Name: Chris

Title: reach out and touch someone

Fandom: Wizards of Waverly Place

Genre: Humor, mostly

Rating: M for innuendo and slight inappropriateness.

Summary: "Careful, Justin; that almost sounds like 'what are you wearing territory?' there." [Justin/Alex] Written for a prompt from omgjustinalex at Livejournal. Oneshot.

And I apologize for the very lame, very overused title. ;)

……

So Justin hasn't spoken to her in like, weeks.

Well, they've stretched out into over a month now. Not that she's counting or anything.

It's just that she misses prank calling him, that's all. Something she can't do when his finger is glued to the ignore button whenever she calls.

And yes, it may be mean, but if calling his wand is what it takes to get his attention…so be it. Who cares if she hasn't done it since she was Miss Higglebottom. He needs to learn that she's not going anywhere.

Besides, he shouldn't be carrying it around with him if he's so terrified someone will see it. That's what memory spells are for, duh.

"Alex!" he hisses, and she can just imagine what shade of red he's turning and it makes what her grandma calls the cockles of her heart warm. Like comfort food.

He makes an impatient sound, like he wants to yell at her but can't because there are people around him and that's just all the better for her. The more irritated he gets the easier it is to manipulate him and soon he'll forget what he was upset about in the first place.

"You can't keep prank calling me on my wand, Alex. Sooner or later someone will notice."

Alex leans back on her bed and grins to herself. Yes, this was exactly what she needed. "You know how to solve that little problem, right?" She doesn't wait for him to respond. It was rhetorical after all. "Answer your phone."

Is it possible to hear someone blush?

"I um, I've been, you know-"

"Chicken."

"Busy."

Now she all but hears him frown. And blush. More.

She snorts. "Sure, busy. Fine. Funny how you got busy right after you caught me and Luke-"

He hangs up. Of course.

At least he talked to her. And she doesn't necessarily want anyone to see him talking into a stick anyway. She does have to claim him on occasion.

……

The semester's almost over and Justin hasn't been back to visit since before Halloween. He even went home with his roommate for Thanksgiving. To Omaha.

Alex isn't sure she even knows where Omaha is. She just knows its far away from New York and even Harper didn't even try to fake the cheeriness of a Justin free holiday.

She goes online that night and cancels his cell phone and his credit card and sets her wand to call his every fifteen minutes.

He finally calls back-on a new cell phone number-to yell at her, not even pausing for a breath and she hears the dial tone before she can respond.

Responding later is better anyway.

If it didn't make it so easy for her she'd tell him to choose harder passwords. She wonders how long it will take him to realize she's deleted the entire contents of his iTunes and replaced his nerdy folksy junk with John Denver and Liza Minelli.

Apparently hers is easy as well and she turns her laptop on to find the best of Bread and Dolly Parton's greatest hits.

Grinning, Alex hits play and sets about disabling the email accounts he thinks she doesn't know about.

(What? You think she doesn't have backups?)

……

One night, well past his self imposed bedtime (she thinks, its been so long and she doesn't really know anymore) Justin calls her and she has to get out of bed to grab her phone off the dresser.

Her wand was there too. Otherwise she wouldn't have budged.

"Alex, I don't know how you did it, but I need my term paper back."

Smirking over a yawn, she snuggles back down into her warm blankets. "I was bored during study hall."

"You're supposed to study in study hall. Hence the name."

Her nose wrinkles. "Did you really just say hence at three am?" Honestly, he'll never change.

(She hopes. But don't tell.)

(He's just such an easy mark. Yeah. That's it.)

"You're what, 60 now?"

Justin harrumphs and she makes a few comments about his old man sweaters to egg him on, to which he responds about the irony of her in a study hall.

"Mr. Laritate is trying to keep an eye on me," she tells him.

Snorting, he instructs her to wish Mr. Laritate good luck for him and hangs up. His paper vanishes off the top of her bureau.

With a roll of her eyes that's really just habit she calls him back.

Hey, if she has to be awake then so does he.

……

Two weeks before Christmas, she steps it up.

Justin's got some work study thing with his Lit professor and won't be able to get home until Christmas Eve. It's not as if a train ride from Connecticut is going to be hard to arrange or anything.

His shopping is all done and been shipped home in a big box with their address in Justin's neat and tidy block script. Hers, of course, isn't and her mother is nagging at her so they go shopping after school and she grabs the first things she sees in the appropriate departments. She thinks Justin might like the watch she picks out, cause yeah she does have way better taste than him, but in rounding the children's department in a dash for an empty checkout line her eye gets caught and she just has to.

"Really, Alex?" he demands, and she can hear the background snickers over the line, "you sent a miniature pink Christmas tree to my dorm?"

"It's cute."

"It has little tiara ornaments!"

When he shrieks like that there is absolutely no keeping a straight face and she has to hang up before she drops her phone down a subway grate.

……

Alex calls him that night when 12 pizzas are delivered to her because, lame.

At least her dad and Max are happy.

Justin doesn't answer his phone. Some chick does, all breathy little baby voice and says he's in the shower. She hangs up immediately.

Well, almost immediately.

She tells the girl to make sure and have Justin call Marge back at the free clinic, please? It's urgent.

……

When her phone rings a few minutes later she holds it up to the speakers of her computer. It isn't like she downloaded Showgirls for herself. Ew.

This time, its him that hangs up at once and she leaves the corniest, most blatantly sleazy song from Striptease soundtrack on his dorm room answering machine the next day.

……

Harper won't admit it, but Alex thinks she may have helped Justin out with the whole unicorn patterned training bras in her gym locker.

And yeah, who else would find a way to cram his school mailbox full of flyers for 900 numbers and Vinny's All Nude Male Review.

……

"Truce?" Justin asks that night.

She thinks about it for a second. "Hm, what's in it for me?"

This has been fun after all.

"I won't be forced to go public with that picture I have of you in your bunny pajamas."

Oh…that's low. "I was 14!"

"And you sent a condom bouquet to my anatomy lab."

Oh yeah. She forgot about that one.

"I get the picture?"

"And I get whatever you were planning to do to me next."

Yeah, she can live with that. The generic Viagra in his Christmas stocking probably would have gotten her grounded for like, ever, and her funds are running low from all the shipping fees.

Magic only goes so far.

"Deal."

"So," he tells her, "you've kinda got a fan for life in my roommate."

Alex laughs. "Why, do you nitpick at his housekeeping and study habits too?"

"Shoving all the clothes on your floor under the bed is not housekeeping." Justin sighs deeply, like he's imparting some profound wisdom and she's the village idiot. "Besides, he'd never believe it."

"Believe what?"

"Oh he thinks I'm lying about you being my sister," Justin says simply.

Uh, what?

"Why would you lie about that? Don't little sisters pull pranks on their brothers in Utah?"

"Nebraska." Wow, is that like, reflexive or something? "And get this; he says my sister would never email me porn, so you must be some girl I'm having this pseudo-unhealthy, in denial flirtation with. And he said something about role playing."

Like she needs that image in her head.

"Gross."

Justin chuckles. "Yeah. He's a psych major."

"What did you tell him?" Sue her, she's curious.

"I told him he obviously never met my sister." Justin pauses for a second. "He offered to get us both free therapy at the Student Center. I can't decide if I should be insulted or not."

She's not either, so she decides to be amused instead. "Oh come on, Justin. This is just what we do."

Alex can see him working that over in his head, down to the scrunched eyebrows and hands worrying themselves on his knees. She leans back and turns her lamp off. As soon as this conversation is over she is so going to bed. All this late night plotting and hacking into his email has been interfering with her sleep schedule. She likes her ten hours when she can get them, thank you.

When he does answer, his voice sounds…odd. "You have to admit that the…you know, suggestive stuff is new."

Snorting, Alex rolls over onto her side. He's such a prude. "Suggestive?" she teases, knowing the heat is rising up his neck by the way he clears his throat. "Why, whatever do you mean, Justin?"

Squeaking-yes, squeaking-a little, like he's 12 and not 18 and in college, he says, "I can't remember you pulling something so…"

"Imaginative?"

"Racy." His voice only cracks a little. Wow, she's almost proud.

But not 'proud' in that way that she's not going to mock him forever.

Its kind of in the job description.

Settling down in her bed so she's good and comfy and wow, she just found that perfect spot, she feels her tongue poke through her teeth when she grins. "Racy, hmm?" Not saying anything is pretty much spot on from what she'd expect from him but that doesn't mean she's going to like, stop or anything. Please. "Careful, Justin; that almost sounds like 'what are you wearing territory?' there." Alex lets her voice do that husky thing that guys like and she's really enjoying this too much.

He did say that therapy was free, right?

Still, Justin is quiet. But it's a different kind of quiet now, less of that Justin-is-embarrassed-and-its-funny way and more Justin-is-embarrassed-and-oddly-tense kind of way.

Not that she can see him. She's going on how well she knows her brother here. And she knows him pretty well.

Scratch that, she knows him very well. Maybe even, dare she say it, too well.

"Oh come on, Justin. Chill a little over there before you have a stroke and stop being all Quiet Man."

"We watched that movie in film class," he says hurriedly in what has got to be the most pathetic attempt at changing the subject ever. "You know, John Wayne gets pigeonholed for all those westerns, but actually-"

Halfway screaming in protest, she demands him to be quiet. "I don't care about John Wayne. Why are you being weird and pitchy?"

"Pitchy?" Oh yeah, his voice is for sure cracking now that it's been brought to his attention. "I'm-" He clears his throat in that loud, deliberate way their dad does when he gets up. Yuck. "I'm fine."

Alex snorts because, is he serious?

"Yeah, that line could possibly work on someone who hasn't known you their whole life…no, it wouldn't." She's gonna be completely honest here, as so many people have told her to be pretty much her entire life. "You're a terrible liar, Justin. Just so you know."

This makes her think of what started this whole entire situation, when Justin decided to come home for the weekend on the spur of the moment and walked into her room (why?) to find her with the guy she was seeing at the time.

And yes, there was some state of undress. She had thought no one else was home.

It wouldn't have killed him to knock or call out her name or send up a smoke signal. Something.

Then they wouldn't be here. And 'here' is beginning to get a little uncomfortable.

Alex really, really hate uncomfortable.

"I am fine," he insists, pauses. "I'm just…"

Just what? Upset? Angry? Bothered by her behavior? Contrary to popular belief; he's not exactly a saint himself.

"It was a shock." He says it so, so quiet that she barely hears him.

Only she does.

There's a weird tug in her heart and, freaky as it sounds, it's almost like, maybe, she didn't actually hear it so much as feel it.

She said it was freaky.

What she does here, after her fog clears, is the dial tone.

……

Alex and Luke only made it a few days after Justin walked in on them. He had been surprised, a bit angry, but he took it well she thought.

There was that whole 'she cares too much about what her brother thinks' thing. But people say weird stuff when they're angry.

He had been there the day she walked in to school and found her locker painted pink with little hearts all over it. Laritate, of course, thought she had done it but Luke walked over and gave her an alibi to keep her out of a suspension.

Leaning against the locker, he looked down at her and asked who she thought could be behind it.

"Justin," she had said flatly. Even the inside was pink, ugh. "We're kind of having this prank war."

She watched his eyebrows knit together, his face darkening. "I thought you guys weren't speaking."

It had come up during the break up. Not her doing. Harper's.

"Long story."

He had been after her long enough, heard enough from Harper and Max. "It always is."

……

Three days pass before Justin calls her again. And for once she hasn't been bugging him.

"You being quiet makes me nervous."

Duh. She rolls her eyes. "Clowns make you nervous."

Sputtering, he tries to reason it away. He must have forgotten who he's talking to. "It's not a good idea to be that exuberant and careless. I'm sure the percentage of accidents goes up every year."

"Clowns, Justin. Grown men in make-up and floppy shoes. Not exactly the menace to society you paint them to be."

He grumbles, naturally.

This is going nowhere. Fast.

"The other night, you said you were surprised."

Yeah, she's diving right in. It'll be better in the long run.

"Alex-"

"Come on, Justin. We can talk about this."

He sighs and then she hears the sound of a squeaky mattress spring as he moves on his bed. It's late, like it always is when they talk lately, so she assumes he's planning to go to sleep after they hang up.

"Its just that," he begins, and she knows that this must be difficult for him-talking to her about this stuff, "I've never…thought about you in that way." Hearing him suck in a harsh breath, Alex knows that he must have picked up on the way that sounded. "I didn't mean it like that, honest, I just-"

She takes pity on him. "You're gonna trip over your tongue."

Justin chuckles nervously. Like she said, he's a prude. And she is his little sister. Whom he caught half dressed with her boyfriend. That's bound to make the prudishness go up a few thousand notches. If the situation were reversed…

Remembering the girl that answered his phone Alex decides that she is so not letting her imagination go there.

When he does start speaking again, he speaks slow and deliberate and has that exact tone he uses when he's about to start scolding her for something. "You shouldn't be bringing guys up to your room when Mom and Dad aren't home, Alex."

"They won't let me when they are home," she quips, unable to resist yanking his chain.

"I'm serious."

Laughing, she says, "You always are."

Tonight, Alex is the one who hangs up first.

……

It's 8 am and her phone is ringing.

Not cool.

Groaning, she rolls over and grabs it off her nightstand. "Dude, it's Saturday," she whines without even looking at the ID.

"It bothers me, alright?"

Justin. Of course.

"What bothers you?" Alex yawns and rearranges the pillow under her head. If she falls asleep…well, he is the one who called her. It would serve him right. "People waking you up to list their complaints? Oh no, that's me."

When he doesn't snark back at her Alex knows that he actually is upset.

"You and that guy," he clarifies. "That bothers me."

Huh? "It did?"

"Yeah."

She has to know. "Why?"

There's another one of those uncomfortable pauses and she just wants to go back to sleep. She wants this to be a bad dream, wants a do-over.

Yes, she wanted to know. But sometimes its better to not know. That's one thing she's always believed in.

Plus the awkwardness? Kinda waking her up and she wants to go back to sleep.

"I just…I don't like it," he says.

"Yeah, that's not vague at all." Sighing, Alex sits up and glares at the glowing numbers on her clock radio. Just because he's having issues that means she has to be awake? So. Not. Fair.

And there's totally more to the story than he's letting on. She can feel it.

"What about you?" she says. "I called you and some chick answered your phone and you were in the shower." (Not. Picturing it. Not.) "Like that was totally innocent."

"It's not the same thing, Alex."

Oh, no way he just said what she thinks he did.

"And how does that work, Justin? Cause you're a guy? Cause you're older? Explain to me how it's not the same thing."

"It just isn't," he says.

She hangs up, hitting the button so hard it hurts her finger and she grunts in frustration and annoyance. There's nothing else to do but throw her phone at the wall.

So it shatters. That's what magic is for, duh.

……

Alex refuses to talk to Justin after that. She doesn't see him until he comes home for Christmas.

……

Things are tense. And everyone feels it.

"I thought you guys made up." Harper pouts her lips and sighs. Alex bites her tongue to keep the fact that she looks like a sad cartoon puppy to herself. Its not Harper's fault that Justin won't come anywhere near her when she's with Alex.

Stupid big brothers and their stupid double standards.

No matter what anyone says, they can't prove she slipped anything into his soup.

Wizard, remember?

……

The phone starts ringing at 5 am on Christmas morning.

Seriously?

"Justin, God. You're in the next room."

"You can't hit me over the phone."

She's seething, not even gonna lie. "I repeat; you're in the next room." He knows a threat when she slings it at him. "What's with the phone?"

"It seems to almost work for us," he tells her.

Well. Maybe.

Despite the fact that he's been awake for a while (she can tell) his voice is all husky and deep and raspy. From trying to be quiet? Alex isn't sure, but its sort of…nice.

"A lot of things work for us that shouldn't." That came out on its own. Honest.

And she's not positive, but she thinks she hears Justin suck in a breath and oh yeah, she's awake now.

But its only because its hot in her bedroom. Yeah. That's it.

"That guy," he says, "you two serious?"

"No. I dumped him a few days after." Ugh. Why didn't she lie. 'We're madly in love and gonna have a dozen babies and live here until his band takes off' is what she should have said. He would have flipped. "What about you and phone girl?"

"Doug's girlfriend." Oh. The roommate.

Figures.

"I'm not a kid anymore, Justin. I'm almost 17. The fact that I date shouldn't surprise you."

"It doesn't."

Okay, Alex was not prepared for that.

Or the heat that swims to her face that has nothing to do with the room temperature.

She can tell the truth sometimes.

"You don't…still sleep in those flannel pajamas like Grandpa's, do you?"

For a second the line is so quiet she thinks maybe he fell asleep or something.

Then, "No."

Squeezing her eyes shut, she just goes for it. "What are you wearing?"

God she sounds like such a cliché. This is gonna end so bad.

"Alex…"

"Just…just, go with it. Okay?"

His breathing changes, goes heavy. "A Yale shirt and my plaid boxers."

Hmm. Not bad.

"What about you?"

Alex looks down at herself. She forgot and now… "One of your old button downs." Did her subconscious plan this without her permission or something?

Justin clears his throat and she blushes. "Really?"

She bobs her head and then remembers he's on the phone and can't hear her. "Yeah. The blue one with the white collar." She undoes a button to get some air on her flushed skin and tells him about it. "Maybe…you should take your shirt off."

There are some muffled sounds of rustling and then he's back on the line. "Okay."

Having never done this before, Alex isn't exactly sure what to do next so she's just gonna compensate and drops her voice to that tone she used that one time this came up. "What about the boxers?"

"I don't like the fake voice." Well. Someone's blunt.

And to be blunt herself-it sort of turns her on.

"Fine," she huffs, annoyed that he can do this to her. "Boxers. Now."

More rustling. "Shirt," he instructs. Fingers shaky (damn it) she undoes the few buttons she has left and that's no easy task with trying to keep the phone pressed between her ear and shoulder. She throws it across the room and then thinks of a better idea. She grabs her wand and with a flick of her wrist it disappears.

"Nice touch," Justin says. In her head she can see it in his hand and she grins, scooting down in her bed to get a little more comfortable. "Anything else need to go?"

Anything else? Her hands slip down to grab the elastic waistband of her very unsexy yellow cotton underwear. "Not anymore."

Justin's breathing is louder now, sounds like its coming from next to her and not over her cheap cell phone, and she can only imagine what her own sounds like when her heart is pretty much doing the samba behind her ribs.

If she leaves it up to him they're never going to get any further and this will just be one twisted memory that they'll bury and try to ignore whenever they're together.

Not happening.

More nervous than she has ever been in her life, she takes a deep, deep breath and steels her nerve. "I tried a new body lotion before I went to bed. You wouldn't believe how soft my skin is right now."

A little noise makes its way out of her throat when he groans a little and yeah, so this is definitely what they're doing.

"It's called Pure Seduction," she goes on. This time the blush is more about the schmaltzy name than anything else. "I got it from Victoria's Secret."

"Did…" His voice cracks and wow, it should not be hot but weirdly enough, it is. Way hot. "Did you get anything else?"

By now Alex is full out grinning but figures she so earned it. "A few things. It was a half off sale."

Bad pun, but hey, whatever works.

"And I tried on some other stuff that was way hot but sort of complicated so I had to have the salesgirl help me into some of it."

Justin grunts and she gets this incredibly vivid image in her head and even though she's only imagining here, it makes heat flood the lower half of her body.

As much as it pains her to admit it, she's never felt anything quite so strong before. Which is weird. Then she thinks about how easy Justin is to manipulate and that of course leads down a very inappropriate and very intriguing path and she bites her lip in an attempt to stifle her moan.

She fails. Horribly.

(There's going to be a special place in Hell after this, just for her.)

"Alex…don't stop yourself," he pleads, sounding all desperate and sexy and wow.

"Okay."

Never, ever, has she so easily succumbed to Justin's orders before but she can't help it. Refusing might end things and that would just piss her off at this point.

"Are you…" Face impossibly hot at this point, her hand sort of drifts lower on it's on and they both whimper when she breathes out, "I am."

He's sort of panting now. "Yeah."

"I've never told you this (like she said, she can't leave this up to him) that time I walked in on you in the shower, I looked. And I thought about it. A lot."

"You did?"

Nodding again, she moves her hand to ease some of the pressure or else she's gonna get way uncomfortable. "Yeah. A lot." His breathing is growing louder and her temperature is going higher her neck arches back of its own accord. "Have you ever…you know, thought about me?"

"Yes," he gasps out. No way he had any intention or foresight in saying that at all.

"Often?"

He grunts a little again (damn him) and she hears some shifting around and rustling sheets. "You're not the only one who walked in without knocking."

"I don't remember that."

"You know that you close your eyes when you dance around." He pauses to clear his throat again. "And you were in the shower with the shower radio up really loud so you didn't hear me."

Loud? "You knew I was in there?"

"I knocked."

Hey, there's no need to apologize right now and she tells him that. "You think you thought about me more than I thought about you?"

"Definitely," he says.

"What'd you think about-exactly?"

He tells her and she feels a little light headed and truthfully, impressed. She had no idea Justin was so…creative.

"Chocolate Cool-Whip?"

He's so blushing. She knows it.

But his voice sounds less shaky than it has the whole time. "Tell me about that terrace thing again?"

He's going to be using that one a lot. Alex knows him.

That's when she decides maybe they should do something about how unbelievably ready she is. "Why don't I tell you in person?" And maybe she wants to see how well she actually does know him.

She has doubts now. Good ones.

"Alex!" He sounds scandalized, which makes her laugh because they should both be. They've been having fairly tame phone sex (only 'fairly' since it is her brother on the other end of the line) on Christmas morning while the rest of their family is asleep in the surrounding rooms. "We-"

"I think we're past the point of pretending here, Justin."

"Good point."

Grinning, she raises her hand and checks for morning breath. All good. "So…your room or mine?"

……

I happen to love Pure Seduction from Victoria's Secret so I had to work it in. :)