nsync in black and white

Disclaimer: this is fiction. We made it up.

Justin Timberlake, Is

by Tara1031, special bonus story

If Justin Timberlake was anything, it was a Good Fucking Liar.

He wasn't always, however, so good. During the Mickey Mouse Club days his eyes would give him away, darting away and revealing his slips.

Today, Justin Timberlake stood on that red carpet, girlfriend meters behind him, and flashed that grin of his at the interviewer shoving the mic in his face.

"I'm very happy," He said, scratching his head and nodding, "Really, very."

If you knew him well enough, you'd know that this was one of his Big Fucking Lies.

Smile, Justin Timberlake, be Justin Timberlake.

It was Just One Of Those Days, he'd thought, as he cried, cried, cried. He'd found himself locked in the hotel room's bathroom, water turned on in the sink to mask the messy, cheesy horribly embarrassing tears he just couldn't seem to turn off.

"Justin," JC's voice had replaced Chris', whose voice had been cold and hard, as he usually favored the 'tough love' approach. JC's voice was warm, and soft, and it made Justin want to crawl into his arms.

He felt like such a baby, he did. Fifteen year old guys don't cry when their Moms go home for a little while, even when it meant he was in Germany with just four other guys he was still unsure about at times.

"Come out, okay? I know it's hard, but it's okay. I promise."

Justin's a mess—his eyes are puffy, his nose is running. He doesn't want the rest of the guys to see him like this, not really.

He creeps over to the door and unlocked it, waiting -

The doorknob turns, and in peeks JC, bad Caesar cut and all.

"Hey baby, what's goin' on?" He asks, and Justin latches onto JC's arm and pulls him inside.

He doesn't want the other guys to see him, but he doesn't mind if JC does—because he's already sure JC loves him.

Jessica Biel is very pretty, very sweet, and oh so naïve.

Justin liked to watch her, sometimes, as she sat at the island in the middle of his stark white kitchen, chewing her gum and wearing too tight, too short shorts. She wasn't the most feminine of girls he's dated, but she's got legs that go on for days.

"Jay," She says, looking up at him with stars in her eyes, admiration twinkling like some overrated fairytale, "I think it'd be nice, Hawaii in the spring, for the wedding, no?"

Her once-subtle hinting isn't so subtle anymore., just blatant and a little bit annoying. Justin takes a look at her still-bare left ring finger and remembers his grappling promises. ("Hawaii—you, me, a few of our friends. It'll be beautiful, baby.")

He smiles brightly at her, a similar one to what'd he'd given to the reporter the day before.

"It would."

Her smile's so bright and her happiness so eminent he almost feels bad for knowing his words are empty.

Justin and JC were/are an enigma. While Chris had been Justin's best friend, Justin and JC were just fucking magical. They had their own silent language in which things could be conveyed with some eyebrow quirks and certain glances. Inside jokes that no one, even those inside the joke, really got.??

Christina Augilera, popping by during the NSA tour, (because the Britney/Christina rivalry? Never really a real thing) had witnessed an exchange once and her jaw had gone slack. When asked why, she just shook her head at Joey, leaned in away from Britney's curious ears, and said:??"I've never seen so much fucking electricity between two people in my life. I mean, I thought I was crazy noticing, but fuck—that just confirmed it all for me."??

But ironically, the thing that creeped the rest of the guys out the most was the unfaltering devotion to which Justin and JC spent buying one another Christmas gifts. Christmas gifts weren't usually given out, but Justin and JC always, always bought each other something. And, the other always loved the gift his friend had given him, even boasting as such, in occasions, that it was the best gift he'd gotten that year.?

JC had gotten steely eyes from Britney after that declaration from Justin, who just loved the specialized laptop with mini-studio programmed in that JC'd given him that particular year.

Jessica's still when she sleeps, and she generally curls into him and stays there all night long, unless he moves from beside her. This is what happens tonight as he gently eases himself out of bed, and he waits for her to turn to her other side and curl back up before he bolts out of their bedroom, cell phone in hand.

The number he dials is from memory, and he's surprised when there's an answer.

"…Justin?" Finally comes a groggy questioning, when Justin himself doesn't say anything.

"I'm surprised you woke up," Justin finally says. There's a throaty chuckle on the other line.

"Oh baby, I wasn't asleep—you definitely wouldn't've gotten an answer if I had been, you know that. I was just watching some tube."

If Justin closes his eyes he can imagine JC in slouchy sleep pants and an old tour shirt on the couch in his well-lived in den, the only room in his house JC lets truly get lived in (besides his master bedroom), cell phone in one hand and remote in the other.

JC's a trash-TV whore, even if he won't admit it.

"Want to get some food with me?" He finally asks, ignoring the red digital clock glow from his microwave dutifully telling him it was 2AM, and simply waits for JC's answer.

There's barely a hesitation.


During Pop-Odyssey, Justin and JC hated each other for about two and a half weeks before they realized that it was stupid and immature and that they both were insane.

Justin couldn't blame JC, though, for being so hurt. He'd given Wade more responsibility then was officially okay with the rest of the group. He'd written, collaborated and generally replaced JC with Wade for his right-hand-man position.

They'd fought, badly. So badly that there was once a blind punch and Justin nursed and cursed a pretty sweet black eye for a week, and then they hadn't talked again for another four days, until JC approached Justin backstage in Anaheim, sweat dripping from his curls and eyes blazing.

Before Justin could do anything, JC had closed the distance between the two of them and suddenly his lips were on Justin's, and there was dampness on his cheeks, and God, Justin was pretty sure JC was crying.

"Don't ever fucking do that to be again," JC finally said, after he broke away. Justin's eyes were still closed, his index and middle fingers touching his lips. JC grips Justin's chin and forces him to look him in the eyes.

"I am not to be treated like one of your playthings, Jay. I am not some piece of shit you can walk all over. I am it, cat—I am IT and if you forget that, I'll forget you."

Justin wanted to kiss him again, suddenly, and so he did. JC was crying then, and Justin nearly joined him.

JC and Justin live approximately twenty-five minutes away from one another on a good traffic day in LA, which is far and few between. Even at 2AM, Justin has to lay on the horn a couple of times before he meets Jace at a small diner that's halfway between their two houses.

They sit in a back booth by themselves, and even though Justin's pulled his hat down low and taken careful consideration in his attire as to not be recognized, JC is simply in his slouchy sleep pants and the tour shirt Justin had imagined him in, a No Strings Attached one with both of their faces displayed prominently on the front. When Justin protests his choice of tee-shirt, JC barely shrugs and sweeps his eyes over the non-existent clientele of the diner, silently saying "who the hell is going to care?".

They sit in silence while they peruse menus for meals they're not really hungry for, and when the tired, worn out waitress comes over, JC's ordered chocolate chip pancakes while Justin opts for what's sure to be a bowl of fruit that's sure to be on it's way to being bad.

"Oh, and tea, please," JC remembers, as the homely woman begins to leave. She smiles at JC's expression, which seems to transform her whole face, and nods.

"Thank you." He says sincerely.

Justin has begun his rather predictable tradition of pouring salt out onto the sticky linoleum tabletop and crushing it with the bottom of the shaker.

"We haven't done this in forever," JC comments, leaning back in the booth. He reaches into his pocket, pulls out his cell phone, and promptly turns it off. Justin very nearly scowls at JC's luxury.

"Feeling nostalgic?" Continues his second oldest friend, and Justin doesn't miss the sarcasm and bitterness in his voice.

Justin's hand touches JC's and he flinches when JC's long fingers escape away.

This thing, this THING he and JC do, it's nothing, really—it's best friends and bestfriends and brothers, sort of, but not like brothers at all. What it really is is love, and he tells JC that more than once, just too see his best friend's cheesy lop-sided smile and hear, "I love you, too, Justin."

They never put a official title, never declare it anything. Not even the other guys know it, really, that JC and Justin have their girlfriends and their trysts but it was usually one another they'd fallen in bed with at the end of the day.

It feels perfect to Justin, truly, it does. He has JC and that's his best friend, and then he's his lover, and he's got his career and his family and it works, until -

He knows he has to keep up face, he does. He kisses JC behind the scenes, but has a pretty face at his side at all times.

By the time Justified is released, he doesn't know JC anymore, not really, because the man he'd once fallen into bed with at night, now turns his head away from his kisses and, eventually, abandoned him.

The fruit doesn't get eaten, not really. He takes one bite out of a piece of cantaloupe and hates it, and spends the rest of the time watching JC drown his chocolate chip sugar concoction in syrup.

They don't talk—not out loud, at least. The years between them, though, allow their glances to speak volumes, and by the time they've paid the bill, they've discussed quite a bit.

It's chilly for fall in LA, and the parking lot's deserted.

"I told you lots of things, then," JC finally says, not even tinge of regret in his voice. "I would drop anything, everything, to be with you then, Now. Always. You know that."

There's so many words on Justin's tongue, but all of them feel heavy and clunky and redundant. It's been years, but they've had this conversation already—this "we can be together but we can't because of your career speech", and it hurts.

Justin suddenly feels 17 again, 18 again, 21 again, like he's living the life he'd once had, wanting what he once had, and knowing he can't ever have it, not really. It sucks—GOD it sucks.

Justin's staring now, at JC, who's got his arms crossed over their faces on the tee-shirt, keys to his modest SUV in his hand. He wants to run his hands under that shirt, lick the lines of JC's neck, climb into bed with him among declarations of love and understanding. He wants to tell Jessica that she's sweet but not JC, and therefore, not for him, but he can't. He can't. He can't.

"I'm going to ask Jessica to marry me," He replies, so indifferently it sounds foreign to his own ears. If JC's shocked or surprised, he doesn't show it. He is disappointed though, and Justin's heart breaks for getting his hopes up.

He wants to kiss him and cry cry cry, like he did when he was fifteen so that JC would cradle him in his arms again.

"I won't be there, I hope you know," JC said, and Justin nods.

He couldn't expect him to be, not after this.

When Justin was invited to JC's thirtieth, he'd expected just what his best friend had once said—champagne, smiles and old friends. What he got, though, was a huge party with a photographer that stuck their camera in his face the whole night, and a not-so-graceful JC dressed up like an old man (gray hair included) to make an awful, embarrassing scene out of the whole thing.

Justin just battled with himself over thing it was cute -slash- really immature and made his way through the crowd, Cameron slinking in high heels that she'd already been complaining hurt her feet. He'd hugged Chris and turned a blind eye to Lance and his boyfriend, keeping one eye on JC the whole time, watching as he laughed and laughed, alcohol practically seeping from his pores.
He stayed pretty much away, on the other side of the room, and stayed pretty sober too. It wasn't until Lance came up behind him that he'd even taken his eyes away from his pretty, sparkling, JC.
"Oh baby," Lance had murmured in his ear, sympathy oozing out of his soft twang and slightly-buzzed voice, "Oh baby, you got it bad."

Lance's arm had gone around his waist and felt heavy and comforting just staying there. Justin felt light and warm and didn't hesitate letting Lance take him away, away, away, until they were in an empty room with spare chairs and bad lighting. It was then, and only then, that he let Lance pull him into a tight hug as denial dripped from his eyes and he cried it all out, missing JC already.
Justin had forgotten how much he loved Lance's voice, because it was and had always been utterly soothing. During the days when he'd curl under the covers because of the migraines he was to-this-day cursed with, Lance would stretch out next to him and massage his scalp and eyes and neck and hum softly, and Justin would whimper in thanks.

It was this day that Justin wondered if his life would always be this unfulfilling.

Their goodbyes in the parking lot weren't much of anything, despite the weight of the conversation and moments they'd shared. JC's expressions had turned from hurt back to JC the Best Friend.

"I miss you, Jay, as us. You know? Just us, like it used to be, not the complicated stuff, so—let's not be strangers."

Justin can only nod. JC kisses his fingertips and waves his direction before sliding into his car. It starts, and JC's window rolls down after a moment.

"Last chance, Justin." And Justin's a mess inside, a total fucking mess. He's so tempted to get in, to take the leap. He -

He shakes his head.

"I'm sorry," He says, and this time, JC doesn't even have to look hurt, because he isn't, "I love you."

JC nods.f.

"Alright, well, I'll ring you soon, Cat—we should get the boys together and have a barbecue or something."

He doesn't wait for Justin's response- just rolls up his window, and with a wave, he's off.

"I don't think we'll be doing anything together anymore," Says TV-JC as he speaks to a reporter on some red carpet or another, "Music has moved on, and although I love the guys, it's just not our thing anymore."

Justin Timberlake, on the set Black Snake Moan, turns off the television and closes his eyes from the words he'd just heard, and urges, urges urges himself not to cry.

Back at his house, Jessica is still sleeping in the position he'd left her. He takes off his sneakers, jeans, sweatshirt, and climbs back in under the covers.

Moments later, Jessica's rolled up into his side, hand splayed possessively on his chest.

She'll never know him, not like JC does, but he guesses it's for the best.

He is Justin Timberlake, Big Fucking Liar, after all.


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