Nick sat staring into the recording studio. Brian was in there directing the band how to record his song he had written. He had dragged Nick along to… well Nick didn’t really know. It had been almost six months since they had all visited Tim, Kevin’s childhood best friend, and his sister Kay.
“Kay,” Nick sighed quietly.
Kay would be graduating from high school at the end of the month. He hadn’t heard or seen her since that December visit. He was still a bit confused by her behavior. She hated all Nicks. That’s what she told the world, yet she liked Nick. But, she wouldn’t let anyone except Nick know it. Nick played back the last conversation and run in he had had with Kay before he had gone home.
“They’ll be home soon,” was all Kay said.
“Then, may I have a good-bye kiss?” Nick asked with a smile.
Kay took his hand and led him into the living room then up the stairs and down the hall to her room. She set him down on her bed then walked over to her closet and pulled out a box. She handed it to him. Nick slowly opened the box. In it was a picture of a washer, a couch, and a plate of eggs. Nick could tell it was a drawing. It was signed by Kay. Nick looked up at Kay.
“Your welcome. Now, here’s your good-bye kiss,” Kay said, sitting down on Nick’s lap.
She wrapped her arms around him and their mouths met. Nick wrapped his arms around her as she slowly began to push him backward till his back was on the bed. She pulled back and looked at Nick.
“What?” Nick asked, totally unsure what was going on in that head of hers.
“Carter, I love you. I will find you someday and marry you. You hear me?” Kay asked, brushing her hand along his cheek.
“I hear you.”
“Good,” Kay said, and went back to kissing him.
After awhile, the floor began to rattle. Kay pulled back from Nick. Her eyes showed sadness. She lowered her lips once more then got up and left the room.
“Nick! Earth to Nick! Come in Nick!” Brian called, hitting Nick on the head.
Nick looked up from his trance to see Brian above him.
“Come, on Carter. We’re done here. Let’s head home,” Brian said, pulling Nick out of his chair.
“Okay, okay,” Nick mumbled.
Brian looked at him in question. He then shook his head and went back to dragging Nick out of the studio.
Kevin burst into the house as the phone rang. He tossed down his bags and picked up the phone.
“May I speak to Kevin Richardson?” asked a voice.
“This is him.”
“Kevy! What are you up to! This is Tim!”
“Tim, my God, how are you?”
“I’m just fine. I was wondering if you could take some time off and come see Kay graduate. Oh, and bring Brian with you,” Tim said.
“Oh, okay. Should I bring Nick?” Kevin mused.
“I bet that would make Kay’s day. Nick coming down just to see her,” Tim laughed. “No, sir I was not laughing. No, it’s not a personal call.”
“Huh?” Kevin asked
“Okay, I’ll call… okay he’s gone,” Tim said. “I’m at work. But will you come?”
“I’ll see if we can take a break from recording. I’ll call the house,” Kevin replied.
“Great,” Tim said. “Good bye, Mr. Richardson.”
“Bye, Mr. Bennett,” Kevin said, hanging up the phone.
“Guys, how would you like a little break for a week?” Kevin asked.
“Where we go?” A.J. asked, flipping through a sheet of lyrics.
“But that will be no fun for Nick,” Howie said. “He’ll have to put up with Kay.”
“It’s okay, guys. I think I can handle her for a week,” Nick said, heart skipping a beat.
Brian looked at him in question, knowing something was up.
“A.J.?” Kevin asked.
A.J. looked up from the sheet, “Okay. I’ll just hang out at Mickey D’s.”
Everyone looked at him.
“Why would you do that?” Howie asked.
A.J. shrugged, “To stay away from Kay.”
Nick looked at A.J. “Huh?”
“She wants me,” A.J. simply said. “But I don’t want her. She’s been calling me. I don’t know how she got my number, Brian.”
A.J. shot Brian a accusing look. Brian threw his hands up in the air.
“Caught me,” Brian said.
They guys all began talking how they would get some time off to go up there. Nick fell down into the closest chair. Kay had been calling A.J. because she ‘wanted him.’ Nick thought Kay had wanted him. Isn’t that what Kay had told him?
“Nicky, come back to Earth,” Howie called.
“I’m here,” Nick said, leaving every thought of Kay behind him.
“Okay, let’s go,” Kevin said, walking out the door. “I know this will work.”
Kevin leaped out of the car and ran up to Tim’s front door and rang the bell. A.J. pulled out a couple of bags and walked up to the door. Tim opened the door and engulfed Kevin in a hug. A.J. walked passed them into the front hall. Nothing had changed, other than the plants hanging from the ceiling.
“Kay will be home soon. This will be a surprise to her. First she doesn’t know Kevin’s coming today and second he brought A.J. instead of Brian,” Tim said, with a knowing smile at A.J.
“No way, Timmy,” A.J. said, starting up the stairs. “We all came. Even Nick.”
“Nick?” Tim asked, turning to Kevin.
“It’s the only way we could come.”
“Nick wouldn’t let you come if you didn’t bring him?” Tim asked, following Kevin out to the car.
“No, our manager thought since we needed some more songs for our new album it was okay if we came back here. Our theme was thought up here and everyone loved it,” Kevin said, handing Tim some bags.
“What was it?”
“Sort of like Romeo and Juliet type thing. It’s called Wherefore Are Thy… Nick came up with it and just trailed off. They loved it,” Kevin said, going into the house.
“So where are the others?” Tim asked, as he followed Kevin up the front stairs.
“There,” Kevin said, pointing at the car pulling into the driveway.
Tim set down his bags he was carrying and went out to greet the other guys. Kevin went up the stairs to the room he had stayed in during their last visit. A.J. was in there. A.J. had set down his bags and claimed the room.
“What do you think you are doing, Bone?” Kevin asked.
“I want this room.”
“Why so you can be closer to Kay than Nick?” Kevin laughed.
“No! This room locks. Kay came down and tried to…” A.J. trailed off. “But, you can share the room with Brian if you have to have a bed.”
“Okay, fine,” Kevin said, going into the other room.
Meanwhile, Howie, Nick, and Brian were unloading the car into the house. A.J. had opened his window and informed them that Nick or Brian would have to sleep in the family room. Howie said that they both would have to. He was going to have a room this time. Nick was too depressed to argue and Brian lost. So, Brian and Nick carried all their stuff into the family room.
“Think of it this way,” Brian started, “you’ll be far away from Kay.”
Nick smiled for the first time in days. “Exactly.”
Nick walked over to the couch and sat down.
“What are you doing?” Brian asked.
“Well, you’re the short one. You sleep on the other couch,” Nick said.
Brian shot him a playful evil look and tossed his stuff on the other couch. He then walked off to get them some blankets and sheets. Nick closed his eyes and let the sent of the house fill his lungs. Even though the back stabbing Kay lived here this house still had this charming smell about it. Nick was sent back to reality when he heard the front door open.
“Tim!” Kay yelled into the house.
Nick heard Tim leave the kitchen and walk to the top of the front stairs.
“Why are there two extra cars in the driveway? Do I get to keep one?” Kay asked.
Nick could picture her face as she said that. She had a big old playful smile of her face and shinning eyes.
“No. I have a surprise. Guys! Show yourselves!” Tim screamed at the top of his lungs.
Nick could hear Kevin jump out of the kitchen and run down the hall. While Brian jumped out of the hallway on the same level as Kay, Howie and A.J. jumped out of the stairway and ran down to the front hallway.
“No Nick!” Kay cried.
“No, we brought him with us. I don’t know where he is?” Brian said, turning around.
“He got lost most likely. Couldn’t find his way off his butt,” Kay snickered.
“NO!” Nick yelled, getting off the couch. He walked down the hall to where Brian was. He gave Kay a cold look. “No, I just thought you wouldn’t want to see me, so I didn’t come. So I’ll leave now, having proved that I didn’t get lost and found my way off my fat old ass.”
With that Nick walked back into the family room and sat down. He flipped on the TV and waited for Brian to come back.
“Well, looks like somebody had a personality change,” Kay muttered happily.
Brian looked at her. He knew what was up. “No, he just had his heart stomped over.”
Brian picked up the bedding he had been carrying and went down the hall after Nick.
Tim glared at Kay. “Is that anyway to treat our guest! We talked about this.”
Kay looked at the ground, “No it’s not. But I’m not saying I’m sorry.”
Kay walked up the stairs past Tim to the other guys. She looked at A.J. with a smile.
“I’m so happy you could see me graduate,” she said, hugging A.J. and giving him a quick kiss on the cheek.
“Whatever,” A.J. said, looking around for some help.
Howie came to the rescue. “Kay, do you know what college you want to go to?”
Kay turned at looked at Howie. “No.”
Nick sat looking at the TV. He heard Brian come into the room. He looked over to see Brian hidden by all the bedding he was carrying. Nick got up and walked over and helped Brian.
“Thanks,” Brian said. “Is there something up with you? You defended yourself against Kay?”
Nick looked down at Brian. “Yeah. I realized I would never win.”
Nick slowly opened his eyes to see someone standing above him. He soon figured out who it was.
“Go away, Kay,” he mumbled as he turned over.
“Why?” Kay asked.
“You don’t like Nicks. You like A.J.’s,” Nick mumbled into his pillow.
“What? You think I like A.J.? Oh, Carter, that was just a little plan that didn’t work,” Kay said, trying to turn Nick over.
“A plan that didn’t work?” Nick asked.
“Yes. I thought if I could get A.J. to like me we could move in so I could be close to you.”
“You have a twisted mind. If you were going out with A.J. you’d be off-limits, girl.”
Nick rolled over and faced her. “Either you tell or I don’t want you because it’s hell for me to hear you say and do things to hurt me.”
Kay stood up to full height.
“Fine, if you want it that way, then have it.”
“Yep, I want it that way,” Nick sung at her.
Kay glared down at him and left the room. Nick could hear Kay storm up the stairs and storm up the other stairs and down the hall. Nick threw his hands over his face and rolled over. He didn’t know that Brian was awake on the other couch and heard this all. Brian thought something had been up and now he knew he was right. Brian rolled off the couch after awhile and quietly went up the stairs. He looked in the kitchen and saw the streetlight’s light pouring in. He shook his head, wondering why there was a streetlight in the backyard and started up the stairs and down to Howie and Kevin’s room. Once there he knocked on the door, then quietly opened it.
“Kevin?” Brian asked softly.
The lights flew on in the room. Brian covered his eyes as pain surged through them. Once his eyes were okay, he looked to see Kevin and Howie up and awake.
“Why was Kay downstairs?” Kevin asked.
“She woke us up when she came back. She then cursed Nick,” Howie explained.
Brian sat down on Kevin’s bed and looked at Kevin then Howie. “Well, I think I have it figured out. Nick and Kay had some sort of relationships where there was no hate.”
“What?!” Kevin cried in shock.
“Yeah, I figured something was up.”
“But, Kay always was cold to him. She never did anything to contradict herself,” Howie said.
“I know, but Nick did. And just awhile ago, Kay came downstairs and woke Nick up. She acted normal around him till he told her she came clean or…” Brian trailed off.
“Or they were over though there was never a they,” Howie said.
“But,” Kevin said, shacking his head, “A.J. said that Kay hit on him on the first day we were here. And he told her…”
Brian and Howie looked at him. They knew nothing of this.
“Told her what?” Howie asked.
“That Nick liked her,” Kevin finished.
Brian hit himself on the head.
“And since she couldn’t have A.J. she went after Nick?” Howie asked.
“No, that’s not Kay,” Kevin and Brian said.
“She must have really liked him, but she had this image. She went after A.J because she wasn’t sure Nick liked her and she just needed to find out,” Kevin said.
“And she is still going after him because?” Howie asked.
“I don’t know,” Kevin said, scratching his head.
“I do. She wanted to be near Nick. When she told him that he told her she had to get over this I HATE NICK stage or he couldn’t go on with what they were doing. That’s when she said, ‘Fine, if you want it that way then have it.’ Nick said, ‘I want it that way,’” Brian said.
“God, what are we going to do?” Kevin asked.
“Nothing. Nick doesn’t know I heard. Kay will go back to hating Nick as before. A.J. already doesn’t like Kay in that way so…” Brian trailed off.
“We’ll go to bed,” Howie announced, showing Brian out.
Brian returned down to the couch and settled in. He was still troubled about how Kay seemed to have blown off the way she had been using A.J. to get to Nick. This was not the sweet little girl he use to play tea with.
Tim flew down the stairs so fast he ran right into Brian.
“Sorry, Littrell,” Tim said. “Late to work.”
Brian watched Tim run into the garage. He then started up the stairs to the kitchen. Kay sat in there drinking a cup of tea while reading the paper. Brian walked over and pulled out a box of cereal. He grabbed a bowl and sat down.
“Good morning, Brian,” she said cheerfully.
“What’s up with this A.J. obsession?” Brian asked.
Kay looked up over the paper. “I like him.”
“NO, you like Nick,” Brian announced.
Kay glared at him over her paper again.
“What? I can see it. That’s the only reason you’re so mean to him. If his name was Travis or something you would be on him 24/7,” Brian declared.
“Brian!” Kay shrieked, wrinkling her nose up. “That’s gross. He’s a Nick. Ineed to go to school. I never want to hear that again.”
Kay shot him one more look of disgust and left. Brian went on eating till Kevin came in.
“She likes Nick,” Brian said.
“Didn’t we already establish that?” Kevin asked. “As in last night.”
“I know. She knows I know that she likes Nick.”
“What good will that do?” Kevin asked.
“I don’t know. I’m making this up as I go along,” Brian said, finishing up his cereal.
Kevin watched Brian leave and sunk down into a chair. This was a total disaster.
“What’s bugging you?” A.J. asked, walking into the kitchen.
“Nick. Brian. You. Kay. Pick one,” Kevin said.
“I’ll pick Brian.”
“Okay that didn’t help me much,” A.J. said, pouring some cereal. “How about Nick.”
“Nick likes Kay.”
“I already knew that. Why am I bugging you?” A.J. asked.
“Kay likes you.”
“So, Nick’s bugging you because he likes Kay, and I’m bugging you because Kay likes me. How does Brian weasel his way into this?” A.J. questioned, sitting down.
“Kay likes Nick, or so Brian thinks, so he’s making up a plan as he goes along. Nick likes Kay while Kay likes you and denies liking Nick.”
“That would bug me,” A.J. said, scooping some cereal into his mouth.
Meanwhile, Brian went downstairs to wake up Nick. He shook him a couple of times till Nick stirred.
“Nick, wake up,” Brian said.
“No, mom. I don’t have to go anywhere today,” Nick mumbled.
“You like Kay.”
This got a reaction out of Nick. He turned onto his back and looked at Brian. Brian could see this was true. Then, Nick hit his own head.
“Y’all already know that.”
“But she likes you,” Brian said.
Nick sat up and looked at him with a sorry looking face. He stood up.
“If only that was true,” Nick mumbled, going into the bathroom that was down in the family room.
“But she does! I can help you!” Brian called and Nick slammed the door.
“She wants it the was it is. Not that way!” Nick called as the shower started. He began singing, “She never wants to hear me say I want it that way.”
“That way? What is that way? That made as much sense as the song,” Brian said, scratching his head.
“Exactly,” Howie said, coming down the stairs.
“Huh?” Brian asked turning around.
“I don’t know. I was just agreeing. You might want to take A.J. out,” Howie said, pushing Nick’s bedding to the ground.
“He’s driving Kevin up the wall.”
Nick sat in the living room on the third day they were there. He looked down at the piece of paper in his hands.
For forever and ever
But you wanted it
And that way doesn’t include me.
It includes anyone but me.
Nick looked at what he had written so far. He wanted to wad it up and toss it, but he knew better. Kevin could most likely turn it into a song. And that way they wouldn’t get in trouble for not coming up with anything. That’s the only reason they were allowed to leave. If it wasn’t for Nick the first time, they would have never come up with a theme.
“Up to me again to save the day,” Nick said to himself as the front door open.
Nick sighed and began to get up to hide. He heard voices. Two female voices. One was Kay’s. He didn’t know the other. Nick started to go into the dinning room. That’s when he heard a scream. He turned around and looked at the doorway. In it stood a star struck prettyblonde girl.
“Oh, my God, Kay! You didn’t tell me that Nick Carter was staying with you!”
“That’s because he’s a Nick,” Kay spit out.
The girl turned to Kay. “Kay, he’s Nick Carter of the Backstreet Boys!”
“He’s a Nick. Come on, Alexis.”
However, Alexis had made her way across the living room and was standing in front of Nick.
“I’m so sorry for her behavior. She’ll see soon that you’re a different Nick. Why are you here?” Alexis asked.
“Kevin and Tim are friends. The only way Kevin and Brian could come see Kay graduate was to bring all of us along to come up with a song, seeing the first time we were here we came up with out theme,” Nick explained.
“Kay, you never told me that they had been here,” Alexis scolded.
“Sorry,” Kay said and mumbled, “I thought he’d be gone like the rest of them.”
“Where are the other ones?” Alexis asked Nick.
“Why didn’t you go?”
“My heart hurt too much. I think I’ll be going now. You most likely have something you need to get done,” Nick said politely and exited the room through the kitchen and then down the stairs to the family room.
“Kay, what does he mean his heart hurts too much? He doesn’t have a girlfriend. Kay what’s wrong with you? Are you crying?” Alexis asked.
Nick slammed the front door as hard as he could. Kay had did this to herself as well as him. He stood outside and began walking. It was a great summer day. Nick didn’t know what he was going to do.
“But there is only one thing to do,” Nick said. “Forget about her all together.”
Nick walked back into the house around five that night. The others were home by now and Nick figured it was safe to go back. As he entered the house he knew Alexis was still there. Nick sighed and walked up the front stairs. Alexis ran into the hall from the kitchen. Howie stuck his head out of it as Alexis ran up to Nick.
“I need a word with you,” Alexis whispered.
Alexis pushed Nick down the stairs to the dark hallway in between the front hall and the family room. Nick looked down at her in the light the lone streetlight let in through the window.
“What?” Nick asked.
“What is up with Kay? She broke into tears after you left.She then spilled her whole story. I didn’t think Kay could be that cruel to a Nick. Generally she just ignores them,” Alexis explained.
Nick looked down at Alexis in disbelief. “So Tim was right?”
“About what?” Alexis asked.
“Kay was acting that way because she liked me, but it was like she couldn’t because I was a Nick.”
“So you understand? You’ll give her another chance?” Alexis asked, hopeful.
“No,” Nick said. He started to leave.
“No? Why not?”
“You don’t know what she put me through. She went after A.J., she openly was extremely cruel to me. In front of my face at times. She didn’t do anything to correct herself. If she really liked me the way you say and she thinks, she would have done something about this earlier. She’s too concerned with her image,” Nick said and went up the stairs.
Alexis followed him up and into the kitchen. Kay wasn’t seated at the table with the other guys. Alexis walked over to the one empty chair and pulled her bag out of it.
“I think I’ll be going now. Nice meeting you. Call me later, Howie,” Alexis said, walking out the back door.
“Oooooo, Sweet D,” A.J. cooed. “Going into Latin lover mode.”
Howie blushed and looked at Nick, “So, what did Alexis want to talk to you about?”
“Nothing much. Just wanted to know why I left so abruptly when she and Kay came home,” Nick said, protection Kay for some strange reason.
“So why did you leave?” Brian asked, helping himself to some potatoes.
“I felt like I wasn’t wanted,” Nick said, sitting down.
The guys all nodded in agreement and ate dinner.While they ate, they talked about their day downtown. They told Nick he really missed out on everything.
“That’s okay. Kevin, I began some lyric to a song. Do what you want with them,” Nick said, tossing Kevin the sheet of paper with the lyrics on them. He then went downstairs and got into his pajamas and flipped on the TV. He didn’t look up till Brian came down the stairs with a piece of paper. Nick put it in his bag, thinking it was Kevin’s rejection of his lyrics.
“That was so unreal,” Kevin said, off hand to A.J. as they drove home from Tim’s.
“What?” A.J. asked, turning the map around in his lap.
“Seeing that little girl graduate from high school. It was like yesterday when she was playing tea with Brian in her pink room back home,” Kevin said. “What exit did we all agree on getting off at?”
“I don’t know? 43?” A.J. asked.
“A.J., pick up that phone and call the other car.”
About a half-mile behind Kevin and A.J. were Brian, Nick, and Howie.
“Can you see them?” Howie asked. “I thought we were suppose to get off that that last exit.”
“Me too,” Brian said. “ There they are. They didn’t get off. A.J. must be reading the map upside down again. He did that when we were on tour and in Chicago.”
Howie laughed out loud. “That’s when you met Sara, right?”
“Sara,” Brian sighed.
“Opps, Howie, you said the word Sara,” Nick said from the backseat.
The phone rang and saved Nick from a waking from Howie. Howie picked up the phone. They all figured out they had missed the exit for the McDonalds’s and they would just drive straight home.
Nick tossed his bag onto the bed in his room. He opened it up and found the piece of paper Brian had given him. He had just put it in his bag and left it there. He opened it up to read his crappy poem thing.
First, I want to say I am sorry for acting the way I did. It was totally uncalled for. However, I’m a stupid person. One of those popular people with an image to keep up. An image of hating Nicks. However, I like you too much to keep it up. After you left, I broke down and told Alexis everything. Even going after A.J. to be near you. I’m the meanest person around. But, that’s the only way I know how to do things. The soap opera way. You know, get A.J.’s heart, move down to be near you then brake up with him and go with you. I didn’t think how it would affect you or A.J. I’m sorry. I really am. I’m as mean as Kay in Passions. I don’t want to turn into her. Maybe I’ll give up soap opera’s. My life has been one since I left Kentucky. I’m sorry you got pulled into it. Do what you want. I’ll get the picture.
Nick hit himself in the head. Why didn’t he read this when he had first gotten it. Now he was home. He had totally screwed everything. But he had said he wanted it the way it was. But, here Kay…
“Didn’t really make it clear what way she wants it. God, that blasted song,” Nick said, rubbing his head as the song I Want It That Way came into his head.
Believe when I say
I want it that way
But we are two worlds apart
Can’t reach to you heart
When you say
That I want it that way
Tell me why
Ain’t nothing but a heartache
Tell me why
Ain’t nothing but a mistake
Tell me why
I never want to hear you say
I want it that way
Am I your fire
Your one desire
Yes I know it’s too late
But I want it that way
Tell me why
Ain’t nothing but a mistake
Tell me why
I never want to hear you say
I want it that way
Now I can see that we’ve fallen apart
From the way it use to be
No matter the distance
I want you to know deep down inside of me
You are my fire
My one desire
(BSB. I Want It That Way)
Nick shook his head again.
“God, I never realized how much that song contradicted itself till now. And I’ve sung it so many time,” Nick said, as he rubbed his head. “Wait, I’m a Nick. Of course I didn’t. AHHHHH! I’m sounding like Kay.”
Nick fell down onto the bed. He rolled over and looked at the ceiling.
“Now what the hell am I gonna do? I made it clear to Kay that I didn’t want anything because I’m a jack ass that didn’t read the note. I guess I’llhave to live without her. I most likely will never see her again. I totally lived up to the expectations of Nicks,” Nick muttered, as he pulled himself up and out of bed.
He walked over to the window and opened it. He looked out and dreamed of a day when he didn’t have to face the world as Nick Carter the Backstreet Boys who’s life totally sucked in the love department.