The Game

by Chris J

Playing our roles in public is always a game, in a pretty general sense of the word, the same way acting is a game. A game to make sure that no one figures out who you really are, a game that make them believe the lie. We all have reputations, personas, that we protect fiercely--they're part of who we were as Nsync, even if they aren't part of who we really are--and we know those people as well as we know ourselves now. Know how they should react to every situation, know what their smiles look like, what their laughs sound like, know who they should like and who they should shun.

It's funny how the rumors always say that Lance is the gay one, because that's never been an explicit part of his role. It's probably the hair, or the cheeks, or those pretty, pale eyes, or the innocent-but-sexual part that he plays. It's sure as hell not the voice, that's for sure. It's funny to us, though, because that couldn't be further from the truth.

Beyond that game of lies and innuendo and nuance, though, Lance and Joey, they have their own particular game they play, one that makes them appear to be their respective alter egos, while getting them both what they really want. It starts out in a club....

"You're really pretty," Lance whispered in the blonde's ear as they danced together on the crowded floor. Then he pulled away and let a feigned blush creep up on his cheeks as though he'd just said something naughty. She smiled at him and figured that's why the three other ladies he'd been dancing with earlier hadn't stuck around long. He was too much of a gentleman.

"Thank you," she said back, letting her lips brush against his ear seductively. He smiled back sweetly and they continued to dance. He would hold his body apart from hers, then from time to him he'd accidentally bump up against her, brush her, touch her.

She was sure she was getting somewhere, sure that this shy, sweet boy would want to spend some more time with her. She even flirted with the notion that she might be his first, but discarded it almost as quickly. No matter how respectable and charming, no celebrity stayed a virgin this long.

When the song ended he gave her a sweet kiss on the cheek and turned away, his innocent smile still on his face. She looked around, confused for a moment. Had she done something wrong, to make him toss her aside with the others? She turned and found herself looking into Joey's smiling face.

"Wanna dance, gorgeous?" he asked her, frankly looking over her body. She didn't mind; she'd dressed to attract attention that night, after all. He was attractive, too, in his own way. And he was celebrity as well, which was cool. She smiled at him and began dancing. He danced closer, whispering sweet nothings in her ear, touching her body everywhere but the most intimate places.

He looked over her shoulder at someone in the distance and nodded slightly, then looked back into her eyes. "Wanna go back to my hotel room?" he asked her, caressing her back lightly as he spoke. She smiled and nodded in reply, biting her lower lip and batting her eyelashes.

Joey took her hand and let her off the dance floor, into the waiting limousine.

I don't really like to watch when they do it, even though I know it's acting, I know it's pretend. It's hard to see him with someone else, touching them that way, saying those words to them. But that's how boyband member Joey Fatone acts. I'm glad that guy isn't the Joey that I know.

When they get back to the hotel, she follows Joey up to the floor we're staying on...

"Hey baby," said Lance, leaning against the doorframe as Joey led the woman to him.

"Lance?" she said, confusion in her eyes. "But I'm with..." she turned to Joey, who smiled and shook his head.

"Here's the way it is," said Lance, reaching out brazenly to take her arm. Even his voice sounded different now, and the expression on his face wasn't one you'd find anywhere on the inside of a teenybopper magazine. "Out there, I'm the good boy. In here, I'm the bad boy. You follow?"

Recognition dawned on her face and she smiled. "So it is you who'll be rocking my world tonight."

Lance laughed, a little harshly, at the quaint expression and let her inside. "Thanks Joe, you did a good job."

Joey shook his head a little as the door closed, somewhat amused by the game they played, and went back to his own room.

Justin and Chris want no part of it. Justin has his 'just friend' Britney for the public eye, just like Chris has his 'longtime partner' Danielle. But when they night is over they too shed those skins, giving the women a kiss and cab fare home and both returning to the hotel room they shared. The room they always shared. The life they'd been sharing for almost as long as Nsync had been around.

And me, I wait in Joey's--our--room for him to return. He wraps his arms around me and kisses my waiting lips and tells me he loves me. And that's how I know the game is over for tonight, and my Joey has returned.

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