To Hit And Not To Miss
by Pablo

Justin's hotel room is hot and he's starting to regret not letting the maid clean it up this morning and instead hiding behind another 'do not disturb' sign. It doesn't matter where he ends up those three words seem to follow him wherever he goes.

He considers having another shower, the third for this evening but he can't bring himself to move from his position lying atop the covers to the bed. Cheap hotel cotton worn just a little thin and times like these make Justin really miss Memphis. Miss his home and his mother. The sort of place where you didn't mind being disturbed and to Justin it feels even further away than the thousands of miles that it is.

The surface of the top sheet feels polished thin against his back which is sticky and slightly damp with sweat. The sheet is opalescent in the faded yellow light from the single bulb that flares too brightly in the bathroom. He'd forgotten to turn it off after he'd climbed out of the shower and it imposes on his rest almost tauntingly. Harsh glare playing across his eyes even when he pulls them closed and Justin can't think of any better word to describe the way he feels than exhausted.

Exhausted and alone and trapped far too far from home.

Justin doesn't want to be here any more than any of the others but he seems to be the one most affected. Joey and Chris both seem to be making the most of it and JC is happy simply because he's doing what he loves. Lance? Justin can't help but feel closest to Lance at the moment.

Lance who always seems so serious and intent on not making any mistakes.

Lance has become such a steadying presence in Justin's life. Lance is always there when Justin needs somebody and he's pretty sure without him he'd be making a mess of his life.

The room smells vaguely of smoke from the last time Lance had snuck in there, lit cigarette in one hand. He'd sat at the edge of Justin's bed as they'd talked, fingers worrying the cover, cigarette dangling from his hand. Long length of ash as Lance talked more than he inhaled anyway.

He'd told Justin that he couldn't smoke in his own room because he wasn't supposed to smoke at all. That he had to watch his voice. Justin had never understood that, he would have thought that smoking was better for Lance's deep baritone, the way that the words echoed through Justin's body as Lance spoke. He could close his eyes and feel every word that Lance said pass through his body. Like soft whispered words spoken against his skin.

Justin enjoyed listening to Lance talk. Lance would sit in his room sucking on a cigarette and Justin would do nothing else but listen and when he thought Lance wasn't paying attention he'd look.

When Justin breathes in he can smell the faint scent of smoke. If he closes his eyes he can convince himself he smells Lance there too and at least that way he can pretend that he's not alone.

Justin's so distracted, in fact that the harsh rap at his door shocks him a little, causes him to jump and his heart to race. He slides off the bed and almost makes it to the door before the sound is repeated, even louder this time. Justin pulls the door open and he's confronted by Lance, a smile on his face and arms piled high with two large brown paper bags.

Before Justin can question him, Lance pushes his way into Justin's room. Justin closes his door and marvels how the room feels so much smaller now that Lance is here, and how Justin feels less alone.

"Close your mouth, Justin you look like you're trying to catch flies." It only takes Lance a few moments to divest himself of what he's been carrying and Justin still hasn't said anything in response. Lance is smiling at him and that look softens the harshness of his words.

"So why exactly are you here, Lance?"

Lance stops what he's doing, one hand reaching halfway into one of the bags he carried in and he looks at Justin. Eyebrow raised, Lance purses his lips and Justin is pretty sure the air conditioning in his room must be faulty because he all of a sudden feels a lot warmer.

"If you'd rather be alone?"

Lance doesn't move at all and Justin answers without thinking.

"No, no definitely not, I just didn't... expect you here." Justin is amazed how Lance somehow always knows what's best for Justin, even when he himself is unaware.

"Well J, it would have been a little difficult for the two of us to get drunk together if I wasn't here now wouldn't it?"


Justin's voice sounds young and he's reminded of the fact that neither of them are really old enough to drink. The single word seems to echo around the room and Justin's slightly embarrassed by the sound of his voice. Thankfully for Justin it's soon drowned out by Lance's laughter.

Justin joins in despite the fact that he's not sure why Lance is laughing. Justin doesn't care and keeps laughing while Lance unpacks the bags he'd brought with him.

There's the clink of one bottle against another and Justin notices a bag of ice. Justin's even more confused when Lance pulls a blender out of the other bag.

"Where did you get all this stuff?"

Lance laughs softly as he continues to unpack, "J, I would have thought by now you'd have worked out that we can get pretty much anything we want."

"Yeah but Lance, do you really think we should be doing this? Isn't it..."

"Wrong?" Lance stops what he's doing and he stares straight at Justin.

Justin's not really sure what to say and instead nods. Lance has built up quite a collection on the small bench top in Justin's hotel room; his voice is muffled slightly as he fidgets under the counter with the electrical cord of the blender.

"Justin, sometimes the things that aren't right are the things that are the most fun to do."

Justin snorts slightly at Lance's words. Lance stops what he's doing and looks at Justin, really looks. Justin's pretty much at Lance's mercy when he looks at him in that way, it makes Justin do whatever Lance wants and instead of worrying about the consequences Justin moves to help.

"Think of this as wisdom that I've accumulated over the years."

Justin snorts again.

"Shut up and pass me the ice."

Justin pulls a hole in the plastic bag of ice, it's cold in his hands and he pushes through the plastic with his fingers. It stretches and he has to try hard to breach the surface. He holds the bag up so that Lance can reach inside it.

Justin notices a bottle of tequila and another with something else in it but he can't see the label. Justin's about to ask him what it is when Lance flicks the switch and the blender springs to life. Several cubes of ice whir around and crush, there's a god awful noise and Justin can't believe how loud Lance is being.

Lance doesn't seem to care and just raises his voice over the noise of the blender when he answers Justin's worried question.

"Dude, I don't know why you're worried about the noise. Joey's 'entertaining' and JC and Chris make enough noise when they're on their own that nobody'll hear us."

"Hey, those two are great together."

There's a moment where Lance flinches and Justin mentally kicks himself for being a dork. For being a sixteen year old who really should know when to keep his mouth shut. There's a look of pain that ghosts across Lance's face and for the first time this evening, Lance looks as tired as he must feel on the inside.

Tired and broken and Justin can't help but feel partly responsible. He can't help but wish that he knew what to say or do to ensure he never saw Lance look that way again. In fact, Justin wishes that he was the one to make Lance forget.

It's something they all don't tend to talk about as a group. Justin had of course been the last to find out and the only time it's really mentioned is when Lance sneaks into Justin's room under the pretence of smoking. Or when Lance is drunk and he's finally able to put into words how he feels.

Justin can remember when he'd found out; one night after a show and Lance's timing had been bad enough that he'd seen JC sneak into Chris' room. Lance had spent the night in Justin's room. Justin can still remember opening the door to him; Lance's eyes puffy and red and just for a moment he looked even younger than Justin. Lance wouldn't tell him what was wrong but Justin had let him crawl into his bed. Justin had pretended to be asleep while Lance cried, his body wracked with sobs as he tried to keep quiet. His face pushed against the spare pillow in Justin's narrow bed.

He'd pretended not to hear, just the same as Justin had pretended to not remember anything the next day.

Justin can still recall the way Lance's eyes looked when he'd finally told him. An offhand comment about Chris and JC. Lance tried to pretend that it didn't matter but Justin had known straight away that it did.

"Yeah, well Justin, I think JC's an asshole."

It doesn't matter how hard Lance hurts, Justin knows when he says that, he doesn't really think it at all.

Lance turns off the blender and shrugs his shoulders. He tries to keep his hands occupied and Justin doesn't fail to notice that Lance is trying to look anywhere but at him.

"What can I say, they're too loud. I mean the last thing I want to hear is what JC sounds like when he comes."

Justin's pretty sure that Lance is lying about that too, it's just Lance doesn't want to hear it second hand.

When Lance puts the blender down and rubs his hands across his shirt, Justin moves closer and puts his arms around him. Hugs Lance close and kisses his friend on the cheek. Lance doesn't hug him back but that's okay, Justin just wants him to know that he knows.

He's still hugging and Lance starts to shake him off. He pushes gently against Justin. Lance's hands are cold from the ice, and when they touch Justin's hands, they send shivers through his body. It doesn't matter how hard he pretends not to be, Lance is normally warm and his ice-cold skin almost shocks Justin.

"What the fuck was that for?" Lance doesn't even sound annoyed anymore.

"It just seemed right. Anyway you don't think JC's an asshole."

"And that, Justin, is the reason I called him one."

"Is that those years of wisdom talking? Man, if I'd known I was gonna learn so much tonight, I would have started taking notes."

Justin starts to smile when he sees Lance's mouth curl up at the edges. He's preoccupied pouring alcohol into two glasses that he's pulled from the cupboard, but Justin doesn't fail to see the change.

"See, you Justin are an asshole." Lance's smile softens the words as he offers a full glass to Justin.


When Justin closes his eyes, little flares of light cloud his vision and after awhile the green and yellows swirl together and shapes begin to form. A multi-coloured microphone blends into an amorphous shape of an elephant. Justin's so distracted by what he's seeing that he barely hears Lance speaking at all.

When Justin opens his eyes again to look at Lance who's sitting next to him on the bed, his vision blurs again and he's sure the ceiling should be above his head, and the floor below. But he's having trouble telling which one is which anyway, so he gives up trying and instead leans against the heavy weight of Lance's body.

The glass he's holding is empty but despite that fact, it feels heavy in his hand, like he can't quite grip it and it slides from between his fingers.

Justin decides to himself that he's very drunk and if he wasn't otherwise occupied he'd tell Lance just that. Instead he doesn't say anything and giggles a little. His voice is high-pitched and sounds so different from the deep throaty sounds that Lance makes.

"You're drunk, Justin."

"Am not."

"You are too and you know how I know that?"

Justin looks at Lance and waits for him to finish. He rocks slightly and almost overbalances before Lance's hand, pressed against his back, steadies him.

"Because I'm drunk too."

Justin curls into the warmth of Lance's arm, relishes the heat transferred from Lance's skin to his own.


He's not sure if he meant it as a question or an answer but Justin can't help but be pleased he managed even that.

The two of them are sitting on the end of Justin's bed. There's a mess that starts on the bench top and ends up at their feet. A trail of half squeezed limes and ice pooling on the carpet next to where the bag has spilled. Once frozen cubes of ice now melted into the threadbare surface.

Justin moves his weight slightly and has to shift to counter balance himself. Lance moves his hand from behind Justin and by the time Justin's finally recovered, one hand steadying himself on the bed, Lance's hand's no longer there when Justin leans back.

It's a bit of a shock and Justin wants to ask why Lance moved when Justin was so comfortable, but that's when he notices where Lance's hand is now resting.

Lance's arm is lying along the length of Justin's thigh, his hand grips at the point just above Justin's knee and Lance's fingers are working tiny patterns on the inside of his leg.

Justin decides this feel much better and neglects asking Lance why his hand isn't back where it was. In fact, Justin's starting to feel a whole lot better and tries to concentrate on what Lance is saying.

"So Joey just kind of looked at her and started laughing..."

There's a strength in Lance's fingers that surprises Justin as they work along the muscle of his thigh. Lance traces a line in a slow languid motion that travels further even when he stops moving. Travels through Justin's body and the only point it seems to bypass is his brain. Which seems to no longer be functioning.

Justin feels warm again, like the room is a furnace and somebody's turned the heat up even more. There's a heat building inside Justin and it starts with each gentle almost unconscious stroke that Lance makes.

Justin's hard; painfully hard and he knows he should make Lance stop. But he doesn't, he's not sure he can because he doesn't want this to stop. In fact he wants the exact opposite. Justin feels like his insides are melting, forming a pool of water like the ice when it was exposed to the heat of the room. Once solid, turned liquid by touch.

Lance's voice sounds hollow and seems to echo around the tiny space of the room.

"...and then when he told her exactly what she'd said, she finally got it."

Lance is laughing again and when he turns his head to look at Justin, his eyes are hooded and seem to go on forever. They're bright and Justin's almost lost in them, just staring into the blue of Lance's eyes.

His laughter's infectious and within moments, Justin is laughing as well. Once he starts he can't stop and the only thing that makes him look away from Lance is when he has to blink back the tears from laughing so hard. He has no idea if what Lance said was funny, or if Lance is still laughing but he can't stop himself. He's finding it hard to breathe and his vision blurs again, this time from crying.

Before he even notices it, he's slid to the floor. He can see Lance is clearly laughing now, leaning onto his back and Justin still laughs. Hands clutching his sides as they ache, the press of the cheap carpet against his face as he rolls on the floor.

He's not sure how long it is before he's able to stop. His breath drawn in long rasps as he attempts to stop laughing. Lance is chuckling to himself and shaking his head in what Justin assumes is his direction.

"Dude, you're wasted."

Justin assumes that Lance means him, and more importantly assumes that that means he is.

Justin gets to his knees, he's slightly wobbly and he takes a moment to ensure he doesn't fall straight back onto his ass. He's about to try and climb back onto the bed and reaches out to steady himself. His hand clamps around the warmth of Lance's thigh. He can feel the heat of Lance's body through his jeans and when he looks up he realises Lance's legs are open. Justin has one hand resting towards the top of his leg, close to Lance's crotch.

Justin can smell alcohol and cigarette smoke, the room is thick with the smell of it and Justin has never felt this horny in his life.

Lance is sitting before him, legs open and he looks so damn good that Justin can feel an ache building inside him. He's pretty sure that only Lance can take that ache away.

He moves his hand, slowly at first. Tentative strokes up and down Lance's leg. He watches Lance before him, eyes that drift closed, flutter of lashes over milky skin. Justin can see a small exhalation of breath and he's sure he doesn't imagine the way that Lance bucks his body ever so slightly when Justin's hand inches closer to what he really wants.

Justin thinks his skin is burning, there's so much heat in the room that he swears he's never been hotter. It seems to take forever and Justin worries about how much his hand shakes as he slides his palm over the rough fabric of Lance's jeans. He can feel a heat marking him, beginning in Lance and seeping into his own body and when Justin's fingers close around the thick outline of Lance's cock, he's hard through his pants.

Justin thinks Lance feels as hard as he himself must be.

One flat stroke with the palm of his hand and Justin tentatively squeezes the outline of Lance's cock. He almost forgets to breathe and finally manages to do so when he hears a low moan escape Lance's mouth. Justin breathes out at the same time.

Justin thinks Lance has never looked this fuckable.

And Justin has to wonder if this is what JC sounds like when he and Chris are alone. When the two of them aren't thinking about anybody but each other. Right now, Justin wonders what Lance is thinking about.

He wants to move his mouth there, to replace his hand with his mouth and worship the shape of Lance's cock with his tongue but he feels like he's made out of stone. That if Justin does this wrong Lance will make him stop and Justin doesn't want to stop. Justin wants to keep going more than anything else in the world.

Justin's still kneeling in the V of Lance's legs, one hand rests on the bed while he continues to run his hand along the outline of Lance's cock with the other.

Lance finally makes a noise that could only be described as a moan, breathy and low, like a sound more suited to one of Joey's pornos. He has to clear his throat before he's finally able to speak.

"Justin, what the fuck are you doing?"

Justin can't speak, Lance's hand is a tight grip around his own and he's unable to move. He can't even pull his hand away but Lance won't let him move, won't even let him look away and after a few seconds he's finally able to speak. Justin wills himself not to blush as he tells Lance in words what he wants in actions.

"I was hoping I would find out what you sounded like when you came?"

When Justin tries to move again, Lance's grip becomes tighter.


Justin doesn't say anything at all. When he finally plucks up the courage to look up, Lance won't look at him. He'll look anywhere but at Justin and when Justin pulls his hand from between Lance's grip, Lance doesn't fight it at all. Justin's shocked and falls back onto the floor.

Lance still won't look at him and Justin's not surprised. He's acted like a fool and why would Lance want to look at him now?

"I'm sorry, Lance. I'm a fucking idiot. I should have known..."

Justin's almost too scared to look again but when Lance still doesn't respond, he raises his eyes and looks at Lance. His friend's face is flushed and Lance looks just a little out of control.

"Lance, please? I'm sorry. I just thought... you love JC and I love you and I thought that maybe since you couldn't have him that you might have wanted me?"

The fact that Lance still hasn't responded makes things worse. Justin almost thinks rejection would at least ease the pain.

"I'm sorry, please don't stay mad... I don't want you to be mad at me."

"Wait? You love me?"

Lance's voice is scratchy and heavy. Justin has to take a moment to make out the words but at least Lance is finally looking at him.

Justin's still having trouble breathing, his throat feels blocked and he's this close to actually crying. He wishes he wasn't so drunk because he wants to just say the right thing, to make everything okay again but Justin worries even if he was sober he couldn't think of any words to make things right.

That there aren't any words that could do that anyway.

"Yeah... what? You didn't know?"

"Well, you've never, I don't know, told me!" Lance's voice is raised but Justin can see his expression has changed. Justin's sure he isn't as angry anymore.

"I just thought, that... you knew. Everybody else does. Chris knows, Joey knows and JC knew before I did, that's why he never... with you, because..."

Justin doesn't finish his sentence; instead he moves closer, kneels again and moves his hand closer to touch Lance once more. "Does that mean?"

Justin strokes his hand up Lance's arm, moves his hand up to the back of Lance's head and pulls him closer.

They're only inches apart when Justin feels Lance pull him up, off his knees. Lance is smiling at him, Justin sniffles and wipes his hand across his face, removes the dampness off his cheeks and lets Lance enfold him in his arms and hold him close. The two of them once again sitting next to each other. Justin's leg is pressed to Lance's and Justin feels warm again.

"Justin, no we can't... this isn't..."


Justin moves his hand up to Lance's face and strokes with the tip of his finger. Traces a line along Lance's chin. Lance shudders gently under his touch, the two of them are still close and Justin can see the indecision in Lance's eyes.

"Yeah it's not right, not like this and not now. When it does happen I don't want it to be like this."

"Wait. So you're saying you do want this to happen?"

Justin can feel Lance melt under his touch, curl himself closer so the distance between them doesn't exist. When Lance breathes, Justin can feel his breath warm against the skin of his face and the rise of his chest. Justin matches that rhythm and holds Lance close.

Lance feels warm against him and Justin thinks this is all he needs to survive.

"Yeah..." Lance's voice is soft, but the two of them are so close that Justin hears the single word so easily. His expression changes and he can't help but smile.

"Just not when we're both this drunk, okay? Speaking of which, I need another drink."

Lance pulls away and Justin trails his hand from Lance's face to his shoulder where he squeezes him gently. Without thinking Lance moves his hand up to his shoulder and takes Justin's hand in his own.

"No way, man."

Lance looks a little shocked as Justin reaches for Lance's drink before he can grab it. Lance has a confused look on his face and Justin can't help but think how adorable he looks.

"So how long exactly will it take the two of us to get sober?"


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