"Hey, how are you feeling?" Kevin asked, noticing he was awake. Nick shrugged and sat up in his seat, allowing Kevin to sit next to him.
"I feel like I want to throw up all the time. Is that normal?" Nick said softly as he held back more tears. Even being around the other boys was hard for him right now, all he could think of was Brian...which was why he wanted to quit the group. He wasn’t sure if he could even continue with them now after what Brian had done. It was more than what he said, it was just dealing with his own feelings for Brian, not to mention keeping his secret from all of them. He wanted to tell them. He wanted to be free, free from judgement or worry that people would or wouldn’t accept him. It was clear to him that Brian didn’t accept him. Why would any of the others? Sure, Kevin had been supportive of him but what did he really think?
Nick sighed and wiped his eyes again, wondering if he could manage to find somewhere to disappear where he wouldn’t have to talk to anyone.
"I know it's hard, but this is something that you're just going to have to get through. I'm worried about him too, he's family. I'm glad you decided to come."
"We all worked so hard. I don't want to ruin things because I made a mistake." Nick said, looking at his phone again. He couldn't make calls here anyway but he was thinking. Thinking of Brian.
"You didn't make a mistake, Nick. He just needs to figure things out right now and so do you. I think this will be a good time for him to do that when you're away from each other."
"I just wish he'd have at least tried to talk to me before we left. I'm so worried about him with this surgery. What if something goes wrong and I never see him again?" Nick said.
"He did try to talk to you. He showed up to my house when you were sleeping. I didn't want to bother you."
“Thank you. I probably wouldn’t have wanted to talk to him then anyway, it’s just that I- I feel so stupid, Kev. I feel stupid because I was always honest with him. I told him everything. I showed him the real me. I put everything on the table for him. Risked it all, and he threw it away for that evil woman he is with. She doesn’t like me, Kevin. She threatened me. You know this. She saw us kissing and said that if she caught us doing anything, that she would tell everyone I’m gay. I don’t want that, Kevin. I don’t want that for either of us, so I lied. I lied to him so I wouldn’t ruin everything that we had worked so hard for. That’s what I’m upset about. I chose to live a lie so he could be happy. When he said those things, he really hurt me, Kevin. He said I was trying to turn him gay. I never asked him to do anything he didn’t want to do. I would never. I care about him too much to do that.” Nick sighed.
“I am so sorry, Nick. I just want you to remember that no matter what, that I accept you. You’re my little bro and I love you very much. I support you.” Kevin said, hugging him. Nick sniffed, wiping his eyes again.
“I just want him to be happy, Kevin. It’s not going to happen if he stays with her.”
Nick looked out the window, hoping that whatever Brian was doing, he wasn’t feeling any pain and that he was indeed happy like he wished.
The plane finally landed in France and the boys all went to their hotel. Nick was so tired that he just wanted to take a nap and a shower, because he felt gross after the long flight from LA. Nick had a room by himself for the first time. It was large and had a king sized bed. He ran and jumped on it, taking in the soft blankets and pillows. Laying in the sheets after rolling around on the bed, he took out his phone from his pocket and thought about calling Brian. He wrestled with the idea for a few minutes before he got a notification that he had a voicemail and a bunch of texts. Most of them were from Brian asking him if he was okay, begging him to call him back. Nick’s heart sank. What if that fight was the last time he would ever speak to Brian again?
“God damn it, Brian.” Nick muttered, going through the messages. He thought back to the night they fought and when he’d slammed the door after leaving the room. He had gone to AJ’s first, and grabbed his things because he fully intended on leaving right then and there. He’d called home, crying into the phone when his family didn’t answer the phone. They were likely not around as Aaron was working on his own music career now and his mom was his manager.
After calling home had failed miserably, he’d tried to go to Lance’s. Lance was going to let him spend the night but Nick felt so guilty after Brian was mad at him for doing this the night before. He ended up leaving before Lance woke up in the morning and going to Kevin’s where he stood on the porch crying as Kevin let him in, begging him to just let him sleep.
As Nick stared at the voicemail icon on his cell phone, he sighed deeply and went to listen to it, but could only get through part of the message before he started crying and deleted it. He couldn’t bear to listen to his voice. He decided to take a shower, hoping maybe that would make him feel somewhat more human again.
“Are you okay? Johnny’s pissed off because you are late to rehearsal.” Kevin asked when he saw Nick in their dressing room.
“Sorry, I didn’t mean to. I’m fine.” Nick lied. He felt sick to his stomach and all during the rehearsal the first night he felt like throwing up. He knew Brian's surgery was the day after tomorrow. Part of him thought about calling him. He wasn't sure if Brian would even care after their fight. He had Leighanne with him, he clearly did not need him.
That evening when he went back to the hotel room after dinner he once again realized how alone he was. So he picked up his cell phone and decided to call Brian's number. His heart leapt when it started to ring.
"Please pick up." Nick whispered, as he paced the floor.
"Hello?" a voice answered, sounding annoyed.
"Brian! I'm sorry for calling at a weird time. I just -"
"What do you want? Brian is sleeping." Leighanne snapped from the other end. Nick's heart sank. He wanted to throw up when he heard her voice.
"Can you please let me talk to him. I just wanted to tell him-*
"I know perfectly well what you wanted to tell him. It's not going to happen. His surgery is tomorrow and I don't need you upsetting him right now. He doesn't want to speak to you anyway." Leighanne said. Nick felt his temper rise but he knew that's what she wanted. She wanted to make him angry. It wasn't going to work this time.
"Okay, fine. Can you please tell him that I said good luck tomorrow? We are in France right now, but when we come back I will come and visit him." he said calmly.
"Don't bother coming here. He doesn't want to see you."
"Leighanne, just please tell him what I said. Please. That's all I ask. Tell him I am sorry." Nick begged before hanging up. He knew damn well Leighanne wouldn't tell Brian anything because she didn't want them to speak. Nick knew that there was only one way he would get to talk to Brian, and that was to go and see him in person if he was going to get him away from Leighanne. He wanted Brian to know that he still cared about him. He wanted to tell Brian he loved him. He just hoped he wasn't making a huge mistake.