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Chapter Six

"Hooowwie?" I called, poking my head out the bathroom door and inching into the basement room. "Howie..." I looked around. No Howie. I sighed. I grabbed a pair of jeans out of Howie's trunk and dug until I found a shirt that didn't completely disgust me, and tugged the clothes on before heading up the stairs.

I don't know what I was expecting, but when I got upstairs and the kitchen was void of life... I sighed and sat down, feeling kind of rejected. I looked around the room at everything, wondering where my Monkee and D were.

Then I heard it.


My eyes widened. "HOOOOOOOOWIE!?" I yelled. I bolted for the stairs and took'em two at a time. I heard my own voice squealing from the bedroom.

"RO! Seriously!! RO!!"

"You're sooo naughty playing hard-to-get! Make me pregnant, baby!"

I busted in the door and found Rochelle hovering over my body in a tight-tight-tight leather lingerie set and tall leather boots as red as her lips. I froze, my eyes taking in every square inch of her. "Oh my holy shit," I murmured.

She looked up, a horrified expression on her face.

"Oh thank God," my voice gasped.

I'd never been so fucking turned on in my life. I stared at Rochelle, Warrior Princess, and wanted to run across the room and hump the shit out of her.

Howie, in my body, squeezed out from underneath her and crawled across the room where my far-flung pants were.

Rochelle grabbed a robe, her face red. "What the hell are you doing, Howie?"

And that's when I remembered. I wasn't having an out-of-the-body-experience because the sex was just that mind-blowingly amazing... I was literally out-of-my-body and in Howie's body.

Therefore the hardon my wife was giving me was AWKWARD as all hell.

I shielded my eyes, though obviously highly delayed, and cried, "Oh my God you guys, you have a guest."

Howie, in my body, streaked out of the room, pulling on pants, while Rochelle cinched her robe.

"I'd apologize except it is my house, and I should be able to have sex in it..." she turned the lamp off. "I'm taking a shower." She moved into the bathroom joined onto our bedroom and closed the door.

I fell backwards into the hall, clutching Howie's chest and gasping. "Oh my holy mother of a goldfish," I gasped.

"She was out for business that time," my voice said. I turned and looked at me-slash- Howie. "Damn she wants babies bad, huh?"

I froze.

I felt my throat close up.

"Yeah," I muttered, "She does."

Howie paused. He came closer. "AJ," he whispered. He paused again. He looked down. His pants were perfectly flat. "Why?"

"The antidepressants I'm on," I mumbled, "The ones the rehab gave me. They... take away the... the excitement of the moment, so to speak."

He gnawed his lip. "Have you guys been tested? To see if you're... having other problems?"

"We've been trying for a year, Howie," I grunted. I started down the stairs, pushing by him. "I'm just a fucking failure... all she wants is a family, and I can't even give her that."

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

AJ started huffing down the stairs. I caught up to him and grabbed his (well, my arm). "Wait a second," I said. He glared at me impatiently. I took the silence as an invitation to continue.

"At least you know the problem. You know now what you need to do," I said. "You need to stop the anti-depressants."

There was a heated friction between the two of us. Suddenly, AJ put my hand to my forehead and swooned. "Oh my fuckin' gawd, why didn't I think of that? You're a goddamn genius!" He stopped swooning and gave me a deadpan stare. "I can't stop taking them."


"Do you know how much you sound like Nick right now? I can't stop taking them because without them I'm clinically depressed."

"It's okay to cry. Real men cry. I cry."

"You don't cry. You wink," AJ argued.

"I cry all the time," I retorted.

"You wink and you sleep. That's all you do."

I snorted. "That's all I do? That's rich. That's--"

"Listen, Mr. Sunshine and Roses. You wanted to know all my deep dark secrets and now you do. I'm useless."

AJ's pathetic attitude was irking me to know end. "You're not useless. You said you've been trying a year?"

J didn't look like he wanted to answer, but finally he nodded.

"Do you remember the past year? You were drinking like a fish that had flopped out of his waterbowl."

"At least I was horny."

I rolled my eyes. "Contrary to popular belief, getting smashed does not equal performance."

"Well it's better than--"

I cut him off. "Then you went and did the outpatient rehab. Now you're working on keeping sober. I think that might just be a little bit of the issue right there."

I watched my own lips curve into a smile. A sardonic one, but still a smile. "Is Howie D. admitting my life is rougher than his own?"

I instantly shook my (well, J's) head. "Hell no. I have a helluva lot more going on. Maybe I just handle it better."

"Fuck off."

J turned to go back down the stairs, but once more I grabbed his arm. "Wait."

He kicked the stair with the toe of my shoe. My brand new designer shoe. I bit my (well, J's) tongue so hard that I winced. He didn't acquisence, but I continued on anyhow.

"Listen, maybe this is a golden opportunity," I said.

"What are you talking about?" J asked slowly. He glanced down at his crotch. "Don't even think about touching that for anything but---"

"NO!" I said loudly. I shut my mouth; if Ro was done with her shower she was going to think we'd gone nuts.

Or maybe she already had.

"No," I said in a normal voice. "That's gross."

I didn't add the size difference thing either. J had probably already melted of jealousy. His (well, my) eyes narrowed and looked past my shoulder.

"And you're not touching my wife."

"No, I don't plan on it. But she better not come after me with whips or anything weird.

AJ didn't looked so sure. I wasn't sure if he didn't believe me or if he wasn't sure Ro wouldn't come after me with a whip.

"Anyhow," I continued. "What I mean is that I can stop taking the antidepressants for you. I haven't taken any since the switch have I?"

"No, but that's because I take them in the morning. Like now."

I decided to do a very AJ-like thing at that moment. I held up his middle finger. "Well, screw the pills."

J shook his head. "You better not screw up my body," he warned. "I want it back in one piece."

"And I want MINE back in one piece," I stressed. J grinned.

"Since your body is in working order, it's going to be hard once Leigh gets here. Literally."

And he winked.

Maybe it was because I had been in AJ's body far too long already, but I lunged at him.

"You touch her you--" And I started rambling in Spanish. It wasn't something I did often with the guys, but Leigh and I loved to banter back and forth. Everything sounded dirtier in Spanish.

J ducked away from me and let out a maniacal laugh. The thought of him with Leigh made me sick. Kinda like the thought of me with Rochelle made him sick.

"Speak of the devil!" he shouted with glee. He slid my phone out of my pocket. I heard Leigh's unmistakable ringtone.

"Lemme talk to her," I said. J held up the phone and shook his head.

"Why in the world would she want to talk to AJ?" he asked. He hit 'talk' and snickered.

I watched him like a hawk.

Unknown McLean Fact #6: One time, AJ totally lost it with Baylee's See-and-Say machine. It's a long story, but here's a word of warning: if the cow goes 'moo' too many times in a row, one inked up, almost-bald man is going to throw the thing against the wall and flip off Old MacDonald.