Fandom: Never Back Down
Word Count: 2,538
Rating: Hard R
Summary: An answer as to what happens after the final fight and before the boys meet up again in the school parking lot.
Notes: This is not the sequel to I Can Press My Heartbeat to Yours that I promised starweather. But it was a lot of fun to write. Once again, if Sean and Cam realized their characters had so much depth they'd probably spontaneously combust. Or laugh at me. I don't know.
Jake is halfway between his house and Baja’s when he decides to swing by Ryan’s. Not swing by. That gives it all the weight of stopping in for a cup of sugar. And he’s doing this because the air between them is so heavy he can’t just let it hang there anymore. They never talked about this, amidst all the shouting and flying fists—how Ryan is one felony assault charge away from being a rich boy behind bars. He figures they have to now, while the burn of defeat is still fresh. Otherwise Ryan will fester, gather resources and lay in for his next chance, and it’ll be like World War II.
He’s surprised when Ryan answers his own door, still dressed like he just came from the fight. He’s got an icepack pressed to his cheek, and a wry expression on his face like he was expecting Jake, and somehow it’s amusing. Jake clenches his teeth, but doesn’t want to push his luck when Ryan could still slam the door on him. Annoyance crawls up and down his spine.
“What?” Ryan asks, swaying to lean into the doorframe. Jake takes a quick look back at the empty driveway and figures he must have told everyone to leave him alone.
Jake sighs, thinks about that one punching bag in Jean’s gym. “We’d better talk.”
Ryan rolls his eyes heavenward and mutters, “It had to be now.” He steps back from the doorway and retreats into the house. Jake isn’t sure if that means come in or get the fuck out, but he trails after Ryan anyway.
“Look, so—you can’t do any of that stuff anymore,” he tells Ryan’s bare back.
Ryan settles himself into a chair and rubs at his eyes. “Okay.”
“That’s it?” Jake says, standing awkwardly at the corner of the rug in Ryan’s living room.
Ryan stares at him. “You want me to say yes. You’re not going to leave until I say yes.”
Jake steps on the carpet, doesn’t care if his shoes leave marks. “So you’re just going to lie to me?”
“Do I owe you more than that?” Ryan shoots back, eyebrows drawn low.
Jake rocks back. “Do you owe—Max is in the hospital!”
“Look—” Ryan goes to lean forward and stops abruptly, a hiss escaping his lips before he can stop it. “Christ.”
“Are you okay?” It’s out of his mouth before he remembers who he’s talking to.
Ryan shifts delicately in the chair and moves the icepack from his purpling cheek to the wing of his collar. He raises his eyes to Jake's and snorts. “I’m fine.”
“You deserved it,” Jake replies, daring Ryan to disagree. Jake is intensely irked that even in this position, backed into the corner, Ryan isn’t going to give any quarter. It goes beyond pride. Beyond bullheadedness. It’s insanity, and Jake can’t see where Ryan is finding the upshot in all of it.
Ryan seems to sense what he’s thinking, his eyes twinkle with that perennial laugh. “Mmm, and now you can leave.”
His nose has started bleeding again, running down over his lip. Clearly he is not fine. Ryan wipes at it and curses softly. He struggles to get out of the chair without disturbing any of his other injuries.
“Look, can you point me in the direction of the kitchen? I’ll get you a towel.”
“I can do for myself, thank you.” He swipes a t-shirt out of a gym bag next to the couch and presses it to his nose. He looks back at Jake, who is still standing awkwardly on the carpet wondering perversely if Ryan will be mad at him for shoes on the rug. “You can go. Somehow I don’t think you deserve being subjected to my presence, and your infuriating choir boy attitude is really more than I can handle without rendering myself further damage.”
The arm that holds the blood damp shirt to his face is shaking and the muffled congestion of the words undermines any dignity Ryan might have been trying for. Jake huffs. “Is the bathroom this way?” He walks down the hall before Ryan can tell him to fuck off. If he remembers correctly from that first night in this house it’s this way. He lucks out and quickly gathers aspirin, a warm washcloth, and a cup full of water.
When he comes back Ryan is glaring at him over the wadded t-shirt.
“Don’t tilt your head back,” Jake warns.
Ryan pulls the t-shirt away from his face. Blood is smeared over his upper lip. “Excuse me?” his blue eyes darken in anger. He jabs Jake right over his bad ribs with two knuckles and grabs the water from his hand before Jake can dump it all over himself from the pain.
“Jesus!” Jake jerks away. “What the fuck is your problem?” Why does he bother asking, that’s the real question.
Ryan makes a face. “Do you think this is the first fight I’ve lost?” Before Jake can respond he pushes on. “I wasn’t born amazing, you know.” He swabs at his face with the washcloth and summons Jake forward with the aspirin with a nod.
“You’re an arrogant shit,” Jake spits.
Ryan pops the pills and chuckles without bile. “Borne of hard work.”
“Well, look, there’s not going to be any rematch. Whatever’s between us is done.” Jake is ready to go now. If Ryan doesn’t listen, he’ll figure things out, but for now, it looks like he’s done all he can.
He turns away to leave, but Ryan catches his wrist. “I wasn’t planning on a rematch.”
“What then? Waiting in some dark alley for me to walk home?” Ryan hasn’t let go of his wrist and his grip has turned painful.
“You don’t know me.” Ryan pulls him in to hiss right in his face. “You don’t know me at all.”
“Really? To me it looks like you’ll stop at nothing for revenge.”
Ryan shoves him away. “Revenge? You think tonight was about revenge?”
Jake throws up his hands. “What am I supposed to think?”
Ryan slams into him and they tumble to the floor. His skin burns from the friction of the rug and his entire body is protesting. The scuffle doesn’t last very long. Jake’s ribs and his calf are fucked up, his back feels like he’s been in the spin cycle of the washing machine, and his arm muscles are still trembling from pounding on more experienced fighters all night long. Ryan is, if anything, in worse shape and he gives up before he can do any serious damage. Jake is still left lying under 190 pounds of muscle. It’s becoming a strangely familiar position. Ryan doesn’t get up, he settles his weight straddled over Jake’s hips like he has no intention of moving.
“You are so stupid,” Ryan shakes his head.
Jake stares up at him, and then Ryan is dropping forward to press a kiss to his mouth. It’s strangely soft, with the barest hint of tongue through parted lips. Jake’s hands rise almost unintentionally to Ryan’s hips. Ryan pulls back.
“Is that some kind of explanation?” Jake asks, eyes wide. Possibly this is the part where he should throw Ryan off. He doubts punching him will give him the idea ‘no.’ But there’s something about this. Something that has his fingers tightening on Ryan’s thighs and his hips rising to seek contact as much as the smell of Baja’s hair or the feel of her skin beneath his fingertips.
Ryan kisses him again, palm on Jake’s face. He feels good, even though he tastes of blood. Their tongues tangle, tips touching and gliding apart. Jake feels every stroke in his dick. “Tell me you didn’t beat me up multiple times because you wanted to lay me,” Jake says, pulling away to breathe.
Ryan stares down at him, their noses inches apart. “Okay, now that’s fucked up.”
Jake can’t believe his life. “That’s—what? Are you high?” He needs to know. Because that would make the kissing make sense in the wake of no explanation from Ryan himself. Jake’ s definitely going to cry rape or molestation or something now. This has got to stop.
Ryan draws the hand he placed on Jake’s cheek back, fingertips skimming along his jaw, over the fabric of his shirt so he can feel the barest whisper of sensation. It totally changes his mind about everything. Ryan can be high, Ryan can have split personality disorder, Ryan could be a secret alien invader from Mars—Jake doesn’t care. Ryan can call him names and glare at him and promise to steal back his girlfriend as long as he just continues touching him.
“I don’t get you,” Ryan says when Jake flips them over because his protesting ribs can’t take it anymore.
Jake slides his hands up Ryan’s wrists and then tugs them up above Ryan’s head so that they’re pinned to the floor. Ryan doesn’t fight, he makes a face like he doesn’t have to, and Jake sighs. “It’s mutual.”
Ryan’s laughing—the bastard—as Jake leans over him, there’s not an inch of them that isn’t pressed together. He can’t decide whether to taste the skin at Ryan’s throat or claim his lips again. Ryan no doubt tastes of sweat, his own and maybe Jake’s too.
“Do you have the balls?” Ryan asks. Jake blinks. That’s what this is about. His Life, his universe, everything—Jake has the secret, and it’s not 42. It has always been about power. Ryan is the Machiavellian Prince of Orlando.
“Do I have the balls for what?” he drops his head to press his mouth to join of Ryan’s neck and shoulder, tongue sliding out over the blackened blue flesh at his collar. “Do I have the balls to kiss you?” He presses his lips closed-mouth to the cap of Ryan’s shoulder. Ryan’s body tenses and relaxes underneath his weight. “Do I have the balls to touch you?” Jake slides a hand between them, heel of his palm pressing against the stirrings of an erection. Ryan tips his head back, chest rising up off the floor. A full flush has been brought to the surface of his skin. His newly freed hand hovers over Jake’s body like for once in his life he can’t decide. “Do I have the balls to fuck you?” Jake says finally, letting go of Ryan’s other wrist so that he clan flick Ryan’s nipple.
Ryan catches him then, thigh pushing up between Jake’s legs to grind hard against his hard-on. “No, bitch,” his eyebrow quirks up, “do you have the balls to suck my dick?” Heat runs down Jake’s back, gathering at his spine—making him even harder. Ryan pulls Jake down to meet him, furiously biting and sucking at his mouth. The barb didn’t work, but it doesn’t matter, because they both have lost sight of their intentions.
Jake moans and thrusts down against him. Ryan is nothing like what he wanted. He’s not curvy and soft and sweet-smelling with slim thighs that’ll grip his hips tight. He’s a warm smile, even as he’s throwing out the hardest of insults. He’s a hard body just like one of the many Jake is surrounded by at the gym—nothing special. But Jake finds he wants to shove himself inside Ryan, take up all that space, taste that spot of skin behind Ryan’s ear, and find out what his face looks like when he comes.
Ryan was gentle with him, like Jake was something he might break. He’s abandoned that tack now, fingertips bruising, digging deep in Jake’s abused muscles—mouth wet and hot, sucking more war wounds into his neck. He makes Jake groan and curse, makes him weak, until the only thing Jake can still operate is his mouth against Ryan’s. He’s giving in to this superior show of force, of sexual prowess.
Jake pauses against him, presses his thumb hard into the bruising at Ryan’s neck and shoulder and thrusts down at the same time. A ragged “Holy mother—” is dragged out of Ryan’s mouth.
Jake seeks for the right angle, the perfect slide and drag of their dicks together. He manages to tug their shorts down just enough to get their dicks free, and then it’s the slide of velvety skin together. Ryan isn’t laughing now. He isn’t smirking or lording it over him. He’s twisting and crying out, trying to get it harder, better. He buries a hand in Jake’s hair, fingertips pulling tight, until Jake feels the sweet bite of pain.
Pre-come is increasing the friction between them, until finally Jake can’t take it, and everything stored up in him is pulsing out his dick. He thrusts shallowly down against Ryan, waiting for him to get there and shuddering from the aftershocks. Ryan tightens up like he’s getting ready to take a blow to the stomach and then he’s coming wordlessly, breath huffing out in gasps. Jake stares in mute surprise at the hand he’s trapped against the floor, fingers twined together. Ryan’s squeezing it so tightly the outline of white is showing around Jake’s fingers.
Intimate. Like nothing else about this has been. Ryan runs a hand up his spine, under the shirt he’s still wearing, now stained with both their come. It’s a gentling touch, something to calm a startled virgin. It’s like Jake telling Ryan not to tip his head back like he’s never gotten a bloody nose. It’s intimate.
“You should go now.” Ryan says. He’s staring at the door, the little bottle of aspirin that got discarded in their fight. He hasn’t let go of Jake’s hand. Jake rolls off of him, choking on a groan as his ribs remind him why they hate him. The stain at the hem of his t-shirt is large and telling. There’s nothing he can do about it.
Ryan slowly props himself up on one arm. There’s blood at the corner of his mouth. Jake doesn’t even say goodbye as he leaves. He shakes out his hand delicately and shuts the door behind him. When he turns to look back the lit up windows of Ryan’s mansion, he doesn’t see him anywhere.
On Monday, Max insists on driving his own car again. Jake went with Baja to spring him out on Saturday. He can’t quite manage shifting and steering with his busted arm and broken bones, but nothing Jake says will persuade him otherwise. Jake figures it would be far too ironic to die in the car with Max—so he gets in. Instead of his mother’s face or Baja’s, he’s sees Ryan laughing at him, mouthing ‘stupid.’ He’s glad Max keeps up a constant stream of monologue about MMA while Jake stares out the window.
They pull into the parking lot at the same time as Ryan’s black escalade. He does his best not to pay attention to him when he gets out, even striking up a false conversation with Max. “You really shouldn’t be driving stick.”
But he looks over when he hears the car door close. Ryan lifts his chin at him, and Jake feels the corner of his mouth tug up in half-smile before he can stop it.