He knew she was surprised by the way her eyes widened just slightly. Another give away was the way that she practically threw the comforter over her upper body where she lay in bed…
Lindsey smirked and put a hand over his eyes, peeking through the gaps between his fingers. “Everything okay there, Ms Nicks? We certainly wouldn’t want me to catch a glimpse of skin.” He removed his hand from its protective duty, laughed at her muttered curses and moved closer to her, indicating the empty side of the bed, asking silently for permission. Stevie nodded and shifted, leaving more space for him on her hotel bed. Throwing the unused-by-Stevie part of the comforter back, he wiggled under the crisp, white sheet, making himself comfortable and tossing his iPad gently onto the bed in front of him. Stalling and not wanting to make eye contact with his bandmate just yet, he fussed with pulling the sheet back up and leaning against the headboard before reaching for the device.
It wasn’t there. Turning to his left, he was met with a glare and two hands tightly gripping his iPad. Oh. “No chance. Are you going to explain exactly what you’re doing or?”
"Well," he hemmed. "I thought you might want some company?"
"Karen’s only a few doors away."
"Oh, for christ’s sake, Lindsey, you know I’m not…"
"Horny right now?"
He waited for the slap but it never came. Instead, Lindsey found himself watching as her face lit up and a huge smile was being directed straight at him. She really shouldn’t be allowed to do that… And then she laughed. He tried to resist the urge he had to just move an extra few inches so he could kiss the joy right out of her and replace it with lust. Though lustful joy would work too so. Shaking his head, Lindsey held his hand out for the device and she handed it over.
"It’s a pleasure. But I will be demanding you let me know the REAL reason you’ve snuck into my room in the early hours of the morning."
"Well, to be honest, it struck me that our conversations on the airplane regarding a certain song introduction aren’t having much effect." He paused and watched warily as she crossed her arms. Damn comforter had fallen slightly too. How the hell was he meant to have a serious discussion with her when she insisted on emphasizing how little material was covering her breasts right now?
"You can leave right away if you’ve honestly come here to order me to cut the introduction down!’
"No, no. I mean, I LOVE the introduction. It’s adorable watching you get lost and flustered and I’m certainly never one to ask someone to stop complimenting me… I just wanted to show you what it’s like for the audience, that’s all. I just don’t want to lose them by the time we actually get to sing the song."
"You really think they’re - ?"
"Well, no. Not yet. But, Stevie, if the introduction reaches ten minutes then, honestly, we’re probably going to have people falling asleep…"
Sighing, she touched his forearm gently and pointed to the iPad. “Alright then. Turn it on. Show me.”
Relief flooded through Lindsey and he did as instructed. God, it was nice lately, the whole lack-of-real-arguments thing they’d been managing to keep up. Yes, it sent a thrill through him, a fire, when they fought. It was invigorating and exhilarating. But it ultimately often left him with a very angry musical partner. And with empty arms and scornful words thrown at him.
"So?" she said quietly. Smiling at her, he quickly opened the YouTube app and found the most recent performance of Without You. Yep, over seven minutes. Chuckling, he placed it carefully on his lap and inched closer to Stevie so she could see too. Before he could even press play, she’d grabbed the iPad and moved it onto her own lap, closer to her. "So I don’t have to go and find my glasses," she explained, shooting Lindsey a grin.
"I can move closer so you don’t have to strain your eyes to see me in all my glory?"
"Smooth, Mr Buckingham, smooth." But she didn’t say anything else to dissuade him as he closed the gap so they sat with their legs and sides touching. He worked his arm out from between them where it lay flat and moved it to a more natural, comfortable position. Around her shoulder. She gave him a wry smile but didn’t shrug his embrace off.
He pressed play and they watched.
She watched the video, laughing and wincing at various moments. He watched her with an expression he knew, even without a mirror, could be described as longing and loving. He’d been told about that expression before, warned even…“Linds?” she asked, glancing at him curiously.
"Um, yeah. Sorry. Got distracted."
"Do I need to wrap a blanket around my entire body and face or can you try and concentrate on your reason for being here?" she asked, knowingly.
"Uh, can I change my reason for being here?" Lindsey queried, running a slender finger along the thin strap of her top, playing with it with no conscious thought.
She placed a hand over his, holding it there and leaned into him slightly before squeezing his fingers and pointing back to the screen. “The introduction?”
"I know what you mean. But I can say easily that I’ll cut it down. You know as well as I do that as soon as I get up there and am talking into the mic that I’ll just ramble on and on, Lindsey. I can’t help myself."
"You want me to bring a gag up onstage and use it on you when you hit the five minute mark?"
"That could be misconstrued but…"
"The fans would love it."
Stevie laughed and put the iPad aside on her bedside table. “So would you.”
"Won’t deny that. Though I seem to remember you being quite keen on that kind of thing at one time…"
"Only when the gag was on you, honey."
He raised an eyebrow and smacked a quick peck on her cheek. “Mmm, yes, I have fond memories of that time when - “
"And now would probably be a great time to shut up." Glancing at the small clock, she added "and maybe leave. You planned on going out for a walk tomorrow morning, right? You’ll fall asleep if you stay any longer."
"Yes, and don’t give me that innocent look."
"Can we just watch something else maybe? I’m not tired and - "
Stevie cut off his whining, rolling her eyes as she once again picked up his iPad and sat it on her lap. YouTube was still open and she pointed at the sidebar of related links. “More of us or are you not feeling as egotistical as usual?”
"I’m never egotistical but I won’t pass on an opportunity to leer at you in YouTube videos…"
"Shameless," Stevie laughed and touched a video that had their names in the title. She knew this one. Karen had shown it to her a few months ago and she’d found it peculiarly touching. "Silver Springs?"
"Not the one where you look like you’re roasting my balls over a large fire, please."
"Nope, this one has you annoyingly invading my personal space. Much more to your taste."
An hour passed and Lindsey found himself yawning and stretching out on Stevie’s bed. Her head was resting on his shoulder as they watched their younger coked up selves angrily biting out words to each other onstage. Tilting his head, he closed his eyes and loosened his grip on Stevie’s shoulder.
"Linds?" he asked, hesitantly. "Are you still awake?"
Grunting in response, his voice was muffled by her blonde hair where he was leaning his head on hers.
"It’s late. You need to-"
"Don’t need to do nothin’," Lindsey mumbled and took the iPad away from her. "Gonna stay. Comfy."
"For god’s sake, you can’t sleep here!" she whispered insistently.
Rolling his eyes, he shifted so he was seated on the edge of the bed, facing away from her. He quickly tugged his black tee off, ignoring the shocked gasp from the other side of the bed, and unbuckled his belt, shrugging his jeans off so they fell to the floor next to his shoes that he’d placed there earlier in the evening. She’d cope.
"Lindsey, you really can’t just stay here!"
He crawled back onto the bed and under the covers, resting a crooked arm under his head and looking up at the ceiling. Fascinating, it was, he chuckled to himself. Closing his eyes, he ignored the urge to look at Stevie, see how she was responding to having him in her bed. Finally, on hearing her resigned sigh and the sound of her pulling the comforter up over both of them, he turned to his side so he was facing her where she lay on her back, her head turned to see him better.
Oh. That was close. Hadn’t the bed been bigger a few minutes ago? He smiled boyishly at his bandmate and reached out to tuck a loose strand of hair behind her ear. She winced at the contact and he watched to see if she’d move towards her edge of the bed more. Nope. He’d always admired her courage. Her stubborn streak, more like.
"Stevie…" he ventured into the stillness and darkness of the hotel room. "Could I maybe, well, move closer or would that make you uncomfortable? I mean, I know we don’t do this and this is kind of weird and - "
"Come here, you idiot."
Smirking, Lindsey shuffled closer to her, careful not to come into actual contact with her body. For god’s sake, it was early morning and his boxers certainly were not enough of a deterrent… He could just about make out the expression on her face and relaxed at seeing her own sleepy contentedness. Yes, this was right. “Now, that COULD be misconstrued, Miss Nicks,” he said suggestively, slurring the words as he yawned.
"You’re an ass."
"Yes, you are my ass. Lucky me," she laughed softly.
"Like your ass," he added, moving closer to her so he could rest his head on her chest. He heard her sharp intake of breath and stilled. "And these…"
This was so too far. So far past the line of acceptability for who they were now.
"Like you. A lot," he murmured, pressing his lips to her neck. One kiss, two. "Thank you for letting me stay."
Stevie relaxed again, her arm coming up and around him, her fingers trailing along the thin hairs on his forearm with no discernible pattern or aim. Yes. That was nice. “Good night, Lindsey.”
"Night," he yawned in reply. "Love you." Closing his eyes, he smacked his lips happily, and rested a hand on his bandmate’s hip possessively. Stevie didn’t even flinch.
He didn’t feel her hand coming up to touch his bare chest hesitantly only moments later, to rest, her fingers curled against the hair there. Neither did Lindsey hear her soft breath against his cheek or the short unbelieving laugh Stevie emitted after telling him that she loved him too.