nsync in black and white

Disclaimer: this is fiction. We made it up.

Favor Fire

by Liz, written for Navia

"You know what would be hot?" JC asked idly.

Justin's eyes flew open. He gritted his teeth, and hissed out, "You, not stopping to ask stupid questions?" He writhed on the bed, trying to make JC start moving again.

JC didn't budge an inch, the muscles in his arms standing out in sharp relief as he braced himself above Justin. "Don't you think it would be hot," he whispered, leaning down to nuzzle at Justin's ear, "if there were someone else here? Watching. Wanting us so bad."

Justin thought his brain might short-circuit from the overload. "Don't want anyone else," he gasped. "Just you."

JC moved his hips in a long, slow stroke that made Justin's entire body quiver. "You don't get to have anyone else. You're mine. But I know how much you love an audience."

Justin wanted to come. He wanted to come more than he'd ever wanted anything else, more than he'd wanted to get the job on MMC or that record contract or the sales record or for JC to kiss him the first time. He wanted to come, but he didn't want it to be over, either, so he tried to hold back, knowing all the while that it was a futile effort.

Especially with JC still whispering in his ear. "Imagine it, baby. I'm touching you, and you're touching me, and someone's over there, wanting us, but unable to have us. Can't touch. Can only wish they were here with us. Imagine you can feel their eyes on you, traveling over your body." As he said it, JC braced himself on one arm and trailed a hand down Justin's chest, skimming over his nipples then racing downward.

JC thrust into Justin hard, at the same time wrapping his fingers around Justin's cock, and that was all it took. Justin exploded, arching up until he thought his spine might crack, his brain full of white noise and light. It only took another few seconds for JC to follow him over, and then they collapsed onto the bed, still entwined.

"You're such a kinky fucker," Justin said fondly, snuggling into a more comfortable position against JC. "I really like that about you."

He felt a moment of panic when he realized that JC still had that same strange light in his eyes. "Oh, I know you do, you kinky boy. So, whattya think?"

"I think I'll need to rest before we go another round," Justin said evasively. "The power of youth and all that, but still."

JC nudged his hip, one hand trailing over Justin's thigh. "You know what I mean. You wanna... perform for an audience? Give a private show?"

JC couldn't be serious. He couldn't be. He was just trying to get Justin worked up. Not that he was failing.

Justin didn't want to seem uncool, so he tried to laugh it off. "Yeah, good idea. Maybe we could pick a girl from the front row of one of our concerts. Or have people e-mail into the fan club. Now that would be a prize!"

JC just stared at him in that disconcerting way.

"Come on, C. You know we can't risk that. What if whoever it is talks? Goes to the papers? Sneaks in a camera?"

"I thought you liked risk," JC said, his fingers now moving up the inside of Justin's thigh, stroking in circles that reached ever higher. "In fact, it seems like you like it a whole lot."

Justin couldn't deny that -- in fact, it seemed as if his earlier estimates about his recovery time had been too pessimistic -- but he didn't want to let JC's clever fingers distract him from the point. The point that this was an insane idea, even if was turning Justin on like crazy.

"Besides," JC added, his voice dropping even lower as he leaned in to press a kiss on Justin's mouth, "I can think of three guys who wouldn't be any risk at all."

Justin froze. At the same time, his felt his cock jump without JC even touching it.

Justin knew JC had felt his reaction when he saw JC's smile become smug, but then JC finally touched him, and he didn't care. He grabbed JC and pushed him back, rolling so that he was on top, their cocks grinding together. JC was just as hard as he was.

JC didn't seem to mind Justin's sudden urge toward dominance, and smiled up at him, all bright eyes and sharp teeth. "Gets you hot, doesn't it?" He didn't even have to ask, not with the way Justin was moving against him.

This wouldn't last long, which was fine with Justin. Disturbing images were flying behind his eyes, ideas that he'd never really wanted to let out before. "You get me hot," Justin retorted, then captured JC's mouth in a punishing kiss. There had been enough talking.

They thrust against each other, tongues dueling, hands reaching and groping, and it didn't take long before they both came again, gasping at the point where pleasure teetered on the edge of pain as the last tremors left them sated and exhausted.

The last thought Justin had before he dropped off to sleep was that it was a good thing that JC's kinkiest ideas never saw the light of day.

The next morning, Justin was awakened by a soft hand stroking his back, and a sweet voice crooning in his ear. "Justin... wake up.... Justin... open those pretty blue eyes."

Justin woke up with a start. "Am I in some alternate reality where you're a morning person?" he asked suspiciously, staring in amazement as JC reached over and handed him a cup of coffee. JC was not only awake, but he'd been coherent enough to order room service?

JC waited until Justin had a mouth full of coffee -- probably on purpose -- before musing, "So, who do you think? Joey? Chris? Lance?"

Justin wondered if it was possible to cause permanent damage by spitting hot coffee into your own lap. He used the sheets to wipe up the worst of the mess.

"You're not serious. That was just kinky sex talk stuff." He looked at the expression on JC's face. "Um. Wasn't it?"

"You seemed to really enjoy that kinky sex talk stuff, Justin."

JC got a dangerous tone in his voice when he was planning something complicated and involved that would involve completely blowing Justin's mind. After all these years, Justin had an almost Pavlovian response to that tone. It was the same voice JC had used when he'd described to Justin, in excruciating detail, what it would be like the first time JC fucked him. The reality had been even better than JC's promise.

Justin flushed, hating and loving that JC knew exactly which buttons to push. "But it's just talk. Because there's no way any of them is gonna want to come in here and watch us get it on. Not after all the comments they've thrown at us." The other guys were supportive of JC and Justin's relationship, but they were still guys, which meant that the two of them had been subjected to more than their fair share of teasing and catcalls.

He didn't realize until too late that JC might take it as a challenge. "You don't think I could get one of them to do it? That I could make one of them want it so bad that he'd be dying for it? Just like you are?"

Justin gulped. "Chris would laugh in your face," he said shakily. "Lance would run screaming. And Joey, he just wouldn't."

"You know what I love about you, J?" JC asked, sipping his coffee and looking like he didn't have a care in the world. They could have been discussing album sales or the day's schedule. "I love that when you see something you want, you go after it. No hesitation, no cunning. You're as subtle as a steamroller, but somehow, it's just part of your charm."

Justin opened his mouth to protest -- that didn't quite sound like a compliment, even though JC's tone was nothing but fond -- but JC kept talking. "Certain situations require a little more, shall we say, finesse. You'll get better results with a sideways approach than if you attacked front and center. For instance, whoever it is wouldn't be expecting to watch us have sex. He'd be expecting to have sex with one of us, and would end up watching."

Justin's jaw dropped. "You can't be serious."

JC's smile was big and bright and could have been on the cover of a magazine, with only Justin able to see the evil glint in his eyes. "Pick one. Go ahead. Pick one, and we'll see who's right."

Justin's mind spun, and he wasn't sure if he wanted to pick the one who would make JC fail, or the one who wouldn't. But no, this was crazy. JC was going too far this time, and Justin's brain knew it, even if his body was taking the exact opposite stance. "Joey," he finally said.

JC laughed. "Oh, baby. Joey?"

Justin tried not to look smug. "So you're ready to give up this silly idea? Admit that some things are just not meant to be."

JC laughed again, and this time the sound sent a shiver up Justin's spine. "Oh, I don't think so. Why, this is practically a sure thing."

"Joey is one of the most stand-up guys I know. Not in a million years would he let you cheat on me by sleeping with him. You know he'd never do that to me."

"You're right. Joey wouldn't do something like that to you." JC's voice was calm and serious, and oh so smug. "But do you really think there is anything in the world that Joey wouldn't do for me?"

That was an awfully good point. For the first time, Justin wondered if JC really could pull this off. "I don't think Joey's affection for you goes quite that far, C."

"I think you're wrong. In fact, I think you're so wrong, I'll bet you I can do it before the end of the month. That's, what, a little over a week?"

Justin gulped. JC sounded utterly sure. "And if you don't?"

"I will." JC looked at Justin's expression. "Okay, fine. You know that fantasy, the one you whispered to me that night after the VMAs when you were high and drunk and so very out of your mind? The one you told me to forget about and never mention again, even though we both know how much you want me to do it?"

Justin stared at JC, his eyes wide, as he nodded, unable to force a single word out of his throat.

"I figured you wouldn't have forgotten it. Well, if I fail to deliver, you can do that. No holds barred." JC reached out to stroke Justin's cheek, the gesture oddly soothing. "So either way, you win, huh?"

Justin just nodded, wide-eyed, and suddenly JC pulled him into a hug, wrapping him in a tight, steady embrace. "This is gonna be fun, J. Just you wait and see," JC whispered into Justin's ear, and as always, Justin couldn't do anything but nod, hold on, and go along for the ride.

Justin went down to breakfast ahead of JC, who was still fussing with his hair. This was part of the up-side of having shaved his head -- no more screwing around with the damn curls every morning. Though it didn't seem fair to Justin that he was still viewed as the high maintenance one of the pair.

Lance and Chris were already there, Chris grumbling about the fact that there weren't any chocolate-chip bagels. Joey walked in right behind Justin, and pointed out that no self-respecting New York bagel would ever allow itself to have chocolate chips in it. Justin grabbed a bowl of cereal and sat down across from Lance and his newspaper. Just another morning on tour.

Busy shoveling cereal into his mouth, he still registered that something was weird with JC as soon as he came into the room. He just seemed a touch... off. Not that C was ever really a morning person, but this was different than his usual start-of-day spaciness. JC looked drawn in on himself, almost sad. He hadn't looked that way when Justin had left the room, and Justin ran through the morning in his head trying to figure out what could have happened since then. Had it all been some big elaborate test, and JC was upset because Justin had agreed to the harebrained scheme that JC had cooked up in the first place?

But JC wasn't like that, and Justin and JC weren't like that. JC had been straight with Justin from the beginning -- games and playacting were perfectly wonderful in bed, and never acceptable out of it. If they had a problem, they talked about it. JC might yell, but he didn't sulk and he didn't pout, and he wouldn't let Justin, either. "You may be young, J," he'd said, way back when it all started, "but if you're old enough for this relationship, you can't hide behind childish moods when it suits you."

Joey and Chris were telegraphing looks to each other and to Justin, who could only shrug. He had no idea what was going on. When JC came over to the table, gave everyone a tired smile, and walked right past the empty chair next to Justin to sit down next to Joey, Justin almost dropped his spoon.

Justin opened his mouth to say something -- something like, "The hell, JC?" which probably wouldn't have helped the matter much -- but was stopped by a sharp look from Joey. Justin's mouth snapped closed.

Joey reached out to ruffle JC's hair, and bumped his shoulder. "Hey, C, you're more out of it than usual this morning. Got lost on your way to the breakfast table?"

JC gave Joey an incredibly unconvincing smile, then sighed and rested his head on Joey's shoulder. Justin watched as JC's eyes slid over and met his own for a second, then dropped abruptly. JC sighed again.

"The hell, JC?" This time Justin couldn't stop himself. What was going on?

JC suddenly pushed back from the table, slamming his mug down so hard that coffee sloshed everywhere. "I'll see you guys on the bus," he said to the floor, and fled the room.

Now everyone was staring at Justin, who was just as baffled as the rest of them. "I have no fucking clue, guys, honest. He was fine when we woke up this morning." Better than fine -- because JC had been up so early, they'd had time for slow, leisurely sex, which was a luxury on tour, especially in the morning. "I'm gonna see what the hell is going on."

"Are you sure that's a good idea?" Lance asked. "I mean, no offense, J, but it looked like you were part of the problem."

Justin took a deep breath, determined not to lose his temper. He knew they'd be just as protective of him if they'd thought JC had done something to upset him, but right now it felt as if they were ganging up on him.

"I'm sure it's nothing. We'll see you guys outside, okay?"

JC was lying on the bed in their room, headphones on, humming along to a song as if he didn't have a care in the world. When he saw Justin standing there, he pulled the headphones off, smiling so big his eyes almost disappeared, then tugged Justin down to sprawl on top of him on the bed. "Mmmmm," JC murmured, between kisses. "And they say I can't act." He pulled back to look at Justin. "I don't suppose you brought me anything to eat? I'm starving."

Justin's mouth gaped open, and he suspected he probably resembled a fish at the moment, but he really had no idea what was going on. "Wait, so that was all... what was all that?"

"God, you're cute when you're playing dumb." JC shifted under Justin, running his hands down the back of Justin's thighs, hitching their bodies closer together.

"I'm not playing," Justin snapped, then flushed red when JC burst out laughing. "You know what I mean." But looking back, he had to admit JC's behavior made more sense. "So, what, do you expect me to play along with this? I mean, it is a bet," he said. Of course he couldn't go to Joey and tell him the whole thing, but that didn't mean he had to actually help JC.

JC leaned up to lick at the pulse at the base of Justin's neck, which always made Justin crazy. "J, I think we just proved that all you have to do is be yourself."

JC kept up his quiet-and-reserved bit on the bus, leaving his headphones on and scribbling in his notebook for the whole ride. Justin was tempted to write "tortured artist" on a piece of paper and tape it above JC's head, in case Chris didn't get the point. This was a little silly, especially when it was just the three of them.

Except when he looked up from their video game long enough to gesture toward JC with his head and roll his eyes at the melodramatics of it all, Chris didn't smile at the shared joke. In fact, Chris gave him a stern look, as if scolding him. This time it was Justin's turn to sigh.

At the venue, all the pre-show madness went on as usual. They had the real soundcheck and the fan soundcheck party, and somewhere in there managed to get food. Justin and JC didn't usually spend a lot of time together before shows anyway, since Justin tended to run around like a lunatic to get his energy level up, while JC preferred to stay quiet and low-key, then let the energy explode on stage.

Still, it gave Justin a moment's pause to walk into the quiet room and see JC and Joey curled up on one of the couches, fast asleep. It wasn't anything different than he'd seen almost every day on tour, and yet today it felt different.

He shook his head, inwardly chiding himself for being foolish. If he was going to get jealous of everyone JC fell asleep on top of in a given week, it might become a full-time job.

They had a great time on stage, playing off each other and the crowd. The energy was fantastic, and Justin couldn't help the huge smile on his face as security herded them out of the venue. He looped an arm around Lance's neck, giving him a wet kiss on the cheek. Lance just looked at him and shook his head, bemused.

One of these days Justin would figure out the logic behind fans loving the group so much that they would skip the actual show to wait outside the hotel for a glimpse of them arriving. They signed a few autographs until it looked like the mob scene was getting out of hand, and then they made their way inside.

"Radio interview in the morning," Johnny reminded them, in case they might be under the delusion that they could sleep in on a non-travel day. Tomorrow night they were doing another show at the same venue, so at least they could skip soundcheck. It was a mostly free day, or would have been if they weren't scheduled to whore themselves out to the media for a few hours.

That night, though, they were going clubbing, so they went to their rooms long enough to shower and change. Justin beat JC to the room, thank god, because JC always took a year and a half in the shower, and if Justin took him up on his offer to "conserve water," then they'd have to deal with the knowing looks and ribald jokes from the others when they showed up even later than planned.

It wasn't until Justin walked back out to the bedroom that he realized JC had never showed up at all. That was weird. Maybe he was so busy whining to Joey about what a lousy boyfriend Justin was that he had lost track of time, Justin thought, not a little bitterly.

Except that JC was in the hall with everyone else when Justin went out, showered and changed and wearing a pair of leather pants that made Justin weak in the knees just looking at the way they clung to JC's thighs. Justin maneuvered himself over to JC's side, feeling like a particularly pathetic teen-aged girl, and was disturbed by how relieved he felt when he wrapped an arm around JC's waist and pulled him in, and JC leaned into his arms, just like always.

"Miss me in the shower, baby?" JC whispered low into Justin's ear, and Justin couldn't help but shiver. He also couldn't help but notice that Joey, Lance, and Chris seemed to be making a very big point of not looking at them.

As he felt JC grind into him, hard and ready against his hip, Justin didn't care. God, JC was always so turned on after a show, especially a great show. Ignoring their audience - it wasn't like the other guys and the bodyguards hadn't seen it all before - Justin raked his fingers through the curls at the nape of JC's neck, and angled his head for a hard, possessive kiss.

There was a moment of perfect connection, and Justin felt JC's hand squeeze his crotch in a secret, hidden caress - and then JC pushed him away, stumbling back. Justin almost growled in frustration, stopped short by the look on JC's face. It was an act, Justin reminded himself, it was a stupid act, but seeing that trapped, panicked look on JC's face fucking hurt.

"Jesus, Justin, do you think you could manage to keep from groping JC for ten consecutive minutes?" That Lance was stepping in was maybe the biggest sign that JC's act might be stupid, but it was also convincing. Justin opened his mouth to say something nasty and cutting to Lance, then closed it. It would just get ugly, and none of them needed that. It wasn't worth starting a fight.

"Are we going?" he snapped, "or are we planning on standing around this lovely hallway for the rest of the night? Maybe someone should call E! for the exclusive on how crazy and wild popstars really are." He was pissed off enough to be playing the diva card, and damn if that didn't go right along with JC's plan, the fucker.

They went, a crowd of people in multiple SUVs, and somehow, he and JC ended up alone in the back of one. Justin wasn't sure if it was serendipity or JC's plotting, and at this point, he didn't even want to know.

"You okay, baby?" JC practically purred. "You look a little... worked up." One hand stroked up Justin's thigh, petting and teasing. Justin grabbed JC's hand, hard.

"This really isn't funny, C."

JC smiled. "Oh yes, it really is."

Justin glared, which of course didn't intimidate JC one damn bit.

JC moved fast, straddling Justin astride the seat. "So, did you?"

If possible, JC was even harder than he had been before, and it would have taken a stronger man than Justin not to react to that. He arched up, responding helplessly. "Did I what?"

"Miss me in the shower." JC growled the words into Justin's ear as he ground down, and for a second, Justin could have sworn that he saw stars.

He had barely gotten his arms around JC, barely started kissing him, hard and wet and nasty, when he felt the SUV begin to slow as they arrived at the club. JC slid away and out of the backseat before the vehicle had even fully stopped, leaving Justin to try to adjust himself to something approaching decency.

The night went by in a blur. JC had somehow managed to get himself between two lithe little blonde girls who reminded Justin an awful lot of Britney, and he couldn't imagine that was an accident. Sadly, Justin was unable to find a Bobbie look-alike to taunt JC with, but dirty dancing with a gorgeous Latina woman seemed like an appropriate comeback.

The other guys kept their distance, apparently afraid of being caught in the crossfire, except for Joey, who always had to play peacemaker. "What's up with you guys? You're practically shooting laser beams at each other across the floor."

"Ask him," Justin grumbled. "As far as I knew, everything was peachy keen before he started acting completely bizarre." And that was mostly true, after all.

I know it's intense for you guys, living under a microscope, being on tour and everything. But go easy on C, okay? He's more fragile than he looks."

It was on the tip of Justin's tongue to tell Joey that JC was about as fragile as a lead brick - and about that subtle - but he held it back. One thing JC probably hadn't predicted was that after Joey's first instinct, which would be to comfort JC, his second would be to do everything he could think of get his friends to be happy together. This could only work to Justin's advantage.

"Yeah, I know. I know how lucky I am to have him, Joe, really." Justin suspected his act wasn't nearly as convincing as JC's - though it was true that he really did feel lucky to have JC, pissy bitch and all. Luckily, Joey was more than a little drunk, and not in any condition to critique Justin's acting skills.

"You guys will be fine, I have faith in you." Joey clapped a brotherly arm around Justin's shoulder. "After all, who the hell would ever put up with you guys except each other?"

It took a second for the jibe to sink in, and then Joey was already racing across the club. Justin let out a shout and gave chase. He really did have the best friends in the world.

He was still feeling that glow when he ran into JC in the corridor leading to the bathroom. "I can't wait to get you out of those damn leather pants when we get back to our room tonight," he said against JC's ear, leaning in so that a casual observer would just think they were trying to hear each other over the din of the music.

Hidden between them, JC's hand rubbed up Justin's thigh. "Sorry, baby. That's your room tonight. I've got my own."

JC squirmed away, leaving Justin standing there with his mouth hanging open. So that was why JC hadn't come back to the room to shower, and why his luggage hadn't been there. But understanding didn't mean he had to like it.

JC wasn't the only one who could come up with nefarious plans. Justin headed out of the club before the group, and managed to finagle a key to JC's room out of the cooperative front desk clerk. "Just a little practical joke, ma'am," Justin said, all southern-boy charm, emphasizing his drawl. She slid a cardkey across to him, then giggled and blushed as he signed an autograph for her. Piece of cake.

He'd timed it well, and he didn't have long to wait before he heard the snick of JC's key in the lock, and the door swung open. He stepped forward and swung it closed behind JC before he could turn on the light.

The sudden darkness must have been disorienting for JC, but Justin's eyes had adjusted while he waited, and he had no trouble finding JC in the room. He came up behind him, breathing against his neck. "Someone has been a very. Very. Bad. Boy."

JC turned into his arms without hesitation, melding their bodies and their mouths together at the same time. His hands shoved under Justin's shirt, trying to pull it off, but Justin was having none of that. He plucked JC's hands away easily, then pushed JC against the wall, hands suspended over his head.

"And someone is feeling very alpha tonight, I see," JC taunted back, flushed and breathless, writhing as Justin palmed his erection through the leather pants that had been driving him crazy all night.

"You think you're in charge here?" Justin demanded, frustrated and turned on all at once. "You don't get to make all the rules, C. Not even close."

JC gasped, whatever he had been planning to say lost as Justin shoved his pants halfway down his thighs and started working his cock in a fast, relentless rhythm. All Justin could think about was that he wanted to see JC lose control, wanted to see JC lose that calm air of superiority and come apart in his arms.

It didn't take long, as turned on as they both were. Justin barely managed to hold back as JC stiffened in his arms, keening out a sharp note that sounded like Justin's name as he came. Justin milked every last drop ruthlessly before letting go of JC's cock and swallowing his mouth in a hard, bruising kiss while JC was still shuddering with the aftershocks.

He fumbled in his pocket for the condom and lube he'd stashed there, letting go of JC's wrists long enough to yank his own pants down and kick them off. JC remained in place, sated and pliant, and all Justin could really see of JC's face in the dark was the way his eyes glittered as he watched Justin.

"Turn around," Justin whispered hoarsely, and JC turned obediently, bracing his arm against the wall as Justin palmed his ass. He let out a gasp when Justin thrust a finger into him with almost no preliminaries, then gasped harder and pushed back when he added a second.

Justin waited until JC was hard again, pushing against his fingers and making soft pleading noises in his throat, before he leaned forward and set his teeth at the base of JC's neck, lightly biting the tendon. JC's cries turned high and sharp, and Justin almost came right then and there.

"You want it, baby? You want me to give you what you've been teasing me with all night? You better fucking ask for it." He rubbed his cock against JC's ass teasingly, feeling JC quiver.

"Do it," JC demanded, arching as he tried to get the stimulation he needed to get off. Justin held him back, whispering roughly into his ear, completely avoiding stroking his cock, until he heard JC's voice break. "J, dammit. Do it. Please..."

On that last word, Justin sheathed himself inside JC with one stroke, thrusting hard and deep. He reached around to find JC's cock, working him with the same rhythm. Fast and crazy, against the wall, the two of them moved together until with one last twist of his hips, Justin sent JC over the edge again. The heat and pressure, along with JC's voice calling his name, were all it took for Justin to follow.

"Holy. Fuck," JC gasped out a few minutes later, when they finally got their breath back. "J, next time I call you a whiny bottom boy, you should totally kick my ass."

Justin couldn't help it, he burst out laughing. "Are you okay? I didn't mean to get so rough." He was a little embarrassed at just how "alpha" he'd actually been.

"Mmmmm," JC said. "I like you rough. It's very hot."

They cleaned up and snuggled into bed. "Don't even think about suggesting I should go back to my own room," Justin warned.

"And he's still giving orders." JC dropped a kiss onto Justin's shoulder. "Would any sane man kick you out of bed? Though you're awfully cute when you're jealous."

Justin would have moved away, or sat up or something, but he was far too comfortable and that seemed like a lot of trouble. He settled for grumbling, "Not jealous."

He could feel JC shaking with laughter behind him. "'Course not. How about possessive. Is possessive okay?"

Justin muttered something purposely unintelligible, and then relaxed back into JC's arms. He could probably live with possessive, he thought, as he drifted off to sleep.

Justin had no idea what time it was when JC nudged him. Fucking early, for sure. Justin was mostly ignoring him, half-listening in case JC was waking him up for sex, which was certainly worth being awake for. Then JC whispered, "J, wake up. You need to go back to your room."

That brought Justin awake in a hurry. He opened his eyes and fixed JC with the full-on diva glare. "Oh, you have got to be fucking kidding me."

JC wasn't moved by the glare, but then, he never had been. "It doesn't do me much good to stay in a separate room if we're gonna roll out of here tomorrow looking well-fucked, does it?"

"And this is my problem how?" JC might have a point, but Justin was trying to win a bet here, too.

This time it was JC's turn to glare. "If you want to get laid again this tour, I think you should make it your problem."

Justin gulped. JC was bluffing. He was sure of it. Almost totally sure. But Justin knew that, deep down, JC was just as competitive as Justin was, if not more so. Not at things like basketball, but when it came to a personal challenge, you might as well wait for mountains to crumble before JC would give in.

"You are not a nice person," Justin grumbled, and JC smiled. He knew he'd won. On the plus side, JC liked winning a whole lot, so Justin would undoubtedly reap some benefits. Just not this morning.

Justin gathered his stuff together, trying to think of a perfectly cutting remark to toss at JC on his way out. He gave up when he saw that JC had already fallen back to sleep. He slipped on his pants, carrying everything else. He couldn't imagine anyone would be awake at this ridiculous hour, and sure enough, the only people he saw on the way down the hall were Mike and Tiny, who already thought the five of them were complete lunatics.

Justin managed to get a few hours more sleep before the pounding on his hotel room door woke him up. They couldn't use a wake-up call like normal people? He staggered to the door, grumbling, and opened it up to find Joey, looking disgustingly cheerful and wide awake. Justin scowled as Joey pushed past him.

"Come on, you two, up and at 'em, we've got a radio interview in-" Joey stopped short at the sight of the empty room. "Where's C?"

"Probably in his own damn room," Justin said, not even having to feign annoyance.

They always rented separate rooms for JC and Justin, because hotel employees loved to talk to the press, but no one could remember the last time they'd actually used both. Joey seemed bowled over at the concept.

Justin waited for Joey to ask him if everything was all right, if there was anything he could do. Joey was like that. Except that Joey just gave Justin a pat on the back and said, "I'm sure it'll all work out, J," and headed out of the room. "In the car in 30, okay? We're supposed to be at the radio station at half past 8."

Justin peered down the hall after Joey, and sure enough, he went straight to JC's room. Why did everyone always assume that if something had gone wrong with JC and Justin, JC would be the one who needed comforting?

At the interview, Justin felt like everyone was trying to run interference between him and JC, sitting between them, deflecting questions to Chris and Lance. This was getting a little silly, wasn't it? Did they think he was going to whine about his love life on air? JC seemed perfectly normal, sitting with one arm draped over Chris's shoulder, babbling on happily about nothing in particular.

After the interview they actually had some free time. Everyone had plans - Lance and Joey were going shopping for toys for Bri, JC was going to a museum, and Chris and Justin had planned to check out a motorcycle place that Chris had read about. Justin hesitated, looking at JC. "I could come with you to the museum..."

JC raised his eyebrows and made a sound something like a snort. "And listen to you whine about how your brain is numb from looking at pictures painted by dead people? Yeah, that sounds fun."

Justin did complain when JC dragged him to museums, but secretly he kind of liked it. He didn't usually see the symbolism in the art that JC would talk about, but he liked the time together. It felt like something people who lived normal lives would do - going to the museum with his boyfriend.

Today, though, he didn't even have the option, and he and Chris took off while JC headed in the other direction. The motorcycle place was cool, and he and Chris had fun, but he was distracted. He thought about calling JC, but that seemed pathetic. He couldn't take a day apart from his boyfriend? Besides, he'd see him at the venue in a few hours.

Whether by accident or design, their paths didn't cross again until just before the show, when he found JC in the quiet room, reading a magazine and listening to music. Justin sat down on the floor in front of the couch where JC was sitting, and smiled when JC's fingers automatically stroked over the soft stubble on the top of his head. Justin tipped his head back to lean against JC's thigh, closed his eyes, and felt himself relax completely for the first time all day.

On stage they couldn't have avoided each other if they wanted to, and it didn't seem as if JC wanted to. They played off each other, and played with the crowd, and the connection felt electric. The music, the crowd, the other guys, all of it mixed together until Justin felt like he was floating across the stage. God, he loved his job.

After the show, Justin ran onto the bus, practically bouncing from all the energy coursing through him. JC was the same way after a show; there had been nights when Chris had threatened to open a window and toss them both out onto the highway if they couldn't keep it down. JC's response to that had been to buy Chris noise-canceling headphones for his CD player.

The bus started moving, and Justin looked around in surprise. He was sure he'd been out of the venue before JC. He took a quick walk through the rest of the bus, and only found Chris sitting in the lounge. "Where's C?"

Chris shrugged. "He said he was going to catch a ride with Lance and Joe."

Justin turned away before Chris could see the look on his face. This was taking things a little too far, wasn't it?


"You sure you guys don't mind?" JC asked for the third time. Joey shook his head.

"I told you, man, anytime. Just don't bitch too much about the smell of the ferret, or Lance'll toss your ass out of here." Joey moved around the small kitchen, putting together a snack. "You want anything? Tea? Beer?"

"Beer sounds good," JC said, as Lance came out of the shower, toweling his hair dry.

"Uh oh, Justin is driving JC to the hard stuff," Lance joked, and Joey shot Lance a dark look.

Joey settled down on the big couch, pulling JC over next to him. "Man, you're too tense." Joey rubbed JC's shoulders until JC relaxed back against him. Joey really did give the best backrubs.

"You wanna talk about it?" Joey asked in a quiet voice, after Lance had disappeared back to his bunk for the night. "You don't have to if you don't want to. Just, you know. If it helps."

JC shrugged, as if he didn't even know where to start. "It's nothing, really. I'm being silly."

"Silly-looking, maybe," Joey teased, tugging on one of JC's curls until JC smiled at him. "C'mon, talk to me."

"It's just... nothing. Everything. I don't know." JC sighed. "I just sometimes think he's too much for me, Joe."

"Too much, how?"

"Too..." JC waved his hands around aimlessly. "Too famous. Too popular. Too confident. It's like... I've known him since he was a kid, right? And now it's like he's grown past me. I feel like he's leaving me behind, like I'm too small for him, now." JC gave Joey a shaky smile. "See? I told you it was silly."

"No, no, of course it's not." Joey wrapped JC in a hug, squeezing tightly until JC squeaked. "But J loves you, C. Tell him what's going on with you. You know he'll try to make things right."

"He'll think I'm jealous. That he's had more success with his songs, that the whole damn world is waiting for him to go solo and give us the boot."

Joey didn't say anything, just continued to rub JC's back. "It'll be okay, C. I believe in you guys."

"Thanks, Joe. I hope you're right."

JC snuggled against Joey, getting comfortable. He could drop off to sleep right here, actually. He felt Joey drop a kiss on the top of his head, and closed his eyes.

He still couldn't believe that Joey had actually bought that crock of shit.


They arrived at the hotel at five in the morning, and of course there were fans waiting outside. Justin was kind of amused to see that some of them noticed JC getting off the bus with Joey and Lance. Trust it to their fans to know their normal travel arrangements.

This time, Justin didn't wait to see where JC was planning to sleep. It probably wasn't fair to take advantage of JC in his almost comatose state, but all was fair in love and war, and Justin had started to lose track of which one this was. He wrapped an arm around JC's waist and steered him through the door to his own room, then quickly stripped off both their clothes and steered them into bed.

JC went without protest, barely even awake from the walk into the hotel, and Justin felt a surge of possession so fierce it surprised him. He and JC usually didn't spend every waking minute together, but knowing that he couldn't be around JC had made the need sharpen.

"Go to sleep," JC muttered into Justin's shoulder, and Justin jumped. He hadn't thought JC was awake. "You're thinking too loud."

Justin turned his head to look at him, but JC's eyes were closed. "Love you," he said softly.

"Love you, too. Now go to sleep."

Justin did.

JC was still asleep when Justin woke up, and Justin didn't have any qualms about wrapping his hand around JC's morning erection and stroking it to further hardness. JC thrust into Justin's hand, murmuring nonsense syllables as Justin jacked him slowly, trailing kisses down JC's neck. Justin loved JC like this, sleepy and incoherent, and loved being able to drive JC out of his mind.

"Mmmm, god, yeah," JC gasped, as he got closer, and Justin sped up his motions, his other hand grasping his own cock and stroking to the same rhythm. They were both getting close. "Oh," JC sighed, and Justin knew he was about to come. "Joey!"

Justin froze in place, shocked, and when he looked at JC, JC's eyes were wide open and he was snickering. Justin squeezed JC's cock none too gently, and JC winced.

"That was not funny," Justin said, and wondered how many times he'd said that over the past few days.

"Oh my god, your face," JC gasped, shaking with laughter. "I'm sorry, it's just. Your face!"

Justin snarled and JC reached up and guided his head down for a kiss, JC's tongue playing at Justin's sealed lips until Justin relented, letting him in. Maybe it had been a little funny. Just a little.

JC rolled them so he was straddling Justin, then leaned over to grab the bag Justin had dropped by the side of the bed. "Let me make it up to you." Justin nodded eagerly as JC fished the condoms and lube out of the bag.

It was practiced, this dance of theirs, but it never got old. They knew each other's bodies so well, where to touch, where to kiss, when to be gentle and when to be firm. JC had been Justin's first, and if he had anything to say about it JC would be his last, and Justin couldn't imagine wanting anything more than this, ever.

Afterwards, when they were cuddled together, Justin almost said so. That he didn't care about the games and the ploys and they should just drop the bet. But one of the things he loved so much about JC was that JC never stopped challenging him, and while he knew JC would stop this in an instant if he thought Justin didn't want it, he also knew that the next time JC wanted to push Justin's limits, he wouldn't go quite so far.

In a way, this was about trust. Justin trusted JC absolutely, and if this was what he had to do to prove it, then so be it.

The wake-up call came while they were still dozing. Justin braced himself for JC dashing out the door, so the guys could see him leave from his own room later, but JC just grinned and tugged Justin into the shower. Justin would have liked to think it was the pleasure of his company that had changed JC's mind, but he knew it was probably all part of JC's plan. Whatever the hell that was.

Sure enough, when the two of them stepped out into the hallway together, Joey gave them a sharp look. JC looked down at the carpet, not meeting Joey's eyes, and Justin's own eyes narrowed. If JC so much as hinted that Justin had somehow forced him, this game was over right this fucking minute.

Instead, JC looked up and down the hallway, making sure it was no one but their own people, and dropped a light kiss on Justin's lips. "Love you," JC whispered.

"Love you, too," Justin answered, the reply automatic, but never rote.

If the past few days had been spent mostly apart from JC, today JC clung to Justin's side as if they had been separated for years. It was nice, having JC no more than an arm's length away all day. It was like when they'd first gotten together, when they couldn't stand to keep their hands off each other. Joey walked in on them making out in the quiet room, and instead of teasing them, he smiled fondly. He was obviously glad to see that things were back to normal. Justin wished he could believe they really were.

Justin was losing track of which city they were in, but the crowd loved them, and the show went off without a hitch. He loved this tour, loved that it was stripped down from the crazy tricks and stunts and sheer size of Pop Odyssey, and that it really gave them a chance to connect with their fans and each other.

It was another travel night, and Justin almost let out a sigh of relief when JC followed him onto the bus. He didn't think JC had dropped the bet idea completely, but maybe it was on hold for a couple of days. They didn't have too long a ride, and when Chris saw the looks Justin and JC were giving each other he gave them an indulgent smile and headed off to his bunk with those noise-canceling headphones. Maybe Justin and JC should pretend to fight more often, if it gave them carte blanche to fuck around whenever they wanted.

At the hotel, they did the stumble-off-the-bus routine again. No one said anything when Justin and JC headed off to their room together.

Once inside, JC wasted no time stripping Justin out of his clothes, and then taking off his own. They hadn't really had time to do more than exchange quick blow jobs on the bus - not that Justin was complaining about that - so it was nice to have a chance to take their time. It wasn't really that late, Justin thought, checking the clock. If they'd gone clubbing they probably wouldn't even have been back yet.

"Got somewhere to be?" JC teased, bringing Justin's attention back. "I'd hate to keep you from an important appointment."

"You're the one who's been doing the disappearing act lately," Justin said. "I'm glad you gave up on that."

JC's smile was predatory. "Did I say I'd given up?"

It was hard to feel as alarmed as he probably should be when he couldn't concentrate on much more than the hand JC had wrapped around his cock. "So the game is still on, then?"

"Isn't it always?" JC stroked Justin firmly, their eyes locked together.

Justin arched up as JC lowered his head to suck at one of Justin's nipples, making him moan and writhe on the bed. "I don't really care," he gasped, all thoughts of plans and schemes and anything else that wasn't JC wiped out of his head.

The wake-up call came too early, as always, and Justin had to practically drag JC into the shower if they were going to be on time. Once the warm water woke him up, JC's attention turned to Justin's sleek, wet skin, and they were almost late anyway.

The radio interviews this morning were call-ins, which meant they could do them from the suite, all of them lounging around in casual clothes, munching on breakfast between segments. JC sat practically in Justin's lap, feeding him bites of muffin and sips of juice. Justin was kind of amused to discover that he'd somehow acquired his own personal slave.

They all stayed in the hotel until it was time to leave for the venue, wandering in and out of the main room of the suite. Chris and Justin played video games, and Lance and JC worked out in the hotel gym, and it was just a quiet morning with the five of them hanging out. It was nice.


Joey and JC ended up sharing an SUV heading over to the venue. Joey probably thought it was an accident. JC knew better. He leaned back against the leather and waited for the question, because Joey loved to gossip almost as much as their teenage fans did.

"So you guys are cool, huh? I told you it would work out." Joey was beaming, happy that his friends were happy, and JC waited a beat before wiping the satisfaction off Joey's face.

"Yeah," he said, staring out the window. "I realized I was just being stupid. It wasn't important."

Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Joey sit straight up in his seat. "Wait, you didn't talk to Justin about what was bothering you?"

JC kept looking out the window. "What's the point? He wouldn't... it's just easier this way, Joe. Trust me."

"C." Joey grabbed JC's arm, forcing him to turn and make eye contact. JC tried to look sad. "You can't just pretend that everything's okay. That's not good."

"We're fine," JC said defensively. "You saw. Justin's happy. Everything's fine."

"Well, isn't that nice for Justin. What about you?" Joey was getting more and more worked up by the second. It was an impressive show of loyalty, and JC really did love him for that.

"As long as Justin's happy, things are fine," JC repeated. God, he sounded like an abused wife. He'd need to tone things down before Joey started checking him over for bruises.

"Oh, baby." Joey pulled JC into a hug. When Joey's friends hurt, he hurt, and all he wanted was to help them make things better. "I know you love him, but it's not worth losing yourself if that's what it takes to be with him."

Deep down, JC knew that none of the others had really expected his relationship with Justin to last. They thought Justin was too immature, and JC was too intense, and that the two of them would burn themselves out quickly. JC had let them believe that because as long as he and Justin knew the truth, what the rest of them thought didn't really matter. Now that was working to his advantage, because the scenario being played out was one everyone had viewed as inevitable anyway.

"It's just hard. Being around him." JC sighed again. He wondered if you could hurt your voice by sighing too much.

"I'll tell you what, they're all going out tonight, why don't we hang together at the hotel, just the two of us? Watch hotel porn and eat room service and hang out. Like old times."

"I don't really remember your mom letting us watch porn when we hung at your house after MMC," JC joked, and Joey gave him another squeeze. "Thanks, Joe. That sounds really nice."

In fact, it sounded perfect.


Justin hadn't really thought anything of it when they piled into the cars to go to the venue and he found himself with Lance and Chris. When they arrived, however, and he saw the way Joey was hovering over JC, he knew the pleasant interlude of the past day was over. Apparently they were back to The Plan. Justin was really starting to hate The Plan.

His dejection must have showed, because Chris tracked him down after the fan soundcheck, when Justin was sitting in one of the empty corridors with his headphones on. Usually he and Chris would have been tearing around on their scooters or trying to kill each other on some video game, but Justin just didn't have the heart for it today.

Chris slid down to sit next to him, kicking at Justin's ankle until Justin couldn't really pretend not to notice that Chris was there. He turned off the music and gave Chris a look.

"Wanna talk about it?" Chris usually stayed as far as possible from JC and Justin's relationship issues, so the fact that Chris was even opening this line of discussion spoke volumes.

"It's nothing. We're fine. Tour stress, you know." Justin had no idea what JC had been telling Joey, so it seemed best to just keep denying that anything was wrong.

"I don't really know what's going on with you two, because, you know, not my business. Joey's kinda hinted at some stuff. But, you know, you two have had a good run. It's hard, with someone you work with. I went through that with Dani, trying to run the business after the relationship fell apart. But you and C have always been good friends."

Chris wasn't much given to long speeches, so it took a second for it to penetrate that Chris was trying to give him advice on how to handle breaking up with JC in the middle of the tour. As if there was no question but that Justin and JC had had their "good run," and now it was over.

Justin scrambled to his feet. "The hell, Chris? You just said you don't know anything. Me and C are not over. Far from it. And fuck you if you think we are."

Chris had followed Justin off the floor, and now he grabbed his arm. "Hey. What you two do affects the rest of us."

"Yeah? Well, the rest of you can leave the two of us the fuck alone." Justin shook Chris off and stomped down the hallway, determined to find JC and put an end to this once and for all.

The quiet room had its name for a reason, and Lance, Joey and JC looked up in surprise when the door slammed back against the wall. Justin didn't miss the way Joey moved slightly in front of JC, as if to guard him from Justin, and that just fueled his temper.

He pointed at JC. "You. Me. Right now." Joey opened his mouth, and Justin cut him off ruthlessly. "Not your fucking business, Joe. Now, C."

Justin expected JC to start yelling back, but instead JC gave Joey a look and a small shrug, then stepped toward Justin. For a second Justin thought that Joey was going to try and stop him, and then Joey stepped back, his eyes darting worriedly from Justin to JC and back. Lance was just staring at them with his mouth slightly open, as if he couldn't believe what he was seeing. Justin couldn't quite believe it himself.

His grasp on JC's wrist was probably too hard, but Justin couldn't let himself care. He pulled JC down the hallway, past an astonished Chris, and added Tiny to the list of people he'd been rude to today. "Can you find us somewhere we can talk? Alone?"

After a quick discussion over the radios - and oh, wasn't that fantastic, now their entire security team knew Justin and JC were having a meltdown - the two of them were ushered into a small office. Tiny stood outside the door, but no matter what happened, he'd pretend he hadn't heard a thing, and he wouldn't let anyone in.

"Are you breaking up with me?" Justin demanded, and now JC was the one who looked shocked. "Because, seriously, if this whole thing is just an excuse to get rid of me, tell me now."

"J?" JC's voice was tentative, and he looked like he was trying to figure out what was going on in Justin's head. "Hey. C'mon. What's gotten into you?" He reached out to touch Justin's shoulder, and Justin stepped back. He couldn't think clearly when JC was touching him, and he needed to think clearly now.

"They all think we're breaking up. Joey, Chris--okay, I don't know what the fuck Lance thinks, but I'm sure he agrees. And they all think it's my fault." He paced restlessly, keeping his distance from JC, the words tumbling out. "And they're not even surprised, like they expected it, like they expected I'd be a jerk to you. They're my best friends, C. What the hell?"

This time JC didn't let Justin stop him from closing the distance between them. He grasped Justin's chin, forcing him to meet his eyes. JC's eyes were clear and steady, never wavering. "Justin. I love you. You know that."

"But -"

"No. No buts. Did we listen to them when they said you'd get tired of me, that I was just an experiment in guys? Did we listen to them when they said I was too intense, and you'd feel smothered? Did we listen to them any one of the thousand times they tried to tell us we were great guys, but it just wasn't going to work out for us?" Justin was shaking his head no with every question, and JC's voice dropped and gentled. "Then why are you listening to them now, J?"

Justin shuddered and wrapped his arms around JC, holding on for dear life. "But why is it so easy for them to believe it's my fault? That I'd be like that to you? Don't they know me better than that?"

JC's hands swept up and down Justin's back, soothing and comforting. "We had a choice, J. We could lay our whole relationship out there for everyone to see, or we could let them see what we wanted and keep the rest for ourselves. If they don't know what we're really like together, it's because we never let them see. That's why. Because we're the only ones who know the truth."

JC kissed him then, soft and gentle and searching. Justin relaxed, all the tension pouring out of him so fast that he swayed until JC braced them both against the wall.

"I'm sorry," JC whispered. "I didn't know you'd get like this. I didn't mean to upset you, really. Forget it, okay? It doesn't matter."

He meant the bet, Justin thought hazily, as his hands burrowed under JC's shirt, seeking the smooth skin underneath. He meant it was over, that everything could go back to normal now.

"No," Justin heard himself say, to his own surprise as much as JC's.

JC pulled back slightly to look at him. "What?"

"No. Don't stop it. The bet's still on." He hadn't been sure before. But now he was.

"If you're worried about collecting your prize, you can still -"

"No, I mean it. They think they know us? Fine. Let's take what they think they know and turn it on its ass." He sounded mean, Justin thought, which really wasn't like him. He could never hold a grudge; he was too good-natured. JC was usually the one who remembered every slight and couldn't let go of the resentment.

JC was still studying him, and Justin wondered what he was looking for. "Nobody gets hurt, J. They're our friends, and we're not doing this to hurt anyone."

Justin pulled JC in for another kiss. "Nobody gets hurt. Good clean fun. Well, good dirty fun." He still didn't quite understand how JC was going to get Joey to make the leap from comforting JC to wanting to jump JC, but if anyone could do it, he had faith in his boyfriend.

"Mmmmm. Dirty fun. My favorite kind." Somehow JC had maneuvered them so that Justin was backed up against the desk. "You've been a really good sport about this, J. I think you deserve a reward."

JC dropped to his knees, and that wasn't the kind of reward Justin was likely to ever turn down, whether he'd been a good sport or not. He used one hand to brace himself against the desk and buried the other in JC's soft curls, tugging the way he knew JC liked. JC loved giving head, and like most things he loved, he gave it all his attention and skill. And oh yeah, that was a whole lot of skill.

Justin would have been embarrassed at how long he lasted - or didn't last - if it hadn't felt so damn fantastic. When it was done he pulled JC to his feet, kissing him deeply and tasting himself on JC's lips before starting to kneel to return the favor. JC stopped him. "It'll wait," he said. "Let's go back before the other guys start to wonder if we've killed each other."

When they got back to the quiet room, JC gave him a quick kiss before grabbing his hand and opening the door. Chris, Joey and Lance were huddled together on one of the couches, but their conversation broke off as soon as the door opened. Justin followed JC's lead, literally, as JC pulled him by the hand into the room. He wondered what JC had up his sleeve next.

JC looked back at the stares of the other three. "What? Do I have something in my hair?" His hair was a little mussed from Justin's enthusiastic pulling, but nothing too obvious.

It was Chris who finally had the nerve to ask. "Is everything okay?"

JC smiled so brightly that it could not have looked any more fake. "It's fine. Everything's fine. Justin was a little upset about something, but he's fine now." JC squeezed Justin's hand. "Right, J?"

"Uh, yeah. We're good. Sorry about the fuss." This might work better if JC told him what the hell he was supposed to do beforehand. Of course, JC would probably say he was more convincing when he had no idea what was going on.

"Well, you definitely look more... relaxed," Lance drawled, with that edge of sarcasm that Lance had perfected. "Though you might want to zip your fly if you don't want to give the teenies heart attacks."

Justin looked down and, sure enough, his pants were still open. He yanked his hand out of JC's and fumbled the fly closed, looking up just in time to catch JC wiping his mouth with the back of his hand. Well, that shouldn't leave much doubt about what they'd been up to. Especially when JC reached down and casually adjusted himself, leaving no question about who had gotten off, and who hadn't.

Justin sat down on the couch across from the other three, pulling JC down so he tumbled across Justin's lap. "Now that's where I like you, baby," he said. The others averted their eyes from the pair, and JC smiled up at him with a glint in his eyes that only Justin could see.

This was definitely going to be more fun as a team.

The show was fantastic, and afterwards Justin couldn't wait to hit the club and dance his ass off. He was surprised to find that, once again, he was in the car with Chris and Lance. He was even more surprised to see the SUV ahead of them turn back toward the hotel instead of downtown.

"Where are Joey and C going?" he demanded.

"Joey said something about the two of them spending some quality time together or something. I think he's been reading those damn parenting books that Kel keeps sending," Chris said.

Both Chris and Lance seemed to be watching him closely, probably wondering if Justin was going to pitch a fit.

Justin was pretty sure JC had something different in mind than playing patty-cake, but he kept his mouth shut and concentrated on looking disgruntled that his boyfriend had deserted him as they headed to the club.


JC couldn't remember the last time he'd spent time alone with Joey as a planned event, rather than hanging out together while they were waiting for something - to get to a venue, or for soundcheck to start, or for the show to begin.

They ordered a ton of food from room service - "I can't eat all that!" JC had insisted, but Joey had poked him in the ribs, declared him too skinny, and promised to eat anything JC didn't finish. They also hit the mini-bar, though JC pointed out they could save a lot of money by sending security out to a liquor store. Joey countered by pointing out that they were millionaires.

"I bet you go down the hall to get a soda out of the machine rather than drink the four-buck Coke from the mini-bar, huh, C?" Joey teased.

"That's not true," JC insisted. Then he confessed, "I usually make Justin go."

Joey paused at Justin's name. "We don't have to talk about this if you don't want to. This is supposed to be a chance for you to unwind. But, C... you know this isn't healthy, right? What happened at the venue..."

"You have no idea what happened at the venue," JC said. Boy, was that true.

"It wasn't that hard to figure out." Joey gave JC a pointed look, and JC looked away. "But hey, this is supposed to be about you relaxing. C'mon, let's pick out some porn."

The porn selections on the hotel television were as lame as expected, and they ended up settling on a Trading Spaces marathon. To JC's surprise they actually did finish all the food - though he was thankful he wouldn't have to dance the next day - and then settled down on the bed, trading commentary about the various designers and room set-ups.

As the pile of bottles on the nightstand grew higher, their remarks got more and more silly. "I would lock every door in the house and hide in the basement if they assigned me Frank!" JC declared. "Vern. Vern is the guy to get."

"Oh, come on, I bet you'd love to have Hildi show up and staple silk flowers all over that big empty space you call a living room." Joey, who had no sense of personal space even when he was sober, pushed JC back and started tickling him. "Admit it! You want tacky flowers and straw-covered walls and bright colors and clutter!"

JC giggled, rolling back and forth, trying to escape. "Do not! Do not!" he shrieked out, as Joey continued to tickle him mercilessly. Finally they were both laughing so hard that Joey just collapsed on top of him.

JC looked up to say something, and found himself staring right into Joey's eyes. "It's good to see you smile," Joey said, looking down at him fondly.

JC stared back for a few long seconds... and then pushed at Joey's shoulders. "Get off me, you big oaf. Can't breathe!"

Joey let him up, and JC stumbled over to the bathroom. Inside he straightened up, took a piss, then looked in the mirror, pondering his hair. He didn't think Joey'd caught on to how many of the empty bottles were whose, and how few were JC's.

Back in the room, he staggered back to the bed, landing pretty much right on top of Joey. Unfazed, Joey wrapped his arms around JC, blowing a big wet raspberry on his neck. JC squirmed into a comfortable position, and Joey squirmed back, and, curled up like that, they fell asleep in front of the television.

When JC woke up a few hours later, the television was off, but the lights were still on. Joey must have woken up long enough to grab the remote, but not wanted to disturb JC. JC snuggled closer. Joey really was sweet. And warm. And cuddly.

And hard.

JC could feel the arousal pushing against his leg, and he shifted a little, rocking slightly. It wasn't enough to wake Joey up - not yet - but more than enough to make his body react. JC doubted he had a starring role in whatever Joey was dreaming about, but friction was friction, as Chris was fond of saying.

He shifted closer, breathing into Joey's neck, his knee moving in a smooth, easy rhythm. Joey whimpered slightly, shifting closer, the hand that had been curled around JC's back moving restlessly up and down before cupping JC's ass and pulling him closer. Now JC was grinding up against Joey's thigh, the two of them moving instinctively. This was maybe starting to get a little out of hand, JC thought, and then he felt Joey start to wake up. He closed his eyes and feigned sleep, hoping Joey wouldn't actually shove him off the bed when he woke up and ran screaming across the room.

Instead he felt Joey go completely still, and then Joey leaned over and brushed the hair back from JC's forehead, dropping a light kiss on his temple. "Hey, sleeping beauty, wake up. You're so horny you're humping the wrong guy."

JC fluttered his eyes open and looked up at Joey, who was grinning in amusement, but still hadn't moved away. Since they were apparently not pretending not to notice what was going on, JC felt justified in pointing out, "I'm not the only horny guy doing the humping."

Joey laughed - and still didn't move away. In fact, for a second he pushed closer, and JC wondered what he'd do if Joey actually tried to take this any further. "Looks like my subconscious has a thing for skinny guys with weird hair. Who knew?" Now Joey did roll away, his erection blatantly obvious, but it didn't seem to concern him at all. "Now get your skinny butt out of my bed, Chasez."

Then Joey seemed to remember why they'd been hanging out together in the first place. "I mean--you can stay here tonight, if you don't want to be alone, or, you know." Or go back to Justin. "I promise not to molest you in your sleep. Any more."

"Well, what would be the fun in that?" JC practically purred, and for the first time Joey looked a little discomfited. He was trying to play it off and be casual, but maybe he wasn't as comfortable with the situation as he'd pretended.

"They're probably back from the club by now. I'm sure Justin is looking for me. I should go." Joey looked like he wanted to comment on that, but he stayed silent. "Thanks, Joe. Tonight was a lot of fun."

"Anytime. Whatever you need, I'm here, C. You know that." Once again, it looked like Joey was considering saying more, but he didn't.

JC gave Joey a hug, holding on just a little too long, then stepping back quickly, acting flustered. "Um. Yeah. I should go."

He didn't have to look back to know that Joey was standing there watching him go.


Justin wasn't sure how long it took to actually wear down a carpet from pacing, but he supposed it was longer than he'd been doing it. It sure felt like he'd been doing it a long time, though.

When he heard JC talking to someone in the hall, he quickly turned out the light and jumped into bed. He didn't want JC to think he'd been worried. Or jealous. Or anything.

As JC moved around the room, Justin tried to breathe evenly so it would sound like he was asleep. He heard the water running in the bathroom, and then felt the bed dip as JC climbed in. JC spooned up behind him, and Justin snuggled back--and then forgot all about pretending to be asleep.

"Hey, is that me you're so glad to see?" JC was hard against him, and Justin wasn't sure if he wanted to know what he'd been doing with Joey to get into that state.

JC chuckled. "And hello to you, too."

Justin rolled over. He could just barely make out JC's profile in the dark. "So what were you doing over there, anyway?"

JC dropped a light kiss on Justin's shoulder. "We watched television and ate room service and fell asleep. Exciting stuff."

Justin wasn't going to be deterred. "Well, this," he said, giving JC's dick a squeeze, "sure makes it seem like there was something exciting going on."

"Are you jealous, baby?" JC sounded amused. "Were you lying here thinking about what I was doing to Joey? Wondering if I was touching him... kissing him... were you?"

JC's voice had dropped into the register he only used in bed, and Justin's breath was coming faster just from the sound of his voice. Certainly not from the image of JC touching Joey, and Joey reacting...

"Oh, you like that, hmmmm?" Now JC's fingers were teasing the hair above Justin's groin, making him twitch impatiently, wanting JC's hands to travel lower.

"I just think," Justin said, trying to keep his voice steady and not wholly succeeding, "that we need some, oh, ground rules here. About, oh god, what is... acceptable." JC was barely touching him, lightly running one finger up and down the length of Justin's cock, and the teasing pressure was making him crazy.

"You mean what I'm allowed to do to Joey? Well, that's a good question." JC stopped touching Justin, which definitely hadn't been Justin's intention. "What would I have to do to make you want to have sex with me, Justin?"

"Breathe," Justin answered honestly, and JC laughed, his real high-pitched giggle, not his sexy porn laugh.

"God, I love you," JC said, with so much affection in his voice that it made Justin feel even warmer than he had when JC was stroking him. JC's fingers ghosted across Justin's scalp, and then Justin felt JC's lips press a soft kiss to his forehead. "Joey did that to wake me up. Is that okay?"

"Sure." Justin couldn't really complain about that. Then JC pulled him onto his side, and moved so that his leg was between Justin's. Justin whimpered at the sensation, pressing closer, feeling JC's cock rubbing against him.

"When I woke up, we were like this. Pressed together. Hard. But fully clothed, of course. Is that okay?" JC rocked, and Justin grabbed at JC's ass and pulled him closer. "Oooooh, that's exactly what Joey did."

That was something Justin wouldn't have expected, but he really couldn't blame Joey for the impulse. "No, I think. This is fine. With clothes." He sounded breathless even to his own ears.

"That's all we did tonight. But I wonder what else I might have to do to get Joey interested, mmmmm? Would it be okay if I kissed him?" JC's closed mouth came down on Justin's, and then pulled away. "I'd probably have to be more persuasive than that." Another kiss, JC's tongue tracing Justin's lips and dipping inside briefly. "Is that okay?"

"That... is very okay," Justin said faintly. After all, what harm could come from kissing? Even JC's brand of kissing.

"Oh, good." In the dark, Justin was aware of nothing but JC's voice, wrapping around him like silk, and his touch, driving him crazy. He moved restlessly when JC moved his body away so that there was no point of contact between them.

"Shhh. I know," JC whispered, placing his hand on Justin's chest, then continued his questions. "But what about touching?" JC's fingers trailed down, stopping at his nipple, rubbing lightly over it until it pebbled to a hard peak, and then giving it a firm pinch. Justin's torso arched off the bed, and he moaned. "What about touching, Justin?"

"You... oh, god. You can touch. Not him." It was maddening to think of JC touching someone else like this, but it would be unbearable to think of someone else doing this to JC, making him feel like this.

"That sounds fair." As if to show his approval, JC lowered his mouth to blow cool air across Justin's sensitized skin, while his fingers played with the other nipple. "But how much am I allowed to touch? Can I... lick?"

JC did just that, and Justin's moan turned into a high-pitched whine when JC's teeth closed around him and tugged. "Oh god. Oh god." That was all Justin was capable of saying.

"Too much?" JC purred, and Justin shook his head, thrashing back and forth, not wanting JC to stop. Wanting JC to do anything other than stop.

JC understood. JC always understood. "Not enough, then?" His tongue continued down Justin's body and stopped at Justin's belly button, dipping in and licking, while his hands held Justin's hips down against the mattress.

Justin was beyond speech, almost beyond thought, and he could hear himself whimpering as if from a far distance. JC was still asking questions, his voice rising and falling in a maddening rhythm, and Justin didn't care anymore, JC could do anything he wanted to Joey, as long as he did it to Justin, now.

He heard JC say something else about licking, and then JC's mouth closed over Justin's aching erection, sucking hard, JC's tongue swirling around the head, at the same time he released the pressure holding Justin's hips immobile. With a choked gasp Justin thrust hard into JC's warm, wet mouth, once, then twice, and then just as he was about to come, JC pulled off.

Before Justin could even begin to voice a protest, JC was leaning over him, kissing him hard as he reached over the edge of the bed to fumble for something. When he pulled back he was holding the condoms and lube, and Justin could only whine his gratitude, lifting his hips imploringly.

His brain nearly shorted out when JC ripped open the condom and rolled it down on Justin's cock, then squirted lube onto his fingers and started preparing himself. Justin didn't move, barely even breathed, trying not to come from the image alone. JC knelt over Justin, his ass just grazing the head of Justin's cock, and Justin pressed up, seeking entrance.

"This," JC said in a firm voice, "no one else is allowed to do. Ever." Slowly - oh god, so slowly - he sank down, until Justin's cock was buried deep inside his body. JC bent to kiss Justin, possessing Justin's mouth as he moved up and down in a relentless rhythm. Justin closed his eyes, riding the waves, trying to make it last as long as he could.

He felt JC's movements change, and opened his eyes to see that JC was fisting his own cock, still fucking Justin, his eyes burning into Justin with desire and love, and that was all it took. Justin gasped, his hips snapping up in one last surge, and he felt JC jerk above him, wet warmth spreading across his chest.

They fell asleep so quickly that it could almost be called passing out, and by the time they woke up, it was noon. With no wake-up call they had slept away a good portion of their day off, but it was nice to have the time to relax together.

When Justin came out of the shower, he was surprised to find JC dressed and ready to go. "Did we have plans?"

"Not 'we,'" JC said, peering out the peephole as if he was waiting for someone to walk by.

"Oh, is this part of the plan? What happens next?" Justin pushed in next to JC to try and see out to the hallway, but JC elbowed him aside.

"You're maybe a little too into this," JC said. "Listen, J, whatever happens, don't freak out, okay? I mean, you can look like you're freaking out, but don't actually freak out."

Justin didn't like the sound of that at all. "What's that -"

And then JC opened the door, walked out into the hallway and turned and yelled, "Fine. See if I care!" and started down the hall in the opposite direction - running smack into Joey, who was walking toward him.

JC took one look at Joey, turned, and ran down the hallway in the other direction. Justin heard the door to the staircase slam open, and a bodyguard swear under his breath before giving chase.

Joey looked at Justin, and Justin shrugged. It was an honest response, at least. After a second, Joey headed off in the same direction as JC.

Justin closed the hotel room door, which was when he looked down and realized that the whole scene had just played out with him completely naked.


Coming up to the roof had sounded like a good idea, but man, it was fucking cold up here. JC shivered and hoped Joey would get there soon.

Sure enough, the door to the roof opened and Joey poked his head out, looking around. "C? You up here?"

"Over here," JC called, trying to keep his teeth from chattering.

"Jesus, you're freezing." Joey rubbed JC's arms briskly. "Come on, let's go inside."

JC shook his head. "I'm fine. Really."

"Sure, I buy that one." Joey put an arm around JC's shoulders and steered him toward the door. "Come on, you don't have to talk to him if you don't want to, but you can't stay up here."

JC let himself be led back inside and down the stairs, past Justin's closed door and into Joey's room. "Okay, what happened?"

JC sighed. More sighing. "I don't know, we got into a stupid fight. He was mad that I didn't go out to the club, and then he got all crazy about what you and me were doing last night, and I just, I can't take it anymore, Joe. You were right."

Joey looked a little alarmed at that. "About what?"

"Maybe it's just not... not worth it." JC got up and started pacing restlessly, just to have something to do.

"What happened?" Joey looked like he was on the verge of jumping up and forcing JC to sit down.

JC raked his hands through his hair, putting the curls in wild disarray. "Like I said, he freaked out that I didn't go to the club. Demanded to know what we were doing last night. He thought. Well. You can probably figure out what he thought. God."

Joey did a double-take. "Wait. He... you and me? He thought you and me were...? Oh, man."

JC shot Joey an offended look. "Nice to know you think it's such a repulsive idea."

"Hey!" Joey backpedalled fast. "You know that's not what I meant. You're hot, C. You know that. Everyone knows that. We just... we're not like that, right?"

JC had moved closer, decidedly within Joey's personal space. "Oh?" His look was pointed. "You didn't seem to feel that way last night. What was it you said your subconscious liked?" He was almost spitting the words out, sounding hurt and offended and pissed off. Joey looked like he wanted to flee the room.

"Hey, come on, calm down." No matter how much Joey wanted to avoid a confrontation, he'd never walk out on JC when he thought JC was hurting. "Sit down." He grabbed JC's arm and pulled him over to the bed, where he wasted no time throwing a comforting arm around JC's shoulder. JC sat there for a second, stiff and unyielding, then wrapped his arms around Joey's neck and squeezed, tightly, burying his face in Joey's neck.

"I just don't know what to do, Joe. I can't believe it can just end like this."

Joey was patting his back, saying comforting things. If someone JC knew was behaving like this, JC suspected he'd be on the phone to the nearest mental institution. Yet JC's completely insane behavior didn't seem to bother Joey in the least. Did people really think he was this... weird?

Well, screw it. If he was the unstable one, fine. He'd give Joey a taste of unstable. Literally.

When Joey moved back to look in JC's eyes and say more comforting things, JC leaned in and kissed him. Hard.

Joey froze, which was pretty much what JC had anticipated. Then he cupped the back of JC's neck, tilted his head, and kissed back. With tongue.

That, JC really hadn't expected.

Joey was a good kisser, and it didn't really surprise JC that he took the lead, taking control of the kiss and tilting JC back against the bed. Well, aside from the part where he couldn't believe Joey was actually making out with him.

When they pulled apart, JC was lying back against the pillows, feeling ravished, and Joey was lying half on top of him. "I think that should remove any questions," Joey growled, "about whether or not I find you repulsive."

JC had to agree that it did. He was kind of amused that Joey was making out with him to help restore his supposedly-damaged ego, but he wasn't going to complain.

"This is a bad idea, though," Joey said, which was kind of an incongruous statement when he was leaning over JC, practically straddling his thigh. "I know you're upset about you and J. You guys should sit down. Really talk to each other."

"Do you have any idea how tiring it is to try and talk to Justin these days? He's either spouting the latest self-help book he's been reading, repeating all the stuff the folks at Jive are feeding him about what a superstar he's going to be, or quoting his mama."

Before Joey could formulate an answer to that, JC pulled him down and kissed him again. It seemed to work well to keep Joey off balance. And it was kind of fun, though he probably wouldn't mention that part to Justin.

They were both panting a little when Joey pulled back. "This is a bad idea, C."

"Mmmm, it seems like an awfully good idea from this angle." He ran his hands down Joey's back, cupping his ass, and Joey groaned.

The phone rang, and they both jumped. Joey leaned over to grab the phone, and JC took that opportunity to lick a stripe up the side of Joey's neck. He smiled when Joey almost dropped the phone.

"Uh, yeah?" Joey sounded flustered. The hand JC still had on the inside of his thigh probably wasn't helping. "Oh, crap, I forgot. Yeah, okay, I'll be down in a minute."

Joey hung up, then rested his forehead against JC's for a second. He seemed to be gathering strength to pull away. "I forgot, Lance has these people he wants us to meet with, about a script or something. I don't really know what good I do at these things, but I think he likes having me along for moral support."

JC gave Joey a blinding smile. "I think you're good at lots of things, Joey."

Joey looked down at him, an expression on his face that JC couldn't read at all. "What am I going to do with you?"

Before JC could make a rather pointed suggestion, Joey rolled over and off the bed, giving JC a hand up. "Listen, I'll give you a call when we get back? We'll grab dinner or something."

No show tonight, JC remembered, and they weren't leaving for the next stop until tomorrow. Perfect.

"Sure, sounds like a plan. I'll go work out my aggression in the exercise room or something."

Joey hesitated. "You sure you're going to be okay? You can come with, if you want. Though it'll probably be boring."

"I'm fine, Joe. Really. Thanks." He gave Joey a hug, and hesitated as if he wasn't sure if he should do anything else, then stepped back. "Enjoy your meeting. I'll see you later."

JC had lots of things to take care of before tonight.


Justin stared at JC, his mouth open. "You already convinced Joey to sleep with you? In a day?"

"Not exactly," JC said. "He thinks we're going to dinner. I have other plans."

Justin's head was spinning. He didn't quite believe that this was actually going to happen. "So, um. What are you going to do?"

"Not me, J. We. I'll tell Joey to meet me here. You wait in the bathroom. When he's... comfortable... you come out. He'll be surprised, but don't worry. I don't think it'll be a hard sell."

Justin swallowed past the lump in his throat. "And, um, what exactly are you selling?" The original plan was that Joey was going to watch the two of them together, a thought that sent a tickle of excitement up Justin's spine. But this sounded more like some kind of fucked-up threesome.

"I remember the ground rules, J. I can touch, he can't. Don't worry." JC gave him a steady look. "I'm not going to tell you this is your last chance to back out, because that's not true. Any time you're not comfortable, you tell me, and I will stop this. But I'm telling you right now that if you know this isn't something you want to do, you should say so."

"I don't... I don't want to back out." The thoughts of what it would be like were teasing him, the possibilities that JC had awakened that night starting to look like they might actually happen. "I just want to know what to expect."

JC's smile was gentle, but not entirely reassuring. "Expect to be completely blown away, baby. And expect that I'll be right there with you every step of the way."

That was going to have to be enough, Justin knew. He shivered, tucking himself closer against JC's side. JC held him close, and Justin rested his head against JC's shoulder.

"Nap?" JC suggested. JC was always happy to get more sleep, but this time there was more to it. Right now Justin felt like doing nothing more than cuddling, and somehow, JC sensed that.

He didn't think he'd sleep, but the warmth of the bed and JC's soft voice humming in his ear let him drift off. He wasn't sure what time it was when he heard JC's cell phone ring, and felt JC roll away to grab it off the nightstand.

"Hey, Joe, how was the meeting? Mmm, just napping. You know me." JC reached out and grabbed Justin's hand, his thumb stroking over Justin's knuckles. "You know, I'm not really in the mood to go out tonight. Maybe I'm still a little hung over from our attack on the minibar. Why don't you come by my room?" There was a pause, and then JC giggled. "Why, what are you suggesting? Would I ever do something like that?" JC listened, and then laughed. "You know me too well. Okay, see you then."

JC hung up and looked at Justin, his eyes twinkling. "Seven o'clock, my room." Before he could say anything else, Justin's cell phone rang.

He picked it up and looked at the display. "Joey," he said out loud, exchanging a look with JC. The hell?

"'Sup, Joe?" He tried to sound casual. "Where you been all day?"

"Oh, me and Lance had a meeting. How're you doing?"

Right, right, Joey had seen him supposedly fighting with JC. "Oh, you know. Hanging in there." He still couldn't figure out why Joey had called.

"Listen, I know it's not any of my business, but I know things have been a little rocky with you and C lately." Joey sounded hesitant to broach the subject, but also determined.

"Yeah, so?" Justin decided to go for defensive asshole, which would probably fit in well with what Joey expected.

"So I know you hate fighting with him. I think you guys really need to sit down and talk." JC was leaning in and listening next to Justin, and he pointed at himself and made a face. Justin had absolutely no idea what that was supposed to mean.

"What the hell do you think I was trying to do this morning? And you saw his reaction. Hell, half the hotel probably heard his reaction." JC nodded in approval, so that was good, at least.

And then Justin listened, amused, as Joey told him that he was going to be having dinner with JC tonight, and Justin should come by JC's room around 7:15, so Joey could act as referee to help the two of them talk to each other. "Because I know how much you guys love each other, and I think you just need a shove in the right direction."

Justin agreed, while JC had to clap a hand over his own mouth to keep from laughing out loud. After Justin hung up, he let the laugh out.

"Oh god. Are we a group of lunatics or what? We're scheming, and he's scheming, and man. It's a good thing we've got each other, because no normal people would ever be able to put up with us."

"See, you thought he wanted to jump your bones, when in reality, he wants to play matchmaker." Justin didn't mean to sound smug - much - but it was nice to know that JC couldn't just wave his hand and get anyone to want to sleep with him. It was perfectly fine with Justin if he kept that particular super-power between the two of them.

"I think maybe he's so eager to get us back together to avoid the temptation to jump my bones, J, but it does explain why he was willing to be lured into my lair tonight." JC leaned over and gave Justin a soft kiss. "Go over to your room for a while, okay? Come back around 6:30."

Justin started to voice a protest, but JC shushed him with a finger to his lips. "I have some stuff I want to get ready. I'll see you later."

Justin's stomach was churning as he wandered down the hallway, finally finding Chris and Lance in the main room of the suite. "How's the soap opera?" Chris asked, with his usual tact.

Justin shrugged. "You know, tour drama. It'll blow over." Tomorrow he and JC wouldn't have any reason to pretend to be fighting anymore, so it seemed reasonable to start laying the ground work for their "sudden" reconciliation.

"Who else would they possibly find who could possibly put up with them?" Lance asked no one in particular, giving a particularly vicious twist to his game controller and sending Chris's character to a fiery death. "Hah. Who's the king now?"

Justin hung out with the other guys for a while before going back to his room to take a shower. He wasn't sure exactly what was on the agenda for the night, but a shower probably wasn't a bad idea.

At 6:30 he peeked down the hallway to make sure no one was there, then snuck down the hallway to JC's room. It felt very stealthy, the way that JC opened the door and pulled him in quickly.

There was anticipation simmering in the air, but they ignored it, making out languidly until Joey knocked on the door. JC gave him one last kiss then pushed him toward the bathroom. Justin kept the light off, and pulled the door almost closed, so that he could see part of the room through the crack.

It was all about to begin.


JC was trying to decide how to play this, since he knew Joey was expecting Justin to show up in fifteen minutes, but Joey didn't know he knew. He was pretty sure there had been an episode of Friends like this. Well, probably not exactly like this.

"I wasn't sure if you'd want room service again or if you wanted to go out or something," he said, the babble starting the second he let Joey into the room. "The concierge recommended a good Italian place nearby, though I know you'll complain that the gravy isn't as good as your mom's. There's also a Thai place and, oh, sushi, but I know you don't really like that stuff."

He had walked across the room as he talked, away from the bathroom over to where two armchairs were grouped around a small table. Joey had automatically followed him, trying to keep up with JC's stream of conversation, and JC caught Joey by surprise when he turned and gave him a quick push, landing him in one of the chairs. JC smiled brightly at Joey, and then in one smooth motion straddled his lap. "Hi," he said, leaning down to give Joey a long, deep kiss.

He had an unfair advantage here, because he knew that one of Joey's favorite things was making out with a girl when she was sitting above him, taking the dominant position. They all knew these things about each other, from endless hours spent together talking about everything in their lives.

JC wasn't a girl, but Joey reacted automatically, his hands reaching around JC's waist to grab his ass and lever JC against him. The fact that JC wasn't a girl was becoming more obvious by the second. JC ground down, deepening the kiss, and he felt Joey arch up underneath him.

Joey tore his mouth away, gasping a little. "Um, hi to you, too." He glanced over at the clock, and JC suppressed a smile. "I thought we were talking about dinner?"

"I thought you might like an appetizer," JC said, taking another kiss. For all that Joey seemed to be trying to protest, JC couldn't help noticing that he had yet to release his grasp on JC. "Before we get to the main course."

They hadn't arranged any sort of signal, but JC had known Justin would know when it was right to come out. Sure enough, he heard the bathroom door open, and saw Joey's eyes widen when he caught sight of Justin walking across the room.

Joey didn't try to get up, probably because even if he'd shoved JC off his lap right then and there, it was pretty obvious what they had been up to. He looked frozen with shock, though, and that shock turned to complete confusion when Justin slid up behind JC, slid one hand under JC's shirt to rub his stomach, and leaned down to kiss JC's neck.

"Didja start without me, baby?" Justin asked, and JC leaned his weight back against Justin, tilting his head back for a kiss.

"As a matter of fact," JC said, "we were just talking about the main course."


Justin hadn't expected it to feel so exciting, to see JC sitting on Joey's lap, the two of them making out. They were beautiful men, and he couldn't help but appreciate it. He felt better, though, when he was standing behind JC, touching his skin. This was where he belonged. He wasn't going to be the one on the outside, watching.

There was a moment when he thought Joey might actually bolt from the room, as it dawned on him that the last thing Justin and JC needed was his help to reconcile. He stayed, though, watching the two of them kiss, and Justin wondered what he was thinking.

"Be right back," JC whispered to Joey, loud enough for Justin to hear, and then he climbed gracefully out of Joey's lap. Justin reached for him eagerly as JC turned toward him, but JC evaded his grasp. "Come on," he said, and pulled Justin toward the bed.

Justin went, not sure that Joey was really going to stay and watch them, but willing to follow JC's lead. He was completely confused when JC led him to the foot of the bed, gave him a long kiss, and then turned to go back to Joey.

Joey looked a little dazed, and maybe that was why he didn't complain when JC pulled him out of the chair, turning so JC was standing behind Joey, both of them facing Justin.

"Isn't he beautiful?" JC asked in a low voice. "Just look at him. He's not sure what's going to happen yet, but just thinking about it is starting to excite him."

Justin shifted uncomfortably, his jeans suddenly tighter, as JC's voice washed over him. He saw Joey move restlessly, looking back over his shoulder to JC. "C? What the -"

JC cut him off. "Look at him, Joe. Look at how he's watching us. Wait 'til you see how much he likes us to watch him." Then the pitch of his voice changed, directed at Justin. "Take your clothes off, J."

Justin gaped at JC. What the hell? JC's eyes were locked with his, and when JC repeated the command with an edge of steel in his voice, Justin's hands automatically dropped to the hem of his shirt.

"He's such an exhibitionist," JC continued, his hands on Joey's hips to steady him, his mouth right next to Joey's ear as if he was whispering secrets, although Justin could hear every word, which was certainly JC's intention. "He loves showing off that gorgeous body of his, feeling our eyes on his skin."

Justin stood there with his shirt off, waiting to hear what came next. JC didn't make him wait for long. "Lick your finger and touch your nipples. Gentle at first, and then hard. Just how you like." As he said it, his hands slid up under Joey's shirt, and he heard Joey's breath hiss out when JC's fingers reached their goal.

Justin's hand was shaking a little, he noticed abstractly, as he sucked the tip of his index finger into his mouth. JC's eyes were still burning into him, and he felt the connection between them as his lips moved over his finger, imagining JC's mouth on him, or his on JC. It felt almost dreamlike as he trailed the wet finger over his own chest and rubbed his nipple, the way he felt the pull in his groin as he played with the sensitive nub. He bit back a cry as the pleasure speared through him like lightening. His cock was so hard.

"Now your pants," JC told him, and he obeyed without thinking, making quick work of the button fly and kicking the jeans aside. He wasn't wearing any underwear, and his cock reared up, almost brushing his stomach, and he gave a sigh at the relief he felt being able to release it from the tight denim.

Justin could see where JC's hands had slid below the waistband of Joey's jeans, and the look of drugged pleasure on Joey's face made him imagine the effect of JC's voice and hands close up. Even from across the room, Justin could feel it.

He was naked, he realized dimly. He was naked in front of his boyfriend and one of his best friends, and he knew this wasn't the way it was supposed to be, but he couldn't voice a word of question or protest, could only watch JC and let his eyes beg JC to tell him what came next.

"Touch yourself," JC said, and Justin froze. With Joey watching? Just take himself in hand and stroke his hard cock, in front of them? He wouldn't do it. He couldn't do it.

"It's hard for Justin," JC said to Joey, and the rhythm of his voice was driving Justin crazy, the way it rose and fell as JC never stopped looking at him. "We joke about it, about the pressures of being Justin, but it's hard for him. There's so much about his life that he can't control, that the things he can control, he holds on to too tight. It's so hard for him to let go."

Justin shuddered, the words like a caress, but he still couldn't move.

"He's so excited right now. He knows we can see it, knows we're standing here staring at how hard his nipples are, and the way he's breathing so fast, and that gorgeous sheen of sweat on his skin, and his hard, dripping cock. We can see it all, we can see how much he wants it, and he's loving it. He's loving knowing how turned on we are just watching him."

Justin closed his eyes, and the room seemed to spin. With his eyes closed, he could pretend they weren't watching. "Justin," JC's voice said firmly, that was all, and Justin's eyes snapped open.

He could feel the liquid pearling out of the tip of his cock, and his legs were starting to shake, but still, he couldn't do it. His skin felt too tight, and his cock was pulsing with his heartbeat, and all he wanted to do was stroke himself until he exploded, but the eyes watching him made it impossible. He couldn't do this.

Joey's eyes were half-closed, almost all his weight leaning back into JC, his gaze glued on Justin. Justin felt his cock twitch, and he wondered if he could come completely untouched, just from the way they watched him and the sound of JC's voice.

"Thousands of people look at him every day, and none of them really see him. Nobody else gets to see him like this. Nobody else knows this side of him. Not the fans or the press or even you guys. Do you understand now? Do you understand why I keep this all for myself?" Joey gasped, and Justin didn't know if it was because of something JC had done with those clever fingers, or what he'd said.

"You want it so bad, don't you, baby? You want us to watch you, and you think you shouldn't like it so much. It's okay. Let go, J. Touch yourself for us."

Something snapped, deep inside Justin, and he was almost surprised when he felt his fingers close around his cock, the pressure making him gasp in delight. Once he started he couldn't stop, and his hand moved in a fast rhythm. He was so close...

"Stop," JC said mildly, and Justin froze. His whole body was shaking, but his hand stilled, waiting for JC's permission.

He watched as JC pulled back from Joey. "He needs me," JC said, and Joey nodded, still staring at Justin. "Stay and watch," JC said, and Joey nodded again. From the look in Joey's eyes, Justin didn't think Joey could have pulled himself away from them if his life depended on it.

JC walked over to Justin, and Justin basked in that smile, full of warmth and approval and so much love. "You're doing so good," JC said, too soft for Joey to hear, and Justin felt something tight in his chest release. JC stroked Justin's shoulder, not a push, barely even a suggestion, and Justin folded to his knees in an instant. He suddenly couldn't think of anything he needed more than to taste JC.

JC was still dressed, and Justin was surprised to find that his hands were steady and nimble unfastening JC's pants. He let out a sigh of relief as his mouth closed around JC's cock. Justin was still hard and aching, but it never even occurred to him to touch himself. He tipped his head back to look up into JC's eyes, and JC smiled and ran his hand lightly over Justin's head.

JC's cock was smooth and warm, the texture and taste so familiar. He felt JC swell in his mouth and sucked hard, shivering to the sound of JC's moan. JC pressed forward, and Justin could feel the head of JC's cock against the back of his throat. He kept sucking firmly, caressingly, drawing JC's pleasure into himself.

Justin felt hypnotized by the silken push and pull, and he started, giving a little whimper of disappointment, when JC pulled back. "Not yet," JC whispered, stroking the line of Justin's jaw. "I'm not ready for it to be over yet."

JC guided Justin to his feet, then pushed him back against the bed. Justin sat while JC stripped off the rest of his clothes, kicking off his jeans and tossing his shirt aside carelessly. JC's eyes moved past Justin, focusing across the room, and Justin suddenly snapped back into himself, remembering that they weren't alone.

He turned to look at Joey, and caught his breath. Joey was slouched in one of the armchairs, his pants open, his cock in his hand. He was watching the two of them avidly, though he wasn't touching himself with any urgency. He seemed to be trying to draw things out, matching his pace to theirs.

Justin wondered what they must look like to him, and then JC's touch took his attention back. JC gestured and Justin scooted back on the bed, feeling awkward and ungainly under Joey's eyes. JC crawled after him, lithe and graceful, and Justin watched hungrily.

JC pulled the lube and condoms out from under the pillow, and Justin shifted nervously, not sure how he felt about JC fucking him while Joey watched. "Hey," JC said, tapping Justin's forehead. "Here." Justin looked into JC's eyes, feeling himself relax. Then JC reached down and gave Justin's oversensitive cock a hard squeeze, and he almost screamed at the overload of pain and pleasure.

JC moved fast, sliding down Justin's body and kneeling there with Justin's legs over his shoulders. Justin was expecting the cold slickness of lube, and when he felt the hot brush of JC's tongue, he nearly came right then. There was a moment when he couldn't believe he was getting rimmed by JC with Joey watching, and then JC touched him again, and nothing else seemed to matter.

JC was teasing, taking his time and licking and nipping all around Justin's ass, teasing Justin with his swirling tongue. He stabbed in deeply, then retreated, and Justin moved helplessly on the bed, lost in the sensations. He was whimpering, he realized, and even the knowledge that Joey was seeing him like this, could hear every needy sound he made, couldn't make him stop.

JC replaced his tongue with his fingers, pushing in and stretching and stroking, but agonizingly avoiding Justin's prostate. One finger became two, then three, and Justin felt exposed and open, every nerve ending tingling.

His whimper turned to a gasp of relief when JC finally - finally - positioned himself above him, his cock pressing at the entrance to Justin's body. "Look at me," JC said, and Justin forced his eyes open, meeting JC's eyes, knowing that JC could see his desperate need.

"Mine," JC said, his voice a little ragged, and Justin realized that JC was just as desperate.

"Yours," Justin gasped, the word coming out on a sigh of relief, as JC's cock slid in to the hilt in one long, smooth stroke.

Justin thought JC was going to try and drag it out, teasing Justin beyond his ability to take it, but it seemed even JC's control had his limits. He thrust into Justin with hard, stabbing strokes, hitting Justin's prostate every time, and Justin let out an incoherent cry, arching up to meet his thrusts.

He was so oversensitized that it was too much and not enough. He was on the brink of orgasm, but he couldn't reach it, and as his cries turned to sobs, JC reached down to stroke him, and Justin crashed over the edge.

Justin's brain filled with static as he came, his fingers digging into JC's arms and his body tensed to the breaking point. He felt JC thrust once, twice more, and then JC was coming too, his cries mingling with Justin's. From the other side of the room, Justin heard a muffled shout, and then the air was still except for the sounds of harsh breathing.

JC kissed him, smiling that crinkly-eyed smile that always made Justin's heart swell. "You are amazing," he said, and then he was up, walking across the room completely unselfconscious of his nudity. Justin watched, languid and drained, as JC came out of the bathroom with damp washcloths and towels. He gave one set to Justin, then walked over to Joey.

Justin couldn't hear what they said, but Joey seemed reluctant to meet JC's eyes. JC knelt in front of Joey's chair, one hand on Joey's knee, and Justin could see him gazing up to Joey and talking earnestly. Finally, Joey smiled, and Justin heard him laugh as he reached down to ruffle JC's hair.

It seemed like a long time later that Justin heard the door close, and he looked up to realize he was alone with JC. JC turned the lights off and crawled into bed, pulling Justin tight against him.

"Is Joey okay?" Justin thought to ask.

"He's fine," JC assured him. "A little freaked. That he liked it so much, I think. I told him he's welcome back anytime, but I don't think he'll take us up on it. He'll think about it, though."

"Mmmmm," Justin said, snuggling closer to JC. "It was hot." It had been. Really hot.

He thought of the look on Joey's face as he watched the two of them, and the way it had felt to know that JC was stripping him bare, body and mind, and someone was there to witness it all. He thought of the way everything in the world had disappeared except JC and his eyes and his voice and his touch.

He didn't need to do it again... but he wouldn't mind. Maybe not right away. And maybe JC was right, and Joey wouldn't want to do it again, so it might all be a moot point.

Justin was almost asleep, his mind drifting, when he flashed on the image of Lance looking at him, the way he did sometimes when he thought no one was watching. Justin twisted in JC's embrace, and JC opened his eyes and gave him a questioning look.

"You know what would be hot?" Justin asked.


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