Coming Out Of The Dark
by Chris Engelke
Author's Notes: Well, here I am again! Thanks to everyone who either e-mailed me or ICQd me. I really appreciated it! It makes me happy that I am writing again! As usual, this story is fiction. Nobody that I mention in this story is gay, bisexual, or whatever. Enjoy the story and e-mail me with any comments, suggestions, etc. I do have a new e-mail address, mostly for this story. Please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. My ICQ # is 39096226.
Last time on "Coming Out Of The Dark":
"Josh? Josh?" Joey tried to get JC's attention. He finally was able to.
"What's up, Joe? Did the doctor stop by with news about Thomas?"
"Nothing yet. You just seemed out of it. What were you thinking about?" Joey asked.
"I was just thinking about how we all first met Thomas...and how Lance was so right about his making a huge impact in Lance's life."
Joey and Justin nodded their heads.
"Do you think Thomas will be alright?" Justin asked.
"Physically, he probably will." JC replied.
Justin and Joey were confused. "What do you mean by that?" Justin asked.
"I've gotten a lot closer to Thomas than any of us, Lance excluded. I think I know him pretty well, even in such a short time. I know why he is here, even before the doctors come and tell us."
"Why is he here?" Justin asked.
"He tried to kill himself. He fell in love with Lance at first sight, maybe even before he met us all at his job. Lance mentioned the connection made when their eyes met at that concert. Thomas might have fallen for Lance at that moment." JC replied.
"How do you think Lance feels about him?"
"I don't know. Something tells me Lance loves him, too, but doesn't want to hurt Chris."
Suddenly, a doctor approaches the three guys. "Are you friends of Thomas Morrison?" JC nodded his head. "You can see him now. Physically, he is a little weak, but will make a full recovery."
"And emotionally?" JC asked, his voice quivering in fear.
"Let's just say he's gonna need his friends now, more than he ever has in his whole life." the doctor replied.
"Why is he here, doc?" Joey asked. "What made him do what he did?"
And now, CHAPTER TWO!!
"Why is he here, doc?" Joey asked. "What made him do what he did?"
The doctor replied, "Mr. Fatone, your friend attempted to end his life. I don't know why he tried, but he really will need you all right now."
"Can we see him?" JC asked.
"He's in ICU right now. You can see him in the morning when he's moved to his own room, and that will depend on how he is." the doctor answered.
"We just want him to know that we're here. Tom needs to know he's not alone." JC was begging the doctor to see Tom. He started to cry, softly at first, but quickly it turned to bawling.
The doctor told JC that he alone could see Tom, but only briefly. JC thanked the doctor profusely, then walked with him to ICU. "I should warn you, Mr. Chasez, that he looks worse physically than he actually is."
"How did he..." JC started to say, but could not finish the sentence.
"He slit his wrists. He was in so much pain that he couldn't take it anymore. More than likely it was a strong cry for help. Not all people who attempt suicide want to die. Your friend is one of those people who didn't want to die, but couldn't take the pain." The doctor opened the door then they entered ICU.
"Thank you, doctor. Thanks for letting me see him." JC gratefully replied.
"You're welcome. Don't say or do anything that will make him overreact." the doctor said as he left.
JC pulled a chair next to Tom's bed. He strongly willed himself not to cry. He felt he needed to be strong for Tom's sake. He took Tom's right hand in his own left hand and held it. "Oh, Tom! Why did you so this?" he softly said.
Unknown to JC, Tom started to wake up when JC came into the room. "Josh?" Tom weakly said. "Is that you?"
JC's head went up quickly and saw that Tom was awake. "Tom! How are you? I am so glad you're awake!"
"I'm still alive?" Tom asked. JC was ecstatic to see that Tom was awake, but Tom wasn't. "Damn! I can't believe I failed yet again!"
"Tom, why did you want to die so badly? Do you hate the fact that you're in love with Lance? Don't you know how we all feel about you?"
Tom's face turned pale because JC knew the reason he tried to kill himself. He was in love with Lance, but it hurt him so badly that he was with Chris and would never feel the same way about him that he did about Lance. He was unable to come up with a complete sentence at that point. "I...you...uh..."
"I know you're in love with Lance." JC said. "What I don;t know is why you felt you had to off yourself because of it."
Tom started to cry. "Josh, you don't know what it's like to be me! I haven't dated in God knows how long! Guys are never attracted to me! There are three types of guys I always like. They are either straight, gay but in a long term relationship, or where sexuality doesn't matter because they hate me!"
JC found it hard to believe that anyone could hate Tom. He always had a tremendous amount of respect for him and saw first hand how caring he was and knew he had a big heart. "You are the sweetest, kindest, most selfless people I have ever known. How could anyone hate you?"
"Because I am so fucking ugly!" Tom yelled. He yelled so loud that the doctor ran into the room.
Sternly, the doctor told JC he had to leave. JC tried to convince the doctor to let him stay, but was told again he had to leave. "I told you before you came in here that I didn't want anything to happen to excite him too much."
Tom tried to alleviate the mood in the room. "You didn't want to excite me too much? Now I am glad I didn't ask Josh to take off his clothes!" JC looked at him stunned while the doctor looked at him confused. Tom started to laugh. "Geez, I'm just joking! The mood was becoming way too serious in here!"
The doctor repeated his demand that JC leave Tom alone. "You can see him tomorrow morning when he is moved to a private room."
"Thanks, doc." JC said. "Tom, you may think everyone hates you, but I know five people who love you very much."
Tom laughed again, this time harder. "Josh, I'm not that stupid! Unlovable? Yes. Ugly? God, yes! But I am not stupid."
JC was getting more and more desperate in getting through to Tom. "You're not stupid, but you are so thick-headed! Look... Chris loves you, Justin loves you, Joey loves you..."
"And what about you and James?"
"We both love you more than anyone else. You're our brother... you're my best friend!"
"Really?" Tom was stunned.
"You didn't know how much you mean to us?"
"Well, I knew you liked me and I was probably a friend, but..."
"Mr. Chasez, you really have to leave now." the doctor demanded.
"OK, doc." JC said with a pained heart. "Tom, just remember that the five of us really do love you very much." He started to leave. When his hand touched the doorknob, he heard crying mixed with gasps of breath. He snapped his head back and saw Tom crying again. "I'm sorry if I upset you, Tom. I would never knowing do that to you."
"No, Josh." Tom said between sobs. "You've made me so happy. I will get better, for me, but also for you guys. I never want to worry you again. I do love you all, too, Josh."
JC smiled as he left the room. Right when he closed the door, Lance ran over to him. In one breath, Lance asked, "How is he? What happened? Is what Joe said true? Is he OK?"
JC laughed briefly then said, "Lance, take a breath, dude!" Quickly, his mood turned somber. "Lance, we need to talk...alone."
Lance took what JC said the wrong way. He thought that Tom was dead. "No!! He can't be!! I never..."
JC abruptly stopped him. "Scoop, you've got it wrong. He's not dead. I do need to talk to you alone, though." JC took Lance to the cafeteria and sat him down.
"Why did you want to talk to me alone?" Lance begged.
"James, he tried to kill himself."
Lance had a feeling that was the reason Tom was in the hospital, but was unprepared to hear the actual words from anyone. "What? How do you know that?"
"I had a very strong feeling he attempted, but I spoke to him ad he didn't deny it."
"We'll have to be there for him, show him we love him."
"Actually, that's the reason I brought you here."
"You want to bring him with us and want to know if I could handle it?"
"No. It's to find out if you could handle knowing why he tried to kill himself."
"Yes. But before I tell you, I need to find out a few things from you."
"How do you really feel about Tom and Chris?"
"Lance, Tom is in love with you."
Lance could not believe what he was hearing. He had hidden his feelings for Tom because he thought his feelings would not be returned. He didn't think Tom would ever be attracted to him. He always figured it was either JC or Justin that everyone liked the most. His relationship with Chris had started when he met Tom and was instantly in love.
"He's in love with me?"
"Yes. He has always loved you, but didn't think you would ever be attracted to him. He was happy for you and Chris, but it also destroyed him when you fell in love with Chris."
Without thinking, Lance replied, "I don't love Chris."
"You don't love him? You guys have dated all this time but you don't love him?"
"No. I admit he is gorgeous and I am attracted to him, but I haven't fallen for him."
"You love Tom, don't you?"
"Yes. I fell in love with him the second we met. I thought that he would never like me, so..."
Chris stormed into the room, followed closely by Justin and Joey. "So, you settled for me? Is that what you're fucking saying?" Chris bellowed.
"I wouldn't say settled." Lance said, as he hoped to get out of this with all of his body parts intact. "I am really attracted to you, the sex is great..."
"But you are fucking in love with someone else! How could you do this to me? I'm in love with you!"
"God, Scoop!" Justin yelled. "I'd half expect this from Joe, not you!"
"Hey!" Joey yelled.
"J, do not treat Joe like that! Lance is the one who's a dick, not Joey!"
"Of course you would stick up for Joey, wouldn't you, Josh?" Lance steamed.
"What the fuck is that supposed to mean?" Joey asked.
"Shut the fuck up, Lance!" JC yelled, in fear Lance would share his secret with everyone.
"It means Josh has always been attracted to you. When he couldn't have you, he made a pass at Steve."
Justin was extremely upset. "How could you do this to me? To us?"
Chris added, "J, let's leave these two losers alone. They deserve each other."
Justin replied, "You're right. I'm just glad we're in a hospital."
"Why?" Joey asked.
"Because JC can get his nose fixed." Justin replied with venom in his voice.
JC was confused. "My nose? There's nothing wrong with my nose."
"Well, I can change that!" Justin replied, then hit JC on the nose, breaking it immediately.
"Justin! My nose is broken! You fucking broke my nose!" JC said. Blood was gushing out of his nose fast already.
"You can get that fixed. Nothing can fix my broken heart!" Justin cried, then ran off. Chris ran after him.
JC, Lance, and Joey were continuing their fight Michael Donaldson came up to them. Michael was a friend of Tom's. He had met Tom after a local play. Michael was an actor, and Tom was a fan who also volunteered doing various duties at many theaters. They didn't bond at first, but became friends that summer. Now, they were good friends. They weren't close friends, but still got along very well.
"Can you guys shut the fuck up? You're way too loud!"
"Who are you to tell us that?" Lance shouted.
"You guys might be very popular and have a lot of money, but that doesn't mean you can be rude! I have a friend who is in ICU!"
"You know Tom?" Joey asked.
"You know Tom?" Michael echoed.
"We met him back in June when we did our concert here."
JC was angry that nobody seemed to care about his broken nose, so he stormed off like a child in search of a doctor.
"What is his problem?" Michael asked of JC.
"It's a long story. Trust me, you don't want to know."
"I think we should go someplace private."
"What about our hotel?" Lance asked.
"Shouldn't we be here?"
"We can't see him until tomorrow. JC did speak with him, but the doctor kicked him out."
Everyone decided to go to Michael's new house instead. Michael came into the living room from the kitchen, carrying a pot of coffee and several cups. Once everyone got a cup of coffee, the discussion went back to Tom and his condition.
"How is Tom? When I was there before, nobody would tell me how he was."
"Mentally, he's in bad shape." Joey replied.
"He tried to kill himself." Lance softly said.
"We don't know why. Well, Josh had his suspicions, but it can't be the full reason."
"What did JC say?"
"It's all my fault!" Lance shouted.
"Scoop, you didn't know!" Joey said, hoping to relieve his friend of his guilt.
"How is it your fault, Lance?"
"Josh told me that Tom was in love with me." Lance started to cry. (Author's note: is there a lot of crying in this story already or WHAT?) "He was deeply hurt seeing me and Chris together."
"Tom's a great guy and I do care about him a lot, but he's got to realize that you love Chris and not him. He'll find someone else who will love him back." Michael replied.
"Uh..." Lance grew nervous.
"I hope you're not saying that Tom will never find a guy to love him!"
"No! I'm not saying that!"
"What are you saying then?"
"He already has someone who loves him."
Michael was angry at Lance's respose. "What? You're in love with him? What didn't you tell him?"\
"I didn't know how he felt about me!" Lance grew increasily more and more upset.
"That's not the worse part! He admitted he settled for Chris!"
"FUCK! Bass, I want you out of here!"
"You can't do that, Michael!" Joey added.
"Watch me! It is my house!"
Joey stormed out of Michael's house, with his arm around Lance's shoulders.
Tom was moved to his own room that next afternoon. JC was the first person to visit him. He came into Tom's room with a huge bandage on his nose. He was also carrying a guitar. Tom gasped when he saw JC's injury.
"Oh my God!" Tom said. "What happened?"
"It's nothing" JC replied sadly.
"It's not nothing! Your nose is broken!"
"Tom, it doesn't matter! What matters is you getting better."
"Josh, I'm not gonna get better if I am so scared that some crazed fan is out to kill you!"
JC sighed heavily. He knew that Tom wouldn't stop asking until JC told him how is nose really got broken. "It wasn't a fan who did this."
"Who did it then?"
"Justin hit me."
Tom became enraged. "What? Justin hit you? I am going to fucking kill him!"
"No. It's my fault."
"How can it be..." Tom stopped suddenly when a thought popped into his mind. He became pale as a ghost. "He's not abusing you, is he?"
"No, he's not abusing me." There is a knock on the door. JC answers like Jean-Luc Picard of Star Trek:The Next Generation. "Come!"
Lance entered the room. "I think the only way I will be doing any of that is with my own hand."
"Did Chris break up with you?"
"Of course he did. He hates me now. I don't blame him. Everyone's gonna hate me, too."
"Lance, nobody hates you. Chris will get past this. Your romance with him is over, of course, but the friendship will return in full force."
"I've killed *N Sync!"
Tom finally entered the conversation. "If this is none of my business, let me know. What are you guys talking about? Scoopy, why would Chris hate you? Why would anyone hate you?"
"Even though Chris and I were together for six months, I never loved him."
"If you never loved him, then why did you stay with him for so long?"
"This is where everyone will hate me. I thought I would fall for him. I was really attracted to him. He's a great guy. I love him, but only as a brother. I met someone at one of our tour stops that I fell for at first sight."
"If you fell for this guy so many months ago, why did you stay with Chris?"
By this time, Lance was freaking out pretty badly and revealed his secret without thinking. "Because I thought you would never love me back!"
Tom started to breathe heavily, eventually hyperventilating. Lance and JC were petrified, fearing that there was something severely wrong with him. Lance rushed out of the room, to a nurses' station, and returned back to the room with a small paper sack. He put covered Tom's mouth with the sack and tried to get him to slow his breathing down to a normal pace. He finally succeeded and Tom calmed down. "Are you OK?" Lance asked.
"Yes." Tom replied slowly. "Thanks, Lance. I've never hyperventilated before. God, that's scary!"
"Are you sure you're OK?"
"Yes, Josh. Thanks for caring. I'm sure I'm OK. I must be going really crazy, though, because I am hearing things."
Lance knew what Tom was referring to. "No, Tom. You didn't hear wrong."
"You're in love with me?"
"You loved me, yet you led Chris on?" Tom grew madder again. "How could you DO such a thing?"
"I didn't think you would love me back!"
"But what you did was SO cold! Chris was my friend! He'll hate me now!"
"But nothing! Could you please leave?"
"See, Josh??" Lance cried hard. "Tom hates me! If he knew the whole story..."
Tom was flabergasted. "There's MORE?"
"Lance knew I cheated on Justin." JC replied.
"I had this major crush on Joe. He's totally het, so I would never have him."
"How is that cheating?"
"I slept with Steve."
Tom didn't remember who Steve was until JC reminded him that Steve was Joey's older brother. He continued to say that Steve was curious on what it was like to sleep with another man, so JC volunteered to sleep with him.
"I can't believe you did that! I want the both of you out of here! I do love you both very much, but I don't like either of you much right now."
JC joined Lance in crying. "Please forgive me! I don't want to lose my best friend, too! I have already lost Justin!"
"Josh, do you love him?"
"YES! I love him with all of my heart and soul!"
"I believe you." Tom replied. JC stopped crying. "When I see Justin again, I will talk to him."
"Yes. What are best friends for? I will do what I can do. I can't promise anything, however."
"Is it any wonder I love you?" JC smiled weakly.
"I love you too, Josh." They hugged tightly.
"Tom, I..." Lance started to say, but was interrupted by Tom.
"No, Lance. I don't want to hear any fucking lame excuses from you!"
"But...you can forgive JC and not me?"
"Look, James... one, I haven't forgiven him yet. I will, but not yet. What you did was way worseon so many levels. You hurt Chris deeply. He's gonna hate me now. I've lost a friend I care about deeply because of you. Even worse is what you did to Josh!"
Lance tried to act like he didn't know what Tom was talking about. "What did I do to JC?"
"James, I am not stupid...or deaf. I did hear the whole fight last night. What you did was totally cruel. I need some rest now. Please leave."
Lance was totally destroyed at this point. "I really am sorry. I am gonna hate myself forever for this." Lance started to leave, but Tom stopped him.
"Wait, Lance." Lance stopped. Tom saw the destroyed look on Lance's face. "Lance, I will forgive you eventually. It will just take time. I really do love you. I hope you know how much I do love you."
"I know you love me, Tom. I love you, too." He sighed heavily, then left.
"Josh, could you please watch out for him? I know you're still pissed at him, though. I really did hate doing that, but I had to."
"Of course I will watch out for him. I'm not really mad at him anymore. We all fight with each other at times, but we always forgive each other."
"Thanks!" Tom smiled. "Can I ask one more favor?"
"I see your guitar. Can I borrow it?"
"Sure. Just take care of it. It's my baby." He handed the guitar to Tom.
"I'll see you later."
"Bye, sexy." JC left the room. Once JC left, Tom started to sing.
I'll be your dream I'll be your wish I'll be your fantasy I'll be your hope I'll be your love Be everything that you need I'll love you more with every breath Truly, madly, deeply do I will be strong I will be faithful 'cause I'm counting on A new beginning A reason for living A deeper meaning I want to stand with you on a mountain I want to bathe with you in the sea I want to lay like this forever Until the sky falls down on me And when the stars are shining brightly in the velvet sky, I'll make a wish to send it to heaven Then make you want to cry The tears of joy for all the pleasure in the certainty That we're surrounded by the comfort and protection of The highest powers In lonely hours The tears devour you I want to stand with you on a mountain I want to bathe with you in the sea I want to lay like this forever Until the sky falls down on me Oh can you see it baby? You don't have to close your eyes 'Cause its standing right here before you All that you need will surely come I'll be your dream I'll be your wish I'll be your fantasy I'll be you hope I'll be your love Be everything that you need I'll love you more with every breath Truly, madly deeply do I want to stand with you on a mountain I want to bathe with you in the sea I want to lay like this forever Until the sky falls down on me
As Tom was singing, two figures appeared outside his door and heard Tom singing.
"Wow! This guy is good!" the blond haired gentleman said.
"Yes, but can you hear the pain in his heart? His heart is broken." the guy with the dirty blond hair replied.
"Maybe we can go in there and cheer him up?" the blond asked.
"It's none of our business."
TO BE CONTINUED
I hope you all liked the second chapter to my story. Please e-mail me. Again, my new e-mail address is email@example.com. The song at the end is, of course, "Truly Madly Deeply" by Savage Garden. I don't own the song in any way, so I am not making any money by its use.