we invented the remix 5

till the morning comes by silveryscrape: the stars of track and field mix by kira j

Chris told him once, that honesty was over-rated. He said when he worked at the restaurant, there used to be a pot behind the cash register for the tips. One in every three times someone dropped change in to it, some wouldn't make it inside. "If the coins are on the counter, then they don't belong to nobody," he said.

He wouldn't use it for beer or anything; and that, Justin knew, was what clued him in that Chris felt guilty about it. He wouldn't give it to his mother either. He skipped meals till he got really hungry then bought food so he could tell himself he had to do it.

Justin woke up early that morning because he forgot to put the garbage out the night before and he sent his housekeeper home. The alarm rang and rang and Justin stayed resolutely still because Chris had moved a little and was definitely awake. He was ignoring the alarm even though the clock was on his side.

Chris could outwait anyone and Justin ended up turning it off. He swung his legs out and looked viciously at the cold stiff pile of his jeans. He picked them up with his toes and slithered them on as much as he could until he absolutely had to stand up.

"God," he groaned.

"Don't open the blinds," Chris warned, hiking the duvet around his nose.

Justin made rules for himself. You shouldn't have to promise somebody you'll love them. People only make promises about things they're scared they won't keep because making promises out of statements made them harder to forget.

Chris may think Justin didn't deserve a lie every now and then but there was brutal honesty and then there was sugar-coating. Justin imagined Chris cupping his hand at the edge of the counter and scraping the coins in to his palm.

"You only did it the once."

"Still don't regret it though."

Justin leant against the door jamb and smiled like a man who had had seen it coming but when it had came round, felt a lot worse than he expected it to. Like those cowboys who stared at the gun shot wound, cupped hands overflowing with blood, waiting for the pain to remind them how to react.

"It's like," Chris only touched him when he had to. "He just gets angry over everything."

JC put him in the kitchen and heated soup in the microwave. They got through two hours of the evening news before they got up and went upstairs together. JC couldn't resist comfort sex.

"It won't get worse," JC promised. He put their foreheads together and swiped four fingers of each hand across Justin's cheeks.

That's why he came here every time, Justin thought, because JC would never admit that he didn't know what to do.

He woke up in the middle of the night alone. Downstairs in the kitchen, JC was eating mangoes out of a tin with a fork.

"Do you want some ice-cream?" JC asked and held the fork over the table. There was syrup dripping everywhere. He tilted his chair back so he could twist round and open the freezer.

I want a hug. I want to fuck. I want to go somewhere right now. "No. Yes."

The nearest flat surface was the table but Justin ended up bent over the washing machine in the utility room with his face in a pile of towels.

"Justin," JC whispered against his tail bone at the same time Justin said, "Your lips are sticky."

Justin gasped for the first few thrusts and then held his breath for the rest.

He woke up from a dream where he and JC slept under the stars and swam through sunbeams at first light, sailing from one deserted cove to another. JC was whispering something about goin' out and just a minute and he pushed his face in to a fresh cool part of the duvet. On the way back, their boat was followed by dolphins.

JC took Justin's Mercedes and drove ten miles under the speed limit through town. He got to a quiet boulevard and saw the wind make mad swirls of all the dead leaves so he put the window down. He couldn't help but smile when the leaves flew in and swayed around in the backseat.

Chris was good with words. JC knew he wouldn't be able to talk him in to coming back. Language had never been his weapon of choice.

Chris used his silences against him of course because what was a weakness unless it was exploited to the epic lengths only Chris could take them. Chris didn't even have to try. He got the pitch in his voice just right that JC would think about what he said for hours. He would sit at a window or look at something blank and try to think it away. It felt like the time he'd been at his grandma's and been left alone to look after his cousins. She went out shopping with his mom and he broke the glass bowl of potpourri beside the fireplace. It took him a whole hour to pick up all the blood-red petals, shaking hands crushing them to paint powder. He felt sick all afternoon waiting for her to come home.

Chris was lying on his sofa with an empty plate on his stomach when JC found him.

"Why do you have to be so honest about everything?" Because he might as well ask the questions he's always wanted the answers to. It's not like Chris was going to answer with proper answers anyway.

Chris didn't have a single sympathetic bone in his body and made a mock-sad face.

"You shouldn't have let him drive last night," JC said because Justin couldn't even put a condom on with two beers down his neck never mind drive a car after a bottle of wine.

Chris rolled his eyes and got up. JC followed him to the kitchen where all of the most important conversations they ever had have happened but JC wasn't fooled.

He wasn't here to get anywhere. He was here to get Chris back to his place. Justin's morning face would do the rest.

"He had like. Two glasses."

"He like. Cried for a whole hour."

"Fucking girl."

"I love him Chris. But he drives me nuts."

Chris rolled his eyes because what else did Justin do. "Did you?"

"Did I what?"

Chris came over then and cupped JC through his sweats. He stood on his tip toes and put the tip of his nose right by JC's. "I love it when he's drunk too," Chris admitted and grinned triumphantly when JC moved his face away.

"Look I'll come back with you but don't expect anything when I get there. I've said all I have to say.

Now it was JC's turn to smile. He wasn't planning to use words to convince Chris at all.

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