Lance rolled over onto his stomach and reached for Justin's cock, only to find it missing. He frowned and groped a little more, but to his surprise it wasn't just hiding somewhere in the few folds of Justin's body.
"You're tickling," mumbled Justin, batting him away; it was a long moment later when he realized something was very, very wrong. One eye shot open and stared at Lance in alarm.
"Dude," said Lance, throwing the covers off them. "You're a girl." His own eyes shot even wider as his first words of the morning escaped his lips, and he clapped a hand over his mouth.
"Dude," echoed Justin. "So are you. Shit." He looked up and down Lance's curvaceous body, obviously trying very hard not to freak out about his voice. Or Lance's curves. Or the fact that he couldn't wrap his mind around the undeniable truth of the situation -- that somehow they'd both turned into girls.
"Okay. What the fuck?" said Joey, throwing the door open with no regard for his bandmates' privacy. Which, really, was nothing new. "I have tits. I have serious cleavage here." He cupped his breasts in his hands as though that would somehow emphasize his point.
"So what do you want me to do about it?" asked Justin, frowning as he realized his breasts were less impressive than both Joey's and Lance's. But at least they were perkier. He pinched one of his nipples to see if he could make it any bigger.
"Hey, can I do that?" asked Lance, forgetting about his voice issues for that obviously important question.
"Hey, can I watch?" asked Joey.
Justin pulled the covers up and frowned. "I hate you both," he mumbled, hiding his perky breasts.
Chris burst into the room and twirled around in a short black dress. "What do you think?" he asked. "It's a FuMan design. I've always wondered what this would look like on me."
"You're a freak," snickered Joey, staring at him in frank appreciation.
"Yes, but I'm a freak with clothes on," he pointed out, twirling again. "Unlike the rest of you." He jumped up onto the spare bed and smoothed his hair back with both hands. "This is fun. Do you think we're gonna be girls forever?"
Justin shuddered. "What a horrible thought," he said, finally giving in and getting out of the bed. At least Chris wasn't as well endowed as the other two, so he didn't have to feel so self-conscious. "Where's JC?"
"He's still staring at himself in the bathroom. I think he's gonna need therapy," said Chris, shrugging and jumping on the bed. "Hey, they do feel neat when they bounce. I always wondered that."
"What's he worried about?" said Joey, staring at his breasts and thinking that if he tried to bounce them, something was gonna tear. "He still looks like a boy."
"He looks athletic," said Chris. "He doesn't look like a boy at all."
"Well, hate to point this out," said Lance, hating even more that Chris's voice had hardly changed where his had gone up dramatically, "but none of us actually look like boys right now."
"Yeah, and we have to perform tonight," said Chris unhelpfully, still jumping, his now-chin-length hair flying up and splashing across his face. "And it's gonna be televised in front of millions and millions of people. Maybe we should be worrying about that, huh?"
"We are not showing up at the VMAs as girls," said Justin, putting his hands on his hips. And as far as he was concerned, that was that.
Joey hung up the phone and frowned at a smudge on his freshly painted nails. "At least we're not the only ones," he said, reaching for the polish remover. He was going to have to start over. "Howie sounds sexy. It's really fucked up."
"I'm telling him you said that," said Chris, laughing and pointing. "Joey thinks Howie is sexy!"
"You think Howie is sexy?" said Justin, staring at himself in the mirror and wondering if he should stuff his bra. The tank top didn't seem to be hanging right, not the way Lance's seemed to be hanging off the shelf of his breasts. "Why Howie?"
"Who cares?" said JC incredulously, dressed in the baggiest clothing he owned. "Doesn't anyone else want to know just how we turned into girls overnight?"
"Not really," said Chris, shrugging, still laughing at Joey who was struggling with the nail polish remover, doing emergency repairs to his bright red nail. "Just go with it, man."
"Well, there's this comet ... " began Lance, to no one in particular.
"Just how are we supposed to figure that out?" interrupted Justin, trying on a pair of heels and frowning as he wobbled on them. Heels were definitely out. "You think this happens every day? You think the government has files on it or something?"
" ... only comes once every thousand years or something ... "
"Yeah, I think they DO," said JC. "They probably have all these classified files that we'll never hear about. Maybe this is what happened to fucking Elvis, man ... "
"Dude, lay off the crack," muttered Joey, still frowning at his nail even though it now matched the rest again. "Do you think I should have picked a different color?"
"Yes," said Chris, "but you didn't listen to me the first time you asked so why would you now?"
"So are they coming? Here?" asked Justin, tossing the heels back in a corner where someone from wardrobe would magically appear and take them back to whatever corner of hell had spawned them. "Now?"
"Soon," said Joey, balling up a red-smudged tissue and throwing it at Chris. "As soon as they manage to pry Brian out of the bathroom. I think he had a breakdown or something. We should introduce him to JC."
" ... scientists are practically coming in their pants over it ... "
"So what, it's just us and the damn Backstreet Boys?" said JC, covering his breasts with his arms. "That's fucked up, right there."
"And Christina Aguilera," said Joey, finally shoving his nails out of sight so he'd have to stop obsessing over them. "That we know of."
"Christina's a girl? Christina was a girl."
"No," said Joey impatiently. "Christina's a boy."
AJ came in first, showing off his tattoos as proudly as ever in a sports bra and low-hanging cargo pants, a sly, dazzling smile on his face. Chris high-fived him as AJ sat down broadly on the edge of the bed, his legs wide and looking both female and un-feminine at once. The other four came slinking in behind him in varying states of uncomfortable with the situation.
"So what the heck is going on here?" asked Kevin, brushing his long, dark hair over one shoulder.
"No one knows," muttered Justin, eyeing up the five new girls. Kevin with his long, lean, muscular body, Brian unsuccessfully hiding inside a pair of loose sweats, Howie with his cute, compact frame and Nick with curves that rivaled a Playboy model.
"How do you go about explaining this?" added Brian, almost whispering.
Lance just huffed and rolled his eyes at them. JC muttered something about a conspiracy and sank further into the deep chair in the corner. Chris threw a shoe at him.
"So basically the entire pop world has changed sex and no one knows why," said Howie. Chris perked up and suddenly dropped the second shoe he'd been aiming at JC, silently agreeing with the sexy voice thing after all.
"Well, I wouldn't say the entire pop world," began Joey, right about the time an adorably girlish 98 degrees came slinking in the door, followed by the adorably boyish Christina Aguilera. "Okay," he amended. "Probably the entire pop world. Anyone else wishing they'd felt the calling to be a stagehand, right about now?"
He was answered with a chorus of raised hands.
"Anyone else think pantyhose are the tool of Satan?" asked Chris.
He got the same show of hands, even more enthusiastically, except for Nick who was busy using both of his to try and keep his pantyhose from riding up. From Nick he got a "Fuck, yeah," and a vicious ripping sound before he just stripped them off. Nick's bare legs were a lot nicer than his covered legs anyway, especially under that tight red dress. Whoever'd convinced him to wear that should either be nominated for sainthood or was going straight to hell.
"Dude," said JC, throwing the shoe back at Chris. "Can't you be serious for, like, two seconds?"
Chris just stared at him and burst out laughing. "We're girls," he said, gesturing around the room. "I'm supposed to take this seriously?"
"We need to figure out what's happening here," mumbled JC.
"Don't be ridiculous," said Chris, playing with AJ's hair. "Ain't gonna happen." But apparently that was everyone else's cue to start batting around theories about what was going on. And what they were gonna do about it. And whether or not you could wear blue eyeliner with blue eye shadow, or if that just made you look like a refugee from the '70s.
Just about the only thing everyone agreed upon, in the end, was the fact that AJ as a girl looked a lot like Bif Naked. And that the members of 98 degrees could have doubled as the East German women's gymnastics team.
None of them seemed to mind the comparisons much, all things considered
It was during a curious lull in the conversation -- rare, in a group of fourteen traumatized women and one mildly traumatized man -- that the door burst wide open, slamming into the wall.
"I have a dick," shouted Britney, throwing her robe open and pointing at her crotch.
"Impressive," said Justin, nodding his approval. "Maybe it you'd had one of those before we would have stood a chance."
"And look at this chest," she went on, clapping a hand over one of her pecs in dismay. "I paid good money for those!"
"I think Joey got them," said Chris, pointing and grinning. Joey covered his chest with his arms and frowned. AJ leered.
"Oh," said Britney softly, making a tiny, shocked 'O' with her mouth as she looked around at everyone else and closed her robe. "Hi."
"Welcome to the club, girlfriend," said Christina, patting the empty spot of bed next to her. "Come chill with the rest of us while we try to figure out how to keep from forcing half the nation into therapy tonight."
"Well, duh," said Britney as she sat down, starting to cross her legs then obviously realizing that wasn't quite as comfortable as it had once been. "Don't we all have people who figure these kinds of things out for us?"
"Yeah, okay," scoffed Justin. "Go ahead Brit. Just try and explain to your people how, yeah, you're a boy but you really are Britney Spears, honest, and can't they help you come up with something to fix it?"
"Oh, go to hell."
"Already there," he muttered, covering his chest again and looking away.
Joey shoved Britney and Chris away. "No," he said, with finality. "No way. These things are *not* getting strapped down."
"Sorry, Joe," said Britney, not unsympathetically. "Pain's part of being a girl."
"I'm not talking about the pain," he grumbled, though now that she mentioned it his breasts started to ache. "Just look at me, guys. You can crush them all you want but I'm still stacked like a porn star."
"Dammit, she's right," said Britney. Joey shot her a dirty look. "Oh. He. Sorry."
"We're not gonna fit in our costumes anyway," said Justin, tossing his own pants to the floor. "I fucking tried." He paused to kick at the pants. "I split a goddam seam."
"Welcome to my world," said Joey, ripping the last of the binding off his chest and reaching for his bra. "Someone help me with these monsters?"
"I will," volunteered Chris, leaping up out of his seat and rushing to Joey's side. "What do you need me to do? Hold them? Mold them? Squeeze them into the cups?"
"Just do up the clasp, loser," said Joey as he slipped it on, leaning forward and letting his hair fall over his shoulders, over his breasts. "And no fondling," he added, slapping Chris's hand as it started to wander.
"So yeah, faking it's right out then," Justin went on, giving the traitorous pants a last kick before flopping down on the bed.
"Faking it was never an option," said Lance softly, holding his throat as he spoke. "You guys might have been able to do your parts, but in case you hadn't noticed? I'm not exactly a bass at the moment."
"We can just all say we're doing the show in drag," said Britney, waving her arm around, looking like an over-enthusiastic chorus boy. "That would be cool, and different, and get us a lot of attention. And if we all did it, then no one would know that anything's up."
Justin rolled his eyes and tapped his throat. "Hello?" he said. "Are you even listening? How are we supposed to sing, Brit?"
She looked at him blankly. "You guys sing live?"
Joey snorted and Chris flat out laughed. Christina just muttered, "I knew it," and dramatically turned her back on Britney.
"No, wait, I think she's on to something," Nick spoke up from where he'd previously been comforting Brian in the corner. "We could pull off the drag thing 'cause it's not just us, y'know? It's, like, everyone. It'd be like a theme."
"Duh," said Justin, rolling his eyes. "Voices? Is anyone listening to me?"
"Dude," said Nick. "No one said we had to sing our songs."
Nsync did an impressive cover of Jumpin' Jumpin', especially on such short notice. They'd been planning on lip-synching to Pop until Joey drew the line and said that all that jumping around was just killing his back and didn't they haven't anything that could support his breasts a little better? Finally he just grabbed a roll of duct tape and wrapped up his chest.
"I don't want to end up with stretch marks on my chest my first damn day as a women, okay?" he said. But Pop was still nixed from the show.
Joey went on to grumble about why couldn't they do something without the word 'jump' in the title.
Chris thought it would be really funny if Destiny's Child went and did a cover of Pop, but they couldn't get the choreography down in time. Not that they didn't try -- for about an hour, maybe, if you counted the time they spent arguing about who got what part -- but then Beyonce had a tantrum about wanting something more R&B and they ended up covering BoysIIMen instead. Which was probably for the best.
Ricky Martin went back to his roots with Livin' La Vida Loca. New dancers, new key, new tits to shake. To his delight it went over about as big as the original, and later that night Ricky would be overheard mentioning how he wanted to shoot a video for it as quickly as possible, not knowing when the 'girl thing' might end. ("There's this comet ... " Lance would then pipe up, to no avail.)
"Damn," said Lance, watching him in rapt fascination. "I'd do her."
"Of course you would," scoffed Chris, leaning over Justin in his glittery dress to get in Lance's face. "You've had a crush on Ricky Martin since you were, like, 16. I bet you liked Ricky Martin in Menudo. Why should now be any different?"
Justin elbowed them both in the side, hard, and they shut up.
Christina had discovered to her horror during rehearsals that she just could not sing as a boy to any effect at all. After a brief diva moment which went largely ignored, she went crawling back to Britney who, with a slightly condescending smile, set her up with a good backing sound system and encouraged her to do one of her best-known songs so people wouldn't notice so much. Genie in a Bottle was surprisingly well suited to a male performance, and Christina Aguilera as a harem boy was a sight to behold.
Britney's own performance was upstaged by the tempers that flew when she and Jennifer Lopez showed up in the same black leather outfit.
Nick was the one who stole the show, though, hands down. It might as well have been 'Nick Carter accompanied by the Backstreet Boys' for all they contributed to the performance. Nick, in his fitted blue gown that thrust his already ample breasts up and out, that showed off every curve of his body. Nick, with his pouty red lips and big blue eyes and his soft, wavy hair. Nick, looking like a lush '40s starlet, just owning the stage as he belted out The Man I Love (light background vocals provided by the rest of the boys).
There was more than one person watching who was kind of hoping he would stay that way, partly so they could get a piece of that but also partly so they wouldn't have to look a male Nick Carter in the eye and remember they'd had these lustful thoughts.
It was probably a lucky thing for everyone involved that U2 swept the awards that year and none of them had to fake it through an acceptance speech. U2 had remained male, thus proving their assertion all along that they weren't any part of this new pop scene.
"Yeah, baby!" said Justin, throwing up his arms in triumph as he made his entrance to the private after party. "They still love me!" He twirled around giddily in his short, blue party dress, a wide smile on his face.
"They still love us," corrected Lance, jabbing him in the side before taking his hand. At least that Justin would still do. Even though he was an icky girl.
"You're both way too damn cheerful, you know that?" muttered Joey as he quickly downed a drink. Chris immediately handed him another.
"What's up your ass?" asked Justin. "We should be happy, we just pulled it off, man! Look at me -- "
" -- I'm Sandra Dee," finished Chris, clapping a hand over Justin's mouth so he couldn't protest. Lance was too busy laughing to rescue him.
"Seriously, man," said Justin as he shoved Chris away. "The rest of us are smiling, here."
"The rest of you didn't just spend ten minutes pulling duct tape off your nipples," Joey pointed out. There was a collective wince from the room -- present and former women -- for which Joey was grateful. Misery loved company, after all.
"We kicked some serious ass, ladies," said Chris triumphantly, getting his own drink and dipping his pinky finger in it, sucking it off with a flourish. "We all did," he added, louder, for the benefit of everyone else in the room.
"To pulling it off," shouted AJ, raising his glass. The toast was echoed around the room as everyone decided it was probably a very good night to get wasted.
"Am I the only one disturbed by the fact that no one else is disturbed about this anymore?" asked Kevin, one hand on his artfully jutting hip, the other gesturing at the room full of mostly female bodies.
"Lighten up," said Chris. "It's cool. Just think of all the great clothes we can wear now!" He'd changed into fitted jeans and a loose white blouse and was happily showing off his cleavage to anyone who'd look.
"I always knew you were a woman trapped in a man's body, Kirkpatrick," muttered Kevin.
"And now you're all men trapped in women's bodies," Chris laughed. "Ironic isn't it?" He sucked some more liquor off his pinky finger and twirled around. "I was born to be a lesbian!" he said gleefully as he wandered off to find Joey again.
"That wasn't so bad," said Justin, a little more sedately now.
"Okay, yeah," agreed JC, "but what are we gonna do about next time?"
"Well, as soon as the comet passes ... " began Lance, but no one was listening.
JC locked himself in his hotel room shortly after getting back, clearly sulking, and not even an offer of good head from AJ had perked him up. As a matter of fact, he'd slammed the door in AJ's face and there was hardly a sound from his room for the rest of the night.
Brian and Kevin tried desperately to explain to their wives that they hadn't done this on purpose, and it didn't signal a lifestyle change for them. It was pretty safe to say that they were going to be on their knees for most of the rest of the night, whether begging or ... convincing.
AJ had taken off with Christina shortly after JC's rejection to hit the clubs. They both claimed to want to learn how the other half lived; secretly everyone figured they'd end up in bed together before the night was out, curiousity winning out over familiarity as it usually did, with both of them.
Britney fumed for another hour after that, pacing the room like a caged cat, then went to sleep with all her gay dancers; she'd already had the rest, after all.
Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson ended up being just about the only ones of the whole bunch who were able to go on, business as usual, while the rest of *that* group could do little but complain about the damn noise. "Like hell they aren't having sex," Drew muttered to his bandmates, but they couldn't do a damn thing about it.
Howie leaned against the wall for a moment as the rest of the women left in the room kicked off their heels and stripped off their bras and just generally lounged all over the furniture. Nick had left the group to step out onto the balcony in his stocking feet, leaning on the railing and smoking a cigarette. He'd taken the pins out of his hair and a couple of wavy locks had fallen over one eye.
"Nick," said Howie softly as he joined him out on the balcony.
"Hey," said Nick, his lush lips curving into a smile. "Some day, huh?"
"Could have been worse," said Howie, smiling back and laying a hand on his arm. "Would you like to come with me to the lounge downstairs?" Nick looked surprised, then appreciative. "For a start, anyway," added Howie, his smile widening. "I think you've always known I'm the only one here who knows how to treat a lady right."
Nick finished his cigarette, then kissed Howie on the cheek, leaving a bright red mark. Elegantly, he took Howie's arm. "Lead the way."
Joey grunted as Howie and Nick left together. "My back hurts," he said. "And my feet hurt and my fucking tits hurt."
Chris lay his hands on Joey's shoulders and rubbed them, his hands just a bit smaller and more gentle than normal. "Does that mean you don't want to do anything tonight?"
"You've got to be joking," he groaned.
Chris rolled his eyes. "Okay. Joey," he said bluntly. "You like girls, right?"
"And I like girls," Chris pointed out. "So ... "
Joey finally got it, and almost sprained something in his haste to get up, hauling Chris into a bedroom.
"I don't like girls," grumbled Justin, pouting.
"Yeah, but I do," said Lance. "Girls and boys."
"I knew that," said Justin. "So?"
Lance gave him a significant look, reaching for his hand. "I like girls," he repeated, and waited for Justin to catch on.
"Just lay back and enjoy it, baby," said Lance as he led him away.
And above them Kashimoto's comet finished its flyby of earth. In the morning they'd wake up in their own bodies again, sure enough, but nothing would ever be quite the same.