An All My Gaians fanfic. Beware of fluff!
It had been a long day. That wasn’t unusual, on the All My Gaians set, but today had been particularly trying.
First Yuki threw a tantrum and they had to switch the shooting schedule around. Then one of the cameras fell over, which shouldn’t have even been possible, and nearly crushed an intern. Then Rick and Adriana switched costumes and no one could stop laughing for a full hour. Okay, that part hadn’t been so bad, but it just made the day even longer.
Now Nick was standing in the damp, waiting for the bus. The BUS. He was a highly respected actor! Well, a soap opera actor. And he probably wasn’t respected by anyone who didn’t watch soaps. In fact, those people who hated soaps probably the opposite of respected him… Still, the bus!
It had rained all day, but the sky was blessedly dry for now. The clouds were still thick and gray, but with any luck the remaining moisture would wait until Nick was home before making a break for the ground.
A motor revved to life behind him, and Nick turned to see the familiar figure of his coworker Ren mounted on his bike.
Nick felt his face get hot.
Ren walked the motorcycle up alongside him and raised the visor on his helmet. “You okay?” he said, genuine concern in his voice. Ren’s character on the show was quiet and mysterious, and Ren could be that way himself, but he didn’t have the Dark Past that kept him from expressing his feelings. Still, he’d never spoken with Nick much before, and only about work.
“Oh, um, fine.” s**t. He was blushing. He was blushing!
“Are you sure? It’s kind of cold out here, you look flushed already.”
“Oh, uh.” The blush was spreading to his ears. “I’m fine, really. Just…waiting for the bus.” That last was said in a mumble.
“The bus, okay? I’m waiting for the bus.”
Ren blinked. “You don’t have a ride?”
“Not after five. My sister gets off work then and she doesn’t wait for me. She…”
He felt himself blush even more. It shouldn’t be legal to blush this much. “She expects me to get a ride from someone else.”
“But you didn’t say anything.” Ren was taking off his helmet, for no reason Nick could see.
“Oh, well…I didn’t want to bother anyone. And the bus is right here…”
“Uh-huh.” Ren touched his hair carefully, making sure the spikes were intact, then held the helmet out to Nick.
“What?” he said dimly.
“Take it. I only have one.”
“B- but-” he swallowed, realizing what was being offered. “I can’t…”
Ren shrugged. “You need a ride. I’m handy.”
“But what if you, like, crash?”
“I’m the one driving. If I crash, it’ll be my fault, so I’m the one that should get hurt.”
Nick stared at him. “You’ve thought about this.”
“Not the first time I’ve given someone a ride.” He cocked his head. “You gonna take it, or just let my arm get tired?”
Nervously, Nick took the proffered headgear. “Do you…know where I live?”
Nick chose not to question that.
Once he had the helmet on the way he assumed it was supposed to go, he approached the bike. “So I just…”
“Get on behind me.”
“Um. Kay.” He swung a leg across the bike, bit back a curse at his height (or lack thereof) and slid into a mostly comfortable position.
“Okay, now scootch up close to me.”
‘Scootch?’ Nick thought, but aloud he said, “What?”
“You have to get close to me, so you can hold on.”
Nick surveyed the bike. “Hold on to what?”
“Hold on to me.”
Something in Nick’s brain went snap. “What?” he said again. That was a good word. Nick was liking it more and more. It said everything, really.
Ren chuckled, which didn’t help. “This is a one-seater, so it’s really the only way. You have to sit as close to me as possible and put your arms around my waist. Sorry.”
Something, he couldn’t put his finger on it, but something about the way Ren had said that made Nick think his coworker wasn’t really sorry about it at all.
Still, there was no way he could prove Ren was lying, so he very very carefully slid forward, getting as close as possible without actual hip contact, and put his arms around Ren’s torso. Not the waist, higher. Close to the ribs. That should be safe.
“A little lower, if you don’t mind. I need to be able to move my arms freely.”
Okay now that just wasn’t true at all. Nick had seen Ren riding his motorcycle before; he leaned forward, and his arms weren’t anywhere near his sides.
But he couldn’t prove it, and to be completely honest...he didn’t really mind.
He moved his arms down, to Ren’s stomach, and held on just a little tighter.
Yeah... That probably felt better then it should have.
“You ready?” Ren looked back over his shoulder, grinning.
Nick nodded, thankful the helmet’s visor was dark and Ren probably couldn’t see how red he was right now.
“All right. Let’s go.” Traffic parted, Ren revved the motor, and they were off.
It was terrifying, at first. Ren drove fast, as was only natural for a young man in his early twenties, and the complete lack of anything between Nick and the rushing traffic was far from heartening. Nick could swear he heard Ren laughing at one point. He tried to figure out what was so funny, and realized he was now positively plastered all over the older boy’s back, complete with a death grip on his waist. He gave thought to scootching back, but Ren chose that moment to zip around a corner so fast they almost went parallel to the pavement. Nick squeaked and tightened his grip even more.
As they left the busy streets of down town and moved out to the suburbs, Ren’s driving style changed. He didn’t slow so much as he…mellowed. Nick realized the earlier show had been for his benefit, although whether it was teasing or just an excuse to get him closer he had no idea. Now Nick was used to it, so Ren could take it easier. He was still fast, still aggressive, but it was more for the joy of it then to scare his passenger.
And it was fun. There was something about the rushing air, the purring motor, the way the scenery was so close. It felt like freedom. To move the way you wanted to move, and really feel it instead of having to trust the yellow lines to tell you where you were.
The ride was too short, by far. Nick didn’t even get a chance to appreciate that he was essentially hugging the hottest guy he knew, before the condo he and his sister shared appeared around the corner.
Ren pulled into the driveway with precision smoothness, and tossed his hair as the bike came to a stop. Nick recognized the move from the episode they’d filmed a few weeks ago. It was a good move, he’d give Ren that, but really. What did he take Nick for, one of his high school fangirls?
Well, Nick could be cool too, when he tried hard enough. He climbed off the bike, slowly and carefully to make sure he didn’t trip, pulled off the helmet and ran his fingers through his shaggy hair. He gave Ren a shy smile (the one he practiced every day in the mirror) and tossed the helmet back with one hand.
“Thanks for the lift,” he said simply. Without another word, he headed for the door.
“H- hey! Wait!”
Bingo! Nick turned and looked back, his face completely blank, as though he’d already wiped Ren from his thoughts. “Yes?”
“Oh, well, uh-” Ren stopped himself. “I’ll see you tomorrow. Have a good evening.”
“You too.” Nick favored him with a polite smile, and once again headed for the door.
“Wait.” He heard Ren say. There was a scrape pf boot on metal, and then quick foot steps. He turned just in time to look Ren in the face.
“I…uh…” He paused for half a second to get his bearings. “Do you…take the bus often?”
Nick was thrown. He hadn’t expected this line of questioning. “Sometimes. More and more lately.”
“And…did my helmet fit you?”
Nick blinked. What did that have to do with anything? “Not well.”
“Yeah. But not huge.”
“Okay.” Ren nodded, as though he’d learned a valuable piece of information. “Okay. See you tomorrow.”
Nick watched Ren walk back to his bike, remembered he was supposed to be aloof, and took the last ten steps to the door. He wanted to wait and watch Ren leave…but it occurred to him that Ren might be waiting for him to go inside. In that case…
He opened to door, stepped inside, and closed it.
The engine purred to life.
The next day was still damp and overcast, but the clouds were more white then gray, and the radio said it would be gone by afternoon. They were starting filming early, after the fiasco that was yesterday, and Nick had been awake for all of an hour. Time for wardrobe and makeup and hopefully not another tantrum.
All My Gaians was a low budget show, and the actors didn’t’ have their own dressing rooms. There was a room for the men and a room for the women. The were big rooms, and they had their own sort of areas, with a mirror and a desk and a place to keep their non-show stuff. Often, there was something waiting on these desks from the morning mail. Nick had gotten flowers before, stuffed animals, and a half-ton of letters. But today there was something sitting there that he had never expected to find.
It was a motorcycle helmet, cherry-red and polished to a high gloss. Nick picked it up, stunned, and turned it over.
A small white envelope fell out.
Nick stared at it for a long moment. There was only one possibility here. It was obvious, in fact. Almost trite. The question here was; what did he do about it?
"Open the envelope."
Nick just barely managed to keep from leaping into the air. He whirled around and saw Ren smiling at him, not a care in the world.
“You?” Nick said, unable to find the other words that were probably supposed to go along with it. He held up the helmet in lieu of clarifying dialogue.
“Oh.” He looked down at it.
“Open the envelope.”
There was a small white square of paper in it. Nick turned it over and was somewhat surprised to see a few lines of gray type.
“Is this the receipt?” Nick exclaimed, completely perplexed.
“Gift receipt. So you can trade it if I got the wrong size.”
“Oh. That…makes sense.” He stared at the helmet. He could see himself in the glossy surface. He turned it around and saw the visor was mirrored silver. It was…cool. “You, uh, you didn’t have to do this.”
“I know.” Ren said. He crossed to his desk and unslung his guitar case. There wasn’t a guitar in there, just a note book and some hair gel and other essentials. If Ren had been a woman, he would have carried on of those enormous old lady purses.
“Thank you,” Nick said, belatedly. “I like it.”
Ren smiled, more warmth then Nick had ever seen before in his face. “You’re welcome. And I’m glad.”
He turned back to his desk, unpacking his stuff. They were facing away from each other, but with the placement of the mirrors they could look at each other easily. Nick turned the helmet around and around in his hands, pretending to think. “I liked that ride yesterday.”
“Oh?” Ren said casually.
“Yeah. It was a little unfamiliar at first, but I liked it more and more the longer it went on.”
“Did you mind giving me a ride?”
“Not at all. I like the road up to your house. It’s all curvy and flat. Fun.”
“Then…would you mind giving me a ride again? If I ever need it?”
Ren paused, for just a moment, before answering. “I could give you a ride…even when you don’t need it.”
Nick allowed himself a small smile. “I’d…like that.”
“Are you, uh, are you eighteen yet?”
“Just a few more months.”
“Do you have a license?”
“Yes, but I don’t get a lot of practice.”
“Then maybe... Maybe I could teach you to ride.”
Nick actually turned his head and stared at Ren. Was he offering...
“Do you want to?” Ren looked at him in the mirror.
“Do I want to...”
“Do you want me to teach you to ride?”
Had Nick imagined it, or was there just the slightest pause before the word “ride?”
“I...” Quickly, he considered his options. It was dangerous, and scary, and he didn’t understand it, but when you came right down to it... it was fun.
“Yes,” he said, turning back to the mirror and smiling again. “Yes, I think I do.”
· Sun Sep 30, 2007 @ 07:14am · 3 Comments