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Author's Chapter Notes:
Added 12/29.

Saturday, March 29, 2008
3:15 PM

AJ was sitting in the office going over the public statement that Jive was planning to post on the Boys' website about his illness and tour postponement. He was surprised that they had actually let him review it beforehand, usually they just posted it and he read it later. They decided that once he was satisfied with it he could post it, which gave him the perfect opportunity to add his video message to it. AJ re-read it a few more times before he posted it to their website. The record label was in for a surprise. The statement said:

Sat March 29th, 2008 | 3:37 PM




The Backstreet Boys are sad to announce they have cancelled this Tuesday's show in Stuttgart, Germany at the Porsche Arena on April 2nd due to member AJ McLean having been diagnosed with viral bronchitis. He is under doctor's orders to rest his voice for a week and refrain from performing full shows.

This unfortunate occurrence will also result in the cancelling of these dates:

April 3: Munchen, Germany - Olympiahalle
April 4: Leipzig, Germany - Arena Leipzig
April 6: Rotterdam, Netherlands - Ahoy Rotterdam
April 8: Berlin, Germany - Max Schemling Halle *** If necessary

"We apologize to fans," the band said in a statement. "Unfortunately we're having to postpone these dates due to AJ's illness."

The other three members, Nick Carter, Howie Dorough, and Brian Littrell have seen a doctor and are not showing any symptoms. As a preventive measure, the doctor has advised the group and their touring party, who have just returned to the States from Mexico, to have no physical contact with AJ until told otherwise due to the contagiousness of his condition.

“I had the flu earlier this week and this is what it has escalated to. I'm on medication and am under doctor's orders to rest my body and my voice for the next week.” McLean says. “l want to sincerely apologize to all of our loyal German and Dutch fans, you all have given us so much love and support over the years and we can't thank you enough for that.”

The Backstreet Boys are touring in support of their latest album UNBREAKABLE, on Jive Records. The rescheduled dates for these shows have not yet been determined. ALL ORIGINAL TICKETS REMAIN VALID for the new dates. Details to come.

The Backstreet Boys sincerely regret these unavoidable cancellations and apologize to fans for any disappointment caused.

Video Message To The Fans From AJ:


Pleased with his work, he left the office and walked into the kitchen. He went to the fridge and started looking in it to see what he could make himself to eat.

Kim was out running errands and such, so he decided that the best thing to do would be to use up whatever was left since she would be bringing home new groceries anyway. He fixed himself half of a turkey sandwich and chips to go along with some leftover ginger tea from yesterday. He took his food downstairs to the small recording studio he had built when he bought the house back in 2000. It was then that he made the permanent move from Orlando to LA.

AJ sat down at the soundboard and put on a backing track that he had mixed awhile ago. Now it just needed lyrics. He moved to a small table which had his notebook of songs and a pen. He took a bite of his sandwich, flipped to a blank page, and listened, letting the wheels in his head start turning. An idea sparked and he wrote it down:

When I wake up in the sunlight and look into your eyes
And I hold you for a little while—

AJ stopped and listened, then quickly scribbled out the rest of his idea and took his food upstairs because he heard Jordan, meaning that his mom had brought him back home. He set it down in the kitchen and went to the front door.

"Hey, Mom," he said as hugged her.

"Hi, sweetheart, how're you feeling?"

"Eh, not much better. I'm sure it'll be a few more days until I'm on the mend."

"Right, are you resting? I know how stir-crazy you can get," she said knowingly.

"Yes, but I was actually working on something downstairs in the studio. Nothing big, just a song." AJ turned away and coughed several times. He motioned for Denise to follow him into the kitchen where he drank some more tea to relieve his tickly throat.

"Did Jordan behave?" he asked, hoping to take the attention off of himself for a moment as they both sat down at the island.

"Of course, he missed you both though. Where's Kim?"

"Out grocery shopping and stuff, she should be back soon."

"Oh, that's good. How's everything with the tour? Are new dates figured out yet?"

"No, we just released a statement today and everyone's tickets will be valid for the new dates. We'll figure it all out when the time comes."

"Sounds like a plan. How are the others?"

"We all hate letting the fans down, but we're just taking this as it comes. I've just gotta focus on getting better so we can get back out there."

"Don't be in such a hurry, now—"

AJ interrupted her. "I know, I know. I'll be fine, it could be worse you know." He ate a couple of chips that were on his plate. "How's Dad doing?" he asked, referring to Denise's second husband, his step-dad Tony.

"He's fine, worried about you being sick, as we all are," she replied.

"That's good." He got up to refill his mug with more tea. "You want some?"

"No, thanks, but, can I have some water?"

"Sure, is bottled okay?" he said as he went to the fridge.

"That's fine."

AJ brought it to her and sat back down. "I wonder where J ran off to...?"

"I think he is in his room. He went upstairs."

"Hm, okay." He took a sip from his mug.

Just then, Kim walked in with her arms full of groceries from Whole Foods.

"Hi, Alex, Denise," she greeted as she set the bags down on the counter. She gave AJ a quick kiss on the cheek before going back to her car to get a few more bags. Once they were brought in, AJ volunteered to put them away.

"How are you?" Denise asked Kim who took AJ's seat.

"I'm fine, yourself?"

"I'm good, Jordan and I had a great time together," she answered.

"Where's Tony?"

"In San Antonio for a conference with his company, he'll be back in a few days."

"Oh. They've been having nice weather down there lately."

"Yeah, he said it's been warm and sunny, no rain so far."

"Babe? Where does this go?" AJ asked as he held up a can of peaches.

"The cabinet below you to your right," she said.

"Thanks," he sang as he continued to put the groceries in their proper places.

She laughed. "You're too cute."

He poked his head out from behind a cabinet door and grinned. "I know."

Jordan came running into the kitchen from upstairs straight to Kim.


"Hey, you!" She gave him a big hug and a kiss on the cheek. "Did you have fun with Grandma?"

"Uh-huh! We went to the movies and saw Horton (Horton Hears a Who) yesterday!"

"Wow, did you like it?" she asked.

"Yeah, it was really funny!"

"We'll have to buy it when it comes out on video, okay?"

"Yay!" he chirped.

"Hey, where's my hug?" AJ asked as he finished putting the groceries away.

"Oops," Jordan giggled. "Sorry, Daddy." He went over to AJ and hugged him.

"I'll let it slide just this once," he smirked.

AJ's cell phone rang and he answered it. He walked out of the kitchen and into the living room.

"What's up, man?" ... "I've been better—oh, you saw it?" ... "Haha, yeah. I'm looking glamorous right now." ... "You know it." ... "Oh, yeah? That sounds good, bro. We have a break in the tour at the end of May which is the end of the European tour, then, we have four dates in South Africa in June. We start the first leg of the North American tour in late July. I'm sure we can get together then." ... "Good, it's been too long." ... "Ugh, sorry. It's been like that since Thursday." ... "Right, it figures. I'm sure I'll be fine." ... "Alright, hit me up whenever, dude." ... "Okay. Later."

AJ went back into the kitchen.

"Who was that?" Kim asked.

"Ryan," he said.

"Oh? What did he want?"

"To do some work in the studio soon, maybe write and record some songs."

"Ryan who, Alex?" Denise asked.

"Ryan Tedder of the group OneRepublic."

"Oh," she said, not recognizing either of the two names.

"Yeah, he's really talented and has an awesome voice. He's great to work with."

"Well, that's good." She glanced at the clock on the wall and stood up. "I better get going, I'm gonna go home and make some dinner and clean the house up a bit."

"I have a better idea," AJ said. "why don't you stay for dinner? You haven't in awhile and the cleaning can wait."

"That's true. You're very convincing when you need to be, you know. Are you okay with this, Kim?"

"Of course, we'd love to have you," she replied warmly.

"Great. Now, I don't know about anyone else, but I'm in the mood for some Chinese. Any objections?" AJ questioned.

Everyone was silent.

"Alrighty, then, I'll order it. Mom, do you want your usual?"



AJ took the house phone and ordered the food for delivery. It arrived about an hour later and everyone chowed down until they were stuffed. Denise also told Kim and Jordan some embarrassing stories from AJ's childhood, including the one about when AJ pretended that his name was Duane in school so he wouldn't get in trouble about not doing his homework when his teacher called home.

A great evening was had by all and the weekend winded down as they began preparing to go back on tour the coming week if AJ was given the OK to travel.

Will he or won't he, that is the question...
Chapter End Notes:
I used band statements from the Backstreet Boys, Staind, and White Lies to help create my own. No harm is intended.

Song credit: Lyrics are part of "London" by AJ McLean from his first soon-to-be-released solo album Have It All (January 20, 2010 in Japan ONLY for now).

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