If I Knew Then by DelphinaCarter
Past Featured StorySummary:  photo photostudio_1549522804961_zpsxyku7eqc.jpg

On his 17th birthday, Nick confesses his deepest, darkest secret to Brian. Little does he know that Brian is hiding a secret of his own.
Categories: Fanfiction > Backstreet Boys Characters: AJ, Brian, Group, Howie, Kevin, Nick
Genres: Angst, Drama
Warnings: Slash M/M
Series: None
Chapters: 46 Completed: Yes Word count: 81299 Read: 39795 Published: 02/07/19 Updated: 02/14/21
Chapter 21 by DelphinaCarter
“Have a good Thanksgiving, Nick.” Brian said, when they got to the airport. The boys had a couple of days off for the holiday and everyone was looking forward to seeing their families even if it was for such a short period of time.

“I guess.” Nick shrugged, adjusting the strap on his backpack and sighing. He was going to miss the boys because he didn’t look forward to seeing his own family. At home he felt out of place but with the Backstreet Boys he felt like he finally belonged somewhere, for the first time in his life he didn’t feel so lonely. This was how he felt when he was Brian, even if he didn’t return his feelings.

“You okay?” Brian asked, hearing his flight to Kentucky being called and getting his carry on bag.

“I’ll be okay. Don’t worry about me.” Nick said with a smile. He and Brian said their goodbyes and Nick watched him go, the last of the guys leaving him by himself in the airport terminal.

“Nick’s home!!” Leslie called when Nick came in the door, after his father had picked him up from the airport and ranted about how he couldn’t wait until Nick had his own driver’s license so they didn’t have to cart him places anymore. BJ came running into the room and Leslie followed her to greet their big brother. Brushing off what his father had said in the car, he ignored him and looked out the window while he thought of everything that had been happening the last few months. How he wanted so badly to tell Brian how he felt about him but knew he never could. Brian simply did not accept him even though he said he did many times, he was afraid. Nick was pretty comfortable with his feelings and who he was but there was still a lot to figure out and hiding everything was taking its toll. Now that he was home, all Nick wanted to do was go to bed and sleep for the next two days until they were off on the road again doing something else.

“Hey BJ.” Nick said, putting his arms around his sister and hugging her as she giggled. He loved his brother and sisters but sometimes he liked the peace and quiet of the tour bus when the other guys were asleep and everything was still.

“We missed you, Nick. Are you staying home now?” Leslie asked, following Nick and BJ into the kitchen where he looked to see if there was any food. He was starving after the flight and ride home. His two sisters watched intently as he looked for something to eat, but he just grabbed a soda and opened it.

“I missed you guys too, but I’m only here until Saturday.”

Nick hated how disappointed his sisters looked.

“Now, don’t give me those faces guys. I am trying to help mom and dad out...you know that. They need money and I’m the reason we have this house. I’m the reason we aren’t living in the back of Dad’s pickup.” Nick said, remembering when he was very young and the stories his mom would tell him about living out of the truck while they looked for a place to live. Now that he was the main breadwinner, and Aaron was kicking off his career they could afford a bit more, but sometimes his family still struggled. At least Nick thought they did because his parents often fought over money and Nick felt that if BSB became more successful he could save them. He wanted the type of family Brian came from. A perfect family. The type of family that he watched on TV shows in black and white, the ones that didn’t have any problems. The ones that didn’t have a son that was secretly gay. Nick almost chuckled to himself at that last part because he knew what Brian didn’t want to admit.

“I know. I just miss you.” Leslie told him, hugging him around the waist.

“I missed you too.” Nick smiled.

“It’s better when you’re here because Mom and Dad are not home as much.”

This statement made Nick so sad that he wanted to scoop his sisters and Aaron up and find their own place to live, where they wouldn’t have to hear the fighting or feel like they were burdens anymore. He wanted to save them.

“It’s nice to be home.” Nick replied as he heard his parents fighting in the next room. He wondered what Brian was doing and hoped that he was going to have a good holiday so that at least one of them would.

Nick went into his room where he closed the door and laid down on the bed, throwing his backpack and suitcase on the floor. After everything he’d been going through with Brian the last few months and touring…the stuff with Lou, his own feelings...all he wanted to do was sleep but his brain wouldn’t shut off. How was he going to tell his family that he was gay? How would he tell anyone after Brian acted the way he did? It was then that Nick knew this was something he had to continue to keep to himself. Even if it meant having a fake girlfriend to throw people off, like Mandy…but would she take him back? He knew he couldn’t wait around for Brian forever. Part of him knew that Brian was going to take a long time to admit to himself what Nick had seen in him and he wondered maybe if he wasn’t so available Brian would finally come to his senses. He didn’t want to date another girl but didn’t know any other guys his age that were like him and had no idea where to look. He couldn’t exactly take out an ad.

He laid there in his bed for a while, his brain buzzing with thoughts until he allowed himself to finally fall asleep.

“Hey, you’re home!” Brian’s mother greeted him when he arrived at the house. He kissed her on the cheek and went into the house, where he smelled something cooking from the kitchen.

“Yeah, I just got in.” Brian said wearily.

“You must be tired, why don’t you take a nap before we eat and we can talk about everything?” Jackie told him sweetly, helping him with his bags to his bedroom. Brian hadn’t felt tired until his mother said he looked tired, so he decided that a nap was a good idea.

“Hm, I suppose I am a bit tired.”

“I’ll call you when supper is ready.” Jackie called from down the stairs. Brian went into the guest room where he was staying...he had not lived home for some time since he’d graduated high school, in fact he lived in an apartment in Orlando with Kevin and Howie. When he’d first heard they were getting Thanksgiving off he called his parents right away and told them he wanted to come home and have Thanksgiving dinner.

When Brian laid down he felt so tired, yet his brain was going a mile a minute. He wondered what Nick was doing, and then shook that away to think about his heart surgery that he was trying to schedule. He also thought about Leighanne. He thought about his mother downstairs and how disappointed she would be if he was gay, not to mention he’d been lying about it. Brian knew what Nick knew and hadn’t fully admitted to himself that he had feelings for Nick, that his heart fluttered when they had kissed back in the hotel room that summer night. He didn’t want to tell Nick that he was wrong for making him hide who he truly was, that what he felt was wrong. Brian felt horrible for doing so and knew that he was a giant hypocrite just as Nick had told him at the basketball game. Brian hated himself for what he was doing to Nick and he had no idea how to make it up to him. He also had no idea what he was going to do about his relationship with his girlfriend, that was getting pretty serious. They’d even started some talk about what would happen if they ever decided to settle down, but Brian knew they were not ready for that yet. It was too soon and he didn’t want to rush it if his heart wasn’t in it. He had to sort out his feelings for Nick somehow, even if it meant either Nick or Leighanne getting hurt. Someone was definitely going to get hurt when he made his decision and Brian wasn’t looking forward to doing that.

He finally drifted off to sleep, the faint smell of food drifting into his nostrils. There would be plenty of time to think about all this later.

Or so he hoped.
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