the Whole No. 9: I Wanna Be Scattered
I Wanna Be Scattered
"I wanna be scattered from here
Right at the beginning, when Lance had just joined the group, all of the boundaries were very clear. JC and Justin were a team, and Joey and Chris were a team, and Lance was the new kid who everyone pretty much liked but no one really knew. Then Chris and Lance had to share a room in Florida and for a brief while he and Lance were partners in crime, even whispering in corners like girls, and Joey had kind of hung out a lot with him and Justin. And then him and Joey had kind of picked up their friendship where it had left off from before JC had gone to California and Justin had kind of been out in the cold, but Justin was really more Chris' speed than Lance was, so he and Chris became best friends, and Joey and Lance both had the same secretly tender hearts, especially where animals and babies were concerned, and that was kind of where they were right now: Justin and Chris, Joey and Lance, and him.
Well, except for when Joey and Justin went out for that six weeks during the NSA tour.
But the thing was that there had been so many shifts, so many deep and personal connections that there weren't any true alliances, there couldn't be, not anymore. There were so many layers, so much love passing back and forth between them, so many undercurrents, that there was no way anyone could be mad at anyone for long.
Lance didn't like it.
JC knew that in the same way that he knew that Lance liked jelly and not syrup on his French toast, or that he liked to get up early even it meant he had to take a nap later. Sometimes, JC knew, Lance felt their closeness too much. Like now.
Lance was sitting at the catering table eating miniature pickles and not really talking to anybody. He had his palm pilot out, but he wasn't looking at it. "Hey, Jayce," he said. He wasn't looking up.
"Hey." He leaned over and took a pickle off Lance's plate. "Workin'?"
"Mmm." Lance nodded, but he closed the leather case.
"What's next? Movie? Book? Gonna try your hand at writin' something?" He poked Lance in the ribs. He squirmed away, but his smile was genuine.
"Nah, nothin' for awhile after the movie comes out. I might need a break."
"You think?" JC smiled at him. "You should take a vacation."
"Uh huh. Yeah, I'll get right on that, JC. Maybe tomorrow." He rolled his eyes.
"You know what I mean, man," JC said.
Lance nodded but didn't say anything. JC put his hands on Lance's shoulders, rubbing back and forth. Lance had nice shoulders; they felt solid underneath the thin cotton of Lance's t-shirt. Lance slumped under his hands. "This is hard," he said.
"Sure, it is," JC said. It wasn't, not for him. For him, being around them, all of them, all the time, was the best thing that had ever happened to him. JC wasn't good at making friends, just walking up to people and saying hello and chatting. He didn't like calling people. He wasn't good at staying in touch. But for Lance, who knew everyone and liked to keep them at a distance, even him, even Joey, the closeness got suffocating at times. "It's worth it, though," JC said. He squeezed Lance's shoulders, leaned down and kissed the back of his neck, affectionately.
"Yeah," Lance said, sighing. "Yeah."
JC squeezed him once more, and released him. "I'll leave you alone so you can work," he said. Lance nodded, but before JC could let go, Lance had patted his hand once, softly.