Theme is 'journey'. The oneshot should start and finish at the beginning and end of a journey. The reason of the journey, the way of traveling, the places traveled from and to are basically up to you.

MUSTs The journey should last either 3 hours, 3 days, 3 weeks, 3 months or 3 years. Your pick.

Must use the words: melody, nectar, ravenous, butterflies, and Honorificabilitudinitatibus.

One character must say at some point say: "I feel Frodo! It's like I'm channeling him, you know?"

Must have a scene where the two main characters (meaning our main couple) have some sort of battle of insults. It can either be very rude insults, or very creative/weird insults (think Shakespeare and Monty Python. Your mother was a hamster and all that)

NO-WAYs No use of the word 'said'

--

(Suburbia thrills, stupidity kills relationships)

--

Bret slammed the door to his SUV shut, with a frustrated sigh. The damn thing had broken down again, and just when he needed it too. He leaned into the door tiredly. The cool glass of the window felt pleasant against his forehead but it really wasn't helping his predicament any. The place was freakishly quiet, at least in his mind. The constant buzz of the city was gone and he found the silence oppressive. It made him restless.

At the very least though, it was better than living the same thing every day. If someone wanted to kill him or rob him or the like, all the surveillance they'd have to do could be done in one day. There was so little deviation in his daily schedule from day to day that it almost seemed like God had made a cookie cutter and pressed it up and down the dough that was Bret's life. Everything was ordinary – from the striped ties in a double-simple knot he wore every day to the hazelnut coffee with two sugars and one cream he drank every morning and every break. The smell of coffee stained his fingertips.

There was really nothing necessarily wrong with his life per se, it was more of a matter of with every day that passed he felt a strange sense of melancholy – or perhaps it was ennui – come over him.

In fact, the only recent break in his routine, that is to say recent as in the past four years or so, had occurred in only a few minutes and yet he hadn't been able to get back onto the path of mundane drone-ism any longer. He just couldn't.

On that cheerful note, he lifted his head to get a better look at his surroundings. A pair of butterflies fluttered past his nose, no doubt in search for some nectar, and Bret snorted. It simply reminded him exactly why he was currently in the middle of Nowheresville. He supposed it was slightly embarrassing – his fifty year old mother (soon to be fifty one) and father were more spontaneous than he was. Bret let his head fall back against the window again, with a dull thud and an almost inaudible groan. He fumbled his cell phone out of his pocket and groaned aloud this time. Again, it was such his luck that he'd have no reception.

Ah well, the place looked vaguely familiar – the house must be close.

--

Bret cursed as a branch got caught in his hair, jarring his glasses, for the thirty-thousandth time. The every tree looked the same at this point and there was no way he was able to remember where the path was from his indistinct memories. In fact, as Bret recalled, he never even used the path when he was younger. Because...

Bret shook his head and continued walking. The sun was high in the sky. The forest was quieter than Bret remembered, the only sound he could hear was the wind in the trees. He shuddered and pulled his jacket closer around him.

"Why the hell did I think everything would be alright?" Bret muttered. "Oh great, now I'm talking to myself."

From what he could remember, his parent's house had been to the south. He turned right.

And promptly fell off of a cliff.

...Uh... well...

At least he thought it was a cliff. Luckily he was wrong. It was more like a small – well, big – hill thingy that happened to be in his path. And, luckily he was in the middle of nowhere. So nobody saw him curl up into fetal position and scream like a girl. In a manly way, of course. That's right.

There was nothing wrong with falling off of a cliff and screaming like a girl, it was only natural. He had no shame. It was just that nobody saw him. Bret wouldn't have minded, of course.

He cursed and brushed off the particles of dust that stuck to his jacket. Thankfully it wasn't one of his nicer jackets, and he'd had the foresight to bring jeans as well. Unfortunately, he was wearing shoes that were entirely unsuited for traversing woodlands. Sunlight filtered through the trees, which were thicker now than before, and Bret could hear running water. He perked up – water meant that he was getting close to his destination, at least... he hoped.

--

Bret groaned and kicked the tree next to him. It didn't help, not by a long shot, but it certainly made him feel better. Well, until his foot started throbbing. He collapsed to the floor, ignoring the stabbing in his shoulder blades from the root of the tree he'd just kicked. The ground smelled weird too and he really didn't want to think about that either. In fact, he didn't want to think about the fact that he was ravenous and that the far-off melody of the water he'd heard earlier didn't sound any closer. Bret didn't want to think about a lot of things.

Bret also didn't want to think about the foot steps he could hear coming toward him. He hoped they wouldn't come near; he'd seen enough humiliation for today, even if he was the only one that knew. Except that now that they were nearly at his head, he couldn't muster up enough energy to care or move.

"What the hell are you doing Bret?" Avery's annoyed face came into Bret's view, the formers boots in the periphery of Bret's vision. Bret scowled up at the man.

Avery West, Bret's childhood friend. And they hadn't parted on the best of terms either.

"Avery." Bret sighed.

"Haven't seen or talked to me in nearly twelve years and the best you can say is 'Avery,' in that pathetic tone of yours? Geez. Furthermore, what are you doing laying on the forest floor in my backyard?"

Bret sat up. "...Backyard?"

"Yes, backyard, you doofus." Avery rolled his eyes and jabbed a thumb backward. And, indeed, there was the familiar house that sat on the top of the hill, which Bret had spent as much time in as his own home.

"Still living there, huh? It figures- Oh my God!!" Bret screeched. He scrambled backward.

"It's just a spider Bret! Stop getting all... twitter-pated!"

"Just a spider! Who knows if it was poisonous or, or, or...!!"

"It's not, Bret." Avery interjected. "You'd think you'd know by now. And besides, the correct term is venomous. Things you eat are poisonous, things that eat you are venomous."

Bret fell into a sullen silence and Avery waited impatiently. "Twitter-pated? When did you grow up, the fifties?" Bret snorted, finally breaking the silence.

"Well excuse me, your Honorificabilitudinitatibus." Avery sneered, rolling his eyes.

"Reverting back to childhood are you? I bet you don't even know what that means."

"Don't be so condescending, you ninny." Avery snapped.

"Who died and made you Lord High Fixer?" Bret retorted.

"Lord High Fixer? Have you been watching too much Gilbert and Sullivan's? You've always been a nerd." Avery jeered.

"Now who's being condescending? And besides, it wasn't only me that didn't contact you. Too busy in Camelot?" Bret spat.

"Forgive me if us mortals are not as indefatigable as thee!" Avery shouted.

"You... flapdragon, you!"

"Of course you'll slay this dragon, won't you, Sir Robin." Avery snarled.

"You have no right..." Bret ground out.

"No right you say? You mean I have as much right as you did when you ran away."

"You don't know what you're talking about!" Bret yelled.

"Oh I don't, really? It was only my best friend that moved away and never told me anything. Didn't even bother to call, now did you." Avery angrily grabbed Bret's hand and hoisted him to standing.

And suddenly they were standing too close, Avery's hand still loosely circling Bret's wrist.

Bret swallowed dryly. "You don't know what happened."

"Then what did happen, Bret?" Avery asked, looking levelly into Bret's eyes. Desperation tinged his voice. "Because I don't know. I have to know, to know that you weren't..." Avery's hand tightened on Bret's arm and Bret's eyes flicked downward. He pulled his arm away uncertainly and could feel as Avery winced and watched as Avery clenched his hand, hurt. At least until Bret trailed two fingers on the back of his hand.

"I was scared." Bret breathed. Bret watched in fascination as Avery's hands began to shake as he slowly traced the lines on his childhood friend's palm. "I was scared of everything, that we were moving too fast, that you would come to hate me... even the fact that I liked you enough that the littlest thing you did... I really didn't know how to handle it."

"So you ran away." Avery's tone was bitter. He shuddered, pulling his arm away from Bret. "Will you stop? It-it's really distracting." He stuttered. Avery tried to pull away but suddenly he found he couldn't, with one of Bret's arms around his middle and the other at the back of his head. He tried to look away, but Bret's hand forced Avery to look at the taller man.

"I was young, I know that's no excuse." Bret began. "Only... Then I figured out that I wanted this, wanted us."

"So you just expect me to forgive you and let you have your way with me." Avery accused.

"No! I... I just want to explain..." Bret faltered.

"...Fine," Avery yielded. Bret pulled him close in one motion, his head dipped low at Avery's neck.

"Thank you." He whispered, his breath stirring Avery's hair, tickling at his ear. Avery shuddered and Bret pulled away hastily. "Oh... I-I'm sorry."

Avery frowned. Bret was different than he had been, and not just physically. Though, much had changed in that regard too, he mused. Bret's hair was shorter and slightly lighter than it was in high school and Bret had not only grown taller, but filled out around his shoulders as well. Avery, by comparison, had lost most of the muscle he'd had in high school and some of his hair had escaped his hair tie to flutter in tendrils around his face.

Bret wore glasses now too, a look that Avery thought added a decidedly mischievous look to Bret's face, hiding his dark eyes slightly and emphasizing the slight tilt of his smile and his almost constantly raised eyebrow. Bret seemed to notice Avery's perusal of his face and his mouth lifted into a slight smile, his eyes darkening a shade. Oh, definitely mischievous.

"Don't even thi-" Avery started.

"I do like you." Bret began, and Avery nearly sighed with relief. He had thought that Bret was going to... do something.

Avery cut him off; "you can see how I would doubt that." A dry response. Avery winced at how defensive he was being and started walking toward his house in order to hide his regret at the snappish remark.

"Do you want me to prove it? I can think of various ways to... prove just how much I... like you." The sheer implications of his words, paired with his suddenly husky voice... Avery tensed.

There were many responses Avery could think of. "...I don't like your tone." And that was not one of them. Or at least, not among the top three. Or top three hundred.

"..." The response was entertaining though.

"Do you even know where you're going?" Avery asked finally. Bret had been about to walk into a tree.

Bret glared sullenly at Avery. "Of course I do! I feel Frodo! It's like I'm channeling him, you know?" Avery's mouth twisted into a ill humored grin at Bret's false cheer.

"Oh sure. Well I'll see you around." He turned to open his front door.

"Avery, wait."

He paused. Now if he knew Bret well enough (he could be wrong, he really hadn't seen or talked to him in twelve years – they could be strangers for all they knew each other now) he was either going to 1) do/say something hasty, 2) do/say something spontaneous, or 3) do/say something stupid.

"Where was my house again?" Avery growled, rolled his eyes, and turned angrily. Opening his mouth to retort his exasperated, scathing response, he suddenly found his mouth entirely too occupied to do so. Huh... he hadn't thought of that approach.

Maybe he didn't need to talk. Talking took too much breath and concentration. Maybe he didn't need to think either. That took concentration too.

What he really wanted to concentrate on was exactly how Bret's tongue somehow was occupying the same space his own tongue used to be in, and how his own tongue, mysteriously absent from his own mouth, managed to get into Bret's mouth.

Avery whimpered and tried to push Bret away, but only succeeded in being pushed against the door. His feeble attempts to pull free were hindered by the fact that his legs seemed to have gotten tangled in the Bret's, and how his hands were now fisted in the taller man's shirt.

"Bret..." He moaned. They both started, surprised by his breathy whimper into the quiet. Avery blushed and turned away, embarrassed. A smile stole slowly over Bret's face, entirely too puckish for Avery's liking.

"That was an interesting sound you just made there." Bret purred.

"No, shut up." Avery squeaked.

"Hmm? Not even if I do this?" He moved his hips and Avery stifled a yelp. "Or maybe this." He leaned down.

"What are you do--!!" Avery choked out.

Bret chuckled. "That's more like it."

"I'm not going to forgive you." Avery managed to gasp through. Bret's mouth twisted into a wry smile.

"Didn't expect you to."

--

A/N: Sorry Freak, it doesn't go any farther than that. This is my failed attempt at writing something more "adult." I might write more but... later. Yeah... Huh... Bret never did make it to his parent's house. But, Avery's is close enough. xD

Also, this fic has nothing to do with The Academy Is...'s song Slow Down, just the title and subtitle.

+Andy