nsync in black and white

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

Picture Perfect

written for Rikes

"You know, if those ever get on the internet, I'm cutting you off for a year."

"Yeah, right. 'Cause you can go without for a year, easy." Lance didn't look impressed by Chris's threat. He was right, anyway, Chris thought, glumly.

"Okay, well, a month. I swear."

"Your sordid secret is safe with me." Lance smirked at him.

Chris looked at the pictures again. His ass, in those stupid Bugs Bunny boxers, sticking out of the oven, and looking a lot less fetching than he liked to think of his ass looking. Maybe Lance's camera had some kind of distortion in the lens? Except that didn't excuse the bright pink rubber gloves. The bowl of water. The pile of cleaning supplies. "Seriously, Bass, my image will never be the same."

"I don't even get why you'd clean your own oven. Don't you have a service?"

"Sure I do. But, um." Chris wasn't sure how to explain. He'd been in such a strange mood that morning, half euphoric at Lance's long-overdue capitulation to his own fabulous charms, half frustrated with the rest of the story, the part he had to keep to himself. The part that really, really wanted to go all gooey and heartfelt, and knew it was way too soon to even risk that. And the oven had been kinda gross, and it had taken some serious effort to detach the burnt-on grease, and he'd had the music good and loud in his ears… "It just seemed like a good idea at the time. Of course, if I'd known you weren't actually sleeping like the dead…"

"If you'd known I was taking pictures with my phone, you wouldn't have done it." Lance's grin was the smuggest thing in the world. Obnoxiously smug. Seriously, if the rest of him weren't so unreasonably perfect Chris would have been justified in dumping him just for that smug grin. He glared.

"Just don't put them on the internet. In fact, don't show them to another living soul. Ever."

"Not even Joey?"

Chris groaned.

He was going to make it his mission to get embarrassing photos of Lance. He was going to need counter-ammunition for this.


The trouble was, it was hard to catch Lance doing anything he wouldn't want showing up on the internet (except when Chris was right there with him doing it too). Besides, he seemed to be perfectly happy with the most ridiculous stuff being out there. Hell, he'd been on TV dressed as a banana.

"You wore suspenders!" he accused. "On purpose!" Lance was back in LA right now, so a reproachful phone call was the best he could do.

"So?" Lance did not seem to appreciate the enormity of his crime.

"Suspenders! And there were photos!"

"Chris, it was Halloween. Just think of the suspenders as part of the horror. Or, you know, be glad they weren't British suspenders."

"British suspenders? What, with the British flag or something?"

Lance sighed. He had that patient expression on, Chris knew, the one that said 'you are sadly ignorant and I will explain'. Chris frowned.

"The British call suspenders braces. And what we call a garter belt, they call suspenders. So you see, it could have been way worse."

"They do?" said Chris, and then his brain caught up and he said, "Worse?" And then he went quiet, imagining, until Lance coughed very pointedly. "How'd you know that? I didn't know that."

"I have friends in London. Sometimes I say things and they laugh." Of course Lance had friends in London. He probably had friends in, in Tibet, and Ulan Bator, and other places Chris didn't even know the names of.

"Okay, so British suspenders, actually not such a bad idea."

"For the record? I am not wearing British suspenders. Ever."

"You're just no fun. How'm I supposed to get blackmail material on you?" Chris asked mournfully.

"You aren't. Nice boyfriends don't blackmail people."

Chris suppressed the little thrill that went through him at the word boyfriend. He was a grownup. These things did not make him ludicrously happy. "Nice boyfriends don't take pictures of people cleaning ovens in their underwear."

"You wish," came the reply. "If you caught me cleaning the oven you'd take pictures for sure."

"Okay, that is true. I'd need proof. Nobody'd ever believe you were—"

"Fool enough to clean my own stove when I can pay someone to do it for me? No, they wouldn't, and they'd be right. Have you never heard of trickle-down economics? It's your duty to pay other people to do this stuff."

Chris opened his mouth to argue, and realized that if he started down that path he'd never get anywhere, mostly because Lance was just baiting him. I trained him too well, he thought. Then he thought about Lance in a garter belt, and wondered what it might take to make that happen. Probably the end of civilization as we know it.


There was a note on the front of the package. It read, If any of these ever gets out on the internet, you are cut off for the rest of your life. Which will be very short and filled with pain. Happy anniversary. What, no exclamation marks?

The package contained a book. Actually a photo album. Quite a plush one, dark brown leather, a gold tassel, even. Chris eyed it warily. He would not put it past Lance to have showcased all the most embarrassing moments of Chris's life… although with that warning maybe…

He opened the album. Turned the first page.

Stopped breathing.

A photograph of Lance lying naked on his bed, looking straight at the camera with that expression he had, the way he looked like he was daring you to be good enough. That Chris couldn't resist. That had led to some incendiary sex. That expression.

Eventually, Chris turned the page. Okay, who needs oxygen anyway?

He didn't make it past page five before he had to put the album reverently down and jerk off. It took him two hours to get through the rest of the pictures, because each one was so—so—fucking hot he had to stare at it for five minutes before he had the strength to turn to the next one.

His phone rang as he was gazing at the final shot, the one where Lance was lying loose and sated on his bed with a pale puddle of his own come on his chest.

"So, um. Your anniversary present, was it—"

"Fuck," said Chris. He tried to think of words, but, "Fuck."

"I take it you're pleased." Lance sounded a bit more sure of himself.

Chris made a noise. He wiped his mouth. "Uh. Anniversary. Guh."

On the phone, Lance laughed until Chris had managed to resurrect actual vocabulary.

"Uh, how did you—who—"

"Borrowed a friend's cameras and set them up in my bedroom. He let me use his darkroom to develop them, he taught me what to do and left me to it. Used a whole bunch of film. Most of the pictures were crap, I just picked the best ones. Um."

"I hope you gave him a reward. Like, an island, or something."

"Yeah, something like that."

"And I swear, no other human eyes will ever see these. Man, nobody else deserves to. I don't even deserve to, but holy shit, Lance, I mean, holy shit. I'd keep it in the safe except I'm gonna want to look at it every day for the rest of my life. Like, every hour."

"You'll go blind."

"Plus carpal tunnel. Damn. You have no idea how horny I am, and I already jerked off twice. This sucks, you being in LA so much of the time. And how come it's our anniversary? I didn't even know it was our anniversary!"

"Don't worry about it. You can make it up to me." Lance was using porn voice, which in Chris's current fragile state was so not fair. "Actually, I'm not in LA right now."

"Oh? Where are you, New York?"

"On your front doorstep."

Chris never did figure out what anniversary it was, but it was a hell of a good one.


Back to Popslash Index
Back to Alternative Popslash Index