Pairing: Lance & JC (so close I can taste it!)
Disclaimer: Umm duh, of course I don't know (or own, too bad though) N'sync, (or any other boy bands I might happen to mention throughout the rest of the story) if I did I'd be out with them, trying to make sure they fall in love with me, (or at least desire me) not sitting here! So no I'm not implying anything and no I don't know anything either.
Message from the Author: Ok I know this one took a while but I've been way too busy with all kinds of crap going on! But I did decide to continue it cus of your great emails so thanks to everyone and I hope you like it. This one's to David, who without we would not have Nifty, Thanks Dave and sorry for irritating you with the whole page break thing and all, I think I got it right this time, I hope!
Mistaken Dreams: Lance n' JC.....
After they had settled down in the back booth of a restaurant just a minute walk from the park and given their orders to a waitress who obviously recognized them and just as obviously didn't care, JC decided that now was the time to break the silence that had managed to surround them on the way here.
"Lance... I've been meaning to talk to you for a while `That's true at least' but things kept coming up, `Yeah, like me chickening out' and so then this morning I came to talk to you, but then you ran away, and....well, I guess that was my fault, and then in the park when you looked at me and you were so scared and....well I guess that was fault too...." JC kept on babbling for a few more minutes, fidgeting, rubbing his hands over each other again and again as if trying to scrub the grime away from them. Suddenly he felt a pair of hands over his, clasping them, holding them still in a firm, yet tender grip.
"JC, it wasn't all your fault." Lance said, squeezing the older boy's hands, comforting them both. JC waited for Lance to say something else but the other boy just sat there in silence, watching the top of JC's leaned down head, waiting for him to break the silence, to tell Lance whatever it was that JC had been trying to tell him for so long.
"JC, come on, what is it?"
"I'm....I'm `in love with you' gay..."
The silence only lasted a fraction of a second, but even that felt like forever to JC.
"JC, I know,"
JC glanced up to find Lance's green eyes staring tenderly into his own.
"You...y-you knew?" he stuttered.
"H-how? I mean, what, what made you sure?"
"Not anything in particular really, I just knew," The truth was that actually it was Joey who had `just known' but he was so convinced about it that he had managed to make Lance believe it too.
"Yeah, a lot more."
"Well, spit it out, no sense in keeping me in the dark about it."
`That's my Lance,' JC thought `right to the point,'
"And.... And I have a crush, well more than a crush I guess, on...on `You' a guy."
Lance just laughed.
"Well that would make sense, you being gay and all." Lance teased, eyes sparkling. But once he thought about the likely candidates for JC's crush he turned serious again.
"It's one of the guys, isn't it?" he asked.
"Yes," JC whispered, his voice barely audible above the normal bustle of human life around the.
Lance tried to think of how each of the guy's what each of the guys would do if it was them. Chris: straight and taken, so nothing. Justin: Young, free, but probably straight, so nothing. And Joey, well, Joey was vouched for already.
`What if.....' He thought, but quickly pushed the thought to the back of his mind.
"Who?" Lance asked, his throat barely able to squeak out that one word it was so dry and tight all of a sudden.
"It's, it's you Lance...."
"Oh....God." Lance murmured, going slack jawed.
After a full minute of Lance just sitting there, staring at his friend in silence it became too much for JC.
"Lance, please, God, say something!"
"Like what? What do you want me to say to that, JC?"
"Oh, I don't know, `Don't worry JC, it's ok, I don't hate you for this, we'll still be friends,' would be nice,"
"JC, you know that I could never hate-"
But the brunette cut him off before he could finish.
"But, `JC, I love you too, and want to be with you forever, just you and me baby', that would be better, would be the best." he started to cry as the words tumbled out of his
Lance had gotten up and slid into the booth seat across from him, next to the brunette, while JC talked. Now he slid closer and wrapped his arms around the older boy, letting JC's headrest on his shoulder.
JC looked up, hopeful, `Please, God, let the next words out of his mouth be I love you, please,' But he already knew from the tone of Lance's voice that they weren't.
"-I'm, I'm with someone else." Lance's heart hurt as he said this. It was true, but at this moment, looking into JC's eyes, holding his warm body in his hands, feeling the rapid heartbeat that was pounding out a rhythm on his chest, he wished it wasn't .
"Brian." JC stated, his face darkening as his tears dried up.
Lance no longer cared that JC knew about Brian, what did it matter now anyway?
"No, not Brian, someone else."
JC's eyes got wider.
"Who?" he said. When Lance didn't answer he took Lance by the shoulders and squeezed.
"I- I can't-"
"Can't tell me?"
"Kinda like the same way you can't tell me about Brian, huh? Kinda like the way you just can't seem to tell me about anything anymore? We barely even talk any more Lance! And I hate it, I hate it so much it hurts! But there's nothing I can do, you keep shutting me out, no matter what I do, no matter what I try!" JC yelled, anger coloring his voice. He hadn't mean to start yelling, but somehow he his voice had gone up and up in decibel until he was. He had to leave, he couldn't deal with this, Lance with someone else? And he bet he knew who it was too.
He shoved past Lance and out of the booth, running for the door and into the street beyond.
Lance just sat there, dumbfounded.
Back at the Hotel....
Joey sat there, staring blankly at the TV, a sleeping Justin curled up on his lap.
Finally, he gave up on finding something to watch and muted the TV, causing Justin to sigh and shift in his sleep, wrapping his arms tighter around Joey's neck, Justin's soft afro of curls brushed his nose and Joey had to restrain himself from giggling into that mass of blond hair.
`Justin' s hair smells great,' he thought.
A month or two ago this would have weirded him out, or at least made him uncomfortable to have Justin curled up on him like this, so intimately. But so much had changed since a mere two months ago it wasn't even funny, and Joey had a feeling that things weren't done yet.
Joey woke up in bed alone. Lance was gone. Wow, this sucked. Big time.
`Why does it even matter anyway? It's not like I was expecting wake up next to him or anything, it's not like I like him or want him or anything!'
`Why am I getting so defensive about this? I'm not even talking to anyone but myself for god sakes! ......Why would I even think that in the first place? Of course I don't like him, he's a guy!' At that moment a memory came back to him: `I put my hands on his butt,' he remembered. 'What does this mean, does it mean I'm....' He didn't even want to think about it. He was a good boy, a good guy. He wasn't.....he couldn't even say it in his own mind.
Suddenly he heard the toilet flush and door to the bathroom open. He looked up to see Lance standing in the doorway. So he had stayed after all.
"Hey Sleepy," Lance greeted him.
"Hey...How are you?"
"I'm ok, a little tired, a little sick feeling, kinda cried out, but all over ok." Lance managed with a weak smile.
"Why don't you come get back in bed then, maybe I can make you feel a little better,"
Lance just looked at him with a raised eyebrow, trying to mask the real surprise he felt. He thought Joey would have felt embarrassed after letting Lance sleep into his bed, which had why Lance had gotten up, and why he had been planning on leaving after using the bathroom. But Joey seemed ok with.
`That last comment he made was even kinda dirty,' Lance reflected, beginning to grin.
Joey blushed heavily when he saw Lance looking at him like that.
"I-I didn't mean for it to sound like that," He managed to choke out. He actually hadn't, really! Lance just started giggling.
"Yeah I know," he said, still standing in the doorway of the bathroom.
"SO....are you coming back to bed or what?" Joey asked after Lance didn't move from his spot.
"Oh, yeah, right, bed sounds good." Lance walked across the room and got settled, pulling some blankets around him.
"Uhh, Lance, you don't have to lie so far away. I mean, that is, if you don't want to anyway," Joey said, starting to blush again.
"Oh, really? Well, ok.." Lance said and scooted a bit further into the middle of the bed, inching closer and closer, looking up at Joey the whole time to make sure it was ok. Once he was still about a foot from Joey he stopped, looking up for approval. Joey laughed at the look on Lance`s face and decided to make it clear exactly where Lance could lay. He took Lance around the waist and pulled him along until they face to face, well, chest to face actually, seeing as how Lance was already a bit shorter and was lower on the bed too. Now it was Lance's turn to giggle as his face was buried in Joey's chest. He liked the smell of just-woken-up-Joey.
`Well I guess he doesn't mind me being so close,' Joey thought, while Lance thinking the exact same thing. Suddenly Lance looked up and saw Joey looking down at him with big brown eyes. Lance used Joey's chest to boost himself upward so that his face was right under Joey's. Joey saw Lance's lips just inches beneath his own, parted as if to speak, and couldn't resist any longer, no matter what his brain was screaming at him. He leaned in.
Joey jerked out of his thoughts when he heard the phone ringing on the couch side table. He didn't want it to wake Justin up so as carefully as he could and picked it up.
"Hello?" he whispered.
"Lance? Where are you? Is JC with you?" Joey asked, rattling off the questions quietly as possible.
"Yes, at some restaurant, and no," Lance replied, giving the answers in the order that the questions were asked.
"No? What do you mean no!?!?" Joey questioned in an exasperated voice.
"I mean no, like as in he's not here."
"WHAT! Where did he go!?!?!" he asked, still trying to whisper.
"Joey, just please come get me would you? We'll talk about it when you get here."
"Come get you? Are you far away?"
"Well, no, it's just that JC left and he was the one that had money."
"Oh," Joey almost laughed, probably would have if he didn't think that the vibration might wake Justin up.
"All right, just give me a minute, I'll be right there." He had almost hanging up when he realized that he didn't know exactly where Lance was.
"Wait! Lance, what's the name of the restaurant you're at?"
"No idea, I think it's just called the waffle house, maybe, but it has a big fake plastic waffle on the roof so you can't miss it."
`Good, at least that makes things a little bit easier,' Joey thought.
"Ok, ok, I'll be there as quick as I can,"
"Your welcome babe, ok I'll see you in a few, bye."
Joey tried to stand up but realized he couldn't because Justin had taken up a laying position in his lap. He slowly scooted out from under Justin, covering the blonde with a blanket so that he wouldn't get cold while Joey was gone.
"Bye buddy," he said, crouching down. "Sleep tight."
That said he walked out the door and closed it behind him.
But Justin wasn't asleep.
Joey walked out the lobby doors, across the street and down the street as fast as he could. Once, he thought he saw someone who might have been JC but the person ducked into a random door before Joey could confirm his suspicions. Oh well, he couldn't think about stupid asshole JC right now anyway.
He found the waffle house a few blocks down from where he had first found Lance sitting in the park an hour ago. Joey walked into restaurant and waved the waitress away because he already knew where Lance would be. He walked slowly towards the back, his feet weighing him down, his mind only now thinking that he might not even really want to know what had happened between Lance and JC. Because this could be the end of whatever he and Lance had.
Finally, there was no where else to go and he standing in front of Lance, looking at the tear streaked face of his baby. His wall crumbled. It didn't matter what happened, as long as Lance was happy. He deserved it. After all that he had been through he truly did. And Joey would do whatever he had to made sure it happened. No matter what.
He slid into the booth and scooted Lance closer to him, practically into his lap.
"What happened?" He asked, trying to make his voice sound light, as if it didn't matter as much as it did, as if it wasn't as important as everything else, anything else.
Lance said nothing, but Joey could feel the younger boy's tears starting to streak down his cheek, soaking the shoulder of Joey's shirt.
"Lance, baby, what did he do?" Joey said, rubbing Lance's back and stroking his hair.
"He-he told me he loved me," Lance breathed out into Joey's chest.
"Lance, of course he love's you,"
"NO, no he told me he was in love with me Joey, in love with me!" Lance started to cry again, his shaking with the force of his sobbing.
"Lance, I know, that's what I meant." But Lance didn't seem to hear his words, or if he did he didn't react.
Joey knew he had to press on, or he would lose his courage forever.
"What did you say?"
"I said, I said that he told me he loved me,"
"No, Lance, I mean what did YOU say? When he told you he loved you, was in love with you, is in love with you, what did you say?"
Lance looked up at Joey with confusion evident in his crystal clear eyes.
"I-I told him about us- of course,"
"About us?" Joey asked, startled that Lance would tell JC that without his consent, but under the circumstances.....
"Well, no, not us in particular, but that I was, with- with someone,"
"Oh," Joey breathed a sigh of relief, he wasn't ready for them all to know, not yet, maybe not ever.
"But he thought I meant Brian,"
"How did he know?"
Lance could read his thoughts, he didn't need to finish.
"I don't know, he just did, but I told him it wasn't. Then, then he got mad and left, and I called you,"
"Why? Why what? Why did he get mad, why did he leave, or why did I call you?"
"None of those, I meant, why did you tell him you were with someone?"
Lance had rested his head back down on Joey's shoulder but jerked up faster than Joey would have thought possible when he heard those words. First Lance's eyes showed fear and confusion, but it quickly turned to anger.
"I can not believe you Joey, you huge, huge asshole! I can't believe your doing this same thing that Brian did to me, but your even worse, cus your a huge huge hypocrite! It wasn't ok for Brian but oh no, when you want to do it then it makes it all just fine! You want to know why I told him I was with someone, it's cus I thought I was, but I guess I was wrong!" Lance shouted, trying to struggle past Joey and flee from the booth. But Joey had other plans. He caught Lance's wrist and looped his other arm around Lance's waist, holding him stationary.
"Let go of me!" Lance yelled, hitting Joey in the chest with all his strength. But Joey was immovable, a rock in his path, too big to move but unable to be side stepped.
"Lance! Calm down! That's not how I meant it!" Joey grasped Lance's other hand so that he couldn't be hit again. He may be a rock but Lance's nails we're quite sharp. He managed to calm down lance enough that he stopped struggling, more out of exhaustion than any real interest in hearing what Joey had to say in his defense.
"Lance, that's not what I meant, I'm not ashamed of you, I love you. I was just asking why you told JC you were with someone, why didn't you tell him that you loved him too? That you have for a long long time, and go for it with him, deal with me later," Joey said.
"How did you know about my feelings for Josh? I-I ...didn't think I ever told you..... Wait, You want me to go for it with JC? But, but I thought that we were together, I thought you loved me, thought we loved each other!" Lance replied, becoming agitated again.
"Lance, we are together, and I do love you and we do love each other, in our own way, and I'll always always treasure it, but this is JC, Lance, JC. You've loved him since...forever, and now he loves you too." "I just knew." he added, seeing the question still on Lance's face.
Silence. On and on. He held Lance and they just sat. He thought about what he had just done. He had just done himself out of a lot of sex is what he had done, he thought, trying to make himself laugh it off. But he couldn't. Because it was more than that. The sex wasn't even the best part of their relationship.
`Well, oh well, I mean I knew I wasn't the one he loved when we started this thing, course I didn't know it was JC at that point, but whatever. I guess I'll just go back to being straight as an arrow, skirt-chasing Joey. I did it before we got this whole thing started between us, I can just go back again.' But deep inside him he knew it wouldn't be easy. He loved Lance, more than anything, and he just wanted him to be happy. And he knew JC could make Lance happy, happier than Joey himself ever could.
The waitress arrived at their table with two huge plates of food; French toast for Lance and what looked to be a ham and cheese omelette for Joey. Well, for JC actually but Joey figured hey, he was here and JC wasn't so it was his for the taking, right?
Lance watched Joey furiously attack the omelet and hash browns while he picked at his French toast is silence.
"Joey," he finally said, after eating as much as he could stomach. "What about you?"
"What about me?"
"IF- if I go for it with JC, what will you do?"
"I don't know, probably wait around and see what happens,"
"It's not fair Joey, not fair to you, we're together, I shouldn't go chasing after another guy."
Joey sighed, he had known Lance wasn't going to make this easy for himself.
"I'll be fine."
"Lance, the most important thing to me is that you are happy, as happy as you can be, and I think the person that can make you that happy is JC...After everything you've been through you deserve it, and that's all that matters."
Lance started to cry...again, but this time the tears were gentle and soft, tears of regret. Why was Joey so sweet? Why was Joey so amazing and kind and caring and gentle? And why was Joey so right...always?
`Why? Why don't I love him? Why doesn't he make me get shivers up and down my spine and imagine all the wonderful things we could do together, why!?!? Why can't he be the one I'm in love with?'
Joey finished off his food and looked over at Lance.
"C'mon," he said, pulling them out of the booth and to the front where he paid the check and held the door open for Lance, who walked out quietly and stood, just looking around.
"Let's go back to the hotel." Joey said, propelling Lance along the sidewalk. Lance needed time to think, Joey knew. And he needed to be alone to do it. He would come to a decision and let Joey know. Whatever Lance needed.
When they got back to the hotel and up to their rooms they parted ways. But just before Lance entered his room Joey turned him around and kissed him, full on the mouth, tongue, the deepest, most passionate kiss they had ever shared. Full of love, forgiveness, and despair. When they broke for air Joey spoke into Lance's hair, where he had laid his head.
"Whatever happens, I'm always here, no matter what you need, anything, always,"
"Thank you Joey."
And then Joey kissed him tenderly on the forehead, and turned away so Lance wouldn't ser the tears in his eyes. He knew what he had just given up, and knew that this wouldn't be easy.
Lance whispered goodbye and went into his room, collapsing onto the bed. The was a note on his nightstand, it was folded over and said simply LANCE on the outside. That was JC's handwriting, he knew. But he didn't know if he wanted to read it, even if he could. Finally, he picked it up and opened it, it had few word but they were enough.
I've gone to look for you, I couldn't stand just sitting here anymore.
if you get back before I find you or I chicken out from what I need to do there's something I want you to know: I love you. More than anything. More than anyone.
There, I finally did it, finally committed it to paper so that it's not just all in my head anymore, where I could make-believe that it wasn't really true.
I'm in love you Lance, and I always will be.
Whatever happens now, I'll try to understand.
But no matter what, I'll always love you, James Lance Bass, always and forever.
Josh loved him. Josh loved him. It was really true. he got up and went to JC's room, but no one answered. So he walked in. it was empty. He supposed he'd have to wait, in the meantime he could write a little note of his own. He picked up the hotel stationary off the desk as well at the pen.
Hours later when JC returned he found a note sitting on his bed, looking just like the one he had left for Lance. On the front was his name. He picked it up, read it, and walked across the hall. The door opened and Lance stood there, facing him, only inches away from him.
"Hi," was all he could say.
Ok! That's it for chapter 6, that was a pretty long one huh? Anyway, everybody make sure to tell me what you think! Criticism too! NikkaWhat@Hotmail.com -Angel