nsync in black and white

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


Written for the 2005 DWNOGA Challenge
Big thank-yous to Ephemera, No Pseud Attached, Joyfulseeker and Sola Fiamma for their input.


"You want it in the jacuzzi?"

"Chris! A jacuzzi? For me? You shouldn't have."

"Dork. Through there."

Lance pattered happily outside and toed off his shoes. The stars were obscured by the light shining out from the wide double doors into Chris's back yard, but the Florida night was balmy, he was nicely tired from the day's exercise and replete from takeout Thai, and a relaxing drink or two in the jacuzzi just suited his mood.

"Whiskey, right? Coke? Rocks? Or are you man enough for the real thing?"

"Go for it," Lance answered, as his shorts fell on top of his shoes. Seconds later he was stripped and in, settling happily in front of a powerful jet, and purring as the water massaged his lumbar region.

Chris emerged from the house and passed him a drink—"The good stuff"—and shucked off his own clothes. Lance made no pretense of not watching. He knew Chris didn't mind being ogled. Liked it, exhibitionist that he was. The times he'd rampaged through their hotel rooms in only his skin... It was a dominance signal, or something. Maybe an anthropologist would know.

Great shape, too. Lance had sat up and taken notice back in July, when Chris showed up at Challenge looking exceptionally hot. He was solid and tanned, a far cry from the skinny, underfed lunatic Lance had met all those years ago, all bones and attitude, but he'd sharpened up a lot from last year, when he'd shown up looking as though he'd spent six months lying on the couch eating nachos and chips. And he'd let his hair grow, and had a beard a normal human being would wear. Lance hadn't exactly objected to the beard horns—they were Chris, or maybe, they were Chris to the power of ten—but sometimes the hair had been, well, Lance had a private theory that Chris had always gone for outrageous so he never had to think about not being Justin or JC. Nobody could have expected someone with those ludicrous braids to play the heart-throb. Though the dreds had been hot .

Not that Lance had noticed that at the time, of course. Or ever paid particular attention to the curve of Chris's ass. It was all aesthetics, Lance's appreciation for Chris's, ah, finer points. After ten years of absolute prohibition—thou shalt not hit on thy bandmates—it was second nature now.

Still, a guy could look.

"So. Jacuzzi. New sybaritic lifestyle, or a quick way to get the ladies out of their clothes?"

Chris smirked, but gave a regretful sigh. "They don't always strip naked, you know."

"Don't they? My girls usually do."

"That's cause you're practically a girl yourself."

Lance grinned smugly. "Not what they say. I think it's mostly curiosity. If they get naked, so do I."

"I should try that line," Chris said with admiration.

"You've already seen me naked," Lance replied blandly, and sipped at his drink.

"Lucky me."

"There you go, then. Hey, this really is the good stuff. My reward for letting you win today."

"Letting me, hell! Don't kid yourself, Bass. You're a crappy golfer."

This was in fact true. But then, Lance played golf in order to be out in the sunshine with congenial company, whereas Chris took it seriously. Chris taking something seriously was a sight to behold. Preferably from a safe distance.

"I don't need to win at golf to prove my manhood. I can fly a space ship."

"Not very far," Chris observed.

Lance eyed him sourly but without rancor. It did still hurt, even after all this time, but it hurt worse when people tiptoed carefully around the subject, so he was grateful to Chris for not backing off. Chris was never gentle.

"You okay with that?" Chris asked abruptly.

Lance considered. "Yeah. I am." He paused for another appreciative sip of whiskey. "I'm just glad I did everything I could, gave it everything I'd got. Maybe that's the most important thing I learned from the whole experience. Well, that and how to take a dump in zero gravity. I mean, if I hadn't gone all out to get what I wanted, I'd be regretting it for the rest of my life, wondering if I could have made it after all if I'd only done... whatever. But there was nothing I could have done that I didn't do. Hell, I did stuff I didn't even think I could do. So."

"No regrets?"

"Well, there's a couple people in Russia I'd have liked to leave staked out in the woods smeared with honey," Lance admitted with a grin, "but no. Apart from, you know, not getting to fly."

"Are you still—is there any chance of that, ever?"

"Not gonna happen." Lance drank, a regretful toast to a lost dream.

"Huh. So it's on to the next thing, right?"


"And the next thing is, what, having fun?"

"I guess. Life's good." And it was. It wasn't perfect, but it was certainly good.

"Plenty of money and all the hot guys you can handle?"

"Pretty much." Plenty of hot guys, sure, but not what he really wanted. The freedom of being able to do what—and who—he liked had been fun for quite a while, but at heart Lance wasn't really interested in temporary satisfactions. He'd thought, maybe, with Jesse... but it hadn't worked out. Jesse was sweet; unfortunately Lance had a taste for astringency. Challenge.

"If you're having sexual fantasies in my hot tub, I'm getting out."

"Don't flatter yourself, Kirkpatrick!" Lance had some more whiskey. "So... how's your sex life? Is the bubbly hot water doing you any favors?"

"Nah, not really. There was someone earlier this year, but..." Chris shrugged.

"You kept that quiet! Who was she?"

"I figure J and 'C are taking care of the relationship publicity on behalf of the team," Chris said darkly. "Besides, it was a guy."


"Nearly five months."

There had been too many drunken confession games over too many years for Lance not to be aware that Chris was bisexual, but he couldn't recall ever hearing Chris admit to an actual relationship (as opposed to a night's fucking) with a man. It was... interesting. Unexpected. Strange, even. Chris's track record on relationships was not a lot better than Lance's own. "So, what went wrong?"

"Nothing. That was the problem."

"Nothing. Was a problem." Lance raised an interrogative eyebrow.

"Yep. He was quite happy not to be my partner in public. He was totally nice when I had to be somewhere else. He was willing to make my wants and wishes a priority. Never a cross word."

"That's bad," Lance observed. It surely would not have suited Chris, who probably considered exchanging insults a necessary part of foreplay.

"He was a nice guy."

"Sounds like Jesse. Maybe we should introduce them."

"Yeah, 'cause apart from living on opposite sides of the country, they'd be perfect for each other," said Chris, heavy on the sarcasm.

"Ah, whatever." Lance was beginning to feel the whiskey. "So how come we can't either of us find a hot bitchy guy who'll fight back?"

"Joey's married, JC's hiding in his studio, and J's completely repressed?"

Lance giggled into his whiskey tumbler. "Joey?" he said. "Bitchy?"

"All that time in musical theater, got to have taught him something. You're not denying that he's hot, I notice."

"Um. I guess." Theoretically, Lance supposed Joey was hot. But thinking about his best friend that way made him want to start whimpering and scratching his eyeballs. "Justin's way hotter. And he'd be a better bitch."

Chris grinned evilly. "I'm gonna tell him you said that."

"What, it's not true?"

"Dude, please. Of course it's true. Think I'll save it till we're face to face. Don't wanna miss his expression."

Lance's lips twitched. "Save it till I'm around, then, 'cause I don't wanna miss it either."

"I could probably get video."

"You're a bad, bad man, Kirkpatrick." It had not escaped Lance's notice that Chris had failed to take the next logical step and recognize that he, Lance, was much better at bitching (if not at being a bitch) than Justin. And pretty damn hot too, if he had to say so himself. Chris was good at doing that—at making him laugh but with a quiet stiletto hidden in the quip. "Time to go inside, I think."

He hoisted himself carefully out, confident in the knowledge that his bare ass, streaming with water, was going to attract Chris's attention. Lance might not be cosmonaut-training fit any more, but he made sure he was in good shape. He wandered round to grab the towel Chris has dropped for him, and mopped casually at his torso and legs before wrapping the towel round his waist and gathering his clothes and whiskey.

"Speaking of Justin," he said casually, as Chris followed him into the house, "you seen anything of him lately?" He dropped the towel on to the black leather couch and started to dress.

"Not much. You?"

"He's busy, I guess."

"Learning to be an Ac-Tor," Chris mocked, with a hint of bitterness. "Just like Joey's into a whole new post-Sync lifestyle. Thank God JC's still about the music." Chris hadn't bothered to put his boxers back on, just hauled up his jeans and tugged the T-shirt on. His feet were bare.

"Are we post-Sync, then?"

"I dunno, Lance, what do you think?" There seemed to be more than the expected amount of challenge in Chris's tone. Lance didn't quite get why. It wasn't like Chris didn't have post-Sync stuff of his own going on. In fact, Lance reckoned he himself was the only one of them who was actually ready to get back together. Ironic, really, since it had been his own training timetable that precipitated the increasingly misnamed hiatus.

"Whatever," he said eventually. "We get together, though. So. You'll be having a birthday party?"

"I guess." Chris didn't sound enthusiastic. "Don't really see what makes a birthday a better time for a party than any other day."

"Oh." That sounded kinda down. Was Chris feeling old? Or was there something else wrong? Lance was never sure how to deal with Chris's problems. Consolation wasn't really part of their dynamic: Lance didn't like it, and Chris was much too complicated, more inclined to mock the sappy than to appreciate it. They were good at perpetrating evil deeds together, a phenomenal team when it came to getting their own way, and extremely effective at fighting—the rest of the world or failing that, each other. The best technique for dealing with Chris, Lance usually found, was to provoke him. "Well." He emptied his glass. "I guess you won't be wanting a birthday gift, then."

Chris was predictably indignant. "Oh, no, no, no, not getting away with that, Bass. You better give me something special. Small compensation, since I probably aged ten years getting your infant ass into shape way back when."

"Oh, right. I suppose Justin gets off scot free because you regressed whenever the two of you were together."

"Nah," Chris replied. "Justin's ass didn't have the potential yours does."

Whoa! What? "Maybe not, but he could shake it like it did."

"True what they say then, size doesn't matter, it's what you do with it that counts."

There was no way Chris was coming on to him. He had to be joking. "Are you telling me I've got a big butt?" Lance narrowed his eyes theatrically, and raised an eyebrow.

"Yep. Wanna make something of it?"

Yes. Joking. He could retaliate, Lance supposed, but hell, he'd much rather relax and have some more whiskey. "Nah. What can I say?"

Chris pantomimed shock. "You admitting I'm right? The Bass-meister admits the Kirkpatrick's supreme and undeniable superiority?"

"Sure, but only in little words. More?" He splashed more whiskey into Chris's glass.

"You're supposed to put up a fight," Chris grumbled.

"Yeah, but you're forgetting, I know you. So if I really want to piss you off, I'll just let it go." Lance grinned evilly as he sprawled on the couch.

"That's no fun. Nobody wants to have fun with me any more."

"I guess we're getting old and boring."

"No sir. Not me. Never."

"So." Lance paused carefully. "What do you want for your birthday, then?"

Chris's eyes glittered. "I want... a Backstreet Boy."

Lance gaped.

"Just for the night. Or, no, twenty-four hours." Chris looked thoughtful. "Howie, maybe. Bastard doesn't look like he's aged a day in the last ten years. Or Kevin, Kevin's looking seriously hot these days, don't you think?"

"Kevin. Hot. Yes," Lance managed, too stunned for wit.

"Not Brian, though," Chris mused. "Too wholesome. So, Lance. You gonna find me a nice hot piece of prime boyband ass for my birthday?"

"Or I could ask my mom to make you cookies," Lance said evenly. He was pleased with himself, for the words sounded calm and slightly bored. Didn't betray how he felt. He didn't even know how he felt. He just... Chris wanted a Backstreet Boy.

That just wasn't right.


When Lance got back to LA, the first thing—the very first thing—he wanted to do was get laid. He found an incredibly beautiful black boy at a club, dancing like silk in a breeze, and took him home. But lithe and smooth and enthusiastic and totally different from Chris just weren't enough to get the turmoil of his thoughts back in order.

* * * * *

Chris could happily have murdered Lance. A roil of emotions disturbed his life and his digestion every time he thought back to the day they'd played golf together. Lance, blithely hopeless on the greens, smiling in the sunshine and chattering happily about his inconsequential doings in LA. Lance gossiping about everyone he knew, some of them personalities so shallow Chris could hardly believe they were capable of taking a step to right or left without the advice of a publicist.

Lance naked in his jacuzzi.

Lance completely oblivious to the fact that he and Chris both apparently wanted the same things from a relationship. The same things! Fucker just ignored the way Chris mentioned the three Js as potential partners, even when they both knew all three were terminally straight. Apparently Lance didn't consider Chris fitted into the category of 'attractive, available man' even when Chris practically hit him over the head with it. They'd been naked! In the hot tub! Talking about their sex lives!

And Lance just missed the point so completely it had to be on purpose. Had to be. Lance might act vacuous, at times, but he was never stupid.

He'd had definitely surprised Lance with that Backstreet thing. That had been inspired. If Lance didn't want Chris, Chris wanted it clear, totally clear, fucking pellucid, that Chris didn't want Lance either.

Chris didn't need Lance. Hell, he didn't need any of them. They were all doing their own things now, and that was good. Chris was just fine without them. He'd achieved his goals already. He had more money than he'd ever need, and his mom had a house. No sleeping in cars for Taylor. It was good to achieve your dreams.

Yes. So. He could start again. He could make it with another band, one that didn't rely on being cute and having a team of choreographers and pyro experts in support. He could do without the razzmatazz. And he could do without Lance Bass, too.


Lance wasn't going to make it to the party. So fuck him. Chris didn't care.

He was not at all surprised to get a special delivery—a day early—of a huge tin of home-baked cookies with a birthday card from Lance. Diane's chocolate chip cookies being the best things *ever* to eat, it was actually a fine birthday present.

It did surprise him when his doorbell rang that same evening. Wasn't expecting company until tomorrow.

He was flabbergasted to see who was standing there on his doorstep.

Nick Carter.

* * * * *

Lance hoped Chris was enjoying his birthday present.

Really. He did.

If Chris wanted a Backstreet Boy, then a Backstreet Boy was what he'd get. If Chris was stupid enough to want—no. If Chris was going to be happy if he got. Well. If Chris might maybe think somebody cared enough to give him... Ideally, Chris would be all shamefaced and sorry he asked for a Backstreet Boy when he really, really wanted... not that that was going to happen, because Chris was never embarrassed about anything, and he never admitted to making mistakes either. And of course he didn't want, anyway.

Even though he thought about it all the time, Lance didn't know whether he wanted Chris to be happy or not. But Chris was going to get what he asked for.

Lance knew better than to approach Howie (Kevin was, of course, out of the question). Chris had mentioned Howie. Therefore, Chris actually wanted someone else. Chris was like that. All around a subject and expecting you to guess what he meant, but more than happy to hit you over the head if you got it wrong. Lance had plenty of experience at guessing what Chris really meant.

Couldn't be AJ. Maybe that would be a disappointment, but AJ was straight. Lance knew this. The attitude, and the eyes, and the tattoos, he'd been tempted way back, but AJ had been politely horrified and Lance was definitely not going that route again. Chris probably knew AJ was straight, anyway. So that left the obvious one.

Nick was gratifyingly receptive when Lance called. Surprised, and maybe even a bit disappointed, Lance thought, when he explained what he actually had in mind. But Nick laughed happily enough, and said sure, he'd always thought Kirkpatrick was kinda sexy in his own very weird way, and promised Lance he'd make sure Chris had a good time on his birthday.

Too damned easy.

So now Lance was left to imagine it. Chris and Nick. Nick and Chris. Tall, fair and easygoing; short, sharp and manic. Complementary. Opposites attract. The possibility that it would turn into more than a night of hot sweaty sex, that Nick would innocently sweep up the prize Lance had never been allowed to even think about reaching for, and Chris would never think...

Lance was getting entirely too much mindless fucking these days. And it didn't help.



"Chris! Hi." Lance's heart jolted. Chris hadn't phoned him in a while.

"I just called to let you know how it went."

"Oh—I thought it was tonight."

"Not the party, doofus! My birthday present."

"Your—oh. Yeah. So—"

"That was fucking great! I didn't seriously think you could swing it but hey, Mr Fix-It, you got me a Backstreet Boy!" Chris's enthusiasm was depressing, but Lance forced himself to sound cheerful.

"You know me. And hey, you did ask. Hope you got the Boy you wanted."

"Oh, hell, yeah. Man, you should've seen my face when I opened the door to find Nick Carter standing there with a great big grin. That boy is so damn pretty, Lance, I'm telling you. His mouth! I mean, J can pout an' all, but Nick could win prizes for it. Good thing I already ate, 'cause yeah. You know he tastes like caramel? No, you don't 'cause he said you two never, gotta say you missed out there, Lance, you really did."

Lance gritted his teeth. Then he had to ungrit them to interject while Chris paused for breath—but too late. He was off again.

"Man, six foot two of big blond boy, and when I say big, hey, you know what I mean, right? And he knows how to use it, I swear to you, I dunno where the kid's been but he sure learnt some lessons. He has this amazing blowjob style, really takes his time, does this kinda sucky tongue-y thing and then, no shit, he deep-throated me for, fuck, felt like hours. Swallowed my cock right down and worked it, you ever had anything like that? Makes me hard again right now just thinking about it. He has nipple rings, and I swear, I had no idea just what a turn-on that was, I mean, he practically came when I played with them. And he's a great fuck, you'd think he wouldn't be, you know, flexible but wow, can he bend! Oh, and major plus having a lover who's all big and strong like that, he picked me right up when we were in the shower and just slid into me—real slow 'cause of the size thing but wow, man, when he was in it was like, you know, I could feel it in my throat practically, fuck, it was amazing. And he makes these noises—when I was rimming him he just crooned, you know? Fantastic. Best lay ever."

Lance sensed that Chris was about to start in again on the details, and he'd had more than enough. "So. Good birthday gift."

"Oh, fucking great, man, I mean, really. Oh yeah, and tell your mom thanks for the cookies, too."

"Sure. Look, I got a meeting in two minutes, so..."

"Sucks to be you. I got party stuff, guests'll be here soon, just wanted to say thanks and give you the juicy details."

And that was that.

* * * * *

"Hah! So there, fucker," Chris muttered, tossing the phone onto the couch. He'd been told before now—by Lance, often as not—that gloating was unattractive. He didn't care. Anyway, Lance got him Nick Carter for his birthday. Lance deserved to know that Chris had had a fan-fucking-tastic time. It was only fair, hah! Plus, maybe it'd make Lance realize that there were some people in this world who didn't recoil at the mere thought of Chris as a sex partner. Chris still remembered—it was burned into his brain—Lance's horrified seventeen-year-old face when he'd caught Chris muttering thou shalt not hit on thy bandmates to himself like a mantra. Chris had been pretty hot, back then. Other people had thought so, anyway. Lance had no reason to be like that about it. Wasn't like Chris had actually hit on him.

Besides, Lance should be grateful. It was Grade A jerking-off material. Chris thought about it himself—him and big blond Nick Carter. Him buried to the hilt in Nick's fine ass. Nick on his knees with his mouth full. In the shower, with soap and hot running water. Nick fucking him slowly, relentlessly, sliding into him, sparking the sensation with every push.

And if sometimes the man in his mind had green eyes instead of blue, he came anyway.


The party was fine. Parties were great. He had family, friends, and acquaintances who were fun to have around, as well as the pretty people who came because he was *Chris Kirkpatrick*. It was good to see the guys again. Chris talked to Joey about Briahna, and what was in the pipeline acting-wise. He talked to JC about the album-in-progress. Nobody mentioned *Nsync. He ate too much Mexican food and drank too much tequila, and bit his tongue so as not to ask what Lance was up to. It was a fine party.


Apparently Lance was having a gay old time in LA. Bedding any hot piece of ass in designer jeans, of which there was no shortage in sunny California. Chris heard about this stuff. Sometimes via the grapevine, sometimes from a squirmingly reluctant JC, who, appearances to the contrary, was not so completely oblivious to the world around him that he didn't notice Lance trying to fuck his way through the entire wannabe Hollywood community, or whatever he was doing.

Chris could just imagine them. Tall, slender, pretty. Details didn't matter, but that description would fit anyone Lance considered worth taking to bed. If JC weren't so enthusiastically committed to women, the two of them would probably have shacked up together years ago. Not that settling down with any one guy seemed to be Lance's style, but whatever.

It was enough to drive a guy to MacDonalds.

He wasn't going to go that route again. He was not. He was going to keep himself in form, and ration the candy, and he was going to do it for him, not out of some futile pretense that Lance would suddenly wake up and realize that he wanted a short, stocky guy who hadn't been pretty since he was a kid.

He sucked at relationships, anyway.

* * * * *


"Are... you okay?"

"Hey, no problem. Was good."

"Really? I was a bit..."

"Intense. But hot." Tony—or was it Toby?—pulled his shirt on. "You should probably make up with the Chris you thought you were fucking."

Lance slumped back into the pillows. "Shit. I'm really sorry." Rule number one of casual sex: don't use names. Rule number one of any kind of sex: never use the wrong name.

Tony/Toby shrugged. "Not like I was looking for true love. And the sex was great."

"Do you need a cab?"

"Nah, just the elevator. I'm staying here too."

"Oh. Well. Thanks."

"My pleasure," said his pick-up, and left without a backward glance.

Lance stared at the ceiling. Vegas had lost its charm.


Lance was not in the mood for gambling. Normally he enjoyed the buzz, reveled in the excitement of the casino, the flash, the noise, the stony concentration of the dedicated and the breathless tension of less seasoned gamblers around him. Tonight, though, he was sick of it. But what else was there to do? He'd already discovered that sex was no help.

Sex was the problem, even. Chris's phone call, and the visions it conjured, still, kept rattling in his brain. He kept seeing them together, Nick Carter and Chris, his Chris, bright intensity and too much energy for any three people, and how dared Carter say Chris was sexy in a 'weird' way, he was magnetic, unpredictable, compelling, next to Chris even Nick Carter's long golden body and kissable mouth was, no, he did not want to think about them together. Ran, almost, out of his solitary suite to the bright lights and alcohol downstairs.

But he couldn't focus his thoughts enough for poker, and the mindlessness of roulette was no kind of distraction. Whiskey reminded him of Chris, and pretty cocktails made him want to throw up.

There was vodka in his room. That would do. Maybe watch TV. In Vegas. Pathetic.

Oh, for fuck's sake. Of all the people he had to bump into—literally bump into, nose to shoulderblades in the middle of the overcrowded casino—this one surely had to be the most unwelcome.

"Hi, Lance!" A sunshine grin and apparent pleasure. Lance felt hot loathing rise in his throat, but summoned his professional smile.

"Nick. Good to see you."

"You trying to get to the blackjack table?"




"Look, um, you wanna drink?"

Lance could think of nothing he wanted less than to drink with Nick Carter.

"Because, uh, that favor you asked me to do you? You know," Nick leaned closer and hissed "Chris" into his ear, than backed off, his face creased apologetically.


"I did try, but, look, I'm sorry, but he... Um, could we talk somewhere else? I'm staying here, you wanna come up?"

Lance struggled with himself. He ought to find a polite way to tell Carter to go to hell.

"We really shouldn't talk about it here," Nick said, eyeing him doubtfully.

"Okay. Sure," said Lance, and followed in Nick's wake until they reached the elevators. He wouldn't have to be polite, in private.


Lance would very much have liked to ask the flight attendant to bring him whiskey. He wasn't sure he could go through with this sober, but drinking on the plane always made him more drunk, somehow, than he got on the ground, and he was going to have to keep very careful control of himself when he got there. Damn it, he was tense.

For want of anything better to do, Lance opened his laptop and tried to concentrate on projections.

Ten minutes later, having no clue what he had been looking at, he shut the laptop and put it away. He had too much to think about. What Nick Carter had said, when Lance reluctantly stepped into his suite and agreed to listen, what he'd said meant Lance had to think back very carefully, and try to figure out what the hell had really been going on, and whether it was possible that he'd gotten it wrong. And if so, had Lance screwed up beyond redemption or. Was this. Insane idea going to work.

Bit late to worry about that when he was already at 35,000 feet. Though he could always get right back on the next flight to LA, or Jackson, or darkest Peru or something. No, not darkest Peru. No passport. He giggled, grimly, in the dimmed light of first-class.

Peru'd be out anyway. He knew better. He'd learned his lesson in Russia, and it wasn't a lesson he'd ever forget. He could deal with failure if he'd gone all-out for the prize, it was the sin of omission he worried about. Which was why he was going to do something really stupid. Probably.

If it worked, it'd be worth it.

* * * * *

What did a man have to do to get some privacy? Seemed like there was always someone coming round to his place, drinking his whiskey (not the 32-year-old Springbank, that was too good to share with just anybody and he kept it well hidden, but the principle held) and expecting him to act weird and make them laugh. Okay, so there hadn't actually been anyone staying over since his party, but there was always stuff, band stuff sometimes which was good, but mostly just people stuff, and there were times when Chris didn't feel like being a people person, and this was one of those times and dammit, there was a people at the door again and he was going to just tell whoever it was to get lost because it was outrageous that a man couldn't be let alone to wallow in misery and unwanted celibacy and someone had to come calling and—


Chris's thoughts came to a dead halt right there as he opened the door and stared into Lance's eyes.

After too many seconds, his thoughts started up again, noting that Lance's face wore an expression of such extreme and total neutrality that he had to be pissed like he hadn't been truly pissed in years. In fact, Chris didn't think he'd ever seen that particular expression on Lance's face before. Lance hadn't developed his self-control to such a pitch of perfection back in the day when they'd discovered exactly how much that fat bastard was making from them.

"Hello, Chris."

And if Chris had for one second entertained the thought that it wasn't him Lance was pissed at, he could kiss it goodbye.

Since Chris had been feeling the prickles of guilt for the best part of a month now, he reckoned he knew what Lance was pissed about, and the only possible means of defense was active hostility. "What?" Chris said, as though Lance had been bugging him for weeks. Which he had, even if Lance didn't actually know it. But so what? Chris could still be angry about it. He was going to need to be, he thought. Truly pissed-off Lance was formidable.

Lance stepped in, and walked right past Chris. Who shut the door and hurried after him.

"So," Chris said belligerently, "what's so important that you gotta show up here without even calling?"

"It seems," said Lance, with perfect calm, "that I owe you a birthday present."

"Bullshit. You gave me a gift, remember? It was great. I told you."

"The phenomenal sex. I remember. Yet strangely, Nick Carter tells me he just sat on the couch with you watching bad movies and eating cookies."

Oh, he was in deep shit. Deep, deep. "He probably blocked it from his memory," Chris suggested, grasping at straws. "Since he's never going to get the chance again."

"So," said Lance, ignoring this, "I owe you. A prime piece of boyband ass, I think, were your exact requirements. Always thought settling for Backstreet was kind of slumming it, and we won't even consider O-Town."

Lance discarded his shoes. Then he began to unbutton his shirt. Chris sat down, suddenly breathless. He'd kinda intended to provoke Lance into at least annoyance by making him jealous, but that had been a month ago and this... This was not how he had expected things to go. He watched as peach-fresh golden flesh appeared before his eyes, stared as the shirt fell onto the couch, and emitted a shocked squeak as Lance's hands went to unfasten his immaculate khakis. A moment later, Lance stood naked as a statue in his living room, still with that determined non-expression on his face. It was kinda terrifying. It was unbelievable. Chris had expected more shouting of abuse, and much, much less skin. It was glorious. Chris ought to make a smart remark about tanning beds, or gym bunnies, or people who didn't wear undershorts, but his brain seemed to have short-circuited, and besides—

"I don't believe it gets much more prime than this," said Lance. He was right, of course. Lance bent, displaying the prime ass very nicely indeed, and fished something out of his pants pocket. Chris just goggled, incapable of speech. A moment later, two objects hit him in the chest and dropped into his lap. Chris had no attention to spare for such trivialities. He licked at his dry lips, and stared some more.

"Do I have to do all the work here?" Lance sat back onto the couch, slid forward so that his ass was just barely on the edge, spread his legs, and started to play with his cock.

Chris's eyes were going to pop out of his skull, any second now.

They might last longer than the zipper of his jeans, maybe. Then Lance licked his fingers, and Chris moaned, lost, and reached down to unzip himself. There were things in the way—a condom packet and a small tube. He was practically hyperventilating now, and Lance was fully erect and his head was back and he was looking at Chris from half-closed eyes, and Chris didn't consciously tell his body to get over there and touch, he just was there, kneeling with a tentative hand on Lance's thigh.

"All yours, Chris."

For a moment Chris thought about asking why, why the hell Lance was here, offering him... this—but if he asked maybe Lance would think better of it and go away. Couldn't risk that. Chris was confused, not insane.

He slid his hand upwards, onto that firm toned stomach, and cautiously sideways. Lance didn't object. Chris's hand closed around Lance's erect cock, hot and ready. He still couldn't quite believe Lance was letting him do this. He slid his hand up, and down, and Lance's breath caught, Lance wanted him to do this. Lance wanted him? That wasn't possible, never had been, Lance had never wanted Chris, and yet here was Lance, naked on his couch. Chris couldn't hold the small needy sound inside, and his left hand came up to splay itself across Lance's gorgeous golden skin, while his right kept working, slowly, carefully, on Lance's cock. Lance's hand closed over Chris's, urging him wordlessly to grasp tighter. And there were fingers against his cheek, gentle.

He couldn't resist. He lowered his mouth, licked at the satin-smooth head, opened his mouth to take it inside, swirl with his tongue, suck and slide, tasted so good, was Lance, wanted to please him, make him stay, let him do this again.

"Chris. Stop."

Chris shuddered to an abrupt halt.

"Stop?" he queried, aghast. Lance—getting cold feet? Not wanting him? Playing with him?

"Stop. I don't want—"

"Well, fuck you!" Chris snarled. He should have known. Pretty, fastidious Lance Bass—and him? He should have known it wasn't real. Should have remembered Lance was the best of them all when it came to payback. That's what this was, payback, for calling him to tell him about hot sex with Nick Carter. Ha ha, fucking hilarious.

"Uh, yeah, Chris, that's—"

"You don't have to be here. Jesus, anyone would think you couldn't get a blowjob anywhere." Getting to his feet, Chris stumbled on Lance's immaculate Italian shoes, so he picked them up and hurled them at the naked perfection on his couch. "Get out of my house."

"Chris—ow!—what the fuck?"

"You made your point. You can go now. Get your fucking clothes on and leave." That got him. Hah. Chris rejoiced, and clenched his fists so his hands didn't shake. He wasn't going to let the bastard see. Chris looked down at Lance's faux-blond head, bent over as he reached for the khakis on the floor, and he didn't touch, and he didn't pull Lance's mouth to where he wanted it, but shit, too much of him wanted that scene to keep going, even now, so he growled, "You know where the door is," and got himself out of there.

Hid, in his bedroom. Jeez, Kirkpatrick, how pathetic was that. Looking out the window to see Lance leave.

Instead, there was someone opening his bedroom door.


"Why are you still here?" Chris said, not turning round.

"I'm sorry." He didn't sound sorry. He sounded controlled. Still pissed, then. What the hell did Lance have to be pissed about, now? Okay, maybe the shoes.

"Really." Chris wasn't going to help him out.

"I thought, uh..."

"Thought you'd see how far you can push me?" Show up, get naked, make me believe you actually want me, and then tell me to stop? "I'm supposed to be the one who always takes the joke too far, Bass, not you."

"Joke. Right." Lance paused. "Look. I wanted—okay, Chris, so I guess there's no chance you won't tell Justin about this and mock me for the rest of my natural life, but I have to say it anyway, so. Here goes. I thought." And he stopped.

Chris turned around, which was probably a mistake, because Lance hadn't made any progress with the getting dressed. He was clutching his pants and shirt, but they didn't hide much. Chris wanted to pin him to the bed and fuck his brains out. He turned back to the window instead, looked out at his back yard. The jacuzzi. Hah.

"I thought, you wanted me. Wanted this." Lance sounded like he was having trouble figuring out what to say.

"Just couldn't go through with it?" Chris suggested. He felt humiliatingly transparent. Had Lance known all along how he felt?

"I didn't mean to—"

"So you accidentally took all your clothes off and accidentally got your dick into my mouth?"

"Will you for once in your life shut the fuck up and listen? I'm trying to explain! The taking clothes off thing. Okay. I thought, if I tried to be subtle, you probably wouldn't notice. Or you'd think I was joking. But I thought if I surprised you, and showed you, you might, um. So, naked. It was, uh, sort of a metaphor. As well as, um, I hoped it would turn you on."

Chris coughed. "Yeah. Well."

"Only, if you don't want me..." Lance trailed off.

"I had your dick in my mouth!" How much more obvious could a man get?

"Yeah, and then you started yelling at me to leave."

"You said stop!"


"You said stop. Fucking cock-tease."

"Jesus Christ, Chris!" That was something. Lance never blasphemed. He actually sounded angry now, not neutral any more. Good. If it meant he was angrier. Maybe they could kill each other. "You thought I—that's insane. You're a moron. I wanted you to fuck me. I wanted to get off with you inside me. What the hell did you think the condoms were for?"

Chris tried to make his brain work properly and reassess the situation. He'd been so sure Lance didn't want him, it'd seemed so obvious. But. Lance, naked on his couch. Chris began to think maybe he'd put two and two together and come up with minus seventeen. "You wanted me to fuck you?" he said, to the window.

"No, 'cause I strip to my skin and start masturbating in front of all of my friends! What exactly did you think was happening?"

"I, uh, I thought you were pissed at me. You looked pissed."

"I did?"

"Yeah. All blank, the way you always look when you're trying to hide how you feel."

There was silence. "You'd think, after all this time, we'd understand each other better, you and me," Lance said quietly. "Yeah, I was pissed at you, when you called me, when you told me about you and the Nick Carter all-you-can-fuck buffet. I swear, I wanted to murder you or something. Definitely wanted to murder him." There was a huff, that might have been laughter. "Then I met him last night and he told me you didn't actually, but he said, it sounded like maybe, I thought maybe you were being the way you always are and not saying what you wanted straight out, and maybe it was me." There was a pause. "I really wanted it to be me, Chris."

Chris didn't dare turn around.

"I wasn't angry when I showed up here. I was, um. Terrified. You're too important to me. This isn't a casual thing. I didn't want to fuck it up. I had to go all out, and that's scary. Chris?"


"Please, Chris? Please tell me. One way or the other. Please."

Chris understood exactly what Lance had meant by 'terrified'. It was one thing to wish for something without doing anything about it for years, it was something else entirely to be offered it for real. He turned around. "Yeah," he croaked. "I mean, yeah. You."

Lance let out a deep breath. "Well, that was articulate." Sounding much more his normal snarky self, he stepped right up, and Chris was pressed against the wall by the irresistible force of incredibly hot bandmate. "What you were trying to say was, you want me, you desire me, you lust after me in a romantic yet manly way, and you aren't going to let me go or pull anything stupid. Right?"

Chris looked at him. Time to be brave. "I love you," he said simply.

Lance looked... stunned. "That—that works too," he said, and buried his face in Chris's neck. Chris's arms went around him, all that skin, all for him, and he held on tight, amazed, and nuzzled at whatever he could reach. There was deep muttering in his ear, "love you, love you", and Lance pressed up against him like he was trying to open Chris up the middle and climb in.

Chris enjoyed that for as long as he could, but conscience poked him in the gut. "Lance?"

Lance looked at him. "Christopher." His nose was about half an inch from Chris's nose. Chris squinted. Lance grinned, and drew back to acceptable focusing distance.

"About that phone call," Chris began. He wasn't very practiced at apologies.

"I figured on using it as a list of things you want to do," said Lance. "Except I'm not going to pick you up and fuck you in the shower. It's just not practical. I'm not even sure it's plausible."

"I was trying to make you jealous."

"It worked." Lance didn't seem to care that it had been a shitty thing to do. "I was jealous. Definitely."

No surprise, Chris thought. "Nick's pretty hot."

"Sure he is. But he's not the prize."

"No," said Chris, relieved. Lance's self-esteem was as sturdy as ever. "I got the prize." He hugged a bit, to make sure Lance got the point. "Right here."

"Silly Chris. I got the prize. Now are you going to fuck me already, or do I have to put my clothes back on?"

* * * * *


"What do I want for Christmas? I dunno." So much for afterglow. Chris was wide awake and jiggling, his long hair all anyhow and his eyes agleam. "Anything with sugar. Chocolate chip cookies!"

"Hah. Try again. I am not enabling you in your quest to get hyper."

"You're mean. You're a mean, mean man. First you insist on bottoming so's you can lie back and relax while I do all the work, then you refuse to give me sugar. Mean!"

"No," said Lance, suddenly inspired and groping on the bedside table for his cellphone. "No, I'm not. I'm an incredibly good boyfriend who won't let you run around bumping into walls. Besides, I can think of a much better gift than that." He knew the number was in memory somewhere.

"Better than your mom's chocolate chip cookies? Wrong again, Bass. I want cookies."

"Quit bouncing on the bed! If you keep still and silent while I make this call I'll rim you until you scream and then fuck you till you can't breathe. Meanwhile, shut up for two minutes." Lance gestured at his cell. "Nick! Hi, Lance Bass here. Fine, thanks for asking. Yeah, about that favor you were going to do me back in October..." Lance grinned. Chris was kneeling on the bed with eyes like saucers and an expression of wonder that made him look about twelve. "Uh huh. Yeah, we are together, oh, JC told you, did he? Right. Yeah. So I was wondering, with Christmas coming up, how'd you feel about a threesome?"



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