"I'm gonna go take a bath, relax my muscles." Nick gestured towards the hotel bathroom.
"You sore?" Joe asked.
"Oh, you have no idea." Nick chuckled. "Anyways, don't wait up for me, I could be awhile." Nick disappeared into the bathroom and turned on the hot water. He waited for the tub to fill part way before slowly shedding his clothing and easing in to the hot water. He let out a sigh of content as his aching body sank under. It had been a long day, a long tour. He let the water run until the tub was full, then he rested his head on the back and closed his eyes. He liked hotel bathtubs; they were always clean with fresh soap, they were often large and they often had jets. Nick opened his eyes to see if this one did and was glad to see a button labeled 'whirlpool.' He pressed it and closed his eyes again, relaxing in the swirling water. The sound of the unlocked bathroom door opening was lost amidst the roar of the jets and thunder of Nick's thoughts. The curly haired boy didn't notice anyone else coming into the room. He hardly felt the par of soft hands as they began to massage his shoulders, but after a couple of seconds he realized that something was off. "HOLY-" Nick whipped around, yelling, but Joe forced his hand over Nick's mouth, silencing him.
"Relax baby boy," Joe grinned. "It's just me." He slowly removed his hand from Nick's mouth.
"Joseph Adam Jonas, what are you doing in here?" Nick grabbed a washcloth and attempted to use it to shield himself from view.
"You said that you were sore." Joe held up a bottle of massage oil. "So I came to lend a hand or two."
"Joe, you can't just do shit like this! I'm bathing! I'm rather…well…"
"Naked?" Joe offered.
"YES!" Nick nodded vigorously.
"Just go back to your bath kiddo." Joe patted nick on the shoulder and Nick sighed. Joe stood and Nick expected him to leave, but instead he shed the last article of clothing he had been wearing, turquoise swim trunks spotted with pineapples.
"Joe, what are you-"
"Shhh," Joe put a finger to Nick's lips, silencing him as he joined the younger boy in the bathtub. Joe grabbed the bottle of massage oil and poured some on to Nick's shoulders. He began to rub Nick's back with one hand while keeping him quiet with the other. As Nick began to relax in Joe's touch, the older boy's other hand moved to Nick's shoulders as well.
"Joe, this isn't right, we can't-" Nick began to pull away, but Joe stopped him.
"Shh, Nick, I know that you want this just as badly as I do; I've seen the way that you watch me when you think no one else can see, the way that you gaze at me when you think I'm lost in sleep. I've noticed the way you blush when your hand accidentally brushes against mine and the way that you seem all jittery and tense when we're in a room alone together, but my favorite thing by far is the way your pants get tighter when I enter a room."
"Y-you noticed all that?" Nick gulped and turned around slightly.
"I notice everything about you Nick." Joe placed a hand on Nick's cheek, gently caressing the younger boy's soft skin. "I've seen the way that you lust after me, the way that you relieve yourself of your fantasies when you think I'm asleep and Nick, so help me god, I'm the same way about you." With that, Joe bridged the gap between himself and Nick, kissing his brother fiercely.
"Joe, what the fuck do you think you're doing?" Nick pushed Joe away, looking at him, shocked.
"Kissing you, what does it look like?" Joe sighed. "Look, I've thought about this long and hard…and don't even think about telling me that you don't feel the same way."
"We may both feel the electricity," Nick bit his bottom lip, chewing it contemplatively. "But you and I, we're not free to act on our passions."
"Nobody has to know…" Joe leaned in to kiss Nick again, but Nick stopped him.
"Joe, we're brothers, blood brothers…this is a sing!" A tear welled up in the corner of Nick's eye.
"If we have these feelings for each other than we've already committed the sin…why deny ourselves the pleasures of our descent? If we're going to hell, let's at least go together." Joe reached beneath the surface of the water and took Nick's hand. Nick looked up at Joe, surprised by how gently his brother's touch was. He sighed, sinking back in to Joe's waiting arms. At first all Joe did was hold Nick in the hot, comforting water, stroking his hair and tracing invisible designs on the boy's bare skin, but after several minutes Joe tipped Nick's head back and kissed him softly. For almost four seconds nothing happened, but then Joe felt Nick kissing him back, returning the passion, satisfying the longing that filled both boys, taking their sinful lust and turning it to heartfelt love. Within a minute Nick had turned around and was sitting in Joe's lap, kissing him ferociously.
Neither boy was quite sure how long they had been making out when they were interrupted. The bathroom door crashed open and Kevin entered, his lips attached to those of their drummer, Jack Lawless, his hands fumbling with Jack's belt buckle while Jack's hands pulled at Kevin's curls. Both boys had left their shirts behind and it was clear to Nick and Joe that their intentions were less than holy.
"Dude…are your brother…together in the bathtub…naked?" Jack pulled away from Kevin, his fly unzipped, hanging open to reveal rainbow striped boxer shorts.
"Oh my god!" Kevin exclaimed. He shoved Jack out of the bathroom. "Wait here baby, I'm not done with you yet." Kevin winked and shut the door, locking it so that Jack could wander back in if he decided he was bored.
"Kevin…wow! Jack Lawless? I'm impressed!" Joe tried to cover up the fact that he and Nick were naked in the bath together.
"Nice try Joe." Kevin sighed. "You're lucky that Jack and I are stoned off our asses and that come morning I'll be able to convince him that what he saw here was a dream, nothing more than his imagination."
"Kevin, I'm sorry, I-"
"Don't apologize…" Kevin shook his head. "Just, for the love of god, don't get caught."
"You mean you're ok with this?" Joe was shocked.
"No, but I'm not gonna stop you, if you want to be incestuous freaks, fine, just don't let it get in the way of work the way I don't let Jack get in the way of work."
"How long have you two been…" Joe trailed off.
"A month give or take a few days." Kevin shrugged.
"Now if you don't mind, we're using your room because JT's in mine and Garbo's in Jack's." With that, Kevin left the bathroom and a second later, Joe and Nick heard a crash followed by Jack and Kevin laughing.
"Are you ok?" Joe looked at Nick, who was shaking."
"I-I, we…" Joe brushed his lips against Nick's in an attempt to calm him down. Nick sank back into the tub, Joe on top of him. Something about Joe's touch relaxed him to a point where he wasn't even annoyed or put off by the loud moans and creaking bed springs coming from the room. "Joe, I'm sorry, I can't do this." Nick pushed Joe off of him and got out of the bath.
"No, Nick…" Joe grabbed Nick's hand and looked at him pleadingly.
"Joe, just let go of me." As Nick wiped a hand across his left cheek Joe could see that he was crying. What had he done to upset Nick so much? All he had intended was to give Nick the love that he craved, the love that he deserved.
"Nicky, come back in." Joe sank beneath the water, getting his entire body wet, including every last strand of his thick black hair. "It's warm and nice and all that awaits you out there is…well, you know…" Joe sighed. "At least come back in until Kevin's done screwing Jack…" Joe looked at Nick, his eyes more seductive than pleading.
"Joe…" Nick sniffled. "Joe, we really can't do this…"
"Here," Joe scrunched up into one side of the tub. "I won't touch you, just get back in the water until Kevin and Jack are done…I don't want you to catch a cold…"
"Fine…" Nick sighed, trying to prevent another tear from rolling down his cheek. He walked back towards the warm water and slipped inside. Joe kept his word, staying as far away from Nick as possible in the sizeable tub. "Look…" Nick sighed. "If you want to stretch out a bit more, I don't have a problem with that." Joe nodded and stretched his legs out so that they brushed against Nick's.
"You know…Nicky, I didn't mean to hurt you, ok?" Joe bit his bottom lip, looking innocently at Nick. "If you want to stay just brothers, that's fine with me, I just thought that you wanted more, so I thought that I'd give you more, but if that's not what you want then I can work on getting rid of my own feelings and everything can go back to normal."
"Joey…" Nick moved through the water so that he was sitting next to Joe. He put his head on Joe's shoulder. "I do love you…as more than brothers, but I just don't think that now's the right time to be…you know, involved."
"If you want me to wait for you…" Joe sighed. "I'll wait as long as you want me too, forever if that's what it'll take."
"Y-you would do that for me?" Nick lifted his head from Joe's should and looked up at him. Joe just nodded. "Oh god…Joey…" Nick leaned upwards and captured Joe's lips in a deep kiss. "I'm sorry…" Nick pulled away. "I don't know what came over me."
"Well whatever it was is coming back." Nick grabbed the back of Joe's neck and pressed his lips against Joe's. Joe pulled Nick onto his lap and his hands made their way to Nick's slightly damp curls as the kiss intensified. Nick's tongue ran across Joe's lips, parting them and it wasn't long before Joe opened his mouth, welcoming Nick's tongue and meeting it with his own. Nick's hands stayed where they were, draped around Joe's neck as the two boys continued to kiss.
"Nicky-" Joe began as Nick pulled away.
"I'm sorry, I shouldn't have done that…Jesus, what am I doing?" Nick stood quickly and again exited the bath, this time wrapping a towel around his waist.
"Nicky, wait!" Joe stood this time, grabbing a towel for himself.
"No, Jack and Kevin are long since done and I really don't think that this is the right time to be doing this!"
"Nick…" Joe walked up to him and placed his hand on Nick's cheek. "Obviously you do or you wouldn't keep kissing me…"
"Don't do this to yourself Nick, don't pull away. I can tell that you love me, ok? I don't think that it's fair for you to deprive both of us of what we want…what we need."
"Joe…" Nick started again, but Joe silenced him by pushing him against the door of the bathroom, kissing him passionately. Nick returned the kiss for a few seconds before fumbling around against the back of the door. He found the handle and turned, causing both boys to stumble into the room. Nick shoved Joe back into the bathroom rather harder than necessary.
"I don't trust myself around you right now, count to three hundred and then you can come back in." Nick slammed the door and began to search rapidly for his pajamas. Joe sank down to the floor, his back against the wooden door. He rammed his head repeatedly into the hard door, silently berating himself for being so stupid. Inside the room, Nick crawled in to the bed that hadn't been mussed by Jack and Kevin's earlier conquests. He faced the wall, pulled the blankets tight around himself and squeezed his eyes shut, trying to keep in the tears that were begging to escape his eyes. He pretended to be asleep when he heard to door open and Joe came back in to the room. He pretended that he couldn't hear Joe fumbling around, getting dressed, tripping over something in the dark and screaming 'fuck' at the top of his lungs, but he couldn't ignore Joe's shaking him awake.
"Nick…I'm sorry, but can I sleep in this bed with you? There's something not quite kosher on my bedspread…I think it belongs to Jack, and least I hope it does. Anyways…I'm not sleeping in that bed."
"Nick, we've shared beds before, plenty of times!"
"That was before we made out."
"So? We're still brothers!" Joe pleaded with Nick.
"Sleep on the floor," Nick ordered.
"Nick, that's not fair!" Joe sighed, aggravated. "There's no reason that you should have the bed and not me, why don't you sleep on the floor?"
"Fine." Nick got up. "I will."
"No…" Joe pushed Nick back down. "I'm sorry, there's no reason why we should turn this in to a fight. You go back to sleep, I'm sorry I was ever born." Nick lay down, but Joe's words stung at his eyes in the form of hot, salty tears. Joe threw a pillow and a blanket on the ground and lay down. Nick was successful in pushing back his own tears, but he failed to ignore the sound of Joe softly crying on the floor. Joe wasn't a crier. When he was upset, his sadness turned to anger and he yelled or threw things, but he didn't cry…not since he was small.
"Joe…" Nick's voice was faint as he spoke. "Joe, come on…I'm sorry, come up here, you can share the bed." Nick sat up and moved over, hoping that Joe heard him. "I'm glad that you were born," he spoke slightly louder. "Just get off of the floor…I'm sorry."
"Thank you." Joe wiped his eyes and crawled into bed next to Nick. Out of respect for his brother, Joe stayed on the far edge of the bed and slowly, both boys fell asleep to their own silent tears. Joe woke up the next morning to find that at some point in the night he had rolled to the center of the bed and Nick's arms were circled around him, holding him close. Instead of saying anything or returning the gesture, Joe just snuggled in to Nick's body, worn from sleep.
"I love you," Nick murmured, waking up as Joe stirred in his arms. Joe couldn't help but wonder what had changed in the middle of the night to make Nick care so much for him. "I'm sorry for everything I said, most of it was out of line."
"Nick," Joe rolled over in Nick's arms so that he was facing him. "Nicky, honey, don't apologize, ok?" Joe brushed is lips gently against Nick's. "I don't want you to say that you're sorry, just say that you love me again."
"I love you Joe." Nick let Joe nuzzle his neck and he smiled into Joe's warm, smooth, skin.
"I love you too Nick…"
"But I really am sorry about last night, it's not that I'm unsure of how I feel about you, no, that's set in stone, has been for awhile…it's just that I'm scared." Nick gulped.
"Nicky, baby, what are you afraid of?" Joe ran his hands soothingly through Nick's abundance of curls.
"I'm just…I dunno, I'm worried that someone will find us, that someone will tell the world, tell mom and dad and then we won't be able to see each other anymore, I can't help but think that they would keep us apart and that thought terrifies me. I mean…" Nick paused to take a breath. "I'd rather live a lifetime with you as my brother then have you as a lover for a few months and then lose you forever."
"They won't keep us apart Nicky." Joe pressed his lips against Nick's for a few seconds. "They couldn't if they tried, wild horses couldn't stop me getting to you." Joe kissed Nick's jaw just a few inches below the boy's right ear. "They could take me all the way to Japan or Antarctica and I'd still work my way back to you." He kissed the tip of Nick's nose. "I'd swim oceans to be with you, I'd hike up the tallest mountains." Joe places a gentle kiss at the corner of Nick's mouth. "Hell, I think that, for your love, I could jump over the grand canyon…that's how much I love you Nicky, that's how much I need you." Joe ended his speech with a gentle kiss to Nick's lips.
"Oh Joe…" Nick breathed the words. "I don't know what to say."
"Say that you want me, say that you need me, say that you'll let me be a part of your life, say that you'll have me romantically…Nick, just say that you love me, cause that's all I really need."
"I love you."
"There you go. It's settled. I'm yours until the day I die."