he was… what was he doing?
He was squirming, but it felt more deliberate.
It felt almost like… grinding, but no, this couldn’t be grinding.
Ryan of all people wouldn’t grind.
Shane experimentally pushed his hips forward, and then he froze, because his cock was between the cheeks of Ryan’s ass, and it was… oh wow.
Ryan squirmed, grinding back some more, and this was very definitely a grind, and Shane’s toes were curling in his boots.
Oh fuck, he was so fucked.
“I think there’s a spider in here,” said Brent, in a conversational tone of voice.
He sounded remarkably calm for a guy as arachnophobic as he was.
It had been that kind of day.
Ryan leaned back against Shane’s chest, and he made a disgusted noise.
“I am not stopping this car,” said TJ. “If the spider wants a ride, it can pitch in some gas money.”
Shane wrapped his arms around Ryan, as they hit another bump.
To keep Ryan from falling off of or hitting his head.
The tea kettle noise was getting louder.
Ryan leaned back, and his hands were under Shane’s now.
Shane’s hand was… wrapped around Ryan’s wrist, and his thumb was resting on the glass face of Ryan’s watch.
“You okay, big guy?”
Ryan’s voice was low, and it was vibrating right up against Shane’s cheek.
“Doin’ great,” Shane said in a strained tone of voice, and his cock twitched right up against Ryan’s ass.
“I can tell,” said Ryan, and he rolled his hips, just enough to make it look like he was shifting position.
Shane gave a full bodied shudder, and managed to pass it off as a particularly intense reaction to a bump.
The podcast was still going, and Shane’s thumb was mindlessly rubbing the glass, as his hips rolled, just a bit.
“You think you’ll last ‘til we get to the hotel?”
Same low tone of voice, his hips rolling, pressing down on Shane’s cock.
“It depends,” said Shane, in a burst of honesty, his fingers digging into Ryan’s wrist.
“On what happens when we get out of this car.”
Shane glanced around - Brent had his headphones in, Devon was asleep, and TJ had his eyes on the road.
“Well,” said Ryan, in the same low voice, “we’re in the same room. I figured we’d, uh… I figured we’d figure… something out.”
“I need you to use exact words here,” Shane said, and his voice cracked. “Please. I need… I don’t know what I need right now, but the inside of my head is just a primal scream.”
“Primal scream? Really?”
Ryan sounded intrigued.
The glass was smooth under the pad of Shane’s thumb - it really was no wonder that Ryan liked to pet this thing so much.
“Yep,” Shane said. “Full on… like the Mothman call. Only moreso.”
“I wouldn’t call that a primal scream, personally,” said Ryan.
“Well, you’re wrong,” said Shane.
“What’s he wrong about?”
TJ sounded like he was speaking out against his better judgement.
“What counts as a primal scream,” said Ryan, and he said it as he rolled his hips again, and oh fuck, Shane’s cock was being squeezed, and Shane’s eyes were going to roll back in his head.
“... how do you guys go down those roads?”
TJ sounded genuinely confused.
“I’m more curious what road you’ve got us going down, personally,” said Ryan.
He bore down, circling his hips, and Shane began to shake.
“Ryan,” said Shane, “I’m… going to….”
Ryan sounded amused.
“Oh, shut up,” said Shane, right in Ryan’s ear, and he was rewarded with a little shiver. “Do you know how long I’ve thought about this?”
“This, specifically? Being stuck in a car with fuck knows how many people and possibly a few spiders?”
With my erection pressed against your ass and about to erupt, was implied, but not said.
Everyone might have been zoning out, but some things were just… best not said in an enclosed space with a bunch of people.
Brett jerked upright, looking nervous.
“You said you saw it,” Shane pointed out, because he was realizing that he’d been too quiet until now, which might imply things.
It might imply the fact that he was about to cum in his own pants against his best friend/crush/costar’s ass, which was not an implication he wanted anyone to… imply.
He was chasing his brain in circles.
… actually, all his quiet would imply would be that he was falling asleep, but it was too late to come back from that.
Shane pressed his face into Ryan’s neck, and he just… took it all in.
The smell of Ryan’s skin, the warmth of it against his face.
The heat and friction of his cock, still trapped in the soft fabric of his pants, and it was damp with pre, throbbing in time with his heart.
The throbbing was getting harder, tighter in his belly, and he was beginning to shake, his hands holding on so tightly to Ryan’s wrist that it would probably bruise.
“I said I saw a spider. Singular. Not multiple spiders.”
And then Ryan did some kind of… hip magic, who the fuck knew what, except that it was making Shane’s cock twitch, then the sweetness was passing over Shane like a wave, and Shane was going completely stiff, his whole body shaking as he came, the throbbing complete with his heart.
He came in his boxers, in his pants, and it was sticky and thick against his thigh, soaking into his pants, and he muffled his noises, still shaking, his fingers against Ryan’s watch face.
It was probably well and polished by now.
Shane was sweating, and he held on to Ryan’s wrist, the pulse hammering under his fingertips.
… Sara was never going to let him live this down.
“Well,” said Ryan, “I haven’t seen any snakes. Or spiders. Or anything.”
“Who said anything about snakes?”
It was TJ’s turn to sound faintly uneasy.
“I’m fucking tired, okay,” Ryan said. “And kinda distracted.”
“It’s been a long day,” said Ryan.
He grabbed Shane’s hand, and he shoved it up against his crotch - Ryan’s cock was hard, throbbing in Shane’s hand.
Shane gave it a squeeze, his forehead against Ryan’s shoulder.
This could not be the normal way people worked their sexual tension out.
… then again, did they do anything normally.
“We should talk about this later,” Shane said, right in Ryan’s ear.
“We will, I promise,” said Ryan. “Okay?”
“No more skunk apes,” said TJ.
“Agreed,” said Shane, as he gave Ryan a long, slow stroke through the pants.
Ryan made a noise that might have been an affirmative, and he leaned heavily into Shane.
This was… not where Shane had expected the trip to go, but he wasn’t going to complain.
Not one bit.