The Wilted Rose
by DeakyMaster

Disclaimer: I do not claim that Nick Carter and Howie Dorough of the Backstreet Boys are gay. This story is a fantasy. If you are offended by same sex relations, if it is illegal where you live, or if you are not of age, please go somewhere else. Also, in my reality there is no sexually transmitted diseases. If you don't like it, go somewhere else.

I would like to thank Kenitra, Gabriella and Rebecca. They helped me overcome my writer's block and without their help and words of encouragement there wouldn't have been a story.  I would like to thank Jim for being true to himself. I would like to thank Melissa and Tam for their humor, their understanding, and the DRAGON talk. I would like to thank Lucas for all that he has done for me. He has helped me believe that one day I might find a soul mate. All have been shining lights in my life. Please read their stories for they cover a wide spectrum of tastes and styles. (Set You Free, Ten Guys One Night, Ice Storm, Millennium Love, Fate's Decision, My Surprise Romance, Remembering Petticoat Lane, Rescue Run, Fated Love, A Love So Blind and Because I Love You.) There is many other stories that are remarkable on Nifty, but I don't have the space to name them all.

Without further ado....

©2000 J. M. Shirley

I was sitting there staring at the rose as Brian came bounding into my room. "Can you believe it, Nick? Seven years.... It has been seven years."

"What are you talking about Brian? What has been seven years?"

"Come on, Nick. Don't you remember? Seven years ago tonight we had our first concert...."

I don't remember what else Brian said as I began to remember what had happened that night. The night that my entire life changed in the blink of an eye.

I was so nervous. I couldn't believe that I was going to be singing in front of so many people. I started pacing back and forth trying not to hyperventilate. Just the thought of so many eyes looking at me...judging me. It was too much. I walked over to a dark corner and slumped to the floor. I started crying. I brought my knees to my chest and buried my face into my hands. What am I going to do? How am I going to go out there and perform? I can barely stand up. My nerves are shot and it hasn't even begun. Why? Why does this have to happen to me?

I was startled out of my train of though when I felt a gentle hand on my shoulder. I heard a gentle voice say, "You are going to be alright. I believe in you. I'll help you get through this." I wiped the tears from my bloodshot eyes and looked up. There was Howie staring at me.

As I stared at him for a few minutes, Howie continued to gently massage my shoulder. Finally, I managed to collect my thoughts and speak. "I don't know how I'm going to get through this. It is so overwhelming. I'm afraid that I'm going to mess up and ruin it for everyone else."

Howie looked into my eyes and said, "Don't worry about everyone else. Do it for yourself. Pretend that you are the only one out there. Focus on having fun and don't worry about pleasing others."

As Howie's words sunk into my head, I felt a great weight lift from my shoulders. I felt like I could do anything. I felt like I could go out and perform in front of everyone. I felt wonderful. A smile crept across my face. Howie saw it and smiled along with me. Just then, we heard someone yell, "Places."

My heart leapt into my throat and Howie could feel me tense up. He leaned closer to me and whispered, "Remember to do it for yourself." Howie grabbed my hand and lead me towards the stage. As I walked and as we got closer to it, I kept repeating what Howie said to me in my head. Remember do it for yourself. Focus on having fun. Don't worry about pleasing others. When we finally arrived, I was surprisingly relaxed and ready to perform.

I made it over to my place. The music began and the lights went up. It was amazing. I received such an adrenaline rush. I knew at that moment, I made the right choice. The concert seemed to fly by. We did nine songs, but the crowd wanted more. After two encores, the lights finally faded to blackness.

I was still so energetic as we headed to our dressing rooms to change. I ran into the room, took a quick shower, and changed into some comfortable clothes. I was waiting for the others to finish when I heard a knock on the door. I jumped up and quickly flung it open. There standing before me was Howie.

"Is everyone ready to go?" I asked excitedly.

Howie looked at me for a moment and then shook his head. "No, Brian and Kevin are still getting changed. I wanted to come by and give you this." As the last word left his lips, he pulled a red rose from behind his back. Howie handed me the rose and said, "I got this for you. I wanted to give you something for doing such a wonderful job."

I looked at the red rose for a few moments. "But, why a red rose?" I asked.

"It is a symbol of courage. You had to overcome your fears to perform tonight, and I'm proud of you for it. You had to give up any hope of a normal life to pursue your dreams and to help us pursue ours. I'm truly honored to call you my friend." Howie took a step forward and embraced me.

At the moment, a sensation that I never felt before, shot through my body. It was hard to describe. I sensed a completeness...a wholeness. It was an exquisite feeling. But, what does it mean? Why am I having it now? My eyes started to tear up. I felt Howie release his grasp and take a step back.

Howie noticed I was crying. "Did I say something to upset you?"

I was shocked that he thought that. I quickly shook my head. Struggling to gain control of my emotions, I gasped out, "You didn't upset me. I'm just happy that you consider me a friend." Tears of happiness and contentment continued to pour out of my eyes. I managed to say one more thing before succumbing to my overwhelming emotions. It came out just barely louder than a whisper. "Thank you, Howie, for the rose and everything you did for me tonight."

"I'll go get the others. If you need anything, just yell and I'll be back instantly." With that, Howie turned around and started walking back down the hallway. I knew I had made a true friend.


Snapping out of my reverie, I looked at Brian and yelled, "WHAT!"

Brian looked at me for a moment. I don't know if he was more surprised or I was for my sudden outburst. "You zoned out on me there. Are you OK?" Brian asked.

"Yeah, I'm fine. I was just thinking about what happened that night." I paused a few moments before continuing. "Do you know that I almost didn't go on stage?"

"You're kidding me? Why didn't you want to go on stage?"

"I was afraid to. Actually, I was petrified. I broke down and began crying a few minutes before we were told to take our places. I felt like everything was happening too fast and it was just too much for me."

"What made you change your mind? As I remember, you had a blast and you didn't seem to want to get off the stage."

"Howie happened," I said quietly.

"What do you mean 'Howie happened'?" Brian hesitantly asked.

I took a few deep breaths before telling Brian what had happened. "That night, I told you that I broke down and started to cry. I was in a dark corner with my knees pulled to my chest and my face buried in my hands. I just wanted to go home. A thousand thoughts were flashing through my head. It was just so overwhelming. The next thing I knew, Howie placed a hand on my shoulder and said that everything was going to be OK and that he believed in me. That I should 'Do it for have not worry about pleasing anyone else'." I smiled at the memory.

"Why are you smiling?"

I looked at Brian noticing that he, too, was grinning. "I was just thinking how much those simple words meant to me. They helped me overcome my fear." I started laughing. Trying to catch my breath, I choked out, "Look at me now."

Brian also started laughing. I could see tears coming to his eyes. We continued laughing for quite some time. We finally managed to contain our giggles. Wiping his tears from his eyes, Brian suddenly became serious. I stopped laughing and stared at him. He spoke only five words, but they sent chills up and down my spine. He said, "Remind me to thank him.

I just stared at Brian. At that moment, I realized what I had to do. As a plan started to form in my head, I told Brian, "Why don't you go thank him now? I have a couple things to do before the concert tonight." Not waiting for his response, I grabbed my coat and ran out the door.

The concert was due to start in about a half hour. I didn't realize that so much time had passed until I looked at my watch. I was going to get hell from Kevin. I knew that as soon as I walked into the dressing room I was going to get "the speech". I know it by heart. It's the one that always starts out: "You know you have responsibilities." Since all but the last of my plan was already in place, "the speech" will be worth it. I just hope what I have planned works out.

I finally got to the dressing room door. I took a deep breath, grasped the handle, and quickly opened the door. Almost immediately, I was bombarded with questions. "Where have you been? Didn't you know what time it was?"

Kevin roughly grabbed my arm and pulled me to one side. "You know you have responsibilities...."

I interrupted him before he could go any farther. "Save it, Kevin. I have heard the speech a thousand times and I'm sick of it. I had something to do...."

It was Kevin's turn to interrupt me. "I know you have heard the speech a thousand times. By now, I was hoping that you would show some responsibility. What were you doing that was so important to almost miss the concert?"

I couldn't take it anymore. "Listen, Kevin! I had something to do. It is none of your business. I'm sorry that I was late." Mustering up all my courage, I continued. "Now! BACK OFF AND LEAVE ME THE HELL ALONE!" I grabbed my clothes and left the dressing room. I walked only a few feet before I bumped into John, one of the stagehands.

"I'm sorry, John. I wasn't looking where I was going."

"That's OK, Nick." He saw that I had my clothes in my hands and asked, "Why aren't you changing in the dressing room?"

I sighed. "Kevin and I had another fight. It seems that we are getting on each other's nerves more and more. I had some things to do before the concert and I lost track of time. He started yelling at me."

John laughed. "Let me guess. He started to give you 'the speech'."

I rolled my eyes and nodded my head. "Yeah! He started in before I could even say 'HI' to the guys."

"Do you need a dressing room to change?" John asked.

"It would help. Do you know of any vacant ones?"

John smiled at me and said, "I don't know of any vacant ones, but you can use one of the rooms that we use. Just follow me."

I followed John to the room and thanked him. As I was getting dressed, I heard a gentle knock on the door. "Come in!" I yelled as I pulled on my shirt. I heard the door open and once I got the shirt pulled down, I looked at who it was. It was Kevin.

"Kevin! If you are going to start again, just drop it! I'm not in the mood to argue!"

Kevin walked up to me and placed a hand on my shoulder. I involuntary flinched at his touch. "I'm sorry, Nick. I shouldn't have snapped at you. I should have just accepted your apology and left it at that."

I could hear the genuine concern in his voice. I gave him a quick hug, patted him on the back, and said, "Just don't let it happen again."

Kevin laughed and ruffled my hair. "Thank you for not being mad at me Nick. Let's go. We have to get in our places." Kevin turned around and started heading for the door.

"You know, Kevin...." Kevin stopped and turned around. "You're going to get it." With that, I pointed at my messed-up hair. Kevin seeing what I was pointing to grinned sheepishly and then bolted out of the room. I quickly ran after him.

The concert went by without a hitch. As we headed off the stage toward the dressing rooms, I ran up to Howie and caught his arm. I spun him around and said, "Howie! Can I please talk to you tonight? Alone?"

Howie looked at me for a few seconds. I knew he could see the urgency of want I wanted to tell him. "Sure, Nick. Let's get changed and we can take off."

Howie and I made it to the dressing room. We opened the door and saw the rest of the Backstreet Boys sprawled all over the furniture. After a few moments of rest, AJ broke the silence. "I'm going clubbing tonight. Anyone want to go with me?" Brian and Kevin immediately said that they would go. AJ, then, turned to Howie and said, "What about you, D?"

"Naw! I'm beat. I'm just going to go back to the hotel and crash. Maybe watch a movie."

"What about you Nick? Are you going to come clubbing with us?" AJ asked.

"I think I'm going back to the hotel, too. I want to give my mom a call and tell her what has been happening lately! She called me yesterday and I haven't called her back yet."

"Well, if you are sure...." AJ began.

Both Howie and I interrupted AJ at the same time by saying, "I'm sure!"

We all finished getting ready and headed out. AJ, Kevin and Brian piled into one of the waiting limos telling the driver the name of the club that wanted to go to. As Howie and I got into the other one, I told the driver to take us back to the hotel. In a flash, we were off. I glanced at Howie and could see that he was deep in thought. It seemed like only seconds have passed, but I was soon told by the driver that we had arrived.

We climbed out of the limo, thanked the driver, headed into the hotel and into the elevator. I pushed the button for our floor and as we ascended to our floor in silence, I knew I had to say something. I turned to Howie and said, "Can you meet me in my room in about twenty minutes?"

Howie said, "Sure! Do you want me to bring anything?" With that, the door of the elevator open and we stepped out.

"No, you don't. Just come to my room in twenty minutes." Before Howie could say anything else, I unlocked my door and quickly stepped into my room. I raced around my room getting everything ready and that is when my eyes lit upon the object that I have cherished for so long. I have kept in the same place for the last seven years. It is the first and last thing that I see everyday. I still amazes me that it has lasted for so long.

I was startled when I heard a "gasp" come from behind me. I turned around and there stood Howie with his mouth slightly open...a look of shock on his face. I tried to speak but couldn't form a complete thought in my head. Why did he have to find out like this?

"Howie!?!" I managed to gasp out. He turned towards me and I could see the confusion in his eyes. I numbly walked towards him and fell to my knees. The tears of wanting already started flowing freely from my eyes. "I didn't want you to find out like this." I couldn't bare to look at him. I didn't want to see the pain...the hatred on his face. Why did I have to destroy our friendship? Why couldn't I have just forgot about my feelings for him? I could feel Howie move away from where I was kneeling. I couldn't face the possibilities.

"Is this what I think it is?" Howie's voice brought me back to reality. I could only hear a hint of disbelief in his voice. There was no pain. I wiped the tears from my eyes and looked to where Howie was standing. "Is this the rose that I gave you seven years ago?"

I took a deep breath before replying. "Yes!" I took the rose from Howie's hand and continued. "It is also the night that I fell in love...." I trailed off after realizing what I just had said.

"What do you mean the night that you fell in love?" Howie asked.

I could sense something in Howie's question that I haven't heard ever before in his voice. Could it be hope? Could it be longing? Could he love me the same way that I love him? I met Howie's enchanting gaze. I knew it was either now or never. With a voice just barely above a whisper, I managed to say what had been plaguing me for so long. "It was the night that I fell in love with you."

I hesitantly reached a hand up and caressed one of Howie's cheeks. I could feel Howie tense up for a only a fraction of a second before he pressed himself into the questioning touch. I remained transfixed at the sight before me. The man I have loved for so long. I was surprised when I felt a hand wiping off the remnants of the tears that still graced my cheeks.

"Why didn't you tell me how you felt?" Howie asked tenderly.

"I was scared," I answered. I took another deep breath and continued. "I thought that if I told you that you would hate me or you wouldn't want to be my friend anymore. I didn't want to lose what we had if you didn't return my feelings."

An uncomfortable silence filled the room. It was suddenly broke when Howie said, "But I do, Nick."

Those four simple words sent my heart ablaze with utter joy. Did he actually say what I think he did? I noticed that Howie had a huge smile on his face. I had to make sure that I heard him right, so I hesitantly asked, "Did you just say that you love me too?"

Howie smiled even bigger and said, "Yes, I did. I have loved you since that night too. When I gave you the rose, I wanted so much to tell you at that moment; but, I didn't want to scare you if you didn't feel that way toward me."

Not wanting to wait another moment pass without truly showing how I felt, I picked up the remote control to the stereo and hit play. As the music gently became louder, I turned to Howie and said, "Would you dance with me?"

"I'd love to!" Howie said.

As the words to "I Knew I Loved You" filled the room, neither of us noticed the rose start to emit a faint glow. The only thing that occupied both our minds was the love that we had for the other.

Maybe it's intuition
But some things you just don't question
Like in your eyes
I see my future in an instant
And there it goes
I think I've found my best friend
I know that it might sound more than a little crazy
But I believe

I knew I loved you before I met you
I think I dreamed you into life
I knew I loved you before I met you
I have been waiting all my life

Each precious second that Howie and I danced the light from the rose continued to intensify.

There's just no rhyme or reason
Only this sense of completion
And in your eyes
I see the missing pieces
I'm searching for
I think I've found my best friend

I know that it might sound more than a little crazy
But I believe

I knew I loved you before I met you
I think I dreamed you into life
I knew I loved you before I met you
I have been waiting all my life

A thousand angels dance around you
I am complete now that I've found you

I knew I loved you before I met you
I think I dreamed you into life
I knew I loved you before I met you
I have been waiting all my life

With the last notes gently fading into nothingness, I leaned forward and placed a gentle kiss on Howie's tender lips. The suppleness...the sweetness. I could feel Howie open his mouth slightly allowing me to deepen the kiss. The exquisite sensations coursed through my body as he and I locked in a passionate embrace. As our love combined our souls, the rose burst showering the room with petals.

I gently ran a hand over Howie's firm, but cloth-covered chest. I continued to caress it, gently moving lower and lower down his sinewy body. He moaned in anticipation. I moved my hand over the front of his straining jeans. I could feel the hardness...the warmth emanating from him. Howie continued to look deep into my eyes begging for me to continue. I leaned forward slightly and inhaled the slightly musky odor coming from Howie's beckoning organ. I could see a slight wet spot forming.

I brought one hand up and slowly unzipped his jeans. I reached into his pants and instantly felt flesh. My gentle caress of his tumescent organ caused Howie to gasp in excitement. I encircled his member and slowly pulled it from the confines of his unforgiving jeans. I gently began pulling back the skin eliciting another few moans of pleasure from Howie. I leaned in closer. I craved to taste the man that I cherished for so long. To show him just what he means to me.

I opened my mouth and eased just the head of Howie's straining organ into my awaiting passage. The taste was unbelievable. I could taste his manliness..the scent which made Howie unique. I continued to suck more and more of his burgeoning manmeat into my mouth. I could feel Howie grasping at the back of my head trying to force me further onto him, but I wanted him to feel pure pleasure. I looked up at Howie as I continue to travel down his hard and impressive member. Our eyes locked. I could feel the sheer and utter love coming from within each of us.

Further and further down I traveled inhaling Howie to the base. I worked my throat muscles sending him almost into a post-orgasmic bliss. The scent of Howie was overpowering as I took a deep breath deep in his wiry pubes. My hands worked their way underneath Howie's shirt and up to his nipples. I took one in each hand and began to tease them. As they became hard, I could feel Howie getting harder in my throat.

I released Howie's nipples and pulled back until just the head was still contained in my sucking mouth. I, then, began pistoning my hand up and down the length as I continued to suck his swollen head. Howie was incessantly trying to push me back down onto him. The moans of need were apparent. I knew I was sending him over the top, but I didn't want Howie to come so soon. Reluctantly, I pulled completely off of him. Before he knew what has happening, I stood up and quickly unbuttoned and pulled off his pants.

I dropped to my knees once again and in one fell swoop deep-throated him to the base.  As I had him completely engulfed in my throat, I worked my hands to his ass massaging and caressing it sending him further into oblivion. As Howie moaned in ecstasy, I placed a finger next to his clenching ass. With some pressure and utmost care, I pushed deep inside him. Howie gasped at the sudden intrusion. The tightness which surrounded my finger was overwhelming. I began to slide my finger out, but Howie clenched his ass muscles and locked me within.

I pushed deep into Howie again. This time I rubbed against his prostate. His entire body shivered. I pulled back again until Howie's head was just within my mouth, took a deep breath and sank back down into his pubes. As I did this, I fervently massaged his internal sweet spot. Howie couldn't take the sensations anymore and began shooting his liquid love deep into my throat. As Howie continued to unload, I could feel his ass getting tighter and tighter almost to the point where he was cutting off the circulation to my finger. After a few moments, Howie's orgasm finally began to subside. I wanted to capture every last drop of his sweet nectar so I continued to suck him until he was so sensitive he was screaming in pain.

Howie pulled me off his rampant organ and to my feet. He leaned forward and placed a gentle kiss on my mouth. Sensing that he wanted more, I slightly opened my mouth. I could feel Howie's tongue flick inside my mouth tasting what remained of his massive load that I just had swallowed. Howie pulled away from me leaving me gasping for air. The next thing I knew Howie was on his knees before me. I felt his hands reach behind me and grab the waistband of my pants. Slowly, he let them drop from my waist.

Howie leaned forward and placed a small kiss on the head of my weeping cock. With both of his hands, he started to massage my upper legs and my ass. His caresses were sending thrills through my body. He leaned forward placing kisses and nipping slightly at my exposed flesh. I couldn't take the sensations anymore. Howie must have sensed my impatience or my yearning, because he moved to my straining cock. He lightly licked the crimson head. Howie was rewarded with a blast of precum. Howie opened his mouth a little more and began to engulf me. The heat of his mouth was extraordinary. I knew that I wasn't going to last long.

I had to get my mind somewhat off the pleasure that I was feeling. As Howie swallowed more and more of me, I grasped the bottom of my shirt and quickly pulled it up and over my head. Howie almost made it to my pubes before he withdrew and began feverishly sucking on my sensitive head. The sheer intensity of it was beginning to overwhelm me. Howie pulled and gently licked my balls a few times. That feeling finally caused the orgasm that I was trying to contain burst from within me.

I shot two powerful times before Howie managed to get his lips wrapped around my erupting cock. Blast after blast I filled Howie's sucking throat. I continued shooting. I could see Howie was struggling to contain my explosion wanting to taste me. My legs were becoming weak as I still continued to shoot. I have never experienced such an intense orgasm. Finally, after three minutes, my orgasm started to subside. I was breathing heavy in the sheer intensity of it. Howie continued to suck me dry. He, then, pulled off me and stood up. Some of my cum was dribbling from the corners of his mouth. I leaned forward and licked the last of my load from his face. I, then, pulled back and kissed Howie again. This time I plundered his mouth.

We separated and looked into each other's eyes. Howie broke the silence when he asked, "Will you make love to me?"

I could see the wanting that Howie had in his eyes. There was no hesitation. Immediately, I said, "Yes. I have wanted to for so long." I pulled Howie over to the bed. Before I pushed him down onto it, I grabbed hold of the bottom of Howie's shirt and pulled it off of him exposing his muscular and toned chest. I pushed Howie down onto the bed climbing on top of him rubbing our heated flesh together for the first time. As Howie moaned, I quickly found his mouth and began kissing him again. Howie and I rolled over where he was on top of me. I could feel his hard member pushing against my stomach. I could feel mine pushing between his legs.

We continued to kiss. Our hands searching for any flesh left untouched. I ran my hands through Howie's hair. The gentle softness of it made my cock twitch. Howie was running his hands over my neck and down my sides. The heat was building deep within both of us. With one last kiss, I pulled away from Howie and moved down the bed toward his ass. Howie knew what was coming and he quickly raised his legs in eager anticipation.

I knelt on the bed and placed my straining erection next to his tight hole. With a gentle push, I started to feel myself penetrating Howie's tight passageway. As the head made it past the ring, Howie let out a small gasp. A small tear trickled out of his eye. Seeing the tear, I immediately tried to withdraw from within him. As I began to, Howie wrapped his legs around my waist and said, "Just give me a little time to get use to it."

I remained where I was as Howie became use to the intrusion. I leaned forward and placed a kiss on his tender lips. I felt Howie shift beneath me, so I looked into his eyes. The only thing I saw was love. A few moments later, I could feel Howie begin tightening his grip around my waist. I knew that he wanted me deeper within him. I pushed further into his heavenly passage. Soon, I was embedded completely.

Again, I remained where I was as I allowed Howie to get use to me. I placed gentle kisses along his throat. Howie leaned forward slightly and whispered, "I'm ready!" in my ear. His breath was heavy and caused me to shiver in excitement. I pulled out of Howie until just the head remained within him and with a forceful push slammed back into him. Howie let out a guttural moan as my balls slapped against his upturned ass. I could feel him begin to tightened his ass muscles and I knew that I wasn't going to last much longer. I quickly withdrew and slammed back into him. Again and again. Both Howie and I were moaning in ecstasy. Faster and faster I pumped. With one last deep thrust, I buried myself and began to shoot deep within him. As Howie felt my cum coat his insides, I could feel his trapped and straining organ erupt as well. Howie's muscles tightened each time he spasmed and when he did, it prevented me from shooting. In effect, he was extended my orgasm. The seconds became minutes. Our joint orgasms started to subside. I desperately tried to catch my breath and could see that Howie was trying to do the same.

We collapsed into each other's arms. Our sweat-soaked bodies glistening in the candlelight. As the post-orgasmic bliss rocketed through our bodies, I managed to raise up and look into Howie's eyes. I kissed him again and before slipping into unconsciousness said, "I love you, Howie."

Just as I was beginning to drift off into sleep, Howie answered, "I love you, Nick."

I don't know how long Howie and I slept, but when we awoke the candles were still burning. My slightly hard member was still embedded inside of Howie's tight ass, so I pulled back and out of him. Both of us let out a small gasp of pleasure. I propped myself up with one hand and gazed at Howie. We just remained looking at each other, until I finally said, "Any regrets?"

Howie quickly shook his head. Then, he said, "Well, maybe one...."

I was immediately wary of what he was going to say next, but I hesitantly asked him. "What's your regret?"

Howie looked at me and smiled. "I only regret that I didn't tell you sooner." Then, he leaned forward and kissed me again. He pulled back and raised one of his hands to caress my cheek. "I truly do love you, Nick. I am glad that I found out when I did. I don't think I could have lasted much longer without telling you how I felt."

I just smiled at Howie. "I truly love you, too, and am glad that you walked in when you did. If you didn't, I don't know if I would have had the courage to tell you my feelings."

I began to look around the room and that is when I saw it. The rose. The gift giving out of love but in the guise of courage and friendship. For seven years, it remained as beautiful as the day Howie had given it to me. It has been, is, and will always be the everlasting symbol of our friendship...our respect for each other...and our love. When people ask us how we got together, we just need to say three words: "The Wilted Rose".