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Title: Accidental Shirt Stealer
Author: [livejournal.com profile] calidearie
Rating: NC-17
Warnings: sexual situations, Christopher pining, voyeur!chris, Zachary/OMC, poor attempt at humor, fluff, fluff, fluff
POV: Chris
Summary: Chris didn't mean to fall in love. But now that he is in love, what's a romantic to do?
Disclaimer: Not real. No profit has been gained from this. I only own the OC characters, anyone who is not Zach or Chris.
Beta: [livejournal.com profile] leandralocke (Special note to Sandra: Thank you for your time, advice, and super awesome editing skills. I'm in awe of your ability to narrow in on the details. Your input made all the difference!)
Author Notes: Sequel to Deserving. Thank you for all the kind reviews and support to continue. All the lovely comments fed the muse and now there is more!
ETA: Sorry it had taken me so long to get this posted. I had it written weeks ago. However, due to real life issues (finals, jury duty, etc.) there had been an obvious delay. With that said, I also have GOOD news! The lovely [livejournal.com profile] leandralocke agreed to beta the fic. So, if you are new to the story or wish to reread it, you'll find that it has been newly edited!


Part 2

Chris had gone to bed early, hoping to get some extra hours of sleep so he could feel refreshed in the morning. He had been wrong, so very wrong. He felt like he had hardly closed his eyes when his alarm clock went off.

His thoughts had kept him up the whole night. He had been thinking about what he should wear, even if he had already planned it out before he got into bed. He had been thinking about what he should say, or what he should ask. He had been thinking about Amanda and whether she would like him. He had been thinking about Julie, and what she had whispered into Zach’s ear. He had already asked Zach what she had told him, but, of course, he wouldn’t even consider telling him what her secret was.

“Fuck it.” Chris threw his pillow in the general direction of his dresser. And just as he heard something get knocked over, his hand brushed over something green. Chris looked at it, confused as to what it was, and then it dawned on him: Zach’s shirt. Chris turned it over in his hands and sat up so that he was leaning on the headboard. He fingered the simple words “CLUB SANDWICHES NOT SEALS.” An image of him wearing the shirt with another Zach – Zachary Levi, was it? - in an identical shirt made his empty stomach churn. Chris bit his lip, angry at himself. He shouldn’t be jealous; there was nothing between the two. What they had was a bromance, nothing more.

Chris thought about his own relationship with Zach; many people had referred to what they shared as a bromance. Zach had even called it that as well. Chris never liked that the term was associated with their relationship as it didn’t quite fit in his mind. Zach was a friend, his best friend. He felt like he could go to Zach for anything, and he felt like he could open up to him without being judged. He felt more like himself whenever Zach was around. However, he never thought of Zach as a brother.

Chris closed his eyes and brought the shirt up to his face. It felt smooth and familiar. Of course, it would feel familiar as it was cotton, like a hundred of his own shirts, but this was a different kind of familiar. Familiar in the sense that he could remember with perfect clarity the last time he saw him wear it.

They were rooming together at a hotel he couldn’t remember the name of, but the room number had been ‘269.’ He remembered because he had made a lame joke about it, and Zach had laughed anyway, and it hadn't been the ‘I’m just humoring you’ kind of laugh but a full on laugh that called for gasping for air and grabbing your stomach because it just hurt too much. Chris remembered how Zach had taken off his jacket while in hysterics, and how his hand had gotten caught because the cufflink had gotten stuck in a buttonhole, and how he had been laughing as well, in such a way that actual tears had threatened to fall. He had been trying to help Zach but only managed to make it worse. Zach had laughed even harder. When they had finally gotten his hand free, their laughter had subsided, and the room fell silent.

Chris remembered how their eyes had met, and how Zach’s hand had moved to loosen his tie. Chris had felt like he wanted to help with that too, but he had only managed to avert his eyes and turn away. He remembered wondering why it had been so hot in the room and saying as much to Zach.

Zach had already divested himself of his dress shirt by the time he had been working the air conditioner settings.

He remembered how he had tried to look everywhere and anywhere that hadn't been on Zach in his black slacks and white wife beater that really had been acting as a second skin. Chris recalled how his pants had tightened and quickly called for first shower.

When Chris had gotten out of the shower, he found that Zach had fallen asleep, waiting for him and wearing said green shirt. He remembered how he had tried to wake him so that he could have his turn in the bathroom, but Zach had merely mumbled that he was too tired. Chris remembered giving up and yawning and dropping his head over Zach’s shoulder. He remembered feeling good and comfortable and safe as he had fallen asleep.

Chris swallowed as he opened his eyes, bringing himself back to the present. He looked down at the shirt. And wondered if he had already been in love with Zach way back then.

A beeping noise from his cell took him away from his thoughts.

‘chris, i’m on my way. you better be ready by the time i’m there.’

“Shit,” Chris muttered as he took note of the time, 8:16 am. He had been day dreaming for the past half hour.

Chris jumped out of bed and ran to the shower as he typed his reply. ‘k.’

He didn’t bother looking at his phone when he heard the beeping noise while brushing his teeth. He raced through his shower, knowing that they were supposed to be meeting Amanda at the restaurant at 9 am for breakfast. Zach was supposed to pick him up at 8:30 am, and, by the time he was pulling on his boxer briefs, he estimated the time to be around 8:23 am. Zach was normally right on time or running about two minutes early or two minutes late, depending on the event. Chris decided that this would call to be a two minutes early kind of event. He guessed that he had just enough time to throw on his clothes and take a breath or two before Zach showed up.

He was only one leg into a pant hole by the time the doorbell rang. He glanced at the clock: 8:29 am. “Shit. Shit!” His estimation was wrong. But he allowed himself a small pat on the back at having guessed Zach’s timing. “Come in!” he called out.

“Chris?”

“Here! Five minutes, I swear.” Chris heard Zach’s deep chuckle and rolled his eyes. He grabbed his shirt and a pair of socks before making his way to the living room. He found Zach heading towards the kitchen. Zach was dressed in his skinny jeans, colorful high-top sneakers and another worn shirt that could have once been blue, but now a light gray or purple shirt. Zach must have sensed him there because he turned around.

Their eyes met from across the room. Chris’ chest tightened, but there were no butterflies or birds. There was just a soothing warmth that enveloped him from head to toe.

“Well, you look pretty as always, but I don’t think we’d all appreciate the ooglers while we eat breakfast. Also, keep in mind there will be an innocent child in our company.”

Chris smiled at the compliment that Zach freely gave but frowned in confusion at what Zach was talking about when he had glanced down and saw that he had yet to put on his shirt.

He heard a deep chuckle from across the room.

“You want another five minutes?” Zach asked, his eyes smiling.

“No, I’m ready.” Chris tried to pull on his shirt quickly and, he hoped, gracefully. However, of course, that plan couldn’t have gone more wrong. He wound up putting his hand through the neck hole and his head, of course, got nowhere to go when his other hand found a sleeve hole. “Don’t fucking laugh, Quinto.” He said as he pulled his hand out and tried to move the shirt around.

“I’m not laughing at you, I swear,” Zach said between chuckles of laughter.

As his face was still covered by the material of his shirt, he felt, rather than saw, Zach try to help him. Fingers brushed his shoulder and his arm was being shifted until Zach guided his unseeing hand through a hole. He felt ridiculous, but at the same time it felt right: like everything was only now starting to make sense. Just as his head slipped through the neck hole, he saw Zach smiling at him, his eyes crinkling in that way they did. “You were laughing.”

“I told you, I wasn’t laughing at you.”

Chris raised an eyebrow.

Zach lifted an eyebrow, mirroring his own. “Okay, I was laughing, but not for the reason you were thinking.”

“Oh?”

“Yeah, oh.” Zach said, and then in a deeper voice that was almost whispered: “Just thought you looked adorable.”

"Oh."

ccc

Thanks to Zach’s driving skills they were only seven minutes late.

TBC
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