To Go Too Far: 4

by Miss Kitty E

"What did you do to your hair?" Megan asked Chris one day as he walked onto the bus. He looked over to see Justin sitting with his girlfriend on the couch; Megan looking at him as if she'd only recently become aware of his presence on this earth.

Chris sighed through pursed lips, he just did not need this right now. He shrugged and, with forced indifference, responded, "I dunno. I thought it would be cool to do something different."

Megan nodded, but still rolled her eyes a little, "But was did you do to it to make it white like that?"

Chris frowned as again it became a question of what he had done 'to' his hair, as if it had been an unwilling participant or victim in Chris' misguided doings. "They braided in some white weave hair, that's all."{1}

"Weave?" She laughed, "Like black girls get?"

"I guess," Chris hoped she was finished, or would give some halfhearted compliment that he would halfheartedly thank her for, so he could just go. But Megan was still blinking up at him and Chris didn't hide his glare, not that he was the kind of person who would try. Unfortunately, Megan just happened to be the kind of person who would call him on it. "What?" she asked, attitued just dripped off of the word. "I didn't mean that to be insulting. Jeez, I just wanted-"

"Shut up, Megan." The response didn't surprise Chris so much as he the fact he hadn't been the one to say it.

Megan turned away from Chris now, looking at Justin with some mix of anger and disbelief. "Don't tell me to shut up!"

"What?" Justin asked in the same tone Megan had. "I didn't mean that to be insulting."

Chris pushed past them with a vague apology, moving to the back of the bus, stretching out- he was one of the only guys in the group who could really do this -on his bunk. He listened for a time to the music that leaked from Lance's headphones, the rustle of pages being turned instead of Justin and Megan's argument, and quick make up. Soon enough, he slipped back further and further into his mind until it was just him and the bottom of the bunk above him.

Megan would be with them only as long as they were near to Florida, returning home when they headed up North. Chris was counting the days. He liked to think that he didn't hate Megan just because she had "come between" he and Justin like some jilted soap opera character. He liked to think it was because she was rude, the kind of girl to talk about someone behind their back and smile to their faces, the kind of girl who let Justin feel her up in front of the other guys, and was so painfully ignorant and indifferent of the world. He hated her because she didn't think they could really be all that famous because, afterall, they weren't on MTV (EuroMTV apparently doesn't count), because she would spend five minutes convincing someone else to do what she could have easily done herself, and because he had to pretend he didn't hate her because Justin would assume it was just because he wanted him back.

And that was the funny thing, because Chris was starting to hate Justin now, too. Every now and then he or Justin would forget, and some teasing kiss or touch would end up be on his mind for weeks. He did see the humor, he could laugh bitterly about how long it was taking him to move on when there was nothing holding him back, no word of promise, or moment where he thought it might last forever. He felt pathetic for pining, and pathetic for knowing everything that was wrong with him but not how to fix it. So he closed his eyes and waited for time to dull his emotions, and distance him from his dreams.


Chris was very much awake, but desperately wishing that he wasn't. He could hear them arguing, they were yelling even though their voices weren't all that loud. He just knew, recognized the frustration, the indignation, the pleading of a 'relationship arguement.' He tried to remember if it was Megan's or Justin's room next to his, but all he could recall was that it was definitely too late for them to be in the same room, and that if Lynn could hear them it would be ugly.

Things didn't get ugly, just hairier when the door was shut and the footsteps stopped at his door. "Chris?" Justin banged his fist against the wood a few times. "Chris, let me in."

Chris remained in his bed for a moment more, breathing tightly. Slowly, he got up and went to the door, "Justin, what is it?"

Taking one large step inside the room, Justin took his face into his hands and kissed him. Chris lifted his hands hesitantly then let them drop when Justin broke away. When he returned, Chris tightly around Justin's waist and did not let go when he was done. "What about-"

"Fuck her," Justin snapped, pulling away. He tugged his shirt over his head, and then sat down on the bed to begin untying his shoes. "I'm sleeping here tonight."

Chris frowned as he watched Justin move, "You really think you can just come in here and say that?"

Justin paused, one sneaker already off and dropped on the floor. "What then, you want me to go?"

Chris shook his head, "I want you to ask."

"Can I stay with you tonight?" Justin asked, sitting limply on the bed.


Justin sighed, "Because it was better when I was with you. You understand, I never have to say. Please, Chris, just..."

Chris put his hands on his hips, and stared at the floor for a moment, thinking but not really understanding how he came to his decision. "Tonight, that's all."

"Okay," Justin said softly. He took Chris' wrists and pulled until could press his cheek to the spot beneath Chris' ribcage. The older man stood still except for the hand that passed gently over Justin's hair, waiting. He'd only seen Justin cry once before, the night it had happened, and he watched, detached, as Justin threw himself into it like he did everything. He could feel no real sympathy, only pity for himself, and pity for Justin, and the ever-present resentment of Megan. Justin almost fell asleep like that, and Chris would have let him, just to see and feel Justin needing him like this again for a moment longer. Instead, he guided Justin back and slipped in beside him. Chris gave over just a few kisses that were felt but not responded to, and he spent the rest of the night just wishing he could fall asleep.


When did Chris wake it was to an odd sensation; apparently Justin had rolled away from him in the night, trapping Chris' hand under his shoulder. It was so numb it didn't feel as if it were a part of him anymore, he pulled his hand free, massaging the limp fingers. He looked at Justin, who was still sleeping but now on his side, and felt sick. He'd let it happen again. He was so fucking stupid, and now he would have to do damage control.

He waited until the wake up call came to do anything but think on what to say and watch Justin sleep. He caught it on the first ring, murmured a quick thanks, and then turned his attention back to Justin. He rubbed his hand over Justin's naked side and the effect was an involuntary jerk that always woke Justin up more thoroughly than any verbal command.

"Time to get up."

Justin stretched languidly, scratching his stomach, he smiled up at Chris briefly and sat up, "Okay, okay." He looked over at Chris, calling his attention, "Hey." He placed his hand along Chris' cheek and jaw, body moving for a fast kiss.

"Justin..." he waited until the younger man had pulled back. "Maybe you shouldn't, huh? You and Megan will be making up soon and-"

"Chris, don't give me this shit." Justin got out of the bed and began dressing, "Megan's going back today and I don't think I'll be looking her up again during this lifetime, happy?"

"Whatever. You're not getting it. I just don't want to do this anymore, girlfriend or not."

Justin paused to look back at Chris, "Why?"

Chris could not meet his eyes, "Because it didn't work. At least not for me. I mean, you were able to go out and find someone when I didn't even want to look, that's... that's not the way it should be."

"Oh," Justin said softly, his hands were limp now. "Is that-"

"Yeah, it is. And... it was never a- you know, a good idea, anyway, so let's just- let's let it go." Chris got up quickly, moving to the bathroom. He was staring at his hands as they gripped the counter, marveling at how small they seemed even to him when softer, larger ones slipped across his torso, crossing over his navel. Justin leaned forward until he could rest his cheek on Chris' shoulder, "I didn't know it was hurting you."

"It's alright," he said quickly. "I should have known better."

Justin sighed, rubbing his cheek against Chris' skin, and he could feel just a slight prickle of early morning stubble. "Listen, Chris, if you don't want to, um, keep our options open, I'm cool. We don't have to. It was good with you. Better." He dropped two kisses onto Chris' shoulder; young, shy, unsure kisses.

When Chris looked up at the mirror the eyes that met his and the arms around his waist were at odds with those kisses.

"Chris, if we did that, would you let me come back?"

There were a hundred reasons to say no, but one reason just strong enough to make him ignore them all.

Part Five - Fic Index - Main