By: Chaos and Raven

poison; gurgle; burst; experiment

Nick was curled in a ball on the giant hotel bed when Lance came back with a plastic cup of soda and crackers. Nick stared at the cup with revulsion. His stomach lurched at the thought of swallowing anything.

"It's not poison," Lance said. "Just ginger ale. And some crackers."

He held up a box and wiggled it enticingly. Nick paled a little and curled his lip.

"I don't think vomit and Versace go well together," Nick said weakly.

"Good thing this is D&G then, isn't it?"

"Fucking style whore," Nick groaned. "You're the reason I can't buy a decent pair of jeans for less than eighty bucks."

"If you're bitching about my clothes you can't be that sick," Lance said with a roll of his eyes. He set the box and cup on the night stand. "You really should try some of the soda though."

Nick shot him a look and Lance made a vaguely placating gesture with his hands. Lance picked up a book and sat on the chair next to the bed. It looked like he was settling in for the long haul.

"You're just going to sit there?" Nick asked.

Lance looked up from his Tom Clancy novel. "Well, yes. That was the idea. I figured you'd want someone around. I would."

Nick couldn't think of a suitable reply to that. The polite thing would be 'thank you' but he didn't feel particularly gracious at the moment. What with his stomach trying to claw it's way out of his throat and all. He hated that he felt the need to thank Lance anyway.

Lance, who was unfailingly polite to everyone, even if he didn't like them. Who was always there at the right moment, with the right thing. Lance was the one who noticed Nick turning green. He offered up his hotel room, his own attention, for Nick's sake.

Nick would like nothing more than to curse at him.


He woke a few hours later, unaware he'd been tired. Lance was still sitting in the chair next to the bed. The box of crackers was open and in Lance's lap. Nick felt his stomach gurgle in longing.

Lance glanced up and shot him a big smile. "Hey sleepyhead. Think you can handle eating something?"

It was on the tip of his tongue to say something rude, something about how fucking obvious it should be that he was now starving, but Nick restrained himself. "I can probably handle eating a lot of something."

"Yeah? Well, crackers are all I have in the room. If you can wait twenty minutes, room service is decent," Lance said.

Nick nodded. "Are you gonna?" He gestured to the phone. Lance nodded. "Cool. Um, like a grilled chicken sandwich and a Caesar salad with no cheese in it."

Lance quirked an eyebrow at him but said nothing. He picked up the phone and placed the order. Nick bounced a little on the too firm hotel mattress.

"Hey, can I shower?" Nick asked. "I feel like slightly reheated ass right now."

"Sure, just don't use all the towels." Lance replied.


When Nick got out of the shower half an hour later, the food was there waiting for him. He forgot it wasn't his hotel room until he stepped out of the bathroom and Lance was there. He adjusted the little towel a bit. It was maybe a half inch from being too short to wrap around his waist.

Lance's eyes did a very obvious sweep of Nick's body. He didn't even look embarrassed about it.

"Looking good, Carter."

"Ah, thanks," he said. Nick could feel the blush heating his cheeks. "You don't mind? Cause I can go put my pants on...."

Lance shook his head. "It's no worse than my guys. Probably better than Chris because he wouldn't have bothered with the towel."

Nick laughed and settled on the end of the bed. Lance didn't look like he'd moved an inch. Well, except for the fruit salad he was eating with his fingers. Nick blinked.

Lance grinned at him. "I know what you're thinking and yes, my mother would be appalled. I suggest we don't tell her." He licked melon juice off his fingers.

"You rebel. Next you'll tell me you put your feet on the coffee table."

"If my momma knew, it would surely break her heart," Lance said, exaggerating his accent until his words were thick and almost unintelligible.

Nick snorted and tried not to choke on his salad. He watched Lance laugh and wondered how many people really got to see this. It made him feel a little special to know he was probably part of an elite crowd.


Nick ate all the food that Lance ordered him, even though his stomach was ready to burst by the last bite. Lance finished his fruit and was reading again. Every so often, he licked his fingers and turned a page.

Nick rested on the bed and resisted the urge to fidget. He cooled down enough that getting dressed wouldn't be unbearable but he had no desire to move. He just began to drift off when he was gently prodded.

"Move your ass over, Carter."

Nick opened one eye, grumbled, and closed it again. A sharp stinging pinch jolted him completely out of slumber.

"That was my nipple, you cockass," Nick yelped.

Lance was not impressed. "Your giant ass is keeping me from my bed. Move it or lose it."

Sighing, Nick rolled over to allow Lance access to the bed. His towel slipped. Blushing bright scarlet, Nick grabbed the edge of the towel and resecured it around himself.

Lance cocked his head and looked at Nick thoughtfully. "What a nice big boy you are, Nickolas. Does your mother experiment with growth hormones?"

"Shut up!" Nick said, but he was stifling his laughter.

"I've heard rumors and all but I figured it was exaggeration."

"You--!" And he can't find the words because he's embarrassed and flattered at the same time.

"You?" Lance asks softly.

His eyes are drifting shut but Nick knows Lance isn't really tired. Somehow, without shifting the bed at all, Lance leans in and places a gentle kiss on Nick's lips. Nick's breath catches in his throat and he opens a little wider.

This time, it's all he can do to keep words of gratitude from rushing out of his mouth.