August 2002 (September 2002)

Disclaimer: no dissing, no claiming. Many thanks to Merry for encouraging smarm, and to Georgina for beta. Do not archive this story without permission.


Justin sat up and pushed the covers down, then kicked them all the way to the foot of the bed. He glared at them and kicked them again. This wasn't going to be one of those nights. He could turn the light back on. He could watch TV for a while, or read, if he remembered where he'd put the book. He could lie down and go to sleep.

Most of the time, when he thought about the future, he liked it. It was going to be good, with a lot of music in it, and fun things to do, and really cool singers and rappers to work with, and cars and shoes and pretty girls and songs he'd write that people would like.

It was only sometimes, nights like this one, that things went wrong. He didn't know how it started, only that around three in the morning or so, the walls got high and hard and all the shadows went the wrong way and he wondered. Things could go wrong. The music, the sales, everything.

He pulled at the leg of his boxerbriefs. Things could go wrong, and everything would change. Joey would stay on Broadway, get married to Kelly, they'd have more kids and there'd be diapers and rehearsals and unanswered phone calls. Lance would disappear into business.

Justin looked at the nightstand. He thought he had a glass of water. Maybe one day he would look at Chris and say, hey, know what, and Chris would look back and he'd know that Chris didn't really care what.

No glass of water. He swung his legs to one side and got out of bed. There would be glasses in the bathroom, but he didn't go to the bathroom door, he went to the connecting door instead, and put his hand on the doorknob. Justin knew it was unlocked, and he slowly turned the knob and pushed the door open.

It was dark here, too. He padded towards the bed. "C?" Justin didn't really expect an answer. He sat down on the edge of the bed and pushed at what he thought was a shoulder. "C. Move over."

JC made a sound and shifted a bit, and Justin climbed in under the covers. He put his feet on JC's to warm them, and JC made a very different sound. "I. What. Justin?" He reached out with one hand, bapping Justin on the nose before managing to wrap an arm around his neck. "What's wrong?"

"Nothing." Justin wriggled into the pillow JC had rolled away from. It was still warm. "Can I sleep here?"

"Not like you're gonna go away if I say no," JC mumbled, and then his voice cleared a little. "Bad dream?"

"No." Justin kicked a little against JC's feet, then settled in. He closed his eyes.

"'Kay." JC sounded like he was drifting off again. "Stop that."

JC smelled like sleep. Justin scrunched his nose up. He counted to a hundred, and then he said, "It's just."

"What." JC yawned.

"What's going to happen when we don't love each other any more?"

JC yawned again. He slipped his arm down over Justin's shoulders and tugged him closer, until JC's hair was tickling Justin's face. "Don't be stupid," he said. "Can I sleep now?"

Justin wiggled his toes. He tried to blow JC's hair away from his mouth, and failed. "Yeah," he said. He thought maybe he could, too.

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