Ryan drums his fingers on the steering wheel as they drive in silence. The air is heavy, not like time travel at 88 miles an hour, but like weights sinking slowly down into their chests. Ryan parks the car and lets out the sigh he's been holding in since he picked Dallon up.
"This isn't working out."
Dallon folds a knee up into his chest. "We don't have long, do we?"
"If you're asking, then you already know the answer." Ryan crumples after that, pulling his arms into his chest. "I'm going back to the Bigger Lights," he whispers, defeated. "I hope you have somewhere to go after this."
Dallon drops his eyes. Somehow saying it out loud makes it final, makes it real, makes it worse. "Panic at the Disco."
"I thought they broke up?"
Dallon shrugs, exaggerated. "I don't know why they want me, but they do. Pete Wentz put me up to it. Did you know the bastard only told me to learn three of their songs? I show up for the audition and Brendon asks me for their whole last setlist. I don't even remember some of the damn song titles."
Dallon chuckles dryly, but Ryan only leans into his space. "But you got the job?"
"Yeah, somehow. Guess nobody good wanted to work with them."
"Dallon." Ryan's voice hardens, and he leans over further to place a hand possessively on Dallon's knee. "Don't you dare say something like that in front of me again. They didn't find anyone better than you, no shit man, there isn't anyone better. You deserve this job more than anyone else in the world. I want you to believe in your own worth." He starts to pull away. "I'm sorry it had to end like this, for you to get what you deserve." Dallon catches him before he can fully draw back.
He finally meets Ryan's eyes, for the first time since getting in the car, and they invite him in. Warm brown eyes, windows into Ryan's gentle soul. Dallon is sick of staring in the windows; he wants the door. In one fluid movement he surges forward and claims Ryan's lips.
Ryan whimpers softly, an indescribable sound that Dallon swallows to file away deep inside him. His hands come up to frame his face before the kiss ends, not so much breaking as dissolving. "Dallon," his voice is little more than a breath, his breaths ragged.
Slowly, Dallon lets his eyes open to meet Ryan's again. Still warm, still inviting, still begging him to explore him, body and soul. His hands creep forward in answer, resting on either side of Ryan's waist. "Ryan," he answers. They're close enough that he feels his own breath bounce off Ryan's lips and hit his own. Ryan closes the infinitesimal gap this time, slowly mingling their breaths and skin until there's no longer a clear boundary of where one ends and the other begins.
Dallon traces Ryan's sides and chest with his hands firmly, slowly, carefully, as if he's building the punk Adonis out of clay rather than feeling him melt away under his touch. It's a reflex, simple as breathing, when his tongue creeps into Ryan's mouth to map out the forbidden territory there. Ryan continues to gasp and whimper and claw at the back of his neck, tug at his hair, pull their heads together like he wants them to fuse into one form.
"Backseat?" Ryan manages to plead when Dallon moves away from his mouth to cover his entire face in slow, deliberate kisses.
Dallon wants. Oh how he wants, how his whole body thrums with need. Need to pin Ryan down and explore his body until there's nothing left unknown to either of them. Need to wear Ryan like a badge on his sleeve, his chest, hell, even his forehead. "No," he whispers after pressing a firm kiss to the top of Ryan's jaw, just below his ear. Need so strong he can't let himself give into it. They pull apart, and with eyes clouded by desire, Dallon fixes Ryan's gaze. "This isn't the right time. We're not ready."
Ryan catches his breath, biting his lip between gasps as if it will help him savor the taste of Dallon better. "When is the right time?"
Dallon takes a moment to catch his own breath, letting a tear fall from one eye. "When we're not too busy trying to say goodbye."
"So what was the kiss for?"
"A promise," Dallon smiles sadly, "of things to come. You're worth waiting for, Ryan. You have been for years. I needed to kiss you just now, or else I never would've gotten up the nerve to do it, but I can't do anything more right now."
"Of course," Ryan chokes out. "Um, I should take you back home now, shouldn't I." Dallon nods. Ryan puts the car back in gear and starts back down the road. "You're worth waiting for too, you know. As a bandmate, as a boyfriend, hell, even just for another kiss like that. I'll be here for you whenever you're ready to try again."
"Ryan-" Dallon starts to say when they pull up in front of his house. Every breath after that falls flat.
Ryan shushes him. "I know, Dal. I know."