Strung

"Son of a bitch, Justin."

Chris lifted his head from the studio couch, where he had collapsed after about the 47th hour of this endless recording session. JC and Justin were on a rampage today, worrying at each poor note until it practically screamed from the board, until Chris wanted to scream, too, he was that bored, and there was a pun in there somewhere but he was too exhausted to care. Much. He had been in the studio with the OCD twins for hours now and he had yet to sing a note.

"Watch your language," he said, just to test the waters. "There are children present."

Justin said, "Hey, man, your virgin ears can take it," and stuck his tongue out, just as JC snarled, "Fuck off." Oh, yeah. JC was strung tighter than an overtuned guitar string, his body a stiff curve in space, his hands clenched at the edge of the board and his eyes laser beams burning into Chris from across the room. Next to him, Justin widened his eyes meaningfully and squinted one in a demented look. Chris got up from the couch.

"Any chance I might be singing at some point this century?"

JC huffed an elaborate noise of disgust and turned away. Justin shook his head, smiling.

"Chris, you ass, we told you we just had--"

Chris held up his hand.

"Save it, Junior Samples," he said. "Call me when the planets align, or whatever. I'm gone."

Chris grabbed his jacket off the couch and dug for his keys. Justin made the fakest noise of protest ever, looking back and forth between Chris and JC, anticipation clear in his expression. JC said nothing. He didn't turn back around, but his shoulders pulled up a little.

Chris only made it as far as the hall before JC rushed out of the studio, an obstinate look on his face. He grabbed Chris's arm and spun him around.

"Where the fuck are you going, Chris," he hissed. "We have to do this."

JC's eyes were round and he practically bristled with irritation, bouncing on his toes from the tension built up in him. It was impossible to resist fucking with him when he got like that. Chris had given up trying long ago.

"We don't have to do anything, JC," he said deliberately, leaning back against the wall.

JC brushed that aside with a jerk of his head. "We do! We fucking do. I fucking hate it when you get like this."

"Get like what?" Chris said. "I hate wasting my time while you two dick around. Just call me when you get your shit together."

He pushed away from the wall, hefting his jacket over his arm and jangling his keys loudly, and that seemed to do the trick. JC planted one hand in the middle of Chris's chest and shoved hard, pinning Chris against the wall to grope for the keys and twist them out of his grasp. Chris could hear Justin's surprised "Whoa!" as they flew through the door and into the studio, but then JC was panting into his face and Chris wasn't thinking about his keys anymore.

"You always do this. You can't. I, you have to," JC sputtered, crowding closer to Chris with each phrase. JC's body was a filament of anger and his heart was pounding hard against Chris's chest. He was on fire. Chris was going to hell for sure, but he wasn't about to start caring now. JC was one step from the edge.

"What the fuck, JC," he said, and heaved with his whole body.

JC stumbled back a few steps. "You fucker," he said. Chris shrugged and made a rude noise.

JC drew in a deep breath and Chris got ready. But then JC stilled all at once, narrowing his eyes, and Chris felt a little thrill of alarm.

"I know what you're doing, Chris," JC said coldly.

"You do."

Maybe he hadn't come off as unconcerned as he hoped. JC was smiling, a tense little curve of his lips.

"Fucking bullshit with you, every time," he said, shaking his head and closing his eyes.

"I told you, JC," Chris started, but JC opened his eyes and looked at him, and Chris found himself against the wall again with no memory of moving.

"Every time," JC whispered.

Somehow JC had a hand against Chris's throat, tightening his grip, and was that a smirk on JC's face? Chris had no time to wonder. JC leaned into him, pushing a thigh between his legs and settling against him heavily, and suddenly Chris was moaning into JC's mouth, undone.

JC kissed him until every bone in Chris's body melted except one, and JC was hard, too, rubbing against him with minute jolts of his body. It was the most difficult thing in the world, to grab the back of JC's shirt and pull until there was a little space between their bodies. JC didn't seem to want to let his mouth go.

"Come over to my place," Chris managed.

JC drew in a breath and let it out. Chris wasn't breathing at all.

"Okay. All right. Fuck."

JC stepped away, bringing a shaking hand to his face. Chris gathered his strength to move away from the wall. His jacket was a heap on the floor, and it took him a minute to remember where his keys had gone. JC closed his eyes as Chris brushed past to look for them in the studio.

Justin was still playing around at the board. He looked up when Chris came back in.

"Chris," he started.

Chris held up a hand and Justin closed his mouth, but he hunched his shoulders gleefully and made a series of meaningful yet incomprehensible hand motions as Chris scooped up the keys from the studio floor. Chris shook his head, glaring, and turned his back on Justin's grin.

JC opened his eyes when Chris came back into the hall. He looked fierce and rumpled and lost, his lips reddened and swollen, and he was completely delicious.

"Come on," Chris said hoarsely. JC exhaled and gave a jerky nod.

They didn't talk on the drive to Chris's house. Chris drove with the little bit of attention he could drag away from JC, hunched next to him in the car, glowering at the passing buildings and trees. Chris heard the small wet noises JC made as he chewed at his lips. Agitation rose from JC's body in waves and Chris inhaled it in again and again like some pervert, his head spinning and his cock hard in his jeans. His place was too fucking far away.

Several eternities later Chris pulled into his garage and killed the engine. Neither of them moved. Darkness closed around them when the overhead light went out after a few minutes, and in the dim light from the little windows at the top of the back wall Chris could see JC lower his head.

"JC," he said.

Abruptly, JC yanked at his door and pushed it open. He climbed out of the car without looking over. Ducking his head to see out the passenger window, Chris could see JC stalking across the garage floor, stabbing at the alarm pad, and throwing open the door. By the time Chris got his belt off and made it out of the car, JC had disappeared into the house.

Chris reset the alarm carefully. Inside, JC was nowhere to be seen, so Chris headed up the stairs to his bedroom.

JC stood in the corner of the room, arms wrapped around his chest. "Well? Come on," he said irritably, and pulled his shirt over his head.

Chris wanted to say something witty about romance, but every word fled his brain when JC stalked across the room with an intent look on his face and dropped to his knees. He grabbed at Chris's Harley buckle and pulled, hard.

"Off," JC growled.

"Yeah," Chris said, fumbling to help him, but JC pushed his hands away and yanked at Chris's zipper. It was the most unsexy approach anyone had ever made to him, JC's pissy frown at his stubborn belt and the rough way he jerked open Chris's pants, but Chris pushed his hips forward with a helpless moan and his cock thrust out of his fly, hard and red and wet already.

"Come here," JC muttered, inhaling and taking Chris in. For a wild moment Chris worried about being bitten, but then his eyes rolled back in his head and his spine opened up.

JC spat him back out after only a minute or two. When Chris could focus again, he saw JC licking his lips, wiping his mouth with his hand. JC got to his feet and took hold of the Harley buckle.

"Bed," he said, tugging Chris along, and Chris followed dumbly.

While JC stripped the blankets from the bed and started in on his own clothes, Chris stood shivering, dimly aware that he was being useless. But an angry, abrupt JC was a sight to see, throwing his clothes around the room and gesturing at Chris impatiently. JC climbed up on the bed, all long arms and legs and body, all silky brown skin and muscles, and why he insisted on waxing everything like that, Chris didn't know. But he was really, really okay with it.

"Are we gonna do this or what?"

With a start, Chris came to and pushed his pants the rest of the way off. Definitely, absolutely, and Chris crawled onto the bed and onto JC without hesitation.

Chris settled down on top. JC wrapped Chris up in his arms and legs, and it wasn't going to last long, Chris could tell, because although he tried to lay still for a minute and just take it all in, his hips were already moving, rubbing his cock against JC's hard stomach, and JC was undulating under him, biting his neck. Chris squirmed as JC's cock grazed his and he pushed up and away, slightly.

"JC," he said breathlessly, trying to look down between them, along JC's body. JC moaned and pulled him back down.

"Shut up, just shut up," he whispered, moving faster, so Chris said, "JC" and he moaned again. He was so warm, so alive in Chris's arms, gasping and electric, that Chris said "JC" again and again, and JC moaned every time. Finally, Chris said, "I'm going to have to" with complete surprise and buried his face in JC's shoulder, and JC dug his nails into Chris's ass.

"Do it, just. Fuck. Oh, fuck, Chris."

JC jerked against him, pushing up hard and fast, hissing. Chris could feel a sudden slippery warmth between them. His cock caught fire and his hips took over, bearing down, and everything rushed over him, all at once.

Chris gave himself some time after that just to taste and listen and feel, until JC stretched a little under him and whispered, "Move." He heaved himself off of JC's body to flop down on the bed, gasping. JC lay with his eyes closed, languidly smoothing his hand across his stomach and over his still-hard cock, spreading their come around. After a minute he turned his head, and from the look in his eyes Chris could tell it was still on.

"So, what was that? Fuck the tension out of JC so he'll be less of a bastard?"

"Nope," Chris said, and slid out of bed. JC watched him, frowning, a puddle of arms and legs in the rumpled covers, as Chris wiped himself down in the bathroom and pulled on a pair of shorts and a tshirt. He smiled at JC until JC closed his eyes and turned his head away on the pillow. Then he went downstairs to the kitchen.

He puttered around making sandwiches, knowing he had some time to kill, and sure enough JC didn't show up until Chris was in the den, chomping on turkey on a kaiser roll with pickles and tomatoes. JC edged around the door like he wanted to be invisible, like he didn't want to be there at all, and he still had a sulky look on his face but he wasn't frowning. Chris gulped down his mouthful with a swig of Coke.

"Help yourself, man. I made plenty."

Ah, there was the frown, right on schedule. JC picked up a sandwich half and sneered.

"More cliches? Making me fucking lunch? Man, fuck you."

Chris popped the top on another Coke and set it in front of JC. JC looked at it.

"Eat, you prickly asshole. I was hungry. Jesus," Chris said peaceably. He ripped open a package of cookies and started in.

JC sat for a minute, looking at the can of soda, holding the sandwich. Then he took a bite of the sandwich and started chewing, still looking at the Coke. It was the most interesting Coke ever, apparently, because JC kept his eyes fixed on it through three sandwich halves and about a pound of chips. Then he drank it down in one long thirsty guzzle, forgetting his snit for a second in a husky "mmm" of appreciation.

"Have a cookie," Chris said when JC was finished drinking. JC took three without a word, then took the bag away. Chris got up to put on some music.

"Not that," JC mumbled through a mouthful of cookies.

"I like it," Chris said, singing a few bars as screechily as he could manage. JC grimaced.

"It's so sloppy," he said, spewing crumbs and brushing them off his knee. Chris eyed him sourly.

"JC, it's live. Plus, it's supposed to be sloppy."

Howls and the sounds of breaking glass came from the speakers, and Chris thrashed his body around with the relentless, ragged beat. JC shook his head.

"Humph," he said, cramming some more cookies in his mouth and reaching for another Coke.

After that Chris put on something a little more mellow while JC sprawled out on the couch, clutching a pillow. He was clearly just waiting for Chris to finish up so they could head back across town for more of the endless torture, but every so often his head jerked forward a bit and his eyes didn't seem to want to stay open.

"When was the last time you got any sleep?" Chris asked. JC took in a deep breath and sat up.

"I sleep. I sleep all the time. Remember? I'm the one who sleeps all the time."

"I know who you are," Chris said sharply. "Lay your ass down."

With an aggrieved sigh JC flopped over backwards again on the couch. Chris tossed a blanket at him. JC fought with it for a minute until he ended up mostly covered, holding the edge of the blanket under his chin and glaring.

"If I lay here for a minute will you fucking get off me for once?" he asked, but his voice was fading by the end, and his eyes glazed over. Chris patted him and turned off the lamp on the endtable next to the couch.

"Cross my heart," he said, but JC was already asleep. Chris settled into a chair near the couch and flicked on the tv, low.

After an hour or so Chris looked over to see JC watching him. He seemed completely befuzzled and he had a red mark from the couch cushion on his face.

"Ready to go back?" Chris said quietly.

"Okay," JC said, and closed his eyes again.

They finally made it back to the studio a couple of hours after that. JC stayed pretty quiet in the car over, but he hummed to the radio a few times and he laughed when Chris sang every word to a Bjork song he found on a public station.

"Figures, man," he said. Chris shrugged.

"What does that mean?" he asked, but JC just smiled out his window for the rest of the ride, letting the warm breeze push his hair and all the stuff in Chris's back seat around. Chris turned off the air conditioning and turned up the radio.

Back in the studio, Chris could see Justin in the booth, still huddled over the board. He waved his middle finger toward them as Chris grinned at him through the window. Behind him, JC said, "Chris."

"What," Chris said, starting to turn around, and suddenly JC's warm weight was spread across his back, JC's arms were around his body holding him tightly, and JC's breath grazed his ear.

"Fucker," JC murmured, right in Chris's ear. Then he was gone, sliding through the door and into the booth, greeting Justin with a slap of the hand, throwing his head back in laughter at something Justin said. Chris followed along slowly.

Justin smiled at him knowingly, then turned back to JC.

"Man, I'm glad you got Chris away from here for awhile so I could get some work done. Fucking lazy ass whiner. Here, listen. What do you think?"

JC glanced at Chris from the corner of his eye, just barely smiling, and bent over the board, his head close to Justin's.

Chris rolled his eyes and went out to the hall to call Joey.

November 2004