drinkingstars: (Ian etc)
[personal profile] drinkingstars
Basically I got nostalgic with a friend today and started looking back through some older fics, and found this. I started this in the summer of 2008 while the tour was still actually going on and was going to go through the entire tour, loop back (forward) to the Japan trip and end after that. For posterity, here are my 7,400 words.


Greta is wearing a glittery gold fetish mask and she's twirling. Everywhere she goes. In the constant neon of the Tokyo streets, in the glass elevator (of the hotel? nightclub? no one is quite sure), in the eerie blue glow of the fish tanks, she is twirling and Ian is buzzing. Everything is insane once they've left the familiarity of performing, of their own songs and sounds, and the city is wild and weird and Greta is twirling and Ian feels...trippy. He feels bioluminescent and more intoxicated than he can ever remember being, though really he's just had a couple of beers and a lot of Greta. She's twirling, and beautiful and completely crazy, and Ian's heart is fucking panging every which way like it just wants out of him, and the Japanese cigarettes probably aren't helping that. Her friends, too, are wearing masks and flitting about, basking in the oddness and it's all feeling very Lost in Translation, Ian muses. Their photographer Jack is there, clicking at everything, and he gets one of them that's a little too them - Ian's holding the cigarette to her lips and she's taking a drag, his other hand clutching her hip as she leans into him, both hands balanced on his chest - click - and that's another one that will never see the light of day. Greta holds her small camera too, snaps more pictures of Ian than she should, because he's blue and he's blue and she can't stand it, but she can't not try to capture it, either.

Jack and Mike wander off to find the next bar and she shoves the camera into her bag, pulls him close and circles her arms around him, wraps herself in his. They just stand there a minute, holding each other in the ghostly blue light, an eel sliding amongst the fish in the aquarium behind them and Ian furrows his brow, bends down and lifts her chin to kiss him. The stupid mask is in his way but he likes it even so, just tilts her jaw until it works and kisses her, and behind the mask he can see her eyes crinkle-smile at the corners. Her mouth reminds him of too many things now, of all the things he's done and still wants to do, and it's a little overwhelming and maybe he gets carried away, licking inside her mouth and she takes, takes...finally pulls away with a wet smacking sound. She pushes her hand into his hair, whispers against his lips, "ninja..."

He smiles like he always does, lets his fingers wander up her jaw to her ear, quietly repeats it...ninja. She smiles back, a little sadly, and he just shakes his head, touching her cheek below where the mask ends, taking her hand to lead her to the elevator. "Come on...Cash is waiting."


Their tour starts in Pittsburgh, and by Cambridge it's a rhythm they're just starting to feel...wheels rumbling underneath them; cramped, noisy, non-existent sleeping; almost always too hot with sporadic, startling bursts of too cold. They've got their sets pretty much down, and have their start of tour kinks and jitters worked out by the time they head for Toronto. Greta hops off her bus and wanders the caravan in line for the Canadian border crossing. Cash smells freedom and meanders outside, smoking a cigarette and smiling at her blithe yoga antics in the sunshine. Ian switches out of the driver's seat (Marshall looks more respectable to a customs agent anyway, probably) and joins them, ducking his head almost shyly when Greta goes from tree pose to a full heel extension, using his shoulder for balance. Cash squints but doesn't look away, slowly drawing on his cigarette.

It's Greta who goes to the van and sweetly tells Marshall that Cash and Ian are hopping on with her to Toronto. No one protests. They eat Mediterranean food and hang out in her room until the lure of admittance to bars and clubs at 18 proves too strong for Cash, and then it's just Ian sprawled on his back, plucking at a few chords he's really liking, while Greta flips through magazines, every once in a while stopping to read him a bit of something about protons and the Big Bang and a black hole that could eradicate the earth from the inside out. Ian furrows his brow and moves from a minor seventh to a diminished seventh, which makes her laugh.

"Add that one to the list," she giggles, taking a lazy sip of lavender tea from the bedside table. "Black Hole Death in diminished seventh," Ian grins. "Duly noted." She smiles and drapes her arm over his legs, easy. They sort of fall asleep like that, but just before Ian is completely out she nudges him to turn the right way and lie on the pillows. He spoons against her back, but not too close. She clasps his hand and pulls his arm gently around her, and that's easy too.


The first time Greta and Ian meet, they recognize themselves in each other immediately. They click in the way that child prodigies do, and wish they had known each other when they were younger, could have been there to hold each other's hands after practices and during recitals, whispering their fears and dreams as they watched other kids, better and worse than them, play.

The first time Greta and Cash meet, they recognize each other but only as a lack, an absence of. Cash is exactly the kind of boy Greta didn't know when she was younger - the boys that didn't do their own homework and skipped class to practice with their punk band tended to assume she was prissy and probably prudish. Greta is exactly the kind of girl Cash didn't know when he was younger - the girls that lingered at school for hours after the bell to get papers done early, or practice their Chopin piece just one more time tended to ignore him completely.

Ian, like Greta, would have done twice the homework and spent twice the hours in class if it meant getting out of high school sooner, getting more quickly to that moment in his life where his only responsibility was his guitar and his fingers on it. Cash wanted that moment just as badly, but figured he had neither the brains nor the discipline to take the accelerated route. He trained his fingers on the bass, wrote songs (but got Alex to write his papers), got high, fucked the girls that were willing to fuck him, and waited.


They don't see Cash again until after lunch the next day, and he still looks pretty rough. Ian rummages in Sonny's backpack and digs out some Advil and a joint and hands them to Cash, sympathetically shaking his head and muttering, "oh, man." Greta takes one look at him and bursts out laughing. Cash groans and pushes his sunglasses up, clearly not wanting to talk about it. He relents with a soft whimper when he feels Greta's arms go around him, one hand meaningfully massaging his neck.

"Your band...I think they took me to a gay bar?" Cash mumbles into Greta's chest. She shakes gently from laughter, but he lets her hold him and rub him as long as she will. The pain subsides a little, and she presses a kiss to the side of his head, just over his ear, before leaving them for her soundcheck. Cash holds up the joint, looking pathetically over at Ian. He smiles and nods in understanding, and slides over to Cash, letting him slump against him as they pass it back and forth, smoke wafting through the familiar strains of Greta crooning Honey from the front of house.


In Columbus, they all nearly come undone from the heat. It's the kind of hot in that basement that incites bad behavior, riots, even, in less stable circumstances. The heat makes Greta's skin too tight, makes her brain itch, everything just dripping and hazy and odd. Cash and Ian both have their shirts off two songs in, and she watches them sweat, watches them, swears to herself that Cash is spending more time on Ian's side than he normally does. Cash slides his tongue out of his mouth and she almost chokes on her water...it's just too damned hot, she thinks. She's trying to redo her hair into a twist when Cash comes up right behind him, almost hooking his chin over Ian's shoulder, his jaw working along with the bass line. Ian takes it, releases a torrent of notes, throws open a huge major 9th and just lets it hang in the thick air, tossing his head back against Cash and Greta's hand slips, her hair spilling everywhere, and she just stares.

They load out lackadaisically, even the fans too hot to be very energetic in their picture and autograph clamoring. The boys have cold beer and water guns, and bags of ice are split open and scattered about for people to grab for their drinks or their bodies. Cash, of course, has his hands full of melting slivers of ice and is slapping them wildly onto people's necks, down t-shirts. He grabs Ian's shoulders with chilled hands and Ian goes limp, not even annoyed, just wishing the ice didn't slide down his back or melt so quickly. He turns and shoves Cash, just because, well, it's Cash, then grabs the ice from his hands and drips it onto his own head. Cash scoops up some more, drops it onto Ian and onto himself. Ian shakes his head, flinging droplets in every direction, then takes a long drink from his beer. Greta just stares.

It's not that long a drive to the next city. Long enough, she thinks in her bunk, running one hand up under her tank top and one between her legs. She lets her mind wander, sees herself, two other bodies. It's not a new fantasy, and it could be them, or anyone, really. It's not clear in her head, but it doesn't need to be. The blur of hands everywhere, bodies over her, her own mouth open. She touches, moves both hands, here and there...sucks two fingers into her mouth, pushes two others inside, and comes, shuddering around her hand. She rolls over, curling against herself under the light sheet, breathing hard, and feels her cheeks flush.


Greta takes a lot of pictures of Ian because he always looks joyful and young, and old and wise, and every photo she takes helps her remember what she loves about being with him. He wears his heart all over his face, even in pictures with fans, with total strangers.

She takes a lot of pictures of Cash because he always looks fucked and gritty, which he thinks looks cool, and every photo she takes of him helps her see him even more for how he really is. The pictures she takes of Cash in Toledo aren't any of these, as she catches him in a sunny mood. He smiles and goofs for her, plays hopscotch with fans, and is just generally what Greta finds to be, well, cool.

They spend the afternoon doing stupid shit like Googling themselves and everyone on their label for trash talk, swapping stories on Pete and Gabe, and planning silly practical jokes on the rest of both their bands. Bob, Mike and Ian come back, and the guys play video games until Ian motions to Cash that it's time for them to go set up. Greta puts her book down and gets up to hug them both and for a confusing moment Cash thinks she might kiss him...Ian, watching, thinks the same thing. It passes and Cash ducks out of the bus, shaking his head to himself and lighting a cigarette. Ian sighs as they crunch through the gravel toward the back of the club, and puts his hand on Cash's back just before they walk in. "Hey, Cash, do you..."

Cash exhales a thin stream of smoke and shakes his head again. "I don't know, man."


"Ok ok here it is...Milwaukee, the Rave...built in the late 20s...was an athletic club...and someone died in the pool, shit. Many areas of the building are very cold even in the heat of summer..."

"Ok I got no complaints about that part," Cash interrupts without looking up from his game of repetitive, boredom-induced bounce the ball, catch the ball. Greta shoves at his thigh with her foot and continues reading. "The ballroom has a door that leads to...blah blah blah the basement floor which houses...the pool viewing porthole...!" Greta's voice rises excitedly and Cash is already cringing.

"Negative energy, feeling of coldness...always felt at night when the building closes....strange noise like shuffling feet and loud bangs can be heard...there are catacomb like hallways that run behind the coat check area!" Greta is practically bouncing as she reads now, squeezing Ian's knee as she mentally plans for their sneaking off to ghost hunt during the other bands' sets. He's smiling and thinking how cute she is when she gets excited like this, then catches Cash glancing distractedly and warily in his direction.

Greta lets out a thrilled shriek and laces her voice with all the drama and sinisterness she can muster, eyes back and forth from Cash to the page as she reads, "One night during a concert, they heard a little girl laughing coming from the rear hallway. When they got up to look, a wind blew through the room, and a feeling of dread came over them..."

"Ok, stop. No. Can't mess with that shit." Cash isn't bouncing the ball anymore, and Ian beams at Greta in triumph.

"Told you he'd be scared."

"I'm not scared, I just don't mess with that shit. There's a difference." He rubs his hand over his hair and thinks about a cigarette.

"Pleeeeeeeease," Greta starts in almost immediately, tilting her head to her shoulder and giving him these fucking puppy-dog eyes...Ian just grins like a stoned fool and Cash kind of wants to hurt him. Cash knows Greta loves this stuff, has watched her pour over books on hauntings and possessions and serial killers for hours on end. He finds it simultaneously freaky and kind of charming. He smirks and shakes his head a little, looking defeated and definitely itching for that cigarette now.

"I don't...Ian will go with you." He gets up from the worn leather sofa, which is starting to feel creepy even, the longer he sits there, and pats his pockets for smokes. Ian rolls his eyes at Greta and gets up to follow, but Greta stops him, grabbing his hand and yanking him back as she keeps pestering Cash. "But I need you both! What if I get scared?" She's laughing now because clearly that is ridiculous and they all know it, and Ian and Cash both crack up, Cash practically choking out "oh, bullshit!" He's grinning at her, big happy stupid fucking Cash grin, and she grabs his hand too, holds them both, and it's nice, so nice she just blurts it out.

"Do you guys want to crash at my house when we get to Chicago? We have two whole days...it'll be like a little vacation?" She's biting her lip like she didn't mean to say it so suddenly, and twisting at their hands a little.

Ian finds himself staring at her teeth, quirking his head as he tries to think. He kind of wonders why he hasn't thought sooner. Should he be freaking out now? Is Cash freaked out? He's afraid to even glance at him. He shakes himself out of it, centers himself in the feel of Greta's hand closed around his, and takes a peek. Cash looks undaunted, stubbornly cool like always. It's infuriating.

"So...yeah. Cool. That would be...cool," Cash finally, finally supplies, anxiously resuming the patting of his pocket for cigarettes and Ian thinks he might die right there of relief, or anticipation, or something. He could kiss them both. He could. "Yeah, cool," Ian repeats, the words seeming to fumble but he looks at the way she's smiling and it's like the whole world just opened up. He smiles right back and squeezes her hand so she knows, yeah, he felt it too, then crowds against Cash's shoulder to move them both toward the door.


Greta's place is exactly like they had both imagined it, though they'd never really talked about it together. It's a comfortable, good-sized space that she shares with a shifting number of roommates, but most of them are photographing a music festival in Milwaukee, and Chris wanted to visit his parents. There are two pianos: a beaten-up black baby grand in one corner and a cabinet, oak, wedged up under a huge window that looks over mostly street, trees. She has a big velvet couch that has found itself at the business end of a few too many cat claws, lots of pillows and candles, and an ornate iron chandelier that looks like something Ryan Ross would reject for being a bit much. Greta opens blinds and curtains as they set their bags and guitars down, waving them about the room to indicate that they should make themselves at home, calling out the location of the bathrooms and towels as she puts on Son Seals and gets down three wine glasses.


There's that moment...finally. Everyone is buzzed and there's an awkward pause in the laughter, the easy conversations, and no one seems quite certain what to do. Greta stands, graceful but a little unsteady on her feet. She carries her wine with her to the record player and puts on something else, something bluesy with a piano and 12-string that Ian doesn't recognize, then moves over between them and looks down, trying to be serious. "...there's no easy way to..." she trails off and kind of giggles to herself. Cash swallows hard and shifts a little, not daring to look at Ian and forcing himself to look up at Greta. She's smiling, a smile neither of them have ever seen before, and Ian lets out a heavy exhale, simultaneously enthralled and terrified by whatever might happen next. Greta just laughs, light and suggestive in her throat, and sets down her glass. "Actually, that's not true. There's a really easy way to do this..." she drawls, and slips her thin linen dress right off and over her head, tossing it onto the piano bench. She settles herself between them on the couch and gathers them up against her, dazed faces and shaky hands and all.

Cash is, for a moment, lost. He hates himself for overthinking it, because this is amazing and he wants it, he wants her and he loves sex and he's so good at it...but fuck...Ian? Ian finds his senses quickly and touches her. It doesn't matter where, he just touches, looks, nods at her so she knows...yes, whatever it is, yes. Greta sighs and catches Cash by the hand, pulls him over to her face and kisses him, Ian groaning as he watches and presses his fingers into her skin a little harder.

Greta is pleasantly surprised at how good Cash is at kissing, and her back arches into Ian's hands as Cash's tongue slips into her mouth. One of Ian's hands slides around her body into the space created, and finds her breast in his guitar-worn fingers. Greta groans as he squeezes her nipple lightly, and Cash opens his eyes and gasps into her mouth at the sight of it, shifting his body so that he can reach for her. He settles his hands at her neck, stroking and tangling in her hair as he makes his way down and over her shoulder, pulling back from the kiss just a moment to try to read her face. She smiles and simply mouths "yes," and that's all it takes for him to move his hand, fitting it over top of Ian's, their fingers clasping together on her breast.

Ian looks up from where he's been focused to meet Cash's eyes and they share it, finally, the briefest moment of panic. It's not that either of them is afraid...Cash has...well, Cash has. And Ian is pretty much a 60's kid born in the wrong era...it's just that, this is their band, and for all their stupid locker room chatter and cock jokes, they've never really imagined themselves in this, doing this, together. Ian looks down at her, looks back at Cash, almost expressionless but Cash can read his face pretty well by now and it's almost like he's asking for Cash's ok. Cash imagines his face totally matches that look, and he swallows hard, glancing down to Greta, almost naked and laid out for him...for them.

Greta notices the moment of hesitation and lifts her head from Cash, turning to look at Ian over her shoulder.

"You guys have never..." she quirks her lip in question.

"Uh..." Cash stammers, not sure what he can say here that won't read "not with Ian, but...."

"No. Not like...not really, I mean...no." Ian finishes for him with a slightly more steady voice.

She looks between the two of them as if weighing them each, and then carefully turns, propping her body in Cash's lap and angling herself just so. Her breasts are creamy and freckled, and Ian's mouth curls at the shape of them. Cash supports her shoulders with strong hands, and she beckons to Ian with one finger, pulling him down, his mouth against hers and it's deep, deep, delicious, and fuck he is a really good kisser too.

Cash shifts a little against Greta, uncomfortable and squirming at the visual of their lips moving together, at Greta's tongue sliding into Ian's mouth. Cash has never been able to resist watching other people's displays of affection, but he's rarely had such a close view and welcome invitation to it. He feels his cock twitch, and lifts one hand to gently touch Greta's cheek and lips, feeling the wetness where they press against Ian's, then draws the touch down to her breast again. She gasps and pulls away from the kiss, her teeth catching Ian's lower lip as she does, and finds it hard to suppress a laugh as she catches sight of the inky lines she had forgotten were placed inside there.

Cash takes sudden advantage of the shift and turns her a little, pulls her into his arms. Ian is biting his lip and ducking his head and she's still laughing, her thumb running along his bottom lip, pulling it gently so she can touch the word, read it with her skin. "Why...why in the world..." she tries to ask as Ian closes his mouth around her thumb, sucking just a little. She trails off, giggling and dragging her fingers along Ian's jaw as Cash splays one hand fully around her breast now, flexing his fingers around the soft weight of it, brushing her nipple. Ian smirks as he moves closer between her legs, "Cash's are way worse...Cash, take off your shirt."

"Yeah Cash, take off your shirt!" Greta agrees, lilting and arching up into Cash's touch.

Cash feigns some mock offense because he loves to see her laugh, but meanwhile is sneaking his other hand underneath her body, fitting it around her to join its mate on her other breast. He licks his lips in anticipation, watching her reactions as his hands close over both of them, enveloping. He loves that feeling, and from the look in her eyes and the moan she lets out, she does too.

He bends awkwardly to give her a good, long kiss, then pulls back to nip at her lip and whisper seriously, "I'm not gonna take my shirt off if you're going to make fun of my tattoos..." He punctuates the obviously empty threat with another kiss, licking from her lip to her jawline, and giving her breasts a soft squeeze. She whimpers a little and stretches her neck to give him more room as his tongue wanders there, reaching for Ian with her hands and one curling foot, catching his gaze with laughing eyes and squeaks out "I promise...ahhhh, yeah, Ian, there...I promise to...try not to make fun of them?" Ian looks up from licking her inner thigh to add "I promise nothing." Greta laughs again, so happy with this, with them, and lifts her leg to wrap it around Ian completely.

Ian's eyes are wide as he takes a long steadying breath and lets it out slowly, suddenly a little nervous to look at Cash. Greta smiles up as him, hoping to dissolve his nerves, as Cash kisses her neck again and again. She keeps her eyes on Ian and a hand on his thigh, tracing little circles there as she threads the fingers of her other hand in with Cash's where it covers her breast. "No worries...no promises...we'll just have fun...ok? It'll be nice...just..." She pauses to catch her breath as Cash's free hand trails down her belly, close enough to feel where it tickles against the soft hair there. "Ian...you..." He snaps out of his daze, his hand twitching against her thigh and lightly grazes it up, closer, closer to where Cash's hand lays. She looks so beautiful as she shivers at their touch, and he knows he'll go wherever she wants to take them.

They wind up on the floor. It's more tentative and adolescent than maybe any of them were imagining, but still...Ian's fingers are quick and skilled between her legs, and Greta thinks scatteredly that she'd really like both their fingers at once, but realizes they probably haven't thought that far ahead yet. Ian is good though, knows how to focus that tiny motion, how to get her nerves humming like a guitar string and she comes easily, thrumming against his hand with his long fingers inside her. Cash holds her as she shakes and shudders through it, whispering what might be wants, dirty words, next times, into her mouth through nonsensical kisses. He's hard and aching and wants to do so, so much more, but grinding against her hip feels so fucking good, watching Ian, watching her watch them both with heavy eyes. She lifts Cash's hand to her mouth and slowly sucks in one finger, then two, and it's so fucking hot and dirty he doesn't even care that Ian is lightly jacking against Greta's stomach, watching Cash get himself off, until finally Greta reaches and twists the head of his cock just so and that's it. He jolts once, twice, and Ian's eyes go wide as Cash starts to spurt through her fine hand and the last thing he hears is them both gasping "oh, fuck" as Ian pulls his fingers from Greta and pushes them between Cash's lips, no time to even register the shock of it before Cash is sucking and whimpering and Ian is coming too, mostly onto Greta's stomach but Cash is right there.


It takes a few minutes for the heavy breathing to settle and the sudden hints of oh, awkward to emerge. Cash closes his eyes and wishes beyond all reason that he had some weed, but they've been dry since coming back over from Canada, save the very nice girls with the lip rings that smoked them out in St. Paul until Cash could barely see straight and had to lean against his stack to play for half their set. Greta rolls over, kisses them with a satisfied, smirking little laugh...first Ian, then Cash, then Ian again. They clean up a bit, and Greta says she's going to take a shower, explains how to unlatch the window so they can smoke out on the fire escape. They watch her pad out of the room, wordlessly grope for their pants and cigarettes and are out there lighting up probably before she even gets the water running hot.

Ian watches Cash send at least seven messages on his phone and lights himself a second cigarette before he says anything, staring down at his feet and nervously twirling a strand of curls into a tight twist around his finger.

"Is this...too weird?" Most of the question is mumble-lost around the filter of his American Spirit. Cash blows out the smoke he's been holding and makes a serious Cash grimace at his Blackberry, apparently deeply engrossed in his texting. He shakes his head absently, "I dunno...it's...pretty weird. I guess."

Ian looks up at Cash through his long bangs, inhales another slow draw of his cigarette. "Yeah...but..." He doesn't even know what he's trying to say here and he doubts Cash is going to come to his rescue. "Who the fuck are you texting right now, anyway?" Ian finally asks if only to change the path of this conversation.

"You want weed, or not?" Cash looks at him, sarcastic and scrutinizing as ever, but his face falls when he sees Ian looking so antsy. "Is'not a big deal...I guess...we know people who do weirder shit, I mean..." Cash hits Send again and flicks his butt over the railing, arches his "you know exactly what I'm talking about" eyebrow at Ian, who snorts when it dawns on him who Cash means. "Uh, ok, but Shane's family...so that would make you Brendon?" Cash laughs and shrugs, "whatever...sure, I'll be the gay one. Wanna make out?" He's smirking to himself and replying to the last text message after a flurry of them that finally ended on duh...jwalk and Cash could smack himself for being so stupid. He scrolls to W and sends out the SOS, looks up to see Ian eying him, curiously. "What?! I'm kidding, dumbass...but, I mean...probably gonna anyway...don't worry, I'll be gentle."

Ian scowls at him and rolls his eyes, tosses his hair back and lights another cigarette. Asshole, he thinks.

By the time they've smoked themselves sickly and Cash has gotten a text back from one of Jon Walker's Chicago boys, Greta is showered and on the phone ordering food, which, yeah, food would be really good right now. Ian crawls onto the couch and into Greta's arms, and she threads her fingers through his messy curls and listens to him murmuring against her neck. Whatever they're saying, it isn't for Cash, and after watching them a moment, he realizes it doesn't bother him. He leaves them tangled on the couch to go take a shower. He thinks about it, as the hot water beats down on his neck and shoulders, wonders if maybe it should bother him and is totally surprised at how it doesn't. This isn't like that. He feels very grown-up somehow as he comes to this conclusion, feels fine, and hungry, and forgets to think about what he said to Ian outside.

They have more music and more wine and Ian dozes off a little ("dude can fall asleep anywhere," Cash giggles between soft kisses to Greta's lips and cheeks), and in an hour and a half they have a quarter ounce of really good indoor ("No man, no charge," the friend, who looked a lot like Joe Trohman, said as Cash dug for his wallet in Greta's lobby. "It's on Walker's tab, dude," he explained with a fist-punch and dear god Cash loves being in this band sometimes) and a fucking amazing vegan deep-dish with some kind of vegetarian fake sausage that Ian likes maybe better than actual sausage, and the good fake cheese for Cash.


They've eaten and rolled joints and everything is lazy and pleasantly buzzed. Regina Spektor is playing quietly, and Ian is flopped in a pile of pillows, his acoustic cradled snugly against his chest, adding riffs here and there where her arrangements are sparse. Cash knee-walks across the carpet to him to hand him the rest of the joint they're all passing, and Greta pulls her legs up comfortably, tries to see them, how they look at each other, what they're thinking. She cocks her head to watch Ian's slow, easy smile as his fingertips brush Cash's...they're fine. She wants better than fine, selfishly, she thinks, and tells herself it's ok to want but that she's going to have to be patient and it's totally going to be worth it. Cash's hands on her knees snaps her out of her (she thinks) strange reverie and she laughs softly, realizes she's pretty stoned. She looks over at Ian and he seems to be settling in with his joint, smiling serenely as Cash moves between her thighs and nuzzles his face into her chest, her stomach, everywhere he can reach from there and wow she is really stoned and Cash's hands sliding her velvet yoga pants down her legs feels amazing.

She sighs softly as Cash gets her bare and shifts her hips down on the couch slightly, tracing light lines up and down her inner thighs and slowly parting them.


They have a day off in Spokane at the weirdest motel that isn't really a motel but sort of a bunch of little cottages. They're comfortable enough and definitely well-partied in - a good thing since Spokane is pretty shitty and none of the bands have plans for this place that involve sobriety. When Singer raises a fretful eyebrow at the amount of liquor that's been brought in, Johnson grabs a shot glass and smartly explains "if anything breaks we'll just take it with us." Ian sticks around for three beers' worth of Guess the Note (which Greta unfairly trounces everyone at, including him - and on Marshall's keyboard, which is doubly soul-crushing) then goes off with her in search of some park she read about in an offbeat travel guide.

People have passed out and wandered off by the time Ian comes back, rambling about a Japanese garden they found, and announcing that he's now a vegetarian. Cash just stares at him as he drops his backpack and phone and picks up his acoustic. When he can't stare anymore, Cash sends a few texts and takes off, turns back up eight hours later with $70 worth of new ink in his arm, and four joints and half a gram of what he dearly hopes is cocaine tucked in his back pocket.

Ian is asleep, alone as far as Cash can tell, and somehow he feels even more agitated. He wants to mess with him, wants to wake him up, wants to fight or fool around, or something. He turns the tv on, just for the company and the background noise, watches a rerun and a half of Buffy, then takes a shower to wash the blood off his new ink and jerk off. Sleep doesn't come, and he groans as he turns on his sore arm, grabs his phone, though it's too late to call anyone. He scrolls through the names and numbers, wishes Brendon were on this tour...Brendon would have Xanax. He rolls his thumb over the little dial, scrolling, scrolling, the names blurring as they fly by.


Ian's Seattle contingent has made the trip across state, so he's busy with them after the show. There is an entire array of Crawfords and Valdezes backstage, passing him from hug to hug. Greta makes her way over to meet some of them, smiles and is gracious and perfect like she always is. Ian introduces her as his good friend and she shakes their hands, grinning, compliments Ian and charms them all. Cash is still moody and skulks by, carrying out gear and giving a weak smile now and then when one of Ian's relatives greets him. He ducks away as fast as he can, "thanks, yeah, tour is great...no, it's cool...you guys hang with Ian, I have to load out, and stuff..." Finally Greta excuses herself, squeezes Ian's hand and follows Cash out back, cornering him behind their trailer.

"Hey...you. You ok?"

Cash shoves an amp case up the ramp of the trailer and turns, hopping off the tall part to land right in her personal space, glances around fast and furtive before wrapping one hand behind her neck and drawing her in, kissing her hard and unexpected before he has time to change his mind.

"Fine," he cracks with a grin as he pulls back, typical Cash. She doesn't even bother casting a look around before yanking him right back. He's a little breathless and his mouth is red and wet when she pulls away this time, and Sonny is totally walking their way with two guitar cases and acting like he doesn't see a thing. Greta smiles at Cash, sways, leans her head to his shoulder.

"I should go load out, too."

He nods and just says "yeah" as she starts to back away, not really leaving but more testing the hold of his arm around her waist. It's tight, and that makes her so, so happy, and she lets herself fall back toward him, lets her hair fall around her face and kisses Cash like she pleases. Sonny's a big boy, he can handle it.


In Seattle, of all fucking places, there's some kind of drama with merch and management that involves both their bands, putting Cash more on edge than he already was. He wants to be right in the middle of it but their tour manager and Sonny stop him, just this side of throwing a fit, and send him off in a huff.

He hasn't seen Ian all day - he's home, after all, Cash thinks with a pang of homesick jealousy - and he doesn't have any cigarettes, but there are friendly-looking girls around that are smoking, so he goes and plays nice. Greta stays on the bus with her band and out of the fray all day, and he doesn't even see her until soundcheck. She makes joking, frantic gestures at Cash indicating that she would like to be killed and put out of her misery, and he cracks a smile for the first time all day, nods at her knowingly in silent agreement.

Ian's back in the late afternoon and feels a little out of their sync at first, in that way that a night away with family, a good meal and mom's pumpkin bread will do to any of them. He finds Cash and they both need cigarettes, get a ride with someone they meet at the venue and come back with a carton of yellow Spirits and a queasy but satisfying nicotine buzz. The venue is packed and it really is Ian's town...he's wild from the energy and their set is amazing. They let him grab a few extra solos, and Cash actually stands still for once, watches the moment when Ian really lets go and just fucking rips the air apart in the place...it's electric and insane and Cash catches himself gasping a little, jaw dropped. The crowd loses it, and Cash can't help himself...he feels...he always loves his band, but this is a little overwhelming. Fuck. He's so fucked.

They stick together after, back and forth between smoking and standing sidestage to watch Greta. Cash feels kind of dopey and happy, like he wants to punch himself, maybe. Greta pauses before Wine Red and talks to the crowd, introduces Ian and then he's up there right behind her and they're fucking gorgeous...he's not vocal miked but he's singing along, his own harmony under Greta's choruses and Cash knows, he knows they sound perfect together, and he knows, even as he moves down to the front to snap a couple of photos of them, that he is so fucked.

Before he's even offstage to the words "Ian Crawford, ladies and gentlemen..." Cash is hauling himself out, catching up to Ian and tromping behind him down the staircase that leads to the cramped little offices and makeshift dressing rooms, stuffy and empty. Ian is just getting his leather jacket and his cigarettes and Cash is just there when Ian turns back and Cash knows he can't give himself a moment to think so he just grabs him by the shoulders and pulls until he feels Ian grab him back. Ian's hair tickles his hand and cheek, and their noses bump kind of hard when they turn and kiss but neither of them cares.

It's not a big production, their lips just pressed together, quiet and warm and it feels so normal, and that's maybe a little surprising and not normal itself but it's so nice. Ian keeps his lips on Cash's, having to concentrate a little too hard on dropping his jacket so he can bring that hand up to hold Cash by his sore upper arm, the other still resting at the middle of his back. Cash is afraid to move, doesn't want to do the slightest thing that might make this stop, Ian's lips on his and he swears he can feel him smiling...Ian is smiling and his lips part ever so slightly against Cash's and Cash takes a deep slow breath, holds it, as still and patient as he has ever been for anything in his life and Ian finally moves, yes, Cash thinks and he's practically going to burst. Ian's sliding his arm further around his back, closer, closer...he's moving his mouth softly against Cash's, his tongue just barely there, brushing against his lower lip.

Cash is shaking from the stillness, all the blood in his body clearly rushing somewhere but he can't figure out where. He forces himself to move something, wiggles his fingertips and finds that they're in Ian's hair, combs them through to stroke down Ian's shoulders and back, and realizes that Ian is...he's not pulling away, just shifting, tilting his head, making it deliberate, more careful. Cash just goes with it, moves with him, lets Ian decide how and when because Cash sure as hell isn't going to be the one to stop this. Finally, Ian does and Cash can't help the tiny little sound in his throat when Ian's lips leave his. He's afraid to open his eyes but when he does it's all ok, Ian's right there and leaning into Cash, pressing their foreheads gently together.

"Ian," Cash whispers, barely audible and he's not even sure he meant to speak, so where the hell did that voice come from?

"I'm going with my parents...tonight I mean," all kind of comes tripping out of his mouth at once and Cash can't help it, he's kissing him again because he knows he can now, and fuck he won't get to again until tomorrow night, probably.

Cash pulls back, eyes falling on Ian's lips where his mouth has just been and says simply, "I know." Ian just grins, almost laughs at the ridiculousness of this, of them and their hands all over each other's backs and necks like fucking high school kids. Ian leans in this time, kisses Cash, so easy and right and Ian, and his lips are soft, soft, and he smiles against Cash's mouth. "So...see you in Portland?"

Cash smiles too, closes his eyes and seals his lips quick against Ian's one more time and everything is good. "Yep," he's already digging for his cigarettes as he answers, and Ian's feet are on the steps, Cash following close behind him.


He hugs Ian with one arm and pats him on the back at his mom's car and even that's not so weird, and Ian's mom hugs him too and Cash is grinning like an idiot and thinking again, god, so fucked, as he turns away and heads back inside the venue. He waits for Greta to come offstage and she takes one look at him and her eyes go kind of big and he knows she knows, she's so smart and he's so glad. She asks anyway, smiling and leading him back outside. "Did something happen?" And he just says "yeah" and they walk around the parking lot to go see some fans.

"You ok?" she asks, big grin and her eyes all over him, taking it all in. He just nods, happy stupid face and checks his pockets to see if he has a Sharpie on him.

"Yep." A bunch of girls see him and yell his name in delight. He totally is.

Date: 2011-01-28 03:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] drinkingstars.livejournal.com
Oh, bless you. Seriously. This thing was my life for like, months, and then life just got hectic and before you know it it's been two years. It means so much to me that even one new reader enjoyed it. Thank you! ♥ :')


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June 2011

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