Patrick/Spencer. Look! Not het!
I've got rhythm
SUMMARY: Once a drummer, always a drummer.
Spencer tells himself it's just a stupid crush.
It's not the first one he's gotten, for God's sake; sometimes it seems like that's all he's done for the past year, play and record and get unattainable crushes on people. They're usually over in a week, maybe two, but the one he had on Travis lasted two months and the one on William still lingers in the back of his head, mostly flaring up when he sees William's hipbones. But then, really, that's most people.
It's men and women both: Amanda and Bob and Joe and Darren, Tom and Gerard and Mikey and Greta. There's no sense of when it'll happen, or why; he'd thought Gerard had the most amazing smile he'd ever seen -- still does, actually -- and Greta did things with a guitar that made him swoon. It's completely aimless, completely pointless, and totally unstoppable when it hits. All he can do is sit back and be frustrated and wait for it to be over.
So when he's watching Patrick rehearse for Carling, peeking around from backstage, and something flares in his stomach when he sees tune up his guitar, Spencer knows what that means. When the feeling moves to the base of his spine when he hears do vocal exercises, he knows what that means, too.
Congratulations, he tells himself. You get to spend the entire festival totally screwed.
The thing about Patrick is, he's exactly Spencer's type.
He isn't so hot that people would wonder what Spencer was doing with *him*, but he isn't unhot, either; he looks like a normal guy, if maybe a normal guy with great hands and the kind of face and skin that make strangers stare. It isn't anything quantifiable, but whatever It is, Patrick has it. In spades.
He's funny, and smart, and nothing fazes him -- not even pictures of Pete's dick on the internet, which, seriously, if Ryan had done that? Spencer would have never, ever stopped punching him in the kidneys. But had just pinched the bridge of his nose and looked long-suffering.
He isn't too old, or too young, and worst of all, he can play drums. Hot, smart, funny guys (and girls) who can play drums are Spencer's kryptonite. He's seen tapes of Patrick playing the last couple shows with Arma Angelus; he's seen Patrick messing around on Andy's kit once or twice before a show, after Andy's temporarily abandoned it to go eat something made of soy. He looks almost wistful. Spencer can relate. If someone told him to stop playing drums and get out in front and sing? Please. He'd have quit and gone to college, like his mom wants.
This entire thing just sucks.
The Carling Weekend Festival is one of the coolest things they've ever done. It's bands they know, bands they're familiar with, and people from over here in Europe. Ricky Wilson says hey to him after they bump into each other, and Spencer gapes at him so long Ryan walks over and tips his chin up, shaking his head. Spencer spends the rest of the afternoon not speaking to him, but gives in and starts again after he sees Ryan stare at Carl with hearts in his eyes.
"You and British guys, man," Brendon says, shaking his head and grinning.
"Fuck off," Ryan says weakly, and keeps staring.
Spencer really, really hopes he didn't look like that.
Their set goes great; everyone loves them, just like they did the last time they were in England, and Ryan preens and vamps and generally lightens up a little. Not that Spencer blames him for being introverted, the last couple of weeks, but he gets some of his spring back, however temporarily. It gives Spencer hope that he'll be okay, and that it'll be sooner rather than later.
As they're coming off-stage, sweaty and wired and generally frazzled, someone bumps his shoulder against Spencer. Still a little out of breath, Spencer turns.
It's Patrick. Of course. Because God hates him.
"Hey," Patrick says, smiling. Spencer always forgets how smooth his speaking voice is. It's remarkably like his singing voice, except maybe not quite as even. His toes curl in his shoes. "You guys sounded great out there, man."
"Thanks," Spencer says. It's okay to sound breathless just after you come off-stage. That's what he tells himself, anyway. He says a little prayer of thanks that his crush on Pete was over months ago; Pete tends to hug people when he's happy for them, even kiss them, sometimes. Spencer doesn't think he could take that right now.
"You guys heading out later?"
"Probably." Spencer shakes his head. "I don't think I'm gonna go, though. Why, did you want me to say something to Brendon and--"
"No," Patrick says, shaking his head. "It's cool. A bunch of people are gonna go out, I don't know. I'm staying in tonight."
Spencer's heart is uncomfortably fast. "Really? You only get a couple nights over here, though."
"I'm still jet-lagged. You're lucky I'm not asleep on you right now." smiles. Something in Spencer's stomach lurches. "You want to do something tonight?"
Spencer gapes. "I-I don't--"
Someone, probably Pete, yells from a few feet away. "I'd better get out there," Patrick says. "Come over later if you want, all right?"
"I-all right," Spencer says, and watches Patrick disappear onto the stage.
He doesn't let himself stay for the show. He'll stay tomorrow night. That's what he tells himself, anyway.
Spencer tells himself he's not going to go over about a hundred times. He'll just stay in and listen to music, read a book, maybe call his mom. He'll be responsible, for once.
He paces the room for at least an hour before he mutters, "Fuck it," grabs his keycard, and heads for Patrick's room.
"Hey," Patrick says, opening the door. He's wearing a shirt that says "Please Don't Eat Me" with a big-eyed pig on the front, and a pair of jeans that are worn mostly white along the thighs and knees. Spencer's mouth goes dry for a minute.
Then he figures it's going to look weird if he keeps standing there and staring, so he goes inside. "Pete went out?" he asks, looking around the room.
"Yeah," Patrick says, "with Jon and Brendon. Ryan's off somewhere with Andy, and Joe is, I think, back in his room." He sits on the edge of the bed and looks for his shoes. "Did you want to go out, or--"
"Oh," Spencer says, "I didn't. I didn't have much of a plan, actually."
"Neither did I." Patrick looks a little sheepish. "I was actually -- I mean, I want to hang out, but I also wanted you to show me something, if you could."
Spencer sits down next to him -- cross-legged, even though Brendon swears that that can't be comfortable -- and shrugs. "Sure, if you want, yeah. What?"
Patrick sits up and turns to look at him. "That thing you do on Esteban," he says, "with the snare? I mean, you obviously can't, like, show me, because I don't have a kit in the room, but just, like, the wrist positioning? It's really cool."
Spencer watches him limber up his wrists and hands: crack the kinks out, make sure he has full range of motion. He has really, really nice hands. His mouth goes dry again; it takes a second for him to make sure he can speak. "Um. Okay. Yeah, not a problem."
He turns around, still sitting cross-legged, and takes Patrick's hands in his. "You have to...yeah, hold your wrists like that."
It isn't anything Patrick doesn't already know -- once a drummer, always a drummer -- but something about being here, in Patrick's room, sitting with their knees touching and Patrick's wrists in his hands, makes his fingers tingle. "Yeah," Spencer says, trying not to flush. "Like that."
Patrick doesn't look up, just turns his wrists and strokes the underside of Spencer's arm. His voice is soft. "Like this?"
Spencer looks at him and doesn't say anything.
"Or--" shifts a little closer, practically sitting in Spencer's lap "--like this?"
"Um." Spencer blinks. "Are...are you hitting on me?" He can't be. He can't be. His life never goes this awesome, at least not personally. He has the ex-girlfriends to prove it.
Patrick looks back at him steadily. "Yes."
Oh. Oh. Spencer can feel himself turn bright pink. "Patrick--"
"It's okay," Patrick says quickly, pulling back. "If you don't want to do anything, I mean, that's fine. I'm not trying to be the guy who lures you into the van or anything. I just...I'm around Pete all the time, you know? For him, this is subtle."
"I'm not complaining," Spencer blurts out. "I'm really, really not." He moves forward again, grasps Patrick's wrists. He can feel the tendons and muscles standing out in sharp relief against Patrick's skin, and suddenly wants to bite them. He flushes harder.
"Oh," Patrick says, looking at him. His eyes are wide behind his glasses. "Okay."
"It's stupid. It's just a stupid crush, it'll be gone in a couple of days, maybe less. I just -- I'm nineteen, I'm surrounded by hot guys pretty much constantly, okay? It happens." Spencer doesn't know who he's trying to convince with that, himself or Patrick.
Patrick looks at him. "Spencer," he says, "I was nineteen a couple of years ago. I know, okay? And I'm not asking to go back to Vegas and meet your mom or anything. I just wanted to watch Life on Mars and make out with you for a while."
And that's -- remarkably reasonable. Especially the way Patrick says it.
"Um," Spencer says. "Okay."
"Okay," Patrick says, and kisses him.
A couple hours later, Spencer has a set of DVDs to buy -- stupid show, actually being good -- and a swollen mouth, not to mention Patrick's hands skimming up and down his thighs. They're both hard, but not enough to go crazy and get naked; it's long, slow, jerk-off hard, the kind that Spencer likes when he's alone and doesn't have any plans for the evening.
"Was I being obvious?" Patrick asks, biting Spencer's lower lip. He'd given in and let Spencer take his hat off around the third episode, even though it was still safely within reach. His hairline's receding, sure, but his hair is soft and he makes pleased noises when Spencer leans up and nuzzles him. "I wasn't trying to be. I'm not great at being obvious; I like to play to my strengths."
Spencer shakes his head. "I thought you were just being friendly."
Patrick kisses the corner of his mouth, moves one hand to pop the button on Spencer's jeans. "I am."
"No, I mean--" He shivers, spreads his legs wider. "Just, like, regular friendly. Unless this is, like, regular friendly for you."
"No," Patrick says, smiling. "It isn't." He reaches in and strokes the flatness of Spencer's stomach. The motion eases his zipper down halfway.
Spencer bites his lip and pulls one leg up to his chest, then reaches down and tugs his zipper the rest of the way down.
Patrick looks at him. "Spencer," he says quietly, "you--"
Which is precisely when Jon flings the door open, flushed and laughing, saying, "You missed it."
The three of them stare at each other for a second.
"Oh," Jon says, "oh God. I. um. I'm intrud- yeah, I'll come back." He goes back outside, closing the door behind him.
Patrick and Spencer look at each other.
"We should probably stop," Spencer says weakly. He doesn't mean it, but he can almost hear the moment breaking into pieces. He slides his zipper up, buttons his fly.
"Yeah," Patrick says. He sounds dazed.
Then he shakes his head. "No," he says, "we shouldn't."
Spencer just looks at him, startled.
"I mean, yes, obviously, right now, because five bucks says Jon's telling Brendon and Ryan right now, which means that pretty much everyone we know is going to be in the hallway trying to listen in and look nonchalant, but we could just. What, reschedule."
"Have breakfast with me tomorrow morning," Patrick says. "There's a decent vegan place a couple blocks over, if you don't mind almond milk and soy sausage."
"I don't actually have an opinion on soy," Spencer says. He blinks. "I thought -- you said this wasn't going to be a big thing."
"It isn't a big thing," Patrick says. "I'm still not flying to Vegas to meet your mom, Spence. I'm talking breakfast, maybe walking around the city for a little while."
"Oh," Spencer says. "Okay. That's. No, that works, yeah."
"And if, you know, a while later, you want to do something else," adds, "that's fine. But I'm not going to rush into anything." He laces his fingers with Spencer's and squeezes them. "We're just. Having breakfast. Okay?"
Spencer looks at him for a long minute.
"That," he says, "was almost a sentence. Kind of."
"I know," Patrick says, rubbing the bridge of his nose. "I've been hanging around with Trohman and his weed rants too long." He grins when he says it, though. Spencer knows what that's like; he and Brendon are allowed to call Ryan a pissy little bitch, maybe Jon, but nobody else better try it.
Spencer squeezes Patrick's hand back. "So almond milk, huh?" he says lightly. He shifts on the bed and sits up, wincing a little. His erection's going to go away. Eventually. "How does that work? Almonds give birth to live young?"
"Don't start," Patrick warns, still smiling. "Just try it, okay?"
"No, really," Spencer says, "I want to know."
Patrick stares at Spencer like he's crazy, but shakes his head and starts talking about the finer points of veganism. Brent had a couple of friends in high school who were vegan, so it's nothing Spencer hasn't heard before, but that's not the point; it's Patrick talking, Patrick sounding impassioned and heartfelt. That's better than a hundred lectures.
And the best part is, he doesn't let go of Spencer's hand.