by Synchronik
by Synchronik

I can go without so much.
I can die without a clue.
I can live without your touch,
But I die within your reach.

--The Replacements

It was wrong, the way he found out, Lance thought, but by the time he found out what Justin was doing it was too late to stop him, and, well, Lance wasn't entirely sure he wanted to stop him anyway.

"Hey, Jup," Lance said, leaning in the door of their hotel room, "I'm going to get--oh, oh!" He slammed the door closed. He leaned up against the wall in the hotel hallway, hands over his mouth. The door opened, and it was Justin, jeans on but unbuttoned.

"Lance," he said. "Lance."

Lance stared at him for a second. "Can we." He stopped and took deep breath. "Can we talk about this later?" he said, because he couldn't talk about it now, not with Justin still mostly naked, and his mouth puffy and red from ... well, from Chris, and Lance just couldn't talk about it, not now.

"Um, sure?" Justin said, slouching against the doorframe. "Sure." He patted Lance's sleeve. Then he went back in the room and closed the door, and Lance heard Chris' high-pitched laugh and Justin's voice. They came out a second later, and Chris tousled Lance's hair on the way past, smiling. Justin still wasn't wearing a shirt. "I'll be in Chris' room," he said.

Lance nodded.

The room seemed strangely empty after he locked the door behind him. The beds were neatly made. They hadn't been on the bed. They had been ... Chris had been in the chair, slouched in the chair, knees spread, still dressed. Justin had been naked, naked and kneeling between Chris' thighs, his head bent, Chris' hands in his hair, the smooth long lines of his body curved between Chris' denim-clad legs.

They'd been. Lance couldn't even think of what they were doing.

Justin had looked good though.

"It's not." Justin sighed. "I mean, he didn't make me. I. I wanted to."

"You wanted to," Lance said. He felt stupid.

Justin nodded. His face was flushed red. "I. Have you ever?"


"Well, then you wouldn't know."

"You're seventeen!" Lance whispered. "You're underage."

Justin laughed. "Whatever. Lance, you don't understand," he said, leaning in and putting his hand on Lance's forearm. "It's hot."

Lance shrugged. "I guess I don't," he said.

Except Lance guessed he did understand that part, because he kept thinking of it over and over again, thinking of how it must have felt, Justin's smooth skin sliding against Chris' jeans, the bite of the carpet pile on his knees. And how must it have felt for Chris, to have that mouth, Justin's wet mouth on him, Justin bent over him.

Lance spent a lot of time alone in the bathroom with a bottle of baby oil, thinking.

He should have realized that it wasn't just Chris, but he spent most of his time avoiding Chris, and Justin didn't act any different. They still shared a room when Justin's mom wasn't on tour with them, and Justin still hogged the remote, and still ate like a pig and wanted him to play basketball even though they both knew Lance sucked at basketball, so Lance thought "maybe it was a one-time thing" and tried to forget about it.

But it wasn't just Chris, and it wasn't a one-time thing, as Lance found out when he came out of the shower one morning, and caught a glimpse of someone moving in the mirror over the dresser. The mirror showed the door of Joey's adjoining room, slightly ajar, and something was moving in there. Joey doing push-ups, maybe. Lance leaned up against the doorframe and peered in.

Maybe not.

They were on the bed, Joey flat on top of Justin's back, the sheet sliding down his moving back. Justin was on his stomach, arms splayed and held down by Joey's hands on his wrists, fingers clutching at the sheets. He was moaning, and as Lance watched, he turned his head and bit Joey's forearm.

"Fuck, Justin," Joey growled, and moved faster. The sheet slipped off his back, and Lance could see that Justin was propped up on a pillow, legs spread by Joey's muscular thighs, and he could see Joey's, his ... going into Justin in time with Justin's ragged breathy moans, then Joey was groaning, too, and biting at Justin's shoulder blades, and Justin said, "god, Joey. God!" and Lance had to back away from the door, afraid that they might see him.

He never actually saw Justin and JC, but sometimes he would come into the room after a night out clubbing and see the burned out remains of candles and Justin curled up naked under the sheets, and know that JC had been there.

He went to JC about it because JC would be most likely to not laugh. Chris and Joey might tell him, but JC took sex seriously, emotionally, like Lance did, and looked him in the eye when he asked.

"Sure," he said. "Every once in a while."

"But." Lance sighed. "I guess, I just. Why?"

JC smiled, rubbing his hand over Lance's. "He likes it, Lance. He's looking for something."

"So you give it to him." He hadn't meant to sound so, well, so mean, but JC just smiled at him.

"Better us than someone else, Lance," he said.

He didn't believe JC at first, because it didn't seem fathomable that Justin, goofy charming, arrogant Justin could be asking for Chris to pin him down on the studio floor or for JC to swat him on the ass every time he passed by.

The other stuff, though, didn't look so bad. Like, for example, Justin seemed to have access to Joey's lap anytime he wanted: he could just sidle up to Joey and lean in, and Joey would sling an arm around him and rub his back and maybe kiss him on the cheek. And Chris seemed to really like Justin's hair, Lance noticed. He was always touching it, brushing his fingers through it and across Justin's mouth. JC had started calling him "baby" not as in "the baby," which was the nickname they used to piss Justin off, but as is "what's up, baby?" murmured while he ran a hand down Justin's back.

It didn't seem too bad, Lance thought, watching Justin curl up around JC on the futon, or lean into Joey's embrace in the elevator. It seemed like maybe Justin was looking for something, and maybe he'd found it.

"--in the mornings, like sex on a stick," Chris was saying as Lance came into the lounge and sat down at the breakfast table.

"Who?" he said, smiling. Joey and Chris exchanged glances. JC cleared his throat.

"He knows," JC said.

"Oh yeah?" Joey asked. His grin was wolfish.

"Not like that," Lance said. "I don't know know."

"So have you seen him, then? In the morning? Just out of the shower," Chris asked.

"uh, yeah."

"So then, you know what I'm taking about," Chris said. "The boy is hot."

Lance ducked his head into his hand. He hadn't really thought about it: he saw Justin in a towel all the time from when they shared rooms, Justin with his hair flattened to his head, water sliding down his shoulders, skin flushed from the heat. "I guess," Lance murmured.

"He guesses!" Chris hooted. "Lance supposes Justin may be hot." He shoved at Lance's arm.

"Or what about when he just wakes up?" Joey asked.

"Oh, yeah," JC said. "When he's all bitchy unless you sweeten him up."

"God, yeah," Joey sighed. "He likes it when you rub his feet."

"Or when you rub his shoulders," JC added.

"He's always wearing clothes that don't fit," Lance said.

"Ha!" Chris laughed. "They're always too small, suddenly. And he's always taking them off."

"He's always arching his back," JC said, shaking his head in amusement. "The boy is trash."

"And he's always masturbating!" Lance chuckled.

"What?" Joey said. Lance looked up. They were all staring at him.

"What?" Lance asked.

"You've seen him jerk off?" Joey asked.

Lance laughed. "God, yeah. He does it all the time. Like, incessantly."

"Really?" Chris asked.

"I gotta go," JC said, standing up.

"Really," Lance said. "You haven't."

"I think JC's about to," Joey said, laughing.

"Damn," Chris said, and there was envy in his eyes.

JC came back after a minute, looking mussed and frustrated.

"Well," Chris said.

"He says it's private," JC muttered.

"What?" Lance asked.

"He says it's private."

"I don't know how private it can be if Lance has been watching for, like, years?" Joey snorted.

"I haven't been watching, I just, you know. Noticed. Or whatever."

"Lucky bastard," JC said, grabbing his coffee cup off the table.

"Look, you room with him," Lance said, "and then you'll get to see it and I won't have to."

"You don't want to?" Joey asked, looking seriously confused.

"I." Lance stopped and stared into his coffee cup. "I don't know."

Joey patted his arm and Chris laughed.

Justin was a pretty regular guy, which was part of the reason, Lance thought, that he hadn't realized sooner about what was going on: how could you think someone was having sex with, jeez, three people, when he was still jerking off every other day? It always started the same, too. Lance would already be in bed, covers up to his chin, and Justin would come out of the shower in his towel and slide into bed, naked. He didn't always sleep naked, and sometimes, in the morning, Lance would wake up and see that Justin had put shorts on in the night sometime.

Justin would click off the lights, and then, after a minute or two, Lance would start hearing the noises. Justin tried to be quiet, mostly, but there was still the noise of the sheet and the breathing and one or two little gasps, here and there, then a long shuddering breath, and Justin would be done for the night. A minute later, he'd be asleep. It'd gotten to be so routine that Lance didn't even think about it anymore.

Until now.

Private. Justin had told JC, JC who he would fuck and give blow jobs and who knew what else, that it was private. It was kind of rude, when Lance thought about it, because what did that mean, that he was, like, no body? Not even important enough that Justin would jerk off in the bathroom? Frankly, it kind of pissed him off.

So, when Justin got into the shower Lance pulled out his magazine and started reading. Things were going to be different.

Justin came out of the shower in his towel, futzed around in his bag some, and climbed into bed, dropping the towel on the floor as he went. Lance turned a page in his magazine.

He hadn't thought it would happen, not with him sitting up with the light on, reading for Pete's sake, but after a minute he heard the familiar noise of Justin sliding around on the sheets, gearing up. He cleared his throat. Justin continued to wiggle and Lance could see, if he were looking, Justin's legs spread in a long V under the sheet, the bedspread pulled back because it was hot in the room. Justin liked it hot.

He cleared his throat again and shook the magazine out so it would make very awake noises, but Justin just slid down in the bed and opened his mouth. "Ahhh," Justin breathed.

"I, um," Lance said. "I'm awake, Justin."

"Mmhmm," Justin said. There was motion under the sheet, Lance noticed. Very. Rhythmic motion.

"Justin," he said. "I can see you."

"Uh huh," Justin said. He arched his back and the sheet slid a little, revealing one peaked nipple.

"Justin--" Lance said again.

Justin rolled onto his side and glared. "What Lance? What?"

"I. It's. You're jerking off in front of me."

Justin sighed. "I've been jerking off in front of you for, like, a year, Lance. What's your point?"

Lance blushed, and then got mad. He'd been doing it on purpose? "Look," he said, noticing that Justin's hand was still moving under the sheet a little, slowly, as if he were making sure he didn't lose his place. "Just. Don't, okay?"

"Why not?" Justin asked, rolling onto his back again, legs under the sheet spread obscenely wide. "I like it."

"Well, duh, but--"

"I'd like it more if you'd come over here and help."

Lance stared at him, but Justin had his eyes closed again, and his mouth open, and his hand was moving, moving, and it occurred to Lance that maybe staring wasn't the right thing to do at the moment.

"Come over here, Lance," Justin breathed, and that was it. Lance got up and left.

He slept in Joey's room, even though Joey had a single and they had to share a bed. Lance didn't touch him.

It wasn't fair, Lance thought, that Justin got to proposition him and then not even seem bothered about it. And Justin was completely and totally unbothered. He stepped onto the bus, and murmured, "scuse me," as he slid down the aisle behind Lance, one hand trailing across Lance's waist before he even had time to get out of the way. When Lance glared, he winked. When Lance scowled, Justin peeled his sweatshirt off, taking his undershirt with it, and stretched.

And it didn't stop with the exhibitionism. When Lance sat down at the table and flipped open his laptop, Justin sat next to him swaying up against his shoulder with the motion of the bus and whispered "whatcha doin?"

When Lance tried to sit on the couch and watch tv, Justin slid between him and JC, chuckling, and draped one arm over Lance's shoulders casually.

When Lance slid into one of the bench seats sideways so there was no room, Justin sat in the one behind him and leaned over the back and reached his hand out to touch Lance's hair.

"Fuck!" Lance said, finally, and went to his bunk, sliding the curtain shut with all the force he could muster.

A minute later, he heard footsteps.

"Lance." Chris.


Chris slid back the curtain, and sat on the edge of the bed. "He's annoying, hmm?"

Lance choked out a laugh. "Yeah."

"Want me to tell him to lay off?" Chris ran his hand through Lance's hair, brushing it off his forehead. Lance closed his eyes.



Lance squinted at him. "You'd do that?"

Chris shrugged. "Sure. Timberlake doesn't scare me."

"He scares me," Lance muttered.

"No problem, baby." Chris patted him on the shoulder and stood up. "Taken care of." He slid the curtain back. Lance sighed and closed his eyes.

"Hey, Lance."

"Go away, Justin."

"No, hey, look." Justin pushed the curtain aside, and Lance made a mental note to never let Chris take care of anything ever again. "I'm sorry."

"Okay, great. Bye."

"Wait, I mean it." Justin scootched up onto the bed, one leg folded under him. "I didn't realize it was getting to you so much. I'm sorry."

Lance eyed him. It was a lie, of course--Justin had known exactly what he was doing--but he seemed sincere now. "Okay," he said.

"Okay." Justin smiled. "You nappin'?"

"I was trying to get away from you."

Justin laughed. "Nice try. Can I ask you something?"

"Um. Yeah, okay."

"Why won't you?"

"Please don't make me talk about this."

Justin shrugged. "Okay." He touched one finger to Lance's nose. "Friends?"

"Yeah. Friends."

Friends. It was harded than it sounded. Being friends with Justin had always been a kind of touchy feely thing before. Justin was gregarious and affectionate, and would do things like sit behind you on the floor while you were trying to learn a new video game and reach around you to grab the controller, his laughter hot on your neck.

Or, for example, he would slump against you with one arm around your waist and watch t.v. until he dozed off.

Or, sometimes, he'd grab you by the shoulders and rub you down until you could hardly feel a single bone in your body, you were so relaxed, and then he'd guide you down the aisle to your bunk and put you into bed, kissing your cheek.

The problem, of course, was that he'd done all that before, before he'd gotten involved with everyone else, before he'd talked to Lance with his hand on his cock, before he'd whispered "come over here" in a sex voice, so Lance couldn't really turn his away without it becoming something, a deal, a fight. And Lance didn't want that.

He didn't know what he did want.

They still shared rooms, all the time now that Lynn didn't tour with them anymore, although Justin spent at least a couple of nights a week in Joey's room, or JC's. Chris had stopped, now that he had a girlfriend, and for a couple of days Lance had hoped that the others would pick up on Chris' example and stop too, but they hadn't. For a week or so, in fact, Justin had been gone every night, as if JC and Joey were having some sort of contest about who could fuck him more.

Lance could always tell when it happened, even when he didn't stay all night, because Justin would come back and flop on the bed where Lance would be watching movies or something, and grin like an idiot until Lance said "cut it out, you dork."

"Cut it out, you dork," Lance said, shoving at Justin's arm. He propped his chin in his hands.

Justin flipped over onto his back. "Sorry, man, can't help it," he said.

"Joey or JC?" Lance asked. That was new, too. They didn't really talk about the details or anything, but Justin might mention who, if Lance asked, or how it was, like "romantic," which was usually JC, although Joey occasionally threw a hook in there, or "raunchy," which had been Chris mostly until Chris put the brakes on.

"JC," Justin said. "He had to go, though. Some studio thing for what's her name."


"Yeah, her."

"So you're back early." Lance glanced down at him. Justin, on his back, eyes closed.

"Yup." He opened one eye. "You miss me?"

"Definitely." Lance smiled, and turned his attention back to the t.v.



"You ever kissed a guy?"

Lance looked at him. He didn't look the way he had before, all cocky and sure of himself. He just looked like Justin. "Do Joey's birthday kisses count?"



"Then no," Justin said, rolling his head back and forth on his arms, smile broad.

"Then, no," Lance said. Justin turned his head. He seemed to be looking at something just past Lance's shoulder.

"You ever want to?" he asked.

Lance shrugged. "Sometimes."

"You ever, um, wanna kiss me?"

Lance grinned. Justin was transparent, like plastic wrap, like the Popemobile, like glass. He shrugged again. "Sometimes," he said.

Justin looked at him, and grinned back. "Yeah?"

Lance shrugged.

"Well, you can, you know," Justin said. "If you ever want to again. You have an open invitation."

"Thanks," Lance said. "I'll keep it in mind."

Justin sat up on the bed, still smiling but different now, distant. The air around him smelled like he was getting ready to leave. "You do that," he said.

Lance kept it in mind when Justin climbed into his bunk in the middle of the afternoon, mumbling, "you mind?" and falling asleep without so much as touching him. Except where they were all pressed together because the bunk wasn't made for two people, but that was entirely different.

And when Justin danced up behind him at a club, swaying his hips in time with Lance's, arms over his head, saying "hey, Bass," in his ear.

And Lance kept it in mind especially when he woke up one night on the bus to go to the bathroom and saw Justin and Chris kissing in the light from the full moon that filtered through the windows. "That could be me," he thought, clearly and distinctly, before he closed his eyes against them, against the gilt-edged slope of Justin's neck as he bent to Chris' mouth. "That could be me."

Four days later it was. He was up, screwing around on the computer, when Justin came out of the back of the bus, scrubbing his hand over his hair.

"hey," Justin mumbled, grabbing his glass of water off the counter.

"Hey. Can't sleep?"

Justin shook his head. "Nightmare." He flopped down on the bench next to Lance and pressed his cheek to Lance's shoulder, closing his eyes.

"Anything bad?" Lance patted his back.

Justin shook his head a little. "I was being chased, but I don't know who was chasing me."

"Hmm. Well, you're okay now," he said, smiling down.

Justin smiled again, eyes still closed. "Yeah," he said.

And that was it. Lance's mouth was on Justin's, pressed against that smile, before he could stop himself. Justin jerked at first, as if he might pull away, but he didn't, his mouth opened instead, and they were sharing breath, Justin's still minty from the tooth brushing. He felt Justin hesitate for a moment, but then his hands came up grasping at Lance's arms, and he slid one leg over Lance and was in his lap, grinning down at him.

"God," Lance groaned. It was happening so fast: one kiss and he was already hard, already wondering when Justin would slide a hand down his stomach into the front of his pajama pants.

Justin laughed. "Yeah," he said. He wrapped his arms around Lance's neck and kissed him again, opening his mouth, his tongue tentative against Lance's.

Justin had been right, Lance realized. It was hot. It was hot having Justin heavy and pressed against his crotch, and it was hot being able to run his hands over Justin's lean smooth back, and it was hot when Justin lifted his chin and tipped his head and Lance had to lock his arms around him to keep him from falling backwards.

"You're, oh, Lance," Justin whispered.

"shhh." Lance licked along Justin's collarbone, tasting the warm salt of his throat.

"You're amazing," Justin said. Lance smiled against his skin. He was amazing. Justin would know; he'd been doing this for a while. For a few months at least, not to mention the time before Lance had seen him with Chris, how ever long it'd been going on before then, Justin twining himself around JC, or spreading his legs the way he was spreading them now, laughing that low sexy laugh he was laughing now when Joey slammed him against the wall, Justin smiling like he was smiling, now.

"Justin," Lance said.

"mmm, baby," Justin said, dipping his head to nuzzle Lance's ear.

"Justin, stop," Lance said.

Justin stopped and gazed down at him, smiling. "You're beautiful," he said, hands on Lance's face. "I'm going to--"

"Justin, stop." Lance's heart beat against his ribs. His hands shook. "Get off me."


Lance shoved, and Justin slid off, landing in a heap on the floor.

"Lance, what the hell?" he asked. Lance closed his eyes and felt one of Justin's long square hands on his thigh.

"STOP," he said. He could feel wetness at the corners of his eyes. He didn't open them. "Leave me alone."


And Lance had to open his eyes, because Justin's voice was low and small and confused, not Justin's normal voice at all, and when he looked, Justin was staring up at him, one hand still on Lance's knee. He looked lost, like Lance felt.

"Because I can't, okay. I'm not like them."


"Look." Lance sighed, pressing his hands against his face. "I'm not like them. I can't. Not if--" He waved his hand at the back of the bus, where he could hear Joey snoring faintly over the rumble of the wheels.

Justin looked in the direction of the pointing, then back at Lance. "Oh," he said. "Okay." He stood up, brushing off the seat of his pants. "Okay. Night, Lance."

"Night." He closed his eyes again and didn't open them until he heard the metallic glide of curtain rings on one of the bunks. His hands, when he pulled them away from his face, trembled.

He was almost asleep when he heard it, the sneaky creak of movement in one of the other bunks, the faint clang of metal curtain rings, and surprised mumble of Joey's voice. Lance rolled toward the back of his bunk after he heard the laugh, and pulled the pillow over his head. It muffled most of the moaning.

The problem was that you couldn't really ignore someone on a tour bus, Lance thought. You could want to ignore them, and you could try to ignore them, but you would still inevitably end up seeing them the day after they tried to sleep with you with their feet up on the couch glaring at you.

And you would still have to talk to them, even when it was just to say "excuse me" because they were just stopped in the middle of the aisle for no apparent reason.

And you would still have to hear them, when they crawled into Joey's bunk for the second night in the row, although for a second it sounded like they were crying.

"So, you're just going to not talk to Justin anymore?" JC asked, after Lance refused to answer the question "what do you want for lunch?" even when Justin yelled it right in his face.

Lance sighed. He hadn't meant not to answer, really, but he hadn't, and then Justin had asked again and he really hadn't, and by the time it got to the yelling stage it was a matter of pride and Lance couldn't answer, even though Justin had spit on him a little.

"I dunno," he said.

The others kind of stopped talking to him for a while after that. Not really--they would still talk about the schedule, or the band, and would still answer questions--but enough to make Lance feel like he was invisible, most of the time he wasn't on stage. It pissed him off. Justin was their little fuck toy, and they still patted him on the head and groped his ass, but Lance got the cold shoulder because he had enough decency to not fuck him. That was cold.

It was lonely, too, Lance thought, sitting in a corner of the couch with his feet draw up, pretending to listen to music and read a magazine. Justin and JC were on the other couch, half-asleep, Justin sprawled over JC like a bear rug. JC toyed with the hair on Justin's neck. It wasn't anything, nothing that Lance hadn't done a thousand times before all this got messed up with sex and who did what to whom. Sometimes you just needed to hear someone else breathe, feel their comforting weight.

Unexpectedly, tears pricked at his eyes. He missed that, too, and it didn't seem fair that suddenly he should have to fuck someone to get it.

"He really likes you," Chris said, abruptly, a week later.

"He's got a funny way of showing it," Lance replied.

He started losing weight. He didn't mean to, didn't even notice until Bertrice, the head wardrobe lady, said "if I have to take your pants in one more time, baby, I'm going to kick your ass. Eat something!"

"Oh, sorry," Lance said, blushing. It was embarrassing when you wanted to hug the wardrobe lady just for calling you "baby."

He also started sleeping a lot, or rather, lying on his bunk with his arms around a pillow wanting and hoping to sleep, pretending to sleep whenever anyone came by because he left the curtain open. If he didn't, his bunk felt like a coffin.

Once, when he had actually been on the verge of dozing off, someone had come by and stopped next to his bunk. There was a hand on his cheek, and his name, whispered. He cried a little, after that, the tears leaking from underneath his eyelids and wetting the pillow.

Finally, when he thought he would die if he didn't talk to someone, he went to Joey, who was in the back of the bus watching a movie, head tilted back against the couch. Lance had no real hope of anything working, because he had no idea what had gone wrong or what he wanted, but he had to say something.

He sat next to Joey on the couch. "Hey," he said.

"Hey, Lance."

"Can I ask you something?"

"Yeah, sure."

"Why won't you," he paused, blinking, swallowing. "Why won't y'all talk to me anymore?" he managed and then he was crying, feeling like a fucking tool and too old for all this melodramatic bullshit. "Sorry," he said, standing up to leave. "Sorry."

"Sit down." Joey grabbed his arm and yanked him back to the couch, pulling so hard that Lance landed against his shoulder. "Quit crying," Joey said, but Lance couldn't, suddenly, not with Joey's arm around him and Joey's voice in his ear. It was too much. He flung his arms around Joey's neck and held on, certain that he'd be thrown off any second, but Joey just slid a hand up and down his back and said "shh, Lance. Quit crying," until eventually, Lance did.

"Sorry," he mumbled again, when he could finally pull back.

"You okay?" Joey asked.

"Yeah, I just--" Lance sighed. "I'm lonely."

"We missed you," Joey said. "You kind of went away there for a little while."

"I couldn't. It was, um. The whole Justin thing. I'll deal with it, I guess."

"The Justin thing?" Joey asked.

Lance nodded, wiping at his face. "You know. Y'all, um. I couldn't because he's sleeping with, um, you, and then I guess he got mad, and."

"Wait," Joey said, one hand on Lance's shoulder. "That's what this is all about? You're not speaking to Justin because of that?"

"Joe, you don't understand. I mean, he was on my lap and all I could think of was--"

"You don't get it," Joey interrupted, shaking his head.

"I get plenty."

"Like what?" Joey asked. "You're breaking his goddamn heart, Lance, and you get it? Whatever."

Lance scowled at him. "I get that you're all fucking him still."

"Oh yeah?" Joey asked. "Hey, C!" he yelled, out into the lounge.

"What?" JC yelled back.

"When's the last time you and J did it?"

"Dunno. A month ago, maybe."


"Joey, leave him alone. You know he has a thing for Lance, man."

Joey stared accusingly at Lance. "You think you're so smart," he said. "But you don't get shit."

Justin was asleep in his bunk, curled up around a pillow, facing the wall. Lance didn't say anything, just crawled in and wrapped his arm around Justin's waist pulling him close, burying his face in the soft fuzz at the back of Justin's neck.

"hmmm?" Justin mumbled. "Sleepin'."

"Shhh," Lance said. "It's me."


"Yeah. Go back to sleep. It's okay."

"Broke up with them," Justin mumbled, detaching one of his hands from the pillow and covering Lance's with it.

"I know, J. Go to sleep." He kissed Justin's neck, once, then again.

"mmm," Justin said.

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