I offered gifts before the MTYG sign-ups closed, and then wasn't able to deliver on most of them because of computer problems. pensnest
, however, has just had to wait much longer than anticipated.
Her request was: a ficlet - a paragraph, even - about [the picture below]. What's he thinking? Who's he fighting, and why?
Well, Pen, it goes a little something like this:
"I am so glad they kept this."
JC patted the padded ropes of the ring with a disturbing amount of admiration, and Lance thought once again, I can't believe I'm doing this.
"I mean, it's not as cool as Space Bulls," JC said. "But still. Your very own private boxing ring, think of the--"
"I can't believe you talked me into this," Lance said.
"Oh, oh, where's my head? I'm sorry, I've gotta, um, somewhere..." JC fluttered around for a moment before producing an ice pack and placing it carefully over Lance's eye. "Here, is that better? I can't believe you just walked into that punch. You've gotta duck and weave, duck and--"
"I can't believe I'm fuckin' doing this. Nick Carter, JC? Seriously? He's got anger issues. No one should step into a ring with him, especially not--"
"Oh, honey, don't be that way. Nick's working on his issues. He's a new man, and seriously, so are you."
JC patted Lance's biceps, and Lance was happy to note that JC's appreciation of his muscles at least matched his appreciation for AJ's extravagant Unbreakable
"Look at you, man, you're ripped. If you'd just duck and weave, there's no way Nick could take you."
Lance glanced--as best he could with one eye iced and probably going black as they spoke--over to the opposite corner where AJ was toweling Nick down. It was true. Nick looked good, but Lance definitely had an edge over him, an edge earned with hours in the gym and countless "Gym Queen" jokes. If he pictured Nick as the last guy who had cracked one of those jokes...
"Have you really been fantasizing about this for years?" he asked JC.
"Oh, yeah. The Carter-Bass Pop Grudge Match of the Century? You know it."
"It should really be the Timberlake-Carter match."
"No. That would be hot, too, but no. This is what I want, this is the deal."
"And then you'll stop being such a downer--"
"I'm not. No. I haven't been saying that stuff to be all Debbie Downer, you know. I'm just... I'm being realistic. But if you go three rounds with Nick--and the other guys all come through with their challenges, too--I'll consider it. I'll give it serious thought."
"Even if the other guys don't, if I go back in, if Nick gets another hit on me, you have to stop telling people that an NSYNC reunion is out of the question."
JC nodded and patted Lance's arm again.
"And if I give Carter a black-eye to match mine, you have to tell me what life-long fantasies Justin and Chris have agreed to fulfill for you, too."
"Oh, no, I can't tell you. That'll jinx it. No revelations until all fantasies are fulfilled. And it looks like AJ's finished his pep talk."
JC took the ice pack back and yanked the towel from Lance's shoulders. Lance hopped up and shook out his arms. God, the things he did for his band.
"Come on, champ," JC said, and gave his ass an extremely appreciative pat. "Get back in there."
And, lord, the things he did to get laid. Nick didn't have a chance.