Hey, kids. Here’s 4 and 5 (cause they're related and they're short and I can do that if I want to). I want to thank Casey a whole bunch for the great emails and stupendous ideas and I want to thank Kat for liking it and telling me so. If the rest of you would like to express your heartfelt love for my story, or if you're bored and feel like sharing whatever's on your mind, drop me a line at SchuyDncer@aol.com This time, I'm gonna recommend “I Will Always Love You” (in addition to “Devotion” and “Next Window Please” which are still fabulous). And check out my interview in the latest Nifty News! (Thanks CS!)

My Disclaimer, by Schuyler: Don’t read it if you can’t.
Retreat 4
by Schuyler

He stood there, dark and handsome. He held a single white rose in his hands. His beautiful brown eyes looked down and, when they were lifted, Joey saw in them only sadness and remorse. Joey’s heart was soaring, but Kevin wouldn’t get off that easy. “Come in,” he said coldly. Kevin’s face fell even further and Joey hurt inside. He just wanted to hold him. Joey led Kevin to his room. Joey sat in the stiff-backed armchair in one dark corner. Kevin sat reluctantly on the bed. He looked nervous, alone. Joey couldn’t believe that he’d brought this superman to trembling. Joey broke. “Kevin, I...”
“No, Joey. Let me talk.” He laid the flower by his side and clasped his hands. His eyes never met Joey's. “When I said those things, I was being honest. I thought that the only thing better than having you would be having someone with me all the time. I was wrong. More than anything, I want you, Joe.” Tears began to fall down Kevin’s cheeks. Joey rushed to be next to him on the bed. His strong arms wrapped around Kevin, shaking and collapsing in his embrace. “I love you, Joey. More than anything, I love you.”
“God, Kevin, I’m so sorry that I hurt you. I love you too.” Kevin looked up into Joey’s eyes and found their noses touching. Kevin smiled just a touch, then pressed his lips to Joey’s, tenderly and passionately. Joey laughed out loud. “Look at me, kissing the most gorgeous man in the world with tears all over my face.”
Kevin wiped Joey’s cheek with a tender sweep of his broad thumb, then cupped his hand behind Joey’s ear into another soft kiss. Kevin had never wanted anyone so much before, but, at the same time, he wanted to apologize for what had happened; he wanted to let Joey know that Kevin would make him feel good forever.
Kevin gently laid Joey back on the bed, nibbling gently on his ear. He broke open every snap down the front of Joey’s shirt, then trailed his soft fingertips upwards across his boyfriend’s smooth chest.
Joey’s mind was reeling. Thirty minutes ago, he’d been hurt, upset at Kevin. Now he was in heaven with Kevin’s hands grasping his waist. Now he had everything again. Then there was too much, his mind went blank. There was only Kevin then, planting slow sweet kisses down the cventer of Joey’s torso. Then there was chill, Kevin had removed Joey’s striped pants, and warmth. He was buried in the inexpressable warmth of Kevin’s mouth. Somewhere, through the haze, Joey knew this wouldn’t last long. He’d been too depressed to touch himself since he’d run from Kevin’s door. And he wanted this so much, he wanted Kevin so much. It couldn’t have been more than a couple of minutes, but it felt like an eternity to them both, Kevin consumed in what he was doing, Joey lost in the feeling of Kevin’s touch. Joey’s whole body went numb, he wanted to scream Kevin’s name, but he couldn’t have possibly formed a whole word. So he just screamed, feeling something inside of him tear loose and letting the sudden, consuming pleasure overwhelm him.
Kevin crawled back up the bed, smiling, then collected Joey in his arms to sleep away the night.

Chris heard the screaming, he’d have had to have been deaf not to. “At least one of us is having fun tonight.” He downed the rest of the drink in his hand, turned off the light, and went to sleep.

Kevin and Joey had been up since first light, laying in each other’s arms and talking. But, just after nine, Kevin had drifted off again, and Joey had been interrupted of his daydreams of his lover by a knock and the careful, cautious voice of Justin Timberlake. “Joey, you up? Breakfast is here.”
Joey slid out of bed, doing his best not to wake Kevin, threw the previous day’s clothes back on, then went out into the suite. Joey didn’t realize that he was smiling, but he was aware of the faces around him. Chris, who had to have heard him with Kevin, looked hurt, but not any more so than he had for the last couple of days. Justin and JC looked happy for him. And Lance, where was Lance? Lance had appeared off to Joey’s side, between him and the bedroom door. Lance probably knew that Kevin was in Joey’s bed, Jerry knew and Jerry couldn’t keep his mouth shut. “I can see it in all your eyes,” Joey said to all of them, starting to get nervous and cagey. “I’m happy and you want an explanation. Fine.” He threw himself down onto the couch beside Justin. “I’ve been seeing someone and I didn’t tell you because none of his friends know. We had a fight and he came last night and we made up. I’m telling you now because he’s still here.” Joey just stared at the beige berber carpet.
JC spoke first. “Well, I’m happy for you.” There was silence. “And I’m sure Chris is too.”
Chris nodded. “I am, and I understand.”
Justin was jittery with excitement, he hated not knowing things. “But Joey, who i...” Justin froze, his eyes trained over Joey’s shoulder, his jaw fell. “Holy hell.”
All five turned to see Kevin Richardson standing in the doorway, disheveled, but handsome and smiling almost sheepishly. He idly scratched the back of his neck. “I guess this is where I come in.” Joey felt frozen in place.
Justin didn’t move. “Holy hell.”
Lance hugged Kevin, then turned to laugh at Justin. “Just, man, are you okay?”
Justin just stood up and walked over to where Chris sat, turning back to face Kevin. “You should sit there.” He smiled proudly as Kevin sat next to Joey. Justin smirked at Kevin sitting upright and stiff. “Relax, Kevin, we’re family now.” Justin tossed Kevin an apple from the nearby room service tray. Joey laughed as Kevin missed the catch. Things were going to be okay for him now.

Retreat 5
by Schuyler

“Johnny, I don’t think you understand what you’re doing to us.”
“Lance, calm down. We just need to flood the rumor mill before tickets for your tour go on sale. JC’s doing good for you guys. It’ll be over soon, I promise.” Lance slumped in his chair as Johnny hung up.
Justin wandered in from their bedroom with a shiny red apple, half munched. He stopped when he saw Lance. “Uh oh, what’s wrong?”
“That’s a load of crap.” Justin decided to drop it anyway. “Want to go down to the pool with me?”
“Sure, but you know you shouldn’t swim after you’ve just eaten.” Justin was already gone to fetch Joey.

JC sat quietly in the back while his bodyguard drove him back to the hotel. JC had lasted less than an hour in this club. He was so exhausted he thought he’d cry. Or maybe he’d cry for other things. They were in the middle of rehearsals for the tour, hard rehearsals. Rehearsals and appearances all day and he was still expected to party all night. He missed coming back to whatever was considered home for the night, watching a movie with the guys, then cuddling up to Chris for a good night’s sleep. A little smile played across JC’s lips. He hadn’t thought about Chris for a while. now JC remembered how he smelled, of sweet apples and soap and how he could be so cute in his own silly, goofy was and how the hopeless romantic in him never forgot an anniversary and...
“JC? We’re here.”

Chris had only just poured his first drink of the night, put on a thick white sweater of JC’s, and propped himself up in bed to watch TV when JC came in. Both men felt broken in half. Chris was so used to being upset with JC that he wasn’t sure if he should be happy about his lover standing there and JC melted inside at the sight of Chris swimming in his cable knit sweater, but the glass in Chris’ hand made him suspicious. Chris didn’t say a word. “Have you been drinking?” It sounded like an attack. JC immediately regretted it.
“I don’t see why it matters.” He broke JC’s gaze and looked back to the television.
JC sighed resignedly and sat on the edge of the bed. He gently took the glass from Chris’ hand and set it on the bedside table. Something like anger flared up in Chris’ eyes as he roughly pushed JC off the bed. JC stumbled, stunned, to his feet. Chris jumped up, a tear catching in his dark lashes. “Who the hell are you to tell me what to do?” Chris yelled.
JC’s heart was breaking. He tried to keep his voice calm and stable. “I love you, Chris, and you don’t need alcohol.”
“You go off every night to dance with every hot young guy in the tri-state area then come home and expect me to welcome you into my bed. If you love me, you sure have a fucked up way of showing it.” It was all just tumbling out now, and it was taking everything Chris had left to hold the tears back.
“It’s not my choice, Chris.” His voice was breaking. He was breaking.
“Bullshit,” Chris spat back.
JC was angry now, his voice rasping like acid on skin. “At least I’m not getting plastered every night.”
“When you’re out charming the gay crowds, it’s the vodka that keeps me warm at night.’ Chris faltered, then fell into sobs, the tears falling from his chin onto the white wool.
JC was frozen for a moment by Chris’ comment, then ran to hold Chris in his arms. “Shh, it’s going to be okay.” Chris couldn’t push him away, it felt too good, too comforting to be in JC’s arms again. JC always made everything better. “We’ll talk this out. We’ve been through worse.” That was a lie and JC knew it. “Come on, let’s sit down and talk about this.” He led Chris over to the armchairs in the corner and lowered Chris into one before sitting in the other himself.
Chris was trying hard to stop crying, but he’d held in too much. JC just watched him, the strong one, the adult one, crying into his sleeves. Had he done this? Had he hurt the only person he really loved this badly? Nothing mattered to him as much as Chris, not his own public image, not ‘NSync, not anything, and he’d torn Chris apart. Fuck Johnny and fuck his plans. This all had to be fixed, and soon.
He gently reached across the little low table and held Chris’ wet hand in his. “I’m not gonna do this anymore, not if it makes you feel like this.” He looked straight ahead, away from Chris.
Chris looked over to his right at JC and swallowed hard. “It’s not that I don’t trust you, I just miss having you around, being with you.”
“Shh, it doesn’t matter why you’re upset. Things are gonna change around here.”
They sat like that, in silence, for a long time. Chris felt settled, verging on content. JC noticed that Chris’ eyelids were drooping and smiled to himself. “Come on, sleepyhead.” He led Chris to the edge of the bed. He could feel Chris watching him as he undressed. JC slipped between the cool sheets. Chris still stood there amazed again that this gorgeous man loved only him. JC’s eyes were already closed. “Take off that silly sweater and come to bed,” JC said sleepily. Chris left his clothes in a pile on the floor and hurried to JC’s arms. JC touched his lips to the shoulder of the man clutching him and made a mental note to call Johnny in the morning.