nsync in black and white

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

May We?

Excerpt from a Fortnight in June

For the uninitiated, Emma = student shorthand for Emmanual College, John's = ditto for St John's College, Trinity = Trinity College.
A punt is a flat-bottomed boat propelled by means of a long pole, a procedure known as punting.
The fic is set during that halcyon period between exams and results known as May Week, during which the undergraduates are at leisure
to attend parties, picnics, night-long formal May Balls etc. May Week is actually a fortnight in June.

"Hey! Hello?"

He was so startled he nearly dropped the pole. This time in the evening, the last thing he expected was to hear a masculine voice call out to him from—from where? The river banks were deserted on both sides. Joey let the punt drift as he looked for the source of the hail.

"Can you give me a lift?"

On the island! There was someone emerging from the bushes on the tiny island in the middle of the river. Tall, sturdy, blond and, most interestingly, stark naked. Grinning, Joey manoeuvred the punt backwards.

"Car trouble?" he suggested.

The blond rolled his eyes. "Boyfriend trouble," he said simply.

Joey felt his eyebrows climb. Guy had balls. Heh. Not many people were willing to admit that kind of thing to a complete stranger. "Stole your clothes, did he?"

The blond guy grinned suddenly, and even in the dusk it was like a gleam of sunshine. "Pushed me in the river, then buggered off with the punt and all my kit," he explained. "I'd have walked back to college, but as you see..." he gestured down his body, "didn't want to be arrested. Thought I might as well wait till it got dark."

"Come aboard."

The naked blond stepped into the punt, and sat down at the bow end. Joey hauled off his rugger shirt and tossed it to his passenger, who donned it gratefully. It was a balmy enough evening, but still, the guy must have been getting chilled. Joey was okay, topless now, but he hadn't been dunked in the unsavoury waters of the Cam.

"Which college?" Joey enquired, taking up the pole again and setting the punt in motion.

"Emma. Oh, I'm Nick. Carter. Arch and Anth."

"I'm Joey Fatone. John's. Second-year History."

"Glad to meet you, Joey, and thanks for the pick-up." Nick smiled up at him, and again Joey felt warmed by sunshine. He was very conscious of his own flesh on display, and paid more attention than usual to his punting style, hoisting the pole up in two neat jerks, and ignoring the spatters of water over his arms and chest.

"No problem," he said easily. "You can help me shift this punt over the rollers."

"Did you get it up on your own?" Nick sniggered. "Sorry, that didn't quite come out the way I thought it would."

Joey grinned back. "No, I was taking my girlfriend along towards Grantchester for a picnic."

Nick looked meaningfully along the punt, and cast a thoughtful, wary glance over the side.

"Yeah, well," Joey shrugged. "Turns out her idea of a picnic was strawberries and champagne, and mine was beer and ham sandwiches with sex for afters. She told me I was a clod, and walked home."


"Screw her. Or not, as it turns out."

"Maybe if you turned up with the strawberries and champagne?"

"Nah. I'd rather find someone who wants beer and sandwiches."

Nick looked wistful.

"Oh—you hungry? I think there's one left, in my bag there."

Nick brightened, rummaged through the rucksack, and ate the slightly distorted sandwich with obvious enjoyment. "No beer left, I suppose?"

"Sorry. But I keep a stash in my room."

"That an offer? If so, I accept."

Joey concentrated on his punting, taking extra care to time the approaches to the bridges so as not to embarrass himself.

"Ready to pull up here?" They were approaching the rollers. Nick, not surprisingly, was a great deal more help than Tricia in the awkward procedure of getting the punt from one level to the other. He had a very fine butt, Joey noted, watching his new acquaintance lean over to haul on the rope.

Joey resumed punting, in a leisurely way. It was past ten now, and very nearly dark. Thank God for college-owned punts you could take out till all hours.

"I'd offer to take a turn," Nick said, "but—oh, wow!" They were approaching Trinity, where the wide lawn was bedecked for fairytale: coloured lights and music and girls in swirling finery, silk and chiffon, their escorts elegant in black tie or even, here and there, tails. Nick's face lit up like a child watching the lights on a Christmas tree.

Joey let the punt drift gently past the jewelled scene. "Don't think you'd look right," he commented. "College rugby shirt, not exactly formal dress."

"True. Besides, I'm enjoying the view from here." Nick grinned lazily.

They floated under the Bridge of Sighs. Joey steered the punt adroitly into the John's mooring, and both of them stepped out.

"You wanna carry the rucksack?" Joey offered, trying not very hard not to smirk. Nick shot him a mildly reproachful look from beneath his eyelashes, and held the rucksack defensively in front of himself. "Come up to my room. I'll find you some trousers."

"Ah," said Nick. "I was hoping I might get you out of yours."

"Before or after the beer?" said Joey.

Nick smiled at him. "I'm easy," he said.



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