For the 2007 Sparkly Glee challenge.

Estrangement
by Lesa Soja
 

JC arrived at Justin's just late enough for the party to be in full swing. He found Justin in the middle of a small knot of people in the white living room, and Justin stepped forward to hug him. "JC!" Justin said. "I'm glad you could make it, man."

"Glad you're back home," JC said. Justin smiled. He looked good, freshly shaved and not too jetlagged. "So how was Europe?" JC asked.

Justin laughed and shrugged one shoulder. "It's nice to be home," he said. "Oh, hey, before I forget, Joey said if you didn't come find him before you leave, you'll never cross his doorstep again."

"Heaven forbid," JC said. "Do you know where he is?"

"He went... thataway," Justin said, pointing theatrically. JC clapped him on the shoulder.

"Thanks, Justin."

He moved through several rooms without seeing any trace of Joey, though. He had struggled through the long hallway and was just outside the door to the theater when a hand fell heavily on his back. He turned around and there was Chris.

"Hello, stranger," Chris said.

"Stranger?" JC said. "That's rich, coming from you."

"Oh, what's that supposed to mean?"

"Well, you're hardly a role model for regular contact with your friends, are you?"

"Maybe I am," Chris said, eyes narrowed, "with my friends."

"Dammit, Chris," JC said. "I didn't mean - I don't - Look. Do you think we could just start over?"

Chris paused for a moment. "Sure," he said. "We can do that."

He took a step back and shook himself once, all over, closing his eyes. Then he looked up and smiled and held out his hand. "Hi," he said. "I'm Chris."

JC couldn't help but put his hand in Chris's, which folded warm and strong over JC's fingers. Despite everything, JC suddenly wanted to giggle.

Chris was looking at him, he realized, one eyebrow lifted expectantly. "Hi," JC said. Chris was still waiting. "Oh! Um, I'm JC."

"Hi, JC," Chris said. He gave JC's hand another small squeeze before letting go. "So tell me, how do you know Justin?"

JC stared some more. Chris said, "Or did you come with someone else?"

"No," JC said, "I know Justin. Uh. Well, we met, we did a TV show together, a long time ago, when we were kids. The New Mickey Mouse Club."

"Cool," Chris said. "Is that what you do, TV?"

"No," JC said. "I mean, I've done some guest spots, but."

"Oh yeah? Like what?" Chris's hand brushed JC's shoulder.

"I was on, uh, an episode of Ghost Whisperer. And Greetings from Tucson. But I mean, I mostly focus on music." JC felt a little surreal, as if he were just starting to get high. He wanted to roll his eyes, but Chris was listening so intently.

"Are you, do you have anything out?"

"Yeah, my first album." It was like standing on a diving board, feet firmly planted but dipping in the air.

"Are you making another one?"

"Maybe," JC said. "What about you? How did you meet Justin?"

"You know, I don't even really remember," Chris said. "It was back in Orlando, we used to run into each other at auditions and stuff till we kind of knew each other without really having been introduced. You know? I don't think I could tell you when the first time was."

"Yeah, I know what you mean," JC said. He paused. Chris was standing close, not touching him, exactly, but a warm presence at JC's side. JC swallowed. "So what do you do?" he said quickly.

"Oh, different stuff. I've done some music too, sang with some bands that never really went anywhere, but they were fun to do. And I -" Chris touched the back of JC's hand - "you're gonna laugh, but I was filming a reality TV show earlier this year."

"I'll have to keep an eye out for that," JC said, struggling against giggles again. Chris laid his hand lightly a little higher up on JC's arm.

"You should. I think it oughta be a good time."

JC felt almost dizzy by now, but he wasn't going to stop first. "So," he said, trying to think of another question. "So, uh, what are you doing now? I mean, since the filming ended?"

"Mainly just playing golf." Chris's fingers were stroking gently over his arm. JC pressed his lips together to keep the laughter in.

"You ever play with Justin?"

"Yeah, sometimes. But you know, I want to get back to music before too long. That's what I really want to be doing."

"Yeah," JC said, swung instantly back to seriousness. "Me too."

The looked at each other. Then Chris loosened his fingers from the tighter grip he'd taken during his last speech, and smiled. "JC," he said. "Hey, JC, I know this might seem forward, 'cause we haven't been talking all that long, but you look really good in that shirt and I think I like you. D'ye wanna come upstairs with me?"

JC's ears filled with the sound of blood rushing and white noise. He bit his lip. Chris was watching him with a curious, almost pained expression. He wanted to say how dare you, he wanted to say I thought you'd never ask. He looked into Chris's eyes and opened his mouth and said, "Okay."

Chris's smile turned a little less brittle, and he took JC by the hand. "Come on, then," he said, and tugged JC forward through the next room, and another, and back into a hallway. JC caught sight of the stairwell and felt his heart speed up.

"Chasez!" Joey called from somewhere to his left. Chris and JC both stopped. "Kirkpatrick!" JC had been dying to see Joey before, but now he almost felt like hissing.

"Joey, my good man," Chris said. "Any news since -" he glanced at his watch - "forty minutes ago?"

"Nope, not from my end," Joey said. "What about you?"

"Ah," Chris said. "I talked to some friend of yours - spiky blond hair, yay tall, scruffy face? He said to tell you he's looking for you."

"Oh, that kid," Joey said, grinning. "Sure, I'll find him. But first I'd kinda like to talk to JC here."

"Oh, you guys know each other?" Chris said.

"Yeah," Joey said, one eyebrow going up, "we've met."

Chris's grip on JC's hand kept slackening the longer they talked. JC wanted to scream. He put an arm up quickly and let Joey hug him. "Joey," he said, "can I - can I catch up with you later? Could you maybe, talk to Lance first? And I'll come find you later, I promise."

Joey looked at him, and at Chris, and his mouth broke into a grin. "Sure, JC," he said. "I'm glad you're having a good time at the party. Later, Chris."

Chris smiled, Joey waved, and then they were climbing the stairs.

Chris pulled JC into the second doorway down the upstairs hall and pushed the door shut. The dim shape of the room felt familiar; JC thought he might have stayed there on some previous visit. Chris stopped a few steps in, turned around to lay a hand against his cheek, and kissed him. It was only one long press of Chris's lips, but it felt solid, permanent. JC wanted it to keep going on.

"I've been wanting to do that ever since I laid eyes on you," Chris said when he pulled away. JC didn't know what to say to that. He kissed Chris again with as much force as he could muster.

Chris didn't say much more after that, or at least, nothing JC really had to worry about answering. "C'mere," Chris said, and JC followed him over to the bed; "c'mon," and JC let Chris pull his hoodie and his T-shirt over his head all at once. The comforter was soft and plush beneath JC's back when Chris pushed him down onto it, and the mattress dipped only slightly when Chris stretched out, half alongside, half on top of him.

"Hey," Chris said, and JC said,

"hey," back. The drumbeat from downstairs was coming up through the floor, and Chris's hands were roaming over JC's skin. JC scrabbled at him until Chris's chest was bare too. Then he tugged Chris's head up and kissed him, kissed again and again, sometimes sliding over to Chris's cheek or jaw or neck but always coming back to his lips, and Chris sighed softly each time, kissing back, and shifted against him.

Chris's hands were settled at JC's hips for a while and then they started dipping inside JC's waistband. There was a dull roar going on in the outskirts of JC's mind, but in the middle it was calm and peaceful. He thought about his pockets, kissed the corner of Chris's mouth one more time and said, "Fuck me, Chris," low and quiet, against the damp skin there.

Some high-pitched shrieks of laughter floated up the stairs. "Yeah," Chris said roughly. He kissed JC's temple until JC pushed at his shoulder to make Chris let him sit up.

"Hang on," JC said, and he leaned over the side of the bed to pick up his jacket, the carpet slightly rough against his fingers. He fumbled in one pocket, then the other, and finally handed the packets to Chris. Chris opened JC's zipper the rest of the way and tugged the jeans off his hips and down over his legs. Next Chris pulled off his own shorts, and then he pressed himself full-length against JC, kissing again a little awkwardly with his hands full. JC felt every touch in his stomach, in his dick, in the fucking joints of his hips even, and he could hardly hold still.

It only got worse when Chris was inside him, fucking him, and still not talking much at all. JC's calm had contracted into a smaller, tighter knot. Chris whispered, "hi, hi," right before he twisted his head to kiss the backs of JC's knees, and though that made JC's toes curl in the air, it kind of wasn't helping otherwise. He rocked with Chris's movements, shuddering under Chris's hand. "Shh," Chris murmured, "shh."

The air between them was overheated now, and JC could see the gleam of sweat on Chris's forehead. Chris's last few thrusts went erratic, haphazard, and his eyes fell closed when he came. He reached for JC's dick again without opening them, and JC gasped as Chris stroked him, gasped and choked and then moaned out loud when he spilled over Chris's fingers and his own stomach.

After they had separated, Chris turned to lie on his side with his head propped on one elbow. JC lay flat on his back but turned his face to look at Chris. His head was no longer filled with calm so much as just silence, charged and tensed. Chris was going to say something now, and then - .

"I missed you," Chris said, and JC exhaled in a harsh huff.

"Me too," he said, his voice catching because he didn't quite have his breath back. "I missed you something awful."

Chris looked at him. Chris's mouth wasn't turned up but his eyes were so soft. "So," he said, "stop being a dick, and we'll be good." JC gave him a wry smile. "Now," Chris went on, "you might think that I was kind of playing a game, earlier. But you should know that everything I said was true."

"Me too," JC said immediately, able to speak now and feeling flush with energy. "Since the warehouses, since the beginning, and I never - I could never -"

"I know," Chris said, "I know, but it's okay now, right? We're okay."

"Yeah," JC said.

"Then for fuck's sake let's get some sleep."

"Okay," JC said. "Good night," and Chris kissed him one more time.
 

In the morning they took a shower and got dressed again in their same clothes and then braved the hallway and the staircase. When they got to the kitchen JC saw that Joey, Lance and Justin were all sitting around the table drinking coffee. JC and Chris paused in the doorway. Chris reached up and scratched the side of his head.

"Hi, guys," he said.

All three of them turned around and immediately started clapping. JC felt his face getting warm. Chris glanced at him with a wicked expression, though, and both of them began snickering. Before long all five of them were laughing. Justin poured fresh cups for JC and Chris with one hand pressed over his mouth, and they pulled up their chairs to the table as the kitchen rang with guffaws.
 

[smile]