Author: Zarah

Rating: NC-17

Pairing: JC Chasez/Justin Timberlake

Warning: Angst. Adult content. Graphic male/male sex. I think that just about covers it.

Note: I'm writing three and very soon four series at the same time. This is so not a good idea.
Besides, there'll be an English exam tomorrow and I should be studying the vocabulary. And what am I doing instead? Writing slash stories. Great. That will be an immense help to me tomorrow.

Summary: Wherein JC is, uh,... not JC.

Disclaimer: Reality check: Negative.



Trouble is part of your life -- if you don't share it, you don't give the person who loves you a
chance to love you enough.
Dinah Shore

Some people think that promises are meant to be broken, that the act of making a promise already includes breaking it in the future. Like the promise of the admiral in command that no civilians, no women and children will be harmed - right before the bombardment of a village with no military facilities anywhere nearby. Like the promise of marriage of a Hollywood star who spends most of the wedding ceremony thinking about a way to file for divorce that won't leave him paying too much maintenance.

Justin wasn't one of those people. He couldn't remember a single serious promise he had broken, and if he ever married, then he was determined to do everything to make the marriage last for the rest of his life.

So, when he woke up to JC's warm breath tickling his ear, the initial shock hit him like a ton of bricks.

He had broken his promise to JC.

Of course he hadn't meant, hadn't even been aware of that up until now, but that didn't change the fact that JC had trusted him and Justin had proven himself unworthy of that trust.

Because somewhere along the line, he had fallen in love with JC.

The fight, about a year ago. JC's letter. And the promise Justin had made, back then.

"This won't change anything, Josh. I won't let it. We won't let it. Our friendship's too strong for that, Josh, I know it is. Trust me."

And JC had. But JC had been wrong in doing so.

Which was something JC would never know.

Justin untangled his limbs from JC's somewhat reluctantly, scooted back enough to put some distance between them, distance he desperately needed if he wanted to get some serious thinking done.

If it came down to it, then his own struggle with his feelings for JC was only secondary. It wasn't important. Justin was sure that he would be able to concentrate on helping JC; he didn't need to act on his feelings, and JC would never know that there was something surpassing friendship hidden behind Justin's concerned looks.

Of course, Justin couldn't stop touching JC. JC was like a kitten in some ways, and he would know that something wasn't right if Justin stopped giving him the physical affection he needed. Not to mention that Justin needed giving that physical affection just as much as JC needed receiving it.

Justin startled at JC's gasp, turned.

Like in a bad movie, one of those "he-leaves-her-just-to-find-out-that-she's-the-best-he-ever-had-and-now-he-has-to-make-her-forgive-him" type of things, JC's brows furrowed, and he lifted a hand to reach for the warm body he believed lying next to him. Only that the warm body had scooted back earlier to bring some distance between them.

In an almost comical expression of indignation, JC's brows knitted even more together, his forehead furrowing. The hand stretched further until it met with solid flesh and curled around Justin's lower leg where the younger man was leaning against the headboard of the double bed. The brows relaxed, the peaceful expression of sleep returned.

Justin stared down at the arm wrapped around his leg.


The fingers dug deeper into the bag, feeling around between clothes until they hit something made of paper and closed around it, pulling out a letter which had been written about a year ago. The heavy paper was crumpled and it was obvious that it had been read not only once or twice, but over and over again until it the owner had it memorized by heart.

Yet it was unfolded once more, the wrinkles smoothed until the text, written in black ink, was plain and clear to read.


Dear Justin,

as I am writing this, it's shortly after 7 in the morning, and I'm lying in the grass of the public park near my house. The sun is rising, and there are droplets of dew glistening in the grass. On my clothes, too, because I've been here for the last few hours. Thinking.

The sky is pink at the moment. Not red. Not the way it looked last Thursday, when you hauled me out of bed to show me the sunset because you thought it was beautiful. You were right, of course. It really was beautiful. We were lying on our backs in your garden, watching as it went from red to pink to your beloved baby blue, and you were talking about Brit and sounded really, genuinely happy.

God, how much I hate you for that right now.

Not you. But I hate that you did this to me, betraying that moment between us by lying. Betraying me by lying.

I'm not sure if I can ever trust you like that again.

You probably think I'm a jerk now, don't you? An intolerant asshole. But this isn't about what you think it is. If it were, then you had every right to think that, but it isn't. It's about our friendship, Justin. About trust and honesty.

I don't care about your sexuality. What I care about is you. And that I know that I can trust you with everything.

Or knew, rather, because obviously, I was wrong in thinking that. This lie of yours has been going on for what? A year now? Two? You were constantly lying to me, lying to my face.

Guess how that makes me feel, Justin?

Exactly: Angry and disappointed.

Did I ever do anything to make you not trust me? I don't think I did. I can't remember anything. Yet I walked into my living room yesterday, and instead of finding you and the girl you call your girlfriend curled up on the couch, I find you sitting in front of the TV, arguing over who you'd rather hook up with: Nick Carter or Keanu Reeves. Have to listen to you saying that Nick Carter really isn't your type, you just don't like blondes all that much. Britney answering that you'd better not tell that the media or they'll eventually figure out that your relationship really isn't that much of a relationship.

And once again, I have to ask: Guess how that made me feel? Learning that my best friend isn't really dating the girl I always thought he was dating because he's actually more interested in men. Hmm, Justin? How do you think I felt that moment?

I believed you when you said you and Britney were going out, I fucking believed you, and all along, it was nothing but a huge lie.

Am I not worth your trust?

But it's not only that. It's not only the fact that you weren't honest with me for ages, no, there's also something else bothering me.

Let's assume that we somehow manage to put this past us, that I'll learn to trust you again. What will happen to our friendship, then? Things are gonna change, I know they will. And I don't want them to.

I want to be able to tell you about the troubles with my girlfriend, I don't want to stop pointing out girls if we're together in a club, and I don't want to stop touching and hugging you the way I always did. It's part of our friendship, you know? The physical contact, the falling asleep on each other, the arm slung around the other's shoulders. And I don't want this to change. None of that. It's too important to me.

Which, maybe, is selfish, but I'm trying to be honest here.

You should try that too, some time or other. Being honest, I mean. It would make for a nice change, huh?

Am I being too bitter about the whole thing? Maybe I am. But I'm disappointed, Justin, I really am. Because I thought we had something between us which obviously didn't, doesn't exist. And believe it or not, Justin, but that hurts.

You can't expect me to be rational about it, not right now. Later, maybe. Once I've gotten over the shock.

I just remembered your call, way back then, when you asked me to join "some singing group that dude is putting together, and it's really cool, so you like, gotta fly in as soon as possible". I never told you that it wasn't the offer that made me pack up my things and leave almost immediately, did I? No, Justin, it was you. Your enthusiasm, your friendship that I didn't want to miss for the world. And then I arrived at the airport and you jumped into my arms and I hardly avoided falling backwards.

You've grown since then. A lot. Now you're taller than me, and I don't think I could still keep my balance if you decided to try that again. Definitely not.

And you've not only grown physically. You're mature now. Experienced. And you've lost that childlike innocence and that - maybe - slightly naive trust in every human being smiling at you. Which, I guess, is a good thing.

I just didn't think you'd lose the trust you had in me as well.

I thought you trusted me.

Why don't you trust me, Justin? Why?

I don't understand it.

I wish you'd tell me, now, but you're not here. Of course you're not. After all, you left my house in the middle of that screaming match we started and I just hope you didn't get into an accident, considering the way you sped off. I wonder where Britney disappeared to, though. Did she leave us to work things out on our own as soon as the two of you noticed me standing in the room, behind you? I guess she did.

The sky is baby blue now, and it would make me think of you if I weren't already. I want us to work our problems out, Justin. Let's make a new start. Sure, I'm angry, but I need our friendship. It's been one of the very few constant things in my life for such a long time, one of those things I could always rely on, and I don't want to lose it.

And, honestly: I think you need it just as much as I do.

Or am I wrong again?

I hope I'm not.

JC. Josh.


Justin folded the letter again and stared into space for a moment, then turned to look at the bed. JC was still asleep, probably catching up on all the sleep he had missed lately. Outside, the sky was brightening, and Justin thought of the pink JC had mentioned in the letter.

No, JC hadn't been wrong in assuming that Justin depended on their friendship just as much as JC himself. It was a need they had both equally, something they couldn't live without because it was too much part of them, of who they were. And although it had taken them some time to put their fight completely behind them, although it had taken some time until JC was no longer mad at Justin for keeping his homosexuality and the truth about his relationship with Britney a secret, they had managed it eventually.

It was scary somehow, being dependant on another person like that. But even if he could, then Justin wouldn't change it.

JC mumbled something intelligible, and Justin's gaze left the brightening sky, settled on JC who was once again in a state of unease.

He calmed down as soon as Justin's hand closed over his.

Feedback: Yes, please. Especially if you can tell me how to improve this part.
AIM: Saralea7
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