The first time, he and Chris had been chilling after a show and had got to talking about some things, such as how JC was unimpressed with his current options (which did not include every woman in the tri-state area, fuck you very much, Chris), and how groupies were sometimes just too… and how Chris, who was trying to be faithful to his current girlfriend — Maria? Marianna? — was feeling kind of sad and disgruntled about the whole thing, because he was succeeding. Doing guys was a pain in the ass on tour (seriously, Chris, fuck off), so all that was left was being really, really horny, and suddenly without warning his tongue was in Chris’s mouth and Chris’s hand was on his dick, and JC yelped, “Ho shit,” and simultaneously elbowed Chris in the face and jizzed all over his favorite t-shirt, the one that said I see dumb people.
“Jesus fucking christ, JC,” Chris said, holding his eye. “Sorry.”
“That’s okay,” JC said, zipping up and smoothing himself down. “Do you, ah. Want a shirt?”
What Chris wanted was two beers (one to drink, one for his eye) and then to talk about everything else in the world in as awkward a way as possible for forever, sitting there in his sticky shirt. It was excruciating, even though Chris was pretty interesting and funny about most things. At least with groupies or girlfriends, you could just leave.
Chris still had a hard-on, JC noted. The beard horns had tickled.
Oddly enough, after that Chris didn’t act any different than normal. JC kind of wished he would, though, because normal for Chris meant he called JC “Quick Draw McGraw” at every available opportunity, and then smirked at him like they had an in-joke (which they did not). Also, Chris kept wondering loudly in front of the guys where his t-shirt was, and actually conned Justin into helping him search for it on the bus, the two of them tossing crap out of the bunks and off the shelves into the aisle, even JC’s stuff, even after he yelled at them to motherfucking quit.
Justin did talk shit about Chris the whole time, even as he was helping, so at least there was that. And he had to admit it was pretty funny when Justin found the shirt tangled up in Chris’s blankets, how he looked at it and then shouted “Oh my god you fucking asshole,” hurling it at Chris as he stomped off. JC snickered to himself, and when he looked up, Chris was holding the shirt and grinning back at him.
Still, Quick Draw. That was just not — clearly, he had gotten a shock. Caught off guard, anyone would have — a person putting their hand on your dick, in the context of kissing, especially kissing like that, sudden and messy and urgent, and Chris had opened his mouth up right away, like he was just so hot for it, which —
JC wasn’t positive, but usually brooding like this didn’t get him hard. Not this hard, anyway. Aching.
So, of course, the second time was strictly his own fault. He accepted full responsibility for his actions. In essence, it came down to the fact that he simply could not be having Chris think he was — have anyone think, really, that he… okay, he didn’t want to be known as a shitty lay. It was ridiculous, but also it was Chris, and therefore just a matter of time before the in-jokes got turned upside-down and word got around. This was important.
This was also completely fucking annoying, and he should have known better than to try to explain himself to Chris.
“Get up,” he said sharply, but Chris just shook his head and lifted a hand weakly and let it drop to his chest, because apparently it was hard work laughing your fucking ass off at someone. JC drew back a foot, but Chris scrambled up and lurched over to the couch before he could take his shot.
“Oh shit, oh shit,” Chris gasped. “Wait, don’t! I’m sorry, JC, seriously. You just surprised me, that’s all.”
“Oh, fuck you,” JC said, crossing his arms.
Chris’s grin looked about ready to crack his face in two, but he managed to dial it back enough to speak. “Look, I never had a… proposition like that before. In the business sense.”
“It’s not a –” JC shut his mouth, because okay, it was.
“Yes, it is, JC, and that’s okay, because you may have a valid point there about loose lips and sinking, uh… ships…. sorry! I’m sorry, I’m just saying. Nobody’s ever wanted to fuck me to keep me from gossiping about them before!”
“It’s not to –”
“Like, usually the opposite, is all I’m saying.”
“You know what,” JC began, “– nevermind.” He gestured in a way meant to capture everything that was stupid about this whole stupid thing, and Chris was smiling at him like JC was his most favorite retard in the world, and suddenly — well, fuck. Chris slid his strong, grabby hands all over JC’s body, and Chris put his warm, scratchy face against JC’s throat, and then he breathed — and he was so very — JC moaned, “Touch me, I want,” and came in his pants, like a teenager.
“Oh, wow,” Chris said, moving back to look between them. “JC –”
“Just shut the fuck up,” JC said, and rolled over and put an arm over his eyes.
After that, there was no possibility of normal. Chris was everywhere, all the time, and excruciating was not even the word, it was… no more in-jokes, not much smiling, because Chris barely even talked to him anymore, but kept watching him, like he was waiting for JC to start spitting or falling down — oh, yeah: humiliating. That was it. Fuck. Because the rumors were true.
It was so depressing that he didn’t even bother to scan his options at the club after that, and when honey after honey slid by his table, all he could think about was how they probably got together for lunch or something, some kind of Groupie Society, and he could imagine one saying, So, JC Chavez, and all of them would start giggling. Someone might even spread her fingers wide and make a popcorn sound, like in the video. Fucking bitches. He smiled automatically at the latest one, who winked back — wow, long legs — and god have mercy that was some sad shit, if you were sitting alone in the middle of a crowd of beautiful people, imagining them mocking you and getting pissy about it. Possibly he was losing it.
At least there was alcohol. Maybe they would give him a bottle. He got up to head for the bar and almost crashed into the girl, the last one — the winker.
She didn’t sound very sorry. JC nodded, trying to edge around her, and she put her hand on his arm. Shiny nails, he noted. Sharp. He smiled, tilting his head just so, and she licked her lips and gave him a predatory sort of grin in return, and it was — really nice.
“Is it true?” She laughed up at him, low and nasty, “what your friend said?”
JC blurted out, “What?” and stepped back, looking everywhere but at her — holy shit, had anyone heard — and there was Chris, sitting at the bar, strangling the neck of his beer, watching, frowning.
Homicide was wrong. Homicide was wrong. Homicide was wrong. After a few days, Joey asked him to stop saying that, please, he was kind of freaking everyone out, so he did, but he kept thinking it, oh yes.
As for Chris, motherfucker was nowhere to be found after that — showed up to things, but he sure as hell didn’t talk to JC, and there was no watching, no frowning, definitely no smiling — didn’t even look at him — and really, that was just fucking fine with him. No third chance at bad sex with someone he wasn’t even pretending to — well, boo fucking hoo to that.
He pushed his tongue against the sore, swollen spot on his lip where he’d bitten down, pulling his hand out of his pants and wiping it on his shirt. Fuck it. As far as their friendship went — had they even been friends? — all he had left was a hard-on that wouldn’t quit, the breath shuddering in his chest, and these weird, annoying thoughts about someone who’d turned right around on him, although it was true that he’d been expecting it, and god knows if he had the misfortune to fuck someone that crappy in bed, he’d sing that shit from the rooftops — but, still.
What really sucked was how there was that Chris, the fucking unmitigated asshole, but also the other one, the guy who would not get out of your head, who got so jazzed by life that he grabbed you and wrestled you around and cracked up over nothing at all: yeah, hooting joyfully right up in your face, as if the two of you were — as if you had made him so — JC realized he was gasping for breath, hot for it already, nipples stiffening against the damp stretch of his t-shirt, thighs spreading, and — oh, fuck. Before he even got his hand in his pants. It was all so very fucking confusing.
Chris managed not to say a single word to him for two weeks, which he had to admit was kind of impressive, what with the tour and interviews and fans and things like that. Justin stopped relaying his messages after two days: two days of, “Jups, he has my fucking hoody and I would like it back, please,” and, “Jups, I’m not picking his skinny ass up off the stage if he forgets to eat again,” bullshit like that, on and on and on, until finally heading into the hotel one day he said, “Jups, you tell him –” and Justin thwocked Chris in the head and walked away. Chris stared at JC for a minute, not frowning, not smiling, not — and then his gaze drifted up past JC’s shoulder, so JC did the only thing he could think of: hitched his backpack up and trudged off after Justin. But who cared anyway, it had probably been nothing.
And then in the middle of a fucking show, Chris danced up to him and smiled a brilliant, wicked smile, and before JC could stop himself he grinned back. Best show ever, he was ready for anything — and Chris leaned in, covering his mic with his fingers, and hissed, “We have to talk,” right through his smile.
Chris sped off then, yelling at the top of his lungs and waggling his fingers at a sobbing preteen with bunny ears, and hey, whaddya know — there was Joey strutting past from stage left to give him one of those looks where he widened one eye and narrowed the other, and Lance, stage right, with the eye rolling, and fucking fuckers, was there no privacy anywhere? JC batted his eyelashes at both of them and chanted live mic, live mic in his head until he could start singing again without shocking any of the fans.
In the end, everything turned out to be totally Chris’s fault after all.
“Okay, so talk, then!” JC said, slamming the suite door behind him. Lance looked at Joey, who looked at Justin, who said, “Oh, look at the time,” putting down the TV remote, and whatever, soon they were gone and he was alone with Chris, who looked everywhere around the hotel room until finally, finally, at JC.
“Hi, JC,” he said, stony-faced.
And that was just it. JC gestured in absolute frustration. Chris turned away, but in the split second before he did he tracked the movement of JC’s hands, and for the first time in forever there was something real in his face. “Listen,” he said over his shoulder, fumbling with the door to the minibar, “I guess I just –”
“You know what,” JC said, drifting closer, “I changed my mind. Shut up.”
Chris jumped a mile when JC touched his shoulder, and seemed genuinely freaked out when JC moved in close. JC’s dick got hard so fast it almost hurt, and all he wanted to do was put his hands in Chris’s hair and rub up against him till he came, but when he bent to touch his mouth to Chris’s neck, that spot he always dreamed of right behind Chris’s ear, Chris gulped and went rigid, hands clenched at his sides. It was like hugging a mannequin.
“Don’t you want me,” JC murmured, and then cringed. So needy, so fucking —
Chris made an incredulous sound, almost like a laugh. “Are you serious? I’m afraid I’ll — and then you’ll –” but it was too late, because at the sound of Chris’s sort-of laugh, JC did. He shuddered hard as the pleasure flooded through him, clutching at handfuls of Chris’s shirt, and dimly heard Chris make another sound, not incredulous at all. “Fuck, JC, you’re so, shit, that’s so,” and before he could pull himself together enough to feel embarrassed or desperate or hopeless or whatever, Chris grabbed his face with both hands and kissed him.
JC allowed it, mainly because it was so good, Chris’s agile tongue and the way he tasted and, god, the sounds, but after a few minutes he pulled away, because — well. Shit. “Mmph, Chris,” he said, and when had hands on his face turned into hands on his ass, holding on tight? Chris was shoving his dick against JC’s thigh hard, completely without any rhythm or grace whatsoever, like he just couldn’t — fuck, he really wanted it.
“No fuckin’ way,” Chris murmured, right in JC’s ear (shudders running through JC’s body again, too late to choke off a hoarse moan of pleasure), “you owe me,” and — and —
“You fucking son of a bitch,” JC said admiringly, and slid to his knees. Chris’s laugh turned into a ragged gasp.
“So, question of the day,” Lance said, before JC could even get his ass in the chair — fucking group meetings, 11 am was inhumane, especially when you’d last slept, when was it — “Will they be more obnoxious now than before?”
Lance glanced at him and added, “that’d be difficult,” but JC had no time to contemplate what an utter motherfucker he was, because Justin and Joey rolled their eyes at one another and Justin muttered, “not on my bus,” as if continuing some totally meaningful conversation, and Joey responded, “better you than me!” which was probably highly offensive, but he lost track of any of it when Chris finally slouched through the door. He was badly rumpled and slow-moving, and had he even taken a shower? Mmm, that was very — and he looked, his face — he was happy, JC realized. He had a bite mark on his neck, and big circles under his eyes, and when he smiled back at JC, JC knew exactly what he meant.