we invented the remix 5

just gay enough: a tale of self discovery by phaballa: the being-straight-doesn't-pay-unless-you're-justin-timberlake-or-joey-at-band-camp mix by etsu

Many, many thanks to the lovely bubbleforest for helping me with this story. Your squee was appreciated no end. Any craptasticness still left in this fic is my doing and mine only. Also, a thousand apologies to phaballa: I tried going for the Justin/Kevin, man, but they just refused to get it on. Props to stubbleglitter , too, for being such an incredible person and hosting remix this year! And now, on with the story.

Something is fucking with the Universe.

Justin's pretty sure of that.

There's just no other logical explanation for the fact that this is the third C+ he's scored in as many weeks since his transfer to Pennsylvania High. God, he can't even begin to imagine what this is doing to his grade point average.

He just wishes he knew what he was doing wrong.

Back home, things had the tendency to fall into place. Justin had never wanted to be that guy; he already was. With a close to perfect academic record, a secure position as captain of the basketball team, a (previously) adoring (and currently bald ex-) girlfriend and the fortune of being a favorite of nearly everyone around, teachers and students alike, he'd been as close to the top of the high school hierarchy as anyone could hope for. The only kids who had a shot in hell of coming in a distant second place were the ones who actually managed to get into Ms. Diaz's pants.

More than once.

Justin finds himself smirking a little at the memory. She would probably have pretty good advice for him right about now.

Turns out she does. Sort of, anyway.

"Baby," she says, once they've exchanged the necessary pleasantries (that is, if pleasantries is the right word to describe dirty, nasty, 30-minute long phone sex), "you know you didn't get those straight As because of your paperwork, right?"

Which kind of stings, actually, except not really because Justin knows he's gifted in mostly every other area, so yeah, okay, he can admit that. "So?"

Cameron -- which is what she tells Justin to call her now that they're no longer in the same school -- gives a bored, long-suffering sigh. "So. Other incentives, Justin."

It takes a minute, but then Justin's eyes widen. "Oh." And then he realizes that every single lecturer at Pennsylvania High is male, and his eyes nearly bug out of his head. "Oh."

Justin spends the next couple of hours thinking. He doesn't want to believe it, especially since it's Cameron, who used to teach his class algebra during AP Calculus, and whom Justin's always thought of as kind of ditzy. But he figures he should verify the facts with someone who actually has half a brain, so.

JC comes to mind first, then Chris, then Joey, and finally (almost as an afterthought) Lance. The four of them have nothing in common except for the fact that they're all straight-A students, and, well, Justin's hoping to join their ranks.

Plus, he thinks reluctantly, trying not to mull over why this is important, they're probably four of the best looking straight-A students in the school. If you're into that kind of thing, at least. Which Justin totally, totally is. 'Cause that's what you're into when you're gay, and Justin is totally, totally that, too.

Jesus, he's going to need a drink.

Okay, so it's not a drink, and it's not a drink; it's more like thirty shots of vodka, a jug of Heineken, and a lapdance. From a guy. 'Cause Justin's totally hung up on dick, and he's gay and he likes it, dammit.

At least, that's what he tells himself as he wanders down the hallway in search of JC's door. Jesus, he can't believe he's going to lose his homosexual-virginity or anus-virginity or whatever -- wait, can an anus be a virgin? Does that make him a virganus? Shit -- oh hey, that's irony, right?

Whatever. Justin wants to do this. Wants to. 'Cause he likes gay sex. And he also likes JC. JC's the only person here who calls him J and doesn't think it's lame (or white trash) that Justin means it when he says 'dawg' so Justin really, really hopes JC will be the one who sleeps with him. Not that he's worried, of course, because no one's ever said no to him before, like, ever.

But okay, apparently the Universe likes screwing with him because JC's the first one. Justin's kind of leaning against the door - not because he's drunk; it's just for a second of shuteye, because he's tired from all that walking - when JC opens it, and Justin panics when he feels himself start to fall, and blurts out, "have man-sex with me," without thinking.

JC doesn't laugh, thank god, just catches him and kind of looks him up and down before smiling and shaking his head. "J, honey, not a good idea."

"Why not?" Justin whines, trying to use the situation to his advantage by groping JC - or attempting to, at least, because he's pretty sure that's the back of a knee he's got his fingers pressed up against. "I'm gay! I like gay sex!"

"You also like your vodka, cat," JC murmurs, wrinkling his nose as he leads Justin inside and shuts the door behind them like it's normal to have his new transfer classmate literally drop in on him at ass o'clock in the morning smelling like alcohol and trying to feel him up. Actually, Justin muses as JC sets him on the couch, JC's really pretty - a little too skinny and with a little too much equipment for Justin's taste, but pretty - so maybe he really is used to this kind of thing.

No, wait. Scratch out that equipment bit. Justin likes the equipment. He's gay, and he likes it a lot.

He tries to give JC a onceover when JC drops into a crouch to look at him properly, but all he gets in response is a, "J," and muffled laughter, so Justin doesn't think he's very successful. "C," Justin mimics, because he can beat anyone at this substitute-a-name-with- an-initial thing, no matter how many JCs are suddenly in the room. "Seriously. I wanna have sex with you."

The four JCs just cackle even louder and Justin starts to get pissy. He's good-looking -- gorgeous, even -- and anyone would be lucky to have him. JC probably thinks it's a joke that someone like Justin could want someone like him (and privately, Justin agrees, but he's kind of desperate).

Obviously the only way to prove just how serious he is is to kiss JC. So he does. He lifts his hands, trying to cup JC's face, but all he manages to grab on to is air, which just cracks JC up even more, so Justin thinks fuck it, and leans in all the way.

But JC's an idiot or something, because Justin somehow ends up kissing him squarely on the nose. It's a big nose, Justin pouts as JC unbalances himself from laughing so hard, and he's kind of drunk, so it's not his fault that his aim is off.

JC finally shuts up, wiping his eyes as he settles next to Justin on the couch. "You're not gay, J."

"You don't know that," Justin mutters, grumpily, but JC's letting him use his lap as a pillow so at least there's that. "You won't even sleep with me. I'm totally gay. No one can spend the kind of time I do in front of a mirror and still be straight."

JC thinks about that for a second. "Joey does."

"Only because he has to put on make-up for Dra--" Justin cuts himself off once his liquor-clouded brain processes what JC just said. "Joey's straight?"

Justin can only assume that the look JC shoots him is meant to be scathing. "So how does he--?"

JC shrugs. "I don't know, man. He must have some kind of mad skills 'cause there was this one time, at band camp..."

It's probably the most sobering thing Justin's heard all night. His eyes are wide by the time JC's done with the story. "And he only had to do that once with each teacher?" he asks, meekly, his voice on the edge of breaking.

JC nods, gravely, and Justin lets out a long rush of breath. Damn, the Timberlake prowess just found itself some competition.

Anyway, he must be wearing his heart on his sleeve, because JC starts over-compensating for making Justin doubt his masculinity by dishing the dirt on pretty much everyone -- which professors like what, secret kinks, the different positions that he's tested -- until it comes to Chris.

He just gets this kind of pinched look, and says he can't because they "used to, you know, um," and shrugs and looks away, obviously flustered.

Which Justin figures is a polite way of saying they used to screw around, except JC has no problem saying that he used to screw around with anyone else, so Justin isn't sure what that means.

He's pretty sure he'd be able to figure it out if he could keep his eyes open long enough, though.

When Justin blinks awake the next morning, he has a splitting headache and the worst case of cotton mouth ever in his entire drinking life. He nearly jumps out of his skin when JC crawls on top of him and pins him back down onto the bed with a toothy grin. "Hey sexy, you're back."

Justin blinks. Apparently, utter retardation isn't a complete turn off for some people. He should've known, because JC clearly isn't the kind of guy who'd "take advantage" of a drunk, hormonal teenager. Which Justin didn't think of before, because he's, you know, normal and he doesn't have those kind of scruples. But this is good, Justin muses, this is fantastic, because he can get his fair share of Big Gay Sex now, and he can even do it sober. Great.

JC's sort of leering at him, and Justin has to close his eyes before his brain will let him think about how much prettier it makes JC look. It probably does, but Justin's stomach is churning and he has to go throw up before JC can make any moves. Definite mood killer.

Luckily, JC doesn't seem to hold that against him, and when Justin finally stumbles out of the toilet, all he does is smile one of his crinkly-eyed smiles and hold out a hand to help Justin, saying, "All right, cat?"

Which is great and all, but Justin still really, really needs to be gay.

Justin spends the rest of the morning nursing his hangover before going in search of Joey. He's bumped Joey up into second place on his list (obviously, because it's not like he has any choice after the band camp story). Anyone who can pull that shit without breaking a limb is almost qualified to be his hero. Plus, Joey's straight and still getting his As, so he must be beyond awesome at what he does.

And Justin can tell exactly why that is the second he gets to Joey's dorm room. The eyeful he gets through the crack in the doorway -- and what the hell is Joey doing, leaving the door open like that? -- is more than he bargained for. A whole pornstar and a half more. Jesus, the guy is hung.

Justin flees.

Watching another guy jerk off is totally not his idea of sexy. Dammit.

He winds up in Chris' room a little while later, probably because he's trying not to think about the fact that running away from a dick is not the best way to show just how much he likes it. Joey's built, though, and he probably would've hit Justin if he'd so much as thought about walking in on him, so there is that.

"Is this what they call knocking nowadays?"

Justin jumps at the sound of Chris' voice, and whirls around. Chris is sitting on the floor by the television with a controller in his hands, surrounded by a mini castle made out of X-box games.

"Right," Justin says hurriedly. "Sorry." Chris doesn't reply, but he isn't kicking Justin out either, so that has to mean something. Justin clears his throat. He's halfway down his list already, and he really needs to have sex. "The thing is everyone here is gay, right," Justin tries to say this like it's the best thing that's happened to him since heterosexual sex. He's gay, dammit. He's going to be gay if it kills him. "And I really, really need to be."

Chris doesn't look up from his game. "Why?"

"Because that's the only way I'm going to get my grades back where they belong, you know? Like, I didn't come all the way out here just to get a C+ average, and I can't I can't sleep with people I'm not even attracted to, because--"

Christ snorts, unimpressed, interrupting Justin's tirade. "I really meant 'why me'? But whatever, you know."

"Oh." Justin blinks. It's a little blunt -- rude, even -- but Chris is one of the few really decent guys Justin has met here so far (although it would seem his judgment was flawed on that second count), so it's not like he has a lot of options.

"Go on," Chris mutters, with a roll of his eyes. "Tell me all about your existential crisis. I mean, I'm going to be a Psych major, I should get used to whiners."

Justin frowns. He's supposed to tell Chris he wants to have Big Gay Sex with him after all that? Wait, he <i> does. He really needs to stop thinking about that like it's a choice. "Okay," he says at last. "Um. I need to be un-virganus-sized. Un-virganused. Um. Man-sexed."

Chris doesn't even flinch. "I guess we should be thankful that we didn't have you to rely on when we first created the English language."

Justin takes mild offence at that, although Chris really isn't saying anything that Cameron hasn't already. His tone's all wrong. And anyway, was that a no? Because Justin isn't sure what the deal is with gay-speak and he might be reading Chris all wrong--

"You're not reading me wrong," Chris says, loudly. "It's a no."

Justin wishes he knew why someone like JC would ever have "um"med with Chris. It might help him actually want to be in this scenario, like, seducing him or whatever. Honestly, right now he doesn't see the appeal.

"That's 'cause you're not gay, Timberlake," Chris snaps, reading Justin's mind without even looking up from the television screen, and Justin's first instinct is to say, "I so am!" but he bites his tongue. God, how does Chris keep doing that?

"Oh, for Christ's sake," Chris bitches, actually hitting the pause button so he can glare at Justin. "Are you actually retarded or do you really not realize you're thinking out loud?"

Justin glowers, even as he mentally checks himself to see if he really was thinking aloud. Doesn't matter, though; there's no way he's having sex with someone like Chris, much less Chris himself. "Midget," he mutters, under his breath, as he leaves the room. There probably isn't enough of Chris for Justin to have proper sex with anyway.

So. It's been a long couple of days, and Justin still needs to be man-sexed. There's only one name left on his list, and he's kind of glad that it's Lance. Saving the best for last and all that, right? And Lance is the gayest white boy that Justin's ever met.

Anyway, he's figured out what he's been doing wrong, so this time he's doing it in his own room. Home ground. Safe territory. With flower petals, candles, and scented pillows scattered everywhere.

He takes the stunned look that crosses Lance's face when he steps into the room as a good sign. He's probably never been romanced like this before. It takes a minute of gawping and Justin inwardly congratulating himself on a job well done, but Lance finally speaks up. "Am I interrupting something?"

"No," Justin replies, as he gets up to give Lance a wide grin and a glass of (cheap, sparkling) wine. "But you will be if you stop me from fulfilling my discovery of the joys of big gay sex by turning me down."

"What?" Lance chokes. "Justin, I'm not having sex with you."

"What?" Justin echoes, uncomprehendingly, looking around the room like he expects to find some kind of defect that might be able to begin explaining Lance's answer. He'd gone the whole forty miles for this guy, and for what? For him to not put out? Jesus, what the hell is up with gay men? "Why? Because you don't think I'm hot?"

"Um, no. Because I'm not a girl, and you're not gay," Lance frowns, setting his glass down cautiously on the floor. "I think the entire civilized world pretty much thinks you're hot."

"Oh," Justin says, with a half-grin, feeling more or less appeased. "Well, what about the uncivilized world?" No, hang on. "Wait, no, distraction tactics aren't fair! I am! I'm gay! I like men!"

"Okay, you like men," Lance says amiably, settling down on the floor, and Justin nods haughtily. But then Lance adds, "As friends. But you sleep with women. That's the main difference between gay and straight men, Justin."

"Whatever," Justin cuts in, impatiently. "I'm totally gay. I'm as gay as Sam and Frodo never were in Lord of the Rings and stuff. As gay as, um... Marvin. As gay as someone who's been injected with the lesbian-host-slash-stand-up-comedian syndrome, or something. And I want you, like, a lot. So are you gonna have sex with me or what?"

Lance just blinks at Justin's admission. "I have a boyfriend."

"No, you don't!" Justin insists, still working on that high that came with getting that many words right in a single breath. Off Lance's look, he relents. "What, like, seriously?"

"Yes, Justin," Lance replies patiently. "Seriously. His name's Reichen. You know, the one who won our national interschool cross country race that year?"

Justin blinks. Oh. Oh, yeah, he knows that guy. Wow, okay, yeah, that guy's kinda hot. Hotter than Justin, maybe, but only by a little. "Can't you just convince him that I was a friend in need?"

"Yeah, sure," Lance snorts. "Look at you. Would you believe me if I told you you couldn't find a million people just dying to have sex with you?"

Justin pretends to think about that for a moment. He really is sexy. "Eh."

"Told you," Lance reasons. "And anyway, what about everyone else? I know I'm not the first person you've come to."

Justin squirms just thinking about it. Stupid list. "It's not my fault," he whines, when Lance doesn't say anything else. "JC just laughed at me, Chris was mean, and Joey was, um. Busy. With, you know, other things. Like, personal, private things that he wouldn't have wanted me to interrupt."

Lance is obviously trying to bite back a smile when Justin looks up from his rant, and Justin finds himself sulking. "Are you sure you can't just make something up? Like I'm dying of cancer and you're obliged to help? I could shave my hair off, say I'm undergoing chemo."

"Justin," Lance says, shaking his head. "What's this all about? I mean, I know we don't know each other that well, but I swear you didn't sound half this psychotic when we were introduced."

"Um, I have to be gay to get my straight As?" Justin ventures.

Lance raises an eyebrow. "And what happens if you're not?"

Justin pauses. "I don't get my straight As?"

"No," Lance corrects, with a sideways smile. "You don't sleep with your male professors."

"Oh," Justin says, blinking a little. "Oh, yeah. That, too."

Before Justin can react, Lance leans over and pecks him really, really gently on the mouth. "There," he says, when he pulls away. "That doesn't count as cheating, and now you've experimented." He pats Justin's cheek before going back to his wine. "You're straight."

Justin stares at Lance for a couple of seconds, and tells himself that the fluttering in his chest isn't relief at all. He's totally disappointed that his plan didn't work out. Really, he is. He's just hiding it so Lance doesn't feel obligated to do any more than he already has, 'cause he doesn't want to be accused of, like, home wrecking or anything.

"Straight," he murmurs finally, with a hint of a smile.

The word rests in his mouth a lot easier than Lance's kiss did.

Okay, Justin thinks as he walks out of his History class with his term paper in his hands three days later, so that plan is pretty much moot. He's not gay - not enough to have sex with another man, at least. But not scoring with his teachers doesn't mean he can't ace a paper, right?

He unfolds the paper in his hands to test that theory. Oh, hey. An actual B. Things are starting to look up already.

Maybe Cameron will even want to have phone sex again, later this afternoon.

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