Kiss Ninja

Jon suspected he should probably cut down on the cigarettes when he was chasing after Brendon (who had stolen Jon’s hoodie and raced through the parking lot crowing “Mine mine mine!” like a demented seagull) and had to stop halfway around the corner of the Hushies’ bus to pant and heave like his eighty-year-old Uncle Phil.

“I think I should probably stop smoking,” Jon said, looking up at Zack.

“That shit’ll kill you,” Zack agreed. “Now get the fuck back on the bus.”

Later that evening when they were crowded into the back lounge watching season two of The Office and Spencer was trying (badly) to hide the massive tv-crush he had on Jim and Pam, Brendon cuddled up into Jon and whispered in his ear, “I’ll help you quit smoking, Jon Walker. I’ll be your nicotine patch!”

“Yeah?” Jon said, tucking his arm around Brendon to stave off the twitch that ran through him at the word “smoking.” He really wanted a cigarette. He hadn’t craved cigarettes this much when he was letting himself have them. “How are you gonna do that?”

“Well,” Brendon said, his breath tickling Jon’s ear, “I’m going to kiss you a lot.”

Jon blinked. This was, perhaps, a new development in their relationship.

“Interesting methodology,” he said. “But I think you should tell me more.”

“See, I’m going to be a kiss ninja,” Brendon said confidently. “I’ll know whether you smoked or not by kissing you, but you’re never gonna know when I’m going to kiss you, so it’s in your best interests to not smoke, Jon Walker, because I am a very very good kisser.”

“He is,” Ryan said from the other side of the couch, subsumed under a My Little Pony blanket and Spencer, who hadn’t taken his eyes from the screen.

“Um,” Jon said. “Kiss ninja, huh?” He felt more than saw Brendon nod in reply, and Jon let his fingers play with the hair at the back of Brendon’s neck where he’d let it grow a little long.

“Okay,” he said finally. “We’ll give it a try.”


Jon had thrown away his pack of Lucky Strikes and didn’t bum off of Darren or Jamie the tech or Zack’s buddy Ralphie who was helping out for the West Coast leg of the tour and had made it through three days of no smoking. He probably would have been proud of himself, but it was like he could taste the tobacco in the back of his mouth. And Brendon hadn’t kissed him at all, which made him feel strangely gypped.

He was rubbing his thumb against his index finger, jittery from the triple shot espresso he’d charmed from the boy at Starbucks (who totally knew who he was and that he used to work at the place, throwing an extra shot for free). He was hyped and soundcheck wasn’t for another hour and god, he wanted a cigarette so bad, he wanted the bitter mix of caffeine and tobacco so much–

“KISS NINJA!” Brendon yelled, throwing himself at Jon and sticking his tongue in Jon’s mouth without preamble.

Jon didn’t have time to react, just latched on to Brendon to keep from falling down and opened his mouth wider in surprise, which only made Brendon kiss him more deeply.

When Brendon pulled away, smacking his lips in satisfaction, Jon felt like he’d been hit by a tornado and was lucky to come out on the other side.

“Good job, Jonny Walker!” Brendon said cheerfully. “You didn’t smoke! I’m very proud. Now come on, Spencer tricked Ryan into playing Guitar Hero III and he doesn’t know that Ryan’s been practicing in secret. It’s going to be awesome!”

Jon just let himself be led away, still kind of in a daze. Maybe this quitting thing was a better idea than he’d thought, oh, five minutes ago.

He started to reconsider again when the Motion City dudes hotboxed their lounge with some organic weed they’d picked up in San Francisco and Matt threw an arm around him, telling him how awesome it was going to be. Jon hadn’t said he was going to give up getting high. He’d just said he was going to give up cigarettes. Surely that was allowed.

Just as he let himself be tugged towards the Motion City bus, Brendon magically appeared out of nowhere again (Jon was beginning to think maybe there was some truth to this whole ninja thing), grabbing Jon’s arm and pulling him out from under Matt, who just blinked in mild surprise.

Jon was pretty sure they’d already done quality control on the weed earlier that day.

“Sorry, we need Jon, ‘kay thanks bye!” Brendon chirped, tugging Jon away. Jon followed, because he knew through hard-won experience it was better in the long run to go along with whatever Brendon was doing when he was like this than to argue.

“Brendon–” Jon started, but Brendon thrust a hand behind Jon’s head and pulled him in close, licking into his mouth with a determined noise, putting Jon off-balance and hanging onto Brendon. This was apparently their thing now.

“Good,” Brendon said in his low voice against Jon’s lips when he finished kissing the breath out of Jon. “I’m very impressed with your cold turkey quitting, Jon. But you really like a cigarette after you get high. I was just intervening for you.”

Jon could tell his lips were as shiny as Brendon’s were, the air he was trying to reclaim cooling the wetness Brendon’s tongue left behind.

“Thanks?” he tried, and was rewarded with Brendon’s smile and a hand straightening his t-shirt.


He’d made it through a week of no cigarettes, and he’d even gotten high after a show with Ryan. Brendon and Spencer played travel scrabble in the kitchen lounge between them and the bus door “to keep you from breaking your goal, Jon, we’re there for you!” Jon was feeling pretty good about himself, and he was getting used to Brendon appearing out of nowhere (sometimes with a candy bar, which he said would help with the cravings, but Jon was pretty sure Brendon just wanted someone to blame for his sugar high) and tongue-kissing him without warning. Jon, most of the time, was a pretty easy-going guy. He could handle the things touring life threw at him fairly well.

After a week and a half he stopped tracking the moving patterns of every smoker on the tour, or running his eyes reflexively over the stacks of cigarettes behind the counter of the truck stops they hit, or watching Spencer flick his lighter absently, waiting for a cigarette to light for Jon.

But as he stopped hurting for a cigarette every other minute, or every other hour, or every other day, Brendon stopped his ninja-like kissing assault. Jon was absurdly disappointed; he’d gotten used to looking around each corner or checking in his bunk before he got in, or poking his head through the door of the green room before entering.

They played an exhilarating show that night, and piled offstage in a happy, sweaty pile; Spencer called first shower and Ryan went to bother one of the techs about the sound in his monitor. Jon and Brendon were left in the green room alone for a rare minute.

“So, uh,” Jon said. “I think I’ve pretty much quit smoking now.”

Brendon nodded once, twice, his hair clinging to his forehead. “That’s awesome, Jon!”

“Thanks for your help,” Jon said, and Brendon threw his arms around him, even though it was kind of gross.

“The Urie method, it works,” Brendon mumbled to Jon’s neck.

“But listen,” Jon said, “I think I might have another craving now. That, um, I need your help with.”

Brendon pulled back, trying hard to hide his grin and mostly failing. “Yeah? Well, I’m always happy to help.”

“This addiction’s pretty strong, though,” Jon said, grinning back at Brendon. “It might be hard to kick.”

“You’re lucky I’m really persistent,” Brendon said, leaning in.

“I really am,” Jon said, closing the distance between them.