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new fic: All In The Way That You Trip

All In The Way That You Trip | R | 22,000+
Brendon/Spencer | Harlequin AU
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“I’m going to ask you one more time,” he says, and he looks – Brendon shudders – he looks like he *wants* Brendon to stay quiet, like he’s just itching to take Brendon apart and maybe put him back together wrong. “Where is Ryan?”

A/N: Okay, so this is the Harlequin Fic of Horrible Doom I’ve been teasing you with for so long, written for harlequin_bands. It’s highly ridiculous, implausible, inaccurate, dumb, ill-conceived, poorly plotted, nonsensical, etc. Mainly it’s just Spencer hauling Brendon around a lot, which may or may not be your cup of tea. I’m still kind of totally embarrassed I actually wrote this *hands*. Many, huge thanks go to insunshine for beta’ing this and for being extremely supportive and lovely and awesome, as usual! Title comes from a song by The Prix. I'm gonna go hide out and be ashamed all by my lonesome now *slinks off*

All In The Way That You Trip


Prologue

The water is cold as it laps at Brendon’s ankles, steadily turning his feet numb. He’s hunched down, digital camera propped up with his elbows on his knees, snapping pictures of two tiny hermit crabs, frolicking in the shallow tide pool.

Brendon grins when he feels a hand high on his back.

“You almost done?” George asks. “Greta’ll be closing by the time we get there.”

“Yeah,” Brendon says. He sighs and pushes a hand against his thigh as he straightens, twisting his back until it pops.

George is Brendon’s nearest summer neighbor, and he has a car. Which is awesome, because Brendon has a golf cart that decides it wants to actually work maybe once a month. He’d be trapped in the curve of the bay forever if it wasn’t for George’s awesome silver Mercedes, and willingness to chauffer him into town every once and a while.

Brendon angles up and snaps a quick pic of George’s face, shadowy with the sun low behind him, a scowl pulling at his lips and the breeze off the water tousling his hair.

He gently pushes Brendon’s camera away and says, “Come on, stop.”

“But you’re just so pretty, G,” Brendon says, grinning.

George rolls his eyes and stuffs his hands into the pockets of his jeans. “Yeah, whatever,” he says flatly. “Let’s go, Urie.”

After two months, Brendon’s gotten used to the complete lack of inflection in George’s voice, so Brendon can usually tell when he’s really annoyed with him. He’s pretty sure George is just amused now; he notices the way his eyes are crinkling at the edges, even though he’s not smiling with his mouth.

“I just need to pick up some prints,” Brendon says, starting back towards his house, the little bungalow he’d bought four years before. It’s got a kitchen-slash-living room, a bathroom and a bedroom and it’s basically the tiniest house ever. It’s just perfect for Brendon, because the artiste in him likes clutter; likes being surrounded by his work, likes having stacks of his paintings less than an arm’s length away, and he likes being able to step outside his front door and see miles and miles of nothing: sand, brush, sky, sea. He likes to think of his home as his shell, just big enough to fit around him. Everything he wants to explore is outside.

There are other houses along the bay, but they’re few and far between, and only one or two are permanent residents like him. George is temporary. Brendon’s going to have to sweet talk Chris into fixing up Sweet Beulah before winter sets in or he’ll have to start walking the five miles into town each week for supplies.

When the sand gives way to coarse, patchy grass, Brendon bounds up his porch steps and flings his screen door open. The prints he needs to color match are spread out across his kitchen counter; he gathers them up and stuffs them into a manila folder, then slips outside again.

George is standing at the top of his gravel drive with his arms crossed, having a silent glare-fest with Mongo.

Mongo hates George. To be fair, Mongo hates just about everyone, and barely tolerates Brendon. He’s a mangy shepherd mix; gray at the muzzle, bone-thin everywhere, and Brendon suspects he’s at least half-deaf. Brendon’s taken to feeding him, and he sleeps on the porch at night and follows him at a safe, watchful distance during the day. Brendon still hasn’t figured out his game, and the dog’s been hanging around since early spring. He figures, though, that he just isn’t used to any sort of kindness from humans.

George spots Brendon and arches an eyebrow. “Ready?”

Brendon nods, holds up the folder. “Yep. Be good, Mongo,” he says.

George snorts. “That dog’s gonna rip your throat out one of these days. Or give you fleas.”

Brendon grins and scratches elaborately at his throat, arching his neck back. He gives George a playful look from under lowered lashes and George blinks at him, and hey, hey, there’s a little swallow, a tiny little flush on his cheeks.

Then his mouth tightens and George says, “Get in the car, Urie.”

George gets so embarrassed when Brendon flirts with him, which is awesome. He’s kind of epically fun to fuck with.

*

Greta is just flipping the sign out front to CLOSED when Brendon and George pull up to her boutique, and she waves at them through the window. She turns the lock and presses the door open with one hand, grinning.

“You almost missed me, peanut,” she says to Brendon.

Brendon shakes his head and says, “You totally would’ve waited for me,” because he always comes in on Wednesdays, and if he’s not going to make it he always calls. Greta is the best, most wonderful girl in the world, because she orders all his supplies for him, and doesn’t care if he needs to send some back – it’s hard to judge colors from a catalog, and sometimes they just aren’t right.

Greta flicks on a lamp and tugs out a box of oil paints from under the front counter, and Brendon flips open his folder. He’s got five photos; two hermit crab ones, a starfish, a pile of shells, and Mongo at the water’s edge. There’s a shade of blue-green in the last one that he thinks he can get if he finds the perfect bottle of dark green.

“What’s this?”

Brendon glances up at George. “Um. Mongo?” It’s just Mongo barking at some gulls in a rare fit of playfulness, sunrise setting off his fur, a boat anchored in the distance.

George is staring hard at the photo, jaw clenched. “Greta,” he says finally, “Could I, um, have a glass of water?”

Greta blinks at him. “Coke do?”

“Yeah, thanks,” George says, and he’s got his whole body coiled tight, watching Greta as she walks towards the back room.

Brendon leans into his arm and asks, “Okay, G?”

“Fine,” he says, clipped, still staring after Greta. Weird.

Brendon busies himself pawing through the box of new oils, coos at the raw umber, a slick yellow-orange that’s just this side of brushed brass. He hasn’t found a manufacturer yet that makes it exactly how he wants, but this looks promising. Maybe if he adds a tiny bit of sienna, it’ll shade the sun-drenched hermit crabs just right.

“Here you go,” Greta says brightly, sweeping up to the counter again and placing an already sweating bottle of soda at George’s elbow.

Brendon catches her gaze and smirks a little. They both think George is so completely hot, but really, really odd. Brendon’s never seen him out of jeans and a long sleeve t-shirt, and he lives at the beach.

“Shit,” George says, and then Brendon feels wetness kiss up to the arm he’s got leaning on the counter, and George has his photos up, shaking Coke off the matte images – Brendon likes the color saturation better than glossy.

Brendon wrinkles his nose.

Greta whips out a roll of paper towels and makes distressed clucking noises as she blots up the mess.

George says, “Shit,” again and, “Sorry, sorry, Brendon,” and Brendon shrugs.

“It’s fine, don’t worry about it, they’re still on my computer. I can just print out new ones if I need them,” Brendon says.

George’s eyes narrow, but he just says, “Good.”

*

“Do you mind if I keep this?” George asks as they leave Greta’s, holding up the ruined photo of Mongo.

Brendon says, “Go ahead,” and watches as George folds it up into a small square and tucks it into his back pocket.

The drive back to Brendon’s cabin is quiet, and for once Brendon feels no compulsion to break it. He’s not fond of silences – they make him antsy – but there’s something about George’s mood, something about the way his hands are loose on the steering wheel but perfectly placed, the way his mouth is a wide, blank line as he stares straight ahead. Brendon’s reluctant to needle him, like maybe the slightest wrong move will set him off. Set him off into what, Brendon’s not sure, but he doesn’t think he wants to find out.

At Brendon’s house, he pulls to a stop, car idling in drive. He sighs, then turns to pin Brendon with sharp, brown eyes. Something slides over his face, like he’s got some sort of internal debate going on, and then he shakes it off and says, “I’m going to ask you something, and it’s important that you tell me exactly what you remember, okay?”

Brendon frowns. “Uh, I guess.”

George nods. “All right.” He shifts, tugs out the picture of Mongo again. There’re streaks of yellow-brown mottling and distorting the image. “This boat?”

“Yeah?”

“Think back, Brendon. Do you remember if anyone saw you?”

“Anyone.” Brendon furrows his brow. “I don’t think so?”

George takes a deep breath. “Are you sure? Are fucking sure, Brendon?” he asks, and his knuckles are white, fingers biting into the paper.

Brendon is not sure. He honestly doesn’t remember anything about the boat at all, forgot it was even in the picture until he’d printed out, even though he’d taken the photo, like, the day before. He doesn’t want to tell George that, though, because George looks like he’s maybe on the verge of having an apoplectic fit. “Yes,” Brendon says.

George relaxes back into his seat, covers his eyes with a palm. “Okay,” he breathes. “Okay, great.”

“Um.” Brendon risks a small, “Why?”

“The less you know about this the better, Brendon,” George says, a wry twist to his mouth when he turns to look at him again. He licks his lips. “Listen. I, uh. I’m going to be gone soon, and I might not be able to say goodbye.”

Brendon says, “Why not?” because, what the hell, they’re friends. They’ve hung out, like, every day for the past month. George brings him food, shakes him out of his artistic fugue. They drink beers and pass out on Brendon’s porch.

George doesn’t answer. He just shakes his head slowly, sadly.

Brendon takes a shaky breath. “Okay.” He’s gotten real used to having George around. The bay is wonderful for his muse, but it really fucking sucks for company.

George isn’t much of a toucher, tolerates Brendon’s habit of hanging off anything that breathes by stiffening up but never pushing away. Now, though, he reaches over the console and tugs Brendon into a half-hug. “I’ll see you tomorrow,” he says against Brendon’s cheek.

Brendon nods. He slides out of the car, tugs his box of paints out of the backseat, then stands by the porch steps as he watches George reverse out of the driveway.

Behind him, he hears Mongo whine. It’s his my-bowl-is-empty whine.

Brendon huffs a laugh. “Yeah, okay,” he says, “dinner.”

part one

Comments

( 11 robots have taken off their pants — Take off your pants )
xbeax
Oct. 10th, 2008 06:05 pm (UTC)
OMG OMG OMG OMG YOU POSTED IT FINALLY I'VE BEEN WAITING FOR WEEKS FOR THS!! :D

I shall go read nao omg. :D
earth_is_a_star
Oct. 10th, 2008 08:10 pm (UTC)
GEORGE. *dies* And Greta calls Brendon 'peanut'! I pretty much shouted for joy, it's so adorable.
princess_wentz
Oct. 11th, 2008 01:38 am (UTC)
WWWWWWWWWWWWOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWW. I have awaited this. ♥♥♥

It is all kinds of awesome. ♥♥♥
skoosiepants
Oct. 16th, 2008 05:26 pm (UTC)
thank you!!
trippypeas
Oct. 11th, 2008 02:59 am (UTC)
*fist pumps then goes to read*
cc2828
Oct. 11th, 2008 03:41 am (UTC)
woohoo!
i've been looking so very forward to this and now it's here! YAY!
munkykiss
Oct. 11th, 2008 04:40 am (UTC)
I'm so excited to read this!
thepouncer
Oct. 11th, 2008 10:30 pm (UTC)
Is this kinda based on an Elizabeth Lowell novel? Because the whole seaside picture thing sounds really familiar, but then there's the hint of DRAMA and that doesn't go with this particular novel. I love mixing and matching plots, though -- I can't wait to see where this one ends up.
(Deleted comment)
skoosiepants
Oct. 16th, 2008 05:27 pm (UTC)
yay!
sporks_dominate
Oct. 13th, 2008 06:31 pm (UTC)
:O
( 11 robots have taken off their pants — Take off your pants )

....

The Hale apartment is very—wolf themed. Stiles can see why Derek wouldn’t like kittens. He’s staring at a wall of pictures when Alex comes up beside him and says, “That’s Aunt Laura,” pointing at a photo of what looks like a wild animal.

“You named your dog Aunt Laura?” Not that Stiles is judging, he had a Japanese fighting fish named Officer Kevin once.

“No,” Alex says, like her eyes are trying to tell him something. “She’s a wolf.”

- We Should Become More Adventurous

....







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panic - pants to match ver. 3
skoosiepants
master of karate and friendship
pants to match

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