backstreet boys

Fiction by Pen . . . . . not real, made up, purely intended for entertainment

Hair

written for Erika for MTYG 2014

The morning after the concert, the first thing Nick did was shave his mustache. Actually, no, the first thing he did was groan, cuss, and hold his head as he staggered to the bathroom, because there had been a lot of beer last night, and Kevin had brought his special flask and that was emptied too. But once he was properly awake and not going to slice off his own nose when he picked up the razor, he shaved his mustache.

He looked at his naked upper lip in the mirror. Yeah, that was better. He thought it was. If only he hadn't gotten this stupid haircut. He'd grow it out, grow it all the same length. Kaos had looked real good with his hair all long, and people had told him he looked a bit like Kaos. Brian had, anyway. A headband might help.

Man, that was a good time! Hell of a concert, totally epic.

*

As the day went on, Nick felt worse and worse. Last night was so great, he should be happy to have had such a good time, instead of feeling all empty and let down.

He wandered through work like a zombie and managed only pale smiles in response to the teasing over his new look. He brightened up a bit over lunch, told the fellas all about it, how excited he'd been yesterday afternoon, and the guys arrived and they'd sung all the way, bellowing out everything Sphynkter ever recorded with Kevin's car stereo at full volume. And the fans outside the venue, everyone totally into the Sphynkter sensation, and then the concert, the total overwhelming awesomeness of the band on the stage, not even getting smacked around by security could take that feeling away.

But today, it was all over, and life was gray and empty. Even his pay packet didn't cheer him up much. Nothing to spend it on anyway.

*

When he walked through the door, the first thing he noticed was the listings magazine lying open by the phone. He picked it up and gazed at the listing for the band's tour… they were playing tonight and that was, that was only eighty miles away. Damn, they should've bought tickets for—but, only eighty miles. He could totally do that on the bike. Even if it was sold out, there'd be somebody with a ticket to sell.

He stuffed his sleeping bag, the listings mag, a couple spare T-shirts and his toothbrush into his backpack, and jammed his bike helmet on his head. Brian was always after him to use the helmet, and he supposed it made sense.

As he started up the motorbike, the feeling of excitement started building again, and by the time he was on the road he was grinning.

*

It wasn't quite like yesterday, without his own boys there to share, but Sphynkter fans were Nick's People and he soon got acquainted with a bunch of people who were willing to share their beer and, miraculously, had a spare ticket because somebody's girlfriend had gotten sick.

He didn't get so close to the stage, but being there in the crowd, singing along, totally into it, it felt fucking great. He could see the whole band maybe a bit better from here. Fuck, they were amazing. Gods, every one of them. He could see clearly as Train pointed his bass at a girl in the crowd, and her T-shirt and bra went flying as she stripped them off, and there was a roar of appreciation. Bone on the drums was giving his all, Sweet did those amazing trademark high kicks, and when Kaos got his face down into the crowd and licked that woman up at the front, Nick wished he—wished he was—not Kaos, but he could imagine if B-Rok stopped playing for a moment to lick Nick's face, oh, wouldn't that be amazing. B-Rok, with his muscled arms, the way they flexed as he played. His eyes all sultry and his incredible cheekbones and his hair, Nick wished he had hair like that, he could get anyone he wanted if he had hair like that. B-Rok could get anyone he wanted. B-Rok could have Nick, right now, right here in front of everybody, if he wanted.

After the show he waited with his new friends to catch a glimpse of the band as they headed to their coach. Security kept them all well back, but Nick waved and yelled—even though he was already hoarse—and as B-Rok went by he paused a moment and waved, right at Nick, and Nick screamed out his name and jumped up and punched the air.

*

That night he bedded down next to the bike with the sleeping bag up to his chin and his backpack for a pillow, and as he lay there looking at the stars, he thought about being chosen to go backstage with B-Rok after the concert, or picked out of the crowd to get right on that bus with him. And what he could do, would do, for B-Rok.

*

The sunlight woke him early, and it was uncomfortable lying on the ground so he got up, went to the store across the street and bought coffee and donuts. And it was Saturday, and he still had money so, what the hell, it was only another hundred miles to the next show. He filled up the bike's tank, used the filling station's washroom to get clean and comfortable, and set off along the highway with music in his head.

*

He got to the venue well before lunchtime. Place was deserted, not surprising really, but he felt a bit at a loss. He also felt hungry, so he chained the bike to a rail, grabbed his backpack and set out to find somewhere to get lunch. It didn't take long to find a diner where the food was cheap and plentiful, and he felt a lot better after he'd eaten.

Still hours to go before the show, though, and he had no idea what there might be to do around here. It occurred to him he might be able to find a headband before tonight, and he started to check out windows but was distracted by a record store. It looked like the right kind of place, a bit dingy, and all the posters he could see through the windows were ancient, so Nick went inside to browse. He probably couldn't afford much, but it'd be crazy not to at least look.

It was the best record shop ever. Nick was soon deep into their hair metal section, thumbing past the albums he already owned or could borrow from one of the guys, and finding a few treasures. Wow, Cinderella's first album… nobody had that one. Dokken, RATT.…

"Anything good in there?" A guy in sunglasses, a baseball cap and a baggy white T-shirt came up next to him.

"They have some awesome stuff. And some I don't know," Nick said. "I mean, who's Hanoi Rocks? Are they any good?"

"Hanoi Rocks? Oh, man, let me see!" The guy seized the album and stared at it with reverence, then turned it over and took off his sunglasses to read the—

Holy fuck.

B-Rok. B-Rok!

"You—you're B-Rok," he stammered. "From Sphynkter." And cringed. He'd meant to be so suave if ever this moment happened. He'd been totally cool in all his fantasies but now it really had happened he was just being stupid.

B-Rok smiled at him and held out a hand. "Good to meet you," he said. "I see you're a fan." He'd spotted Nick's T-shirt. Or maybe just figured it out from the way Nick was staring at him with his mouth open.

"Oh, God, yeah, hardcore," Nick said. "I was at the show last night, and the night before. Awesome show."

"Cool," B-Rok said, and there was that smile again and wow. "Do you go around in a Winnebago or something? Or just stay in motels?"

"I, I have a motorbike. And a sleeping bag." Nick hoped he didn't sound too foolish. Now he'd said the words out loud, it was maybe a bit—

"That's dedication, man! That's amazing. So—what's your name?"

"I, uh, Nick."

"How long have you been a fan, Nick?"

So Nick explained about the guys, and listening to albums together and going to shows whenever somebody came to town, and Sphynkter being their favorite band, and what an awesome time they'd had together at the concert, and B-Rok listened and smiled and he really seemed interested.

"Okay, Nick," B-Rok said when Nick ran down. "You asked about Hanoi Rocks. They're the reason I got into this gig. Awesome band, never really made it big, but trust me, anyone who knows about Hanoi Rocks is a real metal fan. You should definitely give this one a listen."

"I, yeah. I mean, yeah." Nick hesitated. "Only I don't have a ticket yet for tonight's show, and I'm not sure I can cover it if I buy some of these. Which is a pain, 'cause they have such a great selection, way better than our local store. Me and my guys, we listen to each other's albums all the time, but none of the boys has this one, or this one, and I guess the store will be closed by the time I know if I have any spare cash."

"That sucks. You know what, maybe I can help with that. Hold on a second." B-Rok went across to the guy at the counter, and Nick saw him writing out something on a sheet of paper. Nick tried to breathe calmly. Wow. B-Rok! Wow. And he was just as gorgeous in person, without any eyeliner and with his hair back in a ponytail. A bit shorter than Nick had thought, maybe. But, wow!

"Here," said B-Rok, handing Nick the sheet of paper. "This should solve your problem. Show it to the box office when you get there. You give that Hanoi Rocks album a listen, you hear me? And have a great time at the show tonight."

Nick stared regretfully as B-Rok waved and left the store. The guys were never going to believe this! If only he had a camera with him. If only he had a camera.

Then he looked down at the piece of paper. It was a note giving him free admission to the show, on B-Rok's authority.

*

Nick couldn't quite believe it, but here he was with a lanyard around his neck that said he could go backstage and meet the band. He'd bought the albums and packed them into his backpack with immense care, he'd found a headband and it looked pretty good, and now he was all set for tonight's show plus a chance to meet everybody in Sphynkter. He really hadn't expected that.

"Oh, my God, its Kaos!" said a woman's voice, and he looked around wildly.

"It is, isn't it? You're Kaos?" an eager brunette stood in front of him, holding out an autograph book and a pen.

"No, no, I'm just a fan," he said, astonished but deeply gratified. His hairband, and the disappeared mustache, must really be working for him. The woman looked so disappointed, and not quite sure he was telling the truth, but he showed her the name on his lanyard and she had to believe him.

"Can I get my friend to take some pictures anyway?" she begged. "Because you look exactly like him, except maybe I think you have shorter hair, and I can fool all my friends into thinking I met him and make them all incredibly jealous."

Nick grinned, and said sure, and posed for pictures with her, and after Jeanette's friend had taken about a whole film's worth, she wrote down Nick's address and promised to send him a couple.

*

There was just a small group allowed backstage. Nick stared around in delight, trying to take in all the details, the amps and equipment, the tattooed roadies, the whole atmosphere. And then there were the guys! Everyone in the group hushed, not that there was any need to be quiet, the sounds coming through as the band checked out their instruments were too damn loud for a few awed whispers to matter, but Nick was glad anyway. He just wanted to see it all and not be distracted.

The band played a few licks individually, then powered through I Just Want You To Know and declared themselves satisfied. Troy, who was shepherding the fans, waved, and Train came over, handing off his bass to one of the techs on the way. And then all of them, Sweet and Bone and Kaos and of course, B-Rok, saying hi to all the fans and shaking hands.

"Hey, Kaos!" It was Sweet, who was a tiny, tiny person without his stage boots. He summoned the lead singer over to where Nick was waiting. "You got a long lost twin you didn't know about?"

He didn't really look like Kaos's twin, Nick thought, but he couldn't help grinning anyway.

"Hey, Troy, can we get a Polaroid, here?" Kaos called, and Troy hurried over and Nick posed with Kaos's arm across his shoulder, and Troy took a picture. It whirred slowly out of the camera and Nick accepted it with delight, and waited eagerly for the picture to form on the glossy square. Awesome! Hey, Brian would love that. He was a big Kaos fan.

B-Rok greeted him with pleasure, hoped he had a place to sleep tonight (Nick lied and said yes) and asked if he bought the albums, which Nick was very pleased to say he had. He shook hands with all the guys, and B-Rok explained that this was a real dedicated fan, and they all signed the listings magazine, and then they went off to get ready for the show.

Which was amazing. And B-Rok even waved right at Nick!

*

He was way too psyched afterwards to lie down on the cold hard ground to sleep, and the once he got away from the stream of traffic leaving the concert, the highway was empty, so he just rode all the way home, singing as he went. Then went straight to bed and slept like the dead.

*

The first thing he did when he woke up on Sunday afternoon was call Brian. "Man, you have to come over! I got so much to tell you, and I got some new albums, and I have had the most unbelievable weekend!"

"Yeah, where were you? I came by yesterday and there was nobody home."

"I went to concerts. Two more, it was just an impulse, but it was so great, you know? And, listen, Brian, I met B-Rok, B-Rok from Sphynkter!"

"No way!"

"I did. I met him in a record store and he talked to me and I told him about us and the guys going to the concert, and he gave me a free pass to the show Saturday night. It was awesome!"

"You are fricken' kidding me!"

"Honest to God. I got proof."

"I'm on my way," Brian said.

*

"Holy crap, Brian, your hair!"

"Yeah. I was going to show you yesterday, but you weren't here. What—what do you think?"

Nick stared. Brian's curls were blond, now, and not quite so crazy curly as before. "I think it looks fantastic."

"Yeah?"

"Really looks good on you." Really, really good.

"I was feeling a bit down, you know, after all the excitement of the concert Thursday, so I thought this'd cheer me up. I went to that new hair salon on Dover Street."

"They did good," Nick said, admiringly. "Blond suits you."

"I'd been thinking about it for a while, I guess going to the concert gave me the courage to actually do something. And you—you shaved your mustache! I like it," Brian said. He stared at Nick's mouth. Suddenly nervous, Nick licked his lips.

"Um. Anyway," Brian said. "Tell me about meeting B-Rok. Tell me everything!"

So Nick did. Brian was as impressed and astonished as Nick could possibly have wished, and although he did scold Nick a little bit for going off on his own and sleeping in the open air, he ended up saying it was incredibly cool. "And you met B-Rok. Man, you are so lucky!"

"Not just B-Rok," Nick said, proudly. "I met the whole band. I got a backstage pass."

Brian was actually speechless, then Nick produced the Polaroid and Brian made little breathless squeaks of disbelief and joy.

"That is amazing!" he said, eventually. "You have to do your hair like that all the time now!"

Nick told Brian about the brunette who thought he was a rock star.

"Yeah," said Brian, staring at the photo. "Seriously, you do look like him. I mean, not the same, but a lot alike. Man, two of you!" He stopped, and pinked up.

"You know, you look kind of a lot like B-Rok," Nick said, abruptly. "I mean, especially with the blond hair. You should grow it really long."

"The stylist said if it was longer it might not curl quite so much."

"And you could try, uh, eyeliner. I think you should."

Brian considered. "I will if you will."

Kaos wore eyeliner, didn't he? So Nick could, too. "We could, uh, try it together? Next weekend?"

"It's a date," Brian said with a big smile.

*

"Ow!" said Brian.

"Sorry. It's harder than I thought. Just, keep still, okay?" Nick gave it another try, and managed a reasonable line without poking Brian in the eye again. "Maybe you should do the other eye."

Brian took the kohl pencil and peered into the mirror. "It is harder than it looks," he admitted. "Want me to do yours?"

"Okay."

"Hmm. I guess Kaos and B-Rok have professionals do this for them."

"Does it look that bad?"

"Actually, no," Brian said, slowly. "It looks good. It looks… yeah."

"You look a lot more like B-Rok now," Nick said. "You'll have girls chasing you along the street, wanting your autograph." Brian was still standing over him with the kohl pencil, close enough that Nick was getting nervous again. "Um. Do I look like Kaos?"

"You look better," Brian said, huskily. "I think. I think you look better."

"Brian?" Nick said, and his voice cracked in the middle. What could he say? What could he say that he could walk back if Brian didn't—if Brian wasn't—

Then Brian kissed him, and Nick stopped worrying. He pulled Brian down to sit straddling his knees, and they kissed avidly, and the little sounds Brian made were the best music ever. After a while they shifted to Nick's couch, lying down together, and quite a lot of Nick's hottest fantasies came true. And everything was way better with Brian, his Brian, than all of his B-Rok dreams put together.

They listened to the new albums in bed. They were awesome.

 

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