nsync in black and white

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

The Swan

with thanks to Ninjetti for the beta


They didn't all five get together very often these days, so it was at dinner one night in LA with Lance and Joey that JC announced he was in love with a swan.

* * *

Chris was predictably infuriated on the phone. "He's out of his head! He's lost his fucking mind! He's been stuck in that studio so long he's completely lost touch with reality!"

"What are we supposed to do about it?" Joey asked, reasonably.

"Just—just don't let him tell anyone," said Chris.

* * *

Justin, on the other hand, thought it was hilarious. He guffawed with mirth when Lance called him to explain the situation. JC, Justin said, had always been one to fall in love with the unattainable, and a swan wasn't that much more ridiculous than some of his past crushes had been.

Exasperated by this cavalier attitude, Lance asked rather tartly what Justin thought could be done about the situation.

"Nothing," and he could almost hear the fatalistic shrug that accompanied the words. "You know 'C. He'll just have to work it through in his own time. Oh—we are assuming this great passion is unrequited, right?"

"Unrequited? Yeah, I guess it most likely is unrequited, don't you?"

Justin was impervious to sarcasm. "Dude, best hope so. They say swans mate for life, don't they? How long does a swan live?"

"Oh, for fuck's sake," said Lance, peeved, and hung up. He and Joey seemed to be the only ones the least bit concerned about JC's behavior. Only, Joey was strongly inclined to go with Justin and Chris, and ignore the whole business. Joey was going back to New York anyway, as soon as his scenes were shot, so Lance was going to have to deal with JC on his own.

* * *

He managed to lure JC out of the studio for an occasional meal. JC didn't actually seem any crazier than usual, except for insisting on his devotion to The Swan. Lance capitalized it now, in his head. He suspected JC did the same.

* * *

"So, are we going to get to meet this Swan of yours?" he asked, as the two of them sat picking at the remains of a late, light lunch.

JC grinned, crinkling his eyes, but shook his head sorrowfully. "You won't understand."

"Try me," said Lance.

JC eyed him dolefully. He was faking it, Lance could tell, there was a wicked little twinkle in those big blue eyes that belied the expression of woe. "Mr Hollywood? Lance Bass, businessman, entrepreneur and celebrity cynic? You don't have a romantic bone in your body."

"I do too!" Lance was indignant, but since he knew very well that JC's ideas of romance were vastly different to his own, he hurried on. "JC, I know this Swan is important to you. Is it so much to ask?"

"Hmm," said JC, with his annoying little smile. "We'll see."

Sometimes Lance thought it would be nice not to be the sensible one.

* * *

Lance was astonished, three weeks later, to receive an email from JC inviting him to clear his schedule for the following weekend. Curious, he agreed, and very much to his surprise found himself in Washington, DC, by mid-afternoon Friday.

JC took him to a nondescript little bar, and sat smiling enigmatically over his beer until Lance was ready to smack him, then all of a sudden, JC seized his friend by the wrist and quite literally dragged him—out of the bar, through some broad doors, into an auditorium, and right to the centre of a row of filled seats, just in time to sit before the house lights went down.

"Oh, you have got to be kidding me," Lance breathed, as the sound of an orchestra filled the air.

"Your call, Mr Hollywood. Wanna leave?"

Lance shuddered at the thought of making all those people between him and the aisle stand up again. Trapped, he stared at the stage, on which a giant bed was revealed in a close circle of white light.

Three minutes later, he was fascinated.

* * *

By the interval he was excited, even enchanted. "They're so beautiful!" he kept repeating. JC just grinned his eye-scrunching grin, and bought him a drink.

"They're so beautiful!" said Lance.

* * *

The final applause had—eventually—stopped. People on either side were peeling away from their seats.

"So," said JC, "you understand now?"

Lance wiped his wet cheeks and mopped the tears from his neck. Yes, he thought, he understood.

Joey was going to be very upset when Lance announced that he, too, was in love with a Swan.


There is a visual aid here if you are completely baffled!


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