October 10 (November 2002)

Disclaimer: this may not be the best way to get a good night's sleep, either. For Merry and for myself, and once again, many thanks to Shoshanna. Do not archive this story without permission.

The other room

JC smiled at Lance, or rather at Lance's back as he walked out the door. He felt a bit bad for making Lance take over sickbed duty, but if anyone could cope with Chris the way he was now, it was Lance. Then he turned back to Justin. "We're not going to have a pillow fight," he said.

"You're no fun." Justin pouted, but it was the small, deliberate, I'm-doing-this-to-amuse-you one.

"No, I'm not," JC agreed. "I'm really, really tired, and I really, really need to sleep."

He reached down to pull the pillow away from Justin, and Justin grabbed his arm and yanked him forward and hit him over the head with the other pillow, though not very hard. "So, sleep, then."

"Justin," JC said, from somewhere in the vicinity of Justin's knees, and reached out and poked two fingers just under the edge of Justin's ribs. Justin made a sound just at the upper range of human hearing, and a minor earthquake hit the bed, and after a few confusing moments JC found himself lying under the covers, under the pillows, and under most of Justin.

"Don't do that," Justin said, sounding a little breathless. "You know I'm really ticklish right there."

"Really?" JC said. "I hadn't noticed. Move your elbow. Actually, move your whole, um, you, okay, because I really want to go to bed."

"You are in bed." Justin shifted until his elbow wasn't digging in quite so painfully, and shoved a pillow under JC's head. "Here. Sleep."

"There's a whole bed over there."

"And there's a bed right here, and you're in it."

"Yeah, but that bed over there doesn't have a kid who's all elbows and knees and thinks pillow fights are the most fun thing ever."

Justin grew very still. Then he said, "I'm not — I don't. I mean. Anyway, you're all skinny and bony."

"I know." JC yawned and pushed a little at Justin. "So you don't have to lie on top of me."

"I kind of like having you here," Justin said. "Because I'm, um, scared of the dark."

JC snorted. "No, you're not."

"No, okay, I'm not. But you're scared of the dark. When we watched those slasher movies, you were scared to go to the bathroom, even."

"I was not," JC said. "I just couldn't see where I was going in the dark."

"Right, so we had to turn on every single light in the house."

"I have poor night vision," JC said, with dignity.

"Fraidycat," Justin said, not quite under his breath. "Anyway, that bed doesn't have any pillows."

"Justin." JC yawned. "Do you want me to sleep here, with you?"

"Um. Yes."

"Okay. Just let me get out of my jeans, okay?" JC sat up and wiggled a bit, struggling with the button fly. He got the jeans off and threw them on the floor. Boxers and a t-shirt would be fine to sleep in. "No pillow fights," he said and settled back down.

He wasn't really sure why he'd gone from sharing a big bed with Chris to sharing a small bed with Justin, but at least Justin wasn't going to cough all night. Justin was actually pretty nice and warm to lie next to, and he smelled nice, and he wasn't throwing used tissues everywhere.

"No pillow fights, yeah." Justin wriggled a bit, and JC tensed up, waiting for a pillow to come flying, but Justin settled with his head on JC's shoulder and his arm around JC's waist. JC wondered if he could reach to turn off the light with Justin lying on top of him, and then he closed his eyes, and then it didn't seem to matter.

The light was still on when he woke up a few hours later. JC untangled himself from Justin's arms and Justin's legs and Justin's hair and the covers and padded towards the bathroom. He peed and flushed and tried to remember if he'd brushed his teeth or not, and he couldn't, so he rinsed his mouth and yawned and went back out. Out of habit he took an extra big step right at the door and stumbled on the JC-trap that wasn't there and bumped his shoulder on the doorframe.

"Ow," he muttered. Justin made an interrogative sound from the bed. JC rubbed his shoulder and turned out the bathroom light. "Shh, it's just me. Go back to sleep."

He went to the bed and got under the covers and just had time to turn the light out before Justin was wrapped around him again. It was kind of nice, actually. For a while there after he'd come back from LA, Justin had sneaked into his bed every night, and it had been kind of embarrassing, to be comforted by someone who was really just a kid, but it had been pretty nice, too, and he'd felt a lot warmer and slept a lot better. So this was comfortable, and familiar, and he was just drifting off again when Justin licked his throat.

JC sat bolt upright, banging his collarbone painfully against Justin's chin, and the pillows fell to the floor. "What." He fumbled towards the light switch, but couldn't find it. "Justin. What?"

"Don't turn on the light," Justin said very quickly, sounding a lot more awake than JC felt. "I'm sorry. I. Um. I'll go sleep in the other bed." He started to hitch himself down towards the foot of the bed, rather than climb over JC.

"Wait." JC reached out and grabbed Justin's shoulder. "Wait, wait... what was. Why did you do that?"

Justin's shoulder was tense and shaky under JC's hand. "Just forget it, okay?"

He sounded miserable, so JC did what he always did when Justin sounded like that; he pulled Justin into a hug and rubbed his back. "Hey," he said. "You kinda, well, took me by surprise. Did I hurt you?" Justin was silent. "Cause my collarbone kind of hurts, so I thought maybe your chin."

"No," Justin said, sounding a little muffled against JC's shoulder. "No, my chin doesn't hurt."

"Okay. Good." JC stroked Justin's hair. After a moment he asked, "Was this like some kind of thing almost like a pillow fight, only with licking instead?"

"No." Justin pulled back. It was too dark to really see his face. "Look, I'll just. I'm gonna go sleep in the other bed and we can just. You can just forget this ever happened." He shifted his shoulder as though he were trying to dislodge JC's hand. "Just a freaky dream or something."

"Wait," JC said again. Justin's shoulder, under his hand, felt a lot different than it had just a couple of years ago. Justin now took up a lot more room in the bed than Justin then. "Like. Um. I'm still really tired and I don't know what to say but I don't want you to go away and be all, all, whatever, and can we just sleep now and talk about this tomorrow?"

Justin made a small sound that had something of incredulous laughter in it, and JC smiled.

"You're not mad?"

JC yawned. "No." He lay back down and tugged at Justin until Justin lay back down, too. JC draped an arm over Justin's chest. There was a lot more of it, these days. "Just, you know. Warn me next time, or something." He closed his eyes. "Night."

When JC opened his eyes again, it was light outside, and Justin was drooling on his shoulder. He craned his neck and tried to find out what time it was, but Justin's watch was upside down on the bedside table and his own watch was in the other room. He flexed his fingers. The arm Justin was lying on was going numb. Justin was really kind of heavy.

Justin had licked him. JC decided that if it was light outside and he was awake and not desperate to go back to sleep again, it couldn't be all that early, and Lance might come back for his clothes soon. He poked at Justin. Justin snuggled closer and started to snore, very quietly. JC pinched Justin's nose.

"'nother ten minutes," Justin mumbled.

"No," JC said. "Wake up."

"Don' wanna."

"We're going to talk." JC pushed much harder at Justin's shoulder, and Justin rolled back and tugged JC along. He was getting pretty strong, and now JC's nose was mashed against Justin's shoulder. Justin made another snoring sound.

JC licked Justin's throat.

"It would totally be your own fault if I pushed you out of bed now," Justin said shakily. "That's, C, that's just not fair."

JC thought about this. "You want to lick me," he said tentatively. Justin's head moved, and JC decided it was a nod. "Where? I mean, why?"

"Everywhere, okay?" Justin said, and now his voice was shaky-snarly. "Look, just, can we please just forget this, all of it?"

"My feet are pretty gross," JC said, rubbing his thumb over the hollow in Justin's throat. "So you probably don't really. And, um. This is weird."

"I know," Justin said. JC felt him swallow. "I know that I'm just, to you, I'm still just this kid, and—"

"No," JC said. He lifted up on one elbow and looked into Justin's face. "No, it's weird that I only just realized that you're not a kid any more. Not like you were, anyway."

"I'm — not?"

"No," JC said, still a little surprised. "So what I think is." He touched his thumb to Justin's lower lip. "Maybe we could work up to the licking thing. Like, gradually."

Justin looked completely shocked for about three seconds, and then he was wrapped around JC, holding him so tight JC thought his ribs would crack, and saying something into his shoulder, but JC could only make out, ""

Then Justin fastened his mouth on JC's throat and sucked, and JC realized that Justin probably didn't know what "gradually" meant.

But that was okay, too.

More than okay, because Justin felt very warm and friendly and right, pressed up against him. JC stroked his hand down Justin's back and up again under Justin's pajama top, feeling smooth, hot skin. He traced his nails lightly along Justin's spine, and Justin shuddered against him. JC tipped his head back in invitation, and Justin licked all over his throat, tiny little cat licks.

"I didn't know you had this thing," JC said, stretching slowly and luxuriously. "About licking." He pressed closer to Justin, and that felt, mm, even through his boxers and Justin's pajamas, that felt really good.

Justin gasped. JC nudged Justin's head to one side and started to do a little licking of his own. He ran his tongue over the curves of Justin's ear and felt the shivers like music. Tugging at the hem of Justin's t-shirt, JC worked it up as high as he could, and then Justin tugged it off and started to pull at JC's t-shirt, too.

That seemed like a good idea. JC stripped his t-shirt off and tossed it off the floor, and worked his boxers over his hips and kicked them towards the foot of the bed under the covers. When he looked at Justin, Justin looked a little nervous, so JC reached for him and pulled him close. Warm, warm skin. JC ran his hand down Justin's side and down under the waist of his pajama pants, and Justin moaned as JC wrapped a hand around his cock and started to stroke.

"Oh, God," Justin whispered, "oh God, oh...." He held on to JC's shoulder so hard, his nails were digging into the skin, and his eyes were closed and his mouth open, tongue peeking out just a little. JC grinned and stroked faster. It was a bad angle, but he didn't think that was going to matter, and he was right; a few moments later, Justin keened wordlessly, slammed his hips forward, and came.

JC petted Justin's hip, wiping his sticky fingers on Justin's pajama pants. Justin opened his eyes. He looked completely dazed and very satisfied.

JC took one of Justin's big, strong hands in his own and put it against his chest, pushed it lower. "Touch me," he said.

Justin nodded. He trailed his fingers down JC's belly until his knuckles brushed against JC's cock, and then he touched that, too, with just his fingertips, and JC gritted his teeth and decided he would wait a little before he said anything, and then Justin's hand closed in a firm grip and JC forgot about things like words. He arched into Justin's stroking hand, making a pleased sound in the back of his throat. Like that, and like that, and just like that, and faster, and




"Wow," Justin said. JC sighed contentedly. He moved closer, pressing up against Justin's wonderful soft warm skin, and thought about going back to sleep. Then he opened his eyes and looked at Justin's face, at Justin's sweet, uncertain smile.

"Wow," he agreed. He kissed the edge of that smile, and Justin tilted his head and met JC's mouth with his own. "Next time," JC said against Justin's lips, "next time, more licking."

* * *

Yet Another Room, in an Entirely Different Hotel

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