Chris damned Lance to hell for what felt like the thousandth time since he'd met him. Sharing buses and hotel rooms, the five of them had of necessity learned to be discreet about jerking off. The rustle of bedclothes, the quiet slap of flesh on flesh, the very occasional stifled whimper were relatively easy to ignore. It wasn't Lance's fault that in his case, that level of care wasn't sufficient. He couldn't help it that his voice turned each soft moan into a soundtrack from a porno. The sound cut through the quiet night, and Chris found himself helplessly hard despite his best intentions. It was just too easy to picture Lance lying on his back in his bunk with his hand curled around his dick, pale green eyes staring sightlessly at the ceiling, baby-soft skin flushed with heat. Chris was going to hell.
The curtain to his bunk screeched quietly open, and he nearly had a heart attack, but then calmed down enough to see that it was just Justin, all gangly limbs and moon-tipped curls. Chris surreptitiously rearranged the covers over his stupid hard-on.
"What's up, J?" he whispered.
Justin peered anxiously into the bunk. "I couldn't sleep," he whispered back. "Do you think maybe I could...?" Another moan from across the aisle, and Justin flinched slightly.
Chris hid a smile. Justin was apparently as disturbed by Lance's nighttime activities as he himself was, though doubtless for different reasons.
"Sure," he said. "Come on in."
He shifted closer to the wall to make room for Justin, who scrambled into the bunk beside him. The curtain slid shut, closing the two of them into the small space and creating the illusion of privacy.
"Did you want to talk?" he asked softly when Justin settled against him, tucking his face into the curve of Chris's shoulder and wrapping one long arm around his chest.
"Nah," Justin said. He yawned. "I just didn't want to be alone in my bunk when I couldn't get to sleep." He shivered lightly, and Chris tugged the blankets over to cover him.
Justin's breath was hot against his neck, smelled sweet when it drifted across Chris's face, but he could handle this. He was used to suppressing his desire for Justin. It was only Lance's occasional moments of unexpected hotness that sideswiped him, made him really aware of just how dumb he was to form a group half-comprised of jailbait. Very hot jailbait.
Justin shifted against his side, and Chris's breath caught in his throat. Okay, so maybe he wasn't as good at suppressing his desire for Justin as he'd thought.
"What's wrong?" Justin asked sleepily, and Chris made an effort to relax his suddenly tense muscles.
"Nothing's wrong, J. Go back to sleep." He patted Justin's back reassuringly with one hand.
"Mmkay," Justin said, cuddling even closer. He smacked his lips and Chris froze at the feeling of heat and wetness on the sensitive skin of his neck.
Justin pulled back to look at him. "Okay, really, what's wrong?"
"Nothing," Chris insisted. There was complete silence coming from Lance's bunk now, he realized. He must have finished sometime in the past few minutes. Chris thanked God that there was one fewer thing for him to worry about. "Stop being an annoying little bitch."
"Hey," Justin said, offended. "I was just trying to be nice. If I'm bugging you, or whatever, if you don't want me here, all you have to do is ask me to leave."
"It's not that, J," Chris began, before he realized that insisting that Justin sleep with him probably wasn't the best idea. "No, okay, you're right. Maybe you should just go back to your own bunk. Lance sounds like he's done; you'll be able to go to sleep now."
There was no response from Justin's half of the bunk, and Chris wondered if he'd just embarrassed him beyond mention.
"I don't have a crush on Lance," Justin said finally.
"Jesus, kid, nobody said you did. All I meant was it can be hard to sleep with that going on in the background."
"Yeah, well..." and now Justin did sound embarrassed. Chris thought back to what he would have felt like having this conversation at sixteen, and winced in sympathy.
"We all know you're straight, Justin. It's fine."
"I'm not straight," Justin said quietly, and holy fuck, where had that come from?
"You're not?" Chris asked in disbelief.
"No, I, um..." Justin sounded on the verge of tears, and Chris reached out to yank him down into his arms.
"It's okay, J," he said, tucking Justin's head into his shoulder and rubbing soothing hands down his back. "You don't have to tell me anything more if you don't want to. Or you can tell me everything. I still love you. No matter what, okay?"
Justin nodded. A few tears trickled down Chris's neck, and he tightened his hold on Justin. "So, um, yeah, I'm gay," Justin mumbled, his voice watery and choked. "I never told anyone before," he added.
"I'm glad you told me," Chris said. "And I really meant it. I love you just as much as I always did." He tried to think back to when he'd come out to his mom, if there were anything else he'd wished she'd said to him, but Justin was trembling slightly in his arms and it was hard to concentrate when all he wanted to do was somehow fix Justin and make everything all right again.
"You're my best friend, you know?" he said. "You're more important to me than anybody but family." He rubbed the back of Justin's neck with one hand, and Justin sighed quietly against his skin. A sharp curl of lust threaded through his stomach, and he pushed it away ruthlessly. This wasn't the time for that, damn it.
Justin nodded again, sniffling. He'd stopped shaking, though. Chris really hoped that Justin wouldn't look back on his coming out as one of the more traumatic moments of his life.
"You, too, man," Justin said, his throat clogged with tears. "You're, like, everything to me." He cleared his throat. "I was so scared to tell you, because I wasn't sure how you'd react, but then you made it all right, anyway," he continued softly.
Chris stifled a sigh of relief. It seemed he'd done a good job of handling Justin's coming out, after all.
"You don't ever have to worry about anything like that, Curly," he said. "Nothing you could do could make me stop loving you." And, yeah, in one night he'd already told Justin that he loved him more than he had in the entire month previous to it, but he figured that the situation called for it. Besides, it wasn't as though it weren't true.
"Are you sure about that?" Justin asked, so quietly that it took Chris a minute to figure out what he'd said.
"Of course I am," he said, a bit puzzled because if anything proved that, he thought it would be taking Justin's biggest secret in stride, and he'd already acquitted himself admirably there.
Justin raised his head to look at Chris's face, his eyes close and huge in the darkness. Chris stared back. Before he could get any idea of Justin's intention, soft lips were being pressed against his mouth in a salty kiss. Chris's heart jumped in his chest and his lips parted involuntarily. It was only when Justin licked tentatively across the lower one that Chris's brain started working again, and he grabbed Justin's shoulders to push him back gently.
"What?" Chris asked stupidly, staring up at Justin's face.
That apparently was enough to tip the balance on Justin's overwrought emotions, because Justin burst into tears.
"Shit, shit, shit," Chris said. He wrapped his arms around Justin for the third time that night. "I didn't mean it. Justin? I swear I didn't mean it. You surprised me, that's all. I'm not upset that you kissed me." He paused in wonder. Justin had kissed him. No matter what he'd meant by it, Justin had put that perfect, pink mouth on his own. But now Justin was sobbing, and Chris had no idea what was the right thing to say.
"Please stop crying, Justin. I swear that it's fine. Whatever you want is fine. I don't know why you kissed me, but I promise that it's okay. I still love you." Though that last was so self-evident by this point that he didn't know why he bothered to say it.
Justin's sobs had quieted, and Chris rocked the two of them silently. Despite his best efforts, it looked as though Justin would still have plenty to share with his shrink about his coming out later in life, although Chris still wasn't sure why, or what was going on.
"I know you're gay, kiddo," he whispered. "You don't have to prove it to me." Driven by impulse, he pressed a kiss to Justin's soft curls.
"I wasn't," Justin said, and if his voice had been painfully thick before, now it made Chris's throat hurt. "I just--"
He swallowed whatever he was trying to say, so Chris tried to anticipate it for him. "If you're looking for a guy to...um...experiment with, we can help find one for you. JC goes to gay bars occasionally, and we can all help you keep it a secret from Lou and your mom."
Justin shook his head. "I wouldn't--" He broke off again. "I was just trying to...I was hoping that you might like me. Because I like you."
Chris stopped breathing.
"I'm in love with you," Justin confessed.
"You, what?" he asked, his voice breathy and strange even to his own ears.
Justin hid his face in Chris's shoulder. "I'm sorry," he said.
"Don't be sorry," Chris said automatically, still dazed. "It's just--I don't know what to say."
Justin snorted bitterly. "You say that you're sorry you don't feel the same way, but that we'll always be friends. And then if you really mean it, and I haven't screwed everything up forever, you'll actually keep hanging out with me. Though I'm guessing we won't be sharing any hotel rooms in the future."
"I'd never do that to you," Chris hissed. "Even if I didn't...I mean..." He took a deep breath. "I love you, too." He heard Justin suck in a quick breath, and continued hurriedly, to forestall whatever Justin was about to say, "But that's not all that matters, Jup. You're underaged. We can't...date, or anything. If that's what you wanted."
"I'm legal here," Justin said desperately. "I looked it up."
Chris shut his eyes against that unwanted information, trying to ignore the suddenly inflammatory press of Justin's body against his own. "What about when we go back to the States, J? And even if the age of consent is sixteen here--"
"--fourteen--" Justin interrupted.
"--I still wouldn't feel right about it. You're still a kid, Justin. And I'm way too old for you."
"You're not," Justin said. "If I'm old enough for you to fall in love with me, then I'm old enough to be your boyfriend."
"Actually, I think it just means I'm a very sick person," Chris said.
"No," Justin said positively. "We're best friends. You wouldn't be best friends with me if I were too young. And...you're in love with me." His voice softened for the last sentence, and Chris couldn't help but squeeze him tighter around the waist in a brief hug.
"That still leaves the problem of our imminent return home, Jup," Chris said, pretending desperately that he hadn't all but conceded half of his argument already.
"I can wait," Justin said, fiddling with the hem of Chris's shirtsleeve. "And you can...I mean, I don't care if you wanted to, you know, sleep with other people back home. At least until I'm eighteen."
The words stabbed a pain in Chris's chest, not least because Justin's voice made it obvious that he would care, a great deal. Chris placed a hand over Justin's, stilling it against his upper arm. "I could never treat you like that. But even if we both waited, I don't think it would be fair to you if we started going out," he said quietly. "You're still so young, and you've never dated a guy before." He looked at Justin and got a reluctant nod in response. "I just think you'd be better off with someone your own age. And maybe then you can look back and decide that this isn't what you really wanted, after all."
Playing the age and experience card was the absolute last resort, but Justin always yielded when he did. Chris closed his eyes, his arms clasped loosely around Justin's narrow waist. Now they could go to sleep, and they could pretend the next day that Chris still had no idea that everything he'd ever wanted was right there within his reach, if only he were selfish enough to take it. He made a mental note to tell Lance that he and Justin wanted to share a double the next time they stopped at a hotel, to make sure that Justin knew that nothing would change between them.
Only then Justin slid carefully up his body, one leg falling between Chris's parted thighs, and Chris froze in shock. "I've been in love with you for two years," Justin said, nuzzling his cheek. "I'm not going to stop now just because you think it's better for me."
"Justin," Chris said shakily. His hand came up to cup Justin's smooth cheek. His fingertips felt scorched.
"I love you," Justin whispered against his mouth. "Don't push me away."
His lips tickled Chris's as he talked, and Chris opened his mouth to swallow Justin's breath. He could feel his own breath coming more quickly. Justin's weight pressed down on him, a sweet warmth in his arms and against his resurgent erection.
His hands smoothed down Justin's back to cup his ass, and Justin moaned against his open mouth, moving his hips restlessly into Chris's touch.
Justin's cock was solid heat against Chris's hip, and Justin pushed himself up on his knees so that he could graze it along the hipbone. One achingly slow thrust and he was gasping. Chris was certain he'd never seen anything so hot in his life as Justin was right then. "Please," Justin muttered, balancing on trembling arms.
Chris slid one hand around to grip Justin's cock, and Justin bucked into his palm. With an eerie sense of detachment Chris felt himself trace the length of Justin's erection through the fabric of his boxers. And then Justin's soft, wet mouth pressed against his in a kiss, and Chris licked his way past Justin's teeth, and the reality of the situation slammed into him. Justin, panting, rubbing himself against Chris's hand and Chris's cock, and Chris could feel all his unconscious barriers drop and let Justin in.
He looped his right foot around Justin's ankle, chuckling softly when Justin's involuntary twitch pressed him harder into Chris's body. The kiss was mutating, growing; they nipped at each others' lips, glided their tongues together, their ragged breaths breaking the rhythm of their increasingly frantic kissing. Chris slipped his hand into the flap of Justin's boxers, and then had to press his lips even harder against Justin's, trying to muffle the groan that was far too loud in the creaky quiet of the bus.
"I love you," he whispered in the brief moment afterwards when Justin was panting damply into his mouth, Chris's hand busy on the searing heat of Justin's cock, before Justin lowered his mouth to Chris's kiss once more.
A few more strokes and Justin was grunting softly deep in his throat. His slick mouth moved over Chris's, and Chris found himself straining upwards for a deeper taste.
Almost before Chris realized what was happening, Justin was shaking, his lips trembling around Chris's tongue in his mouth. Chris's hand was flooded with wet heat that he wiped on the sheets.
Justin was breathing harshly, in choked little half-sobs, and Chris held him tightly against his chest where Justin had collapsed when he'd come. "Oh my God," Justin said dazedly. Chris hoped that was a good thing.
He kept rubbing Justin's back soothingly. First assisted orgasm, so far as he knew--it was natural for Justin to freak out a little about it.
"Oh my God," Justin repeated. He tightened his grip on Chris's upper arms, then lifted his head to look into Chris's eyes.
Chris leaned forward to press a soft kiss to Justin's mouth.
"Let me," Justin said almost timidly, and Chris reached his hand out to brush across Justin's flushed cheek, said, "Yes."
After watching Justin and touching him like that, Chris didn't think that it would take any time at all for him to come, and he was right. Justin slid his hand beneath the waistband of Chris's boxers to stroke his cock hesitantly, pressing his lips to Chris's in a closed-mouthed kiss that might have been chaste if it weren't so damned hot. Despite the tentative nature of Justin's touch, it couldn't have been much more than a minute or two before Chris was thrusting his hips up and coming in a series of short, rapid pulses that pulled a breathless moan from him.
Justin settled himself carefully on top of him, and Chris relaxed into the heavy, comforting warmth of Justin's embrace.
"Can we please shut up now and get some sleep?" came Joey's disgruntled voice.
Justin tensed in his arms, and Chris took a moment to pat the back of his head soothingly before calling back, "Lance started it."
"Lance finished it nearly two hours ago," Lance said. "Which is more than can be said for some people."
"Sounds like Lance is a little quick out the gate," Chris said, determinedly ignoring his own failings in that area. JC giggled.
"Will you all shut the fuck up?" Joey roared. "Jesus, good night!"
"Do you want...I can go back to my own bunk," Justin whispered into Chris's ear in the ensuing silence.
"Hell, no," Chris said, sliding one hand down to settle at the small of Justin's back. "Now that I've got myself a cute young boyfriend, I'm expecting not to sleep alone too often."
He held his breath after he spoke, still not certain that Justin hadn't changed his mind and gone straight, or at least completely off short, older men. Judging by Justin's whispered "I love you," and quick, breathtaking kiss, Chris didn't have anything to worry about.