nsync in black and white

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

Separate Trajectories

This ficlet was written for the third sky_pie challenge.
Notes on my musings and problems as I tried to write it can be found here.

It's good to be busy. Being busy, working all the time -- it's what he's used to, it's what he's always done, so at least it's familiar.

Familiar is good, even though it's hard. This thing he's doing, this is a whole lot scarier than he'd anticipated. Every day there's a moment when he thinks, why did I listen to the opinions of people who don't matter to me? Instead of staying where he was happy, where he was safe, where he could push the boundaries from a position of security, he's put himself out there alone. Sure, there's a safety net, he can always go back, he knows they'll always be glad to have him back, but -- to fail and have to go back because there wasn't a forward? No. Can't face that. And all those people out there whose unimportant opinions prodded him out onto this limb, all those clever, dismissive voices who've been telling him he can do better than a boyband, they'll be so happy to see him fail and crash, won't they just love to write about how he's gotten too big for his sneakers and thinks he's clever when he's really nothing more than a song-and-dance puppet.

Sometimes the pressure of all the voices, the wills and the mights and the shoulds, makes it hard to breathe. Other times, it buoys him up, like a wave under his feet surging him on.

He calls. He really does. Not as much as he wants to, but. Busy. And... he knows they're tired. They wanted a break, too, really. They did. The release from pressure scattered them across the continent, five separate trajectories, all that distance to get away from each other. Joey's gotten a whole new identity on stage, JC's dreaming up new kinds of musical weirdness, Lance apparently exchanged his sanity for a space suit, Chris is loafing. He's tired.

Justin is too adrenalised to be tired. Which is good, because it helps him deal, now he doesn't have the everyday reassurance that used to be something that just happened while everything else was happening. When he was a part instead of a whole. Yes, of course there are plenty of people here who talk a good talk, but it never used to need saying, even if it got said anyway, sometimes. It was always there.

But now he has to make time for it. Has to program it into his day: call Chris. Talk and be cheered. Remember not to ramble forever because Chris is on vacation now, and maybe not completely excited by Justin's new existence. He has other stuff. He isn't here. And that was the point, really...

It was always there.
Separate trajectories.
Good to be busy.


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