Just Say 'No'
by Cody

JC was sitting on the living room couch, notebook and pen in hand, working on lyrics, when he heard the backdoor open and then slam closed. Running footsteps, the fridge being opened, rummaged through, and closed. More running footsteps, coming closer. "C."

"Hmm?" JC didn't look up. He had to concentrate.

"C." Justin's sweaty body beside him on the couch, panting lightly.

JC couldn't help but look up and immediately regretted it. Sweat had turned Justin's wifebeater transparent. JC looked back down quickly. Concentrate. "Game over already?"

"Nah, just taking a break." Justin took a long drink from a bottle of water, then offered it to JC, "Want some?"

JC shook his head, keeping his eyes on the notebook in his lap. Justin, not one to be ignored, leaned closed, putting his lips to JC's ear and letting his voice get breathy, "Want some?"

JC pushed Justin away gently, trying not to think about how Justin's body was all smooth skin and muscles. Sweaty skin. JC loved sweat. It reminded his of sex and stage. He could smell the salty sweat that covered Justin, could almost taste it. He blinked down at the lyrics he was working on. Concentrate. "I'm busy."

Justin stood up, offended. "You're always busy."

JC sighed.

"You work too much."

"I'm sorry." Not I'm sorry, I'll change.; it was I'm sorry, but that's just how it is.

"JC." Justin had a way of doing that, sounding pissed and bratty one minute, then sweet and persuasive the next. "You've been inside all day, come get some fresh air. You can watch me kick Chris's ass."

JC shook his head. "I'm busy."

"You can finish later. Come on, you know you want to. You love watching me play." That was true. JC loved watching Justin play basketball. He was so graceful, so skilled. JC loved the way Justin's muscles glided beneath his skin with every movement and the look of concentration on Justin's face.

Speaking of Concentration.

"Justin, I'm busy." JC's tone was final. This song needed work. JC had priorities. There would be plenty of other opportunities to watch Justin kick people's asses at any or all sports. These lyrics needed to be done by the time they went into the studio Monday. End of Story.

When a half-empty bottle of water hit him on the shoulder, JC looked up, but Justin had already left the room. Stomping footsteps. Back door opened and slammed shut, but this time out of anger rather than carelessness. JC sighed again, concentrated on the notebook in his lap.

A few minutes later, the backdoor opened and slammed closed. Stomping footsteps. Justin appeared in the doorway of the living room. "JC, I'm breaking up with you," Matter-of-fact, like 'JC, it's hot outside,' or 'JC, it's Friday.'

JC stared at Justin in shock for a moment, then said, "Okay."

"Okay?" Justin looked at him in disbelief, "Did you hear what I said? I'm breaking up with you."

JC put down his notebook and pen and stood up, walked to Justin. "I love you, but my work is important to me. It's going to come first sometimes. I can't always be there to watch you play basketball, or go shopping with you, or be with you twenty four-seven. If that's what you need, then I want you to have it, but I'm not going to be able to give it to you. I understand if you can't handle that. I want you to be happy."

"I am happy." Justin's puppy dog expression would make one think it was JC who had mentioned breaking up. "You make me happy."

"You don't look very happy." JC was trying hard not to seem amused.

"I am," Justin insisted. "I love you."

"I love you, too, Justin." JC put his hands on Justin's forearms and tried to kiss him, but Justin turned his head away.

"You were going to let me break up with you," Justin accused. "Just like that."

"Yhea," JC admitted. "If that's what you really wanted."

"You didn't even care," Justin sounded hurt.

"I cared." JC pulled him closer, tried again to kiss him.

Justin turned away again. "I said I was breaking up with you, and you just said, 'Okay'."

JC couldn't help but smile a little. "What was I supposed to say?"

Justin looked at JC with big, sincere eyes that made JC's smile fade. "Just say 'no'."

"Okay," JC said.

Justin paused, looked JC in the eyes. "JC, I'm breaking up with you."

JC kissed Justin long and hard, didn't pull away until they were both breathless. He leaned his forehead against Justin's, tightened his grip on Justin's arms. "No."

Eyes still closed from the kiss, Justin smiled.


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