Mike Carden/Kevin Jonas | In which Kevin realizes Mike is his Disney princess, and Mike realizes Kevin would look hot naked.
Mike grins. “So here’s the thing,” he says. “It’s just like kissing a girl, only you’ve got some harder surfaces to work with.”
There’s a muffled, “Oh my god,” and Kevin brings up his other hand so he’s kind of covering his whole face, laughing more now, and Mike takes advantage of his distraction by slipping his fingers up under Kevin’s shirt.
A/N: Okay, so I think this is my favorite thing I’ve written since Dancing Without Warning. You can call this a canon AU, or, if you’re delusional like me, you can call this FUTURE FIC. Kevin would totally realize he was gay on his honeymoon, right?
Title comes from Selena Gomez and The Scene’s Naturally. If Kevin/Mike were a poppy techno dance tune, this would be it.
When You Know It’s Meant To Be
I. you can be gay
It was—okay. It wasn’t bad, but it maybe wasn’t what everyone had made it out to be. Kevin had just been expected something, uh, more? And maybe a lot less awkward, because they were totally married now and she’s his shining, beautiful Disney princess, and their lives together—it’s going to be a fairytale, it’s going to be perfect. He just has to get over this one little problem.
When he talks to Joe, Joe says, “Dude, that’s a big problem, are you kidding me?”
“It’s not. It’s one aspect of our awesome lives together, that’s all.” Kevin is afraid he sounds as unsure as he feels. He doesn’t want to let everyone down, but Joe’s just confirming what he’d kinda been afraid of - sex with someone you love is supposed to be awesome and fun and worth the wait.
Kevin is hiding in a cabana. He’s sticky hot with his t-shirt on, and he absently rubs over the hickey Dani left on his collarbone. It really kind of hurts. And is embarrassing, even though he’s sure it’s not supposed to be.
“All right,” Joe says. Kevin can hear him snapping his gum. “Give me a rundown, what went wrong?”
“Um.” Kevin doesn’t think anything actually went wrong - Dani seemed pretty happy? “There was just, uh, I don’t know, man, I guess I didn’t think about how much boobs just kind of—get in the way?”
The snapping stops. Joe says, slow-like, “Kev,” and then pauses, like he doesn’t know what else to say.
“Kev,” Joe says again, “I’m pretty sure boobs are, like, one of the best parts.”
“I know,” Kevin says quickly. “They’re just. Big.”
Kevin feels hotter, only more from how stupid this conversation is than the island heat. “Look, it’s fine.”
“No, Kev, I don’t think it’s—”
“Seriously, I’ve got it under control, I was—we were just nervous.” Nerves can get to you like that, right? They can make you sick to your stomach and shaky and kind of—disgusted? Or something?
“Kevin,” Joe says. “Did you.” He makes a pained sound. “Did you get off?”
“Oh. Oh, yeah. Yes.” He’s not—that wasn’t exactly the problem; he’s used to, you know, doing it himself, for years, he can think of a million things that work for the whole getting off thing.
Joe sighs. “Please tell me you used protection.”
Kevin wrinkles his nose. “What, why?”
“Because. Because I think—you know, Kev, you should really talk to Dani about this, okay?”
Yeah, right. Like Kevin’s going to bring this up with his wife, geez. Sure, honey, I love you lots but you aren’t exactly doing it for—oh. Oh, damn it, what? Kevin swallows hard. He says, trying to hold back the reins on his absolute panic, because this totally doesn’t mean anything. At all. “That’s, uh. That’s a good plan.”
It doesn’t have anything to do with how much Kevin loves Danielle, he is absolutely sure of that. He’s just realized, belatedly, that breasts freak him out. This is unfortunate for everyone involved; he really should have thought more about the fact that making out with Dani had never been very high on his priority list.
In his defense, his priority list is super long.
Kevin sprawls out on the bed - their honeymoon bed - and says, “I just don’t get it.”
This is after Danielle had locked herself in the bathroom and sobbed for an hour. After which she’d let Kevin in and they’d both sobbed together for an hour - now Kevin’s just emotionally exhausted.
“I thought maybe you were just a gentleman,” Dani says, sniffing. She’s got raccoon eyes and her nose is swollen. Kevin still thinks she’s gorgeous.
“I’m—well, I am,” Kevin says, flapping a hand around. Kevin will never not be a gentleman, his parents raised him right. “I just, I don’t know what to do with you.” He doesn’t get how boobs work, and how they’re frighteningly squishy and, like, right there, in his face.
“Well.” Danielle nods slowly. “Um, maybe we should try again?”
Kevin blanches, but he’s totally not a quitter. It’s a good idea. Sex is totally something that just gets better with time and practice. “Okay,” he says.
“Okay,” Dani echoes.
They stare at each other.
Dani makes a face and reaches behind her and unties her bikini top and—Kevin thinks that she’s - not cookie-cutter pretty, but beautiful. That her curves are awesome, but he’s not sure he wants to touch them.
Kevin hooks his fingers in the waistband of his board shorts and shimmies them down his hips, and then Dani’s hands are on him, cool and smooth, and Kevin’s—Kevin’s twenty-two, so he’s okay with getting hard from a tight squeeze, but when he cups her shoulders, when she straddles his waist—his mind echoes harsh guitar chords, the exhilarating roar of the crowd. He has to make his body remember the vibrations of the bass-drum through thousands of stage floors in order to get his hips to move. There’s just. Nothing sexy about the narrow ribcage under his hands, and his fingers flinch away from the underbelly of Dani’s breasts.
“Mom and dad are gonna be so pissed, do you know how much your wedding cost?” Nick says, pacing up and down the living room. “A freaking castle, Kev, you bought her glass slippers!”
“We’re not doing anything about it,” Kevin says, twisting his fingers together in his lap.
Joe snorts. “What, she’s gonna be your beard? For real?”
Kevin flushes. “Uh, no. We’re married.”
“Right,” Nick nods, stopping in front of him with his hands on his hips. “I’m pretty sure you can get it annulled.”
“Yeah, you can. I mean, it’s been, what, two weeks?”
“We’re not getting a divorce or getting annulled or whatever,” Kevin says. They’d talked a lot about this, and Dani’s his best friend and he loves her, and besides the whole celibacy thing, their marriage is pretty ideal. It’s not like Kevin’s not used to being celibate.
Nick stares at him.
Joe stares at him.
Nick says, “You’re crazy. I have an actual crazy person for a brother.”
“It’s not like I was ever going to tell anyone!” Kevin says. He’s not crazy, geez.
“Why not?” Joe says. “You can be gay. I’m not gonna say you can’t be out and gay.”
“If you say you’re not gay, after you called me from your honeymoon, crying about terrible heterosexual sex, I’m seriously going to punch you in the face,” Joe says.
Kevin frowns. He hadn’t been—he just hasn’t put a label on himself yet. For all he knows, he could be asexual; it’s not like he’s ever made out with any guys. “I just don’t want to jump into anything,” he says.
Nick stares at him some more. Finally, he says, “Okay.” He says, “Joe’s right, Kevin,” - Joe lets out a, “boo-yah!” and pumps his fist - “but if you and Dani want to do this, we’re going to be here for you any way we can. We just want you to be happy.”
“I know.” Kevin pulls Nick into a hug. “I’ll be good.”
“Awww, bro-hugs!” Joe says, then flings himself on top of Nick and sort of pulls Kevin into a headlock, and it’s familiar and awesome and kind of—painful, too.
Being married to Danielle is not unlike not being married to Danielle. Mainly because Kevin works a lot.
In the beginning, when Nick was on his solo tour and Joe was busy being Joe, Kevin had lots of free time to hang out with Dani and decorate their house and set up elaborate web pranks with Frankie, but once the new season of JONAS started taping, and they started working on a new album and talking about another tour, it was like time reversed itself, and Dani was Dani-the-girlfriend again, only they lived in the same house.
It works until it doesn’t work. Until Dani sits him down one day nearly six months later and tells him she’s met someone, and it’s not like Kevin can be mad or even surprised or anything. He’s content, but he can see how Dani might not be.
She signs a deal about how long she has to wait to be seen in public with this new guy, this bank teller named Steven - who Kevin’s met and actually likes, he’s got a big, goofy smile and wears bowties to work and has three different Thrasher t-shirts; at least, that Kevin’s seen. Nick makes him do it, has the lawyer draw everything up, and Kevin hates it, because that’s not how it normally goes at all, probably not even for Hollywood couples, but it’s not like anything about this marriage has ever been normal.
Dani says, “It’s fine, Kev, I don’t mind,” after initialing the last of the papers. “It’s actually better, you know, I don’t want you hurt.”
Kevin nods. It’s weird, they’re mega-stars, but they get a lot of flak for being the Jonas Brothers, anyway - and he’s the lame older brother, the one most likely to be the odd man out, so it’s probably better this way.
They hadn’t had a prenup - which Nick had actually completely freaked out about, Joe does a great impression, complete with mad-scientist hair - but it doesn’t matter. Danielle says she doesn’t want anything that isn’t hers, and Kevin’s apparently got a wider view of what that means, because their house doesn’t even look empty without her.
Kevin calls their lawyer and has him split everything fifty-fifty anyway, everything he’s made in the past half year.
And then he goes out and gets spectacularly drunk.
II. you’ve got some harder surfaces to work with
Bill says, “So what’s the emergency?” and Mike is already drunk, so it takes him a few minutes to parse his words.
“Death,” Mike says finally. He lights up another cigarette, even though he hasn’t finished his last one, and ends up double fisting them.
Bill makes a face. “I thought you quit?” He sprawls out on the bench seat across from him and steals Mike’s beer. “And I’m assuming you’re talking about your own death,” he says, surveying the number of empty shot glasses and beer bottles Mike has lined up on the table.
“Em’s pregnant,” Mike says. It still sounds weird in his head. That could be all the alcohol, though.
Bill arches an eyebrow and tips the top of the beer bottle towards him. “Felicitations, then.”
Mike blinks at him. “It’s not mine.”
“Oh.” Bill blinks back. “Shit.”
Mike salutes him with his last shot. “Yep.”
Bill takes a long pull off his beer, taps his fingers on the cool glass. “Are you sure it isn’t yours?”
“She’s four months. Four months ago we were—not here,” Mike says, waving his hand. They were on tour, and he hasn’t had sex with Em in five months, for various reasons, so yeah, he’s pretty fucking sure. “Plus, she told me it wasn’t.”
“Bitch,” Bill says, and then chugs the rest of the bottle and flags a waitress down for more. “Bitch,” he says again, once he has two more beers and six more shots.
“Thanks,” Mike says.
Bill pushes a glass towards him. “Vodka. Good for what ails you, with stunning effects on your memory. Drink up, yo ho.”
“That’s rum,” Mike says, but he tilts back the shot, barely grimacing at the burn sliding down his throat.
“We’ll start on that next.”
When they leave the bar, hours later, Mike’s afraid he’s drunken himself sober, full circle, but then he trips off the curb and throws up in the gutter, so not really.
Bill pats his back, but he’s not much better, and if the bartender hadn’t called them a cab – at least, he thinks she did, someone had taken his car keys - Mike’s sure they’d be waking up slumped together in an alley the next morning – he can barely keep his eyes open, but when he closes them everything spins.
“Um, are you alright?”
Mike looks up – he’s on the ground now? Where’s Bill? – and sees a poodle. Or, like, a guy, a familiar guy, he’s sure, with poodle hair and full, flushed cheeks and he’s, like, fucking adorable.
“Fuck,” Mike says.
The guy’s eyes widen. But then he hunches down and grabs Mike’s arms and helps him up – they stumble a little, and Mike thinks maybe the guy isn’t as drunk as he is, but he isn’t totally sober, either. Mike leans his face into his shoulder and takes some deep breaths and thinks about throwing up again.
He doesn’t, but it’s a close thing.
“Are you okay?” the guy says.
Mike says a muffled, “M’fine, thanks,” and curls his fingers into the guy’s scarf and holds on. “Where’s Billy?”
“I know you.” Bill’s voice comes somewhere from Mike’s left. “Why do I know you?”
“I just—have that kind of face?”
Mike snorts, pulls back so he can properly look at the guy. His vision’s fine, but his mind’s blurry with alcohol, so all he gets is the hair again, and the puppy-dog eyes. “’Lo,” he says.
The guy smiles. “Hi. Do you need a ride somewhere?”
“Wouldn’t say no,” Bill says.
They end up in the back of a big SUV, and Mike mostly tunes Bill and the guy out, staring at the TV screen embedded in the seatback in front of him, and he thinks he might’ve been out for a while, because the next thing he knows, Bill’s jabbing his bony fucking elbow in Mike’s side and they’re both standing out in the cool night air, staring up at a house he doesn’t recognize.
“Are we being kidnapped?” Mike asks.
Bill wraps a long arm around Mike’s shoulders. “The hotel. There was a hotel, and then there’s Em, and this fine young gentleman took it upon himself to, uh—”
“Nobody could give me an address,” the guy says. He gestures towards the house. There’s a big dude standing behind him, scowling, and Mike stares at him.
“Dude,” Mike says.
“I have some spare bedrooms?”
Bill says, “I hope you know who we are. I hope we know who you are, mysteriously familiar boy,” and Mike silently agrees, because otherwise this is just plain dangerous for everyone involved.
Mike is too wiped to argue – he just wants to get horizontal.
There’s a blur of time, of high ceilings and tricksy stairs. Then Mike’s getting practically dragged into a bedroom by the big dude, and the big dude’s radiating disapproval, Mike can tell that even blind, stinking drunk.
“I’m totally being careful, Kev,” the big dude says gruffly, and then he drops Mike on a bed, and Mike blinks up at a canopy that’s really white and really lacey and, like, way gay.
Kev, the poodle, leans into his view. “You’re not gonna throw up again, are you?” he asks.
“No comment.” Mike is not making any promises. His body is rebelling. He hasn’t been this drunk since before Em, and his body’s all healthy and shit now; he’s maybe not a light-weight, but there’s going to be hell to pay tomorrow.
Kev grins at him, and Mike reaches up and palms his face – or slaps at him, he’s a little sloppy, but Kev doesn’t stop grinning. Mike wants to press his thumbs into his smile marks.
“Okay,” Kev says.
Mike says, “Okay,” and, “G’night.”
“You should maybe let me go,” Kev says, and Mike realizes he’s managed to hook his hand around Kev’s neck, just pressing there.
He fiddles with the short curls and weighs the pros and cons of a friendly kiss. Pro, this dude is adorable. Con, Mike’s pretty sure he’s thrown up within the past hour. Pro, drunken make-outs are pretty spectacular, he’s missed them. Con, eight or so hours ago he’d found out his girlfriend was fucking around on him. Con, drunken make-outs lead to awkward morning-afters. Con, there’s a good chance the big dude’s still lurking, and he kind of gets the impression that he really wants a reason to make Mike eat his fist.
Pro, Kev’s still grinning at him.
Mike says, “Fuck it,” ‘cause he’s getting good vibes here, and he’s had an otherwise fucking miserable day.
Kev freezes when Mike kisses him, Mike can feel all his muscles tensing under his hands. And then, oh yeah, Kev kisses him back.
That’s pretty much the last thing Mike remembers.
There are tiny, vindictive, evil fucking gnomes scraping away at the inside of his skull with spoons when Mike crawls back into consciousness. Also, there’s a warm body tucked up next to him. From the way the body’s elbows are digging into Mike’s ribs, Mike correctly guesses that it’s Bill.
Mike shifts a little, and Bill swings his arms around him and clings like a limpet.
Bill whispers, “Do you know where we are?”
“No.” Mike’s voice hurts his own ears. Water would be the best thing ever right about now. Also, pills. Pills of all sorts, he doesn’t care what, so long as it dulls the painful throbbing in his head.
Bill hefts himself up. His hair has a C.C. DeVille thing going on; Mike would laugh if he didn’t think it would kill him. Otherwise, Bill seems pretty together. “I was snooping,” Bill says. “It took me twenty minutes to find you.”
Mike considers ignoring Bill and going back to sleep. “Okay.”
“Jonas, Mike.” Bill’s vibrating; Mike can feel it through the mattress. “Kevin Jonas took us home last night. Kevin, eldest Jonas brother, with the perfect thighs and the wife. I prefer Nick, of course, but only because he looks like he’d be fun to fuck with.”
“What?” His brain isn’t fully functioning, but he thinks Bill is actually starting a conversation about the Jonas Brothers, and who’s his favorite, and – it sounds like – who looks the hottest in a tight pair of pants. And then he thinks, wait, and, Kev, and, wife, and, “Shit.”
Things are blurry, but there’s a good chance he made out with Kevin Jonas last night. Awesome.
“I hate my life,” Mike says, throwing an arm over his eyes and groaning.
Bill moves to straddle his waist. “There’s no need to be so glum, not when the JoBros are involved,” he says. He pulls Mike’s arm away and grins down at him. “Do you think he’ll make us breakfast?”
Mike tries not to be embarrassed. It usually takes a lot to make him uncomfortable, but apparently kissing a married Jonas brother is just freaky enough to make him flush. He’s wavering about apologizing when Kevin smiles at him over his spatula and asks, “Bacon?”
Kevin doesn’t look like he needs to be apologized to. He actually looks kind of happy. Mike’s not sure what to make of that.
Bill leans against the kitchen island, hands wrapped around a mug of coffee. He says, “So where’s wifey?”
“Um.” Kevin darts a weird little look at Mike before shrugging. “Not here? I mean, we’re—separated.”
“Separated,” Mike says. He refuses to acknowledge the tiny thread of hope in his voice – Bill narrows his eyes at him speculatively. It’s fucking ridiculous, Kevin’s a god-fearing, Disney pop star, but that doesn’t negate the fact that Mike would very much like to see him naked. That would be fucking awesome.
“Her boyfriend’s nice,” Kevin says earnestly, and Bill bursts out laughing.
“You, Jonas. I like you,” Bill says, “I like all of you, I think your brother’s hilarious, the young one, with your mop of curls and Brad Pitt’s chiseled good looks.” He takes a sip of his coffee, humming. “Or perhaps not Brad, Brad’s overrated, but someone with a strong chin, like Kelly Ripa.”
“Bill,” Mike says.
Bill flaps a hand. “What, what? I’m only being truthful. Kevin here isn’t hurt, are you Kev? Don’t worry, good sir, Mike still likes you best.”
“Holy shit,” Mike says. When they get out of here, Bill is getting his ass kicked. He’ll avoid his pretty face, but only ‘cause that’s their money-maker. Besides their collective ability to rock the house.
Kevin is bright red. He says, “Bacon?” again, but faintly and kind of out of breath.
Bill grins and bounces on the balls of his feet. “Yes, please.”
Mike is pretty sure they should leave, but Kevin isn’t kicking them out, and, honestly, Mike’s enjoying himself. Bill is off bothering Big Rob, and Mike isn’t going to waste precious, Bill-free time.
“I don’t know—”
“What?” Mike has conquered Kevin’s lap, knees splayed on either side of Kevin’s thighs.
Kevin is breathing hard and there are blotches of red on his cheeks, down his throat – Mike’s fingers are fisted lightly in his hair, a careful grip framing his face. “Just, maybe.” Kevin’s hands hover in the air, there’s something unsure about him that makes Mike pause.
“Okay,” Mike says, and eases back a little, rests open palms on his own legs. “All right?”
Kevin swallows and nods and his hands finally find the front of Mike’s t-shirt. His eyes are huge and he says, “I’ve never done this before.”
Mike’s about to say, what, made out? when the whole vulnerable act Kevin’s got going on hits him solid in the chest and he says, “Oh,” instead. Oh. It’s not so much that Mike thinks it’s a big deal – he doesn’t, not really - but that Kevin thinks it is. He says, “You’re shattering my worldview here, Jonas, isn’t Disney Studios just a big den of iniquity?”
For a second, he thinks Kevin’s going to shove him off, but then he just laughs, and then covers his mouth and lets his eyes laugh for him.
Mike grins. “So here’s the thing,” he says. “It’s just like kissing a girl, only you’ve got some harder surfaces to work with.”
There’s a muffled, “Oh my god,” and Kevin brings up his other hand so he’s kind of covering his whole face, laughing more now, and Mike takes advantage of his distraction by slipping his fingers up under Kevin’s shirt.
The laughter chokes off with a startled yelp, and then Mike doesn’t let Kevin think about it; he just crowds in again and presses their mouths together until he feels Kevin relax – and then he starts licking inside. Hot coffee and bacon and cinnamon toast.
Mike’s sucking kisses along Kevin’s collarbone – pleased noises at the graze of teeth noted – when someone behind them clears their throat. Mike says, “Fuck off, Bill,” lips brushing Kevin’s reddened skin, but then Kevin’s pushing at his shoulders and the someone behind them is apparently three someones.
Bill, Big Rob, and Nick fucking Jonas.
Nick corners him in the bathroom. It’s kind of surreal. Mike washes his hands and keeps his eyes on Nick through the mirror over the sink.
Nick has got to be at least eight years younger than him, but Mike isn’t going to deny he’s got a scary dad vibe going on.
Mike waits him out. He turns and leans his ass on the sink and crosses his arms over his chest, making sure to keep one eyebrow raised – it’s his so-you-think-you’re-an-intimidating-asshole pose, and it’s mostly all bluff and bluster; Mike gets melty over warm sweaters and kittens.
Nick doesn’t know that, though, and he lasts less than a minute before huffing a breath and running a harried hand through his hair. He says, “I’ll need your address.”
“Okay,” Mike says slowly. Not what he’d been expecting.
“You should have something by the end of the day,” Nick says, and Mike has absolutely no clue what he’s talking about, but he doesn’t want to let that show.
Mike nods. “Sure.”
“You’re probably a nice guy,” Nick says - and Mike snorts, because no way does Nick think he’s a nice guy, it’s all there in his tone – “but I don’t know you, and Kevin doesn’t need this crap along with everything else. It’s bad enough that the divorce leaked.”
Mike’s starting to get the picture. He says, “So you want me to sign something.”
Nick pinches the bridge of his nose. “Yes. Yes, I want you to sign something.”
Mike doesn’t like the way Nick is clearly assuming he’s an idiot. It’s not Mike’s fault that confidentiality papers aren’t the first thing he thinks about after hooking up; there’s only a very specific sect of fans that care who Mike’s sleeping with, and it wouldn’t ruin his career one way or the other.
“Hey, whatever, man,” Mike says with a shrug. He’s pissed at Nick, but the rest doesn’t bother him so much. They don’t know him, and he can see how they’d need to cover their asses. One of Disney’s princes being outted as gay the same week he loses a wife? Yeah, Mike’s not a douchebag.
“Great,” Nick says, and then stares at him some more, and, see, Nick isn’t really making the best impression on Mike.
Mike’s right hand is itching to punch him in the face.
Finally, Nick says, “Rob’ll take you guys home,” and Mike supposes that’s a dismissal.
He takes a deep breath and reminds himself that Nick’s just looking out for his brother, and that he probably isn’t this much of a fucking dick under normal circumstances. He makes himself shrug again, like it doesn’t matter, and says, “So do you have paper, or do you want me to write this out on your arm?”
Nick shoves his blackberry under his nose, and Mike rolls his eyes. He keys in his address - and his cell number, too; he figures Kevin will appreciate that.
Mike says, “Tell him to call me.” He eyes Nick, and the way Nick absently nods. “I mean that.”
“I’ll tell him,” Nick says, and Mike lets Nick herd him out of the room and down the hall.
III. because you are a stalker
Kevin is stunned. He should probably not be as stunned as he is, but he can’t help it. “So, I’m gay,” Kevin says.
Nick says, “That’s nice,” and Joe holds up a hand so they can high-five. Kevin would be more into it if Joe had bothered to look up from his iPod.
“Thanks for the support, guys.”
Nick cocks his head. “I’m pretty sure we’ve already been over this.”
Maybe they have, but Kevin’s never fully accepted their conclusions. There’d been no proof; liking guys had been kind of abstract. He’d had no practical experience. The whole making out with Mike thing had been both awesome and enlightening, and kind of weird, if he thinks about it too hard.
“I have no doubts now,” Kevin says emphatically.
“You had doubts?” Joe finally looks up, eyebrows slanted together. “What kind of doubts? Because Dani’s hot, dude, and you wouldn’t even touch her boobs.” He looks like he wants to give Nick a boobs-yeah! high-five, but Nick clearly isn’t into it.
Nick’s watching Kevin with narrowed eyes. “Please tell me you don’t like him.”
“Like who?” Joe asks.
“Uh.” Kevin shifts on his feet. “Yeah?”
“Who?” Joe says again, punching Nick in the arm.
Nick palms Joe’s face and shoves him away. “We’re talking about the same guy, right? The one who smelled like beer and puke? Did you happen to notice his serial killer eyes?”
Kevin flushes. “I thought he was hot.”
“Oh my god,” Joe says. He looks delighted.
Nick just stares at him. He’s good at that.
Kevin flushes more and says, “It doesn’t matter. It was just a random hook-up. I’ll probably never see him again.” It kind of sucks, he’d been hoping to at least get a phone number or something. A last name would’ve been cool, too.
“Seriously,” Joe says, laughing now, “he sounds like a hobo, did you make out with a hobo?”
Kevin rolls his eyes. “He’s not a hobo. I met him outside a bar.”
Joe howls, tears leaking out of the corners of his eyes. He latches onto Nick’s arm and Nick’s lips twitch, and he says, “Okay, Joe’s got a point, that actually does sound like a hobo.”
Kevin stomps his foot. “I hate you, you guys both suck.” It’s not that funny. And Mike might’ve been a little rough looking, but those jeans had been designer, and Bill’d had on awesome shoes.
When Joe collapses back into the couch, stifling the last of his giggles into the cushions, Nick schools his face serious again and says, “That was pretty stupid, Kev, you know that, right?”
Kevin knows it. Bill and Mike are nice guys, Kevin’s sure of that, but they might not have been. He’s also an adult, though, and Nick’s eighteen – which may’ve made him legal, but doesn’t erase the fact that Kevin’s the big brother here. Kevin’s the one who lives on his own, and is looking at a looming divorce.
“Everything’s fine,” Kevin says, and he means that about everything. He’s okay with Dani and Steven. All this proves is that Kevin is moving on, and that can’t be anything but good, he’s sure of it.
Nick smiles. “Yeah, I know,” he says. “Why don’t we keep it that way?”
Kevin doesn’t realize how much he’d been hoping for Mike to contact him in some way – he’s not sure how, but Mike does know where he lives - until a week goes by and he doesn’t hear anything at all.
“What’s with the tragic pout?” Dani asks, squeezing lemon into her water. They’re at a semi-private table in a semi-public restaurant. Since news of the impending divorce leaked, they’re confirming the rumors, but letting everyone know that they’re still friends. Kevin feels silly; they are still friends, but somehow shoving it in the public’s face like this makes it seem untrue.
“Nothing,” Kevin says.
Dani says, “Oh, don’t give me that. Nothing.” She p’shaws, flicking her fingers at him. “Monday you were all smiles, you hugged me three times. Now you look like Joe hid all your scarves.” She frowned. “He didn’t do that again, did he? I hope he remembers how pointy my shoes are from last time.”
Kevin shakes his head, muffles a grin with the side of his wrist.
She eyes him carefully.
Finally, he says, “I’m good, Dani,” and knocks her foot with his under the table. “It’s stupid.”
“Stupid like randomly bringing home a hobo?” she says. She’s smiling with the corner of her mouth when she says it, though.
“I’m gonna kill Joe,” Kevin says. “And he’s not a hobo, geez. It just.” He flushes. “It kind of meant something, you know?”
Danielle nods, slow. “Are you going to see him again?”
“No.” Kevin ducks his head and rubs the back of his neck. “I don’t think he wants to, at least.” He shrugs. “It’s okay.”
“Kev.” Dani reaches out and covers his hand with hers. He twists his wrist, threads their fingers together. “Kev,” she says again, “you’re kind of an idiot, sometimes.”
He’d argue, except their marriage is pretty much a prime example of that. If he doesn’t count how awesome Dani is. “Thanks,” he says.
She gives him her you-know-what-I-mean-doofus look, and yeah, he knows what she means. But then her look turns wicked and she says, “What’s important—what’s important here, Kev, is that now we can find you a guy.”
The last thing Kevin expects, sifting through his mail, is to see Mike’s face staring up at him. He pauses, turns the Spin upside down, and then right-side up again. “Huh.” That’s Bill, too.
“What?” Joe says.
Mike is on the cover of Spin. He’s shirtless and surly, and Bill is larger than life, looming over Mike and three other guys. Kevin’s kind of fascinated with Mike’s forearms; crossed over his chest, like he’s pissed off at whoever made him take off his shirt – Kevin, on the other hand, would like to shake that person’s hand.
“What?” Joe says again, and then he leans over and snags the magazine out of Kevin’s grip. “The Academy Is…? Who are these guys? Were you mackin’ on this shirtless dude? Because that’s gross, he looks like he wants my soul.”
Nick slaps Joe on the back of the head. “Don’t say mackin’, geez, Joe,” he says, and then he looks over Joe’s shoulder and says, “Oh.”
“What?” Joe says. “Oh? Seriously, what?”
“That’s Mike,” Kevin says.
Joe looks at him askance. “Hobo Mike?”
“He’s not a hobo! In fact, he’s—” Kevin takes the magazine back and flips through to the cover story. There are more photos of Bill, and others of the entire band together, and Kevin skims the captions until he sees, Mike Carden, guitarist. “He’s in a band,” he says faintly. It’s a little weird, he thinks, reading through the article. What are the odds, right? And then he sees the word girlfriend, and what little hope that had flared in his chest – he has a last name now, and a band name, and he knows he knows Pete Wentz; it shouldn’t be hard to track him down – dies. He goes back and reads the entire story anyway.
Nick reads it after him, and then he arches an eyebrow at Kevin and says, “So.”
“Yeah.” Kevin ducks his head. He knows that so. That’s the so, I was right so.
“He’s got a girlfriend.”
Kevin shrugs, says, “Yeah,” again. It doesn’t change the fundamentals. Like how Kevin has a crush on a guy, and how ten minutes of making out with Mike had been so much hotter than anything he’d done with Dani.
Joe actually looks sad about it, even though he’s been teasing him about Mike for weeks. He says, “Sorry, Kev.”
“It’s fine,” Kevin says. “I wasn’t going to see him again, anyway, right?” And Mike’s in a band, and the best thing about public figures is that they make awesome fantasy crushes.
He wanders off to find his laptop, and maybe download some music.
Kevin becomes a giant, embarrassing fangirl.
Selena tells him this several times while they’re hiding out in the back of the venue. Way in the back, behind the crowd, and they’re attempting – and probably failing, though no one’s said anything to them yet – to be as inconspicuous as possible. Blending in is kind of hard with security following them around, but at least Big Rob is trying. Kevin has never seen him wear that much flannel. He appreciates the effort.
Selena’s hanging off Kevin’s arm, bouncing on her toes. She’s got a floppy purple hat on, a matching fringed scarf – which Kevin loves, fringed scarves look awesome on Selena - and large-framed sunglasses perched on her nose. Kevin’s pretty sure she’s having a blast.
“They’re catchy, I like them,” she says.
Kevin is not exactly sure why he’s at a TAI concert with Selena Gomez. Well, okay, he knows why he’s with Selena - Selena’s a trip and a half, and she’s always up for anything - but he’s not sure why he’s lurking around a TAI concert at all. “I feel like a stalker.”
“That’s because you are a stalker,” Selena says, patting his chest. “It’s cute, though, don’t worry.”
“This was a really bad idea,” Kevin says. The worst idea, he doesn’t know why nobody stopped him. They don’t even have a good view of the stage; they’re all just tiny, rockin’ blobs in the distance.
“No, it’s not. It’s cute, trust me on this. We should sneak backstage.”
Kevin is horrified. He’s even more horrified when Selena tucks her hat under her arm, slips her sunglasses down her nose and arches an eyebrow up at him. “No,” he says.
“Oh, yeah,” she says, with this evil, Alex Russo grin. “We’re so totally doing this, come on.”
“No!” Stalking from a safe distance, that’s one thing. Accidentally stumbling on fanfiction while stalking from a safe distance – that’s another thing, one Kevin is trying very hard to erase from his brain. Showing up at a concert that he’s driven a good four hours to get to, well, that’s just crazy; the last thing he wants to do is see Mike. Well, okay, that’s a lie, Kevin would very much like to see Mike, he just doesn’t want Mike to see him.
Selena pokes him in the ribs. “Listen up, buddy. You took me on this road trip. I need to experience some shenanigans here, some happenings that don’t involve Big Rob and his Mickey Mouse impression.”
Kevin stumbles back a step, the poking is starting to hurt, and Big Rob says, “Hey.”
Selena gives him a finger gun and slouches forward to lean into Kevin, wrapping one arm around his shoulders. “You’re awesome, Robert, Kev here’s just being a big dumb girl.”
“Hey!” Kevin says.
Selena ignores him and flags down a yellow-jacketed security guy with a, “You there, garcon, take me to your leader.”
The guy blinks at her.
She says, slow, like she’s talking to an alien, “Backstage. I’m somebody, you don’t want to peeve me, bucko.”
Kevin wants to slap a hand across his face. Selena isn’t a diva; she just finds it hysterical to act like one. He says, “I’m really sorry,” to the guy. “She’s on medication.”
Selena punches his arm.
Kevin mouths a silent ow, and then the security guy tilts his head and says, “Aren’t you one of those Jonas kids?”
“Yes,” Selena says smugly. “Yes, he is.”
Kevin is going to kill Selena. Just as soon as he escapes the tight, painful grip she has on his arm – he spotted a bathroom back around the corner; he can totally kick her in the shins and run for it.
All too soon, though, there’s commotion and chaos and Kevin finds himself standing in front of a sweaty and slightly confused Bill Beckett.
Beckett flicks his hair out of his face and grins down at them, though. “Kevin Jonas,” he says, then squints his eyes at Selena. “And the mighty fine Miss Gomez. Tell me, princess, are you legal yet?”
Selena grins. “Last month, handsome.”
“You know,” Bill leans down toward her, waggles his eyebrows, “there are rumors that I’m married. It’s very possible that these rumors are correct.”
Selena says, “Okay,” and shrugs a little.
“And I could be intent on using you to get to Nick,” Bill says. “There’s something intriguing about that boy.”
Selena makes a face. “Don’t bother, Nick’s a stick in the mud.”
“You’re dating him,” Kevin points out. For the second time. Baffling, but true. Personally, Kevin thinks David Henrie is way hotter - and less likely to actually be a robot sent back from the future to annihilate any and all good times.
“Well, duh.” She slaps his arm with the back of her hand. “Half the fun for me is digging him out.” Her grin widens to winning size, and Bill loops their arms together.
“Oh, pretty princess, I just might keep you.”
Kevin’s heartbeat picks up, and he feels his entire body flush. The thing about crushes on famous people – even when you’re famous yourself – is that it’s always a kick in the teeth to run into them. It’s something that should never happen, and it’s fun to think about, imagine maybe, but when it actually happens, your mind blanks and your palms get sweaty, and it doesn’t matter that you’ve already made out with them – in fact, Kevin thinks that kind of makes it worse. Kevin has no idea how to act, and Mike’s behavior isn’t cluing him in. He’s got serious scruff going on, and the longer hair makes him look like an angry bear.
“Fun officially ruined,” Bill says with a sigh. “Carden the fun ruiner. This depressive kick you’ve got going on is worse than when Em first cleaned you up, back when you were dabbling in all things vegan and wearing those ridiculously large healing crystals.”
“I like you,” Selena says to Bill. “I can see why Demi wants to have all your babies.”
“Alas, that ship has sailed,” Bill says.
Kevin watches the volley between Selena and Bill with wide eyes and studiously ignores Mike, who’s standing just off to the side, scowling. This was such a bad idea. The longer Mike scowls, the more Kevin is convinced of that.
“So, uh,” Kevin finally cuts in. “We should probably get going.”
“Oh, no. No way, Jonas, I didn’t waste almost an entire day on this just to leave,” Selena says.
Bill looks intrigued. “On what?”
“Nothing,” Kevin says quickly.
“Yeah, nothing,” Selena agrees, although her eyes are doing this twitchy thing toward Mike, and she looks like she’s dangerously close to stomping her totally awesome, furry-booted feet in frustration.
Kevin hates her so very much. He shifts and gives Mike a weak smile. “Hi?”
Adam T. Siska is giving him the stink-eye. Kevin’s never had someone give him the stink-eye for quite this long before; it’s pretty unnerving. They’re alone in the diner bathroom, and Siska’s blocking the door, and Kevin was homeschooled, but he’s seen enough teen movies to worry about getting his head dunked in a toilet. And that’s so gross. He’d take a kick to the gut over that, he thinks. Maybe. If the shoes weren’t too pointy.
Kevin had escaped to the bathroom because Mike had been boring holes in the side of his head with laser beams disguised as eyes – Kevin’s convinced his brain had been steadily heating to mush. He’d splashed cool water on his face and did some deep breathing exercises and stared at the secondhand of his watch, ticking so slowly it actually looked like it was going backwards.
And now he doesn’t know what’s going on, because it’s obvious from the way Siska’s glaring at him that he did something wrong, and Kevin has no idea what that could be.
“What are you doing?” Siska finally asks.
“Um.” Kevin looks at the bank of sinks, then back at Siska. “Washing my hands?”
Siska rolls his eyes. He’s jittery on his feet, like he’s had too much caffeine or like he maybe wants to punch him. Siska isn’t actually a very threatening guy, but Kevin hates confrontation on all levels. It’s why he always gives Frankie all his grievances to read at family-slash-band meetings.
“I mean, what are you doing with Mike?”
“Nothing.” What does it look like he’s doing? He debates owning up to the fangirl stalking, but before he can say anything else, Siska throws up his hands and says, “No shit.”
Color Kevin confused. “Okay?”
“You never called him,” Siska says.
“Was I supposed to?” Kevin is lost. There’s a flutter in his belly, though, this swell of nerves that makes his hands shake a little. His face feels hot.
Siska cocks his head and narrows his eyes. “Well, if you weren’t, then I’m really not sure what you’re doing here.”
“Jonas,” Siska says. He steps forward and takes Kevin’s shoulders and looks right into his eyes. “That is one sad little soldier out there. Rustle up a fairytale, dude. Disney is full of happy endings!”
Kevin’s eyes widen. “Did he say, uh. I mean, I can’t—what?”
“Look.” Siska holds out a hand. “Give me your cell.”
Kevin pries his cell out of his tiny front pocket and gives it to Siska.
Siska works the keys and says, “I’m putting Mike’s number in here. What you do with it is up to you, but if you’re gonna keep showing up at our fucking concerts, you might want to call him first. Just saying.” He slaps the phone back into Kevin’s hand. “Both of you need to get a fucking clue, I’m not your fairy godmother here.”
Kevin, weirdly giddy and still kind of confused, is pretty sure Siska is.