Hey wassup! Yep, I've finally finished my exams! Hip hip hurrah! Well, I was just looking back at my earlier chapters and I cannot believe what I wrote. I mean, my spelling was simply atrocious and ... oh well. I'll just have to use spell check this and the next times. Oh yeah, I've put in a poll for you guys to express how much (or how little) you like my story. It's for all the people who are too lazy to peck out a note to me! (Don't worry, I'm like that too..) It's at the end of the page. All right. Less crap, more story. Here it is!

Disclaimer: Don't know them. Want to. Yeah. Whatever. Oh yeah, this story contains homosexual themes. If you don't like them, get out. Just get out.

"Okay, okay. So what are we gonna do now?" said Howie as he watched AJ pacing up and down. "And Bone, can you stop doing that? Firstly, you're making me dizzy, and secondly, you'll have to pay for the carpet -- you're wearing it through." AJ glanced at Howie, sighed, and sat down. They looked at Maxine, who was curled up on the couch, engrossed in the television program. "Max." said AJ. No response. "Max!" She waved her hand at him, trying to shush him as she listened intently. "MAX!" shouted AJ. "What!" shouted Maxine in response. AJ stood up and turned off the television. Maxine settled into the couch and glared at him.

"Look, let's not turn this into a staring match okay? We've got other things to do." said Howie. Maxine stuck her tongue out at him and AJ turned his glare on him. Howie chuckled inwardly. "Sit down, Bone." He waited till AJ had finished stalking to the armchair and sitting down with a loud 'Poof!' before continuing. "The way I see it, the both of them are hopelessly in love with each other, and they both don't see it. Okay so far?" Two heads nodded in assent. "Now Brian has kissed Nick, and the both of them are feeling... well, for the lack of a better word.. sad."

"Understatement of the year, D." came AJ's voice.

Howie shrugged and went on. "So now what we gotta do is, one, clear up the misunderstanding between them, and two, get them to realise that they are in love with each other."

"And when we've done one of these objectives, the other will come naturally." cut in Maxine.

"Only problem is, we can't really tell either of them, 'cos we've both promised to keep their secrets." said Howie.

"Then why are you telling me?" asked Maxine.

"I didn't. AJ did." AJ just glared at Howie again.

"Well, okay then," said Maxine, ignoring the glaring AJ, "What we have to do is to get one of them to admit to the other that they are gay and in love with each other."

"But who?" asked Howie, also ignoring AJ.

"I think it should be Brian."

"Nah. Nick."

"Brian." cut in AJ. "Afterall, from all accounts, it seems that he initiated it."


Nick wandered around the shopping mall for a while before going home. Dumping the stuff he had got onto the table, he climbed wearily up the stairs, not even bothering to kick off his shoes before flopping on his bed. He stared at the ceiling, remembering the feel of Brian's lips on his, then curled on his side and tried to sleep. When he finally managed to fall asleep, the tear tracks on his cheeks still hadn't dried.


Maxine looked at Brian's door, then smartly rapped on it. The doorbell had been ringing until she finally decided that it got on her nerves and told AJ to stop ringing the bell. "Is he out?" she asked AJ.

"Couldn't be. His car is still in the driveway, and his shoes are still here."

"Do you have the key?"

"D, you got the key?"

"Nah, even though we shared an apartment last time doesn't mean that he'll give me the key to his new apartment, right?"

"So how now brown cow?" asked Maxine.

"I don't know. You wanna bust in?"

Maxine looked at the windows. AJ saw her and pointed to an open window on the second floor. "You wanna try that?"

She looked at him and said matter-of-factly, "You got a ladder?"

Minutes later, they were in the house. Howie had managed to open the door. "Rok always kept a spare key somewhere around the front door; don't ask me why. Anyway, you just gotta know where to look." by way of explanation.

They didn't take long to find Brian. He was sprawled, out cold on the kitchen table. Surrounding him were bottles of drink, mainly empty. His hand was still clutching a bottle of vodka. AJ shook his head.

"He's worse than I ever was."

"Anyway, do you think we can wake him up?"

"Even if we do, I don't think he'll be coherent enough." said Howie. He picked up the empty bottles of drink and generally cleaned up the place.

"So what do we do now?" said AJ.

"How about let's pay a visit to Nick and see what's he doing?"

They arrived at Nick's house in the late afternoon, only to find him still curled up in bed, morosely staring at the floor. This time, they *had* climbed in through the window as Nick wouldn't answer the door.

Upon hearing footsteps, Nick looked up at the doorway of his bedroom, where they were standing. Seeing AJ, Howie and Maxine, tears started in his eyes again. Closing his eyes, he snuggled deeper into his pillow, clutching at his bolster. Maxine's lips tightened. In the short time they had gotten to know each other, she had gotten to care for him a lot. AJ looked at Nick and sighed inwardly. Howie walked forward to lay a soothing hand on Nick's shoulder, seating himself on Nick's bed. Ruffling Nick's hair, he reflected on how Nick was still, and would forever be, the baby of the group. Maxine and AJ each leaned on one side of the doorway, watching. After looking at Nick for a while, who hadn't opened his eyes at all, they left.

After he heard the sound of the front door slamming shut, Nick opened his eyes. He figured that Maxine must have told AJ and Howie that he had kissed Brian.. (or was it that Brian had kissed him?) or something like that. Great, now he'd have to deal with one more person knowing his secret. But thinking back, maybe Howie didn't mind him being gay. Or they hadn't told him. But now, the worst thing he dreaded was Brian walking in through the door and denouncing him. Forever breaking off their friendship. Eventually, ignoring him and marrying Leighanne. Misereably, he turned and tried to block out that thought. Yet Brian's face kept floating into his mind. Brian laughing. Brian being mock-angry. Brian being really angry. At that last image, Nick put his pillow over his head, as though to block it out. AT last, he cried himself to sleep again.


Kevin took a look at the clock. 9 pm. He wondered why he hadn't heard from anybody. Well, okay, he admitted to himself, he was waiting for his cousin to call. He drummed his fingers on the table, then decided to play Brian a visit.


Brian poured another drink for himself. He had been drinking practically the whole day, and didn't remember the afternoon passing at all.

"Hey, you're gonna knock yourself out, drinking so much." It sounded like the little voice in the back of his head was back. Well, that's exactly what I wanna do. At least feeling nothing is better than feeling so bad, he thought to himself. "I mean it, Brian Thomas Littrell. Put that glass down." Hmm. When did the little voice in the back of his head start calling him by his full name? He'd have to complain to the people in charge of the little voices in the back of people's heads. He giggled, thinking about what the name of the bureau would be. Something other than the bottles and the glass he had in front of him swam into his field of vision. It moved quickly, too quickly for Brian to follow it. Then he felt that there was something missing. He looked down at his hand. It was empty. "Whaa?" he said. Little voices in the back of people's heads weren't supposed to do that. He then saw another thing slide into his field of vision. It was mostly black.

"Come on, Brian, wake up! Can you please stop drinking?" pleaded the little voice in his head. Suddenly, he realised that it wasn't the little voice in his head. It was his cousin. Kevin. He burst out into sobs, and was immediately engulfed by Kevin. Kevin being soothing. Kevin saying, "It's all right, don't cry." over and over again.

Brian hiccupped as he finally managed to stop crying. "Now tell me what happened." said Kevin strictly.

"I.. I.. I kissed Nick!" Brian burst out into tears again. Kevin froze. So Brian loves Nick, he thought to himself. "I mean, he's.. he was.. my straight best friend, and now.." Brian trailed off into whimpers. Years of overseeing the band had taught him the gist of things-that-must-be-done-after-someone-has-broken-up, and things like that, so this wasn't an entirely unique situation. But it still was, somewhat. He held Brian in his arms tenderly, stroking his hair back, holding him until he fell asleep. Brushing back Brian's fringe, he murmured soothing words to him. The scent of Brian was intoxicating, and Kevin's loins tingled. He suppressed that, but he couldn't suppress the kiss he placed on Brian's lips. Brian smiled slightly and snuggled in closer. Kevin sighed and held him tightly in his arms, rocking him. They spent the whole night like that.

Notice: I have changed my email. The old one was too unreliable.

Shape of My Heart
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