Author: Zarah

Rating: NC-17

Pairing: JC Chasez/Justin Timberlake

Warning: Angst. Adult content. Graphic male/male sex. I think that just about covers it.

Thanks to: The Nifty Archive, especially David. I may not say it often enough, but I always appreciate their work.

Note: I don't have a lot of time to edit this, so please excuse any mistakes.Thanks. :)
Also, since it was Chris's birthday when I uploaded this to my site, it's sort of a homage to him. Well, not really, because I would have written it like that either way, but it seems to fit.

Summary: Wherein JC is, uh,... not JC.

Disclaimer: If this were true, then I wouldn't have to develop the plot myself, would I?



Almost seven.

Or, in other words: Too much. Far too much.

JC couldn't afford it, couldn't afford losing that much weight; he was skinny enough as it was.

Almost seven pounds.

Justin's eyes left the display of the balance, swept over JC's slim legs and narrow waist, over the flat stomach until his eyes found JC's, blue and innocent, watching him with such an immense amount of trust that it made him feel all warm and tingly inside. Not for the first time since he had left Trevor's house, only a few short hours ago, he wondered if the man had been telling him the truth. Had JC been staring at him in the club? Had JC seen him as more than just a friend?

He would ask. Just...

Not now, not yet.

He had to find the right moment, a time in which JC was relaxed, relaxed enough to maybe tell him the truth. Because if there was one thing Justin didn't want, then it was to scare JC. Besides, there were more important matters at hand right now.

It was early in the morning, the light of the sun was just barely enough to illuminate the room without needing artificial light. It would have more strength when they would leave the hotel, enter the buses for yet another long drive to the city in which they would perform next. Justin had forgotten the name.

They were tired. The last night hadn't provided enough sleep for the both of them, but they knew that the buses wouldn't wait. Justin had planned on eating breakfast with the other guys, in Lance's room, but despite Justin's begging, JC had refused to eat anything. He wasn't hungry, and why did he have to eat at all? That's why, Justin had said before pushing JC onto the balance to prove a point that shouldn't need proving at all.

But JC wasn't even looking at the number the display showed, all he did was standing there and watching Justin with those wide, trusting eyes that made him want to melt into a puddle right then and there. Maybe it wasn't so unrealistic to hope that Trevor Daniels had been right. Although it was a hope that made Justin feel sort of guilty, because if it was true, then the happenings had been partly his fault, no matter what JC said. But still...

He thought that he could live with that if it meant that he would have JC in his arms, in his bed, and he absolutely needed to stop thinking like that.

Stepping closer, Justin reached for JC's hand, his voice soft. "Josh? You lost almost seven pounds, and in only about a week."

JC looked startled, like someone waking up from a daydream, and his eyes left Justin's to study the display of the balance, head tilted to the side.

"You need to eat something, don't you see? If not for yourself, then do it for me. I don't want you to disappear into thin air."

JC's eyes settled back on Justin's face. Another step closer, and Justin was pulling him down from the balance and into his arms.

"For me," he repeated, whispering directly into JC's ear. "Can you do that?"

JC nodded against his neck.


Joey was the one to open the door, and he smiled broadly as they entered the room, JC keeping noticeably close to Justin. The Italian squeezed Justin's arm in a "I knew you'd make him come" gesture.

Wasn't it amazing that everyone seemed to have a lot more trust in Justin than he himself?

He returned the smile, draped an arm over JC's shoulder and led him over to the food cart.

Chris had been sitting on the couch, but now he got up and joined them. "Special guests? We didn't think you'd come, considering you seem to enjoy each other's company much more than the one of us others." Although his tone wasn't sharp and he was smiling, they both knew that Chris was slightly annoyed. He didn't like it when one of them cut himself off, and when he said that they were closer than brothers, he meant it.

"Chris..." Justin warned, but it was already too late.

"So you've gotten tired of fucking yourselves silly?" the oldest member of the group asked, nonchalantly studying an apple he had grabbed from the cart.

Justin could feel JC's shoulders tense, but at least his friend didn't move away. Justin almost sighed in relief.

Which didn't excuse Chris's comment.

"Can I talk to you for a second?" Not awaiting an answer, Justin squeezed JC's shoulder, then dragged Chris off into a corner of the room, feeling JC's eyes following the two of them.

Chris had always been the one most immune to his glares, so when he winced as soon as Justin turned to face him, Justin knew that he probably looked murderous. Felt like it, too.

"What the hell where you thinking back there?" he hissed, keeping his voice low so that the rest of the room wouldn't hear.

"Me?" Chris pointed a finger at himself, then poked Justin in the chest with it. "This isn't about me. This is about you and JC and the way you've been isolating yourselves from the rest of us. For all I know, the fucking-each-other's-brains-out comment could very well be true."

Narrowing his eyes, Justin shoved Chris's hand away. "It's not, and don't you dare saying something like this in JC's presence."

"Why not? He doesn't put out for you?"

Justin felt the muscles in his arms tensing. "What's your problem, Chris? You want me to hit you? Then go on."

"My problem? I don't have a problem. But you seem to have a problem with Joey, Lance and I all of a sudden, or how come we haven't seen you at all yesterday, not counting the concert?"

Justin sighed, run a hand through his hair. "Look, Chris, it's nothing personal. It's just something that JC needs right now."

"You acting like his mother?"

"If that's how you want to call me taking care of him, then yes."

Chris took a step closer and glared up at him. "You're acting as if we hurt him."

Justin shook his head. "You didn't."

"You sure have an interesting way of making us feel like we did."

"It's just that JC doesn't need a lot of people around him right now."

"Says who? And since when are Lance, Joe and I a lot?"

"I didn't mean it like that."

"You didn't sound as if you didn't mean it like that."

Justin threw his hands up. "God, Chris! Can't you just try to understand?"

"Understand what?" was the immediate reply, then Chris jaw went slack all of a sudden, his eyes widened and darted to JC, then back to Justin. His breathing pattern changed, became irregular, and when he spoke again, his voice had lost every trace of anger. " Please tell me that I'm thinking the wrong thing here."

Justin lowered his voice. "What do you think?"

Chris was counting his observations by ticking off the tips of his fingers. "He's in a state of shock, sort of, meaning something happened to him that left him badly shaken. He was terrified when I pushed him against a wall in order to find out what crawled up his ass and died. Which indicates that someone harmed him physically. But there aren't any bruises. So either they're hidden underneath his clothes, or..." He took a deep breath. "Or the harm was mental rather than physical. Rape." The last word came out as a squeak.

Justin remained silent.

"Oh God." Slumping against the wall, Chris closed his eyes. "Oh God. That's it? Someone... C?"

"Yeah." Justin swallowed. "Well, not really, because he was stopped before he could actually rape Josh, but the damage is done."

"How far?"


"How far did he get?"

"Too far."

"The night after which Jace suddenly changed into that stranger?"



Justin thought that pretty much summed up the whole situation.

"How did you find out?" Chris asked.

"He told me."

"In that elevator? He's been clinging to you ever since."


There was a pause before Chris spoke again. "He's not ready to tell the rest of us about it, is he?"

"No." Justin shook his head. "I don't think so."

"Okay. Then I guess it's best if I don't know anything. Just..." Biting his lower lip, Chris glanced at JC, then looked up at Justin. "I'm sorry. For that comment I made."

"You didn't know."


"It's okay."

Chris scratched his nose, head bent, eyes studying the floor. "It's not, but thank you."

"We all make mistakes, don't we?" Justin shrugged.

"Jup, do you think you'll manage it alone?"

"I don't know." Justin took a deep breath, blinking back the wetness pooling behind his eyelids. "I don't know, Chris. But I guess it's the best solution, for now."

"Okay." Chris gently squeezed his arm. "And hey, if there's something I can help you with, if you need some information or just a shoulder to cry on, I'm there for you, okay?"

Blinking back the tears got harder, but Justin managed a small smile. "Thanks, Chris."

He received a lopsided grin in response. "Hey, that's what friends are for, as Stevie Wonder would say. Besides, I'm just looking for a way to prove that a psych major can be useful after all."

"You're not going to start that song now, are you?"

Chris looked as if he was contemplating it for a second, then shook his head. "Naw. I think I'd better let you go back to loverboy now."

Justin's eyebrows raised. "Loverboy?"

"Didn't mean that in a bad way."

"I didn't think you did."

"Justin, if you're in love with him, then that's great for you. JC's a very lovable person, and he'd never break your heart, even if he might not be able to return your feelings."

Justin nudged him with his foot. "Kirkpatrick, you're scaring me with that wisdom you seem to have hidden for the longest time. How did you know?"

Chris smiled. "It's in your eyes, Justin. Whenever you look at him. And now leave the old man alone to wallow in his guilt and go join the better looking one at the buffet who seems to be waiting for you."

"Thanks, Chris."


Nothing much to say. No time to say it.

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