The next day, at precisely 3:04 PM, Kieran's phone rang. There was the sound of the audience in the background.

Kieran yawned as he answered. "Nnn.... hello?"

It wasn't Carson Daly, that was for damn sure. "Hey, is this Kieran?"

"...yeah, this is Kieran." He blinked. Was that an audience in the background? Oh god... it was 3:00. That meant...

"Good.. This is Tristan Mitchell from Suburban Midnight. How are you doing?" He laughed. "It sounds like I woke you up."

A squeak was all he could get out. 'Oh god... I didn't know -he- would be calling! Ohmygodohmygodohmygod...' "I... sleepy..."

"Are you awake enough to answer some questions for me?"

"...um.. yeah." God, he sounded like an idiot.

"Great. " He smiled warmly. Half the girls in the audience melted. Kieran turned the tv on and flipped it to MTV. He nearly melted too. "Question number one: When's my birthday?"

"Um.. April 25th."

"Right." He tossed the card away. Two girls shoved the girl in front of them down to get it. "Question Number Two: What's my cat's name?"

"Correct. One more, and you're gonna go skiing with me."

"YAY!" Kieran clapped a hand over his mouth and cleared his throat. "I mean... that's great."

Tristan laughed and tossed away his second card. "Glad you're excited too. Alright, here it is: I mentioned my favorite TV shows in a magazine a couple weeks back. Name two of them."

"Um... Survivor... and.... Queer Eye for the Straight Guy."

"Congratulations, Kieran. I hope you like to ski."

"I.. I won?"

"You won."

"Oh my god..."

"We'll be in touch to let you know about the specifics, like when we leave, okay?"

"O... okay..."

"See you soon, Kieran." He hung up.

"..bye.." He hung up, and flopped into the couch. His hands were shaking.

After the interview, Tristan went into the hotel room, where the other members were watching it on TV. Ian's fiancée, Kate, patted the bed where she was sitting with Ian. Perry was contentedly snuggling with Jake.

They'd been together a month now, but hadn't told anyone outside the group. Perry had just broken off a relationship with his girlfriend Amanda, and was glad to have done it. He kissed Jake's cheek. "It'll do us good to be apart. You'll get sick of me."

Kate was grinning from ear to ear. "Did you hear who won Ian's trip?" She asked, giggling.

"No, who?" Tristan climbed on the bed and lay his head in her lap.

"My grandmother." She played with Tristan's hair, looking up at Ian with a snicker.

Jake pouted. "But I don't -want- to be apart. I'd much rather go to the Rock and Roll hall of fame with you."

"We can always go some other time." He grinned and brushed Jake's bangs out of his face. "Aren't you a little excited?"

Ian scowled. "It isn't funny. I have to see her in a -swimsuit-."

This, of course, made Kate laugh even harder. Tristan snorted, trying not to laugh to show support for his bandmate.

"I.. I'm sure Kate's grandma will be awesome at deep sea diving."

"Oh, lick my ass, Tristan." Was the response he received.

"Can I, Kate?"

"Sure. Hop to it, boys." She kissed Ian on the cheek.

Jake smiled and kissed Perry. "Not really... but... you really think so?"

Perry looked over and rolled his eyes at the conversation. "You guys are like.. twelve years old sometimes."

"Pardon me, Mr. Maturity." Tristan looked up. "You still laugh at fart jokes."

"So do you." Offered Jake.

"Sometimes they're funny." Perry muttered, looking back to Jake. "Next break we have, we'll go there. I promise."

"Sometimes." Tristan agreed finally.

Jake nodded and leaned against Perry. "It's a promise."

Ian shot Kate a dirty look. Kate grinned up at him adorably. "-Why- did I agree to marry you again?"

"Hmmm.. Cause you knocked me up, and I threatened to tell the tabloids that you were both impotent and incontinent?" She giggled.

Tristan subtly scooched away from Ian at that comment, and Perry bit back a laugh.

Ian looked sheepish. "Oh.. right. That and you've got the cutest body I've ever seen."

"Cuter than Gram-Gram's?"

"Ugh... Katie, please don't remind me."

"Sorry, honey." She kissed him and closed her eyes. "If we have a boy, Ian, let's name him Tristan Perry Jacob Carrigan."

"Really?" Tristan's eyes got wide, and he looked touched.

"Mm. No." She grinned.

"Bitch."

"That's too many names anyway."

"When do you go to Colorado, Tristan?" Perry asked, nudging Jake so they could go back to their hotel room.

"I leave in two days, and.. Kieran gets there the next day."

Jake stood up and grinned. "Tristan and Kieran sitting in a tree..."

"Eat me, Jacob."

"You'd probably enjoy that too much."

Ian was turning green. Kate smacked him. "Stop that."

"What'd I do?!" Ian rubbed his cheek.

"You're being intolerant of my baby."

"Your baby?" Perry repeated.

"Me." Tristan laughed.

"So he can scooch away from us when we're talking about straight stuff, but I can't look a little wary when he gets all gay?"

"You looked like you were going to puke. Just like they do when you talk about sticking your tongue into my hot, wet--"

"Night, Katie!" Tristan hurried out of the room, and Perry ushered Jake out as well.

Kate smirked at him triumphantly. "Who's yer mommy?"

"You are." He said, kissing her.

"Damn rights."

*

Tristan waited in the limo, sighing. He was nervous about what Kieran would be like. From what he heard, Kieran's plane just landed - they were going to go out to dinner, and then the next day, the taping would start when they went skiing. They had the night to relax and talk.

Kieran, meanwhile, was just as nervous. He'd dressed in a pair of dress slacks and a deep forest green shirt that perfectly set off his equally green eyes.

Tristan stretched out in the back seat of the limo, opening a can of Pepsi and sipping it. He was just in jeans and a nice shirt, hair combed.

The driver led Kieran back to the limo and opened the door. Tristan looked up and smiled. "Hey. You must be Kieran." Kieran went silent. He could only stare and nod. "C'mon in."

Kieran slid into the limo and sat across from Tristan. When he finally could speak, all he said was, "...Hi..." 'Oh, great job, Casanova. He'll be falling all over you now, what with your impressive communicating skills.'

If Kieran's brain had been working right, it would've meant his 'communication skills'. Tristan opened the fridge. "You want a Pepsi?"

"Pepsi's good..."

"Well, first of all, congratulations." He tossed Kieran a Pepsi and leaned back. "You all set to carve those slopes tomorrow?"

"..well um.. I.. I've never skied (skiied? skiid?) before.." He opened the Pepsi and sipped it.

(Mara: Skied.)

"Oh, that's okay. We could start on the bunny hill if you want." He grinned and tossed his empty can in the little recycling bucket. "Anything you want to do tonight?"

Before Kieran's mind could stop him, he blurted out, "Make out with you?" As soon as the words were out, all the color drained from his face, then flooded with blood in a fierce blush. "....oh god. I.. I'm sorry... I.. didn't mean..."

Tristan choked, staring at him as if Kieran had grown another head. "..w..w..what?" He asked in disbelief, cheeks red.

"...nothing."

"Not on the first date." He regained his composure. "What kind of slut do you think I am?"

Kieran looked baffled. "I.. didn't mean that... I just... my mind isn't functioning."

"It's okay. Really."

"...sorry." He was still horribly embarrassed.

"Don't be. I'm flattered."

"You are?" That was weird. Usually straight guys were offended or grossed out by such things. Of course... Tristan -was- famous... and hot... so maybe he was more accustomed to other men hitting on him than normal guys would be.

"Yeah, why wouldn't I be?"

"Well... because I'm a guy... and... you're a guy..."

"...we have more in common than that."

"Pardon?"

"Well.. I like guys... and... you like guys.." He chuckled. "I figured my sexuality was open game by now."

Kieran blinked several times. "...you like guys?"

"Yeah, I do."

'Score!' "...oh... I.. didn't know." He sipped his Pepsi again.

"I'm surprised."

"Why?"

"I thought that everybody would've known by now."

"...people don't always believe what they see in the tabloids, if that's what you mean."

He shrugged as the limo pulled into the driveway of a rustic-looking wood cabin. "Well, here's home for three days. You need help with your bags?"

"I.. think I can get them. Thanks."

Tristan unlocked the front door. "We could order in tonight."

"...that sounds good."

"Great. I'll take you to your room."

"Thanks." Kieran followed him. "...what kind of take-out? Pizza, subs, Thai, Chinese, Japanese?"

"You're my guest for the weekend. You choose." He smiled and threw a log in the fire, humming.

"..I haven't had Japanese in a while." His mother was half-Japanese, and she usually cooked traditional Japanese dinners once a week or so, but she'd been too busy lately to plan for them.

"Sounds great." He took Kieran to his room. "You wanna order? You probably know more about ordering Japanese food than I do. I think I could quite happily live off of Kraft Dinner."

"Alright. Where's the phone book?"

"On the kitchen table." He tended to the fire and put on a CD, turning it down a little.

Kieran found the listing of a Japanese restaurant that delivered, and ordered hibachi steak and chicken, onion soup, salad with ginger dressing, steamed vegetables, a shrimp appetizer, rice noodles, and a bottle of sake. "Alright, dinner's ordered. It should be here in about 45 minutes."

"Sounds great. Anything you wanna watch while we wait?"

"Um... what's there to choose from?" He plopped onto the couch.

Tristan tossed him the remote and sat next to him, taking a good look at him. Yes. He was cute. Very cute. Doable. "Hit 'menu'."

Kieran did as he was told, trying to ignore the fact that there was a very hot, very rich, very famous, and oh-thank-god gay boy sitting next to him. Tristan reached over and guided Kieran's finger to the button, smiling. Kieran's eyes widened and he turned pink. "..thanks."

"No problem."

"Let's see... there's Gladiator, American Beauty, Girl, Interrupted, Breakfast at Tiffany's, The Ring, and Dumb and Dumber."

"... Let's go with American Beauty."

"Alright. Ever seen The Ring?"

"Nope."

"It's freakycreepy."

"Well, let's watch that."

"Are you sure? I like American Beauty too. I was just asking."

"It's your choice."

"Aw, I picked dinner. You pick the movie."

"Fine, fine. Let's go with The Ring. We can see Kevin Spacey's ass tomorrow night."

"Not that it's a spectacular ass or anything... but alright." He flipped the channel to The Ring.

Tristan settled back into the couch and opened a pop that he brought in from the kitchen - one for each of them. "Perry likes horror movies more than I do."

"Why's that?"

He wrinkled his nose. "I'm just one for drama, I guess."

"Oh. I like all kinds of movies."

"We watched Scream on the bus a while ago. Ian screams like a girl." He grinned, sipping his drink.

"That movie isn't even scary."

"It has its moments." He mumbled, embarrassed.

"I actually prefer the old school horror flicks. Like Hellraiser, and Carrie."

He nodded. "Stephen King ones."

"Well Hellraiser is Clive Barker. But yeah... pretty much."

"You know what I meant."

"I know." He smiled. He had a gorgeous smile.

Tristan's cheeks colored, and he quickly turned back to the movie. "Oh. It's starting."

"Oh, right." He leaned back and got comfortable, sipping his drink.

Tristan paused it as the food arrived, and he paid the delivery girl, tipping her well. He set the food on the coffee table and blinked at the bottle of sake. "Are you trying to get me drunk?" He asked with a smile, putting some food onto his plate with chopsticks.

"I wouldn't dream of such a thing. I'm just.. accustomed to having it with my meal. You don't have to drink it if you don't want to."

"It's fine, Kieran. I can handle alcohol. I'm a big boy." He sipped it, coughed a little, and then set the glass down. "Woo."

"Yeah... it's strong." He helped himself and started eating, turning his attention on the movie again. "....you don't have a weak stomach, do you?"

"Nope. I'm good."

"Good, good. Because this movie can be a little gross at parts."

As the movie went on, Tristan thanked his lucky stars that he had such a strong stomach. He wasn't scared yet, but was starting to be a little creeped out, and had noticed that Kieran was moving closer and closer to him.

Kieran had been trying to be brave, but... to be perfectly honest, the first time he'd seen this movie, he'd had to sleep in the guest room down the hall, because it was closer to his mother's room. And there was no television inside.

"We could watch something else, Kieran." He said quietly.

"...I'm okay."

"You sure?"

"Yeah."

"Just checking." He leaned back, absently playing with Kieran's hair. "Heh. If you were watching this with Perry ,he'd do this." He sat up and whispered "Seven days.." in Kieran's ear.

Kieran shivered. "...it's not bad in person... but if the phone rang right after I watched it, then I would freak." To punctuate that statement, the phone rang.

Kieran jumped about a foot off the couch, then turned and stared at the phone. "...I'm not answering it."

"It's okay. I'll get it." He got off the couch and answered the phone. "Hello? Oh, hey, Ian. How's swimming with Gram-Gram?" He laughed.

"I hate you," Said Ian.

"Aw, you love me. You know it."

"...she won't let me have a moment's peace! I'm only able to call now because she's napping, thank god. How's your date going?"

"It's not a date. We're just watching The Ring."

"Is he cute?"

"......very."

Ian laughed. "Think you're going to get anywhere?"

"I won't try."

"Why not?"

"It just wouldn't feel right." He sighed.

"Is he straight?"

"..no."

"Then what's the problem?"

"I don't know." He looked over on the couch with a little smile. "Listen, I better go. He looks pretty freaked."

"Alright.. let me know what happens."

"With him, or with the movie?"

"With him. I've seen the movie."

"Figures. See you later." He hung up the phone and sat down next to Kieran. "You okay?"

Kieran nodded. "I'm okay... who was that?"

"Ian."

"Oh... okay."

He blinked. "Why?"

"I thought it was Samara." He looked embarrassed.

Tristan chuckled and sat back. "Don't think so."

"Makes me paranoid about watching unmarked tapes."

"They might be porn."

Despite being freaked out, Kieran actually laughed at that. "Yeah... possibly." Tristan grinned at him, relaxing. God, this guy was cute. "You're less freaked out than I am." Kieran said, pouring his third cup of sake.

"It takes a bit to freak me out." He admitted, taking his fourth cup of sake. "That, and I'm a little drunk."

"You are?"

"A bit."

"Me too. Getting there, anyway. Mom usually only gives me about half a cup."

"You rebel."

"Bah, what's it going to hurt? Not like you're going to take advantage of me or anything."

Was he? No. No he wasn't. Right? Right. Right. "Right."

Kieran finished the third cup, and giggled. "Pity." Tristan closed his eyes and settled back onto the couch, yawning. "We should go to bed." Tristan was already asleep by the time Kieran made that comment. Kieran blinked, then smiled and turned off the tv, put a cover over Tristan, then went to his room.