such people in it

The pillow is soft and smells sweet, and with the fluffy comforter tucked around him, Justin feels as warm as he can be in a strange place. Their rooms are high enough up that the open balcony door brings a whisper of breeze into the dark space, instead of the noise of traffic and the shrill voices of the fans. The guys are out somewhere carrying on, some club JC said he wanted to check out. All is well. A little downtime for a change after so many crazy nights. No reason not to sleep.

When the door finally clicks and rattles some time later, Justin opens his eyes and turns over.

"Hey."

"Mmm," Justin says. "What."

JC holds the door open for a minute as he murmurs something over his shoulder, and Justin blinks against the light spilling into the room around the edges of his body. The light disappears as JC slips in and lets the door swing shut, but Justin can still see the outline of his shape, can sense his quick movements in the darkness.

"J-Dawg, Baby J, you sleepin'?"

"Not anymore, JC."

"Aww."

The side of the bed dips and then JC is warm against him, his knee in Justin's side. He squirms until JC backs off and rearranges himself, but he can still feel the restless jerk of JC's leg, responding to the beat Justin knows is constant in his head.

"So, good time, I guess?"

"Great time," JC declares. "The best."

"You went to that club?"

JC's knee presses hard against Justin's hip for a second. "Sure," he says, satisfaction rich in his voice. Justin hold his breath, waiting for the rest, but JC makes a noise like he's remembering and falls silent.

"And after that?"

JC's leg stills. Justin rubs at a smooth spot on the nubbly fabric of his sweatpants, watching the dense space next to him on the bed, listening to air moving through the room and the restless stir of heavy drapes around the balcony doorway.

"She was hot," JC says suddenly, and Justin jumps.

"JC," he says, laughing.

"Ha, scared you."

Justin snorts. "You wish. Anyway, what the fuck. She was hot. I knew you were going to say that."

"You did, huh." JC's breathing sounds like he's smiling. "Baby J can read my mind now. What else am I going to say?"

"You fucked her."

The knee pokes him and slides along his hip, and pokes him again.

"Actually, I fucked her in the ass, Justin," JC says finally. "It was. Tight."

"Jeez, JC!"

JC laughs, sharp and wild. "That's what Chris said, too."

"You told Chris?"

"J -- J -- J," JC sings. "Not exactly."

Something intense washes through Justin, not at all cold, and he clutches the comforter to him and edges away from JC's knee. "I don't --" he starts, but JC keeps on singing.

"He liked it, he liked it. But not at first. At first he said jeez. Do you want to hear a bedtime story, Justin?"

The comforter is stifling all of a sudden, and the fabric of Justin's sweatpants clings to his skin. He pushes the comforter away again as subtly as he can, but there's JC's knee, firm against him, and JC's leg, too, radiating heat. Justin says, "I don't know."

"I knew you were going to say that," JC mocks.

"Can you blame me? Damn, JC, way to be a freak."

"What, you've never fucked somebody in the ass before?"

"Well, I -- no, JC, Chris."

"I don't understand, Justin," JC says silkily. "You fucked Chris in the ass?"

"JC!"

"You mean you haven't fucked Chris in the ass? Oh, J, he likes it. You really sh--"

"Shut up!" He pushes hard at JC's hip, and JC subsides, snickering. "I don't need a stupid bedtime story!"

"Are you sure?"

"I don't -- I don't know, okay?"

JC is quiet after that, like he's waiting for something, but Justin has said all he intends to say. After a few minutes JC shifts on the bed, moving closer, and Justin can feel the slide of his leg and his knee, warm, and his hip brushes against Justin's arm, so warm. Then JC leans over and puffs warm breaths into his face, probably looking down at him, and Justin wonders what he's seeing, if he can see anything.

"I could make it so good," JC says, his voice rough.

"I know, JC."

After a minute the bed tilts and rises.

"Night, Justin."

"G'night. Hey, JC?"

JC turns his head, and Justin can see his eyes gleaming.

"See you guys in the morning."

JC breathes out another smile and crosses to the door. "Of course, J," he murmurs, and a sharp flare of light from the hall cuts into the room and he's gone.

August 2006