Rating: NC17 in parts
Disclaimer: As far as I know, Justin doesn't spend his free time in department store windows. If he did, I'd be camped out at the store before you could spell "stalker." Just sayin'. I also really don't think any of this is true, because I made it up and all.
Note: And Justin arrives. Isn't he pretty?
“What the fuck is that?” AJ’s eyes widened as JC struggled through the back door. “Dude, help him!” AJ yelled at the closest coworker.
“No. I got it. I made it here, didn’t I?” JC said, laughing. He carried a large square package that he could barely stretch his arms wide enough to carry. “Can we get this right into the window? I don’t want anything to happen to it.”
“Sure, man.” AJ clocked JC in and grabbed the keys. “What is it?”
“Our backdrop. It’s the thing that will pull the window together,” JC promised. “At least, I hope it will.”
AJ hurried ahead of JC, unlocking the door to the window display and helping JC maneuver his way inside. “Holy fuck,” AJ gasped, staring at the rainbow of color splashed across the large canvas.
“This is half. The other half isn’t quite dry. I’ll bring it tomorrow.” JC looked at the wall. “We should be able to fasten some hooks in, and…”
“You painted this?”
“Yeah.” JC shrugged and laughed at AJ’s face. “It’s just a rainbow, AJ.”
“But…the way the colors run together without RUNNING together.” AJ’s mouth snapped open and shut. “Wow.”
“Now I’m beginning to see this,” AJ said, stepping back. “The rainbow goes there…and the table at the end.”
“Right. With the jewelry on it,” JC said. “The gold at the end of the rainbow.”
“So how many mannequins do you want?”
“Seven colors in the rainbow, Aje,” JC said gently.
“Duh.” AJ smacked himself with his notebook. “How many of what?” JC stared at him. “Boys…girls…dogs…”
“Dogs.” JC shook his head. “Um…four male, three female, I think.” JC smiled. “I’m kinda excited to build them. It’s like playing Barbies or something.”
AJ slowly turned around and stared at him. “It’s NOT like playing Barbies.”
JC let loose with an actual giggle. “I’m kidding, AJ. I just said that to get a rise out of you. I am excited, though.”
“Well, let’s head over there, then. We’ll grab one of the big carts, and that way we can throw the clothes in. I think we may need one more guy’s outfit, though.”
“No problem,” JC said, deep in thought as he followed AJ out.
AJ grabbed what looked like a triple-sized laundry cart and wheeled it through the mannequin area. “Wanna get your hands on the boys while I feel up the girls?” AJ asked with a grin.
“Funny. “ JC studied the random pieces of torso, legs and arms. “I want one kneeling, one squatting, one standing, okay?”
“Sure thing, boss,” AJ said, digging through a bin.
“Don’t call me boss,” JC muttered. He wandered around until he got a feel for where everything was, then started on his own work.
AJ was a lot quicker, and soon had most of the female parts in the cart. “How about hair color?”
“Uh, two blonde, one brunette,” JC said absently. He tossed mannequin heads over his shoulder, trying to ignore the weird way they all seemed to stare at him.
“You pick the girls, okay? It’s your baby,” AJ said. “This cart’s about full…why don’t you grab one of the smaller ones for the heads and stuff?” AJ slowly pulled his cart out of the room, heading for the window.
“Got it,” JC said. He quickly pulled out three female heads and put them in a smaller cart. He dug through the bin of male heads, picking out three and digging for a fourth. A slice of blue caught his eye, and he froze. Digging down through the bin, he slowly tugged out a young male head, with a pair of insanely deep blue eyes. “Oh, my God,” JC whispered. He ran a hand over the cheekbone of the mannequin’s face. “That’s…no.” He shook his head and carefully placed the head in the bin. “Weird.” He quickly grabbed hair for the men, trying to ignore the fact that he carefully searched for just the right shade of blond-brown curls.
Three hours later, AJ had two of the girls dressed and standing in the window. “This is gonna look great, JC,” he commented. “The color…it’s just what we need.”
“I hope so.” JC buttoned up a shirt and carefully sat a male mannequin aside. “Okay…so you’re working on Orange, Green and Indigo. I have Violet finished here, and I think I have everything for Blue. Yellow’s pants aren’t working for me, and I have no clue what I want for Red.”
“You okay down here by yourself? I should really go in and start breaking down the west upstairs,” AJ said.
“I’ll be fine. Actually, I’ll walk out with you…wanna grab pants for Yellow and figure out what the hell is going on with Red.” JC locked the door behind them.
“You talk about them like you know them or something,” AJ teased. JC blushed.
“No. I don’t…I just…I think of colors like they have personality, that’s all. I always have.”
“Nothing wrong with that. You forget that I work with color a lot.” AJ flexed his tattooed arms. “Ink comes alive for me.”
JC shuddered. “Please stop making me think of needles.”
AJ laughed. “I’ll come grab you for lunch, okay?”
“Later, cat.” JC headed for the menswear department. He found a pair of blue-grey jeans that would work with the yellow shirt. He grabbed black jeans, black loafers and a red polo shirt, along with a red golfer’s hat.
He let himself back into the window and quickly dressed the yellow mannequin. He took his time on the red mannequin without even noticing, carefully sliding the jeans up the slender legs. He had a bit of a hard time; the legs were bent, which made things a bit more difficult. He fastened the feet on, and stood the mannequin up. JC tried not to stare at the mannequin’s eyes as he put the head in place, but couldn’t help it. “Beautiful,” he whispered to himself, then shook his head. He fastened the hair tightly, then slid the hat on. “You’ll do,” he said with a sigh, feeling he wasn’t doing the beautiful eyes justice. “I mean, it IS my first window and all.” JC turned back to the yellow mannequin, and heard a slap of fabric. The red mannequin’s hat had fallen on the floor. “What, don’t you like your hat?” JC asked teasingly, carefully fixing it on the head again.
As soon as JC turned around, he heard a voice say. “Not really. Got anything in a porkpie style?”
JC stumbled and fell flat on his face as he tried to turn around. “Jesus fucking Christ!” He gasped.
The young man from the coffee shop, the one that had kissed JC on the street, knelt in front of him. “Did you hurt yourself? Are you okay?”
JC’s mouth gaped open and shut. This was the same man, same eyes, same curls, same smile…wearing the clothes of the red mannequin. “I…I think I hit my head.”
“God, I’m sorry.” A large hand reached out to gently stroke JC’s curls. “I didn’t mean to hurt you. Do you feel like you’re gonna pass out?”
“Yes,” JC squeaked.
“Put your head between your knees,” the man ordered, pushing at JC’s head.
JC obeyed, trying to ignore the way his world was spinning. The hand still stroked his hair, gentle and reassuring. “I…you…”
“Calm down,” the man said soothingly.
JC scrambled away, pulling himself to his feet. He knocked over all the female mannequins in the process. “Don’t…you…calm down?” JC screeched. “You’re talking.”
“Um, yeah.” The man stared at him curiously. “It’s what people…oh. OH. Right.” He looked around the window. He quickly closed the curtains, and leaned back against the window. “I’m…not really a mannequin.”
“Uh-huh,” JC said weakly.
“First of all, my name is Justin.”
“Justin,” JC repeated.
“And your name is?”
Justin chuckled. “No, that’s MY name.”
“Oh, uh, JC. Well, Joshua Chasez, but everyone calls me JC.”
“JC.” Justin shrugged as he walked over to the painting. “I like Josh better.” He reached up and ran a finger over the canvas. “You did this.”
“Yeah.” JC didn’t really feel capable of many long words at this point.
“You can do better,” Justin said, turning around. “You always could.”
“Um, well, it’s just…for the window…and…I may be sick.” JC slid down to the floor, feeling woozy.
“I’m going to explain this now, and you’ll probably comprehend it sometime tomorrow morning,” Justin said with a grin. “VERY long story short, I’m a muse. Did you ever read any mythology?”
“Um, back in middle school, maybe?”
“Okay. There are these muses…originally only daughters of Zeus, but he had so many freaking kids he decided to use some of the boys to help out.” Justin rolled his eyes. “I lost track counting half-siblings at about nine hundred and six. Anyway, we flit around here and there, helping to inspire those who’ve lost their inspiration.”
“I’ve lost my inspiration?” JC asked.
“You lost it when that rat bastard walked out your door, JC. Long before that, actually.”
“How do you…”
“I know some things. Don’t ask,” Justin said sharply. “At any rate, I’m here to help inspire you.”
“To help me decorate store windows?” JC asked skeptically.
“For now. You’re made for bigger and better things, JC.” Justin gave him his brilliant smile. “I’m here to help.”
“How?” JC whispered, but Justin suddenly went silent. Not only did he go silent, but he completely froze back into plastic.
“JC, you okay in here?” AJ poked his head in the door, eyes widening at the sight of JC on the floor. “Are you okay?”
“I…fell. Hit my head,” JC said, slowly standing up and staring at the red mannequin. “I…I think I’m fine.”
“You’re as white as a sheet,” AJ said. “Go home.”
“AJ, I can’t. I have to work and…”
“I’ll cover for you. I’ll punch you out at three, or something.” AJ shoved JC towards the door. “Go home.”
“The red mannequin…” JC babbled, letting AJ push him. “Needs a red porkpie hat.”
“Got it,” AJ said. “Get out.”
“Okay,” JC said, blindly wandering back through the store.