Love Brought Us Together

Disclaimer : This is a work of fiction. I don't own or know the celebrities in this story. The only characters I own are the ones I create.

Chapter Fifteen


Kevin felt his cell phone vibrate in his pocket and tugged it out. He sighed in relief when he saw the caller id 'Dr. Sternson's name flashing on the screen. Standing up he made his way to the front of the bus where Nick was sitting alone as he answered the call.

"Hello, Dr. Sternson?" Kevin asked.

"Hello Kevin," Nick's doctor's voice came through the phone. "How are you?"

"I'm doing quite alright Mark, how are you?" Kevin asked.

"I'm well, thank you. I'm sorry that it has taken me a few days in getting back to you Kevin. Now, what can I do for you?" Mark asked warmly.

Kevin leaned against the bunks and looked at Nick who was lying on the couch at the front of the bus with his headphones on his ears. "I know how busy you are Mark, don't worry about it. The last couple of days Nick has been complaining of headaches. He's been in pain, more tired than usual and has been finding it difficult to relax and sleep unless he's completely exhausted," Kevin explained, trying to keep his voice calm.

A few seconds of silence followed before the doctor spoke, "Has something triggered the headaches off? Has something happened that has upset Nick?"

"We have a representative or well a supervisor from Jive on tour with us. He upset Nick. He was quiet for the rest of that day and had trouble staying asleep that night. His appetite has fallen slightly again. He was quite shaken up by this incident."

"Ok," Mark said when Kevin paused, "Anything else happen that could have upset Nick? Tell me if anything happened, no matter how insignificant it seems."

Kevin thought back to the last few days. He told Mark about Nick getting hurt, his trip to the hospital, having to take pills and the frightened feeling he went through over them.

"Oh," Mark sighed, "Well there's something to be proud of. Nick has handled all this as best as he could and handled it well. A few months ago, he would have been freaking out over something like this and retreated into his shell. Now he withdrew into himself for just a couple of hours but wanted the comfort of his friends and you of course."

Kevin smiled watching Nick scrunch his face up before scratching his nose. "Yes, that is good news."

"How is he with the other people on tour?" Mark asked, taking notes.

"Well..." Kevin thought it over quickly, "He hasn't really interacted with everyone yet. Right now we are only touring with one group, Nsync. He seems alright around them. There are 5 guys in Nsync, Lance, Joey, Chris, Justin and JC. He's quite comfortable and has spent some time with Chris, Justin and Lance. When the incident with Jennings took place, Chris was there for the entire thing. He was part of the group that had gone out, as was Nick. He told me to keep an eye on Nick 'cause something had happened and not to let Nick be left alone with Jennings." Kevin paused and Mark encouraged him to go on. "Nick snuck out of a meeting with Justin and both just hung out watching TV together. And they spent some time together one afternoon playing video games. Lance, well I don't really know if Nick has spent any time alone with him but he's quite comfortable around him. Last night he saw Lance eating alone and approached him on his own to sit with him so he wouldn't have to ea t alone. He hasn't interacted with Joey or JC except when we're all together if even then." Kevin trailed off and Mark interpreted Kevin's silence correctly, "Tell me Kevin."

Kevin sighed, "It's probably nothing. But I have this feeling of... I don't know. Nicky seems to shy away from JC."

"Your feelings are good enough for me Kevin. It's your love for each other that has brought you two this far. Encourage him to spend time with the new people he comes across especially those who're going to be around like the Nsync boys, especially Chris, Justin and Lance since he seems to be at ease around them," Mark said, reading their names from where he had jotted them down on a sheet of paper which would be added to Nick's file. "If he seeks out Lance more than the others that's perfectly alright. Maybe he feels safe around Lance or at peace. Let him keep making his own choices and encourage him like you have been. If you see him going wrong somewhere go ahead and stop him, talk to him. Let him know, like you did before that you don't think what he is doing is right, and then let him make his own decision. I don't need to tell you how to handle him after all these years," Mark paused before continuing, "Now about JC... if Nick is shying away from him for some reason it s ok. Let him go with his instincts. And Jennings, if Nick wants to lash out at him, let him. Just make sure Nick isn't getting stressed out and eating properly."

Kevin chuckled, "That's the one area where he tries to resist. He feels he's not really on any diet if he eats everything."

Mark laughed, "Is he around? I'd like to talk to him if he's free. I'll go over these points with him and see if he'd like to talk about anything."

"I'll hand the phone over to him. Thank you Jim for everything you are doing for us," Kevin said gratefully.

"I'm glad to be able to help Kevin," Mark said warmly.

Kevin walked over to Nick and knelt down, cupping Nick's cheek with his right hand. He smiled when Nick opened his eyes and turned down his music. "Dr. Sternson is on the phone. He'd like to speak to you."

Nick smiled at Kevin, his smile widening when he heard who was on the phone.

"I'm going to give you some privacy ok?" Kevin said.

When Nick nodded, Kevin pressed a kiss to Nick's lips, gave the phone to him and went to the bunks. Getting into his, he put his headphones on and settled down to listen to some music.

"Hey doc," Nick said happily, sitting up and curling his legs under him. "How are you? Did you get my email?"

Mark smiled, "Hello Nick. I am quite well, thank you. Yes, I did get your email, I have replied to it so the next time you check your email you will find a reply waiting for you."

Nearly 35 minutes later Nick climbed into the bunk and lay down next to Kevin, snuggling up to him. Kevin smiled and pressed a kiss to Nick's hair before setting his disc man aside and wrapping his arms around Nick.

"Everything alright?" Kevin asked while sliding his hands under Nick's t-shirt to caress his skin.

Nick sighed and slid his own hand under Kevin's t-shirt to rub over his firm stomach and chest.

"Everything's fine," Nick whispered, raising his head up for a kiss.

Both clutched tighter onto the other as their lips met and their kiss deepened, tongues gently exploring. Breaking the tender kiss, they lay together; hands entwined, bodies pressed together, content.

"I'm hungry," Nick mumbled to Kevin while sleepily shifting so that he could slide Kevin's t-shirt up and rest his hand on Kevin's stomach. Nuzzling his face into Kevin's neck Nick settled down with a sigh.

Kevin shivered from Nick's warm breath ghosting over his skin and felt Nick's lips smiling against his neck. He raised his arm to look at his watch, before resting his hand back on Nick's side. "You want to eat something? We have plenty of stuff on the bus. Sandwiches, pasta or something else?" Kevin asked Nick while stroking his side.

Nick hummed softly, "How much longer until we reach the hotel? Any idea?" he asked while making his fingers walk slowly up Kevin's stomach.

Kevin reflexively tightened his stomach against the ticklish sensation making Nick laugh softly. He laid his hand flat on Kevin's stomach caressing the firm muscles under his hand. Kevin slowly relaxed with a laugh of his own and checked his watch.

"We should reach in the next 20 minutes or so," Kevin said while sliding his hand into Nick's pocket and pulling his cell phone out. He smiled when Nick murmured something about being felt up while he called his bodyguard Carl. The phone was answered in the first few rings. "Hey Carl, how much longer?"

"Hey Kevin, we've made good time since we entered the city. Another 10 minutes tops. You guys pack up the stuff that you want to bring in with you. We can't wait in the bus once we reach. There are some security issues."

Kevin frowned, "What kind of issues?" he asked, rubbing Nick's side when he felt Nick's body tense up.

Carl sighed, "Previous arrangements were that the 5 of you, Nsync and your main security would all stay on the same floor. Howie had been quite adamant in stressing this point and Jive agreed and supported the idea. But when I called ahead a little while ago to check if the rooms were ready, didn't want a repeat of the last night, I was told that reservations had been changed. 10 rooms on one floor and the rest are on other floors." Carl waited for Kevin's reaction, knowing his news was going to annoy the younger man.

"Why 10 rooms?" Kevin asked first after taking a deep breath to calm himself down.

"5 for Nsync, 4 for your guys and one for Mr. Mark Jennings," Carl answered.

"What the hell?" Kevin exploded, which made Nick squeeze his eyes shut and tense up reflexively, reacting to Kevin's tone of voice. "Damn," Kevin sighed softly then said a quick "hold on". He slid his hand under Nick's t-shirt and rubbed his side, feeling Nick slowly relaxing back against him again. He began speaking into the phone again, "Carl just change the reservation again. I'll speak to our managers to get their asses over here and handle this idiot."

"I already tried that Kev," Carl said. "The hotel has already given those 10 extra rooms away. There's nothing that we can do about it."

Kevin shook his head when Nick sat up hesitantly. Nick remained sitting and began playing with Kevin's t-shirt. "Let's deal with this when we reach," Kevin said with a sigh.

"Alright," Carl agreed, "we're almost there so get ready."

They hung up and Kevin sat up. He slid his fingers along Nick's jaw and leaned closer for a kiss. Nick relaxed and kissed him back. When they slowly pulled apart, Kevin kissed Nick's eye lids before watching Nick's eyes open.

"What happened?" Nick asked softly.

Kevin sighed, "We're almost at the hotel. I'll tell you as soon as we're all ready with our stuff ok? No use going over it twice within minutes."

Nick nodded and turned, carefully getting out of the bunk. Kevin followed him. Nick started putting his books, Gameboy and Kevin's Discman into his backpack before going to the front of the bus. Kevin went to tell the other three to be ready to get off the bus. When Kevin came to the front of the bus Nick was lacing up his sneakers. Kevin sat down beside him to do the same and lightly nudged Nick's shoulder with his own. His effort earned him a smile from Nick.

AJ came and plopped down in the little space that was between Nick and Kevin forcing Kevin to quickly move out of the way so that AJ didn't end up halfway on Nick and him. He gave AJ a dirty look while muttering something about AJ being skinny but not that skinny, which caused Nick to start laughing and AJ to smirk at him. Kevin rolled his eyes as Brian and Howie sat down opposite them with their bags.

Kevin cleared his throat, "We have a problem." He met each of their eyes before speaking. "Carl called the hotel to check our reservations. Jennings has seen fit to change our bookings and book 10 rooms on a floor. 4 for us, 5 for Nsync and 1 for himself. He told the hotel to cancel the 10 rooms that were for security. The hotel has already taken bookings for the rooms. We need to decide what to do," Kevin finished.

"Kevin there is really nothing to decide. I say we speak to the hotel management. One entire floor must be booked for the crew. We can take 9 rooms on that floor and request the crew to shift around. Those whose rooms we take can have our rooms for this stop. There is no way we're going to stay without security. Plus we don't know what other areas Jennings must have changed around without seeing fit to inform us. Let's not take any chances after the last time," Howie said firmly.

Nick flinched when he heard that. AJ quickly put his arm around Nick, hugging him gently.

The last time having been during the first leg of the Millennium tour. Hotel reservations had gotten mixed up. The 5 of them had stayed on a floor with other guests while their bodyguards stayed a floor below. One girl who was on the same floor as them had waited until Nick had stepped out of his room and had attacked him, screaming at him that he had destroyed all her dreams of being with Kevin. Kevin had immediately come outside hearing her screams and AJ who had been coming off the elevator with his bodyguard had come rushing too. She's smacked Nick's head against the wall in anger before they could stop her.

After that frightening experience which caused Nick to be hospitalised with a concussion, bruises and scratches, no mix ups with hotel reservations were tolerated. Jennings having done something so stupid really angered them.

Brian, Howie and Kevin looked at the bus door when they felt the bus slowing. A few seconds later the door opened and Carl got on. He motioned towards AJ and Nick with his head but Brian just shook his own head.

Carl nodded with understanding before he spoke, "You boys ready to get off this bus?" When he was met with an enthusiastic yes from Brian he said, "Then what're you waiting for? Get your lazy butts up."

Brian bounced onto his feet with a laugh. Howie and Kevin got their feet too. Finally AJ stood up and held his hands out to Nick who took them and reluctantly stood up. Brian and AJ wrapped their arms around Nick and squeezed him gently between them before letting go.

One by one they followed Carl off the bus to heartfelt screams and cameras flashing. They ignored the reporters who were screaming to get their attention, some of whom were even elbowing the fans to get them out of their way. As soon as Nick got off the bus the reporters got louder. Nick looked back hesitantly. Lonnie nodded reassuringly at him. Nick still refused to take another step forward. Kevin moved past Howie and wrapped his arm around Nick's waist and squeezed him gently while lowering his head to speak into Nick's ear so that the younger man would be able to hear him.

"Relax. Come with me, we'll meet some of the fans and go inside. No reporters alright? Definitely not this bunch," he said eyeing the rude reporters with disgust.

"Alright," Nick said hesitantly. He took a step forward and stopped, turning his head to look at Kevin again. "You'll be right here right?"

"Right here beside you," Kevin assured Nick.

Nick gathered himself together and smiled at the fans that had been waiting to see all of them. He completely ignored the reporters yelling Kevin and his names and went to greet the fans that the rude reporters had elbowed aside. Kevin let Nick lead and accompanied him to whichever side he went. Together they signed stuff for that set of fans and then moved along.

A few minutes turned into 20 with fans begging the 5 Backstreet Boys to stay outside a little longer.

30 minutes after they had arrived, Carl and Lonnie accompanied AJ and Nick into the hotel after urging them to come inside. They had gravitated to each other as Kevin had gone inside with Howie to sort of the rooming issue, once Nick had told him he was fine being outside on his own.

AJ and Nick stepped into the elevator along with Carl and Lonnie, joining Kevin who was waiting inside for them. Kevin wrapped his arms around a shivering Nick and rubbed AJ's back with one hand when he started sneezing.

AJ smiled at Kevin in thanks. "Where are we on the rooms issue Kev?" AJ asked.

Kevin nodded, "We managed to get 2 rooms so we changed the order of rooming. Q and Carl are sharing a room, then the 5 of us have our rooms and Lonnie and Ted are sharing a room. This way we are next to each other and opposite Nsync's rooms. So we're surrounded by people we know. Oh and one of the two rooms we have gotten is Jennings's room," Kevin said as an afterthought.

Nick and AJ exchanged grins at the innocent tone of Kevin's voice. They got off on their floor when the elevator dinged to a stop.

"What about Jennings?" AJ asked.

Kevin smiled, "His room is at the very end of the floor, far away from us."

Nick and AJ laughed softly, exchanging mischievous smiles with AJ plotting ways to prank Jennings, knowing he could easily convince Nick and Brian or Howie to go along with it. Howie looked all sweet and innocent at times but he had a devious mind and devilish streak in him.

"We're meeting for lunch in 10 minutes if you wanna join us," Kevin told AJ.

"We eating room service?" AJ asked with raised eyebrows. "Or can we eat downstairs?"

Kevin smiled, "I don't mind either."

AJ turned to Nick, "Ok with you Nicky?" he asked sweetly.

Nick nodded with a smile.

Nick moved into Kevin and his rooms and flopped face first onto the bed, bracing his palms in front of him at the last moment so that his face wouldn't smack against the bed. Easing himself down he sighed, turning his face sideways and snuggling down, his legs hanging off the bed.

Kevin smiled as he watched Nick. He pushed their two small trolley bags to the side and went to the bathroom.

Nick rolled to the side when Kevin lay down next to him and rested his hand on Nick's back. He stood up with a sigh and went into the bathroom. When he came back out, Nick smiled at Kevin and went to the balcony. Opening the door he stepped outside and took a deep breath of the fresh air. Raising his arms above his head, he stretched out his body.

"Nicky, come on let's go sweetie," Kevin called out a few minutes later.

Nick came back into the room and shut the balcony door. Kevin walked towards the room door and opened it when Nick's voice stopped him from going outside.

"Gimme a sec Kev, I want my jacket. I'm freezing," Nick said. Kevin nodded and stood in the open doorway, watching as Nick knelt down and opened one of the bags. He tugged his denim jacket out from the bag and zipped it shut again. Standing up, he slid his jacket on while walking towards Kevin.

Kevin stepped back so that Nick could step out. He followed Nick out and shut the door behind him, checking to see that it was locked.

"Here's your key card darling," Kevin said.

Nick took the card Kevin was holding out to him and put it into his wallet. "You want to go out into the city after we eat or stay indoors?" Nick asked Kevin.

Kevin shrugged and leaned back against the wall, "I don't really feel like going out. I'd rather be in the hotel. Do you want to go somewhere? I'll come with you if you want me to," Kevin said with a smile.

Nick smiled back and shook his head, "Nah I was just asking. I haven't been sleeping really well for some reason. I mean not a deep sleep at any rate so if I'm tired after we eat I'm just gonna nap."

Kevin kissed Nick's forehead, "I think it's happening with all of us. We're sleeping whenever we get the chance but in a light sleep." He shrugged, "Hopefully all our sleeping patterns will settle down soon." He lifted up Nick's hand and examined the bandage wrapped around it.

"Was the cut healing alright when Howie changed the bandages this morning?"

Nick nodded, "It's healing quickly. Howie said another day or two and I won't need the bandage probably. I certainly hate those icky pills. I kinda haven't been taking them. I told you I wasn't taking them right?" he suddenly asked Kevin anxiously.

Kevin nodded and began stroking Nick's palm, "Yes, you did baby. You're not in pain right?"

Nick shook his head, "It stings when Howie cleans it out and when I put pressure on it, but it's bearable pain. Not 'oh my god I need the dopey pills' pain," he said playfully.

Kevin laughed and leaned forward to brush his lips against Nick's.

"Ok lovebirds let's go I'm starving," AJ announced as he came out of his room and joined Nick and Kevin. He rolled his eyes and looked at Nick. "Howie and Rok must be on the phone," they said together.

They went and stood near the elevators, waiting for their two friends to join them. Kevin leaned back against the wall watching Nick kneel down to tie his shoe lace. AJ, used to them constantly watching each other just smiled and shook his head, tugging his cell phone out of his pocket to call Howie.

Nick straightened up and shook his hair out of his face. He caught Kevin watching him and smiled, blushing slightly. Moving over to him, Nick stood in front of Kevin.

"Whatcha watching?" he asked softly.

Kevin smiled back and slid his arms around Nick's waist. "You," he answered gently, bending his head to press his lips against husbands.

Nick sighed and gave himself up to Kevin's love. He slid his arms around Kevin's neck and enjoyed the soft pressure of Kevin's lips against his own. Kevin slid his tongue along Nick's lips. 3 throats being cleared loudly accompanied by a fist hitting his shoulder made Kevin slowly break the kiss. He pulled back slightly and watched Nick's eyes flutter open. Smiling slightly Kevin pressed a light kiss against Nick's lips.

Turning his head he met AJ, Howie and Carl's eyes. He raised his eyebrows at them as Nick snuggled into his arms for a hug. "Yes? Can I help ya'll?" he asked blandly.

Howie laughed, "Yes, you sure can. You can help by not kissing him anymore and being ready to leave." Kevin kissed Nick's hair as he nuzzled his face against Kevin's neck. "I don't see Brian here yet," he said.

AJ grinned, "He'll be out in a second."

Kevin sighed, "Then why did you disturb us?" he asked.

Howie smiled, "'Cause Nicky was getting nice and flushed. Let's eat lunch, and then you can get back to ravishing him."

Howie, AJ and Carl laughed as Kevin smiled and Nick began giggling against Kevin's neck.

He raised his head and smiled at Kevin. "You gonna ravish me Kevy?"

Kevin chuckled and brushed his lips against Nick's, "Absolutely darling."

The 5 men burst out laughing. This was how Brian and Loonie came upon them and just looked at them strangely. Shaking their heads Kevin, Nick, AJ, Howie and Carl stepped into the elevator, leaving Brian and Loonie to follow, sharing a look between them, wondering what was making the others laugh. <><*><><*><><*><><*><>

Thank you to the people still reading this story and asking about it. I can't express how much your words touch me.

This chapter was written by keeping in mind a couple who are just really sweet. Rob and Dan. I've lost touch with you guys but I had to say thank you on the off chance that you might be reading this. I hope you guys are still as happy and in lover as before.

Pammy... I'm not entirely certain I would have posted this chapter if not for you. I tend to write and keep it to myself thinking that no one else is reading it but you always prove me wrong. You first emailed me about 5 years ago I think if not more, your encouragement and enthusiasm are still as strong as ever. Thank you.
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