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Revival | PG-13 | 4,000+
Kevin Jonas/Mike Carden

Mike looks from Kevin to Nick to Joe, who’s behind Nick, to Nick and then to Kevin again. “Oh, fuck me,” he says. “You’re a Jonas brother.”

A/N: Silly little small town AU, where TAI, Gabe and Greta live in a small town, and the JoBros are still the JoBros, with minor adjustments. There are FOLK BATTLES. And Joe reads a book. Written over the past day, quick and dirty; let me know if you spot any mistakes! (also, you should go join [livejournal.com profile] sodamnskippy and have your own fun with these two!)


Revival


“Where the heck are we?” Joe asks. “Is this right?”

Nick doesn’t glance up from his laptop. “Yes.”

Kevin presses his forehead against the cool glass. It’s snowing out. Old fashioned lamp posts are glowing from every street corner, white twinkle lights strung in every store front. Kevin likes it, even though the lack of people is a little creepy.

“Where is everyone?” Joe says.

“There’s a guy.” He’s huddled into a hoodie on a corner, smoking. Messy, dark blonde hair falling over his face, a bright red scarf wrapped around his neck.

“Yeah, one. Which means he’s either a demon of the night or a psycho killer who’s just taken out the entire town.”

“Shut up, Joe,” Nick says absently.

“No, seriously, why would they want us here? Dad must really hate Kevin.”

“Hey,” Kevin says, frowning.

Nick sighs, scratches the bridge of his nose and looks over at Joe. “Greta wants us here, and Dad doesn’t hate Kevin, stop giving him a complex.”

“I don’t have a complex,” Kevin says. He’s the oldest. He should be the most well-adjusted out of all of them. Even if he does sort of want a monkey.

“Dad’s trying to phase Kevin out of the band,” Joe says, and Kevin lunges across Nick’s legs for him.

Nick snaps his laptop closed and presses it to his chest and says, “Watch it!”

Joe laughs and laughs with Kevin’s hands tightening around his throat and says, in a slightly strangled voice, “He’s gonna bring in Frankie, he’s already better than Kevin at vocals.”

“You suck,” Kevin says, shaking him a little.

Nick knocks his hands away - Kevin really wasn’t trying to kill Joe. Just stop him from breathing for a few minutes.

The Jerry turns around in the passenger seat and glares at them. “Stop it, or I’m going to push you all out on your asses in the snow, and you’ll walk to Miss Greta’s.”

Joe makes a face and sinks down in his seat with a huff.

*

“This is your fault.”

“This isn’t my fault,” Joe says. “Is The Jerry even allowed to toss us out of our own car?”

“The Jerry can do whatever he wants,” Nick says. He sounds halfway between disgruntled and disinterested as he trudges off down the sidewalk.

Kevin shivers and tugs his jacket tighter around his body. He isn’t really dressed for the weather. “Do we know where we’re going?”

“1014 Libertine,” Nick says. He stops at the corner, shoves his hands in his pockets.

Joe glances up at the street sign. “Know where Libertine is in relation to Birch?”

“Nope.”

Joe crosses his arms over his chest. “Seriously, this place is deserted. You know what I’m thinking?”

“Humanoid cyborgs enslaved the town and are making them work in underground diamond mines for shares of fresh vegetables?” Kevin says.

Nick blinks over at him, head cocked. “Really?”

Joe smacks Kevin’s forehead with his palm. “Duh, Kevin. Cyborgs? Please. This is so the work of the walking undead. It’s even more obvious now. Do you hear that?” He cups a hand over his ear.

“Hear what?”

“Creepy ominous silence.”

“It’s snowing,” Nick says. He rubs his hands together and blows on them a little. “Are you hoping for some winter crickets?”

Joe waves his arms around. “Then you tell me. Where is everyone?”

“The Tar Pit, probably.”

“Whoa.” Kevin wheels around, slips a little on the snow and grabs for Nick’s arm to steady himself. “You’re Australian.”

“Close enough,” the guy says. He’s the same one from earlier. Kevin’s really digging his scarf up close. There’re tiny blackbirds all over it.

“How do we know you’re not a zombie?” Joe asks.

Nick slaps a hand over his eyes and groans.

*

Kevin likes Michael Guy. He’s pretty nice and doesn’t blow cigarette smoke in his face and he takes them with him to the Tar Pit, which is actually a cozy little bar with bright lights and loud music and it seems like the entire town is packed inside.

He chews on the end of his cigarette and glances them up and down and says, “You’re those Jonas kids,” and he doesn’t seem impressed or anything, which is awesome. He seems mostly noncommittal about them on the whole, just jerks his head towards the door and says, “Go on. Nobody’ll bite,” and then he flashes this big smile, like maybe, maybe someone will. Kevin’s not sure how he feels about that.

Joe just shrugs and heads inside.

Kevin grabs onto Nick’s hand and sticks close. If he had a monkey, this would be easier. It’s not like Kevin’s shy, but monkeys are, like, the ultimate ice breaker - all the fun of being recognized without the possible derision for who they actually are. Oh, you’re a Jonas Brother? Hey, check out your monkey! No, I no longer want to mock your tight pants and fancy amulet. And it’s not an amulet, anyway. It’s just something pretty.

Inside is almost too warm. There’s a small, empty stage and round tables scattered around the floor. Two of the tables on opposite sides of the room have people on top of them. One each, specifically, both holding guitars, and everyone else is pulled up close, some sitting, some standing.

“What’s going on?” Joe asks.

A tall guy in vintage Gazelles - Kevin’s been wanting a pair for forever - says, “Bill and Mike.” He slides the sunglasses down his nose and peers at them over the rims. “Ah, the rare fresh blood. Don’t let Billy see you.”

Joe wrinkles his nose. “Why not?”

“Friday night folk battle,” Michael Guy says. “It’s always a tie.”

“No one ever changes allegiances on folk battles, my new friends. You’re born into your covenant. Either you’re a Bill man, like myself, or you praise the devil.” He’s got a beer bottle curled in his hand, and he lifts one finger off it to point at them. “Which isn’t half so fun as it sounds.”

“Sing the car song, Mike,” someone calls out.

“Kill it, Mike,” Michael Guy yells.

Kevin’s a little confused, but he settles in to watch.

*

So, as far as Kevin can figure out, the willowy guy is Bill and the scary hot guy is Mike.

They play folksy songs at each other all night amid cheering and jeering, catcalls and boos.

At one point, Gabe starts trying to talk Bill out of his clothes.

It’s pretty much the most fun Kevin’s had in months.

*

“You, I don’t know.”

“Um.” Kevin gives scary hot Mike a wavering grin. “I’m Kevin.”

Mike narrows his eyes and leans in, palms the bar on either side of Kevin’s arms. “You look—familiar.”

He smells like beer and sweat, his hair’s damp and curling over his neck and temples, and Kevin has to stop himself from squirming in closer, what the heck? That’s new.

“Here’s your coke, Kev,” Nick says, holding it up in front of his face, forcing Mike to back off. He’s frowning when Kevin glances over at him.

“Thanks,” Kevin says.

Mike looks from Kevin to Nick to Joe, who’s behind Nick, to Nick and then to Kevin again. “Oh, fuck me,” he says. “You’re a Jonas brother.”

“Hi.” Kevin gives him a little wave like a giant dork. He really wants Nick and Joe to go away so Mike can lean into him again or something. That was kind of fantastic. Kevin doesn’t exactly know where this is coming from, but he’s not gonna fight it.

“Hey,” Bill says, coming up behind Mike. “Wow, I thought Greta was making a funny.”

Nick says, “Not so much,” in his you’re-making-me-constipated voice.

“So you’re—cousins?” Bill tips his head to the side.

“Yeah,” Joe says, nodding. Distant cousins, like Greta’s their granddad’s cousin’s granddaughter, but they’re family just the same.

Mike’s looking at Kevin like he isn’t half so interested now as he was before, and Kevin resists the urge to stamp his foot. Seriously, this wouldn’t have happened if he had a monkey. A tiny little marmoset or something. A conversation piece.

“Boys!”

Kevin looks up and sees Greta pushing her way through the crowd, The Jerry lumbering behind her. She throws herself at Nick when she gets close enough, says, “Boys!” again and grins at them all, and Kevin hasn’t seen her in two years, so this is kind of neat.

Greta is pink-cheeked from the cold and she lets go of Nick to press her mittened hands to Kevin’s face. She squishes his cheeks together and it’s just like they’re both eight again.

“Poodle,” she says.

He scoops her up into a hug. “Sunshine.”

So they’re in the middle of nowhere for Thanksgiving and a couple weeks hiatus. Kevin’s sort of looking forward to it.

*

Mike, Kevin decides, is his ultimate goal. He has no idea what he’ll do with him when he gets him, but Kevin is aiming to have Mike—around, or something. He may’ve been engaged half a year ago, but that doesn’t make him any more knowledgeable about this kind of situation. Mainly because Danielle was not a dude, but also because Kevin’s pretty kick-ass at kissing and not much else. Something tells Kevin that Mike’s not exactly looking for a twenty-two year old virgin. This is disappointing.

“What’s with the sourpuss, Poodle?” Greta asks, dropping down in the seat across from him at the kitchen table. She curls her hands around a mug and mock-pouts at him.

Kevin shrugs.

Greta prods at him with her slippered feet, but Kevin just says, “It’s nothing.”

Joe walks in, looks at Kevin, stops dead in his tracks and does a double-take. “Whoa,” he says.

“What?” Greta says, glancing between them.

Joe shakes his head. “Kevin’s in love.”

*

For the record, Kevin is not in love.

Kevin might very well be infatuated, though.

It’s not like he wants to compose musical odes to his hair or anything, Nick – they’ve got an entire portfolio dedicated to Miley’s long flowing locks and her eyebrows and the peach fuzz on the back of her arms, because Nick is weird.

Even though Mike’s hair is kind of awesome.

*

Kevin learns from Greta that Mike is twenty-six. All he wants out of life is to make Bill weep like a little girl on folk battle night. He works as a short-order cook at the diner part time, and he writes books with Michael Guy.

“Greta says you write books,” Kevin says, falling in step with Mike as he swings out of the diner. Snow crunches under their feet, and Mike’s silent for the first block.

Then he digs out a cigarette and says, “Yeah,” around the end.

He says, “You mind?” before he lights it, and Kevin does not normally find smokers attractive at all, but his, “No,” comes out kind of breathy.

Mike slants an arched eyebrow at him, but doesn’t slow his pace.

“So this little lost puppy act is cute and all, but did you want something?” Mike finally asks.

Kevin shoves his hands in his pockets. “Um.”

“Come on,” Mike says, just when Kevin’s sure he’s going to tell him to go away, and jerks his head towards a tiny bookstore on the left. He even holds the door open for him.

*

“Here you go,” Mike says. He’s not quite grinning, more like a half-smirk.

Kevin looks down at the pile of books in his arms. He shifts them a little, reading through the titles. “You write,” his eye catches And On A Sunny Pony by Michael Guy Chislett and Mike Carden, “books about horses?”

“Cowboys, Jonas, get it right.”

*

Kevin stays up late and reads Two Guns For Hire, about a wandering cowboy and his horse and his half-wolf.

Greta sneaks into his room around midnight with mugs of hot chocolate and candy canes. She folds up next to him on the bed and leans into his shoulder and says, “I love that one,” and, “Have you gotten to the part with Liam, yet?” and then settles back with Kevin’s copy of Drifters.

Twenty minutes later, Kevin gets to the part with Liam. “Oh,” he says. His face gets hot. “This is—”

“Mmm hmm,” Greta says absently, twirling the candy cane in her mouth.

Apparently, these stories are a little gay.

*

Nick looks across the table from him at breakfast and says, “So you’re bisexual now,” and Kevin nearly chokes on his toast.

Greta pats his back and very pointedly doesn’t laugh.

Joe stumbles in five minutes later and slumps down into a seat, makes a sound like he’s dying. He says, “I’m so bored,” and, “Why are we here?”

“You’re here because I missed you, because it’s the holidays, and because you needed a break,” Greta says, sliding a plate of pancakes onto the middle of the table.

Joe grabs one and eats it plain, grumbling, “I didn’t need a break,” under his breath.

“Here,” Greta says, dropping The Westerly Wind – the one about a young impoverished gentleman, traveling east to west in a wagon train, Kevin had wanted to read that one next - beside Joe’s plate, “read that, if you’re bored.”

Joe makes a face, picks it up to read the back cover. “What is it?”

“A book,” Nick says, deadpan.

“No duh,” Joe says. He flicks Nick’s ear.

Nick slaps at his hand.

Greta sighs and says, “Boys,” and moves the coffee carafe out of the way.

*

Friday night, they’re at the Tar Pit again.

Kevin likes the way Mike sings. He doesn’t think Bill has enough conviction in his voice, and he argues with Gabe for a half hour over Mike’s third song of the night, the higher one that’s a little above his range, that Kevin thinks is stronger because of its imperfections.

“Billy has perfect pitch,” Gabe argues, but Kevin still thinks Mike’s more interesting, and it isn’t just because he likes the way Mike’s hands look on his guitar strings.

“And Bill’s insanely handsome,” Gabe says.

Kevin thinks Bill is pretty, not handsome, and nowhere near as hot as Mike. He could be biased.

Afterwards, Mike slumps against the bar next to him and downs a bottle of water in one long swallow.

Kevin watches the line of his throat. His palms get sweaty.

Mike grins at him, then orders a whiskey. He sucks on the ice cubes and Kevin curls his hands over the bar railing and wishes he knew what he was doing.

*

“I have no idea what I’m doing,” Kevin says.

“This is a given,” The Jerry says. He’s shoveling Greta’s front walk, because The Jerry is a gentleman.

“Cowabunga!” Joe shouts, and then jumps off the front stoop and tackles Kevin into a snowdrift.

Kevin has ice burn on his face and snow down the front of his jacket and his pants are soaked through by the time he wrestles Joe off of him.

“I’m awesome,” Joe says, fists in the air, panting. His breath smokes by his lips, then disappears.

The Jerry dumps a shovel-full of snow on his head.

*

It’s four days ‘til Thanksgiving, and six days until they’re set to head back home, and Kevin’s stalking Mike outside the hardware store.

Through the front window pane, he can see Mike shaking a box of nails in Siska’s face. There’s a bag of rock-salt at his feet, and when Siska twists the box of nails out of his grip, he bends down and hefts the bag up into his arms. Siska rings him up and pushes him out the door.

Kevin stands there, sucking on a candy cane. “Hi,” he says around it.

Mike shakes his head, chuckles. “Whatever.”

He doesn’t act particularly inviting, but Kevin follows him down the sidewalk anyway. He follows him across the street and down three blocks and Mike eventually slows down so they’re side-by-side.

Kevin finds himself at the stoop of a compact house like Greta’s, only with a blue door instead of green.

Mike drops the bag of rock-salt on the top step and says, “Well, come in, then,” without looking back at him.

Kevin feels a little like he’s being lured into a wolf’s den or something. Which is stupid, but exciting. He maybe skips giddily up the steps, but Mike’s back is to him, so it doesn’t matter.

*

Mike’s house has the same floor plan as Greta’s, only there isn’t half so many afghans and pictures on the walls – also, it’s messier. And mismatched. And it smells smoky.

Mike makes him hot chocolate and leans back against the kitchen counter and eyes him over the rim of his mug.

Kevin sips at his and fiddles with the mug handle.

Finally, Mike sets his hot chocolate aside and starts moving towards Kevin – slow, deliberate steps, crazy hot eyes focused on Kevin – and he says, careful and low, “I hope you know what you’re getting into, kid.”

It’s already been established that Kevin has no clue. He’s not bothered by that very much, though.

Kevin lets Mike pluck his mug out of his hands. He lets him touch calloused fingers to his throat, light at first, then harder, thumb flicking out along his jaw. He lets him cock his head, bring his mouth up close and closer, a tease. And then Kevin slips out a breathy whine and fists his hands in Mike’s shirt and takes the initiative by full-on kissing him.

*

Kevin is pretty good at kissing, he knows this. He’s never kissed a guy before, but it’s technically the same as kissing a girl. What’s different is the burn of his lips from Mike’s stubble. What’s different are the big hands framing his face, the hard angles of the body pressing all along his front, the way their hips slot up – that’s very different.

Mike uses his teeth on Kevin’s lower lip, then follows the sting with his tongue. He whispers, “Is this what you want?” onto the corner of Kevin’s mouth.

Kevin turns into it and murmurs, “Yes, please.”

*

Joe, Kevin notices, reads all of The Westerly Wind and doesn’t say anything about it at all.

Nick watches with a weird expression on his face when Joe curls up on Greta’s living room window seat with And On A Sunny Pony. There’s a baby in that one. Kevin finished it the night before.

“I’m not even sure what to think of that,” Nick says to Kevin, clearly bewildered. It’s hard to make Joe sit still, so his confusion is understandable.

“They’re good books,” Kevin offers. He’s on the couch, just cracking open The Westerly Wind. It’s engrossing, the way he can see the world open up for him as Ethan travels west. The people he meets, the quiet, mysterious stranger, the sleek and silent cougar that follows in his wake.

Later, Kevin glances up and spies Nick on the opposite side of the couch, reading over the back cover of Two Guns For Hire, brow furrowed. He’s got his thumb tucked between the pages as a marker, like he’s already halfway through. Kevin thinks that was a good one for him to start with – it’s more about action than romance.

“This book is—” Nick waves the book around.

“I know,” Kevin says.

Nick says, “Huh,” and opens it back up again.

*

“I am thankful for you boys,” Greta says, clasping Kevin’s hand on one side and Joe’s on the other.

The Jerry grumbles something about cranberry sauce and Joe says, “Right, food,” and Nick says, “I’m thankful we’re here,” grinning at Greta.

Kevin says, “Me too.”

The turkey smells really good. There’s fresh bread and cinnamon muffins and thick salted butter. There’s a big bowl of gravy in front of Kevin’s plate, and he’s even thinking about eating some green beans – they look almost edible, piled with French onions and cream of mushroom soup. He’s more relaxed than he’s been in forever, and he doesn’t even really miss his parents.

He misses Frankie, maybe a little. But that’s because Frankie is kick-ass awesome.

*

Greta tugs a shawl around her shoulders and leans onto the porch railing. She smiles up at Kevin and says, “I’m glad you came, Poodle.”


In the moonlight, the yard looks pristine with snow. There’re footprints everywhere, the edges melted green-brown along the sidewalk, the walkway, but from here it’s perfect.

The stars are rimmed with fuzzy nimbuses. The air’s so cold it bites into Kevin’s lungs.

He kind of doesn’t ever want to leave.

*

“I so won that round,” Bill says, stumbling down from his tabletop perch. He rings an arm around Mike’s neck, pulls him into a sloppy headlock. “Admit it, you’re a mere amateur compared to me.”

Mike snorts and ducks out of Bill’s hold. “Fuck off,” he says, and he’s still grinning when he catches Kevin’s eyes.

Kevin fights off the urge to duck his head, but he can’t quite stop the blush that spreads up from his chest.

“You,” Mike says, “C’mere.”

It’s like Mike’s Fonzie. All he has to do is snap his fingers and Kevin’ll come running. Which, okay, Kevin’s kind of fine with. He sidles up next to Mike, curves into his side.

“You’re leaving tomorrow,” Mike says. He slips a palm flat against the small of Kevin’s back.

Kevin nods. They’ve got some studio time and then Christmas, then more episodes of JONAS to tape.

Mike noses his cheek. “Take a walk with me?”

*

Mike lets Kevin thread their fingers together and swing their arms a little. They go the opposite way down the sidewalk, the way they’d driven in, past small farms and fields, and neither of them say anything.

The sidewalk disappears and they walk out behind the tiny episcopal church, then stop at a half-fence lining a vast white clearing.

“Butcher’s field,” Mike says, and hoists himself up onto a rickety-looking wooden slat. He tugs on Kevin’s hand, maneuvers him between his knees. He thumbs Kevin’s chapped bottom lip, smoothes the skin ‘til it rests at the corner, and Kevin flicks his tongue out to lick it, wishes he could see Mike’s eyes right then, instead of only darkness and shadows.

Mike just sighs, though, and tips forward until their foreheads are touching. He slips his hand off Kevin’s face, braces his arms around Kevin’s waist, ‘til they’re hugged tight together.

It’s nice.

It’s flurrying, snow pinging as it lands. Kevin wants to say something, but at the same time he doesn’t want to say anything at all.

*

It seems to Kevin, as they make their way back through town, that Mike’s treating this as a goodbye. Like an ending, and Kevin tightens his fingers over Mike’s and maybe starts panicking a little.

He hasn’t been this—content in a while. Kevin isn’t a real down person ever, but everything seems easier now, lighter - and it isn’t just Mike, he knows, but seeing Greta too, and having this time to relax - but he can’t say any of this out loud, because Mike would make fun of him for the rest of his life, he knows this.

“Hey,” Mike says, then softer, “Hey.”

“What? Um.” Kevin swallows hard. “I’m fine.”

Mike arches an eyebrow. “Yeah, okay.”

Kevin widens his eyes and scrambles for something to say that isn’t don’t leave me! - and yet again wishes he had a marmoset with a peanut or a hat right then - and he spots Joe with an audible sigh of relief, even though Joe yells, “Geronimo!” right before tackling him back onto a kind of hard lump of plowed snow.

*

It’s silly. Mike isn’t leaving him. Kevin’s leaving Mike, if anyone’s leaving anyone, and it’s not like Kevin’s known Mike for more than two weeks.

It’s ridiculous.

He kisses Mike and kisses Mike until he can’t breathe and Greta starts flickering the front porch light.

Mike’s nose is cold against his.

Mike says, “You better get inside, kid.”

“I’ll call you,” Kevin says, backing up the front steps. He stumbles and catches himself before he falls.

Mike slides his hands into his pockets and says, “Okay,” but he says it like he doesn’t really believe it.

“I will,” Kevin says, and Mike just nods.

*

Kevin leans his head against the car window. Joe’s dozing on his shoulder, a tupperware of Greta’s cinnamon muffins clutched in his hands. Nick’s already got his laptop open on his lap.

Kevin is armed with a stack of cowboy books to read and a CD of real live folk battles that Gabe had slipped into his hands with a wink.

It’s early; the whole town is sleepy but awake. Siska waves from where he’s opening the hardware store as they drive by. Michael Guy salutes them with a paper cup of coffee from his stance on a corner.

Kevin doesn’t see Mike anywhere.

He tells himself it’s fine, that he isn’t disappointed. And then they turn down Abbott and start the long drive past Butcher’s field and there’s a lone figure leaning up against the fence, in just a dark hoodie and woolen cap, and Kevin’s saying, “Stop. Stop the car,” before he can even think about it, popping the door open and tumbling out before their driver even comes to a full stop.

Kevin doesn’t pause, just rolls into a jog until they’re almost touching. “I’m going to call you,” he says, and Mike grabs hold of his scarf, twists his fists up into the warm fabric, and he presses their mouths together, more sharing breaths than kissing, and says, “Okay.”
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