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Title: "Room Service" 1/1
The concert hadn't been one of their best. Howie Dorough glanced from one face to another of his friends and bandmates as they headed by car back to their current hotel. The feeling in the car was totally hangdog.
Thank God we're not heading out by bus tonight, Howie thought, rubbing his sweat-wettened ear with the rough towel.
It had been another venue where the showering facilities failed to meet Kevin Richardson's standards. So they were all bundled up with heavy robes over their clothing and with towels either around their necks or in their laps. Heaven forbid they get chilled!
Often after a concert the guys would be upbeat and enjoying their adrenaline rush--chatting with animation and sharing the positive experiences of their performance. But tonight they were quiet and gloomy. There had been technical problems and it seemed as if each of them had missed at least one cue--or flubbed lyrics somewhere.
The pride of a good performance--which had been bolstering them all for the past week--was now suddenly behind them. Howie reflected on how mercurial that warm feeling could be. One day they could all be certain they were on top of every detail of their tour. Then a single bad night could bring them all plummeting down. Like now.
Howie felt concern as he looked into Brian Littrell's pale face. Brian seemed to be the most tired recently. Maybe he was just missing his wife. Or his dogs. The idea of Brian missing his dogs almost made Howie giggle. He restrained his grin with an effort. I could try to get him to nap more, Howie thought. Maybe that would help... I know how he hates to sleep alone. Poor Bri.
Howie turned his head toward Nick, who was leaning into the corner and had his eyes shut. Must be napping. Nick Carter could nap almost anywhere. This was the habit of years of rough hours while growing into his large man's body--when he always seemed to need more sleep than the rest of them did. But he might be 'faking it' to avoid looking at his friends. Nick hated failure--and seemed to blame himself if a concert didn't quite come up to snuff. I need to talk to him. Get him to lighten up and smile. Just get him to laugh--a good laugh seemed to turn it around for Nick every time.
A.J. McLean cleared his throat for the one-hundredth time and played with the ring on one of his thumbs. A.J. had been fighting some bug since the beginning of the tour. It seemed as if every time he came close to getting over it, he'd get another chill and be sick again. Winter tours were the worst, Howie thought. It was hard not to have at least one of them down sick. I think he needs someone to warm his bed more often, Howie thought, suppressing another grin. A.J. had been unusually solitary during this stretch of the tour.
Kevin Richardson was writing notes into a small pad. He looked dog-tired to Howie and too thin. Got to get him to eat more, Howie thought. Kevin was probably trying to get his concerns about the dance routines down in black and white while they were fresh in his mind. Kevin had been subtly reworking steps since day-one of the tour. He's been even more serious than usual, Howie reflected. I should give him a nice neck rub and just let him talk things out. He's worried about the quality of the work--and missing his wife, like Brian. I guess he needs someone to share things with.
They reached the hotel and piled out, heading quickly inside with their security team on their heels. As always, they were several fans gathered around. Kevin stopped in the lobby and posed for pictures while writing autographs. A.J. ran toward the elevator and disappeared. Howie and Brian stood together and forced smiles to their faces while thanking some rather buxom young women for their kind thoughts. Nick was gathering up flowers and other gifts and just managing a grin. Howie glanced from man to man and could barely suppress the desire to just drag them all away.
Brian's hair was plastered to his head with sweat--and circles were standing out under his eyes. Nick's grin seemed about to crack as he used an obviously weary arm to lift yet another ridiculous stuffed animal to the pile he was cradling. Kevin was shifting his weight from foot to foot, reminding Howie that Kevin had complained earlier of pain in his calves.
Finally Howie decided they'd been tortured enough. "We really need to go," he said loudly, reaching to give Nick a gentle shove toward the elevators while offering the fans a big wave with his free hand. Kevin shot him a grateful glance. It was usually Kevin who tried to break them away--so he must be especially appreciative that I took the initiative, Howie decided.
Then they were riding the elevator in silence to their floor. They all anxiously escaped the confines of the elevators as quickly as possible--moving swiftly to their various rooms. Howie walked quickly to his own room and swiftly showered.
Once he had donned comfortable pants and a sweatshirt, he sat on the edge of his bed and considering. One of his friends needed him more than the others tonight. He should go to him right now. He thought about it and smiled his famous gentle smile as he rose and headed out the door and into the hall. He just had to be with his friend right now.
^^^My Part: by Czar Nikky^^^
The hall outside his room seemed uncommonly quiet. It made Howie feel like he should walk on tiptoe. He moved softly to the nearby door and stood thinking. He hoped his friend hadn't gone directly to bed and to sleep!
He reached up and knocked softly.
Nick threw the door open almost immediately, just as if he'd been expecting Howie. But his face was a picture of surprise.
"Hey, Howie. I guess you're not room service." Nick giggled and drew back into the room, obviously waiting for Howie to follow him.
"I ordered plenty. We can share it," Nick said, flopping down across his bed. His casual behavior made Howie want to smile. Nick didn't ever stand on ceremony with his friends.
"Gosh, Howie. Sit or lie down. Do I have to drag you?"
The words pulled Howie out of his wool gathering. He moved to sit on the edge of Nick's bed.
The TV was on--but the sound was too low to be able to make out the words. It was obvious that Nick hadn't really been watching anything. He must just want the 'company,' Howie surmised. Poor guy--he's lonely, Howie realized. Lonely and upset about his performance--about the way we all performed. For some reason the thought brought a lump to Howie's throat.
There was a loud rap on the door, and Nick sprang up to answer it. An attractive black man wheeled in a cart with several dome-covered plates. Nick signed the check and handed the man a crumpled bill. The man grinned and offered thanks. The tip had been generous--Howie was certain. Nick was a generous guy with all the various members of these staff people in the hotels where they stayed.
In fact, Howie felt Nick was simply a generous person. If one of the guys were cold, he'd soon be wrapped up in Nick's favorite jacket. If one of them were hungry, Nick's candy bar or apple would appear on the table in front of them or quietly stashed inside a pocket. Nick wanted all his friends to share in his video games and borrow his clothes and share his jokes.
Yes, Nick was frequently wrapped up in his own thoughts and personal angst--but Howie knew he could be genuinely warm and caring, too. He was a sweet boy wrapped inside a man's body. And he knew too damn much about the world for his own good, in Howie's opinion.
But then there was the moody side of Nick. The side that ignored his bandmates and was cross and even stuck up--the side that whined and could suddenly be on the verge of tears for seemingly no reason. It had brought the whispers of drug use--whispers that infuriated Howie. Nick might be moody at times--might even be hyper at times--but he'd managed to avoid the lure of drugs. Howie knew that for certain.
Well, Howie figured they all had a more negative side to their personalities--but he also knew most people saw Nick for his negativity rather than not. This disturbed Howie--who felt a tenderness he couldn't explain for Nick Carter. But in a way it also pleased him. As if he alone knew the secret 'good' side of Nick. As if he alone could 'savor' Nick's sunny side.
While Howie pondered, Nick was grabbing off the metal covers and exposing food. His large fingers peeled off plastic that had been used to cover the glasses of milk and juice, tossing these into a handy wastebasket. Howie breathed in the pleasant smells of the food and found his mouth beginning to water. He'd never have believed he, too, could be hungry at this late hour. But suddenly he was.
Nick moved two straight-backed chairs into spots near the cart and gestured Howie to sit. "Man. Let's chow. I'm not kidding, Howie. I am so starved."
They both sat down facing one another across the cart. Nick plucked up sausages and chomped them up in a few quick bites. Then he picked up a pancake and sprinkled it with sugar, rolling it into a tube and eating it with his sugar-dusted fingers. Howie watched him in fascination, suddenly wishing he could suck on Nick's hands--one sugary finger at a time.
"Geez. You're not eating," Nick managed through a mouthful of pancake. He extended the pancake directly to Howie's mouth as he continued to chew.
Howie leaned forward and took a bite as he stared into Nick's face. Good God. Nick's eyes were shining--this gesture was clearly a total come-on. Howie chewed carefully as they stared at one another. Then he extended his tongue and very deliberately licked sugar from his lips.
Nick rose quickly and came around the end of the cart. He stood towering over Howie with promise in his face.
Howie stood up slowly, allowing Nick to gather him up in his muscular arms. Then he closed his eyes and let his head tilt back--his mouth an invitation to the younger man. His penis jumped to an immediately full erection.
Nick captured his mouth with rough abandon. Howie felt Nick lifting him--felt himself pressed down to the mattress of the bed. Then Nick's large body was covering his smaller one, still kissing insistently.
Howie opened his eyes and saw that Nick was staring at him. Nick was on his knees with Howie's legs wedged between his. Nick's body was looming over Howie's. Then suddenly Nick's tongue invaded Howie's mouth and thrust deep inside.
Howie felt his erection straining against his stomach.
Nick pulled back briefly for several flashes of time while he continued the kiss. Howie couldn't recall ever being kissed this way before. It just seemed to go on and on. Cresting then receding lust was followed by new wave after new wave. Howie realized if this kept up he was going to climax simply from this kissing. He shoved Nick back with both hands and saw that Nick's expression was at once both surprised and guarded.
"You... don't want..." Nick started to stammer. Howie reached out a hand and pressed a finger to Nick's lips. "I want you, Nick. But if you keep this up I'll be there any second."
Nick took the finger into his mouth and sucked on it, grinning. Then he released it and said softly, "Good. I want that really bad, Sweet D."
Howie smiled his most mega-watt smile at the man-boy hovering carefully above him. "But I want to last for you," he said. He touched Nick's cheek gently, letting his fingers trail down the jaw line.
Nick growled and pressed his body closer. Howie realized Nick was managing to keep most of his weight from bearing down--it must require quite a feat of athleticism, he thought. Howie suddenly could feel Nick's erection pushing into his leg. He'd known Nick must be as excited as he was, but it was reassuring to feel this final proof jabbing him.
Nick moved away and Howie groaned. Nick was still between his legs, now kneeling on the mattress. "Come here," he ordered, his face solemn.
Howie hoped Nick hadn't gone moody on him and changed his mind in mid-stream. His screaming erection hoped so even more. He leaned up on his elbows and Nick grabbed an arm and gently pulled him forward.
Then Howie was sitting up with his chest against Nick's and they were again kissing. Howie realized that he wasn't going to be able to break the embrace--that Nick wasn't going to let him.
Nick's tongue was thrusting and Nick was moaning--and then Howie heard an additional sound and realized he was moaning, too. They were actually harmonizing as Howie felt his orgasm flood his body. Then he felt Nick pull back with a loud groan and knew he, too, had climaxed.
Howie felt Nick guiding him backward. Then they were resting side-by-side on the bed, facing one another.
"Wow. I guess I was hungry," Nick said, smiling at Howie.
Howie giggled. "Yeah. I guess you were. I guess we both were."
"Hmmm. Beats pancakes any day."
-the end--back to top of page-