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Happy Birthday to one of my favorite people on Earth, Colleen Detroit, the Yang to my Ying. I hope your year is full of happiness, pR0n & all the love and fame that you deserve. Thank you to my most intrepid sekrit beta who is made of win. And blowjobs.

Ever Onward

by trillingstar

As Craig raised his hand to knock on the hotel room door, it opened suddenly. Startled, he took a step back as two red-faced girls in wrinkled clothing brushed by him and disappeared down the hallway. Grinning, he pushed the door open the rest of the way and surveyed the mess. Clothes, bottles and crumpled paper littered the floor and tables, and the two ashtrays he could see were overflowing with roaches and cigarette butts. Hoyt and O'Reily were passed out on the beds, Groves lay slumped against the closed bathroom door, and the entire room reeked of marijuana, perfume and stale beer. He sighed. Waking them up was not going to be easy.

The bathroom door opened. "Casanova, good to see you're awake, man."

Freshly showered and shirtless, Keller stepped over the prone body of Groves and grinned at Craig. The two men slapped hands in greeting.

"What's shakin'?" Chris grabbed a clean shirt out of his duffel bag and shrugged it on.

Craig rolled his eyes. "Crew meeting or some shit. Guess there's a new dude comin' on board; Schillinger wants us to meet him."

"Like we wouldn't see him at rehearsal anyway?" Chris shook his head. "Schillinger's a chump. There's gotta be something in it for him."

"When you're right, you're right, my man. But I told him I'd round you guys up anyway, so... what are the chances of getting these idiots up?" Craig poked the toe of his boot into Groves' thigh. There was no response from the sleeping man.

Chris snickered. "You know their eyes open when the sun goes down, and not a minute before. Christ, man, we're on break for another day." He rolled his shoulders, and then sat down on the other bed to lace up his boots.

"You're awake," Craig pointed out.

They both laughed.

"I had some... encouragement," Chris replied, his eyes gleaming with amusement. "They told me they were twins. What man can turn down twins?"

"Like you've ever turned down anyone who's looked your way," Craig teased.

Chris's expression turned serious. "Out here on the road, man, sometimes... sometimes I get so lonely..."

A beat, then both men broke into raucous laughter. O'Reily lifted his head and looked at them, then lay down again and started to snore.

"I think that's your answer, dude. I'll come with you; see what's got Schillinger's undies in a knot." Chris zipped up his duffel and tossed it into the corner. Out of respect for his slumbering co-workers, he slammed the door loudly when they left.


Toby shifted his weight from foot to foot, already antsy to leave Schillinger's company. He'd gotten this gig through his dad, and he was only going to be there for the summer. The band's road manager barely let him out of reach and introduced him around as if he was a show dog or something. All his friends were doing internships at companies in New York or Boston, at buildings that had air-conditioning and sleek, long-legged corporate chicks in suits. But he'd made a deal with his dad: a summer job working the lights for the greatest rock band in the world, and then he'd declare law as his major... not theater. And Toby's end of the deal was to get over "this phase", as his dad put it.

Toby shook his head and sighed, and then realized that Schillinger was looking at him expectantly. "Uh... sure?" he managed, embarrassed by the way his voice cracked at the end of the sentence. Schillinger ("Call me Vern," he'd said with an oily smile) beamed at him, so Toby figured it was the right answer, and he followed the taller man blindly into yet another room, this one with scattered papers and a suitcase on the bed. But it was just the two of them, and Schillinger kept staring at him. Toby was so ready to split.

And then two other guys entered the room, and Toby thought his heart stopped for a few seconds. Both of them were tall and dark-haired, but while one of the guys walked in, the other one strutted. He had an open, friendly face and bright blue eyes, and he was wearing tight blue jeans and an even tighter t-shirt that looked soft, like it had been washed about a thousand times. The flash of a smile across the man's face was inviting, his dimples standing out.

Schillinger's hand came down heavy and solid on Toby's left shoulder, and Toby glanced down at the pasty hand with a grimace.

"Verrrrrn, baby! Looking good. What's up?" The guy Toby was ogling spoke first, disdain dripping from the words.

Schillinger's hand tightened on Toby's shoulder and he shuddered involuntarily.

"Where're the rest of your... friends?" Schillinger's tone was chilly.

"Oh, you know... around. Anything you tell me, I'll tell them." The man winked, a fake smile on his face.

Schillinger spoke again. "Craig Wick, Chris Keller. This is Tobias Beecher. He's studying at Harvard, and he'll be working up in the lights booth this summer. His dad's an old buddy of mine, so be sure to make him feel welcome."

Both men turned their attention from Schillinger and looked at Toby as if he had just crawled out of a toilet. He could feel his face flushing. Thanks, Vern. He stepped forward, dislodging Schillinger's hand, and stuck his own hand out in greeting. "It's Toby, actually. Nice to meet you."

The man introduced as Craig hesitated for a moment, then reached out and grasped Toby's hand. "Nice to meet you too, man. Welcome aboard." He glanced at Keller, and then a tiny smile tugged at his lips. Nodding his head at Schillinger, Craig cleared his throat. "Didn't you have some questions about marks, Vern?" They moved off, talking about rearranging the drum kit onstage.

Chris stayed with Toby.


So this is what white-bread America is lookin' like these days, Chris mused. The man - no, kid - standing in front of him had shaggy blond hair and glasses with round lenses. He was dressed in khakis, a loose polo shirt, and sneakers. No tats that Chris could see, no piercings, nothing at all that screamed `I'm with the band'. Schillinger musta owed someone a big-ass favor.

Still, there was a glimmer of confidence in his eyes; there was the way he'd reacted when Schillinger had touched him. Also, how he'd been eating Chris up with his eyes would provide some entertainment over the summer months - and if it ticked off Schillinger, then so much the better. Finally, the kid was a fox: slim, toned build and an innocent, gangly quality coupled with intelligent blue eyes.

"Okay, To-bi-as, you got any experience?" He purposely drew out the name, lowering his voice, just to see how the kid would react.

So he was stoked when his earlier observation was correct: Toby looked up from his study of the floor and right into Chris's eyes. "While this is my first professional gig, I assure you that I have plenty of experience."

A tempting grin. "Oh yeah? Which kind?" Chris's eyes drifted up and down the blond man's slender frame.

"Perhaps you'd like a copy of my resume to peruse?" Toby refused to back down. He knew he had to make a good impression with the rest of the seasoned roadies, or else he may as well pack to go home tonight. Still, he wasn't going to back down on this - he did have experience, and he knew he was good at running the lights for shows. And, for other reasons, he really wanted to make a good impression on Chris Keller.

To Toby's delight, Chris laughed loudly. "Naw, Tobe, I'm sure you're real good. Hey, c'mon, I'll give you the tour; let you look at some of the equipment." His expression was serious, but the flash of amusement in his eyes was flirtatious, and Toby felt himself respond to both the nickname, and the teasing.


Toby couldn't believe that he'd been on the road touring with the band for over a month now. He had quickly developed a high level of respect for the people who chose this vocation. Life as a roadie wasn't glamorous - they worked behind the scenes and set up gear, took it down, then did it all over again somewhere else. Their days started before anyone else's. For a 7 p.m. show, they started work at nine in the morning, finished by 3 p.m. and then went back to tune the instruments and do sound and light checks. In the last month they averaged twenty-three shows all over the country, and days off were rare. It was backbreaking labor: days on end with no sleep, nights spent dismantling equipment after a show, and then bussed or flown to a new venue to begin the cycle again.

There were plenty of bright spots. He learned more in a span of five weeks than he had in eight years of high school and college combined. He worked passionately at the one thing he'd always loved; he was helping to put together shows that both critics and fans described as `events'. And he'd met some amazing people. Obviously, there was the band - the most talented singer and the best group of musicians - Led Zeppelin themselves. He still hadn't quite wrapped his head around the fact that he hung out with Led Zeppelin on a regular basis. And then there were the other roadies... a rambunctious crew who'd been working together for three-and-a-half years and who embodied traits that Toby hadn't found in his circle of friends from college. Funny, loyal team players who were always willing to help one another out, and who partied and fought like beasts in the scant free time they had. He smiled as he thought about all of them... but mostly, his mind was on Chris Keller.

While Chris's life story was the most interesting to Toby, they'd never talked about it. Rumors abounded about his past, most of them started by O'Reily. Chris'd been in the Marines, or he'd been in jail, or he had a wife and kids stashed somewhere, and one time he beat up some dude so badly, the guy almost died. The one with the family freaked Toby out the most.

Toby shoved a hand through his hair and pressed his face against the cool window of the airplane bound for England. He smiled. His first night as a roadie had been his initiation into a world he never expected. Keller acted sincerely shocked when Toby admitted his experience outside of putting on a kick-ass lightshow was severely limited.

It was just after dinner, and they were all in one of the hotel rooms. Hoyt and Groves were still half-asleep and hung-over, but everyone had made Toby feel welcome, if not entirely comfortable. He was already on edge from having to turn down Schillinger's offer of bunking with him that night. There was something about the man that made Toby's skin crawl. He was determined to avoid the older man as much as possible.

O'Reily proposed doing some lines and going to the bar again to officially welcome Toby to the gang.

Chris smiled at him. "You cut, Tobe. Newbie does the work."

He knew he must have shifted, or maybe it was written across his face, because O'Reily leaned back in his chair and said, "Maybe Schillinger gave us a narc, just to be a jackass."

Everyone turned to look at Toby. There was an awkward pause, and then Toby rushed to fill the silence. He stammered, "N-no. No, I'm not a narc! I just... I've never..." He paused, took a deep breath and leaned forward. "How do I do it?"

Another pause, and then someone started to laugh. Hoyt clapped Toby on the back so hard he coughed. O'Reily gave him a sly wink, and then said, "What are they teaching at Harvard these days?"

Hovering behind him, Chris leaned forward and whispered into Toby's ear. "Your real education starts now."


The rest of their celebration at the bar passed in a muddled haze. Vaguely, Toby remembered learning how to cut lines, then how to snort lines, and then engaging in animated conversation with Chris until they got to the bar, where he drank a crazy number of shots and may or may not have been unable to keep his hands to himself. Well, that's a lie, Toby thought. He knew he'd been nearly sitting in Chris's lap at one point, but Keller hadn't discouraged Toby's touches. In fact, apart from the sheer amount of alcohol he consumed - and the later extended prayer to the porcelain gods - the moments that stood out in Toby's mind were the times their arms brushed, when Chris leaned in close to whisper in his ear, and then when Chris squeezed his thigh under the table with one strong hand, fingers moving all the way up to the crease of Toby's thigh before releasing him. Every time Toby looked at Chris, dark blue eyes were already looking back at him, and the air between them crackled with energy and attraction.

Toby tried to find a way to ask Chris to show him how to get back to the rooms, and then Chris took the initiative. He leaned over. "To-bi-as... isn't it past your bedtime?"

Craig laughed loudly. "Gonna be hard to enforce a curfew, but Keller's a real good keeper."

Turning back to Chris, Toby caught the tail end of a murderous expression on his face. But he grinned widely at Toby and offered him a hand. "C'mon, you look like you could use some fresh air."

Toby grabbed the proffered hand without a second thought.

There was a commotion right before they left - O'Reily had been banging some chick under one of the big tables in the back of the bar. When he zipped up, the crowd stood and gave him a standing ovation. Toby chuckled, remembering that when his mouth dropped open, Chris reached over and gently closed it with his fingers. And then the two of them were back in the hotel room, and Toby made it to the bathroom just in time.

When he came out, Chris was lounging on one of the beds, his boots kicked off, his arms tucked behind his head. Gingerly, Toby sat down near Chris's legs.

"Feel better now?" Chris asked.

Toby wiped toothpaste off his mouth with the back of his hand. "Uhh... yeah. Wow... I- you guys do this a lot?"

An easy grin. "Every chance we get. It's tough work, y'know, a lot to endure. Gotta get to that place where you don't feel any pain."

Toby nodded. He wasn't tired, exactly, but his body felt wrung out. He hoped Chris wasn't ready to call it a night either.

Chris sat up and studied Toby. "You're feeling worn out, but you ain't sleepy, right?" He unwound one arm and patted the pillow next to him. "Come sit by me."

Said the cobra to the mouse, Toby thought. He clambered up on the bed, and settled down with his back to the headboard.

Chris lit a joint, filled his lungs with smoke, and passed it to Toby. He tilted his head. "Please tell me you know what to do with this."

Toby laughed. "Yeah, I think I can manage."

They sat in companionable silence until the joint was about half-gone. Suddenly Chris rolled to his side and propped his head on his hand. The muscles of his arm flexed, stretching his sleeve, and Toby found it remarkably amusing. He giggled.

Chris picked up the thread of conversation. "Good, `cause if anyone's ever needed to mellow out, it's you."

"What? I'm totally relaxed!" Toby said indignantly.

"Yeah, now you are," purred Chris. "Then again, might not have been so bad if you didn't know... woulda been happy to teach you."

"T-teach me?" Toby stuttered. He was struck by how easily he'd fallen into the role of being seduced, and wanted to challenge Keller instead. He pushed himself down the bed until he was facing Chris, with about two feet of space between their bodies. Mimicking his pose, Toby looked at Chris's mouth, and then looked directly into his eyes. "Okay. Teach me."

A more than adequate reward was the look of surprise that flitted across Keller's face. But then Chris pushed himself up to his elbows, eyes hooded, lips curled up into a knowing smile; he held Toby's gaze as he sucked on the joint again, then touched the pad of his thumb to Toby's bottom lip, pressing down softly until Toby opened his mouth.

Chris leaned forward and slid his mouth against Toby's, locking their lips together, and then he exhaled in a long rush of smoke. Toby gasped sharply, lips tingling from the contact, and inhaled. Chris moved back and watched Toby hold the hit in his lungs.

After he exhaled, Toby said, "Hmm... and what's that called?"

Chris smiled. "Shotgun. Think you got the hang of it?"

Toby considered, and then shook his head. "Better try again."

"You are something else, Tobe," Chris chuckled. "Okay, one more, and then you try it on me."

Time passed, the joint was a roach stubbed out in an ashtray, and Toby and Chris kissed - slow, melting kisses, again and again. Toby's body felt heavy, like he was sinking into the bed. His blood buzzed in his veins, each touch was magnified a hundredfold, and he realized that they weren't even touching with anything other than lips and noses. Only an inch or two separated their mouths when they broke for air, then one or the other would lean back in, gently licking, tasting, Chris whispering words Toby couldn't quite catch, and the kissing continued until Toby's lips were sensitive and he couldn't contain his moans. Chris licked Toby's eyelids, the bridge of his nose, under his chin.


It was late afternoon when Toby cracked open one eye and looked blearily around the room. Next to him, Chris lay on his back, snoring lightly with one arm thrown across his face. Stretched out diagonally on the bed next to theirs, Groves was half-wrapped in the covers and Toby could hear the water in the bathroom running.

Slowly, the men roused themselves. The door to the adjoining room opened, and Ryan stumbled through it. He squinted at Toby, and then grinned. "Chow," he grated.

Although Toby had anticipated a degree of awkwardness with Keller, nothing materialized. They met up with the band outside the hotel. Toby's heart pounded sharply in his chest while Schillinger made introductions, and then he was shaking the hands of Bonham, Jones, Plant and Page. Chris stood close to him the whole time, his eyes flicking from one face to the next. He rested his hand lightly on Toby's shoulder at points during the meal, and no one seemed to find this strange, so Toby let it go.


Toby spends the first two shows backstage, learning the positions of the equipment, and watching how the band moves onstage. During the second show, he pays close attention to distances and heights. Standing in the shadows, he's fixating so intensely that he blocks everything else out until a hand slides across the back of his neck. He whirls around, and then relaxes when he sees Chris standing there, an odd smile on his face.

Chris pushes Toby's headphones off. "God loves rock and roll," he shouts, and then pushes Toby around so that they're both facing the stage from the wing, his arms wrapped around Toby's shoulders. Breaking out of his deep concentration, Toby's eyes widen as the music crashes into his ears.

"Wayyyyy down inside... honey, you neeeed it... I'm... I'm gonna, gonna give you my looovvve, I'm gonna give you my love, yeah, a whole lotta love... Wanna whole lotta love?"

Chris presses his hips into Toby's backside. He's hard in his jeans, and he runs a hand down Toby's zipper to find a growing hardness there. They lurch forward as Chris plasters himself against Toby's back and begins a slow grind, growling loudly, his breath hot on Toby's neck. In the next breath, he backs off, leaving Toby tense and feeling unfinished.

"I thought I told you to relax, Toby." Chris grabs Toby's wrist and drags him into the hallway where it's marginally quieter.

Chris crowds Toby up against a dressing room door. His arms bracket Toby's shoulders and they're close, with only a few inches separating their bodies. Toby thinks that maybe he's supposed to be intimidated, but instead it makes him feel safer. He grins at Chris.

Bumping his chin against Toby's, Chris says, "Open up."

Toby's eyebrows lift in surprise, but he opens his mouth obediently.

Chris puts a tiny square of paper on Toby's tongue, and then kisses him fiercely; their lips jammed together, Chris's hands moving down Toby's back and over his ass. He leans back and watches Toby swallow.

"Got a surprise for you," Chris says evenly, but there's a wilder emotion shining from his eyes.

"What kind of surprise?" Toby asks reflexively. His fingers itch to touch Chris's biceps under the tight t-shirt.

Chris tilts his head to the side and studies Toby. He presses a finger to Toby's lips. Frozen in place, they stare at each other for long seconds.

The music is still loud around them: "All them good times, times, tiiimes, baby, I've been yearnin'... Way, way, wayyyy down inside honey... you, you neeeeed it..."

Chris's eyes show hunger, an appetite barely whetted, and Toby does his best to show surpassing greed.

A noise behind the door causes Chris to grin, suddenly, and then he's reaching behind Toby to turn the doorknob. Awkwardly, they fall into the darkened room. After regaining his balance, Toby feels around on the wall for a light switch, but Chris stops his movement. "We're good," he says.

Toby waits while Chris walks across the room and then there's the click of a lamp. There's just enough light to see, though the room is still mostly dark, and Toby realizes that it's not a dressing room at all, but some kind of office. There's a chair right next to him, a desk, another chair in front of the desk, and... a girl sitting in the chair, long hair, legs and arms crossed, her breasts spilling out of her top. Toby stares at her until she wiggles her fingers at him, and then he smiles tightly in return, before swinging around to look blankly at Chris, who's found his way around Toby again to shut the door.

Chris laughs when he sees the expression on Toby's face. "Don't worry, baby. She's not here for you."

"I'm here to meet the band!" The girl's voice quavers slightly, but she covers it with a big smile.

"And I'm here to make sure you do, sweetheart," Chris says to her. He winks at her, and then turns back to Toby. "Toby," he says in a low voice. "Sit down."

Limply, Toby falls into the chair next to the door. He's nervous, but still excited, which is usually how he feels whenever Chris is around. Chris touches the top of Toby's head briefly, and then moves over to the desk. He laughs as he picks up the chair and the girl together. She squeals, grabbing at Chris's shirt, slapping at his stomach and chest. He takes only two steps before setting them both down again, and the girl is laughing too. Chris pulls her up from her seat and kisses her roughly. Within a minute, both of their shirts are on the floor, and Toby's hands are clutching his thighs as he watches them make out.

He gets why Chris is fooling around with the girl, and he kind of admires him for it. But he's not sure why he's here, why Chris wants him to watch... not that he's complaining. He imagines his buddies caddying in the hot sun for their investment banker bosses and compares it to everything he's experiencing this summer; he's suddenly not sure that he can ever go back to that world.

Dry-mouthed, Toby stares for what feels like hours, watching the progression from clothed to naked, listening to Chris speaking with the girl, how he smiles at her so brightly, the way he uses his hands on her skin, and the low noises that he makes when the girl returns the touches. Toby scrubs his hands over his jeans, and several minutes later comes back to himself realizing that he's stroking his palms across the material, entranced at the way it feels under his hands. He looks up blindly. The girl is sitting on the chair, facing the desk. Her hands are resting on Chris's thighs, and Toby stares as she sucks on Chris's cock. He has a perfect view of the pair, and as he raises his eyes, he knows Chris will be watching him.

Their eyes meet and in the next heartbeat, Toby knows that it doesn't matter why Chris wants him here, because the simplest truth is that he wants him here.

Toby feels the heat of Chris's stare all over his body. He raises a hand to push his hair back and realizes that he's sweating, so he strips off his t-shirt and tosses it to the floor. Chris groans provocatively. Toby looks up and if possible, the desire in Chris's eyes has intensified. Chris takes a handful of the girl's hair in his hand and pushes his cock into her mouth harder. He's staring at Toby's chest and stomach, lingering at each nipple and then running down Toby's arms. Fluidly, Chris bends forward and says something in the girl's ear that Toby can't hear, and then he's leaning back on the desk, hands behind his head, smirking at Toby. A few minutes later, Chris's head falls back, his whole body tightens, and then he's coming with a final thrust and a hoarse shout.

The room feels hot and cramped to Toby. His skin tingles and he's having a difficult time staying in the chair, when what he really wants to do is push the girl away and touch Chris, taste him, clean him and then kiss him. There's a weight on his lap and Toby opens his eyes. The girl rises to her knees to straddle him, then leans forward and kisses him, open-mouthed. He knows she hasn't come yet by the way her body trembles when he touches her breasts, and then his brain registers the fact that she's got Chris's jizz in her mouth and she just gave it to him. His groan is loud and long; he squeezes the nipple in his fingers sharply and the girl answers with her own moan. She rubs against him, on his thigh, along the ridge of his zipper. His tongue pushes into her mouth again, wanting more of Chris's taste, and then she arches back, and Toby feels a hand on his dick. Looking down, he sees one of Chris's hands burrowed in his fly and the other one between the girl's legs, and further down, he can see Chris's cock, still glistening and wet. Toby bucks up off the chair and comes, pulsing in his jeans. It feels like the most prolonged orgasm ever, and he doesn't even notice when the girl leaves the room.

Kneeling between Toby's thighs, Chris leers at him. "Surprise."

They laugh, and then Chris hauls Toby to his feet.

"You feelin' okay, Toby?" He asks.

"Mmmm... yesssss..." Toby murmurs. "What did you...? I mean what kind of... um..." He reaches out for Chris. All he wants to do is touch all of that gleaming muscle, run his tongue along Chris's skin and make him shake with pleasure.

Evading Toby's grasping hands, Chris laughs again. "Meet me in an hour outside, by the bus." It's not really a question, but it's not an order, either. Toby nods agreeably, his attention consumed with finding his shirt. When he looks up in triumph, t-shirt snagged from the floor, he's alone. Looking one way and then the other, Toby strips off his pants and briefs, and then puts his jeans back on. He wads up the underwear and throws them into the wastebasket, and leaves the light on when he leaves.


Originally, Toby thought roadies were responsible for lugging equipment around - they were, but they did way more - they were in charge of nearly every detail of each show apart from getting on-stage and performing with the musicians. All five of them could play nearly all of the instruments, and both Hoyt and Keller had rich singing voices. They all knew how to run the lights and the sound; initially, Toby felt uneasy, like he'd butted in on their job, but the others assured him that they would rather be in the crowd or backstage during a show.

Toby watched from the elevated sound booth as Keller finished making final adjustments on the band's equipment. Chris was sweating under the hot lights; his t-shirt clung to his chest and muscled arms. It looked as though Jaz and Chris were fooling around, singing lines of an Allman Brothers tune back and forth. But Toby needed the time to double- and triple-check the various mixing levels and light patterns, and when he was satisfied, he waved down at the pair. Chris returned the gesture, and the two men disappeared into the wings.

Toby sighed. It had been four weeks since that first night when he kissed Chris until their lips were swollen, and nearly two since Chris's surprise. And since then, they had barely been alone together. All those weeks filled with suggestive smiles, an arm draped over his shoulder, a warm breath teasing his ear.

Now, Toby understood why the whole gang looked rough - the labor was taking its toll on him, too. He had a hard time adjusting to the hours; he chilled with the band and crew after dinner, but after a show, he just crawled into his bunk on the bus and crashed. Still, he was beginning to evolve into a nocturnal creature, and the adrenaline that permeated the air on the days of shows was catching - it fed his excitement until he felt buoyed by it. It was obvious that the crew lived for music: this was their heaven - music and work.


When Chris shows up at the beginning of the first set one night, Toby's surprised. He's seen the man working the groups of girls - and guys - that cluster around the roadies, trying to finagle backstage passes or a trip to the dressing rooms. Hell, he's been part of one of those trips. It's obvious that Keller has his choice of groupies, and Toby's mildly interested to realize that this doesn't freak him out. The flavor of the night gets Chris for a few hours, while Toby lives with him, shares meals, talks about music and life, and travels with him. Nightly Special is three or four hundred miles away the next morning, and it's Toby that Chris smiles at from across the aisle.

"Thought I'd check out how the Boy Wonder's doing," he drawls in a voice that skitters a hot trail down the back of Toby's neck.

Toby blushes. The band has been totally complimentary since he started running the lights - more effusive than he ever thought. He figures one of them would occasionally say something like `Nice job, man', but instead they all want to discuss techniques and new ideas of how the stage should look. Toby is thrilled to oblige.

"Don't mind me," Chris says in a smoky voice.

Taking off his headphones, Toby glances back over his shoulder at Chris, who's leaning on the doorframe. Chris runs his hands down the front of his body and hooks his thumbs in his belt loops. His pupils are dilated.

Toby grins. "I never do."

Blink-quick, Chris smiles toothily, shark like. The desire in his eyes flares its way onto Toby's skin, and he flushes in response.

"I just like to watch." A challenging smirk accompanies his words.

Most of the show's lighting needs are in pre-programmed sequences, and through the hours, Toby only has to keep an eye on the board to make sure everything runs smoothly. He can't give Chris his full attention, but he can carry on a conversation.

"Uh, I liked your floor show out there today," Toby says. Chris looks confused, so he clarifies. "When you were singing."

Chris laughs. "That's just fooling around," he states. "The real singer's up on stage right now." He moves closer and trails his fingers down Toby's spine.

He watches as Chris turns a knob on the soundboard, and the concert storms into the room with them. It's very loud, and Toby has to focus on listening to Chris's voice in the din. He's concentrating on the shape of Chris's mouth when Chris puts his hands on Toby's shoulders. He's caught off-guard as Keller pushes him around until he's facing the stage, holding on until he's steady.

"Yeah, he's not fucking around," Chris continues, pointing down to where Plant stands, his legs shuffling, holding the mic loosely in his left hand, clenching his other hand into a fist repeatedly. His shoulders quake with each lick from the guitar, his hips moving back and forth.

Chris lines his hips up and presses forward, his hard cock pushing against Toby's ass through two layers of denim. He laughs affectionately when Toby can't hold in a whimper. Toby sucks in several short breaths when Chris strokes his hands down his arms, his sides, and then goes straight for the button on his jeans.

Toby helps push both jeans and boxers down to his knees and Chris's calloused fingertips are sliding over the skin of his stomach when he remembers to lean forward to cue the fog machine. He has to stop to take a deep breath when this action causes its own reaction from Keller. Wisps of whitish-grey smoke curl their way onto the stage as Chris pushes one warm palm up under the back of Toby's t-shirt and grinds his hips forward again.

It's an odd feeling, being surrounded by fifteen or twenty thousand screaming fans and set above them, all at once. It's easy to think that they're cheering for him, for what he's feeling right now. Music fills the booth and the stage is the center of Toby's vision. The light pattern that he choreographed is flickering on and off, and it's amazing. Page brings a deeper, slower sound to the song, and the crowd quiets, listening. Toby's own body feels boneless and fluid as Chris rolls his hips one more time before pulling Toby upright.

"You ever hear them do this song like this?" Chris asks.

"Of course, lots of times." Toby's proud of how even his voice sounds.

"Then you know they're getting ready to whip everybody into a frenzy," Chris says intently, a promise of what Toby can expect. He licks Toby's neck.

He's holding Toby's dick with both hands, one hand pulling the skin taut, the other's index finger smoothing underneath from tip to root.

They rock forward slowly, their eyes trained on the stage. Plant paces, one hand gesturing, pointing out into the crowd, then relaxing; Bonham slows the tempo and the deep thrums from Jones' bass meld with chords from Page's guitar. Seconds later, Page whips out a violin bow and uses it on the strings of his instrument, producing otherworldly noises, like birds screeching. He bends over his guitar, evoking primal, electric sounds that ricochet around the arena and zing into Toby's chest.

Chris pushes Toby's t-shirt up his back, then runs both hands up to Toby's shoulders and down again repeatedly. The bold, heavy presence of Chris around him, Chris's touch, the constant pressure of him pressing forward - they're all comforting in a strange way, making Toby feel wanted, protected, desired. Then Chris grips down hard on his shoulders and pulls himself forward like he's sinking into Toby's ass and Toby thinks about turning the lights off and telling everyone to get the hell out, the show's over, he's got to go fuck Chris Keller.

Toby's not sure where to put his hands. From the way Chris is moving away and then thrusting up against his ass, he wants to touch his dick, but Chris's hands are already there, pulling, tugging, his thumb swirling in circles over the head. Toby gets caught up in their movement, his head bowed, chin resting on his chest, letting each wave of pleasure and music crash over him.

Chris watches Page playing guitar and shakes his head in wonder. Plant's standing off to one side, moving back and forth, and the spotlight is on the guitarist. Looking down, Chris smiles in satisfaction. Toby's entire body is relaxed, letting Chris guide him, going forward and back, making Chris's cock as hard as he ever remembers it.

"Who's fucking who, Tobe? Is he fucking the guitar or is it fucking him?" Chris punctuates with gentle thrusts against his backside, his fingers busy on Toby's cock.

A pause while Toby lifts his head and tries to reason out each scenario. "He's making love with the guitar," he replies, pleased to have found a loophole.

"I think the guitar is fucking the shit out of him," Chris says. He sounds intense and Toby wishes he could see Chris's face right now.

Keller brings one of his hands up in front of Toby's mouth. "Lick," he says gruffly.

Okay, Toby thinks, grabbing hold of Chris's wrist, and licking a fat stripe up the middle of Chris's hand. He tastes grease, sweat and skin, and then he's using his tongue to lave repeatedly over the palm, the heel of Chris's hand, the base of his thumb.

Chris rests his forehead on Toby's shoulder. His fingers cup Toby's chin, halting his activity. Toby's eyelids flutter, and then he sucks Chris's thumb into his mouth and swirls his tongue around it. Head rearing up suddenly, Chris bites through Toby's t-shirt and into the curve of his neck, causing Toby to grunt in pleasure. Making a regretful noise in his throat, Chris pulls his hand from Toby's face and then wraps his hand around Toby's dick.

"Shit, your tongue... that's freaky, man. Feels good," Chris says, smiling.

He strokes Toby now, slowly, and then speeding up when the drummer and bassist begin an increasingly faster tempo; just when everyone thinks they're going to rock out, everything slows down again, keeping the crowd poised on the brink.

Toby's skin feels too hot, too tight on his bones. It's not as if anyone can see him, but he knows he's exposed just the same, shirt pushed up, pants around his ankles, and held captive by the man who is currently torturing him with lust.

Chris's breath is humid on his neck. "Taking him to the edge again. Gonna fuck him so hard." Hips circling, he rubs against Toby's ass, and then cups one cheek with his hand, squeezing hard. Chris's dick is stiff and warm, pushing into the worn denim of his jeans, rubbing smoothly up and over the curve of Toby's ass.

With Page and Plant feeding off each other's energy, Bonham's drums and Jones' bass fade into background noise. The stage is a wash of green lights.

Toby finds that he can't form a word with more than one syllable, and settles for, "Aaahhhh..."

Plant starts to wail, his voice echoing around the stadium. Toby fumbles around on the board and hits another switch. There are reds and blues on the stage now, the combinations making all the drums look golden. Plant's mouth is open as his body undulates to the music. Toby mirrors him, squirming back against Chris's erection, pushing his dick into Chris's hand. He's panting breathlessly, gasps that sound loud to his ears.

Chris gives him nothing but slow and steady strokes now, drawing it out; Toby is more than ready, though he never wants the fierce pulsing pleasure to stop. One palm slides up Toby's chest to hold his throat, pressing his head back against Chris's shoulder. A hot whisper in his ear, "You hear it, right? You hear how the music is fucking every last one of us?"

A tiny nod from Toby evokes a throaty groan from Chris.

The band returns to a familiar riff, and the crowd starts cheering and screaming again. There are lyrics now, and Chris sings the words to Toby. "Push, push, push, push, push me down. So c'mon, c'mon, c'mon, c'monnnn... Hear what I say... I want to make love to you."

He rotates his wrist and touches the skin behind Toby's balls, and Toby's body jerks and tenses.

On the stage, Plant trades a succession of wailing notes with Page's guitar. Toby fumbles with a switch to move a design of red and orange lights around, barely succeeding as Chris keeps touching him, squeezing, stroking, and rocking his body against Toby's.

The same chord from the guitar couples with high-pitched howls from Plant, over and over.

"I want... want... Chris," he stammers. He reaches back, his fingers digging into Keller's ass and holding tight.

Each new chord after that pounds into Toby's ears, into his head, ramming through his body and propelling his hips forward into Chris's fist. During the climax of the song, Toby focuses on how good Chris's hands feel on his skin.

Chris murmurs, "That's right, you're almost there. Come on, c'mon, show me, show me." It's a plea and a command.

Blue, green and red lights flash on and off. One last, nearly pained shriek rises above the noise of the guitar and then dies off. Toby comes, and the crowd roars.


Afterwards, Toby found himself increasingly attuned to Keller, and he realized that Chris had been watching all along; Toby was never by himself when Schillinger was around, and suddenly he could feel Chris's gaze on him constantly, even when he was doing something mundane like re-wiring a board or brushing his teeth.

"So you're really going to be a lawyer?" Chris asked Toby as they worked to dismantle the mic stands after their final show in London.

Toby's hands stilled on the equipment and his brow wrinkled. He shook his head. "Yeah, I guess so," he said.

"Wow, Counselor!" Chris smiled. "Don't worry; the jury won't convict anyone when you flash that hang-dog look."

"I'll probably never set foot inside a courtroom," Toby mumbled. He looked up at Chris. "Dad's firm specializes in accountancy law, so it'll be more like reasonable foreseeability and -" He broke off as Chris pretended to fall asleep. "Hah, hah."

"Really? You're gonna play with numbers and long words for the rest of your life?" There isn't any censure in Chris's voice, but Toby feels it just the same.

"This is like talking to my father, only he's the one saying `work with grungy lowlifes and make a pittance'," Toby said.

Chris bristled at Toby's words, but he stayed silent.

Toby stared at him. "Look, I don't know what I'm going to do yet, and honestly, I don't really want to talk about it! This is my tour, and my summer, and I'm fine with pretending it's never gonna end," he finished in a rush.

"Your summer? You don't want to talk about it? You think this `tour' ends when you go home, To-bi-as?" Chris sneered. He dropped a coil of cords onto the stage, and then took a heavy step toward Toby, his face mean.

Shocked, Toby's mouth opened and his eyes widened. He took a step back when Chris edged closer, still speaking, his voice infused with anger.

"This is all a game for you, rich boy? Just a kid on a little trip over to where the wild things are, living for you, ignorin' every-fuckin'-body? No regard for what anyone else says or thinks; it's always gotta be all about you?" Chris poked Toby's chest hard with his finger. There was an emotion shining in Chris's eyes that Toby had never seen there before.

They'd kept walking while Chris raged, and Toby panted out a breath when he backed into something heavy and soft. Chris reached out with one hand and Toby nearly reared his head back, mind swimming, frightened by the furious fire in Chris's eyes.

Chris shoved at the curtain and pushed Toby backstage, his eyes glinting in the half-light when the flap closed behind them. He raised his right hand and slapped Toby across the face.

Toby's head whipped to the side and he touched his fingers to his cheek. He turned his head and looked at Chris, and then punched him as hard as he could. Chris stumbled backward; he shook his head, looked directly at Toby and grinned savagely.

Uh oh, Toby had time to think and then Chris was on him, pulling his arms behind his back and manhandling him into the shadowy depths of the stage. Toby fought as best he could, pushing against Chris's grip and trying to kick out. "Get your fucking! Hands! Off!" he yelled.

Chris laughed at him. "Whassa matter, Toby," he slurred.


Toby sits down when the backs of his legs hit the seat of a metal chair. Chris climbs onto him and settles hard in his lap, and Toby draws in a sharp breath when he feels Chris's erection pushing against him.

"You think time freezes just because we want it to, Toby?" Chris whispers mockingly in his ear. "Okay, I choose now, with you as my bitch."

His mouth set in a tight line, Toby bucks his hips up, trying to dislodge Keller. Their dicks rub together through their pants and Toby blushes when he can't hold back a tiny groan. His mind races and he's still freaking out, trying to figure out why Chris is angry, but his body responds to Chris's touch, his weight, the feel of him on Toby's lap.

Chris chuckles, his lips brushing Toby's ear. "You're making me so hot right now," he says huskily. "You have any idea what you do to me."

It's not a question, and Toby feels the anger drain out of Chris. "Chris, I never thought that; I never meant that," he says quickly.

"Why don't we just let time march on, `cause it's going to whether we like it or not," Chris continues as though he doesn't hear Toby. His hands tighten on Toby's arms when Toby tries to move them; he wraps Toby's fingers around the bottom rung of the chair's back, and then squeezes Toby's fists. "Stay," he says firmly. Cupping the back of Toby's head, Chris grabs at his hair, tilting his head back and moving to look down at him. Chris's eyes are wild, but when he speaks, his voice is soft. "You think you're the only one who wants this summer to last forever?"

His words pierce Toby's muddled thoughts, and Toby understands exactly where Chris's rage comes from.

"Chris, I called it `my' summer because I get to spend it with here, with you, and not doing what my dad wants. I'm sorry." Toby says. He wants to wrap his arms around Chris and hug him, but he keeps a solid grip on the cool metal bar instead. "I thought it was obvious, but I never should've assumed you knew that. I'm not - I never thought what Dad thought. Yeah, it's different, but it's what I want to do, and it's because of you that I don't want to think about what happens next. Okay?"

Silently, Chris studies the buttons on Toby's shirt.

Toby thumps his foot on the stage, and Chris looks up. "And I'm not a kid, all right? I'm twenty-two," he says defiantly, the corners of his mouth quirking up.

Chris runs the backs of his fingers down Toby's face from forehead to chin and rest there for a moment, and then he takes a deep breath and attacks Toby's mouth. It's a frantic, needy kiss and Chris grinds down on Toby's lap, shoving his tongue into Toby's mouth. Toby takes the onslaught, his tongue teasing Keller, licking and sucking. Their mouths make slick noises and Toby thinks that it's the most passionate, never-ending kiss of his life.

Cold, slippery fingers touch Toby's stomach, and he wriggles in the chair, breaking away from the kiss and sitting up in surprise. He looks down to see Chris's fingers moving busily, unzipping his jeans and pushing his briefs down, then wrapping his fingers around Toby's hard cock. Toby grunts, and Chris tilts his forehead to touch Toby's; Toby reaches out and starts to unbutton Chris's jeans, and then everything stops.

Chris stills his hands, his body tense. Toby freezes in place and Chris waits silently a beat, then he says quietly, "No. No, baby. Not this time."

Toby's arms fall to his sides. He remembers Chris's whisper, "Stay", and swallows hard, returning his hands to the back of the chair. A stranger might think Chris only wants to be in control, but Toby knows he's being punished, too, for hurting Chris's feelings.

Chris strokes Toby's dick a few more times, and then he stands up and takes a rubber out of his pocket. He rips it open with his teeth and spits the corner out, then rolls it down onto Toby's dick.

"Fuuccckk," Toby manages, groaning loudly when he realizes he's going to fuck Chris.

"Hell yeah," Chris says, stripping off his t-shirt. "You ain't never going to forget this, Toby." He lets the shirt drop to the floor, and stretches his arms up over his head. Toby's mouth waters. His eyes are riveted on Chris's muscles bunching when he moves.

"Holy shit," Toby says after Chris kicks off his boots, jeans and briefs. "You're... you're unreal." He's seen Chris in the nude before, but not like this, not knowing so clearly how Chris feels about him. The knowledge is intense, and Toby's dick hardens even more.

Legs apart, hands behind his back, abs flexing and a grin sweeping across his face, Chris basks in the compliment. He moves to stand above Toby, straddling his thighs.

Toby's hands open and close reflexively on the rung when the wet head of Chris's cock brushes across his mouth. They groan in tandem when Toby licks his glistening lips, tasting, wanting more. The veins in his forearms stand out as he struggles not to let go of the chair and grab hold of Chris's hips.

"Yeahhh..." Chris breathes out, and then one of his hands is on Toby's shoulder and the other's on Toby's cock. He arches back, his thigh muscles tense as he lowers himself, the head of Toby's dick pushing into his ass.

The desire to scratch at Chris's back, to run his hands over Chris's torso is so strong that Toby thinks he might snap the metal bar with his bare hands. A feeling of intensely hot heat rushes over him, and then he cries out as Chris sits on him, sinking down onto Toby's cock, their balls pressing together, Chris's breath on his face. Toby trembles and tries not to come.

His movements smooth, Chris grinds down onto Toby's dick and then slides back up, fingers tugging at one hard, pebbled nipple, one hand curving around his neck. Chris sucks on Toby's earlobe and pinches at Toby's nipple, and when Toby pushes his hips up off the chair, Chris whispers, "Don't forget me."

Toby's eyes roll back into his head and he loses it, forgets where he is, who's around and everything else that used to matter to him. All he knows is Chris. His hands come down heavy on Chris's thighs; he holds tight while he repositions his legs and thrusts wildly into Chris's ass. Toby pounds into Chris as best he can from the angle and anchors his hands at Chris's hips, pulling him down quickly and roughly.

Chris makes a noise that Toby's never heard before, some kind of growling shout, and then he grips the back of the chair for more leverage. He leans forward, changing the angle and moaning in unrestrained pleasure. Toby licks at every bit of Chris's skin that his tongue can reach. A trickle of sweat runs down Toby's temple and his body feels like it's burning up. Toby's sure he's going to come any second. He fights against the feeling, wanting it to last. Chris clenches his ass around Toby as pushes down again; Toby's body jerks upward and then he's coming, unable to stop, awash in bliss. He shudders, Chris's body shakes, and then Chris kisses him fiercely, possessively, and Toby yells words into Chris's mouth that are swallowed up in the sound of Chris's heart beating against his chest.


The next weeks rushed past in a blur of sex and music, and Chris was right - time didn't slow down, no matter how hard Toby wished it. Suddenly, it was the middle of August, and they were all exhausted and sick of touring. It was a long journey back to the United States. Toby discovered how flexible Keller was under a blanket, and in the plane's tiny bathroom, and again in the limo on the way to the hotel, one of his hands down the back of Toby's jeans, his face blank but for mischievous eyes while Toby tried to control his breathing.


On Toby's last night, he spends most of it with the band and the crew, drinking and listening to stories. O'Reily gives him tickets and a backstage pass for the next show, but it's over Labor Day weekend, and Toby's sure his parents will insist he stay at the lake house. He thanks everyone anyway, and is rendered speechless when Page gives him a signed album: it's not just signatures, but little messages, almost like a yearbook, from everyone, even Schillinger. The party's still going strong when Chris touches Toby's hair and they leave the room together without saying any goodbyes.

Toby stuffs the last of his belongings into his suitcase. Chris lounges on the bed, watching Toby run his hands through his hair, put his hands on his hips, and then the vein in the center of Toby's forehead surfaces while he thinks. Finally, Toby joins him on the bed. They sit in silence for a few minutes, studying one another. Chris breaks the unwanted tension by pulling a fat joint out of his pocket, and looks at Toby. "Teach me?" he asks, his eyes gleaming with amusement.

Toby tackles Chris and they roll around on the bed, gasping, an edge of sadness in their combined laughter. Toby hooks his leg around Chris's waist and pulls their bodies together. "What is it you want to learn? You already know too much." He grins.

Adjusting his weight, Chris pushes with his feet and flops them both onto their sides. He can't take his eyes off Toby, and he smoothes Toby's hair back from his face. They smoke the joint in near silence, inhaling each other's second-hand smoke and when it's gone, Toby's consumed by a singular thought - he wants Chris to fuck him. Now. Everything about Chris turns him on, makes him hot and horny; he's never felt anything like it before, not with anyone else, and as long as he's still here, touching Chris and being touched in return is all he wants.

Their kisses are slow at first, their mouths barely brushing, hands sliding slowly across skin. It doesn't take long before they're both panting, the fire inside building, and then it's a whirlwind as they hurry to disrobe, the spare seconds apart feeling like hours before they crush together again. Chris enters him slow and easy, and Toby arches his body up, throwing his head back against the pillows. Leaning down, Chris licks Toby's neck from pulse point to chin, stubble rasping across Toby's sensitive skin. It's the closest to lovemaking that they've ever gotten, and Toby trembles from the intense desire on Chris's face. He wants to stay like this forever, and his thoughts echo back to him as Chris whispers tenderly into his ear.


It's too soon when the front desk calls up to their room. Toby shoulders his backpack and hefts up his suitcase. Chris follows him downstairs and out the door to where the cab waits with the trunk open. After stowing his stuff and giving the address to the driver, Toby turns back to Chris, unsure what to say or do.

Stepping forward, Chris wraps his arms around Toby and pulls him close, his chin tucked into the curve of Toby's neck. Throwing his arms around Chris, Toby presses as close as he can and kisses Chris's cheek lightly. Neither of them can find words, and a honk from the taxi interrupts their embrace. Chris grimaces as they pull apart, and then he kisses Toby quickly on the lips, pushing him into the backseat of the cab and closing the door.

Twisting around, Toby rests his chin on the back of the seat, his eyes trained on Chris standing under the hotel awning. As the cab pulls into traffic, Toby raises his hand to wave, and then thinks better of it, and instead sticks out his thumb, index finger and pinky, the middle fingers curled down on his palm. A beautiful smile breaks across Chris's face and he raises one arm high into the air and returns the gesture, watching Toby's face, then the window, and then the car until it's gone from sight.




Tiny End Disclaimer: For this story, there is some stuff that I researched, and some stuff that I made up. Additionally, I may have changed dates, times, and set lists. So don't take any of it too seriously. I chose to forgo the fact-checker. *g*

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