Lance didn't think many people knew it, but Chris was a really good dancer. He wouldn't have noticed himself, not after five years, except JC kept stumbling coming out of the flip in "I Want You Back" suddenly, so Wade made them go through it in slow motion, step by step.
"--and, one, and grab, and two, and kick--"
Chris' wrists were thin and familiar in his hands. Lance had been terrified of this move when they first explained it to him. First, it meant he had to put his hands on Chris, who at the time had completely hated him, and second, it meant that Chris, who hated him, was in a position to kick him in the head, and third, it meant that he had the chance to dump Chris on his ass in front of thousands of people. Every night. But it had turned out okay, actually, because Chris didn't say anything mean, and had even spent time outside rehearsal practicing the flip with him, and by now it was second nature, Chris' wrists, his foot whizzing by Lance's left ear, his solid weight in Lance's hands.
"What the fuck, JC?" Wade said. "Do it again. Slower. One, and--"
"Whose idea was it to hire this fucker?" Chris murmured to Lance, holding his wrists out to be grabbed.
"Probably Justin's," Lance said. Justin, whose job at this point in the routine was basically to wiggle around in front, was lounging on the couch in the corner of the room, talking on his phone. Chris glanced over.
"I hate him," he said, and kicked.
"I hear ya," Lance said, to Chris' back. Chris looked over his shoulder and smiled, and Lance realized, suddenly, that his hands were between Chris' legs and that Chris had a solid grasp on his arms, and that Chris' hair stuck up in little points when he got hot and sweaty, unlike Lance's own hair, which fell flat. He felt himself blush. This time both Chris and JC stumbled a little, coming out of the flip.
"FUCK!" Wade said, and made them do it over and over again, until Joey, who had been working out again, realized that he was throwing JC over too hard, and they finally got it right.
It was during the rehearsal that Lance realized that Chris was a good dancer. He wasn't good in the way Justin was good--Justin made every move look like a sex act, even the really non-sexy ones. It was a little annoying. And Chris didn't dance with precision, like JC did, or with Joey's animal energy. He just, he moved, like he hardly weighed a pound, and he could do anything, he was so light on his feet. Even though Justin was the best dancer, Lance noticed that Chris was the first to pick everything up to Wade's satisfaction.
"Alright," Wade said, finally. "Get outta here." He grabbed a towel and stalked out the door.
"Love that guy," Joey muttered.
"Yeah, he's a prince among fairy princesses, alright," Justin said. "Who's up for clubs?"
"Pass," Chris said. "I got company stuff."
"Me too," Lance said.
Joey slung an arm around Lance's neck, and one around Chris'. He was sweaty and kind of smelly, but Lance didn't mind. They were all pretty rank at this point. "I hope when you two have real jobs and real lives, and I am just a washed up has-been, that you remember me fondly and give me a job."
"Try just getting washed up first," Chris said, smacking him, and pulling away. "Hey," he said to Lance, "after I bleach myself to get rid of his stench, can I come over? We could have dinner."
"Sure," Lance said. "I have two phone lines."
"Wow, there's a pick-up line for you," JC said. "'I have two phone lines.'"
"For internet, asshole." Chris flicked his towel at JC.
"Shut up," Lance said, and knew he was blushing.
Chris came over an hour later, carrying a bag full of burritos and chips and beer, and his laptop under his arm.
"You don't mind this, right?" he said, sliding under Lance's arm.
"No, I was going to do it anyway," Lance said.
"Okay." Chris dropped his laptop on the couch and began unwrapping food.
"Um, you want a glass or something?" Lance asked. He pointed at the kitchen, as if Chris hadn't been to his house a hundred times.
"For beer?" Chris seemed amused. "Come sit down, you freak of nature."
Lance went and sat down. The burritos were from a dive near Justin's house, which meant they were perfect, and the chips were way too greasy to be even remotely good for you, and for a while there was nothing but silence and half-sentences while they ate and ate. Rehearsals always did that to Lance: he felt like he ate twice his own body weight on days when Wade worked them over. He swallowed, and said that.
"Yeah, he was brutal. Little prick."
"You were good, though," Lance said.
Chris rolled his eyes. "Thanks."
"No, I mean it. You looked really good, today. You're, um, a good dancer." Lance felt his face get hot, and realized that he was staring at his half-eaten burrito.
"So're you," Chris said.
Lance smiled. "Yeah, but I mean it."
Chris laughed. "Thanks," he said. He smiled, his dark eyes squinty and merry. "You have sauce on your face."
"Jeez, Chris. You could've said." Lance grabbed a napkin, and swiped his face.
"I did. Wait, you, here." Chris took the napkin from him, licked it and reached for Lance's face.
"Whoa! Chris!" Lance leaned out of reach. "That's fucking disgusting!"
"What? Your mom never did this to you?"
"You are not my mother."
"Fine, you big baby. Sit there with sauce on your face." Chris put the napkin down.
"It's just that you spit--"
Chris leapt on top of him and wrestled him down. He was surprisingly strong. His hands were hot on Lance's face.
"Chris! shit--" Lance barked, and that was all he got out before Chris was licking his cheek, long licks that reminded Lance of a tiger licking its cubs.
Chris sat back on Lance's thighs, arms crossed, a self-satisfied grin on his face. "It's gone," he said. He was heavy, Lance thought, but he didn't want Chris to move.
Lance stared at him. "You licked me."
"You licked me."
"Yeah, I licked you. I really licked you. You want an award or something?"
"No, I . . ." Lance shook his head against the couch cushions. "You're a freak."
"You want me to lick you again?" Chris said, leaning over and planting his hands on either side of Lance's head.
"No, thanks." Lance smiled. "Feel free to get off me anytime."
"Okay." Chris nodded. Then he leaned down and licked him again, lightly, along the side of his throat, where Lance knew there was no chili sauce.
"Um," Lance said.
"Hmm?" Chris licked him again. Lance felt his chin lift, and his hips moved on their own, and his hands reached up and circled Chris' wrists.
Chris chuckled against his cheek. "Uh huh," he said. "I'm going to lick you until you tell me to stop."
Things got a little blurry after that. At some point Chris' laptop slid to the floor with a thud and an ominous cracking noise. And while Lance was lying on his stomach, trembling as Chris mouthed the small of his back, first his cell phone, then Chris', then his again, rang and rang. And Lance clearly remembered Chris laughing beneath him, looking the way he did after a really good show, only naked. And he remembered his legs, and Chris between them, and someone, maybe him, saying "god, I love you" with hardly any breath. And, of course he remembered waking up this morning in his expensive and pristine white bedroom, under his expansive and pristine white comforter, with his face in Chris' dark crazy hair, smelling their mingled sweat.
"How're you doing?" Chris asked him at rehearsal, the first words they had spoken since Chris had swatted him on the ass at his front door. There had been a radio interview thing that morning, where Chris ended up on the far side of the booth, grinning at him and making Mickey Mouse voices into the mic while JC talked. And then there had been the lunch meeting for FreeLance, where Lance made, like, four mistakes with the dates and numbers because he hadn't had enough time to prepare, what with the Mexican food and everything.
And then there was this. Rehearsal. Where Lance watched Chris' ease and fluidity in the big mirror and thought of him whispering "Lance, Lance," in his ear, and missed his cue. Then it was "I Want You Back," in slo-mo once again, to make sure Joey and JC had it right, and Chris said
"How are you doing?" as they squared up.
"Good," Lance said, reaching for Chris' wrists. "You?"
"Fan-fucking-tastic," Chris said, kicking, and spinning, and Lance, lifting him up and flipping him over, couldn't have agreed more.