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The annoying thing was, it was hard not to like Bob. Even Ryan, who could make a good go at not liking just about anyone had a hard time outright disliking him. And since Spencer had never been Ryan's to have--not like that, anyway--Bob hadn't even exactly stolen him. It just felt kind of like that. It would have been nice to hate him, easy. The universe was never making things easy on Ryan.


It was one thing to know something logically and then to have it confirmed, so when Icky Thump won it wasn't even like Ryan was surprised (I mean, c'mon, the White Stripes), just disappointed in that way he was often disappointed by things. It was a dull feeling, and Ryan had a drink at one of the parties to see if it would maybe help but stopped after that one. Ryan had gotten to the point where having a drink or two because he was happy and with friends wasn't so much a problem for him, but having a drink because he wanted to fix things? Yeah, he knew where that road led.

Ryan had lost Jon to the siren call of Lucinda Williams, with whom Ryan suspected Jon was just a little bit totally head over heels in love. Brendon was in pursuit of Robert Plant, or possibly Bruce Springsteen. Spencer sidled up to Ryan and said, "What, nobody you want to fangirl?"

Ryan gave Spencer his bitchiest smile. It was a bad tactic, Spencer could out-bitch Ryan any day of the week without even working for it, but it was all he really had at the moment. He asked, "You out?"

"We were gonna head back to the hotel, yeah. Wanna come?"

"Nah, that's okay. Jon might need someone to--"

"I set Mikey on him."


Spencer shrugged. "He kinda volunteered."

Okay. "Still, I wouldn't wanna leave Brendon--"

"He was stolen by Josh Farro like two hours ago, Ryan. Jesus, have you been sitting by yourself this whole time?"

Ryan shrugged. He'd gotten use to the Decaydance scene, he could even sort of unwind at parties that were made up mostly of Pete's people, but things like this were still a little beyond his reach without someone to stand behind. Spencer said, "Yeah, okay, you're coming back to the hotel with us."

"I'm good, Spence, really." The hotel was pretty decent, it had solid walls, so he wouldn't have to hear Spencer and Bob, but he would know. At least with these people he didn't really want all that much more than what he could have. "I'm sure Mikey will let me ride with him and Jon."

"Don't make me make Bob haul your ass out of here over his shoulder. If there are going to be rumors about somebody sleeping with my boyfriend, I kind of want it to be me."

"Stop being a stubborn fucktard, then."

"Too late to reprogram that sort of thing, really."

Despite himself, Ryan laughed a little. Spencer capitalized on the weakness by saying, "Please?" softly. Ryan's best friend was a total bitch.


After the world's most uncomfortable-due-to-the-comfort car ride pretty much ever, Ryan tried to part ways when they stepped off the elevator with a, "Have a good time, kids."

"Ryan," Spencer said.

"Yeah?" Ryan asked, even as he headed for his room.

"You tired?"

"Wiped," Ryan said. It wasn't totally a lie, not completely.

"Oh," Spencer sounded disappointed, which was Ryan's very least favorite tone of voice from Spencer, even including heartbroken and mad as hell.

Ryan swallowed back his desire to just go and be miserable on his own and offered, "I was gonna watch some TV, though. I could, I mean, I could hang out, instead."

Spencer brightened and Bob smiled slightly, just enough for Ryan to want to tell him to fuck off, because he had made Spencer happy. He couldn't, though, because it was kind of the best that Bob worried about whether Spencer was happy or not. Instead Ryan just followed them back to their room. He let Spencer pour him a Coke and sip off it, even though Ryan thought he might have a cold. He was pretty sure Spencer was immune to him in general.

Mostly he just listened, because Spencer and Bob were talking about 24, and Ryan had only ever seen one or two episodes. He didn't mind, he didn't really want to talk anyway. Somewhere between choruses of, "And then, Jack..." or whatever, Ryan wasn't exactly paying attention, they found their way to the couch. That was pretty normal, except for the part where Ryan was lying across it, his head in Spencer's lap, his feet in Bob's. And really, the Spencer thing wasn't odd, but despite Bob having come around on and off for over half a year, Ryan didn't really know Bob, and Ryan had a long lead-time for laying in people's laps. Ryan could have told anyone that.

Spencer said, "Ryan."

"Spence?" Ryan asked.

"Bob," Spencer said, looking at the culprit, "he said--"

Ryan scowled at Bob. Whatever he'd said was making Spencer vibrate with tension beneath Ryan. Spencer rushed out, "He said maybe he was in the way."

Ryan blinked. "Um. In the way?" When he looked at Bob again, he noticed that Bob looked a little...sad. He hid it well, but it was there in the lines at the corner of his mouth. Spencer started to say something, but Ryan put a hand to his knee and just kept watching Bob.

Bob finally shrugged. "He's yours Ross. You should have had the balls to say something and it's kind of fucked up that I had to do all the work for you, but--"

Ryan's head was swimming. He closed his eyes for a second. He said, "Spence--"

Spencer said, "If you made me choose, Ry--"

But Ryan had never, never wanted to take more than he already had from Spencer. There were all the things he couldn't help taking. Then there were the things he could. Ryan looked at Bob and asked, "Would it be-- I mean, could you enjoy it? With me?"

It was Bob's turn to blink. Spencer breathed, "Ryan."

Ryan was shy, not prude. Bob moved then, pulling Ryan up, almost completely onto his lap. He kissed him, hard and long and slow, like a test, but also a question, a, "How about you? Will this work for you?" Spencer touched his fingers to Ryan's shoulder and Ryan was so hard it already hurt.

Things got a little frantic then. Spencer clearly needed to get Ryan undressed. Ryan tried helping, he did, but he kept finding Bob's mouth on his, and okay, okay, he could definitely see where Spencer would have been super sad to give this up. Ryan wanted more of everything, everything, and he tried telling them, "Naked, naked, naked," in between kisses. He thought they caught on, because Bob sort of went for Spencer's clothes, setting Ryan so that he was perched carefully--if dazedly--on the arm of the couch. Spencer returned the favor and Ryan tried to remember to breathe as he watched them take each other down to their skin, a well-choreographed knowledge underneath all the messiness. Bob looked over at Ryan and asked, "What do you want?"

"Um," Ryan said, somewhat blinded by the possibilities. But if there was one thing he'd wanted since he'd known the meaning of the word "blowjob" it was that he'd wanted to do that to Spencer. "Lemme suck him. Please."

"Your show," Bob said, like he meant it, despite the way he was kind of running things.

Ryan looked at Spencer. "What do you want?"

Spencer, bitchy, beautiful, filthy Spencer, pushed Bob all the way back onto the couch and said, "Fuck me. Do it while he's sucking me off. Watch him over my shoulder. Watch how fucking gorgeous he is."

Bob nodded up at Spencer, much calmer than Ryan was, and Ryan wasn't the one being ordered to get his dick in Spencer Smith's ass. Later, later. Ryan had a feeling he would be allowed to ask for more. The thought was nearly too heady to hold onto for long. Spencer said, "Ryan." Then, "Ryan."

Ryan looked at him. Spencer laughed. "Prep us, bitch."

Ryan had the presence of mind to stick out his tongue, but only just. He moved to straddle Bob, brush their cocks against each other. Bob gripped at Ryan's hips tightly. There would be marks, and Ryan, Ryan had never really thought of allowing many people that, but he arched into the touch, encouraged it. Bob breathed, "Fucking amazing, Ryan Ross."

From behind him, Spencer handed Ryan a condom, and Ryan took it, slid it over Bob slow and sweet, with a smile that matched. Then he squirmed until he was sitting on Bob's lap, Bob's cock pressed against Ryan's ass. Spencer handed him the lube. Ryan tugged at Spencer until he was standing facing away and for a second, just looked at Spencer's back. It wasn't something Ryan hadn't seen a million and a half times before. It wasn't something he wasn't going to take the chance to stare at once given complete permission. Then he slid two fingers in, not even bothering with one. There were things Ryan knew about Spencer without even knowing how he knew them. Spencer sucked in a breath. Ryan said, "Fuck."

He went in hard and didn't prep too much, he got the feeling Spencer liked it just a little intense. Ryan did, when it mattered. He liked knowing how close the other person was, how far he was willing to go for that person. Spencer probably just liked the extremity of it, the punctuation of the beat. The reasons were inconsequential.

When Ryan stood and walked in front of Spencer, pushed him back into Bob--who caught him and guided him down--Spencer threw back his head, long neck in a perfect, perfect line. Ryan licked it, an appetizer, before folding down onto his knees. He had planned on taking his time, but Spencer was there, in front of him, cock as elegant as the rest of him and Ryan could fucking take his time later, right now he just wanted to suck, wanted to take Spencer in, wanted to taste until his tastebuds burned themselves away from the sheer experience.

Spencer's hands curled in his hair, sturdy palms holding him but not holding him down, and he could hear Bob panting, "Jesus, Ryan fucking Ross." Ryan wasn't even trying.

There was a rhythm, there was, but it was Bob's, and Ryan mostly just let himself get lost in it. He just needed it at the center of the song, he could let the rest go, let himself be nothing more than his mouth, his tongue on Spencer's skin, Spencer's cock. He didn't even expect it when Spencer came, despite the fact that there had probably been warning signs. When Ryan pulled off--possibly a little more slowly than he should have, but Spencer was too out of it to even throw him a bitch-face--Bob was also done. Ryan was vaguely regretful he hadn't seen it, except for the part where he really did think he'd get another chance.

Now that Ryan could remember he had a cock, too, he was aware that he was well past his own edge and he started to reach for it, but Spencer lazily kicked his hand away. Ryan glared up at him. Spencer slid to the floor, trying to push Ryan up to Bob. Ryan helped a little and together they managed to get him back on Bob's lap, facing Spencer. Spencer grinned at their accomplishment before swallowing Ryan straight down.

Ryan tried to arch off Bob, but Bob was holding him tight. "Shh, sh, Ry."

Ryan whimpered, he didn't think he could be quiet for this. When Bob slipped one solid, confident finger inside Ryan and brushed right over his prostate, Ryan gave up. He could make himself hold out at another time, when he wasn't the last, when he hadn't been waiting. Bob murmured, "Jesus, seriously. Jesus."

Ryan laughed for no reason except that he was happy, and saying Jesus during sex was always funny. When Spencer pulled off, he started laughing, too. After a while, Bob joined in. Spencer said, "You don't even know what we're laughing about, jerk."

"I have to know to laugh at you guys?" Bob asked.

Spencer said, "See if you ever get laid again."

Bob said, "Yeah, we'll see about that."

Ryan's bets were on Bob being right.

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Skin by egelantier, photo by microbophile