Title: Caring, Kirkpatrick-Style
Disclaimer: Real people, fake situation.
Summary: Chris is worried about Lance, and does something about it.
Notes: Was written while sleep-deprived and caffeine-and-sugar-enhanced, and typed/edited in a similar state. So, uh, beware abrupt mood swings. Sorry. Also, there's the whole thing where I have intense shame about reading popslash in the first place, let alone writing this, and. um. yeah.
You can't tell if the dark circles under his eyes are make-up or exhaustion, but you have a patented Cunning-Kirkpatrick plan to find out. Of course, it involves getting him out of the clutches of the flashy crowd he's fallen in with, but that's not a problem once you set your mind it - you've irritated the best, and this lot certainly aren't. When the last of them backs away with the wave of a suddenly-empty glass, you seize your chance and his arms.
"Bass!" you cry, "this party's no fun!" You can tell he's about to argue, almost see the witty comeback being composed in his head, so you press on quickly. "Come back to mine," you invite him, "there's booze and videos and Playstation and all sorts of fun shit." He's slowly shaking his head before you're halfway through the sentence, and if you didn't know him so well, he'd be pulling off the cool reserved act he's got going. "C'mon, you're so much more fun when you're a dork."
"Fuck you," he mutters, and tries to pull away, but you hang on.
"We can go be dorks together," you try, because you really didn't mean it as an insult or a reflection on him or whatever, you're both dorks and you know it, but he's still playing Mr Hollywood. You were hoping it wouldn't come to this. You let go, let your shoulders droop and your head hang just a little. "I miss hanging out with you, man," you say, quiet and sincere, and the worst thing is that you really mean it. It's lonely without the guys around day in day out, and you haven't spent time with Lance in particular for far too long.
He walks away. "Fucker," you comment to nobody in particular, surprised. They're supposed to give in when you do sincere; they all know how much you hate it.
You follow him. He leans into the bar, obviously waiting for someone to buy him a drink, so you do it. "I'm still mad, by the way," you tell him as you wait for your beers, "I'm just making sure you don't hook up with someone else."
"I'm still mad, too," he tells you, and that pisses you off because you're only looking out for the stubborn little bastard and you could have been, well, sitting around at home getting drunk on your own, all right. You would tell him off, but he's still talking. "And what, I'm supposed to hook up with you?"
You stare at him dumbly for just a few seconds too long, because your body is screaming, "yes, dammit, yes," and you'd be lying if you said you hadn't known but you'd been deliberately ignoring it, and that combined with the abrupt mood swing means it takes that crucial few seconds to remember that you're supposed to laugh it off. You do, but you're not precisely convincing.
He looks at you for a long moment, calculating, then leans in close. "You want me, Chris?" he breathes in your ear. You shudder: you can't help it. That voice... If you were a bass, you'd talk dirty to yourself all the time. "Wanna fuck?" he asks, hand sliding over your hip, and you shudder again, but shake your head and lean back a little. Your beer's there, thank God, and you grab for it and down about a third in one swallow.
"Not like that," you tell him quietly, and his eyes are hard and cold on the surface again. Like they always were underneath that heat. "Let's go."
"I'm not goin' anywhere," he tells you, and you silently curse the fact that you're both so stubborn. But then again... this is gonna be fun.
He raises his bottle to his lips and tilts his head back for a long provocative swallow. You have the handcuff snapped round his other wrist before he opens his eyes again, and the look in them as he sees you snap the second cuff round your own wrist is probably the first real emotion you've seen from him all night.
"Chris," he growls, "unlock me right now."
You shiver, giddy with it, and grin so widely it almost hurts. "Can't," you tell him, bouncing on your toes. Man, you're so glad C insisted on three backup plans.
Lance looks really pissed. In fact, he looks dangerous, and you kinda want to run away, which is when you realise the drawback to this plan. Oops. Ah well, he won't kill you, if only to be saved the inconvenience of dragging a corpse around all night.
"What do you mean, can't?" he asks in a flatly reasonable voice that's even scarier than the growl, because there's no little thrill running down your spine and he only uses it when he's serious.
"I don't have the keys," you explain. "In fact, anticipating your next question, nobody has the keys. Or, rather, a courier has the keys, and will deliver them to my room at approximately ten a.m." He blinks at you, and apparently decides you're telling the truth, because he sighs, and then finishes his beer very quickly. "Also," you feel impelled to point out, "a hacksaw wouldn't go through these. Or, would take longer than just waiting for the keys."
"It'd go through your wrist easily enough," he says, and you're halfway through retorting that he wouldn't want to get blood on his shirt when you click. That sounded serious.
"Dude, were you serious?"
He looks at you. Like he actually has to check. But eventually he sighs again, and now he looks infinitesimally softer. "No," he sighs, "still more likely to cut off my own wrist."
"Dude," you say in relief, and smack him over the head with your free hand. "Keys on the way. And if you're hurting yourself then you're never getting rid of me again, you hear? I'll, like, make them sew us together so we're non-identical Siamese twins, or something." He snorts a laugh, which is an absolute triumph, and you lace your fingers round his and pull him towards the door.
You weren't too late.
Thank the Lord.