To Go Too Far: 3

by Miss Kitty E

The rules between them had changed, but Chris had expected that, and what the hell, they were easy enough to follow. For instance, Chris could touch Justin whenever he wanted and never be rebuffed. In fact, more often than not, Justin would press closer. No matter when or where, in the morning before he was truly "awake," during a movie, on the bus, Justin would only smile and let him, and Chris allowed Justin the same freedom. So that was Rule Number One, physical affection was a good thing, always.

There were rules within this rule of course; Chris tried his best to keep things chaste. A hug was never- or rather, rarely -an excuse to slide his hands to Justin's ass, and anywhere even near the inner thigh was off limits. But Justin's face was his to cup and stroke, and Justin's arms and hands his to be felt, and his sickeningly toned and taut stomach Chris' guilty pleasure. Justin didn't operate so carefully, and this was more frustrating than Justin ever seemed to understand, but he was sixteen and Chris could forgive a teenage boy for pushing. There was another rule against jealousy which Justin made use of often enough, flirting, making out, and crushing on girls, but never anything more. Again Chris could forgive him for this, and did not often think about it, even when it was going on right in front of him.

The third rule got them into the most trouble, and it was one Chris had the most trouble with. When Justin drank too much and was vomiting up the consequences, it was Chris who stroked his back and offered him water. When Justin was homesick, it was Chris who didn't rest until Justin smiled again. When Justin was mad at one of the other guys, Chris pretended he was too, slowly teasing and pulling away the anger. He stayed at the hotel when Justin did, went out when Justin wanted to. It was this he couldn't hide from the others, couldn't always do only when no one was looking.

JC resented him vaguely, being Justin's oldest friend in the group, he was used to being the confidant, the one Justin came to with his worst problems. Lance watched them with sleepy eyes, but marked everything, making some case that Chris was terrified he'd have to face someday. Joey didn't give a fuck about Justin but seemed more and more put out about the fact that if Justin wanted attention, Chris would give it to him and abandon anyone else he was with, and most often that was Joey. Chris didn't mind the rule, the responsibility, but for some reason whenever Justin was curled up against him, face buried into his collarbone as he tried to pretend that he didn't really just want to go home, he ached. Though he didn't yet know what the problem was, he knew that Justin was the solution, and that scared him.

As often as he thought about pulling back, Chris only ever seemed to press closer, but that was alright, wasn't it, because he was sure that Justin would tell him when he had crossed the line. And when his mind began to use the vocabulary that he had normally reserved for lovers that was alright, too, because he did love Justin, as a friend, a brother. It was that kind of love that made him glad to be able to hold Justin, and the desire that was there too was separate, just a consequence of having two heads. There was only one problem he couldn't explain, if he was so unafraid of the day Justin wouldn't need him why did he spend so much time preparing for it? Justin was the problem, but Justin was also the solution and the distraction.

Everything became a little harder to ignore when he and Justin began sharing rooms in Germany, and this was in part because Justin seemed to be trying. When he stripped off most of his clothes in front of Chris as he talked to his mother of all people, then disappeared into the bathroom for a shower it was just understood that Justin was in need of "attention." Chris was still on the phone when Justin emerged, but he watched intently as the younger man crossed the room, sopping his hair with a rough hotel towel, wearing faded sweatpants. Justin was aware of his eyes, stretching needlessly before he laid down on the bed, arms folded up behind his head. Chris barely managed to say good-bye before hanging up the phone and going to him. Justin's eyes were closed but his smile revealed that he was well aware that he was desired, and that this fact lost no luster despite being commonplace now.

Chris crawled on the bed to join him in such a way that his lips met Justin's navel first, but this did bother him a bit. He lapped up the chlorinated taste and soapy scent of Justin's skin in a steady trail upwards. Justin slipped his fingers through Chris' hair with a soft sigh and Chris tried to ignore the way Justin's legs feel open as he nibbled his way up the arch of his neck. He found himself settled between them just as came up from Justin's chin to claim his mouth, and though the thought of moving occurred to him, he didn't.

"Fuck," Justin moaned, breathing hard as he broke away, Chris found his lips again almost before they finished moving. He shifted his weight slightly, to place less pressure on Justin's chest, and felt the hips beneath him rise in a tentative thrust. Then pull away. Then return, harder. Chris moved without thinking on anything more than the way Justin tasted, the way he felt, tilting Justin's hips up a little, grinding against them. His mind was screaming something at him, but the sounds he and Justin were making drowned it out.

But he heard Justin say his name, heard the hints of fear under the breathy sensuality. He pulled away slowly, as if he had intended to all along, moving to lie beside Justin, and Justin turned into him, face buried into Chris' neck, breathing steadily, saying nothing. Chris stroked one hand over Justin's shoulder, and stared blankly at the wall, trying not to think.

"Have you ever been with a man?" Justin asked suddenly. "Like before this," he amended.

Chris looked back down, and shrugged a little, "Yeah."

Justin's brows lifted, but he did not seem surprised, "When?"

"In college."

"Oh," Justin seemed disappointed. He sat up and Chris followed him, and together they scooted up against the headboard. Chris was just starting to reach for the remote, when Justin spoke up again, "With who?"

Chris sighed, and took up the remote anyway, "No one you would know. A guy in my psychology classes."

Justin nodded, and drew up his legs, holding his ankles, he sat Indian style now, "How far did you go?"

"Well, we went all the way on prom night! It was dreamy," Chris lifted his voice even higher, clapping his hands.

Justin frowned, but for once did not instantly reach out to smack Chris. "Fuck you, I'm just curious."

"Yeah, I know," he replied. He let his eyes fall to the itchy comforter and after a moment of thought, he shrugged. "We fucked a couple of time but it didn't really work out."

"Anybody else?"

Chris thought on this question for a moment, wondering why Justin would care. "No. Not really, wasn't an issue." He continued when it was clear Justin didn't understand. "It's like, I didn't need to prove I could be with a guy anymore. I just knew that I could again... whenever I wanted to."

Justin nodded now, "So... you did like it?" He was watching Chris' face carefully.

He laughed, "Oh yeah."

"What's it like?"

Chris flicked on the TV now, but he only found the local news in German. "Like sex," he answered finally.

"Chris," Justin warned, and he was still watching Chris, ignoring the TV.

Chris met his gaze evenly, unafraid of the consequences a harmlessly self-centered teenager could bring upon him. But there was the fact that he felt some minor responsibility towards Justin, being the only bisexual man the kid seemed to know and trusted enough to let Chris help him figure out why he only ever wanted to date girls, but had no trouble making out, hot and dirty, with a man. "No, I mean it, it's just like sex," he said. "If you're talking details, yeah, it's a lot different, but the feeling is the same. You both get off in the end." He chuckled to himself, "Though there's the totally new option of being the one who gets it rather than only the one who gives it."

Justin laughed easily, "You're talking dirty to me, aren't you?"

"No," Chris said honestly, looking back at the television where a pert weather girl was talking about... something, probably humidity.

There was a long silence between them, and Justin shifted closer, "Maybe you should start."

Chris looked up immediately, "Justin..." He shook his and sighed, "Let's just go to sleep alright? German TV sucks."

"Okay," Justin started to get up, to move to the bed on the other side of the room, but Chris caught him. Somehow he thought that if he let Justin go now it would be too hard to hold him again in the morning. Justin slipped down beside him awkwardly, they didn't often sleep in the same bed, and when they did it was generally after a bad night. Eventually, they found they were most comfortable not touching, on their own sides of the beds, each turned inward, facing each other. He felt Justin watching him again, and then a hand came to cover his own, and Chris fell asleep smiling.


Things were still alright between he and Justin when they returned from Germany and Chris took this as a good sign. Of what exactly, he wasn't sure, but it was a source of happiness despite how fucked up his life in America had become while they had been in Germany. After working non-stop for the past few months, he suddenly felt like a bum, and a lot less sure that they would be able to pull this whole "'N Sync thing" off. But it didn't matter, or at least he told himself that.

He also told himself that he didn't care if Justin called him. And that let him pretend that he didn't care when Justin didn't. Of course Justin was always in the back of his mind, but weren't all of them? When he found himself driving near Justin's neighborhood he had serious doubts, wondering how much of it was coincidence and how much of it was his brain just acting surprised after telling him to turn left here, and then right. He took the opportunity either way, and when he parked across the street, Justin seemed to be waiting for him, playing basketball quietly against himself in the driveway.

Chris smiled warmly when Justin finally noticed him jogging over the asphalt, and, when he was close enough to touch him, slipped his arms around his naked waist. Justin's embrace was gruff, and ended quickly.

"Been a while," Justin murmured softly, as if someone might overhear. He was avoiding Chris eyes, shifting from foot to foot.

"Yeah, it has. Why didn't you call me?" Chris wanted to touch Justin again, curl his fingers around his arm, rest his hand on his hip, kiss his temple, but the way Justin stood left him frozen.

"I don't know, just been busy." He looked up apologetically, and when he said, "I'm sorry," Chris believed him, mostly be cause it was what he wanted to do.

"It's alright," Chris felt he could touch Justin again, and when he reached out, he found he was right. Justin shifted closer, following the pull of the hand on his back for a moment, but he stopped before they stood completely together, placing a hand on Chris' chest and looking down easily into his earth colored eyes. It seemed a natural thing to move for a kiss, but Justin pulled away, neck moving back first with his body following. Chris hadn't been pushed, but he felt as if he might fall suddenly. The question on his face was clear enough for Justin to answer.

"Chris, um," he sighed heavily. "I have a girlfriend now and-"

"Oh," Chris tried to keep any emotion from his voice, but that in and of itself was proof enough. He tried again, "I didn't know."

Justin shrugged, and continued to stare at his feet. Chris didn't move, forcing Justin to make a pretense of changing the radio station to put some sort of comfortable distance between them. He picked up the basketball again, but he could only pass it quietly from hand to hand, looking as if he wanted to dribble, to shoot a few practice shots, but didn't know if it would be appropriate. He looked up finally, "Chris-"

"It's alright," he said quickly, cutting off the apology he'd promised Justin he wouldn't have to say. "I just didn't know. I'm sorry I-"

Justin shook his head, "No, I mean, I would. I just don't think Megan would really understand, and..." he trailed off, wishing that Chris would make some joke, but none came. "It's okay, right?"

"Yeah." An awkward silence fell upon them, Justin sensed that Chris was still working through his thoughts and chose not to interrupt. Finally, Chris seemed to realize he should speak, "Hey, the reason I was driving by was 'cause I'm meeting Joey a little later this afternoon, you could come..."

Finally, Justin could smile, and he did, "No, I got some stuff do around here, but we definitely gotta do something together soon."

"Okay," Chris looked at his feet, then at his watch. "I guess I should go."

Justin caught his hand, features sliding so quickly from a relief to concern it was like he'd only changed masks. "I didn't mean to-"

"You didn't," Chris leaned forward, and kissed Justin's cheek, soft and quick. "See you around, alright?"

"Yeah," Justin waved but did not seem to want to see him go. "Later, man."

Part Four - Fic Index - Main