The Backstreet Boys had just wrapped up another concert and were heading towards the next venue in Lexington, Kentucky. They went directly from the concert to the bus, so all of them were tired.
AJ, sipping water, was playing a quick game of solitaire. Nick quietly watched him and noticed he cheated at his game more than once, but was too tired to comment.
Brian and Leighanne were busy with the dogs, making sure they were bedded down for the night. Howie was working on his laptop, checking the stock market and Kevin was writing a few notes in his journal.
All in all, it had been a strange six weeks, Nick thought to himself. Ever since that beanie was thrown onto the stage, all sorts of things had happened. Nick thought back to the events that occurred to each of them, with Brian being the exception since he managed to avoid the beanie altogether.
AJ found out what it was like to be a woman for a day, Howie became an obsessed fan because he wondered why people got all worked up over seeing him. Kevin, being envious of his girlfirend's dancing skills, became a Russian Ballerina for a day. Nick still shuddered when he remembered what happened to him. It was a day he wanted to forget.
Nick stood up. "Well, guys, I'm going to my bunk, see you in six." As he turned to leave, the rest of the group agreed that it was a good time to call it a night and they retired to their respective bunks on the bus.
Al, the bus driver, pulled up outside the front of the Sheraton Hotel in Lexington. He walked towards the back of the bus and called out to the guys that they had arrived and needed to check in.
Brian yawned and stretched out in his bunk. He hated to leave the comfort of the warm bunk, but the thought of a bed where he could really stretch out in, that, and a hot shower, coaxed him up out of the bunk.
As Brian was starting to walk towards the front of the bus, he heard Nick cry out.
"Oh my god, not this again! Why? Oh, god!"
Brian rushed towards Nick's bunk. "Nick! What's wrong?"
Without saying anything, Nick pulled the drapes back on his bunk. Brian fell backwards against the wall, stunned. Nick looked as if he weighed 350 pounds, just like he did when he absently wished on the beanie to go out in public unrecognized.
"How the hell did this happen to me again? That beanie is long gone, I swear I haven't made any wish on anything!" Nick sputtered, angrily.
Before Brian could respond, he heard a woman's voice coming from AJ's bunk.
"Holy shit! Oh my god!"
"AJ?" Brian was afraid to peer into AJ's bunk.
Before he decided whether or not to look, a slender hand with manicured nails reached out from behind the navy blue curtains and drew them back. Just as Brian suspected, AJ had been changed back into a woman.
"What the hell is going on here? I thought this was over and dammit! This thing gave me my period again, this sucks," AJ mumbled. He started to get up out of the bunk. "I need to get Lee."
Brian supressed a laugh when AJ mentioned getting his period again. Thinking quickly, he decided that Howie and Kevin would appear to look normal. Howie's change would be a total infatuation with himself once he caught a glimpse of his face in a reflection and Kevin would move gracefully and speak and write only Russian.
Brian could start to feel a headache develop. "Okay, I'm going to wake Howie up and have him go with me to check in for our rooms. We'll be back with the keys and we will just have to go in separately so it won't be noticed about you two."
He turned towards Howie's bunk. "Howie, wake up, I need you to help me." Brian quietly woke him up. "Something's happened and I need you to register the rooms with me."
"Huh?" Howie was never one that woke up easily, next to Nick, it took him a good ten minutes to get his bearings.
"Just come on, register with me and you can go back to sleep, okay?" Brian waited for Howie to reply, hoping he became more alert.
As Brian and Howie left the bus and walked towards the hotel lobby, Brian silently prayed that there wouldn't be any mirrors or any chance of Howie seeing himself. That would trigger total chaos.
"Okay, we've made it to the front desk, things are looking good," Brian thought to himself. His happiness was short lived when he spotted a mirror on the wall behind the desk.
"Hi, I need to sign in for the rooms for the group, please. It should be listed under the names, Davidson, Lake, Coles, Roberts and Masters." Brian politely requested. All of the aliases started with each of their last names so Nick's room would be registered with the name of Nick Coles, Brian's would be Brian Lake and so on.
As Brian was starting to register for the rooms, he noticed that Howie was standing next to him, a dazed look on his face. "Oh shit, he saw himself," Brian mumbled.
"Howie! Get a grip on yourself, man, let's take the keys to the guys, come on."
Howie stood frozen, staring at his reflection in the mirror. He started shivering as if excited and tears were forming in his eyes. He sighed, "I just can't believe it! Oh, god, I can't believe it!"
Brian nervously laughed at the registration clerk as he grabbed Howie by the arm, pulling him towards the bus. The only problem Brian could see would be Nick and AJ. He decided those two could go in by themselves, separate from the group.
Brian handed out the keys to each of them. "You and Nick will have to go in by yourselves."
Nick stared at Brian. "What's wrong? You embarrassed to be seen with me?"
Brian appeared to look thoughtful for a moment. "Well, Nick, I mean, well look at you, you're huge and you obviously aren't yourself right at the moment."
Nick didn't say anything back to Brian. He groaned as he struggled to move his body through the now narrow aisles on the bus. "I'm going a head of you, I want to get cleaned up."
They all gathered in Nick and Brian's room. Kevin was absolutely no help to them since no one understood Russian. He couldn't understand English either so any communication Kevin could possibly hope for was eliminated.
"Okay, so everyone agrees that no one had touched that beanie, right?" Nick asked the group, sitting on the edge of a chair that was obviously too small to accomodate his size.
AJ shook his head yes, Howie was in a daze, sitting in front of a mirror.
"Yo, Howie, could you pull yourself away from the mirror for two seconds and join us here?" Nick sputtered.
Howie continued to gaze into the mirror. "I'm listening to you," he sighed. Howie was so infatuated with himself that he couldn't pull himself away from his reflection.
Brian paced the floor, deep in thought. "This has to be something that was done deliberately, but who would do this?"
"I have no idea, but when I find them, they are mine, you got me?" AJ stated, his eyes flashed with anger.
"Whoa, major PMS hitting," Nick chuckled.
"Shut up, fatty." AJ retorted.
"Guys! Name calling and bickering is not going to solve this problem you have." Brian reprimanded as he continued to pace the floor. "Nick, do you remember what concert venue you got that beanie from?"
Nick groaned as he struggled to get out of the chair. "It was Indianapolis. We were filmining it for a concert tape to be sold." Nick stopped for a second and then he and Brian's eyes met. "Do you think they could possibly have a picture of the person that threw the beanie? I mean, it's a long shot, but I remember it was the final song of the show. Maybe if we can get our hands on the tape, we can figure this out."
Brian sadly shook his head. The logistics of the situation seemed dim.
"Bri, don't be so negative about this. I don't want to look this way for the rest of my life and I'm sure AJ doesn't either," Nick pleaded his case.
AJ nodded in agreement. "Yeah, especially what happened to me in that elevator," the thought caused AJ to shudder.
"Ok, I'll put a call in to Beth and see if she has the footage," Brian said as he rummaged through his carryon bag looking for his phone book.
Beth sat in the equipment trailer with the boys, stunned at Nick and AJ's appearance. Brian reassured her that they weren't pulling a joke on her, which would be a typical thing for Nick to do, and once Nick sang a few bars of a song, Beth realized that this was Nick.
"Um, okay, Nick, you said it was the last song in the show?"
"Yeah." Nick replied, eyes fixed on the TV screen.
Beth cued up the tape to last segment of the concert. Just as Nick predicted, a dark green object was thrown onto the stage from someone that was close to the barriers.
"There! See, that's it!" Nick yelled out excitedly.
Beth nodded and rewound the tape back to that point, froze it and did a frame by frame scan. She was able to zero in on the "fan" that threw the beanie.
AJ's mouth dropped open. "That son of a bitch!"
Brian and Nick stared at AJ.
"I take it you know this person?" Brian asked.
"Hell yeah I know her. She's Joey Fatone's girlfriend!" AJ spat.
"Guys, um, they've got a concert roughly 100 miles from here in Nashville at the Grand Ole Opry House." Beth quietly offered.
"Let's get a cab then," Nick suggested. "I want to fix this!"
Beth called a cab for them. Howie and Kevin stayed back at the hotel, with Beth in charge of them. On the way to Nashville, they devised a plan.
"Knowing that damn Joey, he's got that beanie thing in his room. I could probably lower my standards and get to him," AJ stated.
Brian clamped a hand on AJ's shoulder. "I'll support you all the way, you know I can't go in there, they would spot me a mile away."
As the cab pulled up outside the hotel where they were staying, AJ drew in a long drag from his cigarette. "Brian, I think you could get me near the rooms better than I could looking like this though."
"No!" Nick interjected. "That won't work, we have to do this with the element of suprise."
AJ nodded as he exited the cab. Pulling down his short skirt that Leighanne had loaned him, AJ started off towards the lobby, wobbling on the high heels he was wearing. Nick couldn't help but snicker which AJ heard and he instantly turned back towards the cab and flipped Nick off with a long, manicured finger.
AJ approached the front desk, with confidence. He knew what Joey's alias that he used when he checked into a hotel.
He batted a thickly mascarahed eyelash at the male clerk. "Um, yes, I need the room for Joshua Davis please."
The clerk returned AJ's smile. "He's in on the penthouse floor, code is 1656. You have to take the service elevator up to that floor. I can take you there."
'What a dink,' AJ thought to himself as he was feeling a little ill with the fact that this guy was actually interested in him.
"Oh, thank you sweetie." AJ followed the clerk to the service elevator. Once they got to the penthouse floor, the clerk escorted AJ to Joey's suite.
The clerk made a sweeping motion with his left arm. "There you go." He winked at AJ and turned and left. With the clerks back turned, AJ flipped him off.
"Hey baby, I've been waiting for you!"
AJ spun around quickly when he heard Joey's voice. 'Oh that figures he's dialed hire-a-whore.'
AJ nervously figeted with his skirt. "Um, yeah."
Joey could sense this girls obvious nervousness. "Oh, we got a newbie here. Relax sweetheart, I'll show you the ropes," Joey said as he coaxed AJ into his room.
AJ looked around the hotel suite, nervously, hoping to catch sight of the beanie and get the hell out of the room before something happened.
AJ strolled around the room, trying hard not to fall off his high heels.
"So, Joey, um, I could use a drink." AJ stalled.
"Sure sugar, a little whiskey to get the love juices flowing, I got cha." Joey winked.
AJ turned away and rolled his eyes. He spotted a duffle bag on the floor, with comic books and letters sticking out of it.
"Oh, Joey, are you a collector?" AJ asked, trying to sound interested, feeling the bile rise in his throat.
Joey gulped down his drink. "Ah, yeah, I collect comic books, beanies that sort of thing, but mine are more of value than what that Backstreet Kid collects, you know, that fake blond, Nick Carter."
"Ah, yes, I think I know him." AJ replied and started to bend over, making sure Joey got a full view of his butt. "Can I look at your beanie collection? I love beanies!"
"Sure sweetheart, while you're doing that, I'm gonna freshen up so I will be pumped and ready, okay?"
"You do that doll, take your time, I want to get my fires started so you will get every penny you spent."
Joey winked at AJ and blew kisses in his direction. AJ prented to catch a kiss, which ended up driving Joey crazy. He rushed towards AJ and wrapped him in a big, tight hug.
"I shant be long," Joey stated as he released AJ and dashed off to the bathroom.
AJ shuddered after he was released. The scent of the cheap cologne that Joey wore hung in the air and on his blouse. Shaking his head, he was relieved when he heard the shower going on.
AJ dashed to the bag and started throwing stuff out of it right and left. Down at the bottom of the bag was the dark green beanie, it's black eyes staring at AJ, almost laughing at him.
Clutching the beanie, AJ quickly left the room and headed to the elevator and towards safety.
Nick and Brian were waiting under a tree in the front courtyard of the hotel. Brian rushed up towards AJ, while Nick lumbered slowly that way.
"I got it! I also was spared any inconvenience to my body!" AJ jumped up and down, overcome with girlish hormones. "I have the perfect plan to get even with them."
"Okay, but first, you guys have to get back to normal," Brian advised.
"Piece of cake," Nick stated. "Remember, our changes don't happen until after we've been asleep, so go ahead and wish AJ."
AJ handed the possesed beanie over to Nick. "No, you do it, this thing scares me."
"Wuss." Nick replied. He clutched the beanie tightly and requested that he, Howie, Kevin and AJ were returned back to their normal selves. Once he was satisifed that that had been complete, an evil grin spread across his face.
"Now for the revenge!" Nick cried out.
Brian looked up at Nick, one eyebrow raised in question.
"Trust me, Brian, you'll enjoy this!" Nick stated.
"Oh yeah, and I got these, so we can check it out," AJ said as he flashed three n'sync concert tickets. "I swiped them off of Joey when he had his arms around me, and don't ask." AJ cut Nick off before he could respond.
Nick put his hands up, "Not saying nothing, I absolutely don't want to go there, AJ."
"Okay, well lets go get our seats then," Brian suggested.
AJ and Nick nodded in agreement. Brian had to try and figure out some type of disguise. The only solution was a pair of dark glasses and a baseball hat and an "I love Joey" t-shirt.
They made their way down to the seats which were situated on the floor, seventh row.
"Figures Joey couldn't score very good tickets to his own concerts, the dumb ass," AJ remarked.
Brian rolled his eyes. Just sit down, this should be pretty interesting.
As Nick sat down on the folding chair, it groaned in protest under the weight that was being put on it. Nick cringed, hoping that the chair wouldn't give out and embarrass him.
"Just don't move around too much," Brian whispered.
"Like it's that easy to do to begin with," Nick snapped back.
Before AJ could add to the conversation, the house lights went down and the audience started screaming. Nick and AJ both rolled their eyes. Suddenly, out of a cloud of smoke, the band jumped out. AJ put on a false look of shock, Brian just shook his head at AJ.
Nick started snickering, he knew what was going to happen and he couldn't wait to see Brian and AJ's reaction.
The music was cued up for the first song, "Bye, Bye, Bye." JC started to sing his part, everything stopped. There wasn't any music, there wasn't any singing. The boys on the stage looked panicked.
Brian leaned out across from AJ. "Nick, what did you do?"
Nick roared. "I put a hex on the music equipment. Now they have to sing the entire two hours! This is gonna be interesting, no more lip syncing for them!"
AJ high fived Nick. Brian just shook his head, smiling. "Nicky, I can't believe you sometimes, but I have to tell you, it's good."