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Author's Chapter Notes:
Added 8/20. Here's another update for y'all. lol I wonder where some of my reviewers went? Anyway, enjoy and don't forget to leave me some feedback. :)

Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Montreal, Quebec, Canada - 3:58 PM EST

"Thanks, Alyssa. You, too. Bye." AJ hung up his call with Jordan's doctor and made his way back to his and Kim's bunk on their bus that they shared with Brian, Leighanne, and Baylee for this leg of the tour. He was beginning to regret that decision ever since both Kim and Jordan started showing signs of a cold the day before. Their symptoms increased ten-fold overnight and neither of them were in any condition to go into the venue to watch soundcheck which meant that they probably wouldn't attend the concert that night either. The last thing they needed was to expose the entire crew to this bug.

"What'd she say?" Kim wondered with a sniffle.

"The basics: rest, fluids, and meds if needed."

She nodded. "We've got that covered, he's out like a light."

"How are you feeling, baby?"

"I'm feeling like this totally blows." She coughed and sniffled again. "Be happy that you're not me or your son right now."

"No, I don't feel like that at all. I'm sorry you're both sick. Do you need anything?" He reached to feel her forehead, knowing that they had to keep an eye on her fever in case it went too high. Kim's doctor had instructed that a fever of 101.6 or higher meant an immediate trip to the ER, no ifs, ands, or buts about it. "I think we need to take your temp again, Kim, you feel warmer than last time."

She sighed, knowing that they couldn't be too careful. "Alright."

AJ went to go get the oral digital thermometer that was in the bathroom. He came back and disinfected it properly before turning it on. "Open up." She did and they waited for it to beep. AJ saw Kim send a text and a few seconds later, his phone buzzed in his pocket. I feel like I'm five again with this thing in my mouth. Except my mom's was glass. lol He chuckled. "I've seen pics, you looked adorable then."

Kim gave a muffled chuckle and AJ heard her breath hitch. "Don't you dare sneeze..."

The thermometer beeped and AJ retrieved it quickly and read the result as Kim practically buried her face in a tissue. "Bless you. It's up slightly, 100.6."

Kim sighed again, frustrated.

"Tylenol would help, are you sure that you don't want any?"

"Whatever." Kim didn't want to take any medication unless it was absolutely necessary because nothing was one-hundred percent safe during pregnancy. But AJ was just trying to help or make himself useful, she supposed.

"It's okay if you don't want it, I'm gonna call Liz again." He reached for his phone and hit Kim's doctor's speed dial number.

"Alex, she's probably with a patient—"

AJ held up a finger. "It's her voice mail. Hey, Liz, it's Alex again. I just took Kim's temp and it's up to 100.6 from a few hours ago. Call me back when you get this, thanks."

"Baby, it's barely even a fever, we don't need to worry her."

"To a non-pregnant woman it is and I thought a fever was anything over 99 degrees?" he quickly reminded her.

Kim sighed yet again. "I know, I know. I thought it was 100.4 or higher?"

"Hm, I'll ask Liz when she calls me back."

"You do that." She lay back down and got comfortable, too tired to sit up anymore. She shivered slightly and AJ brushed a strand of hair out of her face.

"I've gotta go in a few, Marc's gonna stay here in case you or Jordan need anything, okay?" AJ said quietly, knowing that their bodyguard Marcus could handle watching Kim and Jordan rest while he and the Boys did soundcheck with the fans. If he could protect him with 40,000 screaming Brazilian girls surrounding their bus at the height of their fame, he could handle just about anything.

"Sure." She coughed into her fist and AJ checked on Jordan in the bunk next to them. He was still sound asleep apart from his soft snores, courtesy of some Children's Motrin.

"He's still asleep," AJ whispered.

"Good..." Kim mumbled a bit sleepily.

"Getting sleepy?"


"Just rest, baby, I'll be back ASAP. I love you." He kissed her forehead lightly.

"You, too..."

AJ closed the bunk's curtain and went to meet the Boys for the soundcheck party just as Marcus was heading to the bus to keep an eye on Kim and Jordan. A group of fans were gathered near the buses and he gave a quick wave before going inside the venue.

Surprisingly he was second last to go on stage for soundcheck, Brian came in after him. His appearance was met by cheers as Nick was walking around singing some song that their band was playing. Apparently it was called "Blue Monday," he announced the title after he was done.

The four of them gathered to check that their microphones and in-ear monitors were working properly before taking their places near their mic stands and stools.

AJ zoned out a bit as Howie said his normal introduction, welcoming everyone to the soundcheck party and explaining how it was going to go. He said that they could pick any songs to request off of the The Hits - Chapter One album and the Unbreakable album. Shouts of song titles from the audience brought him back and the Boys picked "Unmistakable" to sing first.

"Wanna do it a cappella?" Nick suggested.

AJ was in agreement as were the fans. "Sure."

The others didn't object and Nick hummed out a note to make sure that they would all be in tune with each other before Brian started the first verse:

Anytime, anywhere, any place
You could be anyone today
Maybe I would recognize you on a crowded street

AJ came in after him and all four of their voices blended perfectly on the chorus:

Maybe you'll take me by surprise
Will you be the one I had in mind?

There'll come a day when you walk out of my dreams
Face to face
Like I'm imagining
Baby how can I be sure that you're the one I'm waiting for?
Will you be unmistakable?

AJ was really feeling the song at this point as Nick went into the second verse:

People say we watch our lives through a glass
Desperately waiting on a chance
I know you're out there, holding on, holding out for me

AJ came back in to finish the verse and they all sang the chorus again:

And are we gonna know the time is right?
What if you're here and I'm just blind?

There'll come a day when you walk out of my dreams
Face to face
Like I'm imagining
Baby how can I be sure that you're the one I'm waiting for?
Will you be unmistakable?

AJ found it strange that no one went on to sing the bridge. "Okay...I thought we were going there. I guess not. What's next?" He looked out to see what their responses were. "'Treat Me Right?' Okay."

The Boys and the band launched into that song and the next request was for "Helpless When She Smiles." They only sang the chorus when Howie took out one of his in-ear monitors.

"I've got something in my ear, it's talking to me."

AJ chuckled, this would only happen to him. "You got somebody talking to you?"

"It's God, Howie," Brian said in a convincing tone which generated laughter from the fans.

"Somebody's talking to Howie at the same time, He's not saying anything in my ear," AJ pointed out.

Brian said in what he called his 'God' voice, "He is going: 'My son. You sing like an angel, but you're off pitch.'"

The fans laughed again at Brian's antics.

"People are talking to me," Howie repeated.

"'My son. You sing like an angel, but you're off key.'" Brian boomed again.

"He's hearing voices" AJ said in a mocking tone.

One of their security guards let out a terrified scream and Howie pointed at him accusingly. "Did one of you get in front of the microphone and start talking?"

"He's hearing voices," AJ said again and they got back to the singing.

Nick kept the a cappella thing going by asking the other three, "Do you guys wanna do 'Just To Be Close?'" A chorus of yeses and pleases sounded from the crowd and he asked them, "Let's sing 'Just To Be Close,' do you wanna hear it?" and they responded the same way as before.

Nick imitated one of the fans. "She said yeah, puhlease."

"Please," AJ repeated in the same tone.

"She asked us nicely," Nick added.

"Okey-dokey," AJ replied as Brian hummed a tuning note to set the key they would sing in and Howie started with his part with backing harmonies by the other three:

Like a flower to a tree
That's how close I wanna be
To your heart (Baby, to your heart)

Brian was next:

Like the stars to the night
And daytime is to light
We'll never part (We'll never part)

AJ finished out the first verse:

(I want you to be) I want you to be
The only thing that I see (Ooh, ooh)
'Cause I believe it's our destiny, oh

Just to be close (So close)
Just to be close
It's the only thing that I wanna do, ooh
Just to be close
Just to be close
Just to be close to you (Closer to you)
Just to be close

The end was met by cheers and applause. The fans picked "Unsuspecting Sunday Afternoon" as their last song request, and after that it was time for the Q & A part of the soundcheck. Their photographer, Justin, walked near Brian's side of the audience on the far left. "Alright, who's got a question for Brian?" Hands shot up and he picked a girl and gave her the microphone.

"Hi, guys, I'm Lillian from right here in Montreal and I would like to ask Brian, are you and your wife Leighanne planning on having any more children?"

Brian cleared his throat before answering, his tone gentle. "The answer to that is no. We're what they say, 'one and done.' We're happy. Baylee was a surprise, we didn't plan on having a family then, and if we knew then what we know now...um, yeah. But everything happens at the right time for the right reason, but the answer is no." He paused. "Unless we adopt an 18 year-old, 6' 6", 250 (pounds)." Then he did some football-hike-jumping move that AJ couldn't figure out and the audience laughed.

"Don't worry, I'm Spanish," Howie chimed in, "Me and Leigh are planning on having a big family."

AJ rose his hand. "Speaking of that, um...my wife Kim is pregnant...again." His face broke out into a big grin.

The crowd cheered and applauded, going crazy with this news. Brian laughed to himself. 'Leave it to AJ to announce it at a soundcheck...'

"Yep, the baby's due in December and we'd been trying since the end of last year—sorry, was that TMI? Whatever. And...we just found out almost a couple of weeks ago that we're having another boy."

More cheers were heard and Brian said something that he had to repeat because of the noise level. "How does Jordan feel about this news, AJ?"

AJ chuckled. "Well, if he wasn't sound asleep on the bus due to some Motrin," a few sympathetic awwws were heard, "Yeah, he and Kim both have a cold and are resting. He'd probably tell you that he's really excited and can't wait to be a big brother. You heard it here first."

Just then, AJ felt his BlackBerry vibrate in his pocket. He checked the screen and saw that it was Dr. Novotny calling him back. "Guys, I gotta take this." He walked off and behind the stage and could hear Nick answering his question. "Hey, Liz," he greeted her as he answered the call.

"Alex. Is this a bad time?" she wondered. "I was with a patient when you called me."

"No, not at all. What's up?"

"About Kim's fever, it's not that serious. A fever in adults isn't usually medically relevant until it's 100.4 degrees or higher. It's barely above that, so, I wouldn't worry at the moment," she said.

"Okay, good," AJ sighed in relief.

"But do keep an eye on it and if it goes up any more, have Kim take a dose of Tylenol. If it reaches 101, I want you to call me back," Liz instructed further.

AJ nodded firmly. "You've got it."

"If it levels out, Kim can just take some Tylenol and other meds before bed so she can sleep more comfortably. Most likely she'll be fine, the symptoms will probably hang around a little longer than normal, but she'll be okay."

"Thanks, Liz, I owe you one."

"Alex, I'm just the doctor. It's my job to know these things, I didn't go through eight years of medical school to come out having learned nothing."

He chuckled. "Right, thanks again. Take care."

"You, too, bye."

"Bye." AJ ended the call and pocketed his phone before heading back out on stage as Howie was answering his question. "Sorry, I'm back."

"Alright, who has a question for AJ?" Justin asked as he chose a girl.

"Hi, I'm Joanna and I'm from Buffalo, New York."

"Hi, Joanna," AJ said. "You came all the way from Buffalo?"

She laughed. "Yeah."

"Well, thanks for coming out to Canada. What's your question, sweetheart?"

"I was just wondering...what is the greatest or your favorite life lesson that being married or being a parent has taught you?"

AJ whistled. "Wow, that's deep."

"How come AJ gets all the deep questions?" Nick whined, which got the fans laughing.

Brian joined in, "Yeah, dude, save some for the rest of us!"

AJ continued on answering. "Seriously, I'm like floored by this. Usually it's, "What's your favorite thing about bring a parent?" or whatever, but I like this, it's different." He cleared his throat. "I would have to say...'count your blessings.' I have the most amazing wife by my side who has been with me through the highest of highs and the lowest of lows that life can bring. And then, of course, there's my little man who ain't so little anymore." He chuckled. "He is smart and bright and so sweet and reminds me not to take life too seriously. I thank God every day for them. So, yeah, 'count your blessings' is what I'd pick." He smiled.

Brian raised his hand. "I agree."

"Alright, well, now, we're gonna come down and take some pictures with you guys if you want us to," AJ teased and the fans cheered. "See you guys in a couple minutes."

After the pictures were taken and the soundcheck was over, the Boys went backstage to eat a bit of catering and lounge around. Brian pulled AJ aside to ask him about the phone call he answered earlier, wondering if anything serious was going on.

"Is everything okay?"

"You mean the phone call?" AJ assumed.

Brian nodded.

"Yeah, Kim's doctor was calling me back. Her fever's up and I just wanted to let her know and if there was any need for me to be concerned and there isn't."

"Okay, good." He placed a hand on AJ's shoulder and went back to the catering room to go eat. AJ decided to go back to the bus to check on Kim and Jordan.

11:39 PM

AJ was nursing a headache in the back lounge area of the bus after their Montreal show. They were on their way to Toronto, where they would be staying at a hotel. He was just watching an episode of Family Guy when he heard the door slide open.

"J? What are you doing up? Come here." It seemed as though Jordan could never sleep through the night when he was sick. "Are you okay?"

He came up to the couch. "Yeah, I need a tissue."

AJ pulled a Kleenex from the box next to him on the small table and handed it to Jordan.

After he used it and threw it away, Jordan got on the couch and rested against AJ who put his arm around him. "You wanna watch cartoons?" He flipped to the Nicktoons Network and Jordan was fast asleep again after about ten minutes of an episode of Spongebob Squarepants.

AJ sighed and carried him back to his bunk and lay him back down. He covered him with a blanket before shutting the curtain and retreating to the back room. He turned Family Guy back on and relaxed against the couch cushions. A few minutes later he let out an annoyed sigh when the door was slid open again.

It was Brian this time.

"You couldn't sleep either?" AJ wondered and sat up.

"I heard you carry Jordan back to bed and come back here." He stepped into the room. "You okay?"

That question really agitated AJ as of late. "Why does everyone keep asking me that?"

"Somebody's cranky..." Brian teased.

"Piss off," he spat.

Brian changed his voice to that of a game show host. "Hm, let's play 'Why Is Alex Cranky?' There's usually five reasons." He began to count them off with his fingers. "He's either tired, sick, hungry—"

"Says the man that puts his own kid's whines about hunger to shame," AJ smirked.

Brian laughed, he couldn't deny that he got very pissy if he didn't eat. "Getting no action, or angry. It could be number one or four..."

He rolled his eyes. "Definitely." He sighed and rubbed his forehead. "Headache."

"I think we found the culprit, folks!" Brian's voice returned to normal. "You take anything for it?"

"Nah." AJ thought about taking a Tylenol PM, but decided against it for fear of facing Kim's wrath again. If she ever freaked out on him like that again, it would be too soon.

Brian came over to the couch and sat down next to him. "I know it's not the headache that's bothering you, so spill."

"Nothing's bothering me," he mumbled, hating that he could be read so well.

"C'mon, I've known you since you were fourteen. And you're a bad liar."

AJ chuckled. "Yeah." He paused and sighed, running a hand over his face.

Brian could easily pick up on AJ's stress, his heart went out to him. "Alex, it's me. You know you can talk to me and it stays between us."

AJ wasn't really in the mood to talk about what was going on. "Look, I'm just gonna go to bed. I could use some sleep." It was true, he was pretty tired and he knew that he needed his rest if he wanted to perform well. He stood.

"It is late, but I'm not done with you," Brian warned him lightly. "Goodnight."

"'Night," AJ said and left the room. He went to the bunk across from Kim's and lay down, they would go back to sleeping together after she was feeling better. Kim was more comfortable this way especially since she was feeling so crappy, he was happy to oblige.

After a few minutes of laying wide awake, AJ got up and went into the bathroom to take something for his headache that wasn't going away any time soon. He opened the medicine cabinet behind the mirror and spotted the bottle of Tylenol PM next to a bottle of ibuprofen. Without a second thought, he picked up the bottle of ibuprofen and shook two pills out and swallowed them. He caught himself staring at the other bottle in the cabinet and quickly closed it and went back to his bunk.

Brian quietly exited the back room and sighed. He knew something was up with AJ, he just didn't know what.

A part of him was afraid to find out.
Chapter End Notes:
I used these YouTube videos for the soundcheck part of this chapter:


Gotta give credit where it's due, there will be more soon!