Words courtesy of the back page ad in the San Francisco Bay Times (in large orange letters, no less): bass, stranger, sweat, dawn.

*happyfic,* she said. *non-challenge,* she said. grrrrrr. Uh, happy birthday, Schuyler!

by Lesa Soja

Lance sat in the car wishing they were going somewhere else. He was exhausted, he could feel it, but something in him protested at riding quietly back to the hotel and letting the day just end. He could say something, he thought, tell the driver to turn, change direction, go somewhere - a club? a bar? What was there open in a town like this, at this hour? But then the rest of them would look at him, and he'd have to explain to them, and try to convince them, and none of them really looked amenable.

JC had checked into some post-show zone, quiet and glowing, with parted lips. Chris too was sitting motionless, his back held straight, though his eyes were bright. Joey and Justin both had their phones out. Joey was half-turned into the corner, smiling as he crooned, "that's my good girl, yes." Ten minutes later Lance heard Justin hiss the same thing, and then he really didn't want to hear anything else.

So he leaned his head back and watched the streetlights roll by, until they pulled up at the hotel and the door was opened for them. They got out, and he followed the others through the lobby, into the elevator, and onto their floor, the distance to his empty room diminishing with each step.

"Hey, Bass," Chris said.

"Hey, Kirkpatrick," Lance answered.

Chris grinned a little. "You tired?"

"No," Lance said, looking again at Chris's face, at his eyes.

"Liar," Chris said. He took Lance's card from his hand and opened the door.

"Well, I -" Lance said, following him inside. Chris was already halfway to the window.

"You got a view? I never get a view."

"Oh, yeah, right!"

"Well, I like yours better," Chris insisted. "Look."

Lance went and stood next to him, looking down at the lights spread over the valley. "Yeah," he allowed, "that's pretty nice, I guess."

"Mm," Chris said. "Hey, Lance."


Chris turned Lance's chin with two fingers and kissed him.

Chris's lips were certain on his, and it wasn't like being grabbed and dipped at the end of a dance routine with Chris's hand between their mouths, or smacking into each other for a split second in the middle of a fierce hug at a release party. It was bright and hot and crackling. Lance could feel it in his stomach, and in the tip of his tongue, and Chris let him go.

"What was that for?" Lance demanded.

Chris laughed. "Well, you're pretty nice, I guess," he drawled.

"Chris -"

"Look, I thought -" Chris was frowning, suddenly. "If you don't -"

"No, I mean, I -" They were kissing again.

It was a little bit strange to have Chris's tongue in his mouth, to be able to feel the shape of Chris's cock in his jeans instead of seeing it. But it was no stranger, really, than having Chris hiss "touch me" in his ear when Lance's hands were already clutching the skin over Chris's ribs; no stranger than feeling the mattress against the back of his knees before he knew they'd moved, or Chris's hand pushing down against a shoulder that Lance didn't remember being bare. Chris's knee pressing between his thighs was different, but nothing Lance couldn't get used to, and Chris's hair slipping through his fingers felt just the same as any other time Lance had had an excuse to mess with it. And the kissing had been going on for so long now that it was already the next best thing to familiar.

So it was really all completely normal, except for the part where Lance was no longer wearing anything, and Chris's knee was wedged against his, and there wasn't any sweat on Chris's neck because Lance had licked it away. And it wasn't surprising that Lance couldn't see anything, because his eyes had fallen closed while Chris's nose was against his stomach; although even with his eyes open he couldn't see his cock, only Chris's strong, stocky fingers, and the thin lip brushing up against them.

Also, Lance figured he had probably come a couple of thousand times before, in the course of his life so far, so that wasn't exactly unusual either. Though the jolt of meeting Chris's dark eyes while he did it was new. So maybe that was what sent his mind sweeping off into whirlpools of Chris- and he- and Chris-.

Chris was kneeling up, looking down at Lance. "So I wasn't wrong, then," he said.

"No," Lance said, thinking, so I wasn't wrong, either. Chris leaned in and kissed him.

Then Chris shifted off of him, and Lance caught his breath, because it couldn't, just couldn't, be over, not right then, not like that. But Chris was back a moment later. "So -"

"Yeah," Lance said, and Chris laughed.

Lance heard himself groan when Chris began pushing into his ass. The numbers for that weren't in the thousands, but even if they had been, Lance thought he might have had to start a new count for this, for the shocks glowing inside him, the heavy clutch of Chris's hands. For the shine of Chris's eyes, the shudder of his hips, and for the strange, new, unfamiliar sense of something not missing.

Dawn found them stretched out next to each other, trying to steady their breathing in just enough gray light to show the curve of Chris's smile. Lance thought he was just about ready to call it a night.