Two weeks later five figures sat on a bus, lounging on various pieces of furniture as one of them flipped rapidly through TV channels.
"Is *he* hot?" Joey asked, pointing the remote towards the image of Joshua Jackson that lasted on the screen for a split second before Cruel Intentions was replaced by an infomercial.
"Joey," Justin sighed, rolling his eyes.
"Well?" Joey pushed.
"I guess," Justin said, shrugging.
"Ok. Is he hot?" Joey asked, this time gesturing towards Sean Hayes as an episode of Will and Grace flashed by.
"Yes," Chris said, at the same time as Justin said, "No."
"Really?" Justin asked Chris. "You like him?"
"He's funny," Chris said.
"Yeah, but he's..."
"He's what?" Joey asked, incredibly interested. Two heads turned towards him.
"Um Joey?" Chris asked. "Why the hell do you care?"
Joey grinned. "Well, I need to know what type to set you guys up with, of course!" he said.
"Oh no," Justin said. "No. No no no. Number one, the last thing we need right now is dating."
"And number two," Chris jumped in, "I'd be worried about any guy *you* could dredge up."
"Well, I have this friend Nick-"
Joey slumped back in his chair. "Sheesh," he said. "You're no fun." He pouted for a few seconds before sitting back up. "So what's wrong with Sean Hayes?" he asked Justin.
"Joey get over it," Lance said.
"Awww, I wanted to know," JC jumped in. Four pairs of eyes swung in his direction. "What?" he asked. "I'm bored!"
"Well- He's... He's like a total limp wrist!" Justin said finally. "I mean really."
"No he's not!" Chris insisted. "That's the character."
"Right, and Andy Dick doesn't like them."
"Doesn't like what?" Lance asked.
"I'll tell you when you're older," Chris said. "So what *do* you think is hot?"
"Like person-wise?" Justin asked.
"No, like animal-wise," Joey said, rolling his eyes.
"Well, you know that Free Willy..."
"Okay, that's gross," Chris said. "How about just features you like, hmm? Then the straight boys won't feel too left out."
Justin shrugged. "Um, The same things everyone likes I guess..." He tried not to look at Chris when he spoke. "You know, nice, funny... Someone who makes me laugh."
"Uh-uh," Chris said, "You're not getting off that easy. No BOP answers! I'm talking details. Like taller, hair color, eyes... length..."
"Okay, not that last one, all right?" Lance asked, looking a little green.
"Sorry," Chris said, "I got a little carried away. Come on Curly. Describe your tall, blond perfect babe."
"Actually," Justin said blushing. "I kind of like shorter men... not that you'd find many taller than me. Dark featured you know... but it depends," Justin hurried on. "I mean, I'd be just as happy with someone blond and blue eyed if they had the other qualifications."
"Not me," Chris said, "I'm all for Mr. Tall, Blond and Beautiful." 'And named Justin,' he added silently. "What are you laughing at?" he asked Joey.
"Well," Joey said. "I mean, not to be rude, but you guys just like described each other."
"Did not," Chris and Justin both said immediately.
"I'm gonna go to bed," Lance said, inching his way from the room. As Lance left, JC latched onto the blond's arm and followed.
"It's not that I'm uncomfortable," JC said as he was pulled from the room. "I just don't want there to be any witnesses when Joey gets killed."
"What?" Joey asked. "They did! Justin said short and dark. Chris said tall and fair."
"Joey, shut up," Chris said.
"Well, it's not my fault you two are hot for each other," Joey teased. "I mean, when you were sucking face with JC I wondered about the green look on Justin's face- but now it makes sense."
"Shut up," Justin said. "I was not." He laughed nervously.
"Were too," Joey said.
"Were you?" Chris asked.
"No!" Justin insisted defensively. "I was just wondering what the hell you were doing randomly kissing a guy just before you told him you were gay."
"It wasn't random, it was a joke," Chris said. "So you're saying if I were to say, make out with Joey, you wouldn't be jealous at all?"
"No," Justin lied through his teeth.
"Oh good," Chris said. "C'mere Joe." Chris grabbed for Joey but the other man scurried out of his chair, letting Chris dive towards the floor.
"Ow, shit!" Chris screeched when his knee landed.
"Shit, are you okay Chris?" Justin asked worriedly, pulling the older man back.
"Ow... I'm fine," Chris said through gritted teeth. "Just fine." He pulled away from Justin and stormed to his bunk, trying not to shout from the pain and climbed inside.
A few minutes later, Justin followed him. "Chris?" he whispered softly.
"Yeah Just?" Chris replied, sounding less annoyed.
Chris pulled his curtain open. "Aw Curly, I wasn't mad at you. It just hurt. It was all Joey's fault anyway."
"Yeah," Justin agreed. "We should do something nasty to him."
"We could itching powder his body lotion," Chris suggested.
"No, last time we did that, he ran out of the shower naked, and I never want to see that again."
"Me either." Chris shuddered, remembering. "Hey Justin?"
"If you were, you know, jealous... I wouldn't mind."
"Oh," Justin said, confused. "Um... would you... you know, like it if I was?"
"Um... I dunno," Chris said. 'Shit. If what Joey said was right, then maybe he does like me, but I mean why would he? And Joey's an idiot anyway! Jesus, what if this is a total wrong thing to do here?'
"Yeah... because... um, I was... a bit," Justin said softly. 'Oh lord. We sound like we're twelve here. It's just I've been thinking about this for so long that if I lose it suddenly, it'd be awful!'
Chris giggled softly. "So, like, now do I give you a piece of paper that says 'Do you like me? Yes. No. Circle one.'?"
Justin snickered. "I was thinking the same thing."
"How about this?" Chris said. "Um- I think you're hot, and sweet and interesting and you know... I like you I guess."
"Well, you're funny, and I know you take care of me, and I like you too," Justin said, blushing.
"How about a date?" Chris asked.
"Um, sure," Justin said.
"Jesus we suck at this," Chris said.
Justin laughed. "We've not had much practice I guess."
"Nope," Chris said.
"Well," Justin said awkwardly. "Um, Good night."
"Night Just," Chris said, pulling his curtain shut.
"Night Gramps," Justin said, heading for his own bunk.
Inside his bunk, not even the taunt that plagued him or the still subsiding pain in his knee could keep the wide grin from Chris's face.