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Don't Think I'm Not

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DON’T THINK I’M NOT
One

 

Now, I don’t have to question where you were last night…’Cos I already know what you will say…I already know you’ll lie…

 

“I’m sorry…it can’t be helped.” JC shoved some things into a backpack. Justin noticed his ever-present lyric notebook on top of the pile. “We’ll do it tomorrow, okay?” He gave Justin a smacking kiss on the lips.

“But why don’t they need ME?” Justin couldn’t help the pout, and JC smiled.

“Baby, be GLAD you don’t have to go back in. You know how Lance is. This is the first song he’s ever written that they’ve agreed to use, and if the track isn’t perfect…” JC rolled his eyes to show what he thought of Lance’s perfectionist attitude.

“They’ve made you re-record your part twice this week,” Justin protested. “And last week the board got all screwed up. Maybe it’s just Lance.”

“It probably is.” JC gave Justin a long sensuous kiss. “Baby, I will do my best to get back early, but don’t count on it, okay?”

“Okay,” Justin sighed.

“I love you, Justin.”

“Love you, too.” Justin frowned as JC hurried out the door to his car. He pressed his nose to the glass of the front door, watching JC peel out of the driveway. Justin glanced at the clock. Ten o’clock at night. NOW what was he supposed to do? His idea of a romantic evening in a candlelit bedroom was sure shot to hell.

Justin walked back to the bedroom, deep in thought. JC WAS going out a lot lately, and he never asked Justin to come along. He called, sure, but it wasn’t the same. They had been together for almost a year now, and JC was slowly pulling away. Justin didn’t know what he was doing wrong, but obviously it was something. A wall was slowly being built. What hurt Justin the most is that JC couldn’t talk about it. He craved honesty, and JC couldn’t be honest, apparently.

The phone rang and scared Justin. “Hello?” He almost gasped into the phone. He heard a low chuckle.

“Sorry, Curly…didn’t mean to scare your pretty self.”

Justin grinned. “Hey, Queen Lance. Get any lately?” Lance was as gay as Justin and JC, but he had been flitting through a series of casual relationships. Justin loved to tease Lance about his particular ways, and Lance shot right back, calling him JC’s Bitch.

“Not lately. Not even looking. Too busy with this song. Hey, is JC around? I was thinking of asking him to come in tomorrow morning to rework his part on the song.”

Justin froze. A chill shivered down his spine. “Um, what?” He asked weakly.

“Can…JC…come…out…to…play?” Lance asked slowly, laughing.

“He already is,” Justin said sadly.

“What?”

“Nevermind. No, JC’s not here. Call his cell. I’ll talk to you later, Lance.” Justin hung up and took the phone off the hook. He stood up and took a deep breath, then did something he never thought he’d do, and hated himself for doing. He snooped.

Chapter Text

DON’T THINK I’M NOT
Two

 

JC

I inhaled deeply, breathing in the smoky air of the bar. It was as refreshing as a gulp of fresh mountain air, sending electricity through my body. Yes…this was what I had been craving. I looked around the gay bar cautiously as I waited for my drink. One could never be too careful.

Yes, I was a dog. A damned dirty lying dog. But I couldn’t help it. On one hand, I had Justin Randall Timberlake at home. Justin of the sky blue eyes and sunshine smile and electric hips and sexy pout and talented…everything. I also had Justin Randall Timberlake at home. Justin of the whiny voice and depressed eyes and overly dependent hands and need-to-know-my-whereabouts-twenty-four-seven-all-the-time attitude. I loved Justin…I knew I did. But obviously we were looking for two different things. He was thinking forever. I was thinking right now.

And right now a sexy blond with long hair and longer legs was smiling my way.

 

JUSTIN

 

I started with his dresser. I slowly pawed through the neatly stacked piles of clothing; God only knew if JC had the damn piles alphabetized or something. I didn’t find anything, though I wasn’t sure what I was looking for. And going through his dresser was innocent enough; we borrowed each other’s clothing all the time.

It was when I got to his half of the closet that I got nervous. This was JC…the man I loved with all my heart. Why did I doubt his love for me? Because he had been lying to me, that’s why. And this wasn’t the first time. I knew that.

“Damn,” I swore out loud. I had just searched that closet in a way that would have made Sherlock Holmes proud, and I didn’t find anything. I sat on the floor in front of JC’s shoe rack, deep in thought. If I were JC, where would I hide things that I wouldn’t want my oh so unsuspecting boyfriend to find? I jumped to my feet and hurried to the basement room he used as a studio.

I looked around carefully. Piano…no. He’d never hide anything in there; it would disturb the sound the instrument made. I went over to the cabinet where JC stored extra paper and pens. I opened it and began to ruffle through the neat stacks. A folder at the bottom caught my eye and I carefully pulled it out. It wasn’t a folder, however, it was a business card holder. And the cards I found were NOT from anyone in the business. Michael the accountant, Jeffrey the computer operator, Nathaniel the chef. “What the hell does a chef need with a business card?” I grumbled out loud, ready to tear the thing in two. I carefully pushed the folder back on the bottom of the pile and closed the cabinet. A small lockbox under the piano caught my eye. Why hadn’t I noticed it before? I sat on the floor and pulled it towards me. Miracle of miracles…it wasn’t locked. JC must have been in some sort of horny hurry.

I opened it. Inside were a few of JC’s rings…and three boxes of condoms. We didn’t need condoms. We were monogamous…or so I thought. I made a mental note to get tested the very next day, then pushed the box back under the bed.

I went up to bed, grabbing a bottle of Captain Morgan along the way.

 

JC

 

I whistled cheerfully as I walked to the car. Nothing like an end-of-the-night blow job to make your evening. And the guy was good, too…what was his name? I checked his card. Evan. Hmm…needed to remember this one.

I crept into the house, trying my best not to make any sound. I snuck down to the studio and filed the card in the FRONT of the card holder, then went up to bed. I almost slipped on a bottle as soon as I entered the bedroom. I cursed and turned on the light. I picked up the empty bottle and frowned, looking at Justin on the bed. He looked like some kind of God…stretched out and naked. My mouth watered. He was beautiful. Beautiful and passed out. My body ached for him, but I made myself go to the bathroom and take a shower. Dog I might be, but I wasn’t about to go screw my passed out lover after letting some stranger put his mouth on my dick.

Chapter Text

DON’T THINK I’M NOT
Three

When I tried to get your attention…you ignored me every time…You were so caught up doing your dirt that you didn’t notice mine…Well, I couldn’t put up with your schemin’…and I couldn’t put up with your lies…they say two wrongs won’t make a right…but it’s suiting me just fine…

 

Justin woke up with a horrific hangover the next morning, and JC was every inch the sweet and considerate boyfriend. He made Justin chicken broth. He took the phone off the hook. He made Justin tea. He sang to him. He read the sport pages out loud. Anything to make Justin happy. And Justin noticed.

It lasted for almost two weeks. Justin was in heaven. He knew he was just making things up out of his imagination. JC loved him. JC told him so. JC made slow sweet love to him and promised that Justin was the only one. JC only wanted HIM, Justin.

 

Justin walked into the studio fifteen minutes late. JC had gone early, of course, but Justin was on the phone with his mother and had waved JC on. When he came into the room, Lance and Chris said hey and talked to him, but JC was deep in conversation with Joey. “Hey there,” Justin said cheerfully, wrapping an arm around JC from the back and kissing behind JC’s ear. Joey gave him a friendly grin.

“Hello, Justin,” JC said with a sigh, carefully unwrapping himself from Justin’s embrace. “I’ll be with you in a minute.”

Justin felt his face flame, and Joey’s eyes were sympathetic. He turned away before JC could see how embarrassed he was. “Okay,” he almost whispered. He strode from the room and went to find something to drink.

When Lance came looking for him five minutes later, Justin was lightly banging his head on the Pepsi machine. “Justin…are you okay?”

Justin wiped away a stray tear. “Do I LOOK okay?” He snapped. Lance drew back.

“I’m sorry…I…”

“No, Lance, it’s okay. I’M sorry,” Justin said with an exasperated sigh. His eyes met Lance’s sympathetic gaze. “I can’t do it anymore. I can’t.”

“What’s going on, Justin?”

“JC…” Justin began, then stopped. “Nothing. I’ll handle it. How much do you guys need me today?”

Lance looked at Justin in surprise. “Well, your tracks have all been laid down, actually…we can fine tune them later.”

“Can we?” Justin asked hopefully. “How about some night this week?”

“I’m free tomorrow,” Lance said quickly, sensing that his friend needed someone to be with.

“Dinner?”

“I’ll cook.”

“I love you best.” Justin had Lance in a hug immediately. Lance held on, running a hand over Justin’s shorn head in a comforting manner. “Thanks.”

“Anytime, Curly…anytime.”

 

“You wanna go out tonight?” JC asked Justin when he came home from the studio. Nothing was mentioned about Justin’s absence and he sighed from his seat on the sofa.

“Like where?”

“Out…God…like to a club,” JC said in a tone that clearly inferred that Justin was an idiot.

“Gay club?”

“Yeah.”

“I didn’t know you went to gay clubs.”

“I don’t,” JC said vaguely. “Lance recommended it and I thought we could check it out.”

“Okay.” Justin stood and stretched. He felt JC’s gaze on him. “I’ll go change.”

JC followed Justin up the steps. “If you don’t want to…”

“Nah. I want to.” Justin slowly stripped, extending the movements until he could almost smell JC’s arousal. Justin turned around and smiled lazily. “See something you like?”

“Oh yeah,” JC growled, and Justin was pinned to the bed before he knew it.

“Maybe I wanna please YOU,” Justin suggested coyly, nipping at JC’s neck with his teeth. He was tired of being JC’s bottom boy.

“But I like fucking you,” JC cooed, sucking on Justin’s earlobe. Justin frowned. He couldn’t remember the last time JC had used the term “making love.” Justin shoved JC aside.

“I’m glad to hear that.” He headed for the shower. “I’ll only be a minute.”

 

JC was nervous. He never should have asked Justin to come with him. But he was dying to go out, and something in him couldn’t leave Justin home alone again. The way Justin had pushed him aside was unsettling, but maybe Justin wasn’t in the mood. Sometimes he wasn’t in the mood…but Justin ALWAYS was in the mood.

“This place is cool,” Justin shouted over the music. “I wonder if Lance will be here.”

“I dunno,” JC called back.

“Oh…by the way…I’m going to his house tomorrow night to work on what I missed today,” Justin said. JC nodded. Good.

JC’s night was shot to hell after that. Justin owned the dance floor while JC was busy making sure that he never noticed that EVERYONE knew JC. It was obvious they were together…Justin made sure to pay JC plenty of attention, but he was wiggling his thing on the dance floor for all it was worth. JC sat in the corner and brooded. He couldn’t get anywhere with Justin there, yet Justin could flirt all he wanted. He finally blew up in the car on the way home.

“I had a great time, JC. Thanks,” Justin said happily as he fell into the passenger seat of JC’s car.

“I would hope so, whoring yourself around like that on the dance floor,” JC snapped. Justin turned calm blue eyes on him.

“Were you jealous?”

“Yes…no…it just looked bad.”

“YOU could have danced with me.”

“I don’t dance like that.”

“Not with me, anyway,” Justin muttered, looking out the window. The conversation was finished.

 

“What’s all that?” JC asked as Justin got ready to go to Lance’s.

“Some stuff,” Justin said with a shrug, zipping his duffel bag. He leaned down and kissed JC’s cheek. “Bye.”

“Will you be late?” JC asked, trying to sound like he would miss Justin.

“Probably. Go out if you want,” Justin said with another shrug. “Later.”

Justin and Lanced worked on the song for over an hour before finally breaking for dinner. Lance had thrown together an excellent chicken parmesan, and Justin could hardly eat it fast enough. “Why don’t you have someone, Lance?”

“I can’t find anyone…”

“Who fits your ideals. Yes, I know,” Justin interrupted. Lance glared at him as he took a sip of his wine.

“No…I was gonna say I can’t find anyone who makes me feel as special as I want to make him feel, you know? I need someone willing to pay attention to me, willing to give me everything I’m ready to give him.”

“Yeah,” Justin said sadly, and he was horrified to see a tear plop into his spaghetti.

“Justin, what’s going on?”

“Do you wanna go out with me tonight?” Justin asked suddenly. “I brought clothes. We could go to that bar you hang out at?”

“What bar?” Lance asked. Justin gave the name of the bar he had gone to with JC. “I don’t go there a lot. I haven’t been there at all yet.”

“Good,” Justin said cheerfully, his heart sinking. “Nothing like the first time.”

Chapter Text

DON’T THINK I’M NOT
Four

 

When you’re out in the club…don’t think I’m not…even when you’re out making love…don’t think I’m not…when you’re feeling good in somebody’s spot getting hot don’t stop…just don’t think I’m not…’cos I’m out getting mine…

 

Justin was ready first, and he sat in Lance’s living room to wait, flipping through a magazine. He wore a pair of tight burgundy pants he had found in JC’s closet, and one of his favorite white shirts. The shirt was open, and under it was the usual white wifebeater. He was retying his shoes when Lance finally appeared.

“I’m sorry,” Lance said hurriedly, grabbing his wallet from the telephone stand and making sure he had his license and money.

“It’s okay. I’m used to JC being…” Justin looked up from his shoes and froze. He swallowed deeply. “Holy hell,” he muttered.

“What?” Lance’s green eyes were anxious. “Is something wrong?”

“No. Not at all.” Justin stood, his eyes raking over Lance’s body. “Um, Lance? When the HELL did you get that fine?”

Lance blushed to the tips of his ears, looking down at his tight grey shirt and black leather pants. “Fine? I’m not fine…I’m just Lance.”

“You’re fine,” Justin realized. Lance was fine. Maybe even finer then JC. Guilt seared through him at the thought, but he pushed it aside. If JC was allowed to collect business cards, Justin was allowed to think Lance Bass was fine.

 

Lance drove. He carefully maneuvered the car into a space, and started to get out. Justin put a hand on Lance’s knee and decided to be truthful. “Lance…there’s something you should know,” Justin said softly. Lance shut the door and looked at Justin.

“What is it?” Lance asked, though he figured he already knew.

“JC…” Justin began, then stopped. “Things aren’t…good…between us. And there is a very good chance he’s here. Tonight. In there.”

Lance’s mouth fell open. He had sensed the distance between his friends, but he had never expected that other men would come into the picture. He had wanted to say something for a while, but it wasn’t his place to do so. “I’m sorry…Justin…”

Justin shrugged. “I guess I’m not giving him something he needs. Anyway, I didn’t want this to look like I was snooping on him and…” Justin stopped, his grin flashing out. “Who am I kidding? Of COURSE I’m snooping on him. I found…evidence…at home, and I guess I just want to make sure I’m not seeing things.”

“He’s a dumbass,” Lance said softly. Justin smiled and reached over to give Lance’s shoulder a friendly squeeze.

“Thanks, Lance. Now let’s go in there and shake our fine booties.” Justin hopped out of the car.

 

Justin and Lance grabbed a beer at the bar and headed for a dimly lit corner. It didn’t take Justin long to find JC; he had radar when it came to JC. JC was on the dance floor, dancing in a way that could only be described as dirty. Justin’s heart pounded in his ears as he watched the strange man’s hands slide down to JC’s ass. HIS ass.

“Justin, maybe this isn’t such a good idea,” Lance began. Justin shook his head.

“I want to stay.”

“Hey there…wanna dance with me?” A handsome dark-haired man approached Lance, and Justin grinned. The leather pants were a definite studmagnet.

“No, thank you,” Lance said politely. He didn’t feel like dancing. He wanted to stay with Justin.

The man’s eyes flickered over to Justin. “How about you?”

“I would LOVE to dance,” Justin said, the sunny smile flashing out again. Lance sighed and took the beer that Justin asked him to hold. So much for staying with Justin.

 

JC looked over the man’s shoulder and froze. No. It wasn’t. It couldn’t be. A VERY hot man was dancing…with his boyfriend. JC watched as Justin’s body rippled and grooved. He found himself getting harder then he had been in a long time while looking at Justin. “Mmm…can I have some of that?” The man with JC asked, feeling JC’s erection against him. JC tried to smile up at him.

“Maybe,” JC hedged, praying he could get off the dance floor before Justin saw him.

 

Lance couldn’t help but grin. The look on JC’s face was priceless. Justin danced as if he were oblivious to the whole world, and JC could only stand and watch. Lance noticed JC excuse himself, and he watched as JC grabbed his jacket from a chair in the corner and walked out the door. The song ended and Justin came back to Lance.

“You looked good,” Lance told him, handing him his beer.

“Really?” Justin asked, taking a large gulp.

“JC thought so…you scared him right out of here.”

“What? He left?” Justin’s eyes scanned the room.

“Yep. I saw him grab his jacket and bail.”

“Dammit,” Justin swore, though he knew he’d seen enough. Sadness washed over him and he stared down at his beer.

“I know I suck and all…but would you dance with me?” Lance asked, determined to cheer his friend up. “If nothing else, I’d be good for a laugh.”

Justin looked at Lance. Green eyes full of concern beamed back at him. Justin sighed and smiled. “Maybe if I could put you and JC together…I’d have the perfect man for me.” Justin took Lance’s hand and led him to the dance floor as an extremely nasty groove boomed out from the speakers.

 

“Can I stay?” Justin asked tiredly as Lance pulled into his driveway.

“You think I’m letting you drive home like this? Hell, I shouldn’t have driven home like this.” Lance got out of his car on unsteady feet and wove his way around to help Justin. “You shouldn’t have been drinking anyway.”

“I forgot what it’s like to get attention,” Justin said. “It was fun!” He struggled out of the car.

Lance laughed out loud. “YOU forgot what it was like to get attention? Try standing in the shadow shaped like Timberlake…you’ll understand what no attention is.” Lance couldn’t believe what had come out of his mouth. But Justin didn’t seem to mind.

“No…Lance…try standing in the Chasez shadow.”

Lance led the way to the front door and finally got it open. They slowly headed up the steps. “Justin, I’m sorry that this is happening to you.”

“I don’t know what I did wrong, Lance…but along the way I lost part of me. It was either be Justin or be with JC.” Justin frowned as he realized the truth in the statement. “I know I can sing, I know I can write, and apparently I’m not too bad to look at.” Justin fell onto Lance’s bed as Lance went to brush his teeth. “But now…it’s like all he sees me as is…his. And not in a good way. Not like, “oh, Justin’s my boy…I’m so happy.” It’s more like, “oh, Justin’s my boy to use when I want…my name is tattooed on his ass…the ass I own…and he’s getting NONE of me.” That fucking blows.” Justin sat up and tried to take off his shoes.

Lance reappeared from the bathroom in a pair of sweatpants, and Justin knew the leather pants and the grey shirt were carefully folded or draped in the hamper. Lance was as bad as JC when it came to being organized. Lance knelt before Justin and untied his shoes. “You are more then just his, Justin. You’re amazing. Talented and handsome and sexy. And you can do without him.” Lance threw the shoes over his shoulder.

“But I love him,” Justin said sadly. Lance put a hand on Justin’s chin and tilted it up so he could look in Justin’s eyes.

“I know you do. And it hurts. I’ve been here. You want to let go because it’s right, but what’s right isn’t what’s easy.” Lance smiled gently. Justin turned his head to let his face sit in Lance’s palm, and Lance froze. Justin turned his head and kissed the soft skin of Lance’s hand.

“You think I’m amazing?”

“Sure,” Lance said casually, ignoring the pouty lips and sad blue eyes and sexy-smelling cologne. “Everyone does.”

“Not JC.”

“JC’s a dumbass. Didn’t we cover this already?” Lance smiled and Justin smiled back.

“Thank you, Lance.” Their eyes met and they both froze. “You have nice eyes,” Justin said suddenly. “You have a nice everything, Lance. Why didn’t I see that?”

“Because you’ve been with JC for a long time.” Lance stood. Suddenly a very weird vibe was whirling around the room and he didn’t know what to do. “So, I’ll get the guestroom ready for you and…”

Justin pulled himself to his feet and carefully placed his hands on the side of Lance’s head. “Make love to me, Lance,” he whispered. “Please…it’s been so long…I’m so lonely…”

“Justin, no,” he said gently, though his body was screaming yes. It had been too long for him as well. “I can’t. You’re on the rebound…we’re both drunk…”

“Just kiss me,” he begged. “Kiss me…kiss it away…”

With Justin leaning towards him Lance could only kiss him back. The kiss shot fireworks through Lance’s brain, and from the moan that rose out of Justin, he knew the feeling was mutual. Justin’s hands slid down inside the back of Lance’s sweatpants, and he grabbed Lance’s bare ass to pull him closer. “Justin…God…” Lance gasped as Justin’s mouth slid down to Lance’s Adam’s apple.

“So good…” Justin murmured, licking a line up to Lance’s ear. Lance placed a hand on Justin’s chest, and he could feel the erratic heartbeat. Justin finally looked up at Lance and took a ragged breath. “I’m sorry.”

“No…I’m sorry,” Lance said, embarrassed and turned on and guilty. “I should have stopped it and…”

“I never should have asked.” Tears filled Justin’s eyes. “I’m as bad as he is.”

“NO.” Lance glared at Justin. “You are not. You’re not sneaking around, you’re not out getting it on with strangers. You’re with me. I love you and you’re one of my best friends.”

“I bet Joey loves me, and I’m one of Chris’ best friends, and I’m not kissing THEM,” Justin pointed out.

“If you kissed Chris, I’d wash your mouth out with bleach,” Lance said, and they both laughed. Lance grew serious. “He’s a dick, Justin, and you need to confront him and get on with things. He’ll only hurt you more.”

“I know,” Justin said with a sigh. He went to Lance’s dresser, where he knew he would find extra sweatpants. He turned back to Lance. “You kiss like a miracle.”

“You’re not so bad yourself,” Lance said with a smile. Justin walked back over to Lance and kissed his cheek.

“It’s NOT just because I’m on the rebound, and it’s NOT just because I’m drunk. It’s because I was too stupid to see what was good for me, and stayed with what was wrong.” He took a ragged breath. “After I finish this and find me again…I’m gonna find out what else you do like a miracle, Lance Bass…if you let me.” Justin left the room and closed the door behind him.

Lance fell onto the bed and moaned. “That boy is gonna be the death of me.”

Chapter Text

DON’T THINK I’M NOT
Five

 

But I can’t be mad atcha…’Cos there’s something that you don’t know…That when you’re gone I do my own thing…and I catch a bone when you’re doggin’ me…

 

“JC, I’m leaving!” Justin called from the bottom of the steps.

“For where?” JC poked his head around the banister.

“Rehearsal?” Justin leaned against the wall and smiled up at him. “You know…Wade works our asses to death, we curse his name and the day he was born, and then we end up looking hotter then what’s legal?”

“I know rehearsal…” JC rolled his eyes but smiled. “I meant why are you going now. We still have an hour.”

“Eric has some songs he wants me to listen to.”

“Eric?” JC asked weakly. Eric was Wade’s new assistant. Eric was six foot one, with auburn hair and dark green eyes. Eric was gay.

“Yeah. He sings…did you know that?”

“No…I didn’t…want me to come along? I can be ready in five.”

“You? Ready in five?” Justin laughed. “No, I’ll see you there.”

“Justin. Wait.” JC almost tumbled down the steps and into Justin’s arms. “Love you.”

“Love you, too, Jayce,” Justin said sadly.

“Hey…let’s go out tonight.”

“I don’t really feel like clubbing, JC.”

“No. Dinner. I want to take you out for dinner.”

“Like a date?” Justin asked softly. JC nodded.

“Somewhere nice. I wanna show off my baby.”

 

Three weeks later, Justin and JC arrived over a half hour late to a very important rehearsal. Chris went ballistic, ranting in a way they never knew existed. “Time is money, isn’t that what you always say, JC?”

“I’m sorry…we were…we got…” JC actually blushed.

“God…I don’t want to hear about another one of your fuckfests,” Chris sighed. “I need some fresh air. When I’m back, we need to work our ASSES off.” Chris stomped off, slamming the door behind him.

“I’m sorry,” Justin whispered. Lance smiled and Joey shrugged.

“It’s okay. He’s just tired. I’ll get him.” Joey went after Chris while JC went to placate Wade. Lance looked at Justin.

“I guess you guys are getting along?”

“Yeah,” Justin said happily. “Lance, he hasn’t gone out in over two weeks. He’s home with me every night. If we go out, we go together. It’s working out!”

“I’m happy for you, Justin,” Lance said, his heart sinking only slightly. He was grateful that he hadn’t let himself fall too hard for Justin.

 

“I think we should go away for a while,” Justin said a few days later over dinner. JC’s fork froze in front of his mouth.

“Why?”

“We could use a vacation…somewhere tropical and warm where we can just be naked all the time.”

“We have responsibilities here, Justin.”

“I’m not five, JC. I realize that. But we could just go…be us. Be JC and Justin.”

“We can be JC and Justin right here.” JC finished his bite and served himself more spaghetti. Justin stared at him.

“Don’t you want to be alone with me, JC?”

“Hello…what are we now if not alone together?”

“I mean away…” Justin’s voice trailed off. It was happening again. JC was getting bored and was ready to roam. “But if you don’t want to…”

“Sometime, just not now, babe.” JC’s smile didn’t meet his eyes.

“Going out tonight?” Justin asked lightly. JC stared at him.

“No…I did have to run to Joey’s. He needs help with some stuff he’s been working on.”

“Good…’cuz Lance needed my opinion on some FreeLance stuff,” Justin lied through his teeth. “I’m supposed to go over there around seven-thirty.”

“Cool. Then we won’t miss each other,” JC said, totally unsuspecting of the idea that Justin might not be telling the truth.

 

“Please Lance…please please please be home…” Justin begged as he jabbed the doorbell. Lance opened the door and his eyes widened.

“Justin…you look like shit!”

“Yeah,” Justin said sadly.

“Come on in.” Lance moved aside, his kind green eyes taking in Justin’s tear-reddened face and bloodshot eyes. “Want a drink?”

“Yes,” Justin said desperately.

“Is he going out again?”

“Yes,” Justin answered simply. Lance ignored the glass and handed Justin the whole bottle.

 

Justin stared at Lance through the empty bottle. He giggled as Lance’s image grew distorted. “What do you think of JC?”

“Well, Justin…” Lance hedged.

“Seriously. What do you think of him?”

“I think he is very attractive. I think he is smart in some ways, incredibly dumb in others,” Lance said slowly. “I think he can’t decide what he wants…or else he just wants it all. He is very talented…and I used to think he was a good friend, but now I don’t know if I can trust him.”

“You can,” Justin told him. “I don’t think he’d fuck around on a friendship…just a relationship,” he finished sadly. “What do you think of me?”

“You?”

“Yeah, me. Tell me, Lance.” Justin’s eyes were huge. “I need to know.”

“I think you’re attractive. I think you’re charming and sexy. I think you’re too talented for your own good. I think you don’t know how awesome you are…and…that’s it.” Lance studied his feet.

“I suppose asking you to make love to me again would be out of the question?”

Lance grew angry. “I’m not second prize, Justin. Not to JC, not to anyone!” He stood. “You said once that if you could combine me and JC, you’d have your perfect mate. Well, I’m not half a person. I’m a whole person, and I’m not gonna be your second choice.”

“Lance…” Justin struggled drunkenly. Lance hefted him to his feet.

“I’m taking you home. Let JC deal with you.”

“He’s not there,” Justin whispered. Lance didn’t falter, though his heart tore.

“Then you can sleep this off alone.”

 

When JC got home at three, he noticed that Justin’s car was nowhere in sight. He assumed he had crashed at Lance’s, so he was surprised to find Justin sprawled out on the sofa, still fully dressed. When JC leaned over to shake him awake, he sniffed a new cologne. He frowned. This wasn’t good. Not at all. He noticed a piece of paper on Justin’s chest.

“JC…he had a bit too much to drink so I brought him home. Take care of him…be the man who loves him. Lance.”

JC wondered what Lance meant as he smiled. It was Lance’s cologne. Lance would never touch Justin…he wasn’t interested. JC dragged Justin to his feet and helped him up the steps.

Chapter Text

DON’T THINK I’M NOT
Six

 

Justin and Lance started to spend time together outside the studio. A LOT of time together. They had always been friends, but they hadn’t hung out all that much. Justin tried to teach Lance to play basketball, and Lance brought him along to meetings and taught him the fine art of how to conduct business as a decent human being while still keeping your head above water.

JC couldn’t have been happier. Lance had Justin so occupied that JC could come and go as he pleased. Getting out at night was difficult, but JC soon found new ways to occupy his time during the day…and it was just as good. Some nights, when he lay next to Justin watching him sleep, he wondered if he was missing something. Sex between them was almost non-existent, but it didn’t seem to matter. Justin didn’t seem to question it; he was usually so tired after hanging out with Lance all day that he fell right asleep. He and JC still spent time together, but it wasn’t the same. He wasn’t the needy person he had been, begging JC for any bit of attention he could get. And JC liked it that way.

 

Justin loved spending time with Lance, and wondered why he had never done it before. Lance never said he didn’t have time for him. Lance never made him feel like he was stupid, even though he understood NOTHING about the way Lance ran his business. Lance was patient and Lance was smart. Like JC…except for the patient part. Lance could be talking serious business one minute, and the next he would crack Justin up with some dry, sarcastic comment. He couldn’t play basketball worth a damn, but he made up for that in other ways…other ways of just being the friend Justin needed. The arousal Justin felt for Lance soon faded to the back of his mind. Sure, Lance was hot and fine and DAMN where had he gotten that ass, but more then that, he was Justin’s friend. It never crossed his mind that he might be falling for Lance Bass.

Every time they parted, they shared a chaste kiss on the lips. Neither one of them knew how it started, but one time it just did. Neither of them really initiated it more than the other, it just happened. They had stared at each other in surprise, then said goodbye. If they were with the other guys it never happened, of course, but if they were alone in a private setting, it seemed like the right way to end their time together.

 

Lance watched Justin slowly pull away from JC and felt confused. He wanted Justin, as his friend, to be happy. JC wasn’t all that bad, he was just a lying, cheating dog. Justin deserved better. Was he, Lance, better? He didn’t know. He did know that Justin Timberlake very quickly got trampled by JC Chasez…and Justin needed to be able to just be himself. Lance loved the time that he spent with Justin, and he didn’t even notice that he no longer dated. He didn’t return calls and he didn’t go looking for anyone. His free time was occupied.

 

“I’m going home to visit,” JC announced one day. “I thought I’d fly back north tomorrow, spend some time with the Maryland people.”

“Oh, okay,” Justin said, a little surprised. He did vaguely remember seeing a note come in the mail with a Maryland postmark. “Cousins?”

“Yeah. With kids.” Justin smiled. JC didn’t deal well with kids. “I’ll just be gone for like the weekend or something.”

“Okay.” Justin waited for JC to ask him to come along, and frankly he was glad when JC said nothing more. He wanted to stay home. He was happier with Lance.

 

JC refused Justin’s offer to drive him to the airport. He called a cab, and gave Justin a sweet kiss before leaving the house. “Take it easy,” he told Justin.

“You be careful,” Justin warned, feeling as if he were sending his brother away instead of his boyfriend.

“Yes, Dad.” JC kissed Justin’s cheek and was gone.

JC’s taxi was hardly out of the driveway before Justin was on the phone with Lance. “I’m a free man!” He exalted, ignoring how much he wanted it to be true.

“Good for you,” Lance said with a laugh, ignoring how much he wanted it to be true.

“Let’s go to a movie…and then just drive around,” Justin suggested. JC preferred renting videos, and he thought driving around was boring.

“Okay. I’ll come get you in a half-hour,” Lance told him. He hung up and went to raid his closet. Justin hung up and went to raid JC’s closet. He dressed better, anyway.

 

“You were crying, you big queen. I so saw tears!” Justin laughed, shoving Lance as they left the theater.

“Yeah, well, I noticed you playing the “got something in my eye” game as well, baby,” Lance retorted, shoving back. Justin stopped walking and looked at Lance. “What?” Lance asked.

“Nothing. Let’s eat. I’m hungry.” Justin led the way down the sidewalk, ignoring the shiver that had raced up his spine when Lance had called him baby.

 

“It’s down here. It is like the COOLEST thing I’ve ever seen. It will look great in my office.” Lance dragged Justin to a store window down the street from the movie theater.

“I’m hungry,” Justin whined, but he willingly followed Lance.

“See? Isn’t it cool?” Lance pointed to the painting in the gallery window. “It’s a bit pricey…I’m waiting to see if they lower the price, since it’s been here for a while.”

“Yeah…I guess it’s nice.” Justin tilted his head to make sense of the dribbles of paint. He glanced across the street quickly as a flash of blue caught his eye. Without knowing it, he grabbed Lance’s arm tightly. “Oh…” he whispered, knives of pain gutting into his heart. Lance followed Justin’s gaze and did a double-take. They watched JC strolling down the street with a man in a light blue coat. From the way they walked, they were more then just casual acquaintances.

“Let’s go.” Lance firmly grabbed Justin’s arm and led him back towards his car. “Where are we going?”

“Home. My home,” Justin said weakly, praying to make it to the car before the tears came.

Chapter Text

DON’T THINK I’M NOT
Seven

 

Justin was silent the entire drive to the house he shared with JC. Lance was worried. Justin wasn’t one to hide negative emotions. When he was mad, sad, nervous, everyone knew about it. Lance continued to look at him anxiously until Justin snapped, “Stop staring at me, dammit.”

Lance sedately followed Justin up the sidewalk. He stood behind Justin when Justin unlocked the door. When Justin headed for the upstairs, Lance went to the kitchen. Lance headed for the bedroom after a few minutes, and silently handed the tall glass to the forlorn figure on the bed. “Here.”

“What’s this?”

“Vodka.”

Justin took a gulp and wheezed. He shook his head, then took another gulp. “Why…what…”

“To burn the pain away. For now.”

Justin looked up at Lance, eyes brimming with tears. He set the glass on the nightstand. “Dammit, Lance…I knew. I knew about this all along…then he starts acting all sweet and I believed him.”

“Did you ever ASK?”

“No,” Justin realized. “I was afraid he’d say yes.” Tears fell against his will, and in an instant Lance was beside him.

“Justin…he’s a dumbass. He doesn’t deserve you. And one of these days someone’s gonna play him like he played you…and he’ll be the one hurting.” Lance placed a comforting arm around Justin’s shoulder.

Justin laid his head on Lance’s shoulder. He liked the way Lance’s slim fingers were gently stroking his upper arm. He sighed and burrowed closer. Already it was a bit better. Maybe it was the vodka. “Lance?”

“Justin?” Lance said back, smiling a bit.

“I don’t know how to be alone,” Justin said softly. “I don’t know what to be. I mean, I’m JC’s. JC’s boy. JC’s…”

“God, Justin.” Lance shoved him away. “You are NOT JC’s anything! He doesn’t deserve to even THINK that any part of you is his! If you were mine…I mean, if you were with me, I’d make sure that YOU knew that being with YOU made ME special…not that I made YOU special.” Lance clapped a hand over his mouth in horror. He hadn’t even known he was felling that way until the words tumbled out. “Oh…shit…Justin…you don’t need this…I’m gonna go…” Lance headed for the bedroom door. Justin grabbed his hand.

“Lance…” Justin began, but could say no more. His lips met Lance’s before either one realized it. “Oh…Lance…” Justin sighed against Lance’s mouth.

“Justin…you’re just…”

“You’re not a substitute…” Justin promised, his hand sliding up under Lance’s shirt to stroke Lance’s bare skin. “All I want right now is you…I want you…”

Lance battled in his brain. He knew he should back off and leave. Getting in the middle of this was just wrong. Justin wanted someone to make him feel better. He wasn’t looking for long term… “Justin, maybe…”

“Please…Lance…I even have been dreaming about this…” Justin confessed, hiding his face in Lance’s neck as he nipped at the skin. “Please…even if you can’t talk to me tomorrow…love me now…”

Lance whimpered and pulled at Justin’s shirt. Justin eagerly slid out of it and yanked at Lance’s shirt. Their bare chests hit and they fell to the bed. The rest of their clothing was quickly discarded. “I want you…inside of me…” Lance hissed as Justin paid close attention to his nipples. “I want you to make love to me…Justin…please…”

Justin sighed with contentment. Finally. Someone that wanted him to take instead of be taken. And he could see by the look in Lance’s eyes that it was not a matter of submissive versus dominant. It was equal. He would give pleasure and Lance would receive pleasure and it would work the other way around.

Later, Justin would remember how quickly Lance received him. He would remember how tight it was, and how easy it was, and how Lance had wrapped his legs around Justin and begged him for more…begged him for whatever Justin wanted to give him. At the moment, however, all Justin could remember was Lance’s name. The fell asleep with Justin snuggled back against Lance’s chest, their arms and legs draped together. For the first time in forever, Justin felt secure in the way the man sleeping with him felt.

Chapter Text

DON’T THINK I’M NOT
Eight

…when you’re feelin good in somebody’s spot gettin hot don’t stop…just don’t think I’m not…’cos I’m out gettin mine…

 

But when Justin woke up the next morning, Lance was gone. The bed was still warm next to him, but it was empty. Justin felt his heart hit his toenails. He slowly pulled on boxer shorts and padded out of the room. He went down through the kitchen and caught sight of blond hair out the window. He opened the sliding glass door onto the deck. “Hey,” he said, surprised.

“Hey, yourself.” Lance noticed the sadness in Justin’s eyes. “What’s wrong?”

“I thought…” Justin suddenly found the planks of the deck very interesting. “I thought you left.”

“No.” Lance walked over and placed a hand on Justin’s bare chest. “I wouldn’t have left. No matter how weird…I wouldn’t have left without saying goodbye.”

“Is it weird?” Justin whispered.

“Some,” Lance admitted with a small smile. “I’m not sure what to think,” he said honestly. “What if JC comes back tomorrow talking sugar and you take him back? Where does that leave me?”

“I’m not taking him back,” Justin vowed. “I don’t know much about what’s going on but I know I’m not taking him back.”

“Do you want me to leave?”

“Do you want to go?”

“No,” Lance whispered.

“I don’t want you to go,” Justin told him. Their eyes met, and their mouths followed.
The day continued to progress in this way. They kissed, they made love, and in between, they talked. They talked about anything and everything, just as they had at Lance’s office or on the basketball court. This time, however, they talked naked in bed, or sprawled all over each other on the sofa, watching dumb comedies on TV. The only thing they DIDN’T talk about was what happened when JC came home.

 

Lance got up to use the bathroom around two in the morning. They had finally fallen asleep, and he had awakened about thirty minutes later by his obnoxiously persistent bladder. He drowsily relieved himself, then started back to the bedroom. He let out a yelp when he ran into someone in the hallway.

“What the…Lance?” A light flicked on and he blinked against the glare. JC stared at him, his eyes widening at Lance’s naked state. “Why are you here? I THOUGHT I saw your car in the driveway…”

“I…well…” Lance had no answer for this one.

“Lance, what did you fall in or something? Get your cute ass back in here?” Justin called out sleepily. “I’m getting cold.”

JC’s face went red, then white. He stomped back to the bedroom and turned on a lamp. “Um?”

“JC?” Justin blinked against the light, slowly sitting up. He pulled the sheet up over his naked body. “What are you doing here?”

“I live here. What’s HE doing here?”

Lance quickly pulled on his jeans as Justin jutted his jaw up defiantly. “That’s none of your business.”

“I’d say it’s my fucking business. It’s MY house and I want to know what HE’S doing here!”

Neither of them noticed Lance slip out the door. “Why are you back so soon? Something go wrong downtown?”

“What?” JC asked, confused.

“You should tell that guy not to wear that shade of blue. It’s good for you but NOT for him and NOT in a coat,” Justin said, smiling sweetly at JC.

JC sat down hard. “What?”

“I know, JC. I know you’ve been fucking around on me. I know you never went to Maryland. I don’t know what you’re doing back now, but I know it’s over.”

“Over?” JC whispered, all the fight going out of him.

“Over. And you can sleep in the guestroom tonight. Since this was YOUR house, I’ll start moving out tomorrow.”

“Justin…you and Lance…”

“None of your business. Go away. I’m sleeping.” Justin lay back down.

“Justin…don’t leave,” JC said in a strangled tone. “I’ll change. No more running around. You don’t need Lance. You have me. I love you…”

Justin sat up. “Do NOT talk about Lance, do you understand me? He’s…” Justin realized something. “He’s gone. Dammit,” he swore, falling back down onto the pillow. “Go AWAY, JC,” Justin sighed.

“Okay,” JC said softly, closing the door behind him.

 

Justin was up at six-thirty. He was surprised he had slept at all. He was worried about Lance, but he knew this was not the time to talk to him. That could wait.

JC came down at seven. He sat across from Justin at the kitchen table, looking tired and miserable. “Hi.”

“Why the FUCK were you running around on me, you slut?” Justin asked calmly. JC reeled back.

“Justin, I…”

“I’m not good in bed?”

“You’re fantastic in bed.”

“I’m not a good person?”

“You’re a wonderful person.”

“Then why?”

“Because I’m a dumbass.”

“Exactly.” Justin stared at him for a moment. “I’m sorry it’s come to this, JC…I love you, and I guess I always will, but I’m not in love with you anymore. I’m tired of being JC’s boyfriend.”

“So you’ll be Lance’s boyfriend now?” JC couldn’t help himself, and he fell from his chair as Justin’s fist met his jaw.

“Do…not…talk…about…Lance,” Justin growled. “This is you and me, and you and me are done. I’m not anyone’s boyfriend…I’m me…Justin Timberlake. And you will learn to respect that.” Justin stood. “I’m going to start packing my stuff. Anything I don’t take today you can get rid of. I’m going to find a place to live…and I’ll see you in two weeks at our meeting.” Justin started to leave. “And JC? Don’t page. Don’t call my cellphone. I may not be alone. And DON’T bother Lance.”

Chapter Text

DON’T THINK I’M NOT
Nine

 

The meeting was murder for Lance. JC looked miserable, yes, but Justin looked so damn HAPPY. His smile was radiant, and it continued to radiate throughout the meeting. Radiated at Joey, at Chris, at JC…especially at JC. He tried to radiate at Lance, but Lance studied the forms in front of him. Justin was happy. Good. Now Lance could cheerfully die.

“Lance.” Justin put a hand on his arm when he tried to escape after the meeting. “Can I walk out with you?”

“Sure.” Lance looked over his shoulder at JC, who was talking with Joey but watching them. Justin threw a careless arm around Lance’s shoulders and led him to the parking lot. “What’s up?”

“I wanted to give you my new address and phone number,” Justin said carefully, watching Lance. “I’ve been in the place for about two weeks now, but I didn’t have much spare time to call anyone.”

“New place?” Lance ordered his heart to stop leaping.

“Yeah. All mine. All Justin.” Justin fidgeted. “I’d like to have you over for dinner tomorrow night.”

“You’re cooking?” Lance asked in disbelief.

“Or you could,” Justin said, then laughed. Lance laughed with him. “I’ll make dessert.”

“Dessert?” Lance asked weakly. Justin’s eyes blazed.

“Something sweet?” Justin purred, and Lance almost melted. Justin grew serious. “I’m just Justin, Lance. The same guy you saw two weeks ago…except this time I’m free. Free to be what I want…and I want to be with you.”

Lance controlled the urge to do cartwheels across the parking lot. “Okay,” Lance said softly. “What time?”

“Seven?”

“I’ll be there.” Lance slowly turned and went to his car. He told himself not to turn around to see if Justin was watching him leave, but he turned around anyway.

Justin was watching him and smiling.

THE END