nsync in black and white

Disclaimer: this is fiction. We made it up.

take a chance with me

by kelly, written for micha

Joshua Chasez sighed and removed his glasses. Every teacher in the history of the world had that one student. That one student that was known to be smarter than they let on. That one student who had to prove him or herself to their peers by being the class clown or the bully. That one student who drove them up the freaking wall on a daily basis. Lukas John Timberlake was his ‘one’ student. The child was smart, but for some strange reason, he felt the need to ‘dumb’ himself down for all the others. Josh was certain the Lukas purposely missed questions on tests, and he knew for a fact that Lukas was always finished with his tests earlier that the others, but he always just sat at his desk until almost everyone else had turned their papers in.

Josh sighed again and put back on his glasses. His head hurt, his eyes were tired and he just wanted to go home and sip on a glass of wine while in the tub. Judging by the list of parents he had yet to see, he knew that was not going to happen for a while. Parent-teacher conferences were the worst. The ‘parents knows everything about their child and the child can do no wrong, so it must be you’ attitude was driving him crazy. So far out of the 23 sets of parents he’d seen, 19 of them had the attitude. He glanced back down at the list. Mr. and Mrs. Matlock. Gracen’s parents. Not smart or funny, Josh hoped that his parents weren’t like him.

Make that 20 out of 24 parents. Gracen’s parents were just like him, except larger. They were very conservative, probably Republican. Josh wanted to bang his head on his desk. Since the dawn of time, people like the Matlocks have been condemning things that they knew nothing about. Shaking his head, Josh knew that he had to calm down. The people didn’t do anything to him personally, but the meeting went downhill when Mr. Matlock expressed concern over Emily Shipley. Emily’s mother is a lesbian. Emily’s mother’s girlfriend lives with them. They don’t try to hide anything and are very open about their relationship. Apparently Mr. and Mrs. Matlock do not agree with their son going to school with, let alone being in the same class, a girl who had a lesbian for a mother. They not so politely informed Josh that they didn’t want their son sitting next to ‘someone like that’, like it’s contagious. That was the exact reason that he lived an hour away from the school. He didn’t need people like that up in his business.

Josh looked back down at his schedule. Justin Timberlake was next. Lukas’ father. Josh stood to walk around a moment before Mr. Timberlake got there. He really needed to stretch his legs, and he needed a cigarette more than that. Josh glanced at his watch. He did have about 15 minutes before the other man got there. He grinned and headed for his jacket. Just as he reached it there was a soft knock at the door. Josh looked up to see a man step inside.

“I hope I’m not interrupting anything. I’m kind of early for our conference.” The man, who Josh assumed to be Justin Timberlake, smiled.

“Not at all, come on in and sit down.” Josh smiled back and fished Lukas’ folder out of the pile on his desk. “If more parents would be like you, maybe I would be home before midnight. Unfortunately that’s not too likely. I’m Joshua Chasez.” Josh stood and extended his hand.

“Justin Timberlake. It’s nice to meet you.” Justin sat down in a child sized desk, smiling at the man before him. “Apparently I’m not your last parent tonight.”

Josh scoffed. “Hardly. You are number 25 tonight and I still have 3 more to go. The secretary decided I could see everyone in 2 nights. I have 28 tonight and 20 tomorrow.” Josh removed his glasses and cleaned them. When he put them back on he addressed Justin once again. “Well Mr. Timberlake, do you have any questions or concerns about Lukas?”

“Call me Justin please. Well, I was wondering how he’s doing. I know you’re new here, but his mother died this past summer. I wasn’t always around as much as I should have been, but I’m here now.” Justin looked at his hands, which were twisting in his lap.

“I do have a concern about Lukas. He is a smart boy, but I’ve noticed that he tries not to be. I’ve looked at his grades from previous years and they were good. This year, however, they’re just average. What you just told me, though, could be the cause of that.” Josh paused and looked at Justin, who seemed to be trying to say something. “Did you have something to add?”

“I may have another reason for his, well, to say slacking seems harsh.” Justin sighed and looked down. When he faced Josh again, he had a look of determination on his face. “I’m gay and Lukas just recently. . . found out. It was hard on him, and on me. I know nothing about raising a child.” Justin put his head in his hands.

“That could be a reason as well. That has to be hard on a 10 year old boy who is just realizing his own sexual preferences. He’s probably also worried how his peers will react. It makes perfect sense to me now.” Josh got up from his desk and walked around to stand in front of Justin. “You should not be ashamed of who you are. Don’t you look down.”

Justin looked at Josh, shocked at the emotion in the older man’s voice. Josh sighed and pulled himself up on his desk. “I’ve known that I was gay since I was 15. That totally sucks for a teenage boy. My parents weren’t really happy with my choices. They still aren’t. They see me about once a year. It’s been that way since I was 18. I understand that it’s hard for you, but you can’t apologize about who you are.” Josh looked away a moment, then once again turned his attention to Justin. “I would appreciate you not saying anything to anyone. The school board wouldn’t appreciate a ‘fag’ teaching their children. The parents pretty much frown on things like that.”

Justin smiled at the man sitting on the desk and nodded his head. “You don’t have to worry about me saying anything. If it leaks, it will not be from me. But seriously, you’d better be careful around here. Everyone knows everyone and if they don’t know you, they will.”

“That, my friend, is why I live an hour away from here.” Josh smiled at the younger man, trying to ignore the flip flop that his belly was doing. He was so not going to fall for his student’s father. Rephrase that, he was going to try not to fall for his student’s father. Josh slid off of his desk and pulled himself up to his full height. “Well Mr. Timberlake, if there isn’t anything else, we can call this meeting over.”

Justin smiled at his son’s teacher. He really wanted to ask Josh out for coffee, but he was damn near certain that the other man would turn him down. “I’ve asked you to call me Justin.” He smiled.

Josh laughed. “Ok, Justin, is there anything else?”

“Well, I wanted to know if you would like to have coffee with me? It doesn’t have to be tonight, I know that you’re busy, but I would really like if you would.”

Josh frowned. “I don’t know how wise that would be. I do have my reputation to think about. Rumors have already started.” Josh sighed. “ I would really like to Justin, I really would. The last thing that needs to get started is a rumor about me and Lukas’ dad.”

Josh sighed again at the hurt look on the other man’s face. He really didn’t need this right now. He had been stripped of his last job because the school board president had seen him on a date with his then boyfriend. Josh would remember it for the rest of his life. They had been at a movie, had actually spent one whole Saturday afternoon watching one movie after another until the day had run into evening. The school board president had seen him and walked right up and started chatting, until Matthew returned from the restroom and not so subtly slid his hand across the small of Josh’s back and left it there, lingering, not a finger’s width away from his ass. Josh had tried to move away but by then it was too late. The following Monday, before his classes had started, the board gave him the option of resigning or being ‘let go’. There was no room for a gay man on the faculty of Henry G. Williams Elementary School. Josh resigned with a heavy heart, he loved those children, he loved his job. That had been his first teaching job, and he was in the middle of his 7th year.

He addressed Justin once more. “Look. You are a very handsome man. I cannot afford for it to get around that I’m gay. I was persecuted for it once before and it’s not going to happen again. If that means being alone then so be it. I’m not ashamed of who I am, but on the other hand, I need to eat. I need this job.”


Much later, Justin sat across the table from his son. Lukas was doing his math homework and Justin was attempting to help, though he was just sitting there drinking coffee.

“Luke, let me ask you something.:” Justin paused searching for the words. “Did it bother you when you found out that I was gay?’

The boy merely shook his head.

“Alright, then would it bother you if I dated someone that you know?”

Lukas looked at his father, surprised at the look of trepidation on his face. “You’re not a weirdo, so it’s not one of my friends. Who is it?”

“Your history teacher.”

“Ya know, me and Blake always suspected Mr. Chasez didn’t like girls, but we never knew for sure. Would he go out with you? I mean does he like you?”

Justin laughed. “I’m not sure. If you don’t mind though, don’t say anything to anyone. He said he was fired from another job for being gay and I’d hate to get him fired.”

“Not a word.”


By Friday morning, Josh was sitting across a massive oak desk from the school principal. He was terrified, he knew that he had done nothing wrong. Josh had been sitting there for over 20 minutes, gnawing on his fingernails. The waiting was the absolute worst, even worse that sitting in a dentist’s office.

“Mr. Chasez. Thank you for seeing me this morning.” Bob Jameson smiled at the nervous man sitting in front of his desk. “I feel that we should just get down to business.”

Josh swallowed hard and looked at the older man sitting before him. “Yes sir. I think that would be the best.”

“You are considered a favorite teacher here at Southwest, but I have to be honest with you. Some things have been brought to my attention lately and I wanted to address them before anything got out of hand.” Mr. Jameson’s soft smile did nothing to alleviate Joshua’s fears.

“Umm, sir. I would like to say that I’ve done nothing to jeopardize my position here. I’ve done nothing inappropriate at all.”

Bob could tell that the younger man was quite worried about the outcome of the meeting. “Joshua, you’ve done nothing wrong. It’s been brought to my attention, well, there are rumors concerning your sexuality.”

Josh wilted in his chair, tears unwillingly springing to his eyes. He was going to have to look for another job. It really wasn’t fair. He’d never done anything to hurt anyone and he was being punished for being gay. Wasn’t his teenage years punishment enough?

“You really don’t have to say anymore Mr. Jameson. I’ll get my things, I promise I won’t be any trouble.” Josh made a move to stand, only to be halted by a hand on his shoulder.

“No one is asking you to leave. No one wants you to leave.” Bob sighed and sat on the edge of his desk, facing Josh. “I know that you were forced out of your other position. I had to check your references. The principal told me everything. It wasn’t right, what they did, and we’re not going to do it here.” Bob stopped speaking to glance at Josh, who was looking at him with surprise.

“You’re not firing me? Then why am I here?”

“I wanted to tell you that I’m gay too. Everyone knows I live with my partner, we’d get married if we could.” Bob smiled and was pleased to see that Joshua was smiling as well.

“Who told you? I’ve been so careful, I live and hour away, I’ve not dated. To my knowledge, I’ve not mentioned anything to anyone.” Josh looked at the older man in confusion.

“Do you remember speaking to the parent of Lukas Timberlake?”

“Justin? Yes, I spoke to him last week. He told you?” Josh’s mouth dropped open.

“My half brother is his father. For a long time now, Justin and I have been talking. He’s recently realized some truths about himself and needed advice. Long story short, when he came for his conference with you he was, well, smitten is a damn good word. He knew you were afraid of losing your job and asked me to talk to you. Please don’t be angry with him. He asked me to ask you to just take a chance.” Bob handed Josh a piece of paper. “Here is his phone number, if you want to use it fine, if you don’t fine. Just don’t waste your youth on being afraid to take a chance.” Bob smiled one last time at the young man the rose from the edge of the desk. “I think you need to get ready for your classes now, I would hate to keep you too long.” Patting Josh on the shoulder, Bob walked past him and opened the door.

Josh got out of the chair and started toward the door. “Thank you sir.” He quietly walked down the hall toward his classroom. Looking down at the paper in his hand, he smiled and contemplated his course of action.


It had been a long day and an even longer drive home. Right before school let out for the day the sky had opened up and it poured. It was still raining when Josh finally pulled into his parking spot. It was still raining when Josh changed into his sweats, made a pot of coffee and headed toward the couch with a book in his hand. The afternoon faded to evening and the evening faded into night. From time to time Josh would glance over at the scrap of paper lying on the counter. Each time, he would dismiss the thought and turn his attention back to his book.

Finally, about a quarter to 9, Josh rose from the couch and grabbed the paper. Walking back across the living room he picked up the telephone. Praying that Justin didn’t go to bed early he dialed the phone number written on the paper, then abruptly hung up. The last thing he wanted was for Luke to answer the phone. That would be a disaster. Josh lay back down on the couch with a pillow covering his face, cursing himself for being a chickenshit.

Not 5 minutes later the phone shrilled loudly, scaring the pillow off of Josh’s face. Glaring at the instrument suspiciously he picked it up and glanced at the caller ID. Shit! It was Justin. Damn, damn, and double damn. Why did he call the number? Okay, that was because Justin was one of the hottest men he’d seen in quite a while. Alright, be cool, just answer the phone.


“Hey. Is this Josh? This number was on my caller ID. This is Justin.”

“Uh, yeah. Well, heh, I’m not really sure what to say. I spoke to Bob Jameson this morning, you know, your uncle. You could have told me.” Josh sounded slightly put out, but he couldn’t help it.

“I’m sorry, but I did what I thought was best. You are one of the most handsome men I’ve ever met.” Justin blushed but was very glad that Josh couldn’t see him. “So why did you call me and hang up?”

“Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time. Then I got to thinking what if Luke would have answered. I can’t get used to the idea that it’s alright for me to date. That it’s alright if the students know that I’m gay.” Josh sighed. “Sorry that I prank called you.”

Justin laughed. “That’s okay. But you know that I’m gonna ask you out for coffee now.”

“Have you even looked outside? It’s pouring, it has been since I left the school. There is no way in hell that I’m getting out in this.”

“Well, then I’m gonna have to come there. I hope you can make good coffee.”

Josh was speechless. It was one thing to flirt openly over the phone, but when the flirting moved into your own home disaster was invited. “Are you sure that’s wise? I mean, I would love to have coffee with you, but for you to come here.”

“Since you’re afraid of the rain, what other choice do we have.” Justin laughed at Joshua’s expense. “How about this? I come over for your wonderful coffee but I have to promise not to molest you in your own kitchen.”

“You’re laughing at me now. You’d better be careful or I’m make you shitty coffee.” Josh was laughing too. “Do you need directions to my place, or have you been stalking me since last week?”

“I have been stalking you, but you’d better tell me where you live just in case.”


Fifty minutes later, Josh was pacing in his living room. What in the hell was he thinking, inviting the father of a student here. Flirting with the father of a student. Damn, damn and double damn. When had his common sense left him, and where in the hell did it go ? A knock sounded on the door, causing Josh to nearly jump out of his skin. Giving his apartment a once over, he went and opened the door.

Standing before him was an extremely wet Justin Timberlake. Josh rushed him in the door, then hurried to the bathroom to get a towel. “I told you it was raining. Obviously, you didn’t heed my words.” Josh was grinning from ear to ear at the wet man before him. “Let me go make a fresh pot of coffee.”

When Josh left the room, Justin walked around the room, glancing at photographs displayed on the wall and end tables. When Josh entered the room again Justin asked about them. “I’m assuming the older couple is your parents, but who is the young woman? And why do you have photos of them, if they treated you so badly?”

Josh looked at the photo Justin was pointing at. “That’s my sister Heather, the guy you see in the picture on the wall is my brother Tyler. I still love them, and besides that my sister and brother did nothing to me. Before you say it, I know I look nothing like my family. I’m adopted, but I think I’m better looking by far.” Josh grinned at Justin, noticing a frown forming on the younger man’s face.

“Who’s that?” Justin was gesturing toward a picture of Josh with his arm around a short, stocky, tattooed brunette. Josh grinned at the pout on Justin’s face.

“That, my little jealous friend, is my best friend Chris. We were neighbors when I lived in Florida, and somehow his craziness reeled me in. We’ve been friends ever since. Chris was my rock. He was the only person that I told about the problems with my parents, he helped me get through it.” Josh shrugged. “I love him.”

“Besides that my mom and dad are doing a lot better. Mom actually called me the other day.”

Justin sighed and sat down on the sofa. “Where is the coffee you promised me?”

When Josh returned with coffee and sat back down, he turned to Justin. “Okay, it’s established. I like you and you like me. Where do you see this going?”

“As far as you’ll let it. We should probably take things rather slow at first, but you’re right. I really like you.” Justin sat his coffee cup down on the table and looked at Josh. “Before I came I talked to Luke. He seemed just fine with us seeing each other. I’m really glad about that.”

~*Three Years Later*~

“Hey dad. The lady is here with the papers.” Luke ran to get Justin when he saw the social worker walking up the sidewalk.

“Well, go get Josh so we can get this done.” Justin shooed his son away and opened the door for Ms. Wellington, the social worker that helped with the adoption. In minutes Joshua was by his side, looking very nervous. “Sweetie, it’s alright. We technically already have the baby, we just have to pay for her.” Justin smiled at his partner, kissing him quickly on the cheek.

In mere minutes, the papers were signed and Ms. Wellington was gone. The men were left with a 7 month old little girl and her menagerie of toys. Josh was crying softly into her curls. Justin was stroking her cheek with his index finger.

“Can you believe that we have one of our own now?”

“I know. And to think that you didn’t even want to give me a chance.” Justin smiled at his lover.

Josh smiled back softly. “Justin, you are the best chance that I’ve ever taken.” The two men kissed over the baby’s head, knowing that the best was yet to come.


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