On Rising Early

JC has his eyes closed, but Lance knows he’s not asleep.

His headphones are off in a corner, probably thrown there inelegantly when JC lost interest in whatever he was listening to and went to do something else. There is a sweatshirt on the floor, by the bed. He probably got hot, as he occasionally does when the temperature of their hotel rooms isn’t set appropriately, and took it off without any consideration for where it might fall. His hair is limp, curled feebly around his head, and Lance knows he hasn’t showered in a day or so, even after the concert they’d had the previous night. He should probably be disgusted, but he’s too distracted by the turn of JC’s ankle, where it is peeking from his track pants, a small blaze of skin surrounded by cotton otherwise.

Lance has never been a poetic man, and he has other things he should be doing. There is a stack of papers waiting for him just outside the door, along with emails, both important and not, and some phone calls he should make. Taking responsibility on himself is nothing unusual, and he enjoys it more days than not. He liked being under stress, because he feels he performs better that way. But all that work is being ignored right now, and he is creeping through the door of their adjoined suite like a ten-year-old boy who just broke his mother’s vase.

Watching JC is a guilty pleasure Lance has never worked to avail himself of; there is just something he likes too well about sitting in a chair and watching the twitch of JC’s muscles as he sleeps, the soft noises he makes as he turns over or sees something in a dream. He’s done it for years, and as far as Lance knows he’s never been caught. They all have their quirks, and this is really only one of his. Such close quarters almost breed them, particularly with regards to each other.

This, though, is something he can’t really explain even to himself. It’s like JC is a focus for his inspection, but Lance spends his life looking at things and considering them. This is more personal than that. He might think it was a sexual drive, but surely he would have made a move by now if that was it. Lance frowns. He dislikes not understanding some part of himself, and this is JC, which is as much a part of himself as his own arm.

Even with these thoughts buzzing in his head, his attention snaps back to the present when JC shifts on the bed, turning in a position Lance is familiar with, the little twist he makes when he is about to wake up. Lance walks carefully back to the doorframe, moving so that he looks as though he just stepped in to check on JC.

“Lance,” JC says sleepily. “Hi Lance.”

Lance lets a smile form on his face, and turns to say good morning.