VI. Chris: No
Lance looked at Chris. "I'm just gonna go," he said.
"No," Chris said, "no, don't worry about it, I'll send him home."
"It's okay," Lance said, smiling weakly. "The bet and all."
"I don't -" There was another knock.
"Go away!" Chris yelled at the same time as Lance called, "Come in!"
"Um, which one?" Nick said.
"Chris," Lance said, "it's nothing. I'm just a little drunk. I'm gonna go back to bed, sleep it off." He punched Chris lightly on the arm. "You have fun tonight."
Chris looked at him. "You sure everything's okay?"
"Positive," Lance said. He opened the door and brushed past Nick. As he turned into his own room, he heard Nick say, "Good night to you too, Lance."
Chris closed the door and looked at Nick. He was leaning against the wall, grinning. "So what do you get if you win?" he said.
"Dammit," Chris said, "how did you know?"
"For future reference," Nick said, "AJ can't keep his mouth shut."
"Dammit, how did AJ know?"
"I think JC told him," Nick said. Chris quirked an eyebrow. "I think maybe JC asked him to. Kind of. Talk to me for you."
Chris laughed. "Ah, this is what I've been reduced to. My friends are recruiting pity fucks for me."
Nick took a step back. "Um, do you want me. Not to?"
"No, no," Chris said quickly. "I love pity fucks. There's nothing like lowered expectations."
Nick looked at him. Chris sighed. "That's what we here in America call a 'joke', Nick."
"Right," Nick said. He took a few steps toward Chris. "So, do you want to blow me or what?"
"Oh, it's every bit as romantic as in my dreams," Chris said. Nick looked at him. Chris shook his head. "Listen," he said. "Those lowered expectations? Those are yours. Mine are still high. See, as the pitier, you're supposed to be willing to do anything to bolster my fragile self-esteem."
"Okay, I thought you said the expectations thing was a joke."
"Well, it was -" Chris sighed again. "So what's AJ giving you to do this?"
"Then why are you doing it?"
"Well, I was kind of under the impression I'd get some sex out of it, but that doesn't seem to be happening," Nick said.
"Why do you suddenly want to sleep with me?" Chris asked.
Nick laughed. Chris looked at him. "That wasn't a joke?" Nick said.
"Look, I've been hitting on you for two weeks now, and you've been acting like you could barely restrain yourself from punching me out. I'm just wondering why the change of heart. Or dick, or whatever."
"Oh, see, that's the problem," Nick said. "Cause the hitting on me thing? I wasn't getting that."
"See, Howie told me you were, he said it was some sort of primitive mating ritual, but I was like, dude, I watch Animal Planet, I've never seen anything like that."
"What did you think I was trying to do?" Chris asked curiously.
"Man, I thought you were trying to kill me." Chris laughed. "But then AJ told me, and I was like, hey, cool, guess Howie was right."
"So you want to have sex with me. You've been wanting to have sex with me?"
"Well, not so much right now, what with all the questions and everything. But yeah." Nick grinned. "And if you'd shut up for a couple of minutes, I could be persuaded about right now, too."
"All right!" Chris crowed. "The tables have turned."
"Did you miss the part about you shutting up?" Nick said.
"I don't have to listen to you," Chris said. "See, the power balance has shifted. Cause as far as you know, I only want to fuck you to win a stupid bet. But now I know that you've been pining after the Kirkpatrick bod. I'm in charge now."
"I don't know if I'd say pining -" Nick said. "Never mind. Does this mean we stop talking now?"
"Shut up, bitch," Chris said. "Take off all your clothes and get in my bed." Nick crossed his arms over his chest and raised his eyebrows. "Okay, now what went wrong there? I bet that works for AJ."
"You know what," Nick said, "I bet a lot of things work for AJ that don't work for you."
"Let me try this again," Chris said. He lowered his voice. "I said, get naked and get your ass in my bed before I pick you up and put you there."
Nick laughed. "Now that's funny."
"That wasn't a joke," Chris said.
"Oh yes it was," Nick said. "You couldn't pick me up and put me anywhere without a crane."
Chris sighed. "Oh, I wish you hadn't said that."
"Because now I have to do it." Nick laughed. "Again, not a joke. You know what I'll do for you, Carter? Whenever I make a joke, I'll raise my hand like this so you know when to laugh."
Chris circled Nick and studied him appraisingly. He reached out and started tugging at Nick's waist. Nick looked down at him skeptically, not moving, arms still crossed. "Come on, you're not cooperating here."
"I got a bad feeling about this, Kirkpatrick."
"Let me put it to you this way: we can stand here in the middle of the room and chat, or you can help me get you to the bed and the sexing can start."
"Fine, fine." Nick uncrossed his arms. Chris hunched over, put a shoulder against Nick's stomach, grabbed his arm and wrapped a hand around his thigh. He stood up and staggered.
"Oh, motherfucker," Chris said, and started stumbling toward the bed.
"If you drop me," Nick said, "I'm gonna beat up you and AJ."
"That is not the type of confidence building I look for from my pity fucks," Chris wheezed, and slapped Nick's ass.
"Watch it," Nick said. "I ain't Justin."
Chris laughed. "Man, AJ really can't keep his mouth shut." He dumped Nick onto the bed and tumbled on top of him. He lay across Nick's stomach, breathing hard. He put a hand on his back. "Jesus Christ, I think you gave me a hernia. How much do you weigh, anyway?" Nick's eyes narrowed, and Chris said quickly, "Not that I'm saying you're big or anything. I mean, clearly you are big, I mean you're a big guy, but you're like strong. Healthy. Manly. The problem is me. You might not have noticed this but I'm a tiny, tiny little man. A midget, practically. Teeny tiny. Itsy bitsy." He illustrated his point by holding up two fingers separated by about an inch, then laughed. "Man. That would be things I never thought I'd say in bed for $200, Alex."
Nick looked around, and Chris sighed. "Okay, that one was my fault. I didn't use our joke signal. But you can stop looking around. There's nobody else here. I was just kidding. There is no Alex."
"I was looking for something to gag you with," Nick said.
"Hey!" Chris said, and then more slowly, "hey." Nick grinned, and Chris clambered completely on top of him and nipped his chin. "Nick," he said, "I'm very, very proud of you. Did you just make a joke?"
"Okay," Nick said. "If it makes you happy, that can be a joke."
Chris sat up and straddled Nick's chest. "You know, I'm starting to have doubts about getting you into bed like this."
"Tell me about it," Nick said.
Chris flicked his forehead. "I didn't mean it like that, asshole. I just think I should've played a little harder to get. I think I forgot for a few minutes how you said you've been mooning after me, lusting desperately for the fine Kirkpatrick ass. I gotta make you work a little harder for it." He slid back off Nick and lay on his side, propped up on one elbow. "Get up and do something seductive, Carter. Maybe some sort of striptease number. Do a little dance for me."
"I don't think forgot is the right word," Nick said. "I don't think you can forget something that was never fucking true to begin with. All I said was I didn't find you totally repulsive."
"Ah, but I can read between the lines, you lovesick fool." Chris poked him in the side. "Get up! Dance for my amusement!"
Nick sprawled on his back and closed his eyes. "You wanna wake me up when the comedy routine's over and the sex is about to start?"
Chris climbed back on top of him and leaned down so their faces were almost touching. "Good news, Nicky. With me, the comedy routine continues right through the sex."
Nick sighed. "Man, the things I do to get AJ laid." He pushed Chris off him and stood up.
"Where are you going?" Chris said. "Ooh, is it time for my little dance?" Nick took off his shirt and unbuttoned his pants. "Okay, this is good, but it would be better with the dancing." Nick stepped out of his pants and underwear and stood smiling at Chris. "This is just fine without the dancing, actually," Chris said.
Nick crawled onto the bed and hovered over Chris, a knee on either side of him. He put one hand over each of Chris' wrists and pinned them to the bed. He bent his head until his hair brushed Chris' face. Chris blew it away with a light puff of air. "You know, I've always hated dancing," he said. Nick kissed him.
When Nick lifted his head, Chris panted up at him. "Thought that might shut you up," Nick said, and dropped his lips to Chris' throat. Chris writhed, struggling a little against Nick's hands. "You know," he gasped, "people are so wrong about you. They don't give you enough credit. You're a lot more -" Nick let go of Chris' wrists and ran a rough hand down the front of Chris' pants. Chris' words were lost in a strangled moan. Nick looked up and grinned at him. "Than everyone says," Chris finished weakly.
"What did you say?" Nick breathed, lips almost touching Chris'. "I missed part of that."
"I said you're a lot more intelligent than everyone says," Chris said.
"Oh," Nick said. He kissed Chris again, quickly. Chris moaned a little with disappointment when Nick pulled away. "I was hoping you said well-hung."
Chris reached down and curled a hand around Nick's cock. Nick bucked encouragingly against him. "No," he said, "I'd say the rumors were just about true on that one."
"I don't know if that's good or bad," Nick said.
"Oh, that's good," Chris said. "That's good."
Nick kissed him again, and this time Chris tangled a hand in his hair to anchor Nick's head in place. He squirmed a little, his other hand still clasped around Nick's cock. When Chris pushed Nick away, this time Nick was the one panting.
"I've got a question," Chris said, and Nick groaned.
"Oh, goddammit," he said. "What the fuck is it now?"
"Why do I still have all my clothes on?"
Nick grinned. He wrapped both hands around Chris' waist and rolled them over. Chris sat back, ass against Nick's cock, and Nick reached up and pulled Chris' shirt over his head. "Better," Chris said. He wriggled, pushing his pants down over his hips, until Nick put his hands back on Chris' waist and said, "Stop that."
"What, you want me to keep the pants on?" Nick slid his hands a little lower and lifted Chris easily. Chris pushed his pants down to his knees, then Nick pulled him down to lay on top of him and Chris kicked them the rest of the way off. "Wow," he said, and Nick rolled them over again.
"I think that's enough with the rolling," Chris said. "I'm worried I'm gonna get seasick."
"Maybe you can hold off on the bitching and just give me notes at the end," Nick said, licking his way down Chris' body.
"Well, okay, but I think you're making a mistake. See, I prefer the kind of - God - instant feedback that can make a real - fuck - immediate difference in the whole sex experience Jesus fucking Christ where did you learn that?"
Nick looked up from between Chris' legs. "I can either do this, or I can talk to you. It's kind of physically impossible to do both at the same time. So do you want me to answer that, or do you -"
"Don't talk!" Chris said. "Don't talk!" Nick grinned and tightened his hold on Chris' thigh, pushed it a little higher. Chris writhed and clutched at the sheets. "Don't you ever fucking talk again," he said.
Nick slid back up Chris' body, one hand still holding Chris' leg up. "Where do you keep your shit?" he breathed.
Chris laughed. "Oh, here we go with the sweet talk. Don't worry, Nick, I'm pretty much gonna fuck you at this point, you don't have to be so romantic." Nick looked at him. "Tough crowd," Chris said, and gestured toward the nightstand.
Nick leaned across him and then pulled back a little. Chris sighed happily as Nick's fingers pressed into him. "Ah, I'm living the dream of thousands of fourteen-old girls," he said breathlessly. "Or at least I would be, if we were in a field of pretty, pretty flowers and the rest of the Backstreet Boys were here singing I Want It That Way and you were wearing like a ruffly white pirate shirt or something." He gasped.
"You know some fucked-up fourteen-year-old girls," Nick growled, and thrust inside.
Chris wrapped his legs tightly around Nick's waist and ran his hands down Nick's back. Nick grunted appreciatively and started moving faster. Chris' hands scrabbled restlessly across Nick's shoulders. "You've got some fucking broad shoulders," he breathed. "Like a fucking tank, man. Or not, I guess. Because a tank doesn't really have shoulders. But if it did. Or if there were something else, like. As big as a tank. But that had shoulders. That would be. What you're -" Nick stopped moving. "What?" Chris said, and pushed back against him. "We're stopping? We're not stopping."
Nick said through gritted teeth, "If you stop fucking talking and let me finish this, I will suck your cock until the top of your head explodes."
Chris clapped both hands over his mouth.
When Nick rolled off him and lay back, arm over his eyes, Chris watched him for a minute and then started poking. "Nick," he said, "Nicky, you're not done. There were promises made, Nick. Wakey wakey."
Nick sighed and crawled back over to Chris. "You are like the most annoying lay in the world," he said, but he was smiling.
"I'm going to have that made into a T-shirt," Chris said, and gasped. Nick ran a hand up the length of Chris' body and covered his mouth.
While Nick got dressed, Chris lay back on the bed and hummed contentedly. "So," Nick said, looming over him, "do you need some sort of proof or anything? Do I have to sign something?"
"That," Chris said, "is what the videocamera in the light fixture is for." Nick looked up in panic, and Chris laughed and raised his hand. "Joke, Nicky, joke." Nick sighed. "I've got it taken care of. It's kind of sweet of you to think of that, though. In a sick, perverted sort of way." Nick leaned down and kissed him. "You're just kind of sweet in general," Chris said. "In a sick, perverted sort of way."
Nick smiled at him. "Yeah, well, you're not really the most annoying lay in the world."
Chris sat up and pointed at him. "I knew you were secretly in love with me!"
"That was a joke. Right?"
"That was a joke," Chris said.
Nick laughed. "That was funny."
"Sweet-talker," Chris said, and watched Nick walk out the door.
When Chris walked into breakfast the next morning, Joey slapped him on the back. Justin jumped up and cheered. JC clapped his hands. Lance just sat back in his chair and watched him.
"Yes, yes," Chris said, sitting down and grabbing a bagel, "I'm finally here. Your lives are now complete." He took a bite.
"Details, man, we want details," Justin said. JC looked at him. "I mean, no we don't. We respect your privacy."
"Details of what, J?" Chris said calmly.
"Lance told us what happened last night," Justin said. Lance felt Chris' eyes on him. "Or rather, who happened last night."
"What?" Chris said. "Nick came over to apologize for spending the last couple of weeks threatening to beat me up."
"Apologize, huh?" Joey said. "Is that what the kids are calling it these days?"
"I don't know what else you'd call it," Chris said, and poured himself a cup of coffee. Everyone stared at him for a moment. "What?"
"Chris," Justin said slowly, "did you have sex with Nick Carter last night?"
Chris said, "No."