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This story deals with the fictional relationship between the members of the musical groups *Nsync, Backstreet Boys (And who ever else shows up in the story.) and a male fan. The sexual orientation of the members of *Nsync or the Backstreet Boys are not known by the author and what is depicted in the story came from the imagination of the author.
If you are not 18 years old or it is illegal in your area to view such material please read something else.
The doctor came out and was jotting down some notes in Jon's chart; all the while shaking his head in disbelief.
Marc walked up to the doctor and slipped a piece of paper in front of the doctor. On it was an unpronounceable thirteen-letter name. "What's this?" the doctor asked.
"It's what was making Jonathan sick," Marc said. "You will find it a trace ingredient in all the medication he has been given."
"What! How! How do you know this?"
"The chart was left right here last night. I read it and something just didn't seem right."
"Are you a doctor?"
"No. My dad is head of internal medicine at my hometown in Wisconsin. I spent most of my early life with him there and over time I managed to read most all of the hospitals medical library. One of the things I liked to read were the report from pharmaceutical companies."
"And?" the doctor urged.
"All of Jon's medication was made by the same company. . . . And all of the medicine he was given was in liquid form."
"And this?" the doctor asked holding up the piece of paper.
"That is the only common ingredient for all the medicines," Marc pointed out. `It's used as a suspension agent in all of them. . . . And if you check you will find that Jon will have a reaction to it."
"All right I'll check into it. But I still don't believe the change in that boy is such a short time," the doctor said.
"Doc, do you believe in God?"
"Yes, of course."
"Well last night he was believing in that boy in there. I guess you could call it a miracle," Marc said with a sly smile as he went back in to Jon's room.
Jonathan was moved to a new room shortly after the nurse brought him his breakfast. By then the rest of the family started to show up. The doctor wanted to keep Jon one more day to make sure he didn't have a relapse. Randy arrived with his parents for a visit.
"Didn't Lisa come with you?" Marc asked.
"Yeah, she's in the lobby with Steph," Randy said. "We'll switch places in a little while."
Pulling Justin aside Marc said. "Just, I'm going to go down to the lobby so Lisa can come up."
Justin shot Marc a questioning look.
"Steph can't come up. I'll sit with him while Lisa comes up," Marc explained.
"Oh, okay. Do you want me to come with?"
"No. You stay here with your family. I'll give the guys a call to let them know what's going on."
Justin's face clouded over. "Ah, Marc. How soon do we have to go back? The doctor isn't going to release Jon till tomorrow."
"You want to stay as long as you can. Don't you?" Marc asked.
"I'll see if we can get a late flight out tomorrow night," Marc said. "It will be cutting it close but you will be there for sound check."
Justin's face broke out in a big grin, "Thanks, man. I'll be sure to sleep on the plane."
Marc found Lisa and Steph sitting in a quiet corner of the hospital lobby. As Marc approached Steph looked up and grinned.
"Hey, sport," Marc greeted the smiling kid.
"Hi, Marc. Did you get to see Jon?" Steph asked.
"Yep, sure did."
Steph sighed, "I can't go up to see him."
"I know. That's why I'm here. We get to spend some time together while your mom gets to go see Jon."
"Are you sure you will be all right with him?" Lisa asked.
"No problem at all," Marc assured Lisa. "They've moved him to a new room. Room 614. Take the blue elevator to the sixth floor."
"Thanks, Marc. I'll try not to be to long."
"Don't worry about it. If we aren't here we'll be in the cafeteria," Marc said as he sat down placing the toddler on his lap.
Breakfast was just finishing up when Lance's cell rang. Glancing at the caller ID Lance smiled as he answered. "Do you know how horny I am right now?"
Marc busted out in laughter at Lance's declaration. "God James, it's a good thing I didn't let Justin use my cell to call you guys. The poor boy would have had a heart attack with that greeting."
"Oh, God! I never thought of that," Lance said sounding embarrassed.
Laughter could be heard coming from near Lance. Evidentially, the guys heard what Lance had said. "Shut up!" Lance snapped at them.
"Sorry about the noise," Lance apologized.. "How is Jon?"
"That's why I called."
"Oh, no!" Lance said. "He, he's not. (gulp) dead is he?"
Marc could hear the sadness in Lance's voice.
"No! Nothing like that. He's going to be all right," Marc quickly spat out.
Lance let out a big sigh, "Oh! Thank God!"
"They moved him out of ICU a little while ago," Marc said. "The doctor is going to let him go home tomorrow."
"That's awful soon, isn't it?"
"Jon seems to be fully recovered."
"He is?" Lance said in surprise. "What was his problem?"
"He was having an allergic reaction to the medicine they were giving him."
"So all the tests paid off," Lance stated knowingly.
"No. They were looking in the wrong area," Marc said while Steph colored in his coloring book. "Last night I got a look at Jon's chart and something just didn't look right. A red flag kept popping up in my head."
"What was it?"
"All the medication was by the same company. I did some research and discovered that they all had one ingredient in common."
"So the doctor just stopped his medication," Lance said understanding.
"Yeah, sort of."
"Ah, Marc, what do you mean sort of?"
"The doctor didn't know about allergy until this morning. I removed Jon from his medication last night."
"Shit! That could have been dangerous if you had been wrong."
"Lance, I knew I was right. And what they were giving Jon was only making him worst."
Lance sighed, "I know I should trust in you more. I'm sorry. . . . So, when are you two coming back?"
"Johnny has us booked on the red eye tomorrow night," Marc said
"Why so late? And how about tonight?"
"Lance, Justin needs some time with Jon, outside of the hospital. They are releasing him tomorrow morning and Justin wants to spend some time with his little brothers."
"I understand. I just want you back so bad," Lance wined.
"Oh, how nice. You miss me. . . . I miss you, Lance."
Steph's attention quickly snapped to Marc when he called someone on the phone Lance. "Are you talking to Lance?" Steph inquired.
"Yes, I am. Do you want to say hi?"
Steph nodded. Marc put the phone to Steph's ear. "Hi, Lance. Can you come over and play?"
Marc held in his urge to laugh. "Why not? . . . . Oh! Where are you? . . . . . Who is with you? . . . . Oh yes! . . . Jayceeeeeee!!!" Steph squealed. It was evident that JC was Steph's favorite. He and JC talked for a long time. At times Marc had to remind Steph that he had to answer "no" to the question, not just shake his head. One by one each of the guys got to talk to Steph.
Finally Marc was allowed to talk once more. "I'm back," Marc sighed.
"Well it's about time," Chris chuckled.
"Oh, hi, Chris. What are you up to?"
"Nothing much just trying to keep this phone from your boyfriend."
Marc could hear a scuffle over the phone. And Lance's voice threatening Chris with bodily harm. Lance's voice finally came over the phone. "You ass! I'm going to get you for this."
"What did I do?" Marc asked faking surprise.
"Not you," Lance said testily. "Chris thinks he is being funny."
"Oh, so I'm getting the overshoot from Chris."
"I'm sorry," Lance said his tone quickly changing. "It's just Chris and Joey have been getting on my nerves."
"Your nerves!" Joey shouted. "Marc, get your ass back here and take care of your man. He is driving us crazy!"
"Ah! I guess I am missed," Marc laughed.
There was silence from Lance's end of the conversation and Marc could hear Joey and Chris rolling with laughter.
"James, stop blushing and talk to me."
"How did you know?"
"It's the only thing that would make those two idiots laugh so hard. James, don't let them get to you like this."
"You do know it's your fault. And you could make everything better by doing what Joey said."
"Rush back to L.A. and take care of my man?"
"Yes! And hurry please," Lance said softly.
Marc sighed, "I'm sorry, James. I want to be there so bad. But . . . ."
"You don't need to say it. I understand," Lance sighed sadly.
"I'll call you tonight."
"K, . . . . I love you, Marc."
Lance started to laugh, "Small ears. I understand. Bye."
"Bye," Marc softly said before turning off his cell. Steph was still sitting in his lap once again coloring a purple elephant. Running a hand up the small boys back Marc smiled at the familiar feeling he got from the simple act.
Justin found Marc and Steph sitting by themselves in the corner of the lobby. Stopping in front of the pair Justin's brow furrowed at Marc's glazed over eyes. "Hey, bro, you all right? . . . Marc, what's wrong?"
Marc's eyes shifted up to Justin. "Hi, Just. What's up?"
"Ah, I just came down to see if you wanted to get something to eat?"
"Yeah, that sounds good," Marc said. "Come on, Ryan. Let's go get something to eat."
Justin and Steph looked at Marc like he was crazy. "What?" Marc asked noticing the strange looks.
"What did you just say?" Justin asked.
"I said that it sounded good."
"And?" Justin prodded.
"I said come on Steph, let's go get something to eat."
"No you didn't," Steph said.
"You said 'Come on, Ryan. Let's go get something to eat," Justin corrected.
Steph and Justin nodded. "Marc, who is Ryan?" Steph asked.
"I, I don't know," Marc stammered, uncertainty creeping into his voice.
Justin thought for a moment. "Marc, you are tired. We both are. We need to get something to eat and get some rest."
"Yeah, my head is kind of fuzzy," Marc said as his stomach rumbled. Steph started to giggle at Marc's tummy.
Steph's giggling was infectious. Marc and Justin giggled along with Steph. "Let's go find the cafeteria," Marc said as he gathered up Steph's things.
The rest of the day went smoothly. On the way home, Justin swung by the dealership and Marc picked up his new van. After leaving the dealership Justin followed Marc back to his place.
"What's up, Timberlake? Did you think I couldn't find my way back home?" Marc asked as Justin got out of his Jeep.
"I just wanted to be sure you got home all right. Lance would kill me if I lost you."
"Well I didn't get lost," Marc said as he unlocked the front door. After entering Marc turned off the alarm and closed the door after Justin entered. Tossing his keys on the table next to the door Marc went into the living room and plopped down on the big couch. Justin sat next to Marc, watching his friend, trying to read his mood.
"Marc, you look beat. Why don't you get some rest."
Marc had closed his eyes resting his head on the back of the couch. "That sounds like a good idea. You going to head home or crash here?"
"I don't think I would get too much rest at home. With Jon coming home the place will be too noisy. I'll crash here if it's all right."
"You know it is," Marc said as he picked up the cordless and tossed it to Justin. "You better let someone know were you are."
Justin made a quick call home talking to his grandmother. After hanging up Justin turned back to Marc. "Grams wants us to come over for supper."
"Is Grams cooking?" Marc asked.
"You bet. Grams is cooking up a big family meal."
"Great," Marc said before his eyes glazed over once again.
Justin touched Marc's arm lightly. Marc's gaze turned to Justin. "Marc, what's wrong?"
"It's nothing. Really nothing."
"Bull shit! You were thinking about Ryan."
"Yes. I was," Marc said as he closed his eyes, bring the heal of his hands to his eyes and rubbing his eyes hard.
"Could Ryan be your little brother's name?" Justin asked.
"I don't know. And that's what's so frustrating. I have no idea where it came from."
"Marc, I think you know who Ryan is."
"Ryan is your little brother isn't he?"
"I think so," Marc said with a cracking voice, as a tear slowly ran down Marc's cheek.
Justin wrapped his arms around Marc pulling him into a gentle embrace. Marc buried his face in Justin's chest as the tears flowed.
JC was going over one of the new songs with the guys, getting their feedback over each part. "Scoop, on the chorus are the notes all right for you or do I need to step it down a little?"
Lance stared at the music in his hands not hearing anything going on around him.
"Lance, what do you think?" JC asked once more.
"Oh, god!" Chris wailed rolling his eyes. "He's a space cadet again."
Lance stood up and headed for the control booth.
"Lance, what the hell is the matter?" JC called after him.
"It's Marc," Lance shouted over his shoulder. "There's something wrong."
"What?" JC and Chris said to each other. Getting up from their seats they, along with Joey, followed Lance into the control booth. Lance had a phone in his hand and was dialing a number.
Justin held Marc tightly to his chest as he sobbed, releasing the anguish of the lost of his little brother. He rocked Marc while rubbing his back, not sure how to help his friend. The sound of the ringing phone momentarily caused Marc to hold his breath throwing the room into an eerie silence. Justin reached for the phone on the coffee table switching it on as he brought it to his ear.
"Yes," Justin answered.
"Justin, where is Marc," Lance frantically asked. "Is he all right?"
"He's here with me. And no. He is not all right."
"Shit! What happen? Can I talk to him?" Lance asked. Hearing Marc's muffled sobs Lance's heart skipped a beat. "Is he crying? Why is he crying? Damn it, Justin, what happened?"
"Damn it, Lance, shut up and let me speak," Justin snapped not really wanting to have to handle two hysterical friends. "Are the other guys with you?"
"Y, yes, oh god what happened?" Lance said as he sank into a seat.
"All right, it started this morning at
the hospital. . . . "
Lance listened as Justin recounted what had happened at the hospital. "Ryan." Lance repeated.
"Who is Ryan?" Joey asked.
"Quiet, I can't hear," Lance snapped.
Justin's voice had a soothing effect of Marc. Slowly he calmed down his sobs turning to ragged breathing. As his breathing returned to normal Marc started picking up on what Justin was saying. "Lance, that's all that I can tell you."
Marc pulled away from Justin giving him a questioning look. "You talking to Lance?" Marc softly asked.
"Lance, one moment. He's calmed down and I think he wants to talk to you."
Offering the phone to Marc, Marc's brow furrowed. "Why did you call him?"
"I didn't. Marc, he knew something was wrong. He called you."
"Sorry," Marc softly said to Justin as he took the phone. "James?"
A large sigh could be heard on the other end of the line. Trying to keep his voice under control Lance answered, "Yes. . . . Are you all right?"
"Yes, I'm better. . . . Why did you call?"
"I felt something was wrong. I just knew I needed to talk to you."
"Oh, . . . You knew something was wrong?"
"Yes. Marc, do you remember what happened?"
"Yeah, I was playing with Steph when Justin joined us and asked if we were hungry. I told Steph to pick up his stuff. But I called him Ryan instead."
"Do you know why you call him that?" Lance asked.
"No. At the time I had no idea why I call Steph Ryan. It wasn't until I was driving home when I started thinking."
"Ah! There's you problem. You were thinking again," Lance said trying to lighten the mood.
"May I remind you, Mr. Bass, I do some of my best work after I've been thinking. And if I'm not mistaken you seem to enjoy what I come up with. Especially when we play Policeman and jailbird."
Justin covered his ears, "I don't want to hear this."
Marc started to laugh at his friend. Lance was thrilled to hear Marc's laughter. "Have you totally embarrassed the boy?"
"Yeah, I guess he is just not into kinky."
Lance's voice became serious again, "Marc, do you think Ryan was your little brother?"
"Yes," Marc sighed. "I'm as certain of that as I'm as certain I love you."
"I love you too. . . . . Marc you sound exhausted. Try to get some rest and we can talk later tonight, k?"
"K, I'm going to go right to bed. Love you, James."
"I love you, too, Marc. Let me talk to Just for a second."
"K, bye." Marc handed Justin the phone. "Lance wants to talk to you."
"Just, I need to ask you a favor."
"I don't want Marc to be left alone. Stay close to him, he may need you."
"Don't worry, I'm not going anywhere."
"Thanks, Just. I owe you one. Bye."
Marc and Justin made their way up to the bedroom. Shedding his clothes as he crossed the room, Marc crawled into the bed. Justin picked up Marc's clothes placing them on a chair. Going to the window he drew the blinds plunging the room into semidarkness. Justin could still make out Marc with his arms wrapped around the silly pillow with one of Lance's shirts on it.
Looking up, Marc saw the silhouette of Justin standing in front of the drawn window. "Aren't you going to get any rest?" Marc asked.
"Yeah, in a bit."
"Well, hurry up," Marc said. "I need you to hold me. Even big brothers at times needs his little brother."
"What would my dad think if he knew we slept together?" Justin asked as he got undressed.
"He would have a heart attack then ship you off to the Marines so they could turn you into a manly kind of man."
"Hey! I am manly," Justin said standing next to the bed in his boxers with is hands on his hips.
"You're damn right!" Marc chuckled. "Now get that manly ass of yours into this bed."
Justin crawled in behind Marc. Spooning up to Marc he wrapped his arm around Marc. "That better?" Justin asked.
"Much. . . . Justin."
"Thank you for being the kind of man you are. I know your dad could never understand our relationship."
"No. He sees what he wants to see. And you're right, he will never understand that we could love each other the way we do and it not being a gay thing."
Marc smiled. "No, it's not a gay thing. It's a brother thing and I think that is just as hard for him to understand."
"Come on, we're suppose to be getting some rest. Sleepy time," Justin said as he gave Marc a little kiss on the shoulder. Marc's body tensed at his action and he shuttered as goose bumps broke out all over. "Oops, sorry."
Marc sighed as he closed his eyes a grin still on his face.
Lynn pulled into her drive noticing the van parked out front. Entering the house the first thing she noticed was the wonderful smells coming from the kitchen. "Something really smells good," Lynn said as she entered the kitchen. She stopped short when she saw her son peeling potatoes at the sink.
Justin looked up and smiled, "Hi mom."
"Who are you? And what have you done with my son?" Lynn asked.
Justin blushed, "It's really me."
"But you don't cook. What's going on?"
With a sheepish grin Justin looked over to Marc and pointed.
Marc grinned back as he and Steph put the finishing touch on the salad they were working on.
Grams laughed. "Justin tried pulling the celebrity act when he and Marc got here."
"And Marc doesn't put up with that," Justin added.
"I just pointed out that this is his home and he was not a guest," Marc added.
"But you are a guest," Justin tried to reason.
"What? Are you saying I'm no longer your big brother?" Marc asked with over exaggerated pout.
"Don't worry, Marc, you can be my big brother," Steph said.
"Thank you, Steph, I would love to be your big brother," Marc said giving the boy a hug.
"Hey! What about me?" Justin asked. "I still want you as my big brother."
Marc asked Steph, "Should we keep him as a brother?"
"I don't know," Steph said thinking hard.
"Stephen!" Justin shouted.
Giggling Steph said, "Well if we have to. . . . Let's keep him."
"Well thanks for the rousing endorsement," Justin said as he picked up the pan of potatoes and put it on the stove, hiding a small smile.
"You three," Lynn said shaking her head.
Supper that night was different from the other meals over the last week because for the first time no one was worrying about Jonathan. Everyone knew he would be home in the morning and the tension was no longer there.
Justin was snagged to help clean up by his mother. Marc was dragged off by Steph to play checkers.
"Honey, when will you be heading back?" Lynn asked.
"Johnny's got us booked on the red eye tomorrow night."
"Won't that be cutting it kind of close?"
"Yeah, it's just. . . I wanted to spend some time with Jon."
"Is that fair? Keeping Marc here when I'm sure he would rather be with Lance. He seemed kind of quiet tonight."
"I know he is missing Lance. But that's not why he's been quiet. . . . . Something happened this morning."
"What? Did your dad say something?"
"No. Marc was playing with Steph in the hospital lobby when I came to see if he was ready for breakfast. Marc asked Steph to get his things together. But he said "Come on, Ryan. Let's go get something to eat."
"Ryan? Who is Ryan?"
"Marc's little brother," Justin said.
"Something about Steph made something click in Marc's head."
"He remembers his little brother?" Lynn asked.
"Not a lot. Just that his little brother was named Ryan."
"Is he certain?"
Justin nodded. "Marc seems sure about it."
"One more piece to the puzzle," Lynn softly said.
After Steph had been put to bed, Marc took his leave and headed home. Justin wanted to go with him but Marc made him stay with his family. Instead Justin was going to swing by to get Marc when his mom and Paul went to pick up Jon.
Making it safely home Marc and pulled into the garage next to Lance's car. After resetting the alarm Marc headed up to the bedroom for a long hot shower. It was still early and he knew the guys were out clubbing because it would be their last chance that week before the craziness would start with tomorrow's rehearsal.
Justin looked up with a cold chicken leg clamped between his teeth. He woke up hungry and was making a late night raid on the refrigerator. There were voices coming from the family room. Justin could make out his mom and Paul's voices, then the soft chuckle of his dad and Lisa. A red flag went up in Justin's mind; whenever his parents got together he got this tight feeling in his stomach. The thought of the four of them working together meant they were plotting to make his life miserable. It was so much better when they weren't so chummy. Justin knew how to get his way around his mom and Paul. And he also knew what strings to pull with his dad to get what he wanted. Closing the refrigerator door Justin walked to the family room door to see what was going on.
Lynn looked over as a shadow fell across the coffee table. "Hi Honey, Did we wake you?"
Randy laughed at the sight of what was left of a chicken leg hanging out the side of his son's mouth. "I think it was more his stomach woke him."
"Hey, I'm a growing boy," Justin said as he deposited the bone in the trashcan. "What's going on? Jon is still doing all right isn't he?"
"Jon's fine," Paul reassured Justin. "After what has been going on this last week this is the first time we've hand to just sit back and relax."
"Oh, that's good." Taking a seat Justin was somewhat relieved.
"How is the tour going?" Lisa asked.
"Real good. We've only got a few more weeks to go."
"Then what?" Randy asked.
"We've got a couple weeks off then we hit the studio."
"And what about the holidays?" Randy inquired. "You guys are going to be off this year, aren't you?"
"As of right now, we are. Have you heard anything Mom?"
"I haven't heard of anything. But you know Lou, he won't say anything around the office until he can gloat about it."
"We've all told him we wanted to be with our families this year," said Justin as he got this far away look.
"Son, what aren't you telling us?" Randy prodded. "Is it something about this tour?"
Justin sat for a long time not sure how to answer. "There were some problems the first half of the tour."
"What kind of problems?" Lynn asked with some concern.
"Things were always going wrong. Everybody was on edge."
"Was it a problem with the crew?" Paul asked.
"No, it was a problem with us. Management had been pumping up our egos so much we started believing our own hype. We became a total pain in the ass. No wonder some of the crew were thinking about quitting."
"I take it they didn't," Lynn said. "What changed?"
"We met Marc Newman. . . . He wouldn't put up with our shit."
"Isn't he a fan?" Lisa asked.
"Yep, a big fan. But he didn't want to get to know *Nsync. He wanted to get to know each of us as normal people, not celebrities."
"How did he do that?" Lisa asked.
"After we met," Justin stated nervously casting a fleeting glance at his dad. "We offered to take Marc out to get something to eat but instead he offered to cook out at his place."
"That's not unusual," Lisa commented.
"No. But he assigned everyone a job including k. p. The more time we spent with Marc the more we all liked him. He spent time with each of us getting to know who we really were not the crap they write about us in the magazines."
"And he got close to you all," Lynn added. "Closer to some of you than the others."
Smiling Justin knew what his mom was getting at. "Yeah, he did get closer to a few of us. He and Lance flirted around for a couple weeks before they finally got together. It was so obvious they liked each other. But they were so scared to make the first move."
"Which one made the first move?" Lisa asked.
"Marc. It was after his PBS special. He was so hyper from the performance he could not sleep. Lance had a hard time sleeping that night also. They found each other in the sitting room of our suite. Marc told Lance he was falling in love with him. . . . And Lance told him he felt the same way."
"That's sweet," Lisa sighed.
"And your relationship with Marc?" Randy asked.
"I knew Marc was special the first day we met. He was different from the other guys. We've been together so long they rarely listen to what I had to say. I was the kid of the group. They never realized how scared I was at times. They thought nothing of going out to a club and leaving me behind because I was too young to get in. But Marc saw me for me. He talked to me not at me. He made sure I was included in every thing we did. And if there was someplace I couldn't get into Marc and Lance made sure I wasn't left alone."
"Marc sounds like a good friend," Randy observed.
"He's more then a friend. When I have a bad dream, Marc is there to hold me. He some how knows when I'm having a bad time and he's there to lend an ear and his support. He makes the bad feelings go away."
"Can't any of the guys do the same thing," Randy asked. "I thought you and Josh were close."
"We are close. But what I have with Marc is different. There is a connection we have. I don't know how to explain it."
"He loves you and you love him," Randy softly said. "As brothers should."
Justin smiled, "Yeah, as brothers."
Lance called Marc when he returned to his
hotel room. They talked for almost two hours before Marc made Lance
say good night. After hanging up Marc felt better as he settled back
in his bed and waited for sleep to overtake him. Two hours later
Marc rolled out of the bed giving up on getting any sleep. Wondering
around the house Marc ended up in the Lance's study. Turning on his
laptop Marc checked his e-mail. Smiling Marc opened the first of
fifteen e-mails from Lance.
I love you.
Marc's smile faded as his feelings of missing Lance grew. Sighing he closed down his computer and leaned back in his chair running his hands through his hair. Opening a drawer in the desk he found a notebook of plain paper. Thinking he might try writing a song for the final show of the tour. Marc had a crazy idea he wanted to present to Johnny. A surprise for the guys, but he needed to talk to the other band members first. Picking up a pencil Marc cleared his mind going into his work mind set.
Several hours later the noise of ice falling from the icemaker in the kitchen snapped Marc out of his fog. Looking at the desk he saw sheets of paper. The paper he was supposed to have written music on. But instead each sheet had the picture of a light haired boy. A lump grew in Marc's throat as he gazed at the sketch in his hand. Lightly running a finger over the surface of the sketch a tear ran down Marc's cheek. "Oh, Ryan," Marc softly sobbed as he clutched the drawing to his chest.
Justin let himself into the house closing the door he called out. "Marc, are you ready?"
"I'll be right down," Marc shouted from the second floor. Coming down the stairs Justin noticed he had on the same clothes he had on when they flew into Orlando.
"I like your outfit," Justin chuckled.
"What this old thing?"
Justin laughed shaking his head. "Are we ready?"
"Yes I think so. All the windows are closed and locked. I locked the patio door, I think that's everything." Picking up his backpack Marc set the alarm and locked the door behind them.
Justin and Marc walked in the front door and were greeted with faces of disappointment. "Oh, it's you," Steph said.
Justin looked at Marc, "Ever get the feeling they're not to thrilled to see us?"
Marc shrugged as the sound of car doors closing could be heard.
"They're here!" Steph shouted.
All eyes turned to the door as Paul, Lynn and Jonathan entered.
Jonathan was feeling good and he wanted so much to run around and play, but his mom said he had to take it easy for a while. Board games were brought out and rousing games of Candy Land and Chutes and Ladders followed.
Marc had his backpack in hand when he came into the kitchen. Lynn had just checked the ham in the oven when she heard Marc ask, "Need any help?"
"No, everything is about ready," Lynn said as she poured two cups of coffee. She joined Marc at the kitchen table placing the cup in front of him.
"Thanks," Marc said with a weak smile.
"Honey, you look tired. Didn't you get much sleep last night?"
"No. I had trouble getting to sleep." Reaching for his backpack Marc brought out a notebook. "Last night I just couldn't relax enough to fall asleep. I went down to the den, thinking I could get some work done. But something happened." Marc pulled out five sketches and showed them to Lynn.
Lynn looked at each drawing. The first one was of an infant, just days old. Each drawing was of the same child at different stages; Newborn, infant, toddler, around two years and the final around four. "You drew these?" Lynn asked.
"These are fantastic. Are they. . . ."
Marc nodded, "That's Ryan."
"But how?" Lynn asked.
"I sat down to write a song. But instead I started drawing. I don't know what came over me. One I started I couldn't stop."
Lynn studied the final drawing of Ryan and noticed what looked like water stains on the bottom of the sheet. Touching the stain she knew they were tearstains.
Marc noticed Lynn was looking at his tearstains. "After I realized what I had drawn I kind of lost it. I kind of fell asleep holding that one."
"Honey, I'm so happy that you are starting to remember more."
"I just wish the memories would come quicker," Marc said in frustration.
"You can't push this, Marc. The memories will come at the proper time."
"I know. . . . When I fell asleep I had a dream."
"No." Reaching in to the notebook Marc pulled out another drawing and handed it to Lynn.
Lynn looked at the new drawing; a drawing of a dark haired youth. He looked around four or five years old and he had the saddest eyes. Lynn gave Marc a questioning look.
"In my dream I dreamt of him," Marc said sadly. "I don't know who he is."
"What was the dream like?" Lynn asked.
"I don't remember it all," Marc said with a sigh. "I just remember the boy was looking for someone."
Lynn handed the drawings back to Marc. "Was this boy in the van?"
"No," Marc said shaking his head. "He was not in the crash dream."
"Well, it looks like you got yourself another mystery," Lynn sighed.
"Marc! Marc! Come on we're starting a new game," Steph shouted.
"Be right there," Marc called back.
Lynn sat looking at the drawings Marc had done. "What do you have there?" Grams asked Lynn.
"Something Marc did," Lynn said as she passed the pictures to Grams.
Grams looked through the drawings a smile spreading across her face. "These are precious, who is the little boy?"
"Marc's little brother, Ryan."
"I thought he doesn't remember his family."
"He's just starting to remember some things. It seems Steph triggered the memory."
"How much does Marc remember?"
"His name and those drawings," Lynn said as she admired Marc's work.
"And who is this?" Grams asked holding up the picture of the dark haired boy.
"Marc had a dream last night. That boy was in it."
"And he doesn't know who he is. Right?"
"Right. Marc has no idea."
"All he has to do is look in the mirror," Grams chuckled. "That boy; is Marc."
"Steph, Jon, bed time," Lynn called.
"Do we have to?" Jon whined.
"Yes you do. The two of you are about ready to fall over you are so tired."
"But we wanted to stay up until Justy and Marc leave," Steph pleaded.
"How about if Marc and I put you two to bed?" Justin suggested.
"Okay!" both boys shouted.
The boys changed into their pajamas with the help of Marc and Justin. The two boys climbed into Jonathan's bed and Justin tucked them in.
"Do you really have to go back on tour?" Jon asked Justin.
"Yes, I have a show tomorrow night. But it's only a few more weeks before I come home."
"Marc, are you going to come home with Justin?" Jon asked.
"Not right a way. I have to go home to see my dad and sister. But I'll be back a week after Justin gets home," Marc explained.
"Will you be staying with us?" Jon asked.
"No. I will be staying with Lance. I won't be that far away. You'll see a lot of me."
"Cool," Jon grinned.
"Come on you two," Justin said as he leaned in close. "I need a hug and kiss from both of you."
Both boys hugged and kissed their big brother. "You two be good and I'll see you in a couple weeks. I love you both."
"Good night, Justy."
Marc stood by the bedroom door watching Justin say his good byes. When Justin stood up Marc noticed Justin's brimming eyes. As Justin approached, Marc put his hand on his shoulder giving it a gentle squeeze.
"Marc," Steph called out holding out his arms.
Marc went to the bed and leaned in so Steph could give him a hug.
"Good night, Marc."
"Good night, little buddy," Marc said as he gave Steph a hug and a kiss on the top of his head. Steph lay back down and was asleep in seconds.
Turning his attention to Jon he could see he wanted to say something but he kept glancing at Justin. "Just, could you give us a minute?" Marc asked.
"Sure, I'll be downstairs."
After Justin left Marc turned back to Jon.
Jon wrapped his arms around Marc's neck giving him the biggest hug he could muster. Marc returned the hug holding the boy in his arms.
Jon whispered into Marc's ear, "Thank you."
"For coming to find me when I couldn't find my way back."
Marc looked into the boy's eyes, "What do you mean?"
"When I was sick. I was so tired I couldn't go any further. But you found me and took my hand. Your hand was so warm and it made me warm. . . . You showed me the way to go."
"Jon, you were dreaming."
Looking Marc in the eye Jon said, "I wasn't dreaming. You came for me. I know you did."
Marc sighed, "Have you told anyone about this?"
"No. No one."
"Jon, can we keep this between you and me? I don't think anyone will understand what happened."
"Sure," Jon said with a smile. "It can be our secret."
Jon and Marc sealed their pact with another hug. "Hehehe, that tickles."
"Your hairy face. It tickles."
Marc smiled as he laid Jon back in his bed. "You've had a big day, why don't you get some rest."
"Okay," Jon yawned. "I love you, Marc."
"I love you, too, little buddy," Marc kissed Jon on the end of his nose, making Jon giggle. "I'll see you soon."
It was time for Justin and Marc to leave for the airport. Lynn and Randy were going to see the boys off at the airport. It seemed to take forever for everyone to say goodbye with all the hugging and promises to call and write. Finally walking out the door Justin noticed Marc had a worried look on his face. "Hey bro, is there something wrong?"
"Ah, I'm not sure," Marc whispered.
"What is it?" Justin asked.
"Your grandmother, she, she. . ."
"She grabbed my ass when we hugged."
"She coped a feel!"
Justin chuckled, "That's my Grams."
Because of the late hour the VIP lounge was deserted. Marc paced around the lounge anxious for the flight to be called. Justin sat with his parents talking about what was left of the tour. Their flight was called and Justin said his good byes to his mom. Marc waited by the door not wanting to intrude.
Lynn came over to Marc and smiled. "Thank you for bringing Justin home."
Marc was lost for words, "It wasn't a hard choice to make. I knew he needed to be here."
Lynn reached up and brushed the hair out of Marc's eyes, then ran her hand down the side of his face and smiled. "I like the new look. You going to keep it?"
"I'm not sure yet. If Lance likes it I will keep it for a while."
"I'm sure he will like it," Lynn said.
Justin had finished his good byes with his dad and the two of them came over.
Marc held out his hand to Randy, "I'm glad to have had a chance to meet your family."
Randy eyed Marc's hand before grasping it. "Marc, I know we got off on a bad start. I'm truly sorry for the way I acted and what I said."
"That's okay. . ." Marc said before Randy stopped him.
"No. It's not okay. I attacked you before I got to know you. And I was wrong. You are a fine young man. I now see what Justin sees in you. You have become a good friend to all my boys. They all trust you and they love you."
Marc to say the least was stunned at what Randy had just said. Glancing to Lynn and Justin he saw them both wipe tears from their cheeks.
"I don't think I could ever find another
person that deserves to be called their big brother than you." Randy
dropped Marc's hand and pulled him into a hug.
Marc hugged Randy back and managed to choke out, "Thank you."
The final boarding call was made. "We've got to go," Justin said.
"You two take care of each other," Lynn shouted as the boys dashed out the door.
"We will," they both shouted back as they disappeared up the jet way.
After stowing Marc's backpack in the overhead they took their seats and buckled up just as the plane started to move.
"You all right with the window seat?" Justin asked. "I know flying isn't your thing."
"I'm fine," Marc said as he lowered the window blind.
In no time the plane started to pick up speed. As the plane leapt into the air, Justin looked at Marc. Marc had a death grip on the armrest and his eyes were shut tight.
Justin leaned over and whispered, "Take a breath before you pass out."
Marc's lungs exploded with the air he had been holding. Sucking in another lungful, Marc started to relax. Justin patted Marc's hand, "That's better." Chuckling Justin added, "I can't believe how close your and Lance's reactions to flying are."
"What do you mean?"
"Lance doesn't like takeoffs and landings also."
"Oh, maybe flying to Wisconsin after the tour isn't such a good idea."
"Don't worry about it. It's just the going up and coming down he doesn't like. He's fine with the rest."
"I still don't believe what my dad said to you," Justin said looking to Marc. Smiling he knew he wasn't going to get an answer, for Marc was asleep and softly snoring.
"That's a good idea," Justin softly said as he reached up and turned off the overhead lights. "Sweet dreams, bro."
The pressure change of landing woke Justin. Swallowing a couple times quickly relieved the ache in his ears. The jolt of the planes wheels making contact with the runway brought Justin fully awake. Glancing over to the still sleeping Marc he smiled. `That's one way to make a landing,' Justin thought. `Sleep through it.'
"Marc, wake up man." Getting no response Justin gently nudged Marc. Still no response. "Marc! Wake up!"
"Huh?" Marc mumbled as he started to wake.
"Come on, man. We have to go."
Stretching Marc opened his eyes and looked around. "Where are we?"
"Already?" Marc yawned.
"Yeah, you slept through the whole flight," Justin said as he stood up. Reaching up he grabbed Marc's backpack from the overhead bin.
"Damn, I missed the landing," Marc said with a half smile.
"If you want I'll ask the pilot to do it again for you."
"No. This is just fine," Marc said as he followed Justin down the jet way.
"Was someone going to meet us?" Justin asked.
"Yeah, security was going to meet us." As they exited the jet way Marc spotted Lonnie waiting for them.
"Hey, big guy," Justin greeted Lonnie.
"Hi guys, is there any luggage?"
"No," Marc said holding up his backpack. "We travel light."
"Let's get going then," Lonnie said as he headed down the nearly empty corridor. "Maybe I can still get a couple hours sleep."
Justin leaned into Marc and whispered, "Someone gets cranky when he doesn't get his beauty sleep."
An unseen smile spread across Lonnie's face. Exiting the terminal, Lonnie headed for the white security van. "Justin, you have shotgun."
"Why do I have to sit up front?"
"Because I get cranky when I don't get my beauty sleep." Lonnie grinned at the red-faced Justin. "Get in."
Shaking his head at Justin, Marc opened the rear door and started to climb in. Marc froze when he saw Lance sitting there grinning at him. "What are you doing here?" Marc asked.
"Duh, I wanted to meet your plane. Don't you want to see me?"
"No. I mean yes! Yes, I do want to see you. I said I'd see you when I got to the hotel. You didn't have to come. You need your rest."
"Marc, will you get in this van so we can all get some rest," Lonnie urged.
"Sorry," Marc apologized. Quickly getting in the van he closed the door. Lonnie started the van and headed for the hotel.
Marc scooted closer to Lance. "Can we try this again?" Lance nodded. "Hi, James. I've missed you." Leaning in Marc gave Lance a deep kiss. Lance quickly wrapped his arms around Marc's neck pulling Marc deeper into the kiss."
Lonnie kept checking out the action in the back seat and smiled. "Justin, you want to kick on the defrosters the windows keeps fogging up."
Lance and Marc pulled apart giggling. "Sorry," Marc said.
As the doors to the elevator closed, Lance reached over and took Marc's hand in his giving a gentle squeeze, Marc smiled as he squeezed back. The doors opened and everyone stepped out.
"Gentlemen, you have been safely delivered," Lonnie said. "And if would excuse me I'll get a few more hours sleep."
"Thanks, Lonnie," Justin said. "We'll see you later."
Closing and locking the door to their bedroom Lance pulled Marc into a deep kiss. Breaking the kiss Lance looked into Marc's eyes "I'm so glad you are back."
"So am I," Marc said with a sigh.
"You want to take a shower or do you just want to go to bed?"
"Bed sounds so good right now," Marc wearily answered.
Marc and Lance shed their clothes as they walked to the bed. Lance rolled onto his side as he placed his hand on the side of Marc's face. "You like?" Marc asked.
"Yes, I think it is sexy." Leaning in Lance kissed Marc deeply. Moving to Marc's ear he nibbled his way down Marc's neck. Expecting some reaction from Marc, Lance was surprised to hear soft snoring instead of moans. Looking at his sleeping lover, Lance sighed. Snuggling up to Marc Lance closed his eyes joining his lover in slumber.
"Morning," JC greeted Joey and Chris as he grabbed a glass of juice.
"Morning," the two answered from behind their newspapers.
Looking at the door JC nodded, "How is his mood this morning?"
"We don't know," Chris said. "He hasn't come out yet."
"Who hasn't come out yet?" Justin asked as he came into the room.
"Scoop," JC answered. "I don't think I can take a third day of his bad mood."
"How long can a person sleep?" Joey asked with a mischievous grin.
"Let's see," Chris said thinking. "I think Marc is coming up on your personal record JC. Isn't he?"
"No he won't," Justin said.
"Won't what?" Chris asked.
"Beat JC's record."
"How do you know?"
"The shower in their room has been running for over an hour," Justin said with a grin.
Justin's grin was infectious, as each of the guys realized what that meant.
"Oh, God, Marc! Yes!" Lance's shouts could be heard from their bathroom.
"Shit! Marc's back," Chris laughed.
Wow! Marc's adventure with Justin is finally over. Or is it? Marc's extended family keeps growing. And it looks like Grams has the hots for Marc. :-) And it appears Marc is a real Renaissance man; composer, musician, computer wiz and now artist. Oh, I forgot he's also a walking medical library.
What can we look forward to? JC's birthday is coming up and Sara is coming to visit her brother, (oh sure she is). The end of the tour is quickly approaching and Marc has something special planned for the last show. Lou Pearlman is plotting something. How will it affect Marc's relationship with Lance and the guys? And what is going to happen when Marc and Lance are alone for a few days? No one in the next room to hear them, no one walking in on them. So many possibilities. (Big shit-eating grin)
I need to thank everyone who has sent me their comments and support. You are the reason I continue to write. Special thanks goes out to Korandda, David, Rick, Barb, Jimmy, Ryan, Lincoln, Michael, Geert, Dave, Vonnie and Scott (my new Australian connection.) I would like to know if you out there are reading and I am curious where everyone is from. Please just drop me a line to let me know you are reading and where you are from; state, province, country. I'll keep a running total and let everybody know how big the World Wide Web really is. Please use MNL++ as the subject of your e-mail.
Till the next chapter,
Feedback is always welcome.