"Wha-who-wh..." Her voice was a sleepy growl and her sight was blurred. AJ sighed heavily and slapped her cheek roughly.
"GABBY, WAKE UP!"
"AJ?" She blinked then smacked him. "Stop hitting me!"
"We have a problem."
"No, I'd say YOU have a problem. Namely that you woke my ass up in the middle of the night
again. Life as you know it is about to get very short and decidedly painful." Gabby clamped a hand around
his throat and narrowed her eyes. He gritted his teeth and clawed at her hand.
"Gabby, this is incredibly serious!"
"You don't say." She tightened her grip.
"Let me mmmffffpggghgo!" He writhed away from her clutches and gasped for air. "This is SERIOUS! I mean really damn serious. I need your help and I need it NOW."
"AJ..." Gabby sighed dramatically and eyed him as he rubbed his neck gingerly and eyed her back. "If this is another one of your stupid tricks or little 'assignments'..."
"You remember my boys, right?" AJ interrupted with a dismissive wave of his hand.
"If you're referring to the Backstreet Boys then I do have some vague recollection of them, yes," Gabby said dryly.
"Yeah. Well. They are in some shit now."
"What kind of shit?"
"Serious back-in-time gonna-get-their-asses-kicked shit."
"AJ, can we drop the homeboy thing and speak a common language here?"
"They got sucked back in time to some twisted fairytale."
"You heard me." AJ crossed his arms and raised an eyebrow.
"What fairytale?" Gabby was having a hard time keeping an entirely straight face. "Is Nickerella being forced to sweep the hearth by his cruel stepsisters Howiecilla and Kevinstasia?"
"It's not funny."
"If that's the fairytale they're in it is."
"They're in some weird recreation of The Princess Bride, if you must know."
"Really?" That sparked Gabby's interest. "I LOVE The Princess Bride!"
"Good. So you know how the story goes then."
"You really DID grow up in a bubble, didn't you?"
"I mean it... you know what happens and who dies and all that stuff, right?"
"That would be correct."
"Ok, then you have to come with me."
"AJ, why? What happened?"
"I was playing around with my time travel powers and accidentally sent the guys back in time. I couldn't figure out where they'd gone until I saw them onscreen in the middle of the movie. It was on pause. I couldn't unpause it. And I couldn't get them out of it. Then the Guardians of Pop appeared and they were some pissed off. Apparently I'm still a novice and can only send people back and forth if they give the ok. Since they didn't... well... the guys have replaced the characters in the movie and unless I get there in time, they'll suffer the same fates as whoever they're playing."
"AJ, it's not Alien. It's PG, for godsakes. Nobody dies bloody deaths."
"What about the short guy who says 'inconceivable'?" AJ looked pointedly at her.
"Vizzini. Ok, he dies. But that's about it."
"What about the dude with the six fingers?" AJ smirked.
"Count Rugen. Ok, him too. But that's definitely it."
"Right. And if two of my boys are playing those roles, then half my damn band is toast!" AJ was very worked up. Gabby had to admit that he had a point with that. "Besides, the Guardians say if they get to the very end of their roles then they stay there. So if Buttercup is rescued and kissed, then they're all stuck there forever. ALL NINE OF 'EM!"
"Uh..." Gabby's brow creased in concern. "What do you mean all NINE of them?"
"Did I forget to mention that since I was actually trying to send Nsync to Iceland, they got sent back too?" AJ smiled sweetly into Gabby's face.
"You were WHAT?" Gabby's face turned a lovely shade of crimson. "They're WHERE?"
"Yeah. So that's NINE roles in all. Only four that matter, though."
"AJ..." Gabby stepped menacingly towards him with her fists clenched.
"I mean nine that matter. All nine are vital. We have to get our asses in gear if we want to deliver the beloved Nsync boys from evil." AJ tried not to laugh as Gabby glared at him.
"You are beyond insufferable."
"I'll take that as a compliment. Now get out of bed of help me."
"Ordering me OUT of bed is certainly a change."
"We don't have time for fucking around, Gabs!"
"I'll say... even if I WAS interested in you."
"Gabby..." AJ sighed.
"AJ..." Gabby eyed him.
"Darling beautiful Gabby..." AJ got down on one knee and raised his hands imploringly. "I beg you, help me. No, don't help me. Help poor Nick. And little Lance. Do it for them! Do it for the boys."
"I should put you out of my misery first."
"You need me to take us back there."
"Do you have permission for this little stunt or am I going to wind up playing Prince Humperdink for the rest of my life?"
"I have permission, naturally." AJ looked wounded.
"Fine, let's go."
"You're a doll."
"We'll discuss my fee later."
"Fee? As in PAYMENT?"
"You coming, McLean?"
"What sort of fee are we talking about here?" AJ frowned as he took her hand and pulled her off the bed.
"Let's just say you can't avoid beaming Lance into my bed forever, ok?"
"Well there's a lovely thought." AJ made a gagging sound.
"Can we just do this already?" Gabby held her head. "I need an aspirin."
"Ok... one and two and... here we go!" AJ snapped his fingers and Gabby's beloved bedroom vanished in a flash of light to be replaced by lush rolling hills and a vast blue sky.
The Princess Bride
by S. Morgenstern and William Goldman
liberally ripped off by Gabrielle and AJ McLean
... Nicky didn't reach his destination. His ship was attacked by the Dread Pirate Roberts, who never left captives alive....
"Whoa." AJ looked at Gabby with raised eyebrows. "There's a narrator here."
"At least we won't lose our place in the story." Gabby tried not to laugh.
... When Jussycup got the news that Nicky was murdered...
"AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA *gasp* AHAHAHAHAHAHA!" AJ collapsed in a fit of hysterical laughter. Gabby's eyes bugged out.
"Did he say JUSSYCUP?"
"AHAHAHAHA..." AJ was beyond speech.
... she went into her room...
"AHAHAHAHAHA SHE HAHAHAHAHAHA!"
... and shut the door, and for days she neither slept nor ate.
Justin stood in the centre of the farmhouse room with arms folded and an ugly glare on his face. "Yo I don't know what the fuck is goin on here but I'm not a chick, aiight?"
Gabby managed to calm AJ down enough to convince him to speed ahead in the story to the part where 'Jussycup' is kidnapped since she speculated that would put most of the main players into the story. Hopefully most of the nine lost boys would be there.
"You know, it's cool that you can fast forward through this stuff. It saves a lot of time."
"Jussycup." AJ snickered. Gabby smacked him.
"Ok, it's over. Let it go."
"Wonder if he's got cleavage."
"Britney will be jealous. She'll have implant envy."
"AJ..." Gabby bit her lip to keep from grinning. "C'mon. This is serious."
"Nick won't rescue Justin to save his life. This is gonna be one damn short story."
"Whoops!" Gabby grabbed AJ's arm and dragged him behind a very large and convenient oak tree. He opened his mouth to say something but she clamped a hand over his lips and inclined her head to the other side of the oak with a pointed look. A horse was galloping down the wooded path and seated in the saddle was a very grumpy-looking Justin. AJ suddenly understood. He and Gabby watched in silence as Justin rode past their hiding place and nearly jumped out of their skins in surprise when a sudden and VERY familiar voice spoke out loud.
"A word my lady?"
"It's Howie," AJ hissed in Gabby's ear. Gabby bit her tongue to strangle mad giggles as she thought of how appropriately cast Howie was as the lisping midget with the man-slaves. AJ eyed her and pinched her ass. "Be nice, girl." Gabby choked on her laughter and squirmed away from another vicious pinch from AJ.
"Shush you." She stuck out her tongue at him. Howie was now gesturing to his companions and speaking his lines with perfect diction and great feeling.
"'We are but poor lost circus performers. Is there a village nearby?'"
"Yo I dunno! What are you askin me for? And stop callin me lady!" Justin was hardly a very gracious princess. Kevin stepped forward then and frowned up at him.
"Hey... Justin. You're here... too? Are... the others... here?"
"I dunno." Justin shrugged. "You know what happened?"
"AJ was... uh... practicing something... and accidentally sent... us all here." Kevin lied smoothly. AJ gave him an imaginary high-five from his spot behind the tree.
"Now there's a friend. Cover your butt when you do something wrong. Good ol' Kev."
"Yeah, I'm all choked up." Gabby rolled her eyes.
"Guys," Howie interrupted Kevin and Justin. "We're supposed to kidnap the princess and take her to the boat now. That's how the story goes."
"I AIN'T A PRINCESS!" Justin shrieked.
"He's really not," JC stepped in.
"JC!" Justin looked relieved to find another Nsyncer in the madness with him.
"Juss am I glad to see you!" JC looked equally as relieved.
"Well... maybe we should... team up and try.... to get out... of here." Kevin looked from Howie to JC to Justin.
"I think we should stick to the story."
"Who asked you, midget?" Justin scoffed.
"Actually I think he might be right." JC nodded in agreement.
"WHAT?" Justin's face went red. "But JC, I'm no princess, man."
"I know but maybe following the story is the only way to get out. What else can we do?"
"Fine." Justin crossed his arms and pouted atop his horse. "Fine. Y'all just wanna see me in a dress. It ain't gonna happen, ok? Besides, if we follow the story that means you're the Spanish dude and Kevin's the giant and he dies soon," Justin pointed triumphantly at Howie.
"Oooh." Howie looked nervous. "I never thought of that. Maybe we should just stay here instead."
"Nah, let's keep goin! I think you were right the first time." Justin smirked at Howie.
Suddenly the scene began to shift around them. Quite without any effort on their part, the four boys (and Gabby and AJ scrambling to hide in bushes behind them) found themselves suddenly at the water's edge facing a large wooden boat.
"Ok, WHAT just happened?" JC wanted to know.
"I think... this story is going to... continue whether we... want it to... or not." Kevin sighed.
"Great." Justin jumped off the horse and shook his head. "Just great."
"I don't want to die in this place," Howie said emotionally. Justin rolled his eyes.
"If Nick or Brian... is Westley... then you don't... have to worry," Kevin pointed out. "They won't... kill you."
"I would." Justin narrowed his eyes. JC smacked him.
"No you wouldn't." He smiled at Howie. "No he wouldn't. And neither would Lance or Chris or Joey. So you're safe."
"Good to know." Howie looked slightly more comforted. The scene shifted around them again and they found themselves now standing on the boat in the gathering darkness with Justin bound by his hands and seated against one wall.
"Ok, we need to be on that boat," Gabby whispered to AJ.
"Any special ideas how the hell we're gonna do that?"
"Yeah, you're gonna beam us there." Gabby smiled proudly.
"This isn't Star Trek, babe."
"Just get us on that boat, McLean." Which is how, moments later, Gabby found herself wedged tightly between several barrels, AJ, and the stern of the boat. And in that cramped concealment she remained as the four boys argued loudly clear into the middle of the next scene.
She doesn't get eaten by the eels at this time.
"Damn narrator," AJ muttered, clutching his heart. Justin was suddenly forced overboard with a yelp. A splash signalled that the 'princess' was indeed in the water whether 'she' wanted to be there or not.
"This is some demanding story," Gabby observed with wide eyes as Justin thrashed and screamed in the murky water.
"'Do you know what that sound is, highness?'" Howie took this opportunity to get back at Justin for the whole death issue. "'Those are the shrieking eels! If you don't believe me, just wait. They always grow louder when they're about to feed on human flesh!'"
"I'll feed on your *cough* damn flesh *sputter* after I beat your *choke* lily ass if you don't get *cough* me back on that boat!" Justin was in no mood to be gracious. Obeying the instinct of his role, Kevin reached down and hauled Justin back on board. Justin shivered and coughed in the bottom of the boat.
"I suppose you think that makes you brave, don't you?" Howie smirked. Justin biffed him upside the head with a growl.
"No, but that does."
"You know," Gabby said to AJ, "I don't remember this much hostility in the original."
Hours passed and the bickering in the boat finally subsided to silence. Gabby fell asleep on AJ's shoulder only to be awakened by a yell from Howie who was WAY too into his role.
"'Whoever he is, he's too late! See!'" He pointed ahead, drawing everybody's attention away from the boat behind them. "'The Cliffs of Insanity!! Hurry up!'"
"Howard, just because your role... is shorter than ours doesn't mean... you have to actually act it... out, you know." Kevin gave Howie a pointed look.
"AJ, why didn't we just fast forward through the whole boat journey? My legs are cramped!" Gabby groaned as she attempted to stretch in her hiding place.
"NOW you come up with that idea." AJ sighed. He snapped his fingers and Gabby found herself standing atop the Cliffs of Insanity beside him.
"Um, a little warning next time might be in order." She held her head and tried to figure out where in the story they were. Suddenly Nick's head appeared on the cliffside with JC scrambling to help pull him to his feet. Both boys stood panting slightly and eyeing each other.
"Ok, WHAT THE FREAK is going on?" Nick's voice was shrill and he backed away from JC slightly. "All night I'm on some boat with weird fish things in the water and now I'm on some cliff with an Nsyncer." Nick looked slightly hysterical. JC tried to calm him.
"We're all stuck in The Princess Bride," he said soothingly. "I'm Inigo, see? I'm waiting here to kill you."
"You're gonna KILL me?" Nick's voice raised another couple of octaves. JC shook his head frantically.
"No, in the story that's why Inigo's waiting for Westley - that's you - but he doesn't actually kill him. I'm not going to kill you!"
"Damn straight you're not!" Nick backed away with his fists raised.
"Ok, we can't wait for them all to be in the same place. They might kill each other before that happens." AJ shook his head as he watched Nick narrow his eyes at JC. "Any really bright ideas or can we just go save them one by one?"
"I don't know what that will do to the integrity of the storyline." Gabby looked doubtful.
"What integrity? Justin is one butt-ugly princess and Nick's too whiny to be a prince!" AJ gestured to the scene on the cliff. JC was stealthily drawing his sword while Nick looked around for a good heavy rock to throw. "Are you seeing this?"
"You have a point."
"Ok, let's go. But all we can do is tell them that we're here to save them. We can't actually take them out of the story yet."
"Why the hell not?"
"Because," Gabby gave him a withering glance, "if we do, we'll never find out who the rest of the boys are playing and they'll be stuck here."
"Men," Gabby rolled her eyes. "No foresight at all." She stepped out from behind the rocks that had kept her and AJ from sight. AJ followed closely. Nick caught sight of them first and fairly launched himself at them.
"AJ! GABBY!" He planted a big kiss on AJ's forehead. AJ shoved him away with a groan and Nick wrapped himself around Gabby affectionately. "I knew you guys would come get us." He suddenly straightened and glared at AJ. "Dumbass. This is all your fault."
"Yeah I know." AJ sighed.
"Well send us back."
"I'd love to but it's more complicated than that. In case you haven't noticed, this story pretty much writes itself. If you guys leave, the main characters are missing and the story won't continue and we'll never figure out where the other guys are."
"You mean they're all here too?" JC entered the conversation.
"Afraid so." Gabby nodded. "So you guys have to play along until we find them."
"Who's Buttercup?" Nick asked out of the blue.
"Ummmm...." Gabby stalled.
"Justin Timberlake." AJ didn't. He grinned widely. Nick's eyes bugged out and his mouth opened to form a perfect O.
"NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!" Nick howled.
"Be careful, guys. It's right around here that Fezzik throws a boulder at Westley's head."
"Kev couldn't throw a rock hard enough to hurt a fly," Nick scoffed just as a very large rock bounced sharply off his right shoulder. He yelped in agony. Kevin stepped out from behind a small hill. He grinned.
"Oops. I meant to... miss."
"DUMBASS!" Nick howled. AJ stepped up and high-fived Kevin. JC clamped a hand over Nick's mouth and a sudden hush descended over the countryside.
"Thank you," Gabby breathed. JC nodded.
"So your little... time travel thing.... didn't really work... huh AJ?" Kevin eyed his bandmate.
"Not so much."
"Listen, I hate to interrupt your nostalgia, but we're on a sort of tight schedule. Westley here," Gabby thumped Nick in the chest, "still has to rescue his beloved Jussycup from Howie without making him drink poison and die."
"Well what are we waiting for?" JC dragged Nick along with him, his hand still firmly sealed over Nick's mouth.
"You know," AJ said to JC, "I may have misjudged you all this time. You've really got some admirable qualities now that I look at it."
The fivesome approached the two figures on the hilltop cautiously. Howie had Justin firmly bound and he eyed his bandmates nervously.
"I don't want to die," he said in a faltering voice.
"You... won't die." Kevin was adamant. "Nick... go untie... Justin."
"WHAT?" Nick screeched. "Why? He's good like that!"
"Nick, UNTIE HIM. It's part of the freaking story." AJ was losing patience. He shoved Nick towards Justin. Everyone held their breath as Nick untied Justin with a look of supreme disgust on his face.
"Aw, don't they make a cute couple?" JC couldn't help but comment. Gabby giggled.
"They'll have darling children."
"SHUT UP!" Nick and Justin chorused. "Ok now what?" Nick asked, edging away from Justin.
"Now take Justin away from Howie." Gabby waved to a spot in the distance. "Howie, do NOT touch the goblets."
"Don't worry." Howie looked pale. Nick and Justin were a good ways away when Howie suddenly began to laugh.
"Why's he laughing?" JC raised an eyebrow.
"Uh oh." Gabby grabbed AJ's arm. "Quick, get him out of here!"
"What about the story?"
"His part is done! Get him out of here before he stops laughing or he'll die!" Gabby was frantic. AJ needed no further encouragement. He snapped his fingers and a flash of white light enveloped the still-laughing Howie and spirited him away. The silence pressed heavily on everyone.
"Did he... make it?" Kevin's voice was a whisper.
"I think so." Gabby nodded.
"I'm pretty sure the Guardians of Pop would have some choice words to say if he didn't," AJ added.
"WAAAAUUUGGGHH!!!" Nick's scream split the air in two. Everyone turned in time to see Justin shove him off the hilltop with a gleeful smile. "JUS-S-TI-INN Y-OOU-U AS-SS!" Nick yelped as he tumbled down the hill at breakneck speed. JC crossed his arms and eyed Justin.
"What?" Justin grinned innocently. "Just playin my part."
"'Oh my sweet Nicky, what have I done?'" AJ quipped as he shoved Justin off the hilltop behind Nick. He watched Justin tumble and roll down the hill with a wide grin. "Damn I love this movie."
After a brief meeting the unanimous decision to skip ahead to the end of the story was reached. Both Justin and Nick were sulking and nursing varied bumps and bruises. And nobody wanted to enter the Fire Swamp. If any of the other boys were ROUS's, nobody wanted to witness it.
"Besides there's still Humperdink, Count Rugen, the clergyman, Miracle Max, the king, the gatekeeper..." Gabby counted off the roles on her fingers.
"There are only four guys left and more than enough roles to go around. How do we know who they'll be?" JC frowned.
"It doesn't matter. All the leftover roles are at the end of the movie anyways. So we can't lose." AJ shrugged. He stood up. To his left was the dim tangle of trees that led into the Fire Swamp. To his right the valley floor stretched endlessly off into the horizon.
"We're not gonna WALK are we?" Nick groaned loudly. Justin smacked him.
"You're not. You're gonna be at the bottom of the Lightning Sand in the swamp."
"Am not, dumbass."
"Are too, bitch!" Justin sneered.
"Who you callin a bitch, JUSSYCUP?" Nick screeched. They rolled into each other, grunting and punching and yelping.
"Domestic violence these days. It's just out of control!" AJ shook his head in mock horror as he and JC separated the brawling couple.
"You two have... got to... get along until we find... the others." Kevin fixed them with a glare.
"AJ, how about we don't prolong this any longer than absolutely necessary?" Gabby sighed as Justin decked Nick from around JC. Nick growled and strained to reach Justin's throat past AJ.
"Marvelous idea, love." AJ grunted as he shoved Nick backwards into Kevin. He snapped his fingers and light flashed brilliantly over the scene.
"WHERE are we?" Nick asked for the third time. Kevin shushed him.
"We're in Prince Humperdink's... castle. The wedding's... about to start and... you have to rescue Justin from... the honeymoon suite... when it's over." Kevin shook his head as Nick made dramatic gagging sounds. They tiptoed down the corridor with AJ and JC behind them.
"I hope this works. Cuz if I have to spend the rest of my life listening to Nick and Justin fight I'll kill MYSELF when we reach the honeymoon suite," AJ grumbled.
Justin stared at the back of the clergyman's head in an attempt to recognize him. Gabby prodded him in the ribs.
"Go on, Juss. You're supposed to be up there at the altar," she hissed. He sighed and walked up to take his place beside Prince Humperdink. The prince turned and looked at him.
"WAAAAAUUUUGGGHHH!!" screamed Justin.
"WAAAAAUUUGGGHHHH!!" echoed Joey.
The clergyman turned at the sound of the commotion.
"WAAAAUUUGGGHHH!!" yelled Brian. Gabby held her head and sighed.
"Uh oh," AJ muttered as a whole troop of armed guards appeared in the corridor ahead of them.
"'Kill the dark one and the giant but leave the third for questioning,'" a very familiar voice quoted. Chris stepped through the guards and grinned cockily at the four boys. "Lucy," he intoned in a thick accent, "you've got some 'splainin to do!" The guards charged at the boys and all flattened themselves against the castle walls. JC stuck out his foot and tripped one. AJ leapt at another and twisted his helmet, pummelling his torso as he did so. Nick kicked madly at a third, yelping loudly. Kevin ran full tilt into the fourth and toppled him. General chaos ensued ending in all four guards being subdued and all four boys high-fiving overtop of them.
"Well thanks for nothing," JC yelled at Chris.
"I'm the bad guy. I've got six fingers. What do you want from me?"
"'You killed my father. Prepare to die.'" JC quoted ominously.
"Whatever turns you on, man," Chris grinned.
"Maybe," AJ stepped in, "we should see how the wedding's coming along. But first..." he eyed Chris. A sudden bloody slash appeared on Chris' right cheek, followed by one on his left. "You're about done here, my friend," AJ smirked. He snapped his fingers and Chris disappeared in a flash of light just before the final blow could be struck.
"Two down... seven to go." Kevin said.
"Shut up, Kev."
"Do you Pwincess Jussycup..." Brian was thoroughly enjoying his role.
"'Skip to the end!'" Justin glared at Brian. Joey elbowed him.
"Hey! That's my line." Joey smiled graciously at Brian and linked arms with Justin. "'Man and wife. Say man and wife.'"
"'Man,'" Brian said with a flourish, "'and wife.'" He winked at Joey. "You may kiss the bwide."
"Stop this wedding!" AJ ran in panting. "Dammit, these castles are big."
"I was WONDERING where you'd got to." Gabby shoved him into the aisle. "Quick! Before Brian disappears!" AJ snapped his fingers and Brian was engulfed in a flash of light.
"Three." AJ sighed.
"To the honeymoon suite!" Joey tugged on Justin's sleeve. Justin swung his fist at Joey's head.
"Anger management, Juss... look into it." Gabby shook her head and grabbed Justin, dragging him along with her. AJ followed with Joey in tow.
"I HAVE to learn my lesson one of these times. I'm WAY too old for all this."
"I am NOT gonna fight for Justin!" Nick was in full-on stubborn mode. AJ looked ready to strangle him.
"Fine yo! I don't want you fightin for me anyhow!" Justin glared and pouted.
"I don't think.... it matters," Kevin interrupted. "I think... Joey just has to... be tied up."
"Somehow in my dreams it's different than this," Joey quipped as Justin tied him tightly to a high-backed chair. "I pictured a real girl. Prettier."
"Shut up, Fatone."
"Longer hair." Joey continued unconcerned. "Breasts, definitely breasts."
"Shut UP, Fatone." Justin gritted his teeth.
"Well I'd say he's bound now," Gabby observed wryly. Not much of Joey's torso could be seen between the layers of rope. "AJ?"
"I'm on it." AJ snapped his fingers once more and Joey vanished just before Justin could tie the
"Ok, so what's left?" JC looked around the room.
"Well Kevin," Gabby gave Kevin a shove, "is supposed to go find us some milky white horses."
"I'm going... I'm going." Kevin disappeared out the door.
JC, AJ, Gabby, Nick, and Justin gathered in the castle window. They peered down into the cobbled courtyard below where Kevin stood waiting with four white horses.
"Not bad, Kev," AJ said admiringly.
"Except I'm not gonna... catch you... if you really jump," Kevin told him.
"We can climb down." JC reached out and grabbed a trellis to start his climb to the courtyard.
"Oh no, the princess has to jump. That's how it's done." Nick grabbed Justin from behind and, after a brief and loud struggle, both toppled headfirst out the window.
"OOOOFFFFPPPFFFFF!!" they grunted in unison.
"My HEAD you dumbass!" Nick squealed, holding his bruised noggin.
"My ASS you mutha!" Justin yelped, rubbing his bruised butt.
"Are we finished yet?" Gabby asked wearily as she reached the courtyard. Quickly they mounted the horses and rode out of the castle.
As dawn arose, Nicky and Jussycup knew they were safe. A wave of love swept over them. And as they reached for each other...
"QUICK QUICK! SEND US BACK RIGHT NOW!!" For once Justin and Nick were in complete and panicked agreement. AJ chuckled as he snapped his fingers. A blinding flash of light erased the scene from everyone's eyes for a moment. And then...
"AJ, why the HELL is everybody but us gone?" Gabby narrowed her eyes.
"We mighta forgotten somebody." AJ sighed.
"LANCE!" Gabby clapped a hand over her mouth in horror. "OH NO!"
"Alright, who on earth's he playing?" AJ asked as he and Gabby raced up and down the castle corridors.
"I hope he wasn't Miracle Max," she fretted.
"If he was, it's gonna make payment of your 'fee' a real bitch," AJ laughed. Gabby smacked him.
"This isn't funny."
"Oh yes it is."
They turned a corner at top speed and skidded into a large throne room. Lords and ladies sat along the walls, trumpeters stood in lofty perches, golden accents glistened in candlelight, and upon the throne sat....
"LANCE!" Gabby cheered.
"Well I'll be." AJ raised an eyebrow. "Ol' Lance was the king all along." He snapped his fingers and the same blinding light enveloped the scene once more....
.... to be replaced by.....
... Gabby's blue bedroom.
"Thank god," she breathed as she collapsed into bed.
"Man," AJ grinned. "That was some fun, huh?"
"AJ..." Gabby somehow found the strength to rise and grab him by the throat. "Listen to me and listen good. If you EVER pull a stunt like that again just find yourself a little hut outside the castle and get comfy cuz your ass is safer in the past than it is here once I get ahold of it."
"I get your point."
"I certainly hope so." She released him with a glare. He rubbed his neck for the second time that night.
"FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, WHAT?"
"Thank you." AJ smiled. Gabby felt rather sheepish.
"Oh." She grinned. "You're welcome, I guess."
"Uh huh." AJ leaned in and kissed her affectionately on the cheek. She smiled. He grabbed her
ass. She smacked him. "Had to try."
"You are some piece of work, McLean." She rolled her eyes. "Now leave me alone with my bed."
"As you wish." AJ smirked and disappeared in a flash. Gabby sighed heavily and sank back into her pillows. Just as her eyes were drifting shut another flash forced them back open. "Forgot something."
"AJ if you knew what was good for you..." Gabby's tone was threatening. AJ snapped his fingers and Lance suddenly appeared on the edge of Gabby's bed looking very confused. Gabby's eyes widened. "Never mind." Gabby smiled generously at AJ. AJ made a disgusted face and disappeared.
"Where am I now?" Lance sounded completely lost. Gabby giggled and wrapped her arms around him.
"It's a long story, darling. Lay down and I'll tell it to you..."