Author: Zarah

Rating: NC-17

Pairing: JC Chasez/Justin Timberlake

Warning: Dark. Adult content. Graphic male/male sex. I think that just about covers it.

Note: Well, I'm back from my vacation, and earlier than I intended to. It has to do with unauthorisized camping and an evil cop. L

Dedication: To W. because I love him to pieces.

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

Disclaimer: Same old story: Don't know, don't own, don't imply.



And isn't it ironic... don't you think?
Alanis Morissette, Ironic

Ever heard of Murphy's law?

Murphy's law is when you arrive late in church on your own wedding day, soaked by the rain outside, just to find out that you forgot the wedding rings. You have to go back to get them. After you return, you're told that your intended left with your best friend for Hawaii.

That's Murphy's law.

Murphy's law is when you're searching for a certain jacket a whole month, and then, because you really need a jacket, any jacket, decide to get another one - even though it's expensive and not quite the way you wanted it to be. The next day, you happen to stumble upon the one jacket you wanted all along.

That's Murphy's law, too.

And Murphy's law is when you eventually managed to corner your best friend in an elevator after he avoided you for days, just to be hit by him and then have him sobbing into your shirt a minute later. And, as if that weren't enough, you find out that he's been molested, but just when he finally, finally opens up to you, the elevator you've been stuck in starts moving again and takes away the peace and quiet you both so desperately need.

That is definitely Murphy's law.

Justin glared up at the red "17", standing for the number of the floor they were at.

Only that the "17" was no longer a "17". Instead, it was rapidly losing the "7" until only the "1" remained, a "-" materializing in front of it.

They had reached the underground garage.

The doors opened, and Justin and JC were still sitting on the floor, the younger man hugging the older one close, neither of them ready or willing to move. But they had to.

When Justin looked up, he was met with three pairs of eyes and just as much raised eyebrows. He could see Chris - of course Chris, who else? - opening his mouth to say something, knowing him probably some smart remark about how cozy they looked and if they were just witnessing an intimate moment. But to Justin's immense surprise, the older man closed his mouth again and took a step back.

So much for not knowing when to keep his comments to himself.

"The bus for two is waiting." With a warm smile at Justin, Lance turned around and headed for his own bus, Joey and Chris on his tail.

Justin couldn't remember a time he had been more grateful that Lance was the one his vocal coach had recommended, back then, after Jason had quit.

Watching his three band mates disappear into their bus, Justin suddenly felt exposed. In contrast to the brightly lit elevator, there was only as much light as really necessary in the underground garage. The few lamps were dimmed by the covers around them, the plastic having grown dull and milky over the years. It was as if he and JC were illuminated for everyone to see. Just like animals in a cage. Fishes in an aquarium.

Their bodyguards were facing away from them, arms crossed and staring at a wall. Well, they were paid to do this, it was part of their job to respect the privacy of their charges. But someone else could walk in and see, maybe recognize them and start a rumor JC didn't need right now.

Or what if someone wanted to use the elevator? Justin half expected the doors to close, the elevator to start moving again, but so far, nothing had happened. Which didn't mean that it couldn't happen any moment now.

He just wanted to get out of there.

"JC? Josh?"

The brunette buried his nose deeper in the hollow of Justin's neck, but didn't show any other reaction.

Justin tried again. "Josh, we have to get out of here. Please?"

JC pulled back slightly, looked up at Justin through thick eyelashes, and the younger man took a shaky breath upon seeing JC's face.

He was aware that when JC had hit him, when JC had realized that he had actually hurt Justin, the wall the brunette had built to protect himself from his feelings and the memory of the abuse had been demolished abruptly, had been broken in an instant.

And somehow, JC had broken along with it.

The eyes looking up at Justin were like the ones of a lost child - helpless, but showing complete trust -, while the rest of the brunette's body was an image of exhaustion, his face pale and drained of all color.

Fighting his tears, Justin hoped that JC wouldn't pick up on the thickness of his voice. "The bus, Josh. It's waiting."

After getting to his feet, he reached out a hand so that JC could use it for leverage.

The brunette didn't let go of it afterwards.


JC was sitting on the floor, his back supported by the couch, remote control in one hand and his attention focused on a cartoon movie. Although working in the kitchen, Justin was keeping an eye on his friend in the living room.

To say he was worried would have been an understatement. It just wasn't like JC to watch cartoons. Chris did that sometimes. Justin, too. But JC?


Although he wasn't sure, Justin suspected that JC hadn't told him everything. Not that the brunette had given him any real reason to believe that, but...

Justin lived together with JC, Joey, Lance and Chris for years now and he knew them almost as well as he knew himself. He knew the way Chris's cheeks heated up when he was lying. He knew the way Lance looked when he wanted to be left alone. He knew the way Joey snapped at everyone in sight when he was hangover. And he knew the way JC pouted when he desperately needed a hug.

And right now, his instinct told him that JC had shared only half of the story with him, that there was even more to the shocked state the brunette was in than he let on. He just didn't know how much more. But he intended to find out.

Balancing the tray with tea, cookies, two spoons and sugar in one hand, Justin entered the living room, swaying slightly when the bus hit a bump. For a moment, he watched as JC sang along with the TV, then shook his head and set everything down on the table.

Was it possible for a person to retreat to about a fifth of their actual age after receiving a shock?

Justin seriously hoped that it wasn't.

He sat down and studied his friend, eyes scanning over the dark hair, the unusually pale skin, the eyes, the long, but still perfect nose, JC's mouth...

It was amazing. Justin knew that when he didn't get enough sleep or when he was exhausted, he looked horrible.

JC didn't.

JC looked ghostly white and translucent, but he was still just as beautiful as he always was. Beautiful JC.

And Justin really needed to stop thinking like that.

He took the remote control out of JC's hand, clicked off the TV while JC was watching him with innocent blue eyes, the tiniest of pouts tugging at his lips. Justin slid lower on the couch, spread his legs and motioned for JC to sit in between them.

It was a comfortable position, JC's back pressed against Justin's chest, the younger man's arms crossed over JC's belly while JC was occasionally drinking out of his cup of tea. Comfortable. Natural.

Not a position that made you want to talk or even think about a molestation.

JC hummed a song under his breath and Justin recognized it as the one the Teletubbies sang at the end of each show. He sighed and tightened his embrace.

"JC, are you okay?"

The brunette tilted his head to one side. "Of course. Why not?"

"Well, the last time I've seen you watching cartoons was about a century ago."

Shrugging, JC raised the cup to his lips, swallowed, the muscles of his throat working.

"Josh, do you think that maybe... maybe we could talk about, you know, when that guy... I mean, you already told me, but I think it would make you feel better if you could tell someone about the details, and..."

"What guy?" JC said.

"You know, the one who molested you, after you left the club..."

"Someone molested me?" JC frowned in confusion.

Justin nearly choked on his cookie.

This was not happening.

This was so not happening.

This couldn't be happening.

But it was.

"Josh?" Justin's voice was gentle, soothing. "You told me you've been molested by some asshole. Don't you remember? You told me, in the elevator."

JC's frown deepened. "In the elevator? But we were just talking in there, weren't we?"

How much could a human brain repress? Quite a lot, it seemed.

"No, we weren't just talking. You hit me, and then..."

"I hit you?" JC interrupted, twisting in Justin's arms so that he was facing the younger man. "I hit you?" he repeated, unbelieving.

"Yeah." Justin nodded, pointed to the slightly swollen spot on his jaw. "See?"

JC's hands, tracing Justin's bruise, were gentle, the caress loving. "I did that?" he whispered.

Justin nodded again.

"Why?" JC wanted to know.

"I think you felt threatened by me."

"By you? Why would I feel threatened by you?"

"I trapped you in that elevator, don't you remember? You were acting all cold for a few days, and then I trapped you in there and I guess you just sort of snapped. Like a trapped animal or something."

"I can't believe I hit you." JC shook his head.

"You think I'm lying?"

"No, but... What was I thinking?"

Justin shrugged, smiled. "Actually, I doubt that you were really thinking anything at that moment. You just reacted."

"I'm sorry."

"It's okay." Justin covered JC's hands with his own, kept them pressed against his cheeks. "You already said you're sorry. And I know you are. It's okay, Josh."

"You're not mad? I already apologized?"

"Right before you started sobbing into my shirt." Justin smiled.

"I sobbed into your shirt?" JC was looking more floored with each passing second and Justin gave his hands a reassuring squeeze.

"Yeah. You don't remember anything, do you?"

"No." JC shook his head, confusion written all over his face. "I thought we were just talking, you know? About the weather, or whatever."

"Do you want me to repeat what you told me?"

"About that guy?"


JC nodded, his eyes glued to Justin's face, his lips slightly parted like a child waiting to hear an exciting story.

"Well, I'm just gonna recite your words, so this is exactly what you said." Justin closed his eyes, searched for the words. He had repeated them over and over in his head, knew them by heart.

"'We didn't have any bodyguards with us, remember? That guy, he followed me. There weren't any other people outside, so he shoved me against a wall. Said I was a fag and a queen and liked it up the ass so he would give it to me. He didn't, though, he just... Ground against me, got his hands down my pants until he made me come, and then there were people and they recognized me and wanted an autograph and he slipped away and I went with them and got into a cab and back to the hotel, and...'"

Justin blinked a few times, opened his eyes again. "That's exactly what you said, Josh."

JC was staring at him, the innocence on his face replaced by an expression of terror. The brunette bit his trembling lower lip, took a shuddering breath.

There was only silence for a moment.

Then JC's voice, just barely audible over the roaring of the machine.

"I thought it had been a bad dream."

Feedback: Sure. Live for it. Write for it. Well, maybe not, but it's still highly inspiring. J
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