In A World Like This by DelphinaCarter
Summary: *Abandoned* This story has been rewritten. If you want to read the reboot, it's called Nowhere To Go :) hope you check it out!! In a world like this where some back down I know we're gonna make it.
In a time like this when love comes round I know we gotta take it.
In a world like this where people fall apart…In a time like this when nothing comes from the heart…In a world like this, I've got you.
Categories: Fanfiction > Backstreet Boys Characters: Group
Genres: Action, Adventure, Drama, Suspense
Warnings: Death, Violence
Series: None
Chapters: 19 Completed: Yes Word count: 15436 Read: 20077 Published: 08/05/13 Updated: 12/18/13
Story Notes:
Feedback would help a lot as I am not used to writing canon. Hope you enjoy the story!!

1. Prologue by DelphinaCarter

2. Chapter 1 by DelphinaCarter

3. Chapter 2 by DelphinaCarter

4. Chapter 3 by DelphinaCarter

5. Chapter 4 by DelphinaCarter

6. Chapter 5 by DelphinaCarter

7. Chapter 6 by DelphinaCarter

8. Chapter 7 by DelphinaCarter

9. Chapter 8 by DelphinaCarter

10. Chapter 9 by DelphinaCarter

11. Chapter 10 by DelphinaCarter

12. Chapter 11 by DelphinaCarter

13. Chapter 12 by DelphinaCarter

14. Chapter 13 by DelphinaCarter

15. Chapter 14 by DelphinaCarter

16. Chapter 15 by DelphinaCarter

17. Chapter 16 by DelphinaCarter

18. Chapter 17 by DelphinaCarter

19. Chapter 18 by DelphinaCarter

Prologue by DelphinaCarter
The Backstreet Boys had it all. Success from Millennium was still pouring in just as they started the Black and Blue tour...riding on the high from their hit single. They had the attention of the world, but could barely give each other the time of day.

"What is it with you today, AJ? You were totally unprofessional in that last interview." Kevin said as they walked into their hotel after a long day of interviews for tour promo.

Nick rolled his eyes and giggled, listening to them talk. He was obviously high again along with AJ....but Kevin knew AJ was doing the harder stuff. He had caught Nick trying to hide the fact he was smoking pot earlier that day.

"Man, relax. The chick thought I was hilarious. At least I didn't bore her talking about my girlfriend like Brian."

Of course, Nick thought this was hilarious too and AJ high fived him, the two of them snickering.

"Fuck off." Brian said as he passed them.

"Have fun rooming with him tonight, Nicky. Someone is testy." AJ pointed out when they heard the door slam.

"Seriously...I don't know what to do with you two and the tour just started. I'm going to bed and I suggest you both do the same."

"Night Dad." the youngest two said in unison.
Once Kevin was gone, Nick started following AJ like a excited puppy, almost bouncing.

"Did you get it?"

"You bet your ass I did....but nobody said you were invited." AJ said, brushing past him. Nick rolled his eyes at him, he was pushing him away just like everyone else was doing.

"Fuck you too then." Nick snapped moodily before heading towards his room.
AJ rolled his eyes, he was going to have a good night, he didn't need anyone.
Kevin sighed as he walked into his hotel room, having a feeling that Nick and AJ were up to no good, but he just didn't have the energy to check it out.

Everyone was at each others throats and Jive wanted Nick to do a solo album...he hadn't decided yet but it had caused Brian to blow up during their last meeting. On top of that, AJ had gone down a dark path and it seemed Nick was following. Even Howie was distant, spending hours on the phone with his real estate business and other projects. Kevin laid down to sleep, most likely for another restless night of tossing and turning.

The Backstreet Boys were falling apart, and it would take something big to get the pieces back together again.
Chapter 1 by DelphinaCarter
Author's Notes:
Thanks so much to Julie (Rokofages75) for giving me the idea to write this. I am finally out of my dry spell :) hope you all like this update!
"Mail for you, Harris. ."

He sat up in his cell, looking forward to the letters he received from his sister Chloe, while in prison for armed robbery five years ago. Chloe was the one person who stuck with him from his whole family, she visited and called, wrote letters that made him feel wanted. He didn't feel like he belonged in that place, he felt the government was abusing their power once again.

Russell Harris harbored a lot of ill feelings for the California police, especially since his own brother Jason was a officer for the LAPD and arrested him when he'd robbed a bank, stealing a car from the parking lot to escape.

"They'll get theirs one day," he chuckled to himself as he opened the letter, but soon his heart sank.

"Oh, my God..."

Dear Russ,

I'm so sorry I won't get to see you to tell you this myself because by the time you see this letter it will be too late. I am tired of not being happy....I thought I'd found someone to settle down with...someone to help fill my broken heart from when Jamie walked out. I was wrong and knowing this guy just used me makes me so upset....the pain is too much, the distance is too much. Left me like that bastard did. So this is my goodbye dear brother, and I hope the best for you, I hope one day you'll come out a better person.

All my love,


Russ felt the tears come straight away. His beloved sister had died and it was all because of some rat bastard hurting her...breaking her heart. He was about to crinkle up the letter but instead he punched his bed, feeling angry.

Whoever had broken his baby sister's heart would pay. Just like the last guy who'd done it.

He had not yet been charged with Jamie's murder, he knew what he was doing and could hide a body if need be. He went about his chores at the prison, thinking all the time about Chloe. He had just seen her about a month ago and she seemed fine, just a little distant. How long was she depressed for and how bad was it that she contemplated suicide before she followed through?

Russ read the letter once again before bed and noticed it was on Backstreet Boys stationary. He smiled, that band had always made her happy...then it hit him. He knew who had done it.

"You're seeing someone? Tell me all about it..."

Chloe smiled and giggled, her brown hair falling in her face the way it always did when she laughed.

"He's wonderful, sweet...and we met in a coffee shop. He's a singer..."

"That's great. You should bring a picture sometime."

She did, but he'd lost that photo a long time ago.

The blonde staring up at him from the paper, it was him.

Russ smiled, as soon as he could get out of this hell hole...this guy would regret ever touching his baby sister.

Nick sat in his bunk on the tour bus, sighing as he wondered if he could get away with smoking on the bus. He didn't like the taste cigarettes left in his mouth...but the feeling calmed him.

"What are you pouting about this time?" AJ asked, plopping down in the bunk across from Nick.

"Not pouting. I need a smoke. When are we stopping?"

"We'll be there by morning, your little habits can wait until then." Kevin snapped. Nick rolled his eyes, something he was doing a lot lately. He always thought Kevin hated him the way he always ragged....scolding him more than the others.

Nick said goodnight but was met with AJ's curtain closing....leaving him to himself. None of the guys seemed to want him around lately, especially Brian. All Brian did was talk about his stupid girlfriend. He barely talked to him anymore and it hurt, like he was being replaced.
He thought about the solo album the record label wanted him to do....maybe the guys were better off without him. Nick laid down feeling anxious as he cried himself to sleep, not caring if anyone else heard.

Nick couldn't wait for tour to be over.
Chapter 2 by DelphinaCarter
Author's Notes:
Hope you guys enjoy the update!!
Brian heard Nick crying from his bunk and part of him wanted to go comfort him....wrap him in a hug. He was halfway out of his bunk when he changed his mind, remembering the fight earlier that month.

He knew he was being an ass, but he felt Nick brought it on himself with the attitude he had.

"He'll learn one day." he muttered to himself as he rolled over to sleep, putting a pillow over his ears to muffle out Nick's crying.

"Has anyone seen Nick?"

The bus had stopped at the next venue and the road crew wad beginning to unload the parts of the stage....but Nick was nowhere to be found.

"Probably off crying somewhere. Like usual. All that kid does is cry." AJ laughed, looking around and waiting for a response, but nobody else did.

"That isn't funny, AJ. I wish I knew what was going on in his head." Howie said, shaking his head as AJ rolled his eyes. He opened his mouth but Kevin put up his hand.

"AJ, save it. We have sound check at three so someone better find him! I swear I am going to have grey hair before the tour is over." he stated.

"You're already halfway there..." AJ snorted. Kevin just walked away in frustration, he hated that he could hardly talk to AJ seemed like they were always butting heads. Well , to be fair everyone was. Kevin finally found Nick outside the perimiter of the crew area, smoking a cigatette.

Well, he hoped it was a cigarette.


At the sound of his name, Nick cursed and tossed it to the ground, stomping to put it out. He needed the cigarette and it was his last one, one of the few things that calmed him down lately. A lot of things were going through his head and Kevin had interrupted them. Nick even thought for a moment about telling him what had happened...but he thought better of it.

None of them cared. They were all more worried about AJ and Nick felt like his BSB family was falling apart in front of his eyes.

"I already saw it, you know." Kevin smirked knowingly. Nick shrugged and looked at the ground feeling embarrassed as Kevin laid into him about the dangers of smoking.

Nick half listened but his mind was somewhere else, and all the lecture did was piss him off. He wished he had more weed, it made everything more tolerable. He chuckled to himself, wondering what Kevin would be like if he smoked pot.

"Nick are you even listening?" he asked. Nick was already heated so instead of walking away, his mouth had other plans.

"Seriously Kevin-I know all of that crap already, you say this shit to me every day and you sound like a fucking broken record. I don't give a crap what it does, nobody would care if anything happened to me anyway." Nick shot at him, brushing past the stage hands setting up the equipment.

"Hey, now that isn't true and you know it." Kevin called after him, grabbing his arm. Nick pulled it away before storming off.


Brian looked on, not surprised in the least. Nick was probably headed to the bus to drown himself in Twinkies or something.

"A lot of help you were. You could have tried talking to him too, you know." Kevin snapped.

"Talk? Kev, in case you haven't noticed...he won't even look at me anymore. So you explain what talking will do. He is in one of those The World VS Nick moods. He'll be fine before the show, he always bounces back." Brian said, stuffing his hands in his pockets.

"Hey, where did you guys want this set up? Steve sent me over."

Kevin looked up at the new stage hand and smiled at the man carrying the microphone stand. He was about Brian's height...buff and with stubble on his chin.

"What is your name, I don't think I have seen you before."

"Russ." the roadie smiled, holding out a hand for Kevin to shake.

Kevin smiled again and almost laughed, it was a trick the older guys played on the newer guys as an initiation.

"Tell Steve he won't get you this time and I'll see him later." he said before heading off in search for some coffee, Brian following.

Russell smiled to himself, it had been too easy getting this job....he thanked his cousin Manny for helping. He didn't need to know that he had even been in prison, but it had worked like a charm. All was falling into place, he would avenge Chloe soon enough. He just needed time to think of a plan.
Chapter 3 by DelphinaCarter
Author's Notes:
Hope you enjoy the update!
The show that night didn't go as planned, but the crowd was going wild. They didn't notice the tension between them, however the guys turned off their smiles when they got off stage.

"That was not a good show tonight, you all seemed like you didn't want to be there!!! We can't have this from you.." their manager yelled. Nick tuned him out, thinking. He just wanted to get into bed and forget anything happened, it was a really crappy day.

"Nicky, you okay?" Howie asked, placing a hand on his shoulder. Nick pulled away, leaving Howie looking after him in disappointment. He loved Howie for caring but he just wasn't in the mood as he walked to the bus, feeling a headache come on. He saw some fans outside but walked past them. A few even cursed, but he ignored it.

"Fuck this shit." he mumbled.

He closed the curtain to his bunk as the others filed into the bus, arguing again....everything was an argument anymore. Between his family and his BSB family nobody was getting along, it killed him to hear it.

"AJ....what is wrong with you? You forgot half the words to the song and you screwed the whole set up." Kevin hissed, slamming his hand on the table.

"Oh, I'm SO sorry your highness. It won't happen again." AJ retorted, walking towards the back of the bus.

"Excuse me, that was coming from our manager, not me. What is really wrong, AJ is that you don't seem to understand what you do affects us as well." Kevin said, looking at Brian and Howie for help. Neither of them added to the conversation, they just looked awkwardly at the floor.

"Fuck you, Kevin. You aren't my dad or my boss. I do what I want." AJ said before reaching for a beer in the mini fridge.

"See this is what I mean. It isn't healthy.....we are just looking out for you." Kevin added. Howie stepped forward and decided to speak up.

"We are worried about you, won't you just talk to us for a while? I think we all need to just get things out in the open." he said calmly. AJ finished his beer and just stomped off, his chains on the boots he wore rattling.

"That answers that. Well, Leighanne's waiting for me to call her so I'll be off then." Brian announced, laughing awkwardly.

"Is that all you can think about?" Howie asked in disbelief although he wouldn't admit he was about to do the same.

"It's better than this squabbling every night. What is happening to us, we all used to be so close..."

Kevin put his hand through his hair and sighed, Brian was right. He wondered if anything could be done or if they would just get worse as time went by. The bus rolled onto their next stop, everyone riding in silence and eventually sleeping for a few hours.

They would be grateful for a full nights sleep before too long.

The next day was a show day and Nick found himself bumming a cigarette from one of the roadies since Kevin had cut him off. He puffed at it, kicking stones behind the venue and keeping an eye out for Kevin. There was no sign of him anywhere so far, so Nick was left alone. He liked to be alone these days but he felt lost not having anyone to talk to, especially about what was going on in his life.


Nick jumped but it wasn't Kevin or any of the guys, it was the new roadie.

"Oh, shit you scared me. I thought you were someone else." he laughed.

Russ smiled....sizing Nick up. He could definitely handle this kid, he was about Jamie's build.

"I guess I am not the only one who needed a smoke, huh kid." he said. Nick blew a puff into the air and wiped at his nose before taking another drag.

"I just needed to be alone. Plus this is my last one. Had to bum one." he explained. He wouldn't look the other man in the eye, something about him made him uncomfortable.

"Nick you back here?" Brian called. Nick cursed as his bandmate came towards them, shaking his head.

"What are you doing back here....without security?" Brian said, giving Russ a funny glance.
"I'm not a kid anymore...besides, I wasn't alone. He was with me.....uh....what was your name, dude?"

Russ put on a fake smile, this kid really seemed brain dead. He wondered what Chloe saw in him.

"We met the other day, now come on before Mike and Kevin both have coronaries when they find you missing again. It's bad enough AJ is hungover, we don't need this too." Brian said, pulling Nick along and ignoring Russ.

Russell hated their attitudes, these two acted like they were entitled, especially the shorter one who kept going on about management and the show, not even bothering to ask the kid if he was okay. It would be all right, Russ thought while he puffed at his cigarette. Pretty soon they wouldn't have the kid to kick around anyway.
Chapter 4 by DelphinaCarter
Author's Notes:
stayed up all night to write this. Hope you enjoy it!!
As the tour went on things seemed to get worse and worse. Nick hated watching things unwravel to the point where he overheard Kevin and Howie saying this would be their last tour. Feeling stressed, Nick went and bought a bunch of Jack, keeping to his room that night and listening to Nirvana. Brian was on the balcony talking to his girlfriend again as they did every night, Nick found himself turning up the volume twice to drown out the kissy noises. It was bad enough he was single, he didn't need to hear them having phone sex too.

"Gag me." Nick muttered, swigging from the bottle again. It burned his throat but he didn't care, all he could think about was how his life was so fucked up it led to this.

Nick thought about a lot while he drank, especially about Chloe, a girl he'd been seeing. They met at some coffee shop in California, he hardly remembered the name of the place. Nick didn't even know why he thought of her at all, but he did. He took his black book from his backpack and flipped through.....but there was no Chloe there. Only numbers of numerous other booty calls and girls who were an easy lay when he came to town. When Nick drank, he always wanted to apologize for things he did, but he couldn't this time.

Brian came into the room shortly after Nick put his little black book away, looking at the empty liquor bottles. He turned off the stereo and shook his head at Nick.

"Would you mind lowering the decibels for one night? The hotel staff already complained about the noise in this room."

"Okay Kevin." Nick rolled his eyes, draining the remnants of the bottle. He moved onto another glass, mixing it with Coke.

"Nick what is wrong with you? You usually aren't like this. Where's that kid who played Mario Kart all night with me?"

Brian looked at him, but all Nick did was let out a huge belch and take a bite of pizza.

"He grew up....he grew up a long time ago and nobody cared to notice." Nick replied, licking his lips.

Brian sat down on the bed across from him, sighing as well. He hated how things had gotten between the two of them, but in a twisted way Nick was right. Nick wasn't that kid anymore but he had changed.....the light was gone from his eyes just like the other guys.

Nick stayed up until he finished eating, before crying himself to sleep. Brian didn't bother with him anymore that night, he knew it was a lost cause.

"Where is everyone? We were supposed to meet down here a half hour ago." Howie asked in the hotel lobby, which was pretty barren for mid morning.

"Hey, I made it. Are you the only one down here?" Kevin asked. Howie sipped at his coffee, he sometimes thought he and Kevin were the only ones who still gave a damn. Even Brian had stopped showing up to things on time which was unusual.

AJ walked into the lobby from the street, smelling like smoke and Jack Daniels....wobbling as he passed his two older bandmates with a girl at his arm who was equally if not more drunk than he was.

"Sup fellas? I'm"

He stopped to think of the girl's name.

"Where the hell were you all night, AJ? We are checking out in an hour." Howie asked. Kevin felt his blood pressure going up already and had walked away for a moment before coming back.

"Stephanie." the girl said, annoyed.

"Sorry babe." AJ chuckled.

"You didn't tell me you were leaving town today." Stephanie snapped before slapping AJ and walking out. AJ went to follow her but Kevin stopped him.

"You're wasted at ten thirty in the morning..." he said with more astonishment than disappointment.

"It was one hell of a party. You sure the three of you weren't there?" AJ slurred. Kevin and Howie managed to get him up to Nick's room, to Nick's protest. He was also hungover, pizza boxes littered the floor around his bed.

Kevin also noticed the TV was gone.

"Where the fuck is the TV?" Nick said, scratching his head. Howie was busily trying to wake up AJ, passed out on the bed and all Kevin could do was scream.

"Yo, calm down Kev. It's too early to be yelling like that, dawg." Nick exclaimed. Kevin grabbed his shirt, about to hit him for suggesting it.

"You are both fucking drunk and it isn't even noon! Where is Brian?" Kevin yelled as he dropped Nick.

Brian smiled, happy to hear Leighanne's voice that morning.

"Just wanted to say good morning, I'll call you tonight baby." he said just when Kevin came out onto the patio.

"Where the fuck have you been? AJ is drunk and we all need to check out in an that a damn TV in the pool?"

Kevin stopped mid yell and blinked....sure enough at the bottom of the pool was a television set. Brian couldn't hold it in anymore, he started giggling and Kevin joined in, the two of them walking back into the room.

"That's've done it Nick. Kevin has lost his mind." Howie exclaimed.

After sobering up AJ by running his head under the water, paying damages to the hotel, and being thrown out then banned....the boys were back on the bus again.

"You have to admit that will make a fun story in ten years." Brian said. Kevin just nodded and took an was gonna be a long week. He could feel it already.
Chapter 5 by DelphinaCarter
Author's Notes:
Hope you enjoy the update!!
After the hotel incident things were quiet for a day or two, nobody was really fighting, nor talking to each other in general. They sat in silence most of the time.

"You know what I miss? How we used to have movie nights when we all lived together." Howie said suddenly. Nick looked up but nobody else did. He definitely missed hanging out together like that, he wished they would stop fighting long enough to hang out. Even for an hour.

"So why don't we watch one now? It's been ages." Kevin suggested.

"I'm tired." Brian waved Kevin off and went back to his plate of chicken.

"Yeah right." Nick scoffed and Brian looked at him, his temper boiling slowly.

"What is that supposed to mean?"

"You aren't tired. You think you're too cool to do stuff with anyone but Leighanne. We aren't stupid." Nick said.

"Fuck you. At least I don't drink away my problems and stuff my face like some people." Brian shouted, standing up to throw his paper plate away.

"Drop dead. You don't know what I am only care about her." Nick retorted.

The bus stopped at a rest stop, and the driver told them he was using the bathroom, because the bus toilet was broken. Nobody heard him though because they were too busy yelling.

"How about the two of you drop dead? Then we wouldn't hear any of this shit..." AJ suggested, drinking his beer.

"Hey, come on guys....cut it out. Look at yourselves. You should never wish death on anybody. What would you do if it came true?" Howie asked, taking the beer from AJ before it reached his lips.

"We'd all be a lot happier, that's for sure." Nick said. He walked to his bunk and laid down, throwing his head under a pillow so he wouldn't hear any more.

Russell knew this was a perfect opportunity when they all stopped at the rest stop, the BSB bus driver getting off to relieve himself. He was in the bus behind them, the one for the road crew. He liked his job but he felt nothing was getting done fast. The more he saw the Carter kid the more he wanted to give him what he was due.

"Russ where you going?" someone asked, but he ignored them. He managed to get towards the bathroom and as Hank came out....he grabbed him by the neck. It was easy to break it, one snap was all it took and he was down.

"I wonder if it will be this easy for the others," he chuckled, putting on the uniform in the bathroom and trying his best to act natural when he came out. The boys were nowhere to be seen when he got onto their tour bus, putting it into drive and leaving.

Russell knew how to drive a transit bus, having done that before he was this was not all that different. He put his foot on the gas pedal and took a breath....hoping nobody would notice Hank was missing.

"Yeah I'm okay, sweetheart. Just had a stressful day again...." Brian was in his bunk when he felt the bus move, Hank hadn't been gone that long so it was odd they were moving again so quickly.

"Huh? Nah. The bus is moving again. Listen, I'll call you back later, okay? Yep love you too. Bye baby."

Brian hung up and stepped out of his bunk, looking towards the front where the driver's seat should be.

"You had the same thought I did, didn't you?" he said when he saw Kevin already up.

"Shh. That isn't Hank." Kevin whispered, gesturing at the man behind the wheel.

"How do you know?"

"I thought you guys were sleeping. Sorry if I woke you." Russ called out to them, making them jump. Kevin moved toward him, still feeling suspicious.

"Where is Hank?" Brian asked timidly, not moving at all. His heart was beating a little faster, something wasn't right.

"He asked me to take his spot, he wasn't feeling well. Why don't you take a seat?" Russ said.

"You're that guy....I have seen you before. You're the guy Nick was smoking with." Brian said slowly. Russ sighed, he hoped the questions wouldn't start, that was Jamie's mistake.

"Sit down and shut up. I'm in charge now." he growled. Brian saw the gun in his pocket and backed away towards the table, sitting down.

The two cousins looked at each other..they knew this wouldn't end well. It was then that Kevin tried to get Russell away from the wheel...


Nick felt the bus shaking and jumped up in his own bunk, hearing yelling from the front. First came a gunshot and then....well hell broke loose. He had one foot out when suddenly the world seemed to turn upside down. He could feel things falling and someone screaming....but it happened so fast he didn't have time to react. He was sliding all over the place and yelling, everyone was screaming.

"Brian!!!" he yelled without thinking. Nobody seemed to be around, he tried to stay in his bunk but tumbled breaking around him as he fell to the floor. He was hit in the head, he smelled blood before he went limp....the bus continued to shake. It finally came to rest...but by that time the bus was silent and so was Nick. The faint smell of gasoline hung in the night air on the tour bus, leaning on its sign of life.
Chapter 6 by DelphinaCarter
Author's Notes:
Enjoy the update!!!
When AJ first woke up, three thoughts occured to, he had to pee. Two, the bus was awfully dark.

AJ had no idea how he ended up in Howie's bunk, but he woke up startled to see that the bus had flipped over onto its side. There were suitcases and bags all over, broken glass and the smell of gasoline was still present.

"Holy shit." he whispered, coughing. Nobody else was really making a sound but he hoisted himself up slowly.

"D.....D where are you?"

He called for Howie but got no reply...he smelled blood but he didn't know where it was coming from.

The third thought struck him....the last words he spoke to his friends was him telling them to drop dead. It caused him to panic.

"Fellas? What the fuck is going on?"

AJ's was worried he was the only one alive until he nearly tripped over a body. It was Howie all right, his arm bent at an odd angle and blood on his face.

"Howie talk to me.....we need to get out of here...please? Answer me dude." he gently shook him but he didn't move, but the slow rise and fall from his chest signified that he was alive. AJ didn't want to leave him but he walked towards the front of the bus...afraid what he would find up there.

Brian felt a lot of pain when he woke up on the grass. He looked around, blinking in the rain that fell around him. He wondered for a moment how he'd ended up outside and looked back at the bus, his eyes wide.


There was no reply so Brian tried to stand, although he was wobbly and sore. The rain fell against his face, trickling down his chin and washing away dried blood. He was scraped up from being flung from the bus, and he felt pain in his wrist.

"Kevin? Nick? Howie? AJ? Anybody hear me?" he called again as he approached the overturned bus. He didn't even see Russell, which he was grateful for. Everything had happened so quick and he worried, wondering if Kevin had been hit by the gunfire.

"Brian?" AJ answered, coughing again.

"Thank God someone answered me. Are you all right?" Brian said. AJ poked his head out the broken window and saw that it would be hard to get down from that angle. Brian seemed to be all right, but his face was pretty banged up because he was bleeding.

"I think so, but Howie isn't. Where is everyone else?"

"I don't know, but I dont like that gas smell. Can you get Howie out? Is he injured badly?" Brian asked. He felt a chill and moved to the other side of the bus, but he didn't think that angle would help either. It was really worrying that he and AJ were the only ones talking right now.

AJ went back inside to see if he could pick up Howie when he suddenly tripped, catching himself on the bathroom door.

"Nicky is that you?"

It wasn't Nick. He had found Brian's dog crushed to death under some suitcases. AJ wretched, feeling sick to his stomach.

"I will never complain about a dog again...Jesus please help us get out of here." he whispered. Howie lay just a few feet away, still in the same spot. He wasn't too heavy but AJ still had trouble lifting him, struggling a bit as he put him over his shoulder. He knew this was a bad idea as his arm was probably broken, but AJ took the chance. The gasoline smell was making him queasy and dizzy.

"Rok, you still down there? Help me get Howie down."

After about ten minutes they safely moved Howie to the grass, Brian feeling more pain from lifting his bandmate.

"Damn, what the fuck happened?" AJ asked, finally realizing how bad the situation was.

"I...we have to find Nick and Kevin. Did you see Tyke anywhere?" Brian said, but AJ didn't answer. He'd gone back to find Nick....but it seemed hopeless. There was so much debris and other objects scattered about in the dark it was hard to see.


He coughed again and found himself wishing for a cigarette. He could use his ligjter for light, but with the gas smell they'd be blown to bits.

"Nicky all right? Answer me goddamn it."

He stood on the bus, feeling so frustrated and helpless that he punched the broken bathroom door and growled.


A small voice called out in the dark and he hurried towards it, hoping whoever it was would be okay.
Chapter 7 by DelphinaCarter
Author's Notes:
Hey sorry there was no update as promised yesterday, was very busy with work. Hope you enjoy this chapter!

He tried to move quickly towards the voice at what was the front of the tour bus. AJ stopped when he saw Kevin pinned under the driver's seat and wheel.

"You okay, Kevin?" he asked gently, stepping cautiously towards him. The smell of the gas was stronger here.

"I can't get me...." Kevin pleaded, almost in tears. Reality of the situation was settling in, he'd never heard fear in Kevin's voice before....nor had he seen him look so helpless.

"Hang on, I'm coming. Don't move, you aren't hurt are you?"

"Well I'm pinned under a goddamn wheel and I've just been in a accident, what do you think? You're the one who wanted us to drop dead." Kevin whispered angrily. The words stung but AJ knew he deserved that.

"Come on, don't be like that Kev."

A groan of pain was the only reply. AJ pushed and after a few minutes he stopped, the wheel was not coming loose at all.

"Sorry for snapping at you, I am just in a lot of pain. Try one more time." Kevin suggested.

"I can't get it."

"Well try again...please, I can't feel my leg. I think I got shot."

AJ heard Brian calling but he was determined to free Kevin from the steering wheel. He knew he had to hurry, wondering why he didn't find Nick yet. Hopefully that would be answered soon.

"Fucking Christ."

Russell felt like he'd been hit with the actual bus and not thrown into bushes, but they had broken his fall. He was covered in cuts, his clothes torn and wet....his neck incredibly sore.


Russell looked up and couldn't believe the kid was even standing, Nick was calling each of his band mates in turn, sounding like he'd been crying. He reached for his gun, Nick was already injured and nobody would ever know how he really died if he did him in now. The kid walked with a limp, holding his shoulder and wincing.

"Oh...thank god someone else is out here. I thought I was the only one.." Nick exclaimed happily, coming towards him. Russell cursed under his breath, he should have shot the asshole where he stood. Instead he put the gun,away before the kid saw anything, putting a fake smile on his bloody face.

"Yeah, kid. Guess we are lucky huh?"

"I remember you. I bummed a cigarette once from you. Russ, right? What are you doing out here anyway?" Nick asked, shivering. His head was throbbing and he was very sore but also afraid the others were dead. He worried about Brian, thinking about his last words to him.

"I was driving because Hank got sick at that rest stop. He asked me to take over. Maybe we should go and look for help?" Russell suggested, his hand on his gun in case Nick tried anything funny.

Nick paused to think and looked back the way he'd come from....wondering if anyone was looking for him.

"Maybe we should go back to the bus."

"That might be a bad idea, I smelled gas before and what if it blows up when we are there?" Russ said. If he could get this guy isolated enough everything would work out pretty well.

"True, but what if my friends are hurt and need me?"

"Have they needed you before?" Russ argued. The sound of AJ telling him to drop dead rang clear in his ears, Nick felt his eyes water. He and Brian were probably throwing a party knowing he was gone. All anyone seemed to do was yell at him or ignore him lately anyway. Leaving sounded like a good idea no matter how much he wanted to go back and look for them. Everything hurt and he just wanted to get a nice warm bed, go to sleep. His head hurt so bad...

"You're right. I can take care of myself.....I don't need them." Nick said in a hollow voice, feeling his stomach turn again. Russ slapped him on the back, grinning to himself.

"That's the spirit, kid."

He simply smiled, he couldn't believe Nick trusted so easily.

They started walking when suddenly there was a explosion....Nick whirled around and saw red in the sky in the direction of the bus. It wasn't too far away, there were flames above the trees silhouetted against the night sky.


Russell didn't know what to do when Nick started heading back, so he grabbed his shoulder. Nick cried out in pain almost immediately and he retracted.

"Jesus Christ, are you stupid or something? You'll get yourself killed if you go back there." Russ reasoned.

"They could be dying. It's all my fault. Everything is my fault..." Nick whispered through tears. He fell to the ground as his knee gave out, laying on the wet grass and sobbing. Every emotion he'd been feeling spilled over as the reality hit him.

"Come on, we better find somewhere out of this rain before we both catch cold." Russell said gently, helping him up. He almost felt bad for leading him away, but soon he would put Nick out of his misery.
Chapter 8 by DelphinaCarter
Author's Notes:
Hope you enjoy this chapter!
Nick ignored Russell and kept walking towards the fire. When he had been thrown, he'd rolled down a small hill and landed in a bush, where he woke up shivering. He felt horrible for what he said to Brian and all he wanted was to see him again, to tell him sorry. Brian was one of the most important people to him, even though they hadn't been getting along.

He would never forgive himself if Brian was dead....if any of them were dead.

"You can't go back there, it's too dangerous." Russell protested, but Nick kept limping. He didn't seem that hurt but it was obvious he was in pain.

"I have to know. We should all probably stick together anyway. Safety in numbers, right?" Nick said.

Russell answered by shooting into the air, startling Nick and making him jump. Nick felt his knee scream at him but he stood there, staring in shock.

"I am in charge and I say we are going this way, understand?" he growled. Nick trembled but now he was sure he didn't want to follow. Why he did in the first place was a stupid decision. Nick could only think of one thing....and that was to run.

"Get back here!!" Russell shouted. He wanted to kick himself for this whole thing, it wasn't how it was supposed to turn out at all.

Nick hurt like hell but he ran as fast as he could, adrenaline taking over. Russell was cursing and fired at him, missing him but not by much. Nick just prayed he could lose him.

Russ cursed under his breath when Nick broke away. He almost had him but even injured that kid could run. Being injured himself kind of put him in a predicament, wondering if he should bother chasing after him at all, or try to get help for himself. The kid wouldn't survive in these woods anyway, there were tons of dangerous animals...not to mention he didn't have food. Russ almost walked away, but turned instead he turned towards where Nick ran to, thinking of Chloe. She would have wanted him to finish what he started.

It had to be done for her.

Nick felt the pain in his legs intensify but he moved quickly. Once he felt like he lost Russell, he stopped, leaning on a tree to rest as sweat dripped down his face. He was soaked from the rain and cold, completely alone in the dark. If fate smiled on him, Russ wouldn't find during the night. The question was, where would he go? There didn't seem to be any sort of civilization where he was. The bus, burning not far away was destroyed and his bandmates...they were gone.

Nick would give anything to see them now. Even AJ.

As he limped, his stomach turned over...feeling like it would leap from his throat.

He thought back to the guys again. Everything had been falling apart lately, but he wanted to hear Brian tell him a joke....or Kevin yell at him....anything just to hear their voices. Nick finally leaned over and lost the contents of his stomach, which wasn't much, he'd gone to bed before the accident without finishing dinner.

It was then he smelled blood.

"Help me lift Howie, Brian. Onto my back." AJ said once they had felt it was okay to move. Looking over at Kevin sitting on the ground, he was grateful they had made it out in time before the gasoline caught fire.

"You sure you can lift him?" Brian asked, holding his wrist. His thoughts were not on his cousin but on Nick. Was he all right?

"Yeah, I think so. We need to find somewhere to rest for the night."

"AJ is right. It's no use sitting here in the rain talking." Kevin agreed. Even though he had been lodged under the steering wheel, he didn't feel that far off...but the throbbing in his head and ringing in his ear were not something he enjoyed.

"Good idea, but where exactly do we go? It isn't like there is a Four Seasons or something out here." Brian snapped. He was getting chilly and would give anything for a coffee, then he cursed at himself for being so thoughtless. Nick may be dead, and if he wasn't....that guy was still out there.

They found a cave not too far from the crash site, at least they would be dry. AJ tried to wake up Howie by shaking him gently but he was out cold.

"Howie is lucky he doesn't know what is going on. Lucky bastard." he said finally, sitting down. He searched in his pocket for his cigarettes but was disappointed when he only found a lighter.

"We are all lucky to be alive." Kevin pointed out with a smile.

"I heard a gun go off, you sure you're all right?" AJ asked, noticing the dried blood on Kevin's torn jeans. Kevin looked down and nodded, although his leg hurt. He figured it was from being stuck, he'd know if he'd been shot.

"I hope Nick is okay. You think he got thrown from the bus too?" Brian replied, interrupting their conversation. He shivered and moved to sit closer to the others for warmth.

Not knowing would be the hardest part....not knowing if their little brother was all right or if he would be okay on his own. Nick was the kind of person who relied heavily on others, he rarely made any decisions on his own. When he did they turned out badly.

"If Nick is as stubborn as he usually is, I am sure he is just fine." AJ said, putting the lighter back into his pocket. Kevin watched him, feeling so proud that AJ had rescued him and Howie almost on his own....he was really grateful.

"I am proud of you AJ."

"That was nothing, man. You may piss me the fuck off but I love you. I wouldn't leave you for dead."

Kevin patted AJ on the knee and smiled. The rain fell steadily outside the cave and the three of them thought once again of Nick....hoping soon they would find him and the wait would be over.

Little did they know they were not alone....
Chapter 9 by DelphinaCarter
Author's Notes:
Even though reviews on the site are currently down, I still all to be able to read. Here is Chapter 9....if you want to leave me, comment on twitter or my update thread on the Absolute Chaos Discussion Board. My twitter is FrickingKaos, just search me if you don't follow already. Enjoy the update!
"What the fuck was that?" Brian asked when he heard the sticks cracking outside.

"Did you, B. Never thought I'd hear an F bomb from-" AJ commented. Kevin hit him, wincing at the sudden pain shooting up his leg.

"Never mind that, you idiot. Something is out there."

AJ looked towards the cave opening, shivering again. He may have been looking like a bad ass lately but in reality he was a big chicken. Brian and Kevin both looked at him as if to tell him to check things out.

"Why me?"

"I am injured and so is Brian. You're the healthiest...." Kevin reasoned. Something was definitely moving around outside and his heart beat faster, hoping they weren't about to be eaten by a grizzly bear or a mountain lion.

"What if it eats me?" AJ asked. Whatever the creature was grunted.

"Just go and check it out...." Brian argued, rolling his eyes.

AJ took cautious steps towards the cave opening, listening for any signs of a large animal...but all he heard was the rain. He took a step outside the cave and his eyes scanned the ground, but because it was so dark it was difficult to make anything out.

"There isn't anything out here. It was probably a racoon or some shit." AJ called, turning to go back in when something grabbed his leg.

"He's been gone too long." Brian commented after a little time had gone by. Kevin nodded, inspecting his leg again. It was hurting more now that he had stopped moving around on it, not to mention he had nothing to elevate it with.

"I'm sure he is fine, I wish it wasn't so dark, we could look for Nick. You know he doesn't like being alone. What if he is with Russell?" Kevin said.

"I have a bad feeling he was trying to hurt us. If that was the case, I don't want Nick to be with him. I really hope he made it out of the bus."

Brian couldn't stop thinking about the bus exploding and the possibility of Nick's charred remains scattered in the woods, it made him sick to his stomach. AJ screaming broke him from his thoughts and his head shot up. Even though Kevin was begging him not to, he had to go and look. AJ stopped yelling and wasn't in the cave anymore.


"Brian, help me. It's Nick." AJ whispered urgently. Brian couldn't see but he found a body laying at his feet, and he could smell blood. The rain seemed to be finally letting up as they managed to get Nick inside. Brian cried out at his wrist and dropped him once but they made it to the others.

AJ flicked the lighter open so he could see better. It was definitely unconscious but still breathing. Dried blood was at the corners of his mouth and down his face from a gash on his head, and he was very pale.

"See, I told you he made it." AJ said. Brian sat down next to him, touching Nick's face gently and noticing he felt cold. They heard a soft moan from behind them, Howie was stirring.

"Howie!" AJ exclaimed, his voice echoing as he ran to him. He had closed the lighter but found him nonetheless, crying from happiness.

"Where....where are we?" Howie whispered,.fear in his voice. He sounded hoarse....they all did from not having water for quite some time. Howie didn't remember anything having been asleep when the bus started to shake which he felt lucky for. The cave was dark and cold, all of them huddled near each other for warmth.

"Don't worry about that, we are just happy to hear your voice again, D." AJ said, kissing his forehead.

"I really wish we had some light, so we could see better. I'm so tired." Brian pointed out. AJ knew the lighter could help with that but there was nothing dry to make a fire with, everything outside the cave was wet. Kevin ended up suggesting for them all to sleep, so they got as close to each other as they could, resting on each other's shoulders. Nick's head lay in Brian's lap so Brian could keep an eye on him better.

"One of us should stay awake to keep watch. That guy is still out there." Kevin said. AJ almost protested that he was too tired, but that would have been a lie. These guys needed him.

"I'll do it, I guess." AJ offered, knowing he was the strongest as Brian put it. Growing up in the group, AJ never really relied on anyone for help.and now they all relied on him, he was just worried about letting them down.

Russell was thankful the rain had let up, sitting by a small creek. He had spent some time tracking Nick down by just listening for his coughing, the coughing had stopped long ago so he stopped for rest. Russell had experience in hunting, he figured his prey had either passed out from exhaustion or found a hiding place...but he didn't worry. Dawn was in a few hours and the real challenge would begin. As he patted his gun in his pocket, he smiled.

He would get his revenge, one way or another.
Chapter 10 by DelphinaCarter
Author's Notes:
Hi everyone :) reviews are still down but here is a new chapter. Please review on Twitter or my update thread at the AC forum. Thanks for reading and enjoy!
AJ felt himself nod off once or twice during the night but the sun woke him up and he stretched, his back aching from being against the cold cave wall. He looked back at the others and smiled, they had all made it this far, hopefully they would find some help soon. Nick was still in Brian's lap, Howie leaning on Kevin and Brian on the other side. If AJ had a camera he'd have taken a picture, it was definitely a Kodak moment...minus their injuries.

"Is it morning?" Kevin asked, yawning himself. He looked around, hoping that everything had been a dream, but it was real. He felt disappointed and angry that they were still in the cave and his leg throbbed when he sat up.

"I think so. The sun came up not long ago...You think we should wake the others?" AJ asked. He was hungry....starving actually. He licked his lips to moisten them but his mouth was dry.

"We need to find help. Howie obviously had a concussion and I am positive Nick isn't much better. We can't stay here." Kevin replied. He wondered if anyone had noticed they never made it to the next venue, or if anyone was looking for them at all. He thought of his girlfriend Kristin, if she had tried calling.

Their situation seemed pretty damn hopeless at that point, not having any idea where they were or what direction to go in. All Kevin knew was that it wasn't over yet.

A few hours later the others started to stir, first Brian and Howie but Nick remained out cold. He was pale and the blood worried Brian especially because most was collected at the corner of his face, above his ear.

"I'm hungry." AJ said, rubbing his stomach. He and Brian had gone out before to see if there was anything edible nearby, but came back empty handed. Judging by the angle of the sun it was almost noon.

"I know....we all are. Maybe we should all go search for help together." Brian said as he heard his own stomach growl.

"What about Nick? He isn't exactly of us will have to carry him." Kevin pointed out. This sparked another arguement among them but Nick's sudden coughing startled them.

"Nick! Nick, you okay?" Brian asked, putting a hand on his back. Nick shook his head, his stomach felt like he'd swallowed acid and he coughed up droplets of blood whenever a coughing fit came on. Brian felt his forehead, he was burning up.

After seeing Nick's condition they all decided to leave the safety of the cave and hike through the woods, almost carrying Kevin along while Nick limped behind them.

Russell watched them leave the cave, chuckling from the hilltop. He knew they would make themselves known and they did. His stomach was growling and he was dizzy from dehydration but it would all be worth it. He followed them for about a mile, keeping out of sight. Nick almost fell but was helped up and consoled, Russell felt jealous. His own brother never took care of him like that, never cared for his life. Jason put him away, like an animal...all he'd done was robbed a bank so he could buy his sister some concert tickets. He would do anything for his baby sister.

"Bastard. He will be next." Russell said to himself, dodging between the trees.

"You know, I am never complaining about being in a tour bus again. We really took that shit for granted, huh?" AJ said, panting as they walked. Nick started to cough again and they stopped.


AJ felt three pairs of eyes glare at him.

"Don't be an asshole, AJ." Brian hissed. AJ rolled his eyes, mouthing something and mocking him. He was tired and hungry, they were all getting cranky again.

"Maybe we should stop." Kevin suggested, ignoring them and looking the youngest over. Nick wiped his mouth, the blood was gone for now but his chest hurt.

"No, I'm fine. I don't want to slow us down." he said. Nick still felt guilty for getting them hurt in the first place, for telling Brian to drop dead. As he looked up he saw something moving in the trees and gasped, causing Howie to jump.

"What is it?"

Nick looked again, whatever it was had run off by now.

"Nothing." Nick brushed it off but the more they walked....the worse he seemed to feel.

"You aren't slowing us down, Nick. What is wrong? Do you need rest?" Brian said. Nick was looking flushed again and so was Howie.

"I already said I was fine. Just because I am hurt all of a sudden you guys care about....about me?" the youngest said, coughing once more. All of them except for AJ looked away, knowing Nick was right. They'd been ignoring him and worrying about AJ's problems when they didn't see someone else crying out for help too.

"I'm so sorry, Nick....I..." Brian began, but a gunshot silenced his words.

All of them ducked but Nick's eyes went wide. A smiling face stood there in the distance watching them, almost laughing. It was Russell, dried blood on his face and a grotesque smile. He aimed and fired at them again, stepping closer.

"Run!!!" Nick screamed, as another shot nearly missed Howie by an inch. It hit a tree and Nick realized this was not a dream. This was real....they were being hunted.
Chapter 11 by DelphinaCarter
Author's Notes:
umm...please don't kill me. *hides*
Russell didn't even think about what he was doing, he just fired one shot. When all of them shouted, he shot another and another. Now they were scrambling.

"Come on, Kevin.....we gotta go!!!" one of them said, picking the one who was limping onto their back. Russell laughed at them. Weak. That's what they were. Only cowards ran according to his brother. He hadn't run when the police caught up to him that day on the interstate. Well, technically he had after he stole the car....but those details weren't important.

All that mattered now was getting the job done.

Howie was in total shock when the bullets began ricocheting off of the tree nearest him....but when he saw the man shooting he wondered what was going on. The man seemed to be aiming at Nick so naturally he ran close to him, acting as a shield...and Brian followed. It was crazy how the other day nobody was even talking, and now they were protecting one another.

"No...don't risk yourselves for me.....just let him get me...." Nick wheezed. He fell to his knees and doubled over, another shot fired. Howie lept on top of him, causing Nick to cry out in pain. Brian reached to help Nick up but he pushed him away.

"I am just slowing us down...." he said. He felt so tired and sore he just wanted to flop over. He'd give his left arm for a bed right now....or even something to drink. Dehydration was kicking in.

"Nick don't say that. We are gonna get you out of here. Please, Frack. Stop being so stubborn and let us help you." Brian pleaded. The man shooting at them seemed to stop for now, which was a relief for them.

"We shouldn't have left the cave." Kevin said. Everyone knew he was right but there was no turning back now....even if they did it wouldn't do them any good. All five were tired and in a lot of pain.

"Now what are we going to do, Kevin? We can't just keep running."

Kevin looked at Howie and searched for an answer, but he had nothing. It was late afternoon, the sun was hiding once again. The five of them managed to lose Russell again and found a small creek, stopping to rest.

AJ stood watching the others, fishing in his pocket for a loose cigarette but when he came up empty handed he sighed and pocketed his lighter again.

"You all right?" Howie asked, appearing next to him. Kevin was rinsing the cuts on his leg and Brian was trying to talk to Nick, but it didn't seem to be working.

"You'd think someone would have noticed we were gone by now. Don't you think it's odd we haven't seen any civilization for hours?"

"I was thinking about that too." Howie said. He suddenly remembered the phone in his pocket....but when he looked at it, the screen was cracked from being thrown around in the bus. The little hope they all had was slowly fading.

"You guys aren't even trying...are you?"

AJ and Howie looked up to see Russell standing at the edge of the clearing. Brian stood in front of Nick to protect him but his eyes fell upon the gun.

"I don't need any of you.....I am only interested in him." Russell said in a raspy voice, aiming at Brian's head.

"Back off or I will kill you both."

"Like hell you will."

A rock flew through the air, nearly missing Russell's head. He laughed, watching Kevin pick up another.

"Watch it or you'll be first."

"Over my dead body." Kevin said, managing to get by Nick even though his leg hurt to stand. Nick was frozen in fear, closing his eyes while his heart beat out of his chest as Russell clicked the trigger....

"That can be arranged."

"Why are you doing this?" Brian asked. Russell smiled at them, standing in front of Nick with the exception of Kevin, who was trying to stand.
Nick looked at him, thinking. Why did he look so familiar?

"Justice....he will never hurt anyone again." was all Russell would say. Nick felt horrible, they were all in danger and it was his fault.

"You're not touching him. You'll have to kill all of us first." Brian said sternly.

All Russell did was laugh.

"Have it your way then."

Nick shut his eyes, he didn't know what else to do. All he heard was the gun go off...


Nick didn't want to open his eyes to find out what had happened.
Chapter 12 by DelphinaCarter
Author's Notes:
Sorry for lack of updates, I was very busy yhis weekend with work so I didn't have time to write. Hope you enjoy the chapter!!!

"Nick....please answer me...."

Nick was in darkness and he felt something soft cushioning him. He opened his eyes and everything was blurry, the lower half of him ached.


Even Brian was blurry.

"Thank god. I am right here, buddy."

Nick allowed himself to open his eyes, feeling the tightness in his chest. He could hear Brian's voice but it wasn't matching up to his mouth, everything was in slow motion and his stomach did backflips.

"What happened? Where's Kevin...." Nick whispered. His eyes watered at the thought of Kevin being shot, blood everywhere. Kevin was like a father....more than his own father. He knew he wouldn't allow himself to live if any of his friends were hurt.

"Kevin is fine. Are you okay?" Brian's voice asked again. Nick felt his hand on his face, he wanted to sleep.

"I'm so tired."

"You had us worked for a bit there, kiddo." AJ pointed out as Nick's vision became clearer. They were by the creek, but no Russell.

Nick managed to sit up....he looked around.

"What happened?" he asked, blinking. Kevin sat in front of him, perfectly fine.

"We were all walking and you fainted. You said you couldn't breathe and you just kind of, well you fell and hit your head on something. AJ was freaking out." Brian explained.

"I was not." AJ said, crossing his arms over his knees and staring off into the woods.

"Don't let him fool you. How are you feeling?"

"Where's Russell? He was going to kill all of you....he shot Kevin...."

Howie took his shoulders, shaking off a dizzy spell.

"Nick who is Russell? Is that the guy who shot at us earlier? You need to tell us everything.....why is he after you?"

Nick looked away, his head down. He felt like everything was his fault and the only reason anyone cared about him right now was because the guy was after him. If he could just get away from them, they'd be safe....

"Don't pressure him, Howie. He just woke up." Kevin warned. Howie eventually gave up and they left Nick alone, leaving him with Brian. Nick really started thinking when everyone was quiet. Russell in his dream seemed really angry, and he wondered who he had hurt. There wasn't time to think about it. He needed to talk to him.

"Nick you okay?" Brian asked, noticing the look on his face. Nick nodded but stared off, especially when Kevin and Howie were discussing which direction they would head in next. Kevin said following the creek may help them.

It was late afternoon and they were all still at the creek, when a gunshot once again startled them. Brian helped Nick up and they ran....well, walked quickly because Kevin wasn't able to. Nick cried out at the next gunshot, he managed to get his hand away from Brian and pulled back, wheezing. His chest hurt again...the dizziness was back.

"Nick, we have to hurry!"

Russell was a few feet away, his shoes splashing in the creek behind them. He had the gun raised, smiling like before. Nick fell to the ground, blinking because his head was spinning.

Brian turned around as Russell grabbed Nick, pulling him away from them. His arm latched around Nick's neck, choking him as he struggled. Howie charged towards him but the gun was pointed at Nick's temple. Everyone turned towards the two of them, horrified.

"Come any closer and I will waste him right now."

"Why....why are you..." Nick whispered. He couldn't get much more out because Russell had him in a headlock. Brian moved closer and Russell fired, laughing because Nick began to cry.

"Please don't hurt them..."

"These people are important to you, are they? Well you took my sister from maybe I should show you how that feels?"

It was then that it hit him. He knew exactly what Russ was talking about. Chloe. Russell fired at Brian again and Nick struggled, feeling once again like he was going to pass out.

"I didn't mean to hurt Chloe!!!" he shouted. Out of the corner of his eye he saw Howie go behind them. Russell tightened his grip.

"You fucking left her, left without a goodbye and now she is dead because of you....women are just objects to you. I've seen your groupies lining up at shows. You took away my sister...and now you'll pay."

Nick didn't think, he clamped his teeth down on Russell's arm....hard.

"Fuck!!!" Russell screamed, dropping Nick.

Everything happened so fast, Howie tackled him and the two wrestled on the ground as Nick dragged himself towards Brian. Russell threw a punch to Howie's face and he fell, not moving. Nick scrambled but Russell grabbed his leg.

"You're not going anywhere. You will end up just like hell!"

"Son of a bitch!" Kevin yelled, jumping on him. Nick and Brian watched them, Brian frozen in his spot.....Nick felt like he wanted to throw up. It was already his fault that they were in this situation in the first place, and now everyone knew.

Russell was going to finish it once and for all. He wasn't afraid to go back to jail once he knew that Nick was in his sights, and he was willing to do away with anyone else who got in the way.

He had to do it for Chloe.
End Notes:
*shameless plug time* I am nominated in the Double Rainbow awards on Rose's site Please vote if you havent already! Thanks :)
Chapter 13 by DelphinaCarter
Author's Notes:
Hey everyone. Sorry for the wait, busy with work and haven't had time to write. I am still trucking, hope you enjoy this chapter!
Ever since Russell was a little boy he felt rebellious. He never listened to his parents, never listened to his teachers. He didn't even listen to the police.....the only one he would listen to was Chloe. He loved his sister because she understood him better than anyone. She understood all he wanted was to be noticed, because their older brother Jason seemed to get all of the praise. He loved to rub it in Russell's face as well, gloating whenever he had the chance.

"I just made the squad...and what have you done, brother? Still working on your little paintings?"

Russell hated Jason. One day he'd show them all he was important.

He actually hadn't minded his job as a roadie, he got a free place to sleep with his cousin, food was basically included. He would have forgotten his revenge if it hadn't been for that poor girl outside that night before one of the shows.

"Please, I just want to meet Nick. It's been a huge dream of mine...I have been a fan since I was ten. Can you help me? You work for them right?"

The girl had looked just like Chloe so Russell didn't mind trying to help her any way he could. Her name was Marie and she had the prettiest green eyes Russell had ever seen. She wore a backstreet boys t shirt and had "I love Nick" drawn on her face.

He snuck her backstage, making sure that nobody questioned him. Once they got to the dressing area, Russell was surprised to already see a few girls standing there. Some were dressed skimpy and looked older.

"Hey, Nick....can you just take one picture with her, please?" Russell asked when Nick made his.way over. He seemed like he didn't want to be anywhere near fans right now.

"She ain't my type." came the reply. Nick didn't even look at the girl.

"She just wants to meet you."

"I'm busy."

The girl was near tears when Nick turned the other way towards the group near his dressing room.

"You....and...okay, you." He said, with the air of choosing people to play basketball with. Russell approached him again, determined.

"Come on, you owe me. I always let you bum cigarettes. Just do me this one favor, please."

"I don't owe you shit, yo. I already told ya, that chick ain't my type.....sorry. I got business to attend to." Nick laughed. Russell cringed, where was the kid he'd seen earlier that morning? He had been replaced with some cocky bastard sporting a fake ghetto accent. Nick walked away and Russell shook his head, the anger in him coming back as the fan cried into his shoulder.

Russell thought of this as he hunted Nick and the others through the woods, determined to get justice for Chloe, for Maria and any other girl Nick had hurt in his sexual escapades. He had seen his opportunity when the tour buses stopped at the rest stop....Hank never saw it coming. None of them did. Russell didn't intend to crash the bus but park it while the others were sleeping and kill Nick as he slept...not call attention to himself. However now he knew he couldn't go back to prison knowing he failed, he wanted to prove everyone wrong.

Russell Harris was not a screw up.....he would make damn sure to follow through even if it meant dying himself.
Chapter 14 by DelphinaCarter
Author's Notes:
Hope you enjoy the chapter.
Brian stood there as his friends wrestled with Russell in disbelief. The pain in his wrist was pretty bad but he grabbed Nick and ran, the two of them following the creek. Nick was wheezing when they came to a river, hearing the others shouting in the distance.

"Brian, we can't just leave them. We need to go back." Nick said, allowing himself to fall onto the grass. His stomach ached and he just wanted to sleep, his head hurting from all of the thoughts running through it.

"I had to get you away from that guy....he was going to kill you, Nick." Brian said, looking for a hiding place for the two of them. Nick stayed on the ground, rubbing at his eyes. He felt grateful for Brian wanting to save him, but didn't like the idea of leaving Kevin, AJ and Howie behind with Russell. If he wanted to kill him, what was stopping him from killing the others?

"I don't think we should seperate." Nick said finally. He picked up a stone off the ground and tossed into the river, listening to the water.

"If you think about it, we kinda already were before all this happened. What happened to us?" Brian wondered, shaking his head. Things were really bad before the bus crashed, and Brian had a feeling it would get worse before it got better.


"Yeah, Nick?"

"I'm sorry I toldyou to drop dead."

Brian smiled and sat down next to him, ruffling Nick's hair.

"I know you didn't mean it. I still love you and I am sorry for saying it to you on occasion." he said, pulling him into a sideways hug. He helped Nick up off his feet, and the two of them continued walking.

"Brian, all of this is my fault. You don't love me. I'm a fuck up. I almost got us all killed." Nick protested. He really wanted to go back and get the others,but it was probably best to have Russell distracted while they got away.

"Who is Chloe? You mentioned her before." Brian asked after some silence.

"It's a long story, Brian." Nick said, looking at his feet.

"I want to know.....everything."

Nick turned around, his back towards the river. He began telling Brian everything, the words spewing out without stopping. He told of how basically he had cheated on a girlfriend with Chloe and Chloe found out she was being used just for a booty call. He felt so guilty that he had tried contacting her only to find out she had committed suicide, the reasoning for Russell's anger. Nick had forgotten about Chloe's brother that was in prison and now here he was, seeking justice. Brian listened in silence, looking at his friend with disappointment and wondering how he should handle it. While Nick had screwed up, but he didn't deserve to die. Nobody did.

Nick wiped his eyes when he finished, feeling incredibly guilty. Brian opened his mouth to speak but befire he could, Russell came charging at them. Nick didn't have time to react, the force of Russell's body crashing into his flung them into the river with a deafening splash. AJ, Kevin and Howie came after, seeing Brian at the riverbank panicking.

"NICK!!" Brian screamed, scanning the water.

Nick and Russell were struggling, fighting as they treaded water. It was cold and Nick felt his clothes weighing him down. He couldn't call for help and Russell was desperately trying to push him to keep him submerged. He felt helpless as he kicked, not knowing what way was up or down.

As Russell held him, Nick started thinking, memories flashing before him. Was this what it was like to die? He was gasping for breath but was only met with water. Cold water surrounding on all sides.

On the riverbank Brian was frantic, knowing they didn't have much time to waste. He was about to jump in when he saw Nick appear above the water briefly before Russell pulled him down again. Brian moved to jump but AJ stopped him.

"Brian your wrist is sprained. Let me..." AJ said before diving in. He didn't take long to find Russell, clinging to Nick's back to weigh him down. AJ landed a few punches and grabbed Nick, who was unconscious. He dragged Nick back to shore, it was a little difficult with the current but Howie helped get Nick out of the water. They didn't see Russell anywhere.

After a few moments Nick coughed, spitting up the water he swallowed.

Nick lay on the ground coughing and coughing,wondering when this nightmare would end.
Chapter 15 by DelphinaCarter
Author's Notes:
First of all let me say I am so very sorry that I haven't updated in about a month. September honestly was not a good writing month for me and I appreciate anyone who is still reading and being patient.

I am planning on trying to finish this story soon in the next few chapters, hopefully before I leave for the BSB cruise. Thank you for reading and sticking with me. :)
"Come on, Kevin. You have to get up....we have to move." Howie pleaded. They were still near the river and it was starting to get dark once more. All of them were so tired and all Howie wanted at this point was to get everyone to safety. His own head still hurt, possibly from a concussion but he tried helping Kevin up anyway.

Back when the group first began, Howie felt closest to AJ but he and Kevin bonded because they were close in age. They tended to do more together, and when things had gotten bad he found himself really connecting with him. Howie felt like he owed it to him to look out for him like he always did.

"I don't think I can, Howie." Kevin said. He had sttained his leg enough trying to protect Nick and now the pain was shooting through him.

"Maybe I can carry you," Howie suggested, but as he really thought about it....he wasn't sure if he was able to.

"You need to get Nick away from here. That guy really has it out for him. Don't worry about me." Kevin said, a hint of sadness in his voice. Kevin was always the one putting everyone else before himself. He was always trying to make sure the other guys had what they needed on the road, playing his role as the watchful big brother. Sometimes Howie wished Kevin wouldn't do that but he liked that at the same time, and he admired him for it.

"I can't do that knowing you are hurt." Howie said finally, trying to figure out the best way to help him.

"Maybe we can both lift him?" AJ said, appearing next to him. This surprised Howie. AJ was normally not one to offer to help with anything, he was so wrapped up in his partying lifestyle that he didn't bother.

"What are you staring at me like that for?"

"Don't mind him, AJ. He's just tired. We all are. Now how do you propose we carry me when we don't know where we are going? We haven't seen any people in a while day." Kevin said. He knew Howie was thinking the same as him, AJ had never acted so bravely before, it wasn't like him.

It reminded Kevin of Nick's 21st birthday, when the kid locked himself in the bathroom and had wouldn't come out, spending most of the evening crying. Kevin had called overdramatics but AJ thought otherwise.

"Just let me talk to him. Please." AJ had begged. Kevin let him and pretty soon they were all at dinner together, laughing like nothing had happened. He wondered if he would ever find out why Nick was so troubled.

Eventually AJ managed to lift Kevin and lean him against his back, his arms wrapped around his neck.

"Come on, let's get the hell out of these damn woods." AJ said, not flinching at all. In that moment, Kevin felt like maybe things were finally turning around. He actually felt a little hopeful that it would be okay. They met up with Nick and Brian who weren't far down the river. Nick was sitting down, soaked to the bone and shivering.

"It's gonna be dark soon, we need shelter." Brian pointed out, looking up at the sky. Nick stay focused on the water, not saying anything...just staring at it.

"I wish we had somewhere to go, but we don't even know where we are." Howie added. AJ grunted and hoisted Kevin up once more.

"You think anyone is looking for us?" Brian wondered out loud. It seemed weird that there hadn't been any people around for quite some time, although Brian figured maybe it was just that area. There was no sign of civilization anywhere since the bus crashed.

"Maybe for you guys..." Nick said softly before falling silent again. The others looked at him but nobody spoke up. They managed to talk Nick into getting on his feet and once again they were walking, trying to ignore how hungry they were.

"Man I cannot wait to get onto solid ground again. This hiking shit is for the birds."

Kevin chuckled, that sounded like the old AJ....the one before all the partying and drugs....before everything.

"Well you shouldn't have worn those boots." Kevin said.

"Like I planned to be hiking through the woods Kevin.....sheesh." AJ laughed. They both laughed and felt a little better about the situation. Kevin noticed every so often Nick would glance backwards, as if he felt they were being followed. Russell had to be dead....he had disappeared.

"You okay, Nick?" Howie asked. Nick was trembling and jumped at the touch of his hand.All he did was apologize and nod, not in the mood for talking. Howie was about to say something when Brian shouted.

"Look over's a campground!" he said, waving his arms.

"Thank god." AJ said, his back starting to hurt from carrying Kevin.

It looked promising enough, there was a tent pitched by some picnic tables.

"Okay so where is everyone?" Howie whispered.

"Well, we can't just go up to the tent and ring a bell, D. Go over and see if they can help us." AJ said, letting Kevin down at the picnic table to rest.

Howie walked up to the tent, smiling. Finally things were looking up.

"Um, excuse me....hello?" he said brightly. Nobody answered so he called again, stepping closer. Howie turned to talk to Brian but was met with a gun barrel, his eyes wide. He could only think of one thing to say.

Chapter 16 by DelphinaCarter
Author's Notes:
Hey everyone!! I told you this chapter would be coming sooner than you thought. I am updating this now because I will be away most of the weekend in NYC for a comic convention, so hopefully you enjoy this chapter. Had a lot of problems posting so I hope it came out all right. Enjoy the update and as always, feedback is most appreciated!
Howie turned around to see a gun in his face, but it wasn't Russell. It belonged to a man in hunting gear.

"What are you doing by my tent?" the man barked. Howie gulped and laughed nervously.

"My friends and I need help, we were in a bus crash not far from here. We were just looking for help, sir."

The man lowered his rifle.

"You mean the bus crash on the main road? I heard about it on my two way in my truck. Sorry I spooked's Carl."

Howie sighed with relief as the man held out his hand for him to shake. As it turned out they had been in a state forest, and Kevin reasoned that was why they hadn't run into any other people. It wasn't summer and not many were camping.

"There, now that should do it. I can take you boys into town if you like in my truck." Carl offered with a smile as he wrapped Kevin's leg in a bandage from his first aid kit and handed out some water. They were all grateful to get some help finally but Nick was silent, staring off at the woods where they came from.

"You all right, Nick?" Brian asked, offering him the water. Nick took a long drink and sighed with content.

"Not really." he said in a hollow voice. Brian looked at him with compassion. Nick had been through more than most of the guys put together and yet sometimes Brian wanted to take the kid and smack him when he got melancholy.

Nick was always throwing himself a pity party these days and the guys thought it was normal teenage behavior, until he continued to do it after turning 20. He was now 21 and had seemed to spiral out of control ever since his birthday....

"Nick come on....things can't be that bad." Brian had said on Nick's birthday as he looked disappointed at his cell phone.

"It's my birthday. You think they would call." Nick argued, sighing.

"Maybe they are busy. My mom didn't call on my birthday either." Brian offered. Nick rolled his eyes and looked at the phone again as if it were going to jump, Brian could feel his frustration with Nick building already.

"That is because we were overseas and couldn't get phone calls, Bri. Don't make this about you."
That did it.

"Nick are you freaking KIDDING ME? Don't make this about me? You have been holed up in this room all day stuffing your face and wallowing. I was trying to cheer you up." Brian shouted.
"I don't need you." Nick said.

"All you do anymore is push me away! Well fuck you!"

Nick looked mildly surprised that Brian was cursing, some words came out that would have made a sailor blush.

"Was that necessary?"

"No wonder your parents didn't call you. If I was them I wouldn't either. You act so moody these days I don't know how to speak to you." Brian said. He felt bad when Nick's eyes welled up with tears.

"So don't then. Nobody else bothers, why should you?" Nick said before locking himself in the bathroom. It had taken AJ to finally calm him down enough to come out of that bathroom.
Brian felt horrible afterward and even now as they sat at the campsite, he wondered if Nick still thought about that night.

"Nick, I am sorry for what I said to you on your birthday." he said suddenly, patting him on the back. They heard Carl mention bringing them to town on his truck because Howie's head was starting to hurt again and they all couldn't wait to get out of the woods already. At least they felt better now that they had some water and a bit of food.

"Why are you bringing that up again, Brian? That was ages ago." Nick retorted.

"I was just thinking about it. I know this year has been a bit crazy for you already. I feel like I have been taking you for granted."

"Well you have a girlfriend now, you don't need me anymore. I get that."

Brian looked at his feet, he knew Nick was right. Ever since he had met Leighanne he had kind of pushed all his friends to the side. Even at his wedding, the guys didn't seem like they were totally okay with him settling down, but he was in love. Now that he was alone with the guys he had realized how much he really missed spending time with them.

"That's not what I mean, Nick. You're always gonna be my best friend, no matter what happens. I love you." he whispered. For the first time in two days Brian saw Nick crack a genuine smile.

"Don't get all mushy on me now." he said, pretending to look if anyone was listening to give them a hard time. Brian pushed him playfully, chuckling.

"I love you too Brian." Nick grinned.

Nick thought maybe things were starting to look up for the two of them after all.

Once the truck was loaded up with the camping equipment, Carl helped Kevin into the truck and the others rode in the back. They were finally about to see civilization again, they couldn't be happier.

"I cannot wait to have a long ass nap when this is over with." AJ said, putting his arms behind his head as the others laughed.

Kevin was about to open his mouth when they saw a figure on the side of the road.....watching them. He didn't say anything, but the fear rose to the surface again. Kevin recognized the dark eyes and cold stare. As the truck continued down the road, he was a bit relieved that Russell was on foot and they were in the vehicle. At least that would give them time to notify someone about him.

Or at least he hoped.
Chapter 17 by DelphinaCarter
Author's Notes:
I am so sorry that I disappeared for a month. I feel terrible, but I needed to take a break from writing. hope you all understand and enjoy this chapter.
Russell woke up somewhere along the river feeling tired and beaten up from his second attempt to murder Nick. The gun in his pocket was long gone and now he was even angrier.

He was a failure.

He knew he had failed and this made him boil knowing Jason was laughing in the back of his head.

"I told you so, dear brother."

"Shut up!!!" Russell shouted to no one....he was all alone on the empty road. He started to walk, muttering to himself.

He would find his destination soon enough.

Kevin lay in the hospital bed, resting after he was taken to his room. He worried if the others were okay, how they were doing. He did a lot of thinking about what he should have done, but he was grateful to even have survived the accident with just the broken ankle.

Kevin sometimes wondered if it would be better if they broke up after this whole thing was over. He knew the group was already rocky to begin with and it killed him to admit that to himself. He'd always been the strong one but right now he felt very weak, wishing there was something he could do. He wanted to go back in time, make sure none of this happened.

"Do you really think we will be here in ten years doing this, Kevin?" Brian had asked him just the day before the bus crash.

Kevin had looked out the window of the tour bus, sighing. They could hear Nick and AJ squabbling over something stupid in the bunk area, but it was ignored for now.

"Honestly, if I really stop to think about It kills me to think like that though, Brian. The way things are going I don't see us finishing this damn tour." he said softly.

Brian nodded, shredding up a paper napkin like he always did when he was nervous.

"I hate to say it, but I agree with you. Nick is so distant these days and I heard he is planning a solo album. You know he could leave any time he wanted to."

"That is the problem, Nick doesn't want to....but I wouldn't be surprised if he or AJ left. They just seem so unhappy and I feel like we are losing them." Kevin explained. He'd tried to bond with Nick but all the kid did now was push everyone away.

"Maybe we should all do something after tour together, like a camping trip....we used to love spending time together." Brian suggested. Kevin smiled at his cousin, forever the optimist. However he knew that this group was unraveling and all he could do was watch it fall apart....

Kevin had fallen asleep a while ago, still in the hospital and consumed by his thoughts, but he was worried briefly about the others again. A doctor told him he would check again and not to worry, so Kevin thought a little sleep couldn't hurt.

Kevin was startled by the sudden commotion outside his room. People were yelling, he saw a nurse run by.

"Did you see which way he went? Security is on their way up!" she shouted.

Something told him he needed to start worrying again.
Chapter 18 by DelphinaCarter
Author's Notes:
Hey everyone. Hope you enjoy this chapter. I am still plugging away at this story. Feedback is appreciated :)
Nick woke up in his room, remembering how much he hated hospitals. He wasn't badly injured, just dehydrated and a bruised remnants of a concussion..Nick hated hospitals because he always thought of death. As he lay there, he wondered if anybody had been to see him...but he knew deep down that the others were injured as well and couldn't. It wasn't like they had a when Brian was at a hospital for his heart surgery.

Nick wanted to go badly, he did...but they were tied up with some performances. He had even planned on seeing him during recovery, but because he was afraid he did not. As a result he found that Brian shyed away from him, which made him feel horrible. He had driven Brian away and it was his own fault, and Nick constantly hated himself for it. Nick blamed himself for a lot of things, including the fact the group dynamic was screwed up.

What he wouldn't give for a bottle of Jack right now to take his mind off things. Alcohol was his go to remedy, but he knew he wouldn't end up like AJ. He could stop whenever he wanted.

"Moping as usual, are we?"

Nick's eyes snapped open to see a figure standing in the doorway. It was a man in a doctor's coat, smirking across the room. Nick felt his breath catch in his throat, he began to reach for the call button.

"Ah, ah, ah....I don't think so." Russell said, knocking it out of his reach.

"What are you-"

Russell laughed at Nick's panicked tone, his fear was music to his ears. Nonody would get in the way this time. It was just the two of them.

"What am I doing here? I think you already know, my good friend."

"You're not my friend, Russ. You tried to kill me." Nick spat.

"Ooh, touchy. You should have thought about that when you killed Chloe." Russell said.

"I didn't kill her."

Russell remembered when he found that she had committed suicide, the anger he felt when he got that letter. Nick had caused all of it.

"You might as well have. It was YOUR fault. Just like everything else. I know how screwed up you really are, kid. You told me how many times you wanted out? I'm about to give you your wish."

Nick lay in the bed, looking at him and thinking. Russell was right, he was miserable...but not enough to do what Chloe did. He could use this to his advantage.

"So what are you waiting for, kill me then. Get on with it. I won't fight you anymore." he whispered. He reached for the call button, hoping he could distract Russell enough before security got to his room.

Nick also wondered briefly why nobody had been guarding his room in the first place.

"What?" Russell said in surprise.

"Kill me. I am right here. If it matters so much to you, get it over with." Nick whispered. His hand hurt like hell trying to reach the button...

Russell frowned at him.

"You're trying to trick me."

"You're afraid." Nick pointed out.

Russell found himself staring at him, angry at himself. It would be so easy to choke him or snap his neck, but something was holding him back.

" I'm not." he reached for Nick's throat but did not tighten his grip.

"Do you know why you can't kill me? It's because deep down you know it won't bring Chloe back. You are afraid because you know it is true, Russ." Nick said, smiling. Russell felt his temper getting the best of him. How could this kid be so smart?

"You know I am right, Russell. Chloe wouldn't want you to do this. She wouldn't want you to kill someone for her."

"Don't tell me what she wants. You have no fucking right." Russell growled, but his hand still did not tighten.

"I didn't know your sister long, but I do know she cared about you. She thought you made some bad choices but you could change.Do you really want to prove her wrong?" Nick said, sweat dripping down his face.

All Russell could think about was his sister's letter, how upset Nick Carter had made her. He would never see her again. He would have to endure his brother's constant mocking, live as a failure for the rest of his life unless he took care of things right now. For a second Russell tightened his grip, feeling the muscles of Nick's neck contract with the sudden contact. Nick began gasping.

"I need to do this for Chloe." he whispered, looking Nick right in the eye. He stared right at Nick's eyes, listening to him struggle for breath, his hand desperately reaching for the call button.

"Don't do it Russell."

He released as soon as he heard Chloe in the back of her mind and let go of Nick's neck. He began coughing.

Russell silently cursed himself but he knew Nick was right. After everything he'd done, it wouldn't bring her back. He took the call button and jammed it down, Nick rubbing at his neck.

"I don't have much time, but let's just say you were right, kid." he said as he noticed Nick's confused expression. He turned and left the hospital room, leaving Nick stunned and everyone on the floor in a panic.

He knew what he had to do now.
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