Not a big lie

About time we heard from Lance, the cool-headed one. Heh.

follows on from Regroup.

"He's still asleep," Lance said, shutting the door quietly behind him. Something about JC's bare shoulders was making his mind sidle gutter-wards. "I can't wake him, actually. We're gonna have to leave a note."

"Woo," Chris said, poking Joey. "You wore him out."

"Fuck off," Joey grinned, eyes glazed like maybe he'd been thinking about the wearing-out process quite a lot in the last few minutes. Hell, or all day.

"You are a stallion," Chris declared, eyes bright, like they'd been since 1pm this afternoon when it'd become clear that Justin wasn't coming back, and that they had three hours to kill before the movie, "and JC will write an album dedicated to your thrusting power just as soon as he wakes up-- which he won't! not all day! Because you," poke, "wore," poke, "him," poke, then squeak, when Joey grabbed his hand and squeezed hard, "...out? Ow. Ow. Lemme go."

"Promise to shut up?"

"Crossmyheart. see it. Crossed!" He made a vigorous one-handed gesture at his own chest.

"Hmm," Joey said, suspiciously, and Chris started whining,

"owww, owwwwww," and Joey grinned, letting him go. Chris cradled his wrist protectively. "Ow, Joe. Jeez."

"It'll be to my whole technique, anyway, the album" Joey said, innocently, "Not just the thrusting power," and Chris laughed through his nose, muttering about odes to Joey's mighty sword.

"Yeah, um," Lance said, massaging the heel of his hand, trying not to think about the terse phonecall that'd let him know the laboratory hadn't had any luck and were they sure they weren't just imagining things. "It might be more serious than that, actually."

"Huh," Chris said, getting up from Joey's bed, frowning. "He didn't wake up."

"No," Lance said, wishing that he had, that it'd been something lacking in the Bass wake-up technique. Apparently not.

"Try again?" Joey said, and Lance sighed.

"Don't bother," he said. Chris' little hands on JC's bare shoulders had been insistent enough to rouse a hungover Justin. "No point. He's... out."

"He's still got a pulse," Joey said quickly, then, "right?" and there was fear in his voice, just audible under the mammoth guilt.

Lance clapped him on the shoulder. "He's fine," he said. "He even moves, sometimes. He just... doesn't wake up."

They stared, silently, until JC eventually wrinkled his nose and sighed at Joey's pillow, and then Chris coughed. "I guess we're gonna have to ask Justin."

"I'm not talking to you," Justin said shortly, when they trooped along to his door. "Kinda slow today, aren't you?"

They'd called him on the phone in Lance's room, and he'd said, "leave me alone," to Lance, "no, man, I'm just, I don't wanna see anyone," to Chris, and just hung up on Joey.

"Yeah," Chris said, foot in the door, and Lance thought it was a good thing Chris wore clunky shoes because the pressure Justin was putting on that door would've sliced Lance's sneakers in two, "but you're pissed about JC, right?"

"You're so smart."

"So it figures you care about what happens to him," Chris continued doggedly, "and you'd probably care he's unconscious, right? Because if I was being a jealous fuckin' ex-boyfriend, I think I'd care if he went into a coma, but maybe that's just me-- hey, it's not funny."

Justin had started laughing, the sound of it hitching like there were cracks in his throat. Lance thought that maybe they should call someone in authority, because this was too heavy for his shoulders right now. "Oh yeah," Justin was crooning, "of course, Joey fucked him, didn't he," and Joey went incredibly tense by Lance's elbow, "good and hard, and now y'all are finding out what that means these days."

Oh, thank God. "So this's happened before," Lance said quickly, wanting to be sure. C'mon, Jup. Work with us. Kinda scared, here.

Justin stopped laughing. "Yeah, but it's Joey's problem now," he said. "Ask Joey what to do. And get your foot out my door."

"The movie starts in twenty-five minutes," Chris said, sharply, not budging. "Don't fuck around if you know what to do, okay? If we're not all five there--"

Lance held his breath - Joey wasn't breathing either, he noticed - but eventually, Justin's door swung open, proving yet again that Chris knew what buttons were worth the effort.

"I'm still angry," Justin said, "but I'm professional," and Lance wanted to hit him for the barage of pure transparent smug, but swallowed it down, because he was genuinely worried about JC, and he didn't think Justin's remarkable professionalism wouldn't descend pretty quickly into pettiness if he pointed it out.

He settled for falling in a couple of steps behind as Justin marched along to "JC's room, right? Oh no, wait; he's in your bed, isn't he," and exchanging a glance with Chris, nervy and irate. Joey was close behind Justin, head drooped miserably as he strode to keep up.

"You're gonna have to leave me alone with him," Justin said, when they got inside, and Lance raised his eyebrows. He'd been softened by catching the furious sorrow in Justin's eyes as he stood over JC's body, still and conspicuously naked beneath the sheets, but the presumptuous tone of his voice annoyed him all over again.

"Uh, no?"

Justin smiled. "You'll get out," he said. "Now."

"What the hell's he doing?" Chris demanded, for the forth time. He was pacing, scowl deadening his face.

Lance shrugged. He didn't know, did he? no. None of them knew, and the minutes were crawling by at the same pace that the unease was creeping back up his spine. It'd abated when Justin hadn't seemed surprised by JC randomly going into a post-coital coma, but - what the hell was Justin doing in there? Surgery?

When the door opened, "come in, guys," it took him a moment to recognise the voice as JC's.

Joey pushed in hard, and when Lance got inside Joey was hugging a bathrobe-draped, lightly giggling JC with tremendous force, and Justin was staring determinedly at the bedside bible.

"lemme, lemme go," JC panted, and Joey squeezed him visibly tighter, then let him go. JC sat on the bed, pushing his hair back with one hand.

"Well, don't do that again," Chris said, slipping past Joey to shove at JC's shoulder, eyes still worried even though the frown was gone. He laughed. "You... whimsically-unconscious freak, you."

"Sorry," JC said, grin fading slightly, "I didn't, uh, I must've forgot," and then he looked at Joey. "I was with Joey, wasn't I?"

Joey's eyebrows shot up. "You don't remember?"

"No, no," JC said quickly, "I do, just it's kinda." He made circles in the air with one hand. "dreamlike."

"No album to the stallion in my life," Chris murmured, and Lance laughed, because Chris was safely funny, and the rest of this was too damn confusing to be real.

"Well, this is all very tender and lovely," Justin said archly, "and I bet JC'd just love to be Joey's girlfriend," and Lance felt another snicket of sorrow for Justin because he was so bitter, like, painfully, "but I might just leave y'all to it, y'know."

"Wait, hey," Lance said, darting in front of him, "don't, I mean, don't you wanna know why he was all unconscious?" and Justin was already sneering, stepping neatly round him.

"Okay, I am so used to this," he said, "I know you guys might wanna know what's going on and shit, but me, I'm pretty well-versed in Jayce's bedtime habits," and he left, slamming the door behind him, and JC visibly flinched at the noise.

"Chris," JC said, "can you get him back?"

Chris raised his eyebrows. "Me? I dunno."

"Um, I'm not telling you anything until Justin's back here," JC said, quietly, and Lance blinked, thinking JC had recovered from the unconscious thing pretty impressively fast.

"Right," Chris said, after a moment, "right, okay," getting up, and then he'd slammed after Justin and Lance found himself listening for the conversation down the hall, even though he knew there was no chance of hearing it.

"You thirsty?" Joey asked, into the silence.

They shook their heads. Lance thought he might like something to do with his hands, but a drink wasn't it. Too spill-risky.

"Right," Joey said. "I am."

"Minibar in the corner," JC said, blankly.

Joey glanced at him. "I know," he said. "It's my room."

"Ah," Chris said gratefully, when he'd returned with a sulky Justin in tow, "toss me one, Joe? My voice is worn out now."

"Chris said, we're none of us gonna get to the movie until I get my ass back here and hear you out," Justin said, voice lifeless, just a touch of bonus acid. "So, gonna spill?"

"Please," Lance said, trying vaguely to soften Justin's words.

"Um," JC said, "you might wanna, like, sit down or something," obviously stalling, so Lance drew up a chair and tried to look attentive and unshockable, while Chris perched on the bed next to JC. Justin stayed standing. That bible sure was interesting. Apparently Justin'd never seen one before.

"Go on," Joey said, on JC's other side, and his hand moved abortively towards JC's shoulder, then settled back on the duvet near JC's hip.

"well," JC said, taking a deep breath, "uh, to start with, you better know I was adopted," and Chris spat out his coke.

"Youfuck?" he spluttered, as JC silently got up and took off his bathrobe and slipped under the covers again, tantalising flash of tanned thigh, "what, is that what this is? Childhood trauma? The, uh, the association of orgasm with the freedom you felt when you escaped to bed? Such deep theta brainwaves trying to keep you dreaming so as not to face your early years, triggered by post-coital exhaustion? Some hatred of sleeping naked so you don't wanna face reality when--"

"I think," Lance interrupted, watching JC carefully, "the issue's more who's his real parents," and JC looked at him gratefully, eyes huge and dark and mild. "Right?"

"Mm," JC said, and then, with a little shrug, "one of them was a siren."

"Right," Chris said, after a moment of hissing silence. "Boy. Am I glad I put the coke down."

"I'm glad too," JC said easily, snuggling a little deeper in his covers. "That bathrobe was real nice until you did that."

"A siren," Justin said faintly. "A. What the hell?"

"His mom's a siren," Chris said wildly, "Christ, weren't you listening? He only said it a minute ago! He'll probably say it again, if we let him - huh, JC? You'll say it again, for Justin, won't you--"

"My dad, actually."

"His dad," Chris declared, and Lance winced and grabbed Chris' arm and said, quietly,

"I'm gonna slap you or kiss you," and Chris blinked, twice, then sagged.

"God," Justin was saying, "this is a pretty big thing to never mention, like, not even once during a year-an-a-half relationship," and JC sighed, unhappily. "I don't believe you," Justin said.

JC shrugged. "Fine."

"You can't convince me," Justin insisted.

"The thing is," JC told Lance, who felt instantly uncomfortable being the guy JC was ignoring Justin for, "basically, after I-- well, especially at this time of year, after I get laid, that happens. Like. The deep-sleep." He glanced round, like he expected they might've gotten bored and wandered off. Lance thought that as usual JC wasn't totally aware of his own powers of public speaking - which usually that just meant he said something random on national TV. This felt slightly more important. "The thing you thought was a coma?"

"Yeah, we know what you mean," Joey said patiently, "we're just kinda waiting for a little... more, than that."

"That's it, though," JC said. "That's all this was. After sex. It lasts a couple of hours, if I'm left alone." He looked sheepish. "That's why I generally fuck at night. y'know. Time to recharge. "

"Wow," Joey said, lightly. "My timing was off, huh?"

JC grinned. "I don't imagine I gave you much choice--"

"What if there'd been a fire," Chris demanded, voice taut, "one night. You risked, it's a risk, you not telling us, JC, I swear - what would we've done? Tell me what we'd have done if there'd been a fire--"

JC's eyes flashed anger. "You'd have thought the smoke got me, carried me out, and the cold would've woken me up," he said sharply. "It's not actually a coma, y'know? It doesn't have to be the key, waking me up."

"Key," Lance said, blankly. Chris was tense next to him, but Lance was pretty sure it wasn't anger. Chris tended to go icy when he was angry, and save the hysterics for fear. "Key?"

JC waved his hand around. "Trigger," he said. "We're all born with a tune - works both ways, to enthral your prey or to rouse you from slumber in an emergency, like, to kill," and then he cut off, eyes going wide, adding hastily, "um, if you're a full siren," drawing frantic no-no-no slashes with both hands, "and I'm, I'm just a half-siren. I don't got none of the kill-y stuff."

"Just the enthralling and the slumbering," Chris said dryly. "No wonder you made MMC and Nick Carter didn't."

"Nick Carter didn't make MMC 'cause he looked like a freak in those days," JC said pleasantly, and Chris laughed, and Lance sort of relaxed, and then Justin was saying,

"I thought you said," in this awful, childish voice, "with the singing to wake you up--"

"Hypnotised, yeah," JC said softly, laughter evaporated, and Lance was frozen again, "um, well. I was," he said awkwardly, "but it was to try an' get rid of this whole thing, not, uh, not the sleep thing. It didn't work," he added, redundantly.

"Oh," Justin said, dully. "So you didn't have a boyfriend who worked nights and you were worried about him so you'd wait up for him and then forget all your skits the next day so you had to be hypnotised so you'd stop worrying and it went wrong."

Lance bit the inside of his cheeks. He could imagine JC coming out with a story like that. Very JC-esque.

"No," JC said, smiling gently, "no, he was true," and Lance thought, ha, even more JC-esque, and then JC shrugged, "just, uh, no hypnosis for that. Those skits? forgot 'em."

"I can't believe it," Justin said, getting slowly to his feet, like he didn't wanna make any sudden moves. He started backing towards the door. "You lied to me."

"It's not a big lie," JC began, and Justin yelled,

"it's a fucking big lie, so just fuck off," and reached the door, and then he was gone, and JC was taking deep breaths that didn't sound all that calming.

"Shit," Chris said, after a second.

Joey rubbed JC's shoulder. "You okay?"

"I do remember it," JC blurted, eyes huge and shiny and appealing intently to Joey, "you, you, and I did want it, okay - I want you to know - you gotta know, just 'cause it's the month doesn't mean I just use people," and Joey was stroking his shoulders again, and Lance frowned.

"The month?" he said suspiciously, and it had a curious three-dimensional sound to it because Chris said the same words simultaneously, same tone, half an octave higher.

JC smiled at them both, and then his smile went faint, and his eyes unfocused, and Joey's grip on him went alarmed. "what-time-is-it?" JC asked quickly, quiet staccato.

"Five past four," Joey said, and Lance thought blankly, better cancel the movie, and then JC groaned softly, and it sounded weirdly more like pleasure than pain, and then JC was arching backwards and gasping,

"fuck, margin's over, don't touch me, make it worse," all on one breath, and Joey snatched his hand back, looking wildly at Lance.

"The hell's going on?"

"Mmh," JC hummed, twisting his covers down around his waist, "you only took the edge off," muscles going rigid, shaking, "you, ah, more," and then he relaxed, body treacling against the sheets, eyes opening dark and calm.

"JC?" Lance said faintly, when JC looked at him like he saw someone new.

"Mm?" JC said, vivid interest in his eyes. His hand snaked out and found Joey's shoulder and pushed. "Get out."

"Okay," Lance said, shaken, and heard himself say, "um, we're not gonna make that movie, guys. We're too late. We better call, warn Johnny."

"Not you," JC said, smiling like Lance was like, God, so adorable. "You go," he said, pushing at Joey's shoulder, never taking his eyes off Lance, "and you go," and his other hand found Chris, who jumped back with a tiny squeak, "and you," JC said, evenly, suddenly crawling forwards and grabbing Lance's collar in his fist and pulling him up off his chair (and he was naked naked under those there sheets, Lance's brain yelled; naked! naked!) until Lance's knees hit the cushion of the bed, "stay."

"I'm going," Chris said loudly. "I am freaked out, and I am going."

"Um," Joey said, "it's my room."

JC ignored them both, was palming the side of Lance's face, fingers sliding into his hair, the interest in his eyes stopping shy of reverential - but only just.

"Fuck, okay," Joey said, "I'm going," and Lance wondered what the hell was that - the siren thing, right? could sirens influence people? - and then JC was shifting backwards, sinking back down onto Joey's bed, fist not relinquishing, kicking the covers away as he moved.

"What's this, what's... hey?" Lance breathed, sucking in his breath hard when JC tugged and Lance lost his balance and put his hands out just in time to save himself from falling directly on JC. There was a slam of the door, and Lance barely noticed it, because he was kneeling over JC, JC's thighs spread around his knees, JC all naked naked hard oh lord.

The look in JC's eyes kinda said JC didn't think he'd needed saving.

"Jayce," Lance said urgently, and JC tipped his head back and baring his throat, and Lance found himself looking, staring, because oh, that throat, bare-- and then he shook himself, telling himself to struggle, and JC's arms twined around his neck, and Lance heard himself sigh softly when JC leaned up and licked the edge of his jaw.

"C'mon," JC said, hooking his leg round the back of Lance's knees, raising his hips right off the bed so they met Lance's lightly, the faintest brush of JC's cock against the front of Lance's pants, then gone again, "you got no idea, but I need you right now."

"This is a siren thing," Lance said, not sure why that would make it better but it would, "isn't it? tell me it is--"

"I'll tell you whatever you wanna hear," JC said, and it sounded like a cross between cheesy porn and brutal honesty, and Lance swallowed, because he'd been resisting JC since he strode into the room where Lance and Chris were watching TV yesterday, wearing these low-cut pants and saying stuff about fucking in front of Robot Wars.

"Tell me... tell me what's going on, tell me what the margin is," Lance said, trying to distract himself, to force down the heat that was creeping up his thighs.

"Mmm," JC said, arching his back, and Lance's hands wanted to close over the slant of his sides down to his waist, wanted to feel that, taste him - but no, because no, and no, and not happening.

"What's the margin," he said again, and realised he wasn't using this to distract JC while he wrangled himself away, was just prolonging his innocence long enough to forge an excuse.

JC leaned up to kiss him, and Lance lifted his head higher, something bursting in a sharp lustful ache inside him when he saw JC's mouth open in protest, his face almost pained at missing out on a kiss. Damnit, boy. "C'mon, man, give and take," JC said, sinking back down against the bed, eyes slitting in warm accusation. "Gotta play fair."

"You're not doin'," Lance murmured, and JC breathed a smile, gaze moving to Lance's mouth, intensifying. Lance tried not to lick his lips. "Okay."

"O-kay," JC grinned, arching up again, and Lance pushed him back down, one hand planted in the middle of his chest. JC exhaled sharply, teeth clicking, eyes fluttering briefly closed. "Ah, christ."

"You tell me something first," Lance said, concentrating on not concentrating on the flex of JC's chest beneath his hand, the melting of sighs into quick panicked panting as Lance's words sank in. "Deal?"

"Okay," JC repeated, worn-leather voice, hand coming to cover Lance's fingers against his chest, and Lance slid his hand sideways, back onto the nice safe sheets, not ready to trust JC quite yet. "Deal."

Deal, Lance thought, as JC grinned knowingly and replaced his arm round Lance's neck, then realised with a sinking feeling that it was a deal, that his brain had decided that it was justified, okay, doing whatever JC wanted, just as long as it was a fact-finding mission, a chance to get the raw information from JC when JC wasn't concentrating on his words.

He almost smiled. He'd known he'd only need a minute or so to come up with a convincing excuse.

"Okay, so," he said, trying to remember what his question had been, and JC licked his jaw again, then lifted himself up slowly by his arms around Lance's neck, all his weight gathering unrepentantly, until Lance was trembling with the strain of it and telling himself it wasn't partially to do with having JC's naked torso panting lightly against his chest. "JC--"

"Relax," JC whispered, hint of a laugh, re-la-hax, and he curled his legs round Lance's waist, and Jesus, he was hanging off him, some demented sloth except JC wasn't about the sleeping any more.

And sloths didn't tend to lick their branch's throat with long, broad strokes, or wriggle their incorrigible nakedness against any long-suffering sections of bark.

Clothes, Lance's brain submitted, belatedly. Or skin. Not bark.

"If you tell me what the margin is," Lance heard himself say, his business head taking over since the rest of his brain was so fiercely distracted, "I'll take off my shirt."

"Twenty minutes," JC said immediately, dragging his heel against the curve of Lance's ass, nibbling his way up Lance's throat to his ear, then across, nudging his lips against Lance's mouth. "C'mon, then. Shirt."

"Gotta tell me--" more than that, Lance thought, but JC's tongue flicked between his lips when he spoke, and he found his mouth responding, wanting to kiss him, wanting to taste him and suck him and feel the slip of his tongue into his mouth, "more. than. that," he managed, and JC made a tiny noise and kissed him, and Lance's arms crumpled at last, and they hit the mattress like teens on speed.

"more?" JC muttered, sucking Lance's tongue deliciously into his mouth, then backing off to lick at Lance's mouth instead, to bite at his lips and kiss him deep deep deeper, panting against him, smile audible and joyful and carefree. "More, anything, I'll give you anything," he added, words mumbled, wet, crowded, his legs tight round Lance's waist, his hands skidding down Lance's back and then up under his shirt, dragging it off without stopping kissing so Lance's mouth stung sharp-brief because the fabric wasn't as insubstantial as JC seemed to believe.

"ow," Lance said, and JC laughed softly and rolled him onto his back, kissing him thorough-fierce and finding his pants with frantic hands. The sleek assault of it was a swift end to most of Lance's well-intended questions, Lance noticed, the most distant of distantly, and he didn't care, should care but didn't, wasn't concerned, not at all, couldn't be, possibly wouldn't care ever again.

"Pants," JC said, "lift your hips," and Lance couldn't, not without pressing his crotch hard into JC's cock - ah, and never say he didn't catch on quick. He had a good mind, he decided, twisting his hips up nastily, enjoying JC's low groan and the way his fingers faltered for eight seconds or so. Very smart.

JC's fingers tucked into his pants, infinitely closer to his skin.

Lance sure was doing a lot of fact-finding.

"Wait," part of Lance's brain made him say, and JC paused in pulling down his pants, then went ahead and did it anyway, tossing them away balled up around his wrenched-off shoes, then sliding on top of Lance and pressing close, so Lance could feel the length of his cock just a stretch of cotton away from his skin. Lance gritted his teeth, trying not to rock up against him, and covered JC's hands with his own when JC's fingers insinuated themselves between the waistband of his boxers and his belly.

JC looked up, startled, shifting down to kneel between Lance's legs. "No?"

"No - yes," Lance corrected quickly, when JC's eyes went distressed, "but you gotta tell me, first--"

"The siren stuff?" JC said, reluctantly, and then, when Lance nodded, shook his head quickly. "C'mon, man," he said, voice dropping again, "you're not interested in that...

"I think I am," Lance said, then drew in breath fast when JC ran his thumb up the length of his cock. "Okay, recognisisng the distraction technique."

JC dipped his head, licked across Lance's cock, fabric and all, and Lance swore. JC's teeth closed over Lance's waistband, nose brushing his belly, breath hot and damp, and started to tug down.

"You can't. just. ignore me," Lance ground out, although his hands had gone fists and his stomach was twitching eagerly with the sensation of JC's hair and mouth and breath, and JC's nose eskimo-kissed his cock as his boxers peeled back, and it seemed JC was in fact managing to ignore him pretty well. "Hey. Hey."

"You want me to suck you or you want answers?" JC breathed, his hands taking over on the stripping-Lance front, his mouth skimming up Lance's cock, his words a too-fast evaporating warmth.

"I, ah, fuck," Lance whispered, and then, "no, answers," and he deserved medals and stuff for that Herculean effort, and JC hissed angrily, licked him anyway, tongue wet and forceful. Lance's stomach crunched, and he half sat up, hands going to JC's hair and then being snatched away and pinned to the sheets by JC's fists. "Oi!"

"I'll talk to you when I'm fucking you," JC muttered, fingers digging in to Lance's wrists, eyes blazing dark like an outraged sprite glaring up from between his thighs, and this wasn't playing by the rules, and as JC's mouth descended again Lance felt a swell of amazement because God, JC was possessed by it or something, had that single-minded determination Lance'd only ever seen on wildlife documentaries before, and they were gonna have a month of this? had he heard that right? and also, he thought wildly, struggling and groaning softly when he failed to get anywhere, JC was really strong.

And pretty damn good at giving head.

Lance bit the inside of his cheek hard, terrified and going slowly erotically insane by equal degrees, because the mouth on the guy, yeah, everything Lance'd ever expected, but JC's eyes were closed now and curved in that smile of his, and Lance couldn't shake off the fear that JC was gonna forget himself and bite down any second now.

Not frightened enough to hurry on the bliss; not relaxed enough to actually enjoy it. It was like eating gourmet cuisine with a headcold.

Shit, Lance thought, and that led him to say, "You gonna fuck me, then?" and his voice had deteriorated while he wasn't using it, gone sex-husky like he'd been singing with a sore throat, acrid in his mouth.

JC froze for a second, then sucked his way briskly off Lance's cock and skimmed his way back up to his mouth, leaning on his elbow by Lance's head, stretching out alongside him with his cock against Lance's thigh, licking his fingers a couple of times before reaching between Lance's legs.

"Noo," Lance said quickly, head cleared briefly by the agony of no more divine mouth on his cock, lifting one knee to waylay him, "no, c'mon, man, you may be off your head but I'm still gonna feel it in the morning," and JC shot him an irritated glance, then ducked and kissed him, sliding his hand up Lance's thigh anyway, wet fingertips nudging at the entrance to his body.

Lance felt sparks shiver, deep in his ass, couldn't help but imagine the provocatively good sensation of one of JC's fingers pushing inside and brushing against those sparks, and had to make himself shake his head.

"No," he said, not quite able to force himself to close his thighs, almost sighing in relief when JC nipped his mouth but reluctantly drew back, reaching over him, rummaging impatiently under the pillow.

"better?" JC demanded quietly, squeezing lube into Lance's hand and tossing the tube away, dabbling his fingers in it and stealing them back to Lance's ass. They slid in like a vengefully purposeful dream, and Lance quaked and gasped with it, fist closing round a wet squelch. He tried to wipe his hand on his stomach and ended up holding his dick instead, beating off helpless as those sparks were pushed around and electrified by the slick thick press of JC's eager fingers.

He licked at JC's mouth, needing contact, heat, anything, and JC bit at his tongue, making a kiss fierce and arrogant, like JC had been totally justified in trying to go ahead and rush things, like Lance should be thanking him for being so generous with their schedule.

"thankyou," Lance heard himself saying, almost crooning, almost whimpering with the goddamn good heat of it, and he wasn't sure it was audible and thought that was probably for the best, and then JC was pushing his fingers in harder, knuckles thudding against Lance's ass, and the sparks went thick and fast, and JC had drawn back from kissing him in favour of panting an inch from his mouth, and Lance heard himself whine against his lips.

"on your side," JC said faintly, twisting his fingers in deep and holding them there, and for a second Lance thought there was danger of JC slipping in his pinky, and God, please, no, because he was not gonna be fisted by a guy with no self control, and he also had a bad feeling JC'd be able to make it good despite everything and no, just no, okay? and JC was saying, "yeah? Can you turn for me, baby?" and Lance wondered if he was being called baby because JC was too far gone to remember names.

He didn't care. "Okay, if you," Lance said, squirming a little, totally unable to move without gasping while JC's fingers felt like a second spine, and JC nodded and grinned and kissed him hard-swift, easing off him, hand sliding out and smoothing over Lance's ass instead, guiding him onto his side.

JC nuzzled the back of his neck, spooning eagerly up behind him, his hand moving to Lance's hip, steadying, "C'mon," and it'd been months since Lance'd fucked on his side, let alone by a guy who clearly wanted it as hard as possible whether Lance invited it or not, and his feet didn't quite know what to do, and he couldn't stop shivering. JC's body was shivering too, obtrusive behind him, warm and damp and single-minded. "Hey?"

"Margin?" Lance dredged up, and JC growled and bit him on the back of the neck, urgency increasing again now that Lance had stopped moving.

"Move your knee," JC whispered, hand pushing at Lance's thigh, "c'mon," and then, "yeah, perfect," and the wet nudge of his cock at Lance's ass made him say,

"hey, that's not safe," and JC nipped his ear and said,

"there's perks to the genetic freakery."

"Oh," Lance said, confused, and then JC's fingers were adjusting the angle of the blunt edge of his cock against Lance's ass, and pushing, lifting slightly and humming and then just pushing some more.

Fuck, Lance told himself, this could hurt - trying to relax - but JC seemed content, now he'd got contact of the essential parts again, to just make little nudges over and over like he was diligent and searching for the yeilding flaw - and then as Lance started breathing again, shifting his hips needily in JC's grasp, missing those fingers and their confident determination, the angle changed again. He made a low sound in his throat that stretched because JC was pushing in, and his ass blurted mild protest, and something fervently inside him tingled in delicious wild hope, and the shivers accelerated crazily, shot through with amazed fire.

JC was making a low moaning noise, like he'd needed this for years, and Lance heard himself breathe, "Ah," when the head of JC's cock reached as deep as his fingers had and didn't stop pushing, and, "ah, um, whoa," when that hope burst into scatter of sensation, like the soft spiky exclamation of a firework, melting through the base of his gut. Jesus. He hadn't known what a second spine felt like at all.

"See, there, 's good, see," JC panted, the warm fronts of his thighs finally coming up against the backs of Lance's, against the base of his ass, the scratch of hair making Lance squirm a little, the squirming making JC curse and Lance's blood run over-warm.

"'S true," Lance agreed, and it was like JC was drunk or something, the hunger in his hands as they smoothed possessively across Lance's stomach, the quaver in his voice unravelling to find silk underneath.

"The margin's the break I get, after I've woken up," he said, voice hypnotic as the slide of his hips, sleek and quiet, "before the instinct comes back, sends me hunting again."

"Uh huh," Lance managed, eyes tightly closed, wanting to tell JC to shut the hell up but no, okay, he needed to hear this. His punishment for not being firmer then was hearing it now, and that was okay, and if he could just drag his attention away from the grinding push of JC's dick inside him then that'd be great and everyone'd be happy.

Jesus, this felt good. "With Justin," JC was saying, thrusts going curt, harder, and Lance hissed and curled back against him, almost shorting out when JC brushed a light kiss on his neck, "because I knew we were permanent," and shit, Lance was having too many close encounters with bitter voices today, and why the hell didn't that take the edge off, the thought he could be being used, why didn't it make the high ledge recede, the sensation of JC staring at the back of his head and seeing freshly bleached curls, "the margin was wider, could last most of the day--"

"I'm gonna, I'm nearly," Lance warned, giving up gritting his teeth and just panting helplessly, sensation carding up his body and silvering most of his nerves, "you gotta, ah, slow down--"

"I wanna feel you go over, though," JC said, surprisingly calm, hand sliding down to squeeze his balls as he fucked him, stroking his dick a couple of times and then returning wet, and Lance whined again, voice curling dark in his throat, the heat of it lashing through him coupled with the undeniable sleek thrill of JC's voice in his ear.

"I'm, I'm seriously," Lance tried, thinking, surely, JC'd wanna end it with him? And seriously, Lance wasn't gonna last much longer, and seriously, JC didn't feel like he was any where like near done. "uh, Jayce?"

"Yeah," JC said, more of a hum than an answer, dragging his teeth against the side of Lance's neck, "need that, need to feel that, this," and pushed deeper inside him, fingers creeping back up his cock, slick brutal massage going straight to Lance's head, jabbing hard and deep like he was trying desperately to touch the head of his cock to something just a few millimetres out of reach.

Lance started shuddering, great waves of sensation smashing his central nervous system about, and then he was shuddering harder with every stroke, coming when JC bit his ear, head snapping back on JC's shoulder, brain sweating with white noise.

"God," he breathed blissfully, voice breaking around a low-pitched sigh, JC's hand was already sliding up and across his belly, and then JC was tipping him the rest of the way onto his front, pushing his legs apart, hands finding his hips and locking on, fucking him like that instead, making Lance feel distinctly like this was what JC had been aiming for all along and the little matter of getting him off had been about convenience, purely coincidental if Lance had had fun.

And he should be pissed about that, Lance thought, drowsily, pushing his ass back as JC drove his hips hard, insistent, but he'd just gotten off incredibly well and he was gonna sit and enjoy the afterglow before tomorrow's bow-legged walk set in.

He tried to breathe deeply, found his breath hitching with the force of JC's thrusts, found his fists stretching above his head to tangle in the pillow because it was hot, this, feeling the tight slam of JC's cock inside him without distraction, hearing the low mutter in JC's throat as it ebbed out, one fricative at a time. Didn't matter that he was lying there damp all over and kinda sticky across his stomach in particular, because the feeling of JC making good on those promises he'd whispered yesterday before his naked-sleeping thing, that was easy enough to divert him.

His cock started to wake up again about the time JC bit at the back of his neck, stinging-hard, all silent panting animal, wordlessly taking possession of his - Jesus, Lance thought, pushing back harder at the idea: does this make me his mate?

He hauled the pillow closer and buried his face into it, taking a couple of deep breaths made slow through cotton, musk and wonder twinned dizzily in his brain. Mated, he thought shockily, and then he realised that this bed smelt particularly musky because JC had been sleeping in it all day, and that was kinda gross and also kinda brought the point home that either sirens must be particularly fond of polygamy or JC didn't make that bond with every guy he fucked.

With Justin, he heard, so resentful he could taste it, cutting through the hazy golden pleasure was pulsing through his body at having sex even after he'd come, because I knew we were permanent, and JC had started driving in and then freezing, a couple of pushes deep inside, repeating it until Lance's brain started to melt in two with the relentless heat of it, then sinking onto his back, panting, going heavy-calm.

It took Lance a moment to realise he couldn't push back anymore, and he pouted against the pillow for three seconds, until it became apparent that JC wasn't gonna move. Wow. Over.

"Wow," Lance said, and JC nuzzled the back of his neck and then rested his cheek against it, and Lance said, "C?" and then, "hey, don't you dare sleep on me," and JC grumbled amicably and rolled off him instead.

"Rabble," he told the world, and then he was determinedly, resolutely asleep, and didn't wake up even when Lance got up from next to him and took a loud shower because it was sinking in that ew, skanky sheets, not great to stew in.

He was still asleep when Lance came out again, armed with towels. Hadn't even moved. He draped the towels across his side of the bed, then rolled JC onto them and covered the other side of the bed as well. JC didn't move again, except to press closer when Lance crept inside his makeshit coverlets.

Lance closed his eyes, wriggling gingerly, trying to get comfortable without rucking up the towels beneath them. They were pretty soft - hotels wouldn't wanna be caught not dragging out the best, after all - but it wasn't exactly usual to be sleeping between layers of terrycloth. He thought it might wake JC up after a while.

It didn't, and it struck Lance that all this was for real, sunk in like nothing else had this afternoon. JC was really in the middle of some mating frenzy - before, the callous edge to it, that hadn't been that JC was obnoxious in bed, or that he'd thought it was hot, or anything; that'd been because JC was. yeah. on heat.

And this, now - what had he said? A few hours, or something. Unwakable. Lance wasn't sure that was healthy, but he guessed the species would know what it was doing.

Species. Jesus.

But, he thought quickly, fighting off unease, there was a code? A key? Some song, he knew that much. Wake him up nicely, just like Justin had.

He looked at the sleeping figure next to him, tried a few notes. Felt stupid. Tried a few more, felt more stupid. No response. Hell, he didn't even know which key the, uh, key, the JC-key, was in. Hell, it could be falsetto, and then he'd be totally screwed - his mind barely paused for the pun - and there wasn't a hope in hell that he was gonna chance on it, either, if he was honest with himself, which left just the one logical option.

He was gonna have to call Justin again.

JC stretched beatifically, mouth parting in a tiny sigh, and then he nuzzled close and slept on, and Lance thought, yeah, that is why animals go on heat. Find a mate, even if it's just a temporary one.


Justin was gonna hate him even more than he currently hated Joey. It probably wasn't hate hate, he told himself hastily, then thought, well, no, just extra-strength durable resentment, money back if your grudge doesn't last at least three days.

His hand strayed to JC's hip. It was entirely possible, he thought sagely, that the urge to pair off would be diminished tomorrow if JC's body had a sense memory of sleeping in someone's arms.

And, um. The movie was off. He had a few hours free.

end part three