nsync in black and white

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


My first popslash, inspired by comments on the fabulous Pornutopia series by No Pseud Attached, who beta read this and made some very helpful suggestions about songs.

If Joey had been there it would never have happened, but Joey had a head cold and was hiding his Rudolphian nose from the world. If JC or Justin had been there, the giggling would have given the game away long before anything got written down. But Justin was scheduled elsewhere, having his photograph taken, and JC was snuggled fast asleep on the floor next to his hotel bed, with a pillow clutched in his arms and another between his knees, looking too cute to be woken to the morning after a night of Tequila Forfeits. So Chris and Lance had applied a tattoo transfer to his bicep—a pneumatic mermaid—admired the effect, and left him asleep. And gone to the interview.

It was nothing special, only a new teeny mag trying to break into an already overcrowded market, but as Johnny pointed out, there might be a couple dozen thirteen-year-old girls out there who hadn't fallen in love with Justin yet. The interviewer they'd sent was a twenty-something going on twelve, from the way she was dressed, the notebook with kittens on the cover and the Barbie pink streaks in her hair. And, oh, joy, it turned out she thought she was going to be Bob Woodward or someone if she grew up, and kept trying to ask searching questions about whether they all got along.

It was dull, oh, how dull it was. They could all of them fend off that kind of bullshit without even being fully awake (so they could have dragged JC along, really, but it was much more satisfying to imagine what he'd do when he woke up and discovered he'd been so wasted last night he'd had a tattoo, heh). Lance was really good at it, faking sincerity for all he was worth, and the girl reporter was just eating it up, gazing at him like he was edible, and twitching at her skirt, and totally not noticing that his voice was edging down-register, a semitone with every sentence. Chris noticed, because it was the most entertaining thing happening in that room, listening to Lance turning Pink Streaks into a puddle of lust without her realising. But even though it was funny, it really wasn't that funny, and Chris had had more than enough of pimping for Justin anyway. This was such a waste of time. Pink Streaks might think she was an investigative journalist, but what was actually going to appear in her little rag was exactly what had appeared in a hundred others.

And then Pink Streaks proved she wasn't a professional by asking about the lawsuit. Chris saw the moment of cold anger flicker across Lance's face before the cuteness flowed back into place, saw him open his mouth for an anodyne brush-off, and seized the split-second. "It was the merchandising."

Pink Streaks snapped out of her vocally-induced haze and stared at him. "Merchandising?"

"Yeah." Chris stared at the hands clasped in his lap. Checked his watch. Nearly eleven thirty. O-kay. "They wanted to sell... personal things." Help me, here, Bass, pick it up.

"Personal things?"

"Very. Personal." Lance drawled. "It was—they wanted. Casts." Oh, you star!

"That was what finally decided us," Chris affirmed. "When we had to do the... the moulding."

Pink Streaks was looking bewildered but avid. "Moulding?"

"They wanted to sell them at concerts," Lance told her earnestly. "Said it was too good an opportunity to miss. When the audience was. You know. Worked up."

"But... sell what? Mouldings of what?"

Lance gestured expressively at his own lap. Chris hunched in what he hoped looked like a defensive gesture, and clenched his teeth on the smirk that so badly wanted to give the game away. "They brought us magazines," he said, with difficulty.

"My... God," the girl said. "You mean—?"

Lance raised innocent, vulnerable green eyes to her hungry stare. "Standard versions in natural latex. And de luxe versions to reflect our personalities. JC's was pink and glittery. And it played For The Girl Who Has Everything when you pressed the switch on the base."

"And what did your—"

"Mine was black," Chris interrupted. "With silver studs."

"We couldn't let them do that. I mean, something like that, it's so personal, something like that—we had to own the rights to our own, um."

"They wanted us to autograph them, you know. Special editions," added Chris.

"We aren't supposed to talk about it," Lance said, his voice vibrant with sincerity. "But you've been so nice, it feels like you really understand, so you see..."

"Absolutely. Oh, wow. I—that's so wrong, you poor guys, it must have been, no wonder you, wow. Did you say For The Girl Who Has Everything?" She was scribbling frantically and looking kinda glassy-eyed. Probably envisaging a Pulitzer prize. Boyband exposed, ex-management in penis-replication scandal. Ah well. Someone at the editorial office would remind her what day it was. Speaking of which, if he and Lance didn't get JC to wake up soon, he'd be all uppity about it not counting after midday. Not that Chris cared about rules when he pulled something like this, but he really wanted to see JC's face when he thought he'd had needle-work done.

"That's right," said Lance. "Chris's theme tune was I Drive Myself Crazy. Joey got More than a Feeling. And—"

"We gotta go," said Chris, leaping from the sofa and grabbing Lance by the wrist. If he didn't get out he was going to piss himself, not an attractive look and besides, he liked these pants.

"—and Justin's played O Holy—"

Chris hauled him out, and slammed the door.

As it turned out, coaxing JC down from the ceiling took up a lot more time and energy than they'd planned for, and what with the trauma and the outrage and the declarations of eternal loathing, and then Joey—looking as if he could stop traffic, in a bad way—stalking out to see were they sacrificing a cat and if so could they please be a little more efficient about it, and then Justin hyper with indignation at having missed all the fun when he got back an hour later, the subject of their interview was relegated to the 'kinda funny, but not worth mentioning' shelf.

Six weeks later, Johnny called a meeting. He was slightly green, and distinctly shaking, and when he showed them issue one of Cherish, and asked very politely (all things considered) what the FUCK they had been thinking, Chris and Lance were almost as surprised as the rest of the guys.

"But—but, it was an April Fool," Chris stammered, astonished into normality for a few precious moments. "We never thought the editor would let it through."

"Where could they possibly have gotten verification?" Lance demanded. "Since, it never happened, an' all. Nobody would print something that outrageous without checking..."

"Does this," Johnny held up the garish pages, "look like Time magazine to you?"


Joey was going to die, Chris thought. He didn't seem to have breathed in for, like, five minutes. Still, dying laughing was okay. JC didn't seem to have breathed either, he looked like he'd solidified ever since he read the pink and sparkly bit, and Chris really couldn't tell whether he was frozen with horror or lost in contemplation. Justin, on the other hand, was having no trouble breathing: apparently he'd learned to do it through his ears, because the stream of abuse on a rising scale had not paused once, and Chris, being Chris, couldn't help wondering if Justin was actually more peeved that this atrocity had appeared in print or that they hadn't mentioned the special ultra-deluxe gold-plated Timberlake model.

Johnny, however, was just plain mad. Steaming.

"Did you, in fact, tell this girl that y'all had casts made of your dicks so we could sell dildoes at your concerts? Direct quotes, Chris, Lance, I thought you knew better!"

"It was a joke!"

"We didn't actually say..." Lance began, but speech withered on his tongue as Johnny glared.

"Have you any idea what the mailroom has had to deal with since this thing came out? They're being buried back there!"

"Obscenity charges? Threats? Libel suits?" Christ, Lou might actually have a case—

"No, Chris. Orders."



Back to Popslash Index
Back to Alternative Popslash Index