Standing to the right of the camera, Zoë pulls a silly face. Chris can't help but laugh - queen of the Star Trek set, and she sticks her tongue out and crosses her eyes. The camera goes off immediately to catch his smile, click, click, click.
"That's perfect," Cliff says, making minute adjustment to aperture and shutter speed. "Whatever you wanna do back there, guys. I'm getting great stuff."
It's not that Chris hates photoshoots, exactly, it's just that he never knows what to do on them. He's usually stuck pulling a cheap imitation of a Zoolander face, feeling like a complete tool, and when the pictures show up, he looks dead inside. It helps that it's Cliff - Chris has been friends with him for a long time now. But Zach and Zoe decided to come along to help too, and it's really working. He's felt like a real human being almost since the lens cap came off. He doesn't understand why Cliff would want some of the reactions Zoe and Zach get from him, but he said it was going well, so.
"Remember when we were doing the fight scene?" Zach is leaning back in his chair, only two legs precariously balanced on the ground. "I swear you were about to pass out over John's console."
Click click click.
Zoë scoffs over her shoulder. "You're one to talk; you were so worked up after the scene with Ben in the transporter room, I thought you were gonna puke."
"Vulcans are so emotional," Chris grins, rolling his eyes.
Click click click.
It goes like that for another twenty minutes. Cliff is barely there, so much that for the last few shots Chris even plays around a bit with him, wiggling his fingers at the camera. It's even fun.
"Okay," Cliff smiles, eyes fixed on his little LCD display. "I got great stuff, you guys, really great. You all work well together - maybe you heard that once or twice before." He gives them a little lopsided smile.
"You had an easy subject," Zach grins. "He's gorgeous."
Chris blushes at the compliment; Zach's kind of a connoisseur, if he understands correctly. "Thanks, man."
Zach just waves an idle hand, distracted now by his iPhone.
Across the studio, Zoë flicks a switch. The little area floods with light, revealing a little pedestal with brushed steel walls. "Hey! Cliff, what's this for?"
Cliff glances over. "Oh. Just a backdrop. You'd look great in it," he adds, with an eye to the prize.
"If you have time," Zoë says enthusiastically. "I'm so in."
That's surprising. Chris looks at Zach, who shrugs and rolls his eyes. Who can say what she's gonna do from one minute to the next, says that look. Well. That's true enough.
Zoë's had her eye on one of the costume dresses for the last half hour. "Can I wear this? Oh, and these?" She lifts a pair of silver spike heels that Chris assumes she found with her shoe-related powers. She has those.
"Be my guest," Cliff grins, holding up a light meter in the newly bright space.
It only takes her a minute to slink out of the changing room. She does a little turn and glances at them all over one shoulder, coquette all over her lashes and lips. Her dress is steel and smoke, clinging to her hips, straps crisscrossing her back. Chris nods appreciatively, and behind him, Zach wolf whistles. She beams at them both and then steps up onto the bright white platform. "Chris," she calls, waving him over. "C'mere."
He dutifully goes, expecting dress adjustment duty. When she hauls him up onto the platform with her, he almost stumbles. "I never get to take pictures with you," she pouts. "Come on, let's give 'em something fun."
Chris is smiling, he's amused and entertained, and then Zoë pushes her whole body up against him, mashed tight all the way down, and her cheek is right next to his as she sulks at the camera. "Look at the birdie," she murmurs, fingers twining into his hair.
In the next shot, she moves his hands to her ass.
The next half hour is fucking torture. Chris does his best to hide the fact that he's sporting a raging boner throughout the shoot, and in what is surely an attempt to help, Zoë keeps some part of her body pressed against it in every single shot. Then she pulls him down to his knees and straddles his thigh, and he can feel the heat of her through the fabric of his pants, her dress.
"Zoë," he whispers, feeling dizzy and too hot, his voice choked off. He's not sure what he's going to say; maybe something like could you maybe quit grinding unless you want me carrying a book in front of my cock for the rest of this shoot.
"Shut up," she hisses, not moving her lips. "You'll ruin the shot."
For his part, Zach is lounging in his chair out of the frame. He lights up some kind of organic cigarette and chats with Cliff about the F-stop, and sounds as casual as can be. It's like he thinks Chris can't fucking see the way he's not looking. He's acutely conscious of being this turned on with Zach right here, with Zach not-watching. Chris ruthlessly crushes the urge to play the sexy angle of this shoot toward him, to pout and vamp at him to ease the tension. He'd do it if it were anyone else - John or Karl would just laugh it off, no problem - but it's different with Zach because... it's just different.
When Cliff finally decides to wrap things up, he's whistling away, happy as a clam. With bottomless gratitude, Chris peels himself away from Zoë and gingerly climbs to his feet so he can help her up.
The minute she's on her feet, Zoë walks over to Zach and lifts one arm up. Without a blink, he sticks his cigarette in the corner of his mouth and draws the zipper all the way down to her hip. The fabric parts to reveal her flawless skin. Chris doesn't mean to look for a bra strap, but it's decidedly not there and his face is the approximate temperature of the sun. She shrugs out of the dress in a half second and Chris is maybe kind of mesmerized by her total lack of shame (and the curves under her pink panties) until he remembers that she used to do a lot of modeling, which is probably why Cliff and Zach look like they couldn't give a shit that she's so fucking naked.
She tugs on the jeans and tank top she had on when she came in without a blink, and is just undoing her strappy silver heels when she glances up to catch Chris staring at her. "Aren't you gonna change?"
"Yeah, I." He points in the vague direction of the bathroom and picks up his clothes. "I'll be right back."
Zoë rolls her eyes, but she can roll her eyes all she wants because he's not getting naked in front of his friends with a raging hard-on, thanks very much.
Chris comes out of the bathroom to find the two of them with their heads together over Zach's phone. Zoë has her strappy black high heels on now. He fiddles with his keys in his pocket, because he hasn't quite reached relaxation yet. "What're you guys doing?" he asks, because if they're together now, they're probably going to stay that way for the rest of the day.
Zach shrugs lightly and looks at Zoë. "I dunno. What are you gonna do?"
She looks at him, a speculative look in her eye, for long enough that Chris starts to feel left out of the conversation. Then she shrugs, and it's like it never was. "I miss you guys. Let's do something." She aims a grin at Chris and it makes his knees a little weak. "Come on, schoolboy, play hooky."
Chris rolls his eyes. She hasn't quit teasing him since she found out he was taking acting classes. "I don't actually have a class right now, or I'd ditch you two sideways. Tell me it'll involve coffee."
Zach opens his mouth to suggest something, probably Intelligentsia, which Chris would go for.
"Zach's place," Zoë interrupts firmly. They both turn to look at her, Zach with a raised brow and Chris with two, but she just slides up and hooks her arm through Chris's with a smile. "I wanna talk with you guys, not deal with the paparazzi," she says pointedly.
Chris and Zach share a wince, and then follow her out to the parking lot.
She says she'll go with Chris, though Zach brought her. "I wanna ride with the convertible," she smirks. Zach shares a look with her that Chris can't really interpret, then shrugs and kisses her on the cheek.
In Chris's car the seats are practically steaming; they were inside a while. He flicks on the air and stares fixedly at the road as Zoë groans and pulls the collar of her v-neck low. If Chris were looking, he would see that her hair flicks back in serpentine curls over her shoulders. He would see the glow of sweat on her skin, the softness to her lips, and the deep black of her lashes as he eyes close against the coolness. He might even see her nipples start to point under the light material, if he were looking in that direction, which he definitely is not. Not even a little.
Zoë's always been flirty with him. With everyone, really. It's just how she is. Chris deliberately recalls every time she's ever given him the stop signals, the go no further flag. She's a professional model, for God's sake; obviously she was just doing her job and if he makes more out of it than that it's because he's a filthy-minded philistine. It can't bother her that much - after all, she did invite him to come for coffee and he's pretty damn sure she felt him hard against her ass back there. Just one of those things. It happens. Zoë understands.
He pulls into Zach's driveway feeling much better about himself, overall.
Zach's already here, of course, so they come in the front door and say hi to the menagerie. Noah is over the moon - two! Two whole people! - and Harold curls around Chris's ankle until he's sufficiently petted to race off into the dim house. Noah chases after him and finally they can act like real people.
"Did you tell him?" Zach calls from the kitchen, a smile in his voice.
Chris lifts an eyebrow. "Tell me what?"
Zoë brushes her hands off on her thighs, completely ignoring the question, and heads for Zach. "I wanted coffee," she shrugs.
"Sure you did," Zach laughs, and hands her an empty mug.
"Tell me what?" Chris asks again, starting to feel relieved as he wanders into the kitchen - he thinks he's figured out what was going on back at the studio. "I knew it, man, I knew you were screwing with me. That was completely unfair."
Zach turns back to the sink to fill his carafe with water, smiling and shaking his head. Zoë cuts Chris an amused look and gestures with her cup. "Like you wouldn't have done the same if you could."
His pride immediately bristles. No matter how many times he's been given the lesson not to rise to the bait with Zoë, he never seems to learn. Chris comes up into her space, takes the mug from her fingers and puts it on the table. He thinks he'll be safe sliding a hand over her hip and giving her a curving smile. "I'll have you know that I get paid to seduce people on screen. I think I could have managed, if I'd been inclined."
He expects Zoë to shove him away, crack some joke about what a sleaze he's being. She's done it before, when he finally got comfortable enough around her to do this without worrying that she'd find it creepy. She'll disparage his character, it'll be a good laugh.
Only Zoë doesn't do that. Instead, she wraps her arms around Chris's shoulders and presses against him all the way down, chest to chest, hip to hip. Her thighs brush his, and though he puts a hand against the small of her back by instinct, his eyes go wide and his breath catches.
"You think so?" she breathes, pressing her cheek against his so the question brushes over his ear. "See, because, I'm pretty sure you'd get somewhere near my tits, and then your cock would take over. Kind of like it's doing right now." She punctuates her excellent guess with a snap of her hips, bumping against him where he's suddenly hard again. He's startled enough that when she pulls away from him, he just lets go.
Zoë grins at him, wide and sharp and vicious. He gives a forced laugh, and sits down at the table to try to a) will his erection down, and b) shield his friends from its noticeable presence, despite the fact that it's entirely Zoë's fucking fault. She definitely wins this round.
At the counter, the coffee is perking. Zoë is leaning against Zach, her fingers at his waist, and he puts his arm over her shoulders. "You're bad," he says, kissing her temple.
"You like it," she laughs.
"Don't encourage her," Chris grumbles, trying to keep his hands on top of the table and not shifting the material of his pants like he wants to.
Ignoring him, Zoë cuddles a little closer to Zach. "You should try it," she says.
"Somehow I don't think he'd respond as well to me as he does to you."
Those words prickle across Chris's nerves. It wasn't the first time Zach had assumed that Chris was completely straight, and it probably wouldn't be the last. Chris certainly never took steps to correct it, because he wasn't sure it wasn't true. But still. Still.
"Hey, what do you know?" he says, aware of the spiteful tone but unable to really curb it. "You never asked."
Zach's instant attention is precise and laser-like. Chris is immediately reminded of being under Spock's determined interrogation, nowhere to hide, and if he sets his jaw and lifts his chin, it's probably just the echo of Kirk in his skin.
"See?" Zoë asks, turning her back on Zach and pressing against him. Her eyes are on Chris too, that same assessing regard, but the difference is that Zoë's practically purring. "I think he just dared you."
"Mm," Zach hums against her ear, a wry smile twisted onto his face. "And if I danced like a monkey every time you cranked me up, this would be a far different world we lived in." With that, he lays an open-palmed slap on her hip, and turns back to the counter.
Chris can't help but laugh as she gives him an exaggeratedly outraged face. She stomps around to Chris's side of the table and seats herself primly on his lap, looping her arms around his neck. "I'm gonna sit with Chris. At least he'll play along."
He holds her on his lap, and if his hand just so happens to lie across the place where Zach smacked her - where it's warm, under his palm - well, who's gonna know?
"That's my boy," she smiles, pure evil, and pushes her face against his neck.
He knows this game. It's an old one, and he's sure never played it with Zoë or especially Zach. He'd be surprised if Zach didn't think they were being childish, but Zoë rubs her nose behind his ear and cuddles against him, and her curves are soft and sweet and irresistible. He tries to keep his face calm, and trace his fingertips along her thigh at the same time.
"So," Zach says, in a more genial tone. "What're those pictures for, anyway? You selling your story to the Times? Local boy makes good."
Zoë is breathing hot against his neck, nuzzling warm on sensitive skin. Chris does his best to shut it out, and to give her the impression that he likes it and it's good to continue, and to think of a suitable reply. He doesn't do so great at the last one. "Uh. I think... no, it's. Cliff's a friend, thought he could use the exposure."
"Ah. He definitely knows what he's doing. Some of those shots were pretty tasty." Zach grabs two more mugs out of the cupboard.
Chris shifts under Zoë, pretending that she isn't very subtly testing the hardness of his nipple through his t-shirt. "Thank you," he says, because that seems right. Except maybe not? Hard to say exactly.
Zach gives him an eyebrow over one shoulder, and Chris smiles at him a little too brightly. The eyeroll he gets in return is good, if only because it means Zach's not angry. He brings cups and carafe over to the table and sets them down, then adopts his traditional long-legged sprawl in one of the chairs. He pours some coffee, straight black, and brings it up to his nose for a long sniff. He likes to do that with his coffee, Chris knows, just bask in the scent of it for a while before drinking. On set in the mornings, he used to bite the rim of the paper cup in tiny half-circles and groan; Chris would tease him about his morning quickie long past the point anyone else thought it was funny. It got funnier on the junket, high on sleep-dep and caffeine, and then Anton decided Chris was jealous of the coffee and there was a whole thing.
"Is it true you're in talks for that Denzel Washington movie?" Zach asks, interrupting his thoughts.
Chris is immediately excited and nods. "Oh yeah," he says, and then Zoë bites his earlobe and he loses his train of thought. "The, um. The agents are doing their, I, uh."
"Use your tongue," Zach says softly into the caffeine steam.
"Sorry," Chris says, and in the next second he realizes that he isn't the one Zach was talking to. Zoë licks around the shell of his ear, slow and soft, and Chris starts to sweat. His muscles are useless to him; all he can do is rest his hand on her waist and remember to breathe. "Um. Guys?"
"Pretty rude to interrupt her like that," Zach notes gently. Zoë hums her agreement against his ear, and he feels her fingertips start to edge his shirt up. She draws them along sensitive skin, fingernails scraping light.
Chris feels his face start to flush and pulls Zoë's hand away. "Sorry," he says, feeling like an idiot. "I'm sorry."
Zoë lifts her head with a little frown, touching his cheek. "Not okay with him being here?" she asks, straight up, because that's how Zoë is. No bullshit.
"It's okay," Zach says magnanimously, standing up. He goes to the fridge like he's looking for the half-n-half, but Chris knows it's really an excuse to turn his back so Zoë can get off his lap. Zach's so proper about that kind of thing, except for five seconds ago.
Chris hooks his arm around Zoë's waist and holds her down. Inside, part of him is rebelling - what are you doing? This is fucking crazy, they're your friends! But there's another part, something more instinctual, and it says, you can't be goddamn serious. This will never happen again in your lifetime, you fucking idiot; do it!
Zoë's hands still on his shoulders, her face serious and full of sympathy. She leans her forehead against his temple. "You sure, baby?"
He hugs her one-armed, and she slides her body against his, warm and welcoming.
At the counter, Zach turns around. When he sees Zoë hasn't moved, he puts the cream down. Chris watches a change come over him; it's like somebody pulled the blinds and snapped on a lamp: Zach's usual calm daylight face is now full of shadow and intensity. It's like he just stepped in front of a camera. Without a word, he starts toward the two of them, eyes fixed on Chris. He's hunting, lithe and deadly, and Chris's heart jumpstarts, double time. Still in silence, Zach reaches around and takes a fistful of Chris's hair at the back. He leans down without ceremony and presses a kiss to Chris's lips - thick and filthy, licking inside to open him, take what he wants.
It's so fucking hot that he almost drops Zoë. Zach tastes of bitter coffee, and of mint under that, it makes Chris dizzy. It's harder, sharper; Zach gives no quarter and seems to expect none. It takes Chris a minute to figure out that it's okay to attack in kind, but when he does he can't figure why he never did it before this.
When Zach finally breaks for breath, he doesn't let go of Chris's hair. "I think that answers that question," he murmurs against Chris' mouth before looking at Zoë. "What do we do now?"
Reluctantly, Chris follows Zach's gaze. Zoë toys with a button on Chris's shirt. "I don't know," she admits. "Seems unfair to make anyone choose."
"Agreed," Zach says, and relaxes his hand, fingers following down the line of Chris' jaw and cupping his chin. He flicks a thumb over Chris's lips, and Chris gets so mesmerized by the bottomless hunger in those newly unfamiliar eyes that he almost doesn't hear Zach's next question. "Who goes first?"
Zoë undoes the button under her fingers and touches the skin underneath. She's peeking inside the gaping material, like she'll see something special - Chris doesn't know what, for God's sake, it's just a plain old chest. "Tough call," Zoë murmurs. "Let's just start, all together. See what happens." She glances up at Zach with a delighted, smug little smile. "Unless it'd offend your delicate sensibilities."
"Somehow I think I'll survive," Zach tells her, grinning back.
"Um," Chris says, resisting the urge to raise a hold-on-a-second finger. "What? I don't, um."
Zoë leans in again, and this time her lips press right up against his ear, smearing soft. "We want to fuck you," she says. "Will you let us?"
Zach's hand is back, and it's like he's holding Chris's head for Zoë's mouth. He even angles it right. Chris groans at the feeling of Zoë biting her way along his neck, and apparently the question's answered, because she pries his hands away from her waist and stands up.
It's Zach who pulls Chris out of the chair, up against his body and under his control. His fist is in Chris's shirt, and they kiss again. It's like being fed on, Chris thinks, hanging on for his life. He can't keep his eyes open, his head is spinning. It's exactly like he imagined when he found out Zach was gay; the crazy shit your head comes up with when you let it wander. That soft and gentle stuff Spock did was just character, he knew it.
"Save some for me," Zoë calls from behind them, and Zach ends the kiss so he can look after her, laughing.
"We better go get her," Zach says, his voice shadowed with need. "She'll start without us."
Chris tries to get his breath. "Zach," he whispers, fingers wrapped tight in that ungodly plaid shirt. "I. I don't know what. I."
"It's okay," Zach says, running a soothing hand down Chris' spine. "It'll be good. I promise."
They stand there together for a minute, and even though Chris feels like kind of a fucking tool, he can't help but take the comfort. It's like both of them together make sensory overload, make it easy to accept. But when he gets just one on their own, he feels too much.
"Come on," Zach says, and Chris nods and follows after him, their fingers twined together.
"I didn't mean for this," he says, and then the words tangle up in his mouth as they come through the door and he watches Zoë climbing naked onto Zach's bed.
She's just like he imagined her, too: breasts no more than a handful, her hair snaking across her shoulders and back, her body curvy because she's just built small, she didn't starve to get there. She bounces over to the far side and then pats the covers right in the middle, smiling up at them both. "Well? Come on, don't keep a lady waiting."
Chris doesn't waste a second in getting onto the bed, pulling her close and tasting her. She rolls him on his back for the kiss, one strong hand holding him down at the chest. She takes what she wants, sharp teeth on his lips and his jaw, and it's nothing like Zach. She doesn't make Chris dizzy and stupid, she makes him hungry. He'll lie here and eat up anything she wants to give him, and when he fills his hands with her, she gives him an amused little twist to her hips.
"Oh!" she says suddenly, and pulls away from him to look down the bed. Chris looks too, and finds Zach with his hands on her hips, pushing her up toward the head of the bed. Zoë goes awkwardly for a second, but then she laughs. "I gotcha," she says, and before Chris knows it she's straddling his face, her pussy suddenly right in front of him.
He's surprised his stomach doesn't growl.
She presses against his face, rubs herself against him, and he digs his fingernails into her hips as he opens her up with his tongue, it's so fucking good. He dips into the hidden places, sure, but it's best to lick up the outside, to tease against her clit and suck on her where he knows it won't do any real good. She fits one hand to his head, rides his face as she whines and groans, and Chris is just wondering where Zach is in all this when the bed gives under someone else's weight and Chris's belt starts undoing itself.
"Shit," he groans against Zoë's pussy, gripping her a little harder for balance. Zach makes short work of the belt and the buttons on Chris's jeans, and Zoë cards her fingers through his hair as Zach starts to pull things off and away.
"He's gonna suck you, baby," Zoë purrs. "Suck your dick while you eat me out, and you're gonna love him doing it, aren't you? Say yes."
"Yes," Chris mumbles, and pushes his tongue against her clit hoping maybe it'll catch her off guard and make her be quiet. He's not sure he can manage to hold it together if she fucking talks dirty to him through this. Chris lifts his hips to help the jeans go away, and Zach takes his underwear, too, leaving him naked from the waist down.
Zoë grips his hair and bucks against his tongue. "God, yeah. Do it."
Zach must listen, because the edges of Chris's shirt lift softly away. Long, serious fingers urge his knees apart, weight settles between them. Chris tenses as bare skin settles against the inside of his thighs - not Zoe, very intimate place, oh God. But then, oh, yes, a searing strip of wet heat slides up his cock. He groans loud, muffled into Zoë's body, and she gives a breathless laugh.
"Feels good, doesn't it? His tongue on you?" She twists her hips in a dirty little circle and Chris just has to keep his tongue out. She's doing all the work, which is really fucking good because Zach is licking up him and twisting his tongue, he's fucking biting and somehow that's good too. It's all way too fucking good. Chris's fucking head is on fire.
Somehow, he manages to come up for breath, panting and desperate. "I can't, I can't, I'm gonna, I can't..."
Zoë seems to understand, and swings off to lay down beside him. "Poor baby," she coos, stroking his chest and leaning in to kiss him. Zach doesn't so much as slow down as she licks her own taste off his lips, and Chris moans into her mouth as Zach sinks down on him in long, slow drags of his lips. He bucks his hips, can't help it, and Zach holds him down without mercy, fingertips pressing bruises into his thighs.
"Now, now," Zoë says, tapping his nose with a finger. "You be good for him, baby. Just lie back and be good. He waited long enough for this."
Zach pulls away, leaving Chris alone and cold. "Zoë," he cautions. "Don't make me sad I brought you."
Zoë puts a hand over her mouth, ignoring Chris's vague but determined fumbling for one of them, either of them to get back to what they were doing. "Sorry, honey. No more telling tales out of school. But don't worry, he's not listening."
"I'm right here," Chris snarls, and finally manages to get his hand where he can press two fingers into Zoë's warm, wet pussy where they belong.
Zoë's eyes flutter closed. "Oh, God."
Chris feels a hot flare of satisfaction, but it instantly goes spinning away as he catches sight of Zach pulling his fingers out of his own mouth. "That's a smooth move," Zach allows, a wicked smile curving his mouth. "Let's see if it works on you."
It's sure as hell not the first time Chris has had someone give him a finger in the ass with his blowjob, but it's the first time that someone knew exactly what they were doing with it. The steady pressure, the tight circle of his lips around Chris's cock and the solid, heavy drag when he sucks on it, God, oh, God, oh, God. Chris feels his heart skip a beat, and he forgets to be nervous as he spreads his legs wider and hopes he fucking survives this.
"Oh," breathes Zoë, and Chris remembers to press a thumb to her clit. "Oh! Oh, baby. You look so good when you take it. Oh, I can't wait for him to fuck you, you're gonna look perfect. So fucking perfect, oh, fuck yes, right there. Mmm."
Zach pulls away again and uses his free hand to jerk Chris lazy and slow. "Guess that means I'm first," he says, grinning up at Zoë. "Though I confess, I was hoping I could get him to blow me."
"I could go for that," Zoë enthuses. "Can I do what you're doing? I wouldn't want to intrude."
Zach stands, and Chris can see that he's naked and ready. He's seen naked guys before, but this is so different. He's a little jealous that Zoë gets to see this too; it's one thing for her to be naked - even for Chris to be naked himself - but Zach is such a private person that it seems like it ought to be witnessed with reverence and formality. This seems too casual.
"Be my guest," Zach tells her, and touches her face with two gentle fingers. He blushes, he actually blushes. Zoë kneels up on the bed, leans forward at the waist, so delicate, and kisses Zach lightly on the lips.
Chris's jealousy flares again. "Anybody want to ask me about any of this? Y'know, given that it's my body and all?" They look at him in unison, two sets of dark eyes consuming his image. Chris feels himself blush, but he forces himself to look back - hell if they're going to fucking forget about him.
"You'd prefer some more personal attention?" Zach asks, and puts a hand down to the mattress. He crawls up Chris's body and then settles on his side; Zoë mirrors him, but as Zach lets his fingers trace across bare skin, Chris loses track of her entirely. "You want me to look at you? Talk to you? I only spent the last few months waiting for you to give me even a hint that you might want this from me, but sure, why not. Let's talk about you."
Chris is so mesmerized by this confession that he hardly notices the way Zach and Zoë maneuver his shirt off and away, completing his nakedness. They turn him onto his side, facing Zach, and immediately his hands start to itch. "I didn't know," he says, soft as he can so it sounds like an apology. "Can I touch you?"
"If you like," Zach tells him, just as softly. Belying his words, he leans in and kisses Chris full and deep, and so his mind is non-functioning when Zoë's delicate fingers press slickly against his ass.
"Jesus," he groans, gripping the swell of Zach's bicep. It's good and giving under his hand, so he rests his cheek against Zach's and feels stubble catch and burn at his skin. It's wrong and right at the same time. It reminds him who he's with, and that's worth it.
Zach kisses him again, soft and sweet. "Open up," he murmurs, his fingers gentle on Chris's shoulder, his face. "I'll be there soon. It's for me."
It might be, but right now Chris is on edge and turned around and he needs a little more than that. "Zoë?" he asks, feeling his voice waver in his throat.
"I'm right here, baby," she says, dropping soft kisses on his shoulder blade. She presses deep inside him, slow and heavy; she knows what she's doing. "Don't be scared."
That's soothing, her sureness. Chris tries to breathe with the thrusts of her fingers, to match himself to her. The feeling of Zach under his hands is intense and familiar at the same time, a scent and presence to anchor to, and that's good. His dark hair to hold onto, his strength, that makes it all right.
"I want your mouth," Zach tells him, pressing his thumb to Chris's bottom lip. "Can you do that? While she takes you like this?"
Chris has closed his eyes, and he thinks if he keeps that up, then maybe he won't be totally overwhelmed. "I think so," he nods. "I think, uh."
"Kneel up then," Zach says, and Chris is guided onto his belly and up.
Zoë fits between his calves with almost no weight at all, her knees against the inside of his. Her fingers press into him again, her other hand playing with his cock and balls like she has every right to them, like she's touched him every day for the last year. "So good," she praises, and he shivers - her hands, her voice, someone he respects that's so beautiful and talented with her fucking hands on his dick... If he weren't busy holding his hips still, trying not to push against her, he might be overwhelmed.
Zach, kneeling among his own pillows, scrapes his fingers through Chris's hair. "Open up for me," he says, and his voice has become rough and thick. Chris shudders, his eyes still tightly closed, and just lets his mouth fall open. Zach will take care of the rest, he's just sure of it.
The first thing he feels is Zach's thumb again. He closes on it, licks the pad, and is immediately shocked by the slick taste on it. That's him, Chris is sure. He pulls away from Zach's thumb and pushes forward, seeking. "Don't have to be gentle," he mumbles, pressing his nose to Zach's thigh.
"God," Zach breathes, his fingers tight. "God, Chris."
He finds the heavy length with his cheek first, blindly pushing his face where he knows it should go. Zach's hand comes around to cup his chin, thank god, and Chris opens his mouth wide and waits. He's stretched as far as he can go, so when his mouth is brushed with the tip of Zach's cock, all he can do is kiss at it and hope.
"Jesus Christ," Zach grits out.
Behind him, Zoë gives a deep, throaty laugh. "You're doing so good," she tells Chris. "You got him in knots, baby, keep on doing whatever you're doing." She pinches the slit of his cock closed with her hard little fingers, and he can't help but squirm his hips against her as he tries to concentrate. His body won't stretch any farther and he groans in frustration.
"Look how he fucking twists for it," Zach snarls, and Zoë laughs again.
"I know. You should feel."
"Soon," Zach says, and he hardly even sounds like himself anymore. Suddenly there's a thick, heavy thing pressing against Chris's lips, and maybe there's a little part of him freaking out right now, but he opens his mouth and accepts because whatever else might be going on, he is very seriously getting off on this, and right now that's all that matters. Chris has never in his life sucked cock, but turns out it's not all that complicated. Zach rocks his hips in slow, even thrusts, holding Chris by the hair and the jaw, and it's like Chris doesn't even have to do anything except take this cock and these fingers and stay upright.
That's a fucking hard job. He manages, but it's not fucking easy. His thighs are shaking from the strain, his breath short in his chest. His face is burning, his heart knocking hard against his ribs, and any minute now he's going to come and ruin everything. Zoë's pressing something important inside him, his cock is straining under her fingers and he can't even tell her, he can't even shout. All he has is Zach in his mouth, cradling his face, right here in front of him. He sucks hard, rolls his tongue, tries and tries to get it across: stop, please, this is going to be over too fast.
"God, stop," sighs Zach, and the next thing Chris knows his mouth is empty and Zach is crumpling against the pillows, his breath coming fast and sharp. "Ohhh, God dammit."
Zoë's fingers slow; she releases Chris's dick and it's both blessed relief and insanely frustrating. Zoë pays no attention. "Okay up there?"
Zach doesn't have his breath back. "He was. He."
"I heard him," Zoë says gently, rubbing her hand across Chris's back as she draws her fingers out. "I heard."
"On my dick," Zach groans, a hand over his eyes.
Chris couldn't give a goddamn what they're talking about; he flips onto his back and grabs Zoë down to him. He rests his head against Zach's thigh as he kisses her deeply, tries to get a knee between her thighs so she'll be over him, around him, God, please, anything.
"Easy, tiger," Zoë laughs, kissing his mouth. "Zach, where are your condoms? Our boy's gonna pop right away."
"Condoms are good," Chris agrees, pushing his face down to Zoë's breasts. He lifts his hips against her even though all he can do is slide between her soft inner thighs. Even that, though, even that could be enough.
From the side of the room comes the sound of a drawer opening and closing, a rip of plastic. "Flip over," Zach orders, and Chris rolls Zoë onto her back immediately. What a brilliant idea. She can't get away like this.
Her hair is a dark halo on the mussed pillows, her eyes warm and sweet like she loves him. For a second it makes Chris want to curl into her arms and not get up. Zoë's acceptance and caring and respect is something he worked goddamn hard for, and to be given it like this, naked and free, is sweet beyond words. He kisses her mouth and tries to tell her all that using the best language he knows.
She moans against him, her legs are open now, and her hands rolling that tight ring down his cock are maybe the best thing he's ever felt. "Zoë," he breathes into her neck, lifting her knee up and wrapping it around his hip.
"Go on," she tells him through her teeth, and bites at his jaw, his ear. She's serious now, she's ready. "Give it to me."
Chris sinks into her like she's the deep, dark sea. It's like he was made for her; she throws her head back on Zach's pillow and cries out, and he hears it like praise. She grits her nails against his back and the sting is nothing, it's meant to be here, and when she wrings his dick hard, he rides the pressure and it's perfect. It's almost perfect.
Then, the bed gives under Zach's knee. His hand on Chris's back is gentle, exploratory, and Chris freezes in place.
"Relax," Zach murmurs, his hand squeezing against Chris's shoulder. "This is gonna feel good."
Zoë's fingers tighten on his back. She spreads her legs wide so that Chris can open his. "Let him in," she urges, kissing Chris's shoulder. "Let him get in, baby. That's good, just like that."
Zach spreads Chris's knees apart with his hands, his own knees. It's a tight fit with Zoë bent in half underneath him. She the dancer, Zach the yoga acolyte; Chris feels like the stiff, old fashioned house, vines twisting up and around him. He buries his face in Zoë's breasts and makes noises of protest, fear and need.
The curve of his shoulder blade is kissed then, hard and sharp. He's abruptly aware of heat all up his back, on his ass, the backs of his thighs where Zach isn't quite touching. "You need to relax," he says, a soft secret. "Let me do this with you." Zach's fingers press into him again and they're suddenly enormous and terrifying. Chris breathes consciously, in and out, in and out.
Zoë twists underneath him, rolling her hips against him. She squeezes him tight inside, and it's a lightning flash of heat through his whole body. "Are you in him?" she asks, breathless. "Are you fucking him, Zach?"
"No," Zach answers, so softly. "Not yet."
Chris can't say fucking do it already, and he can't say no wait stop, so he grabs Zoë's wrist and holds it down against the pillows. He snaps his hips, grinding his dick into her, yeah, God, she's so tight, so good, and Zach's fingers are riding with him, into him, just right. "Do it," Zoë groans, heavy and sharp. "God, baby, do it."
He couldn't say which of them she's talking to, and right now he doesn't much care.
Zach shifts behind him and the fingers slide away. Another little shift of knees, a brush of skin inside Chris's thigh, and white sparks flare in the corners of the room as Zach pushes Chris open. Chris's back straightens itself out with a snap, he can't see; Zach's cock is everything in the world, and everything else.
Gentle hands on his back, rubbing and soothing. He doesn't know whose they are. Voices telling him to relax, breathe, push against it - he does, and it's easier. There's less pain, less pressure, less tension.
Zach bottoms out inside him, hips pressed against his ass, and then he just keeps pushing. Zoë whines and squirms against him, scratches his shoulders like he's the one that did it. Maybe he did, he doesn't fucking know.
Just above Chris's ear, Zach groans. "God, you feel so fucking good."
For a split second, Chris is absolutely furious that Zoë is here for this moment with Zach. He is equally furious that Zach is here for this moment with Zoë. These things should be private and personal, they're not for sharing, God dammit. He shifts without thinking, acting on pure instinct to get away or just to do something.
Both Zach and Zoë groan and shudder around him.
Chris is washed in humility. The knowledge that nobody else will ever, ever get to be where he is almost destroys him. A more personal moment does not exist than this one, with these two people. Probably it won't ever happen again.
"I love you," he says, and regrets it the next second because it's not right. "I, fuck, I love... this. God, please, you guys, oh, God."
Zoë grinds against him, kissing his face, suddenly desperate. Above them, Zach gives a helpless little laugh, like he can't even believe what's going on. It takes him a second to match the thrusting of his hips to Chris and Zoë's rhythm, but when he does it's a perfect counterpoint.
"Can't stop," Chris warns them, throwing himself back and forth between them. His whole body is tight, fuck, it's physically difficult to hold onto it. He's slick with sweat, his abs and thighs are burning. Zach's hips slap hard against his and pleasure shocks through him, deeper and more thoroughly than he's ever felt. Zoë magnifies it, her breasts pressed to his chest and her pussy so fucking wet and hot around him.
Two of them, he thinks frantically. I can't handle two of them.
"Ohgod," Zoë grits out, her teeth clenched and eyes shut tight. "Chris, harder, harder, please, now..."
"Do it," Zach groans as Chris slams against her. "Oh, Chris, fuck her..."
Nobody could hear that and not get off on it, Chris thinks, his mind dizzy and stupid. His fucking fingertips are hissing with the need to come, the white hot pleasure in every part of him. He fucks Zoë with every bit of energy left in him, ramming his hips against her, and she wails and screams and claws him until his shoulders burn. Her legs are shaking, her whole body's shaking and she's so fucking tight, her body squeezing so hard, and Chris feels the momentum take him over. He presses into her again and again, short and fast. "I'm gonna," he blurts out. "Zach, I'm."
"It's okay," Zach tells him, driving his own hips harder now. Sparks fly in Chris's body, every bit of him just fucking waiting, like a roller coaster just at the top of the first and steepest climb. "It's okay," Zach groans against his back, panting, his fingernails digging into the soft skin of Chris's hips. "You can come, please, it's okay, just, oh, Jesus Christ..."
Chris couldn't hold it back if he wanted to. It rushes up at him, feels like he's falling into it. Orgasm smacks into him like water, stunning and hot. He loses himself, can't breathe, his limbs are numb and don't work right. He feels hollowed out and terrible for half a second, and then it's like he breaks the surface again and can't remember ever having felt so fucking good. It's stupid to think in superlatives, he knows, but it's true this time. It really is.
Zach is hitting his own peak above them. He's still fucking Chris, and every time he pushes in, he hits the glorious, earthshaking aftershock button. Chris tries wearily to hold himself, so the force will make it through to Zoë. It's hard, but he tries like hell, because she deserves it. Her broken groans match the sound of his own, and he kisses her mouth - or rather smudges their lips together. Neither of them really have enough presence of mind to do more.
When the hoarse and ringing shouts have faded away, Zach collapses on top of Chris. Chris can't hold him and only barely rolls to avoid Zoë; they're all laughing in a pained and not-pained way. Apologies go all around as they free themselves from legs and arms and condoms, no sense or basic hand-eye coordination to be found among them. Chris lies between them on the bed and trades off kissing them - mouth, cheek, neck, whatever's handy.
He feels like he could kiss them both forever, or at least until they all fall asleep.
At one point, he turns from Zoë only to find Zach already leaning up and over him. He lies back, and Zach bends across him to give Zoë another of those light, almost chaste kisses they shared before. Chris's heart does some kind of sick flip to see it - he loves them, he's jealous of them. It's different for Zach than for Zoë, and vice versa. He feels protective of Zoë, and couldn't begin to articulate how he feels toward Zach.
It's too much to think about. He settles for flipping onto his side to face Zach, reaching behind him for Zoë's arm and pulling it so she's spooned up to his back. It's warm and nice, and she kisses the back of his neck and fits her fingers to Zach's fingerprints.
Zach curls up on his side too, facing Chris. He isn't closing his eyes for sleep, and Chris winds up just sort of looking back at him, memorizing what he looks like after sex. He's flushed and dreamy; actually, he looks kind of like Chris always thinks of him as looking. With all his sound bath yoga tantric tea-drinking whatever, Chris is often surprised to find Zach looking like a regular guy instead of the prince of Narnia. This, though, with the pink on his cheeks and the lazy slump of his lashes... this is more like it.
Chris reaches out to touch. Zach's face is hot under his fingertips, and Zach sighs, sweet and tired. Chris settles his hands someplace warm and good, and Zach does the same.
They fall asleep, all wrapped up in each other just like that.
Zoë's the one who wakes him up. His back is cold. He opens an eye and sees her at the bedroom door, heels in her fingers and jeans fitting her just so. She has bedhead. It looks perfect on her.
"Hey," he whispers, because Zach is still face-first in the pillow.
She turns, wide-eyed, and spots him looking at her. She doesn't say a word, just presses her lips together and lets her eyes tell him everything.
He argues with her silently for a moment, but she knows what she's doing. Zoë always does.
She smiles at him, and then slips away. She'll go do something, it will be fashionable and fabulous, and Chris has no doubt of that. Not wanting to deal with it all just yet, he rolls over and goes back to sleep.
All the light is gone when he wakes up again, but he's sweltering. He's pressed down to the pillows, face-first, and Zach is kissing his shoulders and spine. "You're awake," he murmurs.
Chris makes the unhappy sound that always accompanies that realization. "Zoë left," he grunts, stretching a little.
"Mm." Zach shifts behind him, hand on Chris's hip. It makes the bruises there ache in a pleasant kind of way. "She say anything?"
"Just goodbye," Chris answers softly. "She said goodbye."
Zach nods, stopping for a moment in acknowledgment. She's a good friend to them, and after this, Chris thinks they better buy her a really nice dress. Or maybe just somebody's fall collection.
Zach's hand moves again, sweeping up Chris's side. "I want you again," he murmurs, warm and muffled by the back of Chris's neck. "If you're interested, that is."
Chris sighs and flexes his thighs experimentally. "I think so," he says, just as subdued. "But first I want you to tell me something."
"Ask me anything," he answers, working his way into Chris's hairline. "I'll be as honest as I can."
His mouth is gentle and distracting. Chris bends his head to give him more room. "Zoë said you were waiting. I want to know how long."
All goes still. Chris can feel against the back of his neck the way Zach licks his lips. His body touches down carefully against Chris's back, his ass, his thighs. "Do you want the date, or...?"
"Just tell me," Chris says.
Zach draws his hand along bare skin, maybe memorizing it. Just in case. "The junket," he answers. "Eight hours in a room together, eight more on a plane beside you, and then do it all over again... I wanted more than I usually let myself, because I knew we wouldn't see each other after. Or so I thought."
"Zoë," Chris smiles.
Zach laughs, relief making it sharper, louder. "Zoë."
Chris pushes and shoves until he's lying on his back, Zach pressed up against his side. He pushes one arm under Zach's head, in place of his pillow, and rubs a tentative thumb along the back of his neck. It's hard even to look at him, because they're alone now and they're naked and sweaty with each other, and if Chris were to look down he'd see that Zach was hard for him.
Of course he's not looking. He's looking into Zach's eyes, because that's as safe as he's going to get.
Zach settles against him, warm skin all along his side. The darkness shades his features with blackness, deep and dramatic. It suits him. "Are you okay?" Zach asks, his voice as soft as his skin. "With... all this."
Chris shrugs. Everything from his throat to his gut feels tied up in knots. "I don't know. I don't even know what this is. Hard to be totally okay with it."
A difficult stillness stretches between them before Zach shifts beside him. His voice is hushed and tense. "Can we start with the sex? Now that Zoë's not here, are you interested? Because if that's a no-go, the rest doesn't much matter."
Chris feels the knots tighten and lurch. "That's a stupid fucking question. I wouldn't be here if I wasn't."
"Well, Jesus, Chris, I'm sorry for doubting you," Zach snaps. "What with you never having expressed interest before in either me specifically, or men in general, fuck, I should have known you wanted to go out with me ages ago." He makes to disentangle and pull away, and he's stronger than he looks.
Chris tries to wrestle him back down to the bed. "God damn it, would you stop this? Talk to me."
"Doesn't seem like there's anything to say." Zach sits up on his side of the bed and rubs a hand over his face.
Still, he's not leaving, so Chris takes it as a good sign. He sits up too and grabs Zach by the shoulder. "Come on. I'm sorry. I don't know what I'm fucking doing, all right? Just... talk to me, man. Help me understand this, cause I'm lost."
It's a long, tense moment. Zach's shoulder is unrelenting under his fingers, but it's warm and it's not going anywhere, which is better than the alternative. Finally, he turns his head a little, enough that Chris can see the hint of his profile in the low light. "Do you like me?" he asks softly. "I mean do you like me, just on my own?"
Chris hears the emphasis, and he searches what he's feeling for the telltale markers. "You make my stomach twist up when I think about you," he says, not-quite-an-answer, but close enough for now. "You make me feel self-conscious, but in the good way? Don't take that the wrong way. I don't want you to come over to my house if I haven't picked up first and I watch what I say around you 'cause I think I'll sound stupid if I don't. So I like you." He ducks his head and licks at his bottom lip. "It's new to me, y'know. With a guy. But I think so."
The turn of Zach's head gains a little, and there's a long moment where he can feel Zach looking at him. It's a heavy gaze, and Chris just tries to bear up under it.
Then, without any kind of warning, Zach swings around, lays a hand on his cheek and kisses him. It's a soul kiss, deep and meaningful, and Zach's eyes are closed and his chest is right there and broad for a guy that wears such thin t-shirts, and his bottom lip is really soft and biteable. Chris can smell sleep and stale sex and laundry detergent.
He closes his eyes and kisses back, because he'd do anything not to make Zach sound so bitter and resentful at him ever again. It matters too much.
Zach pulls back, careful and slow, but his hand is still on Chris's cheek, so it's probably okay. He smiles; Chris can see the dimple form beside his mouth. "We seem to do fine with that part."
"Yeah," Chris agrees, and finds he's a little breathless.
Zach turns around to sit crosslegged on the bed. He's facing Chris, so it's a blessing that he pulls the sheet across his lap. "What about the rest?" he asks. "I'm not out with the press. You don't like people talking about your private life either, so I assume-"
"Dude, no problem," Chris interrupts, flopping back into the pillows. He shifts a little closer, so he can feel Zach's knee against his side. "I don't even like to hold hands on the carpet. With anybody."
"Mm." Zach touches soft fingertips to Chris's bare chest, raising goosebumps wherever he goes. "And when Zoë tells people we're together? She will, if we do end up going out. And this isn't casual, I think you know that."
Chris nods. "I know. And... I don't know, honestly. I don't know that I want her to do that yet. I'm sorry if that pisses you off, I really am, and maybe I shouldn't care, but Christ, it's fucking personal. So I like you, so I want to be with you. I don't know what that means for me and I don't want to be defined by it! I don't want to be defined by anything but me!"
He bites his lip because he knows he's started to raise his voice. His heart's thumping in his chest; he can feel the fear crawling in the back of his throat. It sucks, it completely sucks. He wants to leave.
And then Zach laughs. It's soft and kind and warm, which is why Chris doesn't hit him. But he laughs. "Baby," he says, his teeth flashing in the dark. He leans down and plants a smacking kiss on Chris's forehead. "Welcome to my world."
"That's not funny," Chris scowls, but he knows he's sulking and Zach seems to too.
"It is if you're me," he beams. His voice has taken on the high note he gets when he's really delighted by something. "Maybe just charming? I don't know."
Chris leans up and smacks him on the chest, openhanded. "Don't be a shit or I'll go find another fuckin' boyfriend."
"God, right in the tits," Zach winces, pressing a hand to the spot. "You'll fit in fine."
It starts kind of by accident, this time. They're both naked and playful and moving from talking to kissing just... happens. It's slow and intense, and it's reassuring for Chris to know that when it's just the two of them it still feels so necessary. After, they go sit in Zach's kitchen together. Chris makes breakfast even though it's dark outside, and they talk about Chris's play and Zach's New York movie. It feels right, unchanged from a conversation they would have had before all this happened, even though they're having it in pajamas. It feels like it'll work.
Zoë really does tell for them. In a fit of shyness, Chris tells her to keep it to their friends, and naturally she tells everyone they know. Chris has a full day of totally freaking before it becomes clear that their mutual friends are the kind of people for whom this means no more than a hiccup in their regular routine - nobody in the theatre or fashion circles could give a goddamn, and the Heroes cast is just pleased that Zach finally brought somebody home to meet the quote-end-quote family. Chris walks on eggshells for two weeks, but Zach just trades off laughing at him and smothering the nerves with rampant fucking until Chris settles down.
Their Starfleet cohorts are the worst - they won't stop beaming smugly, the second they start filming the sequel, like they all had something to do with it. Only Karl fails to make Chris cranky about the whole thing, in that he stops caring about the big news five seconds after congratulating them both. Chris could kiss him.
The only person who gets to be smug, as far as Chris is concerned, is Zoë. He fights for a while with himself over whether a gift would be tacky, decides it would be, and settles for sending her two dozen yellow roses with a note.
Thanks for the clue, it says. You're still the hottest girl I know. Love, C.
The next day on set, she greets him with a slap to his ass so hard he can feel it bruise, and then kisses his cheek. "Love you," she says, beaming.
"You too," he winces.
Across the set, John shouts at them. "Do we all get to spank Chris today?"
Karl's answer is clear enough, even at normal volume. "That's every day."
Zach rolls his eyes from his mark and Anton's giggling over his console. Chris rubs the sting from his skin and thinks that maybe it's not so bad to be this, after all.