Becoming Friends
Part Four
Nick spun around in the chair. The world around him flew by so fast it was just a blur.

“Ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, sixteen, seventeen,” Nick counted.

Kevin turned around and looked at Nick, spinning to his hearts content. The boy was 22 years old and still was spinning around and around in a chair like a three-year-old. Kevin turned back to the other guys in the studio. It was December and they were back in Sweden to finish up recording. Last year at this time they thought they were done, but the label wanted more dance tracks, and Kevin and Brian wanted to write them. Well, they couldn’t come up with anything more but that song Nick had started. So they took the summer off and all went back to the States. While they were on vacation, more songs were rejected. So, here they were recording three more songs, plus they had to do over the Help song Nick had come up with. They would finish it up before Christmas, go home for Christmas, then after that around February they would film the first music video for the first single.
“Nick, stop that,” Kevin said, seeing Nick was still turning around and around.

Nick stopped at looked at Kevin. He got up off the chair, wobbled a bit, and pushed it aside saying, “Okay.”

“Guys, do you all remember Vivietta Quinntin?” the producer asked.

“That’s that girl who could really sing, right?” Brian asked.

“Yeah, that’s her. Well, how about you quickly record this,” the producer said, handing the boys a sheet of lyrics, “The label wants her first single to be this duet.”

Nick looked down at the title: Backstab by Chris Messer.

“What’s this?” A.J. asked, flipping it over.

“She’s all ready put all her tacks down, I’ll play them for you.”

The producer went off and the music started. Vivietta’s sweet, strong voice filled the studio.

Some say that you dream in black and white
But I think otherwise.

There was a long gap in the music then:
We should have never gotten that close
That small gray matter is all I know
And it’s all right.
There was an even longer gap then:
We will see who it is that cries
There was another long gap.
Take your ruler and just slap my hand
Is that the message that you send?
Another gap and:
I will be here… I won’t be there.
We should have never gotten that close.
That small gray area is all I know
We should have never gotten that close
That small gray matter is all I know
A short pause then:
When I find out
Who you really are
(Backstab by Chris Messer)
“So, what do you guys think?”

“I wanna do it!” Nick exclaimed, jumping out of his chair.

“I don’t know,” Kevin said, looking over the words.

“I wanna do it,” Brian said. “I’d love to have my name connected with something of hers.”

“Oh, you would?” asked a voice.

The guys all turned around to see Sara standing in the doorway. Brian rushed over to her followed by A.J. Each of them gave her a hug.

“What are you doing here?” Brian asked.

“College gives longer breaks. Also, I got these tickets in the mail, but I don’t know where they were from?” Sara asked, holding up an envelope.

Brian took the envelope from her and looked it over. He didn’t send it, that was for sure. He looked at the other guys for hints. They all shook their heads. None of them had done it. Sara stepped into the room and sat down. Just then someone else stepped into the room.

“I did,” Vivietta said.

“Why?” Brian asked. “As a bribe?”

“No, I wanted to meet the famous Sara,” Vivietta said. “I didn’t get to see her much this summer when you guys were at the studio.”

“That was so nice of you, Vivietta,” Nick said, hugging Vivietta.

“I know. But, have you decided to record that song? I’m here.”

“But we could have done it with just your tape,” Howie said.

“I know, but that would have been no fun,” Vivietta said.

“You got that right,” Nick said.

Everyone looked at him in question. Well, except Sara. As usual, she knew what was going through Nick’s head. He looked at everyone.

“What? It would be. Those ‘N Sync boys didn’t even meet Gloria till they made the video.”

“He’s got a point there,” Sara added quickly.

“Let’s get to work. How about it Kevin? What do you say?”

Kevin looked at everyone else. They all seemed to want to do the song. He looked down at the lyric sheet. They were pretty good lyric, though he had no clue who Chris Messer was. He sighed.

“Okay, let’s go,” Kevin said, as Nick let out a cheer and began spinning Sara around in the chair he had been spinning in earlier.

~*~*~*~*~

Nick spun around in the chair again. It was three days after Sara had shown up with Vivietta. They had finished the song by Messer and they had been called to the studio to hear the finished version. After this the guys all had plans to catch back to the States.

“Nick, how many times do I have to tell you to stop that. How old are you?” Kevin asked, walking into the studio with Brian and Sara.

“I forgot. Could you remind me?” Nick asked, while he waited for the room to stop spinning.

Kevin let out a sigh and sat down on the couch where Brian and Sara had seated themselves.

“So, Kevin, have you heard from Tim lately?” Nick asked.

“Why?” Kevin asked, looking at Nick in question. Kevin was pretty sure Nick was over Kay.

“I was just wondering. Don’t have to jump all over me. I haven’t seen the man in over a year. He’s one of the nicest men I have ever met. Just has a crazy sister,” Nick said, as Vivietta walked into the room.

“Oh, you think Kay’s crazy?” Vivietta asked.

“How do you now Kay?” Sara asked.

“I went to school with her. Hated my guts. I was a year ahead of her,” Vivietta said, sitting down in a chair next to Nick.

“Why’d she hate you?” Brian asked, surprised Kay could hate someone like Vivietta.

“I don’t know. I wasn’t like I was named Nick, sorry Nick,” she said and Nick just shrugged. “I guess I was just more popular than her. I don’t know.”

“We live in a small world,” Kevin said as A.J. and Howie walked in.

As A.J. and Howie took a seat the producer brought in the tape and played it for them.

*A.N.: I put in colors which person is singing which part. Vivietta, Brian, Kevin, Nick, A.J., Guys, and all. *

Some say that we dream in black and white
But, I think otherwise.
Look at all these bullets that I bite
Need to be cut down to size
We should have never gotten that close
That small gray area is all I know
Well, I will just wash out my eyes
It’s not all right.
We will see who it is that cries
You want me to understand
 How our friendship’s suppose to end
Take your ruler and just slap my hand
Is that the message that you send?
What is it that you say?
I will be here… I won’t be there
We should have never gotten that close (Oh, that close)
That small gray area is all I know (And it’s alright)
We should have never gotten that close (It was way too close)
That small gray area is all I know
And we will see
Who it is that cries
When I find out
Who you really are (Yeah)
Who you really are
(Chris Messer, Backstab)
“That was so cool,” Vivietta said. “I’m sorry to spit so soon on you guys, but I’ve got some work to do.”

Everyone said goodbye and Vivietta left. Brian, Kevin, and Sara left shortly after her to catch their plane back home. Howie wasn’t leaving till the next day with A.J. Nick’s flight was that night, so he went back to the hotel with Howie and A.J.

~*~*~*~*~

Kevin sat in the same old rusty swing he had sat in two years ago when he had all brought the guys to meet Tim. He pushed himself a bit and watched the crew set up for the video shoot. They were shooting the video for Backstab with Vivietta. Nick and Brian were once again over at the merry-go-round thingy. Vivietta was trying to find a coat to wear in the cold. It was the middle of February and the album for both Vivietta and the Backstreet Boys were coming out in May, so they were shooting the video for the first single, which for Vivietta was Backstab and for the Boys was Help Me Now. They deiced to shoot them together.

“Kevin?” a voice asked behind him.

Kevin spun around to see Kay standing behind him. Her long brown hair was gone was now short and blonde.

“Yes, Kay,” Kevin said, looking at her.

“What are you doing here?” she asked, looking around for most likely Nick.

“Shooting a video with Vivietta Quinntin,” Kevin replied, getting up off the swing.

“Vivietta Quinntin?” Kay asked.

“Yep. Is Tim around, or are you hear alone?” Kevin asked.

“He’s at work.”

“Why are you home from school?”

“I’m going to school in St. Louis. I only have a ten o’clock class today. I was wondering what was going on in the snow filled park,” Kay explained. “Well, tell the guys I said hello.”

Kay hurried off. Kevin watched her go then turned around to see Nick hadn’t see her. He didn’t know why he was worrying. Nick had gotten over her. He had moved on. As to Vivietta. They had been going out since they had finished up recording in December. Nick had asked her out and everything. He had ended up not leaving till Christmas because of her. And then he went back after Christmas.

“Kev,” A.J. called. “We’re gonna shoot the first scene now!”

Kevin walked over to the open field where they were going to shoot the Boys video for Help Me Now. It was a simple video. Most of it they were just going to be standing around, dancing in the snow filled field. And with their luck as they got set up it began to snow, so they wouldn’t have to add it in later. Kevin didn’t understand how the hell they were suppose to dance in the snow, but he soon found out. There was a platform hidden under a bunch of fake snow. There were filming the last scene were there was a dance sequence.

“Places! Places!” the director shouted.

The guys and the dancers took their spots and the music started.

*A.N: Same color code*

Oh, help, oh, help me now
Oh, help, oh help me now
I need your help so
Oh, help, oh help me now (Please help me now)
You’re gonna find out (Help me now!)
You will find out (Help me now!)
You’re gonna find out (Oh, yes you will)
You will find out (Oh, help, oh, help me now)
What you mean to me!
(Hildreth, Help Me Now)

The guys finished. The director made them do it three more times before he was happy. The guys were then left off for lunch.
“Let’s go to Hardee’s,” Nick said, looking over in the direction of Hardee’s.

“No, McDonald’s!” A.J. exclaimed.

“But Hardee’s is closer,” Nick said.

“So, Mickey D’s is just down the road a bit,” A.J. retracted.

“Why don’t those who want to go to Hardee’s go with Nick while those who want McDonald’s go with A.J,” Vivietta suggested.
Brian, Nick, and Vivietta went off to Hardee’s while A.J., Howie, and Kevin headed off to McDonald’s.

“Oh, I don’t know if the other guys will make it all the way over there,” Vivietta said as they walked into the warm Hardee’s.

“Ah, they’re tough. They’ll make it,” Brian said walking up to the counter. “Sara loves Hardee’s.”

“Is that why you came here?” Vivietta asked. “Because Sara likes it? Does she make all of your choices even when she’s not here?”

“NO,” Brian said, “I just hold her option high.”

Nick rolled his eyes as he walked over to the counter. After they had gotten their, food they headed for a table. A blonde, who looked a lot like Kay, caught Nick’s eye. He shook his head as Brian sat down at a table in a corner where two windows came together.

“You want to sit so we are on display?” Vivietta asked, sitting down in a chair, that was facing the window.

“Yep. I want all of O’Fallon to see my back,” Brian announced, as Nick took a seat that let him look in the restaurant.

“You know what town you are in?” Vivietta asked. “Most big time pop stars never know where they are.”

“Well, you have a lot to learn about being a star,” Nick said. “Do you even know where we are? That is before Brian said it?”

“Yes, Nicky. I grew up here, remember?”

“I know,” Nick said, with a smile.

“You knew Kay Bennett,” Brian said, taking a bit of his sandwich.

“How do you know Kay?” Vivietta asked, as Nick saw the blonde’s head shoot up at the mention of Kay’s name.

“Kevin’s best friend Tim. Kay’s his little sister,” Brian explained.

“Wow. She didn’t like me all that well. I really don’t know why, though. She hates Nicks. She made that known to everyone,” Vivietta said.

“I don’t know how anyone could hate you,” Nick said, kissing her on the cheek.

The blonde suddenly turned around. Once Nick saw the look on her face he knew it was Kay.  She stood up and walked over.
“Brian?” she asked, as Brian slowly looked up from his meal.

“Kay, where did you come from? No, wait. A better question would be, since when did you become a blonde?” Brian asked.

“Since about last week,” Kay said. She looked down at Vivietta. “So, how did you meet the guys?”

“We are on the same label,” Vivietta explained.

“Oh, well I best be going,” Kay said, shooting a look at Nick then leaving.

“Ooooo, she hates you,” Vivietta said.

“Yep, I knew that,” Nick said, looking back at Vivietta.

After they were done with their lunch they walked back over to the park.

“Nick! How was Hardee’s?” A.J. asked, running up to him.

“Grand,” Nick said.

“Even though we ran into Kay?” Brian asked.

“Kay? Who’s Kay?” Nick asked, putting his arm around Vivietta’s waist.

“Guys,” the director called. We are going to shoot your scenes now. Nick, go over to the play ground and Taylor will tell you where to go and when. Brian, you are going to be over at the other park. Harris will tell you everything. Kevin you are going to be sitting the bleachers over there at the baseball diamond. A.J. and Howie I want you over here in this parking lot. The car will show up soon.”

Nick started off to the park. As he did he spotted the MTV crew show up. They were doing them for making of the video. They were a little late. They grabbed Nick right away.

“Tell us what the concept of the video is,” the guy told Nick.

“Well, we all need help from this girl. The girl is played by the one and only Vivietta Quinntin. I sing the first verse thingy, so I’m at this park over here,” Nick said, walking over to the merry-go-round thingy, “and I’m spinning around on this thing. And I’m singing about my pain and she comes along and throws snow at me and my pain vanishes because I’m having so much fun.”
Nick bent over and picked up a handful of snow and chucked it at Howie who was making his way to the parking lot the long way.
“You will pay later, Carter,” Howie warned.

Nick smiled and looked back at the camera.

“No I won’t.”

“Okay, let’s go talk to Brian,” the guys said, going off with his camera to find Brian on the other park.

The director walked over and showed Nick where he wanted him.

“Remember how the video starts with all you guys in the field, singing?” the director asked.

“Yep,” Nick said.

“Then it will cut to you here spinning around while you’re singing. You like spinning,” the director told him.

Nick noticed there was another MTV camera filming him while the.. other was talking to Brain on the other side of the park. Nick went over and hopped on the merry-go-round thing. He noticed her wouldn’t have to push himself. The thing was hooked up to a thing that would spin it for him.

“Cool, it spins by itself,” Nick announced.

“Okay, you ready?” the director asked.

“Yeah,” Nick said.

“Play back and action!”

The first line of the song played and Nick got ready to sing while he was spinning slowly around.

“I need some place to hide,” Nick lip-sunk , trying to hide in the merry-go-round. He did this by ducking under the railings on the thing. “Oh, I need,” he paused while A.J. sung over him and into the next line. He then moved his mouth again while moving out from under on of the railings as Vivietta appeared in the shot. “to fall into your gaze.”

Vivietta bent over and picked up a ball of snow and chucked it at him. As Nick sung the next line he got off the merry-go-round thing and began to toss snow at Vivietta.

“For the gaze you hold me in/ keeps the pain of this life/ Vanished for a time,” Nick sung that line and Vivietta was suppose to vanish.

“CUT!” the director yelled.  “One more time, from the top."

~*~*~*~*~

“Okay, guys. I got the tape! The director sent over a copy for us to watch,” Kevin said walking the living room in his home.
All the guys jumped on the couch. Kevin stuck in the tape and they watched it.
It began with all the guys standing in the middle of a snowy field, looking sad. The music started and they all sung together “ Oh, help, oh, help me now!”

The scene cut to Nick on the merry-go-round thing while he was spinning slowly around. He was moving in and out of the thing to stay with the camera as he sung, “ I need some place to hide.”

The thing then cut to A.J. standing in the parking lot ready to get in a car while he sung, “ Oh, I need.”

It then went back to Nick and he got off the thing and Vivietta walked in. The snow fight then began as Nick sung, “To fall into your gaze/ for the gaze you hold me in.”

It then cut to Kevin who was standing in the bleachers as he sung, “Oh hold me in,”

It then cut back to Nick who looked at Vivietta and stopped the fight then ran off as he was singing, “ Keeps the pain of this life vanish for a time, oh, for a time.”

The thing cut to them dancing in the field again as they sung the chorus line, “Oh, help,  oh help me now!”

The thing then cut to Brian who was moving quickly around the other park as he was singing, “ I need.”

It quickly cut to A.J., who was now driving the car as he sung, “ Oh, how I need “

It then cut back to Brian as he pushed a swing out of his way as he went on, “to find out what I’m doing with my life!”

Then like Nick, he broke into a run as Vivietta appeared into the scene in the same direction Nick did. They all did the dance thing as they sang the chorus line of, “Oh, help, oh, help me now!.” The thing then cut to Kevin who was in the bleachers. He made his way down them as he sung, “ I need, oh, how I need, you.”

The thing then cut to Howie who was in the car A.J. was driving as he sung,” you and you, and only you.”

A.J. than sang, “That nowhere I’m going seems to vanish.”

It cut to all the guys standing in the field as they all sung, “Vanish.”

It then went back to A.J. “when you stepped into my life, oh yeah.”

Vivietta appeared in front of the car as A.J. came to a halt in the parking lot. The music stopped as A.J. and Howie got out of the car. It started again as Vivietta vanished. A.J. went back to singing as he swiped the air where she had been.

“But you’re not always here,” A.J. sung.

It cut to all the guys as they sung,” Always here.”

It went back to A.J. and Howie as they broke into a run for the field as A.J. sung, “Because you’re always there, always there!”
All they guys reached the middle of the field as they sung, “Oh, help, oh, help me now!”

They then started to dance section and when that was over they went on dancing and did the last part of the song.

Oh, help, oh, help me now
Oh, help, oh help me now
I need your help so
Oh, help, oh help me now (Please help me now)
You’re gonna find out (Help me now!)
You will find out (Help me now!)
You’re gonna find out (Oh, yes you will)
You will find out (Oh, help, oh, help me now)
What you mean to me!
(Hildreth, Help Me Now)

“Hey, that was pretty darn cool. When is the Making of the Video on?” Nick asked.

“Wait, you didn’t get to see Backstab yet,” Kevin said, putting a different tape in.

The tape started with all of them in a futuristic room. They were going to make a plain old dance video. However, it had a lot of little special effects added in here and there. Nick watched Vivietta dance. She was amazing.

“Hey, Nicky, stop drooling. You already got the girl,” Brian pointed out.

Nick shut his mouth.

“I’m gonna call Alexis,” Howie said, jumping up off the couch.

“Well, if he does that, I’m gonna e-mail Sara,” Brain announced.

“Why not just call her?” A.J. asked.

“What? And risk having her roommate answer the phone. Never. Her roommate Julie is the biggest Backstreet Boys fan out there,” Brain said, pulling out his lap top.

Nick rolled his eyes and rolled off the couch. He got up and walked out of the room. He walked down the hall a bit and stood in front of the large window at the end of the hall. He watched the cars roll by outside. He then made up his mind. He looked around. He found a piece of paper and quickly jotted down a quick note to the guys then left.

~*~*~*~

Kevin walked out into the hall. Where had Nick gone? Howie was still in the guest bedroom talking with Alexis. A.J. and Brian were in the family room. A.J. was bugging Brian while he was online with Sara. Nick had gone into the hall and hadn’t come back.
“Okay, if I was Nick, where would I go in Kevin’s own house?” Kevin asked himself as he peeked in his bedroom. “Well, since I’m not Nick in my house, I don’t know, maybe my kitchen?”

Kevin walked down to the kitchen and looked in. No Nick. He walked back out into the hall and stopped by the big window. A note on the table next to it caught his eye. He looked down and saw Nick’s name at the bottom.  He picked it up and read it.
Guys:
There is some unfinished stuff I got to get done before I can fully get on with living. I hope to back by the end of tomorrow. Oh, I’m going to Tim’s, just to let you know. Gotta get everything straight with Kay before I can move on to the next level with Vivietta.
Nick.

“AHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” Kevin screamed.

This caused the rest of the guys to come running into the hall. They saw Kevin standing down at the other end looking alarmed.

“What?” A.J. asked.

“Nick… Nick…. Nick…” Kevin stammered.

“Nick what?” Brian asked.

Kevin waved a piece of paper. Howie took it. Howie then handed it to A.J., who handed it to Brian. They all looked at one another.

“I guess it’s back to Tim’s,” Brian said.

*~*~*~*~*

Nick stepped out of the car he had rented at the airport. He looked at the brick house in front of him. He took a deep breath and started up the walk to the door. He paused a moment before he rang the bell. He looked at the large bushes around him. If Kay decided to kill him, no one would see it. He rang the bell anyway. He impatiently shifted from one foot to another as he waited for someone to answer the door. The door slowly opened. He was face to face to Kay.

“Hey,” was all he could think to say.

Kay narrowed her eyes and glared at him. “What the hell do you want?”

“I’ve got to set things straight with you,” Nick started. “I haven’t talked to you in like two years. I think, no don’t start. But, you most likely know about me and Vivietta. However, I need to tell you something. You still have a place in my heart. I did really love you, but you shut me out way too much. I decided that you didn’t like me and I moved on. Remember that song? I Will Love Again? How it says: I will love again/ Stronger than before? It’s true. I thought I would never love again, but I found her. I know how Brian feels now. But, I need to know that you’ve moved on too. It’d be great too if you didn’t hate me so much.”
Nick waited to see how Kay would react. She just stood there. She had no expression on her face what so ever. She then looked him in the eyes.

“If anyone should be hating it should be you. You should hate me. I’m happy for you, Nick. That you found a new love, even if it is Vivietta,” Kay finally said.

“What is your problem with her?” Nick wanted to know.

“She always gets what I want,” Kay mumbled. “She didn’t try but she always does. Even today.”

“Oh, come on.”

“Really,” Kay insisted. “She stole Jack Hassion in 7th grade from me. I swear he like me till he saw her. She got the lead roll in Guys and Dolls and then she got you. But that one is my fault. I let you get away with my stupid I Hate All Nicks!”

“But, are you…”

“Over you? Almost. It’s in the future.”

Just then Nick heard a car pull into the drive way. He looked around the bushes to see all the guys fall out of the car and go running up to the door. They all stumbled to a stop when they saw Nick.

“Kay didn’t kill him,” A.J. said, looking Nick up and down for any wounds.

“Get your paws off of me,” Nick said, stepping away from A.J.

“Of course I didn’t kill him. Then I’d have to go to jail and have the female population hating me,” Kay joked.

The guys all looked at each other.

“Nick, what did you do to her?” Brian asked.

“Nothing. He didn’t do anything. I just grew up and out of my Nick hating,” Kay explained.

“So, we are okay?” Nick asked.

“Yes,” Kay said, then got a look about her like she was up to something. Brian knew that looked. He looked at Nick. “Maybe be we’re on our way to becoming friends?”