by Cody.

* ** * ** *

"Good luck on your first game, man. Wish I could be here to root for you." Lance hooked Justin in an one-armed hug, the other arm holding the handle of a small, upright-rolling suitcase. Thanksgiving break had officially started when the last bell rang that afternoon and Lance was on his way to the airport.

"Thanks, man. Don't worry about it. There'll be other games." Justin thumped Lance on the back and moved away, went back to packing his duffel bag. Since the game meant he couldn't go home for Thanksgiving, he was staying at JC's house. He was a little nervous about meeting his family, especially since he was stuck living with them whether they liked him or not.

"Don't stress about JC's family." Because Lance was always perceptive like that. "They're really cool. His brother's a junior, you know."

"Yhea, I know." Justin was mildly weirded out by it; he was only one grade above JC's little brother. "Tyler. And his sister's name is Heather and his parents are...Karen? And Roy?"

"Yhea." Lance glanced at his wristwatch. "Alright, I gotta roll. See you Sunday."

"Safe trip," Justin called after him as he left, went to his bookcase to check out his movie collection, see if he wanted to bring anything with him.

A knock came at the door and JC walked in without waiting for permission. "You ready to go?" He saw what Justin was looking at. "Don't bring any. We've got a bunch of movies at my house or else we'll just rent some. Come on."

Justin zipped up his duffel bag and hefted it onto his shoulder. "What's the rush?"

"I want to get y'all checked out of the dorm before they can rope me into driving people to the airport." JC tugged on Justin's arm.

Justin stayed planted firmly in place. "Wait, what?"

JC sighed impatiently, "What?"

"Who's 'y'all'?" Justin's eyes narrowed suspiciously.

"You..." JC didn't look at him. "and Nick."

"What?!" Justin screeched, yanking his arm out of JC's hold. "No way."

"Yes way. Dude, he had nowhere to go for Thanksgiving. You want me to leave him at the dorm?"

"Uh, yhea." That sounded good to Justin. "Works for me."

"Dude, no." JC grabbed him again. "Quit being an ass; let's go."

Justin let JC drag him down the hall, scowling petulantly. "Thanks for warning me ahead of time."

"I knew you'd throw a shitfit," JC said. "and I didn't want you saying anything to Nick to make him feel unwelcome."

"He is unwelcome," Justin grumbled, but shut up after the look JC gave him.


"Thanks again for the invite, you guys," Nick said from the backseat. "I was really surprised that it was your idea, Justin. That's really cool."

"JC told you it was my idea?" The hand Justin had on JC's knee squeezed unmercifully.

"Yhea," Nick said. "That really surprised me. In a good way. That means a lot."

"It sure does," Justin agreed, as JC tried to wrench his knee free.

"We're gonna have so much fun!" Nick bounced a little in his seat. "Are you hyped for the game?"

Justin gave Nick a big, fake, sugary grin, turned to JC as he said, "Oh, I'm ready to kick some ass."


The upstairs of JC's parents' house had four bedrooms and two bathrooms. JC and his brother's bedrooms sandwiched one bathroom, while across the hall his sister's and the guestroom shared. Nick was in the guestroom and Justin was bunking with JC. There was only one bed, but if no one else was saying anything about it, Justin wasn't gonna be the one to bring it up.

"What do you wanna do tonight?" JC sat on said bed, back against the headboard, watching Justin unpack.

"Hmm, I don't know." Justin tapped his chin with a hanger thoughtfully. "I was hoping we'd fuck ourselves retarded, but I think Carter might get bored watching."

JC smirked. "You think he'd get bored?"

Justin came toward the bed wielding the hanger. "I'm going to beat you now. Try not to bleed on the comforter."

"What's the big deal? It's not like we could've fucked ourselves retarded anyway with my family here." Someone knocked on the door and JC and Justin made wide-eyed don't-make-me-laugh!faces at each other at being caught in the midst of such discussion. JC called, "Yhea?"

And his mom poked her head in the door. "Hi again. You getting settled, Justin?"

Justin gave her his shiniest polite nod. "Yes, ma'am."

"Good." She smiled approvingly when she noticed the hanger in his hands, probably thinking what a nice boy Justin was to hang his clothes instead of just leaving them in his bag to wrinkle. Little did she know that her thoughts were, of course, carefully incurred and all a part of Justin's master plan. "We're going to dinner and a movie with some friends, so I left money for pizza, okay?"

JC shared a split-second glance with Justin before saying, "Sure, thanks. What time are Heather and Tyler gonna be home?"

"Those two come home?" Karen snorted. "They're spending the night out. Heather's catching up with people in town for the holidays and Tyler's off with his football friends. Your father and I will be home kind of late, so don't wait up. You can have some friends over if you'd like, just don't trash the place, alright?"

"Okay. Have fun," JC said.

"Have fun," Justin echoed cheerfully. As soon as the door closed he turned a death-glare on JC and pounced, straddling his thighs and pinning his shoulders. "I hate you."

JC put his hands on Justin's waist, squeezed. "Well, fuck. How're we gonna get rid of him?"

Justin's face scrunched as he considered. "Maybe Joey'll take him."

JC shook his head. "There's no room at his family's house. He's already got too many siblings, plus relatives visiting."

Justin tossed the hanger he was still holding onto the floor. "Well, then he'll just have to watch."

"I thought you said he'd get bored?" JC teased.

Justin lifted up a bit, rolled his hips. "We'll make it interesting."

And then once more with the knocking at the door, this time followed by a familiar voice. "Uh, guys?"

They separated; Justin pantomimed barfing while JC called, "Come in."

"Hey..." Nick opened the door but didn't enter the room. "Y'all weren't planning anything for us to do tonight, right?"

"Weight Watchers meeting. Who's in?" Justin pumped his fists enthusiastically. Nick looked confused.

JC smacked Justin and told Nick, "We hadn't really thought about it. Got any ideas?"

"Well," Nick looked down and seemed almost nervous. "BMU's student theatre's screening A Clockwork Orange and..."

Prompted by Justin's elbow, JC said, "I'm not really in the mood for a movie."

"Um, well..." Nick cleared his throat. "I was...kind of had...I mean...."

"Spit it out," Justin snapped.

"Um, I kind of wasn't inviting you guys."

JC hadn't seen that coming. "What?"

"I mean, I kind of have plans to see it with someone else," Nick explained apologetically.

JC said, "Oh."

Justin said, "Who?"

And was Nick blushing? "Just...my friend. And um, since it's a late show and everything, I wouldn't want to like, come home late and wake your parents or anything, so...I'll probably just stay over at his place."

Justin wasn't buying that. "You don't have friends. Who is it?"

Now it was JC doing the elbowing. "Justin, shut up."

Justin ruffled, "Don't tell me to shut up!"

"Okay, fine. Be quiet."

Justin smacked JC's arm. "You told me to shut up!"

JC smacked him back. "You know what I meant."

Justin clutched his arm like it might fall off. "I can't believe you told me to shut up!"

JC rolled his eyes. "Don't flip out over it. I tell you to shut up all the time."

Justin wailed like a wounded elephant.

"Okay, then...see you guys tomorrow." Nick closed the door, but they paid him no mind.


"Look at what you did to me." Justin's fingers pressed into the fresh hickeys on his throat as he tilted his head back to display them. "You marred my envelope."

"Your envelope, huh?" JC pressed his lips to each mark. "Sealed with a kiss."

Justin pushed JC's face away. "Oh my god. I hate you so much."

JC stuck out his bottom lip appealingly. "What? You don't think I'm funny?"

Justin raised an eyebrow. "I think you're a lot of things, but funny ain't one of 'em."

JC pressed close, put a hand on Justin's stomach and drew circles around his navel. "What am I, then?"

Justin closed his eyes and licked his lips. "Uh-uh. I'm not gonna stroke your ego."

JC grinned as Justin's hips rose, and let his hand wander lower. "Stroke my what?"

And Justin loved being all alone, because it didn't matter when they got loud.


"Honey, how many of your friends are coming to dinner?" Karen came into the kitchen while JC and Justin were eating breakfast to ask him. Nick had yet to come home from wherever he'd spent the night.

JC spoke around a mouthful of cereal, "Three."

She nodded absently, mentally setting the table as she went back to the dining room. "Okay, so that's..."

Justin looked over questioningly. "Three?"

"Yhea, I thought I told you?" JC dribbled milk on his chin and wiped it with the back of his hand. "Chris is coming."

Justin hit JC's arm with a milky spoon. "Chris, my teacher?"

JC hit him back. "Yhea. He just moved here from Pittsburgh, so he didn't really have anywhere to go for Thanksgiving."

"Who are you, Daddy Warbucks?" and then at JC's blank look, explained, "Taking in all the strays?"

JC shrugged. "My parents don't care. They're cool like that."

Justin sat back and crossed his arms. "Yhea, well, what if I care?"

JC looked surprised. "You like Chris."

"Yhea, but still. You didn't even ask me."

"Why would I ask you?" He rolled his eyes at the face Justin made. "Well, but for real. It's my house."

Justin threw his spoon on the table and stood up angrily. "Oh, well, excuse the fuck out of me for expecting my boyfriend to care about my feelings."

JC reached out and grabbed Justin's arm. "I didn't mean it like that. I just mean...why would I even need to ask you? You don't want Chris to come?"

Justin allowed himself to be tugged back down into his seat. "No, I don't care. I like Chris."

"Then why are you mad?"

"I'm not mad," Justin said, then reconsidered. "I'm mad because you invited all these people without even telling me. I thought it was just gonna be us."

"Plus all my relatives," JC reminded.

"Well, but they don't count."

"Oh, thanks," sarcastically.

"You know what I mean."

"No, I don't." JC sighed shortly. "Why are you picking a fight with me?"

Justin picked his spoon back up, poked at his cereal. "I'm just bored."

JC made a sad face. "Am I boring you?"


JC smiled. "I'm sorry. I'll try to be more entertaining."

"Please do."

He leaned over and rested his head on Justin's arm. "You wanna go out tonight?"

Justin stirred his cereal. "No."

"Just us?"

He looked down at JC from the corner of his eye. "Yes."

"Where do you want to go?"

He wrinkled his nose. "Nowhere."

JC lifted his head to look at him. "What?"

"I have my game tonight."

"Oh shit, you do, don't you?" JC grinned at how pissed off Justin looked that he'd forgotten. "Well, after the game. Me and you."

"I have to go celebrate with the team."

"Only if you win," JC said, then laughed as Justin's death-glare set to annihilate. "Okay, tomorrow."

Justin scooted his chair away, just a little. "Tomorrow is Thanksgiving."

JC scooted his over until their chairs bumped. "Okay then, Friday."

Magic words, because suddenly Justin was all sweet snuggly boy, smiling shyly and so close his breath hit JC's lips when he murmured, "Where are you taking me?"

And JC could say nothing but, "Wherever you want."

"Hmm..." Justin licked his bottom lip slowly, bit it. "Surprise me."


JC dropped Justin and Nick off at the gym at five-thirty. Nick jumped out as soon as they pulled to a stop, but Justin lingered. He looked over at JC. "Game starts at seven."

"I know. I'll be there." There were too many students around to kiss, so he settled for taking Justin's hand.

Justin threaded their fingers. "Wish me luck."

JC squeezed. "Luck."


On the locker room bench before the game, Justin watched in disgust as Nick put on what he explained were his "lucky socks". They were lucky because Nick never washed them. Not once, until the season was over. The socks were currently fresh and clean, but Justin was already gagging at the thought of what they'd soon become. "That's seriously the most rank thing I've ever heard in my life."

"Hey," Nick grinned. "Don't knock the socks."

"Oh, hey, by the way: nice job staying out all night before the first game," Justin said. "That was a really good idea. The team sure is lucky to have you as a co-captain. About as lucky as your socks."

Nick said, "I'll take that as a compliment."

"Oh, please do," Justin urged. "I meant it as one. What better way to prepare for a game than having wild monkey sex marathons?"

"I wasn't having wild monkey anything." Nick kicked at Justin with his shoeless right foot while he tied the laces on his left.

"Don't touch me with your hell-feet!" Justin jumped away. "So who were you with, anyway?"

"Quit being nosy." Nick started putting on his right sneaker. "What did you and JC do?"

Justin said, "Quit being nosy."

Coach Wright blew his whistle and called for the team to rally for a pep talk.

Justin told Nick as they stood, "We're gonna win."

And Nick said, "I know."


"Dude, I gotta pee!" Justin had been chanting that since they'd left the post-game celebration. The starting point guard, Michael Ealy, was a day student, which meant he attended West but his family lived in town, so he didn't stay in the dorms. Michael's family's house was on a huge sprawl of property; the perfect place to throw a beer bust, and that's where they'd gravitated after their win for a night of alcohol and pot and general misbehavior.

All of West's day students that hadn't gone away for vacation showed up, but not out of school loyalty. Throughout the town, students of the Academy were considered prime catches because they either came from loaded families or were smart enough to be on scholarship, so plenty of the local high school girls came to watch their athletic events and party with them afterwards. That had a lot to do with the turnout of day students at their holiday games, but nobody cared why anyone else was there as long as there was plenty of intoxicants and make-out partners to go around.

Chris, JC, and Joey had gone to the game but didn't think it was appropriate to go to Michael's. They went back to Chris's apartment and told Justin and Nick to call when they wanted to meet up. A little after one, Justin was tipsy and wanting to make-out but was without his partner of choice. He found Nick and told him that their ride was on the way and they'd better go wait in the driveway. Nick hadn't minded at all.

After picking them up, it was decided that bringing drunken minors to public places probably wasn't a brilliant idea, but there weren't any good groceries and they'd finished the beer at Chris's, so Justin and Nick were dropped off at his apartment with a key to the door and instructions not to burn the place down.

Justin stood in the hallway, hopping from foot to foot as Nick worked the key into the lock. "For real, dude, I gotta piss like a racehorse. I'm 'bout to mess myself."

Nick opened the door and said, "First door on your right."

Justin ran for it. A few minutes later he found Nick in the living room watching TV. "How'd you know that?"

Nick looked up from channel surfing. "What?"

and then Justin got it. "You stayed here last night."

Nick looked back at the screen. "So?"

"Oh fucking shit."

"Shut up. It's not..." Nick sighed. "Nothing happened. I slept on the couch."

Justin raised an eyebrow, hopped over the back of the couch to plop down. "Sure you did."

"I did," Nick insisted.

"Did you want to?"

Nick made a face. "Sleep on the couch?"

"No, I mean..." Justin didn't bother finishing, because they both knew what he meant. Nick fiddled with the remote, shrugged. Justin leaned forward, "Did he want to?"

A very soft reply, "I think....maybe."

"Then why not?"

"Because." Nick laid his head on the back of the couch, staring up at the ceiling like good reasons were written on it. "He's my teacher."

"So?" Justin paused, considering. Figured what the hell. "JC and I..."

Nick looked at Justin now. "Yhea, I know. JC told me when he invited me. Don't worry, I'm not gonna say anything or, you know..." He was quiet, then said, "Anyway, that's different. He's just an RA."

"There'd still be trouble," Justin defended. Who was Nick to act like his romantic prospects were more star-crossed than Justin's? They were about equal, really, as far as the consequences. Well, pretty much. Kind of. Either way, Nick was an ass for always trying to make everything a competition.

Nick said, "Justin," all exasperated

and Justin realized he was maybe more than tipsy, because he felt like taking the remote and throwing it just to see if it'd break. He also realized that Nick's romantic prospects really were much suckier than his, because at least Justin was getting booty galore, whereas there was no booty for Nick. Plus, he was ugly. "Dude, sucks to be you."

Nick snorted. "Thanks."

Justin grinned. "How old is he, do you know?"


"That's not too bad." Even though it was fucking ancient; nearly thirty.

"Doesn't matter anyway," Nick muttered miserably.

"Maybe after graduation..." Justin consoled vaguely, and reached for his beer. But he didn't have a beer. Damn it. "Dude, how long does it take to go to the damn grocery store?"

"Oh, that reminds me!" Nick jumped up and left the room, came back with a small leather bag and a sheet of newspaper and sat down cross-legged in front of the coffee table. He spread out the newspaper and unzipped the bag, pulling out a sack of weed and a pack of Swisher Sweets.

Justin gaped. "What the fuck!"

"On the way here Chris asked me to roll a couple sweets. You wanna help?" Nick said, taking an exacto knife out of the bag and slicing open a cigar. "It's really fucking good shit."

Justin slid off the couch eagerly, reached for a cigar. "Dude, I'm getting smoked out by one of my teachers!"

Nick laughed, "Yhea?"

"That's just so fucking rad I could shit." Justin shook his head. "This is one for the memoirs, right here."


A couple sweets and a couple beers and a couple Pizza Pockets later, Justin was sprawled across the floor playing with JC's hair. Playing, trying to tie knots in it, same thing. Eyes steady on his work, he said, "Hey, Chris."

Chris was on the couch kicking Joey's ass in Mario Party. "Hey, what?"

"You're definitely," Justin pulled on a knot and JC yelped. "my favorite teacher."


Shortly after Joey left, Justin said, "We should go, too." It was well past five a.m. and he was ready to be alone with JC. He told Nick, "You stay here. I'm not about to help your flabby ass stumble up the stairs."

Nick kicked at him halfheartedly from where he lounged on the couch, and missed. "Fuck off."

"Look at you, all drunk and belligerent. You'll wake up JC's parents," Justin admonished.

Nick kicked again, this time grazing Justin's calf. "I won't wake up shit."

Justin raised a fist. "How 'bout I wake up your ass with my foot?"

Nick put up a hand to block the view, as though not being able to see Justin's fist would effectively ward off an attack. "How 'bout you shut up? JC's not worried about it."

JC looked Nick over. "Well, I don't want to wake anyone up or whatever. You can walk, right?"

Nick nodded emphatically. "Yhea, I'm fine. He's just trying to be an asshole."

"That's the booze talking," Justin said.

"You're nuts," Nick told him.

Justin's eyebrows raised. "Am I nuts, or am I so sane it's scary?"

"I'll tell you what's scary is--"

JC interrupted with, "I refuse to listen to y'all bitch all the way home. Why don't you just stay?"

"Should I?" Nick looked over at Chris.

"Doesn't matter. You could just come with Chris tomorrow." JC looked over at Chris, too.

Chris held Nick's gaze for a moment, then looked away. Shrugged. "I don't mind."

"I'm too comfortable to move, anyway," Nick said.

"Okay, bye!" Justin grabbed JC's arm and hurried him out before anyone could change his mind.

When they were sitting in the car JC told him, "We really do have to be quiet when we get back to my house, you know."

Justin slid across his seat, put his hand under JC's shirt. "So let's not go back yet."

JC let Justin kiss him, let him recline their seats and unzip JC's fly, pull him out and into long, strong strokes. JC groaned, bucked. "Lick it," JC gasped, when Justin rubbed his thumb hard along the vein. "Lick it for me."

Justin abandoned the stretch of JC's neck he was sucking on obediently, went down to lap the head and push into the slit with the tip of his tongue. JC put his hand on Justin's hair, urging him to take it all into his mouth. "Come on, I know you can." He shoved Justin's head down, "I know you fucking want it."

Justin sighed as he took his hand off JC and swallowed, the exhalation blowing warm on JC's lap, making him reach above his head and hold the headrest of his seat as he lifted his hips higher, whole body arching up. "This is fucking," JC breathed, "mmm."

Justin pulled off abruptly, and JC started protesting to, "Get back on there!" until he realized that, "Oh." Justin was opening his own pants, pulling himself out. JC stared, mind foggy with lust, and Justin took JC's hand and guided it to his cock, made JC touch him. He watched his own hand being made to jack Justin, licked his lips at the sight of it. Justin leaned up and kissed him, let go and JC kept up the rhythm unguided. They kissed for a few minutes, JC's dick bobbing free and rock-hard in the air, before Justin took hold of him and they moved like one being: working each other in unison, panting into wet kisses, moans that mingled and weren't anyone's, were both's.

Time had them moving faster, shifting their bodies restlessly; noises of frustration because there was no room to just all out lose control and fuckfuckfuck so this was the best they could do. Just squeeze and pull and bite at each other's mouths and suck on each other's tongues and come, one right after the other, Justin all over JC and JC all over himself.

Justin wiped his hand on JC's shirt and rolled over, curled up on his seat. JC just lay there for a while, staring at the ceiling of his car while he came back to his senses. Finally, he fixed his pants and adjusted his seat, put on his seatbelt and turned the key in the ignition. He looked over at Justin, who was snoring softly, and carefully strapped him in, too. Justin stirred, "Lea' me 'lone."

"Shh," JC said. "We're goin' home."


Knocking to the rhythm of shave-and-a-haircut-two-bits woke them up, that and a cooed, "Wakey wakey, boys! Happy Turkey Day! Gobble, gobble, gobble!"

Justin grinned, his eyes still closed. "I love your mom."


JC was gone to pick up both sets of grandparents, and as he kissed Justin goodbye he'd told him to go mingle with his siblings. So here Justin was, standing in the doorway of the living room. And there they were, on the couch watching a rerun of Mama's Family. He said, "Hi."

Tyler glanced at him and then back at the screen, but gave a friendly nod. "Hey."

"Come sit." Heather scooted over and patted the empty seat cushion.

Justin went and sat between them, looked over at Tyler. "So, you, um. Where you thinking about going to college?"

Tyler said, "Here. BMU."

"Oh." Justin looked at the TV. Maybe it was rude to talk while they were trying to pay attention to the show.

Tyler picked up the remote and switched the TV off. "You?"

Justin turned back to Tyler, matched his slight smile. "I'm lookin' at University of Arizona. I wanna keep playing ball, and they got a great team. I'm not for sure on anything yet, though."

Tyler looked properly impressed. "Jace told us you're really good."

"He did?" Justin was pleased in this entirely stupid way, to know that JC talked him up, was proud of him. "He told me you play, uh, football, right?"

Tyler made a dismissive noise. "Yhea, but I'm not serious about it. I'm probably gonna major in business or something."

Justin bobbed his head. "Cool."

Heather, tired of the sports and college talk, cut straight to the chase. "So how long have you two been together?"

Justin was caught off guard. "What?"

"Oh, sorry. JC said you two were...but that was like, a couple weeks ago. Are you like, not, anymore? I just assumed, since you're staying in his room…" she stumbled awkwardly.

"Um, no. We're still..." Justin cleared his throat, "We're, you know. Going on four months."

"Basically, since you met." Tyler showed off his mad math skillz.

"Uh, yhea, pretty much." Justin hadn't realized that JC's family knew they were together. In retrospect, he was glad he hadn't known. If he'd knowingly come here to meet everyone as The Boyfriend, he would've been freaking. It was cool that JC had told them, and that they were all being so nice to him. It was also somewhat unsettling.

"Cool." Heather smiled, so nice. "It was one of those right-away things."

Justin relaxed and said, "Yhea, first time I saw him I was like, I gotsta get me some-a that."

And apparently, no matter how cool a boyfriend's siblings were, TMI was always TMI, because Tyler cried, "Man, that's our brother!" and Heather started cracking up.


When JC finally came back, Justin was napping in his room. He woke up when JC slid behind him on the bed. "Sorry I was gone so long. Traffic was insane."

Justin yawned, stretched. "It's cool."

"You weren't too bored?"

Justin shook his head, rolled over to face him. "Nah, we watched Goonies and played Clue."

JC poked his belly. "You are goonies."

Justin wasn't insulted. "Goonies never say 'die'."

JC smirked, kissed him. "So you're getting along pretty well with the brats, huh?"

Justin shrugged one shoulder. "You know."

"Hmm..." JC put his hand on Justin's waist, rubbed beneath his shirt. "My parents told me I should bring you home more often instead of us always going to the cabin."

Justin put his own hand on JC's waist. "What'd you say?"

"I told them hell no."

Justin pinched him. "Why?"

JC pinched him back twice. "Because, privacy of the cabin or sleeping next door to my little brother? Hmm, tough choice. What, you want to come?"

Justin shrugged again, studied JC's collarbone. "Your family's cool."

JC said, "You like 'em? You can have 'em."

So Justin said, "Fine. I'll take them to the cabin and leave you here."

JC looked sad. "All by myself? I'll get scared."

"Will you cry?" Justin yanked on JC's waist, shaking him.

JC stuck out his lip. "A little bit."

"Goonie," Justin laughed, and nipped JC's lip.


Thanksgiving dinner proceeded without a hitch. Everything came out great, all of JC's relatives found Justin charming, and Justin, for his part, managed to make only a few vague comments about the amount of food Nick consumed.

When they were dismissed from the table to go watch the game and digest so they'd have room for dessert later, Justin went to call his family. He took his cell phone into JC's room and emerged after about a half-hour. He wandered into Tyler's room, where JC lay on the bed watching TV, having felt like lying down after such a big meal. When he saw Justin, JC turned off the TV and got up, and Justin followed him back to his room. They lay down on the bed and JC tuned his TV to the game.

During the first commercial break he asked Justin, "What did your mom say?"

Justin didn't lift his head from where it lay on JC's chest. "She said to tell you guys Happy Thanksgiving and thanks for inviting me and everything."

"That's nice."

Justin could hear JC's heartbeat. "Yhea, I'm supposed to tell your parents, too."

"Okay." They were quiet as the game came back on, but eventually JC broke the silence with, "Did you talk to your dad?"

Justin said, "Yhea."

"Any good news?"

Justin propped himself up on his arm so he could see JC's face. "I don't know how good it is, but he and my mom want me to come home for Christmas. And like, stay with my mom until Christmas Eve and then with him from Christmas till whenever."

JC didn't look thrilled, but just said, "Oh."

Justin took a breath, blurted, "Do you want to come with me?"

JC looked surprised. "To Memphis?"

"Well, not quite Memphis...Millington. It's real close." Justin moved up to pepper his face with entreating kisses. "Please come. It's this tiny shit town and it'll suck if no one's there to keep me company."

JC angled his head and caught one of Justin's kisses before asking, "What about all your friends you miss so much?"

"Okay...but I don't want to fuck any of them."

JC moved away. "I feel so used."

"Bitch." Justin grabbed JC and hauled him closer. "You know you'll miss me like hell."

"No, I won't. I have plenty of friends I want to fuck," JC said, and Justin growled and pinned him down. "Ah! Okay, I don't! All my friends are grotesque mutants!"

"Say the magic word." Justin bore down, purposely crushing him.

JC wriggled, grinning. "Yes."

Justin let up immediately, propped himself on his elbows. "Really?"

"Sure, why not?" JC leaned up and kissed him. "You put up with my family; I'll put up with yours."

"But your family is cool," Justin pointed out.

JC sighed exasperatedly. "How is my family cool? I don't get why you love them so damn much."

Justin looked away. "Because they're just...cool...about shit."

"You mean you being a student? Well, first of all, they don't know it's against the rules. And secondly, they know you're eighteen, so they don't think I'm a crazy pedophile or anything."

"Heh, yhea..." Justin laughed uncomfortably. "But I mean, not just that...but like, just...everything. They're just awesome."

"Dude, if either me or my family had to fall off a cliff, who would you save?" JC demanded.

"Well, it'd be hard to save so many people...and why would you have to fall off a cliff? Who's making up these rules?"

"Ass." JC reached down and slapped the back of Justin's thigh. Let his hand linger there. "Well, I guess it could be worse. You could totally hate my family. Everyone knows relationships never last when there's family-hating involved."

Justin shifted, stared at the headboard. "You know, I already warned you my stepwhore is a complete bitch. And like, one of my uncles is pretty much a drunk. In fact, my whole family kind of sucks."

JC slapped his thigh again. "Why are you telling me this? Are you trying to change my mind?"

"No, you're going. You already said yes." Justin looked at him now, eyes serious.

"I could take it back," JC said.

"I could break your arms," Justin said.

JC laughed, "Okay, fine, I'll go."

Justin nodded, pleased. He was going to hold JC to that, come hell or high water. "Good."


Friday, all the kids slept in and brunched on leftovers. Karen and Roy had left early to hit the Day After Thanksgiving sales, Heather got picked up by her boyfriend, Tyler was downstairs playing Grand Theft Auto, and Nick was in his room reading. Justin and JC had headed to bed for a nap, but never actually fell asleep. They just got under the covers and made out lazily, Beck playing in the background.

When they stopped to catch their breath after a series of particularly long kisses, Justin noticed the time on the bedside clock and asked, "Where are you taking me tonight?"

JC wiggled his eyebrows. "It's a surprise."

"You have to tell me so I know what to wear," Justin said.

JC sat up a little. "Oh, shit. You only have jeans and t-shirts with you, huh?"

Justin sat up, too. "Well, yhea. I didn't think I'd need anything else."

"You want me to take you to the dorms so you can pick up some clothes?" JC offered.

Justin shook his head, getting out of bed and pulling on the clothes he'd discarded earlier. "Nah, it's cool. Tyler said he'd take me to the mall so I could buy stuff. Actually, we said we'd go at three, so we're about to leave. I just need to know where we're going so I know what to get."

"We're going clubbing," JC said.

Justin paused midway to fastening his pants. "Clubbing? Where?"

JC laughed. "You want to take all the fun out of this, don't you? Just get something you'd wear dancing."

Justin buttoned his jeans, zipped them. "No, but I mean...I can't get into clubs."

"It's an eighteen and up."

Justin bit his lip. "Oh."

A knock came at the door leading to the bathroom. Tyler called, "Justin, it's three. You ready?"

"Yhea, I'm coming," Justin called back distractedly, his mind racing. He needed an ID and fast. An eighteen year old ID for a tall blonde with blue eyes. The answer was clear. He kissed JC goodbye quickly, "Later," and beelined for the guestroom. The door was cracked so he went right in, saw Nick lying on the bed with a copy of Neuromancer. "Hey, Carter, you wanna come shopping?"

Nick finished the sentence he was reading, checked the page number, and set the book on the nightstand. "Sure. When?"

"Right now." Justin smacked the doorframe. "Come on, then. Put on some shoes."


The mall was fucking packed. They had to walk about a mile from their parking spot to the entrance, and all the stores were crowded and messy. The good part of that was that it made it easy to grab Nick without Tyler noticing. "Carter, c'mere," Justin said, gesturing for Nick to join him in his dressing room.

Nick checked out the outfit Justin had on. "Looks good."

"I know." No time to state the obvious; there were more important matters at hand. "I need a favor."

Nick was immediately wary. "What?"

"Can I borrow your ID tonight?"

Nick reached for his wallet, took out his driver's license and held it out, then quickly pulled it out of reach on second thought. "Why?"

"I left mine at the dorms," Justin said, impatient but trying not to show it.

"We could swing by and pick it up," Nick said, that stupid fuck.

"Nah, just lend me yours. You don't need it, right?" Justin grinned convincingly, palm out and waiting.

"I guess not." Nick extended his arm again slowly.

"Great." Justin snatched the license. "Thanks, man."

"No prob. Hey, does this shirt make me look chunky?" And here's where Justin usually would've said something disparaging about not blaming the shirt, but instead shook his head.


By eight-thirty Justin was funky fresh dressed to impress ready to party. JC was in the bathroom, about to take a shower. Justin peeked in just for the hell of it, winked at JC before shutting the door and turning on the TV. Then he walked to the far end of the room and sat on the floor, took his cell phone out of his pocket, waited until he heard the shower running and JC singing The Warmth, and called Lance.

It rang twice and then, "Hey, what's up?"

Justin spoke semi-softly, "Not much, man. You have a good Thanksgiving?"

"Yhea, I did, actually. Went over to my aunt's house and grubbed."

"Cool." Justin considered possible segues into what he really wanted to talk about.

But Lance bypassed the bush and beat him to the punch. "So, what happened with JC?"

"How'd you know?" If Taking Over the Universe fell through, Lance should really be a detective, or maybe a lawyer, or a psychic hotline operator, or something.

"You're talking all quiet," Lance said.

"Well, nothing actually happened. I've just been...thinking about stuff."

"What kind of stuff?"

Justin glanced at the bathroom door. JC had abandoned Incubus and was in the middle of the second verse of O Come, All Ye Faithful. "Well like, he's taking me out clubbing tonight, right? And of course I'm not old enough to get into clubs yet, but he doesn't know that...so I borrowed Carter's ID."

"And?" Lance asked, apparently thinking the crisis averted.

"And what if it doesn't work and they don't let me in? How fucking embarrassing would that be?" Justin whispered fiercely.

"Why wouldn't it work?"

"Well, hello. I'm an Adonis and Carter's, like, whatever...Grendel or something." Justin wished for a moment that he'd paid more attention in English. He was pretty sure he was mixing allusions. "What do I say when the bouncer asks me about the picture? That I gained a few hundred pounds and got a face transplant?"

When Lance was amused he chuckled real deep in his chest, and it was easy to imagine he'd do it that way his entire life. And it was weird to think he must've done it as a child, what had that sounded like? Okay, Justin stopped thinking about it. There were bigger fish to fry than a deep-chuckling Bass. Who was, by the way, now saying, "They don't even look at the picture. They just tilt it around to see the holographic designs to make sure it's real. As long as it's a real ID, they don't care if it's yours or not. Especially if you're not trying to drink. They won't hassle you, trust me."

Justin sighed in relief. "Okay, good."

"Why don't you know this already? Haven't you ever gone to a club?"

"Well, sure I have," Justin said, "but all my other boyfriends knew how old I was, so we'd go places where we knew people or sweet talk our way in."

"Are you planning to just never tell JC your real age or what?"

Justin listened to JC belt out Big Pun and smiled as JC insisted he wasn't a player, he just fucked a lot. Then his train of thought veered back on course and he grimaced. "I don't know, man. In a way I really want to; I feel bad and shit."

"Then why don't you?" Damn Lance for always being so reasonable.

But Justin had a good reason. "'Cause he'll get mad."

"The longer you wait to tell him, the more mad he'll get." Again with damning Lance.

"See the thing is, my birthday is like eight weeks away. If I can just keep him from finding out until then, maybe he won't be that pissed. Because yhea, I lied and everything, but then I'll really be eighteen, so no big deal, right?" Justin, for one, was convinced.

Lance wasn't. "Your logic astounds me."

"Why, you don't think that'll help?" Justin frowned. He'd sincerely figured it would.

"I don't know," Lance said. "If I were JC, I would want you to tell me sooner rather than later. And why put yourself through all the guilt of lying and being afraid of getting caught and the possible embarrassment if you are? That's such a hassle."

Justin heard that, understood that, it was nothing he hadn't thought himself, but, "What if he breaks up with me?"

And Lance seemed to understand that it's more of an answer than a question, and let it alone. "Did y'all win the game?"

Justin smiled, remembering the victory. "Of course, man. You have to ask?"

"Just keeping a watchful eye out for signs of Armageddon. Looks like all's well."

Justin laughed a little. "Except for those damn swarms of locusts."

"Except for those," Lance agreed.

There was a stretch of silence, then, "So I should tell him, huh?"

Lance said, "I'm not gonna tell you what to do. You do whatever you feel is right."

Justin said, "Is that a yes?"

"That's a 'figure it out your damn self because I'm not gonna let you blame me for the consequences of whatever you decide'."

Justin said, "Blink twice for yes, once for no."

"We're on the phone," amused.

"Then cough."

Lance proceeded to cough. cough. cough.

"What does three mean?"

"It means 'figure it out your damn--'"

"Okay, fine. Thanks for nothing; I hate you." JC had stopped singing and turned off the water. Justin kept his eyes on the door, waiting.

"I'll see you soon. Tell everyone I say hi."

"Alright, dude. Later." He hung up, snapped his phone closed and went to find the remote.


"Don't be mad." Which was a great way to put someone on the defensive from the get-go. Good Job, JC.

Justin tensed, ready for a fight. "What? No! I'm mad!"

"You're mad? You don't even know what I'm gonna say." JC got that look on his face that Justin hated.

Justin, who had been lying on the bed watching JC put on his clothes, sat up. "This is preemptive anger. I know you're about to tell me something fucked up about tonight."

JC had the grace to look guilty. "Not fucked up necessarily, just--"

"I'm mad!" Justin scooted off the mattress, got to his feet. "I'm mad!"

JC came to him and put his arms around Justin's waist. "It's just that Tony knows the owner of Bright, so we can get in for free and you can drink, instead of going to that eighteen and up place we were gonna go."

"What?" Justin said, "Really? Cool." And after a second, "Why would that make me mad?"

"Because Tony's coming with us." JC braced himself.

"Oh..." Justin blinked, surprising even himself with his apathy. "Fine. I don't care."

"And so's Joey." JC's arms pulled incrementally tighter.

Justin shrugged. "Okay."

"and so's Chris." arms tighter.

"Okay. Even though that's a buttload of people and you promised it would be just us. Fine. I'm mature and nice so I'll let it slide." Justin kissed him, just to prove how cool he was.

JC returned the kiss, pulling his arms even tighter. "and also--"

"No." Justin struggled to get free. "JC, no. Don't say it."

JC clung to him. "We can't just leave him out."

"No! No, JC! I'm mad!" Justin wrenched himself away, the back of his knees hitting the bed and he sat with a thump.

JC frowned down at him. "What happened to mature and nice?"

Justin frowned right back. "So now I'm immature and mean? and mad!"

JC sighed. "It's not like we have to hang out with them. We'll just go in together and then do our own thing."

"This was supposed to be our alone night and you invited every rude, old, ugly, overweight person you could find! Why don't you go cruising downtown and pick up some winos? I bet they'd be up for a night on the town."

"Hey, you like Joey and Chris." JC sat down next to him.

Justin moved away. "It's not about that! You said it would be just us and now it's everyone and their mama!"

"You just don't want Nick to go," JC said flatly.

"Exactly!" Give the boy a cookie, he's finally catching on!

"What's your problem? I thought you guys were cool now?" JC demanded, looking pissed.

And seeing JC pissed made Justin even more pissed, because look at how Nick was causing fights. "He's always trying to get in on my stuff! My school, my team, my friends, my boyfriend, even my fuckin' holidays. I'm not gonna share my dates with him, too!"

"Technically, it was his school and team first. If anyone should be mad about the whole co-captains thing, it should be him. But he got over it, because unlike some people, he doesn't think the world revolves around him. And as for sharing your boyfriend, don't I get a say in that?" JC crossed his arms and tilted his head.

"You always take his side!" And he did. And it wasn't fair, damnit.

"No I don't! If there was a side to take, trust me, psycho, I'd take yours. But the thing you don't seem to realize is there are no sides. Nick, for reasons beyond my comprehension, actually likes you, despite your best efforts to treat him like shit. Earlier tonight, he was telling me about how at first he resented you for coming to West and basically taking over--"

Justin jumped to his feet, stabbing the air with a triumphant finger. "Ah ha!"

JC grabbed his arm and yanked him back down. "--but then he got to know you and thinks you deserve to be co-captain and he's happy you are, because it's what's best for the team. And he thinks it's cool that you joined Society, because the closer the two of you are off the court, the closer it'll bring the team on it."

Justin guffawed. "Oh, holy fuck, you fell for that crap? What a load!"

JC looked as exasperated as Justin felt. "Let me guess: him talking you up is all a part of some nefarious scheme?"

Was Justin the only one who saw through Nick? "Well, it sure makes him look good, doesn't it? Mr. Nice Guy Taking the High Road."

JC stood up, shaking his head as he walked towards the door. "Look, he's going. That's final."

Justin stood up, too. "Fine! Have fun."

JC turned around, eyeing him suspiciously. "What do you mean?"

"I mean, have fun." His meaning clear.

JC glared. "You're going, too."

Justin said, "Like hell."

And then JC was all up in his face. "You're fucking going, Justin. You are not going to throw a fucking tantrum and waste our vacation time. You're going to come out and freakdance with me and get drunk and let me feel you up and be nice to everyone and have a great fucking time whether you like it or not."

Justin didn't back down, looked JC dead in the eye and told him, "No. I'm. not."


After spending fifteen minutes in the kitchen eating pumpkin pie and pretending he wasn't going to give in, Justin went to the guestroom to find Nick. He was sitting on the bed. "Here." Justin flicked Nick's driver's license at him. He didn't need to borrow it anymore and was eager to pretend like Nick had never loaned it to him in the first place. Feeling indebted to a morbidly obese asshole that horned in on his entire life wasn't high on Justin's List of Fun Things to Do.

"Want some?" Nick held out a bottle of roll-on body glitter, "There's teensy silver stars and hearts in it."

"Are you kidding me?" Justin looked horrified. "Why do you own that?"

"It makes me feel pretty," Nick shrugged, getting up and coming at him with it aimed at Justin's face. "Let me just put some on your cheeks, you'll see."

"Get the fuck away from me!" Justin ran towards the bathroom, flung open the door and barreled in, crashing into Heather, who yelped as she stumbled beneath his weight.

"What's going on?" She looked at Nick, reached out and took the bottle from his hand. "Why do you have my glitter?"

"I found it on the counter." Nick smiled sheepishly. "Sorry. I was just teasing Justin a little."

Heather laughed, turned to Justin. "You want some sparklies, Justy?"

"Stay away from me, both of you!" Justin ran away to find JC, who was in the bathroom that connected his room to Tyler's, fixing his hair. Justin stopped in the doorway. "You should know that I was just attacked by your sister and your fat best friend."

"Attacked?" JC didn't look away from the mirror. "Well, I assume you walked here, so you can't be that mangled."

"They tried to put glitter on me." Expecting some sympathy, if not outrage.

"Fiends!" But it didn't sound like he meant it. Justin made a face at him for being a heartless bastard and braced his arms on the counter top, eyes on JC's reflection. He watched him mess with his hair.

Okay, this was getting boring. Justin sighed. "Pay attention to me."

"Let me get ready first; we're about to leave," said Mr. Vain, whose hair looked fine but still couldn't bear to tear himself away from the mirror long enough to appreciate his sexy boyfriend.

What's that expression, about skinning cats? "Fine, then I'll pay attention to you."

JC stood back, checking himself out. "Tell me how I look."

Justin said, "Hot."

"Go on."

And the Prince of Adjectives said, "Very hot."

JC smiled. "You're good at this."

"I'm good at everything." Justin abandoned admiring the reflection in favor of the real thing. "I'm a good boy."

JC turned around, leaned against the counter and smirked. "You are?"

"I'm a very good boy," Justin insisted, looking at him through his lashes. "Unless you want me to be naughty."

"You're a freak."

"You love it." Justin gave an exaggerated pout. "Come on, I'm a bad boy, spank me."

JC laughed, shocked but amused. "Justin, my god. What's gotten into you?"

"You could get into me, if you'd like. Right now." Justin wiggled his ass invitingly.

JC pushed away from the counter, stepped up behind him and put his hands on Justin's hips. "You don't want to go out?"

Justin caught JC's eyes in the mirror. "I do."

JC tightened his hold on Justin's hips. "Then why are you trying to rile me up?"

Justin grinned, pressed back against him. "So I can tell you no."

"It's working," JC mumbled, one hand slipping down Justin's thigh.

"I know." Justin straightened and started to pull away. "We gotta get going."

"Let me just..." JC tried to tighten his hold.

"Nuh-uh!" Justin twisted away. "Let's go."

"You're evil," JC said, following Justin into his bedroom.

Justin rooted through his backpack, untroubled. "That's what you get for making our night out a group effort."

"Tease," saving his scowl until Justin found what he was looking for and started coming towards him.

"Not a tease." Justin made a most innocent face, sliding a condom and a small tube of lube into JC's back pocket, taking a moment to squeeze and smack his ass; a promise in his eyes. "I put out."


Justin had to admit it was cool to be able to cut in front of the long line of people waiting to get inside and sail right by the bouncer into the club. And Bright was a nice place, tall ceilings and areas off of the dance floor with tables and booths and couches to hang out on, a large outside porch with a separate DJ spinning. All their drinks were on the house and they took good advantage of that, requesting rounds of every shot they could remember. Justin had never been out dancing with JC before, and was delighted to find that he was quite the club-whore, all nasty grinding and wandering hands and licking and panting dirty lyrics in his ear. It was almost worth the extra company. Almost.

Because even though Justin was brought up too well not to thank Tony for inviting them along, mama didn't raise no fool. So when they were standing at a table taking Blowjob shots and Tony danced up behind JC, Justin promptly shoved Tony's hand off of JC's waist and said, "Don't touch him, you whore!"

Joey and Chris laughed, Tony and Nick looked shocked, and JC gasped, "Justin!"

"What?" Justin stacked their shot glasses into a little tower. It leaned. Leaning Tower of Blowjobs, he thought, and laughed under his breath.

And maybe JC thought that Justin was laughing about something else, because he grabbed Justin by the wrist and dragged him out onto the porch, across and to the far end of it, before letting go. "What the hell is wrong with you?"

"Um," Justin shrugged. "Nothing?"

"I think there might be, considering you just called my best friend a whore. You better go in there and say you're sorry."

"But I'm not!" Justin folded his arms across his chest and scowled. "He's an ass and Nick's fat and you yanked my arm."

"Don't call Tony an ass; he's one of my best friends! And it's really not cool that you won't even attempt to get along with him for my sake." Justin tried to interrupt, but JC held up a hand and continued, "When you disrespect my friends, you're disrespecting me. Tony didn't have to invite you along tonight but he did, because he cares about me and I care about you, so he's trying to make an effort to be nice. And if you give a fuck about me at all, you'll do the same."

Justin rolled his eyes. "JC, don't get all Oprah on me. I'm too buzzed for that."

JC set his jaw, "Fine, whatever." and turned to walk away.

But Justin quickly caught up and wrapped his arms around him, pressing his front to JC's back and speaking softly in his ear, "Don't hate me, okay? I'm sorry."

JC leaned against him, his hands coming up to cover Justin's. "Go tell that to Tony, then maybe I'll believe you."

Justin sighed heavily, knowing the only alternative was having JC mad at him. He released everything but JC's hand and followed him back inside. The table they had been at before was empty, but Justin spotted Tony on the dance floor. "He's dancing right now. I'll tell him later."

"You'll tell him now," JC said. "I'll go sit with Chris and Nick." pointing to a dim booth in the corner that Justin hadn't noticed.

Justin sighed again and pushed through the crowd towards Tony, glad he was drunk or else he'd probably be more annoyed at this situation. When he reached him, he tapped his shoulder. Tony turned around and raised an eyebrow. "Lookin' for a good time, sailor?"

"Um, yhea, about the whole 'whore' thing," Justin squinted, trying to think of a way to say 'I'm sorry' without having to actually say it. "Well, you know...I meant it in a good way."

"So I'm a good whore?" Tony smirked, "Better than being a bad one, I guess."

Justin smirked back, "You would know," and when Tony laughed, Justin decided that maybe he wasn't so bad after all. Or maybe I'm just drunk, which was also entirely possible. The song playing ended and a new one began, and they danced together, because they were in the middle of the floor and it was either that or stand there like idiots. Tony, Justin noted, was a pretty good dancer. Not as good as himself, of course, but that was inevitable. Not everyone could be Born Dance Gods like him and JC. Tony kept making snarky comments whenever ugly people danced by, and damned if Justin wasn't having a good time. Suddenly he blurted, "Look, I only hate you because you want JC to dump me."

"What?" Tony seemed honestly surprised. "Why would I want JC to dump you?"

"Because," Justin wished he could take the words back, but it was too late. "Um, because. You know. I'm young. -er. Younger than y'all. and stuff."

"Dude, you need to get over that," Tony told him. "If you make JC happy, we're cool. As long as you don't fuck him over, and you don't make a habit of calling me a whore, I probably won't devise your untimely death."

Justin flung his arms around Tony in a drunken display of spontaneous affection. "You're the best, man!"

Tony laughed and hugged him back, "And god bless you for being fine as fuck and liking tight clothes. Now teach me how you do that hip-thrusty thing."

Justin demonstrated.

"No, that other hip-thrusty thing."

Justin demonstrated.

"No, that other--"

"Dude, you're gonna have to be a little more specific."

Tony grinned and wagged his eyebrows. "But the process of trial and error is oh, so nice."

"Okay, break it up." And there was JC, out of nowhere, pushing them apart. "Don't make me turn the hose on you kids."

Justin released Tony happily and threw himself on JC. "There you are!"

"Yes, you looked like you were missing me," JC said dryly, but was obviously hiding a smile.

"Me and Tony are friends now, JC. Just for you," Justin kissed JC's cheek sloppily. "Right, Deftones?"

"Friends," Tony nodded his affirmation. "With benefits, if you want."

"He doesn't want," JC glared at Tony's mischievous expression. "You really are a whore."

Tony laughed and said, "The offer stands!" before dancing off in the direction of a shirtless guy with pierced nipples.

Justin nibbled JC's neck. "Let's go fuck in the car again."

JC grabbed Justin's ass and said, "Let's fuck right here."


"Right here" ended up being the first booth they fell into, JC on his back and Justin covering him, one knee on the bench and one foot braced on the floor for leverage. JC, that little slut, shimmied happily out of his pants and had his knees framing his face, folded back like the Rubber Man in a freak show, hot and slippery and panting encouragement as Justin twisted lube-slick fingers inside of him.

Justin had his fly splayed open and his pants had slipped precariously low, any voyeurs scouting for exposed flesh could see just the barest cleft of Justin's ass and JC's toes wiggling happily. True, the side view was much more appealing, but the table blocked the good stuff.

And then Justin was in and pumping along with the music, teeth clenched as he watched JC sweat and arch. JC moaned, clutching the table, knocking over stray glasses and not giving a fuck, slapping his hand down in the spilled drinks trying to find something to hold onto, and after his fingers scrambled futilely for purchase, grabbing the back of Justin's neck. His hand was wet and that was dirty and Justin didn't give a fuck, because the way they surged together like a dance to this song (one Justin recognized but couldn't name for the life of him; he was too busy feeling to think), that was dirty too and maybe Justin liked dirty. Fuck, he loved it.

And apparently JC was a big fan, himself, because his other hand was working his own cock frantically and soon he was bucking so hard he nearly threw Justin off, coming and saying something Justin couldn't quite make out but he knew it was dirty. And that dragged him over the edge, made him hiss, hips moving blur-fast, and his foot slid on the floor and he fell on JC as he came so deep and so hard and so dirty.

After a minute of just laying there trying to breathe, JC said, "Damn."

Justin moved off of him, taking the used condom off of himself and throwing it under the table before fixing his pants and blocking any possible onlookers as JC pulled on his own pants and socks and shoes. They both had cum on their shirts, and they didn't have to talk to agree that it was time to go home.

"Where's Carter the Farter?" Justin squinted at the crowded dance floor. "Should we go get him? Follow the stench of bacon? This would be easier if there was a concession stand."

JC moved to hit Justin but ended up taking hold of his hand. "He'll find a ride. Let's go, I'm tired."

Justin leaned against JC on the drive home, face pressed into JC's neck as he snored. Every time they hit a bump that jostled Justin awake, he'd insist he hadn't been sleeping. "Whaah? No, I'm awake." Though JC hadn't asked.

Justin almost felt sympathetic while JC dragged him into the house and up the stairs to bed, but he was too tired to really give a damn. When he hit the mattress, he automatically yanked off all his clothes and got under the covers, snuggling close when JC joined him. "Tomorrow's the last day of vacation," JC told him.

"Okay," Justin mumbled, "Shut up." And promptly fell back asleep.


Saturday morning was slept through completely; they didn't wake up until past two in the afternoon. Everyone was gone except for Tyler, who had a group of friends over watching movies, so Justin and JC decided to go over to Chris's rather than ruin his fun. Tyler invited them to stay, introducing Justin to his friends as, "that new dude at West who made co-captain of the basketball team." Which provoked a favorable reaction that Justin soaked up like an egomaniacal sponge. He was almost tempted to stay until he realized it probably wouldn't be a great idea for him to be all up on JC in front of these people, because he came from a small town and he knew how news traveled. And if there was one thing he loved more than preening, it was getting to paw at JC like a dog in heat.

So here they were at Chris's, smoking weed and watching Cannibal! The Musical, Nick lying on the floor on one side of the coffee table, Chris sitting cross-legged on the other side, and Justin stretched out on the couch chest-to-back with JC. JC's head was tucked under his chin; he blew at JC's hair to get it away from his mouth. "You guys remember the robot maid from The Jetsons? Rosie? I always thought she was a bitch, and probably a dyke. But maybe that's just me."

Nick coughed as he passed the joint to Chris. "Yhea, I'm pretty sure it is."

Chris hit the joint, his voice tight as he spoke while holding in smoke. He looked at JC and said, "So what's the deal with the Kelly Writing House seminars? You think you can get up the money for it in time?" and exhaled in a rush.

Justin couldn't see JC's face, but he could tell it was something JC hadn't wanted him to know about by his tone. "Um, I don't know, man."

So of course Justin wanted to know, "The Kelly whaty-whats?"

Chris opened his mouth to answer, but JC hurried with, "It's nothing; it's just this playwright workshop thing. It's all the way in Pennsylvania and it's like two hundred dollars. That's before travel and everything; a plane ticket would be a few hundred more. I don't wanna blow all that money anyway."

"I told you, you won't have to get a hotel. I've got a friend who's a professor at U of P who'd be more than willing to let you crash with him." Chris stretched his arm out to pass the joint to JC.

Justin said, "When is this?"

Chris said, "Spring break."

Justin slapped JC's side. "What? No! You're not gonna be here for Spring Break?"

"You want to stay in town for Spring Break?" JC hit the joint.

"Well no, not here, but you know what I mean. I thought we'd go somewhere together." Justin waited for JC to exhale and answer.

"We will. I'm not going, I told you. It was just an idea."

Justin glared at Chris. "Quit giving him stupid ideas."

"Hey, I just mentioned it to him; he got all excited about it on his own," Chris shrugged.

"I wasn't excited!" JC protested. He tilted his head back a little, bumping Justin's chin so his teeth clacked softly. "I wasn't excited. I'd rather be with you."

"You better," Justin grumped. He put his nose to JC's hair and sniffed. The matter was settled; JC wasn't going anywhere without him. JC passed the joint to him and he took it and hit it, one hand smushing down JC's hair so it wouldn't get in the way, yet Justin didn't feel quite as satisfied as he might.


In JC's room that night, curled naked in bed but just cuddling, face to face. Justin kissed the ridge of JC's cheekbone and said, "We go back tomorrow."

JC sighed. "I know. Don't talk about it."

Justin kissed just beneath his eye. "Real life sucks."

JC's eyes closed at the touch. "Yhea, it does."

So Justin kissed his eyelid. "Dorms suck."

JC nodded slightly, his eyes still shut. "Yhea, they do."

"I wish you were my roommate," Justin whispered silkily, stroking JC's hair.

JC leaned into the touch but said, "There are no roommates."

Justin licked at JC's lips and amended, "Well then, I wish there were roommates."

JC smiled vaguely. "I don't. I'd never get anything done with you around."

Justin pushed his weight onto JC. "I wish there was nothing to get done."

JC let Justin roll him onto his back. "You wish we could be on holiday forever, basically?"

"Yes." Justin was on top of him now, kissing him hard and hands all over. They were pressed tight head to foot, hot skin, grinding.

JC moaned, pulled away and panted, "We're gonna wake up my brother."

Justin's grin was feral, wicked. "JC, if there's one thing we've perfected in the past four months, it's the quiet fuck."

JC laughed breathlessly. "We've made good progress on the loud fuck, too."

"Yhea, well," Justin mumbled into JC's neck, "no one can fault us for lack of practice."


Sunday, they woke up to an elaborate breakfast, due to the huge floral arrangement Karen had received that morning. The card had read:

To the Chasez Family,
With much gratitude for a beautiful Thanksgiving dinner, and for opening your home to me,
Justin Timberlake

"You are the sweetest. thing. alive," Karen insisted, spooning more homemade hash browns onto Justin's plate. "You're just cute and sweet as a little honeybee."

"That's him," JC agreed, grinning at Justin before stuffing his mouth with biscuits and gravy.

Justin kicked JC under the table and turned on his shy country boy half-smile for Karen. "Aw shucks, it's the least I could do. I woulda missed home like crazy if it wasn't for y'all taking me in."

"Little honeybee," Karen cooed, pinching Justin's cheek. "I'm gonna go wake up my lazy kids. It's nearly eleven and they're still asleep."

"Little honeybee," JC mimicked once his mom was gone, which earned him another kick. "Did you actually say, 'Aw shucks'? Please tell me that was some sort of auditory hallucination."

Justin just shrugged and ate happily. He liked Karen; he'd even laughed at her joke about how she 'shaped the biscuits like basketballs' for him. He watched JC inhale his breakfast and reach for the last biscuit, splitting it and giving Justin half without even asking first. Justin smiled, said, "Hey, about last night..."

JC looked at him interestedly as he poured gravy onto his biscuit. "Last night?"

"About those playwright seminars. If you really wanna go, you can. I mean, I won't hate you that much, I guess." Which was as close as Justin was gonna get to giving it his blessing. He wasn't gonna outright encourage JC to waste the many sex opportunities of a perfectly good Spring Break.

JC smiled, shook his head. "Nah, I'm not going. Why would I spend all that money just to suffer through a week without your fine ass?"

That was a good answer, and Justin rewarded it with a quick kiss before going back to his hash browns.

JC reached out and flicked Justin's ear. "So you had a good Thanksgiving?"

Justin grabbed JC's hand and held it. "I had a lot to be thankful for," and when JC made a stupid face, Justin tightened his grip until it was painful and said, "What with winning the game and all."

"Oh yes, almighty basketball," JC rolled his eyes. "So, you're a happy little honeybee?"

Justin grinned. "Buzz."

* ** * ** *



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