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.

Note: I wrote my first Arts exam and I'm still alive, so maybe majoring in Arts wasn't that bad of a decision. Oh, and are you actually reading this? Sorry. I thought no one would take a look at this anyway.

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

Disclaimer: Can you believe that this story hasn't gotten any more true since the last disclaimer? But that's the way it is.



A horse, a kingdom for a horse!


More like: Disinfectant, his BMW Roadster for disinfectant!

Justin's fingers traced the skin that had been touched by Trevor Daniels, tried to wipe it clean from the sweaty dampness that still seemed to be lingering there. He had already lost count of how often he had done that since Lonnie had started the car, each mile they left behind bringing him closer to the hotel, to the bathroom.

To JC.

JC and disinfectant, his BMW Roadster for JC and disinfectant?

No, that didn't sound realistic. Who in their right state of mind would trade JC for a BMW Roadster? The world for JC? But JC wasn't a possession, not something you could own, so basically, the whole thing wasn't right.

Come to think of it, Justin thought that he could do without the disinfectant. Not without JC, though. Never without JC.


Trevor Daniels' hands had barely touched Justin, and already he was craving for hot water and soap, something to wash away the memory. The same hands had explored JC's skin all over, squeezing and touching for endless minutes.

JC showered five times a day.

And it was Justin's fault.

Well, not really. Just... sort of. If it was true what Trevor Daniels had told him. Which would also mean that JC... JC... JC had been staring at him? With.. desire?

What was this? The cruel game of someone who was secretly laughing at them? Someone who found it incredibly funny to let Trevor tear them apart just when JC had started seeing him with new eyes, the eyes of a...

Well, the way Justin saw JC. With the eyes of a lover.

And now, after that, after being molested by a man, Justin doubted that JC would ever be able to see him the same way again, simply because he knew what damage a male person was able to do to him. Justin was a male person, and JC had seen something desirable in him nevertheless, but now? Now JC was probably afraid of the prospect of being romantically involved with a man.

Talk about situational comedy.

Although all that was just plain black humor. Very black. So black that the humor was drowning in it, forgotten because nobody saw it anymore as it was overshadowed by all the black.


Justin could have sworn that the elevator wasn't working. It was impossible that elevators always were that slow. Absolutely impossible. Although that probably was the whole concept of Einstein's theory of relativity, right? Everything is relative, and although the flow of time is steady and constant, it doesn't seem that way to you. If there's something you dread lying ahead of you, then time flies. And when there's something wonderful lying ahead of you, when you desperately want to get somewhere, then it seemingly stands still.

Justin wanted to get to JC, and time didn't stand still, but fly. Backwards.

Shifting from one foot to the other and pretending not to notice Lonnie's concerned glances, he tried to convince the red five that was blinking above the door that it would look better as a ten. The five seemed to ignore his mental messages, taking an eternity to change into a six. Still four floors to go.



One, only one...

As soon as the gap was wide enough, Justin dashed out of the elevator, already searching for the keycard in his pockets while hurrying down the hall. The light couldn't change to green fast enough, and he was slightly panting when he finally pushed the door open and stepped into the room.

The only source of light apart from the blue coming from the TV came from the lamp on the bedside table, bathing the room in a yellowish glow.

Joey was pacing back and forth on the carpet.

And JC, JC was sitting in the middle of the bed, blankets wrapped tightly around him like a protective shield. He looked up as soon as he heard the opening of the door, and when his eyes found Justin's, the immense relief they showed made Justin almost cry.

He made a beeline for the bed, sank down in front of it to be the same height as JC. "You've been up the whole time?"

JC nodded, looking up at him through lowered eyelashes, his smile shy.

"You should have slept, Josh. You need it."

"I couldn't. I woke up and you weren't here, and..." JC swallowed, looked down at his hands. Beautiful hands. Not dangerous, not like Trevor Daniels'. Beautiful.

Justin tore his gaze away, reached out to cup JC's chin, forcing him to look up. "I'm here now. You can sleep."

"Where have you been?"

"I'll tell you, but not now. You should sleep. We'll talk about it tomorrow."

"Were you..."

"Sleep." Justin placed a finger on JC's lips to stop any further words, gently pushed JC onto his back and drew the blanket up to his nose. "Sleep, Josh."

Intense blue eyes were staring up at him, then closed. Justin turned around to find Joey watching him with an unreadable look. He smiled.

"Hey Joey."

Joey stepped closer, his gaze shifting from Justin to JC, then back again. He lowered his voice, not wanting to disturb the latter.

"What the hell is going on here?"

"Not now, Joe. Please."

Joey gripped his arm. "Yes, now."

Justin glanced at JC's figure, looking incredibly tiny and lost in the huge bed.

"Let me get things straight." The grip on Justin's arm tightened, the muscles in Joey's jaw tensed. "Because you practically beg me to watch over JC while you're off doing who-knows-what, I stay here, in this room, instead of going clubbing with Lance and Chris - even though you don't even tell me why it is necessary to watch over him, in the first place. Okay. Then JC wakes up and is in hysterics because you're not here, and even calling you doesn't help for long because a minute later, he's hyperventilating again. When I try to pull him into a hug, he shrinks back and trembles in fear. He," Joey swallowed, "he is afraid of being touched by me."

Justin didn't take his eyes from JC.

Joey jerked his arm. Hard. "Pay attention to me, goddammit!"

"I do."

"What do you have to say, then?"

An apologetic shrug of the shoulders was all the response he got.

"You don't want to tell me why JC suddenly lost his ability to exist without you?" Joey's voice was forcedly calm.

"He didn't."

"Oh, of course he didn't. He just about dies of fear, but apart from that, he's totally fine without you."

Justin didn't answer.

"You don't think that you owe me an explanation?" Joey hissed, leaning into Justin's line of vision, breaking the gaze that had been focused on JC the entire time.

"It's not my place to tell you anything," Justin said, quietly.

"Like hell it isn't! I know C longer than you do, so I have a fucking right to know what's wrong with him."

"I'm his best friend."

"That doesn't give you the persmission to rule his life!"

Justin's eyes met his. "Exactly, and that's why I can't tell you. Josh has to make that decision, and he's not ready yet."

"If he's not ready yet, then how come he told you?"

"Because I'm his best friend and it would have killed him if he had kept it in any longer."

"And now he'll go crazy every time you're not around? Fabulous, Justin." The biting sarcasm in Joey's voice was hard to miss.

"He'll get better."


"I don't know. Soon, I hope."

Joey narrowed his eyes. "There are a lot of things you don't seem to know shit about."

Shrugging, Justin glanced at JC, sent him a reassuring smile upon seeing the open eyes, the scared expression he wore.

Joey slammed the door on his way out.

It wasn't until the echo of the slam had died away in the hall that the first wave of exhaustion washed over Justin, the adrenaline that had him going until then finally wearing off. He slumped against the wall, slid down until he came to sit on the floor, forehead resting on his knees.

When was the last time he had slept? Sometimes in the middle of the past night. After he had woken up just to find himself looking at JC in a new way - or at least just to realize that he was looking at JC in a new way, in a way he shouldn't -, he hadn't fallen asleep again, had spent the hours until JC awoke watching over his friend's sleep, aching to touch and caress, but always restraining himself from doing so. Then there had been the tiring concert in the evening after which he had put JC to sleep, then gotten up to go after Trevor. Whom he really didn't want to think about at the moment. Or ever.

A hand cupped Justin's face, and for a breathless second, he almost panicked, an irrational part of his brain trying to convince him that Trevor had tracked him down and was now picking up where he had left off before. But then he realized that the hand was warm and gentle, the touch tender and loving.

If Justin's fingers hadn't been able to wipe away the memory, then JC's hands were.

When he opened his eyes, concerned blue ones of almost the same shade were staring back at him, JC crouching in front of him.

"You okay?" he whispered, fingers tracing the skin that had been touched by Trevor Daniels.

Justin nodded tiredly. "Just totally exhausted."

"Then go to sleep. We have to get up early tomorrow."

"I know."

He followed JC to the bed in the middle of the room, feeling like a sleepwalker and collapsing as soon as he felt the blanket under his hands. Some distant part of him was aware of JC removing his shoes, jacket and pants, and he obediently lifted his arms when asked to do it so that JC could pull the T-shirt over his head. He felt JC's hands nudging him more into the center of the bed, then his friend's body settling down next to him, a warm weight at his right side. The last thing he remembered before sinking into a deep, oblivious sleep was an arm encircling his waist and drawing him closer to the source of warmth.


Joey showed up to apologize the next morning, while JC was in the shower.

"Because, you know, I had no right to pressure you like that when you were just looking out for C."

"Your Italian temper getting the better of you?"

"I guess." Joey returned Justin's grin, obviously relieved. "That, and that I was tired, not to mention on the verge of going crazy because I was so damn worried. - You'll take good care of him, won't you?"


"And when there's something I can do to help, you'll let me know, right?"

Justin hugged him, burying his face in the crook of Joey's neck, for a short moment relishing the feeling of being allowed to show weakness.

He had shown weakness last night as well, and JC had been by his side immediately, taking care of him the way it had always been. But that wasn't right. JC was the one who had to be taken care of now, and Justin was the one to do the worrying, not the other way round. Now that things had changed, Justin had to be the strong one.

Smiling sadly, he stepped back, out of the comforting embrace.

"Thanks, Joe."

"For what?"

"Understanding, I guess."

"It's no big deal, Just. And while you're taking care of Jace, don't forget to take care of yourself as well, okay?"

"I won't."

"Okay. Then I'm gonna leave you and C alone now. I'll see you at breakfast?"

"I suppose." Justin frowned. "If I can convince Josh to eat something."

As if planning to say something, Joey paused for a second, then he decided against it and smiled at Justin.

Justin hoped that he would prove himself worthy of the trust he had seen in his friend's eyes.

I'm sort of undecided about this part, meaning I'm not sure whether I like it or not. (And no, Jaxx, that wasn't talking bad about my work, it really wasn't! So don't you dare sending me a Bobbie picture now! All I said was that I'm not sure.)

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