« on: January 18, 2020, 07:19:37 PM »
The party was exceptional. Even after two days, the crowd was wild and enthusiastic; the alcohol flowed, as did the food, and the sweets; music thrummed through every inch of the warehouse. It had been converted into spaces that could be used for whatever people wanted or needed. Downstairs, in the biggest open area, a dance floor, where the bass beat pounded off of the floor and echoed off of the ceiling and people thrashed to the sound. The bar in one corner was staffed -- by a couple of people who looked a bit bewildered but willing enough. Beau himself held court in one of the upper rooms, an open space filled with couches and tables, just quiet enough for conversation but still twined through with music.
In the back, games, enough room for whatever people wanted to do. At one point, there'd been an impromptu flag football. Tonight, it was cards, set up on the floor, and spirits were high.
And, of course, there was a quieter area, too. A place where people who'd imbibed too much -- or imbibed something strange -- could curl up on couches or cushions and relax, melt into the floorboards or fill their appetites.
It was exactly the sort of party a person going through an emotional upheaval would dive right into, and that's what Fletcher Lewis had done. Two months after the separation of his band, five weeks after his last attempts to get Mal to change his mind and come back, and it was safe to say the bassist wasn't handling it all that well.
Being sober meant facing a crumbling reality, so the redhead had been doing everything in his power to avoid it. Pills were his preferred, but when those weren't available he'd turn to drink, and when things got really bad he'd jump down the rabbit hole with something stronger. Here it was easy enough to find all three. It was the entire reason he'd bothered with showing up.
Problem was the entire scene reminded him painfully of parties he'd go to with Mal and Lacey, and for the last twenty-four...ish hours he'd be stuck in a vicious cycle of being blitzed out of his mind and a complete emotional wreck.
At some point he'd found his way, or been led, to the quiet room with the couches and the cushions. He was curled up on the latter now, shirtless somehow, with his boots unlaced and his hair a complete rumpled mess, but he was sleeping, finally.
Or maybe passed out.
This wasn't a safe place to pass out. It was wild, it was fun, but the one thing it wasn't was safe. Beau Eastoft had invited everyone and everything he knew, and that included unsavories. Even just a few days into it, there had already been one girl who woke up with a strange hickey and a sense of disorientation.
He did nothing about it. He was just the guy who made the place happen, not the boss. He didn't have control over this thing, he'd just given it life.
So it was a miracle that Fletcher wasn't eaten up and spit out again -- that instead he got the opportunity to sleep for a while. Hours, if he wanted. All day, if he needed. And when he woke up, the quiet room would be mostly empty.
There were two girls off in one corner having an intense, quiet conversation, one of them half in tears. There were a handful of other people dozing draped over each other, in warm piles. There was, inexplicably, a giant dog that looked almost like a wolf with its head on a young man's knee.
And perched in a chair right beside Fletcher, dressed in dark green and gold paisley with a black tie and very expensive black loafers crossed near Fletcher's face, was a young man, nursing a drink the same bright green as his eyes.
It was one thing to wake up in a strange place you didn't recognize when the body beside you was warm and familiar and grounding. It was quite another when it was a stranger, or in this case, the was no one else there. Sort of.
Fletcher blinked blearily at the pair of pricey shoes a few inches from his face, tipped his head back to follow the legs attached to them up to the body they belonged to, and winced as a spike of pain shot through his temples. "Fuck, ow." An obvious hangover.
"You should drink more water,” said the man with what was probably absinthe -- settled lightly on his knee, now, the glass elegant and old fashioned. It suited him, in his suit and tie, with long hair bound into a complicated arrangement down his spine and silver rings on three of his fingers. But more so his face, too pretty -- and a bit hard to look away from.
He rolled, groaning as he pressed the heels of his palms against his eyes. It stretched him thin, showered off all that lean, long body. Pale and littered with freckles, with a splash of a water color tattoo on his collarbone.
Moving felt like a challenge. "That'd be great, do you have some?" He dropped his hands, the pain subsiding enough to finally look up at the owner of the voice and that too made him blink, startled maybe.
"Do I look like your butler?" He smiled as he said it, though, a little quirk of his lips; wry and mocking. After a breath, his eyes cut away, around the room. If they'd been somewhere busier, he might have summoned someone to come help. But as it was, the place was too quiet. There wasn't really anyone to boss around.
"Not a butler, no." His nose wrinkled as he said it, almost a smile. "Hallucination, maybe." He didn't look quite real. Too pretty, too coordinated. Like high fashion and high fantasy had a bender one night and this mystery man was the result.
With a yawn Fletcher smoothed both hands through his hair to tame it back, then moved to fold them over his chest, only to blink and lift his head enough to look down at himself. "What happened to my shirt..?" He'd had one before, or at least he thought he had. That questioning thought showed loud and clear across pinched features before the angle got the better of him and he had to lower his head again.
"You never had one, so long as I've been here." His eyes raked down as he said it, over the freckles on Fletcher's stomach, just a smidge lower, and then back up again. "It was part of the appeal."
"How long have you been here?" And how long had Fetcher been out? He didn't have a clue. Did he have his phone on him still? With a thoughtful frown he patted at his sides until he felt the familiar shape of the thin phone in one of the back pockets. He didn't bother digging it out, instead looking back up at the man with the bright green eyes. "What day is it?"
"Monday." He sipped at his drink, rolling his shoulders a bit and adjusting his posture; legs just a little more spread, head tipped so hair spilled over his shoulder, rings tapping against the glass. "It's after dark. What are you on?"
"Shit." He'd been there longer than he’d thought. Longer than it felt like, honestly.
The second question required a bit of thought, a bit of focusing on his own body before he flicked baby blues up again. "Nothing currently, I don't think." He didn't feel high or drunk or impaired in any way, which was a bit problematic. "But uh, molly, I think. I don't remember."
"Water, then." He flicked his eyes toward the corner -- there was a table with cakes and cookies and donuts on it. Or what had once been; by now, most of them had been dug into, broken in half, or squashed. "There's a little fridge over there."
It might as well have been a mile away with the way Fletcher stared across the room at it after rolling into his stomach. Water meant clarity, and he didn't want that. However, he also wanted his head to stop hurting enough to go find something to drink, or snort, or swallow.
Rising up on hands and knees was a task and came with a mumbled "fuck me," as the world tilted a little. But he did eventually get to his feet, stumbling only a little, and catching himself on the back of the chair the mystery man was sitting in.
It made him smile, just a tiny bit: a quirk of his mouth that was hard to read, his head tilted back to look up at Fletcher. "You should get me something sweet, too."
He'd do it unquestioningly, bright eyes scanning the table for anything left that might be appealing even as he got himself a bottle of water from the fridge. The only thing left that hadn't been picked over completely or demolished were a few lingering bonbons, so the bassist grabbed one(white chocolate with red sprinkles), offering it down to the other man as he made his way back to the cushions with the intent to return to bonelessly sprawling.
There was a definite glitter in his eyes as he tipped his head back and opened his mouth.
That made him stop, brows arching as he looked down. "Oh." Not exactly normal, but there was very little about the party that was, and as far as Fletch could remember the people in attendance ran a bit on the unique side.
So it didn't seem that strange, holding the treat close enough to brush the bud of the other man's lower lip so he could take a bite.
He took the whole thing, instead, and a nip of Fletcher's fingers, absently crossing one ankle over the other man’s foot. And the point of contact was -- lulling, soothing. It made the edges of things go a little sparkly.
The nip was a little startling, made his hand twitch without jerking back, but he did give the man in green a questioning look.
And he did feel better. Not great, but better than he'd woken up, but he'd attribute that to just getting up and moving around.
"I know you." He spoke around the mouthful, which was an odd contrast to his put together elegance. "Don't I?"
With his hands free again he cracked the bottle open and took a drink, considering how to answer that question. "Possibly, depends on what kind of music you listen to, or if you pay attention to social media news..."
"Social media news." He said it with a flicker of disgust behind it, chewing and swallowing -- and reached up, idly, to undo his tie. It put a healthy dose of smooth neck on display.
Blue eyes dipped inexorably down, and Fletcher seemed to lose track of what they were talking about for a moment. "Um." He frowned, brows creasing and eyes closing before finally getting back on track. "I'm a bassist, the band I was in was all over social media a few months back." Which was as much as he was going to say about it willingly.
"Oh, yes." He swiped at the corner of his mouth, too -- there was nothing there, but he did it anyway -- and then washed down the last of the sweet with a good sip of his drink. "And now you're here, destroying brain cells to forget."
His attention twitched up to his mouth, but he turned away at the question with a small, inarticulate sort of noise. Which was as good a confirmation as words, and had the benefit of being the truth.
"Do you have enough to spare?" He smiled again as he said it, maybe to take the sting out. It didn't entirely work.
That pulled him back around and he looked down at the man with a gauging, thoughtful look as the fingers of his left hand sank into his front pocket. "I think that'd depend on what you're after, high wise."
When his own eyes dragged down, it was slow and unabashed -- raking over Fletcher's belly button and down to where his hand disappeared into his pockets. "I wasn't expecting you to expound on Socrates and Plato."
Oblivious though Fletcher may be, he hadn't missed that, and color darkened pale cheeks and the long line of his neck. It made him laugh, a little awkward, self conscious huff of something that wasn't quite amusement, but he pulled the little baggy of brightly colored pills from his pocket. "I mean, if you like uppers I've got plenty to share."
"Oh, honey." His smile shifted all at once, surprised and amused. He set his glass down and leaned forward a little. "I was talking about the brain cells."
He hadn't caught the joke, not until the other man pointed it out, and the blush darkened, gaze skirting away. "Oh, heh.." It wasn't something he would have missed before, but he was very certainly not at his best lately. Sleep deprived, strung out, broken.
Rowan hooked two fingers into one of the straps on Fletcher's pants to draw him in a step closer. "Those'll serve in a pinch, but I bet I could do better."
It was unexpected for a number of reasons and the bassist stumbled a little, pitching forward, before catching himself on the chair over the other man's shoulders. Little baggy still held between long fingers. "Really? This shits pretty strong." Not arguing, bantering.
"I already ate all that sugar, I'm not sure I want to put more junk into my body." As he said it, he trailed fingers lightly down Fletcher's abdomen. It prickled and softened the edges of things again, drew all focus onto him.
There wasn't a whole lot he could say about that, which was just fine with how completely distracting the soft downward trail of those fingers along freckled skin was. It would have shut him up pretty effectively regardless.
The muscles in his stomach jumped, goosebumps rolling up along his sides and down his arms. Fletcher said nothing, did nothing. Stood still and quiet, eyes following the motion of the mystery man's hand.
He smiled again, his own eyes going up to Fletcher's face and eyebrows raised just a little. "I have an hour or two."
An hour or two of distraction. A chance to hand over control and care and worries and just let go. Fletcher licked his lips as he thought it over, not that there was much to think about. "Where?"
His smile widened just a touch, fingers still grazing light -- hot -- at the top of Fletcher's waistband. "You've been in a limo before, I'm sure."
He pushed with his fingertips to shift himself back just a little, enough to make it easier to watch those warm fingers teasing low on his stomach. "Mmhmm."
He hooked his hand into the front of Fletcher's pants, then, and used it to haul himself upright -- which meant he was pressed flushed against him, chin tipped just a little, not quite mouth to mouth. "I could call one around."
He shivered at the slip of warm fingers against bare skin, arms tensing to brace against the other man pulling himself up. Chest to chest the blonde was shorter, but that didn't matter. There was an energy about him that Fletcher found incredibly appealing. Familiar in all the best ways.
"Whatever works best for you." And he meant it, not unfamiliar with exhibition when the situation fell in that direction.
"It's dirty here." He caught Fletcher's jaw in surprisingly strong fingers to tip his head, to take in the lines of his cheeks -- the color of his eye. It wasn't quite the way someone might look at a horse, but it was close. "And I can fetch you a new shirt."
The strength and command in those almost delicate seeming hands struck a chord with the bassist, and he moved easily, pliant. Breath catching and eyes lidded. "Whatever you want." It'd thrown an internal switch, established clear roles, and Fletcher had always been so very good at following directions and order.
His smile went shark like as he pushed Fletcher back one step from the chair, off-balance. But he was also strong enough to keep him upright. "Do you sing, as well?"
Fingers slipped from the back of the chair to light on paisley print shoulders as he was pushed, balance off, back arched. "Yes."
"Maybe I want to hear you sing, then." One more breath of them near flush against each other, Fletcher's skin prickling everywhere they touched, before he pulled away -- sliding off his tie and tucking it into his pocket. Briefly, he pointed to where the vintage glass sat near one leg of the chair. "Pick up my glass."
He'd do it, holding the glass carefully in thin fingers. A little breathless, a little dazed, and if his pants hadn't been so tight and restrictive more than a little excited.
With a little distance he could breath again though, and he tucked his water under his arm so he could stash the molly back in his pocket.
His new friend was already starting for the exit -- stepping over the wolf-like dog and undoing the top button of his shirt as well. But he'd pause at the doorway to beckon Fletcher after with two fingers.
Fletcher was watching him with his head tilted, brows arched as his focus dipped to the undone button, the tie in his pocket. A man that didn't believe in wasting time, so it seemed. That was fine. The redhead fell into step behind him after the beckon, unscrewing the cap of his water so he could take another, longer drink.
"Tell me your name." It wasn't quite a question -- and it came with a sideways slant of his eyes back toward Fletcher that was sly.
"Fletcher," he chuckled lowly. "But you already knew that." Maybe he'd just wanted to hear Fletch say it, though. A power play. Didn't matter.
"Fletcher what?" It was smooth. Maybe he genuinely didn't know the details, or didn't remember. He dug out a phone as he headed toward the back door.
The music was louder as they moved through the warehouse, and Fletcher looked like he might have forgotten where exactly he was. That it was a party, and there were more people around than just the man in the suit and himself. It distracted him a bit, slowed his answer. "Lewis."
"Fletcher Lewis." Even through the noise, his voice cut: and when he said Fletcher's name, it was like chimes. Like a promise, or like a bargain. He licked his lower lip as he got a side door into the alley.
There music faded, or seemed to, the volume less overwhelming as he followed in the shorter man's wake. "What do I call you?" Names weren't always necessary, but there was a symmetry to tit for tat.
That got a little rumble of a laugh, a look shown over his shoulder toward Fletcher. Outside it was -- quiet. Shockingly so. Quieter than it should have been, like there was a bubble, almost, around the place. "Do you need something?"
A frown appeared when it seemed his question would go unanswered, replaced instead by another. "Need?" The quietness that closed around them as they stepped outside was almost deafening, certainly startling. Fletch glanced up at the building, head cocked at a thoughtful angle as he tried to puzzle out how that was possible. It was an old building, it shouldn't have been that soundproof.
"What would you call me if you were writing a song?" He tucked the phone back into his pocket and half-turned to just watch Fletcher.
"Hmm." It was an odd request, and almost anyone else probably would have pointed that out. Instead, Fletcher seemed to consider it, gaze going unfocused as he leaned back against the wall, one hand hovering before him with the tips of thin fingers twitching out a beat. Like he was hearing music that had nothing to do with the soft echoes of bass he could just barely pick up from the warehouse behind him.
His head cocked, lips parting, and after a moment of this baby blues sharpened back into focus, glancing down at the glass in his hand before looking up to the other man. "Absinthe." A fingernail tapped softly against glass. "Not for the obvious reason."
"Not exclusively for the obvious reason." He slid his hands into his pockets, head tipped -- just waiting, quietly, like he was chewing it over. There was a rumble from the end of the alley, and that finally made him move, head turned to take in the limo on the street. White, of course. "You can use it for now."