The fifth time it happens it’s due to poor management and Tyler’s horrible sleeping pattern.
They’re somewhere in France. It’s the beginning of festival season. Jenna is back home in Ohio for two weeks, but Debby has finally rejoined them after finishing filming in the states, promising Jenna she would keep an eye on the boys.
Not only is Tyler jet lagged but his night owl tendencies have caught up to him. When they finish their set that night Tyler is so exhausted he goes straight to the hotel and promptly passes out face first into the bed closest to the window.
He’s disturbed from his sleep what feels like only five minutes later but is probably really a few hours later to the sound of whisper yelling and quiet giggles.
He can hear something dragging across the floor but he’s too tired to open his eyes. He was supposed to have this room to himself. ‘Whatever’ he thought. ‘There were two beds. As long as they could shut their traps and let him have his beauty sleep.’
He is lulled back to sleep when the shuffling finally stops and the sound of the shower turning on.
When Tyler wakes up fully alert he is confused. First of all, it’s daytime. Second of all his bed seems wider than usual. Third of all there’s a waterfall a long brown hair in front of him and unless Josh had invested in some sort of French miracle hair growth, it was Debby laying down facing away from him a healthy few feet away.
The second bed had been pushed up against Tyler’s and there was a pillow in between Debby’s and Tyler’s.
He could hear him murmuring on the phone on the balcony behind Tyler. The sun was streaming through the windows and bathing Debby’s hair and back in a radiant glow. Her hair looked soft and shiny and the sun brought out the natural auburn in her hair that bled through her hair dye.
Tyler was overcome with the urge to run his hand through it.
He looked a little further down. The covers were pulled up to her elbows but Tyler could see she was wearing a spaghetti strap something that revealed her sun kissed back. The gentle rise and fall of her shoulders gave away that she was still sleeping. She had a few collections of freckles. Not nearly as much as Josh but enough that Tyler still wanted to poke them and connect them with his finger like he loved to to with Josh.
Instead, Tyler rolled out of his- turned their- bed as gingerly as he could so as to not wake her and made his way into the bathroom.
He refused to look himself in the mirror as he peeled off his grimy stage clothes from last night. 5 minutes into waking up and he was already thinking too much.
He cranked the shower to cold.
He blamed it on early morning confusion. That weird time where your brain is still half asleep and doesn’t know up from down. He definitely doesn’t think about Debby’s golden skin and hair that looked like saturns rings.
He reemerges back into the bedroom warily after he dries himself off and changes in the bathroom. He pokes his head around the corner first to map out his best course of action to get from the bathroom to the veranda.
Except Debby isn’t in the bed anymore. Nobody is. He can hear both their voices coming from outside and resigns himself to having to face them.
He takes a peak around the tiny shoebox of a room as he crosses to the balcony.
The room is maybe a little bigger than the van they used to travel around in, though with the two beds pushed together at least he doesn’t have to sidestep his way between the beds and the wall.
There’s a desk mounted to the wall opposite the beds. No tv. Not even a radio alarm clock. The walls were painted light yellow and the bed covers were a horrible pink floral. The carpet was shag and a deep blue color. It was ugly. But there was hot water. There were floor to ceiling french doors that lead to the balcony. The windows faced the east. There was Josh... and Debby. That alone was enough to balance out the rag tag room.
Tyler pulls open the doors to the veranda and is shocked awake by the breeze that hits him. It’s just on the wrong side of too cold. His feet are instantly freezing despite it being summer.
Debby is sitting in Josh’s lap in one of the patio chairs. Her feet are propped up on the railing. She’s feeding Josh a strawberry and laughing as juice drips down his chin.
There’s a platter of fruit and bread and small breakfast foods on the table next to them along with a pitcher of juice. It’s picture perfect. Tyler wants to take a picture. He doesn't.
Tyler sees the drop of strawberry juice run down Josh’s neck and before he even knows he’s doing it—and way too late to stop himself, he’s leaning forward and licking a stripe up Josh’s neck and gathering the juice up with his tongue.
Josh makes a noise of surprise and just smiles up at him as Tyler takes the seat beside the two, trying to hide his burning cheeks of embarrassment.
“Gross!” Josh says in mock disgust wiping Tyler’s spit off his neck.
Tyler chances a look at Debby but she’s still grinning at Josh being over dramatic.
“Good morning.” Josh amends leaning over to kiss Tyler sweetly and quickly.
“Good morning to you two, too. Now do you want to tell me why you decided to invade my hotel room and make a california king out of two doubles?” Tyler asked with mirth in his voice.
“Sorry, hope we didn’t disturb you too much last night. Hotel manager messed up and gave us one room with two beds instead of two rooms with one bed in each.” Debby said bringing a tiny cup of espresso to her lips. They look bitten and raw and Tyler decidedly doesn’t think about Josh kissing her hard enough to make them that way.
“Plus I wanted to cuddle with you both so it was the only logical solution for us to move the beds together.” Josh laughed at his own logic.
“Mmm?” Tyler hummed, unable to keep a smile from making its way into his face, picturing Josh and Debby snorting and trying to keep their laughing down as they struggle to push the beds together.
“Jenna wants to video call this morning. Wanted to wait till you got up.” Josh says rubbing his eye with the back of his hand.
“Yeah c’mon.” Tyler gets up to grab his laptop from his bag.
“Bring it out here. She’ll enjoy the view.” Debby calls back.
She was right. Tyler nodded to himself. Jenna would appreciate it. Tyler’s feet were still uncomfortably cold and the room was still comfortably warm.
Debby was considerate.
The three of them turned their chairs to face the hotel room so when Tyler placed his laptop on the table, Jenna would be able to see the beautiful city behind them.
Jenna answers on the first ring. She must’ve been waiting for them.
“You’re late.” She skips pleasantries and goes straight to fake scowling at them.
“Don’t look at me, Tyler slept in!” Josh holds his hands up in surrender.
“Sorry Jen, I’ll make it up to you.” Tyler says. He wishes he could touch her.
“You’ve been swimming?” Tyler asks noting her appearance.
She’s ethereal. That’s not anything unusual, but it still catches him off guard every time. Her hair is wet and she’s sitting on their back deck at their home. The blue of the pool reflects in her already stunning eyes. He can see a unicorn floatie in the pool behind her. In the pool Tyler built for her. He misses her.
Jenna nods. “It’s a perfect day here, I did some gardening but it got too hot, so I jumped into the pool to cool off. I did manage to clean the blackberry bushes of weeds though. What are you doing today?” Jenna doesn’t wait for them to comment on her gardening skills. She called to talk about them.
“We’re going to Switzerland today. Festival tomorrow night. We have a few more hours before we are supposed to leave here. Maybe go exploring?” Josh fills her in as if she didn’t already know their schedule better than they did. Meticulous as she was. Nevertheless Jenna listened intently, never one to pass up on getting to listen to Josh speak, even if she already knew what he was talking about. She was encouraging and pure hearted like that.
“Yeah! We saw a vegan donut place on our way back last night.” Debby speaks up.
That peaks Jenna’s interest.
“Oh tell me what they have! Also if you like any of them let me know I can try and make them for you!” Jenna says.
Tyler and Josh share a look over Jenna and Debby’s conversation.
Josh is easygoing enough that he’ll try healthy food just to please Jenna and Debby. But they both know Tyler is the one that has to be tricked into eating healthy alternatives to unhealthy treats.
“I’ll probably work on something i’ve had in my head for a few days. This place has me a little inspired.” Tyler admits finally tearing his eyes away from Josh and back to Jenna.
“It’s really pretty from what I can see.” Jenna refers to the cityscape behind them.
“Pick me up so I can see more, as much as I love looking at your pretty faces I want to see what has you inspired.” She laughs a little as Tyler picks the laptop up and balances it on the railing carefully.
“A little more to the right.” Jenna says. Tyler nudges the laptop. “Okay now up.” She commands again. He tilts the screen up a little and he hears Debby and Josh snickering behind him.
“Don’t move! Okay it’s perfect.” Jenna says with a sigh.
“I could just send you a picture.” Tyler laughs.
“But then I wouldn’t get to watch the city with you in real time, together.” Jenna pouts.
Tyler’s heart aches.
He places her back on the table. Josh launches into a story about their festival yesterday. It gives Tyler the excuse to just watch and observe.
“Nice shirt, Debby.” Jenna’s tinkling voice comes from the laptop, bringing Tyler back to his surroundings.
He looks to Debby and feels like he’s wants to throw himself over the balcony.
Tyler hadn’t noticed Debby had changed from the top she slept in and instead had on a long sleeve t-shirt that was more suited for the cool weather.
Debby looked down at her shirt and back up to Jenna “Um, thanks? It’s just-“
“My shirt.” Tyler said quietly. He didn’t want to embarrass her more than he was feeling already.
Jenna and Josh giggled together as Debby spluttered and she flushed from her high cheekbones, down her neck and further until it disappeared under her- Tyler’s shirt. It was rare that she was never not collected.
“It was in Josh’s bag I just assumed-“
“Keep it. Looks good.” Tyler spoke before he could stop the words from spilling out of his mouth.
Tyler’s own face was on fire. He was thankful for the breeze.
Jenna and Josh only kept giggling and Josh leaned over to snap Tyler’s waistband to tease him.
Tyler just grumbled and refused to meet any of their eyes as Jenna took pity on him and continued talking, turning the conversation elsewhere.
Tyler ran a frustrated hand over his face.
What was it about this place that made him so impulsive? He was never coming back here. Never coming back to the stupid beautiful city in nowhere France, never coming back to the dumb matchbox hotel room where he had to see Debby’s long smooth legs stretch out from underneath her- Tyler’s t-shirt where he swore she wasn’t wearing shorts underneath.
Who was he kidding. He knew exactly why these thoughts had appeared in his head. He wanted to blame it on the stupid sextape. And maybe that had brought certain.... feelings to the surface or at least sped up the realizations of these thoughts but he couldn’t lie to himself. He knew they had been there. Probably since she stood right next to Jenna and shaved his head with her for the Levitate video.
Tyler peaked up at Jenna who was still fixed on talking to Josh. He flicked his eyes over to Debby who had her chin tucked to her chest and her painted nails were playing with the hem of his- now hers- shirt.
Her engagement ring sparkled in the sun and shed little rainbow fractals on her thighs.
Tyler felt guilty.
Except this time he wasn’t guilty about being an asshole to Debby 5 years ago, and he wasn’t guilty about being selfish at Josh’s birthday, he wasn’t even guilty about seeing her naked.
He was guilty because she was off limits.
She was Josh’s and Josh’s only. She accepted and loved that Josh’s heart was made up of four parts instead of two.
“A heart as big as your muscles means you get to love more greatly.” Tyler heard her tell Josh one time. It was one of those moments where their dressing rooms at festivals were made out of plywood and a a staple gun that left no room for privacy.
Josh and Debby had probably thought they were being quiet enough but rickety old dressing rooms don’t come cheap.
She was assuring Josh for the unknownth time that she was fine sleeping alone in the hotel they had for that night.
Jenna had been gone for a few weeks, Tyler was feeling lonely, and had asked Josh to sleep with him that night even though it was technically Debby’s turn to have him.
Debby had never asked Josh to stay with her instead when it was supposed to be Tyler or Jenna’s time with him. But that’s just it. Tyler always wants more than he deserves.
Josh nudges Tyler’s knee with his own.
He looks up to see three pairs of eyes on him waiting for him to say something.
“Um, what?” Tyler says stupidly.
“That song must be really good.” Jenna chides lightly. There’s only fondness in her voice. She’s used to her husband spacing out when he’s thinking about writing.
Tyler can’t bring himself to laugh with them but manages a smile.
“I’ll talk with you later, okay? Eat some swiss chocolate for me. I love you.” Jenna smiles.
It’s unclear who she’s talking to. Tyler? Tyler and Josh? All three of them?
Josh shuts the laptop for him. Both he and Debby are oblivious to Tyler’s whirring thoughts.
Tyler’s tongue feels too big for his mouth. His throat constricts. He needs to clear his head.
There a couple of ways he can get his mind to shut completely off. The first and most appetizing is getting Josh to fuck his brains out. But Tyler doesn’t think that would work this time since he would just feel guilty about sending Debby off and eating into their exploring time just because Josh’s dick (and hands and fingers and tongue and teeth and-) can render him completely sated.
The second is going out into the middle of nowhere or maybe his car and screaming for a few hours. And while also extremely cathartic, he’s in the middle of an unknown city without a car.
The third is something he refuses to even think about and has been clean from for several years now.
The fourth is songwriting. He picks that one.
Josh lays down on his stomach to nap a little while Debby goes into the bathroom to get ready for the day.
Josh sees Tyler setting up his kits at the tiny desk and rolls onto his back to watch him bustle around.
Tyler feels eyes on his back and turns to see Josh with his arms behind his head and a tired and lazy smile on his face. His shirt had ridden up from him tossing himself onto the bed dramatically.
It doesn’t help Tyler’s dry mouth at seeing Josh’s v-line exposed in all its glory.
“What?” Tyler asks keeping his hands busy by setting up the mini keyboard and pulling out his headphones.
“Nothing. You just make me happy.” Josh says and his grin turns into a full on eye-crinkling, dimple exposing smile.
The room is so small Tyler barely has to take one step before he’s reaching over the bed and yanking Josh up by the front of his shirt and smashing their lips together.
Josh laughs into his mouth. There’s to much teeth but that doesn’t matter. Tyler is just trying to assuage his guilt by kissing Josh as hard as he can.
Josh tried to pull on Tyler’s hips to get him to climb over him, so Tyler doesn’t have to awkwardly lean down.
“Nuh uh.” Tyler resists, trying to worm his way out of Josh’s grips on his hips.
“Need to work. Later, okay?”
Josh pouts but let’s Tyler slip away. Just before Tyler puts on his headphones he can hear Josh throw his head into the pillows behind him, throwing a bit of a fit.
Tyler just shakes his head and starts mashing a few keys on his laptop.
He would either need to push against these feelings or talk to Josh about them. Communication is the most important thing in a relationship right? Then why was he dreading it? It’ll probably go away on its own right? No need to tip the scales and ask for more than he was already blessedly given.
Tyler was screwed.