Fan Fiction - Hanson, Krasobruslení - This Glassy Surface
I'm slipping down all over again
~ Hanson – My Own Sweet Time ~
The plane begins to shake suspiciously – the cabin lights dim and the seatbelt signs spark into life. Johnny squeezes his eyes shut, involuntarily digs his fingers into the armrests, and tries to ignore the lurching sensation in his stomach.
“I’m not going to die,” he whispers to himself, struggling for a steady tone, the attempt to calm down rather futile. He hates flying. He fumbles for his iPod in the seat pocket in front of him, then blasts the music into his ears just as the captain’s voice announces a minor turbulence.
Minor, Johnny grits his teeth and tries to focus on the song flowing through the headphones rather than the ominous sound of the plane’s engines.
The song makes him think of summer, of sun on his skin and wind in his hair, of endless roadtrips and highways stretching towards the horizon... and of Taylor, of course, as it is his voice surrounding him, his voice that paints all those images onto Johnny’s closed eyelids.
It had been a sudden, spontaneous idea to search for Taylor’s band on iTunes just a few hours prior to his departure to Japan. Johnny had been surprised at the amount of music his computer had chucked out and he’d selected an album at random. The music was not quite his cup of coffee, but the melodies were catchy – the kind that crawls underneath your skin and doesn’t let go for days. And the vocals... Well, Johnny could easily wank to those if he wanted to.
He recalls Taylor’s face in his mind – it comes surprisingly easy, surprisingly sharp. He thinks of the way Taylor’s eyes light up when he talks about his music, about the charity work he and his band are involved in, and – Johnny smiles when he remembers it, a warm sensation trickling through him – also sometimes when Taylor looks at him. It’s moments like those that make him wish, wonder, hope...
Johnny checks his watch to find out how much longer he has to spend on the plane – two more hours. Two more hours and then, he muses, he’s going to get home, run himself a hot bath and... call Taylor.
You’re doing it again, he reprimands himself and frowns, feeling uneasy, restless all of a sudden. He’s been trying to suppress the fear that has been gnawing at the edge of his mind for the past several days, and it has worked, for the most part, but he’s never managed to ignore it completely. It has been so easy to slip into sweet, unrealistic reveries, to think of all the good things and neglect the darker side of what he’s dabbling into. He’d thought of Taylor in Japan, of the way his body fits against his, of the smile that feels like the sun rising, the way Taylor’s eyes linger on him when he thinks Johnny doesn’t see...
He hasn’t even told Paris that Taylor sought him out, because that would mean facing the facts he doesn’t want to think about – like the fact that he and Taylor can never be together for real, that it’s pointless to linger in the illusion that they’re more than just a lie. Paris would make sure to point these out and make Johnny feel guilty and more stupid than he already does.
Johnny doesn’t need his best friend to tell him to know he’s in trouble. If the excited buzz inside his stomach is any indication, he might soon have a serious problem, if he isn’t careful. Or, maybe, Johnny ponders, maybe it doesn’t even matter anymore. Maybe it’s too late already.
It’ll break your heart, says a whisper inside him, but he refuses to listen. He just wants to stay dreaming, just for another while. He sighs loudly just as the plane does another hop.
Galina, who’s sitting beside him, pats his arm, clearly believing that the plane is the reason for the crinkles on his forehead.
He rests his head against the towel he placed on the rim of the bathtub earlier, and lets himself sink a little deeper into the fragrant bath. It’s heaven for his sore back; the long flight left it all tense. A massage would be nice, firm, strong fingers to rub and knead the ache away. He indulges for a few moments, letting the heat seep into his muscles, sooth them. Then he reaches out to grab the cordless phone he left by the tub.
“I promised,” he tells himself to silence the doubt in his head. And I want to hear him again.
He dials Taylor’s cell number and lets the phone ring – once, twice, three times...
Finally, Taylor picks up.
“Hello?” Or maybe not. The voice on the other end is a female one and Johnny freezes. He’s quite sure he didn’t misdial, which means...
“Mrs Hanson?” he says, the words heavy and foreign and wrong on his tongue, like he shouldn’t be speaking them, like he’s breaching into something, a world he never ever should have glimpsed. He tightens his fingers around the phone, so it doesn’t slip out of his grasp and plunge into the water.
“Yes. Who is it?”
Johnny hears a child’s squeal in the background, laughter. It makes his stomach tighten, twists at his gut.
“Johnny,” he says, feeling his heart pound in his chest a little too hard.
“Johnny who?” she inquires and Johnny can hear the suspicion in her tone. He wonders just how often it happens that strangers – fans? – get a hold of Taylor’s private phone number.
He opens his mouth to give Taylor’s wife – Natalie, wasn’t it? – his full name and ask her to let him talk to Taylor, when there’s another voice in the background, a bustle. And then:
“Johnny?” Taylor sounds a little breathless and cheerful and Johnny almost forgets the silent terror that squeezed him just a few moments prior when the wife answered the phone.
“Hi,” he greets, a smile already blossoming on his lips. He cannot help it and it feels familiar, so oddly familiar – it’s on again, the fight between emotion and rational thought, the latter losing hard.
“I’ve been wondering how long you’d stay in Japan. I realized I didn’t even ask,” Taylor says, then drops his voice to a conspirative whisper: “I was worried.”
Johnny can hear the wink in his tone, but it still makes his silly heart jump a little, the knowledge that Taylor’s been thinking about him, too.
“Just three days – two of them for the flights,” Johnny says and giggles at Taylor’s quiet whistle of that’s hardcore.
“You must be jet-lagged,” Taylor then points out and Johnny yawns into the phone as if to prove him right.
The laugh that carries to him through the phone makes him forget the fact that he’s dead tired, though, it’s like a boost of energy, better than vitamin water and Red Bull together.
“Are you at home now?” Taylor asks and Johnny hears a shuffling sound through the phone. He wonders if Taylor just laid down wherever he is.
“Mhm,” he nods. “I’m taking a bubble bath,” he adds and stretches his toes luxuriously in the hot water.
“Oh, lucky. I haven’t done that for ages,” Taylor sighs.
“Come visit and I’ll pamper you,” Johnny laughs, then falls silent when he realizes that it probably sounded a little inappropriate, a little too intimate. But, to Johnny’s surprise, Taylor reacts immediately:
“I’d love that,” he says softly, his voice a bit husky. It makes Johnny blink – he thought they could try to keep this friendly, innocent, for a while at least. He thought Taylor might want that. It seems now, though, that Taylor doesn’t, not really.
There’s silence for a few moments and Johnny wonders if Taylor’s head is filled with the same images as his, ones of them sharing a bath, Taylor leaning back against his chest, Johnny’s hand working his dick with languid strokes. He wonders if – somewhere on the far end of the line – Taylor is also getting hard at the thought. He plays out the fantasy for a while, then tears his mind off it as guilt throbs inside his chest once again. He remembers Taylor’s wife, the echo of her voice still hovering in the back of his mind.
He clears his throat and changes the topic, to stifle the discomfort and as a courtesy for Taylor’s sake – Johnny figures he doesn’t have the luxury of a locked bathroom of his own.
“Where are you now, anyway?” he asks, remembering Taylor said he’d be on tour.
“Umm...” Taylor sounds surprised, as if he’d been miles away. It makes Johnny grin. He lazily runs a finger up and down his chest, patiently waiting for Taylor to gather his brains. “Um, I’m... Somewhere in Tennessee, I guess,” Taylor finally replies. “My travels aren’t as exciting as yours,” he remarks, but without envy. “How was your trip, actually?” he asks, back to his usual tone now.
“It was alright,” Johnny shrugs. “We won,” he says and – already anticipating the words of congratulation Taylor is about to offer, he quickly adds: “It was a team event, though, nothing major.”
“You still won!” Taylor objects. “You must feel good about it.”
Johnny shrugs again – he always does that, gestures even when he’s on the phone and the people he’s talking to can’t see him.
“Yeah, I do. I’m proud I skated well.”
And he did, Johnny smiles to himself – not perfect, not up to what he can do, but good enough for a debut. He was quite happy with himself after the skate and he can feel it in every fiber of his body, even now, the anticipation – he can barely wait for the season to really begin. He’s almost forgotten how that felt. Almost as thrilling as... falling in love? Is he really? It sends a shiver down his spine, one he can’t quite place – anxiety, excitement, fear... all so mixed and messed up.
“You should celebrate,” Taylor suggests and Johnny allows himself a mischievous smirk, speaking before he can stop himself:
“Oh, I’m going to. I already have my bubble bath, I have a cocktail, and I’m going to listen to your music, which I downloaded, and give myself a perfect orgasm,” Johnny says, letting his voice get a bit breathy.
He knows he shouldn’t. He almost managed to resist and hunt the tempting thoughts out of his head a while ago. He still feels a slight tug of fear, deep down, but it’s faint against all the playful images that come so vividly. He likes this too much, enjoys this, teasing Taylor and basking in his reactions.
Taylor doesn’t disappoint – there is a stunned silence on the other end of the line, though not quite – he can still hear Taylor breathe, hears his breath catch in his throat. It makes Johnny smile, fills his insides with bubbly warmth, and he closes his eyes to relish the sensation.
“Taylor?” he whispers after a few moments of silence, amused.
“Uh... yeah.” – a small, choked sound rather than a real answer. Johnny imagines the blush coloring Taylor’s cheeks. It’s more than a little uplifting to know he can render Taylor speechless like this, with just a few words, a few images planted into his head.
Wonder if his wife has that effect on him, too. The thought comes unexpected, flickering through his mind cruelly. It adds a sour tinge to the sweetness of the previous moment. He cannot help but wince.
“I think I should hang up now,” he whispers, opens his eyes. He should never let himself forget, not even for a second, that she is there, always there, in Taylor’s life and that he can’t do absolutely anything about it. Johnny hates it, being helpless like this.
“Call me when you get back to New York,” he says, suddenly in a hurry to let Taylor go, on his mind the intimidating image of Taylor’s wife hovering nearby, listening to every word that comes out of Taylor’s mouth.
He’s about to hang up when Taylor’s voice stops him:
“Johnny.” He sounds urgent, like Johnny’s staying on the line truly matters, like Johnny truly matters to him.
“Yeah?” he breathes and waits, his mind screaming in frustration – no, don’t! – whereas his heart speeds up a beat.
“It’s gonna be at least two weeks until I get back,” Taylor announces and Johnny could bet he hears regret in his voice. “Can I... call you in-between?”
There’s hesitance in the question and Johnny finds it charming. Taylor didn’t have to ask, he could just as well call unannounced. Johnny smiles and leans his head back against the towel-cushion. It’s been a while since he last felt this, like he’s not being taken for granted. It’s precious, to be treated with this type of gentle respect, to know that he’s not the only one plagued with insecurity.
Johnny knows he should probably at least try to talk Taylor out of it – it would be the sensible thing to do. If they talk on the phone every day, which Johnny suspects will inevitably happen if he agrees to a call or two, he’ll no longer have anything to justify this with, this thing with Taylor. It won’t pass for ‘just a good time every once in a while’, not with him waiting for calls every day, looking forward to them...
But he can’t help but whisper a pleased of course, because the prospect of hearing Taylor – live – every day tempts him more than the meaning behind their actions scares him.
“I can’t promise I’ll be a good boy every time, though,” Johnny teases. He notices how his voice almost automatically drops to its most velvety tone, one that he usually only preserves for bed. It’s so easy to slip back into the light, carefree illusion, a world exclusive to just the two of them.
The response is a gulp, a quiet huff of... frustration?
“I wouldn’t want you to,” Taylor says and laughs softly, a little guilty, but so heavily lust-sagged that Johnny abandons all hopes that he could ever be rational about this, about Taylor.