we invented the remix 5

tirante by ephemera: the tightrope mix by cathybites

It starts with fire.

Chris dreams of it, of white-hot flames licking over his skin, everything sizzling and burning until there's nothing left but a blackened and twisted wreck. The scent of charred flesh and acrid smoke chokes him until he wakes up, legs kicking out as he scrambles out of his bed, gasping for air.

He runs his tongue over his teeth, grimacing; his mouth tastes of ash.

When he goes downstairs, he finds Justin asleep at the kitchen table, head resting atop some papers. He jumps when Chris lays a hand on his shoulder. "Chris! Shit, man. What time is it?" he asks, scrubbing a fist over his eyes.

"Nine, you workaholic freak." He smacks Justin in the back of his head, smirking when Justin twists around to glare at him. "C'mon, get showered, let your mom know you're still alive. We got that meeting at ten, remember?"

Nodding, Justin gets to his feet, arms stretching over his head. His shirt rides up, flashing a sliver of tanned skin, and Chris's mouth goes dry. He turns and heads for the coffepot, swallowing down the grey and bitter taste in the back of his throat.

The blood comes next.

His dreams run black and crimson, and with every breath, he can taste the sharp, metallic tang of flesh and blood. He rends and tears through countless bodies, always hungry, always angry. Teeth rip, fingers claw, and when he bolts awake, wrapped in sweat-soaked sheets, it's with a bone-deep hunger that burns him up from the inside.

Heart pounding, pulse racing, he gets out of bed and stumbles to the bathroom. He splashes cold water over his face, over and over until his lips feel numb.

It's not until he crawls back into bed that he's aware of the burning sensation between his shoulder blades.

His doctor thinks it's some form of psoriasis, aggravated by the stress from the lawsuit. He sends Chris home with a prescription for a topical ointment and an order to relax.

When Chris asks him about the dreams, the doctor gives him a long look before saying, once again, stress.

At home, Justin stands behind him in the bathroom, scowling at the dollop of cream in his hand. "You have to put this stuff on how often?" Chris watches in the mirror as Justin sniffs at it, then blows air out his nose, shaking his head violently, curls shaking with the movement.

He huffs in laughter, then hisses when he feels a wet chill spread across his back.

"That hurt?"

"No," Chris answers, "but give me some warning next time. That shit is cold." He looks up to see Justin smiling down at him, and then his head ducks down and Chris can feel the press of Justin's mouth against his neck.

"That better?" Justin's eyes flick up, meeting Chris's in the mirror, and the grin turns on full-blast, blinding and bright. Something sharp coils in Chris's gut at the sight and his nostrils flare, filled with the scent of blood.

He's not surprised when he dreams of pain.

Skin pulled too tight across his bones, splitting open at his joints, his blood spilling red-hot on the ground. It sizzles as it falls, scorching the land. Bones shift and break and rebuild, setting his nerves on fire.

He wakes up and Justin is at the bedroom door, silhouetted in the frame, head tilted to the side. "Chris?" His voice is soft, heavy with sleep, but it rakes across the welts running down Chris's back. "I heard you...are you okay?"

"I'm fine," Chris snaps, rubbing a hand over his face. Too late, he feels the rough patch on his forehead, and he hisses, hand jerking away. Justin takes a step into his room, and Chris snarls, "Don't."

He can't see Justin's face, but he can well imagine the expression on it, the twisted mouth, the eyebrows drawn down low and tight. Turning his back to the door, he lies back down, buries his face in his pillow.

The mattress dips down and he sighs as Justin lays a hand on his shoulder. The touch is cool relief against his skin, set afire from the inside by the boiling blood searing through his veins. Before he can even think about it, he's rolling towards Justin, whimper in his throat as Justin's hand skates over his shoulder, following the line of his collarbone, stopping over his heart.

"J, what--" He's cut off by the press if Justin's hand, icy-cold and soothing in the middle of the furnace beneath his breastbone. Justin swings a leg over his hips, settles and presses his ass against the hard line of Chris's cock.

"You want this," Justin says, confident and bold. His mouth tips up into a smirk, and he gives Chris what is probably supposed to be a sultry look. Instead, with his lashes fanning over his cheekbones and his mouth pouting, all it does is serve as a reminder of how young Justin is, and Chris grabs ahold of his hips and pushes him off the bed.

The image of Justin sprawled on the floor, glaring up at Chris with disbelief in his eyes, would be hilarious under any other circumstances, but heat just pools in Chris's gut at the sight. He gets to his feet, ignoring the way his legs shake, and heads to his bathroom, shutting the door on Justin's questioning voice.

He leans against the door, sliding to the floor, and sits in the darkness, listening as Justin moves around the room, then leaves.

Chris closes his eyes and there's nothing but heat and darkness.

He can't smell anything; he can't taste anything; he can't hear anything outside of the rapid beat of his heart. The heat wraps around him, engulfs him, slithers over his body and sinks down to his bones. It's comforting, and that scares Chris more than anything else.

Slowly, the darkness fades away, but the heat remains, slowly building. His eyes open to see Justin before him, lying in bed with his back to Chris's front. Naked, golden skin stretches before him, and Chris reaches out to touch before he can stop, before he can realize he doesn't want to stop.

His hand curves along Justin's shoulder, fingers squeezing before ghosting down his side, tracing the outline of ribs. Justin shifts, presses back, and Chris's hand jumps to his hip. The skin is paper-thin there; Chris can almost feel the flutter of Justin's pulse beneath his hand.

With a growl, he shoves, rolling Justin onto his stomach. Justin moans, and Chris bares his teeth before straddling Justin's thighs. He curls over him, nostrils wide as he breathes in deeply. Justin's scent fills his lungs, nearly overwhelming with its heatdesirefearwant. Something breaks inside of him, a wall holding back everything he's denied himself, and he attacks.

The pain between his shoulders flares up again, but Chris ignores it in favor of the feel of Justin's body beneath his, then around him. He ignores the sound of skin ripping, concentrates instead on Justin's moans, his pants, his curses. He ignores the scent of brimstone and smoke that's in every breath of his; instead, he revels in the sour smell of sweat between them, the faint hint cologne lingering at Justin's throat, and the sea-salt scent of Justin spilling over Chris's hand, muscles clamping down Chris's cock, sending him hurtling over the edge.

It ends with gold.

Sunlight washing over him, warmth soothing against a battered body. Everything aches, but every ache is a reminder of what he's done, what he is. He stretches and welcomes the pain, bones creaking in protest.

His eyes open to Justin, watching him intently, eyes dark with something Chris can't place. The expression twists something inside of Chris, and he opens his mouth to say something, anything, lips pulling over too-sharp teeth. The words he wants to say sizzle against his tongue, coming out in a hiss of steam.

Justin's mouth curls at that, and he reaches a hand up to Chris's face. His fingers bump over the ridges on Chris's forehead, tracing the scales on his cheeks. They press down hard over the tips of his horns, and when he pulls his hand away, there's a red sheen of blood on his fingertips. He holds them out and when Chris snakes his tongue out to lick it away, Justin's eyes flash gold, smoldering like embers.

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