DISCLAIMER: This is all fiction. Story contains sex between males. I don't know the sexual preferences of Nysnc and neither does anyone that I talk too.
Thanks and other bits: And always thanks to Ann. You go girl. Everyone read Mad Season by Dane. I mean it read it now, well after you read my story first. If anyone is interested, in the Sci-fi section, check out a story called The First and The Last, its really different very intertaining.
LIKE THE RAIN
CHAPTER FIVE: WHAT LIES BEHIND THE MASK
STOCKTON, CA; GARET'S ROOM
Sunlight brought the sleeping figure painful reminders that he was still living and in the real world. Garet Black awoke with a jump straight out of bed. His long black hair was disheveled and hung in his face blocking his view. For a second he panicked, where was he? Glancing around at his surrounding, he realized that he was in a hospital room. His mind tried to focus and remember how he got to be in a hospital bed. Suddenly his mind recalled the events of the previous night.
Garet glanced around the room and took in his surroundings. The only thing he could tell was that he was in a private room. The entire room was white giving him a feeling like he had died and gone to heaven. The one and only contrasting difference, was the black television set that was mounted high in one corner of the room with a screen over the tube.
Just as he was trying to sit up, the door opened and in walked Doctor Reynolds. The doctor had a warm and inviting presence that was backed up by a friendly smile that spilt his face from ear to ear.
"How are you feeling today?" He asked in a gentle and comforting tone.
Garet relaxed back into the bed as he replied, "Okay, sorry about last night Doc."
The doctor waved his hand, "That's all right. I know it must be hard for you."
"Yes it is." Garet answered.
The doctor sat down on the chair next to the bed and continued in a friendly manner. "Hey, if you want to talk about it, I have lots of time."
Garet answered with a grin to match the doc's, "What is it about you that makes me so comfortable?"
"Maybe it's my charm."
Garet laughed, "What did you guys give me? I haven't slept that good in years." As he stretched and yawned loudly.
"That's kind of what I want to talk to you about. I know that you were worried about your friend, but that's not all of it, is it?" The doctor countered.
Garet sighed loudly, "No it's not. But if I think about Scott and his problems, then I don't have to worry about mine."
"Running away isn't the answer. It only leads to more confusion and pain." The doctor said gently.
Garet's face scrunched up for a minute before he asked, "You said your name was Dan, right?"
"Yes sir. I prefer that to Doctor. Makes things a bit easier in my line of work." He replied with a smile.
"Makes people trust you more too." Garet half asked and half-stated.
Dan just shrugged his shoulders. He thought whatever helps people talk to him, any tool he could take advantage of he would.
"Garet, I want you too know that I am here to help you and the rest of your friends." Dan reminded.
"Yea, that makes me wonder why." Garet said softly.
Dan rubbed his hands through his thinning hair as he asked, "Why do I want to help you?"
"Let's just say, I understand what Scott and the rest of you are going through. That's the reason I became a psychiatrist in the first place."
Garet was confused, "Just to help me?"
Laughing Dan replied, "No, not just you and your friends. But anyone I could. Some people know the right thing to do, they just can't figure out how to go about doing it. I like to think that I help them find the path that's right for them, individually."
"How long have you been doing this?" Garet asked.
"Sometimes," Dan answered, "It feels like forever. But right now, it feels like it's only been about twenty years."
"Wow," Garet whistled, "Twenty years, what made you get into working with drug addicts?"
"That's a long story, but the short version is that I had a nephew who needed help and no one was there to help him." Dan grew misty eyed as he remembered.
"But, that was later on," Dan said. Changing the subject, he continued, "I decided I wanted to help people when my parents got divorced when I was about ten. Back in those days, people didn't get divorced. They just stuck it out and lived miserably." Dan wiped the tears that were forming in his eyes.
"But my parents had to be different. They got divorced, then they got kicked out of their religion for it. Then they decided to use me to hurt one another for years. I decided that I would do anything and everything in my power to make sure that no one else would ever have to go through that trauma and pain like I did. It wasn't until years later that I decided that I could do more good working with addicted kids." Dan finished.
Garet understood the reasoning behind the doctor's decision and his need to help others that went through the pain of a divorce. He knew that feeling all to well. He was struggling and dealing with that every day.
"I know all about that pain, my parents have been divorced for about three years. I don't think I've gotten over it all just yet." Garet confided.
Dan answered with his voice filled with sympathy, "I'm sorry, if you ever want to talk about it, I am always here."
Garet just gave the doctor a weak smile. Trying to take his mind off the bitter memories, he tried to change the subject, "I wish I could have a cigarette."
"Sorry, no smoking in the patient's room. Later on, I can take you up to the lounge you can smoke all you want to there. We don't like to make our patients give up every addiction all at once." Dan offered.
Garet nodded gratefully, "Thanks, I would like that."
Dan stood up and stretched his aging body. As he did he noticed that Garet's feet were sticking out from underneath the blankets. His grin faded and he asked with much concern, "So, how long have you been addicted?"
MEANWHILE IN DETROIT
Justin had awoken that morning bright and early. He was amazed when he looked at the clock. He had only been sleeping for two hours. Now what in the world could've woken him up this early after such a late night he wondered.
He rolled over and tried to go back to his dream but sleep eluded him. He tossed and turned for an hour before he decided that he should get up since sleep was out of the question.
He got out of bed and faced the sunlight that was streaming in through the windows. Damn he thought, at least it's a beautiful day. He wondered if it would stay as comfortable as it was right now for the rest of the day. Chuckling to himself, he knew that wasn't his luck, of course it wouldn't stay nice.
He didn't cover his naked form as he walked down the stairs and into the kitchen. He started a pot of coffee brewing and turned the TV on to catch the morning news. He didn't watch it all the time, but he tried to stay informed of the comings and goings of the world.
By the time the coffee was done brewing, he had long switched to MTV. As he sat there drinking his morning cup of coffee, a knock at the door stirred him from his thoughts. Without thinking about the fact that he was naked, he walked over to the door and opened it.
"Wow, do you always answer the door like this, or is this special just for me?"
Justin's face turned twelve shades of red as he realized that he was naked. He darted behind the door with just his head peaking around it. But the embarrassment quickly faded and was replaced by shock at who had knocked on his door.
"Lance, what are you doing here?" Justin exclaimed, no longer embarrassed. He pulled Lance inside the door and gave him a bear hug.
"Whoa, calm down boy." Lance said as Justin was bouncing him in his arms. "You might break something."
"What are you doing here?" Justin asked excitedly still hugging him.
Lance had seen Justin naked many times, but he was starting to feel a bit uncomfortable with the fact that Justin was hugging him. He could feel a lot more of Justin than he ever wanted too.
"Well, for starters," Lance said, "Why don't you put me down and go put on some clothes. Then we can talk."
Justin, who had suddenly remembered that he was naked, let go of Lance and grabbed a statue that was sitting on a table by the front door. Holding it in front of him, his face went back to a very deep shade of red.
"Good idea," Justin said as he moved around Lance, making sure to face him the whole time. "I'll be right back."
Lance chuckled to himself as Justin tried to make backing out of a room naked look like it was a natural and normal thing. He could smell coffee so he followed it to the kitchen and after a few moments, he had found the cups and poured himself some coffee. That was where Justin found him moments later fully dressed.
"That's much better. You're cute and all, but I prefer you with clothes on." Lance said with a grin.
"Yeah, yeah, yeah," Justin answered as he poured himself another cup. "You know you loved it."
Lance tasted the coffee and made a face, "Damn, I would've thought by now you could've finally learned how to make a decent pot of coffee. But this tastes like shit."
"Bite me. Not everyone is as anal about coffee as you. It's good enough for me." Justin answered as he sat down on a stool at the island that was in the kitchen.
Lance followed suit, and sat down opposite of his friend. Damn he thought. He looks so different. More mature now, not the little kid that Lance remembered seeing. Had it only been six months ago?
"You look good." Lance stated. "You look all grown up."
"Thanks, I think." Justin said with a grin. "You look good too, different, but good. I like your hair longer, makes you look like an executive."
Lance laughed, "Considering that's what I am, that's a good thing."
"What brings you to Detroit?" Justin asked curiously.
"Business, what else?" Lance said emphasizing the word business.
Scott's scream was still echoing in the void as his surroundings changed and he was back in the circular room again with only that one chair. For an eternity it seemed that he screamed. When he was all out of breath, he slowly looked around.
Standing off to one side, was his cousin, Roy, just staring at him with a burning intensity. Scott could hear a noise that sounded like a heartbeat, but it was getting fainter with every passing second.
"How is this possible? Am I in hell?" He stammered.
His cousin laughed loudly for a few minutes before answering, "Hell? You've been in hell for seven fucking years. Not only do you live in hell, but you put hell into your body daily."
Striding over to where Scott was hunched down on knees, Roy grabbed his arm and showed him the track marks that covered his appendage.
"I never thought you would turn into a junkie. You were always better than that." Roy stated sadly.
"How do you know about that? You're dead."
"I know everything about you. And who says I'm dead." Roy asked seriously.
"I saw you die. You died in my arms on the fucking rock."
Roy laughed again; "If I'm dead, how is it that I can do this?"
And with that, Roy punched Scott right in the face causing him to fall backwards where he landed on his back.
"You hit me." He stammered out with a stunned looked on his face. "Why?"
Roy rushed over to his cousin and sat directly on his chest preventing him from getting up.
"Yes I did. You know better than to do that fucking shit. We made a pact, remember? That no matter what happened, we'd never do that shit. You broke that promise." Roy explained.
And as he explained, he would punch Scott in the face after every word.
"You said that we would be together forever. You lied to me." Scott screamed defensively as he tried to block the blows that were raining down on his head and face.
"I fucking died." Roy screamed.
"And it was all my fault." Scott screamed right back.
Roy stood up off of his cousin and reached down and hauled his bleeding friend to his feet.
"It wasn't your fault. It was no ones fault. That just life."
"No." Scott denied as blood poured from his face, running into his eyes.
The sound of the heartbeat was growing fainter.
Roy's face saddened at the denial of his friend. He started to say something when his face dissolved into the figure with the dark cloak.
"Wait, come back," Scott pleaded but it was too late, Roy was gone.
The figure spoke up; "Who are you?"
"Fuck you," Scott screamed, "I'm sick of this shit, I want to go home."
"Home, do you remember home?"
Scott stopped in mid-sentence. He thought to himself, did he remember home? It had been years since he had been back there.
"Yes, and I hated it. My parents treated me like shit."
"Then why do you want to go back?" The figure asked.
"I don't know..."
"Yes you do." The figure stated as he approached Scott.
Reaching out a cloaked arm he grabbed Scott's head and whispered, "Remember."
Scott started to shake and convulse as his memories came un-aided. One of his father, picking him up and putting him to bed when he was just a little boy. The love in his father's eyes as he tucked the half-asleep boy safely into his bed. He could feel his father's lips on his forehead and a deep voice whispering that he loved his only son.
He remembered his mother singing him to sleep. He remembered the way she would wash away the blood from his scrapes and the way she would kiss away the hurt. He remembered the way she would stop doing the dishes or whatever she was doing just to ask him how his day went. He remembered the times his mother would get up in the middle of the night to fetch a drink of water for her scared little boy.
Memories upon memories of the selfless sacrifices that both parents made for their only son. Their only son that they loved so fiercely and unconditionally. Scott couldn't deny the love when he saw it in their eyes.
"No, they hated me." Scott screamed out as he tried to fight the memories.
"They loved you." The figure countered.
Scott screamed as he turned away from the figure in black, "Love is a lie. They never loved me. Love doesn't exist. They hated me and they stopped talking to me because I killed Roy."
The heartbeat got fainter.
"You stopped talking to them. You pulled back. It was you." The figure argued.
"No," Scott screamed. "They blamed me for his death. You don't know, I was there."
The figure pulled Scott around to face him and replied, "So was I."
Scott reached his hands up and threw back the hood that was covering the dark figure. His eyes widened as he saw what lay beneath the mask.
"No." Scott screamed as he looked upon his very own face that was hidden behind the hood.
The heartbeat grew slower and fainter until finally there was silence as it stopped beating entirely.
MEANWHILE IN GARET''S ROOM
"I'm not addicted." Garet denied.
Dan looked at the guitarist with determination as he stated, "Garet, I can see the track marks in between your toes."
"I have..." Garet fumbled for an excuse. "I'm diabetic."
"No your not, I'm a doctor remember. You shoot insulin in your stomach not your toes. Do you want to talk about it?"
"I don't think it's any of your..." Garet started to say but was interrupted by a voice yelling for Doctor Reynolds.
"We'll talk about this later," Dan said as he ran out of the room.
Dan ran down the hall and into Scott's room and over to where the nurse was trying to revive Scott.
"I don't know," The nurse said as she continued to perform CPR. "I heard the panic alarm go off and I rushed in. I checked his vitals and he isn't breathing."
Dan was checking for a pulse while he tried to figure out why the man stopped breathing. Garet had followed the doctor to the room knowing that something was wrong with Scott.
"What happened?" Garet screamed.
"Stay back Garet, let us work." Dan ordered.
They continued CPR on Scott as Garet was forced to watch from the doorway. Nurses and orderlies flew in and out of the room to fetch things for the doctor.
"Breathe, breathe, there's no reason why he's not breathing." Dan said in frustration.
Garet said a silent prayer for his friend.
"Really, what kind of business?" Justin asked, he noticed the way Lance had said it. Justin guessed it was something that was going to affect him.
"Well," Lance stalled. He wasn't sure how to approach the subject in a way that Justin would agree with him. He knew that Justin had wanted to do this record on his own, and if he felt like Lance was trying to help him then he would refuse.
Lance didn't have to worry about what to say, cause out of the blue; Justin grabbed his chest and fell to the floor crying out in agony.
"Justin, are you all right?" Lance screamed as he rushed around the kitchen island to his fallen friend.
Justin had a look of pure pain and there was tears coming out of his tightly shut eyes. Lance didn't know what was happening, but he grabbed Justin and held him tightly.
"Lance...call...911..." Justin said through clenched teeth. "I...dying..."
Lance frantically looked around the kitchen for a phone. Spying one, he dialed 911. It was busy, the computerized voice told him to stay on the line and an operator would be with him as soon as one was available.
Scott lay on the floor clutching his chest and gasping for air. He knew that any breath could be his last. He kept trying to get to his knees but the pain was too intense. He stopped struggling and seemed to give up as he collapsed back onto the floor. He was on his back staring up at a twin.
The figure in black looked down on Scott as he weakly tried to gasp for air. Scott reached out his hand in a silent plea for help.
"Oh, are you hurt." The other Scott asked as he looked down with contempt. "All ready giving up, aren't you."
"Help me!" Scott pleaded with his alter ego as he turned on his side away from him. "Help."
"There you go again. Running away. Always afraid aren't you. Never willing to face the truth."
"Who are you?" Scott pleaded. "Help me I'm dying."
"Help you, why should I? You won't even help yourself. I waited for years to be able to talk to you. And when I do, all you do is give up and die."
"No, I am you." Scott spat. "You are me. If I die you die," Scott answered with a whisper.
"Oh really," The figure stated. "Maybe that's for the best. You can't even tell me who you are. You're pathetic. Always bitching and moaning about you're problems. No one loves me no one cares. Boo fucking hoo, poor little Scott."
Scott grabbed onto the figure of himself and tried to pull his body upright. His fingers slipped, he was too weak to go on.
"Help me." He pleaded.
MEANWHILE IN SCOTT'S ROOM
"Damnit, do you have a pulse?" Dan asked.
"Sorry Doctor, still nothing." The nurse replied.
"How long have we been doing this?" Dan asked another nurse who was standing by.
"Twelve minutes since the panic alarm went off. Do you want the paddles?"
"Not yet, but get ready." Dan ordered. "Come on Scott, fight. Don't give up."
Garet understood the situation perfectly. He could hear the desperation in the Doctor's voice. They were doing all they could and Scott still wasn't breathing.
Garet had somehow ended up at the foot of Scott's bed. He reached out his hand and touched Scott's leg and ordered, "Scott, breathe, you can't leave me like this. Don't you fucking do this to me."
Lance was going crazy. He could see Justin writhing around on the floor in pain. His eyes were shut tight and he was clutching his chest with both arms, hugging himself and moaning loudly.
"Lance...hurry..." Justin begged. "It hurts."
"They put me on hold." Lance shouted. "Damn you pick up the fucking phone."
Lance could only watch in terror as Justin fought to control the pain that racked his body in waves. Now he was finding it harder to breathe. He was fighting for every breath; Lance could hear the ragged breathing from across the room. He watched in a voyeuristic fascination that left him feeling helpless. He didn't think Justin would last much longer.
With every ounce of his faith, he prayed for a miracle. Anything less and Justin would be taking his last breath right in front of his eyes.
Scott was arguing with his own self when he heard someone speaking to him from far away. It sounded like Garet's voice and he was pleading... Scott couldn't make out what he was saying no matter how hard he strained.
"Do you hear that?" The figure said. "Do you hear what you are doing to you're friends back there."
"I can't understand you," Scott shouted. "What are you saying?"
"He's yelling at you because you gave up. Your body is dying in that fucking bed out there. And all you do here is lay on the floor."
"No, I don't want to die." Scott told himself.
"Why not, love doesn't exist. Nothing is ever good enough for you. Why not just lay down and die." The figure taunted him.
"I don't want to die, I'm scared."
"Finally, you admit it." The man that was Scott said.
"What?" Scott asked as he tried to sit up again.
"You admit it, you're scared. Do you know that out there right now, Garet is scared because he loves you?"
"No." Scott denied shaking his head.
"Yes he does. Listen to him, he's telling you in so many ways. He's begging you not to die. He loves you, just like your parents do."
"Just like Shelia does".
"Just like I do."
"How can you love yourself?" Scott demanded.
"Because that is the only way you can exist. You are me, and I am you. I am everything that you used to be. Everything you wanted to be. And I am everything that you're running away from now." His twin stated as he was face to face with Scott.
"I'm not running away. I'm right here along side you." Scott shouted out in between gasps for breaths.
"You left me a long time ago. But I never forgot what we used to have. Just stop running." His other self pleaded.
"What am I running from?" Scott begged to know. He had started fighting again. His breathes just a bit stronger, the pain just a bit softer.
Roy appeared next to the two Scott's and whispered, "From me."
"NO!" Scott denied. "Never from you."
"And from me." His other self said gently.
For the first time, Scott really looked at the figure with his face. It was he, but it wasn't. Even though the face had a sad look, the eyes were so bright and full of life. Not like his dark stormy eyes. His face wasn't the same either. It was more youthful. Scott realized that he was seeing himself long ago. Before the drugs, before the guilt, before the death of his cousin.
His eyes shifted to his cousin. He looked the same as the day he died. He asked, the torment raging across his face, "How can you be here?"
"You won't let me go. You cornered me off in your mind and you won't let me die." Roy said sadly. "You can't find peace until you forgive yourself."
"I can't, I love you." Scott cried. "It's my fault."
"No," His other self shouted. "It wasn't your fault. It wasn't god's fault either. It's just life."
"It was my time." Roy stated. "Let me go, I don't blame you. I forgive you."
Scott started to cry. Not a sad cry, but tears of acceptance. His breathing became more ragged than before. Crashing into him, threatening to swallow and crush him. He grabbed onto Roy like he was the only thing that could save him.
"Let me go."
Scott's other self spoke up, "If you want to be free, just let go."
Scott was crying as he held onto his cousin. He felt the weight of guilt pressing him down. His heart felt like it would burst from all the pain that he had put himself through. His mind ached from the emotional turmoil that had racked his spirit for some many years.
Scott felt a pain in his chest, he knew that he was dying. But he was tired of feeling all that pain and guilt. He wanted to be free of it all. So he did something he never did before. He squeezed Roy tightly for a final time and just let go.
As Roy faded away, Scott heard his cousin say, "I don't blame you, and I love you."
Scott's other self grabbed him and hugged him close till they were touching every inch of each other's bodies. Still his other self squeezed even tighter. Scott could feel the two bodies merging and at first he fought it. But finally he surrendered to the part of him that was everything good and pure.
His mind exploded with the forgotten feelings of love that he had ran so hard from. His heart stopped hurting and his breathing returned to normal as he embraced what he fought to hide for so long. And then there was one.
"Finally, it's over." Scott heard someone say as he passed the point of no return. The darkness slowly dissolving giving way to the light.
Justin had been lying on the floor for twelve minutes. A pain so intense that he felt like he would explode from it. He fought to breathe; he fought with everything inside of him just to stay alive. He didn't know what was happening, only he knew was that if he gave up, it was over. Suddenly, the pain was gone.
"Lance." Justin said in between taking big breaths. "I could use a glass of water."
Lance dropped the phone and rushed over to Justin's side as he slowly sat up and leaned back against the kitchen island.
"Are you all right? What happened?" Lance demanded.
"I'm not sure. My chest felt like someone had it in a vice and was slowly squeezing the life out of me. Then it suddenly, it went away." Justin tried to explain.
Justin stood up with a helping hand from Lance. He walked over to the sink and splashed water on his face. Lance followed him closely; still afraid that whatever had happened would start again.
Just then, both men turned and looked at the TV as a special MTV News bulletin came on.
"As everyone knows, Scott Taylor, the lead singer for Zylvan, has been in a rehabilitation clinic. He had been suffering with heroin addiction and had checked himself in five days ago. Shortly after his admittance, he slipped into a coma. Then, no more than twenty minutes ago, he had stopped breathing. Sources close to the story told us that doctors have been trying to revive him and as of the last report, they've had no response. More on this story as it unfolds from California. Stay tuned, we will give you updates just as soon as we get them, right here, on MTV News."
Justin dropped the glass of water he had been drinking and whispered, "Oh my god."
NOTES: Thanks again to everyone who emailed. I guess an extra thanks to Jacyn(JASE) for not only reading my story but helping me out too. (You know what I am talking about, Jase) anyway, please send comments toWolfflyer26@Yahoo.com , I promise I will answer you. Till next time, have a great summer and don't forget to smile at all the little things.
Peace and Stuff
Copyright©2001 Glacier Boy