Author's Note: Ok, the guys in the chat are making me post this... if
you think it sucks, go yell at them... if you think it's good... e-mail
By the way: Hi, I'm Willow.
`Holy Fuck,' Chris moaned inwardly. `I guess I had more to drink than I thought.' Chris attempted to sit up and grab the phone but as he moved, his stomach rolled and he was forced to lie back rather than empty his guts onto the bedspread. The phone continued to the ring and Chris telepathically willed it to shut the hell up.
Slowly, Chris reached over and grabbed the phone. When the recorded voice began to announce his wake up call, Chris dropped it back onto the receiver, then groaned as the loud clang of the plastic reached his ears.
Chris waited a few moments before he rolled over to the side of the bed. As soon as his knee touched the bedspread however, Chris froze. He inhaled sharply and fought not to cry out. The pain in his knee had been in and out, fading and increasing depending on how hard he worked, but it had never seemed quite so severe before. It might not have been that he knee hurt more, as much as the pain in his head and the queasiness of his stomach compounding the pain in his knee. Chris, of course, wasn't in the mood to debate exactly what hurt, all he knew was that moving was not at the top of his list of fun things to do. The dark haired man would have been content to simply stay unmoving on the bed all day had not a knock sounded on his hotel room door.
"Chris!" J.C. called through the wooden door to his friend. "Forty-five minute warning."
Chris grimaced, but kept the pain out of his voice when he replied. "Okay," he called back. "I'll be ready." Mustering his strength, Chris slid gingerly off of the bed and onto the carpeted floor. As he moved the pain in his knee lessened somewhat and Chris sighed in relief.
"Jesus!" Chris said aloud, the possible severity of his old knee injury looming in his mind. Chris felt around the floor near him for his knee brace and his hand closed around it. Chris pulled the brace back to him and dropped it into his lap. Chris suddenly felt tears begin to overtake his senses and he mewled bitterly.
"Why me?" he moaned softly, dropping his head into his hands. "I'm thirty, not ninety! I'm not that damn old! Mick Jagger's like twice my age and he's still touring."
`Of course he isn't doing two hours of fast paced dancing every other night. Not to mention rehearsals,' a voice in Chris's head reminded him.
"All I've ever wanted to do is sing," Chris sighed. "And now all I want is to hang along for the ride so I can be with my friends."
"Of course and Justin," Chris snapped. "No matter what feelings I may have for the man, he is still one of my best friends."
`But you'd miss him more than the others?' the voice pushed.
Without warning, Chris felt anger building up in his chest, and he flung the knee brace across the room. The brace hit the wall and slid neatly into the trashcan. Chris felt an irrational sense of satisfaction, and he thrust his arms into the air.
"He shoots, he scores!" Chris cheered sarcastically. He dropped his arms loosely back to the ground, grunting in surprise as his right hand landed on something hard and cylindrical. Chris's breathing froze as he closed his hand around the object.
`Oh,' a voice reminded Chris, `You were going to flush those today, weren't you?'
Chris closed his eyes tightly, his Id debating furiously with his Superego. While Chris knew instinctively, and from his raising, that drugs were never a good answer for anything, he couldn't help but wonder if they could solve all of his problems.
"I don't know what to do!" he sighed unhappily.
`Did you ever think of going to see a doctor?'
"If I go see a doctor," Chris rationalized to himself, "he's either, a) going to tell me that I need to stop dancing, in which case we can't tour, in which case we break up in which case I lose them all.
"Or he's going to give me some pain killers. And I have pain killers right here already," Chris finished, gripping the bottle tightly in his hand.
`I really don't think *Lou* is qualified to prescribe pain killers.' Chris's conscience pointed out.
"I heard what he said last night. Lou may be an asshole and a bastard, but he's also greedy. He wouldn't do anything to jeopardize the group. We're earning him thousands of dollars."
`Lou would kill you and replace you with a robot if he could.'
"Shut up!" Chris finally yelled at himself. "Jesus don't you think I know that?"
"Gramps?" Chris froze when he heard Justin's voice floating through the doorway.
"Yeah Justin?" he called back tentatively.
He heard the laughter in Justin's tone when the younger man continued. "You got a girl in there or something? Who are you talking to?"
Chris frowned. Normally, he would have just shouted some comment about stealing Justin's woman back at the younger man, but between the stress of his insecurities and the pain of his desires he just couldn't be lighthearted. "It's none of your business Justin," he scolded the younger man from the floor. "What do you want?"
"Geez sorry if I hit a nerve Old Timer," Justin teased. "Pops sent me to make sure you remember we've only got a half hour left. HEY!" Justin's jibes turned to whining yelps as someone, presumably J.C. tackled him outside the door.
Chris smiled, but it was a sad smile as he thought about how much pain wrestling with Justin would put him in at this point.
"Dammit," he muttered softly, standing up gingerly. Making a split-second
decision Chris popped the lid off of the bottle and stalked into the bathroom.
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