“You’re getting skinny, dude.”

Chris eyes him critically, up and down. It amuses JC, the way Chris can’t help but combine an insult with any caring. He turns and looks Chris up and down the same way without a word. Chris flushes a little and looks to the side.

Justin gives a sudden cackle and JC notices that Chris takes a step away from him, toward Justin. He’s not sure why that bothers him. It’s not the toward Justin part, per se… anyhow, Justin is smiling at them both, shaking his head.

“Y’all,” he says. He shrugs, squinching his eyes up in a happy-as-shit grimace.

“What,” Chris says.

“Nothing. Nothing, man. I gotta get going. Um, see you early? Seven a.m., y’all, be on time for once.”

Justin widens his annoying got-a-secret smile when JC narrows his eyes at him. He grabs his helmet and leather coat off JC’s couch and digging for his keys, heads for the front door.

“Make him eat something,” he tells Chris as he yanks open the screen. He manages to make it outside before the pillow JC throws at him makes it across the room. JC can hear him laughing down the front walk.

“Feed me, Chasez, if you’re not gonna eat,” Chris says, starting for the kitchen. JC watches him walk away before following.

“Will you stop. I eat more than you and Justin combined and you know it. It’s just. Me.”

JC rummages in one of his too-many utensil drawers. How come he can never find what he needs in this kitchen?

“Just you,” Chris says musingly. JC gives him a sharp look, but Chris has stuck his head into the refrigerator. He soon emerges with a couple of bottles of beer and the tray of chicken JC set up to marinate earlier that afternoon.

“Ready for this?” he asks, holding the tray out to JC, and JC nods. The coals are hot and banked in the grill and the salad made, despite the veggie fight Chris and Justin got into as JC washed and chopped. JC takes the tray. Chris pops the beers, having had no trouble finding the bottle opener, and hoots as one of the caps pings off the counter, straight into the trash.

“Yes!” he cries, throwing his hands in the air and sprinkling beer across his arm. JC makes a face at him. Chris looks back at him seriously, the way he never smiles when he’s being silly, and JC feels a glow inside that makes his hands shake a little. He clutches the tray of chicken and goes outside into the clear dusk air. He can hear Chris behind him, clattering around in the kitchen, whistling the tune from some commercial between his teeth.

They’ve been doing this for weeks now, this dinner together at home thing, falling into a hanging out after the end of the tour thing that seems to be continuing into rehearsals and recording and promos and a glimpse of the next tour. Neither of them seems willing to go back to the way it was before, despite a lot of random shit from the other guys that they never talk about. It’s just… easy. JC has really come to value easy, over the last few years. There’s never enough easy.

So sitting here at twilight with Chris, laughing as he imitates frogs at the edge of the pond, listening to his theories on sports and politics and why they should have live animals for their next tour, feeling his restless energy smoothing into a mellow hum as his body relaxes, finally, into a deck chair near JC’s, light spilled from the kitchen windows touching his face to reveal a look of simple pleasure… not something JC’s willing to give up, now that he’s found it.

After dinner JC drags Chris back inside to listen to some tracks he’s put together. Of course, Chris complains loudly and at length, but he settles in attentively when music fills the den. They talk and sing and squabble scornfully with one another until JC is satisfied he knows where to take the songs from there. At last, not talking, they sit shoulder to shoulder on the couch, just drowsing along together with the mild night air moving curtains in the open windows.

After a long, long time JC can feel Chris stirring against him.

“Well. I better get moving, dude,” Chris says, yawning and bumping his fist against JC’s arm. JC smiles and opens his eyes. He turns his head to watch Chris stretching and scrabbling his fingers through his hair like a sleepy child, and makes up his mind.

“No,” he says.

Chris stills in mid-stretch. Then he carefully lowers himself down off his toes and turns around to look at JC.

“What? C.”

His voice has a breathless quality and JC is absurdly pleased to note the look of hopeful terror that flits across his face. JC stretches himself, feeling Chris’s eyes on his body, and gets up from the couch. Holding Chris’s gaze with his own, he smiles through his lashes and starts toward Chris slowly and with obvious intent. Chris makes an odd little hop in place as though something jolts right through him.

“JC. Dude,” Chris begins, then falls silent. JC pushes right into Chris’s space, looking him over deliberately. A kind of squeak comes from Chris’s open mouth. JC can’t seem to look away. Chris’s mouth.

Chris takes in a breath, about to start again, and JC interrupts him.

“Damn, you do talk a lot.”

Chris smiles, suddenly.

“You like it when I talk a lot,” he says.

JC puts on a thinking face. He shakes his head, frowning slightly, until Chris grabs him and shakes him and he can’t help but laugh, jerked around by Chris’s gripping hands. But then Chris’s arms are around his body and he’s holding on to Chris as tight as he can, too, and kissing him as hard as he can, because god, it feels like JC’s been waiting for this for a long time. For forever. And Chris is kissing him back, opening his mouth under JC’s and moaning, pushing against him, holding on.

This is heaven.

After an endless too-short while, JC pulls his lip from between Chris’s teeth. Ignoring his complicated noise of disappointment, rage, and sadness, JC takes him by the wrist and makes for the bedroom stairs. Chris’s noise-making modulates into interest and cheesy delight and he follows willingly, bumping against JC’s heels, attempting a little ass grabbing on the way. But in JC’s bedroom he stops short.

“I’m. You’re. Damn, JC.”

This appears to be all Chris has. He looks at JC with a strange appeal in his eyes. JC rolls his eyes in return and starts unbuttoning his shirt, and suddenly everything is okay again, because Chris’s eyes widen and his eyebrows go up and his hands reach out seemingly of their own accord to help. Together they get the shirt off. Chris tosses it behind him dramatically.

Getting Chris’s shirt off is more difficult. Chris won’t let go of JC for the two seconds needed to pull the t-shirt over his head. He clings to JC like a barnacle, sliding his hands all over JC’s ass and back, cupping his shoulders and neck, threading his fingers through JC’s hair. When JC opens his mouth to ask him to let go for fuck’s sake Chris kisses him, licking into his mouth and humming. After that JC kind of loses track of the whole shirt thing. Surprisingly, when Chris eventually maneuvers JC on to the bed he finds he is naked and Chris half-dressed, holding a plastic tube JC could never have located that quickly. Wily Chris.

He lays himself back on the bed, arms cradling his head, to watch Chris finish stripping. He’s so hard, his cock against his thigh pointing at Chris, and as Chris unzips his pants he can’t seem to look away from JC. JC writhes a little, shamelessly, smiling as Chris fumbles his way out of the rest of his clothes, licking his lips and watching JC’s cock.

Finally he’s naked, too. He’s beautiful. JC reaches out and wraps his hand around Chris’s cock, red and wet, and Chris jumps and lets out a tiny whimper, looking embarrassed but pushing into JC’s hand. JC pulls him on to the bed.

JC can’t stop himself from immediately wrapping Chris up in his arms and legs and rubbing himself all over Chris’s body. He opens Chris’s mouth with his own and kisses him wetly, deeply, losing his mind, until Chris gets a good handful of hair and yanks his head back. JC moans, licking his lips, watching Chris’s mouth. As he slowly regains his senses, JC realizes that Chris looks completely insane.

“What do you want, man. What should I do.”

Chris sounds equal parts freaked out, ecstatic, and on the verge of violence. He’s absolutely gorgeous at the edge like this, trembling like he’s going to blow right here and now. JC decides to take pity on him.

“You’re going to fuck me,” he says serenely.

“I am?” Chris asks, then blinks. “I am! Yes, I am. Get on your knees, bitch.”

JC bursts out laughing, which makes Chris smile. But then JC has to swallow his laughter, because Chris moves them on the bed a little and wraps himself around JC from behind, rubbing his cock against JC’s ass, and all JC can do then is moan into the pillow and spread his legs, loving the feel of Chris’s ragged breathing on his back and neck.

Chris sits up for a second and JC can hear him fumbling around with the lube. Then a large blob of cold hits his back and Chris says “oops.” He tries to turn around to mock him but Chris’s fingers are suddenly there, in his ass, and he hears himself make a sound that sounds like “meep.”

“Sorry, man. Too fast?”

The fingers are gone. JC is bereft. He tries to communicate this by growling and pushing his ass back toward Chris. Chris gives a rough, sexy chuckle and the wonderful fingers come back. JC loves this. But he loves it even more when Chris replaces his fingers with his cock, pushing in slowly, so slowly, and steadily, biting at JC’s shoulder.

Once Chris is all the way in, his hips flush with JC’s ass, he stops.

JC waits.

“C’mon, man. C’mon!” he mutters.

JC tries to undulate his ass up into Chris’s body to get him to move it. But Chris clamps one hand on his hip and bites down hard. JC yelps, shocked, and stills immediately. Chris is shaking on top of him, breathing hard through his nose, and he makes JC wait a long time, forever, before he pulls out a little and slides back in once. They both moan.

JC whispers “God” into the pillow. This may kill him. He knows he’s going to die happy. Chris laughs quietly into his back and finally, finally, begins to move.

Immediately, he’s keening with every exhalation, fucking JC hard, out of control. Every time Chris makes that sound a throb of pleasure spreads through JC’s body, moving him, until he’s rocking in time with Chris’s breathing and a hunh, hunh sound is pulled from his mouth, too. And it’s speeding up, and getting wilder, and pretty soon JC’s got a full-throated cry going on with every thrust because it’s like a flood of bright pleasure all through him every time Chris’s cock pushes into his body. Chris has a full body tremor going on that’s making him scramble on the bed to keep up the rhythm, and just when JC’s beginning to think the brightness will take him over, he feels Chris draw in a huge gasp, as if he’s gotten the biggest shock of his life. And he’s jerking against JC and into JC, pulsing, and JC’s gone, just gone, howling and heaving and pushing his cock against the bed, coming like it’s turning him inside out.

It takes a while for JC to come back down. Chris holds on to him and strokes his sweaty hair while he shakes. Finally, so drowsy, fading fast, he thinks he can hear Chris whispering in the distance, “Go to sleep, baby. I got you.” He turns into Chris’s embrace, burrowing a little, and pulls Chris over him like a blanket.

A few hours later JC opens his eyes to find Chris watching him. Making a noise of utter comfort, he reaches up to pull gently on one of Chris’s ridiculous beard horns. Chris growls menacingly. He tries to pull away, but JC winds his finger around the silly hairs and holds on tight. Chris grabs his hand to pin it to the pillow by his head. Letting his eyes fall closed, JC smiles and licks his lips, and a slow fluid body-roll melds him to Chris’s warmth.

“I don’t know, man. I’m kinda hungry. I think I’m gonna get up for awhile,” Chris says, completely deadpan. But he pushes his face into JC’s neck and inhales and starts rubbing himself against JC’s body, helplessly.

“I’m hungry, too,” JC says. Chris huffs a strangled laugh into his neck.

“So hungry,” JC murmurs into Chris’s ear. He shivers. “Weren’t you supposed to feed me?”

Chris snorts. JC licks his ear, and he shivers again. He’s already starting the shuddery breathing thing that JC has come to recognize, already getting close. It’s easy with Chris, so easy, so good, and JC gladly gives himself up to the spiraling light.



October 2003