nsync in black and white

Fiction by Pen . . . . . not real, made up, purely intended for entertainment

just because

written for the anti-Valentine's Day challenge

"I'm—we're not doing anything."

"What? Nothing? For Valentine's Day? But you love Valentine's Day."

Justin sighed. "Yeah, but Nick doesn't. He thinks it's a bunch of crap." Nick had been a lot more explicit than that, and Justin didn't think JC needed to hear all the sorry details. "I think he was traumatized by having to buy his Mom chocolates, or something."

JC shuddered. "Yeah, that's fair."

Actually that was the part Justin had the most trouble with. Not buying chocolates, because Justin always sent his Mom a box of chocolates for Valentine's Day, and flowers, obviously. But Justin's Mom was awesome and deserved chocolates and flowers and a big card with hearts on. Nick's mother… didn't. It wasn't really surprising that Nick got all bitter on the subject and said it was all a con and nobody should be forced into making big, fake romantic gestures just because it was February fourteenth.

Justin understood, really. He did. But Nick was right, nobody should be forced into doing stuff just because of the date on the calendar. He was going to do what Nick wanted. He was going to ignore the whole thing, pretend it wasn't a thing at all, because that was what it would take to keep Nick happy, and Justin was all about keeping Nick happy.

He ordered the gourmet Valentine's gift box from Compartés for his Mom, then added a box of chocolate coated Oreos because she'd love those. Then a call to his regular florist, and his assistant would mail the card…

And now, he would forget all about Valentine's Day because his boyfriend hated it.


Seemed like he'd done the right thing, ignoring the whole Valentine thing. Justin had experienced a little pang when he didn't get so much as a card, but he kept telling himself that Nick didn't have to prove anything. He'd been planning, in a not-entirely-committed way, to maybe get something special for dinner, but he'd dithered about it, uncertain whether even a particularly good steak brought in from his favorite restaurant would be too much like a celebration.

In the end it hadn't mattered, because Nick had texted him to go over to Nick's place instead of back to his own.

Justin let himself in and groped at once for the switch, the place was dark—but flipping the switch did nothing. Huh. Maybe Nick wanted Justin to figure out where the fuse box was?

No, the power couldn't have gone off, because across the narrow hallway there was a light. Justin shuffled cautiously towards it, and called, "Nick? You home?"

There was a candle in a glass jar, just beyond the doorway. Bewildered, Justin stared, then realized there were more candles, a flickering golden line along the wall and up the open wooden staircase at the far end.

There was a post-it note on the stair-post. Justin squinted at it in the muted light. Put the lights out on your way up.

He stared at the note, then at the trail of little lights on the stairs, then back at the candles, so pretty, flickering in their glass jars along the hallway.

It looked like the most adorably romantic gesture… but it couldn't be, because Nick didn't do that stuff. For a moment he seriously wondered if he was in the wrong house, but no, that was Nick's big, sloppy handwriting, he was in the right place, only what was happening here?

Doubtfully, Justin retreated to the first of the candles and blew it out. He made his way along the line, huffing at each tiny flame, and paused at the foot of the stairs. A trail of candles to follow to… the bedroom? Or was he going to get upstairs and find the candles led him to the bathroom, and he'd find the last one perched on the toilet lid? Would Nick go to this much trouble for a joke?

There was a rose on the fifth stair. On the ninth, an elegant little box containing a single chocolate.

Justin was beginning to be convinced that this was not an elaborate joke. In any case he was fairly sure Nick wouldn't have the patience for a set-up like this, which kinda looked like it meant… He blew out the candles and hurried up, clutching the little box and the rose—a real honest-to-goodness red rosebud on a long stem—and along to, yes, the bedroom.

Nick was lying naked on the bed, and every hard surface in the room was covered in candles. In the golden light, Nick looked breathtaking. Particularly when he grinned.

"You know you're wearing too many clothes, right?"

Which wasn't exactly a romantic thing to say, but it was definitely a Nick thing to say. Justin grinned back, and got himself out of his clothes in record time.

"Did you eat the chocolate?" Nick said as Justin was shimmying out of his boxers.

"Uh, no. Why?"

"Good. We can share."


[Author's Note: insert your own candle-lit sex scene involving long limbs/golden skin/large hands/chocolate-flavoured kisses/uninhibited fucking. You know the sort of thing.]


When Justin opened his eyes the light was much dimmer. Half the candles seemed to have burnt out, and even as he watched, another flickered finally and died.

"Nick," he said. The large, comatose form beside him did not move. "Nick!"


"What's with the big romantic thing with the candles?"

"Did you like it?"

Justin smiled into Nick's shoulder. "Yes. Yes, I did. But I thought you didn't do Valentine's Day stuff. I didn't even get you a card because I thought you didn't want anything."

"I didn't. But you like that romantic sh—stuff. I'm your boyfriend, so it's my job to do stuff that makes you happy, right?"

Justin's heart gave a delighted thump inside his chest. "Right," he said.

"Right." Nick's heavy arm flopped across Justin's chest. "So go to sleep and I'll make you happy again in the morning."


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