we invented the remix 5

list by jae: the talkin' talkin' happy talk mix by ephemera

with thanks and all my love to beta team alpha.


The two of you talk about everything. All the time. Sometimes you wonder about that when you're not together. If you didn't talk all the time, would there still be a you?


Her cell's always ringing, but you knew this time it was important because she rolled over in the dark and answered the call, and then didn't say anything right away.

Her shoulders are very still, peaches and pearls in the light from the bedside lamp, and you want to reach out and touch her, to try and offer her something, only you know that if you do, then when she turns back you'll have to talk about families again, and you can feel the warm buzz of your orgasm evaporating already into the cold spaces where Britney has nothing to say.

She's beautiful. She was beautiful when she was moving above you, and she's beautiful now, still and fragile, her face hidden behind her hair. The strength - the will power and the dancer's muscles - are hidden, and she's all delicacy and curves. So different from what you're used to.

She lifts her chin, takes in a breath, ready to start talking again. You slide down the bed, press kisses against the bare skin of her hip, her thigh, so that when she finally says goodbye or she says later, because she never really says goodbye to anyone when she says later you can bury your face in her skin.



She's been on her cell forever, and you are more-or-less watching some crappy movie on the suite's tv. When you turn your head, she has one hand pressed over the mouth piece of the phone.

"What's the name of that new girl you guys are using for the MTV choreography?"

"Fatima, Fatima um..." Your mind goes blank for a second. It's not like you ever use her last name. "Robinson. You need a number?"

"It's okay." Britney's smile is bright as she looks down and repeats the information to whoever is on the other end, but she's still scoring short, neat, deep-cut lines into her notepad with a pink gel pen.

It's crazy, but you're almost glad that Justin was dumb enough to cheat on you both with Wade, so it wasn't you he got caught with. You shiver, and tuck your hands under your thighs.

"Fuck me!" Britney's phone clatters onto the table top, and the cuss words sound unreal coming from her ladylike glossed lips, even when she follows up with an undignified snort. "I wish he had you know?" She drops into the seat next to you, and lifts up your arm to wriggle into a hug. "Does that make me sound like a total slut? But I do think about it, sometimes. Like, I could probably work with him if we'd had a one night stand or something, but the idea of Justin, I mean, with a guy? It's just so..." Her voice died away, but the shudder that runs through her says plenty.

Yeah, it's a really good idea she doesn't know about you.


You're on the phone with Aaron when she comes home, and you hadn't really thought about that before, the way you never have to say stuff out loud with him, with your boys. Like this call. You've talked some about his tour, who he's working with, how you're going to kick his ass at some computer game next time you go out and see him. You never said that you were worried about him, and he never said that he was glad, or that he wanted you to tell him it was okay, but you both knew.

You're thinking about it now, and Britney gives you a little wave, and in your ear Aaron sounds impatient.

"Yo, you listening to any of that?"

"Sorry," you sigh, and Aaron mirrors the sound.

"She came home, didn't she? Look, bro, you know what I think, but - whatever. Catch you later."

And then the line is dead, and you have to put the phone down, and listen to Brit tell you about every little thing that happened at the studio today, from the heat in the vocal booth to the smoothie place being out of acacia berries.


The first time, well the time before your actual first time, but the first first time, when she'd spun into your arms on a crowded dance floor, with sweet cocktails on her breath and lights staining her skin pink and blue and lilac, when she'd kissed you before you were sure she even knew who you were, when you'd laced your fingers into hers and pulled her onto one of the balconies before she made a fool of herself right there in front of the cameras. You hadn't been able to make sense of what she was saying then either. You hadn't cared so much about the words as about the shape of her lips, and the thought of where they'd been just hours before hand.

And then she'd started talking about him.

Wet, sloppy, kisses on your neck, and small strong hands you couldn't keep up with, trying to fend them off and to listen to her and you know you should have made her stop, told her not to tell you, not to tell anyone. But you shouldn't have done any of the things you'd ever done with or about him, so what's one more?

The second time the first time you really did anything, but the second time she pulled you aside and slid her fingers up under your t-shirt - you were pretty sure that was mostly to make sure you didn't talk to anyone but her.

Who else were you going to talk to?

But with soft blond curls under your hands and soft lips wrapped around you, how were you supposed to talk at all?


"Should you be eating that?"

The words are out of her mouth before you even have the pastry off the platter.

"Brit!" you protest.

"Ohh." She puts her hand over her mouth, like a little girl, and you can't stay mad at her, so you drop the pastry, and wrap your arms around her instead. It's not her fault that management has gotten inside her head, you tell yourself.

"You're probably right," you tell her, giving her a squeeze.

"You're okay, you know." Her arms are trapped between your bodies, so she couldn't touch if she wanted to. You shrug and she scowls at you. "Nick, baby, you know I think you're hot, so..."

"Maybe I should get 'Britney approved' stamped on my ass? that'd make the magazines happy," you tease, and she smiles back.

"Only if I can get a 'Nick Carter rates this A+ Prime Steak on mine."

"You think that'll fit?" You give her butt an appreciate squeeze, and she tips her head back, chuckling.

"It will if you don't keep me from eating pastries."

"So you're saying we should do something non-calorific until it's time to check out?"

The line's as cheesy as anything, especially when you roll your hips against her stomach, but she's already squirming against you, and you can't be that out of shape if you can carry her half across the room and then pin her against the wall.


"So." Britney's arms wrap around your neck, like vines growing up your body, and her breasts push against your chest. She's up on tip-toe, and your hands go to her waist to steady her. "Nick." Her eyelashes are clogged with mascara, and her foundation's a little patchy around the hairline. She smells of cigarette smoke from the club. She's been back long enough to drink a bottle of water and dish the dirt on the NSYNC guys who'd been sharing VIP for part of the night. No Justin. Nick had stopped listening after she said that. "You think maybe we should make this public? Us, I mean."

She stops, and you're not sure what to say.

"I mean, I miss going out with someone, you know? Having someone to dance with, maybe making out a bit, knowing people might see..." She leaves that thought to linger for a second, dragging one damp fingertip over your chin, and you realize that you're already shaking your head.

"You really want cameras on us the whole time? I thought ... I kinda like having us just be for us, babe," you blurt out, and maybe that's only part true, but it is at least that. You've always been a lousy liar.

"Aww Nicky! You romantic!" She shoves at your chest, all playful, and then folds herself back down against you, looking up for a kiss, so you give her one, and then another, and then your hands slide down to her ass, and it's so much easier to act than to talk about the why of it.

In the morning you lie in bed, and she talks, reasoning out all the ways it's good to have this relationship be something the cameras can't feast on, and how it had been so hard before, although it would be different now, with you. You have to bite your tongue to keep from cutting back with a sharp comment about how you aren't going to get the chance to cheat on her with Justin, so that's one difference right there.


She always talks about her schedule you know every day what she's doing, where she's going, who's going to be there, what the plan had been before someone had to switch something, and what both Britney and Felicia think about everything so it's easy to tell Brian when you're going to be home alone, when it's a good time for him to come by.

There's no point telling him not to, because he won't believe that you're actually fine until he sees for himself, and you already heard the lecture about high profile Mickey Mouse blondes.

So you're home alone, and Brian comes round, and you stand awkwardly in the kitchen for maybe two minutes while he looks at you, looks real hard, and then he smiles and reaches up to mess with your hair, so you turn into it, give him the shoulder. It turns into a play flight and ends with you giving him a piggy back ride around the whole first floor before you collapse into one of the white leather couches. You are both laughing.

You talk for a while about nothing much, and at least half of it is lazy references to in-jokes, and some of the rest is you calling him a dork and him calling you a freak, and it's good, right up to when he twists around so you're looking right into those bright blue eyes of his and he can see right inside you, and he asks you if she makes you happy, the exact same moment as Britney walks into the room.

She says 'Brian' right in the space where you ought to have been saying yes, and suddenly the atmosphere is really awkward.


You were right, back when you wondered. When you break up, the silence is how you know.

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