To Go Too Far: 6

by Miss Kitty E

"Tell me about the first time you saw me."

"Why? You were there, too, you know."

"Come on, Chris, humor me. I'm not tired yet, and you won't go another round."

"Alright." Chris was silent as he tried to remember. "I thought you were cute."

"What kind of cute?"

"Disney cute. You looked like Bambi."

"I did not."

"Yeah, you did. All big eyes, and skinny legs."

"That's it? That's all you thought when you met me?"

"You could sing pretty well, and I liked talking to you better than anybody else at the audition."

"Oh," Justin started tracing the bare skin of Chris' shoulder again. "Is that why you called me?"

"Sorta." Chris didn't want to say that Lou had shown him a picture of his current act and told him to find someone like Nick Carter. "What did you think when you met me, huh?"

Justin shrugged, "I thought you were someone I had to know."

"Like networking? A connection?"

"No. Just..." A yawn. "Like love at first sight, only not. It wasn't like that, but it's the same idea. Instant recognition of a kindred spirit."

"Wow, that was like four big words in one breath."

"Fuck you."

A bit of tired laughter, "Seriously though, that's sweet, Justin."

"Yeah, whatever."

"You're staying here tonight, right?"



The best thing about sleeping in the same bed with Justin was the mornings, Justin would almost always sleepily demand that they remain wrapped around each other until the very last minute before officially being late. Justin was positively languid in the morning, rarely saying much, just folding Chris into heavy arms and breathing into his hair. Chris would never admit it, but the relationship was a nuisance. Justin was always there, they went the same places, worked the same places, their free time almost always spent spent together. It easy to get tired of it, because they had to be careful, careful not to let Johnny or Lou or Lynn or the fans know, careful they didn't do something so stupid they couldn't stand the sight of each other after that. Chris knew he wasn't always the easiest person to break-up and Justin was a veritable wild card. Still, mornings like those made the whole thing worth it.

Justin wasn't always lethargic in the mornings though. There were times he wanted to talk, times he wanted to fuck, and times when he just wanted a moment to himself. And sometimes, times when he was excited and wanted to share.

"Chris, wake up!" Justin was bouncing. He sat across Chris' lap and bounced, little tremors shaking the bed.

"Jesus, Justin." The light seeping through the curtains hurt his eyes, and he couldn't focus on Justin's face.

"Come on, Chris, up and at 'em. It's a big day. A fucking huge day."

"What do you mean?"

"MTV," he crowed. Justin bounced again, and Chris's hands lifted to hips to still them. "I mean, come on, Chris, we're doing an interview at fucking MTV today." He frowned, "You aren't excited?"

Chris was finally awake enough to smile up at him, "I will be." Maybe it was because Chris could easily remember a time when there was no MTV and artists were measured on merit rather than video rotation, but this wasn't going on the top of his list of life changing experiences. He was happy, of course, practically salivating about the exposure they were about to get, but that was all.

Apparently, his answer didn't completely satisfy Justin, who was leaning over him now, hands planted on either side of his shoulders. "Will be? You trying to act all cool and indifferent or something?"

Chris slid his hands a little higher so that his could lay his palms low on Justin's back. "You got a crush on Carson Daly or something, Justin?"

"I'm just saying, it's MTV. They can't take it back now," Justin looked at Chris with serious eyes. "When the next big thing blows us out of the water, they won't be able to say we didn't mean anything, that we didn't make it big here, too."

Chris smiled, "Hey, if it makes you happy-"

"Listen, Chris, stay with me today, okay? I want you to be there."

"That was the plan, baby. They're interviewing all of us, you know." Rather than the smack he was expecting, Justin scooted down far enough to tuck his head under Chris' chin.

"I mean for everything, Chris. I want you to share every damn second of this thing, alright?"

"Okay," Chris said softly. There were a lot of things he might have said, might have done. He might have gone over to the window and shouted out into the world, "He likes me, he really fucking likes me." He might have rolled over, pinning Justin's hands, to initiate the 'momentous' day with a slow, lazy fuck. He might have just said what he was thinking, and that was he had fallen hard, too far down to ever see the light of day again. Instead, he listened carefully to the words Justin whispered into his shoulder.

"I love this, Chris. I fucking love this."

Chris didn't want to ask what Justin meant, too afraid that he meant fame. He rubbed his cheek against the soft curls and thought he might say it himself, but the quiet lasted too long and the only thing he was capable of doing was flipping Justin over, and fucking him passed two wake up calls.


The bad thing about being a "kid at heart" was that it didn't just mean living life with a fun-loving attitude of wonder and spontaneity. It meant that on some levels Chris didn't know how to share and didn't particularly want to learn, meant that he still had trouble with grasping how his actions affected others. He spent half the time critics would later refer to as their "rise to stardom" wishing other people had the ability to see that Justin belonged to somebody, and the other half wishing that Justin would see that, too.

By the time Britney Spears became a part of Justin's life again, it was already starting to piss him off. He hadn't paid her much attention really, even though she was young and perky, and had "history." When Justin had met her again all he'd had to say was that she was "annoying." Justin had been pretending he was an adult for the past two years now, and people his age who actually acted it tended to make him a self-righteous. So no, Britney Spears didn't worry Chris even though she tried so hard to get close to Justin, rather it was the crowds of girls now not only willing to rub against him in clubs, but fucking eager.

Then she came to tour with them, Johnny's idea. And America's Sweetheart was suddenly always there, getting to know Justin all over again, and insisting they hung out whenever possible. Chris hadn't minded it, until he realized she set her little teenage heart on Justin. But he didn't want to hate her, didn't want to believe that Justin would leave again. Effectively, the matter was forgotten, and to his credit he never saw Justin do him much to make him worry.

But one day returning from lunch, the ringing echoes of the rather loud café in contrast to the still quiet of the corridor made him take special note of the corridor made him take special note of any sound: the air conditioning, the elevator bell, and the creak of the doorway. So naturally, when he heard Britney's voice he listened.

"Justin! Oh my god, you had better give that back."

It was coming from her room and Chris stared at the door as if somehow he might see through it and observe them. There were sounds of scuffling, short bursts of laughter as some unnamed item was kept from Britney.

"Dear Diary," came Justin's scratchy falsetto. "Ricky Martin is so hot, I wanna have his babies. Do you think he'll notice me at the VMAs? Ow, bitch, that hurt!"

"Bitch, gimmie back my journal." The scuffling stopped, but the laughter- youthful and free and something Chris had never heard before - didn't. He felt no specific emotion, nothing as clear as anger or sorrow, jealousy or disappointment, rather those emotions and more- irony, insecurity, frustration -crashed upon him like separate waterfalls. He waited in his room for Justin to come and find him. He didn't come; and when he finally ventured out he found out from Lance that Justin had gone clubbing with Brit.

He knew things were over when all the Rules were reinstated. Knew it when Justin shirked his touch if there was any chance Britney might see, knew it when Justin told him to shut up, not because he was angry but because Chris was hinting at their closeness, hoping Britney would get the idea. She didn't, and Chris wasn't allowed to be jealous when she flirted with Justin, demanded his company. All he could do now was wait for Justin to realize it, too. He tried, not desperately exactly but with no amount of hope, to make Justin reconsider; never picked a fight, gave no excuse for Justin to leave, he was warm when Justin wanted affection, and pretended to be indifferent when he didn't.

He went to bed alone that week, and the next, but made no fuss about it until the night finally came, drunk and already aroused from whatever he had been doing before knocking on Chris' door. He shouldn't have, but since the outcome was inevitable anyway, he tried once more to show Justin what he had and how much more Chris was willing to give. When it was over Justin took only as much time as he needed to catch his breath before rolling over and closing his eyes.

It wasn't the first time in his life that Chris felt as if he'd been used, it was the first time he knew it. Suddenly, just waiting for when Justin was ready to say it was over wasn't a choice Chris could live with. Hell, maybe it was better he take the responsibility anyway, "Go back to your room."

Justin stirred, frowning before he even opened his eyes, "What?"

"I said, 'Go back to your room.' If you're gonna start pulling this crap you may as well just leave a twenty on the nightstand, and take your cold-ass feet to your own bed."

Justin really just looked surprised, but Chris didn't care if was making sense, after doing so much, it felt good to finally, consciously, deny Justin something he wanted. "Jesus, Chris... why are you- what I do?"

"Everything, Justin. What you've done and what you haven't done and what you haven't done and what you're fucking gonna do. I don't know what you think I am but I know why you came, Justin. And it wasn't because you wanted me. I'm not gonna pretend I don't know what's going on."

Anger flashed across Justin's face now, much later than he would have expected. "What, huh? What is going on, then?"

"You know, you just have the balls to say it. If you fucking want her, then fucking tell me. Don't try to keep me around as the alternative when she snaps her legs shut."

"This is about Britney?" Justin swung his legs out of the bed, turning his back to Chris again. He seethed visibly for a moment then grabbed his clothes and started dressing. "I can't believe this shit."

"Why is that so hard to believe? You're treating me like a goddamned accessory now. I thought you knew what you wanted, but-"

"Jesus Christ, forget this." When Chris looked up Justin was gone.


It wasn't like he never had a chance to think about it after that, but Chris didn't want to, and there was enough now distracting him that he didn't have to. Justin was young enough and good enough at the method that repression came easily. He never spoke to Chris about it, except a week later, when he murmured, "Sorry," into his cereal. The other guys never knew never knew anything beyond the fact that they weren't allowed to ask why Chris and Justin never got as close anymore.

It wasn't too long after that when Chris met Dani, and if he'd been looking with clearer eyes it would have been obvious why he drifted over to her time and again. Tall, blonde, and some bizarre ability to glitter while doing, no, that didn't sound like anybody he knew. But when he said he could tell her everything, he meant it, and he when he told her about Justin, she was sweet and understanding and hated Justin for him. He couldn't do it himself.

Part Seven - Fic Index - Main