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Pen Your Pride

Now Is The Time For Us To Reunite... (Chapter 2)

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NSYNC is the world's #1 boy band.  Formed in 1995, Justin Spring, Chris Summer, Joey Autumn, Lance Winter and JC Chasses have released 10 studio albums thus far, with one more on the way, namely "NSYNC", "Home For Christmas", "No Strings Attached", "Celebrity", "We're Back", "Here We Go Again", "We Must Be Pop", "The Cover Album", "Ain't No Lie, We're Still Alive", "Here We Go Yet Again" and soon-to-be-released "Still Not Bye Bye Bye".  Over the years, NSYNC's fan base has grown immensely and there is no distinct "height" of their careers.  Fans expect NSYNC to be together until "death does them part".

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Justin Timberlake screamed.  How was this possible?  NSYNC had broken up after the Celebrity tour, never to reunite in the near future.  Who was this playing this elaborate prank on him?  Who were these people (with their names)?  And those last names - aw man!  It wasn't Trace - he couldn't lie to Justin like that, and it wasn't JC, Chris, Joey or Lance, they wouldn't really bother.  He remembered the look on Lance's face, and Lance's words in his book - all the anger, hurt, betrayal, disappointment and scorn.  Lance had seen it coming though, and he was prepared, but it was still hard for him, and hey, he was doing well enough, he didn't need or want Justin's pity.  So Justin just avoided Lance and the media spun some story about how they hated each other for unknown reasons.  It was fine with Justin.  But now - his mother, Trace, even his wife was convinced that he was going crazy.    Justin did the only thing he could think of - he called Lance.

Ring, ring, ring, ring…"Hello, this is Lance Bass!  I'm not available to take your call right now, but leave a mes--"  Justin tuned out Lance's answering machine as a sudden thought hit him - what if Lance was in the loop of the whole prank?  He was a nice guy, but he wouldn't hesitate to laugh in Justin's face, after all that Justin had put him through.  Justin sighed.  Lance's caller ID would cache his number, and Lance would call him back with a sigh and impatience, and Justin would come up with some excuse as to why he'd 'accidentally' called.

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The phone in Lance's house rang.  He walked over and saw Justin's name.  Scorn and panic flooded him simultaneously.  He had 15 seconds on his answering machine - within which he could answer and talk to Justin, or he could wait and listen to Justin's message (if he wasn't too busy to leave one) and maybe call him back.  Lance didn't hate Justin.  Justin just reminded him of his first of many undeserved heartbreaks.  He heard Justin sigh through the speaker, and then the machine beeped and went silent.  Justin sounded…scared.  Justin?  Scared?

Lance himself was totally lost with this whole NSYNC thing - 5 guys so similar to them, right down to names!  But Justin needed him right now.  Lance remembers the stormy Germany night when he and Justin looked into each others' eyes and solemnly promised to best friends forever, to be there for each other forever, and never to hurt each other ever.  Justin had broken that promise so many times, but Lance would be better than that.  Justin needed him, and he was going to be there.  He took in a deep breath and dialled the familiar number.

"Lance?"  Justin's voice came through his phone, crystal clear.  Lance murmured a half-hearted 'hey' and waited for Justin to spill the details of his problem.  "Look, I know this is gonna be stupid, but…do you remember what you were doing 15 years ago?"

"Well, I was in a boy band with you, singing and dancing every night in Europe," Lance said slowly, so that if Justin was in on the prank, Lance could laugh right along with Justin.  He wasn't expecting Justin to scream in his ear that he was 'so so glad' and that Lance should cancel all his plans because Justin was driving over immediately.

An hour later, Lance and Justin were curled up in Lance's living room, running through all their memories of NSYNC, smiling wider with each one.  NSYNC had been real, and this was some freak occurrence.  Just then, Lance's phone rang again.  Justin, being closer, answered instinctively.

"Hey Lance," Joey answered conversationally.  Justin momentarily forgot the whole faux-NSYNC thing and replied with an equally chirpy 'hey Joe'.  Only after he answered he realised - if NSYNC as he knew it had never happened, Joey wouldn't know him personally.  So he nearly cried with relief when Joey began to rant about how weird it was that NSYNC was 5 different guys who were still producing.  Lance chuckled and grabbed the phone from Justin, who was actually crying now.

"Look Joey, Justin, you and I remember - but what about Chris and JC?  Logically speaking, they should remember too, and there will be some challenge for us to get back all the memories, but you never know.  I'd love to call them and talk, but they might not remember, and Justin is having a total freakout.  Chris will remember you from Universal and JC will remember you as a long-lost friend if anything, so you gotta call them, okay?"  Lance told Joey.  Joey contemplated this for a while, before agreeing.

"On it now," he said, and began to call his ex-bandmates who might not be his ex-bandmates after all.

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After NSYNC, Joey turned his attention to his family, acting on Broadway only because of his love of performing, and it being part of his routine already, not for the money.  But after a while, he began to miss the NSYNC family, where he was the Dad, Chris was the Mom, JC was the artistic kid, Lance was the smart kid and Justin was the Golden Boy.  When he realised that the NSYNC as he knew it never existed to the world, his heart broke.  Without thinking, he had called Lance.  Even if Lance didn't remember either, he wouldn't laugh at Joey or treat him like a weirdo.  So when Justin answered the phone, Joey was a bit shocked.  If Justin didn't remember, then he and Lance would have had to be involved some other way in order to still know each other personally.  Then he realised that Justin knew who he was, and he shamelessly ranted about the whole memory thing.  And he was pretty sure Justin was crying.  Then Lance told him how things would have to be and he agreed.  He would face the heartache and disappointment all alone if Chris and JC didn't remember.  He picked up the phone and called Chris.

So when Chris answered the phone saying, "This is some weird shit man, Joe!" Joey understood why Justin was crying.  Sniffling a bit himself, he told Chris that Justin and Lance remembered too, and that he was going to try JC next.  Chris immediately wished him good luck, and hung up quickly, so Joey could call JC, then call Chris back.

JC answered with, "Hey cat, you won't believe this strange dream I had this afternoon!" and began to talk about the article and Joey told him slowly that it was real, and that the 5 of them seemed to be the only ones who remembered times when they were NSYNC.  JC just gave an 'oh' and declared that he was going to sleep some more.  Joey checked back in with Lance and then called Chris for another chat.

-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --

Lance turned to Justin with a big smile.  "Sooooo…we all remember, no one else does, we're going to have a group meeting, because obviously we're gonna have to do something to get the memories back.  I say we take all the new NSYNC songs and decode the harmonies - because we're gonna get those memories back, and then, well, now is the time for us to reunite!"

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