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Magic Beanie - Nick's Last Laugh
n'sync and the Magic Beanie
Nick's Last Laugh Backfires


The crowd grew quiet as they waited for the band to start singing again. AJ couldn't help but add to n'sync's frustration and confusion as to why their equipment stopped working. He booed loudly, which started a chain reaction from several concert goers.

The group, huddled in a circle, were trying to quickly devise a plan to get themselves out of this mess.

"They're booing us.....US!" Lance stated in a shocked voice. "What are we gonna do? Without the equipment, we're screwed."

Justin shook his head. "I dunno, but I'm freakin here guys, I mean we got like 20,000 people sitting here waiting and....and who the hell keeps booing?"

"Let's just start singing, we can carry this acapella," JC suggested.

The rest of the guys nodded in agreement and did a three count and started to sing without music to back them up. Instead of the harmonies that were intended to come out of their mouths, the noise was screeching and off key notes.

Justin turned and sprinted off the stage, the rest of the members followed him without hesitation.

Nick was in the audience laughing so hard, he was having a hard time catching his breath.

"I got to hand it to ya Nick, this was an excellent choice for revenge," AJ complimented.

"Okay, joke's over guys," Brian stated. "I think we should go backstage and tell them what happened."

"No way! Did they tell us this was gonna happen?" Nick agrued, pointing at himself.

"No, but Nick, that's not the point. We have to be Christian about this," Brian defended.

Both AJ and Nick sputtered as they followed Brian through the crowd towards the barriers to the stage.

"We need to see n'sync," AJ asked the heavyset man wearing a red tee shirt that had the words "security" written in white letters.

"Yeah you and ten thousand other screaming freaks, get out of here!" the guard snapped at AJ.

"Bite me, pal," AJ retorted and flipped his middle finger at the man.

"AJ! Knock it off!" Brian reprimanded.

Knowing that they weren't going to get anywhere with this security guard, Brian scanned the fence looking for anyone that he possibly knew. He spotted Lucas, a security guard that used to work for the BSB a few years ago. Taking off the ball cap and sliding the sunglasses down his nose, Brian approached the guard.

"Hey, Lucas!"

The man tured and looked at Brian approaching him.

"Oh my god, how the hell are you?" Lucas answered and then his eyebrows furrowed in confusion. "What are you doing at an n'sync concert? Scoping the competition out?"

"Long story, Lucas. Hey, me and two of my friends need to go backstage and see the guys, would it be alright?"

"Sure thing Brian, follow me down this way," Lucas said as he gestured towards a hallway.

Brian led the way with Nick and AJ struggling to get through the crowd of hormonal teens. No one recognized Brian, so they made their way to the dressing room door without being detected.

Lucas knocked on the door. Another security guard answered and after talking with Lucas, allowed them to enter the room. Once the door closed behind them, Brian removed the baseball cap and sunglasses.

"Holy shit, Brian, what are you doing here?" Joey jumped up out of the chair when he saw Brian's face. He looked at Nick and AJ standing behind Brian. "Who do you have with you.....hey! wait a second, I know you, you're that girl the cut out on me! You owe me some money, babe."

Nick started laughing while AJ kept smacking him in the shoulder.

"Joey, I don't know how to tell you this," Brian started out as he searched for the perfect words to break the news gently to Joey. He decided just to plunge into it. "That girl is AJ."

"Okay, hi AJ, you owe me some money, sweetheart," Joey requested again.

"Joey, you don't get it," Nick tried to set Joey straight. "That's no lady there---" Nick stopped, he couldn't continue to speak, he was laughing too hard.

"What I'm trying to say here is that she's AJ McLean," Brian stated, looking at Joey to see if it registered.

"Ha ha, very funny Littrell. Now, seriously, you guys must be really bored here to try to pull a prank like this," Joey laughed.

"Dumbass, we have the green beanie," Nick retorted. He was getting tired of trying to get Joey to understand what they were telling him.

Joey stopped laughing and stared at Nick.

"That's right, Joey, we have the green beanie. The one that you put the spell on and I got onstage in Indianapolis," Nick continued.

"You? Hold it, you're Nick?" Joey asked in disbelief.

"Yeah, it's me, Nick," Nick replied.

Joey started laughing again. "Look at you! God, you must weigh a ton. What the hell did you wish for Carter?"

Nick pasted a fake smile on his face, he wasn't amused with Joey's laughing at his predicament. "If you must know, I wished to be able to go out in public unrecognized."

Joey sized AJ up and down. "What about her?"

"I made the mistake of wondering what made women tick when I was holding the beanie......ass," AJ spat out the answer.

"You two are the only ones?" Joey asked.

Brian shook his head no. "Howie and Kevin were also affected."

Joey seemed to be amused that this had happened to the Backstreet Boys. "What happened to those two?"

"It really doesn't matter, the point is you pulled a really bad joke on us and I returned the favor, but Brian being the nice guy that he is said that we should tell you that I wished a hex on your singing," Nick stated quietly.

"You? Why the hell did you do that to us?" Joey asked.

"Look at me, don't you think I'm entitled to a little revenge?" Nick replied.

"Me too!" AJ joined.

"Okay, okay, I guess I see your point," Joey replied.

"I want to know why this came back on us though, Joey. It went away after one day and this morning we woke up and this spell was back on. I wished it to go away again, but how can I be sure this won't happen again," Nick demanded.

"Give me the beanie and I'll take care of it," Joey stated.

Nick started feeling his pockets in search of the beanie. "AJ, you got it?"

AJ shook his head no. Nick started feeling sick to his stomach. "I put it in my pocket after I made that wish on you guys. It must have fallen out either on the way into the auditorium or at the concert," Nick mentally retraced his steps.

"Carter, we have to find it or we're screwed," Joey replied, panic in his voice.

"Relax, I only wished your music talents, and I use the term loosely, to be taken away for 24 hours," Nick snickered.

Joey put his face in Nick's. "NO! NICK! You don't understand! We're screwed without it in our hands."

AJ rushed Joey and grabbed him by the front of the shirt. "What the hell are you talking about?"

Joey swallowed nervously. "AJ, without that beanie, you'll stay like this forever! Nick....you....me...everyone!"

AJ and Nick stared at Joey, stunned.

"Oh, this is just peachy," Nick sputtered.

"Hey, at least you can still sing," Joey retorted.

"Oh yeah, sing, looking like this? Face it, both of our careers are ruined," Nick replied.

"Guys, come on, we're not gonna get anywhere standing around and arguing, we have to go look for that beanie," Brian stated.

“I’ll go get the others and explain what’s going on,” Joey offered.

“Yeah, go do that, JOEY,” AJ scoffed.

The group walked out into the auditorium to where Nick, Brian and AJ had sat during the concert as well as the parking lot, searching for the green beanie baby. Their worst fears were realized when they met under the tree in the designated spot, each of them empty handed.

“I’m gonna kill him, he’ mine,” AJ sputtered as he watched Joey approach them. Brian held AJ by his arm, preventing him for going near Joey.

“Okay, no beanie, now what genius?” AJ asked.

Joey shoved his hands into his pockets. He kept shaking his head. “I don’t know, I really don’t know.”

“Well, while we try and decide what to do next, let’s go eat, I’m hungry,” Nick suggested.

“Oh shit, it’s started,” Joey mumbled, quickly sitting down on the grass next to the tree.

Brian narrowed his eyes at Joey. “What do you mean it’s started?”

“The hex being permanent, it’s started, we might as well face it, it’s all over with, we’re toast,” Joey said as he buried his head in his hands.

“How ya figure that one out ace?” AJ asked.

“Cause Carter said he was hungry. He’s taking on the chacteristics of an overweight person,” Joey stated.

AJ laughed sarcastically. “Because Nick said he was hungry you automatically assume that we’re doomed to eternity being like this?”

Joey shook his head “yes.”

“Nick’s always hurngy, dumb ass,” AJ replied.

“Yeah dumb ass,” Nick echoed. “Hey, wait a minute here, I’m not ALWAYS hungry!”

“Whatever Nick,” AJ scoffed.

Brian paced back and forth in front of Joey, trying to think of the next course of action to take.

“Okay, the beanie had to have been picked up by a fan,” Brian thought outloud. “We could run an ad in the local paper and offer a reward.”

Both Nick and AJ’s mouths dropped open at the idea.

“No way Brian, an ad?” Nick sputtered.

“Well, how else are we going to find this thing?” Brian asked.

“There’s no way in hell I’m spending another day looking like this!” Nick complained.

“Yeah, I’m sick of this too,” AJ stated.

“Guys, a few more days won’t hurt you, besides, would you rather it be a few more days or the rest of your lives? We honestly don’t have a choice anymore, okay?” Brian tried to sound as sympathetic as possible.

Nick shrugged his shoulders. “I guess.”

“Okay, Joey, you call the papers first thing in the morning and place the ad for a week. We will head back down to Lexington and wait it out. I’ll keep in touch with you and I know you’ll call as soon as you get a response,” Brian stated.

*~*~*~*~*


“What do you mean it can last seven days?” AJ stared at Leighanne in disbelief.

“AJ, didn’t you take any biology classes at all?” Lee asked.

Brian and Nick stood by, snickering at AJ’s predament, but stopped when Lee shot a dirty look at them. They remembered her wrath the last time when she made both of them go down to the hotel pharmacy and buy feminine products for AJ.

“When the hell is dumb ass Fatone gonna call and tell us they found that damn beanie?” AJ sputtered as he stormed off towards the bathroom.

“Patience, AJ, patience,” Brian replied.

AJ stopped at the door and spun around. “Patience? Brian, I think I’ve had plenty of patience. You can stand there and say that since this thing didn’t affect you at all, but think about the rest of us. Think about your poor cousin, Kevin.”

Brian cast a glance over at Kevin. It had been almost four days since the spell came back onto them and put Kevin in a world where he could only speak and understand Russian. He couldn’t communicate his wishes to any of the guys nor could they carry on a conversation with him.

“I know AJ,’ Brian sadly stated.

“So, how much longer are you gonna make this last?” AJ demanded.

Brian just shrugged his shoulders. He sat down on the bed and put his head into his hands, trying to come up with an idea of how to get these guys out of the situation they were in.

Just as Brian was about to give up hope, there was a knock on the door. Lee patted Brian on the shoulder as she walked past him to answer it.

Nick came slowly lumbering in, out of breath.

“I got a hold of dumb ass Joey,” Nick panted. “He got a response fromt he ad and this girl has the beanie!”

Brian jumped up and attempted to wrap his arms around Nick’s body. “Oh, that is the best news I’ve heard this week!”

“I know, now we can be normal again,” Nick smiled. “And you’ll never guess this, but the girl lives here in Lexington!”

“What time are they getting here?” AJ called out from the bathroom.

“Meeting time is set for 5:00,” Nick replied.

“Just great, that leaves an entire day of this shit,” AJ sputtered.

“AJ!” Brian scolded.

*~*~*~*~*


Both n’sync and the Backstreet Boys gathered in a conference room at the hotel. Justin and Lance were pacing nervously back and forth, checking their watches every thirty seconds.

“Why hasn’t this girl showed up yet?” Justin hissed.

“Calm down, she’ll be here,” Nick calmly replied.

“Carter, I still can’t believe you wished something that stupid as to take our voices away from us so we can’t sing. That was really mean,” Justin yelled at Nick.

Nick laughed. “You have to have singing talent to take it away in the first place.”

Justin flipped Nick off and Nick flipped Justin off back. Brian stood in the middle of them.

“Guys, would you knock it off?” Brian yelled.

Kevin laughed, he at least understood that universal gesture.

A quiet knock on the door turned the focus off of Nick and Justin. Brian gestured towards the side room for AJ and Nick to go to and waited until the door was safely closed before he answered the outer door.

On the other side of the door stood a little brown haired six year old girl with her mother.

“Hi honey, what’s your name?” Brian asked.

“Cassidy Shepard,” the little girl replied in a soft voice.

Brian noticed that she was holding the beanie in her hands. He squatted down to speak to the girl at an eye level.

“Do you collect beanie babies?”

The little girl shook her head yes, quickly.

“My friend Nick collects them too. He was upset about missing that beanie and I’m very glad you found it and are bringing it back to him,” Brian spoke softly as if his voice were raised it would frighten the small child.

The girl’s mother spoke. “I read the ad and it said something about a reward for the safe return of this beanie. She was going to get to meet n’sync and get autographs.”

Brian stood up. “Yes it did, come on in.”

The little girl and her mother entered the room. AJ and Nick could hear the commotion of the little girl and the bantering Joey and the band was making for her. Both Nick and AJ rolled their eyes. Finally after twenty minutes of courting them, the girl turned the beanie over to Lance and was escorted to the door.

Nick and AJ rushed out into the conference room when they heard the outer door close.

“Okay, let’s get this done and overwith!” AJ snapped.

Joey was holding onto the beanie, his face was pale. AJ rushed up to Joey and grabbed him by the shirt.

“What the hell are you waiting for, Fatone?” AJ hissed.

“I...I...I’m not sure how do this now,” Joey stammered.

“What the hell do you mean by that Joey?” Justin cried out.

“I mean I don’t know if I can break this spell!” Joey snapped back at Justin.

“Oh just great! You and your bright ideas Joe,” Justin threw his hands up in the air and walked towards the large picture window.

“Where did you get this thing at,” Brian asked.

“What the hell difference would that make?” AJ argued.

“No, listen, maybe where he got it, they would know how to correct this,” Brian remarked.

“I don’t remember,” Joey quietly replied.

“Shit,” Nick and AJ shouted.

“We were at some stop on tour, I can’t remember where or maybe when we were in New York for MTV,” Joey recalled.

“Oh, Mtv? God, that narrows that down to several weeks, my god, you guys practically live there,” Nick sneered.

“Hey, at least they ASK us to come back all the time, asshole,” Justin spat back.

“Guys! Come on, this won’t help by yelling,” Brian tired to soothe the arguing.

Nick snapped his fingers. “Cash or credit card?”

“Huh?” Everyone in the room replied.

“Cash or credit card. Don’t you get it, if Joey paid with a credit card, there would be a number for this place on his receipt, you do keep your receipts, right?” Nick directed the question towards Joey.

“Um, yeah, I think I do,” Joey replied.

“Call the company and have them narrow this down, okay? I can’t take too much more of being like this,” Nick demanded. AJ agreed.

*~*~*~*


An elderly woman, dressed in eccentric clothes stood before Nick in the doorway.

“Name’s, Zelda Bitterman,” the woman stated as she thrust her hand out towards Nick.

“Mine’s Nick,” Nick answered as he took her hand and then nodded his head as an indication of entering the room.

The woman breezed past him. She smelled strongly of inscense, Nick noted. She was carrying a large black, worn bag. She sat it down on the table in the room and started to unpack it. She glanced up once during that time and asked who the owner of the beanie was.

“I am, ma’am,” Joey stepped forward.

The woman sized Joey up and down. “Figured as much. Didn’t you realize the results of the power of this?”

Joey stood before her, dumbfounded. He silently watched as she placed candles and a book out on the table.

The woman rubbed her hands together. “Okay, now where is the beanie and who did it effect?”

Joey handed the beanie to the woman. “It effected all of us but him,” he pointed at Brian.

The old woman slowly shook her head. “At least one of you were smart, or were you the one that placed the hexes?”

Brian’s eyes grew wide at the realization that this woman was accusing him of being evil and doing this to his bandmates. “No, I never touched the beanie, that’s why I never had anything happen to me!”

The woman didn’t reply, she took the beanie and started to chant out words and phrases. She took powder out of a bag and sprinkled it on each of the guys that the spell was on. Nick sneezed when the powder was thrown on him.

She took the beanie and put it into her bag along with all of the other objects she had placed on the table. “Fee is $125.00,” she asked, holding her hand out.

Joey laughed sheepishly. “Brian, can you cover me? I’m a little short at the moment.”

Brian cast a quick look at Joey as he pulled out his wallet and handed the woman the money.

“The spell will be off by this evening, by 8 pm,” she said as she walked towards the door.

“Can I have my beanie back?” Joey asked.

The woman stopped in mid-stride. “Absolutely not! People like you have no business with something as powerful as this mythical beanie.”

Joey mouthed the words ‘mythical beanie’ behind the woman’s back in a sarcastic way as she left the room. Nick smacked Joey on the back of the head, causing him to bite his tongue.

“Ouch, thanks a lot, Carter!”

“No....thank you, Joey,” Nick replied.

“Do you realize this? We can still do the show tonight, I mean, she said we’d be okay by 8 tonight!” AJ stated, anxiously.

“Yeah, that’s about six hours from now. You want to go out one last time without being recognized in public, AJ?” Nick asked.

“Yeah, but I gotta go down to the hotel gift shop again, I need some more supplies,” AJ mumbled. He stopped Nick short as he saw the smile start to spread on his face. “Not a word!” AJ pointed a manicured finger at him.

Nick laughed outloud as AJ left the room.

AJ figideted nervously at the short skirt he was wearing as he waited for the elevator. He was grateful when the car was empty and he stepped into it and pushed the main floor button with his knuckle. He got used to the long nails, nylons and high heels from being a woman, but he still wasn’t used to having “that time of the month” that he had always heard women complain about.

The elevator stopped on the 10th floor and a short, stocky man with greasy hair got on. He eyed AJ as he pushed the close door button.

“Hey muffin, where you been all my life?” the man leered.

AJ’s eyes grew wide as the man hit the stop button on the panel.

“Oh shit, not this again!” AJ moaned.

The End

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