we invented the remix 6

what jc did when he disappeared by puszyzty: the exile in boysville mix by phaballa

Justin says, "This is the lamest thing we've ever done," and Lance says, "This is too gay, even for me," but JC knows that once they see Nick Carter sweaty and singing Quit Playing Games with his eyes closed and his hands fisted against his chest all dramatically, they'll change their minds. It's pretty much a physical impossibility for any self-respecting queer to deny the utter hotness and perfection of the Backstreet Boys. They are undeniable. JC knows, because he's been to five concerts already this year. Total, it's more like forty-seven, because there was this whole period in 1996 when he was doing a year abroad in Germany, and in Germany no one thought it was weird or gay to follow the Backstreet Boys around on tour, because Germans were all a little freaky anyway, which helped disguise JC's particular brand of freakiness. He sort of misses it now, because his friends are totally lame and apparently too worried about being cool to understand the undeniable perfection of the Backstreet Boys.

JC sighs and looks at Justin with narrowed eyes. Justin is wearing a Weezer t-shirt and pre-distressed jeans from Diesel like he's not a total sell-out anyway, and he's such a fucking poseur, it makes JC sick. "Stop worrying about your scene points, asshole. No one we know is gonna be there. Besides, you might meet some hot guys."

"Yeah," Lance says, smirking, "but they'll be Backstreet fans."


The first Backstreet Boy JC slept with was Kevin. Later, he'd tell himself he was going in age-order, but the truth was, JC was a virgin and nineteen and in love with the Backstreet Boys, he probably would've done anything any of them asked him to, just because it was a Backstreet Boy and yes. Just because.

Kevin said, "I didn't know we had male fans," while pushing JC to his knees. JC said, "Well, I am a fag," and rubbed Kevin's dick through his pants, reached for Kevin's zipper and knew he was practically drooling to get a Backstreet cock in his mouth. He'd done blowjobs before; he went to boarding school so of course he'd done blowjobs before, and apparently all that practice with Tony really paid off because when JC slid his mouth down over Kevin's dick and just kept going, down down until his nose hit skin and he could swallow and feel his throat tighten around, fuck, Kevin fucking Richardson's dick—when that happened, Kevin's fingers slid into JC's hair and he said, "Damn, you're great at this."

Kevin came in about two minutes, which made JC kind of sad because he wanted it to last and really, if he could get a job as like, the official Backstreet Boys Tour Cocksucker, that might be all his ambitions in life realized. But instead Kevin came in about two minutes, rubbing his thumb across JC's bottom lip, fingers firm on JC's jaw like JC wanted to be anywhere else, as if.

And then Kevin was pulling himself out of JC's mouth and tucking himself back into his pants. JC stayed on his knees, because he'd already come in his pants just from having Kevin's dick in his mouth and so standing was not so much a great idea at the moment. Kevin smiled down at him and gave him a pat on the head. "Thanks, kid," he said, and that was the first time JC hooked up with a Backstreet Boy. Some people might've thought it was a dick move, Kevin not reciprocating and all, but JC considered it an honor.

When JC tells Lance this story now, Lance just looks at him and says, "That's sad, JC. The guy came in your mouth but wouldn't even give you a little helping hand?"

"Well, in his defense, I had already come."

"Okay," Lance says, covering his face with his hands and shaking his head. "I take it back. That's not sad, it's pathetic. You know what that makes you? A groupie, JC. Just another fucking groupie."

"I prefer the term 'band-aide'," JC says loftily. "I'm there for the music, okay? It's not just the sex. I'm just helping them out. Being, you know. Inspirational and things."

"Okay, Miss Penny Lane. You're a band-aide. That doesn't change the fact that you're basically the band whore. And not even for a real band. You're a boyband whore."

"In the wise words of Salt 'N Peppa: the difference between a hooker and a ho is a fee," JC says, "and technically, I don't get paid."


Mostly, aside from the part where he's hooked up with four-fifths of the most famous musical act on the planet and regularly quits his jobs so he can follow them around on tour, JC's life is pretty boring. He's waited tables at pretty much every restaurant in town, and that's how he met Lance and Justin, three jobs ago, right before the Black and Blue Tour. Justin was only a dishwasher then, but he was cute and would let JC bum cigarettes off him during breaks, so JC let the whole restaurant hierarchy go because really, nicotine was way more important than any satisfaction he'd get from being a bitch to the dishwasher just because he could. He became friends with Lance because Lance was an even bigger bitch than JC and had mad skills to get them the good shifts because the manager was afraid of him.

But that was three restaurants ago and now JC works at the Outback and sublets a room in Chris's house because Chris doesn't make him pay if he can't, although probably if Chris knew he couldn't pay because he spent all his cash on Backstreet Boys tickets, he'd throw JC out, so JC just doesn't let Chris know that. Chris is some kind of do-gooder social work type, anyway, and he has all these theories about JC's damaged psyche and how his sluttishness is somehow connected to his being adopted and fear of abandonment, blah blah blah. JC just nods and tries to look very serious. He likes his room, he's not going to jeopardize it by telling Chris he's full of shit.

And the thing is, aside from the adopted thing, JC thinks he's a pretty normal guy. Sure, he fucks famous people, but he only fucks Backstreet Boys, so it's not like he'll fuck just any random famous person, and he really does love the music. The sex is just an added bonus. He doesn't think his sluttishness has anything to do with his childhood trauma or whatever. He just likes fucking. It's fun, everyone gets to come, and sometimes he gets free breakfast out of it. What's not to like?

JC's mom is always saying, "Oh, honey, I wish you'd get a real job, or go back to school. You were always such a good student and so talented."

"I'm happy with where I am right now," JC tells her.

"You're not anywhere right now," Chris says from across the room, listening in on JC's phone conversations like always because he's a nosey little shit. JC ignores him. It's JC's life, and if he wants to waste it, that's totally his prerogative. He thinks Bobby Brown would agree, if he weren't too busy smoking crack.

Britney actually agrees and she's not even on crack, but Britney is an even bigger slut than JC because she doesn't limit her willingness to fuck people based on what band they're in. "Criteria like that are for ugly people," Britney tells him, stealing JC's cigarette and taking a long drag. JC frowns and considers protesting because really, he stole that cigarette fair and square from Justin, but Britney is the restaurant hostess and if he pisses her off, she won't fill his tables and then he won't get tips and no tips means no Backstreet.

"Don't you worry about disease?" JC says. She offers the cigarette back, but he just shakes his head because with criteria like that, Britney's probably infected with herpes at the very least, and JC likes to keep his face cold-sore free, thanks, even with the temptation of sweet, life-giving nicotine.

"My momma always says that life is for experiencing shit," Britney says, stubbing the cigarette out on the ground. "So you've really fucked all of them? Even the short one?" She pauses a moment, looking thoughtful. Well, thoughtful for Britney, which is more like anyone else looking slightly gassy. "Maybe I should go to this concert. I've never fucked an entire boyband before."

"I'm pretty sure it's sold out," JC says quickly, and hurries back inside the restaurant even though he's technically still got three minutes left on his break. He doesn't want Britney anywhere near his Boys, and especially not near AJ, who tends to date young, dumb starfuckers, buys dogs with them, and cries a lot when they inevitably leave him for guys willing to spend more money on them.

Which only makes JC question even more why AJ hasn't even tried to fuck him. He's just AJ's type.


JC only ended up getting to blow Kevin a couple times before Kevin decided that he should probably stay faithful to his girlfriend and that gay blowjobs definitely counted as cheating. "Sorry, kid," he said as he zipped up his pants after the last blowjob. JC sniffed sadly. He would definitely miss Kevin's dick. He had gotten very fond of it and their seedy bathroom encounters. It felt like something JC should totally misspend his youth doing. He really loved Germany.

But then Howie came along, and that was better because Howie actually fucked him. Howie would take him back to their hotel and kick AJ out or make him wait in the bathroom before spreading JC out on the bed and fucking him, although Howie called it 'making love' and said, "That's beautiful," when JC told him he was a virgin the first time they did it.

The first time hurt, JC couldn't lie. Even though Howie was careful and sweet and called it 'making love', JC thought it felt more like making fire in his fucking ass, and it really didn't get good until the third or fourth time, when Howie stopped being gentle and just held JC down and shoved in, over and over until JC was shuddering and crying and coming all at once.

After, Howie said, "I'm really sorry, kid. I'm just, you know, a little drunk and I. I'm not usually like this, I'm really sorry."

JC just smiled and said, "Dude, no, it was good. Really, I liked it."

"You're kind of a freak," Howie said.

When JC tells Justin the story now, Justin looks at him and says, "Dude, you're more than a freak. You're like, one of those sick S&M fucks who likes to get hurt and shit."

JC rolls his eyes. "Someday you're going to learn that S&M and bondage are two completely different alternative lifestyle choices. Christ, Justin. You're so vanilla, it's kind of sad."

"At least I don't have kinky sex with really short boybanders," Justin says, and tugs at the hem of his t-shirt. Greenday today, an actual Dookie t-shirt he probably bought new from eBay and then washed twenty times to make it look authentically worn and old. Justin is so incredibly lame.

"At least I'm having sex," JC says. Not only is Justin lame, he's a completely lame twenty-year-old virgin, so JC pretty much automatically owns him at life. Plus, since when is kinky sex with short boybanders a bad thing? If there is such a world in which such a concept even exists, JC sure as hell doesn't want to live in it.


Technically, if there's a technical way to be a proper band-aide, JC isn't supposed to have favorites because it's supposed to be about the music and he's there for the group, not the individual. Karl Marx would be so proud and all that, except maybe not about the sluttishness, because Marx always came across as kind of a prude to JC. He's certainly no Foucault, but in any case—favorites. If there was a written code for Band-Aides, the first rule of being a band-aide would be: no playing favorites.

(The second rule, JC thinks—and he really should write these down someday—would definitely be: always carry lube. Because emotional support is the most important part of being a band-aide, sure, but sex is inspirational, or at least it definitely inspires JC in all his creative endeavors, and so: lube. No one's going to find a dry fuck inspirational unless you're like, Marilyn Manson, and so maybe sometimes AJ dresses like that (without the assless chaps, thank god), but Backstreet music should be fun and pretty and not involve anything that could be remotely inspired by a lubeless ass fucking. And also, ow.)

So JC knows the rules. He pretty much invented them. "But it's not my fault I have a favorite," he tells Lance, staring morosely down into his empty glass and wondering where all his strawberry-banana margarita went. "It's just that AJ is so completely awesome and he has those hips and he does this thing on stage that—"

"There, there," Lance says. "I'm sure it's all very hard for you and AJ is very, um, awesome and all, but don't you think that maybe, well. It might be because he's the only one you haven't done yet?"

"I bet he'd be good," JC says sadly.

"I feel really sorry for you," Lance says.

"Oh, sarcasm, what a surprise." JC sneers. "I'm having a genuine existential Band-Aide related crisis, and you're mocking me?"

"Pretty much, ye—"

"That was a rhetorical question." JC glares at him. "I think it's best if you just shut up now."


Brian was unexpected (mostly because JC thought he was straight) and delightful (mostly because he wanted JC to wear women's underwear) and only for one night (mostly because Brian really was straight, but he wanted to try everything once.)

The corset was tight around JC's ribs and it got even tighter when AJ tugged on the strings until it cinched around JC's waist to create a strange sort of curve that JC would never have naturally. AJ said, "You sure you wanna do this, kid? It's pretty fucking freaky," and JC just smiled. "Thanks for helping me out, man. I don't think I could've got this shit on by myself."

AJ pulled his ski cap down over his forehead and didn't look at JC. He helped JC with his eyeliner and before he left, AJ looked him over carefully and said, "You look real pretty, dude. Brian's gonna love this."

Brian didn't want to fuck, but he did love the outfit and he couldn't stop touching, running his fingers along the silk edges of the stockings, tracing the heavy boning of the corset and brushing his palm against the heat of JC's dick rubbing against silk and lace. He seemed surprised when JC came suddenly in his panties, but Brian just smiled and kissed JC's cheek and let JC blow him. He called JC 'honey,' said, "Oh, honey, that's—yeah, like that."

It was perfect. JC was kind of sad that it was only the one time, except that he knew AJ was next and well, the thing was, AJ was kind of his favorite. AJ was the one who always made sure JC had cab fare or a place to crash, at least, and sometimes, after Howie Encounters, AJ would come back to the room when Howie was asleep and he'd bring pot; JC would sit in the bathtub and AJ would take the toilet and they'd pass the joint back and forth.

They didn't talk much, but one time AJ said, "Why do you do this, dude? I mean, no offense, I just wonder why a smart guy like you isn't doing something. Um. Else?"

"Are you implying that I'm not contributing to society with my professional sluttishness?" JC said. "I'm in college. This is just a side thing. For fun. Because sex is fun and stuff, and I really like beautiful people because, you know, it's beautiful. And there's sex."

"That actually makes a lot of sense," AJ said, and pinched out the joint.


"So wait—which one is the one you haven't fucked yet? The blond one?" Lance makes a hmming sound as he examines a long-sleeved silk shirt with a ghastly paisley print on.

"Sweetie, no," JC says, grabbing the shirt away from him and shoving it back onto the rack. Scrounging vintage shops is always extremely rewarding, but can also be very dangerous when Lance is involved because of, well, his terrible taste, color choices, and attraction to hideous patterns. If it weren't for JC, Lance would be a walking paisley disaster area and he'd look even gayer than he already does, which is pretty fucking gay. JC knows for a fact that Lance owns a jean jacket done up with blue rhinestone flames. It's an American tragedy. Lance can be so good-looking when he's not trying so hard. "You're too gay to function," JC says, and shoves several more acceptable choices at Lance.

"You're the one fucking the Backstreet Boys." Lance holds up the shirt JC gave him and makes a face. "JC, this has a naked lady on it. How is this in any way better than the perfectly lovely paisley—"

"Paisley, Lance. It's a crime against fashion."

"But naked ladies are okay?"

"Naked ladies are ironic. Because we're gay? And no, I did the blond one two years ago. You should try him sometime. Completely vanilla, loves getting fucked. Aren't you still trying to convince people you're a top?"

"Oh, fuck you," Lance says, and takes the naked lady shirt into the dressing room. "JC, I don't think I can wear this to a concert with teenaged girls and moms all staring at me. It's indecent. It's got naked ladies on it!"

JC rolls his eyes at the sales girl who's clearing out the dressing room next to Lance's. She smiles and blushes and JC thinks, if he weren't mostly gay and saving himself for the Backstreet Boys, he'd totally go for some hot mami action. But he is so he just shrugs at her and tells Lance through the dressing room door, "They're girls. They have boobs, or will someday have boobs. It's not going to be a shocker to them."

Lance buys the naked lady shirt and JC gets a selection of pink t-shirts, one of which says 'starfucker' on it. That one, he thinks, the little girls probably won't get, but maybe it'll buy AJ a clue.


On Thursday night, JC makes Justin pick him up and they go to the Parthenon to watch Joey…perform.

'Perform' is the only word JC can really think of to describe the weird-ass thing that Joey does, which is sort of like if Eddie Izzard and Cher had entertainment brain babies. Luckily for Joey, it's just an open mic night and everyone else is usually so completely terrible that his fucked up transvestite comedy disco diva routine seems almost good in comparison. JC makes sure to wear something normal and boring and totally un-JCish because the last thing he wants is for anyone to recognize him at open mic night supporting his freaky tranny mess of a friend.

"But technically," Justin says, spotting an open table near the front and shoving JC toward it, "he can't be a tranny mess because, like, isn't a tranny a transsexual? Oh my god, does Joey have lady parts?" Justin looks disturbingly pleased by the idea.

"No, he just likes to dress like he does. But it's more of a drag thing and also, I need a drink now, please." Because at that moment, JC spots Joey climbing the steps to the stage very carefully, teetering slightly on his gigantic platform hooker heels and adjusting his fake cleavage inside his sequined red dress. It's a good color for Joey, JC thinks, but the feather boa is a little overboard.

"Wow," Justin says, staring. "You weren't kidding about the Cher thing."

"Just wait until he starts singing. It's disturbing."

JC spends the next fifteen minutes hiding at the bar, downing shots of something that tastes like cough syrup if cough syrup tasted like vodka and waiting for it to be over. Joey finds him after, gives him an air kiss, saying, "I don't want to mess up the make-up. It took me a fucking hour to get all this shit on. Anyway! You came. I thought you couldn't get a ride?"

"Justin drove," JC says, waving a careless hand toward Justin, still guarding their table. JC stares at his drink and tries really hard to avoid looking directly at Joey. It's too distracting trying to talk to him when Joey's wearing a wig. Mostly, it's incredibly disturbing that Joey actually looks better in drag. JC wonders what Joey's construction buddies think of the whole thing where Joey puts on a sparkly dress and makeup to sing Cher songs and tell offensive religious jokes twice a month. Knowing Joey's effect on people, though, JC bets they probably find it charming. If JC tried to pull this shit, he'd get his ass kicked.

"Justin?" Joey cranes his neck a little to see better. "Oh, Justin. He's adorable, JC. Is he yours? Can we keep him?"

JC rolls his eyes. "You know I only fuck famous people."

"And you know I think it's a depressing waste of your talents, C," Joey tells him. "You could do so much better. Get a boyfriend who'll at least support you. Any fuck that costs you more money than you get out of it isn't worth fucking in the first place."

"I'm going to take advice from a man dressed like Donna Summer in a wig bigger than my head?" JC snorts.

"The wig is awesome, shut the fuck up. The wig completes the ensemble. You wish you could pull of this wig. But my point is, the wig does not negate the fact that you, my friend, are wasting your youth on a band that doesn't even appreciate you."

"They appreciate me," JC says. "Just because they don't pay me like some vapid, loser groupie," (or one of AJ's girlfriends, JC thinks privately), "doesn't mean I'm not fully appreciated."

"Orgasms don't count as payment, dude. Otherwise I'd be paying my hand overtime. Let's find you a nice sugar daddy on Craig's List. I saw an ad for one that only wants use of your feet once a week for a thousand bucks. Think of all the concerts you could go to with that kind of money."

JC stares at him for a long moment, then downs the rest of his drink in one swallow. Because the thing is, Joey sort of has a point, even if he is wearing a cheap wig and glittery false eyelashes. Before he can really think about it too much, JC grabs Joey by the arm and pulls him towards Justin's table.

"Justin," he says, dropping down into his abandoned chair, "this Joey, I went to high school with this freak. Joey wants to fuck you, probably while wearing that dress. Joey, this is Justin. Justin wants to know if you're hiding a vagina underneath that dress. There, now we all know each other."

JC beams and signals the waitress for another round. That'll teach Joey to try to make JC think.


They were in some unpronounceable town in Scandinavia when the thing with Nick happened. Because normally JC liked to actually go to the concert and stand in the pit with the screaming girls and just watch and all. He really was in it for the music and seeing AJ all sweaty and hip-thrusty on stage didn't hurt either. Howie said, "Man, you should just hang backstage. A good band-aide is hard to find. We gotta treat you right."

But JC liked to watch from the pit, so he was pretty surprised when one of the bodyguards hustled him backstage one night, saying, "Mr. Carter needs a word with you."

"Man-handling by a giant black man?" JC said to Nick once they'd reached the dressing room. "I hope this is a reward."

"Sorry about that, dawg," Nick said, staring at the ground and flushing red. It was kind of adorable, so JC decided not to give him a lecture on proper treatment of Band-Aides. JC only had two rules he'd developed over the past few years of following Backstreet: no trading, and no treating him like a groupie unless they were role-playing. "I needed to get you alone. Because, um. The thing is. I'm sort of a virgin?"

Yay, JC thought. "Yay," JC said. He looked Nick up and down, trying to stifle the slight hint of disappointment because really, he was going in age order and this was supposed to be AJ's turn, but then again, Nick was hot and sort of adorable and also—"I love virgins."

JC hadn't had the chance to do a whole lot of fucking since Howie, because he really was saving himself for Backstreet and they had this annoying habit of getting girlfriends and then, like, wanting to stupidly remain faithful, thus denying JC all of the really excellent tour sex he should be rightfully experiencing as the Band-Aide to the best boyband ever, so fucking Nick was going to be particularly made of awesome.

"Just relax," JC said once they got back to Nick's room and clothing had been gotten rid of and he could see all ten gillion miles of perfect naked Nick. Nick said, "I mean, I'm not a total virgin. Like, I've done it with girls before but I've never, with a, you know. And never like that and I thought since Howie wouldn't do it, you were the next best thing and—"

"Oh, honey," JC said, sliding one long finger into Nick and twisting just so until Nick shuddered and moaned and spread his legs impossibly wider, "you're not gonna remember Howie's name by the time we're finished."


"And that's how I fulfilled the dream of pedophiles world wide!"

"Fucker," Justin says, coughing and choking on his coffee, "I really didn't need to know that about Nick Carter! Wait, which one is he? The tall scary one with the facial hair?"

JC rolls his eyes and takes a sip of his mocha frappuccino light. Starbucks may, in fact, be a tool of the devil, but they make delicious and guilt-free drinks, and for that, JC thanks Satan. "He loves being fingered while being blown," JC adds. "But I mean, who doesn't? And no, he's the over-emotive one. Blond. Sweet."

"And you de-virginized him, you sick fucker."

"Hey, everything was completely legal. You're just jealous you're not awesome enough to be a Band-Aide."

Justin coughs pointedly. He's wearing a faded Nirvana t-shirt, and JC just feels sorry for the kid. Justin was barely alive when Nirvana was popular, and now he's just trying way too hard. He should lose scene points for this. JC wonders who he should talk to about that. There must be a website or some central scene point database to keep track. Then again, that might be considered trying too hard by real hipsters.

"You don't think it's a little pathetic? You're like, old, JC. You're twenty-five! You should get a real job and stop following some lameass boyband around the world because you're, I dunno, too scared to do something real with your life."

JC stands up and sets his coffee down very carefully, clasps his hands behind his back and glares at Justin. What he really wants to do is hit Justin, hard, right in his stupid, pretty face, but he's a pacifist and doesn't believe in violence and Ghandi wouldn't approve and all, so instead he settles for glaring. Justin looks away, frowning, probably because he knows he said something really mean and untrue and cruel, and JC says, "I'm going to walk out of here and pretend you never said that, you mean, mean boy. Thanks for buying me the coffee. I'll see you at the concert Saturday, and then maybe you'll understand that this is about art and truth and beauty. Like Moulin Rouge if Nicole Kidman could actually sing and all the hookers were hot guys."

"JC, I'm really—"

"Shut up, Justin. Don't you think you've said enough for one Starbucks trip?"

JC turns to leave, pauses, and snatches his cup up before stalking out the door. Ghandi wouldn't approve of hitting Justin, but JC thinks he'd also be really against wasting the ambrosia that is a mocha frappuccino light. It's pretty much the solution to world peace, JC's pretty sure.


Usually JC is pretty okay with his life. Sure, he dropped out of school and gave up his own music ambitions to follow Backstreet around the world, and now the most singing he does is when he's washing dishes or in the shower, but usually he's pretty okay with that. He wasn't going to get anywhere singing in choirs and vocal groups at college; he's just not cut out to be a big star and he knows it. But sometimes when bitches like Justin start repeating the same shit his mom says every time he talks to her on the phone, about doing something real with his life and becoming an adult and all that, well. When his mom says it, he can tune it out because she's his mom and that's her job. When Justin—practically virginal, perfect at everything Justin—says it, then it maybe sort of starts to bother him. Just a little. But it's enough.

He's sitting on the front porch swing with his bare feet braced against the railing, smoking and trying really hard not to think about any of this when Chris comes home, takes one look at him and says, "Well, fucking finally."

JC narrows his eyes and points his cigarette at Chris. "Fucking finally, what? There's nothing to see here, fucker. Go inside and don't even think about using your psych mojo on me. I am not available for analysis, thank you very much."

Chris snorts and sits down next to JC on the swing, plucks the cigarette from JC's fingers and takes a long drag. "You're thinking deep thoughts," Chris says. "Your forehead is all creased up and I know how much you hate wrinkles, so it must be pretty serious. Life-changing serious, maybe? Tell Daddy Chris all about it."

"Oooh, kinky. Only if you wear a leather vest and promise to tie me up, George Michael. How very oedipal of you. My very own father figure."

Chris grins and hands the cigarette back, mostly dead. JC gets one last drag off it before snuffing it out between wet fingers and tossing it into the plastic bucket Chris keeps on the porch for just such purposes. "So let me guess," Chris says. "Existential crisis about your lack of ambition, success, or ability to accomplish anything meaningful in your life, blah blah."

JC rolls his eyes. "Noooo," he says, but he can't make himself look at Chris when he says it. He stares out into the yard and watches old Mrs. Thompson wander out into her driveway looking for the newspaper in her robe and slippers, even though it's only five-thirty and JC is pretty sure she canceled her subscription three years ago. He sighs and rubs the back of his neck, Justin's words echoing in his head. Fucking Justin. JC really hates it when people make him think about shit. "It's just something Justin said," he says finally, glancing quickly at Chris before looking away again.

Chris taps on JC's knee, a quick, unsteady beat before covering it with his palm. "Look, no bullshit now, okay? There's only one question you gotta ask yourself: are you happy, JC?"

"I. Um." JC stares down at his hands. "I never really thought about it, I guess. My life pretty much rocks, so I mean. Why wouldn't I be?"

"That's not something I can answer for you," Chris says, standing up and stretching a little. "There's other people's expectations, and then there's what you want for yourself. And you gotta be able to tell the difference. If you're happy with the way things are, then everyone else can go fuck themselves, right?"

"Right," JC says, but it's more like a whisper. Chris just shrugs and goes inside.


The last concert JC went to was two months ago in Minnesota, and after blowing Nick and waiting for him to pass out, JC spent the rest of the night in AJ's room, learning how to play Texas Hold 'Em and trying to figure out a way to get AJ into bed.

"I was thinking maybe you could help me out with something," AJ said, looking at his cards with the blank expression that meant he definitely had a good hand and JC should just fold now. "I mean, only if you're into it. But I think it could be good."

Finally, JC thought. Fucking finally, he was going to get some action from AJ, his last Backstreet Boy hold out. His favorite, even though he wasn't supposed to have favorites according to the Band-Aide code of ethics. But still, it was AJ. JC was pretty sure no one could ever hold him accountable.

"Um, sure," JC said. "I mean, I've been wanting to for so long and you know, I almost was starting to think you were straight which was a really scary idea, okay, because what's the point of a band-aide if—"

"Hold up," AJ said, laughing a little. JC frowned. The idea of hot sex with JC Chasez, Band-Aide Extraordinaire, should not be laughable. JC had skills. Mad skills. "Sorry, I mean, you're hot as fuck and all, but that's not what I was thinking. I, uh, heard you singing a little the other night backstage? That one thing, with the sort of tweedley-dee melody?"

"Oh." JC coughed. "Yeah, that's sort of my anthem. Always the Band-Aide, never the bride. It's, like, about respect? And um, fair treatment and things?"

"It's good," AJ said, putting down his cards. "I was thinking, we should work together. Write a couple songs for the next album, or for this solo thing I've been thinking about. You're a talented guy, JC."

But before they could really make any sort of plans, Nick called and said, "JC, come back, I wanna suck you," and JC couldn't really turn down a blowjob from, well, anyone, plus he had the Code to think about and staying here with AJ to not have sex pretty much violated all of his Band-Aide ethics, so.

AJ just watched him go, his eyes dark and intense. JC was glad when he got back to Nick's room and Nick's bed and didn't have to think about anything anymore except how incredibly hot Nick looked with JC's dick in his mouth.


The night of the concert, Lance refuses to wear the naked lady t-shirt, declaring it too ironic for teenaged girls to understand, and Justin's wearing a fucking Smashing Pumpkins shirt, so JC makes the executive decision to not care if his friends look like total tools and concentrates instead on looking as fabulous as possible. The 'starfucker' t-shirt is out because of the whole swear words thing, so instead he wears his favorite vintage Madonna tee and his black jeans that sparkle in the right light and completely ignores Justin when he says, "Someone wants to get laid tonight."

"Obviously not you," Lance says. "It's not 1996 anymore, Justin. The Smashing Pumpkins, seriously?"

"Michael Stipe is totally hot, and gay, so I'm showing pride and stuff, yo," Justin says, plucking at his t-shirt.

"Michael Stipe is in R.E.M.," Lance says.

"Oh my god, who cares?" JC says, leading them toward Justin's car. "Can we not think about sad-sack alterna-grunge bands right now, and concentrate on the awesomeness that is the Backstreet Boys?"

"Are you sure about Michael Stipe?" Justin says, sliding into the driver's seat.

"I know it's hard," Lance says soothingly. "All bald men look alike to me, too."

Justin's protests become a whole string of blahblahblah in JC's ears and he tunes them out, staring out the window at the city passing by as they make their way to the arena, buildings and highways and lights just like every other city, but JC's starting to get that pre-concert feeling in his stomach—excitement and giddiness and it's almost overwhelming, except for the part where he's pretty sure that AJ's still not going to fuck him and that means that probably, he never will, because this is JC's last concert as a band-aide. Officially. He's decided.

On Monday he's going to call school and find out how to get reinstated in his program. Singing in choirs and vocal groups might not make him a super star or whatever, but JC remembers what it was like, performing for people who appreciated him for something other than his ability to deep throat. He remembers what it's like to sing something that's actually meaningful; to put everything he has and feels and wants and loves into his voice and just let go, and not live it through other people. He remembers what it feels like to experience things for himself, and he remembers how happy it made him.

Britney says that life is for experiencing shit and Chris says JC needs to do what will make him happy, and he thinks he might finally know what it is. But it's a little sad, too. He's going to miss his Boys, even if they were never really his to begin with.


The crowd is insane, screaming and singing and JC even spots a group of girls crying, smearing the pink sparkled letters that spell out 'BSB' on their cheeks. Even Justin seems to be having a good time, and JC catches Lance halfway through, singing along to Quit Playing Games.

"What?" Lance shouts in JC's ear. "They're wet and half-naked in that video! Of course I know the words!"

It's the best concert JC's ever been to, and he feels like he's high, like that time Chris dragged him down in the basement saying, "It's medicinal, man, nothing better than this," and JC spent two hours lying on the floor thinking he could feel every molecule of the air sliding over him. On stage, AJ says, "We've been working on something new for someone really special, who we all care about a lot," and the crowd explodes in screams so loud that JC barely catches the end of AJ's speech. "This is for my friend, JC."

They start to sing, and it's JC's song, his anthem, only it's so much more and so much better. It's amazing, fucking brilliant, and JC sings along because he can. Because he's the only one who can.

Justin says, "I guess you are a fucking inspiration," and JC smiles so hard it feels like he might never stop.


There's an after party, but JC's not going to go. He just wants to say good-bye, and thanks, and see them one more time because they are his, a little bit, because yes. He drags Justin and Lance backstage and leaves them with the bodyguard, who turns to Justin and says, "Smashing Pumpkins are really overrated, kid." JC smiles and slips inside the dressing room.

"Great show tonight," he says, feeling suddenly stupid and a little shy, because they sang his song and it was fucking brilliant and he can't believe they did that. He clears his throat and stares at his hands.

Nick grins and pulls him into a hug, kisses the corner of his mouth gently before pulling away. "It was AJ's idea. The song."

"I. It was really good," JC says. He's not sure what else to say, how to casually mention that this is his last night as a band-aide and so maybe they should all take their last chance to fuck him before he goes off to have a real life and all that. It's not something you really say everyday. "This is my last night," he blurts out finally. "Of, you know. Band-Aideing. And things. So um, yeah. And I just wanted to say thank you. Because I know I'm just this guy or whatever but you've been really. And things. So yeah. Yes. I just. Yes."

When he finally looks up, they're all staring at him. "It's about fucking time, kid," Kevin says, smiling, and then everyone is hugging him and saying things like, "We're really gonna miss you," except Nick, who says, "I'm really gonna miss your dick," and AJ who says, "I'll catch up with you at the party, fellas," as the rest of them file out of the room. They're alone, he's finally alone with AJ on his last night as an available band-aide, and all JC can think of to say is, "Um."

"Hey," AJ says, smiling a little, and then JC can't think at all because AJ is kissing him and sliding rough palms across JC's chest and around his waist, the cold metal of his rings pressing into JC's skin and it's, yes, perfect and everything JC ever wanted. And when AJ slides into him, finally, fucking finally, all JC can do is let go and feel and take it; the stretch and burn of it, AJ's breath against his throat, hot and damp, and his fingers pressing into JC's thigh, holding him open, open. He's never been this open and it's scary and perfect and overwhelming until AJ starts to thrust just so, slow and deep and inside him, AJ inside him, fucking finally.

"You were always my favorite," JC says after, with AJ panting against his neck and their bodies still pressed tight together. AJ just smiles.


JC never liked to think about the future before, and now he thinks it's probably because he never really had one. But everything is different now because he's different and okay, so maybe Justin was a little bit right about doing something real with his life, but JC knows that he would never have gotten there without all the other stuff in between and besides, Justin is a loser who's never even had sex, so it's not like JC ever has to listen to him again, anyway.

So he never liked to think about the future before, but now he can look forward and imagine what will be like. He'll go back to school and get his degree, which will make his mom happy and Chris happy and probably Justin happy, too; he'll support himself on small gigs at local clubs and keep writing and keep sending his stuff out until one day he'll get a letter from a major saying that some up-and-coming pop sensation wants to use his song. Lance will just shrug and say, "Finally, now you can afford to buy your own cigarettes and stop stealing mine." He'll call AJ because they'll still be friends, maybe more than friends, even, but they'll definitely still be friends. He'll call AJ and AJ will say, "That's so fucking great, man, I'm so fucking proud."

He'll graduate from school and sell more songs; AJ will fly him out to LA to work on his solo album that he's been talking about for years and finally doing something about. They'll meet for coffee and AJ will hug him for a long time, right there in the middle of the café with the rest of patrons trying really hard to pretend they're not there.

"Thanks so much, man. Just, thanks for this," JC will say, but AJ will shake his head and say, "I always knew you'd be something great. You're my friend, and we're gonna make some fucking amazing music together."

AJ will say, "You can stay with me," and JC will.

"Except for how that is the lamest shit I have ever heard," Justin says, rolling his eyes. JC picks apart his croissant and glares, but apparently Justin has become immune to JC's subtle hints of anger and completely ignores him. "I mean, who does that? Who like, ever actually ends up with their fangirly idol or whatever?"

"Justin kind of has a point," Britney says, making a face. She hates admitting when Justin is right. "Life doesn't work like that, honey. You'll probably end up writing jingles for truck commercials and reality television competitions." She takes a sip of coffee and blinks innocently at him, making JC rue the day he decided to invite Britney to weekly Sunday brunch.

"The important thing is," Chris says, "that he's doing something with his life. And that he can pay rent now that he's not spending all his money on Backdoor Boy crap. Yeah, you thought I didn't know, huh?" Chris laughs. "I know all, I see all."

"Plus," Lance says, "I maybe accidentally let it slip last week. But I was worried about you, JC! All that starfucking isn't healthy. Just be happy I didn't tell your mother."

"Oh shit, are we keeping the whole groupie thing from Karen?" Joey says, staring around wildly. "I wish someone had told me that before I talked to my mom last week."

"I hate you all," JC says, putting his head down on the table with a thud. "Why can't you just let me have my happy ending, you fuckers? You're all mean, and I hate you."

"Because this is the real world, kid," Chris says, pushing a plate towards JC. "And in the real world, happy endings don't grow on trees unless you're Justin."

"I hate the real world," JC says, lifting his head. He eyes the plate Chris is trying to shove under his face with growing interest.

"But in the real world, there's your friends, and school, and having a life, and having relationships," Joey says.

"And cigarettes," Britney adds.

"And pancakes," Justin says, reaching for his fork to stab some off of the plate.

JC slaps his hand away and takes a big bite of pancakes. Justin has a point, after all. The real world might suck with its entire lack of Backstreet Boys to fuck and inspire and all that, but it does have pancakes. And, JC thinks, maybe friends are good, too.

your name:
your email address:
your feedback

main page stories faq participants questions