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Nick's not expecting a huge reciprocal gesture - hell, Nick isn't sure what he's expecting at all, but it's nothing as extravagant as a diamond-encrusted watch, or a year's supply of Calvin Klein cologne, or a skyscraper built in his name.

But that's exactly what he gets.

"I'm going to need you to sign for this, sir."

"But it's a building," Nick says disbelievingly, each syllable drawn out slow and careful.

"That's right."

"Like--an actual building."

"It's eight levels high," UPS guy - Mark - says, still holding out his pen. "You should really take a look at these floor plans."

Nick balks. "What the fuck."

Nick spends the next three hours eyeing the blueprints like they're radioactive toxins. He's got them rolled up on his kitchen table, next to the watch and seven bottles of cologne that came before them. From anyone else, he'd laugh it off as a practical joke, but--

It's mostly a relief when his cell phone lights up and Justin's name appears on the screen.


"Hey," Nick says, warily.

"Hey," Justin says. "So I talked to the dude from the construction company today and he said they're ready to start work once they get the go-ahead. Have you looked at the plans?"

"Uh," Nick says. "Yeah. About that."

There's a second of silence. "You don't like them?"

Justin sounds so stricken that Nick feels a wisp of guilt curl in his stomach. "No, that's not--just, man, it's kind of overkill, you know?"


"J," Nick says. "I'm not saying I'm not glad to put the whole N'sync-Backstreet crap behind us, but this is too much. I mean, what's next? A constellation in my name?"

There is an awkward, telling pause. "Uh," Justin says eventually. "So I should probably nix that plan."

"Justin," Nick says, weakly. "It was an album."

"Hey," Justin says. "It was an awesome album."

"Yeah, well," Nick laughs, ducking his head as he rubs a hand over the back of his neck. "Still doesn't mean this isn't overkill."

"Huh," Justin says, after a moment. "How d'you feel about dinner and drinks?"

"Oh, Justin," Nick says, voice pitched high and breathy. "Dial down the romance. I'm about to swoon."

"Nick," Justin says, very patiently. "I just bought you a star. Dinner and drinks is about as dialed down as I get."

Nick blinks. Then he blinks some more. "Oh," he says eventually. "Well--as long as you promise not to propose in public, I guess."

Justin laughs, then, but the relief in his voice is pretty hard to miss. "I think I can manage that."