October 20-21, 2003

Disclaimerish: see previous. Do not archive this story without permission.

Nice and slow

JC found Joey by the bar and smacked the back of his head. "You gotta stop giving Justin beer."

Joey grinned unrepentantly. "But he's so cute when he begs. Plus it's fun to see you and Chris falling all over yourselves to take care of him."

JC smacked the back of Joey's head again. "Yeah, well, thanks. He's falling asleep over there, so I'm gonna round everyone up so we can head back to the hotel."

Joey shook his head. "Count me out. Lance made some new friends, and we're gonna move on, party at their place. I think Chris is coming along, too. But feel free to take the kid home and read him a bedtime story."

JC raised his hand again, but this time, Joey dodged it. "You suck," he muttered. "I hope you have, like, absolutely no fun at all."

"Love you too, man," Joey said and hugged him. "I'll do it next time, okay? See you tomorrow."

"Yeah, yeah." JC got a glass of water from the bartender and went back to Justin, who was sprawled low in his chair, legs stretched out for miles in front of him. JC sat on the other chair and handed Justin the glass. "Here, drink this."

Justin took the glass, sniffed it, tasted it, and looked sideways at JC. "A glass of water. I feel like the cheapest date ever." He yawned and drank.

"The others are gonna go on someplace else," JC said. "You and me, we can just take a cab back to the hotel."

"Okay," Justin said. He put the empty glass away and leaned against JC's shoulder.

JC pushed him upright. "C'mon. Let's go."

"Okay," Justin said again, sleepily agreeable. As soon as they got to their feet, he draped himself over JC's shoulder and just hung there. JC had to wrap his arm around Justin's waist just to get him to come along.

They left the club without waving goodbye to the others. The air outside was sharp and cool, and JC tried to think of it as bracing for all of three seconds before he started shivering. Justin clung even closer, sliding one hand up under JC's jacket.

Miraculously, they flagged down a free cab after only five minutes. Justin tumbled into the backseat and dragged JC along. JC gave the driver the address of the hotel, and then he turned to Justin. "You feeling okay?"

Justin nodded and wrapped himself around JC, pressing his face into the crook of JC's neck. "Cold."

"Your nose is cold," JC said, only half-grumbling. "Don't fall asleep, okay? Not until we get to the hotel." He rubbed his hand up and down Justin's back.

"Not falling asleep." Justin stirred a little, and then lifted his head and looked at JC. His face was very, very close. "Can I ask you something?"

"Sure," JC said.

"Okay. Um." Justin bit his lip, and then he leaned forward a little more and pressed his mouth to JC's.

It was a reflex thing, kissing someone back when they kissed you. Or something like that. JC leaned back a little. "That wasn't a question."

Justin looked at him. "Was, too. Just not with, with words in it." He grinned. "I just wanted to know, cause you said you wouldn't kiss me goodnight, maybe you'd kiss me now instead."

JC looked back at Justin's sleepy, glittery eyes, at his mouth. "Just this once," he said, and leaned back in and kissed Justin very softly.

Justin kissed him back, not quite as softly, and folded his hand into JC's, and before JC knew it, Justin's tongue was in his mouth. It felt like a shock, a low electric hum shooting along his nerves. Justin made a pleased sound. JC laced his fingers through Justin's and kissed him some more.

A while later, the cab driver cleared his throat very loudly. Justin pulled back and blinked, looking dazed. "We're here."

"Okay. Right." JC felt a bit dazed, himself. He leaned forward and started hunting for his wallet, while Justin slumped against his back. JC paid the driver and tugged Justin out of the cab. Justin looked very sleepy and very, very young, and JC wrapped a firm arm around Justin's shoulders and got him into the lobby and over to the elevators. "You okay?"

"Mmm." Justin rested his head on JC's shoulder again. "I feel fine. Tired, though."

They got into an elevator, and JC pushed the button for their floor. As soon as the doors closed, he felt Justin's lips move against his throat in tiny, sloppy kisses. "Don't do that."

"What?" Justin sounded out of it, more than half asleep already. He pressed closer. "Like dancing with you."

"That's good," JC said. "I mean, since we do it every day, and all."

Justin giggled. "Not what I meant, C." The elevator stopped. "This us?"

"Yeah. C'mon." JC walked out into the hallway with Justin hanging off him like a, a something. A hangy thing. His mind chased the image for a few moments, and then they were outside Justin's room. "Got your keycard?"

Justin disengaged one arm and fumbled a bit. "I do. Um. I did. Wait." He wriggled a bit. "Yeah, okay, got it." The door opened and Justin stumbled inside, dragging JC with him. He swung around, wrapping both arms around JC's neck. "So now are you gonna kiss me goodnight?"

JC kissed the corner of Justin's mouth. "Go brush your teeth," he said.

Justin shook his head. "Don't wanna."

JC worked himself free of Justin's arms and stepped away experimentally. Justin swayed. JC stepped back and caught Justin around the waist and walked him backwards to the bed. "Okay, then lie down."

He settled Justin back against the covers and tried to pull away. Justin clung like a limpet. A clingy thing, not a hangy thing. "Kiss," Justin said stubbornly.

JC kissed Justin's chin. "Let go of me and I'll take your shoes off." Justin let go at that, and JC peeled Justin out of jacket and shoes and socks, pulled the covers back and got Justin's legs in under them. "You okay like this?"

"Mm. No." Justin reached out. "I want you to be here."

JC drew a slow deep breath, and let it out even more slowly. He sat on the edge of the bed, and Justin tried to pull him down, pull him closer. JC shifted around so he could lie next to Justin instead, and put his arm around Justin and kissed Justin very carefully. "I'm here," he said. "And that's your goodnight kiss."

"Mm," Justin said, and his mouth opened under JC's, sweet and fresh and tasting of stale beer. JC thought he was ready for it, but he could feel his heartbeat echo all through his head and down in his bones.

"Sleep," JC whispered, brushing a fingertip over Justin's eyelids. "Go to sleep, Justin." And then, moving his lips without a sound, "Please."

Justin snuggled in close. After a while, his breathing evened out, and then he started snoring in little hitches, rising towards a loud snort and then trailing off again. JC waited, counting breaths and snores, feeling Justin all warm and close, and then he pulled away one inch at a time, kissing the tip of Justin's nose as he sat up. Justin didn't wake up when JC got off the bed, or when he turned out the lights, or when he left the room.

The hallway felt very bright, and JC walked across it as fast as he could to his own room. As soon as he got inside he started taking his clothes off, dropping them on the floor as he went across the room and into the bathroom. He brushed his teeth too fast and then went straight to bed, curling in under the sheets, fingers sliding down over his stomach. Justin. Justin's mouth, and that little sound he'd made, and the way he clung close and fisted his hands in JC's shirt, and that brightness in his eyes, and his mouth

Thirty seconds, JC thought shakily, panting for air. If that. He opened one eye to check that he hadn't suddenly gone to hell, but the room looked the same, so he fell back against the pillow, wiped himself off with a corner of the sheet, and fell asleep.

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