Hi, this is my first try at slash fiction, hopefully not the last...but that depends on the feedback. I've got the whole story planned and have written about two-thirds of it. It's a take on Justin as someone more mature and hard than he's usually portrayed, I'm not sure if it'll appeal to everyone. But here goes anyway!
Author's note: If I can be writing about boyband members being gay, I don't see why I can't take any further liberties like making them cross-dressers or something. Joking!! I've tried to be true-to-life, but really, I haven't so much as looked vaguely in the direction of Florida, I'm half a world away. So please inform me if you detect any irregularities in the story. And yes, the spelling is British, it's how I was taught to spell, so there.
Disclaimer: 'N Sync, for all I know, are just five guys adorning the picture of my cd. I'd give an arm and a leg to know them, but I don't, and this story's only fiction. It's got mature themes, so if you're a minor, be advised--it ain't pretty!
Questions, comments, bouquets and brickbats, please direct to email@example.com
IN SYNCHRONICITY, Part one
It was an ungodly hour of the morning, thought Joel Casey bitterly as squinted at his bedside clock, then at the ringing phone. The source of his awakening.
"Hello," he said shortly, deciding to forego his usual morning-call greeting (a grunt). It might be someone important, like a relative. It had to be--all his friends knew better than to call him before noon on a Sunday.
"Joel? Hey, it's Justin!" an all-too-familiar, bright voiced called from the other end. Joel almost let the receiver fall as he scrambled upright, throwing off his covers frantically.
"Justin! Oh gosh, how have you been?" Joel shook his head vigorously, trying to clear the cobwebs from his mind and the sleep from his voice. It was Justin! He had to be alert!
"It must be, what-? 10.30 in Orlando? Hahaa sorry to call this early, J," he apologized. "I know how important your beauty sleep is to you," he added teasingly.
Joel had to smile at that remark. "Yeah, otherwise the great and wise Justin Randall Timberlake wouldn't even consider me being his friend right? Not that he's been much of one lately anyway!" the last part was said with just a trace of snideness.
"Oh, shit buddy. I'm so sorry I haven't been in touch more often. The tour has been so hectic, in every city we've been. But I'm on my way home now."
"Home? Here? I mean, home, right?" Joel asked dumbly.
"Jeez, you really don't function well when you just wake up do you? Yes, home! Orlando! In fact, I'll be there in another three hours," his voiced turned low. "And I just can't wait to see you." Joel felt an electric thrill tingle up his spine at Justin's last words. He forced himself to remain cool, though. Act breezy!
"As if! I'll probably have to wait a couple more weeks before I get any of that fine white ass of yours," Joel laughed it off.
"I so beg to differ, J. I'm coming back in 3 hours. And I'm meeting you in three hours' time. At your place. Get ready." Justin's voice hesitated. "It's really been too long, and I'm gonna make up for it, I swear."
Joel closed his eyes, feeling a lump at his throat. He didn't need to be reminded of the length of time they'd been apart. He could recall without hesitation -- three months and ten days since they'd last seen each other, three weeks and two days since the last email, and this was the only phone call he'd had in all that time.
"Well, I was beginning to think that you'd gone and forgotten me, " he said wistfully.
"Hey, I couldn't even if I tried. I'll explain everything when I get there okay? Three hours, J."
"I'll be here, of course," said Joel, mimicking a breathless girly voice. "Right here, waiting. For you. Holding my breath."
He heard Justin's laugh. "Save your breath now, coz you won't have a chance to when I'm there! Oh man, I get enough of that already thank you very much. See ya, Joel."
"Bye," Joel put the phone down at let himself fall back into his bed with a satisfied sigh, letting a slow, deliriously happy smile spread over his face. Justin was coming! He looked out of his window. It was going to be a beautiful day, he decided.
Joel finally got up and went about his usual morning business. Not that he was paying any particular attention to what he was doing -- he was too busy reminiscing his past with Justin Timberlake, youngest, and hottest, member of 'N Sync.
It was in the book section of Tower Records, almost two years ago. He was browsing the alternative lifestyle section rather discreetly and had reached up to grab a book he wanted, the last on the shelf, just as another hand took it.
"Oh, hey you wanted this book?" said the stranger in a clear, bright voice. Joel lifted his eyes up to gaze at the most gorgeous guy he'd ever seen in his nineteen years of life. This was a veritable angel standing before him, from his tight blond curls to his slim, nicely muscled, youthful body. And, of course, the startling, depthless blue eyes.
"Are you okay? You're, um, turning blue or something," he said. Dammit, Joel, breathe!
"Oh, er, I'm fine, really," Joel said, hoping that the guy didn't notice him practically drooling over him.
"Well okay," he held out the book--'The Perfect Son'. "You wanted this as well?" he asked again.
Joel coloured a little, realising that anyone would know that he was gay, being caught wanting that book in that section of the store. He lifted his head. So what? The other guy probably is too, he fervently prayed so.
"Yeah, I've actually been looking for it for ages," Joel said. "Its by a Singaporean author, and--well, I'm half-Singaporean myself," he finished lamely. Mentally, he kicked himself. What a stupid reason for wanting to read the book! For the author's nationality.
If the handsome stranger seemed amused by Joel's statement, his sunny smile showed no sign of it. He looked even more wonderful, Joel's breath got caught in his throat once more.
"Singaporean...Chinese, I presume? Yeah you look exotic, I couldn't really place you at first," he cocked his head to one side, giving Joel an appraising look. Joel shivered internally as he physically felt the younger man's eyes rake over his body. Thank you, god, for making him swing the other way!
"So what's this book about?" he asked, holding up the paperback, looking at Joel enquiringly.
"Uhh...well, it's about a perfectly normal...homo-homosexual guy," Joel stumbled slightly on that word. "Who grows up normally, in a loving and supportive environment, and provides a refreshing outlook on the...gay...lifestyle." He tried not to stare at the guy, but sneaked a quick all-over when he was reading the back-cover blurb.
Joel was surprised by how young the guy really was...about sixteen or seventeen, tops. I could've been fooled by his words, he thought. He really speaks maturely. His gaze traveled down his body, nicely trim and fit, and boy did he dress classily. Brown fitting sweater and comfy-looking chinos. He looked slightly familiar. Probably some model or something...he's definitely got the looks.
"I've heard of this book," his clear voice interrupted Joel's reverie. "Heard that it's good."
"Yeah, me too. I've always wanted to own a copy of it..." Joel said. "Darn, it's the last one."
"Oh, you take it then," he thrust the book into Joel's hands. Instinctively, he pushed it back.
"No, I couldn't, you had it first..."
"I must insist. Besides," he sighed, "I don't have much time for reading nowadays." Reluctantly, Joel accepted the book, thrilling slightly at the brief touch of his warm hands.
"Umm...why is that, if I may ask," Joel ventured. "Are you busy with studies?" Or maybe you're a prodigy studying in my University?, he hoped wildly.
No such luck, of course. "Ah...no--it's more like...work, actually. I'm in the entertainment business," he informed Joel. "I'm gonna go over there now," he gestured to the fiction section. "It's been great meeting you. I'm Justin."
"Joel here. Nice to know you too," he gripped the proffered hand. Mmmm nice and strong grip, just the way I like it. All too soon, though, Justin had moved off without a backward glance and Joel found himself alone, clutching the book.
Justin? Justin. That rings a bell. Entertainment! Wait--could it? Joel hurried to the CD section and browsed through the Pop aisle. Finding what he was looking for, and excited at the thought, he quickly ran and paid for the books and the album. Five guys grinned from the cover. And one of them, was Mr. Mystery Cutie. He borrowed a pen from the cashier and all but ran back to where he saw Justin last. It was a huge store, but it was also Tuesday afternoon, and brownish-gold locks on a six-feet frame were hard to miss.
By the time he'd run up to Justin, he was breathing hard, both from exhaustion and from the excitement. Justin turned to Joel in surprise, but grinned when he saw the CD in his hand.
"And I thought no one would ever recognise me," he said, taking the CD and the pen from Joel's hand before the latter could say a word. He would live to regret those words one day. No longer would he be able to stroll around his adopted hometown as he liked, incognito, in a few years time.
Joel merely grinned. As it happens--I have heard of 'N Sync, and I do like your songs," he said shyly. Inwardly, he crossed his fingers and hoped Justin wouldn't ask for particulars, like song titles.
He didn't. Justin, smiling, signed the inside cover of the album and handed it back to Joel. Opening to read it, he got the shock of his life.
"To Joel, who reads great books--would you like to have lunch with me today? With love, Justin," he read. It was all he could do to keep his jaw from smashing into the floor. He looked up at Justin, who grinned easily.
"Umm otherwise I'd have to take it on my own, and that'd be a real bummer, since I crave company almost all the time," he explained. He looked so supremely confident that Joel wondered for a moment what might happen were he to refuse.
But of course, that was not an option. "Gosh, yeah, sure, I'd love to. I'm honoured! You're a pop star and all...," Joel stammered. God, he needed to stop acting like a star-struck girl and be normal. Taking a deep breath, he decided to seize the initiative.
"How about Greg's Super Sandwiches? It's just around the corner from here..."
Thus their friendship had begun. Over the course of that first lunch, both of them had discovered many things they had in common, and the ideals they both shared. He was two years older than Justin, but felt the younger man was more worldly-wise than he was...and yet maintained a charming playfulness true to his age.
"Hey, Joel...I think I gotta go now...I'm running late for an appointment--at three!" Justin finally said. Joel looked at the time. It was already three in the afternoon. They'd chatted for two-and-a-half hours straight!
"Omigosh! You're already late...I'm sorry to have taken up so much of your time-"
"God, no!" Justin interrupted him, involuntarily covering Joel's hand with his own. "It's me who should be honoured. It's--well, it's not often that I get to meet many new people and make lasting friendships on the road. I feel really connected to ya, you know what I mean?"
Joel nodded slowly. It was true. We clicked on many levels. "Yeah, I know...but--I do want to get to know more of you, Justin. If that's okay with you, of course," he added hastily.
"Yes--yes, of course," he flashed his million-megawatt smile. "In fact, why don't you come to a party at my house next week? It's sorta pre-tour celebration of sorts."
Without thinking, Joel said, "I'd love to!" then his face clouded. "But, will it be okay? I mean, I don't--"
"Don't you worry," his hand came again and this time, gave an electrifying squeeze. Suddenly Joel was acutely aware of the warmth of his hands and how sweaty his own palms were. "I'll be there, and...we share much in common. Not the least of which ...what the book's all about," the last he added in a low voice. Joel froze. There could be no more doubt now, could it? Really?
Justin was already scribbling his address and the details on a paper napkin.. Without looking up, he said "But I warn ya, me and the other guys, we're pretty wild when it comes to partying."
Other guys? Oh, the rest of the band. "Now don't you worry," I laughed. I've been to a couple of wild parties in my life. I survived college, for goodness' sake, thought Joel.
"Alrighty then," he handed Joel the napkin. "Be there, dude," he said in parting before walking away. Joel watched his straight back as the most wonderful guy he'd ever met walked away.
Back in the present, Joel winced at how starry-eyed schoolgirl he'd been that day. He smiled ruefully as his eyes wandered across his CD collection, pausing over the very same CD which contained Justin's not-so-shy invitation to lunch.
Justin was coming! Dare he say it? his Justin. But of course he had no right to that. Their contact was sporadic at best, due to Justin's chosen lifestyle, but they made their time together count. Joel blamed him not in the least. For Justin, he had a deep respect for what he did, and how he did it. For Justin, Joel would never begrudge anything. Because, he was in love with him. Waitaminute. Did I actually think that? Of course not, right? Me, in love with Justin Randall Timberlake, the object of affection of millions of women--and men. We're just friends. Just that--friends.
Who sleep with each other! a corner of his mind screamed aloud.
Joel gave a deep sigh. When had it all started? Was it the moment he first beheld Justin? During the party at his house a week later? The first time they had sex? Or any of the subsequent times?
He would, of course, blame the alcohol for lowering his inhibitions. Although he realised in his heart of hearts, that nothing happened that he didn't want with all his body, mind and soul.
He cast his thoughts back to the night of Justin's party...
So what do you think? Slow start? Boring premise? Lousy writing? Just mediocre? Damn good? Fall-down-and-have-an-orgasm-type of great? Write and tell me, if you can spare a few moments. It's firstname.lastname@example.org.
You won't have to wait for the subsequent chapters. It's all been written so I'm gonna post it anyway even if nobody likes it!