deawrites: (as long as you love me (chris/steve))
[personal profile] deawrites
Title: Break Every Clock [4/?]
Author: [livejournal.com profile] dea_liberty
Pairing: Christian Kane/Steve Carlson
Rating: PG
Feedback: All feedback, including constructive criticism, is welcomed.
Disclaimer: This is FICTION. None of it's real.
A/N: I'm so sorry for the delay in getting this out. I just did a move half way across the world and started a university degree so things have been busy! My eternal thanks to [livejournal.com profile] waterofthemoon, without whom this wouldn't just have strange grammar but would also possibly be set in a parallel universe where schools are a little different. Title from Anberlin. Comments feed the muses, please and thank you!

[ Chapter 3 ]

Chris’ head tipped back onto the sofa, and somehow, Steve’s fingers ended up in his hair, combing gingerly through the strands.



The Sunday get-together wasn’t what Steve had been expecting. They hadn’t been kidding when they’d told him it was just a small group of friends hanging out with their guitars. Chris had picked him up from home, shouting out of the window and waving at Steve’s mother, who’d walked him to the door.

Steve had just blushed and slipped into the passenger seat, buckling up with a grin. He hadn’t been to anyone’s house or to hang out with anyone in… well, he wasn’t sure he could remember the last time he’d had someone to do that with. His mother had teased him mercilessly since he’d gotten back from the ice cream adventure with Chris, but Steve had seen that small little smile she hadn’t been able to hide.

“They’re gonna love you,” Chris had promised him outside the door, squeezing Steve’s arm. Then he’d thrown his arm around Steve’s shoulder and lead Steve inside.

Danneel and Sophia had pounced on him almost immediately, trying to pry him away from Chris. Chris had just laughed and brushed them away to introduce him to the others: Riley, Jason, Jensen, Jared—“Jared there is Jensen’s little shadow,” Chris said, glaring when Danneel asked, “Like you are for Steve?”—and Chad. “We keep him here to entertain Jared,” Chris told Steve with a grin.

They’d finally settled on the couch—well, Steve had ended up on the couch with Chris sitting on the floor close by. Chris had passed his guitar to Steve a few hours back, and Steve was now strumming along to something Jason was playing as Chris hummed along.

Chris sounded amazing. Steve had never heard him sing. Actually, he hadn’t even known that Chris was musically talented. Steve had talked a little about the music he loved, he’d known that Chris knew music from the country shit everyone played all the time, and he’d known that Chris knew how to play the guitar—but he hadn’t known Chris was this good.

Chris’ head tipped back onto the sofa, and somehow, Steve’s fingers ended up in his hair, combing gingerly through the strands. His stomach twisted a little when Chris didn’t pull away—and God, it flipped over completely when Chris smiled up at him like it was nothing strange.

Steve just smiled back and relaxed, his fingers carrying on the movements. He glanced at the others, who didn’t even seem to notice, or if they did, they didn’t care. It surprised him; back at his old school, they wouldn’t have just been teased mercilessly by their friends. The news would have gotten around the school by the next morning, and then everyone would either ignore them or make comments every time they walked past.

Or one of them would put all the blame on the other to save his own hide.

The hairs on Steve’s arms stood up a little at the memory, and the tension must have spread to his fingers because Chris leaned back again. He gave Steve a curious look, head tipping sideways in silent question.

“Okay?” Chris asked a moment later when Steve didn’t answer.

“Yeah,” Steve said, his voice a little shaky. He offered Chris a smile and moved his hand in Chris’ hair. “I’m good. Real good.”

“Okay.” Chris shifted and rubbed into Steve’s hand like a cat would, making a contented face, and Steve couldn’t help laughing. Chris opened his eyes and grinned back at him, then settled back down again, apparently reassured by Steve’s reaction.

Steve was so relaxed that he didn’t realize when he fell asleep, fingers still tangled in Chris’ hair while the chatter of the group continued around him. He woke up to Chris leaning over him again, one hand on his thigh, the other shaking his shoulder. Steve’s lips curled up into a helpless smile that Chris returned as he reached up to brush a stray lock of hair from Steve’s eyes. Apparently, he had been asleep for some time; everyone else was gone, and the room was almost tidy.

“You’re making a habit of fallin’ asleep on me,” Chris teased, fingers lingering in Steve’s hair.

Steve’s eyes fluttered—god, he had such a weakness for people playing with his hair—and he leaned into Chris’ touch without thinking. “I can’t help it. You pick the most comfortable places to be.”

Chris laughed, low and almost intimate. “My truck and a sofa? Really?”

Steve joined in the laughter, reaching up to brush Chris’ hair behind his ear. He sat up in that same movement and froze when he realized they were eye to eye, lips millimeters apart. Neither of them were breathing.

And then slowly—god, too fucking slowly—Chris closed that distance, tilted his head just a little, and kissed him. It was by far the softest and probably sweetest kiss he’d ever had, just a light touch of Chris’ lips against his own, careful and lingering—and then Chris was pulling away, lips curled up into a sweet little smile.

Steve’s breath caught again. God, Chris was… he didn’t even know.

“C’mon,” Chris said, tugging at Steve’s hands and pulling him to his feet. “Let’s get you home.”

“Yeah,” Steve answered, breathless. Chris let go of one hand, but he didn’t untangle their fingers on the other one. “Okay.”

He had absolutely no idea how this was even okay, but somehow, it was.

~

The next morning, things weren’t quite so okay. He’d gone to sleep with a smile on his face, but when he woke up, a whole lot of doubts came rushing in.

Chris kissing him was not a good thing. What if it didn’t work out? Chris was his lifeline in this town and pretty much his only friend in forever. If they fucked this up, or if things got weird and awkward and he lost Chris as a friend, he wouldn’t have anyone at all. More importantly, he wouldn’t have Chris, and he liked Chris. He liked him a lot.

And then there was the whole “small religious town in the middle of nowhere” thing. However bad things were back in the town before this one, they were bound to be ten times worse here, where everyone had known Chris since he was born. And even if nothing went wrong with Chris, the rest of the town couldn’t possibly take kindly to him “corrupting” one of their star football players, even though he’d never done that. Ever.

He wouldn’t be able to stay, and they’d have to move again when he’d just started to settle in.

His mother gave him a worried look when Steve didn’t rush breakfast and dragged his feet until he was later than normal—until he knew he’d miss Chris waiting for him. He hadn’t been so reluctant to go to school since before Chris had convinced him that things weren’t so bad. He ignored her and just focused on the road, jumping out of the car and running straight for his lockers when she dropped him off, resolutely not paying attention to anyone in the hallways.

He pulled his locker open harder than strictly necessary, and a small folded piece of paper dropped out. He bent down and picked it up, curious despite himself. He’d recognize Chris’ illegible scrawl anywhere.

I know we need to talk.

Go to our usual table in the cafeteria.


He was already late for class. He glanced in the direction of the cafeteria before he stuck the note into his pocket and ran towards the history classroom. Whatever it was Chris was playing at, it could wait until after class.

Only Chris wasn’t in class.

He tried to ignore Chris’ absence, tried to not think too much about the empty seat next to him. This was what it’d be like if Chris wasn’t his friend. He’d have to sit in every class alone, and people would talk, and….

As soon as the bell rang, he almost tripped over his own feet trying to get to the cafeteria. Chris wasn’t there, either, but there was another folded piece of paper taped to the table.

Not that easy, but you’re getting there.

My locker.


Steve huffed out an annoyed breath before he ran back for the lockers, sneaking past the classrooms. He was going to be so much trouble if he got caught.

So don’t get caught, the little voice in his head that sounded suspiciously like Chris said.

He skidded to a halt in front of Chris’ locker, turned the right combination of numbers on his lock with shaky hands, and there was another piece of paper, this time taped to the door.

My other one.

You know the combination for that, too.


“Damn you, Kane,” Steve muttered, locking up before he headed for the changing rooms at a run. He wasn’t an athlete, and Chris was making him run halfway around the school to find his sorry ass so they could talk.

Getting warmer, the next note said. Bleachers.

Steve let out a frustrated sigh before he slammed Chris’ locker shut and headed towards the playing fields. He edged around and slipped under the bleachers, and there was Chris, sitting on some sort of box, head in his hands.

He looked up when Steve stepped in front of him and cleared his throat.

“You’re actually here earlier than I’d thought you’d be,” Chris said, head tipping sideways.

“Chris…”

“But later than I’d hoped.”

Steve sighed. “Chris.” Chris finally looked straight at him.

“We need to talk,” Chris said.

“And we couldn’t have done that by sitting down and actually talking like normal people?” He was more annoyed than anything else right now, even more than the nervousness and dread he’d been feeling since he’d woken up.

“No.”

It wasn’t the answer Steve had been expecting. He raised an eyebrow. “What? You had to send me running around the school?”

Chris sighed and nodded, standing up to finally be eye level with Steve. “Yeah, I had to because you needed to not think so hard.” At Steve’s confused look, he went on. “You came into school this morning already knowing exactly what you wanted to say to me. What you wanted to happen. You had it all planned out, and you weren’t going to listen to a single thing I had to say.” He let out a breath, hands behind his back, obviously fidgeting and trying to hide it. Steve’s stomach flipped. “You knew exactly what was going to happen, and you weren’t going to think about what I thought or what I wanted or anything except what you were thinking. You’d made up your mind.” Steve stared at him. “Tell me I’m wrong.”

Steve couldn’t. His opened his mouth but had absolutely no idea what to say.

“So… you needed to stop thinking,” Chris said. And when Steve really looked at him, he could see that Chris was more than a little nervous. “Before you got here. Before we talked. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have even gotten a chance.”

Steve wasn’t sure what he’d been expecting, but it hadn’t been that. He just… he hadn’t expected Chris to know him so well. But when he thought about it—really thought about it—he realized that he did. Chris knew him, and he knew Chris.

He let out a breath, lips tugging up into a smile when Chris reached out to hook his little finger around Steve’s, sliding his hand into Steve’s when Steve didn’t pull away.

“Stop thinking so much,” Chris said quietly, tugging on his hand a little.

Steve breathed out. “I can’t. I… I can’t.”

“Steve…” Chris pulled again, and Steve was forced to take one step closer. “Why not?” Steve looked away. “Why can’t this work?”

“Because… because you’re my friend,” Steve whispered. “Because we’re friends, and if… if… then we won’t be, and it’ll… Chris, I can’t.”

“Because it might go wrong?” Steve nodded, and Chris pulled Steve one step closer. “Because if it goes wrong, I might not talk to you?” A nod and one more step. “Because then you’d have no one?” Another nod, and Steve found himself putting out a hand to stop himself from tumbling straight into Chris. “What if I promised it wouldn’t be like that?”

He looked up. “What?”

Chris met his eyes, open and honest and so Chris. “I like you. As a friend… and maybe as more. And I want to try.”

“Chris….”

“It’s not… I know… I don’t know what happened, but I can guess that it wasn’t good.” Which was the understatement of the century, Steve though. “But…but it’s not like that here.” Chris paused, probably waiting for him to look up, but he was hitting so close to home that Steve didn’t know if he could face Chris right now. Chris took his other hand and pulled him in. “I’m not like them.”

Steve finally looked up and met Chris’ eyes. He felt Chris’ breath against his lips, and it’d be so easy to close that gap and kiss him.

“Believe me.” Chris inched closer. “Please.”

Chris was right. There was absolutely no argument against that—against them. So Steve leaned forwards, closed that gap between them, and kissed Chris soundly.

“Okay,” he said when they parted for air. “I believe you.”

He tried to pull away, but Chris’ arms wrapped around Steve’s waist, pulling him in for another kiss. Steve laughed against Chris’ lips. “Chris, we should get back to class.”

“No,” Chris murmured, tugging him in closer again and chasing his mouth when Steve tried to turn away.

“We’ll get caught.”

“Shh.” Chris was still laughing as Steve finally gave in and let Chris kiss him again. “We won’t. Just… stop thinking.”

When Chris kissed him again, all slow and easy, lips curled into a soft smile, not thinking was surprisingly easy to do.


~

Additional Notes: I'm being auctioned off for a good cause here. If you're willing to pay a little to get another chapter of this out faster - or to get me to write whatever you want - then please head over to the auction and have a look. Details of why it's being done can be found here so please check it out!
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