nsync in black and white

Fiction by Pen . . . . . not real, made up, purely intended for entertainment

Six Words

another response to a fic_requests prompt

He checked through his MySpace entry again, corrected a typo, and posted it. Time to play—no, he'd just check his donor page again before he logged into the game. The MySpace thing was brilliant, a lot of his 'friends' seemed to be willing to put money into the AIDS walk, not that he deluded himself that it was his own fame that was pulling in the support, but that didn't matter, it was all money going where it was needed, and he wasn't going to worry about why it was being donated. His personal total seemed to be creeping upwards quite nicely, a $25 donation here, a $50 donation there...


Up by, what, way more than $500 since, when did he check it last, two days ago? That was unexpected! Reichen grinned to himself. Maybe the latest crop of photos to be released had led to a few more fans deciding to support them. How much had Lance's total gone up, he wondered, and was about to click over to the team page when something in the scrolling window caught his eye.

Did he just see—? Was that—it couldn't be. Must have mis-read. Wishful thinking.

He stared at the names crawling up the little screen, willing them round again, his pulse thumping in his throat as he told himself he was delusional.

But he wasn't.

He stared at it in disbelief, and let it scroll round again before—quick, Lance's page, was there something, ohmygod yes!

"Babe!" he called, and had to clear his throat to get the sound out properly. "Lance?"

There was an answering noise from the kitchen, and a moment later Lance walked through the door, attended by the fragrance of fresh coffee, with a steaming mug in each hand. Reichen's heart swelled, just a little bit more, like it did every time, but he didn't have time to think about how unbelievably lucky he was right now, he had to show Lance—

"Did you check your page today? Your Team Hollyweird donor page?"

"Last time I checked I was kicking your cute little butt." Lance moved around the table and set the coffees down. "So how's progress?" A kiss dropped lightly onto his temple, and a casual hand warm on his shoulder as Lance leaned in to look at the screen.

"You should," it was an effort to keep his voice level, "you should check in the donor window. There's something..."

The hand on his shoulder froze as the names appeared, then started to shake. He looked up into Lance's wide eyes, and oh, he hadn't thought it was possible to love this man more than he had loved him five minutes ago, but it was. Lance's precious face as wide open and vulnerable as a child's, amazed and scared and full of desperate hope.

"Is that—real?"

He had not thought of that. Shit, shit. "I—I don't know." That would be cruel beyond words, if someone else had signed themselves 'Jim and Diane Bass', was that possible? God, he should have checked first, before he showed it to Lance. If it wasn't true... "I don't know," he said again, helplessly. "But I got one, too." He clicked back to the other tab, and they watched for the names here, the $500 dollar donation, the six-word message.

"Oh, God," said Lance. "Oh, God, oh God, Reichen, oh..." He was shaking, shuddering, hands over his mouth, looking almost ready to throw up. Reichen was out of his chair and had his arms tight around him before the message scrolled off the tiny screen.

It took a good ten minutes for Lance to stop shaking.

Eventually, he breathed huge and deep, and his clinging arms relaxed their grip. "How do we find out if it, uh, if it's really them? Do—do you think I should call?"

Reichen didn't know what to advise. He was full of cold terror, now, that this was a hoax, that he'd got Lance's hopes up for nothing and hurt him beyond what his parents had already done. Why hadn't they called? We're proud of you, scrolling by like that with their names and a $500 dollar pledge—but if they really meant it, couldn't they have said so in person?

Or, maybe they had? "Did you check your messages this morning?" They'd been out so late last night—

"There's nothing on my cell." Lance's voice was dull, flat.

"The house phone?" They turned. The answering machine light was blinking, but it always did, because anyone who didn't actually know them, anyone who wanted to sell them something or get a quote or sidestep their agents, used that number. They kept it on silent, or it would drive them crazy. Reichen crossed the room and pressed playback, then took Lance's hand as they listened to the parade of messages.

And then. Lance? Honey? I guess you aren't home right now. Oh, dear, uh, your Dad and I, we just—we wanted to say, we love you, and we're so sorry that we, that we haven't been—" There was a deep, painful sob, and Reichen gathered him close. "—we have a new cellphone, just for family, the number..."

He grabbed for paper and pen to write it down, and had to press the digits into Lance's cellphone because Lance was trembling too violently to be able to work the keys. He pushed Lance down onto the nearest chair, and muttering an excuse, left the room. Some conversations were meant to be private. As he closed the door between them, he heard "Mom?" in the voice Lance must have used when he was a bruised kid.

Reichen leaned against the wall for a moment, closed his eyes and whispered a thank you. If he could have gotten one wish granted, one prayer answered, it would have been this. And it had been answered more perfectly, more generously, than he could ever have imagined.

Six words.

Because you make our boy happy.



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