"Coming Out Of The Dark"

by Chris Engelke

Author's note: Here I am again! I want to thank everyone who e-mailed or ICQd me. It really is keeping me going!

Disclaimer: This is just a figment of my warped imagination. Nothing that I write here is true, including the sexuality of anyone mentioned in this story. All I want, besides feedback to chris_engelke@yahoo.com, is that you enjoy the story!

Last time in our story:

"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?"

"Of course!"

"I see your guitar. Can I borrow it?"

"Sure. Just take care of it. It's my baby." He handed the guitar to Tom.

"Thanks, Josh."

"I'll see you later."

"Bye, sexy." JC left the room. Once JC left, Tom started to sing the Savage Garden song "Truly Madly Deeply".

As Tom was singing, two figures appeared outside his door and heard Tom singing.

"Wow! This guy is good!" the guy with the bleached hair said.

"Yes, but can you hear the pain in his heart? His heart is broken." the guy with brunette hair replied.

"Maybe we can go in there and cheer him up?" the first guy asked.

"It's none of our business."


And now, Chapter Three:


AJ McLean had the reputation of being crazy and a hard-core partier. That was justified and very true. However, unknown to many of their fans, AJ had a heart of gold. When he loved anyone, it was intense and was forever. It didn't matter whether it was his friends, family, or girlfriends, the love was extremely strong.

AJ did love his girlfriend Amanda. Unfortunately for Amanda, he was not in love with her. He didn't know if he ever was. He was hiding a secret from everyone, including his band mates and best friends. He was bisexual. He never had feelings for guys before, but was finding himself attracted to Howie. He was petrified to tell anyone, especially Howie, of his newly realized attraction to men.

"Please?" AJ said, giving his cute puppy-dog eyes. He was trying to convince Kevin Richardson that they could go cheer up the person whose voice they were listening to. They could hear the intense pain in the man's voice. AJ knew that people could not resist him when he gave him those puppy dog eyes.

"OK, Alex!" Kevin replied. "I can never say no to you! Amanda really is one lucky woman!" He sarcastically said the last thought.

Tom heard the talking outside his room. He slowly hopped out of bed, cringing when he bent one of his wrists slightly as the pain was still too great. Using his elbows and upper arms only, he opened the door and saw AJ and Kevin. Needless to say, he was not prepared to see his two favorite members of the Backstreet Boys.

"Oh...my...God!" he stuttered. He always thought that if he would ever meet another celebrity, he wouldn't act like he did when he met *N Sync. That didn't happen. While he didn't scream or cry like a lot of their fans do, he still became hyper.

"I take it you know who we are." Kevin said, dreading yet another fan freaking out.

"Yes. Don't worry about me freaking out, however." Tom seemed to be able to read Kevin's mind and saw the dread. "Give me a sec and I'll be OK. I love your music. Your last CD was spectacular." Kevin's mood calmed down and a big smile appeared on his face when he heard that last comment. "I've never seen the logic in screaming all through a concert, though."

Kevin apologized to Tom for his reaction when they walked in. "You have to understand that we deal with fans who overreact to us a lot. It's pretty hard most of the time to go out on our own and have any kind of fun, like going to the movies or shopping."

"Don't get Kev wrong, though." AJ added. "We love our fans. They have given us so much love and support. We owe so much to our fans. However, they can go a little too far."

"I understand, guys. I really do. My name is Tom Morrison." Tom replied.

"It's nice to meet you, Tom." AJ said as he shook Tom's hand. Kevin did the same.

"So, what songs of ours do you like?" Kevin asked.

"Well, 'Millennium' was so much better than the self titled CD. Don't get me wrong. I did like the CD, but the best songs on that CD were good, not great. The vocals were good, but nothing to write home about. 'Quit Playing Games' and 'Everybody' were my favorite songs. The videos were great, however."

"Why did you like the videos so much more than the songs?" AJ asked.

Tom blushed. He never had a problem admitting that he was gay or that someone was gorgeous. However, he still was painfully shy around guys he was attracted to. He was especially afraid to tell AJ and Kevin that he found them extremely attractive. He still couldn't believe he was talking to them face to face. He was happy that they seemed like really nice guys. He wanted to be friends with them. How would they accept him if they were to find out he was gay?

"Is there something wrong, Tom?" Kevin asked, concerned.

"No, Kevin." Tom was able to stop his blushing. "I'm OK. There's one thing I think you guys should know before I tell you why I liked those two videos more than the songs."

"It's OK with us that you're gay." Kevin said.

Tom sighed heavily. He then realized that he hadn't told either of them that he was gay. "Wait a sec...Kevin, I never told you I was gay. How did you know?"

Kevin smiled. He explained how, even though he was completely straight, his gaydar was near perfect. "I have never been able to understand how it could be so close to being perfect. I always thought it was something only gays had."

"Near perfect? I know how that goes. I have been wrong only once in my life. I guess with this particular guy I really wanted him to be gay because I really liked him a lot. Is that the same with you?"

"No, Tom. I'm not gay or even bi." Kevin replied, almost too quickly. Tom made a mental note to try to read Kevin with his gaydar.

"OK...So, who was the one person you were wrong about?" Tom asked.

Kevin looked straight at AJ. "It's Alex. I always thought he was gay or bi." AJ turned pale and started to cough. "Are you OK, Alex?" Kevin said to AJ, patting his back.

"Yes. I'll be OK in a sec. Kev, could you get me some water or something?"

"Sure! I'll be right back!" Kevin ran out of the room.

"Alex, I know I don't know you and we're really not friends yet, but can I ask you something?"

"Of course, Tom." Alex replied, fearful of what he knew Tom was going to ask.

"Are you gay?"

"No." AJ replied. "I'm bi. Well, I think I might be."

"Are you in love with Kevin?" Tom asked.

"No. I'm attracted to Howie."

Tom smiled. "Good choice! He's definitely looking much better now. He was totally fucking hot in the video for Quit Playing Games, but in my opinion didn't look anywhere near as gorgeous until now."

AJ and Tom talked about AJ's attraction to Howie. Meanwhile, Kevin was returning from the cafeteria with some juice for AJ when he ran into Howie. "Hey, Howie!"

"There you are!" Howie responded. "I've been looking for you and Alex."

"We were leaving when we heard someone singing. Alex convinced me to find out who was singing and we did. He's a nice guy."

They reached Tom's room when they heard AJ tell Tom about his attraction to Howie. Instantly, Howie was angry beyond belief. He tried to barge into the room and confront AJ but Kevin held him back.

"Do NOT barge in there like that, Howard! There is someone sick in there!" Kevin demanded.

"Of course there's someone sick in there....AJ! He's a faggot, a sick pervert!"

Kevin was angry and embarassed at Howie because of his reaction. Kevin, being the "daddy" of the group, had Howie kicked out of the hospital until he could cool down and act rationally. Once Howie was escorted out, kicking and swearing, Kevin entered Tom's room. "Alexander, we need to talk."

AJ was petrified when he heard Kevin call him Alexander. He only called him that when they needed to discuss something serious. "He couldn't have heard what Tom and I were talking about, could he?" AJ started to shake and sweat. All kinds of bad thoughts entered his mind, from being kicked out of the group to his being beaten to death.

Kevin was trying to get AJ's attention, but was failing. He saw the fear in AJ's eyes. It made him look like a deer that was caught in a car's headlights. AJ turned even paler than Lance could ever. "Alex? Are you OK? Alex?"

AJ grasped Kevin in a very tight hug. "Please, Kev! Please don't tell anyone what you heard! I'll do anything!" AJ begged. "Nobody can know about this, especially..."

Kevin interrupted. "Especially Howie?" AJ nodded his head. "I'm sorry, Alex, but Howie was out there with me."

"He heard all of what AJ and I said?" Tom fearfully asked.

"Yes." Kevin solemnly replied.

"Oh, God! I'm so sorry, AJ! It's all my fault!" Tom cried.

AJ was frozen in fear, not moving a muscle or saying a word.

"It's not your fault, Tom." Kevin replied.

"It is my fault!"

"How is it your fault?"

In a daze, AJ replied, "Kevin, Tom knew I was bi. I don't know how he saw it. I recently realized it myself."

"My gaydar always said you were bi. I even thought for a time that you and Kevin were together. Is that funny or what?" Tom started to laugh hysterically, and soon was joined by both AJ and Kevin.

"It would never have worked for two reasons." AJ said. "Kevin and I are best friends."

"What about the fact that I'm not gay? Isn't that a good reason, too?" Kevin added. Everyone started to laugh again.

Tom realized that he had been talking to them for too long and felt he was keeping them from visiting whomever it was they knew that was in the hospital. "Oh, God! I've kept you too long!"

"It's OK, Tom. We'd already visited our friend. I want to stay and get to know you." AJ replied.

"Shouldn't you go talk with Howie?"

"No!" Kevin yelled. He calmed down and then continued. "Let the prick cool off for awhile. Alex, you don't have to worry about Brian or Nick acting the same way."

"I know. I just can't believe that Howie's suck a fucking jerk!"

"AJ..." Tom said.

"Tom, call my Alex."

"Really?" Tom said. AJ nodded his head. "Thanks!" He smiled brightly. "Alex, what are you going to do now? Can I help smooth things over?"

"No, but thanks for offering. I really don't know what I'm going to do now. I never thought he'd freak out like that."

"I still think it's my fault."

"You're a sweet guy. I'm glad I was able to convince Kev to come in here." AJ said, then quickly kissed Tom.

"Wow!" Tom gasped.

"Tom, he can't be that good of a kisser."

"But, still..." Tom regained his senses. "Look, Alex. Howie is an asshole. You deserve much better. Then again, I'm not a big fan of love at the moment."

"Why not?"

"It's the reason I'm here."

AJ jumped to the wrong conclusion on why Tom was in the hospital. He gasped loudly. "You're not dying, are you?"

Tom sighed sadly. "No, not anymore."

"I'm confused. Why are you here?" Kevin asked.

"This is why." Tom showed his bandaged wrists to AJ and Kevin.

"You tried to off yourself?" Kevin asked.

"Yes. I really thought I was past my depression."

"Why did you do it?"

"Alex!" Kevin was embarassed.

"It's OK, Kevin." Tom said. "My life is an open book. Alex, the reason is a long one. Short version is I'm lonely. Well, I have my friends who I love and love me, but I haven't dated in way too long. I keep trying to convince myself that I'll never fall in love again."

"But you did, didn't you?" Kevin asked.

"Yes. It was love at first sight."

"He doesn't feel the same?" AJ asked.

"Well, at the time I landed myself in here..."

"So, he does love you?" AJ asked.

Tom replied, "He was dating one of his best friends. It destroyed me to see them together. I only found out right before I saw you that he loves me, too." AJ asked Tom what the problem was if the two of them loved each other. "He's loved me almost as long as I have loved him."

"So?" AJ said, confused.

Kevin knew what Tom was trying to say. He explained to AJ. "Alex, what he's trying to say is that this guy fell in love with Tom while he was in love with someone else."

AJ was angry. "What? That is so lame!"

"Actually, it's worse than that." Tom said.

"How can it be worse?"

"He's not in love with the guy he was with. They were dating when he met me. We fell in love with each other at around the same time. We didn't know how the other person felt."

"He used the guy?"

"No. I wouldn't call it that. I haven't spoken to his ex in a couple of days. I've probably lost his friendship because of this. I never thought I'd meet them, let alone be friends with them."

"You never thought you'd meet them? Are your friends famous?" Kevin asked.

"Yes, but I won't tell you who this guy is."

"It's Lance from *N Stink, isn't it?" AJ asked, emphasizing the word "stink".

"I said, I'm not naming him. He's not out."

"So?" AJ said. He knew that Tom was talking about Lance.

"Would you want my telling anyone that you're bi?"

Kevin was angry, both at Tom for making such a comment and at himself for trusting Tom. "Is that a threat?"

"God, no, Kevin! I really like the two of you. I just want to make sure he isn't outed. Even if we never get together, I love him as a brother, kist like I love the rest of them."

"OK. I won't tell anyone." AJ said.

"Neither will I." Kevin added.

"Thanks, guys!"

Chris walked into Tom's room. He didn't see either AJ or Kevin. "Tom, we need to talk."

Tom grew very nervous when he saw Chris walk in. He knew that he would have to eventually face Chris, but was still petrified. "Y...y...y...yes, Chris?"

"Are you in love with him, too?"

"I don't know." Tom replied

"You don't know? How..."

"I don't know!" Tom yelled. "I thought I was! But then I found out what he did to you and Josh! I don't really like him that much right now!" I'll be able to forgive Josh, but I don't know about James!"

AJ snickered. "I knew it was Bass!"

Chris was startled when he heard AJ's voice. He turned his head quickly and saw AJ and Kevin. "Oh my God! Tom, why didn't you tell me they were here?"

"I thought you saw them!"

Defeatedly, Chris said, "I'm fucked! I'm totally fucked!"

Tom tried to calm Chris down. "You don't have to worry. They won't tell."

Chris asked Tom, "How do you know they won't? They hate us!"

AJ responded, "Chris, we promised we won't tell."

Kevin added, "Tom even threatened us."

Chris cracked up laughing. "Threatened? No way!"

"Of course I did! I really like these guys and I hope we can be friends. However, you guys are my best friends. I love you guys so much, even though you hate me."

Chris rushed to Tom and hugged him hard. "Hate you? You think I hate you?"

"If it wasn't for me, you guys would still be together."

"No, we wouldn't. He never loved me. We would have broken up anyway at some point. Tom, you're still my friend. I still love you."

"You're not just saying that to give me a false sense of relief then get me back later?"

"Of course not, Tom!"

"Thank you! I'm glad you forgive me."

"There's nothing for me to forgive you for."

"Unlike James. I don't know if I will ever be able to forgive him."

"You have to. I will have to."

"You will have to because you work with him. I really don't have to."

"You can be close to all of us and not him?"

"Yes" Tom said. All of a sudden, his demeanor changed from sadness to anger. He laughed wickedly. "I even know how we can get back at him."

"Revenge?" Kevin was stunned that someone as nice as Tom could turn mean so quickly.

"Don't do it, Tom!" AJ pleaded.

"We'll talk later, Chris."

"Should we get JC involved?" Chris asked.

"No, he's not mad at James anymore."

"Come on, Tom! Revenge is never sweet!" AJ begged

"Kevin, it's not going to be that mean. I don't even think Chris will go for it."

"What's your idea?" Chris asked.

"I was so scared that you would hate me because of what happened. I want us to act like all that brought us together as a couple."

"God! That idea totally sucks!" AJ said.

"It's not really mean. How could we do it?" Chris asked.

"We would act as if we realized we had feelings for each other. How far would you want to take this? It's all up to you. Kissing around the guys, my moving into your hotel room while you're here, making sounds as if we're making love...whatever. Of course, if you are disgusted..."

Chris stopped Tom's rambling by kissing him squarely on the lips. Tom was stunned at first. His eyes bulged wide in surprise. "I cannot believe I am kissing him!" he thought to himself. "I'm kissing Chris and I think I like it!" Tom deepened the kiss.

Unfortunately for both Chris and Tom, Justin and Lance entered the room the moment Tom deepened the kiss with Chris. "Tom, Josh said that you..." Justin said, then stopped dead in his tracks when he saw Tom and Chris kissing.


Finally, chapter three is done. I hope you all like it. Please e-mail any comments, suggestions, etc. to me at chris_engelke@yahoo.com.Thanks!!