Author: Zarah

Rating: NC-17

Pairing: JC Chasez/Justin Timberlake

Warning: Angst. Adult content. Graphic male/male sex - or not. I think that just about covers it.

Note: Since a few people asked me about Open Fire: The next part should be out soon. It's written, but it still needs some editing.

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

Disclaimer: I seriously hope that no one ever dared doing this to JC.



I'd love you
I'd please you
I'd tell you that I'd never leave you
And love you till the end of time
If you were in these arms tonight
Bon Jovi, In These Arms

When Justin awoke, one of his hands was resting comfortably high up on JC's thigh while the other had somehow found its way under JC's T-shirt and was now pressed against the flesh of his stomach. No matter how hard the heat between his legs tried to convince him otherwise, Justin knew that it wasn't something he should keep that way.

The hand on JC's thigh was the one he took away first, simply because there was less risk of disturbing the sleep of his friend. Then he tried edging his other hand out from under the T-shirt, but was stopped as another hand covered his through the cloth, keeping his own where it was.

"Don't," JC mumbled, barely audible over the low hum of the engine. "Keep it there. 's nice."

"Okay," Justin agreed, pressing his hand against the smooth skin, rubbing small circles.

JC yawned, shifted even closer in the small bunk. "'Cause, 's long as you touch me, don't have t' feel his hands 'n me 'nymore."


"M-mh?" Sleepy JC.

Justin smiled. "You still want to know where I was last night?"

JC seemed to be waking up now, his voice slightly reproachful. "Why didn't you tell me? I woke up and you weren't there!"

"I didn't want to upset you." Justin tapped his stomach lightly before his hand resumed rubbing in circles over the hard flesh.

"But I woke up, and then there was only Joey, and he didn't know where you were." Very reproachful now.

Justin turned him around in his arms. "I know. I'm sorry. I hoped you wouldn't wake up."

"But I did." JC pouted.

Kiss him.

Ignoring the suggestion of his body, Justin cupped JC's face. "I know. And I'm sorry. But it was something I had to do."

JC's brows furrowed in indignation. "You could have told me. Or taken me with you."

"Josh..." Justin sighed, fixed JC with his gaze and waited until JC couldn't refuse to meet his eyes any longer. "I visited the asshole who did this to you."

Impossibly wide blue eyes in front of him, body in his arms suddenly tense. Justin waited for his words to sink in.

Finally, after what seemed like an eternity of producing soothing sounds and stroking JC's hair, JC breathed deeply.

"He didn't touch you, did he?"

Hope, there was a lot of hope in JC's eyes, and although Justin longed to say no, he didn't want to lie. "Not really. Just my jaw."

"Here?" JC traced the skin where Trevor's fingers had touched Justin, instinctively finding the right places.

Justin nodded mutely, stared up at JC's face.

"He didn't get any further?" JC asked, suddenly back in his role as Justin's protector. Justin wondered if it had always been like that, if JC had always dropped everything, forgot about his own problems the moment Justin needed him. He suspected that the answer was yes.

Justin shook his head. "No. Lonnie was there to stop him. I think he beat him up pretty badly."

He felt JC's body relax against his, and slowly, muscle by muscle, Justin forced himself to relax as well.

It took some time until they spoke again, and it was Justin who broke the silence. "That's not all, though. He..." He exhaled loudly. "I think he told me why it's my fault."

JC winced, and Justin was glad that his friend didn't shut himself off, instead shook his head while begging Justin with his eyes to stop talking.

"Don't," JC said. "Please, Justin. Don't, okay?"

Justin nodded.


The buses had pulled to a stop in front of a McDonald's, and although JC hadn't looked enthusiastic at the prospect of getting something to eat, he hadn't protested, either. They were lucky enough to find the restaurant almost empty, and after they had signed a few autographs, they were now discussing what to get.

JC was keeping close to Justin, leaning in to the arm that was casually slung around his shoulders, most likely missing the half-hidden glances the other three guys sent their way. Justin didn't.

He smiled in thanks at Joey's encouraging thumbs-up, shook his head gratefully when Chris asked in a whisper whether he should join Justin and JC on their bus and grinned in response to Lance squeezing his hand. He wondered how much Lance knew. It seemed as if he had his suspicions, and they probably weren't far from the truth. Lance's suspicions never were.

As Joey gripped JC's arm to point out something on the menu, JC didn't flinch at the touch.


Justin couldn't remember the last time he had seen someone eyeing a perfectly normal Big Mac with as much distrust as JC. Actually, he couldn't remember seeing someone eyeing a perfectly normal Big Mac with as much distrust as JC, period. He sat down opposite his friend at the tiny table of the bus kitchen and grinned.

"It won't bite you, you know?"

JC smiled at him and continued his quiet observation.

Justin watched him for a moment, then sighed and reached for his arm. "Josh?"

"Hmm?" JC turned the Big Mac in his hands.

"There's," Justin gulped. "I guess there's something I should tell you, and I don't want you to take it the wrong way, okay?"

Blue eyes focused on him, the Big Mac forgotten.

"Okay." Justin grinned nervously, intertwined JC's hand with his own. "This won't have to change anything between us, okay? Not if you don't want it to, it's your decision. I don't expect anything from you, and if you don't..."

"Justin?" JC was smiling.


"You're babbling."

Justin took a deep breath, grinned. "I know."

"Why don't you just tell me?" JC suggested.

"Good idea." Justin nodded, as if trying to convince himself. "Good idea. It's just..." He took another deep breath, raised his eyes to meet JC's. "I love you. I'm in love with you, Josh. Just thought you should know."

JC's lips parted, then he smiled and lowered his gaze to his Big Mac. "Okay."

"Okay?" Justin repeated incredulously.

JC picked up the burger and took a huge bite before grinning at Justin, a wide, honest grin that showed all of his teeth. "Okay."


Although Justin had offered to join JC for his nap, JC had shaken his head no.

"It's okay. As long as I know that you're somewhere nearby, I'm fine."

So now, Justin was sitting on the carpeted floor of the living room in the bus they shared, earphones slipped over his head, balancing a notebook in his lap in which he was occasionally scribbling a few words, just to cross them out a moment later.

He was trying not to glance at the couch on which JC lay sleeping - well, at least not too often. He was also trying very hard not to let the thought settle in that if just he hadn't told JC, if he hadn't said a word, then he would be holding him right now. Glaring down at the innocent pen in his hand, he thought about breaking it in two because it would be an outlet for all this anger directed at himself and his lack of ability to choose the appropriate moment.

Justin didn't notice JC sitting down on the floor behind him, but his heartbeat quickened as arms wrapped around his torso and pulled him close to lean against a warm chest. Justin smiled as JC propped his chin on Justin's shoulder, their cheeks pressed together.

So maybe it hadn't been a mistake, after all.


The room had been checked, JC's bags had been brought in, and now Justin was standing awkwardly in the middle of a hotel room that wasn't assigned to him and didn't quite now what to do with himself.

"You want me to stay?"

JC, toothbrush in one hand, towel in the other, paused on his way to the bathroom, looked at him as if he had gone crazy. "Of course."

Well, okay then.

Justin sat down on the bed, wondered if it was still okay for him to pull JC close for sleep. He wasn't sure.

It was. As Justin lay tense in bed, keeping his arms at his sides to resist the temptation of reaching out, JC laughed quietly and pulled Justin close to his body. "It's okay, Just."

They were both lying on their sides and facing each other, their noses almost touching.

Kiss him.

"I just..." Justin sighed, traced JC's chin with his index finger. "I don't want you to feel pressured or anything."

JC's eyes were wide and trusting, twinkling slightly in the faint glow of the lamp on the nightstand. "I know you don't, Justin. And you're not pressuring me."

Kiss him.

"Then this is okay for you? Even though you know that, yeah."

JC smiled. "I don't think I'm still able to sleep without you."

Kiss him.

Justin shifted slightly, felt JC's arm curl loosely around his waist. "That goes both ways, you know?"

"Justin?" JC's eyes were trying to see right through to his heart, and Justin was sure that they succeeded.

"Hmm?" Kiss him.

There was an expression of wonder on JC's face. "Are you really in love with me?"

Kiss him.

Justin nodded slightly, not daring to open his mouth.

"And..." JC breathed deeply, his exhalation ghosting over Justin's skin. "And you'd be okay with being in love with me even if that meant that I wouldn't be ready for sex, not yet?"

Kiss him.

"Yes. Of course."

JC smiled and closed his eyes. "Kiss me."

It's... It's over. What am I gonna do with the rest of my life?

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