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sick to the bone, slave to the flesh

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Chris has been acting fucking weird all day. Which wouldn’t normally bother Justin so much if it wasn’t the first day Justin’s been at the studio.

Feels a little personal, okay.

Maybe it’s because it’s kind of his first real day in the band. And the band is Chris’s baby. He’s the only original member left. He took his stage name after it. Justin’s basically an interloper in Chris’s space. A big, goofy looking interloper.

Everyone else is here, too, though. Crammed into a studio that’s just a converted bedroom with a closet for a vocal booth. Sat on one couch with Ryan with Vinny and Ricky on the other and JD and Chris all huddled in around the computer. It’s gang vocals recording day so this should be a quick process, but then they started adding in other vocal bits and Chris wanted to re-record an entire song so here they are.

Frankly, the room stinks. Too many fuckin’ alphas crammed into a tiny space. They’d long ago had this whole discussion, what with sharing a tour bus in the past, but that was before the band was four alphas and a single beta -- Chris. Which. Had been sort of a surprise for Justin given, y’know, the early twenties anger management issues he’d had. Before Justin there was always an extra beta or an omega around so it didn’t smell like straight up wet dog on the bus. Yeah. Tour’s just gonna be weirder when they’re all living on top of each other.

Chris decides he wants Justin to record some backing vocals. Which. Sure. Justin’s just doing whatever Chris tells him to do, more or less. Chris is fixing things in the vocal booth, adjusting the microphone height back up from Ricky height to Justin height, and Justin leans in the doorway, peeks in.

Which is when he notices Chris is all but panting. And Justin’s close enough he can feel how warm he is.

“You good?” Justin asks, and Chris’s eyes flash over at him, pupils blown out.

“Fine,” Chris says dismissively, sliding past Justin to go sit back down, and Justin catches the distinct smell of--

Wait.

Omega? That information goes right past any rational thought and straight to his dick. Justin looks back at Chris, who’s turning away all too quickly. He knows Chris knows he smelled that. Justin glances over to the rest of them, who seem completely unaware. He pointedly chooses to ignore that and screams it off in the vocal booth.

After a couple gang vocal takes once Justin’s finished, everyone else starts to file out. Vinny dips out first, followed by Ryan and Ricky. JD eventually heads out too and leaves Chris to finish tinkering, like he does. Ricky had mentioned that. Chris being particular about things.

Justin takes JD’s chair, watches as Chris nudges a switch on the soundboard. Replays the same clip.

“How do you know all this stuff?” Justin asks. “ProTools makes me feel like a moron.”

“Just doing it for a long time, probably,” Chris says. “Tim showed me a bunch of it when me and Ricky were out doing stuff for Infamous in LA.” Which is when Chris’s hand stills on the mouse. As if he’s realized something.

“Look, I don’t want to pry, but--”

“Then don’t,” Chris says, but Justin continues anyway, because he has no sense of self-preservation--

“Are you sure you’re a beta?”

Chris’s fingers squeeze the mouse.

“I got tested like everybody else did,” he says, irritated. Justin can smell the fucking sweat on him, all pheremones.

“And it came back beta?” Justin asks. Chris pushes his hair back off his face, looks away.

“It came back inconclusive, so they--”

“--assumed,” Justin says. Chris sighs.

“I just feel like shit and I wanna finish this shit up,” he says, going back to twisting the volume knob up, as if to tell Justin to lay off it, but he doesn’t, because hormones are a bitch and make him even dumber than usual. Justin places the back of his hand against Chris’s forehead. He stiffens.

“You’re running a fever,” Justin says. He doesn’t want to be the one to say it. He knows it. Chris knows it. Would’ve known from having dated omegas in the past. He just doesn’t want Chris to fucking swing on him for saying the O word or the H word.

“Don’t,” Chris says. “Can you go?”

“No,” Justin says. “Not with you. Y’know. Like this.” Goddamn his stupid alpha brain and his reflexive need to look after Chris. “I can drive you back to the hotel; it’s not safe to drive when you’re in the beginning of a--”

Justin stops. He doesn’t want to say it. The H word.

“That’s not what it is,” Chris says firmly. Stubborn. But Justin can smell it.

“Okay, sure,” Justin says, humoring him. “But still. Let me drive. You don’t feel well.”

Chris sighs. Considers it.

“Fine,” he says.

//

Things start going sideways pretty quick once they actually get into Chris’s rental car. Justin had had the genius idea to just get an Uber back and forth every day, not taking into account that that’s definitely more expensive cumulatively than just biting the bullet and renting. At least Chris has a head on his shoulders.

Chris cranks the AC the second they get in the car, smacks every vent to point in his direction, even reaching across to Justin’s. He can smell it without even having to try now, the scent of it laying on him like a wet fuckin’ blanket. Justin doesn’t have the fucking willpower for this shit. He’s the new guy and he’s got the last original member of the band going into his first heat on his hands. He’s trying to will his dick down, because the last fucking thing he needs is stupid fucking biology ruining this for him, but Chris is breathing hard. Actually keens when they hit a speed bump in the hotel parking lot.

Justin manages to wrangle Chris back up to his hotel room. Slides the key for him. Stands in the open doorway and Chris braces himself with a hand on the wall, the sweat visibly sticking his t-shirt to his back. He looks back at Justin.

“Am I gonna be able to work tomorrow?” Chris asks. Right. Of course that’s what he’s worried about. Not the alpha breathing down his goddamn neck. Justin hesitates.

“Well you’re not on--” Justin starts, then rephrases, considering he’s in the middle of the hotel hallway. “You’re not medicated. So. You’re probably in for a rough night. I’ll see if I can get you any. Uh. Y’know.” Justin gestures vaguely and hopes Chris can pick up what he’s trying to say. “I mean, it’s late, but I can probably get some over the counter at Walgreen’s or something--”

“Stay,” Chris says, and Justin knows all the implications of the word.

“I shouldn’t,” Justin says. “I’m not -- I mean, I could call Rick or Ryan or Vin instead, since you know them better--”

“Stay,” Chris says again, and this time it’s not a suggestion.

Well. Okay. This might as well happen.

Justin hangs the DO NOT DISTURB sign on the doorknob on his way in.

Chris is already taking his boots off. Justin cranks the AC preemptively. They’ll need it. Chris lays down, sighs, and Justin stands there at the end of the bed, not sure what to do with himself. He doesn’t want to lay down with him yet; he’s putting that inevitability off on account of he knows as soon as he actually gets on the bed it’ll be a shitshow from then on out and he’d like to retain some semblance of his sanity for as long as possible. .

“So what the fuck is going on?” Chris asks, pushing his hair back off his face. Justin makes a vague noise. He shoulda bailed from the studio at his earliest opportunity so this would be somebody else’s problem. So he doesn’t have to be the one explaining this bullshit as gently as possible despite even just the vague concept of Chris’s ass about to drive him to commit manslaughter.

“My best guess is you presented late and just… didn’t go into. Y’know. Until now. Cuz you were crammed in a tiny room with five alphas.” Justin shrugs, cringes a little. Chris groans.

“That’s stupid,” he says. Justin laughs at that.

“It’s apparently a thing that happens,” he says. Great job, Morrow, he thinks at himself. You’re so reassuring.

“So am I just gonna lay here being sweaty and horny all night?” Chris asks. Justin swallows dryly. That’s not a bad visual.

“Kind of,” he says dumbly. “I mean. Me being here is kind of a problem with that plan.”

“Why?” Chris asks, sitting up a bit. This was the stuff that never really got discussed in sex ed in high school. That or Chris just didn’t pay attention in health class. Maybe he was busy in the bathroom painting his friend’s nails or something. Justin doesn’t know what omegas do in their free time. He picks anxiously at his nail polish.

“The thing is if you’re like this and you’re not like, bonded to an alpha already, we can’t, like.” Justin sighs. “It’s basically physically impossible to not want to. Y’know.”

“Oh,” Chris says. He pauses. “I thought betas don’t bond.”

“You’re not a beta, though,” Justin says. “I can. Uh. Tell.”

“So I’m actually an omega.”

“Yeah.”

“And I’m going into my first heat.” Well, at least Chris said it first.

“Yeah.”

“And you’re basically gonna die if you don’t fuck me when I’m in heat.”

“More or less.”

“So in theory you should leave now before it kicks in.”

“In theory, yes.”

Chris looks at him expectantly. As if to ask if he wants to leave. And part of him does, but also. But also. Chris does have a really nice ass.

“Listen,” Justin says. He hesitates. “It would be. Beneficial to you. To not have to ride this out on your own. But I don’t want to like. Cause problems. By me being here and all.” The if you’re not sure you want to be stuck with me forever doesn’t want to come out of his mouth.

“I’m okay with it,” Chris says. “If it makes it a little easier.”

“Okay,” Justin says. “I can stay then. Just like. As long as you’re cool with what’s probably gonna go down.”

“It’s cool,” Chris says. “I’m definitely cool with that.” He smiles weakly. Justin sighs.

“Relax a little,” Justin says. “I’m gonna grab you a glass of water and get all the towels.”

Justin avoids looking at himself in the bathroom mirror. Averts his gaze as he grabs every damn towel off the rack. Fills one of the water glasses. When he gets back, Chris is already practically peeling his shirt off. His tattoos have a sheen of sweat on them. Justin swallows dryly, offers Chris the glass of water.

“Sorry,” Chris mumbles, taking the glass, downing the whole thing. “I feel like I’m running a fever of like, a hundred and five.”

“I mean,” Justin says, “you kinda are.” He drops the towels onto the bed and Chris is sort of staring at the pile of them, because surely he thought Justin didn’t mean every towel. “I got half a mind to go out and ransack a housekeeping cart,” Justin says, because he cares, even if he is causing problems for others. Stupid alpha brain back at it again.

“Are we gonna need all of those?” Chris asks, sounding not unlike what Justin imagines a nervous chihuahua would sound like.

“I mean, probably,” Justin says. “Most likely.”

“Jesus Christ,” Chris sighs. He lays back on the bed. He almost seems to be shivering, his breath labored, short. Justin can tell he’s really starting to feel it. His dick is stupid hard. Chris shifts uncomfortably as Justin’s still hovering a little, standing next to the bed over him. It’s already a fucking hell of a challenge to not rip the fuckin’ jeans off him. Get his face in there. Fuck.

“What’s it feel like?” Justin asks, because he’s wondering if it feels anything like rut. The frustration of it, the burn. Overwhelming need to just fuck something.

“I don’t know how to explain it,” Chris says, shifting a little, settling into the mattress. “Everything just feels good. Like, even the sheets on my back.”

“Oh, so like being on E,” Justin says. Chris looks at him.

“What?” he asks.

“Huh?”

“On ecstasy?” Chris asks.

“Yeah,” he says. “Y’know. Everything feels good.”

“Wouldn’t know,” Chris says. Justin sits into the edge of the bed, daring to close the gap between them even more, brings a hand to Chris’s arm. Trails his fingers down it, skin searing hot under his touch. Chris whines a little, his hand grabbing onto Justin’s thigh, fingers digging in. Justin can feel the heat of his palm even through his jeans. The urge to flatten him into the bed and fuck him into the next dimension waves through him again.

“You can stop me if you want,” Justin says, moving his hand to Chris’s chest, where he splays it out over the haunted house tattooed there. Chris arches into it a little, panting already.

“Don’t want to,” he says, voice quiet. Chris’s skin is sweat sticky as Justin drags his hand up to Chris’s neck, thumbs along his jaw, and Chris keens. “Please,” he says, breathless already, and that about does it. Stupid alpha brain is just a hunk of hamburger meat at this point. Justin brackets Chris’s ribs with his hands on the bed, climbs up over him, and Chris is already pulling at his shirt. Justin grabs his wrist and pins it to the bed next to his head and Chris bites back a moan, grins up at him, as if daring him to get rough with him. Fuck. Shit. Justin sits his weight down into Chris’s hips and grabs the other arm, twists it up above Chris’s head with the other, one big hand clamped around them.

“Stay,” Justin says, his voice low. Chris stills. He pants, nods. Grabs onto the rungs of the headboard when Justin lets him go. Justin can tell he’s holding back a little still.

“I feel like I could come in my pants,” Chris says, laughing, and Justin smiles at that, shifts down between Chris’s thighs, undoes his belt.

“You probably could,” Justin says. “Up.” Justin pulls his jeans down, and Chris lifts his hips to help him get them off. Justin figures he’s overdressed, tosses his shirt onto the pile. He lays himself into Chris’s body, then, and Chris moans, his head falling back. The places where their skin touches feels like Justin’s connected to a live electrical wire.

Fuck,” Chris grits out, just at the contact, Justin grabbing a handful of his ass. He can smell omega all over him, can all but taste it when he mouths at Chris’s neck. “Justin. Fuck.”

“You want this knot?” Justin asks, low in Chris’s ear, physically feels Chris shudder under him.

“Yeah,” Chris says. “I really do.” And it’s hot like the first time a girl begged Justin to nut in her, fuck the consequences, but y’know. It’s some weird permanent emotional thing his dumb alpha brain can’t think about right now, not with Chris like this. Justin kisses him, grabs into his hair, and Chris lets him in, lets him lick into his mouth. Justin hums into it, reaches to close his other hand around Chris’s cock through his underwear, and Chris jerks up into it, whines into the kiss. “Am I--?” Chris asks, mouth still against Justin’s, but he doesn’t finish the question. He doesn’t have to. Justin knows he’s afraid to ask. He brings his hand from Chris’s cock further down between his thighs, feels where he’s soaked through the fabric. Justin swears under his breath. Chris is gonna kill him. That or Justin is gonna kill Chris and then fuck whatever’s left.

“Yeah, you really fucking are,” he says. “Turn over. Shit.” Chris obeys almost automatically, and Justin yanks the ruined underwear down in the back, exposes Chris’s ass, pale skin, and when he grabs at it he thumbs him open, all slick pink hole. Justin huffs once at the sight. It’s a lot. He doesn’t even ask, just ducks his head down and licks him over, and Chris jumps, gasps.

“Fuck,” Chris moans, Justin’s fingers digging into his hips as he pulls them back and laves his tongue into him. He tastes fucking good, his slick hot and sweet and when Chris ruts back against his mouth, Justin lets him. He’s breathing hard, desperate for the wet heat of it, broken moans and shaky breath and Justin just keeps licking him open, his own cock aching. But he’s focused on Chris. He mouths wet kisses up to the base of Chris’s spine, brings his hand around to sink his first two fingers in, and Chris cries out, kicks a leg against the bed.

“Still with me?” Justin asks, and Chris sobs.

“Yeah, you can do more,” Chris gasps, and Justin’s third finger slides in just as easily. Chris’s knuckles are going white where he’s got his fists clamped around the rungs of the headboard. Justin fingers him open, slick and wet, literally dripping down the backs of his thighs. Chris shoves his face into the mattress, groans loud.

“I bet I can get all four in,” Justin says, and Chris lets out a hiss of air between his teeth.

“Do it,” Chris says. Justin turns his hand a little, gets the angle better, and sure enough he’s got his little finger in along with the rest and he pushes in deeper, Chris’s whole body shuddering hard as Justin’s buried in palm deep.

“I think I’m gonna come already,” he says, the disbelief evident in his voice, and Justin starts fucking his hand into him, the wet sound of his palm and the meat of his thumb hitting against Chris’s ass, and Chris nearly yelps, clenches tight around his fingers. “Oh, shit--”

“Go ahead,” Justin says, digging his teeth into the round of Chris’s ass, and that seems to do it. Chris all but collapses into the bed, chokes on Justin’s name in his throat as he comes, soaks through the front of his underwear just as he had the back. Justin feels lightheaded just watching Chris fall apart like this. He fucks him through it with his fingers, holding him still when he tries to squirm away. “C’mere,” Justin murmurs, and Chris shivers as Justin pulls him back to his mouth, smearing slick across Chris’s ribs from his hand. Shit. He probably shoulda put the towels down before that, huh.

“Fuckin’--” Chris chokes out, but Justin doesn’t stay there, drags his tongue up to the base of his spine, wrangles him up onto his knees even as his thighs shake.

“Stay,” Justin orders. Chris nods, drops his head, and Justin sits back on his legs behind him. Chris is already fucked open, dripping, and Justin carefully helps Chris get his underwear the rest of the way off. Gathers towels and puts them under Chris. He already knows this is gonna be a fucking mess -- a real Waterslide World situation. Once Justin gets his pants off it’s nearly impossible for Justin to focus on anything, now, his entire body feeling as if on autopilot, magnetically drawn back to Chris. When he knees up behind him, Chris glances back over his shoulder at him, a flash of anxiety in his eyes. “Hey,” Justin says, and Chris looks back at him proper. “I got you. You’ll want to go again. But like. I got you.”

“So this is a marathon kinda thing, not a sprint,” Chris says, breathless, and Justin laughs.

“Kind of,” he says. “If you wanted to use a sports metaphor.” He’s not sure how he’s managing to use complete sentences with Chris bent over like this in front of him and his dick like, that close to his ass.

“G’head,” Chris says, lowering his chest into the bed so he’s ass up, and Justin thinks he might go cross-eyed. He just nods, grabs himself by the base -- he’s so fucking goddamn horny he can practically feel his stupid fucking knot about to pop already -- and lays his cock into Chris, just rutting against his slick, and Chris whines, grinds back into it. Justin sinks himself in then, and Chris is just wet blinding heat and Justin swears his vision goes a little blurry at the edges. He hilts himself and Chris is squirming under him, trying to fuck himself on Justin’s cock, so Justin just flattens himself on top of him and starts fucking him open. Chris moans so hard his voice breaks, lets Justin snake an arm under him and hold him by the throat, slam into him. “Fuck--”

“Fuck, you’re fucking wet,” Justin grits out, his hips smacking loud against Chris’s ass, Chris all but whimpering at the words, craning his head back, giving Justin’s hand more room to get his fingers around his neck. He’s not choking him, just using his grip for leverage, fucking him into the mattress.

“Fuck,” Chris huffs out, keening, rolling his ass back into Justin’s hips, rutting against him just as much as Justin’s dicking into him. “Fuck, you’re gonna make me come again--”

“Yeah?” Justin asks, grabbing a handful of Chris’s ass, keeping that hard pace, and Chris gasps, pants, nods, his mouth falling open like he wants to moan but nothing’s coming out, right on the edge of it. Justin hums, rakes his teeth over Chris’s shoulder. “Go ahead then, come again--”

Fuck!” Chris cries out, his orgasm hitting him right at Justin’s words, shaking hard in his grip. Justin moans into the back of Chris’s neck feeling him clench down tight around him, getting impossibly fucking wetter, Chris sobbing under him. Justin rides it out for him, deep, slow, and Chris’s hands are still clamped on the headboard. Justin stills hilted inside him, gets his arm under Chris’s hips to pull him back up onto his knees with him, and Chris finally lets go of the headboard to get up onto his elbows. When Justin starts up again, slow, easing him back into it, he can feel the beginnings of his knot catch when he pulls out of Chris’s hole, and Chris gasps at that. “Shit.”

“You can feel that, huh,” Justin murmurs, sliding his hand up Chris’s spine, the other thumbing him open so he can see where his cock is buried inside Chris, the way his ass tries to hold onto the base of his growing knot when he pulls back. Chris makes a noise that’s half a laugh and half a moan.

“Feels fucking weird,” Chris admits, laughing once, and Justin smiles in earnest at that. Yeah, he figures it probably does.

“You want it?” Justin asks. “You want me to knot the rest of the way inside you?” He rests a hand on the back of Chris’s neck, and he turns a little to look back at him.

“Is that not the whole thing?” he asks. Oh, no. He’s got a big storm comin’.

“You’d know if it was the whole thing,” Justin remarks, doubling back over him, hooks his arm under Chris’s chest to keep him supported as he starts easing back into it, knot still easily sliding in and out, and Chris shivers.

“Fuck,” Chris breathes. “Do it. Go ahead.”

“Ask nice,” Justin whispers, and Chris huffs at him, rolls his eyes.

“Please,” Chris says, fake sweet, and Justin kisses the crook of his neck where it turns into his shoulder.

“I’ll take that,” he says, grinding into him, their hips rolling together, and Justin dicks into him. Chris is raw and fucked out, slick down the insides of his thighs, but he still rocks himself back into it, really in the height of his heat now. Justin inhales, smells it on him, feels himself stiffen and he can feel Chris stretching around him. Justin moans with his face still smushed into Chris’s neck, and Chris whines back at him, purrs as Justin ruts into him as best he can, locked inside him, quickly nearing his end. “Fuck, that’s it--”

“Yeah?” Chris asks, breathless. “Yeah, c’mon, come inside me--”

“Yeah, fuck--” Justin hisses, through gritted teeth, and buries himself as deep as he can get, moans loud into Chris’s spine as he comes. Justin’s hyper-aware of where they’re connected as he spills over and over into him, all but flooding his insides. Chris is just panting hard under him, grabs at Justin’s wrist where his hand is planted into the mattress, writhes against him a little as he rides it out. Justin practically greys out, gets his arm up under Chris. “Which side you wanna lay on?” he asks.

“Whatever,” Chris says, which is fair, because Chris is a terrible decision maker in the best of times. Justin carefully gets them over onto their sides, knowing they’re gonna be stuck here for however long it takes for his knot to go down. He’s got the most horrible warm fuzzies, which is bad on account of. Well. Bonding like this was not his intention. Y’know.

“Hey, so,” Justin murmurs, because he wants to know if Chris also feels it, but Chris just makes a dismissive noise at him.

“Yeah, I know,” Chris says softly. “It’s okay with me.”

Oh. Well. Alright. That went better than expected.

“Okay,” Justin says, sliding a hand under Chris’s arm so he can wrap his own around Chris’s waist. And they just lay there, still all endorphins and hormones. Bonded. Justin runs his hand over Chris’s stomach, his chest, his arm hooking under Chris’s to hold onto the shoulder he’s currently got his nose against. He feels all stupid and disgustingly soft but y’know, he can’t help it. He’s a dumb stupid idiot alpha and Chris is basically his now, and it feels pretty good. Pleasant. Justin’s relaxed as hell. He’s just humming, trailing kisses onto the back of Chris’s neck, down to the top of his spine, over his shoulder. He doesn’t even realize what tune he’s humming till he actually sings it, just barely, under his breath--

“Waterslide world; I’m really crazy boutcher wild slides--”

He’s still kissing along Chris’s shoulder, who doesn’t seem to mind. He nips at Chris’s neck a little and Chris squirms, which tugs and he makes a little pleased noise but also a little squeak at the same time, because. Well. It’s probably pretty weird being tied for the first time huh. But he’s still got his arms around him, holding him tight to his chest.

“Waterslide world; the number one in family fun -- fun? You bet.” Humming it quietly into the side of Chris’s neck.

“Hmm?” Chris mumbles. Justin smiles against Chris’s neck. “What is that?”

“Y’know, regional water park jingle,” Justin says. Chris sighs irritatedly at him. “C’mon-a baby gonna slide, slide, slide, c’mon-a baby gonna glide, glide, glide, c’mon-a baby gonna slide, slide, slide, away--”

“You’re the fucking worst,” Chris says, his voice all fucked out and raw.

“C’mon,” Justin says. “You love me.”

“You’re out of your fucking mind.”

“Hey, my dick’s still in your ass,” Justin says, sounding wounded.

“So,” Chris says. “You’re still awful.”

“Gimme my phone,” Justin says, and he doesn’t even give Chris the time to react before he’s reaching for his pants at the edge of the bed and Chris whines and he can’t quite reach, so Justin wraps his one arm around Chris tighter and moves the both of them together for more reach. Chris yelps indignantly. “You’re fine, shh,” Justin says, dragging his jeans back over and digging his phone out of the pocket. He taps in his passcode, halfway still laying on Chris but a little leaned back so he can still type on his phone behind Chris’s head.

“Yeah, okay, great time to check your texts,” Chris remarks--

“Shush, whiny.”

And when the opening notes of the stupid Waterslide World jingle come out of his phone, Chris groans and protests and whines at him to turn it off, but Justin’s just smiling and singing along with it anyway and besides he’s still got the arm under Chris reached around and petting up and down his ribs. He noses up against the back of Chris’s neck behind his ear, kisses him there.

“You’re terrible,” Chris says flatly.

“This is the sound of my childhood,” Justin says.

“Awful,” Chris says. “Horrible. The worst. An absolutely terrible degenerate--”

Justin tosses his phone behind him, reaches back around to hold Chris’s head still by his jaw. He sniffs at his hair.

“What’s that?” Justin asks. “Smells like you want me to fuck you again already.” He’s teasing. No matter how mad Chris tries to sound, his voice gives him away.

“Maybe,” Chris says, and Justin can hear the smile in it.