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Late night summons [Rowan and Fletcher]
Late night summons [Rowan and Fletcher]
Late night summons [Rowan and Fletcher]
January 20, 2020, 08:22:35 AM »
His phone rang, so late in the night that it was almost morning: long after most people had gone to bed, after parties had even closed down. At first, maybe Fletcher would dismiss it as not important enough to get up. But eventually, hopefully, he'd figure out that it wasn't his ringtone; it was the
phone. Ringing for the first time in about five days.
He answered in the pause between the fifth and sixth ring, voice heavy and coming off an obvious yawn. "Hello?" There'd be the sound of blankets moving, a small grunt as Fletcher pushed himself up on his elbows so he wouldn't be muffled against the pillow.
"Can you get yourself here, or do I need to send a car?" His voice was low and rumbling, just a little dangerous.
Fletcher was very much not a morning person. He peered blearily at the clock for a second or two before answering. "I can get an Uber if you text me the address." No reason to wake up Ferris, and besides that, it'd take longer for a car to pick him up just to drive all the way across town.
"How long will that take?" He huffed as he asked it - maybe the words a little blurry. a little blended together.
Since it seemed pretty obvious he wasn't going back to sleep he pushed himself up, a hand coming up to push his hair out of his face as he yawned again. "Maybe thirty minutes? Probably less with the roads empty. Am I staying there the rest of the night or going home?"
"Bring a change of clothes." The imperious tone would tug at that hook in Fletcher's belly, the one that had settled with a promise and a kiss.
"Alright." He was up and out of bed, at his dresser before he really realized it. "I'll order the uber and be there as soon as I can. Do you want me to text when I'm close?" He had a shirt and a pair of jeans already in his arms, and was pulling out a second to wear over. Looser, more comfortable.
"Bring a guitar, if you want." That was it the line cut off before Fletcher could reply.
"O-kay..." He sighed softly, yawned again, and pulled up the uber app on his main phone to arrange a ride. Then he headed into the bathroom to brush his teeth and get dressed before loading his guitar into his hard case along with the spare clothes folded neatly on top of it. By the time he'd made his way down and out the front doors the car was waiting and he climbed into the back.
A little under twenty minutes later and the car was pulling up to the gate. Fletcher rolled down his window to hit the button on the intercom to announce his arrival.
It was an uber: not that nice. It'd be a moment before Rowan's voice crackled over the intercom. "How do you not own a car? Or at least a motorcycle?"
"I didn't want to run the risk of falling asleep and wrecking. This was safer." It wasn't a lack of means. It was a tired bassist that
once dozed on a drive home and ended up in a ditch.
He got a long moment to wait, while Rowan assessed -- a good
, and it felt like a peeved silence, somehow -- before the car was buzzed in.
The moment made worse by the stunned murmuring of the driver asking who owned the place, how Fletcher knew them, to which the musician just shook his head.
When the gate opened he let out a little sigh, both relieved and not, and hopped out of the car as they rolled to a stop near the front door. Fletch thanked him as he got out and pulled his guitar case from the back and watched as he drove away. Then he went up to knock on the big front doors.
They opened not a moment later, so at least Rowan didn't make him wait here -- he looked tired and grumpy, with his hair loose, in a silk bathrobe over pajama pants. He also looked damned
like that, which wasn't entirely fair.
Whatever he was going to say in greeting got caught at the back of his throat as he saw Rowan and parted lips closed. It definitely want fair.
No doubt, behind the wide and appreciative eyes Fletcher looked tired as well. He'd tried to tame his hair, but he'd gone to sleep with it wet so there was only so much he could do with it. The tee shirt was worn, dove grey, and the jeanes were pale and worn through along the thighs and knees. Either age or factory distressed.
"Do you have to pay the car?" His eyes flicked past Fletcher and out onto the driveway. His tone was still sharp, edgy.
"Already paid." Soft, gaze still lingering. The tone alone should have been worrying, and it was, but Rowan dressed down and a little rumpled(if that was even the right word for it) looked just as good as Rowan in the expensive suits and intricate hair. Maybe more so.
"Come on, then." He caught the front of Fletcher's shirt to pull him through, so he could close the door and start back toward the salon.
He managed not to stumble as Rowan yanked him through the door, guitar case swaying in his hand, and felt into step at Rowan's back to follow him through the house to the salon.
It was set up to entertain - a bottle of wine on ice, mostly drunk, a handful of cakes and fruits. it was hard to tell if it had been set up for Fletcher or if Rowan had had a small get together. His glass sat on the piano, he grabbed it and folded down to sit on a loveseat. "Sit."
The setting of the room was taken in with a sweeping glance before Rowan's command compelled him to take a seat on the edge of a slipper chair more or less across from the other man, guitar case on end between his knees.
Rowan sprawled - knees spread, sunk down in the chair, with hair falling loose over his shoulder and the robe open. "Play something. old."
With a quirk of his lips Fletcher nodded and leaned forward to lay the case at his feet so he could bend down and pop the clasps that held it closed. He shifted the extra clothes he'd brought along to sit on the inside of the top of the case and pulled a six string from the padded interior that was by no means as old as anything Cooper Cole had had hanging on his walls, but still had a vintage look to it. The body was polished black with gold and pearl inlays around the hole and up the length of the neck.
He settled it on his thigh, slid the pick from where it'd been woven through the strings up near the tuning pegs, and took a moment to consider what to play, plucking at the strings to make sure they were still in tune. "Do you want me sing, too?"
"Yes." He didn't hesitate. instead he watched Fletcher in a stormy way - tired and annoyed and scraping hair roughly out of his face.
Another nod, And Fletcher pulled the capo from the end of the neck to clamp over the strings at the farthest fret. Then he started playing. It was soft and lulling, and very well could have been immediately recognizable. Older, certainly well out outside Fletcher's generation. "Well I hear there was a secret chord that David played and it pleased the lord, but you don't really care for music, do ya?" It was low and the lyrics and the tempo fitting well with Fletcher's range. "And it goes like this: the fourth, the fifth, the minor fall and the major lift. The baffled king composing Hallelujah."
As he played he added to the chords, made them more without taking away from the singing. Both lyrics and melody playing off one another seamlessly.
Rowan breathed out a slow sigh, watching Fletcher - thoughtfully. it was helping to take some of that harsh energy out of him, but - "You know anything older?"
He leaned forward, arm resting in the dip of the guitar as he thought about it. "Not much that I know the lyrics for, but I can look some up and learn them." He slid his pinky lightly over a string as he thought. "But I do know some classical acoustic that doesn't have singing."
"Do you sight read?" Rowan shrugged - and then seemed to realize all at once he was holding his drink, and took a sip. Deep.
"Usually." He certainly wasn't bad at it, but he also hadn't gotten much sleep and didn't want to guarantee a flawless playthrough. Especially not if Rowan wasn't in the best mood. "Do you have a piece in mind?"
"I can find something." and then he drained the glass so he could set it down empty and roll up to stand, heading for the piano.
Fletcher waited patiently, watching Rowan drain the last of the wine from his glass before rolling gracefully up to his feet.
It wasn't just a physical thing for Fletcher, at least not at first, but with the value Rowan placed in him and his talent... And the magic, the way Rowan touched him and the way his body felt under Fletcher's hands. He couldn't help but want him. The open front of the robe an alluring slice of perfectly pale musculed flesh.
Just a fine dusting of very fair hair, downy, down his stomach -- he bent over the piano bench to root around, and somehow even in his PJs, he looked put together. "The trick is finding something arranged for modern guitar."
He brought his other arm up, crossing it over the curve of the guitar and rested his chin there as he watched Rowan root around in the bench. An agreeable sound following the comment.
"Unless you play the lute." He straightened, head tipped down to pore over the pages, and maybe now that Fletcher knew what to look for, he'd see the little things that weren't human. the delicate point of those ears. The too fine features. The aura he had.
He'd take the chance provided to let his gaze pour over the other man in appreciation, letting the new knowledge of what he was settle in more fully. Ferris had been easy to accept in the moment, Fletcher had seen what he could do. Rowan was both more subtle and not subtle at all.
"Not presently, but I could probably pick it up pretty quickly if I got my hands on one for a week or two." Strummed and picked string instruments were all very similar. Well, to him.
"I'm sure." He tilted his head a little, going through the pages -- and then held one out to Fletcher. Old enough to have yellowed; older than rock, definitely. It was complicated fingerpicking, but a simple tune and simple melody, with a celtic feeling.
He'd keep on watching until Rowan found something and held it out to him, then he straightened up to reach for it. Nothing he'd ever seen before, which wasn't surprising. He gave it a quick scan as he stood up and turned, nudging the case out of the way with his foot so he could prop the music against the back of the chair so he could read it. Then he took a seat on the ground and adjusted the guitar again.
Rowan eased over to pour himself another tall glass of wine, shoulders rolling to work out some tension (it didn't work) before he sat again. "You don't have to get it right on the first try."
That was good, because he doubted he'd get it perfect on the first playthrough. It was complicated picking, and not all the lyrics were English--or not English used today.
He'd have to start slow, and after a few notes he abandoned the pick to pluck the strings with his fingertips instead which worked better. Made it more fluid and smooth, if sedate. The singing was the trickier part. Not just the bits he didn't recognize, but where to place the pitch. He settled for something in the middle, singing softly along with the picking. Decent, improving as he worked through the song.
That, finally, made Rowan breathe out a sigh: made him close his eyes and relax into the corner of the loveseat, with the glass dangling from his fingers. Almost, it made him look approachable. Almost. Except when Fletcher missed a note and his eyes opened.
He didn't have enough attention to spare to see how Rowan felt about his playing. Had to keep his eyes on the page, which meant he couldn't watch his fingers at all so the occasional misstep happened. He powered through, moving right into the next without skipping a beat, because he didn't want to lose the groove.
unlike what Tuck Fhis played; it was slow but pretty, though it would have been prettier with a second voice to sing the counterpoint. Rowan tipped his head down, eyes closing again, and seemed almost asleep.
It was closer to what Fletcher had been studying before Mal had found him and talked him into starting a band. It wasn't unfamiliar pacing, and the more he played and sang the more confident he got. By the end of it there'd been very few errors, and his voice had been stronger and sure of itself. As the last note hung in the air he looked up at Rowan.
He looked -- maybe he
asleep, with his head propped in his hand and the glass of wine tipped just slightly to one side, threatening to spill.
Fletcher waited eyes flicking between Rowan's face and the glass of wine tipping precarious, and he wasn’t sure what to do. If the point of his being there was oo help the man get to sleep than waking him seemed like a bad idea. If he didn't... Maybe brownies could get wine out of silk and furniture, and maybe they couldn't.
At the very least he could prevent a spill. Guitar set back in the case he crawled the short distance from it to where Rowan was sitting and reached up to press a finger against the edge of the glass to keep it upright, the other hovering near the base to catch it in case it slipped. He tipped his gaze back up to Rowan's face, and had the keenest urge to tuck that golden hair behind the point of his ear.
The movement made him twitch -- eyes opening suddenly to settle on Fletcher. His hand tightened reflexively but he didn't move, otherwise, just sprawled there considering. Working his mouth to find words. "You stopped."
He pulled his hands away to set them in his lap, looking up from where he kneeled at Rowan's feet. "I didn't want your wine to spill. The glass looked like it was starting to tip."
He closed his eyes for a moment, considering that -- and then reached out to put it on the side table. "I haven't slept."
Fletcher's head tilted, lips tugging subtly to one side. "For how long?" Not that he could speak to the sleeping habits of fae, but he'd had plenty of his own sleepless nights, and they took a toll.
A little shrug, waving that off. He reached up finally to scrape fingers through his hair, to drag it out of his face. "Play it again."
He nodded, sliding back to where he'd left the guitar. "What do you want me to do if you fall asleep?"
Re: Late night summons [Rowan and Fletcher]
Reply #1 on:
January 20, 2020, 08:23:13 AM »
"Play it until you've got it a hundred percent." He hesitated just a little bit, adjusting the way that he sat into a more comfortable sprawl, propped on the armrest. "Then wake me up and play it again."
A small flicker of a smile as he picked the instrument up and settled it on his leg again. "Alright." If it'd help, he was happy to do it. He'd have been happy to regardless, but that was probably the magic. Either way, he looked back up at the music and started plucking at the strings again. Still slowly, but there'd be considerably less errors and his singing was more sure of itself from the start.
It was tricky fingering; it was definitely going to take him a bit to get it all
, and then it was up to Fletcher to decide what 'a hundred percent' meant, in terms of dynamics, and tone, sticking to the script versus making his own adjustments. Rowan would definitely tell him if it was wrong.
When finished the first playthrough he headed straight into another, tempo picking up so he could play with the pacing. Over and over again until he had to lyrics down, fingers moving by muscle memory. Enough to shift until he was sitting with his back against the couch Rowan was lounging on, one leg stretched out and one curved close.
Rowan slept, but it was more of a doze than a deep, dead to the world sleep. At some point, he reached out idly to put his hand on the top of Fletcher's head and let it rest there, fingers just barely moving. It was a sharp contrast to the edges and danger of being in his bedroom. Or even the limo.
He'd tip his head back at the feel of those fingers moving slowly through his hair, eyes closing as he played. It was very relaxing, and Fletcher took his time, made sure he could play the song through without the slightest hiccup. He'd play with the pacing and the highs and lows in his singing until it sounded
, to him. Maybe twenty minutes, maybe longer, but when he thought he had it he reached up to touch the hand on his head, sliding his fingers back over his knuckles and up over his wrist.
"You stopped again." Barely asleep, then; just enough to make his voice rough and rumbly, instead of the usual clear-as-a-bell.
His hand lingered against Rowan's skin, head tipping back to look up at him. "You said to wake you when I have it down a hundred percent." He kept his voice on softer side, not wanting to break the peace that'd settled in the room. "I'm ready to play it for you." Hoped it was up to the right standard. He didn't want to disappoint.
He made a very small sound, attention dragging off of Fletcher to check the time - rumpled but more together as he brushed his hair back, thinking it over. "Alright."
He flashed a small smile, fingers lingering a second more before trailing back over his hand and away so he could set them back against the strings, ready and poised. A second ago it'd been so easy, he knew the notes, he knew the words, he knew he had it down. Now he needed to take a breath to settle before he started playing, eyes closing as he let his fingertips fly over the strings, voice rising in accompaniment.
It was, perhaps, unkind that Rowan reached out to touch the back of his neck while he played -- his fingers there distracting in a way that had to be intentional, and his eyes half closed.
A distraction that helped to ease that little bit of nerves that had settled when he'd woken Rowan to play for him. The magic of his touch thrilled along the soft skin at the nape of his neck, and Fletcher tipped his head back against it, posture loosening, and he managed to do it all without skipping a beat or missing a word. These days he was at his best when he thought he was appreciated, and that one touch, to him, was that.
Rowan tapped at the back of his neck in the silence after, like he was thinking about it -- and then pulled his hand back to grab his glass and straighten a bit where he sat. "We can work on the pronunciation."
Fletcher kept his head back against the couch cushion, watching Rowan for approval, dislike, anything. He was a hard one to read, but the lack of overall criticism was taken as a good sign by the bassist and a look of content settled on freckle kissed features.
It was the best he was going to get, probably. Rowan rubbed at his eyes, downed the last of his wine, and then used Fletcher as a prop to get up. "You want to put me to bed?"
Fletcher'd brace for it, holding very still as Rowan got to his feet again, and only after those warm fingers had slid away did he move to put the guitar away. "Yes." Closing the case and setting it gently on the piano bench with his change of clothes on top, he shifted on his knees to get the sheet music from the chair he'd been using as a stand and set it on the piano.
Rowan left the glass on the piano, which seemed blasphemous, considering the beauty of the instrument, and started back through the house. Some of the hard energy had gone out of him, relaxed down to something calmer.
Baby blues spared a glance to glass, but he remembered Ferris' comment about the brownies. Surely they wouldn't let anything happen to Rowan's piano. No rings. So he left it, left everything there, and turned to follow Rowan, falling into step at his side, but a step or two behind.
"How's your album?" It came with a slantwise look, eyebrows raised. "And more importantly, my songs?"
"Albums going well. I'm laying down some lyrics for some of the first composed melodies, but I still need to find a big enough space for recording." He gave a soft huff, like perhaps the latter had been giving him trouble. "I've got the start of something promising for one of your's. The melody is coming together nicely, but it needs more still." He was missing something with it, he knew it, it was just a matter of finding it.
"Melody before the words?" He raised an eyebrow, flicking a look back to Fletcher, brief.
He raised one right back, head tilting. "The music usually comes to me first. Not always, but usually."
"Did you work with a lyricist?" He paused with a hand light on the banister, considering.
Rowan stopping had Fletcher stopping as well. "My old...singer, he wrote, but we collaborated on quite a lot." A soft, puzzled frown took over. "The music comes first, but once it's there the rest falls into place. Once I can play it, then I feel it."
"Like magic." His tone was casually mocking, as he took a step up the stairs.
"I guess so." Brows twitched, the frown lingering, but he started moving again as well.
"Some people don't have to try very hard in life." He raked at his hair again, heading up the stairs slowly. His other hand ghosted over the top of the rail.
"That's very true." Fame had almost literally fallen into Fletcher's lap. There would be no argument from him on the matter.
Rowan made a rumbling sound of ascent, just a little sour. "What do you do with your days?"
"These days I write, work with my manager on staying relevant, take meetings with possible investors." He shrugged. It was quite the turn around, considering before Beau's little party he'd been trying to inebriate himself into oblivion most of his waking hours.
"Add exercise to your schedule." He said it with the easy carelessness of someone who expected to be obeyed. Not a request, but a simple order.
"O-okay." A slight hesitation, like that hadn't been what he'd expected Rowan to say. "Is there something in particular I should be working on, or just overall fitness?"
"Fitness. Cardiovascular health. You're human; a lack of exercise won't just make you a little soft around the middle -- " said like, maybe, Fletcher was. A little. " -- but also can lead to larger problems."
Well, he wasn't
Fletcher mulled that over a moment as they continued on before his shoulders rolled in an agreeable shrug. "I'll look into personal trainers tomorrow."
"I mean, I could make it so you didn't have to bother but..." He wavered a little on the top step, considering. "I don't think you could afford it."
That got a head tilt as Fletcher stopped a couple of steps beneath him. "What do you mean?"
"Maybe just go to the gym. Run on the treadmill while you listen to where you started." He beckoned Fletcher along to the bedroom.
A puzzled frown followed, but he let it go as he trailed after the other man into the bedroom. Fingertips skimming along the doorframe as he entered.
"You won't be young forever is all I'm saying." There was a flash of unkind amusement behind that. Rowan shrugged out of his robe and tossed it onto a chair, fingers going up into his hair again.
Door close behind him, Fletcher had to tuck his hands into his pockets to keep from reaching out to run his fingers through Rowan's hair. A look of longing flowing over freckled features.
Rowan half-turned to look at him already starting to bind his own hair up -- quick and familiar like he'd done it a million times. The look on Fletcher's face made him pause, assess. "I need to sleep."
He blinked like he hadn't even realized he'd been staring until it was pointed out, and a touch of color darkened pale cheeks. "Of course. What do you want me to do?"
"I just want to be very clear." He rolled his shoulders and then finished sweeping up his hair, stepping away toward the bathroom. "Your pajamas should be in the bottom dresser drawer."
He nodded. "I wouldn't try anything unless I knew it was welcomed." That dynamic had been set up with that first rough kiss. Crouching at the dresser, he paused with his hands on the soft material of the pajamas and looked up again. "Do I have to wear the shirt?"
"You can wear whatever you like." He eased into the bathroom, speaking from the distance. "You can stay here or I can have them make up the guest room."
Just the bottoms then. He pulled them out and laid them on the edge of the bed so he could strip out of the jeans and tee shirt he'd worn over. "I’d rather stay in here."
He folded what he'd just taken off and laid them on a chair, slid into the soft bottoms a moment later, then drew down the blankets on the side he'd slept on last time and climbed up to sit on the edge of the bed, waiting.
Rowan lingered in the bathroom: washed his face, bound his hair up tight so it wouldn't catch in the night, brushed his teeth - and came out with just a faint frown, distracted as he sat on the other side of the bed.
Waiting was fine. Fletcher seemed to have bottomless wells of patience by nature. As Rowan walked out the redhead looked up from his phone, setting it on the side table as he turned on the bed. "Is something wrong?" Not prying, not demanding, concerned curiosity.
He thought about it -- head tipped -- and then reached out to flick off the light. "Don't know where I left my phone."
The phone Rowan had given him was sitting with his clothes, since he doubted he'd need it when he was
the man, but he glanced at it now before the lights were flicked off. "I could call it for you..." But he probably didn't need it just then. "In the morning, if you want."
Even as he said it he was tucking his legs under the covers, stretching out on his side as he curled an arm around the nearest pillow and pressed his face into the fabric to breath in any scent that might have clung there.
"It should show up in the morning." Reluctant, but he flopped down onto the bed rubbing along the line of his jaw.
Fletcher shifted, drawing a leg up as he turned on his side again and slid a little closer. "Okay. If you're sure."
Rowan flicked him a look and then shrugged just a tiny bit, grimacing at Fletcher. "Any emergencies can wait four or five hours anyway."
One arm tucked under his pillow, the other curled on the bed between them. Close, but not touching, his fingers curling against the sheets. "Can I touch you? Nothing sexual or anything, just..."
He narrowed his eyes, focusing back in on Fletcher. "Just don't wake me up."
He shook his head, the effect a little lost with the pillow, but there was a tiny flicker of a smile. The hand laying between them relaxed before sliding those last few inches to Rowan's arm, fingers gliding along that soft, warm skin from elbow to shoulder. Light, caressing. Something he'd always liked done to him when he'd had trouble sleeping. It'd always been really relaxing.
He watched Fletcher through narrowed eyes in the dark, thinking it over -- and then closed them and let it be, working to relax.
This close he could smell that summer breeze scent that always clung to the other man, and the bassist sighed softly, turning his head to press his face into the pillow. The overly early hour of the morning was catching up with him. The lack of sleep before Rowan's call had woken him up and the given task had kept him alert. Whatever energy he'd managed to tap into to play was seeping away.
His hand made another few strokes along Rowan's arm before the movements grew more sluggish, palm coming to rest against his shoulder finally, his thumb stroking slowly back and forth. That buzz,
feeling wonderful against his skin.
Rowan must have slept at some point -- the
had been for him to sleep. But he was very quiet in the bed, and even quieter when he got up again, so that Fletcher would wake up alone.
He slept deeply, and when Rowan woke and slipped from the bed Fletcher moved in his sleep like he was seeking out the absence of heat that'd been there before. But he didn't wake up, not for some long hours. When he opened his eyes again the room was light, sun filtering in through thin curtains. He yawned as he rolled onto his back, stretching from the tips of his fingers to curl of his toes. The bed was comfortable, it would have been easy enough to roll over and go back to sleep.
Instead he pushed himself up so he could sit on the side of the bed, rub the sleep from his eyes. Listening for any sign that there was anyone else in the house.
There was sound, maybe, from the kitchen -- but nothing here, and none of the prickle that would say Rowan was waiting to have coffee with him, or showering before an early morning toss, or anything else. A late night booty call with no booty.
After a few moments to wake a little more fully the redhead finally stood and shuffled across the room and out the door. Down the steps, towards the kitchen, following the faint sounds of movement he thought he'd heard coming from that direction.
Not a soul. Not even Ferris, this morning. But there was breakfast out, the same huge spread he'd had before, and cash for a cab. If he needed it.
He stood in the doorway for a long moment eyeing the food thoughtfully. Then turned on his heel to head back through to the room they'd been in the night before so he could fetch his other phone to shoot a quick text to Rowan before grabbing the clean clothes he'd brought with him and heading back upstairs to change and grab the stuff he'd left in Rowan's room.
[Is this food/cash safe?]
It'd be a good forty minutes before the reply: [Safe.] and that was it.
It was all the reassurance he needed to fill a plate and settle into a big breakfast. In the time he'd waited he changed, cleaned himself up a bit, folded and packed up the last night's clothes in the guitar case with his guitar, and still had time to sit at the counter with his personal phone in his hand, playing with lyrics in his notes app.
When he was finished he washed his dishes and put them away, called himself a ride home, and gathered up his belongings. When he got home he looked into whether or not his apartment building had a gym.
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