There were at least four other parties waiting to be seated, so Priestly stood back near the door with his arms crossed while Dean went and put their names in. He smiled brightly upon returning, traveling the whole five feet like it had been an Odyssian journey. Dimples appeared. It was a stunning smile, and Priestly had to fight to not immediately forgo his balls and smile back. "Dean."
"What?" There was a board with the specials written on it over Dean's right shoulder, so Priestly stared at that because it didn't have freakishly perfect teeth to distract him with.
"Do I look, like, totally helpless?"
The smile went from bright to nonexistent. Dean looked at him strangely. "Um, no?"
"Right. So what exactly about me screams 'please open the door for me, oh strapping young man, because I am incapable of doing it myself'?"
A furrow appeared on Dean's forehead, and his lips pursed in what was either confusion or distaste. Priestly's attention snapped back to the specials board before Dean could distract him. "You're upset that I opened the door?" he asked incredulously.
"I was walking in front of you," Priestly pointed out. He used an exaggeratedly reasonable tone. "You had to cut in front of me to hold the damn thing open. I didn't mind when you did it before, because there was always a family behind us or whatever. What part of me not being a chick did you miss?"
"Trust me," Dean frowned, "I'm totally aware you're not a chick."
Priestly had more of a rant prepared, but they were in a public place, and the couples before them were either being seated or looking at them with ill-disguised interest. He didn't like scenes. He liked to think he wasn't one of those people who made their life public domain, especially the drama, so he kept a few of his smart-ass remarks in his head instead of saying them. "I'm not sure you are."
Dean, Priestly got the feeling, was getting irritated now. It wasn't an expression Priestly saw a lot of his face, and instead of being put off, all he felt was fascinated. And irritated right back. "I'm sorry you think I'm undermining your gender role."
Holding two menus, a waitress approached them. He wondered what they had to look like, standing several feet apart with body language screaming 'fuck off and die.' He plastered on an expression that was attempting to be friendly, but it must have missed the mark, because the smile she gave him in return was weak.
"Hi," he said. "Are we up next?"
"Dean, party of two?" she asked.
Priestly gritted his teeth.
"I can't believe you're still pissed at me," Dean was saying, attempting to pull out of the parking lot in his gargantuan truck without smashing into one of the other cars. Or pedestrians.
Priestly was crunching down on complementary after-dinner mints, so his lack of reply was excusable and not at all sullen. His attempt to turn on the CD player, however –
Dean batted his hand away and turned the system off. "Oh my God, would you stop sulking for five minutes and talk to me?"
Priestly licked the taste of peppermint from his teeth and turned to look at Dean's profile, pinched and unhappy in the last dregs of sunset. He wasn't happy over acting like a dick, but Dean's complete refusal to realize what was wrong in the first place galled. It didn't help that Priestly was like a dog with a bone on his good days; he still had grudges from high school. "I am not sulking."
"You're being ridiculous."
"Wow, now I totally want to share my feelings." He cocked his head. "Hey, you should ask me if it's my time of the month, that'll really make me happy."
"Priestly, seriously." His voice was low, beseeching. Reasonable. "Talk to me."
He waited for a moment, listening to the turn signal ticking as they sat at a light, watching a mother push her infant along in a stroller with strategically balanced groceries all over the thing. He waited until Dean was practically huffing. "You pulled out my chair."
"Is that what it was habit!"
"You open doors, you pull out chairs, you barely let me pay for my own shit--"
"It's polite for--"
"There's polite, and then there's playing Prince Charming to someone who is definitely not a fucking princess."
Dean's hands tightened on the steering wheel. Priestly liked Dean's hands; the surprisingly even and smooth callouses, the length of his fingers, the things they could do, even stupid shit like the way he held a coffee cup. Apparently he liked them so much he could find himself visualizing them at length doing non-fighting things in the middle of a fight.
"You're upset because you think I'm treating you like a girl," Dean said quietly.
"Even though I've told you a hundred times I know you're not a girl, that I don't want you to be a girl, and I don't think of you that way." Dean gave in to his baser urges and leveled Priestly an irritated look. "You know how we had sex last night? It would have been really hard to pretend you were a girl while I was blowing you."
"Fine, you don't think I'm a girl. Doesn't negate the fact that you treat me like one."
Dean went silent for a long time, navigating the last few blocks to Priestly's apartment. They'd calmed down significantly or, well, Priestly had; Dean had barely broken into annoyed territory in the first place. Most of him wanted to put the argument away and deal with it later, maybe when he wasn't tired from two glasses of wine and too much Italian food. Maybe after sex, when Dean would be so high on post-orgasm oxytocin that he might admit he was a little bit wrong.
They were in Priestly's parking lot, and Dean was pulling into the space next to his Falcon, the one he'd had to yell at his neighbor to vacate so Dean wouldn't have to park on the goddamned street every other day.
Dean switched off the ignition. "I don't understand what you want me to do," he said finally. "Stop asking you where you want to eat? Make you watch the golf channel against your will? Leave wet towels on the floor? Not be nice to you? I don't know how not to be nice to you."
That was a pleasant punch to the gut. Dean really, really didn't know how not to be nice. He left all of his loose change in tip jars and made friends as easy as breathing, and one time he'd taken a lost kitten to the vet after he fucking named it Brando. It was in his DNA, right along with his inability to be wrong, ever, and the way he occasionally and irrationally assumed Priestly was going to wake up one day and realize he wasn't gay at all.
"I know you don't," he said softly, itching to put his hands on Dean, to smooth away the unhappiness. "You just have to scale it back a little."
Dean looked at him, and he looked so utterly despondent Priestly was torn between laughing at him and hugging him in a decidedly non-platonic fashion. Which would be highly inconvenient to do in the cab of a truck, even one as monstrously huge as Dean's. He settled for brushing his thumb across Dean's cheekbone, the chipped black paint on his thumbnail a contrast to the unblemished tan of Dean's skin.
"Let's go inside, hey?" Dean nodded, and Priestly found himself smiling before the words he was going to say even registered in his brain. "We can watch some golf. It'll be awesome."
Getting laid meant Priestly could afford to be magnanimous about Dean's quirks. Or so he thought, until he saw that Dean had not only made breakfast, but had picked up and folded the clothes strewn all over the apartment during last night's sexcapades. Including Priestly's.
He couldn't go a day.
"So where are we going?" Dean asked, curious in the passenger seat of Priestly's car. He was flipping through junk mail Priestly would never get around to dumping and making noises over coupons.
"The boardwalk. I thought we'd do the clich馘 Santa Cruz date thing for once."
"Oh, okay." He tossed another paper onto the neat pile he'd amassed at his feet. "I've never really been to the boardwalk."
"You're kidding. I thought it was, like, a rite of passage once you moved here."
Dean shrugged. "I told you I haven't had much of a life."
"That's so sad," Priestly said, patting Dean on the knee.
He managed to tear Dean away from the Saturday ads when it was time for them to leave the car. He'd managed to find free street parking a only a few blocks away, and the walk was nice; Dean ambling at his side, cool wind offsetting the harsh summer sun.
"So are we going to play laser tag?" Dean was asking as they got to the closest of many ticket booths. "Because I'm really good at laser tag. I don't want you to take it personally if I ruin you."
"Of course not." He slid his Visa out of his wallet and passed it to the bored and sweaty employee. "Two unlimited ride wristbands, please."
"Hey, I've got--"
Priestly casually waved him off. "No, it's cool, I picked the date, I get the check." He grinned and took back his card and the receipt for the sixty dollars he'd just thrown down with. "So to speak. Here." He gestured with one of the wristbands.
Dean looked dubious but went along with it, bless him. "What do you want to do first? Do you have a favorite--"
"Slow down, cowboy. We've got all day." He thought about it. There were a million possibilities, and all of them were fun. For him. "How about Clown Toss? I hate the shit out of some clowns."
Dean trailed after him, and Priestly was practically giddy. He forked over cash and waited for Dean to catch up. "Go first," he said, trying not to look too obvious, but Dean probably just thought he was excited.
Dean, it should be said, gave it his best try. Years of throwing around a ball with his old man, of playing sports in high school, of being the perfect little jock, showed in the graceful arc of his arm as he tossed the ball. Unfortunately, that shit was rigged, and all of his skill amounted to nothing but a perturbed look on Dean's face and a sluggish, "huh."
"Better luck next time," Priestly said, and with the confidence of having spent way too many hours stoned out of his mind wandering around the boardwalk, threw.
It was a giant purple teddy bear not unlike a CareBear, but he guessed they didn't want to shell out the extra cash for brand name and Dean was carrying it under one arm, looking harassed.
"I won it for you," Priestly had said, once they'd gotten it down and handed it over. He held it out, presenting Dean with three plus feet of cumbersome stuffed animal.
Dean smiled, somewhat disbelieving, and took the thing. "Thanks." He looked ridiculous. It was adorable.
They wandered around for a while, Priestly pointing out various places he'd gotten stoned, or where some random homeless dude had been found passed out. After twenty minutes and seeing about a hundred people walk by with cotton candy, Priestly was starting to get hungry.
"Do you want funnel cake?"
"Sure," Dean said.
"Great," and he dragged Dean by his wrist over to some. They had to wait in line, predictably, but he got to kill time by watching little girls stare up at his gigantic boyfriend and his gigantic stuffed bear. He smiled at one, who had a hand wound in her mother's sundress, slowly tugging. "I won that for him."
Her face went from bored to momentarily scared kids, man to delighted. "Awesome," she said.
"Yeah, I thought so too."
Dean was staring at him. He licked his lips, chapped from too much sun. "Priestly," he started, but they were next in line.
He ordered two plates of funnel cake with everything remotely edible on them, and his Visa took care of that too. He balanced both plates and found an empty bench to sit on. It barely fit the three of them.
"Funnel cake?" he asked, proffering the plate and the cheap plastic fork.
Dean took them hesitantly, keeping his arm over part of the bear to stop it from toppling over onto the ground. Thing was huge. Priestly headed off a laugh by shoving a forkful into his mouth.
"Mmm?" He tried not to sound overtly orgasmic, but funnel cake.
"Are you is this
"I was thinking we could ride the Carousel next," he said, licking powdered sugar and caramel off of his fork thoughtfully. "Or we could go to the arcade. I could win you more shit."
"You do seem to be good at that," Dean muttered. "Listen, I get it, it's really annoying to treat you like a girl, I've seen the error of my ways, can we please
"Dude, what are you talking about?" He set down his plate and tried his very best to look affronted. "I love the boardwalk!" Dean shot him a skeptical look. "What, is it the bear? The bear is awesome, I was going to name it Dean Jr, but if you're going to punk out--"
"The bear is fine," Dean said loudly. "Please don't name it after me."
"Well, fine." He shifted on the bench. "Are you going to eat your funnel cake?"
Dean vetoed all of the rollercoasters but begrudgingly allowed himself to be lined up for the ferris wheel. He got the feeling Dean wasn't one hundred percent cool with heights, but he figured any dignity lost was negligible in the long run. And that meant Priestly got to enjoy having his boyfriend cling to him for dear life while simultaneously clutching a giant purple bear.
Unfortunately, the kid running the ferris wheel gave Dean a long up and down look and held out a hand to stop him from moving forward.
"Uh," he said. "You're kind of a big guy, I think the bear is taking up
"Fine, sure," Dean said, looking ready and willing to torch it then and there, right as Priestly said:
"But I won it for him," in a tremulous voice.
The kid looked stunned, mouth literally hanging open, and Dean was turning a nifty shade of red. Priestly had about five seconds before he was going to crack and start laughing, but luckily Dean grabbed his elbow and started leading him far, far away from the ferris wheel.
A few families stared at them, or maybe at Dean ferociously marching along with his bear; compared to that a guy with a pink fauxhawk was mundane. Priestly was too busy laughing and tripping over his flipflops to care at all.
"Dude," he said, shaking his arm loose of Dean's grip. "Are you embarrassed that I won you your awesome purple bear?"
"If we get rid of this fucking thing, I'll blow you behind the Carousel," Dean said, somewhat desperately.
Priestly chewed on his lower lip, still hitching with laughter. "If we don't get rid of it and you still blow me, I promise I'll stop acting like a bitch."
Dean practically slumped with relief. "Deal."
As it turned out, getting blown behind the Carousel sounded better in theory than in practice. There were people everywhere, and while Priestly had a kinky streak buried somewhere in his lazy, underachieving self, exhibitionism wasn't part of it. He was half hard and he wanted Dean's hands back where they'd been, furtively slipping up his worn yellow shirt, trying to unzip his jeans.
They'd had to stop when a security guard started toward them, and Dean pretended like he was helping him sop up imaginary spilled soda or something. Priestly started laughing all over again, and he pretty much let Dean decide what to do, because he didn't have the higher brain function.
"God, come on, I'll blow you in the car," he murmured, low and close to Priestly's ear.
Which was also better in theory.
Priestly's Falcon was gorgeous and badass, and not exactly compact, but Dean wasn't exactly compact, either. There weren't a ton of people on the street, since it was three in the afternoon on a Wednesday, but it was still just a few blocks away from the beach.
"Jesus, why are you so huge?" Priestly groaned, twisting his hands in Dean's hair mostly in an attempt to push him lower. It wasn't working. Dean was busy wrangling his jeans open and Priestly was trying to act cool beyond all odds in case someone was looking through the windshield. "This is a bad idea. What if someone can see you? Can you act like you're looking for change or a map or something?"
He had a hand around Priestly's dick, jacking quick and dirty, while his head was an inch from smashing into the steering wheel. Priestly resolutely kept trying to push him down. "Calm down. It'll only take a second," Dean said, in a completely bitchy voice, but then he was rubbing Priestly's cock against his mouth and guiding him into it, hot wet suction.
"Oh my God," Priestly said, pushing his back straight against the seat, straining to tilt his hips up.
He'd never gotten head in public before. It was bizarre. Dean was making noise around his cock, sucking hard and pulling off to lick with an urgency nothing like their usual sex life. All the while he had to stare out into a perfect California day and not make faces like he was about to come.
"Fuck," he gritted, when Dean took him so far he gagged. "I can't even get mad at you, because you're totally right, it's only gonna take a second."
Dean didn't pull off to mock him, just sucked harder, and Priestly's hand pulled tight in his hair. "God. God. I'm going to come in your mouth," he said, and gave up all pretense of trying to look like he wasn't getting a blowjob right then. Dean made an encouraging sound around him and miraculously took him deeper. "So fucking good," and the rest was lost in a sigh as he came, muscles twitching and jerking with each wave.
Dean's mouth was always so soft after, the way he pulled off. This time it was considerably more awkward, Dean having to carefully disentangle from the cramped space between Priestly and the steering wheel. He managed it, though, after fixing Priestly's clothes for him, sitting back in the passenger seat with a painful-looking roll of his shoulders.
"Nnn," Priestly said, and Dean kissed him, salty and warm. Priestly didn't give a shit if anyone saw. He kind of hoped they did, because holy shit.
Eventually they had to pull apart to breathe, and by then the taste of come was gone or just so familiar he'd failed to distinguish it. He smiled right up against Dean's face and kissed the side of his mouth again before giving it up.
Dean cleared his throat. "Shit, I need water." He ran the side of his wrist across his forehead and pushed his hair back, sweaty and smug.
"I hope you don't think I'm crazy enough to blow you in public." Though he totally was. If it was what Dean wanted.
"I'm patient." Dean's already smug smile turned into something a little more menacing. "And you owe me."
"Oh, I do not." He squirmed in his seat, feeling appreciative and happy, but a little sticky and not opposed to the notion of a shower. "I expanded your horizons! I bought you funnel cake and won you a bear."
"You wasted money and enjoyed embarrassing me," Dean said, but he was laughing. "Just to make a point."
Priestly tilted his head, flicking a lazy finger against his fuzzy dice. "True. I did. But I still maintain that the bear is awesome."
Dean shifted closer, and kissing him was as easy as one breath leading into another. Dean was clearly still wound up, licking deeper into Priestly's mouth while Priestly sort of idly enjoyed the sensation. "I'm sorry," Dean said, muffled against his skin. "I'll try not to drive you crazy."
"It's fine," he said, trailing fingers along Dean's jaw. "I'm over it. Mostly I just live to embarrass you."
"I know you do." He sat back with an air of finality, smiling again. "I don't mind."
Priestly was in the middle of staring at him like a head over heels, love-sick idiot when Dean ruined it completely by laughing. "What?"
"You've got a wicked sunburn." He gestured to his face, the bridge of his nose, not looking all that sympathetic.
He flipped his visor down and checked his face in the mirror. Sure enough, lobster red and promising a world of pain and peeling. And freckles. "Shit."
"I think we need to buy you some aloe or something."
"Shit." Priestly groaned and turned the key in the ignition. "There went your blowjob."