Title: Don't Dream It's Over
Summary: Sequel to When You Call My Name. When Andy comes home from college for winter break, Brian finds that a lot can change in three months. He has doubts about where they really stand, even as his own feelings grow beyond his control.
Overall Rating: R (future chapters may go up to NC-17 on livejournal)
Chapter Rating: R
Chapter Warnings: sexual content, language
Previous chapters: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
Chapter Five: The Wave
During the week before Christmas, the Chicago weather reporters had been predicting that a fierce cold front would be moving in over the weekend. For once, they were right. On Sunday evening, the temperature outdoors dropped way below freezing, and the wind chill factor was even lower. Mr. Johnson grabbed a stack of old bed sheets from the hall closet and went outside to cover his vegetable garden.
Brian always went for a jog on Sunday night, and he was determined that the cold wasn’t going to keep him from fulfilling his ritual. He found the warmest track suit that he owned, layered it with a couple of extra t-shirts, and tugged on his Cleveland Browns ski cap. Then he tied up his worn out sneakers and stepped outside.
Within minutes, his nose was running like a leaky faucet, and his eyes were watery from the wind. Still, he kept going, knowing that he would hit his stride if he just didn’t think about it. After a few minutes, the burning cold in his arms and legs dissolved into something that he could handle, and pushed himself to run a bit faster.
After about ten minutes, he reached the park in the middle of his neighborhood, empty save for a group of older guys using the basketball court. Among the vehicles parked along the curb was a light blue Bronco, probably belonging to one of the basketball players. But it looked so much like Andy’s Bronco that Brian immediately glanced over at the court to see if Andy was among the group gathered there.
He wasn’t, of course. Brian released out a foggy breath into the air, feeling a little bit stupid for imagining that he was. It was like his mind was programmed to find the shortest possible route back to Andy, no matter what he was already thinking about. He’d done it all semester, too. Brian figured that he probably thought about Andy more while he was gone than he did before he left. Granted, a lot of that had to do with the kiss. His first really good kiss with someone he really cared about, and it had to happen the night before that person left for a whole four months. So, what else was he supposed to do all semester after a kiss like that while Andy was away, starting his new life? What was anyone supposed to do when they were left behind? Obsess? Pine away? Because Brian figured that he’d done a pretty good job of both. He didn’t hang out with his old friends very often, opting instead to throw himself into his studies or his books. He ate lunch with the Physics Club, but that was about it. Hanging out with other people felt strange somehow. No one knew him the way Andy did, and he couldn’t imagine confiding in anyone but Andy when it came to anything even remotely important, which meant that he ended up keeping a lot of things to himself, even when he would have liked to share them with someone.
As for the obsessing…well, he did plenty of that, too. Staring at the phone, hoping he’d call. Walking by the baseball fields, imagining the two of them sprawled out on the bleachers with a half-empty case of beers sitting between them. Sitting in class, wondering what Andy was going to eat for lunch that day, even though he hadn’t even looked at his own lunch to see what he had. Brian thought about Andy more than he thought of himself, and although that probably should have scared him, it didn’t. It just made things harder.
And if the past week was any indication, it wasn’t going to get any easier.
When Brian arrived back at his house, he found his mother and sister sitting at the dining room table, talking quietly. When Morgan looked up, Brian saw that her cheeks were stained with trails of tears. Immediately, Brian felt his stomach clench up with dread.
“What’s wrong?” he asked, walking deeper into the room.
Mrs. Johnson looked up at her son. “Morgan has a loose tooth,” she informed him.
Right away, Brian knew why that was so important. Morgan had turned seven in June, and their parents had been concerned that she hadn’t lost any of her baby teeth yet, with the exception of one that she’d knocked out on the playground the spring before. The dentist had assured them that some children didn’t start losing their teeth until they were seven or eight, sometimes even later. Morgan was the only one who wasn’t all that concerned about it. In fact, she’d never seemed at all excited about losing her teeth, even when her friends started losing theirs. Brian wasn’t sure why, since he remembered being really excited when he lost his first tooth. He’d played with it for days, wiggling it around with his tongue. It finally came out at dinner one night when he bit into a piece of garlic bread, and he’d been so excited that he almost swallowed it.
“Does it hurt?” Brian asked.
Morgan paused. “I little bit.”
Mrs. Johnson sighed. “Do you want some water? Would that help?”
Morgan considered this for a moment, then nodded. “Maybe.”
Mrs. Johnson stood from the table. “I’ll be right back.”
Just then, the doorbell rang. “Answer that, Brian, will you?” his mother asked, disappearing into the kitchen.
“Sure,” Brian answered. He glanced over at Morgan, who was sitting with her elbows resting on the table and her chin in her hand. Her other hand was busy with her front teeth, pressing against them gently as if to test each one. Brian slipped out of the room and walked back to the front hall to answer the door.
When he opened the door, he found Andy on his front porch, bundled up in a heavy ski jacket. “Hey!” Andy exclaimed. His cheeks were rosy from the cold. “What’s going on?”
Brian opened the door wider to let Andy in. “Nothing. What are you doing here?”
“I don’t know,” Andy replied, taking off his ski cap. “I just thought we could hang out.” He looked up at Brian, expression serious. “I mean, it’s kind of cold, so we can’t go out, but…”
Brian nodded quickly, knowing that Andy meant they couldn’t go to the baseball fields. “Yeah, I know. It’s cold outside.”
Andy paused, glancing up at the top of Brian’s head. “Have you been out?” he asked.
Brian realized that he was still wearing his ski cap from when he’d gone running. He reached up to take it off, then ran a hand through his hair to fluff it up. “Oh, yeah. I went for a run.”
Andy lifted an eyebrow in surprise. “A run? Really?” Brian nodded. “I didn’t know you ran,” Andy said, smiling.
He sounded so proud of him that Brian couldn’t help but smile back. “Yeah, well, I had to do something after eating all those cheeseburgers.”
Andy laughed. “Yeah, I guess so.” He glanced down at Brian’s feet. “Is that what you wear when you go out?”
Brian picked up one of his feet so that both of them had a better look. “Uh, yeah. Is that bad?”
Andy shook his head. “Those aren’t made for running. The sole is too thin. Are they heavy?”
Brian frowned. “I don’t know. Compared to what?”
Andy shrugged. “Running shoes should feel lighter, that’s all.” He looked up. “We should go running sometime. Do you always go at night?”
Brian shook his head. “No, I just go whenever.”
Andy started to say something else, but he was interrupted by the sound of Mrs. Johnson talking in the dining room. “I’m sorry. Did I come at a bad time?” he asked.
Brian shook his head. “No, it doesn’t matter. Morgan is just upset because she has her first loose tooth. My mom was trying to calm her down.”
“Oh.” Andy glanced over at the doorway leading to the dining room. “Is she okay?”
Brian nodded and started walking back into the dining room, motioning for Andy to follow him. “She’ll be fine.”
When Brian and Andy walked into the dining room, Mrs. Johnson looked up from the glass of water in her hand. “Hi, Andy,” she said tiredly.
Andy nodded politely. “Hi, Mrs. Johnson.”
Brian’s mother put the glass of water on the table in front of her daughter. “Morgan, I’m going to go lay your night shirt out on your bed, okay? When you finish your water, it’s time for bed.”
Morgan nodded and picked up her glass, studying it carefully as if she suspected foul play.
“Mom, Andy’s going to stay over for a while, okay?” asked Brian.
Mrs. Johnson nodded. “That’s fine. Just remember to lock the front door when he leaves.”
“I will,” Brian promised.
Mrs. Johnson nodded in Andy’s direction. “It’s nice to see you, Andy.”
Andy nodded. “You, too, ma’am.”
Brian’s mother walked out of the dining room, leaving the three of them alone. Andy looked over at Brian to see what they were going to do next, and Brian looked down at Morgan to see how she was doing. Morgan glanced back and forth between the two boys, silently sipping her water.
Brian sighed. “I need something to drink. I’ll be right back.”
Andy nodded, and Brian went into the kitchen for a glass of water. He gulped it down quickly, not even realizing how thirsty he was until the glass was empty. He filled it up one more time, then went back into the dining room.
Andy was sitting at the table across from Morgan, and he had his hand in his mouth, holding back his lip to show her his front teeth. “This one right here,” he was saying. “That was the first tooth I ever lost. I was only five.”
Morgan’s eyes widened. “You had your first loose tooth when you were five?”
Andy shook his head. “No, my brother Brett knocked it out. He was older and bigger than I was. One day, I accidentally knocked over one of his Lego buildings, and he got mad at me, so he hit me, and my tooth came out.”
Morgan’s eyes grew even wider, if that was possible. “That was mean.”
Andy laughed. “I know. He’s not a very nice person.”
Brian leaned against the doorjamb and took a sip of his water.
“I lost my other tooth that way,” Morgan told Andy. She reached up and pointed to one of the teeth on the top front row. “I hit my face on the ground when we were playing at recess. Someone pushed me down.”
Andy lifted an eyebrow. “A schoolyard rumble, huh?”
Morgan nodded. “It hurt a lot.”
Andy nodded, considering her words carefully. “Well, it doesn’t hurt as much when you have a loose tooth. Sometimes you don’t even feel it fall out.”
Morgan paused. “Really?”
Andy nodded. “Yeah.”
Morgan was quiet for a minute, looking as though she was trying to make a decision about something. She took a sip of her water, but her eyes never left Andy’s face. Finally, she put down the glass and took a deep breath. “Michael swallowed a tooth last year,” she told him.
Andy paused. “Who is Michael?”
“A boy in my class,” said Morgan. “I saw it happen. We were eating lunch in the cafeteria, and he was eating cookies. He swallowed the tooth with the cookie.”
Andy made a face. “Ouch.”
Morgan nodded very seriously. “It can probably happen in my sleep, too. If I go to sleep and it comes out then, I might swallow it.” She paused. “What if I choke on it? I might die!”
Brian was about to step forward and offer the statistics on the chances of her actually dying from choking on a tooth, but Andy beat him to the punch. “I don’t think that’s going to happen,” Andy assured her.
“How do you know?” asked Morgan, sounding a bit panicked. “When you’re asleep, you don’t know what’s happening to you!”
Andy nodded. “That’s true, but your tooth isn’t going to come out when you sleep. It will probably come out if you start playing with it or if you’re eating something.”
Morgan still looked worried, so much so that Brian wanted to interrupt and offer his own words of advice, even though he didn’t know what to say. But once again, Andy beat him to the punch. “But,” he added, “if you lose it while you’re sleeping, it’ll just make it easier for the tooth fairy to pay you.”
Morgan narrowed her eyes. “Really?”
Andy nodded. “Probably.”
Morgan considered this for a moment. “How much does she pay you?”
“I don’t know,” Andy admitted. “I got a dime for every tooth, but maybe she pays more now.”
“Virginia said she got a quarter,” said Morgan.
“That’s a lot of money,” Andy pointed out. “It adds up.”
Morgan grinned, and Andy laughed. Brian felt his chest tighten with emotion, and suddenly he was having a hard time breathing. Not from lust this time, but from something else, like maybe he was about to start crying, which was ridiculous, because he definitely wasn’t. Still, there was something tugging at the pit of his stomach--something big--and he could tell that it was going to take over if he wasn’t careful.
Brian’s mother appeared in the doorway. “Come on, Morgan. It’s way past your bed time.”
Morgan set her glass back onto the table and stood from the table. “Bye,” she said to Andy.
Andy smiled. “Good night.”
Morgan ran towards the doorway, where her mother was waiting for her, and the two of them disappeared down the hallway leading to Morgan and Brian’s rooms. Andy stood from his chair and took a few steps towards Brian, still smiling. He looked so relaxed and comfortable that Brian felt a wave of affection hit the back of his throat. He took a few steps forward so that they were standing less than a foot apart, then reached forward and pinched a piece of Andy’s t-shirt between his thumb and forefinger. Andy stiffened, and Brian thought that he was going to move away, but he didn’t. Brian looked up, and their eyes met. Andy’s expression betrayed his surprise and confusion, but not much else. Brian, who was still clutching the front of Andy’s t-shirt between his fingers, pressed his knuckles lightly against Andy’s stomach. Andy sucked in a shallow breath, but made no effort to move away, even though Brian could tell that his stomach muscles were clenched and that his body was poised for flight. Brian wanted to say something, but everything sounded so dumb and empty in his head. Instead, he just pressed his fingers a little bit harder against Andy’s stomach and swallowed the lump in his throat.
“Brian!” his mother called from somewhere down the hall.
Brian sighed and released Andy’s t-shirt. “Yes, ma’am?” he called out.
“Can you turn off the porch light for me, please?”
“Yes, ma’am!” he answered. He glanced up at Andy, who was watching him closely, expression unreadable as always. Neither boy said anything. Brian cleared his throat and walked back into the hallway to turn off the porch light.
“So, do you want to play video games or something?” Brian asked.
Andy, who had followed him into the hallway, nodded. “Sure.”
“I need to take a shower first, but you can go ahead and get it set up,” Brian told him, starting down the hall to his bedroom. Andy followed him into the room and sat down on the bed.
Brian motioned towards the bathroom with his thumb. “Well, I’ll just be a minute…”
Andy nodded and reached forward to start unbuttoning his jacket, which he tossed onto the floor at the foot of the bed. He did the same with his gloves and his ski cap, then reached down to tug off his sweatshirt, leaving only a t-shirt on underneath. There was a piece of hair sticking up on his head, and Brian wanted desperately to walk over and run his fingers through Andy’s hair to smooth it down.
Andy glanced over at Brian, who was still standing in the doorway of the bathroom. “Is everything okay?”
Brian nodded, swallowing deeply. “Yeah, everything’s fine.”
When he’d finished with his shower, Brian wrapped a towel around his waist and walked out of the bathroom that separated Morgan’s room from his own. Andy was sprawled out on the bed, shoes off, watching television. Whatever was on must have been really funny, because he was laughing so hard that he looked like he was crying.
“What are you watching?” Brian asked, stepping closer to the bed to get a better look. When he realized what it was, he smiled. It was the coyote and the roadrunner, Andy’s favorite cartoon. The coyote had a stick of dynamite, and he was attaching it to an army green parachute. The roadrunner was…running.
Brian glanced over at Andy to see that he had stopped laughing so hard and was looking at him, lips parted just barely. Suddenly, Brian realized that he wasn’t wearing anything but a towel. He pressed one arm instinctively against his stomach--as if that was going to help--and took a step backwards. “I’ll get dressed in the closet.”
Andy nodded quickly and glanced back up at the television screen.
Brian threw on a t-shirt and a pair of sweatpants and stepped back into the room. Andy was flipping channels, going from sit-com to infomercial to news program. “Hey, they’re playing Star Wars on channel eight,” he said without looking up from the screen.
“Oh.” Brian had been surprised to find out that Andy was a big fan of the Star Wars trilogy. During the summer, they’d probably watched Episodes IV and V about twenty times, and every time the Death Star exploded, Andy would get so excited that he would practically jump out of his seat. He claimed that he only liked the movies for the action and violence, but Brian liked to think that Andy had a secret geek side that no one knew about but him.
“Do you want to watch it?” Andy asked. “We haven’t seen it in a while.”
Brian sat down next to him on the bed, right next to the window. “Sure.”
Andy flipped back to channel eight, and Brian realized that the film had already started. Luke and C3PO were in Luke’s land speeder, cruising through the desert in search of R2D2. A few minutes later, Obi Wan Kenobi appeared to save them from a group of hostile sand people.
At some point, the run and the hot shower must have caught up with Brian, because he woke much later to find that Andy was moving around on the bed next to him. He looked up at the screen just in time to see Darth Vader’s ship explode in outer space. Brian glanced over at Andy, who was biting his lip, trying to keep from bursting out with excited laughter. He must have noticed Brian moving around, because he looked over at him.
“Sorry,” said Brian. “I didn’t mean to fall asleep.”
Andy shook his head and looked back at the screen. “It’s okay. You missed the best part, though.”
Brian smiled. “No, I saw it.”
They watched the last few minutes of the movie in silence. Luke and Han received their medals from Leia, and Andy laughed every time Chewbacca said anything at all. Finally, the end credits started rolling, with the theme song playing in the background. Andy reached for the remote to turned down the volume, then glanced over at Brian.
And that’s when Brian realized that he was staring at Andy. Waiting, though for what he wasn’t sure. Andy must have felt the same way, because he pursed his lips together nervously. His eyes flickered down to Brian’s chest, then his stomach. Brian felt his stomach muscles clench with anticipation, as if they could feel Andy’s eyes on them.
Tentatively, Andy reached forward and brushed his hand against Brian’s abdomen, pressing down gently through the fabric of his t-shirt. Brian’s breath caught in his throat, and he looked up. Andy was watching him expectantly and with more than a little bit of fear, probably wondering if what he was doing was okay. Brian nodded slightly, and Andy looked back down at Brian’s torso. His fingers skimmed a bit lower, pushing the bottom of Brian’s t-shirt up so that he could press his palm against Brian’s skin. His hand was warmer than it was when they were out on the baseball fields, and Brian decided that he liked it better this way.
After a few seconds, Andy’s hand traveled lower, pushing past the waistband of Brian’s sweatpants. Brian glanced up quickly, wondering if Andy realized what he was doing. But Andy wasn’t looking at Brian’s face anymore. His eyes were narrowed in concentration, and he was focusing on his own hand, which had disappeared completely into Brian’s pants. His fingers pressed firmly against the thin material of Brian’s underwear, and Brian wondered once again if Andy realized what he was doing. After days of making out in the cold, they’d never done anything like this. They’d never--
And then Andy slid his hand into the underwear, and all coherent thought disappeared completely.
It felt amazing. Better than amazing. Andy’s hand was strong and warm, and when he wrapped it around him, it was all Brian could do not to lose it right then. Without meaning to, he moved his hips forward, pushing himself against Andy’s hand. Andy must have taken this as a good sign, because he scooted closer on the bed and leaned forward so that he had better access. His grip tightened, and he started moving his hand up and down, slowly. Brian closed his eyes, forcing himself to take a couple of deep breaths through his nostrils in an effort to maintain control.
But nothing could stop the inevitable. After less than a minute, Brian could feel it building, a tidal wave of…oh, god. “Andy,” he breathed, sucking in another shallow breath. His hips jerked involuntarily, pushing into Andy’s hand. Another stroke, another gasp, and then he was releasing himself all over Andy’s fingers. It felt like an ocean wave crashing onto the shore, breaking everything in its path, hurtling towards something Brian couldn’t name and couldn’t see.
When it was over, Brian kept his eyes closed for a moment to fight off the dizziness. Andy removed his hands from the inside of his pants, and Brian looked up at him for the first time since they’d started.
Andy was looking down at his own hand like it was some new artifact and he was trying to figure out what it was. He glanced up at Brian, then away almost immediately. Brian saw his Adam’s apple move up and down, as if Andy had just swallowed a lump of something bitter.
“I’m going to use the bathroom,” Andy said quietly.
Brian nodded, still too stunned to say anything.
Andy stood up from the bed and went into the bathroom, holding his hand out in front of him as he walked. Sneaking a quick peek at Brian, he shut the door behind him. After a few seconds, Brian heard the faucet turn on. On television, the Star Wars theme faded into a commercial for dishwashing liquid.
Brian let his head fall back onto the pillow, wondering when his life got so complicated.