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There's No One Like You

Chapter Text

"Fuck," Nick gasped, eyes squeezing shut as Joe trailed open-mouthed kisses down his chest towards his aching dick.

"Be quiet. Kevin's room is right next to ours. Besides, I haven't done anything yet," Joe teased, leaning over to trace Nick's defined abs with his tongue.

"Then get fucking on with it."

"Your language is appalling, Nicholas. I bet you can't go 24 hours without cussing."

"You're on. Loser can't get off for 48 hours."

Grinning wickedly, Joe swiftly bent down, wrapped his lips around Nick's dick and slid all the way down the length, letting the head of Nick's cock brush against the back of his throat.

"Holy fuck!" Nick cried, his eyes rolling back into his head as the intense wave of pleasure crashed through his body.

Joe pulled off with an obscene pop and licked his lips. "Correction, you can't even go 60 seconds without cussing."

"You cheated, you little shit! I wasn't prepared for you to do that."

"All's fair in love and war," Joe said, wrapping his hand around Nick's dick and giving it a few quick pumps, his thumb brushing over the head teasingly. "Looks like I won't be getting you off tonight after all. No rules about you having to watch me get myself off, though." Joe let go of Nick's dick and immediately moved to unbutton his own jeans.

"What the fuck, Joe!" Nick cried out in frustration.

Joe's victory laugh was swallowed down as Nick's lips found his in a biting kiss.

Chapter Text

Joe flopped down onto Nick’s bunk in the tour bus, startling Nick who had his headphones in.

“What are you doing?” Nick hissed, looking towards the curtain where the voices of Kevin and their father could distantly be heard on the other side.

“I’m bored. I didn’t want to wait to sneak in here once everyone had gone to bed,” Joe complained, pressing his face into Nick’s curls.

“If we get caught-”

“We won’t, Nicky,” Joe mumbled, nosing along Nick’s cheek and pressing kisses to his jawline.

Nick squeezed his eyes shut for a second to compose himself before he pushed at Joe’s shoulders. “Fine. But don’t do that until everyone’s asleep.”

“Ugh,” Joe sighed, flopping back onto the mattress and letting his eyes dart around the small space of Nick’s bunk. That’s when his eyes caught sight of what was wedged into the mesh pocket near Nick’s head and he had to cover his mouth with his hand to smoother the bubbling laughter.

Nick shot him a warning look before his curiosity won out. “What is so funny?”

Joe pointed to the pink, flowery, plastic sunglasses he’d bought Nick about two weeks ago when they’d been stopped at a gas station while on the road. The pink sunglasses weren’t alone in the mesh pocket. An ever growing collection was building; all ridiculously bright colored, cheap, plastic glasses from gas stations.

We started with one and now we have seven. You have no chill, Nicholas,” Joe said, tears streaming down his face as he laughed.

Nick shoved at his shoulders again, and Joe wobbled, barley catching himself from tumbling out of the bunk and onto the floor.

“There is nothing wrong with collecting sunglasses,” Nick huffed, crossing his arms and turning his back on Joe.

“Oh no, nothing at all,” Joe replied, leaning over to pluck the original pink frames from the mesh pocket and pushing them onto Nick’s face.

Joe burst out laughing again, clutching his sides and his face turning blotchy and red.

This time Nick did shove him out of the bunk, and proceeded to chase Joe around the bus until he tackled the older boy and shoved the pink glasses over Joe’s eyes.

Chapter Text

Nick put the window down and let the warm California air sweep into the car as they idled at the red light. Joe’s hand trailed higher up his thigh and Nick let out a gasp, his hands tightening on the steering wheel. The light turned green and Joe’s hand slipped down back to his knee and Nick let out a frustrated groan.

“You’re such a tease and I hate you,” Nick grumbled.

“Liar, you love me,” Joe sing-songed, patting Nick’s knee before pulling his hand away.

“Seriously, you suck.” Nick darted his eyes away from the road to send a glare over at Joe in the passenger seat, which earned him a pinch on the thigh in return. Just as he was moving his gaze back to the road, his eyes caught sight of the cupholder. “Did you really just put your ice cream cone into my cupholder? Why the hell would you do that?” he asked in disbelief.

“Well, why not? It meant I didn’t have to hold it while my hands were busy doing other things,” Joe said, waggling his eyebrows suggestively. “Besides, what do you think a cupholder is for?”

“Drinks, Joseph, drinks! Maybe a phone, if it fits,” Nick huffed.

“That is incredibly boring and single minded, Nick. I’m being both inventive and creative. You should be thanking me for my ingenious ideas.”

“I’ll be thanking you by making you clean out all the melted ice cream when we get home.”

Joe chuckled and leaned over to press a quick kiss to Nick’s cheek. “Thank you for the ice cream date. Love you.”

Nick shook his head fondly, a soft, tender smile crossing his face. He tilted his head to the side briefly and Joe moved to press another soft kiss to the corner of Nick’s lips. “Love you, too,” Nick replied, reaching over with one hand to link his hand with Joe’s, lacing their fingers together.

Chapter Text

Joe slipped quietly into the studio, not wanting to disturb Nick while he was recording. Nick had his eyes closed, singing the chorus of their latest song into the mic. They’d recorded it twenty times by now, but it wasn’t up to Nick’s standards of perfection; so here they were, still attempting to get the vocals exactly right.

Reaching over, Joe grabbed one of the pairs of headphones to listen in to the session. It sounded perfect to his ears; the way Nick’s voice fell onto a lower note and instantly rose up to hit a falsetto on the next.

When the chorus was over, Joe slipped the headphones off and thanked John for staying and working so late with them. Nick signaled for a 5 minute break, and John gave a thumbs up before leaving the room.

Nick’s eyes shifted over and caught sight of Joe and they instantly brightened. Then he scowled and stuck his tongue out at him. Joe feigned hurt, throwing his hand up to his chest and gasping dramatically.

‘Get in here,’ Nick mouthed at him.

Joe rolled his eyes but stood up from the chair he’d plopped himself into. Obediently, he opened the sound-proofed door and slipped inside the booth.

“What’s got you being all sassy?” Joe asked, kicking the stool he’d used earlier over to Nick and sitting down next to him.

You know when your phone buzzes, it means I’m trying to talk to you, right? Nick asked, shaking his phone in front of Joe’s face. Raising an eyebrow, Joe pulled his phone out of his pocket and noticed three missed calls from Nick. “I could have been having an emergency. What if my levels had dropped too low and I needed you?”

“I’m sorry, Nicky. I must have had it turned down when we were in here recording earlier and forgot to turn the ringer back up again.”

“You suck, Joe,” Nick said with a pout.

“I’m sorry,” Joe said, moving to wrap his arms around Nick’s waist and dropping his head to Nick’s shoulder. Glancing out to make sure they were alone, he pressed a soft kiss to Nick’s neck in apology. “I won’t let it happen again. I always want to be the first person you call if you’re running too low or too high.”

“Then you should answer your damn phone when I call you,” Nick snapped.

“Noted. I will make it my life’s mission to answer the phone any and every time you call me from now until forever,” Joe said, sliding his hand up to rest over Nick’s heart.

“You’re such an idiot.”

Joe chuckled, glad Nick wasn’t actually mad at him. “What did you call me for then, if it wasn’t your levels?” Nick leaned further into his embrace and Joe felt another rush of relief in knowing he was forgiven for not answering his phone.

“I wanted your opinion on the sound of the chorus like three versions ago. But you didn’t answer so I just recorded it again. And again. And again.”

“The last one you just recorded. That’s the one.”

Nick raised his eyebrows. “How would you know that? You weren’t even here.”

“I slipped in and listened through the headphones while you were recording that last version. It was absolutely perfect.”

The smile on Nick’s face was so blinding it took Joe’s breath away. It was his favorite smile; the smile Nick saved only for him. Joe leaned forward and kissed him, pressing his own answering smile against Nick’s lips.

Chapter Text

The ice clinked in the glass as Joe poured a second serving of cool lemonade. Grabbing a couple straws, Joe picked up the two glasses and made his way out the front door and onto the porch.

Nick was sitting on the porch, his legs dangling over the edge and the setting sun catching against his curls, giving his dark brown hair a soft glow. The neighborhood calico cat was pressed up against Nick’s thigh, rubbing up against him as Nick scratched absentmindedly behind the cat’s ear.

Smiling to himself, Joe allowed the picturesque moment to sink into his brain; an image of serenity he could pull up in his mind’s eye in difficult times.

Slowly and quietly, Joe sat down next to Nick, offering him one of the glasses. Nick reached out with his free hand and took it, their fingers brushing together softly, causing both of them to smile.

“Thank you,” Nick said gently, trailing a finger through the cool condensation on the glass before taking a sip. He licked his lips, chasing the sweet yet tart taste, and glanced over to see Joe staring at his mouth. Cheekily, he winked at Joe and nudged him with his hip.

Shaking himself out of his trance, Joe chuckled and took a sip of his own drink. A moment later he nudged Nick back, this time with his shoulder. “I thought you didn’t like cats? he asked, nodding his head in the direction of the calico.

Nick’s hand paused where it was scratching at the cats ear and he shrugged. “I usually don’t. She’s sweet, though. She just wants a little affection.” Nick moved his hand slightly and began to tickle the top of the cats head.

“Nicholas Jonas, recently discovered softie who actually loves cats. Where’s the press? It’d make a killer story. The fangirls will be all over it.”

“Shut up,” Nick muttered, bumping their shoulders together again. 

They lapsed into silence once more, the only sounds permeating the air were the occasional clink of ice cubes or the soft purring from the cat.

After a while, Nick shifted, resting his head on Joe’s shoulder. “There’s are my favorite days,” Nick whispered.

“Mine, too.” Joe pressed a soft kiss to the top of Nick’s hair. “Maybe someday we can get our own calico.” Nick beamed so brightly in response, Joe could feel the smile against his throat, and it sent a wave of pure happiness down his spine.

Chapter Text

The hotel room was quiet. A sliver of light from the street slipped through the blinds and Joe’s soft snores filled the air.

Nick shivered, the AC kicking in and sending a renewed blast of cold air at his face. The thermostat was on the other side of the room, which seemed like a million miles away in the middle of the night when Nick was tired.

There was, however, a source of warmth just a few feet away from Nick’s bed. After a moment’s hesitation determining if it was worth it to venture into the frigid air for a couple of seconds, Nick hurled himself out of his bed and jumped straight into Joe’s bed, flinging the covers back, curling up at Joe’s back, and dragging the covers back over them again.

Groaning, Joe turned over, his eyes blinking slowly and blearily. “Wha- Nick?” Joe asked, his voice thick with sleep. Nick hummed, burying his head into Joe’s chest. “What’re ya doin’?”

Is it just me or is it cold as hell in here? ” Nick mumbled, curling up closer into Joe.

“You jumped into my bed and woke me up because you’re cold?” Joe asked, running a hand through the hair that had fallen into his face as he slept.

“It’s like a fridge in here,” Nick complained.

“Then why didn’t you just get up and turn the temperature up on the thermostat?”

“It’s too far away. And you were much closer.”

Joe sighed dramatically and reached out to wrap his arms around Nick’s shoulders to pull him closer. “Jeez, you really are freezing. Are you sure it’s not your levels?”

Nick huffed against Joe’s neck. “Yes, Joe, I’m sure. It’s just cold as hell in here.”

“That’s contradictory in and of itself. Considering Hell is actually a fiery burning-”

“Shut up, Joseph. I’m tired,” Nick mumbled.

“C’mere then,” Joe replied, tugging Nick even closer and tucking him under his arms.  Nick wiggled around and pressed his cold feet to Joe’s shins, earning a sharp hiss from the older boy. “Get your cold feet off of me, you freak.” He pretended to push Nick’s feet away for a couple seconds, but conceded when Nick wedged them between his legs.

“‘S much better. Love you,” Nick slurred.

Joe chuckled, pressing a kiss to Nick’s forehead and letting his eyes fall shut. “Love you too, you human icicle.”

Chapter Text

It had started out as play-fighting. Just wrestling on the floor of the hotel room. Joe had pinned Nick down and Nick had shoved him off and proceeded to pin Joe down.

“Told you I’m stronger,” Nick said with a smirk.

“No, you aren’t. You’re just fatter.”

Nick fake gasped. “You take that back.”

“Or what?” Joe teased, wriggling around in an attempt to knock Nick off balance.

“Or I’ll dump your flatiron in a bathtub full of water.”

“You wouldn’t dare!” Joe cried.

Just sleep with one eye open, that’s all I’m saying,” Nick said, sticking his tongue out.

“That does it,” Joe cried dramatically. This time he threw his whole weight up, knocking Nick over. In a quick maneuver, Joe grabbed hold of Nick’s wrists, pinned them down onto the ground, and sat down on top of Nick’s hips to hold him firmly in place.

Everything was lighthearted and fun; until it wasn’t.

Joe shimmied around for a second to make himself more comfortable and then froze. Was that…? No, it couldn’t be…

Joe glanced down at Nick. There was a whirlwind of emotions across the younger boy’s face. Shock, horror, fear, realization, and then anger. So much anger.

“Get. The fuck. Off of me,” Nick growled, the playful teasing tone vanishing so fast it gave Joe whiplash. 

Joe startled; he’d never heard Nick swear at him before. His momentary shock was all Nick needed to shove the older boy hard enough to dislodge him. Joe tumbled to the side, his head whacking against one of the table legs. Wincing, he reached up to touch his temple, which throbbed with the first signs of a bruise.

He blinked slowly, and then cocked his head to the side when he saw a flash of movement. Nick was grabbing his suitcase, stuffing his jacket inside and zipping it closed.

“Nick, look, it’s-“

“I’m going to Kevin’s room,” Nick interrupted, refusing to even look Joe’s way.

Joe quickly stumbled to his feet, trying to reach out to grab hold of the younger boy.

“Leave me alone,” Nick seethed, yanking open the door and slamming it in Joe’s face. 

Joe stood frozen to the spot. He could vaguely hear Kevin’s door across the hall opening followed by soft murmuring voices and the door closing with a muffled snick

It was only when Joe felt his head thumping rhythmically with hot heat that he was able to break himself out of his trance. Stepping into the bathroom, he wet a cloth to act as a cooling compress, changed into his pajamas, and climbed into bed. 

Everything felt empty without Nick’s presence across from him. Joe closed his eyes and hoped by the morning he could talk to his younger brother and tell him that it was okay, and that he felt the same way about Nick as Nick felt about him.

Joe woke to someone knocking rather urgently on the hotel room door. He stumbled out of bed, his eyes briefly registering the clock read 5:30am, and opened the door without looking; he knew by instinct who it was.

Nick stood before him, a pout on his lips and regret in his eyes. He instantly caught sight of the bruise on Joe’s temple and he reached out, tenderly brushing Joe’s hair away from the purple lump. “I’m so sorry,” Nick said softly. “I didn’t mean to. I lashed out in a panic and I shouldn’t have. I’m sorry, Joe.”

Joe shook his head, reaching up to wrap his fingers around Nick’s wrist and tugging him into the room. “Come lay down with me?” he asked.

Nick’s shoulders sagged in relief and he nodded quickly, letting Joe tug him to the bed. They’d figure out the rest after a few more hours of sleep. For now, wrapped up in each other’s arms, all was forgiven.

Chapter Text

Joe was comfortably lounging in the living room, the TV quietly playing a movie. They were on a break from touring, Nick had officially moved in with him, and Joe was happier than he’d been in a long time. Things never seemed to stay that way for long though.

Suddenly Nick stormed into the room, tears streaking down his cheeks and his face red from crying.

“Nick!” Joe said in alarm, immediately jumping up from the couch to move towards his brother.

“If you didn’t want to be with me anymore why didn’t you just end it?” Nick asked, his voice shaking.

“What? Nick, what are you talking about?”

“Don’t fucking lie to me. You cheated on me. With a woman. If that’s what you wanted why the hell did you lead me on?” Nick shouted.

“Nick, I swear to God, I haven’t cheated-”

“Yes you have! I saw the proof. You’re a fucking liar and I hate you,” Nick cried, shoving at Joe’s shoulders hard enough that Joe stumbled backwards a couple of steps. “All this time, you had me thinking you loved me, like actually loved me. I was just some toy for you to use, huh? Some way to release the tension after a show? You played me. You knew how I felt about you; how I felt about you for years!”

Joe was so stunned by the outburst he couldn’t get his throat to work, to form the words he needed to say. “Nick- Nicky, that’s not… you know that’s not... I love you. I haven’t- I could never cheat. I wouldn’t ever-”

“Stop. Lying,” Nick hissed. “Just tell me the truth. Just admit it. You never wanted me the way I wanted you.”

Joe finally found his voice and he pushed himself up into Nick’s personal space. “I am telling you the truth. I have never cheated on you. I have never wanted nor needed to cheat on you. You’re my whole world, Nick. I love you. I tell you how much I love you every single day. Why- I don’t understand. Why would you ever think I would do something like that to you?”

“Then explain this, Joe,” Nick said, waving the object wrapped in tissue in front of Joe’s face. “ Why’s there a pregnancy test in the trash? Because it sure as hell isn’t mine.”

A look of utter confusion crossed Joe’s face for a few seconds and then something triggered because he glanced down at the floor in embarrassment. “Okay, Nick, I swear to God this is not what you think. Like at all.”

“Oh yeah? Because to me, it looks like you either hooked up with some slut and thought you got her pregnant or you’ve been cheating on me with some woman this whole time,” Nick spat.

“No, Nick, neither of those things! God, I am such an idiot. Listen, I need you to look at me. Really look at me, Nick.” Joe waited until Nick’s eyes locked with his. “I. Did. Not. Cheat. On. You.”

“Then how do you explain-”

“The dog.”

Nick froze. “I’m sorry, what?”

“That dog that roams the neighborhood. The one we leave scraps and bowls of water for? I saw her last night when I was setting out more water and I thought with her belly that low that she might be pregnant. I guess the first thought that came to mind was a pregnancy test to see if she was actually pregnant. So I went to the store this morning and got that and followed her around until, you know, and yeah. It came back negative. It was only after that that I thought to look it up and according to Google human pregnancy sticks don’t work on dogs because humans have different pregnancy hormones than dogs.”

Nick stood for a minute, processing what Joe had just told him. “If that was the truth, why didn’t you just tell me sooner?”

Sighing, Joe ran a hand through his hair and tugged on it in frustration. “It is the truth, Nick. And I didn’t want to tell you because it’s embarrassing as shit. I was completely and utterly stupid to try and use a human pregnancy test on a dog. And I knew if I told you that you’d never let it go, that you’d tease and poke fun at me forever over it.”

Nick pondered it for a second, and then gave a minute nod. “That does sound ridicuoulsy stupid enough to be something you would do.”

Joe snickered, stepping closer until he could gently brush the tears off Nick’s face. “I swear to you, it’s the truth. Pretty sure Peggy from down the street saw me following that stupid dog around waving that pregnancy test around like a fool. So you can always ask her if you don’t believe me.”

“You’re really telling the truth?” Nick asked hesitantly.

“Every word. I’m not cheating on you and I sure as hell don’t want to end this. I love you, and I am absolutely certain I still want to be with you.”

Nick nodded, leaning into Joe’s touch. “Okay, I believe you,” he murmured. “You’re an idiot, you know that?’

Joe laughed, wrapping his arm around Nick’s shoulders and guiding him to the couch. “Yeah, I know, but I’m your idiot.” Joe pushed Nick down and then snuggled up next to him, pressing his nose into the crook his Nick’s neck. “I do love you, just in case you had any doubts.”

“I don’t. Have any doubts, I mean. Not anymore.” Nick let his head drop down and rest on top of Joe’s. “I love you, too.”

Chapter Text

Nick stared at his phone, the text from Joe staring back up at him. Just one letter.


Nick sighed, running his hands over his face and dropping the phone down onto the kitchen table. Joe was still mad at him. Perfect. They’d had some stupid fight last night, words had been screamed at each other, and Joe had stormed out their house, slamming the door and taking the car. 

It was his fault. He never should have pushed at Joe like that. They had agreed when they’d started this that it was just blowing off steam, it didn’t mean anything. But Nick had fallen, hard and fast. He’d been so careful about not letting the words slip out. Until last night, when Joe was giving him a blowjob on the couch and Nick had tangled his fingers into Joe’s hair and everything was simultaneously too much and not enough- everything on sensory overload- and the words had just tumbled out.

Instantly it had shattered the moment. Joe had pulled away, his voice steely as he asked Nick what he’d just said.

And Nick couldn’t lie, not to Joe. He’d repeated his declaration of love, looking anywhere except for at his brother. That was when Joe pulled away; the words ‘ending it’ and ‘can’t do this anymore’ and ‘I told you this was just to blow off steam and nothing more’ filling the air. 

Everything inside Nick had broken then. ‘You don’t love me?’ Nick had asked. Now, he wishes he’d never asked that question. That’s when the screaming started. Then Nick was crying and begging, and Joe was shoving him away.

The whole house felt like it shook as the front door slammed shut and Joe was gone. Nick had stayed up waiting until the early hours of the morning, but Joe never came back. He fell asleep against the dining room table, facing the front door, waiting for Joe to come home.

Nick had sent him dozens of texts after he’d left, apologizing and begging for Joe to come back, but he never got a single text back. The last text he’d sent Joe was telling him Kevin had called that morning and was coming into town over the weekend to stay with them while Dani was taking their little girls on a mini girls vacation with Dani’s sister. The only response he got was the letter K.

Now, Nick dragged himself onto the couch, curling up into a ball and tugging the spare blanket over himself. He wasn’t even aware he was crying again until he felt his body shaking with the silent sobs. He lay there and cried; cried and cried until the exhaustion dragged him down into a fitful sleep.

The sound of the front door closing pulled Nick out of his restless sleep. He’d just managed to peel his heavy eyes open when Joe’s voice echoed across the foyer. “Nicky?” he called, so softly, so tentatively. 

“J?” Nick replied, his voice wavering.

Joe was suddenly in the room, beelining straight for Nick. One second he was in the doorway and the next he was kneeling on the floor next to the couch, leaning over and pressing the softest kiss to Nick’s lips. “I’m so sorry. Nicky, I’m so so sorry. I- God, I shouldn’t have said what I said last night. I didn’t mean any of it.” 

Movement caught Nick’s attention and he couldn’t process anything quick enough. Suddenly Joe was holding up a bouquet of flowers. Nick blinked once. Twice. That was definitely flowers in a beautiful blue vase in Joe’s hands. But it wasn’t just any flowers. The vase was full of gorgeous purple orchids and white roses. His favorite flowers. 

“I- I don’t… I don’t understand,” Nick stuttered as Joe gently pushed the vase into his numb hands.

“I love you, Nick. I’m in love with you. I love you so much it physically aches in my chest any time I’m not right by your side. I-I panicked last night. All the time we’ve been doing this, I kept trying to talk myself out of falling for you, and for a while I tricked myself into thinking I had done just that. Then last night… hearing you say you loved me, I freaked out. I threw up all my walls and pushed you away. I spitefully said the worst things I could to purposefully hurt you. I thought if I made you hate me I could ignore what was between us. But then I left and I slept in the car and fuck… I realized I had fallen for you so long ago, that I was so hopelessly in love with you. I felt sick to my stomach for what I’d just done to you. God, Nick. I’m sorry. I am so sorry. I really and truly screwed up. Please, please forgive me?”

Nick reached up and traced his fingertips over the soft petals of one of the roses. “You bought me my favorite flowers to apologize and to tell me you love me?” he asked quietly, moving the vase in front of his face briefly to smell the beautiful flowers; the delicate floral smell bringing a smile to his face.

“Yes. I just- I know it’s cliche, and I-”

Nick leaned in and cut Joe off mid-sentence by kissing him firmly on the mouth. “Yes,” Nick murmured against his lips.

Joe pulled back slightly, frowning. “Yes to what?”

Reaching out, Nick wrapped his hand around the collar of Joe’s shirt and tugged him closer again so he could reconnect their lips in another kiss. “Yes, I forgive you. Yes, I love you. Yes, it's cliche but I adore the flowers,” Nick said, kissing Joe between each statement.

Joe laughed against Nick’s lips, wrapping his arms around Nick’s neck and then rubbing his nose along the younger man’s cheek. “God, I love you,” Joe whispered.

“Say it again. Please,” Nick begged.

“I love you,” Joe said, peppering kisses across Nick’s cheek and down his jawline. “I love you. I love you. I love you.” The last I love you was pressed into Nick’s lips as Joe swooped in and captured his mouth in another searing kiss.

Chapter Text

“8 minutes until we hit the stage. I’m going to call Dani before we get up there. Meet up with you guys behind the stage?” Kevin asked.

“Yeah, sounds good, Kev. Tell Dani we said hi,” Joe called after him.

“Will do,” Kevin replied, the door to the dressing room closing behind him as he left.

Joe moved his gaze away from the door towards Nick, ready to tease him about being ready for the show when he saw the predatory gaze in Nick’s eyes and the words died on his lips. He swallowed thickly, his mouth suddenly feeling dry. “N-Nick?” Joe gasped out.

“Gonna get you off and make you come in 8 minutes. What do you think?” Nick asked, but it was more of a statement than a question as Nick stalked across the room and stood in front of Joe.

“Wh-what? Nick? We can’t- I don’t think I can even get off that fast,” Joe stuttered.

Nick easily dropped to his knees, crawling the last few feet until he was kneeling between Joe’s thighs. “I like proving you wrong.” With that, Nick reached out, his fingers resting teasingly on Joe’s zipper. He looked up, locking eyes with Joe as he licked his lips.

Joe sucked in a breath, his eyes following Nick’s tongue as it darted across his lower lip. “I- yeah, yeah, okay, do it,” Joe nodded quickly.

A smirk worked its way across Nick’s lips and he yanked the zipper down, tugging Joe’s pants open. “Up,” he hissed, pushing at Joe’s hips. Joe was quick to comply, lifting his hips up and allowing Nick to yank his pants and boxers halfway down his thighs. Nick placed his hands on Joe’s thighs and Joe automatically slipped his hands into Nick’s hair.

Nick looked up at Joe one last time, his eyes glinting with mischief, and he ducked his head down, wrapping his lips around the head of Joe’s cock. 

A choked-off groan stuttered past Joe’s lips and he tightened his grip on Nick’s hair, trying to ground himself. “God, Nick. Please hurry. Got like 6 minutes.”

Humming around Joe’s dick, Nick slid his lips further down, running his tongue along the underside and pressing the back of his tongue against the head of Joe’s cock, just the way he knew Joe liked it. A deep groan slipped past Joe’s lips and he bucked his hips up, pushing his dick further into Nick’s mouth.

Nick let out a stuttered moan, relaxing his throat and allowing Joe to snap his hips up several times. Harsh pants filled the dressing room and Nick began to feel lightheaded as Joe stole all the air from his lungs.

5 minutes.

Deciding he’d given Joe control for long enough, Nick pushed Joe’s hips down against the couch. Joe’s dick slipped from Nick’s mouth, with just the head of his cock resting against Nick’s swollen bottom lip. Pulling in a deep raspy breath, Nick opened his mouth and let the head slide past his lips once again. He wrapped his tongue around it, lapping up the precome that had pooled there.

“Shit, oh fuck, Nick,” Joe cried.

Nick darted his eyes down to his watch. 4 minutes. Time to step up his game.

Pinching Joe’s thigh, Nick swallowed Joe’s cock again, hollowing his cheeks as he slid down the length. He held Joe there at the back of his throat for a couple of seconds, before sliding back down again. He set a quick pace, bobbing his head and allowing his tongue to swirl across the head each time as he sunk back down Joe’s dick.

3 minutes left.

After having kept the pace the same for 30 seconds, Nick changed his tactic, allowing his teeth to graze teasingly over Joe’s dick as he slid down. A cry slipped from Joe’s mouth and his hands tightened to almost painful fists in Nick’s hair.

‘Gotcha,’ Nick thought to himself.

He was quick to change it up though, leaving Joe on the edge, not knowing what he was going to do each time he bobbed his head down. The taste of precome was heavy on Nick’s tongue and he knew it wouldn’t take much longer before Joe would be tumbling over the edge.

2 minutes until show time.

Hollowing his cheeks, Nick sunk down once again, allowing Joe’s cock to obviously bump the back of his throat. The sound of a sob echoed above him and Nick inwardly smirked. So close now. When he pulled back he did so slowly, wrapping his tongue around Joe’s cock and sliding his tongue down the length as he moved. Joe writhed beneath him, fighting against Nick’s arm across his waist.

1 minute and 30 seconds.

It had to be now. Nick swirled his tongue around the head of Joe’s dick before he bobbed his head down, sucking and allowing Joe’s cock to rest heavily on his tongue. Once he’d allowed Joe’s cock to brush against the back of his throat again, he relaxed around Joe's dick and swallowed.

Joe came down his throat with a sob, Nick’s name falling from his lips as he shuddered through his orgasm.

Nick moved back slowly; allowed himself to suck tentatively on Joe’s cock as it slipped from his mouth. He lapped at the head, swiping the last traces of come from the tip before backing off.

He glanced down at his watch. 45 seconds.

“Would you look at that. Took me like, what, 5 minutes to get you off. Told you I’d prove you wrong. But damn J, that was hot as fuck,” Nick said, his voice raspy.

Joe shook his head, shoving his spent cock back in his pants and trying to shake off the last remnants of his post-orgasmic haze.

“Your voice is gonna sound like shit on stage,” Joe muttered.

“Nah, ‘s all good. Got that stupid health drink mom keeps pushing on us. Should help make my voice sound better. Can always tell the fans I’m feeling a bit under the weather.”

“You’re a little shit,” Joe complained, taking Nick’s proffered hand and allowing himself to be pulled up off the couch. “Don’t you need to...?” he asked, nodding towards the bulge in Nick’s pants.

Nick shook his head, stepping into Joe’s personal space until his lips were hovering mere centimeters from Joe’s. “You’ll just have to get me off after the show.” He brushed his lips over Joe’s in the faintest hint of a kiss before he stepped back towards the door. “20 seconds. Come on, Joe.”

“You’re such a tease,” Joe whined, swiping a towel off the table by the door and running it over his face to clear off the sheen of sweat. Nick handed him a bottle of water and Joe took a massive swig as they slipped out of the dressing room and made their way towards the stage.

“Places everyone,” a voice echoed down the hall.

Nick turned and smirked at Joe, sending him a wink before taking off at a run towards the stage. Joe’s last thought before he took off after Nick was that his younger brother really was going to be the death of him.

Chapter Text

Nick leaned down, pecking Joe on the lips as he walked past. Joe hummed, smiling brightly, and wrapped his hand around Nick’s wrist, tugging him down to settle on his lap.

“Hi,” Joe murmured softly, pressing another kiss to Nick’s lips.

“Hi yourself,” Nick replied against Joe’s mouth. “You know I was actually on my way to do something important.”

“Not anymore,” Joe said, trailing his lips down Nick’s cheek and pressing soft kisses to his jawline. “Are you busy tonight?”

“Hmmm,” Nick hummed, tilting his head to give Joe more access.

Joe pressed one last kiss to his jaw and pulled away, brushing his nose against Nick’s. “Were you even listening to me?” he asked with a chuckle.

“Not my fault you’re purposefully distracting me,” Nick shot back, wiggling around slightly on Joe’s lap to press his lips to the shell of Joe’s ear. “What did you say?” he whispered.

Clearing his throat, Joe repeated, “I asked if you’re busy tonight.” Nick’s breath ghosted across his ear and Joe shuddered, ripples of love and longing and desire racing through his body and crashing into his chest, causing his heart to pound in a quick staccato against his ribcage.

“Depends on why you’re asking,” Nick teased, dipping his tongue into the spot behind Joe’s ear and smirking against his skin when Joe shivers.

“Wanted to take you out on a date.”

“A date? We just went out a couple of days ago,” Nick said, sliding his hands around Joe’s neck and trailing his fingers through the soft hair at the nape of his neck.

“We went to get ice cream and then had to bring ice cream back for Kevin and Frankie and Dad. That doesn’t count as a date,” Joe pointed out.

“What? That SOOO classifies as a date. People go on ice cream dates all the time, Joseph.”

Joe sighed, dropping his head down onto Nick’s shoulder. “It doesn’t count as a date when we’re doing stuff for other people. I want to take you out to dinner, just you and me, and treat you to something nice after. No interruptions, no doing things for anyone else, no distractions. Just you and me.”

Trailing his fingers up and into Joe’s hair, Nick massaged his scalp gently. “You’re such a sap,” he murmured, dropping to press a soft kiss to Joe’s head. “But… I think I could take time out of my very busy schedule to go to dinner with you tonight.”

Joe snorted against Nick’s shoulder. “So glad you could spare an evening of your time, rockstar.”

“Shut up. You always have my time,” Nick said, tilting Joe’s head away from his shoulder to capture his mouth in biting kiss.

“So that’s a yes to the date then?” Joe asked against Nick’s lips.

“Always,” Nick replied, sealing his answer with a kiss.

Chapter Text

Burying under the covers of the hotel bed, Joe groaned heavily as Nick ripped the curtains open. “Time to get up,” Nick said, far too enthusiastically for Joe’s liking.

“Fuck off. Feel like crap,” Joe whined, his head spinning as he took in a deep breath through his mouth.

“It’s just a common cold, Joseph. You’re not dying,” Nick said, rolling his eyes fondly.

“Feels like it. Everything hurts and I can’t breathe.”

Nick plopped himself down on the side of Joe’s bed, reaching out to rest his hand on Joe’s forehead. “You do feel hot. You should get up, take some meds. Quintessential part of colds, always worse in the morning and at night.”

“Don’t wanna get up. ‘M cold and tired.”

“That’s what fevers do to you,” Nick said, pushing the sweat-slicked hair out of Joe’s face. “Come on, let’s get you up and get some medicine in you. Got a show tonight, remember?”

“No, ‘m never getting up again. Feel like shit, Nicky.”

Nick sighed exaggeratedly, pulling himself off the bed.

“Where are you going?” Joe’s panicky tone filled the air.

Nick leaned down again, tucking the covers more snugly around Joe. “I’m going to get a damp washcloth for your forehead and the medicine from the bathroom so I can force you to take it.”

Joe nodded tiredly, yawning and sliding himself further under the covers.

Nick took that as his cue, slipping into the bathroom and turning the faucet to cold, allowing the water to soak the washcloth. Grabbing some of the pills from the counter, he filled a glass of water and made his way back to Joe.

He set everything down on the table between their beds and moved back to the curtains, sliding them closed once more. Joe made a distinctively pleased sound and it made Nick smile. Gently, he sat down beside Joe again, who leaned into his weight with a sigh.

“Hey you,” Nick said softly, reaching out to grab the washcloth. Slowly, he placed the cloth across Joe’s forehead, but even with his slow actions, it still startled him.

“‘S cold, get off,” Joe cried, scrunching his face up- his nose twitching and eyes fluttering shut- and pushing at Nick’s wrist to get the cloth off his face. He wriggled across the mattress, trying to put space between himself and Nick, which caused him to dissolve into a coughing fit.

Nick bit his lip for a second before the laughter bubbled up and he giggled. “I’m sorry, but that was adorable.

“I hate you,” Joe said weakly.

“No you don’t.” Nick reached out with the cloth again. “Are you going to let me do this this time?”

Grumbling under his breath, Joe scooted back across the bed towards Nick. He flinched but didn’t back away as Nick ran the cloth soothingly over his forehead, brushing Joe’s hair away softly as he did.

“Better?” Nick asked, as he pressed the cloth gently to the burning-hot skin.

“Mmhmm,” Joe tried to hum, but it came out sounding scratchy.

Nick held the cloth there for several minutes until he could feel the water was no longer cool beneath his fingertips. Moving the cloth away, he grabbed the pills and glass of water. “Sit up for a second, yeah?” he prompted.

Joe whined but did as he was told, propping himself up on the pillows. Nick placed the pills into Joe’s hand and offered him the water. With a wince, Joe swallowed the pills, shoving the glass back into Nick’s hand.

“I’m gonna get this wet again,” Nick said, taking the glass and washcloth back into the bathroom. When he made it back into the bedroom, Joe had buried himself back under the covers.

Once again, Nick settled his weight down next to Joe, but Joe whined pathetically, shaking his head. “Cuddles?” he asked with a pout.

Nick sighed dramatically before he wiggled under the covers next to Joe, letting his older brother cling to him as he placed the cool washcloth back over his forehead.

“Go back to sleep. I’ve got you,” Nick murmured.

“Love you,” Joe breathed against Nick’s collarbone, his voice breaking on the words.

“Love you, too. Now get some rest, we’ve got a show tonight.” Leaning down, Nick placed a soft kiss to Joe’s hair as he fell asleep in his arms.

Chapter Text

Kevin’s phone sat between them on the table, the picture still on the screen. But Joe didn’t need to look at the picture again. It was already seared into his mind. An image of him and Nick kissing. God, they’d been so careful; had been so sure no one had been around to ever see…

Delete it. Now. Kevin please. Delete it. If this got out…”

“You don’t think I haven’t thought of that already. This could ruin all of us, Joe. You can’t. If Mom and Dad found out.... If the word found out...”

“They won’t find out!” Joe cried.

“I did! I found out. How are you going to keep this a secret from them, from the world, if you can’t even manage to hide it from me?”

“Fuck, Kevin. You don’t understand,” Joe tried to say.

“Explain it to me, because you’re right, I don’t fucking get it at all. You’re brothers. You know how completely wrong this is. ”

Joe floundered, trying to come up with something to say. But the words got lodged in his throat. He couldn’t breathe. He stood up and paced, tears stinging his eyes as his life hung on the precipice of destruction. 

Tell Kevin the truth, effectively choose Nick over Kevin, and lose Kevin in the process. Or break things off with Nick, choose Kevin’s friendship and brotherly bond over Nick, and lose Nick in the process.

“I-I love him.” Joe forced the words out, could feel the weight of them in the air as they hung between him and Kevin.

“Joe.” The tone was a warning, and Joe was losing the fight. Kevin was pulling away, and it hurt, cut deeper than Joe ever thought possible. Felt like he was going to bleed out to death right there in that dressing room.

“I love him. And he loves me. And there’s no one who gets me the way Nick does. I-I… Nick is the other half of my soul. I can’t- Kevin. It’s… he completes me; fits like a puzzle piece the same way Dani is the perfect fit for you.”

“That’s not the same and you know it, Joe. Nick is your brother; is our brother. You can’t just force Nick into something he doesn’t want, something that’s illegal and wrong,” Kevin said, jumping off the couch and stepping towards Joe, his hands clenched into fists.

“He hasn’t forced me into anything. I love Joe the same way he loves me,” Nick said from the doorway.

Joe and Kevin froze, both swinging to look at Nick.

“Nick-” Kevin started to say, but Joe cut him off.

“He has a picture. He knows.” Joe locked eyes with Nick, and for a second all three brothers stood looking at each other, the tension so heavy in the air that Joe couldn’t get his lungs to draw in a breath. He was shaking with how scared he was; could feel the fear etching through his body and saw it reflected in Nick’s posture.

“Kevin? Please?” Nick said, his voice wavering as tears filled his eyes. “Please just… you’re our brother. And if there’s one person in this world who should understand why, it’s you. You know us.”

Kevin looked between Nick and Joe, his eyes clouded.

“We need you on our side, Kev. Please,” Joe begged.

The silence seemed to stretch out for an eternity. Joe was sure Kevin was going to storm out of the room, phone in hand, and that would be the end of everything. Kevin would never speak to them again out of disgust and hated. Mom and Dad would be abhorred, would call them sinners and separate him and Nick, never let them see each other again. They’d ban Frankie from ever speaking to them again. The band would collapse and none of them would ever be the same again. Everything they’d worked so hard for would be ruined; tarnished for life because no one would ever understand what Joe and Nick felt for each other.

Slowly, so slowly Joe thought it wasn’t even happening and maybe he was imagining it, Kevin nodded his head once. Then twice.

“This is for real between you two? You’re together?” he asked carefully.

Joe nodded at the same time as Nick said, “Yes.”

Kevin looked between them again, and nodded a final time. “I’ll delete the picture. And I’ll keep your secret.”

“Kevin?” Nick asked, his voice shattering over the name.

And now it was Kevin’s turn to tear up, his eyes shining with unshed tears. “I understand. I’m on your side.”

Joe stumbled the last few steps, closing the distance between himself and Kevin, and wrapped his arms around Kevin tightly in a suffocating hug.

Kevin beckoned with his other arm, and Nick lurched forward to join the hug, all three of them holding each other as the tears flowed.

“You don’t hate us?” Joe choked out.

“No, no, God, no. I could never hate either of you. I’m on your side. Always.”

“We love you, Kev,” Nick said quietly.

Kevin chuckled wetly. “I know. Love you two idiots as well.”

They lapsed into silence for a few minutes before Nick spoke again. “You really don’t mind?”

Kevin shook his head, his hair brushing over Joe’s forehead. “No, I don’t mind. The more I think about it, the more it makes sense. The two of you have always been on the same wavelength; closer than close. I support whatever makes you both happy.”

Joe laughed despite the tears. How was he this lucky? Just as he was about to speak, there was a knock on the door and Kevin Sr. poked his head into the room. “10 minutes until showtime and… why are you all huddled together crying?” he asked, stepping into the room, concern clouding his features.

Kevin shook his head and Nick laughed.

“Just… feeling really lucky. Really really lucky to have so much love and support,” Joe spoke up, scrubbing at the tears still rolling down his cheeks.

Kevin Sr. shook his head fondly. “Well, let’s take that love and support onto the stage and have a good show. 10 minutes. Are you all going to be ready by then?”

“Yeah, we’ll be ready,” Kevin said.

Nodding, their father slipped out of the room again and all three brothers burst out laughing, launching into conversation about the show as they attempted to inconspicuously wipe the tears away.

Joe felt like the luckiest guy in the world as he walked down the hall to the stage, Nick on his left and Kevin on his right. As long as he had Nick and Kevin by his side, he could conquer the world.

Chapter Text

Joe dodged behind Nick, pushing him forward as Alena rounded the corner after him. “No, take Uncle Nick instead!” Joe cried dramatically.

Nick laughed, reaching down and grabbing Alena, spinning her around in a circle to hear her giggle. “What are we playing, hmm?”

“Cops and robbers. Uncle Joe is the robber and I’m gonna catch him,” she stated proudly.

“Pretty sure she’s winning, too. I’m exhausted,” Joe panted, leaning against the counter to catch his breath.

Nick chuckled, placing Alena back on her feet again. “Why don’t we do some coloring while we let your Uncle Joe breathe again?” he asked.

“Can we color Disney princesses?”

“Absolutely we can. Go grab your book while I check on Valentina again,” Nick said, nudging Joe with his hip towards Valentina’s room where she was currently taking her nap.

“How often have you been checking on her?” Joe asked as he walked down the hall next to Nick.

“Every 4 to 5 minutes. Kev said we don’t have to check on her that much, but I’m just being cautious.”

“I’ll take over checking on her while you color with Alena. I need a breather, she scares me,” Joe joked as they approached the door.

Peering in, Nick and Joe noted Valentina was still sleeping peacefully and comfortably. Nick nodded back towards the kitchen and Joe nodded in agreement.

“Did you say Alena scares you? She’s 6, how can she scare you? ” Nick laughed, stopping Joe in the hallway by bumping their hips together again, halfway between the kitchen and Valentina’s room.

“She’s got so much energy it’s slightly terrifying. She’s running circles around me and making it look easy. Meanwhile, I’m over here dying,” Joe chuckled.

Nick huffed softly, pushing Joe up against the wall and pinning him there with his hips. “You’re getting old, J. Maybe I should start taking it easy on you, old man,” he teased lightly.

“Don’t you dare,” Joe murmured, tugging on Nick’s shirt collar and dragging him closer until their lips were barely brushing.

Unable to resist, Nick closed the gap, kissing Joe softly. He’d just managed to lick along Joe’s bottom lip when Alena’s voice echoed from the kitchen.

“Uncle Nick, I want to color Queen Elsa.”

With a stilted groan, Nick dropped one last chaste kiss to Joe’s lips. “Later?” he asked quietly.

“I’m all yours,” Joe replied, squeezing Nick’s hand and rubbing their noses together softly.

Nick slipped away from Joe and made his way to the kitchen. Joe was quick to fall into step beside his brother. “Queen Elsa, huh? And what magical tools are we coloring with today?” he asked, sliding onto one of the chairs next to Alena.

Alena pushed the pack of coloring pencils towards Nick, and he smiled warmly at her. He looked down at the open book, Elsa on one page and Anna on the other. “Does that mean I get Princess Anna?” he asked.

“Yes,” Alena said, already reaching for the blue pencil to begin coloring Elsa’s dress.

Joe hopped up on the other side of the counter, sitting on the granite countertop and flashing Nick a grin.

Nick smiled back at Joe, grabbed the purple pencil, and began to color alongside Alena. It didn’t take long before Joe was grabbing a pencil too, leaning into Nick’s space and coloring upside down on Nick’s picture with him. 

And when Valentina woke up a little while later, and Joe grabbed her and sat her down on his lap, whispering to her made up stories about Elsa and Anna, Nick fell just a little more in love with Joe. He could tell the feeling was mutual when Joe glanced up at him, his eyes darting between him and Alena, and he could see the soft tenderness lingering in Joe’s gaze. 

Sitting here with Joe, taking care of their nieces, felt like home, and Nick never wanted this moment to end.

Chapter Text

“This is stupid and you know it,” Joe cried, throwing his hands up in the air. “I don’t want to fight with you over something some damn fan said, Nick.”

“You’re own damn fault. Can you just like not boast for five fucking seconds?”

“Excuse me? Says the fucking king of boasting. You just love to point out how successful your solo career is going. I’ve got my band, we have fans, I’ve got money. I certainly don’t need you to do any of that.”

“Fuck you too, Joe. I have fans. More fans than you to be exact. So take your attitude and get the fuck out,” Nick hissed, gesturing towards the front door of their house.

Joe sighed, running a hand through his hair in frustration. “Are your levels off again? Are you running low? I haven’t got any alerts from DexShare but-”

“My levels are fucking fine. My bad mood has absolutely nothing to do with my fucking pancreas. Not everything is about my fucking diabetes,” Nick yelled, his hands forming into fists.

“Well sorry for giving a damn. It’s not like you to be this bad unless your levels are off.”

They stood there for a few seconds, the silence weighted down and heavy with anger and frustration and Nick’s heaving breaths.

Joe finally broke the silence. “I hate this. Would you just… just talk to me? Please?” He took a step closer to Nick, keeping his hands up in a placating manner.

And Nick seemed to deflate at Joe’s words, all the anger and fight draining out of him and he slumped down. Joe instinctively took the last couple steps and wrapped his arms around Nick’s waist, supporting the both of them. With a shaky sigh, Nick tucked his head into the crook of Joe’s neck and wrapped his arms around Joe’s chest.

“You gonna talk to me now?” Joe asked, his voice low and soft.

The contradicting way Nick shook his head yet took a steadying breath to prepare himself hit Joe straight in the heart and he tightened his hold around Nick.

“Didn’t like the way she was looking at you,” Nick mumbled against Joe’s throat.

“Like who was looking at me? The fan? Pretty sure all fans look at us like that,” Joe said, running one of his hands up and down Nick’s spine soothingly.

“She was looking at you like she wanted you. And you were looking at her the same way…”

Joe stiffened for a second in shock, and Nick moved to yank himself out of Joe’s arms, but Joe snapped out of the moment and pressed his fingers into Nick’s hips. Hard.

“Are you telling me all of this fighting is because you were jealous? Because you thought I wanted some fan over you?” Joe asked, his eyebrows raised in surprise.

“I am not nor was I jealous,” Nick snapped, his voice pitching up an octave.

“Nick,” Joe said tenderly.

“Fuck off. I wasn’t jealous.” Nick attempted to pull away again, but Joe leaned forward and pressed a chaste kiss to the corner of Nick’s mouth.

“I don’t want some fan. I don’t want anyone except for you,” Joe said firmly.

“Then why were you looking at her like that?” Nick demanded, his face scrunching up and sending another jolt of pain straight to Joe’s heart.

“Wasn’t looking at her, you dumbass. I was looking at you,” Joe said softly, trailing one hand up to brush softly over Nick’s cheek.

“Don’t- don’t lie to me.”

“I’m not. I could never lie to you. It was just… the way you bonded with her. Not in that way,” Joe said, catching the offended look on Nick’s face. “I mean, the way you treated her. I could tell she was enamored with you, had clearly been a fan for a long time. And just the way you talked to her, gave her all your attention, you made her entire life. And I was just reminded how soft you are with fans and in that moment I fell a little more in love with you.”

Nick stood frozen for a few seconds as Joe’s words sunk in before he leaned forward and pressed a soft kiss to Joe’s lips. “Thank you,” he murmured quietly.

“You don’t have to be jealous. I’m all yours,” Joe said, catching Nick’s mouth in another kiss.

“‘M yours, too. And I wasn’t jealous,” Nick huffed, nipping at Joe’s lower lip.

Chuckling, Joe swiped his tongue along Nick’s bottom lip before pulling back slightly. “Yeah, you were.”

“Shut up,” Nick said, closing the distance between them and kissing Joe again, deeper this time, their tongues sliding together and sending sparks of love and desire down Joe’s spine. 

Joe smirked against Nick’s mouth, pushing the younger man up against the wall so he could kiss him that much harder; that much more possessively. Besides, when it came down it, Nick kissing him to shut him up was by far Joe’s favorite way to win an argument.

Chapter Text

Joe stepped over the threshold of the new house, Nick right behind him. He couldn’t believe this was happening. Their own place together. Finally. The first time in their lives they were living away from their parents. The first time they were getting to live together; just him and Nick.

Turning around, Joe bumped straight into Nick, unaware he’d been standing right behind him. “Hi,” he breathed softly.

“Hey,” Nick murmured back, equally as quietly as he looped his arms around Joe’s waist.

“Is this real?” Joe asked, draping his arms around Nick’s neck. “Did we really manage to move out and get a place together?”

Nick nuzzled his nose across Joe’s cheek. “It’s real. Somehow, against all odds, we pulled it off.”

A happy hum slipped from Joe’s mouth and he slowly rocked them back and forth, just wanting to savor the moment. His and Nick’s place. Their place. Home.

“Maybe we should christen the bedroom,” Nick murmured into Joe’s ear, leaning down to nip on his earlobe and lick his way up the shell of his ear.

Joe shuddered, arms tightening around Nick’s neck. He forced himself to take a deep breath to steady himself. “As much as I’d love to do that- and trust me, I want to, so badly- I want to do something else first.”

“Mmm? What would that be?” Nick asked, trailing kisses down Joe’s throat.

“Would you-” Joe broke off to gasp as Nick worried the skin where shoulder met throat, nipping and running his tongue over the red mark he'd created. “Would you stop that. It’s very distracting.”

“‘S kinda what I was hoping for,” Nick muttered teasingly, the words spoken against his shoulder blade.

“I’m serious, Nick.” Joe pushed at Nick’s chest, putting a few inches of space between them. “I just- just wanna do something first. Please?”

Noticing Joe wasn’t joking, Nick dropped his advances and nodded softly. “What do you want to do?” he asked, knowing Joe would catch his unspoken acceptance to hold off on the sex.

“It’s going to sound cliche, so bear with me. I just- just want to cook dinner for you. First dinner in our home together. Is that… I mean, can we-”

Nick abruptly leaned forward and captured Joe’s lips in a tender kiss. “Yes, absolutely and utterly yes. I’d love that.” Nick pecked him on the lips one more time before pulling away. “Just one problem with that. All the dishes are still packed in boxes.”

Joe smiled brightly. “Guess that means we’re unpacking the kitchen first. Good thing we got groceries earlier at least.”

With a laugh, Nick stepped out from Joe’s arms and made his way to the kitchen. The two fell into an easy rhythm for the next twenty minutes, unpacking boxes and putting everything away into the cupboards and drawers.

“I have enough things to start cooking with, if you wanna take a break?” Joe asked, putting the saucepan he’d just pulled out onto the stovetop.

“How about you start cooking while I finish unpacking this box?” Nick countered.

Joe grinned, leaning over the box to press a quick kiss to Nick’s cheek before disappearing into the pantry. He walked out a minute later with a pack of pasta, salt, pepper, garlic, and oregano. 

“Whatcha cookin’, good lookin’?” Nick asked, hopping up onto the island since they didn’t have any chairs to sit on.

A red tinge climbed up Joe’s cheeks and he placed his items on the counter next to the stovetop, quickly opening the fridge to hide his blush. “Garlic shrimp pasta.”

“That sounds really good, J,” Nick said. His tone was soft, tender, and it made Joe’s heart skip a couple beats.

Joe grabbed the shrimp, butter, and Parmesan from the fridge and set them aside. Noticing the pot for the pasta was right next to Nick on the counter, Joe opened his mouth to ask him to hand it over, but Nick was faster, crooking his finger to beckon Joe closer.

Nick opened his legs, and Joe chewed on his lip as stepped into the space between Nick’s legs.

“Hi handsome,” Nick murmured, linking his arms around Joe’s neck.

“Hey.” Joe tucked his face into Nick’s neck and brushed his lips there in a soft kiss.

“Where’s my kiss? That doesn’t count,” Nick whined, tangling his fingers in the hair at the nape of Joe’s neck. 

“You made me come all the way over here just for-”

“Yes,” Nick interrupted.

Chuckling, Joe leaned back and captured Nick’s lips in a tender kiss. “There. Is that better?”

Nick hummed happily, leaning in to kiss Joe again. “You can have your bowl now,” he said against Joe’s mouth.

“Oh how kind of you,” Joe teased, stepping out from in between Nick’s legs to grab the bowl and fill it with water. He set it on the stove to boil and grabbed the butter and placed it in the pan he’d put on the stove earlier so it could melt.

As he seasoned the shrimp with salt and pepper, he turned around, leaning into the counter and facing Nick.

“What’s the next room you want to unpack?” he asked.

“Bedroom,” Nick said easily, swinging his legs back and forth, his feet quietly thudding against the wood of the cabinets.

“Should have seen that answer coming,” Joe scoffed, rolling his eyes fondly. “Which room is after that?”
“Definitely the living room,” Nick said, picking up some of the silverware in the bottom of the box and putting it into the drawer on the other side of the island.

Joe smiled, nodding at Nick’s answer. The living room was his and Nick’s favorite place; always a safe haven for them to just be themselves.

“You still wanted to just share a room, right?” Joe asked carefully, turning around to add the raw pasta into the boiling water and the garlic and oregano into the pan with the butter.

“Yes,” Nick said immediately, no hesitation or uncertainty in his tone. 

Joe’s shoulders sagged in relief and he let out a breath he didn’t even know he was holding in. “Good. ‘Swhat I want too.” Joe doesn’t need to turn around to see the happiness on Nick’s face, but he does anyway; feels his heart beat a rapid staccato rhythm in his chest at the way Nick is smiling all the way to his eyes.

As Joe cooked, the conversation flowed easily, from unpacking to things they wanted to add to the house to plans for the future. It felt easy and comfortable and already so much like home, like this is exactly where they were meant to be.

Joe added the Parmesan and shrimp and then stepped back towards Nick, the magnetic pull too great to resist after having been out of Nick’s grasp for far too long in his mind. And Nick was ready, spreading his legs and letting Joe step right up against him. It was so easy to get lost in the moment, to lean down and kiss Nick and get lost in the sensation of Nick’s hands sliding up the back of his shirt to trace along his spine.
It took every ounce of willpower to pull away from Nick, to focus on finishing dinner. As he added the cooked pasta into the pan with everything else, he let Nick lead the conversation. He was just about to serve the food when Nick said something that made him freeze. “Would you ever want to, I don’t know, get a dog? Like a dog that’s just ours. Our own little family, since, you know, we can never have kids.”

Joe put the pan back onto the stove on simmer, had to take a moment to compose himself before turning around. “Nick,” he said, his voice wavering on the name.

“No.” Nick pushed himself off the counter, strode over to Joe and got right up in his personal space. “Don’t do that. Don’t pull that shit on me.”

“What shit?”

“The shit where you start to second guess this. Where you tell me you think I should go out there and find some chick to settle down with, have kids and a white picket fence house and whatever other family bullshit you can think up. That’s not what I want.”

“But you just said-”

“I know what I just said, Joe. I know. Yeah, the thought of not having kids sucks, but I don’t want that with anyone else except for you. So if I can’t have it with you, I don’t want it at all. I’m happy to take care of Alena and any other kids Kevin and Dani have, because let’s be real, they’re going to have more. I’m happy to be the best damn uncle in the entire world. There is nothing I want more than to be with you. And if having a dog is all you and I can have, then that’s what I want.”

“Nick,” Joe repeated, softer this time, reaching up to brush his hand over Nick’s cheek, cupping his jaw and letting his thumb brush softly over Nick's stubble. There were a million things Joe wanted to say in that moment. A million doubts and second guesses and questions and pain. But also a million hopes and dreams and love and longing and passion and desire. “If you’re sure. I only want you to be happy.”

“But that’s not what you want. Like yeah, it is, but it’s not what you want. What do you want, Joe?”

Joe didn’t hesitate, closed the tiny gap between them and kissed Nick, hard and biting and possessive. “You. I just want you.”

Nick sighed, the tension melting from his body as Joe claimed him with kisses. “And a dog?” he asked, pushing his luck but not really caring anymore.

Joe laughed wetly, tugging on Nick’s lower lip with this teeth and licking his way into Nick’s mouth to claim him in one final, toe-curling kiss. “Yes. And a dog.”

Nick grinned against Joe’s mouth, kissed him just as deeply as Joe was kissing him. They remained locked like that for several minutes, trading biting kisses to remind each other who they belonged to.

“We should probably have dinner now, ya’know, before it goes cold,” Joe said, breaking off the kiss and trailing his lips down Nick’s jaw.

“Yeah, yeah, okay,” Nick panted, his fingers pressing crescent-shaped marks into the exposed skin of Joe’s hips.

With one final lingering kiss, Joe pulled away, grabbed two of the plates they had unpacked earlier and served up the shrimp pasta. With nowhere to sit, they both ended up sitting on top of the island counter, legs dangling over the edge, their thighs pressed together firmly.

“This is good, Joe. Like really, really good,” Nick said, swallowing his mouthful and beaming at Joe. Joe blushed bright red, muttered something that sounded like “shut up, Nicky, ‘m not that good,” and he took another bite of his own food.

Nick leaned over, carefully balancing his plate on his lap, and pressed a soft kiss to Joe’s neck. “Love you,” he said, his voice barely above a whisper.

“Love you, too,” Joe said, reaching out to grab hold of Nick’s free hand and tangled their fingers together. Nick brought their joined hands up to his mouth, pressing a tender kiss to the back of Joe’s hand before letting go.

They finished their meal with lighter conversation, discussions of what should be unpacked first and what could wait until later in the week. 

“Let me do the dishes, since you cooked,” Nick said after they’d finished their meal, his hand settling on Joe’s thigh.

“Okay,” Joe said, his voice strained as Nick’s hand danced ever higher up his thigh. With a smirk and a squeeze to Joe's thigh, Nick hopped off the counter, grabbing their plates and the pans Joe had cooked with. “Fucking tease,” he muttered darkly at Nick’s retreating back.

“I heard that,” Nick shot back, sticking his middle finger up as he placed everything into the sink.

Joe sat and watched as Nick cleaned the dishes, his muscles flexing in the light and sending shivers of arousal down Joe’s spine. Deciding he couldn’t just sit there and drool over how fucking hot Nick was just cleaning dishes, Joe grabbed a towel and dried the dishes as Nick put them down on the counter.

They worked in easy synchrony, Nick cleaning and Joe drying. And as Nick was finishing the last dish, Joe couldn’t help the mischievous thought that raced into his head. He reached out when Nick wasn’t paying attention and flicked some of the foamy bubbles at Nick’s face. Nick froze for a second, and Joe panicked thinking he’d actually pissed Nick off, but then Nick was grabbing a handful of the bubbles and plopping them in Joe’s hair.

And then it was an all out war. Joe splashed the dirty water from the sink across Nick’s shirt. Nick yelped in disgust and grabbed the hose from the tap and sprayed it at Joe.

Joe burst out laughing, threw the towel in Nick’s face and wrestled him for the hose. Water sprayed everywhere, soaking their clothes and matting their hair to their faces. Nick was laughing so hard that tears were streaming down his face. Joe could barely breathe he was laughing so much.

Nick wrestled the hose from Joe’s wet hands and stuck it down his shirt, spraying cold water down his chest. Joe cried out in alarm at the chill of the water, flailing, grabbing onto Nick’s arm to steady himself. But Nick was sopping wet, and they both flailed, effectively landing them on the floor in a wet heap. 

Nick’s head fell onto Joe’s shoulder, and he was gasping for air. “Stop, stop, I surrender,” Nick managed to say between fits of laughter.

Reaching up, Joe turned the tap off and he collapsed against Nick, both wet and cold yet grinning like cheshire cats.

“I’m never trusting you again,” Nick said teasingly.

“Never, huh?”

“Nope, never.” Nick then reached out and dragged Joe forward by his wet shirt and kissed him soundly on the mouth.

“What was that for?” Joe asked breathlessly when Nick let him go.

“Because you’re a massive idiot and I love you endlessly.”

“Love you, too,” Joe said, leaning forward to kiss Nick again.

“However, you made this mess so you can damn well clean it up,” Nick said when they broke apart again.

“Fuck you. I hate you.”

“That, Joseph Adam, is a complete and utter lie.”

Joe grumbled as he pulled himself up, grabbing the towel to start mopping up the mess. Nick sat back for a few seconds before he took pity on Joe and helped him clean up the water and suds that had splashed all over the floor.

Once everything was clean, Joe leaned back against the counter and tugged Nick close. “I think we should go take a shower, since we’re both gross now. And then maybe after…” he trailed off, letting his hands slide down Nick’s back to rest lightly against his ass.

“Uh yes, yes, yes. Shower together. Let’s go. Now. Right now. Right this second.”

Joe laughed, catching Nick’s mouth in a searing kiss. “Lead the way, Nicky J.”

Nick grabbed Joe’s hand and all but tugged him towards the stairs leading to the master bedroom and bathroom. Joe couldn’t think of a better way to spend the first night in their new home together. And maybe getting to the shower was a little harder than they thought. But that couldn’t be helped, because Joe was determined to kiss the daylights out of Nick against every inch of wall from the hallway to the bedroom and into the bathroom. And maybe they spent a little too much time in the shower when they finally got there, but well, Joe wasn’t a very patient man, and Nick was too damn irresistible, and they were both insatiable.

Chapter Text

The TV was quietly running an old movie when Nick slipped into the living room on the tour bus. Joe was on the couch, the hazy blue light of his phone illuminating his face in the dark room. The occasional street light slipped in through the window as the bus made its way to the next stop on their tour, lighting up Joe’s hair in a soft glow.

Joe glanced up from his phone, his eyes landing on Nick, and he smiled softly. “Couldn’t sleep?” he asked Nick, his voice a hushed whisper.

Nick nodded, rubbing at his eyes tiredly. He still felt slightly keyed up from the show hours prior, couldn’t quite seem to get the energy to slough off. Instead he was left with this awful mixture of exhausted yet thrumming with energy.

“C’mere,” Joe said, scooting across the couch and tapping the space next to him.

Nick easily allowed himself to glide across the room, settling on the couch next to Joe.

Joe easily threw his arm across the back of the couch, his forearm brushing along the nape of Nick’s neck.

“What’re you watching?” Nick asked, dropping his head back against Joe’s arm.

“Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. ‘Sall that was on,” Joe murmured. He turned his phone off, placing it on the table and sinking down more comfortably into the couch, tugging Nick into his side as he did.

“You don’t have to put your phone down because of me,” Nick said, his words slightly garbled as he yawned.

“Hush. Nothing’s more important than you,” Joe muttered into Nick’s hair.

“What were you looking at?” Nick asked as he pressed his face into Joe’s collarbone, taking a deep breath and inhaling the mix of Joe’s soap from the shower and faint traces of his cologne from earlier in the day.

Joe chuckled softly as Nick’s breath ghosted over his skin. Shifting his arm off the back of the couch, Joe let his fingers dance soft patterns over Nick’s back.  “Just looking at fan reactions and comments from tonight’s show.”

“Mmmm. Anything good?” Nick asked quietly. He rubbed his nose against Joe’s throat, letting his eyes flutter shut.

Joe nodded, his hair tickling over Nick’s forehead as he did. “Fans loved it. Nothing but good comments, as per always.”

Nick hummed, the edges of sleep crawling across his vision as the lazy patterns Joe was tracing over this spine lulled him. He yawned again and shifted on the couch, curling his legs up and dropping his head into Joe’s lap.

A muffled gust of air slipped from Joe’s lips and he immediately moved his hand to start carding his fingers through Nick’s curls. “Comfy there?” Joe asked, voice caught between teasing and oh so tender that it made Nick’s heart lurch.

“Mmhmm. Tired. Ready’ta’sleep,” Nick slurred. He pressed his nose into Joe’s thigh and sighed. This is exactly what he’d needed; exactly what his bunk had been lacking. Joe’s calming and reassuring presence, the way he was softly massaging his scalp in a rhythmic pattern, slowly dragging his fingers through the curls and twirling them around.

“I can grab you a pillow if you want?” Joe asked quietly, brushing the curls off Nick’s forehead and tracing his thumb across his cheekbone.

Pillows are overrated. ‘M comfy like this.” A deep calm settled in Nick’s bones, Joe’s body warmth seeping into his cheek and grounding him, filling him with a deep sense of love and adoration and comfort.

“Just gonna use me as your pillow for the night?” Joe’s tone was lightly teasing, but the way his fingers stroked through Nick’s hair, tender and soft and ever so affectionate, Nick knew there was nothing but love. Didn’t need to hear Joe say the words, knew with a deep certainty that etched itself to his core that Joe’s actions screamed I love you.

Nick hummed in affirmation to Joe’s question, leaning back to rest the back of his head against Joe’s stomach. Reaching up, Nick caught Joe’s free hand and linked their fingers together. He brought their hands down, resting them over his own heart. Joe squeezed his hand, letting his thumb trace idle patterns across the back of Nick’s hand, and the last traces of energy from the show slipped from his body, allowing him to melt into the warmth and love radiating off of Joe.

With his brother’s fingers still gingerly playing with his curls, Nick let sleep claim him, feeling wrapped up and utterly absorbed in Joe’s loving embrace.

Chapter Text

Nick opened the door to Joe’s room, didn’t bother to knock because he knew Joe would know it was him. He walked in and dropped himself down on Joe’s bed, watched as his brother fished around in his suitcase for his jacket.

“Why not just unpack like any normal person would after the tour is over?” Nick asked, flopping backwards and staring up at the ceiling. 

“Because it’s an effort and I’m lazy,” Joe said, tugging his jacket on and dropping down on the bed next to Nick. “I’m guessing you’ve already unpacked."

Nick frowned, turning over on his side to look at Joe. "Am I that predictable?"

Joe snorted, shoving at Nick's shoulder, causing him to fall back onto his back again. "I can read you like an open book, Nicholas.”

“Guess I’ve got to start being more unpredictable then,” Nick replied, wiggling up the bed and resting his head on one of Joe’s pillows. 

Following Nick’s lead, Joe moved up the bed too, resting his head on the other pillow and turning to face Nick again. “Good luck with that. I know your every move. I know what you’re going to do even before you know yourself,” Joe teased, voice taking on a creepy tone.

“You’re such a creep,” Nick said with a grimace, shoving at Joe weakly.

“But you love me anyway,” Joe sing-songed.

“Yeah. I do,” Nick replied, and his voice wobbled slightly and he winced, turning away from Joe before his brother could read the torrent of emotions across his face.

Across the room, Joe’s phone binged with a text. Joe didn’t move a muscle.

Nick glanced over to the dresser where Joe’s phone was and back at Joe, who’s eyes were closed. “Aren’t you going to get that?” Nick asked.

“‘M too tired to move again,” Joe mumbled into the pillow.

“It might be mom,” Nick pointed out.

“It is mom. No one else is gonna be texting me, ‘sides maybe you. But you’re right here,” Joe muttered.

Nick sighed. “Goofball.” He reached out to run his fingers through Joe’s hair, and a pleased hum slipped past Joe’s lips. “Want me to get it for you?”

“Mmhmm,” Joe hummed tiredly.

Chuckling softly, Nick pulled himself off the bed and grabbed Joe’s phone from the dresser he'd left it on. Sure enough, the screen showed a text from their mom.

Nick didn’t even need to ask as he slid across the notification and the passcode option popped up, knew Joe’s passcode like the back of his hand. He typed in 8-8-0-6, the date of their first album release, and the phone unlocked.

“It’s mom. Wants to know if you needed anything from the store while she’s out.”

Joe was silent for a few moments before he spoke up. “Hair gel.”

“Is that it?” Nick asked as he typed out a response.

“Yeah,” Joe said on an exhale.

“Alright. I let mom know.”

“Thanks, Nicky.”

Nick went to exit the app and put the phone down but he froze. Was that… it couldn’t be…

“Are you coming back to lie down with me or are you just going to stand there all day?” Joe joked.

Flicking his gaze between the phone screen and Joe, Nick tried to process what he was seeing. He tried to tamper down the flickers of hope that were licking up his spine and burning into his chest.

“Is- what… I- Joe?” Nick tried to ask.

“Hmmm. Yeah?” Joe’s thick voice responded.

“Is that… is that me on your background picture?” Nick’s voice wavered, fear and hope and nervousness oozing out of every pore of his body as he turned the phone around and aimed it at Joe.

Joe jerked up off the bed suddenly wide awake, back ramrod straight and a cherry red color seeping across his cheeks. “Nick.. Nick I- listen I… it’s not... I just-” he stuttered, fiddling with the sleeve of his jacket.

“Joe.” The word came out as a whisper and hung in the air between them.

Joe reached up and ran a hand through his hair, biting on his lip nervously. “I just- fuck… listen, I can… there’s a reason. And I just…”

Nick chewed on the inside of his cheek as the hope flared in his chest, creeping across his heart and causing it to skip beats. He couldn’t move though, was terrified he was reading everything wrong; couldn’t bear to shatter the moment.

“Joe,” Nick repeated, and everything hung on the way he said Joe’s name.

The sound of Joe’s exhale was so loud as it rattled out of his lungs that it caused a faint tremor to run down Nick’s spine. “I- yes. Yes, it is you on my background picture.”

“Why?” Nick asked, the word slipping out quietly on an exhale that Nick hadn’t realized he was holding in until Joe confirmed what he was seeing. “Why… why a picture of just me?”

Joe sucked in a deep breath. “Because you’re the… you’re the most important person in my life. Fuck. Nick. I can’t… can’t do this,” Joe said, shaking his head.

‘No!’ The thought echoed loudly in Nick’s head and he stumbled forward, dropped down on the end of the bed and reached for Joe’s hand; knew his own hand was sweaty with nerves and anticipation, expected Joe to yank his hand away, but Joe squeezed their hands together tightly.

“Please,” Nick whispered.

The red staining across Joe’s cheeks got darker, running down his neck and disappearing into the collar of his jacket. Nick wanted to reach out, press his fingertips to Joe’s cheeks and feel the heat radiating from his skin, but he refrained.

“Why am I the background picture on your phone?” Nick repeated so softly he barely heard the words himself; wasn’t sure Joe even registered what he said.

Joe linked their fingers together, ducked his head down so he was looking at their linked hands instead of at Nick’s face. “BecauseIloveyou,” Joe rushed out, so fast and garbled Nick wasn’t able to comprehend what he said.


“Fuck,” Joe hissed, squeezing Nick’s hand again. “Because I… I-I’m in love you,” Joe stammered.

Nick’s heart leapt into his throat and froze there. A heat rushed to his own cheeks and he managed to stutter out, “You- you love… love me?”

Joe nodded jerkily and made an attempt to pull his hand away, to flee before Nick could react, but Nick anchored them together by gripping Joe’s hand harder. 

“Love you too, J,” Nick choked out.

Joe shook his head. “Not the same way, Nicky. Not the same. Now let me go.” Joe started to attempt to rip his hand away from Nick’s again, but Nick held on tighter.

“Would you just- just stop for a sec?” Nick asked, trying to infuse every inch of his willpower into the words.

Joe seemed to sutter to a halt in his efforts for a moment, and that was all Nick needed. He shuffled forward, closing the distance between them, and before Joe could push him away, Nick leaned into his space and pressed his lips to Joe’s in a chaste kiss. He quickly pulled back, needed to see Joe’s reaction.

Joe blinked in surprise for a couple seconds, his expression darting between confusion, shock, disbelief, and then finally, hope.

Latching on to that last emotion still present on Joe’s face, Nick channeled every last ounce of his bravery and slotted one of his legs in between Joe’s, half-straddling him, and leaned in to kiss Joe again. This time he pressed their lips together harder, and Joe reacted. Arms wrapped around Nick’s shoulders, effectively tugging him closer, and Joe’s mouth moved against his own.

Everything inside Nick seized, as if momentarily shocked by a bolt of electricity, and then everything was sizzling and his heart raced painfully against his chest. Every inch of his skin that Joe was touching felt as though it were on fire, and yet he felt himself relaxing and melting into Joe’s embrace as his older brother’s tongue danced playfully over his lower lip before disappearing again. The only thought bouncing through his head was finally.

Nick whined lowly, desperately wanting more, more, more. But Joe was pulling away, heaving deep breaths that puffed against Nick’s mouth. And he couldn’t help himself, chased Joe’s lips, and then they were kissing again, Joe groaning as their mouths slotted together perfectly.

This time, when Joe’s tongue darted out across his bottom lip, Nick opened his mouth in invitation. Joe’s tongue slipped into his mouth, running along his own, and a stilted moan escaped from Nick and he pushed his body closer to Joe’s to create more contact. Joe’s tongue explored his mouth, gliding over his teeth and exploring every crack and crevice, as if mapping out every inch of his mouth. And then their tongues were rubbing together again and Nick whined louder this time.

The need to breathe was burning his lungs, and Nick pulled back, gasping for air. But Joe was right there, chasing his lips this time, and Nick easily let Joe pull him into another kiss. This time, Nick pressed his tongue to Joe’s lower lip, and Joe complied, opening his mouth and allowing Nick to explore. Groaning appreciatively, Nick licked his way into Joe’s mouth; ran his tongue over Joe’s teeth, dipped it down to the bottom, grazing over his brother’s tongue, before mapping the roof of his mouth, and then coming back to teasingly swipe over Joe’s tongue again.

Joe started to pull back, and a desperate broken noise slipped from Nick’s throat. The older boy was quick to nip at his lower lip, running his tongue over the bite mark before diving in and kissing Nick again.

And he wasn’t sure how Joe did it, except suddenly he was leaning back, tugging Nick with him without breaking the kiss, until he was lying down, with Nick sprawled out on top of him. The kissing didn’t stop.

Nick tangled his fingers in Joe’s hair; gasped against Joe’s mouth when his hands slid under the hem of his shirt and danced across his back, tracing each vertebrae in his spine. And still the kissing continued, neither able to pull away for more than a couple seconds before they were dragged into another kiss by the other.

Nick wasn’t sure how long they lay there making out, just felt that the magnetic pull to kiss Joe over and over again was so strong he’d never break it.

The slide of their lips together, the way Joe would nip at his lower lip and tug on it with his teeth any time he pulled back for a breath, it was hypnotizing. Nick couldn’t get enough; was addicted to the way Joe tasted, how Joe’s tongue rubbed against his own, how their teeth clacked together when they got a little overzealous. He’d never experienced euphoria like this and never wanted it to end.

The groan that was ripped from Nick’s throat when his tongue met Joe’s half way, tangling together as their mouths slotted together again, was met with an equally deep moan from Joe. And God, Nick could never get tired of hearing those noises, wanted to hear them again and again. So he pushed at Joe, develing into his mouth and wrapping their tongues together again, and Joe let out a muffled cry of pleasure that sent shock waves down Nick’s spine. It was so good, yet too much, and he went to pull away, but Joe didn’t let him get far before he was tilting his head and catching Nick’s lips in another kiss.

Time seemed to slip away, almost a nonexistent entity, as they kissed and kissed as if their lives depended on it. But finally Joe pulled away, dodging his head to the side when Nick tried to chase him, Nick’s lips landing on his jawline.

“Fuck, Nicky. Need to breathe,” Joe gasped, his voice ragged and raw from disuse. Joe licked along his raw lips, red and puffy from all the kissing, and Nick let out a quiet moan as he followed the track of Joe’s tongue with his eyes. “Oh, fuck it,” Joe said, taking a deep breath before pulling Nick down again and catching him in another round of kisses.

And then Joe was pushing on his shoulders, still locked in a kiss, and he was rolling them over, pressing Nick down into the mattress as he licked his way into Nick’s mouth. A sob of pleasure slipped from Nick’s throat, and Joe rested his weight on top of him, effectively pinning him down.

They kissed and kissed some more, until Nick was sure he was never going to be able to feel anything ever again except Joe’s mouth on his; until he was so completely and utterly drowned in ecstasy that all he could think was Joe, Joe, Joe.

When Nick pulled back to take a breath, he tipped his head to the side and drew in a deep, shaky breath. Joe seemed to understand, instead shifting to press his lips against Nick’s throat.

“That- that was-” Nick trailed off, his voice scratchy and his lips sore.

“Hot as fuck,” Joe finished, pressing the words into Nick’s neck.

“Yeah. That.”

Joe trailed his lips up and over Nick’s cheek, pressing chaste kisses to his cheekbones, his nose, his eyelids, his forehead, his chin, before finally landing one last chaste kiss to his lips.

Nick’s eyes fluttered open when Joe brushed their noses together. He felt more than saw that Joe’s mouth was hovering just over his own, and he was too weak to resist leaning up and closing the gap, allowing the kiss to last for a few blissful seconds before pulling away again.

“How- how long have we…”

“How long have we been making out?” Joe asked with a chuckle.

Nick nodded, suddenly embarrassed, which made no sense when he’d been all over Joe less than a minute ago.

Joe looked over at the clock next to his bed and grinned down at Nick. “Almost an hour.”

“Fuck,” Nick muttered, pressing his head into the pillow.

Joc chuckled again, rubbing his nose softly along Nick’s cheek. “You avoiding me now?” he teased.

“No,” Nick mumbled, a flush working its way up his cheeks.

“Look at me,” Joe pushed, nosing up to Nick’s ear and ghosting his lips over the shell. Nick shuddered at the contact and forced himself to turn his head and look up at Joe.

Joe smirked down at him, before leaning forward to catch his lips in another kiss. Nick gave in easily, allowing himself to melt into the way Joe’s lips glided along his, the barest hint of Joe’s tongue catching on his lower lip, before the older boy pulled away again.

“Sorry, couldn’t resist,” Joe grinned. Somehow, Nick was sure that Joe wasn’t sorry at all. Not that he minded in the least.

“I- uh, wasn’t expecting all that,” Nick said, distracted again by the way Joe licked his own lips.

“Neither was I. Holy fuck, Nick. I didn’t think you had it in you.”

“Shut up,” Nick said, shoving at Joe’s shoulder as the embarrassed flush spread down his neck.

“I’m serious. You completely took me off guard. I didn’t think, not even for a second... “

“You really didn’t know how I felt about you?” Nick asked. 

Joe shook his head. “Had no clue it was mutual. God, if I had… this would have happened a while ago.”

“Thought you could read me like an open book? Thought you knew every move I made before I knew myself,” Nick teased, a sudden burst of cockiness flashing through him.

“Not this time. Jesus fuck, Nick. Didn’t see that one coming at all.”

Nick smirked in triumph. “Was that unpredictable enough for you?”

“Shut up,” Joe said, dropping his head down into the crook of Nick’s shoulder. “‘M tired again. All that making out has exhausted me.”

Nick swatted Joe before he yawned, pressing his nose into Joe’s hair. “Me too.”

“Stay here with me,” Joe said, half-statement and half a question.

Nick nodded, inhaling the faint traces of coconut from Joe’s shampoo. “Yes please.”

Taking a deep breath, as if it was taking every ounce of his being to let go of Nick, Joe pushed himself up and off of Nick. Nick let out a soft broken whine, the sudden loss of contact hitting him like a freight train.

Joe kept his body hovering above Nick’s but leaned his head down to chase Nick’s mouth in a soft kiss. Nick responded immediately, kissing Joe back equally as gently.

“‘M not going anywhere, just want to cuddle with you more comfortably,” Joe murmured against Nick’s mouth. 

“Okay,” Nick responded, but he didn’t let Joe move away until he’d coaxed Joe to kiss him again. Not that Joe minded.

Joe pulled away after several minutes, puffing out a breath against Nick’s cheek. “God, if you keep that up, I’m going to have to make out with you all over again.”

Nick smirked, his hand reaching up to trace lazy patterns into Joe’s hipbone. “Not a hardship from my perspective,” Nick said.

“I hate you,” Joe said, shifting his weight to flop down next to Nick.

“No you don’t. You love me.”

Joe nudged Nick onto his side, tucking Nick up against his chest so they were spooning. He rubbed his nose along the back of Nick’s neck, loving the way it caused Nick to shudder. “Maybe I do love you. A little bit too much.”

“Love you too, J,” Nick murmured, his voice suddenly drowsy as his hands settled on top of Joe’s, which were resting over his stomach.

Pressing one last kiss to the back of Nick’s neck, Joe let his eyes flutter shut. He had no idea how they were going to explain their kiss-swollen lips to everyone later on. That was a problem for when they woke up. Right now, Nick was warm and comforting and all his in every sense of the word, and he let the thought of finally having Nick the way he had been longing for lull him into the best sleep of his life.