“Something is seriously wrong with this setup.” Nick Carter observed as he looked at the equipment that the roadies had placed for the next concert.

“Nick, quit being such a worrier, it looks fine to me.” Brian stated, barely
looking over at Nick.

For some reason, Nick felt uneasy about this show tonight. He couldn’t put a
finger as to why he felt funny about it, it was almost like a premonition type
feeling. He brushed the feelings off, figuring that he was just becoming
paranoid from lack of sleep.

“Let’s go ahead and do sound check now, I want to make a clean break to go
back to the hotel and relax for a while.” Kevin said as he put his duffel bag

Jennie, the props tech called out to the group. “Hey, guys, the techs wanted
y’all to check your harnesses. We want to make sure y’all don’t hang upside
down like AJ did last night.”

Nick laughed when he recalled how silly AJ looked suspended in air, hanging
upside down over the crowd. AJ shot a dirty look at Nick.

“Hey! What the heck was the look for? Can’t a guy laugh?” Nick said smiling.

AJ barely smiled at Nick. He was scared to death last night and Nick knew

“Geesh, sorry!” Nick said quietly.

Reluctantly, Brian put his harness on. He was scared to death of heights and
was hoping every night that the bit in the routine was suspended. Nick
followed Brian as well as the others gearing up their harnesses.
Brian swallowed hard as he was jerked up above the stage. Nick could see silly. This only served to make Brian more nervous than before.

Music was cued for them to practice the song while the harnesses moved
them around the stage and into the seating where th eaudience would be.
None of them sang along to Quit Playing Games, they just went along with
the flow in the directions they were taken. Nick and AJ exchanged
comments back and forth as each of them flew past one another. Howie just
rolled his eyes at them.

As Brian was being moved towards the stage, he felt something pop on the
harness. Within a split second, Brian realized he was in deep trouble. As the
harness came open, Nick was on the other side of the auditorium, suspended
in air. Something told him to look over at Brian and he did so in time to see
Brian’s harness give away and him falling towards the stage floor. Brian only
had time to let out a quick yelp and then he landed on the stage floor. It was
over in an instant.

Horrified, Nick looked down at Brian’s lifeless body laying on the stage floor.
The music was still playing as if everything was normal.

In what seemed to take forever, the boys were finally set back down onto
the stage. Nick wasted no time in detaching himself from his harness and
running towards Brian.

“Nick, don’t touch him!” Kevin yelled out. Kevin knew that if Brian had broke
his neck or his back and if Nick moved him, it could paralyze or even kill him.

Nick knelt down beside Brian. He went to put his hand out to touch Brian’s
shoulder, but drew it back without touching him at all. Nick kept a vigil
beside him as they waited for the ambulance to arrive.

“What the hell is taking them so long?” Nick asked angrily.

As AJ paced back and forth across the stage, Howie sat on a stool and
stared off into the empty auditorium. Kevin was busy talking with the props
tech and a police office that had been dispatched to investigate the

When the paramedics finally arrived, a stunned Nick stood helplessly next to
Howie and watched as they worked over Brian and slowly rolled his body onto
a board before placing him onto a gurney.

“Can I ride along, I hate to see Brian alone, in case he wakes up and is
scared.” Nick asked the female paramedic.

The girl told Nick that it was usually against policy, but as she looked at
Nick’s face, she could tell how distressed he was. “It’s okay, I suppose you
can ride along with us.”

All Nick could manage to say was, “Thanks.”
Nick was in shock looking at Brian lay on the stretcher not responding to
attempts to get reactions out of him. As the sounds of the sirens rang in his
ears, Nick felt as if he were detached from the whole situation, almost as if
he was in a dream watching this happen.

Nick listened to the paramedic talk to the hospital and report Brian’s
condition. It was all in medical terms, so he couldn’t tell exactly what was
going on with Brian.

As the ambulance pulled into the bay at the hospital, the sound the siren
made as the noise bounced off the building caused Nick to shiver. The
ambulance crew wasted no time in bringing Brian into the hospital. As Nick
followed the stretcher, he tried to listed to the paramedic tell the doctor
the extent of Brian’s injuries. Again, there was medical terminology used, so
Nick was unsure of what was wrong with Brian.

Nick tried to follow the stretcher into the trauma room, but was stopped by
a nurse.

“I’m sorry, but you will have to take a seat in the lobby. We will let you know
what’s going on as soon as we can.”

Nick reluctantly walked towards the lobby and sat down in a seat that faced
the direction of the trauma room. He mentally told himself that he was going
to give them 10 minutes and then if he didn’t get any answers by then, he
would go to them.

Nick could see the flurry of activity that was happening around Brian’s room,
doctors, nurses and equipment going in and out. Finally a doctor came out into
the lobby and approached Nick.

“Follow me to the consult room, please, it would be more private to talk
there.” The doctor stated as he walked away from Nick.

When they entered the room, the doctor took a seat and sighed deeply
before he started telling Nick what was going on with Brian.

“Brian fell about 30 feet, which I am suprised he is still alive.” The doctor
said as he looked at Nick. “We are still running a few more tests, but from
what we have back, Brian has a severe head injury and he is in a coma. It’s
too early to determine if there is any permanent brain damage.”

Nick started to feel sick to his stomach. He was barely able to say the
words that ran through his mind. “Br....brain damage?”

“Let’s not worry just yet. With an injury to the brain, sometimes there is
temporary damage, sometimes it can be permanent. We have to wait until
Brian wakes up for the coma to find out, so until then, we will just have to
wait it out. The rest is up to Brian.”
Nick went through the motions of shaking the doctor’s hand. He was in a
state of shock. The only thought that went through his head was the image
of Brian laying on the floor of the stage.

“Can I see him?” Nick asked in a voice that was barely audible.

The doctor took Nick down the hall into Trauma Room 3. Nick stood in the
doorway afraid to walk in. Brian looked dwarfed by the bed and all the
equipment that was surrounding him. Nick did a visual inventory at all the
equipment that was attached to his friend. Except for the oxygen apparatus
on his face, Brian appreared to be sleeping. The heart machine made eerie
beeping noises and there were other pieces of equipment that was either
beeping or pinging.

Taking a deep breath, Nick found the courage to walk up to the bed and look
down at Brian laying there. Nick’s vision of Brian started to blur from the
tears that were forming in his eyes. Nick quickly put his hand up to his eyes
and tried to pinch the tears away.

“Bri, you have to pull out of this, I need you, we need you.” Nick’s voice
cracked as he spoke softly to Brian.

Nick looked at him as if he would open his eyes and answer his pleading. The
machines kept their beeping as the response. Nick took a chair in the corner
and moved it up close to the bed. He wanted to stay by Brian’s side, in case
he woke up.

Nick felt a hand on his shoulder. He turned and looked up and saw Kevin
standing over him. Howie and AJ were standing next to Kevin. As Nick stood
up, Kevin asked him how Brian was.

Nick allowed his emotions to surface and started crying. “Oh, god, they said
he is in a coma and they don’t know if he will be the same when he wakes up.”
He looked at their faces in search of their reactions to the news. Howie and
Kevin’s mouths dropped open while AJ’s reaction was to curse over and over.

Kevin took Nick and gave him a brotherly hug and held onto him. “It’s gonna
be okay, Nicky, we have to keep the faith.”

Kevin held Nick tighter as Nick’s body convulsed with sobs. “It’s okay, it’s
okay.” Kevin repeated over and over softly to Nick.

A young nurse came into the room. “I need to ask you to go to the visitor’s
lounge and have a seat, we need to take Mr. Littrell to have some CT’s done.
I’ll call you when we are finished, okay?”

Reluctantly, the guys left Brian and walked across the hall and took a seat in
the crowded waiting area. Nick was oblivious to the whispers of the people in
the room that recognized them.

A young girl approached Nick and stood in front of him holding a piece of
paper and a pen. “Um, could, could I have your autograph, Nick?”

Nick looked up at the 10 year old red headed girl. The look on Nick’s face
startled the young girl.

“Oh my god, are you alright?” Her eyes grew wide. “Why are you here?” She
looked at each of the guys sitting in the chairs. “Oh, my god, where’s Brian,
is Brian okay? Did he have a heart attack?”

Nick just stared at the little girl. He was thankful when a man that appeared
to be her father told the girl to leave him alone and go back and sit down.

Nick was startled by the feeling of someone hitting him on the shoulder.

“Nick! Wake up! Brian’s awake!” Kevin said has he was trying to get Nick to
wake up.

Startled, Nick jumped when he heard Kevin’s voice. He looked around the
room trying to figure out where he was.

“Nick, I said that Brian is awake, come on, let’s go in and see him.” Kevin

They entered the room apprehensively, each privately thinking and
wondering what they would find. As they approached his bed, they saw that
Brian appeared to be sleeping. He still had the oxygen mask on his face and
the monitors were still making their noises.

When Nick coughed, Brian’s eyes fluttered open. Brian looked around the
room and at each of their faces. His eyebrows furrowed together as if he
was puzzled about something he saw.

“Hey, Bri, you gave us a scare.” Nick managed to say to break the
uncomfortable silence.

Brian did not respond, he just looked at Nick with a puzzled look on his face.
After a few moments, Brian slowly licked his lips and softly spoke.

“What happened?”

“The harness broke and you fell, don’t you remember?” Nick asked quietly.

“Harness?” Brian asked.

“Yeah, you know, what we wear when we do the routines?” Nick looked at
Brian to try and tell what he was thinking.

“Routines?” Brian asked.

Nick and Kevin exchanged glances.

“Brian, do you know where you are right now?” Kevin asked.

Brian looked around the room. “I would imagine a hospital?”

“Okay, now for the tough question, do you know who you are?” Kevin asked in
a teasing voice.

“Yeah, I’m Brian Littrell.” Brian answered the question without hesitating.

Kevin decided to drop the twenty questions with Brian. He searched his mind
to try to think of something to say. Suddenly, out of the blue, Brian said
something that made Kevin’s heart sink.

“Hey, kid, the one with the blond hair, you’re standing too close to the bed.”
Brian said as he looked directly at nick.

“Ha, ha, very funny Brian.” Nick snickered, assuming that Brian’s comment
was a joke.

“I’m serious, move it.” Brian growled at Nick.

Nick looked at Brian. “I will if you tell me my name.”

Once Brian started to swear, the guys knew that Brian was not himself and
that he truly did not know who Nick was.

Horrified, Nick stood by the bed and stared at Brian with his mouth hanging
open. He couldn’t believe that his best friend did not recognize him.

Brian closed his eyes. “I’m feeling a little tired, I would appreciate it if you
people would just leave now.”

After a week had slipped by, Brian was growing tired of being in the hospital. Without asking anywone, he pulled his IV line out and got dressed quickly. Slowly opening the door to his room, he looked out in the hallway to see if the coast was clear. He didn't see anyone so he left his room and walked directly towards the elevators.

Brian ignored the whispers on the elevator from the young girls that were standing behind him.
Once outside, Brian realized he didn't have any place he knew where to go. He reached into his back pocket and pulled out his wallet. He was suprised at the amount of money that was neatly tucked inside. Brian pulled the cash out and counted it to access his financial situation for the time being. He was shocked when he counted out $560.00. He was also floored at the number of credit cards in the wallet as well.

Looking up and down the street, Brian's eyes fell onto a billboard that was advertising Palmetto Gardens Outlet Mall.

"Maybe it would be fun to go to a mall and just start buying stuff for the heck of it." Brian thought to himself.

Brian hailed a cab. When the driver stopped, he told him that he wanted to go to Palmetto Gardens Mall.

"You're sure you want to go there?" The driver questioned Brian as they drove away from the hospital.

"Yeah, why would you ask me that?" Brian asked, puzzled.

"No particular reason, you just don't strike me as a mall shopper is all." The cabbie replied. He knew of Brian's celebrity status, his teenaged daughter had pictures of Brian all over her bedroom.

"Oh, what do I strike you as?" Brian countered.

"Gee, I would take you as a Home Shopping Networker or a catalogue shopper or a send a person to do my shopping shopper." The cabbie babbled on and on.

Brian looked out the window and watched the scenery. He was tired of the stupid comments the cab driver was making and just wanted to be left alone in his own thoughts.

A lab tech walked into Brian's hospital room to do a blood draw on Brian. Looking around the room when she didn't find the patient in his bed, she almost overlooked a hospital gown laying on the bedding and the IV pole standing next to it with the fluids from the IV draining out onto the floor.

The young girl immediately turned around and left the room to go get the floor supervisor nurse. When they both returned to the room and observed together what she had seen the first time around, the nursing supervisor told the girl not to repeat anything she saw in the room to anyone.

"Damn." The supervisor muttered under her breath. She saw Nick Carter walking down the hall towards the room. She decided that like it or not, she would have to tell him about Brian missing.

"Ah, Mr. Carter?" She started out.

"Yes?" Nick replied as he was still walking towards the door.

"My name is Genifer Joseph, nursing supervisor." Genifer was trying to buy time.

"Hi Genifer Joseph." Nick replied with a smirk on his face.
"Brian isn't in there."

Nick took his hand off the door. "Oh? Where is he?"

"I, um, we're not sure. It appears that Brian checked himself out of the hospital without telling anyone." Genifer waited for Nick to respond.

"What do you mean, he left? Just like that, he up and left?" Nick pressed for answers.

"Well, he snuck out, no one knew about him leaving until after the fact. I'm so sorry." Genifer apologized.

Nick's mind started swimming with the possible scenarios of what could possibly happen with Brian. He still amnesia, so Nick was certain Brian was more than likely lost.

Nick called the rest of the group and let them know about Brian missing. They agreed to have at least one person stay back at the house in case Brian showed up.


As the cab driver pulled up to the curb at the mall, Brian handed him money to pay for the ride.

"I honestly think you're crazy." The driver said to Brian.

"I honestly don't know why you think I'm crazy, but okay, I'm crazy, I agree with you." Brian said as he was getting out of the cab.

The driver chuckled. "Well, good luck in there, you're gonna need it."

Brian closed the door and didn't comment. He walked into the front door of the mall. He didn't actually have a store in mind to go to first, so he opted to just walk down the halls of the stores.

Brian decided to sit down near the fountain in the center of the mall to watch the coming and going of people. He had only been sitting for a few moments, when a surge of about 30 girls approached where he was. There was screaming and crying coming from the small cluster of girls and the group was growing by the minute.

Puzzled at their behavior, Brian attempted to remove himself from where the commotion was, but suddenly found that he was trapped and they were not going to let him leave.

"Oh, my god, I can't believe it's you." A girl that was standing in front of Brian kept repeating the phrase over and over again.

Brian thought he was just a plain guy from Florida, but now he was slowly discovering that he must be someone important, at least he seemed to be important to those girls that were standing practically ontop of him and refused to move.

A pen and a tablet of paper appeared over the top of the crowd. Brian was handed the paper and no one said a word. Brian wasn't sure what they wanted from him. As Brian decided to sign his name on the piece of paper that was handed to him, he kept thinking to himself how silly this was that a complete stranger would want his signature. As he handed the paper back towards the girl, another piece of paper was thrusted towards him.

As Brian kept signing paper after paper, a huge crowd started to form. It seemed almost instantaneously that the crowd had grown beyond 100 girls. Brian did not realize the trouble he was getting himself into.


Nick, Kevin and AJ each got into their vehicles and drove around the Tampa area looking for Brian. Nick turned on the radio as he stopped at the stop light. He looked around the area, hoping to spot Brian.

As he drove through the intersection, Nick heard something on the radio and turned the volume up hoping the DJ would repeat what he was talking about.

"Yes, ladies, you heard me right. If you head down to the Palmetto Mall, you will meet face to face with BSB Brian Littrell. He is in the mall and graciously signing autographs. Hey, tell Brian that Matt McGee from WFLA101.7 sent ya."

Nick about drove off the road. "Oh my god, Brian has gotten himself into a big time mess." Nick drove his vehicle towards the mall. He picked up his cell phone and called AJ and told him where Brian was and to pass the info onto Kev and Howie.

As Nick pulled into the parking lot of the mall, his heart started racing from the panic that was developing in his body. He quickly forgot about it and went into an overdrive adrenaline surge knowing that he would have to rush in there and rescue Brian from the crowd that he was trapped in. Nick parked his Durango right outside of the doors.

Entering the mall, Nick could hear the screams and people talking and yelling. As he got closer to the center of the mall, he could see lights from camera flashes.

Nick knew that once his face appeared, he would have to act quickly before the situation would get out of control. Sure enough, as he walked towards the crowd a girl let out a yell, "Hey it's Nick Carter, ohmygod!"

Once the words were uttered, a mass came and surrounded Nick. He was now in the midst of a full blown panic situation. With Brian not being himself, Nick realized that he could not give him the signal to head out. Brian was still busy signing paper after paper and he never looked over at Nick.

Nick decided the only way to get Brian's attention was to yell out to him.

"Hey, Brian!" Nick yelled at his friend. Brian was unresponsive, he was too busy signing his name.

As the crowd of girls around Nick grew larger, Nick felt himself getting more nervous. He tried to remain calm about the situation. He looked at Brian who was usually nervous in these types of situations, seeming calm and oblivious to the fact that they had a crowd control situation.

"BRIAN, YO BRI!" Nick shouted at the top of his lungs hoping that it would draw Brian's attention from the autographs for a moment and look in his direction.

As Brian finally looked up, Nick pushed his way through the crowd of girls towards Brian. Once he was next to Brian, Nick couldn't think of what to do to get them out of the mess Brian had gotten them into.

Brian was still busy signing his name onto pieces of paper that were handed to him.

Brian, you realize that you got us into one hell of a situation here." Nick said as he watched Brian continue to sign his name.

"What, what situation? I'm sure if you or I wanted to leave, we could." Brian replied.
Nick chuckled. "Okay, sure, you keep that fantasy, but I'm telling you from prior experience, there ain't no way you can leave this place, period. We're trapped."

Brian cleared his throat. "Um, girls, I'm sorry, but me and the blond kid have to leave now. Sorry."

Brian expected the girls to stand aside to let him and Nick through. He was puzzled when the group tightened around them. Suddenly, without warning, the group surged forward. This caught both Brian and Nick completely off guard. Brian fell to the ground striking his head hard on the floor.

Daze, Brian stood back up. He looked around the mall, bewildered.

"Wha....what's going on here? Nick?"

Nick started hugging Brian. "God, I missed you, buddy."

"Huh? What are you talking about?" Brian was still trying to figure out how come he was in a mall.

"Ya ready to go?" Nick asked Brian.

"Yes, definately." Brian stated.

Brian followed Nick as he jumped up onto a planter ledge and walked along it and jumped off and ran down the hallway of the mall as fast as he could without looking back at the surge of girls.

Both Nick and Brian ducked into a store and stood hiding behind a rack of clothes as the crowd of girls raced past their hideout. Once the girls were gone, Brian and Nick left the store quickly and wasted no time in getting into Nick's vehicle and putting space between them and the mall.

"Brian, you had me so worried." Nick said, barely able to keep his emotions in check.

All Brian could do was shrug his shoulders. "I abosolutely can't remember anything up to the time we got to the hall to rehearse, so I looking at you, I think that is a good thing."

Nick smiled. "I'm just glad to have you back, bro."

"Glad to be back."