nsync in black and white

Disclaimer: this is fiction. We made it up.

Like Something Happened

by Tomilee, written for LisaChasez

Justin paces from one end of his hotel room to the other. He should have told JC to come sooner. Then this would be over by now. Over. Justin swallows as he thinks the word. Over. This whole thing being over could be very good or very, very bad. Justin swallows again. He will not think about either option right now.

It’s silly really. Justin shouldn’t be worried about something like this. So what if he’s about to tell one of his best friends he’s in love with him. There is nothing to be worried about.

HA! Justin thinks as he takes another pass through the hotel room. He stops at the desk to line up the bottom edges of the phone, the notepad and the pen so they are equally spaced. Then, he nudges his shoes so they’re lined up against the wall. After tat, he stops to check out his hair in the bathroom mirror. He likes the curls. He has them almost to the perfect fro. When he was younger, he hated his hair, but now he’s nineteen and rich and famous. If he wants a giant, blond fro, he’ll have one.

Justin pats the curls on each side and thinks, Maybe some day I’ll even get rid of it. Just shave it all off. Wouldn’t that just shock everyone?! He smirks at himself in the mirror and feels more confident. When he hears the knock on the door, he can feel all of his confidence drain from him. It feels like the energy escapes from the tips of his fingers and toes.

“You can do this,” Justin says semi-convincingly to his own reflection. With a nod, he switches off the light and heads to the door. On the way, he stops to straighten his stack of cd’s.

"It's not like I've pined away," Justin swallows, "or anything like that."

JC blinks. That's all he does. Stand there, still as can be, and blinks. In an attempt not to hyperventilate, Justin holds his breath. And blinks too.

In what Justin hopes is a positive sign, JC opens his mouth as if to respond. When no sound escapes, Justin deflates. Oh, well, he thinks, it was worth a shot.

All of the things Justin was afraid to let himself consider before he declared his love to JC? Yeah, they’re flooding through his brain now. He’ll never talk to JC again. They’ll never hang out or sing together or anything. The band will break up, and he’ll go broke and have to live a solitary life as monk or something. That’s it! He can go to Tibet and become a Buddhist monk. Justin shakes his head. But it isn’t like JC will be offended or anything. Hearing that someone loves you is always a good thing. Isn’t it?

"Okay, see, I was worried this would happen. I mean, not this exactly, but that it might be weird. Or, um, different, in a bad way." Justin shoves his hands in his pockets then pulls them out and crosses his arms over his chest then shakes his arms out at his sides. Then he whispers, "It's okay to say you don't feel the same way. I'll understand."

“I’m – uh – um,” JC scratches his nose, pulls on his earlobe, crosses and uncrosses his arms over his chest, then begins to chew a ragged cuticle on his thumb. It looks like an elaborate sign from a third base coach telling a batter to bunt.

“No, no,” Justin takes a step backwards, “you don’t have to say anything.”

Justin doesn’t know what he expected. Everything out of the ordinary makes JC tongue-tied so really this isn’t any indication of JC’s feelings concerning Justin’s declaration. It is just proof of JC’s inability to face anything real and sudden. Justin sighs and looks at his shoes. “Maybe I should give you some time.”

“Yeah,” JC says but doesn’t move. Justin looks up. He hopes he can read something from JC’s expression, but his face is blank. Not scared or angry or happy or anything. Not even confused. Just blank. And blinking.

“So maybe you want to go back to your room,” Justin says. JC licks his lips, and Justin has to tear his eyes away. Instead, he studies the painting on the wall behind JC’s head. It’s a sailboat. On a lake. With the sun shining. “Maybe we could just pretend this never happened.”

“Yeah,” JC says again. Justin is relieved when he starts to turn toward he door. He’ll just go to bed even though it’s only 10. Yeah, he’ll sleep and sleep, and in the morning this will just seem like a bad dream. A painful, heartbreakingly bad dream.

When JC’s hand is on the doorknob, he says, “No,” and turns back to Justin, “I don’t want to pretend like this never happened.”

JC takes a step toward Justin, and all Justin can do is blink. His brain seems to have gone offline. He watches as JC licks his lips again. When JC slides his fingers across Justin’s cheek and buries his fingers in Justin’s curls, Justin shudders.

Justin touches the tip of his thumb to JC’s bottom lip. JC’s tongue darts out, and he sucks Justin’s thumb between his lips. Justin sucks in a sharp breath. He isn’t prepared for this. He thought there would be more talking. Justin isn’t sure he’ll be able to make it through this in one piece, but he doesn’t care.

Especially when JC’s hand slides down Justin’s neck to rest on his shoulder. JC’s thumb slide across the skin just beneath the neckline of Justin’s t-shirt. He shudders out a breath and runs his other hand through JC’s hair.

This is actually happening, Justin thinks as licks his own lips.

“I definitely don’t want to pretend like nothing happened,” JC whispers as he leans in to press his lips to Justin’s.


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