Many thanks to Georgina for helpful beta-type comments.

by Lesa Soja


Justin wished a lot of things. He wished he could see his brothers more often, for example; he wished he'd gone to a normal high school, just for a while. He wished he hadn't fucked up the high notes in This I Promise You at the Grammys, and sometimes he wished he'd left his hair the hell alone. Most of all, though, he wished he hadn't walked into JC's room and seen Joey's backpack open on the bed next to some things Justin didn't know the names of, and Joey himself standing behind JC with one hand on his shoulder, holding a long thin handle with a wider leather tip in the other, and leaning in to say something in JC's ear.

Or, failing that, Justin wished he weren't now sitting on his own bed with JC's arm around him and Joey sitting across from them looking bored.

"Don't get upset, Just," JC said, squeezing Justin's shoulders. "It's okay. It really is."

Justin wished JC had put on a shirt before following him to his room.

"Justin? C'mon, talk to me," JC said. Justin tried to focus. There was Joey's hand on JC's skin, and Joey's head bent close over JC's shoulder, and surrounding them, a blur. He couldn't make his mind square it up with JC, JC who he'd known forever, who had hugged him just like this on the set of MMC.

Of course, Joey had known JC even longer than he had.

"You told me you weren't gay!" Justin blurted out. "You said - you said - " because he'd seen JC looking speculatively at guys, had asked him about it, even, and spent the afternoon hiding in his bunk with the covers pulled over his head after JC said no.

"I'm not," JC said. "It's not like that. This isn't - it's not sex, Justin."

"What?" Justin said, so surprised that he suddenly found himself looking JC in the eye. "What is it, then?"

"It's a - thing," JC said. "I wish I could explain it. It helps me get somewhere. It isn't about sex."

Justin dipped his head forward, feeling his eyebrows rise. "It isn't sexual," he repeated.

JC bit his lip. "Well - "

Justin looked over at Joey, who had one corner of his mouth quirked up. "Do you kiss him?" he said. Joey glanced at Justin and rolled his eyes. Justin turned back to JC. "Does he kiss you?" he demanded.

JC's lips crooked into a half-smile. "Sometimes," he said.


"Look," Joey said finally, "before you get all freaked out about it, why don't you just come back with us and see what we do. You can see for yourself then, it's nothing to worry about."

Justin glanced at JC. JC's smile hadn't changed.

"Okay?" Joey said. Justin opened his mouth, thinking he hadn't even begun to think about it, but Joey and JC were already standing up, JC's hand sliding down to take Justin's and pull him along. He went down the hallway with them, feeling lightheaded. The bodyguards looked up and nodded to them.

When they got to JC's room, JC let go of Justin and went back to the wall where he'd been standing before.

"You can sit over there," Joey said, and Justin went and sat in the chair.

Joey bent to JC's ear again. JC nodded. He had taken off his pants, and his hands were flat on the wall. Joey's arm went up.

Joey had said see, and Justin was watching, but the thing he hadn't realized was that that there would be so much noise. That JC would make so much noise. The leather made dull smacks against his skin, and JC sighed and whimpered and moaned. Joey said things from time to time too, but his tone was too low for Justin to make out the words. All Justin could hear was JC answering "Yes," in a strained, high voice.

The sounds were different when the pattern was on JC's shoulders than when it was on his thighs and his ass. His skin flushed up red where it had been.

Justin sat up straighter in the chair and looked down JC's side, wishing he could see whether JC was hard or not. Then he lifted his gaze to Joey, and Joey was looking right at him.

"You wanna help?" Joey said. He turned to JC, running his hand down JC's back. "You want Justin to come help?"

"Yes," JC said breathily.

"Answer me," Joey said.

"Green," JC said, equally breathily, but Joey accepted it and cocked his chin at Justin. "Okay, c'mere."

Justin got up and found himself at JC's side.

"Sit down here," and Justin sat down on the bed. Joey draped JC over Justin's lap. "Okay," Joey said. "Put your hand on his ass and rub it a little."

JC's skin was very warm to the touch. He was breathing steadily. Justin curled his other hand across JC's stomach.

"Good," Joey said. "Now lift your hand and pat him. Okay. Flatten it out more."

JC's cock was a definite but uninsistent shape against Justin's thigh.

"A little harder. - Harder than that, Justin," and Joey sounded amused. Justin brought his hand down, and JC made a sound deep in his throat. Justin shivered.

He fell into a rhythm of rise and fall, Joey's quiet instructions and JC's soft sighs. He felt very calm.

From far away, Joey said, "Okay, I think that's enough."

Justin stopped and ran his hand in slow circles over JC's hip for a moment. The skin of his palm was stinging a little. Joey came over and rubbed his hands up and down JC's sides before pulling him to his feet.

"You were good," Joey told JC, stroking the back of his neck. "You were really good. I'm so pleased with you." He bent forward and kissed him. JC's eyes fell closed. Joey wrapped his arms around JC, and JC tucked his face in against Joey's shoulder and stayed there for a minute. Eventually he lifted his head again and gave Joey a brilliant smile. Joey smiled back.

Then Joey let go of JC and came back to Justin. "You, too," he said. "You behaved really well," and he bent down, tilted Justin's face up with a knuckle under his chin, and kissed him.

Justin's mouth fell open under the soft press of lips. When Joey moved back, his fingers sliding up to rub Justin's cheek, Justin stared at him wide-eyed. Behind Joey, JC was still smiling. Joey laughed.