What I Do
by Synchronik
What I Do

by Synchronik

It's tearin' up my heart
when I'm with you.
And when we are apart
I feel it, too.
And no matter what I do
I feel the pain,
with or with out you.

Tearin' Up My Heart

Justin thinks that JC is probably the loudest person ever while he has sex, which is weird since he's so quiet most of the rest of the time. During sex, though, JC pants and moans and gasps and cries out and makes noises Justin doesn't even know how to describe. JC getting fucked sounds like three porn movies going at once with the volume up high.

Justin thinks he might not be so annoyed by it if he was the one doing the fucking.

Chris. Chris is the one doing the fucking, a fact Justin discovers by accident when he walks into JC's hotel room unannounced and finds JC on his back with his hands hooked under the edge of the headboard, legs around Chris' waist. He sounds like he's going to die, his voice high and wavering. The only thing Justin really remembers seeing is the pale smooth line of JC's triceps, tensed, bulging, one stray curl falling over his elbow.

And he remembers the sounds.

Chris doesn't fuck around, which is the absolute best thing about him, the thing Justin loves most about him. "Are you fucked up?" Chris asks, shutting the door behind him.

"Yeah, sure." Justin nods and tries to focus on the Behind the Music. Green Day. Justin doesn't think they'd been around long enough for a Behind the Music, but he guesses they have. He wonders when someone will call them for a Behind the Music. He wonders if someone already has.

"No, seriously," Chris says, and comes and sits on the bed next to him. He hasn't showered yet. His face is still flushed and he smells, he smells, he smells like JC does when he's fresh offstage.

"Dude, you reek," Justin says, inching away. Chris' heat is too much.

"In other words, 'yes, Chris, I am fucked up,'" Chris says. The voice he uses to do Justin is high and whiny. Justin does not sound like that.

"I don't sound like that," he says.

"JC's fucked up, too, I thought you might like to know." Chris stands up.

"Fucked and fucked up aren't same thing," Justin says. He refuses to lift his eyes from the television, even though Green Day has given way to an Acura commercial.

"You wouldn't know," Chris tells him. He slams the door when he leaves. Hard.

JC doesn't say anything to him because JC hates confrontation more than almost anything, unless it's in the studio. JC likes things to be peaceful mostly. He settles for smiling at Justin and looking sad at the same time. It sucks.

"Okay!" Justin says after two entire days on the bus with Chris scowling at him and JC casting glances and sighing all the time. "Yes!" Justin says. "Yes. I am fucked up! Seeing y'all fucking fucked me up, okay?"

"Okay," Chris says. "Wanna talk about it?"

"No," Justin tells him. JC smiles, a real genuine smile.

"JC and I are fucking," Chris says, plopping down next to Justin. "We've fucked several times now."

"Chris, no!" Justin claps his hands over his ears.

"We fuck several times a week. I'm very good at it."

"He is," JC says, nodding.

"Shut up," Justin tells them.

"It's just sport fucking, though," Chris says. "Just for fun."

"Right." JC has turned into a nodding fool. He nods and nods, like one of those fucking bobblehead dolls that no one bought from Best Buy. "We're just friends."

"It's probably my second favorite sport," Chris says. "Right after hockey. I like the shape of the stick better, though," he says, and Justin gets up and walks out.

Apparently, five minutes of listening to Chris describe why sport fucking is his second favorite sport counts as an apology in Chris' little world because not fifteen minutes after Justin has climbed into his bunk and drawn the curtain, he hears one of JC's breathy sighs.

"mmm," JC says and sighs again. It's a warm-up noise, a noise that says something's getting started. "mm, yeah. Mmmm," JC says.

Justin rolls over so that he faces the wall and folds his pillow over his head. That works for a minute, but it doesn't last long because the pillow's not entirely big enough and keeps slipping off his ear. Every time it does, he gets an earful of JC. JC starts low and steady, a series of hums, "mmm mmm mmm" and gets higher as the action gets ... more intense? Hotter? As things go on. JC has started sighing, light little moans, when Justin realizes that he's on his back, listening.

JC's mouth would be open, Justin thinks, hearing those sighs, vocalizations of whatever Chris is doing to him. Chris doesn't make much noise, just some mumbled words and heavy breathing, but JC's voice registers everything. Once, a long time ago, Justin had been jealous of JC's voice. It's so clear, so big, where Justin's is thin and reedy. He's given up being jealous, though. There's no point. JC never gets it.

"Why would you be jealous of me?" he asks, his eyes squinted in confusion. "You're the one with all the talent." And he means it, too. Fucker.

"Oh, oh, oh aaahh," JC says. He doesn't seem to use actual words, just a lot of sounds, like he's warming up for a concert, rounding his O's, perfecting his A's. His voice is getting higher.

Justin closes his eyes and tries not to remember how it looked, JC's arm curved upward on the bed, his mouth barely visible over the arch of his tricep.

He opens his eyes when JC starts moaning.

"Oh! Aaaaaaaah, ah, ahhh," he says. He's got a little rhythm built up there, Justin notes. He shifts on the bed. He's not sure when it happened, but he's lying with his legs apart, feet turned out. Every nerve in his body is pointing there, his crotch, his cock. His cock. It's pushed up against the slightly rough material of his sweat pants. He shifts, and feels the scrape of rough fleece. It's a great feeling. He shifts again. Beyond the curtain, JC's voice goes up another third. "Oh, oh yeah, oh," he moans.

Justin closes his eyes as tight as he can and counts to ten in his head, but it's no good -- he can still hear JC moaning in time, in time to. Chris. Justin slips his hand into his pants, his fingers light. His skin feels tight, not only on his cock but his stomach, too, pulled so sharply over his hipbones that they might slice through. His hand is hot, but his cock is hotter. When he runs his hand over the head, it's slippery already.

This is sick, he knows, closing his fist and tipping his head back against the pillows, trying to keep his breathing light. Chris can't hear him, JC can't hear him, no one can, not over JC's singsong voice, even higher now, breathier, still wordless. He's known JC forever, and Chris almost as long, and they're fucking and there's no way that he should be doing this, no way, but he pushes his sweatpants down below his ass and spreads his legs even further and uses both hands, licking first one palm and then the other, his hips coming up off the mattress.

"Oh, yeah yeah yeah yeah," JC moans, his voice clear and piercing, and it sounds like JC sounds in his headset during the show.

Justin holds his breath, and comes into his palm.

JC comes while Justin's head is still spinning, gasping "oh oh oh" desperately, and Justin blocks out the mental picture of JC with his head thrown back, glistening with sweat, arms spread. He's seen it too many times. He thinks he knows now why girls scream. It's only partly out of desire.

"Jayce, oh, Jayce," Chris groans, and then he comes, too, and before he even finishes, Justin rolls out of his bunk and goes to wash his hands. He's back in bed with the curtain closed before Chris even stops breathing heavy.

Justin retreats to Lance and Joey's bus the next night, but there's no bunk for him over there, and Lance keeps looking at him speculatively, like he's trying to figure out a math puzzle.

"What?" he demands once, looking up from his basketball game, but all Lance does is ask if he's okay, which he is, he's fine. Lance is so annoying. Joey is slightly better, although he hates basketball and keeps saying so, but facts are facts and Joey and Lance's bus is just plain boring. Justin goes back to his own bus at the next stop. He regrets it the minute he walks up the stairs.

JC is lying on the couch in a pair of the soft cotton pants he favors when they aren't on stage and nothing else. His bare feet hang into the aisle. Chris has his cheek on JC's stomach. He's rubbing his nose along the light trail of hair that divides JC's abdominals in half. JC hums under his breath, and when he looks up and sees Justin, he smiles. "Hey, Justin," he says. "You back?"

Justin slumps at the end of the couch, just out of reach of JC's feet. "Yeah," he says.

Chris and JC sport fuck twice a day when they have time. Justin realizes maybe a week after the first time that he plans his day around it. He keeps a bottle of baby oil and a box of Kleenex in the bottom left-hand corner of his bunk now.

In Seattle, while they are warming up before the sound check performance, Justin starts crying. He doesn't mean to, it just sneaks up on him while he's singing the second chorus of "Gone" and by the time he gets to "take my mind off missing you" there are tears on his cheeks and he yanks the monitor out of his ear and walks backstage without saying a word.

He can't explain why, when Joey finds him ten minutes later, and ends up crying silently against Joey's shoulder while Joey strokes his back and sings the rest of the song. Joey's got a great voice, Justin thinks afterwards, while he's wiping his face with his hands and the ragged bit of tissue that Joey handed him. He should sing it tonight, Justin thinks, but he's not sick or tired or any other reason. He's broken, though, in some way. That much is obvious.

"So," Joey says, and looks at him expectantly, but Justin can't explain it. He doesn't know why. He doesn't know anything anymore, except that it's almost time for JC and Chris to have their afternoon session, and the skin on his dick is softer and more supple than it ever has been before from all the baby oil. He almost starts crying again.

He goes to Joey and Lance's bus again that night and makes himself stay there, even though he has to sleep on the couch. Lance brings him an extra blanket, and sits next to him on the couch, his shoulder up against Justin's. He reads a magazine and doesn't say anything and lets Justin rest his cheek on Lance's shoulder and fall asleep. When he wakes up, the t.v. is off and Joey and Lance are playing cards at the tiny booth, not really talking except in the silent way they have between them, glances and nods.

"Jup," Lance says. He scowls at his cards. That means he's winning. Lance is a good liar, but a bad faker.

"Yeah," he says.

"Justin," Joey says. Justin sighs. They aren't going to let him get away with anything, and it's their bus, so Justin guesses they have the right.

"JC and Chris are sport fucking," he says. Joey lifts his eyes to Lance's.

"Yup," he says.

"So they do it all the time."

"Uh huh," Joey says. Lance throws down a card, and Justin recognizes the game. It's Hyperdrive, a game Lance made up while they were in Germany. JC had been the best at it, Justin remembers. They used to have all night marathons of Hyperdrive during the first tour, staying up laughing, but all Justin can remember is JC tossing his cards on the table and laughing his goofy hyena laugh. He doesn't even remember the rules of the game.

"I didn't know y'all still played that," he says.

"Uh huh," Lance says. "Do you want them to switch busses?" he asks. "I could switch them, if it bothers you."

"You could?" Justin asks. Sometimes, when he looks at Lance, he sees the dorky kid who invented Hyperdrive. Sometimes, like now, he sees someone who scares him a little.

"Dude," Joey says, "why do you think that Lance and I switched busses?"

"Cause five guys on a bus sucks."

"Okay, yeah, true," Joey admits. "But listening to JC jerk off was killing my sex life."

Justin feels his face flush red and buries his cheeks against the crook of his arm. "Really?" he says. "I never noticed." He never had. JC jerked off all the time? Justin's a little embarrassed that he doesn't know that. Embarrassed and regretful.

"It's like too much porn," Joey says. "You get desensitized and nothing's sexy anymore."

Justin remembers the whimpers JC makes when he comes, rapid and frantic, and closes his eyes. He presses his hips against the couch cushions. "Yeah," he says. "Right."

"There's only so much you can take, Justin," Joey says, tapping the table for more cards. Lance hands him two. Justin thinks Joey's right, but maybe he can take a little more.

He wears his Walkman or his ipod all the time, until his ears start to get a little chapped from the headphones. He does it out of politeness. It works. JC and Chris fool around a lot more than they used to: blowjobs in the bunks, fucking on the floor, just plain old making out on the couch at all hours of the day and night. More than once a day. Sometimes more than twice a day. Justin's kind of shocked by the frequency of it and kind of ashamed of the fact that sometimes he can't keep up. That's not enough to make him put a cd in his Walkman, though.

Justin slides into his bunk at three, because JC gets really hot in the afternoon. There's something about the sun slanting through the tinted windows that turns him on, Justin thinks, because usually around three thirty or four, JC will start leaning against Chris, whispering things in his ear, glance over at Justin to see if he notices. Justin flips through a magazine, waiting for the tell tale sound, JC's soft laugh that says that he's about to get naked in the sunlight. Justin's already hard.

At 3:27 by his digital watch, Justin hears the laugh. He closes his eyes and pulls his headphones completely off his ears and slips one hand around his cock. JC likes it fast in the afternoon.

Justin waits.

After a minute, he hears the laugh again, but it's different this time, louder, and Chris laughs, too, which almost never happens, and then Justin hears the television. The television. He sits up. He uses the tips of his fingers and pushes the curtain aside, just enough to let a little air in. He listens so hard that he can hear his own blood pulsing in his head.

They're watching Mtv. Justin can hear Carson's voice over the screams of teenagers. Justin wonders if this is some new kink -- making out in front of fans, so to speak. He pushes the curtain open all the way and gets out, inching forward down the hallway. Just outside the door, he hears Chris' voice.

"-- I can't wait," Chris is saying. "I'm gonna kiss you until you can't stand up." There's no sound at all from JC.

Justin steps into the lounge.

JC looks up from his place in front of the t.v. "Sorry, J," he says. "Did this wake you up?" He waves the remote at the television. Chris is sitting at the tiny kitchen table, his phone pressed to his ear. He waves at Justin and murmurs something into the receiver.

"No, um." Justin shakes his head. "No. Who's that?" He nods his head at Chris.

"Oh, Angela," JC says. "That new girl he's dating. Have you seen this new thing by Joey McEntyre? I kinda like it."

"Chris is dating a girl?"

"I mean, I know he's not as big as he used to be, or whatever, but this stuff is just really. You know. Maybe I'll be the next Joey McEntyre, J." JC smiles at him.

"Chris is dating a girl," Justin asks again.

"Oh, uh huh." JC nods. "For, like, a few days. Angela. Angela, the, um. The. She's a model, I think."

"But, he's not?" Justin rubs a hand over his hair. "He's not dating you?"

JC blinks at him. "What?"

"You and Chris. You're doin' things, right?"

"Oh, yeah. We were."

"But you're not. Now."

"Chris has a girlfriend," JC says, like that solves everything.

The Joey McEntyre thing is actually pretty good.

Justin doesn't think it's possible to go into masturbation withdrawal, but something happens over the next couple of days. His skin feels itchy. His palms are hot. He finds himself staring at JC all the time, watching his mouth. JC climbs up on Justin's bed at a hotel in Spokane and sighs with contentment, watching daytime television. Later, Justin curls around the same pillow and jerks off to the memory of that sigh.

He tries to break Chris and Angela up by calling Chris every ten minutes while she visits, but Chris just punches him and then changes his cell phone number.

His dick is always hard. Suddenly, that seems like a bad thing.

On the eighth day after Chris gets a girlfriend, JC jerks off in his bunk on the bus. His soft and rhythmic moans jolt Justin out of a nap. He almost hits his head on the bunk.

"JC," he calls, hardly breathing.

"Mmm, oh," JC gasps. Justin doesn't think he's heard. He gropes for the baby oil trapped between the edge of his mattress and the wall of the bus. He barely gets it open, splashing slickly across his stomach and his fingers, when JC's voice quickens. Justin drops the bottle. He doesn't care about his sheets.

"Oh, oh god," JC moans. Justin scrambles with the drawstring on his pants. He just gets his hand around his cock, slick and hot, as JC hits his pitch, the note that indicates that he's just about there, and Justin goes with him, biting into the side of his hand to keep quiet. JC cries out for the both of them.

"What's up with you?" Chris asks, shoving his phone back into his pocket. Justin looks up. He's been sitting in the lounge while Chris talked to Angela on the phone, but he hasn't been listening to Chris. He's been listening for JC.

"Nothing," he says. It's impossible, though, because Chris knows him too well to buy his shit, no matter what, and Chris sits down next to him. Justin stares at his hands and tries to disguise the fact that he's still listening for JC.

"You're such a shitty liar," Chris says.

Justin sighs. "Yeah," he says.

"Why don't you just go back there?"

Justin blinks at him. Chris blinks back. He knows, Justin thinks. He knows. He can't get any farther than that. There is no next step.

"Justin," Chris says.

"Shut up," Justin tells him, and stays in the lounge, even after he hears JC sigh. Chris sits and watches him for a while, but doesn't say anything else. Chris is a good friend.

Over the course of the next week, Justin goes through what he thinks heroin withdrawal must be like: he can't stand to be around JC, because JC, he has discovered is as surprisingly noisy in normal life as he is during, um. Other times. JC sighs all the time, happily at songs he likes, sadly at commercials about long distance or smoking. And he laughs softly at things he reads. And he murmurs under his breath while he writes songs, humming in fragments, mumbling lyrics. And each sound he makes sends a little thrill through Justin's skin.

Justin, who knows that Chris is watching him, doesn't move.

Angela is a model, and she's gorgeous, tall and brunette with legs that are almost as long as Chris is tall, and she thinks Chris is "funny." She's foreign and says things like "oh, Chrees, you funny funny thing!" and claps her hands. It's never going to last, Justin thinks, because Chris acts like a normal human being around her and there's only so long he can keep that up. He faked it with Dani for almost three years, but Angela is no Dani.

While she's around, though, Chris drives himself or takes a flight from date to date, so it's just JC and Justin on the bus, something Justin both fears and wants, so desperately that just thinking about it makes him shift uncomfortably in his chair.

"Just you and me, J," JC says.

"Yeah, C," Justin answers. His voice cracks like he's fifteen again. JC grins and slaps him on the shoulder.

He takes a deep breath before he steps on the bus, but he lets it out when JC is just sitting on the couch reading a coffee table book about America's Greatest Artists. That doesn't seem sexy. Justin relaxes.

"Hey, Jup," JC says, looking up and smiling, though, and that is sexy, JC's blinding teeth, his sparkling eyes, his hair curling around his ears. Justin wants to kill himself.

He says hello, instead.

JC likes public television, especially the painting shows and the auction shows and the animal shows. Really, all of it, Justin thinks. He's been in the back, beatboxing to the latest Nelly, but it's not quite as cool because he helped produce some of the songs and he knows what's coming next. It's lost the surprise. JC's sitting Indian style on the big couch, his elbows on his knees, leaning forward like he cares how much the fat English lady's gonna get for her 18th century vase. He probably does.

"Hey!" JC says, after the lady gets, like, a ton of pounds for it. Justin doesn't know the conversion rate, but he knows the lady made a shitload, just by the look on her face. JC, who loves it when people do well on Antique Roadshow, sounds happy and relaxed. The way he sounds after sex. Justin nips that thought in the bud. "You wanna sit down?" He pats the couch next to him.

Justin sits, not even close by, but it doesn't matter, because JC grabs him and pulls him in until Justin's leaning up against him with JC's hand on his newly shorn hair. JC's hand feels big and warm on Justin's skull. He considers pulling away, but JC does this with everyone, even Lance. It's just how he is. Justin tips back into JC's embrace and watches some people with a huge dresser get told it's not worth very much money at all. Justin would laugh, but JC thinks that's mean. JC strokes his head absently, the side of his neck, his shoulder.

"You do this with Chris?" Justin asks, when they find out that Antique Roadshow has been sponsored by R.J. Nabisco.

JC laughs. "Like Chris would sit still for this. He only likes the Happy Painter." JC pulls his eyes from the television, his hand rubbing gently on Justin's arm. "Chris?" he says, but he means something different and Justin knows it. Justin shrugs and turns his face to the t.v. again, but it's some news show he can't even pretend to watch.

"Never mind," he says, and takes the remote from the floor and switches to ESPN.

JC's hand is still on his arm, moving lightly back and forth over his bare skin. It almost tickles, but JC presses just hard enough so that it doesn't. Justin doesn't know how JC knows how what pressure to use -- when he used to try to stroke Britney's arm, she would always end up giggling and shoving his hands away -- but he does, and it's relaxing.

JC's fingers trail over Justin's arm, tip into the bend on Justin's elbow, sweep over his funny bone, then back up again. Each time he repeats the motion his hand moves a bit farther down, touching fresh skin, until he's curving his fingers around Justin's wrist, dipping in between Justin's fingers, running his nails lightly over Justin's palm. The movement is hypnotic: Justin doesn't know the names of the teams playing college ball on the t.v. He doesn't care.

His hand is up against his chest, and JC makes the transition smoothly from Justin's fingers to the collar of his shirt, to the sensitive skin on Justin's neck. He doesn't linger there, just brushes his fingers up to Justin's ear and then back down again.

Justin closes his eyes and tries not to breathe.

JC's hand sweeps over Justin's and up his neck again. He curls his fingers and Justin feels the gentle scrape of JC's nails. He lifts his chin.

JC takes the hint and strokes Justin's neck. His fingers tingle there. Justin feels sparks at the base of his spine. His cock is heavy with blood. His entire body has only two places, the places where JC's fingers are, and the place where they are not. He's still trying not to breathe.

JC draws his fingers over Justin's skin, up under his chin, down along the collar of his shirt. They spread under his t-shirt, until JC's palm rests flat over Justin's pectoral. Justin takes a deep breath, finally, and there are JC's fingers, spread, warm, barely brushing Justin's nipple.

"Justin?" JC whispers.

Justin can't say anything, can't think of anything to say, so he nods instead, his eyes squeezed closed, and JC's fingers move, squeeze, gently. Justin's mouth drops open.

JC covers it with his own.

"Justin," JC gasps.

There's a blur of movement, and Justin can't tell whose arms and legs are whose, but suddenly JC is on top of him, his mouth on Justin's neck right below his ear. "Oh, Justin," he sighs. Justin grabs for him, pulls him down so that JC's against him, against him, and Justin thinks this is JC and kisses him.

Justin's kissed before, a billion times, a billion different people, but JC kisses him and Justin loses his mind. There's only JC's tongue and JC's body and JC's voice humming into his mouth "justin justin justin."

His hands stroke over Justin's chest and then they're up under his clothes, lifting Justin's shirt over his head. Justin wants to be naked right away. He shoves himself against JC, pushing him over onto his back. JC laughs.

"Your shirt," Justin says. He struggles out of his pants, up on one elbow, wiggling awkwardly, kicking at them when they get stuck around his ankles. JC laughs again, and when Justin looks up to scowl at him, he's already naked, one hand around his cock. Justin lunges at him.

JC's body is smooth and silky and arches up underneath him, and Justin groans. He wants to pin JC down and fuck him until neither of them can ever stand again, but he pulls back, just a little, just enough so that he doesn't embarrass himself.

"Oh, fuck you," JC says, and grabs his ass. His legs go up and around Justin's waist and he moves, he ripples against Justin's cock. "Oh god," he gasps.

Justin can't breathe.

JC's clinging to him, breathing for the both of them, heaving himself upward against Justin's body. He's moaning, softly, in Justin's ear, "oh, oh baby, oh, oh" in time with his hips, and Justin can't do anything, can't make any of his own noises, because he's trying so hard to hear JC's.

Then they do it, JC's noises, they change into something needy and sharp, and Justin bears down, bracing himself on one arm and sliding the other in between them. His hand bumps his own cock, and his spine bends involuntarily, and then he's groping, curling his hand around JC, and JC shouts and his hips move so fast that his hipbone bangs Justin's wrist, hard, and he's coming, his voice impossibly loud in Justin's ear. Justin leans in on one arm and kisses him, over and over again, breathing in his rough moans, until JC collapses on the cushions, his lips barely moving under Justin's.

"God," he says, when Justin lets him speak. Justin's still moving against JC, weakly, dragging himself through JC's heat. He can feel every nerve in his body. He never wants to move, ever. He never wants to stop.

"Justin," JC whispers. His smile is dazed and happy, but his hands are intent. One presses into the small of Justin's back, pulling him close, and the other circles his cock and strokes, and suddenly Justin can't wait to finish. "Baby," JC says, against Justin's neck, and he does.

JC's slick and hot beneath him and they're stuck together with sweat and other stuff, and Justin doesn't care. He can only see the curve of JC's neck and a damp lock of JC's hair curled against it. JC's heart pounds and pounds beneath his own. His world is perfect.

"mmm," JC says, and moves. "You're heavy." He reaches down and grabs his t-shirt off the floor. "Here," he says.

Justin sighs and rolls off of him. Cool air rushes over his skin and he wants to roll back, to cover himself with the heat radiating off JC's body. He doesn't. He's afraid of how it might seem.

But JC just wipes himself off with Justin's t-shirt and then pulls him close. He shoves his nose into the curve of Justin's collarbone, and sniffs happily. "Okay?" he murmurs. He hooks an arm and a leg over Justin before Justin can even answer, but that's okay. Justin doesn't mind.

Justin wakes up when Chris comes back on the bus and says "oh, holy shit!" Justin opens his eyes in time to see Chris almost fall over, his hand clapped over his eyes. "Warn a guy!" he shouts.

Justin is embarrassed, but JC just rolls over lazily, stretching out on his back with his arms above his head. Justin blinks and tries to pretend to be casually not looking at JC's cock, because Chris will pick up any sign of embarrassment. JC reaches for the ratty blanket they keep on the back of the couch and pulls it over both of them. He closes his eyes. Chris raises his eyebrows at Justin, but he doesn't say anything, so Justin closes his eyes, too, and concentrates on the feeling of JC's ribs expanding and contracting under his arm until he hears Chris head toward the back.

"JC," Justin whispers. JC doesn't say anything back. He's really asleep.

Justin knows that Chris will corner him eventually, no matter how hard he tries to avoid him, so he gives up before it even starts and says "JC and I had sex," the very first second that they are alone.

Chris keeps chewing his sandwich. "Really? No, Justin, really? Because you and him naked on the bus didn't really clue me in."

"Okay," Justin says. "I just. Okay." He stands up, like he's gonna go. Chris won't talk if he just sits there. Chris likes drama.

"You like him?" Chris asks.

Justin nods.

"Okay, then," Chris says. He slaps Justin's knee, and he doesn't seem mad, or upset, or anything else that Justin expected him to be. He seems. Justin doesn't know. Then Chris smiles.

Chris looks happy.

"He's a good guy, J," Chris says.

"Uh huh." Justin's lost. This isn't what he expected. He's not sure now what he did expect, but it wasn't Chris' real smile and his affectionate hug around his shoulder.

Justin spends the next week in a sex-induced haze. It turns out the only reason Chris and JC were doing it twice a day was because Chris couldn't do it three or four times a day, and JC collapses back on the mattress after each time and tells him that he's the best. Justin grins at him and almost believes it.

And when Joey says "holy shit," when Justin staggers back on to the set of the video shoot and sinks into a director's chair, and asks him, "you and JC are fucking, aren't you?" Justin's too tired to deny it.

JC fucks in every position, from every angle. He does everything. Justin suggests that they do it over a table in the bus, and JC agrees, even though the production assistant could walk in at any time. Justin asks him if he can tie him down and JC grins and whips silk neck ties out of his bag. Justin says he might like to spank JC, and JC folds himself over Justin's knees and pulls his pants down. Justin doesn't think that there's anything too kinky for JC, and that scares him a little. He wonders who JC might have done these things with, and that scares him, too.

"Oh yeah, Justin," JC murmurs, spreading his legs at the barest touch of Justin's hands. Justin doesn't think about how that makes him feel. It's hot. That's all. It's hot.

He goes to Lance, because Lance fucks Joey even though Joey fucks everyone, male or female, everyone.

Lance is sitting on the couch of his and Joey's bus with his ankle over his knee. He's wearing his glasses. If he were wearing khakis and loafers instead of black jeans and timberlands, he'd look like a banker. Justin takes a deep breath.

"Lance," he says.

Lance looks up. Smiles. Justin sits down next to him.

"I, um."

"You wanna know how come I don't get mad when Joey sleeps around?" Lance says.

Justin blinks.


Lance shrugs. "Everyone wants to know. Hell," he says. "I want to know."

"But you don't." Justin feels something in his chest, like his heart has detached and fallen into his stomach. Lance can't help him.

"He's Joey," Lance says. "He sleeps with people."

"But you don't--"

Lance shrugs. "He's always there when I need him," he says.

"Oh." Justin sighs.

"How are you and JC?" Lance asks. "Chris says C's wicked in the sack."

"Fine," Justin says. He fakes the biggest nastiest smile he can, and doesn't meet Lance's eyes. "He's wicked in the sack."

JC's wicked in the sack. "God, baby," he croons in Justin's ear, his legs tight around Justin's waist. "Fuck me, Justin. C'mon!"

Justin fucks him. Justin closes his eyes and fucks him.

Afterwards, when JC's curled up asleep under Justin's arm, Justin watches him. Asleep, JC doesn't look like a porn star, doesn't look like he can bend almost in half, doesn't look like he whispers "I'm gonna suck your cock," in Justin's ear during interviews. Asleep, JC looks small and quiet and gentle, and his hand on Justin's waist feels affectionate. Tender.

Justin blinks, rapidly, wipes his fingers under his eyes. He almost wishes that JC wouldn't wake up.

Chris shows up one afternoon. He's been around the whole time, of course, he's always around, but he shows up on Justin's radar one afternoon while JC is off with A.J. and some of his other writing friends. Justin is sitting in the bus with his hands on his knees not doing anything. His mind's completely blank. He has no thoughts.

"Justin," Chris says, and Justin knows it's serious because Chris never just says his name like that, quiet.

"Huh?" he asks.

Chris sits down next to him. "Justin," he says, "what's wrong?"

Justin wraps his arms around Chris' neck and clings to him and breathes hard and doesn't cry at all. Chris squeezes him. Justin has a dad he loves, but sometimes he needs Chris. Chris knows things about Justin that Justin thinks he might not even know.

"JC?" Chris asks, when Justin pulls back. Justin nods.

"What's up?"

Justin shrugs. "I don't know," he says. "He's so. And I. Man. He's done everything with everyone and he's so fucking hot, all the time. And. I dunno. It's, like, what's so great about me?"

Chris laughs, claps a hand over his mouth. "Oh, man!" he says. "This is. Oh man! Justin Timberlake wants to know what's so great about him! This is priceless! Call Entertainment Tonight!"

"Fuck you," Justin mutters, but he feels better.

"Look," Chris says, slinging his arm around Justin's shoulders. "All I'm sayin' is you're seriously fucked up if your major problem is that your boyfriend's too hot for you."

"Yeah," Justin says.

"Talk to him." Chris squeezes him one more time, and gets up. "Come play Resident Evil II, man. You know I can't play by myself. Those zombies freak me out."

JC climbs into his bunk, naked, his skin slipping against Justin's, warm and sleek, and Justin almost doesn't say anything. He's so. JC.

"JC," he says. "Wait."

"Why?" JC asks. His arms are already around Justin's waist, his lips on Justin's chin. Justin can feel his cock nudging at the skin of Justin's stomach. "Why?"

"I have to, JC." Justin shoves at him. "Wait!"

JC stops moving. He tips his head back and he's staring up into Justin's eyes. He's so beautiful.

"JC, it's just," Justin says, but he doesn't know what it is anymore. He doesn't know how to say it with JC's pretty eyes watching him affectionately. How can this ever be a problem? "JC," he says, miserable.

"Honey," JC says. It's not the voice he uses when he's in bed, the sexy voice, it's just his own voice, JC's normal slightly worried voice, and his hand strokes Justin's temple like he'd brush Justin's hair back if Justin still had hair. "Justin," he says.

"I'm so. JC." Justin takes a big breath, then lets it out. "Okay. How many people have you been with?"

He expects JC to be offended, the way he would be if someone asked him that kind of question, someone that should already like him for who he is, but JC just wrinkles his eyebrows. He's thinking, Justin realizes. Counting. His lips move a little. Justin does not kiss them. After about an eternity, JC nods to himself.

"Five," he says.

Justin blinks. "Five."

JC nods. "Uh huh."

"Including Chris?"

"Duh," JC says. "Chris, A.J., Tony, and um, Wade. But only once. He was, you know. Curious. And you."

"Wade," Justin says.

JC nods.

"Five," Justin says.

JC nods again.

"But," Justin says, and stops. But JC is so easy, he thinks. JC is so willing. He can't figure out a way to say it, though, that doesn't involve him basically calling JC a slut. He settles for "you let me spank you."

JC smiles and nuzzles into him, hooking a leg over Justin's, kissing at his neck, humming happily. "You wanted to."

"Well, yeah, but," Justin says.

"Didn't you like it?" JC asks. "I liked it." He stops kissing and starts licking. He bites Justin's earlobe. Justin loves that.

"But. How many." He wants to talk, he thinks he wants to talk, but JC's squirming under his hands. He's somehow managed to get one hand on JC's ass. JC's got a perfect ass.

"I just told you," JC murmurs. His lips barely touch Justin's ear. "Five."

"Yeah, but, JC," Justin says. JC's rubbing against him, barely, as if he's hoping Justin won't notice. Justin notices. "You do." JC's hand slides down over Justin's ribs, his hips, around his cock. "You do everything," he whispers.

"Well, sure," JC says. "You want me to, right?" He thrusts himself against Justin, into Justin's hands, and Justin has no choice but to agree. He wants JC to do everything, always.

He wakes up in the middle of the night because JC is moving around and his bunk is really too small for two people. "Turn around," JC murmurs, and tries to roll him. Justin gives in and rolls until he's facing the back wall of the bus. JC slides up behind him, presses up against him, curls one arm around him until JC's hand is against Justin's chest, flat on Justin's sternum. His knees are snug under Justin's knees. JC has him completely caught, wrapped up tight.

"There," JC says, softly. His lips move on the short hair at the back of Justin's neck. His breath is hot and damp. His voice is the last thing that Justin hears before he falls asleep.

When Justin wakes up, JC's not in the bunk anymore. Justin finds him out in the lounge, his head tipped to the side, listening to something Chris is saying. His hand is on Chris' shoulder, rubbing gently. He looks up when Justin comes out.

"Hey," he says, and smiles.

Justin smiles back, but JC and Chris are both looking at him in a weird way, and Justin doesn't like it. He wonders if that's the look, or the fact that they're sitting so close to one another.

"Chris and Angela broke up," JC says.

"Oh," Justin says. "Sorry," he tells Chris, although he's not sorry at all, because JC is touching Chris' shoulder and it's only a matter of time before Chris and JC are sport fucking again and Justin is listening. He thinks of that curse -- "be careful what you wish for" - - and finally gets it. It sucks. Stupid fortune cookies and their stupid curses.

"Nah, it's okay," Chris says. "She was a model." He shrugs, like that explains everything. "Hey," he says. "JC says you guys are in love."

Justin blinks. JC is still sitting next to Chris. His hand is still on Chris' shoulder, moving slowly, and his smile is still the dizzy smile JC uses before he's entirely awake. This is just like every other morning on the bus, every other day on the tour.

"Yeah," he says, and smiles. "Yeah. We are."

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