katydidmischief: (pine&quinto)
[personal profile] katydidmischief posting in [community profile] cjs_own
disclaimer. Not mine and none of the events described here in have any basis in reality.
title. come to ny
rating. PG
pairing. Zach/Chris, established.
summary. It starts with a text message[.]
warnings. Inspired by those pictures.

come to ny

It starts with a text message: film festival. tribeca. come to ny.

;;

Chris isn't used to life without Zach, even a month after he's left. Oh, he knows Zach will return – he didn't bring Noah and Harold to New York and they're his furry children, after all – but he hates that there's only a tentative date (the one built around if Heroes doesn't get canceled) for Zach's return. He hates that he can't call Zach up at random and meet him at LAMILL, that he doesn't get woken up at six am by Zach in his jogging clothes, that he can't find pictures of Zach heading to their trainer's for yoga on the internet... that he has no Zach warming his bed.

I can't go to NY right now – my agent would have kittens from the pap pictures.

come to ny. no paps, just fans with cameras.

Temptation...

chris. come. to. ny.

He sighs at the last message, sitting in his kitchen. Chris is careful to not let his mind point out that this where he used to sit and pet Noah while Zach made their breakfast, but the thought that his home is too empty shoots to the forefront; he looks away from the tiny screen, then back again.

chris. come. to. ny.

Another sigh, indecision filled in it.

;;

He drives to LAX long after the sun's gone down.

Chris is dressed in all black, in Zach's black Prius, with his black sunglasses on, and his black luggage in the backseat. He contemplates, too, (amid hoping and praying no paps see him either on his journey or at his destination), turning off the headlights, but he thinks he remembers Zach telling him something about a sensor and automatic lights.

LAX is brightly lit at this time of night, though, so it really doesn't matter – when he gets there – whether the lights are on or off or what color he's wearing.

He parks a little crookedly in the long-term lot and scratches the car next to him with the wheel of his duffel bag; the keys, thank god, can't get locked in the car because of the remote.

Inside, the place is pretty dead, only one or two of the desk agents milling around where he'd normally see a dozen or more and Chris arbitrarily picks JetBlue from the departures board – it was either them or United Airlines, but JetBlue's got televisions and radio and he hopes that'll keep him from having a panic attack.

The gate agent smirks at him, flirts a little; if his anxiety wasn't getting worse, he might have flirted back. Instead, he politely buys his ticket and races off, wondering he can get through security in the thirty-three minutes he's got before the plane leaves. He feels a moment of doubt.

In his mind, the words flash again: chris. come. to. ny.

He sucks in a breath, steeling himself as he approaches the checkpoint.

;;

The first rays of sunlight are peeking over the horizon when Chris lands. He's grateful that they've arrived, too – the little boy two rows back had cried the entire flight and the woman in the seats across the aisle had stared at him for an uncomfortable amount of time; his elation is cut short when he realizes that he, in his impulsive, paranoid frenzy to leave LA, had forgotten to arrange transportation of any kind. He also does not know Zach's new address off the top of his head.

Fuck.

He trudges out of the arrivals gate, shoving his duffel and his messenger bag into a chair a minute later and pulls out his phone.

It powers up to a display that reads 18 New Text Messages.

"Eighteen messages? What the hell?" he mutters, flicking through the menus to find six of the messages are from his agent, two are from Kristen, three are from John; six of those that are left are a mixture of his father, mother, sister.

There is only one from Zach: meet u on the airtrain.

When precisely did you become psychic? he texts back.

not psychic. i just know u.

;;

Chris sleeps for twelve hours straight, the jet lag and the anxiety of the previous day having taken their toll. It breaks Zach's heart a little, but he hopes the next few days will give him the opening he needs to ask the question that's been burning in his mind.

;;

Zach takes him to Central Park first, pushing him to recline on the grass and enjoy the sun.

It's a gorgeous day out and people are crowding the open areas with blankets and frisbees and books; a few fans come by to say hello, a photographer takes their pictures and sends them to twitter. It is nothing like life in LA – there aren't a herd of paps closing in on them and no one bats an eyelash when Zach pulls Chris down, making him lay down on the grass with his head in Zach's lap.

"Film festival tonight and then I'll take you on the subway tour," Zach tells him, sliding his fingers through Chris' hair.

Sleepily Chris asks, "There's a subway tour?"

"It's not so much a tour as... riding one of the trains from one end to the other." Zach leans back, reaching for his cellphone with one hand; he knows Chris has always wanted to ride the subway – something he's never done, not even when they'd come for the Star Trek premiere.

"Okay." Chris yawns, the tension he carries whenever he's awake bleeding out of him. It feels good to be in the sunlight, feels even better to be with Zach like this.

Zach continues to play with Chris' hair with his free hand. "Neal and Corey demand dinner with us at some point."

"Um hum."

"And I'm taking you to a play on Broadway."

Chris hears the tiny note of desperation in Zach's voice, knows the obsessive making of plans is his way of trying to get every minute he can before Chris utters a word about going back to LA. Pine realizes, then, that as much as he's missed Zach and as happy as Zach is in New York (a massive change from the brooding he'd been doing back home in Cali over the last few months), he has missed Chris.

;;

It takes three days for Chris to finally relax; he starts to smile again (real smiles, not the ones he gives to the cameras) and he starts enjoying himself during the next few days. He feels as he did the night he'd gone clubbing and Zach had started texting him dirty messages as they left – elated, happy. Chris doesn't notice when he reaches out for Zach's hand or pushes his knee into Zach's on the subway, and when he does, he doesn't stop doing it since there are no photographers around to snap shots of them.

New York doesn't care that he's Chris Pine, co-star of Star Trek and the fodder of a million fans dreams. It's glorious.

Still, he knows in the back of his mind that soon he will have to return home to face the wrath of his agent (who's been texting him everyday with messages like I will get you for this. and You're talking to Jackie when you get back about why warning your PR people is a good idea before running off.) He knows that he'll have to go home to get ready for his next picture.

"What's T-K-T-S?" Chris asks when that thought tries to force itself to the forefront of his mind.

They're in Times Square, Chris a pace ahead Zach with his arm slung back; they're holding hands again and still, no one takes a picture. Chris almost feels bad for the fangirls – they'd kill for a picture confirming this particular worst kept secret.

Zach laughs. "Sound it out."

Chris does, then proceeds to smirk. "Ah," he says, "Tickets for what?"

"What do you think? We're in Times Square near Broadway..."

There's a momentary pause as Chris bounces on his feet in excitement. Zach had promised him a show (the kind with a stage and actors, not the kind that takes place in their bedroom... well, not only that kind) and so far, Chris had not been taken to the Theater. He thinks, idly, if that is because it's the only thing left for them to do before Chris goes back and Zach's trying to prolong his visit or if it's because Zach knows Chris has seen nearly all of the current productions back in LA.

"Think there are some tickets left for Phantom of the Opera?"

Zach's smile is half amused and half sad – yep, definitely trying to prolong.

Chris is kind of glad when they get to the giant lit board to see the show is sold out for the day.

;;

"Stay," Zach whispers.

It'd started to drizzle as the afternoon had worn on, but with the reality now back in both their minds that Chris would definitely be leaving this week, Zach hadn't been in a rush to leave Times Square. Instead, they'd slowly, reluctantly made their way to the subway and from there, to Zach's apartment. Soaked through by the time they got there, they'd shared a shower and then crawled into bed where they were now, curled up together on top of the blankets.

Chris looks at him. "I have to go."

"No, you don't. Stay in New York with me."

"Zach, it snows here."

"It also rains. Sometimes it hails."

Chris cracks a small grin at his boyfriend's perfect deadpan retort. God, this is why he didn't want to come: he knew Zach would ask him to stay and he knew he would want to. It's why, in spare moments, Chris has been trying to think of all the reasons he has to go.

"My job is there. Your job is there."

"You didn't sign for that movie yet," Zach points out, "and it's not one you wanted to do anyway. And my job? Heroes probably isn't getting renewed – we all knew it."

Chris feels the fight gearing up; Zach's got his teeth into this and he's not going to let up until he's said his peace, so Chris cuts him off for a second with a chaste kiss, rolls them around until he's resting mostly on top of Zach, and once comfortable, tells him, "Go on."

Permission received, Zach continues. "You hate LA. You scowl at the paps and you rant about the lack of privacy. You hate that your idiot agent thinks it makes you more attractive if you 'date' girls. You hate it there, Chris, and frankly, you've been a dick to a lot of people because you're miserable."

"And New York makes that better, because..."

Zach brushes a hand through his own hair. "It's nothing like LA. You saw it yourself – we can be us here. We can't be brazen about it, but the last couple of days..." he pauses, trying to maintain control; Zach wants to shake Chris until he realizes that, damnit, in LA, Chris is depressed and here, he's been himself again. But Zach can't, so he swallows and tries to appeal to Chris as best he can, "You said you wanted to do some theater before you lost your mind doing location sets and promo pictures. This is the best place to do that."

Chris sighs and settles his head into the crook of Zach's neck.

;;

They see Phantom of the Opera the next day, a matinee show, and after, Zach takes Chris backstage to meet John (Chris is a hopeless fanboy for The Phantom, and the men who play him apparently).

"Are you staying in town for a while?" John asks when Chris gets a hold of himself and manages to carry on a coherent conversation.

"Unfortunately, no." Chris shakes his head. "I wish I were, though."

John's expression tinges in disappointment. "Oh," he says, "I was hoping you were sticking around for a while. Our Raoul is headed to London for an engagement and we've – me, Marni, and Jen – been campaigning Zach to ask you."

Chris, for a few seconds, wonders if Zach set this up to screw with him (it is something he'd do); Zach, however, is not looking at him with an expression of barely bridled amusement as he usually does when fucking around with Chris, but with something else entirely.

He thinks it's anticipation.

;;

It starts with that simple text message and it's ballooned into something bigger. Chris makes it to the day of the flight before he's a ball of paranoid anxiety once again and it smacks him in the ass, not on the face, when he, at last, ascertains what Zach's been trying to teach him these past two weeks.

Of course that swift and unexpected self-discovery happens when he's sitting beside his gate in the JetBlue terminal of JFK International, separated from Zach.

He doesn't want to call – it'll just set Zach off again – but he can't wait until he lands in LAX to talk to the man, so he settles for a text.

I hope there's a pet policy that allows Noah and Harold or else we're going shopping for a new place when I get back.

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