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Nick was nervous about a lot of things lately. What should have been one of the happiest weeks of his life was quickly overshadowed with nervousness and doubt because his bitch of an ex-wife had the ability to try to take everything he'd worked so hard for away from him. Looking back over the week he could barely believe that he'd finally been able to tell Kevin his feelings, have them reciprocated, and explore love and pleasure like he'd never even imagined before. These were all wonderful, magical things he never wanted to give up.

He was nervous now because the things Lauren could try to do had the potential to put all of this in jeopardy. There were so many what ifs, and Nick had always been a firm believer in the fact that if another shoe had the potential to drop, then it absolutely would. He couldn't seem to calm the voice inside that kept telling him this would all slip away and it would be entirely his fault.

First of all, no one should have to think about making big life changing decisions the first week they were together. He recognized the absurdity of this notion. But again, you had to also factor in that they had known each other for almost thirty years, had been in love with each other for at least 20-25 of them, that was a long time for anyone. So why it may feel like to others they were moving too fast, Nick just felt like they were making up for lost time. His heart and mind had been made up about the other man years ago. This was it for him. Kevin was it for him. Kevin was all he'd ever wanted and if he indeed slipped through Nick's fingers, there would be nothing left of him in the end. Nick had vowed to himself that no matter that happened, he would not let everything fall away without fighting tooth and nail for it.

He was mainly worried about Kevin's children. This was the one biggest factor besides telling the guys and the press that Nick worried about. Telling Maxwell and Mason would be hard, and if they reacted badly, it had the potential to ruin everything right then and there. Nick could never allow himself to be the wedge between Kevin and his children. If the kids couldn't come to terms with this, then he would have to back away. He would do everything in his power to make the kids comfortable, but he knew how these things could go.

He remembered how he felt when his own father had remarried. Even though he was older than Mason was now during the transition he could still remember the anger and resentment he carried around with him and he'd not been anywhere as close to his dad as Mason was to Kevin. Hell years later, his father was gone now, and he still could remember the pain. Of course his entire childhood had been nothing but pain, another reason why he was fighting so hard for these kids. All of these kids. Nick was sure that if they could get Kevin's sons on board that they had a real shot of creating something wonderful together.

He was also worried about how the other guys would take the news. Brian and Howie already knew there were feelings there, they just didn't really understand the extent. Aj, well neither of them had talked much to him in the last few months. He was focused on his sobriety and spending time with his own kids. He checked in occasionally, but for the most part he kept to himself. Nick had no idea how he would respond. He mostly worried they would think he was being selfish about wanting to get out in front of this thing so Lauren wouldn't have any legal ground to stand on. He just really wanted this all over and done with.

He was trying to keep it all together, for himself and for Kevin. He didn't want Kevin to know just how scared he was about telling the kids, didn't want to add another weight to his already heavy shoulders. Nick tried to push away the little voice to the back of his mind and ignore it but moments like this, when the kids were quietly playing and Kevin was working upstairs and he had the quiet to think, the voice began yelling.

Nothing had ever come easy for Nick. Sure it looked like it from the offset, being a member of an award winning boyband, but there was so much behind the scenes no one understood. The public had no idea how bad his weight issues were, how many years he was berated for things he couldn't control. Then there was the train wreck of his parents, the drugs and alcohol, the constant horrible relationships of people either abusing him or using him for his wealth and status. Then his brother completely went off the deep end falling so far down into the pool of drugs and depression that Nick was convinced he would one day get a phone call to identify his remains. Things had the tendency to get bad where he was concerned. Why would he deserve to be happy with the man he loved? How could he even possibly think this could go any other way?

He was broken out of his reverie by Saoirse plopping down in his lap. She stared up at him in wonder, and touched his face with her tiny hands. This is why he was fighting so hard. Out of everything good and bad he'd done in his life, these two kids were the best thing he'd ever done. He would move heaven and hell to keep them safe and protected. No matter what was thrown at him moving forward, it was worth it if the end result was them together. He picked her up and squeezed her close before tickling her little tummy. She squealed in delight, drawing the attention of her brother and before two long Nick had both kids climbing all over him in laughter and tickles. Yes, this was all very much worth it.


Kevin felt like he was coming out of his skin. He was nervous, nauseous and very unsettled. Kristin and the kids would be here any moment. He was anxious about their upcoming conversation, but also about Nick. He’d been acting strange all day. Kevin couldn’t quite put his finger on it. He was hoping the younger man wasn’t getting cold feet. He’s left him to his own devices for most of the day. He was making great progress on his song and wanted to have time to work on it before the kids came home. He had the arrangement laid out and most of the lyrics. He was just waiting for the rest of the second verse to come to him. He wasn’t worried. So much of the song had just written itself, he knew it would come when it was ready. Working also gave his brain a different place to focus so he hadn’t spent all day worried about the upcoming conversation. But since coming downstairs it was like he’d walked into a wall of anxiety. Nick had been loving, but aloof at the same time. It was strange and it was starting to drive him crazy.

Glancing at his watch he double checked the time. Kristin had said she would get there by 5. It was a little after 4:30. Getting up off the couch in the living room, Kevin went in search of his lover. He found Nick in Odin’s room reading to them quietly. Kevin stood in the doorway watching the sight. God he loved this man.

Nick glanced up and gave Kevin an uneasy smile as he closed the book and put Odin back on his feet. “Is it time?” he asked softly, turning to put the book back in the bookcase.

“Not quite.” Kevin said gently. He crossed the room and drew the other man into his arms. “What’s going on baby?”

Nick looked at him startled. “What do you mean?” He questioned as he returned the hug.

“I mean, you’re acting strange and it’s starting to scare me. Talk to me Nicky.” Kevin said brushing his hand against Nick’s cheek. Nick leaned into the touch and his eyes fluttered closed. He didn’t answer for several moments. “I’m just nervous. I’m trying to keep it together so I don’t make you even more nervous than you already are. I’m sorry.” he said softly.

“Don’t be sorry baby. I was just starting to get worried you were changing your mind.” Kevin admitted.

Nick’s eyes darkened. “Never. I want this, more than anything Kevin. But things never work out where I’m concerned, so I’m nervous. I love you so much, if something happened…” Nick’s voice started to wobble and Kevin drew him in close. “Shhh baby. We’re fine. I love you too.” Kevin leaned in and brushed his lips gently across the younger man’s right as the doorbell rang. Nick jumped and pulled back suddenly. “Showtime.” he said hoarsely.

Kevin frowned. This wasn’t the way he wanted to go into this, with Nick feeling unsettled and insecure and his own anxiety so high. But he also knew he couldn’t keep his kids waiting. Squeezing Nick’s hand before leaving the room he headed down the stairs to let them into the house. He opened the door to hugs and kisses, the stress momentarily forgotten, he gripped his kids tightly, trying to soak up all of their love. Being away from them for any length of time was hard. “I missed you both. I’m so glad to have you home.” Kevin said kissing each of their cheeks and heads in turn. He broke away from the kids and gave Kristin a hug as well. “Thank you,” he whispered in her ear as he hugged her close. “Anytime.” she whispered back.

Kevin opened the door wider, and grabbed the boys’ bags before ushering them all into the house. “Hey before you guys run upstairs to get settled in, I want to have some time to talk to you.” Kevin said, sitting their bags by the staircase. Maxwell turned to look at him suspiciously. “Did we do something wrong?”

Kevin laughed. “Not that I know of. Are you feeling guilty about something?” Maxwell shook his head vehemently.

“Let’s go to the kitchen.” Kristin said pushing the boys in that direction.

A noise caught Kevin’s attention and he glanced up to see Nick coming down the stairs. He stopped at the top and locked the gate, keeping Odin and Saoirse on the second floor before heading the rest of the way down to meet Kevin at the foot of the stairs. “You ready baby?” Kevin asked him quietly. Nick shrugged. “Let’s do it.”

Kevin turned and began heading towards the kitchen before he felt Nick grab him by the hand and yank him backwards. He stumbled slightly and found himself pressed tightly against the other man before he knew what was happening. Nick gripped his face on either side with his hands and lowered his mouth to Kevin’s. Licking against his lips, Kevin opened his mouth to the other man as Nick licked and sucked every crevice. They broke away a moment later, Kevin breathless. “What?” he began to question but Nick laid a finger against his lips to quiet him. “I just wanted to have this, this feeling, this memory if it all goes badly in there.” Nick said quietly.

“Baby, no matter what happens there. You and I are going to get through it. Together. I promise you that.” Kevin squeezed Nick’s hands. “I love you.”

Nick nodded and gave a small smile. “I love you too.” Kevin smiled at the man and squeezed his hand one more time for good measure before releasing him and making his way into the kitchen.

The kids and Kristin were already sitting around the table when they walked into the room. The boys looked at Nick curiously, but said hello. Kristin stood and hugged Nick as he approached the table. The gesture was not lost on Kevin, she was already trying to set the pace for their conversation. Once everyone was seated, Nick on his left and Kristin on his right, Kevin studied his kids. Taking a deep breath he began to speak.

“I’ve only ever been honest with both of you. As long as I and your mother have felt like you were old or mature enough to handle the information, we’ve always tried to be open and share things with you. So in that spirit I want to be honest with you now.” Kevin started.

The boys were looking at each other and then staring back at the three adults in front of them. So far, neither of them spoke. “What I am about to tell you does not reflect on your mother and me, or anything like that. I love you and I want to be able to share the things in my life with you. You both know that Nick and Odin and Saoirse have been staying here for the past few weeks. While Nick has been here we’ve had a lot of time to talk. There’s a lot of history here, Nick and I have known each other for a very long time. Almost as long as your mom and I have known each other. One of the things Nick and I have finally had the chance to be able to talk about is how we feel about each other. Nick and I are in love with each other, we’re starting a relationship together and his presence in the house with Odin and Saoirse will be permanent. Nick is now my boyfriend.” Kevin said, holding his breath as he finished.

He felt Nick place his hand on his thigh under the table. Nick squeezed it gently, showing his silent support. Kevin smiled inwardly, wishing he could reach out and touch him, but not yet. Maxwell tilted his head to the side. “So you like to kiss each other?” he asked, confused.

Kristin’s laughter was loud and welcome as the question caught them all off guard. He could feel Nick laughing beside him. He smiled at the innocence of the question, but his eyes were focused on his older son, who sat stony silent, a dark look covering his handsome features. Ignoring the question for the time being he reached across the table to touch Mason’s hand. He jerked it back as he jumped from his chair. His blue eyes ablaze he started at each adult in turn before narrowing his eyes on Kevin. “So you’re a gay? Is that what you’re telling me? What about mom? What about us? You’re supposed to love her! You’re supposed to love us.” he pushed away from the table so fast he sent the kitchen chair to the floor. He fled from the room before anyone could speak. There it was, Kevin thought. The response he’d been waiting for. He felt Nick's hand leave his thigh and he moved his hand from the top of the table to grab it, not allowing the younger man to pull away from him.

Maxwell looked around the room with wide eyes. Kevin could see the uncertainty play out on his young features. He was feeling a loyalty to his brother, to his mother and probably even to Kevin all at the same time. “How are you feeling bud?” Kevin asked him gently.

Maxwell shrugged. “I don’t really care really. I don’t know what I’m supposed to say. Is he going to like boss us around and stuff?” He asked curiously.

Nick laughed at this one. Clearing his throat, he glanced at Kristin and Kevin before responding. “I will be another adult in the house. Someone you can come to for help or someone to hang out with. This is all tricky,” Nick broke off, unable to finish.

Kristin picked up the mantle. “You and your brother will respect Nick’s place in the house. He’s never going to ask you to do anything your father and I wouldn’t ask of you. If he tells you to brush your teeth or pick up your clothes, you’re going to do those things, no questions asked. If he tells you to do something you don’t think is right, then you go to your dad or you call me and we’ll talk about it. But I don’t ever see any of those things happening. Odin and Saoirse will be living here too and you’ll treat them the same way.”

Maxwell nodded in understanding. “Yes Ma’am.” he said, saluting.

This broke some of the tension and everyone laughed. Kevin was still debating what to do about Mason when Maxwell asked if he could leave the room. Kristin instructed him to go play in the living room and to give them a chance to talk. Once Maxwell had left the room Kevin felt his shoulders sag. The conversation had weighed heavy on him and he knew it wasn’t over yet, but having one son okay with the situation and another upset was better than them both upset.

“Well I think that went as expected.” Kristin said softly as she settled back down in the kitchen chair.

Kevin nodded. “Yeah I honestly expected worse.”

Nick looked at both of them in turn before speaking. “You’re not surprised about him being so upset?” he asked quietly.

Kristin shook her head. “It was much worse when we told them about the divorce. Mason is a very emotional and possessive kid. I knew he wouldn’t take it well at first.”

Kevin agreed. “I was envisioning punching, screaming. At least he hasn’t thrown up yet.” he said winking at Kristin.

“Oh god,” she said laughing. “If that starts I am out of here and you two can figure it out on your own.”

“What?” Nick asked, confused.

Kevin laughed. “The night we told them we were getting a divorce. He made himself throw up all over the living room in protest. It was horrible. It took hours to clean.”

Nick shook his head in amazement. His heart had started beating so fast as the young boy had run from the room he was afraid he himself would have thrown up. He was somewhat relieved to learn this wasn’t as bad as it looked from his position. “Would you mind if I tried talking to him?”

Kevin and Kristin glanced at each other before turning to him. “Are you sure baby?” Kevin asked, squeezing his hand gently.

Nick nodded. “At least let me try.”