Best of Friends?

Disclaimer: This story is in no way based on factual events and is merely fictional entirely (to the best of my knowledge). In no way do I claim to know the actual sexual orientation of any persons mentioned herein. If you are offended by male/male relationships then either leave and be happy or read and be disgusted (it's your call).

I'm still struggling to find time for get this stuff up but I finish college in a few days for the summer WOOHOO!! maybe then i'll get some time to do it (no promises though)

Chapter 5:

JC remained on the floor of the hotel corridor alone, attempting to slowly calculate his next move but ending up in total confusion.

"Hello?" Steve said slowly into the phone
"Steve, it's me"
"Josh? It's 3am. Are you plastered again? I only got in 2 hours ago. You miss me that much?"
"Something like that"
"Josh what's wrong? You sound like you've been crying or you've got the flu"
"Something really bad's happened. Joey and Justin saw us kissing, Steve. He knows"
"Shit. Are you okay?"
"Not really, I'm pretty bad. I've been sat against this wall for an hour tryng to calm myself down but I'm just making myself worse"
"You want to come back here and we'll talk?"
"As much as I want to, I can't. We leave in 6 hours"
"You can still make it back in time"
"I doubt it"
"Please Josh if you're all cut up about this then you need to talk to me about it"
"I support you're right"
You know I am. Pull yourself together and grab a cab over here"
"OK, see you in a few"

" wanna tell me what's got you so wound up?"
If I knew I would" JC said, sitting next to Steve on the bed
Well, what's all this about them two seeing us?"
"Well after I'd got our the cab, I was walking along the corridor to our rooms and next thing Justin comes running up to me"
"Then what?"
"The next thing I know, he's telling me how him and Joey were stood over the road and saw us kissing"
"But why are you so upset? They had to know sometime"
"This isn't how I wanted them to know, though. It was all sorted in my head, how I was going to tell them, what words, everything. But this..."
"It's OK, Josh, really, it is" Steve hugged JC sensing the imminent breakdown, "Besides, Joey probably won't remember he gets that drunk sometimes"
"Yeah maybe you're right"
"You know I am. Now let's get you to bed. You know where the sofa is, right?"
"Sofa? I was...kinda...kinda hoping" JC floundered
"You really are gonna have to get spade for all those holes you dig yourself into. Of course you can sleep with me, as long as that's all we do. I don't think either of us are in the mood, tongith"
"Thanks. You now I love you so much"
"I know. Now come on let's go to bed"

"Josh, we have to get up. You've got to get going and you can't do that unless you let go of me
"Let go of me"
"Oh...sorry" JC apologised, releasing him from the vice-like grip, "You know what? I thought it'd be much weirder than this"
"Waking up next to guy. It seems so normal now though"
"I'll take that as a compliment then. Now get your ass in gear"

"JC thank god! We were so worried about you. Where've you been?" Lance demanded, genuinely concerned as JC entered
"It's been a long story Lance. I'll tell y'all later"
"We thought you'd been kidnapped or something. Justin was knocking on our door at like 1am or something wanting to now if I'd been you" Chris informed him
"Yeah I saw him afterwards. Where is he anyway?"
"Him and Joet aren't up yet. Lance, try their room again. Late night I think. So where were you?"
"I had a bit of a crazy thing going on. Something happened and I needed to tal to Steve about it"
"Steve?!" Chris interjected, "What's wrong with one of us?"
"Because you guys are my bestfriends and so is Steve, but it's a different kinda bestfriend. I can tell him stuff that I can't tell you guys because if I did and you didn't like it then we'd all have to live with the consequences. It's easier on me, that's all"
"I still think you should have told us first though. It's not that I don't trust Steve, hes a great guy and everything, but what's to say that if you have an arguement he won't go selling all this stuff to the press?"
"He wouldnn't, he's more than just a friend"
JC, lets talk sense here. You can't be 100% sure that he's gonna stay loyal to you, or us. What might happen if they offer big bucks? We've got this far as a unit, by all sticking together and sorting out our problems with each other. To be honest, I think you spend so much time with him you're becoming distracted from the group"
"Chris why are you being such an arsehole? What are yougoing on about? I'm still as committed to the group as I ever have been and I work my ass of just as much, if not harder, than you"
"I'm not disputing that---"
"Well what is it? Is it Steve? What's wrong with me hanging out with somone who isn't one of us? Is that it? Because it upsets the balance? 'Cause it spoils the club?"
"No and I resent that!"
"Well what is it then?" JC was increasingly annoyed, "Is this his doing?" JC focused his attention on the silent Lance, "You puthim up to this? You probably did seeing as you hate him so much"
"Hey, lave me out of this. I never said or did antything!"
No, if we're clearing the air here, then let's it lance"
"I don't have a problem with anything you do, you're an adult. As far as all this with Steve's concerned, I don't care about you having friends outside the group, but I do think he's a pretty lousy choice of friend"
"Why? Becasue he's gay?"
"No and why do you keep bringing that up - none of us care what his persuasion is. And I do think he's a bad influence on you"
"Bad influence? You sound like myfucking mother ten years ago"
"He is - all of his drinking, smoking, drugs, swearing, it's already rubbing off on you"
"Grow up Lance. Why are y'all making such a big fuss?"
"For the sake of teh group"
"What? You think I'm gonna leave or someting? You're sadder than I thought

"What?" Justin asked , sening the atmosphere on the bus
"It looks like those three had a fight this morning" Joey offered
"Something like that. JC got Chris pretty wound up" Lance explained
"Where is he anyway?"
"JC? He's asleep down the back?"
"I gotta speak to him" Justin said as he headed off

"What now? I'm sort of occupied"
"It's about last night. And Joey. I spoke to him this morning and he reckons that he can't remember anything weird happening last night"
"And?" JC asked depreciatingly
"Hey, you may be off the hook here
"Maybe, maybe not"
"JC, what is wrong with you? It's something more than Steve?"
"In a way. Thanks for telling me that though, it's took a lot off my mind"
"You're welcome. Anytime you need a friend..."
"I've got your bunk number"
"Anything you want me to do?"
"You could apologise to them two for me"
"Can't you do it yourself?" Justin half-complained as JC's phone rang, "Never mind!!"

"It's me JC. I had to check you were ok after last night"
"I'm fine now. Justin just told me that he'd spoke to Joe this morning and he doesn't remember it so..."
"So maybe we can get away with it for a while longer"
"Steve I decided this morning, I want them to know now"
"Josh are you joking?! With all this crap that's going on right now?"
"Why not?"
"Because it'll make things about ten times worse!"
"I thought you would have been all for it"
"Well sorry but I don't agree. Now's probably the worse time"
"Why don't you give it a while longer? Sort out all those problems with them and maybe then we can tell them. But if yuoure gonna do it then I can't exactly stop you"
"Don't you want me to?"
"It's not that but things are tense at the best of times between me and them and this might just the straw that broke the camel's back"
"You dont think they'll accept you, do you?
"It's not that. I couldn't care less what they think of me but if we're gonna be known to them things have to be 100% cool. I don't want to be the one that split up NSYNC"
"You won't. Damn the bus just pulled up"
"Well I've gotta go fry some burgers at work. Are you sure you're ok now?"
"Fine. Bye, love you"

Steve had second thoughts about going to work, phoning them up and telling them he was resigning. That morning he went back to Macy's and begged for his old job back. They took him back on. The dull monotony of shop work getting him down again only his love for JC brightening his life up a bit. He returned home at 9pm after staying late to do the paper work that Valerie had deputied him whilst on holiday. After a long hot shower, he threw himself in front of the TV in his bedroom. The phone rang but he left it to ring for what seemed lke hours before snatching it up.
"Fuck off I'm tired. Call back tomorrow" Steve snapped down the phone, slamming it back down after

The next morning, the phone rang again whilst Steve was on his way out the door

"Oh, so I get a friendly welcome today?"
"What are you talking about?"
"Last night when I tried to speak to you. You told me to fuck off and then called me an asshole"
"Oh that was you? Nothing personal, I was pissed off"
"Yeah well I was too. That's why I wanted to speak to you"
"Josh I'm already late for work"
"I don't care, we need to talk about something"
"Can't it wait til later? I've got to get there now"
"Fine, talk tonight. but we've got to do this tonight. Bye"

For the rest of the day, Steve tried to concentrate on running the department but his mind always drifted to what JC wanted to tell him. From the tone in his voice, JC was seerious but he also sounded slightly worried. It was another 9pm finish for Steve who still couldn't get his head round the mass of paperwork he had to do every day
"Hi are you ready to talk now?"
"What's going on Josh?"
"Well I know you didn't want to me tell them about 'us' but..."
"You told them, didn't you?" Steve said, letting out another pissed off-sigh
"Yeah sorry"
"Shit Josh, how did they find out?"
""It slipped out sort of thing. But I couldn't cover it up or twist what I'd said so I had to tell them"
"Now what?"
"They didn't go crazy about it or anything"
"But they weren't exactly happy about it either?
"Exactly. Are you alright with this?"
"To be honest, no. I need this like a hole in the head right now. I thought we agreed to be careful about letting things slip out about us"
"I know we did but what I said wasn't ambiguous in the slightest - it was obvious what I meant"
"Well what's done is done, i guess" Steve sighed
"They'll kill you, you know"
"No the cigarettes. I could hear you lighting up"
"Smoking should be the least of our worries right now, Josh. How about you ask one of them to call me tomorrow and I'll talk it through with them"
"Good idea, I'll get Justin---"
"No, not Justin, one of the others. Justin already knew, I need to speak to lance. Or Joey. Not sure about Chris though"
"I'll ask them but I can't promise that they;ll want to speak to you"
"If they care about you as much as they say, they will"
"I suppose they will, but like I said, no promises"
"When can we meet up again, it's been like months since I saw you"
"I don't know. We're still busy on the tour things, it might be a while still"
"How much longer?"
"Another couple of weeks probably"
"Fine. I'm gonna go sleep so don't forget to ask one of them to call me"

the next morning, Steve automatically woke at 6am despite having the day off since Valerie returned.
"Erm this Steve?"
"Yes and who are you?"
"Joey, JC said you wanted to talk"
"Oh right"
"So what's wrong?"
"I know you all probably hate my guys for turning your JC into my camp little boyfriend---"
"Who said we hated you? We don't hate you..."
"Well you've made us face a lot of problems we never dreamt we'd have to deal with and...I guess it knocked us sideways. And I guess it showed us that we weren't being as good a friend to JC as we thought we were"
"And I thought you were one of the least intelligent peple in the group"
"You'd be surprised how much I pick up on"
"So are you cool about this...? About me and Josh?"
"I suppose, whatever makes him happy. To be honest, I already knew"
"Knew what?!"
"About you two. I played ignorant to Justin the morning after we saw you two kissing in New York. But I didnt want to make any more waves between us"
"Oh...thanks for that. I thnk"
"No worries. I had my susupicions about JC being gay too before he told us. I'd had them for a couple of years but he was pretty good at hiding it. Just not good enough. And it was obvious he was dating somone seriously. He's like an open book once you get to nkow him"
"Oh god, this is too much. You know you could have hinted that you knew or something"
"And spoil the fun? No way. It was too much fun watching him squirm in that chair after it slipped out about you two"
"Joey, you're sick"
"Hey you would have laughed just as much if you'd have been there. He had that little schoolboy look, the one where he know's he's gonna be in trouble? And I swear to god he was the darkest shade of red I have EVER seen"
"Well that sounds just absolutely comical"
"Ste I have to go, your boyfriends banging my door through"
"As long as that's all he's banging"
"Bye Steve. And one more thing, I know it'll never ahppen but should you break JC's heart, a little advice- get a new identity"
"I beg your pardon?"
"You break his heart and we might have to break yours, if you know what I mean"
"Is that a threat?"
"No, not yet anyway. Just keep that in mind, bye"
"Yeah...bye Joey"

Steve put the phone back slowly, shocked slightly. Dare I incur the wrath of NSYNC? Was he threatening me? He let it go, sure in his mind that he wouldn't ever break JC's heart. At least not intentionally any way.

"Hey Josh, only me. I know you said that you'd have your phone off all day but what the hell, your voicemails good enough for me. Just wanted to say that I spoke to Joe this morning and everything went OK, at least I think so. Apart from him sayng that if I ever broke your heart he'd hunt me down. Was he serious? At least I'm sure they're still your friends after all. Oh well, gotta go. Bye Josh"

"Where is he?!" JC demanded
"Joe, where the fuck is he?"
He's next door with Andy, why?"
JC vanished quickly, not answering
"Andy, can you excuse us a minute?"
"What's up?" Joey asked after Andy (a technician) had left the room
"What the hell do you think you are doing threatening Steve like that?"
"Whoa, I didn't threaten him"
"He just told that you said you'd hunt him down"
"Oh that..."
"Yeah, that. Who are you to threaten people I love?"
"Let me explain. What I said was that if he broke your heart then we might have to do something about it"
"I know you're from Brooklyn and everything but you ain't part of the Mafia, Joey!"
"It was an idle threat"
"I don't care what type of threat it was, it was a threat. And in future I'd appreciate it if you kept them to yourself"
"Good because you really shook him up, it's bad enough with all the band pressure on him and I don't want, or need, you adding to it, okay?"
"Sorry" Joey aplogised for the second time, surprised at JC's sudden anger

The weeks ticked by and NSYNC again arrived in New York. A few days before they got there, Steve received another of JC's love letters, or at least he presumed so until he opened it,

I had to write to youf or 3 reasons, (1) Justin broke my phone when he dropped it out of the hotel window, (2) they moan about long-distance phonecalls charged to the company, and (3) I can;t do this face-to-face, at least not yet.
You know I love you with all my heart and I don't know what Id do without you but I've done something really stupid and I hate myself so much for it. When we meet up we're got to talk - seriously. I can't tell you what just yet because I feel sick thinking about it already - but please, don't let this damage what we have!


"What's he done now?" Steve asked out loud. He read it again in the hope of a clue as to wht JC had actually done. but the only new observatopns were the small spatters on the ink and envelope - either tears or rain. "Don't let this damage what he have? What has he done?"

There you go, another chap knocked out faster than a tart's baby on welfare. As per, send the good, the bad, and a touch of the ugly to