A few weeks back I posted about hookerfic and in comments got to talking about two kinds that would involve Mikey/Pete.
This week I mentioned to sperrywink that I intended to write one of those ideas, and she told me to pick a certain one and to get it done for this weekend as she's demanding like that. Also, awesome and infinitely patient as she listens to my h/c ideas that must make her shudder at times.
For the insomnia square on h/c bingo.
Hookerfic, 2700 words, Mikey and Pete, unbeta'ed
There’s a business card hidden in Pete’s suitcase.
It’s black, expensive, contains only a number printed in gold.
Pete hasn’t rang that number before, there’s been no need.
Tonight there is.
“Can I help you?”
The voice on the end of the line is male, each word deliberate and distinct. Pete clutches his phone and stares up at the ceiling, his bare feet pushed against the cover of the bed. Tension is lodged in his spine and his head full of whispers. He’s already regretting the call as he says, “I was given your number.”
“Okay,” the man says, and then there’s silence, like he’s expectantly waiting.
The silence stretches, awkward, and Pete’s biting at his nail when he remembers. “Oh, vampires fly at midnight.”
“Thank you,” the man says, and there’s a new warmth to his voice as he continues. “Apologies for the code word, but we have to be sure of who’s calling.”
“I understand,” Pete says, even though he’s not sure that he does. All he does know is he’s going out of his head, brought down by memories and insecurities fueled by an all consuming exhaustion. He rolls onto his stomach, cheek against the pillow and phone held to his ear. “What happens now?”
“Now we need details, but after that it’s the good stuff.” There’s the sound of clicking, fingers against keys, and the man says, “I’ve sent a web address to your phone, go there and fill out the details. Once we have those you can browse our people while we check your references.”
Pete’s phone beeps, signalling a new message. He looks down and stares at the flashing icon. It pulses, keeping time with the throb of his head. He closes his eyes. “What if I don’t pass?”
“Then we won’t talk again,” the man says, and while the tone is pleasant there’s steel behind each word. “But I’m sure that won’t happen, only the best get our number.”
Pete isn’t so sure. He doesn’t feel like the best, anything but right now. “I’m going to the site.”
“Awesome,” the man says, and for the first time there’s a hint of ‘real’ in the way that he talks. “I’ll look forward to doing business with you.”
He ends the call, and Pete crawls to the end of the bed, grabbing for his laptop that’s on top of his suitcase. He sets it on the floor and opens the lid, blood rushing to his head as he hangs down, message open on his phone and typing in the received URL.
Within seconds the site has loaded. It’s simple but striking, black text against a blood-red background, one word across the screen, Gerard’s. Pete hesitates, it feels like once he clicks there’s no going back, that he’s signifying clearly that he’s willing and able to pay for sex; and that feels wrong. Not because Pete disproves, he doesn’t, just he’s never had to before.
Truthfully, it makes him feel a little pathetic, but right now he needs to be around people that one step disconnected. Someone who doesn’t care if he’s the biggest asshole or fuck-up ever. Strangers in a bar would do, but paying has that extra air of desperation and fuel for self loathing. Decisively Pete clicks the link, and starts to read the form that’s revealed, pushing past his exhaustion and aching head as he checks the small print and security details.
When he’s finally satisfied, Pete begins to fill out the form.
By the time he’s finished revealing his bank details and name of his referrer Pete’s dizzy and his stomach hurts where it’s pressed against the edge of the mattress. Clicking send he pushes himself up, light-headed as he sits.
By the time Pete’s settled, pillows at the small of his back, the TV turned over so music fills the oppressive silence, his laptop balanced on his knees, the site has changed, the initial page replaced by a paragraph of text and yet another link. Pete reads how the next page will contain pictures of the escorts, their names and specialities, the things they’re unwilling to do. There’s no mention of prices, Pete never expected there would be, not for this kind of operation where if you have to ask you’re in the wrong place.
He clicks the link, and text is replaced by pictures.
The room flickers with light from the TV, shadows and shades constantly moving as Pete scrolls slowly, looking at the head-shots of the men and women that fill the page. There’s nothing in specific Pete wants, no look or gender or speciality and he’s thinking about closing his eyes, picking at random when he draws in a breath and pulls back his hand, transfixed by a picture.
Pete isn’t even sure why, just knows that this man -- Michael -- is who he wants to see. Pete reads the details and enlarges the photograph, stares as the virtual Michael stares back, head tilted to one side, his eyes narrowed and mouth begging to be kissed.
Pete grabs for his phone, spares a glance to hit redial, says as soon as the call is answered. “I want Michael.”
“Mr Wentz.” It’s the same man as before and his voice is pitched low, calming as Pete continues to stare at the picture of Michael. “Your timing is perfect, we’ve just finished running your form.”
“That’s fast,” Pete says, compelled to fill any potential silence with talk.
“We’ve the best of everything,” the man says simply. “Now, you say you want Michael.”
“He’s pretty,” Pete blurts, thinks stupid after, feeling more like an awkward adolescent than the man that he is.
The man laughs, a sound with personality as opposed to the business-like talk. “He is, you won’t be disappointed.” A short silence, keys tapping and then, “When and where would you like to meet? He can come to you.”
Pete thinks about Patrick in the adjoining room, Andy and Joe down the hall. He doesn’t want to take the risk that they’ll see, to know that he’s so desperate that he’s paying for sex. No way can Michael come here. Thoughts sluggish, Pete tries to think of a safe place to meet, eventually says, “You know the Western? I can be there in an hour. Outside the stage door.”
“He’ll be there,” the man says, and ends the call with a last click.
Pete nearly turns back three times.
He keeps his hands deep in his hoodie pocket and his head down as he walks through the pools of light that spill onto the sidewalk. Even this late there are people around, emerging wide eyed and blinking from the clubs and chatting together in noisy groups. Pete hurries past them, his loneliness is all consuming and painful.
He aches to be touched, his skin crawling and fingers twitching, the symptoms worsening the longer he retreats from his friends, afraid they’ll see beyond the smile and laughter. Not that they’d care, they never have before, but Pete’s cutting them a break this time, before they look at him and finally realise: enough.
Pete rests his hand on his phone, imagining he can touch the messages inside, affection caught in those frozen words. It helps, a little. Enough that he keeps walking, desperately hoping he’s going to get what he needs. A warm bed, a body close to his own, someone there to drive away the shadows and make Pete forget.
Pete’s approaching the Western now. It’s quieter here but not deserted. Two men are standing talking in front of a bakery, brightly coloured cupcakes painted on the shutters behind them. Pete passes by on the other side of the road, giving them a cursory look before his attention’s brought back to the alley that leads behind the venue.
He was there earlier today. Sweat-soaked and exhilarated after the show, the screams of the fans thrumming through his veins as he rode the post-show high. The contrast to now is shocking and Pete feels like another person as he turns the corner, and looks toward the back doors.
There’s someone standing at the stairs to the fire escape. His face is in shadow but Pete knows that it’s Michael, that knowledge taking root in his gut as he walks away from the well lit street, thoughts of set-up, risky, stupid, pushed aside as he steps from light into dark.
“Yeah.” Michael steps forward and he’s everything Pete expected, the same look in his eye and set of his jaw, the way his only allowance to a smile is the slightest curl of his lips. “Mr Wentz.”
“Pete,” Pete says, hating the formality of using his surname. He stops walking and takes his hands out of his pocket, then wants to hide them again, unsure of what to do, or say, the uncertainty gnawing bone deep.
Michael’s watching, assessing, and then he’s touching Pete’s arm, says, “You have somewhere you want to go? Your hotel?”
Pete shakes his head, cursing himself for not thinking ahead, but all Michael does is tighten his grip, his fingertips pressing against the soft skin of Pete’s inner arm. “There’s a hotel close by, it’s nice.”
“Okay,” Pete says, and Michael drops his hand, waits for Pete to start moving before walking out of the alley. Pete keeps glancing to the side, taking in Michael’s tight pants and studded belt that’s low on his hips, his t-shirt that barely covers his stomach.
“You looks surprised,” Michael says, and this time he does smile as Pete looks away, as if he’s been caught doing something he shouldn’t.
Pete stares forward, says, “It’s just, you look normal.”
“What did you expect me to wear? A tux? Michael asks, sounding genuinely interested. “If you’re into that I can go change.”
“You’d make a good James Bond,” Pete says, and imagines Michael with a gun, standing in a spotlight, bullets exploding around him. “If Bond was skinny and wore make-up.”
Michael laughs, sudden and loud, like the sound’s been startled out of him. “Does that mean you’re Moneypenny?”
“I could rock a dress,” Pete says, enjoying the way Michael’s still smiling. “But if we’re self casting movies I’d rather be Han Solo.”
“As long as you don’t expect me to dress in Leia’s bikini,” Mikey says. “I haven’t got the legs.”
It’s impossible not to imagine that scene, Michael in the bikini and chains. Pete swallows and almost stumbles onto the road.
“Which one is it?” Michael asks, and looks over to where the two men are still outside of the bakery. “I can do both, but we’d have to wait for the costume.”
“What?” Pete’s trying to catch up with the conversation that seems to have spiralled away from his grasp. “Special order?”
“A Leia costume,” Michael says. “If you’d like to role play.”
It’s an intriguing thought, but as much as Pete wants to get away from himself, role play isn’t the answer. Not tonight anyway. “No, nothing like that. Just you tonight.”
Michael smiles. “Sound perfect to me.” He looks over at the two men and inclines his head toward them, then says, “This way.”
“You know them?” Pete asks, following Michael’s lead.
“They’re checking up on you,” Michael admits, and wiggles his fingers toward the two men, one of whom waves back. “If you’d tripped the hinky meter they’d have stayed close.”
Pete watches the men walk away. “I could be hinky, you’ve known me all of a few minutes.”
“Long enough,” Michael says. “You see enough people and you get a feeling about the bad ones.”
It’s a reminder that Michael’s being paid to be here, that he doesn’t really want to voluntarily spend time with Pete. Hands in his hoodie pocket, Pete pushes his fists against his stomach.”You get bad ones? Even after that form and intro.”
Michael shrugs. “Sometimes.”
He doesn’t elaborate and Pete listens to the sound of their feet against the sidewalk, how in the distance someone is singing off-key. Pete laughs, abrupt and bitter. “They’d better not give up their day job.”
“At least they’re only murdering Celine.” Michael says as the unseen singer attempts a high note.
Pete breathes easier, knowing this conversational ground. “Not your kind of music?”
“Too over-produced,” Michael says, and he brings his hands to his mouth, breath misting as he breathes over his cupped fingers. “I prefer my music to mean something.”
It’s a casual comment, one that could apply to thousands of bands, but Pete’s heart stutters as he states. “You know who I am.”
“You filled in the form, of course I do,” Michael says.
Pete shakes his head. It’s more than that, it’s there in the way Michael’s looking straight forward, his expression guarded. “You’re a shitty actor.”
They keep walking, crossing a road before Michael eventually says, “You’re good.”
“Thank you,” Pete says, and feels like running. This isn’t what’s supposed to happen. He needs anonymity, time away from his own life and his failings. Now Michael knows him and Pete feels painfully exposed. He stops walking, stands in the middle of the sidewalk, shuttered shops on one side, Michael on the other. “I can’t do this.”
Michael’s making no attempt to touch Pete. Just remains still, his thumbs shoved into the pockets of his pants. “You don’t have to.”
Pete takes a step back. “Won’t you get in trouble?”
“Like what? Getting whipped or a beating?” Michael asks, sounding amused. “We don’t work like that. If I go back I go back, it’s no big deal, and you’ll still get charged.”
Pete feels stupid, embarrassed, but mostly, too bone-weary to even care. He rubs at his eyes and starts to walk. “It was nice to meet you.”
“No, wait.” Michael steps forward now. “There’s a diner on the next corner. They do pancakes.”
“Okay,” Pete says, unsure where this is going.
“You may as well get something for your money,” Michael says, and then shrugs. “Who knows, you may change your mind about the sex.”
Pete isn’t so sure, he still changes direction.
The diner does do good pancakes.
Pete’s in one of the booths, legs stretched along the cracked faux leather and shoulders against the cool glass of the window. There’s a plate in the middle of the table, half full of cold pancakes covered in syrup. Michael’s pulling a strip off the top pancake with his fingers, and in the harsh light he looks pale, a glob of syrup at the corner of his mouth as he eats.
Pete takes a drink of his coffee and cradles the mug, says, “Seven of Nine or Janeway?”
Michael flicks out his tongue, licking away the syrup at he points at Pete. “One, Voyager sucks, two, it’ll always be Janeway.
Pete grins. “I knew it. You’re so into the cougars.”
“More they’re into me,” Michael says, and tears at the pancakes until there’s a syrup filled hole. “Death by syrup would suck.”
“And be sticky.” There’s an open sugar packet next to Pete and he uses his fingertips to nip a few grains, dropping them on the syrup pool. He watches them, seeing if they sink down.
Michael’s watching too, and when it’s obvious the grains are staying afloat he looks over at Pete. “They’re fighting for their lives.”
“Brave to the end,” Pete agrees, and lies back against the window. He yawns, feeling tired, but not like before. This tiredness is the kind that comes from watching the sun rise, the pools of shadows shifting, retreating along the ground.
Eyes closing, Pete relaxes, the feelings from before still there, but the edge taken off by hours of talking about things that don’t matter. Forcing himself awake he sees Michael’s got his elbows on the table, chin on his clasped hands as he looks over at Pete.
“Hi,” Pete says, and then reluctantly sits forward. “I should go.”
“Want me to come?” Michael asks, and light flooding from outside turns his skin to gold.
Pete shakes his head. As tempting as that is, he’s passed the need for anonymous sex, plus, now it doesn’t feel right. “I’m okay now.”
Briefly, Michael smiles and slides along the seat. He stands, pulling down his t-shirt as he makes for the exit. “See you.”
Pete wants to yell stop, to embrace the Pretty Woman cliché and ask Michael to stay. What he does is say, “Thanks, Michael.”
Michael stops in place, turns and looks back at Pete, says, “My name’s Mikey.”
“Mikey,” Pete says softly, watching as Mikey walks away.
Also posted at Dreamwidth. Reply where you wish.