On the Bus 12
by Synchronik

"Ow. OW, JOEY!" JC slapped at his friend's hands, and yanked his face out of reach. Joey slapped back.

"Quit your bitchin'," he muttered. "I have to wash this." He grabbed JC's face again, and dabbed at it with the washcloth.

"It hurts."

"Yeah, well, maybe if CHRIS HADN'T PUNCHED YOU IN THE HEAD!" Joey yelled over his shoulder.

Chris, who was sitting on the other couch with his face tilted up, getting his own wounds blotted none to carefully by a frustrated Lance, stuck out his tongue. "I kicked your ass, JC. Admit it."

"Hold still!" Lance said.

"I fuckin' kicked your ass on national television," Chris said.

"I'm gonna kick you ass if you don't hold still," Lance said, grabbing Chris by the chin and forcing his face forward.

"Did not," JC said.

"Did too."

"Did not."

"Did TOO!"

"Dammit," Justin said. He took Chris' arm and hauled him toward the back of the bus, Lance following.

"DID TOO!" Chris shouted.

Joey put his hand over JC's mouth before he could shout back. "Hold still," he said.

JC sighed. "How much longer?"

"A lot less if you shut up. I swear, JC. He really clocked you good."

"It was an accident. He's a scrapper, though."

"You had any doubt?"

"And he ripped my shirt."

"It wasn't that great of a shirt, JC." Joey reached out and dabbed at the scrape on JC's forehead a couple more times. It was nothing serious, JC knew, just a red raw spot, a little bloody. He'd have some bruises elsewhere, but there was nothing Joey could do about those. It was nice having him do this, though.

"It was a great shirt. I could live without the pants, though, man."

"Yeah, they were . . . tight."

"How tight?"

"Ricky Martin tight, JC. What were you thinking?"

JC shrugged. "I liked them in the store. Besides, who are you to be giving fashion advice? You with the Chewbacca coats."

"Yeah, but I have flair. I can pull them off. I'm Italian."

"You're a freak," JC said.

Joey swiped the cloth lightly over JC's forehead. "There," he said. "That should do it."

"Thanks. It's not bad, is it?"

"Nah, you're fine. Chris is going to have a shiner, though."

"He deserves one. He groped me onstage!"

Joey laughed. "Is that why you punched him?"

"No. That was an accident. But still."

Joey smiled. He tossed the washcloth on the table. "Since you're all better, I'm going to bed. We have rehearsal tomorrow."

"Really? I never would have guessed." JC grinned at him. "Do you have aspirin? I think I'm getting a headache. I'm not as all better as you thought."

Joey went and got him the aspirin, bringing a glass of water with him. JC thought that would be it, that Joey would head off to bed right away, but he sat back down, and when JC put the half-empty glass on the table, Joey picked it up and drank from it. Then he turned and looked at JC.

"What?" JC said.

"You know what my mom used to do to make me feel better?"

"What?" JC asked.

Joey leaned over and pressed his lips to JC's forehead, lightly. They were warm, and moist (from my water, JC thought) and they didn't really make his head feel any better, but they made him feel something. Joey pulled back. He wasn't looking at JC anymore, but at the empty glass.

"Nope," JC said.

"No what?"

"My head still hurts. You'd better do it again."

Joey looked at him for a long moment. JC thought about smiling, but was afraid of how it would look, so he just stared back. Joey leaned in and kissed his forehead again. When he stopped, JC shook his head.

"Maybe," he said, swallowing. "Maybe you're not kissing it in the right place."

"Mmm," Joey said, and then his mouth was over JC's and they were sharing breath, and JC found himself straddling Joey's lap, the edge of the table pressing into his lower back, Joey's arms squeezing him. He felt a little slutty, like a cheap date, but in a good way. He couldn't have imagined Joey would be as good at this as he was, with his hands and his thighs, and his lewd tongue. JC's headache was gone.

After a second, JC tipped back against the table, holding Joey's head back with his hands. "Hang on, hang on," he said.

Joey flinched a little, but looked up at him anyway.

"Joey, look," JC said. "I have to--you have to tell me something."

"Sure." Joey said. His eyes were tired. Defeated. "Whatever you want, JC."

"You didn't French your mom, did you?"

"JC," Joey growled, grabbing JC's hands away from his face.

"I don't know, you know. I mean, being Italian."

Joey stood, pushing JC off his lap and onto the table. On his back. It was a flimsy table, and it swayed back and forth with the motion of the bus, but JC didn't care. He couldn't care about anything else, not now with Joey leaning over him, holding his hands above his head.

"Um," Lance's voice came from somewhere over Joey's left shoulder.

"Damn!" Chris said. "What the hell kind of first aid is that, and how come I ain't getting' any?"

JC stared up at Joey, suddenly aware of how this must look, his arms around Joey's neck, Joey between his thighs. It must look exactly like it is, he thought. Joey was smiling down at him, and, incredibly, JC felt himself smiling back.

"We'll, um, we'll just leave you two alone," Lance said, and there were the scuffling sounds of Chris being moved when he didn't want to be moved, and the slide and click of the partition door being closed.

"Joey and JC sitting in a tree," he sang through the partition.

"k-i-s-s-i-n-g," Joey sang, softly. And then he did.

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