Can Tell Everybody
And You Can Tell Everybody
Justin was sitting at the foot of his bed. Chris blinked, squeezed his eyes shut, opened them again, but Justin was still sitting there in his wifebeater and boxer shorts, a magazine open in his lap. He didn't look happy.
"J?" Chris mumbled. He sounded like shit. He felt like shit, like he'd been thrown in a vat of honey and dragged across a gravel parking lot, and he made a mental note: never mix shots with Joey again. Ever.
"Sorry." Justin turned and smiled a weak morning smile. "Did I wake you up?"
Chris tried to remember. "No." There had been a dream or something; he remembered water. He shoved back the blankets and stumbled to the bathroom and flinched in the sharp fluorescent light. Hotel bathrooms were always so fucking bright in the morning. He turned off the light and peed in the dark. Fucking Joey. He came back out and fell onto the bed face down, wriggling until he was under the covers again. He closed his eyes. "What, Justin?" he said.
"Nothin'," Justin said, and that was a big fat lie.
Chris lifted his arm and held up the covers. "Don't make me kick your ass," he said, and after a second, Justin clambered over his legs and under the sheet, shifting until he was curled up with his back to Chris. "What's wrong?"
Justin's shoulder lifted elegantly. Chris remembered being an awkward kid, a kid who was kind of goofy and jerky and tripped over himself. He wondered if Justin had a single memory like that. "I'm okay."
"Look, Jup, I'm fucking hung over and tired and something's obviously wrong, so--hey!"
Justin had shoved back the blanket. "Sorry, I'll just--"
Chris swung an arm around his neck and pulled him back. Justin wriggled a little and pain sparked through Chris' forehead, but he didn't let go. "Stop it, you big baby," he muttered. "What the hell is wrong?"
Justin sighed, and Chris felt him go boneless under his arm. "Stupid tabloid," he said.
"Aww, Jup." Chris squeezed him. "You can't get all worked up about the shit they print in those things, you know that. Was it that girl's lawsuit?"
Justin shook his head. "They said I'm not a virgin."
Chris laughed, folding himself around Justin, pressing his chin to Justin's wide shoulder. Justin smelled good, not entirely clean, warm Justin smell. He inhaled. "Well, J, that was going to come out sooner or later. Everything comes out sooner or later, even Lance." He saw the edge of Justin's small smile over his shoulder. "Why're you so upset?"
"It's not true," Justin mumbled.
"Well, of course it's not true, it's a fuckin'--" Chris stopped. "Wait, you mean it's true, right?"
Justin shook his head. Chris stared. Not true. Justin not being a virgin was not true. Somewhere in the alcohol-induced haze of his brain, his eighth grade algebra came back to him: two negatives make a positive. Justin was--
"You're a virgin," Chris said. Justin turned his head and looked at him.
"You knew that. All you guys knew that."
"We, um," Chris said. They had known, sure, but that had been a while ago. Justin had just been a kid back then, all knees and elbows and crazy curly hair. Then things with Britney had heated up, and Justin had gotten this strut from somewhere, and he'd shaved his head and started wearing really tight pants, and after rehearsal one day when Justin was lying on the floor in a pair of basketball shorts and shoes and nothing else, Lance had leaned over to Chris and muttered "virgin, my ass," and Chris had poked him and said, "you wish." Justin was still looking at him. "We didn't think it was still true," he said.
Justin sighed. "It wasn't supposed to be. But me and Brit broke up, and, I mean. I can't do it the first time with a fan, you know. I, she might know or something, and there hasn't been anyone else and now ..." He sighed. "I know it shouldn't bother me."
"What's it say?" Chris asked. Justin leaned down over the edge of the bed and scooped up the paper.
"JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE'S WILD SEX ROMP," the headline proclaimed. "Pop Star Has Sex With Three Women At One Time! Britney Is Devastated."
"Nice," Chris said. "You got this this morning?"
Justin shook his head. "Last night."
That meant he'd probably been up all night worrying about it, feeling bad because some weekly rag needed to up its circulation. The thought made Chris want to punch somebody. "Well," he said, "at least you got to have a wild sex romp."
Justin nodded. "Yeah. You think I'd be happier about it."
They lay there in silence for a minute. Chris had his hand on Justin's chest, and Justin's heartbeat was slow and relaxing, like the tick of a familiar clock. "So what do you want to do?" he asked.
Justin shrugged. "I just. I didn't know who else to tell."
"Okay." Chris nodded. "You should stay here for awhile, get some sleep."
"Okay." Justin turned, and Chris scooted up until he was against Justin's back, one arm draped over him, his cheek against Justin's shoulder. Justin loosened in his embrace, and his breathing slowed. His heartbeat was still slow and steady under Chris' palm. Before he fell back asleep, Chris wished idly to be taller, so that he could wrap himself around Justin and never let anything get to him.
The girl was thin and hot, and grinding her ass against his cock slowly, teasing him, begging him to slide it in. "Chris," she said, "Chris," but she still had her goddamn underwear on and Chris was about ready to tear it off with his bare hands, hell, with his teeth, when he woke up.
"Fuck," he muttered, and that's when he realized that someone was still rubbing against his cock, and his hand was up Justin's shirt. Justin. "Justin," he said.
"What?" Justin asked. His voice was low and breathy, and his hips rolled under Chris' hand. God.
"What're you, what're you," Chris breathed, but it was obvious what he was doing, Justin's ass pressed against Chris' erection while Justin writhed on the bed, his face buried in his arm. "Justin." He slid his hand off Justin's hip and into the gap in the front of his boxers. Justin froze.
"Please," he whispered, "please," but there was something there, something desperate in a way Chris didn't like. He took his hand away. "Don't," Justin said, flipping over to face him. "Why'd you stop?"
Chris looked at him. "Why do you think?"
Justin sighed, and maybe there were tears, it was hard to tell in the dim light of the room. Chris pulled him close. "Don't be stupid," he said. "You don't want to do it that way."
"No?" Justin choked out against his chest. "How do I, then?"
"With someone you love, or something. So it'll be special. Not just because it's, you know, convenient, or whatever. Not because of some stupid tabloid." He stroked Justin's short short hair. "Don't cry," he said.
Justin still cried a little, but not too much, and when he pulled his face away from Chris' t-shirt, he smiled. Chris kissed him on the corner of that smile, tasting tears, and hugged him tight, and when he woke up for the third time that day to JC banging on the door and announcing lunch, Justin was gone.
"Really," Lance said, at sound check the next day. "Really?"
Chris nodded. "I had to. I mean, how could I? He's all fucked up about it."
Lance eyed Justin, who was prowling around the stage singing "Last One in Your Heart," a song they all called "Last Guy That You Fucked" when JC wasn't in ear shot. Justin was singing the part about how he would make the girl know she was loved over and over again.
"I tell ya," Lance said, shaking his head, "you're a bigger man than I am."
"Like that was even a question," Chris said. Onstage, Justin moaned.
"Really?" JC said, when Chris mentioned it to him at lunch. "Still?"
Chris nodded, swallowing. "I know."
"That's just ..." Joey shook his head. "You're serious."
"Don't say anything to him about it, though," Chris said. "It's serious. It's not like when we make fun of his hair."
"Or his jewelry," Lance said.
"Or his poppin' fresh dance moves," Joey said, grinning.
"Anyway, I don't think he wants people to know that he's a virgin. Like, it's-- "
"Chris," Lance said.
"What?" And that's when he heard the click of the door. He thunked his head on the table. "I'm fucked, huh?"
Joey patted his shoulder. "Yup," JC said.
Justin was standing outside in the parking lot. If he smoked, Chris thought, he would have been smoking now. As it was, Justin just slumped against the wall kicking at the gravel with the toe of his shoe.
"You didn't have to tell them."
"No, no, I know," Chris said. "I'm sorry. I'm just, you know,"
"A bad friend with a big fat mouth?"
"Well, yeah. Hey. I'm not a bad--"
"Who tells all his friend's secrets to everybody at lunch?"
"What?" Justin scowled at him.
"I'll make it up to you." Chris said, patting Justin's arm. "C'mon. We'll do something tonight. I'll be your best friend." He pressed his forehead against Justin's bicep. "Please, please, please." He batted eyelashes.
"No," Justin said, but Chris knew he meant yes.
Justin wanted to watch Being John Malkovich, again and since it was supposed to be Chris' apology
"You have to let me," Justin said, hitting play on the remote.
Chris flopped back on the bed. "No no no no no no."
Justin clapped a hand over his mouth. "You told them I was a virgin." Chris rolled his eyes in resignation and Justin removed his hand.
"You're lucky I didn't lick it," Chris said. "The human mouth is very nasty."
"Shh," Justin said. He stretched out on his stomach and stuck his feet under Chris' pillow. "Shut up. It's starting."
"Oh goody," Chris said. "Jeez, is that Cameron Diaz? Didn't she used to be hot?"
"Shut UP!" Justin said, glaring over his shoulder.
"Fine." Chris crossed his arms over his chest and slumped against the headboard. "I don't understand why my apology can't be fun for everybody involved."
Justin punched him in the leg.
"Boring," Chris hummed. "Boring boring boring." He poked at Justin's thigh. "Bor-ing. B-b-b-boring. Boringboringboring." A flurry of pokes. Poke, poke, poke. He'd gotten to the point where the word didn't even make sense any more and he had to think for a second to even know that it was a word. "Bor- "
Justin grabbed his hand and twisted.
"OW!" Chris said. "Fucker! Let go!"
"Shut up, or I will rip your finger off," Justin said. Chris nodded. Justin released his hand and shifted, getting comfortable again, propped up on his elbows at the foot of the bed.
"Boring," Chris said, and managed to get the bathroom door shut before Justin caught him.
He fell asleep between the first sex part and the lesbian sex part, and when he woke up the tv was playing some staticky news channel and Justin was twined around him, arms around his neck, foot hooked round his ankle, knee between Chris' knees, his whole body pressed close and tight.
"umm," Chris murmured, but Justin was apparently really asleep. He tried to slide out from under him, but the kid tightened his grip and clung tighter, mumbling something against Chris' throat, and he was bigger than Chris, and seemed determined. Chris laid one hand against Justin's back, feeling the hem of the t-shirt and the satin warmth of skin under his pinky. "Jeez," he whispered.
It was wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong. And it was sleek and smooth and Chris couldn't stop himself from trailing his fingers up the indentation of Justin's spine, inching the shirt up, feeling the curve of the muscle there bunching as Justin moved. He touched Justin's back for a long while, until he was unable to lie, even to himself, and think that he wasn't feeling Justin up, sliding his hands, both hands now up Justin's sides and down just past the waistband of his sweatpants until he felt the ridges of Justin's hipbones under his palms.
"mmm," Justin mumbled. His lips brushed Chris' collarbone. His hips lifted into Chris' grasp.
"Justin," Chris said, softly, right in Justin's ear, and Justin slid against him and Chris was lost.
Justin wasn't soft--he worked out with JC for hours and hours everyday, so much that Chris and Joey called them Hans and Franz--but his skin slid over muscles that moved like liquid and that gave him the illusion of softness under Chris' hands, constant undulating softness that changed every time Chris breathed. And he seemed to like everything, Chris' hand on the curve of his ass, Chris' mouth on the line of his throat, Chris hauling him up so that only his knees and palms touched the bed and the rest of him spread across Chris' chest, stomach, thighs. Everything made Justin sigh, or moan, or gasp. It was pornographic, Chris thought, running his hand over Justin's ass and feeling it lurch back into his palm. Justin nuzzled his chin. It was hot.
It was hot when Justin kissed him for the first time with his mouth open and his legs spread and his arms still locked around Chris' neck.
It was hot when Justin's breath rasped past his ear in time with the roll of his hips against Chris'.
It was hot when Chris skated his fingers over Justin's ribs, his side, his flat hard stomach, and Justin stilled, eyes closed, to feel it.
It was hot when he raised up, shuddering, just enough for Chris to glide his hand down the front of Justin's pants and get it around Justin's slender cock, and it was hot when he moved his hand once, twice, and Justin cried "Chris!", the sound muffled against his shoulder, and came in his hand.
He collapsed after that, a dead weight across Chris' chest. Chris wriggled and stretched and managed to grab a bunch of Kleenexes from the box by the bed. "Here," he said, pressing them into Justin's hand.
"Do you want me to, um," Justin said a minute later, dropping the used Kleenex on the floor.
"No, no." Chris pulled Justin's fingers away from his fly. He was more nervous than turned on, suddenly, and yanked Justin close to stop his wandering hands. "Let's just sleep."
"Okay," Justin said. Twenty seconds later, he was snoring lightly, one hand curled possessively in Chris' shirt. It would have been cute if it weren't so terrifying.
The next night Chris woke up to Justin sliding into his bed.
"You have to stop sneaking in here," he whispered, afterwards, unable to unwrap his arms from Justin's waist.
"Stop making me," Justin murmured. Then he fell asleep and drooled a little, and Chris caught himself thinking that was cute.
Justin gave awful head. Horrible. The worst Chris ever had, even counting the anonymous European groupies he'd let do it back in Germany, before Dani. Who had given great head.
Justin was all slobbery, like a puppy, and even when he was doing it right he never did it long enough to build up a good rhythm, and he thought it was funny to nip.
"Jesus, you're kidding me, right?" Lance said when Chris told him about it.
Chris shook his head. "Seriously."
"Seriously get him to stop that."
Chris smiled at that, even though he was thinking about why Lance would care whether Justin used his teeth while he gave head. It wasn't like Justin was going to be giving Lance head anytime soon, so he didn't have to be so horrified, or whatever. "Actually, it's okay," Chris said. "I kind of like it."
He didn't really, but he did like the feeling of Justin's hands on his thighs and the soft rasp of Justin's short hair on his belly, and the very first second of Justin's mouth closing over him, blue eyes gazing up at him, well, you didn't get much closer to heaven than that. Chris didn't tell Lance about that, though.
Chris had been hoping to keep the whole thing on the down low, like the fact that Lance was gay or that a lot of JC's clothes were actually women's clothes--because, JC said, they were more comfortable--but that's not what ended up happening, first because Justin could not keep his mouth shut, and, second, because maybe Chris didn't really want him to.
JC grabbed him in the hotel hallway. "Chris," he whispered, eyes wide. "Are you and Justin, you know?"
Chris shrugged his arm away. "Are we what?"
"He says you and he, you know." JC made an indeterminate motion with his hands.
"Dude, finish a sentence."
"He said you had sex with him."
Chris stared. "He said that?"
"It's not true?" JC looked relieved.
"It's ..." Chris sighed.
"Ew!" JC said. "Oh god!"
"I know, shut up," Chris muttered.
"I taught him how to French kiss!" JC said.
"How did I get to be the pervert in this scenario? Fuck, C!"
JC shook his head. "Not like taught. You know, described. Showed him on, like, my hand. He was thirteen."
"Great. You taught my boyfriend how to kiss."
"He's your boyfriend?" JC asked.
"Shut up," Chris said.
And even when Justin did manage to keep his mouth shut, he couldn't seem to stay off of Chris, and even when Chris would try to shove his hands away Justin would keep pushing up against him, coming close, until he'd end up with his head in Chris' lap or against Chris' shoulder, nuzzling his neck.
"Dude, what the hell?" Joey asked, when Justin got up off Chris' lap to go to the bathroom.
Chris shrugged. "It's just ..." he said, but Joey was holding up his hands.
"Don't tell me. I don't want to know."
"No, it's not--"
Joey waved his hands. "Lalalalala," he was saying when Justin came back into the room. Chris wanted to smack him.
"What?" he asked, smiling.
"Chris was trying to tell me about how y'all are gettin' your freak on and I was telling him I don't want to listen."
"We're not getting our freak on," Justin muttered, pulling his feet up onto the couch.
"Riiiiiiight," Joey said.
"No," Justin said. "Really." He plucked at the outside seam of Chris' jeans.
"Uh huh. You two are like those girls in high school, those ones who have anal sex and then tell people they're still virgins."
"I--that's--shut up!" Justin said. His hands were shaking, but Chris didn't reach out and hold one of them. He didn't know how to.
"Whatever," Joey said, standing up. "I'll leave you two lovebirds alone."
"It's not like that," Chris murmured, after Joey shut the door. "That's not why."
Justin nodded, still looking at his hands. "Okay," he said. "Why, then?"
Chris didn't answer.
Chris didn't know why. It was wrong, he thought, but he couldn't explain it, not when kissing Justin and touching Justin and licking him until he shuddered and squirmed on the bed and gasped Chris' name was no longer wrong anymore.
Justin didn't help any. He kept surging forward, stripping off his clothes before Chris could protest, sliding under the blankets and pressing his warm fresh skin against Chris', curling around him like cartoon smoke and luring him to his doom. And, he suddenly got better at blowjobs, like, overnight.
"What ..." Chris gasped, struggling to sit up. Justin rocked back on his heels, looking smug. "Where the hell did you learn to do that?"
"Lance," Justin said, climbing up over him, forcing him back onto his back, erection rubbing insistently at Chris' stomach. "He gave me some pointers."
"Fuck," Chris muttered, and closed his eyes, not even wanting to know what "pointers" might have entailed.
"I didn't blow him, if that's what you're askin'," Lance said, folding his arms over his chest.
"What the hell did you do to him, then, because Jesus, Lance, he's a kid, and you shouldn't--"
"I shouldn't?" Lance raised an eyebrow. "Just exactly what shouldn't I be doing that you haven't already done?"
Chris glared at him, but there was no response, and he knew it and Lance knew it and he knew Lance knew it.
"It's okay," Lance said, finally, patting Chris' back. "I showed him on a carrot."
"Thanks, man," Chris mumbled. When Lance tried to give him a one-armed hug, Chris let him.
He wanted to stop, but Justin wouldn't let him. That was how he thought if it, in terms of permission, because Justin kept crawling over him, arching his back, and he had such a great ass, and there was just nothing to be done about it. It was all he could do to not grab Justin by the shoulders and throw him down and fuck him as hard as possible for as long as possible, mostly because it was perfectly clear that was exactly what Justin wanted.
Part of it was because Justin was the only one who could put up with him for any period of time. Even Joey got tired of it, eventually, and would slap his hand over Chris' mouth saying "god damn Kirkpatrick, please!" But Justin pretty much always though he was funny, and when you combined that with his big grin and his arms and his fucking great ass, and his complete willingness to use all those things for Chris' benefit, well.
It was hard to resist.
"Hey," Justin said, looping one arm around his waist. His arm was warm and silky, and Chris could tell he was naked just by the glide of his body over Chris' pajamas. He pressed his cheek between Chris' shoulder blades. "You awake?"
"Mmm," Chris said. Justin always got cuddly before either sex or sleep. It was endearing and frustrating and tempting all at once. His hands were so warm.
Justin laughed, low in his throat and slipped one hand down Chris' pants, drawing his fingers over the dark hair. "Be awake," Justin whispered, and Chris sighed and rolled onto his back, feeling like a high school tramp at the illicit thrill that ran through him. He wanted to say no, just one of these times, just to show that he could, but he couldn't, that was the long and the short of it. Justin was so good at it; that was half the problem. He peeled Chris' pants down and climbed on top of him before Chris could object, hooked his legs around Chris' until their ankles were locked together and Justin was astride him, and riding him the way a ship would waves.
His back arched as Chris' hands slid over it, and his ass ... Justin had the best ass, small and round and fitted perfectly to Chris' palms when it lifted, tilted ...
"god," Chris whispered. Justin kissed him, his chin, his throat, his mouth, and clasped his arms around Chris' neck. He wasn't heavy, just solid and heated, and slippery with fresh sweat, and Chris found himself wondering if he could come from just this, from the glide of his dick over Justin's silken stomach. Justin gasped against him.
"Chris, Chris," Justin breathed, angling his hips and pulling upwards so that Chris' cock slipped between his legs.
"Jeez," Chris gasped, and before he could stop it, Justin was drawing back slightly, pushing back on his palms like a cat stretching, and Chris was there, just barely but there, inside, inside Justin, where he'd never meant to go, where he told himself he would never go, where he'd convinced himself he never wanted to go, and he had been wrong.
"Justin, god!" Chris said, trying to jerk away, shoving at Justin's waist. Justin grabbed at him, grabbed his chin and forced Chris' mouth against his and said
"please, don't make me stop," and shifted.
Chris didn't make him.
Justin always stayed in the morning, sleeping in like Chris' bed was his own and he didn't have any reason to be worried that Chris might not want him there first thing, so Chris was kind of surprised when he woke up and Justin was sitting on the side of the bed, pulling Chris' pajamas on.
"What're you doing?" he mumbled.
Justin turned, pants half on. "Goin' back to my room."
"Yeah?" Chris said, trying not to look at the curve of Justin's spine. Trying not to touch it.
"Yeah." Justin grinned, and leaned down, patting Chris' cheek. "I'll see ya later, okay?"
Chris nodded and closed his eyes, hoping for something to happen. Nothing did.
"Whoo hoo!" Joey said, when Chris got on the bus. "The man himself!" He stood up and came over to the door, yanking Chris up the steps. Lance and JC looked up from whatever they were reading on the couch.
"Don't be shy, man," Joey said, slinging an arm around his neck. "Jup told us all about it."
"What?" Chris repeated, feeling dumb. He didn't tell, Chris thought, stupidly, but JC and Lance exchanged glances. "Where is he?"
"Asleep." Lance jerked his thumb back toward the bunks. "He said you wore him out."
"Yeah. Um, yeah," Chris said, and pulled his arm away from Joey.
Justin was asleep, though, really, and Chris didn't know what to say, so he didn't wake him, just stood there for a second looking at the curve of his shoulders under the sheet.
"Hey," Joey murmured. "You okay?"
"It was an accident," Chris said. "I didn't mean to."
"Jeez." Joey yanked Chris away from the bunk and drew the curtain closed. "Come here."
"Fuck, Joe. My fucking arm," Chris muttered. Joey pushed him into the corner of the couch. Joey was a big fat fucking bully as far as Chris was concerned.
"Fuck yourself, Chris. You can't tell him that."
"What?" Joey's face was cloudy. He got that way when Lance had insisted on coming back to rehearsal a week early after the stomach flu, and when JC spent too much time worrying about the reviews of the latest single. It was Joey's "quit being stupid" expression.
"Chris." Joey sighed. "Think about it. He was a twenty-year-old virgin. He had sex with his best friend, who, incidentally, he's crazy about. And you want to tell him that it was a mistake and you're sorry."
Suddenly, everything was crystal clear. Chris was crystal clearly a huge idiot. "Oh," he said. He sighed.
"Yeah, oh, you dummy," Joey said, cuffing him upside the head.
"I suppose it's too late to take it all back."
Joey smiled. "Sorry, I did my part when I told him about sex."
"Yeah you did," Chris said. That explained a lot of things. Chris imagined that having Joey explain sex to you must have been like a fat person explaining chocolate cake.
Joey patted his arm. "Hey, man, can I ask you a question?"
"I'm not telling you how it was."
"Dude, no thanks," Joey said. "I just wanna know, what's your damage? What's the problem?"
Chris shrugged. "It's just. He's a kid."
"No, he's not, man."
Chris looked up into Joey's good-natured expression. "He is."
"He's the oldest twenty-year-old you'll ever meet."
"And I'm thirty."
"You are not. You're the youngest twenty-eight year old in the history of the world."
Chris sighed. He felt like his entire life for the last three weeks had been spent either having sex or sighing about having sex. He wished there had been less sighing. "Are you sure you wouldn't rather talk about how good the sex was?"
"He already told us, O Deflowerer of Innocents. Just tell him."
"Tell him you love him before one of us kicks your ass."
"I don't love him," Chris said, but that wasn't true and Chris knew it and Joey knew it and Chris knew Joey knew it.
Justin woke up a couple of hours later, and flapped his hand at them as he passed on his way to the bus kitchen to chug water. He came back, swiping the back of his hand across his mouth, and slouched against Chris. "Hey," he said. He closed his eyes and sighed, and wriggled in a way that told Chris he wanted a hand on his waist, or between his shoulder blades.
"Hey," Chris said. He didn't want to, but Justin wriggled again, and Chris patted his shoulder.
"I missed you," Justin murmured. He had turned his head so that only Chris could hear, his mouth barely brushing Chris' ear.
"Hmm." Chris flinched.
Justin slid an arm around his waist and leaned forward, pressing an affirmative kiss on Chris' throat. "Hmm? You should come back to bed with me."
"Um, no." Chris tried to shrug Justin's arms off him without being obvious. Joey and JC were watching tv, and Lance was deeply engrossed in some computer thing. So far, so good.
Justin laughed, low and comfortable. "C'mon, Chris," he said. "You know you want to."
"I don't," Chris said, maybe a little too loud, because Justin pulled back a little and Joey glanced over his shoulder, annoyed. "Just, shh, Justin."
"Aw, Chris, baby," Justin said, leaning back in, and maybe it was the "baby" that did it.
"Shut up!" Chris jerked away, almost standing.
"Speaking of shutting up," Joey said.
"Just--" He yanked Justin's arm and pulled him down. "Look, Justin, we have to talk," he whispered.
"What? About what?" Justin whispered back.
"About last night."
"What about it?" Justin folded his hands in his lap and stared at them resolutely. He knew about what, Chris could tell just by his hunched shoulders. Chris sighed.
"It was. Justin."
"It wasn't," Justin said. His voice cracked.
"It was, Justin," he said, and now that he wanted to touch Justin, he felt like he couldn't because touching Justin would crack him.
"It was not!"
JC turned around this time. "Hey, guys," he said. "Justin?"
"Shut up, JC!" Justin snapped, wiping his nose on the back of his hand. "Just shut up."
"Are you okay?" JC asked. He got up on his knees and turned around and that did it. Lance was looking over the edge of his laptop, and Joey was leaning back on his elbow, watching them.
"Nothin' to see here," Chris said, a half- hearted imitation of a beat cop. "Keep moving, people."
"Yeah, nothing to see here but Chris dumping me," Justin muttered.
"What?" Lance asked. "You're dumping him?"
"It's not like that," Chris said.
"What's it like, then?" Joey asked. His voice had taken on the flat quality it took on when he wasn't sure he liked what was happening. And Chris knew it, knew he'd kind of promised Joey in the hallway that he wouldn't say it, but he couldn't help it. He glanced at Joey's darkening expression and Justin's blurry one, and blurted--
"It's. I don't know! It wasn't supposed to happen, okay? I didn't want it to, but it did, and it shouldn't happen again. That's how it is."
They were all staring at him, Justin's eyes wide and watery with shock. Joey's face was narrow and Lance had assumed the calm stillness that meant he was about to be pissed. JC just looked confused. Fuck.
"Look," Chris said, patting Justin's knee. "I'm sorry, okay. I'm really sorry, but--"
"But what?" Justin asked.
"It wasn't supposed to be me, okay? You're, like." Chris closed his eyes. "You were supposed to have some big love of your life and candles and moonlight and all that stupid shit. Not me fucking around in a hotel. It was supposed to be something special. For you. Damn!" He pressed his fingers into his eyes.
They were still staring at him, he knew, but he couldn't look up, he couldn't see their expressions. Joey would be pissed for at least a week, and Lance and JC, Chris didn't know how they would be, what they would be, but it wouldn't be fun. For the last time, he wished he had never, never kissed Justin Timberlake.
"Jesus," Lance said, softly. "Sometimes you're so stupid, Chris."
"Seriously," JC said. "I didn't know you were such a romantic." Chris glanced up, and JC patted his knee.
"What the hell are you talking about?"
Joey rolled his eyes. "Hey, dumbass, it was special. It's always special when you have sex for the first time with your boyfriend."
"Your lover?" Lance said. "Isn't that what you call it? Lover?"
"Shut up," Justin said, but he was smiling, even though his eyes were still blurry.
"Significant Other?" JC asked.
"Don't make me kick your ass," Chris said. Justin smiled at him.
"I think what the assholes are trying to say is that it was the big love of my life."
"Oh," Chris said. "Oh."
He was still trying to wrap his mind around it when JC and Joey pinned him to the floor so Justin could kiss him.
"Okay," Chris said later, at the hotel. He was already in the bed, but Justin had insisted on brushing his teeth again, even though he'd brushed them on the bus. He was standing by the side of the bed, now, on one foot, peeling off his socks. "So you're telling me Joey explained the birds and the bees to you, JC taught you how to French kiss, Lance gave you advice on giving head, and I'm the guy that fucked you."
Justin nodded. "Yup."
"Oh jeez," Chris said. "Tell me that your first kiss wasn't with one of us."
"Just tell me that the first time you kissed someone on the mouth who wasn't a member of your family it wasn't one of us. Please."
Justin shook his head. "Brandi Taylor. MMC. I was twelve."
Chris flopped back on the bed, hands to his face. "Thank god. I mean, there has to be a limit to how perverted this is, right? I'm not a complete child molester with incestuous tendencies, right?"
"Actually, that's kinda what I like about you," Justin said, and took off his shirt.