Movement In Still Life
by Icebun & Pablo

Nowadays, when people talk about him he always hears words like `fabulous' and `classy' and `diva'. But growing up, Lance was a nerd. A genuine pocket-protector wearing, president of the math club, class-A nerd.

If that wasn't bad enough, he was a nerd who just happened to have the added stigma of being gay. So yeah, those two things added together made high school a whole heap of not-fun for Lance and he promised himself that when he went to college he was either going to be a) less of a geek or b) less gay.

He went for the former, because being as he really, really liked boy- fucking, the second option was always going to be nearly impossible to put into practice.

In his second year of college, he ended up rooming with a guy named Tom. Tom was six foot something and dark and Lance supposed you could call him that way that, you know, supermodels are and all. Lance developed possibly the worst crush on a straight boy he'd had in all his life.

So when Tom was having a get together with a few friends for his birthday and at the last minute invited Lance along, well, Lance couldn't really say no. He'd never really been out clubbing before; he'd been to bars and parties, but never to an actual club.

He was, of course, totally inappropriately dressed for it. Tom shook his head at Lance and after a few moments spent rummaging through his closet, threw a pair of leather pants and a sheer blue shirt at him and turned his back, waiting for him to get changed. Lance was amazed he actually managed to get the pants on and more amazed that he actually looked good in them. He'd never worn anything like that before, never worn anything that didn't hide his body. He wasn't sure he had the confidence to pull it off, but he'd promised himself he was going to try and be less geeky, and nothing said non-geeky quite as effectively as clothes that sexy.

Tom leaned in, close enough that Lance could feel warm breath on his skin, and told him he looked amazing. Each word made Lance shiver and when Tom spiked Lance's hair up with gel and said that Lance should never hide himself, because he was stunning, Lance figured that maybe he'd got the straight part a little wrong.

When they arrived at the club, waiting in line, Lance felt exposed, alone, like maybe this wasn't for him. Like he just didn't fit, that maybe he should just forget about it and go home instead.

Lance realised he'd never quite fit anywhere, though, and like his mama told him, a Bass does not give in. Ever.

Thank God he'd taken her advice.

Later, when Lance's senses were assaulted by lights and smoke and music that pulsated like a strong heartbeat alongside his own, Tom pressed a small white pill into Lance's hand. When Lance asked what it was, his roommate told him it was ecstasy and that Lance would thank him later.

He had.

Maybe it was stupid to trust someone whom he didn't really know. Maybe it was incredibly stupid of him to take drugs, but Lance didn't care. He was sick of not fitting, of being just not quite right, like the proverbial square peg.

But after that night, nothing was the same again.

He wasn't the same again.


Friday nights after work always mean one thing; forgetting about the entirely uninteresting events of the week and getting ready to go out. Lance likes to savour these moments, the preparation, so he takes his time and makes sure everything is just how he wants it.

He has pretty much just gotten out of the shower when a shrill noise cuts through his thoughts.

He groans. Only one person would fuck with his routine like this.

"Yo. Buzz me up, bitch."

Lance throws the towel he's been drying his hair with onto the kitchen table and walks over to the door, sighing. He holds it open for the inevitable onslaught that he knows will be appearing in seconds.

Justin is a self-proclaimed 'retail queen' who Lance met six months ago when he was representing Versace and went to take advantage of the freebies they'd offered him. Justin's not that typical of most people who work retail, in that he really does love his job and Lance has to admit that when it comes to fashion, Justin knows what he's doing. Lance wouldn't be surprised if Justin branched out and inevitably became a designer himself one of these days.

In a way, Lance envies Justin. They're so close in age, but Justin's not the one who lives for the weekends. He loves them of course, but Justin also has a job where he can relive the weekend over and over to the envious ears of adoring boys and girls alike. Lance is the one who despises everyone he works for and with, and he gets more respect at the fucking club than he gets from his work colleagues, most of whom think he's far too young an ad exec to be garnering the calibre of clients he has.

"Justin, why exactly are you here this early?" Lance shuts the door after him. Justin's like a whirlwind, like there's no force on earth that could stop his stampede through Lance's hallway.

"And that was just the welcome I was looking for, thanks Lance," Justin's frown melts into a smile, like he really can't stay mad. "I'm doing well and how are you?"

Lance rolls his eyes, "You know what I mean, it's not even ten. I wasn't expecting you for another couple of hours."

"So I'm early." Justin shrugs, "We talked about this, are you afraid if I get here before midnight I'll see you while you're still a pumpkin?"

Lance snorts. A pumpkin indeed. "Okay, J. Just when did we talk about this?"

Justin tilts his head to the side like he always does when he's thinking, "What? We talked...didn't we? Okay, well maybe I meant to tell you I was gonna be early...."

Justin gestures for Lance to help him with one of the bags he has and it's then that Lance notices Justin's weighed under by more luggage than Imelda Marcos on a national tour. There's a huge coat bag and another couple of carry bags as well as all the loose stuff Justin's carrying.

"Jeez," Lance shakes his head as he helps Justin lay everything on the kitchen table. "We're going for a night out, not three weeks away!"

Justin merely shrugs his shoulders as he starts to rifle through one of the carry bags. "What can I say? I like to be prepared."

Lance surveys the mess that Justin's arrival has created in his normally uncluttered apartment. He mutters under his breath, "Yeah well, to say you like being prepared is kind of like saying you like to suck cock."

"Found it." Justin pulls a bottle of Veuve Clicquot out of the bag he's been looking through; the glass of the bottle is covered in a dewy sheen, still cold.

Lance grins, "Y'know, being prepared is one of your better qualities."

Justin looks very pleased with himself and Lance has to admit that's one of his most endearing traits, the fact that he's always pleased when his friends are happy. Kinda adorable really, though Lance would rather be tortured slowly than reveal he finds anything about Justin 'adorable'. Or anyone else for that matter.

"You don't by chance have two glasses in there as well?" Lance asks as he tries to look in one of Justin's bags.

Predictably, Justin is territorial about his things and he swats Lance's hands away.

"What? You can't blame me, considering just how much shit you have, can you?" Lance shrugs and walks over to get glasses.

"So what do you think of my pants?" Justin is wearing incredibly tight pants. Red leather and so tight that Lance can't even fathom how he got them on without someone else helping.

"Justin, it doesn't even look like you're wearing pants... it looks like you're blushing."

Justin chews on a fingernail. "So you, uh, like them?"

Lance looks at them again, letting his gaze travel up and down Justin. He has a great body, and he's tall and lean and the pants make him look even taller. Well that and the huge fuck-off boots that he's wearing.

Lance grins. "They're fucking fabulous," he says as he pops the cork and pours the bubbly champagne into two flutes. It overflows and he licks at his fingers, his warm skin sticky-sweet with alcohol.

Justin holds up another pair of pants. Gold. He has this expression on his face that says 'Yeah. So the man.' and Lance just shakes his head as he takes a good gulp from his drink. No way in hell is Justin getting him into gold of all things.

Lance's glass is almost empty. The first never seems to last long, so he reaches for the bottle, giving himself a top-up and points to Justin's glass. "You need more?"

Justin is still fucking around with his bags, only half paying attention as he pulls things out, wrinkling his nose as he tries to find whatever he appears to be missing. He looks over at his champagne, which is almost untouched, and drains it in one go, holding his glass out towards Lance. "Yeah, thanks."

Lance fills the glass and rolls his eyes. "You know the normal response would have been to just say no."

Justin laughs so hard, he almost spits out his drink. "The irony of you talking to me about over-drinking. Oh, that's a good one, Lance." He's still laughing minutes later.

Lance raises an eyebrow, but he doesn't argue. Justin's right after all. Lance knows he likes to drink. A lot. In fact, if his parents had any idea the amount of alcohol he drinks, let alone the recreational drug use, they'd have him in rehab faster than he could blink. He wouldn't be able to explain to them that it's perfectly normal for someone his age to indulge in...whatever. People their age seem to have permanently forgotten what it's like to be young.

Lance intends to prescribe to the James Dean motto: live hard, die young and leave a good-looking corpse. He really has no need or desire to be sixty years old with lung and liver cancer, and given the amount he smokes and drinks, that's exactly what he'd be at that age.

Geez, morbid much? Life and death type thoughts should be saved for another time, like when he's not getting ready to go out.

Justin grabs his shoulder. "Hey! Earth to Lance. Have you organised anything for tonight?"

Lance shakes his head. He never has to organise his drugs before he goes out, because there's always someone he knows with more to spare. One person in particular who he's sure he'll see tonight and he really needs to not focus on things that feel too much like hope. Either he sees him or he doesn't, no big.

Justin frowns. "Well, I've still got this. It's not really enough to bother taking with us, though. Wanna just do it now?" Justin is holding up a baggy half-full of white powder, which Lance presumes is coke, 'cause that and the pills is all Justin ever does these days. Speed's 'so over, Lance' and he doesn't like ketamine, either. But Lance has to laugh because Justin's idea of not enough to bother taking is not the same as the average, non drug-scavenger type person's limits.

Not that that is a bad thing, of course.

"Why not." Lance shrugs.

Glass-topped tables make the best surface for doing lines off, in Lance's quite considerable experience. Well, that and mirrors, but the table in the living room is part of their weekly routine and besides, the whole mirror thing is a tired clich in Lance's opinion.

Justin pours all the coke onto the glass and pulls a card out from his wallet, before separating the mass of powder into six thick lines.

Lance blinks. "Oh my god, they're huge."

Justin licks the remnants of coke off his credit card. "Sorry, dude. I can make them smaller?"

Lance grabs a ten dollar bill from Justin's wallet and rolls it up. He lowers his head and snorts one line, continuously without breaking. "Yeah, well, so can I."

There's a sticky chemical burn down the back of Lance's throat and he feels that wavy, rollercoaster-type feeling starting in his stomach and moving through his body. Hair stands up on the back of his neck and arms and it feels so fucking good that he can't believe it's only been a week since he last did this; it feels like it's been forever. He drains his glass and reclines back on the sofa.

Lance opens his eyes for just a second, and Justin moves, leans over him and presses his lips to Lance's before moving back to sit opposite him.

Lance is still adjusting to the cocaine racing through his bloodstream like wildfire and when he speaks his words are long and drawn-out, southern vowels heavily weighted, "Why did you do that?"

Justin grins and shrugs. "There doesn't always have to be a reason why, Lance." He gets up from his seat and from where he's sitting; Lance can see Justin open the fridge.

"You're almost out of orange juice, you know," Justin says as he starts to rifle through another one of his bags. He comes back with a CD and replaces the one Lance had been listening to with his own and with a flick of his wrist turns the volume up way too loud.

"I was listening to that, Justin. The polite thing to do would be to ask first."

Justin fake-yawns. "Nobody listens to French house anymore, Lance, I was saving you from joining the ranks of the unfashionable."

"Oh well, thanks for saving me, what would I do without you?" Lance snorts and gestures for Justin to show him the cover. Justin throws it, the case landing in Lance's lap.

Lance laughs as he sees "House mix by Chris Kirkpatrick" emblazoned on the cardboard in black marker. Figures. The boy is obsessed.

Lance can tell it's going to be a really long night, but then again long nights are always the best.


As they get out of the cab, Lance takes in Justin's entire outfit for the first time. He stands there, shocked expression on his face before he spits the words out.

"Uh, Justin...what are you wearing?"

Justin looks puzzled. "I...what? It's my new coat."

Justin's coat is big and brown and shaggy and Lance contemplates asking Justin whether Han Solo knows that Justin's found his wookie, "It's seventy fucking degrees, Justin. Why exactly are you wearing that coat?"

There's no way that Justin would understand just how inappropriate his wardrobe is for a night like this. A night of being pressed into a tiny space like a bunch of over-medicated sardines. Lance is all for looking fabulous, but there are limits.

Justin obviously doesn't get that. Lance thinks that there's probably a lot that Justin doesn't get. Or more accurately, he just doesn't care.

"Because it's new and it looks amazing, don't you think?"

Lance just rolls his eyes, "Well aside from the fact you look like a fucking extra from Star Wars Episode 2: Attack of the Homos...?" He laughs. "Yeah, alright Justin, the coat looks amazing."

Justin beams. "Thanks, Lance!"

"I was talking about the coat, J." Lance snorts.

Justin doesn't flinch, big, stupid grin still plastered on his face as they walk to the head of the line. Past the faces, twisted and ugly with envy and Lance can't even remember what that was like. To have to stand in a line like that and pass the test of being cool enough or pretty enough to get in the door.

As he walks past the long line of faceless nameless people, a pretty, emaciated blonde girl who doesn't look like she's ever kept a meal down, mutters under her breath about how much she loathes him and Lance doesn't even have any idea who she is. It's a surreal experience, being hated by people he doesn't even know. Almost as surreal as the never-ending offers of drinks, drugs and sex that he gets every week and the people who call him by name, despite the fact he doesn't know their own.

As he passes the girl, he smirks and makes a mental note to make sure she doesn't get in tonight, or ever. Not that he gives a fuck either way what some random girl or guy thinks.

He knows he's worth a hundred of them.

Lance stops and watches Justin as he walks through the door, gliding down the stairs. He's all long, elegant neck and head tilted back; swan-like. No feathers, though. Well, the coat'll do.

Lance can recall what it was like to need to try that hard to be seen, when he'd have to hide everything about himself just to be noticed.

Lonnie's on the door as usual and he stands there like a statue, determined, his face giving nothing away. But as Lance reaches him, the granite crumbles a little and he grins and shakes Lance's hand.

"How's it going, man?" Lonnie reaches into his pocket and pulls out a packet of Marlboro Lights and offers one to Lance, who can't believe he forgot to grab cigarettes before he and J were out the door.

Lance puts a hand on his shoulder as Lonnie lights his cigarette. He inhales and then lets out a contented sigh. "Great. Now." He laughs.

Lonnie puts his hand up as the guy at the front of the queue tries to move forward. "I told you to wait." He turns back to Lance. "Sorry, man."

Lance shrugs. "No drama. So what's it like down there? Busy?"

"Pretty busy. You staying long?"

Lance shrugs. "See how I go."

Lonnie squeezes his shoulder. "Yeah, well, you have a good night, hear?"

Lance reaches into his pocket and pulls out a stick of gum and pops it into his mouth, grinning. "Always."

Lance can feel the thump-thump of the music entwining with his own heartbeat and he slows his pace, walking down the stairs, one at a time. He doesn't bother rushing to find Justin; he knows exactly where he'll be. Justin is a favourite among the door bitches and sure enough, when Lance reaches the bottom of the stairs, Justin's there, leaning on the counter.

Lance detests both the girls working the door. The trouble with the average door-bitch is that they think they're above everybody, something Lance finds extremely laughable when all they do is take people's money, gossip all night and rummage through coat pockets on the off chance of finding drugs. And during the week they're either retail assistants or hairdressers, so it makes him laugh to think that these girls seem to think they're something special.

These two are no different. They're clones in Donna Karan, matching haircuts and smears of red lipstick that make them look like identical vampires. They're fawning over Justin and his overpriced, inappropriate coat and flirting, giggling like schoolgirls.

Lance takes a drag on his cigarette and exhales, yawning. He hasn't even gotten into the club and he's bored to death already.

Justin takes his coat off to check it in and a drag queen latches onto it. She's one of the crew that's usually there on Friday nights, the queens who see it as their duty to scare all the fucked- up kids in the place. Too much partying for too long and their brains would give a psychiatrist wet dreams.

"What's it made out of, hon?"

Justin tilts his head to the side and Lance almost laughs out loud. In his opinion, giving attitude is all well and good, but Justin is so obvious. Lance swears he taught him better than that.

"It's fake. I have no idea." Justin drawls.

"It feels like pussy!" The drag queen exclaims as she strokes it with long, red talons.

Lance chuckles. "Babe, I'm surprised you know what pussy even feels like."

Justin's still permanently ensconced with the enamoured door bitches, so Lance air-kisses the still-giggling drag queen and enters the club.

He needs a drink and right now, something strong. Something to burn the back of his throat and take the edge off everything, so he heads for the bar. He knows Joey'll fix him up. Joey always fixes him up.

He looks down for a second and almost walks headfirst into JC.

JC's one of those guys that Lance always dreamed of being like at college, back when making money wasn't so important. The 'go to' guy. The guy you always called when you needed to be hooked-up.

The guy who always guaranteed you a good time.

JC never stopped being that guy. All that's changed is that now he hands out hook-ups in pill form. More often than not, JC will say that the money's not important, because "it's all about the good time, man." But JC can say that, because when his mom died he inherited a sumptuous home, a BMW roadster and fuck knows how much money in an interest-bearing bank account.

"Hey, Lance. Man, you look amazing."

And that's the pot calling the kettle hot. Whenever Lance first arrives at the club, it takes a while for his eyes to adjust to the haze of smoke, dry ice and dark lighting. Lance's eyes can never adjust to JC. He's too beautiful and bright and he has legs up to his elbows, wrapped in leather. Lance looks away and stares at nothing in particular as his eyes crinkle, like it hurts to look. He takes one last drag on his cigarette and exhales, stubbing it out with the toe of his boot.


"So you out for a big night?"

Lance shrugs and spits out his gum, replacing it with a new stick. He's always conscious of never chewing on old gum for too long; he doesn't need granite-jaw in the morning.

"It's a pretty decent crowd, don't you think?"

Lance snorts and purses his lips. "I'll never fully understand why people feel the need to be out this early." He hates being out early, much prefers to take his time at home, but Justin's newest crush may be playing tonight and he demanded they be there by one a.m. Lance thought it was just easier to agree with him this time and not get his ear talked off about what a bitch he is and how Justin never gets to do what he wants. Lance swears sometimes that dealing with Justin is like babysitting.

JC's voice is shrill over the Stevie Wonder bootleg that's playing. Oh well, at least that'll please Justin. Must be Chris. No-one else plays funky house; they're all about the trance and prog here.

"Hey, it takes all sorts. You, uh...alone?"

Lance shakes his head and JC's shoulders slump a little.

"With Justin?"

JC's looking at Lance from under his eyelashes and Lance can't help but notice how hopeful he sounds. Normally that kind of thing would irritate Lance, but JC's different, so he smiles a little and nods as he watches JC straighten up. He's one of those people who are so open, so honest that Lance can almost see his brain ticking over, his thought processes playing out in those wide blue eyes.

"You started already?"

Lance shakes his head. "I'm not sure how long I'm gonna stay, to be perfectly honest. I only really came down to see if anybody was on." Dragged kicking and screaming by Ms Timberlake, he wants to say.

JC rubs his hands on his pants and Lance wants to feel that buttery leather under his own fingers, to see how smooth it is. He loves the feel of leather and he tries to convince himself that's all there is to it. Nothing to do with wanting to feel for himself just how muscled JC's thighs are.

JC's voice cuts through his thoughts. "There's always somebody on."

Lance shrugs. "Yeah...well, like I said, I might not stay."

JC moves in a little closer. "You want anything to motivate you?"

Lance shrugs, "Sure, why not?"

JC holds out a small box and Lance's stomach does an excited little flip. He hasn't done ketamine for a long time, not since the night he did lines of it, thinking it was coke, and got stuck on the stairwell not being able to work out how his legs moved. He does a couple of hits and his eyes tear up as he feels the burn in the back of his throat and yeah, this is just what he wanted.

Lance isn't an addict; he doesn't need drugs. He just really fucking loves doing them.

"You need a cigarette?" JC pulls out a crumpled pack and offers it to Lance.

Lance pulls one out and puts it between his lips as JC lights it for him. He inhales and rubs at his face with his other hand. K always makes Lance itchy.

JC puts his hand on Lance's shoulder, "Make sure you don't leave without seeing me, okay?"

"JC, I might not be able to find you."

Lance has to strain to hear as JC says a little too quietly, "You can always find me, Lance."

Lance tries not to think too hard on those words because they're loaded with meaning and he can't deal with that right now, so he nods and turns to walk away, or tries to. It's a little difficult when JC's gripping his shoulder, stopping him from moving, that intense gaze fixed on him.

JC sounds concerned when he finally speaks, those blue eyes fixed intently on him and Lance has to look away a little. JC is fucking intense and it's almost too much.

"Lance, you sure you're okay? Did something happen?"

Lance exhales and flicks his cigarette away. "No, JC, nothing happened...." He shakes him off and murmurs as he starts to walk away, "does anything ever?"


When Lance finally manages to push his way through the press of bodies he sees Justin standing next to the booth. Chris is on again tonight, which explains the numbers and also explains where Justin is. Chris has just come out of a mix and when he moves away from the deck, one hand clutching an almost-empty bottle of Stella, Justin leans in closer to shout something over the noise.

Lance only catches the last few words as he moves closer.

"...fucking rocks, man."

Lance can see Chris fumble in his pockets for something. One hand moves a cigarette up to his mouth and his eyes light up when Justin flicks his own lighter into life, quickly removed from his own pocket.

There's a small starburst of orange flame as Chris lights his cigarette. Lance looks between the two; Justin's face lit up by a smile and Chris' illuminated by the small ember of light his glowing cigarette creates.

"It's 'Do It Now' by 'Dubtribe', ya like?" Chris doesn't raise his voice but Lance can make out every word.

"Fuck yeah."

"You got it?" Chris takes a long draw on his cigarette and exhales out of the side of his mouth. The smoke quickly assimilates into the already smoky room.


Lance snorts. He wonders if Chris even believes one word that Justin says; Lance knows Justin and he also knows that the only vinyl Justin has in his apartment is a six hundred dollar pair of boot-cut pants.

"Hey, Lance."

Lance nods his head in greeting.

"You know Chris, right?"

Justin seems to have a pathological need to introduce Lance to everybody, despite the fact that Lance was the reason Chris and Justin originally met. Chris' eyes glaze over a little as he takes another draw on his cigarette. Justin's talking again, offering yet another uneducated opinion on the track Chris has put on. Lance watches Chris finish off his beer. He wishes he'd stolen another cigarette from JC earlier because he doesn't really want to ask Justin if he has any.

Justin's trying too hard as usual and Chris looks like he's barely paying attention. He's looking over Justin's shoulder and Lance catches a glimpse of a spark he'd almost forgotten.

Justin doesn't know about Lance and Chris, and Lance can't think of even one reason to change that.

Chris was there at the club that first night, when Lance took his first pill. Lance remembers warm lips on his and the way Chris' fingers felt on his skin, the way his touch made Lance feel energised, alive. Seeing Chris right now, Lance can almost feel it. Chris makes him remember so vividly, that Lance can almost forget every other night since.


"You need another drink, Chris?"

Justin has a nasty habit of speaking too loudly, of maybe hoping that he'll be heard and Lance's ears ring a little with the harshness of the sound, despite the fact that there's at least a couple of feet separating them.

"Sure, man."

Lance can't work out why he's not drinking yet, and then he remembers JC distracted him. He decides to rectify that situation as soon as possible.

Justin bustles past him; the press of one hand offers a squeeze of Lance's shoulder which he only ignores. Justin disappears through the crowd like a school of fish being swallowed by a whale.

When Lance looks back to the booth Chris is looking straight at him, a hollow look. Lance knows there's nothing there anymore so it doesn't occur to him to worry whether or not Justin'll find out what they once had.

Lance looks away, his eyes drawn back to the dancefloor. There's a purple filter over the lights and the room is a contrast of shadow covered in waves of bruised-purple. When Lance looks back, Chris is reaching for another record from his box and doesn't notice him.

Lance turns, following Justin's path through the crowd and doesn't even once look back.


Joey Fatone has to be without a doubt, the biggest flirt Lance has ever met in his life, and that's saying a lot considering the source and all. The fact that Joey's straight doesn't seem to deter him from flirting with Lance or any number of guys in a night. But it's always the girls he goes home with, and Lance can't help but think how much easier things would be if things were different.

"Hey, beautiful." Joey leans over the bar and grins as he gives Lance a hug.

Lance smiles back at him. Joey's smile is infectious and lights up any room he walks into. He's just that warm.

He also knows exactly what drink Lance wants in any given situation and as Joey pours him a glass of Moet, Lance thinks that could be one of his most endearing character traits.

"It's a little early for you, isn't it? Not that I'm complaining because now the night has truly begun."

Lance laughs. "Joey, you're such a sweet talker. When you gonna give all of this up and make a decent man of me?"

"Hey, if it was at all possible to make you a decent man I would have done it years ago."

"Tease," Lance mock-pouts and sips at his champagne. It's sweet and he can feel it warming his blood, can feel the heat rising in his cheeks.

Joey wrinkles his brow like he's trying to recall the punchline of a joke. "If I did make you a decent man, I'd also be Doctor Frankenstein." He starts an elaborate mime of cutting and sewing up body parts, throwing switches and electrocuting himself before yelling: "My God! It's alive!" and bowing to Lance's slow, unenthusiastic applause.

Lance shakes his head, "Dork." Anyone else doing that sort of shit and he'd be bitching them out and proclaiming them a loser, but Joey's dorkishness just makes him even more loveable in Lance's mind.

"Can we get some service over here?"

Joey doesn't even look, just leans forward on the counter and yells, "Maria! Get your ass out here and serve, would ya?" He offers Lance a smoke. "So how's your week been? Managed to keep outta trouble for a change?"

Lance inhales as Joey lights the cigarette. "Let's just say I'm sure as hell glad that it's Friday night."

"Aren't you always?"

"You know me so well."

"JC's here," Joey says as he fixes him and Lance a shot of bourbon.

Lance raises his shotglass to Joey in salute and downs it, "Yeah, I ran into him when I first got here...and why am I now wondering why you felt the need to mention that?"

Joey shrugs, but Lance isn't an idiot. Joey's been trying this matchmaker routine for a long time now. Casually mentioning JC's name whenever they talk and then changing the subject when Lance asks why Joey's so interested. Normally he'd just let Joey do it, but he's got god knows how much coke and K and champagne fuelling his blood and that's always a dire mix. It tends to make him even more determined than usual.

He raises an eyebrow and just stares at Joey, waiting.

Joey groans, "Stop it, Lance. You know I can't keep anything from you, it's like Chinese water torture or some shit."

"Joey, I didn't say a word." Lance's eyes are still fixed on Joey's and Joey turns away like he can't even keep it up for a matter of seconds.

"I know, I know. I'm weak, I have no willpower. Do you think less of me now as a person?"

Lance snorts. "Of course not... and I also haven't forgotten you still haven't answered my question."

"Hey, you can't blame a guy for trying, right?" Joey smiles and pours Lance another glass of champagne.

"No," Lance smirks, "But I can for not answering." He takes a large drink and resumes staring at Joey.

Joey is exasperated and Lance almost feels sorry for him. Almost, but not quite. In fact, not at all quite.

"Okay, okay. He wanted me to keep an eye out for you; like I said to him it ain't that hard to find Lance, he's been here every night for... how long now?

"Every night? Please. I do have a life, you know."

Joey nods. "Yeah, that's what I was talking about."

"So JC was looking for me? I don't think I owe him any money."

"Hey, that's the first thing I asked about too." Joey looks intently at Lance. Joey doesn't really do drugs, he says he's past it and he has a bad enough time motivating himself when all he has to worry about is women and booze, anyway. Occasionally he gets a little 'concerned father' about it, but most of the time, Lance thinks he enjoys watching people having a good time.

"He laughed and said something about never making you pay, so I guess it wasn't that." Joey pauses and busies himself fixing the guy next to Lance a drink as he casually asks, "So, here by yourself?"

Lance snorts, "Did JC want you to ask me that as well?" Considering it's the same question he asked and all, he wants to add.

Joey's reply is a little too indignant to be honest. "No." Joey finishes up his sale and refills Lance's glass, being very careful not to look Lance in the face. Joey's like JC; he wears all his emotions so vividly on his face. He's the kind of person who couldn't lie to save himself. Lance decides it's really quite refreshing to see that much honesty on display.

"Don't worry, Yenta." Lance smirks. "I came with Justin. Nobody else."

Joey laughs and that feels warmer to Lance than the bubbles in his bloodstream.

"Cool, I haven't seen him yet, which is unusual."

"He'll be up at the booth, in his usual spot," Lance says, rolling his eyes. "Oh! How much do I owe you for...?" Lance reaches into his wallet to pull out some money, but Joey presses one hand on top of his.

"Uh-uh, don't try that shit with me. Here."

Joey pours a fresh glass and pushes it toward Lance.

Lance kisses Joey's cheek, "Y'know, Joey, if I didn't think it would ruin your rep; I'd say you were an angel."

Joey turns his head and breathes warm air on Lance's cheek. "One day, Lance, if you play your cards right I'd like to devote hours and hours to showing you just how unlike an angel I can be."

Promises, promises, thinks Lance. "Enough with the flirting, Joe. You're making it harder for me to find a guy because nobody can compare with you."

One more kiss and Joey grabs the back of Lance's neck and pulls him closer, "Maybe you don't need to keep looking, honey."

Lance grins and walks away. He thinks to himself that JC could do far, far worse than Joey Fatone as an emissary for him.


Lance heads for the backroom, a little cave decked out in white furniture and beanbags. He throws himself backwards onto an empty sofa and puts his feet up. Takes a long swig from his glass and rubs his forehead.

He feels a tap on his shoulder and looks down. Justin's crouching next to him, grin plastered on his face.

"I got these for you." He drops a couple of small white pills in Lance's hand.

Lance frowns. "Who from?" Justin shrugs and Lance's expression darkens. "J, we've talked about this. Don't take shit from someone you don't know. I mean, Christ, you don't need to."

Justin moves Lance's legs and slumps down next to him on the couch. "Chill, Lance, they're okay. Trust me."

Trust me. Lance has lost count of the number of times someone has said that to him. Trust me; they're really good. Trust me; it won't hurt. Trust me; he means nothing.

Lance lends no weight to those particular words anymore, so he sighs and presses the pills back into Justin's hand.

Justin shrugs, gets up and puts the pills back in his pocket. "You okay here by yourself?"

"Sure," Lance stretches out on the sofa, as much as his pants will allow. PVC isn't terribly malleable. "I'm just taking it all in."

"You're fucked."

Justin laughs and Lance raises an eyebrow. He thinks that Justin has it wrong. He's not the one who's fucked right now. He's slightly tingly from the K still, but he hasn't even really started yet.

"Oh please, I'm not a newbie, Justin, I'm nowhere near fucked."

Justin bends over and his lips press against Lance's. Heat suddenly greater in an already scorchingly hot room. Justin tastes sugary- sweet; like he's been sucking candy and Lance can't help but remove the taste of it from his own lips with his tongue. Justin pulls away slightly, a smile on his face and as Lance looks up he notices some blonde twink standing only inches behind Justin. His lips are a glossy smear of colour and Lance can tell it isn't candy that Justin has been sucking on.

Lance grabs Justin by the shirt and pulls him forward, "Justin, what are you doing?"

Justin flinches, shrugs him off. "What?"

"You know what I mean, who is he?"

"He's great, isn't he?" Justin pulls Lance up off the couch and whispers, "An amazing dancer and man can he kiss? Damn!"

"No, Justin. Who is he?" Lance hisses through gritted teeth.

Justin turns to walk away and Lance isn't stupid, he knows that Justin doesn't even know this guy's name. He grabs Justin, pulls him back by the shoulder. He can feel himself getting more and more pissed, because he loathes being ignored, probably more than anything. Lance can feel the heat rising in him and he can just hear his mama's voice telling him how his temper's gonna get him into trouble one day.

"So, where's Chris, Justin?"


Lance rolls his eyes. "Well, where is he?"

Justin gestures to the bar and Lance walks to the door of the backroom, looks around the corner and sees Chris standing at the bar. There's a crowd of people flanking him and he's laughing, the ubiquitous bottle of Stella in his grip.

Lance turns back to Justin and sighs. "You know its all just part of his job? He can't really get away from it. Justin, they mean nothing to him."

"So if they mean nothing to him, why is he there? Why isn't he talking with me instead?" Justin sounds whiny, defeated. He sounds his age.

"I'm sure talking's what you had planned." Lance mutters as he lights a cigarette.

"Fuck you."

Lance bites his lip, "Justin, why are you tryin' so hard to fuck this up?" He can always tell when he's near boiling point like this, `cause his accent starts to thicken, vowels becoming longer and more drawn out. Lance hates it, it reminds him too much of little James Lance Bass with the bad hair and the girlish figure and that kid is long gone and never coming back.

"I don't have to try very hard to do that at all." Justin's looking at his feet, and Lance struggles to suppress a laugh, `cause it just sounds so pathetic and dejected.

"Hey, he's a DJ, remember? He can't just switch that off."

"You've fucked a lot of DJ's have you?" Justin spits his words out, bitter as anything and Lance definitely decides right then and there that he's never telling him about who Lance went home with his first night at the club.

Three years ago and it feels like he's been doing this for ten.

Lance shrugs in response. "I've lost count, and anyway, you know these days I only do internationals."

The twink walks towards them and taps Justin on the shoulder. Lance glares at him, hoping that'll scare him off, but apparently he's too fucked-up to notice. Either that or he just doesn't care.

"Uh, excuse me? This is a private moment." Lance shoos the twink away with his hand and turns to Justin for some back-up, "Hello? Justin?"

Justin leans in and brushes his lips across the blond's. "I'll be back in a minute, baby."

The twink sneers at Lance and walks out.

Justin looks really pissed and Lance can't really blame him. He'd be pissed off if someone was ruining his action, too. Not that he'd stoop so low as that boy.

"Anyway, "Justin spits out, "You're one to give advice."

"And what is that supposed to mean?" Lance's eyebrows are raised as he takes a long drag on the cigarette before stubbing it out on the ground.

" long is it since you've been in a relationship with a guy?" Justin crosses his arms and purses his lips, "I don't think you're one to tell me what to do."

Lance grabs both of Justin's shoulders and shakes him gently, trying to get his message across. He thinks that slapping him is about all that's left at his disposal to get him to see some fucking sense.

"For God's sake, J, you don't have to lose yourself to get Chris to find you."

Justin shakes Lance off him and turns, he looks like he's ready to walk out the door when he turns back and whispers in Lance's ear. "Well, Lance? You can fuck. Off."

Lance laughs, and it sounds cruel even to his own ears, but he's had enough. He's trying so hard not to be a bitch about it but Justin's just not cutting him any slack. "Oh very witty, is that the best you can do, Justin?"

"No, I can do this...." Justin flips Lance off and turns to go, but Lance grabs him by the hand.

"Look, Justin. Stop acting like a pissy little fucked-up princess."

"What? As opposed to a bitter twisted queen?"

Lance never had the luxury that Justin has. He never had someone to hold his hand, to tell him who to stay away from and it really stings that Justin's refusing all that. That he can't see that Lance is trying to help.

Well, fuck him, then.

Lance's jaw is like granite. He's angry, but this time he can feel his anger sitting there like ice, cool and hard and solid. Inflexible. "Fuck you, Justin," he whispers, then pushes him away.

He sits back down on the sofa and takes a sip from his champagne glass before looking Justin straight in the eye. "Go on, then. Leave. Take another pill and let some stranger and all his friends take turns fuckin' you in the bathroom."

"Well thanks, Lance." Justin manages to get out, voice cracked and broken, "You've taught me everything I needed to know."

Lance looks down, and when he looks up again, Justin's gone.


When Joey sees Lance striding towards the bar, expression on his face that spells ten different types of angry, he grabs a bottle of Cuervo and places it on the bar along with two shot glasses, a salt shaker and the bowl of lime segments. He pours the tequila into the glasses and pushes one towards Lance without even waiting to be asked.

Lance licks a strip on his hand and shakes a generous amount of salt onto it. He looks at Joey, who nods to say he's ready and they lick, sip, and suck in unison. Lance grimaces for a second before the shot hits him and he can feel the alcohol coursing through him like a wave, and this is just what he needed, it's perfect.

Joey mouths 'Another?' and Lance nods.

Lance still can't believe Justin. It's not like Lance was even being an asshole, he was trying to get him to see what was important and what's going to make him miserable in the long run, and Justin just threw it back in his face. Well, fine. He downs his second shot and looks up at Joey, who's looking at him, concerned. He smiles a little and nods a thank you to his friend behind the bar.

"Hey, Lance."

Chris is standing next to him and Lance thinks his night couldn't possibly get any worse.

"Great." Lance murmurs and he turns away from Chris. Considering he's pretty much the reason for Lance and Justin fighting in the first place, he's the last person Lance wants to talk to right now. Well, aside from Justin.

Chris sighs. "Is it always gonna be like this?"

"Like what, Chris?" Lance turns to him and crosses his arms. He wants to be left the fuck alone, but he knows he's totally in the wrong place for that.

"You pretending I don't exist. Pretending that nothing ever happened?"

Lance clears his throat. "Did anything really happen? Anything worth remembering?"

Chris moves closer, kisses him on the cheek and whispers, "Yeah, Bass, you broke my fucking heart."

Lance never meant to hurt Chris. Lance never means to hurt anybody, but when he feels helpless it's like an animal trapped in a corner and there's only one thing he can do, come out fighting. He doesn't mean to do it, but he just can't help himself. It's twenty-three years of conditioning and letting too many people close enough to hurt him and that made him cold and hard. Justin calls him the Ice Princess and as much as Lance likes to laugh it off, it's not far from the truth.

Three years ago, Chris broke his heart. Oh, not intentionally, but Lance was never good at not leaping to wrong conclusions about the people Chris chose to spend his time with. It wasn't Chris' fault, just like Justin leaping to conclusions about him tonight wasn't Chris' fault, but at the time Lance needed to blame someone and he felt he had no choice but to attack.

Lance stops Chris getting up with a hand on his shoulder. "Wait Chris, I...I didn't mean to...."

Chris rolls his eyes. "What? Make a scene? Storm up to the bar? Drink your body weight in alcohol?"

"No...the other thing. I'm...I'm sorry for that, okay?"

Chris pats Lance's thigh, "Sure, want another drink then, heartbreaker?" He winks at him and Lance can't believe Chris now seems so unaffected, but he guesses that Chris has been looking for that apology for years now.

"Sure." Joey's holding the bottle of tequila up as if to ask if he wants another one, but Lance shakes his head. Chris orders a glass of champagne for Lance and a Stella for himself. Lance sits on an empty barstool and Chris takes the seat next to him.

"So," Chris takes a big sip from his beer and turns back to Lance, "I guess I don't have to be psychic to know your night isn't going that well?"

Lance snorts. "Oh, it is! Except in the way that it's totally not."

"Yeah, I kinda caught the tail end of your and Justin's homage to Krystle and Alexis."

Lance raises an eyebrow and stares at him until Chris turns away and starts to peel the label from the back of his bottle. "If it's any consolation you're totally Alexis."

"As if there was ever a doubt," Lance laughs and licks the taste of the champagne from his lips.

"Justin's a good kid, Lance."

Lance looks at Chris, gaze not faltering for a second. "No he's not, he's a total newbie that needs to realise how this", he gestures to nothing in particular, "works."

Chris murmurs, softer than usual and Lance strains to hear him over the music. "Hey, I happen to remember a newbie just like him not so long ago."

It may not be that long ago, but Lance can't even remember what he was like then. Can't? Doesn't want to. The more distance between him and the younger, plainer version of himself the better.

"I was never that nave."

"Really? Because it doesn't look that way from where I'm standing." Chris rolls his eyes. "Okay, your highness, sitting."

"What the fuck is up with tonight? Have I got a sign on my back that says please attack me?"

"If you do, Lance, you're the one that put it there."

Lance downs his glass and laughs. "God, Chris, you really need to get a day job and stop spending so much time in front of 'The View'!"

"Yeah well, you need to stop trying to make everything perfect and realise that everything's pretty damn good. Justin's a good kid face it."

Why didn't he see this coming? Chris is standing up for Justin and Lance wonders when this all became so incestuous. And why in the hell isn't there anybody to stand up for him? Not that he needs it, but Christ, suddenly he's feeling like the one who's being vilified and all he did was try and stop Justin from fucking things up. Jesus.

"No. Justin's acting like a prissy queen and he needs to realise that he can't...."

Chris cuts him off, "What? Act like a bitch all the time? Expect to get his own way no matter what? Jeez, sounds like nobody I could possibly know. You know, Lance, you talk about Justin being nave and having no idea what's going on but it seems to me he's got a better grasp on reality than you'll ever have. You think he's fucking things up? Well, here's a suggestion, Lance, next time you look in the mirror forget about your hair and your flawless complexion. Take a good hard look at what's underneath because that ain't anywhere nearly as attractive as what's on top."

Lance had forgotten how much of a temper Chris has when he gets going and now at least one thing is clear: Justin's little crush, which Lance assumed was unreciprocated, definitely isn't.

Chris only gets that worked up over the people he loves and Lance feels a twinge of regret in his belly, regret for fucking things up with Chris back when he was self-conscious and paranoid and so stupid. It's been a long time since Lance felt anything remotely like regret and it feels bitter, feels like the type of thing that eats away at people like acid.

"Be careful, Lance. I know you; I know you're not made of stone as much as you'd like us all to believe. Just be careful you don't end up alone." Chris gets up and puts a ten-dollar bill in Joey's tip jar. "At least Justin knows what he wants."

Lance turns and watches Chris walk towards a group of people that he stops and talks to on the dancefloor. One of whom is JC.

Lance can't help but think that Chris could be right.


Lance sits and stares at JC as he sips yet another glass of champagne and he wonders what it is exactly that's holding him back. It's not like he's ordinarily shy with men, far from it, so why is it every conversation he has with JC ends up being a whole bunch of innuendo and then...nothing?

It's not like this hasn't been going on for months, in fact he's really surprised that no-one else has noticed what there is between the two of them.

Lance just wished he knew what that 'something' was.

JC locks eyes with him and it's apparent that Lance has been caught staring. No surprise there, JC notices everything. He walks over, slowly, and that gives Lance time to take in just how good JC looks tonight: slim hips and long legs encased in leather, and the sheer button-down that hugs his stomach. JC always looks this good and Lance can feel his stomach tie itself in knots.

Lance shakes his head. He can't believe how this guy manages to get to him, manages to worm his way under defences that are normally rock-fucking-solid. Just what is it about JC that's so fucking special?

"Hey," JC's voice wraps itself around Lance's ears and he shivers. "You look like you need cheering up?"

Lance turns away slightly and rubs at his forehead with thumb and index finger, "I almost think I just need this night to be over."

JC slumps onto the barstool next to him. "Whoa, please don't tell me you're thinking of leaving? Because while Lance Bass tucked up at home in bed by 3am may make for a pretty picture, if that ever happens I swear my whole world will be askew."

Lance laughs and tries not to focus on the fact that JC is talking about him in bed with a wistful expression on his face, tongue swiping across his upper lip.

"I swear, you laugh, dude, but if that ever happened, I don't think I'd ever be able to recover."

Lance was considering going home, but now there's no way he's going to. JC's improved his mood considerably, and now he's in the mood for...well, badness. A typical Friday night and he starts to wonder why the hell he's not fucked up yet.

"You could try and make me forget?" He's talking about drugs, but the invitation's there for more, he won't deny it. Lance is determined to prove Chris and Justin wrong, and whoever else thinks he doesn't have the balls to take what he wants. Though after months of pussyfooting around, he wonders if he and JC are ever going to be able to do more than just flirt shamelessly.

JC moves closer and Lance can feel their arms brush against each other. "With that sort of thing, Lance, trying's almost as much fun as succeeding. Gimme a minute?" Lance can still feel his skin tingle where they touched for all too brief a moment.

He gets up and watches JC talking to his friends. Well, JC would probably call them a 'posse'. Tara looks completely fucking trashed and then there's Brian, who Lance would really rather not maintain eye contact with. Every time Brian gets fucked-up, he manages to corner some poor soul and talk for hours about how 'nobody understands Progressive House here. It's too underground, man. It's too underground even for the underground. ' Brian and JC make their own tracks, apparently, and by all accounts they're amazing. As Lance watches JC bend down to whisper to Carlos, it occurs to Lance that he's never heard JC sing.

He wants to.

JC smiles and beckons him over, "I'm all yours."

JC pulls out a baggie with four hits of ecstasy and hands it to Lance. "That's for later. You want to dance for awhile?"

Lance has a quick look around and sees Justin talking to Chris by the DJ booth. "Not right now. We could maybe chill out for awhile, though? Just us? I don't really feel in the mood for too many people right now."

JC nods, "Sure, this is a club, dude, remember? One of the few places that can be crammed to the walls with people but you can still manage to have some time alone if you want it."

JC grabs Lance by the hand and leads him to the chill-out room. It's about half-full, but the couch Lance had commandeered earlier is still empty. They sit down and JC reaches into his pocket and pulls out two pills, one for him and one for Lance. JC has a bottle of water and Lance is popping the pill into his mouth before even thinking twice about it. He throws his head back and closes his eyes and lets the water wash down the bitter E, which he can still taste on his tongue. When he opens his eyes, JC is washing back his own and Lance can't help but stare as JC swallows, neck muscles constricting and releasing.

JC looks straight at Lance and leans forward. His thumb skates across Lance's bottom lip, gathering the spilled drops of water that've pooled there. It's so obviously a tease and Lance can feel the need building in his stomach. He wants nothing more than to take that thumb in his mouth and lick at it, nibble it, but the fact that the two of them have been playing this game week after week for so long now, makes him not want to rush anything. That and he wants to sit back and enjoy just being with JC as they both start to come up on their pills.

Lance smiles and takes a cigarette from the pack that JC offers to him and waits as JC lights it.

"You know, that's a better look on you, I think."

Lance leans back on the sofa and rolls his head towards JC, "What is?"


That makes Lance grin even more.

JC moves closer and encircles one of Lance's wrists with his hand, thumb rubbing at the pressure point, gently.

"Now that feels really fucking good, JC."

"Well you said you wanted to forget. I have my ways, y'know." JC grins and Lance can't help but giggle. JC is just so damn refreshing and considering Lance was having the worst night in history until JC dragged him in here, he has a lot to thank him for.

Lance wants to spend long, long hours thanking him.

"There you are. I've been looking for you for ages. " Tara is standing in the doorway, slim arms folded in front of her, looking a little petulant, like JC snuck off and didn't tell her or something. Considering how obviously coked-up she is tonight, Lance wouldn't blame him if he had.

JC clears his throat, "We haven't been gone that long, mama."

"Oh really?" Now she looks surprised as well as confused. "Well it felt like hours."

Lance can understand that. Time seems to have no basis in reality on a night out. It's like Narnia-time; one minute can feel like an hour. Sometimes that's a good thing 'cause it makes the night go so much slower, but often it makes it unbearably slow.

"Oh hey, Lance." Tara looks at him and it's like she's only just noticed that he's there. No, not like, she has literally only just noticed he's there. That makes him bristle a little and he almost laughs when he realises his JC-inspired Zen moment is over. Dead and buried. He doesn't even dignify her hello with more than a nod of his head.

"C'mon, C, I wanna dance." She pulls JC up from the sofa and Lance is amazed. She's so tiny, but it appears when she's determined, she's got a lot of strength in that little body of hers.

JC holds her by the shoulders, "Not now, Tara, I'm busy."

Lance takes a long drag on his cigarette and exhales, "Nah it's cool, JC, I'll be out soon."

Tara perks up. "See?" She grins at JC and starts pulling him out by the hand. "C'mon!"

As JC leaves with Tara, he fixes his gaze on Lance and mouths 'Sorry'.

JC doesn't hide much on that perfect face of his and Lance can see so easily the disappointment clouding his eyes.


Lance sits at the bar in his usual seat. He wonders how and when it actually became his usual seat, like whether there was a defining point in time where things changed and the seat was no longer just a seat he sat in a lot, but was now his seat. He thinks that the fact that he's even having this conversation in his head is a pretty good signifier that he's really fucking high. He feels warm and his body's completely relaxed and tingly and everything's just... so good.

There's a reason they call it ecstasy, after all.

Justin comes up to the bar to buy a drink and Lance is thrilled to see him. He tries to remember the last time he saw Justin, he knows it's been ages. Oh. He clicks that the last time he and Justin were face-to-face; Justin called him a bitter twisted queen and pretty much told him he couldn't keep a man. Huh. Justin moves closer and suddenly Lance isn't quite as pleased to see him as he was a few seconds ago.

Justin sits down next to him. "Hey."

Lance takes a drag on his cigarette and blows smoke-rings, making sure to get them in Justin's face.

Justin coughs and fans his face with his hand. "I should have known you weren't gonna make this easy for me."

Lance just looks straight ahead, lips pursed.

Justin turns Lance's face towards his. "Look, can we please just make up? I'm having a shitty night and at first I thought it was because we'd fought and I was angry with you but then I realised it wasn't that at all." He sighs. "I'm having a shitty night because we fought and I'm angry with myself. I don't wanna fight with you, I wanna sit at the bar and drink cocktails with you while we bitch about townies that can't dance, or how on earth that guy there thinks corduroy is even remotely in."

Lance looks up at the guy Justin's talking about. "'specially a corduroy shirt," he mumbles.

Justin giggles, "I know, it hurts just to look at him."

Lance looks up and can't help but grin. Justin has a smile that just kills him every time. It's why even when Justin does something really stupid, you can't help but love him anyway. He means well, and Lance knows there's not a vindictive bone in his body, which might be why his words to Lance when they argued, cut to the quick the way they did.

"Well," Lance drawls, "I was thinking about having a dance, but I didn't really see the point if you weren't there."

Justin is beaming now. "So, does this mean we can forget about before and just pretend we're not completely useless at this being human thing?"

Lance stares at Justin seriously. "Apologies, first."

Justin looks worried and takes a deep breath, "Okay, I'm sorry... I didn't...."

Lance slaps his hand over Justin's mouth. "Not you, princess, me. I take you for granted and treat you like shit and it's about time I finally told you that this whole thing," he gestures to the dancefloor and the bar, "would be nothing if I didn't have you to share it with. You make the night for me, Justin. Every single fucking weekend. That's all there is to it and I've never said that to you and I'm sorry."

Justin is so happy; he looks like he might burst. Lance kisses Justin on the cheek and whispers in his ear, "By the way, if you tell anyone what I just said I will deny it and most probably torture, maim and kill you."

Justin giggles, "Whatever, freak. Can we dance now?"

Lance gets up. "Sure, just let me buy some more smokes from the machine on the way."

"Jesus." Justin shakes his head, "Y'know, I was reading this book about lung cancer, and I really think you're a prime...."

"Save it for someone who cares, bitch."

Justin squeezes Lance's shoulder as they head for the dancefloor.


Lance stands, swaying his hips to the music as he takes one final drag on his cigarette. He looks at his watch; it's five-thirty a.m. Early still, he thinks as he necks back his third pill with the remnants of his glass of champagne. Now that, he thinks to himself, is pure class and he chuckles. It doesn't seem that long since Justin left, after doing some elaborate mime-routine behind Chris' back that involved pleading and phones and promises to call. All with no words. Lance didn't know whether to stand in total shock or to fall apart laughing.

Or maybe feel just the teeniest bit jealous of Justin.

He's thrilled for him, though, and for Chris. Chris deserves someone who doesn't expect too much.

Lance always expects too much.

Getting rid of his drink, he starts to dance a little more. The music's much more trancey and hard at this time of the night, and it's the best kind of music to dance to given the situation and what he's taken. Relentless, drugged-out tracks that accentuate how he's feeling physically and mentally. He throws his head back and just breathes in the music, lets the beat mingle with his own heartbeat so he can't tell which is causing the blood to pump through his body.

He looks over to the bar and locks eyes with JC. Lance smiles, and turns away so that JC gets a really good view of his ass and hips, moving in little circles. He wants JC to want him, just as much as Lance wants JC and he's not an idiot, he knows quite well what his assets are.

Lance can feel that third pill taking hold of him, rush of chemicals in his blood and serotonin pumping bountifully in his brain.

JC comes up behind him and taps him on the shoulder. Lance looks back and grins.

"You looking for me?"

Lance turns to face him. "Oh baby, I'm always looking for you, you know that."

JC laughs. "Well, I'm guessing your night ended a whole lot better off than it started?"

Lance moves closer to JC, puts one hand over his ear and whispers, "The night hasn't ended yet."

JC swallows. He looks around, avoiding Lance's gaze. "Justin's gone?"

"Yeah, he left with Chris." Lance's throat hurts from yelling over the music and he walks over into the corner, where it's a little quieter.

JC follows him. "About time, too."


"It's about time he stopped being all puppy-dog eyes and actually told Chris how he felt." JC rubs his hands on his pants and Lance's head is starting to spin; so fucked-up, so very, very fucked-up.

"What makes you think he said anything? Maybe Chris just got tired of waiting and took charge?" Lance reaches into his bag and pulls out two sticks of gum. He offers one to JC and puts the other one in his own mouth. It feels so good to chew, so satisfying. E tends to make people smile so much their jaw locks and countless nights of doing this have taught Lance it's better to give his jaw a workout than not. That makes him smirk, because right now there's other things than gum that Lance could quite happily give his jaw a workout on.

"Thanks," JC says popping the gum into his mouth. "That's a good point, Lance. You seem to know a lot about people not telling others how they feel."

Lance feels his heart in his throat. In his current state, he isn't sure if JC is being serious or just playing with him, but he can't risk misreading him.

"Yeah," Lance murmurs, "maybe a bit too much."

He moves back onto the dancefloor and starts to lose himself in the music again and this time when he feels JC move up behind him he doesn't turn around, he just keeps dancing, head thrown back and eyes closed. The track is pure trance and when it breaks down to nothing but strings, Lance thinks he couldn't feel any higher. Then he feels JC's fingers on him, on the back of his neck and he can't control the shudder that escapes. He can feel his body reacting as JC's thumbs massage the back of his neck and JC's hips press into his. Lance reacts by rolling his hips, causing his ass to slide against JC's groin and he can hear the moan from behind him.

JC drops one hand to Lance's hip and strokes the jutting hipbone as his other hand holds Lance's neck in place and Lance can feel JC's lips brush against the hair on the back of his neck.

"Oh fuck. You're so spectacular, Lance. Do you know how badly I want you? How...long I've wanted to do this?"

Lance grins. "Mmmm. Maybe. But I'd like to hear it anyway."

Lance can feel JC's mouth doing amazing things to his neck and he's so fucking hard he can't even think. He whimpers a little as JC whispers in his ear, "Gonna do more than tell you, man. Gonna show you. But not here, okay?"

He pulls back and Lance turns around to face him, arousal plainly written on his face. Breath coming in short bursts and he's so light- headed from JC and the drugs that he doesn't quite know what he's doing.

JC trails an index finger up and down Lance's arm, "How about some lines, huh? And then we'll be alone and stuff, too. Bathroom?"

Lance just nods and follows JC. He looks back and sees Joey standing behind the bar, watching them intently. Lance waves to Joey as the two of them disappear into the corridor on their way to the bathroom.

The men's bathroom is overheated and filled with guys who Lance knows aren't there to, god forbid, actually use the bathroom. JC takes one look at the line and drags Lance out by the hand and towards the larger unisex cubicle next door, locking the door after them.

JC puts the toilet seat cover down and crouches next to it. He pulls a compact out of his backpack along with his coke stash and a small razor and sets about assembling thick lines on the compact mirror.

Lance clears his throat and raises one eyebrow.

"What?" JC looks up for a second and then returns to the task at hand.

"A compact, JC?" Lance giggles. "And here was me thinking I was the biggest fag around here."

JC grins. "It's just easier to cut 'em up on a mirror, that's all. And I like everything to be nice and tidy, y'know? Now would you like to quit your bitching and come here?"

Lance walks over and squats down next to JC. "Hurry up would ya? My pants aren't that easy to squat in."

JC leans back and runs his eyes over Lance's pants, and whispers, "I guess not." He reaches into his bag again and pulls out a short stainless steel rod, which he passes to Lance, who leans over, blocks one nostril and inhales the powder with the other. "Another one," murmurs JC. "Go on, there's plenty." Lance's eyes are watering and he can feel the bitter tang of the drug dripping down the back of his throat, but he snorts the other line before rational thought has time to creep in.

He watches JC do both his lines in quick succession and...oh yeah. If he thought he was fucked before, well he doesn't even have a word for what he feels like now. He stands up and leans against the wall for support and closes his eyes, his tongue moving over his lips.


JC's standing against the wall opposite him and he's just... staring.

Lance rubs his mouth. "What?"

"You." JC moves closer. "You're just so... fuckable. Most of the time I just like to watch you, 'cause you're hard to get close to y'know, but that's all part of it. It makes you off-limits and every week I can see it, see how much people want you, or wanna be you. Or both. But no-one can ever have you. You're untouchable, and that just makes us all want you even more."

Lance shakes his head, "I'm not that special, JC. I'm just a tired, jaded bitch who's older at 24 than a lot of people are at 30. I drink too much and smoke too much and do too many drugs and I act like a cunt to way too many people and... I'm just me." He pauses. "And I'm not untouchable. I. Don't wanna be untouchable. Not to you."

JC moves even closer so that Lance can feel his heat on his own skin. JC's emanating so much fucking heat that Lance thinks it would scorch him, sear his flesh if they touched.

JC inhales and exhales slowly, like what he has to say is really hard for him to just come out with. "I've wanted you for so long, Lance. Every week I watch you with Justin or Joey or whoever you're with and wish that I could just walk up to you and tell you I want you in my bed, that I want to take you home and fuck you senseless all day."

Lance whimpers as he can feel his entire body reacting to that thought. His stomach feels like it's turned to liquid and he doesn't feel like his legs will hold him up for much longer.

JC sits down on the toilet seat and pulls Lance forward by the waistband so he falls forward, straddling JC's thighs. He brushes his lips over Lance's so quickly it's almost a whisper, a tease and Lance can't believe it's taken so long for the two of them to get to this point; months, years even, but he doesn't care about that right now. When he presses his lips to JC's and kisses him, really kisses him, JC's mouth opens for him and it's sweet and warm and it feels so good that it makes everything else fall away. Everything else becomes completely inconsequential except for them.

Lance threads his hands through JC's curls, pulling him closer and the kiss becomes hungrier, driven by need and want. Lance almost feels this desperation in him, like all of this could disappear any minute now and he needs JC so badly, needs it all nownownow.

He starts to move his hips, rubbing against JC and he can feel JC's hands gripping his hips, almost moving him. Such sweet friction between the two of them and the realisation hits Lance that they're not at home, they're in a club bathroom and if he keeps rolling his hips against JC's like this, he'll come in his pants, no question about it.

Not quite how he envisioned the night ending up.

He puts his hands on JC's shoulders for leverage and eases himself up so he's standing on shaky legs. Leans back against the wall and watches JC, mouth looking used and open, his breath coming in short bursts. JC looks debauched, wanton and Lance thinks it's the hottest thing he's ever seen.

Lance takes a few breaths before talking. "Sorry, man. I just...not here, right?"

JC wipes his hands down the front of his pants. He looks up and smiles at Lance, laughs as he shakes his head. "Not here, no. Still. ..." he exhales, "Damn, Lance."

Lance reaches out to JC and pulls him up. He leaves his hand there, grasping JC's and rubbing his thumb in small circles over the palm. "I think I'm going to go now." Lance looks up at JC. "Home. Shower. Cigarette. In that order. Maybe a cold shower, too."

JC laughs, "Oh yeah, that might be wise." He kisses Lance on the forehead. "I'll...I'll call you, okay?"

Lance nods. His brain's screaming at him, telling him he's an idiot and what's he going to do, just let JC go? Years of dancing around each other and now they're here and Lance doesn't know what the fuck to do. He's not used to feeling helpless, not used to not knowing what to do, and it scares the shit out of him.


"Yeah?" JC's about to open the door, but he steps away from it.

"So. Uh. When are you going to take me home with you?" Lance winces. He was aiming for nonchalant, calm and mellow and instead he just sounds really desperate. He makes a mental note to himself to shut the fuck up, but unfortunately it's a little late for that.

JC moves closer and brushes his lips across Lance's, feather-soft and so brief. Too brief.

"When you ask me to."


Lance sometimes thinks that even though he despises his job, that the benefits of it make up for that fact and the fact that he hates everyone he works with.

His insane salary for one. Without it, he wouldn't be able to come home from the club, hop in the shower and proceed to waste the day away with the kick-ass view he has from his apartment. Beautiful view of the ocean and room for Lance to kick back, pop open a buttery chardonnay and just chill. Drugs still nicely buzzing around in his system and this is the one time when he really feels totally at peace.

Until the phone rings, that is.

He reaches over and grabs his cigarettes, a lighter and the phone all at once. He lets it ring while he casually lights his cigarette and clicks the talk button.

"Good morning, Justin."

"How did you know it was me?"

Lance laughs evilly. "Because I have your place bugged." He pauses. "Actually, it's this amazing invention called Caller ID, see what happens is...."

"Yeah, yeah, button it, bitch. Are you smoking? Fuck, you're hopeless. Well, you know how I've always wondered if Chris was a top or a bottom? I don't have to wonder at all anymore."

"Yeah? Keep going...."

"Hey, it's not polite to kiss and tell." Justin pauses. "So after that much kissin' it's only right that I tell."

Lance laughs. "I'm guessing the answer is top." Lance swears that he can tell Justin is glowing even over the phone and it's nice, hearing him so happy. Although happy might not even cover the mood that Justin's in right now. "He still there?"

"Yeah, he's just in the shower." Justin sounds like he almost can't talk for the grinning.

"Wait a second...." Lance sits up in his recliner and takes a sip from his drink, "There's a hot naked guy in your shower and you're talking to me on the phone?"

Justin pauses and thinks. "Hmmm. You know you make a damn good point, Lance, and on that note...."

"You're all out of orange juice," A voice from behind Lance interjects.

"What's that noise? Lance, you dirty bitch!"

Lance looks behind him and JC's standing there, towel clutched around his waist and an empty juice carton in his hand. Seeing him standing there, drops of water dotting his chest makes last night come rushing back. How he'd asked JC back for a drink and as soon as they were in the front door, how JC had pushed him up against the doorframe and kissed him and whispered about how it was an amazing place and he was going to fuck Lance in every room. But first he remembered Lance saying something about a shower....

Lance can feel himself getting hard all over again and he realises he's still got Justin on the phone shrieking at him, "That sounded like JC! Is it JC, Lance? Oh my god, complete slut!"

"I have to go...."

Not the worst night in history at all, he thinks as he hangs up, gets out of his chair and moves forward to claim JC's mouth again.

Nowhere near the worst.


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