|Tom/Michael RPS: The Lost Weekend
||[Jul. 1st, 2009|07:45 pm]
Warning: RPS is not to everyone's taste. If it's not your thing, please skip this one :)
Disclaimer: No real people! Absolute make-believe from start to finish!
Plot: The guys battle the flu, together! (Set in January 2009, this story was inspired by reports that Tom missed a day on the set due to flu, and of course, by the epic Lakers hug!)
Michael gets the text on a Thursday night:
"In town tomorrow. Solo L.A. weekend. Want to meet up?"
He hasn't seen Tom in ages. He texts back: "Sure. Name the place."
Michael picks Tom up at the airport. After a quick hug, Tom thumps Michael's back, and says:
"Okay, I need to eat now or I'll fall over."
"Sushi? I know a place."
They order platters and Japanese beers.
"I thought the dude on the plane behind me was going to cough up a lung," says Tom.
"So you were dodging germs for three hours?" Michael demonstrates with a quick bob and weave.
"Trying to," says Tom.
"Plane-coughers scare me," says Michael. "I always want to put on the oxygen mask."
"I nearly turned around and started the Heimlich on him: "Let me help you with that phlegm, buddy."
"You'd get some good press for that," says Michael. "Superman is Super Seatmate."
Tom spears some sashimi:
"How'd your audition go?"
Tom tilts his head:
"For real, or are you just over-analyzing?"
"I'm getting tired of being told I have hair," says Michael. "I'm aware I have hair. I walk in and the first thing they say is "you have hair now!" as though this is news to me."
"Well, you're sorely missed in Vancouver…I got yelled at on Burrard Street last week. Guy hollers: "Hey, Clark! Where's Lex?"
Michael shakes his head:
"Not very creative."
"I know! I wanted to yell back: "Rejected, dude!" But that would have meant starting a dialogue…."
They go back to Michael's for more drinks and talk and episodes of Fawlty Towers, which Tom has never seen. And suddenly it’s 2:00 in the morning.
"Stay over," says Michael. "You're too tanked to drive."
Tom yawns hugely.
"I was just thinking about getting up early and walking the dogs when I realized…they're in Vancouver. No dogs to walk. So thanks, I'll take you up on that. I'm beat."
Michael sets Tom up in the spare room and barely remembers to brush his teeth before collapsing into bed.
He wakes a few hours later with the sensation that something is deeply wrong. He sits up and the resulting spin in his head nearly sends him off the bed. It is matched by a corresponding lurch in his stomach.
"Bathroom," Michael orders himself, but his legs will not comply.
And anyway, it seems the bathroom is occupied. There is coughing- epic coughing – echoing through the wall.
Michael lifts his head from the pillow again:
His voice comes out a croak and he gets a croak in response, followed by a thump.
"Fuck, did you fall?"
This is enough to propel Michael out of bed, even if he has to steady himself on the wall to get to the bathroom. He finds Tom slumped on the floor in t-shirt and boxers, eyes half shut.
Tom opens his mouth and produces an extraordinary blend of cough, retch and croak. Michael grabs a glass from the counter, fills it and shakily bends over.
"Have some water."
Tom takes a cautious sip. Michael sits down next to him. The bathroom floor is cool under his bare legs.
"You sick too?" croaks Tom.
"What's the matter with us?" asks Michael. "Food poisoning? I've been to that restaurant a hundred times and never got sick."
"Virus," says Tom. "From that guy on the plane. I guess I passed it to you along with the soy sauce."
"Oh." Michael rests his head against the wall. Cool tile. He says:
"We should go back to bed."
"No," says Tom. "I think I'm going to die right here."
Horrible as Michael feels, that raises a smile.
"My legs won’t work," says Tom mournfully and starts coughing again.
"We'll go together. C'mon, on three," says Michael. He takes Tom's arm. "One….two….three."
Tom moans, but allows Michael to haul him up, using the toilet tank for balance.
"Whoa…." says Michael, as the room spins around them. Then it's his turn for a coughing fit. Tom puts a hand on Michael's back and steers him out of the bathroom,
"Where are we going? I'm not making two stops," Tom warns.
"My room is closest."
They collapse on the bed, Tom rolls over onto his side.
Michael keeps a water bottle by his bed and aspirin in the bedside table. He offers both to Tom, who says plaintively:
"That means lifting my head."
Michael slips a hand under Tom's neck and props him up, long enough to send a swig of water and two caplets down.
"Gone," says Tom, through a yawn.
Michael doses himself, then gratefully collapses against the broad expanse of Tom's warm back. The room goes black.
* * * *
He wakes because he's cold, shivering enough to make the bed shake.
"You okay?' murmurs Tom. His voice is close to Michael's left ear.
"I'm cold. Need a sweatshirt. How 'bout you?"
Tom laughs softly.
"I'm boiling. We need to affect a heat transfer."
"I need to pee. You want anything?'"
Tom shakes his head, coughs, then turns over his pillow, looking for a cool spot.
Michael leaves the room and walks into sunshine. He makes wobbly progress to the kitchen and looks at the microwave clock. Three thirty?
On the way back from the bathroom, he picks up his phone.
"You still alive, Tommy?"
"It’s three-thirty,' says Michael. "We're losing the weekend."
"Want to get up?" says Michael.
"No. But I should probably check in."
Michael hands him the phone, then drinks some more water. He cuddles down in bed, face almost under the covers. He's still cold and Tom is warm so he gravitates closer, listening to the rumble of words from Tom's diaphragm.
"…."I'll live," says Tom. "Just feel horrible right now…..Yeah, we're drinking lots of water…. You, too……'Bye."
He clicks the phone shut: "How can talking be so exhausting? My jaw hurts."
Michael takes the phone from Tom's hot palm. He wants to text his brother but the buttons swim under his eyes and his fingers have turned to putty: "Deeathly sickkk. Maybe dyinng. Plz bring stuff."
Ah well. Eric will translate.
Tom talks in his sleep, or rather narrates, a long chain of soft syllables. Michael keeps waking up, his head throbbing, and every time it's comforting that Tom is still there, still talking. At one point, Tom gets up and goes to the bathroom and Michael misses the warmth beside him, his sleeping arm reaching out for Tom, even before his brain clicks in that he's gone.
"I'm here," says Tom, returning, and lands heavily next to Michael.
At some point, either Michael moves closer to Tom, or Tom moves towards him. Michael wakes to find that his cheek is on Tom's shoulder, Tom's arm is draped around him and Eric is standing in the doorway with a grocery bag.
"Hi," says Michael, sleepily. "You bring stuff?"
"I did," says Eric. He points at the bed. "Am I interrupting a moment?"
"Shut up," says Michael. "Shut up and make soup. Please?"
Eric shakes his head but presently there are bangs from the kitchen. Michael half-listens. Tom, still sound asleep, suddenly says: "Marco."
"Polo?" answers Michael. Tom grunts and burrows deeper into his pillow.
Eric puts his head round the door:
"Soup's on simmer. I have to go. Want me to set the alarm so you don't oversleep?"
"No," says Michael. "I'm getting up."
He rolls out from under Tom's arm. Tom makes a small, bereft sound.
"Someday I will hear this story," says Eric, jerking his chin at the bed.
"By then I'll have come up with a more exciting version," says Michael. "Now, beat it before I infect you."
Eric gives him a cheery wave and leaves.
Having resolved to get up, it takes Michael a while to actually leave the bed. He finds his sweatpants on the floor and shuffles to the kitchen. All sense of time has deserted him and he's not surprised that it’s now 8:30 in the evening.
The aroma of the soup – chicken noodle – has Michael on the fence. Can his stomach handle it? There are soda crackers on the counter. Michael checks the fridge and yes, Eric has remembered the ginger ale.
He gets out bowls, spoons and glasses then shuffles back to the bedroom:
"Tommy? You ready for some soup?"
There's an unintelligible response but a few minutes later, Tom appears, bleary-eyed and hair sticking in all directions.
Michael hands him a glass:
"I don't know," says Tom blankly.
"You called out for him in your sleep," says Michael.
"I was dreaming about bumper cars," says Tom. He takes a tentative sip of ginger ale. "And a clown with a bugle."
"It really was…and was I hugging you at one point?"
Michael feels a blush rising:
"We had that going on, yeah."
"It was nice,' says Tom, unembarrassed. "Usually I want space when I'm sick but not this time I guess."
They sprawl on the couch, eat soup and crackers and watch a Futurama rerun.
"Did I tell you I'm directing another episode?" says Tom, through a yawn. "I start pre-prod next week. It's got some comedy in it. Should be fun."
"Wish I could be in it," says Michael. He adds hastily. "Not really. I mean, I'd like to be directed by you again, just not in Smallville. You do a good job."
"You busted my ass enough at the time," says Tom.
"Yeah, and vice versa," says Michael. "You were a total diva on "Freak."
Tom picks up a pillow to hit him, then says:
"Nah, I'm too weak."
They switch the remote between two different Law and Order episodes.
"It’s like cut and pasting our own "Law and Order," says Tom.
"Throw some "Robot Chicken" in there too," says Michael.
By the time the news comes on, Michael's ready to sleep. But that raises the delicate question of which bedroom Tom will choose. They aren't quite as feverish as last night, so it's not just a matter of aiming themselves at the nearest bed.
"I should brush my teeth." He adds. "Can I sleep in your room again? Or am I starting to smell too bad?"
Michael's heart leaps, just a little. He says:
"The stench is tolerable."
They lie next to each other in bed; Michael is briefly reminded of childhood sleepovers.
"Good night," says Tom.
"Don't dream of clowns," says Michael. Tom punches him gently on the arm.
"You jinxed me. Now I will dream of clowns."
"That was my evil plan."
But it’s Michael who has the nightmare. He's in a hallway, the walls patterned with black shadows. As he walks down the hallway, the walls start to close in on him. In his dream, he runs. But the floor is rising up to meet the ceiling and he puts his arms over his head to protect himself and-
"Easy," whispers Tom. "Bad dream. The clowns aren’t after you."
"Walls," says Michael, still breathless. He hates small spaces, the sensation of being trapped.
"Okay, the walls aren’t after you. I'll fight them off."
Michael moves closer, rests his face in the crook of Tom's shoulder. Tom's hand comes up and gently ruffles his hair. Then he starts rubbing Michael's back.
There are lines being crossed here, thinks Michael. Borders coming down. The flu as a Trojan Horse for other things that have been going on for a long time, unacknowledged.
He drifts off to sleep; the last sound in his ear is Tom saying "who's afraid of a wall anyway?"
* * * *
Michael wakes a few hours later. Outside the window, it’s pre-dawn grey. Tom whimpers beside him.
"Hey," Michael gently nudges him. Tom's arm is hot under his hand.
"Bathroom," says Tom, urgently. Michael helps him up and waits outside the bathroom door until the noises inside subside.
"What can I get you?" he says, when Tom emerges.
Tom looks exhausted, pale with dark shadows under his eyes.
When they're back in bed, he rolls into Michael's arms. They lie there for a while, both awake, neither speaking. Tom falls asleep first, one big hand splayed across the front of Michael's t-shirt.
* * * *
A noise from outside wakes Michael, the honk of his neighbour's truck. He sits up and pulls back the curtain to bright sunlight.
Tom grumbles and rolls away from the light.
"Do you feel any better?" Michael asks.
"Maybe a little," says Tom, from under the covers. "What time is it?"
"Ummmm," Michael checks his phone. "It’s 11:30."
Tom sits bolt upright, eyes wide.
"My flight. Michael, my flight's in an hour and a half!"
"No, it isn't," says Michael, firmly. "Dude, there's no way you’re fit to fly."
Tom is trying to swing his legs out from under him and get up.
"I'm in half the scenes for tomorrow. I need to catch that flight-"
He stands up, staggers and abruptly sits back down on the bed.
"No," says Michael. Tom gazes at him appealingly. "And stop with the eyes. Listen to me: you’re not fit to fly. You're not fit to work tomorrow. Canada doesn't want you back like this. I'm calling Todd-"
"I'll wreck the shooting schedule," says Tom.
"So? They can film scenes with the girls or Hartley or the new people."
Michael is already scrolling through his phone and finds Slavkin's number. Tom opens his mouth to protest so Michael gags him with his hand.
"Hi Todd? It’s Rosey."
He lets Todd chatter for a few minutes, then drops the bomb.
"Welling's here and he's fucked up with flu. So I'm keeping him another day."
Michael holds the phone away from his ear as Todd responds, at length, then says:
"I know, I know. Budget Armageddon and so forth…But he's really sick and can't get on a plane today. Not without some international incident and-"
"Let me talk to him," says Tom, reaching for the phone.
Michael goes into the kitchen for juice. When he returns, the call is over. Tom is quiet, meditative expression on his face.
"Yeah," said Tom. "I'm off episode 17."
Michael opens his mouth, momentarily lost for words.
"No, it's okay," says Tom. "I'll direct episode twenty instead. It worked out."
While Tom calls his wife and books his flight for Monday morning, Michael assembles lunch: dry toast, grapes, chicken broth. His appetite is slowly returning. Tom eats a little as well, then falls asleep on the couch.
* * * *
"The set's not the same without you," says Tom. They're watching the Simpsons.
"Well, of course not," says Michael, in his best John Glover inflection. "I'm irreplaceable."
"You are," says Tom. "I miss you busting on my taste in music every single day and booby-trapping my trailer."
"It's your own fault for listening to Coldplay,"' says Michael. Tom gives him a gentle shove.
"Please. You totally know all the words to "Clocks." You just pretend to be an '80's music snob."
Michael grins and plonks his feet in Tom's lap.
For dinner, there's more soup and a Kings game on TV. Tom falls asleep during second period and Michael scrolls through his accumulated messages: audition next week, calls from Chris, James, Sunja, his Mom….
He glances over at sleeping Tom, ridiculously good looking even while breathing heavily, with his mouth hanging slightly open. Tom's lashes cast tiny shadows across his face, lit by the flicker of the TV. Since last night, there's a sense of …possibility around Tom. Perhaps there shouldn't be. Perhaps Michael should be watching Tom like this,
He turns back to the TV.
Tom wakes and stretches, a long cat-like stretch which causes his t-shirt to rise up and expose a strip of skin. He says:
"I need a shower."
"I wasn't going to say anything," says Michael. "But, yeah. Ripe."
"What if I fall over?" says Tom. "You going to hold the soap for me?"
He's teasing and Michael, king of teases, for once doesn't know how to react. Tom looks at him for a moment, chuckles, and heads to the shower alone.
Michael changes the sheets on his bed and waits there, waits to see where Tom will go. The guest room is still ready; he shouldn't expect anything…
Tom comes in, towel around his waist.
"Can I have a fresh t-shirt? I stank up the other one."
Michael digs out an old whiffle ball shirt.
"Am I sleeping in here?" says Tom, casually.
"Up to you."
"I can't leave you alone with your nightmare-walls, can I?" says Tom, landing heavily on the bed.
Michael turns off the light and there is silence, except for their breathing. Tom is there, right there. Michael barely has to move to touch him. He wants to touch Tom.
He doesn't touch Tom. Instead, he stares at the shadows on the ceiling, listening to the ebb and flow of Tom's breath until he falls asleep.
* * * *
Michael sits up. It’s his neighbour, his loud neighbour yelling at her husband on their lawn. He checks his phone. It's three in the morning.
"Sounds like Jeffrey's in trouble," murmurs Tom, close to his ear. Michael jumps, turns, and looks right into Tom's face.
They’re so close, barely an eyelash length apart; it's only natural to move closer. Sleep has removed Michael's inhibitions. He tilts his head and closes his eyes, inviting Tom to kiss him.
Tom does and it feels…it feels wonderful. Big warm hands guiding Michael into Tom's arms, sleep-softened skin under his fingers. Tom's lips are just as plush to kiss as they appear, something Michael has always wondered about.
They lie side by side and make out like teenagers, pushing into each other, legs tangling. Michael has always loved playing with Tom's hair. He combs it with his fingers, brushing one finger along the line of Tom's cheek. Tom grunts and buries his face in Michael's neck, sucking a small mark right above the collar bone.
Michael strokes Tom's back and arches slightly when Tom's hand gets under his t-shirt.
"Tickles…" he says, and Tom laughs softly and traces a spiral across Michael's ribcage. Then he spreads both hands across Michael's chest. It feels good. Michael leans in to kiss Tom harder, one hand clasping Tom's neck. Michael's cock is hardening, and bulging through the slit in his boxers. Tom is hard too and Michael pushes against him; Tom groans into Michael's mouth.
Michael grinds against Tom again; he could come just from this alone. Tom's hand slides around to Michael's ass, pauses at the waist-band of his boxers, then slips inside, one big finger teasing along Michael's crack.
"You like that?' whispers Tom."Can I…?"
His hand slips round to the front of Michael's boxers, hesitates.
Michael can't speak, but he nods, vigourously. Then he hisses as Tom wraps a warm palm around his cock and slowly, gently….oh.
He wants to reciprocate but he can't move, except for his hips, slave to the rhythm of Tom's hand. His face is buried in Tom's shoulder. One of Tom's arms is draped over his back, holding Michael close. The bedroom is silent except for the sound of skin rubbing skin and Michael's heavy breathing.
Michael can feel Tom's cock, the blunt head is nudging his hip, and when Tom thrusts forward, it's too much and Michael groans and comes into Tom's sweaty hand.
"There!" says Tom. Michael closes his eyes and waits for the breath to return to his body, while the room spins around him. When he recovers, he looks up to meet Tom's amused glance and says:
Michael rolls Tom onto his back and straddles his thighs. He hikes down Tom's black boxers, spits on his hand, and goes to work on one of the most beautiful cocks he's ever seen. It fits his hand perfectly; they might have been made for each other. Michael alternates between looking at the cock in his hand and Tom's face. Tom's eyes are wide, his lips slightly parted, a bead of sweat between his brows.
"This is good?" says Michael. "You like this?"
Tom groans. Michael gently rubs the tip of Tom's cock with his thumb. The result is gratifying. Tom arches off the bed and glares at Michael like a warrior, which is incredibly hot.
"Easy, Tommy," whispers Michael. "We're on the home stretch."
And he does something he never thought he'd do. He lowers his head and takes Tom into his mouth.
Tom makes a surprised noise, followed by three short thrusts. Michael wraps a hand around the base of Tom's cock and takes Tom in, deep as he can manage.
Tom flexes his legs, and then comes with a moan, one hand spread across the back of Michael's head. Michael chokes and sputters; he hasn't done this before.
"You okay?" Tom's hand under his chin, anxious eyes meeting his.
"Great," says Michael and climbs back up Tom to settle in his arms. "I'm great." He's suddenly very tired, but it's a good tiredness. He feels warm and satisfied.
Tom says something unintelligible.
"What?" says Michael. But Tom has already fallen asleep and is narrating to himself. Michael rolls over to rest his cheek on Tom's chest and falls asleep too.
* * * *
Michael's never done very well at "morning afters" and anyway, this particular morning after is chaos. Tom wakes up late and is wide-eyed and frantic to catch his flight, debating with himself if he has time to shave and running out of the shower half-soaped.
"You're fine," Michael says, handing him coffee. "We've got an hour."
On the drive to the airport, Tom is back in work-mode, flipping through his script and the pink-page amendments. Not a word is said about the night before and Michael wonders if this is tact on Tom's part, or if he's wishing it hadn't happened at all.
There's no time for long goodbyes at the departure level of LAX.
"It was good to see you," says Tom, already half out of the van.
"You too," Michael considers adding "I've missed you" but decides against it.
Tom reaches over to smack his shoulder.
"Thanks for looking after me. I'll text you later-"
And with that, he is gone, a tall figure weaving through the crowd.
* * * *
Life reverts to normal. Michael fields movie offers, sees his friends, goes to Kings' games. Tom texts him frequently, sending mp3s and tales of the Smallville set; Michael responds with audition stories. But there is no suggestion from Tom that they meet up. Michael tries not to over-think this. He's busy, Tom's busy. He's in L.A., Tom's mostly in Vancouver.
Tom's probably forgotten all about their "night" and Michael tries his best to do the same.
He's successful (mostly) until the Lakers' game, when he looks across the court and sees an unmistakable face, trying to hide under a hat. It hits Michael like a punch to the gut: Tom.
Eric notices Tom at the same time and nudges Michael.
"It's your boy…Go over and say "hi."
Michael hesitates, suddenly feeling shy. Michael never feels shy.
"What? Are you chicken?" says Eric. "Intimidated by Kanye West, are we?"
Michael glares and pinches Eric in his tender spot, right behind the elbow. Little brothers need to know their place.
"Ow!" says Eric.
"Damn straight!" says Michael.
When there's a lull in the action, he gets up and starts wending his way towards Tom.
If Michael has had a vague itch of anxiety, wondering if things have changed with Tom, it's eased the moment Tom turns and sees him. And when Tom points at him – get over here! – Michael feels his face split open with a huge, silly grin.
There are murmurs in the seats around them - "Clark" "Lex" - but this crowd's too cool for cameras and Tom doesn't care anyway, pulling Michael in for a bruising bear-hug, momentarily lifting Michael's feet from the floor.
"We have to get together," says Tom. "Soon, okay?"
"You got it, buddy."
Michael heads back to his seat, still stupidly grinning.
* * * *
There's a traffic jam leaving the Staples Center. Michael takes out his Blackberry. He returns a few emails, then opens his Twitter page. Twitter's a new toy; despite what James might say, Michael's not quite convinced he needs it in his life. But it feels right, tonight, to tweet about this. Michael considers the wording with care:
Went to Laker game,sat next to Billy Jean freaking King & bumped into my old pal Welling.First time I've seen him since leaving the show.
It's fun to watch the wave of fan response, to have created this flurry of excitement on the 'net. But it’s not fan reaction Michael is hoping for.
Fifteen minutes later, there's a text from Tom.
"First time since leaving…"? Re-writing history, are we? What about our "lost weekend?"
"I remember. Thought you'd forgotten."
"So….that was a trap?"
"And I fell into it. D'oh!....Are you home tonight?"
Michael's heart beats a little faster:
"Can I come over?"
Michael grins, so wide his cheeks hurt:
"See you soon" writes Tom, and then Michael is on the freeway, a dark velvet ribbon through the lights of the city. The night, and Tom, await.