It's shit like this I kick to these rich white kids
Who just might see how fucked up this sick life is
Once and a while Chris gets out of his car in the hills of Hollywood, or in the rich fucking district of Orlando, or down in mansions of New York, and just hucks rocks down the street. Sometimes they smash mailboxes, and he swears, like, low down, and gets in his car and drives off really fast before he can get arrested. Sometimes he just drives around with CDs really loud, trying to piss off parents.
He sometimes gets out, talks to kids around the city - twice, they were smoking up, recognised him, and he offered to sign autographs. Once the guys were kind of cool about it, and he signed their arm and they were all stoned. The other time two teenage girls said they thought he was 'pretty cool' and needed to 'chill out', and he shrugged cause they were pretty ugly.
He really likes doing it because those kids maybe look at him with fear, revulsion, adoration -- but he can look at their clothes and their youth and remember being poor, and they look him up and down and he knows how fucked up his life is, and when they stare at him, he cares.
One old guy, in the hills of Hollywood, actually comes out and waves a shovel at the car blasting bass at one thirty in the morning. Chris just drives off laughing; he can see the kid hanging out the second story window.
Whoops I did it again didn't I --my shit's harder
to figure out than what Britney's tit size is
"Justin, man, come on! You can tell us!"
"Yeah, Justin, don't be shy. We all share, y'know? It's not like we're askin' you to tell us whether she's got her hood pierced, or even what her nipple ring tastes like, okay boy? Just give up the goods already."
Justin gets angry. "Fuck off you assholes. I'm not gonna start talking about Britney's breasts, okay!"
"Awww." Chris jumps over the couch. Chris always seemed to be jumping over couches, or onto couches, or up from couches. "Justin hasn't felt up those things since she grew. Leave him alone, Joey. S'not his fault he's not getting any play--"
"Fuck off." Justin is sulking. Justin does a lot of sulking.
Joey punches his arm. "Come on. I know you felt her up while the two of you were still in fucking MMC. JC told us. So tell me, baby. Dish. Are they real?"
Justin hops up, shaking Chris's arm off sharply. He yells down the hall, while running, "JC, you prick!" and a muffled voice yells back,
"Sorry!" because it's JC's tendency to apologize anyway.
Joey and Chris are left staring at each other, and Joey looks at him with pity. He thinks maybe Chris would have an easier time of it if Justin could just figure some shit out. Chris says, "Whoops, I did it again, didn't I, buddy boy." Joey nods.
I probably pissed you off again didn't I bitch
You and Christina Gaguilera, kiss my grits
"You know what I miss about Tennessee?"
Chris snorts. "Justin, you were never a child of the South. You're a showbiz kid."
Justin throws a spoonful of grits at Chris's head, which obviously hits the wall, saying, "Fuck off." It's good-naturedly, though. They slither down, leaving a trail of sticky white mess with brown sugar. Chris almost gags.
Justin sounds wistful. "I miss good grits. Like, really good grits."
Lance wanders into the living room of their suite -- living room, dining room, fuck, this penthouse is nice -- munching a piece of toast. He wrinkles his nose at the wall. "Oh, c'mon Justin, that's fucking disgusting." He shakes his head. "And there's no such thing as good grits, I know that for a fact."
"Justin was just reminiscing about the youth he never spent in Tennessee."
Lance grins. "Oh, that's right. Mr. Timberlake would like to go back to his Memphis roots now."
"Fuck you guys." Justin throws the chair back, spoon clattering angrily to the table. "Fuck you." Everyone is against him in the last week; he can't figure out what he's done to piss them off. "What the fuck is everyone's problem?"
He stares angrily at the floor for a subconsciously calculated moment, and when he looks up, Chris has disappeared. Lance is sitting in his chair, drinking coffee and reading a magazine with an ugly picture of Christina Aguilera on the cover.
Justin says, "Where did Chris go?"
Lance doesn't look up. He takes another bite of toast. The magazine looks boring; Lance reads them to keep grounded. There's nothing better for that than reading something that's totally inaccurate about yourself.
You know how many shits I give? I wish I did
So I can quit givin' these twisted little kids ideas
"Yo, yo, Boston! How y'all doin' tonight!"
Tonight Justin is playing up the accent. Chris stares at his ass from his position, and very carefully doesn't fall off the stage each time Justin shakes it. He thinks to himself, 'you're crazy, Kirkpatrick', and then he dances some more.
Justin, backstage, actually licks Chris and grins. Chris feels the wetness dry, crusty. He knows the motion of tongue against neck really well; he was the one to teach Justin how to do it in Germany when he had a girl he wanted to impress.
Somewhere, there's a list of things that Chris has taught Justin that he needs karmic punishment for. All of them seem to be wrapped up in the tip of Justin's tongue and the hot, cakey residue of makeup and saliva that drys on Chris's neck during the next number.
Justin doesn't say anything about it. He probably doesn't think anything about it. He goes to have phone sex with his girlfriend. Chris says to Joey, "You know how many shits I give about that?" Joey looks at him, eyes soft and grim in the afterglow of a bored audience.
This just in, Britney just kissed Justin
She just fucked Ben, got tit fucked and dick sucked him
Justin is crying a little.
He takes a breath.
Now he's not. He raps on the door to the party room - Joey, tonight - and hears the sound of laughter, the tinkle of what could be an expensive crystal vase crushed by boots. Joey himself answers the door, and he can see that there aren't that many people over, just enough to blend into.
Joey pulls him in, and Justin stares hard at the backs of laughing people's heads, all turned to the big TV and the action movie playing. Joey says, "What happened?"
Justin's eyes feel big and puffy. He answers, "Someone told me yesterday that they thought they saw Britney cheating. Her giving a, blowjob to, to. I, I called her on it today."
"And!" His voice gets louder and quieter. Joey tugs him away from the TV and the door. "And I dunno. She got kind of defensive, but didn't really get out-and-out angry I asked. And she didn't deny it, and I kinda let it drop."
"Oh." Joey looks sad. "You know, that probably means..."
"Yeah." Justin stares. "Yeah, I know that probably means it's true."
"I'm sorry." Because Joey can't say anything else, and Justin doesn't seem - willing to break down right now.
Justin is willing to say, "I don't know whether they're real, okay? I haven't seen them since she was like, thirteen."
"Are you guys really going out?"
"Yeah." Justin rubs his head, and misses his hair, just for a minute or two. "We kissed. And, yeah, I think so." He laughs. The TV almost smells like car exhaust. "Maybe not anymore. Wonder if she's even any good at oral."
Joey thinks the contemplative tone and the tires screeching in the background make for something bad.
If Affleck can get his ass licked, how come I can't, shit?
God damn bitch, I'm rich, I can't understand this
"Goddamnit, man! No one's biting today."
Chris grins and swats Joey's head. "No play for the Superman today, hey? Looks like the Joey's going home solo."
Joey eyes a few girls by the bar, but then some other guys approach and he groans. "Man, this sucks. I can't understand it. Am I ugly today?"
Chris makes his fingers into a box and pantomimes taking pictures of the illustrious Joey Fatone sitting forlorn and alone at his table in the back of the club. Joey laughs and smacks his hands away, which almost spills an empty glass.
The waitress comes by and sweeps up the glasses from their table in the nick of time. Unnamed bar waitress saves the day in one! Millions saved from Butterfingers Fatone; world cheers.
Joey's kind of drunk, Chris thinks, and then, but so am I. Chris puts his chin in his hand. "You're not ugly tonight, Joey."
Chris waves a hand. "You asked if you were ugly. You're not. You're oh so pretty tonight."
"Fuck." Joey wipes his mouth with the the back of his hand. "I'm rich. Chris says I'm pretty." He spreads his arms wide. "Bring'em on!"
Chris shrugs. "Everyone kisses your ass when you're famous Joey. Suck it up."
Are those pictures I made of us together on the internet
as close as I'm ever gonna get to hittin it from the back?
"Dude, you will not believe what JC just emailed me!" Lance hops up from the table. Chris wanders to where he's sitting, toothbrush in hand, and leans over. Britney's head on a body that sure didn't look like hers when her and JC shared water balloons in MMC looked back.
Chris remembers watching the show once or twice when the two of them were even still on it, and isn't that for queer.
The second attachment is Britney with a really nice ass. Then some random porn that's of like, fourteen year olds. Lance snorts and deletes it all with one gracious click. "Dude, he's decided that he can turn me to the other side if he sends me enough pictures of pre-teen girls. Like, because they don't have tits I'll be more interested."
"Lance," Chris says, and it's with an air of giving away great wisdom, "JC is a sick, twisted, fuck. People just don't realize it right away with him."
Lance snaps the computer shut with a sigh; his coffee is probably cold. "Yesterday he text'ed me in a meeting about FreeLance with 'you want to fuck a dirty girl?' and a smiley face." His nose wrinkles. "I almost choked on my coffee in the middle of a conference call."
Chris is impressed; his mouth is hanging open and his eyes are fairly wide. "I don't think he wants to turn you-- I think he wants in your pants."
"Not no way, not no how, Kirkpatrick." Lance leans back casually, and yawns. "You can quote me on that."
Chris tilts his head. Lance seems so casual about refusing the idea right away, without even testing the waters first. "Is there something that I should know, man? Dirt on JC? You have insider information?"
Chris is imagining that maybe Lance and JC have done it, and there's a story in this somewhere.
"You're a worse gossip than my aunt, Chris." He grins. "Come on. His idea of foreplay is vibrating my phone."
"Fair enough." Chris rubs his neck. "Still. He's cute. You're cute."
Lance stands up, scratching his stomach and making a face into his cup. "Chris, make me some more coffee, would you?"
Chris grumbles, but puts the pot onto boil. Lance resolutely opens his laptop, and then actually throws it across the table -- though not hard enough to damage anything. Lance is like that. He gets angry carefully.
The coffee's going to take fucking forever. Chris asks, "What this time?"
"Dude." Chris laughs. "He doesn't know you very well, does he?"
Lance mutters, "He's so not funny." But Chris can see him smiling out of the corner of his eye. He brings him another cup of coffee without joking, and sits down quietly at the table.
And shit, when it comes to that, I hit harder from the back
than Everlast, when he's pluggin Lethal in his fuckin ass
"Lance, can I--" Joey licks his lips, feels his hands pressed against the wall sticky. His fingers are bent. Lance's knees are bent. "Can I ask you... something..."
Lance looks up. He's still teasing a little, nothing too serious, so Joey can speak. They have a while right now, and it's been longer than a while since Joey had something that wasn't just, just, wham-bam, and Lance knows it. He's taking his time.
Lance's tongue darts out, licks at the fabric covering Joey, who's straining, and says easily, "Sure, if you want, Joe."
"Have you..." There's a hand stroking the inside seam of his jeans. "This seems so weird." He blurts out, "Have you slept with Chris?" and closes his eyes as the hand gets closer to where he's really, really, hot.
Lance mumbles, "Yeah, a few times. ...why?"
Joey stretches his fingers against the wall. "Because um, he seems really focused on Justin, and he, he's."
Lance's palms push Joey's thighs apart a little, and Joey's body slides against the ugly orange paint. His feet slip on the linoleum and his shoes squeak on the floor. Lance says, "I know Chris, man."
"Okay. I just, you don't want to get too. Y'know. Into him, is all." Joey squeaks a little himself, and he adds, "Have you ever, have you, --you and JC?"
"Not going to?" Joey is a little breathy, but he's managing this conversation, and it's really nothing, nothing except that JC and Lance would be a little hot together, and he's never thought it was the right time to ask before.
Lance says, "Probably not," and Joey hums.
There are hands on his waist, pulling clothing off, and apparently Lance is done dicking around, because now his pants are down. Joey has one more question, and it's just, "Justin?..."
"Mmmm." Lance puts his lips on Joey's cock then, having decided he's said enough. Joey doesn't need to hear about Lance coming at Justin from behind, those few nights when Justin decided it was what he wanted and Lance knew it wasn't.
Maybe Joey will let Lance fuck him, some time, into oblivion. Maybe something deep and dark will be playing on the stereo. It could be something Lance can picture being right some other time with some other face, but never, comfortable. Him and Joey are just friends. And like him and JC, no matter what, he'll never form an attachment to Joey that's bad for Lance's health.
Just give me one more chance, Britney hit me one more time
Let me know what's on your mind, Whitney give me one more line
Justin throws the phone across the room. It doesn't break, and it doesn't make him feel better.
Lance has the doors between their places propped open and he can hear the talking that means post-party, all invited. Britney hung up on him, even after admitting that she'd slept with someone else, because he was being an asshole.
He probably was being an asshole. He feels like an asshole.
Chris peers around the door. "Heard the noise."
"What's up, sport?" Chris is good with giving people space if they need it, and he doesn't come in until Justin nods, looking at him, and sits down. "I brought you a beer."
Justin nods. "It wouldn't be so bad if I knew what I'd done. Or, if I knew what she was all about. I, kinda want another chance."
Chris rubs his hand in little circles on Justin's neck and thinks, fuck. The voice in his head is surly. Chris is surly a lot.
--you fuckers know what time it is
Fuck your jewelery my record's almost diamond, bitch!
"You're going to buy her that?" Chris can't help his voice being disapproving. He tries, he really does. He can't help it. There's nothing here that hasn't been here each and every day, really, but today he can't help it. To make up for it, he says hastily, "I think it's pretty."
Justin chews on a fingernail. "I said maybe." He puts the picture of the necklace back in his portfolio and shrugs. "I have to figure out what to do. I mean."
Chris thinks Britney's a bitch; he doesn't say it. He watches Justin's eyes. They don't look any different. Justin stands up, and goes to work on those things that Justin has polished from day one, the things he does for the music scene and in the music scene that Chris couldn't do if he tried for a thousand years.
Lance wanders past, and smacks Justin's ass; Justin shoves him, but grins. His eyebrow goes up appreciatively at Chris, once Justin's gone. Chris says, "Nice one, very classy, Bass."
"Hey, if you've got a problem with Justin, it's not me." It's mild. Lance turns the TV on.
Chris never told them, but when he was a kid he never had cable. All the things that they talk about are foreign. Half the time, in elementary school, he didn't have a TV. And he didn't miss it.
He sits down beside Lance, and can't stay angry. "I know." He suspects that Lance has fucked Justin, could probably ask and get a straight answer right now if he wanted to. He gets the feeling that Lance is a little bit in love with Justin, but not enough to make it count; he's preparing Justin for something.
Chris says, "Hey, Lance. You wouldn't be helping out a buddy, with Justin, would you?" Lance shrugs, and flips a channel. Chris sighs. "Because, while that's all well and good, I gotta ask, because, like, look at you. We both know who he'd--"
"You self-pitying bastard. Chris, you don't know shit." Still mild, joking. "What time is it?"
"Uh, about four thirty."
"How many sales did we make this week?"
"I don't know." He hates MTV. "Do you?"
Lance is always drinking something, because he gets dehydrated easily. His lips are shiny and he says, "The figure's on my computer right now. Around two million, I think. There's a five in there somewhere."
What a useless number to remember, five. Chris waits. Lance asks, "Why do you care about Justin and I?" Chris doesn't answer. Lance takes a sip of herbal tea, and mutters, "Then it's not time yet."
What's goin' on in the world today?
People fightin', feudin', lootin', it's okay!
Joey and Lance and Justin and Chris and JC are all sitting around the table, for once. JC is tapping and making his phone beep, and Chris is grinning like a maniac, and Justin is playing some game that involves little pieces of paper, and Lance is angry, and Joey is serving food.
There's a newspaper sitting beside JC. He scanned the headlines earlier, announcing anything exciting to the whole group. They ignored him, mostly talking about the schedule for next week. A lot of awards-type shows. Well, one, but it always feels like a lot. Justin is writing little words on teeny pieces of paper, and then discarding them randomly. Lance is grabbing his leftovers and tearing them into little confetti.
Chris is grinning like a maniac because he got laid not six hours ago. Lance was in bed reading, but accomodating as ever, and he said nothing when Chris wanted to talk about Justin a little bit, except to mumble, "Chris, you'd better grow up soon," and then get a drink of soda.
Joey is serving food because it calms the beast that feeds at their table.
Lance jumps up with a bit of a yell. "I'm vibrating!" and then he gets embarrassed, because he forgot he left his phone on. He pulls it out, and says, "It's only a text," because when they're eating there's this rule of no phones, and he's sorry he left it on.
He presses the 'receive', and then scowls, erases JC's 'lance is hot :-)' because it creeps him out and he doesn't want to be cheered up. Someone did something stupid in the studio today.
Joey sits down, and mumbles to Chris, "Why is Lance angry?"
Chris shrugs. Under the pretense of - nothing, really, but as covertly as he can, he answers, "I think it's--" He doesn't want to say 'me', or anything else. "I don't know."
Lance doesn't get angry often, and when he does it rarely throws off the vibe of what they do, so most people don't notice. His emotions really don't affect the rest of the band as much as everyone else. Lance is a professional poker player.
Joey looks at Lance, who is quiet and glancing from Chris to Justin and then back again, and thinks he gets it. It's not a big thing, and it's okay, but it's there.
Let it go, let it flow, let the good times roll,
Tell 'em Dre! 'It ain't nuttin but music!'
"This party is fucking amazing! I can't believe we were invited somewhere that Dre was, too! Where the fuck is everyone else?"
JC says, "I dunno," because he doesn't.
Chris is late, as always, because he's driving around with the stereo on. That's one of the best perks of being rich-- really nice car stereos. He's up in the hills, looking for the address, and he's not really lost, but Joey thinks he is. Justin is just singing along.
Right by a playground where a couple of teenagers are smoking and looking tough, Chris slows down, hollering out the window, "Hey, do either of you have a spare smoke?"
"Maybe!" one hollers back.
Chris drives right up to the curb. Justin is hissing in his ear, and Joey is saying, 'you should probably back off, man--' and Chris opens his door, casually gets out. He says, "Hey. Got a smoke?"
"I got one, but like, none for another week, man."
Chris shrugs. "Willing to buy it off you. Five bucks."
The kids look like he's crazy - five bucks'll buy them another whole pack and more. "Yeah, yeah, okay." He hands him a cigarette.
"Thanks. Got a light I could have?"
The guy gives him a crusty lighter, fumbling for it. The kid says, "Don't you worry about talking to strangers?"
Chris blinks. "What?"
"I mean, I could hate you guys."
"Why?" Chris looks down, thinking, 'I'm white but I don't look nazi or anything... I don't think I look gay...'
"Like, it's nothing but music, but still--" He looks at his friend, as if he's embarrassed to say it. "A lot of kids I know, they'd really like the chance to fucking, just, hit you, man. I'm sorry."
Chris steps back. "Oh." He's not scared. The band is just a job; his friends, them, they, are, really, just a job.
Joey is yelling from inside the vehicle that Lance just called; he nods, says thanks to the two kids, and goes.
As they drive off, Justin says, wild, "What the fuck were you thinking, man! They could have hurt you. You could have gotten hurt. Like, you could have hurt yourself. I can't believe you almost got hurt. I couldn't have handled that, man. I can't believe you got out of the car with no one around in this neighborhood."
They find the party, and JC has already told them that Lance is there - Chris sees him by the bar, talking easily with someone that Chris probably wants to punch. He pats Joey's arm, leaves Justin with JC, and goes to talk to him. "Lance."
"Yeah? Hey, meet--"
"Later. I only got a minute." He pulls him away from everyone, and says low, "I think you're right." Lance watches him. "And like, if you really want him, you can. Fuck it."
It comes out angry, and Chris doesn't really mean it that way. Well, a little, but not too much. Lance shrugs, a little tense. "Hey. I wouldn't bother, Chris. Maybe, just, we should let it go. He's," Lance laughs, staring at Justin. "If you want him, you will."
Chris moves off, not liking it at all. He thinks Lance is being sarcastic. Justin comes up, and brings him a beer. "What was that all about?"
Chris looks down, and says nothing.
The party is a big hit. Lance and JC actually dance, and yeah, they do look really good together. Joey whispers to Chris about it, which turns Chris on. Chris has the beer Justin brought him, and nothing more all night.
Everyone else gets a ride with someone, so he's alone on the highway. As he's driving home, he holds the cigarette between two fingers, remembers smoking in the high school bathroom. The engine purrs. He doesn't light it.
The stereo stays loud and it's all residential, but somehow, it's not the same.