WARNING: Implied Slash - Don't read if you don't feel comfortable with it!

They all fell into Nicks room after the award show was over, still laughing at Kevin’s emotional state on stage. They were not making fun of him, just a goodhearted chuckle. Nick ordered up some snacks and drinks for everyone. His friends were scattered everywhere: AJ on the bed, Brian on the floor, Howie in the single settee and Kevin on the big comfortable settee. As Nick looked around, he felt happy again. But his eyes kept wondering to Kevin. Having loved the man from a distance for several years now, his heart had skipped a beat when he had seen the tears. Such a wonderful, sensitive man. Who could not love him, love every aspect of his being?
Nick was snapped out of his reverie by a knock on the door. Food and drinks finally!
A few hours later, one by one the guys left Nick’s room to go to their own room for much needed rest. And as Nick let Howie out, Kevin slowly got up from the settee and also walked to the door. Nick had closed it in the meantime and as he turned he bumped into Kevin, both tumbling against the wall. Nick was so close to Kevin, he could nearly taste him.
And as he leaned into Kevin, he gently brushed his lips against Kevin’s lips. Only gently, not to scare him off. Nick could feel Kevin tense against him but he made no move to get away. So Nick probed a little further, licking Kevin’s lips with his tongue, finding a small opening which allowed him to taste Kevin for real for the very first time. Nick felt Kevin’s mouth opening up a little further, tentatively, scared at the same time.
Nick had to be so slow and careful. That was hard, feeling the way he did. Feeling Kevin so close to him. He needed to cool of for a moment so he stood up properly and pulled Kevin to the bed where he sat him down.
Kevin seemed in a trance and Nick was not sure whether he should continue with this. But the temptation was to big. He pushed Kevin down on the bed and gently lay himself down on top of him. Kevin had closed his eyes, not moving at all. Nick licked Kevin’s ear and he could feel him shudder underneath him. That encourage Nick to cover Kevin’s mouth fully with his, gently pushing his tongue inside Kevin’s mouth, feeling him respond to the shared heath. Hesitantly, Kevin returned the kiss.
Slowly Nick started to caress Kevin’s body, slowly unbuttoning his shirt, revealing the firm torso he so much wanted to please. Nick slid down a bit and started licking and sucking Kevin’s nipples, his hand moving lower still to that heat between Kevin’s legs.
Suddenly Kevin stiffened and froze. Nick looked up startled at the reaction. Had he done something wrong?
Kevin’s eyes were wide open and tears were running down his face silently.
“Please, don’t hurt me!” he whispered without looking at Nick.
For a moment, Nick could not believe what he had just heard. Hurt him? How could he, he loved Kevin!
Nick carefully rolled of Kevin, readjusted his clothes and walked to the window.
“I think you better go”
He tried to hide the pain in his voice. He could not understand why Kevin had said that. And he would not find out now either as he heard the door to his room close without another word spoken.

A few hours later Nick was woken up by someone banging on his door. Wearing only his boxers, he first looked through the peephole to see who was there. It was Kevin.
Quietly he opened the door to let Kevin in. As soon as he walked in, Nick knew Kevin had been drinking, walking unsteady into the room. Nick closed the door quietly but was pushed roughly against it.
Kevin pinned him against the woodwork. Nick was unable to move and felt a bit worried. What was wrong with his friend?
Kevin leaned heavily against him and he could feel how hard Kevin was.
“This is what you want, isn’t it, sweet Nicky” Kevin hissed in his ear.
“Kevin, what’s the matter. If this is about earlier…”
“Sshht, don’t talk, just kiss.”
Kevin roughly pulled Nick’s face sideways and pushed his tongue in Nick’s mouth.
“You like this, don’t you!”
“I want you, yes, but not this way Kevin. Please stop it.”
But Kevin did not seem to hear him at all. Nick felt his boxers being ripped off, Kevin kicking his legs open, Kevin’s hard cock rubbing between his legs.
“Kevin, please don’t do this. Please, don’t hurt me”
But Nick’s words were muffled as Kevin pushed his hand hard over his mouth and rammed himself into Nick.
Nick tried to scream, shouting ‘NO’ over and over again, tears running down his face. But no sound got through Kevin’s hand. Nick felt himself tear as Kevin kept pushing himself in and out.
The ordeal was over in moments when Nick felt Kevin come, deep inside him and then immediately pull out.
Without further emotion, Kevin turned around, walked to the bed and fell on it, dead to the world. As if what just happened, was not real at all.
Nick was shaking on his legs, afraid to move. He was in pain, physical and emotional. When he felt steady enough, he slowly walked to the bathroom where he reached the toilet only just in time as his dinner came back to him.
Sitting on the cold floor, shaking, he felt the moisture between his legs. Reaching up for the towel, he saw blood stain the floor. Carefully he got up and tried to wash. But it was all to painful. He needed help.
Hesitantly he walked back into the bedroom. But he needn’t worry. Kevin was fast asleep, his trousers on his ankles. Nick collected his clothes from the floor where he had dropped them a few hours ago when going to bed and got dressed.

Howie was woken by a short knock on his door. He looked over at the clock. It was only 3 am. To early for his morning call. He looked through the hole and didn’t see anyone. Carefully he opened the door. He found Nick leaning against the wall, pale, eyes wet from tears.
“Nick, what’s the matter?” Howie asked worried.
“Howie, I don’t feel to good. I’m hurting.”
Howie helped Nick in the room. Every step was agony.
“What happened?”
But Nick said nothing. In stead gently lying down on Howie’s bed. As Howie put on the lights, he saw just how pale Nick was, the pain obvious on his face. And then he noticed the blood on his trousers.
“I’m going to get Kevin”
“No, please don’t. I just need to rest.” Nick pleaded.
“Nicky, you are bleeding. Something is wrong. “
That was stating the obvious.
“Please, just you and me” was all Nick said.
“I’m taking you to a doctor.”
It did not take long for Howie to get dressed. All the while Nick lay motionless on the bed, not saying anything.
They took the elevator to the parking under the hotel where Howie had left his car.
When they reached the Emergency Department, Howie got them in immediately. Nick was taken to a closed room, away from prying eyes. A doctor came to look at Nick. Howie was very worried about his friend. He could not imagine what could have happened.
It seemed to take ages before the doctor came out again and found Howie waiting for answers.
“Your friend needed some stitches. He does not want to say what happened. Do you know where Mr. Carter was earlier this evening?”
“Stitches? No, doctor. I left his room around midnight. I guess he could have gone out but I didn’t think he was planning to. Why? You think he was attacked?”
“You should know, Mr. Dorough, he is showing all the signs of having been raped.”
Unwittingly Howie took a step back, unable to believe what the man in front of him had just said.
“Why don’t you join your friend. He can do with the support. The nurse just needs to get him some pain killers and you can go.”
Shaking the doctor’s hand, Howie thanked him and walked into the room.
“Nicky, how you doing?” he said gently.
“Better, thank you.” But Nick did not sound convincing. Especially as he could not even face Howie.
“When the nurse has brought your tablets, we can go. Is that ok?”
Nick nodded.
Howie sat down on the chair next to the bed, looking as his little brother, feeling helpless. Nick was fast falling asleep now. Howie took his hand and gently caressed it, showing Nick he was there for him.

It was early morning when they got back to the hotel. Nick did not want to go to his room, so Howie made him comfortable in his own bed. All the time, Nick had not said another word.
When Nick was asleep, Howie took the cardkey to his room.

When the sun was rising, Kevin had woken up with a splitting headache and completely disorientated. Where was he, why were his pants down there?
Slowly he got up of the bed and adjusted his clothes. That’s when he saw he was in Nick’s room. Why was he here? And where was Nick?
The door opened and he expected to see Nick’s smiling face but instead looked straight into Howie’s worried eyes.
“Howie, where is Nick?”
“He’s in my room.”
“Why? What’s the matter”
For a moment Howie forgot his own question as to why Kevin was in Nick’s room, still dressed in the clothes he has worn last night.
“Something happened. That’s why I’m here, hoping to find a clue.”
“You have lost me Howard.”
“Nick won’t say what has happened.” Howie was systematically going through Nick’s room. Which wasn’t easy with a messy man. What has his normal clutter and what was a clue?
Walking into the bathroom, he found the bloody towel.
“Damn, Nick. What happened?” he cursed to himself.
He walked back to the bedroom, carrying the towel.
“This is what happened to Nick!” and Howie showed it to Kevin.
In a flash of realization, Kevin knew that the nightmare he thought he had had during the night, was not a nightmare at all but reality. Immediately his stomach protested and Kevin had to hurry into the bathroom. Howie heard him throw up repeatedly.
“Kevin? Are you ok?” Howie called through the door when he heard everything go quiet.
The door opened and Kevin walked into the bedroom, pale and zombie-like.
When he sat down on the settee, Howie sat next to him.
“Kevin, do you know what happened last night”
Dropping his head in his hands, Kevin started sobbing.
“Oh, Howie. I’ve done something terrible!”
Realization hit Howie immediately.
“You? You raped Nick!!” Howie nearly shouted. He could not believe what he was saying.
“Please, Kevin, tell me it was not you!”
But Kevin stayed quiet, tears hitting the floor.
Howie knew he had to get a hold of himself. Kevin had a right to explain himself. Right? After what he did to Nick? No, he had to calm down.
Several minutes passed before Howie dared to say another word.
“Tell me what happened, Kevin.”
Kevin sat up and stared out in front of him.
Finally he spoke:
“After you left last night, we kissed.”
Kevin waited for Howie to react but when nothing happened he continued:
“I was scared, Howie. I love Nick. I have for years. And last night, I nearly let go. But I stopped him. That hurt him, I could tell. He told me to leave. So I did, down to the bar. I was going to go back to my room but somehow I ended up here. I was angry with myself for not giving in to my true feelings. I wanted to be in control again. I pushed him against the door and took him.”
Looking over at the door, reliving the facts, made Kevin rush back to the bathroom.
When he came out again after a few minutes, Howie was still sitting there, waiting patiently for Kevin to finish.
“I woke up here, believing I just had had another dream about Nick. Not a nice dream but a dream after all.”
“But it was not, was it.”
Kevin shook his head. Silence lingered for a while.
“How is he?” Kevin nearly did not dare ask the question.
“Hurting. And I don’t know what is hurting most: needing stitches . . .”
Kevin’s head shot up. Never had Howie seen a man with more regret and shame in his eyes. So he softened the rest of his word.
“ or his heart. He has loved you for years. It has been obvious for everyone, strangers included, that you two have feelings for each other.”
Neither of them spoke for a long while. Then Howie got up.
“Get cleaned up and wait in your room. I need to go back to Nick.”
Howie pulled Kevin up from the settee and pushed him out of the room.
“I’ll call you.” He ended when Kevin walked in his own room.

Howie did not immediately go back to Nick. He needed some fresh air and coffee to sort everything out in his head.

When he got back to his room, Nick was still fast asleep. Howie showered and then read some of his email.

During the morning, Brian and AJ passed by.
“We just saw Kevin. He looks terrible. Says he’s not feeling to well. Nick’s not even in his room.”
“Nick is here. He has been sick as well.”
Howie did not elaborate to his friends. This was something Kevin and Nick had to sort out.
“I’m going to stay a bit longer until I’m sure they are both feeling well enough to go home.” Howie convinced AJ and Brian.

After they had left, Howie went back to Nick’s room to collect all his things. He tried to concentrate on the job at hand but each time he looked at the door, images flooded his mind. He could not get out of there fast enough.
When he got back to his room, Nick was laying awake.
“Hey, there. Feeling better? And no lies this time.” Howie added quickly.
That brought a small smile to Nick’s face.
“A little”
“I got your stuff from your room. Why don’t you take a quick shower. Are you hungry?”
Nick slowly got up from the bed and shook his head. Food was not on his mind at all.

15 minutes later Nick walked back out of the bathroom. Howie was waiting for him, while trying to read a book. Nick slumped on the settee until he was as comfortable as he could get.
“Ready to talk about it?”
Nick stayed quiet.
“Brian and AJ have left, but Kevin is still in his room. As a matter of fact, he was in your room when I passed there this morning”
Nick’s head flew up, looking at Howie, waiting for the next thing he was going to say.
As Howie stayed quiet, Nick asked:
“And he told me what happened.” Howie said gently.
Howie allowed Nick to digest that bit of information.
“Nick, Kevin raped you.”
But Nick shook his head.
“No, he was not himself, he was drunk.”
“That is no excuse!” Howie nearly shouted.
Nick looked at Howie with his most gentle eyes.
“Howie, don’t be angry. Of everything that happened last night, what hurts the most is while we kissed – and I was so patient and careful – he said: please don’t hurt me. How could he think I would hurt him. I was being so gentle. I know you all think I’m a lump of overactive whatever. But I’m not. I can be gentle, I can be loving. Especially with Kevin. I love Kevin.”
Nick was getting upset. Howie sat next to him and held him in his arms, allowing him to settle down again.
“Nick, is it possible Kevin was asking you not to hurt his heart? I know he has loved you for years as well. But he is not the kind of man to show that easily. Was he finally showing you last night? I don’t know. I was not there.”
Howie could see Nick was mulling it over.
“I never did give him a chance to say anything. I just told him to go and he did.”
Both were silent for a while.
“He’s waiting in his room.” Howie just mentioned.
After a while Nick said:
“I should go and see him.’
Howie tensed. He knew it had to be done but he was scared at the same time. Unrealistically so because he knew a sober Kevin would never act as he had done during the night. He could not resist asking:
“Are you sure?”
Nick nodded while getting up.

Kevin had stayed in his room all day, reliving his horrendous act time and time again. He had thrown up so often there was nothing left in his body. But it brought no comfort at all. What he had done to Nick was beyond words. And Howie would never look at him the same way again. Rightfully so. He was lower than the lowest live on earth. At least that was how he felt all day long.
When he heard the knock on the door, he expected to see Howie with news on Nick. Instead he looked straight into those beautiful blue eye which he loved so much. And immediately he knew he could feel even worse.
Kevin nearly ran away from the door, unable to face Nick. Shaking, feeling faint, Kevin turned around, away form the man he loved so much.
“I am so sorry” he whispered in a thin voice.
And as the sobbing took over, he continued:
“You must hate me, and rightfully so. What I did was despicable. I’ll leave the group and get out of your life for ever. I’m sorry! Please don’t hate me to much. Oh, Nick, what have I done to you.”
Nick gently wrapped his arms around Kevin. Gently, but at the same time holding him firmly.
“No, you don’t want to touch me. I’m disgusting.”
Nick felt he had to support Kevin or he would have gone through his knees.
“Sshht, baby. It’s ok.” Nick whispered.
“It’s not. . . .” Kevin could not speak any more, his grieve overtaking everything else.
But Nick did not let go.
“Kevin, what did you mean when you asked me not to hurt you.”
It took a while for Kevin to calm down enough to register the question.
“What I feel is unimportant now.”
“No it is not. Tell me.”
“I was scared, am scared, I …. When you kissed me and put me down on the bed, you were making all my dreams come true, all the things I had ever wanted to do for you, with you, to you, to please you. But I was scared I would disappoint you, that you would notice I had no experience at all, that you would notice I was not what you had expected and you would just dump me. And now. . ."
Kevin slumped in Nick’s arms.
“Now, all I was so scared of, has come true. Not because of what you did, but what I did.”
“I’m sorry.” Nick whispered in his ear.
“Why? You didn’t do anything.”
“Yes, I did. I just assumed you did not want me, thought you felt I was not good enough for you. I told you to leave before you even got a change to explain.”
“Oh, Nicky. That is still no excuse for what I did. No, no excuse at all.”
They were quiet for a moment, both going over the things they had said.
“So what do you suggest I do.”
Kevin just shook his head.
“I’ll go.”
“And break my heart?”
Kevin tensed.
“You could not love anyone who . . . .” Kevin hesitated to say to words
“who raped you.”
Nick chuckled.
“It was a bit rough, that is the least you can say.”
Nick turned Kevin around in his arm, making him face him. But Kevin looked down, unable to look in front of himself.
So Nick lifted his face by his chin.
“Open your eyes and look at me.”
Kevin wanted to turn away.
“Kevin, look at me.”
Reluctantly, Kevin looked at Nick.
“I love you.”
Again Kevin tried to turn away, unable to believe what Nick was saying. But Nick gently pulled his face back.
“I love you. And love is so much more than just sex. You don’t disappoint me, never. And I would never dump you. For so many years I have dreamed of pleasing you, being with you, truly sharing my live with you. Do you think I will let you go, now that we are finally getting it together?”
Kevin could not believe what he was hearing. He must be dreaming.
But to make it absolutely clear, Nick slowly leaned into Kevin and gently kissed his lips. And Kevin responded eagerly.
After the kiss they looked each other deeply in the eyes and saw the healing going on.
“I’m looking forward to showing you how much I love you, how good I’m going to make you feel.” And Nick pulled Kevin close in his arms, tears slowly running down his face. It had not been the start to their relationship that he had dreamed of so long ago. But he was not letting go of this chance to happiness.
“Let’s get out of here. We have a lot more to talk about.”
Kevin agreed. Slowly he was starting to feel better. But he would not feel good for a long time to come.
“Let’s pick up my bag from Howie’s room.”
“Howie, he must hate me.”
“Sweetheart, he doesn’t hate you.”
And for the first time Nick saw a little smile on Kevin’s face.
“I like that.” He said nearly shyly.
Nick looked at him questioningly.
“Sweetheart, I like that, the way you say it. It sounds so permanent.”
“Well, you better get used to it!”
“Nick, I love you, don’t doubt that … ever.”
And after planting another quick kiss on Nick’s lips, he pulled him to Howie’s room.

Howie was relieved to hear the knock on his door but still worried what he might find on the other side.
But as soon as he opened the door, he knew all was well. Nick was beaming. Kevin less but Howie had a feeling that was more because of him than because of Nick.
“Sweet D, thanks for helping. Kev and I are going to shoot off now. We have a lot of talking to do.”
And with that Nick ran to the bathroom to get his things.
Kevin stood a bit uncomfortable.
“Kev, just promise me one thing: don’t ever do that again. I love you but . . . “
“Don’t say any more, Howie. It will never happen again, I promise.” And he extended his hand to Howie. Howie looked into Kevin’s eyes and saw he meant it with all his heart. So he took Kevin’s hand and pulled him in a hug. Nick had seen it all from the door and came over to them.
“Told you.” He whispered behind Kevin. Kevin smiled and leaned against Nick.
“You did.”
“Get out of here both. I want to get home!” Howie said goodheartedly. And as he saw them leave, hand in hand, he knew it would all be ok.

The end.