Pattern of the Whole No. 13: I Wanna Be the Last Thing
by Synchronik
I Wanna Be the Last Thing
by Synchronik

"I wanna be the last thing
that you hear when you're falling asleep."

Counting Crows

He went and sat next to Joey on the couch in the quiet room. He didn't say anything because it was Joey and there wasn't anything to say really. Joey shifted so that JC could be comfortable up next to him.

"You ready?" he asked.

JC nodded. "I'm ready." He was. He could feel it in him, the thin tendrils of energy beginning to trail through his blood. They had an hour or so before the show, and during that time the electricity would grow in his blood until it burned him to sit still. It was those times when he most understood Chris, how he couldn't stop. For now, though, he was still okay.

The door opened and JC looked up, expecting the others, but it was just catering, a teenage boy with spiky hair and a dog collar around his neck carrying a bucket of ice. He hardly looked at them. He was the type of kid who listened to Eminem and Limp Biscuit and thought *nsync were a bunch of fags. That was one of the downsides of being as big with teenage girls as they were -- the local staff was always sullen angry teenage boys because they were the ones who wouldn't faint or ask for autographs. Usually. The kid set the ice on the table, turned and left, shoving his hands into the pockets of his baggy corduroys. JC smiled at him anyway.

"Nice kid," he told Joey.

"Yeah, I bet his mom's very proud," Joey said. He slung his arm over JC's shoulder. "So why don't you tell me whatever it is that you came in here to tell me, before everyone gets here and you have to settle for casting me meaningful glances across the room, yeah?"

JC smiled up at him. "I didn't want to tell you anything," JC said.

"No?" Joey asked.

"I wanted to ask you something."

Joey shook his head. "You're a moron," he said.

"Are you happy?" JC asked.

Joey looked at him, his brown eyes big and liquid. He was so good, Joey was. He always tried to do the right thing by his family, by Kelly, by Justin, by everyone. Most of the time it didn't really work out for Joey, because he was just the type of guy that things didn't work out perfectly for. It was like the way he moved. Joey would walk through a room and things would fall over. He wasn't really clumsy, like, he didn't fall down all the time and he could dance and he had a physical presence that was just totally undeniable, but he wasn't graceful either. That was how Joey's life worked.

"JC, you know what --"

JC pressed his fingers against Joey's mouth. "I didn't say anything," he said. "Are you happy?"

Joey pulled his hand away. "I. Yes," he said. "I am."

"Okay," JC said, and smiled. Joey kissed him on the forehead. "Then ... good. Yes," JC said. Joey pulled back and looked him in the eye.

"Do you have any idea what the hell you just said?" he asked.

"Mostly, no," JC said. Joey's laughter was loud in his ear.

Chris pushed in the door. "What's so funny?" he demanded. He was already in show clothes, because he didn't like to rush to get dressed. It meant that someone besides them might see him and he'd been feeling self-conscious lately. JC thought he might gain some weight to make Chris feel better.

"JC," Joey said, like that explained everything. JC supposed it did.

Justin and Lance came in behind him, Lance holding the door open for Justin with the tips of his fingers. That was the beautiful thing about the group, JC thought. Even with the small cool space between Lance and Justin, they would still hold doors for one another. Lance glanced over at them and smiled a little, but didn't come over. Justin glanced at them, too, and went to sit next to Chris. He looked all right. Chris would make him feel better.

"This is going to be a really good show," Justin said quietly. JC nodded.

[ N o. 14: The Clothes I Wear ] [ email ] [ fiction ]