Mike has no idea what he's getting himself into at the beginning. Of course, how could he? There's nothing to clue him in.
Pete wrangled him an invitation to this party where he's unsuccessfully trying to mingle with people way more famous than him. In any other crowd, he wouldn't have any trouble catching the bartender's eye, but in this crowd, he keeps getting passed over for guys in suits and women in what he assumes are designer dresses.
By some miracle, the bartender finally comes his way, but it's only to take the order of the guy next to him, a curly-haired guy wearing a scarf who Mike thinks might be a Jonas brother.
"Coke with lime," curly hair orders, "and a?" He looks at Mike.
"Heineken," Mike says.
"And a Heineken," curly hair finishes.
The bartender slides the drinks onto the bar, and curly hair hands the beer to Mike.
"Any time. I'm Kevin."
Mike's a polite guy, so he shakes Kevin's hand and says, "Mike."
The next thing Mike knows, he's been hanging out with Kevin for half an hour and they're exchanging numbers before Kevin's brothers drag him away.
Mike gets the first text message two days later: Paisley scarf: y/n?
Mike sends back, do i look like i know anything about fashion?
I googled you. T-shirts and plaid are a valid fashion choice!
Mike opens his laptop and types kevin jonas into Google.
googling you, he sends. white jeans?
They make my ass look amazing. ;)
Mike can't really disagree with that.
Mike comes off stage and there's the usual batch of people hanging around: friends, fans, techs, whatever. There's also Kevin, putting his hands on Mike's biceps and then pulling him in for a hug.
"You're supposed to be in LA," Mike says.
"Got them to rearrange our shooting schedule," Kevin says, "so I could come see you play. You were amazing."
"Thanks." Mike doesn't think anything of the way Kevin keeps an arm around his shoulders while they walk toward the dressing room.
They sit on the couch, Kevin's arm still around Mike's shoulders, while Mike waits for his turn in the shower.
Kevin calls Mike's house phone two days after he gets home from tour. Mike doesn't remember giving him that number.
"Come have dinner with me," Kevin says.
Mike doesn't have plans, so he says, "As long as I don't have to get dressed up."
"You're a rock star. You don't have to get dressed up." Mike can hear Kevin's smile as he says, "T-shirts and plaid are a valid fashion statement. I'll pick you up at seven."
Kevin shows up in an unremarkable sedan and takes them to what turns out to be a relatively upscale place.
"I'm totally not dressed for this," Mike says.
"You look great," Kevin says. He orders a bottle of wine for them to share, and it goes perfectly with Mike's steak.
Kevin drives him home after dinner and walks him up to his door.
"Wanna come in?" Mike invites.
Kevin touches the back of his hand. "Not this time." Then he leans forward and kisses Mike, a gentle press of lips against lips.
Bill, Sisky, and The Butcher come out to L.A. to write. They get a lot done, and Bill starts talking about a celebratory dinner when they break for lunch on Friday.
"I'm in," Chiz says. "Naomi's going to a bachelorette party, so she'll be gone anyway."
"Mike?" Bill asks.
"Uh, let me text Kevin." They don't have specific plans yet, but they usually do something together on Fridays when they're both in town.
He sends Kevin, bill wants 2 have tai dinner. ok if we don't hang 2nite?
"Kevin," Bill says while Mike's waiting for Kevin to text him back. "Kevin Jonas?"
"Yeah." Mike has no idea why they're being weird about this - Sisky and The Butcher are looking at him strangely too. "We hang out on Fridays." His phone buzzes, and he pulls it out of his pocket.
Of course it's ok. Have fun with your band! :) Dinner tomorrow?
Mike smiles down at his phone and texts back, maybe. depends on bill. call you tomorrow.
"I'm in," he tells his band. They're still staring at him. "What?"
Bill still has that odd look on his face, but he shakes his head and says, "Nothing."
They go out on tour, a ten-date, small venue, promotional thing that nearly sells out just from SLH presales.
Kevin sends Mike pictures half a dozen times a day, mostly his brothers in the studio or on a set, but occasionally other things: a skateboard with I think I'll die if I try this, a sunset over the beach with Wish you were here, and a t-shirt in a vintage shop with Buying this for you!!!
It's one of Nick and Joe strangling each other, complete with crossed eyes and tongues hanging out, that makes Mike burst into laughter somewhere on the road between Phoenix and Austin. Mike texts back a quick lol and looks up to find Tony glaring at him.
"I don't know why you're so happy this early in the morning."
"Probably his boyfriend," Sisky says. He doesn't say it like he's making a joke.
There's no privacy on a tour bus, and only marginally more in a hotel where he's sharing with Chiz.
"Look," Chiz says, "you give me an hour to call Naomi and then you can have the room for an hour."
Mike spends the hour Chiz is on the phone with Naomi watching The Butcher sketch out some ideas for something that could become either an album cover or a tour poster.
Chiz comes to find him and they switch places. The first thing Mike does when he has the room to himself is call Kevin.
"Hey!" Kevin sounds completely happy to hear from him. "How's tour?"
"Good. It's mostly kids from the fan club, so they're pretty enthusiastic."
"Tell me what you've been doing." Mike lies down on his bed and closes his eyes to let Kevin's voice wash over him.
When Kevin's stories wind down, he says, "I miss you."
Mike smiles. "I miss you too. It was weird being on stage on Friday and not out with you."
Kevin laughs. "I took Frankie to the movies. He's not quite as good a date as you."
"Sisky called you my boyfriend," Mike blurts out.
"That's why Frankie's no substitute for you," Kevin says. It doesn't really answer the question Mike didn't actually ask.
Mike's only been home for two hours when his doorbell rings. He peers through the peephole and is met with a distorted image of Kevin holding a pizza box. When he opens the door, Kevin follows him into the kitchen, puts the pizza down on the counter, and wraps his arms around Mike.
"I missed you," Kevin says, and then he kisses Mike for so long that the pizza gets cold and they have to reheat pieces in the microwave.
Kevin spends the night, the first time he's done that. He borrows a pair of Mike's pajama pants and sleeps in Mike's bed, both of their heads on one pillow.
It's only in the morning, when Mike goes on a Starbucks run and knows exactly what to get Kevin without asking, that it hits him that he's in a relationship. He, Mike Carden, whose one and only long-term commitment has been his band, has a boyfriend.
He smiles a little brighter at the barista as she hands over his drinks.