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The Going of Time (Ten Years Gone)

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"Of all the billions of things on YouTube, this is what you're watching?"

JC jerks, startled out of his contemplation of the video playing on the computer. He scowls, but it only lasts a minute, fading almost instantly into a smile. "Hey—I thought you weren't gonna be back until tomorrow. When did you get in?"

Chris leans in, and JC shifts, hoping for a kiss; is disappointed when instead, Chris clicks 'pause', silencing the music. "About ten minutes ago. Long enough to toss my bag in the bedroom—and don't think I don't know you're avoiding the question."

JC shrugs, not sure there's really an answer there to articulate. "It's been ten years," he says finally, hoping that's enough—mostly because that's really all it is.

"So, what, you missed seeing Tim shaking it on stage? Gonna trade me in on a newer model?" Chris raises an eyebrow, but JC hears the teasing and relaxes.

"That must be it. Though technically he'd be an older-than-you model."

"Nice to know I'm not the oldest dude you're starry-eyed over."

This time when Chris leans closer, it is for a kiss. JC leans up to meet him, and ends up tugging until Chris settles down beside him, warm and welcoming. He tastes salty-sweet, just a hint, and JC chases that teaser around and around, licking at Chris's tongue, at his teeth, at the soft inside of his cheeks.

"Missed you," he tells Chris; a whisper against Chris's mouth.

"Missed you, too." Chris bites at JC's lower lip, then sucks on it, licking as he draws back. "Mom says hi, and she's looking forward to seeing us – you – at Christmas." He leans back against the cushion and stares at the laptop, the five of them, well, six, counting Tim, frozen mid-medley. "You sure you're—okay?"

"I'm fine, I swear." He can't help the note of impatience that creeps into his voice, and JC tries to remind himself that if he came home after a week gone and found Chris watching long-past videos of the group, he might push a bit, too. "I just realized the timing…and had one of those 'huh' moments."


"Honest." JC twists until he can kneel up and straddle Chris's lap. Chris tips his head back, small smile tugging at his mouth. "Though it's kind of weird to realize, to think, ten years have gone by."

"Yeah, I guess it is." Chris cups JC's face, thumb stroking over his mouth. JC kisses Chris's thumb, then bites at the fleshy tip. "Ow. Fucker."

"I can kiss it better."

"Or you could just not bite."

"Where's the fun in that?" JC bites again, gently pinching the skin between his teeth, then licks at it. "C'mon, let's go to bed."

Chris laughs. "Dude, it's not even bedtime on the east coast, much less here. Plus, I slept on the plane."

"No one says we have to sleep." He leans in for a quick kiss. "Kinda planning on not sleeping, actually."

"Just so long as you're not mentally replacing me with Tim."

JC rolls his eyes and shifts so he can slide off Chris's lap. He reaches for the laptop to close it, then clicks the browser closed, first. Ten years gone. He mourns the loss of some things – always will, probably, to some degree. But he's gained so much more than he's lost.


He blinks. "Huh?"

"You sure you're okay?"

"You ask me that again and I'm gonna have to smack you."

"Smack me? Or spank me? Because that's not really a deterrent." But Chris is getting up, pressing JC forward with a hand low on his back, his smile warming JC all the way through. "Let's go, bendy-boy. Maybe you can show me some of those moves from the vid clip."

"Only if I can think about Tim while I'm doing them." JC yelps when Chris smacks him, and takes off at a run for the stairs, Chris hot on his heels.

Ten years, and counting.