Guidelines

by Susie


Lance walked up to the shower faucet and stripped off his shirt, rolling his shoulders and running a hand through his hair. He turned on the water and steeped under the spout, flinching a little as the first splash of cool water hit him. He ducked his head under the water for a moment, then pushed his wet hair out of his face.

He didn't hear Joey's footsteps over the noise of the water, so he jumped when he felt a hand on his shoulder.

"Rough day?" Joey asked.

"Ugh," he responded, "it's not over yet." He stiffened when Joey started to rub his shoulders-he'd thought he'd made himself clear-but Joey seemed to be behaving so far and he really was tense. He wasn't about to turn down a free massage over his silly anxieties. He let his head drop back and his mouth hang open. He was getting water in his mouth but he didn't care.

When Joey finished loosening the muscles in his shoulders, he started working down his back. Lance started to worry again. Joey's hands moved lower, rubbing and pressing, and then suddenly Joey's arms were around him and Joey's fingers were slipping into the waistband of his shorts. Lance spun around and grabbed Joey by the wrists, swinging Joey back against the wooden fence and spitting the water in his mouth into Joey's face. Joey sputtered and blinked water out of his eyes.

"Lance! What the fuck?"

"I could ask you the same thing, Joey! What the hell was that? I told you I won't do that shit." Lance let go of Joey's wrists and stepped back. "I know you're going through some stuff right now, but you can't start putting your hands down my pants whenever you feel the urge, Joe."

Joey sighed, "Why the fuck not, Lance? JC certainly does."

"JC is my boyfriend, Joey. He's another reason why you shouldn't do that. It's called monogamy. You should try it sometime." Lance rubbed a hand over his head and glared at the ground in exasperation. He took a deep breath and blew it out. "I'm your friend. You can talk to me, come to me for comfort-whatever-but keep your hands to yourself. Okay?"

Joey drew breath to argue, but he looked at Lance and his shoulders dropped. He let out the breath he was holding. "Okay. Fine. No fondling Lance. I get it."

"Good."

"I need to go change my shirt; this one's all wet now."

Lance nodded and gave Joey a small smile. "And I need to get back to work." He turned off the water and walked away, picking up his shirt as he went.

Joey watched him leave, turned on the tap again, and stepped into the cold water fully clothed.


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