Rain King by
The Justin Timberlake is Not a God Remix by Hayley
People are sometimes afraid of Justin. Or maybe they're in awe of him, he's not sure which, but people stare at him a lot and often keep a short distance from him, like they're afraid to touch him. Most of the time he doesn't mind, but he hates it when JC does it. It's not all the time. Most of the time JC's just his friend. But then there's these times when JC will just…watch him, from a distance, his mouth open just a little, and his head tilted slightly. It's the same look he has when he's looking at art, and Justin doesn't like that. It's a look of rapture, and JC can ramble passionately about art for hours after wearing that look.
It started the first time JC saw Justin. It was on the Disney lot at dusk and Justin was enjoying the rain, catching the drops on his tongue, feeling the rain slide down the back of his neck and drip off the ends of his hair. JC never told Justin he was watching and doesn't know Justin knew he was there. And since then, there's times when JC isn't Justin's friend, he's a spectator afraid to get near Justin's beauty.
And it's bullshit. Justin's not a fucking painting to be admired and he's not an untouchable deity. Chris never treats him that way and Justin wonders if that's the only reason he loves being around Chris.
Chris treats Justin like a friend and sometimes like a little brother but Justin doesn't like that. He hates being seen as a kid, especially by Chris.
While wrestling with Chris at the studio, Justin glances up to see Joey, Lance, and JC in a pile on the couch, watching them wrestle. Justin can't hear what they're saying, but it doesn't matter, he could play out their entire conversation in his head. Lance is wondering if Justin and Chris are having sex. JC will say they're not because he doesn't want to believe it, and Joey will say they're not because he has an uncanny ability to tell when people are getting laid. But Lance will insist there's something happening between them and they'll all scratch their heads over it for awhile.
They'll never understand what's between Justin and Chris. Justin doesn't even understand it.
Justin finds JC asleep in the Quiet Room and feels relieved, then feels bad about it. It's just nice that he doesn't have to worry about JC looking at him and he can just be, him and JC, just be friends. And so he can't resist crawling between JC's legs and draping himself over JC.
It blows him away that he can actually hear JC's heartbeat and he feels kind of stupid for thinking that because of course he can hear it. But for all of his romantic impulses, Justin's never actually listened to someone's heartbeat. It's not quite as magical as he thought it would be, but he wonders what Chris' heartbeat would sound like. He thinks it would be fast and off kilter, like Chris. And more magical, somehow.
There are times when Justin thinks something could actually happen with Chris. Most of the time, they're friends, or he gets the little brother vibe from Chris. But sometimes Chris will stop and look at him. Not the same way JC does, thankfully. Chris watches him from beneath his eyelashes, like Justin is everything he's ever wanted. Or at least that's what Justin thinks that look means. Or maybe just hopes. He lives in fear that that look will stop, just disappear, and his heart hurts to think that might happen.
Justin knocks on Chris' door in Houston, and although it's a night like any other, it's different. Things are going to change tonight, he can feel it in the way his skin prickles despite the air conditioning and he knows his heartbeat has sped up even though he can't hear it. Chris lets him in and is the same as he always is, until he looks Justin in the eye and seems to be almost startled by what he sees there. Justin sees something flicker in Chris' eyes, but then can see nothing more because Chris will no longer meet his eyes. Chris wants to avoid what could happen but Justin won't let the opportunity slip away. He reach out and touches Chris' arm but Chris pulls away like he's been burned, and Justin is reminded of the way JC looks at him. He's sick of being treated like sun and fire and rain and he pulls Chris against him before he can react and kisses him.
After Chris has fallen asleep wearing Justin's boxers, Justin has to get up and go out on the balcony or he feels like his lungs will burst. The air outside is hot, dry, and suffocating, yet Justin finds it easier to breathe. His heart hasn't slowed down since he stepped into Chris' room and he can't keep the smile off his face.
He loses the smile when he hears JC step out onto the balcony next to him. He doesn't want JC to know that things have changed between he and Chris, that they're a couple now, or at least he thinks they are. But it's futile because of course JC will know, he probably already knows it. Justin can feel JC's gaze on the side of his head. When he finally gets the courage to look at JC, he doesn't see disappointment like he thought he would. JC looks surprised—no, shocked. Like he just found out something he's believed his entire life is wrong. And maybe he has.
"You…" JC starts.
"Yeah," Justin says quietly.
"I didn't think you—"
"I'm just me, JC." Justin looks away. "I hope you realize that now."
He doesn't wait to see JC's reaction. He doesn't need to. He gets back in bed with Chris, covers Chris' body with his own, and listens to his heartbeat.