NEW! (under College section)
(All under boy-bands)
(Posted Oct 31/00)
(Updated Dec 5/00)
(Ended Feb 6/00)
(Posted May 8/00)
Set You Free
(Ended Apr 11/00)
Ten Guys, One Night
(Posted Apr 7/00)
I must give a big Thank You to Justin for giving me the title Blissful Tears and for creating the wonderful image for this story in the Boy Band Screensaver. Thanks must also be given to Chris and Neo, for your chats and suggestions. You guys are all great!
1. If you shouldn't be here, don't tell me and don't get caught!
2. I don't know any of the people mentioned in the story...it's fiction folks!
If you have any comments about this story, please email me at email@example.com
As always, thank you for reading!
The rest of the group, and the families were waiting back at the apartment, with the exception of Kevin and Chris. Because it had been a suicide attempt, Kevin had to co-sign Brian's release. The two men were waiting in the car.
AJ reached the automatic doors. He paused and leaned down to Brian. "Ready?" he whispered.
Brian tilted his head back. "Absolutely!" he said with a grin.
AJ returned the smile and pushed the chair forward. The door slid open and AJ moved the chair out to the sidewalk. He stopped again and put the brakes on the chair. The limo pulled up, but before Brian could stand, AJ knelt down in front of him. He picked up Brian's hands and stared into his bright blue eyes.
"Yes!" AJ said seriously.
Brian looked at him in confusion. "Yes what love?" he asked softly.
AJ smiled. "You said wait till you got out of the hospital before I answered!" He waved his hand around. "Well, technically, you are out!" he said dramatically.
Brian began to smile and tear up at the same time. "Yes? Really?" he whispered, reaching out to touch AJ's cheek.
AJ leaned into the touch, then moved forward to hug Brian. "Yes really! I love you forever and ever. I never want to be without you again. I want to go to sleep every night holding you in my arms and wake up every morning to see your beautiful face," he whispered intently into Brian's ear.
"Huh-hem," a voice interrupted them. They turned to see Chris standing beside the car. "May I suggest you continue, in the car?" he said with a smile as he opened the door.
AJ nodded and stood up, putting his hand under Brian's elbow to help him stand. The time in bed combined with months of poor eating and stress had made him weak and he still hadn't gained his strength back.
Brian climbed into the car, followed by AJ then Chris. Chris moved to sit beside Kevin, while Brian and AJ took the other seat. Brian leaned into AJ's shoulder as AJ wrapped his arm around Brian. Brian reached across himself and clasped AJ's left hand tightly in his right hand. Brian looked over at his cousin and smiled happily.
Kevin grinned and looked at AJ. "So you answered his question huh? Must have been the right answer," he commented.
Brian blushed. "It was." He raised their clasped hands and kissed AJ's fingers. "He said yes!" Brian revealed.
"Question?" Chris asked in confusion.
Kevin looked at his lover. "The very first words Brian said when he regained consciousness, were to ask AJ to marry him," Kevin explained.
Chris looked at the happy couple. "Congratulations, you two. You deserve it," he said enthusiastically.
Brian looked at Chris and Kevin. "Thanks Chris, for everything. I'm really glad you became part of the Backstreet family. I know haven't seen Kevin so happy in a long time. I hope we get the chance to know each other better," Brian said sincerely and reached across the car to shake Chris' hand.
"I'd like that," Chris said.
The rest of the ride home was quiet. The guys were giving Brian a chance to adjust to everything. He gazed out the window as the car crossed the city to his apartment. He knew some serious conversations still had to happen. He thought the doctor's suggestion of talking to a psychologist would be a good idea. Especially as he worked out his feelings for his parents. Then there was the wedding to plan. He smiled at the thought.
"What?" AJ whispered, noticing the smile and faraway look on Brian's face.
Brian laughed softly. "I was thinking about our wedding Alex," he whispered.
AJ hugged him tightly. "Mmmm. I like the sound of that," he murmured.
The car pulled up outside the apartment building. The four men stepped out and continued into the building. Brian was grateful that there wasn't a horde of fans standing around. Somehow, the PR team had managed to keep his suicide attempt under wraps. The group was out of the spotlight while recording the new album, which made it easier to keep quiet.
Kevin opened the door to the apartment and let Brian walk in first.
"Surprise!!" a loud roar went up.
Brian gasped in shock. The apartment was decorated with balloons and streamers and a large 'Welcome Home' sign hung from the ceiling.
Brian looked at the faces around him. He recognized Nick's parents and brother and sister, Howie's parents, some of the group's management, assistants and bodyguards, as well as his own parents and his brother, Kevin's mom and AJ's mom. The guys were standing in front of him grinning.
Everyone was waiting for him to say something. He looked at AJ nervously. "I…I don't know what to say. It's really nice to know I have so many people who care about me and its great to be home!" he said.
People clapped and smiled. Brian worked his way into the apartment and over to one of the couches. Nick brought him a piece of cake and a drink that he gratefully accepted. Brian accepted greetings from people as they stopped to talk. He glanced around the room and finally found the one person he hadn't had a chance to talk to, his brother Harold.
Brian stood up and finally caught Harold's attention. He nodded towards the balcony and Harold nodded. Excusing himself, Brian walked outside. AJ watched him closely and saw Harold join Brian. He planted himself beside the door inside to make sure the brothers weren't interrupted.
"So…" Harold said as he leaned against the rail beside Brian.
Brian glanced at his brother. Harold had missed most of the excitement. He lived in Texas and neither Brian nor his parents had mentioned the problems. He didn't know things were bad, until Kevin called to tell him about Brian's suicide attempt. He decided to stay in Texas for a few days because he didn't want to say anything to his parents that he would later regret.
"Why didn't you tell me what Mom was doing?" he asked softly.
Brian smiled sadly. "Harold, you know I love you. I didn't even tell Kevin, so how could I tell you?" Both brothers had learned to accept the fact that Brian was closer to Kevin than Harold. He spent so much time with his cousin it had become natural over the years to confide in him, rather than his brother.
"Why didn't you tell me you were gay? Did you think I would hate you?" Harold asked.
Brian shrugged. "Honestly, Dawg, I don't know. After Mom threatened me, there didn't seem to be much point. As for hating me…" Brian sighed and turned to look at his brother directly. "I didn't know. The guys and me have had some serious discussions on that very issue. When I found out about Nick and Howie, they said they were afraid to tell me. They were afraid of my reaction. I guess I may have had the same thoughts about you. I'm sorry."
Harold smiled gently at his brother. "Its okay. You know, I occasionally wondered if you were gay. But I certainly never would have imagined you with AJ." Brian cocked his eyebrows. "To look at you two, its like fire and ice. But seeing you together, even just for the few minutes I saw you in the house earlier, is incredible. Fire and ice really can go together." He smirked at Brian. "They make really hot steam!"
Brian laughed, and blushed slightly. He glanced into the apartment and noticed AJ standing guard at the door. He waved for him to join them. The door slid open as AJ stepped out. He closed it behind him and walked over to Brian.
"Hi Harold," he said politely, instinctively putting his arm around Brian's shoulders.
Harold smiled at the possessive gesture. "Relax AJ. I was just telling Brian here, that despite you two looking like complete opposites, you go well together. All I ask is that you make my little brother happy," Harold said and held out his hand.
AJ paused for a moment then shook hands with Harold. "Thanks Harold. That means a lot," AJ said sincerely.
Brian grinned. "Thanks Bro," he said and hugged Harold.
Harold went back into the apartment, leaving Brian and AJ on the balcony. Brian turned to AJ and leaned against him, wrapping his arms around his back. AJ hugged Brian tightly.
"You okay?" he whispered.
Brian inhaled deeply, then slowly released it. He raised his face to AJ. "When I'm in your arms, I'm always okay," he said softly, leaning forward for a brief kiss. Then he pulled back. "I guess we should get back inside, huh?"
AJ nodded, but stopped Brian from moving. "Before we do, how does Labor Day weekend sound?"
Brian grinned up at AJ knowing exactly what he was talking about. "I think it sounds perfect! Want to go tell everyone?" he asked excitedly.
AJ grinned at Brian's excitement. "Absolutely!"
Pulling AJ by the hand, Brian and his fiance walked back into the apartment. They walked to the center of the living room.
"Excuse me! Can I have everyone's attention?" AJ said, nearly shouting over the din of other conversations.
The room slowly became silent as all eyes turned to AJ and Brian.
"Thanks! Um…my fiance has an announcement he'd like to make," AJ said. The room erupted in gasps and whispers at AJ's words. AJ and Brian laughed. "Oh, yeah. Guess I forgot to mention that. When Brian woke up, he asked me to marry him, and like any man with a brain, I said yes!"
Everyone laughed at AJ's words. Brian waited until everyone quieted down before speaking. "I guess it's a good thing Alex mentioned that, otherwise, me telling you that we're getting married on Labor Day weekend wouldn't make much sense. Of course, all of you will be getting invitations."
Again, the room broke into gasps and conversations as everyone commented on the unexpected events. People walked over to congratulate the happy couple. Brian tensed when his parents approached. Although he could read more in his mother's face, both of his parents simply gave their best wishes. Denise was overjoyed and hugged both men, excited that her son was getting married. It never phased her at all that her son was marrying another man.
Ann Richardson approached the couple, and gave her nephew a strong hug. "Congratulations Brian, dear. I wish I'd known what was going on. Maybe I could have helped," she said sincerely.
Brian smiled at his Aunt. "Thanks Aunt Ann. Just being able to visit you when I was home and get away from the tension, helped. Even though we never talked about it, I always felt that you would be on my side, and understand me." Brian paused. "By the way, when did Kevin tell you?" he asked curiously.
Ann smiled. "He called me the night you were brought in. I caught a flight out and was here the next morning. He and Chris picked me up at the airport. Even before he said anything, I could tell Chris was special to him. I've known for a long time Brian. Kevin's never said anything, I just knew that he liked women and men. As long as he's happy, then I'm happy. And from what I've seen Chris makes him very happy."
Brian smiled and nodded. "Yeah. They are both really happy. I haven't got to know Chris that well, but he's a nice guy and I can tell he loves Kevin."
Ann hugged Brian again. "Well, if there is anything I can do, give me a call, okay?"
Brian nodded. "Thanks, Ann. I love you."
"Love you too, dear," she said before moving off and allowing someone else to talk to Brian.
The party broke up a few hours later. The guests gradually filtered out, leaving only the five singers and Chris.
After cleaning up the apartment, they ordered some take out for dinner and sat around talking quietly while they ate. Afterwards they returned to the living room where the three couples sat in silence.
"I can't believe you're getting married," Nick commented, breaking the silence.
Brian smiled and looked around the room. He leaned close to AJ and whispered in his ear for a minute. AJ grinned and nodded.
"Guys, we want to ask you something," Brian said. The others looked at him. "Alex and I would very much like it if you would be an usher at our wedding Chris," Brian said, looking at his cousin's boyfriend.
Chris looked surprised. "I'd be honored Brian, AJ, thank you."
"And Howie, I hope I can count on you being my best man, man," AJ said with a grin.
Howie laughed. "Well, I supposed someone has to be," he said. AJ tossed a pillow at him.
Brian looked at his cousin and Nick. "And I get to be the lucky one, cause I get to have two best men," he said. "That is if you want the job?"
Nick pulled away from Howie and ran over to jump on Brian and AJ. "Just try to stop me," he laughed as Brian and AJ began to tickle him.
Brian looked over at Kevin who was smiling happily. "You already know my answer cus," Kevin said.
Brian nodded. "Thanks Kev, it means a lot to me." Brian tried to stifle a yawn, but AJ noticed.
"I think it's time for bed, baby," AJ said softly, even though it was still early.
All six men stood up.
"Thanks guys, for everything," Brian said sincerely, looking at each of his friends. "It makes me feel great to know I have such wonderful friends. Are y'all staying here tonight?"
Kevin and Chris shook their heads. "No, we thought we'd go to Chris' tonight. You two need some time together," Kevin said. He walked over and gave his cousin a hug. "Be good," he whispered. Brian giggled softly.
"When do we have to get back to work?" Brian asked as Kevin and Chris walked towards the door.
"Well, if you're feeling up to it, they'd like us back in the studio on Monday," Kevin said. "So enjoy your weekend, cus."
The door closed behind Kevin and Chris and Brian turned back to Nick and Howie. "What about you two?"
Nick shook his head. "We're going back to my place. My parents want us to come to dinner tomorrow night, so if we don't see you over the weekend, we'll see you Monday."
"But if you need anything, give us a call," Howie added.
"We will," AJ said. "Thanks for everything guys." AJ closed the door behind Nick and Howie and turned back to find Brian staring at him.
He opened his arms and Brian walked into the warm embrace. Brian rested his head against AJ's chest and sighed.
"Did you have a good time?" AJ asked softly, gently stroking Brian's back.
"Mmmm-hmm, thank you Alex," Brian murmured.
Brian pulled back and met AJ's gaze. "Yeah, I am," he admitted. "I had fun, though. It was good seeing everyone and I'm glad I had a chance to talk to Harold." AJ took Brian's hand and began to walk towards the bedroom. "I think I'm going to ask Harold to do a reading at our wedding. Is that okay?"
AJ smiled gently. "I think that's a great idea. I thought my Mom could do one too," he added. "Do you want to take a shower now or wait till morning?" he asked as they reached the bedroom.
Brian looked around the bedroom he hadn't been in for more than a week. "I think the morning," he said tiredly. He slowly began to strip off his clothes, suddenly realizing how exhausted he was.
AJ walked over and helped him. Once all his clothes had been removed AJ walked him over to the bed, pulled the blankets back and helped him lay down. AJ leaned down and kissed his forehead.
"I'm going to take a quick shower, then I'll be back, okay?" he said quietly. Brian nodded. The softness and warmth of his own bed already pulling him down to sleep.