Title: thumb wars
Pairings: Gabe/William
Rating: PG-13
Word Count: 1345
Summary: Gabe is too distracting for William's own good.
Disclaimer: I admit it! I made it up! Also: Don't google yourself.
Notes: For rhombal's birthday. Thanks to and for reading it over. ♥

It's fucking hot in California, but that's nothing William hasn't experienced before. And hot means that people tend to wear less clothes: tank tops and shorts, usually. Not that he has anyone in particular in mind.

He squeezes Gabe's hand in his, trying not to move his arm. That kind of behavior usually gets labeled cheating, and then they'd have to start over. No one wants that. Besides, Gabe would probably win out if he pulled out the muscle defense. His thumbs are longer than Gabe's, he thinks, which isn't exactly fair. Or maybe it gives him an advantage. It's hard to say.

The muscles in Gabe's arm move subtly, his skin rough as it slides under William's thumb in an attempt to circle around and trap him. William doesn't let him get away with it, but he does focus a little too long on those muscles, almost letting Gabe gain the upper hand.

Gabe's strategy is easy to figure out. He stretches his thumb as far out of reach as possible, darting in when he thinks William isn't paying attention.

William makes the mistake of glancing up at Gabe's face, at his look of utter concentration. His jaw is set, the corners of his mouth turned up in the smallest of smiles. William curses the sun for the fact that he can't see Gabe's eyes. Gabe's mouth curves up into a bigger smile - William's only warning as Gabe presses down on his thumb.

"Ha! Looks like you're washing dishes for the Cobra tonight," Gabe proclaims.

William licks his lips. "Damn."


In reality, there aren't that many dishes. They order pizza and drink beer from bottles. William's theory is that Gabe suddenly remembered that thumb wars existed yesterday, and spent the rest of the day thinking of a challenge where he could work one in.

Gabe is sprawled out on one edge of the couch, and William stretches along the remainder of couch, resting his head on Gabe's lap. Alex and Nate are playing Guitar Hero. William was supposed to play winner like three rounds ago, but the scores kept being close enough to call for a rematch, and now William just wants to fall asleep.

Halfway through "Carry On My Wayward Son," Gabe mumbles, "Slave boy. Go get me another beer."

William opens one eye, staring up at Gabe. "That wasn't part of the deal," he points out.

"Yeah, but I gotta lap full of you that says I can't get it myself."

William sighs. "Whatever, just take the rest of mine," he says, holding up his bottle.

Gabe stares at him. "Dude, we just started Warped Tour. You can't be that tired already." He takes the beer anyway.

"Recording, performing, recording, signing, thumb wars, doing your damned dishes. I deserve a nap."

"You haven't actually done any dishes."

"They're not going anywhere."

He's somewhere halfway between sleep and reality when he hears Alex's "Victory!" and Nate's "Fuck."

He tries to process what that means for him, because he's sure there is something, but then Gabe quietly says, "He forfeits." He feels a hand in his hair and after that, nothing but dreams.


When William wakes up, he doesn't know what time it is. Vicky-T is reading, and only looks up at him briefly when he sits up. Gabe has not moved, but is asleep. Everyone else has cleared off, seemingly to sleep.

"Hey," William whispers to Gabe, nudging him hard in the side. "Wake up. Your neck's gonna hurt like a motherfucker if you sleep like that."

Gabe makes a noise that William takes for acknowledgment, and William goes to clean up. He stacks the pizza boxes in the corner and lines the bottles on the counter to recycle tomorrow. Sure enough, there are no dishes.

Gabe looks like someone ran him over with a bicycle. No real damage, just a lot of annoyance and a slightly disheveled appearance. "No dishes," William tells him.

"Huh?" Gabe asks, rubbing his neck.

"You don't have any dishes," he clarifies, snuggling up to Gabe on the couch.

"Oh." Gabe frowns for a second, then his mouth curves up. William knows that grin. That's Gabe's I-have-a-better-idea grin. He may be a little worried.

"I'm going to bed," Vicky-T announces. "I suggest you two do the same soon, because if you wake Ryland up again, he's going to rip your throats out."

William nods at her, but Gabe just rolls his eyes, saying, "How was I supposed to know you would shriek when I tickled you?"

William glares at him. "My stomach is very sensitive, okay?" Gabe smirks. "Don't even think about it," William says, wrapping an arm around his stomach. "I have to sing tomorrow, and Ryland is a scary son of a bitch in the morning."

"Fine, fine. You owe me a favor now." Gabe pokes William in the side, and William only jumps a little.

"My only obligation to you is to do dishes, if you ever even have dishes."

"You could settle your debt now, though."

"I'm almost afraid to ask..." Gabe gives nothing up. William sighs. "How can I settle my debt, Gabriel?"

"Back massage."

William stares at him blankly. "Seriously?"

"Yeah!" Gabe responds, beaming.

William shrugs. "Okay." He stands up. "Lay on your stomach."

"Wait, what?"

"Come on, man, I've done this before. On your stomach."

Gabe gives him a skeptical look, but does it anyway. William climbs over him. There is just enough room for his knees to straddle Gabe's hips on the couch, and he shifts until he finds a comfortable position. He leans down and starts with Gabe's shoulders, rolling his knuckles against the tight muscles there.

"Oh, god, you have done this before," Gabe mumbles into the couch cushion. William laughs. "Maybe this would be better if I took my shirt off," Gabe suggests.

William rolls his eyes, but lifts himself off the couch. "You'll use any excuse to strip for me."

"That's probably true," Gabe responds, pulling the shirt off and settling back onto the couch.

William likes the feel of Gabe's warm skin under his fingers, but what he likes even more are the little happy noises that Gabe mutters every so often. He works loose the muscles of Gabe's lower back, pretending not to notice how Gabe is beginning to squirm under him. Finally, he rolls his thumbs on the back of Gabe's neck, and Gabe moans quietly. William shifts his weight and brings his lips to Gabe's neck, biting down when he hears Gabe's satisfied hum.

"Alright," Gabe murmurs, wriggling under William to make him stop. "Debt settled. Let me turn around."

William bites his lip, shifting to allow Gabe to twist around and lie on his back. Gabe guides him to straddle his hips again, then pulls at his shirt until William is leaning down to kiss him properly. Gabe's tongue darts out to slide along his bottom lip and into his mouth, and his hands accompany the exploration by sliding under William's shirt.

"Stupid bus rules," Gabe complains when he pulls back, minutes later. "If I had my way, we'd have a lot more bed and a lot less clothes."

William arches into Gabe's touch as his finger slides along his hip and across his stomach. "We said no tickling," he says, a little breathless.

Gabe's eyes are dark with lust, and William almost wishes he had a camera. "We should go to sleep before I do something that gets me kicked out of my own band."

William sighs. "That's gonna require me to get up, isn't it?"

He does, slowly, and he can feel Gabe's eyes on him as he walks back to the kitchen. When he gets back, his face cooling from the water he splashed on it, Gabe is gone, and he settles onto the couch for the night.

Gabe returns a few minutes later, though, throwing a pair of pajama pants at him. "Goodnight, loser," Gabe says, smiling fondly.

"Hey, that debt is settled," William clarifies, unable to hold back a face-splitting grin in return.


Go here if you'd like to comment on this fic. ♥