Fab Filippo and chris_thile: the Tour Looms (oh noes!)
[Players only. Current.]
Feeling better (Thank God), Chris had time to make up. New album out on February 26th and he didn't have a day to lose. Of course, he's lost five with the cold, but, well, some things can't be controlled. So, he was up early from Fab's bed, hating to leave the warm and wonderful body there, but going, with a note that he'd be back as soon as he could. He also left dummies of the album cover and the filler material out. It had been proofed and was ready to go.
The cover is a simple design, the album title taken from Mark Twain. Inside, the dedication is just as simple. For my muse. I'm always yours, if you want me. Fab is listed by name under the 'Thanks' section.
An hour or so later, Fab is sitting there staring at the damn thing with wide eyes. He should go make breakfast, have some coffee - but no, he just keeps staring at his boyfriend's album. Right. Digging out his cell phone, he taps out a message and sends it off: why arent you home yet? miss you. finish quickly!
"No!" Chris taps on the sound board. "No. It's too tinny. Can't you hear that? Tinny!" And his hip vibrates. He'd totally forgotten that he had his phone, because usually he forgets it pretty much anywhere. (He's lost a lot of phones.) "Please make it less tinny," he tries, as he pulls out his phone and sees the text. His cheeks react before anything else, heating. And then he smiles. He's a very slow thumb typist, but he replies, I'm trying to salvage my record. miss you too. Dinner? my treat.
Back at his apartment, with Vlad now purring on his lap - a rare occasion! - Fab smiles and takes another bite of toast. cats miss you too. Don't need to salvage it. prob already brilliant. you're just making it hyperbrilliant. dinner is great. <3
A heart. God. Chris is such a sap that he stares at that thing for a long time. So long that the engineer has to elbow him to get his attention. Italian, that place around the corner from me. 5? How does he make a heart? Oh! Oh. Okay. <3. Then the phone is stored. The record. For now. Then he's immersed and the rest of the time flies by without him even being aware of it and finally the sound is right. Finally. God. Chris is bouncing as he leaves the studio, bag over his shoulder, as he makes his way down the street toward Fab, home and the restaurant.
Fab's waiting at a table, dressed in a suit just for kicks, even though he knows Chris will be in his music clothes. And he hasn't shaved him lately, so he's probably even furrier than yesterday, but that's okay. He just wanted to wear the suit, God knows why. As soon as he sees Chris come in through the door, he waves him over.
"Hey!" Chris says as he gets there, plopping into the seat before he can do something silly like molest Fab in the middle of Bennedetto's. But that doesn't keep him from grinning like crazy, indeed furry and more than a little disheveled, shrugging off his bag and out of his down jacket, unrolling his scarf and clad in his red sweater with a hole in it over the heart. "You look great! Hi."
Reaching forward to touch Chris's cheek, Fab smiles. "Yeah, hi. God, you really shouldn't be sexy when you look like a muppet, but you are. I'll still be shaving you tonight, though. I ordered? For the both of us? Is that okay?"
"That's great. Muppet?" Chris tries to look irate and ends up just looking bemused. "I look like a muppet?"
"It's just the..." Fab gestures a little bit. "You're really fuzzy tonight. But still sexy."
Grinning again, Chris shrugs as he reaches for his wine glass. "Well," he says, putting on an air of arrogance. "What can I say. I'm just that hot." Then he breaks out laughing.
Fab shakes his head and takes a drink himself, not saying anything.
Still giggling, Chris takes a long sip. "So, honey. What did you do for your day?"
"Fed the cats. Tried to fix the beginning of the second act, but I kept getting distracted thinking about you." That's true enough. It had been much more pleasant to be distracted by Chris than to wonder why in the world he thought he could write a play.
"Oh..." And Chris is blushing again, the tips of his ears turning red. "Should I apologize? I'm sorry that I'm a distraction."
Fab's smile turns into a grin, and he squeezes Chris's thigh under the table. "...No."
Shivering, his head falling to the side, Chris's eyes go half-mast, just like that. "O-okay," he whispers. "God, I love you."
Another squeeze, and then Fab just pets his knee soothingly. Chris is really just damn cute sometimes. "I love you too, baby."
Another sigh, pining and happy, and Chris settles in, reaching for the bread and dragging piece after piece through the olive oil, munching it down in and the process, regaining his equilibrium, which Fab seems to hold the key to. "So we fixed the record. Way too much treble on every song! I mean, I don't have an electric bass, but geez."
"Treble then, right. Right. Could have told you that myself." Fab grins and nibbles a piece of bread - he loves music, but he's clueless.
Chris laughs. "What did you think of the artwork for the cover? Pretty cool, huh?"
"It's gorgeous. And... damn it, thank you. For the dedication. Will... won't you have to explain it to your friends?" Fab's trying not to worry, but he doesn't want Chris to have to come out before he's sure he wants to.
Smiling, Chris shrugs. "Sara will ask. There will be some speculation, I guess. But... I don't care." His face is open, eyes bright. "It's true. I'm yours. If you want me. Which I hope you keep doing, by the way."
Fab's hand comes up from under the table, and he takes Chris's hand tightly. "I will."
Cue melted Chris. He squeezes back so tightly that his bones crack and he just looks at Fab adoringly. And he doesn't look away, not even when the big platters of pasta are dropped in front of them. "I'm glad," he finally says as the waitress waits with the parmesan cheese. And still, he doesn't look away.
"Me too," Fab whispers, and then looks up. God, this all looks good. He's hungrier than he thought.
When Fab looks away, the spell is broken and Chris blinks. He nods at the waitress and she grates what might be a full cup of cheese onto his ravioli, then he picks up his fork, giving Fab another smile before digging in, making happy eating noises.
Pleased at how hungry Chris is - one giant meal a day is better than not eating at all, which is what usually happens with Chris if Fab isn't around to feed him - Fab whispers 'nom nom nom' against his ear, grinning. And then turns to his own food, because damn, it smells good. And tastes good. Jesus.
Chris giggles helplessly. It's a response he can't help to that damned 'nom nom' thing that Fab did one morning when they were eating pancakes. It had come out of nowhere and before Chris could even gawp, it struck him as so funny that he'd not been able to stop laughing, especially when Fab kept doing it. Then doing it to him. Imagine, if you will, two grown men streaking around a six hundred square foot apartment, one shrieking like a girl, warning the other that he was going to pee himself, as the other chased. That is the nom-nom. And still Chris titters.
Smirking to himself, Fab just concentrates on eating. There's enough time for terrorizing Chris with the nom-nom when they're back home; somehow he doesn't think Bennedetto's patrons would appreciate it.
"Loser," Chris taunts as he goes back to eating. Well, taunts lovingly.
"I'm not the one who screams like a girl every time I nom-nom him," Fab points out, eyebrows raised, fork halfway to his mouth.
"That's just weird!" Chris squawks. "It's weird. Okay?"
Fab laughs, trying to keep his voice down so that he doesn't get glared at. "It's funny, you mean."
Chris has to admit, yes, it's funny. But he won't admit it aloud. Instead, he stuffs a ravioli in his mouth, chewing slowly, grinning over at Fab.
It's kind of hard to eat pasta with just one hand, but Fab tries, briefly, and reaches down to squeeze Chris's knee affectionately.
The rest of Chris's food disappears quickly and he wipes up the excess sauce with bread and eats that down, before finally leaning back in his chair and patting his distended stomach. "Oh, man. That was ... really good."
"No kidding." Fab leans back as well, closing his eyes briefly before squinting them open and whispering. "Not as good as my mum's, though. You have to meet her. And eat her food. She'll fill you to bursting and still worry you're too thin."
Unlike the previous dart of fear he'd felt, Chris nods slowly. "That can't be all bad, can it? I guess you need to meet my parents too." What he doesn't say is that he hasn't quite gotten around to calling them just yet. Or telling Sara and Sean for that matter.
Fab nods, squeezing Chris's hand. "When you're ready."
"I have to tell my parents. And Sean and Sara," Chris blurts, shame-faced. "I'm not a hypocrite."
God, if he could just go back in time and shut himself up... "I know you're not," Fab says quietly, still holding his hand. "I know. Just... whenever you're ready, okay? I'm not pressuring you into anything."
"I want to. Well, not want. You know. But I will. I promise." Chris's face is fervent.
"I know you will." Leaning over, Fab kisses Chris quickly, reassuringly.
The waitress reappears. "Dessert?"
Chris looks over at Fab and grins. "Dessert?"
"God," Fab groans. "You and your bottomless pit of a stomach. Yeah, sure. I'll have a few bites."
"The cheesecake you mentioned, please. Thanks." And Chris goes back to beaming at his boyfriend. "Oh, I'm going to start working on tour dates, soon." His smile fades some. "Serious dates."
"Oh." Fab knew that was coming, really, but he'd just... just chosen not to think about it too hard. "When?"
"End of February?" Chris leans forward, reaching for him. He has the overwhelming urge to apologize and mumbles out an "I'm sorry."
"Oh, God. Don't apologize or anything. I'm just going to miss you, that's all." He nuzzles against Chris's hair, holding him. "It's okay. I'll phone a lot."
"I'm going to miss you so much," Chris says. "You can meet me, when you have the time? It'll just be three months, it'll pass really fast." Oh, yeah. Should've mentioned that really, he usually tours eighteen months or longer at a go. He winces again.
Fab takes a deep breath and then nods, holding Chris maybe a bit too tightly, because he's gotten used to having Chris around all the time. Spending nights together. Rarely going two days without seeing each other. The sort of thing he'd always laughed at when it was other people, and now he has it, and it's going to be hard to lose it - even for three months. "Yeah."
"I'm sorry," Chris whispers, reaching instinctively for the chain around his neck. "Don't be mad."
"I'm not mad! God. I'm not mad. I promise." Fab ducks his head and kisses the chain, and the skin beneath it. "You're amazing, baby. You have to tour."
"I wish you could come with me," Chris replies softly. "I'm going to miss you like crazy." God, now he can't even imagine being away. There's an ache in his chest and he clings to Fab's hand.
The waitress arrives with the dessert, and Fab pulls away enough to thank her, but he doesn't let go. "I know. And I'm going to miss you too. But you're going to be busy, and the time will fly by."
"You'll be busy too, right?" The dessert is forgotten as Chris just stares into Fab's face. "You'll come visit, right?"
Fab shrugs a bit. "Not that busy. But of course I'll visit, whenever I can."
Oh. Well, shoot. "Maybe," Chris ventures, "I could just do a few dates. Spread out." Even as he says it though, he knows. Too much of his reputation is built on his live shows. He has to go.
"No." That's not even a question. "We'll work it out. I'll visit whenever you can have me."
"Every single day," Chris whispers. And it's true, too.
Fab hesitates; Chris is just exaggerating. "It would be suspicious."
Wait. Would he go. Chris searches his face. "Maybe. But not if I tell the band. ....Would you?"
"You'd be outed," Fab argues, shaking his head. "I won't let you take that chance. No."
Outed and having Fab every day? It's not a question for Chris. "Will you come? I can do it. I can take it." Could he? He isn't sure, but right now, he doesn't care.
"Chris..." God, it's hard to say no, so fucking hard, but this could have real fucking consequences. "A lot of your fans are Christian. No. I'm not going to take any chance that I'll damage your career."
Something sinks and something settles in Chris's stomach. He's not hungry anymore though, holding to Fab's hand. "Can we go home?"
"We have cheesecake..." Seeing the look on Chris's face, he scoops up a bite and holds it up to his mouth. "Nom nom?" He wants to make that look go away, wants to say yes, but he's doing this for Chris. He won't let there be rumors.
Chris smiles, gently. "I just want to go home and ask you to hold me, okay?" He hates that he's now supposed to be straight. He hates it.
"Okay." Fab kisses his forehead and then sets the fork down, gesturing for the waitress to box up the cheesecake.
When that's brought back and he deals with the check, they rise and walk out, and it's only a short walk to the apartment. Chris lets them in and shuts the door and locks it behind them, shrugging off all his outer clothes again. "You really do look great tonight."
That gets a smile, but Fab's too busy feeling guilty to really pay attention. Instead, he hangs up his suit jacket. "Yeah, thanks."
When he's done, Chris reaches for him. "Please."
It's not like Fab needs to be asked twice - as soon as Chris asks, he's there, arms wrapping around him tightly. "I've got you."
Arms tight around Fab's neck, Chris closes his eyes. "I am going to miss you so much." Even if the tour over a month away. Damn.
"We'll make the most of the next while, babe. And I'll visit every few weeks, and phone you every day. It'll be okay."
"Yeah, you are." Tilting Chris's chin, Fab leans in and brushes their mouths together. "And I'm yours."
"Mine, too," Chris whispers into his lips. "Don't let go."
"I won't. I won't."
It's a long time, a very long time, before they even move away from the door.
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