Pattern of the Whole No. 5: Pretend I'm Not Up Here
by Synchronik

Pretend I'm Not Up Here
by Synchronik

"Look straight in the window
try not to look below.
Pretend I'm not up here,
I try counting sheep."

When I Fall
Barenaked Ladies

Chris reached out his hand and Justin took it, tugging so that Chris swayed in his harness.

"I fuckin' hate this," Chris said, but Justin knew that already; Chris' hand was sweaty. He was only six inches off the ground.

"When are you gonna get used to this?" Justin asked, glancing around.

"Never, fuckwad. They aren't here."

"What?" Justin turned. Chris was eyeing him.

"Joey and Lance. They're somewhere else."

"Whatever." Justin swung Chris' hand, and Chris swirled in his harness. His grip tightened.

"Don't fuckin' play with me," he said. "This is way too high."

"You're, like, an inch off the ground," Justin pointed out.

"I'm an inch off the ground, like eighty feet up in the air," Chris snapped. "Justin."

"Okay, okay." Justin held out both hands and steadied Chris. "I wasn't lookin' for them."

"Uh huh." Chris grabbed onto his sleeves. "I don't know why you assholes can't get it through your head that I have a fuckin' *phobia* about heights. A *phobia*, Justin. This fuckin' sucks."

"We're waiting for you to get over it," Justin told him, unable to stop himself from looking down through the scaffolding for the bright flash of Lance's hair.

"Yeah, me too," Chris muttered. "When do you think that'll happen?"

"I dunno." Justin leaned out to get a better look at the end of the catwalk.

Chris tugged his hand. "Quit leaning," he said. "You're gonna give me a heart attack."

"What, like this?" Justin tipped backwards over the edge of the platform.

"Jesus, fuck, Justin!" Chris yelped, yanking him forward. "Don't even fuckin' joke like that!" His heart beat rapidfire against Justin's cheek.

"Okay, sorry," he said, really feeling sorry. "Sorry." He put his arms around Chris' waist and hugged him. In the harness, Chris was taller than him and he could hug him and feel like a kid again, his cheek against Chris' shoulder.

"Hey." Chris put his hands on either side of Justin's head and tipped it back. "I'm sorry, too, okay?"


Chris cast a glance over Justin's shoulder at the stage. Justin didn't even try to turn his head. "You gotta let it go, you know?"

Justin nodded. "Yeah," he admitted. "I know."

"Okay," Chris said. "Now get me the fuck down from here." He bopped Justin lightly on the head. Justin faked a grin and pulled Chris down toward the floor.

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