Icon ficlet for e: + "But once I saw the film I remembered that that wasn't Cocteau's story at all. In his version, Orpheus wasn't really so interested in Eurydice, who was beautiful and fair and pregnant, the very light of life itself. Orpheus was in love with Death, who was angular and dark, with a waist small enough to be encircled by two human hands. It was Death he was hoping to see when he went back for his wife, it was Death he kissed and made promises to."

down for fame
by Lesa Soja

"So," Chris said brightly, and pitched the bottle cap into the sink. "You had enough, then? Ready to come back to the fold?"

Justin laughed, warm and richer than ever in Chris's ear, while his picture grinned triumphantly from the magazine on the table. He stood tall and surefooted in the center of the stage, four different spotlights falling on his hair and his white costume. "Yeah, just about. Once I'm through with the UK leg, I'll be good to go."

"You'll be wiped like a windshield, kiddo," Chris said. "You'll be faceplanted in your pillow for three weeks at least. Six, if Trace follows you there."

"Ten, if I flip him over," Justin said immediately. "But after that, I'm completely on it. We can start as soon as C's free. I've been working on some stuff for us already."

"Who says we're letting you write? I heard that river song, man, I'm not letting the world find out what you think of me now."

Justin laughed again, more briefly. "It's good to hear your voice, Chris."

"Yeah, you keep that in mind," Chris said. "Later, J."

"Later," Justin said.

"Well, they're saying November now," JC said. "But I don't know."

"Yeah, I'll believe that when I see it," Chris said.

JC snorted dutifully. On the TV, his narrow body was twisting and writhing, growling phrases that had to have the Jive suits' eyes popping out of their heads. He flung his head back in abandon, stretching his jaw into sharp lines and thrusting his hips forward, and his dancers circled around him. Chris switched the phone to the other side and downed the last of the bottle.

When Wade came back out onto the stage, Chris cleared his throat. "It's good, C," he said. "I like it."

"Yeah?" JC said.

"Yes," Chris said breathily, "I do, oh, oh, it's so good, yes, oh my God, yes! So, you feel all better now having it out there, huh? Got it off your chest?"

JC was silent for a long moment. "It's a rush, Chris," he said. "You really couldn't have any idea."

"No, I guess not," Chris said.

"Look," JC said, "you know what? I could cancel my album and my tour and call everyone back into the studio tomorrow, and Justin still wouldn't -"

"Who said anything about J?"

"I'll talk to you later," JC said, and hung up before Chris could say anything else.

Chris hung out at the back of the club at first, milling around talking to people and taking swigs from his bottle, while the guys were setting up and starting their set. Then, when Steve caught his eye and cocked his chin at him, Chris made his way around to the front and got up on stage.

There were lights on them, and it was hot, but not so bright he couldn't still see the crowd. The club was plenty packed, and he didn't need anyone else to be there. There were whistles and cheers and catcalls while he was introduced. Whenever the lights faded to blue he stared out at the bath of grinning faces.

Jim started a drumbeat that shook Chris's feet and set his blood pounding. Steve's guitar nearly drowned it out. Chris wrapped one hand around the stand, and the other over the handle, and brought the mic up close to his snarling lips. He thought he might never put it down.