Chris didn't know how long he had been sitting by the window. He wasn't actually looking at anything, but he needed to keep his eyes on something while he thought. A pizza delievery car passed by and he absentmindly noticed that he was getting a bit hungry.
But that would mean going downstairs and that was why he had hid up here in the loft for most of the day. Because he couldn't, wouldn't face the other four right now. Not while there were too many question left unanswered, too much that needed to be fixed.
He had been the word's largest fool. To fall for what he had said, to believe in all those pretty words, the promises... And in the beginning it had all been so nice! And Chris had been so much in love, he even stayed in love for a very long time, despite of what their relationship was changing into.
A smile pulled one corner of his mouth up. Even if Chris hadn't had all that many sexual partners, he was pretty sure most people didn't take the line "fuck me till it hurts!" that literally... Leaning his forehead against the cold glass of the window, Chris sighed. Maybe that was the time when things staretd to change for good. It certainly was the start of the bruises and cuts, hidden under baggy clothes, explained away with an imagination and persuasive powers Chris never knew he had.
What had been most scary was to see the change in his lover, and knowing that he was the only one witnessing this change. For all the rest of the world to see the blue-eyed man was still the same. In Chris' world his lover's dark side continued to grow until Chris knew he had to get away before something bad happened. Worse than what already had taken place, a shudder went through Chris when some unpleasant memories crept out of the place he had repressed them to.
One night he had just gathred his stuff and left. Taken his car and driven away. Not sure where he would end up, but some distance between his boyfriend and himself set his mind at ease, and chased away the fear that seemed to be his companion in everything he did back then.
Of course he couldn't stay away forever. So he broke up with his lover over the phone. Like the coward he was, but Chris knew if he was face to face with those incredible blue eyes he wouldn't have the courage to go through with it. And that he would be punished with for leaving without letting *concerned* lover know, was enough reason for him to choose a payphone at the motel he was staying in. Paranoid, yes, but he couldn't take the risk of being found. Not by him.
Two weeks later, Chris went back home. Always staying close to the others, locking the door to his room at night...keeping the hell out of his former lover's way. And eventually things became better. Then it all blew up in his face.
It started with Joey. One late night Joey came to him, asking if he could talk to him. They were sitting on Chris' bed, Joey was nervously fumbling with a piece of candy wrapped in paper. He was always fidgeting with something was on his mind.
"I wanted to ask you something," Joey had started. "Please don't take this the wrong way, Chris, I know you two used to be together..."
Coldness crept into Chris, chilling him, making the old fear march right back in.
No, he couldn't...he wouldn't... But in his heart Chris knew that this was exactly what his friend, his exlover, would do. He hadn't forgotten at all. And he was still going to punish Chris. By proxy. By doing what he had done to Chris to Chris' best friend. And Chris didn't know how to even begin to fix it.
"After you left," Joey explained, not looking at Chris, "we got close. I knew the two of you had problems, so when you took off, I assumed that you had broken up and you needed some time on your own."
Looking up at Chris now, Chris could see from the look in Joey's brown eyes that this wasn't easy for either of them. "I've been in love with him forever, Chris, but I don't want to hurt you. If you want me to back off, I will. But I really want to be with JC."
Getting back to the present Chris felt a sudden need to hit his head against the glass. How could he have been that stupid? Telling Joey to go ahead, be happy with JC. How could he be such a coward and send Joey...sweet, innocent and trusting Joey right into what he himself was too damn scared and embarrased to admit he had went through too.
And JC... After Joey and Chris' talk, he would just watch Chris, with a knowing smile. He had placed everything in Chris' hands, knowing that Chris would keep the secret.
Joey was so happy, and JC was the nicest guy imaginable to him. He always was in the beginning. Chris had a feeling it would be worse to stand on the sideline this time and watch it all, instead of go trough it. When he knew he could do something about it. That he should do something about it. He had to something about it, but was too scared. Scared of JC. Chris hated to admit it, but JC still had his power over him.
Curling up to the window, Chris hugged his arms tightly around himself. Swearing to himself to be Joey's shadow from now on, making sure that JC wouldn't hurt him. For now that was all he could do. Watch.
And maybe someday he would stop being a coward. In the mean time he would do the best that he could to try and to break up them up. Joey would hate him, but that Chris could take. At least he would be safe then.
"Chris!" a voice called from the stairway, startling him. "We're eating now, come on down."
"In a minute," Chris answered, not willing to leave his little refuge.
"Ok," Lance replied. "Joey and JC are going out later, so Justin and I are going to watch a movie, you wanna join us?"
"Sure," Chris answered. "Whatever..." Feeling tired and helpless he got to his feet.
"Tomorrow," he promised himself, "tomorrow I'm going to tell him. Then I'll tell Joey who JC really is." Walking down the stairs he took a deep breath and put on the fake smile he had spent a lot of hours perfecting. Tomorrow. Everything was going to be better tomorrow...