The End Of The Day
By Billy Burrew

Disclaimer: The following is a work of fiction. It does not imply or express anything about the sexuality of any of the members of the Backstreet Boys. Please allow the story to suspend your disbelief and enjoy!

Nick sat quietly beside the bed, holding Kevin's hand and drawing strength from the physical contact. The doctors had finally left the two old men alone for the first time since they arrived earlier that afternoon. The lead doctor of the team was the last to exit the room, waiting until everyone else had gone and then expressing his deepest sympathies for Nick and Kevin, both of whom he had idolized when he was growing up. Nick, now in his early 60's, smiled as much as he could and thanked him, letting the doctor pat him on the back before he walked back over to the bedside and sat down and took hold of Kevin's hand again.

The doctor seemed to feel as bad about having to give the news as Nick felt about having to receive it. Nick held his tears as the doctor delivered the news and then explained the technicalities of the situation and what Nick's options were and everything. Nick held back until the door softly closed and then, as if on cue, his vision blurred and he felt the salty moisture begin to rapidly fall down his cheeks and then off, down onto where his hand held Kevin's.

Nick looked over at Kevin's eyes, his striking green eyes that gazed out toward him, unfocused, but beautiful nonetheless. Nick smiled as he remembered the first time he met the gaze of those eyes as a teenager those many, many years ago.

"Kev honey. Remember when we met for the first time. At that first audition for the Backstreet Boys? I remember it so well...."

I stood up and stretched, my height putting me at almost a foot taller than the rest of the other guys standing and waiting to be called in to audition. I heard a loud crash and then a not too quiet curse and turned to see a really young blond boy, barely a teenager, standing beside a knocked over drum set. I smiled as I walked over to help the kid pick up the parts of his stuff that had fallen. I bent down and grabbed a symbol and a stick and then stood back up and offered them to the younger boy.

"Hey thanks man!" the young blond smiled. "If I hadn't been trying to carry all this at once, I'da prolly not dropped it all."

I smiled as I thought of how the kid reminded me of the silly mouse from Cinderella that kept trying to carry too much and ended up making a mess and almost getting eaten by the cat.

"No problem. I'm Kevin."

The blond looked up and smiled. "Hi Kevin, I'm Nick."

I grinned, "I'd shake your hand, but you'd end up dropping it again."

Nick laughed and the drum that he was balancing under his chin slid out and fell off, causing the young man to jerk to save it and drop everything in the process.

I tried to stifle a giggle and tried my best not to smirk as I caught sight of Nick's face and the look of disgust on it. I stuck out my hand and grinned, "Well...since you dropped them anyway..."

Nick rolled his eyes and laughed and shook my hand and then we began to pick up the fallen parts of the drum set.

I had just given the last piece of the set back to Nick when I heard a call for a Nick Carter.

"Hey. Are you Nick Carter?"

The young blond looked up and smiled. "Yep!"

"They're calling for you, man!"

Nick jumped up and grabbed the drum set and made his way to the audition room and I smiled as I watched Nick stumble and weave, but finally make it over to the room.

Nick squeezed Kevin's hand and laughed at the memory running through his mind.

"You know, I didn't even use that drum set? They didn't want to see me play an instrument, they just wanted to hear me sing and see if I could dance."

Nick looked down at Kevin's face and saw that, despite the oxygen tubes in his nose and mouth, Kevin's mouth was upturned in something close to his smirk.

Nick patted Kevin's hand tenderly.

"So what am I gonna do, Boo? They say you can't come back. They say that you won't be able to breathe on your own again...that the Alzheimer's has taken over the part of the brain that controls your breathing and stuff. They want me to pull the plug on you...on us. What do I do?"

Nick looked down at Kevin's hand and closed his eyes, his mind searching for an answer, tho his heart knew the truth.

"I can't believe we both lived through two failed marriages apiece...with all that misery and denial and pain. Each of us got to feel our hearts break as we watched the other walk down the aisle those two times. I didn't understand why I felt so awful about it the first time you got married, and I think I kinda knew the second time. I am embarrassed to say I was happy that it didn't work out for either one of us. I knew after you and I had been divorced twice that we'd stop beating around the bush with each other and talk to each other. We kept looking for the right person in our lives, we never stopped to think that maybe they were already there. I think the night we all got drunk at AJ's house after the divorces were finalized, that's when we finally realized that we had been really been looking for each other all along..."

I stood by my wife, a woman that I married years earlier while the band was still together, a women I thought I loved at the time. Now I could barely stand to be in the same room with her. I turned and watched as Nick walked slowly from the side of the church to await his bride.

I watched as Brian gave Nick the rings and then listened to the two exchange vows. I felt my throat go dry and my heart thump painfully loud in my chest as I listened to the priest pronounce them as man and wife. I watched him and his bride run out of the church after the kiss and I felt the last of my happiness drain from my body.

Seven years later, I sighed as I remembered in vivid detail the feelings I had at Nick's first wedding. Those feelings were back, in force, and doubled as I watched an almost carbon copy of the first ceremony with a different bride. I had, two years ago, gotten both divorced and married again, tho it seemed that my second marriage was already beginning to crumble around me like so much fodder. I sighed again as I watched Nick take his bride into his arms and kiss her. I had hoped that the first marriage would have dulled my feelings toward him, but the almost physical pain of my heart breaking at that moment was telling me differently.

Five years later, I had my arm around Nick's shoulder as we sat in AJ's living room and drank our seventh (or so) beer. Both of us had recently divorced and we both had sworn publicly to our friends that we were giving up the search for Miss Right. I waited until the guys staggered into the adjoining room to start a game of pool before turning to face Nick.

"So Nick. What are we gonna do now?"

Nick shrugged drunkenly. "I dunno. No more women, tho. They're bad news."

I nodded. "I agree! No more. I think the only two women that I hate in the world more than my ex-wives..."

Nick grinned and finished my sentence "...are your ex-wives. How on earth did we pick them?"

I shook my head and then looked up. My eyes met Nick's and locked in place, and I began to feel all the emotions that I had buried at those two weddings burst out and surface.

"Every time you walked down the aisle, I felt like I should have been the guy who stands up in the church and speaks out when the priest asks if anyone has any just cause to oppose the marriage."

Nick smiled brightly. "I felt the same way when I was at your weddings...that's uncanny!"

My eyes never left Nick's as he moved his head closer to mine.

"I felt so bad...I didn't say anything and it was like I knew that both of those girls weren't the ones for you....cause...."

Nick sighed and forward, bringing his head so close to mine that I felt his breath.

"I know...It was like being stabbed with a knife to watch you kiss them up there at the altar when I knew...."

Nick and I spoke in unison just before our lips touched.

"I knew I was the only right one for you."

I moaned slightly as I felt Nick's lips press against mine and felt Nick's tongue caress my own.

Brian stepped into the room and coughed loudly as he watched us kiss.

"Finally! I was beginning to wonder if you two would EVER get together!"

Nick and I looked at each other in shock and then turned to Brian.

"You mean..."

Brian smiled and shook his head. "C'mon guys! It's so obvious! You two were basketcases after you had to go to each other's weddings. You two moon about each other like a pair of lovestruck teenagers constantly. If you hadn't both been married while acting like this around each other, it might've attracted more suspicion."

I turned to Nick and smiled. "The whole time I was looking for my "better half", he had been standing here all along."

Nick turned to me and groaned, "Ick....let's not quote old NSYNC songs, Boo, as true as that sentiment may be."

I thought a minute and began to chuckle. "It was totally unconscious. I didn't purposefully quote from 'This I Promise You', I can assure you."

Nick smiled and leaned in and kissed me once more, this time not letting Brian's presence interrupt the flow of the kiss.

Nick patted Kevin's hand, holding it up to his face, and cupping his cheek with the inside of the palm. Kevin had loved to stroke his face. Nick's mind raced as he talked to Kevin, his nervousness abating as he filled the silence of the hospital room with the sound of his voice.

"Remember our wedding day...AJ and Brian had taken us out the night before for an impromptu bachelor party and Brian ended up getting arrested."

"C'mon Kev. It's your bachelor party. We have to do this right. Third time's a charm...even if it's with Nick."

"I heard that AJ!" Nick yelled out from the back bedroom.

AJ smiled and looked at me, begging me with his eyes to come out with them.

"OK", I groaned and reached into the closet and grabbed my coat.

The party had been really fun. It was thrown at a local bar and had been going on without a hitch until some guy saw that the party was for two men. He demanded that we get out of the bar and the barstaff had to come over and explain to them that we had made special arrangements to have the party here. The man was not impressed and proceeded to tell us how sick and depraved we were and how we were going to rot in hell.

I think he would have gone away if Brian had not decided to speak up. Brian asked the man if he was planning on going to heaven. The man nodded and replied that he was. Brian then laughed at him and told him that he was going to have to go out and do something awful because he didn't want to be stuck in heaven with an asshole like him. Then Brian threw a drink in his face and told him to cool off. Brian's wife was not there to help him control his temper and Brian had obviously misjudged when he thought that the nutcase wouldn't attack him after that and would just go away.

The next thing I know Brian is being held down by his throat and this nutcase is fixing to hit him with a broken beer bottle. Howie ran out and called the cops and AJ walked up behind the man and grabbed his arm and yanked it backwards until it popped and he dislocated his shoulder.

When the cops arrived, Brian got arrested for assaulting the man when he threw the drink on him. The nutcase got a trip to the hospital to relocate his dislocated shoulder. AJ got off Scott-free as somehow (conveniently) no one could remember seeing him anywhere near the fight when the police asked the witnesses. It seems that the nutcase's shoulder somehow just dislocated on its own. The police had a real hard time believing that one.

We got Brian out after talking with a judge we knew who agreed with us that the man had committed verbal assault and harassment. Brian's wife never let him go out alone with us after that incident. He always was pussy-whipped.

Nick looked over at Kevin's eyes and sighed.

"AJ and Howie want me to move in with them. We'll all be living together...almost like that TV show, The Golden Girls."

Nick smiled a little and said what he knew would normally have made Kevin laugh. "I get to be Rose."

Nick sighed as he saw no change in Kevin's face and felt no difference in his grip.

"Kevin. I remember what you told me after you were first diagnosed with Alzheimer's...."

"I have WHAT?!? Are you NUTS?!? Only old people get that!"

The doctor had just started to explain what he thought was wrong with me. I had Nick take me to the doctor after I kept having problems remembering things and people and...well...maybe it wasn't so crazy after all.

I watched Nick's eyes fill with tears as the doctor told him what to expect in the next few years. Nick had always tried to be so strong with everything, and he succeeded remarkably, except when it has anything to do with me. I have never been so close to someone as I am to Nick. Since we got together, it has felt as if someone has given me back part of me that I never knew was missing. He fills me up and makes me whole. He truly is my soulmate. Nick sat shaking and crying as the doctor got up and left us alone in his office for a few minutes.

"We make through two hell-marriages and now some stupid disease is gonna take you away from me?"

I lean over and grab hold of Nick and take him into my arms.

"No disease can ever take away the love I have for you. You know that. I'll love you forever baby."

Nick began to whimper lightly. "Why....why you? I can't make it without you..."

I squeezed Nick tightly and nuzzled into his shoulder, kissing his neck.

"Yes you can, and you will. I need to know that you'll be able to move on with your life. Please Nick, I need to know that you'll try."

Nick sighed and I felt my heart crack.

"Nick. Please promise me that if I ever get to the point where I am gone....really gone...and there's no chance of me coming back...please don't me live like some vegetable. I don't want to be a burden on you...please don't let me live like that."

Nick turned to face me and met my eyes and nodded and I knew that he would know when to do the right thing.

Nick turned as he heard the door to the room open and the doctor walk back in. Nick looked at the doctor and nodded. Nick got up still holding his hand as he leaned down and kissed him lightly on the lips.

"I love you Boo. You said that you didn't want to live like this. I respect that decision. I want to do the right thing now. I am gonna try to move on with my life like you said, but I'll never stop loving you. I never will.

Nick nodded and the doctor flipped a few switches beside the bed and the ventilator stopped, drowning the room in a empty silence. Nick leaned down and kissed Kevin one last time and whispered "Good-bye Boo...I love you." Nick felt Kevin's hand give a light squeeze and he pulled back, looking down at Kevin's face as a single tear fell down his cheek.

I heard the machine behind me shut down and it felt as though a weight was being lifted from my chest.
I felt Nick kiss my lips and whisper good-bye. I love him so much.

Good-bye Nick. Thank you.


The End

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