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19 September 2009 @ 10:48 pm
Brothers don't shake hands! Brothers gotta HUG!  
Okay, so you know how I started writing that fic in which Joe and Nick become each other's girlfriends? And they do things like go to baseball games and movies together where they hold hands share popcorn and stuff?

Well, tonight the ever-vigilant folks at CUF have reported that Joe and Nick went together to a Kings of Leon concert tonight in Canada. I think that qualifies as a date for my fic purposes.

So, since it's Saturday night, and that means date-night for lots of people, have a snippet:

Previous snippet

* * *

When Joe comes out of the bathroom, he’s already dressed, which is unusual. Normally he rifles around in Nick’s drawers and does a whole song and dance about which indie-retro-designer t-shirt looks cooler, and Nick generally ignores him.

But this time, Joe emerges from his shower fully dressed, in the dark jeans that Nick likes, a long-sleeved grey t-shirt that Nick also likes, and his hair all neatly combed and done. It’s slicked back, which Nick also likes, and also takes forever and Joe doesn’t really like doing it. He almost looks ready for a photo shoot or something, except he’s wearing his glasses. Which Nick also likes. Coincidentally.

And this time, Nick doesn’t ignore him.

“You look nice,” Nick says. He’s looked up from his guitar and is watching Joe putter around the room. His face looks soft and pleased.

“Thanks,” Joe says, ducking his head and biting his lip to keep himself from grinning like an idiot. He concentrates on finding matching socks to keep himself from doing or saying anything stupid.

“Going somewhere?”

When Joe looks back at Nick, Nick’s got this weird little frown on his face, like something isn’t going according to plan. Things around Nick always go according to plan.

“Nah,” Joe says. He’s casual. He’s breezy. “Just felt like taking a shower and cleaning up a bit.”

Nick’s face uncrumples. “We should go get some dinner,” he says, decisively.

Joe smiles right at him; can’t help it. “Yeah, that’d- I mean. I’d like that.”

Nick smiles back. He pushes himself off the bed and puts his guitar away. “It’s kind of chilly out,” he says, grabbing his own jacket. “You should wear a coat or something.”

It is kind of chilly out, but Joe knows he looks really good in the grey t-shirt. It hugs his shoulders and arms just right, and a jacket would cover all of that up. So instead, he grabs a navy wool scarf and wraps it around his neck. He shrugs and says, “Nah, this is good. Just let me grab my wallet.”

But Nick is right there behind him, warm hand low on Joe’s back, pushing him towards the door. “Don’t worry about your wallet,” he says, and it comes out sounding so adult that Joe almost wants to turn around and make sure it’s really his kid brother following him out of the room. “I’ve got it covered.”

When they get to the lobby of the hotel, there’s a ruckus as Demi and Chloe and some of the others call out to them from the restaurant. Nick hears them first, and he slips his fingers into the belt loop of Joe’s jeans to tug him towards their friends. When they get in the restaurant to say hi, Nick keeps holding on to Joe’s jeans.

The girls are all hyper, flushed and giggly after a long day on set filled with shenanigans.

“C’mon boys,” Demi says. “We literally ordered six pizzas that are in no way low fat or low carb or low anything. Do us a favor and eat some?”

Joe’s just saying nah, I’m good as Nick says awesome, pass me the pepperoni, and both boys end up looking at each other, surprised.

“You’re not eating?” Nick’s face is a mask of confusion.

Joe just blinks at him. “Oh, I. I thought we were going to get something to eat?”

Nick holds up a slice and raises his eyebrows. “Something like pizza?”

Joe’s eyes drop and he sighs. “Oh. Yeah, okay. Pass me a slice.” He tries not to sound as deflated as he suddenly feels.

There aren’t two seats together, so Joe just drops down next to Demi as she hands him a plate and a slice of Hawaiian. He just looks at it for a moment before he decides that he’s not really hungry after all.

A scrape of chair legs against wood floors and then Nick is right next to him, having dragged a chair over from around the other side of the table.

“You good?” Nick asks, voice quiet, like he’s concerned.

Joe musters up a smile, because hey, this isn’t bad: impromptu dinner with people he genuinely likes. “Yeah, I’m good.”

Nick eyes him speculatively, then reaches out, tugs on the scarf around Joe’s neck. “You should take this off,” he says. “Don’t want to get sauce on it.” His fingers brush against Joe’s neck, casual but present, and Joe’s stomach gives a lurching flip in his gut.

“Right,” Joe says. It comes out as barely more than a whisper. He unwraps the scarf from his neck and then sighs softly when Nick turns his attention back to the table.

They laugh and joke and have a great time, but Joe can’t help but feel disappointed. Not that he was expecting anything, but. Maybe. He doesn’t want to examine it too much, but he’d been looking forward to a night out with Nick. Just Nick. And it's not like they haven't had any time to themselves lately. In fact, they've been pretty much hanging out exclusively together, whenever they can. But the more they do it, the more of Nick Joe gets, the more he craves it.

“Hey,” Nick says into his ear. His breath is hot and smells of pepperoni. “Kings of Leon are in town tonight, playing over in Hamilton. You want me to make a call, see if I can get us in the show?”

Joe nods and shifts closer to Nick. “Sounds good,” he says in a correspondingly quiet voice. He speaks right against Nick’s cheek, right where his freckles are darkest. “But why are we whispering?”

He’s not imagining it when Nick’s face flushes a little. Nick shrugs. “No big deal,” he says in a relatively normal voice, although he’s still being quiet. “I just thought,” he says, then nods his head at the group around them. “Thought it would be fun if just you and I broke out and went.”

“Oh,” Joe says, smiling. “Yeah.”

Nick coughs and excuses himself from the table, cell phone in hand. Joe finds it suddenly much easier to lose himself in the chatter at the table, laughing as Demi and Chloe attempt to out-dirty each other by spewing forth the most ridiculous slang terms for genitalia they can think of.

When Nick comes back, he just squeezes Joe’s shoulder and makes his excuses to the table, saying something vague about needing to meet up with some people.

“Oh, right,” Joe says, standing and pulling his scarf on. “Hey, if we’re going all the way out there, I should probably run upstairs and grab my wallet.”

Nick just pulls him by the belt loop again, tugging him out towards the waiting car. “Joe,” he says, mock exasperated. “I told you. I’ve got it covered.”

* * *

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