we invented the remix 6

decide to break by withdiamonds: the abstract mix by naiad

As far as hotel artwork went, it was definitely on the creepy side. Abstract, with broad slashes of dark colours, it made Chris flinch for no reason he could put his finger on. Plus, it stayed with him even after he left the room; all he had to do was close his eyes and there it was.

JC liked it of course. Said it was art, and 'how fabulous that decent motels were promoting artists instead of relying on mass produced prints'. Chris rolled his eyes. He loved the guy, but he was pretentious as fuck when the mood hit right.


Chris kept his eyes on the painting as JC fucked him. It was a focal point; a distraction from thoughts that would only lead to disaster. JC kissed his shoulder, mouth open and wet, and Chris could feel himself getting lost. He murmured encouraging nonsense against JC's skin; tasted sweat and something he didn't want to name.

JC caressed Chris's side, his hand broad and callused against one of the few places Chris's skin was still soft. Chris hitched a breath and focused on the painting until the dark grey swirl in the left corner seemed to be moving. JC rocked into him and Chris drifted on endorphins. More than just the grey swirl moved and Chris followed the movement, his vision hazy. JC gripped Chris's hips and pushed forward once more. Chris was lost.


When JC woke, Chris was gone. At first he refused to believe it. He kept his eyes shut tight and waited for the bed to dip with Chris's weight as he returned from the bathroom or getting food or wherever it was he'd gone that didn't mean he'd ditched JC like a dirty one night stand. But the bed got cold.

Eventually JC forced himself up. The bus was leaving at ten and he wanted a shower before they left. On his way out of the room, the abstract caught his eye. It reminded him of Chris, dark and moody, but with soft touches to curb the hard edges. He let his fingers hover over the paint and then gave in to the temptation to touch. The ridges were spiky under his finger tips.

JC sighed and with a quick backward glance at the bed, he left. Maybe he'd inquire about buying the picture.


Chris was still drifting. His head was full of JC and he couldn't stand to think about how it had become so much so quickly. It wasn't an option for them; the other guys depended on them and this had the potential to ruin it all.

Then he opened his eyes and freaked.

There was nothing recognisable around him. He was floating in a mist of grey with touches of maroon. It flowed past him, currents and eddies moved by a wind he couldn't feel or hear.

Chris looked left and right and up and down and the panic began to close tightly on his chest. He couldn't even feel, let alone see, a floor. It was completely fucked up. Every breath jabbed at his chest, a pointed reminder that he wasn't in L.A., or even Kansas anymore.

Chris gave in to the hysteria and screamed. Someone would hear him; they had to.

The mist rippled and Chris saw fingertips stroke downwards through it. Dark grey tendrils drifted back and Chris saw JC's face.

"JC," he called as loud as possible, but JC didn't flinch.

Chris took a deep, lung stretching breath and willed himself to settle. Once he did he realised that JC looked weird; distant and kind of flat. Chris looked around and began hyperventilating again. JC wasn't flat; Chris was.

Jesus fucking Christ, he was in the painting.

The paint swirled around again, closing in like a fog, and JC disappeared. Chris felt his knees give out and his body go limp, but the only thing that moved was his head. He bit his lip and told himself that now was not the time to cry.


JC checked his watch again. Justin was in the back of the bus, but there was still no sign of Chris. He ran a hand through his hair, pulling at the ends in frustration. If he'd fucked things up, JC wasn't sure he'd be able to forgive himself. They'd been flirting forever, but after crossing the line - after fucking Chris - he'd been stunned by the depth of his feelings and he needed Chris to know.

Fuck. They needed to talk. JC didn't know how he'd react if Chris told him it was a one time only deal. He suspected it wouldn't be pretty or professional.

He shouted back to Justin. "J! Have you seen Chris this morning?"

"No, man. I thought he was with you."

JC shook his head even though Justin couldn't see. "Last night; but I haven't seen him today."

Justin wandered forward and flopped into the seat opposite JC. "He's not usually late. Maybe he got caught up by some fans. I'll call him."

JC nodded and failed at ignoring the possibility that Chris was just avoiding him. "I'll call the other bus."

Neither Joey nor Lance had seen Chris and when Justin put his phone down he shook his head. "He's not picking up. Let's give him a bit longer and then sic Lonnie and Mike."

"OK," JC said, a hollow pit of dread growing in the base of his stomach.


Chris was crying and he wasn't the least bit ashamed. He was stuck in a fucking abstract painting and had no clue how to get out. It was totally within his rights to be upset.

The paint swished around him, always moving. It was the only thing that could.

Chris closed his eyes and tried to think happy thoughts; it worked a bit with heights, maybe it would translate to freaky-assed supernatural occurrences. So: his mom, his sisters, singing, the bands, his guys...JC. Fuck he had it bad. There was no use pretending it didn't exist anymore. He didn't even know if he'd see JC again. It was time to man up and admit that it was more than flirting; that it was actually pretty fucking important.

The paint drifted close to his face and Chris puffed out a burst of air to push it away. He wondered how long they would look for him; how soon they would start.


Chris was three hours late. Lonnie and Mike had been searching for two. JC was trying to stay calm, especially with Justin pacing in front of him and getting more and more agitated by the minute.

"Seriously, 'C, he didn't say anything? Anything at all?" Justin stopped in front of him. "C'mon, just think. Maybe he mentioned something and you forgot."

JC stood up. "I haven't forgotten anything, Justin." Not a single touch; not a single murmur. "I'm going to look for him. I can't sit here anymore."

He pushed past Justin and stepped off the bus. The question was where should he start?


With no choice but to entertain himself, Chris replayed the previous night in his head. He put it on a loop and ran it over and over. If it was never going to happen again he needed to make sure he would never forget the sensation of JC's hands and mouth all over his body.

Another tear rolled down his cheek. One night only was supremely unfair. It was beyond fucked up that he only got one night before he was doomed to die in a piece of abstract art. At least if he hadn't been sucked into the stupid thing he would have been able to spend more time with JC - sex or no sex, he was pretty much Chris's best friend and that was never going to change.

Everything sucked.


JC had re-traced all of their movements from the previous night and now he was standing back outside the room he'd left this morning. Last night he'd arrived at this door breathless, giddy, and so turned on he couldn't see clearly. Now he was anxious. What if Chris was inside? What if he wasn't?

Fuck it. JC swiped the key card he'd borrowed and pushed his way into the room.

It had been cleaned and the sterile vibe felt like a knife to the chest. It felt like they should have left some trace at least. This room was important; what happened here was beyond important. JC glanced around. There was no sign of Chris.

He checked the bathroom; still no Chris.

JC sighed. He didn't have a clue where to look next. The bed was pristine, not a single wrinkle visible in the cover. It was absurdly irritating. JC wandered over and ran his palm across the flat fabric; then he sank onto it and stared up at the abstract.


Chris felt a fresh, gentle breeze brush across his face and opened his eyes. The paint had parted and he could see out again.

JC was sitting on the bed. He had his chin in his hands and a tired slump to his shoulders.

"JC!" Chris called.


JC stared at the painting. It almost looked like it was moving. Chris going missing had really fucked with his head.

"Fuck, Chris," he said. "Where the hell are you, man? You'd better not just be avoiding me you fucker. We're better than that. You're better than that."

JC sighed and shifted forward on the bed.

"I need you to show your face, asshole. Because then I can tell you how fucking pissed I am that you left me to wake up alone. It won't matter if you only wanted a one night thing. Well, it will, but we're pros, fucker. We can get past that. And you're one of my best friends; I'm not giving that up even if you tell me we can't have sex again."

He laughed.

"Fuck, and now I'm talking to myself." JC stood up and walked across to painting. He touched his fingers to the paint again. "First, I'll see if I can buy this, and then I'm going to kick your ass for disappearing, because you will be on that bus when I get back, Chris. You have to be."


Chris watched as JC walked away. Then he shouted and smashed his hands forward as hard as he could. They moved. He couldn't fucking believe it; he could move his arms.

Chris slammed his hands forward again. As his weight shifted, he felt something push from behind and then he was tumbling over and over.

There was a pop and Chris felt himself being spat from the painting. He hit the floor with a thud, looked up at a sucking sound and saw the paint mist being pulled back into a flat surface.

One deep breath, a second and then a third and Chris felt able to move. He bounced to his feet, patted himself down quickly and ran for the door.

He saw what he was looking for to the left. "JC!" He shouted. "Wait!"


JC turned at Chris's voice and folded his arms over his chest. He waited.

Chris ran down the hall and skidded to a stop in front of him. He couldn't help himself. "Chris, where the fuck have you been? What happened? We've--"

"You're not going to fucking believe it," Chris said, "but first." He grabbed JC by the shoulders and pulled him in for a kiss; nothing lingering, just a firm press of warmth and a little nip at JC's lower lip that felt full of promise. "Also," he said, "there is no way you're buying that abstract."

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