Kevin Jonas/Mike Carden | the high school AU that isn't NINJA
“Um.” Kevin twists his fingers together and tries to think of a non-pathetic way to beg Carden not to kill and eat him. He’d totally be gamey and, like, like—juicy and tender, *oh sweet baby Jesus*, who the heck is he kidding? Kevin would be *delicious*, he’s all solid and active and healthy and stuff, it’s like his mom’s been feeding him up for years and years for this exact moment. Have another apple, son, someday a scary-intense, super hot guy is going to *eat you alive*.
a/n: quick and dirty au ficcy thing, starring Carden, Kevin, Chislett and Brendon. Kevin's paranoid, and Carden might be trying to kill him. Or something. Title is from The Go! Team, please point out any mistakes, and also go join sodamnskippy: I'm going to pimp that for forever :)
Never Needed It Now So Much
Honestly, it wasn’t Kevin’s fault. Or, okay, it was totally Kevin’s fault, but it was an accident, so Carden should really, really, really think twice before beating the snot out of him.
“Um.” Kevin twists his fingers together and tries to think of a non-pathetic way to beg Carden not to kill and eat him. He’d totally be gamey and, like, like—juicy and tender, oh sweet baby Jesus, who the heck is he kidding? Kevin would be delicious, he’s all solid and active and healthy and stuff, it’s like his mom’s been feeding him up for years and years for this exact moment. Have another apple, son, someday a scary-intense, super hot guy is going to eat you alive.
Kevin winces when Carden slaps a palm flat onto the tile wall next to his head.
If Kevin wasn’t about to die, he’d probably appreciate the way Carden’s t-shirt is molded to his chest; the way his sopping jeans are lagging down at his hips and—wow. Wow, Carden has some pretty hipbones. Kevin swallows hard. He sucks his bottom lip in between his teeth and only realizes he’s staring at the black band of Carden’s underwear – he’s staring at his underwear, there is no way he’s going to live through this – when Carden pointedly clears his throat.
Kevin’s panicky gaze darts up, wide-eyed, to Carden’s face. He’s practically expressionless, hair dripping over his forehead; he’s head-to-toe soaking wet, and it’s all Kevin’s – accidental – fault.
Kevin is a dead man.
This calls for some quick thinking.
“Hey, uh,” Kevin says, “is that the bell?” and dodges sideways and runs.
“Oh. Oh, darn it.”
Carden arches an eyebrow at Kevin. He’s considerably more dry, but that doesn’t fool Kevin. He knows exactly why Carden’s there, at the bike rack, holding onto Kevin’s very own bike by the handle, a poor, innocent bike hostage.
“So we need to talk,” Carden says, and is that what the hoodlums are calling it these days? Talking?
Kevin takes a giant step backwards. And bumps into something that’s, uh – he risks a quick glance over his shoulder – yep, Chislett-shaped.
“Accident!” Kevin says, heart in his throat. Oh god, Chislett’s going to hold him down while Carden kicks him, this is going to hurt really badly, he knows this.
Both Carden’s eyebrows go up. “Okay.”
He doesn’t seem concerned. Or else he has no idea what Kevin’s talking about, but whatever, it’s not like he forgot that just that morning Kevin had pushed him into the pool. Accidentally! Accidentally pushed him into the pool.
Despite having three brothers, Kevin has no fight instinct. He’s really good at flight, though – he’s the oldest, he gets blamed for a lot of stuff, but only if he’s there. It takes great skill to be The Wind. He’s fleet of foot and slippery and Chislett isn’t even really holding on to him. Ha.
Kevin twists around and takes off for the back parking lot. If Brendon hasn’t left yet he’ll totally give Kevin a ride.
Kevin’s going to wait it out. He might miss dinner, but at some point Carden’s going to have to go home and leave his bike all alone, and then Kevin can leave too.
The one day Brendon decides not to hang around, hoping for a glimpse of Ryan Ross. Just his luck.
He kicks his feet out, skittering a stone across the asphalt. He hears a crunch and freezes.
More crunches, like sneakers on gravel.
Carden hadn’t come looking for him, had he? Of course he had.
Kevin holds his breath, pulls his legs back, makes himself a tight ball in the shadow of the auditorium.
Carden’s got his arms crossed, eyes narrowed as he stares across the parking lot towards where Kevin’s hidden. He doesn’t think he sees him, though, there’s a glare from the afternoon sun.
Kevin bites his lip.
Carden cocks a hip, mouth sour, and Kevin thinks he’s absolutely crazy for thinking he’s in anyway attractive. Carden plays guitar in an Anthrax tribute band. He hides out behind the school during study halls, sipping at forties out of paper bags and chain-smoking. He’s got chapped lips, dark circles under his eyes, stringy hair and, like, the most amazing forearms in the history of forearms.
Carden tips his head back, drops one arm, shoves the other hand through his hair, then turns and walks back the way he came.
Kevin usually snags an entire plate of cookies for himself after school – otherwise, Frankie just eats them all. He holes up in his room with his cookies and milk and watches TV and thinks about calling Brendon to whine at him, but doesn’t.
After an hour, he’s dozing, laying back on his bed, half empty plate perched on his stomach – he’s not even sure what he’s watching, he thinks maybe it’s an old episode of the Suite Life.
His mom yells, “Kevin, one of your friends is here,” up the stairs, and Kevin yells back, “Okay,” without moving much more than his pinky to lower the volume on his TV.
It’s probably one of the Alexes or Brendon and his binoculars, and as the door creaks open Kevin even starts, “You know, your creepy stalking of Ross isn’t very health—” He cuts off with a yelp, tumbling off the far side of the bed, cookies flying everywhere, because Mike freaking Carden is standing there, just inside his bedroom, and in what world, Mom, what strange and wondrous world is Carden one of his friends?
“How do you know where I live?” Kevin says, and considers calling Joe for help. He doesn’t, but only because Joe would just laugh at him.
Carden moves further into the room and sits on the edge of Kevin’s bed. He picks up a cookie off the comforter, eyes it, then shrugs and takes a bite.
Kevin comes up on his knees and calculates the distance to the door in his head and thinks about the chances of Carden having locked it, and whether or not it really matters, since Carden probably has the reflexes of a rabid wolf – he makes a break for it anyway, and ends up flat on his stomach on the rug, with one of Carden’s knees in the middle of his back, one of his hands pressing down on his neck.
“This is a good cookie,” Carden says absently.
Kevin is glad. Kevin is super glad that Carden is enjoying that cookie; he can have as many cookies as he wants, so long as he doesn’t snack on Kevin, too. He says, “I can, um, get more?”
There’s a long pause, then Carden says, “Nah, I’m good.”
Carden takes his time, finishing the cookie.
Kevin just lies there, head turned to the side, cheek pressed into the carpet, one arm trapped underneath him. He wiggles his fingers a little.
Carden says, “So I was thinking about beating the shit out of you,” and Kevin’s entire body flashes hot, then cold, and he holds really, really still with terror.
Kevin’s throat is dry and he tries to swallow but it hurts, and he rasps out, “My mom’s downstairs.” Carden can’t beat him up in front of his mom, that’s just wrong.
Carden snorts. “Okay,” he says, and, “You’re a strange kid, Jonas.”
Kevin doesn’t see anything strange about not wanting to get hurt. That’s just common sense. “It was an accident,” Kevin says softly.
Finally, Carden’s leg lifts off him and Kevin can shift and move; he risks leveraging himself up on his elbows, risks looking over his shoulder at him.
Carden shrugs and reaches for another fallen cookie, then gestures towards the TV. “You’re watching Disney?”
“Uh, yeah,” Kevin says, a little bemused that Carden obviously recognized the show.
“Come on.” Carden nudges his thigh with the toe of his sneaker.
Kevin slowly, warily sits up, and then Carden tosses him a cookie.
Kevin has no idea what’s going on.
In the hallway, before homeroom, Carden walks by and bumps his shoulder, flashes him a grin, and Brendon pauses mid-word and gives Kevin crazy eyes.
“What was that?” Brendon asks, flailing his hands around.
Kevin says, “Nothing,” because he’s sure this is some special brand of torture. Carden’ll pretend like they're friends, lull Kevin into dropping his guard, and then he’ll totally and completely humiliate him.
“That’s Carden,” Brendon says, like Kevin doesn’t know. Like this isn’t Kevin’s living nightmare.
It sucks so hard, that a guy Kevin likes and admires – okay, well, maybe not admires, it’s not like Kevin wants to be Carden; Carden smells like smoke and Kevin doesn’t even like Anthrax, but he’s a guy Kevin totally thinks is badass and hot and cool, and he’s gearing up to crush all of Kevin’s hopes and dreams. There is no other explanation for this.
Kevin doesn’t have much of a social standing in school beyond LOSER, but at least he has a future. There was going to be senior year, eventually, and then college and maybe graduate school and he was totally going to learn how to play the ukulele at some point, and possibly the accordion.
But now. Now there is only doom.
Kevin’s trying very hard to ignore the way Chislett’s camaro is stalking him down the street. It’s creepy. He doesn’t like the way Carden’s hanging out the window, either, calling his name.
And then Chislett doesn’t even stop, but Carden’s popping open the passenger side door and rolling out – Chislett’s going so slow, stalking Kevin, that Carden doesn’t even stumble.
Carden paces Kevin, hands in his pockets. He says, “Hey.”
Kevin suddenly wishes he lived far enough away from Brendon that Brendon would’ve had to drive him home. That way, he wouldn’t run afoul of people who have it out for him. Or dogs - old Mr. Walken’s Chihuahua charges the fence, yipping, and Kevin jumps sideways, he never gets used to that.
Carden catches his arm and laughs at him and says, “Whoa.” His fingers are warm and tight around his wrist and one part of Kevin is totally glee-facing about holding hands, but there’s a bigger part that’s warning Kevin to start gnawing his hand off now, before Chislett gets out the tire iron or, like, face paint.
“Are you sure you don’t want a ride?” Carden asks.
Kevin shakes his head. “No, thanks.” He’s not getting in a car with Carden and Chislett.
Kevin is very conscious of the fact that Carden is still holding onto him. The tips of his fingers are tingling, and he can feel his entire head flushing hot and Carden just shifts closer, so their shoulders are bumping.
“Um.” Kevin stops. He thinks if he keeps walking, he’ll just trip over his own feet.
Carden arches an eyebrow at him. “Yeah?”
“What are you—”
Carden grabs his chin, tilts his head down so he’s staring right into his eyes. Carden has this creepily intense stare, too. He’s really good at not showing any emotion at all, like he’s dead inside, and Kevin should not, under any circumstances, find that hot. Then Carden grins with half his mouth, a little mocking, and says, “I’ve got no fucking idea why someone hasn’t already done something about you, Christ, you’re just—” He shakes his head, and Kevin doesn’t know if he’s being serious or not, or what he’s actually talking about – done something about Kevin? What, like end him?
Kevin’s not sure he even wants to know.
Carden eyes up Kevin’s Transformers on his desk, and Kevin wills him not to touch any. If Carden has to break anything, Kevin’s going to make the ultimate sacrifice here for Megatron.
Kevin admits he kind of has a thing for bad guys. It’s sort of sad.
When Carden reaches a hand towards Starscream, Kevin blurts out, “Are you gonna kill me or not?” because Starscream is delicate, and Kevin doesn’t trust him.
Carden turns around slowly, smirks at him. “Or not.”
Kevin bobs his head and dips his gaze to his bedspread. Okay. Okay, so no killing. Maiming might still be on the table, though. Or maybe even a good old-fashioned bullying. Kevin’ll take a swirly over a punch to the face, but he’s not thrilled about it.
When he glances up again, Carden’s way too close. Like, kissing close, and where the heck did that come from?
Kevin’s eyes go wide.
Carden’s smirk turns evil.
There’s a moment where Kevin’s not even sure he’s breathing.
Then Carden fists his hand in the front of Kevin’s t-shirt, tugs him down to the floor, and reaches out for the TV remote.
It’s baffling. Kevin likes that word: baffling.
Kevin’s mom loves Carden. She thinks he’s charming, she whispered it to him in the kitchen, and doesn’t she see how he’s just biding his time, plotting, making sure Kevin’s ruin is totally complete?
Carden cocks his head at him, eyes shadowed in the dying light. The front porch light’s still off, but Kevin’s pretty sure Frankie’s watching them from the window.
Carden had stayed for dinner. He’d let Kevin’s dad grill him about school and work and no one had commented about the fact that Carden looks kind of like an unwashed bum. A sexy unwashed bum. A sexy unwashed, chain-smoking bum – Carden digs a single battered cigarette and lighter out of his front pocket and lights up.
“I can see you’re confused, kid,” Carden says, “so this is how it’s gonna go.”
Smoke curls out from Carden’s mouth. It’s kind of mesmerizing.
Carden says, “Tomorrow.”
“Tomorrow,” Kevin echoes absently.
“We do this at my house.” He flicks some ash into Kevin’s mom’s hibiscus.
“We—wait, this?” What is this? Dinner? Setting the garden on fire? Is this, like, some kind of initiation? Is Kevin in a gang now?
Carden huffs a laugh. He drops his cigarette and pokes the center of Kevin’s forehead and says, “What the fuck goes on in your head, Jonas, are you panicking right now?”
“I’m, yes,” Kevin says, because why wouldn’t he be panicking? What kind of question is that?
“Fucking nuts,” Carden mutters, then brings one hand up to slip under Kevin’s shirt, slide across the bare skin of his hip, tucking the tips of his fingers down the back of Kevin’s jeans.
Kevin frowns. He isn’t crazy. All his thoughts and worries are entirely reasonable, given the circumstances, except—Carden’s other hand slips over his belly and Kevin sucks in a breath, can’t stop a shiver, and Kevin’s starting to get the feeling that, well—“Your house, wait, are we going out?”
Carden really has a dirty grin, Kevin thinks. He walks his fingers up Kevin’s chest, wriggles the others along the dip of his spine.
Kevin wisely takes a hold of Carden’s arms, up under his t-shirt sleeves, before he loses all balance. “Huh,” Kevin says.
Carden’s teeth close over the edge of his jaw, a soft bite, a flick of his tongue. “Slow,” he says.
“I’m not,” Kevin says. He’s not slow or nuts or anything. Carden just doesn’t make any sense whatsoever. Kevin dumped him in the pool.
Carden’s mouth closes over his; Kevin opens up and there’s even more tongue and—he’s making sounds. All kinds of embarrassing sounds that make Carden grip him harder and murmur, “Jesus Christ,” and Kevin is apparently easy. He’s gonna have to work on that.
Kevin thinks it’s a mistake to let his guard down. This could be an elaborate ruse. An elaborate ruse of kissing and groping and, like, meeting moms. And movie dates and handholding and whatever - Kevin’s cautious, but Carden’s kind of distracting. His hands have callouses on them and he’s really into biting.
“What you are,” Carden says against Kevin’s throat, “is out of your fucking mind. It’s pretty endearing.”
“Hey, you’re the one who wanted to beat me up,” Kevin says. He pokes Carden in the tummy and wriggles out of Carden’s grip, crossing his arms over his chest and scowling, slumped in the opposite corner of the couch.
“Awww, baby,” Carden says, and Kevin knows, knows with all his heart, that Carden’s baby is more mocking than anything else. Carden may enjoy sticking his hands down Kevin’s pants, but his favorite pastime is making Kevin feel like a moron. Carden’s lucky Kevin finds that endearing.
“Shut up,” Kevin says, then climbs over onto Carden’s lap, legs on either side of his thighs, because Kevin can totally be distracting, too.
“So, no, really, what’s going on with you and Carden?” Brendon asks. He’s posing against his locker, hips jutted out, because Ross passes down this hallway on his way to lunch and Brendon is desperate.
“We have an agreement,” Kevin says. An agreement where they make out and Carden uses the phone to ask him places instead of just creepily stalking him everywhere. It’s working out well.
“Okay,” Brendon says. “Cool.”
“Yeah.” Yeah, it kind of is.