NC-17. Pete/Patrick. ~3,729 words.
If you think this ever happened then you have a serious problem with your grip on reality (or else a bunch of weird magical realism type shit keeps happening to you, in which case, hey, can I hang out with you sometime?).
“Hey, Pete, you've got --”
“Yeah, no, shut up.”
Joe says, “But I mean --”
“I'm ignoring them. They are going to go away, because they don't exist.”
“Oh,” Joe says, trying to raise one eyebrow and raising both instead. “Seriously, though --”
“No, you are not talking. Stop it.” Pete says, “You are letting it slide, and I am not going to complain about the fact that this shirt is ruined.”
“Uh.” Joe nods. “So, seriously though, what are we gonna do about them at the show tonight?”
“They're going to be gone. So it's not an issue.”
“Oh, right, right.”
When Pete walks, his feathers make a weird shushing noise, folded wings rubbing against each other as he moves.
“Hey, you guys,” Patrick says as he clamors back onto the bus, returning from an early breakfast at Denny's. “Wait, does Pete have --”
“No,” Joe and Pete both say at the same time.
“Oh, they're fake? I mean, they're good fakes, but the hell are you doing sitting around on a bus with, hey." Patrick stops talking when he reaches out to touch Pete's wings, and finds that they're soft and warm to the touch. "... Oh, okay."
“Oh, my god,” Pete says, burying his face in his hands. He shivers a little when Patrick's hand follows his wings down to where they join his back. “This is the stupidest thing ever. And I have to get a new shirt.”
“I dunno,” Joe says, thoughtful. He scratches his chin, brow furrowing. “You could work the torn-up look. Say it's the latest fashion. Haha, brand new fashion of waking up with --”
"Not helping," Pete says. His wings draw in tight around himself, subconsciously, and he's a bit startled to realize they're so flexible. "This is so messed up. So, so messed up. You don't even know."
"No, I kinda do," Patrick says. "I mean, you having wings, that's not an everyday occurrence. Pretty sure I know that it's messed up, yeah."
"This would be so much funnier if we were stoned. Or if I were, at least.” Joe looks like he's trying to think of something else to say, but can't come up with anything new. "You guys should smoke pot, just because of this. Just this once."
"No," Pete says, "no, I really don't think that would help, at all."
“I dunno,” Patrick says. “Well. Wait. No. Huh.” Patrick can't quite bring himself to stop poking at Pete's wings. He pulls at the end of one, and Pete's wing feathers spread out. They're long and dark and black, and his wings are actually sort of really fucking huge, even when only part open. Folded, Patrick couldn't judge their size.
"Hey, hey, can you -- open one of them all the way?" Patrick says, actually looking at Pete again. Pete's still hunched over, maybe in shock. "No, hey, I know this sucks. I know. I just want to see."
Pete obliges him, and there's loud rustling as he extends one wing to its full length -- nearly. They're a bit too close to the end of the bus for it to open all the way. His wings are both black, with shorter white feathers on the underside where they join his shoulders. "I couldn't even get, like, bat wings or something."
Andy wanders in with two paper cups and a Styrofoam box; “Hey, Pete, I brought you back some – whoa, wait, what the --”
“Shut up,” the other three say in unison.
They end up canceling the show that night.
It takes Patrick three tries to work the key card properly. "Hey, Pete," he says, only thinking to knock on the door a little before heading in. "Marabou stork. Marabou fucking stork."
"They've been known to swallow knives and live to tell the tale."
“The fuck are you talking about?” Pete's sprawled out on his stomach on the bed, naked and slightly damp, with a magazine spread open in front of him.
“Your wings.” Again with the tugging at Pete's feathers and the general molestation of Pete's wings. “The birds are fucking weird, man. And gross.”
“Right,” Pete says. “Okay, that means nothing to me. Have you ever tried to wash wings in a hotel shower? Because it's no fun, hear you me.”
“Uhm. When would I have – no.”
“Seriously, you try taking a shower when you have a huge-ass pair of wings sticking out of your back.”
“Put some clothes on.”
“Hey, how about no. I'm serious about the inconvenience here.”
Patrick sighs, the exhalation almost turning into a laugh. “You need help?”
“Because that's not an awkward question. Right. Yeah, never mind.”
They play three shows without Pete, getting the label to get them a stand-in bassist. What they don't do is offer any kind of explanation as to Pete's absence; reading what the tabloids come up with is way more entertaining (except the ones who chalk it up to another suicide attempt, and fuck those people anyway). At least one source says that Pete's been kidnapped; others chalk it up to an ill-fated affair with Paris Hilton.
At one point, they take Pete to the doctor, who's at a loss. “Well,” he says, “You're perfectly healthy.”
“And I have wings.”
“Yes, they're perfectly healthy too. Nice muscle development. You probably won't be able to fly again, but if you work out --”
“I couldn't in the first place.”
“Well, then, what's the problem?”
“I – never mind. Never mind.”
It's been five days.
“Jesus,” Patrick says, taking a step back.
“You remember how I wasn't asking for help earlier?”
“With the – dude, have you seriously not showered since then? Fucking gross, man, it's the middle of summer.” Patrick's nostrils flare -- “And the Axe does not help at all. There's a whole lot of awful goin' on there. You could out-funk James Brown.”
“No, I know. I can smell myself, and that's just not right.” Pete has given up on changing shirts, is still wearing the same tattered one from the first day. As for pants – well, Patrick can't tell if those are the same jeans, and he doesn't want to ask. “Help?”
“Help you take a shower,” Patrick says, confirming what he's just heard.
“Yes? I know, I know, it's weird, but seriously.”
“The hell am I supposed to do? You can clean yourself. It can't be that hard.”
So what they do is, they go down to the hotel pool at 3 AM – con the doorman into opening it up, because seriously, they're famous and they're not even trying to throw a party, it's just the two of 'em, seriously, come on – and to the hot tub, because Pete's wings need cleaning too, because they're greasy and dirt-stained, somehow, even though Pete's mostly just stayed on the bus or snuck into hotels the back way then stayed in the room.
“You know,” Patrick says. “You could have kept them folded – dude, seriously, you should be able to manage a shower just fine. Are you fucking retarded, or what?”
“Look, those little stall showers are just not cool when you're trying to fit in there with wings.”
“I dunno, two people can fit in those things. You coulda made it work.”
“How do you – Patrick, you little,” Pete cuts himself off with laughter. “You know this from experience?”
“Yes. ... What? What? Is it that hard to believe that, sometimes, I have sex with people? You're not the only one here who can get laid, Pete.”
“Ooh-la-la. In incredibly small showers, no less.” Pete turns to grin at Patrick, before settling into the hot water.
“Okay, it was uncomfortable, but still. You know what? Shut up,” Patrick says, pulling a sponge out of the bucket o' stuff he brought down. “Right wing, open. C'mon now. There we go.” Patrick sits behind Pete, feet dangling into the water, rubbing against now-wet feathers. He puts some soap on the sponge, dips it into the water, and --
“Shit, that's, okay. How about we never leave this hot tub ever again. Because that felt nice. Mmph.” Pete wriggles a little, tilting his head back. “Yeah.”
The hand holding the sponge freezes where it is, right at the wing's elbow-joint. “I think I can add that to my list of things I never wanted to know about you. That and your not showering.” He pauses -- “Seriously, couldn't you have just, like. Used a fucking washcloth or something?”
“Dude,” Patrick says. “There is no good reason you couldn't have ...”
“Uh.” Pete pauses, then, “It's really hard to reach my back like this? Uhm. Or something.”
“You are fucked up.” Patrick rolls his eyes, dips his hands into the water and runs his fingers the rest of the way to where the wing meets shoulder, pressing his fingers down hard. He pushes at Pete's other wing a little -- “Here, hey, stretch a bit. Right,” -- and gives both a thorough massage. “Wet feathers, man. Seriously.”
“That's what happens when they come in contact with water. They get wet. Most things do.” Pete rolls his shoulders, leans forward a little. “Hey, could you – up a little. Middle of my back, in between the -- . Yeah, like that.”
Patrick starts humming to himself, under his breath. For some reason, the first song to come to mind is a Christmas song. Carefully, carefully, he starts trying to smooth out Pete's feathers; the wings are starting to look a little bedraggled. The skin in between them is smooth and honey-gold, though, and his hands keep finding his way back there, slide all the way down to the small of Pete's back. “Hey,” he says, squeezing Pete's side.
Pete says, “Yeah?” eyes half-closed and dark, starts to turn --
“Ow, ow!” Patrick says, having just been hit with a face-full of feathers. He shoves at the middle of Pete's back with one foot, sending him sprawling face-first into the water, arms (and legs, and wings) flailing. “Ah, hot water to the face! Worse!”
Pete kind of rolls over, stands up and wipes his bangs away from his eyes. His hair isn't long enough that it blocks his vision, but it seems the thing to do when wet and annoyed. “Dude, fuck you,” he says, grabbing Patrick's ankle and yanking him into the water. He considers a headlock, thinks of maybe holding Patrick's head down, then decides that'd be too mean even for him, since it's a hot tub and all. Maybe if they were over in the pool. Instead he opts for splashing him, which isn't much better.
"Fucking hot," Patrick whines, grabbing his hat -- which fell off at some point in the shuffle -- and planting it firmly back on his head. "Have I mentioned that you're retarded?"
"Yeah, pretty sure you have," Pete says. "Huh, I -- damn it, I can't float on my back with these things. Lemme see if -- no. This sucks. Stupid tiny hot tub."
"The hell do you have wings for, anyway?" Patrick wonders, leaning over the edge of the hot tub. "Here, dude, wash your hair. It's grease-central. You could donate that to McDonald's or something."
"You wanna do it for me?"
"What are you, five? Oh, for God's sake," Patrick says, because for all he's complaining he really can't resist Pete's patented puppy-dog eyes. He probably learned 'em from Hemingway, and Patrick knew there was a good reason Pete shouldn't own a dog (never mind that the pup is one of the few things making Pete happy these days). “Here, here. Eyes closed. Eyes closed.”
"I could do it myself," Pete says, "but why should I bother when I've got you here to do it for me?" He leans his head forward a little so Patrick can reach better.
"Uh-huh." Patrick kind of freezes for a moment, one soap-covered hand sliding from the back of Pete's head to the side of his jaw. "Hey."
"Yeah, finally," Pete says, and he leans forward, presses their lips together real slow and gentle -- "Ow, fuck, that stings!"
"Soap. Eyes. Jesus Christ."
"Oh, god, you're so --"
“My eyes!” Pete rubs at his eyes, rather uselessly, and it takes him a while to figure out that maybe he should dip his head underwater (even if it is hot) so as to rinse his eyes – and his hair! -- and that maybe using logic is a good idea for once. When he comes up again, he's sputtering and sullen. “Damn it, Patrick. You suck.”
“It's not my fault you decided to try and make out with me while I was trying to wash your fucking hair. You're like a mentally challenged kindergärtner. Only, you know, older. Also, with wings.”
Pete stares at Patrick, confused, then decides not to comment on that slightly disturbing metaphor. “That was not how our first kiss was supposed to go.”
“It wasn't our first, dumbass. And, wait, was there some way it was supposed to go?”
“Yeah,” Pete says, “yeah, like this.” And he pushes Patrick back, so Patrick's sitting on the little underwater ledge and Pete's kind of leaning over him, his hair dripping wet but free of soap suds, and he braces himself with one hand on Patrick's shoulder. His wings are huge and dark, ragged-looking, casting strange shadows in the relative dark of the dimly lit pool room.
At first it's slow; Pete's being careful and Patrick's being hesitant, maybe. The air is cooler than the water, leaves Patrick feeling strange and confused and what he wants, right now, what he really wants is for Pete to be closer. He pulls Pete closer, and is still surprised when – when his hand slides up Pete's back – he's met partway up with soft, downy feathers. Pete sighs, relaxing into it. He moves so he's half-standing, half-kneeling, one leg bent up at a strange angle, one leg against the wall and the other with knee pressed against the outside of Patrick's thigh.
Patrick squints one eye half-open, looking at Pete, who's mostly a hazy blur. A hazy blur with open eyes, Patrick can see the whites of his eyes, watching him with this too-intense focus. Patrick closes his eyes again.
Teeth scrape along Patrick's lower lip, then Pete's pressing kisses to his neck. Patrick tilts his head back, keeps his eyes closed. He breathes in slow and deep, swallows. For whatever reason, Pete laughs a little, silent. Then there's tongue and teeth at the bottom of Patrick's ear, and Patrick almost wishes he had a piercing there, something to be worried at other than skin. But. But what Pete's doing is alright anyway, and there's nothing really to complain about, with the way his hands cover Patrick's hipbones.
“Hey,” he says, “hey, do you mind if I,” and he tugs at Patrick's shirt, which Patrick still has on, always has on when people are going to see him.
Patrick hesitates, then nods. “Okay. Okay. Yeah, okay,” and pulls his shirt off, taking the time to neatly fold the black undershirt and set it at the edge of the hot tub. “Sorry. I know I'm not really, you know --”
“Shut up,” Pete says, “I mean, hey, at least you don't have wings. You mind if we have this conversation later? Seriously, I'm not complaining, but you're gonna totally kill my erection if you keep being all teenage girl on me.”
“Thought you liked teenage girls.” Patrick's resting his elbows on the edge of the tub, trying to look innocent.
“Ooh, low blow, asshole.” Pete grins, shoving Patrick a little and messing up his hair. “Seriously, man,” he says, and bites, hard, teeth catching against the skin of Patrick's shoulder.
“Ow, fuck! Fuck, okay,” Patrick says, and trying to figure out where his hands should go is kind of weird, with the wings in the way. So he gives up trying to figure that out, puts one hand on Pete's ass to pull him closer, and the other – well, he waits a second, then he finds Pete's dick and wraps his hand around it.
Pete shudders, and grins at him, and he rolls his shoulders – his wings arch high, then droop, half-submerged.
They're close enough that Patrick's knuckles are scraping against his own dick, through the thin material of the swim trunks he's got on. He lifts his hips -- “Hey, hold up, right” -- and wriggles out of them, can't be bothered to fold them or even figure out where the hell they go once he's kicked them off his ankles. How the hell Pete's keeping his balance, Patrick's not sure, but he's not about to ask because, oh, Pete's sort of rutting against him, thrusting into his hand and grinning (like he's on fucking crack or something, is how he looks) and this is awkward and wet and kind of weird all around but it feels pretty fucking good. Patrick's not going to complain.
What Patrick is going to do: he's going to tilt his head back again. Pete, apparently, is going to take this opportunity to nuzzle up against him. Pete makes like he's going to turn around, then curses under his breath -- “shit!” -- and doesn't. What Pete does do: he says – more of a mumble against Adam's apple than proper speech – something like, “You wanna fuck me?”
“No? Okay, that's cool,” and, apparently, he's content to let Patrick jack him off. Patrick's not entirely sure just when he said no. He's got one hand curving around Pete's dick, thumb on the head; the other – the other hand is probably what prompted that question, because Patrick's got a good two fingers inside Pete already. He pushes a little deeper and Pete tenses, bites down again, and that's gonna be a really obvious mark the next morning, shit. “Shit, shit shit shit,” Pete says, and, “fuck, Patrick, how about that.”
One of Pete's hands is at the back of Patrick's neck, fingers digging in. His other hand isn't even halfheartedly trying to return the favor; it's more of a one eighth-hearted handjob, fingers still, sporadically sort of squeezing, and that's more just because he's a twitchy bastard than anything else. Still, the way he looks right now is reward enough, dark and panting and, yeah, twitching and writhing because of what Patrick's doing. Because of Patrick.
He's mostly quiet, but then he tenses up and goes still and moans, the most coherent of his noises being something along the lines of “ohjesusfuhhstump.” Not that Patrick cares what he says. When Pete comes, he spreads his wings out to their full width, huge black shadows dripping water over the formerly dry tile floor. He shudders and leans heavy against Patrick, still standing in this fucking awkward position that's really just stupid.
Pete says, “I should have stupid magical realism shit happen to me more often, if it means --”
“The hell, shut up,” Patrick says, because he was close just watching Pete and apparently Pete's feeling all conversational now, and that's just not acceptable, because if he lets Pete keep talking his balls'll get so blue they'll be navy. “No fucking literary references, just, for God's sake.”
Pete says, “But it is kinda --”
“Fuck!” Patrick says, and starts to just jack himself off, if Pete's going to be all retarded about it. He bites his lip, glares at Pete through half-lidded eyes. Maybe he growls a little. Pete rolls his eyes.
“Don't gotta do that,” he says, and he looks like he's thinking about going down on Patrick – he's stepped back and started to bend over like that, has his mouth half-open even (though that may be just because he's been breathing through his mouth) then – and only then! -- seems to remember that, oh yeah, hot tub. “Huh, shit, okay,” he says, and covers Patrick's hand with his own, which shouldn't seem like such an improvement but somehow is.
Pete looks at him, seeming to notice him for the first time in a while, and gets this weird little smile on his face when he says, “Wow, shit, you're hot when you're pissed off. You hot when you get off, too? I've heard you, on the bus, and you sound hot when you – yeah, yeah, like that, exactly. Shit.”
Pete says, “Some day, when, you know, the stupid wings're gone and all, I gotta let you fuck me. That'd be hot as hell.”
Patrick rolls his eyes, wants to say something back but words don't seem like such a good idea, since all he's good for right now are weird little noises that hitch in the back of his throat.
Next afternoon, after a kind of awkward morning (Joe, oblivious, asks, “so where were you two last night?”) the bus pulls back in to Chicago, and they're all ready to go home. Andy's rummaging around, looking for his iPod, which has apparently gone missing.
“The hell are you looking in my bunk for?” Pete asks, hands in his pockets, looking bemused as Andy digs through the (questionably dirty) sheets.
“Because,” Andy says, pushing aside a pile of cans then triumphantly holding up his iPod. “It wasn't anywhere else.”
Andy pauses, looks at the stuff stuffed between the thin pseudo-mattress and the bus wall. “How much Red Bull did you drink, Pete?”
Joe's been sitting around playing with a Rubik's cube, probably stoned. He starts giggling.
“I don't know.” Pete gives Joe a look.
“Red Bull,” Joe laughs.
“Wow,” Andy says. He pushes up his glasses and adjusts his shirt. “That's. Well.”
“Oh, God.” Pete collapses, stomach-first, onto his bunk, wincing when he accidentally slams one wing into the wall. He covers his eyes with his hands.
“It gives you --” there's a thunk, followed by a clatter, as the empty can Pete just threw at Joe's head falls to the ground -- “Ow! What was that for?”
“Don't you even say it. Just don't.”