Love In An Elevator by withdiamonds
Bang. Bang. Bang. Lance's head bounced rhythmically off the wall of the elevator. The very small elevator. The one that wasn't moving at all. He couldn't even get it to jiggle a little when he bounced up and down on the balls of his feet. It was totally stuck.
He banged his head a couple more times. Next to him, he heard JC sigh. He wasn't hitting his head all that hard, really. The enclosed space they were stuck in gave the sound kind of a weird echo effect that made it seem like he was giving himself a concussion with every impact, but Lance had a better sense of self-preservation than that. This was just for show.
"Dude, stop it. You're going to bruise something." JC sounded tired, and Lance felt kind of guilty then. Not that any of this was his fault, not at all, except that the whole thing had been his idea. Well, okay, that last Mai Tai hadn't been his idea. JC could take full responsibility for that one.
Another bang. "We're being punished. There's no other answer." Bang. "It's just one Christmas, I said. It's just two days. I'll spend the next two weeks with my family. It's for a really good cause. Tell me why I listen to me again?" Lance didn't care what the critics said, he could be a damn good actor when he put his mind to it.
"I dunno. I don't," JC said. "Listen to you, that is."
Lance turned his head and gave JC the full effect of The Glare. Usually, people were intimidated by his glare. Some people. A few, anyway. At least, JC used to be. It didn't help that JC had his eyes closed, leaning his head against the elevator wall next to Lance's. His hair curled wildly in all directions, and Lance wanted to touch it.
"Then why are you here?" he asked instead. He was curious what JC's answer would be.
After a pause, during which Lance worried that JC had passed out, JC replied, "I owe Becky a favor from way back. My luck she wanted to collect now."
"Now," Lance groaned. "Christmas Day. In Vegas. I'm spending Christmas in Vegas. And God hates me now." He hoped he wasn't overdoing it. He wondered what favor JC owed Becky. He wondered if it had anything to do with the unfortunate Cross-Dressing Incident of 2000. Instead of asking, he just let his head thud against the wall a few more times. He was whining, but JC never seemed to mind too much when he did that.
"Now you're just being dramatic," JC smiled at him. "Leave that to Joey. He does it better."
Lance grinned back. He could never resist JC's smile. "There's the JC I know and love." Lance stopped banging his head. Love. He hadn't exactly gone to Russia to get away from JC, but he had thought it might help. He'd been convinced it had, until JC came to see him in Houston. He'd known then he wasn't going to get over it. And now here they were, stuck in an elevator together.
"Think of it this way." JC spoke again. "At least we're not stuck in the Excalibur. That's where Becky originally wanted to hold this thing."
"Why? At least their elevators aren't slanted. Oh, excuse me, inclinators." Lance snickered.
"Yeah, but then we'd be stuck listening to fake medieval elevator music. Here we just have noodly, fake Egyptian inclinator music." JC's eyes crinkled as he grinned at Lance and Lance blinked. JC seriously needed to stop doing that, because he was making it impossible for Lance to think clearly. And Lance needed all his wits about him if this was going to work.
He tried to think of something to say to fill the silence. "Still wouldn't be as bad as that week on the bus in '99."
That didn't really help, because JC's smile widened and his eyes disappeared almost completely. "The Starland Vocal Band week? I'm still not sure I've forgiven Chris for that." They sat and listened to the noodly, fake Egyptian inclinator music, until JC yelled, "The ancient Egyptians didn't have electric keyboards! Stop!"
Lance giggled at that, carefully not looking at JC's smile.
"I spy…something white."
"First floor button."
"Second floor button."
"Nope." They used to play this when all five of them shared a bus. Chris had a special talent for choosing things totally impossible for anyone else to find and he seemed to especially relish waiting for Justin's head to explode.
"Third floor button."
"Are you going to make me go through all of them?"
"Twenty-first floor button."
"Twenty-second floor button."
"If it's the penthouse button, you are a dead man. Tip of the pyramid. Whatever. Still dead."
"Still your turn." Lance hid a smile behind his hand. Sometimes, it had been JC's head that had exploded.
"You ass!" Having JC sprawled out on top of him more than made up for the fact that not only was he yelling in Lance's ear, he was also attempting to noogie the hair right off the top of Lance's head. "I totally said ground floor button!"
"No, you didn't," Lance gasped. "You said first floor. I picked the lobby button." Lance's face was in JC's armpit and that was having an effect on him that he wasn't ready for yet. So he used a move that one of the Star City guards, who also worked as a bouncer at the Russian techno/country and western club Lance and Freddy had frequented, had taught him. To Lance's surprise, it actually worked, and he found himself straddling JC's hips, with JC staring up at him, an endearing kind of deer-in-the-headlights expression on his face. Lance stared back, then got a grip. He cleared his throat. "You know, the one with the little L on it?"
"Technical bastard. Just because it doesn't have a one on it doesn't mean it's not the first floor." JC moved suddenly, catching Lance by surprise and they rolled over, Lance scrabbling at the floor for purchase. He was inordinately pleased when JC landed on top of him again before he could get away.
Lance leaned back against the wall, this time being careful not to bump his head, and stretched his legs out. He caught his breath as JC lay down with his head in his lap. Okay, this was good. It had been a while since they'd done this, and Lance considered it a step in the right direction.
"I'm beginning to hate elevator lady," JC said dreamily, like he didn't really hate her at all.
"I think her name is Jamie," Lance replied. "And shouldn't it be inclinator lady?" He smoothed his fingers carefully through JC's hair, which was sweaty and even more tangled after their earlier tussle.
"Doesn't matter. Today she speaks to us through the little call box, so she is elevator lady, and I will hate her until those doors open." JC wiggled around, groping for Lance's arm, trying to see his watch. Lance liked that a lot. "How long's it been?"
Lance pulled his arm back so JC couldn't see it. "Three hours and twenty-seven minutes. Ish." Lance left out the part about how much longer it was going to be.
"And time?" JC asked lazily.
"A little after one. Happy Boxing Day."
JC smiled. "And the elevator repair guys?"
Lance shrugged. "Don't look at me. I'm just the guy with the watch." And the Plan. He pointedly tapped on JC's wrist, which didn't have a watch on it.
JC wiggled some more. Lance wondered if he was aware of the effect it was having. "Less tapping. More petting."
Lance started playing with JC's hair again. "I'm disappointed. This is Las Vegas. You'd think there'd be at least one elevator repair guy working nearby, even on Christmas at one o'clock in the morning." Unless someone were to make sure there wasn't, of course.
"Boxing Day." JC sounded like he might fall asleep any minute.
"Whatever. I'm filling out the comment card when I get back to my room." JC chuckled quietly and Lance could feel the vibrations go through him like the aftershocks of an orgasm he hadn't yet had.
"Anything?" Lance knew he was supposed to be looking at JC's cell phone, but he was too distracted by the sliver of skin revealed by JC's shirt sliding up, as he reached as high as he could trying to get a signal.
"I think maybe there might be one bar—wait, no. It still says Out of Service Area." He was completely making that up, trying to cover up the fact he had no idea what JC's phone said.
JC sank back down to the floor and as his shirt fell back down over his stomach, Lance sighed with disappointment. "You'd think they'd have service even in the elevators here. How else are people supposed to extend their credit lines on the way to the casino floor?" JC asked.
They sat in gloomy silence for a while. Lance was gloomy because he couldn't see JC's belly anymore. He was sure JC was gloomy because they were still trapped like rats. Well-dressed and slightly tipsy rats, but rats nontheless. He needed to do something, and soon, before he ran out of time. After all these years, it was possible he had left it too late. He remembered how JC used to get lost sometimes in their conversations, caught up in Lance as if he were the only one around, even if they were in the middle of a group interview. Lance wasn't stupid, he knew there was something between them, there always had been, they had just never acted on it. Lance had decided it was high time to take it to the next level. Hence, the Elevator Plan.
Before he could make a move, JC spoke again. "Maybe I could sit on your shoulders." And maybe Lance could die of embarrassment when the feel of JC's crotch against the back of his neck totally short-circuited his thought process—" Hey, wait. Techno boy. Don't you have, like, SuperPhone? With GPS and tri-band service and remote controls and expanded coverage?"
Lance flushed at being caught thinking about JC's crotch, even if JC didn't know it. "Yeah, but. I, uh. My battery is out of charge." He hadn't intentionally meant for that to sound so suggestive, really, but to his ears it was a blatant invitation to recharge something, and he wished JC would get his mind into the gutter and respond to it. He waited, but JC was quiet, staring at his hands.
Damn. His plan was totally sucking so far.
"Chasez, if you don't quit harmonizing with the noodly fake Egyptian inclinator music right now, I will be forced to beat you down."
Never one to be intimidated, JC kept right on humming. Happy for an excuse to touch JC again, he launched himself across the elevator and tickled him until he was laughing helplessly under Lance's hands.
"Stop! Stop, I'll quit, stop it!" JC managed between giggles. Lance poked under his ribs one more time and then slowly, reluctantly, moved away, trying to catch his breath. JC collapsed in a heap in the corner, still letting out the occasional snort. It was quiet except for the sounds of their breathing.
Until JC started to sing again.
"Foons." JC nudged Lance's foot with his own, high on the elevator wall. Lance turned his head on the floor to look at him. They were lying on their backs, legs up in the air, feet resting on the wall.
"Not hardly. Sporks are the only way to go." Lance nudged him back for emphasis.
"But you can do so much more with a foon. Sporks aren't really very useful." JC shook his head disapprovingly, like sporks were the product of a totally decadent society or something. There really wasn't an answer for that, Lance didn't think, so he lay there quietly for a moment, trying to come up with something useful to say.
"This reminds me of that thing you had me sit in in Houston," JC said suddenly.
"The launch simulator. I was—" Wow. JC had caught him off guard. They didn't usually talk about space. Lance didn't like to talk about it. He knew he hadn't failed, but it felt like he had. Not at the training, but he had failed when it came to who he let himself get involved with in order to have a chance to go. He liked to think of himself as a good judge of character, but maybe he was really a moron. He didn't want to know that about himself.
"I," JC said, and then he stopped. Lance kicked himself. Now JC felt bad, and Lance didn't want that. He should be able to have this conversation without making his friends feel bad.
"It's just." He stopped. "I, oh, JC." He had to stop again. Get a grip, he told himself. "I really, really want to go. Present tense." It was still possible, he wasn't giving up, not ever.
"I know you do, baby. I know you do." JC's voice was as warm as his fingers as they folded over Lance's hand. Lance closed his eyes and breathed while he fought the urge to tell JC how much it hurt. He thought maybe JC already knew.
"I suppose this isn't a good time to mention that I really, really have to pee?"
"Dammit, I was okay when I wasn't thinking about it. I hate you." A full bladder was not exactly part of Lance's Plan. Maybe he should have thought things through a bit more before he plied JC with alcohol all evening.
Lance was getting sleepy. He was glad he hadn't overestimated either his charm or his ability to sweep JC off his feet in a stalled elevator, bcause he would have run out of time by now. On the other hand, it'd been a long day and an even longer evening, and he was tired. He's been riding high on the adrenalin of implementing his Plan, but that had worn off a while ago. He needed to step things up, but he was stuck. He'd been sure that once things got underway, it would all go swimmingly. Of course, if it were that easy, it would have happened years ago. He cast about for something to say. The first thing that popped into his head was, "Have you talked to Justin this week?"
For a minute he thought JC was asleep. He was leaning back against Lance, sitting between his legs with Lance's arms around his waist. Lance tweaked his fingers to wake him up. JC shifted and answered, "Yeah, I talked to him right after he got in. Dawg sounds tired. Can't believe he's headed back over in ten days."
"Did you hear what Chris sent him?" Lance couldn't help laughing. Chris was such a goober.
JC laughed with him, shifting again, and Lance tightened his grip around JC's waist to keep him in place. JC's laughter faded and he was still. He sighed, then said, "Yeah. I was there when he picked it out. You should've seen the look on the shop lady's face when he asked for matching stiletto heels in a ladies' size thirteen."
Lance snorted. "Yeah, well, I can't wait to see Chris's face at New Year's when J shows up in it. I talked to him this afternoon right after he opened it."
JC turned his head to look at him. "You snuck out to make phone calls? Ooooh." Lance looked away guiltily. The call to Justin hadn't been the only one that he had made this afternoon. He was starting to wonder if he'd maybe been drunk already, although he didn't remember drinking anything that early in the day. But being drunk might provide the only reasonable explanation for the Plan. If he was lucky, he'd never have to provide that explanation to JC.
JC spoke again. "It's all good, though. Don't tell anyone, even Joey, but Chris will be wearing a matching one in sea foam green." Lance laughed until he got the hiccups. It felt good.
"Wow, you're right. The noodly fake Egyptian harmony does sound better with a bass line mixed in." Lance nodded, and hummed some more. Then he realized what he'd said, what he was possibly unleashing on his unsuspecting bandmates. "No. No, JC. I know that look. Stop. that. Do not write a noodly fake Egyptian pop song in five part harmony. I will leave the group and never speak to you again, I swear." The way JC laughed was not at all reassuring.
"Dude, I can't believe we didn't think of this earlier. Do you have anything wider than a Visa for a base?" They were building a tower out of all the various credit cards, membership cards, business cards, and miscellaneous crap the two of them could find in their wallets. Lance wasn't sure he could feel any lamer. He also didn't believe anyone could drink as much coffee as JC apparently did, if the number of Starbucks bonus cards in his possession was any indication.
"What about my driver's license?" He handed it over, shuffling through the small collection of pictures he kept stashed behind his Platinum AmEx card. Leighton, Leighton, Briahna, Leighton—wait, there was one he hadn't seen in years. The five of them, back in Orlando, looking happy and excited in spite of the obvious exhaustion on their faces. Lance shook his head fondly as he studied Chris's smile, punctuated by the braces that had made him so uncomfortable. He grinned at Joey's clean-shaven smile, JC's totally dorky Caesar haircut, Justin's crunchy blond curls. Lance had looked more like his mother back then than Stacy ever would. He was standing close to JC, right up against his side, his arm curled possessively around JC's neck, staring boldly at the camera. "Did I ever show you-"
"Yes, Lance," JC smiled. "Six pictures of Leighton so far, and, yes, she's tied for Cutest Baby in the World with Briahna in Joey's presence, possibly edging her out outside of Joey's presence, but only because Briahna's walking now and not really a baby."
"No, dipwad. Well, yes, my niece is incredibly adorable, but no to the picture. Look." He handed the picture over to JC. His hand was shaking. It was so obvious to Lance, when he looked at the picture now, how he had felt. It should be impossible for JC to look at it and not know.
JC touched the picture with his fingertips. His face was relaxed, looking at their younger selves with tender affection, but nothing else. "Good times, man."
Lance knew his disappointment was irrational. They'd posed for at least a million pictures over the years, and they were all experts at hiding their feelings behind their smiles. But this picture was from their earlier, more unguarded days, and to Lance's eyes, anyway, his feelings were obvious.
He looked down and sighed. "Well, not really. That was the week we had three shows a day for five days, and the hot water only worked in two of the bathrooms, and Justin's voice was breaking constantly, and Chris was a bitch because he hadn't gotten laid in, like, a month, and Joey's shoes were-" He babbled until JC poked him.
"Well, yeah. Good times. Wouldn't trade them for anything." JC put his fingers on Lance's chin and tipped his head up until their eyes met. "Not anything," Lance said firmly, answering JC's unspoken question. JC let go of his chin and took hold of Lance's hand, and Lance hung on for all he was worth.
He looked into JC's eyes and saw worry, sadness, and so much love that he couldn't help himself. What he saw made him reckless. He leaned forward and kissed JC, hard and fast. Then he panicked, which was so unlike himself that he didn't know what to do, so he retreated to his side of the elevator and stared at his feet.
"You kissed me." JC sounded the same way he had when Lance told him about Russia and JC had said, "You're really going." Like he couldn't believe something that cool could possibly be true.
"Yeah. It's just, well. It's Christmas, and it's four o'clock in the morning, and we've been stuck in the elevator for over five hours, and they can't find a repair guy in all of Las fuckin' Vegas, and my family's on the other side of the country, and I'm not supposed to be here, and all I can think of is how glad I am that you're here with me. They say you're supposed to spend Christmas with the ones you love, so I figure this year isn't a total write-off." And oh, God, he'd said the L-word and he wanted the elevator doors to open up right now so he could run like hell and pretend this had never happened. He was definitely a moron, there was no doubt about it. He tried to pull his hand out of JC's grip.
JC held on. "Don't go. It's, I mean, elevator, yes, but you just, and I thought, but. You kissed me." He sounded like he maybe believed it a little bit. "You. Kissed me." Oh yeah, definite conviction that time.
"Yeah?" Lance relaxed the tiniest bit, which JC took total advantage of by tugging on his hand and hauling him into his lap.
"Oh, yeah." JC smiled with definite intent. He took Lance's mouth in a kiss that was as possessive as any stare Lance had ever sent his way, and Lance responded with a breathy noise that he was afraid might have been whimper. JC drew back and murmured, "I have a confession to make." His voice made Lance shiver.
JC moved in close again and whispered in Lance's ear, "I've got a little crush I've been trying to get over." What? Lance tried to pull away but JC's warm hand on his back held him in place. "I'm thinking now I won't have to?" Realization hit Lance with a welcome rush and when JC kissed him again, Lance kissed back with all the love he'd been storing up over the years.
And whoa, JC was a pretty good kisser. It was hot, sitting astride his lap while JC licked and bit at his lips, his tongue stroking the inside of Lance's mouth with a rhythm that made Lance ache to be naked. He definitely whimpered as he melted against JC. JC growled and tipped him back onto the ruins of their card tower.
JC's tongue was doing unbelievable things to Lance's dick, things that put Lance in mind of the exhilarating feeling of weightlessness he had experienced at the top of the hyperbolic flights he'd done during training. And then the incredible feeling stopped. JC's tongue stopped, and Lance wasn't positive, but it sounded like JC was laughing. He propped himself up on his elbows, and sure enough, JC was giggling like a loon, one hand pressed over his mouth, the other still holding Lance's dick.
"Why'd you stop? Is something wrong?"
"It's just." Huh, he was definitely in love with a loon, but he'd already known that. JC succeeded in stifling his giggles and said, "Did you notice? I'm living it up." Then he grinned that heart-stopping grin, threw back his head and sang, "Love in an elevator/ Living it up while I'm going dooooooown."
Laughing with JC until his stomach hurt, Lance felt like he was flying.
Lance was attempting to zip up his pants without losing contact with JC's mouth when the elevator lady's voice came over the intercom, startling him into biting JC's lip. JC sucked in a breath and Lance licked at his lip in apology. Lance was only half-listening as she told them that Mandalay Hotel Enterprises was sorry for any inconvenience, then informed them that they were of course not to worry about their hotel bill, and that the elevator repair guy had finally arrived. And also, was fifteen more minutes enough, or did Mr. Bass need additional time?
JC's kisses slowed down, then stopped, and he pulled back, just as Lance registered Jamie's last words. Oh, shit. His hands were under JC's shirt, and he felt warm, silky skin slipping away from him as JC moved away.
"JC," Lance said helplessly. But JC was smiling at him.
"Dude," he said, awe in his voice. "You didn't—was this—did you—for me? Us? This?" His flailing arms obviously encompassed himself, Lance and the elevator.
Lance nodded slowly and JC beamed at him. "You fucker, I don't believe you," he laughed.
"Really? You're not mad?" Lance was dizzy with relief and he clutched at JC's shirt to keep from falling over. JC shook his head and kissed him. Lance thought he could get used to this, being able to kiss JC any time he wanted.
"Mr. Bass?" Well, maybe not any time he wanted. He looked up at the ceiling and said, "Just get us out. Oh, and the security tape for tonight," he added. It would be nice to have a little memento of their first time together, not to mention keeping them off the next edition of Entertainment Tonight.
"Bright boy," JC murmured in his ear, right before he licked the spot behind it that made Lance's knees want to buckle.
"Well, I'm not going to let this get ruined before it gets off." Oh, God. "Off the ground, I meant. Gets off the ground." Lance cleared his throat as JC laughed again. "It's our Boxing Day miracle, and I intend to keep it ours."
Lance never wanted to stop kissing JC. Jamie had said they had fifteen more minutes, and Lance intended to make good use of every single one of them.
JC leaned his forehead against Lance's and laughed softly. "I've got to say it then, don't I?" He paused and Lance felt his heart swell, both with love for JC and pride in a successful Plan well-executed. JC grabbed his hand, pressed it over his heart and said, "God bless us every one!"