What Friends Are For

by Matao Torakka

(mirrors http://s2b2.livejournal.com/320195.html)

Backstage is generally a rowdy place, particularly once the show is over and no one needs to be sober enough to perform, particularly after a special event like the Halloween show, particularly when regular performances closed six months ago and this is the first time they’ve all played together since. Clark sticks close to Jane, trying to catch up with her between drinks and people swirling in and out of their orbit, but it seems to be a lost cause.

“Oh man, Marchetti is drunk,” Jane says, laughing, maybe louder than she meant to but probably not. Clark glances over, expecting to see Luke getting ready to sing, or shouting about how hot it is while wearing the eight thousand layers he’s always got on, or something, but it just looks like Luke talked Henry into giving him a piggyback ride and then fell asleep.

No, not asleep, just slow-moving. And keeping his head low, and, when Clark catches his eyes, they’re a little bit glassy and unfocused. Huh. Clark’s seen that look before, more than a few times. Clark’s been the cause of that look more than a few times. Not with Luke, but still.

“I think I might go rescue him,” Clark says, and Jane just laughs that brassy, honking laugh of hers when he kisses her cheek and pulls away.

“I hope you’re here to help,” Henry says, “because I won’t drop him, because I’m a very nice guy, but he’s getting heavy.”

You’re getting heavy,” Luke says, not quite slurring but not quite not, either.

“Now I’m gonna drop him,” Henry says; he doesn’t, because he really is a super nice, super patient, guy, but he does lean back until Luke has no real choice but to let go and slide to the floor. He stumbles when his feet hit; Clark catches him before he falls. Henry would most likely make sure Luke gets home alright, but Luke’s doing his level best to use up all his best-friend goodwill, and the same way Clark feels a little weird about not having a chance to catch up with his onstage girlfriend, he feels oddly responsible for his longtime onstage sidekick.

“Let’s, uh, let’s get you home, buddy,” he says, and Luke smiles up at him, big and dopey.

“You’re my buddy,” he says, all twinkling eyes and earnestness, and lets Clark guide him out onto the street.

Clark’s been to Luke’s apartment a handful of times, not enough to know how to get there without help, but enough he can mostly let Luke slump against him on the subway. It’s a long enough ride Luke starts to come out of it, a little; by the time they’re on his block he’s almost alert.

“Thanks,” he says, as he unlocks the door. “You can go back to the party if you want; I think I’m okay.”

Clark pats his shoulder, testing a theory; Luke sags a little, then pushes into it like he needs more.

“I don’t mind. Besides, we haven’t seen each other much lately.”

Luke looks at Clark’s hand, still on his shoulder, considering. Clark’s not sure Luke’s in his right mind enough to figure out that Clark knows what’s going on with him, but he’s picking up on something, at least.

Luke throws himself down on the couch and rubs his hands over his face. “I’m not actually that drunk.”

“I know.” Clark takes his jacket off, folds it in half and places it over the back of a chair. He moves slowly, deliberately, in part because he’s a bit worried he’s miscalculated and is about to horribly offend Luke, but mostly because that’s how he moves at times like this.

Luke’s watching him, eyes still darker than usual and just a touch unfocused, and it really has been a while since Clark’s done this but he just knows he’s guessed right.

“I have a theory,” he says, and steps into Luke’s space, knees almost bumping together. Luke relaxes, just a bit, and then tenses up again. Clark’s not actually sure he can say it, but maybe he doesn’t have to. “I think you’re having a… reaction to something.”

He sits next to Luke, reaches out, and runs two fingers over his wrist, one on his skin and one on that leather cuff he wears. Luke gasps, so quick and quiet Clark almost misses it, and his mouth drops open just the tiniest bit. Clark doesn’t need to ask, but he does.

“Am I warm?”

Luke’s face is getting redder by the second, and he’s quiet for long enough Clark worries it might actually have been crueler to bring this up than to just pretend he was drunk. He keeps petting Luke’s wrist, though, and waits.

“I’m not usually this… easy,” Luke says, after a long pause, and huffs out a laugh. “It’s just been a while.”

“I’m not judging,” Clark says, “I’ve just noticed – in my experience – I didn’t want you to have to come out of it alone.”

“In your experience,” Luke repeats, lifts a skeptical eyebrow. Clark just winks at him, and Luke laughs for real, loud and just this side of honking. “Fair enough.”

Clark doesn’t blame him for being skeptical; most of his partners have been, at first. Playing up his quiet, unassuming, accountant-type side has always served him well – bigger laughs when he does comedy, bigger… other reactions, when he does this. It’s not important, though.

“Do you need anything?”

“Could you stop touching me?” Luke asks, and Clark stops right away, shifts a little on the couch to avoid incidental contact. “It’s too much if it’s not going to be something else, and not enough if it is.”

Well, that’s… interesting.

“Would you like it to be something else?”

Luke laughs, again, tips his head against the back of the couch and covers his face with his hands. “This is really weird.”

“It’s very weird,” Clark says, “but the offer’s on the table, regardless.”

“I’m not gonna pretend getting off wouldn’t help,” Luke says, muffled through his hands, “but you could just as easily leave the room so I can jerk off.”

Clark has generally done all the coaxing he needs to do at this point, wouldn’t consider getting the kind of reaction someone got out of Luke onstage without a good long talk and perhaps a few less-complicated orgasms out of the way first. There’s a very fine but very important line before earning someone’s trust so they open up to you completely, and pushing at someone until they pretend to trust you. He very much enjoys walking up to that line and enjoys even more taking measures not to cross it.

“I am here,” he says, “because I’m your friend, and I want to make sure you’re okay. If what you’d like is for me to give you some privacy, I’ll do that, and then we can hang out, catch up, maybe have some drinks and watch a movie. If what you’d like is for me to take care of you, then that’s something I’m definitely open to. It’s your call.”

Luke is quiet, for a while, but he at least drops his hands and turns to look at Clark, considering. His cheeks are a little red, still, but he’s mostly returned to his normal color, and he’s caught his lower lip in his teeth. Luke is handsome, Clark’s always known that, but thinking about him in this kind of context is like flipping a switch, from theoretically handsome to actually very attractive, in an immediate, enticing kind of way.

“Okay,” Luke says, and Clark’s more relieved than he expected to be.

“You sure?”

“Yeah,” Luke says. “Please.”

Well okay then. Clark tugs his bow tie loose, lets it hang around his neck. Luke’s watching him so intently, he can’t resist building to it a little.

“Nothing complicated,” he says, and unbuttons the top couple of buttons on his shirt. “I’ll give you what you need, I promise.” Clark rolls up his sleeves, slowly. Luke’s still watching, breath coming a little faster, slipping back down into it already. “If something’s not working for you, say so. Can I touch you now?”

“Yes. Yeah, definitely yes.”

Clark laughs a little and scoots back over to lean against Luke’s side. He opens Luke’s shirt, pausing after each button, drawing it out as much as he can, and rucks the t-shirt underneath up over Luke’s stomach. No sense making a mess.

Luke’s started fidgeting a little, drumming his fingers against the back of the couch, so Clark doesn’t bother taking his time with the rest. Luke groans, low and satisfying, when Clark works his dick out of his jeans, and yeah, this is super weird, but it’s also really good.

Clark jerks Luke off slow and steady, lets one arm come up to rest on the back of the couch, lets his fingers toy with Luke’s soft curls, and nuzzles in close to his ear.

“You’ve got a great cock,” he says, low, and Luke groans, starts shifting his hips up to meet Clark’s hand. It is a great cock, a little on the short side, a little on the thick side, hot and just solid enough in Clark’s hand.

Something’s not quite right, though. Every time Clark settles into a new rhythm, Luke fights it, pushing against him faster, or slower, going erratic and unsettled. His groans get more frustrated, higher, needier; and he’s tensing up again, but not, as far as Clark can tell, in a good way.

That’s fine, he can work it out. That’s half the fun.

“It’s all right, you’re all right,” he says, and loosens his grip, slows his hand and lets it turn into a tease, lets Luke know it’s okay to slow down. Clark will get him where he needs to go, even if it takes a little while.

Luke had gone unsteady during the show earlier, off-kilter in a way that wasn’t unusual, just… noticeable. He righted himself, right away, and it could have been any number of things, but if Clark thinks about what had been going on right then – Henry had needed to grab Luke’s shoulders for something, and just briefly missed, got him by the neck for just a moment before he corrected himself – he has a theory.

“I’ve got you,” Clark says, and stops pulling at Luke’s hair to wrap his arm around Luke’s shoulders. He lets his hand come to rest on Luke’s throat and presses, just a little, just enough so Luke can feel it when he swallows, and – oh yes, he definitely guessed right.

Luke groans long and deep, his mouth goes slack, his eyes flutter shut, and his cock jerks in Clark’s hand. Clark smirks against his ear, lets him feel it, and keeps stroking him slow and steady.

Luke’s not so much loud as noisy, different groans for up and down strokes, for every squeeze, for every time Clark’s fingers shift on his throat. Clark can feel every sound vibrating under his hand, and this isn’t his thing at all but it’s nice.

“That’s it, you’re doing great, you’re so good,” he murmurs, close to Luke’s ear, and finally tightens his grip and strokes him faster. Luke’s hips jerk when the rhythm changes but he settles again, relaxing into it, trusting Clark to get him there, to take care of him.

Clark takes a minute to savor it, the salt of the sweat thick on Luke’s neck, the way his pulse is racing under Clark’s hand, the heat and solidity of Luke’s cock hard and slick in his hand.

Out of nowhere, Luke laughs, rich and deep, and then he fucks up into Clark’s hand once, twice, and comes all over his stomach. Clark keeps his pace through it, doesn’t stop until Luke’s shivering a little and starts laughing again.

Clark lets go of Luke’s throat and kisses Luke’s jaw, right below his ear, before he starts to pull back to get a washcloth. Luke doesn’t let him, chases him and catches his lips in a soft, lazy kiss.

They hadn’t kissed yet. That’s ridiculous.

Luke is an excellent kisser, soft and needy and just a little bit bitey, and if this is what he needs right now giving it to him is absolutely not a hardship.

Luke stops shivering, eventually, stops biting, regrettably, and finally pulls back to collapse against the couch cushions with the most satisfied sigh Clark has ever heard.

His eyes are big and dark, a little bit unfocused but watching Clark closely. His lips are red, so red, plump and soft and curved up in a lazy smile.

“Can I go to the kitchen for a minute, or do you need me here?”

“You can go, I think,” Luke says, hoarse, and laughs a little. “Wow.”

“Yeah.” Clark’s smiling himself, grinning, really. He’s hard, because of course he is, but there’s no urgency to it. If Clark’s honest with himself, which he generally is, he likes this part almost better than the fucking.

Luke’s kitchen is small and well-organized, and it doesn’t take long to find a washcloth and a glass. Still, by the time he steps back into the living room, Luke’s stripped down to his underwear and is idly scratching at the drying come on his stomach.

“Are those astronauts? How old are you?”

“I’m a grown man, I can wear all the cool underpants I want,” he says, and laughs harder than that really warrants, laughs with his whole body.

Clark rolls his eyes, hands him the glass of water, and cleans him up a little with the warm washcloth. Luke sighs, soft and happy, almost purring at Clark’s touch. He frowns when Clark finishes and leans back against the opposite end of the couch; Clark thinks he knows the answer to his next question, but it’s always best to ask in these situations.

“Are you a don’t-touch-me guy or a please-touch-me guy?”

Luke laughs again. “You wouldn’t believe how hard it is not to climb in your lap right now,” he admits.

“Thought so,” Clark says, and twitches two fingers in a come-here that gets him a lapful of Luke and a wet shirt because Luke didn’t bother to put down the glass first.


“I’ll live.”

It takes some shifting to get comfortable, but they do, Clark stretched out on his back and Luke tucked between him and the back of the couch, draped over him, warm and solid. Clark’s not into the power games of staying clothed the way some of his partners have been, but even with his shirt damp it’s kind of nice right now. He pets idly at Luke’s back, enjoying the way Luke sort of melts into him.

“On the one hand,” Luke says, half-muffled in his chest, “I’m a little embarrassed and feel like I should maybe apologize. On the other, that was… pretty nice.”

“Yeah, don’t apologize.”

Luke sighs, soft and content, and toys with the buttons of Clark’s shirt. Clark’s in very real danger of falling asleep and messing up his back for the next week or so when Luke’s hand starts moving southward.

“Payback?” Luke asks, as he undoes Clark’s belt.

“You make it sound like revenge,” Clark says, “so I’m not sure.”

Luke laughs, low and almost sleepy, and pauses with his hand just inside Clark’s waistband. “Is that a no?”

“Only if you’re actually out for vengeance. Otherwise, by all means go ahead.”

Luke wraps his hand around Clark’s cock by way of response, and Clark is more than happy to let the discussion end there.

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