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A Romance In Five Scenes (The So Much More Than Arithmatic Remix)
brendon/jon, pg, 3561 words
when I was looking through [livejournal.com profile] prettykitty_aya's fic, there were a few that I liked, but I kept going back to this one because I loved the story and I loved the idea of these two guys obviously liking each other but not being able to get their shit together. I wanted to tell the story from Brendon's perspective instead, and I really like the way it came out. The original fic, which you should also read, is here.
Super Cool Jazzed Up Remix Title is from an awesome song by Brooke Fraser.
Betaed by [livejournal.com profile] cheapcrowd, [livejournal.com profile] cmonkatiekatie and [livejournal.com profile] fiddleyoumust.
Mostly I'm posting this here because I'm weird and will go crazy knowing that all of my fic isn't in one place. /o\


Brendon's day just keeps getting worse and worse. He overslept, spilled coffee all over his shirt and now he's late for a study session with someone that he doesn't even like. He's jumpy and frustrated, and he just wants some hot chocolate. It seems like that might be too much to ask, when he bumps into a guy the size of a building who doesn't seem happy with Brendon and then knocks various inanimate objects over trying to get the counter.

The guy at the counter raises an eyebrow at him, but quickly recovers with a friendly smile that doesn't quiet reach his eyes. "What can I get you?" The guy is cute, with dark, shaggy hair that's falling into his eyes. Brendon tries not to stare.

"A hot chocolate, please," Brendon says, looking down at the guy's name tag. "Jon. Extra whipped cream." Brendon smiles.

Jon smiles back, this time full and real. The corners of his eyes crinkle up. Brendon would be lying if he said he wasn't thinking about ways to see Jon's smile again. He walks to the other end of the counter and waits for his drink to be ready. There's no one behind him, and Jon takes over for the person that's been making drinks.

"Here ya go," Jon says. "Extra extra whipped cream." He hands the drink over to Brendon.

Brendon's fingers brush Jon's as he takes the cup. Brendon smiles and says, "Thanks, man." He almost asks what Jon is doing later, but that seems kind of lame, so he doesn't say anything else. Jon smiles again and nods. Brendon grins wider and then spins on his heel to leave. He kind of wants to hang around, but he's already late and a group of people just walked in.

Brendon's day gets infinitely better.

+

Brendon hates studying in the library. It's too quiet, too boring, and he's too easily distracted. His roommates suck, though, and they've taken over the apartment for 'date night'. He likes to pretend that they're actually having a nice romantic dinner and then cuddling on the couch for a few hours, just to give himself piece of mind.

He wishes that he'd at least grabbed his iPod on the way out the door. He left it on the charger, and there's not really anyone to text anyway. His two best friends are said roommates, and either one of them would probably kill him when he gets home for interrupting their evening. He glances around the library, just to look away from the book he's been attempting to read for the last twenty minutes. History is fucking boring.

Brendon stops looking around when he recognizes someone sitting across the library reading a text book. It's the guy from Starbucks, Jon, and he looks about as frustrated with his reading material as Brendon is.

Brendon doesn't know if he should approach him, but this is Jon. The guy who Brendon maybe went home and rambled to Spencer about for twenty minutes after, like, thirty seconds of interaction. Brendon figures it couldn't hurt.

He slams his book closed and walks over to the other table, sliding into a chair next to Jon. "So, we meet again," Brendon whispers.

"Hm?" Jon looks up from his book and squints at Brendon, like he can't quite place where he's seen him before.

"I'm Brendon," he says. "Uhm, I was in Starbucks the other day. You looked at me like you thought I was a crazy person?" Brendon laughs quietly. "I guess I sort of was that day, so I don't blame you."

"Oh," Jon says. He smiles at Brendon, and it's kind of amazing. "I remember now."

"Good," Brendon says. Someone across the room makes a shushing sound and Brendon sighs a little, whispering to Jon, "I really hate the library, don't you?"

"Usually," Jon says. "Sometimes it's not so bad." It's pointed and makes Brendon feel sort of warm and fuzzy all over. The shushing starts again, and Jon laughs. "Maybe we should take this somewhere else."

+

"No," Brendon says, shaking his head. They've ended up at an all night diner, one that serves greasy pancakes and bitter coffee. Jon swears by it. "No, it's too embarrassing."

"Come on," Jon says, wiggling his eyebrows up and down. "I showed you mine; now you show me yours." It's cheesy as hell and Brendon laughs anyway.

"Fine, fine," Brendon says. He pulls out his wallet and slides his license across the table. "Are you happy now? Worst picture ever."

"Did you get in a fight with a hair dryer that day?" Jon holds the license up, inspects it and says, "Dude, nineteen, really? You're a baby."

"And how old you, Mr. Maturity?" Brendon asks, swiping his license back away from Jon.

"Twenty-One, thank you very much," Jon says. "You just had my driver's license."

"Well, sorry if I didn't go all creepy stalker and decide to find out what your official weight was and whether or not you were an organ donor," Brendon says.

Jon grins. His phone rings before he can reply. He looks at it and sighs, says, "Just a second," before he answers it. "Hey, Cass." He looks up at Brendon and then shrugs. "Yeah, hang on." His mood seems to falter as he gets up to walk away from the table.

Brendon plays with his food a little. Jon hadn't mentioned a 'Cass' in the half hour that they'd been talking. Then again, he'd never thought to ask if Jon was seeing someone, and why should Jon think to mention it? Brendon's just this guy who came into Starbucks one day and then decided to bug Jon in the library.

Brendon feels stupid.

Jon comes back to the table but doesn't sit down. "Hey that was my--anyway, I have to go. I'll talk to you later, I guess?"

Brendon shrugs and says, "Yeah, probably." Jon nods and throws some money down on the table, enough to pay for both of their meals, before walking out of the diner.

+

Brendon doesn't really want to go out, but Ryan's bored and Spencer's off studying "away from distractions", and Brendon can't win an argument with Ryan. Ever.

They end up at this dive bar that's way too small and way too loud. Despite that, Brendon thinks it might not be so bad when he sees Jon sitting at the bar, smoking a cigarette and drinking a beer. There are already a few bottles lined up in front of him, so this is obviously not his first of the evening.

Brendon doesn't wait for Ryan to get inside before walking over to Jon and leaning in close, whispering in his ear. "You know those give you cancer, right?" Brendon's smirking when Jon snaps his head back. He takes the cigarette from Jon's hand and flips it in his own fingers before taking a puff and laughing.

"How the hell did you get in here?" Jon asks, pulling another cigarette from his pack and lighting up.

"I have my ways," Brendon says. The lighting in the bar is shitty at best, but Jon looks good, better than Brendon has ever seen him look. Brendon wants to grab Jon by the hand and drag him out of the bar right now. He doesn't though.

Truth be told, he hasn't stopped thinking about Jon unless he has a reason to be thinking about something else, and even then, it's hit or miss. Brendon hasn't talked to Jon aside from the occasional awkward visit to Starbucks. It's kind of strange that he spends so much of his time thinking about someone he barely knows. Ryan and Spencer give him a lot of shit about it, but he can't really argue. It's sort of pathetic.

Some drunk guy next to Jon falls off his stool and pushes Jon into Brendon. They're close enough now that Brendon can feel Jon's breath, warm on his skin. He can smell the alcohol on Jon's breath and the smoke on his clothes, and it wouldn't take much to press into Jon and close the distance between them.

He wants to. It doesn't seem like Jon would complain. Neither of them are moving, and he could do it right now. He could just--

"Asshole!" Ryan calls from across the bar. "You left me at the door, jackass." Brendon hates Ryan so much in this moment. "Oh," Ryan says. "Hi, I'm Ryan."

"Oh," Jon says. "Oh. Wow, well, I should go. I have to work early, and--bye, Brendon."

Jon runs more than walks off. "You owe me so many drinks right now, Ross. So many drinks."

"Wait, what? Why?" Ryan can be really oblivious when he wants to be. Or all of the time.

"That was Jon."

"Jon? Who's...oh."

"Yeah," Brendon says. "Oh." Ryan shrugs at him and Brendon says, "So. Many. Drinks."

Ryan does buy him a lot of drinks, and he barely remembers anything about that night, except for the fact that he lost the only opportunity he's ever had to make out with Jon.

+

Brendon runs into Jon on campus a week or so later, but Jon's in a hurry. Brendon thinks they should talk or wants to talk anyway, so he invites Jon over for Mario Kart and booze the next night. He doesn't mention how he really really just wants to make out with Jon, because Brendon thinks that might scare him away. Brendon doesn't want to scare him away. Mostly, Brendon would be okay if he could just hang out with Jon. Making out is just a bonus that he really wants to have.

Ryan and Spencer are out when Jon comes over. Brendon's thankful they already had plans, because they're really hard to get rid of when they want to stay home. Jon comes over with a six pack of beer and they set it on the coffee table and sit on the floor, leaning back against the couch.

They play a couple of rounds of Mario Kart, both of which Brendon kicks Jon's ass during, and then Jon says, "So, I haven't even asked you what you're studying."

"Oh," Brendon says. "Don't really know. Music, maybe. My dad thinks business is good, or something like that, but I think--really think--music."

"I'm a music major," Jon says. "Minoring in photojournalism. Sometimes I want to flip it up, though, you know? I kind of love taking pictures."

"You should show me someday," Brendon says. "Your photography, I mean."

"There's a show soon. I've got a couple of--you should come. If you wanted to," Jon says. "I could get your name on the list so you don't even have to pay."

"That'd be cool," Brendon says.

"Yeah, it would." Jon looks down at his knees. They've already gone through most of the six pack, and Brendon feels a little lightheaded, somewhere between drunk and sober, but he's drank enough that being reckless sounds like the best idea that he's ever had.

Brendon leans in close and takes a deep breath. As much as he's wanted this, he can't really believe that it's happening. It's happening and Jon's not running away. Jon's closing the gap between them, pressing his lips to Brendon's.

Kissing Jon is as awesome as Brendon thought it would be. Brendon pulls away just long enough to say, "Up." He pulls Jon up from the floor then falls back on the couch, stretching out and pulling Jon on top of him as he goes. "Now, where were we?"

Jon smiles down at him, licks his lips, and leans back into the kiss. Jon's body feels like a solid weight on top of him. All Brendon can think about is how much he wants this. How much he's wanted this since the day he met Jon. He tangles his hand in the hair at the back of Jon's neck, settling his other hand at Jon's hips.

He concentrates on feeling everything: the feel of Jon's lips on his, Jon's tongue licking at his teeth, Jon's hair between his fingers, and the fabric of Jon's shirt. Jon's hands are all over the place; Brendon feels Jon exploring, wherever there's bare skin. It's almost too much at once. Jon moans into Brendon's mouth, a sound that maybe could have resembled Brendon's name at one point. The noise makes Brendon want more. He wants everything Jon is willing to give him, and he wants it now.

He forces his hand underneath Jon's t-shirt and revels in the feeling of Jon's skin. It's warm and Brendon wants to see it. He moves his other hand away from Jon's neck and he pushes up Jon's shirt. Brendon feels Jon's hands rest at his hips. He moans into Brendon's mouth again, and Brendon wants. He wants.

Jon pulls back and stares down at Brendon. "Jon?" Brendon whispers. He wants Jon to be kissing him again, always.

"I want you," Jon says, and Brendon's so glad to hear him say it. He's glad to know Jon feels the same way as he does.

Brendon puts his hand at Jon's neck and pulls him back down. "Whatever you want," he says. Jon can have everything. Brendon has wanted this for a long time. They're kissing again, harder and faster.

He vaguely hears a noise somewhere in the apartment, but he's too busy focusing on Jon--on kissing Jon--to pay any attention to it. "Hey Brendon, I know I--oh, fucking hell, Jesus Christ Brendon," Ryan says.

Jon jumps up and away from Brendon, off the couch. Brendon feels something that he doesn't think he's ever felt. Mostly though, he feels like he wants to hit Ryan.

"Oh, fuck. I'm sorry, man. I didn't--sorry." Jon grabs his hoodie and doesn't even say goodbye to Brendon. He rushes out of the apartment, and Brendon wants to go after him. Brendon wants to ask him what the fuck he thinks he's doing, but he just stares pathetically as the door slams shut.

Once Jon is gone, Brendon glares at Ryan. "Fuck you, Ross."

"What?" Ryan asks. "Oh, you mean Jon? Whatever, he'll be back."

Brendon's not so sure.

+

Brendon doesn't see Jon for weeks. Well, that's a lie. Sometimes he catches the back of Jon's head at Starbucks as he ducks into the back room. Other than that, they don't see each other. He calls Jon once or twice and when that doesn't work he tries texting, but he never gets a response.

Brendon decides that means that Jon wasn't interested. Brendon wasn't his type and now not only has he lost a potential boyfriend, but also an awesome friend. It kind of sucks but Brendon's moving on. Well, Brendon's trying to move on, anyway.

Spencer and Ryan are trying to help him with that the best way they can. That mostly means that Brendon gets a lot of free meals and booze while they're trying to get him off his ass and out on the town. Brendon's totally okay with both of those things, so he's trying.

He doesn't know why Spencer's brought him here of all places. It's got a sort of romantic atmosphere, and it's not casual enough for the way Brendon's dressed. He's about to start whining at Spencer about it when he glances across the restaurant and spots Jon. Jon who is there with a date. A girl date.

Brendon knows he should just ignore the fact that Jon is right there, but he can't help himself. He makes a turn between the tables, and he can hear Spencer trying to argue with him in the background, but. Jon.

He's trying to play it cool, like he's not deliberately passing by Jon's table. Jon looks up and sees him, and Brendon can't help but smile. "Jon, hey."

"Brend--"

"Brendon, are you coming?" Spencer says from behind him.

Brendon turns to look at an annoyed looking Spencer, and sighs. "I guess I should go. It was--you know."

"Yeah, you too," Jon says.

"Yeah," Brendon says. "I'll, uh, I'll see you around."

Jon nods, and Brendon doesn't know what else to say; he goes back to Spencer instead. He hears a loud clang and Jon's hurried apology as he walks away, but he doesn't look back.

+

It's been a few weeks, and Jon's stopped completely avoiding Brendon, but it's not the same as it was. Sometimes he makes Brendon's coffee; Brendon's not sure what he does, but it tastes better than when anyone else makes it.

Other than that, Brendon's mostly been avoiding Ryan and Spencer's suggestions of places to go and people to see. He wants to fucking talk to Jon. He's supposed to be studying for this History exam, but he can't concentrate. He slams the book shut.

He has to get out of the apartment and do something. It's pouring down rain, but what he really wants is to take a walk. He decides that the rain might actually do him good, with whatever logic he can muster. He grabs a jacket and slips it on.

He's not sure where he's going, but he needs to go. He walks around for a while until he ends up in front of a familiar apartment building. He'd only been here once before, walking with Jon after a study session in the library, and he's never been inside. He doesn't know what he's doing. It's cold and it's rainy, but all he wants right now, in this moment, is to see Jon. He hits the buzzer for Jon's apartment, but there's no answer.

He doesn't want to leave, so he sits on the steps and curls into himself. He's not sure how long he sits there. It feels like hours, but he's cold and a little miserable, so it could be a few minutes for all he knows.

"What the--Brendon?" Brendon's head snaps up at Jon's voice. He almost slips on the wet step trying to get up; he's moving so fast.

"Jon, I." Brendon doesn't know what he's doing, and he knows he's probably fucking everything up. He really really needs to be touching Jon, so he moves in close and wraps his arms tight around Jon's neck. There's a moment where he thinks he really has messed it up and it really isn't fixable. Then Jon's hands are wrapped tight around his waist, and he feels like maybe he did the right thing.

"Brendon?" Jon whispers. He can feel Jon's breath, warm on his skin. "Brendon, hey, come on, let's go inside."

Brendon nods and untangles himself from Jon. He follows Jon upstairs into the apartment. It's smaller than the one he shares with Ryan and Spencer, and it's a lot messier, but it seems cozy. There's a cat perched up on the back of the sofa and another sleeping curled up in the chair.

"What the fuck are you doing, Brendon? It's freezing out there."

Brendon shrugs. "I wanted to--" but he doesn't really know what he wanted to do. "I went for a walk, and I ended up here, so I stopped. I guess I wanted to see you."

"I'm not complaining about that," Jon says. "Is your boyfriend going to be okay with this?"

"What?" Brendon says. "I don't have--Ryan? Ryan's not--no. No. " Brendon blinks as everything clicks together in his head. "That's why you ran off that day. You thought--" Brendon starts laughing.

"What's so funny?" Jon frowns.

"Jon, I don't have a boyfriend." Jon still looks confused, so instead of trying to explain any further Brendon wraps his arms back around Jon and closes the space between them.

Jon's hands wrap around Brendon's waist and pulls him closer to Jon. Brendon doesn't want to push it, but he really wants to be kissing Jon. "Brendon," Jon says, voice a little shaky.

"Not now," Brendon says. He presses his lips to Jon's, just barely. "I really really don't want to talk right now, if that's okay."

"Yeah," Jon says. "That's okay."

Brendon presses his lips to Jon's again, this time less tentatively. He's knows this is okay now, knows Jon isn't going to push him away. "Wait. Hang on," Jon says. He pulls Brendon down onto the sofa.

They sit comfortable and close, almost on top of each other; they're so much in each other's space. "What about that girl? I mean--you were out with her, and I thought she was, I don't know, your girlfriend?" Brendon feels like he should have left it alone, like maybe he can't have Jon if he asks, but it comes rushing out before he can stop himself.

"Cassie?" Jon asks. "No, not my girlfriend, just my friend." He laughs quietly. "We were really stupid, weren't we?"

"I guess," Brendon says, laughing too.

Jon throws an arm around his shoulder, pulling him over and leaning in to kiss him again. The kiss is sweet and for the first time Brendon feels completely sure about this thing with Jon.

Brendon pulls back from the kiss and leans his forehead against Jon's. "So, what now?" he asks.

Jon smiles and says, "I was thinking...You wanna go on a date?"

Brendon laughs, nodding and kisses Jon again. "Many dates, Jon. I want to go on so many dates."

so, there's that!
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