Title: Love Hurts Sequel
Rating/Warning (if applicable): pg-13 (cursing)
Summary: Tying up loose ends
Karl wakes up with a groan; he can’t help but think that he’s far too old to be sleeping on the couch. A few quick stretches later works out the worse kinks in his back and he finds his way into the kitchen to start some coffee. The still-out pill bottle on the counter reminds Karl of where he is and just what happened last night and he can’t help but smile when he remembers opening the door at three in the morning for a dazed and concerned country star. A part of Karl is worried; with him, it wasn’t serious between him and Adam, they were friends first and lovers second, but he doesn’t quite know if the taller (SLIGHTLY) man can deal with just what Adam condition will really mean in their lives.
He’s drawn from his musings with a crash from upstairs and he’s halfway up the steps when he hears light cursing and Adam’s laughter and retreats back to the kitchen to make more coffee. Karl can’t help but smirk at the thought of giving Blake the third degree today when his thoughts get interrupted again, this time by shuffling and a loud moan. So Karl does what any man in his position would do: screams up at them that coffee is just about ready and that he can hear them up there. Within minutes two sheepish singers come downstairs and sit at opposite ends of the table, both not quite able to meet Karl’s eye.
“Ok, Blake”, he starts by bringing all of Adam’s medicine bottles to the table “these two get taken in the morning – “
“Oh, seriously Karl?” the rockstar interrupts, “don’t you trust me to do this on my own? They’re my pills, after all.”
“Which is why he’s ‘xplaining them to me. We don’t trust you with ‘em.”
“Thanks; so, as I said, these in the morning. This big one is a night pill, but he has to eat with it so give it whenever. The last is another night pill but he takes it weekly and can’t eat for an hour. Oh, and just so you know, he hates this one.” Karl finished with a smirk. He knew Adam routinely palmed his pills which led to problems; the younger man was just stubborn and determined to live his life his way. If Karl was being honest, that quality actually reminded him of another brunette musician that he knew.
The second he crossed his mind, Karl knew thinking of him, even if it was only for a second, was a mistake. He’d come to Adam to help him to get over his completely inappropriate crush on his younger co-star; Karl’d known that he couldn’t, just couldn’t go into this again without dealing with this crush somehow before filming and had hoped that his ex might have been able to help him with that. Blake was an unexpected development though. Actually, this whole situation was unexpected, but, after meeting him, Karl had to say that he approved and felt almost confident leaving Adam in his new boyfriend’s hands. And his wife’s. That, Karl had to admit, would be fun.
But it didn’t change the fact that Karl still had a problem and without Adam’s help, he had nowhere else to turn. Maybe he’d try Vig, drop by that cabin of his and see what he and Orli were up too. Karl realized that running into the mountains wouldn’t solve his problem per say but it would give him a chance to regroup and get his lust under control before he had to return for filming. ‘And’, he mentally added, ‘getting away from the lovebirds wouldn’t be a bad idea either.’
Plan decided on, at least on his end, Karl began running through his phone’s contacts. He’d barely made it through ‘O’ when “Jailbait” began blaring out of the tinny speakers. True to form, Adam burst out laughing at Karl’s predictability; he waited for thirty seconds and, when it was very obvious that the Kiwi wasn’t, snatched up the mobile and answered it himself, making sure to sound as breathy and turned on as possible.
In a way, Karl was relieved, not having to talk to the kid right then, but Adam was being mischievous so he decided to cut the oncoming storm off at the quick and snatched the phone back quickly after “hello” and “no, sorry, but he’s ... busy at the moment ... can I ... give him a message?”
laring hard at Adam (who, like the bitch he was, just laughed) Karl growled into the speaker; asked what Anton wanted.
“Uh ... well, that is ... nothing. Important anyway.” The reply echoed oddly and Blake’s snickers told Karl sure enough that his mobile was now on the speaker setting. Rolling his eyes, he swatted at Adam’s head and turned away for some imagined idea of privacy.
“Well it’s got to be something, Anton, or you’d not have called”
“Well ... I really idn’t mean to interrupt...” Karl cursed, nearly silently as Anton trailed off. The boy was cocky, arrogant almost at times with the others, but he was timid around him. Further proof that he had to leave, get out of town and get Anton away from him.
“You interrupted nothing. Well, Adam’s idea of a bad joke, but nothing else.” Already Karl’s face was softening in a way he only allowed when Anton couldn’t see him; Adam noticed. He looked far too interested. “So, not that that’s cleared, why’d you call?”
“Drinks?” Adam burst out laughing; Blake went from confused to very amused. Karl couldn’t hold back a fond, slightly too fond chuckle. “Ah, no.( муда́к*) I meant as a cast. Chris invited me and Zack and Zoe are coming and I thought...”
“Are you even legal to drink?” Adam cuts in. This time, Karl does cuff him. He can imagine Anton perfectly, straight down to the curls and the red blush he’s likely trying valiantly to fight.
“No-one’s ever questioned my id before.” Adam shot a glance back at Blake, the guy grinned back, and Karl groaned. Before he could either stop him or cut the connection, Adam replied that they would be happy to join the group for a drink. All three of them.
His friends, Karl’s decided, all are bitches. Even Zoe. Especially Zoe, he amends, when she leans over, all low cut top and teeth and asks just how Karl knew who it was after Adam finishes retelling the morning’s events.
“Oh! That’s simple,” Adam explains, officially replacing Zoe at the bottom of Karl’s shit-list. It doesn’t help that Anton is glowing faintly red right now. “Karl’s got these ringtones. Love’s ‘em. He could spend hours looking for the perfect song for a guy. Figured ‘Jailbait’ had to mean something, right?”
‘Bastard’ Karl thought; only that he’d have embarrassed Anton worse if he said it aloud stopped Karl. Adam even had the gall to wink in the boy’s direction as he said it.
“So,” the rockstar continued, “like Aerosmith do ya’?”
“They’re cool, but I’m more into modern stuff; ever heard Evanescence?” He pauses to take a sip of his drink. It’s vodka something; cliché, but it’s what he’s used to so he can drink a few of them. Karl is drawn to the line of his throat as he swallows and curses to himself. He has better self-control than this. “Actually, that’s one of theirs on now. I want to dance; Zoe?”
Adam’s beyond smirking now, pats Blake’s thigh, and grabs Karl, leading him to the floor too.
“So...” Chris begins after Zack not-so-subtly nudges him, “do we or do we not want to ask?”
“Is he legal? Single?” Both of Anton and Karl’s co-stars nod once in the positive and once in the negative. “Nope.”
Blake slams back the rest of his drink and heads on out himself; it’s a private club, so he thinks nothing of joining Karl and his lover The three of them dance together for a song and partway through the next until Karl laughs and with a chaste kiss dropped on familiar lips, he leaves the singers moving together and pulls the now single Anton into his arms. This is... a bad idea, he knows, but he’s already ascertained that his control is shattered tonight – all of today really, actually, it’s been gone ever since he realized he needed to find another’s arms to drown out Anton’s curls and wicked smile.
Now, Anton is blushing, but he keeps up, move for move. He presses closer and leans up. Obediently, Karl moves even closer so he can hear the soft words directed at him against the music. He struck by the way their bodies fit so nicely; unconsciously, Karl is reminded of a lyric from some film he must have seen once: of their bodies entwining, defenceless and silent*. He chuckles at the thought and Anton tries to pull away; Karl moves forward and pulls the lithe body tighter to him.
“I wasn’t laughing at you, Anton.” Karl’s accent is thick, his voice low and dangerous. His arms, he realizes, are wrapped almost too tight – tight enough to hurt – but when he pulls back Anton stops him. They’re tight enough to protect also, Karl realizes. He moves away enough to let Anton breathe but they remain together. The boy’s still young – too young –, the future’s still very uncertain, and Karl’s too old to be looking for anything less than long term, but Anton’s eyes are serious – and not as drunk as might be expected –, Vig and Orli made it, after all, and he’s willing to fight if Anton is.
Anton’s smile is blinding as he and Karl just move to the music. For two years he’d been in love with the Kiwi and just waiting for Karl to realize just how serious he was about him, about what they could be. He saw Karl’s tiredness, his longing for what Zach and Chris had (even though they really didn’t have anything but non-sexual domestic bliss) and his face whenever Bana brought up Orli. At first, Anton had thought he was in love with the British connection between the two actors*, but as time passed, and he learned about Viggo from Billy Boyd, Anton saw that what Karl really longed for was the connection and the companionship that a lover brought.
Anton wanted that too. He saw the destruction want of love could cause in a person’s life and wanted more. He and Karl were well-matched and set; even young he could feel how well they fit and would fit even as he grew. And Karl needed a challenge – so did he – Anton looked forward to meeting the road ahead and taking it full-on.
Tonight was a night for new beginnings of understandings and new arrangements, and, as two couples kissed under the lights, they unknowingly planted the seeds in the minds of a third couple. Two couples swayed and kissed, getting to know one another and starting a relationship that would change them, teach them, and define them, for many years to come.
* According to Wikipedia (which is never wrong) it means “stupid ass ... or moron”. Copied directly, I don’t speak, read, or write Russian so I don’t know how it would have to be changed to be directed at himself. Sorry, I tried
*Phantom of the Opera – Past the Point of No Return. The most blatantly sexual and sensual of all the songs I know
AN: I hate the ending; but it was necessary to wrap up both stories. I wanted Karl and Anton to kiss but for Anton to love him it needed some explaining. Alright, I don’t hate it, I just wanted a slightly different direction. Might be re-released in the future, but for now, everything ties up nicely.