by Cody

For a long time, you don't understand why he lied, except maybe that it was the easiest way out. And you think despite the fact that he will happily pull every muscle in his body dancing and working out and strain his voice singing and die from exhaustion before ever thinking of quitting, when it comes to relationships, Justin is a fucking wimp.

And a fucking liar.

And you think the ironic part is that you're the one everyone calls the Liar, you're the one with the uberslick reputation and the smarmy smile. Mr. Hollywood, they call you. At least you're not like Justin. At least you're not so fucking Hollywood that everygoddamnthing you do is an act.

Or maybe you are. Maybe that's why this doesn't hurt as much as you think it should. Because you're jaded and cold and you don't know how to really feel anything. Or maybe it's just that, on some level, you saw this coming a fucking mile away.

You kind of hope it's that, because you should have seen it coming. Everyone else did.

You know they did, because when you tell Joey what you'd just found out, he said, "Yhea. You mean you didn't know?" And a few minutes later Chris climbs onto your bus and gives you a look that isn't sympathetic enough, is more this is inconveniencing us both. And you want to hate him for not coming to hug you or something, but you can't. Because it is just an inconvenience. There aren't any tears to hide.

It doesn't make you sad, just mad when you think about it. Think about the way he said, "It's just, I think we should end this. It's not worth it." He'd looked up at you quickly, hands waving to smear his words away. "No, I mean. That came out wrong. I just mean, you know. So many complications, with the press and the whole post-whatever-dynamics bullshit. I don't wanna lie to you, man. I mean, it's just sex. And it's just. Not worth it." You'd agreed, and respected him for being so truthful. Thought that you and him were on the same wavelength, and didn't resent him because, fuck, he was so mature about everything. And who could blame him for that? Who could blame him for being honest?

And Fucking liar is the first thought, the only thought that resounds in your head when you find out. When you wander onto the three-man bus in search of your copy of A Date With Elvis that Chris had borrowed when "I Forgot to Remember to Forget" was stuck in his head, and you walk right in on them. So stupid, because why the hell did you have to come get that goddamn CD anyway? You didn't really need it back; you just felt like you might as well come get it. And why the hell did they have to be doing that in the bunks area? Why couldn't they be in the lounge or the kitchen or anywhere where you wouldn't be heading to rifle through Chris's personal belongings and see them? Anywhere but standing in the aisle between the bunks, pressed close and.

Kissing. Touching. JC's arms bent so he can grasp the bed frame behind his neck, one leg at an angle to hold his weight and the other hooked around Justin, hips undulating. Justin between JC's thighs, one hand up the back of JC's shirt and one on his ass, grinding closer and harder and making soft ugh noises that make you remember.

"Lance!" It's neither of them, but rather Chris that spots you. The way he says your name sounds like betrayal, like he's warning them. They startle, eyes widening at the sight of you watching them. JC pushes Justin away, too gently for what you think the situation calls for, and says, "Oh, jesus. Lance…" It's something like I'm sorry you had to see that, and Justin's voice follows the path of Do you want to talk about it? At least, that's what pretty much what you think you heard, you were a little too preoccupied with getting the fuck off this goddamn bus at the time to really pay attention. You scramble back onto your bus and wait for them to come talk to you, beg your forgiveness. A few minutes later Chris shows up. And that's the end of it.

When the buses pull up to the next hotel, they don't even have the decency to avoid eye contact. After an elevator ride that isn't awkward enough for your taste, Justin follows JC into his room shamelessly. He even smiles at you a little, shrugs. Like he thinks you'll see the humor, maybe. Like he thinks you'll understand.

You're mad because why is it not worth the risk of sleeping with you, but it's okay to fuck JC? Is JC better in bed? You're not a good enough lay to get caught over, but JC's the Ultimate Fuck so who cares about anything else? That's fine, if that's what Justin thinks. You just don't get why he had to lie. It's not like you're some freaking girl he has to let down easy. It's not like you're gonna waste away pining for him.

You just hate feeling like he tried to pull a fast one. You hate that he lied.

You wait for it to end so you can have JC to bitch about Justin, compare notes, with. He thinks he's god's gift in the sack, is high on your list of complaints. Did he bitch at you, too, when you left marks? You figure it'll last a month or two at most. You lasted barely over a week, but Justin's always had a soft spot for JC. When generous, you give him maybe two-and-a-half, three months tops.

So you're fucking shocked, really. Just fucking shocked that it's been four months since you caught them and no sign of the end is in sight. If anything, Justin seems more attentive than ever, following JC around like a puppy, always trying to bring him food and hold his hand and put his jacket around JC's shoulders in the studio because You look cold, baby. Is it too cold for you in here?

After one particularly nauseating recording session, during which you, Joey and Chris sing and JC and Justin sit in the production booth, JC fiddling with the controls of the soundboard and Justin holding his waist while they share a set of earphones, Justin comes after you in the parking lot. "Dude, wait up."

You turn, hoping he'll make it quick. You have a business lunch twenty minutes away that starts in ten. "'S up?"

"I just need a minute." He reads your expressions like a book. "You know that jeweler guy you're friends with, what's-his-face, Jason?"

You nod, glance at your watch. "Jason. Yhea."

"JC likes this turquoise stuff he makes." Justin plucks at his own necklace of the stone, "I was thinking you could hook me up with his number."

You flip open your cell, scroll down the phonebook list. "Sure. Why? You buying JC jewelry now?"

"Well, I mean," And is Justin actually blushing? "It's gonna be six months soon, and I'm just thinking, maybe a ring to match his necklace, or something. You know…"

And then you do know. And it makes sense. "Yhea, that's. He'll like that," you say, and give Justin the number.

Then you're speeding to your lunch date with your thoughts are spinning just as fast as your tires, and you don't feel angry anymore. Justin broke it off with you because he said it's not worth it to him to risk everything for sex. Not worth it, he said, just for sex.

And he hadn't lied.


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