nsync in black and white

Disclaimer: this is fiction. We made it up.

eternally yours

bykrystanna, written for gina
Author's Note: the rola of Raoul is technically supposed to be sung by a baritone. Both JC and Justin sing lines from The Point of No Return,
a song in The Phantom of the Opera, to each other. Elisa inspired me.

Curtain Call

Broadway Musical Undergoes A Radical Transformation

Earlier this year, Howard McGillin announced his intention to leave his role as the titular character in Broadway’s longest running show, The Phantom of the Opera in September 2006. Set to replace him was Hugh Panaro, a Phantom vet, and a member of the original Broadway cast of Lestat. Surprisingly, or not, depending on who you ask, Panaro has announced his intention to leave The Phantom of the Opera before he was even set to begin. Panaro will instead be reprising his role in the Lestat revival.

When asked if there had been a complete overhaul of the words and music that led him to choose Lestat over The Phantom of the Opera once again, Panaro appeared puzzled and replied, “You know, you’ve got to understand the character you play. Personally, I relate to a blood-hungry vampire better than a deformed dude in love with an immature child.”

His statement annoyed many diehard “phans” and even prompted a response from the Burn Victims Against Defamation Society, who issued the following press statement, “Burns do not make a person ‘deformed’.”

As if filling the role of the Phantom will not be difficult enough, Michael Shawn Lewis and Rebecca Pitcher have also recently announced that they would remain with The Phantom of the Opera through the end of September only. Lewis is taking a few years off from Broadway to make his relationship with John Tartaglia (“Avenue Q”) official, and then “raise their love children,” said a statement issued by the couple.

Pitcher is leaving due to the high stress of the role of Christine Daae on her vocal chords. “I just can’t do it anymore,” she said. “I want to be able to sing well into my old age.”

It’s been rumored that the producers of the show are looking to go with a younger cast this time around, without regard for canon.


Act One

Justin tried to look confident, or at least as confident as one can appear while pacing in small circles, because he remembered his momma saying “Never let ‘em see you sweat, baby,” and he thought his momma gave good advice. He’d been waiting all day to get called for what felt like the thousandth round of auditions. It was a long, arduous process and he wanted to be able to sleep at night without worrying about whether or not he nailed his performance that day, or whether or not they’d thought he was good enough. As he looked around the room at the competition, he felt stupid for ever having tried out. Of course The Phantom of the Opera doesn’t want an unknown as the lead, they want people with actual experience, he thought to himself. What have I gotten myself into?

“The final round of Phantom auditions,” he heard someone say into his left ear, a smile in their voice.

Justin turned to see who’d spoken, embarrassed for having thought out loud. He was greeted by a familiar blue-eyed gaze. “Thanks,” Justin replied, shaking his head. “However glad I am that I’ve made it here, I can’t help but think it’ll all end up being a spectacular waste of time.”

The stranger smirked. “What? The experience,” he motioned to the rest of the waiting area with his hands, “didn’t make it worth your while?”

The mannerisms gave him away; as soon as he started gesticulating, Justin was able to recall where he’d seen this gorgeous man before. “JC Chasez,” he blurted out.

The man, JC, looked confused at first, then pleased. “I’m afraid we haven’t been introduced.”

Justin could felt the heat rising up his neck, into his cheeks. “I, uh, saw you in Rent. Twice. I’m Justin. Timberlake.”

“Well, Justin Timberlake… I suppose it’s too much to hope for that you came to see it because of me,” JC said, eyes alight. He moved his body closer to Justin’s and waited for a reply.

“Not the first time,” Justin said, hoping JC would appreciate his candor. “The second time I was in the city with a few college buddies of mine, and it was you or Haylie Duff. I knew you’d satisfy.”

“I always deliver,” JC said, grinning mischievously.

Justin decided to file that though away for later. “So it’s true, then? You’re leaving Rent?”

JC shifted his weight from foot to foot briefly, while he considered his reply. “Nothing’s set in stone,” he said, and made a face. “Let’s be honest. I’ve been doing Mark for three years, and though I love every bone in that character’s neurotic body, I feel like a change of pace would put me back on my game. I need a challenge, cat.”

“I guess I know what you mean,” Justin said wryly, and tried not to look any more deflated than he had 20 minutes ago, as his chances of getting a part further diminished. “I mean, what bigger challenge is there than trying to get a role in the longest running show on Broadway, fresh out of college?”

JC laughed whole-heartedly. “You did look a little young…. But you seem self-assured. What’s with the defeated attitude? You wouldn’t have even bothered with all of this if you weren’t confident in your abilities.”

“Oh, I know I’m good,” Justin said, flashing his even white teeth, and JC grinned encouragingly. “But so is everyone else.”

“I’m not supposed to be helping out the competition, but you’ve made it this far, how much more painful could it be?” JC asked, and Justin hoped it was the voice of experience talking.


JC had been right in the sense that the audition itself hadn’t gotten any harder, the whole process just became a lot more nerve-wracking when they finally called his name… it was tense there for a couple of moments; Justin wasn’t sure he’d make it through his first song. But he’d pulled himself together by the time he started his choreography, and though he didn’t want to get ahead of himself, he thought he saw the panel smile at each other as he was leaving.

When he got back to the designated waiting area, with the exception of the cleaning crew, it was almost empty. He checked his watch, 8:43pm, he thought and saw JC standing not far from where they’d first started talking. He smiled in JC’s direction, and JC excitedly waved him over.

Justin’s heart sped up. Did he wait for me? He couldn’t stop himself from thinking it, but brushed the thought away immediately. Possible cast mate. I can see the break-up headlines now.

“So… How did it go?” JC said, smiling widely. He had a small gap between his two front teeth that Justin found ridiculously endearing.

“Good,” he said, shrugging. “I was nervous at first, but then I got into the performance zone, and just stopped worrying about it,” Justin replied, switching his duffel bag from his left to his right shoulder.

JC reached out, and rubbed Justin’s forearm. “I knew you’d be fine.”

Justin nodded, and couldn’t think of anything else to say. “Well-“

“Wanna go get something to drink?” JC cut him off.

Justin looked relieved. “Yeah,” he said, smiling. “I think I’d like that a lot.”


They ended up going to a bar that JC called a “dive with a really great atmosphere.” Justin didn’t really care where they went, but was generally leery of places that required a disclaimer.

JC, Justin noticed, had developed a manner of speaking that somehow allowed him to slip tons of JC flavored trivia in during normal conversation. For instance, on the short subway ride into Brooklyn, Justin learned that he liked to be called Josh in bed, loved to wear the color pink, had always wanted to be a singer and had cried like a fangirl when he met Patti Lupone. Although he wasn’t quite sure what to do with this new knowledge, Justin was fairly certain that sheer recollection alone would earn him points.

The “little place” actually turned out to be a shabby hole in the wall in Bay Ridge, that contrary to appearances, was completely renovated inside. “You know, I haven’t been here in years,” JC confessed, clutching his Guinness, and Justin couldn’t help but giggle. “Seriously, man, all of this,” JC waved at the décor, “is totally new.”

Justin leaned against the bar, and watched JC. The place was packed and smoky, and the humidity was starting to make JC’s hair frizzy. He looked beautiful. As JC turned to catch the bartender’s attention, a near-perfect tendril fell across his cheek and Justin had to stop himself, hand in midair, from tucking it behind JC’s ear.

“You want another?” JC yelled over the crowd, turning to face Justin once again.

“No thanks,” he said, looking away. Justin could tell that he’d had too much to drink already; his thoughts were foggy and he was starting to question why he’d put JC in the Firmly Off-Limits category to begin with.

JC placed another Sam Adams in front of Justin, anyway. JC leaned in to speak in Justin’s ear, so that he wouldn’t have to yell, and told him to live a little. “It’s not like you have an audition tomorrow, right?”

Justin smiled despite himself, and JC’s gaze dropped to his lips. “Josh,” Justin mumbled, almost desperate.

JC tilted his head, and leaned in closer. “What warm, unspoken secrets will we learn?” he sang, and pulled away, eyes twinkling.



The Phantom of the Opera Gets A Facelift

Media darling Christina Aguilera’s spokesperson has announced that Aguilera will be taking on the role of Christine Daae come October. Christine is a role she has “wanted to play forever.”

It has also been recently announced that JC Chasez, of Rent fame, will be leaving the role of photographer Mark Cohen to play Raoul, Vicomte de Chagny.

Perhaps the most shocking news is that a newcomer will play the role of the Phantom. Justin Timberlake, 25, reportedly “bounced around for a week” after finding out that he had been awarded the part.

Producers for the show are trying to take the show in a new direction, in an attempt to attract the new generation.


Act Two

Justin couldn’t believe how quickly time had flown. He could recall with perfect clarity the day he had found out he’d gotten the role. He’d been sitting in his apartment, watching television to give himself something to do other than compulsively check his voicemail, just in case he’d “somehow missed a call,” when his home phone rang. He’d answered expecting it to be his mother, or maybe even JC, who he had gotten quite close to during rehearsals, but when the director told him they wanted him to play the Phantom, Justin had screamed shrilly into the phone, and then accidentally hung up. Needless to say, it wasn’t his finest moment.

Now, with his Broadway debut quickly approaching, Justin was starting to get nervous again. Two dress rehearsals, and then he’d be expected to perform the show flawlessly eight times per week. What was I thinking?

“I do believe,” JC said, smiling, “that you have a habit of talking to yourself.”

Justin made a very attractive face at JC. “Ha ha ha ha ha. Or not.”

“You’re pretty cranky,” JC replied, trying not to laugh at Justin.

“How can you not be nervous?” Justin demanded.

JC chuckled. “Justin, I’ve been through this before. Sure, I’m nervous, but I’ve learned to hide it well.”

“But Christine gets an alternate for three shows!” Justin whined. “Why don’t I get one?”

JC gave up trying to hide how hilarious he found Justin’s discomfort to be. “Because you don’t have to sing Soprano. I’m sure if the Phantom’s balls were in a vice, you’d get one, too.”

“Oh, you’re funny, alright.”

“Relax a little, take deep breaths,” JC moved behind Justin and soothingly rubbed his back. “You’ve got this role down, we’ve been practicing for over a month. Trust me, you’re going to be great.”

Justin turned around and impulsively pulled JC into his arms. “Thank you so much for everything, Jayce. You put up with so much complaining from me, and I want you to know I really appreciate it.”

“Anytime,” JC mumbled into Justin’s neck, trying to inhale his scent. Detergent, a little sweat, and something that was pure Justin all mixed together. JC pulled back, and this time, when he looked into Justin’s eyes, he couldn’t think of a line fast enough to stop himself from pressing his lips to Justin’s.

When Justin felt JC kiss him, he stayed still. All the pent up attraction and affection he felt toward his cast mate welled up inside of him, and it took all his will power to pull away ever so slightly. “In my mind, I've already imagined our bodies entwining,” Justin sang, his lips brushing JC’s with every word. He pulled back a little further. “Please, just let me get through opening night first.”


“Jesus, stop moving,” Sandra, the make-up woman, said to Justin. He’d been fidgeting in his chair from the moment he sat down, over an hour ago, and she’d been quite patient with him.

“Sorry. I’m just so nervous,” Justin replied. “I think I might throw up. I want my Momma.”

Sandra was probably a little older than his mother, and Justin liked her very much. She was efficient, brutally honest, and usually didn’t mind when Justin complained to her. “She’s in the front row, waiting to watch you shine. You’ll be great, kid. I’ve been listening to you at rehearsals. You’ve come a long way,” she said, as she applied the prosthetic scars to the right side of Justin’s face. “Break a leg,” Sandra added, as she finished up.

Justin could only groan in response.


The roar of the crowd was deafening; Justin couldn’t believe the rush he felt as he took a second bow. JC squeezed his hand encouragingly on their way back up, and Justin sent him a blinding grin as the crowd stood in appreciation of their performance.

The show hadn’t gone off without a hitch, but as soon as Justin remembered that he was supposed to sing to Christine before he was actually seen on stage, things got much better. Justin and Christina had great chemistry, and when Justin was begging for her love, he saw genuine tears form in her eyes.

As the curtain dropped, JC excitedly pressed his lips to Justin’s, still not letting go of his hand.

Justin pulled away, again, and laughed. “ I think you’re getting a little ahead of yourself.”

JC frowned. “I thought you said-“

Justin rolled his eyes, and cut JC off. “This make-up?” he said, motioning to the area of his face the mask was currently covering, “Is starting to melt off. Not only is it incredibly uncomfortable, but it’s pretty gross looking.”

JC grinned, and leaned his face up towards Justin’s and said, “We’re past the point of no return.”

“Promise you won’t quote Andrew Lloyd Webber in bed, and I’ll kiss you now,” Justin replied.

“Promise,” JC blurted out, blushing. Justin leaned down, and sucked JC’s bottom lip into his mouth. As JC moved his hands to cup Justin’s face, he banged into the mask, and pulled away. “Meet me in my dressing room, please.”

Justin grinned predatorily at JC. “I’m yours.”



It’s been almost 6 years since Justin Timberlake first hit the public eye, playing the role of the Phantom in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical The Phantom of the Opera. Shortly after leaving the cast, he was offered a recording contract with Jive Records, released a CD, and toured the globe non-stop for almost 2 years. On the eve of the release of his second solo album, Timberlake takes some time off to sit down with Rolling Stone.

The Man Behind the Mask

Going from Broadway star to International Pop Sensation is virtually unheard of. At age 30, Justin Timberlake looks younger than his age, yet his surprisingly soft-spoken demeanor, knowing smile, and friendly mannerisms suggest wisdom beyond his years.

Timberlake took me to his favorite restaurant in New York, a great Brazilian infused Asian restaurant, albeit overpriced, that projects old Japanese Samurai movies on its brightly colored walls. It’s charmingly pretentious. During the interview, he’s polite and well mannered, a true product of his Southern upbringing. For a star that tries so hard to stay out of the spotlight, he’s very cooperative and willing to answer my questions about his personal life.

“It’s not that I mind when people ask,” he says, playing with his silverware, “it’s when they start making shit up that I get annoyed. Just last week my publicist was asked on three separate occasions if I was dating Jamie Lynn Spears. Barring the age difference,” he laughs, “hello? Much with the gay.”

I can’t help but smirk as Timberlake tells me that he agreed to his contract five years ago under the condition that he would be allowed to be openly gay. When I ask if he’s still seeing his former cast mate, JC Chasez, he tells me that they’re living together, and just celebrated their sixth anniversary. “It’s love,” he says simply. Throughout the interview, any mention of JC, or “Josh” as Justin calls him, will cause his eyes to soften subconsciously.

His charm is almost tangible. I will gladly admit to anyone that I was not too thrilled to be assigned this piece, but after spending the day with him, I feel like I’m in high school again, fawning over the captain of the football team. When I tell him this, he nearly spits out his drink (water, two lemon slices) and replies, “Isn’t that how it always works out in those small town stories? The captain’s gay, and can’t wait to get the hell out?” The conversation pauses a moment, perhaps for the first time all afternoon, as I consider the implications of what he’s said. Was he making a reference to his own life growing up in Millington, Tennessee? Sort of.

“I’ve always known I was gay, but I’m not very effeminate, so it was something that was easy to hide. Still, I remember hearing boys talking about ‘fags’ and ‘queers’ in the locker room, and I just couldn’t take the pressure. I don’t think it’s unique to the South, though. I’m sure there are homosexual high school students everywhere just about ready to snap from the expectations.” He begins fidgeting in his seat, and tapping his foot, and as he finishes his thought, I decide not to pursue it. “You know, it’s cliché, but sexuality is very personal and the only things I can say are ‘do what’s right for you’ and ‘find love’.”

He speaks knowledgeably on many subjects, and though he insists he’s incredibly pleased with his new album, he doesn’t want to talk about it (“Jive’s paying millions of dollars in advertising. I want them to get their money’s worth.”). He picks up the check, even after I tell him we have an expense account for things like this, and I ask him if he has time for one more question.

“Oh, sure,” Timberlake says with a smile. I ask him what his future plans are and if he thinks he’ll ever go back to Broadway.

“I think that’s two questions,” is the first thing he can come up with, maybe to buy him some time. “Well the album comes out next month, and then I’ll be touring… And Broadway’s tough,” he laughs. “I met a fan one night, that’s p-h-a-n, at the Stage Door, right before I decided to leave the cast, after what I can honestly say was my worst performance to date. She was decked out in all the merchandise and she yelled at me. She’d never had the opportunity to see the show on Broadway, and I ruined it for her by letting my shitty day influence my performance. I’m glad I had that opportunity, and I respect anyone who can live with the stress, but it’s not for me. I don’t want to be too definite, but certainly not in the near future.”

“And JC?” I ask.

His whole face lights up. “Josh and I are gonna sit in our apartment together listening to Patti Lupone recordings,” making their own beautiful music, I’m sure.


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