Almost Friends

Lance’s point of view

I was worried about Julianna. None of the guys would tell me where she was; all they kept saying was that she was going to be fine. I wanted to see her, but the doctor wouldn’t let me get out of bed. He said I was still too weak and my ribs and concussion needed more time to heal before I was able to move around.
“Lance, you awake?” I saw Justin poke his head into my room.
“Yeah, come in,” I replied.
“How are you?” he asked.
“I’m fine,” I told him tensely. If I had a dollar for every time someone had asked me that question in the past forty-eight hours, I wouldn’t have to be in the music business.
“You want to know about Julianna don’t you?”
“Yeah I do, why won’t you guys tell me anything?”
“Well, okay, she has a fairly serious concussion, a broken rib, two bruised ribs, and a cut that needed stitches on her leg. We didn’t want to say anything to you earlier because she was still unconscious. She did wake up yesterday evening but she went back to sleep. She’s very weak but the doctor says that she’ll be okay.”
“Thank God. When do you think I can see her?”
“When you’re allowed to get out of bed.”
“Fine, but that better be soon.”
“Just hang on for a while longer.”
“I’ll try, but I’m very worried about Julianna. I know that you keep telling me she’s fine, but still, I won’t be able to calm down until I’ve seen her myself and am sure that she really is fine.”
“Well, her parents are with her, and the Backstreet Boys are here too, they’ve been coming and going for the past forty-eight hours. Well, except for Nick, he’s been here since you and Julianna were brought in.”
“Nick’s been hanging around that long?”
“Yeah, I thought he hated her or something.”
“He does, that’s the strange part,” I said thoughtfully. Why would Nick be hanging around? That made no sense.

Julianna’s point of view

“Hey,” I said weakly when I saw Alex standing in the doorway.
“Hi,” he said smiling and walked to my bed. “How are you?”
“I’m awake, so I guess I’m good,” I replied.
“I’m really glad that you’re okay.”
“Yeah, me too. So how are things on the set?”
“They’re good, but everyone misses you a lot.”
“Do you know when I can get out of here?”
“Nope, your mom is pestering the doctor to tell her something, anything, else but all he keeps saying is that you need to stay here a while longer.”
I laughed at the thought of my mom bugging the doctor, and then was reminded of my ribs as my entire chest area began to throb. “I hate hospitals, did I mention that?”
“Yeah I know you do, but you gotta get better before they can let you go home,” said Alex sympathetically.
“I guess so. Is Lance still in the hospital?”
“Yep, but he’s gonna be released in a day or so,” replied Alex.
“Oh that’s not fair, he’s getting out and I’m still stuck here,” I said pouting.
“But at least you’re getting out of the ICU area.”
“Today, you’re going to get a normal room, without all this scary equipment,” said Alex and gestured around the room.
“Good, those things give me the creeps,” I said. And they did, all the medical equipment in the room made it look like I was more seriously hurt than I really was.
“Oh, here’s an interesting bit of news, do you know who’s been here ever since you and Lance were brought in?”
“Um, the guys from *NSYNC?” I guessed. They were the most logical people to be here.
“Well yeah, them too, but someone else also,” said Alex grinning.
I was a little confused. “Oh, Backstreet Boys right?” Of course it had to be them.
“In a way yes. They all came in when you and Lance were brought in and stayed until last night. They’ve been coming and going all day today, but one of them stayed put, not leaving the hospital since the day before yesterday.”
“Uh, Brian?”
“No way.”
“You better believe it.”
“I can’t believe it.”
“You should.”
“You got it.”
I was so shocked. Nick had stayed in the hospital for the past forty-eight hours? Wow. But why would he? He wasn’t friends with Lance, and he hates my guts, so why would he hang around?
“But why?” I asked, voicing my thoughts.
“Good question, I have no idea,” said Alex.
Someone knocked on the door.
“Come in,” I said. The door opened and I saw Lance. He was sitting in a wheelchair with Justin wheeling the chair, but he was smiling. “Lance!” I exclaimed happily.
“Oh sure, ignore me completely,” said Justin and pouted playfully, a smile tugging at his lips. He then grinned widely and wheeled Lance right next to my bed.
“Hi Justin,” I said to him and smiled.
“It’s nice to finally meet you. I feel like I know you already with all the blabbing Lance has done about you,” said Justin laughing.
I raised my eyebrows and looked at Lance, who seemed to turn a nice color of red at that point. “So I hear you’ve been talking about me.”
“Someone should learn to keep his mouth shut,” said Lance and glared at Justin.
Justin tried to look innocent. “Who, me?” he asked and pointed at himself.
“By the way, I’m Alex, I play the role of Julianna’s big brother on her show,” said Alex introducing himself to Justin and Lance. I realized that I forgot that he was in the room. Oops.
“Nice to meet you,” said Lance and Justin.
“Okay, how about we leave these two alone?” suggested Alex looking at Justin.
“Fine, but I’ll be back later. The doctor said you can’t stay long,” he told Lance, who looked unhappy about that particular fact.
I was happy to finally be able to talk to Lance.
Justin and Alex said their goodbyes and left.
“So how are you really?” asked Lance looking at me.
“The doctor says I’ll be fine,” I replied.
“No, not what the doctor says, how are you, personally? Without the doctor mumbo jumbo,” said Lance.
“Well, it hurts like hell to breathe, laugh, move, think, but I’m alive and conscious and happy about it. What about you?”
“My ribs are kinda sore and I can relate about the hurts-to-think part, but overall, I’m okay.”
“How’s your wrist?” I asked and pointed at his soft cast.
“They’ve got me on painkillers, so I don’t feel any pain,” said Lance softly.
“I’m sorry,” we said at the same time. “Wait, why are you sorry?” we continued.
“You first,” I said to Lance.
“I’m sorry because…I’m the guy, I should’ve protected you, dragged you out of that place before things got out of control. But instead, I just stood there and kept quiet while the situation worsened.”
“Lance, I’m the one who should be sorry, not you. I should’ve just told that fan to leave me alone and quickly get out of there instead of getting into an argument with her. Or better yet, I should’ve talked to Nick about the Enquirer issue yesterday on the set and then this mess wouldn’t have happened. But no, him and me were too busy yelling at each other to solve a problem that was really important.”
“He’s here you know.”
“Yeah I know, Alex told me.”
“How about this, we don’t blame ourselves for this and stop feeling guilty?” suggested Lance with a smile.
“You think we can?” I asked.
“We should. Now that I really think about it nothing we could’ve done would’ve prevented this from happening. I guess it’s just one of those pesky things that happen for a reason.”
“Yeah, I guess so,” I agreed quietly.
“Okay Lance, the doctor says that you gotta go back to your own room,” said Justin coming into the room. “And he said that you,” he pointed at me, “Will be getting your own room in about a half an hour.”
“Do I really have to go?” whined Lance.
“Yes, now come on, say bye to Julianna,” ordered Justin.
“Yes Dad,” said Lance sarcastically.
“Very funny.”
“I’ll see you later then,” I told Lance.
“Yeah, see you later,” he said. He gave me a soft kiss on the lips and then Justin wheeled him out of the room.


I settled in my new room and looked around. It wasn’t as intimidating as the room in the ICU. There was no medical equipment in here except for the oxygen and IV that they had me on. There were white curtains on the windows and they were swaying gently in the breeze.
“Can I come in?”
I looked up and saw Nick standing in the open doorway.
“Sure,” I said softly.
He came into the room and sat in one of the chairs that were next to my bed.
“Before you ask me how I am, let me tell you, I’m fine,” I said because I was getting really sick of being asked that question.
“I’m sorry,” said Nick, but it was barely audible.
“Sorry?” I echoed. “For what?”
“For this entire mess,” he replied. I could see he felt guilty, it was written all over his face.
“But it wasn’t your fault,” I told him. “The fan just wanted to really strongly believe what she saw in the newspaper, and then things just got out of control. You weren’t even there.”
“Yeah, but it started because of me.”
“Nick, it started because the girl was pretty much obsessed with you. You can’t control who does and who doesn’t like you. She fully believed that we were dating and that I was cheating on you. I’m not defending her actions, but I am telling you that it isn’t your fault that this happened. All of us were blaming ourselves for this, when really, there’s no one to blame.”
“As soon as you get out of here, we’re going to hold a press conference and make it clear to people that we are not dating so that this never happens again,” said Nick firmly.
“Yeah, I think that’s the best thing we can do,” I agreed.
“So did we just talk without yelling?” asked Nick with that half-smile of his. I would bet money that he practiced that smile in the mirror.
“I guess we did,” I said equally surprised. Maybe he wasn’t such a horrible human being after all.
“How about we agree to stop the whole yelling and fighting thing. Cause you know, it’s vastly overrated,” suggested Nick.
“Fine with me, the quieter it is on the set, the better,” I told him. “You know, I think I should get some sleep. And from what I hear, you should like go back to your hotel and rest also,” I added.
Nick nodded. “Yeah, I just wanted to talk to you and apologize.”
“Well, it’s all said and done, get some rest.”
“Bye Julianna.”
“Bye Nick.”
After he left, I lowered my bed so that I could comfortably lie down and closed my eyes. I couldn’t believe that Nick and I had actually agreed on something. Yep, miracles can definitely happen.

Nick’s point of view

I walked out of Julianna’s room feeling a hundred times better. I felt so guilty for the past forty-eight hours because of what happened.
“So how did it go?” asked Kevin when he saw me.
“Good, we agreed to stop fighting with each other,” I replied and sank down into a chair.
“Finally!” exclaimed my band mates, Alex, and Julianna’s parents.
I looked around the room. “Okay, so I’m guessing we should’ve done it a while ago,” I admitted. They all nodded. I then got up. “I’m gonna head back to the hotel, I’m so tired.”
“Our limo is downstairs in the back of the hospital,” informed me AJ.
“Thanks, I’ll see you guys later,” I told them and headed towards the elevator.
I went outside and began looking around for the limo. I didn’t see it but figured the driver went to get more gas or something.
“Nick Carter?” I heard someone ask. I turned to my left and saw a girl standing there. She looked about sixteen years old.
“Yes, and who might you be?” I asked.
“I’m Stacy, did you come here to see your girlfriend?”
“No, I came here to see someone I know.”
“Didn’t you come to see Julianna Palmer?”
“Yes, but she’s not my girlfriend.”
“What about the picture in the National Enquirer?”
“That was nothing, we were set up on a blind date that ended badly. We’re not dating and never were dating to begin with.”
“So she’s not cheating on you with Lance Bass from *NSYNC?”
“Of course not! They’re the ones who are really dating,” I replied.
“Oh,” said Stacy and hung her head low.
“What’s wrong?”
“I feel really guilty for starting that whole fight now. Julianna and Lance got hurt because of me, but I really thought that she was cheating on you,” she said sniffling lightly.
So she was the one who started everything. “Look Stacy, I really appreciate that you’re such a big fan and that you wanted to defend me but I really wish that you wouldn’t trust newspapers like the National Enquirer, all they do is spread gossip.”
“I know, and I am so sorry for what I did. If I could go back and do it all over again, I would’ve never started yelling.”
“How about you just go upstairs and apologize to Julianna and Lance? I’m sure they’ll like that and that they will forgive you,” I suggested.
“Do you really think they will?” she asked looking up at me.
“I’m sure they will,” I assured her.
“Thanks Nick, you really are as nice as you seem on TV,” she said smiling widely.
“You’re welcome,” I said returning the smile. She grinned again and disappeared through the door that I came out of.
In a few minutes I saw the limo pull up. I was right; the driver just went to get more gas because there was almost none left in the tank. I collapsed on the comfortable seats and leaned back. I couldn’t wait to get back to the hotel and fall asleep for the next week.

chapter 8 chapter 10