Disclaimer: I don't know anything about 'N Sync's personal lives or their sexual preferences; I know nothing about them. At all.
One of Lance's eyes opened warily, looking around his dim bedroom. He glanced at his clock-7:50 AM-then around him once more to look for the noise that woke him up. He groaned when he realized that Justin had jumped onto his bed on the other side of him, smiling wildly.
"Justin," Lance said in annoyance. "It's not even 8:00. You were just yelling at me the other day that I don't sleep in enough and now you're trying to wake me up?" He allowed his eyes to drift closed again, although this time he was facing Justin and he was just a little bit closer.
"Lance, the rain woke me up this morning. I want to go outside with you today. We could take a morning jog-"
"After lunch," Lance mumbled, throwing his arm around Justin's waist and pulling himself right next to the younger boy.
Justin froze momentarily as Lance snuggled into his chest, but then smiled as he noticed Lance's deep breathing. As he wrapped his arms around Lance and allowed his own eyes to close, he smiled. The rain could wait.
Justin sighed contentedly as he became aware of a body next to his own, a warm person snuggled into his chest. He tightened his arms protectively, eager to feel this warmth and happiness just a little bit longer. He glanced down, startled to see that it was Lance that he was holding onto so tightly, but smiled just the same. He didn't know what it was that he felt when he was this close to Lance, but it was something that he wanted to explore so much more; something that he wanted to hold onto and never let go of. He knew that Lance tended to be hesitant when it came to relationships, and also that Lance probably wouldn't even allow himself to get into a relationship with Justin because of all the risks surrounding them. Who was he kidding? Lance wasn't even gay. But then again, Justin didn't even know if he was. It didn't even matter to him, though; all that mattered were those wonderful feelings he suddenly felt when he was this close to Lance. He smiled blissfully, watching in rapture as his breath tickled the hairs on Lance's head and moved them around a little bit. He smiled, though, when he noticed Lance's eyes flutter slightly, opening in confusion.
Lance lifted his head, looking around, then staring at Justin. He stared good and hard for a moment, wondering why it was Justin that was making him feel that safe and warm.
"Hey Lance," Justin said, a hint of laughter in his voice as Lance still stared blankly at him.
Lance dropped his head back to its previous position against Lance's chest, closing his eyes tightly as he tried to remember how he'd gotten into that position. He vaguely remembered Justin barging in and mentioning something about rain, and then-
Lance almost groaned in frustration when he remembered climbing into Justin's arms and melting into sleep, realizing that he was probably just freaking Justin out. Justin probably thought he was gay, or that he was just kind of messed up, or that he was just overly needy.
"Sleep well, Lance?" Justin asked, his voice holding that tinge of something that Lance still couldn't put his finger on.
Lance nodded against Justin's chest. "Did you?" he asked.
Justin nodded as well, his chin brushing Lance's hair. "The rain woke me up this morning," he said, then glanced out the window and noticed that it was still pouring out. "You said we couldn't go outside until after lunch," he added, pouting slightly.
Lance laughed, forgetting about his awkwardness when it came to their sudden closeness. "Well, we both need to shower, and eat breakfast and lunch, and I don't want to get wet yet. I have to go through some mental preparation," he said, smiling up at Justin.
Justin laughed, moving his legs and smiling when they brushed against Lance's. "It's already eleven," he commented. "Why don't we just have brunch and then go outside?" he asked.
Lance shrugged. "I don't care what we eat. You take a shower, then I'll take one, then we'll eat, and then we'll go outside. Okay?"
Justin smiled. "Okay," he replied. He didn't want to move, though. He didn't want to get up and take his shower, and leave Lance in that huge bed by himself.
"You gonna take a shower?" Lance asked, although he made no move to extract himself from Justin's arms.
Justin sighed exaggeratedly. "I guess," he said, his tone dramatic. He carefully pulled himself from Lance's arms, confusion flashing over both boys' faces as they were left with a cold, empty feeling. Lance pulled his covers tighter to his chin, watching as Justin left his room to go take a shower in his own bathroom.
Although his head was weighing heavily with confusion, he couldn't ignore that little warm feeling in the pit of his stomach. He sighed happily, rolling onto his back and looking up at his ceiling. His eyes focused on nothing above him, and he only smiled as he stared at nothing. He didn't know why he was so happy, he just knew that he never wanted to stop feeling this way. His head slowly turned to look outside, and he smiled. Maybe the rain wouldn't be as bad as he thought as long as Justin was there.
"Lance," Justin whined. "Come on. You promised."
Lance sighed and followed as Justin dragged him by the hand out his front door. He stopped on the porch, looking around. He smiled when he looked up, watching the gray sky open and allow rain to fall. The trees, although they still drooped, were a brighter shade of brown, and the grass, he finally noticed, wasn't exactly brown. It was actually greener than he'd realized.
"Don't just stand there, James Lance Bass. You are coming out in the rain right now," Justin threatened, stepping off of the shelter of the front porch.
Lance sighed and rolled his eyes, mostly for Justin's benefit. He followed him out in the rain, and once they were out there, Justin turned around and glanced at Lance.
"See? It's not that bad," he said, raising his voice slightly to be heard over the pouring rain.
Lance shrugged, hiding the smile that wanted to appear, although Justin saw the sparkles in his eyes.
Justin grabbed Lance's hand again, pulling him outside. He paused in the middle of the yard, and Lance watched in slight wonder as the rain dripped down his nose, travelling the slope carefully, then dripping onto his upper lip, only to be licked up occasionally by Justin's tongue. Lance stared, transfixed, as Justin stood still, deep in thought, rain dripping off of his eyelashes, his hair, his ears, his shoulders, and everywhere on him, soaking through his clothes and leaving them darkened with water.
Lance had never wished to be anything else more than he wished to be that rain.
He held in a slight laugh when the little wish arose in his mind, and although he wasn't quite sure where the thought came from, it was welcomed.
"I'll race you," Justin said suddenly, glancing at Lance.
Lance nodded, noticing when he finally moved that he actually was getting wet, and the water actually was spraying down his own face and pulling down his own hair, just like it was doing to Justin's. "Where are you racing me?" Lance asked, his tone slightly patient just to get on Justin's nerves.
"Lance!" Justin finally said. "Come on, enjoy it!"
Lance smiled, showing Justin that he didn't really hate it as much as he pretended to. "Where are you racing me?" Lance repeated, his tone softer this time.
Justin grinned. "To that tree," he said, pointing to the big tree in Lance's yard, the one near the driveway. It was the same one that he'd stared at what seemed like years ago, although he couldn't be sure. All he knew was that it was before Justin got there. Now, though, it didn't seem to be stuck in grayscale anymore. It was now brown and vibrant, allowing the rain to slide down its bark.
Lance nodded, knowing that Justin would easily cover the short distance before he could. He laughed when Justin suddenly shouted, "Go!" and he followed behind Justin, laughing when he slipped and slided all over the place en route to the tree. Once there, he held onto the trunk tightly, laughing at Justin who was on the ground next to the tree.
"I won," Justin said somewhat weakly from his position on the ground. He'd fallen about halfway there, about ten feet into the short twenty-foot distance, and ten he'd slid the rest of the way.
Lance laughed, crouching down next to Justin. "You okay?" he asked.
Justin nodded. "Help me up?"
Lance smiled. "Sure," he said, holding his hand out. Justin gladly took it, then hopped up to his feet as Lance gave his hand a slight tug.
"You know, the rain isn't that bad," Justin commented.
Lance shrugged in an almost coy manner, just allowing a barely visible smile to paint his cheeks.
Justin laughed. He smiled at Lance, then sat back down against the tree.
"Justin, I just helped you up, man," Lance said.
Justin shrugged. "Come sit with me," he said.
When Lance stood defiantly, crossing his arms over his chest and giving Justin an odd look, Justin laughed. "Don't make me come up there and get you," he warned.
Lance just raised an eyebrow in challenge.
Finally, Justin laughed and stood up, grinning when Lance started to run, and Justin ran after him. He quickly caught up, his legs being just a little bit longer than Lance's, and threw his arms around Lance's waist once he'd conquered the boy. Lance laughed. "No!" he said, laughter flooding between his breaths and occasional words.
Justin laughed, lifting Lance off the ground slightly and pulling him over to the tree. He slid down to the ground, pulling a still laughing Lance with him, then held Lance much like Lance had held him in the bay window.
"You're holding me hostage," Lance said, laughing again.
Justin found that Lance's laughter was contagious, and laughed at him. "You know you like it."
Lance just shrugged, his laughter dying down as he rested against Justin's wet chest. He smiled when he felt the raindrops of Justin's face dripping onto his hair from Justin's chin. He had to admit that the rain wasn't as bad as he'd made it out to be. He was actually enjoying his time outside, even though he was drenched and he could feel a chill running through him down to his bones. He stayed up close to Justin nonetheless, though, ignoring his teeth when they began to chatter.
"Cold?" Justin asked, rubbing his wet hands up and down Lance's midsection.
Lance shrugged, not feeling quite as cold anymore.
"We'll go inside now, okay?" Justin asked softly.
Lance shrugged, not wanting to speak because he knew his chattering teeth would create a minor speech impediment.
Justin laughed and managed to stand up without moving Lance, then pulled him up. He threw his right arm around Lance's shoulders, his fingers rubbing into Lance's upper arm as he pulled the two into the house. Once inside, Lance smiled at the numbing feeling that overtook him as his body warmed up, and Justin laughed and pulled Lance to him tightly.
"It wasn't that bad, was it?" Justin asked.
Lance smiled. "It was okay," he said smugly, laughing when Justin's face fell, but then he realized that Lance was just joking around with him. Justin laughed and playfully punched Lance's arm.
"Man, that's not funny. You're practically contracting hypothermia and then you tell me you didn't even have fun doing it?" he asked, shaking his head.
Lance laughed. "I don't have hypothermia, Justin," he said with a smile.
"I know," Justin said, then wanted nothing more but to hug Lance again.
Before he could do anything, though, Lance smiled and pulled Justin into a hug of his own.
Surprised, Justin almost didn't hug Lance back, then smiled and held him tightly.
"Thanks," Lance mumbled, his voice muffled into Justin's shoulder.
"For what?" Justin asked.
Lance grinned and shrugged. "Bringing me inside so I don't get hypothermia?" he offered, his bright green eyes twinkling.
Justin just shook his head, beaming because he'd managed to get Lance out of pessimistic funk.
Lance laughed. "Go get changed in the guest room then meet me in the laundry room. We'll throw our clothes in the dryer, okay?"
Justin smiled. "Sure," he said.
The two parted ways to go to their different rooms, and Lance couldn't help but notice that despite the way his wet footsteps seemed to trudge up to his room, he felt like he was floating. And he liked it.
Lance walked slowly as he entered the laundry room, holding his wet clothes in his arms. He quickly threw them into the dryer, leaving it open for Justin. He'd towel dried his hair a little bit, but it was still immensely wet, and he hated the way his hair was probably dripping down his back and leaving an arc of wetness there.
"Hey Lance," Justin said as he stepped beside him, wearing Lance's sweatshirt. Lance smiled as Justin tossed his clothes into the dryer, then he closed the lid and turned it on.
Justin grinned at Lance, his blue eyes sparkling, and Lance noticed that he'd never really seen a blue that bright. Their eyes met, and both managed to become enraptured by the connection their eyes were making. Justin's arms slowly found their way around Lance's waist, and Lance's hands did the same to Justin, and suddenly their eyes were locked on each other, Justin's blue mixing with Lance's green to create an aura of aquamarine around them, visible only to the two boys oblivious of their love.
Slowly, Lance's eyes fluttered closed, as did Justin's, and their faces inched forward until their lips touched, and that spark seemed to travel through them, leaping everywhere it could reach in the small time of a second. Neither could comprehend what was happening; their minds were suddenly nonexistent as they felt themselves get lost in each other. Lance's hands roamed Justin's back, and Justin's found the back of Lance's head, and pulled gently at his hair, trying to bring the beautiful boy just a little bit closer so that he could feel those soft lips just a little bit more.
Justin gently moved his lips against Lance's, savoring the taste that filled his senses. he knew, without a doubt, that this was better than any rain that could ever fall, and he never wanted this sensation to end because it was everything he'd ever dreamed of and just a little bit more, and he could only wish that it would never end and-
Lance's voice was soft, almost dream-like as he spoke, his words jarring into Justin as he wondered why he was suddenly cold and alone and not pressed up against Lance like he was only moments ago.
"Justin, what..." Lance's voice trailed off, and his fingers lightly moved up to brush against his lips. He didn't know why he'd kissed Justin, or allowed Justin to kiss him, but mostly, he didn't know why he stopped.
"Lance, I don't..."
Neither knew what they were saying, only that there was so much to say and no way to say it.
"Why don't we have some tea," Lance suggested, the comment definitely a statement rather than a question.
Justin nodded. "You have it every time it rains," he said, his voice soft as his eyes searched probingly into Lance's.
Lance only swallowed thickly, then turned, leading Justin away from the laundry room and into the kitchen.
Justin followed dutifully, longing to be walking just a little bit closer, to maybe put his hand against the Lance's back, or sling his arm around his shoulders...but he knew that for a little while, he probably couldn't do that. He sighed, sitting down at the island in Lance's kitchen while Lance pulled out a pot to boil the water in. He quickly filled it then turned the stove on, pulling out two mugs and two teabags.
Both were silent the whole time, their minds swimming with thoughts that just wouldn't go away. Lance walked over to the stove in a somewhat awkward manner, waiting for the water to boil, willing some kind of bubbles to rise in the water so that he could stop standing there and feeling Justin's eyes on him. Actually, he didn't even know if Justin was staring at him, but he was standing rigidly still, just in case. He just felt so uncomfortable, maybe even...exposed as he stood there, Justin sitting at the island, both still feeling the effects of that damn kiss.
Lance sighed with relief when the water boiled, and quickly pulled it off the stove, filling the two mugs with water then putting in tea bags. He put one in front of Justin, his hand shaking slightly. Justin smiled gratefully when the mug was put down, and Lance put one for himself at his seat next to Justin. He quickly pulled out the milk and sugar, eager to just sit down so that he could at least avoid Justin in peace.
Finally, after grabbing two spoons from his drawer, he sat down, fixing his tea as Justin did the same. He found, though, that he loathed those awkward moments when he needed the milk and Justin was using it, and the vice versa with the sugar. He swallowed down that awkward feeling, though, and took a deep sip of his tea.
"So," Justin began. "Umm...I guess...maybe we need to talk."
Lance nodded, staring into his tea. "Maybe."
"Lance, I just...I want you to know, that I'm gonna be honest with you. I think that if we want anything to ever work out on any level, we just have to be honest," Justin said, staring down at his tea just like Lance was doing.
Lance nodded, Justin's deep breath falling on his ears.
Again, they fell into silence. Neither wanted to speak first, and neither wanted to begin speaking at the same time as the other to make another awkward moment.
With a sigh, Lance glanced at Justin only to see his brow furrowed in concentration as he stared into his tea, looking as if maybe the world was going to come to an end if he didn't do something soon.
"Justin," Lance began quietly. "Justin, I...I'm not good at this kind of stuff. But I'm going to try okay?"
Justin nodded, still looking down at his tea, preparing himself for the worst.
"You told me not to lie, and I'm not going to. I felt like shit all week, Justin."
Justin looked up, surprised at Lance's sudden statement. "Lance, what-"
Lance shook his head. "Wait, Justin. Let me finish. I felt like shit all week. Then you came up here and I didn't feel quite as bad, you know? I mean, you're always so happy, and I just...I guess I kind of envy that," he said, shrugging slightly as his cheeks reddened at his confession. He never was good at talking about his emotions, but he was going to try, at least for Justin's sake. For once, he was going to be honest and admit what he was feeling.
"Remember yesterday, when we were in the bay window, then this morning, then when we sat together at the tree?" Lance asked, his voice slightly shaky.
Justin nodded, then turned his face away. Lance's own face crumbled slightly when Justin turned away. He knew, he just knew that Justin was regretting those moments. That only added to Lance's determination, though, and his voice rose as he spoke. "Dammit, Justin. I liked that. I liked sitting there, knowing that you were so damn close to me, and I never wanted you to leave, then all the sudden you were...you were kissing me, and it was so damn perfect...but..."
Justin looked at Lance, waiting expectantly, his eyes shining with surprise and a hope just waiting to be crumbled with Lance's "but" statement.
Lance sighed, looking down. "But what about the group, Justin? What about the fans, the guys, `N Sync, publicity...?"
Lance looked down, staring at his tea in contempt. Why did that damn tea have to just blend right in with the sugar and milk, no questions asked? Why couldn't he just blend in with Justin, no question asked? It just wasn't fair.
"Lance," Justin said, his voice soft. "Lance, I..."
Justin stopped, took a deep breath, then finally spoke, his voice loud with a sudden burst of emotion. "Dammit Lance! Who cares about the fans? Who cares about any of that crap? You kissed me. I kissed you. It was...Lance, it was fucking magic, and you...I just...I don't want to forget about this, Lance."
Lance looked at Justin, surprised at his reaction. "Justin, what if we broke up? What if we had a big fight, then what would happen to the group? What if we just broke up the group because we wanted to try out some relationship that might just flop out anyway?"
Justin sighed. "Lance, what if we didn't break up? What if we were perfect and the group was perfect and everything was just fucking perfect? What if we miss out on that just because you don't want to risk our careers that are probably going to end soon anyway?"
Lance looked away, his eyes trained on something beyond the counter he stared at as tears pricked at the back of his eyes. "Justin..." he said, his voice hoarser than he'd expected it to be. "Justin, I don't want to be the cause of a break up of `N Sync..."
"Dammit, Lance," Justin said in frustration, standing up and forgetting about the steaming tea that went unnoticed on the island. "If you're not willing to give this a try because you're too damn scared, then maybe it's not worth it."
Lance's head shot up, and he looked at Justin, his wide, fearful eyes searing into Justin's.
Justin swallowed hard, willing his eyes to stay dry as he stared right back at Lance. "Maybe it's not worth it," he repeated, his voice low and choked before he rushed out of the kitchen and into his room.
Lance sat at the island, numb and unfeeling. What was happening? What just went on?
He suddenly became acutely aware of a sharp pain, growing in his chest and spreading throughout his body. He clutched his hands into fists, then unclenched them and buried his head in his hands.
He stood up, not able to sit there staring at that damn tea, that tea that didn't even change as Lance's entire world crumbled. It just kind of sat there, still evenly distributed, none of the additives separated from the tea itself, and it just steamed pleasantly, like it should be so damn soothing...and it wasn't.
With a shaky sigh, Lance shoved his stool out, not even grimacing at the squeal it made when it scraped against the hard wood floor, and the normally neat Lance left the two tea mugs on the island, then stalked out the front door, and sat on that damn front porch.
Sitting underneath the roof's overhang, he felt almost afraid because he was so close to becoming completely selfish and vain and stepping out into the rain. He couldn't do that, not to Justin. He couldn't admit that things actually were brighter than he thought, or that he did like the rain...those were Justin's qualities, Justin's likes, Justin's quirks. He couldn't take them away; he didn't have that right.
And it was only his fault.
He stared around him, feeling a pit of pain and depression churning away at his stomach, pulling at his insides so much that he couldn't even take it, and still, everything was just a little bit brighter than it was a couple days ago. Even with the complete anguish and turmoil he was going through, everything wasn't quite as black and white, and that was the worst part, because he finally knew why.
He finally understood why everything wasn't in grayscale, and why he wasn't living in a depressing black and white photo. He understood completely.
He was in love.
With that, he allowed a sob to escape from the depths of his throat, and he allowed his shoulders to shake wildly, and he allowed the tears to flow from his eyes like rivers, all for one reason. It was all because he knew all of this was his fault, and his alone.
Justin angrily pushed the front door open, then stopped short when he almost tripped over a body on the front porch. It was...Lance. He stood completely still, wondering just how long Lance had been sitting out in the dark night; after all, it was just a few minutes before midnight already. He ignored the pain mounting in his stomach, he ignored the way his arms were just itching to leave his suitcase and wrap around Lance's slumped form.
Lance didn't move, afraid to let Justin see the tears coursing down his cheeks. He didn't deserve to be sitting there, crying pathetically after all this time, but he just couldn't help it. He felt like the world was on his shoulders, and there was nothing he could do about it. He was lost in his guilt; in his shame.
Justin stepped around Lance, and out into the still falling rain. He wasn't enjoying the rain at that moment, it was only a nuisance. He turned around for a moment, pausing.
"I'm leaving, Lance."
Lance froze. Justin was leaving? Leaving...him?
Lance looked up, his red eyes staring at Justin as his lip continued to tremble incessantly. "You're leaving?"
Justin looked away, unable to stare at Lance's face. But it had been Lance's decision...Lance had been the one to say he couldn't deal with the fans or the group...Lance had been the one with the fear of breaking up and splitting the group...
"A cab is coming in a few minutes for me," Justin said, his broken voice betraying his collected stance.
Lance suddenly jumped up from the porch, stepping out into the rain, and standing in front of Justin, allowing the younger boy to take in his vulnerability.
"Justin..." he said, his voice hoarse.
Justin looked at him expectantly, waiting for maybe a request to stay, because he knew that at that moment, the little word would force him to jump into Lance's arms and never move.
"What?" Justin replied, his voice just as hoarse as Lance's.
"Why are you going?"
Justin sighed, looking away, hoping to God that his tears were blending in with the rain around him. "I can't stay, " he said, his voice full of defeat and pain.
"Why?" Lance asked, his voice full of pleading.
Ask me to stay, Lance...just ask me...please... "I can't stay here, Lance. I can't stay knowing that we...we didn't try any of this out. I can't stay knowing that I...that I could've been with you. I know we would've worked...but I can't stay knowing that you were so damn afraid," he said, his voice once again breaking as he spoke.
Lance looked away, the guilt consuming him, the guilt of knowing that he made Justin that broken way, and that he could've prevented Justin's leaving.
"Oh," Lance said, staring at the ground.
Ask me to stay, Lance. Ask me...Goddammit, Lance! Just ask me to-
Justin resisted the urge to sob, to throw his hands on the ground, to scream at Lance to beg him to stay. He only nodded, staring misty eyed at the headlights that were suddenly coming down the road towards Lance's house.
"I'll just go."
Lance nodded, watching as Justin walked across the front yard, until he was next to the taxi's door.
Justin paused at the taxi door, waiting, wondering if maybe Lance would say that one word so that Justin could just go running.
But he didn't.
So Justin left, and he never heard Lance shout his name above the pouring rain because he was already in the taxi.
And he never heard Lance's ragged voice pleading him to stay because he was already down the road.
Lance sat on his front porch, cursing the sun for coming out. He didn't understand why the sun could come out when he was falling apart inside, or why the earth was continuing to revolve around the sun even though his world was gone. It was only two days ago that Justin had left; that he had screamed for him to stay a moment too late; that he had been in the middle of his yard, in the pouring rain, crying and sobbing and shaking selfishly even though it was all his fault.
He knew that he had to go back on tour in a week or so, and he wished with everything inside him that maybe they'd cancel the tour, or that he wouldn't have to look at Justin...but he knew that none of that was happen. He was going to have to live with the fact that he pushed away the one thing that could've been so incredible for him, and he was going to have to face facts. He sighed, pushing himself up and envisioning a rain cloud pushing the sun out of the way so that maybe the weather would match his mood.
He walked into his house, putting some water on the stove to boil.
After all, he always had tea when it rained.
It was sunny out, but Lance was nursing a cup of tea in a Styrofoam cup. He didn't notice the sun; he could've sworn that maybe it was raining out. He watched everyone around him rush to get on the buses, but didn't make a move himself. He couldn't bear to get on that bus, to know that the one man who meant everything to him would be sitting right there, and to face him, and see the look of complete disappointment on his face...he couldn't deal with it.
So he stood alone, waiting to get on the bus until the last minute, drinking that damn tea with shaky hands. He'd learned to drink it dry, to deal with the bitter taste of tea without its little extras. He couldn't watch the milk swirl into the murky brown liquid, knowing that the two blended perfectly. He just couldn't watch that. So he drank it dry.
He looked up when he felt someone pulling on his sleeve, and he nodded in slight confusion to one of the roadies, urging him to get on the bus. He walked over to the bus doors, his legs shaky and wobbly and his hands slightly sweaty. He hoped he didn't drop the damn cup; that would be the best part of his day by far.
He stepped onto the bus, hearing four voices laughing in the back. Even Justin. Justin had moved on, by the sounds of it. Not like Lance.
Lance sighed and took another step onto the bus, clutching his tea so tightly he was afraid the cup would start to fall apart like Styrofoam always did. He relaxed his grip a little bit, ignoring the shaking feeling in his hands. He took another sip of the tea, wishing that he could just melt into it and stay in the safety of a disposable cup.
"Lance! Get back here, man!" Chris yelled, hearing someone enter the bus.
Lance didn't bother replying, only walked further towards the back, his legs continuing to shake, and he was afraid he would pass out any minute. His knuckles were white where they held the cup, and he stepped slowly, and suddenly Joey was right next to him, pulling him to the couch, making him sit down, and someone's hand was touching his forehead, checking if he was okay...
"Hi," Lance suddenly said, his voice foreign and unused.
Everyone pulled back slightly, and Justin, who had been silent in his seat on the couch the entire time, looked at Lance.
"Hey Lance," he said, his voice suddenly strained.
No one noticed the tension between the two, they were too worried about Lance's sudden...condition. They didn't even hear Justin's voice...but Lance did.
"Lance, are you okay?" JC asked, his voice filled with worry. That's one thing that everyone could count on JC for; he always seemed to be full of worry.
Lance nodded, taking a deep breath and getting a grip on his surroundings. "I'm fine," he said, his voice still scratchy from being kept inside him for a week.
"You are not fine, Lance," Chris said, shaking his head. "What...are you sick? You look like you haven't slept in...I don't even know how long, and your eyes are so red...Lance, what's wrong with you?"
Lance kept his eyes on the tea below him, and suddenly Justin's confused voice broke through the silence.
"You only drink tea when it rains."
Lance looked up at him, his eyes empty. "I thought it was," he said, his voice soft.
"It's not. It hasn't since maybe a week ago."
"Oh. That's funny." He paused, ignoring the confused looks that Joey, Chris, and JC had on their faces. "Too bad," he said, then swallowed thickly. "Someone taught me to like it."
With that, his throat closed, and he was up, running, not knowing where he was going, just that he needed to leave the bus before he hyperventilated, and suddenly Justin was behind him, holding him by the shoulders, ignoring the three bandmates that were standing, paralyzed, in the doorway to the front of the bus.
"Do you like the rain?" Justin asked Lance earnestly, searching his eyes.
Lance only nodded, searching Justin's eyes. "Somebody told me it wasn't worth hating," he said, ignoring those damn tears that seemed to leak from his eyes too much all of the sudden. "Somebody told me I was being pessimistic. And that maybe I was just afraid...and he didn't hear me ask him to stay."
"You...you asked him to stay?" Justin asked, his voice hoarse.
Lance nodded, fresh tears brimming. "I screamed it...and I cried...in the middle of the rain. And I didn't even notice that I was getting wet." His voice was now barely audible, and he could sense the eyes of Joey, Chris, and JC on him and Justin, but finally, he didn't care. He didn't care about anything...except Justin.
"Dammit, Justin. I fucking love you," he said, the pulled him into a deep kiss, ignoring the dropping mouths of his bandmates as he tore into Justin, and Justin tore into him.
Finally, though, Justin pulled his face away. "It's a good thing you got rid of that tea."
"Why?" Lance asked, confusion on his still reeling features.
Justin smiled. "I don't think it's raining anymore."
Thanks for reading everyone! I hope you enjoyed it.:) I'm thinking about possibly writing more, but I'm not so sure. What do you all think?
Anyway, email me if you want, or add me to your buddy lists on AOL if you want to do that. My screen name is JCGrail9. :)
So, mucho thanks to everyone who has already sent me feedback, and hopefully I'll talk to some more of you soon.:)