Prologue: "Fall"
by Cody

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I.            You intoxicate my soul.

Music. Pulse.

Something sweet.

Florescent Reality.

Feels so good.

Running your hands up and down his arms over and over, your skin tones melting together, sliding slick with sweat. You're naked on the bed with him, facing him, thighs overlapping and legs stretching out behind each other. His head hangs down, pretty soft golden curls, eyes half-mast and unfocused, perspiration beading and oozing all over him, all over you. Your breaths match his, shallow and urgent.

His head rolls back as you massage his shoulders, rub your hands over his face, smearing his features. A long moan, and it takes you a minute to be sure it came from him.

He's talking, but it just sounds like disjointed sound clips, nothing of sense or consequence. He sighs your name, "JC…" and you pull his head to yours and press your chin into his cheek, your breath in his eye when you voice, "I'm feeling so real."

His lips crook vaguely, amused. Softly, "Yes, yes. Here we go."

You push him, he falls back onto the mattress obligingly, his head lolling and you know he is where you are, almost amorphous with euphoric freedom. You are anything, you are everything, you are everywhere. Your body speaks for you, says, Let me have it and you drag your mouth over his body, sucking when you want to, where you want to. It seems he was built with parts designed to fit and fill your mouth.

"You're So Good," You tell him, "So Good." He sighs and hums in pleasure, arching sweetly into your touch.

II.             Beware all those angels with their wings glued on.

The Jungle tent; JC keeps wandering off to hear the DJ outside and then coming back because it's cold and the tent's heated by the crowd. He talks to people, lays down with groups of friendly limbs and laughter, smiles at the plastic bead bracelets slipped onto his arms, feels like a kid on Christmas when someone hands him a blow-pop. Cherry. Mmm.

He spots Step doing a light show and goes to watch, waiting while Step slips rings onto his fingers that belong to ropes with glowsticks at their ends. He starts slowly, building his rhythm and widening the swinging of his arms until there's a dazzling display of neon streaks, intricate in a way that only comes from skill and practice. JC claps his hands happily, bounces on the balls of his feet as Step stops waving his arms and pulls a photon out of his pocket, begins a game of hide and seek in his hands. Pushing the little colored light into his ear, pulling it out of his mouth, everyone laughing in delight.

And then there's someone grabbing his shoulder, and JC turns and grins when he sees it's Joey. He flings himself on him, kisses his cheek wetly. "Joey!"

"Hey," Joey smirks, looking JC over with a mixture of amusement and surprise. He's never seen JC like this before, all decked out in raver gear. And then something else, too. "You're rolling."

JC cocks his head, still clinging to Joey. "Yhea, so?"

Joey shrugs, it's nothing he doesn't do himself on occasion, but "I thought you didn't do that."

JC matches his shrug. "I didn't used to."

"But you do now." Not a question, not a judgement.

"Sometimes." JC feels himself leaning back, holds Joey tighter to steady himself.

Joey puts his arm around JC's waist, hefts him closer and upright. "Haven't heard from you in a while."

JC's lollipop bulges one cheek. "Busy."

Joey nods; he's been busy himself. "How's life?"

JC doesn't bother not blurting it out, because Joey's probably heard by now anyway. "Angelboy moved in."

Joey sighs, this is obviously not news to him and he's got spare change. "Yhea, I heard. You really think that's a smart move, man? I mean, I like Angelboy fine, but you hardly know him."

JC's too lost in chemical bliss to get defensive. "I know enough."

"You know what they say, man, about glitter and gold? Just…be careful. Don't get lost in the shine."

JC shakes his head, smiling hard, his entire body aching with pleasure. "It's more than that."

"Dude, you're so gone," Joey takes JC over to a corner of the tent, sits down with him on the grass. "People say you've been partying a lot." JC doesn't respond, his head lolling onto Joey's shoulder, his eyes rolling back in his head. "Don't go overboard with the whole sex and drugs thing, Jace."

"I can take care of myself," JC mumbles into Joey's shirt.

Joey strokes JC's hair. "No, I know."

JC leans into the hand, closing his eyes at how good another human feels. "You're the one who told me to get a life."

"I know. It's just…it's so easy to get pulled down the wrong path. Just…don't let it become a lifestyle," Joey knows he sounds like an After School Special, but he's always felt kind of protective over JC, who grew up so sheltered and seems so naďve about certain things.

JC flounders to his feet, trying to pull Joey with him. "You come here just to lecture me?"

"No, no," Joey stands up. "Of course not."

"Good," JC's grin swoops dangerously close, and Joey holds him still. JC laughs, tugs on his arm. "Let's dance."

He's like liquid, body rippling with music like art. A semi-circle forms around a break-dancer and they watch but don't stop dancing, don't stop smiling. Worries linger at the back of Joey's mind, but he wants to enjoy this. He hasn't seen JC in some time and, honestly, it's cool to see him so carefree, so fun.

Angelboy appears; slinks up behind JC and wraps his arms around his waist. JC turns around and when his face lights up, Joey's torn between being happy or concerned. Angelboy's eyes are preternaturally vibrant, pupils dilated as he tells him, "I want a massage." JC reaches up to press fingers to Angelboy's cheeks but he pushes closer, their faces almost touching. He takes JC's lollipop and puts it in his own mouth, pulling it out for a second to say, "No, a full body one."

JC's hands slide from Angelboy's face to behind his neck, and his grin is blinding when he looks at Joey. "I've gotta--"

Joey holds up his hand, a little wave as he steps back. "I'll see you later."

III.            I am only what you make me.

You feel like you might need this: the way JC watches you. He's always watching you.

His eyes follow you like blue shadows, full of everything gentle and passionate. He thinks you're beautiful. He lives to take care of you. He wants you so much he needs you.

And you want him.

Sometimes you watch him reading, the way his teeth push delicately into his bottom lip, his eyes moving fast over the words. And you can tell what's going on in the book by reading him, the excitement in his eyes, or the glass of tears, tragedy in a furrowed brow, a secretive smile, sometimes mumbling beneath his breath when he's too caught up to help himself.

He keeps things way too tidy, hysterically clean. Has a plastic thing on the toothpaste tube that you twist so it rolls neatly, sparing waste and mess. Cuts down bags of potato chips as they're eaten, so arms don't get greasy reaching down to the bottom. Always washes his hands before he eats, even if he's just having a snack. But when you bake cupcakes and bring him one with frosted fingers, he lets you feed him bite for bite and licks you clean. And then keeps licking until you clutch the bed covers in sticky hands and croon. And later, when he finds streaks of sugar on his favorite sheets he laughs, just laughs and kisses you.

It's so comforting, this life with him. So stable. As you fall asleep each night you know what you'll wake up with. As eyelids drop, and as they reopen, you're grateful.

It's been a long road, and a hard one, but you're here now. And your only complaint is that he never gets mad, thinks you're something better than you are. Sounds silly, right? But it scares you, frustrates you. Because it makes you fear the day he sees you for the truth and What then? You can't be sure that this will stay; not when he calls you perfect, adoration you don't want. You want him to know you as flawed and then be as he is.

You try to tell him what you are, but he doesn't listen. He says these things, these gorgeous things, and sometimes you almost believe him. Sometimes you let yourself believe him.

He thinks you're so good, and you wish he didn't. But sometimes you wonder, What if?

Maybe if you let him, he can believe until it's true.

* ** * ** *

lyrics credits
I.      "Embracable You"...Billie Holiday/"Jazz After Hours"
II.      "Cherub Rock"...Smashing Pumpkins/"Siamese Dream"
III.      "I'm Yours"...Billie Holiday/"Jazz After Hours"
lyrics quoted in I.   from "I'm Feeling So Real"...Moby/"Music"

Part One: "Glimmer"

Guide to Insanity: "Lost"

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