Note:Um, have you ever tried learning for an exam while listening to Digital Getdown? Well, don't, okay? Just... Don't.
Dedication: Ben. How often do I have to repeat myself? It's your story. Yours. And hey! I'm proud of ya!
Disclaimer: As you already know that I don't know or own the boys, I'm going to use this space for a personal message: JC, Justin, don't you ever dare having sex on my no-longer-beautifully-clean carpet again. Sure, it's white and stuff, but it's still all sticky now. Either you pay someone to clean that or you get your lazy asses down here and do it yourself! Thanks, I needed to get this out of my system.
Just To Be With You...
...is giving me the best day of my life...
Dido, Thank You
The bus was quiet except for the occasional snores or the sound of rustling sheets whenever one of the occupants of the five bunks shifted. Lance, having awoken in the middle of the night feeling thirsty, made his way to the kitchen, the light that fell through the windows whenever a car was passing by helped him avoiding bumping into something. As everyone was fast asleep, Lance didn't bother getting a glass from the cupboard, instead, he drank the milk straight from the bottle after taking it out of the refrigerator. Which was, obviously, a mistake as he had been observed.
"There are others who want to drink from that bottle, too."
Turning around, the Mississippian took in the image of Justin who was sitting on the living room couch, a blanket wrapped around his shoulders and his glare evident even in the dark of the room. But there was no doubt about the fact that this was the ideal opportunity to find out more about Justin's feelings for his best friend, it was exactly what Lance had been waiting for for about two days now. A little wistfully, the bass singer said a quiet goodbye to his sleep, put the milk back in the refrigerator and joined the younger man on the couch.
"Since when does it bother you to see people drinking directly from the bottle?"
"JC did it today - or rather yesterday -, and I didn't hear you complain."
He was met with silence and the back of Justin's head, who had turned to stare out of the window. Okay, Lance had to admit to himself, that had apparently not been the right way to approach the topic, might as well try another one.
"Shouldn't you be sleeping, J?"
Silence, once again, only a faint motion that could have been Justin shrugging his shoulders. So that hadn't been the right way either. Seemed as if he just had to choose the direct approach.
"You're in love with JC, aren't you?"
Now, that sure earned him a reaction. With shocked, wide eyes, the curly-haired blonde stared at him, his reply coming just a tiny bit too quickly. "What?"
Bingo! The Mississippian grinned to himself, now convinced that Joey had been right. Justin didn't say "What?" when he really had no clue what the other was talking about. He said either "Huh?" or, when his mother was around, "Excuse me?". But "What?"? No, that line was reserved for occasions when Justin feigned ignorance, whenever he had pulled a prank and tried to act innocent, usually. And now he tried to make Lance believe that he actually didn't know what the older one was talking about. Lance smirked.
"You are." he exclaimed, no longer a question, but a statement.
"I... No! What..."
"Don't try lying to me, JuJu. I know that you are in love with Jace, and so do you."
Sighing, Justin buried his head between his knees, his voice muffled. "And what are you going to do now?"
"Me? Nothing. But you will tell him."
Justin's head shot up. "No way!"
"Shh, you'll wake the others."
"Sorry." Justin lowered his voice. "Lance, I can't tell him."
"He'll hate me or start acting uncomfortably or..."
"You know just as well as I do that JC isn't capable of hating you. Justin, you have to tell him. He deserves to know. And Josh won't freak, I'm sure about that."
Lance shrugged. "I just know. He might even return your feelings, ever thought about that?"
"Get real, Scoop. This is not some fucking soap opera where the two main characters are secretly in love with each other."
"It could be."
"Maybe we're just the product of the brain of some writer who can make us say whatever he or she chooses. Maybe the writer himself is also part of a book in which they are writing another book about us, a book within a book. And maybe the readers of our story are just as much part of that second book which contains the book about us. Or something."
Justin just stared, and Lance sighed, picking up a square pack that was lying on the table, absent-mindedly playing with it. "Okay, forget I ever said that, but tell him anyway, okay?"
"Are you going to open this if I don't?"
Justin pointed to the pack in Lance's hand, and the Mississippian read the inscription. "Well, would it be threat enough?"
"I don't know. But moistened tissues are terrifying me."
"Then you'd better promise to tell him or I'll open it."
"You wouldn't dare. The smell would make all of us sick."
"Justin, just tell him."
"Because you'd feel better. Because JC would feel better knowing that you aren't hiding anything from him. Justin, please! If you don't want to do it for yourself, then do it for him."
"Why is this so important to you?"
"I don't like seeing my friends hurting."
"Josh is hurting?"
"Duh! You're quite the quick thinker sometimes, aren't you?"
"He is really, actually hurting because of me?"
"Yes, Justin. How often will I have to repeat myself until you finally get it?"
"I... You're sure?"
"Yes, I am sure. JC is hurting, and you're the only one who can make it better by telling him that you're in love with him."
"And that's supposed to make him feel better?"
"I don't believe you."
"When's the last time I've given you the wrong advice?"
"I don't remember."
"Because I never gave you the wrong one."
"There's a first for everything."
"Justin. Tell him."
"I'll think about it, okay?"
"Is that all I can get from you?"
"For the moment, yes."
"Okay. It's better than nothing at all, I guess. I'm going back to bed, and you should, too."
"I know." Reluctantly, Justin got up, leaving the blanket on the couch and following Lance to the other part of the bus. Right before they entered the sleeping department, Lance suddenly felt arms encircling him from behind, enveloping him in a warm embrace.
Reaching behind himself to ruffle the younger one's hair affectionately, Lance smiled. "No prob, J. That's what friends are for."
"And you're a great friend."
"Don't I know it."
Justin loosened the embrace, stepping around Lance to climb in his bunk, giving the Mississippian a grateful smile. "Night, Scoop. Sleep well."
"I usually have."
"I don't think I want to hear more about them."
Justin smirked. "You don't."
Shaking his head, Lance settled down in his own bunk, drawing the curtains shut. It was only a matter of minutes until the silence was restored, disturbed only by a few occasional snores and the rustling of sheets whenever one of the sleeping men shifted.
Somebody please remind me why again I agreed to go clubbing. Stupid, stupid JC! I knew it would be like this, it always is, so why did I go anyway? Oh, yeah, two reasons. #1: Justin wanted to go, and so of course I couldn't say no. Let me be your puppy... (which observes your every move with lust glazed eyes, but that's beside the point.)
And #2? I guess one could say that's kinda related to reason #1 - although, come to think of it: In my mind, just about everything is related to Justin. Anyway. #2 is the alcohol I need to endure seeing just about every female in the room groping him. Helps me not to plant myself in front of Just to glare at whatever-girl-it-was-this-time to tell her to get her fucking hands off of my man. My man... I wish.
But another one of the alcohol's effects is even better than "helping-me-to-sit-through-my-man-being-groped": All I have to do is make Just believe that I'm drunk, and he'll be all over me in a second, overprotective as he can be from time to time. So cute... I love that boy!
I didn't have enough drinks to think about that yet, though. But then again, we're only here for about ten minutes, so it would be slightly embarrassing if I would already be acting drunk now. Guess I'll have to sit back and watch for at least one more hour before I can get him to take me home. Where is he, by the way?
First choice is, obviously, the dance floor. And bingo! There he is. God, he really knows how to move. Okay, great, now I can't get up for the next few minutes; until my pants aren't that tight anymore, to be more precise. Its not very likely that someone would discover it in the dim light, but just the thought of Joey seeing... I'd never hear the end of it.
Only problem now is that, to get rid of excited Little Josh, I should stop watching Just. But that's impossible. Which is why I'll probably sit here for the rest of the evening, not daring to get up. Sigh.
Hey, what's that? Why is Lance talking to Just on the dance floor? Doesn't seem like the best place for a conversation somehow... Now he's pointing in my direction... Lance, if this is part of some plan or, even worse, if you told Just something about my feelings for him, then I swear I am going to kill you. Along with whoever else is responsible, of course. What the hell are they talking about? Just is shaking his head, almost looks as if he's pleading with Lance. Lance and giving orders? Something is seriously wrong here. Oh god, Just is coming in my direction. Shit. Shitshitshit! Give me a hole to climb in, something, please! If this is part of a plan...
Tonight the music seems so loud
I wish that we could lose this crowd
Maybe it's better this way
We'd hurt each other with the things we'd want to say
We could have been so good together
We could have lived this dance forever
But no one's gonna dance with me
George Michael, Careless Whisper
"Come on, Justin! Get your scrawny ass over there and tell him already! What are you waiting for?"
"Don't be ridiculous. The sooner you tell him, the sooner you'll lie in his arms."
"Justin. Tell him."
"I don't want to freak him out."
"How can you be so sure about that?"
"I just am. Look, how about we make a deal: If he freaks out - which he won't -, then I'll kiss either Joey or Chris, you can choose which one."
"If that makes you happy: Yes."
"Wow, you're really sure about this, aren't you?"
"Yes, I am. And now go!"
"Geez, it's almost as if you don't want me here."
JC was sitting in a dark corner, able to survey the club, a half empty drink in front of him. By the looks of it, it was only beer, so most likely he wasn't even tipsy yet. Which, Justin mused, was not a good thing. Had JC been drunk, then at least he would have been able to make the older man believe that he had only imagined the love confession Justin was going to make.
"Hey Just. What happened to make you leave the dance floor?"
Was he only imagining it or did JC actually look slightly scared? Justin inwardly shook his head at himself. Now he already believed seeing his own emotions being reflected by JC's eyes. Smiling, the curly-haired blonde slid down in the booth next to the older man. "Just wanted to keep you company since you're sitting here all by yourself."
"Did Lance tell you to come here? - Just, you know that I'm fine by myself. If you want to, then you can go out and have fun. I like to watch people."
"No, Lance didn't tell me to keep you company. He just ordered me to finally tell you something I should have told you quite some time ago although you probably wish you had never heard it as soon as I told you."
"I know. It's just hard to tell you."
"I thought you knew that you can tell me everything."
"But this is going to change things between us."
The DJ was announcing the next song, but none of the two men was listening. They were staring intently in each other's eyes, one pleading with the other to tell whatever he had to say, the other looking for a sign that nothing would change.
"I'm in love with you."
Justin hadn't said it very loudly, and he wasn't even sure if JC had heard him over the now blaring music. By all appearances, JC hadn't. As soon as the eye-contact had been broken, JC had raised his glass to take a sip, swallowing before turning back to Justin, a slight grin on his face.
"You know, this is my first drink, but I'm already starting to imagine things."
"Yeah. I just thought I heard you telling me that you're in love with me." Shaking his head, JC leaned back in his seat, laughing quietly, not noticing the blank expression on Justin's face.
JC had laughed at the thought of his best friend being in love with him. JC had laughed at him.
Torn between anger and a painful disappointment, Justin held on to the first one, knowing that he'd probably have a breakdown if he'd let go of it. Glaring, he stared at JC until the brunette couldn't ignore it any longer.
"What is it, J?"
"What if you didn't imagine it, Josh? What if I really told you I'm in love with you? Because I did. Because I am."
Shock. A look of complete, utter shock, that was the only way Justin was able to describe JC's expression, and it told him everything he needed to know. Getting to his feet in one swift movement, causing the chair to fall over, Justin leaned over the table, bringing his face directly in front of JC's, breathing against him. "I've been for a while now, Josh. And I'm sorry, but I can't change it."
With that, he turned around, pushing through the crowd to get out of the suddenly too loud, too stuffy club, craving nothing more than the nightly silence and fresh air.
JC was still sitting at the table, staring into space and oddly resembling a paralyzed rabbit. Justin had reached the exit before the brunette came out of his fantasy world, a bright, goofy grin starting to spread over his face.
Justin was in love with him. Justin was in love with him. Justin was in love with him! It was too good to be true.
Realizing that the younger one was probably waiting for him to say something, JC looked up - only to discover that the blonde was gone. Where to? He was not too late to catch a glimpse of curly hair breezing out of the club, and before his mind even registered what he was doing, he was already heading towards the exit himself, desperately wanting to catch up with his best friend to tell him that his feelings were returned.
I hope I didn't disappoint anyone with this part... If I did, then I'm really sorry.