It was the third time this week I'd woken up with Chris in bed beside me. The first had been, of course, the first night we got together. The second was three days later, when we hooked up after our show instead of going out clubbing with the guys. And today it was because we'd both had a little too much tequila last night and had passed out on my bed--on my covers--without managing more than a slobbery kiss.
And you know what? It was still nice waking up with him there.
I nudged him with my elbow. "Wake up."
"Huh?" he mumbled. I took in the puddle of drool at the corner of his mouth and sighed.
"I said wake up." I nudged him again, harder, only managing to roll him onto his back.
A brief wave of nausea swept over me as I sat up, but it wasn't enough to send me racing for the bathroom. Not yet, anyway. Chris was still dead to the world. I leaned over him and traced the red-and-white pattern that laced his cheek, imprinted by the wrinkles in the pillowcase.
"Wake up," I whispered in his ear. I knew it wouldn't work, but it was fun anyway. Still, we really did need to get up, despite the fact that we were hung over and despite the fact that it was an ungodly hour in the morning.
I forgot that The Pounce was never meant to be used on someone who'd had quite so much tequila.
"Shit!" he yelled as I landed on top of him, one knee on either side of his chest. His eyes opened wide and he pushed against my chest. Hard. "Move! Now!"
I did, falling to one side of him. He leapt off the bed and sprinted to the bathroom, losing everything that had been left in his stomach from the night before. It couldn't have been much; it wasn't like we ate anything.
I moved slowly to my feet, the faint nausea passing through me again, and met him in the bathroom. Quietly I poured a glass of water and handed it down to him.
"Thanks," he said, taking a sip to rinse out his mouth and spitting it out into the toilet. His hand grasped the edge of the counter and he pulled himself up shakily.
"I wasn't thinking," I told him. Explanations were always easier than apologies. "I just needed to get you up."
He just nodded. "We leaving soon?"
"Yeah. Twenty minutes or so. You need to get your stuff from your room." I rubbed his back as he leaned on the counter with both hands. "You gonna be okay?"
He nodded again and took another sip of the water, swallowing this time. "Not gonna be a fun bus ride. I should know better."
"Yes, but you were with me and we all know that just being around me makes people do stupid things." God knows I'd been told that often enough.
He turned and kissed my throat, softly. "Not your fault," he whispered. Putting the cup down on the counter, he began to move out of the room. "I'll see you on the bus, okay?"
"Yeah, okay," I said to him and waved wearily as he slipped out of my hotel room. I made the mistake of looking at myself in the mirror; if I didn't know better, I'd swear I hadn't slept in days. Too much booze, not enough sleep. The other guys were gonna give us hell about it, I knew it, the way I'd do it to them if the situation were reversed.
What the hell were we thinking?
I brushed my teeth then quickly packed up all my things, jamming clothing and accessories anywhere they would fit. I dumped most of the luggage on the trolley in the hallway and carried my one bag--the important one, the one with my stuff--down to the lobby. Security got me through the crowd and onto the bus where the rest of the guys were already waiting.
Some people actually had the foresight to pack the night before. Fuckin' geniuses.
"Hey, Joey," said JC sleepily as he stumbled towards his bunk. I think he had the right idea--it was too early for even the sun to be out--but once I was awake I was awake. Unfortunately.
"Hey," I said to no one in particular. I carried my bag to the back and dumped it in an out of the way corner. Well, as much as something can be out of the way on an overcrowded bus.
"When are they getting the other bus fixed," asked Justin. His eyes were fixated on the movie he'd started; he didn't even look up at me as he asked.
"Damned if I know," I told him honestly.
Each of the buses was really only designed to carry two or three people now. They were still cramped, but nothing like right now with all five of us sharing one again. It was like the old days, before we really made it big. To be honest, I kinda liked it, in spite of the fact that we were all practically living in each other's shorts again. There was a closeness we had then that's drifted a bit in the past year.
Though I doubt the buses had much to do with that.
Chris was curled up on the couch, still looking a bit green but not nearly as ill as he had earlier. I sat down next to him and put an arm over his shoulders, smiling as he curled up against me and rested his head on my chest.
"Have a little too much fun last night?" asked Lance cheerfully, returning from the kitchen with a Sprite in one hand and half a sandwich in the other.
"You could have stopped us," mumbled Chris from underneath my arm.
"But then what would I do for fun for the rest of this trip?" he asked. He took a huge bite of his sandwich in front of us and waited to see us look away in revulsion.
"That is so not funny," said Chris, closing his eyes.
"Would it help if you both considered it payback for that morning in Amsterdam? I'm sure you remember it. I know I do." He took another bite, washing it down with the Sprite.
Just then the bus jerked into motion and he stumbled to the empty spot on the couch next to us. We all knew it would be a few minutes before we even got out of the lot, careful not to run down any of our more 'dedicated' fans.
Obsessed, more like. They had to have been there all night, surrounding our tour bus, waiting to catch a glimpse of us, maybe get a piece of us to take back with them. We've all ended up shirtless at one time or another thanks to gatherings like these. I've been a fan of a lot of things in my time, but I don't think I've ever even thought about camping out in a parking lot just to see someone's face in person that I'd already seen on a hundred posters and videos and tv appearances.
Chris moaned and I looked down at him, concerned. The rocking of the bus was doing little for his upset stomach. Or mine, for that matter, but at least I was sure now that mine would pass soon.
"You guys got any plans for tonight after the show?" asked Lance after polishing off the sandwich. Sandwiches for breakfast. Man, that was something I thought only I would do.
"Not really," I told him. "Maybe sleep. Why?"
"I thought maybe all of us could go out and do something," he said. "It's been a while."
"No it hasn't," I argued. "We go out all the time."
He shook his head. "Not all of us. I mean, last night it was just you and me and Chris, and the night before that Chris stayed behind, and then the time before that both of you stayed at the hotel. And last Monday it was JC who didn't feel like going out. The last time we all went out together was the night you and Chris...you know. And even that was a little iffy."
He was right. I hadn't really thought about it much, but the whole 'group' thing hadn't been happening lately. Someone always seemed to have something else going on.
"Yeah, okay," I told him. "We're in. Uh, I think." I looked down at Chris again and he gave me a small nod. "But it's up to you to convince the other two." Justin was still sitting on the floor, completely oblivious to the conversation that was going on behind him. Or maybe just ignoring it.
Chris moaned again and I stroked his forehead gently. We'd made it out of the lot now and were starting to head out of the city, but the ride hadn't gotten much smoother. I wasn't entirely sure what to do for him; I'd never exactly been the caregiver of the group.
"Do you, uh, want to go lie down?" I asked him. I couldn't think of much else that might make him feel better. At least, nothing that I could offer him here on the bus.
"Yeah," he said, sitting up under his own power and steadying himself as we took a corner.
"I'm gonna go get some work done while I'm up," said Lance, clapping a hand on my shoulder then heading back to the miniscule table in what served as our kitchen. I silently thanked him for giving us some privacy, what little he could.
I helped Chris into his bunk and knelt there for a moment, stroking his hair away from his face.
"Do you want me to join you?" I asked finally. He nodded sleepily and moved back up against the wall of the bus so I could crawl in and pull the curtain shut behind me. These bunks definitely weren't made for two, but we managed.
I thought he would fall asleep pretty quickly, so I was surprised when I felt his lips on mine, felt his tongue probing for entrance, felt his hand curl around my hip.
"It was an act?" I whispered.
"No," he answered, "but I feel a lot better lying down and...damn, you're just hard to resist when you're pressed up so close to me. As long as we don't, you know, move too much, I think I'll be okay."
"Okay," I said. Kissing him felt so good right now I think I would have believed him if he told me that special rays from our invisible second sun had miraculously cured his hangover, just to get another one.
We were as quiet as we could be, knowing how sound traveled on the bus, but I think the rest of the guys knew what we were doing anyway. I think their first clue was when I got into the bunk with him.
"Are you up for...anything else?" I asked him between kisses. He rocked his hips against me in response and I felt how hard he was. We hadn't had sex in four days; I guess that was more than long enough for either one of us to wait.
I pushed back against him and we began a give and take of thrusts that threatened to finish us all too soon. I tried to slow down but Chris wouldn't let me, clutching at my hip and forcing me to grind against him. He barely even stopped kissing to breathe.
"I need this," he gasped out, almost loud enough to be heard.
I'm not entirely fond of coming in my pants, but I guess once in a while it's worth it.
His mouth fell away from mine as we came, almost together, and I saw him bite his lip to keep from making any noise. He was almost successful, too. Me, I didn't even try.
I kissed his forehead afterwards, watching his eyes drift shut as much-needed sleep overcame him. I guess sex is pretty good medicine-- and here I thought that was just a myth. I'm gonna have to use that to my advantage sometime.
I waited until his breathing evened out and his body relaxed before slipping out of the bunk. I was actually willing to brave the guys' comments about the stain on my pants in order to get something clean to wear. Rummaging around in my bag, I pulled out my only set of clean clothes and to the back of the bus again.
I got the expected smirk from Lance, but Justin was still pretty oblivious to everything but the movie he was watching. I gave it another twenty minutes or so before he fell asleep on the floor in front of it.
Claiming the tiny bathroom, I changed as quickly as I could then dumped my other clothes back in my bag. I noticed Lance watching me instead of paying attention to whatever was on his laptop, so I sat down in the only other chair and waited for him to start whatever conversation he intended to have.
"Chris doing better?" he asked. I was surprised by the concern in his voice, given his taunting earlier. Then again, it wasn't exactly normal anymore for Chris to be the one dragging his hung-over ass onto the bus. I guess we all have our off days.
"Yeah," I said, unable to avoid smiling at the recent memory. "He's sleeping now. He'll be okay when we get there."
"Sounded like he was pretty okay already." The smirk was back, now that the concern was sated. I groaned a little and covered my face with one hand. I mean, it's one thing to know he heard, it's another to have him comment on it.
"That was so not needed," I muttered from behind my hand.
"Hey, it's cool," he said, gently pulling my hand away. "It's just...not something I hear on the bus much. Or...ever."
It's funny, but he was right. No one ever rode on the bus with us besides the occasional chaperone, security person, or family member. The only sexual activity up to this point had been of the solo variety.
"First time for everything," was all I said.
"So things are going good?" he asked tentatively. "I mean, between you and Chris?"
"Yeah, I guess," I replied. I hadn't given much actual thought to whether things were 'good' or not. We were both happy and having fun and feeling closer than ever. So yeah, I guess that equals good. Very good, actually.
"I got you the adjoining rooms in our next stop," he said. "Thought it might make things a little easier in the morning. Or whenever."
"Thanks, Lance," I said, smiling at him. "That's really nice of you."
"Least I can do," he said, beginning to turn his attention back to his laptop. "You guys are good together."
Lance's just a born romantic. I don't think the guy's ever just casually gone with someone--when he hooks up for more than a date it becomes a relationship, like, right off the bat. Not that that's necessarily a bad thing. Because, hell, I think me and Chris are pretty good together too.