|Brandis Redemption 8:
is a fictional story, describing erotic relations between consenting adult
men. If this makes you uncomfortable, or if it is illegal for you to read
something like this, then go find something else to do.
The following story is entirely a work of fiction, and is not intended to imply anything about any real people. All of the characters in the story are fictional, and must not be confused with any real people. The characters in this story may have the same names as some real people, but the characters are in no way supposed to actually represent any real people.
A word from Scoop: Hmm, let's see. Chapter seven put an end to
the best relationship that either of the guys could have ever asked for.
Chapter 8 kind of... well, I won't give it away. Read, enjoy, and I'll
catch ya on the flip side as always.
He was still in shock. How could this have happened? The best relationship he had ever had was gone, over with, kaput. And why? Because he possibly had sex. Possibly nothing; because he had sex! Might as well face it, all the evidence pointed towards them having sex. He had seen the condoms himself. Yet Jon still had this feeling that he did not have sex with Joey. Why would he not be able to remember having sex this time? No matter how drunk he was when they were still together he always remembered the sex. Why not now?
Jon was sitting on his sofa, staring off into the void. He had worked so hard on the cab ride home to keep from losing his composure. He succeeded for the most part. A scatter tear rolled down over his cheek, but he managed to catch it before it was seen by the driver. When he got home he sat on the sofa and just let go. He couldn't hold back any longer. The tears flowed and the emptiness consumed him. He said nothing, he thought of nothing. He just cried tears for the love he had lost.
But now there were no more tears. Now he sat staring into the nothing. He wanted to eat but didn't want to move. Moving would mean that he was going on with his life. He didn't want to go on without Jared. What was he supposed to do, go find someone else? There is no one else like Jared in this world. No one can come close to him. That beautiful face, that gorgeous body, and the most romantic personality ever known to this dreary planet. No, Jon wasn't going to go on without him, there was no point.
Ring. Ring. Ring.
"Fuck off." The first words in hours. He knew it wasn't Jared so there was no point in answering it.
Ring. Ring. "Hi, this is Jonathan Brandis. I'm not available to answer the phone right now. Just go through the regular drill and I'll get back to you soon. Thanks."
Beep. "Jon, it's me again. Listen, this is the third message I've put on this damned thing. Call me back for Christ sakes. The producer and the company are screaming for you to get out there and set a schedule for promoting your movie. All this heat you're getting from the concert is drawing in some attention to the movie and we need to act on it now. There's an old saying Jon, 'shit or get off the pot.' You need to make up your mind, kid. There's a lot riding on this. So hurry up and call me back." Jon's agent hung up and the answering machine reset for the next call.
Jon's mouth curled up into a little smile, one corner at a time. He started to chuckle to himself, slowly at first, until it turned into a steady laugh. "What do they want me to do, bury myself in my work? Just lose myself and let go as if..."
"So how have you been lately Jared?"
"I'm doing OK, I guess. What about you Mel, how are Tim and the kids?"
"Just great, as always. Tim's away at work, again. Shelby has started school and Brian is still making a mess in his diapers."
Jared laughed, the first real laugh he's had in almost two weeks. "Well that's good. Must be hard with Tim being away so often."
"Yeah there are days that I really, really need him around, while others I can cope with easily. But work is work and right now he'll take whatever he can get."
"What about you? Are you back to work yet?"
"Me? Heheh, with these two little munchkins who has time for work?"
"I can understand that I guess."
"Heheh, actually I'm doing some freelance programming from home. It helps pay the bills and keep food on the table so I'm not going to complain. What about you, still at the delivery thing?"
"Yeah, still at it. Feels like I've been at that job for thirty years. I've been looking, but people just want too much experience from programmers and without an agent you might as well forget about living the Hollywood life."
"You'll get something soon. You graduated at the top of your class, that has to count for something." There was a loud crashing sound in the background. "Oh boy, there goes Brian again, getting into more mischief. I'll have to call you later Jared. You take care of yourself, OK?"
"Yeah I will. You too. Tell Tim I said 'hi' and kiss the kids for me."
"You bet. Bye."
Jared sat back and smiled. He hadn't talked to Melanie in a long time, and even though it was only a short conversation, Jared felt that it actually helped him to get his life back in order.
It had been almost two weeks since Jon and he had fought and Jared had broken things off. He had spent so much time crying alone in his bedroom. He finally had to force himself to go back to work or else get fired. Rob was a bit edgy at first, but after Jared explained everything to him, he was very supportive. He needed someone to talk to, and even though Rob wasn't the best person for the job, he was there and he was willing to listen.
But so was Tatyanna. She had called the day after the big break up asking what had happened. Jared told her to ask Jon, but Tatyanna told him that all Jon would do whenever she brought it up was go silent, except for the sounds of sobbing. Jared explained everything to her, as he knew it, and like the true friend that she was, she didn't stop talking to Jon.
On the contrary, Tatyanna was being very supportive of both of them. She would listen to Jon and Jared, yet stay out of the argument between the two of them. Jon asked her several times to talk to Jared on his behalf, but she told him that he should do it himself as it would mean more coming from him. He never did. Even though she was on tour with a very busy schedule, she was still there for the both of them.
Too bad there aren't more like her, thought Jared.
Jared jumped with a start as the ringing phone woke him from his reverie. He let it ring a few more times before he picked it up, waiting for his heart rate to slow down a little.
"Hi Jared, how are you doing today?"
"Oh hi Tatyanna. I'm doing pretty good. I was just talking to a friend of mine up in Ontario Canada that I haven't heard from in a while. It was a pleasant surprise."
"That's good to hear." Jared could hear Tatyanna take a deep breath before she continued. "Jared, I didn't call to talk today."
"Yeah. I'm calling for someone else."
"I see. Obviously I already know who this someone else is."
"Yeah. Jon wants you to watch Letterman tonight."
"Why should I?"
"He didn't say, but he really wants you to watch."
Jared started getting angry. Like Jon, he had no more tears left to cry. "If he wants me to watch the show that badly HE can call and ask me himself!"
"Would you listen to him?"
"No. Yes. That's not the point!"
"Then what is the point?"
"The point is he had to get you to call. He couldn't do it himself. And even if he did, I don't want to hear from him."
"Fine. Let yourself believe you don't want him. I've heard all this from you before and I know it's just a load of crap. I didn't call to convince you to take him back, I just called to pass along a request. Who knows Jared, maybe this is Jon's attempt at apologizing, did you ever think about that?"
Jared was caught by the logic of Tatyanna's argument. "Uh, n... no."
"Well, ya never know. Anyway, I have to get back out on stage for a soundcheck. I'll talk to you later, OK?"
"Yeah, OK. Have a good show tonight. Bye."
Jared placed the receiver back in its cradle and looked at the blank TV screen. He didn't want to watch, but something was telling him that he should.
He did still love Jon after all. No matter how much the thought of what he did hurt, Jared still loved him. He wanted so much to be able to move on and just forgive Jon so that they could get back together. But he had been hurt so deeply that he didn't know if he could trust him.
Jared closed his eyes and rested his head on the back of the sofa. Work today had been very tiring. Somehow, Rob and he had managed to get deliveries with large objects. All the lifting had given him a stiff back, and the schedule was so hectic that he hadn't had time to eat, so now he had a throbbing headache and was feeling weak.
"I need to eat or I'm going to be useless at work tomorrow." He slowly got up and headed to the kitchen area to get something to eat, and although he was very hungry, food was not the foremost thing on his mind.
"So, is he going to watch?"
"I'm not sure. When we stopped talking he didn't know what he was going to do. But I have a feeling he'll watch."
"I hope you're right Tat. These last two weeks have been torture for me. I can't go on without him much longer."
"Jon, you should have called him before and apologized."
"I know, but I can barely live with myself for what I did, how am I supposed to face Jared? He'd never speak to me, and I can't blame him."
"Jon, I'm about to be very blunt with you. How the hell could you do something like that to Jared. You both loved each other so much. I can't see you just throwing all that away for a night of sex, that isn't like you at all."
"I know. I find it hard to believe myself. I mean, no matter how drunk I've been I've always been able to remember having sex. That's not something I can just forget doing. I still have this feeling that we didn't do anything, but... all the evidence says we did. Problem is, how am I supposed to find out? Not like I can just ask Joey about it. I don't want to see him again, and I know he wouldn't say anything to me anyway."
Tatyanna was silent for a little while. "Tatyanna? You there?"
"Huh? Oh, yeah I'm still here. I gotta get back to work. I've only got two more songs to go and rehearsal is over for today. You go and get packed for your trip back to LA. I'm sure Jared will watch 'The Late Show Tonight,' if I were you, I wouldn't worry about it."
"Yeah, OK. Thanks Tatyanna. Good luck tonight."
When Tatyanna pressed the end button on her cell phone, she didn't go right back to rehearsal. Instead, she dialed a number that she hadn't used in a little while.
Jared got underneath the covers and pulled them up across his chest. After adjusting the pillows so that he was comfortable, he turned on his side and closed his eyes, hoping to get a long, relaxing night's sleep. After much debate, he decided that he wasn't going to watch Letterman. Exactly what was Jon going to do anyway? It's not like he could just come out and announce it to the world what had happened. The most he could do was say that he had made a mistake and that he was sorry and would like to be forgiven. That could mean anything to anyone. If he really wanted to apologize, he would have to do it face to face.
Problem was, Jared didn't think that would make a difference.
Ring! Ring! Ring!
"Uhhh, H-h-h-i," said a barely audible voice.
Jared was instantly annoyed. Someone had called and woke him up and now they weren't going to talk.
"Yeah. Who is this?" Jared sat up slightly, reaching down to pick the phone cradle up off the floor.
"It's... it's me."
"Me? That helps. Who the hell is... wait. Jon?"
"Yeah... hi Jared."
Jared sat up completely, now fully awake. "What do you want?"
"I was just calling to see if... to see if you watched Letterman." Jon held his breath in hopeful anticipation.
"Actually I didn't. I was tired from a long day of work so I went to bed early." Jared could hear Jon exhale deeply on the other end of the call and from past experience recognized the sound of disappointment. He was about to add 'if that's all that you called for, goodnight,' but something was compelling him to stay on the line a bit longer.
"What was I supposed to watch for anyway?"
"Oh, not much. I was on and I just wanted you to... eh, forget it. It wasn't that much. I'm sorry I woke you. Go back to sleep. Bye." With that, Jared heard a low click and then a dialtone. Jon had hung up. Jared hung up his phone and placed it back on the floor by the bed.
Dammit! He was trying to talk to me! He was actually trying to talk to me again. Why didn't I listen? Now I probably have no chance to get him back. Jared laid back down in bed and turned on his side. He felt a bit of moisture on his cheek but didn't wipe it away. Instead he welcomed it and soon felt even more. The tears he thought would no longer come were now streaming down his face and soaking his pillow. All Jared could think was that he had officially lost Jon forever, all because of his foolish pride, and that damned temper.
Jon fell onto the hotel room bed face first and wept into his pillow. He had hoped beyond reason that Jared had been watching the interview. That maybe Jared had heard him apologize to the love of his life. Hoped that Jared had heard him say all he could ask for was forgiveness, and that he was begging to be forgiven. Hoped that he had heard the stunned silence of the guest host and the audience as no one knew what to say when the tears started to slip down Jon's cheek, only to be quickly dried away by a fast acting shirt sleeve, as had been done so many times before. Now Jon knew what he had feared. He had lost Jared, and he wasn't going to get him back.
Jon got up from the bed and wiped his face dry with his shirt sleeve yet again. He had to answer the phone, no matter how much he didn't want to. His agent was trying to get his flight changed so that he could be back in LA a day early and would have time to rest before going on the Tonight Show. His touring schedule had been hectic over the last two weeks. It was the way he wanted it because it gave him less free time to sit and think about Jared, but he was really getting tired of all the traveling he was doing.
Jon sat down in the chair beside the table before he fell to the floor. The voice on the other end of the line was one he never thought he would hear again. "Joey? What the fuck do you want?"
"Well... there's something I think we should talk about."
"I don't want to talk about anything with you!"
"OK, well in that case, I think there is something you should listen to, something I think you should know."
"Jon, wait just a minute, are you sure you want to go through with this? I mean, this is a huge thing. If it goes wrong it could ruin you forever. It could ruin you either which way."
"I don't care Tatyanna. This is something that I know I have to do. It's my last chance and I'm not going to lose it. I'm not going to lose him."
"Hello, could I speak to Mr. Leno please?"
"I'm sorry, Mr. Leno is in a meeting at the moment. May I ask who is calling?"
"Look, I need to talk to Mr. Leno. I'm supposed to be on the show for tomorrow night and I was wondering if he would mind changing the format a little bit."
"I'm sorry, but that isn't Mr. Leno's call. To do that you would have to talk to the head of the Network and - "
"How about if I could guarantee you some great ratings. Possibly even the highest ratings of the year."
"I'll put you right through sir."
"Are you sure you want to go through with this Jon?"
"Yes sir, Mr. Leno. I need to do this. It's my only chance at getting back the person I love and I'm not going to waste it."
"Well, as long as you are sure. Now, I don't mean to sound like an asshole, but this is also a business. Are you sure everyone else will go along with it?"
"I've already gotten everyone else to agree. As long as you go through with it, they'll go through with it."
"And the party in question? How do you know he's going to do this. What if he just walks away?"
"I can't promise that he won't. But I have a very good feeling that he'll stay. I hope he does anyway."
"Well, in that case, I'll get everything setup on my end, and I'll see you tomorrow night, live."
"I can't complain, I suppose."
"That's good to hear."
"Listen, I don't want to sound rude or anything, but, who am I talking to?"
"Rob, I'm hurt. You mean you don't remember me? Sweet little Tatyanna."
"Oh, Tatyanna! Last time I talked to you, I ended up naked in the hallway with Jon getting it all on tape." Rob chuckled at the memory. He really was a good sport.
"Yeah, those were the days weren't they? I was wondering if you'd be willing to do Jared a favor."
"If there's something I can do to help, I'm there."
"We'd be trying to get him and Jon back together."
"Now that I don't know about. After what Jon did to him, Jared is better off without him."
"Looks like you and I have a bit of talking to do. Things aren't really how you think they are."
"OK, I'm all ears."
"Jared, that's two days in a row that you've been late man, what's going on?"
"Nothing. I'm just not sleeping well lately." Jared climbed into the passenger side of the delivery cab with Rob. His eyes were red and had dark circles underneath them.
"Yeah I can see that. What's been bothering you?" Rob asked, even though he already knew what the answer was.
"I don't know. Sometimes I just get a bit of insomnia. This is just one of those times I guess."
Rob decided not to push the topic. "Oh, OK. Well I hope you get past it soon, you don't look so good buddy."
Jared sat in his regular seat at Rob's and his regular table that they have every day for lunch. He slowly sipped at his coffee, finding it a bit too hot for his liking. If it wasn't for coffee, he wouldn't have been able to function at all that morning. Everytime they got back into the truck to go to their next stop, Jared would drift off. Rob would always let him sleep until they pulled into the driveway, trying to help his friend get over his tiredness.
"Say Jared, what are you doing tonight?"
"Nothing, as usual. I'll just go home and watch a bit of TV for a while before I go to bed and try to sleep."
"Jesus Jared, this self-pity thing is not good for your health man. You need to get out and do something, start living again."
"I don't want to start living again Rob. Everytime I do, something goes wrong, and I don't need that in my life."
Rob took another bite from his ham sandwich and washed it down with the rest of his Pepsi. "Tell you what, tonight I'm coming over to your place around 7 and you're going to go do something even if I have to tie you up and drag you out myself. Is that clear?"
"Sir, yes sir," said Jared with mock salute.
"I'm serious Jared, you have to get your life back together, and this is going to be the night that you do it."
"Oh goodie," said Jared, "I can't wait."
Knock knock knock!
"Come on Jared, let me in man."
Jared lowered his book and looked at the door. He was stretched out on his sofa covered by a thick blanket, reading some obscure novel that he picked up at the corner market on his way home from work. He was hoping Rob would call him instead of just showing up, but then, when did Rob do what you expected. Jared was going to use the excuse of wanting to read his book to keep from having to go out. Sure, it was lame. That's why he bought the book, so that he wouldn't be lying. Now that Rob was here, that wasn't going to work. Then again, he didn't expect it to work if Rob called either.
Knock knock knock!
"Jared! Let's go man, we've got things to do."
With a loud sigh Jared closed his book and tossed it over the back of the sofa. He sent the blanket after it and walked over to the door.
"Get in here before the neighbors complain," snapped Jared as he opened the door.
"It's about time," said Rob. He walked into Jared's apartment and went straight to the table to get Jared's coat from the back of a chair. "Now let's go."
"Where are we going in this big a hurry?"
"Like I told you today, we're going out to rebuild your life."
"My life is fine Rob, I don't need you to 'rebuild' it for me."
"I'm not going to rebuild it, you are. Now put on your coat and lets go." Rob stood in front of Jared and held his coat out to him. He sniffed the air a couple of times and then pulled the coat back before Jared had a chance to even consider taking it.
"But first." Rob leaned towards Jared and inhaled his scent. "You need a shower. You smell kinda funky dude."
"I don't need a shower and I don't need my coat because I'm not going anywhere. I appreciate the effort Rob, but I'm happy the way I am. So unless you want to sit around and watch some TV with me, there's the door, thanks for dropping by."
Rob dropped the coat on the floor and folded his arms across his chest. "Look, we both know that you are not happy with your life. You can lie to yourself but you can't lie to me. So either you go get in the shower and get ready to go out, or I shall be forced to carry you into the bathroom and deposit you into the shower, and I do not want to be forced to do that."
"You don't have the nerve."
"Put me down dammit! Rob, let me go! Put me down!"
"Gladly." Rob deposited Jared from his shoulder into the bathtub, as he said he would. "Now, I'm about to turn on the water, so I suggest you start removing your clothes. I definitely don't want to do that, but trust me, I will."
Rob and Jared stared at each other for a few seconds, each trying to call the others bluff. Jared stood up in the bathtub and placed his hands at the button to his work pants. Rob nodded his head in approval and was turning to go when Jared jumped out of the bathtub and tried to get passed Rob and out of the bathroom. Unfortunately, the bathtub was still wet from the shower he had that morning and he slipped. Rob turned around as Jared was trying to get up and placed him back in the tub, sitting him unceremoniously on his butt.
"Jared, I told you I would!" With final warning given, Rob reached towards Jared and grabbed his shirt. He pulled the shirt tails out from the waistband of his pants and went for the buttons. The next sound that could be heard was shirt buttons as they were sent jingling noisily around the bathtub.
Rob tossed the shirt onto the floor. He looked at Jared who was looking at the buttons of his shirt as they lay around him.
"Now, are you going to finish it, or do I have to?"
Jared glared up at Rob with a look of utter defiance on his face. If he was going to have to go through with this, he wasn't going to make it easy on Rob. "Go for it, hot shot."
Rob huffed and dove in for Jared's pants. He undid the button and pulled the zipper down too fast for Jared to even think about trying to stop him. Rob grabbed Jared's pants at his ankles and started to pull. Jared had no other choice but to lift his body up and allow Rob to remove his pants or else he would be pulled into the stream of cold water that Rob had started just seconds before.
With Jared's pants on the floor on top of his shirt, Rob grabbed each of Jared's feet in his hands and swiftly pulled his socks off. He then turned on the hot water tap and adjusted the temperature.
"What? Not going to finish the job?" Jared looked up at him with a half scowl, half smile on his face. Rob looked back at him and again they stared each other down. Eventually though, the hard stares gave way to small smiles which turned into chuckles and stifled giggles.
"Jared man, I don't mean to be a prick, but I hate to see you this way. All alone in your apartment every night, late for work in the mornings, sad all the time. You need to get out and do something; meet that special someone. And tonight is when you're going to do it."
"How do you know Rob? Huh? Tell me that, how do you know? I thought I had found that special someone in Jon, but I was wrong. I don't think I can go through that again Rob."
Before Jared had a chance to cry Rob knelt down beside the bathtub and placed his hand on Jared's shoulder. "Just trust me Jared, OK? I just have this feeling that tonight will be your night."
"But how do you know?" Jared's eyes glistened with tears waiting to fall.
Rob looked at him thoughtfully for a second. "Let me put it this way." Rob leaned towards Jared and kissed him gently on the lips. He lingered, letting Jared feel Rob's lips against his own. Once Jared started to return his kiss, he pulled away.
"If someone like me could do that, anything is possible." Rob paused for a second, letting his words and his message sink into Jared's mind. "Now, have a shower and get ready. I'll pick out some clothes for you and bring them in. Hurry up, we haven't got all night."
Jared sat perfectly still as Rob walked out and shut the door behind him. Then, out of nowhere, Jared giggled. He got to his feet and shed his boxers, revealing his semi. He readjusted the temperature to his liking, closed the shower curtain and enjoyed a nice warm shower.
"OK, I'm ready. Let's get going."
"About time. You're worse than a woman. It takes you forever to get ready to go anywhere."
Jared stuck his tongue out at Rob and giggled. He grabbed his coat and headed out to the elevator.
When the doors had closed and Jared had pushed the button for the ground floor Rob cleared his throat noisily, a dead giveaway that he had something he wanted to say, but found difficult to get out.
"Spit it out Rob. I know you want to say something."
"Well, it's about that kiss that I gave you in the bathroom."
Jared turned to face Rob while simultaneously reaching for the button to hold the elevator. "I'm all ears."
"Um, yeah. Well I just want to make sure that you don't think that I was hitting on you or anything because I'm not. I like you and all, well I don't mean that I LIKE you like you, but..." Rob took a deep breath and started over. "I was just trying to prove a point. I'm not gay and I hope you didn't take it that way because if you did, I'm sorry to have let you down."
Jared stared at him for a few seconds then burst out laughing. It was Rob's turn to stare. "Rob, I knew what you were doing. And I really appreciate it. You're right, I do need to get out and keep going. Tonight is going to be my night. This is going to be the night that I put the past out of my mind and find my dream guy."
"There ya go, that's the spirit. So get this damned box moving again so we can get out there!"
Jared released the hold button and the elevator continued its journey to the ground floor. Just before the doors opened, Rob looked and Jared and said, "Of course, if I did want to try gay sex, I'd definitely want it to be with you. You have a hot body Jared, I kinda enjoyed stripping your clothes off."
The elevator doors opened and Rob walked off. Jared remained standing in the elevator. He had been struck motionless by Rob's last comment. When Rob looked back to see Jared's response he could help but crack up laughing. Jared realized he was the butt of yet another of Rob's jokes and took off running after him.
"Why you son of a - "
Jon Brandis was pacing back and forth in front of the makeup trailer. He had been the first one in and now he was waiting for the last few to get through. Nervous was not an accurate word to describe what he was feeling. He wanted to throw up and, at the same time, he wanted to dance. Tonight would be his big chance, his last chance. He was depending on so many people to help. If something were to go wrong... no, he wasn't going to think about that. If Jared showed up, he would get him back. No ifs, ands, or buts.
Jon stopped pacing and turned around to see one of the show's stage hands standing behind him holding a clipboard and a clip on mic.
"The bus is here from the studio with our audience. You should get back stage now sir."
"Bus from the studio?"
"Yes sir. We didn't advertise that we would be live from this park, so when the audience filled the studio, we put them all on a bus kept them entertained for the day, then brought them here. Some of them made a few calls and whatnot, so there should be a good showing for tonight."
"Great, like I'm not nervous enough now as it is."
"Well not to be rude, this is practically your show. Better not let those nerves get in the way of what you are supposed to be doing. The studio has a lot riding on you tonight. A lot of money has been spent, and the studio would like to make most of it back, if not a profit."
Jon felt his blood pressure increase twofold. "The studio? To hell with the studio, I've got a lot riding on me tonight, OK pal? If this fails I've lost the love of my life and my career. The network gets ratings and endorsement fees either which way. I should be the one telling the network not to fuck it up for me! Now, show me to the 'backstage area.'"
The stagehand turned and pointed towards where Jon should go, looking thoroughly beaten down.
"Thank you. May I also have the mic?" The stage hand gave Jon the mic and walked back behind the stage with Jon following at a distance.
"Rob, what are we doing at a park? I thought we were going to some kind of party."
"I didn't say a party as such. I said a get together. And. " Rob let his sentence hang until Jared and he rounded the turn in the path. "This is a get together."
In the central clearing of the park was a very brightly lit setup. Directly in front of them was a large seating area that looked like it was filled to capacity. On the other side of the seats, Jared recognized the set of the Tonight Show.
"What the hell is this?"
"What does it look like? The Tonight Show is having a live outdoor show. I figured this would bring in loads of people, so what better place to meet that special someone right?"
"Well, I... guess so." Jared scanned the entire area. Rob did have a good idea, however there was one problem. "Rob, I don't see any place to sit. And if we have to stand behind all those seats, we'll never hear anything. And the celebrities will look like ants."
"For one thing, this is supposed to be the 'Tonight Show Music Special.' All bands. We won't have any trouble hearing. And for another thing, I see some seats." Rob motioned with his arm while Jared wasn't looking. Up in the front row, two of the show's security people removed 'reserved' signs from the center row seats.
"Right up front?"
"Up front? How the hell can you see up front?"
"Don't argue, just follow me OK?" Rob headed off towards the front of the audience, leaving Jared with little choice but to follow.
Jared sat in the second of the two seats and looked around at his positioning. "Rob, how in the hell did these seats stay free? These are front row center!"
"I don't know, but don't complain. This is cool!"
"Hmmm, something smells funny here Rob."
"I told you to use soap when you showered. Just keep your arms down and enjoy the show, no one else will notice."
"Oh for... Rob, you know that wasn't what I meant. This is - "
"Shish! The show is starting."
The cameras came on and the theme music played. The announcer came over the speakers and did his announcements.
"Tonight, live from an undisclosed area. The Tonight Show with Jay Leno! Tonight's special guests on our special 'Music Show': Ronan Keating, Metallica, and a special appearance by... the Backstreet Boys!"
The crowd went wild. The noise was so deafening that no one heard Leno get introduced and didn't have a chance to run to the front for the little audience smooze that happens at the beginning of every show. But since they were front row center, Jared and Rob did get up there. A few more people showed up, but Jared and Rob had prime position.
"Uh, hi Mr. Leno."
"Hehehe, what's your name young man?"
Leno laughed at Jared's nervousness, then continued on to the rest of the gathering. As he turned around to go back to the stage, Leno spoke lowly into his mic to someone backstage. "He's here. We're a go."
"He asked my name. That is so cool!"
"My god Jared, he's not the first celebrity you've seen. Get a grip."
"Yeah, but he is the first celebrity I've seen at work. I mean, at his work." Rob simply laughed and shook his head at Jared's childlike enthusiasm.
"Good evening everyone. Welcome to the Tonight Show's first ever live, outdoor music show. This is going to be... a first for anybody tonight. For starters, we have some huge bands playing for us." Jay had to pause while the audience applauded. "There is some bad news to tonight's show however. I will not be doing a monologue. There just isn't enough time." The audience started to boo and hiss but Jay calmed them down by waving his hands up and down repeatedly.
"So, without further ado, ladies and gentlemen, and that guy in the front row who can't remember his own name - Juh Jared wasn't it?" There was a short pause for laughter. Jared's face turned beet red. "Ladies and gentlemen, Metallica!"
The crowd went wild as Metallica took the stage.
"Hey, what's up," asked James as he strapped on his guitar. The audience replied with loud screams of non-coherent greetings. "Let's get down to it shall we?"
Metallica started to play and Jared immediately recognized the song. "Oh my god. Unforgiven! That's my favorite Metallica song!"
"What a coincidence, eh?" Rob looked at Jared and smiled. Jared looked at him with a puzzled expression on his face.
"New blood joins this Earth
Jared was really into the song. Watching the guitar work of Kirk from this distance was a dream come true. The Metallica concert was great, but this was way better.
"Yeah I dub thee unforgiven
"Where'd that line come from?"
"I don't know. James is probably just improv-ing. Jared, why are you so paranoid tonight?"
"I don't know. Things just seem too setup for some reason."
"Please let me be forgiven, yeah
When the song ended, the audience took a little while to applaud, not quite sure how to take the last few lines. Jared sat stunned in his seat, unsure how to react; unsure if he should breath or not.
"Great song, eh Jared," asked Rob.
Jared shook his head to free himself from his shock. He looked at Rob who just sat there smiling at him goofily. This was just too much. First the front row center seats, then Jay talking to him, and now Metallica talking about him in a song. Rob can call him paranoid if he wanted to, but Jared knew there was something going on.
"OK Rob, what the fuck is this all about? Something is going on here and you are in on it. What's going on?"
Rob tried to look as innocent as possible. He was expecting this. He knew Jared was quick to catch on, but he didn't think he would be this angry without even knowing what is going on.
"What d'ya mean 'what's going on'? Jay already said this was a live broadcast of the Tonight Show's music special. You need to pay more attention Jared."
"Don't give me that bullshit! This is a setup. You either tell me what's going on, or I'm leaving and you can enjoy the 'show' by yourself." The people sitting on both sides of Rob and Jared as well as the first few rows behind them looked back and forth amongst each other then at Rob and Jared.
Rob noticed all the stares they were getting and tried to switch the topic ever so slightly. "Jared would you keep your voice down please? You want Metallica to think you're off your rocker?"
"I don't care! And don't try to change the subject. I know you, and all your tricks aren't going to work this time. Spill it Rob!"
"Spill what? I don't know what you're talking about." Rob looked up at the band. They were trying to ignore what was going on by unhooking their equipment so that the next act could get on stage. Rob turned to Jay for some help but Jay could only shrug his shoulders and mouth 'I don't know' under his breath.
Jared shook his head distastefully at Rob. "Whatever man, I'm fucking gone. Bye." Jared got up and started down the row to leave. Rob jumped up but didn't follow.
"Jared, come back!"
"Go to hell Rob!"
"Jared. Please... come back."
"I said go to -" Jared stopped. He was about to tell Rob off yet again, when he realized that it wasn't Rob that had called out to him. He spun around to see Jon walk out on the stage from behind the curtain.
"It's OK Rob, you can sit down." Rob nodded and complied. "Jared, please come back and sit down."
"Jon? What the fuck are you doing?"
"Please, sit down."
"Not until you tell me what is going on here." Jared took a few steps towards the stage.
"Heh, what does it look like Jared? I've gotten all this together tonight for a reason. And I think you know what that reason is." Jon walked to the edge of the stage and stopped. He looked directly at Jared and didn't notice Jay walk up to stand behind him as a show of silent support.
"Jon, don't do this. You've got too much going for you to ruin everything like this." Jared was now standing at the beginning of the front row.
"You're wrong on that one Jared. I had everything. But I messed up, and I lost it all."
Jared looked down at the ground and became silent. There was a camera positioned five feet to his left, and the camera was now aimed at him, with another on Jon, one on Jay, and another aimed at the bandstand.
Jon decided to take Jared's silence as an indication that he was willing to listen. If all this was going to work, Jon knew that Jared had to be willing to listen. "Jared... I asked Jay and his crew to help me set all this up tonight." Jon was going to be honest. He was going to spill his guts. "Basically it's just an elaborate setup designed to help me get my apology across to you so -"
"Apology?" Jared looked up at Jon. His face was streaked with tear stains."Jon, do you even know how much you hurt me? I felt ready to die! Do you... Can you even fathom the pain I've gone through? You fucking hurt me Brandis! And I don't know if a simple apology can fix what you've done."
"I know that Jared. I'm not here to fix it. I just want forgiveness... and a second chance."
Jared lowered his head into his hands and shook with the force of his crying. Everything became deathly silent. Everyone awaiting the next words from either Jared or Jon. Jared didn't keep them waiting for too long.
"I can't. Dammit I can't! I can't run that risk again. I don't want to be hurt like that again!" He turned to walk away, but Rob was up and running after him immediately. Rob went around Jared and stood in his way, preventing him from leaving. He looked up at Jon, his expression saying 'do it now, or do it never.'
"Jon walked to the center of the edge of the stage. "Ladies and gentlemen: I fucked up. I had the best thing this world had to offer, and I fucked it up. My life was perfect... and I fucked up. I guess I should start from the beginning. First... I'm gay." The audience started to murmur amongst themselves. "OK, OK, calm down. You can talk to and call whomever you want after the show. So, yes, all the rumors you've heard are true. Anyway, as I'm sure you've already figured out by now, I was dating Jared. Damn it I was happy." Jon's face lit up into a smile.
"But, as I said, I fucked up." Jon looked behind him to see Jay cringe. "Sorry for the language Jay, but... that's how it is. And why may you ask did I... shag up? Because Jared was looking out for my best interests. That's it. I was stubborn, foolish, stupid, idiotic, and basically, a bonehead." The audience let out a little chuckle.
"It's not your reasoning Jon." The entire audience could be heard shifting in their seat to turn around to see that Jared had also turned around. He was now facing the stage with Rob standing behind him with a hand on his shoulder. "I know your reasons, that I can handle. It's what you did that hurt me. That still hurts me!"
"Jared, I tired to tell you, I didn't do it. I didn't sleep with Joey."
"Bullshit! How can you know? You were so drunk you couldn't even stay awake in the damned cab!"
"I know. But you have to believe me, I didn't sleep with him Jared."
Jared's leg's buckled in under him. Rob barely had time to catch him before he hit the neatly trimmed grass carpet covering the park."I can't Jon. I just... can't believe you."
"Then, maybe you can believe me Jared." Everyone jumped at the sound of the new voice. From behind Jon and Jay came a new figure through the curtain.
"Hello Jared, Jay, Jon."
Jared walked forward, away from Rob. "What the hell are you doing here?"
"Tatyanna called me a few days ago. She wanted to know what happened. I told her the same thing that I told Jon: that we had slept together."
"You bastard!" Jared tried to rush the stage, but Rob was on him again, holding him back. "Rob what the fuck are you doing?"
"Would you just listen Jared! Joey, keep going."
"Uh, yeah. Yeah, OK. Anyway, Tatyanna told me that the two of you had split up. At first it didn't bother me, but after she told me how hard things had been on you, I... admitted the truth. I only wanted to get back at Jon, I didn't mean to hurt you."
"Absolutely nothing. When Jon passed out in the cab, I decided that it would be best if I took him to my place. I know how bad he gets when he's drunk and I knew that he shouldn't be alone. The thing is, when I put him in the bed, he woke up... sort of. He looked around then called me off for 'trying to take advantage of the situation.' Trust me Jared, don't piss him off. The man can make you feel about two inches tall.
"Anyway I decided to play with his head. I was angry. Not just from what he had said to me. I was angry because he had the perfect life, with the perfect boyfriend. I had lost my boyfriend, and to be honest, I wasn't that upset. Jon had everything, and I had, well nothing.
"I stripped him, and put two used condoms beside the bed from the night before when I had been with my ex-boyfriend. When he woke up the next morning I gave him the whole, 'the sex was great' story. I'm sorry Jared. I was the one that fucked up, not Jon. Forgive him... for what I did."
"Please Jared. Forgive me. I know I'm not blameless. I was wrong to go with him in the first place. I was wrong not to leave when I finally came to. I was probably wrong for not punching him out when I woke up that morning. But most of all, I was wrong for letting you down." Jon lowered the mic and wiped the tears from his face.
"I love you Jared. I need you in my life."
Jared started moving towards the stage, Rob offering no resistance. He walked up the stairs and across the stage to were Jon, Jay, and Joey (Seems like I have a fixation with names beginning with 'J' doesn't it?) were standing. He held out his hand for the mic that Joey was holding and Joey gladly handed it over.
Jared's face betrayed no emotion. His expression was blank, like that of a stone wall. Jon's face was quite the opposite. You could see his nervousness and his desperate hope etched into his features.
"You're right Jon. You were wrong. You were wrong for going with him. You were wrong for not leaving when you came to. I can forget about that much." Jon smiled just a little.
"You were wrong about a few other things to. One of which, I can remedy right NOW!" Jared dropped the mic, then he dropped Joey. Jared hit him square in the jaw with as much force as he could. Joey went down like a ton of bricks. Most of the audience cheered and applauded, and some of them even started chanting 'Jay, Jay, Jay.' With one look Jared silenced all of them. He reached down and picked up the mic again.
"And yes, you did let me down. You didn't trust me. I cannot forget this. I will never forget this, ever."
Jon started to cry again. He was visibly shaking, his knees ready to give out with Jared's next words. Most of the audience moaned. Some murmured phrases under their breath such as "Oh, no" and "God, he's not going to forgive him."
"But I do forgive you." Jon looked up at Jared and smiled widely. He rushed in for a hug, but Jared held out his hand and stopped him. The audience's sounds of elation changed quickly to another deathly quiet.
"Right now though, you are not the one who need's forgiveness. I need to ask you, to beg you to forgive me. I doubted you, when I should have trusted you all along. I should have known that you would never do anything to hurt me. I'm sorry for not believing in you. Jon, can you ever forgive me?"
Jon looked Jared in the eye. He smiled, but got only a small grin in reply. "In answer to your question..."
Jon grabbed Jared in his arms and kissed him. Jared responded immediately and dropped the mic he was holding onto the stage with a loud thud. Most of the audience applauded the happy reunion. Some of them even had to wipe the tears from their own eyes.
The kiss shared between Jared and Jon was long overdue. They had both wanted this right from the day they had broken up. They didn't feel each other or engage their tongues. They simply held onto each other and kissed, tears of joy flowing freely down their faces.
Jay stepped out from behind the two of them to take center stage again. "Ladies and gentlemen: Ronan Keating!"
The audience applauded as the music for Ronan's number one hit single started.
"May I have this dance Mr. Baines?"
Jared looked up at Jon, amazed that he would want to dance with him on national TV. Then he realized what had just happened. Jon had come out for him - on national TV. One dance wasn't going to make a difference now either which way.
"Yes Mr. Brandis, you may."
As Ronan started to sing, Jared wrapped his arms around Jon's waist, Jon wrapped his around Jared's shoulders, the looked into each other's eyes, smiled, and enjoyed the first dance of their new life together.
"It's amazing how you can speak right to my heart
the smile on your face
"Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Ronan Keating!" Jay applauded along with the audience. Jon and Jared stopped dancing and applauded as well.
"Folks, since tonight's show was live, and we haven't taken any commercial breaks, we just have time to introduce our next act and let them do their number. So, I'm going to step back and let Jonathan and Jared introduce our next group. Take it away guys." Jay started to applaud to get the audience to do the same. Most of the audience joined in, but some sat in their seats with scowls on their faces.
"Thanks Jay. Before we introduce the next group, even though we all know who they are already." Jon was cut off by the screaming fans. Jared couldn't help but laugh at their enthusiasm.
"As I was saying, heheheh, before we introduce the group, I would like to thank a few people for helping out tonight. First, Rob: thanks for getting Jared here. I know it couldn't have been easy. Next there's Jay and the crew of the Tonight Show, I couldn't possibly have done this without them. They all deserve emmy's for this. Then there's Tatyanna, who, although she isn't here, played a key role in getting everything straightened up. And while I'm at it, I guess I'll thank Joey, who I think will have his own souvenir from tonight's show by the look of his eye." Joey had been carried off stage while Ronan was performing his song.
"Most importantly though, I want to thank Jared. I'm so glad I met you, and I'm extremely happy that you came here tonight and found it in your heart to take me back. I will never do anything like that to hurt you, and I know that you know it too. We will be together forever."
Jared looked at him and smiled. "You bet we will. However, right now, time is growing short, so let's not make the audience wait any longer."
"Ladies and gentlemen," started Jared.
"The Backstreet Boys," they finished in unison.
The fans went apeshit as first Kevin, then Howie, AJ, Nick and last (but by no means least!!!!) Brian took the stage. The music for 'I Want It That Way' started and the screaming got louder.
"Jon, what d'ya say we get out of here? The show is almost over, I'm sure they can finish without us, don't you think?"
Jon giggled. "Sounds good to me. Mind if I stay at your house tonight, I don't think mine will be providing too much rest tonight, what with the reporters and such."
Jared gave him a hard look. "Of course you're staying at my house. And what makes you think you're getting any rest tonight?"
Jon laughed out loud. "Ooh baby, I want it that way."
With that the newly reformed happy couple walked back through the audience and out of the park as the Backstreet Boys continued to sing and dance.
| Well that's chapter 8. Sorry if the ending seems a little rushed. I was
running way late on this one and I wanted to get it out to you. I have chapter
9 in mind already, and I'm afraid you might not like it (but as was once
said, "All good things..."|
hope none of you are still angry at me. I hope the celebrity count was high enough for you in this one too. Any comments or suggestions are welcomed. Flames will be read and laughed at several times before being deleted (and possibly laughed at some more as an afterthought). Just send an e-mail to Scoop and I'll get back to you ASAP.