Oh, The Places You'll Go by SilveryScrape

98 and ¾ Percent Guaranteed by Jksladder

Overheated and debating whether or not the alcohol was going to win this time, Justin slipped out the emergency exit of the VIP room. Trace is far down Elisha's throat, and Duhamel's striptease is down to very low-slung pants, so Justin's headlong rush into the slightly cooler air of the alley is unnoticed. Justin's usual grace is hampered by the variety of chemicals flowing throw him and he stumbles over some of the stacked crates.

As he tries to right himself, he over-compensates and winds up banging his head on the wall. He sees black boxes, considers trying to maintain consciousness and decides instead to just participate in a controlled descent to the ground. There is a moment where his brain thinks "dirty" and then the black boxes connect, and it is all darkness.

Warm, perfectly safe, just the honeyed voice and his own responses. The voice asks him where he feels most comfortable. He very clearly imagines himself as he was a year (or was it two) ago. Exhausted from everything, but not really tired, Chris bodily dragged him to his lair and they spent a weekend holed up in Chris' living room, literally leaving only for food and bathroom breaks. The vague highlight reel in his mind included the two of them finishing Halo on the hardest level in record time, watching basketball, eating hot wings and pizza and pop tarts all weekend and ingesting way too much beer and pot.

But his favorite part? The part that he rolled over and over in his head was them curling up under the giant blanket Chris' mom had knitted for him from what seemed to be every color. For two nights they hid under the blanket like it was a fort and exchanged their dirtiest, sexiest secrets.

By Sunday, Chris was telling him about the time he went to a dominatrix in Aarhus. She tied him to a table and made him say something, which Justin would have happily caught if the "tied to a table" image didn't stall out his thought pattern. "I'd like to see you tied to a table". He realizes he's moaned that phrase aloud and is holding Chris' wrists together and that Chris did in fact react to this by biting his chin and then licking back along his jaw line.

They were both shocked, but it is Justin who panics. Sobriety slammed over him, Justin's messed up, he's erred, violated the construct of the relationship. Justin in correction mode is a brutal terrible thing, more for himself than anyone else. He's disentangling from Chris, but the blanket is caught on his belt and he can't get loose, Chris is trying to calm him, but is caught in his own panic, saying something he later realizes is "it's okay, Justin, no, it itsn't, it's ok, bad, really bad, Kirkpatrick". But in full panic, Justin can't see beyond escape, running away from this terribly embarrassing moment and Chris doesn't try to stop him. The long tentacles of the blanket finally give way, and Justin is out the door, and on his way home before he's even thinking at all, and even then it's only of hiding at home.

They saw each other again when the tour resumed, but Justin kept to himself and Chris let him. Justin didn't want the distance to settle between them, but it moved into those spaced Justin's exhaustion and loneliness left void, nudging at every one of them, until after the tour, when Justin is off on his own, no one thinks to initiate contact.

Justin hates thinking of Sunday night. He'd rather just stop the memory at Sunday afternoon, when they ate pop tarts and watched the cheer competitions and imitated their spastic happy chants until they collapsed laughing when Chris tried to do a pyramid with only Justin as the base. He did like the feel of Chris' wrists, and the bite of teeth on his chin. Sometimes, when he's feeling out there, he finds himself pinching his chin or rubbing along his jaw line.

He misses Chris. Misses bearing the brunt of his abuse. He wonders what it would take for Chris to call him.

The voiced asked him more about Chris, what he liked, what Justin liked about Chris. It was nice to not really have to talk, Justin never conned himself into thinking he was a good speaker. Oh, he could recite well, but he'd never win the fast comeback award. They just saw the answers. It was the perfect flow.

Justin wakes when the light changes. Dawn in LA, and some young street person is trying to find something in the big rhino lunchbox between Justin and the street. Justin's draped over the toppled stack of crates, and righting himself is a noisy, tricky thing. The young guy spins around quickly. "Dude, you scared the shit out of me man. Didn't know anyone was back there."

"Just me, I think."

"Anything good there?" It slowly, very slowly to be sure, comes to Justin that the street kid thinks he lives here in the alley behind, behind whatever the hell club this is. He looks down at his outfit, and sure enough his formerly designer dirty jeans have met real dirt for what may be the first time in their short life. He rubs his chin. "Dude? You ok there? Did you get jumped? Or bumped?" A smile across the kid's face.

"No, no jumping or bumping. At least not any bumping I remember. Well, I bumped my head." There's no knot, just a tender spot on his occipital knobby thing. His chiropractor, someone he needs to see fairly immediately, will tell him what its called. Justin ponders a way home. They wander around to the front of the club, but all the glitter of last night is shut tight, the matte black paint looks tired in the daylight. Justin tries his pockets, but all he has is some plastic and a joint. He asks if the kid has a light, and they share the joint and Justin tries to reassemble his brain matter. He wonders, as they talk of missed opportunities to follow up on crushes, where his cell phone is, and would it be wrong to call Chris this early.

The guy helps him find a place that's open, a magazine stand. The guy behind the counter lets him use the phone to call someone, but Justin can't remember anyone's number besides Joey's. Trace programmed them all into the cell. Luckily, Joey hasn't changed his number, though he sounds surprised to hear Justin on the other end of the phone though. He's not here though, he's on his way to Chris' house, out there. He promises to call Trace, and assures Justin someone will be there shortly.

Trace is immediately apologetic when he arrives, and seems shocked that Justin really isn't worried about the whole thing. Justin will admit he's had his panties in a twist lately and mentally apologizes to the whole world for being such a pain in the ass. Apology offered, and nobody denying acceptance, he promptly crawls into the back seat, which is never where he sits in his own car, and falls asleep.

After a few days of a blinding headache, Joey calls. Justin tries to thank him for the rescue, but Joey is babbling on about something at Chris' house, some thing in the living room. Justin just lets the Joey tale wash over him. He's missed just being able to sit back. Joey tells him about the thing, but Justin decides he's leave Chris space, and wait for Chris to call him. The last thing he wants to do is throw himself on Chris again.

Lance almost to the minute once he finishes with Joey. Lance goes on and on about how he wants the thing for his next party. Justin decides he may just throw himself on Chris, but he'll wait until Chris calls him, because Chris has to call him about the thing.

JC calls him a few days later. JC is in love with the thing, but can't remember if he took anything before he fell asleep, or maybe Chris slipped him something in the wake up kiss. Justin's brain stutters on the wake up kiss, but he knows that JC is his direct opposite in relationships. JC is physical with everyone and emotionally intimate with maybe one person at a time, if anyone. Justin decides he will be physically and emotionally intimate with Chris. And he's going to call him when JC gets off the damn phone.

Eventually JC stops talking, but Justin is already at Chris' door. Breathless, he walks to the door.

The thing is beautiful when he sees it. He wonders if Chris notices its resemblance.

Justin has to fight his natural temptation to close off, to hide behind all the things that happened, to enjoy the solace of the space between and instead he gets close to Chris. He refuses to let any space in this time. He feels like it is utterly obvious that the thing is pulsing with the excitement he's feeling being back here, back against Chris. He wonders, softly, as quiet as any thought he's had, how long they can watch it before he breaks down and kisses Chris.