Author: Zarah

Pairing: "Eminem" Marshall Mathers/Justin Timberlake

Rating: NC-17

Warning: Harsh language.

Note: 'nother day, 'nother update...

Thanks to: Sai because she's just the bestest.

Summary: Wherein Justin shakes his head at himself and Eminem doesn't ask the designated pop prince to like his music.

Timeline: This is set during/after the MTV Video Music Awards 2001. And yes, I know that Eminem wasn't there, but: This is fiction, baby!

Disclaimer: 100% fiction. In other words: I made it up. Completely.


Open Fire

Eminem's anger was real as he made his way to the exit, no longer giving a shit about whatever it was his record company wanted him to do. He wanted to leave, and he fucking wanted to leave now.

To his left and right, people were shrinking back, eyeing him warily and somewhat distrustfully as he strode past them, through the passage clear of bodies. Eminem was too used to the cautious, half-hidden glances to still notice them, didn't care about their looks, their opinion of him, in the first place. Or maybe it was them he didn't care about.

Spoiled little pop stars with politically correct lyrics and an image their management had created for them.

What did they know about real life?


Their over-ambitious parents had made sure of that by sending them to auditions for diaper commercial spots at the age of six months. Spoiled, blinded pop stars with not a single worry in the world besides the next position of their song in the Top-40, that's what they were.

Lucky bastards.

In passing, Eminem's eyes met the ones of a tall, brunette man, and he quickened his steps as the images of Justin Timberlake, bending backwards over that railing and staring up at him, flooded his brain.

Shit. Double shit. Would that happen every time he would see an *NSYNC member from now on?

Given the choice, Eminem thought that he would rather choose dying of lung cancer.

He kicked the doors open instead of waiting for the two MTV pages to save him the trouble. He didn't need all that glittery, glamorous shit the rest of the party guests were so fond of. Fuck them. If he was leaving, then he was leaving, and he sure as hell didn't need anyone to open the doors for him, definitely didn't need anyone to smile at him as if they had actually enjoyed his presence.

As if they weren't relieved to see him leave.

The luxurious vehicles were lined up outside, a long row of shining, black limousines, and someone was by his side instantly to open the door of the one that would take him to the hotel. Smiling, of course.

"I hope you enjoyed your stay, Sir."

Sir? Yeah, and fuck you too.

Eminem didn't answer, climbed into the limousine without acknowledging the man's presence.

Whose smile, of course, didn't falter.


"Justin? Just!"

Startled out of his thoughts, Justin's head shot up, turned to look at his best friend in the doorframe, JC's tall, slender figure outlined by the light spilling from the inside onto the terrace.

JC strode towards him, concern written on his face.

"Are you okay?"

Still a little shaken, Justin smiled. "Why wouldn't I be?"

"I just saw the real Slim Shady coming out of this door. Seething with rage, I might add. So I thought I'd better check on you."

"I'm okay."

"He didn't do anything to you?"

Justin sat down, leaning his back against the wall of the building. "No. For some unknown reason, he decided that throwing me over the railing wasn't worth the trouble."

"He said he would?"

"I don't think he really meant it."

Justin shrugged, and JC joined him on the ground, following his gaze at the stars.

"We could probably get him for that, you know?" JC said after a few minutes of silence.

He felt rather than saw Justin shaking his head.

"It's okay."

Again, they remained sitting a comfortable silence, watching the sky. JC's hand found Justin's, squeezing gently.

"And what's bothering you apart from your encounter with Eminem, Just? Or was it only the need for fresh air that brought you out here?"

Justin sighed, leaned his head against JC's shoulder.

"The usual."


A nod. "You know, C, I really like her. I do. But I wish she would stop doing this, acting as if we were dating for real. It's as if she is ignoring that I'm gay."

"She's in love with you, Justin. Parties likes this are the only time she can fool herself and everyone else into thinking that you're a happy and very much in love couple. Cut her some slack, J, she's doing a lot for you."

"I know." Justin shifted on the cold floor. "Which is why the whole situation sucks so much. 'Cause, you know, Brit would be perfect if only I weren't gay."

"You can't change it. And you should try not to feel too bad about it, Just. Brit knew what she was getting herself into when she agreed to be your beard."

"She should be in love with Lance. They'd make a cute couple."

"Maybe. But-"

"-she's in love with me-"

"-and neither of you can change it. Which-"

"-sucks," Justin finished their routine, a slightly wistful smile lighting up his face.


The cell phone shattered against the wall with a sickening thud, nowhere near loud enough to satisfy Eminem's fury. The remote control of the TV followed, plastic breaking from the impact, the two batteries rolling in separate directions through the hotel room, one coming to rest at the foot of the bed, the other one near the balcony door.

Not enough. Never enough.

He whirled around, seized one of the bottles stored away in the mini bar, flung the balcony door open. Leaned over the railing and let go of the neck of the bottle. Watched it break as it hit the pavement of the empty parking lot, five floors beneath him.

Not high enough. Not enough.

He returned back into his room, back to the mini-bar. Grabbed two more bottles, expensive ones. The more expensive, the better. He could afford it now. He was no longer the weak white guy who used to be beaten up. He was famous now.

And still wasn't allowed to speak to his daughter, not even over the phone.


Justin wished he was drunk. Being the only sober one could be fun at times, but not when you were already in a bad mood to start with. Then being sober sucked, because everyone else was snickering at things that weren't even remotely funny, was swaying or having trouble staying awake, slumped against the nearest wall because the legs refused to bear their weight any longer.

But Justin wasn't drunk. Not even tipsy. And the rest of the guys...

He frowned at Joey and Chris, leaning heavily on each other, but still staggering from one side to the other whenever the elevator didn't move smoothly. Lance had slid down one of the metallic walls and closed his eyes, while JC was holding onto Justin for balance, his breath, smelling of alcohol, fanning Justin's face and making him want to hold his nose. Right now, the only reason Justin wasn't leaving the four drunken fools to find their own way to their rooms was because they were his best friends.

Which didn't mean that he had to enjoy it.

He said a silent prayer of thanks when the elevator dinged and the doors to their floor opened. Joey and Chris stumbled out into the hallway without Justin's help, but Lance seemed to have fallen asleep on the floor.

Justin led JC out first, then came back in to hail a faintly protesting Lance to his feet. He noticed Joey still fumbling with his key card and opened the door for him, then closed the door to Chris's room behind the oldest member of the group in passing. Lance was using the wall for support, slowly proceeding from door to door, trying each lock until he found the one door that opened when he slid the card in. Which only left JC, who had slid down the wall Justin had leaned him against and was now dozing, his forehead resting on his drawn up knees.

Justin crouched down in front of his friend and gently shook him, but didn't get any visible reaction in return.

"JC?" he asked, trying without success to jerk him awake again.

Muttering a curse, he half carried, half dragged his not in the slightest bit helpful friend to his room, searched for the key card in JC's pockets and finally found it in the back pocket of his pants.

It took him some time to undress JC and put him safely into bed. Before switching of the light and leaving the room, he looked back at the sleeping man and shook his head. This was a total reversal of their habitual roles; usually, JC was the one who had to put up with a drunken Justin. Justin supposed it was only fair that he got to reciprocate for some of the things JC had had to put up with him.

Parallel to the soft sound he caused when he closed the door behind him, another door was closed, but the sound of it was by no means soft. Justin took a step out into the hallway, looked in the direction of the forceful footsteps that were heading towards the elevator - and nearly choked.

Which insightful hotel employee had decided that it was a good idea to let *NSYNC and Eminem share a floor? Probably a fifty-something-year old women who didn't have the faintest idea about the music business or certain animosities lingering between some of the stars.

With narrowed eyes, Justin watched as Eminem waited for the elevator, impatiently hitting the button over and over again until the doors opened and the rapper entered the small space, hiding something under his windbreaker. The last thing Justin saw was Eminem's hand slamming down on the highest button, then the doors slid close and the flashing signal, an arrow pointing upwards, indicated the elevator getting further away.

Justin stood in the doorway for a minute, unsure of what he should do. On the one hand, he had already had one close encounter with Eminem the very same evening, and he wasn't all too keen on repeating the experience. It had been pure luck that Eminem hadn't noticed him just now. But on the other hand...

Justin was curious. What was Eminem doing on the roof of a hotel, in the middle of the night? Maybe, if he was cautious and careful not to be seen... He could use the elevator, but take the stairs for the last floor. It was unlikely that Eminem would notice him then.

If he was cautious.


Another railing. He bent over it, gauged the height with his eyes. Five hundred feet? He had never been good at gauging things like this.


Earlier, he had set the two bottles next to himself on the floor, and now he blindly felt for one of them. He was too focused on the depth that stretched out beneath him to hear the quiet creak of the door when it was opened and closed again an instant later.

No people down there. Good.

Eminem's hand opened, and he followed the fall of bottle with his eyes. It became smaller and smaller the closer it came to the floor, the darkness almost swallowing it, and then it hit the ground, but the sound was only distinct. The faint shattering of glass, that was all. He could see the tiny pieces, glittering in the light of the lamps positioned around the parking lot. The champagne was glistening and bubbling for a moment, but after a few seconds, only wetness remained to remind of the expensive liquid the pavement just had been soaked with.

He reached for the second bottle.

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